Seconded. Any examples of decisions the OP would be okay with sharing I’d find useful. I’m especially curious about the factors that made it seem clear in retrospect which was the “right” option.
Thanks! This is an okay article that adds more exposition, and it looks like this incident spawned a new protocol for avoiding swab contamination.
If at any point, you encounter resistance to working on a particular technique with a particular schema, what you’ve found is a “Meta-schema” that believes changing this belief would be harmful. Rather than push through this resistance, loop back to the beginning of the Debugging process, and work with this new schema.
This was specific and useful. I think most “resistance is good” advice I’ve heard has not made the subtle point of needing to address the meta-schema.
Thanks. Any particular key words or fields you’d suggest?
This happens to me sometimes. I know several people who have this happen at the end of a Uni semester. Hope you can get some rest.
Have some horrible jargon: I spit out a question or topic and ask you for your NeMRIT, your Next Most Relevant Interesting Take.
Either give your thoughts about the idea I presented as you understand it, unless that’s boring, then give thoughts that interests you that seem conceptually closest to the idea I brought up.
Kevin Zollman at CMU looks like he’s done a decent amount of research on group epistemology. I plan to read the deets at some point, here’s a link if anyone wanted to do it first and post something about it.
I’ve seen some academic talk of this. Adam Bjorndahl at CMU has written some papers where he reframes situations that normally have randomness as being about the ignorance of an agent. Noting that his papers are very technical and I don’t know what if any good general insights there are to glean from them.
Relating to the “Perception of Progress” bit at the end. I can confirm for a handful of physical skills I practice there can be a big disconnect between Perception of Progress and Progress from a given session. Sometimes this looks like working on a piece of sleight of hand, it feeling weird and awkward, and the next day suddenly I’m a lot better at it, much more than I was at any point in the previous days practice.
I’ve got a hazy memory of a breakdancer blogging about how a particular shade of “no progress fumbling” can be a signal that a certain about of “unlearning” is happening, though I can’t find the source to vet it.
I think putanumonit wrote a post that made a similar point. Might be useful in this investigation.
Mini Post, Litany of Gendlin related.
Changing your mind feels like changing the world. If I change my mind and now think the world is a shittier place than I used to (all my friends do hate me), it feels like I just teleported into a shittier world. If I change my mind and now think the world is a better place than I used to (I didn’t leave the oven on at home, so my house isn’t going to burn down!) it feels like I’ve just been teleported into a better world.
Consequence of the above: if someone is trying to change your mind, it feels like they are trying to change your world. If someone is trying to make you believe the world is a shittier place than you thought, it feels like they are trying to make your life shittier.
Now I recite the Litany of Gendlin like a good rationalist. Now let me try to walk through why that might be uncompelling to the average Joe.
Let’s say all of your friends have secretly hated you for a while. Something has just happened (you saw one of their group chats were they were shit talking you) and you are considering “Shit, what if they have been hating me for years?” You recite the Litany of Gendlin. It’s ineffective. What’s up?
It seems it has to be that your concept of “All my friends secretly hate me” is not in accord with what your friends actually hating you is like. You have already endured your friends secretly hating you. You have not yet endured believing “My friends secretly hate me”. This can only do damage by interacting with other belief networks in your mind. Maybe having this belief triggers “Only an idiot could go years without his noticing his friends hate him” which combines with “If I’m an oblivious idiot I won’t be able to accomplish my goals” and “No one will love an oblivious idiot who can’t accomplish their goals” and now the future does not feel safe.
it seems like the move you could pull that might best reduce the feeling of “Believing this will make life shittier than not” is to imagine believing it and the world being shitty, and then to imagine not believing it, but the world still being shitty. I think this will help in many scenarios. I’d expect many Litany of Gendlin scenarios to be one’s were ignoring the truth will create compounding trouble down the road. So the move is to imagine going along blissfully in denial, and then getting socked in the face by a crashing build up. Compare that to the extra work and worry of believing now.
If you did that and came out with “Nope, it still seems like I’ll be net better of to not believe”, well shit, what was the scenario? I’m genuinely interested, and don’t have immediate thoughts on whether or not you should change your mind.
(Looking for feedback on how useful you think this explanation and extra advice would be to a non rat going through a Gendlin style crisis)
Weird hack for a weird tick. I’ve noticed I don’t like audio abruptly ending. Like, sometimes I’ve listened to an entire podcast on a walk, even when I realized I wasn’t into it, all because I anticipated the twinge of pain from turning it off. This is resolved by turning the volume down until it is silent, and then turning it off. Who’d of thunk it...
In both of those examples you give I agree with you judgment of the needs.
If you switch “All your needs are legit” to “All your social/emotional needs are legit”, then yeah, I was thinking of that and “There is no such things as unacceptable feelings” as the same thing. Though I can now see two distinct ideas that they could point to.
