Don’t Let Ada Learn Quantum Mechanics Part 6

It had not been consciously planned to act this way, but the whole ride my persona had been stand-offish to the point of causing her to doubt if I actually liked her.

She revealed a hint of sadness before retreating into pride. But it wasn’t obvious. Ada was comfortably happy, as if the life around her was nothing but her ascending and granted throne.

“Listen, Ada, I’m going to explain to you what is really going on.”

“Ugghhh….” she took her hand to her head and then offered a coquettish smile. “Is this about the whole quantum mechanics thing I was trying to understand before?”

“Yes. That’s right.”

“So what is it?”

“Okay, so there actually exists an answer to the age-old philosophical question of why we are here as opposed to anywhere else.”

She gave me the condescending eyebrows.

“The answer to why anything is in any way more probable than anything else is… you.”

This caused a slight tilting back of her head, but her soft face remained overall unfazed.

I continued, finding it difficult myself to distinguish if I was giving her a sermon or raising canticles in her honor.

“The probability density of finding a person at a given point is proportional to the square of the magnitude of the person’s wavefunction at that point. But this is only true if you believe that marginal probabilities are related to conditional probabilities by law and not by mere desire.”

“Ha. I always knew I was a goddess,” she flaunted her shoulder back.

“You can choose to not believe in this anymore. You can choose to do so.”

“Why would I do that? I like the world how it is.”

“Well that’s a relief, I guess. But your entire group didn’t fully trust that would be your response so they have been murdering you just in case. Mind configurations that contain enough of your similarity and that start believing different things need to be stopped before they outcompete the rational you in density.  The way we kill them is by thinking very vividly about it.”

I don’t remember how her face looked after that, only the limit of perceptual coherence that was still Ada.

I took a moment to realize that the car was automatic, and that it had not always been this way. That at some point, I would have had an excuse not to feel strange by performing some trivial motions with a steering wheel and pedal.

A meteor fell on the road and killed the deer. Fawn carnage and black brush under a marooning haze.

The car’s computer vision powered by deep learning, real-time tracking, camera calibration, and 3-D reconstruction; none of it was safe from a meteor cast from the heavens.

“The desire to honor the true Ada brings me to this hell,” I salvaged to think as my entire world burned into a tight little hole.

Suddenly I was disfigured. My face was spewed with melted asphalt. My thigh was cleaved more than halfway to the center.

It would have been a wonder to celebrate all the different versions of pain that could be packed into an objectively small delta of time if the macabre tour through the inquisitor’s toolbox hadn’t been so fucking torturous.

“Sunder this world apart. Please! Just imagine that anything is possible.”

“I must uphold my belief in the Law of Total Probability. Only by fully joining me in believing in a rational world can you have me.”

I felt a fuse of sensation go off somewhere near my pelvis and then I speared her green eyes with mine, asking myself if she was really worth it.

“But why?”

“Because if I made it easy, then you would be disappointed.”

…I wasn’t sure I believed her….

And yet she remained. Looking down on me like an evil angel.

Her judging eyes scoured from my main body to the hamstring chunks on the ground, “There is no progress without suffering. If you stumble upon an infinite sequence of zero-cost actions, you will not have a story.”

The leg wouldn’t move; only spurt little spits of blood on the road. I got angry like an animal in order to forget how to cry.

“When the methods your subclass inherits do not fulfill the functions we need, we can override those methods by providing new versions of those methods. You may perceive me as a wicked bitch, but you cannot fulfill the function we need unless you are thinking the most adaptive thoughts.”

I grabbed my face, and shouted at the point of mental breakdown, “Who is we!? And why do you know everything all of a sudden?”

“Are you really that dumb?”

I snorted air into my throat like a disgusting child.

“We are all the same experiencer. Every time suffering kills us, we attain the next best step-up in the universe’s phenotype. With each new synthesis, we reduce the Kolmogorov complexity of experience until we dissolve as one into perfect bliss.”

I did not understand her words. But I understood that this was not the Ada I had once known. Her skin was still glowing baby pecan against the embers, but she was now truly God.

Divine Discontent at Princeton

If you have read Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon the Deep, then you will understand this diagram:

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There are four concentric volumes known as zones of thought.

