Unreal

Unreal's Comments

The Five Main Muscles for a Full Range of Natural Movement, Dynamic Alignment & Balance.

I appreciate seeing this post here! I am very interested in this sort of topic, generally.

I'm confused why the post has such a low karma score. If nothing else, it seems like a useful reference for human anatomy.

One thing this post suffers from is, like, it's overwhelming for a noob to look at. Personally I'd much rather just hire someone to teach me all this in person, if at all possible.

That said, it still seems like a great reference for parts of human anatomy, and it contains a very interesting hypothesis. I wish LessWrong talked more about this stuff, as it seems very important for humans and how humans think.

Writing about anything RE: biology, life, anatomy, etc. seems difficult because it's all very 3D in nature, and it's best to have good visualizations. Which are not always available. That said, I am grateful that you put all this together. It seems like it took a lot of work. And I hope to see more in the future.

3 Cultural Infrastructure Ideas from MAPLE

Worth noting here that the Schedule at MAPLE is very conducive for creating these low-stakes contexts. In fact, inside the Schedule, you are always in such a context...

There is a world-saving mission at MAPLE, but at MAPLE, it does not define people's worth or whether they deserve care / attention or whether they belong in the community. I think the issue with both the EA and rationalist community is that people's "output" is too easily tied to their sense of worth. I could probably write many words on this phenomenon in the Bay community.

It is hard to convey in mere words what MAPLE has managed to do here. There is a clearer separation between "your current output level" and "your deserving-ness / worthiness as a human." It was startling to experience this separation occurring on a visceral level within me. Now I'm much more grounded, self-confident, and less likely to take things personally, and this shift feels permanent and also ongoing.

Circling

Upon re-reading this post, I want to review this sentence:

In my experience, being in an SNS-activated state really primes me for new information in a way that being calm (PSNS activation) does not.

I think this is true still, but I also suspect being in a certain calm, open PSNS state is also good for integrating new information.

I don't understand this fully yet. But some things:

  • Many therapeutic modalities attempt to get me into a particular open, peaceful, "all-seeing", perceptive state. Often related to compassion + curiosity. Referred to as "Self" in IFS. From here, I have been able to integrate many things that were previously "too hard" or "overwhelming."
  • In Circling, I have sometimes been basically doing CoZE and going right up to the fence of my fears. Maybe looking at someone actively caring about me / understanding me while I feel shame / fear / self-judgment. For me, this is a very activating situation, like reaching the peak of a roller coaster. From here, I have made some of my biggest updates / experienced my largest releases. And I attributed that to the level of activation / fear, in contrast with the "drop"—there's this big juxtaposition between my feared/projected/storied reality and what is happening in front of me right now.

These phenomena are mostly still mystery to me.

3 Cultural Infrastructure Ideas from MAPLE

I think growth-training programs actually do work for the former.

E.g. My CFAR workshop wasn't something I decided to go to because I was thinking about training leadership. But it none-the-less helped unlock some of this "entry level leadership" thing. Much of the same happens with Circling and other workshops that help unblock people.

So far what seems to work here is training programs that do any kind of developmental training / leveling up. Ideally they work on you regardless of what stage you happen to be and just help propel you to the next stage.

Of course, not all the people who go through those programs end up interested in leadership, but this is probably fine, and I suspect trying to pre-screen for 'leadership potential' is a waste of effort, and you should just ride selection effects. (Similar to how people who emigrate correlate with having skill, resourcefulness, and gumption.)

3 Cultural Infrastructure Ideas from MAPLE

I feel very compelled by this! I would love to help figure out how to approach this bottleneck. I have some ideas.

My sense is that there are some useful funnels already in place that one could take advantage of for finding potential people, and there are effective, growth-y training programs one could also take advantage of. There are maybe bottlenecks in money + space in specific training programs + getting the right people to the right training programs.

3 Cultural Infrastructure Ideas from MAPLE

It feels tractable to me. I feel like there are lots of levers to play around with.

