As with all posts in Part III, go read the intro, “Doing Debucketing Safely” first.
Also, see here for more terms. This page is a shorter summary of both this post, and also this. I will not be justifying why these things are true here; just know that you’ll end up realizing that they are as you learn the mental tech in Part III.
There’s an idea that most people aren’t willing to actually change their behavior to avoid harming others/do good, except when it’s rewarded, or the inverse is punished. Like how most people will eat animals because it’s socially acceptable to do so, even though this causes lots more suffering than many things which are socially considered to be actually evil. Call people who care about reducing suffering or doing good regardless of social approval “good”.
This coincides with doing what you want. If you become truer to yourself by following your emotions, feelings, and instinctive drives, and you are still good, that means it’s innate, it’s not going to go away.
This absolutely does not coincide with saying that people who are not good, are socially bad according to me. I’m not going to attack you for not being good. You can keep your position in your friend group and ignore me. But I am not going to be close friends with you (we have little in common to bond over), and I am going to delete your comments if you complain about my definitions (I am not going to change these useful-to-me definitions because they meddle with your self-image as a good person).
Anyways, “good” is if, when you DRM-strip your beliefs, process your emotions, and learn to do what you want, you end up doing things which reduce suffering. What are neutral and evil? I’ll just quote Ziz’s blog:
I think you’ve got an intuitive idea of what a typical neutral human does. They live in their house with their white picket fence and have kids and grow old, and they don’t go out of their way to right far away wrongs in the world, but if they own a restaurant and the competition down the road starts attracting away their customers, and they are given a tour through the kitchens in the back, and they see a great opportunity to start a fire and disable the smoke detectors that won’t be detected until it’s too late, burning down the building and probably killing the owner, they don’t do it.
It’s not that a neutral person values the life of their rival more than the additional money they’d make with the competition eliminated, or cares about better serving the populace with a better selection of food in the area. You won’t see them looking for opportunities to spend that much money or less to save anyone’s life.
And unless most humans are evil (which is as against the intuitive concept the alignment system points at as “neutral = indifference”), it’s not about action/inaction either. People eat meat. And I’m pretty sure most of them believe that animals have feelings. That’s active harm, probably.https://sinceriously.fyi/neutral-and-evil/
So, neutral means “not being good, but following social morality”, and evil means “not being good, and not following social morality, and being kinda unconstrained/OP as a result”. From experience, learning Parts I, II and III turns neutral people evil, and turns good people into good people who are much better at praxis.
Don’t worry about whether you’re good or whatever, you’ll eventually figure it out if you’re doing what you want anyways.
Okay, here’s the other half of the important terminology, and the part which has been considered infohazardous: there are exactly two people inside of everyone, and each of them can be either good or nongood. Let’s call humans with one good person inside of them single good, humans with two good people inside of them double good, and humans with two neutral-or-evil (nongood) people inside of them nongood. Finally, we’ll call the true values of any given half of a human a core.
Under this classification, double good humans (less than a percent of people) can learn all the mental tech from this blog as well as Ziz’s blog, but won’t get much out of Part III. Single good humans (like me, maybe five percent of people) can learn all of the mental tech from this blog, and in fact this blog in general and Part III in particular is directed towards them. Nongood humans can learn Part I, and only sometimes Part II, depending on how safe they feel.
If you couldn’t tell, the last post was talking about what it’s like to be a single good human: if you’re trying to do what you want, and you keep running into procrastination issues that aren’t resolvable with the skills from Part II, it’s because the nongood human inside of you is trying to assert itself. Spoiler alert: it probably has about as much ability to control “you” (or, if you don’t let it, to veto your actions via procrastination) as “you” do, and acknowledging this can make it temporarily worse.
From what I can collect from secondary sources, that’s what happened to the author of Part IV, actually: she figured out she was single good, but had deeply internalized transphobia and (I think?) believed on a deep level that Blanchard (a radical transphobe) was right about everything and that she was therefore a “bad” person. The feeling that she was “bad” was more painful to her nongood core, which she had just been getting in touch with, than it was to her good core, which was (as good cores often are) much less concerned with what others thought about her. Anyways, she ended up killing herself, because she couldn’t heal the damage from “I am a bad person because deep down I believe trans women aren’t legitimate women”. Probably this could have been healed if she’d realized that the whole complicated sociological theory-building Blanchard did around “trans women aren’t women” was a social move intended to strip certain groups of power and thus appease other groups, e.g. DRM used for submission, and not a noble dark truth that made her “virtuous for embracing hard truths” for believing it.
All of this explains why in the previous post, I gave the advice, “if you’re procrastinating and can’t figure out why by using the skills from Part II, just assume that it’s because you have an unmet selfish need”. Because you have two people inside of you, and if you’re single good, those humans have drastically different values. And if you haven’t been talking to the nongood human, they’ll procrastinate to try to get you to notice their needs.
Actually, it’s probably possible to be a single good person who’s letting their nongood core steer their actions on a day to day basis, and who is censoring their good core and needs to get in touch with it, and who is suffering from procrastination and has breakouts of possibly-shortsighted altruism. I didn’t really consider that as an option in the last post, and should have, but if that’s you, try to get in touch with both your good and nongood cores.
If you read all this and you don’t really get what a core is, see this definition, if you don’t get how there are two cores, see this post, further reading here and here.
Next post: Examples of Dual Cores