Sunday, 4 November 2012

Diamond Writer's Block

Some half-thought out BRILLIANT post came to me in a dream, but I forgot it in seconds. Weirdly enough I remember that I had such an idea, though... In any case, I'm still here, antinatalisting about like there's no tomorrow. Well, sort of. My general stance on antinatalism at the moment is never tell anyone, ever, unless I'm on the internet and will never see their face (GRIMACING AT ME), in which case make as much noise as possible and hope they spread the word about these crazy people to their friends, so maybe one person in a thousand thinks it's a good idea not to shit out another baby like it's nothing. OR, unless I am forced to, like in some important discussion with a significant other. But in that case it may as well just be a slap in the face and a grave insult, because antinatalism is not a happy thing to talk about.

In any case (I love saying "in any case"), I have zilch for you today. I thought that if I wrote some long-winded mammoth of an introduction something would come to me, but I am now left unpleasantly surprised. Or well, not really because I tend to expect the worst anyway. Even on an unconscious level, which is weird. Maybe I should let commenters decide what I should write next? That might be fun.

Also the antinatalisphere of antinata(b)logs seems more deserted than ever. Or maybe it's always been that way? I really couldn't tell you, my memory is horrible these days. Repression and that sort of business.

I would go on about how horrible the world is right now, a multilevel complex of people defecating on top of each other, but I've said most of it before. And I don't know enough, or care to know enough about other ways we are acting like jerks. It doesn't really matter that much considering no one really listens to me much in general. I don't mean that YOU aren't listening to me right now, I mean that my voice is just another of billions on the planet. And it's not even particularly strong. So there's not much point in me researching things to death just to spout things that have been said thousands of times before. Let others take care of the horrors of the world that antinatalists don't. There are enough blogs about power-imbalances, the suffering of the poor, prejudice, etc. My blog is about the best form of population control (and the best way to make everyone in the world instantly satisfied): Antinatalism.

Think of the children. Don't have them. Or something like that.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Consider Your Options

The world is bad. What does that mean? It means first and foremost that we should do something to fix it. What does this knowledge do to us? Cause us pain, for the most part.

If the world is bad, in what ways can we react to such a revelation?
A. Strongly hold said situation in mind and think about it a lot.
B. Pretend it isn't so.
C. Any combination of the above two.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each extreme, A and B?
A. Possible extreme mental pain, situational depression compared with the highest possible chance that something will be done to fix the world to a very slight extent
B. No mental pain, believing opposite leads to mental pleasure possibly compared with little to no chance of fixing the world to any extent.

Option A will not fix the world unless many believe in such a thing. Option A does not guarantee that one will realise how to fix the world - most for example, do not believe that having children is a problem even though it perpetuates more suffering. Option A is such an extreme that it will either make or break a person - you can get charitable fanatics, hellbent on saving the world, while at the same time you can get people who simply give up on the world, longing for death.

Option B will continue the suffering in the world, even if it is only one person believing such a thing, unless they are restricted by others believing either Option A or C. Option B may lead to the creation of suffering as it is believed that the world is fundamentally good - especially with relation to creating new human beings, or even the creation of new animals (for slaughter, say). Option B can create optimistic cheery people who can condone their own sins on the goodness of the world ("It's okay if I screw this poor person out of all their money, since the world is good they'll still be alive(which = good) after it").

What should Option C be to make sure the world is fixed yet people do not lose hope that fixing the world is possible? The combination should be at least, in my mind, one in which the world's situation is held in mind most the time so the most possible can be done to save it, but under that must be a steadfast delusion that it is not depressing to live in such a world. Not many people will be able to handle this form of Option C, the idealistic Option C. As an alternative I would suggest NOT thinking strongly about the world's state, BUT having mental blockers on to prevent belief that the world is good.

Will Option A (or an Option A-friendly Option C) work out if everyone reacts this way? The answer is yes, and comes in two forms: transhumanism and antinatalism. The easiest, most pain-sparing mechanism of attack is antinatalism, but the most realistic goal to be reached is transhumanism's pain-free utopian vision.

What will continued Option B (or Option B-friendly Option C) reactions do to us? Suffering will be glossed over, charities will not get the support they need, and increases in technology MAY NOT be used to eradicate suffering of humanity, but rather to increase the pleasure of the rich, while the poor suffer. The world being good can be used to justify all kinds of atrocities - for example, slavery. If the world is fundamentally good, then slaves cannot complain about their state because life is a gift no matter into what position you were born. Slavery can't be bad if it causes others to suffer, since suffering is not something to be concerned about and may even give valuable life experience. Slavery can't be bad because it violates human rights, because humans don't need rights as the world is fundamentally good and anyone is lucky to have any kind of life.    

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Song of Suffering

I don't know why the hell I decided to make this. I was originally going to write a post in my classic "I hate the world! And you, and you, and you too!" style, but then on the spur of the moment started writing a song. Again this is a "Posting for the sake of posting, oh please think of the posting someone please!" post, wherein no new content is actually divulged to the world.

SONG OF SUFFERING, by estnihil


VERSE 1: Intro
Oh we’re merry sailors of outer space,
Hanging on to our rocky place,
No time for leisure,
Or ordinary pleasure,
Put more sailors on the task!
Continue this disgrace.

VERSE 2: Life is always precious
[Sailor #1:] “Oh I love a good bit of cancer,
And osteoarthritis and old age.”
[Sailor #2:] “Well the ringmaster gives me orders, I’m mentally disordered,
And I’ve spent the past decade in a cage.”
[Both together:] “Oh what a jolly good life I have! Whatever could I need?
No one in a cape,
Will save me from rape,
Life is so great! Let’s breed!”

VERSE 3: At the Casino
Welcome to the Baby Casino!
Where we gamble with our children’s lives,
Will this one be ugly with legs that don’t move?
Will this one’s life ever improve?
Will this baby end up a starving thief?
Will this child suffer beyond one’s belief?
Oh how silly can you be?
That would never happen to my child, to me

VERSE 4: The Stillbirth’s Sorrow
I’m a sorry sad stillbirth,
Because I never got to be born,
Every day, I lament my fate,
Abandoned, forgotten, forlorn

Think of the millions that don’t exist,
Weeping tears of sadness,
“But that’s silly,” they say,
“We don’t exist at all,”
“How can we be deprived of this madness?”

VERSE 5: Let’s harm others and violate consent
Hello, I bought you a birthday present,
It’s a rabid grizzly bear,
I hope you like and don’t resent,
That you can’t return it anywhere.

Hey if you’re causing suffering,
I guess you’re causing harm,
And if you make a life you’re causing it,
Here is logic’s charm:
In every life there is suffering,
So every life is a harm,
So you’ve been rescued from the brink,
Of beginning to start to casually think,
That you’ll make a baby-farm.

VERSE 6: We are saved
One day a good man named Benatar,
Told us exactly what we are,
“Only existers suffer harm,” he said,
And one by one an army he led,
To reaches wide and far,
So that the sailors no longer bred.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Are Goals Ever Worth Accomplishing?

(Essentially this is my thought process on the matter I've brought up before, Escapism and Goal-achieving. It was not fruitful, so if you read my previous posts on this you'll get little from this. But hey, better than no post.)

I am not quite sure of this proposition myself yet. I had previously said (I also said a little here), goals may be something worth accomplishing if the net effort you put in gives you a steady stream of happiness. But is that really the case for most people? Do most people really feel good CONSTANTLY while achieving something? I certainly never have. I've always just felt the pain of the effort when I'm doing it and the pleasure of the fantasy when I'm not. And when a goal is actually achieved, the high that comes from it may be intense, but it can't match Escapism's CONTINUAL emotions produced of similar, though not as intense, calibre.

Could it be that Escapism is always the better choice? Let's dissect what I'd previously said:

"The balance is between effort, goal-punishment, goal-achievement and escapism."
But is it really? Goal-punishment, is simply the idea that not accomplishing things makes us sad. Surely this has the possibility of becoming a complex in some people, but others simply don't care at all. The way I see most people behaving, it looks as if they have very little goal-punishment at all. They have very few goals, too. And these people seem to be genuinely happy, or at least, superficially happy. Could it be that accomplishing goals, from this vague generalisation, is actually not a good thing to do if you want to maximise your utility? But again, it does depend heavily on the person in question - though if we take the mean, and say this is what you should probably do if you are close to the hypothetical average person, then things still work out fine.