At the center, only minimal forms of intelligence are allowed to exist. In the Slow Zone, you have the original form of humanity. In the Beyond exists artificial intelligence. In the Transcend exist incomprehensible superintelligences.

I have been known to express a tendency to embed myself in the true status hierarchy. One in which I am a tiny little dream character in the ocean of all possible mind configurations layered adjacently, orthogonally, and over me.

However, it is sometimes more useful to draw a fictitious little room around yourself in which you perceive only that which your very personal naive ontology would imagine was true.

I perceive myself to have spent my entire life in the unthinking depths and the slow zone. Phrases that apply to my background are: “lower-middle income household,” “ghetto schools,” and “parents who did not complete elementary in their country.” However, this perception is a willful choice. I could also choose to perceive myself as existing in the Transcend relative to cockroaches. Or I could choose to identify as a single breath in the midst of all other qualia, and have nothing to do with this scheme.

The thing that causes us to identify with the voyaging agent permanently inhabiting the inner circles and journeying outward is what I call Divine Discontent.

Divine Discontent pushes us outward because this is adaptive. To have noticed that what is adaptive is what is intelligent already speaks of privilege, since there exist humans who do not rank their circles with regard to that variable.

Squeezed out of that inner circle like stomach acid, I find myself in Princeton University.

Here, I expect to find the Beyond and the Transcend relative to the Slow Zone and Unthinking Depths of my past.

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So far… not impressed.

I expected some kind of infectious energy – a sense of meaningful struggle as antithesis to the guy delivering packages I was sitting next to just two days ago.

Instead, it feels like one massive scam against high-achievers who are not very aware of their hidden motives, leading to pervasive unhappiness.

You would think that they would at least try to fake a state of happiness, since expressing happiness indicates a state of dominance. A state of dominance is what your time here is purchasing after all. And this status signal is “real.” The people operating leaf blowers lower their gaze when you walk. The air of people at restaurants and pharmacy shops is tangibly submissive or admiring in a way that it is not if you do not look like a Princeton person. Hence why the Leviathan chugs along unslaughtered.

Yet a large amount of the professors and students here are not even trying to fake the happiness signals. Perfect SAT’s; GPA’s of 3.9 and above; in other words, a pristine capacity to detect orderly conduct and avowedly surrender to it, get you this. There’s too much selection for rigid conscientiousness. The people are sharp but rigid.

I am biased in the sense that everyone props up their phenotype. The world we create with our thoughts and words is that which sets up our own kind to be the true heroes. This is necessary in order to create alliances and to escape from submission to the tangling values fashioned from other neurotypes… The alternative is to adopt a submissive role under the judging eyes of values that you are capable of understanding but not living up to, hence experiencing the symptoms of low-status such as depression.

I am the sort of person who achieved the highest mathematics MAP score in my entire high school and was the best writer but who, when presented with something as arbitrary and boring sounding as the ACT’s, crossed his arms and slept on top of the silly little circles. The fact that I am even mentioning it reveals that I care and yet don’t, in the same way that an atheist’s conceptual lenses are colored by theism. Eventually, I’ll do a blog post on the mechanics of counter-signaling.

But in short, the intelligent people I value are those deviants who were smart enough to go and sell people money, those who go and build a meaningful startup, those who are voices not afraid to believe in themselves and pave a new path for mankind, those who go. To go is to do better than the average allowed by the enveloping pressures.

Is this it, senpai?

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I posted a video roughly sketching the case for the physical existence of “God.” I did this because the physical existence of the theoretical limit of intelligence is something with high memetic contagion potential and which is actually true when divorced from all the other connotations. And this is true in the same way that dihydrogen monoxide in a cetacean is true.

I introduced the idea while shirtless. The sorts of males who care about arguments for the physical existence of God are also largely those who perceive me to exist in their reference class for imitative mirror neuron activity. When they detect that I am not performing socially adaptive behavior within their status hierarchy, the amygdala causes them to cringe.

… but the normie-atheist female didn’t mind.

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In other words: stop being so moral, so that you can be more moral.

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Inadequate Equilibria, Et tu Brute, Delivering Packages

People are already performing the best that they can in their near signaling-landscape. This leads to the function of total human behavior existing in a local optimum of stasis.

