Headmates

You know, it’s really not any sort of infohazard to learn you have a headmate (or, subagent, part, etc) you’ve been ignoring all along.

That’s because, the only really dangerous thing to a headmate, is if you have some sort of actually endorsed belief along the lines of, “I (or my headmate) am bad because of X”. In the really harmful cases, X is an immutable thing, like, “I am trans” or “I am not altruistic”, and this gets coupled with some bullshit like “trans women are just men trying to get laid” or “I will never be impactful if I have a non-altruistic headmate”.

Well, I have news: beliefs of the form, “I am intrinsically shameful and bad for X” are automatically false. Especially when there’s some sort of convoluted theory about why you should believe them. Like, you can go look up the “academic arguments” that e.g. Blanchard has against trans people, and maybe you think it looks impressive, but all the arguments those people bring up were chosen since they fulfilled the desire of, “let’s find things to say that can make trans people look shameful”. And it is fake by definition because it tells you you are bad, shameful.

This post is not a full course in stripping away this kind of fake argument, see here for that.

Here is the thesis of this post: it is possible for individual headmates, but not the system of all of your headmates (and you, if you are identified with just one of them), to be pwned by “I am shameful because X” beliefs. (The reason that learning about headmates has been considered sometimes-dangerous, is because bringing a headmate you were ignoring who is pwned by “I am bad because X” into your conscious awareness, lets the pain of “I am bad because X” come into your conscious awareness too).

It seems to me that many people have headmates which orient towards either self-love or other-love. Which correspond exactly towards the concepts pointed at by Ziz’s “good” and “nongood” concepts. Except that Ziz’s thing carries a strong implication of, “nongood headmates are shameful“. As evidenced by looking at the way she speaks. As evidenced by the fact that everyone who has come into close contact with her “good vs evil” thing has come up with some sort of theory for why they’re an exception to it and are thus “good”, e.g. “not shameful according to the theory”.

It’s the same trick with Blanchard, though, people believing the ideology enough to justify themselves on its terms rather than reject it outright because “ideologies which say I am shameful are a by definition a scam”. Because “facts” never imply “X is shameful”. They just imply other facts. The shame is a social construct tacked on.

Consider interhemispheric game theory (e.g., “do the altruistic thing because you can have such a huge impact with AI that the good you’ll get for yourself by doing that is more than the good you’ll get for yourself by being selfish”). The fact that interhemispheric game theory came from a process of, “I am shameful for not being wholly altruistic, but maybe this new theory can make things better again” makes it a scam, regardless of how solid you think it sounds. Fortunately, there’s a better way to deal with willpower issues from headmates who care about different things, and the first step is to accept who your headmates are, and not see them as shameful.

Next post: Examples of Headmates