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I'm certain of failing and the smallest resistance that pops up in anything I try, be it reading books, trying to teach myself anything really, causes despair and I fall back into my old habits which can last for weeks, months in which I feel completely numb, only browsing imageboards and switching through my steam library without playing any games.
The fear has gotten so intense that I don't do anything.

I have over 1000 books on my hard drive, but barely read 5 of them, I have over 30 games in my steam library, but haven't played any games at all since 2018 or so. Listening to music, the most passive activity of them all, I always try to achieve some sense of piece and tranquility which I never get.

I can't remember when was last time I have had any clear thoughts and real goals or even enjoyed merely consuming something.
It looks like I'm just not made to function. I'm experiencing some kind of information overload.
I always feel an immense hatred at myself.


Hey. I've been there and it really sucks. My advice is: please seek professional help. It's almost impossible to do this alone. I started taking meds and it helped me a lot, but therapy is also a great way to cope. Recovery is hard and slow, but I'm sure you can do it.


try doing a dopamine fast bruh


Start small with it


That state of apathy leads to brainrot. Start with things that you can't fail at, like a potted herb you water every day. See it grow, use it for cooking. Smaller wins to hopefully get your drive back.


Try a positive feedback loop instead bro.


the straight really wants to beat me, you did thought of that huh?
also the gays.
everyone is fucking similar

why do you even go to better heaven here?
it's cuz yer going to hell next


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I don't think that's a good idea, bro. Negative feedback loops stabilize systems. Positive feedback loops have the opposite effect. Theoretically, a positive feedback loop results in output increasing asymptotically toward infinity. In reality however, all systems are bound by one or more limiting variables.


I still kind of believe in free will and would feel even more pathetic taking some pills to feel better.
tried it. went full in and lay in bed all day feeling depressed
I always feel distracted doing even simple things. My brain always goes all over the place.


If you can't even water a plant then it seems like early dementia not some 'there is no point in anything'


well. I tried a bunch of things. I fail every time which just confirms my worthlessness. I have some "hobbies" like brewing tea that really require no effort at all but you could consider it a "skill", I guess. At everything else I feel insufficient and like good for nothing.


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>warped mind
>no /sig/ of any kind is useful
>we're mostly demented

You should really start fastings and the practice of eating once a day. With frequency.
>Veggies for students, meat for sportsmen and we are none of that.
>Waiting for death to come just like could lead to situations of heightened pressure.

Practicing these points for long time might lead some changes in your brain, but I promise nothing. Just working for me, very slowly: https://wizchan.org/dep/res/223376.html#224312


thanks. I get the fasting thing. when I'm colpletely burned out I often crave to eat something. Just to distract myself. But why are you suggesting not drinking water?


When I don't drink water for some time it makes me feel even worse


>craving something

Water and honey are the mere things you need for a long fast. This mixture should cleanse your kidneys properly while doing it… but the entire list of warp waning is more complete, specially the holotropic thing. It is the final act among all others.


could you provide some recourse which deteils on things like how often you should fast and stuff?


this music is helping me calm down rn
can't bring myself to rewatch the shows though


Don't think just do.


Makes me feel like shit when I see some here telling how shit their childhood has been and that they have a totally fucked up background. For me. I don't even know what went wrong. I have been brought up fairly normal, at least I think so.
And still I can't just function.
Not that I want to be some normalcunt or anything. I just want to function. Not thinking about females, consumerism or any shit that happens in society, not feeling total despair over my immense sense of uselessness. I just want to withdraw in my corner and do something, not waste away like most on this site seem to do.
I sometimes wonder what the kiwifarm mods and glowniggers think about my gayass posts. I'm propably already on some list for the pol shit I've said and shit. Fuck em. Who cares.


Have you thought about reading the VNs? Clannad is over 100 hours long.


I'll add that I have a similar problem as OP, in which I can't do things for some reason. I can normally read VNs though, as long as I like the story. It's like they have the right mix of passiveness (primarily just reading, and the text is easy) and stuff that can also keep your attention (music, art).


just do things like a robot and allow the experience of doing them be whatever it is. Once you realise all you have to do is just do things without the experience of doing them needing to be a certain way it becomes simple and easy. Stop expecting and craving a certain something happening mentally from/while doing things and don't have aversion to whatever does happen mentally, just allow it to be.
Just keep your mind a simple and quiet awareness and try not to react to whatever arises in it as much as possible, just observe what happens and let the thoughts and feelings flow no matter how troubling they are.

tl;dr all you have to do is try and put in the practice/work/time, you don't have to become normal and happy instantly and quickly, all you can do is put in the effort


light novels are so time consuming. -as you already mentioned 1k plus hours just for some text with background music. How will this help improve my state of mind or anything? I might try though, if I can get into it. It can't give me any negative feedback after all, can it? I mean I have heard there are some visual novels with game elements in it (have never played any visual novels)
well. right now I totally agree with you. But I already know. When I wake up tomorrow I'll feel depressed again and this fear will overcome me again. I'll just turn on my computer and feel completely numb again. Pathetic, isn't it? My PC has the processing power of a supercomputer in 1999 and books and learning material worth several libraries/universities or something and all I'm doing is mindlessly browsing through hellhole chans and rotting away.

Anyway thanks for the replys.


I mean just today I tried getting up at 5am and just didn't want to do anything. That's what depression is like. You want to do everything but can't do nothing


How can I force myself just to do something? I sometimes thought about just getting rid of my computer and stuff. But I would propably find other ways to waste my distract me.


>light novels are so time consuming. -as you already mentioned 1k plus hours just for some text with background music. How will this help improve my state of mind or anything? I might try though, if I can get into it. It can't give me any negative feedback after all, can it? I mean I have heard there are some visual novels with game elements in it (have never played any visual novels)
Personally I consider the length a good thing. It's let me get lost in another world for a good long while, you know? Since we're talking about Key games, most of them just have choices you make occasionally, and to remove the "game" aspect of that you can just use a walkthrough. Little Busters has some optional gameplay elements, like a baseball minigame.


>It's let me get lost in another world for a good long while, you know?
That makes it even more painful when it ends. It's always like that when I finish an anime. And you realize it's all just an illusion, an escape from reality…



meds and therapy only help normies.

My advice to OP is to start smoking weed. It at least makes it possible to enjoy watching shit.


nah. I don't want to become shizo


1. Clearly identify a goal worth pursuing
2. Center your awareness on this goal
3. Use your intention to summon up your will and channel it into this goal
This should create the necessary desire and fear structures to motivate you to take action to accomplish your objective.


You forgot to paste "wizchan 2020" on the end.


Guess I'll be getting my psp running again.


well. I know this is dep and I mainly just wanted to rant. if someone can provide me some advice beyond 4chad improvebrah faggotry I happily take it. Otherwise it's up to me to actually do anything. I know there is no use really talking to anonymous strangers on the internet or to anyone really, be it anonymous or clear.


I'm in sort of the same boat.
I'm waiting for some external inspiration, motivation, discipline or whatnot. It hasn't come, it wont come, and I've been waiting for 15 years.
I make these plans, small or big about things to do. Plans like reading a book, watching a tv-series/movie that is supposedly good, or bigger ones like learning to hunt animals, camp in the wild etc.
But I'm just waiting, I might do some basic stuff that barely contributes to the goal. Easy things that give me a better foundation for when I "want" to do it.

I have a mixing board that has been collecting dust for over 10 years, with weekly mental reminder that I will pick it up in the future. Thinking about how I could fit it into my room as it is.
It's the same with chess, or other activities. I can watch it for hours, but to actually play a game - online or vs computer, it just reminds me how stupid I am and how little I know about the game.
It's like every minor setback, or bad experience is an overwhelming reminder of my person and how bad my person is. And how every "helpful tip" or "guide" is for people not in my position.
Take chess as an example, how would a guide help me when I barely know the movement of a piece.
Or any workout-guide for an exercise when I can't even get into the starting position.

It's like my life is an error message on the computer and when you try to google the solution, you find tons of posts about some seemingly close error but with a total different solution.


That's a lot of work.
Why not do stuff you know you like then over time you do better at it. Then eventually you're kinda good at it. You're upset that you're not perfect at everything you just start and for some reason you're also taking that personally while saying you don't have the energy to do it. Idk


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Thank you for posting this.


>you know you like
I guess eating and jerking off aren't suitable "likeables". I guess ever since I was very young, that I was brilliant, that I was smart, clever and all that. That I could do anything I wanted.
Then it's been 25 years of constant reminder of how early I knew the alphabet, how early I could read and so on. But there was never, ever any help, always a reminder of lost arts, mockery of faults. Flat feet? Being mocked by my own family for how weird I sound when I walk, but never taken to a doctor.
I've just scathed by, never done homework, never learned discipline, never gotten - or needed help. It was more of a chore to get done, and not important to do correctly.

I guess my mental state has been in a freefall until a few years ago, but now it's expected to get fixed yesterday. I guess the story of overbearing mother with narcissistic traits, passive father makes this outcome.


You are confusing feedback loops in physics with feedback loops in psychology. In psychology negative feedback loops cause unstable mental states and suffering.


I might have the answer for you OP, but I haven't mastered the thought and thus am still similar to yourself much of the time. This is only my theory but we have been tricked from birth to believe in word games, one of these word games is the word "difficult". What is someone saying when they say something is difficult? That it is hard? What defines what makes something hard to do?

One man might stand up and profess "Difficulty is defined by each man.". Certainly a genius and a moron who write a test would have different experiences and results right? A man without legs and one with, both trying to move uphill. Yet is inability or lack of ability in each man what defines difficulty rather than innate difficulty is each action? Painting the Mona Lisa was not difficult, because no action is in itself "difficult". Nor would any action such as brushing teeth, hiking 10 hours, or any such thing have any innate "difficulty". For some, merely existing would be difficult? So for him merely not killing himself is equal to working on a phd, running 20 km every day, or other such tasks.

"No" says another man who rejects that everything is equal to each other, for such an answer is an insult to all who did or made anything more worthwhile than another. "Do you seriously propose that one should consider Nikola Tesla's works to be equal to a man with dementia for remembering his own name?". In other words we must compare actions based on the best of humanity that has ever or will ever exist. Yet how could a man be expected to swim as the fastest swimmer in all mankind? Is only the 1st place winner worthy of any praise? For normal born humans such things are impossible, we are left with only non difficult tasks.

Relative or competition between all, both answers seem wrong and absurd to me. Even if one was correct, it does not answer what difficulty truly is. Perhaps, it is the required effort that defines the difficulty. Yet people say things you don't like take more effort to work on, while at the same time saying that things that are difficult can be what you enjoy. Is it difficult for a painter who loves painting to put in effort in his paintings, or does it come naturally from his desire to paint? Is it not true that people say starting something is easy but continuing it is not? How could one thing be easy and difficult at the same time? I think clearly that effort and difficulty are separate words for a reason.

There is much more one could go over with this. My answer to all this nonsense is that "difficulty" does not exist, real difficulty is the creation of desire for an action. It is not difficult to become strong if one practices, and one would practice if they wanted something. Where is the difficulty once one wants to do something? Either you have the ability to accomplish it or you do not, where is the difficulty in that exchange? Yet the creation of true desire is more mysterious that a material ability to do so or not do so. Also to not forget your desire, is what persistence is.

I used this realization to quit smoking, stop jerking off, and start watching anime/reading again. Previously I had told myself such things must be difficult because I could not do them, yet once I realized difficulty did not exist I could do them "easily". Admittedly I still lack the final piece of the puzzle to the creation of desire for things other than nothing, resulting in do nothing for long periods of time. Recently my longing for a better image board culture has led me to creating more sincere posts even if I am mocked or fail. A desire of curbing of my ironic posting, mocking others, or shitposting was created through the desire for better imageboard culture. I told myself I will craft the better culture myself and make more effortposts. Hopefully people read them, as when I was young and put effort into my posts no one ever read them. Regardless of this being ignored I'm still glad to have wrote this out, as my desire is being brought to reality.

tldr: Difficulty is not real, everyone achieved what they want even if that want is nothing.


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Those are actually positive feedback loops that amplify or sustain subjectively unpleasant experiences: i.e., pain motivates an action or lack thereof, which reinforces pain. Psychologists have apparently confused "negative" with "bad" and "positive" with "good" rather than understanding them in mathematical terms.

Getting back to the problem at hand: whilst one could attempt to introduce negative feedback so as to moderate the output, a more obvious solution is simply to break the loop.


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To OP, try the dopamine fast that 2 brought up. Also

I hate being nerdy and correcting people, but you almost always need a closed loop, negative feedback loop to control a system. Most control systems need it so they can loop back the error and correct it. I think brushless DC motors don't require a controller since their errors do not accumulate, but most control systems have their error accumulate and you need a negative feedback loop to reduce the error.


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You're not wrong. As I stated in my original reply: negative feedback loops stabilize systems. Any intrinsically stable system will contain one or more negative feedback loops that act to stabilize it.

When I suggested "break[ing] the loop" I was referring to a positive feedback loop that amplifies suffering: e.g., low self esteem triggers avoidant behavior, avoidance increases feelings of worthlessness, leading to further avoidance, etc.

I think the misunderstanding was due to my use of an image not entirely relevant in that it actually illustrates the difference between closed and open loop control of a resistance heater, i.e. negative feedback loop versus no loop. It was, unfortunately, the best that Google Images could do.

Your image depicts a Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) controller. PID is an advanced and sophisticated form of closed loop control intelligently designed by humans. It is not present in simple self-organizing systems, but functionally similar processes may occur within complex systems such as animals including humans.


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I read your post
Have you read pic related book?
It is very much in line with what you are saying "remove the brainwashing" and such.
There has also been a hackbook adopted to quit fapping.
Maybe there is a way to adopt this thinking to other things like discipline as well.


Yes I did actually, although it was not what got me to quit smoking in the end. It was a very interesting book, and I enjoyed his comparison of smoking to wearing small shoes to feel relief after taking them off. I used his techniques to quit smoking for a few weeks and then unfortunately started up again (took a few more tries to quit for good). During that attempt the withdrawal felt lessened than other attempts, my conviction stronger, and things easier. However I do not think Alan Carr is honest, rather he uses every mental trick in the book to get you to quit; to the point he denies withdrawal existing at all really. I differ from him because I think negative effects and reactions will still occur, but with desire they no longer matter. If he wrote his book on anything other than addiction, certainly he would have been called a snakes-oil salesman or a "new ager" by others I think. That being said, I learned much from reading and testing what he spoke of in his book. Truly a fantastic book, even if it is not honest.

After I had failed quitting smoking with Alan Carr I wondered what went wrong. Nearly a month of not smoking, and yet I went back to it, why? Was quitting really hard, and why was the intensity of the (mental) withdraws lessened this time? During this time I had begun adapting parts of Stoicism, with a major focus being the removal of "false perception" in events. Disregarding the ideas that working was a "bad" thing to escape from, I could now handle working fine unlike before. During a job I was given to run I ended up having to work 20 hours in a single day, yet besides feeling tired it was not difficult. It was necessary that I be there at the job for that long, what was there to complain about? Through this I began to believe reason is what leads to desire, and desire what leads to action. If I wanted to stay and work, how could I do anything else except what I wanted? If I want to close my hand tightly, unless the physical world prevents me from such action, how and why could or would I NOT close my hand? It would be absurd to think otherwise.

At that point I began to realize it was not just linguists that play word games, it is the entire human population that do so. Each of us brainwashing each other into believing things that are not even close to true. Words have much more power than I even gave them credit for when I was younger. It was obvious that pain or withdraws still existed, the so called "reality". Yet equally obvious is that perceptions and thought molded by words, and thoughts of others; had equal control with said "reality". Perhaps even more so than reality, and at least where difficulty is concerned, it does not exist in what it is commonly thought of. Either you want something, and do it; or you do not. Wanting is "difficult", doing is easy.

Once I had engaged with these thoughts for longer periods of time I realized I could never have wanted to quit smoking, fapping, or the other "vices" I held. Otherwise I would have already quit. There was no reason or explanation beyond that. I could accept that I did not want to do so, or indulge in false perception to save my old views on reality. So how could I create the desire to quit? If even the threat of death from cancer, or hours each day wasted fapping was not enough, then truly how could I do such a thing? It seems like an absurd line of reasoning: "man attempts to convince himself he wants something he doesn't want". Yet if I wanted to convince myself I wanted something, would that statement not be true? Either way the reasoning I decided upon for quitting fapping and smoking was simply this "I'm doing this for no reason other than to do it". Each time my brain asked me for a cigarette I simply repeated that it was "for no reason". Surprising myself, it worked.

Unfortunately the desire to do nothing, not think, or not engage with things and people seriously still plagues me. The destruction and endless assault upon my old views seems to be an ongoing battle. Slowly I am gaining control each day, to so SOMETHING rather than nothing. Even if it is writing these very long (for me at least) posts, I am seriously engaging with what I'm doing; rather than mindlessly scrolling imageboards each day. My desire for something is proven by this writing, for how else could there not be a desire to do something: if I did something?

That's my answer on how to adopt this thinking to things like discipline. It is not a complete thought, but perhaps with enough time I will understand enough to complete it. Maybe another anon will take this idea and complete what I currently cannot. If you finished reading this post, thank you for doing so.


thank you for sharing your thoughts.


It's good you're able to think critically about your behaviours and addictions,I've quit so many times and failed that attempting to quit just adds another level of stress to my anxiety riddled mind, I've almost gotten to the delusional point of acce pting my fate and whatever happens happens, I don't feel like I can drag myself out of this hole, I don't understand why it would be evolutionarily advantageous to give someone a mind that constantly doubts itself, creates unnecesary worry, what is the benefit of this debilitating excessive thought? I just want peace, I want my mind to be on autopilot without thoughts like when I was a kid, back when I lived in the world, now I live in my mind, interacting with the real world feels like interacting with something that isn't real, doesn't apply to me, that I can't be a part of. This post doesn't make sense and I don't care, I'm an idiot and I'll hopefully be dead soon.


