Comment by dsatan on Noticing the Taste of Lotus · 2018-07-20T10:27:54.157Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think an important point here and with noticing a lot of things in general, is that the taste of lotus is somatically present - you can feel it in your body. I think that if one practices becoming attuned to the physical sensations in your body then a lot of things become available to Noticing. There is just *so much* that goes on in the body when you do things. This is a generalization of a key insight of Focusing - it's not just beliefs that you can get a handle on through your body. Action and decision are present there too (initiate the action of touching a hot stove or the soup in someone else's bowl and see what happens; compare "reach for that pen" with "stand up and do a backflip"; the Alexander Technique deals with objects in this layer too). In particular, the pull of the social web can be felt here, as well as a lot of social stuff in the moment like status (see Impro).

Comment by dsatan on Noticing the Taste of Lotus · 2018-07-20T10:26:55.192Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

As someone who independently came across this, the generative seed for this idea was using Focusing on why I kept scrolling down on Facebook (which I'm happy is an example here).

Comment by dsatan on The Jordan Peterson Mask · 2018-03-06T07:26:04.489Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Crushing what I say into some theory of bayesian epistemology is a great way of destroying the meaning of what I say.

But to try to fit it into your theory without losing as much information as your attempt: humans, by the evolved structure of our brains, especially by the nature of human perception and decision making, have a built in ontology - the way we cut out things in our perception as things, and the way we see them as being things which are relevant to our involvements in the world. You can't get rid of it, you can only build on top of it. Mistakenly taking reductionistic materialism as ontology (which is not an action you can take short of completely changing the fundamental structure of your brain) only adds its complexity on top of the ontology that is already there. It's like using a windows emulator to do everything instead of using the OS the emulator is running in.

If you tried to turn your statement into an actual mathematical statement, and tried to prove it, you would see that there is a large gap between the mathematics and the actual psychology of humans, such as yourself.

Comment by dsatan on The Jordan Peterson Mask · 2018-03-05T03:41:15.107Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think one of the biggest things Peterson has to offer is a way out of many of the fake frameworks that rationalists hold, by offering a fake framework which takes Being as primary, and actually being able to deal with Being directly (which becomes possible with a fake framework which permits the concept of being) is a pathway to Looking.

Comment by dsatan on The Jordan Peterson Mask · 2018-03-05T03:28:48.446Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Parent commenter is doing some pretty serious cherry picking. 2) and 3) can basically be ignored. 2) comes from a 2013 deleted tweet which the parent commenter has pulled off of archive, and 3) from a 2011 debate which is anyways misrepresented by the parent commenter. He never lays out something that can unambiguously be taken to be quantum mysticism, even though he starts out talking about copenhagen. "consciousness creates reality" does actually correspond to a reasonable position which can be found by being a little charitable and spending some time trying to interpret what he says. 1 and 4 depend on his rather complex epistemology, "I really do believe this though it is complicated to explain," he prefaces the DNA comment with.

I would be much more concerned if something like 2) were something he repeated all the time rather than promptly deleted, and was central to some of his main theses.

Comment by dsatan on The Jordan Peterson Mask · 2018-03-05T03:27:58.474Z · score: 2 (5 votes) · LW · GW

When is something a misinterpretation of sensory input? When the interpretation is not rendered in terms of the laws of physics which your alternative implies or...?

A better hypothesis is "in a metaphysics which takes Being as primary, which is not in any way contrary to science (since science does not imply a metaphysics like scientific realism or reductive and eliminative materialism), mystical experience is permissible and not contrary to anything we know".

Comment by dsatan on The Jordan Peterson Mask · 2018-03-05T03:01:56.696Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's hard to get Peterson second-hand. I recommend actually watching some of his lectures

Comment by dsatan on The Jordan Peterson Mask · 2018-03-05T03:00:56.108Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

While Peterson is a bit sloppy when he talks about truth, the notion of truth that he is working with is not simply his own construction to write some bottom line. There is a lot of literature of pragmatist analyses of truth and belief that roughly align with what he is saying and I would consider closer to what is the nature of truth (truer about truth) than the correspondence theory of truth presented in the sequences.

I recommend Peirce's Making our Ideas Clear, Putnam's Corresponding with Reality, and James's The Will to Believe. Peirce and James can easily be found free online by searching and I can PM you Putnam if you want it.

