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My beliefs


On Morality (internal)

  • All life is valuable
  • It's possible to love everyone, but not very practical.
  • It's perfectly OK to dislike some people, but better to just not care about them.
  • Hate requires a lot of effort that isn't worth spending on people who ask for it.
  • It's important to recognize that everyone is important to someone
  • But that doesn't mean they should be important to you.
  • It's easy to assume people share your morals, most don't
  • Humans are destructive by nature
  • People should be judged by their actions, not their words
  • People should be judged by their actions, not their gender, color, religion, etc...
  • Assume good faith. Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

On Ethics (external)

  • Gay marriage should be legal everywhere
  • Abortion should be legal everywhere
  • Assisted suicide should be legal everywhere
  • Health care should be available to everyone who needs it
  • The death penalty should be used in extreme and certain cases to protect the public
  • Prisons should be about protecting the public, not about punishment
  • Recreational drugs should be legal and taxed
  • Owning a gun should be legal but require certification from a firearms officer verifying that they've taken a safety course, are free of violent criminal record, and have passed a psychological mental health check.

On Spirituality

  • There is no God
  • Remember, we will die
  • Souls don't exist
  • Intention can't create reality, but can change our perception of it
  • There is no such thing as a miracle
  • There is no heaven/hell
  • We don't have a purpose given to us, but we can make one up

On Science & The Universe

  • Other dimensions and universes exist
  • Micro and macro evolution happens
  • Something like the Big Bang happened
  • Something existed before the Big Bang (outside of time and space as we know them)
  • The human brain (in its current state of evolution) can't comprehend the universe
  • We have no cosmic significance
  • Aliens exist
  • Non-carbon-based life forms exist
  • Space travel throughout the universe is probably entirely the domain of robots and cyborgs
  • Forwards time-travel is possible, but backwards is not
  • Chances are, we live in a simulation

On Health

  • We can change our behavior and habits (it requires a lot of energy)
  • Consistently eating well and exercising is the only way to be sustainably healthy
  • Vaccinations are good for society, but shouldn't be devised or regulated by profit focused industries

On Technology

  • Computers will be building better computers than humans by 2050 (the Singularity)
  • Humans, computers, and Earth will evolve into a super organism by 2200 (if we're still around)
  • Humans that embrace change (and give up some of their humanity) will survive the Singularity
  • Technology will eventually disrupt all other human-created institutions (politics, religion, identity, economics)

On The Self

  • Free will is mostly an illusion (but does exist in limited form)
  • Pure altruism is an illusion (but kindness is not)
  • We tell stories in order to create and remember meaning
  • Consciousness is the result of a feedback loop between our story-making cortex and our subconscious (ain't it nice though?)
  • Privacy is a human right
  • Giving up our privacy and individuality in exchange for better connection will be the norm by 2050

On Education

  • Most schools in the US are bloated and behind the times.
  • Most schools focus on teaching people to follow orders rather than embrace learning

On Politics & The Economy

  • Most jobs lost in 2008-present aren't going to come back, new ones have to be created from scratch
  • In the future, working will be more thoroughly decoupled from having the means to live
  • Power will be more quickly redistributed when it gets too heavy at the top

On The Future Of Earth (2100)

  • Global warming is real and will continue to cause big problems
  • There will be 10 billion people
  • 80% of people will live in cities and new mega-cities by 2100
  • The number of living languages in the world will drop to under 100
  • Genetically modified foods will become the norm
  • Coral reefs and the ocean ecosystems are going to break with unknown consequences
  • Solar and wind will slowly replace gas and oil

On Biases

  • We tend to favor the beautiful
  • We tend to see what we expect to see
  • We tend to attribute too much credit to success (and under-credit luck)

On Love

  • Love is not binary or singular
  • It's possible to love many people in different ways
  • Love and hate are very similar, different points on one spectrum.

Joi's Principals

  • Resilience over strength, which means you want to yield and allow failure and you bounce back instead of trying to resist failure.
  • Pull over push. That means you pull the resources from the network as you need them, as opposed to centrally stocking them and controlling them.
  • Risk over safety.
  • Systems over objects.
  • Compasses over maps. Knowing how to find your way is more important than knowing a way exists.
  • Practice over theory. Because sometimes you don’t know why it works, but what is important is that it is working, not that you have some theory around it.
  • Disobedience over compliance. You don’t get a Nobel Prize for doing what you are told.
  • Emergency over authority. The crowd instead of experts.
  • Learning over education. Education is what others do to you, learning is what you do for yourself.


  • We have very little control over what we believe in
  • Some of my beliefs will be proven wrong
  • I'm willing to be convinced that my beliefs are wrong
  • Making and maintaining this list is useful and fun (you should do it too)