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Atlas Shrugged Theme: Don't Overreach

One of the themes of Atlas Shrugged is one of the themes of my own philosophy: Don't overreach.

I say: If you exceed your abilities, if you try to do more than you can manage, then you will make more mistakes. More things will go wrong. If you do this too much it'll overwhelm your capability to deal with mistakes. That's overreaching: doing activities where your rate of making mistakes is too high for your ability to find and fix mistakes. Overreaching is bad, and pretty much all adult lives have tons of overreaching. The situation is so bad people just give up on correctness and try to muddle through life putting up with many unsolved mistakes.

Rand doesn't say that. But she says something related.

In Atlas Shrugged, the world has a bunch of nasty problems. Dagny tries to ignore them and run a railroad anyway, but the problems are pretty damn overwhelming and this doesn't work out in the long run despite how amazing Dagny is. What should she have done instead? Retreat from a world where she and her values aren't wanted. Give up the railroad. Give up on big accomplishments in screwed up world. Live her own life. Keep it simpler and smaller, like how they live in Galt's Gulch. But keep it pure with no corruption. Live in a way where everything works and there's no compromises, downsides, disasters, people working to make your life harder, looters stealing from you, taxes draining you, and so on.

In other words, Atlas Shrugged says to scale back your ambitions to projects which are reasonably possible in good ways – without tons of stuff going wrong. That's what John Galt and his allies do. They won't participate in corrupt, broken projects. They will only live life in ways that work. They'd rather have a single hand-tooled tractor in Galt's Gulch, or a little farm, or a few barrels of day of oil production, or a cabin instead of a skyscraper ... as long as it's fully theirs, it's fully pure and proper and correct ... there's nothing broken or wrong or bad about it.

In other words, it's better to have less without errors, corruptions, sacrifices, and moral compromises, rather than to have more at the cost of your soul or the cost of it not actually working right.

It's also like how you should learn things in general (e.g. typing, martial arts moves, or video game techniques): do it slowly and correctly and then speed up. Do not do it fast and wrong and try to fix the mistakes when there's a bunch of them. Speed up gradually so you only deal with a few mistakes at a time and keep the mistakes manageable.

In the introduction of Atlas Shrugged (35th anniversary edition), Peikoff quotes Rand's notes:

Her [Dagny's] error—and the cause of her refusal to join the strike—is over-optimism and over-confidence (particularly this last).

...

Over-confidence-in that she thinks she can do more than an individual actually can. She thinks she can run a railroad (or the world) single-handed, she can make people do what she wants or needs, what is right, by the sheer force of her own talent

Overreaching isn't just for beginners who try to act like experts. Even a great hero can overreach.


Elliot Temple on January 18, 2018

Comments (43)

> They'd rather have a single hand-tooled tractor in Galt's Gulch, or a little farm, or a few barrels of day of oil production, or a cabin instead of a skyscraper ... as long as it's fully theirs, it's fully pure and proper and correct ... there's nothing broken or wrong or bad about it.

How does this work in real life? I don't think it's reasonably possible to own a farm or cabin without being required to pay property tax, or to extract a few barrels a day of oil without complying with a myriad of environmental regulations.

Related: Suppose you're currently living life with corruptions. Such as having a job where you pay some pay income tax that goes for socialist projects like welfare. Then the corruptions lessen marginally - like the Trump tax cut + deporting some illegals on welfare. Should you respond to this change in any way? If so, how?

PAS at 9:19 AM on January 18, 2018 | #9456
lots of ppl compromise to "get ahead". don't. if some ambition requires bad things, find something else to do instead.

Anonymous at 10:19 PM on January 18, 2018 | #9457
#9457 I think whether that advice is good depends on what someone is trying to "get ahead" of.

Get ahead of other people in a social status game? I think that's what most people actually mean by "get ahead". And probably what you had in mind. Ya I can accept not compromising as one reason among many reasons not to do that stuff.

But "get ahead" can and sometimes does mean to ex: get ahead of the hunger in your belly and the need for a roof over your head tonight. It can mean to get ahead of your immediate needs, have some property and the capacity for some long term projects. I think that's an ambition:
- You need to have a decent life.
- Requires some compromises described in the article ("looters stealing from you, taxes draining you, and so on.") in the actual world we live in.

PAS at 6:23 AM on January 19, 2018 | #9458
Overreaching might be good to add in your summary of Atlas Shrugged on your book recommendations.

http://fallibleideas.com/books#rand

> Atlas Shrugged
> This novel is about how ideas affect a country. It has major lessons for politics, economics, and how to live your life. It’s the best book ever written.

I like the shortness of "how to live your life" but maybe it's too vague? I read Fountainhead first, based on your summary of that book, because the details of your summary really grabbed me. Reading Atlas Shrugged now.

Anon69 at 11:41 AM on February 17, 2018 | #9555
most ppl reading Atlas Shrugged will learn nothing about overreaching. it's not explained directly.

i don't think the book descriptions are intended as marketing. but it's interesting, ET says it's the best book, objectively, and puts it first on the whole list, and that doesn't interest you so much, you don't find that grabbing. apparently you don't respect his judgement much! and you suggest he change the text to make it more appealing to other people who don't respect his judgement (bad design goal!). meanwhile, contradictorily, you want extensive help from ET to teach you politics stuff (and you didn't say why politics over philosophy).

Dagny at 12:19 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9556
> don't think the book descriptions are intended as marketing

I don't think that would be a good intention, either. Instead, perhaps explaining why the book should be read.

> ET says it's the best book, objectively, and puts it first on the whole list, and that doesn't interest you so much, you don't find that grabbing.

I read ET's description for Fountainhead and found a more direct / significant impact on my life. That may in part have to do with my own unique circumstances and problems, of course. But his description really helped.

While I intended to read Atlas Shrugged (now currently reading), purely on the ET's judgement that it's the best book ever...the other information about it was vague. Maybe it's still the right summary as is, idk. I know that the topic of overreaching is really important. Having read this blog post, it's also been helpful to watching out for it (examples of overreaching), as I've been reading it for the first time. As you mentioned, it's not explained directly in the book. Actually, I just got the very moment in the book where Dagny slows down and seems to acknowledge the overreaching for the first time (chapter VIII).

> apparently you don't respect his judgement much!

There you go, jumping to conclusions again...sigh.

