I notice the term "demon thread" feels a bit too loaded for me to actually use. It is also somewhat misleading given there is such a thing as a benign demon thread.
It's probably too late in the game to alter the term though.
Meta comment: It'd be nice if this post had the nice, linked footnotes, like Eliezer's sequence posts.
You need to have a strategy in place for dealing with MOPs before you are overrun.
I agree with this statement, but I also am interested in how you plan on dealing with Sociopaths, in the Geeks, MOPs, Sociopaths model. Or at least filtering for the ones who actually Get It, versus the ones looking to opportunistically score resources.
MIRI seems to be a particularly well-tended garden because it's led primarily by Geeks, with Sociopath skill sets. They're not, as in the default case, Geek-sympathizing Sociopaths.
Could you speak to your sense of how the model applies to this particular community? I'm interested in finding crux points.
I have other reasons to believe they have a Zen influence that are not their webpage. I am confused by your latter two paragraphs, as it seems like my first two paragraphs in the previous comment should have addressed those concerns. I'll put forward Val's "In praise of fake frameworks" post as further response.
It sounds like you are claiming I'm trying to draw some kind of single causal arrow that explains a bunch of things about history. This is not quite the thing I'm trying to do... although I can see how it might appear that way.
I am sad. I really wanted to see the pictures. (I don't fully get the post as it is.)
I may have under-communicated my point. My point is that there's a reason the West was more capitalistic, and there's a reason why European countries were such that young people felt an affordance and a pull to take daring expeditions across the Atlantic, while China was only ever going to do that IF the emperor planned it. Of course China can do capitalism. My point is not that there is some kind of difference in capacity between Asians and white people. My point is that there is/was a cultural, worldview difference that has carried over time, predicting many of the historical events of the past, as well as the conditions of the present. I hope I'm being more clear. ?
I'm taking a much more abstract view of "Eastern" and "Western" thinking. It's a lot like the introvert / extrovert distinction. There are correlations, and the correlations coalesce into patterns, and the patterns become concepts / buckets. I'm not trying to talk about actual Asians here. White ppl can absolutely do the Eastern thing, and vice versa, and also all kinds of mixes. Basically, the concept of Eastern/Western is an abstract line; it's not about people. The philosophies and teaching methods of Circling Europe (a particular school of Circling that is led by white guys) are influenced by Zen, and their methods more embody the Eastern way of going about truth-seeking. [Warning: Their online content is really bad.] They like to do subject-object shifts, continuous context setting, and naming the unnamed (e.g. elephants in the room). In-person methods of seeking truth from other humans is probably more Eastern, as in-person communication includes a lot of the implicit contexts. While the internet tends to wipe away context. There are also a number of rationalist writers who like to put events into broader historical contexts, which is a move that I'm calling more Eastern. Systems-based thinking is also more Eastern, as it puts more attention on the "field" than the players or objects.Good forecasting likely has to use many Eastern moves—as it involves a kind of outside view / checking for large-scale variables that one could easily ignore when focusing only on the relevant actors.
This kind of thing is a "given" in certain spaces. The practices of Circling, Focusing, Nonviolent Communication, and Internal Family Systems all try to distance oneself a little from one's experiences / feelings and treat them as 'objects' or 'observations' or even 'subagents' without auto-judgment. The practicers tend to be good about not making the assumption that "I feel X" means "I endorse X," and this is obvious from the way they communicate with each other.It is one of the things I'd love to see more of in rationality spaces.
In my experience, I have a pretty strong and consistently internal locus of control and also am able to feel compelled to change systems that are wrong / suboptimal. (I.e. it feels like I avoid the caveat you describe.) There's a blurring between (having an internal locus of control) ~ (accepting things the way they are and just changing your attitude). This feels like Bucket Error territory. I might try going a meta level up and realizing that I can prioritize which suboptimal / unfair systems are, in fact, worth trying to fix and choosing to (at least for now) accept the ones that I don't have the resources to fix. (This includes a Growth Mindset into the Internal Locus of Control narrative.) For each encounter of a suboptimal system, I can then think: Gah, this is horrible... am I in a privileged position to fix this? Do I want to spend resources to fix this? If yes, I make attempts to fix. If no, I realize this is a battle for others to fight (in which case I feel like I have personally delegated this task away from myself) or that I can fight the battle another day (in which case I have delegated this to my future self). And delegation counts as keeping an internal locus of control, at least for me. Maybe this isn't true for others.If delegation feels like losing your locus of control, I think this is a problem that can also be fixed too! Mostly by putting oneself in situations where trust+cooperation is the optimal move.