Very Secure

The Right Kind of Positivity

Jfw's refreshing and amusing "From the forum log" series includes a summary of a recent monologue from mp. The summary caught my attention and I daresay I have something to add to it after reading an article on human behavior linked in a comment mp left here.

First, the summary:

Trinque not having replied yet, MP expanded his own point on the suppression machine: going through life, one is constantly uncovering new personal deficiencies. Each time, one faces a difficult choice: to face and overcome it, painful because it requires killing a part of one's youth; to accept insufficiency; or to pretend it doesn't exist or doesn't matter and eventually end up an overgrown teenage loser (possibly hanging out in #asciilifeform to commiserate). He went on to note that the existence of evil(i) is essential for life to be interesting, but that this doesn't make it any less evil.

i. Or problems1

And the original:

mircea_popescu: every time you discover something, you get the same exact choice, again and again each time. you get the same choice that also happens to be the ~only~ meaningful choice you ever get, or ever could possibly get : are you going to fix it ?
mircea_popescu: there's strictly two possible answers you can ever produce, and they're yes or no. yes sucks because, well... it is suicide. [][]quite literally], the little girl gotta die.
mircea_popescu: no sucks because... it really doesn't. once you decide you actually "like" your dysfunction, or in any case you're not equal to its remedial, you're stuck hanging out in #asciilifeform with all the other cripples.
mircea_popescu: your life becomes a carousel of a) identifying partitions upon the world that'll neatly divide it across the line of "this part exposes my dysfunction" / "this part doesn't expose my dysfunction" (definitionally an impossible task) and b) making up stories about how it all works out, or will, or whatever.
mircea_popescu: in the end, what you do is hang out with the other cripples. that's it, the loser table at the highschool cafeteria, where you tell each other stories of "how you aren't really geeks", and how one day you'll get the cheerleader, the usual fare. making pacts about losing your virginity by end of school...
mircea_popescu: it's not exactly novel, but on the contrary well documented to date. lotta cripples have lived since the practical implementation of rochester's all men be cowards if they durst.
mircea_popescu: it gets you stuck saying patently dumb shit like "alliance of the smart against the stupid" when what you quite transparently ~really~ mean is very much "i thought this guy was gonna vouch for my imaginary partitions of a) above!" ;
mircea_popescu: and everyone else is stuck somehow reconciling your supposed "great technical acumen" with your apparent incapacity to intellectually function enough to match a age-adequately developed nine year old slut -- which is incidentally how the elaborate narrative of the naysayers even evoloved over time : the others dealing with the anal child is how anal childhood even gets implanted in heads in the first place.
mircea_popescu: from whence it can further spread -- much like camels who never saw other camels spit don't know how to spit nor ever spit, while camels who did see other camels spit do know how and actually do it, just so people don't come up with evil naturally, they just replicate it from having seen it before.
mircea_popescu: this isn't a complaint -- i don't personally mind evil exists, nor do i believe it shouldn't exist or that its absence would signal any kind of improvement. without evil the world's boring as fuck, which is why idiots asking dumb questions like "how come an infinitely good god has small children raped to death" are fucking stupid. evil is a better addition to the world than fucking cinema, it'd be way too borning to try
mircea_popescu: and live without.
mircea_popescu: nevertheless -- this introduces no relativism. the ethical choice stays the ethical choice, and the moral state remains the moral state. yes or no, the perpetual question, and well...

The perpetual struggle to make the right decision at every juncture is made extra difficult by the brain's tendency to turn to fatlogic. It's not enough to make one tough choice to fix a deficiency. To mature one has to repeatedly go against their conditioning while fighting against extinction bursts.

This requires forming the habit of running towards the scary. And in order to build a habit of running towards the scary, one needs a positive outlook. This positive outlook is not the rhasta "don't worry, be happy" mentality, but instead a healthy focus on positive experience that lets one bear the cost required to improve.2

The rhasta mentality is one I have lived with for oh too long. Dealing with issues via imagination doesn't work; even with heroin you can't fully escape reality. I like my cheery disposition, but I need to ensure that my happiness is grounded in reality. Growing up I saw my father3, the live warning, reach the point where he was unemployed, playing solitaire all day, and taking molly-lite.4

It is difficult to be positive while experiencing the pain from exposing flaws for dissection. Temporarily suffering to improve in the long term is required. But being alive means *always* moving in the direction of improvement, never planning to stop at some higher comfort level. So one needs to learn to bear the pain and focus on enjoying the reality that manifests from making tough choices.

  1. Is this how one quotes a footnote - by manually writing it in the bottom of the blockquote? []
  2. As Naggum explains while discussing depression:

    depression is all about focusing on the negative things you observe, about expanding the impression of being "unlucky" to some kind of cosmic condition and from then on doing the opposite of what normal people do, which is to ignore the negative and the hardships because they _expect_ every ounce of positive experience to have a pound of cost, and they _know_ that errare humanum est, and that errors have costs, too. on top of this, the depressed tend not even to _see_ anything positive.


  3. Who always appeared to be happy []
  4. Some antidepressant. I believe it was one of the popular SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) []

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