DocWatts

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  1. To add to what's already been brought up, John Verveake covers the Relevance Realization problem in a ton of detail in his 'Awakening from the Meaning Crisis' series. The philosopher Hubert Dreyfus also addresses this in his book 'What Computers (Still) Can't Do'. But the gist of it is that Reality is disclosed to human beings in a way that what's relevant about a situation we're absorbed in tends to be immediately apparent without us having to apply rules. The reason that is so is that having a body with needs requires a practical ontology (an understanding of Being) for the purposes of survival, where what Reality *is* on an experiential level is going to be coupled to what kind of creature one is. 'Being' in this context referring to our pre-reflective, nonconceptual understanding of people and objects. Being is the most foundatioal way we're able to understand a tree as a tree, a human face as a human face. It's what allows what we come across to be meaningful for us, and is pre-supposed by other forms of understanding. When we do step back and refer to rules, it tends to be because our normal ways of skillful coping have become disrupted (such as when you run into a highly novel or unexpected situation) or when one is an absolute beginner in some domain. Digital computers operate on different axiomatic principles than living organisms, and need to use deterministic rules to interact with their environments. The problem with using rules to try to determine what's relevant is that you also end up needing rules to apply the rules, then rules to apply those rules, ad infinitum. This presents an intractable problem for AI because determining which of the innumerable features of one's environment are relevant for a particular purpose comes from a capacity for Care, not from applying rules. Organisms including human beings do not have this problem because our experience of Reality comes pre-structured so that what's relevant for our interests and purposes tends to be immediately obvious. Which is the reason why most of what you accomplish in your day to day life (walking down the stairs, brushing your teeth, recognizing faces, etc) is done almost effortlessly, without relying on any rules.
  2. Trying to decide if I want to continue reading 'Truth vs Falsehood', since it's not at all a short read. Can't tell yet if he's on to something, or if I'll get a few hundred pages in and come to discover that his epistemic schema has been a waste of time. Is there an advantage to operationalizing levels of Consciousness in the way that he does?
  3. Kudos to Vaush for bringing attention to this issue, which I've long felt has been a huge blindspot for the Leftists/Liberals. Is it any surprise that young men gravitate towards emotionally validating grifters like Andrew Tate and Jordy P? Especially when the issues they're facing in their lives are being downplayed by Green ideologies that aren't willing to extend much in the way of compassion to men who are struggling to find a sense of purpose and belonging? Of course that's not to say that the Left needs its own version of predatory content creators that use self help advice to indoctrinate people into an ideology, but we should be doing much more to help people cultivate healthier forms of identity.
  4. Snippet from Hanzi Freinacht's next book. Hanzi is a metamodern author whose previous titles include The Listening Society and Nordic Ideology. His books are a metamodern framework written in a humorous and sincerely ironic tone, as the snippet from the intro should make clear: "I, Hanzi, a sociologist and philosopher, am hereby writing a self-help book with no apology or excuse. I have a vision of life, an intimate and subtle practice, an embodied philosophy, and I intend to share it. Yes, may scholars cringe and casual observers laugh: I shall carry their contempt as a cross. Those naive souls who dare defy the scorn and laughter of others are the true rebels of our time, as the novelist David Foster Wallace once claimed. How I long to join their ranks!"
  5. No one is asking for 'free' health care, they're asking for a Universal Health Care system that's publicly funded through tax revenue. The military is also funded through public tax dollars, but no one in their right mind would call it 'free'. What we want is Health Care to be a public service, rather than a luxury for the well off. Fact is that the US pays exorbitant health care costs that are much higher than the rest of the world.
