TOPIC: ☣ Neurotechnicon: Adding Excerpts Weekly ☣
☣ Neurotechnicon: Adding Excerpts Weekly ☣ 3 years 3 weeks ago #39
Praxis Astra 2011
War in the information age. The metagame of EVE including instructions on playing EVE "against" yourself. Destruction or protection according to your prediliction. With all due thanks to Sun Tzu, Screwtape, Niccolo Machiavelli, George Orwell, James Madison, and my dad.
Qualities needed for the Hearts & Minds Player.
1. Clearheaded enough to be able to effectively use the Golden Rule.
2. Strong sense of individuality even when a "member" of a group.
3. Sense of Humor.
4. Patience. Time and time again I've found this to be the edge that does the actual cutting when actually implementing my Secret Evil Plans. If you are capable of more patience than your targets, you will have players at your mercy basically because their attention got distracted.
5. Ability to keep your mouth shut.
6. Acting ability.
7. Ability to operate effectively under conditions of uncertainty.
Hearts and Minds (TM)
"One bushel of your enemy's wheat is worth twenty of your own."
Sun Tzu The Art of War
Consider Not Sharing The Neurotechnicon
This is really the only thing that Smiling Friends Social Club has which could do irreparable damage if we were to lose control over it. This is a manual on destroying EVE organizations from within. In order to do this you have to pay attention to the meta game of EVE, the game that concerns itself with how the game is played. It is by extending your mind and heart into the meta game you give yourself a fundamental advantage over a player who has not taken the time and trouble to do so. Almost without exception this is an advantage against which, in the end, no number of ships or ISK can prevail. (In this we are merely re stating the position of Sun Tzu in modern English and using the framework of an MMO.) The thing has been written to act as an innocculent just by reading it. Before you make the decision to surrender this advantage, which is what you do every time you let someone not in SFSC read the Neurotechnicon, consider the possible costs to yourself carefully.
How You Destroy An EVE Organization
You cannot by yourself destroy a group. The group itself must provide you with the weapons you need. A well run group will be much harder to destroy than a badly run group. But well run groups in EVE are rare. Most of their leaders care more about the fantasy of being in charge than the actuality of what that means. Every leader who would rather be in charge of something badly run than part of something well run is not the CEO of their EVE corp, they are the CEO of your EVE corp. And its up to you if they ever learn this or not.
Excerpt from Chapter XIII
Every mighty warrior in his faction fitted ship who won't fight the battle within becomes an unknowing vessel in your fleet. Listening to them whine at each other as they fall on their friends rather than take one clear look in the mirror is just gravy.
Excerpt from Chapter XIV
Your wickedness is exactly like your goodness in that its actual worth is what you are actually willing to pay for it. One thing we can count on from most of our targets is that no matter what their putative "virtures" they will not be willing to pay as much for them as you are willing to pay for yours.
Excerpt from Chapter II
The consummate act of genius is simply to see what is in front of you without your preconceptions and knowledge interfering. The mind capable of fielding this weapon will have access to information that few others will access.
Excerpt from Chapter II
A lie is never a trivial thing. Every single one has to be watched carefully and remembered remembered remembered. They have a way of skipping out of your control and doing just the kind of mischef you don't want at the least opportune momments. A like is like a demon servant evoked by just the right combination of words. Like demons, lies always cheat on how much they are going to cost you. Every lie you tell requires your resources to maintain or it will do damage. Like any effective tool they can damage you as much as they can damage your targets if not more.
In this chapter we discuss how, using the methods you learned in chapter I to create your memory palace, you can build a deceptadrome of mnemonic devices to remember and organize your lies.
A lie is never as powerful as a truth. The reason is simple. A truth, bearing the weight of and reflecting the effects from actual events, needs less attention from you in order to do its work. A lie, existing only in the words and minds of the speaker and hearer, has no momentum but what you and the hearer give it yourselves. To believe your lies at any time other than the moment you utter them is an error from which there is usually no escape. Your lies may not be as powerful as the truth but they can easily become more powerful than you.