Pieces I suspect may be load-bearing:

  • Honest selection effects. This means sending accurate, honest messages, to attract people who are good fits and pass under the radar of those who aren't. (With some flexibility at the edges, as some people might be on the fence / seem like not-fits but only on the surface; those people can run some cheap experiments, like visiting for a few days.)
  • There needs to be a bigger point to it all. I don't think this can all just be for the sake of "my own health" or "I feel less stress with a schedule" or something like this. These personal motivations don't stand up to enough pressure. At MAPLE, everything is ultimately for the sake of training awakening and leadership. You signed up in order to grow in these ways, and so you're devoting yourself to the training. And more than that, the point of training is to become a person who can help others / do good things when you leave—someone who can be of benefit, be reliable, is trustworthy, is compassionate. You'll sacrifice some optionality if there's an inspiring, higher purpose to the sacrifice. If it only feels like "well I guess I could give up on some sleep in order to exercise because it's good for me...?", then it could often go either way. When there's a higher purpose that's bigger than me, there's always a North Star to be following, even if I'm not always on track.
  • Reasonable, skillful leadership. This thing probably doesn't work very well if decisions are all based on consensus or something. So you'd want to find at least a few pretty reliable, trustworthy, reasonable people to lead / hold the important roles. Power should be spread around, but it seems fine for there to be a "final say-so" person, who exercises end-of-the-line power, but does so infrequently. There are various ways to play with this. The important thing is having a few good leaders (maybe even just one? but this feels less robust to me), who people would be willing to follow, and they should divide roles between them in a sensible way. One person can be end-of-the-line decision-maker tie-breaker (probably the person with the Vision).
  • Using commitments wisely. If the leaders all have buy-in (because they put in the most effort, money, etc.), but the followers don't, the thing will probably fall apart. Get commitments from people, preferably in writing. And then make sure commitments really mean something, in general. Include integrity in your list of virtues. Leaders should consistently demonstrate they care about commitments (big or small) and that when they themselves break commitments, they take that seriously. People should not break their commitments, but also they shouldn't be shamed if they do. A broken commitment is like a death. It's no one's fault, but it's also worth trying to prevent. Occasionally, it may be correct to break a commitment, but there should be an acknowledgement of its suboptimality (e.g. perhaps it should have been differently made originally, or never made).
  • Feedback culture. It should be welcome and encouraged and also normal to give and receive feedback from each other, daily. Ideal feedback should be kindly given, rather than given out of annoyance, superiority, disappointment, shaming, or guilting. Feedback is ideally received as a gift. It is OK to fail in giving/receiving feedback well, because people can give feedback on how you give/receive feedback. At MAPLE, it's part of the written commitment that you will give/receive feedback. (Part of me suspects this works so well at MAPLE because of the meditation training, which helps people feel more equanimous and calms egoic reactivity. If meditation training is important for growing the skill of giving/receiving feedback easefully, that might be a major constraint.)
  • Financial viability. One thing about Dragon Army that I didn't like was that Duncan seemed to be holding most of the financial burden, and his willingness and ability to provide financial support seemed cruxy to the thing staying afloat. Now I understand better that it's possible to fundraise for projects like this and also apply for grants. My sense now is that if people don't want to give you money for such a project, maybe it's better to just not do it? On the other hand, if your project has visionary and trustworthy leadership—then you can probably find people interested in funding it, even if they're not directly involved. If your project is inspiring and beneficial to others, you'll probably find donors. I think it's better not to rely on the residing community members as the only source of financial support. (Leverage seems to work this way?)
Partial summary of debate with Benquo and Jessicata [pt 1]

I see great need for some way to indicate "not-an-accident but also not necessarily conscious or endorsed." And ideally the term doesn't have a judgmental or accusatory connotation.

This seems pretty hard to do actually. Maybe an acronym?

Alice lied (NIANOA) to Bob about X.

Not Intentionally And Not On Accident

Machine Learning Analogy for Meditation (illustrated)

Thanks! This was helpful analysis.

I suspect my slight trigger (1/10) set off other people's triggers. And I'm more triggered now as a result (but still only like 3/10.)

I'd like to save this thread as an example of a broader pattern I think I see on LW, which makes having conversations here more unpleasant than is probably necessary? Not sure though.

Machine Learning Analogy for Meditation (illustrated)

I acknowledge that it's likely somehow because of how I worded things in my original comment. I wish I knew how to fix it.

Machine Learning Analogy for Meditation (illustrated)

Yeah I'm not implying that System 2 is useless or irrelevant for actions. Just that it seems more indirect or secondary.

Also please note that overall I'm probably confused about something, as I mentioned. And my comments are not meant to open up conflict, but rather I'm requesting a clarification on this particular sentence and what frame / ontology it's using:

If you're experiencing "motivational issues", then it stands to reason that it might be useful to keep an eye on which thoughts are leading to actions and which are not.

I would like to expand the words 'thoughts' and 'useful' here.

People seem to be responding to me as though I'm trying to start an argument, and this is really not what I'm going for. Sharing my POV is just to try to help close inferential gap in the right direction.

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