> and you suggest he change the text to make it more appealing to other people who don't respect his judgement (bad design goal!)

How did you know that was my goal? Hint: it wasn't.

> meanwhile, contradictorily, you want extensive help from ET to teach you politics stuff (and you didn't say why politics over philosophy).

It's all connected isn't it (philosophy / politics / etc)? I don't want help from ET unless he has something to benefit from it.

I've always thought there was a strange unfriendliness, or roughness, or hostile-ness to ppl responding to comments here. Maybe it's just a culture thing I'm not grokking yet. but I often wonder what's going on...if there's a deeper meaning or purpose

Like in the Fountainhead, Dominique Francon does all these things to scare away / sabotage prospective clients of Roark. But the purpose is to really weed them out, to protect Roark, so only good ones reach him.

Anon69 at 12:58 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9557
> There you go, jumping to conclusions again...sigh.

what does "again" refer to?

you have not provided an argument that that conclusion is false. you didn't address the issue. your choice to jump on me replaced speaking to the issue.

you're having negative emotions. that's your fault, not mine. you should take responsibility, apologize for treating me badly, and take concrete steps to handle yourself better in the future. if you find that too difficult, you could at least aspire to it and humbly request people be patient with you in the mean time, instead of lashing out at people.

> I've always thought there was a strange unfriendliness, or roughness, or hostile-ness to ppl responding to comments here.

it's you, and you're blaming others.

you read hostility into things (e.g. some criticism), falsely, then get hostile and emotional yourself. you are the source of the issue. e.g. your "sigh" and "Hint" comments were hostile. like most people, hostility is a major part of your way of dealing with the world. and like most people, you blame others, e.g. you think they were hostile first and think that justifies your own hostility(!?) or you're blind to your own hostility.

the reason you think there's hostility around FI, compared to other places, is cuz FI has ppl who don't put all the standard work into not saying what they mean, in socially standard ways, to avoid saying anything that would trigger hostility in normal people like you. at other places, people act as they normally do – like they are scared of everyone, everyone is fragile and easily triggered, and they have to be super carefully socially. there is cause to act that way – to tip toe around everyone (and then rationalize it and be blind to the fact one is doing it) – but FI is a different kind of place where people aim at other things truth-telling. FI is for people who want it. you're, apparently, on the borderline – you like FI some but also you're easily triggered and hostile, and that's putting you off some.

one of the errors you're also making is dramatically overrating your introspective abilities, while dramatically underrating the ability of philosophers to understand people like you.

Dagny at 1:16 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9558
> > There you go, jumping to conclusions again...sigh.
> what does "again" refer to?

The other times when I've noticed you coming to a conclusion prematurely, assuming too much, not asking questions, etc. The "sigh" was not me being hostile, but was a momentary feeling of sadness (perhaps also bewilderment), RE: not understanding why (which I later in that message shared some ideas about)

> you're having negative emotions. that's your fault, not mine. you should take responsibility, apologize for treating me badly, and take concrete steps to handle yourself better in the future

I can honestly say there is were no negative feelings when I wrote my last post. Or now. You may not believe it, but that's ok. Just wanted to point it out because I think it's interesting that there is such a misunderstanding.

I think you may be looking at me through the lens of "normal people" and guessing at what I'm thinking and feeling. That's my best guess for why I am seeing so many errors about what I've said. In my last response, do you notice all the errors made that I clarified in my response?

Anon69 at 1:52 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9559
> The other times

unspecified comments, in other threads, which you silently resented, and held a grudge about, without attempting problem solving? what a hostile way to deal with people!

> The "sigh" was not me being hostile, but was a momentary feeling of sadness (perhaps also bewilderment)

you're rationalizing.

> I can honestly say there is were no negative feelings when I wrote my last post.

how do you know you're honest and your introspection is correct? why do you expect me to believe it, just from your say-so? you seem clueless that such statements should not be believed merely b/c they are asserted – including you should not believe it, yourself. People are so commonly not honest, and inaccurate about introspection. That's the pervasive standard. You claim to be a rare, amazing exception but you don't seem familiar with the problem, let alone to have all the amazing knowledge necessary to be an exception. You don't seem to even know you're making a huge claim, or have any sense of what it takes to be honest and accurate about introspection on this kinda stuff.

you think you're special and not normal. but you act normal. and how could you possibly not be normal? that takes a ton of knowledge, and you're so new you e.g. haven't finished your first reading of Atlas Shrugged yet.

no doubt you are not normal in some particular respects that you noticed. but that doesn't put you outside the normal range in the relevant ways. nor can you tell how normal you are by introspection alone – you need a great understanding of society to know what the normal range is.

> In my last response, do you notice all the errors made that I clarified in my response?

this doesn't make sense. typo?

anyway, you seem unwilling to consider that i might be correct.

Dagny at 2:00 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9560
> you have not provided an argument that that conclusion is false. you didn't address the issue. your choice to jump on me replaced speaking to the issue.

Your conclusion was that I didn't respect ET's judgement much.

I'm not really clear on how you arrived at this conclusion, consider all I said was:

> I read Fountainhead first, based on your summary of that book, because the details of your summary really grabbed me. Reading Atlas Shrugged now.

I further explained what I meant by it grabbing me and how it grabbed me (very different than what you thought I meant).

I gave further information in my subsequent post:

1) that I read Fountainhead first, for specific reasons

2) that I'm in the process of reading Atlas Shrugged now. And *specifically* because ET recommended it (I respect his judgement).

I doubt that ET believes that one MUST be read AS first before FH, no matter what.

Do you accept those as arguments that your conclusion is false? How did you miss them the first time?

Anon69 at 2:06 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9561
if someone says "this book is better than that one" and then you prioritize that one, do you not see any issue? and you specifically suggested changing the text for AS b/c it wasn't appealing enough.

so, no, i don't agree i was wrong. i missed nothing you've said. maybe instead of assuming i'm wrong and trying to lecture me, you should be trying to understand my reasoning and asking questions. curiosity instead of trying to win a debate!

how would you propose i deal with someone who is totally outclassed, but blind to it, and trying to debate (instead of learn), and losing badly without even realizing it?

Dagny at 2:12 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9562
Anon69,

Accurate introspection is very, very hard. Expecting people to take your word for it (accept you as having valid authority to make authoritative claims) indicates you don't understand how hard it is (and how unreliable people's claims about introspection are). Not knowing how hard it is means you haven't faced and overcome the difficulty (solving the problem involves understanding the extent of the problem). That means your introspections are unreliable.

