RE: Hacking Business and Finance (was: Funding for SIAI)

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat May 03 2003 - 13:29:11 MDT

> I think the hardest thing for me business-wise has always been maintaining
> focus and effort on important things I really don't give a damn about.
> Finally recognizing that this was a significant issue several years ago
> helped quite a bit though, such that I now consciously expend a lot of
> effort on things I despise but know are important.

Yeah. This paragraph describes my own experience fairly well, except that I
have also trained myself fairly well not to actually *despise* these things
... any more than I despise the necessary but not terribly scintillating
process of defecation ;) [although, I admit I have been involved in many
business meetings that were substantially less scintillating than ... oh,
never mind! ...]

> Social perception is very hackable, and you can extract a lot
> value hacking
> this space. It is also a very interesting experience regardless, and pays
> quite a few dividends in numerous areas.

Yep.... 15 years ago I was a purist and never wanted to sully my
philosophy/science/engineering mind with tedious, dubiously-moral business
and finance stuff. I would still *rather* avoid business stuff as much as
possible, but it's certainly a lot subtler and more interesting and
rewarding than I thought it would be back then -- even though it can't
compare interestingness-wise to working on AGI, systems biology, or other
really deep scientific topics.

There's no doubt in my mind that the percentage of my time I spend on
business stuff is well spent, in that this time buys the time of others who
are working on Novamente. And I still do get to spend a lot of time on
Novamente AI stuff as well, though not the 100% I would like...


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