  6. https://www.npr.org/2022/12/07/1140465909/supreme-court-independent-state-legislature-theory What a ruling on this case (Moore v. Harper) could potentially do is effectively end any meaningful public participation in Presidential elections, as it would give (gerrymandered) state Legislatures the ability to ignore/ overturn the popular vote in their State and award Electoral Votes to the Party that happens to be in power in that State's legislature. Obviously this has a number of serious consequences for us democracy, as it would more or less end any semblance of competitive elections for the executive branch of the Federal government. The practical effect of this could potentially to shift the US from a flawed democracy to what's known as a hybrid (that is, a mixed authoritarian/democratic) regime. Since the Independent State Legislatures theory overwhelmingly favors Republicans who benefit from gerrymandered state legislatures, its effect would be to shield them from having to compete in competitive elections for control over the Presidency and by extension the executive branch of the Federal government. Of course anyone who's been paying attention realizes that democratic backsliding in the US is a death by a thousand cuts scenario, since the structure of the Electoral College, US Senate, and US Supreme Court are highly undemocratic.
  7. Obviously we're still a ways off from the technology being scaled up enough to be commercially viable, but using Fusion to produce more energy than is put in certainly sounds like a BFD. Would be interested to hear from anyone who's very well versed in nuclear physics as to your thoughts on the matter.
  8. I guess I could just quote it in full (from a review on GoodReads): "First book I have read by Dr. David Hawkins and it was very dissapointing. This is basically Ben Shapiro writing about nonduality. The majority of the book is him expressing privlieged, uneducated and unexamined American exceptionalist, imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist and patriarchical talking points and views. There are some OK parts dealing with epistemology and ego mechanics, where there are some insights. However, these become quickly muddled with his ultra-conservativeness and arrogance of his gradation of consciousness level of various historical figures, ideologies etc. If you are interested in a western take on spiritual enlightenment and nonduality I would recommend to instead turn to teachers such as Rupert Spira, Chuck Hillig, Leo Gura instead of Dr. Hawkins. Perhaps his other works focusing more strictly on epistemology, and less on his views on basically anything else, are better than this one."
  9. Saw a discussion on his book where someone described him as akin to 'Ben Shapiro writing about nonduality', which makes me wonder if I might be better off finding these insights elsewhere without wading through braindead political takes to get there...
  10. The history podcaster Dan Carlin, a 'political Martian' as he likes to call himself, is someone who sits at the fulcrum of being the best of both. Listening to him, it becomes clear that he believes in the promise of America, while also not being naive about how the country fails to live up to its own ideals. And that he's very good at perspective taking, and in learning from what other cultures can teach us.
  11. Seems to be some confusion here about what Secularism actually entails. Characterizing secularity as being fundamentally atheistic in nature is a mischaracterization, regardless of whether it's religious or atheistic folks who are conflating these two things. If Secularism is being used to proselytize for Atheism, it is being misused for that purpose. Secularism is what allows diverse groups of people with different customs and beliefs to peacefully coexist within a larger community. The way this is done is by making sure that institutions which provide social stability are founded on humanistic values, rather than on religious values which favor one group at the expense of all others.
  12. Sometimes all you can do is post a Picard face palm meme to certain comments...
  13. China's a hyper-capitalist technocratic authoritarian state, and about as far removed from socialism as the United States was during the Gilded Age when Pinkertons were busting worker's heads open for trying to Unionize. Calling China a socialist State is frankly an insult to socialism, if socialism is understood as workers having democratic control over their workplaces along with the right to live a life of dignity that's free from exploitation by unaccountable power structures. The Revolutionary Vanguardism that brought the 20th century communist parties into power was frankly a betrayal of the democratic spirit of socialism. That said, one can give the CCCP due credit for lifting hundred of millions of people out of poverty without conflating thier system with socialism.
  14. Finding it somewhat difficult to grok so far, but that could be that I don't yet have a solid frame of reference for the material. I tend to approach epistomology from a dialectical, systems thinking perspective that's grounded in embodiment... Certainly haven't had that 'aha!' moment where the material has clicked for me yet (as I have with other difficult works on epistomology).