Excerpt from Chapter III
The simple and terrifying truth is that the cold calculations of lab and caliper reinforces the observation and anecdote of the mystics. Our nervous systems do not make so great a distiction between actual and virtual as we'd all, in our hearts of hearts, hoped they would.
Excerpt from Chapter VII
One of the very best things to use against your targets is a simple sentence: "Its only a game." Ahhhhhhhh. Sweet reason. Silly game. Why throw yourself into it? What could be bad about that? Relax. Play EVE? Watch a movie? What's the difference. All you have to do is whisper that. Whisper that in their ears. Do it just right and you'll get yourself a reputation as a Voice of Reason. And its the truth. There's absolutely no reason to take any attitude besides "Its only a game" towards playing EVE. There is one nagging little detail. Reason just isn't conducive to excellent play. Of Excellence of any kind. Nobody has ever put it better than The Tick: "Sanity really is just a one trick pony. But when you're good and crazy, the sky's the limit."
Any "good reason" you can give your targets to give what they are doing at the moment less than their full attention is good enough for you.
Excerpt from Chapter XII
This method of converting any form of attention that your allies or opponents pay you into something useful is a technique we borrow from Tai Chi and Pua Kua, two of the Taoist martial arts. The basis of this stratagem are simple facts of our neurology. Attention is a limited resource. Every bit of it we cause our opponents to use for our purposes is an irrevocable loss for them. Add to that the circular flow of energy between aggressor and target and.."
Excerpt from Chapter I
Spying in EVE is a particularly thorny problem because the overall situation as regards spies is what Sun Tzu would call smooth ground. Everyone has complete access to everyone else at any time. Any character is just a chat window or another tab in their TS voice server away from being to feed your opponents information realtime. Kidding yourself about this is deadly because by the time you can put your finger on what's wrong, its just too late.
Like it or not, in EVE the ingame and out of game communications available to us gives the first side to send in agents a primary and lasting advantage.
The only way--ONLY WAY--to field a successful intelligence campaign is to be on the offensive. Being reactive is being doomed.
Excerpt from Chapter XIV
Never forget that we are interested. At other Directors meetings they talk about alliances, corporations, coalitions. Fleets. We discuss players. We build whole initiatives around you. We will help you with your heart's desires. There is no finer trap, more deeply laid, that will reveal more to you about someone than aiding them in achieving what they say they want and finding out what they actually do.
Excerpt 1 from Chapter XV1
The best way to know the faults in an organization is to know the faults of its leader. The faults of the leader of a corp are usually the only ones that can become as if geological, magnified until they are a part of the landscape on which its members tread. Most leaders will attract lieutenants who are willing to at least mimic their faults. Most leaders fear most the rival who has the virtues they lack.
There are very few faults that could be said to always work in our favor. But if there were one that could be said to have this virtue, it would be heedlessness of their management and members who contribute to their corp.
You must use phrases such as, "Why should we (fill in incentive here) for their doing something that's the minimum anyone should expect?" Any sentence to anyone in the leadership group that contains "After all you've done for them...." is sure to strike at least a nerve. Some of the deepest damage can come from someone expressing gratitude to you. The best response should include the implication that thanks are fine for girly men who don't understand things like duty and that you appreciate the sentiment, of course you do, but isn't it understood? At least it is by the real men who understand duty and honor and who don't need their hands held. But thank you anyway. That one is like a virus that can eat away at a corp because of the efforts of people who try to promulgate it for the corp's own good.
If someone wants to give someone a decoration, you volunteer. Make sure it gets turned into something silly or insulting and you might even give the whole corp a sour taste about giving decorations at all. Take that heedlessness of the CEO mirror and magnify it. They kill their corp. You want to be working hard for its benefit so your loyalty is never questioned and there's more for you to steal on your way out.
