Aesop

Memes are people; humans aren't

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The Meme-Creature vs the Ape: Why Coca-Cola is a Person and You Aren't

This is the idea I've learned that has affected my worldview the second most. It's probably the most unusual idea I hold, and to date I don't think I've met another person who holds it without me telling them about it first. I learned it from Grant Morrison's The Invisibles, a very rich, complex, detailed, and difficult to understand graphic novel. I highly recommend it. It is largely about this idea that I'm going to be talking about, but presents it in a much more metaphorical way. If you read it, the odds are fairly good you won't understand it or get much from it, but if you do, it will affect you a great deal. I'm honestly not sure how much of this idea was intended by Grant Morrison to be present in the book. Well, it doesn't matter, as you'll see below, it's unlikely that it was the ape called Morrison who made the decision to include anything in the comic.

This idea will probably be the spine of much of what I write in this blog. It won't be the only thing I write about, this is intended to be a general purpose blog, but since, as I said, this is probably my most unusual idea, it'll probably be the most interesting and distinctive thing for me to write about. Much like how Overcoming Bias is largely but not entirely about signalling.

Keep in mind that I'm not saying that this idea is "literally" true, whatever that would mean, but rather that this is a very useful model to use when thinking about the world. Frequently more useful than the more standard alternative.

Memes are people; humans aren't.

When I say a human here, I mean the ape bodies running around interacting with other hairless apes. From now on I'm going to try to use the word "ape" to mean specifically the body and the word "human" to mean the mind-body hybrid. No guarantees I'll be consistent on that, you may have to work it out from context.

"Nahh, that wouldn't work"

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

After having it recommended to me for the fifth time, I finally read through Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. It didn't seem like it'd be interesting to me, but I was really mistaken. It's fantastic.

One thing I noticed is that Harry threatens people a lot. My initial reaction was, "Nahh, that wouldn't work."

It wasn't to scrutinize my own experience. It wasn't to do a google search if there's literature available. It wasn't to ask a few friends what their experiences were like and compare them.

After further thought, I came to realization - almost every time I've threatened someone (which is rarely), it's worked. Now, I'm kind of tempted to write that off as "well, I had the moral high ground in each of those cases" - but:

1. Harry usually or always has the moral high ground when he threatens people in MOR.

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