Tangent from Meditation

I have a general hatred for these argument because anti anti-aging people use a very similar version of this argument. For ex. they say that death gives meaning to life. I agree that people in general do not give much attention to the present moment. So I see Sam’s point when he stresses the importance of paying more and better attention to present moment. I agree that this skill of paying more and better attention to present moment is an important skill to learn. It can increase the quality of one’s life. But if you make death or ‘this is the last time you are doing something’ the reason for giving better attention to any activity then I think you are reasoning like people who are anti anti-death or pro death.

I wasn’t clear why I pointed out that one is reasoning like a pro death person. I guessed a reason now. The reason is: I was trying to say that if you are thinking like this then you are reasoning like a pro death person. You are making the same mistake that a pro death person is making.

I disagree.

Can you say what you think the reasoning is in detail? Like in both the case of being pro death and in reflecting on something happening for the last time, what do you think the reasoning is?

Pro death people’s reason for being pro death is obviously a lot of irrationalities.

There is a bias known as motivated reasoning. This bias points to the fact that most times people already know the conclusion they wanna believe so they make up bad reasons to justify their belief. For example most people already believe that it is wrong to have sex with one’s sibling. They are already convinced of this. But a high percentage of these people didn’t come to this conclusion with reasoning. So they don’t have a good reason for why they believe this. They already accepted this conclusion. And when they are asked to explain why it is wrong they give bad reasons to justify their belief.

I think a lot of pro death people are doing motivated reasoning so most of their reasons are bad. So I did some unclear thinking above and concluded that all reasons that pro death people use are bad reasons. I was wrong to conclude that all reasons that pro death people use are bad reasons. I don’t see a clear line of reasoning to make that conclusion. I think I did circular reasoning there to make that conclusion. So I will retract it.

After some more thinking I got some clarity. This was actually the thought that was motivating all my thoughts about this but I was unable to get it out of my mind into words: I think giving more and better attention to the activity X because this is (or might be) the last time you are doing this activity is wrong.

Do you instead wanna discuss this?

Moderator’s note: @doubtingthomas Please don’t post offensive stuff (e.g. about incest) as a throwaway example. It’s problematic plus unnecessary.

If you actually want to talk about a taboo/problematic/99%-of-people-disagree/etc. type topic, on purpose, because you have something important and productive to say, that’s one thing. You can do that (at least in Unbounded – I don’t think the really offensive ones should be brought up in Friendly at all). But then you should pay attention to what you’re doing, introduce it in a reasonable way, say why you’re bringing it up, acknowledge the downsides or problems, etc. Put some effort into it. But don’t bring them up offhand when you aren’t focusing on them.

An example that isn’t very offensive would have worked just as well here. There’s no benefit to shocking or offending people by bringing up incest. It distracts from your point and alienates readers. And it makes it hard for anyone to disagree with you or debate you, because then they have to talk about a subject they’d probably rather not, and risk you arguing back and then they’re spending ongoing attention on an uncomfortable subject for no good reason, while trying to talk about something else, and risking you saying even more outlandish stuff that they don’t want to deal with.

It did occur to me that I should use another example but it didn’t seem like a big deal. The example I took didn’t even matter to the topic of conversation so it made even more sense to not use that example. I agree it’s problematic. It agree that it brings up all the problems you mentioned. I didn’t consider how it could be problematic.

I chose that example because I thought it makes me look cool. This is because I think a person who is capable of putting aside their emotions that might arise when considering the personal implications of taboo ideas is cool. I was also playing the social status game by bringing up an idea that high status people discuss in high status places.

I did a similar mistake with Szasz as well. I am trying to pretend that I am great at reason. That I have put so much thought into improving conventional societal ideas that I don’t need them anymore. That I have overcome their need in my life.

I realize I made a stupid mistake. Sorry.

Why did you say please? Your reasons were enough to convince me. And if they weren’t and I didn’t see your point then I would’ve argued with you to get your point. I’m asking you to be robotic with me so that I can seem cool. I’m asking you to deal with me like I’m Spock. This will make other people think I’m like Spock, only affected by reason and not emotions. I think people consider Spock to be cool so if I start behaving like him then people will consider me cool as well.

