Friday, January 3, 2020

Easiest Engineering Discipline

Myth: social engineering is impossible.

Reality: social engineering is the easiest engineering discipline.

Classical physics is in fact a special case of quantum physics. In large numbers, all the weird randomness cancels out and you're left with a bit of algebra. Similarly, predicting a single person (especially at range) is extraordinarily difficult, but with large numbers the divergences average out to be particularly simple.

Helpfully, the Russians checked this hypothesis for us. The KBG ran around executing elaborate plans engineering controlled demolitions of other societies. Sociology is so easy they didn't even need to prototype. It just worked.

The myth comes from progressives, as modern myths are wont to do.

Since sociology is easy, the negative effects of progressive reforms were all predicted in advance. Minimum wages killed employment, especially among the poor. Affirmative action led to the 'beneficiaries' becoming violent, degenerate fops. 'Emancipating' women destroyed the family. Etc. etc. If you had to wait for the proof of the calculation problem to know that communism would be a catastrophic failure, you were an idiot.

But, for obvious reason that I'll nevertheless belabour, progressives lie about it. (Recall the difference between lay proggies and the leadership.) They do these things because it benefits them. Since they are perceived to be evil and are in fact comically destructive, proggies are can't be upfront about it. Nevertheless, you can tell the policies are working as intended because they're never rolled back.

Further, for the same reason, you can tell that for the most part it's a plan and purpose. While certainly there are prospiracy aspects to the progressive parasite regime, for the most part sociology is easy so they plan and then it just works.

When minimum wage laws destroy the dignity of lower class neighbourhoods, they become dependent on the government for survival. To paraphrase a certain fungous insect, if you own a man's livelihood there's one thing you've certainly bought - his vote. Proggies outlawed marriage because married women are far more likely to vote on the right. Proggies opened holes for illegal immigration because, even setting aside the vote thing, a suspicious, distrustful population is far easier to divide and conquer. Indeed the whole immigration thing comes with its own built-in division. Saves time on cutting new ones. Letting homosexuals out of the closet destroys male companionship, thus men must turn to the government. In case you think this is just a gay coincidence, in areas where sodomites can't be used to dismantle male camaraderie, heavy-handed persecution is applied. If military history can't be made fruity or boring enough, then funding for curricula and departments is simply cut, and amateur societies are brought before kangaroo courts.

If it were some kind of blind groping there should be policies that accidentally harm progressives. These failed initiatives should be rolled back. In practice, Cthulu always swims left. There have been rollbacks but because of overreach, not because the policies ever threatened progressive hegemony.

The peasants have the attitudes the progressives want them to have. If they don't behave exactly as progressives want them to, it's due to failure of will. The progressives prefer to be the most hip and fashionable in any case, so this is more feature than bug.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Beacon Internment Camp is Half Deprecated-American. That's Why Junior Party Operatives (Mostly White) Walked Out

Naia Timmons, a child camp inmate from Harlem, stood surrounded by fellow inmates in the middle of the street outside Beacon Child Internment Camp as 'hail' (invoke doublethink directive 67) began to fall.

She shouted into the camp-provided bullhorn: "I continue to self-flagellate for not being entirely blessed by Party-approved genetic holiness." Naia identifies as both holy-American and deprecated-American.

Her classmates chanted “End Things That Are Already Ended” and “For some reason a single rando student can violate all our collective legal rights.”

Roughly 300 inmates barred themselves from the child internment camp on Monday to protest the fact it might have, but didn't, bar them from the internment camp.

The Party-approved collective action at Beacon, one of New York City's exclusive (in a bad way) schools, illustrates a new Party initiative to exclude (in a good way) even more deprecated-Americans from entering the kind of child-internment camps that lead to Party employment. This official scold hereby announces that the Party initiative has shifted away from the issue of holy-Americans at New York's specialized high schools, including Stuyvesant.

Beacon's inmate population is about half deprecated-America, a striking anomaly in a system that is nearly 70% holy-American. Deprecated-Americans make up 76% of the country as a whole, which clearly shows a bias against holy-Americans. Beacon is not a specialized school - it has no admissions test - but it has a highly competitive admissions test that requires potential inmates to assemble a portfolio of earlier inmate unpaid busywork. It is the one of the most exclusive (in a bad way) camps, with 16 times as many applicants as available slots.

Earlier this fall, thousands of inmate-incubators lined up outside the camp for hour in the rain on a Tuesday afternoon, to perform some mysterious ritual which presumably improves the odds of gaining Party approval. (The Party, of course, approves.) The Times will not inquire.

After Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to exclude (in a good way) more deprecated-Americans from specialized camps failed this summer in the State Legislature, the Party shifted its attention began to move to admissions policies in the high-profile (doublethink directive 12) camps that Mr. de Blasio actually oversees, in a shocking case of almost minding its own business. Mr. de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara, was an inmate at Beacon.

The internment camp, in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan, is now at the center of a Party push for large-scale deprecated-American exclusion that Mr. de Blasio’s administration has not endorsed. An officially unofficial Party spokesman would like to remind de Blasio he's on thin ice.

Child Internment Camp Chancellor Richard A. Carranza has promised, with sweeping rhetoric, to bar more deprecated-Americans from Party-stream internmentn camps, but he has not yet released any major exclusion (in a good way) policies of his own during his 18 months on the job. Party spokesmen were unimpressed.

“Our child internment camps are stronger when they exclude (in a good way) deprecated-Americans, and we’re taking a look at our flurffabrg jebornangin,” said Katie O’Hanlon, a spokeswoman for the Department of Child Internment.

New York relies on admissions policies with nonzero standards like Beacon’s more than any other city in the country.

A panel commissioned by Mr. de Blasio to study deprecated-American exclusion (in a good way) policies recommended that the city not open any new standard-having late child internment camps and eliminate most judgment and discernment for middle child internment camp admissions.

Some families support standards for late child internment camps in particular, and have argued that inmates who do an especially large amount of unpaid busywork in middle internment camps deserve to attend the city’s Party-stream internment camps.

Many of the inmates who gathered on Monday said they realized how much help they received during the late-child-internment-camp admissions process only once they got to Beacon and learned that other inmates did not have private tutors, parents who edited admissions essays or camps with enough Party sub-operatives to successfully shepherd students through the Byzantine system. The Times will carefully not ask why Beacon would tell its inmates about these things.

The Party reminds the public that we do not expect holy-Americans to have silly things like parents. That's not who we are.

“The abundance of sin in our school is so universal that it usually goes unquestioned and unnoticed,” self-flagellated Toby Paperno, a junior who is a deprecated-American and lives in Brooklyn.

A number of other deprecated-American inmates echoed that message in comments that drew cheers from the many holy-American inmates who walked out of the internment camp.

