Stuart Anderson


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What weird beliefs do you have?

Here's my bit of magical thinking:

My paternal grandmother received an heirloom (a dirk) from her fiancé for safekeeping who then died in WWI. She did not return the heirloom to his family despite the marriage not proceeding, and it being subject to male primogeniture. To this day it has brought nothing but discord to his side of the family as they have pointlessly fought over possession of it (as a of token of symbolic authority).

The object brings ruin to those that covet it. It is cursed

To me, this is a physical manifestation of the costs of moral wrongs (specifically in the  historical context of this type of dirk, as an act of oath breaking). If you choose to do wrong then ruin will come to you (justly, I might add). They all know this thing is stolen, and whilst it doesn't belong in the family it has even been 'stolen' within the family itself. They all still want it. 

I don't believe the dirk to be sentient per se, but I do believe it has an intent and the ability to influence indirectly. It gets in people's minds. It don't know if it cares about going back home or not, but it clearly wants to let people suffer the results of their own wickedness. I don't think it is an accident that this object is literally a weapon either. It is doing exactly what it is supposed to do under the circumstances.

If I had it I'd either return it to its rightful owners, or failing that I would destroy it to put an end to the situation. Given this is a multigenerational curse I think that barring absolute disaster resulting from pissing the dirk off by 'killing' it the individual costs of getting rid of it for the benefit of future generations are justified.

On the other hand, there are a lot of crazy people out there and I don't really want to wade through dumb stuff by flat-earth types.

Well, I might be disqualifying myself by virtue of being mentally ill here, but if you want to avoid crazy but still go to the territory of doubted beliefs with possible merit then I suggest looking at those who are hated.

Being hated doesn't make you right, but it does make you interesting. The more intense the emotionality of the hatred the more interesting the subject will be. When someone's wrong you just do what you did with the flat earthers: you say "you're nuts" and let it go, but when someone has a kernel of truth that you don't want to accept, that's when the real venom comes out (and the most potent poison is reserved for apostates. The people who had faith and renounced it possess the most dangerous thing of all: the ability to sow doubt).

As a corollary to that, consider the case of indifference where there should be outrage. Where people talk a big game and then show their true feelings in (in)action. There are no shortage of obvious and intolerable wrongs that nobody gives a shit about in the world. Again, this is a signal of interesting territory.

What weird beliefs do you have?

If you (as a individual politician, or the state as an entity) never have to be responsible for paying back a loan then it is effectively free money.

A New Center? [Politics] [Wishful Thinking]

The best space in the centre is the space for indifference to the cold war. 

If you choose to engage then you're going to be picking sides whether you like it or not, simply because you'll either be attacked by the other, or you'll be expected to take part in those attacks. Neutrality isn't respected.

The extremes of left and right are for likeminded extremists too, not just those fleeing the other. 

Government is just another institution that has burned all its credibility. It wasn't ever great, but now that it is so trivial to exploit that it is worse than useless, being an instrument of power for those least bothered by wielding it.

Is there a mu-like term that means something like "why is this any of my business?"

With the Woody Allen case it’s a lot of “Believe X.” So long as X is describing a human(s), there’s a prior that one kind of human is inherently infallible (or at least substantially more credible).

People do have degrees of credibility. 

Isn't that the core of the entire genre of entertainment at question here: figuring out who's credible? It's not really about Allen potentially diddling his kids, it's about you figuring out (or having a sense thereof, anyway) whether he did or not. Which monkey is the lying monkey?

I think that this particular circumstance could boil down to recognising porn for your evolutionary social hierarchy responses and then deciding whether to consume that porn or not on the basis it is porn. I'm not against porn per se, but it is what it is, and I think if you are stuffing your head with copious amounts of it then that's an indication that you might have a problem.

In both situations I am more just fantasizing about a single word or term people could use

The obvious problem is that what you are trying to communicate is such a complex compound statement. If I had to pick a single word for that it would be unconvinced. 

Covid 4/9: Another Vaccine Passport Objection

Everyone shows their passports, and life can resume.

Life can resume to where you require a passport to move around the country you are a citizen of.

I wonder what the next bit of dystopian creep is going to be?

Covid 4/9: Another Vaccine Passport Objection

The factor for corporations in assessing care is liability. My understanding is that all the vaccine manufacturers have blanket immunity from all liability for their product here. So it's pure profit for them.

Is there a mu-like term that means something like "why is this any of my business?"

If you are talking about temperance, abstinence, chastity etc. then what's wrong with those kind of words here?  You are treating your attention as a quantity not to be squandered on unworthy pursuits.

Is there a mu-like term that means something like "why is this any of my business?"

This is a hangover from being a monkey.

We are social primates. All that is going on here is that your brain is madly trying to figure out the social organisation of the apes on TV. This is porn for your evolutionary social imperatives. 

Your brain is telling you this is important. It's not. 

Given that it is a maladaptive evolutionary response from being a primate I wouldn't suggest a word to describe it so much as a sound. Primates have vocalisations, find one that fits.

Pragmatically, the way I deal with these situations is that I just find a precis. Wikipedia is pretty good for that. That way I can get a really quick bearing on how much I care. I cannot even begin to tell you how much popular media I've not consumed by this method whilst still being able to understand what people are talking about if they reference it.

The other thing I am a huge fan of is accelerated media. If I can play something twice as fast and/or skip sections then that helps to ingest faster than the default speed. I still haven't found a solution that removes spaces between spoken words (which is a really useful demo I've seen once, and never again), so if anyone knows how I'd like to hear it. Recorded media lets you manipulate time, and that obviously significantly enhances your ability to allocate it.

Some Complaint-Action Gaps

Reputation has to be shared to have any value. When it comes to untrustworthiness, awareness is the action. 

On LessWrong/Rationality and Political Debates

how can we give the maximum benefit of doubt to arguments from (presumably) people from the other tribe? 

Treat their ideology as evolutionarily adapted for the niche they occupy. Their thoughts faced the selective pressures they did and those in their head that reflect that process. 

If you can understand how they can believe what they do then at the very least you can identify the root of disagreement.

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