>I just want peace
amen to that


I share your pains deeply, truly I am glad someone else knows these experiences. Your post made a lot of sense to me, more so than many of my posts that I have made I think. It's hard to explain our own thoughts, even I am afraid I could have ruined the transfer of my own thoughts in these posts. As for doubt, there is a piece of paper pinned to my wall with a thought I wrote on it two years ago due to the very reasons you speak of. On it I wrote:
>Doubt is ideal to prevent delusional or incorrect thoughts, BUT when an idea or thought has come to be thought of as ideal or most correct, it should not be doubted; least I undermine my own values or judgements. I may doubt if evidence comes to me that shows the incoherence of my thoughts, but not for the sake of doubt. It is a tool to ensure consistency and quality of values or judgments. I shall not use it to attack and subvert myself every day. I cannot allow that. Remember this lesson.
Doubt truly is a poison of the mind if left to run amok. I attempted to quit smoking at least 15-17 times, really I actually lost count if I am to be honest. Each time the doubt would seem into my mind. "Why am I quitting? If I enjoyed smoking wasn't that enough? Is living longer, but not enjoyably really worthwhile?". Always these thoughts plagued my mind, so too when I put effort into anything at all creeping doubt ruined it before it had begun. Despite the fact that I knew that smoking could not possibly be an enjoyable thing, my tolerance was so high that it was just a habit. As Alan Carr says "there is nothing enjoyable about smoking". Out of the 15+ times I tried, only one time was real, it was the last and only true attempt.

Desire and want are linked to reason, but the reasoning might be the very reason we continue what we don't "want", but really do despite what we "think". Rationally I knew smoking and fapping were useless, but still did them because I wanted to. Is it that I wished to destroy myself, to ignore rational reasoning, or some other reason? It is wrong to think those things if that was true? Can any man prove that one thing is more worthy than another, and can any man prove that life is worth living? I certainly cannot. The only thing I know is that I want to exist, even if life is overall a negative experience I want to be here. If I did not, then I would not be here. Certainly the results show where my desire is.

If I allow the doubt into my mind it shall state that "artificially" creating desire is non-genuine and a "cope"; right after I give up I shall state that the only "cope" was calling the creation a cope, all so I could run away and give up. After all, what makes a genuine desire? Something innate, the base instinct, a well crafted thought, what is it? Doubt is endless, a true self perpetuating cancer of the mind. "I'm doing this for no reason other than to do it" is what I told myself to defeat it, but really I know the reasons. "For no reason" is to stop the devilish doubt from overcoming my desire. All things can be argued and torn apart, but I decided this desire was what I want and refuse to allow doubt to steal it from me as she has done so many times before. Stolen from me in the past and will steal in my future too, how pointless to fight it, yet I will continue to as that is my desire.

Perhaps we are broken people whom minds work against ourselves. Yet when I look at people who have no doubts at all, I am glad that I have far too much rather than none. Unable to look at themselves, all they see is other people and things. There is no self within them, while I treasure my own thoughts above all else. I shall consciously choose to do what they never consciously had to do, the things they take for granted as nothing, if it that is something basic as to make food for myself or make a longer post on 4chan. The decision to engage with things despite the ever flowing locust of doubt that bite me will be my magnum opus.

I hope this wasn't pretentious, your post had me very invested in making the right reply.


Well, thanks for enjoying my post, I was here for like 20 minutes typing out a big post replying to yours describing what I go through and how they could actually be two different things but ultimately whatever happens to both of us happens whether we're similar or not, I'm not able to write anything intelligible or sounds good to me, I usually just lurk here and when I'm feeling particularly bad I post, sorry for the shitty reply to your long articulate post with paragraphs.


I feel guilty for replying with such a shitty post so if I feel better at some point I'll try and make a good reply.


No need to be sorry for anything at all. As I said before, I write these long posts (long for me anyways) to fulfill my own desire. Frankly I was expecting that no one would read or reply to the first one, so I exceeded my own expectations already. There have been many long posts I have read from others, yet never bothered to acknowledge or engage with them at all, not even a reply since I would merely lurk. Posts others put effort into left ignored by myself and others. That's the risk of long posts and engagement with things, you risk using larger amounts of time only for no one to understand you or give you the time of day anyways. I couldn't figure out what is or isn't a waste of time beside mindlessly doing nothing, so now I just try to fully engage with whatever it is I'm doing. Even if what I write is incoherent, idiotic, has errors, is pathetic, or whatever else my mind cooks up in order to avoid putting a part of myself into something I'm doing. It took me many, many years to be willing to do even this, something that would be as simple as breathing for most others. Maybe I will look back and call myself a retard for putting my effort into imageboard posts. The future is what has yet to exist, and the past what does not exist. So I prefer not to chained by either.


Interesting posts.

I think difficulty can be split into internal and external difficulty. The latter is quite simple, the world is complex and we must master its laws in order to bring a desired result. We need to push a rock out of the way and for that you need physical force, work, energy, and so on. Internal difficulty is quite different, because there really isn't anything there, as you say. To quit smoking, to not engage in an action, how could that require actual energy and work?

I believe this is because our psyche is fundamentally split between two systems - system 1 which is unconscious, automatic, fast, and system 2 which slow, deliberate and conscious. On the one hand, our conscious part wants to quit smoking, recognizes the rational, logical benefit of such a thing, yet each smoker will be able to recognize some part of himself that truly does not want this happen. The hard part is "desiring/wanting" to quit, as you say.

Mental effort is required when these two systems are in conflict, when you first need to push an internal rock in order to do what you consciously want to do. Willpower is a brute-force solution, one that requires energy and depletes the more you use it. This is why most people fall back on their habits, relapse into addiction, can't sustain therapy gains and so on, because it simply isn't sustainable in the long run.

Changing system 1, which is broadly responsible our perception, motivation, emotions and so on, is quite difficult. I don't think psychology has a good answer, since most psychotherapies eventually rely on the person's willpower to change thoughts, feelings and behavior through brute-force, hoping that it eventually sticks. A certain amount of people do get better, but this is more the result of chance than actual technique.

>Each time my brain asked me for a cigarette I simply repeated that it was "for no reason". Surprising myself, it worked.

It's difficult for me to believe that this was the catalyst to your change. Giving yourself commands or rationalizations is ineffective precisely because the part of your brain that still wants to smoke doesn't understand verbal and abstract reasoning. The way you learned to smoke wasn't by repeating a phrase, but came about automatically through your action, through a demonstration that this silly action lead to some kind of benefit i.e. nicotine. To unlearn it, it would have to go through similar, experiential, non-verbal means, actually proving that "there is nothing enjoyable about smoking". Maybe this could be achieved by smoking a cigarette without any nicotine and one that made you anxious instead of relaxed - definitive proof that your previous smoking behavior was no longer beneficial in any way.

Anyway, I'm just theorizing like you. You should "effortpost" more often, it was an enjoyable read.


Hmm, certainly we differ on our theories. Many years of unintelligent flaming have left me a lack of skill in respectful debate, so forgive me if I offend as I am still building up this ability of respectful conversation. Even worse is the thought of going too far the opposite and coming off as smarmy or condescending, so forgive me for that also if it occurs.

The first important point I see from you is the idea of "willpower". It ties in with difficulty nicely, perhaps too nicely. Just like "difficulty" I think "willpower" is a word that lies to people, does not exist, and holds a fraud meaning. The reason for this thought is when I wonder how could one do something they don't want to do? People say that willpower is used when you do something you do not want to do. Yet is that not the same as stating you wanted to do something you didn't want to do? You may say I have merely cheated the description and added "want" where none previously was, but I argue that if one did something it had to have been wanted in order to do it; is that not correct? Could I close my hand without the want to close it? Is that not an absurd conclusion? I could understand unintentionally doing something, you want to pass a ball to a teammate, but lack the ability, so you miss. Instead of a pass it turned into a throw to no one at all, intentional action had unintentional results. Whereas is it that willpower suggests you intentionally did something without intention to do so? Again this seems nonsense, I certainly require further convincing from you on the existence of this kind of willpower.

However it could be that I may misunderstand, do you believe willpower to be the creation of a want greater than the "want to not" through reason? If so we may just be in complete agreement on this, and I shall enjoy this happy marriage of this kind of Willpower with my theory on Difficulty. If that is the case it could not be a "brute force" technique, but rather the complete opposite. Since you have created the greater want for the something, there is no longer a conflict, because it has by its nature overcome the other. Willpower would in fact be the final result of a conquering of one want over another. The continuing of that Willpower would rest on the shoulders of remembrance, in other words a kind of "persistence", but more importantly than that is if the Willpower's reason was greater than any future reason in favor of the "want to not".

Second point of lesser importance than the first is the external difficulty. You did not expand upon it much, believing that it is simple in explanation. My brain is possibly even more simple than the explanation, so I would need to go over it again with you. When I look at your rock moving example I cannot understand it. Your answer is that difficulty is moving the rock because of physical force, work, energy, and so on. Yet I think we could both agree that force and work are the results of expending energy, correct? So really you mean to say difficulty is just the expenditure of energy? And is it not true that each different man would use more or less energy to move said rock? Or that one man would use more energy when he was old rather than young, or stronger vs weaker? I say these things because it leads back to my point in my first post in the thread where I first presented the "Difficulty is defined by each man" argument. In this case with energy usage as difficulty, is jogging for an hour equal to bench pressing 600 pounds (or whatever a large benchpress would be equal to in jogging, these numbers merely an example)? For the energy used would be the same correct ? Again the "other man" would be furious that you state these things to be equal when clearly they are not. Which lead back to my point that besides the end result of both relative difficulty or competitive difficulty being rather nonsense, neither really define what difficulty is.

One point I agree with you is that the mind must have some sort of unconscious and consciousness. Not in those terminologies exactly, since I don't know what other theories are packed in with those, but certainly that there is a "seen" and "unseen" part of the mind in some sort of fashion. Where we differ perhaps is if the unseen can become at the very least partially seen with enough "looking". A hazy view it may be, it is still a view. For instance I knew that smoking was not an enjoyable thing, how could it be when I had tolerance so high I could chain smoke 5+ in a row and feel nothing? Still I smoked anyways, so I searched for answers. Could it be that I had injected an image of myself into the image of smoking (or vice versa)? I would not want to quit something that was a part of "myself". Maybe it was that I hated some part of myself, and wished to slowly destroy it along with me in a passive form of death. I could think of many reasons and wants to keep smoking, but still the ultimate answer was unclear. The unseen answer might be in that multitude of reasons, but the view is hazy and without solid shape to grasp. What was clear and sharp to me was that there was some kind of want to smoke I could not deny. That no possible unseen answer I came up with was better than the one I came up with in the seen mind. At that point of realization I had already quit smoking, only doubt in the seen answer could steal my victory away from me.

>It's difficult for me to believe that this was the catalyst to your change.

I went into a bit more detail in >>229962 about this. "For no reason" really means "for the desire to do so that I desire". A sort of denial of logical debate, that what I decided will be what I do. It is a circular reason that is not "logical" so it is protected from doubt destroying and running off with my desire and control. This reason is similar as the creation of the desire I crafted "man attempts to convince himself he wants something he doesn't want", it sounds nonsensical. Yet also true is "if I wanted to convince myself I wanted something, would that statement not be true?". Perhaps what I'm writing is a bit confusing, for I attempt to rationally dissect my own thoughts only to end in half-coherent conclusions. This is probably because my theory is incomplete, and that hopefully I or someone else will complete it fully in the future.

One small extra note is about "the definitive proof that smoking was no longer beneficial", this is perhaps the easiest thing about smoking. One merely needs to not smoke for 3~ days and have a smoke, it smells, tastes, and feels awful in every single way. Yet still the smoker goes back to it. Similar to people who smoke outside hospitals after having a heart attack, despite being told that they were going to have another and probably die if they kept smoking. The proof is unnecessary unless one is dumb enough to fully believe inhaling smoke year round would not be bad for you. In which case they could probably not reason Willpower to existence anyways.

>it was an enjoyable read.

As was your reply, thank you. This post ended up very large by accident, hopefully it wasn't boring or a chore to read.


>I wonder how could one do something they don't want to do?

It seems paradoxical, but there's evidence of the dual-processing theory of cognition (just google "system 1 and 2"), two parts of the mind that have different functions. I consider willpower to be a sort of conscious mental energy that is expended in order to move past internal resistance, to brute-force the automatic part of your mind that doesn't want to play along with your conscious goals. And the resistance sort of resets each time you do it because it's an automatic, unconscious system that can be overridden but not easily re-programmed. The way psychotherapy works and many other systems, is by telling you that eventually the resistance will just disappear and you won't need to expend this mental energy and you will do the desired behavior effortlessly. Essentially, you can increase the "want/desire" of the conscious self to override the "want/desire" of the unconscious self, but it's never really permanent and it requires mental energy to maintain (there's studies that show that willpower depletes over time, the more people use it).

For example, if you hate working out, there is the internal energy required to push through your automatic, unconscious part of your mind (which people might call "laziness"), and then there's also the external energy required to move your limbs and weights around - in this case, the energy is physical and defined mathematically i.e. we know how much force is required to move X amount of weight and so on.

It might be easier for person A to work out since they do not have expend much mental energy convincing themselves to do the desired behavior, while person B will be already mentally exhausted by the time they "push" through the internal resistance and reach the gym.

Similarly, if both person A and B don't need willpower and don't experience internal friction when going to the gym, then they can differ in their external difficulty. Person A has more muscle mass and can move 50KG easier than person B who has less physical strength. This is the kind of difficulty that various natural sciences might be interested in, but personally I'm really only interested in the psychology i.e. internal difficulty, friction, conflict and so on.

>A sort of denial of logical debate

I can't say I understand entirely, but is it about controlling attention? Instead of debating yourself whether smoking is bad or good, you rather reduce awareness of the question entirely, push it out of your mind. If you see a character smoking on the TV, you just try ignore the cue, the tingling need and so on?

>One small extra note is about "the definitive proof that smoking was no longer beneficial", this is perhaps the easiest thing about smoking.

Right, but this depends on what your mind finds beneficial about smoking in the first place. It seems smoking provides something /despite/ the taste, the feeling, the bad health and so on, something which is worth it. Of course, it's difficult for a smoker to put that into words because it's not really conscious, and I can't really speculate on it. Until that part of your mind stops wanting to smoke, you'll always have to use (however little) willpower to deny yourself - after a year you might say fuck it and give in to the tingle. The absolute permanent solution is for there to no longer be a tingle in the first place, nothing to deny.

I don't experience any desire for smoking because I have no experiential knowledge of its benefit. Even though I might imagine someone enjoying a cigarette, it is essentially nothing to me because I have no experience of smoking and there is nothing to desire. It seems that once you know definitively that smoking gives you "something", you brain will latch onto it and keep reminding you, despite your conscious desires. And in order to get rid of it, theoretically, you would have to undo that learning, to "forget" that cigarettes give you what you need.

I just remembered a video that goes into a method for quitting alcohol that aims to reduce the positive effects of alcohol so that the person drinking just doesn't experience the reward. It seems that when they have the drink, the person keeps expecting the reward but it never comes and this teaches them to not desire alcohol anymore.


>(just google "system 1 and 2")
Is this not just an overglorified repackaging of what one might call instinct or passive reactions vs active thought? In general I am cautious of authors who place any trust in modern psychology at all, especially modern psychological economists who are given nepotistic Nobel prizes. When I read things like below it only adds to those same feelings:
>System 1 is prone to substituting a simpler question for a difficult one. Subjects were told about an imaginary Linda, young, single, outspoken, and intelligent, who, as a student, was very concerned with discrimination and social justice. They asked whether it was more probable that Linda is a bank teller or that she is a bank teller and an active feminist. The overwhelming response was that "feminist bank teller" was more likely than "bank teller," violating the laws of probability. (Every feminist bank teller is a bank teller). In this case System 1 substituted the easier question, "Is Linda a feminist?", neglecting the occupation qualifier.
It is clear they had already lead the question to a certain expected response. Why mention that Linda is a "very concerned with discrimination and social justice" and "outspoken" and then ask a question in the frame of is Linda an x or y with y including the word "feminist"? It was not substituted with "Is Linda a feminist?" as they propose, but rather substituted with "is it more probable that Linda is [just] a bank teller or that she is a bank teller and [also] an active feminist.". This is a more rational question to ask than "is it more probable that Linda is a bank teller or that she is a bank teller and an active feminist." which should really be written as "is it more probable that Linda is a bank teller or that she is an active feminist." anyways. It should be clear to anyone than not only is the question poorly written, that the response was led by the previous information given, but also that even taken at face value the substitution was minor and looked to correct the illogical real question being asked: is Linda the bank teller a bank teller?. I would state this substitution was actually a sign of something good, that is to rationally correct things as they are being read, rather than being hung up on useless inconsistencies. The readers read in good faith what the writer set up in bad faith. In other words it is a pathetic "gotcha", not something of any intellectual depth. Anyways that is enough time on this issue.
>(there's studies that show that willpower depletes over time, the more people use it).
Did they not also recently come out and state "willpower" is actually improved the more one uses it? One has to wonder how these """scientific""" psychologists managed to measure willpower at all, and if they could even replicate their own studies (spoiler: it's psychology, so probably not). Knowing the hacks that call themselves psychologists they were probably stupid enough to make a test where they asked participants to do something they would not normally want to do, and then studied how long until they gave up. In other words how long until "I wish I was not doing this because x,y,z" overpowered "I'm here to make $10 as a participate" or "I just wanted to be nice". Maybe they were even dumb enough to allow self reports as actual data in another typical psychologist fashion. Psychology was better when it was still philosophy, the only decent ideas came from those times anyways. Modern psychology is an absolute sham waiting to be overthrown by real science in the form of neuroscience. I remember reading a study about transgender children rating themselves more happy after being put on hormone """medication""", one has to wonder if they were happy because they were told they were sick and now had been cured of that sickness. These kind of thoughts do no occur to psychologists however, critical thinking is beyond them. They are just there for a paycheck, and/or to see their name published regardless of the validity of their """science"""".

