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I think you've hit something, here.

So the premise, above, is that we are getting collectively dumber because we communicate via a medium which rejects complexity. And the solution is to become individual processing units which can handle complexity. Kinda like calling for a return to the longform post.

You're right in that you're looking at the right spot, the individual, and how it functions poorly as a micro-component of a larger processing routine. Like Foucault says -- the (french/american) revolution decentralized power. Now we're in a mode of power where authority is distributed to individuals, evenly spread, and that makes society ridiculously hard to change. Because you can't just go shake up the leaders, they are merely channels for the public will. The fabric of society isn't dictated from above anymore, but from below. And a lot of those people are either stupid or evil, enough of them to be a powerful voting bloc.


However I don't think the longform post is coming back. I think the social-media medium inherently boils ideas down to haiku form, that's just a feature of information traveling through an attention economy. It's like a river gradually moving rocks. The tiny stones move, the heavy stones sink.

But the silver lining is that brevity does not mean simplicity! A complex idea can be boiled down to dense symbols. This compression is lossy, of course. As compression/density increases, you lose resolution.

The trick, in my mind, is how to communicate complexity in simple terms. How do you signal a complex argument in a soundbyte?


Like, take the term "problematic" - it's a short hand, it indicates the presence of complexity without unpacking it.

Or describing an argument as "reductive" indicates that the compression is too lossy.

I also think about Wilson's "sumbunall" / "mosbunall"- it's just a contraction of some-but-not-all / most-but-not-all - but aims to sidestep a super common argument pattern. You criticize men's behavior, a man will take it personally and go "Not all men!" and then you have to unpack that. But if you started with "Some but not all men do XYZ", then the listener is less likely to parse the criticism as a personal judgment and get all defensive about it.

So maybe there are other linguistic tools and shorthand that can help us discuss complex topics without getting pulled into the typical blue/green loops.
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Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« Last post by Cain on Today at 02:48:25 pm »
A really small, metallic cupboard with an elaborate lock.
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Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« Last post by MMIX on Today at 02:38:22 pm »
LOL Cain. Your secret santa has a really weird sense of humour.
also Is it really appropriate to call it a safe if it isn't locked? Its actually just a cupboard.
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Literate Chaotic / Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Last post by Cain on Today at 04:19:22 am »
Well, at least Sorweel should come out of things OK.  Unless he literally runs into the No-God or goes on to kill Kelhus, that boy's unstoppable.

Well that was fucking prophetic.
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Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« Last post by Prelate Diogenes Shandor on Today at 04:15:15 am »
Ebeneezer Scrooge dates Miss Havisham
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Literate Chaotic / Re: ITT: Original Story Ideas
« Last post by Prelate Diogenes Shandor on Today at 03:42:09 am »
On Christmas Eve President Trump is visited by the eternally damned spirit of Ronald Reagan who sends three ghosts to teach him to stop being  a crazy avaricious assclown
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Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« Last post by Cain on Today at 03:33:20 am »
So, I haven't made a post on actual in the office work stupidity in a while.

Here you go:

Today, our front door broke (our day shift colleague, upon hearing the engineer wouldn't be back for a couple of hours, allowed a student to try and fix it, breaking it further, but that's another story).

So, anyone could stroll in the front door.

Our reception Xmas tree requires an extension cord to power the lights. The socket for said cord is behind the office main door, while the tree is outside. So, the cord prevents the door from locking.

We have a safe in which all the master keys for the building are kept, inside the main office. No-one ever actually locks the safe.

The door broke at some point while my colleague was on a 2 hour break, meaning in that 2 hour window literally anyone could have strolled in and taken a key giving them full access to the building without even breaking a sweat.
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Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Last post by Cramulus on Yesterday at 02:50:52 pm »
We now have a core group of 5 students.

Some of the exercises.... each of these was done for 1-2 weeks

  • When you touch a doorknob, pause for a second and try to be awake
  • Pick one of the following - posture, facial expression, tone of voice. Several times each day, take note of what you're doing with it. Notice how it's connected to your intentions, how it expresses something internal, but also how it influences your experiences and impressions.
  • Every day, when talking to someone, try to really connect to them. Pay attention to how they're feeling, understand why they're saying what they're saying.
  • Take 100 steps intentionally. Count each step. While counting, focus on the sensation of your foot touching the ground. Don't let your awareness drift with your thoughts, remain aware of everything happening around you.
  • Late in the day, recall all the moments of consciousness you had that day. (it's okay if you didn't have any)
  • In the morning, meditate on your body sensations. Focus on each part of your body in sequence, just bringing your awareness to it, making it more alive

Some of these have to do with self awareness, being conscious of what's going on in your three processing centers and re-connecting them

Some of them have to do with giving you "shocks", little moments during the day that unexpectedly jar you awake

Some of them have to do with split attention -- running an internal process, while running an external process... maybe you remember to observe the third camera too.


My favorite one was a variation on the 100 steps exercise. The idea is that you take 100 steps, maintaining your internal focus, maintaining your external focus... So with one foot, you're counting to 50 -- 1, 2, 3, 4... but with the other foot, you're counting down - 99, 98, 97, 96....   so as you're walking, you're counting 1, 99, 2, 98, 3, 97, 4, 96...

And while doing this, maintain awareness of your foot hitting the ground!


This was challenging - actually learned a lot from this. For one, I couldn't do it while stoned. Secondly, it took a lot of attention to do it the first time. I had to focus really hard on the numbers to get them right, and the physical world sorta vanished while that was happening. But I found counting upwards could be done more or less automatically, and then counting down took some attention. And the more practice I got, I could feel the automatic mind taking over the counting down process. Eventually, I could do all 100 steps while maintaining presence in the physical world.

and then you turn up the difficulty! Count by 2s!  :p



Kinda like Robert Anton Wilson's Quarter Experiment in Prometheus Rising, it's one thing to read about these, it's another thing to actually do it. You may have read the words, but you don't know anything until you've done it yourself. Everything has to be verified personally, you can't just take other people's words about consciousness as real.
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Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« Last post by Vanadium Gryllz on Yesterday at 12:33:01 pm »
Has the number of people attending each week dwindled? It sounds like hard work.

Could you give some examples of the exercises?

Thanks for the detailed updates, very interesting stuff.  :)
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Aneristic Illusions / Re: Universal Basic Income
« Last post by Pergamos on Yesterday at 03:07:49 am »
Widespread automation isn't going to happen until it is more expensive to employ people than to use machines, it's already technically possible for pretty much every low skill job
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