Worried that I might already be a post-rationalist. I'm very interested in minimizing miscommunication, and helping people through the uncanny valley of rationality. Feel free to pm me about either of those things.


Topology of Learning
A Hazardous Guide To Rationality


How to Absorb a Shared Success Script (while also thinking you're living without one)

That certainly would have made a cool diary :)

I totally agree that the dude's critique didn't have much substance. That example, and several others, are all things were now I can see and feel the lack of substance. It was very real then though. In writing this I tried to emphasize that aspect, the way there wasn't much putting things in context, the way that by strategy for dealing with people made it very hard to go "k, jelly person critiquing with no substance".

How to Absorb a Shared Success Script (while also thinking you're living without one)

Glad a part related! 

Yeah, the particular self-narrative one has probably does a lot of the shaping of everything else. The messages from others that I attend to would be a bit different from you.

Open & Welcome Thread - January 2021

Nvm I found it! It was about types of philosophers, it was a comment, and it's this one by gjm.

Open & Welcome Thread - January 2021

I'm trying to find a post (maybe a comment?) from the past few years. The idea was, say you have 8 descriptive labels. These labels could correspond to clusters in thing-space. Or they could correspond to axis. I think it was about types of mathematicians. 

How to Absorb a Shared Success Script (while also thinking you're living without one)

I'm trying to remember the book's take, something like "humor is to suss out what norms you do and don't approve of"?

crl826's Shortform

Rao offhandedly mentions that the Clueless are useful to put blame on when there's a "reorg". That didn't mean much to me until I read the first few chapters of Moral Mazes, where it went through several detailed examples of the politics of a reorg.

How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions)

I'm the author, writing a review/reflection.

I wrote this post mainly to express myself and make more real my understanding of my own situation. The summer of 2019 I was doing a lot of exploration on how I felt and experience the world, and also I was doing lots of detective work trying to understand "how I got to now."

The most valuable thing it adds is a detailed example of what it feels like to mishandle advice about emotions from the inside. This was prompted by the fact that younger me "already knew" about dealing with his emotions, and I wanted to write a post the plausibly would have helped him. 

I think this sort of data is incredibly important. Understanding the actual details of your mind that prevented you from taking advantage of "good advice". I want more of people sharing "here's the particular way I got this wrong for a long time" more so than "something other people get wrong is blah". This feels like the difference between "What? I guess you weren't paying attention when you read the sequences" and "Ah, your mind is in a way where you will reliably get this one important aspect of the sequences wrong, let's explore this."

I still reference this post a lot, to friends and in my own thinking. It's no longer the focal point of any of my self work, but it's a foundational piece of self-knowledge.

"Does this post make accurate claims" is the fun part :) I tried my hardest to make this 100% "here's a thing that happened to me" because I'm an expert on my own history. But real quick I'll try to pull out the external claims and give them a spot check:

  • Everyone could learn to wiggle their ears
    • Not exactly a booming field of research, but this had the little research I could find. I think I'd put 80% or something on this being true.
  • Certain mental/emotional skills that you haven't practiced you're whole life have the same "flailing around in the dark" aspect as learning to wiggle your ears
    • "Flailing around in the dark" is defs a possible human experience. Maybe a better example would be bling people seeing through sensors on their tongue. It takes time to learn how to use such a device.
    • I'd expect most people to agree with me that as a developing infant, learning to actuate your body and mind involved a lot of time "flailing around in the dark". Though I imagine one could also say "yeah, but after you grow up that's not a problem any more. There aren't parts of my body that I'm mysteriously unable to move but have the potential to." Wiggling ears was supposed to be an example of such a part, but I still want to address this. Why wouldn't you have learned how to actuate all the parts of your mind? My answer is longer and I'm going to punt it to another comment.
  • The parent child model, and parts-work in general
    • Kaj's amazing sequence is where you should look for exploring the literal truth of these sorts of models.
    • pjeby and kaj had a great comment discussion about when and where parts models help or get in the way of self-work. The central paradox of parts work is that even if you sensibly identify conflicting parts of yourself, it's still all you. It always has been. Mostly in accord with what pjeby says, I did in fact find the parent child model very useful specifically because the level of self-judgment I had made it really hard to not attack myself for having these wants and needs, but when I frame things has a group I can tap into all the intuitions I've built over the years about how of course you need to listen to people and not beat them into silence.
      • In summary, parts models can have the effect of putting distance between you and desires and needs that you have. It is possible that you are currently self-judgemental enough that you won't be able to make much progress unless you find a way to distance these desires, at least long enough for your judgement to shut up, and possibly allow you to figure out how to deal with the judgement.