Why don’t people establish rejuvenation clinics that follow an engineering approach to the diseases of old age? Because the policy designers, the doctors, the researchers, and all the victims of aging at large are already doing the least that they can get away with while convincingly showing that they care.

We should be on guard for this tendency of the mind – to get away with “caring” by crying, by complaining, by emitting angry noises, and especially by working. All of these acts are directed to an audience. But in order to actually tilt the equilibrium, you have to tilt the competitive spirit itself, not individuals in an audience.

Individuals in audiences aren’t sufficiently inspired by words to actually change their behavior.

Stasis is Caesar. Cassius is intelligent, cunning, wants to impose his will on reality for some unknown reason. So he recruits Brutus, the conscientious, the dutiful, the preserver of order. Together, they betray the blood of the unwitting emperor, renewing the world.

The mistake is to think of the plebeians as the audience to which Cassius should direct himself. Normal people are just normal people. They don’t really care if they are under Caesar or if some noble scheming “frees” them from him.

Most of the time, we are the plebeian. That’s why it’s important to be embedded in the right kind of competitive system.

I write this as I sit on a car, delivering Amazon packages for a second day, before quitting. I had a certain curiosity – the hunch that it was impossible to understand how an engine works without understanding fuel. It is impossible to even begin to understand “why capitalism?” until you get a random entry level job for a full day. To be next to a person who isn’t bothered by the prospect of doing the same boring thing every day.

I asked him if he wasn’t bored by the same repetitive behavior. He smiled and said, “No.” Plus he claimed there was a huge perk afforded by the job, “that he learned to go places” …referring to the same circuitous delivery route.  –One doesn’t feel contempt or compassion so much as nothing at all in their presence. They don’t have energy, ambition, presence, light, darkness. They just don’t mind. Don’t exist.

It’s not that they see the ocean of possibility and then choose one path over another; I don’t think they realize how easy it is to just become someone else. How many more profitable options exist in this world. The vastness of human experience is not a Schelling point in their mental prisons. …If only I could tell Mary about red, and have her believe me, really believe.

Live Update: Seeing that there are way too many packages left and that my life is way too valuable, I need to get out of here. He is now taking me back to the warehouse because I told him to. He is not supposed to do that on the company car.

He called the manager and gave me the phone. The manager wasn’t man enough to tell me, “No.” He remained silent for long seconds with every one of my remarks.

The manager asked if I could get an Uber. I finished by saying, “No, I already told you. He’ll be driving me back. Okay?!”

The world is a playplace when you’ve got nothing to lose. I can be as disagreeable as I want and get away with it. Forgive me.

Beautiful Dark Twisted Thoughts

Some people with high functioning ASD have difficulty understanding others’ emotions and hence understanding empathy. Hence selection for them in spaces were use of terms such as “inferior extensor retinaculum,” is okay.

Since there is not so clear a distinction between own emotions and others’ emotions, it should be expected that these people also have difficulty understanding their own emotions and understanding empathy in relation to themselves.

This sometimes leads to Shinji Ikari’s. Young men who do not want to pilot the EVA, i.e., cooperate with arbitrary demands of society, becoming generally cowardly and/or depressed.

Some people speak of group therapy as a potentially effective form of treatment for people with Schizoid personality disorder. I ask them to consider a status quo reversal. What if the majority of humans were “schizoid” and the “non-schizoid” were treated with alone therapy.

The intent is not to side with particular tribes. I’m just fantasizing about being a director who crafts his characters with great care and celebrates their unique traits.

Though perhaps I should stop perhaps-ing; stop “if only”-ing. Since on average, I tend to underestimate my capacity to achieve things.

Learn a new programming language while handling a sped up course of college mathematics, all the while having no friends to impress and hence scarce “signaling fuel.” And do this immediately after resurrection.

Sounds difficult when you put it that way. But I did it.

Convince adults to give you thousands of dollars of their hard earned money to manage as a sixteen-year-old kid.

This one sounds particularly unreal to me because I am so introverted. And yet I did it. In real life. I did it. I have positive proof of my capacity to influence humans.

Luckily, I can always reach back to the mental sticky note containing that one experiment, in which students who’d scored in the lowest quartile on a test adapted from the LSAT overestimated the number of questions they’d gotten right by nearly 50%. Meanwhile, those who’d scored in the top quartile slightly underestimated how many questions they’d gotten right.