Could it be that people NATURALLY maximise their own utility and there is no need for my endless philosophising? I don't think I can believe that, since there are many psychological studies that show that people could be happier with a few life changes. But I think that the fact, as I've said, that most people seem to be happy NOT achieving goals is either a sign that goal-achieving behaviour is not good for one's welfare, or simply my own stupidity presenting itself, as it is really due to how most people are happy anyway, and may be HAPPIER in fact achieving goals. So we're back to square one on this issue.

"Goal-accomplishing is slow-release positive utility that remains more or less constant - like an IV bag."
Is it now? Does that actually happen in most cases? I don't actually know myself, I'd need some kind of study, or at least some help with this one. I think this may vary from person to person. What we would need to know, though, is how many people and what percentage of the human population are like this, so good advice for the average person can be given on whether to achieve goals, relax or do half and half or some other combination.

Also there is the nature of subjectivity. What distinguishes how much utility one pleasure gives from another pleasure? Is goal-achieving behaviour's pleasure 'better' somehow? I think this too may depend on the person - whether one buzz feels better than another.

Does effort = suffering? Certainly the frustration that comes with failing or getting set back on a goal is suffering. How do they balance out? Goals can be extremely hard to achieve or quite easy to achieve, so availability is something of an issue. Escapism is readily available anywhere in the world, even if it is just a spiritual walk in nature or the stories of one's ancestors, though it is more available to richer folks. So as for availability, Escapism clearly wins.

But as for everything else, as I've said, we're right back to square one. I'd need hard evidence before I could start making claims that humanity should stop pursuing goals, or should get off their collective asses and do something. So it seems that it depends heavily on the person in question.

But still, I do believe that some people are misaligned; some people are not maximising their utility and are doing the wrong thing. It is up to you therefore to assess your own situation and attempt to see if you would be better off changing the amount of time you spend achieving goals or performing escapist actions.

I don't write very depressed anymore. I hope you don't mistake that for my worldview having changed, because it hasn't. I don't think much anymore about how absolutely horrible this all is, and how no one seems to care that we are forcing toil and pain onto others. And after we've done all that, we tell them they have no right to commit get the hell out of here? Not that committing suicide makes everything about the suffering and misery imposed hunky-dory, St. Caplan.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Things we don't need

Countries
I really detest it when people are 'proud' of their country. A country is just a land mass cordoned off by humans for their exclusive use. Being proud of your country is pretty close to nepotism, or even racism, in my book, since you're inherently favouring people of your 'kin' over others, for next to no reason at all. Every country has geniuses and great artists and bla bla bla you know the drill. Nothing separates any country from another except silly human memes. Those silly human memes include languages and laws, by the way. See below for those.


More than one language
It is absolutely unnecessary for human beings to have more than one language, except for of course, sign language for the hearing impaired. It's not anyone's fault for this of course, but procrastinating and not doing anything about it, or WORSE KEEPING YOUR LANGUAGE BECAUSE OF SOME STUPID NOTION ABOUT COUNTRY OR CULTURE (meaningless) is not a good thing at all. Culture by the way, is not entirely a bad thing if it makes people happy, but doing things for the sake of it is absolutely stupid. I could create a culture right now from nothing and it would be no more meaningful than your culture developed over thousands of years. Fighting to protect culture is not something we should invest time in, and should not be something that causes hatred and divides the human race.

You may say that it is an almost impossible task to unite people in language, but the thing is, a lot of even small efforts can have large impacts. Besides, we don't even know if it is a hard task yet, BECAUSE NO GOVERNMENT IS ACTUALLY TRYING TO DO THIS. If every government agreed to do this, then in a few generations everyone would have the same language, I am sure of this.

Individual governments
Individual governments allow for separation of people and foster hatred. World government, as totalitarian and scary as that sounds, would be a step forward in uniting people together, so long as (a it has a constitution of rational humanitarian laws guaranteed for all divisions (there do need to be divisions, otherwise we would need to refer to locations by co-ordinates). What I am talking about is basically a souped-up UN. Separate places may have SLIGHTLY different laws, let's say, but since immigration is absolutely unrestricted, and no one can create crazy anti-human rights laws due to the constitution, things work out just as they did before except people are a lot more sane, and a lot less divided. (I'd mention that one law should be 'no reproduction', but baby steps, people, baby steps). This bit is pretty much open to debate, because I'm not too sure of it myself. I'm not sure there's actually a point in governments making new laws unless some new development in technology calls for it - as soon as you make sure there's enough to protect humans from each other and still allows them all the freedom they can get their grubby little hands on (joking), there isn't much left to do that isn't bullshitting about the place.

Borders
If there is no difference between humans of one country and humans of another country, then there is no reason to restrict immigration. Nothing makes foreigners different from natives, except for dangerous memes and the ever-present in-group bias. What would be best for humanity would be for that same "In-group" mentality to be harnessed so that instead of a tribe or a town or a country being the 'group', instead the group is humans themselves. And then we can extend that group further, into animals and alien species. Until we all die out from refusing to breeding. Heartwarming.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Immoral Wizard

I don't have a lot to say on this matter, so this may be an exceedingly short post. However, it's still something that I find absolutely atrocious. Even if you're not an antinatalist you should be able to understand to some extent I hope.

Tom creates a pig out of thin air because he's a wizard. No more explanation necessary. Who is indebted to whom? While you may at first think that the pig is indebted to the wizard, things don't necessarily work out that way if we think past our natural biases. The wizard cannot at once assume he has a debt to claim, and force the pig into a life of slavery and hardship (to pay for the wizard's retirement or look after the wizard when he is older for example). One one hand, surely sentient or near-sentient beings have RIGHTS and cannot be owned from the start by anyone! And moreover, if anyone is in debt here, it is surely the wizard, who took a risk on a life that was not his; he created the pig's life, so he is de facto responsible for any suffering the pig undergoes. Therefore HE is indebted far more to the pig than the pig is indebted to Tom.

What do I mean by this? Well what I mean is, the traditional practice of raising children to become moneymakers for the purpose of not dying alone and with money troubles is horrible. One, that's almost slavery. Almost. Two, surely something's gone wrong here - if anything the opposite scenario should take place! The only possible way you might expect a return from your children would be either (a out of love, biological love NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE A GOOD PERSON, or because (b you did not create them, but rather saved them from being parentless by adoption. And even then, they have rights. They aren't REQUIRED to do anything in return for your favour. You did not sign a contract with them. You forced it onto them.

And remember, forcing your dreams onto a child is basically the same sort of scenario too!

Take care of your children. Being a parent is not something you should be rewarded for, it's a responsibility. You signed no contract with the child saying they should repay you. It's also wrong if you're a biological parent, but you know the drill.

I can't think of how to edit this post, so I'll leave it as it is, a little rough around the edges. May come back to it later.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Robots, Human Expansion, Mechas and Suffering

I can't think of anything to say on antinatalism or suicide or any other topic that seems to pass through my mind these days, so instead of leaving this blog barren and lifeless, I'll proceed to tell you about the things I'm doing instead of enlightening you all, not that I could do that anyway.

I've been doing a lot of things recently, but the only things relevant to you I'm supposing are Blassreiter, and Robots and Empire.

Blassreiter is an anime that is a litle sub-standard in some respects, such as music and pacing (pacing is extremely fast), but is worthwhile from a Pessimistic point of view from 1. Its focus on the incredible suffering in the world - you see examples of this everywhere, and very little of the good in the world is offered to 'offset' it. 2. Its antivillain who seeks not to rule the world, but to end it so people no longer commit sin and suffer. 3. Its focus on forgiveness and guilt, and especially how everyone suffers: the person attacked and the person who attacks. It also has mechas and humans whose proteins have been modified to be ultra-cool looking by nanonmachines! But that's not relevant.

