Jackercrack

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Open thread, Dec. 22 - Dec. 28, 2014

I, like many people, have a father. After a long time of not really caring about the whole thing he's expressed an interest in philosophy this Christmas season. Now, as we know a lot of philosophy is rather confused and I don't see any big reasons for him to start thinking truth is irrelevant or other silly things. I don't think the man is considering reading anything particularly long or in-depth.

So, I'm asking for book recommendations for short-ish introductions to philosophy that don't get it all wrong. Solid, fundamental knowledge about how we know what we know, why we can know it and so on. The whole less wrong thing really. I think i'll also send him a copy of epistomology 101 for beginners.

All ideas are welcome even if it's not 100% the right book.

Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014

You may be right about my lack of tools, and I can't honestly say I used the try harder in the proper manner seeing as I hadn't been introduced to it at the time. I played the role of the supportive boyfriend and tried (unsuccessfully) to convince her to go to a therapist who was actually qualified at that sort of thing. I am suspicious, however that you took pains to separate yourself into a new reference class before actually knowing that one way or the other. Unless of course you have a track record of taking massive psychological issues and successfully fixing them in other people and are we really doing this? I mean come on. A person offers to help and you immediately go for the throat, picking apart mistakes made in an attempt to help a person, then using rather personal things in a subtly judgemental manner. Do you foresee that kind of approach ending well? Is that really the way you want this sort of conversation to play out? I like to think we can do better.

I have information. Do you want it or not?

Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014

Yes well I wasn't a rationalist at the time, nor did I know enough about psychology to say what the right thing to do to help a person whose father... Well I cannot say the exact thing but suffice to say that If I ever meet the man at least one of us is going to the hospital. I'm rather non-violent at all other times. There wasn't exactly a how-to guide I could read on the subject.

I am also the kind of person that would be drawn out and try to help a person who breaks down crying. You use your energy to help their problems, and have less left for yourself. It starts to wear on you when you get into the third year of it happening every second week like clockwork over such charming subjects as a thoughtless word by a professional acquaintance or having taken the wrong bins out. Bonus points for taking the wrong bins out being a personal insult that means I hate her.

Anyway, that really isn't the point.Telling me how to solve my rubics cube which I am no longer in contact with is not very helpful. The point is, I've been there and I want to help you make the right decision, whatever that may be for you.

Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014

I've had a 3 year relationship with a woman I thought I could fix. She said she'd try hard to change, I said I'd help her, I tried to help her and was extremely supportive for a long time. It was emotionally draining because behind each new climbed mountain there was another problem, and another, and another. Every week a new thing that was bad or terrible about the world. I eventually grew tired of the constant stream of disasters, most stemming from normal situations interpreted weirdly then obsessed over until she broke down in tears. It became clear that things were not likely to ever get better so I left.

There were a great number of fantastic things about this woman; we were both breakdancers and rock climbers, we both enjoyed anime and films, we shared a love for spicy food and liked cuddling, we both had good bodies. We had similar mindsets about a lot of things.

I say all this so that you understand exactly how much of a downside an unstable mental state can be. So that you know that all of these great things about her were in the end not enough. Understand what I mean when I tell you it was not worth it for me and that I recommend against it. That I lost 3 years of time I could have spent making progress in a state with no energy. If you do plan to go for it anyway, set a time limit on how long you will try to fix her before letting go, some period of time less than half a year. I'll answer any questions that might seem useful.

November 2014 Monthly Bragging Thread

On 6 of the past 7 days I've succeeded in doing 50 minutes of exercise and 2 hours of job searching a day. I'm now talking with 3 different recruitment agencies and it seems likely that I'll be having interviews shortly! I've been wanting to get into running for years so i'm spending half the exercise periods doing a couch to 5k program and the other half on bodyweight workouts. This may not seem like much but as a person who have been struggling to get anything done at all for the past 5 months it really is a big deal. Thanks to /u/peter_hurford for his guides on productivity which were brief enough that I couldn't procrastinate by reading them.

Productivity 101 For Beginners

Thanks for the write up. I used these tips, and they've been effective for 5 days in a row so far which is great because I'm finally getting callbacks about job interviews now after putting off applying for so long and all my muscles hurt from working out. It was short enough that I couldn't do what I normally do and put off taking action till I'd finished reading the book/presentation/whatever. Ended up skipping step 2 due to having plenty of free time in the schedule, which probably doesn't apply to most employed people but hey, feedback.

I found it useful to set and write down a series of specific rules for myself to follow beforehand to prevent excessive weasling out of things. It seems that although I'm not above some motivated rules-lawyering I can stop myself from breaking the rules if I make them sufficiently bulletproof beforehand. For example, one rule was that if I was going to skip a time slot to do something else, I had to make time to get the work done before-hand in order to stop myself from infinitely putting it off and to prove that it was actually a thing important enough to me to re-schedule around and not just an attempt to get out of it.

All in all, very useful. I'll be reading your other posts on the subject.

Doublethink (Choosing to be Biased)

I had the happiness of stupidity once. While younger I edged into the valley and recoiled. I believe I even made a conscious choice and enforced it through various means. It was a good time over about two years, and it was unsustainable. I made the mistake of continuing to gain knowledge about human nature, I kept my curiosity and my fascination with how things worked and thus was my ignorance doomed. I dipped deep into the valley and eventually found this place, where I (hopefully) hit critical mass of bootstrap.

If I had stayed in that bubble of wilful ignorance I would probably be happier, but long term I think my current path will overtake it. It's better this way, I couldn't have stayed in that state without maiming my own curiosity and growth.

A discussion of heroic responsibility

And neither of us have the evidence required to find this point (if indeed it is just one point instead of several optimal peaks). I'm tapping out. If you have any closing points I'll try to take them into account in my thinking. Regardless, it seems like we agree on more than we disagree on.

A discussion of heroic responsibility

You misunderstand me. I am not saying that a large government is definitely better. I'm simply playing devils advocate. I find it worrying that you can't find any examples of good things in larger government though. Do socialised single payer healthcare, lower crime rates due to more police, better roads, better infrastructure, environmental protections and higher quality schools not count as benefit? These are all things that require taxes and can be improved with greater spending on them.

Edit: In retrospect maybe this is how a changed humanity looks already. That seems to fit the reality better.

A discussion of heroic responsibility

Achieved almost entirely by fighting through normal means, guns and such so I hardly see the relevant. Suicide bombing kills a vanishing small number of people. IED's are an actual threat.

Their original goal as rebels was to remove a central government and now they're fighting a war of genocide against other rebel factions. I wonder how they would have responded if you'd told them at the start that a short while later they'd be slaughtering fellow muslims in direct opposition to their holy book.

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