Bodega Bay: workshop

Link post

What was the work­shop like? Well there was re­ally amaz­ing car­pet. I don’t know how rele­vant this is, but a lot of peo­ple com­mented on it.

Another thing that was salient to me—and many of the par­ti­ci­pants—was these things called ‘back jacks’. They are like ad­justable chairs, with­out arms or legs.

Some part of me be­lieves that with the right car­pet and back jack, my life could be at least twenty per­cent bet­ter. Here is a pic­ture from Ama­zon, which is on good terms with this part of me:

There were also lots of ses­sions that I went to, about things like how to be cu­ri­ous, or trade tastes with other peo­ple. Then they even­tu­ally started talk­ing about AI, af­ter which I started avoid­ing the classes. There is some­thing nice about avoid­ing classes in a beau­tiful place, among peo­ple ac­tively and ideal­is­ti­cally do­ing things.

Be­fore the AI bits, I went to a class called some­thing like ‘seek­ing IPC’, which they said was not well named, and that if I could name it bet­ter, that would be helpful. So I payed at­ten­tion to what it was about, to this end. As far as I can tell it was about how you should be cu­ri­ous all the time. For in­stance, if in­stead of be­ing an­noyed, one is cu­ri­ous, then one might get to find out the fas­ci­nat­ing an­swer to the ques­tion of what the hell is go­ing on in­side the other per­son’s head.

(I spent the next day feel­ing an­noyed with ev­ery­thing. I con­sid­ered be­ing cu­ri­ous about this, but found that I definitely did not want to. I did have a lot of sec­ond level cu­ri­os­ity about why I was so in­cu­ri­ous.)

I found the con­tin­u­ing line of thought on cu­ri­os­ity to be fas­ci­nat­ing and rad­i­cally per­spec­tive-chang­ing, but strug­gle to ex­plain my thoughts in a way where they don’t seem ob­vi­ous. This might be be­cause they are ob­vi­ous. I claim that this doesn’t un­der­mine the im­por­tance or difficulty of re­al­iz­ing them. The prob­lem with ob­vi­ous things of­ten is that you don’t re­al­ize that you have to re­al­ize them, be­cause you as­sume that you already know them be­cause they are ob­vi­ous. Any­way, I’m go­ing to keep the ac­tual point for an­other time when I figure out how to ex­plain re­ally ob­vi­ous things to peo­ple. But in­de­scrib­able rev­e­la­tion is right up there with nice car­pet and back jacks for mak­ing a good work­shop I think.

I went to some classes on dou­ble crux. Dou­ble crux is ba­si­cally the idea that when you are hav­ing an ar­gu­ment with some­one, you should both try to figure out what it would take to change your mind, and then at­tend to whether any of those things are true. In­ter­nal dou­ble crux is when you do that, but the ar­gu­ment is be­tween con­flict­ing parts of your­self. Con­struc­tive in­ter­nal dou­ble crux is when you want to do that, but you don’t have con­flict­ing parts of your­self, so you try to coax at least one new com­bat­ant into in­ter­nal ex­is­tence. Coun­ter­fac­tual con­struc­tive in­ter­nal dou­ble crux is when you don’t want to do that, so you cre­ate a ver­sion of you who does want to do it. That last one is fake, but all the oth­ers are real.

Every night af­ter din­ner they asked us what we wanted to do. Every night I wanted to go in the hot tub. Fi­nally on the third night there was enough wa­ter in the hot tub, and my pro­posal for hot tub con­struc­tive in­ter­nal dou­ble crux got sev­eral tak­ers, and all was pretty idyl­lic (ex­cept for dire warn­ings to avoid breath­ing out­side).

(This post is weird be­cause it was con­structed by pair blog­ging.)

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