Author Topic: "The Benefits of Madness"  (Read 9252 times)

Cain

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2011, 04:04:55 pm »
Oh, sorry.  Thomas Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict.  

Diego Gambetta's How Criminals Communicate: Codes of the Underworld uses Schelling's framework with a particular focus on actual criminal behaviour, if you like that sort of thing.  It's a natural companion to the above, since criminals do so many things which don't make much sense, inititally.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 04:14:56 pm by Cain »

MMIX

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2011, 05:06:02 pm »
I think the word "madness" doesn't always have to be synonymous with "mental illness".

Of course not. I partake in incredibly obnoxious, delightfully healthy, flushed-and-sweaty, eyes gleaming, ripped-stockings, lost shoe and where-the-fuck-did-I-park-my-car madness all the time.

OP referred to it in the depraved, reduced cognitive functioning due to a clinical disorder sense.

Oi, I take exception to that. I'm perfectly comfortable with my madness, always have been, [/irony] but depravity is something entirely other.
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Jasper

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2011, 05:34:41 pm »
Ack--

LMNO was on the money when he said I could have framed the discussion more delicately.

Cain, that x-post was great.  I should look into that author for more. 


Cain

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2011, 05:48:44 pm »
Schelling is good, especially if you've already read up on Game Theory.  The RAND Corporation archives may have some of his papers for free download.

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2011, 05:52:16 pm »
Absolutely. Call me on it if you think you gotta.

What I'm saying is that he's full of shit and due to my unique set of life experiences and circumstances, I see it. It's not a point worthy of our time here but it seems like it might be because the writer baffles you with bullshit.

There's nothing wrong with looking at my batshit mental illness and laughing at it--laughing diminishes its power. There is an element of that healthy madness in doing just that. Whistling in the dark. Heckling and throwing fish at the mirror. Roger does it all the time and I absolutely love him for it.

What the writer of this piece is attempting to do is not accept and laugh at the absurdity of his lot, but rather, to bullshit himself into thinking he can somehow incorporate the gambling, the staying awake for 5 days in a row, the coke and meth benders, the tendancy to stalk girlfriends and spend money he doesn't have, the punching walls, and then the weeks of thinking about all the stupid shit he did in that phase and hating himself to the point where he wants to leave his landlord a 180 lb rent-check in the closet, hanging from his own belt.

That's about as realistic as me trying to incorporate three screaming, hungry monkeys with full diapers as my dates at a Mardi Gras Society ball or a charity function.

He's not laughing, he's trying to convince others that he's giving himself a hug.

This.

AND, if you check out the link I posted before, he appears to have been inspired by the Scientific American article, but ran with the idea in an extremely self-indulgent (and flat out wrong) direction, only to present essentially a similar, if disjointed, conclusion at the end. I've seen people with bipolar disorder say extremely similar things while they were cruising the mania spiral... usually just before taking off on an energy bender that would destroy their lives and careers, and leave them drained, listless, and suicidal.

Yeah. "use it" baby. Use it all up until it's burned out and dead... that's how to rock "the benefits" of madness.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-unleashed-mind
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


LMNO

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2011, 05:53:31 pm »
Schelling is good, especially if you've already read up on Game Theory.  The RAND Corporation archives may have some of his papers for free download.

You know what book I would buy?

Everything Cain Knows (for Dummies).

Srsly.

Jasper

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2011, 05:54:26 pm »
Schelling is good, especially if you've already read up on Game Theory.  The RAND Corporation archives may have some of his papers for free download.

I wasn't even aware that RAND had public archives.  Score.  :D

Jasper

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2011, 05:55:14 pm »
Schelling is good, especially if you've already read up on Game Theory.  The RAND Corporation archives may have some of his papers for free download.

You know what book I would buy?

Everything Cain Knows (for Dummies).

Srsly.

I would prefer the ebook.  I don't like carrying really heavy things around.

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2011, 05:57:00 pm »
I only feel the need to bring it up because there's been a long-standing convention here of busting peoples' balls for anything resembling "FUCK YOU, MY MOTHER DIED FROM ****", and yet there has also been a long-standing convention here of "YOU CAN'T TAKE MENTAL ILLNESS LIGHTLY, NO NOT AT ALL, DON'T YOU KNOW THERE ARE ACTUAL MENTALLY ILL PEOPLE HERE?" and I don't see how this situation can exist without an unhealthy dose of cognitive dissonance.

