A year ago, I was listening to a Sam Harris podcast with Sean Carroll, a physicist from MIT.
Sean Carroll told a story that resonated with me, and it served as the inspiration for starting this site.
He recalled a moment when he was having dinner with one of his mentors in graduate school. At the dinner, his mentor made a comment along the lines of, “I assume that everyone here is working on whatever they believe to be the most important topic in their field.”
At that moment, Carroll realized that he wasn’t working on what he thought was the most important topic in his field. And after that dinner, he shifted his focus to what he thought was the important topic in his field, and he credited that dinner with providing the inspiration for making the change, and for shaping his career in a way that has benefited him since that day.
Carroll’s story made me think about what I was working on, and whether I was working on what I believe to be the most important topic in the field of law.
Since starting my own firm, I have worked with many startups and technology companies, and I enjoy the vigor and energy of that practice, but did I really think that what I was doing on a daily basis was the most important work in my field?
Over the past few years, I have been reading a tremendous amount about the philosophy of technology, and the impact of technology on society more broadly. I have thought ceaselessly about how extraordinarily different our lives are from what most people’s lives were even a few decades ago, much less centuries ago. It’s perhaps not an exaggeration to say that our lives are radically different from the way all humans have lived since the beginning of time.
What are the implications of this? How will our society survive this radical change? How will we adapt?
And, since I’m a lawyer: How will we change our laws to accommodate these radical changes wrought by technology?
That’s what I believe to be the most important topic in my field.
Since that day, I have shifted my focus to make that the central focus of my working life. That’s the inspiration for this site.