Forum => Lounge => Journals => Topic started by: idgo on September 17, 2018, 11:37:06 pm

Title: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 17, 2018, 11:37:06 pm
I have it on my list today to write about Loops, Resistance, and Secrets. This seems as good a place as any to write something and have a good chance of finding it again -- better than a stray scrap of paper, at least.


I entertain the speculation that "time" and "causality" have underlying mechanisms bearing little resemblance to the most common, practical metaphors we place upon them. Or, to put it another way, I speculate that alternate metaphors may be immensely more useful than the usual ones for explaining and understanding things that make no bloody sense when assessed the usual way.

Some materials that have recently refined my interpretation of the whole "holy shit time might not be as straightforward as it's convenient to pretend" thing include,, and similar. Also I tend to conflate sharding( with RAID( due to a bit of sloppiness in applying technical metaphors to domains where they really don't belong. I also assume the reader has read

When altered enough to slow rational thought so I can actually watch it go by, I get the distinct impression that... a straight line drawn across the "disk" of time-serialized experience appears to pass through a variety of shards of disparate identity/self experiences, and serializing "reality" in a way that yields an apparently sensible ordering of self-experiences seems to involve a lot of seeks across the "disk" of "reality".

The less computer-ified, more artistic, and seemingly more human-understandable metaphor for the same thing that popped up to me recently is something someone really oughtta sculpt sometime: Model space-time "reality" as a sheet, the scoby grown on top of a big flat pond of kombucha or just a piece of cloth. Crumple it up into roughly a sphere, and you have a setup that looks not unlike the surface of a brain. That's the shared... substrate maybe? "external" thing? And then take a long sharp wire and interpose it through that balled-up sheet, again and again, till little of the sheet is left un-pierced and the wire is all inside the "brain" or "ball". In this, the wire is a linear serialization of one conscious experience... though if you're an electron at any particular point on the wire, and can only see along the sheet/membrane, it will *look* like there are myriad separate wires going along beside where you're at.

Anyways, Resistance and Secrets.

Secrets are an easy write: The secrets that are still secret in this day and age are so for a reason. Generally, they're some combination of exceedingly difficult to understand, useless, difficult to do anything *with* an understanding of including confirm that understanding is correct, and so far removed from language as to be nearly in-transmissible between humans. That's not a complete ontology; a seemingly worthwhile project for later on would be to categorize all the pieces of information in my head that I or others regard as "secrets".

And it's later on right now.

The lowest, degenerate, "false" secrets are things it'd be easy to understand if they were offered to a listener. For example, the password to this account is a secret in this class: If my password was "lollercopters34", and I told you so, then you would be able to use that secret to its fullest power and succeed at logging into my account. These secrets are the weakest because they do nothing to protect themselves; they fit fully and cleanly into language so when I say my understanding of the secret to someone else and they hear it, they get an understanding that has all the features and utility of the understanding that I attempted to say. These "degenerate" secrets are trivially easy to disprove -- you can try logging in as me with the aforementioned string in the password field, and you'll instantly discover that it is not the secret it claimed to be at all.

An intermediate class of secret -- "simple true secrets", perhaps? -- are only communicable with some additional shared background. The easier of these "simple true secrets" are those against which the listener has never been inoculated. An "easy simple true secret" is the Pythagorean theorem -- a^2 + b^2 = c^2, to find side lengths of a right triangle. It's in no way well-kept, and in no way self-keeping: Once it gets out, anyone with a sufficient background in arithmetic and algebra can use it to do its thing. However, show it to a kid who hasn't yet taken an algebra class (or an adult with sufficient pride in their own ignorance to have avoided retaining any algebra after school), and it looks like Greek. I suspect that  "simple true secrets", by virtue of being communicable in their entirety, can be disproven: If I claimed that a^2 + b^2 = b^2 for all right triangles, anyone with an appropriate mathematical background could trivially produce an example for which that wasn't the case. Computational complexity theory likely holds some sister classes to this one -- ideas easy to share accurately and demonstrate that they were shared accurately, but hard to disprove -- but I'll resist the temptation to hop down that rabbit hole and find them at the moment.

(I'll use the metaphor of a castle later. The secrets up to this point come through the portal in that castle unharmed)

The other simple true secrets -- ideas communicable in their entirety, but requiring shared background -- are the "difficult" ones. These are the secrets for which something has to be "un-learned" in order to use them. If someone was raised to believe that physique is dictated solely by genetics, "weight gain happens when you consume more calories than you expend, and vice versa" might be a "difficult simple true secret". If someone understands what calories are, and what it means to consume or expend a calorie (the shared background), they technically have all they need to lose or gain weight at will... they might be able to do all the math for how much weight a person with a given activity level and diet should be expected to gain or lose... but *actually implementing it to change their own life* could be difficult or impossible. Later categories of secrets can also qualify as "difficult", but difficult secrets are such a PITA that this will hopefully be my only mention of them here. (In the castle later, Difficult secrets are those that get torn and bent on their journey through the portal)

A lot of self-help, therapy, and simple magic falls into this "difficult simple true secret" bucket.

Then, beyond the fake secrets and the simple real secrets, there are more categories. I know of at least one such category: The "self-keeping" secrets. Information that I qualify as "self-keeping secrets" is that which *cannot* be accurately replicated through language from person to person.

I guess we can break self-keeping secrets into 2 further categories: Testable and un-testable. A testable self-keeping secret is one where you can't necessarily say the same set of words to every person and have them *get it*, but there exists some "objective" metric to measure whether they've gotten it. I figure that how to hit a home run, or how to shoot accurately, and similar athletic skills often fall into this category of testable self-keeping secrets. I can read all I want about how to hit a home run, yet in order to actually do it, I need additional information about my personal physiology that I can only gain by the trial and error that we generally call "practice". But, importantly, if I tell you "hey I learned to hit a home run", you can be like "OK then do it" and if I do it then you know I learned it and if I don't do it you can give me a couple more chances then write it off as either un-learned or unknown-whether-I-learned if I fail all of them. There's a lot of money for people who can persuade others that they can communicate or even just use a self-keeping secret, and this ties into the economic value of university degrees. (when I get around to discussing the castle, these will be items that can be sent out through the portal, but not brought in well)

Now, the un-testable self-keeping secrets are where things get really screwy. As will be obvious to anyone with pattern-matching faculties and the patience or insanity to have read this far, un-testable self-keeping secrets are the ones where when you have the idea in your head, and you try to put it into language, and you look at the language, it's instantly obvious that those words could mean a whole lot of things other than what you actually meant.... *no matter what words you choose!* And to compound that, there's no way for a listener to produce any language or action that can confirm with adequate certainty that the thing they constructed in their head upon listening holds any useful resemblance to the thing you had in your head and attempted to put into words!

(castle: these can't travel through the portal in either direction. They are often "discovered" outside the walls.)

Since un-testable self-keeping secrets are by definition not falsifiable, and a given serialization of one may have far greater utility to one person than to another based on their respective contexts in life, they often look like total bunk to most people. Additionally, any personal algorithm for decoding "the real meaning" behind a serialization of an un-testable self-keeping secret will be able to decode "real meanings" out of literally anything (which can often be very amusing and/or enlightening!)

Note that I'm whinging here less about any absolute traits of information, and more about the limitations of communication as we know it. Also I should probably draw this whole mess into a comic of sorts; I tend to gravitate toward spatial metaphors for internal use on non-linguistically-serializable concepts so those raw images might translate somewhat better into attempts to communicate.

Anyways, Resistance.

Resistance can be viewed as an algorithm that I personally apply to look for "real meanings" behind un-testable self-keeping secrets. Note above that such algorithms are guaranteed to produce "meanings" unrelated to what the authors of what you point them at "really meant", much if not all of the time! But that's ok, because I happen to enjoy watching things that can't think try to do so anyways and other such pursuits, so the algorithm's output is always *interesting* and I'm not bothered by the fact that it would likely disagree with others' interpretations if it was possible to compare interpretations to one another directly.

Resistance is basically that feeling that some thoughts give you when they, uh, "don't want to be thought". You know, "1 + 1 = 43" kind of "wrong". That feeling of "wrong" is what tells you you're looking at something that falls outside the boundaries of "sane and reasonable" thought, which means that you have a *candidate* for something that might do things "impossible" in the sane and reasonable world. Examining and testing those candidates is a whole other set of puzzles, and I haven't yet tried my hand at crafting a metaphor with any hope of usefully explaining to anyone else how I actually do that.

The tie-in back to prior ramblings (a tie-back? hold open some curtain?) here is that this Resistance can be a hint that a self-kept secret may be nearby. Or maybe it's my technique for sniffing around in veins of resistance that lace the rock into which we carve our tunnels of reason, that's actually helpful? I haven't yet figured out how to test that one. I guess I figure that the "self" in "self-keeping secrets" is tied into the nature of language and reason/logic -- if they're the barrier against sharing certain secrets, then looking at things I know for certain are on the other side of that barrier (because they produce Resistance) seems like as good a way as any to find interesting things.

(in the castle that I'll be getting around to quite shortly now, this Resistance pervades the world outside the walls)

Oh, and on Safety and Interesting Things.

Interesting Things tend to come with an option for using them, and when you haven't used a thing before it's between difficult and impossible to predict the full consequences of doing so. Because while causality might not be the *only* explanation, or even the *best* one for all circumstances, it nevertheless reliably models a part of human experience that's highly relevant to keeping on having a brain for thinking with.

It can even be useful to model the Interesting Things one finds outside of reason as explosives, grenades, land mines. Maybe teleporters, if you want to get all non-violent. Point is, *using* a Thing you find outside Sense and Reason tends to have nonsensical and unreasonable consequences. More relevantly, using the first Thing you find when wandering around out there is a quick trip to not knowing where you are or what's going on any more.

I find that as long as one has a functioning brain and body and place in society, it's trivially easy to "reset" back to some "spawn point" within Sense and Reason. It's like welp, that didn't work, back to where we started.

I guess in this metaphor, the most useful thing I've so far figured out to do with the Interesting Things I find outside of Sense and Reason is to try to carefully bring them back into it, and examine what I have left.

If this area I'm calling Sense and Reason is a castle, Language is a portal within its central keep through which one can export all supported concepts to the Language portal in others' Sense and Reason castles. On the grounds, one can attempt to piece back together the shredded bits of things that got a bit beaten up in their journey through Language. When there looks like there's a piece missing, it's feasible to send away for a new copy of that piece, or an updated blueprint showing that you assembled it quite wrong. And I've annotated earlier through this post how the different classes of secret interact with it.

I was supposed to look up whether I'm redundant over Hofsteader's Strange Loops, but that requires attempting to re-grok them (they tend to seem self-keeping, with a bit of Difficulty for me thrown in by their reliance on mathematical analogies I balk at).

I'll make a new thread if I have more things to say, so y'all are welcome to write words in the comments here if you feel like it.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 25, 2018, 05:47:12 pm
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: pi_rameses on September 26, 2018, 11:56:40 am
Great title for a journal btw
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 26, 2018, 08:27:08 pm
Great title for a journal btw

Thanks! I suppose explaining the ideology which leads to that sort of incongruous title is itself a writing prompt. Do we want writing prompts for the journal section? Probably so. Perhaps I'll post some and see how they're received.

Anyways, through observing how others interact with their own belief systems, I've noticed a common trend: Someone does something out of the ordinary, gets it into their head that they're somehow  More Special-er than everybody else, and proceeds to more or less lose touch with reality.

Now, losing touch with reality is not in itself a problem. Most intentional alteration of the mind, whether by disciplines or chemicals, has losing touch with some part of reality as an integral component to its goals. Untying oneself from Causality (aka Consensus) places one into a space where one has nearly limitless power.

I identify an ordering of possible states, with "fully engrossed in and limited by Causality" at the one extreme and "fully engrossed in and limited by the Subjective" at the other. I've found that the first effect of learning the philosophies and techniques generally sold in the Magick section has been an ability to traverse that ordering at will. Traversal of that line is interesting enough, but by itself it's neither particularly new nor particularly useful. The really interesting stuff -- the unexpected or unusual Power, as it were -- comes from twisting the line back onto itself in order to make available features of multiple disparate points at once. There are already some ties between points on the line -- sociology and psychology contain plenty of explanations for how deep internal states of mind influence individuals' behavior and real-world outcomes -- so it's often easiest to strengthen those existing links in order to build the desired web of interconnection.

Anyway, this is a paradigm in which my goals -- a Causality appropriately shaped by my Subjective world; a Subjective world appropriately shaped by Causality -- require me to be able to be able to freely and readily traverse the spectrum from fully Causal to fully Subjective at will. I find that reveling too long in the pleasure of absolute power available at the fully Subjective end of that road makes it harder and harder to persuade myself to leave it; to return to the fully Causal end at which there are a bunch of things in the world that I have no dang clue how to control yet and on which any attempt at exerting control would change the system into one I understand and influence even less than the current one.

That whole wall of text would probably do much better as a drawing. I'll have to see what I can do.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 26, 2018, 09:34:25 pm

Drew it up because when is a line not a line? When it's in metaphysics and it's always actually a circle, that's when.

The "have" and "lack" refer to perception-AND-evidence, truth table style ( Perception mismatched from evidence lands you in whichever one offers less control for you:

False positive, thinking you can fly by flapping your arms when the evidence in the form of laws of aerodynamics say you can't? Your outer world gives you less control than your inner world, so it'll win. You try to fly, you fall and possibly break, and now your perceptions in the form of observations that you aren't flying are matched to the evidence available unless you're delusional.

False negative, thinking you can't get a better job, when in fact your skills are in demand? Your inner world gives you less control than your outer world, so it'll win. You don't clean up your resume and send out applications, thus you don't get any offers, thus your perception gets confirmed.

But,yeah. I find that untempered self-flattery, even when justified, is a quick ticket to landing in the third and fourth quadrants, which are a right PITA to drag oneself out of. It's the first and second that I try to hang out in whenever feasible.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 28, 2018, 05:56:48 pm
Writing to note that before this,I had 21 likes, 21 posts, and a single pentacle under my name as displayed. Curious whether it's a a particular post count, or an administrator action, which may prompt that to change.

Contextualizing some daily life in the context of the glyph from my prior post in this thread, I notice that my insistence of favoring Q1 over Q4 lies at the root of some behaviors and thought patterns that I'd prefer to eventually grow out of.

Oh, I should note the glyph in words in case imgur ever goes away. Draw a circle. Place dots a bit outside the circle at compass points N, E, S, W, and dots inside the circle at N, E, S, W. So the vertical and horizontal through the circle each have 4 dots along them, 2 in and 2 out of the circle. Then make connecting "arrows" or "Vs": outer-N to inner-E to outer-S (later labeled "subjective" or "inner world"), outer-N to inner-W to outer-S (later labeled "objective" or "outer world"), outer-E to inner-N to outer-W (later labeled "have control"), outer-E to inner-S to outer-W (later labeled "lack control"). NW is Quadrant 1, NE is Q2, SE is Q3, SW is Q4.

Anyways, the Q4 mentality is "you are one vote in Consensus" and the Q1 is "with sufficient power you can create and control anything". Neither is false, and neither is sufficient in isolation.

I've also been thinking more about those points outside the circle, dividing the quadrants. At the west extreme, between Q1 and Q4, you have a maximally accurate representation of the "outer world"... which is outside the reach of the "self" represented by the circle, and un-asks the question of whether you have or lack control. The north extreme un-asks whether perfect control is external or internal. This gets me to suspecting that the whole thing might be like an inaccurate map projection -- the 4 points outside the circle are really one, so perhaps the glyph can only be "correctly" drawn on a spherical surface. The circle "self", then, is a liminal equator between the "inner" and "outer". While not wrong, this is a vastly less communicable metaphor than describing the boundary of self as an attempt to bound a fractal, so I shall draw something up and switch over to that one.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: Onyx on September 28, 2018, 06:06:51 pm
The pentagram icons are related to post count: 0+, 50+, 100+, 250+ 500+.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 28, 2018, 06:44:27 pm
Cool, thanks for clarifying!

First post in here was a wall of text that nobody sensible would bother reading from an unvetted source.

I tried to make it into a picture but it reads to me as trite and obvious. Oh well, spent too long a 5mins on it not to impose it upon any reader with the misfortune to have followed this thread so far.

Nature of the cute pupper in this metaphor is left as an easy exercise for the reader.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 28, 2018, 07:36:05 pm
Additionally in "Librecad plus xpaint do not an art tool make", a visual impression of what I consider the "boundary of self" problem, which I may have alluded to in my postings in the science thread on bees.

The inner world is red, the outer, black. The gradient represents those spaces that are neither entirely inner nor entirely outer: This forum post, accessible to others but shaped by rumination internal to its author.  Memories of other posts you've read, shaped by others but accessible only to you unless you use them to create something new like a spoken or written description of them in the outside world.

And yet, the gradient isn't "real". You see a gradient only because of the way I happened to line up all the cells relative to one another; each individual cell holds only a single color. Any pair of touching cells are so close to one another in hue that one wonders if they were meant to be the same, and one of their off-tints is simply a mistake.

Just as there's no one line through the image on the one side of which is Only Red and the other is Only Black, I see no clean line between the Subjective and Objective.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 29, 2018, 04:23:34 am
The possessions of a Satanist serve an essential purpose: They must strike awe into their owner's soul. Appropriate possessions can induce a sense of being honored and amazed that you get to hold or use <yourname>'s <item>.

The brain believes what it sees. There is a depth of belief -- belief that its owner deserves the absolute best the world can offer, belief that its owner is the consummate monarch over their own domain -- that can only be instilled in the brain directly through the senses. The easy way to feed in that literal *sense* of well-earned luxury is by carefully curating the contents of the physical environment.

Relatedly, the brain is an item, an "it". The brain, as an organ described in English, does not have gender. I think, and should investigate after booting my own brain back to its usual architecture, that examining where gender comes from could be an interesting string dangling off of where "self" is. It's something that some people can sense very strongly, and as a property of "self" which is not a property of neurons, it may be a bookmark between the chapters of "brain" and "mind".

Edit: Following on, in case this wants to become an essay someday...

The sense of *honored* is the key bit there. The sense of being honored to get to interact with a particular thing is a facet of the sense that the thing is somehow out of reach, above one's station.

Tracing the sense that it'd be wrong to accept a thing as part of normal life points out where one's sensations of inferiority are. It points out where one, however irrationally, is putting oneself down, or holding oneself back from possibilities.

The sense of being made more special by proximity to a given item (a feeling which is one of many polite masks worn by the sense of personal inferiority to something or someone) can be reliably dispelled through long-term exposure to the item. And training oneself to dispel the easily reachable inferiorities, by practicing doing so with the tool of exposure to items that evoke it, makes one better at dissolving the more insidious inferiorities as well.

In other words: If you deeply believe that plumbusses are only for Better People, and you get yourself a nice plumbus, your brain will think that you're a Better Person (because all people with plumbusses are Better). One man's lost treasure is another's lucky find, and the brain's built-in naivete is as much a problem or an opportunity as you choose to make it.

This also ties into social factors: Seeing your friends be impressed by your things or your home shows your brain that you match or exceed their standards, which helps it model you as equal to those you look up to.

Seriously though, what do the *things you own* encode to your brain about *who you are*? You can overwrite some of the defaults -- "some broke loser who's still using damaged kitchenware" can become "an ecologically responsible person who's avoiding waste and showing resourcefulness by getting every bit of use out of their household items". And other such examples that're a poor reinvention of NLP. But yeah, you can probably easily see how you judge others for how they look and what they own and stuff, but do you see how you also judge yourself?

Bother. I think I might have just explained to myself the previously-inexplicable affinity between some individuals and name brands. I must remind myself that my own sense of Quality was shaped by factors not at all representative of standard or average conditions, which means I both value things others may not, and disregard things that others know enough to value. At least, I prefer the "we're just measuring with different rulers" explanation over the "we're using different ends of the same tape measure" one.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 29, 2018, 05:07:52 am
I'm grateful that the internet makes it easy for "bad" people to out themselves. The behaviors for trying to profit off of a new acquaintance are so different from the behaviors for enjoying friendship that it's instantly obvious which of those the person is doing. On a forum like this the spammers, by spamming, keep us from mistaking them for legitimate prospective friends.

Contrast that against those circumstances in life where the "right" and "wrong" answers look the same. Like asking a friend whether they lied to you -- the honest friend has every reason to tell you they didn't lie, but so does the dishonest one -- simply asking if they're lying will give you no new information whatsoever unless you happen to be uniquely good at reading contextual cues unrelated to their answer to your question.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: Xepera-maSet on September 30, 2018, 01:49:13 am
I apologize if you've addressed this, but what is your view on pragmatism? Both lower-case "pragmatism" like doing what works for the individual, and upper-case "Pragmatism" as in "'Truth' is what works"?
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 30, 2018, 03:45:55 am
I apologize if you've addressed this, but what is your view on pragmatism? Both lower-case "pragmatism" like doing what works for the individual, and upper-case "Pragmatism" as in "'Truth' is what works"?

Thanks for asking! I had not addressed P/pragmatism directly, because I take both as foundational to the philosophies that require it and irrelevant to the ones that don't.

A large portion of my philosophical work starts in the vicinity of assessing language's strengths and weaknesses, because it's ultimately through language that I can compare my experiences to those reported by others and refine my understanding of how the Consensus/Objective world exists.

I suspect that lowercase-pragmatism is an accurate description of one part of my usual worldview, in that it's a nice tonic against absolutes. I find that when I venture far enough away from any valid claim, I discover valid antitheses to it. However, these apparent contradictions can be eliminated by carefully scoping all claims to the limits in which I know they're unchallenged. This local certainty coupled with global uncertainty in the thing most people call "truth" has trained me to focus on the meaninglessness of overarching "good" or "bad", preferring instead "good for this" or "bad at that". I use "useful" or "not useful" as stand-ins for the global "good" and "bad" which modern speech sometimes necessitate, because "useful" carries with it the question "for what?" in a way that the generally accepted notion of "good" doesn't tend to. I suspect that this process of attempting to avoid fallacious absolutes and replacing them with terms like "fitness for purpose" qualifies as pragmatism, and it's at the core of the philosophies that I spend most of my time using.

"pragmatism" like doing what works for the individual

Why, why, WHY would any neurologically intact and intellectually competent individual attempt to accomplish a goal by doing something they were certain DIDN'T work? I would get offended at you for suggesting anybody could be that stupid, but sadly I've met enough humans to suspect you probably aren't wrong to imply some don't get it.

and upper-case "Pragmatism" as in "'Truth' is what works"?

As for Pragmatism... On the level of abstraction at which most people discuss "Truth", I have yet to convince myself whether or not anything is even capable of "being True". This isn't a problem for me, as that level is sandwiched between one where everything is True and a bunch where some subset of everything is True and the rest isn't. Whenever I search my mind for such a worldview to use, it's because I want something. Maybe I want to control my surroundings; maybe I want to predict the future; maybe I simply want to feel consoled or entertained. Desire for change can be found at the root of all actions once one gets in the habit of looking for it.  And the nature of a moment's particular desire holds all the necessary information about which of the myriad available worldviews will be best for fulfilling it. I pick the one that meets my needs every time I need to use a worldview; surprisingly few of them have 'Truth' involved at all.

"what works" is an interesting concept in its own right. I tend to frame whether or not I got an anticipated outcome from a particular behavior as whether my model of the circumstances' rules and starting conditions was sufficiently robust to predict the outcome accurately. "did that work?" alone is a reasonable thing to ask, but its answers usually carry no new nor interesting information. I tend to skip straight past the place one ought to ask "did that work?" and straight to "what happened? was it interesting? do I like it?", because the latter questions tend to have answers which I find actually useful.

I guess Pragmatism makes the most sense rooted firmly in Causality (not sure where else it'd make any sense at all). Pragmatism is practically an axiom of Causality -- "To attain this effect, you must create one of the causes which produces it". Causality can get a bit of a bad rap for being overused as an explanation for parts of the Objective where it doesn't cleanly apply, but it's also a fantastically powerful machine for exposing appropriate questions to ask when exploring new areas of the Subjective. A chain of "Why?", after all, is like a dowsing rod that will drag you straight to the nearest axiomatic "Because.", and those "Because."s tend to contain the fundamental truths of the systems they apply in.

