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It’s been a year since I started Uncharted Territories. Wow.
Every day, we drown in the daily rush of news and data points and gossip and current events.
I’m trying to build with you here a little island of sanity in the archipelago of long-term thinkers, away from the mainland of short-term thinking. The fact that you read my thoughts, share them, comment on them, correct me, and even, some of you, pay for them, is an unbelievable gift. I take it with immense gratitude. I’m unbelievably lucky.
It’s refreshing to get the head out of the sand, think hard about the big problems that matter to humankind, and try to act on them. But this fulfillment, which emanates from long-term thinking, can hide something even more precious: the little moments along the way.
Every now and then, somebody needs to remind me that life, by and large, is not just all these grand plans we have for the future. It’s what happens on the path towards them. It’s the journey, not the destination. Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans1. Life is a baby trying to escape when you’re cleaning her poop, it’s the look of complicity in the eyes of a friend who understood your private joke, it’s a friend you meet for the first time in 10 years and with whom you continue the last conversation where you left it, it’s pausing to celebrate with your colleagues the work well done, it’s the first ray of sun on your skin that makes you realize spring is finally here, it’s the moment you lay down in bed at night, cover yourself with a quilt, and wait for warmth to build up on your cold skin; it’s a smile in the middle of sorrow, sorrow in the middle of smiles.
It’s paradoxical that our frenetic daily life doesn’t allow us to think long term so we need to take a step back to do it, only to realize that life is about the little moments of daily life.
For me, one of these little magical moments marries the short term and the long term: it happens when I sit down in front of a white piece of paper, with fifty pages of notes and links in front of me, which I’ve gathered for months or years, and I finally try to make sense of them. The more I do that, the happier I am. But also, I think that’s what makes my best articles: when I take the time to tackle the big hairy questions.
So in the coming weeks and months, I’m going to try something slightly different. I’m going to keep my weekly cadence of premium articles, but I’m not going to commit to a free article every week. This will allow me to focus on the biggest pieces that I feel you guys are most interested in: things like why I think degrowth is bad, what is the future of violence, why real estate might be a poor investment in the long term, how to fight climate change, how to fight inequality, or what will replace nation-states. I might end up with one free article a week, or a month, or something else. I don’t know yet. Let’s see where this path takes us. In the meantime, if you want to keep receiving a weekly article, you can support me by signing up to receive the premium article.
There’s also another group without whom we wouldn’t be here today, and that’s Substack. One year ago, they approached me to join them. They believed in me more than I believed in myself. And they proved me wrong. They bet that there was something here, that some people in the world—you—would be willing to spend your time and money to think with me about all these big issues of today. So thank you, the Substack team, for believing in me.
And thank you, you reading this right now, for letting me visit your inbox every once in a while. It is a pleasure and an honor.
Thank you also to all the people who comment on the articles. I don’t have all the answers. My articles are only my best attempt. Your comments are the best way to improve my ideas.
Thank you to all those of you who have proposed to help me in different ways. I haven’t been as diligent as you. I’ll try to do better.
Special thanks to Jordan2 and Shoni, who have been tirelessly proofreading and editing these articles for you. English is not my first language; tidiness is not my main strength. If you don’t get bogged down by countless typos and weird phrasing, that’s thanks to them.
Thank you, to those of you who pay for Uncharted Territories. I see a future where I work full time on it, and the only reason why that’s possible is because of your trust.
And special thanks to you, founding members. The trust you put in me is one of the biggest motivators to try my best at the most complex ideas. You push me to deserve you.
Thank you all.
Quote from John Lennon.
Welcome to Kevin, who is stepping in for Jordan!