Comment by dsatan on The Jordan Peterson Mask · 2018-03-05T01:03:08.911Z · score: 13 (5 votes) · LW · GW
All of those frameworks are fake in the sense that introvert isn’t a basic physical entity the same way an up quark is.

The reductive materialism implicit in this is as fake as introverts - possibly even more fake because unless you have a particle accelerator on hand, "everything is made of quarks" translates 100% to hypotheticals rather than anything you can actually do or see in the world; and in the presence of a particle accelerator, that 100% is reduced by epsilon.

Comment by dsatan on Mythic Mode · 2018-02-25T09:28:31.104Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There are a lot of different people who talk about similar thing. Impro was mentioned. There's also Jung. They are probably interrelated and have similar influences. I'd be very wary of Chaos Magick in who it seems to explicitly break down useful psychic walls for the sake of freedom and power (eg. rejecting virtue).

Comment by dsatan on The Intelligent Social Web · 2018-02-25T06:58:02.489Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Pretty sure I have a handle on it now.

Comment by dsatan on The Intelligent Social Web · 2018-02-23T23:34:28.059Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, I remember having the distinct impression of drawing a blank when reading that sentence. Your further description helps, but it's feeling a little vague. I think I can kind of see it in my memory of past interactions, but I don't think I have enough of a handle on it that it seems like I could have done much differently. The referent of "not-knowing," and what it is not-knowing of is fuzzy/not so clear to me (though as I am writing all of this, it is becoming clearer and clearer). Is it not-knowing of how the scene will unfold? Of what the scene is? Of the roles we are playing? All of the above?

This does give me something that I can pay attention for in future social situations though and I'm pretty sure I can discover how to look at these things now, especially to see if I can achieve any of this:

After a while, I claim, you can sort of "get" what the underlying patterns are, and how to act on them from outside your character. And how to lean into your character in order to produce the right effects on the web strands around you. And where you, the player, have room to reach for and tug on a different role for yourself. And what the consequences are for the web as a whole.
Comment by dsatan on The Intelligent Social Web · 2018-02-23T19:14:09.045Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW
In my usage, "fake" doesn't necessarily mean "wrong". It means something more like "illusory". The point of a framework, to me, is that it pumps intuition and highlights clusters and possible Gears. But all of that is coming from your mind, not the territory.
Like, it's worth remembering that you don't see molecules. When you look at a glass of water and think "Oh, that's dihydrogen monoxide", if you can't tell that that's a thought you're adding and not what you're seeing, then it's very easy for you to get confused.

I'd just like to point out that this leads to a interpretation of map and territory that is really weird from the perspective of the bayesian-skeptical correspondence theory given in the sequences. If I were to give a name pointing at what this metaphysics is, I'd say something like "direct realism". This is not to say that it is wrong.

Comment by dsatan on The Intelligent Social Web · 2018-02-23T12:14:03.773Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Supposing I know how to Look, when and where do I Look, and what might I see? For my own purposes, I want to get a better idea of what my own role Looks like, see where I can move within the slack that I have, and see where tension in the web is coming from so that I can create more slack if needed.

Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-22T04:41:06.626Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
I understand, thank you.

I really really don't think you have. And I really think that this interaction has been a net negative for you. You have not demonstrated at any point that you have understood me. You have, in fact, failed to engage with me at all save to dismiss what I've written out of hand and call it absurd. Do you realize how stressful this interaction has been for me? How I am putting myself out there and you just attack in poor faith? I don't really get the sense that you are even trying to understand me. This comment of yours makes me feel dismissed, as if you think I'm just some crazy person and you want to get away and ignore me but do so politely.

I do not feel that everything has been said, that there are things I need to clarify. So I will:

My critique of that train of thought originating from lesswrong comes in two parts. The first is interpretation, the second is turning inwards and looking at the gears of how that interpretation actually works and behaves in the mind. To look at what it actually does rather than just what it says.

The interpretive part is this (slightly edited):

The image we are given in the sequences, in map and territory and in epistemology 101, is that light hits a thing, reflects off of your shoe, hits your retina, a signal is sent down some optical pathways, and you experience seeing your shoe. Note that there are many parts of this causal pathway that can be disrupted or corrupted. So you have the reality out there, and the person experiencing in their brain, and there is always a possibility for a causal disconnect between the territory out there, and the maps in the brain.
Since there is always a possibility of somthing interfering with that causal connection, in a way that is not observable from the perspective of the agent, no belief should have probability 1. Since believing something being real is a belief, we must conclude that the probability of something being real cannot be 1. So when we look at something, even though we have the immediate and unshakeable experience of there being a real thing, that is simply the brain truncating the precision on the probability to 1, creating a map out of sensory input. Those things that you experience are not actually the real thing, they are only the brain's maps of the actual real things out there in inaccessible reality.

