Thursday, December 16, 2021

QRI/Slate Star/LessWrong

 There is a distinct sense in which I, as a very poor non-college educated person with physical disabilities do not even have the ability or cash flow to stop what I'm doing to think about what kinds of problems are being treated within these groups as extremely important. Wife has to do mother's dialysis every single night (as in my wife and I haven't been able to go anywhere more than 20 miles away or for more than a couple hours in a year or someone dies), none of the people working on existential risk are going to come over and help, no matter how hard Andres may be working on a cure to kidney stones or Nick Bostrom may be working on AI risk. To come even closer, there might not even *be* labs on the west coast (I see y'all bay area stanford folks) if a wildfire gets a little extra or collides with our bizarrely expanding midwest tornado season. The burning house parable is real shit and only got realer when Mao dropped it again. Now obviously, death is not the conundrum it appears to be when viewed through some OI lenses, maybe mother would clearly be better off if she just let go, perhaps simulation theory is true some way and we are all fine metaphysically, chinese medi-nanobots made swoop in and help any day now, perhaps a law will be passed that guarantees assistance for her.....but tell her that? Tell my black friend who's brother just got shot by the cops (but we are in a rural area so no protests or news coverage) that kidney stones are more important, and you'll be lucky to leave not bleeding....tell my sister that cluster headaches are more important to solve than her daughter's condition and the same fate may befall you....even very gentle NI/Buddhist concepts frequently only serve to emotionally harm people who live in the burning house. Where is the ethics of this in modern consciousness research? How long before enough health care workers burn out on covid work and outreach that one of you gets drafted to drop the psychedelics for a minute and strap on some scrubs because you still have the ability to think somewhat clearly, and how does that affect one's research or mentality? I dropped working on a book re: rescue of classic mysticism toward modern neuro that I'd spent 4 years on several years ago because I literally have to work with my hands or else now...this research is collecting dust, what if something in there was do you talk me down from setting it on fire to warm the (metaphorically burning) house? For all this maybe shit-talking, I am actually curious to know what people who are fully immersed in, frankly, concepts that are utterly science fiction to most people, are doing to help not the reg folks, the average, or whatever, but the lowest? Do kidney stones or cluster headaches really account for the most pain in the world (or is it a kind of privilege to see physical pain as the most important?), and what kind of privilege is it to be able to remain utterly unpolitical right now, on the ground in meatspace? Apologies for the aggro, and apologies to QRI for singling out some of their projects (I only grabbed from what I had readily available mentally in terms of seeing it often on this forum) but I can't even see the slate star scene as anything other than an impediment now after Alexander openly advocates "scientific racism" and eugenics adjacent ideals, while being cash-flowy enpugh to be able to self fund research grants...what happens when someone from this group decides positive valence is important enough to start manipulating and medically intervening on negative valence against the will of the subject and how close might that come to Huxleyan fascism? I have family members that are anti-vax because legally credentialled doctors and scientists performed experiments on them without their consent, they may have killed a couple people with their ignorance. How do I tell them to come off that a little for the common good, especially now that it is too late to solve for the guilt and shame it will create? I realise this is an intense way to engage in this conversation and probably unproductive for some of you but it is killing me even watching this (imo very important) work unfold sometimes and seeing it bend over and over toward specific zones that I find hyper-individualistic (the solving of a single individual pain/pleasure axis as opposed to the kinds of structurally and politically heavyweight mass-objects that affect the lives of thousands simultaneously, in ways that do not correspond with lived experience for any but the most intelligent). Honestly the afrofuturists are doing work light years beyond this while also critiquing science, racism, scientific racism, while also doing work at CERN AND running an urban housing legal aid charity in philadelphia. When's the crossover? When is the BATTLE? Yknow? Am I crazy?

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