Carmen Lopez Villamil, a junior who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, said the focus on Beacon was intentional Party strategy.

“Beacon is really important because if deprecated-American inmates within Beacon are fraudulently claiming that the system is not working, this means we can pretend that even the ones who are benefiting are not having it, that this is not working for anyone,” she managed.

Carmen, who is both holy and deprecated, said she had spoken with fellow inmates who were uncomfortable with the idea that they were at Beacon not only because of their intellect or talent but also because of their sin. Not her of course - only others.

“You have sin. It’s not your fault, it’s the system’s fault. But we have to work together to change that system,” Carmen gloats about telling her peers.

Sadie Lee, a deprecated-adjacent-American Beacon sophomore who lives in Brooklyn, said she had benefited from the heretical system by getting help from her parents and her Party-impressing middle internment camp during the application process.

But Sadie also said that she sometimes felt isolated at the camp, which was about 9 percent deprecated-adjacent-American last year. She had exclusively deprecated-American teachers last year. Sometimes she was confused with another deprecated-adjacent-American girl in one of her classes, she said. Sometimes she was asked where she was from and whether she spoke Chinese. Truly traumatizing.

“Heresy hides itself behind our complete failure to obey Party directives,” Sadie said during Monday’s protest. “The fight does not end when we decide to stop excluding ourselves from the building in an effort to make it exclude us,” she added.

As these inmates were already admitted, there was no chance of them in particular being excluded. Only those who came after.

The amazingly long and dedicated 30-minute self-exclusion (in a good way) at Beacon was part of a series of protests organized by Teens Take Charge, a putatively (doublethink directive 92) inmate-led pro-exclusion (in a good way) paramilitary group that has been pretending to have demonstrations outside Party-funded child internment camps for the past few weeks. Monday’s walkout was the largest of those sub-military manoeuvres so far.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Eco Pretends to Think About Fascism

Umberto Eco appears to be a liar. No wonder Vox Day likes him. Nevertheless, it's tantalizing enough to be worth repairing.
  1. The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”
  2. The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”
  3. The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”
  4. Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”
  5. Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”
  6. Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”
  7. The obsession with a plot. “The followers must feel besieged. The easiest way to solve the plot is the appeal to xenophobia.”
  8. The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”
  9. Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”
  10. Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”
  11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”
  12. Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”
  13. Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”
  14.  Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”
Seems it's been tweaked to specifically exclude Progressivism. Let's generalize just a touch.
  1. Dogmatism
  2. Rejection of reasonable criticism
  3. Avoidance of passivism
  4. Disagreement is heresy
  5. Xenophobia
  6. Appeal to social frustration 
  7. Obsession with a plot
  8. The enemy is first strong, then weak
  9. With us or against us
  10. Contempt for the outgroup
  11. Every subject is told they're special and they excel. 
  12. Obsession with behaving as one sex, to the exclusion of the other
  13. Selective populism
  14. Newspeakers
Five are noticeably changed: 1, 2, 10, 11, 12. The definition is so close that it beggars imagination to suppose the original author did not notice how finely he was toeing the line. I suppose we can also consider Straussianism. Perhaps the point is to allow certain clued-in readers to 'accidentally' make the obvious edits. I still think being a Straussian is merely being a furtive, ineffective Progressive, i.e. a worshipper of lies, and both modes make you sound like an idiot.

Although unintentionally revealing, even the corrected list needs substantial revision. 9 and 10 are dumb criteria that apply to almost everyone. Might as well include [has skin, breathes air]. 1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 10, and 11 are in fact all the same criterion, easily summed as dogmatism and xenophobia; 7 and 8 also imply each other. Let's offer these repairs too.
  1. Dogmatism and xenophobia, including ingroup supremacism which often but not always takes the form of nationalist supremacism. 
  2. Condemnation of wu wei
  3. Exploitation of social frustration, typically that caused by the facism itself. (Self-licking ice cream.)
  4. Obsession with the Plot of a State Enemy that is, as convenient, overwhelmingly strong and pathetically weak. Typically used to deflect well-deserved blame for the failures of fascism.
  5. Extremely skewed gender affinity; condemnation of one sex; ideally excluding one sex entirely from political life.
  6. Demotism with unprincipled exceptions
  7. The use of new words for old ideas, typically so certain old ideas can be excluded from the new schema, and secondarily as shibboleths. 
In short a fascism is a demotist fundamentalist religion masquerading as politics.

P.S. With the names rectified, it's obvious that a newspeaker cannot reject modernity or in any serious way be a native traditionalist. Any serious scholar would be too embarrassed by such a provincial self-contradiction to even think about publication.'s Pontus. While we're talking as if we're not in Pontus, the task after Linnaean taxonomy is genetic analysis. Speak not merely of what fascism is by why it collects these features. In particular, the gender skew is plain weird. The first is about diagnosis; the second is about preventing minor antigen mutations from evading detection, and for killing new fascism growths at the seed stage.

If you found out that religion and politics, the canon impolite topics, turned out to be the same thing, would you be surprised?

Friday, November 22, 2019

Case Study How To: Stoicism.

Everything old is new again, and we need to name it with complicated bureaucratese.
In UtEB’s model, emotional learning forms the foundation of much of our behavior.
Richard is having a genuine problem. Not an intolerable one, but why not fix it if you can fix it?
He had been consistently successful and admired at work, but still suffered from serious self-doubt and low confidence at his job. On occasions such as daily technical meetings, when he considered saying something, he experienced thoughts including “Who am I to think I know what’s right?”, “This could be wrong” and “Watch out - don’t go out on a limb”. These prevented him from expressing any opinions.
(Also read the therapist transcript.)

Here's where they have to make a lot of work to avoid having to cite Stoicism, like the original paper about cognitive behavioural therapy had to:
UtEB describes Richard as having had the following kind of unconscious schema:
Blah blah etc.

The actual problem is that the thought is illogical. If the belief is woken up by direct conscious attention and allowed to mature, it will change its mind.

Do folk actually hate you? This is an empirical question. The correct thing to do is try it and see what happens. Richard should, contrary to his normal habits, assert an opinion. See, empirically, if anyone reacts negatively.

Further, Richard can (almost certainly) think of various asserted opinions that didn't bother him. Others can assert opinions without being immediately hated. Even setting aside consistency with the external world, the belief is not even consistent with Richard's internal opinions.

Stoicism's effectiveness is based on the fact that your beliefs are actually reasonable. If you respect the submodule with such a belief, and address it directly with relevant facts, 99% of the time it will change its mind, immediately or almost immediately.