“All your S/E needs are legit” seems to say not only that it’s okay to have the need, it’s okay to do something to meet it. That’s a bit harder to handle than just “It’s okay to feel something.” And yeah, there probably is some scenario where you could have a need that there’s no way you could ethically meet, and that you can’t breakdown into a need that can be met.
Another thing that I noticed informed my initial phrasing is I think that there is a strong sour grapes pressure to go from “I have this need, and I don’t see anyway to get it met that I’m okay with” to “Well then this is a silly need and I don’t even really care about it.”
You’ve sparked many more thoughts from me on this, and I think those will come in a post sometime later. Thanks for prodding!
Okay, I agree that for “All your needs are legitimate....” the “all” part doesn’t really seem to hold. Your example straightforwardly seems to address that. Stuff that’s closer to “biological stuff we decent understanding of” (drugs, food) doesn’t really fit the claim I was making.
I think you also helped me figure out a better way to express my sentiment. I was about to rephrase it as “All of your emotional needs are legit” but that feels like it’s a me going down the wrong path. I’ll try to explain why I wanted to phrase it that way in the first place.
I see the “standard view” as something like “Of course your emotions are important, but there are few unsavory feelings that just aren’t acceptable and you shouldn’t have them.” I think I reached to quickly for “There is no such thing as unacceptable feelings” rather than “Here is why this specific feeling you are calling unacceptable actually is acceptable.” I probably reached for that because it was easier.
Claim 1: The reasoning that proclaims a given emotional/social need is not legitimate is normally flawed.
(I could speak more to that, but it’s sort of what I was mentioning at the end of my last comment)
I think this thing you mentioned is relevant.
Must those needs stay legitimate ? No, actually, having taken breaks of up to half a year from the practice I can actually tell those needs get less relevant the longer you go without smoking
I totally agree that something like smoking can have this “re-normalization” mechanism. Now I wonder what happens if we swap out the need for smoking with the need to feel like someone cares about you?
Claim 2: Ignored emotional/social needs will not “re-normalize” and will be a recurring source of pain, suffering, and problems.
The second claim seems like it could lead to very tricky debate. High-school-me would have insisted that I could totally just ignore my desire to be liked by people without ill consequences, because look at me, I’m doing it right now and everything’s fine! I can currently see how this was causing me serious problems. So… if someone said to me that they can totally just ignore things that I’d call emotional/social needs with no ill affects, I don’t know how I’d separate it being true from it being the same as what I was going through.
The sentence “All your needs are legitimate” is pretty under-specified so I’ll try to flush out the picture.
This gets a bit closer, “All your needs are legitimate, but not all of your strategies to meet those needs are legitimate.” I can think there’s nothing wrong with wanting sex, but there are still plenty of ways to meet that need which I’d fine abhorrent. “All your needs are legit” is not me claiming that any action you think to take is morally okay as long as it’s an attempt to meet a need/desire. Another phrasing might be that I see a difference between, “I have a need for sporadic pleasurable experiences, and for consuming food so I don’t die” and “Right now I want to go get a burger and a milkshake”
Another thing that shapes my frame is the claim that a lot of our behavior, even some that looks like it’s just pursing “basic” things, sources from needs/desires like “needing to feel loved” “needing to feel like your aren’t useless” etc. This extends to the tentative claim: “If more people had most of their emotional needs met, lots of people would be far less inclined to engage it stereotypical “hedonistic debauchery’”
Now to your “Where did this idea come from?” I don’t remember when I first explicitly encountered this idea, but the most formative interaction might have been at CFAR a year ago. You mentioned “Our first order desires usually conflict with our long terms desires, and those are usually much better to aim for.” I was investigating a lot of my ‘long term desires’ and other top-down frameworks I had to value parts of my life, and began to see how they had been carefully crafted to meet certain “basic” desires, like not being in situations where people would yell at me and never having to beg for attention. Many of my long term desires were actually strategies to meet various basic emotional needs, and they were also strategies that were causing conflicts with other parts of my life. My prior tendency was to go, “I’ll just rebuke and disavow this strategy/desire (I didn’t see the difference) and not make the mistake I was making”
The actionable and useful thing that the “All your needs are legitimate” gave me was previously, if I found a behavior was causing some problems, and I determined I was likely engaging in this behavior so that people would like me, I’d decide “Ha, needing to be liked is base and weak. I’ll just axe this behavior.” This would often lead to either mysteriously unsuccessful behavior change, or more internal anguish. Now I go, “It is completely okay and legit to want to be liked. I do in fact want that. Is there some way I can meet that need, but not incur the negatives that this behavior was producing?”
I enjoyed this :) Your writing in general has been very fun.
Yeah. To home in more specifically, I’m looking at “All of your needs are legit”. I’ve heard for a while “You have all these unconscious desires your optimizing for” and often followed with a “If only we could find a way to get rid of these desires.” The new thing for me has been the idea that behind each of those “petty”/”base” desires there is a real valid need that is okay to have.