Clerestory

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April 17, 2020

I’ve started a newsletter, so please sign up to get news about the novel I’m writing and the thinking going on behind the scenes.

Much has happened since I wrote last year, but you’ll have heard about all that. Here’s what I’ve been up to, which has little to do with what’s going on in the world.

Six months ago I began thinking in writing, in a system called a Zettelkasten. Today I broke a quarter million words in that system, in 2,405 notes.

Much of this thinking has centred, over time, on two questions:

  1. On the origins of selfhood and suffering: Philosophy, cognitive science, and ancient wisdom traditions have led me to believe that existential suffering is not a part of human nature, but has its origins in history and is transmitted by human culture.
  2. On the origins of complexity from simplicity in nature. I’ve begun to notice certain patterns in the emergence of complex systems from simpler ones, and that the ones in nature (the evolution of plants, e.g.), have important parallels in human evolution and technological progress.

I will be writing and thinking in writing here, and showcasing the results in the newsletter.


I'm Bryan Kam. I'm thinking about complexity and selfhood. Please sign up to my newsletter or see more here.