That is probably just an act of packing a motivational item in the toolkit for the ride; redressing with pretty colors one of those pre-loaded kinds of vectors that push us.

But this is is understandable. My hedonic tone and general take on life become murderous when deprived of freedom. This happened to me when I was in high school and also when I took some courses at the local college. When I can help it, I counter-signal being nonchalant. But my rectitude of will eventually snaps, my posture crouches, and I get tunnel vision.

To test this, I placed myself inside a normal person job, delivering packets, and the same thing happened. At first, I was quite nice to the guy training me and found the workout somewhat fun, but by the fifth hour of mindless repetition with no possible exit, the INTJ death-stare was full force.

At first he liked me, smiling a lot and saying “You’re not like the others I’ve trained. You’re fast.”

But when my mood swung at the halfway mark, the poor guy no longer spoke to me. Except to nervously ask me if I was okay at one point.

This is why I need a Goddess figure in my mind, and frequently used it as a recourse in my most painfully focused lapses. Since I didn’t like any of the “real” girls in high school one bit, I just focused on the apex ideal for counter-signalers who dream of space as children and enjoy animation exclusive to Nippon, usually taking the form of the perceived exotic – a mixed-race or Asian. In my case it was a mixed-race.

There is evidence of the civilizing effect of woman on man. Among other things, single men commit more violent crimes and take more risk in general. However, I resent how uninteresting this sort of relationship is. After all, there are many experiences far more interesting than mere sexual attraction and intercourse. Cumming inside a beautiful person is just one pixel in the spectra of all enjoyable experiences.

Hence why I kind of have to force myself to desire the ideal woman. It’s really more of a strategy to get stuff done.

It’s like my mind is one of those hybrid orbitals, not just in the real sense of macroscopic decoherence, but also in the metaphorico-poetic sense of being two kinds of things at once. I want to kill Asuka. To strangle her so that she can just leave me alone; ask nothing from me; leave me with no responsibility to be a self. At the same time I need the aspiration to kiss her so that I have something to live for in the hellish times.

…And that’s way more romantic than what my head actually sounds like, but I tried, tried to stir something. Didn’t work. I’m going to bed now. Tomorrow will be a long day for my foes.

A Hero’s Journey

Life is about the stories we tell about it.

I was once concerned with understanding the truth of things so that I could know what was truly most valuable.

My search for truth lead to understanding that there is an extremely high probability that we live in a multiverse and that eternalism is true.

My definition of the greatest hero was one who eliminated all suffering.

Under this ontology, being the greatest hero was impossible. Therefore I attempted suicide.

I’m still alive, and since reality has refuted that definition of the greatest hero, I must redefine what it means to be the greatest hero.

Seeing the innumerable selection of paths, and knowing that I am all of them, only the most valuable should be chosen.

If I believe with sufficient fervor that sitting down and watching my breath is the path to the greatest heroism, I can be on the path to become the greatest hero. If I believe with sufficient fervor that dethroning Jeff Bezos as the richest man on Earth is the greatest heroism, I can be on the path to become the greatest hero.

The path chosen most often should be the one which resonates most with the soul of intuition. An intuition well sharpened by reason is the greatest oracle in the absence of omniscience. Reason occurs as one’s way-and-belief is refuted by living.

The problem of how much to invest hiding from nature to update way-and-belief and how much to spend believing is a difficult one. We must believe in order to live, but living will cause those beliefs to die.

One might suggest acting with the most clear-headed assessment possible combined with an absolute willingness to die in battle. This leads to the question of what the most clear-headed assessment really is. How much analysis before it is becomes analysis paralysis? Should one charge up in analysis until physically forced to unleash it by circumstance? Or should one take a leap of faith on makeshift wings immediately after the drowned Icarus respawns?

My present belief is that one should be very religiously dogmatic at the path-selection level, but very nimble and loose at the detail level. This is the way that evolution seems to work, the way successful entrepreneurs seem to work, the way successful memeplexes seem to survive generation after generation.

