Saturday, October 24, 2020

Chaos Meditation

Mindfulness is extraordinarily useful, and the training looks like meditation. I'm not aware of any prior art, so I believe this is an Alrenous original. Do read the whole post since it contains warnings.

In chaos meditation, focus on the distraction instead of the topic. Or: instead of focus being mandatory, focus is forbidden. Scan your imagination at all times, and immediately seize any topic change that presents itself. Instead of trying to force your thoughts to converge, force your thoughts to diverge.
Order meditation: "I breathe. Hey, pretty lights. No no, I breathe."
Chaos meditation: "I breathe. Oh hey, pretty lights. They sure are pretty. What else is pretty? I like flowers. Those are pretty--no wait, I'm thinking about flowers. Which are biological. A funny thing happened in biology class, and..." If you run out of distractions, think more deeply about your current topic until a distraction presents itself.

Chaos meditation has several advantages over normal, order meditation. I developed it because attempting order meditation literally makes me want to kill someone, and I needed an alternative. Instead of fighting your nature, you lean into it. Your distractability is an asset instead of a liability, and yet chaos meditation still trains the mind to resist distractability. I can't be completely sure due to that whole n=1 thing, but I believe it exploits the reward/aversion circuits. Training takes discipline. Using discipline builds aversion. Training to be distracted builds aversion to being distracted. This frees up your discipline quota during distractions in daily life.

Both kinds of meditation train you to recognize the sensation of being distracted, and to deal with it intentionally instead of by reflex. Both types of meditation consist of long periods of paying close attention to the contents of your mind, and thus to become familiar with the usual patterns and mechanics of your mind's contents. Hence, mindfulness. Further, while order meditation is unquestionably harder, chaos meditation is still a discipline and practice with it gently trains discipline.

That said both order meditation and chaos meditation have side effects, and as expected most of the side effects of chaos meditation are opposite to order meditation. Instead of training for a still mind, it trains for an active mind. I find being aware of all my distractions can cause mental traffic jams at times. Reminder: neither kind of meditation is particularly safe. There is no such thing as a safe kind of power. Pay attention to the side effects as they develop. If you don't like the price you're paying, fix it by doing the obvious thing.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Nihilist Morality

Objective morality means nihilist morality. And that's fine. Partly because everything is fine, but mainly because logic is irrevocable, so even nihilism has rules.

Basic nihilism: nothing is necessary, everything is permitted. 

However, this means whim implies ought. If you want X, you ought to commit act Y which leads to X.

Since all whims are valid, some whims are not valid: the ones that are explicitly about invalidating someone else's whims. "I don't want a cookie, I just want you to not have a cookie." This whim invalidates the justifying principle, and thus logically invalidates itself. The principle says I ought to make you ought not do what you ought to do. Bzzzt. If it is okay for me to suppress your whim, it must likewise be okay for you to suppress my whim, in particular the whim about suppressing your whims, and thus my whim is self-delegitimizing. If it's false it's false and if it's true it's false. In all cases, false. Strictly speaking such things are not whims at all.

When I say my course is Right and Moral and Good, I contradict the [everything is permitted] clause, and thus invalidate my own validation. "It is Wrong for you have cookies." Put colloquially, anyone saying you ought not to do something because it's selfish ought to be punched in the face until they shut up. This also applies to your own whims invalidating your own whims.  

Because cooperation is always rational, cooperation is always possible, and defection can be very clearly defined: the act of trying to make cooperation be seen as irrational. In practice it's always possible to bake enough cookies to satisfy both of us. Defection is attempting to nevertheless dissatisfy one of us, which encourages everyone who is being actively dissatisfied to declare war and destroy the defector.

Lies are also self-condemning in this way. "I'm not going to take a cookie," as a strategy for getting a cookie. "Getting this cookie requires saying I shouldn't get this cookie." Bzzzt. "It is right for you to oppose this whim." Okay, will do. When you support the opposite of what you're doing, you invalidate your own course of action. Or: Kant was onto something but didn't quite make it.

In both cases remove the whim causing the problem; invalidate it. It doesn't count as a real whim. Remember, ought implies can. Whims that are unsatisfiable also don't count. "I want to eat every cookie in the world."

