Daily Stoicism: If You Want to be Steady

Epictetus waxes on judgement, questioning what drives us to make good choices versus bad ones. If we derive our decisions from external inputs, raw materials, how can we arrive at good or bad decisions if not for our judgments. If those we have skewed judgment of these externals, our actions could be bad.

This process reminds me of the flux pattern because it feels the stoics want to have a unidirectional flow of data. In flux, inputs cause actions which influence reducers which update a store. The store updates the internal state of the system which the user sees.

Applied to the stoic’s life, the system sounds similar. Raw data (input) comes in to which a stoic applies judgment (reducers) to generate opinions (store) which manifest into actions (system state). If a bug exists within any of these stages, just like in a flux modeled computer system, the outcomes are skewed and may become unpredictable. Crashes occur.

Within this analogy of a stoic’s life, being steady solely relates to having well tuned and tested reducers. Without these, external inputs will affect internal state differently than expected and cause inconsistent external actions from the Stoic.