Idle thought: We were talking about how Less Wrong had a lot (though a minority) of people from less savoury parts of the internet, but that's... actually very good? Less Wrong is actually a great community of last resort because it does genuinely make its members better.
The core LW worldview is not one I would particularly endorse, but honestly most people don't end up staying there. A lot of people seem to have become much healthier and more complete human beings as a result of joining LW, taking on board its worldview, and building on it.
And actually that is exactly the sort of site we want more of on the internet.
A big problem I had not previously appreciated with acquiring more chill is that what this does is make you chill enough to do the things you previously couldn't, which necessarily causes you to discover that you are not yet chill enough for the consequences.
I do know who needs to hear this, but: Talking articulately about your problems on Twitter is not being a burden to others. It is the opposite of that. It is throwing a lifeline to people who have similar problems but are not yet able or willing to articulate them.
Yes if everyone else had happy and perfect lives and you were just going into those happy and perfect lives unwelcomed and shouting about how miserable you are, that would be a downer. THIS IS NOT WHAT IS HAPPENING.
People follow you on Twitter because they're interested in what you have to say. That means what you are talking is resonating with them. They share some of your problems.
When you are being "whiny" and "complaining nonconstructively" or whatever, you are helping.
Premise 1: People are inherently plural, each variant adapted to a particular context. Different parts of yourself are expressed and suppressed in different contexts. You are literally different people at work, with friends, with family
Premise 2: Computers hate that, and the nature of social media in particular is that of creating a single consistent identity. A terrifying Zuckerbergian ideal that you have a single consistent and whole "true self" that is equivalent to your public persona.
Premise 3: This is then exacerbated by audience. A public figure is cocreated by their audience and their expectations - they learn what creates good responses, and what creates bad ones. The audience learns how they will behave, and stabilises them in that role.
So emotional reactions are things that you've learned from your environment, and were often adaptive strategies that served a purpose at the time, right? And one of the reasons to relearn them is that they were learned in childhood, and they may not work well as an adult.
A big reason kid emotions don't work well as an adult is that your environment is totally different - you have much more autonomy than you ever did as a kid.
So far I knew this, but I had a realisation of another big reason kid emotions don't work well as an adult: kids are dumb
So there's a fun thing called "misattribution of arousal" which is basically that the physical symptoms of an emotion can be hard to distinguish from the emotion itself. Classic example of this is that fear makes other people seem more attractive because of overlapping response.
This is particularly bad when you are experiencing that emotion for real and also for independent reasons experiencing the physical sensation associated with the emotion more strongly.
So for example, purely hypothetically you understand, say you:
1. Are a bit anxious. 2. Experience anxiety as a tense shoulders threat response 3. Also are fucking up your shoulder muscles by a recent change in work environment causing bad posture
You know how some people are *really* into being geeks and proudly declare they're geeks and are super into things specifically because they're geeky and it's just incredibly cringe, especially if you're also a geek?
I feel like a lot of identity labels work like this.
I don't think identity labels are bad BTW. Identity labels serve a lot of useful social functions which are hard to replace. It's just that taking them too seriously seems to be a very cringe failure mode.
I'm a little worried I've reinvented the "Fake Geek Girl" concept as most of the examples I can think of doing this are women. There are guys who are clearly a bit too into being geeks, but their identity isn't challenged so they don't need to perform it.
There's a particularly unpleasant experience that it seems like most people who are (cis?) male feminist nerds have at least some of, which is that they've internalised the idea that their being attracted to women is in some sense morally bad.
Combination of growing up in an environment where "X is attracted to a girl!!!" is treated as a hilarious subject of bullying plus a lot of feminism acquired as an adult telling them that it's almost impossible to hit on women without being an oppressor.
The reality is that being attracted to people is good and honestly it's not that hard to ethically hit on someone, but this can be a hard message to internalise.
Let me teach you a nonstandard dirty rhetorical trick: People really don't like to admit that they have done something morally bad, so it is *really* useful to argue in such a way that they can cast their behaviour as an honest mistake.
A lot of the time when trying to untangle concepts or explain issues, I ignore the fact that a lot of the behaviour in the relevant space is bad faith. This is me using that trick.
I don't do this unless I think it's plausible that there is also confused usage / honestly mistaken behaviour out there, but by framing mistakes as the main problem rather than ethics, I give people the ability to save face as they mend their ways.
I'm generally of the opinion that honesty and mutual cooperation with people are the path to a better future for everyone, but it must be noted that for this purpose neither your boss nor your landlord counts as a person.
Dehumanisation is bad. Outside their professional contexts, bosses and landlords are in fact people. It's possible that some of them could be your friends in other circumstances. But if you cosplay as a soul-sucking eldritch horror, you're going to get treated like one.
Your relationship with these people is founded on the fact that they will ruthlessly exploit you given the slightest opportunity to do so, and you should behave accordingly.
Hmm. Speculative thought, not sure if I believe it or not, but it feels truthy:
The major division in masculine vs feminine conversation norms is whose responsibility it is to manage your feelings about the conversation. Male norms say it's yours, female norms say it's mine.
If true, this might explain some failure modes: In a conversation in which a man upsets a woman, each thinks the other is being a bad conversation partner by failing to uphold their responsibilities.
(Again, speculative, also I'm not making a normative claim, just descriptive)
I guess more modest version of this claim: many conversational norms are usefully framed in terms of who is supposed to manage a particular emotion, and masculine norms more often assume you manage your own, while feminine ones more often assume you manage the other's.
Everyone is wrong about mansplaining and it's very annoying.
Mansplaining is a failure to negotiate a common conversation protocol, resulting in an annoying mismatch. This can be due to sexism but it isn't necessarily so.
People talk about how mansplaining is just "how men talk to eachother" and this isn't true - mansplaining is what happens when you talk to someone in a particular male coded way that they are not prepared to engage with.
Mansplaining is like talking to someone in French when you know they don't speak French - it's probably a dick move, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's reasonable for them to expect you to speak to them in English.
"It is your moral duty to stoically endure a constant litany of emotional abuse without complaint, because you deserve it because of crimes committed by people who aren't you, and the fact that you think you don't deserve it is evidence that you do deserve it."
I understand that everyone is coming from a place of hurt, and we are all on different stages of our journey, and I try to allow room for others to grow in their understanding of the world and their personal journey, but I am only so strong in my ability to internalise this.
And one way my weakness and difficulty with forgiveness manifests is like this: If you deploy abuser tactics, then I wish you the very best in your personal growth, but it is very unlikely that I will ever trust you again.