• 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 stance
  • This idea of a stance is partly inspired by David Chapman aka Meaningness who defines a stance as "a simple, compelling pattern of thinking and feeling". One his important points is that stances trump systems, that is, people's deepest beliefs are best thought of not so much as systematic ideas, but instead as attitudes or patterns of attitudes. Chapman is talking about something fairly specific: "patterns of thinking and feeling about meaningness", where meaningness is his neologism for "problems of value, purpose, and selfhood". His stances are defined in terms of large-scale philosophical positions like nihilism and eternalism. (see stance/meaningness for my attempt to understand his concept of stance).
from Buddhism
  • This short talk by Thich Nhaat Hanh mentions eternalism/nihilism and suggests that freeing yourself from them gives you superpowers and frees you from anxiety
from Meaningness
  • One aspect of Meaningness that took me awhile to appreciate was that it has a very complex and well-worked out formal structure, and the ideas form a sort of multi-dimensional lattice. There's an extremely simple idea at the core (which is straight out of Buddhism): people tend to fall into two separate, opposed and equally false modes of thought or being: eternalism (in which meaning is well-defined, fixed, and objective) and nihilism (in which there is no meaning whatsoever); and that it's possible to transcend this sterile polarity with better, richer ways of being (completeness). But this ultra-simple idea is elaborated into a precise and structured algebra of being.
from nihilism
  • Meaningness has a lot to say about nihilism. It's one side of the false dichotomy he aims to overcome (eternalism being the opposite error). To him, it's a stance, a posture people take towards the problem of making sense of their lives. He provides a detailed story about the dynamics of the nihilist stance; why people fall into it; how they escape out of it.
from stance/meaningness
  • nebulosity/eternalism/fixation/denial
    • The nebulosity of meaningness causes various problems: practical, social, and psychological. (Much of this book describes such problems.) Often, people would like to get rid of nebulosity, or pretend that it is not there.
    • Confused stances are attitudes to meaningness that refuse to acknowledge nebulosity. One strategy is to fixate meanings, attempting to deny their nebulosity by trying to make them solid, eternal, and unambiguous. Another is to deny meaningfulness altogether, or to say that it is not important, or cannot be known.
    • Because meaningness is both nebulous and real, these confused stances fail, and cause new, worse problems.
    • Complete stances acknowledge nebulosity, and its inseparable partner, pattern.
    • I can barely imagine what it's like to be an eternalist, I'm so far on the other side of the spectrum. So I don't find myself committing those errors very often, whereas I'm very prone to fall into nihilism.
Twin Pages


30 Oct 2021 02:15 - 24 Apr 2022 01:07

    • I felt that if nihilism had its own page than its opposite deserved one as well. Can't say I have a lot to say about it but see monotheism I guess?