Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? 2023-09-12T12:02:44.445Z
Caerulea-Lawrence's Shortform 2023-09-11T11:50:24.131Z
The LW crossroads of purpose 2023-04-27T19:53:58.311Z


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on The King and the Golem · 2023-09-27T17:34:57.806Z · LW · GW

Yes, it is true, but being King doesn't grant him omnipotence. The great rewards are guarded by someone, tallied by another, taxed by a third, available to some - similar to the great penalties. He is trusting in his power as king that his subjects will follow his every whim - when:

Who could he trust, when anyone around him might scheme for his throne? 

The King trusts his subjects Directly by asking them to do things for him directly, trusts them indirectly by believing his given role as "King" is enough for them to follow this squandering of resources. He even 'trusts' that this 'trust' is strong enough to gather the kind of people that will actually work diligently and genuinely to create something 'Trustworthy'. 

Searching for a 'trustworthy thing' might simply be an expression of his lack of discernment - he can't trust himself - so he tries to compensate by creating something he can trust. But - if he himself is the problem, creating a perfect Golem won't fix him. And maybe that is what this piece is about - 

That we are limited by so many factors beyond our control that we simply can't reach the level of the Golem, and in its construction, become its weakest link.

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Would You Work Harder In The Least Convenient Possible World? · 2023-09-23T10:08:46.191Z · LW · GW

Hello Jay Bailey,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I seem to have overcomplicated the point made in this post by adding the system-lens to this situation. It isn't irrelevant, it is simply besides the point for Alice and Bob.

The goal I am focusing on is a 'system overhaul' not a concrete example like this.

I was also reminded of how detrimental the confrontational tone and haughtiness by Alice and the lack of clarity and self-understanding of Bob is for learning, change and understanding. How it creates a loop where the interaction itself doesn't seem to bring either any closer to being more in tune with their values and beliefs. It seems to further widen the gulf between their respective positions, instead of capitalizing on their respective differences to further improve on facets of their values-to-actions efficiency ratio that their opposite seems capable of helping them with.

But I didn't focus much on this point in my comment.

Kindly, Caerulea-Lawrence

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Would You Work Harder In The Least Convenient Possible World? · 2023-09-23T09:42:39.432Z · LW · GW

Hello Firinn,

Thanks for the linked post, it was right on the money.

I see that I look at market-economy as a problem by itself, but I haven't really thought about money from a less idealistic point of view.

It is really hard to come to terms with the argument he makes, when the system money operates under is so flawed.

But maybe it is more of a general point. In the instance between Alice and Bob, they might not see or have the ability to try to change the system itself, and under those circumstances I have missed the point.

Again, thanks for the post.

Kindly, Caerulea-Lawrence

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Would You Work Harder In The Least Convenient Possible World? · 2023-09-22T18:35:17.360Z · LW · GW

Hello Firinn, 

I can relate to this post, even when I was never part of the EA-movement. When I was younger, I did join a climate-organization, and also had an account on And I would say there was a lot of guilt and confusion around my actions at that point, whilst simultaneously trying to do a lot of 'better than'-actions. 

Your post is very extensive, and as such I find myself engaged by just reading one of the external links and the post itself. Therefore, my comment isn't really a comment to the whole post, but sees the post through one entry-point I thought might be valuable. I hope it is still useful to the thematic you had in mind.

I focused on Child in the Pond and have used that as my pivot point - as well as reading the whole interaction between 'Alice' and 'Bob'. 

Imagining being in the pond situation does fill me with emotions that would steer me towards taking action to alleviate the immediate suffering. But there are two things I believe that the Child in the pond text gets conflated, and which might also be relevant for the interactions between 'Alice' and 'Bob'.

The two are:
1. 'Why' you save the kid from drowning, but why you can't "save" lives. 
2. And relatedly, why focusing on money as a metric for saving lives, can fuel the same situations the text implies we should avoid.

1. 'Why' you save the kid from drowning, but why you can't "save" lives. 
To take the conflation first.

Why do you save the kid from drowning? Many might be motivated by 'compassion' - to want to alleviate the perceived suffering of the child. You perceive the situation, interpret it, feel an emotion, and you choose to act on it. Acting on this emotion, seems like the best course of action - the situation might be complex, there are a lot of things you don't know, but to do this would be 'the moral thing to do'. 

But there is quite the leap between having the physical abilities, and being in a situation where you can save a child from drowning, and what the Child in the Pond text talks about, namely 'saving lives'. It says:

Now think about your own situation. By donating a relatively small amount of money, you could save a child’s life.

In other words, an arbitrary link is made between a situation in which you can 'act' to save a child from drowning, to a situation in which you can 'pay' to save a child. 

But if it were the same, you could, If you so desired, save the toddler in the pond by simply pulling out your 'magical card of FixEveryProblem', swipe it, and the problem would be solved. If you really wanted to help more, you might even get the option of getting the toddler a 'good, caring parent', one/two/three very good friends and the premium helping package where they have healthy, fulfilling and enriching lives for themselves and everyone they come into contact with.

But you can't. You can't pay to save the toddler. You have to be there, see the situation, understand it, be willing to act and decide to act. An action that might naturally be followed up by you caring for the child and bringing it to its caretakers (what happened there btw..?), whilst dealing with the reactions the toddler has to the situation, be it anything from loud screaming, crying, to gut-wrenching misery and getting water on your face and clothes, or maybe even puked on. Do you still do it? Yes, I hope you would.

Yes, it is a conflation. It is also made a lot worse by the use of the word 'save', and the implicit 'guarantee' it hinges on your money - that it 'saves' lives.
If your only goal was to 'save' lives, the most rational choice I can see would be to try to minimize the amounts of people getting born - as every person 'born' is only guaranteed to 'lose' their life. You might buy for the vaccines, but they get lost in transport, or destroyed by an earthquake. Losing your life, on the other hand, is guaranteed. Remove religious elements like Jesus, and you have the perfect antidote for human suffering: Antinatalism. 

- You can't 'save' lives, you can only 'prolong' life.

- You can't pay to prolong life, there are certain acts/resources that prolongs a life, alleviates various kinds of suffering and even increases well-being. 

This might seem like a small problem by itself, but it creates a lot of stumbling-blocks when communicating effectively, because donating money isn't an action that save children from certain illnesses by itself.

2. And relatedly, why focusing on money as a metric for saving lives, can fuel the same situations the text implies we should avoid.

As I pointed out above, there is a conflation between the drowning child and donating money. It compares apples and oranges, it conflates two different things and compares them as being the same. 

Now, in the same text, there is this story of the child Wang Yue dying in the streets, despite numerous people seeing her. What does this have to do with money? Well, if you start to argue that 'money' saves lives, then going to work on time, and leaving 'saving the person' to someone working in a charity, or to those paid by society to take care of her (Parents?), might arguably be the correct choice of action. 

To a charity, the expression 'Money saves lives' is true in the sense that you create a product with ingredients like: distinct causal connection between an action and a result - Give us money >> less children die of malaria.
If you save the child Wang Yue, you might not have a product team, a PR team, a photographer or a film-crew on the ready to create a product that people can buy. In other words, you aren't guaranteed to make money. And since money saves lives, losing money might start looking akin to losing lives.

And it seems like both Alice and Bob have unwittingly bought into the concept of Money=lives. 
What actually prolongs lives, isn't money, but resources, genetics and luck. You need resources like time, effort, skill, innovation, dedication, will, focus, materials, care, understanding and cooperation, to name a few. Money doesn't create these resources, it is used to direct them

System lens:

Alice: You know, Bob, you claim to really care about improving the world, but you don’t seem to donate as much as you could or to use your time very effectively. Maybe you should donate that money rather than getting takeout tonight? 

This was the experience I had with climate organizations and as well, that this conflation is very rampant. Ironically, people would on the one hand say that 'capitalism' is wrong, whilst on the other saying that donating is good. Which is odd. 
If Capitalism is inherently unsustainable, how does monetizing more of human life, values and needs, create more sustainability? 

Human resources like care, time, understanding, empathy, love, cooperation, friendships, intelligence, wisdom, skill etc. are interconnected with each other, and don't grow due to money. Money might give you access to certain resources - but the resources aren't there due to money.

A different kind of communication:

Reading the argument between Bob and Alice reminds me of discussions that go in circles. In a way, the issue they are arguing might be a totally different one, but finding out 'what is going on' needs a different approach.
I remember hearing about this process where people with different political views were to have a talk, but instead of the usual 'debate format', they were to explain how they got to believe what they believed in. It lead to much higher levels of mutual understanding and respect, but I haven't seen this replicated in the national debates.


One thing is the conflation I spotted, which ties to a lot of conflicts, that seem like they are conflicts on one level - but are really about something else. But knowing that the issues are more 'fundamental' might not feel that reassuring, which is why I presented the point about a kind of communication that might bring more understanding and respect, whilst still exploring disagreements or different points of view. 
My hope is for more understanding in general, and to see various skills people have applied in ways that increase felt meaning for the people participating in disagreement - as well as anyone listening to it.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on "Did you lock it?" · 2023-09-21T18:26:27.948Z · LW · GW

Hello again ymeskhout,

looking at the answers you have given to people, and the comments I have got on my own reply to this post, I was wondering if I read your post in a specific light, and went through it more in-depth.

You write in your comment that "[...]My post was strictly about "giving advice to victims" and the pushback you're giving invokes all these collateral issues I never argued in favor of."

and in a later comment 
"The parallels between bike theft and rape are obviously not going to perfectly match, nor should we expect them to. My point here was to start with something small ("giving advice to victims on how to reduce risk") and then start extrapolating to see if we can reach a consensus on what precisely is bad about that."

Reading your post again with this in mind, I notice that I am really confused by some issues.

Here they are:

Our questions were problem-solving endeavors saturated with sympathy; we wanted to know what went wrong precisely to help others avoid the same fate.

Maybe I am misunderstanding this sentence, but if you ask someone 'what went wrong' to help alleviate further victimization - isn't that gathering information on what advice to give, and not about giving advice? This might be a small thing, but it is something I noticed.


Kathleen Stock charges right into deconstructing the surprisingly enduring ritual of affixing the “victim-blaming” reprimand to any advice aimed at reducing the risk of sexual assault.

There seems to be no doubt that many people blame some rape victims for what happens to them, irrationally. In one 2010 survey, more than half of respondents thought that “drinking to excess” or “dressing provocatively” made rape victims more responsible for the outcome. Yet it is rapists who are responsible for their crimes.[...]
From the paragraph before the one you quoted.

Maybe there is some statistics on this, with regard to bike theft too. I would imagine the things that have been mentioned in the comments already, like having an expensive bike/what lock(s) you used to where you parked it - would be something people would be prone to blame the victims for.

Still, isn't there a clear distinction between the explicit goal of your OP and the text by Kathleen Stock? She is talking about giving advice to women (and her sons) that are 'pre-victimized', and you saying that the goal is to give advice to 'post-victimized' people.
She isn't saying you should talk to victims like that, the title is "Telling women how to cut the risk of rape is anything but sexist." not telling Victims. 
So there seems to be a sort of conflating of the two in your text, and I would really prefer it if you made it extensively clear which one you are talking about, as they are extremely different issues. There is a difference between "any advice aimed at reducing the risk of sexual assault" and "any advice aimed at reducing the risk of a repeat of sexual assault." Two different situations, best not get them conflated. 

