, 74 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
2/ To re-summarize, the market is eating everything in a way that's making it alarmingly more difficult for people to have the social relations they want. It's alarming because social relations used to protect people from the market.
3/ I think it's important to note that this difficulty goes beyond, say, the value of money going down and the necessities of life becoming more expensive, so that we all have to work more or spend more time thinking about money versus relationships.
4/ Yes, we have less time and emotional/intellectual energy for relating, both with the people we already know and for figuring out how to find more people we want to get to know better. But, there's a deeper thing, here.
5/ I was originally going to write, "It's harder to do patient, experimental intimacy with one or more people, platonic or not, in such a way that you learn how to create trust that lasts a lifetime."
6/ But, then, that sentence struck me as weird. Why did I write "experimental"?
7/ And, the answer to that is that I/we don't know how, anymore, as a universal culture [1], to create trust that lasts a lifetime. [1] slatestarcodex.com/2016/07/25/how…
8/ (Trust that lasts a lifetime is useful because you can cash in on that trust if you get cancer, a traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's, or unemployment--it's relatively(!!!) painless, doable, non-insane, for the person who trusts you to let you crash in their...
9/ ...basement
10/ And then you never have to feel unsafe ever again.
11/ that hollow desperation that non-USA folk and people in any country that has something of a social safety net just don't feel.)
12/ (In the parenthetical, just above, I conflated "real" social relations with a bureaucratic social safety net, a welfare state, as it were. I want to clarify that (a) I'm more talking about "felt human relations that cash out" and
13/ (b) @lou_keep's post made that the point that the combination of market's eating everything plus attempting to bureaucratically graft human relations back on top of that may break the entire world.)
14/ So, asking again, why did I write "experimental"?
15/ @lou_keep's post didn't have any solutions. And that's maybe because this is one of the hardest problems that humanity has ever faced. (I think? My knowledge of history is currently very poor.) I would like to naively offer some possibilities in this space.
16/ The problem, again, is that markets are eating everything and the "impedance-mismatch" of grafting market-ish solutions to human problems (say "human problems" are that
17/ which defy iterated anonymous exchange, or something) is breaking the world (via a mechanism I haven't specified). And people want more intimacy and trust, whether they have food and healthcare or not (and money/time/freedom to play status games and look sexy).
18/ Ok, so solutions. People have pointed out how markets feel inevitable and then make the point that markets are not inevitable, not "natural," that markets are a human creation.
19/ This is where things get sort of ideological. I already got ideological when I said that stuff like ACA/Obamacare will break the world, via some sort of mismatch between markets & human values. I don't actually have a strong opinion about that, but it sounds cool.
20/ I think if there's a real mechanism there, having to do with human brains/minds/values, sociology, economics, policy, memetics, etc., that would be really cool.
21/ And it seems like there must be, because this stuff makes people go completely crazy. And, that previous sentence will be experienced as an ideological statement.
22/ Like, when one starts to try to go "meta-ideological" that will immediately get flagged as partisan. And, often that's fair, because even good-faith attempts to be non-partisan and trans-partisan will still often be subject to "deep ideology" that's genuinely...
23/ ...shitty towards something actually good that the good-faith attempt is stomping all over. I hope that stuff like ACA/Obamacare can be improved, here in the USA, so that it doesn't hurt particular-sized businesses, is or remains economically feasible, let's...
24/ ...markets do what they do best, and makes it easier for people to have the kinds of lives they want. I've personally benefited hugely from not having health insurance tied to being employed by a large-enough company.
25/ And I know that I've probably done all sorts of tone-deaf, foot-in-mouth, forward-reverse dog whistling that I currently don't understand at all, along with detracting from my main point. So, moving on.
26/ So. As @lou_keep notes, even though people currently have less time/money/freedom to have the relationships they want, huge amounts of people, maybe more than ever, are living better than the kings of old. (And I see now that this is another minefield involving...
27/ ...utilitarian calculations, or not, trolley problems or not, and veils of ignorance.) But, fine, I'll take a position: there is writhing horror all around and within us, but the world is just net better.
28/ And at least some of the anger at powerful people, whether old or new money, old or new power, is misplaced.
29/ But, again, writhing horror all around and within us, experiential hellscapes and desperate lives, suicide and starvation and more. (And precariousness of global logistics and global credit cycles and so on.)
30/ I imagine that the thousands and millions of Chinese people now entering the middle class are having a ridiculously better time than what happened in London in the early 1800's. That was really bad.
31/ No one deserves what happened then and no one deserves what's happening now. And/but, I think the majority of people wouldn't choose a life in prehistory.
32/ And combining modern (and future) healthcare and iphones and plenty of delicious, nutritious food with time abundant (real/actual/amazing/heartfelt) intimacy and sex is like the holy grail.
33/ So wtf do we do now?
34/ Let's talk about subtle undermining that's sort of nobody's fault.
35/ Way above I talked about "experimental relationships" and I thought that that was weird. And of course it's because of a point which other people have made, which is that we've lost the old ways and nobody knows how to interact anymore. We've lost social tech.
36/ And, in fact, it's worse. We haven't just lost social tech, we've also lost self-determination, agency, self-possession. These are not new observations.
37/ But, again, nobody has good answers to this. So you've got nihilism and postmodernism. (Again, ideological minefields. I'm just going to dig myself deeper, but postmodernism's ability to take things apart is really important.)
38/ This loss of agency is horrifying, with it comes waves of meaninglessness, in some sense worse than death, perhaps in part because you also don't have enough agency to kill yourself and end the pain or something. (Or you succeed and that's a terrible tragedy, too.)
39/ So you've got @contrapoints reiterating (and I'm going to butcher this) that maybe all we can do is more perfectly describe or reconstruct the cages we're in, with greater and greater clarity. And you've got @gogreen18 (totally mischaracterizing her) taking the...
