Chapter 8: Why is this Important?

post by ld97 · 2020-03-02T10:11:06.162Z · LW · GW · None comments

If you will feel confused reading this paragraph - you failed your exam.

In all the cases except A+, the fist sentence was for you. But don't worry about it too much, this article is about it.

I know that feeling confused is not the best feeling. I know how does it hurt if you realized that you were wrong. I've been feeling that many times in my life. If you haven't received at least A+ - you were wrong. The other marks only show your current level. Let me explain what happened:

We hadn't understood what the Filter is in the previous part. We don't have an explanation. The only thing that we did - we connected it to the word you know: attention. I've created a circle reference, that doesn't look like a circle to your brain. It was not an accident. I was realizing what am I doing. And the exam is passed by you, only if you had predicted that it was an exam. But there is nothing bad if you hadn't. It was only a little game. And it's purpose is to be an example of what's happening during that kind of situation.

If you have a strong wish to justify yourself - you can try. I can give you a list of fine excuses: "It was a trick! I was tired! I've been reading your dumb article the whole day!". But it seems to me that in that case, you'll realize that you are tricking yourself. Is it better to be fooled double? Does usage of this workaround worth feeling better once?

And if you thought like: "No, it never worth it" - I've tricked you again. And more - writing that paragraph, I was thinking that excuses are wrong, and found that I am fooling myself.

The truth is - sometimes they are the only acceptable solution.

But while using them, you should be very careful.

Last summer, I was in depression. That's how it looks from inside: walking in circles of judging yourself for your mistakes. Without any hope to find an exit. Nothing makes sense. You're looking at the gift from your girlfriend and think: "Right now, I should be happy." But there is no feeling of happiness. It doesn't make any sense to be happy. And that thought makes you fall. Now there is no Wonderland in the end. It's the deep, dark, hopeless pit, and you'll never reach the bottom.

Do you think that the policy of "no excuses" will be the thing that kind of person needs?

You'll never judge anyone who will ask for novocaine before tooth-removal. It's normal. And use excuses when you can't overcome your pain is reasonable too. Pain is the signal about the problem. But there are a lot of situations when the signal is too strong. And that becomes a problem by itself.

Anesthesia of excuse makes you feel better. But it never solves your main problem. It only decreases discomfort. And if you use justifying as your primary strategy, you will, again and again, find yourself in the situations where you were before. You will feel bad. You will use excuses again. The connection between two parts of the brain: problem and your anesthetic will increase its power. I am sure that you heard about that kind of mechanism. It's an addiction. If you don't try to find a cause of your problem - you'll find yourself in another circle.

When you have a strong feeling - your brain notifies you that something remarkable happens. And when it happens brain tries to remember that. It binds your feelings with your current state. It activates Late Long-Term Potentiation.

And addiction circle is a bloody strong combo of feelings. You had failed, and your brain had activated L-LTP to not forget about it. You are feeling discomfort because, in your brain's opinion, you've been wrong. You use something to decrease the pain. The brain connects your discomfort to your "solution" because now you feel better. And L-LTP enables again. The brain itself doesn't recognize that the solution was not found. It merely binds parts that have been activated during that process. It creates a circle.

That mechanism is built-in. Dumb well-known architecture issue.

And the only thing you can do is create a separate model. It should coactivate with your wrong pattern. It should recognize what your brain does. Immediately. It should interrupt the connection establishment.

That's how you'll break the circle. That's what we mean by "Rational." That's what allows you to become a little less wrong.

But how to build that model? How can we even start creating it? How to defeat the issue that's already integrated into our system?

What kind of power do we need to become strong enough to fight our legacy? What will make us break the circle and finally win?

What will allow us to outgrow ourselves?

You already have this power. And you are using it right now.

Didn't you get it?

I'll give you an answer. But before, I want to ask you to do your best to realize it by yourself.

What makes people move on?

Why do we continue searching for something?

What made us explore Mars?

Why do you reading this continuous sequence of questions?

How do you feel reading them?

What makes you wait for an Answer?


And yep, I've been really straightforward about Mars.

Are you still curious about what this article was about? Ok, that's enough, I'll simply explain:

This article was about things that regulate our problem-solving machine.

This article is about things that make us think that something is important:

  1. If you had expectations and realized that they were wrong - you'll feel faulty and will try to do something with it. I don't know how exactly it enables, but I think that it's kind of dissonance between the model of the solution you have, and the results you have received. Clash of opposite signals.
  2. If you solved some problem or made yourself think like the problem is solved - you'll feel good and will receive motivation points, and that also drives you to do something. It enabled when you connected two models.
  3. Combining that two feelings with the usage of anesthetics make you addicted to them. Sometimes they are what you need, but use them responsibly!
  4. You have another one regulation mechanism - curiosity. You feel so when you don't have a solution. It enables when two signals can't find a path to each other.
  5. You can use signals about "feeling bad," to make yourself curious. It's the skill that you can learn.

That was the craziest part of our sequence. Right now, I am writing this, and I realize that I don't know how it will be to read it. Writing it was incredibly complex. It's was like playing all-in. I know that for you it was the hardest one too. You've read it, and I want you to know: you won. And I won it also. I like the games that winnable for both sides.

But we still don't understand how does our attention work. Let's solve the last part of this puzzle.


And even in the eye of storm

I want you keep in mind:

In your excuse, there's nothing wrong

But it won't win the fight.

Your pain released, you can stand up

And take the Curious Sword

Escape the cyclone of your mind

Break through in clear world.


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