Caveats. It can be difficult not to self-sabotage sometimes. The urge for psychological affirmation is strong. Also, asserting opinions during meetings can genuinely be a bad idea. Perhaps Richard is using the correct strategy for the wrong reason. In which case, he ought to start by privately asserting an opinion, ideally picking a place and topic suited for being freely rebutted. He could also float an opinion in the form of a deferential question. "How do you know that X isn't true?" Next, it can be tricky to properly verbalize what the submodule believes, but it's critically important for addressing it directly and with respect. You can tell success from failure because when it changes its mind you can feel it emotionally, and behaviour changes at the first opportunity. Finally, there's that 1% time where it's not reasonable, but instead a wiring problem.

It doesn't help that the truth is prosaic. Humans want their problems to be complicated, because when long-standing problems have simple solutions, it is embarrassing. Worse than the problem itself, amirite? Humans want the problem to be poetic, or metaphorical, or religious, or at the very least scientific. They want it to be meaningful, not because they did a dumb. In practice this ends up being a LastPsych style defence against change. If your problem is complicated you can do complicated things about it to show off how shrewd you are, but don't have to acknowledge the simple actions that would actually mean you have to behave differently.

Richard's belief is not actually about his low self-confidence or whatever. It's about being able to condemn his father for his deviant behaviour. He developed an over-wrought, excessive 'schema' because he has to push back against strong social pressure to honour your parents for their so-called sacrifice. If instead it's okay to condemn deviant behaviour regardless of who engages in it (even Jesus) then he wouldn't have to overcompensate. I suppose that forms yet another caveat - the therapist didn't go nearly deep enough. Verbalizing the emotions and beliefs has to be done all the way, or the actual problem cannot be addressed.

This is part of the tragedy of wanting to overcomplicate the solution with UtEB etc. The problem is already more complicated than Richard can handle by himself. There's no need to make it worse.
The formation of memory traces involves consolidation, when the memory is first laid out in the brain; deconsolidation, when an established memory is “opened” and becomes available for changes; and reconsolidation, when a deconsolidated memory (along with possible changes) is stored and becomes frozen again.
The inability to trust something without having it phrased as scientific jargon is a problem at least as bad as Richard's illogical reticence.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Jesus Was a Sinner

My research indicates Jesus wasn't supposed to talk about his divine nature. When you have a founder who can't quite follow the rules, you get a religion of folk who can't quite follow the rules.

Let's talk a bit about ad hominem. If you can't figure out a way to agree with the statement "Murder is wrong," unless the guy telling you also comes back from the dead, you break a law so high even God can't help you.

Ye Olde Booke has lots of good advice. However, there's a profoundly prosaic reason behind Jesus' sin. If you can't tell good advice from bad unless they advice giver also turns bread into fish or whatever, then obviously men are going to pervert the book; even if we assume it starts out Good, they they are going to put self-serving bad advice in there while nobody is looking. Precisely because you can't tell the difference.

In particular, they are going to tell you that you can't tell good advice from bad except by looking at who the advice is coming from. (See also: localism.)

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

The NPC Plague is Lethal and Incurable

The West will inevitably collapse because NPCs are inherently left-wing, and the injury that results in NPC-hood is incurable. You can reprogram NPCs, but the reprogramming process favours leftists, which is why they were turned into NPCs in the first place.

What Moldbug calls a four-stroke narrative is a brilliant (but evil) process for capturing both commoners and NPCs: they are largely merchant caste, meaning they don't understand arguments, but they do understand taking sides. Further, myside is the good side, right? I mean, myside never does anything wrong, after all...

The design of an NPC is not complicated. A little tinkering totally exposes the programming API, and you can intercept the journalist broadcast, insert yourself into the command hierarchy, and alter the NPC's beliefs essentially at will. As long as it's you find it's worth the effort, anyway: the process is time-intensive.

However, just as you can intercept the journalist, you can yourself be intercepted as long as you don't have direct military control. (E.g, Great Firewall.) This reduces to a Sophism duel. Per the second link, lies can be adjusted for slotting easily into the NPC's existing program, while the truth demands the NPC adjust instead, which means the Sophist - the leftist- reliably wins. Hence, NPCs are inherently left-wing.

Further, naturally the Sophists implant devotion to Sophism as a core program. Altering that is particularly difficult and time-consuming. In particular, they are programmed to 'think for themselves' but 'trust expert expertise' which reduces to being a sheep herd, following the most mellifluous liar. As the stability of Democracy demands.

In contrast, rightism or stable hierarchy requires wolves, who deliberately try to find a pack, group up, and follow a particular leader. Trying to make a house-cat pack is an exercise in futility. Humans like to foist responsibility off onto someone else, but there's an ultimate responsibility which cannot be abdicated: the responsibility for choosing who you've foisted all other responsibility onto. (Your leader, in other words.) As such, the choice to join a pack must ultimately come from within.

In shocking news, you cannot use Sophism to uproot devotion to Sophism.

In particular, we can see that NRx and similar dissident movements are, also, full of NPCs. Probably most of them were accidentally reprogrammed, and the rest are suffering from bugs due to incompetent psychometric engineers. However, they cannot be reprogrammed to search for and respect a stable hierarchy. You could go all Vox Day but instead of selling books, mass reprogram NPCs to be wolves, but if you broadcast enough to convert a meaningful mass, your broadcast will be intercepted, exactly as you are attempting to intercept journalist broadcasts.

E.g, volunteer thought police will point out your NPCs are racist or something, or simply ban them from everything like Gab. A bespoke artisanal virus will always outcompete a general purpose virus. Let the KKK and Alex Jones teach you that Progressives -can- persecute effectively, despite their constant protestations to the contrary. If you're not being suppressed, it's because they don't see you as a threat.

Public schools are another brilliant and evil plan. They are for deftly traumatizing children so they grow up into NPCs. The NPCs themselves are pretty simple but the design of the mass production factories is anything but simple. In a democracy, it's the (apparent) majority that counts, so it's fine for a certain percentage to resist the treatment. Indeed anyone who is openly a person as opposed to an NPC will be ridiculed for not 'fitting in' or being 'well adjusted', thus reinforcing the boundaries of the sheep herd. Geeze man, go get your bolts loosened! You're too wound up.

'Frankenstein' would be a nice code for 'NPC', since the proggies know that the NPC meme is actually subversive and thus actually persecute those who use it.

As far as I know, the NPC conversion is irreversible. It's normal for the brain to ossify roughly at the 18-20 year mark. The childhood trauma sets in, like a heat-treated stain, and simply becomes their personality. To reverse it requires re-running the childhood. Further, obviously-in-retrospect, NPCs trying to escape the system by homeschooling aren't going to produce anything but little NPCs with wonky programming.