That is the whole of the interpretive part. The rest is taking that whole interpretation as an object and look at what it actually does in the mind. Looking at the gears of the interpretation. If you think I've misinterpreted the sequences, then it is these two paragraphs here that you must talk about, not any of the rest, because the rest is not interpretation. The way to argue against the rest of that (given agreement about interpretation here) is to actually look at what it is doing in the mind and demonstrate that it is different from my account.

Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-22T01:37:58.993Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · LW · GW

a) I was saying things that I believed, but not all things you can do with words is to state true propositions. "Go wash the dishes" is not true. "Go to the kitchen and see what's in the sink" is also not true. That is a type error. There is also a sense in which "the thing in the sink is what I call a knork" is not true if "knork" is not a word used by anyone but the person who is telling you that that think is a "knork" - if there is no larger social context for that to contradict. That last one is what I'm doing with action fields.

b) It was getting you to do things, and then pointing at the things that you subsequently experienced in doing those things. I'm trying to get you to have the realization that those things are things that are there. I'm also trying to get you to realize that those things are actually important.

So for example, the personal bubble is a thing, which is just there in the same sense as chairs are just there, which (almost) everyone has, and (almost) eveeryone has an implicit understanding of in the sense that they know how to navigate personal space and they can understand when people are too close. But they don't stop and actually look at the thing which is the personal bubble itself and look at its experiential mechanics.

To give you an understanding of what I mean by just there, I have to point. It is not an idea so I can't just tell you what it means, I have to get you to see it. Actually go and pick up an object somewhere around you (actually do this, don't imagine what it's like to do this). See how you have this immediate impression of how it being there, existing, in your hand. This immediate impression is what I mean by just there. Notice how it itself is not an idea that I can communicate to you in language. It's something that I have to get you to experience and then point to that experience.

Back to the personal bubble, if you actually do the things that I said, which are designed to make the personal bubble come out and be tangible, you will notice that it is just there. It is just there in the same sense as whatever object you picked up was just there, but it is hard to see, like say how a certain sort of waterfowl might be hard to spot in tall brush unless you have lots of experience hunting it and spotting it.

(edit) If you were to immediately do something like say "that's just a socially constructed phenomenon" or "that's just something injected into my map by my brain", you are turning your attention away from that thing and to an idea. Notice what those two "explanations" do in your mind. Where it leads your attention, and the way it gets you conceiving of things. Notice the movements in your mind between actually experiencing the thing and giving that explanation. Notice how I am again mostly getting you to do something, not making truth claims.

Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-22T00:49:09.867Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What is the metaphyiscal nihilism problem... Do you know the person Shminux? (edit) He's a lesswronger from way back. He avoids unsig "real", and "true", and things of that sort for this very reason. His catchphrase is "it's just a model".

And I'm quite confident that you've misinterpreted or don't understand about 70% of what I've said, but your rejection is all "this is absurd" so it's hard to get anything to grab onto there.

(Edit) the entirety of my response was a mistake. You've dratically missed the point of all that I've said, missed what I was doing and latched on to only the propositional content of those sentences that I wrote. Now you've taken this misunderstanding as licence to reject the whole thing.

Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-22T00:44:23.680Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What I went through is what I've seen many people get from the sequences. While I'm knocking down a strawman (insofar as what Eliezer's vague writing actually pinpoints a single discernable position), it is a strawman that many people actually believe. There are people who literally say beliefs are the same thing as probabilities or probability distributions after having read the sequences. I would be interested in how you'd summarize it though.

Yes, what I did was the same thing that a lot of enlightenment philosophers did, though sloppily since I've given you a quick and dirty argument. A lot of what they said is right. Analytic philosophers have mostly gone off the rails in the same way. There are some notable exceptions in the neopragmatist school, and late Wittgenstein, and probably a few other exceptions. I've had someone schooled in analytic philosophy be utterly baffled by me askng what the relation between his criterion for realness has to do with the act of holding up a spoon, looking at it and feeling it, and having the immediate impression if it being there, real, and in the world. It's stuck in ideas. Notice that a lot of what I'm doing is pointing at things. I'm not purely giving a chain of logical deductions. Since you seem philosophically inclined, go read Heidegger.