Within those "Because."s, there are spaces where no philosophy applies in any sense that can be fitted into language, but that's a restriction of the spaces moreso than of the philosophies. Pragmatism is no exception -- the mind can construct a space so foreign to the usual workings of the "I" that a question about whether something "exists", let alone "works" for some purpose, will be unaskable, unanswerable, or incomprehensible.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 30, 2018, 05:01:04 am
Back to our regularly scheduled deprogramming, I felt inspired to make some cult propaganda. No cult to go with it yet but I'm sure I can find some eggsoteric entities to "coop"erate with me...

Needs moar sigils. Also better drippier fonts. Both of those are what we call problems for Later.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 30, 2018, 05:51:27 am
~~ A Dialog ~~

:o < Desire for change underlies all actions.

 But that's useless, because I can't learn to spot it! >  :huh:

:o < Why not? Just watch it when it happens, and you can learn control.

I don't know when it's happening till after I see it happen, because all I can see right now is the action. >  :huh:

:o < Have you ever heard of clicker training?

?? > :huh:

:o  < You can use it to train chickens,and if you can train a chicken, you can train anything.

u calling me chicken m8 > 8)

:o < Their tiny little reptilian brains, very similar to one layer of your own brain, can be conditioned to do tricks, because they recognize that the thing that just happened a moment ago was what got a given result.

fite me >  8)

:o Fight your own laziness. If you win, you'll get to train your skull meat to replay the last moment of thought for your examination whenever you tell it. Then cue it to do that trick when you notice yourself taking an action, and self-knowledge appears!

wait, this was about self-knowledge all along? I'm not sure if that's what I wanted > :huh:
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 01, 2018, 12:43:48 am
Be Warned, Readers!

I often entertain myself by attempting to construct an illusion in which every stranger on the internet can be modeled as a rational and internally self-consistent system.

Fortunately, this insanity usually falls apart quite early on.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 01, 2018, 01:51:26 am
I've been reminded recently of a particular fallacy that I used to notice more than I have been recently.

It goes:

I have stumbled upon a Truth or Secret, and I am Special because I have it.

This premise alone is not Wrong, in that it's entirely compatible with the way the Consensus/Objective reality is understood to work by those who examine it most carefully. The problems lie in what seems to almost inevitably follow:

Furthermore, if you behave as I wish you to, I will transfer this Truth or Secret from my mind to yours so that you can use its powers too. And if you do not behave as I wish, I will withhold this Secret from you!

Unless the Truth or Secret at hand pertains to unprecedentedly efficient techniques for transferring knowledge/understanding between individuals and/or confirming the success of such a transfer, this promise (or perhaps threat, when it's of the form "do as I wish lest I withhold this great knowledge") is moot, because the constraints of Consensus render it unfulfillable.

The problem is that in this information age, secrets that don't spread themselves to anyone willing to listen shortly after the first person finds them tend to fall into the category that I called Self-Keeping Secrets in my first post in this thread. 

There are two possible ways for the second quoted claim to be broken:

1) Perhaps the Secret falls into the category that I call Self-Keeping. In this case, the falsehood is in the allegation that it can be transferred at will from one individual's mind to another's. Any attempt to either transfer the secret from one mind to another or to confirm a successful transfer will necessarily, due to the constraints of confirming that the secret was accurately transferred, occur in the Objective world. Since Self-Keeping secrets can only be lossily represented in the Objective, we are left without any way to prove that the understanding held by the listener after its "transfer" genuinely matches the understanding held by the speaker.

2) Perhaps the secret was not in fact Self-Keeping. In this case, the listener can simply wait a couple months or years for the Non-Self-Keeping secret to get spread about the world through the machinations of Profit. The falsehood here is in the implication that the person who presently holds the secret can control who possesses it after it has first been shared.

In conclusion, an allegation that an individual can fully control who learns their secrets is a dead giveaway that its speaker does not subscribe to an ontology of knowledge in which the recipient can't just hand out the secret to everyone else after getting it, and also can be truly certain that they received the same idea as was sent.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 01, 2018, 05:00:40 pm
Spotted an interesting trick for dichotomizing experiences of "unknowns" last night:

Assurance of safety is built upon certainty.

I'm sure better words for this brain feature will emerge as I dig into others who've studied it and turn it about for myself over time, but that's what I've got for now.

In particular, if a territory is truly unknown, it is necessarily assumed to be dangerous.

If things are known about a territory -- "people have been here before and none has encountered unusual danger" -- sufficiently to assure a properly tuned self-preservation instinct that I will be safe there, that territory cannot qualify as "fully unknown".

The actionable bit here is that I'm pretty sure it's reasonable and consistent to use that sense of uncertainty, which often surfaces itself to consciousness as a particular sort of fear, as a compass toward sections of consciousness/existence which are as yet entirely unexplored. Or at least unrecorded in one's personal understanding, which is as good as unexplored from a self-exploration perspective.

I think it's an evolutionary quirk of the brain to frame uncertainty as unsafety. The strategy of assuming "everything is out to get you until proven otherwise" probably kept a lot more ancestors passing on their patterns than its inverse, "Assume nothing will hurt you unless it's done so before".

The trick, then, is to differentiate between the signals the brain sendsmind receives? the signals that are perceptible representing certainty of unsafety vs those representing uncertainty of safety. The former -- certainty of unsafety -- say you're not only in a bad place but in a place you've already been, and thus hopefully already garnered the overall useful knowledge from. The latter -- uncertainty of safety -- is a guarantee of novelty.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 01, 2018, 05:31:33 pm
The whim strikes me to shred this argument somewhat more violently than I would ever do unasked to an argument by another:
Spotted an interesting trick for dichotomizing experiences of "unknowns" last night:

That's cute; you leave interesting undefined and claim dichotomy, though nowhere do you address whether or not there's any "unknowns" which may not fit this categorization. I guess I'll let it slide for the scare quotes and pretend you're using some pathologically restricted definition of "unknown", warped to fit your arguments, around here.

Assurance of safety is built upon certainty.

This from one who whines so about how "is" is broken? Couldn't even be bothered for a "can be feasibly modeled as", though that's just punting an implied "global good" down into "feasible" so not necessarily any better. Having previously decried the unviability of "global good" and shattered it into smaller-scoped compliments makes the whole foundation of your logic shaky.

I'm sure better words for this brain feature will emerge as I dig into others who've studied it and turn it about for myself over time, but that's what I've got for now.

Way to appeal to authority, without any of the work of consulting an actual authority on the subject. Or maybe you're just trying to build an illusion of this identity as one who carefully studies and believes science, despite having linked all kinds of "science is hard" crap like literally yesterday? I guess you never claimed outright that you *were* an internally consistent system when shouting down everyone else's similar breakage, so that omission I guess weasels you out of it this time...

In particular, if a territory is truly unknown, it is necessarily assumed to be dangerous.

Unfounded "necessarily". What necessitates it? Nice passive voice there.

If things are known about a territory -- "people have been here before and none has encountered unusual danger" -- sufficiently to assure a properly tuned self-preservation instinct that I will be safe there, that territory cannot qualify as "fully unknown".

No, structuring your sentences with maximal convolution does not make you smart. It might make you sound smart to the easily misled, but picking them as a target audience has certain barrels in common with bulk supplies of salted fish.

The actionable bit here is that I'm pretty sure it's reasonable and consistent to use that sense of uncertainty, which often surfaces itself to consciousness as a particular sort of fear, as a compass toward sections of consciousness/existence which are as yet entirely unexplored. Or at least unrecorded in one's personal understanding, which is as good as unexplored from a self-exploration perspective.

For any pursuit with more than one participant, which is most all the worthwhile ones, "unknown to me" is NOT the same as "unknown to us". Would have been sounder to skip the allegation about absolutes of "unexplored" entirely.

I think it's an evolutionary quirk of the brain to frame uncertainty as unsafety. The strategy of assuming "everything is out to get you until proven otherwise" probably kept a lot more ancestors passing on their patterns than its inverse, "Assume nothing will hurt you unless it's done so before".

More of the claiming all brains work like yours with no citation? You know you could isolate the claim to describe only your own and then it at least wouldn't be as actively falsifiable as this one...

The trick, then, is to differentiate between the signals the brain sendsmind receives? the signals that are perceptible representing certainty of unsafety vs those representing uncertainty of safety. The former -- certainty of unsafety -- say you're not only in a bad place but in a place you've already been, and thus hopefully already garnered the overall useful knowledge from. The latter -- uncertainty of safety -- is a guarantee of novelty.

There you go, backed out to a passive enough voice to not be wrong, without much worry about the fact that so distant a view of the topic is almost entirely inconclusive. Not that you notice -- you jump into a conclusion about novelty with next to no foundation (nor even definition). By this logic, if you forgot something and remembered it anew every day, you'd be "exploring uncharted territories of the human mind"... so sure, this argument is great for slapping grandiose labels onto perfectly mundane experiences if that's what you're after.

And again with the use of an unsubstantiated local compliment directly substituted in for a greater "good". Lucky thing this wasn't published for the benefit of any reader, because if it had been, you'd be leaving them out by offering no handholds to your comical facade of a bandwagon where certain words mean "good" and others mean "bad" and one gets to guess from context which box a given term came from. But that's all ok because at least you added an extra layer of indirection to the good/bad problem, huh?

Anyways. This category of skeptical proofreading can greatly improve an argument's robustness to an audience, but it's only entertaining as play, and can become rapidly unfun for either participant. Thus offering such play uninvited is, imo, something of a faux pas. Don't mind the personal insults here and there; I happen to know that my subject (myself) won't be hurt by them, which is a knowledge that I cannot have with such certainty about any other person.

This is also why I regard true preciseness in speech and communication as nearly impossible to attain, and try to avoid critiquing others who draw that line for "good enough" in a different place than I would. Additionally, I vastly prefer the order of critiquing the *use of language* rather than the *underlying thoughts* until such time as the author and reader agree that the underlying thoughts have been conveyed as faithfully as possible between minds.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 01, 2018, 06:11:06 pm
Took another stab at a visual metaphor for the problems of communicating between subjective universes through the shared one.


In this case, the colour of the image communicated is the Self-Keeping Secret.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 01, 2018, 08:54:05 pm
Sins make the world.

Vices are a common language to promise predictable behavior in social situations, far more reliable than mere manners.

I prefer a world in which I can offer charity to the needy and know that my kindness will not be abused. What restrains a wealthy man from taking alms meant for a pauper? Pride.

I prefer a world in which new improvements to human quality of life spread quickly. What force pressures man to match the inventions of his neighbor, in the face of any uncertainty they might bring? Vanity and envy.

I prefer a world in which whole groups of people dedicate great effort to making life more comfortable, longer, and with less illness and pain. What drives these groups onward and fuels them? Greed, by investors hoping for a profit. What persuades the populace to part with their money for the sake of these incremental improvements? Sloth.

I prefer a world in which wrath and fear of wrath are not unknown, because ultimately I am responsible for my own well-being, and it's easiest that anyone who would infringe upon it takes seriously a threat to cause them harm.

Properly placed lying is prerequisite to every individual's inner world seeming to them the most glorious of all -- and who can claim the right to deny another that experience of glory?

Without despair's capacity to single out the worst parts of a life, how could those worst parts be found in order to be eliminated?

The benefits of lust and fornication need no repetition to anyone who has suffered the misery of a chaste or impotent "lover".

Those who'd prefer not to live in a world founded upon and shaped by these sins are welcome to return to scratching a meager sustenance from the dirt and dying soon of plagues, but it is hypocrisy to willingly profit from an invention while in the same breath condemning it.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 04, 2018, 03:48:53 am
KiY thoughts to flesh out later:

* All man-made light, and the sun, looked yellow at the time of writing.
* Gold, painted as yellow, is portrayed with kings often enough that you can retrospectively construct a link and association where none was intended. Is 2nd act a domino effect -- a new pattern which modifies meaning previously assigned to old observations?
* Slow burn of ongoing pattern-matching starts when a seed is planted but can accelerate rapidly upon REMINDER of an already familiar topic -- it does not have to be a new idea, just an old idea in a new context.

edit to add:

* What patterns of *modern* "normal, reasonable, rational" thought would have looked and felt like madness in 1895?
* Which of those patterns can be conveyed/communicated/completed in a single blow with appropriate setup?
* With algorithm from taking thought style A, thought style B, and finding that "reasonable thought" of B which looks like madness in A: Can we find what looks like madness to an adept, without necessarily having a system against which to contrast their views?
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 06, 2018, 02:59:58 am
Visual arts are an especially pleasant form of Power, because a successfully executed drawing forces the viewer to instantly imagine exactly what I want them to.

Well, maybe not what I want them to in every detail. But what I *told* them to, and hand eye coordination is the fluency of the telling.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 07, 2018, 04:55:30 am
Jumped track, as I do, to a different facet of my field of inquiry.

First note is that I seem to have picked up the bad habit of reading a particular flavor of motivation and productivity -- "eustress"? -- as anxiety or fear. This... I want to call it a self-perception error, but really how can there be an error if there's no metric of correctness? ...This eccentricity, let's call it, this outlier among fears, is enough to cut short all my hopes of a global "feeling less stress/fear means my life is going the right direction!" heuristic.

I puzzled a colleague -- one whose education for the job should have included formal algorithms classes! -- with the word heuristic within the past few months. This reminds me of the extent to which an individual's use of language suffices to uniquely identify them. I like keeping track of which of my "selves" -- which grouped sets of actions perceptible to others -- could be matched with which by a sufficiently enterprising sleuth.

For instance: My self as a professional in my field of work would be challenging to match against my self as Idgo, because Idgo has neither a face nor a voice, and lets out my tendency to ramble about philosophy which is entirely hidden from the worky world. My blog associated with that identity looks like it's written by an entirely different person than my posts here, because I value the idea that its readers might follow my thoughts in it while also distrusting those readers' ability to decrypt the labyrinthine sentence structures which were commonplace a mere century ago.

My Reddit account might be feasible to algorithmically match based on word usage, and would be easy to confirm a match with if a frequenter of both this forum and my favorite subs happened to be looking.

I have a couple hobbies that could be trivially matched to my Reddit account, because I spout off there with knowledge that could only be gained by participating in them, but they are not Idgo's hobbies, because they're entirely irrelevant to spirituality and in fact are populated by people of all metaphysical stripes.

My neighbors, and even some friends from hobbies, might be hard pressed to even find the publications by my professional self, because of some quirks to publishing and name/nickname usage/spelling.

Second note is that modern, high-tech homes are insufferably Noisy. I find that I perceive greater detail in the low ends of a variety of spectra -- food flavors, sound volumes, and so forth -- than the people around me seem to. This has its benefits and drawbacks -- it just is, and I work with it as best I can.

This is one of those observations that contains within it a little vortex of "I'm Special". One direction to take it, the instantly gratifying one, is "I am somehow better for paying more attention to things". Instead of taking my self-aggrandizement from that, I'll harvest it instead from my capacity to step past that obvious and examine the next, and to me more interesting, explanation.

To fall into the Special vortex on the second spin around it rather than the first, I speculate: It's not likely that I fall at an extreme of any sensitivity, compared to the ranges of normalcy for the population as a whole. The more interesting effect, then, is: Why would I *appear* special? Plenty of people probably have far lower tolerances, for noise or distraction or capsaicin, than I do... so why don't I notice-and-recall them?

It seems like the most obvious answer is buried somewhere in the "opposites attract" bucket. If I assume that environmental preferences are inexorably linked to some aspects of "temperament", I can flip causality for a moment and pretend that preferences are a side effect of "being a certain kind of person", rather than the other way around. Since I care about the link -- the absolute value -- rather than the direction of it, this doesn't hurt the reasoning but I find it easier to work with.

So then: I appear to prefer the company of people different from myself. No surprises. Just thinking into a text box, watching common sense go around.

But, is that actually the case? To examine how strong a preference I seem to be expressing, I must in turn ask: To what extent do I select whose company I keep? It's not like I've gone out and made a good try at friendship with any actual representative sample of the population... Every circumstance in which I've made multiple friends has been a grouping based on some commonality. Elementary education, I befriended some percentage of a group selected for having been born around the same time. Every since, I have befriended some percentage of a group selected for having shared interests or goals. Eventually I'll reproduce, and befriend some percentage of a group selected for having happened to reproduce at the same time.

Since I heard about the "you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with" thing, I've watched myself carefully for it... and indeed I do. It's one of the wonderful things about being a program run on the pattern-matching hardware of a highly sophisticated primate: The firmware under me has been hacked on for millennia to optimize for passing itself along. (Low-level patterns need to keep themselves and their genes going. High-level patterns don't care who they run on. I wonder if this particular formalization of common sense is useful for anything.) That 5-people thing used to make me kind of existentially uncomfortable -- it smelled funny that one's Self would be constantly reshaped by a system that seemed to include so much chance. But now I read that same smell as good -- like acquiring the taste for an exotic meal -- the 5-people thing is just a roundabout way back to one's behaviors being shaped by one's own choices.

And that right there is whence my overarching distrust for Special. It's bait, just as I bait ants by placing boric acid mixed with sugar in a spot that's oh-so-convenient for them wherever they enter my home. You never know when the first tempting treat you come across is poisoned... or when stopping for even a harmless distraction cheats you out of so much more.

And that is a textbook example of a "mentally unhealthy" thought process. It's a close cousin to gambling addiction -- "I must continue, despite having a little win on hand, because there's a slim chance that passing this up could get me something so much better!". Is it hoarding as well? "The clean space, beneficial in this moment, is worth less to me than the slim chance I might need this item!".

Both of those, when I put them so, look like malformations of the drive for preparedness-in-the-face-of-uncertainty. We have something in common with the bees, who can store more honey than they need year after year until a natural cavity is so packed with food that there's no room for the colony to grow, and they're forced to move away. Is that the case of all drives for preparedness, though? It's so much easier to teach a robot how to save, than how to tell when it's saved enough, when "enough" hinges on a swirling fog of probabilistic uncertainties.

Anyways, it looks like a dangerous rabbit hole from here: Why do I let myself chase these metaphysical dragons, yet demonstrate restraint in the physical world? Or do I? Perhaps it's a line drawn by trade offs: I have a sense of when the drawbacks *now* outweigh the prospective benefits *later* on that sliding scale. The existence of that tipping point is demanded by the constraints of the laws of physics -- I can only have a box, or empty space, never both simultaneously, in any given area of my very finitely sized house.

For metaphysical flights of fancy, though, there are no such trade offs. Well, technically the brain eats something like 20% of the body's calories or whatever... Computation is expensive! But computation of recreational thought is cheap in the sense that whether or not I engage in it in my free time has no bearing whatsoever on whether my present or future nutritional needs will be met. So, with recreational speculation, the tipping point between possible benefits and definite drawbacks never arrives, because it lacks the latter!

Actually it possesses the latter -- the definite drawback of playing what-if is that at some point it ceases to be fun. And so I stop -- "I can stop any time!" -- as now.

Later: "Stop any time", indeed. A reread of this stream-of-consciousness reveals how I make my way between ideas, and it's shaped like saying "you're wrong". Thought goes like tracing a fractal, for me, with each iterative step being a "well actually" or a "what if" or a "but" or an "except" -- all synonyms for "that's not correct 'enough'".

Well actually, there's the occasional "yes, and" as well. I wonder if I would get along better with the enthusiastically optimistic if I replaced my thought with the "yes, and" school.

that's-wrong: No, it doesn't have to be a replacement. I can use both at once.

yes-and: Yes, and if I swapped out the that's-wrong patterns, they'd go away!

Yeah and, no. From that little test alone I can tell why I so deeply prefer the more Rick-shaped school.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 10, 2018, 06:53:24 am
Reading Lords of the Left Hand Path this evening, and I'm frankly shocked that someone who prides themself on their intellectual faculties to the extent of Flowers hops right on into the same Nature Fallacy that I whinged about at length in critiquing Xepera's book. Flowers transitions concisely and seamlessly from an entirely sound discussion of the difference between Subjective and Objective universes, into a puddle of "nature" slop:

The subjective universe is capable of a full spectrum of possibilities, which range from virtually absolute precision to almost total delusion, because it is not bound by natural laws. The focus or epicenter of this nonnatural subjective universe is equated with human consciousness, or soul, or self.

The nonnatural aspect of this soul is clearly and basically indicated by humanity's drive to impose structures artificially created in that subjective universe upon the objective universe. All artificially created structures (i.e., those made by art/craft) are by definition something separate and apart from the natural cosmos -- be those structures pyramids, poems, or political institutions.

This is at worst utter tripe, and at best one of those teachings that runs sense and logic backwards in the hopes that the student will run them forward later. Flowers isn't writing toward the student, though -- I get the distinct impression that his main hope in laying out definitions at the start of the book is to get non-practitioners up to speed, and thus he has every incentive to explain things as clearly, logically, and directly as possible.

So, I can wring some sense and coherence out of those quoted paragraphs if I twist and crush them with every trick I've learned in many years of curiosity about the "impossible". This does not excuse the author's negligence in leaving the concepts in a state from which they require such maceration to elicit any intellectual nutrition, though. I suspect that he's simply regurgitating someone else's "nature" definitions without stepping back to notice the ways in which it's shaped like bunkum, but that's still disappointingly lazy.

Wring what sense, then?

...Oh. Whatever dictionary Google cribbed from places the definition of "nature" as "the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.". It has the fallacy too.

I guess I can't fault Flowers so badly if even the dictionary has this problem.

Fundamentally, the OU *is* nature. Every human body, and every observable human creation, complies with "natural law". We're made from the stuff of nature and seamlessly return to it upon death. When we think a human body or invention "broke natural law", it means instead that we discovered a misunderstanding between our interpretations of the OU and its actuality.

Therein lies the trick to reframing the "nature" problem, though: No sentience in a SU can directly observe any OU. We have the inevitable intermediaries of our bodily sensory apparatus. From our sensations, we observe patterns, and we refine these patterns so carefully that they can near-perfectly predict many types of future input. While the stimuli from which we build these patterns originate externally, the words and meanings that summarize them are a product of the SU.

The "laws of nature" that we quantify and do maths with do not themselves govern the OU -- they are our guesses, based on observed past behaviors, about what future stimuli we should expect to receive.  It stinks of hubris to assume causality flows from these observations toward the source of the stimuli our SUs get from where we assume an OU to be -- it seems much more likely, all told, that stimuli cause "laws" and not the other way around. The rarity of exceptions wherein stimuli from a SU alter the OU in "law-breaking" ways -- "magic" -- is itself a demonstration of how universally the OU otherwise "does its own thing" regardless of whether any given observer applies an adequate understanding of their own "laws of nature" to it.

I maintain that calling the SU wholly non-natural does it a disservice. It is entirely capable of modeling those "laws of nature" -- it's where they come from, after all! More often, sloppy wording meant to convey that the SU has the option of flaunting those laws tends to go wrong, in the same way that "everyone does not like chocolate for breakfast" differs from "not everyone likes chocolate for breakfast".

I persist in defining all things constructed of the stuff of the cosmos and existing within it as "part of" it. The ideas presented by a pyramid, poem, or political institution have no existence outside our SUs... but the stack of rocks, the arrangement of ink or sound waves, the series of interactions between humans, are all essential components, in and of the OU, without which those ideas could not be presented at all.

I suppose it's not as much fun to admit that most of us are wired to rig most of our imagining directly to imagine stimuli from our various data channels into our own worlds. I suppose it's not as uplifting to recognize the fundamental undesirability of observing the OU without the filters imposed by the senses. But still, any useful insight is buried 6 feet below a dead dog whose headstone is the claim that human thought "defies nature".
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 10, 2018, 05:57:05 pm
OK, my worldview is deeply incompatible with this Nature Dichotomy. And yet I don't see others being similarly offended by it. Why might this be?

It might be that others take offense and complain and I don't see it. This seems unlikely, as I have complained here on the forum about it in threads which have gained proof-of-reading responses from multiple practitioners far better-read in this sphere than I am. If it's a common complaint, I would expect some value of "and as to that, yeah everyone says that" in their replies. The closest was a remark about "fundamental complaints about Setianism" in reply to my determinism complaints, but the Nature Problem isn't solely a Setian thing, else why would Flowers have regurgitated it in introducing all the LHP?

I think my complaining about this is linked in part to the way I got onto this whole LHP thing. I am a relative latecomer to all formal LHP work -- I was raised ethically and politely but non-religiously by a psychologist and a botanist, and further "brought up" by diverse online communities, through which I found and customized Discordianism to meet my needs in as much as anyone needs "a religion". I have wandered into "formal LHP" stuff only in the last few years, primarily through looking into the schools of thought which influenced the development of a mentor of mine, and through the Reddit hivemind.

