As in general with posts that aren’t indexed in the panels to the right, this contains an older understanding I had which is now out of date. Probably “you don’t have my mental tech from Parts I/II” is what stops people from being able to do good, but the thing keeping people from learning it is that they don’t have reason to, e.g. there’s not enough use in learning it if you’re selfish, you have to deeply care about others (enough that it affects your actions, e.g. vegetarianism) for it to be useful enough to learn it for real.
Part IV contains random posts on my understanding of the world.
One question I ask myself when meeting new people, is “do I expect this person to be able to contribute significantly to saving the world?”
Many people just aren’t interested in saving the world, or are only pretending to be. Most people are so blinded by the social game of pretending to be a normal and good person that they don’t know what they want.
Some people seem stuck on their own preconceptions of what is going to be effective for saving the world, such as people who insist that (pick one: EA/AI/socialism/science) are the only way to save humanity. The issue being that these people’s thinking about what is effective has been compromised or they ate an ideology wholesale instead of picking it apart. I am quite pessimistic about convincing these people to take a wider outlook. Which is quite annoying given the number of far left vegans who would make otherwise excellent allies for saving the world.
But the biggest problem I run into? Is that it’s hard to find people who are willing to do the amount of mental work on themselves that Part I and Part II of this blog require. I’ve been surprised by the number of people who aren’t willing to even try, given the promised benefits. Because like, if you aren’t seeing significant benefits after the first 30 hours, you could just stop, right?
Maybe this will become less of a problem once I have more of a track record, but I suspect not. Here’s why.
The most common response that people who aren’t willing to try a meditation retreat will give me, is, “I just don’t think it’s reasonable to spend that much time on meditation; people have schedules to keep”. That use of the word reasonable implies that their first reaction is to try and stop me from establishing a social reality in which they are less than good for not going to a retreat. They’re establishing the social defensibility of not doing a retreat. If their primary concern was to work through their emotions for their own happiness, or work through their emotions so they could be more unhindered in doing good, they would instead ask questions to decide if it was a useful thing to try.
This is a good example of the sort of social bullshit that will mess with your ability to learn the skills in Part II. “It’s not reasonable, people have schedules to keep” makes it sound like the person’s actual reason for not going to a retreat is because they’re busy. But the more important truth of the matter, is that deep down, they do not want to go, or else they wouldn’t have given an excuse.
It mostly doesn’t matter if other people are lying to you all the time about what they want and their reasons for doing things. (Though you might waste time on people if you don’t realize this). But what does matter, is that you won’t be able to learn the skills in Part II until your own thoughts stop being in the form of, “I’m busy” or “that sounds like an unreasonable thing to ask of me”, and start being in the form of just, “I do/do not want to”.
Next post: Boredom