Excerpt 2 from Chapter XVII
“The Devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked…” (Thomas Moore)
Just as heedlessness in a leader of a volunteer organization will always work in your favor, a sense of humor about anything, especially themselves, is pure poison to our enterprise. Humor is distilled perspective. Every shake and shout and squirt forces anything you can't digest through your craw and makes it into something you can share with your friends. Encourage them to laugh at each other, if you can't force humor off the stage entirely. But that can lead to laughing with each other and this is a kind of love that even men have not been taught to fear sharing. Laughter is the great Achille's Heel, and it stands, shining, terrible and slightly absurd, the shield and counterpart to our Golden Rule, the Joachim to its Boaz. Like unto the Angel at the Gate of Eden. But in this case, the Angel comes at you with his flaming sword, and slips on a banana peel, crushing you beneath his butt. Yet the very best agents know how to appear to have a sense of humor disguising wit as humor. Or using their humor sparingly and strategically...
Excerpt from Chapter XVIII
...and for those of you who just aren't interested in using this stuff to destroy organizations, just put it on its side. Take the time to consider applying the opposite and see where it takes you. The same could be said for The Technocrat.
Excerpted from Appendix 1 Assembly of Conscious Thought
GOLDEN RULE EXERCISE: Reality/Fantasy. Assess every single interaction while you play EVE in terms of the reality vs fantasy. The player vs the role. Example--when you say "I" do you mean yourself or your character? When other players say "I" which do they mean? Same with the word "you." Watch for slips. Use of "dollars" in place of "ISK" for example. In my writing, I slip in and out of fantasy and reality. In an EVEmail: can you identify the reality vs the fantasy in what is referred to in that mail? Think of examples of your own to concentrate on and be alert to. Convo me re your results at 72 hours and 1 week. Bonus insight: When they call the state of mind necessary to appreciate fiction the "suspension of disbelief" what is really meant is "the ability to actively believe what you know to be objectively untrue." If the very idea that human beings are individually and en masse capable of such a thing terrifies you, be reassured. It means only that you are still at least on nodding terms with your own sanity. This is the one and only exercise that is in a category of its own and this is something that may or may not bear pondering.
FIRST INTELLECTUAL EXERCISE: Read the Technocrat and the Neurotechnicon. Consider both on their own merits and in relation to each other.
SECOND INTELLECTUAL EXERCISE: After reading both the Technocrat and the Neurotechnicon, reverse both of them so that everything in the Technocrat is now instructions to destroy a corp and everything in the Neurotechnicon is now instructions to build a corp.
FIRST VERBAL EXERCISE: Practice on this TS server playing a character who is an agent, not only playing a character who is an EVE character. Count your slips.
SECOND VERBAL EXERCISE: Practice talking about your project without giving away your characters name or any other damning details. Count your slips.
THIRD VERBAL EXERCISE: Practice listening. A spy knows how to listen. Every time you open your mouth you quite literally provide an opening for a fatal mistake. Every time they open theirs, you get an opening. Make certain that during the course of any conversation you are doing LESS THAN 50 percent of the talking. Encourage them if need be. Keep track of your conversations and how many you succeed in and how many you fail in.
FOURTH VERBAL EXCERCISE: Practice concentrating on what anyone you are listening to is saying. Every time you start thinking of what you will respond rather than concentrating on what they are saying, count that as a slip in your concentration.
FIFTH VERBAL EXERCISE: Practice remembering what name goes to what voice in the chatroom. Count your lapses.
SIXTH VERBAL EXERCISE: Practice getting information from your conversational partner while giving as little as possible in return. Note: this is the exact opposite of our usual pattern where we are blabbing about ourselves while ignoring everyone else as much as possible. A very light touch with this or anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to you can become suspicious.
SEVENTH VERBAL EXERCISE: The power of silence. Try to learn the pleasure of keeping quiet about what you know. See if you can train yourself to enjoy the thrill of withholding information rather than sharing it. Anytime you have something juicy to share, ask yourself if sharing this bit of information is essential. Every time you give a piece of info away except for a very specific reason count it as a lapse.
