I see landmark as entering into a symbiotic relationship with a parasitic set of memes. It's a life changing experience for a lot of people, but Landmark wants to grow and it'll attempt to drain your resources (money, volunteering time, and social capital) to do so.
I had a coworker who was obsessed with landmark, and eventually wore some of us down to attend the intro night. I too was impressed at how psychoactive the environment was, and it seemed to be really helping people! But I felt concerned for many of the same reasons as OP.
There's a lot of parallels here with psychedelic therapy. One, it's cheaper and faster than years of CBT. And two you are in essence letting someone really heat up your mind (especially your self conception) to allow you to anneal out of sticky maladaptive local maximas. As OP says, they induce this open state with:
Exhaustion from long hours and homework
Putting you on stage in front of a crowd and then manipulating the crowd's response to you. (i.e. manipulating social reality)
Installing active memes with good concept handles. Whether or not these memes reflect reality the mind responds to them in powerful and predictable ways if delivered in the right context (as in Christianity)
Unfortunately while you're in this state landmark also tries to install a powerful evangelical perogative to sign-up everyone you know, and a belief that if you really cared about your continued development you would take the subsequent (also really expensive) courses.
This makes sense, as organisations who find this technology and don't do this will be out competed by ones that do. But you're still giving root access to your mind over to an organisation that wants to use your resources to grow.
My coworker is in a lot of tax debt and yet has spent tens of thousands on landmark courses. I took this as a warning and just did therapy and acid instead.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write this. Scott Alexander and Glen Wyel are two of my intellectual hero's, they've both done a lot for my thinking in economics, coordination, and just how to go about a dialectic intellectual life in general.
So I was also dismayed (to an extent I honestly found surprising) when they couldn't seem to find a good faith generative dialogue. Of these two can't then what hope is there for the average Red vs Blue tribe member?
This post have me a lot of context though, so thanks again 😊
Is stock in a managed vanguard index fund cheating 😅? I guess that's assuming vanguard will last to manage it and that there's no socialist style economic reform that makes owning companies less valuable.
Government bonds maybe?
Huh, you are correct that was indeed my intention 😄 no idea how I managed that.
This is a nice metaphor in general for top down vs bottom up networks with some natural horizontal separation, I like it. Does this appear in the literature or is this just something you think about?
I find this sentiment a little confusing, as it seems to me the subjective experience of suffering is the ultimate bedrock of any idea that understands suffering as bad? If I had no personal experience of suffering or wellbeing I can't imagine how something like utilitarianism might move me.Or are you saying while yes ultimately an abstract understanding of suffering rests on a subjective experience of it, pumping the understanding of the subjective experience won't lead to more understanding of it in the abstract in the way EA needs to?
Made me laugh out loud twice, I enjoyed this post 😊
Technology that "factors stance space" as pol.is tries to do and finds consensus excites me!
I'm very sympathetic to the idea that the ability of modern western countries to cohere / find consensus is a bottlenecked lever in progress. Finding pareto optimal sources of agreement may be a good way to help this.
Aw, she did have a friend all along!