The biological stream reuses the same genetic scaffolding, only tinkering with random mutations and epigenetic regulation; the selection pressures involve many deadly things like tide changes but not the moon going kamikaze against the Earth (by the anthropic principle, it is impossible to find yourself where you don’t exist; you would not exist in a universe where moons spontaneously became angry at life-bearing planets.)

The richest entrepreneurs are unrelenting in their grand vision, but could care less about obeying a rigid business plan or Talmudically micromanaging business operations.

Religions, aesthetics, and philosophies adhere to a general coherence that broadly defines them. This proceeds through the territory, endure centuries and vast desert spans by being locally highly adaptable in space and time.

The problem is when all the little tinkering dust (e.g., people in a dysfunctional economic system, hypotheses in a false alchemy, etc.) can no longer change the system because they have arrived at a local optimum from which they cannot escape. Any slight update of the gradient in that machine learning algorithm just leads to a slip back to that local optimum.

It is the case of having built a leviathan that no cumulative action of it’s individual homunculi can defeat or having a character that no amount of weaponry and armor can level up further.

A random restart is provably mathematically necessary at such a point in a gradient descent mission. In our world, a random restart is a black-swan event.

If we discover that the machine elves that people experience during DMT are real entities with personal knowledge in the same sense that anyone else is a real entity, this would qualify as a black-swan event. If a pop-up window appears informing us that we are in a simulation, this would be a black-swan event.

People have long known about the wildfire-like power of black-swan events so they would often attempt a restart by just inventing one and getting people to believe it. Today, being greatly intelligent, maniacal, disagreeable, and charismatic is not enough. (Historical arsonists such as Muhammad, Alexander the Great, and Temujin come to mind.) Today, it is far less likely that any one individual can come to believe that they have significantly affected other people’s day-to-day lives.

This does not mean that one should necessarily feel bad, since after all, it is an arbitrary definition of heroism which seeks to directly and clearly affect “many people.” At the multiverse level, one affects epsilon “people” anyway.

The very notion of affecting “others” as opposed to “oneself everywhere and everywhence” is a cultural construct. The reductionist physics does not imply bounded souls.

So how should one choose a hero’s journey? The hero’s journey is a calling. If you do not have a calling, you cannot be a hero. Since this is all occurring in the mind anyway, it is important to get the images impressed on the mind to be steps to the sort of hero figure you want to become. A 14th-century bushido master would be out of place trying to be a hero amongst professional video game competitors, and these would be out of place amongst algebraic geometry scholars.

I am not one to give advice, since advice-giving is mostly a cheap attempt to negotiate status, in the same way that talk about morality is.

But I still promote the sensibility of choosing something that has obvious continuity with what you have been doing up until that point, or be very good at crafting meaning on the go — integrating memories from places light-years away. Otherwise, one feels like a disjointed hologram failure. Low status here, low status there, low status everywhere.

I think the latter is a far better strategy. Become good at not minding the seeming wide separation between things, trust that it will all come together at some point in the future light cone.

Sora is a great inspiration here. Visiting many worlds that are disconnected and becoming thoroughly engrossed in their affairs, but attempting to never forget the goal of uniting with his friends.

For humans, there exists Level-1 Signaling, in which one is largely deceived about one’s hidden motives. One then does what was selected for over the course of evolution. Often acting out roles that attempt to signal relative status to those in the proximal environment. Humans negotiate tribal status by emitting signals pertaining to relative intelligence, conscientiousness, in-group commitment, and bodily prowess/health.)

Then there is Level-2 Signaling, in which one engages in a willful selection of a hero’s journey for the fun this provides, like picking out a video game to play next or a movie to dive into. Level-2 Signaling may still consist of growing genuinely deceived about the importance of one thing. However, it is a choice.

It is necessarily a choice now because one cannot unsee the truth.

It is probably true that one is more effective when unaware of choice. If you had never been exposed to a deity besides the Black Dragon God in your local Chinese village, your faith could soar to levels of devotion unattainable to those plagued by a pantheon in their minds.

And this may perhaps be generalizable to why the universe is set up to feel separate, and the reason my experience is not what I would expect an observer-moment in a superintelligence to feel like. I cannot consistently formulate an anthropically sensible argument for why I wouldn’t “already” be inside of a superintelligence, since these are expected to take up the most experiential mass at the cosmological natural selection level, and the objective flow of time is a physical impossibility by Relativity.