Robots and Empire is a science fiction novel by Isaac Asimov. It lacks in - well it lacks. Isaac Asimov I love for his unique ideas, but I just think in some places his writing isn't the best at conveying emotion. I, Robot was a tough read at the start because of this. However, it has an interesting hypothesis: what if transhumanism were wrong, and all those long lifespans just led to boredom and the desire for death? What if death makes life good in that it makes relationships more meaningful, and makes life something that can be risked? That is basically what Asimov puts forward as an idea in this book. So far, I'm loving it. I find the dialogue extremely interesting, though the action leaves a lot to be desired.

I'll keep you posted when I come across anything I think would be of interest in the future. Bye for now!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

I don't particularly care if you believe me about antinatalism

Oh god would that it were true. I care so much what people say about antinatalism it has become a nervous compulsion like picking scabs for me to search on the internet for people badmouthing us. I don't mind people saying we're wrong (oh god I do, I really do), but when they start ad homineming all over the place I get all jittery. I am a horrible person. I say this because it's generally true - I do not meet the standards that most people would put on others to qualify as a true human being. That's mainly because of autism and hatred and depression and bla bla bla you know the drill. But when someone else says not only I, but everyone in this community are horrible people I crawl into a ball inside myself and don't come out for ages. And it's happened before. Once, but there's a lot of hostility in general towards us.

I like to think I'm a polite arguer. I'm not in real life, but on the land of the internet, I am quite mild-mannered. But as far as I can see we've got something of a reputation for being not open-minded and not listening to 'reason', and we use emotional arguments ALL THE TIME. I don't understand how that could be true. I've certainly never seen that going on. Is this all a case of "What you're arguing scares us/violates our most sacred truths, so we will subconsciously view you as a cunt"? Maybe the middle path is best. Maybe we've been a bit too ferocious? I doubt it. But if we have, it's hardly undeserved. I'm not a fan of tit-for-tat, but still, we get regularly abused in forums all the time. You get at least one insult per thread, minimum. And usually there's a lot more than that.

In any case what it comes down to is this: we have a bad rep. How do we fix it? Antinatalist Charity Campaigns? I don't really think we'll be able to fix it until the clouds clear and antinatalism becomes more well known - well known enough for us to stop being called a cult or deluded. Which may not ever happen. But in case it does, I'd say as soon as people stop subconsciously vilifying us, then involvement in actions to prevent human suffering (that aren't assisted suicide or sterilisation) might help our cause. But for the moment we can do NOTHING. est nihil (There is nothing) we can do.
 

You just want the pain to end

"No one wants to end their life, they just want the pain to end". I'm not sure what to make of this one. At first it sounds like another annoying anti-suicide-choice aphorism, but the more I read it the more I'm convinced it's mostly true. The majority of the mentally and physically ill out there longing for suicide would in fact live their lives had they not encountered such pain. But regardless you do have to take into account that suicide ends pain. It takes away every possible pleasure you could feel and in fact every emotion you could feel, but it still ends pain. I went into this in more detail in The Romanticism of Suicide, but essentially to those who have not read that yet, I see suicide as an extremely forceful solution, and like how you would not play a guitar with a knife, or hammer a nail in with a sledgehammer, you do not use it as a solution to everyday problems. The question remains however, do there remain any problems for which suicide COULD be potentially suitable? My answer to this is a definite yes, especially if the pain is chronic AND intense and waiting may end in death anyway - suicide as I said before, is a solution for problems that either cannot be solved traditionally or cause an extreme amount of pain.

What about this saying, then? Well, it is definitely true in all cases in which someone's problem is not life itself (as in, they hate life so much that it is a constant problem to live everyday and no other solution could suffice), but at the same time, this is not what people mean when they say this. They actually intend this to be a rebuttal to the suicidal masses who wish to end their lives - but it is sadly, not, as if you are using it in such a way, you are not taking into account that suicide actually does end pain, even if you forfeit your life. And for some people that decision is exactly what they are ready to make, as everyone values his or her life differently.

But of course if you are reading this and have not been suicidal for a long enough period, and cannot prove you are of calm mind relating to suicide, DO NOT GO THROUGH WITH IT. Suicides done on impulse mean you lack meaningful consent. They are also something you would not have done had you actual consent, meaning it is in your best interests to wait out your suicidal thoughts, (as well as in my best interests, because I have empathy for you).

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Don't sacrifice your children to the Sun God

I find it hard to feel strongly about anything these days. But I still feel, in a sense, outrage when I think about some of the things that religious people are allowed to do. I think it's a fine thing to be religious, and I think you ought to have the right to do with yourself as you please (as long as it hurts no one else etc.), but when you force things onto to children, who probably (maybe not in the case of child geniuses) cannot give consent - not that consent would matter in this case as you'd force them into it anyway - you are impacting heavily on freedoms you would strongly defend if it were you in the place of your own children. I will provide three major examples: Indoctrination, Circumcision and Fasting. All three of these violate the consent of the child, and two of them cause suffering from the outset.

Indoctrination annoys me quite a lot. Not only because it creates yet more zombies hellbent on procreating this world into a nest of ants, with each of us crawling over one another to get by, but because having a religion is a sufficiently large enough decision that indoctrination will always be felt as a breach of rights. You may argue that parents can act 'by proxy' to consent for their children, but in this case doing so easily allows cults to spread, and for children to suffer nightmares from visions of hell and such. Clearly since this involves suffering, consent does matter. Is it not better to simply wait until the child is older to let them decide about matters of religion? Also consider a person forcibly brainwashes you into believing in his or her religion. Would you not protest against such a thing happening? Why don't you stop the same thing happening when you do it to your own child?

Circumcision is pretty easy to argue against: if someone held you down and cut off your earlobe, without anaesthesia, would you sue them? Is that clearly not assault? Does the consent by proxy argument work here? No, because clearly this is a matter that brings real suffering and is completely and utterly useless. If a parent can consent to circumcise their child, then a parent can consent to mutilate their child in any way they want as long as it heals eventually and doesn't bring lasting harm. Even if it brought no suffering, the fact that it can go wrong, and little boys can suddenly find themselves becoming more like little girls overnight, means that something for little to no reason can result in life-changing consequences. It's okay to get circumcised later on in life of course, and I don't see why a religious delusion has to be upheld like this just because we're afraid to step on a few toes.

Forcing kids to fast is something a lot of atheists don't address, but which annoys me all the same. That's the same thing as forcing them to suffer - for little to no reason at all, again. It is DIRECTLY forcing them to suffer, as constant hunger is exactly the same thing. As with all these things, it is barbaric - a relic of times when people had to show in-group loyalty fiercely as food was scarce. The nomadic Abrahamic religions' cruelty I suspect can all be traced back to these conditions.

Don't mutilate your children, don't let them starve, don't brainwash them, and don't sacrifice them for a good harvest next year. Be religious, but remember that greater powers than your imaginary beings should bind you at all times.

EDIT: Think I was wrong on the indoctrination part - it's committing harm because you're forcing them to believe in scary lies, but not forcing them to believe in barbaric rituals could also be considered a harm. It's a Catch-22 situation. Indoctrination is bad only if a scientific study proves religious from birth happier than atheist/agnostic from birth.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

The Romanticism of Suicide: When Is it Ever Justified?

Dedicated to Handan, whom I assume is resting in peace.

Logical Suicide Versus Emotional Suicide
Suicide for many of us has become a playful fantasy - an intense dream glimmering with a romantic aura. Even at my most anhedonic, my body can still yearn for suicide as if it requires it to 'go on', even if I experience no pleasure from fantasising about it. 