Imparting wisdom on the implacable chain of consequences is about the most compassionate thing you could do.

This goes back to the conflation. If you are talking about pre-victimization, I would say that it could be helpful information - but not a compassionate thing in itself. If we are talking about post-victimization, there are many issues you are dealing with, not to mention problematic physical/emotional issues - neither of which learning about the 'implacable chain of consequences' will help you with. 

They can choose to accept that advice, and if it is sound then they’ll be met with the disastrous outcome of…not having their bike stolen.

This hearkens back to the point from before: Is this text about talking to people 'pre-' victimhood, or 'post-'? Moreover, neither accepting nor following the advice saves you from being raped or having your bike stolen - You only reduce the chances. As is talked about in the text you quote, but as also mentioned by @liamk;  Among other things, she points out that there is no evidence that preventionist programs work; and evidence that risk-reduction programs decrease the likelihood of female students being assaulted by as much as 50%. - There is no guarantee it won't still happen. Which doesn't defeat the purpose of prevention - but shouldn't be conflated with 'safety'. 

That was all I was confused about when it came to your post. 

Your post seems to align more with 'Preventing' victimization from happening, so wouldn't it be better to build on that, as that seems more coherent with the source you use.

If we are to focus only on the goal you mentioned earlier, and answer that using your experiences, 
"giving advice to victims on how to reduce risk") and then start extrapolating to see if we can reach a consensus on what precisely is bad about that." to me it breaks down the second when you go outside your in-group of similar-minded people. I wouldn't like to get advice if I lost a bike, I would like empathic support, care, understanding and a friendly hug. 

As such, I must admit that it is very hard to read a post like this, that even if indirectly, compares Bike Theft and Rape. If you are either a survivor or secondary survivor, the after effects of trauma goes from terrible to hellish. There are also secondary issues like pregnancy, transmission of diseases, PTSD symptoms and stigma, to name a few. 


Thanks to @Firinn and to @Said Achmiz for making this comment a reality. The former for their empathic listening, which was essential for me to regain my clarity and groundedness. The latter for their willingness to interact with me, and do what I would describe as "throwing wrenches into my mental faculty", which irks me in such a way that it helps me with my fundamental rationality work. I would have not been able to write this without either of you. Thank you.

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on "Did you lock it?" · 2023-09-20T02:29:12.616Z · LW · GW

Hello Jiro,

Said and I have some banter going on, but I genuinely value their feedback, and take it seriously into consideration - Humor just helps me to learn things better, and is my way of showing my will to grow and improve - but also my current state of acceptance and honesty. And Said can talk for themselves, but I don't feel like they are trying to be passive-aggressive towards me in any way.

I'm not familiar with you, however. If you just didn't understand, that is fine - even though I would have preferred you just ask either of us instead of posting a no-context comment randomly stating 'This is a passive-aggressive attack[...]'. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on "Did you lock it?" · 2023-09-18T21:53:04.517Z · LW · GW

Hello again Said, 

Yes, believe nothing else. I am eternally grateful for your foresight and exemplary behavior.

What I meant is that as such a skilled senior, I should treat you as a moderator, and invoking leniency is simply an expression of the fact that even at my best behavior, with the outmost of care, vigilance and decorum, it wouldn't be fair to you to compare my own efforts and skill to yours. Moreover, that I hope that you will allow me the chance to grow and improve side by side with you, even when that means sometimes showing me the ropes or picking up the slack. Of course, I will not let your effort go unnoticed or unseen, as I value them greatly, and even if they aren't statistical facts - I hope you can still feel the heartfelt emotions behind my words.

I'm glad you have done this service to us all - and as such I feel really, really hesitant to do the whole community the disservice of making it go unacknowledged, or worse, add to the confusion by changing my former comment - when it shows my factual level of competence - and your higher-level effort of improving on it. 

I mean, it is beyond terrible that this happens in the first place, don't you agree? Some facts are simply so awful, that I wonder not only at the toughness and hardness of the people collecting them, but if it is right of me, or anyone, to speak about this so haphazardly.
Still, finding the truth is important, and I cheer for your monumental dedication to doing things correctly and by the book - even going so far as gracefully improving things - without going overboard. Again, thank you.

I agree, for now it seems I am simply at the level of uncertainty and approximations - but I can't give up improving by being passive and unconfident, lest I stay in that space forever without improvement. And you saying that I am correct, is simply the highest praise. I'm not quite worthy, but I'll take it :)


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Book Review: Consciousness Explained (as the Great Catalyst) · 2023-09-18T18:38:56.582Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the answer,

Still, I know I read somewhere about intuitives using a lot of their energy on reflection, and so I gathered that that kind of dual-action might explain part of the reason why someone would talk about 'qualia' as something you are 'aware' of as it happens.
I mean, if most of one's energy is focused on a process not directly visible/tangible to one's 'sense perception', I don't see why people wouldn't feel that there was something separate from their sense perception alone. Whereas with sensors, and it being flipped, it seems more reasonable to assume that since the direct sense perceptions are heavily focused on, the 'invisible/intangible' process gets more easily disregarded. 

The thing is, there have been instances where I didn't 'feel' my usual way around qualia. In situations that were very physical demanding, repetitive or very painful/dangerous, I was definitely 'awake', but I just 'was'. These situations are pretty far between, so it isn't something that I'm that familiar with - but I'm pretty certain that if I was in that space most of the time, and probably learned how to maneuver things there better - I would no longer talk about being in Camp 2, but in Camp 1.

I would be very surprised if I could see the color Phi phenomenon, as I just think that I would have noticed it already. But, as with many such things, maybe it simply is hidden in plain sight?

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Navigating an ecosystem that might or might not be bad for the world · 2023-09-18T13:18:16.583Z · LW · GW


I guess if I were there, I guess I would have wanted to connect what you talked about to specific terms that might further clarify what kind of solution(s) you were looking for. Or, in plain English, to ask which of these needs-categories (NVC-list page 3&4) would best fit what you wanted to talk about. 

I mean, you are already meeting a lot of needs, but if you go back to the start, and you ask Which of these categories of needs best fit what you feel right now - It might have served as a decent anchor point both of you could have used to fill in confusing blanks.



Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-18T12:43:49.544Z · LW · GW

Hello again, 

Thanks for your reply, and I'm happy to agree with the general direction of what you wrote, and add some odd points of mine as well.

There is one very positive thing I see in being able to hold these thoughts, concepts and ideas. In many instances, like the ones we are discussing here in this post, there is no correct answer for everyone, or even you. But, if you can hold the various views, paradoxes and abstract ideas in your mind, you can still choose a lot of useful and enriching tentative positions to give rise to a more creative, healthy inner climate, with more acceptance and flexibility.

I don't think we can go much higher in terms of abstraction levels without abstracting away that which we talk about. If you get rid of free will, or the idea that we are different from that around us, then nothing can really be said at all.  

Perhaps we only talk about what we don't understand fully, as that which we already understand seems uninteresting and trivial.

My view on this is a bit different. I can absolutely go beyond this level of abstraction. And I also see a point in it, but maybe it isn't so important to everyone, and I don't see it as so valuable to delve into here either. This level is sufficiently strong to deal with most 'weird' occurring thoughts, concepts and ideas, without being unnecessarily tripped up. 

Now, to address your concerns, it might be better to use an "Unpopular" model like MBTI. To simplify, I try to improve all Cognitive Functions; and to apply them to life, learning not only the preferred way for each Function to deal with an issue - but also to discern when my most used tool simply isn't the best for the task at hand.
From the way you express concern, and focus on 'living', I assume you do this as well. 

So, it is important for me to delve into this - but similarly it is very important to me to work on supination in my foot, delve into a specific emotional part, to name some of the things I care about.

I wouldn't say talking about the meaning of life is anymore 'important' than those - it is just that that particular function in me, my Ne, is far more developed. And so I want to increase the balance through developing the functions that are weaker, not only in comparison to itself, but to the complexity level of my Ne. But of course, as of now, that is my most used tool, and even though I have others I use, that is still the closest to how I would say 'I am' - but that is changing as well.

Going further here is beside the point I believe, but to make that clear to anyone reading this:

It is quite dangerous to be 'creative' and boundary-pushing without certain skills. Like anything, you don't do deep diving without proper knowledge and training - and so delving into things, like we have illustrated here, takes much skill, much training and to actually use the correct cognitive 'tool' for the job. 

There are various ways to deal with the Question I posted, but I see it more as each of them tackling one piece of the problem. Ideally, I would prefer to have more access in myself to the various tools, and to see how each can improve a specific part of a struggle/problem. Because noticing that focusing on my supination is much more efficient in feeling balance, harmony or progress, than sorting out things in the Ne part of my mind, isn't 'obvious' to me. 

I greatly thank you for the exchange, and if you have a finishing comment, go ahead. If you want to continue talking about things, I think DM is the right way to go.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on "Did you lock it?" · 2023-09-17T22:38:38.088Z · LW · GW

Hello Said!

You are my commenting senior, and I understand you want a high standard - Still, I'm very positive that intimate relationships and acquaintances are the number1 group of perpetrators, and that my argument is a valid one - So I'm content with my level of research in the context of this post. I understand if you might disagree with my level of skill, but I hope you can have some leniency.

In the future, I might want to rise to a different level of discernment. To check the small details more, and try to achieve the level of Commentator Enlightenment you have. To have the power to nitpick posts and comments to Death, like you're able to, or also give them the extra flair that lets them shine - or both.
I must admit, I'm far from that level, But since you have made basically 5432.1% more comments than me, I believe I might rise to the occasion in time.
Remember that all your comments to me are a chance to reflect on myself, and to choose to be better, and I am grateful you give me some attention. 
Thank you.

All the best to you,

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Book Review: Consciousness Explained (as the Great Catalyst) · 2023-09-17T17:28:22.619Z · LW · GW

Hi Rafael Harth,

I did remember reading, Why it's so hard to talk about Consciousness, and shrinking back from the conflict that you wrote as an example of how the two camps usually interact.

Reading this review was interesting. I do feel like I wouldn't necessarily want to read the book, but reading this was worth it. I also drew a parallel between the contentious point about consciousness, and the Typical Mind/psych Fallacy (Generalizing from One Example - by Scott Alexander here on LW).  

One connection I see is that, similar to the Color Phi phenomenon (I only see two dots), people seem to have different kinds of abilities or skills - but I don't know of anyone having 'All' of them. Other skills involving sight that I know of, are the out-of-the-body experiences of NDE's, (Near death experiences) seeing 'remnants/ghosts'  and also the ability to see some sort of 'light' when tracking, as seen by 'modern' animal communicators and tribalist hunters (30:08 and 31:15).

Since we seem to be unaware of the different sets of skills a human might possess, how they can be used, and how different they are 'processed', it kind of seems like Camp 1 and Camp 2 are fighting over a Typical Mind Fallacy - that one's experience is generalized to others, and this view seen as the only one possible.

Personally, I seem to fit into the Camp 2, but at the same time, I don't disagree with Camp 1. I mean, if both people in your example are trustworthy, the only reasonable thing to me seems to believe that both of them are right about something.

