DRMacIver's Notebook

Promethean work

Promethean work

This is another draft bankruptcy post. The following is the only bit I had written from a post entitled "Stealing lifehacks from the gods":

Do you ever think about how weird it would be to be in the myth of Prometheus?

Prometheus stumbles into camp, looking haggard.

"Prometheus, you have returned from Mount Olympus! What have you brought back from your time among the gods?"

"Uh, well, I've brought back the secret of fire. Pretty sure that'll be helpful. Very useful stuff, fire."

"Tell us, oh great Prometheus! What powers must we invoke to summon fire? What rituals must we perform?"

"Um, yes. Rituals. OK, so, you take some dry grass, and two sticks."

"Grass... and sticks? Do we fashion these into an offering? Do we carve runes into them?"

"No, you see, what you do is, you rub the sticks together. After a while they'll get real hot. Then you put the hot sticks on the grass and it'll catch fire because dry things catch fire when they get hot."

"What the actual fuck, Prometheus."

"Yeah, kicking myself for not thinking of it on my own TBH. Still, it's a simple enough trick that at least the gods won't be super mad at me for borrowing it, huh?"

(Please note that this both entirely misrepresents the myth of Prometheus and also how to start a fire with sticks. But in my defence it's funnier that way)


This actually got turned into a tweet way earlier, and was probably more like a tweet worth of idea.

The core to this is that a lot of what I do is go into complicated specialised disciplines and try to take their most accessible ideas and make them broadly useful. This is Promethean work.

Another related tweet:

If I have seen far, it is because I have repeatedly wandered up to giants and asked "Gosh! How did you get so tall?"