↑ comment by [deleted] ·
2015-11-28T00:17:26.877Z · LW(p) · GW(p)
Thanks, that article is incredible. I hope to see one that is about how to answer questions, and how to understand answers too! After reading, some contemplation on the matter, and some chance happenings upon information I feel is relevant to the issue, I believe I've changed a lot:
Recently a highly admired friend of mine said something along the lines of 'I've never said anything that wasn't intention'. Whereas for me, most of that which I say is unintentional, just observed. So this got me thinking pretty hard about these things. Being on my mind, I suppose I got the following sliver of personal development when I started looking up some podcasts to comfort myself the following day:
I'm vain. When I listen to things, personal development podcasts or not, I tend to look for what could be about me. I sampled the Danger and Play podcasts and like what I've heared. Inspired by the way he frames self-talk as interpersonal ilocutation, my mental landscaped has changed steeply. One consequence of this has been that I'm no longer held captive to 'believing' the first thought or idea that comes to my head. Rather, it's as if it's just one mental subagents proposition, to be contested and such. I am not biased towards reserving my thoughts till a more complex stopping rule, like coming to a conclusion that a certain verbablisation would lead to a certain outcome (e.g. the conclusion is positive emotionally, raises my anxiety to an optimal level, and/or functional by way of interpersonal compliance) , rather than something that just spews from my mind.
Perhaps a precursor to this has been a general dampening of how seriously I've been taking my moral intuitions. I've contextualised them in terms of the facts that they are predated by evolutionary foreces, context, and such. Approximately an expressivist position, championed sometimes by A.J Ayer and the logical positives, regarding moral language, if I remember the wikipedia page correctly...but even say, in ingratituated sense of helplessness then seems no longer to relate to entrenched circumstances, but liable to change depending on the path dependence on my memory - something influenced by the past, but continuously influenced by the ongoing present, even for older memories that are revisited and updated, reframed etc.
Danger and Play is part of the 'red pill' 'manosphere' of content. Frequently the movement is derided as mysogenistic. I can't speak on that, since I reckon that it would be heterogenous with peoples attitudes towards women and labelling a broad category critically is misleading (like labelling all Islamists as terrorists, for analogy). Some of my sticking points in gender and sexual relations seem to relate to underdeveloped learned optimism and growth mindset. It seems like some 'red pill' and related 'seduction' movements include elements that are concurrently antithetical to developing these:
To illustrate, the prominent RSD company often frames things in ways that don't suggest negative things are situational and temporary, while making global judgemnets about negative things (eg: 'life is hard...'). That's a recipe for learned helplessness. Which, may very well be good for their business model, combined with all the motivation they spew out. In fact, this observation probably holds for a number of motivational video channels to keep people coming back. There are certainly exceptions - I remember one which started off with that quote from Albert Einstein that closely approximates a pithy summation of a growth mindset and learned optimism, but the details escape me.
One thing that really compels and reminds me to think in this reflective way is simply that a lot of my intuitions are really quite mean to myself. When that podcast instructed me to stand back and think of myself as another person, it just seems absurd to treat myself like that. I mean, if I find effective altruism things compelling because they're nice to do, isn't the most proximate and therefore likely one of the easier or more reliable niceties to be nice to myself. In turn, it looks like that will lead to:
competence — alert, thoughtful, observant, willing to be an active partner in developing a solution.
The kind of attitude that makes for smarter questions...