It may be counter-intuitive, but you can't trust your own self-beliefs. It takes a massive effort not to fool yourself. Dishonesty about many things is the default.

Your comments in this thread relating to introspection, hostility, honesty, etc, are following standard patterns of misconceptions, incorrect perspectives, wrong attitudes, etc. I've seen it before many times.

---

I added more detail to the AS description:

> This novel is about *how ideas affect a country and individuals*. It has major lessons for politics (limited government), economics (capitalism), and how to live your life (productively, heroically, rationally). It reveals how good men support and enable their own destroyers. It’s the *best book ever written*.

curi at 2:52 PM on February 17, 2018 | #9563
> if someone says "this book is better than that one" and then you prioritize that one, do you not see any issue?

Sure, if all things were equal, start with the better book. Or if you were only going to read one book, that would also be a good reason to pick what you hope to be the best one.

But what if you plan to read the number #1 and #2 book, but #2 book seemingly addresses urgent problems in your life? Or, suppose you currently own book #2 but don't yet have access to or can't afford book #1? I think there are various scenarios where it's good to read book #2 first.

In my case, I started with FH (#2) for similar such reasons. My judgement may end up being wrong, but the downside isn't so bad: it delayed starting AS by ~2 months.

Do you believe there are any situations (such as those mentioned above) where it's ok / good idea to start with FH, or is that a mistake?

> and you specifically suggested changing the text for AS b/c it wasn't appealing enough.

My goal was to make the summary of AS a stronger explanation about what the book is about and why you should read it as I explain above.

> so, no, i don't agree i was wrong. i missed nothing you've said

You've misunderstood what I meant by FH "grabbing me, misunderstood my goals w/ suggesting changes to the AS summary, and misunderstood my reasons for starting with FH over AS (confusing it w/ respect for ET).

Anon69 at 8:07 AM on February 18, 2018 | #9566
why is picking a fight with Dagny the thing you most urgently want to do? b/c you regard Dagny as having started it?

Anonymous at 8:09 AM on February 18, 2018 | #9567
> why is picking a fight with Dagny the thing you most urgently want to do? b/c you regard Dagny as having started it?

Is this fighting? What makes it a fight? I thought we were just having a discussion about disagreements.

I don't see it as urgent per say (did lots of other stuff, such as read another chapter in AS in the last 12hrs), although there is some benefit to starting/finishing certain threads of convo while fresh before moving onto other things.

Open to suggestions for other things to do.

Anon69 at 8:21 AM on February 18, 2018 | #9568
Cud reply to ET

Anonymous at 8:37 AM on February 18, 2018 | #9569

hostility

>> I've always thought there was a strange unfriendliness, or roughness, or hostile-ness to ppl responding to comments here.

> it's you, and you're blaming others.

> you read hostility into things (e.g. some criticism), falsely, then get hostile and emotional yourself. you are the source of the issue. e.g. your "sigh" and "Hint" comments were hostile. like most people, hostility is a major part of your way of dealing with the world. and like most people, you blame others, e.g. you think they were hostile first and think that justifies your own hostility(!?) or you're blind to your own hostility.
>
> the reason you think there's hostility around FI, compared to other places, is cuz FI has ppl who don't put all the standard work into not saying what they mean, in socially standard ways, to avoid saying anything that would trigger hostility in normal people like you. at other places, people act as they normally do – like they are scared of everyone, everyone is fragile and easily triggered, and they have to be super carefully socially. there is cause to act that way – to tip toe around everyone (and then rationalize it and be blind to the fact one is doing it) – but FI is a different kind of place where people aim at other things truth-telling. FI is for people who want it. you're, apparently, on the borderline – you like FI some but also you're easily triggered and hostile, and that's putting you off some.

I see hostility here at FI too, often where it doesn't actually exist. I am used to normal social interactions where any criticism is considered an attack. Here, criticism usually seems meant to be helpful. Once I give it some thought I usually learn something from from criticism, even if my initial reaction is that I'm being attacked.

Yes, I am doing a normal social thing and trying to show you, Anon69, that you are not alone in having this reaction to FI. Is this a bad idea? If it is, maybe someone will talk about it and convince me I'm wrong.

Anne B at 9:23 AM on February 18, 2018 | #9570
> Accurate introspection is very, very hard

Agree.

Isn't it also true that speculating on a stranger's internal state from a few written messages is hard too?

Certain interactions w/ conventional ppl make it a little easier. It also gets easier when you can also hear tone and see facial expressions (in person).

Hypothetically, if someone were to believe you were angry when you weren't (e.g. in a context like this comment thread), what's the best way to deal with that?

My first attempt here was a simple statement that I disagreed. I also said "You may not believe it, but that's ok", which perhaps was ambiguous, but basically I wasn't expecting Dagny to take my word for it and wasn't bothered or hung up on it. Fortunately, I don't think it's very important in order to move forward.

> Expecting people to take your word for it (accept you as having valid authority to make authoritative claims) indicates you don't understand how hard it is (and how unreliable people's claims about introspection are)

So per above, I wasn't expecting anyone to take my word. In general, I find it to be very tricky business to a) convey emotional state in a context like this, b) for others to guess at your emotional state, c) settle any disagreements about emotion state

> Your comments in this thread relating to introspection, hostility, honesty, etc, are following standard patterns of misconceptions, incorrect perspectives, wrong attitudes, etc. I've seen it before many times.

There are some downsides when you are wrong at guessing at someone's emotions and focus on it in a conversation. I haven't thought through the issue much. Like, when and why bring it up?

> I added more detail to the AS description:
> > This novel is about *how ideas affect a country and individuals*. It has major lessons for politics (limited government), economics (capitalism), and how to live your life (productively, heroically, rationally). It reveals how good men support and enable their own destroyers. It’s the *best book ever written*.

Cool, I like it!

Anon69 at 9:40 AM on February 18, 2018 | #9571
> Hypothetically, if someone were to believe you were angry when you weren't (e.g. in a context like this comment thread), what's the best way to deal with that?

To partially answer my own question: in this case, you should def do some introspection, make sure you aren't fooling yourself, etc. But my question was more about, assume you are good at all of that.