If there is some Typical Mind Fallacy at play, there should be some underlying skills/mechanisms that those in each group have/have developed, each giving them certain advantages, possibilities or simply different perceptions.

On a side-note, for those of us interested in that, I wonder if others thought these two camps align well with Sensors an Intuitives in Myers-Briggs?

Thanks for writing this.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on On being downvoted · 2023-09-17T09:41:35.808Z · LW · GW

Hello Adam Zerner,

I believe it is very useful to look at voting through both frameworks, and agree that this is an important aspect to look at. Thanks for deciding to write your concerns in this post.

Downvoting through the lens of stictly 'wanting to see more/less of something', to me, makes it hard to differentiate a response between the functional aspect of writing, and the emotional. Many a post would be much more fulfilling for the posters with differing levels of emotional concerns, if they were accurately and feeling-y addressed - preferably maybe even before posting.

I have tried to write things earlier, that got heavily down-voted, and I left LW for a good while. Mostly because what I wrote was on the Feeling-channel. As such, I primarily wanted an emotional understanding response, and in my naivety I believed that it was obvious. There were vulnerable emotions there, which were never addressed. Of course, I could have been more explicit about my values/needs - but the natural prerequisite for that would be 'trust'. And from my limited experience, asking for feelingy-things is more risky here, because it, weirdly enough, seems to indicate that what you have written is less than what it could be if you would simply answer 'neutrally'. Which is true, in a way. If someone were to give me the sought after feeling-y channel feedback, I would be less reactive about the votes.

Your frustration could point to many things, but since the feelings are important - responses to the content alone might totally miss the high value to you when getting a fulfilling response there. And maybe it would allow to to write some things in your posts that is not clear.

I imagine that the format on the recent dialogue-post by habryka and kave, serves to me as a much better example as to how useful it can be to get feedback on the more value-based, personal side of things. In my experience it greatly increase any odds of me being more creative, engaged, content and collected about something.

I mean, I would feel more content and happy about a site that encouraged and help facillitate interactions like those. A simple - I need 'emotional feedback' button you could press, to see if maybe there was something very important you were missing. Still, emotional feedback is also a bit more personal - and so you would have to have trust that your respondent was adequately skilled and trustworthy, to be able to handle it.

If you could improve a post, or maybe find the courage and willingness to write something through the support and help of peers - wouldn't it be kind of nice? Especially if it was easy to do. I have some ideas here, but not sure if I should elaborate here.

Kindly, Caerulea-Lawrence

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Navigating an ecosystem that might or might not be bad for the world · 2023-09-16T14:27:02.322Z · LW · GW

Hello habryka and kave,

I felt a bit uplifted from reading this, and I would love to see more of this on LW. This is more of a direct response to a problem - and so you are not only 'looking' at the problem, but your action is a good approach at solving it.

I do have some views that could be of use, but I mean, I wasn't in this dialogue, you didn't invite me and so being a 'backseat participant' feels a tad odd. Conversations of this kind are more situational in my experience, and so even when you post it - I just assume that the Form and the Content might be separate. If things are otherwise, I'd love to chip in.

Healthy and productive dialogue is good to see, and getting closer to a workable goal, and the process hereto, has broader application. Seeing this kind of dialogue is something I would absolutely love to see, for various reasons. 
By exploring things in this way, many ideas and concepts might be 'helped' out of their shell by a little water in the form of understanding, willingness to understand and being on the same page enough to make useful plays that help the other person improve upon what they have already got. I believe seeing how this is done is useful, not only as an inspiration, but also a practical guide into how things 'could be', instead of chopping left and right. Moreover, it is a good alternative way to explore themes and ideas without the boxed form of writing a post or a question. I guess it caters more to the Extrovert processing side of things - where it is useful, and necessary, for progress to have someone to bounce your ideas off of. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-15T22:06:04.515Z · LW · GW

Hello again StartAtTheEnd,

Thanks for your reflection. I liked reading it.

I'll try to reflect with you here. It might look like I disagree with you here, but I am mostly just bouncing off what you wrote and adding in different thoughts I have myself.

"The world is objectively flawed, it's not just my own opinion, and now I'm suffering the gap between this flawed state and the goal state.

* You notice that your system reacts by fearing insults similarly to tigers, you notice that your 'body' never gets 'satisfied' and that each time you get something you want, you only create something else - So you conclude that by 'fighting' life, you are creating your own suffering, and only by giving this up, will be relieved from the constant Earthly struggle of trying to change something where you yourself create the issue.

But speaking of not living life - How/why do they/you say that it is 'bad' to struggle and be 'unhappy'? Even if you look past things like evolutionary biology, how do you argue for this position, when you at the same time argue that you shouldn't have any goals and not fight? 

As far as I am aware, the goal is to reach Enlightenment, and be relieved from the 'suffering' of reincarnation. Which seems oddly similar to saying that there is something 'fundamentally wrong' with something. Or, some kind of position where you say that it is possible to stop the 'suffering', but it is dependent on Karma or things like that. 
But yeah, given the Data you collected to reach that conclusion - is it the only one? By delving into the subconscious, the intuitive and collecting all that information - is that conclusion 'the whole truth', and the only Truth? 
You didn't say it was, and I must admit that I am decently ignorant, but it seems a concept that isn't really 'debatable' or 'traceable'. 

To reach the point of choosing another direction than what is 'self-evident' or 'natural', you are abstracting and meta-evaluating. At this level, you are also consciously looking at things. So, how did you come to the conclusion that it is right to not create tension? To not do that which seems to come natural to us? There has to be some kind of reason.

And if you deem something 'wrong' - do you simply connect that to your own happiness? Why would you do that? Ok, so you fight things and it makes you unhappy - let's become content/enlightened. But again - why? 
Isn't it like creating the game, and then just pretending you didn't, but follow the rules you made without questioning them enough to reach a point where you can create the game yourself? Isn't that exactly the same things as you were trying to avoid in the first place?

Yes, if you understand that you can create games - if you stay in that space, and you dip your toes into the process, doesn't it become quite obvious that playing any game is taxing? That even deciding to be 'content' is to overrule the natural impulse of the body? Not playing a game means devolving into an animal - and why isn't that correct?

From my perspective, I want to live fully, and of course that involves to explore and discover the one part that is the most intimate and familiar to me - myself. That of course includes my capabilities, my mind, my body and how I interact with the world. 
When things are 'wrong', if it is only in me - well, I can change it, like you point out. But, the problem is, unless you somehow view yourself as isolated, distinct and separate from everyone and everything else - whatever goes on in you is hard to separate from the rest. 

In the comments, people talk about being embedded in the Universe, and kind of being physics but having different physics. Well, that is fine and well - but you start to say that something is 'wrong', where does it come from - what is it connected to. Not only in myself, but in the world around me. Where does it start?

You point out that Nietzsche might see life as a struggle between forces - But if you can make the game yourself, why do you care?

True, at this level of abstraction, some people either reject everything, get completely lost or conflate the tree with the forest. 
But since I seem able to withstand this specific level of abstraction - as I guess with anyone who have honed their craft sufficiently, some things that were difficult, are now just plain.

Instead of renegading on our ability to influence the game itself - I believe it is better to acknowledge our ability to do so - and direct the latent energy towards something productive and not let it swim around in our unconscious, creating all kinds of dangerous oversimplifications. 

At the same time - To be a bit more Practical - To skillfully deal with any one element of reality, be it emotionally, relationally, introspectively, intuitively etc., takes a lot of a specific kind of energy, time and ability. 
Yes, I might have reached this state of being able to handle it, but it isn't really something I did irrespectively of the world around me.-  moreover, there is so much I can't handle. I am terrible at showing and feeling certain emotions, physical weakness and pain, or I struggle with the practical and I run away from certain depths in my mind/emotions. To just mention a few things. And I mean, if I don't sleep well - many of my ideals are reduced to trying, and failing. 
But I don't want to ignore anything, I want to include the different perspectives, our limitations and weaknesses, but also our strengths and all our possibilities even when they don't seem to fit - and work towards creating a better fit. Something that inevitably needs other people to do.
Well, finding someone to delve deep is high on the list of goals, but for now I am also expressing things here, as a kind of sub-goal, in the hopes of reaching other's that want to go to uncharted territory with us.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Destroying the fabric of the universe as an instrumental goal. · 2023-09-15T20:26:38.057Z · LW · GW

Hello AI-doom,  

Isn't there a paradox here, though?  

If an AI destroys everything to guarantee an ideal outcome - wouldn't it want to make sure that it is successful? But how is it going to make sure that everything is destroyed? Is it going to not destroy itself? Well, then there is still something left that might malfunction or create this outcome, which is itself. So does it destroy itself simultaneously as it destroys the universe, or afterward? Maybe it is a failure of imagination on my part, but it seems a bit paradoxical.

Well, of course it might not care about anything besides its own computations - but in this case, Why does it want to achieve the goal through destroying the Universe and not just Itself, which seems to be the much easier course of action. Don't Ml agents do that? If you only evaluate things as 'true' in your mind, you can permanently avoid an outcome by shutting down your own mind. 

Which isn't to say that your concern is invalid or anything, it is just a paradoxical, and it seems odd from my amateur perspective that the AI doesn't choose the 'easiest' route. Want to guarantee that you don't see something: Eliminate yourself completely. 
You see this in games with human players, when people don't like an outcome. They Leave. More rarely have I seen people try to sabotage the game itself - even when it happens, of course. 
The reason I imagine is that at that point you come at odds with the other people that might be invested in that which you want to destroy, and as such might punish you for your actions - Whereas if you're leaving a game, aren't you more likely to be ignored?

I mean, I am looking at this from my amateur perspective, so I might be missing something obvious here, but thought it might still be a valuable comment to you somehow.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on "Did you lock it?" · 2023-09-15T15:43:56.405Z · LW · GW

Hello ymeskhout,

If you look at the Sexual Assault Statistics, you see that 51% of rapes happen in intimate relationships, and 41% by an acquaintance. 
As such, the reasonable thing to assume in your case, if we are to draw parallels, is that the one doing the stealing, was another person highly interested in bikes, wheels and adjustments... In other words, one of your in-group friends. Or, someone in your family. Both with easier "legitimate" access to things like your key, your habits or your number-code.
You say there was nothing sadistic about the inquiry, but since one of you "were" stealing the bikes, and having a blast "Yeah, someone stole your bike? Well, did you lock your bike? (Victim blaming)", I would still call that quite insidious. Maybe one of you were even aiding the thief, to easier create more Smokes and mirrors to confuse and misdirect.
I mean, are you completely sure you weren't part of the "insidious" compassionate victim blaming yourself? If you are comparing these two, then you failed to notice. 

If your point is to just make sure that rape doesn't happen, the obvious choice seems to be to select for friends, acquaintances and partners that are guaranteed not to rape you... Which of course is similar to "best of luck with completely overhauling the nature of man", so why are you arguing against this in your post? 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Meta Questions about Metaphilosophy · 2023-09-15T11:06:21.704Z · LW · GW

Hello Wei Dai,

Something that might be useful to a certain degree might be to see it through the lens of Collective Intelligence.
Or simply that the sum is greater than the value of the individual parts, and also that we can synch our efforts together, directly or indirectly, with the people around us. A recent BBC reel explores this as well. 

