John Carmack

Just finished John Carmack's interview with Lex Fridman. It left me feeling deeply motivated. Here are a few lessons that stuck out.

  • I deeply resonate with his extreme practicality and lack of sentimentality. He doesn't like theorizing about the ethical implications of AI, nor does he like recalling the past - he focusses on solving practical problems now. Very monkish.
  • As he was deciding on what to do with his current chapter in life, he was contemplating both nuclear fission energy and AGI. The former because it was held back not by science but by public perceptions and the latter because he figured the code needed to do it is hundreds of thousands, not millions, and thus can be written by a single individual. For the same reason, he opted out of the former, because it'd require coordinating a diverse group of stakeholders
  • To achieve more, work harder. He worked 60-hour weeks for decades on end. He doesn't know anyone successful who didn't work hard for a long time.
  • The difference between him and Elon Musk is that Elon goes all-in. John is now at a financial place akin to Elon after he sold to Paypal. The difference is that Elon then put all his money into Tesla and SpaceX, while John isn't.

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