The I.I. Questionnaire — Visa!

Welcome back! This is our new series where we ask a bunch of thought-provoking and somewhat indiscreet questions from our friends! The goal of the I.I. Questionnaire is to initiate conversation with the community.

We also invite you to submit other names who you’d like to see answer these questions. We’ll try to find them for you!

Visa answered our questions while completing his mandatory military training in Singapore…

#love #honesty #curiosity #Visa

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(You can join the discussion or make a suggestion here. You can follow Visa on Twitter here. )

Let’s dive in! Please write your Most Honest Twitter Bio (max 120 characters)

I would go with my current one:

nourishing, high-voltage being ⚡️

Which of the words in this “bio” is the most important for describing you? Why?

All of them! :)

I thought about it long and hard and carefully deliberated to get to the most amount of useful meaning I could compress into the fewest number of words. I wanted a bio that felt both accurate and aspirational.

Nourishing — to serve and aid others

High-voltage — to be bold, daring, powerful, intense

Being — to frame things in terms of a way of being, rather than a specific role or set of actions

Imagine your past — present — and future. Name three songs that are the perfect soundtrack for these three stages.

Interesting challenge! I’ll answer with Paramore songs…

Past: Franklin. A bittersweet sense of loss and impermanence. “When we get home, I know we won’t be home at all / This place we live, it is not where we belong”

Present: Last Hope. About transcending fear and pain. “And the salt in my wounds isn’t burning any more than it used to / It’s not that I don’t feel the pain it’s just I’m not afraid of hurting anymore”

Future: The Only Exception. “And I’m on my way to believing”

What are the 4 pillars of human relationships? Is this general (i.e. works in any relationship from romance to geopolitics) or is there a change across scales?

Off the top of my head

communication

sensitivity

respect

curiosity

I’m not so sure if geopolitical entities can truly be curious, but if they could, I can’t imagine how it could be anything other than a good thing.

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Share one thing about which you changed your mind in the past 5 years. What made you do it? Why didn’t you do it earlier?

Travel! I never cared for it much before. I did it because friends invited me. I didn’t do it earlier because it was something that seemed tedious and costly, and I didn’t know how to prioritize it.

What does the word “community” mean to you in 2019? Is it an empty word or does it have a real substance?

Very real substance.

A community is a mesh network of people. People are social creatures, we need other people to *be* people. We understand that it takes a village to raise a child — it also takes a village to be human.

What role do you think you play in groups of people? What role do groups play in your life?

I am often the creator/initiator of groups. When I join a group, I tend to take a very active role, trying to raise the overall quality of conversation. I often mediate conflicts between members.

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What role do groups play in my life… I frame it like this — I never had any “easy”, inherited in-group. I’m the alien in my family, a minority in my country, the misfit amongst the minorities… I just never quite fit in anywhere. There was never a table for me to sit at.

And so… I have had to actively seek out groups that I wanted to participate in, study them, understand them. Groups are contexts for me to learn about the world, to learn about myself. I’m a bit of a nomad, or a “long orbiter”, but I appreciate having people to return to, who welcome me.

What does “individualism” mean to you in 2019? Is it a political slogan or an ambition we all should have?

The word has never had much meaning to me. I wouldn’t even think to describe myself as “individualist” or “not-individualist”. It seems to me to be a sort of tedious, arbitrary mental model that needlessly atomizes people, turns people on each other, makes them fearful, jealous, envious. I guess it’s effective at increasing GDP? Idk. It bores me.

Name one thing humans are better off doing alone

Some things can only be done alone. Taking responsibility for your life is ultimately a solitary activity. I sometimes think that all important decision-making is a solitary activity.

We are better off being honest with ourselves about this. No matter how much feedback you solicit from others, ultimately you have to make the final call by yourself (including deciding whose advice to follow and whose to disregard, for eg.)

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Our decisions can have consequences on others, but we each ultimately have to face ourselves… ourselves.

What do you think is one thing most people are mistaken about?

Soooo many things, hahaha. But the top thing that MOST people are mistaken about? I think most people are mistaken… about… school? Taste? Hmm.

Y’know what, I’m going to go with Assholes.

I think most people are mistaken about how to deal with assholes, or how to maintain asshole-free spaces.

~1% of people cause over 70% of conflicts and chaos in the world, and we let them because we don’t know how to do better, or we don’t want to get involved. The negative externalities from assholes are staggering.

People need to be educated on this and trained as ‘first responders’, trained to coordinate effectively, etc.

What is an achievement you’re most proud of?

Is “getting here” too vague?

I mean it in every sense, from the most basic (“woke up today! yes!”) to the most present (“I’m in my gmail replying to an email from Anna Fuckin’ Gat!”), and in a broader sense about… many, many things about my life. I’m proud of me for being able to pay the bills. I’m proud of me for seeking out great friends. I’m proud of me for being kind.

Arm-twist answer: I’ve written almost 800,000 words for my “write a million words” project (@1000wordvomits), which started in ~2012

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What is one skill you’d like to wake up magically having?

I’d like to be better at project management, since that’s the skill by which all other skills are acquired. Like wishing for more wishes, I know :p

Arm-twist answer: suddenly i’m an expert at making video content. YouTube, here I come!

In an ideal scenario, how does the world look like in 10 years? How about 50?

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead

So ideally, we’d have lots and lots of small groups of thoughtful, committed people coming together to solve problems. More people starting businesses, communities, circuses, whatever. The rate of such gatherings should be increasing. It should function as a sort of immunity against the widespread fuckery that’s going on. Kind of like… plant roots stopping soil erosion.

How likely do you see the ideal scenario actually happening?

I don’t actually think too much about this. :)

As Elon said, “”When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” Never tell me the odds, they’re a needless distraction.

What is one small thing we should all be doing everyday to make life better

  • for ourselves?
  • for our immediate community?
  • for mankind?

Ourselves: be honest with ourselves about our feelings. Find out how we are fucked up, and fix it, so that our bullshit doesn’t have to spill out and contaminate our relations with other people.

Community: same.

Mankind: same.

Do people want a “good life”? What in your mind is a “good life”?

“Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.” — Ronnie Coleman

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You can see my “full” map of what a good life is on my memex — but if I had to compress it, a good life is great friends. You can derive everything else from that. It applies internally inside your head too, between your competing sub-selves, sub-identities and so on.

What is your definition of happiness?

Happiness is the love, respect and admiration of the people that you love, respect and admire. Compressed? great friends

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