Like you say, as you 'move on', you leave many behind. - But at least you will feel massively more vital and see an increase in growth if you have someone that enhances your learning directly through "being on the same wavelength/page" - who not only 'says' they have the same goals, but that works towards them at the same level of depth and inner coherence - as yourself.
Wanting 'immediate' and 'visible' results is pretty understandable as well, and not only waiting for the indirect changes that might occur through the different forms of collective intelligences you have already outlined, but that might not really dive into things the same way you want/are able to.

If so, an answer to the questions isn't necessarily one of finding the right answers, but finding the right people to ask that want to find an answer. People that are aware of the problem at the complexity-level where you can find a suitable solution, and that are willing to structure their individual mind, will and effort around solving it, as well as synchronizing their efforts with you in a way that has inner coherence. That would probably also feel more stimulating than only indirectly looking at these challenges. 

Was wondering how that lands with you, and if this is a useful direction to you, or if you want something else? If you have questions related to this in particular or something, I'm up for continuing on DM. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Caerulea-Lawrence's Shortform · 2023-09-14T19:39:52.578Z · LW · GW

Some reflection around the question I posted some days ago: "Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe?". I'm still not sure if it helped that much in changing things with regard to writing something I care about, but it still feels like some things have landed a bit more.

The different sides to an issue are usually interconnected, to me, just one of many. Some might be much harder to acknowledge and understand, but they are all valid, to a degree.  What I dislike is usually that different sides do not communicate effectively, efficiently or at all. 

At the same time there is also quite the difference in complexity between many issues. Like they are part of the same circle, or floor so to speak. Many times when I observe disconnection here, either in myself, in others or elsewhere, I might notice that the reason is that the issues are not on the same floor. Not to say that they are less important, but they might include less conscious thought, or come from much more simple parts of the brain, programming or an earlier time in life. 

Reading the comments, I see a lot of hope for the future, but only one that added in the flip side of the argument. Like a secret that one shouldn't talk about. As a general rule I do not like that - but I also have to acknowledge that my own wish for cooperative and effective communication, usually means that I tend to simplify and abstract issues to make them fit a window where they are in some kind of balance. 

I did see things similarly at one point in time, and it even took me some years to change it. It wasn't an easy change, not at all. It has taken intense amounts of effort, as I feared feeling what I found out is massive amounts of nostalgia.

Why do I have to grow like this? Why do I constantly seek out the most complex, integrated view of life and living? 
Of course I can rationalize and argue for it in hindsight, but I have really tried my damndest to make things work with a simpler outlook on life. Maybe the reason it didn't work was simply because I tried too hard. To push things to their 'natural' conclusions usually just means breaking them into a myriad of pieces.

I crave Interconnected depth where I acknowledge my limitations and face the unknown unhindered. It is what is truly valuable to me, and what is at the center of value to me.
The few times I have come close to something interesting, people want to stop. It's too much, it's too intense or it's too painful. Fine, I get it. I have my limitations too. Let's work on overcoming them.. Hey, where are you going? Hey!... Well, maybe there is someone else beside me and my partner, somewhere, that find what people usually call deep 'completely superficial' - What deep people like to call deep 'Casual' and what the shadow workers call deep 'Every day life'. And that have gone steps beyond that, and have notice how difficult it is to really progress further without others at the same level. 
Should I even care about this? Well, other's can care about what they care about, and moreover, there are so many more people that 'take care of' things on their depths than here. Leave us alone.
And so, yeah, I would like to have meaningful, deep conversations, but there are degrees to things. Levels of commitment and depth, varying ability in discernment. 

Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? If there is, it is way beyond my league. I just know that I want a Universe that is Conscious and with which I can have a mutual, reciprocal connection. And this one seems unable to, and I don't want to help create some kind of Golden Cow.

Even though this line of thinking is still young, and occupies a small portion of my mind - it has become an important node. A small, but important stone that forces a lot of water in a specific direction. 

It seems that getting what I am longing for and wishing for the Universe to change, are misaligned on a fundamental level. Which is scary. Maybe I could just work on becoming more content. Focus on my health, cleaning, eating, chopping some wood - love, care, compassion and exploration... But it seems the issue isn't really with the Universe per se - It is a fundamental issue in me, and what I want.

I want the relationship to be reciprocal. To be mutual. To not live in some dead Universe that just floats around, but a living and conscious one, that actually welcomes us. And since we technically aren't in a relationship, I don't really consider it cheating to look for someone else whilst still living here. 

So far, it's tough luck. 

God, why isn't there an app for things like this... sigh

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-14T16:18:41.948Z · LW · GW

I am grateful you say that, Ratios. 

Some things I just let myself struggle with - like finding the right food to eat, or how to become more healthy, or how to just be a bit more content, or allow discontent without reacting too much etc. I do see those concerns as connected to the abstract. They fit together - but as of now, they aren't really balanced of course, but yeah, I hope I find more people to share this journey with, and I wish you well too. See you around. 

Caerulea :)

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-14T16:09:30.486Z · LW · GW

Hello again,

the only system I am aware of in which that is possible, as of now, would be my own body... Still, what would be an "improvement to the system performance" is also a matter of conviction, values and goals, or am I not understanding it correctly?

Since you believe that we are going to get an unqualified utopia, or go extinct, with very little probability on "an eternal hellscape", how do you view people that disagree with you? When I look at both sides of that equation, one part of it can be different probabilities assigned to 'terribleness', but another point might a different threshold for where you draw the line at what chances are worth taking.

Because if you get a Pandora's box, and by choosing to open it you have a 99 % chance of a fantastic life for you and everything else, 0.9% chance of simply perishing, and 0.099... chance of getting terrible torture for you and everything else - statistically speaking it might seem quite safe to open it. 

BUT, why would you open a box when there is even the slightest possibility of that outcome? Why not simply let it be? Why not wait till you reach a point where there is 0 chance of an eternal hellscape? 
And if you aren't sure that Humanity will reach that point, then is it so weird that people turn Misanthropic? Not because they like hating others, necessarily, but maybe because they completely and totally abhor the constant risk we would be running of things turning to an eternal hellscape; without seeing a way for it to change.

Yes, you can argue that we can create an A.I. that can 'fix' that problem - but that is circular reasoning. If an extremely volatile species, in a competitive, hostile environment, are going to 'solve the problems once and for all' - History doesn't really say that we make a great job of it. 
If we can't fix our problems Before we create an A.I., it simply shouldn't be made.

If you believe that Human nature is the problem, then you harp on till others take your concerns seriously, and they are adequately addressed. That, of course, goes both ways. In that sense, to give up or resign isn't right either. There are many ways to improve or fix a problem, not just one.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-14T11:34:45.022Z · LW · GW

Hello StartAtTheEnd,

yeah, you seem to nail many of the concerns around this on its head. At the same time, I wonder if your prior here is a bit skewed heavily towards one specific side? I assume it is just one point of view, but I'm just gonna lean into it nonetheless. 

Yes, humans tend to create problems when things get too 'quiet', but wouldn't it be more correct to assume that this is a consequence of things like the fact that if the forest was quiet, it meant danger? That our bodies freak out because of stimulus deprivation; is that an inherent, axiomatic and unchangeable part of being conscious?

We do make problems out of everything, but couldn't that just as well be because those that didn't do that, are the ones that died? Yes, you might have gone to this three 100 times - but that doesn't mean that it is completely safe.

Our lizard brain is constantly scanning for minor changes, and it is all filtered through the lense of 'danger'. I mean, or food and sex. Which isn't to say that I want to remove it, just that there are a lot of things we could make fun, with our creative minds, that wouldn't have to include struggles we aren't equipped to handle?

On the other hand, I agree with you. In the spirit of not removing things to become more happy, but finding a way through the quagmire without reducing ourselves to ever happy and content 'humans' that don't feel pain, suffering, doubt or heartache, it makes more sense to delve deeply into what we want - without closing our eyes to everything we are.

To exist is better - but choosing not to exist, isn't the same as non-existence either - unless you believe that 'humans' disappear from the Universe when they die. Do we? Last time I read about the science of death, we simply get Entrophied, like everything else, and stay around.  

Not sure if that counts as a 'complaint', but I was hoping it could spur some more interesting 'problemsolving' from you :)



Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-14T10:47:04.452Z · LW · GW

Hello Lyrongolem,

that is a brilliant point, and an understandable concern indeed. I hadn't heard about the word 'theodicy' before, but I'll definitely try to remember it now. 

I see your point. If the Universe is fundamentally fair, and it is inherently possible to change one's fate and situation with effort/will alone, it becomes a moot point to 'blame' someone or something else. 

I now see the link you made in your first comment much better, 

Even though I believe your comment is great, I'll respect your wish of course. I'll send you a message now.

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T23:33:43.540Z · LW · GW

Hello Mitchell_Porter,

thanks for the contrast and history to this issue. To transcend suffering or to work around it... I might take a look at that, to see if they had a fruitful conversation about it.

Hm, it is of course possible to argue that relinquishing the control could somehow benefit the greater whole - but how would you strike a balance between the positivity in transhumanism, and the gloom in the ai doomers. 

The optimism about A.I. capabilities might not be overestimated, but why the focus to create a Beyond-human technological "solution" to a Human problem. Can't we just deal with our own shit, and if we eventually have found out what to do - then look at these issues? It seems like an extreme option, similar to nuclear weapons, just possibly much worse, to dabble in this in the current societal and human climate -... maybe that is a view that blackpilled ai doomers have? 

There seems to be quite the gap between these two stances, and I wonder what the essence is all about. Do you know?


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T18:18:08.165Z · LW · GW

Hello Ratios,

I did read the Ecclesiastes a lot growing up, as well as the Proverbs. (From the old testament in the bible) In many ways I can understand and relate to the points of Salomon. There is a lot of rest in the fact that things can be beyond our immediate control. Even when we can try to change certain things, we don't use unnecessary amounts of force or will to MAKE IT FIT

With regard to health, self-compassion, receiving and understanding compassion is the way I see beyond the scary depths of For with much wisdom comes much sorrow, and as knowledge grows, grief increases. I mean, to the observer you are still 'engaging' with suffering and pain directly, and so it doesn't seem to work aka remove the suffering - but there is an internal shift, and also a behavioral one.

I harbor a lot of hope, but we have also noted a lot of other emotions, emotions that have been very hard to understand at first. The best way we have been able to make sense of it so far, is to look at our lives as one big farewell. Farewell to living here, to life, to trying to make things work, to all the hopes and wishes we have, had and will have. (Deftly avoid to talk about the more esoteric aspects ;)

We haven't found anywhere where we believe our energy fits. And I am not talking about What is crooked cannot be straightened, and what is lacking cannot be counted. It is more of the notion that wanting to have this kind of reciprocity, is unwanted/wasted here. When people talk about A.I., or returning to Source, or Jesus's embrace, it isn't like we can't relate, but even if it truly, truly pains me to feel it, this doesn't feel right to me.
It is a tentative roadmap, but as of now, it is also the one that fits massively better than the alternatives. There is still a lot we do not know, and we'll see how things pan out.