Anon69 at 9:43 AM on February 18, 2018 | #9572
> Isn't it also true that speculating on a stranger's internal state from a few written messages is hard too?

In the general case, sure. But sometimes there are major indications. If you only speculate when you get a huge clue, and don't speculate the other times, then you can be right a ton.

In this case, you made two very nasty, stereotypical comments and, simultaneously, the quality of your logical thinking went noticeably down. And at the same time you also attacked the overall atmosphere of my forums, non-specifically. And you've been selective about what your reply to and what you ignore, in ways that appear conventionally biased. There's more, too. [1]

So, personally, I'd be ready to make a confident judgement with only half the evidence you provided. From my perspective, your comments have been very transparent in very standard ways.

My judgement would not be "you consciously feel strong anger and are lying". Given the information available, I'd put low odds on that possibility even if you hadn't denied it. The judgement is more like: certain memes are triggered in you. It's very standard to be pretty blind to what's going on in one's head when those memes trigger, but for them to affect one's actions substantially.

> Hypothetically, if someone were to believe you were angry when you weren't (e.g. in a context like this comment thread), what's the best way to deal with that?

depends on your goal(s).

[1] One example

> My first attempt here was a simple statement that I disagreed. I also said...

It's not a random accident that people reading this will think the "I also said..." part was part of your first attempt, instead of something you said later. It doesn't fit the topic sentence. It's an abrupt change of topic without transition, and the following text makes the confusion worse (so much so that I wonder if you even know the correct timeline – I had to check). Your communication here is, consciously-intentionally or not (presumably not), dishonest. https://rationalessays.com/lying

curi at 2:03 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9573
Wait, actually this is very confusing. The text "You may not believe it" is not part of a "simple statement that I disagreed", so I thought that must have been earlier. Plus it came after Dagny had already made a judgement. But I don't see the simple statement. I don't think it exists. There must be something you consider a simple statement which isn't one, but skimming I don't see anything which is even close.

curi at 2:05 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9574
Maybe you think contradicting someone with a direct assertion that someone is factually wrong is the same thing as saying you disagree? It's not. Also there's lots of complexity in #9559, especially the third paragraph is very hard to parse. It's such a mess of complexity that you were actually asked to clarify it (but didn't). But even without the third paragraph, it isn't a *simple* statement of disagreement, it's multi-section and unfocused.

On top of that, that comment goes far beyond opening by raising disagreement. It attacks. E.g.:

> I can honestly say there is were no negative feelings when I wrote my last post. Or now. You may not believe it, but that's ok. Just wanted to point it out because I think it's interesting that there is such a misunderstanding.

In context, the text "you may not believe [the facts]" basically reads as "you may be stupid and wrong", and the "that's ok" reads as condescension, and the final quoted sentence really hammers in the condescension. it's like "it's cute that you think that" but a little more disguised.

this is just one little example of the many ways you've been nasty. there's actually tons.

this kind of verbal abuse you've been writing is a super standard cultural hostility meme, not an accident. the fact that it's disguised makes it meaner and more socially savvy – it's harder to stand up to attacks that have some sort of plausible deniability. to me it's transparent, but to you and most audiences it isn't.

curi at 2:34 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9575
> Maybe you think contradicting someone with a direct assertion that someone is factually wrong is the same thing as saying you disagree? It's not.

Right. Dagny says I'm having negative emotions, and I say I'm not (contradiction). Doesn't that mean we disagree about that matter? Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean.

> > I can honestly say there is were no negative feelings when I wrote my last post. Or now. You may not believe it, but that's ok. Just wanted to point it out because I think it's interesting that there is such a misunderstanding.

> In context, the text "you may not believe [the facts]" basically reads as "you may be stupid and wrong", and the "that's ok" reads as condescension, and the final quoted sentence really hammers in the condescension. it's like "it's cute that you think that" but a little more disguised.

I see how many things here are ambiguous. Here is an attempt at explaining the meaning further:

You may not believe it = You may not believe [that I am not feeling negative emotions]. Or from another angle: I acknowledge that my statement that I am not feeling negative emotions is unlikely to be sufficient evidence for you.

"but that's ok"...it's not a big deal, I'm not too concern about it.

As much as I am open to the possibility of failing at introspection, not understanding myself or my emotions, I'm standing by this description. I believe your analysis of the intended meaning is wrong.

> this is just one little example of the many ways you've been nasty.

Yes, if I had meant it that way, that would be nasty.

> this kind of verbal abuse you've been writing is a super standard cultural hostility meme, not an accident. the fact that it's disguised makes it meaner and more socially savvy – it's harder to stand up to attacks that have some sort of plausible deniability. to me it's transparent, but to you and most audiences it isn't.

I'm not sure how to to continue this disagreement about your interpretations. I continue to believe you and Dagny are overestimating your ability to interpret my internal state and writing (as overly-complicated and ambiguous as it can be). But I'm willing to move on / continue other discussions if you are. You have made some interesting points that I'd like to think more about. Apologies for any hostility or nastiness towards you or Dagny, I (at least consciously) did not intend it.

Anon69 at 5:26 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9576
> Doesn't that mean we disagree about that matter?

Saying X which implies Y, and saying Y, are different things. the implication is also questionable but even if it was a 100% solid implication it'd still be different. one difference is X also implies A, B, C, D, etc. which implications you think are important, or even know about, is non-obvious.

> Yes, if I had meant it that way, that would be nasty.

why do you think you know why you behave the way you do? you don't. it's not a random accident that, in the midst of writing many other mean things, you wrote this thing this way. you're enacting memes.

how do you think you learned to write such condescending things while not even consciously knowing what you're doing? do you think it's a coincidence? you are giving no alternative account that explains why your statements are this way, rather than being other statements which only have your claimed intended meaning without alternative nasty readings.

everything you're saying, and all your reactions – including all the denials – are totally standard and fit meme patterns. you haven't done a single thing to contradict my interpretation. you don't even know how to meaningfully contradict it or what it would take to provide counter-evidence or counter-argument. which is also standard.

> But I'm willing to move on / continue other discussions if you are.

well you could have followed up about the Russia investigation discussion but instead you interrupted discussing to attack people, highly aggressively and persistently.

you want to drop it now when it's turned around and you're on the defensive instead of the attack, which is biased and unfair to your victims – when you got pushback on attacking you then posted more attacks instead of stopping. but anyway there's a big problem with dropping it: but if the underlying issue is not solved, the same thing will happen again: you will start attacking again later.

curi at 5:51 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9577
> well you could have followed up about the Russia investigation discussion but instead you interrupted discussing to attack people, highly aggressively and persistently.

