The following ideas may be useful to people who, like me, desire to practice stoicism, study logic and science, live alone (i.e. single without kids nor housemates), and be as self reliant and non burdensome to other people as possible.
I was thinking about how my life would be different if my parents and other people who I classify as having ever been a friend or family member of mine died this year while I remain alive. If that were the case, I assume that hardly any people would know that I exist nor would any people be seriously inconvenienced nor distressed if I died (especially if I deliberately avoid having close interpersonal relationships and only interact with people on a purely business level rather than a personal one (which means that I would only interact with people as a means to acquire money, material and informational commodities, commercial services, protection from harm and not to “hang out” with people for recreational purposes nor to establish ongoing economic, emotional, and social entanglement between myself and other people)). What I imagine would happen if I died is that the employees at whatever company I work for would notice that I stopped showing up and news may spread that I died but none of those people would cry. Instead, they would carry on with business as usual with no significant interruption to their flow (and I think that is a good thing because I would not want people to be so reliant on me being alive that they would have difficulties functioning without me being alive (and I would do my best to leave some kind of legacy website cluster on the public web (including especially the annals of Archive dot Org) so that other people could benefit from viewing (and perhaps copying) the public domain intellectual property which I published in my personal websites which effectively would act as a substitute for me being physically available to dispense what I think is worthwhile media)).
If my ongoing survival and comfort is as unnecessary to other all other people’s goal acquisitions as I described in the previous paragraph, then I would reason that all persons besides myself have very little incentive to protect me from harm nor to bestow upon me niceties which are finite in supply other than to avoid legal or naturalistic consequences of harming or neglecting me. In other words, if such people could get away with murdering me or, at the very least, treating me in an abusive manner, then I assume that it is likely that I will get bullied a lot if not outright assaulted or murdered. That is because such people lack an affectionate bond towards me which compels them to want to invest in my welfare because I am not part of those people’s families. Without those people having minimally significant affectionate regard towards me, I am little more than a parasite, competitor for scarce resources, and burden for those people to have to tolerate the existence of.
I imagine that some people would implore me to ingratiate myself to other people so that those people are more likely to invest in my welfare and less likely to inflict harm upon me. To me that is essentially negotiating with terrorists (and as a misanthropist who also sees itself as a philanthropist (because I want to help humanity not be so awful to me; not because I genuinely like humanity), I would rather not overwhelm myself with the futile task of trying to single-handedly solve humanity’s problems permanently, but instead, show by example how to be what I think is a good human; someone who tries to mitigate its harmful impact on the environment, manage its own health so that it is as little of a burden for other people to have to take care of, and intervene to help other people in emergency situations if I think my involvement would genuinely help to de-escalate danger without putting myself in what I think is too much danger).
What I just wrote sounds like the script for how to be a selfish, elitist, and isolationist coward. So be it! Showing off how brave, self-sacrificing, and humble I am is little more than bragging only to be forgotten while hardly making a lasting impact (especially if humanity is going extinct within 300 years). The only “person” who would ever know that any human ever did anything at all if all physical evidence of human civilization was lost and aliens came to visit the wasteland which once was populated by humans would be “God” (and I do not necessarily believe in God and, quite frankly, think that, if there is a God, that being is more like a stupid, out-of-control infant than a full-grown autonomous adult. I imagine that God is a scared infant who cannot help but vomit out a myriad of different dreams which are often nightmarishly barbaric and, not because that infant enjoys gore porn, but rather, because that infant is essentially subject to deterministic constraints (which would mean that God is not omnipotent (i.e. not possessing the ability to will into existence whatever it wants to whenever it wants to)).
I think the most rudimentary form of kindness is the demonstrated intent to do as little harm to any and all beings as possible. My preference is to interfere in nature’s processes as little as necessary to achieve my highest priority goals. To illustrate what I mean by example, rather than try to block automobile traffic on a busy road in protest of continued fossil fuels dependence (which could prevent patients in dire need of life-saving medicine from getting that medicine in a timely manner and other horrific consequences of impeding traffic), I would simply switch from driving a petroleum powered vehicle to riding a bicycle and/or using public transportation (including taxi services such as Lyft) to commute to work (and other places). I know that, as a single adult who has no dependents and lower than average expenses, I hardly generate much pollution (which means that I might as well continue driving a petroleum powered car knowing that it is analogous to adding only one more drop of water to the ocean while most others add buckets of water to that ocean). Still, I feel better about myself and seem to have less car-related expenses and inconveniences due to relying on public transportation and bicycling instead of driving a car (which is the main reason why I prefer bicycling and public transportation to owning and regularly driving a car).
* * *
By the way, I have been looking at backpacking sleeping bags which are supposed to be compact to easily fit into my backpack (unlike my old $70 Coleman sleeping bag which is tattered and which has a broken zipper and which is so bulky that it spills out of the top of my backpack and is hence exposed to rain rather than compressed into a cylindrical case which is small enough to not fit into my backpack without bulging out of it nor filling it to capacity (and I know these things because,many years ago, I used to have one of those high-end sleeping bags which is made especially for backpacking)) and which provide protection from subzero degrees Fahrenheit temperatures and moisture for approximately $400 at R.E.I. stores. I might end up purchasing a sleeping bag fromR.I.E. instead of a bicycle from Walmart with tomorrow’s paycheck because I seem to need the former more urgently than the latter. (I have tried getting by with only that old tattered sleeping bag but it has been a miserable experience because there are too many holes in it which let my body heat escape and which let the cold air in). Walking to and from the warehouse I work at and the Warm Springs BART station takes less than two hours both directions. Next Friday I can try getting a bicycle to complete my “ultralight” ensemble.
This web page was last updated on 19_JANUARY_2023. The content displayed on this web page is licensed as PUBLIC_DOMAIN intellectual property.