Well, many might believe that automatically means we want to die - but it is the opposite. We want to live more, but also oppose death less. We don't seem to fit - and there is also the thing about wanting to fit. I believe it should be mutual reciprocity. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T17:13:05.582Z · LW · GW

I mean, their chances, whatever they may be, would sure get worse if they stopped running credit/blame-assignment algorithms on the systems under their control in order to incrementally improve their efficiency and competitiveness, and instead sat around like rocks assigning it all to the Primal Mover, waiting to die?

Well, I do not argue that the approach I chose Could be seen as some kind of "giving up" mentality, but that also requires you to read that into it. But isn't it also quite the leap to claim that assigning systematically too much responsibility to the people and systems around you, will lead to an increase in effectiveness and competitiveness? In contrast, whatever system you are working under would then function less precisely and correctly. 
Yes, it takes a leap in abstraction and mentality, and precise thinking is dangerous for society at large, but That is a different discussion. 
As I wrote in my approach to the Question, It isn't people that enables killing, it is the Universe. And Humans, as a species, wouldn't have had the option to kill, even if they wanted, if the rules were different. At least, that is one possible way to frame it. There are others, but I chose this one.

you say that I am prematurely skipping, but that also implies that we will somehow reach the end, does it not?

Mm, that seems like a separate topic. See here for advice on "how to cope with living in a probably-doomed world".

Personally, it doesn't seem completely hopeless, and it would sure be sad if we could've made it, but lost because many of us decided it looks too hopeless, and so didn't even try.

Hm, I just wonder how you view Efilism or Negative Utilitaranism, as mentioned in a comment below. It isn't only a question of if we can reach the end, but also if we should try

Since by saying 'lost', you imply that there is only one way to win. 
What about the argument that we should not gamble away the future of mankind, on the probability that things will work out. That premise opens up the possibility for a different kind of Win. For example, to acknowledge and agree that the Risk is too high, this place too volatile, and therefore to willingly disable that possibility altogether. Is that option something you view as a complete loss?

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T15:22:23.120Z · LW · GW

I wasn't expecting this response from you. Thank you, I am truly grateful for you sharing this with me. It is definitely a gift I will treasure, and it is also something I can work with more easily. 

I am more of an intuitive person. Reading psychology, sociology, social sciences and experimental ideas/theories, and a lot of fiction and mind-boggling film. I am prone to reflecting, and delving into introspection, self-understanding and communication, societal and relational understandings. I haven't read that much, but I have talked and delved deep into the nitty-gritty of my own and the psyche's of other people. And, from that discovery, I started to notice, ever slowly, that I didn't like to focus on the bad, the ugly and the dirty, below a certain threshold.

Which simply means, I am not able to handle a fundamental part of reality, but it didn't bug me that much, as I similarly to you, grew up with ideals like the Phantom; simple good against bad - and the Bible. As I got older, things got more complex, but I held on to this belief that I could find some kind of level of complexity or abstraction, where my actions, thoughts or inner changes would matter sufficiently to seem to warrant the effort.

And, to my dismay, I had to accept that I was chasing my own tail. To follow that line of thinking would never end, I would forever try to force complexity inside my simple box of reality, and the effort would just strain me and not really bring me forward. Even though I can easily imagine and hold things lightly, I don't go beyond a certain limit - some kind of mind-speed limitor, a reminder that "I'm not there yet", or "a lot of things are missing before it would make sense to look at these issues". 

I did however meet someone that I acknowledged as an equal in their pursuit of making sense of things, and at that point many things clicked in place for me. Much of the reason I have in the last years radically changed a lot of my views about things, is because I through my partner have been confronted with an understanding of the world that was so different from my own - but that was similarly well-founded - that I had to either ignore it or try to widen the box and include many of the elements I had previously disregarded, dismissed or simplified nearly out of existence. And I wasn't going to let this opportunity pass me by.

I find some solace in imagining having different Cognitive functions/People in my mind, like a team or something - all with different ways of seeing the world, that dig out different data and even interprets that data differently. The reason I do this is not because I like to make things overly complicated, but that I have simply found no better practical explanation for how radically different these parts of the psyche interact with and view the world. Their increased cooperation, has taken me and us to places where we are regularly confronted by many sets of opposites and dichotomies that are seemingly diametrically opposed, that somehow still fit together and can create new options and directions. 

As with many things, it isn't quite easy to translate this back the other way around, to simplify the complex. I can drive a bike, but I can't really explain how. Or, when I start to delve seriously into how I drive a bike, all the nuances and details, depending on how far I take it, it might end up as hard because of the opposite problem, that there is too much information for it to be divulged easily.

With regard to your choice on how to interact with the future, I also see entirely different options entirely. And I don't like to dismiss them, even when it hurts to feel or look at. But I am averse to sharing them directly, and I am trying to backtrack to somewhere where I can talk and express things without getting lost in the myriad of interconnected parts, a place where it can be explained more coherently and easy to follow.

Asking this question is part of it. But this isn't where I'm at, it is simply the intersection point where I can talk about something without veering totally of course - I hoped :)


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T14:00:18.207Z · LW · GW

Congrats ;) Lyrongolem on your first comment,

And since this is quite the extensive response, and by no means rude or badly written, let me first say thanks. :) Glad you wanted to engage and get into this with me and others here. 

I guess I feel a bit uplifted from reading your comment, even when, technically, you aren't really tackling my position head on ^ ^. It is very engaging, like a good song, a speech or something. Simple, direct examples, and a language that is easy to follow, with relatable arguments and views. A great start I would wager.

I still wonder though if you could find some useful angle for this kind of knowledge? Couldn't it at least safeguard you from certain wrongful stances towards the Universe as a benevolent place that wants to help us? Curious if you can find something.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T12:57:37.696Z · LW · GW

Thank you Ratios, 

didn't expect these concepts to be named here, but yes, I see them as very relevant in this context. Intuitively Negative Utilitarianism in particular. It doesn't seem much of a stretch to argue that things are already way beyond the threshold, and that it is too late to salvage the situation?

If you have more to add in this context, I would be interested to know more. To look at the issue directly feels very taxing and draining indeed, and the experience I have had with talking with a misanthrope, did convince me that they were able to look at parts of existence that I at that point really disliked getting close to.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T12:52:05.086Z · LW · GW

Hello again, 

This is a question, and I gave it a certain spin - it is not the entirety of my opinion or view on the matter; and as such I welcome your response. 
Yes, I agree. There are important choices to be made, I'm not denying it. 

Well, if everyone is influencing the Universe, do you believe that our actions have a certain benevolent direction in mind? To include everyone's choices in the way the Universe is, only illustrates the problem further, does it not? If you look at the humans alive, and their choices, will, intention and aspirations - it is one messed up chaotic mix, or do you see something different?


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T12:46:34.047Z · LW · GW

Hello shminux,

I can at least take responsibility for my hunger, if nothing else. Bacteria, not so much. I wash my hands every day, but I'm not sure if it makes the slightest difference. 
Is there still hope for me?



Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T12:43:51.028Z · LW · GW

Hello AnthonyC, 

Yes, your view is consistent with your arguments, and it makes perfect sense, but it also seems to me that it partly dismisses the intention with my question.

We are humans, we are made of matter and energy, we feel and we evaluate. 
Yes, you can argue, correctly I assume, the Universe isn't inherently moral, and to disagree with the spin I put to the question, but I am asking the Mind-you, not the Universe, how you feel, evaluate and discern this question, and the direct consequences those laws have in your life.

If you believe it is counterproductive to focus on the question, what I would find much more interesting is how you reasoned to get to that point.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-13T12:29:13.210Z · LW · GW

Hello Thane Ruthenis,

But in the meantime, it still makes sense to assign blame to the things we can affect at the current moment, instead of prematurely skipping to the end.

Thank you for your comment. Reading it, I want to ask something. Since you are aware that the design is terrible, and there are no safeguards, and we have to use homemade solutions in a hostile environment, who are the humans that make things better? And how do you argue that the chances of them "winning" are somehow higher than of those that follow the natural incentives of the Universe? 

You say that I am prematurely skipping, but that also implies that we will somehow reach the end, does it not? And so you say I should stay and be patient, when if we are just going to spiral into madness or chaos eventually, making a conscious choice early instead of wasting time and resources on staying in a sinking ship, seem to be just as valid a choice, does it not?


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-12T19:46:50.194Z · LW · GW

Hello Richard_Kennaway,

Hm, maybe you could elaborate on how these two posts answer my question, or why you posted them here as a comment? I can see possible links, but I am not sure what it is. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-12T19:30:15.525Z · LW · GW

Hello Perhaps, 

In a way, you are deftly eluding the issue at hand, by implying we should be thankful, and possibly, get our shit together ourselves. 

You say that none of the systemic problems faced by humans today are caused by the universe, but that is making the opposite claim of the one I have made in my question, and so you aren't tackling the issue with the given rules, you seem to ignore them to give an answer that is right given Your arguments. 

It isn't that I don't see your points, simply that they skip mine, and as such it oversimplifies the issue. If you could include what I wrote to how you answer, I would appreciate it.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is there something fundamentally wrong with the Universe? · 2023-09-12T19:01:45.314Z · LW · GW

Hello AnthonyC,

thanks for your thoughtful reply. 

With regard to healthy, I do believe I understand what you mean. I want a balance between the different ways of seeing the world, and this question is by no means an expression of the totality of existence. Still, I find it important, to see if I can hold that which is difficult a bit more gently.

I'll take your points in order:

I can see this point, but of the ones you make, I wonder if this is the one it is easiest for me to see a counter to. Furthermore, since we 'are' also part of the universe, I would say that gives us an inherent right to evaluate what the Universe feels like, does it not? You say that other things don't have minds, but since we are an amalgamation of those things, how would you differentiate? I know that it is a quagmire to do, but I also believe that it is too easy to say we are 'separate' in that sense. We have many of the essential elements of the universe inside us, and as such, where does it make sense to draw the line between 'them' and 'it'? I mean, some argue we are machines, but that is another topic altogether.

I guess this could relate to your first point, that by adding 'minds' to concepts, laws and atoms, we are extrapolating. I'm on a bit of thin ice with regard to the laws and entropy, but isn't it so that the laws of physics should also work in reverse, basically how a movie works. But if it goes both ways, doesn't that imply that Life and the Laws are somehow connected? If immoral laws and energy can create moral life, moral life can also create immoral laws. How does it make sense to separate the two? 
Is that a stupid way to think about it? 

Yeah, living life without 'control' of some degree is depression and hopelessness. I mean, to answer your question here, what if it is part of both? Since we are made of the universe, and have a certain influence, there is some semblance of free will. At the same time, there are forces that govern our behavior, that we, for various reasons, are unable to influence. That we are in this universe, doesn't really make it impossible that we should exist somewhere else as well, and so we could ourselves be that entity outside, but could make the choice not to predict what is going on. 

Now, I'll not delve further into speculations and conjecture at this point. Again, thanks for your response. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Johannes C. Mayer's Shortform · 2023-09-11T22:15:21.324Z · LW · GW

Hi again,

It is good to hear you say that you don't experience it that way, and I may be overly focused on many subtle and incredible minor emotional nuances, many of which probably aren't really relevant in our specific interaction anyway. Good to know that those are overshadowed by the positive valence, so I'll just focus less on that.

