2 min read

Permission to forget

Permission to forget

Today I want to talk about autopoiesis.

For context, the term refers to a system which can reproduce and sustain itself.

The term was introduced in 1972 by Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela to define the self-maintaining chemistry of living cells. Since then the concept has also been applied to systems theory and sociology.

To me, autopoiesis goes hand-to-hand with another great concept, self-reference.

From the moment we are born we start taking in inputs from the world around us. It’s a beautiful thing.

The “problem” is: we never stop. I’ve discussed how I try to limit inputs in the past, and today I wanted to address the inputs we try to store.

These are inputs, things, resource, ideas that we might need in the future, or that we might want to check out or apply later.

We usually store those in [insert fancy tool], or we write them down on a notebook to review later.

Why do we do that?

I’d argue that one compelling reason is that we are afraid of forgetting something that might be important going forward. 

Why can’t we trust our mind? Our mind is a powerful device. After all, it has been a recording device for decades. Before hard disks, we relied heavily on our minds.

So, I want to try not to store these kinds of inputs at all. I want to give me permission to forget.

I reckon my objective at some point will be to pause external sources and only self-infer. I look forward to that day.

And btw, this is another framework that I’ve taken from music. In the past, I’ve asked myself: at what point do I stop listening to music and just play music pulling from my own inner? 

Again, that’s not entirely possible, but at least it would be a fun experiment.

Thanks for reading,
Mike


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