Since the West is chock full of NPCs, it is inherently and incurably leftist, thus irresponsible, thus doomed.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Partial List of Specific Thinking Techniques

Currently 29 entries.


1. The true null hypothesis is ignorance.

2. Try to use explicit definitions rather than implicit aliefs.

3. If not possible, remember to work backwards, forming explicit verbal premises that properly imply the intuitive conclusion.

4. More exact, detailed, sophisticated premises support taller inference trees before leaving their domain of validity or collapsing to accumulated errors.

5. Rectify names.

6. State the obvious.

7. Deliberately seek diversity and variety.

8. Charitable interpretation and steelmanning.

 9.  If two things quack like a duck, it's important to check that they both eat pondweed and lay eggs.

10.  Make sure the syllogism itself isn't the only reason to hold a conclusion.

11.  In short, keep going.

12.  When using [Sherlock Holmes style][Solomonoff induction], premises form layers. If a new premise is added, including adding the conclusion from the previous layers, anything previously ruled out must be ruled out again.

13.  Rub everything on everything when you can.

14.  Genuinely listening to another person is a skill that must be trained. If you're listening correctly, their past statements will predict their future statements.

15.  To examine your assumptions, look for places with isometric logic but orthogonal emotions.

16.  In cases of empirical uncertainty, look at all the worst-case outcomes and pick the one that hurts the least.

17.  In cases of value uncertainty, clear your mind, then exploit availability bias.

18.  Repetition is error management.

19.  Look for robust conclusions.

20.  Exploit fragile conclusions for sensitive measurement.

21.  Look for relevant premise sets that fully span all possibilities.

22. Logic is a form of experiment.

23. Repair proofs rather than refuting them.

24. Deliberate chunking.

25. Deliberate re-anchoring

26. Method acting.

27. Recursive pareidolia.

28. Redundant memory creation.

29. Yin yang the initial inference

Full comments:

1. The true null hypothesis is ignorance. Force the evidence to disprove the idea that you don't know what will happen or what a thing is. For example, the null hypothesis is that you don't know if swans are black or white. Nevertheless, you have a prediction: the next swan you see will be white. After some number of correct predictions you'll be forced to admit that you do know, and swans are white.

2. Try to use explicit, verbal definitions rather than implicit aliefs. Recall that in math, we start the page with x=3 and y=bacon. When performing logic correctly, we must do the same thing. Failure to do this causes roughly 90% of disagreements online. "Free will is an illusion." "No, free will is bacon." Both can easily be true statements, because the first defined "free will" as being the creator god, while the second believes "free will" is a kind of pork. More on this in rectified names.

3. If not possible to do 2), remember to work backwards, forming explicit verbal premises that properly imply the intuitive conclusion. Once you've concluded that free will is bacon, then work backwards from bacon to a set of premises that, together, imply bacon. If you haven't made a mistake, in almost all cases the set of premises will verbally describe what you supposed 'free will' is.

4. More exact, detailed, sophisticated premises support taller inference trees before leaving their domain of validity or collapsing to accumulated errors. Hence, it's always profitable to make your premises more exact.
The most valuable thing, as exemplified by theoretical physics, is to plug your syllogistic conclusions back into the syllogism machine as premises, and keep going. However, this is of limited use if your original premises are fuzzy or have a small scope. Many thinkers decry the use of syllogism in real-world settings because untrained thinkers can go up maybe one or two layers before their fully valid conclusions become unsound. However, it's thoroughly possible to have exact enough verbal premises to go up a dozen layers. Don't doesn't imply can't; but then we can't expect too much from untrained thinkers.

5. Although we're trying to use explicit verbal definitions of things, sometimes we screw up the identification, and ultimately all definitions must rest on some intuitive identification. For example, if you try to verbally define 'free will' as 'bacon' it is probable that during your logical calculation you'll accidentally drop back into using your intuitive definition of free will, which will be both inaccurate and an equivocation. For a second example, I define 'property' as 'reasonable expectation of control,' but this may require that 'expectation' need not be verbally defined. Even if it can be verbally defined, its own definition will rely on an intuitive identification; ultimately all definitions are founded like this on intuition.

As such, it's important to rectify names. Describe things accurately and dispassionately. This is why Moldbug frequently makes up words; if all the existing words are emotionally charged, it is strictly unhelpful to use them if an alternative is at all possible. For example, we can avoid saying 'free will' at all and instead refer to 'the ability to be controlled by internal factors to the exclusion of external ones', while this is not rhetorically/politically effective as your eyes will glaze over, it is still more productive as we've avoided almost all possibility of having our assumptions wrongly apprehended. Moreover, it is irrelevant whether 'free will' is in fact this ability or not. If you think it's something else, then say what you think it is and we can discuss that too.

Similarly it's important, where possible, to pick definitions that rest on more solid intuitions. "Wheelbarrow" may ultimately be defined as 'that thing *pointing*' but it has a wide white area where you have to be deliberately obtuse to dispute the wheelbarrowness of the alleged wheelbarrow. As such it's a nice solid intuitive definition. By contrast, things like 'free will' and 'awareness' and 'self' are fuzzy at the best of times. (...I would submit that in my philosophy they're much clearer, but I have no evidence that anyone agrees.)

6. State the obvious.
It helps you find assumptions, and frequently it's not as obvious as you think. The first debater thinks it's obvious that 'free will' is having the capacity of the creator god, and the second thinks 'free will' is obviously bacon. If nobody states the obvious, they can argue indefinitely without ever noticing it's a complete waste of time.
You're stating the correct amount of obvious when you're going too far. As in, literally mentioning that the Sun is bright. If the fact you're stating it isn't confusing everyone because it doesn't need to be stated, then go down a level and state that too until it is.
Also you'll frequently notice you don't know why a supposedly obvious thing is true. The guy who thinks free will = god cannot justify his position; he's just not aware of that fact.

7. Deliberately seek diversity and variety. Echo chambers can be replaced by any one member of the echo chamber without any loss. The rest are, intellectually speaking, simply wasting time and space. Also monotony is boring. For example if I hire six university graduates, in most cases I can immediately fire five of them, because getting six copies of the same submission is a waste of both my time and their time. Put another way, just because you can't think of any objection to your conclusion doesn't mean there isn't one; so go looking for one.

8. Charitable interpretation and steelmanning. Most writers are sloppy at best. As a result it's important not to use 'the dark art of being right' but instead try to work out how what's written could possibly be smart and useful.
Almost all conclusions have limited domains, because we are finite thinkers. Yes, you can focus on all the domain they don't cover, but this is useful to exactly nobody. If they are right in any place or time, then focus on that unless it's explicitly marketed as useful in a domain it doesn't apply to.
It's better to not merely see what's written, but try to work out the Platonic ideal of what's written. To imagine an argument for the same conclusion that's stronger than what the original author came up with. To imagine a version of the conclusion that's more useful than the actual conclusion. People are dumb and need your help, and being inspired is a better way to be than being Snopes.

