(this comment is copied to the other essay as well)
I respect the attempt, here, and I think a version of the thesis is true. Letting go of control and trying to appreciate the present moment is probably the best course of action given that one is confronted with impending doom. I also recognize that reaching this state is not just a switch one can immediately flip in one's mind; it can only be reached by way of practice.
With these things in mind, I am still not okay. More than anything I find myself craving ignorance. I envy my wife; she's not in ratspaces whatsoever and as far as I know has no idea people hold these beliefs. I think that would be a better way to live; perhaps an unpopular opinion on the website where people try not to live in ignorance. It's hard not to be resentful sometimes. I resent the AI researchers, the site culture, and I especially resent certain MIRI founders and their declarations of defeat.
I think that means I need to disconnect, once and for all. I've been toying with the idea that I need to disconnect from the LW sphere completely and frankly I think it's overdue. Dear reader; if you aren't going to go solve alignment, I suggest you consider following suit. I might hand around a bit to view replies to this comment but... Yeah. Thanks for all the food for thought over the years LW, I'm not sure if it was worth it.
It's the "Boy who cried wolf" fable in the format of an incident report such as what might be written in the wake of an industrial disaster. Whether the fictional report writer has learned the right lessons I suppose is an exercise left for the reader.
My advice would be this:
Trying to meet people for the sole purpose of dating them is a spiritually toxic endeavor, with online dating being particularly bad. I had a handful of girlfriends before meeting my wife, none of whom came to me through online dating or trying to get dates with people I didn't know.
I contend that the best path to a relationship is through community, broadly defined. What you want is to be around people with whom you can cultivate compatibility. The online dating/cold approach model relies on being able to quickly discern compatibility, which I think most people are kind of bad at.
My definition of community in this context is any circumstance that lets you repeatedly interact with people in a non-targeted way. For meeting my wife, that was a weekly bar trivia night. For past partners it was a mix of extracurricular activity groups and friends-of-friendgroups. These environments accomplish a handful of things at once; they establish shared background and positive memories, they let you display and observe positive traits that are difficult to signal on a dating profile or on a date (e.g. patience or thoughtfulness), and ideally they're intrinsically worth existing in for their own sake. That last one is important because, to use my first example, even if I hadn't met my wife playing that bar trivia game, I still would have had fun going and I made other friends along the way.
You can't just show up and expect things to fall in your lap, of course. You do want to be improving yourself and putting your best foot forwards. Not all communities are created equal so once in a while you need to step back and evaluate if you need new opportunities in your life. And obviously, you still have to be ready to actually ask someone out eventually.
It's not easy, necessarily, but it did work for me.
You're not wrong. Learning to crimp really does enable climbers to perform feats that others cannot, and plenty of them suffer injuries like the one I've linked to and decide to heal and keep going. My addendum isn't "never do something hard or risky," it's "pain is a warning; consider what price you are willing to pay before you go pushing through it."
Addendum: Crimp grips are a major cause of climbing injuries. It's sheer biomechanics. The crimp grip puts massive stress on connective tissues which aren't strong enough to reliably handle them.
The moral of the addendum: choose your impossible challenges wisely; even if you can overcome them the stress and pain might have been a warning from the beginning. If nothing else it should be a warning to get some good advice about prevention or you may find yourself unable to pursue your goal for weeks at a time.
It's going to be tricky. You may already be too close to the situation to judge impartially, and a case study is going to be difficult to use as evidence against population-level surveys of well-being, especially for your implied time horizon. You could attempt to benchmark against previous work, e.g. see what the literature has to say about the effects of poverty on diet, educational attainment, etc. in first-world cities, but your one new data point still won't generalize and it wouldn't be doing the heavy lifting in your argument for localism at that point.
Unless I'm very much mistaken, emergency mobilization systems refers to autonomic responses like a pounding heartbeat, heightened subjective senses, and other types of physical arousal; i.e. the things your body does when you believe someone or something is coming to kill you with spear or claw. Literal fight or flight stuff.
In both examples you give there is true danger, but your felt bodily sense doesn't meaningfully correspond to it; you can't escape or find the bomb by being ready for an immediate physical threat. This is the error being referred to. In both cases the preferred state of mind is resolute problem-solving and inability to register a felt sense of panic will likely reduce your ability to get to such a state.