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Philosophical Stuff

Parting the Veil


“If an important decision is to be made, they [the Persians] discuss the question when they are drunk, and the following day the master of the house where the discussion was held submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. If they still approve it, it is adopted; if not, it is abandoned. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober, is reconsidered afterwards when they are drunk.” ― Herodotus

"A decision was wise, even though it led to disasterous consequences, if the evidence at hand was indicated it was the best one to make; and a decision was foolish, even though it led to the happiest possible consequences, if it was unreasonable to expect those consequences." - Herodotus, lifted this quote from Data Analysis: A Bayesian Tutorial?)

The drinking I believe allowed them to access "hidden layers" of the neural networks they were using to make decisions.

He who knows (the Tao) does not (care to) speak (about it); he
who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it.

He (who knows it) will keep his mouth shut and close the portals
(of his nostrils). He will blunt his sharp points and unravel the
complications of things; he will attemper his brightness, and bring
himself into agreement with the obscurity (of others). This is called
'the Mysterious Agreement.'

(Such an one) cannot be treated familiarly or distantly; he is
beyond all consideration of profit or injury; of nobility or
meanness:--he is the noblest man under heaven.
Tao Te Ching ch.56

Interesting that the church of the Subgenius promotes opening your third nostril.

  • Nature of the Form_of_the_Good and True_Will
    • This is a fundamental investigation of what is a non-anthropocentric "good" and how to be in touch with one's True Will.
    • "Form of the Good" sounds a lot like the alchemist's Philosopher's_stone.
    • Human level morality vs. a morality of a grander scheme and seemingly the conflict between them, may actually be just phenomena experienced due to the structure of "Mind".

I learned my first big philosophical words listening to talks by psychedelic guru Terrence McKenna back in community college. I had a 64MB MP3 player that I'd load with his talks discussing culture as an OS (Operating System), psychedelic individualism, and other various explorations of the heady "Turn on, tune in, drop out" variety. Eventually ran into much more with the writings of Robert Anton Wilson, which I started with Prometheus Rising (highly recommended). More recently have found Nicholas Nassim Taleb and his risk centric musings, risk convexity is one of the most important takeaways from what I've read from him. Arthur Koestler's Ghost in the Machine is also excellent.


Evolutionary Ontology (??)

If it doesn't guide adaptive action (evolution), then it's an "illusion". Knowing anything about the "truth" will not help your reproductive fitness. Perception is the UI to reality, physics is looking at pixels to get at "the truth", when the truth is closer to an unknowable (infinite?!) dataset, very good analogy. Space-time is like a window manager for your evolved OS.

Basic Psychological






Stoicism is one of those ancient Grecian philosophies that I've bumped up against while reading AntiFragile?, where I was first introduced to the concept of Praemeditatio Malorum, where Taleb says he imagines a Story of Job situation every morning, where the absolute worst outcome of his investments and holdings has occurred, and then is subsequently very thankful such a thing hasn't happened.


Just a place for some Robert E. Howard quotes from Conan the Barbarian... and maybe some Henry Miller sometime?

  • "Barbarism is the natural state of mankind. Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph." -- Beyond the Black River (1935)
  • "The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilisation." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Electric Wizard - Barbarian, Lyrics

Novelty and Complexification

My Writing

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Page last modified on March 06, 2021, at 08:28 pm