The Long Now, Pt. 3 – Wink

Download a PDF of The Long Now, Pt. 3. Download or listen to an audio recording of The L
You have reached the maximum number of free, long-form articles for the month.

Please join here to read the rest of this content.

Paid Members can log in here.

To learn more about Epsilon Theory and be notified when we release new content sign up here. You’ll receive an email every week and your information will never be shared with anyone else.


  1. Avatar for CMG CMG says:

    As always, nicely done, Ben. I’ll need a few reads to fully digest, but I hope to meet and work with Pack members in the future.

    Since learning the concept of thinking from first principles, it amazes me how widely the concept applies. When thinking about Nudges, finding a pack, keeping a personal Neb in check, etc., so much can be (dare I say) solved by figuring out one’s first principles and acting on them.

  2. We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.
    -Marshall McLuhan

    Thank you Ben for my aha moment today.

    Jim Handshaw

  3. I love the idea of the write-in candidate at scale. If we can nominate and elect from a pool of candidates who are NOT seeking power and oblige them to serve, perhaps we can staff the government with fewer corruptible psychopaths.

  4. Thanks, Ben, for helping pull all of the pieces together. In my early years, I always felt that if I voted for someone with honesty and integrity, they would do the right thing when they were elected, regardless of experience. Unfortunately, those candidates have been few & far between. It’s time to find those candidates again, and drag them kicking & screaming into the White House if necessary, because we know they will do the right thing when they get there. Thank you for re-opening my eyes to alternatives: to go after what we want and need, instead of what someone else offers.

  5. The content is spot on, as usual. I had to comment on a sense of deja vu reading it. As if Neb and I were in the same poker game at the same stage in life. My college fraternity poker games devolved in a similar fashion. Much higher stakes, IOU’s, games like High/Low Anaconda, Between the Sheets, 222/727, and my favorite (which I called EVERY time it was my turn to deal) Macintosh. But not just Macintosh, which at its core was just Five card Stud. Macintosh involved all of Nebs derivatives if called correctly. The wild card was whatever your down card happened to be. There was also pot matching to stay in with visible pairs that showed up as the cards were dealt (giving that player a minimum of 3 of a kind). I added Hi/Low, and best of all two potential card “shucks” or replacements after all cards were dealt for minimal sums given the pot sizes that developed. This could completely change a hand on the final two draws with pots of $150-300 on the line in a .25, .50, $1 nominal stakes game. A full house was the minimum expectation for a win and I beat brothers confidently holding 4 of a kind with straight flushes so many times I wondered why no one else saw that was the only hand to play for!

    Reminiscing aside, why did I need to comment?

    With my “success” I accumulated lots of ink scrawled on odd-shaped pieces of notebook paper. But, at the core we were all nearly broke college students. Losing $20 was demoralizing, losing $50 consumed 2 months of spare spending money. The game disbanded when too many of the players were so underwater and unable to pay that it became irrational to extend more credit. I honored my debts, many of my brothers did not. The classic case of being ahead “on paper”.

  6. Couple thoughts:

    1. If the pack has an intention, and we start to get noticed and disrupt the older systems, aren’t we just another set of intentions with an agenda and with new power of visibility to move our agenda forward?

    2. Can we really do something in a systematic way that doesn’t become another system with a life of its own?

    3. Isn’t our true bottom-line hope, that we act as individuals, even concerning the pack? It seems like a hope based on a new way of being, too easily becomes the new way of being and nudging?

    4. Is there a right way to structure a system? Aren’t all systems started with a revolution to break out of the old systems, that have started to serve themselves?

    5. Weren’t democracy, and communism, and christianity, all started with the individuals who believed in a new better way of being?

    6. It seems all systems, once the revolution has occurred, become the new reality and life goes on, and people percolate to the top of the system who like working in the system more than living day to day as an individual.

    7 Individuals are people who have a certain path of life experience that make them DECIDE to be an individual and live by their own judgement day to day.

    1. And others want to just live day to day, laugh and love, struggle and succeed - at the microscale - with their immediate family, friends, and local aquaintances.

    I really love your ideas regarding how to be, because they are so hopeful and feel like better expressions of how I want to be.

    But I question trying to turn that into a new group think or coordinated action, versus: lets just be the best example we can be to our kids and friends and everyone we bump into.

    Sincerely love your sharing of thoughts, and invitation to my perspective.

    Steve Turner

  7. I am guessing that considerations exactly like these are why BH hasn’t just started up an ET social network.

  8. In the early 70s I joined a casual game at my frat with players who were regulars. I treated it initially as a bit of low stakes fun. As the evening progressed it became clear that there was game management going on by the other corners. While I cannot prove it, there was likely betting pool sharing. When I cleared my lines I left the game. The money didn’t matter, what mattered was the game was wrong. Forty-five years later I’ll exchange pleasantries at rare social interactions, but there is still no trust. Character is an early tell, and tells rarely change.

  9. This is great stuff Ben and I am glad you are leading the charge!

    Like many of your readers, I am sure, these ideas resonate with me because I have been reflecting on them for a long time. Your exposition, however, has helped enormously to crystallize them. Thank you!

    In regard to your advice to “Actively engage with others to spread the word”, I’ve got to say I have had little success with such efforts thus far. What I typically encounter is that people are either too busy or not especially interested. Living lives as “free-thinking autonomous human beings” is incredibly important to some of us, but seemingly not important at all to many. I’m open to suggestions.

    As for “active cooperation in a mutual game without fear, without stimulus, without cartoons … a mutual game of full-hearted engagement” - I’m game! I look forward to engaging and conversing with other pack members.


  10. Avatar for 010101 010101 says:

    To question 1. Discovery of ourselves as a species is a genetic agenda. We can’t outplan nature’s timeframe. This supercedes intent.

  11. In order to prevent the natural evoltution of (all?) human systems as noted by ST above, a disruption of the ‘necessary means of exchange’ and ‘store of value’ might need to occur. (Crypto is not that disruptive.) IMO

  12. A breath of fresh air in a fetid swamp of political and economic thought. How refreshing. Two ways to bypass the swamp and clean it up. Count me in.

Continue the discussion at the Epsilon Theory Forum


The Latest From Epsilon Theory


This commentary is being provided to you as general information only and should not be taken as investment advice. The opinions expressed in these materials represent the personal views of the author(s). It is not investment research or a research recommendation, as it does not constitute substantive research or analysis. Any action that you take as a result of information contained in this document is ultimately your responsibility. Epsilon Theory will not accept liability for any loss or damage, including without limitation to any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on such information. Consult your investment advisor before making any investment decisions. It must be noted, that no one can accurately predict the future of the market with certainty or guarantee future investment performance. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Statements in this communication are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements and other views expressed herein are as of the date of this publication. Actual future results or occurrences may differ significantly from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements, and there is no guarantee that any predictions will come to pass. The views expressed herein are subject to change at any time, due to numerous market and other factors. Epsilon Theory disclaims any obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or views expressed herein. This information is neither an offer to sell nor a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities. This commentary has been prepared without regard to the individual financial circumstances and objectives of persons who receive it. Epsilon Theory recommends that investors independently evaluate particular investments and strategies, and encourages investors to seek the advice of a financial advisor. The appropriateness of a particular investment or strategy will depend on an investor’s individual circumstances and objectives.