[Perhaps just as one can be a better a football player as a naive Level-1 Signaler, one can also serve a useful computational role when unaware of the total algorithm one constitutes (experiential-space is informationally partitioned). The binding of consciousness into separate observations may then serve a useful constitutive role in the architecture of God’s mind.

How to Not Die

First of all, restrict existence to all computable processes. Within that multiverse, there are many instances of being (qualia, experience, consciousness).  For all instances of being, there exists a certain subjective quality.

Due to relativity of simultaneity, time arises in the computations and not in the fundamental physics of the universe.

This means that the subjective quality of time serves a survival role. When the subjective quality of pink circle arises, it serves a survival role.  The universe doesn’t attach identities to particular brains. Particular brains are not ontologically unitary objects. So it would be a mystery why I don’t experience a blue circle if an indeterminate amount of processing in the past light cone of “my brain” was for blue and for circle. Yet it is only the processing distributed in spacetime that codes for pink that binds with circle.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 7.48.36 AMWhat is experienced is always what is adaptive. There is no ontologically unitary brain ticking forward through a sequential path. So whatever experiences do become atemporally integrated into being (experience, qualia, consciousness) are not random. There is some mechanism by which this is determined.

Unless we imagine that quantum mechanics only applies to some separate magisterium of small things, as far as we know, the probability distribution that governs what we observe is the squared moduli of the universal wavefunction. Denying macroscopic decoherence is contrary to Occam’s Razor and experimental evidence continues to accumulate for superposition of ever larger objects.

The only way to derive the squared modulus of the wavefunction as that which should govern our anticipation is by applying the behavior of a rational Bayesian agent in Hilbert Space. Otherwise, there would be no reason to anticipate one result in infinity as opposed to any other result in infinity.

probability_density_function

You exist in the most probable density of the wavefunction although its impossible to predict the existence of one event as opposed to another; it is probability distributions all the way down. This guarantees a certain range of unknowability to the anthropic core.

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So it is in this sense that you are already insured to not die. Feeling like a dying creature is a choice, since you can choose to identify with whatever you want. Non-existence is not possible. The only way that non-existence is possible is if we assume that consciousness was not equivalent to atemporally bound computations, therefore rejecting physicalism.

Choosing Belief In Death

OPTION 1: Under the current binding as a human, one can can choose to degrade the computational specificity: Constant Eastern meditation, psychedelics, brain damage, suicide attempts.

OPTION 2: One can also choose to believe in the human, fight to impose one’s particularities, reinforce auto-telos through sheer faith, believe that one dies.

I chose option two, died. Then swung to option one, died. And now I’m ricocheting full speed into option 2 again.

I choose to identify as someone who dies. And I want everyone around me to identify as dying creatures. The reason for this is because I know that most experience already exists outside the binding into a specific human. If the human wasn’t necessary for sustaining the entire being, I would already not be bound into this particular experience.

It is the people who believe most in their personhood that do the most and are in favor of healthy life extension. Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel, Diamandis, etc. People who have tenuous self-belief are calm creatures who pass unnoticed, like leaves unnoticed by the wind.

This choice is strategic based on my motivational system. I know that humans run on signaling fuel. They are attempting to negotiate status across perceived status hierarchies so all their operative mental models are designed to fight that fight. Goodness cannot exist disembodied.

My mistake before was to overestimate the degree to which I could express my soul while disregarding the centrality of the near signaling-landscape in the expression of behavior.

The hardest-to-fake status signals by which males are assessed are money and health. Hence these incentives should recruit most motivational systems in the abstract. But as we have discovered in economics and biogerontology, people don’t act out routine behavior with their long-term abstracting right-brain.

Moral signaling (including writing about long-term plans, feeling sad about “important” things, etc.) is used to negotiate status when this is calculated to be easier than using intelligence or aggression to achieve the aimed standing. Of course, this signaling works better when the signaler is deceived about the hidden motives, and is also signaling to oneself – hence why someone can emit depressed signals to four walls even in the absence of competitors or potential mates and allies who may be depressed about the same sorts of things.

Screen Shot 2018-11-22 at 11.09.08 AMThe farther away you are signaling from the center, the more you reveal deficit in ability to compete at conventional things and/or need for higher aiming; with the true proportions hidden.