But what people have to realise first and foremost if you have a mental illness, is that suicide is not your traditional escape. It erases a lot of problems, but at the same time it erases you. The first question a would-be suicide must ask themself is whether, if their problems were solved, would they continue to live? The answer in most cases is probably a yes, whether begrudgingly or not. But using suicide as a solution could be the same as using a sledgehammer to knock in a nail in some cases. Suicide, as far as I see it, can only be logically applied for problems that either cause too much suffering or cannot be solved. It is not wise, I hope we can agree, to commit suicide when one enjoys life but has just contracted a stomach flu, because it furthers one's goals and desires more than it fulfills the need not to suffer. Also in this case, it would most likely be emotionally based. What I believe I came across on an anti-suicide (but not a anti-suicide as most are) website once still holds: if you are really prepared to make the biggest decision of your life, then why aren't you prepared to wait for a few days at least to see if you'll reconsider? Suicide is a monumental decision, and hence people should be aware that to some extent they cannot trust their own judgement on it without a good amount of time passing them by. It is also not wise to commit suicide when you have failed your exams, because although your future income may now be lower, you won't suffer to any extreme length due to this. This problem may also be solved by simply retaking those exams, instead of being solved by suicide, the all-purpose cleanser.

Fitting those Requirements


A pen-pal (I think that's the word for e-mail friend) of mine recently committed suicide, and in her case she did not have a mental illness so much as an existential illness. While she was wide awake, performed excellently with a guitar and had long-distance running as a hobby, and most certainly felt pleasure in her life, she could not get past in life her insurmountable hatred for the way things are in the world. This is what I can glean from her past replies to my e-mails, in any case. Her problem was one that could never have been solved in the first place without either the power of a deity or an extremely realistic virtual reality machine. It was also an illness that was causing her quite a bit of suffering; she could not go through the day without hating the world more and more, without despising the desperate void of nothingness and the unthinking masses and the suffering all around us. If she was bad at anything, she was bad at self-delusion. And again, that is an insolvable problem for one whose values do not allow a change in this.

I did what I said you should always do when you come across a suicidal person: try to convince them not to. But after we came to the understanding that she had been this way for quite some time, I decided to simply support her decision.*

If you're wondering why I haven't discussed the relevance of family and friends, new readers, it's because I've already done so in other posts, mainly this one. Along with that, Franc had an excellent article on the same subject, which I am prone to using to argue with people on the matter.



*Don't hate me for not calling the cops on her for expressing her long-lasting belief about what would be best for her. I couldn't in any case as she lived in a different country.  

Saturday, 30 June 2012

4 Reasons 'Free Disposal' is Incorrect

1. Tall buildings are often cordoned off
2. Suicide is incredibly hard to perform because of instinctual survival mechanisms, and because of love for one's family, friends etc.
3. There is always a chance of rescue, no matter how slim, and some people, like me, cannot afford to risk becoming paralysed with an even worse quality of life
4. Just because someone kills themselves does not mean all the suffering in their lives is negated. In fact, none of it is. In the immortal words of E.M. Cioran: "It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late". 

The fact that suicide does not mean suffering is cancelled is one of the many things antinatalism is based upon - because people should not be forced to suffer just because happy people exist. What would those happy people be deprived of had they not existed? Nothing, because non-existent people cannot be deprived of anything. What are depressed people deprived of? A lot.

Eat this, Bryan Caplan. 

EDIT: Super Duper Extra Bonus Reason: Suicide is often painful, which means you have to pay your way in suffering to actually get out of this horrible place. Which isn't exactly 'Free Disposal', is it, Bry-Bry? Was that in your plan, Caplan? Sorry, can't help myself.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Your life is not a story, not even a tragic one

This is probably going to be a short post, owing to the tremendous writer's block tying me down at the moment. I COULD review something, anything, but to be honest I haven't done enough yet to review enough to make a full-ish post. So I'll just keep things short and sweet.
EDIT: It didn't turn out to be all that short after all. Hooray!

We all know at some intrinsic level that we want our lives to be a story - generally a happy story, or a rollercoaster ride at least, but regardless of that, any story will suffice. People can even find meaning out of tragic stories, filled with unimaginable harshness. But the reality is, life is not a story. Things do not work out in a way that can easily be parsed by a human mind. Things are predetermined (or else random, even worse), but predetermined in a random way, or at least in a way that is not at all meaningful to the human psyche. So while we can make TV shows and books and the like showing what our hearts truly desire - for us to be entrapped in a reality is interesting from start to finish, or that always sticks to a particular formula.

But even if we can pretend so, or if we sincerely hope so, lives are not stories. Stories are well-defined from start to finish, and have a definite plot. They are not made by random number generation, nor by atoms colliding in a particular way. Why is it that human lives are not stories, exactly? Because (a they have long periods of nothingness (e.g. sleep) and long periods of relentless boredom. And while stories may often be boring, they do not contain constant boredom. Only boredom to serve a plot point that progresses the character of the story. Tragic stories do not even contain boredom, because it is not as suffering-heavy as other forms of suffering out there. Boredom is the most meaningless emotion, I think. Having most of our days (whether through work or school) filled with boredom does not a story make. If the rest of our lives did in fact fit the story pattern, there would be so little of that pattern that you could not consider it anything more than negligible.

But what if you still argued that lives were still stories even if the vast majority of them were filled by long spans of trash and unintelligible low-level suffering? The problem with that is that most of them still do not resemble anything meaningful. A typical life may contain divorce or an unhappy marriage, or at least a slow extremely painful decline into old age riddled with tubes and drugs and tears. Are all lives tragedies then? No, because they contain happy moments, and the ending is certainly not happy. Also the protagonists feel that their lives are good usually. Are all lives protest stories about how things can go wrong? No because they often get a lot better, then get worse, then get better again. Things just happen. Randomly. Are all lives roller-coaster rides then? No, because they are filled with much of the mundane. Only a few moments are actually charged with particular emotion. Add in the fact that most of us spend little of our lives now actually living and instead entertaining ourselves with REAL stories and you have a recipe, not for disaster, but for nothing at all.

Thanks to Sister Y, for introducing (as far as I know) the idea that people accept suffering because it makes their life into a story, here and in a few other places too, I think.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A Cure for Autism

 I don't like it when people refer to autistics being not disordered, but 'differently ordered'. If I smash up a vase and glue it back together again, it's still in an ordered state, true, just one that doesn't work whatsoever. Now autism isn't quite so dramatic a change as that, but it has the potential to be devastating to any who have it. Pretending it isn't a brain disorder is only going to lead to more suffering in the world. Are most people out there who believe a cure should never be made autistic, or their family? Because more and more I'm starting to think that only someone without a debilitating condition that robs you of social interaction would be able to call any form of autism, whether low-functioning or high-functioning, a 'differently ordered' state of mind, or who would not seek a cure for such an ailment. Don't get me wrong I'm not sure a cure will be found for a long time without our knowledge of the brain increasing perhaps a thousandfold, but if it is found, it will probably stop a lot of despair.

It's easy to judge me as an evil person for thinking that autism is something that should always be cured unless the user wishes to keep it (if they can't give meaningful consent, I'd say curing should be the de facto stance), because it's a feel-good theory that there aren't so many people out there suffering because they are in a world that depends upon social interaction wherein they can provide little to none. People like to believe that the suffering in the world isn't really there, which is why Bryan Caplan, the Smartest Man Who Ever Lived, who Always Thinks Things Through Rationally, and who is A True Bayesian, thinks that living in poverty is a-okay because poor people have some happy times*.

In any case the prose upgrade has been downgraded for now. Sorry about that, but it's rambling short posts for now! I'd write more, but the Inspiration Fairy has gone to someone else I think.


*He seems to think that everyone adapts to things to become happy in them. Wonder why so many poor people are depressed or angry then? Are gangmembers happy when they kill others? Do you think if they had a million dollars (etc.) they'd still be in a gang?
  

Sunday, 10 June 2012

"Nothing left to say"

At many points during this blogging career of sorts, I've thought this and planned on abandoning the blog entirely - at one point I even tried putting it to another use. I never really could thanks to heartfelt memories, but that's been pretty much the only thing given the anhedonia, the concentration issues and the avolition. I'll go into them on my other blog.

But when this thought appears to rear its ugly head every once in a while, it always is vanquished soundly by a new surge of posting. Am I scraping the barrel with those new posts? No. The inspiration comes, and I write. I don't feel I'm repeating myself though maybe I am, and I'm probably repeating what others have said, but what it all comes down to is that I just don't care. I don't care about these things. This is writing practice. This is a link to like-minded people. And moreover, this is a constant reminder of the truth of reality, no matter how biting it may be, so lest my loins feel the urge to spring forth a portion of a new generation, I can correct myself and remember that I have no right to fool around with the lives of others.