Bit of a rant on modern psychology there, but I will not accept psychology """studies""" as proof of anything. Psychology should be a rational study, not empirical. Why anyone expected it to work empirically is beyond me, besides making basic groups of people (lifestyles) and then selling these groups products psychology has been a complete failure on every level scientifically. Well it did manage to shove "I was born gay" and "I was born a succubus in a man's body" down everyone's throat. Great propaganda tool it became, any results you want so long as you have the dough to fund it.

As for your own thoughts, I think I am understanding what you mean by willpower now. It is paying attention, active thought, or as you say "system 2" rather than "system 1". Yet is that not just what effort is? A conscious, active, and thoughtful focus would be mental effort correct? A "brute force" with "willpower" would be to expend your focus on something that system 1, your instinct, would not do. Effort was something I mentioned in my first post so I call upon it again, "Is it difficult for a painter who loves painting to put in effort in his paintings, or does it come naturally from his desire to paint?". I am unsure how you would answer that question, despite the fact you bring up ideas similar to it.

You gym example I find strange. You start off with "one hates working out", immediately I want to ask if you have ever seen or met someone who hates working out truly working out? The closest example I can think of are the so called slackers at gym class in high school, yet I would not call what they were doing to be "working out" or "pretending to work out so to not get in trouble". Besides that, have you not tried to trick the example with the word "hate", is it not true that to hate something is to dislike and not want this something altogether? Is hate, the strong word that it is, not a conscious "system 2" choice? When has anyone willingly sought out what he hates? Could you say he hates something he seeks out and does on a regular basis? I think that to be a ridiculous idea, unless there was a greater want that overpowered the want to not do something. One could "hate(not want) working out", but love(want) having a good looking body. In which case he would enjoy working out, because it was what gave him the great body he desires.

Beyond the trick of emotional words in place of desire (want/not want), what is the "mental energy" you keep going on about? What is the limit of such a thing, what composition of elements make it up, and what do I do to refill it? I jest, but still half seriously. Is this "mental energy" not just another repackaging of willpower, which in turn was a repackaging of effort, which in turn was a repackaging of "expenditure of energy" or rather just energy? If I replaced "mental energy" with willpower or effort, your post seems to behave and state the exact same things to me. If that is not the case, then explain the purpose of those three terms and how they differ so that I may understand your post fully.

You stated "you won't need to expend this mental energy and you will do the desired behavior effortlessly." which was similar to my theory, but then right after state "it requires mental energy to maintain" so it requires mental energy to not expend mental energy? You link mental energy to system 2 which is cognitive thought or rather what I would call reason is it not? So surely we must agree that reason decides desire which determines action, or in your case system 2 decides desire which determines actions. After the action has begun, to continue that action I state remembrance of the greater reason first, and that it (the want) must also continue being greater than any future reason to "not want" rather than want. For you to continue that action is a endless supply of X(being mental energy, willpower, effort, just energy. You must explain here) despite also stating it would not need this X.

Upon reflecting at what I wrote I think the most important thing is that I don't understand is what you might call one or all of the following "cognitive thought, system 2, mental energy, willpower, effort, etc" and why you believe it to be limited. I lack a solid grasp on what exactly it is and how it is limited.


>I can't say I understand entirely, but is it about controlling attention?
No, and in fact one should not divert attention like that. It is a sign that you fear that thing and its consequences, it only adds to the "want not" rather than to the want. If I would to explain it as coherently as possible, "for no reason" or "for the desire to do so that I desire" is my defense against the cancerous belief that every action is pointless. The greatest desire to "want not" comes from that abhorrent idea, it would have me sit still and rot until death, and I refuse to let it win. If you were to ask me why I refuse it, I wouldn't even be able to explain why. It may be the most logical thought possible, but still I will search for a away around it in any form possible. Even if I must cheat logic itself to do so.

>this depends on what your mind finds beneficial about smoking in the first place.

This and all the rest you wrote on we agree with mostly. The "unseen" parts of the mind I spoke about that are hazy and without shape seem to hold these desires. However I shall not agree that one needs to use "willpower". Either you want to smoke or you do not. Another frame is if you want to be addicted or not. For instance I know people who quit smoking, but will have a cigar or a pack once or twice a year. Rationally once or twice a year is fine health wise, and with no tolerance you do get the benefit of the stimulant. The reason it is dangerous to do so is that you are getting a benefit from it, which can create the greater desire that overtakes your previously greater desire. Which is why I say that I attempted to quit many times, but only truly quit once. Is the reason for your desire greater than the reason and desire of your current and future desires? That is all that matters.

As for the video that is interesting that they have that for alcohol, I chuckled at the rat test. It must be some inside joke for psychologists, the whole studying the minds of mice and rats to find truth in human minds. Either way, for smoking they have Chantix if you are interested in looking about that, it is basically the same thing. These drugs act by lowering the desire to want, instead of creating a greater desire. Personally I don't think any drug or system does anything, maybe it increased the rate people "quit" but it's not as if they do studies showing a timeline to even 10 years. Most people willing to take some random drug with known side effects could probably have quit without the drugs anyways.

I tried to trim this post down, but you have me too interested to drop any more.


File: 1602409855868.png (180.18 KB, 850x695, 170:139, ClipboardImage.png) ImgOps iqdb

>Is this not just an overglorified repackaging of what one might call instinct or passive reactions vs active thought?

Yes, sort of. They're very general terms, so they can include "instinct" and "active thought" but they're just different names for the same thing. Take a look at pic related which lists characteristics and differences.

>psychology rant

This is valid. Any psychological "evidence" should be approached with a grain of salt. In regards to system1/2 theory, it seems self-evident in my own psychology and behavior, like zoning out while driving a car but arriving at the destination or playing a video game on autopilot without being consciously aware or deliberating "should I press X button in response to this" and so on. The distinction between sys1/2 is only noticed when it's in conflict, when you want to play video games or study or workout but just feel some kind of internal resistance. Depending on your mood and energy, you might push this resistance with effort, but usually you note that turning on a video game or opening a book is quite automatic and requires no effort.

>"Is it difficult for a painter who loves painting to put in effort in his paintings, or does it come naturally from his desire to paint?"

It really depends on the state of system 1. There are times when the painter will struggle to make a single brush stroke for weeks, and then suddenly, he is "inspired" and it just flows out of him automatically. He doesn't even think about it consciously, he's in a state of flow where years of practice have been internalized into system 1 and no longer needs conscious deliberation on anatomy, perspective, color choices etc. His initial block wasn't rational, he could only rationalize it by saying there was no inspiration or that he was tired and depressed or wasn't in the "zone" and so on. All of this just points to an unconscious, automatic part of the mind that creates friction for the painter, creates an "internal rock" that needs to be moved and makes each stroke painful.

Writers also experience "writer's block" which again, is characterized by internal resistance. The writer will deliberate over each word and find it lacking and then throw the paper away in frustration. Then, he might reach for the bottle and after a couple shots, it already comes out easier (presumably system 1 was numbed and inhibited, so that the writer's conscious desire to put words on the paaper can now freely work without friction).

>You start off with "one hates working out", immediately I want to ask if you have ever seen or met someone who hates working out truly working out?

I think this is the case with most people. They want the good body, the muscle gains, the health benefits, but having to actually do it is a struggle each day. I mean, everyone knows that gyms are packed on January because people decide they want to change for the new year, but by February it's already empty. Then you have people that have system 1 and 2 aligned perfectly and when you look at them working out, they're completely in the zone and doing it automatically, and they might even note that time has flown by. Another side-effect of having system 1 on your side is that the activity will feel naturally rewarding, as opposed to having to bribe yourself with a smoothie afterwards or other extrinsic rewards.

>Is hate, the strong word that it is, not a conscious "system 2" choice?

No, I don't think so. System 1 creates the "dislike" towards exercise, as well as the uncomfortable state of being in conflict (which might bring anxiety, tension and so on). System 2 can only observe, make a note that, "I am experiencing this emotion" and also do what it's best at - rationalization, it finds a reason to justify the emotion. It seems when you don't "feel" like doing something, you can't really do anything consciously about it, except observe and try to explain it away after the fact.

>You stated "you won't need to expend this mental energy and you will do the desired behavior effortlessly." which was similar to my theory, but then right after state "it requires mental energy to maintain" so it requires mental energy to not expend mental energy?

I was saying that it was a popular notion in psychotherapy and general advice. It seems "common sense" that repetition and practice eventually lead to it becoming automatic and no longer requiring mental effort. However, this sometimes works, but often people keep bashing their heads against the wall and that point never comes. If it never becomes automatic, it means that you always need to deliberate and use conscious energy to maintain the behavior, which eventually people get tired of and then fall back to their previous state. This is the case with not only simple habits, like exercising or dieting, but also psychological disorders like phobias, OCD and so on (in those cases, it's particularly clear that there's an automatic part of the mind that does something despite the person's conscious desire).

>Is this "mental energy" not just another repackaging

I'm using effort, mental energy, willpower etc. interchangeably. However, I make a note that mental energy and real physical energy aren't the same. Physical energy is an actual property of the universe, which can be measured, defined mathematically and so on. While mental energy is more like an analogy for what's happening, an imaginary "energy bar" above people's heads that depletes over time, each time they have to push through internal resistance. Despite the person not doing anything physical, perhaps simply watching a marshmallow and avoiding the urge to eat it, they describe feeling exhausted afterwards and each subsequent denial makes it more likely for them to give in.

Now, I guess all these terms can be reduced to just the activity of system 2. Basically, it cannot always be on because it's exhausting. There was a Whitehead quote "Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking of them", you could say the same thing about the mind. It is a good thing for the mind to automate things, but we don't yet understand the rules, so you get phenomenon's like procrastination (the greeks called it akrasia - "weakness of will") which most people experience in their lifetime, but also more severe stuff like psychological disorders.

>So surely we must agree that reason decides desire which determines action

By default, system 1 determines action, because it's always on, it's automatic and doesn't require any mental energy to maintain. You don't need to think about breathing or standing or most of the things that happen to you daily. If someone suddenly throws a football at you, you will experience a reflex reaction and before you are conscious of it, either catch it or duck or cover yourself to avoid it. If you had to actually think about, you would just get hit in the face before you could make a decision.



>These drugs act by lowering the desire to want, instead of creating a greater desire.

The desire is simply a side-effect of the substance having a reward, something beneficial to you. The drug in the video removes that reward temporarily you get while being drunk, so you get drunk alongside all the side-effects and hangover, but it doesn't really give you anything anymore, there's nothing rewarding about it. Desire goes away as consequence of that experiential knowledge, a natural learning mechanism. So now when you think of getting drunk, you remember the wooziness, the hot feeling in your stomach, the bitterness, but you don't remember it ever feeling good like it used to. That's why it was recommended that participants take the drug, before they actually drink instead of abstaining, because it was absolutely vital for them to have a contradictory unexpected experience. The mechanism that gets rid of the desire is learning that alcohol is no longer beneficial or rewarding, the drug is just a temporary thing to eliminate the reward.

I'm not sure about the effectiveness of this approach, but it seems plausible considering what I've read about memory reconsolidation, a natural brain mechanism for updating/erasing existing memories, which translates to "unlearning". There's a series of steps in that process, but the goal is that the person experiences a contradictory experience i.e. "wow, there really isn't anything good about drinking", not verbally, abstractly, but through their actual experience. Presumably, system 1 gets the hint, oh this behavior no longer makes sense so no more remainders in the form of urges.

I hope I'm being a little more clear this time. It seems most of the confusion comes from my inability to define terms precisely. I find this stuff insanely fascinating and times seems to flow by fast while typing it all out.


I'm glad you told me those terms were interchangeable, I must admit I was beginning to question my own capacity for reading comprehension.

So system 1 and 2 are essentially what I thought they were, a repackaging of conscious vs unconscious, passive vs active thought, cognitive vs intuition, etc. I think where we differ if that they are in conflict, or indeed can be in conflict at all. Would you agree that breath is surely part of system 1, same with eating, or other physical actions such as catching a ball? Judging by what I have read on the system theory, what you yourself have written, and that picture; I think it most likely that you would; so I shall continue on. One does not "actively think" about catching a ball when it is coming his way (when he already knows how to), neither does he think when he is eating, and certainly there is no thought in breathing. Clear to me however is that one can think with this system 2 about these actions, one may focus on chewing properly, taking deeper breaths, or how to improve his skill at catching the ball (for instance to catch on his left or right side). This would be what you refer to as the interchange terms (which I will now refer to as "mental energy" since I myself would never use that term for anything), or the act of system 2 overcoming system 1.

Let us practice and study this with ourselves right this second, using only our bodies close at hand. When I think about controlling my breathing, my breathing is placed under control of system 2 instantly, I would not say it has taken any energy to do so at all. Indeed I have already gotten you to take control of breathing just by mentioning it, not by any magical means, but because you thought with system 2 and it naturally assumed control of system 1. Would it be closer to what you say, that I (and now you) forced system 1 to obey, or that one might say system 2 had merely turned its "eye" towards this process of breath? Force implies there was resistance, thus using a sort of mental energy, but I cannot seem to find this resistance. Even writing these posts, far longer than what I'm used to and with more thought, could I refer to them as a forcing? The writing and proofreading is naturally coming forth, I may not know exactly what to write every second (what you refer to as writer's block), but that is why it is thought and not system 1 correct? System 1 is automatic and free-flowing (such as typing itself), so by it's nature if you had writer's block then it was system 2 that was in power and in use. What am I forcing myself to do exactly? We are both writing grandiose "effortposts" unusual for a chan, yet would you say it was a hard thing or that you forced yourself to reply to me? No one would write these posts if they did not enjoy(want) it, there is no glory or other normal motivations to be gained on chan posts. I find our conversation natural, my desire to understand your thoughts and post my own allows me to write more. Despite the length and dedication of these posts, I feel no friction in the act of this writing nor when I control my breath. I look forward to what your thoughts about this study would be.

Here is my theory on the matter of system 1/2 interaction: System 1 is the automatic sleeping and dream-like process, it is system 2 that is a state of being awake yet has only a set amount of "eyes" to look at things. System 2 has complete authority over system 1 and may wake it at any time, but cannot see all of system 1 to wake, thus must choose what parts of system 1 to effect. System two is what I call reason, and it creates "desire" which looks at the system 1 and calls it to wake and do it's bidding. The only limiting factor is how much system 2 may be spread, for instance when in concentrated study one will forget all else, similar to horse blinders. An image is that of a hundred eye monster using all one hundred of his eyes to look at one single thing. Would this limiting of the number "eyes" not seem more rational than a "mental energy" that depletes with use? Which would also still tie in nicely with that Whitehead quote. Tell me what you think, if you agree we may be able to link both what you speak of and I do.

Smaller note but have you ever thought of a limited mental energy being the conflict of system 2 with itself? Such as when someone cannot decide what is greater desire they cause themselves anguish which then saps them of the will to use system 2 at all. Possibly leading to apathy which in turn to depression? Just thought this might be interesting.

As for your new year example, it does not address my theory much at all. If the desire for a nice body was greater than this dislike(want not) of working out, they should by acting out that desire enjoy working out. For I have spoke to these people myself, they say "I don't like the gym that much anon, but the completion of my goals feels great". Stranger still is that when watching them work out they are focusing and seem to almost enjoy themselves. In my theory those who quit the gym had desires to quit greater than the desire to work out or have a nice body. It seems obvious they came to the conclusion that "I would rather do something else than be in pain and waste an hour every day, a nice body is not worth it". The pain would be system 1, yet I would not agree that it "created" a perception of dislike(not want). Some people learn to enjoy pain, such as those who self harm or have some kind of masochist sex fetish. Is it not clear that system 1 is automatic and cannot create impressions, perceptions, or true desires; that these things are something for system 2 with its rational ability to organize and solve? In other words system 1 sends signals of pain or emotion this is true, but it is system 2 that has decided how to interpret these signals and what system 1 will signal when left alone (see masochists).

I think the common sense answer that one would require no energy to upkeep is more correct than many other theories actually. Although I don't think it took any energy to begin with, just the creation of a greater desire. Psychologists have spent decades not trying to find any real truth at all, but instead how to medically "fix" people whom themselves do not want or need to be fixed. This I feel is their greatest failure of all, and why unsurprisingly something as simple as treatment for addiction has had very little progress what so ever. Despite all the drugs and alternatives, cold turkey is still by far the most common quitting solution. Clearly there are no links to big pharma companies and the hacks that push these worthless """studies""", and certainly the pushing towards therapy is also obviously in very good faith, since psychologists would not benefit for suggesting you need to go and pay them exorbitantly for many hours. Most people who quit never bother to use a single "solution" these hack scientists have ever created. A single book where someone attempts to trick you into thinking withdrawal does not exist turned out more successful than any method or drug they created with decades of """research""".

>The desire is simply a side-effect of the substance having a reward

Then how would one explain video game addiction, or any other addiction that is not a physical consumption for that matter? Self harm is another curious thing here. Why I bring these up is that the completion or at progress of a goal(desire) gives a reward too. I think that this must be the case or else people could not be addicted to things that are without addictive tolerance/withdrawal properties. Yet clearly when people are literally dying from sitting and playing video games for multiple days and no sleep; one must admit it is an addiction. Fulfillment of any desire is rewarded, is this not why people have desires to begin with? Is it not that for every desire there must first be a "desire to desire" (which leads back to what I use to defend myself against all action being pointless)?