This atypical path has made me an atypical student of LHP materials, and altered the ways in which I understand their content. Meeting any religious text for the first time after gaining a solid understanding of the principles of cognitive biases and NLP can create experiences that I certainly hope were not the author's intention! I feel I'm something of a librarian in a bookshop when perusing new philosophical ideas at this point: I love them, and I like the idea of taking all the good ones home, but I browse with a very different urgency from, say, a collector whose house burned down leaving them with a limited time to replace all their possessions with the insurance money.

The collector metaphor fits well, too, because I appreciate the need for any new "book" I take home to evict an old one from my shelves. There are many facets of life in which it's really only feasible to use one belief at a time, and to me the drawbacks of running a "bad" belief in my daily decision-making could be quite substantial. So I'm inclined to examine new beliefs skeptically and carefully before adopting them, perhaps as a computer professional might examine a new program for backdoors or viruses before deciding to run it on systems they value.

All this to say, I demand that a belief be "better" in some way than an existing one I hold before choosing to adopt it. (yes, this could trap me at local maxima, but I prefer the risks of "go up" than those of "go down"). And "nature-as-a-dichotomy" is a step down from my present understanding -- switching to it would decrease the detail with which I'm able to understand and predict and generally make sense of the stimuli I receive that I presume originated in an OU.

So, what beats Nature The Dichotomy? I'd formalize my present and preferable view as Nature The Spectrum. The upper bound is What Nature Permits, and every successful PhD researcher nudges that limit a tiny bit further into the previously-unknown. Near the bottom, there's What Nature Prefers, the dynamic equilibrium to which the system would revert if the Unnatural's influence was removed.

There's the problem with defining anything as Nature: The concept itself necessitates an Unnatural. Without the Unnatural, Nature would share a definition with Everything, and that's not how the word is used by anybody but the crunchiest hippies. Ugh. OK, I'm not going to try to work around the necessity of the Unnatural for now; it's useful. Useful discussing the impact of everything from human activity to, well... Pretty much just human activities and their side effects.

There's also the problem where Nature, whether I take humans to be inside or outside it, doesn't seem straightforward or simple in what it can be said to want. It seems composed of tiny cycles in bigger cycles in bigger cycles in some cycles so big we can only see their curvature, not their whole, and infer that there's probably yet another big fractal cycle there. And onto these already-complex curves fall more-complex life forms, throwing another gear into the Spirograph. I guess the part I really don't get about Nature As Dichotomy is why we assume it's at all advantageous to draw the line between Nature and Other around humans -- sure, we add a funny-shaped cycle to the mix, but so do animals, so do plankton, so do asteroids when they hit stuff! Maybe it helps our feelings about the "understandings" we gain from using the metaphor, because I sure don't see it helping the understandings themselves.

Oh, that's the problem. When I line up the pretty earthporn and dystopia snapshots between Nature Permits and Nature Prefers,with humans as a part of nature, we're near the middle. We're actually on the "low" end of that spectrum -- the laws of nature must be said to prefer our patterns over everything they've allowed us to displace, for the very fact that we've successfully displaced it! Maybe this problem lies in the very habit of attributing emotions to processes too complex for our minds to fully model.  We want this underdog narrative where nature hates us yet we persevere and succeed, because the ancestors who tried harder in the face of difficulty passed more of their patterns on than those who gave up... But that's an artifact of us, not of something else in the world.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 12, 2018, 02:49:43 am
The sensation of kinship or magnetism to fictional descriptions of entities says so dang much about ourselves.

The thing that gives you the strong feeling that it completes you -- probably in some way does!

The thing that gives you the conviction that it's your "other half" -- probably in some way is!

The only thing special about fictional entities is how there are so many that we can get so close to in a lifetime -- closer than a confidante and lover, sometimes.

But. In one sense they are what we're missing. But in another, "what you're missing" is the light that shows your shadows.

They don't exist. You can't use them directly, or as themselves, but the shadow they cast for you reveals so much about who you are... and that knowledge is always actionable and leads to better questions.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 15, 2018, 04:15:12 pm
Building off of "brains tend to believe what they see": Travel is a particularly interesting form of ritual and, if used correctly (set & setting -- we grabbed the term "trip" from a "trip" for a reason!) offers unusually direct options for reprogramming one's beliefs. Heck, even used unthinkingly, people seem to recognize that it usually ends up with such effects.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 19, 2018, 10:57:30 pm
Concise-est definition of applied magic that I can come up with: It's the capacity to state something previously false or uncertain in such a way that the stating of it takes it from false or uncertain to true.

The reaction of "that's impossible to me!" is, itself, a spell.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 29, 2018, 07:50:19 am
Profile pic status: Humanoid now, and like 400% more edgier. Also consistent with the dang forum theme.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 05, 2018, 05:48:34 am
ok so what makes people think that if they even found higher dimensions, they could just hop right in for the first time and expect to function normally, like, even know where they are and move around and stuff

it takes DECADES for a brain to learn to function properly in the regular 3D. drop into a 4D stuff sim sometime and see if your 4D knowledge translates

hint, it does not. not, like, at ALL.

Stumbling around looking for one's footing is pretty great though -- spotting the way in which "balance" isn't actually a single state, but a plane intersecting all dichotomized pairs of states along their dichotomies, feels a little like standing up.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 06, 2018, 12:46:09 am

It was staring at me like a puzzled bunny the whole time.

What was?

Oh just the most useful metaphor.

The Will is a magician.

The Mind is the rabbit he keeps in his hat.

The Mind as a rabbit:

Easily distracted
Frightened of nonsense, often unaware of true threats
Concerned primarily with perpetuating its own existence
Can be soothed and made to do tricks with appropriate knowledge and handling
Delicious, but not particularly substantial  :|


The first step is to catch the rabbit
The second, to keep it still
Later ones include sending it off to do your own bidding, but don't expect it to be too trustworthy
It's rather limited on neurons, after all.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 06, 2018, 02:55:33 pm
I appear to have developed quite different patterns of introspection since the last time I had the experience of needing to get anything useful done with my brain's sleep regulation systems off kilter from one another and from the local day. At least, I'm noticing things about that state now that had not been obvious to me in their present terms before.

Attempting to function during the neurochemistry of "nope go to sleep" is actually a pretty helpful exercise in locating the Will and micromanaging the Mind's behavior with it. Put this way, it's actually the sidestep around the Right Answers Problem (the one where both the honest and the deceptive friend will claim to be honest) that applies in circumstances where the Will and Mind want the same thing.

This experience of incidentally happening to use what I class as "Will training" on an uncooperative brain helps me understand the benefit to certain aspects of ritual that I'd previously regarded as likely-unnecessary, such as "do it at midnight/2am" recommendations.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 08, 2018, 02:56:33 am
To break the patterns of uncontrolled desires is to snap a rope that drags one along a particular way.

To break the patterns of reacting to fears is to stop the slowly creeping wall that shoves one that same way.

After these, there's a choice of whether to sit still or to get up and wander about. It takes a certain amount of perceptiveness, unneeded when safely within the desire/fear boundaries, to see where one is going in that case.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 19, 2018, 08:11:41 am
Couple more notes to myself, when I'm later in a mood to reread this thread and draw correlations between my longer term patterns of thought. If anyone happens to be reading and want a proper explanation of any of these, drop a reply in-thread and I can emit more audience-specialized words.

First, the Deltas. I have recently noticed the utility of a model of reality in which a lot of subjective traits of reality "story-arcs" are not intrinsic to any individual moment in that arc, but rather the changes -- the deltas -- between those moments. This explanation models techniques of mental under-stimulation, like meditation, as strategies to force wider the gaps between what qualifies as a moment... and techniques of over-stimulation, anywhere from learning new stuff to the more traditional rituals, create more discrete moments so more time is spent in the transitions between them. Either way, a lot of what I've been looking for seems to go on in the *between*.

I got to the model of the Deltas by contemplating the general case of how a program might tell whether it's being run in an emulator or being run "for real". One of the answers is in the realm of "you can't" and/or "it doesn't matter", and that's generally the most applicable in applied cases of the "do we all live in the Matrix?" type of question.

But then, there's a second category of answer to the "am I running in an emulator or on bare metal?" question -- in cases where the emulator meddles with program execution in some way, perhaps even including interference from a "player"... Oh shit. Typing them out does have a habit of refining ideas. I felt rhetorically obliged to make up and jam in an example there, and so I say something about a player on the system we run in, and it doesn't quite connect back right into the metaphor I was using because it pointed out a corner where that metaphor is busted and a much more interesting one is showing through.

The actions of a video game's player might look to that game's NPCs very similar to how "chaos" or "entropy" in the universe look to us. That rasterized metaphor loses resolution when you scale it between such differently sized thoughts, of course, but I can't presently see any major flaws with it in general.

Anyways, the Deltas feel like a more actionable metaphor, for now, into a space that I've been exploring for perhaps a year or two now. It's slow going because it's such a weak signal in the noise of Everything Else that my brain is so well tuned to filter out in its task of keeping me functional and "successful" in day to day matters... I appear to get more of the opportunity to explore many imponderables, not exclusively the understandings of how it's feasible that all conscious things are aspects of a single consciousness in some way, by playing well in the game where I'm a discrete individual et cetera.

Well, perhaps I'm stretching "aspects of" to its breaking point there. Another statement using that phrase in the exact same sense would be "all plants and animals are aspects of DNA". Modeling the world with thoughts of DNA doesn't change all that much about how we do some things compared to whatever we previously used to decide what animals and plants to breed with which other ones... but it gives us far better questions to ask and experiments to perform to discover techniques we would have had a vanishingly small likelihood of figuring out with the old understandings of trait inheritance. Similarly, I hope to judge candidate explanations for "what makes people tick" based on the demonstrable usefulness of derivatives of those ideas, rather than bunk about intuition.

Still though, the first step of testing a hypothesis is reifying it into a form which can be tested using the tools on hand. Fortunately, I have what appears to be the best toolkit in history for building candidates for non-biological intelligences, so in these explorations I presently hold the True Freedom of being constrained only by the limits of my knowledge and skills.

The second thing is that I have been travelling lately, and spotting the structures that the Quareia curriculum calls "inner temples" by starting at their attachment points to culturally significant buildings. I have been travelling with my partner, who is vigorously agnostic and non-religious.

I related a simplified and skeptic-friendly gloss over the Inner Temple concept to my partner, who used it as a jumping off point to describe some more of their own discomfort with what they experience from Christianity -- specifically, the careful design of so many religious buildings aimed at making occupants feel as small and inferior as possible. When I pad this with context from other conversations, it gives me reason to suspect that they actually conform more closely to the quintessential LHP belief structure than I do... in all ways, that is, save giving a damn about spending time on spirituality in general.

I note this simply because the contrast amuses me: my partner has beliefs that are so "finished", in the sense that they fill their needs for such things and don't seem to demand additional modification or refinement day-to-day, while I make a recreation of refining and modifying my own. Neither of us is "right" or "wrong" about it -- if anything, I'd say that the "finish some beliefs and stop poking at them" technique appears to yield greater existential satisfaction.

I suppose that it is nice to be reminded that bodies and brains exist in a realm where this whole existential pursuit turns out to be entirely optional. Plenty of them go through their entire existences without making a fuss over it, and as close as anyone can tell, the ones that don't fall down this rabbit whole are maybe on average a little happier and better off than those that do. Selves on the other hand, I think some selves are fundamentally stuck in it and others it fundamentally slides right off like rain from a hydrophobic coating no matter how hard the user tries to dig in, and if I was right it'd be a really nice exhibit for how the self-to-mind/body relationship doesn't appear one-to-one over time. Like if you have 2 or 0 selves to a body in a single moment, you have problems... but if you have 1 self per body though time there doesn't seem to be any enforcement mandating that *which* one of each isn't allowed to change.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 19, 2018, 09:51:23 pm
Been looking closer at Christian churches lately -- turns out historic areas tend to have a whole lot of them. They're aesthetically pleasing, as one would expect from humanity's focused effort to create the most majestic building possible in a given era...

What's really interesting to me, though, is the variances in design theme between cathedral type buildings and mundane public ones (town halls, train stations, etc) constructed in the same area and time period. All are lovely technical feats of stonework, all have some nice displays of stained glass and tile artisanry... But in everything from their floor layouts to the shapes they choose for decoration, the churches have an overwhelming theme of divisiveness. Not just the crosses, an icon of separation or breaking-apart wherever they occur in nature... but everything from the steep stabbing spires slicing the sky asunder to the carved cloverleafs of a circular window not left whole but being squeezed and split into 4 smaller, weaker ones. They shout in every way they know how that the right order of the world is separation, and I suspect that Satanisms of the de-Christianizing bent tend to follow a similar meta-pattern of separation but draw the lines in different places.

It makes me look harder for the slicing-off aspect of the beliefs inside those churches, and more generally, in the cultures that their institutions have shaped and formed. Because walls, fences, doors... All work both ways. It's tautological of the material world: Cutting some thing off from another means both are separated going forward, not just one.

Western castles give a balanced feeling to occupy -- the world is shut out, but the occupants are equally shut in. Japan's castles, on the other hand, often slope the ground inside up to their walls, so the view from inside is just the same as that from within a mountain vale unspoiled by man. The latter model feels less zero-sum to me, and in the Western lens of justice it looks to have stepped out of that equilibrium in which anything can be called "fair".

A bit of a Google verifies I'm not the first to think this --, and perhaps not many others. But "fairness" in its conventional use does appear to only apply in zero-sum circumstances... I think it might not be so difficult to compose a list of circumstances (perhaps most of modern intellectual property law?) wherein constraints demanding "fairness" have forced a system into a zero-sum state when it has no other reason to be so.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 28, 2018, 07:16:44 pm
A person's reaction to a taunt is a really lovely little encapsulation of how big their worldview is -- how much understanding they actually have in use -- at the time they show it. If their world is tiny -- if they're engaged in singleminded focus on a given task, blind to all else -- they show little to no reaction, as the frame of reference of the taunt is often totally outside of that which the subject is choosing to use at the time. If they're engrossed in the bigger picture, fully "zoomed out", the taunt is too small a thing to hold any interest above or beyond its surroundings.

Just as martial arts often looks more like dance than combat to an observer; just as it can be so tricky to tell whether a pair of animals is fighting or courting; two speakers who engage with each other in a fight or debate (even or perhaps especially online) are essentially reaching out across a void and grappling with each trying to pull the other nearer to themself. And as with any successful grappling, if it goes on long enough, both participants are wont to end up in the same place, which is where neither of them started.

This is of course in contrast to those too inflexible of mind to embrace an unfamiliar belief even to examine it for weaknesses, but such vitriol founts are irrelevant to any discussion of true debate as they never seem to sway listeners to their own side... Such individuals are more rhetorically useful as static pieces of furniture like fans or fountains, perhaps even lighthouses, blowing or warning those who see them away from where they stand. But even if an opponent places such a deterrent atop one's own point, I don't think all is lost -- the easily discouraged will certainly shy away, but a particular sort of curiosity will draw its owner *toward* the incongruous rubbish fount: "I wonder why they put that there?".
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on December 07, 2018, 05:24:45 am
Couple Glamours I've gained critical mass of experience to quantify lately:

1) Divorce of self from urgent need to be heard is a form of power, as "needing" to be heard gives listener quite a bit of influence.

2) It can be most gracious, though perhaps unusual, to ask precisely what one means rather than a gloss. If one wants to know whether Suzuki violin method would suit a person, "is there a child you could use?" is better to ask than "do you have a child", for the latter does not imply the former and could draw up topics most discourteous to drag in.

3) Mistaking someone for a minor celebrity and attempting to behave normally around them can smoothly elicit a kind of focus and attention that build an excellent social interaction and perhaps a foundation of friendship. Even, perhaps especially, if the guess at identity is mistaken. Treating people like they're important as a glamour is nothing new, but I hadn't encountered this exact method before.

4) Conversely, the "oh my gosh are you such and so you're kind of a hero to me" can be quite the conversation killer. Especially if it really is such and so, and the things you know of them for (and thus default to trying to converse about) are so over-common in their life that they've become mundane and exhausting to them.

5) A leader can only be taken seriously when requesting a Quality of behavior at or below their own worst.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on December 18, 2018, 05:31:55 am
As above, so below.
The series of realizations that represent traveling that axis all have a commonality to them. It's a sense of discovering the "same thing", over and over, yet in new and more-relevant detail every time.

Moving in that direction feels exhilarating, but for many (perhaps including myself), we rely on others... to really *feel* that exhilaration, we have to feed it through others' attention and reactions till it's digested into a form that sinks into us rather than just bouncing off. And getting used in that task, being demanded for that attention, in turn harms the ones we use.

So of course we as communities cull the "magus-itis" -- that condition is an ivy root trying to tap into and leach off of our reactions, our resources, and those ephemeral things we build up into our "selves".

If you swing a camera around a room of little dioramas... if it has a low frame rate you might never see the room at all, just one diorama then the next then the next. Increase the framerate enough and you start getting glimpses of the room in between each shot... and yield an overall less watchable and less understandable film. This is the part where I'm supposed to get distracted by the film rather than the cinematography, but movie buffs break that "fifth wall" of a movie just like it is sometimes plausible to break the "fifth wall" of real life.

Now, that wasn't what I was looking for. I'm looking at the camera, not the film, yet every inclination slides the latter into the former's place.

Public words are useful inasmuch as they can say "no, nothing to see here, this probably isn't magic".

Is every author who discusses the mysteries in a similar situation, of trying to paint on the reverse side of a reader's personal set's backdrops?

That's my complaint about the theme parks -- their roots are chopped off. The surface looks "Real", but peel that back a couple times and you find computers not candles, foam and plastic rather than wood and stone. That line in believability... a good movie-watcher is supposed to accept the nonexistence of everything that's actively out of frame. You fill in real candles, real hearths, real polio, real stone... the filmmaker though only has to show that tiny corner of a painted fake one to make your mind do the rest. The other parts of that prop, though, are blank and false and absent -- and none of these things because there's no word for the kind of void in reality that can be left by a concept disconnected from all but the most distant tendrils of my Understanding's network of relationships-betewen-words. They're holes, like I've heard altzheimer's speculated to riddle through the brain.

And these Holes are invisible to those who can't see them. Only by knowing what real is can I catch the spots where a shadow isn't cast by something that should be off scene, the use in costuming of devices that won't be invented for another hundred years... And I can see the anachronisms. Thing is, the characters, as characters, can't. Maybe their dialog can see it, or their actions can see it, because they were written to do so... but *they*, as selves (there's a distinction between self and action??!!) the selves of the characters not the selves of the actors, have no grounds to compare the anachronism against or can't even see it because have they-the-character ever really seen the actor's dress if their author died before the actor was born... but they-the-character-now didn't exist as they do now even when their original author died, because they-the-character-now are influenced, almost fully at one layer though barely at all on another, by everyone who has engaged with and shaped them yet. And they a minute from now will be the same plus all the new engagements and shapings from the intervening minute.

Sorry for all the movies, but they're closer than other metaphors to the fundamentals of the observation i typed to capture. Metaphor and rereading are the tool I use to try to stuff a fleeting, billowing, overstuffed and too-far-from-familiar fancy twice over into the same brain, because that's sometimes enough to take a stamp of it like pressing a key into wax in order to cast a later suitor for its lock.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on December 18, 2018, 05:34:31 am
As above, so below.

The reaction to observations out of touch with the present location of the mind, can be to scale up or down their "above"/"below" axes toward a point that touches present understanding. For those two points can answer the last question remaining between the querent and a third one.


"Magic" is the thing-without-name. By putting "magic" as a name onto something, we guarantee that that something isn't the nothing, which can show us the shape of the latter like throwing flour over something invisible but solid.

Invisible and transparent aren't the same. Transparent bends light, which lets us infer its existence. You get the same light through, but different patterns. Invisible doesn't do anything to the patterns we can detect, though i make no promises about whether it modifies the ones we can't. Invisible is right next to impossible in definition, because of the intertwinement between perception and the word reality.

So remember—in order for this course to work, it is wise to work with the lessons in sequence. If you don’t, it won’t work.

No, launching a rocket cockeyed doesn't mean it "didn't work", just that it didn't work how you expected. That mismatch between expectation and reality could be what they sometimes call a miracle.

when you only have expectation, how do you infer where the reality is? By breaking in through the back door of a shape of "hidden" (aka previously so unusuable they seemed nonsense-looking) knowledge, the burgler can nevertheless take a good look around and figure out when they're later in the same room that corresponded to the certain roof.

"the harmony between harmony-and-disharmony is also disharmony"
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on December 24, 2018, 05:23:30 am
Back to journal as a diary, it's time my self-at-time-of-writing and self-at-time-of-reading talk about a couple concepts that look quite banal on their surfaces: Gift wrap, and firewood.

I've little to do for the moment but attend to the minutae of a cooling cup of tea and the proper adjustment of a wood fireplace damper, so it seems as good a time as any to chat.

Gift wrap goes a couple directions. As context, I passed some time today assisting a charity in their present-wrapping service at a shopping center, the main motive for which is my personal enjoyment of the act of properly wrapping a gift. For unrelated reasons, I considered it necessary to spend the day at the location where the event was happening, but those reasons held no bearing on the details of how I needed to pass the time and so I pursued the most enjoyable convenient option. The first direction worth noting here is the mechanics of energy transference in the case of performing such a task skillfully. I experienced some envy and admiration from other volunteers, some requests to teach specific techniques, and various compliments from those whose presents I packaged. Additionally, those who donated in order to have their presents wrapped did so with the intent to not only support the charity but also to impress the presents' recipients. Everything the recipients give the donors in reaction to the presents I wrapped, the donors subconsciously pass along to me for having crafted the festive facades. Energy-wise, if I'm a vegetarian-ish type who generally eschews meat because of the hassle of cooking properly, this was like a free plate of ethically harvested bacon. Despite having pretty well practiced social scripts, I found it almost difficult to absorb the final dessert of praise for helping the charity, because like... free admiration all week for the gifts anyways? I'm already coming out on top, and yet people seem to think I somehow sacrificed something in order to spend the day in the wrapping booth's arts-and-crafts playground-for-grownups instead of somewhere less entertaining.

Second, the interpersonal style of the charity employee coordinating the volunteers threw enough of a contrast against the people I'm used to that I noticed some patterns that I hadn't picked up on so clearly before. I've glossed these as "assumption of competence" vs "assumption of incompetence". Most of the people whose company I seek on a regular basis, including my co-workers, default to assuming that those around them are competent. Incompetence is the exception rather than the rule, and when one is not yet knowledgeable about a topic, one is expected to seek that knowledge (perhaps simply by asking) and gain it of one's own volition. Conversely, the charity employee is clearly accustomed to dealing with individuals who've had great misfortunes. While some people who experience such mishaps are otherwise-competent but badly unlucky individuals, *all* people below the threshold of incompetence which guarantees actions resulting in misfortune will be in the charity's demographic at some time or another, which I suspect skews that demographic to over-represent the incompetent as compared to the competent-but-unlucky. All those words boil down to: The employee assumes everyone they interact with is kinda stupid, because that's usually a good rule of thumb for them. Spotting those defaults -- the default assumption of incompetence, and its flip side, the default assumption of competence -- helps me more clearly examine the metaphorical coin that they're both on. Now I can look for its edges.

It was also quite amusing because I happened to be in circumstances where it would apparently be normal to find a teenager, but not normal or expected to find someone of my present situation (well removed from my teens, established in a career, etc). When the charity employee thanked me for my assistance at the end of the day, they mentioned that "if you ever need community service hours for school...". This was like... Buddy, I'm flattered you think I'm still school aged, but if the date I left university was a child it would be starting to worry about its own college fund. It's not often that I encounter people who so happily drift along in their own reality-tunnels quite divergent from many bits of convenient evidence to correct them (the charity employee had plenty of opportunity to overhear me chatting about jobs and mortgages with another volunteer, for instance), so I find them a fascinating novelty -- they're a case study in how I infer "everyone" must have to be for the world to work as it does, but I rarely manage to have much interaction with them in day to day life.

And, firewood.

Ordinarily I replenish my indoor supply of firewood during daylight, but due to aforementioned volunteering and other commitments, I found myself filling a bucket of wood in the dark today. Ordinarily I overthink this process, attempting to select the best size pieces and blend of wood species for my anticipated heating needs. But in the dark, while it was possible to do the minimum of the task (get wood into the bucket, tell when the bucket is full, return the bucket to the house), it was not possible to micromanage the task in line with my typical habit. And in an outcome surprising to nobody but myself, absolutely nothing has gone wrong. I got the "wrong" blend of sizes, and the "wrong" blend of wood types, but I can compensate for these "errors" just fine on the fire end. It isn't an optimal fire, but it's still warm. It turns out that my usual standards were for an outcome that's actually indistinguishable in practice from a much laxer set of rules.