FIRST EMOTIONAL EXERCISE: Practice distrusting your friends and closest allies. Do this first for 24 hours. Take 48 hours off. Then alternate days between being uncritically trusting and seething with distrust. This one is not easy.
SECOND EMOTIONAL EXERCISE: Practice simply not knowing if you can trust the people you are playing with or not. Inflame your uncertainty with every means available. Become a security officer. Buy stuff from people in Jita Local. Don't ignore that nagging voice that keeps reminding you that, yeah, they can love me, but its a game, they can fuck me and walk away without any consequences.... Let your corp mates move huge amounts of your stuff without asking for collateral. Don't make safe spots. Your goal is simple: to keep playing anyway.
THIRD EMOTIONAL EXERCISE: Oh the bromance! Isn't it wonderful how we guys are cool, calm, and collected. Unlike those chicks who have all that emotional drama going on (especially at certain times of the month wink wink) Even better, when you do something like playing EVE where biological females are less than .00000010000006% of the player base, you get to have a social structure that is, consequently, 99.111111911111114% free of inconvenient feelings, emotional dramas (both good and bad), erotic yearnings, irrational rages, inconvenient infatuations, unsought for hero worships, and the like. Take a deep breath. Look around you. Feel around you. Where are you in the bizarre yet utterly familiar web of relationships we males make when the female are just not around? Starting point: So without women men tend to stay stuck in the armed camp/dominance hierarchy mode. But one of the most interesting things about us is that we can and do branch out from there. Your place in this scheme of things is likely only partly what you think it is. Misidentification of this nagging little detail has an effect on your plans that is in a word, deadly. Other's misidentification of their place in this scheme of things is something you can use against them, time and time again. Bonus Insight: Most guys won't ever even think of this stuff because its kinda homo having--y'know--feelings towards other men so attacks from this quarter are almost always surprise attacks.
FOURTH EMOTIONAL EXERCISE: Humor as a weapon. Humor is distilled perspective. Laughter is your inner gyroscope, keeping your equilibrium (read: sanity) intact when nothing and nobody else will. Keeping your balance is an essential part of any martial art. Anything that you can't laugh at at least part of the time has you whipped. Including yourself. Especially yourself. Do you have a tragedy too grand to laugh at ever? Are you too dignified to see that you are slapstick, right down to the hidden chambers of your bleeding heart? The rest of us think its absolutely hilarious that you think so. The rest of us are genuinely sorry that you aren't in on your own joke. Of course this self inflicted tragedy makes you all the funnier, which makes your inability to laugh at yourself in of itself more comedic. Its really simple. If you can't laugh at yourself too, all the rest of us can do by definition is laugh at you and in the end there's only so much of that that's fun. But I digress. Part 1 If there's something you don't think is funny, especially about yourself, spend some time prying it loose. You start by noticing how easily you'd see the humor if it was happening to someone else. You find what needs to be laughed at by following your pain. Once you have some facility at this you are ready for Part 2. Notice what others don't ever find funny. Each instance of this is a weakness to be identified and possibly exploited. Once you have some facility at this you are ready for Part 3. Notice their humor. Just notice it. What does the object of it, the quality of it, the frequency of it suggest to you?
FIFTH EMOTIONAL EXERCISE: Learning how to hate. You don't really know how to hate unless you can hate the people you are in contact with day to day. Starting with the minor quirks and habits that you find mildly irritating you can come to see your most trusted friends and allies as the self serving, delusional, vicious, faithless feckless and smelly creatures they actually are. You will have to cultivate a seething state that never abates yet never quite reaches your voice or eyes. Really the best all around thing to work towards is a contempt based on actual shortcomings. Contempt distances you while being the least likely to cause you to show your true colors. This exercise is easiest for people who are accustomed to having to delude themselves about the people they love. FREE Bonus Insight: This often has the unlooked for side effect of enabling one to see how the vile inhuman scum that are your enemies could, at least to someone else, be a human being capable of loving and being loved.