Yes, I agree with you on the differentiation. Especially to me, the tell-tale signs have been minor changes in behavior, more than distinct or detectable emotional sensations. 

If I follow the logic I have proposed so far, and since you can feel emotions, are you sure you don't have an emotional reference frame for other people - or are you only sure that your reference frame is wholly different from non-autistic people? 
To me at least there is a big difference between feeling Nothing at all, and feeling Something, but it 'seems' useless when it comes to predicting and understanding people. If what you feel is in the latter category, I wonder what you sense or feel, as it might be a social emotion. I'm not asking you to tell me, but I just believe it might potentially be relevant in a social context.

Again, I'm not saying you have a hidden superpower or anything, I just wonder if specific kinds of awareness of emotions might give you a different angle with which to react and understand others and yourself - and that this might also be quite interesting for a willing recipient to connect with.

I mean, if it is related to mirroring or something, I guess what you feel might be unrelated to what is happening with/to the other person - but I do not want to go there yet, at least if you aren't sure about it. 

Ah, I have two major experiences with autism. One was as a support person for an autistic person, but they also had some developmental issues, so there was that as well. I remember feeling as some sort of fixation-point, that they kind of couldn't maneuver in the world without me. They felt more like a chick dependent on their mother, but as this person was older than me and pretty strong, I did feel a bit anxious that they didn't understand 'No' or 'Stop'. They only understood being physically taught things by repeated example, to a degree.

The other experience is meeting a young youth sitting alone on a bench outside a church. Not anything special by itself, were it not for the fact that it was getting late at night on the weekends and in a big city.
I remember sitting down and saying hello, and kind of just trying to figure out what was going on. Simple questions, which were met initially with short responses, and to me red flags about something being wrong. So I asked more directly what was up, not sure how, but then they suddenly gave me this in depth sitrep of what had happened at home, how they got angry, left the home and came here... I noticed how open they were, the way you talk to close friends, not strangers you just met. The kind of personal and private detailed information you share with close ones, not people you just met. Well, to be on the safe side I decided to accompany them home to where they lived - relieved parents, even drove me home. Later I got a call from that person, asking me if I wanted to step in as their "support person", as he was sick or something. 
I said yes, and my experience those hours was that they couldn't really stop talking about what they were interested in, but I mean that isn't really unnatural and I found the level of detail quite interesting. All youths have quirks of some kind, and so they weren't really a person that was hard to be with. However, it wasn't like they took turns with regard to conversation, and so I noticed that they would answer questions, but not really interact with me in the same way. Again, it isn't like it is totally uncommon to have youth ignore you and rant on and on about their interests, but they did not read social cues the way I am used to. So I could understand how the people around them, in school especially, didn't really have the patience or lacked the skill to work with the differences, and so they felt really alone without friends in School. 

I mean, my understanding is that understanding emotions also is a social process - but even though nobody would really think I wasn't emotive, as I am decently sensitive and read cues well, I am learning a lot of emotions I am/were unaware of. I mean, it is probably pretty advanced compared to the norm, but some of it is basic, it was just mislabeled. So I wonder if the same might be the case for you, or if it might be a very different situation. 

You are the expert when it comes to you, so even though I hope to write something that fits, it might not be quite right for you - but I do hope it might be useful nevertheless, as it is to me.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Johannes C. Mayer's Shortform · 2023-09-11T13:43:32.568Z · LW · GW

Hello again, 

thanks for you reply, and to answer the last part first - if you are referring to some specific function, than that might be the case, and some of what I say might not apply.

I'm not saying you are ignoring your emotions. The point I am trying to get across is how little awareness I, without missing that specific functionality you talk about, have of how emotions feel. Or even what kinds of emotions it is possible to feel. So even when we aren't intentionally ignoring them, we might still be unable to see them. Similarly to how people that aren't really familiar with birds can't really differentiate between the numerous kinds or separate their calls. 
Moreover, what might also contribute to mask exploration and self-understanding, might be things like upbringing and culture, not inability, unwillingness or "not being emotional".

My idea was that even if you are different, you might also have similar issues with awareness; that you also haven't really delved into what you feel, and connected that to the stimulus that created it. If you are on the spectrum, I would assume that the responses and feedback you get are even less useful than what I have gotten. I mean, if you look at something like a chart of emotions, like this one from NVC, it at least became pretty apparent to me that my understanding of emotions was sorely lacking. One thing is to have heard the words, similar to have heard the different bird names, another is to with increasing accuracy pinpoint and differentiate them in the real world, or in this case, in my own body and mind.

And with regard to the bullying, I can see your point, and yes, I do recognize that there can be a fundamental difference between people. My point wasn't to disregard that, or to not recognize your effort of self-understanding. My point was to maybe show that what can be an initial difference might increase in size from a lack of good feedback and understanding.

I'm not sure if that clarifies things for you. I wasn't expecting to step on your toes somehow, but it seems I did... So ironically enough it seems we are playing out what you talked about, just inversely, where you seem to be the one being hurt by what I wrote, where my intentions weren't really to disregard or not respect you, or to imply that you have to change or be different. I wrote about it as it seemed to fit with some experiences I have myself, and so I wrote a reply to you.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on RomanHauksson's Shortform · 2023-09-11T12:54:55.580Z · LW · GW

Hello RomanHauksson,

speaking of epistemics, what is it that you actually Feel in response to what is written? I mean, your analogy about "uncomfortable in a way I can't put into words, like the feeling one gets when they look at a liminal photograph", seems vaguely reminiscence of the kind of language you are uncomfortable with, does it not? 

If I would "translate" the first paragraph from Game B, I believe it means something like this:

"We have this vague sense built upon various experiences that rapid growth in technology doesn't seem to make the world safer - rather, it increases the deadliness of its consequences.
We call ourselves Game B(etter), and really believe that looking up from our respective specializations, and using social/self-development tools to improve cooperation (see page 2), we can shift the feeling of doom, to one of solid good feelings. We connect this increase in deadliness with Capitalism, but believe our focused effort will shift the crisis it has created, into a grand opportunity.
How we treat each other now will have lasting consequences, and if you believe that, join us and treat us well - we will treat you well too (see page 3 for details). If we are more altruistic, we can create relationships that oppose the egoistical trend, that also increases deadliness of technology - And so we will achieve two goals at the same time: Make technology safe, and do something that will guarantee that we will feel proud in the face of our descendant."

Now, this is just an interpretation, but I wonder if it makes more sense to you now? There is a lot of things that could be added, but to me it is just Jargon, or simply that the meaning of words shift towards a different spectrum. 

I would agree that it is complex language, but I wouldn't say it is spiritual. It talks about 'gods', but that is much more 'religious' lingo, than spiritual. Shouldn't it have more sentences that say things like: "Now is the time for our personal and collective Transformation" - "Reconnect with your true essence" - "Find others that harmonize with your wish for a more vibrant frequency". - "An increased connection with the Source cleansing the dregs we have come to Earth to cleanse, ushering in a new Age of Humanity".

It is of course a minor point, but I also wonder about what you define as Spiritual. Simply because the expression "new social operating system" in and by itself, doesn't seem that spiritual to me. It is abstract, but so is information and bits. Human relationships and social systems might be more difficult to map, but it follows the same underlying principle, and can be directly traced to things like psychology, social sciences, pedagogy and learning-theory. And neither of those, necessarily, have any Spiritual undertones.

I do agree in a more abstract sense however, even if the minor points above still stands. The quotes you have found, and the Spiritual lingo is probably much more closely related in its applications. The same sciences can be applied to companies, schools or businesses, that 'make money', or as above, a 'Community' that works towards "increasing certain values". 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Caerulea-Lawrence's Shortform · 2023-09-11T11:50:24.254Z · LW · GW

For a while I've been wanting to write about something I care about. The complex, gritty, but also highly valuable and interesting journey of introspection, getting to know new sides of myself, and to increase the threshold for and the communicative limit for my Cognitive Functions.

My trouble is that I always seem to get stuck at trying to neatly fold everything together, when in my daily life, it is the interwoven interconnectedness that Is the essence of the process and my life. The different 'modes' of being are wreathed together, and usually led by the one I'm most comfortable with. Like a leaf might look an evenly distributed green from a distance, it is only when you get closer, that the subtleties and nuances crop up.

I like the subtleties a lot, as getting to know the voices in me that I listen to less/are unaware of, also gives me a lot of insight into how these "funtions" (People/Person from hereon forth) are actually influencing the whole system (Tribe from now on), but in ways that might be a bit asynchronous to how a more developed and articulate Person would formulate and go about it.

To give an example:  I have the understanding that I have a Person in me that sees themselves as fully Isolated, Alone and any relationship as Cold. This Person has an outlook on life and living that is very, very different from the overall conscious understanding of Life, the World and Living I am used to. 
Still, by listening and giving this Person the necessary time and effort to grow, I noticed that it can talk to other, more developed People in my inner Tribe - and to my surprise, the complexity and profound ideas that arise from those interactions are very precious and valuable to me. 

One such insight relates to a certain notion that the Universe, Earth and everything feels/is dead/offline. This isn't something I am prone to notice, as there is Life all around. But it pertains to a certain sense of incongruity, I guess based on what kind of Data this Person has collected throughout the years - and how another Person in me, with more skill and fluency, can collect, interpret and compile this Data to more clear messages.

To go from a conscious being that mainly would deal in different perspectives, and a relativistic tone (Well, that is one way to see it), more and more I notice a wholly different Person in me. A Person with beliefs that are in the "Should" category, and that can't be dismissed the way I am used to. It is wrong - because it is wrong. 

However, it isn't really the person to ask if I want to fix things. It is the Person to ask things like: Would you want to leave existence in this Universe in its totality? Is there something like a spiritual/energetical realm? What is the colour of Loneliness? What emotions do you feel towards the world, humanity, living, the planet and your own life? 
Or that expresses cold malice in questions like: Why can't I talk to the Universe? Why can't I talk to the Earth? Why aren't stones alive? Why isn't everything alive, conscious, and in a mutual dance to connect and make things reciprocally better? Why does doing what is good not change my body? Why does my body feel like it is borrowed? Why is this place so hostile towards my consciousness?

Still, it is only a start, an early and still limited understanding of what lies there, and what the values and understandings are that this Person brings to the table. And, it isn't like I can just keep listening, as many of the inputs this Person adds, are fundamentally opposed or highly reactive to many other People - and so it is a process that needs to happen gradually, with a lot of integration, soothing, translating and growth in other People, to make it not turn into a full blown unbalance that might create small/big abberations that terrorize either myself or others. 

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Johannes C. Mayer's Shortform · 2023-09-10T23:57:36.997Z · LW · GW

Hello Johannes,

I have some reflections around this that you might, or might not find interesting. The reason I wanted to comment is that I wanted to write about some experiences in a fitting context, and this seemed a good match. Here goes.

My frame of thinking takes reference from MBTI, or more specific the concept of cognitive functions - or how I see it, small people in my brain, that live really different lives. 