As for your comments about the other two sections, look at my other comment with clarifications. I mean that you need Looking actually noticing the underlying phenomena of these things in the first place (not the associated behaviours, but the actual things) without having someone point them out to you. It's not necessary to analyze people's behaviour and body language or notice that in the first place. People have the implicit skill of actually dealing with personal bubbles and notice this idea of space, but that doesn't mean having a conscious awareness directed at the actual structure of the phenomena associated to it. People don't automatically have access to the handles that let them project their personal bubble, they just do it or not instinctually.

What I am doing is not talking about facts about human social interaction, but what it is like to actually experience that, and the structures you find in your experience. This slipping up to the level of behaviours and social interactions is exactly the failure to Look. I am trying to use those facts to evoke the phenomenon so that I can point your attention to it. Of course body language is a real thing, but what constitutes the feeling of being attacked when someone is, for lack of a better phrase, all up in your face? Yes, we can talk about the behaviours of the people involved or talk at a high up abstract level of "status" and "dominance" but how did we understand that status and dominance in the first place? What does it feel like to be in either scenario? What does it feel like to have a personal bubble? These things correspond to or come from very primordial phenomena. These are the gears that make status and dominance intelligable, and constitutes your ability to work with them.

My description of action fields using "tunnels" and "walls" points to actual phenomena which you can explore and my language is meant to only be evocative. Go out and initiate the action of putting your hand on a hot stove and see what this feels like. Consider the action of clapping your hands - feel the possiblity of it. Consider doing a backflip - feel what it is like for this to not be possible, or an intelligble action. What does it feel like to be prevented from taking your pants down in public? What is preventing you? That what is a thing, which is there and you can pay attention to it directly. It is not an idea. Without Looking, there are no ideas already there to point you at the thing. You have to have the ability to navigate the experiential primitives on your own.

Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-21T23:47:38.501Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A few points. The metaphysical nihilism I was referring to is taking the logical step of realizing that that image of a man in an image of reality is just a model, that everything you think of is just in your head, so everything is just a model. "real" becomes meaningless - dereferenced from any particular thing.

Second, to be clearer about what actually requires Looking, you need Looking to some extent to understand what I'm doing in the analysis of reality (though I think I'm getting better at forcing people to Look so that they can understand it, but with regards to looking, that's like someone holding up your bike and guiding you along instead of you balancing for yourself). Looking is necessary to come up with such an analysis in the first place. Looking is not necessary to understand the personal bubble, or to understand action fields. Looking is necessary to see them for the first time without someone pointing them out to you, and is very helpful in analyzing their structure.

(edit) Furthermore, a good chunck of people who read what I just wrote will be mislead as to what Looking is.

The fundamental issue is that we are communicating in language, the medium of ideas, so it is easy to get stuck in ideas. The only way to get someone to start looking, insofar as that is possible, is to point at things using words, and to get them to do things. This is why I tell you to do things like wave your arms about or attack someone with your personal bubble or try to initiate the action of touching a hot stove element.

(edit) Lastly, there is this so much to Look at. I am mostly Looking at Things, and The World. There is this whole realm of People which I have almost no experience Looking at and have only scratched the surface of with personal bubbles. Val is much more experienced at this, which is why he is able to do some of the things that he claims and I am not. It is also why I haven't actually tried to point at that sort of stuff. But it is still there, waiting for us to Look at it.

Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-21T23:33:18.197Z · score: 29 (8 votes) · LW · GW

People tend to get exactly the quoted part out of the sequences somehow, not the rejection of it. I didn't explain it there because it takes a lot of writing to do so, but I will do it here.

The image we are given in the sequences, in map and territory and in epistemology 101, is that light hits a thing, reflects off of your shoe, hits your retina, a signal is sent down some optical pathways, and you experience seeing your shoe. Then, note that there are many parts of this pathway that can be interrupted. So you have the reality out there, and the person experiencing in there, and there is a fundamental disconnect between the territory out there, and the maps in the brain in there. Since there is always a chance for somthing interfering with that connection, nothing can be probability 1. From this you conclude that any thing that you experience is just some image your brain conjures up from sensory stimulus. Those things that you experience are not real, and are only maps of the actual real things out there in ineffable reality.