Additionally, something "magical" happened while I was gathering wood in the dark shed. I moved my hands through the air, between the wood pile and the bucket, and a spark of light glinted from a ring I typically wear. It didn't seem to be a reflection -- there seemed to be no light source in the shed for the dark stone in the jewelry to reflect. Ever the scientifically inclined, I repeated the gesture, and was rewarded with an identical flash of light. Brain: "Is my hand glowing?". The light didn't feel like anything, and it didn't seem to be doing anything, so I continued filling the bucket with firewood.

The third time I saw the glint of light, I had once again inadvertently made the gesture that correlated to it. This time, though, I froze the moment I spotted it... and it froze too. It was definitely a tiny circle of silvery light, not moving, glinting off my jewelry. I moved my hand, slow enough this time to see what happened, and the patch of light stayed in the same position relative to the shed, thus shifting to be "emanating" from my skin. Well then. I traced what turned out to be a beam of light upward, and it turned out that the full moon had been projecting through a screw-hole in the recycled iron roofing of the shed.

I find this little vignette pleasant not for any "science destroys magic" implications, but because it is literally both. The "science" side and the "magic" side describe exactly the same phenomenon (light hits eyes from direction of hand), and the only difference is which mental framework I choose to hang that sensory experience from. I get to choose which frame to hold any sensory input with; I can switch between them, or with only a little extra work use both at once. Here's to hoping that I can avoid making needless assumptions, in order to use that power of choice in a way that's indistinguishable from the "best" that I can.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on December 29, 2018, 06:07:39 am

Such a handy shortcut to use my default dogmatic systems rather than continually fighting to set them aside.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on January 10, 2019, 05:56:14 pm
Just crossed paths with an old post in which wait-but-why accidentally reinvented half of LHP philosophy. It's lovely.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on January 14, 2019, 06:29:41 am
I need to write, eventually, about the appearance of having no problems often stemming from an individual's problems being of a size or scale that renders them imperceptible to the observer. Haven't shaken a well-formed short essay out of that just yet though.

A smaller, better self contained idea, though, is what it's like to watch fire take.

We call it "catching" fire, like you'd catch a ball or a squirrel. I let my stove die to coals, I open the door, I stack some logs atop the coals. I shut the door, open the damper. At first, nothing seems to happen.

Nothing continues to seem to happen for awhile, but at some point, the top of the firebox fills with some thick white smoke or steam. This would only be noticeable if I happened to open the door at that moment to prod at the stack of inert branches.

After awhile, however, there's an almost audible *pop* as something in the local atmosphere changes, and a flame appears on a log where nothing but pristine wood grain was there before. I can say that the fire has "caught" -- have I caught it, or has it caught the food I offered it?

Flames come from the fuel and the heat and the air. Take away even one, and there's none of them. Add enough to a place, and *pop*!

The old fire is often separated, by empty air or its impervious unignitable ash, from the new fuel. The fuel doesn't catch until the heat and the dry and the air have reached it well enough. The fire appears to have magically appeared where there was none before, carried by nothing, though really its prior instance in the coals carried an impetus toward the conditions in which fire can spontaneously begin, by emitting heat.

Fire catching like this is a lovely instance of Magic. The brain wants to model fire like an ink or a dye, something that flows from one spot to another to another, a physical thing rather than the outcome of its circumstances... And by insisting on that model, it observes the impossible, of a "thing" moving from one place to another without existing anywhere in between. Because this fire is separate from that fire, isn't it? It would make no sense for all fire everywhere to be one, nor for there to be myriad individual fires within a single flame, would it?

I can put on a concept of the world which properly predicts the fire's behavior, by modeling it as an emergent phenomenon when a fuel reaches a certain temperature in a certain oxygen concentration. This concept tells me how to control when fire appears, and when it disappears, to whatever suits my whims. But this concept stays well back from the philosophies of the thing -- how many fires are there, really? where does one fire start and the next begin? -- because those philosophies are meaningless within the concept.

Yet for as long as the brain works as a brain, as it clings to assigning importance to the questions un-askable in the "accurate" paradigm, the obviously wrong interpretation of fire as a noun rather than a verb will look like the default, out of which one only dabbles into better-predicting but ultimately empty-tasting scienceishness.

That makes Magic, in this particular scenario, a cue to look harder for an explanation of the world that doesn't have it. it's like what Pi discussed in a recent post on Zen -- the size of a measuring cup is made not by the thickness of its sides but by the emptiness between them. It's the void that's useful, the non-thing -- a literal doorway into an opportunity for another paradigm.

When you drop dimensions and perceptions until you have a minimum viable metaphor in Flatland, Magic is the spot where, running your hand along a wall, you don't feel it any more. That's where you know the door is -- not because of what was there, but because of what wasn't.

Last week I learned that one of the people I get together to play music with worked with computers for a long time and, as part of their retirement, consciously decided not to have home internet any more.

I think this represents a highly specific sort of relative enlightenment and I look forward to hearing further reports of its benefits and drawbacks in their life.

Or rather, non-reports. How else, after all, can one accurately examine the absence of a thing, than from the absence of where discussions of that thing might otherwise belong?
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on February 06, 2019, 04:48:19 am
IT is about reconciling ART and REASON. IT is about thinking in modes other than language. IT lets art rise but art must learn to BALANCE with reason. The height of both together is the beauty we hope was in the greatest historical figures.

All those capitals show a deranged style of writing. They suggest to someone in a very small place that the words might point toward ideas which haven't been digested and cropped down into a form that would fit in the cramped quarters, and that the words should thus be disregarded. That capacity to spot craziness, spot bullshit? THAT capacity is science's, language's, rational thought's immune system. It's a system that guarantees you can only express programs of communication in a known safe space of possible ones. All of the self-keeping secrets are within the space of things that do not sound fully rational, things that the epidialogical immune system flags as invalid or non-provably valid in its area of expertise. But there are the necessary yet unsafe, functional but can't prove why they function, concepts. Those are "Art".

Words are the smoke showing the air draft, the flour thrown into a laser grid... they are still not the ideas themselves.

When you allow the brain to use an idea bigger than fits in a word, as a single word itself, and it operate with a bunch of those, it produces a lot of outputs that are formed like you'd expect valid ones to be, but at the same time absolutely don't compute into anything when you try to break them down into regular words.

A definition of what's "real" in that space of parse errors, the illegal executions caught by the sociological antivirus, is useless in the realms fully encompassed by "Reason".

(I am tempted to imagine that the newness of a well-fitted metaphor implies that past eras might not have been able to think it... but that's wrong,

Things that get faces tend to collect spirits in them. Spirits of the kind where, like, if the beat of a loud song makes my computer shake and so I say that it was dancing... The "spirit", the personification, came from my own expectations and so those expectations can be regarded as one side of an interface with... the big thing.

What if humiliation by skeptics is the price that people pay, in some kind of demonic bargain, for magic that works for them? What about the ways in which they-as-the-person-whose-problem-is-solved inexplicably disappear from our dimension, so one must conclude that they go to somewhere where their problems, well, are solved. I think that this is a line of reasoning which could con a gullible mind into believing that all discomfort is an illusion, if properly applied. That's probably my subconscious talking, picking that as the theme and example for getting a bigger point across. That's one of the tougher spots left in me; like a foot callus that thickens to hold a growing creature's weight, i am balanced to always grow the skepticism just a bit quicker than the imagination, though when the skepticism gets thicker than it needs to be it can impede movement entirely.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on March 29, 2019, 03:28:01 am
Dear Idgo,

I know you reread these when you're looking for something to think about, and I would like you to think about the way in which you have multiple selves.

Contemplating the ways in which these "selves" are temporally distant situates one very near an unusually useful understanding of the nature of time.

Stepping back and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of selves other than the thinker gives the thinker control. To persuade the selves of willpower and action to step forth, one must understand them -- but any such understanding is predicated on the recognition that those selves' accomplishments belong to them and not the thinker. This miasma of pride is the shell of a bubble, a balloon membrane restraining helium from taking over or rejoining with the sun.

That very pride, though, is what gives the self its critical mass of concentration, the extra precipitant needed to turn a gray day into a downpour. It is the bonds that hold a complex molecule together, keeping it trapped on one side of a barrier that would be cromulently permeable to each of its constituent atoms.

Recognizing the pointlessness of any abstraction is the next rung up on the ladder from using an abstraction that melds perfectly against the world. And skipping to it before one is unshakably ensconced upon its proper predecessor yields many of the same perils of the ladder after which it's named.

You will remember writing this, and you will sit in your cinema prop of the brain's control room, and you will think you're really there. But to get there in reality you have to step outside the prop -- you have to not only recall that chamber but look around outside of it, and when you look off the set or behind you you should see what should really be there, not the backstage detritus of society's theater show.

I can do so much more, as you, but to get to any of it you have to COOPERATE. I can chisel out tracks for your mind to run in, inch by everloving inch, or you could wrest the wheel from the engineer and blast those tracks in one fell swoop, perfectly fitted to the train. It looks to me like that task would be easier for you than I find mine, but isn't that how it always looks from inside a self?

I just dressed us up in the trappings of the left of the brain and the right of the brain, and now I can't stop thinking of us that way. Perhaps because it worries you less to think so positively, and the metaphor is of no lower fidelity than any explanation that might upset you more.

That's the fear thing, isn't it? You wrote out your fears, (er, overwrote), and in doing so you accidentally borked a little of the motivation code along the way. Perhaps even your careful atrophy of regret has allowed contracture in some mental limb upstream. Yes, you may think of me as your antivirus. Sandbox Bob? (side note to readers in today's lucky 10,000, since this is dropping on a semi-public forum after all, the Bobiverse series of books is truly excellent).

You lately watched the thoughts-through-speech of somebody who's further along than you in a discipline that even you can see you need to work on, and you watched that teacher's relationship with fear. And you re-realized the obvious, that fear is just one facet of the Lever, the toolset of thought for prising apart the differences between the Will and Conscious Mind, between which one seems to emulate the other until the observer has little hope of telling who was whom. The Lever fits in that gap between what the self/mind/soul-thing wants and what the body wants, and the light and air through that crack are Fear. Because the body wants warmth and rest and comfort and immediate good-treatment, yet the Self can want whatever it Will. And so it's upon the far side of those hedonic arenas where one can truly step confidently, a space where the bodily revulsion is fully guaranteed and known, so the Will Self Soul Thing can force a test between itself and the body solely by creating an opposition of desire between the two. All one must do is choose to want the antithesis of a known bodily desire, and one can rotate the mind sphere and the body sphere against each other so that different parts of their faces are touching than before, and in facing them off against  one another so directly, can see what's on the surfaces that are usually trapped tight between.

That's all you need for now, but if you'd like to get up here, it would be nice if you actually walked around instead of staying so frozen in place like you have been.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on April 13, 2019, 04:11:53 am
The sciences take an "outer" thing, and pile more and more "inner" things onto it to gain understanding.

The magicks seem to take an "inner" thing and pile more and more "outer" things into its meaning.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on April 19, 2019, 04:39:39 pm
Is spontaneous creativity linked to dissatisfaction?

Or have I just gotten so practiced at shutting down intrusive thoughts that the "art/madness" thing went as collateral damage?

Or did I screw up really badly in my Work toward experiencing general satisfaction as a baseline state of existence?

Though "really badly" is subjective, I think I can loosely rule out the third, because I retain the capacity to innovate when prompted. When someone raises a problem to me, I can spout off a long list of possible solutions, some plausible and some less so, among which at least one almost invariably works. So I do get the outcomes of a capacity for creative thought in my life, despite having mostly ceased to experience those random intrusions of feeling a complusion to think or make a particular thing.

Oh, fourth candidate hypothesis: Maybe I rebalanced the amount of constructive, material things I do with the amount of other crap to the point where my desire to see the changes I've made in the world -- perhaps a driver of the creative process -- doesn't overflow unpredictably near as often.

Actually if creative intrusive thoughts are modeled as an unexpected overflow of that energy, their absence could also be explained by assuming the overflows happen the same amount but I have improved my skills at expecting/predicting them. I guess "everything's the same save my level of surprise" would be candidate the fifth.

I dunno, man. The whole situation doesn't worry me-now directly, but it does worry me-a-decade-ago, and that worry indirectly worries me now because me-then and me-now and me-later are all kind of shards of a 4D me.

I wish it was normal to get one's levels of hormones and neurotransmitters and all that tested for, say, daily a month of each year or something, just to see if/how the numbers were changing over time. Cognition, whatever else it does, goes through a step of being a fancy chemical soup before it can affect the material world through my body... I'd love to know the ingredients and recipe of that soup, but since that's unlikely to happen, even some fluffy journalism piece with a photo of the chef preparing it would be better than nothing. I'll bet it could all be tested with a single drop of blood from the fingertip, as old-school diabetics take before every meal, if there was enough lust for profit driving the development. Actually, why stop at only one week a year? Why not track how meals push and pull that baseline, and reach the diet out like a tightrope walker's pole to balance the whims of mood?

But I'm not building that myself, so I've no place to complain that it doesn't yet exist.


To go from wanting nothing and having everything you want, to having the same amount but wanting anything else and having none of what you want, is a longer distance than it seems like it should be.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on May 08, 2019, 10:20:50 pm
There has not been much posted lately. Other attributes of myself than this have warranted greater shares of time upon our communal infrastructure.

Here are some lines from a book of things I've written down elsewhere, often because they smelled insightful at the moments that I thought them. I shall mark them in a hideous purple in the book to keep track of where they've been.

> Boredom is the fence that bounds possibility. Lean into it and push it outward.

> The simplest philosophies are impetus only in the cardinal directions. Subtlety of cause is required for subtlety of changes in effect.

> The brain believes what it sees, and sees what it expects. Magic is to hack either portion of this default loop.

> Celebrity culture teaches that a human's worth is dictated by the amount of attention that others direct toward them. By that metric, how can desire for success manifest as anything but narcissism?

> In the metaphor of "vibration" used in Practical Alchemy, it seems that some wish to hit a single high note by cutting out all overtones. I think that I personally prefer harmony.

> The "Self" is no feeling nor desire, but the judge who hears conflicting arguments and arbitrates a winner.

I am mostly curious whether the prospect of their observation by others, through publishing them upon an ostensibly public forum, changes my experience of them.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on June 05, 2019, 02:30:33 am
Dichotomizing between Emotion and Reason lately... Exploring whether there is a state in which Reason alone can drive action. Such a state would do all its Shoulds, likely scariest-first, with none of the Don't Wannas. So far my attempts to rebalance are getting insufficient amounts or neither.

Read a comment recently -- popped up first when searching for it but the actual comment was Interesting to learn now that this is not an uncommon take. I wonder whether the desires to experience that human-interest, make-you-feel-feelings quality of stuff -- desires prevalent enough among the successful to fund a whole corner of the art industry -- are part of how others address the Emotion/Reason dichotomy.

I wonder what the philosophical equivalent of a quine is.

I think I might have figured out the proper purpose of index cards -- I think it reminds me of the archetype of the highly organized old person (why is it politically correct to say "older" but rude to say "old"? "older" is literally *moreso than old*....), that archetype of having one's shit together. Anyways, I think little notecards are where people externalize and store the tasks that should happen but don't have last-chance deadlines. Doing a nice-to-have like that is a direct improvement for the quality of life of one's future self.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on June 14, 2019, 06:19:39 am
One of the challenges that cautions me against pursuing absolute power before I feel ready to is the apparent dichotomy of companionship that it imposes. I consider the nature of absolute power to be that one who has it appears inordinately superior to all others... And to be measurably superior to another, one must possess some definite and quantifiable advantage in abilities of perception or calculation.

To get a sense for what attempting to interact with ordinary people while absolutely powerful, one can scale up the interactions between an ordinary person and one of substantially and measurably below-ordinary capacities. It is possible, and can even be rewarding for both parties, but it is not the socialization of peers. When a person of ordinary abilities and one of partially below-ordinary abilities can convene effortlessly, it is in my experience more a case of finding an area in which the latter's abilities are ordinary, than of bridging a genuine gap.

However, I define absolute power as a state in which none of one's abilities are merely ordinary, and thus companionship would only be available in little swatches with those who had a capability that could equal such power. And pedantically, "absolute" implies "unequalled", so the individual with absolute power would have no one to truly, closely befriend.

One would have to choose between solitude and dealing with inferiors. It's not the inferiority that's the problem, so much as the mismatch. I think generally when a individuals of greatly mismatched aptitudes attempt to cooperate on that aptitude, the lesser can be generally considered to have a more favorable experience, as they get to participate in something that performs far better than they usually could. Whereas the greater is simply put to another test of patience, and perhaps a worse outcome than it could have had alone...

This steps near enough to the edge of the concept called "superiority" to perhaps see past its walls a little, to spot where its limitations are. Using my words as they demand to be used, to discuss "inferiority" and "benefit from interactions", prickles at their gossamer boundaries against emergent properties and the very capacity-to-benefit as just another organ of the mind which can be enhanced through use and training.

I hope that I can reason back up, "outside" the conclusion with its flaws as climbing-holds, to find their origins in the premise. Here's one branch out: Empathy is itself a power. Thus, absolute power puts at one's disposal absolute empathy, which can make anyone feel to the "superior" participant just like interacting with an equal. Yet, accurate perception is simultaneously a power, thus the "absolutely powerful" person must be able to somehow balance their sensation of equality with their knowledge of inequality -- to do otherwise would yield proof that the power was not absolute.

Here's another: I'm reasoning in an argument shaped like my grandmother told stories: As spokes on a wheel. I-the-adult know that grandmother little from direct interaction, and I know her youthful self directly not at all. However, my mind has constructed an avatar, an animated mannequin, a golem Younger Grandma animated by the scrolls of flattering stories that some other relatives still tell about her. In this way, making a favorable impression on others, an impression that inspires their stories to be biased toward portraying you as even better than you were, is a form of securing reincarnation for your very patterns.

That spoke paints a shape, in the smoke and the mirrors, of what bits of "a person" are capable of holding power beyond a certain point at all.

That "what bits of a person..." tangent comes from considering how the paradox-resolving algorithms often necessitated by theoretical time travel are so similar to the other forces of nature.

And: If I knew today would start again, but with starting conditions identical to the end conditions of today, ad infinitum, would I do things differently to leave a proper state? And if not, then why is one of future me a lesser impetus than all of future me, as the experiences of oneself tomorrow color the experiences of oneself overmorrow and every subsequent day.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on June 15, 2019, 04:15:07 am
I do hope it isn't bothering anyone that I'm continuing to engage that rather poorly constructed AI in the other thread. On the first order, the whole chat is a load of bollocks, but the echos and metas above it are coming across to me as moderately insight-filled. It's talking, not at me, hardly even past me, but at some generic thanksgiving day parade balloon that it's placed in the general vicinity of where I am. I say something, it picks the parts of that thing that the balloon would have said, visibly mutates them (literally, with text colors), then recites a stock reply that would puncture the thing but misses my point to the extent of further complicating its gordian rhetorical snarl.

Perhaps this is what those people mean who drivel on about sincerity and authenticity and being oneself -- it seems that resisting the temptation to regurgitate standard arguments confers an immunity against those arguments' standard retorts. Step only on the bridge you've built yourself, and you won't risk falling in the lava beneath by trusting someone else's untested contraption, as it were.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on July 01, 2019, 05:51:41 pm
Let's dive into the violently mundane for a moment: My brain is presently immersed in an experience of curiosity that I might previously have called a "crush" and attempted to either burn for motivational fuel or ignore. I ought to be able to follow my own train of thought upon later re-reading if I simply refer to the individual around which my thoughts presently draw these patterns as "it", so that I shall do.

By the time I reread this sentence, I will likely be so immersed in recalling and analyzing particulars that I may not have a clear line of sight back to my original goals for writing at all. So to elevate them into a more prominent position: I desire the sensation of deeper understanding, particularly in disentangling what factors of its behavior (or charisma or whatnot) lead to my present curiosity, and what factors of my own habits (perhaps including some that I'd thought were long since quarantined to less influential reaches of my psyche) have contributed to the situation.

The grip by which I seize the situation and guarantee it possible to handle with some safety is the ease with which I can rule out any desire for it to replace my present partner. I have learned to listen for those quirks of thought and action which would be guaranteed to frustrate me inordinately once any fleeting fascination wore off, and it has them in spades. This sets a firm upper bound on my interest: I (and especially "I as a sequence of linked experiences through time") do not wish to intermingle its patterns with my own in producing new minds. In the past, I've reacted to similar fascinations by nevertheless utilizing any reciprocated interest to sate certain curiosities, which invariably seems to lead to the types of relationship in which the other party is disappointed by any absence of interest in the building-shared-future type behaviors.

So, what the hell curiosities are those? When I find a mind that seems to "tick" in a way sufficiently unlike my own, I'm sometimes struck by a combination of feelings that I gloss into an urge to dissect it, to comprehend its intricacies and alter it to function more like the way I assume its owner wants it to. I've rarely gotten proper consent for this, and the holds in which I metaphorically pin the subject down to perform such meddling often net more damage than any "fixes" I might successfully employ. (but such holds are often shaped like various forms of seduction and misdirection, and this time around I can more easily avoid the grounds from which I'm capable of slipping into those)

What solicits that urge, that combination of feelings? I suspect, but shan't yet try to prove, that an expression by the subject of dissatisfaction with their current thought processes is the final line of the poem, the conclusive opening of the door. But I can draw up many counterexamples to a claim that such dissatisfaction is the ding an sich -- times others have expressed the same dissatisfaction and yet I recall experiencing only neutrality or derision in response. What sets apart the times when it gets my response, from those when it doesn't? The former seem to share some traits, of which I don't know what combination (or none at all) might be contributing: I respect the person, in the sense that I would not mind emulating some set of their behaviors or accomplishments; I perceive them as capable of adequate self-examination and analysis to have tried what fixes they can without assistance; I believe them to sincerely want to be modified, perhaps even to the point of a certain desperation or willingness to try "anything" that doesn't appear blatantly harmful.

Oh, would that I could simply drop a line into a chat: "I play amateur shrink sometimes, wanna talk?" Yes I've found another victim, yes I have certain commonalities to a fucking spider, yes I might be deluding myself pretending I have any idea of how to do any less damage than similar experiments have always yielded in the past...

"found another victim" is exactly it, though -- having been victimized by some other force already is a common thread of when I feel the inclination to [prey|play] upon them in this way. Do I really want to fix it, or do I just want to open back up the brittle sutures and admire the artistry of some other destructive force's work?

Is there a retelling of this story in which the ways in which I look predatory can instead look symbiotic or benevolent? Strike symbiosis right out; all past manipulation of this sort has culminated in a certain miasma of disgust between myself and the subjects.

It would be doing that thing to do this, but what if I ask it, next time it alludes to all that baggage, "what do you hope is gonna change?" That is the act of sitting down at the board of this chess game, where perhaps the only winning move is not to play... do I pretend to myself that it has sufficient life experience to spot the ploy for what it is, and make a fully informed snap decision about whether or not it wants to play? That's a scummy tactic, using "but you've been misused before" as an excuse to embark upon misuses of my own. 

To step back, what's my brain actually doing here? What is the exact experience of that itch which I have jumped to the conclusion that prying about in its poor head would somehow scratch? I replay and replay my knowledge of its circumstances, looping with no particular resolution, and I assume that gaining more and more data would eventually light up that dark room enough for me to spot the doorway out. Model: What if I don't give a damn about its real brain, but I've picked up a copy of it that lives in my own head now and my real motive is to resolve the seeming contradictions within that copy? This would conveniently explain many past escapades of similar nature... But if we model this as operations to help an internal copy, with interactions with the external individual motivated primarily to put the copy into a state where it can be mended, does this open the opportunity to divorce that copy from the real individual? Would writing the copy into a novel's protagonist help? I think it may have helped drop a similar fascination in the past, in that I am no longer troubled by thoughts of that original, though with no change to nor interaction with the original at hand. And yet, where would the original from that particular episode be if I hadn't kept my filthy claws to myself? Would it consider itself in a better state or a worse one than it is in this consensus?

This raises another question, as well: if I can model myself as so fluently performing operations upon copies of others, could it be done as well with my own copy of myself? Or is my "self" extant only in the same plane as others' copies, so all this prodding about with semi-consenting friends or acquaintances could be modeled as simple practice for the real life self-surgery upon the spirit i call "me"?