Optimizing for information is something I care about myself, and I relate it to my Ti (Introverted thinking), and since my partner has a lot of Fe (extroverted feeling), there are/have been a lot of ruffled feathers. Long story short, when I read people say that they "don't want to sound harsh", usually what I interpret that to mean is that they focus on Thinking (Cognitive functions), when the other person they are talking to is more Feeling (Cognitive functions).

In my experience, and since me and my partner introspect a lot, one thing that became quite clear to me is that I have "emotions" in my thinking function; they are just different. I will care about values like transparency, honesty, fairness and cooperation - And I perceive an increase in these values, I feel emotions like willingness, dedication, trustful and/or engaged - and when they are opposed or things go wrong, I feel disgruntled, entangled, discouraged and/or lost. 
And surprisingly, and uncomfortable, my  'rational, thinking, masculine side' was full of emotions - just not the kind of "emotions" that I am conditioned to describe as emotions/feelings. 

What I also noticed more and more as time went by - that by not myself acknowledging, and by not getting recognition from my partner with regard to my emotions in my Thinking, I noticed that I felt hurt and dejected. These more intense feelings, I automatically tried to hide beneath technical, rational, meta and structured words and sentences, and to not feel them and recognize them. 

Now, your case might be different, but I also wonder if culture plays a role in what "emotions" we see in others, and for many people here on LW, a forum where as far as I can remember the last "test" showed is inhabited by many INTP's, don't really get a lot of recognition for the kind of feelings they have - and might also reject the 'logic' of feelings themselves, as it (on the surface) seems to contradict the rationality of their beliefs.

My second point is in regard to "hurting the feelings of others" as opposed to "Trying to convey a message". What our exercises together also showed me, was that my perception of Extroverted Feeling, what I regard as the "I feel hurt by words"-part, isn't a function that is 'simple'. The ability and complexity that this function can hold with regard to holding dualities and opposites, is just as 'information efficient' as my own.

Usually, the reason I would resort to "more thinking" in the face of "more emotion" was simply that I got overwhelmed. In the face of something that is really difficult or hard, I at least try to make it easier. Trying to deal with a tornado is much easier inside my rational fortress - but I'm not really fully challenging my inability to hold space for the chaos in the Fe space. Which relates to the last things you wrote, that I also just assume that my default state of mind is the "right one" for a specific situation, when in fact it is just my default one, not a conscious choice. 

As far as I know this is the first comment I have made to you, so I hope it lands relatively well. I did read a little bit about you in your bio, and saw your photo, but that might not be enough to gauge correctly. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Is Progress Real? · 2023-09-08T17:12:48.526Z · LW · GW

Hello rogersbacon and others,

This comment might be a bit on the bleak side, so let me know how it lands. Asking meta-questions can lead to scary thoughts and feelings, as what was before a concrete wall of irreconcilable dualities, might open its doors if you are able and willing to push them open - and leave some innocence and repression behind.


"We shall here define progress as the increasing control of the environment by life."


I guess I just don’t think reality or humanity is that simple and that reducing the richness and complexity of the human story to this one magic word ~*progress*~ is like calling forth an egregore that we will quickly (and inevitably) lose control of.

You are sifting through a lot of different perspectives in your text, asking questions more than a simple one. 

If you look at your initial definition of progress, there are some things that come to mind.

Your definition of progress caught my eye. Life, or in this specific instance, humans, are themselves a continuation/part of the environment, are they not? 
In your text you write about human history, but humans are made up of atoms, the same one we have around us. Mainly oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus. In other words, what would 'increasing control' in this scenario mean? 

Some years back I read this quote "We are the Universe reflecting upon itself". Which, if you look at it, seems to mirror the idea of the video by PBS Space Time "Does the Universe Create itself?" (10:30 min in - Participatory Universe). 
If it is the actionable observation each of us make, then to me 'progress' seems to better mirror the chaotic realities we have in the world, as each of us are reflecting in very different ways. 

With regard to the spirit world, there are some that talk about it and dig into it; an example would be my partner. Even though it is very different from my own abstract intuition, I wouldn't say it produces thoughts and knowledge that is somehow separate from our existence, even when it is on a seemingly foreign frequency. 

Moral progress... I sometimes wonder at that. Our current environment gives some of us much more time and energy, and much safer societies, to explore and delve into and develop our moral fibers. That might be a good thing, but is it progress, or just environmental change that precludes the change? I mean, a crocodile might not eat/kill you if it is more regularly fed, but that doesn't mean it won't try to eat you if it is hungry. 

The true test to this kind of progress would be to see what would happen if the stability that is enabled through institutions of control, were to be disabled. Even though it is a kind of bleak outlook, I haven't really heard a convincing argument for humans being 'better' than before. Even when some things have seen an increase on certain parameters, I don't quite see how to argue that this is somehow based on some quantum revolution in our human condition. Yes, we have access to more food, more information, and more of us live in conditions that are less dangerous, and it might be easier to develop some capacities - but it is a notion I don't prescribe to, to believe that people become 'better' from being in a better environment. Isn't it more likely that we adapt? So when Force Major breaks out, suddenly these repressed emotions are given an outlet, not that they have been conquered or balanced.

Similarly with the universe. It might be slightly more safe for us humans, but that is just because we are doing our damndest to suppress the numerable dangers to our lives. In others words, the Universe, or the crocodile, hasn't really changed - we are simply using a lot of energy and effort to suppress its ravenous entropy.

Progress would preferably include fundamentally changing the relationships that connect something together, changing both ends of the connection and the connection itself, to something that is preferred by both parties. Better than an 'offline' and deadly universe you have to protect yourself from constantly, would be a universe you could have a mutually and reciprocal relationship with - where both parties have needs, wishes and ideas on how to improve themselves, the other party as well as the connection between them. 
Or simply a universe where both agreed to try to make the other as miserable as possible, if that were their preferred ideal.

Progress in this context would simply be how much they are improving on the respective goals they have - and could also include some meta-evaluation of progress, and what it should/could ideally look like.

I didn't read everything, but I like explorations like this, and so I read parts of it, and leave other parts for a potential later. 

With regard to your text and its layout, I think any open exploration needs to look at its priors, the differing perspectives and dualities, to even find a useful way forward in the chaos. I don't see you making any bold or extreme claims based on what you have written and cited, and as an exploration of a broad question, it follows the sporadic and associative logic that is to be expected when exploring.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on The ants and the grasshopper · 2023-06-13T16:26:02.587Z · LW · GW

I enjoyed reading this post, and felt some kind of irritation as well. When I read the last line; "Inspired by...": I wrongfully assumed it was Sisyphus, as when I read this, it reminded me of his plight. I mean, which ever way one goes about "pleasing" the universe, it isn't really a choice? 

...“No”, says the grasshopper. “It was the dreamtime, and the world was young. The stars were bright and the galaxies were empty. I chose to spend my resources producing laughter and love, and gave little thought to the race to spread and to harvest. Now we are in the degenerate era of the universe, and the stars have started to dim, and I am no longer as foolish as I once was.”

The ants’ faces flicker with inscrutable geometric patterns.

“I call you ants because you have surrendered everything to a collective cause, which I once held anathema. But now I am the last remnant of the humans who chose the decadence and waste of individual freedom. And you are the inheritors of a universe which can never, in the long term, reward other values over flawless efficiency in colonization. And I have no choice but to ask for help.”

Wouldn't it be more understandable if the ants, instead of mindlessly following the "basic instincts" of our universe, would do what we humans are evolving towards, namely creating, in more complex ways, a safe, meaningful place for ourselves? 
So, wouldn't the next step be to either change ourselves so that we could escape or nullify the limitations of the Universe, or to find ways to fundamentally change the rules of the Universe into something we would deem more suitable or fitting?

The tale of the ants or droids, endlessly toiling away, sounds as tragic as Sisyphus, just on a much bigger scale. Which I assume is where my irritation came from, as I was rejecting this tragic outcome.
However, as a read, I like it a lot. There are a lot of variations on the same theme, with the same backdrop of a situation being framed from one specific perspective. Which I find really hard to do. 

To me, this is more musical in nature, than fiction, which is why I used the expression variation on the same theme. If someone ever puts music to this, I would love to hear it.

The only thing to do now is to find some ants, and give them some well-deserved watermelon. And to have a long, honest look at myself, and admit it: It isn't the meek who will inherit the earth - it's the ants. 


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Self-leadership and self-love dissolve anger and trauma · 2023-06-13T12:54:59.613Z · LW · GW


My partner and I have for a good while used a similar approach, and so I do generally agree. I thought I would also add some of my thoughts on where it hasn't quite worked as planned, or where we stumbled across limitations.

We have both experienced various degrees of trauma, including attachment-trauma, and there seems to be some aspects that are more easily "healed" than others. And it makes sense that the more extensive the trauma(s), the more issues crop up. For example, picturing a loving mother; I do not picture loving as in unconditionally, but "loving" as in strictly conditional. But since that is the "love" I grew up with, that is also what my body craves and is used to. 
I have even, wrongfully, believed I am unconditionally loving, and it isn't really that easy to spot. 

In this sense, we discovered that we had parts that weren't really "ours". There is still a lot of exploration to be done, but the two hypotheses are either that in a very deficient and lacking environment, we had to fill in the blanks with regard to a functioning inner climate, and these blanks were based on examples that aren't very healthy. Or, that similar to a parasite, ways of seeing and understanding the world were "instilled" into us, forcefully, to ensure compliance and to make us feel more "okay"/"confused" about the neglect and trauma. 
Whatever the case, it isn't so much that we can't develop self-love or even self-leadership, but more that the faculties with which we see/experience the world are skewed towards a self-perpetuating, self- and other-damaging way of feeling/seeing. 
Love might equal some kind of emotional slavery, and leadership some kind of forced labor. It doesn't feel wrong, it might even look like a useful strategy, a healthy choice or a way towards connection and a good relationship - but sadly, it is not. It is succumbing to the numbing terror of the poison wrecking havoc on many parts of the system, where even the "Self" doesn't seem spared.

The kind of fundamental challenge healing has been for us, is not like putting out the fire in a house, but trying to put out a wildfire with a garden hose. We have had to, and still are, wary of the all too present possibility of you getting so used to the fire, that it becomes a normality, similarly to how drinking water when you are thirsty feels pleasant, so can letting some fires simply continue burning, or even spread them, feel soothing, relaxing or even self-loving. 

From experience, it seems that the layers and bundles of grief, pain and suffering that are hidden beneath the poison cumulates into a kind of cocktail, a cocktail which charms you into believing that letting things be, is the right choice. And even using self-leadership and self-love can become toxic, even when it isn't so in and by itself.

To me, at least, it seems that even the "Self", the part which is the highest developed and functioning, the true Ich, can still be corrupted. Maybe that isn't the case for everyone, but to me, it has been important to acknowledge that fact. Without doing so, it wasn't possibly to start working on more extensive deprogramming. 

This comment isn't to warn against anything you have written, nor is it to give any feedback. It is more a way to acknowledge our road to healing, and also I guess as a nod to others who read this and might feel the same way:
That even when the process is similar, and uses similar tools, the damage can be much more extensive, be more hard to heal and take much, much longer to get to where there are some actual fire poppies sprouting from the still smoky, charred soil.