  15. Far from a hot take, but ideological defenders of both systems are deluded. Both capitalism and communism are built on a rather distorted view of human nature. Evolution has equipped us with a psychology that's predisposed towards to being group-ish by nature. We're selfish yes, but for the most part that selfishness takes the form of trying to make sure our group survives and prospers, rather than being individually hyper-rational selfish agents in the way that capitalism imagines. Human beings evolved to survive and cooperate within small groups of less than 150 people. Living in large societies with millions of people is not something that evolution gave us a cognitive toolkit for, so it's foolish to imagine that human beings are willing to be selfless for a highly abstracted community of strangers, as Communism imagines.
  16. Thought I might share something I've been reading lately, which should be of obvious relevance in the wake of a power grid attacks by fascist militias in the United States that have left tens of thousands of people in North Carolina without power. Barbara F. Walter is a political scientist who has spent much of her career studying Civil Wars from all around the globe, and has identified a number of risk factors that are highly predictive of Civil Wars breaking out. Worryingly, these risk factors are becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States. The full video is below, but here are two main Risk Factors: 1) Anocracy - this refers to form of government which is neither an autocracy or a democracy, but an unstable transition point between the two. Anocracy can be reached from an autocratic society transitioning to a democracy, or from a democratic society backsliding into authoritarianism. The more rapidly this transition proceeds, the more likely a Civil War is to break out. 2) Factionalism - This refers to political factions in a country being split along identitarian (religious, ethnic, or urban/rural) rather than ideological lines. Sociological changes which alter the existing power structures within society tend to be the trigger for this kind of factionalism, leading to a situation where the dominant identitarian group feels existentially threatened by the loss of its status within society, and fears reprisals from the identitarian groups which are displacing in. Factionalism tends to be weaponized by what experts call 'ethnic entrepreneurs', which is a term that refers to bad faith actors who exploit and deepen fears from existing cultural divisions as an avenue to power.
  17. The idea that people get more conservative with age is a witticism without much truth to it. While it's true that on the whole older people tend to be more conservative than young folks, that's largely because as generalization older generations tend to be more conservative. It's less about people radically changing their worldview as they get older, and more about the paradigms that people get locked into becoming more progressive over time (or at least that's been the trend in the Western world for at least the last century). That vast majority of people don't significantly change their worldview after they reach a certain age (I would guess this would be their 30s). People tend to become more liberal as society becomes more urbanized and better educated, so the paradigms that different generations gravitate towards simply refects that
  18. I wonder how much of this may be motivated by nationalist fears of declining birth rates.
  19. If you want to see how Red tends to be expressed within a modern political context, Trump is actually a pretty good embodiment of the Opportunist mindset in action. Fascism as a political ideology can be seen as a mix of the Opportunist and Conformist mindsets.
  20. I'd say this is correct. Ben Shapiro is actually a great example of the Expert stage; in that he uses rationality along with (largely cherry picked and decontextualized) facts to evangelize for a traditionalist world view. I'd say that this largely representative of how Conservatism has adapted to modernity, as rationality and scientific emericism are seen as the voices of authority in modern cultures, so conservatives will at least make an effort to use these to buttress thier worldview.
  21. Short answer yes, but it's a bit more nuanced than that. In my experience the Conservative worldview tends to fit the Conformist and Expert stages, since there's a ton of pseudo-intellectualism within that domain as well (think of all the armchair experts doing their own "research" about vaccines or about supposed voter fraud in the 2020 election). I would say the Progressives rather than Liberals are a better fit for the Pluralist stage. Liberals tend to want to make the existing system more functional and equitable, rather than envisioning transformative social change like Progressives. So the Achiever would probably be a better fit for the Liberal mindset. But keep in mind these are all generalizations, and you'd be better off by not trying to force a 1:1 match between ego development and political ideologies.
  22. @Leo Gura Also kudos man for making strides in the way you present triggering topics. While a provocative and iconoclastic tone can be engaging and situationally appropriate for certain domains, there are times when it's felt counterproductive as well. You've done a really good job at presenting the conservative worldview in a relatively even handed way that's palatable for Green sensibilities, which is obviously the folks who would benefit most from this information. It will also be interesting to see how you go about presenting the Liberal worldview to more conservatively minded folks.