Author Topic: Oh baby I like it RAW  (Read 1282 times)

Cramulus

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Oh baby I like it RAW
« on: May 21, 2020, 03:56:18 pm »
I've been reading Prometheus Rising to my fiance. I am so refreshed by Old Bob's spirit of curiosity and open-mindedness.

He encourages us to experiment with our consciousness -- try out different beliefs, see how they feel. Don't be judgmental. He doesn't tell you how to think at all. He suggests that we try out one reality tunnel for a bit (you found the quarter via "selective attention"). Then, try out another (you found the quarter using "the powers of your mind"). Then, compare the two yourself. Old Bob encourages us to explore reality ourselves, in person, not through other people's accounts.

This first chapter of PR discusses how our part of our mind ("the Thinker") quickly leaps to conclusions (likely based on an emotional state), and then the "Prover" reacts to this by building a scaffolding of logic and reason to support that conclusion.

My man G.I. Gurdjieff warns us about this too - he says that the intellect is slave to the emotions. Emotions are fast, automatic--reason is always struggling to catch up and justify / explain those feelings. Logic is not objective - the reasoning part of your mind can go anywhere; you could reason your way into a "Flat Earth" reality tunnel if you are emotionally invested in it. Awareness of this process gives us the potential to be free from it. For a little while, at least. It's really easy to become attached to our own thoughts, and it happens in subtle ways.

Bob encourages us to observe this process dispassionately in friends and strangers. "Try to figure out what their Thinkers think, and how their Provers methodically set about proving it. SECOND, apply the same exercise to yourself."

Bob's strongest advice is in the exercises - "Avoid coming to any strong conclusions prematurely. At the end of a month, re-read this chapter, think it over again, and still postpone coming to any dogmatic conclusions. Believe it possible that you do not know everything yet, and that you might have something still to learn."

That youthful curiosity, the attitude of approaching life like an explorer, the emphasis on self-skepticism... that's the Robert Anton Wilson spirit.

rong

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 12:09:25 am »
I don't really have anything to add but Prometheus Rising is one of my favorite books.  I think it should be a mandatory read for high schoolers.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 02:02:15 am by rong »
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Hoopla!

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 04:03:33 pm »
I would also add to be careful about what reality tunnels you choose to enter. As an experiment I decided to take on the worldview of the libertarian, and once I was deeply in it was difficult to get back out. I credit Nigel, ECH, and LMNO with assisting me out of that mindset. Of course, other people are very likely savvier than I am, or I am more committed to the bit... but be careful.
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Cramulus

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 04:51:37 pm »
I always think it's valuable to understand the other tunnels out there.

I have libertarian friends, and used to argue them a lot.. but frankly I used to have a badly skewed notion of what they actually care about.

I took the time to really figure out what their position was and why they feel that way. I still disagree with them, but at least I'm not blasting them with strawman arguments anymore. And I admit, there's some stuff in that tunnel that I can't disagree with.

Same with cops -- my childhood best friend is a cop, and I always use our conversations as an opportunity to learn how that reality tunnel works. It takes conscious effort to disengage my mental judgment engine and just be receptive.


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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 05:28:02 pm »
I always think it's valuable to understand the other tunnels out there.

I have libertarian friends, and used to argue them a lot.. but frankly I used to have a badly skewed notion of what they actually care about.

I took the time to really figure out what their position was and why they feel that way. I still disagree with them, but at least I'm not blasting them with strawman arguments anymore. And I admit, there's some stuff in that tunnel that I can't disagree with.

Same with cops -- my childhood best friend is a cop, and I always use our conversations as an opportunity to learn how that reality tunnel works. It takes conscious effort to disengage my mental judgment engine and just be receptive.

It definitely helped me understand their worldview and I am more sympathetic to the libertarian worldview, though I believe it helped that a large chunk of my introduction was through Penn Jillette, who I consider to be a very good person with good intentions. He showed a side of libertarianism which made it seem like the compassionate choice. It took Nigel and ECH pointing out to me that the goal is decent, but could never work without everything collapsing and being rebuilt which is unlikely to happen any time soon. Eutopias and all that.

It’s worth noting that Penn has been showing major misgivings about libertarianism recently.

Good thread Cram.
“Soon all of us will have special names” — Professor Brian O’Blivion

"Now's not the time to get silly, so wear your big boots and jump on the garbage clowns." — Bob Dylan?

"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes" — Walt Whitman

Doktor Howl

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 06:28:07 pm »
I always think it's valuable to understand the other tunnels out there.

I have libertarian friends, and used to argue them a lot.. but frankly I used to have a badly skewed notion of what they actually care about.

I took the time to really figure out what their position was and why they feel that way. I still disagree with them, but at least I'm not blasting them with strawman arguments anymore. And I admit, there's some stuff in that tunnel that I can't disagree with.

Same with cops -- my childhood best friend is a cop, and I always use our conversations as an opportunity to learn how that reality tunnel works. It takes conscious effort to disengage my mental judgment engine and just be receptive.

It definitely helped me understand their worldview and I am more sympathetic to the libertarian worldview, though I believe it helped that a large chunk of my introduction was through Penn Jillette, who I consider to be a very good person with good intentions. He showed a side of libertarianism which made it seem like the compassionate choice. It took Nigel and ECH pointing out to me that the goal is decent, but could never work without everything collapsing and being rebuilt which is unlikely to happen any time soon. Eutopias and all that.

