Maps of Meaning #5

(Benjamin Lupton) #1

Discussion thread for 2017 Maps of Meaning - Lecture #5

study group discussions

Discussion as part of our Jordan B Peterson Study Group.

2017-02-24: Maps of Meaning #5, #6
(Benjamin Lupton) #2

my notes

  • 1:00 - there is more of everything else than us, so we are incapable of perceiving everything, and thus must simplify the world in order to not be overwhelmed and to be functional

  • 2:00 - the world is about acting in the world, rather than about perceiving the world - this is a critical difference

  • 26:00 - you don’t see the anomaly unless it upsets your current pursuit

  • 27:00 - the value structure that you inhabit determines what you see, not what you expect or want - no one expected this

  • 27:30 - you see only the tiny amount of information necessary for you to plot the next tiny sequence of movements

  • 29:00 - ultimate values (things you may not even be aware of) trickle down to your entire hierarchy of goal supersets - as such it is very difficult to identity and specify the meaning level

  • 33:00 - the brain circuits designed for handling exceptions (predators) are the same circuits that fire when your computer crashes and you curse and hit it, hence why people have tourettes syndrome

  • 35:50 - what we seem to do is to look at things at the simplest level of analysis of what actually functions - when you interact with the computer, you don’t interact with the CPU or electrical power but the keyboard and the screen - as long as the computer is working, it is simple and your stupid conceptions are perfectly fine for getting the job done - when it stops working it becomes a complicated object we don’t understand

  • 36:00 - the world is made up of socio-economic-political aspects that hopefully keep broken things fixed so we can use fixed things to fix other things - which is an extraordinary complicated system we take for granted - a system that allows us to default to simplest level that allows us to get to the next step <<< this is all also applicable to printed images and text, and the computer screen, the image is a bunch of dots, but we don’t see the dots, we see what they represent to us

  • 38:00 - Peterson has found a way to make psychology the best and wisest philosophy

  • 39:00 - people high with anxiety and depression and neuroticism, cannot bind anomalies so when they occur they propagate up the system of meaning to the highest order of conceptualisations (60 beck? depression range - everything that happens will cause suicidal thoughts, even positive things)

  • 39:40 - psychoanalyst question - why don’t you fall into a state of catastrophic evaluation whenever something little goes wrong?

  • 41:00 - political problems may be the highest conception of a trivial problem - you should use the level of conception that is closest to the problem - we are driven to use the simplest tool we can to fix the problem (with the minimal time and effort - as we have limited time and resources, it makes sense for us to conserve them) - if you argue with someone, you should argue about the smallest possible thing that might fix the problem, you want to really specify it, what is going on at a micro level, and what is the minimum required for me to be satisfied with the outcome - how can I minimally be bothered by this, and what is the tiniest amount of needed change that would satisfy me, because otherwise the argument would become unglued and escalate to breakdown because you cannot solve a problem

  • 44:00 - thing in itself - philosophical concept

  • 45:00 - we are also limited in our perceptions of others by their willingness to act in accordance to my expectations while we are together (as they could be doing anything while we are not together) - this is politeness - you understand the game, you play the game, and you don’t scare others away - this is a productive and uncommon definition of politeness…?

  • 46:00 - if you understand the game, you don’t have to be nervous as you understand what you need to do to get what you want - this is why people have a desire to maintain their culture - because it means everyone knows the game and is playing it so that no one needs to get upset - a culture is only secondary a belief system, it is primarily a game that we are engaging in - you don’t even need the beliefs or understanding of beliefs to play the game - this is how non-human animals get along

  • 49:00 - when you look at something, what you see depends also on what you want to use it for - people and objects and all things this applies to (again at 53:50)

  • 49:40 - what we want is good functional simplifications

    • << reminds me of Shawn Achor’s “selecting the most beneficial reality for our worldview” >>

    • << this field is FASCINATING - I’ve never felt this for programming… >>

  • 51:00 - Naomi Klein movie which was bad -** ideology can suppress our ability to perceive things outside of it - there are facts, and you let those that pass your filter through, but what about all the facts outside your filter that you don’t let through!**

  • 54:30 - how words work - we compress cognitive symbols into verbal objects that others then decompress hopefully into the same cognitive symbols

  • 56:15 - this seems to be the Richard Dawkins vs ken ham debate - which ken struggled with but made the same arguments as Peterson here, which Dawkins didn’t like - which seems why Peterson doesn’t like Dawkins - and the Peterson vs Harris debate

  • 58:00 - scientists operate within a little time domain in which they are capable of being a scientist

    • << reminds me of my criticism of Myles >>
  • 1:03:00 - science answers “what the world is made of”, stories answers “how to act in the world” - there is no reason to believe those two questions can be answered using the same approach

  • 1:04:00 - your mental health is dependent on a value system

    • << Christopher Howard’s breakdown that affected my billionaire bootcamp >>

    • << borderline personality disorder >>

  • 1:05:00 - “what does it matter what I do, in a thousand years it will be irrelevant” - stupid but true - stupid as it is just a game, and one can take any game and find a context in which it is irrelevant -** **(?what is “it” in “it is just a game”?) - prefer a useful/relevant frame of reference, not specifically what you derive from it

  • 1:07:00 - music and stories are the two things, of an intellectual nature, in which it seems, everyone is drawn to

  • 1:09:00

    • << it is more than just foraging for useful information - as then you are just a machine absorbing information, and that is not a job >>>

