So here I am, posting a thing.

I have a soapbox, which may have unintentionally put myself up as a source of authority, at least to myself.

There's an SMBC comic of Zach Weinersmith comics where he's said words to the effect of “my brain is weird, I get thoughts like “why are people still using this argument I already satirised it in a comic”” [1]

After I wrote my evidence not theory post I noticed some slight irritation while chatting to my father. "Hey you're doing this dynamic even though I already explained to some people on the internet why it's bad".

Let's try and steel man this subagent of mine that is worried about being authoritative,

Giving a speech to a large number of people, future allies and so on is a task I believe I wouldn't take lightly.

You're trying to explain to this crowd of people what your worldview is, what kind of person you are. This allows for greater coordination & cooperation. Folks in the audience will offer you different opportunities depending on who you say you are.

It doesn't seem too unreasonable that committing to be a certain way gets you a dump of utility. As you're "fixed" [2]. Yet it can also constrain you. Pretty sure this is going to happen regardless. [3]

This youtube artist marydoodles has talked about getting stuck in a style. In her case it's watercolour time-lapse with often a funny twist in the painting. I wouldn't be surprised if singers feel similarly, The audience’s “We liked your old stuff better" might be a bit rough. Bo Burnham a comedian has a wonderful if saddening (to me) song on it. [4]

let's imagine in a blog post: I say " X " . Later I find in particular cases turns out " ¬X ", turns out reality is vast and complicated and can't be compressed into little english predicates, what do ya know.

However maybe: I've just announced to the tribe that I'm going to stand by the norm of " X ". I'm kinda motivated not to notice " ¬X " because hey, that would be kinda awkward.

So what is this dynamic and how can I solve it or avoid it:

  • bias toward reporting experience flavoured things "This saddens me" as opposed to "this is sad"
  • acknowledging the limit of my current perspective, not constraint my future self through slogans of the form "X is true"
  • some form of declaimer about the kinds of linguistic mess that I'm about and is happening here.
  • knowledge of the kinds of people who enjoy reading these things.
  • If a hypothesis is sufficiency large, perhaps I could say X, then later ¬X. (dialectics! [5])

So here's a disclaimer: my posts are just guesses. use them if they're useful. ignore them if they're not. I'm not any authority & don't really know what I'm doing. :)

Intuitions behind such a disclaimer:

  • When you've decided you know how reality works, it's really hard to look at reality. This is a part of why curiosity is so great.
  • I consider a particular kind of advertising the dark arts, eg "let's make the message as simple and un-nuanced as possible"
  • Gerry Sussman's we don't really know how to compute

Also, Richard Feynman's, The Pleasure of Figuring Things Out:

They expected me to be wonderful ... But I wasn't wonderful. And therefore I realised a new principle: I'm not responsible for what other people think I'm able to do. I don't have to be good because they think I'm going to be good.

And somehow or other, I could relax about this. I thought to myself 'I haven't done anything important, well, I'm never going to do anything important.' ... So I decided I'm only going to do things for the fun of it.

writing, like everything [citation needed] is about resolving internal conflicts.

One thing this might be is an mostly-honest report of one persons mental experiences as they gently mediate a discussion between "I want to write a post" & the >5 other conflicting sub-agents desires that is me. I hope you don't take this as much more than that. But hey, you do you.

help I'm trapped in the meta.

[1] if anyone can find it, lemme know.

[2] Prickles and Goo by Kevin Simler

[3] current policy: mitigate what damage you can. don't worry about what you can't, see if you can figure out how to tell the two apart.

[4] Bo Burnham - Can't Handle This (Kanye Rant)

[5] DBT Sequence: Dialectics, Thing of Things.


New Comment