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I get where you're coming from and appreciate you "rounding off" rather than branching out :)

I wrote a post on "inside-out identity", here: https://honestliving.substack.com/p/inside-out-identity

Also, I only post some of my writing on lesswrong, so if you're interested, I can recommend subscribing to my substack :)

in case it’s a form of self-defense, I’d like to warn against it.

Nope! It's a conscious decision. I challenge myself and discover things I've been avoiding. (hiding from others -> hiding from self). It's a way to step into my power.

If you’re watching a movie with a group of people and you make a sound to break the immersion, you’ve been rude. It’s the same with social reality. The fear of being exposed/seen though is similar to the fear of being judged. Not looking too closely is good manners.

It's complicated! I tend to break it in interesting ways, with people that enjoy creative reframings. I know the power/joy of narratives, and try to do this in ways that serve the group. Hard to put into words, but people who are usually "stuck" in social reality express that they are surprised over feeling safe enough to open up, and seem happy enough.

If I “see through” somebody , it’s only to compliment them. I try not noticing their flaws too much. This helps them to relax.

I almost never judge. I've practised nonviolent communication, creating "mental handles" for my judgements. When I start judging someone, I relate to my judgement as something occurring in me, rather than projecting it on the other person.

I also don't think of people's actions as good or bad. I rather try to understand why they are acting as they do. Some actions are untrained/unskillful.

At the same time, I'm very selective with who I hang out with :)

I hope you are allowing yourself to be human, to not always be correct, moral, and objective. That you allow yourself immersion in life, rather than a birds-eye-perspective which keeps you permanently disillusioned. Perhaps this is the anxiety-inducing self-consciousness you’re avoiding? If so, no problem!

I'm not improving my moral character because I think I should. I do it because I enjoy progress and challenge. Virtue is the sole good ;)

I feel generally happy and life feels meaningful. It feels more meaningful the more I learn about it.

Some of my writing is on the wilder side, exploring dominance dynamics, tantra and similar. I'm not at risk of being morally inhibited, and tend to value (virtue) ethics over inhibiting norms/morals.

But I assume you know how slatestarcodex got shut down despite having high ethical standards? The closer one is to public opinion, the less they can get away with.

I don't see the danger. I'm open to my family and friends - no blackmail leverage. I keep away from culture war stuff, writing to an advanced audience. I am independently wealthy, enough to semi-retire. I earn money by facilitating philosophical inquiry, no boss to fire me.

At this point, I'd rather not live in fear. I'm as safe as it gets, and want to shift the overton window. Re: slatestarcodex - it seems to be going well for Scott.


P.S: It's interesting to reflect with you, but this is getting a tad long for my taste, so I'll try to stop at this point. If you are curious about anything and would like me to write about it, I'm open for suggestions.

There are a lot of things about my social behaviour that are confusing.

I engage in radical honesty, trying to express what is going on in my head as transparently as possible. I have not been in a fight/argument for 8 years.

People have said it's pleasant to talk to me. I tend to express disagreement even if I'm mostly aligned with the person I'm talking to.

I break all kinds of rules. My go-to approach for getting to know strangers is:

  1. ask them to join me in 1on1 conversation
  2. open up by saying: "I have this question I like asking people to get to know them. Are you open to try it?" -> "yes" -> "what's important to you?"

At the same time, people all say they feel safe with me, expressing gratitude. (with one memorable exception)

And it's not all in my head. I keep getting invited to amazing places/communities. I have an easy time landing jobs. I bootstrapped a philosophical guidance practice over a few months, and have recurring paying happy clients.

I think there are some keys to it:

  • I work really hard on virtue/being a good person instead of just signalling
  • I've worked on communication A LOT, including various intersubjective communication practices (circling etc), nonviolent communication, authentic relating
  • I habitually take the kinds of initiatives that lead to high status in groups
  • I am generally successful money-wise, and have high intelligence, and am not part of a marginalized group, so I think I have a lot of leeway.
  • I hang out with people that are far from normative (burning man extended communities)

From a signalling point of view, I'm taking the risk of being seen as cringe, while expressing something positive in a skilled way so as to not elicit threat responses. This ends up being a strong signal since:

  • I take a risk (being seen as cringe), signalling that I have social capital enough to not fear the risk of judement
  • I do it in a calibrated way, building trust
  • I express positive intent, being the oppsoite of self-serving

In essence, I communicate:

  • I have power, and don't give a fuck about social customs
  • I have strong goodwill, and will accept you without judgement
  • I demonstrate that it's okay to relax and act in very direct (yet ethical) ways, establishing social spaciousness.