    • you must also test that information with your actions in your life, to discover what is true, and build your castle to see how correct that information is

    • << consciously is when we know how to articulate it, unconsciously is when we act out the patterns >>

  • 1:10:00 - the death problem is a subset of the complexity problem, because sometimes complexity is so strong that it causes suffering because it is untamed and in those circumstances people prefer death via suicide to make the unfathomable complexity go away - this can happen reasonably if you are hit by 3 or 4 catastrophes at the same time - someone you love dies, you get cancer, the political system falls, and you lose your job - pretty much everything that happened to me, except the cancer part

  • 1:12:00 - people blow out from complexity in the same way a balloon breaks at the weakest point

    • << my weakest point has been Trichotillomania to not be great to please others >>

    • it’s almost always a complexity related phenomena rather than a mental illness related phenomena (as in the cause)

  • 1:14:00 - walls are practical because they stop complexity from getting in and ruining you from the inside (metaphor that expands to different levels)

  • 1:15:00 - openness/conscientiousness for liberals and conservatives explained in detail <- low openness have a disgust thing, because they put everything into boxes, have it all separate, when two things touch, they issue disgust

  • 1:20:00 - and earlier - discrimination is morally wanted because “you get to say no to me, if I get to say no to you”

  • 1:22:00 - rooms are setup in ways that tell us how to act in them >> try doing work in a pub, it won’t work

  • 1:23:00 - openness discusses everything, low-oneness stays within a small subset of things

  • 1:23:00 - simplification against chaos is a common theme here, where simplification seems to be our constant unshakable urge to everything in life

  • 1:28:00

    • << WOAH, STUDY THIS MORE - like the Daniel Defoe book >>
  • 1:29:00 - on brain is dispersed throughout the body

    • << this seems to be a statement about death, that in a beheading we split the person into two brains, the head brain loses consciousness quickly, but the body brain writhes in pain - so there are now two persons - both alive - but it seems that what we consider death, is death of what we value - because when we ourselves lose a finger, we say we lost part of ourselves, we also say this about our character - when someone goes into a coma we pull the plug as they stop representing what we value, despite even if they are dead, their body is still alive - their fingernails still grow for a long time - so it seems entities innately value what makes an entity valuable, and when that value is no longer recognisable they are dead - even in the expression “you are dead to me” seems to go into this - how this relates to the death vs complexity thing is a really interesting question - touches on this at 1:31:00 just around >>
  • 1:34:00 - intelligence and conscientiousness have zero correlation, unlike openness which has a positive correlation with intelligence - which is strange, as what we associate with intelligence is what we also associate with conscientiousness - dream thinking is stronger than day thinking as dream thinking you need a sedative in order not to act it out!

  • 1:37:30

    • "if something bad happened to me, I must have done something to deserve it"

      • this thought pattern is especially true in conscientious people
    • when they didn’t deserve it, it can have them spin out of control in spiral thought patterns trying to find out what it is, or blaming something of themselves that had no correlation

    • << Trichotillomania! >>

    • << seems myself is super high on consciousness and openness >>

    • Peterson: this is a useful trait, as it suggests there are things about yourself that you can change to make the future better

    • << this makes me recall my belief that I had until a certain incident that “everything in the world is something that I have a responsibility and obligation to fix because I can change it - that everything is my fault because I can change everything” – that incident in my life was a situation where a catastrophe happened to me, but it wasn’t my fault, but I blamed myself to see what I could do better - and it took me 2.5 years until I realised that people are independent, I’m my own person, and people can harm themselves with their own thoughts and the words of others even if those things are benign to anyone else >>

    • Peterson: the common treatment for PTSD from such thought patterns is situational analysis

    • Peterson: 80 million snakes all at the same time

    • << I think this is reasonable providing you can believe and have had successes in your life to indicate you can deal with 80 million snakes, that you believe you can, makes it a manageable chaos, as I believed that for 24 years with great renown success >>

  • 1:39:00 - incompatible temperaments are rarely solvable - especially high conscientiousness and low conscientiousness - one provides stability through sacrifice and the other couldn’t care less

  • 1:42:00 - lack of curiosity occurs once we have built what we consider an adequate representation of the thing

  • 1:59:00< - ~it seems that emotions and motivations are driven sub-personalities, that have goals, and uses what we refer to as motivations and emotions to regulate those goals, and at times different sub-personalities take control, and the question of when and how one decides to interrupt another and take control is an open question

    • << this seems to relate into my goal setting into batches of tasks rather than tasks >>
  • 2:01:00 - okay ^ -> “motivation sets frame - not goals, not drives, not reflexes - includes goals, emotions, perceptions, actions”, “emotions track progress - ahead - stop, back”

  • ^ these are interesting, as it is like that saying “which wolf do you wish to feed?” - “which sub-personality do you wish to practice/grow?”

  • 2:05:30 - are you angry at your partner or do you want sexual relations more? - which takes control is up to which sub-personality (?needs?) is stronger at that time - the rest of of our brain beyond the hypothalamus is responsible for the regulation of our sub-personalities

  • 2:08:00 - islands of stability implanted in your child is essential for their development of regulation of underlying sub-personalities / emotional systems - perhaps an issue with autistic meltdowns

  • 2:11:00 - if you constantly see things that make you miserable and unhappy - then perhaps you need to ask if your goals are proper - as your goals determine what you perceive