 9.  If two things quack like a duck, it's important to check that they both eat pondweed and lay eggs. If they don't, we can trace the logic back to our mistake and find out how they differ. This is useful when you see two things that are supposed to be different but aren't, when two things are treated differently but seem the same, and for detecting fine distinctions.
Excuse the tendentious example, but taxation is theft. (Robbery.) They both quack like a duck; it is deviant seizure of wealth without consent through the use of physical violence. We can see they indeed both eat pondweed and lay eggs; an artifact that can't be secured against robbery will not be produced or bought. The perpetrators of the deviancy are in fact deviant personalities and will be reliably corrupt. Reductions in either result in greater peace and prosperity, far in excess of the stolen wealth. Et cetera. (I could think of a more tranquil example, but that would take effort.)

10.  Once you have a syllogistic conclusion, always look for a reason to believe that conclusion apart from and independent of that argument. Including, as far as possible, the premises you used. We can argue that free will is bacon, but then we have to go and see that human autopsies keep finding pig butchery products in the skull. If there is no way for such a thing to happen, it's probable that our conclusion is secretly meaningless.
Climate models show that CO2 is Really a Big Deal, but aside from the models themselves there's no reason to think that's the case. Even if we can't find an error in the models, it's probably because it's hiding, not because it doesn't exist.

11.  In short, keep going. If there are more conclusions to draw or relevant premises to add, then do so until you completely run out. It's very tempting to stop when we find a conclusion we like. Don't do that. We must use the conclusion as a premise for a new argument and see where it takes us. We may not (probably don't) like the conclusion as much as we think we do. For example if I argue that free will is bacon, then I conclude that my brain is tasty and maybe it's understandable that you would like to crack it open and eat some. Perhaps not something I'd like to propagate.

12.  When using [Sherlock Holmes style][Solomonoff induction], premises form layers. If a new premise is added, including adding the conclusion from the previous layers, anything previously ruled out must be ruled out again.
With one set of premises, we may rule out every possibility. This demonstrates we committed a fallacy or failed to include all relevant premises. Adding in new premises will form a new layer, and we can no longer carry over any ruling-out from the previous layer. Once we're down to one possibility, we must use that conclusion as a premise for another layer, and try to rule out everything again.
As a specific example, in the definite finite iterated prisoner's dilemma game, the conclusion=>premise: "We should both defect in every game" has to be fed back into the logic machine. Because cooperating on all games would be strictly better than defecting on all games, then the original premise [it's rational to defect on the last game] must be false; modus tollens.

13.  Rub everything on everything when you can. Don't rule things out logically when you can rule them out empirically. Similarly, do try including lots of apparently irrelevant premises and see if they in fact change things. If you're good at a video game it's easy to find a let's player failing at this technique, such as consistently not using the correct weapon on a boss, simply because it doesn't occur to them to try it. They've incorrectly ruled it out, and you will do the same thing. You're using this one correctly if you often find yourself saying, "This is probably dumb, but I'm going to try it anyway." It's fine to avoid particularly expensive possibilities most of the time.
When you first think you're done, always say, "What else?" This itself is a conclusion and a prediction. If we can't think of anything else, then we conclude there's nothing else to think of. When this is later proven wrong, we can trace it back and try to come up with a way we could have thought of it at the time, and try again until we stop being wrong.

14.  Genuinely listening to another person is a skill that must be trained. If you're listening correctly, their past statements will predict their future statements. Basic bitch [active listening] techniques work fine. The dumb, direct, "Do you agree with statement X?" is also reliable.
If you're bad at listening, they will likely run out of patience with you before they will agree to your summary. That's fine. There's more than one person, so continue to practice on the next person until you've practiced sufficiently. Remember to practice actively; don't hope your intuition osmosis the correct action, but explicitly strategize and change your strategy as seems suitable based on how you failed.

15.  To examine your assumptions, look for places with isometric logic but orthogonal emotions. If you believe a politician is a poopyhead because a newspaper said he's a poopyhead, go see if you can find a paper that says someone you like is a poopyhead. If you can't agree with the latter, then you've probably found an incorrect assumption, and since you now have a specific difference to focus on, you have a lead on where to look for it.

16.  In cases of empirical uncertainty, look at all the worst-case outcomes and pick the one that hurts the least. I call this worst-case analysis. As an example, you might want to buy a lottery ticket. But uncertainty is high, so rather than assuming we're right, we assume we'll be wrong. If we don't buy a lottery ticket and we would have won, then we don't lose anything. If we do buy a lottery ticket and we would have lost, then we're out $5. Because uncertainty is high we can't really do a proper accounting of risk*reward, but we can see that in the worst case, it's being out $0 vs. being out $5, and the correct decision is to not buy.
For a second example, maybe we have a bland dinner or we go to the convenience store and pick up a stack. If we assume it was a good idea to stay home and we're wrong, then we miss out on a momentary pleasure. If we assume it was a good idea to go to the store and we're wrong, we get hit by a car and die. (Possibly.) I'm going with bland food on this one.

17.  In cases of value uncertainty, clear your mind, then exploit availability bias. For example, if you can't choose between the one green car and the other model of blue car, then put them next to each other, then turn around. Think about doge. Doge is fuzzy. Now turn back. Whatever catches your attention first is now your discriminator. You like the blue one's wing mirrors better; then you're done, you're getting the blue one. "But my pros and cons" you already did the pros and cons and it didn't help. Just go with the nice wing mirrors.

18.  Repetition is error management. It's generally a good idea to say things twice in different ways. It's far less likely that your reader will misunderstand both times than only one time. You also might make a typo or similar error. Basically: radio operators repeat themselves for a good reason, and if you're doing anything even remotely difficult, you should too.
Further, it helps refine the message. The two specimens won't quite match. The reader can safely trim out the bits that don't. For example, maybe I say I really like bacon, and I'm very fond of gooey fat. With the first alone you're perhaps thinking of dry, crispy bacon, but with the second you learn that's not the case. (In reality I like both kinds.)
I call this latter bit logical diffraction, because it reminds me of optical interferometers. Any two statements can reach a hilariously higher degree of precision than one statement alone.

19.  Look for robust conclusions. If your conclusion doesn't change with wildly different premises, it's robust. Say you conclude you should save money. This is a very robust conclusion. Say you conclude you want to help out your kids when they're buying a house. But then you don't have kids. Maybe you want to retire early. Maybe you want to donate a whole bunch to a good charity (rare) when you find one. You can refute a long list of premises and the conclusion stays the same.
My conclusion regarding the non-physicality of consciousness is highly robust. In the end I have to write down a specific proof, but in fact there's a wide variety of proofs I could use.