Looking allows you to see that the entire thing I just described is just a model - an image. In going through that whole thing, Look at how you are shrinking back inside of your head and reasoning not about reality, but an image of a person in an image of reality, reasoning about that, and then trying to put yourself in that image. Notice how in doing this, the thing that comes up for you when you say reality with regards to this model is that image, in your mind, which you see that image of a person as being inside of. Notice that this image is not in fact reality.

Notice further that there is now a disconnect between what correct use of the word "real" is in accordance to this model, versus how we used to use "real". Hold up a spoon. Is that spoon real? No. It is just my mind's representation of some actual real spoon "out there" in real external reality. Notice here how when you make that shift to think of the "actual real spoon," you've again shifted to referencing an idea and not a thing. But of course the correct answer is "yes, that is in fact a real spoon," and that is in line of the original meaning of real.

So we've gone off the rails in our analysis of reality. First, what went wrong in our analysis? Diagnosis requires some skill in Looking. Without Looking, you only have access to the logic of the ideas presented. You must Look to see what actual movements you are doing to think in this way. The issue is when generating the image of a man in reality, there is little correspondence between what you are thinking of as "reality" and how the realness algorithm works in the inside of the man you are imagining. You are not reflecting on how you yourself are generating this image of a reality but sort of naively taking that generated image of reality as being reality. Because of this disconnect between what is being called reality and how reality is felt on the inside, there is a disconnect between our new concept of realness and the old one.

Second, what do you do from here? To rectify the above image, note that there has already been a realness algorithm which the man feels on the inside, and that these fundamental things are the basis on which we start to do philosophy in the first place. We started with an implicit skill of already being able to deal with reality. We are always already in the world with our concerns and our projects. Looking is in part the skill of figuring out 'how the algorithm feels' on the inside (which is itself sort of backwards, since the algorithm is just a model, and how it feels on the inside is what was there all along). It makes possible the skill of keeping reality in your mind, and noticing when you swap it for an idea. Flap your arms about, and notice where you are doing this. If you keep this thing (it is a thing, not an idea) as your referent of "reality", it will be much harder to go off the rails in doing such an analysis of real.


Now for personal bubbles (this and action fields are things I posted on Val's facebook post)

You have a personal bubble, which is just there, despite it "not being made of atoms" and it "just being a thing your brain inserts into your map". Not being able to Look can get you caught in these or similar models, instead of having the capacity to actually look at the personal bubble which is just there. You can feel its edges when someone is too close to you. It's that area where you get this sort of buzzing clenching feeling when a stranger is in it. You can see other's personal bubbles when you seen a guy leaning too close in to a girl and her putting her arm across her stomach and leaning away - he is "too close". That judgement comes from your already there understanding of her having a personal bubble. This is ontologically as primitive as recognizing something as being a chair.

As a primitive action - ontologically on the same level as wiggling your fingers - you can project or contract your personal bubble. You will find that your body moves when you do this (this is a large portion of the Status chapter in Impro). Doing this when public speaking will help you project your voice through the room. You can also do it on the bus or train and see how other people move in relation to you. You can do other actions like welcome someone into it. Like at a party where someone is standing at the edge of a group of people having a conversation, you can take an action at the level of personal bubbles to invite them into the conversation. You can even use this as a weapon. Think of the bully, who stands tall, chest out, arms open, hands open pointed forwards. He walks at the victim and stands very close to him. The victim closes up on himself and tries to back away. Without any physical contact, the bully is assaulting the victim with his personal bubble by projecting it all over his victim (try to do this to a willing volunteer, or get someone to do this to you. Feel what happens).

There is a whole manifold of such things, which can be shown to someone without the skill of Looking, but cannot be found without the skill of Looking. There is so much of this stuff, and to an extent there are going to be elements of this that are unique to you, that it is untennable to have all of these things pointed out to you.


Here is another thing in the manifold of such things, which I call action fields. This is something I only was able to find on my own once I had the skill of Looking. Try to think of how you would have discovered these things on your own, including noticing that they were there in the first place.