SIXTH EMOTIONAL EXERCISE: Learning how to love. Unless you are a psychopath, you can love. But do you love both wisely and well? Loving wisely is choosing the right object to love. Loving a drug that is killing you, for example, might not be considered wise. Loving well is a matter of how good you are at it. If you love hunting but do not bring down prey you are not a good hunter. If you love virtue but behave reprehensively on a regular basis, you are a virtuous person if you like, just not very good at virtue. How could anyone ever judge your precious love? The same way we would judge anything else we judge. By the results of it, silly. By how much of it is actually for yourself, instead of the object of it. By how you behave as the result of it. By how others behave as the result of it. By what other things besides love come with it and cannot be separated from it. By how much illusion versus truth you need to sustain it. By how much you are willing to pay for it, and how much you make others pay for it in your stead. The first step is to be aware that all the fine and fancy tales you tell yourself might not be true. Next: Chances are the next step will actually be discernible only to you. Bonus Life Changing Insight: Always remember that your love is utterly unique, just like everyone else's. Free Epiphany: It is possible to see people for what they actually are, and love them anyway.
FIRST METAGAMING EXERCISE: As you play ask yourself: am I playing an EVE character at this moment or am I playing an EVE character who is an agent? What is the difference to me? What freedoms, if any, am I finding as the result of it?
SECOND METAGAMING EXERCISE: As you log on, remind yourself that you are playing an agent. Which exercise will you be working on today while playing EVE? Can you get yourself into the habit of working on one or more exercises the whole time you are logged on? Maybe to start only when your infiltrator character is logged on....
THIRD METAGAMING EXERCISE: What is your goal for your character? Do you have a plan, not only in EVEmon, but in terms of what parts of yourself you want to use this character to learn to better express. Also in more "mundane" terms, what do you want your character's career to look like? What impression, if any, do you want to make with them on the EVE universe?
FOURTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: What are the players expressing through their character's behavior? Are they being the bad guy they can't be in the real world? Are they being the good guy they can't be in the real world? What is this player's idea of what you should do in New Eden and how can you use this knowledge against them?
FIFTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: Assess every interaction in terms of what it tells you about your or their self importance or both. Learning how to do this reflexively is essential both for offense and defense.
SIXTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: What do they tell you about real life that you can exploit? Create your Real Life cover story to bolster whatever your character's goals are. Give nothing of your RL away.
SEVENTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: Concentration. Effective spies operate in states of intellectual and emotional uncertainty that would normally be crippling. One of the only actual defenses against this is concentrating on what you are doing at the moment. Concentration, as opposed to say, bitching and whining, is in itself an adaptive habit and it serves as an excellent distraction. You can get into the habit of encouraging a heightened state of concentration as soon as you log on, for example.
EIGHTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: Clarity. Concentration often leads to clarity. Egoism, doublethink, your strongest loves and hates, your preconceptions, these things are all impediments to clarity. How are you going to see what the is in front of your face if you are too busy admiring your face? How is fracturing your capacity for critical thought helping you to be anything but fodder? Feelings conceal almost as much as they reveal. And what you know is the deadliest trap for new ideas you will ever encounter. The first step to clarity is to have it as your goal. The second step is to identify the impediments to it. The third step is to simply wait. Bonus insight: clarity is the opposite of doublethink.
NINTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: Adopt a specific role when speaking in the TS server.
TENTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: Think of your own exercise. It must have a measurable goal.
