Epistemic Status: Better thought-through than previous things I’d written on the subject. Still very fuzzy and iffy. Being kicked out of my drafts folder after about 3 years.
As anyone who reads this blog is probably aware, I have had some vehement, public disagreements about community norms, Circling(/Authentic Relating) and how much to distrust status instincts. I had an extended conversation about that whole cluster with Divia Eden at a dinner party some time ago, and concluded that at least a substantial part of my motivation was poorly-grounded, causing me to significantly underestimate the costs of my preferred approach.
The crucial point is that if you ditch the goal of these projects as “useless if not actively bad“, as I had done, you should expect to get gut-level motivation weakening and falling out of step with intellectual motivation. Particularly, going too far in that direction is like to produce very intelligent, dedicated, completely depressed and lumpen people. We have so many of those hanging around the Berkeley rationalist cluster that the specific subset who are transwomen acquired a collective name (together with a couple extra traits): “catgirls”.
A Testable Prediction has been made, in Accordance with The Law. Behold! The test came back positive. We do need something in this genre, or we will, directly, fall into this failure mode. However, I still think that most practitioners here are Not Paranoid Enough. More care is needed in how we align intellectual priorities with internal felt priorities and, ideally, with socially-shared priorities. This is necessary, but it is very, very easy to get wrong.
So we need something better planned. We need the Bardic Conspiracy.