A lot of what you say here is why I think it’s maybe really important to learn how to sandbox mythic mode, even if you don’t want to intentionally use it. Otherwise I think something like it seeps into your system anyway.
You seem to have re-derived Jungian Archetypes with the distributed network / Omega playing the role of the collective unconscious.
Yep! I debated framing it this way, but I eventually decided against it because I thought it would be distracting here. And as you say, I rederived the ideas, and then later noticed that they corresponded to my read of what Jung was talking about… and not having really read Jung in any depth, I didn’t want to tie my ideas to other things he might have claimed.
I think the main difference is that you posit the distributed intelligence to be able to predict people’s actions.
Mmm… not exactly. More like, I posit that it has scripts, and guides people to play them out. This often involves an element of predicting people’s actions, but it’s more a matter of predicting what kinds of actions someone is likely to take. “What kind of person is this?” rather than “What is this person going to do?”
How I interpret your advice here is that if we find ourselves unhappy with our state of affairs we should try to find locations where there are either forks in the paths or places where they are quite close together to make a quick jump...never straying outside of a path for very long.
I think that’s close enough. I’d just add the caveat that by my model, people mostly can’t intentionally stray from paths. There are exceptions, but they’re relatively rare, and when done without finesse it can create some pretty ferocious responses. Like, I suspect that psychopathy is in part being unaffected by Omega’s tugs, and people generally really really don’t like others to be quite that free.
The main problem I see is that we need to be able to make predictions in the spaces between narratives, which according to this framework is difficult if not impossible.
Yep, I agree, that’s important, and the framework says that it’s extremely difficult for the most part (except where it doesn’t matter to the “scene”, or where it’s about things that aren’t subject to scripts the way physics isn’t). This is another way of stating what I see as a core challenge for a mature art of rationality to gracefully navigate.
This is partly a reply and partly an addendum to my first comment. I’ve been thinking about a sort of duality that exists within the rationalist community to a degree and that has become a lot more visible lately, in particular with posts like this. I would refer to this duality as something like “The Two Polarities of Noncomformists”, although I’m sure someone could think of something better to call it. The way I would describe it is that, communities like this one are largely composed of people who feel fairly uncomfortable with the way they are situated in society, either because they are outliers on some dimension of personality, interests, or intellect, or because of the degree to which they are sensitive to social reality around them. What this leads to is basically a bimodal distribution of people where both modes are outliers, with respect to the distribution of people in general, on one axis (namely the way that social reality is sensed) but on opposite ends. And these two groups differ very strongly in the way that their values are formed and quite possibly even in subtle ways reality itself is perceived.
On the one hand, you have the “proper non-conformists” who are somewhat unplugged from the Omega / distributed network you are describing, and who I imagine will have trouble digesting a lot of your claims here. I call them proper non-conformists because they genuinely seem to not feel so much of the tension the tugs in the network are giving them. I think there’s a connection here with people who consider themselves “status blind” or tend to visualize Slack only in a very concrete, visible sense like having a lot of wealth. They might tend to have aversion to heavily socially conscious displays of signalling and things like that. You suspect that this might be what “psychopathy” is, and I think there might be some partial truth to that, but ultimately not in the sense of how one would visualize a psychopath as an evil person or a person completely disconnected from reality as a whole. For example, one might have the ability to do altruistic things in a way that is invisible, in a way that could be very difficult for someone strongly connected to Omega.
On the other hand you have the people who are very tightly connected to the Matrix and are highly sensitive to its inputs, and the increased sensitivity is what made it likely for them to realize it exists in the first place. This group is constantly feeling the networks’ tugs and can’t disconnect from it (perhaps not without Looking, anyway), so a lot of their strategies tend to encompass trying to fit into it as well as they can, mastering it’s tricks, and overall playing the game extremely well. People from here could learn to be highly charismatic if they choose to do so, but they might risk being seen as ultra-conformists. They still end up being non-conformists in the sense of not being neurotypical, and because a lot of their practices will seem extreme if one were to really examine them in detail. This group might have serious difficulty imagining not being inside the network and may even be skeptical that someone could still be able to function if they were.
(I’m going to avoid trying to place anyone in particular in one or the other of these).
I think the second group will have the upper hand in terms of group coordination problems because they have direct access to all the mechanisms, but have the disadvantage of being prone to inadequate equilibria problems. The first group is in the opposite situation. But in the end I think the first group can’t really “Look” at the network from within—ideally you want to be inside of it so you have direct access, but also with the ability to see it for what it really is in some sense. So it’s possible that “Lookers” in the second group could accomplish much larger stuff than “Lookers” from the first group.
If that’s correct, then it might suggest that, with Looking, attempts to move more toward polarity one might be less fruitful than attempts to move toward polarity two. And our previous inertia seemed to be going more towards polarity one.
I think this dichotomy carves reality pretty well. Nice comment.
I’m reminded of the different approaches to magic described in various stories. In some stories magic is ineffable. The characters never really understand it. They use it intuitively, and its functioning tends to depend on emotional states or degrees of belief or proper intentions. Wizardry is more like art than science.
In another type of story, magic is mechanical. A mage learns precise words, movements or rituals to operate a kind of invisible machine that serves up magical results. Wizardry is not unlike being an engineer or programmer.
I think that you can view real life as having both qualities. That’s probably why these two views of magic have any appeal in the first place.
I find it more appealing to be the kind of mage who understands the nuts and bolts. To stretch the metaphor probably too far, it’s all well and good to know a long, complex ritual that summons a demon, but I find it more aesthetically appealing to understand what elements of that ritual are load bearing and then just do those. And maybe that means I just do the “spell” in my head in five seconds instead of performing a lengthy narrative-conforming ritual.
Maybe magic will twist the world so that one doesn’t miss their connection with the Buddhist monk in NYC. (I super-duper doubt it, though. This is actually just classic hindsight bias.) I would rather rely on basic planning principles to get the same outcome. At least then the causal story is actually true. And if my planning approach fails, then I can learn from that, rather than having the Mythic approach fail, and being forced to shrug and accept that this is the outcome the cosmos wanted.
(I super-duper doubt it, though. This is actually just classic hindsight bias.)
I’m not in Val’s head, but I didn’t get the sense that he was claiming this was the best way to meet Shaolin monks. Rather, his aim was to find a way to build on his moment of Kensho in a way that progressed his growth and development.
He could just as easily have missed the monk, and then he would have by chance run into another form of teacher, and that would have been the story instead. Or he would have learned something from his aimless wanderings that he couldn’t have learned by finding a teacher. Or he would have not learned anything and been frustrated, and then the story would be that he was undergoing some sort of trial and the next thing he did would be the payoff.
Yeah, you’re right. I wasn’t being very precise, there.
Thinking in terms of narrative and such as all well and good (and even natural and unavoidable) but sometimes the superficial story “I scheduled a trip and almost missed one of the people I wanted to see on the trip, I should consider this is a potential thing to look out for going forward” is the one worth paying attention to.