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Comment by cjewell on Never Leave Your Room · 2009-03-19T08:16:18.399Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

It would not be a stretch to say that the Yudkowsky story alluded to in the main article exhibits some of the same psychological tricks that 'chaos magicians' practice. The pure white rationality dojo, the symbolic plaques, the importance invested in each of the rooms, the sort of cleansing ritual and meditation techniques the main character uses. And most importantly to Chaos Magicians:

"Symbols could be made to stand for anything; a flexibility of visual power that even the Bardic Conspiracy would balk at admitting outright."

The power of symbols is super important.

Even the more supernatural aspects of Chaos Magic could be looked upon as a practice in belief annihilation, much like Eliezer's story. By examining the mechanism of belief through practice and meditation, one starts to exhibit more control over one's beliefs. More control, the more likely one will catch irrational beliefs. When one has complete control over beliefs, then rationality can control the monkey brain. When you laugh at something, like Yvain does below, you're exhibiting some control over what you're taking seriously. That's good, so long as what you're laughing at DESERVES to be laughed at.

btw, laughter is a chaos magic dispelling/banishing technique :D Thought that was interesting.