Is it accurate to say I came here *to* attack? This thread started somewhat randomly, as I was reading AS and remembered this blog post, and had a thought about the AS summary. Dagny went in an unexpected direction but which I thought was interesting to explore. In my view, various misunderstandings happened, or in your view: attacks happened.

> how do you think you learned to write such condescending things while not even consciously knowing what you're doing?

That question rests on the premise that X statement, which you found condescending, was the actual intended meaning.

> everything you're saying, and all your reactions – including all the denials – are totally standard and fit meme patterns. you haven't done a single thing to contradict my interpretation. you don't even know how to meaningfully contradict it or what it would take to provide counter-evidence or counter-argument. which is also standard.

What are some examples of meaningful contradiction, counter-evidence, or counter argument? This might be really helpful -- I wouldn't be surprised to find out I'm bad at those things.

> you want to drop it now when it's turned around and you're on the defensive instead of the attack, which is biased and unfair to your victims

There is more misunderstanding here.

I don't want to drop it, I'm just unsure how to proceed when such a deep misunderstanding exists, and as you point you out, I'm not providing meaningful counter-evidence or argument.

I also don't feel like it's turned on me, although I could see why you feel like it has. From my view, it's more of a stall-out / unsure how to proceed. But I'm interested in continuing if there's a fruitful way forward, or if you have any questions or suggestions for discussion.

I'm also not defensive (if you mean the feeling of being defensive).

> when you got pushback on attacking you then posted more attacks instead of stopping.

Hmm, I guess I'm not sure what you mean by attacks or what attacks you are referring to? I guess from my view, my recent posts are trying to clarify / restate my views where there seems to be misunderstanding.

> there's a big problem with dropping it: but if the underlying issue is not solved, the same thing will happen again: you will start attacking again later.

Yes, you thinking that I'm attacking (when I'm not), or your view: me actually attacking (when *I* think I'm not) is a problem.

Anon69 at 6:27 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9578
> > how do you think you learned to write such condescending things while not even consciously knowing what you're doing?
> That question rests on the premise that X statement, which you found condescending, was the actual intended meaning.

Oops, that was a half-typed statement that I left in by accident. You can ignore, I may finish later.

Anon69 at 6:29 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9579
What is your explanation for the alternative readings?

Mine is the plausible deniability strategy, which is ubiquitous. In this strategy, people often start with a mean idea and tweak it to add some ambiguity, some other plausible story. This can be done unconsciously.

Your explanation is ... what?; You have not been responsive about this. Random coincidence every time? You haven't said that, and that would be a bad explanation. You haven't offered a different explanation either.

curi at 7:24 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9580
> I'm also not defensive (if you mean the feeling of being defensive).

It means enacting the defensiveness meme, regardless of your conscious feelings.

If you act according to the logic of defensiveness, and act *as if* you were defensive ... it doesn't really matter whether you're consciously aware of it, or consciously intending it, with no rationalizations, self-blinding, fooling yourself, etc.

Cartman at 7:30 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9581
I'm wondering about the following...

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Setup: [A] is a mean statement. [B] is a non-mean statement. C is an ambiguous statement that has a true meaning of [A] or [B]

Scenario 1 (plausible deniability strategy):

1. Bob says C (true meaning: A)
2. Mary claims Bob really meant A
3. Bob disagrees, adds some details, making it more ambiguous or seem closer to B

Scenario 2 (misunderstanding):

1. Bob Says C (true meaning: B)
2. Mary claims bob really meant A
3. Bob disagrees, adds some details, making it more ambiguous or seem closer to B

* * * * * * * * * * *

In the first scenario Mary nails it but in the second scenario she incorrectly interprets C as A.

How does Mary sort out whether scenario 1 or 2 happened? They both basically look the same from her perspective.

I think you will say something about pattern matching, similar to:

> everything you're saying, and all your reactions – including all the denials – are totally standard and fit meme patterns. you haven't done a single thing to contradict my interpretation

Can elaborate on what you mean by meme patterns? I don't see how you would be able to spot scenario #2, to the extend it overlaps with the patterns you are looking for.

Anon69 at 8:16 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9582
You have to judge by good explanations.

So on the one hand we have a standard pattern which are culture teaches everyone to do.

And on the other hand we have ... random chance? You still have not provided any alternative explanation for how the ambiguity happens, it's cause.

Random chance is a bad explanation even in a single case, when you're saying you just happened to randomly do something that is just like a major cultural theme, but that's a coincidence and it has nothing to do with culture.

Random chance becomes a truly awful explanation when you repeat the same thing over and over. It was random coincidence 10 times in a row!? No. Randomness wouldn't explain why it keeps happening.

But you aren't giving any alternative explanation other than the two I've brought up: plausible deniability and random coincidence.

curi at 8:44 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9583
Can you walk me through how the "standard pattern which are culture teaches everyone to do" applies to this statement by me:

> I can honestly say there is were no negative feelings when I wrote my last post. Or now. You may not believe it, but that's ok. Just wanted to point it out because I think it's interesting that there is such a misunderstanding.

...and how it lead to you coming to the following interpretation?

> In context, the text "you may not believe [the facts]" basically reads as "you may be stupid and wrong", and the "that's ok" reads as condescension, and the final quoted sentence really hammers in the condescension. it's like "it's cute that you think that" but a little more disguised.

Anon69 at 8:59 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9584
> You still have not provided any alternative explanation for how the ambiguity happens, it's cause.

-sloppiness
-laziness
-rushing, making errors as a result
-assuming what the other person knows things they don’t
-differences in word usage between people, sub cultures, etc
-having learned the wrong meaning of words or phrases

anon69 at 9:30 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9585
@#9585: None of those explain specifically why there is a hostile reading of what you said, even once, let alone repeatedly. The plausible deniability strategy does offer an explanation of what's going on. It seems to be *the only explanation that any of us can think of* which accounts for what happened. Meanwhile nothing has been said to contradict it (it's typical for people using that strategy not to consciously know what they are doing, it gets automatized into all kinds of habits, policies, modes of behavior, etc, just like one automatizes walking and does it without conscious thought).

