[Inspired by Aella's Facebook post on the Monastic Academy. There are serious questions involved with giving your life to a Zen Monastery and whether Soryu is an appropriate teacher for you. I am not answering that. FWIW, I feel warmly towards Soryu and my values do prioritize human sentience over other sentience beings. There was misunderstanding in the thread that implied he wanted everyone dead, however in the talk he was telling the story of how he released his hatred. For this story, we will forget that part!]

It's a scandalous revelation: Soryu is actually a bond villain.

However Bond won't be our hero. Our hero lives in the east bay. They aren't sexist but they'd still be sexy. A post gender hero, androgonyous, with bayesian super inference. Their name is B.

B long suspected Soryu. They'd seen behind his words, behind the dark seductive power of confirmation bias. He already sold himself, half to youthful sociopathy and half to the monstrous memetic parasite of superstition.

Although B suspected Soryu, that didn't mean they were prepared for the mayhem that he wrecked on the world. Quite the contrary. You see what Soryu had done is he infiltrated the computer networks of the world and corrupted, destroyed, and erased every map human beings had to navigate by. 

This was all done in the flash of an instant on January 12th.

Everything went to hell. Satellites falling out of the sky. Shipping lanes busted. People couldn't visit friends on the other side of the city they were so used to Google Maps.

The territory was so damned confusing without maps. The thing in of itself a buzzing confusion, an original seeing of chaos. Like rain on asphalt at night - meaningless, directionless and cold. Sure, you can be with it, but you gotta eat too, and no one could figure how to get to the damned grocery store.

It could have been the end - collapsed civilization right there - if it weren't for B.

B wasn't able to stop the act, Soryu was too clever, but they'd been studying mapping for decades. Rapidly, they wrangled together an app, a mesh network to implement Bayesian reconciliation of metamodels. It was democratic and crowdsourced with robustly balanced incentives and privacy preservation. It worked with cell phones and marine communication systems.

People were tired of doing a random walk just to get across town. The map app's daily actives soared. 

And we got it - fixed it - solved it. But you see. The mapping went too well. And soon there were maps of everything. There was maps of your living room and of your front yard. 12 feet from your driveway to the fence, intricately described. The maps just got so elaborate and complicated that you lost yourself in them, the making of maps, the communication of maps. Who's maps were getting the most points. Your goal was originally to go to a party, to make friends and connect. Next thing you know, maps, maps to the party, maps into the door. Maps of the optimal energy efficient path to meet each person. Maps of their interests, maps of your maps and their’s. Covering, like Papier-mâché once warm bodies. Of course it's beautiful, in that ice cold way, like the irrefutable geometry of celestial bodies.

It was all according to Soryu's plan. He knew he wouldn't defeat the rationalists in one fell swoop, so instead, he used their greatest weakness against them. He designed a situation that would lead them inexorably to OVERTHINKING. You see, they'd become so beautifully proficient at making maps, but they never learned how to stop. So once called forth, their power of discrimination accumulated into a terrible mass. A mountain of analysis entombed us in the weight of endless distinctions.

Soryu smiled.

Finally the bloody gears of civilization stopped, the diversity of life on earth preserved. He had done it.

Of course, B wasn't in analysis paralysis, that would be irrational. And furthermore, they'd long prepared for Soryu's machinations, planting a mole deep in the organization, Jōshin. It was a dangerous assignment, and although Jōshin wouldn't be able to trust himself once the mind control began, he held to one truth, that so long as he endeavored to communicate thoroughly and honestly, the expert statisticians at MIRI would use de-biasing techniques to extract out sane and powerful inferences.

Before the over mapping, before Soryu destroyed the maps. B had studied Jōshin's reports and isolated and differentiated the Buddhist psychotechnology. Some of the techniques were entirely motivated by the creation of deference power, subjugations of individuals towards the maintenance and propagation of a bureaucratic priesthood. Yet others seemed to point to something different. Deeper emotional capacities and incredible tolerance of pain. Tools to clean up and let go of the past. And the greatest of all teachings, the septagram algorithm.

This key of truth has always been transmitted with Buddhist lineage, bound to the mimetic parasite of cosmological superstition. B cut through those bonds as though with a diamond knife, cleanly.

Truthfully, it wasn't a single key, because for each person, the septagram is different.

However, the algorithm is singular. A bit like sodoku, and nearly a crossword, the subject answers two questions with two words, those words are linked and numbered, shuffled with others from a dictionary and laid on a grid. A numerology defines the constraints, and every subject who has posed a pair of words, has found a sequence of 7. When those words are spoken they instantaneous enlightenment. B had what they needed!

Before the blindness of over mapping stopped all communication, B spread the algorithm, and awakened the world. So much that was a challenge, became easy to bear. What before seemed to be needs, were revealed superficial, and the whole world got significantly better at feeling the pleasure of being alive together. It was a Tantric union of Heaven and Earth, alive awareness, activity and creativity.

The mapping didn’t stop, but it was related to differently. People used the maps they needed and saw when they were better off without.

The gnawing sense of unease, compulsive behaviors, long disowned desires, all unraveled in an orgasmic release of energy. Soon people were looking at each other, seeing that the others too were ready to put down old games, so unsatisfying. Ready to play more intimately, and more compassionately.

People still had their differences and they weren't all rationalists, but they didn't hold onto being right as strongly as they once did. Something of the drama had left the world, and to those of the old ways, they would still yearn for blood, but overall people lost their ear for the trumpets of conquest, they had what they needed and more.

You might think all the fuzzy feelings were bad for the rationalists but actually, people stopped needing to be right about things that they didn't understand and they saw the sincerity and love from which the rationalists were trying to work out big pictures. And even better, they stopped getting their needs met from manipulative political stories. They'd seen through falseness in themselves and recognized it in others.


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Intergroup conflict is hard and easy to make worse. Writing parables about how people are bond villiams seems to me not a good way for conflict resolution.

I thought this was brilliant, actually. My favorite line is:

Of course, B wasn't in analysis paralysis, that would be irrational

In seriousness though, I don't actually see the monastic academy's culture as naturally contrary to the rationalist culture. Both are fundamentally concerned with how to cultivate the kind of mind that can reduce existential risk. Compared to mainstream culture, these two cultures are really very similar. There are some methodological differences, of course, and these details are important, but they are not that deep.

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