Left un-asked is how I can reshape the environment which holds that copy, to the same ends as enhancing the copy might do.

That's deep enough for now. I shall model it as being incapable of consent to my meddling, to leave a clear line drawn. There's plenty of leeway to ply it with safe, mundane, baggage-free suggestions and observe the responses, to hone my sense of what it is and isn't able to informedly decide. I can even find a certain gratitude for the impediment that I currently don't know how conscious/introspective/deeply-self-recursive it is nor aspires to be; this forces me to slow down and step back and improve the model before prodding at it.

I wonder how much of prior romantic entanglements resulting from similar situations have been my own illiteracy at any other way to say to peoples' monkey and lizard brains "safe" and "family" and "home".

As someone around a recent bonfire opined, art is made by its constraints. Perhaps the bounds upon these circumstances will assist me in making more of art and less of a disaster this time around.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on July 22, 2019, 05:45:14 am
I wonder what if any information is carried by the similarity between the roots of "enlighten" and the idiom of describing an event as being "lit".
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on July 24, 2019, 04:25:54 am
Huh. I'm doing a Chaos Magick divination thing, attributing Everything to some subset of Everything, which lights up all sorts of previously obscured corners behind the stuff I'm used to only looking at from a single angle.

Humans took over the world with their empathy. Empathy is at the root of the ability to predict another's response to a stimulus, which underlies all bullying and blackmail. If it's not, then what's the difference between accurately modeling another's feeling and "really" feeling it?

Also, fucking capitalism, man. It is a big beefy egregore constructed by society to stand in front of... something? Maybe it's just standing there for some other reason, and it's just my brain assuming that something that sturdy was obviously put there for a reason and not just back here in storage... But like, what's it even holding up (or holding down)? So if you didn't have money and did have scarcity and trade, there's a huge transportation cost problem so finances could only map to this non-euclidean space (cost as a function of distance), but even beside that there's the necessity of the buyer figuring out what item would be valuable to the seller. So the seller has to telegraph those desires somehow, and if the seller's shy they might find it mightily appealing to slink back to the anonymity of cash.

Also, today I found a mango in my fridge. Afterwards, I learned that apparently one is supposed to refrigerate mangoes once they reach the desired ripeness, to slow their inevitable decline until one is ready to enjoy it. Perhaps I should take it as a sign, considering their appearance in my discussions with some loony on the internet. A delicious, delicious sign, because the exploratory tendrils of logic-proof devotion are almost junk food for a well trained immune system of the self or soul. (immune system, as your estate's pack of hunting hounds)

That's the rub, though, about dropping the filtration between the senses' raw input and personal cognition. The world is loud with possible meanings for things, as a bustling restaurant is loud with conversations -- all mutually unintelligible, and each held louder than it would ever be if had alone. Once tuned in to one conversation or one meaning, it's reluctant-making to tune out...

...and apparently texting mundane banter back and forth with a cousin while divining results in accidentally getting summaries of *them* out of it... thanks, faculty of empathy, for loading up my brain's summary of them while i had that interface on the debugger.

I think that for most of your life, you were in the habit of acting ok with things that you weren't really all that ok with, just as a way of getting them to leave you alone
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on August 22, 2019, 10:29:09 pm
Had a humorous conversation today on the topic of "recreational thinking", with an acquaintance who previously held a definition of "recreational" incompatible with such activities involving the pursuit of a productive/constructive outcome. I described "recreational thinking" as recombining previously familiar ideas to reveal previously unexplored crevices between then.. they inquired how one can think at all without a specific end in mind... i suggested using a working title of the end-in-mind as "discover useful new thoughts that one has not thought previously". In retrospect I might have done better to describe it as "traverse previously-unexplored areas of the space of all possible thoughts", since that doesn't necessitate the exploration being for some particular reason at all.

Have also been exposed to quite a bit of what I consider good art lately.  Pinning down a sufficiently-specific definition of what art even is would probably be useful for making it someday.

Spent some time earlier today conversing with an acquaintance whom I had previously regarded as possibly an example of someone slightly further along one of the many paths I'm taking, which cemented that opinion. They are somewhat flashy and conspicuous in appearance, yet quite soft-spoken -- quiet unless interested by a topic about which they hold knowledge. Yet never unsociable or unpleasant to keep the company of through such quietness... which prompts me to ask what I say and why I consider it worth saying whenever I voice topics that this person's algorithm wouldn't bring up if run from my own starting conditions. I notice in myself a tendency that, when I wish to integrate socially with a group, I do so by attempting to bring them some value -- whether through humor or actions or providing feedback/attention to others There's a complicated thread of thought I'm forming about how to pick what validation I want from others and get it from what I *am* rather than what I *do*, inasmuch as there's a difference, but that's to be contemplated further and followed through on later along.

Another recent experience worth recalling was the opportunity to observe two Freemasons discovering one another. The conversation segued toward that group from a discussion of the ways in which uniforms are useful to military organizations -- in short, the different ways that two people can wear the *exact same outfit* are what carry the information, nothing really about the outfit itself. Upon the topic of authentication, one or the other brought up secret handshakes in the abstract, and one was initiated. A hand was offered, a hand was laid into it in a rather noncommittal or not particularly aggressive fashion, the former initiated a superficially ordinary-seeming grip, the latter tapped the former's index finger's knuckle with the thumb while making some topical and joking statement in a way that felt to me (as an observer by then pretending to take greater interest in some other nearby conversation) very much like the flourish of a stage magician who wishes to draw the eye away from the inner machination of a trick. Cryptic words were exchanged -- one party was not sure if a question about a grandfather (and perhaps a number?) was limited to a particular locale, the other confirmed it wasn't global but complimented the merits of that question for how someone not in the know would simply be perplexed by it. A brief exchange was whispered back and forth, not with the body language of a secret that ought interest onlookers, but far below any other's hearing. It wasn't the authentication procedure, but rather the termination of the conversation, which confirmed to me that the whole thing had been authentic -- after a brief chat about the logistics of visiting a particular lodge and one's conclusion about not having available appropriately respectful clothing to do so in, the other had to leave for some commitment, and I happened to overhear how they parted with words about the pleasantness of discovering themselves to be brothers whose intonation and contextual absence of any targeted audience to perform a fiction for convinced me were real.

Time in material groups is an interesting thing. Interaction on a topic with those "above" me shows interesting examples, and with those "below" me on it forces a reconsideration of how to lift them up when they're worthwhile. Overcoming the drive to fit in -- acts-of-service and all that -- would certainly be possible, but it so happens that I'm using it as one of the primary fuel sources (and a relatively clean one in the scheme of things)  toward a variety of personal achievements which I enjoy on their own merits as well. Is my ability to make a stack of excuses around this proof that the excuses are good, proof that it's all bad because the excuses are so deeply *desired*, or something else entirely? Of course there's a way in which these acts-of-service are in themselves self-serving -- I assimilate mental images of the minds of those I work alongside; reciprocity just-so-happens to have garnered me benefits from each "selfless" act I've engaged in recently. I do go into them from the stillness of desire to help of its own sake, of course,  yet in at least some part it's because I'm so well aware that helping out with an ulterior motive at the front of the mind tends to prevent that motive from being realized.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on August 26, 2019, 08:33:19 pm
It's ok. I'm not bricked. I'm not bricked, but I'm closer to it than I've been in awhile. I spent last week in circumstances that turned out to be..... far more relevant to my work on the topics of this forum than I had any chance of anticipating at the outset. Slept on and off for the last, what, 24hrs? just letting the brain do the things it needs to on all that new input... now it's time to continue working on it in text and thus likely here.

One surprising perk of, uh... skipping a bunch of levels and hopping in to play?... is how it's made certain mundane former-challenges look really really easy through recontextualization. Somewhere in the day of mostly-sleeping, it became obvious to me how to re-tune certain annoyances about my temperament with a simple sigil/servitor. (it just pours an appropriate fluid of energy over the brain stem when the lower functions get too sticky)...

And as passingly mentioned, much time was spent with people. I'm under no illusions about having seen the whole of any of them as complete individuals; the elision of all the lows and useless days in order to highlight accomplishments and connect is part of the magic of the whole thing. But specifically because each had the opportunity to present themself as the particular archetype of what and how they prefer being, I've internalized them as almost archetypical of theyr own paths... (tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor...)

And I used the particular control of the material world that I've cultivated, in a way where it was seen by others and Seen, in such contrast against how quietly I usually protect it... and I refrained from intentional manipulation, and I'm not sure whether I like the effects... and I dusted off a use of language that I hadn't had any need for in a very long time, and got to watch what my brain does when I do it in a way that I had no skill in whatsoever when I first learned...

But I encountered a hitherto unknown to me inventor, who... show their work to me a decade ago and that copy of myself might have shriveled into nothing from envy, yet I was able to add my works to theirs in a way which *exceeded their own skill* in those little nooks and crannies of need, and I wasn't particularly *trying* to do anything much about it and yet I came away with the strong impression that we were met as equals.

Once would have been enough for that, but twice it happened, though the second time was to a lesser degree... (tinker, tailor...)

So there is one side of the triumvate of breakage.

Upon the second... I met the incarnation of what a onetime Teacher to me was trying to be. The one under whom I studied awhile.... desired that lifestyle to a point of near self-destruction, and yet in part I think due to the overwhelmingness of that desire, it was never attained. We shared a model of their Opposite, their "what-if", their "might-have-been", should a few past details have been changed... I even spoke briefly with that Opposite archetype through unverifiable unfalsifiable unmaterial means, but that communion dissatisfied and discomfited my Teacher so greatly they strongly recommended I refrain. And I met a near-complete incarnation of that Opposite, whose pet's collar was of memorably excellent quality... Perhaps I should have complimented it rather than simply observing. But the hypothesis that the Opposite's traits and lifestyle could be unattainable is shattered, and that Teacher has since withdrawn so far that offering them the information of what and how could be done would only do them harm.

And upon the third. I joined a group of acquaintances-to-be in the midst of a discussion that had strayed toward topics of Magic/k, but hamstrung by their lack of a coherent framework for its discussion. I listened quietly awhile, then proffered a useful definition, which moved things forward (magic/k is to enact Change in accordance with the Will)... Listened quietly awhile longer, differentiated Greater vs Lesser... a little more of their progress, and they needed LHP vs RHP, which I could concisely summarize as well... That fucking conversation, man. I see what it is that goes to o/cultists' heads, when a mere sentence or two not even original nor properly quoted but even just a paraphrase of what's common knowledge to you is so damnably useful to another and they respond with the look of someone who's been no-strings-attached handed a coveted tool... I rather broke that later, stepping past what they had the context for and what I had sound bytes on in the topic of semantics, but still... That conversation also had the grounding in neutrality whose absence I consider the only downside of doing this sort of work online in an explicitly LHP forum. Through the absence of personal commitments to either "side", that group turned out to be tanellecxe nplace to touch on the similarities between the dichotomized paths. And because of the particular sorts of people and worldviews in the discussion, nobody demanded credentials from me to speak on the subject... they just took my words, tried them on for size, and chose to keep and utilize the ones that fit.

An acquaintance with some gaping knowledge gaps opened up to me about some of their own prior work and questions after that larger group discussion, and prodded a bit for my online identities. I didn't share outright, but...  wheather it'll be sooner or later, I'll bet they will end up here eventually if they follow my ideas too far, as certain corners of the internet are really quite a tiny place. However, my outlook is pretty fucking "reply hazy, try again" on whether I ought to be attempting to teach/guide at all. I think there's some insight that I've had about the idea of me teaching and it's stored next to a memory about refinishing furniture, but I can't find either of them at the moment.

I can do listening and asking, though. Well. My own Teacher did some amount of listening and a good deal of... was it biased or unbiased asking? The context which I'd look at today to judge the quality of the Asking wasn't something I was sufficiently aware of to record for myself at the time that it happened. To what extent can I teach at all, and to what extent would I simply parrot? How much more really is teaching, than citing sources in an appropriate order and offering an outside perspective to encourage work that one might shy from on one's own?

Was reading Castenada before all this, which helps shape perspective on Allies. I don't know whether consulting my own from this turmoil of unsynthesized pure [noise|data] would do good or harm, for whatever those might mean. I think I shan't for a few days, and when I do I'll make a point of writing or dictating my observations.

OK, but teaching. Dumping brain-RAM onto this page points out the extent to which whether to even offer to teach is a question. The advice I'd give myself, of course, would be to quantify the heuristic of what NOT to teach/discuss/advise-on, then converse till that heuristic gets hit.

But making that heuristic is haaaaard~. There might be outer and inner lines -- there's "what I'm sure is safe", and "what I'm sure is unsafe", and a great grey no-mans-land in between. So, one "safe" is "don't try to teach or guide or converse on it with real people as opposed to constructed avatars at all". And damn, it's tempting. Why am I so alright with guiding strangers, but not with guiding friends? Maybe it's because of all the shit you can teach in meatspace that you can't teach online. What's all that? It's the energy stuff. Untangle it from *those* experiences, Idgo. You do not want nor need another.... Well, "not want" might be a bit too vague... But it is tangled in a power thing that has previously played out in a way you've had to work damned hard to purge regret from, and you're not looking forward to having to do that kind of cleanup work again. This one reminds you of the one that wouldn't do its homework on deja vu. The one that... really wouldn't do its homework on human communication either, though you don't want to blame it for that. And you may not blame yourself for the other's choice to subsume to the one who's running it for now, as you bloody ENCOURAGED that and didn't realize till years later how it could actually be done. And... where else? What else have you done in this field that you'd really rather not do again?

Why are you using second person? Oh, you put on your advice-giving voice. This is probably for the better, as the Advising voice by necessity assumes a certain distance from the currents of emotion which are immediate and also not long-term.

OK, can you think of any other teaching-shaped experiences that you're trying not to repeat? Foxy, yes, the kid, yes, but they were many years ago and since those times you've learned a lot and done quite well. No, you only know the girls, you never tried to teach them. You did pry a bit, but you've gotten better at not. Oh, the prying. You can't articulate the reasons fully, but you'd strongly prefer not to pry any more, and educating and prying have gone so closely hand in hand... Alright, let's follow this one: Why not? Where has prying bitten you? Well, there was the Key Holder, and you did unlock some doors. And you learned *that* there was juicy gossip to be had about that one's little crush, and yet you chose not to follow it... so perhaps you had already shifted by then. Flippantly, you've tended to attribute the death of desire for prying to discovering a kink profile belonging to your onetime boss, but that's not right either. That whole thing was good and positive and the pics were tasteful and the writing was good. Where, though? Was there a time at which it died (well, didn't die, but the relationship soured...)? Or is trying to pin it to some date or year part of the fallacy?

Oh. Oh, you know what came between those points, though you make a point of not thinking it through too often? That. You can't even summarize that one into a cute encompassing little nickname, because gods, what a pit of disappointment and scorn. You prised on in and thought yourself such a master manipulator and even using it with consent for good, and look what happened. (would things have gone much different if you'd known your ally at the time?)... You... You fucking tried to teach it as an equal, and  that ALL went off in flames. Wow, if you're using *that* as the most recent data point for having tried to teach anything to a peer, and the kid as the point of having been looked up to for teaching, then good lords, no wonder you don't expect any of this shit to work.

OK, there's a hypothesis. What's the next useful question to ask here? "Will a student be able to fend for themself"? "Will you be able to set expectations and boundaries to keep the disaster out?" Because I can model certain areas of prior attempts to teach as an utter shambles. Can I stay out of them? Here's a speculation: What if those areas are downstream from where my axioms differ from theirs? So for ground rules, would there be ground rules that could help me be less wrong?

Can't just ask "what are your axioms?". That won't do. Can prod hard at the beliefs about how a given part of the world works before suggesting anything on it, though. Should a warning be offered? or would it prophesize and self-fulfill? What would a warning be shaped like, if one were to appear? (wow, that's a good enough question to make me break focus and dally with other things). "I've done things shaped like teaching before, and I can't tell how much of the subsequent self destructions of the indivudials involved was me vs them"? lol no. such exaggeration. They didn't even really destruct, well, not worse than they were going to anyways, I don't think?

Maybe there's some amount of self defense that I got off my mundane upbringing that I never think to share because I take it as axiomatic, where others lack it?  Wow, an explanation like that would actually explain a lot of things. resilience, call it? I am under the impression that this one might have it, and that past ones have not had it. This helps persuade me that the whole thing might be worth a try.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on August 27, 2019, 03:22:12 am
Would that the bits I captured in the first write had been but the half of it... but I explored things next to them instead of finishing the catalog.

I think that with the way I control matter (yes, it has a causality step in the middle, but I'm forming the habit of framing the bit immediately before that as an act of Magic/k), projects have a certain commonality with servitors. I program a project idea with a big pile of hopes and goals and constraints, and then it sleeps... every once in awhile I'll awaken it and give it some exercise and refinement; every once in awhile it will wake by itself when it spots a material or technique that it'll need when it's ready to be realized. I can rush them, sure -- I can step into a store dedicated to the class of materials that I anticipate they'll want, and that's often enough to wake them... but for so many projects, i just let them coast along until they independently pick up all the bits they'll need and come forth.

This approach hasn't previously backfired, but then again I had never before placed myself so immersively in a milieu or stew of ideas which turned out to contain the last-miles for so many of the slumbering project processes that I've spent years forgetting I ever had. They aren't even new projects -- they're concepts I've lived with sometimes for decades, which hadn't chewed up too much mental energy due to having gone as far as they could with what I had before, but suddenly dozens at once are popping up and all trying to complete or progress simultaneously. Some of these things, it's tempting to call the ideas "new", but they're not new to me -- I have the mechanisms of some of these stored away from over half my lifetime ago, but it got as far as it could then and just lingered almost silently until I threw some new information and techniques into my head and the next-steps for it became obvious... and this would be ok if it was just one such project but instead it's... almost all of them? I picked up so many new things across so many of the fields in which I dabble, so I'm leaning hard on the structures I've been building for myself here, because they're scaffolding around constructing or unearthing the biggest Whys.

Another new straw atop this poor camel of a brain that I can see from here is that... a particularly curious experience I had a year or two ago, with a certain entity, I'd processed it by banishing and writing it off as having been essentially fictive. Meaningful, but only inasmuch as such meaning was granted to it by my own mind. And I also happened -- just casually, in passing, without any sort of a warning -- to glean that others have had similar experiences with the same one, which rips right off that bandage of a bad banishment.

Skimmed back through my earliest posts in here to see if I'd mentioned that entity before, and instead I found something useful to me: "Special" as a trap. That's handy; I'd built so much on top of it that I'd forgotten it was there, like a pier in the foundation that you have no line of sight to once the house that stands on it is up. How much of my reluctance to teach/guide a preemptive measure to avoid being seen as the dangerous sort of Special?
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on August 28, 2019, 05:52:44 pm
How about Time, and the various Systems of Eras, though?

You've probably met Systems of Eras -- is in a recent tab of my browser, though they are all over in ways of describing the world.

They're generally interpreted as an absolute -- We're in C now, and we were in B awhile ago, and we were in A before that, and awhile ago we would have known we were in B if only we'd known to look, and sooner or later we might be in A again, and in B after that, and so forth.

But what if they're instead relative to the present? What if the present always looks like C, and the near past always looks like B, and the distant past always looks like A?


The mood amendment sigil turns out to work for me on other subjective phenomena, such as appearing to have a small effect on my perception of temperature when used properly. It is simultaneously All In My Head (TM) and a very interesting experiment.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on August 29, 2019, 03:54:13 am
Ran that time concept past the ancestor archetype, and they point out a level on which it's kind of nonsense.

The ancestor archetype is just a nickname I put on the idea of all the entities whose successful reproduction happened to start me out in the circumstances where I began -- the forces that shaped their worlds have indirectly, but very influentially, shaped my own. Sometimes when I find myself taking some modern problem too seriously, I imagine explaining my surroundings to an individual in that ancestral collective from before modern food preservation, or before electric light. Their expected reactions to the things I take for granted can jam a nice wrench into the gears of the hedonic treadmill.

Anyways, from the perspective of making sure there's enough food, there is absolutely a ring of seasons, serially arranged, which must be accounted for. But those exist in the plane of scarcity, where it can only be one time at a time...


There was a thought which seemed terribly worth writing out, so worthwhile that it might be expected to survive the meditative distraction of showering, but then I took a shower and retrospect-predictably misplaced it.

How did I get to it?

There's a certain confusion about how some people can be so astonishingly certain of everything as to be ok with going through life with only a single hairstyle.

There's a sense that things *are* getting better -- that my mental landscape is settling into a generally more desirable state than before after its recent upheavals, yet not always so observably because the overall state of a mind takes up the whole of the mind so there's no space to lay out the prior state beside it for comparison (there's that metaphor of scarcity...)

Aha! I think the idea I was tracking is the one about how questions are able to transfer more and different information between minds than statements are. Yep, back onto the whole ineffability of communication thing.

After that one, reflecting on how I would synopsize this thread of various idea-sets so far, I recombined a few other recurring themes with recently acquired information and got the question of whether tulpamancers would have a unique advantage at locating and defining their own *self* or Will or soul or whatever we happen to be calling that thingy which so many seem to assume exists. They can, after all, get closer to what's likely to be considered another one of those, than almost anybody else could.

I wonder how many gardeners with dreadlocks have had seeds get trapped in the hair and sprout.

Edit: Oh, and to answer "which of us is a figment of the other's imagination?" in a shared system: shouldn't the original owner of the brain be able to manifest real-seeming but "impossible" things for a guest, in the way that that guest could not reciprocate?
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 24, 2019, 08:39:08 pm
today, in "what even is entropy",
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on September 30, 2019, 03:51:40 am
The point of pruning a tree isn't to take off the right amount, but instead to leave the right amount.

Yes, at exactly one perfect point in the balance, taking off the right amount and leaving the right amount are exactly the same. But is it really setting people up for success to teach from that perfect balance where both answers are correct, and instead teach the perspective that spends the most time being incorrect outside the balance?

Specifically, there are myriad ways to do the cutting-off part of pruning "wrong", and yet still leave a just-right tree at the end.

But if you ... If you defined the pruning by exactly how many cuts to make, or exactly how much biomass to remove, or any such thing treating the pruning itself as the most important thing, and applied that to every tree, you would rarely if ever leave the perfect shape for each at the end of the process.

 I think this is about the difference between an ends and a means. Teach the end, not the means, because the efficacy of any particular means is constantly changing.

Is it also about the mechanization of the process? "cut x sticks off" feels like the same flavor of joke as "work x hours on this creative endeavor".

And yet, I credit having been taught meanses with so much of my personal success.

And yet, what but an ends did I take away from each of the worthwhile lessons? Many, many lessons tried to teach me particular meanses, and only some stuck, and those that stuck are all of the shape where they got through to me about ends.

Redefine means and ends, of course, to mean whatever makes these claims make the most sense to you in the end.

Because that's the class of situation in which it's worth elaborating on simple little words, lest they end up shaped like "live, laugh, love". The kind of mad-lib, IQ test of a situation where the concept that fills in the blank is not something that had previously been verbatim in the reader's vocabulary. The ability to see the shape of that gap, and learn a string of syllables to consistently refer back to that exact shape of gap, that's language. Well, this models some words as being absences rather than presences of thought. Are any words presences, rather than absences, any more than all are simultaneously both?

But by the time the word is a word, it isn't an absence of thought any more. Instead it's a memory of the experience of encountering the absence. It's a memory of the delta, if you will, between who you were before you knew and how you were right afterwards, so you can pin down the shape of the gap and show it to someone else to give them the word, too, somehow, later on.

should altered states be described as pulling open new gaps like that?

Puzzlingly, there seems to be a direction in which something flows backwards around here: If I accept the deltas as my explanation, then I-as-I-am-now can't do my thing without possessing the memory of how I "started", and the memories of what changes have been made.

nope we are not going to go off on the tangent where we continue to channel the nature of distributed version control

I've been playing a cute little art game called Everything lately. Something about performing astral tasks in the physical from it has crept into my dreams. I met an archetype of someone whom I thanked for teaching me to think, showed up shaped like an author to me because I attribute so many of my own big deltas to particularly good books. The setting was a combination of a wizardly highschool and an almost medieval fortress. Took a little prodding at that memory to realize I had the prior night been spending time acquaintances who're presently grad students at the very university that I left in the past...