Try to put your hand on a fire or hot stove element. Actually start initiating the action rather than nipping the action at the bud with "I don't want to do it". You should find something like there being a slippery force field around that dangerous thing. You move your hand towards it, and your hand sort of wants to slip around that thing. Of course this field isn't "physical", but it is nonetheless there.

When you are walking somewhere, notice that there is a flow that is carrying you from here to there. Notice that the primitive action that you've decided on is to get to that location, not something like move this leg like this, move this leg like that. Notice how stopping that flow from here to there, just for the sake of stopping, takes some effort.

Notice how at any given moments, there are these tunnels. These spaces through the action field that you can travel. Things like "reach for that mug" and "say something at that person" and "look at that thing". Notice that not all actions have walls around them like in my first example of the fire. Things which you know how to do but don't want to have a wall. Things which you don't know how to do just don't have a tunnel. Consider the difference between the impossibility of your jumping off the edge of that building (a wall) and your doing a backflip (assuming you can't do one).

It is here where action and choice happens and where some of the more direct levers are.


If you want, I can also go through what "everything is made of atoms" and "you are just a brain" actually means, and why they are not very useful and not fundamental.

Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-21T19:56:40.703Z · score: 10 (3 votes) · LW · GW

(I wrote a comment and it disappeared. Hopefully it doesn't show up along with this one)

How is Val's first response to Ben not satisfactory?

But here are a few things that it's done for me:

  • Things like your personal bubble will not be invisible by default. Your personal bubble is real and just there despite it "not being made of atoms" and it "just being a thing your brain injects into your map". Looking will give you handles and sensors relevant to all sorts of different parts of you, like those handles and sensors relevant to controlling your personal bubble, feeling your personal bubble, and seeing and feeling other people's personal bubbles. Without it, you might be stuck in a theory that doesn't account for your personal bubble and it remains hidden, or it calls your personal bubble unreal and makes it hard to look at. As another example, the energy flows of feng shui are a perceptual primitive related to good movement and flows of attention.
  • There is a philosophical line of thougth originating on lesswrong which comes up with a certain notion of what reality is. Looking will allow you to notice that the use of the word "real" in accordance to this notion of real is very different from the original use of the word real. Looking will allow you to see what is actually going on in this new meaning of real, and see how it has gone off the rails. Looking will allow you to find your way back to the original meaning and keep you grounded in coming to a reflective understanding of the nature of realness so that you don't go off the rails again. And that's why "nothing is probability 1, therefore real things are all 'out there' in the inaccessible territory and these 'things' are just my experiential maps in my brain which corresponds to things in the territory" is just a model, mistaken, and is both subordinate and at odds with the fact that you have always already been in the world, and this fact is necessarily a precondition to your doing philosophy.
  • You will see how "you are a brain" is wrong and "you are a product of your brain" is a model with extremely narrow and context specific use. You will notice the same about "everything is made of atoms." These models are way overrated and overrepresented in this and similar communities, and are by no means fundamental to anything but the practice of certain scientific disciplines.
Comment by dsatan on Kenshō · 2018-01-21T19:37:16.716Z · score: 10 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How is Val's first response to Ben not what you are looking for?

For some actual cake, here's what it can give you, based on my experience of what it has given me:

  • An example: there was a philosophical line of thought originating from lesswrong about the nature of reality. Enlightenent will allow you to see how there is a discrepancy between the use of the word reality in accordance with this theory and the original use of the word. It will then allow you to actually look at what is going on, what is the nature of the original use, and what is the nature of the new use is, and see how that conversation went off the rails. It will show you how to come back to the start and stay grounded, rather than being stuck in a pragmatist metaphysical nihilism. And this is why "nothing is probability 1, therefore real things are all 'out there' in the inaccessible territory and these 'things' are just my experiential maps in my brain which corresponds to things in the territory" is mistaken, just a model, and subordinate to the fact that you already always have been in the world and this is necessarily a precondition of your doing philosophy.
  • You will see that "you are your brain" is false and "you are a product of your brain" is an extremely narrow model that is useful in only a very constrained context. You will see how "everything is made of atoms" is a similarly very narrow model. These models are both way overrated in their use, very overrepresented in communities like this, and very not fundamental.
  • Things like your personal bubble, which is real and just there, despite it "not being made of atoms" and it "being just something that your brain injects into your map", will not be invisible by default. You will gain handles on many fundamental parts of you that were previously hidden behind a theory that doesn't account for them or calls them unreal.