---

@#9584 A standard pattern is to be mean to people in socially calibrated ways. One of the major strategies is plausible deniability. Attacks which you can deny are attacks are powerful. They are hard to defend against b/c, if challenged, the challenger is attacked further as jumping at shadows and as imagining hostility and being the source of hostility himself. Meanwhile the attack still works, because people intuitively understand it. This relies on a double standard for evaluation: people normally evaluate intuitively, but if an issue is raised then they evaluate with conscious logic. To exploit this, statements are made which evaluate differently with the two different evaluation strategies. Everything you say and do fits the standard pattern of having automated the use of this strategy in many cases, which is totally normal and actually very hard to avoid or undo. The only realistic way you could be different is if you had a 1 in 10 million outlier childhood or you had made a massive self-improvement effort (which would have involved understanding the problem and then doing things about it, in which case you'd be able to explain the problem yourself very well, and your solution).

Instead of denying this stuff, you ought to learn about the standard ways people are mean. Then you could evaluate if you do them, and if your friends do them, and so on. But you try to prejudge the issue instead of being curios and wanting to learn. People are mean to each other all the time in our culture, it's this huge problem, and you're busy feeling attacked (when the thing is you're a *victim* of something big and powerful and nasty) and not looking for opportunities to learn and reform.

---

And look at the pattern:

> There you go, jumping to conclusions again...sigh.

Very hostile and normal.

> Hint: it wasn't.

Standard nastiness.

> I've always thought there was a strange unfriendliness, or roughness, or hostile-ness to ppl responding to comments here....
>
> Like ... sabotage ...

Blaming others, admitting your own hostile perspective (which is the cause of your nasty comments).

The way people work is

1) have a hostile perspective, e.g. this

2) make nasty comments without consciously intending it.

the (1) part is conscious – you even wrote it out – and then the (2) part follows in some way that allows the person to sleep at night without viewing themselves as an asshole.

> The other times when I've noticed you coming to a conclusion prematurely, assuming too much, not asking questions

Asked for details on the accusation (what you were referring to), you added more accusations in a non-specific way that no one could refute. You shouldn't have done that even once, but you did it twice.

> The "sigh" was not me being hostile, but was a momentary feeling of sadness (perhaps also bewilderment)

First you blatantly attack him. Then you don't even treat it as a matter to truth-seek or problem-solve about, you just assert he's wrong about a very basic, standard, common sense interpretation of reality. It's such an extreme attack on his frame, his connection to reality.

I know the reason you're doing it is to hold on to your own frame, which you found challenged. You can't face Dagny's version of reality, so you attack it to protect your own (pretense of) self-esteem. That motivation doesn't prevent it from being a hostile lashing out at Dagny which is quite pressuring and nasty to him.

> I can honestly say there is were no negative feelings when I wrote my last post. Or now. You may not believe it, but that's ok. Just wanted to point it out because I think it's interesting that there is such a misunderstanding.

Already discussed some. The use of the word "interesting" is also an extremely standard attack.

> I think you may be looking at me through the lens of "normal people" and guessing at what I'm thinking and feeling. That's my best guess for why I am seeing so many errors [by you] about what I've said. In my last response, do you notice all the errors [you] made that I clarified in my response?

This is very hard to read because your writing quality dropped way below normal. That's very standard while upset or hostile. And it seems to be making accusations against Dagny, from a position of ignorance, instead of being curious. And when I feel in word in brackets to try to parse what it says, I notice a theme in what's omitted. The reason it's hard to read is some of the key accusation words were simply left out and implied.

> I'm not really clear on how you arrived at this conclusion, consider all I said was:

This is half-assed fake curiosity. A thin pretense. And the meaning is: you should not have arrived at that conclusion, given the evidence you are obviously being unreasonable. This is not a truth-seeking attitude, it's social pressure and attacking thinly disguised as your own confusion ("not really clear") and sorta suggesting curiosity that doesn't exist. (You might get confused b/c you might be curious right now, when you read this. But it's not plausible that you were curious at the time of writing this text, curiosity doesn't fit as the thing motivating this particular wording.)

> I further explained what I meant by it grabbing me and how it grabbed me (very different than what you thought I meant).

This is calling Dagny wrong in a non-truth-seeking-oriented way. Rather than try to discuss productively, you throw in Dagny's wrongness in a parenthetical with an intensifier. Standard, nasty tactics.

> I doubt that ET believes that one MUST be read AS first before FH, no matter what.

Straw man attack plus all-caps.

> Do you accept those as arguments that your conclusion is false? How did you miss them the first time?

Very hostile framing.

> You've misunderstood what I meant by FH "grabbing me, misunderstood my goals w/ suggesting changes to the AS summary, and misunderstood my reasons for starting with FH over AS (confusing it w/ respect for ET).

The point is to assert, again, that Dagny is wrong and you are right. You treat it as a dick size contest and act like a jerk to him, rather than trying to discuss productively.

------

So, on and on, over and over, you're hostile in very standard ways. No that isn't random misunderstanding. You are a product of your culture. It shows. None of the *quite extreme* (and rarer than 1 in 10 million) things necessary to change that have happened in your life.

------

By contrast, Dagny's comments were nothing like this. They were more like this:

> you read hostility into things (e.g. some criticism), falsely, then get hostile and emotional yourself. you are the source of the issue.

Educational.

> the reason you think there's hostility around FI, compared to other places, is cuz FI has ppl who don't put all the standard work into not saying what they mean, in socially standard ways, to avoid saying anything that would trigger hostility in normal people like you. at other places, people act as they normally do – like they are scared of everyone, everyone is fragile and easily triggered, and they have to be super carefully socially. there is cause to act that way – to tip toe around everyone (and then rationalize it and be blind to the fact one is doing it) – but FI is a different kind of place where people aim at other things truth-telling. FI is for people who want it. you're, apparently, on the borderline – you like FI some but also you're easily triggered and hostile, and that's putting you off some.

Educational

> how do you know you're honest and your introspection is correct?

Educational.

> you seem clueless that such statements should not be believed merely b/c they are asserted – including you should not believe it, yourself.