I have probably not covered anything useful in my blog. It probably won't be of much use to you. I still don't care. And should you decide upon creating something of your own, or are already in the process, you shouldn't care either. Blog because it makes you feel connected, and blog because antinatalism has saved you from making the worst mistake of your life (or, not making the same mistake again, at least). Blog most of all, because other people, or at least I, will look forward to seeing your next blog post. You don't even have to add anything meaningful. Saying something as simply as: "I don't like the world. Could you give me all your reasons for not liking it?" and waiting for comments should give you pleasure and others pleasure in the same way.

So I'll try not to kick myself too much when I'm down and considering the ultimate end to my blogging voyage. There is always one more post you can squeeze out, is what the point of this is, anyway.

If you've noticed a warmth returning to my prose, it's probably a moodswing, or it could be something better! Who knows. Who cares. I'll discuss that on the other blog in due time, by the way. 

Friday, 8 June 2012

Reasons to be antinatalist, and reasons pets are better

I'm thinking despite my tremendous writer's block that comes every now and again (read: when I'm depressed and my concentration suffers badly) I can probably write a little more, but in the form of lists.

A condensed version of antinatalism
1. Risks to child.
1.1 Immoral to gamble on someone else's life
2. Causes eventual suffering. By Do No Harm principle in human morality, this is wrong.
3. We do not notice how much pain there is in life. In actual fact there may be more pain than pleasure, due to boredom and tiredness due to constant school or work. If this is so, then from a purely utilitarian point of view, life creates more suffering than pleasure.
4. Pleasure does not matter at all in the equation because non-existent people are not deprived of any pleasure, so there can never be a reason to create a child.
4.1 Non-existent people turned into existent people do not benefit from pleasure (they were not deprived of it), but at the same time are hurt by pain, since before existing they knew know pain, figuratively speaking.
5. There is no duty to cause pleasure in others. Clowns are not heroes because they make people laugh. It is not required that you spend one hour each day causing someone pleasure by your morality, though to stop someone suffering is a different matter. We do not believe an action is moral intuitively that causes pleasure to others, that's merely a neutral thing - it is not immoral to neglect to cause another person pleasure if you can. An immoral action on the other hand is one that causes suffering to others - and neglecting to stop suffering when you have the chance (such as if you see a person about to be hit by a bus, and can save them with no risk to yourself) is generally immoral. Therefore it can never be argued that we should create people because making happy people is a duty.

Reasons pets are better than children
1. They stay cute forever
2. Won't grow to hate you unless you do something seriously wrong
3. Rebellious phase lasts at most a year
4. YOU AREN'T BRINGING MORE SUFFERING INTO THE WORLD
5. They are probably fluffy and warm
6. Teeth and claws may tear your skin, but a child's words will hurt you forever
7. They won't ever become smarter than you and start correcting you on things
 Probably a lot more as well that I can't really think of right now.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Update on my views on waiting periods

I've argued for waiting periods before a suicide to distinguish between the not-truly-suicidal and the permanently suicidal before, but I've never really explained in detail why. However, Franc's excellent post gave me enough incentive and inspiration to figure out why exactly my emotions tell me it is wrong to let suicidal thinkers (as opposed to those who are firm in their desire to commit suicide) commit suicide.

Me:
Just one thing: explain to me again why you don’t want a waiting period? My justification for the imposition of suffering was the violation of the right to live (the logic goes: they don’t really want to die, they are doing this to show people they are in a desperate situation – which is true of some people)* from those (and there are many) who could not give meaningful consent – and the only way to be able to give meaningful consent when you’re about to commit suicide is to show that you are firm in your wish to die and it’s not a one-off choice. I’m not sure now whether that’s the correct attitude to have or not, due to this article. *I try not now to talk about “future utility lost” because due to the nature of the universe, anything could lead to future positive utility being lost. You cannot be deprived of future positive utility because you do not own a particular future – that would make things, well, weird and unhelpful. Thanks to Bazompora

Francois Tremblay:
 Actually, I didn’t say anything about waiting periods, Gomi did.  I haven’t even considered the issue at all, in the entry or in my head. (text omitted about a mistake on my part) Anyhow, I think the main point is this: “the only way to be able to give meaningful consent when you’re about to commit suicide is to show that you are firm in your wish to die and it’s not a one-off choice." Okay, but why is suicide a special situation? Why do we not argue this for everything else? We should have waiting periods for new jobs, any sexual activity (including cuddling and kissing), as well as buying anything at all. Or maybe you can demonstrate that suicide is indeed a special situation re: consent. Either way I look forward to your reply (partially because I like you, and partially because you are a commentator on my blog who is not Gomi).

My reply:
I’m inclined to think that it’s a special situation because it’s probably one of the only situations where no more opportunities will arise. There should be waiting periods for incredibly risky things I feel – anything that could cause death, and suicide is related to that. Ordinary decisions can be recovered from – eventually if you get the wrong job your income could recover. If you kill yourself, you won’t ever have the chance to reverse your decision, while most decisions in life can be effectively reversed (e.g. marriage by divorce). So since non-reversible decisions could possibly have more of an effect than reversible ones, waiting periods should be installed before they are undertaken. If I weren’t against having children entirely, I’d say that abortion should have a waiting period (albeit not too long) installed.

Yes yes I'm a lazy narcissistic twat for not putting this into different words and making a proper post of things. But at least my views have levelled up a bit. Sorry, too many video games.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Every life matters

While one more life created certainly won't do much to the total suffering of the world relatively, it not only does a lot to the person being created (making them go through grief, anguish, fear etc. in the normal course of a life), but also cannot follow from human morality. Humans do not instinctively feel it is right to do harm. And therefore a variety of things, unless cancelling occurs (right to live cancels not harming an attacker for example), since they are wrong from the start, do not end up becoming right.

This is the same thing as having a child essentially. The wrong act of creating the child, even if it leads to good things, like say ending world hunger, is still a wrong act. It's still something, if you're following your morality, you should not do. Why is having a child wrong? Because you are causing another human being to suffer. That is something that is intuitively morally wrong. How are they being caused to suffer? Every human life goes through suffering, and so too shall this one. Was it actually caused by the parents of the individual, or was it out of their hands? It was caused by them, because without the child being born none of the suffering would have occurred.

I can't make this post longer without changing the topic, so I'll keep it short.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Robots and Aliens: The Reviews

I don't think I'm very good at writing reviews. And moreover there is nothing to recommend on the antinatalist end, or rather, there is nothing I can recommend given that I do a lot of mindless things. I'm not very high culture, and I don't particularly care. Well, I sort of do, but it's more in a "Hey maybe I could be like you guys and we could be friends" sort of caring, not a "I must be like this and will spend every moment of my day pretending that I am high culture until I become that way" sort of caring. I don't hate high culture things. I like reading old literature. I just play video games a hell of a lot more than I do that. Video games = instant rewards, as long as you put in the effort. Ancient Literature = a lot of effort for more long term rewards. My hamster brain can't fathom doing anything for anything but instant gratification, but sometimes I find myself veering off into the dark corners of my mind and reading things that are 'high culture'. In any case, on with the reviews..

District 9 is a standard Disney story about why you shouldn't be a prejudiced jerk when it comes to people who are different from you. The protagonist - neither hero nor antihero, but simply, a human, with all the realistic emotions associated with human beings, follows the standard protagonist not respectful of group, protagonist is in some way attached to group, protagonist and group member share common goal, end up saving each other's lives, and become friends (sort of in this case).

This is nothing new. It is not, you see, what the story was. It is HOW INSANELY BRILLIANTLY IT WAS EXECUTED. I cannot express to you enough how much I loved this. It broke through the anhedonia barrier and the depersonalisation barrier for me. It was just an incredible experience, full of incredibly realistic interactions between humans and aliens - or at least, that's the way it seems to me. There is one part that's a bit stupid, but was pretty necessary for the plot. I'm not spoiling it for you, so if you want to know what it was, just email me or whatever.

