JustinCEO Topic

I think I roughly agree with that idea of emotional pain.

I may have mis-spoken earlier.

I didn’t mean to imply that the other 80% being in intense pain wouldn’t be difficult or result in loss of functionality. Rather that the 20% would survive it without being hurt by the experience, and would still be there and intact after the pain was relieved.

Yes I have no doubt it is bad to be in a lot of emotional pain for a long time and can take a very long time (if ever) to recover from afterwards.

I guess what I’m describing with the most important 20% might seem similar to compartmentalisation. I have in mind something like: that 20% is highly resilient, has survived a lot of criticism, does not depend on external things (which I think is where it seems compartmentalised). It’s not to say it’s immune to pain, but it would be an exceptional circumstance if pain were to reach it.

I’m looking into the CGM stuff again, so, sure, thanks. (And feel free to share other any other thoughts you have about the devices as well).

I review this list every day, and most days I find that I was at least somewhat concerned about something over which I had no control. I’m getting better, but this seems to be a deeply ingrained issue, even given regular reflection and ongoing effort. I think it’s interesting how much you can benefit from regularly reflecting on a “simple” idea, and how much you can struggle to implement it despite its “simplicity”. There’s really something to be said for getting the basics down rather than trying to be all fancy.

I liked this quote about not delaying the study of philosophy. Apparently this is an old problem. From Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic, Letter 17:

Why, then, should you reject Philosophy as a comrade? Even the rich man copies her ways when he is in his senses. If you wish to have leisure for your mind, either be a poor man, or resemble a poor man. Study cannot be helpful unless you take pains to live simply; and living simply is voluntary poverty. Away, then, with all excuses like: “I have not yet enough; when I have gained the desired amount, then I shall devote myself wholly to philosophy.” And yet this ideal, which you are putting off and placing second to other interests, should be secured first of all; you should begin with it. You retort: “I wish to acquire something to live on.” Yes, but learn while you are acquiring it; for if anything forbids you to live nobly, nothing forbids you to die nobly. There is no reason why poverty should call us away from philosophy, - no, nor even actual want. For when hastening after wisdom, we must endure even hunger. Men have endured hunger when their towns were besieged, and what other reward for their endurance did they obtain than that they did not fall under the conqueror’s power? How much greater is the promise of the prize of everlasting liberty, and the assurance that we need fear neither God nor man! Even though we starve, we must reach that goal. Armies have endured all manner of want, have lived on roots, and have resisted hunger by means of food too revolting to mention. All this they have suffered to gain a kingdom, and, - what is more marvellous, - to gain a kingdom that will be another’s. Will any man hesitate to endure poverty, in order that he may free his mind from madness?

Therefore one should not seek to lay up riches first; one may attain to philosophy, however, even without money for the journey. It is indeed so. After you have come to possess all other things, shall you then wish to possess wisdom also? Is philosophy to be the last requisite in life, - a sort of supplement? Nay, your plan should be this: be a philosopher now, whether you have anything or not, - for if you have anything, how do you know that you have not too much already? - but if you have nothing, seek understanding first, before anything else. “But,” you say, “I shall lack the necessities of life.” In the first place, you cannot lack them; because nature demands but little, and the wise man suits his needs to nature. But if the utmost pinch of need arrives, he will quickly take leave of life and cease being a trouble to himself. If, however, his means of existence are meagre and scanty, he will make the best of them, without being anxious or worried about anything more than the bare necessities; he will do justice to his belly and his shoulders; with free and happy spirit he will laugh at the bustling of rich men, and the flurried ways of those who are hastening after wealth, and say: “Why of your own accord postpone your real life to the distant future? Shall you wait for some interest to fall due, or for some income on your merchandise, or for a place in the will of some wealthy old man, when you can be rich here and now. Wisdom offers wealth in ready money, and pays it over to those in whose eyes she has made wealth superfluous.” These remarks refer to other men; you are nearer the rich class. Change the age in which you live, and you have too much. But in every age, what is enough remains the same.

Selling Your Soul

From Seneca’s Letters From a Stoic, Letter 42, “On Values”:

Therefore, with regard to the objects which we pursue, and for which we strive with great effort, we should note this truth; either there is nothing desirable in them, or the undesirable is preponderant. Some objects are superfluous; others are not worth the price we pay for them. But we do not see this clearly, and we regard things as free gifts when they really cost us very dear. Our stupidity may be clearly proved by the fact that we hold that “buying” refers only to the objects for which we pay cash, and we regard as free gifts the things for which we spend our very selves. These we should refuse to buy, if we were compelled to give in payment for them our houses or some attractive and profitable estate; but we are eager to attain them at the cost of anxiety, of danger, and of lost honour, personal freedom, and time; so true it is that each man regards nothing as cheaper than himself.

This reminded me of this scene from The Fountainhead:

“Howard—anything you ask. Anything. I’d sell my soul …”

“That’s the sort of thing I want you to understand. To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul—would you understand why that’s much harder?”

Minor typo in this article:

AI alignment is just a typical examples.

Minor typos in this article:

AR: Better ideas are way more likely to get popular. Instead of expecting any individuals to debate you or evaluate your ideas, you should just let humanity as a whole collective[ly] judge your work by how much social status and popularity it gets you.

One of [the] reasons it’s hard to debate with people is they don’t believe in making decisive arguments about each specific issue.

I like the dialog format a lot. It can help bring out certain points in a decisive way better than other formats. It was nice to see some new pieces of writing from Elliot in that format. :slight_smile:

Nice outline. A bonus: the format of this article made it trivially easy for me to convert it to flashcards in RemNote (just did a find-replace for “?” and replaced it with “? >>”


I wrote a post practicing the idea of counterrhetoric (this is an idea that I found in a book on Stoicism). Note that I used ChatGPT to come up with some of the example emotional statements that I translated into more neutral language. ChatGPT was quite useful for this purpose (I started out trying to find a list on Google but didn’t find anything relevant).