If ones desire is to feel good, and then one should take that drug that stops alcohol from making them feel good; the outcome would naturally follow correct? You have lowered the desire to want alcohol within the scope of desiring to feel good, in other words that by consuming alcohol under the effects of this drug you are not fulfilling that desire to feel good. This can get really messy and complex with interconnected desires, which is why earlier I was referring to a "hazy and shapeless" thing for why I would want to smoke.

>I find this stuff insanely fascinating and times seems to flow by fast while typing it all out.

Of course, it is you acting out your desire to understand! Also this post was much more clear I think, so you succeeded in that goal without a doubt. I have immense anticipation for your next post as I think we may be moving somewhere very interesting indeed.


>there is no resistance when system 2 takes over breathing

I can agree that system 2 seems to be responsible for the control of attention and focus, and you can indeed focus on your breath, put an "eye" to it and deliberately breath each breath. However, you could also do something radical and stop breathing and your body would fight you and after tens of seconds you would naturally feel the resistance. You could, of course, push through this, if you're particularly focused, you might even pass out, but your breathing would automatically go back to normal. If you simply observe your breathing and follow along, in short, if your system 1 and 2 have the same goal, no resistance will come up, but if you suddenly chose to go against breathing, you'd quickly experience resistance, an opposing "desire" to breathe to your own conscious "desire" not to breath, and if you pass out, if there is no longer something pushing against that "desire", no mental energy being directed towards it, it goes back to its stable, automatic state.

>writer block is caused by system 2

If writer's block was indeed caused by system 2 thinking, the reasons for the block would be available to consciousness. One wouldn't say they were blocked, a general term, but would rather say it was for so and so reason i.e. I don't have a pen. I believe it is caused by system 1 processes because what's affected is motivation, perception of one's work and the block is something internal that can't be easily verbalized. Then, when the writer takes a couple drinks, his rational mind is still there and he can still deliberate over each word, but strangely, he feels a lot more freedom now, as if an invisible rock was moved, system 1 was presumably inhibited.

>why we write "effortposts"

It wasn't difficult to write and I certainly enjoyed it. However, the circumstances could have been entirely different, and my system 1 and 2 could have been in conflict. For instance, on the one hand, I felt a strong urge to reply, but on the other hand I knew I had to be at work and I would need to deny myself in that situation, overcome the desire to write out this post, to substitute this experience which I know internally would be rewarding, for something that is rational and logical, like "you shouldn't be late for work". You could say that these are simply two opposing "reasons" but one is in the form of experiential knowledge that the activity would be rewarding, something which I couldn't easily verbalize, and the other reason is very cold, logical, a rule that I learned, and I certainly don't expect to be rewarded at work, so there two opposing "desires" but they are of seemingly different quality.

Another possibility would be that system 1 felt no need to reply and even felt an aversion to it, but my rational self had the opposite plan, "it's rude to not reply, especially after he put in all this effort". I would in such case struggle to form sentences and I would keep deleting it and then essentially half-ass it in the end and I certainly wouldn't enjoy it. Could I say why I didn't want to reply? Not really, it was just a "feeling", an internal sense that the experience would not only be NOT rewarding, but also somehow BAD for me, and yet rationally, I had every reason to reply.

>system 2 has only set amount of "eyes" but it controls system 1 completely

When you mention the hyperfocus of putting all "eyes" on studying a book, I would say there's a difference between deliberate focus and what they call "flow" focus. Many people experience "flow", where the individual loses sense of time while completely involved in an activity that is just the right difficulty and interest. You mention that system 1 is only woken up when system 2 needs it, but this isn't the case, it's quite the opposite actually. The flow state seems to disprove your notion quite elegantly, since if a person happens to come up on a task that is the PERFECT difficulty and interest, he will have no need to consciously deliberate over it. For instance, when a math student solves several problems in a row automatically because he already has all the needed tools and never gets stuck, thus needing no conscious deliberation. If you've ever played a video game, especially one you've already beaten for god knows which time, you will know that you can easily lose hours while zoned out.

Deliberate focus, what you might call putting all "eyes" on something, is often much more exhausting and difficult to sustain, while "flow" is automatic and effortless by definition. In other words, flow is when all system 2 eyes are shut and system 1 takes over. This can happen while driving, doing the dishes, programming, and any type of activity, whether physical or intellectual, assuming it's the right difficulty and nothing unexpected comes about.

I think what you mean by "eyes" is system 2's limited working memory. You can only hold 6-7 items in your head and focusing on multiple things at once is very difficult, as multi-tasking often splits attention and makes you do two things worse than each alone. System 1 can be quite parallel, as you can often walk down the street, breath, eat a bagel and look left-right, but only if you've done it enough times and you aren't consciously doing it. Ever heard of manual walking? Bringing conscious attention to something you've are doing, even something you've done since you were a baby, can destroy your coordination. Athletes report doing their best and feeling most confident when they are in the zone, when they don't think about passing the ball or what's going to happen next. So, not only does attention require mental energy, but it also makes you worse at certain things, especially non-verbal, non-rational stuff (things system 2 would be understandly bad at).

>system 2 being in conflict with itself

Interesting idea, but the benefit of system 2 is that it's all available to you consciously. I would much rather be split between two conscious rational reasons, than having a perfectly rational reason and yet being pushed by some internal, non-verbal desire for the opposite, the logic of which is inaccessible to me. For instance, being scared of dogs and you happen to meet a small puddle, which you can conclude is completely harmless after every analysis, and yet it brings something really bad out from you. Perhaps you were attacked by a small dog as a child and you mind made a note of it, but doesn't really care about justifying it to you now in present or even updating that knowledge. System 1 can only communicate in the form of experience, urges, fear, joy and so on, but all of this could be arbitrary and based on your limited experience in life so far. You can easily fix a factual mistake i.e. puddles aren't dangerous to grown adults, but system 1 can't take the hint in that form, it's experiential, all it cares about is that a dog caused a lot of distress to you once, so it will keep reminding you forever, it picks up on patterns, not logic and reason.

>gym example

I cannot say how system 1's learning comes to be, but it's likely related to experiential learning, the rules of which aren't particularly clear to me yet. When you say, "some people like pain (masochists)", this is true but isn't a matter of system 2 deciding. For whatever reason, these people have a system 1 organization that finds pain rewarding. At some point in their life, experiencing pain brought a great emotional benefit or sexual release and their mind made a note of it. They themselves couldn't possibly verbalize this or even remember such an event.

System 1 doesn't inherently dislike pain and discomfort, as many people do all kinds of physically difficult things and come saying it was enjoyable and meaningful, not just masochists. However, whether exercise will be compelling or not is a matter of chance and up to each person's previous experience and conditioning. People that are encouraged to do sports while young, often learn that exercise can be rewarding, so that they when they decide to visit a gym every day, there won't be any internal friction. Completely different to a couch potato like me.

System 2 doesn't make any of these decisions, they're all subtly programmed through one's experience. System 2 can only passively observe and notice that, I have this urge, and this emotion, and I feel disgusted towards cheese, and black people scare the shit out of me. And this can all be rationalized, put into a coherent narrative, and then proclaimed as its own, as if it decided through reason, but this is all after the fact.


>Then how would one explain video game addiction, or any other addiction that is not a physical consumption for that matter? Self harm is another curious thing here.

Reward can be physical but also in other forms. Usually, self-harm is instrumental and provides the person a certain emotional background, like how sorry people will feel for them, a sense of security that they couldn't possible be abandoned in such a condition and so on. It doesn't matter that this isn't really the case, but they associate being hurt with safety and security, perhaps love and attention, not rationally but instinctually.

As for video games, they're quite unique in their ability to create artificial goals and then make the person care for it. Once the person cares, getting to the desired state gives them an intrinsic reward, while losing feels bad. The goals themselves can be completely abstract and non-sensical, move the blue square to black square while avoiding red squares that come towards you - people can seemingly train themselves to care about the outcome, after which win condition will trigger an internal reward.

That's why system 1 is so interesting. I won't pretend I understand the rules by which it plays, but clearly reward is not something rational and isn't intrinsic to an activity, but dependent on whether the person learns to care about an outcome.

>alcohol example

It really depends on what you find rewarding about alcohol in the first place. It's possible that for some people it is just the physical sensation brought on by the substance, but for other people, it can have different benefits, like needing to emotionally numb themselves in which case alcohol is instrumental, rather than intrinsically rewarding on its own. The logic for dealing with the other reward would be the same, provide a lived experience where alcohol no longer does what I need it to do. Of course, in all likelihood they would then move on to harder drugs, since the original cause is this emotional problem which needs numbness in the first place.

>Of course, it is you acting out your desire to understand!

I can't say what it is, but I certainly wouldn't have spent this much time on my high school essay, no matter how rational a high grade would be. There is something internal, something I can't verbalize that allows me to continue "effortposting". All in all, it felt satisfying writing all this out.


>this is true but isn't a matter of system 2 deciding
I thought we were leaning towards a synthesis of ideas, and might have had similar ideas. Now I feel we are oceans apart. For you seem to believe that system 1 has its own mind, perceptions, and philosophy despite being automatic and unknown, and that it decides "compelling or not, is a matter of chance and up to each person's previous experience and conditioning.". After this system 1 has decided a perception and philosophy arbitrarily and through automatic memory, system 2 merely makes up a excuse to pretend it was rational "all be rationalized, put into a coherent narrative, and then proclaimed as its own, as if it decided through reason, but this is all after the fact.". This is where we have differences too great to patch together. I hardly see a difference in your ideas of what a human mind is and some insect with no rational ability at all. What is strange is why you previously argue that system 2 can conflict with with system 1 when clearly no such thing can happen. Indeed how could as you say have system 2 force anything on system 1, when system 1 is not only in control of all automatic things but also of all action and thought at all?

I am sincerely curious if you truly believe what you say. A slave to some unknown system 1 that is arbitrarily deciding everything, and the conscious mind is just a useless nothing that has no purpose at all. Personally I believe system 2 is what makes a human a human, and cannot believe that a human is just an oversized insect. I'm not even sure why you would bother reading philosophy or psychology if you think this seriously. Well I guess you wouldn't think you really had a choice anyways. Almost like determinism, except 100x worse, not only are your actions and thoughts determined, but they are also completely arbitrary, are actually pointless, and absolutely out of any sort of control. In fact you basically don't exist, just a bunch of nothing. Surely I would just shoot myself the second I took such an idea as the truth, but luckily the completely arbitrary and incomprehensible system 1 did not decide that is how I shall be.

At least I now understand what it is we differ on. For yourself it is that system 1 is in control and system 2 is a sort of pointless after-the-fact that basically does nothing besides maybe cope. For myself it would be that system 2 is in control and system 1 is there to automate what system 2 is not currently controlling or looking at. It is possible we are still misunderstanding, but I think your reply to the gym example was very coherent even after I read it many times. Lets me know if it was not.
Now your take on addictions and other such things make sense. "Desire" and "want" as I think of them don't exist for you. Some unknown or automatic thing from system 1 happens for unknown or arbitrary reasons and someone may or may not become addicted, or not. Reasoning about this thing is pointless, as reason is just an after thought of what has or has not already happened. I certainly have no idea how your version of system 1 works, so if you don't either then what can be said. I only understand things with system 2 as the an entity that has use, if system 2 is just an afterthought cope then I would know nothing.

>There is something internal, something I can't verbalize that allows me to continue "effortposting"

Truly we do differ, I know the exact very reason all of this came out for myself. For I decided to engage with whatever it is I do, and the reason why I went even longer is that someone(you) was willing to entertain my long posts so at least someone would read them, I would get something back from you, and I would have more things to speak about. Most of all though, this was for myself to engage rather than to not engage, to desire rather than not desire at all.

The rest of this post was written before I got to your reply on the gym example and wrote the above. So some of it may not follow up, but I think we could still continue a few topics here.

Is not the fact one can indeed hold their breath until they pass out from lack of oxygen a direct refutation of a resistance from system 1 existing? Breath surely must be the strongest domain of system 1, yet not even to the point one risks damaging himself will it gain control. You may say only system 2 loses consciousness, and so system 1 is proven the victor; however if that is the case then what of when system 2 decides suicide itself? Evidently that is a war system 2 wins. More importantly than this matter is that it is clear that system 1 would rather you not be holding your breath at all. That must be certain. I would relate back to system 1 sending signals, but ultimately system 2 is the master(until consciousnesses itself is lost). How could the weaker system hold any power over the greater system? Would not the real resistance be system 2 wondering why it was attempting to pass out anyways? That it would wonder why you would risk possible brain damage over a pointless self study or testing of limits? It would be affirming the signals sent by system one as truth, because it rationally agreed with those signals that there was danger. Surely to stop breathing is the same as pain, both of which lay ever firmly in the domain of system 1, yet both submit to system 2. Would not one say the most likely way to reach the point of passing out is to not think at all and merely wait? In other words to not allow system 2 to rationalize not wanting to hold breath any longer.

For instance say you have an injury that causes consistent nagging pain, and let us also say you were to read a book you were enjoying greatly. We could both agree that if this was an excellent book that you would continue reading regardless of this pain. Would one be reading slower compared to normal because of this pain, or would they read at their normal full speed until midday where they would promptly give up and do nothing for the rest of the day besides attend to this injury? The ladder option sound a bit absurd does it not? Would this not be what would or at least could happen with a mental energy limit? If system 2 was limited by number of eyes, only the before option is possible. Some eyes rest on pain to manage that and others on reading.

As for writers block, it is not a block from writing anything at all, but rather a block on writing what the writer deems acceptable, correct? I'm sure if he wanted to, he may write something or rather anything down using system 1, in fact he may actually be writing but then tosses out the written work as garbage for not meeting his standard. Would one not call writers block instead "the search for a good idea", and so the problem is in fact a conscious one?

I certainly would call those both reasons, to go to work or to write a conversation before/or going to work. Certainly we would both agree that if we had any strong desire to be at work on time, we would just go to work since the thread will still be there afterwards. Another option is simply to call work, say you are running late, that you were sick, or some another matter? Solving this problem is not the main point, but I just wanted to show that indeed these are comparable things where a possible logical answer lies. Desires compared to other desires are always comparable, so long as we can comprehend the desires in play anyways. The shapeless and hazy form of the debate is things like desire for deeper conversation, desire for possible promotions, desire to not be a slave to your job, desire to see coworkers etc, etc. All come into play, all conscious, all rational, but seeing it all and how each relates takes time to go over. Not impossible, but the problem is how much time one will devote to seeing and understanding everything on each issue. Imagine spending any time at all on if you should eat that two day old crumb of leftover candy bar on your desk or not. I'm sure one could spend a lot of time on that matter, and even I admit I have spent a lot of time on worthless things like that.

Your other possibility confuses me, why would system 1 not desire to reply? As an automatic system it would have not wanted to reply to any post if this was the case. Rather would it not be more accurate to say your halfass-ary came about because you wished to reply out of courtesy, but did not want to write a long or quality reply. This would be a conflict of system 2 with itself

Certainly I am unsure what a "flow state" is even suppose to mean and if it is even a real thing altogether. What does perfect difficulty mean exactly? Your definition of difficulty was mental energy needed caused by the conflict of system 1/2. Yet isn't this "super flowan 3 state" the exact opposite of mental energy usage, since as you said this flow state is system 1 acting entirely separate from system 2 all together? Also you mention directly that "flow is automatic and effortless by definition" so is perfect difficult just no difficulty? Adding to this entire thing is that isn't interest just a repackage of desire, so it's perfect desire and some perfect difficulty, yet difficulty is not included since the flow state does not use this mental energy? In essence haven't you actually done nothing except label my thoughts that "perfect interest" or rather greater desire as this "flow state", yet not really thought about how this would be impacted by your other theories?


If I ignore all of the above I still have much to question. If the math student solves all the problems without thought, doesn't that simply mean he merely memorized the methods of how to solve those problems? This especially in the case of the video game player going through the same level, in other words it is just raw memory rather than some elusive and possibly magical "flow" state? If we were to ignore the fancy description, what you are saying is that memorized data or muscle memory is system 1, or rather that it is just automatic? I would hardly disagree with that, nor understand how it addresses the "eyes" theory. For why would the muscles be moving if you had not desired from them to do so? The only way you shut off the "eyes" of system 2 would be literal unconsciousness, such as when you pass out and system 1 still functions keeping your body alive.

As for the manual walking and other such things I'm not sure how that exactly contradicts what I was saying. Perhaps this is all just confusion due to misunderstanding from my writing. System one being asleep and dream-like in regards to walking is that it would be sleep walking, in other words automatic. System two being awake means when it awakes system 1, that part of system 1 also becomes awake. In other words you think about how you are walking and manually do so. It was relating back to my other thoughts in the breathing example, hopefully that makes sense.

The dog example is to my favor no? It would be rational to dislike dogs if they attacked you. Funnily enough I was actually attacked by a dog when I was child, and had to get stitches right above my eyes. A large fear of all dogs gripped me until after enough of them did not attack me that I concluded that they were fine.



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>system 1 is the master

I can't decide to feel X, Y or Z emotion, but I can freely ponder about it, observe it and even push against it with some amount of energy - not change it, but control my awareness of it (dissociate) and with some resistance, engage in behaviors that system 1 finds uncompelling. I would say that system 1 provides a foundation to our experience, what you feel and perceive, it provides a limited frame, on top of which you can have some amount of freedom and rationality.

I think this is why psychology is valuable, because it can sheed light on the machinery of system 1, its rules and the way we can reverse-engineer it. For instance, something like "practice" is a very primitive technique, in which the person engages in a behavior many times and through repetition manages to "learn". This is simply a heuristic that works because it engages with some unknown, hidden processes of system 1 and the repetition simply increases the odds that they will be activated. How do you remember things? You repeat your exposure to something many times until some unknown part of you gets the hint that you want to store it. You don't have actual conscious control of this, humans have only observed that through this method they can reach a desired effect.