I don’t understand what you mean here.

Do you mean that you are actually asking for that? You actually want Elliot to be robotic with you because you think it will make you seem cool?

Or do you mean that you just realized that you were asking for that, so now you are trying to explain how you were wrong and rescind it?

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Yup that was an unclear message. I was doing a postmortem of the things I said.

Things =

Why did you say please? Your reasons were enough to convince me. And if they weren’t and I didn’t see your point then I would’ve argued with you to get your point.

is your question missing a why just before were? I think it is.

I am actually interested in knowing why he said please. After that I said things which imply that Elliot didn’t need to make requests because I only work on reason.

I’m not sure. I wanted to get an reply from Elliot which explains who requires requests. Is it the case that requests are required only for those people who aren’t like Spock? If that is the case then I want to signal that Elliot didn’t need to make request to me because I’m like Spock. I think that signalling that I didn’t need to be treated like a non Spock person will make me look cool.

It was a confusing message. I mixed an actual question with signalling and with postmortem. I’m myself confused now. Untangling all three parts is hard for me.

I cancel this reply. Full of errors.

No, it is not.

(Also, there are two different "were"s in my message, and I don’t even know which one you mean. Neither one would be grammatically correct or make sense if I just added a “why” before them.)

This is Elliot’s forum. He should be able to make requests to people without having to reason with them every single time. Asking him to use reason instead of requests is actually asking him to do more work. Instead of him just asking people to respect his forum rules & preferences, you want him to have to persuade people that he is right using reason.

If you want more criticism and reason, you should be starting threads in Unbounded. That doesn’t guarantee that you will get full criticism and reason: Elliot is not obligated to have discussions using reasons and persuasion with every post in Unbounded.

But there is an actual area of the forum that is meant for Unbounded discussions and criticism of any aspect of the discussion. So if that is what you want, you should be starting threads there.


This question is complex for me. I made a tree to understand the situation and asked you a question in it. See the tree and answer the question to clear a confusion that (I think) is happening here.

If you want someone to answer a direct question, it is easier if you put it in quotable text.

My answer to your question is that I don’t want to change my original question. You still haven’t answered my questions, even though you replied to the message five times. Your replies have been confusing and I’m still not sure what is going on, so I am trying to clarify right now.

In the tree, you say you were doing a postmortem in this message:

But you never clearly mark what parts were postmortem. You said everything in present tense, and you didn’t mark anything as being a mistake.

And then in later messages, you continued to say things about wanting Elliot to treat you like Spock, e.g.:

So I still don’t know if you mean that is what you actually want, or if you are trying to talk about things that you believe to be mistakes in your thinking.

If you are going to postmortem, you have to clearly label things as postmortem and say which things you think are mistakes.

You are still talking about the issues (wanting Elliot to be robotic with you, wanting to be treated like Spock, etc) as if you currently believe them and want them, and you aren’t clearly marking any of it as mistakes or even things you think you might be wrong about.

It’s really hard to figure out how to reply helpfully because it isn’t clear what you think is right or wrong in your own messages.

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I’m don’t have any goal right now. I don’t know what I’m trying to do with this conversation. I can think of one sensible goal here which is clarify what I actually meant by my this

message which is what you asked me to do.

Clarifying what I said is the most sensible goal for this conversation. I think what I am actually doing is I am trying to seem impressive by doing a postmortem of everything I am saying. That is opening a lot more tangent than I have the skill to handle. As you mentioned I have replied 5 times to your message times. I think all of them are all tangents. I’m not opening these tangents just to seem impressive but also in the hopes that you will give me some input on my postmortems which will result in me learning something. I think I’m trying to have an unbounded conversation. I don’t have skills to have an unbounded conversation.

Also I am so confused right now. I’ve made so many errors and I have no idea how this conversation tree is organized. No idea which node fits where?

I propose starting again with the goal of clarifying.