Akrasia is Hypocrisy.

by Lev Protter1 min read4th Jan 20212 comments


Personal Blog

And separating the two is just meta-akrasia, which
is just hypocrisy. 
The basic self deception, is that we failed because of some
unknown x, and if only we had factored x in, we
would not have failed.

I claim that x is just our own hypocrisy.
The reason we fail to account for x, is volatility.
The world is a messy place, and our self honesty varies with it.

“But much more importantly: who says that people who claim to care about truth, and then deceive themselves, "really don't care" about the truth?”

Self-deception:Hypocrisy or Akrasia

It's not that they “really don't care”, it's that their convictions aren't
stable enough.

Externalizing ‘Akrasia’, to me, seems like a dangerously seductive concept.

2 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 5:28 PM
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If you don't make the world perfect by the judgment of every person in existence at this very moment, you are a hypocrite. 
If you don't internalize the best character traits of every human role model in history that you have and donate a billion dollars to every effective charity, you're a hypocrite. 
Look, I don't know what your reward function is, but if you do not max it out right now, you're a hypocrite. 

What's stopping you from mastering everything perfectly right now? Could it be that you don't understand perfection? What's stopping you from understanding perfection? Could it be that it's complicated? Why would you be so conflicted? To feel conflicted must be some kind of hypocrisy or something.

Here's an easy task for an AI: make everyone smile. How noble of the AI to be so certain in his sense of right and wrong. 

Ah crap, I'm being a belligerent. I'm sorry I overreacted to your post. Consider my attack valid on a kind of person who argues your point who is not you; someone who can't operationalize in more agreeable terms. Maybe you can operationalize your point in a more agreeable way. If you can, I have done you injustice by being so harsh. If you can't, I still shouldn't discourage you so harshly from making an attempt to make sense of things.

Yeah, my argument, when taken that far, is unworkable. When considering how far to maximize the reward function, the metaphor of a treadmill is apt. There are forces constantly pulling backwards, and if I don't keep ahead of them, I might as well going backwards on my own. We take the conflict and complexity, and give it space. So I'd say "to remain conflicted is a kind of hypocrisy." or maybe to roll the dice at complexity and conflict isn't much better than pure hypocrisy. I'm having a bit of trouble phrasing this, I think because life isn't discrete like I may have painted it, but what is really preventing me from mastering everything? Should I name it? Does it have a will of its own? Maybe it's just entropy, and whatever convictions some other, more honest version of me had, just need to be reinforced at every possible moment.

The idea of good and evil (truth/lies) come to mind, not because there's any clear meaning to them, but because drawing a clear line, and labeling things accordingly, is one of the more powerful 'dark arts' we have. The idea of opposites is one of the first to go when thinking about rationality. But it might also be a fairly rational way of handling complexity.