Nevertheless, objective morality still isn't real objectivity. The point of objectivity is to stop arguing about it. Take out the ruler, get a measurement. Here, it is impossible. There's a bunch of finesse involved. Technically anyone can argue that a yard stick isn't a yard long, but in practice that's stupid. For morality, it should be stupid but almost never is.

Because there are limited resources, it's easy to cast someone's whim as invalidating your whim, even if it inherently does no such thing. "I want six of the ten cookies, therefore your desire for five of the cookies invalidates my desire." It's not like starting with eleven cookies was logically impossible.

Similarly, even if we had nice objective rules about that, it would be easy to do the opposite, and cast a whim-invalidating whim as merely a resource-competition whim. "I'm not trying to starve you of cookies, I just want all ten, that's all, see..." It's not like starting with fifteen cookies was impossible, but we already didn't do that, creating a loophole. More generally, it would have been possible for humans to evolve such that they're fully satisfied as a set without requiring more resources than exist, but that already didn't happen.

As a practical matter it is necessary to decide beforehand on bright lines which demarcate trespass. Property lines, if you will. Boundaries, even. "These are my cookies, so they go to who I say they go to. If you don't like it, bake your own." However, it must be possible to argue with the boundaries. It is possible, indeed easy, to create a positive right - property ownership over a whim to directly suppress someone else's whim. "I don't have my own oven so I get to bake my cookies in yours if you're not using it." You just want to be alone today but it's "trespass" not to let me invade your house and dirty your oven.

But, because property must be arguable, it can go in the reverse direction. Toward more defection, instead of more cooperation. Maybe at first I had to pay you a cookie tax to use the oven, but now I get to use your oven even if you were using it first and sit on your couch watching your TV. Easy to argue that a rent is actually a subscription. 

This is why it's necessary to have Exit. To be able to unilaterally (but forthrightly) declare someone a non-cooperator, and thus absolve yourself of the requirement to cooperate with them. This is still fuzzy, but Exit, at least, must be perverted to do bad, rather than requiring perversion to do good. The slippery slope points in a responsible, cooperative direction.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Major Moldbug Error, Salus Populi Addendum

The Romans wanted cruel leaders. That hasn't changed. Europeans still want cruel leaders, the crueller the better. Only some layering has changed. They want sophisticated cruel leaders who cleverly hide their sadism. No more blood and skulls and fire. The idea is to make someone suffer as badly as if they had full-body burns, without physically touching them. Ideally, make them think it was their own fault. Or perhaps make them think it's actually a good thing and their suffering is appearing from nowhere. (E.g. welfare.)

Making the populace healthy isn't cruel. 

If the food pyramid were some kind of isolated event, perhaps mere public choice theory would explain it. Instead the populace will fight you if you try to debunk the food pyramid, and that goes for everything. It's all cruel lies and sadistic falsehoods, and it's exactly what they demand.

Any form of health-supporting sovereign would suffer immediate and overwhelming violent insurrection.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Abstract Theorizing is Metaphysics

It bears repeating.

So you've noticed you can't justify your moral intuitions. (Nihilism is true, naturally you can't.) You can't possibly do anything as silly as adjust your ideology, that would be admitting you were wrong about something. Instead have to figure how to make sure nobody notices. (Paging Sailer...) Anyway, the point is to make friends, right? You can make lots of friends by conspicuously avoiding the whole justification issue, since they've noticed the same thing and don't want to deal with it any more than you do. When we choose to use a word, it means what we want it to mean, neither more nor less, and that's that! Plus, if you adjust your ideology, it won't be the same ideology as all your friends anymore. You might become less popular.

Justifying your moral intuitions is abstract theorizing, which is metaphysics. (Naturally, noticing this equivalence is also metaphysics.) 

Metaphysics isn't real. Every modernist says so, it must be true. 

Thus we say nobody should think abstractly if there is any way to avoid it.

And thus we can call ourselves nihilist without having to suffer the inconvenience of knowing what nihilism is. Handy!


Also, if you had any fucking clue what you were talking about, then you'll make the clueless feel envy and jealousy. That's morally wrong.