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Comment author: chaosmage 24 July 2015 10:24:59PM 1 point [-]

Doesn't every strong emotion take up cognitive capacity that is then unavailable for critical thought? Why do you single out fury, self-hate and being miserable?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 25 July 2015 02:13:08AM 2 points [-]

It's not just a matter of cognitive capacity being occupied; it's a matter of some emotional tendencies being self-limiting while others are self-reinforcing. Miserable people seem to often look for reasons to be miserable; angry people often do obnoxious things to others, which puts the angry person in situations that provoke further anger.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 24 July 2015 02:36:20PM 4 points [-]

If you think you have come up with a solid, evidence-based reason that you personally should be furious, self-hating, or miserable, bear in mind that these conditions may make you unusually prone to confirmation bias.

Comment author: Username 21 July 2015 12:04:59PM -6 points [-]

LW protip: in order to get a lot of upvotes, find political threads and post comments that imply that US government and liberal academia are fabricating facts and spreading propaganda. Don't worry, you don't have to do any dirty work and figure out if in that particular case it is correct or not, it doesn't matter. You might need to wait a few days, but eventually you'll receive a bunch of upvotes, all coming in a very short period of time.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 21 July 2015 03:54:18PM 3 points [-]

I for one would appreciate it if the discussions of geopolitics, immigration policy, monetary policy, factional and sectional politics, adherence to various national leaders — and anything else about "Us vs. Them" where "Us" and "Them" are defined by which section of Spaceship Earth the parties happen to have spawned in, — would kindly fuck off back to the comments sections of newspaper websites or some other appropriate forums.

The idea of LW as an explicitly Enlightenment project, one that actually contemplates ideas such as "the coherent extrapolated volition of humankind," "applying the discovery of biases to improve our thinking," and "refining the art of human rationality," is something rare and valuable.

Yet another politics comment section, another outrage amplifier, is not.

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 21 July 2015 10:09:41AM 5 points [-]

Is EY's Cogntive Trope Therapy for real or a parody?

It sounds parodistic yet comes accross as weirdly workable. There is a voice in my head telling me I should not respect myself until I become more of a classical tough-guy type, full of courage and strength. However it does not sound like my father did. It sounds a lot like a teenage bully actually. My father sounded a lot more like show yourself respect by expecting a bit more courage or endurance from yourself. Hm. Carl Jung would have a field day with it.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 21 July 2015 03:38:15PM *  2 points [-]

It sounds parodistic yet comes accross as weirdly workable.

Two quotes come to mind (emphasis added) —


He therefore said: "Let me declare this Work under this title: ‘The obtaining of the Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel’", because the theory implied in these words is so patently absurd that only simpletons would waste much time in analysing it. It would be accepted as a convention, and no one would incur the grave danger of building a philosophical system upon it.

[...] The mind is the great enemy; so, by invoking enthusiastically a person whom we know not to exist, we are rebuking that mind.

— Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice


ROSE: I have no comprehensible path. There's nothing to overcome, no lesson to learn, no cathartic light at the end of this preposterous tunnel.
ROSE: Not for me, at least!
ROSE: I seriously have the DUMBEST arc anyone could conceivably imagine.
DAVE: rose we dont have fuckin "arcs" we are just human beings

Homestuck

Comment author: fubarobfusco 19 July 2015 08:06:29PM 4 points [-]

"You are one of the many people in your cult who assert P. But there are also a lot of people in your cult who assert ~P. Therefore, people in your cult believe the contradiction P & ~P, and you are all idiots who should quit your deceptive mind-killing cult and join mine."

"Yeah, I used to believe that too when I was your age."
"Yeah, I used to believe that too when I didn't have the education / resources / cult-membership to know better."
"Yeah, I used to believe that too until I realized it was stupid."
"Yeah, I used to believe that too when I hung out with bad people."
"Yeah, I used to believe that too when I was high all the time / before I'd ever dropped acid."
"Yeah, I used to believe that too before I converted / deconverted."
"Yeah, I used to believe that too when I was rich / poor."
"Yeah, I used to believe that too before I got therapy / Jesus / a copy of The Fountainhead."

Comment author: Unknowns 13 July 2015 07:57:18AM 22 points [-]

It actually is not very odd for there to be a difference like this. Given that there are only two sexes, there only needs to be one hormone which is sex determining in that way. Having two in fact could have strange effects of its own.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 13 July 2015 06:38:50PM 3 points [-]

Sex determination in placental mammals turns out to be really complicated, which is probably why there are so many intersex conditions. It's much simpler in marsupials, which is why male kangaroos don't have nipples. (Where would they keep them?)

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 12 July 2015 05:15:57AM *  0 points [-]

People who work on drugs to cure horrible diseases don't spend 24/7 in an airtight suit in the lab, dropping samples on the floor because their hands are shaking. They go home and watch football and play card games and go to the kids' school play and stuff.

If they or their kids have the horrible disease? I think they'd react differently.

But being unable to disengage from the Big Problems and live your little ordinary life is not heroism, and it actively gets in the way of solving any of those Big Problems.

Not my Big Problems; they get solved from doing just that.

Find a meditation teacher and spend some time doing that. Practice > theory.

