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    • AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka @mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
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from Marx
  • A paragon of conflict theory. And of group agency as well – a lot of Marxism is about the agency of classes, although not quite explicitly. I'm on shaky ground, but my understanding is that that is what is meant by [class consciousness]
    • While German theorist Karl Marx rarely used the term "class consciousness", he did make the distinction between "class in itself", which is defined as a category of people having a common relation to the means of production; and a "class for itself", which is defined as a stratum organized in active pursuit of its own interests.
from LWMap/Being a Robust Agent
  • Isn't one of the basic strategies of game play is to not be legible; to hide your intentions? This seems to resonate with a theme I've noticed elsewhere (see conflict theory) – despite their love of games, rationalists tend to not take real competition seriously enough, and assume more cooperation than there actually is.
from Deleuze
from Meditations on Meditations on Moloch
  • This is very parallel to an earlier criticism I made on his conflict theory, a weird inability to see agency in the enemy, this assumption that conflict isn't just bad, it doesn't really exist. I can't make much sense out of this, except maybe he means that if only people were better or smarter, then they wouldn't pursue their base and selfish goals, and everyone would agree on what those goals should be.
from For Memorial Day
  • I'm a conflict theory guy but I hate war, how does that work? By going up a level and fighting against war. That theory is laid out in Omniorthogonal: Refactoring War, which takes off from "the current fighting in Israel in Gaza", where "current" ≡ 2014. Since war keeps repeating itself, I guess I won't feel too bad about repeating my old blog posts.
from Technic and Magic
  • I'm very suspicious of "unity" (see monotheism), but to derive from that "extreme solidarity" – that sounds appealing. I'm more of a conflict theory guy to be honest, but I also I feel like I'm aging out of it and am ready for some peace and unity and solidarity.
from Meditations on Meditations on Moloch
  • But Marx was also a major conflict theorist. Marx didn't think capitalism that just happened due to some unfortunate dynamics, and could be defeated by being smarter; he thought it was the way it was because it reflected the material interests of a specific group of people (the bourgeoise) and could only be fixed by another group of people finding their agency and overthrowing it.
from LWMap/Varieties of Argumentation Experience
  • This seems closely related to Scott's earlier works on conflict theory, which inspired me to write a couple of long blog posts. Scott's a powerful and subtle thinker, and it was an interesting exercise trying to figure out just where he goes wrong; where I find myself pulling in a different direction.
from optimizing
  • I'm a conflict theory type of guy so would not want to go against the idea that competition is fundamental. Something about the optimization framework doesn't sit right with me though. Humans have the unique ability to redefine their own competitive landscapes, and reducing all human intelligent action to an optimization problem seems to miss what thinking is really about.
Twin Pages

conflict theory

16 Jan 2021 03:13 - 07 Jan 2022 09:09

    • Conflict vs Mistake is a one of those SlateStarCodex pieces that, regardless of whatever problems I have with it, has become foundational to my own discourse as well as that of the Rationalist community. (His Meditations on Moloch is another and there are probably others). It inspired me to write a couple of long blog posts. Scott's a powerful and subtle thinker, and it was an interesting exercise trying to figure out just where he goes wrong; where I find myself pulling in a different direction.
    • The dichotomy he set up still resonates; I find myself more noticing conflict as such and my attitudes toward it. Something in me likes to pick fights; for better or worse, even if peaceful cooperation is obviously better.
    • Conflict theorists

      • Heraclitus

        • War is the father of us all and our king. War discloses who is godlike and who is but a man, who is a slave and who is a freeman.
        • It must be seen clearly that war is the natural state of man. Justice is contention. Through contention all things come to be.
          • – tr Davenport
      • Literature

        • The oddly similar themes of two somewhat nihilistic novels I read recently: Blood Meridian and White Noise, both of which feature ominous, somewhat satanic figures who articulate a theory that violence is part of the fundamental nature of existence.
      • William Blake

        • Without Contraries is no progression Opposition is True Friendship
          • – The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
      • Bruno Latour

        • Forces that ally themselves in the course of a trial are said to be durable. Each entelechy generates times for others by allying with or betraying them. "Time" arises at the end of this game, a game in which most lose what they have staked.
        • Nothing escapes the primordial trials. Before negotiation we have no idea what kind of trials there will be-whether they can be thought of as conflict, game, love, history, economy, or life.
        • There is no natural end to such controversies.They may always be reopened. The only way to close them is to stop other actants from leading those that have been enrolled astray and turning them into traitors. In the end, interpretations are always stabilized by an array of forces.
          • Irreductions
      • Walter Ong
        • (in Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality, and Consciousness)
          • Contest is part of human life everywhere that human life is found. In war and in games, in work and in play, physically, intellectually, and morally human beings match themselves against one another....Context is one kind of adversativeness, if we understand adversativeness in the ordinary large sense of a relationship in which beings are set against or act against one another.
          • In Egypt a few years ago I met an itinerant self-styled "conflict engineer"...
      • Chantal Mouffe

        • In this book, we argued that two key concepts – ‘antagonism’ and ‘hegemony’ – are necessary to grasp the nature of the political. Both pointed to the importance of acknowledging the dimension of radical negativity that manifests itself in the ever-present possibility of antagonism.
          • The first part of this makes sense; but I have no idea what "radical negativity" is pointing to.
        • This dimension, we proposed, impedes the full totalization of society and forecloses the possibility of a society beyond division and power.
          • "full totalization of society" does not exactly make me kvell with enthusiasm. Have a feeling I am eavesdropping at a meeting of serious Marxists and I obviously don't belong there.
      • Fascists
        • War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it.
      • Charles Peirce

        • A thing without oppositions ipso facto does not exist.
          • Quoted by Ong
      • Stewart Brand (very sort of)

        • I vaguely remember a quote from him, something about how peace would never replace war because "conflict was too interesting". Not his most original thought, but it made an impression on me when I first came across it. Oddly I always think of him as the one sixties figure who was too smart to engage in the political conflicts of the time, preferring instead to map out creative alternatives.
    • Anticonflict theorists

      • SSC and Rationalists

        • have problems with conflict and politics. I've picked this apart elsewhere; but to put them in the best light, it's the attitude that most conflict is a tragically unnecessary waste, and if people were just smarter they could find better ways to solve their problems.
        • I'm no doubt overgeneralizing and oversimplifying, but it strikes me that your basic rationalist is perfectly fine with conflict in play, or games, or competition in a market economy. They don't like the existential to-the-death conflict of war, for obviously sensible reasons. And they don't like politics because it is too close to war.
      • Venkatesh Rao (sort of)

        • His Internet of Beefs is not exactly anticonflict, but it seems to have a somewhat jaundiced view of the tendency:
          • The mark of a knight of the vast round table of the Internet of Beefs is the relentless pursuit of the Holy Grift. A mercantile mission for the end of history.