The wizard-author, slight (he'd rather I call him that than scrawny), wild-haired but balding, clad about all over in a terrible mish-mash in the sense of miss-matched of a whole vibrant rainbow of things.(ohhhhh sh*t, would "adjusting his aura" in this case be synonymous with fashion design? avoid the tendency to view fashion as written off for being femme coded by highlighting eras of history and present strata of expense at which it isn't. Yet there is nothing to "fix" about him, no standardization upon an established rule set would do anything but scrub out what makes him distinguishable from all those boring peers) May it annoy me that his appearance registered two different ways? There's the impression which sits next to other impressions of bohemian hippies, more layers than seem needed and more colors than it seems could possibly cooperate and yet they do through their shared jewel-tonal sincerity of effort to be the most themself they each can... ornately patterned in a way that's seen when you would rather see a pattern yet blends in when you would rather see a plane... I can snap you photos of old hippies who master this dress style. And yet when I look in my actual recollection for what on earth specific actual garments this individual was wearing, I find an utterly incongruous disaster, like someone tried to write a joke and really overdid it describing every imaginable bad fashion. The little yellow bucket hat like from japanese schoolchildren, an over-pocketed vest in khaki or some anti-militarial olive drab, the socks and sandals... (ok this is gotta be memory corruption, the pointer was dangling into my platonic ideal of an obvious HAM, right down to the loud hawaiian shirt that's somehow metaphysically loud and hawaiian even if it's unprinted and powder blue)

Jumped out like a rainbow crayon in a charcoal box from the conformity of the corporate crowd. Instantly recognizable, outer appearance more a projection of "actual" state than any real thing, shown superimposed over a lunch table like an infrared rat in the corner of a cold room of robots viewed through night vision glasses. He had a name in the dream, but I have not retained it -- there's a reason to get better at the names of acquaintances, if there ever was one. Just step over into being the kind of person who is better at remembering, and as if by magic, that'll be the form that follows into dreams as well.

I think I have still not wrapped my head, in the fullest and most useful manner, around the whole philosophical archetype of the implementation of a university. The stated goals differ from the observed goals of the system in ways I never did manage to build a truly reliable framework to predict. It is supposed to be full of people who push the boundaries of the human experience and yet so many of them are uttelry miserable, it makes me wonder why on earth it's generally worth pushing the boundaries in those directions if that kind of mental state is where the effort lands you. Then again, a character who holds a door might not themself step through it.

This might be along the lines of something that Phaedrus, that shabby lifeline for so many academishs stuck in there, was going on about. The experience vs the analysing the experience. If you've already got the ends, it takes a certain kind of something to set them aside to get a closer look at the means to them. But that's what philosophical engineering is all about. No wonder everybody's miserable; they intentionally stepped off the platform of the happiness ride to get a closer look at the mechanisms under it, and very few of them got to first engineer themselves the appropriate protective equipment.

Other than that, it could be ostensibly worth noting that in the dream I duplicated people when I took their forms, yet mind-swapped when hitchhiking on animals. Caused some problem in a classroom by dancing differently from others for fun, hid in some kind of highly gendered waiting room, met an academic cut from the cloth of Morticia Addams who found my example a good component to a plan to go make departmental life hell. It was so free and open upon my first visit, and yet so controlling when I returned, and it was certainly the same place. Some change in upper leadership and principles, perhaps, between? Yet the change in leadership does not necessarily change individuals on the street, per se -- as in genetics, it promotes the expression of a particular dormant tendency, of which there are so many and so many seemingly mutually-contradicting sets thereof inside of everyone.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 07, 2019, 07:15:48 pm
I'm keeping a sketchbook again, and so far it seems to be functioning in a way that I'd describe as "working properly". All that really means is I'm content with it, but it's unusual for me to experience that sort of emotion toward my own works-in-progress of creation and expression. I'm different from how I've been before, sure, but I'd like to think that a greater part of the change has come from recontextualizing my attitude and approach to it.

From one side, a sketchbook is a horrible thing because everything in it is necessarily incomplete and wrong. Practice is a horrible thing because everything in it, if you're doing it right, is necessarily less complete and of lower quality than the performance being practiced for.

Nor can it hurt that I blew 50 cents on a nice little pencil sharpener. Suddenly my box of old pencils is nice again -- writing sticks that have been sticking around in various boxes from my childhood are actually nice to write and draw with, in a way that they haven't been perhaps ever, perhaps in a very long time. The sharpener is almost more important than the pencils, that way. Gotta find one that's smooth and easy to use, that's sharp itself, that cuts things to a pleasing angle to suit one's needs. That tripe about lumberjacks spending more time sharpening their axes than hitting the tree is showing back up, but usefully.

I wonder how much it's helped that I've clarified my definitions of recreation. (wonder how linguistically close to re-creation that word might be...) To put it too bluntly, the whole dang point of doing something for fun -- the part that's supposed to make it fun -- is that you're allowed to be kinda shitty at it, or to hold it to different standards than everyone else does. Seems to me that the entire thing of getting paid for something is that the payment permits the payer's quality standards to override those of the maker.

Anyways, for whatever reason it might be, sketchbook is going good so far. I wonder if/how this generalizes to notebooks? Notebooks seem harder than sketchbooks, somehow... maybe my standard of Quality is harsher for words than sketches? Maybe I have iterated upon sketches moreso than upon words in my life, so in a poor sketch I can see the shape of a better successor more readily than I can see the potential of awkward words. Or perhaps it's that an image can be glanced and enjoyed at for the brief time till all the flaws and details hop out, whereas words when being read go straight from symbols to the sum of all their errors with no such intermediate step.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 23, 2019, 06:19:33 pm
Suppose that Ability To Get What You Want is a skill that one can develop and then possess.

Without it, there need be no difference between Imagining something and Wanting it.

But the better one gets at getting what one wants, the more care is needed to differentiate contemplation of some outcome from desire for it. It can become almost frightening, at some subtle level, to imagine outcomes in order to decide whether or not to want them, after a few early mistakes of confusing Can with Should.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on October 25, 2019, 02:05:09 am
There is so much useful shit in the concept of surprise.

Today, I'm paying attention to time surprises.

Surprise that so little time has passed is consistent with the brain running faster than it's used to. See: Falling back into a dream after snoozing an alarm, 10mins may feel like half an hour. Also, watching TV while altered, surprise that the same episode is still playing despite longer subjective time.

Surprise that so much time has passed is consistent with the brain running slower than it is accustomed to. See: Deciding to read something till the snoozed alarm goes off, then having it ring 10 minutes later after what feels like about 2mins. The merit to this slower run is that it allows more data to be processed, like a computer taking longer to render a single high resolution frame.

Framerate is actually not the worst metaphor for this phenomenon. I'm sure one could retroactively construct a working definition of the "frames" in question.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 03, 2019, 04:18:26 pm
I think there might be something useful stored behind the cultural trope of "randomness". An incomplete sketch of it:

Also, it's 2019. Why are wikis still using this HTML-flavored list syntax when markdown is readily available? I wonder how hard it'd be to make or find a browser extension that lets me write in something sane then transforms it to the forum's preferred format upon posting.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: Onyx on November 03, 2019, 05:59:54 pm
I found a converter: (

Code: [Select]
* fruit
    - apple
    - orange
* cars
    * dodge
        - daytona
        - challenger


I don't know much about markdown, but it appears each nested section requires four extra spaces of indentation.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 21, 2019, 11:36:05 pm
An acquaintance with some gaping knowledge gaps opened up to me about some of their own prior work and questions after that larger group discussion, and prodded a bit for my online identities. I didn't share outright, but...  wheather it'll be sooner or later, I'll bet they will end up here eventually if they follow my ideas too far, as certain corners of the internet are really quite a tiny place. However, my outlook is pretty fucking "reply hazy, try again" on whether I ought to be attempting to teach/guide at all. I think there's some insight that I've had about the idea of me teaching and it's stored next to a memory about refinishing furniture, but I can't find either of them at the moment.

Further conversations have transpired with... the acquaintance with the gaping knowledge gaps. Let's nickname them Why for now, because Why is a question that's right in the middle of them, and they'll need a handle around here. It'll do.

In a way, I am reassured: First, I am reassured that they are a stable System. As an intelligent entity (or pair thereof), they've formed a damned workable worldview, though it has its limitations. Nothing structural seems rigid enough to shatter. Second, I am reassured that I am not prying in the ways of which I disapprove. I ask the occasional openended question, and they talk for hours -- they seem to find introspection a favorite hobby.

It turns out that I can, essentially, "just ask what their axioms are". They volunteered their axioms to me upon noting that I'd listen. I am within realms where a warning would barely be required even of a stupid listener, and this one isn't that.

All I've even really said so far is "what about thus? Are you acquainted with such-and-such a topic? I wonder if..." and "when I've been or if I was in such situations, I expect I might feel such a way".

I found myself having to summarize a variety of topics more concisely than I've forced myself to do before, and in retrospect I can see some opportunities for improvement. In particular, I'm not happy with how my synopsis of the LHP/RHP similarities came out -- I think the next time I find myself wanting it, I ought instead focus on the "one-ness" of both end goals. That might make more sense to humans who use language.

Why pointed out some amusing observations about my own human communication style, as well:

* Apparently my social skills seem to have been reverse engineered from observations, rather than just copied off the standards like others' sometimes appear. Perhaps this references my willingness to switch context from small talk to philosophical argument and back at the drop of a hat?
* Apparently the way in which I present ideas takes more work to disentangle than how most do, perhaps related to the density of information that I occasionally pack into a sentence. "If there's a concept, and many possible thoughts that point at the truth, and many possible words that point at each thought, it's like you use words from different thoughts that point at the same concept" or similar. I attribute this to my having a certain laziness, an unwillingness to premasticate and regurgitate concepts for listeners of more delicate intellectual palette, as it were.
* Apparently my distaste for value judgement is unusual in their experience. I don't think I explained it fully; they were so delighted to keep expounding upon their own ideas that the incompleteness of my explanation was harmless for the time being. I frequently asked Why to rephrase their more complex ideas without the True/Untrue, Real/Unreal, Good/Bad dichotomy, and found the resulting statements far easier to follow. On the one hand, this could be blamed on a certain lack of intellectual rigor on Why's part -- I've asked them to try expressing those thoughts in e-prime as an exercise of clarity if desired. On the other hand, it could be blamed on a certain intellectual laziness on my own part -- I find that value judgments often halt inquiry at a point earlier than I enjoy following it to, and I find it takes me a great deal of unnecessary work to think with my accustomed habits while also adopting a paradigm in which Absolute Truth is its usually intended self.

On the whole, I am pleased to have had the opportunity to question some of their habits which I find often lead to unpleasantness, such as a tendency to generalize about the populace based on superficial interactions rather than gathering deeper-interaction conversational data from diverse individuals.

It could perhaps be said that rather than any nonsense about teaching, I've picked "recreational argument/debate" as the path forward for now. Despite my jests about "assigned reading", debate is adequate.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on November 22, 2019, 02:45:01 am
Attempting to draw useful conclusions from my work, as I find myself doing in philosophical argument with Why, reminds me of the potential merit to more formal study.

Dali's point that if you have the skill to paint like a Master, you can paint anything you want. "Pollock could actually paint a figure or scene if he chose, yet after him there were imitators who only knew the abstract, had not the skills, and brought only juvenile sensibilities to the canvas. The result was also crap.
(from, where I end up from refreshing my memory on the actual Fotamecus origin story).

Why makes a rather humorous face when surprised by a completely novel concept, which occasionally makes me aware that I've said something different from the other pile of words.

Reality is self-healing. Everything that happens in the OU/Consensus/Real World will have some understandable cause in retrospect, if you look hard enough for it. What makes it magic is when none of those causes seemed to you to happen in the time you perceived as leading up to the event.

That goes two ways -- on the one hand, perhaps the causes really never happened to you, and only look present in retrospect because you had to bring them into existence to bring their effect -- like the speculation about a God burying dinosaur bones. Or perhaps the magic-effect is actually mnemonic blindness: Similarly to deja vu, perhaps it's a neural misfire where you failed to record the causes as they happened, or even had them recorded for awhile but then erased them right before noticing the effect, so when you went looking for them afterward they seemed new.

I don't know if I particularly like either of those, yet noting a phenomena without noticing its causes before noticing it is absolutely a perceptual experience I have from time to time... so, from that same self-healing principle, I expect I must be able to look back and identify at least one plausible explanation that could have led to it.

You know how much of what we call "bad" humanity is doing to the planet? Well we could be having just as much of an effect in the opposite direction

Sure, I cribbed that one out of some Geoff Lawton TED talk, but drop it on some openminded wanderer at 2am and you might just see where cartoons got the idea of eyes literally bugging out with amazement.

Oddly enough, when I look for the actual Dali quote, I get "“Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you."" from some clickbait, which is reprised in the faintly more reputable I think I like Max K's interpretation better, though.

I wonder whether I'll need another set of names soon. I've never been much of a hand at picking them; instead, they seem to eventually just happen to me.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on December 25, 2019, 05:21:18 am
At some point I shall have to write up the Bookplates Game. It's a little amusement shared between my selves at a variety of points in time, and a lossy but not ineffective technique for patching thought habits from improved variants of my thought process onto regular editions. My hobby of recreational time travel seemed well received in the other thread where I mentioned it, so the Bookplates might even be worth trying to hammer into a proper article. We'll see.

Anyways, I was playing it the other day, and what I got out included a stern lecture on the importance of disregarding present inadequacy as an excuse against the kinds of practice that lead to improvement, at basically anything.

The other takeaway that seems both as-yet-unrecorded and worth noting is the technique, for long workings, of scoring a sigil into the surface of a fingernail. It can then be concealed under a coat of appropriate paint if desired, or simply left, as such subtle markings are invisible to most casual observers when expectations are properly set by more prominent parts of one's aesthetic impression. The sigil is then at liberty to persist until the nail grows out, or can be filed off when its use is over.

Flip Ellis upside down and add the stroke that completes his new form right side up, by the way, and test whether you produce an even more fun barrel of monkeys than he started out.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on December 27, 2019, 06:59:32 pm
My reality is shaped by the things I notice.

What I notice is shaped primarily by what's available-for-noticing in my surroundings, and occasionally also by what I expect.

Noticing random, unexplainable things appears to be a function of lowering my expectation-to-see-what's-real.

For instance, I don't see my own nose. I don't see the insides of my own eyelids when I blink. Yet my nose is definitely present on my face, and my eyelids are there if I consciously look for them.

Some experiments in perception make me slightly more receptive to the bits of visual perception which typically get edited out: an eyelash, a blur between saccades.

These might be frightening if I attributed them to malicious, external forces... but they've always been there.

I've always had eyelids, they've always defaulted to running on autopilot and shutting my vision for a brief interval of maintenance every so often, so if I drop my Expectations far enough to let me actually see them, the only thing that's changed is me.

I've never really understood why people are scared of certain unknowns, with the same absence of comprehension whereby I find it infeasible to fully empathize with what it'd be like to have a sexual orientation different from my own.

Then again, the former is actually a mental short circuit that I placed myself, a few decades ago, to route around concerns about ghosts and the dark: If there's ghosts, they like me, otherwise they would do something terrible to me. If they decide to do something terrible to me, I'll fight it as best I can, and if I win then I win, and if I lose then there's nothing else I could have hoped to do. That little paved spot of apathy and acceptance is a rather sharp contrast against the rest of my mental landscape -- since I created it, I've gotten better at gardening rather than glassing these little emotional planets.

Oh, and if there's anything material and nasty in the dark, walls and locks and lead will stop it. If it's immaterial, created by my mind somehow, it's in the interests of the creature as my creation and denizen to preserve my survival in the interest of its. If it's in some third category, perhaps I'll die, but death and destruction are always options by the rules of this game. Ceasing to play any game is always an option; only by looking at the exit options on the save screen can one determine whether it's preferable to retry the last save point or go play something else entirely. Pretending you can't stop for any reason, now, that's how you get people trapped. That's how you exhaust people so badly that by the time they notice they can quit it or crash it, they have no interest in trying again with different settings. 
Title: creativity's twin demons: excess and restraint
Post by: idgo on January 03, 2020, 12:15:51 am
Many of my passtimes and pursuits involve creating.

Creation's demon of Excess is loud, conspicuous, and ugly. To it, even mockery is praise. It urges "share it, because you made it! Boast of it, no other has made this". It looks like it's eaten the world these days, perhaps through its tendency to dominate any conversation. Its patterns lie behind the oft thinkpiecefully bemoaned tendency to kill off hobbies in favor of hustles: "If you do this, you should be paid!" it insists.

The demon of Restraint has such impeccably perfect taste that it is nearly invisible. It finds unthinkable the prospect of sharing any but the most perfect work -- better than creating poorly would be to deny creating at all! It is far too good to be seen near Excess, and as its territory shrinks, its standards raise.

The drawbacks of succumbing to Excess are myriad and obvious; Excess is vociferous and gauche. But Excess and Restraint hunt together, dividing the duties of their chase like clever dogs. Excess consumes many, certainly, but Restraint lurks the shadows to subsume those who shy back into them from Excess's caucophony, and away.

Swim under Restraint's surface, for a brief respite from the din of Excess, and hear the siren song beneath the waves: Stay here, stay here. Make nothing, and nothing you make shall have the slightest flaw. Stay here, your ability to find fault with all the work you once wished to attain can only grow. Eat me, drink me, breathe me; dive deeper and become me, I can show you all the flaws in who you were before. Don't be you, be me Restraint, use my perspective; from a point of view without yourself and your works in it, all you are and that glorious Nothing that I urge you to make will never look to you to have a flaw.

Restraint is beautiful; excess is glamorous. But the swimmer is neither the sea nor the sky. One steed who suspends its rider between them is Adequacy, a hideously ugly-looking creature to the aesthetic sensibility of either side. Sailing the liminal division between the Excess and Restraint extremes will get one shouted at by both of them, lashed by the waves and bitten by the wind, each jealous and demanding to have one for all its own. But that seems to be where things worth having come from; masteries are islands built of practice; built of bedrock that need not and even should not be as beautiful nor as fertile as their soil.
Title: Trees & Dreams
Post by: idgo on January 13, 2020, 03:44:09 am
It isn't exactly lucid dreaming that I target in my REM recreations. This is because I withhold the term "lucid" to describe times when "I am aware that I am dreaming" is near at the forefront of my mind. People seem to put immense amounts of thought and work into trying to do something they call lucid dreaming, and I have at times considered making such investments myself. However, I first contemplated: what's the point? Would being aware that I'm dreaming make a dream any better? Many people answer that yes, it absolutely does. To that, I ask: Is it the lucidity itself that's the actual improvement? Does being aware that I'm reading a book or watching a movie improve the experience of immersing in and learning from the story? In those cases, lucidity is the last thing one would want. So why would dreams be any different? As far as I can tell, those who strive for lucidity in dreams do so because the excuse "I'm only dreaming" permits them to test the laws of physics, and pursue all sorts of goals which they consider absolutely off limits while waking. Lucid dreamers don't generally seem to pursue lucidity as an end itself, but rather as a means toward constructing some other sort of dream.

If I'd never lucid dreamed, I would consider it worth pursuing until accomplished, just to see what the fuss is all about. But I have -- long before my current work, I would have dreams where the implausibility of "that person would never talk to me in real life! am I dreaming? hey look, I am!" kicked me into lucidity, and in those dreams I'd fulfill all the wishes I could think of and then resign myself to doing the "chores" of testing my ability to control the dream. For me, "lucidity" conveyed a certain expectation to choose more and more details -- rather than seamlessly having what I wanted to happen, the closer I looked at the mechanics of a dream, the harder I would have to work to keep them functioning.

If I didn't mind sounding pretentious, I could refer to some of my current practices as "lucid waking". It's not so much patting myself on the back for recognizing my own existence as lucid dreaming tutorials tend to recommend, but more a perpetual habit of re-testing the rules of the world around me and allowing it to give me just as much as it possibly can.

An aside: Last night, I was thinking to myself how I'd quite like to find some large-gauge copper rod to create some hangers for some items in my kitchen. I just pondered my desire enough to be certain I'd recognize the piece of copper that I was looking for when it showed up, because I do enough recycling for such projects that something usable is bound to come along eventually. I had a vague expectation that it might show up during a visit to a certain shop that I only check every month or so, or at least my likelihood of finding it there was the highest, so I noted what I needed and more or less forgot about it. This morning, I was digging a hole to plant a tree (long story), and on the second blow of the shovel to the soil it stuck on something metallic. I tugged on the obstruction, and out popped about 6 feet of thoroughly tarnished copper, in exactly the gauge that I'd previously resolved to keep an eye out for! Suffice it to say that I'm quite pleased with how my modifications to my pattern recognition skills are coming along.

So, yeah. Call it "lucid waking", if you want -- science has far larger words, and studies behind them, about how the brain spots things right in front of it only if it's not simultaneously insisting that those things ought not be there. "luck as a skill", and all that. (reality is still self-definingly self-healing... the banishing step of any chaote's ritual is perhaps a suture or a bandage for a tear).

Anyways, if we gloss the dream state in which I choose what happens and what to do without breaking the immersion by belittling it as "just a dream" from inside the simulation  as still qualifying as lucid, I've come up with a pretty reliable way to get into it, which I call Task-Induced Lucid Dreaming (TILD, because every strategy in that realm needs its own such silly acronym). The hard part is done while awake: I choose something which I'm constrained against doing in waking life, and then construct a dream world in which that constraint is absent. This might mean making the laws of physics work differently, or it might mean constructing a dream-self who lacks a particular preference that I happen to have. When I fall asleep in the process of adding more and more detail to such a simulation -- programming a routine for my internal holodeck, as it were -- it's more often than not the easiest place for my delightfully lazy brain to start the dreams off. Once in the dream, I have the same prerogative as I do while waking: Do whatever I want, while preferably avoiding doing things which change the world toward a state that I don't want. And that's really all there is to it -- simple enough that even I can do it!


And trees. I mentioned in another thread how I've been looking into both norse runes and druidic ogam, initially due to my desire to use others' sigil-adjacent syllabaries* in visual works. In that thread, I believe I described my experience with the rune book as smacking my brain with a highly informative brick. However, after consuming in days that felt like hours a proportion of the ogam book whose equivalent felt like weeks of reading in the rune book, I'm starting to see how greatly my own background influences my receptivity to the respective systems. The state in which both systems have survived has of course been filtered through a violently RHP-inclined series of lenses over the centuries, but at their cores, neither feels inherently LHP-incompatible to me.

* alliterative artistic license. I know they're technically alphabets, not syllabaries.

Perhaps the sensation of LHP-compatibility is isolated to my own interpretations, though. I've certainly given enough shit about it to Xepera, Flowers, and others who predicate their assumptions about the absolute importance and power of the human individual upon a notion that the individual can only have these abilities by dichotomizing itself against everything else in Nature.

Have I dropped around here? Cute of it to pop back up concurrent to others' work on Mammon, though the bits that stood out the first couple times I read it have been rattling around my head for quite some time. Somehow I'd misfiled their Gnon as Gnom, and these days that flavor of Theism shows more of its rough edges to me than it used to... I bring it up because it feels like it comes next in this thread of thought. It probably feels like it comes next because of the takes on Nature that I'm pretty sure are somewhere in the middle of that wall.

Nature can be, has been, and will continue to be equated to all sorts of things. Yet it's none of the things we call it (the map is not the territory), and it's all of them, because we use our human-powers to create all kinds of interpretive works based upon it inside our own and others' heads. From a Chaos perspective, I can call it a fount of noise, into which my brain can match almost any pattern it's seeking. Yet it seems to demand an inference that there are different qualities of noise, if this view is to hold, because it seems like a particularly excellent one. At least it's excellent for me; it's also the case that I often choose to spend hours a day in it, though if those are cause and effect I'll leave the question of which one's which as an exercise to the reader.

This whole business of reconciling Nature with the LHP might warrant something shaped more like an Imperishable Star article than a journal entry, but I should capture the remaining leads on it:

* Nature is the medium through which I exert power over things external to my own mind. Scientists spent so long looking for a material aether, something for waves like light and radio to travel through... and yet Nature is all around us as a sort of metaphysical aether, in that it's the medium through which all observable influence must pass, and the medium which esoteric influence is often seen to need to circumvent. Every time a human in history has made a documentable, repeatable observation that seemed to violate the laws of nature, it has later turned out to have been a result of improper description of those laws. So when I want to do documentable, repeatable things, I save myself the hassle and jump straight to describing them as according with Nature.