I've also been reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, and I'm finding it pretty great so far. These classic sci-fi writers tend to have had seriously powerful imaginations, and it really shows here. You find yourself questioning who is an android and who isn't, and whether that really matters for the most part. What's the difference between an android and a sociopath? We won't know until we figure out what consciousness is. Maybe Roger Penrose is right and it's something to do with quantum physics - maybe computation alone just doesn't cut it. Or maybe computation DOES cut it and we are on the verge of creating a sentient being by mistake (which is okay antinatalists because it won't suffer - consent not violated as no true consent is involved where there is no suffering.) I don't know, so I'm not going to speculate much.

Also on robots, I've been playing a lot of the classic Megaman games. God, they're great. They take escapism to a whole new level once you aren't so annoyed at dying so much - the worlds you go through are just fantastic. It's strange how it's taken for granted that Megaman (or Rockman if you're Japanese) himself is sentient and loves justice. He isn't a cyborg - he's fully robotic. Always has been, always will be. Which is a strange move by game designers. Putting sentience in a robot so it can do chores for you or kill the robots who do chores for you badly isn't bad because no suffering occurs at all because of that. But Megaman and his robotic brethren have actual emotions, I think. Megaman is a murderer by commission. He doesn't try to talk his brothers down to stop them rebelling against humans, and he doesn't question why he always follows orders, he just kills them. It is not right to create Megaman, by the way. Robots with emotions and sentience that do stuff for us...or else? That's downright slavery. This entire video game series is about a high level slave going around killing the slaves who start rebellions. And I still can't bring myself to stop playing each game multiple times.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The making of an antinatalist

What creates an antinatalist? What would turn otherwise ordinary folk going about their day into evil pessimistic cretins, knitting the fabric of reality into ugly curtains and such? The answer in my case has simply been a hatred of what goes on in the world combined with a hatred with what goes on in my life which led me to be susceptible to such claims. But what actually pushed me from "Ha well it would be nice if the human race died out but I don't think there's a moral reason for it" to all high-and-mighty, antinatalism spouting arrogance-master estnihil was just time. I just had to be exposed to the ideas time after time, and given time for the ideas to sink in, and after giving myself time to try to refute such arguments to no success, I eventually arrived at antinatalism.

And I expect the same is true of most antinatalists. I don't expect that every antinatalist hated the world and looked for reasons to justify their hatred - though a good amount certainly walked my path I'd guess. But what I do expect is that, for some reason or other, pre-antinatalists became antinatalists simply through repeated exposure, and possibly through innate susceptibility (caused by knowledge of world already). Now being exposed repeatedly doesn't have to happen through world-hatred per se. It could easily develop merely by hearing about antinatalism and viewing it as an interesting subject, even if untrue.  If you go through the arguments enough, find yourself constantly unable to pick out any flaws, then you will eventually find yourself becoming an antinatalist, as a rule, unless you are in some way biased in favour of natalism.

So no, we aren't all depressed freaks waiting for the bus, trying to pass some time by writing a blog (I am, though). Antinatalism does not require depression. It doesn't even require Weltschmerz. You don't have to hate the world to be an antinatalist - though it CAN help you get to that point. DON'T MISQUOTE ME, you really, really don't have to be in a comatose, destroy-the-world, I-wish-I-was-never-born kind of mood to favour antinatalism. I have met several such people who are not of that opinion (though they have no blogs). This post is for you, critics. Antinatalism is not a mental illness, nor is it revenge against the world. It is a philosophical position justified by a heck of a lot of logic. If you can argue with it, then fine. You're justified in saying it is wrong, and if I see your arguments I will change my position. But if you can only say "you guys are whiny/emo/depressed" or "antinatalism is absurd/unsound/based on faulty logic" and expect me to change my position, then you will sadly be mistaken.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The Pesssimist Gap

What I have entitled the Pessimist Gap is the gap in reality-experiencing an 'unenlightened' person, let's say, and a Pessimist's experience. The Pessimist sees no reason to live such pointless lives where so little happiness is guaranteed, and where no one comes out alive, hence why there is no reason to breed. Hence when this very same Pessimist looks upon one who is not quite so pessimistic, they cannot see why exactly it is that the non-pessimist appears as if the horrible, desperate situation of life and the universe does not vex them in the slightest. It is the same for most non-pessimists out there, as far as appearances go. The simple solution is that things are not as they appear, and there is actually a gap between the realities that each player is perceiving.

This strangeness is explained by the fact that it appears perfectly obvious in the non-pessimist world that obviously we will be happier in the future, because we'll get that new bathroom suite we've always dreamed of! There is obviously a point to life, but we'll leave that for philosophers to figure out - common folk needn't worry themselves with such things. Death isn't final, or if it is, all the more reason to enjoy one's life and pass on the gift to others! The horrible situation we pessimists talk about is not at all horrible to anyone that is in 'Realist'-mode. Not even the absence of free will, which destines us to a multitude of suffering we neither wished for nor did our parents wish for, manages to knock people out of their trance. Don't think. Feel. That is the message of the Realists. As long as you feel happy, it's okay to have children. Don't question anything, so don't question the most basic premises of life to check if they are built on steady ground or not. Don't check whether the biggest decision of your life is the right one or not. Don't think - feel.

So are they brainwashed then? Does that not imply that the natural state of human beings is one of questioning reality? Well, that could be true, but we'd need a study done on existential thoughts in people first. I don't think genes would really allow that, but then, they don't control absolutely everything. It could be a universal fault impossible to get rid of that just comes with the territory of an advanced brain.
But if it is brainwashing, then in a lot of cases it is voluntary brainwashing, as a lot, A LOT of depressed people have these thoughts, and those who become cured basically still go on to have children, or to believe in (a) god(s), or to write happy self-help books about how life is great. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

What do you do when someone is suicidal?

The answer should always be, whether you're pro-choice suicide or not, is to talk that person out of it. This is not out of disrespect for the possibility that they are fully aware of what they are doing, but rather cautious covering-all-the-bases in case they are not. You can't take the risk that by agreeing with them on the sorry and disgusting state of the world you are enticing them to commit an act that they would otherwise regret. You have to take things cautiously, ask them why they do not want to exist, ask them how long they've been steady in this desire, and moreover, if there is anything that would change their desire. There, are probably hundreds more questions you could ask to ascertain whether a person is suicidal because life is currently hard and it looks like a good way to escape, or suicidal because life has always been hard and it seems the best choice in this circumstance.

There's a reason you can't just walk into a Euthanasia clinic and not come out the next day, or rather come out in a body bag the next day. If you really want to commit suicide, not out of acute pain, but chronic pain, or a hatred of life, then you should be prepared to wait at least a little longer. If you cannot do that, then it may be possible you are correct in your wish to die, but it's actually more likely that you would choose not to had you been in a better state of mind. These are the suicide-attempters that can truly be saved. You cannot save someone who TRULY wants to die, unless you save them from life in assisting their suicide, which is illegal in a lot of places.

So is it right to force more suffering onto people to make sure other people who are not in the right state of mind come to the right state of mind? It's a simple trade-off. How many lives wasted are you prepared to see for wishes fulfilled? I think most people would come to the conclusion that making the suicidal wait to commit suicide is a valid alternative to having people who would otherwise not be suicidal if they were thinking straight dying unnecessarily. Therefore, you should talk people out of suicide or at least ask them to wait for a while before supporting them in their wish to die.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Why is life's preciousness an assumption?

Why is it taken for granted that life is always precious, as a whole, no matter what circumstances a person is in? Because it is finite, and unlikely to happen? Cancer often lasts for a finite duration, and is unlikely to happen. Why is it not precious, then, by the same reasoning?

I hypothesise the life is precious only if it feels to an individual person that it is precious. Never as a whole, because there is most likely no objective meaning or God to tell us what is worthwhile and what is not. What I mean by feel, is whether they think that their own life is precious or it matches up with their values to declare that life is precious.

