A Manual For Modern Living
by Charlene Putney + LAIKA (trained on Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius)
Made during a live event in one hour over Twitch on Friday August 26th with audience participation. You can find the recording here.
Note: AI-Generated text in bold.
First, know this: every action, every utterance, every quandary that can be said or done is an
act of violence. Is that so crazy? Not to my mind. To my mind, it is also perfectly sane to say
that you’ve got nothing to lose by doing what you’ve got to do.
In our modern world, one must follow one’s own path ruthlessly. This means that we have to
be willing to put up with other people who behave in this way, and accept our inability to
change their minds. If we do not do so, then we’ll never make progress.
Other people are all around us, and we can’t control what they are saying or doing. But we
can control our own actions, and our own attitude. And if we can control our own attitude,
then the attitude we should choose is the right one. The one that is authentic to us. And not
one that’s harmful to others.
We live in a world of war, a world of climate crisis, a world of inequality. How should we deal
with this reality? What’s the price of a hamburger? Your soul? Your body? Anything worth
doing will cost us something. But there’s nothing we can do about that. Everything is in how
we perceive it – in flux, completely random. Which is how we wind up wherever we happen to
be. And because it’s random, then there’s nothing to worry about.
In matters of business, always seek out someone who’s doing the right thing. Therein lies
the road to profit, because only the people who can enjoy it are those who are doing the right
thing. And just as in life, if you’re doing the right thing, someone else will enjoy it too.
In order to be happy in the modern world, one must be satisfied with life as it is. One must
accept. That’s all there is to say.
When one wakes up in the morning, the most important thing to do is to make the most of
the day. There is no one activity more injurious to one’s spirit than working. Except for
working on something that you love, of course. But if you complain about not being able to
go to work… well, then, you’ll be dead in the morning.
Remember: when you wake up, don’t worry about how much time you’ve lost, or what kind of
time you’re up against.
Remember: if you’re having trouble getting started, it’s because you’re trying for the wrong
kind of thing.
Remember: if you see a parking lot, don’t let yourself get too excited about it, because it
won’t be your lot to park in.
Charlene Putney is an award-winning writer and teacher from Ireland. After working at Google and Facebook in management positions for almost a decade, she turned to the more creative side of tech and began writing for videogames in 2013. Before moving to Denmark, she worked on Divinity: Original Sin 2 and story for the upcoming Baldur’s Gate 3. She’s currently creating LAIKA with her partner Martin Pichlmair to make machine learning more accessible to writers – sign up for our beta at www.writewithlaika.com. She also teaches interactive fiction at university level and yoga on Tuesday evenings. Say hi to @alphachar!