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Topics - serendipity

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Bring and Brag / invent a system of divination
« on: February 04, 2022, 04:16:21 pm »
i'm not sure this is quite the right place, but it seemed like the most appropriate one. i thought some people here might be interested in this thing i'm running:

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / thinking for yourself is a group activity
« on: January 23, 2022, 08:47:53 pm »

(in which i demonstrate the traditional arrogance of youth without any evidence or relevant experience, thus:)

when people do (or don't do) important things, it's usually for a good reason. or at least a reason no worse than anybody else's - sure, we could say that nobody has good reasons for anything because as a species our brains are just fundamentally not very good, but because that applies to everybody and probably always will there's not really any useful action to take in response to it. i prefer to frame it as a good reason, because drawing a distinction between 'good' and 'less bad' is rhetorically cute but not very helpful when it comes to reality where no available choice can really be believably called good.

what i'm getting at is, if you've told someone* to think for themselves, explained what you mean, directly shown why it matters and why they personally should care and just how much fun it can be, you may be wondering why - even after trying it out - they aren't making a habit of it. yes, it's effortful and sometimes painful, but isn't it worth it? the thing is, a lot of that effort and pain depends on context. if you start asking awkward questions and everyone around you just looks confused and asks if you're okay (or offers to fire you) then it's going to be a lot more work to keep it up than with people who'll run with it. when someone insists on keeping their head down and instrumentalising themselves, it's often because they're surrounded by institutions that make it especially painful to interact with them in your capacity as a human being.

if you think someone should Think For Themselves(tm) then you can smack them with the sharp edge of the nearest handy metaphor and watch them rub their head, look around, take a few tentative steps over broken glass and go right back to hiding outside of themselves. it might be funny. or you could try to make contexts and cultures (like discordia) that actively reward a bit of criticism, where we can help each other be for ourselves and survive in that state for longer. it's quite enough effort to work around our inconvenient neurology in order to be alive without being in an environment that works against us as well, it's a pretty long shot to expect many people in a hostile environment to hang on to the Horrible Truth long enough to fix that environment, so as far as possible what about starting from the environment?

* for instance, yourself

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