System 1 can be molded by a conscious architect, but only if he understands the rules on which the machine itself operates. He cannot command the machine to feel X, but he can observe that if he brings in his imagination a picture of dead kitten, that he may stimulate feelings of sadness. Similarly, he can find naked succubi on the Internet and sexually arouse himself. But then he is the one in control? Ah, but this is dependent on his ability to control attention and perception, and even the most focused monk will ocassionally flash a pair of tits in his mind unwillingly. Perhaps he can close his eyes while passing a naked prostitute, but how can he control his inner eye, other than by ricocheting unwanted thoughts, merely reacting after the fact?

System 1 does things automatically based on various perceptual cues. For instance, trigger sadness when you detect a pattern of something being "sad", which can never truly be verbalized, as even the best poets and writers have exhausted countless words to grasp its essence. If the right patterns is matched in perception, the conscious self can only react after the fact. He can observe that he feels sad and based on context from his environment he may believe that it is justified. Or perhaps, he may feel sad suddenly and find no clue to what caused it, and then blame imaginary chemicals in his head for being "sad" when there is no "reason" to do so.

I would describe human existence as being trapped in a biological machine that severely limits me by its genetic code, by my upbringing, my previous learning experiences and even random chance. Wisdom seems to be gradually understanding this, learning to exist despite of it and ever so often, tricking the machine and bypassing its limitations.

>Is not the fact one can indeed hold their breath until they pass out from lack of oxygen a direct refutation of a resistance from system 1 existing?

The resistance is there, you are compelled to breathe despite whatever rational reason you might have for not doing so, but you can certainly overcome that resistance with enough mental energy. Many people manage to suicide. I was just saying that this isn't a viable strategy for the long-term, endlessly fighting with yourself, rather than being in harmony, getting system 1 on your side.

For instance, wouldn't it be great to finish your education in X profession? Certainly, you conclude by every analysis that this would be beneficial, a logical choice in today's and future's economy and many other factors. However, system 1 doesn't understand reason, based on previous experience, your education was never rewarding, sitting in a class only reminds you of painful memories of bullying or trying to hold your attention, and so on. And so, every attempt to follow your goal is met by internal resistance, anxiety, difficulty sustaining interest, endless remainders that you will fail and should do something else. All of this CAN be overcome, with enough masochism, there are certainly personalities that can GRIND it out, push through the resistance. But the result is always psychological stress and this isn't sustainable to most people, or desirable in any way.

System 2 can with enough energy override system 1 through brute-force. But this isn't an elegant solution. The more you have to think about keeping system 1 in check, the less your mind is capable of dealing with other things (the Whitehead quote again), not to mention the psychological stress naturally destroys any chance of peace and tranquility.

>As for writers block, it is not a block from writing anything at all, but rather a block on writing what the writer deems acceptable, correct?

But can he describe what is "acceptable", what exactly is wrong with it? Then presumably with that insight he would be motivated to fix it, however, he can only guess after the fact. He observes that he is struggling to form sentences, and logically he concludes "it's not good enough, it will never be good enough" but is this rational or merely coming from some internal sense or feeling? Like I said, if it was indeed system 2 causing the block, the reason itself would be readily available to consciousness. The "search for a good idea" is simply another rationalization, clearly the idea is not good enough or I would already be able to write what I need. And the usual solution has nothing to do with a better idea, but he takes a few drinks and he changes how he feels rather than his circumstances. His previous sentences suddenly become viable and the idea is generic, but it will do.

>I certainly would call those both reasons, to go to work or to write a conversation before/or going to work.

But like I said, they're of different quality and form. To go to work would be a rational thing, a cold, logical reason that can be verbalized and even expressed using mathematically. But to stay and finish a conversation? You could attach various reasons to it after the fact, but those reasons are only explanations to the self, rather than the actual primary cause - a simple feeling, desire, an internal sense that writing the reply would be rewarding, but I have also demonstrated that it could also be the opposite through random chance, your internal sense could tell you that all this work is not worth it (presumably because you have done so before and were disappointed, and your mind latched on to the pattern and cannot understand nuance).

>flow state


Using the word "difficulty" might have brought some confusion, but pic related should make it clearer. If a person can find the perfect balance between his skill level in some task and the challenge of it, he increase the chances that he will enter a flow state. For instance, if you've driven to work using the same route for years, you'll often zone out and find yourself at your destination without even noticing. This presumably happens because you're a good enough driver and you don't need to consciously remind yourself to hit the clutch, or to turn on your turn signal and you're so intuitively familiar with the route that you don't even have to think about which street you're on and so on.

It's an interesting phenomenon, but also happens to showcase how consciousness is only needed when you hit a bump in the road (something unexpected) and your mind can automate a lot of things without you needing to think about.

>If the math student solves all the problems without thought, doesn't that simply mean he merely memorized the methods of how to solve those problems?

Yes, he didn't need to think outside the box. If you've ever studied something like linear algebra, you often come across having to multiply matrices and at that point, you can turn off your brain and just do the needed algorithm without needing to think consciously about all the steps. If you have to calculate 10-15 problems like for homework, you might zone out by the second or third problem and find yourself suddenly at the fifth (if your skill level is adequate enough).

>As for the manual walking and other such things I'm not sure how that exactly contradicts what I was saying.

It's confusing when you say that system 1 is asleep and then it's woken up by system 2, when it's clear that system 1 is always "on" and system 2 can often take the backseat and let system 1 work without distraction. I now understand that by asleep you mean "automatic" and by awake you mean "manual", in which case we're essentially talking about the same thing. Manual walking is when you focus your attention on how you walk and it's often detrimental to coordination, unless it's very slow, deliberate movement, like when fixing a watch or doing a particularly small detail of a wooden print.

>The dog example is to my favor no? It would be rational to dislike dogs if they attacked you.

Sure, fleeing from danger you cannot handle is rational, and certainly we wouldn't have survived for so long if it wasn't for such learning mechanisms. However, my example was about a small dog versus a grown adult, and the adult can conclude easily that he could break the little fucker's head with one kick, and yet system 1 freaks out and makes a mountain out of a molehill, the fear is exaggerated and hence, irrational in a certain way. The problem is that system 1 picks up on patterns but then fails to update them appropriately and its judgment that this small fellow is dangerous is no longer true since you were a small toddler and could indeed be overwhelmed by it.



Ultimately, the existence of system 1 and 2 seems self-evident to me, and internal resistance also seems self-evident any time you try to go against an internal urge or feeling, like going against fear or disgust and so on. These things cannot be characterized as "reason" because they're not in the form of verbal, abstract knowledge and cannot be reasoned with. They might be rational in evolutionary terms, but do not deal with logic in any way, only generalized patterns of what is "good" and "bad" for the organism based on arbitrary factors from previous experience. They are what compels behavior towards a certain direction and what the conscious self can do is with enough force, go against one's internal drives temporarily but never in a permanent manner. In the long-term, the conscious self can hope by nudging the ship ever so slightly that it eventually changes in radical ways, but such change is often very slow and stressful.

Why do I think this is important? Because so much of our suffering, and indeed, our joy comes from the workings of system 1 and its hidden rules. How about changing how you feel about things without needing to go through months of therapy? How about quitting smoking in a day? How about remembering things effortlessly? How about being motivated when you want to get work done?

That's why an understanding of system 1 and its rules is so vital, so we can take back control of the machine.


>not change it,
Then what point is there is pondering at all? The people who think a "flow state" exists also believe it is a great happiness, and you too seem to hold it to be valuable. Is not your philosophy that one should not actively think at all, or at least try to minimize it at all times? Thought is essentially a useless mechanism that holds no value or use in your theory, and I'm still confused why you even believe it could push or force anything. System 2 gets all action, thought, and information from system 1, after that system 2 rationalizes these things for no purpose, and then nothing happens except for system 1 continuing as it was with no change. For instance if you were close your hand right now, you never wanted this cognitively, rather system 1 was reacting to these words I am typing, and then system 2 would merely pretend that it wanted this to happen. So really you have no control of anything at all. In other words system 2 is a man strapped to a chair forced to merely watch or as you say "observe" system 1. You would watch yourself talk, dance, and things to happen around you, but never have any influence at all. Even this idea would really just be a mirage, just another rationalization that system 2 decided based on arbitrary information. You twist, swirl, and spiral many theories into something that just cannot be everything at once.

My deep concern stems from you believing both that system 2 is this "all be rationalized, put into a coherent narrative, and then proclaimed as its own, as if it decided through reason, but this is all after the fact.", and also thinking system 2 can have any effect on system 1 despite also stating "compelling or not, is a matter of chance" or now "He cannot command the machine to feel X, but he can observe that if he brings in his imagination a picture of dead kitten, that he may stimulate feelings of sadness". It seems to me that you either don't believe what you say, or that you are pretending to be rational yet don't want to fully come to grips with what you say. Such that you contradict and argue with yourself, despite the fact you seem honest and intellectual enough to recognize the impossibility of what you post.

As we shall go through the rest of your posts, I hope I will reveal to you what you do not wish to see in your own theory.

Breath example. You again place all motivation, memory, desires, actions, and all of nearly everything else into system 1; and then claim "System 2 can with enough energy override" despite also stating "system 1 doesn't understand reason". How could system 2 "keep system 1 in check" when system 2 can only rationalize after system 1 has done said thing? You don't seem to want to dive into what the consequences are of giving system 1 absolutely everything.

Writer's block. Indeed you even place creativity into the pocket of system 1, which I suppose makes sense within your ideas. System 2 is merely there to rationalize what system 1 is doing after it has already happened. How could it hold creativity when it only appears after an action, and may only rationalize what system 1 does? Certainly that cannot be if we hold what you say as truth. You also admit that decisions are in the power of system 1 here.

In the work example you seem to hold your theory more accurately. "To go to work would be a rational thing" If this were my theory then you would go to work if you thought this, yes. Not so for your theory, for it wouldn't matter what "you" think, the decision was already made by system 1. Indeed even if you pretended you were stuck deliberating about it, really system 1 has already decided you would stand there with your head in your hands instead of just walking out to your car. System 2 rationalizes after the fact based on whatever system 1 gives it. You don't even have to a "choice" to not read what I'm writing, that has to be a bit confusing eh? Even this, what you read this second. How long would you read pointless sentences like this before you quit reading? I suppose you couldn't know when, only a rationalization after you quit. Well let us move on anyways.

In the math example you have reverted back to the same contradictions. Why and how would one "think outside the box" at all in any possible case, system 1 governs creativity as in the writer's block example. There is no reason for the brain to think at all, as you say with this "flow" state, system 2 is just a an observer who reacts and really has no effect at all.

In the dog example you are finally in a state of upholding your own theory, system 1 is in full complete control; the first, final, and absolute ruler. You do not make your previous mistakes of thinking system 2 has any power here.

That is all the examples done.


Isn't this just post-"system 1" rationalization? Such that this flow state does not exist, rather that these people just rationalize whatever arbitrary state had occurred? Either way the more I read about this magical flow state it just seems like a repackaging of "intense focus", psychologists are truly a bunch of hacks only capable of plagiarizing each other and claiming what is old is now new. One could probably equate psychology with fashion at this point, a new idiotic term invented for an old dress each and every week.

I would only agree that "sad" may never be verbalized if I agreed that knowledge does not exist, and that two people can never understand what the other is saying. You may be closer to thinking that then you think, for if two people talk about a house the image of a house would be different for both correct? One might be red and the other blue. We should not open this pandora's box, least we end up exhausting ourselves trying to convince each other we can or cannot understand one another. Just a thought.


>That's why an understanding of system 1 and its rules is so vital, so we can take back control of the machine.
I think of myself as a fool, because I found it hard to argue against nihilism, so I crafted an imperfect and crude logical circle to get around it. You on the other hand believe one can gain control despite not being in control of even his own actions and thoughts. What logical thought could that be, imagine you are like an atom who bounces around haphazardly while thinking if he could just understand his own components he would be able to control them. How could this atom gain control of something of which he no control over? His direction, velocity, and all else are already in motion. Even if he understand every single thing in the world, a true omniscient, he would control nothing still. When I said I would probably just shoot myself if I thought what you did it was sincere and very serious.

Psychology or philosophy will have 0 answers if you hold this theory you speak of as truth. Perhaps neuroscience, pure physics, and biomed may eventually be able to do something that you are looking for, but not in your lifetime. You and me are certainly stuck the way we are until the day we die. There is a 2% chance that true self-learning, creative, and self-expanding AI comes in the next 80 years, but I highly doubt it.


You're making a lot of extreme conclusions. I said that system 1 creates a foundation, a limited frame in which system 2 can exercise a certain amount of freedom and rationality. You're going into determinism and free will territory, for which one would ultimately need to solve the hard problem of consciousness, quite out of scope of what I think is important. Ultimately, I can only say that my own free will is evident to me from my experience, I can open and close my hand and so on, but I also observe that there are strong urges, strong compulsions from another part of my mind that I can only rationalize after the fact.

Whether my entire conscious self is the result of system 1, I cannot say. The rationalization that comes from trying to explain emotions, urges, hunches, senses of things can become self-evident if you observe yourself enough. You can notice when you are being lead to a certain conclusion because it feels "right" emotionally, or you are already at the conclusion and now you're looking for evidence to confirm it. These are micro-compulsions, but there are also clear compulsion when it comes to overt behavior. Like, if you are embarrassed, you will blush and have the urge to hide your gaze. You can, of course, go against this and outwardly seem unfazed, but this results in psychological stress as you are fighting what feels natural.

So, let's say that my position is: I seem to have some free will, but it's limited due to my biological nature and I am compelled towards certain behavior, not through "reason" but through bodily mechanisms that have no verbal or logical content, only after the fact, only after I explain the bodily sensation to myself.

Ultimately, I cannot change my biology (at least not easily), but I can expand my own free will by understanding the machine which I inhabit, by understanding its rules and what brings out the desired effect. For instance, I cannot command myself to be sad with a sentence, but I can observe like a scientist that certain cues elicit a certain response automatically i.e. a dead kitten eliciting sadness, however this isn't true for each person, as what cue-response is dependent on individual experience and learning, a sociopath would presumably feel nothing. Similarly, having more exposure to something I want to remember, eventually makes me remember it, and so on. These are little tricks and heuristics that many use daily, without fully acknowledging that we're dealing with certain automatic mechanisms that are outside of our DIRECT control. This is why I say that gaining control is all about knowing the rules, so that you may reverse engineer its various functions for rational, practical reasons.

Consider several approaches: you need to get some task done and you feel resistance towards it and every time you start it's difficult, so you go wash the dishes or distract yourself and so on, hoping that eventually, you will "feel" like doing it. A passive, hopeful approach.

Another would be to observe this resistance, recognize that it is not willful but coming from a primitive part of you that's helped your ancestors survive, and then, just go ahead and try to ignore it, push yourself to do what is uncompelling for you and eventually, with enough stress, the task is done and you collapse on the couch.

Then, another: rather than pushing yourself, you observe further, notice that certain parts of the task are what creates this resistance, some cue you have learned in your experience is bad news. Depending on your level of awareness, you might agree with your internal sense, come up with any number of reasons and justifications, because this is what feels natural to do, to find equilibrium with yourself.

Another person might do something different, overload the task with various positive cues so that they may overshadow the perception of the negative cue. For instance, someone is scared of public speaking, but then they keep focus on various positive things like seeing themselves be promoted, given approval etc. all things they've learned through experience are rewarding. Suddenly, the task seems a bit easier, but this depends on their ability to keep focus on those cues, as when you think about that promotion, the anxiety goes away, but soon you are faced with the troubling cue of speaking in front of an audience, it returns. So, you go on stage and try to dissociate yourself from the audience as much as you can and just focus on speaking, and this feels better, but this then leads to a shabby performance, as you are speaking like a robot, automatically, not reacting or engaging with the audience.

Anyway, my point is that many people do things implicitly to get around system 1 being a cunt without even really being aware of it. I'm pretty sure I can explain any technique for dealing with procrastination or anxiety or depression etc. with simple attentional and environmental control of perceptual cues. Instead of changing your feelings, you're just subtly avoiding what elicits them through attentional or environmental control. This is always temporary as system 1 doesn't change, you're just going around it. If you have a spider phobia, then avoiding all that is spider-y might be easy, but if normal social encounters give you anxiety then good luck living in the woods (or in your room, as many wizzies know).

The only permanent solution to system 1's annoyance is understanding fully its learning mechanisms. What kind of experience makes a perceptual cue recognized as good or bad? How do we undo problematic learning from our past? How do we make system 1 take the hint that what I am doing or thinking right now is important and should be remembered, and then come up to me when a relevant cue is encountered i.e. the algorithm for solving matrices when I encounter such a problem, or what's the phrase to order coffee in French etc.? Language learning is usually so difficult, precisely because most people try to learn the vocabulary outside of the relevant context, like Anki or a book, which makes it difficult to recall outside of those contexts.

In regards to flow, I never said that this was the end goal or that it was even desirable always. I used the phenomenon to highlight that system 1 can automate stuff without conscious help. Most of your post is just a misunderstanding. I hope I made it clear where my position stands in questions of free will and determinism and hope you understand that while this discussion could be extended to that, the scope is much smaller, and relates to problems like OP, where despite the desire to be different, one's higher, conscious self is overwhelmed by other parts of the psyche - you would say other "reasons" but I've made enough of a case that there's nothing reasonable or logical about it.