It’s worth noting that Penn has been showing major misgivings about libertarianism recently.

Good thread Cram.

For any actual change to take place, first a person must recognize the implausibility of a false belief.  You can *never* change someone simply by telling them they are wrong.
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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 09:07:00 pm »
I think minds are changed more easily, not by attacking and criticising ideas, but by sharing and explaining why other ideas are better.
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minuspace

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2020, 01:51:51 am »
I would also add to be careful about what reality tunnels you choose to enter. As an experiment I decided to take on the worldview of the libertarian, and once I was deeply in it was difficult to get back out. I credit Nigel, ECH, and LMNO with assisting me out of that mindset. Of course, other people are very likely savvier than I am, or I am more committed to the bit... but be careful.


Yeah I can sympathize with this point. It reminds me of the behaviorist perspective or something where we subconsciously internalize how we present ourselves to others. This might have something to do with there being no such thing as an identity independent of others, I don’t know. So, “have fun, but be careful?*”


*prophylactics are not inherently evil, or so I’ve been told.




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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 02:03:19 am »
Some reality tunnels are self-reinforcing. They build up elaborate systems of responses to challenges And make it very hard to disengage. Like a cult, except you internalize the “everyone else is wrong” part rather than having external reinforcement.

This makes it harder to crack open the bad belief system, especially if it includes (as in fascism, organized religion, etc) an implicit belief that being on board makes you inherently right. It’s already hard to admit we’re wrong at the best of times, when your reality tunnel makes it equivalent to death (spiritual or otherwise) it can lock you in.

This is why a lot of the more batty extremist positions include conspiracy theorist nonsense as part of their earliest pitches to prospective recruits. Being part of a secret underdog group fighting The Lying Powers That Be makes you right and able to see reality while everyone else is wrong and regurgitating what they’re told. Being a “true” individual necessitates staying outside of the accepted systems of belief by that worldview, which makes the easiest path to go DEEPER, and layer more conspiracy on top. Getting out if you follow the rabbit hole down involves rejecting multiple layers of madness.

Another thing to be wary of is stuff that gives the answers to why the world sucks, Lo5 will ensure you see confirmation of those beliefs. And then you have a massive weight of personally experienced evidence to fight. This is also a component of the craziest fringe bullshit.
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rong

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 07:44:17 pm »
Very true.  I accidentally developed a habit of, everytime something shitty happened, I would say, "well, why wouldn't it fall?" Or "why wouldn't it break?"   It kept me in a perpetually foul and cynical mood.  It was weird for me how easy it was to identify the cause and change it though.  Is that what wisdom is?

Anyhow, happy 5/23 everybody
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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 08:42:46 pm »
Some reality tunnels are self-reinforcing. They build up elaborate systems of responses to challenges And make it very hard to disengage. Like a cult, except you internalize the “everyone else is wrong” part rather than having external reinforcement.

True. Reminds me of, ahem, some people I've interacted with.

Being part of a secret underdog group fighting The Lying Powers That Be makes you right and able to see reality while everyone else is wrong and regurgitating what they’re told.

Yeah, all too common. Even when they're not actual underdogs, they think they are. Being "in on the secret truth" is a huge draw for those looking for meaning. I've encountered these and while venturing down certain rabbit-holes I've had to be careful to maintain a skeptical, humorous side to counter any baggage I accumulate by actually trying to take stuff seriously.

minuspace

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 09:11:11 pm »
Some reality tunnels are self-reinforcing. They build up elaborate systems of responses to challenges And make it very hard to disengage. Like a cult, except you internalize the “everyone else is wrong” part rather than having external reinforcement.

This makes it harder to crack open the bad belief system, especially if it includes (as in fascism, organized religion, etc) an implicit belief that being on board makes you inherently right. It’s already hard to admit we’re wrong at the best of times, when your reality tunnel makes it equivalent to death (spiritual or otherwise) it can lock you in.

This is why a lot of the more batty extremist positions include conspiracy theorist nonsense as part of their earliest pitches to prospective recruits. Being part of a secret underdog group fighting The Lying Powers That Be makes you right and able to see reality while everyone else is wrong and regurgitating what they’re told. Being a “true” individual necessitates staying outside of the accepted systems of belief by that worldview, which makes the easiest path to go DEEPER, and layer more conspiracy on top. Getting out if you follow the rabbit hole down involves rejecting multiple layers of madness.

Another thing to be wary of is stuff that gives the answers to why the world sucks, Lo5 will ensure you see confirmation of those beliefs. And then you have a massive weight of personally experienced evidence to fight. This is also a component of the craziest fringe bullshit.


All aboard here, except I’ve reluctantly come to this: humans need a narrative (read: fiction) to believe in that provides meaning and purpose to their lives. Even Darwin was a great story-teller. For some, this is just a code that simplifies decision making and reality-monitoring, replete with ready-made distinctions. For others, even me this one time, the perforation of being itself screams in mute desperation for any voice to echo from said “reality tunnels.”


Also, WTF is Lo5?
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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2020, 10:23:29 pm »
Law of Fives. Old school Discordian catma.

minuspace

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2020, 10:34:24 pm »
Thank you.

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Re: Oh baby I like it RAW
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 10:36:03 pm »
Wait a minute! Cram is getting married?

On one hand: congratulations!

On the other hand: Are you out of your fucking mind?  50% of marriages end in divorce, the ones that don't end in death.
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