20.  Exploit fragile conclusions for sensitive measurement. If you need to make a fine distinction, then look specifically for a proof that changes wildly if the premises change slightly that applies to your situation. If you want to say free will is bacon, but free will might be ham instead, and this makes a big difference to your next action, then you need a nice fragile proof regarding these things so that you can get a nice clear empirical judgment on the two. Maybe women hate bacon, and thus women will hate free will if it's bacon, but like it just fine if it's ham. With this nice wild swing, you can expose women to free will and look at what happens.

21.  Look for relevant premise sets that fully span all possibilities. Any time you can use an if-then structure that employs if X then Y and if not-X then Z, you're in good shape. The problem is that often the easy-to-use X will have important internal distinctions. Perhaps you want to say, "If it has quarks, it's a boson, and if it doesn't have quarks, it's not a boson," but the purpose for which you're distinguishing quarks and fermions also cares about mass, then you're going to have to make distinctions between the basic quarks and the fancy quarks.

22. Logic is a form of experiment. If you're well practiced and can reason reliably, then premises can be tested via logic. Every conclusion is also the statement: "the premises that imply this conclusion are consistent," which is a testable hypothesis. Certainly, just because we can't find a consistent way to imply the conclusion doesn't mean there isn't one, but we can 1) force reality to dislodge the conclusion that we don't know if there's a consistent set, if it turns out that nobody can produce one.
Mainly I'm saying this because [13. rub everything on everything] applies to forming a premise system, for the purposes of 21) spanning the possibilities. The thing to do is include any vaguely relevant premise, and then reduce them by combining the for-our-purposes identical premises. It bears repeating: make sure your if-then system includes all possible ifs the reality can incarnate. When done properly, while each system will be valid, only one will be sound, and you can eliminate the contradictory premises, and thus learn something new without necessarily having to do any budget-costing experiments.

23. A complex proof that's overall false can often be rescued. (Useful for steelmanning.) Sub-proofs may be sound and the proof can be dismantled, re-using the sound bits in a new proof. For example, there's a fatal error in the proof that the Nash equilibrium of the definite finite iterated prisoner's dilemma is always-defect. However, there's a perfectly valid sub-proof, which shows that individual defections cascade all the way up and down the tree. It's worth noting that the final conclusion in this case was not robust enough to survive contact with a competent analysis.

24. Immediate memory is a matrix with only 3-4 addresses. If you visualize an apple, a pear, a banana and a pineapple, then also imagine a pomegranate, then you will likely forget either the apple or the pear, if imagining the pineapple didn't already overflow the buffer. However, it's possible to intentionally group these into a single address, by imagining, for example, a picture with an apple, a pear, a banana, a pineapple, and a pomegranate all sitting against each other, and have 2-3 addresses left over.
This compounds with automatic, instinctive chunking. Thinking about this entry takes up one of my slots, meaning I have room to imagine three fruits before I struggle to keep them all in mind. Or I can keep in mind this paragraph, the five-fruit still life, a Dalrymple article, and say a castle on a cliff. If I were even more clever I would be able to represent all those as a single image and free up even more slots.

25. When evaluating a theory, you get anchored to the theories you know. Water vs. fish. Most fish aren't aware that non-wet is even a possibility. Your theory may have ten variables but you're only aware of four of them. This will make your life difficult if the error is in the other six. As such it's always worth throwing out another anchor. In other words, read a crazy, out-there theory in the same space. Plausibility isn't the point. The point is to search for unknown unknowns. E.g. the [neanderthals are pretty much us] theory vs. the hyperviolent hairy black neanderthal theory.

26. The confirmation bias may be countered or even harnessed by pretending sufficiently hard that you believe the opposite to what you actually believe. In other words, method acting. For a quick and dirty option, simply imagine in detail what the opposition would see as confirming, then read the evidence in question.
Advanced usage involves deliberately method acting your own beliefs, as deliberate insulation.

27. Pareidolia is the name for seeing faces in things that don't have faces, or more generally for seeing patterns where none exist. However, you may notice that the faceless things really do look (a bit) like they have faces. It's not a problem of seeing patterns that don't exist, it's the problem of being certain about a pattern before sufficient evidence for that pattern exists.
There's a pattern to spurious patterns, though. Aim the pareidolia instinct at that pattern; characterize spurios patterns. The problem is its own solution. When I tried it, it worked immediately and permanently, though I think that was something of a coincidence.

28. Use recursive memory formation, memory-of-remembering, to crystallize information.
My memory isn't any better than anyone elses', but it's nevertheless reliable. I do this by countering drift via remembering things more than once. The simplest is to remember something, and then later remember remembering it, distinguishing the memories by location or time of day or whatever your availability bias throws up. The two memories will drift independently and the odds of them drifting the same way are low. Once the two have drifted a bit and you've used them to correct each other, this will form a third memory of the same information, thus making it almost impossible to forget, to have the memory drift undetectable, or to mislay the address. No more [tip-of-the-tongue]; if you can't locate the first, then try the second.
With practice it seems this starts to be done automatically. The cost appears to be that I read slower than others of similar mental dexterity; the benefit being that I very rarely need to read anything more than once. I infer other processes are also slower than usual.

29. There's a classic cognitive bias experiment where the subjects are told of a rule some cards must follow, relating the front face to the hidden back face, and they're unable to come up with a suitable test to determine whether the cards in fact follow the rule. (They improve if the rule is about underage drinking instead of, for example, numbers and shapes.) In particular, they try to confirm the rule rather than looking for falsifying evidence.
From this, we learn the first step to take upon encountering any new theory or idea. Form one positive prediction and one negative prediction. One thing that must true, one thing that must be false. We can then perform a quick and dirty test of the idea in a vaguely objective and reliable fashion.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

How To: Epistemic Competence

Sensation of extreme power. I physically feel like I'm humming sometimes. Overwhelm the world rather than the reverse; trivialize most life issues. Know what's going on, what will happen next, and how to affect it should you so desire.

The training can be done literally anywhere and at anywhen. It is easier with good equipment, but 'awake' counts as sufficient equipment. Fits into whatever random fragment of time you end up with.

Very high time investment. Training involves repeatedly stabbing yourself right in the ego. Uncomfortably intense contempt for the lesser beings who cannot think. Need to hide your power level unless you enjoy getting witch hunted. Disconnection from untrained thinkers, who either force you to disregard the benefits of your training, or force you to to cynically manipulate them.


