Jan 28, 2023Liked by sympathetic opposition

this is very good, ty for writing this

greatly reminds me of this piece by Crispy Chicken (linking to my own discussion thereof)


> if anyone had been able to explain to me that the problem [...] wasnt [...] but rather [...], i would have instantly & happily backed down.

you have just summarized the greatest struggle of my childhood. I wanted to make it all make sense but no one was willing to play ball; this frustrated me greatly until I realized they were changing the subject bc they were uncomfortable with the feeling that they didn't know how, not bc I was wrong in some legible way

> allows them to get out of the weirdest demands created by their beliefs, without admitting that they are choosing not to follow their moral code

for years I thought I was being noble by biting the bullet and accepting the repugnant conclusions of my logical frameworks, and that this in fact made me better than everyone else, even tho it caused very real problems and didn't actually meaningfully advance me towards my nominal goals. funny how that works

> purposely blind ourselves to understanding people, because then we will know what they want, & feel that we have to do it


or the spicier version, which is understanding what they want, but rejecting it's legitimacy on logical grounds, and insisting on behaving as if I didn't understand

> unusual ways of hurting other people, that are hard for them to deal with because the hurt is just too weird for them to have a cached response

or, if your counterparty is similarly autistic, they might reject their emotional signals of pain bc logically they agree with your assessment of Right Behavior, so they Shouldn't Be Hurt, and so they don't communicate this pain to you, making it that much harder for you to course-correct and generally making everything that much worse

> lean into a more-than-normal awareness of, and comfort with, hypocrisy & inconsistency

imo this is why so many of us seek out philosophy, spirituality, buddhism/daoism/embodiment/what have you; high-effort tryhardism the goal of which is to Become Normal, but by taking the scenic route thru the spiritual wilds

yeah wow damn. good poast sympopp 🤝

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I appreciate your posts so much!

I also have many stories like yours.

It's an extremely interesting thought that rules and norms ideally have graceful failure modes. I've never thought about it, but it has so far-reaching applications.

A random thought: Maybe historic social norms have more graceful failure modes because they were refined over a longer time. Now that the world is changing more rapidly, maybe that evolution hasn't yet finished (or maybe it can't keep pace. A scary thought)

Dealing with inconsistencies is one of the greatest challenges of my life. I'm not sure how to get comfortable with it because there's a level on which I don't want to. People who say that the emperor has no clothes are usually the ones I admire. I also don't want to end up giving lots of my energy to projects or causes that I'm told are worthy of this, only to have almost no one follow suit. Though "almost no one goes along" is a pretty graceful failure mode most of the time. It's not reliably the outcome though...

Re: seeking power I'm not sure it's standard for people to figure this out implicitly. Many people I know haven't really. I think "you aren't virtuous because you're powerless, become effective at doing things in the world and then use that power to do the right thing" was a part of Jordan Peterson's message (this is not an endorsement of anything else he said) that people felt was novel to them, and where they experienced positive change in their life when they tried to apply it. I'd conclude from that that there are many normal people who also haven't figured this out yet?

Or maybe it used to be common knowledge (at least for people socialised male) but the world changed and now the message got lost? Aella has a good post along those lines: https://aella.substack.com/p/blame-game-theory

Maybe a good message would be: "you should become powerful enough that you can fulfil your responsibilites (whatever you think they should be)"

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Jan 28, 2023Liked by sympathetic opposition

First setting up the cookie stall outside church is coupling the virtue signaling that people do by going to church to the virtue signal of buying Girl Scout cookies. This is a great strategy if you've graduated from the Patrick Bateman School for Salesmen. The simple argument against this is that you are taking something people find sacred and despoiling it with commerce. Secondly is where should we draw the line here? If cookie sales are okay, why not charity hawkers, or iPhone sales if some of the profit goes to charity, or maybe sales of whatever as long as the corporation has a good ESG score? That isn't just a slippery slope, it's a Teflon coated one.

Where is this vast untapped resource of virgin women???? I'm only half joking here.

In the rest of the article you aren't giving concrete examples so I'm really not quite sure as to your meaning. I certainly don't know what "weird failures" are. Is this one?

Only fools seek power; and the greatest fools seek it by force. - Lao Tzu

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Jan 29, 2023Liked by sympathetic opposition

lao tzu was referring to seeking power for it's own sake

if you wanna do anything good in the world you need power. if you have no power to do good you absolutely should seek it

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Jan 29, 2023Liked by sympathetic opposition

Great post. Do you have an example of this? I can't think of anything of the top of my head but I'm curious what you had in mind:

> a kind of paradoxical cope that a lot of us develop is to have so much dislike of the prospect of failing morally or even being judged along some particular moral axis, that we totally reject it & can’t even give it a normie level of consideration without decompensating. this creates a like psychic environment that allows for extremely unusual ways of hurting other people, that are hard for them to deal with because the hurt is just too weird for them to have a cached response.

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