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comment by MakoYass · 2019-11-03T01:43:20.180Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
1) Do you find this to be helpful as an examination of some crucial element of the vengeful disposition?

No. It's extremely hard to read. I think it might be getting at revenge as a way of ensuring that there is a logic of peace. An attack on unjust social realities rather than any material cause of some potential future strife; but if I didn't already have that idea in my head, I wouldn't recognise it here. I feel like it's forcing me to guess something that it could have just said outright with very little prose.

Generally. Any discussion of vengeful disposition that does not build from new decision theories (functional decision theory [LW · GW], best learned through the arbital pages about LDT) is going to be needlessly circuitous and is likely to repeat certain mistakes. "the meaning is seemingly illogical", for instance. It doesn't commit to this position, but it doesn't begin to refute it either.

Basically... our new decision theories are an account of rationality under which things like revenge- policies which an agent benefits from holding, but which, when actuated, do not causally bring about future benefits- are not irrational. They are rational. The standard model of rationality (CDT) was wrong. The fact that CDT was regularly doing things that brought about suboptimal outcomes should have been a big clue to people that they were not describing the true dao.

I should emphasise, because this is quite radical, FDT contends that the rationality, or irrationality, of an action is not purely a function of its future consequences. That there has to be much more to it. An action can have negative consequences and still be a crucial part of a rational policy. If you can't justify that claim from the metaphysics of survival, you can't speak with clarity about vengeance policies.

comment by Pattern · 2019-11-11T15:11:49.167Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Overall (Short):

1) Do you find this to be helpful as an examination of some crucial element of the vengeful disposition?

It's an interesting description. I wonder if it's correct.

The narrator seems a bit full of themself.

2) Irregardless of the above, are you of the view it works as fiction?

It works as monolog, though context always helps. (Consider - a spelling/grammar mistake, or claim that 19+32 is some number that doesn't end in 1 is in error, but in dialogue, these all might be correct - what someone said is what they said, whether it is right or wrong (in contrast to what they meant).)

You can have a character be wrong in fiction, or change their mind. (Seeing how some arrives at a conclusion, or why they're on the topic may add something.)

comment by Pattern · 2019-11-11T15:29:42.239Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Right before I read this piece I was watching a fictional work which had a vengeful character that didn't fit the description of vengeance in the monologue. The character is (seemingly) motivated by a perceived wrong (originally) not against themself, but an "injustice" wrought by "society/the world". Thus, rather than trying to return things to an old equilibrium, they are trying to set things "right" for the first time (they don't seem aware of a time when things were different), so things go differently in the future.

comment by Pattern · 2019-11-11T15:20:12.905Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Point by point (Long):

their response would be as false as that of a child which we asked to define a triangle and all we got was a crude drawing, revealing in the process that the child knew nothing of the defining principles of that specific geometrical form.

This seems weird IMO, because the worst lack of understanding lacks drawing. You can try to explain to someone why all triangles will have this or that property all you like, but if they do not draw a triangle and see it - without this start/grounding - then it may be impossible to impart this knowledge. (In order to have a discussion of triangles in the abstract, basic, concrete knowledge may be required.)

the defining aspect of your act isn’t that you harmed them, but that you did so in response to your own injury.
if asked, assuming they did destroy in a moment of rage, they will always explain away their action by speaking of reciprocals and closures. Because, as I already noted, they confuse the description of their operations with the meaning they had, not being the least bit conscious of the latter.

The distinction being made here isn't clear.

knowing full well that the Law reserves its leniency only for those who act on impulse.

Finally something good on the subject, unlike all the "irrational" and "illogical" stuff, which adds nothing to what is discussed (just say they know what they're doing, and the reason, but not the reason behind the reason). (This might vary, in that there might be more than two types, but it's a good start.)

they will justified in acting

they will justify acting?

This, precisely, is how the sense we are neutralizing the actual source of pain and anxiety is at the same time real and mistaken: for we strike not the idol – which in us is real –

This part, the ending, is good. (Though it's not clear how one would strike at something in the mind.)