Director of Research at PAISRI
I keep saying the same thing because it’s the same issue every time, and as I’ve already said there’s no good faith way for me to respond to some of your more specific points because I disagree with the premise on which they are based. I think you are failing to understand the point being made, but it’s in a subtle way that seems to be beyond my ability to convey to you in these comments.
That I don’t “fully understand my thesis” is actually closer to hitting near the heart of the thing than much else, but not in the sense of my not understanding some particular thing, but rather in that it’s a specific example of the general epistemological point at issue.
That I’m not being more explicit and actively deconstructing your responses in detail is a choice. Look, I could switch and do that. I’ve done it in the past. I’m not going to do it here, because experience tells me it has very poor return on investment for effort: it’s no more likely to lead my interlocutor to understand, but it requires a great deal more effort on my part. I simply choose to engage at the level I do because I think it’s my best tradeoff along the efficiency frontier of “doing my best”. That it’s not working for you is fine; you can give up anytime you like. Now is not always the right time to hear a thing and understand it in a particular way.
Just that. If Snorphblats can’t be described with words, and yet you literally just used words to describe Snorphblats, what you must be doing is some action that is situated within the map. This action is itself in the territory (where else would it be?), but it need not be true that Snorphblats exist in the territory independent of any statements about them such that they can be meaningfully described.
This is a small part of a big topic, explored in detail in this classic LW sequence.
Once you place “the territory” beyond the reach of mere words to describe, it ceases to be possible to talk about what attributes it does or does not have. You can’t usefully say “the territory doesn’t have causality” when you have already said “I can’t talk about the territory”
But since causality is a thing in the map, of course this can be said usefully. It only doesn’t make sense if you mix up the referrer and the referent.
This question remains confused so I can’t answer it in good faith, because I’ve already rejected its premise above.
I can’t, because that’s impossible. There’s nothing I can say that does not involve drawing a map.
I think what you’re seeing here is that there’s multiple aspects to what I’m saying, which look like different views but really aren’t.
So for this we do have some pretty good evidence, namely the process of observation and perception appears to be a physical one, i.e. we have no evidence that anything can be perceived directly just as it is, and in fact we’d expect the world to look different if we could, such as there being a lack of arguments about the boundaries of categories.
Where is the conflict? It can be both true that, for example, a cup is a thing reified in the map and there is some aspect of the territory that cup predicts, at least based on how it affects a map.
Of course you want a map that describes the territory, but that does not mean the same thing as ontology = metaphysics.
We need not be so detailed. To make a claim about the territory is to be in the map, and thus the point is already proved.
Neither, the descriptions you give are both partial, and both are true and not in conflict. I think the only issue perhaps is thinking that “all communication describes a map” is the sum total of what I’m saying here.
Generally, supposing the existence of particular things prior to the experience of them. The key insight is to see that the existence of “things” is not identical to the existence of reality out of which things are carved.
Take literally anything and it’s your example: a cup, an atom, experience, causation, dancing, etc.
You can find none of these things in the territory itself, only in your understanding of it (and yet something is there in the territory for you to create a useful understanding of it, but it only becomes a thing by virtue of some perception of it).
Where I think we disagree is “there’s no ⟹”. Maybe there isn’t. But the universe apparently follows some rules. The laws that physicists found may be implications of these rules, but they might be the rules themselves. For the sake of analogy, the “code” that the universe runs on might contain “matter/energy cannot be created or destroyed”, and I think it’s fair to consider this to be part of the universe (though whether we can establish that a rule is actually in the code is another matter). The rules might also contain something about causation.
To posit that there are some rules or not is to have jumped from talking about the epistemological issue of not being able to address the territory except through the lens of the map to already supposing a map that carves up the world into thing that are rules (or not rules). You then go on to suppose these rules might contain something about causation, but now you’ve traveled miles down the road of accepting the framing of the map and jump towards a metaphysical framing of the territory as one that contains rules.
This is confusing map and territory, because beyond confusion it’s both true that causation doesn’t inherently exist in the territory (because nothing does) and that you can pick and choose useful structure out of the territory to say something about what you think it is, but only from within the framing of the map you’ve created.
My point here is epistemological, not physical or metaphysical. I need not posit anything be true about the territory, only that I can say nothing about it without imposing some map, model, categories, etc.. The moment we define something at any level we’ve left the territory for the map.
You miss the mark here. You’ve confused the map for the territory, though to be fair it’s easy to do because how do you think about how the world works without modeling it?
Felt sense is a kind of experience of what it is like to experience things, or qualia of qualia. Their defining feature is perhaps that you’re noticing what it is like to exist in your present state, rather than simply and directly being without noticing that existence. Somewhat different from but related to our typical notions of self-awareness, which tend to be very focused on modeling the self, whereas felt sense is just about experiencing the self without a lot of modeling (though you might right away try to categorize the experience and thus apply a model to it by, say, putting a name to your felt sense or trying to describe what it is like in words).
I don’t know of a specific technique or anything simple to recommend, but I think I can say something useful nonetheless.
I think there’s a way schedules can loom large in human minds, shaping our experience of reality where we feel ourselves to be within the schedule, routine, or whatever you want to call it. It comes to feel familiar and we have expectations around what will happen now and next and that shapes our perception of each moment when we believe ourselves to be held by the schedule.
Of course, the schedule doesn’t really exist; it’s a construct that exists only to the extent we believe in it, and therein lies the trick. Whether or not you feel flexible or if you feel like you’ve given up depends on your relationship to your expectations for what is going to happen. You can pay attention to the way this relationship forms in your mind, changes under different circumstances, and use that as a jumping off point for freeing yourself from feeling one way or another because you slept in or are keeping your routine.
I wouldn’t recommend trying to avoid giving up or anything like that, though. Rather, I’d suggest just noticing what happens when you keep or don’t keep the schedule and let yourself evolve things from there without trying to force the situation. There’s as much to learn from the feeling of giving up as there is from the feeling of flow, productivity, or success if you pay attention to it.
Hmm, I see some problems here.
By looking for manipulation on the basis of counterfactuals, you’re at the mercy of your ability to find such counterfactuals, and that ability can also be manipulated such that you can’t notice either the object level counterfactuals that would make you suspect manipulation of the counterfactuals about your counterfactual reasoning that would make you suspect manipulation. This seems insufficiently robust way to detect manipulation, or even define it since the mechanism of detecting it can itself be manipulated to not notice what would have otherwise been considered manipulation.
Perhaps my point is to generally express doubt that we can cleanly detect manipulation outside the context of the human behavioral norms, and I suspect the cognitive machinery that implements norms is malleable enough that it can be manipulated to not notice what it would have previously thought was manipulation, nor is it clear this is always bad, since in some cases we might be mistaken in some sense about what is really manipulative, although this belies the point that it’s not clear what it means to be mistaken about normative claims.
I took this approach for a while. As others mention there are some externalities you may or may not care about, but for me it was a reasonable tradeoff to make until so long as I couldn’t treat my preferences as object. Now that I can just make myself want to do dishes without paying willpower penalties, I just do them and in fact enjoy it!
I think this post makes a great point. For example, some friends were recently talking about some possible improvements to farming, and they mostly talked in terms of how it would solve specific problems with the current system of industrial agriculture, but had no answers for how it would address the issues already solved by industrial agriculture without risking a backslide to conditions conducive to frequent famine or that would unreasonably raise the cost of food such that people would starve as a result. It’s not that we can’t do better, but it is that doing worse than we do now would have serious consequences and likely result in death and suffering, so it’s important that the improvements we seek are broad improvements, not different trade offs along the same frontier.