Some more counterrhetoric practice with a slightly different exercise

having a hiccup with my website but link should work again tomorrow, will update

site fixed, links work again.

Thanks, I hadn’t read about counter-rhetoric and stoicism before (I read your Counterrhetoric article too).

I think it’s good to reframe evocative rhetoric more neutrally and literally.

I’m guessing that it can also (maybe not all the time) be useful in the reframing to impartially explain the feeling behind it.

E.g. modifying the first few lines of your table (additions in italics):

Emotional Description More Neutral Description
She’s always being a bitch! She often acts in an unfriendly manner, and this hurts my feelings.
That bastard shot me down in flames! That person rejected my proposal, and I was disappointed.
This job is complete bullshit! This job has undesirable aspects and I’m unhappy doing it.

If you have a desire to express something in a very emotional and metaphorical way, there’s something behind that desire and acknowledging it (and framing it as something dispassionate) may help understand it better and add a why to the problem solving.

With “That person rejected my proposal.” if you stop there there’s no action to take; it’s just a statement of a fact. With the addition of “and I was very disappointed”; it has the first component of what to do next and the “why” of that emotion can be analysed.
Then the next step could be analyse the disappointment (and the hope that preceded it) for mistakes, it could be planning to avoid rejection again with further development or a change in direction, it could be learning something new about the person who did the rejecting, or something else.

Note that I’m not suggesting one should respond to people with this precise criticism IRL!

I think if you were going to do something like this kind of analysis with people IRL (which I think can be useful if done well), acknowledging the emotion as part of it would go over a lot better. Otherwise I think it would typically be taken as being dismissive.

A typo in your blog post at the bottom: “counterr-hetoric”

I agree!

Yes and it’s funny that you mention that, because as I was looking for examples for one of my posts (before turning to ChatGPT to generate them), I came across stuff about using “I feel” language, which actually can involve a similar sort of “translation” process as my examples, but is regarded as less confrontational. E.g.

What Are "I Feel" Statements?.

fixed thanks.

Continuing the discussion from Food Packaging Grammar Error:

I had a correct intuition of what part of the sentence had the issue but didn’t identify the error.

I did not read them as giving you the option. Typically, when microwave meals bring up stirring, that is an instruction. A failure to stir can lead to uneven temperature of the meal.

Continuing the discussion from Curiosity – Roe vs. Wade Overturned:

One relevant idea is that when people are super motivated and care a ton, that can cause them to engage in activities (aggressive lobbying, pressure campaigns, donations, influencing judicial picks) that can be worth more in terms of setting policy than the votes of a ton of people with more moderate views.

Another thing worth thinking about is imagining what the policy outcome would be in a very democratic setting. Imagine, for instance, a direct popular vote on some issue, as in a referendum or ballot initiative. To the extent a way of deciding a policy departs from that approach, it’s somewhat less democratic and provides an opportunity for people who care more to exert greater influence than a bunch of votes. (To be clear, I’m not saying we should be deciding everything by direct popular vote or criticizing representative democracy per se. I think the Founding Fathers were rightly very wary of that sort of approach. But representative democracy has some issues too.)

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I wrote some more comments on some ideas in a Stoicism book. I also wrote a microblog post about ChatGPT.

I’m dealing with technical issues with my blog. One is random crashing. Another is trying to figure out how to get some reasonable loading or navigation set up for my microblog. I actually had a programmer friend help me some with the latter but we haven’t made much progress yet.

I had to reinstall ghost and mysql but my blog seems fixed now. I also turned my microblog page into a regular index page until I can figure out how to get it more like how I want.

Continuing the discussion from MC does subconscious analysis:

This comment reminded me of this post in a meditation topic:

I struggled with the idea of a certain conception of self as being illusionary. One objection I had was that it seemed anti-individualist – like denying that individual minds exist. Another is that, even if the common conception of the self was inaccurate in some way, it seemed like a useful concept, so I didn’t see the point of rejecting it.

The tendency of people to alienate themselves from parts of their minds and try to get those parts to go along with what the conscious mind wants to do actually addresses both of these objections.

Trying to suppress parts of your mind is engaging in a sort of inner mental tyranny that seems incompatible with the principles of individualism, resolving disagreements through persuasion, etc. Rand said that the smallest minority on earth is the individual, but maybe the smallest minority on earth is actually the dissenting voice within an individual mind.

Drawing the line of what constitutes the “self” in an incorrect way such that it includes the conscious mind but excludes the subconscious is what enables this sort of tyranny to occur. So that is a “cash value” of correcting the illusory conception of the self – you lose your justification for suppressing part of yourself. It’s a lot harder to justify such suppression if you recognize that that part of yourself is “you”!

On a somewhat related tangent, I think a major motivation people have for wanting to exclude their subconscious or unconscious mind from what counts as the self is that they have a lot of dark stuff in their unconscious and they’d rather not take ownership of that. That might be another post though.

You didn’t post this note on your blog. You have lots of stuff on your blog where you don’t give credit for stuff that isn’t your own idea.

It also shows that you aren’t interested in promoting CF. That’s problematic given your context.

Maybe you should do negative visualizations about what it’d be like if you were banned from CF, if ET stopped writing anything, if ET died, if ET deleted all his websites, etc. You don’t seem very appreciative of being on this forum even though most forums would have permabanned you with no appeal. You haven’t used this opportunity to do problem solving regarding how you mistreated ET nor used it engage with CF articles. Your posts are mostly about you.