Another method that I have found effective in getting rid of the self-critical brain loop is asking myself "have I already learned the lesson of the mistake here?" If the answer is no, I use the technique you described of trying to figure out what the mistake(s) were that lead to the event and how I could fix them. However, I found that figuring this out alone did not stop the loop, so it is important that whenever the answer to the question becomes 'yes' to the question of whether you learned the lesson to enforce very strongly in your brain that there is nothing else useful to be learned here, I am wasting my time. This technique was harder the first few times, but once it became a habit for me I was able to start breaking the loop pretty easily just by logically showing myself that I was being stupid.
I think that's a fair assessment, I have an image of myself as the sort of person who would value saving lives over beer and my alarm came from noticing a discrepancy between my self-image and my actions. I am trying to bring the two things in line because that self-image seems like something I want to actually be rather than think I am.
I'm a little worried if it came across that way because that is not at all what I am trying to argue. The example was intended to show that if one sees something in the world that they think is bad (people dying in Africa of preventable disease) and yet they end up doing nothing by convincing themselves not to care, the mental process going on in their head is likely not very different from the one that occurred in people living under Nazi rule, who themselves felt uncomfortable about their Jewish neighbors being rounded up by the Nazis but did nothing. I am not comparing people who aren't donating to charity with the actual Nazis, and I'm sorry if it seemed that way.
Fair enough, I suppose there is a possibility that there is some way I could have experiences and somehow also not exist, even though I cannot imagine how. My inability to imagine how such evidence could be logically consistent does not mean that it is actually, certainly impossible that I will observe such evidence.
Asking for advice in online forums such as this one seems like a good idea. For most fields, you're likely to find someone who has spent enough time on the subject to have read the most highly accredited textbooks about it and can give reasoning for the merits of one book over others.
I've been confused for a while about why it is so awkward to receive compliments in certain contexts while it feels natural and enjoyable in others. Now that I think on it, the times compliments make me feel awkward is when they're from someone lower status and I tend to just mutter thanks. Whereas when someone of higher or equal status compliments me I generally will quickly respond with a compliment of my own or hearty thanks. This analysis is very much in keeping with my experiences.
Does anyone have any tips or strategies for making better social skills habitual? I'm trying to be more friendly, compliment people, avoid outright criticism, and talk more about other people than myself. I can do these things for a while, but I don't feel them becoming habitual as I would like. Being friendly to people I do not know well is particularly hard, when I'm tired I want to escape interaction with everyone except close friends and family.
That's a very interesting condition, and I will agree that it indicates that it is possible I could come to the belief that I did not exist if some event of brain damage or other triggering event occurred to cause this delusion. However, I would only have that belief because my reasoning processes had been somehow broken. It would not be based on a Bayesian update because the only evidence for not existing would be ceasing to have experiences, which it seems axiomatic that I could not update upon. People with this condition seem to still have experiences, they just strangely believe that they are dead or don't exist.
I found the fact that Eliezer did not mention the classic "I think, therefore I am" argument in these essays odd as well. It does seem as though nothing I could experience could convince me that I do not exist because by experiencing it, I am existing. Therefore, assigning a probablitly of 1 to "I exist" seems perfectly reasonable.
My first thought is one of some sort of heroic defiance against a God that ridiculous and tyrannical, and yelling imprecations at the God while he presumably annihilates my soul.
That probably wouldn't be smart though, as I have enjoyed life thus far, so I guess reliving in would be enjoyable as well, as I imagine I would have to have no prior knowledge of having already lived it, so I suppose I would choose the second option.