This one is interesting. "clueless" is a negative statement. But it seems accurate and is part of a helpful explanation. Removing it is not so easy because he's trying to convey something here that's both strong and negative, so he can't hedge or be positive without harming the message. Maybe there's a solution but it's not easy. [1]

[1] Theoretically I think there is a solution, but it may be out of reach to fix this on Dagny's end, just with a little wording adjustment. I think solving this could require either other people changing or else another 100 years of philosophy progress to help us understand how to handle such things better. Years is a bad unit of philosophy progress but I want to give some sense of scale and I don't know a better way.) There are also other options involving approaching discussion quite differently, e.g. just don't even try to tell people important negative info they aren't eager to hear, and only share much when they are begging you for the info.

curi at 11:15 PM on February 18, 2018 | #9588
you are a more complex software project than anything from Apple, IBM, etc.

your consciousness gets to *audit* the software and do maintenance and add features. the heart of the software was written in childhood and you don't remember much of it. think of it like a different team of programmers wrote it, and now you're coming in later.

you don't have full access to the source code for your audit. you can see source code for little pieces here and there, run automated tests for little pieces here and there, read some incomplete docs, and do manual tests for sporadic chunks of code.

and your attitude is: to ignore large portions of the limited evidence available to you about what the code does. that is, the best evidence of what the code says available is *your own behavior*. but you want to ignore that in favor of believing what you think the code does. you think the conclusions of your audit, which ignores the best evidence (your behavior – actual observations of the results of running code), and doesn't even know that it's a software audit or the circumstances of the audit, should be taken as gospel.

you find it implausible there are hostile software functions that could be running without your audit noticing. your audit has read 0.001% of the source code during the last year, but you seem to think the figure is 99%.

introspection skills means getting better at auditing. this can help a ton, but there's another crucial approach: you can learn about what people in our culture are commonly like. this enables you to audit whether you're like that in particular ways, match behavior to common code, etc. b/c i know far more about cultural standard software (memes) than you, and also i know what the situation is (as just described and more) and you don't, i'm in a much better position to understand you than you are. this doesn't apply to your idiosyncrasies, i know even less than you about those, but i know that and avoid claims about the areas where i don't know, such as when you write down the standard output of some standard software modules, at length, and i recognize them.

curi at 1:13 AM on February 19, 2018 | #9590
i posted the software audit comment at:

http://curi.us/2095-youre-a-complex-software-project-introspection-is-auditing

the post also fixes the last sentence, which is broken here.

curi at 1:22 AM on February 19, 2018 | #9591
more info @ ppl r software in my latest podcast: https://curi.us/files/podcasts/intelligence.mp3

curi at 3:25 AM on February 19, 2018 | #9592
Your explanations about plausible deniability are interesting / make sense. I'll think about those, look for it in my life and interactions with others.

I'm still chewing on the software audit stuff. Will listen to your podcast soon.

> @#9585: None of those explain specifically why there is a hostile reading of what you said, even once, let alone repeatedly. The plausible deniability strategy does offer an explanation of what's going on. It seems to be *the only explanation that any of us can think of* which accounts for what happened.

The plausible deniability explanation comes into play not with the first alleged statement w/ hostility but when interpreting subsequent replies, particularly if you called out an alleged hostility.

Such an explanation assumes a correct reading/interpretation that the first statement as hostile.

You are saying there has been no alternative explanations offered to the plausible deniability theory. I was challenging the assumption behind it: that the original statement(s) were in fact hostile.

As far as how to challenge a wrong interpretation of hostility. You said:

> the only realistic way you could be different is if you had a 1 in 10 million outlier childhood

So someone would need to communicate what their childhood was like.

> or you had made a massive self-improvement effort (which would have involved understanding the problem and then doing things about it, in which case you'd be able to explain the problem yourself very well, and your solution).

what is "your solution" here?

So it seems like there is virtually no chance for most ppl to remedy a wrong interpretation of being hostile by you. It's an extremely high bar. Once you judge someone as being hostile, you are unlikely to ever find out otherwise, right?

> And look at the pattern:
> > There you go, jumping to conclusions again...sigh.
> Very hostile and normal.
> > Hint: it wasn't.
> Standard nastiness.

Could you expand a bit about what you meant by hostile and nasty? The more I've thought about it, I'm less sure I understand what you mean. I looked up those words in the dictionary and trying to understand which meaning you have in mind.

What's your reading of Dagny's message: #9556? Any nastiness or hostility there in your view?

Thanks for the discussion, it's been helpful.

Anon69 at 10:07 AM on February 19, 2018 | #9593
> The plausible deniability explanation comes into play not with the first alleged statement w/ hostility but when interpreting subsequent replies, particularly if you called out an alleged hostility.

> Such an explanation assumes a correct reading/interpretation that the first statement as hostile.

> You are saying there has been no alternative explanations offered to the plausible deniability theory. I was challenging the assumption behind it: that the original statement(s) were in fact hostile.

No. The premise is the statements have two readings. Then you face a question of how to explain that, and the plausible deniability strategy explains it. There's no premise or assumption that a statement is hostile.

> So someone would need to communicate what their childhood was like.

No.

What would really be convincing is: just don't act normal. Do something different. Do something incompatible with the theory that you're acting on the standard memes.

I don't think the outlier person would be indistinguishable today. I think they'd be easy to distinguish. So there's no need to talk about the past.

Talking about the past would be useful primarily if you went through a relevant learning process. So you talk about what you learned, and how and why, as part of explaining your current knowledge. I do this, I've talked lots about my learning process, what sort of effort I've made to learn what things, etc. Because I've done this process, it's much more plausible that I'd be good at things, or self-aware, or self-controlled, etc.

(That said, for me it's auditing too. Consider the times i come up with a great idea. I wish I had source code access so I could share the code with other people. But I only know approximately how I figured out the great idea, so it's much harder to share the method with others.)

> So it seems like there is virtually no chance for most ppl to remedy a wrong interpretation of being hostile by you. It's an extremely high bar. Once you judge someone as being hostile, you are unlikely to ever find out otherwise, right?

No. All you need is an alternative explanation and then I'll reconsider. You don't have one (and I didn't think of one either – unless you count random chance which I criticized), so when there's only one explanation, I don't change my mind, and actually you should agree with what I'm saying too. Your dissent is not rational. You claim I'm wrong on evidence that not only shouldn't persuade me, it shouldn't persuade you either. Partly you can excuse this in terms of ignorance of how to analyze the evidence, but partly it's bias.