Sprouting the seeds of kindness, gentleness, curiosity, understanding and compassion needs not only time, but usually other people. And it doesn't feel great, rewarding or as some kind of happy occurrence where the stars align, when they start to sprout. No, it is more the transition between being terribly ill for a long time, and then slowly getting better. It becomes clear as day which is the direction you truly want to go in, and which is the one you are healing from. Even when the experience is laden with a sobering and grief-laden tint, as you start to feel all that which you haven't had the energy to feel, whilst battling the illness. 

Wish everyone the best.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on The LW crossroads of purpose · 2023-05-17T15:00:45.472Z · LW · GW

Hello Ruby,

thanks for the reply. I'm working on a follow-up piece to this, but it is still in the oven. I am still thankful for the response. A town hall... is a much more educated guess than mine. I would love for the mission to be more specific on the how's, but you are already working on it, which I appreciate.

I can imagine that some Rationalist people leaving, might also be a natural conclusion of crafting a space a certain way. Some of the ideas I have might be more for those on the frontiers, but it should also work for others as well. And are more focused on creating a healthy and productive space, in line with a set of goals and purposes.



Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Understand how other people think: a theory of worldviews. · 2023-05-07T23:09:18.330Z · LW · GW

Hi again spencerg,

You are welcome. Maybe this answer will help answer some of your questions.

What I am imagining, is what your text would look like if you started your post by describing your own worldview and your own intentions and motivations; your own answers to the four questions? 

You write that every worldview has their own truth, so wouldn't it make things clearer if you acknowledge and specify the link between your own worldview and why you write this post? 

I do acknowledge that you have already put in a lot of work in this, and my comments are not meant to address all the facets of your post in its entirety. I am honing in on the one part that seems a bit contradictory to me, and confusing, in the hopes that it can help in improving things the way you want to.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Understand how other people think: a theory of worldviews. · 2023-05-07T14:45:39.979Z · LW · GW

Hello spencerg,

I'll try to outline some of my thoughts below, and maybe that is helpful in some way. To me, it seems that there is a big split between what the text says it is about, and what its intentions are, and I was hoping to get some clarity on that.

What is good?

Where do good and bad come from?

Who deserves the good?

How can you do good or be good?

To me, the relevant pieces to a worldview are, as ChristianKl puts them, "When it comes to intrinsic values, "values that people consider valuable signals" and "values that people pursue when nobody is looking" are often two different things." Worldviews are about the inner values, what you gravitate towards, how you think and your true motivations for doing things, even when you aren't aware of them yourself. Which is also something you talk more extensively about in your original post.

Which is fine by itself, but it is usually very hard to 'understand' one's own worldview. It is intrinsically linked to so many aspects. I imagine you have a deeper grasp of the differences and frictions between the progressive worldview and those of others already, but I am wondering if you are aware of the tension in this text?

On the one hand, you talk about understanding and truth-seeking, to learn to more accurately see the world. But, on the other, you also write this:

 If you don’t understand that worldview, then you’ll be unable to predict what these groups will do. You will also struggle to communicate with them in a way that they care about, or persuade them to do things differently. When people engage with others who have a different worldview, they frequently make the mistake of relying too much on the stories and assumptions of their own worldview. But this is unlikely to work well, because the person they are talking to does not share these assumptions. To be really convincing to one another, you have to be able to see things from their perspective.

Which answers an entirely different question - how you 'should' use this knowledge to help predict, persuade and be convincing
I wonder how these two are linked. My thought is that the answer is linked to your own worldview, which you haven't explicitly talked about. 
My best guess to what this text, and original post, is about, is some fleshed out idea on how to make progressive concepts more palatable and readable to a wider audience, and some dos and don'ts with regard to how a progressive should go about 'understanding' other worldviews. In short, a manual for instrumental power and influence with regard to progressive goals. 
Which makes the title very confusing to me. Maybe the text is about something else entirely, but since there seems to be such a split between the written goal and the unwritten, I was hoping you could clear this up for me. As it stands now, the text seems to be skirting around what it truly wants in a way that makes it very confusing to read, and unless confusion is the goal, I was hoping that this feedback could improve its clarity.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Conflict Resolution: the Game · 2023-04-29T20:06:20.144Z · LW · GW

Hello again CrimsonChin,

thanks for your reply, and acknowledging my feedback. Appreciate it. And you are perfectly welcome.

My wife takes out the trash bins every week, and I never thank her or even acknowledge this is something she does. Therefore she feels unrecognized and upset. Through her expressing these feelings to me, me deeply acknowledging her feelings, validating her feelings, and acknowledging all the hard work she does around the house; that might be the action needed to solve the issue.

Examples are complex. I do not think this example fits my point exactly, but I can try and show how it would work. This is of course a bit idealistic:

Wife goes to you and says: "I feel unrecognized and upset about not being acknowledged for taking out the bins". 
You are both on the same team, with the same goal of achieving more connection. Since you are on the same team, you add clarity by expressing your own thoughts/feelings:

You say: "When hearing you say that, I admit that I have felt dejected and numb, because you didn't ask me to acknowledge you, and I have really wanted to".
You say the former to create clarity, not out of defense. Defense sounds more like this: "Why didn't you tell me before?! I've waited for so long for you to tell me!" (Which isn't that unnatural of a response, to be fair.)

Winning would then look something like this:

Wife says: "Are you saying you not only wanted to, but were willing to acknowledge me, and the only thing holding you back, was me asking you?" (*Belief: Receiving acknowledgment is a reflection of the strength of our bond, and should happen without prompt.*)

You answer: "Yes, I want, and I am willing, to acknowledge you, and the only thing holding me back is that I believe that I had to wait for you to ask first." (*Belief: Asking for acknowledgment is a reflection of the strength of our bond, and should happen without prompt*)

Both pause to feel and self-connect. 

(I can also add an apology here, but the kind of apology I write here is more high level, and not really a natural part of this game. But I thought it might be good for reference.)

Wife: "I feel confused knowing I have expectations that are different from yours. I also feel sad knowing I could have reached out for acknowledgment at any time. And I also apologize for feeling unrecognized and upset towards you, and by doing so pulling myself away from you. I also feel relieved knowing you want to acknowledge me."

You: "I feel relieved knowing you want my acknowledgment, and likewise confused about our differing expectations. I feel down-cast knowing you have been open to receiving my acknowledgment for a while, and also knowing how much it would have meant to you. I apologize for feeling dejected and numb towards you, and starting to pull myself away from you. I also feel eager hearing you say that you want my acknowledgment".

From my experience, most 'conflicts' are like this, and re-connection is done step-by-step. Neither might have the energy to continue the game at the moment, as things have escalated for a while, and things need to settle. However, this might still be a satisfactory first win in this area for both of them. 
When they are ready, they might want to address the confusion, the sadness and the apology, and lastly work out how to go about giving/receiving acknowledgment to/from each other.

In this example, they are already acknowledging their individual feelings, the feelings of the other, and experienced a positive shift between them - from being opponents to the connection of being on the same team. Definitely worthy of a small celebration.

Hope it helps somewhat.


Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Some reflections on the LW community after several months of active engagement · 2023-04-29T18:18:19.185Z · LW · GW

This may be possible via a private club type membership system, where there's a capped number of possible members, along with some kind of vetting process. Though I doubt the actual practical effects would be net positive, at least for a public forum.

If 'public forum' is the right temperature for LW, it is not in opposition to my point. My argument is to make purpose, sub-goals and potential 'vetting' streamlined, in order to clarify success-metrics and also have a uniform direction, instead of a lot of unwritten and unconscious ideas forming the future LW. For users to be part of and to directly contribute to a clear goal, and not just serve some vague idea of something, and for this goal to also serve the users joining that specific goal. 

One issue with having a vague and broad goal, is that the goal would fit a long list of different iterations. With as broad a goal as it is now, the iteration Private club type with membership or anyone is welcome, isn't mutually excluded. But which of the iterations are LW specifically encouraging and supporting? What is the identity of LW?

LessWrong is a community dedicated to improving our reasoning and decision-making. We seek to hold true beliefs and to be effective at accomplishing our goals. More generally, we want to develop and practice the art of human rationality.

To that end, LessWrong is a place to 1) develop and train rationality, and 2) apply one’s rationality to real-world problems.

The needs of beginners, amateurs, intermediates, experts and masters are very specific when it comes to what constituents a useful and nurturing environment to 'develop and train rationality'. There might be some slight overlaps, for various reasons, but to "be effective at accomplishing our goals", there must be specific goals that need accomplishing. And the environment that enables one group to thrive, might be the opposite of what the other needs, and ignoring that is detrimental to both.

Meaning that LW might be 'the best place', but it isn't the best place because it is giving everyone on the different levels the unique environments they need to thrive, it only means that it is 'the best place' when compared to what is available. 
When people have left LW, I imagine them having recognized this, that even though it doesn't specify it explicitly, implicitly the needs of specific groups are ignored or not acknowledged. And when a site opens to a lot of new members, without specific selection, at some point there will be a very significant balance shift in one or two directions, creating dynamics and shifts in balance, even without any explicit changes in direction or form. 

I am arguing for a clear metric for measuring success, so that it is actually even possible to improve effectiveness in accomplishing goals. As it stands now, the goal of LessWrong is so vague, it is ruining functional reasoning and decision-making, simply through its lack of clarity and specifications. 

Kindly, but firmly,

Comment by Caerulea-Lawrence (humm1lity) on Some reflections on the LW community after several months of active engagement · 2023-04-29T14:21:49.863Z · LW · GW

Hello M.Y.Zuo,

[...evaporative cooling effect...] This isn't very surprising as this is the common trajectory of every community that rapidly grows in size.

It would have taken a super-human effort to retain the same level of quality going from 100 to 1000 users, let alone from 1000 to 10000, and so on. So I don't think that would have been a fair expectation to place on the moderators, or anyone else involved, of a decade ago.

I agree that it must be a massive undertaking to go from 100 to 10000 users. However, I question why it should be a good thing, in and by itself. The question that would determine if growth is good or not, should be related to the goals and purpose of LW. (wrote more about it in my post
That would be akin to growth for growth's sake, which sounds weird to me as a metric of success.

If quality is even a tiny bit diluted, isn't that a net loss, regardless of the quantifiable gain in members? 

What I wish for is a conscious and intentional decision regarding what kind of 'temperature' one wants LW to have, and then strive to achieve that temperature.

Consequently, to talk about the evaporative cooling effect not as some force of nature, but the result of choices. The goal being not only to make the choices conscious, but also to make them coherent with a precise purpose and relevant sub-goals.

So far, I haven't seen any good answers to this, but I am new, so might be a lot I haven't read. However, the FAQ for LW is way too vague regarding where the site is headed. With this kind of growth, however, it can head in many different directions. So, which is it going to be?

I would also like to see the community keep going, but I would also like to see the issue of specifying purpose and aligning sub-goals with purpose be taken seriously. If the parameters of the community change, it is not longer the same community, even when it is bearing the same name. And from the birth of LW till now, there seems to have been a lot of changes, some of which I assume meant that LW fundamentally changed Identity. 

And instead of that just happening, isn't it better to actually say: This is what we want to achieve, this is how we will do it and what we will select when adding new members, and then work towards it? Then 'success' would be a measurable metric, instead of a vague and unknown one.

Kindly, but firmly,