I haven't analyzed this that much, since I tend to avoid explicit signalling considerations. I want to avoid the risk of anxiety-inducing self-consciousness and prestige-seeking impulses.

I hope this piece of context has given some additional insight.

I'm basically in roughly the same social equilibria as eccentrics.

I think we need to clear up two terms before we can have a coherent dialogue: "fawning" and "degenerate".

I think I used "degenerate" in a non-standard way. I did not intend to convey "causing a deterioration of your moral character", but rather "a hollow/misadjusted/corrupted version of".

I use "fawning" in a technical sense, referring to a trauma response where someone "plays along" in response to stress. This is an instinct targeted at making you appear less threatening, reducing the likelihood of getting disposed of due to retaliation concerns. I did not use it in the sense of "likes someone" (fawn over someone).

Regarding Arrogance, big ego, and master morals:

I am a big fan of:

  • going my own way, instead of conforming out of envy-fear.
  • having a strong "sense of self"
  • knowing what I want and going for it
  • having standards for my own and other people's behaviour
  • taking joy in others celebrating your leadership

I don't see these things as arrogant.

Here are some arrogant things:

  • judging others harsher when you get insecure (pushing down to avoid getting dominated)
  • ignoring my own faults, because I'm not willing to appear weak
  • thinking I'm worthy of status and fame even if I don't provide value
  • pretending that I am more confident/strong than I actually feel, because that feels safer

Arrogance has a "clinginess" to it. It has a pretence to it. It has a presumptuousness to it. Arrogance is what happens when you value "feeling powerful" (relative to others), over actually getting shit done, using power for the things it's useful for, and serving something bigger than yourself (such as the community).

I don't see dominance/status as inherent to a person, they are always relative to a group/situation.

They are ways of acting, supported by inherited instincts.

There's always a bigger fish ;)

Interesting! I guess (sub-)culture plays a role here. I'm particularly surprised that hearing "I'm happy you are here" would likely lead to feelings of embarrassment.

I'd like to know more about your cultural context, and whether people in that same context would react in the same way. If you feel comfortable expanding/asking a friend (in a non-biasing way), I would be curious to hear more.

There's likely to be nuances in the way I go about things that are hard to capture in text. Thanks for reminding me of the contextual nature of advice.

I'm into self-love and noncoercive motivational systems as my core method of relating to akrasia. It's related to IFS, figuring out different drives, and how they conflict with each other.

When it comes to ASD, my mind is pulled toward the autistic tendency to deep dive into topics, finding special interests. If you have some of those, maybe figure out a way to combine them with what you want to achieve?

Like if you want to learn business management, and love online gaming, then maybe pick up EVE Online

I mostly agree, especially re shifting ontologies and the try-catch metaphor.

I agree religion provides meaning for many, but I don't believe it's necessary to combat nihilism. I don't know if you intended to convey this, but in case someone is interested, I can heavily recommend the work of David Chapman, especially "meaningness". It has helped me reorient in regard to nihilism.

Also, our current context is very different from the one we evolved in - Darwinian selection occurred in a different context and is (for a bunch of other reasons) not a good indicator of how to live a good life.

I do agree with your other points and like the direction you are pointing at - pragmatic metaphysics is one of my recent interests that has yet to make an appearance in my writing.

It does keep them alive - my guess is that the reviewing method I'm using anchors them in reality

I'm looking for a pro bono art selector with 24/7 availability, hit me up if you know any takers!

(on a more serious note: I don't find joy in browsing for fitting art pieces, and this seems like a pareto-optimal solution. Sorry if I impinge on you with uncanny valley vibes)

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