> There you go, jumping to conclusions again...sigh.

This means: you suck so much I'm fed up with it.

And it doesn't try to argue any of this, it doesn't provide a target for rational criticism or dissent. And it doesn't try to persuade its victim, it doesn't give him any path to change. It's just an attack.

> Hint: it wasn't.

This is not a hint, it's something along the lines of sarcasm. It's a mean way to do a aggressive assertion, without explaining/arguing/truth-seeking.

(The plausible deniability on these two is actually very low, I would not call it plausible.)

> What's your reading of Dagny's message: #9556? Any nastiness or hostility there in your view?

It's so far from hostile it's hard to tell what you even think the issue might be. My best guess is you're bothered by a negative *conclusion* (your lack of respect for my judgement). That is, you're shooting the messenger attempting to bring bad news.

I think Dagny is more or less correct, but it doesn't really matter. If he's wrong he's wrong in an interesting way, it would still be a point worth considering. I guess you don't see this because you don't understand it. And you reacted negatively instead of with curiosity, because it challenges your social status and self-image, and that's the level on which you're engaging with it.

It has one part I found questionable:

> but it's interesting

I guess he found it genuinely interesting. But it's a phrase to be wary of. People call a lot of stuff "interesting" to hide other meanings. That's really common. So if there were other bad things, then we could find a negative interpretation for this phrase. But since there's no negative pattern, and actually the argument Dagny makes is kinda obscure, unusual, original, unique ... then I guess he really did find it interesting.

curi at 1:38 PM on February 19, 2018 | #9594
We've been discussing hostility and meanness here but meanwhile there is another discussion pending w/ Russia investigation stuff. You wrote:

> there's a big problem with dropping it: but if the underlying issue is not solved, the same thing will happen again: you will start attacking again later.

Are you interested in continuing discussion elsewhere, even with the chance that some hostile/mean statements will be made?

I do not think it's resolved or that it would be reasonable to expect zero hostility/mean statements (or those that can be interpreted as such) moving forward. However, I believe we can still have a productive exchange of ideas even with some of that mixed in.

Having read FI material for a few years now (this blog, FH, some of AS, some of BoI, FI essays, newsletters, etc), I believe our values largely intersect. I believe that exposing ideas to criticism is necessary to learn, gain knowledge, make progress. I hope we would have some value to each other in this regard. While sometimes I am sidetracked by emotions, I treat them also as ideas that need subjected to criticism. I aim to give them the appropriate treatment; as traditional knowledge but full of errors.

So I think hostility / meanness need only distract in a minor way. If after some time, either of us believes the conversation is overwhelmed with hostility, we can stop / re-assess, figure out how to deal with it (if interested).

Let's say you point out some hostility in the future, two possible outcomes w/ that:

1) I immediately notice / agree. Or think about it, do introspection, consider various ideas we discussed here, and come to agree, or remain unsure about it.

2) I disagree, in which case...say nothing / move on? Not sure. Saying anything will fall into the "plausible deniability" explanation for you, so that seems like a dead-end.

Thoughts?

Anon69 at 2:01 PM on February 19, 2018 | #9595
FYI, my last message was written without having seen the immediate message before it (came in before page refreshed). Reading it now.

Anon69 at 2:05 PM on February 19, 2018 | #9596
> What would really be convincing is: just don't act normal. Do something different. Do something incompatible with the theory that you're acting on the standard memes.

hmm, I'm not sure what you consider different / not normal, but I'll think about that.

I accept that recounting what I thought I felt and meant in such a situation doesn't qualify (fits standard memes you mentioned).

> > What's your reading of Dagny's message: #9556? Any nastiness or hostility there in your view?

> It's so far from hostile it's hard to tell what you even think the issue might be. My best guess is you're bothered by a negative *conclusion* (your lack of respect for my judgement). That is, you're shooting the messenger attempting to bring bad news.

I didn't find it particularly hostile either, although the use of "interesting" and exclamation marks left it as a possibilty.

I was perplexed by something, I just couldn't put my finger on it. There was something unusual to me about what Dagny decided to focus on, and the conclusions she drew from a short comment. That she didn't ask questions or clarify, that she decided so quickly to draw those particular conclusions, which I believe to be wrong.

Hostility was one theory among a few but I didn't accept that as the explanation. That's why I decided to think out loud about different possibilities (unfortunately, I did jump to a vague broader point, referencing other conversations, confusing matters):

> I've always thought there was a strange unfriendliness, or roughness, or hostile-ness to ppl responding to comments here. Maybe it's just a culture thing I'm not grokking yet. but I often wonder what's going on...if there's a deeper meaning or purpose
> Like in the Fountainhead, Dominique Francon does all these things to scare away / sabotage prospective clients of Roark. But the purpose is to really weed them out, to protect Roark, so only good ones reach him.

I'm not sure explaining any of this helps. I don't expect you to accept my recounting of things and I don't want to unnecessarily harp on any of these details unless you see some value. Def much other / more interesting things to consider...

Anon69 at 3:05 PM on February 19, 2018 | #9597
Clarifying that kind of issue by directly asking you is not realistic, because Dagny was looking at information you revealed *inadvertently*, not your intentional opinion.

curi at 4:01 PM on February 19, 2018 | #9598
> Are you interested in continuing discussion elsewhere, even with the chance that some hostile/mean statements will be made?

This kinda thing depends on the attitude to it: e.g. do you start debating it and piling on (as you did to Dagny) and won't acknowledge the problem (hard to deal with hostility + denials), or are you receptive to things being pointed out and have ways to manage yourself so it's not a big distraction?

> Russia investigation stuff

IIRC the russia part is a sub-issue and there were some more general questions brought up that you didn't get to yet. changing your mind about the investigation and NYT is not even close to the most value-creating change you could make in your life. if you had unlimited energy to keep going even if you don't get huge benefits, then it'd be ok. but based on your history (especially silent time), it seems kinda dangerous not to prioritize well. you could put a ton of time into this, find out some ppl are much worse than you thought ... and then it won't make your life much better in any direct way. and if the point is to use any example to learn something about thinking methods, much simpler examples are preferable. the main case for russia i see is it might be something you're actually interested in enough to discuss, plus can work somewhat as a thinking methods example (despite being pretty unsuitable).

curi at 4:10 PM on February 19, 2018 | #9599

What do you think?

(This is a free speech zone!)