Of course, there's probably no real definitive answer, because, as I've said before, you can't talk about subjective values on a universal scale, only on the scale of humans - and humans vary so intensely that it's hard to make sweeping generalisations. Life being precious for everyone sounds quite probabilistically untrue, as there are an extremely large quantity of ways you can arrange people so this life is precious, this life isn't etc. but only one way of all lives being precious. That's my simple analysis anyway. It could still be true, but is just quite unlikely. Life's inherent preciousness has no evidence for it as far as I can see, while life being given preciousness by subjective values has more evidence in that a lot of people DON'T treat their lives as precious (taking unnecessary risks - effective suicidality), which is odd due to the widespread meme of life's preciousness being ingrained into most people. What causes them to suddenly reject that? It's subjective evidence, but it's more than life's inherent preciousness has.

I've probably tied myself in knots doing this, and no objective values etc. makes things a lot harder and probably a lot more futile. Still, I don't like believing that my life is precious when it is quite clearly something that does not feel that way, which is hence why I personally reject any such claim. But that's based on absolutely nothing, so I'm still racking my brains trying to come up with something to refute something that sounds so baseless and intuitively wrong to me.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Being 'Pessimistic' is being Realistic

What do we want? Are we getting it? If not, pretend that you'll get it in the future. You are being a Realist.
What do we wish for? Will we ever achieve it? If not, pretend we don't wish for it at all. You are being a typical person.
What is there in life? Is there anything beyond the meaninglessness and the distractions? If not, pretend there is. You are being religious.

Anything else and you are probably being pessimistic, if I haven't neglected some other choice (which I probably have, given how many ways of pretending things in front of us are in fact daisies and sunshine). What's so good about this? Nothing at all, except that it helps us make the right decisions, for us anyway, though maybe not for emotionless cold robots. Such as antinatalism, for one. Which is not really for robots at all, since it does carry the little assumption "Ye must not like suffering". Which is a simple assumption for most of humanity, in fact, so that's fine as far as we're concerned. But not if you're a Boltzmann brain. But as for Pessimism, is it really worth following?

Well, it depends on whether you are a sociopath or not. I've already said that most of humanity cares about suffering. Sociopaths only really care about their own suffering, so as a result, can't truly be benefitted by following antinatalism, and will probably actually suffer more, since it's easier to just believe that everything is awesome and the world is a haven. Ordinary people however, have their moral values furthered exponentially, as they do not have children, and their children do not have children and so on.

So you can expect a very large return out of following antinatalism and not having kids, if you aren't a sociopath. But, well, the rest of Pessimism isn't the best really. It's only for people, I'd say, who tend towards preferring the truth over lies, as I do. And there is a lot about our worldly situation that is not rainbows and cookies.

So should the standard human being pick and choose which parts of Pessimism to follow? Or should they swallow the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Probably the former in my opinion, if they want to die of natural causes. Pessimism is the act of throwing Hope into the shredder and laughing at its screams. You don't get much further from the pursuit of Happiness than that. On one hand while this may be a good thing, as maybe you spend more time distracting yourself (more pleasure) than seeking things that you know won't come to any great reward in the end. Though to be honest, I'm not altogether sure whether seeking is for most people a state of pleasure, or a state of painful desire. If it's mainly pleasurable, then again it may be potentially less depressing to just be Pessimistic enough to maximise your morality, but not enough to send yourself into a coma.

So should we be spreading the Pessimistic word? Yes, if we want friends who are closely related to us in opinion. But I don't know for sure if Pessimism, over a long period of time, makes people happier or not. Zapffe sure didn't seem too depressed, but that's anecdotal, so I can't give an overall yes or an overall no. Yikes, an undecided post.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Stopping those meandering pity posts at the root

I'm not writing about my life here anymore. I've decided that if I'm going to do something, I might as well not do it half-assed. So if you somehow managed to salvage something out of my pity-party posts, you can email me and I'll tell you the address of the new blog I made for such things. The reason it's semi-private is because I don't want others associating my whiny rants with antinatalism, I've done that enough already. The aforementioned posts will still stay up on this blog, but I am currently going to try my hardest not to let any others slip by. Yeah it's my blog, I have the right to do whatever I want with it yadda yadda, but essentially what I want is to have an audience, write thoughtful things, and to somehow see if I can spread a little bit of that antinatalist joy we all talk about.

If I can't do that, I'll review various things. As long as I'm not writing posts like I did. I don't mean that I am completely ashamed of them, it's rather, they don't belong here on one hand, and on the other, I never really divulged anything particularly personal - as I said, I was doing things half-assed. I'm doing things full-assed instead, you might say, if you were drunk, on that other blog, and being as whiny as possible, in hopefully what is my true voice, or at least, a persona closer to my actual 'self'.

Also, one thing I've realised recently is that you can't argue with people on antinatalism (I should have learnt this a long time ago, I swear). Well, you can. But they're not going to listen. It's like saying the sky is green and it's immoral to think that the sky is blue. That's what antinatalism sounds like, I think, to people not especially prepared for it. But how does one become prepared for a theory like antinatalism? I've mentioned before, but it's possible that a little anti-bias training should help. It sounds that way, anyway. But in practice, I don't think a lot of Less Wrong or Overcoming Bias would be inclined to do anything else than pull down their lower clothing, prepare their anuses and launch a steamy turd over the things we say. It could be mortality salience, as Sister Y suggests applies to why this doesn't exactly work (see my comment there), and if it is, also suggested by Sister Y (ingeniously), then this can be worked around potentially by tricking any potential believers into thinking we are talking about something entirely different, but eerily similar to someone used to seeing these situations - such as virtual reality. I might try her questionnaire at some stage on some unknowing 'victims', to see if I can't break a few eggs. By which I mean egg cells, hoho.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Why Killing is Wrong and the Doomsday Button too

Killing is wrong, I decided a while back, not just because of the negative utility experienced by humans prior to their death because of the killing ritual, but because any human killed is effectively robbed of the positive utility they would have had after death, along with their consent being violated. In this case by the way it IS meaningful consent, as suffering, or at least loss of positive utility, will occur. Therefore, the Doomsday Button is probably immoral to push, as it essentially kills everyone on Earth.

EDIT: Look in the comments section. Thanks to Bazompora, who corrected me on this one, I now believe you CANNOT be robbed of positive utility, simply because the act of being robbed implies deprivation, which implies that the 'owner' had a right to their future utility - which is absurd, because owning one's future would have hilarious consequences (sort of). Anything can change one's future utility, so you can't say that the dog crapping on the street robbed you of 10 more years of life, even if you would have live 10 more years had it not set in motions a chain of events because of that.

You must before doing something like this consider that the vast majority of humans on this world want to be alive, and have a right to choose whether to live or die as they see fit (see this, especially the end). Therefore the Doomsday button is wrong because you a breaking a fundamental moral right, so says moral intuition. But is being robbed of positive utility really such a crime?

Moral intuition, again, says yes. If you slander someone and stop them from getting a highly-paid job that would have raised their positive utility compared to their state otherwise, you have quite obviously done a bad thing. So the Doomsday button is doubly wrong, sadly.

But can you just say, for the greater good, since more lives of suffering will not have been made? No, because morality does not take into account the greater good, it takes into account a harm, and a harm is something you cannot do if you do not wish to violate your morality, which people generally do not seek to do for feelings of guilt. For the purposes of this discussion, breaking of consent, violation of rights and loss of positive utility most likely constitute harms.

I'm a little rusty in my morality arguments, but reading over things I might get a bit better. If I can be bothered. In any case, until next time.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Transhumanism and Antinatalism: Siblings Separated at Birth?

