PG and the Epicureans

Don't fear god,
Don't worry about death;
What is good is easy to get, and
What is terrible is easy to endure

Epicurus, 3XX BC

Don't ignore your dreams;
Don't work too much;
Say what you think;
Cultivate friendships;
Be happy

Paul Graham, 2012

Stoicism is making a bit of a comeback in tech circles. Folks find stability through the startup emotional rollercoaster and stop spending money on things they don't need so they can live their dreams. Recommendations for The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius are everywhere.

PG's post, inspired by a nurse who spent a lot of time with dying people, nailed a lingering doubt I had about tech's stoic obsession. A city full of stoics would not be much fun.

San Francisco has taken a beating lately, and socially graceless, self-priotizing people are a common criticism. Could stoicism worsen the problem by giving us philosophical justification for building up emotional walls, for focusing things within our control and neglecting our would-be friends?

Epicureanism, a rival school of Hellenistic Greek philosophy, has a different focus. Something like: friends are important; treasure your relationships. Money is well spent on experiences that help them grow. I like that.