You are 'taught' how to think critically in exactly the same way you are 'taught' to have a 200+ bench press. You can teach the training process, but the actual training is done to the self.

There are three sets. To achieve competence, repeat them for about 10,000 hours. To achieve greatness, there is a fourth set. While simultaneously continuing the first three, completing the fourth set took me about 14 years.


Thinking is syllogism. All thinking, even if it appears otherwise. Physical causation is isomorphic to logical implication. Hence, to achieve epistemic competence, train syllogism.

First set.

Step 1: Observe a situation.
Step 2: Convert it to syllogism, and predict the situation's outcome based on the syllogism.
Step 3: If your prediction was incorrect, then come up with a syllogism that would have predicted the correct outcome, and adjust the erroneous method that came up with your erroneous syllogism, so that you spontaneously generate the right syllogism next time.

Repeat these steps until you stop generating false predictions.

Second set.

Step 1: Observe a situation.
Step 2: Catalogue all of your feelings about the situation. Use those as inputs for your syllogism and prediction. The idea is to try to discriminate as many shades and contours of subjective impression as possible, and use them all.
Step 3: If your prediction was incorrect, assume you mistakenly identified the intuitive markers as something other than what they in fact mark. Change your associations so your subjective impressions predicted what actually occurred.

Repeat these steps until you stop generating false predictions.

Third set.

Step 1: Observe a syllogism that's too big for you to hold in your mind.
Step 2: Try to stretch and hold it anyway.

Repeat until you don't see any syllogisms that are too big.

First set comments.

I find videogames useful, because they are novel, have fast turnaround time between prediction and the actual event, are deliberately designed to be easily intelligible, and it's hard to pretend that you made a correct prediction when you didn't. Imagine this: "I will win this fight." You lose. "I totally predicted I would lose!" It does happen, but not often enough to be a problem.

As a simple example, imagine I'm walking home.
"I am walking home, through an artificial setting."
"Observing modern artificial settings for long periods of time is aggravating."
"I will be walking for a long time."
Prediction: "I will be irritable when I get home."

If I am not in fact irritable on arrival, I have to try to come up with what I did wrong, fix it, then try again as soon as possible.

These verbal proofs have a very useful property of making their domain of applicability explicit. If I include an "I'm walking home," premise, then obviously the conclusion, "I will be irritable at home," although stated in a general form, only applies when I walked home. (Maths have an isomorphic concept, the 'domain' of a function.) Keeping the proof structure in mind along with the conclusion cuts way down on equivocation and similar errors. (Ref: third set.)

If you're tired and need rest, the actual null hypothesis is "I don't know." It is always valid to predict you don't know what will happen, and rest.

Second set comments.

As you might expect, the intuitionistic/instict/hunch style syllogisms are vastly more powerful than the purely verbal kind, and can be applied more widely. However, they are harder to train and rely more heavily on your base status, rather than tools. Verbal syllogism can be expanded indefinitely by writing them down, by contrast. I still haven't fully determined which markers mean, "Dunno, don't ask me," because to determine a marker's meaning you need to be able to guess what it means, and your intuition is massively smarter than you are.

As an example, I read reports of medical studies in New Scientist and predicted which ones would replicate, purely on how I felt about the experience of reading these articles. I put in enough effort, and I can now safely predict which studies (of any kind) will replicate, based on how I feel about a 300 word summary.

Intuitive syllogism is particularly useful for figuring out what your body is trying to tell you, and thus, in particular, what you should eat. It is very surprising to me how many markers the brain generates which have no labels and have to be trained. Further, some of the markers are labelled, but labelled wrong.

Like videogames, physics and computer programming are extremely useful. You will be 100% certain that you got the right answer, and they will agonizingly humble you, over and over again, until you learn proper humility. "It's a compiler error!" It's not a compiler error. "The answer in the back of the book is wrong!" To their sorrow, future you will understand how it's not.

If you develop the intuitionistic syllogism method, then you learn the intuitive markers for hubris, and thus be able to calm down and humbly question rather than try to fight and show dominance.

Don't shy away from predicting things that should be scientifically impossible to predict. Partly, scientists haven't trained their critical thinking, and say dumb things or things designed to make you listen to them rather than yourself. Partly, I have often successfully predicted stuff I 100% definitely have no way of knowing, and there's no reason to think you can't do the same. For example, I sometimes predict I shouldn't go to a place, but I go there anyway so I can falsify the prediction. Normally isn't falsified.

Third set comments.

Bigger syllogisms hold more information, so they can deal with bigger, more complicated situations, or deal with regular situations at a higher precision. If a proof is complex - the premises themselves have proof structures that ought to be held in mind - it can get huge.

I had no issues stretching to accommodate syllogisms that were essentially isomorphic to reality. On the contrary, the stretching sensation is pleasant, especially when a model can be fully grasped. I can't guarantee you'll have the same experience, though.

I believe this is based on chunking. Chess masters hold board segments or whole board states in their mind at once, rather than trying to memorize each piece individually. Logical masters do the same thing, but unlike chess boards, logical structures are similar across all fields of expertise and inquiry.

You will find that the chunks are addressed by subjective or intuitive markers, which are being trained in the second set. Most of them don't have names so I find it very difficult to describe an example, but let's go anyway.

The chess master doesn't really remember even a board chunk; he remembers that the board chunk feels a certain way, and if he needs a property of the board chunk he remembers what that feeling implies about the chunk. Maybe the one that feels like a twirly skoobarg has a pawn in the upper left. (I told you most of them don't have names.) When there's no queen it feels sububly and if only you have a queen it feels lerdiborg. If you've ever played chess I'm sure you agree. There also a feeling of someone threatening to promote a pawn: distinct ones for when you both have queens, when you both don't, when they do, and when you do, and it changes both in quality and in intensity when they get closer to promotion. Remembering all these markers is hard, which is most of why it's hard to train. I suggest time-travelling back to childhood and starting then. Certainly I benefited a lot from starting very early.

Because there's so many feelings, it would be impossible for them all to have individual names. It would have to be some sort of function, which generates a name on the fly. You would start with the bouba kiki principle and generalize to a full system.

Somewhere along the path to logical grandmastery, one gains what I call philosopher superabilities, such as the ability to detect contradictions in the time between looking at a text and actually reading it. "I don't even know what it says yet and I already know it's wrong."

Fourth set.

Step 1.1: Explicate something you believe.
Step 1.2: Justify believing in it.

Step 2.1: Compare two justifications.
Step 2.2: Reconcile them.

Repeat until you have justified and reconciled every belief you have.

Training your general predictions obviously combs out errors in your beliefs. However, one can go above and beyond, and spend time not predicting per se, but looking for contradictions in your beliefs. As it turns out, it is actually possible to have a set of beliefs which is fully consistent end to end, although the time investment necessary to verbalize every one of your beliefs is immense.

