Tuesday, January 14, 2014

This discovery will be the one that tells me what invented me

Like any dealer, he was watching for the card that is so high and wild he'll never need to deal another

Sunday, January 05, 2014


one issue that's been bugging me is what "identification" means. i was watching another one of diane hamilton's videos, and she's talking about how identification with the small self is just one of many perspectives.

it seems to be true that "i" suffer when i identify with a particular small-self to the exclusion of other phenomena. when "i" release into a more inclusive perspective, the suffering-as-partiality of the smaller-self is revealed to just be a transient object, whereas before it felt like an existential/unsolvable problem.

but, what does it *mean* to expand identification like that? three broad categories of possibility:

1) both the smaller system and the larger system already existed before you released your perspective, and your change in perspective didn't really change either system. instead, it has something to do with how the dynamics of these systems are coupled to the aspects of manifestation that we agree to associate with the individual (e.g. control of your speech muscles to say "i am experiencing xyz").

2) the smaller system is being changed. dissolving exclusivity structures, so that it can arise and release and transform more spontaneously in the context it's in.

3) the larger system is actually being created in the process. when the smaller system is allowed to enter into increased dynamic coupling with other phenomena, then the system that calls itself "zeb" now consists of fundamentally new dynamics that only exist in the interplay between the previous small-self and the other phenomena. *however*, i'm not sure how this fits in the case of releasing to "identification" with all phenomena / formless awareness.

i feel like all of these are true, but i'm still missing something.

Friday, January 03, 2014

making pot illegal


i love brooks, and this is a fucking awesome article in a lot of ways.

i can't even say i categorically disagree with "seatbelt laws". we want to make policy that does the most overall good, and the disutility of restricting personal choice is just one component of that.

i think he misses two things-

1) some of personal growth comes from making stupid choices- how do you do that if all the stupid choices are illegalized?

2) it's true that you can find some good in illegalizing pot (and he does a brilliant job of outlining the shape of that good), but how can you have a complete argument without comparing the magnitude of that good with the magnitude of the concomitant harms?

when it comes to illegalizing pot, the magnitude of the good is really pretty meager. like one comment points out, the usage doesn't skyrocket when pot is legalized in places like holland. yeah, if you make it illegal people might do it a bit less. that is a good, but is a big one? i believe illegalizing heroin reduces the number of addicts. that's probably a bigger good. (still, how big?)

and he doesn't talk about the harm. making drugs illegal obviously creates shit-tons of practical problems. then there's the difficult-to-estimate disutility of inhibiting personal freedom. and another nebulous factor is slippery-slope into 1984. i'd have to think very carefully about how to put this harm in a common currency to compare directly to the good. yet my intuition is that the harm outweighs the good by several orders of magnitude here.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

i want to be SURE