Yesterday at The Stoa we had a really good session with Jared Janes. He experimented with a meditative technique called Caremongering Meditation. You can watch it here. I am about to host a session with my good friend John Vervaeke in about 30 minutes, which will be posted on YouTube as well.
11 events in the pipeline, including Jordan Hall, Jim Rutt, Robin Hanson, and Yancey Strickler. Many more to come. You can RSVP on the links below:
March 25, 2020
It's hard to think straight these days. I have handed the keys over to my daemon. Here’s how I characterise the daemon, in an exchange with Jordan Hall:
I commonly describe the daemonic experience, to those situated in a rationalist paradigm, as a certain quality of intuition, which nudges me in seductive ways. If I were to assign words to the experience, it would be a single delicious whisper: go here. This is a different feeling from the impulsive urge towards hedonism, or the thumos desire for domination. It has an adventurous quality of rightness—a confidence and certainty, coupled with an okayness about not knowing what the fuck will happen if you follow the whispers.
What I am doing these days does not feel like thinking: I feel as if I have not thought at all since this current meta-crisis has come online. It feels more like listening and following. It feels adventurous and committed. I am reminded of what I felt like when I used to play basketball when I was young. My eye is on the ball and nothing can distract me from it.
It’s all hands on deck right now, with the meta-crisis, and it seems that the greatest gift I can offer is The Stoa. We’ve completed six sessions since we launched on Saturday, and four more are currently scheduled. After writing this, I am going to announce six more, and many more are emerging. I do not know where the daemon is guiding me, but I sense a possible ecology of practices that might emerge, which will help people respond to our moment with wisdom. I’d like this space to have both a therapeutic effect and a tactical one.
I got excited about the tactical aspects of this when I read Daniel’s Ta Eis Heauton entry today. He seems fully deployed, developing mastermind psychotechnology, a modality that will facilitate setting wise goals and practices, and help us keep accountable. He and I have been masterminding for years now, and he is well suited to this. I will be talking to him later today, to workshop it.
To use Dave Snowden’s Cyefin framework, how do we mastermind in a complex and chaotic ontology? I keep thinking of something my new friend Samir said during one of the previous sessions of The Stoa: there will never be a new normal, as we are in what Venkatesh Rao calls The Great Weirding. We are living in a constantly changing world, which is wildly disorienting, and we cannot rely on experts or previous best practices to guide us.
But, as Hunter S. Thompson says, When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. To all my fellow weirdos who may be reading this, my message is: it is time for us to be deployed. We never really fit into the previous world. We are not good bullshiters, we cannot bootstrap our will to the 9 to 5, and we get terribly bored and awkward in polite company. In essence, we did not want to play that game.
What seemed like failures in the old world are gifts in the new one. Let your limiting scripts of not being good enough be burned to ashes and let us be reborn together.