While certainly you have written alot, you still have not addressed what I spoke of, that is of your contradictions. It is not determinism or free will I speak of like you say I do. What I don't understand is why you think system 2 has any power in your theory what so ever. You have made a system where as you say "1" is automatic, it creates or takes in perceptions of the world and then feeds the "2" feelings, creativity, and all else from it. System 2 then rationalizes, but really has no control or influence since the actions, memories, interpretations, and perceptions are already created by system 1. You give system 1 all power, control, and governance; yet turn to me and suggest that system 2 may influence anything at all. As in the atom example system 1 has set the velocity, angle, and duration of everything; so I ask how could system 2 control what it does not control and can only see after what is created has already been so? I was hoping that after two posts of me showing you this contradiction, you would attempt to understand it or add some unknown information about your theory so that it would all be possible; rather then merely accuse me some kind of red herring fallacy. It is not that I am looking to attack you or insult your intellect, it is that simply there is no possible way for what you say to be true if what you previous stated was true. If anything you have projected a desire to speak of free will onto me, since that is the only way your theory would function without contradiction. Such that system 1 may be the absolute master, but with an ethereal free will concept system 2 may still hold power.

Lets go over you claiming I speak of free will one more time. Assuming I believed in such a thing, my theory of course sits right at home with it since I give system 2 an (admittedly limited) authoritative governorship. If I did not hold such a concept to be true would my theory function? If I believed the mind to be only of brain chemicals would it still work? Well yes of course, because while it may be all brain chemicals, I think that the system 2 holds (limited) power over system 1. System 2 can decide on interpretations, and it is system 2 that decided what system 1 will percept. This means system 2 may influence and adjust system 1 to it's will, and then it will continue on without active involvement. This is why I bother to search philosophy and psychology at all, as system 2 is the master that can influence and adjust system 1 at will, even if system 2 is a bunch of random bouncing particles. So clearly it makes no difference if free will or brainchemicals are my answer, my theory does not hinge upon such concepts, in fact I have tailored it specifically to cover both options so as to avoid this mess altogether.

It is actually your theory that hinges completely on a free will concept, as you state a brain chemical argument where system 1 is the master, yet u-turn instantly after this and proclaim system 2 still has some kind of authority in some fashion which cannot be without an immaterial free will. When I question this strange contradiction, you project that it is I who must be attempting to trick you into a larger free will or deterministic argument despite the fact I never used these terms myself. I will state again this is not that I am insulting you, or looking to pounce upon you like some political debate artist attempts to "btfo" his opponent. Rather that I wish to show that you for some reason or another refuse to fully commit to your own theory. Which I could only understand right now if I projected my own intellectual cowardice to truly believe the theory that you say you do. I say intellectual cowardice because I would indeed find what you say to be horrifying IF I took it to be true, and would attempt to flee from such a thing so not to face what the theory suggests. Yet as I said that is just my own projection, so I cannot say why you refuse to engage with your own theory, only that you do so.

Until either you accept your own theory that system 1 is the master of all, or change your theory to that system 2 hold governorship over at least something more than rationalizing after-the-fact, I'm afraid this conversation is fundamentally broken. Such that we seem to be talking right past each other or having different conversations altogether. You have brought up many examples of your theory in action it is true, but what I suggest is that the basic and core system cannot function or exist at all as you state it to be. It seems to me that there is too much focus on proving how it it applied to things, and not enough focus on if it even functions or makes sense to begin with.


So, your fundamental question is: which one is the true master? And the answer to this question either way sets up a contradiction. If it's system 1, then how can system 2 do anything, much less override the former? If it's system 2, then system 1's resistance is entirely an illusion and if there is a conflict it's entirely system 2's fault?

Neither of them are masters in any sense, they're just two independent enough parts of the mind that can come to different judgments about the world. One does it through pattern recognition and communicates only through bodily mechanisms and sensations, while the other uses verbal, abstract reasoning, logic, what you might call rationality in the conventional sense.

On any given day or moment, one can win over the other. In terms of the score, system 1 certainly wins more than it should because it's an automatic, unconscious system that is always "on" and system 2 is limited in terms of working memory and its strain on the mind. When you are tired, whether physically and/or mentally, you will naturally fall back to an automatic way of being, "auto-pilot" as it's often referred.

My view that system 2 rationalizes system 1 urges, motivations, feelings etc. doesn't mean that everything system 2 does comes entirely from system 1. When you are making a cold, emotionless decision, presumably it's all done by system 2 through verbal, abstract reasoning, logic and so on. But this is seldom the case with anything in life, there is always an emotional element, system 1 will give some kind of signal first since it's faster, however faint, and system 2 might do what it's best at - notice the bodily sensation and aim to explain it, like any other phenomenon in the world. Often system 2 can examine the context, what is currently happening and then make those bodily sensations meaningful. If I'm walking past a guy being carried away in a body bag and I have these weird sensations inside me, I can conclude that I am sad, since people are sad when sad things happen and my memories of what sadness usually feels like. Funnily enough, there's a personality trait called alexithymia where people have trouble interpreting bodily sensations and emotions and can't tell excitement from anxiety and so on, and this ability varies from person to person.

You are right though, I haven't addressed a very core problem in the theory, who actually makes the decisions? In my manner of speaking, I might suggest that system 1 "does" something or system 2 "decides" and so on, but really these systems are just there to produce judgments about the world, each using its own tools. The thing or part of the mind that actually executes the final order, perhaps has nothing to do with either system, but is like a voting booth which takes in votes from many parts of the mind. If there isn't enough time or resources to get a result back from system 2, presumably system 1's judgment is what influences the "executor" to, for instance, react by covering the face when it notices an object flying towards it. Is that a paper ball or a rock? There's no time to deliberate since the consequences could be a concussion, better be safe than sorry - the wisdom of system 1 is that speed is more important that precision for survival, but this creates silly consequences like an overblown fear of chihuahuas.

The ideal state for a person psychologically is when both system 1 and 2 are aligned in their judgments which produces the least amount of internal friction when making decisions. If you're going to sit down and write an effortpost, this is the best result of both system 1's judgment that this is a rewarding experience according to its pattern recognition from past experiences, and also something system 2 concluded is rational, logical, something you could explain to another person relatively easily.

The conflicted state is problematic because it produces the most stress, and most people cannot handle this for extended period of times. Eventually, the social phobic person will have to go inside to have peace of mind, and eventually the underachieving student will have to close the book because despite their painful efforts, nothing is coming in.

The voting booth analogy also gives an explanation why system 2 cannot change system 1 directly. The more you use your rational faculties, the more processing is done and the more votes goes to influence the "executor" but system 1 will still keep sending its own judgment regardless. This results in a temporary win for system 2, but eventually, your willpower depletes and system 1's judgment becomes the winner.

For instance, a procrastinator is someone whose system 1 says 'no' to the task, while system 2 says 'yes'. With enough energy, system 2 overpowers the vote and he starts doing the task, but this only works as long as he has energy and as long as he can tolerate the stress from internal conflict. If system 2 notices system 1's conflicting signal, it might start trying to explain it, and soon enough, the procrastinator becomes the quitter and the task really wasn't worth it from the start because A, B and C which make perfect logical sense. The quitter is in a better psychological state because he's in an equilibrium without any stress.

Control of system 1 can only be achieved through INDIRECT means, as I described in my last post, noticing that a certain cue elicits a certain response, and then influencing system 1 to change its judgment. Consider what youtube motivational videos actually are - a set of cues to elicit a positive response from system 1, but without those cues being consistently in the person's perception (most effectively through the task itself), the positive response dwindles down back to normal. The video is like DUDE CONQUER and epic music in the background, and then you go for a run at 6am in the morning, freezing your ass off and that shit is not on your mind because it has nothing to do with running itself.

Anyway, hopefully that makes more sense and seems less contradictory than before. I'm mostly approaching this problem from observing and studying direct experience, a phenomological approach rather than purely abstract, "scientific" approach. The end goal is not to publish an empirical paper verifying my model but to develop good-enough heuristics for dealing with system 1 fuckery. In which case, analogies have good-enough explanatory power if they lead to something practical that works, rather than by completely explaining the thing mechanically and biologically. I'm less concerned with questions like whether we have free will or how exactly does a material brain bring about consciousness and so on, and more concerned with much simpler (in comparison) questions like one's in the last post.

Your posts are quite dense, so forgive me if I forget to address a specific point. I think this covers most of it.


>So, your fundamental question is: which one is the true master?
Closer, but not quite. We are clearly back on track to coming to understanding though.

Let us return once more to the gym example, as that is where I feel things started to spiral and morph around into a nothingness. However do not think I am not reading your posts, truly I do not skip a single sentence. From voting booth to indirect means I enjoed it all selfishly. Forgive me that our conversation is stagnating in this way, but I cannot help but think it is necessary for my own sake; in the end at the very least you may be satisfied that you know the ins and outs of your own thoughts. Should all of the below paragraphs fail, let us ignore this issue after you respond and I shall pretend that I understand how you conceive that system 2 gains control over system 1. For surely the only ending possible if we continue this any longer in the same never ending fashion is either one person leaving without notice due to frustration, or some sort of typical internet debate where we look to proclaim victory over one another. With that out of the way, we shall cast out our fishing nets once more and hope that this time we haul in supper instead of a growling stomach.

As it began I had questioned if you had ever seen or known someone who hated(want not) working out, truly working out. You return by stating that people may have the desire or want within system 2, but if it conflicts with system 1 then given enough time it is doomed to fail. During this same post you admit that system 1 created dislike(want not) to this "working out", and that system 2 can only observe, make a note of that observation, and then justify the emotion's existence with reasoning afterwards. My response first showed how my theory would deal with the example, but that is not the important part. What I was more interested in is how you would incorporate this {mental energy via system 2 overcoming system 1} with {system 1 creating emotion and dislike/like that cannot be changed, only rationalized}. To aid my understanding and perhaps predict what you were leading towards, I asked if it was not true that that system 1 may create emotion, but it is the realm of system 2 to interpret, precept, and rationalize the signals from system 1, thus it would be system 2 that creates desires.

Now this is where things became extremely enigmatic for myself, for rather than an incorporation of the two ideas you instead took one idea and ran away with it while forgetting the other. First you start off with a statement that system 1 learns via itself through experience (in some manner that you have not 100% understood yet), at the same time emphasis is placed upon that system 2 is not the one deciding anything. After this you state that system 1 is not inherently predisposed to anything, but that it learns (via itself through experience) by events arbitrary and out of control. To finish up you reiterate that system 2 does not decide what system 1 does or does not prefer, it may only rationalize what caused system 1 to be in such a way after the fact. During this same segment you show that system 2 is a mere observer of what system 1 decides, such that it looks at an arbitrary dislike such as disgust to cheese, and then it pretends that disliking that was a rational thing decided by itself. Yet really this system 2 decided nothing and it merely convinces itself that it does. At this point it should be clear that you have told me that system 1 is not only a self-contained system that simultaneously creates all emotion, memory, experiential learning, and perceptions of like/dislike, but that it also cannot be controlled by system 2. Really system 2 is just a passive observer that may rationalize, but that it is all it is allowed to do. In fact you stated this multiple times in a few different ways even.

Despite all of this, you have told me through many means that system 2 can control system 1 if it wants. In return I went about trying to reveal that there is no possible way for influence to happen, that you have blocked every entrance that system 2 may come into power. Yes I understand that you say they are democratic in power, it is not a master/slave dynamic, and that system 2 has some limited energy supply to effect system 1. I am saying you have given no explanation to how this is possible, and that really unless you change something that this is impossible. Lets suppose instead that I'm asking how does this mental energy work exactly? What it is doing? I cannot accept "it just overcomes system 1" even if it was a democratic voting to begin with, that is leaving it in the realm of magic and free will. Nor can you claim it functions via "effort" because you use such a thing interchangeably with mental energy itself. Lets use my theory as a counter example; I claim "eyes" are what limit system 2 in my theory, but I do not give "eyes" any power themselves nor use them as explanation of itself. The actual power within system 2 which results in the controlling force of desire stems from reason, interpretation, and perception; I have handed authority of these to system 2. Eyes are merely what limit system 2 from doing everything, or rather why system 2 exists or controls anything what so ever. "Eyes" are the cage or prison of system 2, they limit it's ability to take everything unto itself. Previously you had used "Mental energy" as a limiter to system 2 from taking over, that it creates fatigue, and these factors are what defines difficulty; where our conversation began. What you are doing now is proclaiming "mental energy" to be a power or ability unto itself, which does not make sense. Indeed even if it is a bar that depletes from due, what is it using?

My final attempt at a communication of what I mean. Don't take this as something to be analyzed or an argument, it is just for descriptive purposes. Lets say there is a video game you are playing; you are system 2 and the video game itself is system 1. Lets say this video game is basic, you can only duck or jump. In your theory you have claimed that the video game sends hurdles and pits, this is out of your control and you may only observe them. As you play the game a hurdle comes and thus you press the jump button, and then also comes a pit leading to a jump. You rationalize that you "wanted" to duck or jump, yet clearly the choice to duck or jump was already provided for you by the video game. Now you have previously explained how this video game works, and how you react to stimulation provided by the video game. Yet that is not all you have done, you claim that you may make hurdles and pits appear and disappear! "How is that possible when you state it is the video game that creates and champions over the hurdles and pits" I ask. You reply that "I can control the video game if I use mental energy which is in limited supply". Yet is that a real answer? Was anything explained by that? Is it not that you could have said "well if I use a magic spell I take control, but that uses up my mana" and it would essentially state the same thing? Obviously one can prance around this example by saying you have cheat codes, may turn the game off, or something else of that matter, but that is to ignore its purpose. The purpose is to show that obviously one cannot effect the video game when you yourself have stated as much, nor is the choice to jump or duck in your control when you have given that power to the video game. So clearly this mental energy concept makes no sense, for what mechanic or ability may it use? What is left for it to wrangle control from the video game? The answer is nothing, unless magical or immaterial power is used.

>I'm mostly approaching this problem from observing and studying direct experience, a phenomenological approach rather than purely abstract, "scientific" approach. The end goal is not to publish an empirical paper verifying my model but to develop good-enough heuristics for dealing with system 1 fuckery.

Very well put, I feel the same in my approach to things of this nature. We are both in pursuit of self knowledge certainly, I wonder if that that is for self-control and I for self-reason. I only harp on about contradictions and such things so that I may come to understanding your approach. Once that is done I may think about its truth, and in the end either apply the entire thing or take away a single part from it to use in my own theory that was lacking in such a thing.


I think you got it right and wrong, yes perceived effort is different among everyone, one may find it easy to focus and study for many hours a day while another can barely focus for 10 minutes. The question is whether we can adjust our "perception of effort". Personally I don't think you can, simply because hyper productive, high achieving people have always been doing things that the average wizard would consider extremely difficult, things like studying for a long time or doing sports consistently. I've actually written about this before so I'm just paste it here.

The ultimate blackpill, people are always saying that being really smart takes a lot of effort and discipline, but the truth is people who are actually really smart like college graduates who are top of their class actually put less subjective effort into their work than other people. For example, someone who can study 10 hour probably doesn't feel much resistance to the act of studying, it just flows out of them and they do it. People who obsess over a topic like programming or science or politics actually enjoy studying and reading all day about their topic, to them it's as fun as a video game. In both of these examples their success was determined by unconscious factors, they just went with the flow of their mind. Ever wonder why some people just love an instrument and seem to have been playing one since they were born? Simple really, one day they played one and got a good dopamine/endorphin/whatever hit in their brain and kept playing, they didn't push themselves to keep playing, they just went with the flow. Meanwhile a non musical person tried to play and they got bored and uninterested, and grew up to be really mediocre while they could have been an incredible musician. The same logic can apply to any other discipline.

People seem to think these kinds of talented people are really pushing themselves to the max mentally, they are exhausting themselves to the point of no return, but it simply isn't true, it's actually the opposite, they are putting ZERO conscious effort into these tasks, to them it's just another routine. Have you ever been addicted to a video game? Did you ever start playing at 10am and then realize it's midnight and you just spent the whole day on the computer? That is exactly how it feels like to be smart and a hard worker, time just flies.

Also, I'm sure some of you will point out that there are ways to build habits or increase focus or whatever, but the problem is that those things take lots of effort too, the only exception is if you find a really good therapist who figures out some novel way of helping you that I don't know of, which is really hard. But I'm not going to completely discredit self help techniques, I'm sure they can help some people. The biggest problem with self help is that you will have to spend time and effort exerting conscious effort into not doing the bad things, which will decrease your brain power to do the good things, like let's say you do block the internet so you can finish reading a book, now you have to spend conscious effort on not unblocking the internet, effort that will be taken away from the task of reading the book. A highly studious person would just "flow" with the book and read, with nothing to make them desire to stop (at least for a while anyway, everyone has a breaking point).


I'm glad somebody is finally pointing this out as it gets annoying to see the same self-help tropes constantly trotted out. It's usually treated like everyone will be able to make considerable improvements as long as they put the effort in even when they will have less mental energy to devote to tasks for the reasons you mentioned.


nah. People really do put effort and discipline into things, especially the people who get really good at something. What you're talking about is the way people experience entertainment, recreation and leisure.


Yes but the subjective sense of effort expended is different, like the example the poster I replied to said, that a man with dementia who tried to remember something is putting the same amount of effort that Tesla put into his research, admittedly that is probably an extreme example but it gets my point across, that effort is experienced differently among different tasks depending on the person. Personally for me when I try to read a book I get so bored and uninterested after a few minutes, my mind wanders and I read the words and realize I don't remember what I read, only to re read it and forget again, only after a couple times of doing this does it eventually stick. I've met people who have a natural inclination to read a lot (again, they didn't choose to enjoy reading so much, it's just their unconscious response to reading, dopamine/endorphin/whatever response etc)and they can just devour books and read for hours, there is no resistance to their appetite for reading, if anything not reading would require more effort from them, just like how the average wizard probably can't go a day without using the internet.


