SRStarin

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Reasons for being rational

I agree, it seems we're pretty similar in this arena. I think maybe I just feel more negative emotion about, as you put it, hedonistic procrastination than you do. Those are the times I feel the most unpleasant conflict. I should just stop procrastinating, I guess. I'm working on that, getting better about it. Anyway, I don't need to go into too much detail on this side topic. Thanks for the reply.

Reasons for being rational

Part of me wants to write: "You're a brave and forthright person, and I admire you for it."

Another part of me, which I think is motivated by your honesty, reads that and says I should write: "I just wrote that because I want you to like me, and it reads like it might get an upvote (after LW acceptance subprocess runs consciously), proving someone else likes me, too."

When I'm alone, alert and unoccupied, those two parts (there may be more, I don't know) are always bickering. Thing 1 decides some feeling or idea is good, or correct, or sincere, and Thing 2 almost always has to come back and say why my conclusion is based entirely in bias or rationalization. I think this is why I try not to be alone, alert and unoccupied very often.

When I'm around other people, Thing 2 mostly shuts up, only butting in if Thing 1 is getting carried away with pleasing people, or bragging, or lying (i.e. making the truth sound more exciting), etc. I like Thing 2 quite a lot at those times.

When I'm tired or have a drink, Thing 1 and Thing 2 both go to sleep before the rest of my cognition does.

When I'm occupied, there is sometimes some bickering if I'm occupied at a game, or a blog, or something that's not useful, but it's not too bad. It sometimes gets to be enough that I'll do something useful to stop the conflict.

So, that's my Usual Live Life subroutine. It's kind of bleak because Thing 2 insisted I write it this way, but I do manage to be happy, entertained, challenged, or deeply thoughtful most of the time.

So, why write this in response to the OP? Because my first internal response to the OP was "That's a lot like me!" And then I read Friendly-HI's response and I thought "That's a lot like me!" And this bugged me. So, I thought I'd try to describe from an internal, process-oriented perspective how my days go by, and see whether that clicks more with one of you than the other (or anyone else who wants to chime in).

DC Meetup: Sunday May 1st, 1 PM

Been waiting for this! But I have a funeral to attend in North Carolina the day before and can't get back in time. Blech!

Learned Blankness

The people I know who think of themselves as "bad with computers" are generally worried that they are going to destroy hardware, software, or data files if they make a mistake. They know enough to know that, in the abstract, they really can do severe damage with a few button pushes, but they don't know precisely where the danger areas lie. It's an area in which people have a strong incentive to pretend to know very little so they can more easily convince knowledgeable friends and relatives to help them.

My mother is one such person, and one thing that has helped her a lot was for me to set up an admin account on her laptop and to explain how she should always use her non-admin account, but the admin account would pop up when she needs those privileges. It's a flag for her that, if she doesn't get asked for her admin password, the most harm she can do is delete files, and even those might be recoverable.

Learned Blankness

It's a reasonable question to ask. Division of labor is certainly a major way a society improves both individual and societal efficiency. This can work all the way down to one-on-one relationships. A married couple often finds ways that each member of the partnership can most efficiently contribute to running a household.

But I think there is a conceptual distance between knowing you're not as good at something as a person with whom you have a good relationship and thinking you can't approach the knowledge that the other person possesses. my husband does almost all the cooking in our house, largely because he enjoys it and I do not. But sometimes I need to cook, so it pays for me to learn some of what he does in his cooking for those unforeseen times when I need to cook a family meal.

Rationality Quotes: April 2011

Meh. Tony ruined that guy's role-playing fun at a Ren Faire. People pretend to believe all kinds of silly stuff at a Ren Faire.

Last year my husband and I went to Ren Faire dressed as monks, pushing our daughter, dressed as a baby dragon, around in a stroller. (We got lots of comments about vows of celibacy.) We bought our daughter a little flower-shaped hair pin when we were there, after asking what would look best on a dragon. What Tony did would have been like the salesperson saying "That's not a dragon."

Guilt: Another Gift Nobody Wants

Maybe this is a big reason why recidivism of imprisoned people is so high. After committing a crime, they get removed from the society in which they'd experience guilt and placed in with people who've done similar things. Or worse things.

So the guy who's in prison for selling a kilo of cannabis hears the stories of a hardened home robber, and absorbs the robber's ability to rob guilt-free.

Hmm, so, considering the way guilt really plays out with modern adults, I don't think guilt is much more than a conditioned response of submission learned in childhood. It feels bad to be forced to be submissive, and we internalize that bad feeling as a conditioned response to doing something we know is bad.

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

I have. I've was a member of a Bible club at work for a year. I wasn't Christian, but I chose to participate in the club.

Some folks in that club said they had no problem at all with the person who is attracted to the same sex. The problem lay in the conceit that the homosexual's purpose and burden in life was to either overcome their sexual proclivities or to forgo sex altogether, giving their life to God in some other way than marriage and procreation.

So, the anti-gay stance was that it's a sin to act homosexually.

To be inside a homosexual brain is to feel trapped and even somewhat absent from reality until one acts on, or at least admits and attempts to embrace, this cognitive process that values the sexes in a way fundamentally different from the norm for one's gender. I admit that "being homosexual" is, for me, a facet of my mind that I can't change, and those fundamentalists I talked to admitted to understanding that state of mind, but that the sin lies only in seducing another man (being seduced by another man is seducing him, just to clear that up), and that is what makes a person homosexual.

Positive Thinking

One potential end for rationality is "I want to be able to hold myself accountable for being a better person." I'm not currently able to do that entirely, but I think I'm getting better, in part through participating in the LW community.

I go to church to help me be accountable to my daughter. The church we attend is gay-friendly and supports a family of two men and a baby. Some churches are filled with bitter people always looking to criticize each other, usually behind their backs. You're lucky to be part of a positive church community. I am, too.

A Transhumanist Poem

No, not sad. I had to google IMHO the first time I saw it. It's just too useful an acronym not to use, though, now that I know it. (I do think it's sad that spell-checks still fail to recognize "google.")

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