This, as one might expect, is incredibly annoying to me.

Cognitive dissonance? No, I don't see any. Here's why; the first case is an issue of retaining a sense of humor at things that are bad. Can we laugh at mental illness? FUCK YEAH OF COURSE WE CAN, AND SHOULD! Especially when it's our own!

The second is simply a bad example, because it has nothing to do with "taking mental illness lightly". It has to do with people who are not mentally ill trying to exotify it, claim a piece of it for themselves to make themselves special magic precious unicorn princess fairies.

 :hosrie:
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Luna

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2011, 06:00:55 pm »
Schelling is good, especially if you've already read up on Game Theory.  The RAND Corporation archives may have some of his papers for free download.

You know what book I would buy?

Everything Cain Knows (for Dummies).

Srsly.

I would prefer the ebook.  I don't like carrying really heavy things around.

I'd clear space on my Kindle for that.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2011, 06:12:01 pm »
The only "benefit" I derived from my little bout was that I lost some friends.

One thing I thank God for every day is that my case was temporary - mild setbacks notwithstanding - and I got better.  I can't imagine what life must be like for seriously mentally ill people that don't get better.
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Jasper

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2011, 06:21:18 pm »
It really, truly, isn't about that kind.  I regret including the M word in the title.

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If Less Wrong is simply about improving our techniques of rationality, then much of our work is already done: the voluminous Sequences encode both the core ideas and many of the consequences of good critical thinking, and we are left quibbling about subtleties of anthropic reasoning and speculating about AI design. If, however, we wish to use every advantage afforded by our mental constitution, then we should be studying ecstasy and passion. In fact, this generalizes to a wide variety of affective states; indeed, there have been some posts mentioning more effective managing of emotions, social skills, and so on, but not many concrete suggestions have been made.  This is not surprising: much of the scientific research that has been done on emotions is either about business-as-usual or about treating serious pathologies.

I don't think anyone's saying that we can turn schizophrenia, paranoia, or severe anxiety into magical superpowers that save the day.  I think the idea here is that there are other useful mindsets than "cold" rationality, a la doctor Spock.

The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2011, 06:24:22 pm »
It really, truly, isn't about that kind.  I regret including the M word in the title.

Quote
If Less Wrong is simply about improving our techniques of rationality, then much of our work is already done: the voluminous Sequences encode both the core ideas and many of the consequences of good critical thinking, and we are left quibbling about subtleties of anthropic reasoning and speculating about AI design. If, however, we wish to use every advantage afforded by our mental constitution, then we should be studying ecstasy and passion. In fact, this generalizes to a wide variety of affective states; indeed, there have been some posts mentioning more effective managing of emotions, social skills, and so on, but not many concrete suggestions have been made.  This is not surprising: much of the scientific research that has been done on emotions is either about business-as-usual or about treating serious pathologies.

I don't think anyone's saying that we can turn schizophrenia, paranoia, or severe anxiety into magical superpowers that save the day.  I think the idea here is that there are other useful mindsets than "cold" rationality, a la doctor Spock.

Some things can't - or shouldn't - be quantified.  Who wants to analyze a fantasic sexual experience, or the feeling you get when you accomplish something difficult and rewarding?  Sometimes it's okay to just live life and enjoy the good bits.

I would instead propose that we study the way the world and the universe actually is, because 99% of the BAD times are caused by making decisions based on bad signal or irrational beliefs.
" It's just that Depeche Mode were a bunch of optimistic loveburgers."
- TGRR, shaming himself forever, 7/8/2017

 "Billy, when I say that ethics is our number one priority and safety is also our number one priority, you should take that to mean exactly what I said. Also quality. That's our number one priority as well. Don't look at me that way, you're in the corporate world now and this is how it works."
- TGRR, raising the bar at work.

Cain

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2011, 06:28:07 pm »
To be fair, Less Wrong do that a lot as well.  In fact, in their archives, they have entire books worth of posts on cognitive biases and how people form irrational beliefs.

I think they just got bored with that and wanted to branch out a little.

Jasper

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Re: "The Benefits of Madness"
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2011, 06:30:19 pm »
I'm not about to pick apart my own happiness with tweezers, I can see what you mean.

I'm just trying to decide whether there's anything worth thinking about in this LessWrong post.