40/ ...red pill. And you've got neoreaction and you've got like the actual flows of power for which the youtube-verse and twitter-verse and blogosphere and crypto-whatever and much of silicon valley may or may not be a rounding error on.
41/ Ok, so, algorithmic filter bubbles, algorithmic slice-and-dice content design, data-driven/keyword-driven political campaigning and dogwhistling, mass persuasion, yadda yadda, Descartes, Kant, reason, mindbody duality, and the gig economy are destroying everything.
42/ So wtf is the mechanism? You could just say complexity. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Humanity is destroying itself with iterated, local transactions, the evil of local incentives, that are missing the forest for the trees.
43/ That's not a new observation either. I'm not saying anything new. I got this stuff from other people. But if plenty of people have said this stuff, why can't we all just band together and fix it?
44/ Or why can't a small group of people band together and from there create a mass movement?
45/ Wrangling people is hard, but there is a steady stream of startup unicorns. It's possible. But, then, is the world just too big and hard even for that level of founder/CEO skill?
46/ Or does becoming a successful unicorn founder/CEO necessitate a certain level of myopia? Or does succeeding at a unicorn startup change a person so that they can't look at certain kinds of problems? Or is new power just the wrong kind of power?
47/ For better or worse, is old power still much stronger than new power? And, is there something about old power such that no one born into it or even successfully breaking in can possibly affect things in the right way at the scale of the entire world?
48/ I think one part of it is that it is in fact legitimately terrifying, in way that's incredibly hard to think about. The mind quails. This is Hitler-level power. But it's not even that.
49/ This is Mohammed-level power or Descartes-level power, world-shaping power, history-shaping power, millenia-shaping power. @starslatecodex slatestarscratchpad.tumblr.com/post/103708539…
50/ We're talking the fate of all human values, here. The course of everything. That's terrifying, mind-shattering. And modernity doesn't help.
51/ Modernity fragments the will.
52/ I'm going to say that individual humans are radically subjected, radically contingent, culturally embedded. We don't know what we don't know, and what we see we think must be everything.
53/ But, look, I got that from postmodernism, and, here I am, me, saying that I am radically subjected, radically contingent, culturally embedded. We have the technology, I mean concepts.
54/ Why can't we go beyond that subjectedness, that contingency, that embeddedness? I'm calling for you to join me in doing that. That's going to be the call to action, here.
55/ When I make the joke, we have the technology/concepts, that's not quite true. As @contrapoints notes, we have enough technology/concepts to say some things about the cage.
56/ But, cage or not, it's going to come down to individuals breaking out of that cultural cage. A movement, a new ideology, whatever, it's made up of humans and it has to start with one or two or three humans, so one human.
57/ @samoburja talks about great founders medium.com/@samo.burja/gr… We used to have more of them. The world produced them. We are producing less of them and the ones that get produced are worse.
58/ What we need is, once again, and in some ways for the first time, to produce complete human beings, human beings who can wield all of power, markets, and love, who experience love.
59/ Notice how you react to that, how you laugh it off or brush it aside if you do. I imagine two of the main reactions to this are going to be tears in one's eyes or immediate, extreme mental gymnastics to avoid those tears.
60/ I challenge you to fight the machine that we accidentally conjured that tells us that only markets and atoms are real. In fact love is real, and, unfortunately, the machine has been installed in our minds.
61/ I'm going to do one better, though. When I say "love is real," I invite you to embrace an extreme standard with me, that love is real, and so are neurons, and fields, and forces, and black holes.
62/ Say, a Ken Wilber-ian theory of the Kosmos that outputs the right answers at quantum mechanical precision that including answers that refer to the proper referent of 'love'.
63/ Oh, the groaning and moaning that will commence, because I am a memetic child, but did you know that buddhist classical enlightenment is real?
64/ It's simple to describe in the abstract: First, the mind/brain as a self-referentially reflective dynamical system stops punching itself in the face, and, second, the mind, at the bare metal, as it were, learns to treat map as map instead of territory. That's it.
65/ I think @vgr is very bear-ish on holistic solutions and world-saving. And @slatestarcodex very understandably wants to protect people from scrupulosity. And, ideologically, no one actually wants powerful humans these days because we're all fragmented and crazy.
66/ But it does come down to individual humans. And we already have the entire universe inside of us. That's what a phenomenological lifeworld is. Brains are low-dimensionally modeling the entire universe. All. of. it. ALL OF IT.
67/ We have the entire universe inside of us already. All of our solutions are ignorant and myopic and time-sequentially fragmented, to be sure. But there's another sense in which all of our solutions, all of our actions are already holistic.
68/ The meditation training landscape is broken. But, proper, effective meditation unifies the will.
69/ Meditation improves that already-holistic solutioning of the mind, it improves on the ways in which a mind is already solving for the entire world, the entire cosmos, and all values everywhere.
70/ Meditation is an investment of thousands of hours, with opportunity costs, and/but so is a shitty university education. And/but at the end you get agency.
71/ The current meditation pipeline is long and noisy and buggy, and I'm not at the end of it (though I'm pretty close) and I can't yet hold up other examples of success (via my methods), yet. I grant you "enlightenment" isn't enough.
72/ And success won't be visible on Twitter except insofar as the entire world is just getting better. And buses and meteors and global collapse and funding and all sorts of things are still problems in the meantime. But, join me?
73/73 Effective self-transformative practice (meditation) plus memetics (and epistemology, phenomenology, sociology, history, and futurology) will solve everything.
*thank you* @signalofvirtue for agreeing with me on pretty much all the terribly, terribly-sad-and-serious-and-also-hilarious tweets in this tweetstorm that I optimized for retweetability and NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Mark
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!