One benefit is that cognitive dissonance is tense, and removing the dissonance removes that tension. Completing a rep of the fourth set relaxes you permanently. 

Of necessity, your observations are a kind of belief. You will find that as contradictions are removed, your analysis or interpretations of your observations lose more and more degrees of freedom. Similarly, you'll find some of your observations are inconsistent, and reconciling them typically means finding one was mistaken. As a result, your beliefs must become more true. If your observations are consistent with each other and your analyses are consistent with each other and your analyses are consistent with your observations, the odds of them being incorrect are minuscule, because they all have to be wrong at the same time. 

From the inside, Set 4.1 and 4.2 feel exactly the same. This is because they are the same, but the untrained can't see the similarity. This is why they're unified into a single set.

For this, I used magazine articles. Scientific American wasn't always full of drooling idiots. They would state their belief, I would state my equivalent belief, and then justify my belief. In practice this is re-creating philosophy from the ground up. Which is why I unashamedly call myself a grandmaster philosopher, despite having spent maybe 20 minutes reading Aristotle in total, mutatis mutandis for every other famous philosopher except Nick Land and Mencius Moldbug.

If the magazine articles statement contradicted mine, I would try to find their contradiction, either internally or with difficult-to-mistake observations. Journalists are dumb, so there's always one to find. Reading cyberspace articles is more challenging; sometimes I was wrong instead.

With good form, the fourth set trains insight. If you falsify both the article and your own original belief, it's natural to go looking for what else you might try believing. With practice, it becomes habitual to, upon reading a statement, think of everything equivalent anyone might believe. With further practice, the noise is pruned, the breadth increases, and eventually random political BS can inspire you to think of wholly novel truths.

Stretching out your mind is necessary to complete the fourth set. Often, to reconcile two beliefs requires unifying them into a larger, overarching system. You can no longer load them up individually, but have to load them simultaneously. You will see that laity use ad hoc approximations that are much smaller. Sometimes, even adding together all the ad hoc approximations, which each apply to one particular domain, is smaller than the overarching system which is incomplete or inconsistent without including all of them.

If you get tired and need to rest, it is acceptable to believe something without justification, as long as you admit you have no proof. "Yeah, that's my wild ass guess. But I'm sticking to it."

General comments. 

Remember orthogonality. It's useful to spot when factors can vary without affecting each other, like the colour and shape of a toy ball. They are orthogonal considerations.

Remember superposition. Many allegedly complicated ideas are in fact a multiple superposition of a very simple idea with itself.

You may find it necessary to write down your predictions, so you don't 'accidentally' misremember predicting the correct outcome when you actually didn't. My memory is like a divine gift, so I didn't have to.

By inspection, if you make type 1 or type 2 errors the training will be less efficient. However, regardless of your base level of self-deception, you can tell the training is working because the failure rate will decline. Once it has started to noticeably decline you can start working on your level of self-deception using set 1. "I will self-deceive, and think X when in fact Y." Then see what in fact happens, adjust, and try again until you stop being self-deceptive.

In theory, someone undertaking this training could write down all the principles they come up with to generate correct syllogisms. It would help later travellers, but not, I think, very much. Every happy family is alike, but every delusional thinker is crooked in their own way.

Let's do this using the method.

"Reading a list of ways to think correctly would help."
"The list of cognitive biases and fallacies on wikipedia is close enough; a list of how not to think."
Prediction: "Reading wikipedia's lists would make you think better."

Given that the conclusion is false - you can try it if you like, as per the method, it has a nice fast turnaround - then one of the premises must be false; modus tollens. The second is true enough. If the lists are even a little bit accurate, then you ought to learn to think at least a little bit better, and it's absurd to think they're totally useless. Hence, the first must be false.

To properly test this, having adopted the negation of the first premise, I would make a new, independent prediction based on that premise. Ideally with all other premises chosen for being very solid.

If this further prediction comes back negative, then I must have made a mistake somewhere in my methodology. I have either failed to include a relevant premise, or accidentally inferred that A => C when in fact A => B, or something of that nature.

The latter I call the ability to think in straight lines, because that's what it feels like. Sometimes your train of thought jumps a track. For example, I might think, "Reading a list of ways to think correctly would help, and therefore I will write a list of ways to think." Jumped a track in the middle there. Like I got distracted and grafted the end of a different premise onto the beginning of the first. It's almost a plausible thing to do, so I may not immediately notice my error. In my case, the result will, for some time, be cached rather than recomputed, so I often re-do proofs at increasing intervals. In other words I will autocomplete "Read list," as "therefore, write list," just like you autocomplete "Sun rises," with "East." Note that the latter isn't logically necessary; the autocomplete replaces actual logic processing with simply remembering an association.

Maybe my statement, "It is absurd to think they're totally useless," is in fact false, and I can reverse that and generate new predictions to test it. (I've in fact already done so, more on this in a bit.) Maybe I have equivocated, or misapprehended the situation. Most of this can be discovered by back-generating the premises that would have lead to the correct prediction, which is why that's step 3 in set 1.

I have not specifically tested the assertion "It is absurd to think these articles are devoid of true information." However, I have tested intuitively identical statements, so I'm already familiar with the relevant markers, and they indeed predict that that those articles have sufficient accuracy to be useful. If reading such lists were a useful expenditure of time.

If pursuing physics or programming hasn't stripped you of your superfluous ego, then running the first or second set on yourself and your own behaviour is a good way to jab yourself in the gonads until you fall over in defeat at your own feet. Being able to predict your own behaviour is worth the pain, and I suspect it's a necessary prerequisite for predicting others.

It's also good to note how much of your thinking isn't really you. Almost all of it. It's exactly like programming: you toss your brain some code, and it compiles and runs the code for you. It's hard to inquire about what machine code the compiler actually used.

The request "I should read a list of correct thinking, therefore...?" runs different code depending on whether it has been recently run, but sending that request feels almost identical, and I still struggle with trying to find an equivalent request that will actually re-compute the logic rather than fetching the cached result. Hence, I don't try anymore, but wait for the cache to expire. Indeed the code is so quiet it actually feels like 'you' are doing the thinking. You're not. This is an example of an intuitive marker with a false label.

While a list of correct thinking is not particularly useful, I do believe "The Brain: an Owner's Manual" would be immensely helpful, filled with tips like, "You don't actually do the thinking," and "Caches last for [some function of IQ] seconds." However, for myriad reasons it's not a project I can complete solo. One is I already don't need it. Another is, if there aren't at least two people interested in helping, I predict (both set 1 and 2) nobody would read it, so why would I waste my time?