All of Flawed Spiral's Comments + Replies

Shoulder Advisors 101

Or for recalling previous conversations or rehearsing speech

I overlooked the obvious, yes, I do that too, of course. However, less of the rehearsing speech part, and more of looking for concrete words for concepts in the moment. I do believe I would improve the fluidity of my speech by rehearsing, I'm not sure that kind of practice is aligned with my values.

Most of your meditation description sounds fascinating, it seems mostly like practicing the skill I already have to strengthen the connection between direct sensations and conscious attention. The only ... (read more)

3Gunnar_Zarncke2moI think the two big advantages of a retreat are * a lot of time in one large chunk to improve the mind (introspect, meditate, or something). As with programming some things you can only do if you go deeper and deeper in one run (extreme maker schedule [http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html]). * tight feedback loops with the teacher and other practitioners hopefully at about the same level. Both interrelate. But with your specific profile and experience level, I think it will be difficult to find a suitable retreat. It might work better to work closely with a meditation practitioner that you click with.
Shoulder Advisors 101

True, I didn't mention emotional balance since it usually plays little role in my daily life. I used to have issues with managing extreme emotions in early childhood that I solved by both avoidance, and 'dimming' them to the point they are mostly manageable. I avoid anger in daily life because it was always unproductive for me in the past, and is incompatible with the social strategies I use nowadays (which I picked because I suck at social 'tactics').

The environment you describe matches up well, but not perfectly with the one I grew up in. I guess you can use that as a confirmation.

3Gunnar_Zarncke2moThanks for sharing. I can relate even to the exceptions and resulting strategies.
Shoulder Advisors 101

I personally see an inner monologue as as much of a tool as any other part of my brain. The inner monologue, as a tight coupling of auditory and linguistic processing, is rather helpful for performing some kinds of thought, for extending working memory (the auditory loop is an extremely easy place to store small amounts of nearly arbitrary data in the immediate term, and you can abuse your language processing to store moderate amounts of linguistic data in the short term as long as you're able to retrace a path of thought through it).

I do find that I don't... (read more)

5Gunnar_Zarncke2moSame. Or for recalling previous conversations or rehearsing speech (though that also falls under extended working memory). Same here. And that, together with what you wrote earlier ("I don't think I can model people"), leads to less of a felt connection to other people - in both directions: It makes us harder to model. It is why I have tried to pick up skills in that direction. The way our mind has developed makes it harder - but I think if we succeed, more fluid. Since being a teen, I have done a lot of self-introspection. Meditation looked suspicious to me for a long time. I knew about its benefits though the same is said about religion. I was delighted to find a non-dogmatic introduction on LessWrong though I'm not such which one of the many under the tag meditation [https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/meditation] it was. Probably one by Kaj. I tried the breathing exercise, and it was effortless. Same with other exercises. I had trouble locating emotions in the body and was skeptical, guessing it being illusory (same trouble Duncan has [https://medium.com/@ThingMaker/focusing-for-skeptics-6b949ef33a4f]). I attended a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat two years ago organized by an LWer and billed as non-dogmatic and open to individual needs. It worked out incredibly well. The teacher (Julia Harfensteller [https://www.sage-institut.de/ueber-sage/]) provided a lot of exercises and cues from multiple directions. The resolution of my introspection increased immensely. At the end, I gained access to my emotions - previously, they had been so well-regulated subconsciously as to be almost invisible. In the weeks after, I went thru big parts of The Mind Illuminated (see e.g. here [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/AhcEaqWYpa2NieNsK/subagents-introspective-awareness-and-blending] ). Things I did: * Breathing meditation (decompose the sensations of the breath) * Decomposing visual perception ('unseeing' shapes, forms, motions, faces) * Noticing beginnings and ends
Shoulder Advisors 101

How do you define the difference between software subagents and hardware submodules?

I (feel like I) have a good understanding of what exactly which major 'parts' of my brain are capable of. I know what I can do by language modeling, I know what I can do and when with my visual cortex, auditory cortex, kinesthetic sense, motor cortex, working memory, I know what I can do with my spatial awareness. I can consciously focus on most of these parts and affect their workings, mostly by bringing them into attention. I'm also aware of, but not in direct conscious c... (read more)

4Gunnar_Zarncke2moThat again sounds pretty close to how I would have described me earlier (and would mostly still describe). You didn't write about your emotional balance but if were is again like me it would involve few excited states and fewer conflicted or what's called negative states and emotions as e.g., anger. If so, that would confirm my assumption that getting to such a uniform and stable state requires a certain environment. An environment that has little need for the developing brain and mind to overfit. No forced adaptations to environmental risks like loss of caretakers or life. But also an environment rich in information and with exploring.
Shoulder Advisors 101

On more self reflection, and reading a bunch of posts in the subagents tag, and looking into tulpas again, I believe I just don't have the mental architecture for this kind of thing.

I hypothesize that this skill requires thinking of yourself as a personality, but I don't see myself that way. I see my 'self' as my central attention. I don't believe I have software subagents, I believe I have hardware submodules with some configuration overlays at most. There's no 'default personality'. I switch how I interact with people based on context fluidly.

I don't bel... (read more)

4Kaj_Sotala2moInteresting - if someone told me only that they have no default personality and that they switch how they interact with people fluidly based on context, I'd assume them to naturally view their mind in terms of subagents. Since "no default personality" sounds to me like "no unitary self, just different subagents that get activated based on the context". How do you define the difference between software subagents and hardware submodules?
2Duncan_Sabien2moFWIW, my experience of writing fiction is very much "they are versions of me with masked knowledge and hidden or exaggerated traits."
Shoulder Advisors 101

Oh, I just realized this post is new, and not one of the 8 year old posts I keep coming across and want to participate in.

I don't think this technique works for me, at all. For several reasons. And reading through the comments section, I feel like other people can't imagine my failure case (e.g. the people surveying others about whether they do / can do this - "Can you imagine your friend saying this?")

I'm visually aphantasic, I cannot conjure a visual image at all except in some phases of sleep, or sometimes under extreme tiredness while 'awake' (I hypoth... (read more)

On more self reflection, and reading a bunch of posts in the subagents tag, and looking into tulpas again, I believe I just don't have the mental architecture for this kind of thing.

I hypothesize that this skill requires thinking of yourself as a personality, but I don't see myself that way. I see my 'self' as my central attention. I don't believe I have software subagents, I believe I have hardware submodules with some configuration overlays at most. There's no 'default personality'. I switch how I interact with people based on context fluidly.

I don't bel... (read more)

Who lacks the qualia of consciousness?

The discussion on this post reminded me of some incidents when I was overcome with strong emotion as a child.

I had a lot of issues controlling my emotions of anger and sadness, to the point that after other children angered me I exploded in hot, violent rage. Every such time I felt like I lost control of myself and was more of an observer. I needed to lock myself away from the world and let all that anger out somehow, until I came down and calmed down. Looking back, I think that (paradoxically) I felt more conscious during those moments. I think this might... (read more)