//the way im using words in this post is weird and kind of due to me needing to assign labels to concepts before i can move on and not being good at names. dont read too much into what the concepts are called.
//so there’s this frame, and i dont really know how this frame relates to reality, but it’s a thing and i need to have it written up in a generalized way that’s not about the context it came from.
//this is not a thing that i actually believe, but this is a thing that some people implicitly believe. it might be a useful frame for noticing why people are saying the things theyre saying or something
in this frame everyone is either evil or not morally relevant
moral relevance here is about agency, like taking on agency and leaving the bounds of naive determinism based on culture & tragic backstory & whatever, but also moral relevance means like—wait, here i need another concept. it’s the italicized stuff below, read that and then come back.—keeping a good world model open, and if you tell one person a non-anonimized bad world model of another person, youre saying that the second person is less morally relevant. this is relationship-dependant and it’s okay for people to be less morally relevant than other people, it’s not like a horrible insult, and moral relevance can change. if you take ‘bros before hoes’ (which i mention bc i was in a situation where someone was like ‘theyre morally irrelevant rather than evil if you admit that theyre a hoe’, which is demanding moral irrelevance both directly and via admitting bad world models of others), it’s kind of about the hoes not being morally relevant. and also, because of relationship-dependance, like, it’s okay to tell your best friend of many years about the new person youre dating, including bad stuff, because your friend is more morally relevant to you. the interaction of blogging with this is weird because forums like tumblr are designed and used as if they were much more private than they are
[rare earth metals : the periodic table :: the italicized stuff : the above paragraph] i have concurrent models of the world running, a good world model and a bad world model. in the good world model, things more or less match the mythologies they build around themselves. the good world model only really applies to like interpersonal relationships because the chance that the government or whatever is basically the same thing as that which it presents itself as is miniscule. these are also not the only types of different models i have and it’s complicated, but this is what we’re talking about. so anyway, the good world model. in the good world, people are basically telling the truth and when like you and a person are doing a thing and you say it’s special, it actually is. this applies to both like relationships relationships and like startups and other things. the good world model is……only ever true in p special situations. the bad world model is just cynicism, more or less. analyze people & situations and stuff based on priors and other narratives and determinism, dont believe when something says it’s special bc most things which say theyre special are wrong. there is a thing with agency here too, and trust. good world models are generated by default and scrapped if theyre too unlikely, when things make good world model probabilities go down your synthesis running model becomes more informed by the bad world model and your immediate actions are more bad world model based
real life interactions with people, and especially sex, are kind of ironic experiences for me because there’s still a bad world model and it’s especially prevalent irl doing things that are objectively gross. i only understood makeouts about two weeks ago. you know that roissy post which is like “If you get the opportunity to snort c*ke off a girl’s ass, only one thought will go through your mind, blandly and iteratively. / “Here I am, snorting c*ke off a girl’s ass.” / The whole experience is meta to the max; audience to your own theater.” or that zizek joke about how youre balls deep in a girl and youre like ‘here i am, making these mechanical thrusting motions’? so like, it’s always like that for me, because overthinking is actually a true meme. i usually feel like an asshole, in real life. this is also relevant to the good world/bad world model thing and the model has a lot to do with specialness as well as truth. like the meta/objective thing is the bad world model
so like, moral relevance and agency and evil. you can assign people different amounts of agency. if you assign someone no agency you can assign them no blame; if you assign them all the agency then anything they do wrong is a sin. this is, i mean, kind of the issue with the frame. youre making them either be evil or not be morally relevant, and there isnt a way out. the issue is, i guess, with the affect of evil. it’s like: if you claim agency, you claim a corresponding amount of responsibility for being good. this frame weighs flaws too heavily. deviations from the responsibility you claimed agency for has to be less bad than it is under this frame for it to be safe to claim agency. another thing is that agency means problems. problems here are like, tickets. obligations. your clothes need to be washed, you have an essay to write, you have a problem set due, you need to eat, etc. less agency means less problems for obvious reasons. this is actually kind of what childhood is about. not actual childhood, but the mythologized concept of childhood.
perhaps the importnat thing here is this. when you like someone, you are tempted to carefully balance how much agency you give them, so like if they do something wrong that was because of determinist nonagency reasons and it’s not their fault, but if they do something right they had agency for that and that’s them being awesome. this post is really old and thus horrifies me immensely but it’s actually also about this.
perhaps not though, that’s kind of boring. everyone knew that. who knows. it’s just a frame.
this post is possibly kind of hard to understand and i reiterate that it’s not a description of a good morality but a frame for analyzing the implicit morality behind things people do/think
it is a really good post and didn’t get enough attention so i am reblogging it
this post is possibly kind of hard to understand
It makes perfect sense to me. It is lethally exhausting to live up to the standards I have for myself, so other people don’t have to, so clearly that’s because they don’t have moral agency.
This is a terrible metric but that doesn’t mean I get to decide not to think that way, it has been forced upon me that I am uniquely terrible.