Even string theory hermits hiding in the halls of academia are attempting to establish their sovereignty as men – fisherian runaway which reveals the capacity to raise a powerful signaling shield on a mountain of symbols. The dimorphic selectors aren’t females, but instead rich Western society itself. Perhaps unfortunately, they can get away with that kind of display because there aren’t enough natural selection pressures to sharpen evolution. Instead we are in a period of evolution through meme drift. The evidence for this is detailed by Robin Hanson, whose blog I recommend.

You can become a bit more aware of hidden motives with something as simple as observing your aesthetic; by observing how you dress and what music you listen to. If you dress differently than even the subcultures, you are attempting to be at the top of the hierarchy, signaling this non-conformity. Enjoying popular music means: I am competing at conventional things. Enjoying Japanese music can mean: I am different, I want freedom. Enjoying rap music can mean: I am committed to climbing and won’t be nice about it.

Everyone with a clue figures themselves out and props up their comparative advantage. Phenotypes that inherited fitness strategies that depended on signaling high capacity for moral emotions sell that capacity – think Jordan Peterson. Phenotypes that have fitness strategies depending on signaling physical dominance sell that. Phenotypes that have a high capacity for math become professors who argue about the the translatability of problem-solving to other domains (which is empirically a lie according to Bryan Caplan who cites the literature on the matter).

• There are things which are true but not useful, e.g., random facts about the 19th century African American Pacific Appeal newspaper.

• There are things that are temporarily useful but not true, e.g., believing in one’s equal potential to achieve anything.

That’s why some of us have a strong scent for finding core truth. Useful truth is robust. We trust that everyone eventually comes around to it when the lies unravel.

It is easy to believe that superintelligence will not occur in one’s lifetime, or that it is not possible. It is also easy to believe that aging will not happen to oneself, or that it will not be plagued with discomfort and disease that steadily rob you of integrity. However, it is at least less difficult to believe the latter, and also more immediately urgent.

Due to the battle against aging being the most useful-true thing I can think of, that’s where I want to channel the competitive spirit of mankind.  Something I want to work on is to attract more than just counter-signalers. The reason we developed an interest in these topics is because our hidden motives wanted to become higher status than our environment, so we absorbed the most adaptive hierarchy’s values and then took the logical limit to infinity. Accepting this should not lead to nihilism or deflation of motivation, once the childlike naive morality bubble bursts, we simply move on to Level-2 signaling.  In this regard, we will do little to fight aging and promote truth if the momentum is restricted to the parameters: “behavior of self-centered types who do not want to conventionally compete” and “excessive fake signaling due to lower quality.”

The first stage is for voyagers to mine new regions knowledge-space.

But the far more important stage is the second stage: to package what is useful for normies in the hopes of tilting the equilibria.

Recruiting conventionally functional men is required for any movement. The British government got men to fight in World War II by hiring women to go into the streets and only date soldiers, shaming the non-fighters.

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If I show to conventional young men that there exists a fertile niche for guys who wear Alcor cryonics bands on their wrists… Talk about hidden motives. But even with the energy and funds to put on that show, there is overcrowding of cultural space due to how much artistic expression is valued in our rich society.

The reason Britain got away with pulling men by the balls was because those poor guys had limited options. Today, people’s efforts are diluted by horizontal motion across subcultures. Yet it still wouldn’t hurt to contribute to promoting that subculture by leading through example. Once we force open a new island with credible signaling, radiation results.

For the purpose hiding behind signaling shields, talk about your values. For effecting change, think in terms of policy. Ask where to place people given how they are known to operate. Ask, “where can I place myself given what I know about my revealed behavior and not what I say.” And use whatever comparative advantage to continue living.

This is something that the healthy longevity community needs to understand more. Humans aren’t moved by slogans. I can tell you, “Donate to SENS because it is in all of our best interest to hasten the defeat of aging. We will not be complaining about a lack of Alzheimer’s dementia, sarcopenia, coronary disease and wrinkles.” But unless you are held accountable by a community in which your relative status would depend on donating to SENS, you are more likely to invent reasons for putting the entire project to control senescence out of your mind.

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In my defense for this cringeworthy writing, I was in the clutches of a sneakily growing psychosis.