Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber.

I have this proposal: Existential Debt.

I think it can be better explained by example. So here it is.

Imagine we are embarking in creating a startup. The idea is to capitalize on wood furniture. We have the trees, the tools, the workforce, we have it all. We do it all. From raw materials to the end product, we work. Everything goes fine for years and years. The question is: what is the existential debt of that startup?

The idea of the Existential Debt is that no matter what it's done, you always get some.

This is based on two concepts:

  1. Everything is interconnected and the benefit of something is merely in the context in which is examined. What seems to be good for someone, it's bad for someone else or something else.
  2. Everything decays or everything is changing whichever way you want to see it.

The startup to avoid screwing the forest, i.e., plants more trees. In doing so, it changes the environment around and that may cause the lives of other beings directly o indirectly. That in turn affects everything around. It goes well since the startup goes on and the reforestation happens but something get messed up in the process.

The startup to avoid chemical wasted, invests in research and finds a way to stop screwing the environment. In doing so, something is affected.

In other words, there is no free lunch. Something changes for good and bad.


In a Cosmos where there is no meaning, only the one that sentient beings choose to have, the Existential Debt is an idea that helps to be aware of our actions.

This came to me while I was reading a book on systems thinking.