ELEVENTH METAGAMING EXERCISE: Separation of the map from the territory. The thing is not the words that describe the thing. The menu is not the meal. What you believe about the world is not the same thing as the world. Every single time you are confronted with someone who disagrees with you, with information that is in contravention with your current information, especially beloved cherished longheld beliefs, monitor how upset the particular incident makes you and exactly what it was. This includes personal insults and accusations. These are particularly instructive because as we all know, you don't get upset at anything anyone says unless they have touched a nerve. A good agent can tell far more about someone than that person knows about themselves in a relatively short conversation just by tracking these reactions. Bonus Insight: It is awesome, really truly awesome, how much information you suddenly get access to once you can see past your own reflexive reactions. Second Free Bonus Insight: This is really just an elaboration of the Golden Rule exercise.
EMOTIONAL INNOCULATION #1: Any time anybody says (or does) anything that causes you to be angry--stop. Assume it is a trap. Breathe deeply. Consider the options. (This is especially fitting in instances where someone in your group tells you something that causes you to be angry at anyone other than them.)
EMOTIONAL INNOCULATION #2: Trust no one. Don't even tell Praxis you're doing this exercise. Why should Praxis know anyway? Like what's he going to do with that little tidbit? Teach you stuff? Hah!
MENTAL/EMOTIONAL INNOCULATION #1: Begin the long slow painful process of removing doublethink from your mental processes.
Doublethink is a primate adaptation that allows us to believe that we and our tribe are the only people who have god and ethics and all those good things on our side. Doublethink is a very adaptive way for the unreflexive tribalist to respond when they or their tribe are in conflict. For anyone wanting to proceed with conscious volition, or use the group for their own ends, doublethink almost always results in failure, again and again. Doublethink, once recognized and integrated into one's personality could be considered a mental martial art of its own. For a much more in depth review of doublethink please consult Appendix B in George Orwell's novel 1984. For our purposes here, suffice it to say that doublethink is basically when we do something, doing that thing is obviously God's will and at the very worst a necessary evil. When they do the same thing it is an abominable evil, proof of their lack of humanity and of the necessity to slaughter them wholesale. Doublethink renders its host extremely susceptible to the machinations of the host's tribal leaders. Doublethink is a very very dangerous tool analagous to a drug that renders the victim unconscious except in highly controlled doses. It is best to simply excise it except in the cases of the most advanced practitioner. I say this because doublethink has as its result (not its ultimate goal but its result) is a general dis integration of the personality resulting in multiple depedencies opposed to what we do here which is supposed to result in integration resulting in a unitary state of independance.
MENTAL/EMOTIONAL INNOCULATION #2: Avoiding Defeating Yourself With Your Conscience Anyone who wishes to influence the herd has to step out of it. Love for the herd in of itself is something that is only useful to those who wish to be ruled by it. Anyone who wishes to influence a herd can only be a member of it in the most cursory way. No matter how completely you throw yourself into your identity as a "member" of a group, if you can't step away from that identity you are now ruled by that group, no matter that you are its leader. When among your targets, you will be surrounded by players eager to subsume their identities to that of the herd. Their assumption that you must be too or you wouldn't be there is one of your best assets. This assumption is not unfair. We are a social species with all of the genetic infrastructure that that implies. For a member of a social species, survival without the herd is almost always impossible. Watch carefully your own reactions and do not be surprised that your instincts to bond with the herd you are among will often betray you. There is no defeat more devastating or complete than letting these instincts defeat your will. This is what happens to agents who go undercover when they become loyal to their targets. This is an example of the battle of self against self where your own "better nature" defeats you. The trap the cheap Jedi mind trick that works is your conscience. Such stunning self deception, this marshalling of Virtues, in their bright and shiny armors. They nag, they harry, they harass. How can you do this to him they ask? What kind of person am I? Virtue in members of a social species is no virtue at all. It is survival. Individuals often have to sacrifice their personal interests for those of the group so that they as individuals survive. There is no interest but self interest. The mature mind can accept this and still work for the benefit of their chosen group as well as their own. This is enlightened self interest. The mental, emotional and strategic flexibility that enlightened self interest tends to support is better than selfishness. Selfishness is essentially the same thing as inflexibility. If you have to be a loyal member of whatever group of people surrounds you at the moment is that a choice? Where is the virtue there? You simply can't have all of your virtues all of the time. Remaining true to your chosen path, succeeding in the mission you have chosen, these are the virtues you must practice regardless of the bump grind and stink of your fellow mammals.