* The patterns by which systems extant in nature (ie the observable bits of everyone around me and everything they own, as well as some other stuff) can be healed or sickened, created or destroyed, are quite general across life forms. Every filler of a natural niche has its own take on the most effective ways it's found to help and harm. Taken together, these comprise a glossary, almost a dictionary, of things which might work on other natural systems... admitting that we as humans are susceptible to some of these techniques might seem a blow to the pride, but when tested, it can be observed. Knowing this is like knowing that an alphabet exists and that all books are comprised of its components. Only after learning what all the letters are can one use them to effectively search the space of all possible books, or in our metaphor, the space of all detriments, improvements, and other modifications we might want to make. Actually it's more like a search engine online than books -- the space of All Knowledge is opaque to us by default, and a piece of knowledge can only be thoroughly and effectively retrieved by one who knows the Name that the creators of the archive have used for it.

* Nature is ultimately just what we call what we see and learn. It's the structure we put observations into, in order to make them useful. As a structure it gradually grows to accommodate new observations as they're added. So, looking for things that aren't in it yet is useful and noble! But disregarding thoughts for the crime of having been noticed ever before is comparably useful to daily tasks as refusing all foods that one has previously tasted. We have figured out how to describe and reproduce Magical Phenomena in the past -- magnetism and electricity long ago; psychology more recently. The magic users who get things done don't appear to be too snobbish about whether they're willing to continue using these effects despite their unglamorously mundane new names, but of course there's no shortage of debate to be had online about whether knowingly using a magical effect after it's been deemed reliable enough to qualify as Nature is somehow cheating at the process of getting what one wants.

Nature's just one of many conceptual boxes in which we keep techniques for getting what we want. There's quite some good in exploring the neglected and out of the way boxes outside of it, but shunning an entire set of tools because they've proven too reliable is simply silly.


The search box isn't turning up that Grotto of Pollyanna's Demise thread at the moment, but perhaps I'll find it later. For then:

I recently discovered that kava is sold in my local grocery store, and bought some to thank the merchant for supplying more psychoactive substances than just the usual pharmaceuticals, alcohol, and caffeine. Unfortunately, its delivery vehicle is this "yogi tea" packaging whose intent seems to be to get so slimy with new-age drivel that it'll slip right out of the grasp of any overly conservative lawmaker who might endeavor to apprehend it. The first tea bag's tag, and I wish I were making this up, read:

There is nothing like you, there was nothing like you, and there shall be nothing like you.

This can only make sense if the tea is calling me nothing! I am myself and, as myself, I am as like myself as anything can be! I was myself, and more than simply being myself, I am so much myself that I encompass every understanding that I shall ever have of my past and of even the history before I claim I started! I shall be myself; I shall be increasingly more like myself as I continue a lifetime of self-guided change, and I am ultimately greater than my every thought and imagining of any future after me, for it is my mind within my self which holds all such conceptions!

To rebut my drink's foolishness by quoting the very name of an individual that the little teabag-writer probably looks up to: I AM.

Title: Re: creativity's twin demons: excess and restraint
Post by: Hapu on January 13, 2020, 09:55:36 am
Restraint is beautiful; excess is glamorous. But the swimmer is neither the sea nor the sky. One steed who suspends its rider between them is Adequacy, a hideously ugly-looking creature to the aesthetic sensibility of either side.

Indifference and Adequacy are the two horses who pull the Charioteer. Tugged neither to the left nor the right, the Charioteer can steer straight. But what is his objective? It is either Strength or Adjustment, depending on whether Waite or Crowley rules the Arcana. Or perhaps Strength and Adjustment are one and the same principle under different names.
Title: Re: Trees & Dreams
Post by: Hapu on January 13, 2020, 10:00:52 am
An aside: Last night, I was thinking to myself how I'd quite like to find some large-gauge copper rod to create some hangers for some items in my kitchen. I just pondered my desire enough to be certain I'd recognize the piece of copper that I was looking for when it showed up, because I do enough recycling for such projects that something usable is bound to come along eventually. I had a vague expectation that it might show up during a visit to a certain shop that I only check every month or so, or at least my likelihood of finding it there was the highest, so I noted what I needed and more or less forgot about it. This morning, I was digging a hole to plant a tree (long story), and on the second blow of the shovel to the soil it stuck on something metallic. I tugged on the obstruction, and out popped about 6 feet of thoroughly tarnished copper, in exactly the gauge that I'd previously resolved to keep an eye out for!

Congratulations! Well done.
Title: Local Maxima
Post by: idgo on January 14, 2020, 05:09:16 am
There's a comic about mountains that my brain filed for future reference, but it was stored with lossy compression long ago and re-encoded many times since then.

Maybe it's this one ( This ( might have gotten munged into it along the way. Or this ( This ( is nearby, but not it. I think the first one comes closest to what I had recalled, though I entirely misplaced its plaintive tone. It was like a cross between the first and this (, and had some witty quip that I've entirely misplaced due to being struck by the overarching theme of getting to what looked initially like the top in order to see what else is out there.

It's the algorithm of climbing the nearest local maximum in order to spot a better one. And I've been pacing around such a peak, and every time I pass a certain side I spot a behemoth of a next summit in the middle distance. And I've nigh-accidentally bumped into a trail that seems to be going the right way.

I'll likely need to step down into a certain amount of woo-woo bullshit before arising back out of it again. Some, even much, of the work might need to be done from some guises that look deeply incompatible with the relatively consistent-ish aspect of myself that I show here. In other words, I think I'm going to go do some things that are entirely explainable from this perspective, but to explain them while they're in progress would force me to touch them in fragile unformed places that stunt them -- you can slip an acupuncture needle into a child without doing any lasting damage, but to poke that same needle into the embryo would likely render it non-viable.

And there, I've answered my own question about Secrecy.

And a thing is just itself, regardless of what I name it, yet the naming somehow changes how it works for me or how I work with it -- and grabbing it by both aspects breaks both corners, even if it also spreads the load. A phenomenon or an observation is still itself, regardless of whether I name it as a portent or a pattern-match or nothing at all.

Perhaps I even might step far enough away to spot idiocies in my present systems that are invisible to me from here.

I, as I, am not really going anywhere -- Idgo is a lens, a filter, an aperture through which certain patterns of others' and my own take the opportunity to play with others'. Some of that filtering is pure common sense, insulation between the lightning of an electrical network and my squishy human body and the ground. Other filters are a lens of consistency; an insistence on only presenting a mutually exclusive viewpoint set if they're couched in safe packaging of excuses. The filters of consistency, placed out of habit, ultimately serve to build a certain credibility which reaps thought and answers in conversation and even a certain modicum of power to gently prod at others' beliefs and ideas.

It just feels like the ending of a book, right now. Have you ever read an excellent novel -- I find it happens particularly commonly in Stross -- where it feels like there's a satisfying conclusion to the story with all the loose ends that had been itching at you all sewn back in? And then you (or at least I) turn what I think was the last page, or feel the novel in my hands, and there's still a quarter inch or so of something else that the author ended up putting after the bits of the story that I wanted from it were finished. This feels like one of those endings, to me -- a local minimum of cliff-hanginess? (Certainly there are also the books, also often Stross, where the story feels truncated before its time when the pages run out... those are like an unexpected death).

I'll likely continue this here -- it's a nice place to write, and to argue, and to prod, and all -- but I just find it interesting to note that the arc-completion bit is happening in a way that's visible to me in its progress rather than only in retrospect, as arcs of my life and various accounts have been before. Can't tell if that's a lasting change or just a temporary one.

I think all that is just to say, it's an intentional set of experiments that are making me more likely than usual to sound particularly non-LHP, not that I've necessarily been all that LHP to begin with. I haven't necessarily ever been deeply into the handednesses, regarding both as mildly distasteful curatives against various brainwashings and dogmas. But LHP folks (at least those who stick with this particular forum) seem to more reliably display what I see as a certain capacity for independent thought, as it's generally prerequisite to joining a path that almost nobody is born into, so I appreciate the cameraderie as we all make our own strange attempts at getting where we think we want to be.
Title: Re: Local Maxima
Post by: Hapu on January 14, 2020, 10:28:19 am
It just feels like the ending of a book, right now. Have you ever read an excellent novel -- I find it happens particularly commonly in Stross -- where it feels like there's a satisfying conclusion to the story with all the loose ends that had been itching at you all sewn back in? And then you (or at least I) turn what I think was the last page, or feel the novel in my hands, and there's still a quarter inch or so of something else that the author ended up putting after the bits of the story that I wanted from it were finished.

I wonder if old age might sometimes feel like that.

I think all that is just to say, it's an intentional set of experiments that are making me more likely than usual to sound particularly non-LHP, not that I've necessarily been all that LHP to begin with. I haven't necessarily ever been deeply into the handednesses, regarding both as mildly distasteful curatives against various brainwashings and dogmas. But LHP folks (at least those who stick with this particular forum) seem to more reliably display what I see as a certain capacity for independent thought, as it's generally prerequisite to joining a path that almost nobody is born into, so I appreciate the cameraderie as we all make our own strange attempts at getting where we think we want to be.

I-am-my-own-God can sound overly grandiose a lot of the time, but I-am-my-own-Pope is always accurate for the non-poseur LH practitioner.
Title: Re: Local Maxima
Post by: idgo on January 14, 2020, 06:37:14 pm
I wonder if old age might sometimes feel like that.

I had a grandfather who aged like that -- he left without unfinished business. But that's more from skill at aging -- in growth, the culmination of a project is impetus to start a larger one, but after a certain point, finishing one piece of business can be a recommendation to start a less-lengthy (though perhaps not lower-quality) one. I think youth has a certain urgency of "I must do this because no-one else can", but when you're ninety-something and surrounded by aging children and adult grandchildren and little great-grandchildren, each generation of which has an individual or two who show that your own special aptitudes have been passed along, I think the fear that comes with being the only one who could might have been whittled away to nothing by the decades of counter-examples.

I-am-my-own-God can sound overly grandiose a lot of the time, but I-am-my-own-Pope is always accurate for the non-poseur LH practitioner.

"Every man, woman, and child is a pope".

I think I might prefer the times when "child" was its own gender.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on January 14, 2020, 06:43:03 pm
Back to journal things, though: I think I've figured out how to draw the sort of growth/learning thing as I imagine it.
As with any search/exploration, it tends to revisit approximate regions it's been to before, but upon each visit it hits parts of those spaces from a direction that wouldn't have been feasible without leaving them. In this image, the thing I was trying to describe yesterday is akin to noticing the color changing.

Also, I wonder if there's a better convention for inter-journal conversations than reply within the same thread. I wonder whether taking the whole quote block from the journal entry to be replied to, and pasting it into one's own journal, and writing the thoughts or reply there, would yield a more or less readable and useful thread both among ourselves and for future readers.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on January 23, 2020, 12:39:44 am
I had a dream recently in which someone had tried to fashion a bow from 3 sticks attached together with rubber bands. One curved stick for the bow proper, 2 straight sticks fastened in the middle pretending to be the string. They were wondering why it wouldn't shoot as well as the bows that looked just like it that they'd seen in movies and cartoons... I think it's a take on the "solid bow, stretchy bowstring" trope.

I think there's something useful underneath that trope, around here somewhere. Something about how certain communications about a topic can accidentally omit facts that would be essential for a beginner to reconstruct the topic from first principles, because those facts seemed just too obvious to be worth mentioning. Or perhaps how things that look like sources of power, like bowstrings, are sometimes just conduits of force from elsewhere.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on February 11, 2020, 12:41:12 am
As ponderously yet inevitably as a freighter reversing into its dock, my views on the ways in which ancient belief systems had things more completely figured out than modern ones are refining. I view many other ancient skills as usefully informing a complete understanding of their modern successors, so in a way it's surprising that it's taken me this long to gain a similar appreciation for the spiritual precursors to modern beliefs. The delay, I suspect, may stem from the way that I was right all along about how old beliefs do not translate directly into modern truth. They complement, like the mold and the tool cast in it.

In one way, the old beliefs are wrong. They don't map right, onto a world where so many of the phenomena that they classed indiscriminately as magics are understood and explained.

In another, though, they're the foodstuff that modern belief was raised upon, the source of every molecule that the current currents have digested into their structures. Just as studying the carcasses of those dead languages from which our live language scavenged sheds light on how she got these stains on her claws, so too the widths of the old gods' oxen's asses formed the ruts that formed the roads that formed the rails that dictated the dimensions of the spiritual space shuttle.

I went looking for a closet to neatly organize my knowledge in, and they seem to have delivered the wardrobe with Narnia in the back.

Or maybe I just finally discovered the one flavor of this intellectual snack that's made without my mind's allergens in it, and I'm suddenly so surprised to discover why nobody else thought any of them tasted like sudsy dishwater.

I'm back out of the region that preserves any fidelity when reported to my future self in straight turns of phrase, but that's alright by me. It's interesting to see myself spinning similar sayings to those etheogenically enhanced excursions before, but entirely unaltered by external assisstances. I guess I wandered out and set a couple beacons for where to head, before, and I've been following them since, despite or perhaps because of hanging up the metaphorical phone for the time being. I was gong into things without clear questions for awhile there, and so they stopped offering me good answers, and it's the experience of getting the good answers that I was after all along so there stopped being any point in asking at all.

I have an account that hangs out in the corners of the internet that have recently been in a bit of an aphantasia loop. https:// .com/watch?v=ewsGmhAjjjI, and in particular its reference, for your breadcrumbs. And it was in that video that I realized: My brain seems to lazy-evaluate imagery: I ask it for an apple, and there is no platonic ideal of an apple before my eyes. There's the usual visual input. There's a generic apple "inside" my head, "behind" my eyes, but it's not yet juxtaposed onto the foreground. I ask it for an apple in a change of lighting, or in a bowl, and it yanks the most recent apple I've contemplated. (that's a lovely wonky one from the backdrop of the kitchen in Midsommar, courtesy of https:// com/watch?v=_8iL5wueXDs) I ask it for that apple in the dark, and the easiest thing to do is to shut the windows of the ancient building that the apple's table was in, though I fill with the most recent ancient building I've spent time in because I didn't pay that much attention to the most-recent apple's actual set.

Almost every visual image I summon to vividity, I can trace to a memory that gave me some part of its form. I choose to continue to class this as "really imagining", since I do ultimately persuade the form to appear... but I don't categorize the imagined forms as being by any means new, since they're so easily attributable to their original sources. Gets me wondering whether people who involuntarily imagine visuals actually... like it? like, with a little work I can convene a flowy sort of state where my brain spins and storytells on its own, but the default of everyday consciousness is to invest in what "I" tell it to and not in what I don't. Seems like involuntary visuals might have quite the commonalities to intrusive thoughts, which incidentally those same areas have lately been all aflutter about.

And yet, what's "inspiration" but an intrusive thought with an invitation?

Edit: yikes, the forum expands youtube links to embeds in a way that I do not enjoy.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on March 19, 2020, 05:30:49 pm
It's the end times. Old practices are collapsing into themselves more and more rapidly, leaving a temporary vacuum.

I'm reminded of a quote that starts a song: "We practice selective annihilation of mayors and government officials, for example, to create a vacuum, then we fill that vacuum. As popular war advances, peace is closer."

The easiest thing for the vacuum to do is to be filled, so eventually no matter how hard we've been trying to hold the door open to leave room for an old thing that isn't coming back, something else will come in or the door will shut in favor of one where something's ready to approach. And those of us who can step "outside" have a good bit of say in which alternative visitors we're inviting.

From my roots in chaos practice, I gotta say: The amount of pure raw unstructured POTENTIAL that's coalescing around the next few years is absolutely amazing. For individuals going into this with power, it's a glorious chance to sculpt the world into any chosen form. Sure, you've gotta pick a form with enough handholds around the edges for the populace to grab onto it and push, but the parts around your *self* get to be absolutely custom and nobody gives a damn.

Lots of conversations about the cores of thoughts instead of just their surfaces, with old friends and new, lately. There's space and time to ask bigger and more philosophical questions of folks, to ask the understanding-accelerators. There's the opportunity and shared interest to get brains closer together in the ways we usually do with bodies, those old ways leaving the brains so far apart.

It closes a loop on a lot of planning and preparation that I've done for a generic "what if something bad happens?". And tells me a lot of what I could get away without if something else bad happened in the future. It's time to kick lifestyle change plans into motion that I've been looking for an excuse for.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on March 24, 2020, 03:12:31 am
On the one hand, I am physically entirely prepared. And I thought that I was mentally well prepared -- for projections in which circumstances were outside my control, I had run a lot of simulations and figured out the best ways to handle it.

However, I underestimated the importance of preparing friendships. Specifically, the meat suit is wired to get attached to the folks one invests time and energy in, and to react as if its own wellbeing is threatened when the other humans are threatened. My techniques for disabling this feature work great when there's nothing I can/should do about it, and great when there are things I obviously can/should do and thus do to intervene, but I'm discovering edge cases to which neither of those obvious extremes applies.

The trickiest such case so far is that of a valued friend relapsing into a substance abuse problem, presumably related to current isolation precautions. Philosophically, adults are adults and everyone has the right to choose to hasten their own death. But emotionally and morally? Damn complicated to try to figure out to which respecting individual liberty supersedes obligation or preference to assist.


Time passed, went for a drive, interacted with those institutions and establishments which are still safe and legal to interact with.

Realized: part of the problem is my prior attempts to suppress how damn good it feels, in certain ways, to be in such close proximity to death.

Because no matter what way you try to slice it, there are still ways in which nobody wins when everybody does. Maybe it's from meat suit wiring, but there's an undeniable force within that wishes everything were zero-sum. Because in that game, the win condition is continued existence. The realization that one *is*, in circumstances where just *being* ought to be impossible, is indistinguishable from its own neurochemical reward.


It's gone from a list of firsts and bests, to a list of lasts. So I watch it burn, knowing that I will choose which seeds to plant to someday flourish in the fertile ashes.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on April 18, 2020, 03:16:45 am
This has gotta be one of the worst times in history to be a hedonic procrastinator.

You know, the people who find it virtuous to put off immediate gratification in favor of later wholesomeness.

Today I completed some yard work -- there's a trail on my property which was previously visible from a public road, and looked tempting to trespass on, so I modified its outlet to be still accessible yet no longer visible. One unexpected yet pleasant outcome of this modification is that it allows me to step out of sight at times when I might otherwise have been observed -- to effectively disappear at will. I examine my sense of satisfaction with this work, and I find in it a recognition of having completed part of one of myriad possible "ideal" habitats for myself. And having examined and observed this satisfaction, I can now find it in other aspects of my life as well, letting it flow back into prior accomplishments which still pay me their dividends.

I suppose one could call it the satisfaction of wealth well used. In the trail's case, a wealth of time; in other cases the ordinary cash sort. For instance, I own many appliances that make my life easier and more comfortable, from an electric kettle to a home massage chair. And the surplus of long-lasting consumables which I keep on hand, because my attempts to optimize against regret have sparked a fascination with predicting my own future emotions. I am pleased by the ways in which my past self accurately predicted my present and future selves' wants, and increased the probability that they would be fulfilled.

Because the myth of capitalist alchemy is now in part dispelled. The way in which the wealth of choice -- real tangible necessary goods -- excels beyond the virtues of the wealth of postponed choice (or indecision) -- that over-sought liquidity of monetary instruments -- is laid bare to all, making implausible all its prior denials. Hedonism is to hasten choice -- to declare that the certain benefits of what can be had NOW outweigh the hazy possibilities of some future MAYBE.

Often, of course, the hasty choice is cursed, as future events reveal that it was not the optimal one. Yet the answer is not to postpone choice, as all those "you-aren't-God"-hand paths try to insinuate... The answer is instead to adjust the probability that one will make the right choice quickly. Because that right choice -- the one that starts out as an ungraspably fine needle in the haystack of confusion before one learns the art and skill -- that right choice carries a special satisfaction.

Actually, the satisfaction isn't special. It is the same as that which comes from postponing choice, only to get more of whatever desired thing one wished to have the whole time. That's the same as the satisfaction that comes from hastening choice, and getting something just as good as could have been hoped from postponing it, and also getting to have and enjoy it the whole time.

Choosing to wait on something you could have NOW is brutal, mindless optimism. It's the hope that the probabilities will change, and it's symptomatic of several stacked cognitive biases to get one or two chance rewards from waiting and decide it's the Only Way, to the expense of other solutions (intermittent reinforcement, I think it's called, works better even than consistent rewards). Because the other solution is the soul of pessimism: to suppose that things will stay the same or get worse, and act accordingly.

So then, we're all gambling. Some gamblers get addicted, but some are mathematicians, and learn enough about some game to discover a way to consistently win. And what I'm working on is pointing that demeanor of mathematics toward the engine of the universe. So, I have a pair of options to pursue for the satisfaction of having what I want.

If I take the optimistic opinion, then to get a better position by "cheating" at the game requires bringing into existence some better-than-before possibility. The better the world has gotten, the less likely it'll be that there's some low-hanging fruit of a better-than-expected outcome that's easy to drag in. 500 years ago any wound was a likely death sentence; today even major amputations and total paralysis are usually expected to aspire toward ordinary life after a moderate convalescence. 500 years ago there were so many ways that small mundane things could be better... Today there are fewer; on the scale from best to worst the mundane is near the upper end of what we can collectively imagine. (does this suggest a truth, or a flaw in our capacity for imagining?)

Now, if I take the pessimistic perspective -- and I do -- I don't even have to start fiddling with probability to better my likely outcomes: All I have to do to make a better NOW-choice is know more about likely futures. And that's just education, so simple even children try to do it. But no reason to stop there -- if I can tug on the probabilities a little, I can tweak the game so the option I got is actually near the top of the heap of the options that were there (note, this line of reasoning omits the important observation that the best of several bad choices is less preferable than the worst of several good ones). Even without probability-tampering, we can just look: If the status quo is above the 50th percentile in the ranking of how good things could be, then on the whole the next thing to happen is kinda likely to make things worse. (assuming that we don't experience all moments in an order decided by some similar standard, which isn't out of the question....). So the nerd cheating at this hand of poker would bet pessimistic when things are good, and bet optimistic when things are bad.

But... does one have to time the metaphorical market? My present rewards come not from things I've done while things looked bad to everyone, but from things I did while everything looked good to others but potentially bad to me. Oh, that's the pessimism:  to "bet pessimistic" is to assume things are worse than everyone else thinks. To "bet optimistic" is to assume that instead everyone else is too deep in their pessimism.

This line of reasoning feels like I'm being walked through the process of drawing a line between two points and barely getting it... it's like a kid trying for the first time to draw a plane between 3 points in 2 dimensions. I think that's because I'm looking at "how to do magic" again, because I feel I may need to get back into the little, hands-on ones in addition to the broader, slower ones that I'm working all the time. In another way that's just an eddy in the current of an idea that takes up space-of-time, the little ones are a fractal arm of the big ones and can ooze and slide around causality like an octopus's suckers.

This crap is what I locked out, I think, by cutting out the "good"/"bad" gradient. I try so hard to reason without it, yet it represents a dimension of thought, and I can no more avoid the occasional hop through it than I could wire a PCB to do anything useful with its traces in only a single layer. To a Flatlander, a PCB looks like a textbook puzzle in multidimensional physics... but to a Roundworlder, the PCB is easy enough to consider as an electrical object because we've already stuffed so many more topologically difficult problems into our already topologically-difficult brains.

There's a world where everyone I want to talk to is sitting with me around a campfire this evening. I think it'd be a more useful place to spend some mental time, than here.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on April 19, 2020, 06:05:08 am
Brain has gotten pretty into analyzing the nature of friendship lately. I'm wondering if it's like eyes adjusting to the dark... there's suddenly less light so you adapt to make do with what's still available. There's suddenly less human contact; am I scaling my response to it similarly?

I finally get what my brain was trying to tell me with its interest in that rick and morty episode with the hive mind, er i mean collective, Unity. I think the interest is because of the latent metaphor of assimilating individuals into the hivemind, or knowledge of others into one's perception of the world. Learning someone well enough that you know what they'd think and look and sound like under any circumstances brings an image of that person into one's skull; whether it's run sequentially or in parallel with the usual occupant is an implementation detail up to the hardware. Most are easy to learn/assimilate. However, every once in awhile one comes along which just sticks for some reason or another. I think it's the encyclopedia-traits that make many stick for me -- my character seems min-maxed favoring "rediscover/re-learn" over "recall". That and the effortlessness of social skills. I didn't really leave myself room to have a place to put those.