The more time I spend thinking about it, the more flaws I find in my initial conceptualization. What's clear now is that the supposed effect system 2 has on system 1 through limited willpower/mental energy is not explained, which is partly because I didn't think it was really all that important. As I said, in the last post, I am more concerned with practical questions than explaining exactly how something works mechanically/biologically. It seemed enough to me that I could observe "willpower" and its "depletion effect", but whether it operated through magic or something else, didn't seem to matter because I never aimed to improve willpower or its efficacy. I consider it a brute-force method because of its lack of elegancy and production of mental stress (often I describe it as "bashing your head against a door in order to open it").

The fault lies, essentially, in any characterization that either system "makes" decisions rather than simply being two different sources of judgment. The thing that makes the actual decisions and acts is this mysterious "executor" mentioned in the last post, as it seems evident that one has enough appearance of "free will" to ignore both systems entirely. Consider the simple case of opening and closing your hand, it's possible to neither feel a strong compulsion nor have a reason to do it, and yet it can happen, even without justification.

The function of both systems seems to be the same, to coerce the conscious (((self))) into making decisions based on the way each has judged reality. System 1 is what gives you your perception of the world, firstly by filtering a tiny bit that is even processable by the biology of the organism (i.e. a certain wavelength of light, and so on), then cuts that down as well to what it deems important for survival - it does this mainly through salience and valence. Salience is what pops out in the world - when looking at a complex scene, you are not taking it in entirely, certain parts are more detailed and other parts are more fuzzy. When people get robbed, most people can describe the gun exceptionally well but no one seems to remember the robber's face. This is because guns are such powerful, salient cues, they can mean life or death, and you don't have time for other "unimportant" details. Valence is the subjective "goodness" and "badness" of various cues, and this is how system 1 gives "color" to the world.

This is what I mean by perception - the salience and valence of the world around you, and this is how the conscious self experiences the world. If you got robbed by a black man in a hoody once, the event could "traumatize" you, or more precisely, you will learn that black men in hoodies are dangerous cues and they will naturally pop out to you, you won't be able to help but perceive that danger through the valence, despite any conscious, rational attitude you might have towards racism and prejudice.

So, what does system 2 do? After it receives that perceptual gestalt from system 1, it continues with slower processing, aiming not only to explain external phenomena but make sense of internal sensations as well and make them meaningful. The conscious self can act based on this fast perception or wait for slower reasoning before making a decision.

The problem comes when you try to explain "willpower" or its apparent "depletion effect". System 2 no longer "overpowers" system 1, it just so happens that the conscious self has decided upon taking system 2's reasoning over system 1's non-verbal judgment. The usual consequence is then having to deal with system 1's urges, anxieties, flashes of tasty fast food when you are on a diet, god, you can almost taste that cheeseburger on your tongue. This is fundamentally unpleasant and in order to make it stop, one has to either give in or employ some kind of attentional and environmental control, so that you can reduce the cues that remind you of food, and you reduce awareness of urges and any imaginary burgers.

So, "willpower" can get rid of the "power", it's just the "will", something which decides to act. The "depletion effect" is something that can be observed, but it seems like the conscious self will eventually decide to avoid the unpleasantness of urges and anxieties (something which I cannot explain mechanically, I must admit).

In the end, despite turning the theory on its head, the most important thing is still to understand that system 1 continues to have a consistent effect on the self, unless some significant experience comes and changes its internal logic. You can "will" to go against that effect and act despite of it, but it then depends on how far you're "willing" to put up with the unpleasantness of the experience. The best way to change yourself and your behavior is through system 1 processes, if you happen to switch something in there, it will be far more permanent than simply "willing" to do it. The benefits of having system 1 on your side can be neutral, by not creating unpleasant experiences that coerce the self and make desired behavior difficult, but also by creating positive experiences that make rational behavior more compelling.

I guess your conceptualization that "reasons" happen to win over on each other makes sense, if you consider "avoiding an unpleasant internal experience" to be a reason, and indeed, this is consciously available. In which case, if you quit going to the gym, the reason of wanting to "avoid an unpleasant experience" was stronger than "wanting a good body". But, thinking of it in terms of "reason" is not helpful, because you miss out on the fact that the unpleasantness is sometimes arbitrary and not inherent in the activity/task itself, but rather an internal problem. The vast majority of people that can consistently go to the gym, do it because it's ultimately worth it for them - they experience minimal punishment and with enough reward to overshadow it, even before they get the great body.

This then goes perfectly alongside what others have said about "perceived effort", which is how much your body and your unconscious, automatic mind create unpleasantness for you when you want to engage in desired behavior. It's easy to overlook this and say that if one managed to read more than another person from a book, that one simply tried harder, but individually, people will differ in how rewarding or punishing they find a particular task, and in the end, it even becomes rational to avoid the task because of the overwhelming negative experience it produces. "Laziness" is the natural result of everything being too punishing and not rewarding enough, you can only "will" to go against that for long enough before you realize that nothing will change permanently. What ultimately needs to change is one's experience of the task.


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i fapped again




Is this true? For me reading is like exercising. I can barely read 15-20 pages an hour, and need some rest afterwards. It seems impossible to read at a faster pace and understand what's going on at the same time. Thoughts and motives are so densely packed in books, and sometimes you have to decipher them, too, and at the same time analize how it relates to the bigger picture, and what it says about the characters, or the author in case of non-fiction. At this point I'm convinced that when normies on youtube say they read 40 or more pages an hour, they're talking about skimming pocket-sized teenager stories.


I an assuming you are not the person I have been speaking with before. Regardless I shall address this post briefly before tackling the main larger reply.

Your claim is that productive people were always productive, things came easy to them and it always was that way. This is something I may find agreeable, certainly you can see those kinds of men at a young age like this. They seem to follow a set path and never deviate from it, unchanging and static. Yet is it not true that these people also fail from time to time? What I mean is that they suddenly seem to stop being productive, sometimes for years or whatever time they have left on earth. Not always caused by a physical or single event, sometimes it can be just a self realization of something like existential dread. Surely this shows that that rapid complete change is possible. Rather than to hyper focus on the productive man or the normal man, what of the self-malleable man, does he exist? Does one who takes conscious choice in every action have place? Nothing was ever very innately interesting to him, role models seemed absurd, authority never blindly agreed with, nor did he find answers through any other person what so ever. He doubts and inhibits himself from birth, always in turmoil, flux, and ever changing. Others may be productive in work or other matters as are cows keen to eat hay, but the conscious man cannot help except to be conscious, he debates every issue however unimportant or idiotic it is to the larger society. Is is not true that deliberated answers are stronger than the reverse? Could not the final realization of the self malleable man be to create his own bodily and mental signals that he himself lacks?

If you want to want to fap then fap, if you want to stop then do so this second and do not fap again until you wish to; anything else is an impossibility anyways. Your guilt and shame is merely a virus of the mind that wants to punish itself for doing what it wanted to do. If you believe fapping to be more wrong than good, then you would not fap. A desire to "self improve" is a lie waiting to be unraveled, for it is the desire to appeal to other's thoughts who have no real power over you. As soon as you forget their thoughts you will fail, and then wonder why your "self improvement" failed to improve yourself . A desire to imprint your self unto the world is grand, and is a desire put into motion every second of every day. How could you forget a daily thought that is acted upon every action you take?


Sorry I did not reply yesterday, I had a exceptionally long day of work and did not have the time for a full post. Especially this one, which required a good deal of thought to answer.
I do admit that this gave me quite a laugh. How much of the (((neural jew))) have you been letting your kids fire signals with?

> The thing that makes the actual decisions and acts is this mysterious "executor" mentioned in the last post, as it seems evident that one has enough appearance of "free will" to ignore both systems entirely.

Yes, that is more coherent and concise than my explanations. This executor or "will" as you say, it is the same as the self is it not? Would you agree that what we call the self is merely the brain and the body? Which in turn is just the combination of system1+2. I could imagine you stating that this executor is outside the system 1+2, in which case it is a system 3? This "self", "will" , system 3, or otherwise looks over system 1+2 and decides on the action which it sees as best. Is this not just rationalizing and reason? So system 1 creates all perceptions, judgements, memory, etc which leads to system 2 rationalizing it after the fact, to which system 3 then rationalizes the information from system 1 and also rationalizes the rationalization of system 2? Are we not left in the same spot as before since all information and thought still comes from system 1? Either you are circling around and around lost in a forest taking me to be lost with you, or I lead myself into thinking about an ouroboros-like thing where the explanation justifies the other explanation and vice versa. Tell me your thoughts on this, Last post I stated that if I still did not understand I would move on so our conversation does not end in bitterness, I shall keep that promise by not addressing the entire of my post to this issue. I wish to keep speaking on it, but will also speak of other things you post so this conversation is not just me interrogating you on this one thought.

Now I shall speak on your ideas of perceptions but first let us address the example of racism you have brought up more than once now. It can be instantly refuted by the modern European migrant situation, to the point where succubi are raped and then state they still feel no ill will; that it is merely a cultural difference. There have I believe been men who have been attacked by migrants, they then forgive them entirely and ask others not to treat the event as proof of anything. This is all despite not only the "trauma" of the events, but also that rationally these migrants coming from a violent place would be more violent obviously. Now you could state they have all lied and really are now racist towards migrants, surely we would never know. Just as we can never know these events even happened to begin with at all, merely just assume what is or is not true. My answer is that it is pure desire that guide these people, a want to be "intellectual", "modern", nice, and most importantly of all "to be socially accepted". They refuse to acknowledge these migrants as more dangerous than other groups, despite it being obvious to anyone that they are in fact more dangerous. Some might say they are "delusional" which is probably true, but their lack of grip on reality comes from desire to not confront reality. Ignoring all of the above, it is obvious that real data should be taken more seriously than abstract data heard from someone else. One knows that you could die from any number of things everyday, but you tend not to confront such things until you see someone die from some arbitrary event like a crane dropping 2 ton steel beams on another persons head. Such that one may say "I always knew I could die, but to see it in person was powerful" or "I knew that blacks commit more crime, but only cared after I was attacked". Hold that thought I know your having from the example of an arbitrary event setting off thought, we shall get to that in the next paragraph.

How could lifting a piece of metal have worth? How could reading letters on a page be good? It is clear that from an objective view they hold no worth, they use energy and do not feed the bodies existence. All else except for tasks that feed and keep us alive are wasteful and "pointless". To think that lifting metal would be good is clearly a conception of the mind. In this regard you would state that the system 1 releases chemicals during this action to feel good, this varies from person to person which leads to system 2 being a exact and actual afterthought of this release. My defenses is that this may be true in one way or another, but that it is the rational system 2 that decides to release the chemicals to itself. Such that any "goal" or rather desire being fulfilled is rewarded because the rational mind has created this goal, to the point that even video game may become an addiction as we previously spoke about. In that virtual world arbitrary tasks are delegated out and are virtually rewarded, Certainly only the mind judges arbitrary events, things, and actions in such a way; judging from your post we may both agree on that I think. Is it not that system 1 may send a signal "lifting this will use energy" but it is system 2 that says "this will makes me stronger or look better", "this use of energy has no benefit" , or "some other activity has greater benefit". That is the valence you speak of, which you have given to system 1 rather 2. Even the salience which is similar to focus is given to system 1. So system 1 sends not only "this will use energy" but also perception and judgment of worth.

Let me ask you this, did you choose to reply to the posts I previously made? You said before that you do not know why you have been writing to me, only that it felt good; however I think you know exactly why you did if we follow your thoughts. Is it not true that system 1 has given you the perceptions and chemicals that feel good, so that you would "decide" to write to me? So it is not that you do not know, it is that the conscious you (system 2) did not willingly "choose" to write to me. You may say that you could not reply, to use this system 3 or "will". Yet why would you do such a thing? It feels good and indeed the judgement via system 1 says it is good so it must be good, there is no reason to not reply since it is merely an arbitrary event given priority by the unknown system 1. If we are to be accurate, your replying to these posts is no different than a bee who collects nectar. Well I suppose at least the bee does not suffer from plague of useless after-the-fact system 2 consciousness, at least that we know of. The bee then is in a higher state of living, since he does what you suppose yourself to be doing, but without needless suffering. A state of permanent "flow" is where every animal, insect, or creature exist at all times. If which case I ask you to throw away such meaningless thoughts of a system 3, "will", self, or even thoughts from system 2 itself; and instead to embrace life itself. Your life, the one you have no choice but to live; or indeed any choice what-so-ever. I shall leave you with a quote.
"You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you. People who love what they do wear themselves down doing it, they even forget to wash or eat. Do you have less respect for your own nature than the engraver does for engraving, the dancer for the dance, the miser for money or the social climber for status? When they’re really possessed by what they do, they’d rather stop eating and sleeping than give up practicing their arts." - Marcus Aurelius


Yeah, it is true. There are people who can do way more in an hour. Tesla had a photographic memory and could do math most people can't in his mind entirely. There isn't a way to get that good by effort. People who aren't as good at learning expend way more mental energy to do less learning.


>Yet is it not true that these people also fail from time to time? What I mean is that they suddenly seem to stop being productive, sometimes for years or whatever time they have left on earth. Not always caused by a physical or single event, sometimes it can be just a self realization of something like existential dread.

Oh yeah sure, I think I was like this too at some point, I was a straight A student until around 11th grade when I got depressed and stopped caring. I'm not sure what you mean by the rest of your post, obviously those kinds of people exist, just look at the other posts on /dep/. Whether they are more conscious than other, more hard working people is debatable, what does it mean to be more conscious anyway? Rejecting the lies of society? Life is inherently meaningless anyway so any lies that society tells are just as meaningful as rejecting them (that is, they are equally meaningless). I do think these people put less conscious effort into their work though, just as the high level gamer puts less conscious effort into map awareness or moving their fingers to press a button, or how a high level piano player does not deliberate on which piano key to press next, they just do it without thinking of the key letter or it's location or which direction to move their hand. Whether that is a bad thing or a good thing is up to you, personally I don't see it as bad or good, it just is. Ultimately a lot of those millennial yuppie types seem happier and more fulfilled than us /dep/ posters, they have what many of so desperately crave, a meaning and purpose, so when you say that they are just stupid automatons you should consider why they do what they do in the first place, and whether that way of living is truly stupid in the first place. Is it truly idiotic for someone to do something that gives them purpose in the end?


>what is the will or the self

I admit that I don't have an explanation for these things, because ultimately, it would require solving some difficult questions like the nature of consciousness and free will. Calling it the "will" or the "self" or the "executor" merely abstracts it away and compartmentalizes it. I think this could be called a homunculus fallacy, since I'm merely putting a tiny man in my head that makes all the decisions somehow and doesn't really explain anything. You've correctly identified that this is circular in nature (the "will" just "wills" somehow).

Continuing in the same way as before through studying direct experience, I can only observe that I have a "will", something which eventually decides to act, that I can identify as "me", and also notice that there are various other internal phenomena available, that I can broadly split into two categories: verbal and non-verbal, which coerce "me" into deciding to act a particular way. The nature of both of these phenomena is beyond me, I can only describe them as I experience them.

Verbal phenomena is anything that can be characterized as pertaining to language, whether a real one, like English, or some other, internal private kind of language which can eventually be "uttered" and turned into coherent sentences. Some people have an actual inner voice that they can "hear" inside their head, while others don't actually have an identifiable inner monologue because they think in a "private" language. Personally, even though I have an inner monologue, usually in English, I can also identify that there is a silent language beneath which comes first and then becomes "uttered" internally and then perhaps externally. I think most introverted people have this voice and somehow made a habit of being preoccupied with inner phenomena and explaining things to themselves. The initial private language is clear to me, yet I still feel the need to put it into words for it to be a real thought - others might not, especially more extroverted people.

I am more concerned with non-verbal phenomena that comes to me in the form of bodily sensations and mechanisms. For instance, fear comes as a certain physiological reaction that I can perceive in the body, an elevated heart rate, a weakness in the knees, a hole in your stomach, sweaty palms and so on. Another part is that my perception becomes biased towards dangerous cues as they become extremely salient compared to the rest of the environment. This is very unpleasant and difficult to ignore.

On top of that non-verbal phenomena naturally comes verbal phenomena which tries to explain it automatically. I think this is where emotions ulimately come from, visceral sensations that are interpreted through previous memories and current context. The difference between fear and excitement is whether the salient cue is interpreted as good or bad. An elevated heart beat before a social event could be social anxiety or simply excitement to see one's friends, depending on the person's previous experience of these events, but also what seems more salient - people's future positive or negative reactions to you.

People that get injected with adrenaline and cortisol get all the physical symptoms of anxiety but there is still something missing subjectively which would make it "fear", and that depends whether the person is in a context which could be interpreted as fearful.

Let's forget about the distinction of system 1 and 2, since they no longer seem to provide any useful insight into the problem at hand. Verbal and non-verbal seem to be more useful now. Through phenomelogical study, by observing direct experience, one can make a clear distinction between what is verbal and non-verbal, but often the phenomena that occur to consciousness are a complex combination of both - one can talk about the non-verbal sensations of emotion, but also the verbal side which can be articulated into some kind of information about the world (fear => x is dangerous).

I think the fundamental problem to tackle is: what makes activities rewarding? "How could lifting a piece of metal have worth?" "How could reading letters on a page be good?" and so on.

If a person feels he's unable to exercise or read regularly, then this is the result of a combination of verbal and non-verbal phenomena which coerce him into quitting. There seems to be layers of these phenomena that can be grouped as "reasons". Initially, the person learns that other people lift weights and then becomes acquinted with the reasoning verbally, "doing this continually leads to improvement of strength and muscle definition". Ah, that makes sense, then he observes that such things would be desirable through direct experience that fit men are more sexually attractive to succubi, respected more and feared by other men. So, what makes the activity initially attractive is knowledge, either verbal reports or something more compeling, direct experience of the benefits.

