The Positive-Action Manifesto

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This season has seemed exceptionally dreary to me, and it’s not just the weather. The modern world seems stark and austere. I feel at times as though I am living in a cyberpunk dystopian novel. With all of the shiny new technological gadgets available in the US, infrastructure crumbles. The realm of politics is not only divisive, but to many people it’s so distressing that Katrina Stanton of the Bayesian Conspiracy podcast has suggested taking the Bryan Caplan “beautiful bubble” approach to public life.

I propose a slightly different solution, one that may seem hopelessly cliche. Rest assured- I did think about the problem for more than five minutes. My plan consists of two steps.

  1. Figure out a positive thing I can do to make the world a better place.
  2. Do it.

In other words, I’m no longer going to sit around and wait for someone to join my mission before starting it. I will do what I can, tell others about my plan, and if you want to follow, you can.

I have a few ideas for future missions.

  1. Give to a worthwhile charity.
  2. Create something- art, music, writing, choreography etc. that will make people happy.
  3. Make people think. Study street epistemology.
  4. Use the scientific method to create something worthwhile. Work on a citizen science project.
  5. Use my ingenuity to invent something cool, that will make life a little easier.
  6. Be kind to people. Be polite to strangers.
  7. Be a mentor. Get involved in community education.
  8. Get involved in a community beautification project. If I see a mess, just clean it up.

I know I’m getting a bit too idealistic, but I feel inspired. Let’s all go out and make the world awesome, and if you have any other mission ideas, let me know in the comments.

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