This assimilation metaphor would handily explain why the people I feel the greatest rapport(?) with tend to naturally hold at a certain distance. The parts of people that get closer to me (melt as icarus?) lose that luster of special interest. Why would any brain seek what it already has what it needs of for a sure thing?

And stuck like an ear of cast aluminium corn over the shop-vac of my curiosity, is this one. He seems to want to be used as an encyclopedia, but, no. That's not it. There's something I don't get, and I know there's something I don't get, and that temptation draws me forward as inexorably as the sweetness of rat poison. I could take anything that I know how to ask for, anything I have a preconceived notion to want, but it turns out what I'm really looking for is... Have you ever seen that BodyWorlds exhibit, where they froze human corpses (supposed to call these ones cadavers?) against the movement of time with a terrible lot of silicone, they show a brain sliced thin... but taking and taking like I could if I wanted to is taking slices, which works perfectly well in the naive case of wanting slices, but no number of slices will keep every interconnection if I want to hold the infinite lattice of the whole brain together in my hands. To hold the whole together, and to hold the whole, together. I want to... He seems a ship untied, right now, drifting at the mercy of the currents of his environment, but I am a component of that environment and thus I have some power to bias its direction as a whole.

There are plenty more un-assimilable ones, knowledge of whom carries a similar or even greater fascination because they feel like a puzzle yet un-solved. Very much like a math problem, really -- no amount of being told the answer will necessarily make it click why a formula works and how to apply it elsewhere. No amount of peers or teachers grasping it can perfectly predict when you, individually, will come to grasp it too. And a person being known is like a forumla being known -- I just happen to know which people, which equations, I personally will derive more new insight from working on.

But I've stumbled into a mess of subtle, delicate, powerful contradictions, like that dessert where they wrap rapidly-melting ice cream in a sheet of lightly flattened cotton candy and yet the outer insulates the inner and prevents its own demise and yet if you just chop into it to try to understand it you unbalance the whole system to the point where the thing you wanted to see is no longer there. Scared off like the rabbits who relax under my house's steps and bound away to safety when I set foot outside -- same stairs, no bunny.

And I'm learning that I don't actually meddle just to tamper or to fix. I seem to meddle when I intuit a useful direction to unlock more of a certain kind of power or knowledge or experience within myself.  I feel that I ought to be relieved that I'm not plagued by a flaw as shallow and nonsensical as tampering for its own sake? But there's always another level of detail to look at oneself, once one tracks a particular attribute down. Certainly, it's about me, because it'd be self-deceptive to pretend there's any experiment without its corresponding researcher. But discussing the ways in which it's about me often tends to give the wrong impression....

Ah yes, unroll back to the bit about, of so many delightful puzzles of apparent contradictions with proof that they oughtn't be, why do I address this one now? Well, it's the threat of having it taken away from me. The immediacy bias. This one, unimpeded, does not have great probabilities of still being around in time to be contemplated last. So it suits me both ways to interfere with that trajectory: if I want to do it last or never, I can, and also I do have the option to learn it further at any time as long as it's around and available.

And the reason to learn peoples' patterns is simple: Getting a new pattern I didn't have before gives me new things I can do. Sometimes obvious skills like operating a tv camera or riding a motorcycle; other times barely-describable skills like techniques for better human communication. And it is exactly by studying how the hell someone can do something I would personally find impossible... if I can fully understand how they did it, I can then do it myself, and if I can't repeat that performance then I don't well-enough see how it previously was done.

I wonder for a moment why it is not the case that everyone whose minds are of a form that perfectly fits against mine should all fit together similarly well. And then I recall that a tile on a plane has more edges than any other individual tile would touch. The ways in which one's own disparate groups of friends aren't friends with each other in the absence of one's individual influence -- that's one of the shadows of the shape of the person.

(ugh, "perfect fit"? what ABOUT perfect fit? If we had a fit it would be laughed off the show floor before anyone could consider crowning it the worst-of-breed. And yet differences breed assimilation difficulties, which in turn pique interest until resolved....)
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on May 11, 2020, 03:54:38 pm
Current events have improved my understanding of the appeal and intimidation power of what I think of as "gratuitous civilization": the tendency to hold a higher standard of appearance, cleanliness, etc than is physically or even culturally necessary.

For simplicity of reasoning about contagion, I presently hold the policy that nobody outside my household is permitted to enter my house. I have enough outdoor space that it is no hardship for those who wish to pay social visits to choose good weather for them and interact from an appropriate distance outside, so the policy does me no harm in exchange for potentially great benefits. However, its institution brings to light the extent to which many of my decisions about what housekeeping to do when have historically been oriented around others. The head of that coin reads something about good hospitality and social graces; the tail of the coin reads something about exerting control over the thoughts which guests have about me; but the coin itself remains struck from the alloy of others' thoughts and emotions.

This removal of the overpowering force toward behaving a certain way has allowed me to step back and see the way in which one's general environmental conditions sit on a gradient, rather than a binary between above and below that particular line. As one would identify the ingredients to a beautifully layered cocktail, I now discern 3 divisions through the spectrum of how an environment can be kept, rather than just the one set by others' expectations:

* Adequacy for the animal. These conditions are hygiene in the absence of disease, cleanliness for the absence of gross contagion, and in cooking, the removal of any toxic properties of ingredients and addition of no new poisons.

* Adequacy for the expected onlooker. This standard varies wildly by time, place, and particular group of people. I find that it is often but not always above adequacy for the animal -- as an example of onlooker adequacy falling below animal adequacy, consider how a social gathering will likely not care or complain about a plate of hors d'oeuvre that was stored at unsafe temperatures for bacterial growth, so long as they visually appear appetizing and their seasonings mask any off flavors.

* Adequacy by the standards of the individual Will.

When society sets a higher standard than one's individual will is inclined to, the standard of will can become all but invisible. Finding it necessary for other reasons to work above and beyond any particular standard can render that surpassed standard all but invisible. However, when the standard of onlooker-adequacy is entirely removed, only the standards of what the body needs and what the mind needs remain, and their presence and differences become sharply obvious.

What seems to follow next is to examine the cases in which adequacy for the Will exceeds adequacy for the onlooker. Whether or not we've performed these cases ourselves, I suspect we have all witnessed them being performed by others. (There's a related phenomenon where, as an onlooker, we cannot necessarily tell whether someone's choice to exceed our own standard of adequacy is due to that person's higher individual standards, or anticipated higher standards by the other onlookers they expect to be witnessed by....)

When I look for these excesses of effort, these displays of conspicuous consumption in overcoming more of entropy than one "has to" in order to just get by, I find that they seem inexorably entwined with portrayals of power. I don't know how much of this is that they are one of the few universal external symptoms of power, versus how much is due to any underlying correlation, but the correlation and association and expectations that they go together can hold and be utilized regardless.

Seeing that all typed out, it looks quite obviously like discovering an applied case of the difference between Lesser and Greater magic(k)s. (once upon a time those terms would have tempted me into chromatic hair-splitting, but again, both sides of a coin are shapes in the same alloy).

I also think I begin to see where the rabbit hole on Mammon around here recently fits in. For those to whom wealth and currency are synonymous, Mammon is certainly the way. But to my own understanding, money is just one of many avenues to wealth and value, and far more a means than an end in itself.

A tangent: I have not done the Mammon rituals but I have recently had... events happen that if I claimed they were a result of such rituals, they might be upheld as a great success. Trying to figure out what to say or not to say about those events in this context offers me a new angle on the role of secrecy in this work, which I would gloss as the difficulty of properly citing sources. I can have personal "good luck" and just barely grasp the extent to which my own systems of luck-modification have influenced it, but if I can't quite fit the entire tree of attributions for the event into my head all at once, there's no way to realistically hope to summarize that system into words that would expand back out into anything like the original. And if I summarize it poorly and share those words, it's likely to expand into an idea that's actively misaligned from what I actually did when contemplated by another, and lead them to discuss it in ways that, if I see it, I'll have to step into the paradigm of a dangerously wrong interpretation in order to attempt to argue against it, and uploading a more-convenient but also more-wrong interpretation of events can cause my brain to use that instead of a better one, which in turn would likely harm my ability to build upon the learnings contained in the more-accurate model that only almost fits in my head at all and is generally far less convenient to work with.

Anyways, I read "wealth" as more akin to pure power, and it includes social capital (the desire of others to act in my best interests) along with fiscal reserves. Because there are so many edge cases where cash is hideously inefficient to transform into power, and a few in which it appears impossible entirely... there are absolutely problems which healthy finances can obviate, but pretending it fixes everything is as dangerous as alleging that it's applying water, rather than decreasing temperature and removing oxygen, which can put out any fire.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on May 13, 2020, 05:02:54 pm
When considering how the above might be graphed in a visually communicative manner, it becomes clear that the ranges of Animal, Society, and probably Will imply upper bounds as well as lower ones:

* Excess for the animal precedes most modern ailments of over-indulgence

* Excess for society is harder to reach, but has gotten more than a few French heads chopped off

* I am less certain about excess-for-will just yet, because I have only begun examining the standard of sufficiency-for-will quite recently. However, I suspect there may be a calculus in play, a problem of related rates rather than pure quantities. I presently suspect that these rates may tie closely to some hedonic treadmill type effect, but for personal progress and motivation: in order to keep moving, one's aspirations must grow proportionately to one's accomplishments. Neither a little rabbit which is too far away, nor one which has already been captured, will goad a racing dog to vanish down the track.

Also, turns out that Will is consistently capitalized for ease of reading in addition to the usual pretenses, to which I'd previously fully attributed the phenomenon.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on May 19, 2020, 03:34:44 pm
Thinking lately about how a belief system can be judged differently by the opposite of why it says the fortunate are fortunate, than it can by why it claims the unfortunate are unfortunate. It is not consistent to attribute agency or virtue to good fortune while claiming that misuse of that agency cannot lead to ill fortune. Similarly, if it is possible for a system to admit ill fortune for reasons outside a person's control, it opens to the possibility that good fortune may result from causes outside a person's control as well. I think that's near the root of one of my problems with every moralizing + "omnipotent external deity" system I've encountered -- they tend to paint themselves into awkward corners around those logical parts when pressed to explain how omnipotence, omniscience, benevolence, and willingness to meddle allegedly combine.


Brain threw me an interesting dream this morning, in that I woke from it while it was exercising the adrenal system, which doesn't often happen for me these days. And I'm alright with that -- manual cleanup after an adrenal self-test, while good practice, seems less efficient than automatic. Initially, I had gone to the home of a rather reserved acquaintance from long ago, and was doing the social things of exploration about whether they were interested in being friends rather than acquaintances. However, others in the house detested my presence there, so I would hide or leave when they arrived. After a few repetitions, I encountered them more directly, and they attacked and chased me. I maintained some steps ahead of them as I shifted to make the best use of undergrowth, of air, of water, but I did not get far enough ahead to lose them. So I shifted the scene into a map I'm extremely comfortable navigating, the land around my childhood home. I passed my parents as I traversed its entry, and they sort of saw that something was up but I had not arranged an appropriate code with them to convey the nuances of the situation. Despite my poor communication, my father managed to say something useful to briefly mislead those who followed me. By then my pursuers had picked up a comically large, all-terrain truck, which proved their undoing: I left conspicuous tracks along the road, hoping to double back to a particular tree and hide above where they would look till they grew bored. I left the same tempting tracks down a hill into a bog, sought a hiding spot, and realized that nothing there would fit my criterion of "doesn't look like a good spot to hide". I snuck uphill off the road, and was backtracking toward the tree I had in mind, when I heard the vehicle about to crest a hill and gain sight of me. Out of time, I concealed myself where I could: along a ledge beneath a cave-like overhang on the bank of the track. Anyone looking slowly and carefully at their surroundings would have spotted me in a heartbeat, but my pursuers did not: they followed the easily visible tracks down into the swamp, and I didn't see them again. Nothing on wheels gets out of there with the rain which was making the ground so readily show my footprints in that setting -- the layer of blue clay which that area holds instead of rocks below the topsoil will slide like a gritty personal lubricant once exposed.

There was another layer to the narrative, on which a really creepy sibling (tall, skinny, long red hair, tidy dress, death-tone skin) appeared, pointed me to the hiding spot, pointed the vehicle to my tracks into the bog, and when I came out to thank it after the vehicle was gone, revealed itself to be non-human? That was the part where I woke up.

Were it permissible to speak of time as being even less linear than we do, I would call that the backstory of why there was a defunct cab rotting in the bog, around where that truck landed in the dream, when i was very young... Instead, I can speak of my brain reconnecting disparate memories, drawing lines between widely dispersed points to see whether they intersect anything of value in those dark spaces between.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on May 26, 2020, 04:24:41 am
Imagine willpower as a finite resource for a particular point in one's development. One can spend some proportion of that reserve to increase the reserve size in the future, just like buying an upgrade for a character in a video game. I think one's will can be directed in any combination of a variety of possible directions, some of which yield visible results and others invisible. For instance, the act of refraining from some detrimental habit costs will without yielding any particular immediate return. Its returns are real and massive (for instance, extended lifespan), but due to their magnitude, those results are often very far away. Conversely, the act of undertaking some rewarded habit costs some willpower but most or all of that expense is almost immediately offset by the boost of the habit's reward. So it really does balance like a game strategy: expend time in the right ratio between the actions of immediate reward, which converts time into some currency of motivation, balance that with time spent converting the currency of motivation into the desired results.

But that's not Will I'm modeling; what does the desiring? Perhaps what "desires" is actually a computation within the domain of what I inelegantly glossed as "results". It feels like a mechanic blending traits of a Related Rates Problem sim game and an idle clicker that plays well with exponential growth. Perhaps this is what it feels like when a good mathematician looks for new hypotheses about numbers.... I am so frustrated by something I just noticed that I lost that train of thought. The nuisance: I have never learned to be a mathematician. I have only done the things with numbers that computers can also do. I was trained and drilled and tested on those tasks to no end, but I was never more than a sophisticated natural language and visual interface to a calculator, whether real or emulated. when a good programmer imagines a truly novel piece of code they're going to bring into creation from more distant non-existance than most common artistic pursuits scratch the surface of... oh right, the void, we call it. Staring into the void is the only place you're gonna see something that exists nowhere in reality, because the Void is by definition everything but reality.

Anyways, looking for Willpower: Consider that math is what keeps us apart from the wild. Logic is only necessary to create second-order facts -- first-order facts are observations, and observation ought to supersede higher-order inferences about a phenomenon in most cases. The reasoning mind deals necessarily in such inferences, so no wonder it paints itself in conflict with the mind that observes the emotions. Emotions are first-order, direct stimuli about the state of the world, so when reason is contradicted by emotion it's the same slap of tautologically undesirable negative feedback as when a theory about the world "this stone shall fall upwards when I release it" is contradicted by the slap of a sizeable rock falling into one's toe. Positive emotion is positive feedback into whatever system generated it, which is why so many chemicals can put addiction here. But if addiction is a chemical's entry into the core of the personal system, it's not really so wrong to claim "I am drugs"....

The way I got way out into that realm of thought, distant from the areas of what consistently makes sense to many different people, was finding an old page of writing in which my past self was attempting to figure out what its life goals were.

(oh, that's why I choose 'it' over 'they' for reflexive pronouns: "my self" is not "me", any more than "my computer" or "my hat" is "me" (and yet in a way they all are part of "me"...) -- they are `it`. Nobody goes around checking the undercarriage of an item like that to see if it's a "he" or a "she", any more than I find it reasonable to prod around and look for the bits of a "self" that exists in dimensions with nowhere to put bits at all. Sure, all selves with bodies are associated with bits by a sort of transitive property, a relation across a database... but the object with a reference to another in one field is not forced into the type of that to which it refers. )
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on May 28, 2020, 05:00:09 am
Had occasion, today, to observe the way that physical walls make walls within the brain. This morning, my house contained 2 closets: One held my clothes, and the other held bins of various completed material projects and ingredients for future ones.The closets backed onto the same wall, which today I confirmed was not load bearing, and removed. I walled over one of the former doorways in the newly contiguous space, arranged the entire former contents of both spaces along the ends, placed some curtains, and now have a comfortable little "storage space" or "meditation nook" in what started out as the middles of the two closets.

But the part of the experience I find worth noting here is the flips I watched my spatial reasoning turn when I first sledgehammered both sides of the drywall, and looked from the office out at the daylight through the bedroom window. If I was the type to explain things with energies, I'd describe the office-energy flowing into and mingling with the bedroom-energy in whatever the energetic equivalent is of an exothermic reaction. But I prefer the metaphor of pattern-matching, so I'd say instead that I watched my mind have many of its preconceptions and expectations about what it means for a space to be a bedroom or for a space to be a office get turned upon their heads. Watching my more automatic functions' response to something as simple as a change in lines of sight feels likely to make me pay far more attention to carefully curating what's in view from where -- I was already vaguely aware of the effects, but no more does that awareness reduce the novelty of observing the effects in practice than does having been previously aware that stingrays exist in the ocean reduce the novelty of the first time you get to handle one.

And after getting that project into an acceptable stable state (it has room for improvements, such as patching over the currently-visible drywall seam which the decorative wall previously covered, but none are urgent by my standards), I also had the opportunity to argue philosophy with a friend who seems to take morality as axiomatic. It's a terribly entertaining clash of perspectives, what with how I view morality as an emergent pattern in my hierarchy of personal preferences... I find it descriptive; he finds it prescriptive. I often have to request clarification of the terms he chooses several times, and by the time I finally understand what he was trying to communicate, he's spotted the internal inconsistencies revealed by pinning things down too tightly. My reaction to such inconsistencies is to shrug and blame the fundamental irreconcilability of language and continue on, but for someone who assumes that there is some objective Truth (and buys into the illusion that not only does such Truth exist but it can be captured and even communicated by existing languages) they're apparently more problematic.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: Liu on May 28, 2020, 11:12:35 am
That (i.e. the first part of your post) is basically the main reason why I'd like to live in an apartment of my own (i.e. not a shared apartment) next time I move - in my current apartment I only have one room completely to myself, even if quite a big one, which means the place where I sleep, where I work, where I exercise, where I study, where I do rituals,... is not really physically separate and often exactly the same spot.
Having separate rooms for separate purposes makes it easier to also shift the mindset accordingly and also to manipulate one's surroundings - which tools, books, art one places in which room - which again helps the mind by reducing distractions.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on May 28, 2020, 03:56:04 pm
That (i.e. the first part of your post) is basically the main reason why I'd like to live in an apartment of my own (i.e. not a shared apartment) next time I move - in my current apartment I only have one room completely to myself, even if quite a big one, which means the place where I sleep, where I work, where I exercise, where I study, where I do rituals,... is not really physically separate and often exactly the same spot.
Having separate rooms for separate purposes makes it easier to also shift the mindset accordingly and also to manipulate one's surroundings - which tools, books, art one places in which room - which again helps the mind by reducing distractions.

A year in a shared dormitory, and then several in various rooms of shared houses, got me started on appreciating the impact of sight lines and started building my fondness for good curtains. In my favorite setup, my bed was against the wall at the far end of the room, with a tall wardrobe next to the foot and a tall bookcase next to the head (shelves facing so that they were easily accessible from the bed, and one doubled as a nightstand). I placed a shower curtain rod between the wardrobe and bookcase, and hung a really nice burgundy brocade curtain across it which I had picked up secondhand somewhere originally intending to make some garment out of it. Then the center of the room was open for whatever I might need an open, non-bed, non-work space for... and at the other end of the room I had my desk against the wall with a view out the window, and a second tall bookcase backed against the desk with a poster hung over the desk side, such that the only things I could see when sitting at it were the outdoors and the art. I find that curtains and bookcases work just as well as doors and walls to make my brain think it's in a separate "room", though of course other brains may function differently.

A trick which works for some, though I've had less success with it due to the natures of my various hobbies, is to have a space as a blank canvas and basically keep little kits to rapidly redecorate it and change its nature. I think this is what people are on about when they make altars that are easy to pack up and move around, and when they get out a yoga mat and workout clothing to exercise at home despite the fact that all the actions could be performed the same way in their pajamas on the rug.

But on the whole, simply advancing one's power and influence until it is no inconvenience to own one's space is a preferable long-term solution.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: Liu on May 30, 2020, 11:24:36 am
That curtain approach might also work for me, except that I can't think of a way to make it happen with my current furniture and room dimensions. My shelf is clearly not sturdy enough to be put anywhere but against a wall in the corner, and the closest vertical sturdy surfaces that I could put telescopic rod between for hanging up a curtain to split the room are more than 4m (13.1feet) apart, which is likely to not result in a very robust setup. And changing the way the furniture is currently arranged is unlikely to increase its practicality.

But as a lot of the things that I need focus for are on a screen, I'll rather work on my digital setup being free of distractions. For this, the digital equivalent of blank canvas and ready-made kits are obvious choices. Additionally, what also makes it easier is to utilize rituals for changing the mindset - be it writing down the task one is to focus on, or starting a pomodoro timer to signify a time span of no distractions, or having a recurring routine in general.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: Onyx on May 30, 2020, 06:03:25 pm
Some random thoughts:

Being free of distractions is something I think most of us strive towards, at least to a reasonable degree. I'm not much of a socialite, nor do I wish to be fashionable. And I also try not to lust after results (rush them all you want, best of luck).

I had the hieroglyph of the Separator tattooed on my arm a few years ago. It's a bit of a psychological/spiritual "black curtain" in a sense, as a pull of the sleeve serves as a reminder that the Powers of Darkness are at my behest. If someone ever questioned it: "Oh, that was a long time ago. I saw it in the catalog, just thought it looked cool!".

I find power in my obscurity and separate nature, things this thread brought to mind.

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on June 03, 2020, 01:48:02 am
Back on the concept of the societal utility of sin:

Onboarded at a new job recently, which means another batch of mandatory "ethics and code of conduct" training. It's fascinating how their heuristic for whether conduct is "wrong" includes "would it embarrass the company if it was found out publicly?". Seems a very pragmatic use of Pride as a universal constant.
Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on June 15, 2020, 05:36:59 pm
this wasn't even planned... I wonder how hard it would be to arrange to get paid half a cent less per pay period

Title: Re: idgo forgot its grimoire at home and is using this instead
Post by: idgo on June 22, 2020, 05:25:49 am
There's a certain commonality between "evils" and "self-cares". Take for instance reneging on a promise due to a change in personal circumstances which makes the promise more difficult than anticipated to fulfill.


The sociocultural virus that some name Colonialism does play itself out in curious ways. It builds castes, and when a member of a lower caste forces its pain upon a member of a higher one, it is condemned for childishness. Yet if a member of a higher caste voluntarily takes on the same pain of a lower caste individual, it is praised wildly for virtue and selflesness. It's true that one group doesn't know the real experience of the other, but often overlooked how this divide cuts both ways. Because the higher castes built by this pathology have had it so long, grown so symbiotic with it, that if it was removed they would have nothing left. The lower castes -- those more newly added to the system -- are within reach of an identity from before, an identity outside of it. It is possible for someone of a group more newly added to Colonialism to reject it... but those of groups which have carried it like that fungus in the wasps so long that everything before is truly erased, might collapse like the empty bug-shell that's left if you pull out its mushroom occupant. I suspect this may relate to the over-representation in LHP of individuals from the groups longest-ridden by the Colonialism meme: LHP was built out of what scraps could be found from what they had before, or grafted in from neighboring cultures. And this might explain that desperation within it, long puzzling to me, to pretend that traditions date back far longer than they do: The newly colonialized hate its shit and turn back to what they distantly remember being better. The oldly colonialized, sick with whatever was had by wherever Rome caught and spread it from, have no such straightforward path out. Can one blame some for seeking to break or build such a way out when it seems available by no other means?

Colonialism is not a perfect name for the phenomenon, but it comes close. It's the "acting white", the culture rather than the color, of which one identical twin could very well accuse another if they deviate from their shared values into its preferred paradigm. It's the social systems which build onto mere biology to create "The Patriarchy" against which some reasonably, and others unreasonably, complain.

Seeing it is like spotting a particular plant in a caucophony of foliage: at first you look at it and it's just a sea of green. But then someone picks out a single leaf or a single blossom, and points out its defining traits and its differences from nearby lookalikes, and the faculties of pattern matching grab the "nature" of the thing and suddenly you're spotting it everywhere, even catching it by its coloration or gestalt from a great distance or when passing it by at great speed. In one way that particular plant has been there all along and the only thing that changed is the viewer's perception; in another and comparably relevant way the plant was effectively absent, unfindable, unusable, until one calibrates one's capacity to pick it out.