Creator of the Intend app (formerly known as Complice) a system for orienting to each day with intentionality in service of long-term careabouts. It features coworking rooms, the longest-running of which is the Less Wrong Study Hall:

I'm working full-time on solving human coordination at the mindset & trust level. You can maybe get a sense of my thinking there via this 10min video.

Wiki Contributions


The irony that you mention in the last paragraph reminds me of another LW post that was already on my mind while reading this one: Slack matters more than any outcome. It points at the funny way that systems fight back in predictable-yet-in-practice-unexpected ways, all the way up and all the way down, and is I think an attempt at a more precise expression of the kind of Green wisdom referred to around "harmony with the Way of Things".

[as our oldest sees it] Sentences are things we build together, rather than a way for different people to share their own perspectives with each other.

I've gone through a huge growth arc as an adult in recognizing the extent to which (especially in really good conversations) sentences are things we build together. Not that we don't have different perspectives, but when conversation is really flowing, it makes way more sense to view it as "our collective mind is thinking" and not "I am transmitting information to you, then getting information back" etc.

(When we're more at odds with someone, whether adversarial or just conflict with a loved one, it can be more like the transmit mode, and sometimes (tho not always) it seems to work best if we can get into the co-thinking mode again. Though there's not a hack for that—it's a deep trust-dancing puzzle!)

The 2nd half of this video is about this collective mind thing:

Probably be grounded in more than one social group. Even being part of two different high-intensity groups seems like it should reduce the dynamics here a lot.

Worked well for me!

Eric Chisholm likes to phrase this principle as "the secret to cults is to be in at least two of them".

My guess is that part of what's going on here is that in certain ways attempting to optimize for coordination is at greater risk for goodhart than other things. To take an example from the post to its limit, the freelancer who invests 100% in selling their services and 0% in being skilled at them or providing them is a fraud. But also the freelancer who invests 100% in skills but 0% in selling is out of business.

So there's a need for some sort of dynamic balance.

But my guess is that for whatever reasons (documented in Moral Mazes no doubt) certain kinds of organizations put pressure on the managers to go all the way in one direction, rather than finding that balance.

The "sometimes" bit here is key. It's my impression that people who insist that "people are just like LLMs" are basically telling you that they spend most/all of their time in conversations that are on autopilot, rather than ones where someone actually means or intends something.

Great post. A few typos that weren't worth commenting to mention ("LMM" instead of "LLM") but I felt like it was worth noting that

In our ‘casual’ or ‘actually thinking’ mode

probably wants to be "causal".

I overall like what you're trying to point at here — you're raising a real and important concern about what's happening with the weakening of protection from random angry people in a wide range of places including tenure, due to cultural shifts and changes in media (eg social media).

At the same time, the Rainbowland example is a terrible example for making this point here. Or at least, making it in the way you describe. As jaspax and ChristianKI note, "it's about accepting people" obfuscates the meaning of the song that was why it got banned, one that many people agree with.

It's totally plausible to me, given what I've seen of people being afraid of children being exposed to trans ideology, that the school administrators themselves banned the song as part of doing their job to create a good learning environment for kids, no cowtowing to angry complainer required. I agree that banning kids wanting to sing the song is not useful and perhaps counterproductive, but if ordinary people getting upset about it seems absurd to you then I suspect you're out of touch with what a substantial and growing fraction of people think, including many people "on the left" and some trans people: we need to keep trans ideology out of schools in order to keep kids safe & sane. Not because trans people aren't real or deserve respect, but because kids are getting memed not just into accepting people but into positions like "it's not cool to be straight" which is non-acceptance and a dumb reason for experimental medical treatments. From this perspective, Rainbowland looks like a song that's ostensibly about motivation & discipline but is subtextually about how cool it is to be anorexic.

But most people who think this are being quiet because they don't want to attract the very attacks you're talking about here, from the small minority of hostile vindictive people! I only recently got enough clarity on the subject, sense of importance, and sense that I'm not alone with my sense of things, that I decided it was important to voice my relatively boring view that's somehow controversial.

I resonate a lot with this, and it makes me feel slightly less alone.

I've started making some videos where I rant about products that fail to achieve the main thing they're designed to do, and get worse with successive iterations and I've found a few appreciative commenters:

Rant successful, it made someone else feel like they weren't alone

And part of my experience of the importance of ranting about it, even if nobody appreciates it, is that it keeps me from forgetting my homeland, to use your metaphor.

My most recent published blog post had in the 2nd paragraph "I bet there’s nobody reading this who has never used a phrase like..." and this article made me think it would be kind to change it.

Then I searched your facebook posts and you have indeed used the phrase, so in this case at least you aren't nobody. But I'm still changing the post.

(The phrase is "part of me", which if any of my friends were to somehow have never once used I wouldn't have been surprised to discover it you.)

Right, yeah. And that (eventually) requires input of food into the person, but in principle they could be in a physically closed system that already has food & air in it... although that's sort of beside the point. And isn't that different from someone meditating for a few hours between meals. The energy is already in the system for now, and it can use that to untangle adaptive entropy.

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