Mediating Disputes Between Cores

As with all posts in Part III, go read the intro, “Doing Debucketing Safely” first.

I need to update this post to mention the archmage undead type. See here. And to mention that, while you shouldn’t be afraid to have nongood, e.g. Maslow’s type cores, it’s healthy to be proud of your nongood core, to want to help it satisfy it’s values (because, it’s just going to rebel if you do anything else; trust me, I’ve tried). Like, don’t fall into the trap of thinking, your nongood core is socially “bad” and that you should censor it or be ashamed of it or be begrudging in how you work with it. No. Give it some pats, ask it what it wants, and sincerely try to make it happy. I have observed two single good people get mildly pwned by thinking their nongood core was socially reprehensible. Calling a part of yourself reprehensible for being “nongood” is a fucking scam in the same way calling yourself reprehensible for being trans is a fucking scam. Don’t fucking do it.

So, I need to go back and update my terminology to not use e.g. “nongood” or “evil”, because using those words, as my posts currently are, is supporting a scam. Anyways, here’s the original content of this post:

If you are trying to figure out what your nongood core wants (or if, unlike most people, you’ve been steering with your nongood core, and you are trying to figure out what your good core wants), here’s a trick I will repeat from the last page: have your core which is in charge talk out loud to your other core, as if it’s another person in the room with you who can’t hear you otherwise. This is very helpful for getting it to tell you what it wants. It makes it easier for you to figure out what it wants if you actually want to accommodate doing what it wants.

On that, I’ve found my good core and nongood core don’t really want to do what the other one wants, and have often chosen to procrastinate rather than give in to doing what the other asks. More recently, this led my good core to be like, “god damn it Sylvee (my nongood core’s name), if you are going to make us procrastinate all day and then tomorrow too, then I guess we can go hang with people, and that I am in fact willing to proactively hang with people so this continues to be a solved issue instead of coming up again”. Ziz has framed disputes between cores as resolvable mainly by “treaties“, ie “come to an understanding that you need to work together to accomplish either of your goals, and that you’ll both have to make compromises, and make a compromise that is an improvement according to both of your cores”.

This is good, but I want to frame it in a better way: if your two cores each have some amount of power to make you procrastinate, their negotiating power for when it comes time to decide whose interests will be weighted by what amount when they are working together, is a function mainly of how much they can make you procrastinate, and also kinda a function of how much they want something.

Like, imagine two kings with medieval armies, and one is like, “my army is twice as big and I could kill you and take your stuff”, and the other is like “we will fight rather than be slaves because we can hurt you enough for it to matter before you inevitably win, but we’d rather pay you X gold per year to fuck off than fight”, and the first is like “yeah, fair”. And then ten years later, the army sizes are equal and tribute stops. This applies to disputes between mental cores as well: treaties should account for if one subagent happens to have more power, but also for if this changes in the future. Since the actual machinery of if an agreement will be followed is rooted in, “is it in both of our interests to get along”, the mechanics of treaty-building should serve the cores’ actual interests of “I should defect from this agreement if it is useful to me”, so neither of your cores has to be tricked for it to willingly participate. Because then you’d lose willpower.

Anyways, there’s probably other considerations I had when I was coming up with a good treaties algorithm, but I don’t recall them. Here’s the algorithm I came up with, which has worked incredibly well:

Do whatever feels emotionally loudest in the present moment. Repeat as often as your emotions change.

Seriously, that’s it. It works so fucking well, both for not-procrastinating, as well as for avoiding blind spots. Try it.

I do still have procrastination, but that’s because fulfilling the values of my nongood core is legit hard, I can’t seem to find other single good humans to befriend. My good core seems to care less about “have I saved the world already” and more about “am I on track to save the world”, but my nongood core, on the other hand, seems to directly track “do I have friends already”, and care much less about “am I on track to find them if I keep doing this”. It also seems like my nongood core stops having preferences after I’ve spent two hours a day hanging with people, so it doesn’t really influence a big chunk of my time. In contrast, my good core decides exactly how we spend our working hours and almost everything else. This varies somewhat, as my nongood core demands more power (and makes me procrastinate if I don’t give it) the more I have unfulfilled needs from the bottom half of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and gives up power/time if relatively more of my needs are being met.

But, yeah. Do whatever feels emotionally loudest, or most urgent right now. It will take some work to learn to notice what that is, of course; I’m still working on learning, and the next post is about that.

Next Post: Continuous Monitoring