William Gillis

23 Mar 2024 10:50 -
Open in Logseq
    • Nihilism: A Lie In Service To The Existing
      • The moment any constancy or structure is admitted to be found in the world the game of value-nihilism becomes unsalvageable. If radicalism — intellectual vigilance — is remotely coherent and efficacious, then it becomes emergent from caring. One has desires and so one puts in intellectual consideration to satiate them. New discoveries propagate updates to one’s motivating desires, and one grows to recognize more just how critical having a better map of the world’s structure is. One’s endless ontological update crises gradually dissolve any extended rigid sense of self. A runaway compounding process happens and all other values fall away to radicalism itself. What different discursive traditions term vigilance, epistemic rationality, consciousness, and even freedom. **The storm of recursion and meta-cognition that gives us ‘agency’.**
        • (emph added)
    • Manifesto of sorts What Is Anarcho-Transhumanism?
      • Fuck you, I’m a robot. I’m a whatever. They’re whatevers. You don’t get a say in it and there’s no reason whatsoever for you to assume. I’m a mind with agency and that should obviously include agency in my self-construction (from The Floating Metal Sphere Trump Card)
    • The Psychological Economy Of Inaction
      • I can't quite follow everything here, but it's clear why I find him interesting: he is trying to have a strong theory of agency while also acknowledging the naturalist reality of neural processes. Wrestling with the same paradoxes I like to think about.
      • Human neural nets are just imperfect that way. We innately train ourselves on a variety of meta-levels, in ways that unfairly conflict with our conscious self-narrative. Moving something to a “to do” column rather than doing it here and now feels like a self-contained action, but it isn’t.
      • Our very agency itself isn’t a binary force that leaps into existence with our consciousness, but is a process of thinking & acting that can be present to various degrees and likewise habituated or repressed.
      • We can be constructing a narrative of consciousness without also engaging in the process of agency – reflection cohering into a resolution that is applied externally in action. As so many experiments show, consciousness isn’t the same thing as agency.
      • Consciousness is related to the singularity of action. The processes within our brains may be distributed and simultaneous, but the actual action our bodies can take is singular. We either crack open a beer or we do not, we cannot live in a superposition of states. This forces unification upon the distributed simultaneousness of our thinking: many circuits or flickers can fire within the network, but they must congeal, converge, or combat to some level of unification.
        • Interesting, I have had thoughts along these lines but never articulated them quite like this.