Then he tries to do this and experiences pain as the natural result of physical exertion. So far in life he has avoided pain, yet in this case, the activity requires the opposite. I think what fundamentally helps him overcome this is knowledge again. It is one thing to hear that people get benefits from this, but it is another to experience it directly. That seems to be much more compelling, first-hand experience that one's muscle mass has increased, that one's abs are much more defined, and that one could take a picture of it for social media and receive further benefit in the form of social approval. The next time he tries to lift, he is aware that lifting weights is no longer something abstract that is healthy or good for you, but he has memories, direct experience that it "works".

Similarly, the person receives verbal reports by others that reading is "good", but he tries to read and nothing comes of it. Going purely based on that verbal report is uncompeling, and continual reading seems to offer nothing but discomfort.

So, it seems that what makes an activity rewarding and compelling is direct knowledge, memories that it leads to some kind of benefit that is valued by the person. A lot of people read because they create an identify of an intellectual, which is how they managed to get social approval as a child, then each book helps make that identify a reality, which makes the experience of reading rewarding.

This might explain why to create a habit or an addiction, one needs first-hand experience of the activity, rather than simply verbal "reasons". Heroin is so addictive because it not only feels good, but also makes it seem like everything is right in the world, which is that much more compelling if without heroin your world is in complete turmoil - it becomes the only solution that you really "know" of.

It also explains why one person can create a habit quickly while another can't seem to do it after several months of engaging in the activity. Initially the activity might be uncompelling depending on its base experience (lifting weights is painful, focusing on words is tiring), but then if the person can gain direct experience of the benefits of the activity, the base experience becomes rewarding and thus automatically easier. With the direct knowledge that this activity "works" and brings about something desirable, one ultimately changes how he experiences it.

What also seems to happen is that the knowledge gets lost and the person is no longer consciously aware of it, but seems to continue doing the activity because it feels "right" or "good". Like with smoking, it feels "right" to smoke, despite all the verbal reports that it's unhealthy and that you should quit. For gym rats, the marginal improvement in muscle definition is no longer the point, it's about the feeling of reward, the activity still seems "right".

Back when I started browsing wizchan, I might have had some actual benefit from it which made me keep returning to it, that I could consciously verbalize. But now I just seem to come back because it feels "right" to continually check on it each day.

>My answer is that it is pure desire that guide these people, a want to be "intellectual", "modern", nice, and most importantly of all "to be socially accepted".

Yes, this seems to be the case. But I believe depending on how recent their conditioning is, they might not be consciously aware of this reasoning. It merely seems "right" to them, either because they experience it as rewarding to virtue signal or because they might experience punishment, a sense of fear, guilt, shame etc. to have different opinions.

Similarly, people that are openly racist, also seem to do it because it's ultimately rewarding. It's hard to say that /pol/ is entirely a place where factual information is presented and everyone comes to their own conclusion, there is heavy emotional conditioning in those places. "Look at what the migrant did, never relax around niggers, society won't tell you about this, you can be above the rest of the sheep" at which point, it becomes almost a delight to talk about this stuff.

>Let me ask you this, did you choose to reply to the posts I previously made?

I made the choice, but did so because I was compelled by the anticipation that it would be a rewarding experience. To provide verbal reasoning would require a deeper look to some kind of direct knowledge that previous attempts at long discussions were fruitful and provided insight, and "worked" at solving a problem, leading to a better understanding and so on.


Anyway, a lot of what you say makes sense and I admit your criticisms of "system1/2/3" are valid and I no longer find that conceptualization particularly compelling anymore. I've provided an alternative view that seems closer to your own, but I feel neither really capture what is needed in order to develop practical methods of tackling stuff like procrastination, depression, anxiety and so on.

Perhaps the problem of procrastination could be said to arise out of insufficient knowledge and/or conflicting knowledge. On the one hand, Ms. Teacher and my parents told me that doing my homework is good, but when I sit down to do it, it is boring and tiring, I don't know what they're on about. Or perhaps, I've heard that reading books is good for you and can remember some instances where it lead to some benefit directly, but I also have a lot of knowledge where trying to learn and study only lead to punishment, making me look stupid and slow, so why do it.

So, removing the procrastination would require one to develop first-hand, direct knowledge of some benefit or to "unlearn" some negative direct knowledge, by first becoming conscious of this reasoning verbally, consciously, and then aiming to develop first-hand, direct knowledge which contradicts it (if you remember, the alcohol example many posts ago).


>so when you say that they are just stupid automatons you should consider why they do what they do in the first place, and whether that way of living is truly stupid in the first place.
Do you hold the worker bee to be higher value than yourself because it does not deliberate on why it collects nectar? I certainly don't. Neither do I respect these "yuppies" who seem to function on a philosophy of merely accepting values made by others, and whose entire life is fabricated by others. When you speak to them it is obvious they had never thought about why they do anything at all. If you managed to get them to sit down and converse for an hour (of what is usually just endless and agitated appeals to the majority), they finally admit either in a fit of mild frustration or through some sort of apathetic drawl that "if it feels good, it is good; so leave me alone". Admittedly some are willing to simply state they do not know, and they do not care to know. They have no purpose, since they never created their own; they eat hay to produce milk for the farmer despite never knowing why or even if they want to do such a thing. To suffer is to live, if someone states they are happy and do not suffer any plague of the mind then they are of the honeybee. I shall not accept them as my fellow man, for our worlds are in absolute opposite. Indeed I do not even seek some abstract "happiness", for I seek suffering since that is where change and the great battles of the mind lay. Yet when I finally come into contact with it and give it a firm embrace; it disappears ever so quickly despite my best efforts to keep it close with me. Leaving me in the zone of simple regularity and the most wretched of all: a potential for apathy.

The average /dep/ poster can at least explain why he does why he does, he knows his own thoughts to a slight degree. You can tell within a very short amount of time if someone is truly a living human being and it is not based on your accolades given to you by other worker bees. One does not need to study in books or even be intelligent at all to be conscious, simply choose to live according to yourself.


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>homunculus fallacy
Ah, I did not even know this existed. Knowledge of the massive list of fallacies often escapes me, there seems to be one for every thought ever conceived; to the point where there is even the fallacy of calling out a fallacy. The ones that I remember are usually just the popular ones such as ad populum, herring, "fallacy fallacy", adhom, etc. That you would pull up this lesser known fallacy against yourself is the mark of a good man in very good faith, you have my respect.

The choice to focus on verbal vs nonverbal seems a much better idea as it is more specific, and also you have mentioned something I have thought about as well when you stated that there must be a "voice" before the voice of the inner monologue is spoken. This I assume is why you gave such power to the automatic system 1 despite claims that system 2 has power or there being a "system 3". We are certain to head into discussion of free will and consciousness should we ask too much about how the choice to speak or rather "voice before the voice" began. So as you said we had best steer away from such a thing.

The blending of memory and rational interpretations seems like an honest view and more in line with what I myself believe so we have agreement there. Much of your post I merely have to nod my head with in general. Personal and abstract knowledge is a powerful tool for desires to manifest. Yet we are still left with a rather incomplete view as my theory is an unfinished product, as you yourself have probably noticed. So I suppose we must both work toward it's completion, or to find out it is also a failure and discard it as well. One problem is how we decide what desire is greater than the other, and when do we decide to reconsider things already decided upon; as you put it "what makes activities rewarding?". Now all decisions may begin as rational and conscious thought, but may end up as mere habit. Truly I believe the majority of body builders only go to the gym to increase the numbers they lift, not for strength or even to look good. It is the equivalent to grinding levels in an MMORPG, it is just an arbitrary goals with no purpose than the goal. Same applies to the rich whom already have millions, they just aim for a "high score" of sort regardless of the fact they could retire anyways; because that is all they know, it "works", and it is a habit.

Habit is automatic, but when and why does such a thing get looked at again? The when and why could be answered by either through events such as being fired for slacking off, or a desire that grows relating to that habit. Such as wanting to become more professional, so you clean up the habit of messy writing that you had built up in school. However I think to conquer habit one needs a true reason, simply because habit is known to "work" and may even be attached to the sense of identity. By "known to work" I mean it has been shown through your life to have no extreme negative possibilities, in gambling terms it holds a "stacked deck" against other desires. Habits that hold extreme negative possibilities such as drugs generally have extreme negative outcomes should you attempt to stop them. This presents an immediate barrier to quitting, to the point people wonder if they will ever feel "normal" after quitting. You have to realize that for instance many smokers have smoked every half-hour for the vast majority of their lives. They don't even understand how to stand still at a bus stop without smoking, everything feels "wrong" because that is who they are; a smoker. The second you let yourself "autopilot", you will smoke. I remember once during my quitting attempts I forgot that I was quitting and managed to walk outside my house, take a cigarette out, light it, and smoke half before I realized what I truly was doing. It was one of the strangest events in my life if I'm to be frank.

Identity is the other half of the equation, but I don't know if it is merely identity or just a grand desire that encompasses many desires. It is good you brought up verbal vs non verbal, since this is a great segue into image or imaginary desires. The picture I have included is a common painting posted on imageboards you have probably seen many times before. It is a great painting showing adventure, independence, optimism, and a host of other things. Could one desire to be this? Not the man in the painting directly, nor the verbal things I posted, but to hold the values that the painting shows. In layman's terms it would be the unspoken "spirit" of the painting. Still conscious of your choice, but unable to verbalize why you want to be such a thing until you sat down and analyzed why. Could this "spirit" of sorts be a packaging or as you say a grouping of many layers of desire into one greater reason that you believe to be of worth?

For /pol/ that place is like all of 4chad and most imageboards, a den of contrarianism combined with grains of real truth. Most normal "people" do not need to go to imageboards to discuss things, their socially ingrained values mean they will never be discriminated against or censored. Which leads to all the taboo and fringe groups gathering in one area to battle on who can convert the rest of the outcasts to his cause. The alienation of modern society along with the lack of morals or even basic sincerity at all among most """people""" leads to an intense focus of older culture and morals. Which is all politics really is once you unmask it all, culture and morals. There are many paths politics may take, but all systems devolve into some kind of tyranny, only strong morals and culture can withstand that. /pol/ has correctly identified that fact(admittedly not because they were logical, rather just a by product of hating modern society), that is why national socialism with its pure focus on cultural and moral cohesion is its de-facto belief. It was inevitable for /pol/ really. Well I imagine now after 2016 it is a den of redditors and twitterimmigrant chads who are just neoliberals LARPing as /pol/ posters.

>I've provided an alternative view that seems closer to your own, but I feel neither really capture what is needed in order to develop practical methods of tackling stuff like procrastination, depression, anxiety and so on.

Indeed my theory has many holes I attempt to patch up, yet as soon as I patch one I notice another hole. This is assuming I could even figure out how to patch the hole of course. Memory, habit, and the interconnected web-like layers of a multitude of desires seem often out of my reach, seemingly impossible to grasp as it runs further and further away regardless of my efforts to catch it. Results are obvious, you did what you wanted to do, all else is absurd. The question is why one wants what one wants, and how to understand yourself enough to streamline this process to predict better results in the future. The abstract system works when left in the safe haven of the abstract, but of course reality and real self application are far more messy. You were right to bring up procrastination, it is something that requires a good bit of thought to deal with. Your thoughts leading back to the alcohol example may indeed be on the right track to tackling this. The obvious questions are how to gain the knowledge and what knowledge would contradict procrastination. To find the contraction and knowledge of procrastination we should need to check that we fully understand procrastination, else we may end up lost in some quagmire of unrelated arguments. In this search of understanding we could bring up specific examples and tackle them, or try an abstract approach. Let me attempt both and see if you find any truth in what I find, or if I was off mark completely.

Firstly the abstract. Let us look at where "procrastination" shall lead us to, what is the base of such a thing? A want to do something, but without any action taken to do so? Perhaps it is more-so that it is a want to not do something, contending with something you feel "forced" to do via outside pressure. Such that the real example would be "I do not want to write this essay, but I have to because otherwise I shall fail this class or lower my grades". What we seem to have is two negatives at odds with each other, one is doing something we feel holds no value, the other is failure in an area of social importance. Now what we seem to have is an argument in the vein of a individual vs collective system. Could this hold true for all examples of procrastination? Procrastination seems always to hang about with external deadlines such as due tests, paperwork piling up, resumes unsent while your bank account slowly dwindles, etc . What do you think of such a description? Is procrastination just the clashing of internal desire with outside constrictions?


Literally everything you posted here I answered in my reply. You're no different than a religious fanatic who espouses their ideology even in the face of opposing evidence.


Ah, I thought we were having a conversation where we share our thoughts with each other and attempt to come to understanding, rather than some sort of internet "debate". Although surely you cannot blame me for that since your posts lack any coherent argument beyond wallowing in nihilism and extreme jealousy of normals. At this point I'm sure you plan to reply back with some low effort drivel, and its clear to me that you believe what you do is pure irrefutable fact rather than a potential of truth. So this will be my last reply to you, unless for whatever reason you reply back with good intentions rather than another typical "ebin btfo" internet debate contest.


I appreciate your effort to better the board through your own actions. A sort of, lead by example philosophy. I find that noble and deserving of respect.

>At that point I began to realize it was not just linguists that play word games, it is the entire human population that do so. Each of us brainwashing each other into believing things that are not even close to true. Words have much more power than I even gave them credit for when I was younger. It was obvious that pain or withdraws still existed, the so called "reality". Yet equally obvious is that perceptions and thought molded by words, and thoughts of others; had equal control with said "reality".
This has to do with the principle that words can mean multiple different things at once, yes? I can't help but constantly remember Elon Musk talking about language being 'low bandwidth.' If there was theoretically a faster way of comprehending the intentional meaning of words without having to read many works from the same person for many many moons would this still particularly be an issue? Is this not wholly caused by the limitation language holds upon original intentions? Even as I write this I can't particularly think about what a completely raw form of expression would be (one that carried all intentional meanings and nothing more or less). I even think in language, let alone just speak in it…

>Unfortunately the desire to do nothing, not think, or not engage with things and people seriously still plagues me. The destruction and endless assault upon my old views seems to be an ongoing battle. Slowly I am gaining control each day, to so SOMETHING rather than nothing. Even if it is writing these very long (for me at least) posts, I am seriously engaging with what I'm doing; rather than mindlessly scrolling imageboards each day. My desire for something is proven by this writing, for how else could there not be a desire to do something: if I did something?

I agree with this. My major question stems from how do these desires come about? How do I control these desires in a way that could potentially benefit me as opposed to ruin me?

As far as me personally, I have been fortunate enough to never require overcoming chemical addiction, but face a great burden in motivating myself like you currently, past doing nothing. I find it comfortable to do nothing, just exist. It is not to the point where it controls me but I would wager about 30%-50% of my actions, my input into this world, are taken up by my desire to do nothing.

>Doubt is ideal to prevent delusional or incorrect thoughts, BUT when an idea or thought has come to be thought of as ideal or most correct, it should not be doubted; least I undermine my own values or judgements. I may doubt if evidence comes to me that shows the incoherence of my thoughts, but not for the sake of doubt. It is a tool to ensure consistency and quality of values or judgments. I shall not use it to attack and subvert myself every day. I cannot allow that. Remember this lesson.

I like this. I believe there's a saying I read once like 'always trust your tools, else why would you dare work with them?' I've probably butchered the original horribly… If I end up finding it I might post it here.

Hello fellow Wizards, thanks for the effort-posts on this topic. I've recently tried to overcome some of my more goblin intentions (extremely filthy living environment and habits), my desire stemming partially from depression and also partially from being forced to move in some time. It's quite uncanny to see that as I was previously wondering about what would motivate me to correct my 'bad habits' and how I could intentionally create 'good habits' (or habits I personally believe to be beneficial to my own desires) I would stumble upon this.. It's like following a treacherous trail only to find out you can receive the wisdom of those further along it. It's been quite difficult keeping up with the depth of topics here for me and I will have to address it later as I come to terms with the application of some of this myself.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know your discussion on this has benefitted me quite a lot and there is great value in what you've written. Hopefully I can receive your input if I have future questions on this subject. Thank you.


Not so much a lead by example philosophy, but by making quality posts I am physically creating the better imageboard that I desire to exist for myself to enjoy. One can only lead those who are willing to be lead, and I am not so delusional that I think I can affect posters like the one who replied to me with only "fuck you nigger".

When taught a word you assume that the word or rather meaning of the word is true and "exists" within a single reality. Words not only have many meanings, but carry others interpretations on reality. My main concern is dealing with what others have taught me since birth and childhood, with what is and what is not reality or rather what is their reality. Language effects not only communication with others, but as you mentioned with ourselves through inner monologues. I also cannot comprehend of a way to get around language, so instead I look to find where the truth of a word is, or even if it has any truth at all. Through this I might understand that which previously I thought to be impossible, such as the destruction of other's concept of difficulty leading to changing many aspects of myself all at once.

My answer for desire is as I have said to be reason and rational thought, a perfect method to control or fully understand them is a matter I readily admit to have not yet figured that out. At best I can state one must find what they desire and either put it to rest, or find a grand and greater desire than what it is that exists. Do you want to be safe and comfy? If yes, then obviously one would do nothing correct? Now a desire to "do nothing" may have more "threads" connecting to it then just a "want to be comfy", but if you can weaken or destroy the desire to be comfy then you are working towards the desire to do something. A large problem is that these threads seem to never end, and indeed even figuring out which one is more important than another connecting desire seems difficult. Layers of overlapping desire and their resulting automatic habits, hopefully we may shed at least a single ray of light on the enigmatic nature of both. Judging by the last exchange between myself and the other man replying back with large posts, we are past conversing on where desire arises from and are about to attempt to dive into habits and desire layers I believe. No doubt we shall not figure it out, but perhaps get closer to the truth than before. If you have an idea on the matter then feel free to state it, I don't think the other poster knows the absolute answer and certainly I know I don't.

I'm glad that you read my own and the other posters thoughts, truly I thought no one would read my first post let alone our many exchanges of 1000+ word replies. I'll look forward to any questions you have if you decide to post them.

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