High Agency Machine: The Death Bed Razor

George Mack

High Agency Machine: The Death Bed Razor

Thought experiment:

If there was a magic machine that could spot high agency people, what group would keep coming up again and again?

The terminally ill.

The person with the least amount of agency can transfer to the highest amount of agency when a doctor tells them they’ve got 12 months left.

When faced with a diagnosis of impending death, you also gain a severe intolerance for bullshit.

The terminally ill can see the finish line in the distance and are no longer contempt with running at the same speed or direction as everyone around them.

Previously, they may have been bobbing along in the ocean of everyday life, guided by the tide of momentum and other people’s opinions.

After the diagnosis, they find themselves on a speed boat and a clear map of where they want to go.

Every distant dream goes from “one day” to the “end of the day”.

They call old friends they lost contact with, tell their loved ones how much they care, finally start writing the novel that was a pipedream for 20 years, record the song they’ve had in their head for so long, travel to the country they’ve had as their screen saver.

The terminally ill person whose health hasn’t yet started deteriorating is the apex of human agency.

"We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one."

The closest a non-terminally ill person can get to this: attending deathbeds or funerals.

Seeing a ticking clock, or 0:00:00 left on someone's clock you care about makes us realize that we too have a clock that is ticking everyday. The only thing clearer than your perspective on life during these moments are the tears running down your face.

If you were to design a sociopath who’s goal was to give you the most amount of agency over your life with no regard for human ethics: He would give you a false terminally ill diagnosis.

Reminder to self: There's no nootropic more powerful than staring death in the face.

Table of contents

High Agency Machine: The Death Bed Razor

Thought experiment:

If there was a magic machine that could spot high agency people, what group would keep coming up again and again?

The terminally ill.

The person with the least amount of agency can transfer to the highest amount of agency when a doctor tells them they’ve got 12 months left.

When faced with a diagnosis of impending death, you also gain a severe intolerance for bullshit.

The terminally ill can see the finish line in the distance and are no longer contempt with running at the same speed or direction as everyone around them.

Previously, they may have been bobbing along in the ocean of everyday life, guided by the tide of momentum and other people’s opinions.

After the diagnosis, they find themselves on a speed boat and a clear map of where they want to go.

Every distant dream goes from “one day” to the “end of the day”.

They call old friends they lost contact with, tell their loved ones how much they care, finally start writing the novel that was a pipedream for 20 years, record the song they’ve had in their head for so long, travel to the country they’ve had as their screen saver.

The terminally ill person whose health hasn’t yet started deteriorating is the apex of human agency.

"We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one."

The closest a non-terminally ill person can get to this: attending deathbeds or funerals.

Seeing a ticking clock, or 0:00:00 left on someone's clock you care about makes us realize that we too have a clock that is ticking everyday. The only thing clearer than your perspective on life during these moments are the tears running down your face.

If you were to design a sociopath who’s goal was to give you the most amount of agency over your life with no regard for human ethics: He would give you a false terminally ill diagnosis.

Reminder to self: There's no nootropic more powerful than staring death in the face.

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