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Your link to the Matt Might article says:

A pharmacogenetic panel that will tell you your response essentially to every drug on the market costs on the order of $300.

Fuck, maybe I should do one for fun of myself! Do you know what this panel is? Any other things I should try in this vein? (I had some rare AF lung/heart problems as a kid, used to be depressed and am generally healthy now, but I'd love to learn more).


they're just being nice.



No, you're missing my point. Idk if we disagree on anything concrete, the issue is that you're both Fluttershys or something. Kaj, you say,

Or rather, it may help the individual who makes that choice, but it doesn’t help the community in general.

How do you go from "help the community" back to "oh, what we're doing is great"? THIS is the problem; if help the community was your goal, you'd go about nudging norms to encourage "meditate more, read less". But that's not what you're doing; instead, you're throwing your emotional support behind the status quo.

This is one of those things where you won't change what you're doing, because you don't want to, deep down. You'd rather have a nice happy community.

Which isn't to say that additional instructions would be useless.

Like. I'll maybe do a top level post about all this?

Anyways, Kaj, I remember the post on your blog where you said, that you had reached a bit of apathy through meditation, and you were having a bit of trouble finding meaning. The way you put it resonated with me, as I've had the same problem recently. Like, enough that I appreciated it. So you're one of the people here I'm willing to engage with on this.

But, for fuck's sakes, philosophizing serves the role of masturbation. This is an endemic problem for LW adjacent people, because you all enable each other! There's a culture of it here. Which is why the sentence I quoted, "which... useless", is fake, because the intent behind it is to make it socially okay to explore this shit. Fuck that. It's more effective to practice more, and you're promoting the culture that's undermining that.


I actually agree that 0.1xreading + 0.9xpractice beats 1.0xpractice. Your motivations for saying so are wrong, and that this is the problem.


This isn't instructionless meditation, it's "give one paragraph of mindfulness instructions and tell them to sit down", there's a difference between that and Zen.

I assume that "sit the fuck down and practice" is a threat to philosophizing, and that this is what is motivating your pushback.

So then why all the rest of this crap?

The recorded teachings of the Buddha are so long because: 1. he gave a nearly identical lecture to tons of people and lots of them got recorded 2. he had an aesthetic! He's not just out to teach people, he also tried to impress them and shit. *That* is the exact, direct explanation why people in general write so much about meditation, they want to impress you, even if this explanation doesn't consciously occur to them.

what I see as the core causal loop that causes progress on the Buddha's path

The "core loop" that causes progress is sitting the fuck down and meditating. Instructions: get comfy, put your attention on your breath as it goes through your nose, put it back on the breath when it wanders. Repeat for like 100 hours, at least 1h/day.

There are a *fuckton* of writings on meditation, and the benefit you get from reading them is less than sitting down and practicing.


> Alternatively, when things "settled down," then often anywhere from 3+ minutes would pass seemingly instantly.

Yeah! It's a great feeling. A thing someone might have insight on: I'll sometimes meditate for a full 45 minutes and not be able to get into this state. It seems to have to do with whether I'm on a "bad day"--if I can't get "settled down" when I meditate in the morning, I'm very unlikely to "settle down" even if I do a few more 30 minute meditations that same day. Is there a mental motion you can do to make it easier, or does this just come with practice, or does it just sometimes never work?

I had overestimated the time required by 130% on the low end to 600% on the high end!

One really common time-sink that meditation might curtail, is the habit of getting into chains of thoughts of the form, "if I could go back in time and change X to make things better", "here's what I'll say to make my friend happy if some very particular thing goes awry", etc. About half of my "study" time in undergrad was consumed this way while sitting in front of a textbook or computer, and I wasn't even a bad student overall. Meditation definitely gave me an understanding of just how much time this ate up.

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