As time has passed a few motifs have insinuated themselves. The main idea is that I sense that I find myself at the intersection of various Venn diagrams and thus am quite alone, with all the promises and loneliness that brings. And so I explore the scenery around, touching as fast as I can and getting something just good enough to work with so that I can keep going until I find some mountain that will give me a better view. I have called these explorations “experimental thinking”. Below I described 5 motifs I particularly like – Map making, Dissident rationality, After Rationality, Worldview Building, Communication/Discourse.
(This list is up to date – 12/22/2014)
Here I take the study of mapping the world one step forward. The idea of world mapping is natural to a camp of people who are naturally blind to various social reality phenomena – like perverse hidden social incentives, or things that are true by virtue of people believing in them.
A necessary introduction is Theories as Cameras, Theories as Engines and Modelling map aggregation in which I go over how aggregated maps create realities to be mapped and Aliefology and Beliefology where I divide mappings of social reality over a 2×2 matrix – belief/alief and individual/societal.
The rest of the essays can be more or less neatly divided over understanding properties of the territory vs properties of the map maker.
Properties of the mapmaker
Properties of the territory
- Not idea zombiology, idea resurrection biology
- The great encrypted broken telephone beauty contests
- Societal incentives
I used to eat up everything on LessWrong, or as some would say I agreed to the party line. I think this is necessary, but as I started exploring I found more and more criticism, all of the following are criticising rationality in some aspect of the LW sort and of a broader sort.
- S1, S2 and superego
- Knowledge and Control: Effectuation vs causation
- Imprudent formalisation
- You can’t optimise anything, literally
- Reason eating itself
Criticising leaves one knowing what doesn’t work, but not what does work. I have tried to look at points from which to expand rationality. I have called this Transcending rationality, Transrationality, and post-rationality, and am happy with neither. Developmental views and rationality suggests a framework to think about this question, and What comes after rationality? Adventure! is my first attempt to answer this question.
The project of building a framework that account for rationality and beyond it is very similar to the attempt of building an encompassing worldview. This is something I have studied, both attempting to build a worldview (“Reaching for Yellow”) and discovering how to build worldviews (“Harvesting Lovecraftian Monsters”)
- Modern(used) philosophies for living
- Harvesting Monsters to Advance Worldviews
- Not even falsifiable: Worldviews as fashion
- Angst and Lovecraftian Monsters
Communication/Discourse (how to)
The stuff I write about is hard to grasp, hard to think about and harder to explain. It naturally follows that I would think about how to communicate it, or why I’m failing to do so. These essays cover that.
- Transformative Practices and Isolation
- Epistemic Virtues
- On why speaking to hedgehogs doesn’t come naturally to me