I'm going to have to disagree. I thought you were talking about philosophy when you mentioned "notions of personal identity and continuity, and whether this is an illusion."

Comment author: fubarobfusco 12 July 2015 08:35:12PM 0 points [-]

Find a meditation teacher and spend some time doing that. Practice > theory.

I'm going to have to disagree. I thought you were talking about philosophy when you mentioned "notions of personal identity and continuity, and whether this is an illusion."

Yes, there are various Buddhist writings about it.

No, I'm not sure that any of them make much sense without actually doing the meditation. There are certain things which are stupidly obvious and okay from a meditative point of view — like "the self is an illusion" — that are either obviously false or incredibly scary from the kind of point of view you're expressing.

I am not an expert in Buddhist practice, though,, and not qualified to provide much advice. I would note that serious current Buddhist writers such as Daniel Ingram make it very clear that people should deal with big psychological and emotional problems before engaging in heavy meditation.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 12 July 2015 02:30:58PM 0 points [-]

Sorry, but I often can't expend a lot of energy in the middle of a panic attack. That's why I go on sites where many people already are familiar with the premises.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 12 July 2015 08:19:37PM *  5 points [-]

It's the panic attack, not the premises, that's the problem. Lots of people spend time thinking about metaphysics and cosmology without making themselves sick.

Thing is, it sounds like the System 2 beliefs are justifying and protecting System 1 dysfunction. ("I should feel crappy, because the conditions of conscious existence are so fucked up.")

From what I can tell, people who have been in this kind of situation and have successfully gotten out of it have done so by fixing the System 1 situation — the reaction of panic, anguish, and despair — and not by adopting new System 2 beliefs. Things that reportedly help include guided meditation, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and guided use of various psychoactive drugs (ranging from antidepressants, anxiolytics, to various psychedelics in a therapeutic context, not in the wild).

In other words, this is probably not the sort of thing that can be fixed by reading the right philosophy or the right post on the web. Although it might disappoint Hermione Granger, reading the right book is not the solution to every problem. Rather, it is probably the sort of thing that requires the personal guidance of an experienced person in fixing the System 1 reactions that are causing you pain.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 12 July 2015 04:18:03AM *  2 points [-]

It sounds like you are having trouble disengaging from these ideas. So you might want to go seek treatment specifically for anxiety. This doesn't mean "stop thinking about these issues and thereby give up any possibility of coming up with good solutions to them"; it means "become able to stop thinking about these issues when it's getting loopy and unproductive, and get back to ape mode — and remember, ape mode is acceptable; we've been living with it for a long, long time."

Yes, you're quite right, I even had a short panic attack from reading Sam Hughes' SCP fiction. It's just that ape mode isn't acceptable all the time. When it comes to very serious issues I don't think it's acceptable at all, no matter how much I suffer.

Some of what you write seems to be heavily concerned with the notions of personal identity and continuity, and whether this is an illusion. This is an area in which the Buddhists seem to be way ahead of the clinical psychologists in giving people tools to deal with it.

Buddhism just seems like nihilism to me. Not that I know much about it. Anything you could recommend?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 12 July 2015 05:04:58AM 3 points [-]

When it comes to very serious issues I don't think it's acceptable at all, no matter how much I suffer.

People who work on drugs to cure horrible diseases don't spend 24/7 in an airtight suit in the lab, dropping samples on the floor because their hands are shaking. They go home and watch football and play card games and go to the kids' school play and stuff. And maybe they dream about bacteria once in a while, and maybe some of that is upsetting and some of it is informative. But being unable to disengage from the Big Problems and live your little ordinary life is not heroism, and it actively gets in the way of solving any of those Big Problems.

Buddhism just seems like nihilism to me. Not that I know much about it. Anything you could recommend?

Find a meditation teacher and spend some time doing that. Practice > theory.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 12 July 2015 04:03:33AM *  10 points [-]

I am going to perpetrate a little bit of the sin of amateur psychological diagnosis over the Internet. Sorry about that.

I'm not sure that the substance of the philosophical and cosmological concepts here is what is afflicting you. After all, many people engage with cosmological horror recreationally — see, for instance, the continued popularity of writers such as Lovecraft, Stross, Banks, or the "SCP Foundation" folks.

Exposure to weird cosmological horror does not cause most humans to freak out, at least not for very long. Most people more-or-less instinctively take Egan's Law into account ("it all adds up to normality") — to the extent that this Law is only needed as a reminder for people who don't automatically do so.

It sounds like you are having trouble disengaging from these ideas. So you might want to go seek treatment specifically for anxiety. This doesn't mean "stop thinking about these issues and thereby give up any possibility of coming up with good solutions to them"; it means "become able to stop thinking about these issues when it's getting loopy and unproductive, and get back to ape mode — and remember, ape mode is acceptable; we've been living with it for a long, long time."

If Egan's Law helps, good. OTOH, if prescribed beta blockers help, good too.

On the other hand, many people have struggled with the existence of sickness and death, and not every one of them became a Buddha. Some of what you write seems to be heavily concerned with the notions of personal identity and continuity, and whether this is an illusion. This is an area in which the Buddhists seem to be way ahead of the clinical psychologists in giving people tools to deal with it.

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