Right, onto follow up.

In a comment, raemon said he'd appreciate an exploration of "what bad stuff actually happens if you ignore your emotions in this or a similar way?" There are 3 great response sharing snippets of diff people's experience. I think the most compelling extension I could add would be exploring more how "ignoring emotions" and "ignoring my ability to want" blend together, and how these processes combined to, for a long time, make it really hard for me to tell if something actually felt good, if I liked it or was interested in it, and as a corollary this made it easier for me to chase after substitutes (I can't tell if I like this, but it's impressive and everyone will reward me for it, but I also am not aware that I can't tell if I like it, so I now do this thing and think I like it, even though my motivation/energy for it will not survive outside the realm of social reinforcement). I'm currently writing a post that explores some of those dynamics! I could certainly add a paragraph or two to this post.

In some comment Lisa Feldman's work on emotions was mentioned. This also highlights how I don't really look at what emotions are in this post. I've since built a waaaay more detailed model of emotions, how to think about mind-body connection, how this relates to trauma, and how it all connects to clear thinking / not being miserable. Again, this would be a whole other post, possibly many.

Another follow up on how I relate to parts models. I think in parts way less often these days. Pretty sure this is a direct result of having defused a decent amount of judgement. But I can also see a lot of that judgement flare up again when I'm in social situations. So I'm generally able to, when by myself (which is often), feel safe accepting all of me, but I generally don't feel safe doing that around other people.

A few people have told me that they really wanted a section on "and here's what healthy emotional processing looks like", but I don't think I'm going to add one, because I can't. I think the most valuable stuff I can write is "here's a really detailed example of how it happened to me... that's all." And while I have grown better at processing and listening to emotions, I've yet to gain the distance to figure what I've been doing is was most essential for me, and what the overall arc/shape of my progress looks like. Plus, this would be a whole nother giant post, not an addition. 

How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions)

I'm pondering this again. I expect, though I have not double checked, that the studied cases of pressure to find repressed memories leading to fake memories are mostly ones that involve, well, another person pressuring you. How often does this happen if you sit alone in your room and try it? Skilled assistant would almost certainly be better than an unskilled assistant, though I don't know how it compares to DIY, if you add the complication of "can you tell if someone is skilled or not?"

Would be interested if anyone's got info about DIY investigations. 

Eli's shortform feed

I plan to blog more about how I understand some of these trigger states and how it relates to trauma. I do think there's a decent amount of written work, not sure how "canonical", but I've read some great stuff that from sources I'm surprised I haven't heard more hype about. The most useful stuff I've read so far is the first three chapters of this book. It has hugely sharpened my thinking.

I agree that a lot of trauma discourse on our chunk of twitter is more for used on the personal experience/transformation side, and doesn't let itself well to bigger Theory of Change type scheming.


Hazard's Shortform Feed

The way I see "Politics is the Mind Killer" get used, it feels like the natural extension is "Trying to do anything that involves high stakes or involves interacting with the outside world or even just coordinating a lot of our own Is The Mind Killer".

From this angle, a commitment to prevent things from getting "too political" to "avoid everyone becoming angry idiots" is also a commitment to not having an impact.

I really like how jessica re-frames things in this comment. The whole comment is interesting, here's a snippet:

Basically, if the issue is adversarial/deceptive action (conscious or subconscious) rather than simple mistakes, then "politics is the mind-killer" is the wrong framing. Rather, "politics is a domain where people often try to kill each other's minds" is closer.

With would further transform my new no longer catchy phrase to "Trying to do anything that involves high stakes or involves interacting with the outside world or even just coordinating a lot of our own will result in people trying to kill each other's minds."

Which has very different repercussions from the original saying.

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