MENTAL/EMOTIONAL RECALIBRATION #2: Are you responsible for your own actions? Are you responsible for your own thoughts? What if you were responsible for every single emotion you feel and others were responsible for every single emotion they feel? There is nothing in our language that supports this, filled with variations of "You made me feel..." Part 1 is to be aware. Be aware every single time you assign someone else the responsibility for your feelings. Be aware every single time they assign you the responsibility for theirs. Also be aware of every time you or anyone else uses language that assigns your feelings to them or their feelings to you. It is certainly necessary to behave as if it were true that we were responsible for the firing of neurons and secretion of hormones in each other's bodies that cause these emotions. What is also certain is that assigning others responsibility for your feelings is assigning them responsibility. It is up to you. How much responsibility do you want? The trick here is that its either all or none. Either everyone is responsible for everyone else's feelings or everyone is not. The only variation we normally find in the "everyone is responsible" script is "you are responsible for my feelings but I am not responsible for yours." This is the perspective of the two year old and it will enable you to accomplish all the many things a two year old is good at. There are other hilarious variations. "I am responsible for my good feelings but you are responsible for my bad feelings" for example. Also be alert for how people shift how and what responsibility they claim according to whim or weather or whatever. Often during the course of a single conversation. Of course the result is an ongoing state of confusion for everyone involved which like Clauzwitz's fog of war serves to further confound responsibilities. Its beautiful and it does what it does very well which is to keep everyone involved bound by a net of responsibility and debt, pleasure and pain, ever changing ever the same. At the usual cost of autonomy and the ability to use the group effectively. Bonus Insight: Once you have actually achieved independence from this network you will probably still have to speak and behave as if you are still in it. The loss of protective coloration is usually too costly otherwise. This is dangerous to your new independence because its easy to fall back into old habits when we behave as if they were still in effect. This will require constant attention.
MORAL COMPASS RECALIBRATION: As regards morality there are two kinds of people. Those who believe that morality works because it is moral. Those who believe that morality is moral because it works. As a child I was taught the former. Now my perspective inclines to the latter. If you are not going to just accept what God and/or your parents bequeathed you, and aren't just replacing it with another version of the same thing, the only thing left is what works and what doesn't. This is an incredibly easy thing to nod in agreement to while utterly ruthlessly ignoring every single application or implication. The first part of this exercise is to acknowledge that agreement is neither understanding nor application. The second part is to acknowledge if not yet understand that the cost of this perspective is not to enter into a state of amorality merely immorality as the tribalist judges such things. Of course you will be immoral according to their definition. Defending yourself, even to yourself, against this charge is a waste of time except for entertainment or heuristic purposes. That the tribalists have confounded these two ideas in your mind is simply a tribute to the effectiveness of their social control technology. (Politics and religion if you prefer.) Once again we have intelligent people of good faith confusing the end with the means. Immorality is only the enemy of the priest or politician who takes what works and adds or subtracts whatever they think will preserve their power and tribe. Immorality is a simple thing: whomever does not obey and belong, first and formost. All of this works for those people who are interested only in the roles of leader and follower. For those people who have chosen the role of individual, something other than the state sanctioned sanctimonies is essential. The third and "final" step of this exercise is to at least in theory recognize that you will be responsible for making your own moral choices. Starting point: Begin by assessing how any action affects the greatest good for the greatest number, instead of its benefit to you and your tribe. Bonus Insight: This exercise is probably worse than useless until you have achieved a certain facility with deconstructing your self importance.
You mean I get to do this stuff to them for their own good? I love being me!
Last Edit: 1 year 10 months ago by Praxis Astra.
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