You know, antinatalism isn't the last hope for the world. I think I may have said this before, but if transhumanism DOES work out, then all of antinatalism's qualms are pretty much sated, at least by my understanding (about meaningful consent and such). Now while I understand while people may say that waiting for a transhumanist society to spring up from nothing but pure scientific effort is literally torture for some people, and suffering for EVERYONE, CONSTANTLY, DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY, you know the drill, the world antinatalism thing just might not happen. People do not like being told to stop making others suffer. None of us are saints, and we all jump at the prospect to manufacture another being to be a personal love-sponge for a decade or two. Selfishness overcomes empathy, and actually masquerades as empathy (for people not even born!) in this case. Unless the whole world is ruled by a series of antinatalist dictators, antinatalists will always be outbred. Any single surviving person who goes on to breed continues the agony and passes down memes to spawn more genes to spawn more memes and so on. Antinatalism is an unrealistic kind of philosophy in that respect, I think*. Transhumanism has the advantage, however, of being something easily intellectually parsed - do you want to suffer less? "Hell yes!". And that way a David Pearce utopia is created. Well, not quite that easily. Some people do feel that they should suffer as this makes them 'stronger'. However, as memes shift with the generations, I predict that it shall become more and more 'trendy' (this meme will become more frequent) to say that suffering should be abolished. I wager this because I think that already people would agree to have their boredom or their stressing or their unfulfilled desires removed, and these people are the ones that are in the majority. Eventually they SHOULD outbreed those with said minority opinion - and if they don't, maybe the transhumanity majority will actively force the 'real' human minority to stop breeding, if they're really concerned with eliminating suffering in the world (maybe their empathy drives have been increased to stop crime?).

Of course maybe this is too optimistic. Maybe religions will dominate in the future, and prevent science from marching on once and for all. I really can't tell. But I do know that while it's better to espouse antinatalism in this lifetime, supporting transhumanism is also a realistic alternative to ending suffering - sort of, maybe.


*THIS IS NOT AN "I AM LEAVING THE COMMUNITY" NOTE. I will always be an antinatalist, don't worry.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Big Reveal

 An idea about a potential antinatalist post came to me in a dream last night. I forgot all about it.
I feel like something of a coward for never really revealing to all of you the ins and outs of my life, as this is partly, more than 50% if the stats are anything to go by, a mental health blog. But there are reasons for not telling you anything but the bare bones of my rather colorful (various shades of gray) life. One is the coward part - I'm pretty embarrassed about a lot of my life, generally because by society's standards, I should be. Now while I am generally not inclined to follow such arbitrary standards, my feeble yet effective emotions force me to not post things on this blog that would betray my true inner core of nothingness and pettiness. I can describe objectively how I am definitely that sort of person, but, heaven forbid I'd ever reveal to you my actual scattered thoughts that lead me to describe myself in this way. Newsflash, if I haven't warned you enough about my dastardly chameleon ways*, the style of writing here is not how I actually think, or how my internal monologue goes. I am writing for an audience here, and doing anything else (at the current time) would make me feel as if my abdomen were being slowly ripped open with each new word typed. But maybe in the future, I'll create a new blog for any of those interested, and type as who I really am, as opposed to this character, estnihil, that I have created**.

Another reason is that I am deathly scared of anyone I know finding this blog - my friends would not particularly care and would probably troll it, but that would be devastating to me all the same. My family on the other hand is an entirely different matter, and describing the process of my childhood in specific detail would certainly alert them to the fundamental nature of this blog. I don't dare even use my first name here for that reason.

Finally, I feel that by writing here I would be somewhat hurting my chances of eventually writing an autobiography before I die, just in case any of you will ever read such a thing - as I may not be bothered retyping and editing a load of stuff already done for me. But then again it could even help me, what with everything already having been typed out. So this is more a feeling that a concrete reason. Oh and, by the way, I don't think I'm an interesting enough person to have an autobiography made about me. I simply view it to be one of my life goals. It's kind of an immortality fantasy I think, one of the few I have left, but it's also a 'Fuck you world' fantasy, which I have a LOT of in stock for a rainy day. Given that I write an autobiography, I hope that it will serve to remind everyone of how messed up everything is - I'd also stock it chock-full with antinatalist material, if you're wondering how my amateur nowhere-near-as-bad-as-other-people's life could somehow provide others with some sort of Weltschmerz.

I never really know how to end posts, so I'll leave you hanging again using my brilliant charm and wit:
[These lines purposely left blank]


*Most chameleons by the way, DON'T blend in with their backgrounds, and instead of camouflage, use colours to signal their emotions. Also. there's more of that whining about how I'm not a real person boohoo and how I'm manipulative and horrible in the early social posts.

**I'm being a little bit harsh here. Estnihil is more a part of myself that rarely gets used that a complete ex nihilo conjuration from dust. It's still deceptive though, I'm nice enough to tell you how deceptive it is, but sadly horrible and evil and disgusting enough to continue on using 'him' as if nothing had ever happened. Sorry about that.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Should you forgive your parents?

There was a cause for your birth. And as such, if you do not, or have not personally wanted to be in this world, that cause essentially maintains full responsibility for your misgivings. That is to say, your parents are in the wrong, like billions of other such parents. It was their fault, yet it wasn't their fault at all. They were most likely deluded by the various happy chemicals surging through their thought-apparatus, or if your father is Bryan Caplan, simply were too arrogant to believe that you would come to suffer, or that your suffering matters at all because you are 'happy to be alive', or have 'easy access to tall buildings' with which to kill yourself.

Free will is flat-out a myth, I'll spare you the details of that, so it's not as if we can TRULY assign blame for anything. We can simply say, that person has consistently done harmful things to other people, they should be isolated from society to stop more harm occurring. Not so with breeders, however. You can't punish everyone, so says your typical schoolchild. You can't stop harm occurring if everyone is doing it - at least, not via that method. And equally, while you can certainly blame breeders, it's up to you whether or not you can get on with your life despite all the harm they are inflicting upon the world. And unless you become a hermit, you are going to have to interact with one of these people, most likely A LOT of these people.

The problem with blaming your parents for everything is that you should do this for everyone equally. If you are shunning them and acting cold to them for giving birth to you, remember that you don't act this way with other people - who are all equally guilty (well, depends on how many children they have but, for the purposes of this argument, equally). If you are to be consistent with the application of your morality, or in actual fact, your personal preferences for treating others who do wrong, then you should forgive your parents, or be equally angry with the entire world - which is practically a very hard thing to do. Besides, my main man here, JC is willing to speak a few words on the subject - break a leg JC!: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

I did not think I had another antinatalist post left in me. I guess the antinatalism tag isn't going to starve to death quite so soon.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

What I've noticed and a review

I am sorry for the current quality of posts, folks. I know this. I cringe every time I read what I've written, and the only thing I can do to change things is delete, delete, delete. I just don't have the kind of motivation or inspiration to write anything anywhere near as, well, moderately not shit (generous) as I used to. But I'm still writing, because I can't let my writing muscles atrophy. I need to, at some point in the far-off future, write a book, and that's going to require a lot more than I have now.

Also I've noticed that depersonalisation/anhedonia (I'm not sure which, but pretty sure it's the depersonalisation) nullifies the effects of a lot of drugs. I used to get slight bursts of euphoria when I drank a lot of caffeine. No more. But today, I actually intellectually could describe myself as being euphoric but could not in anyway benefit or emotionally feel that euphoria. All I could do was physically find myself lightheaded and inclined to lie down, but with none of the lovely "screw the world, I'm going home to death" feelings I normally get when I'm in such a state. That's pretty weird. And also saddening.

Another thing I've noticed: don't scare yourself if you have severe depersonalisation. In my experience, that makes it a lot worse. Don't watch things you know will scare you, or play horror video games. It sent me from recovering slightly (almost) from DP/DR to straight back in the deep end. I can't stress enough how important this is for anyone suffering - I've heard of others who still watch horror movies and are fine, but just to be on the safe side, I'd suggest not doing it until you recover. Depersonalisation is supposedly the mind's mechanism to recover from some event that has triggered a large amount of stress - such as say, child abuse*, or a near-death experience. I'm inclined to believe that if you suffer more stress, it's only going to exacerbate the symptoms.

I might bring back the review side of things, simply because I don't really have much to say. I can't write anything except my scattered thoughts, and what my thoughts are mainly about is escapism, so might as well run with that. Just finished the Forever War, which was pretty messed up. Loved the sense of hopelessness - it's pretty much implied the protagonist would rather die than go back to Earth several decades into the future, as going back to war entails death. In fact, the overarching kind of despair combined with the atrocities of the army make this book something I quite 'enjoyed' reading, if you know what I mean (anhedonia - if you don't). Despite being told from the first person, you don't really learn much about the protagonist, except that he's a semi-homophobe (and not knowing anything about him REALLY sucks, making the book not the greatest in my opinion). The author isn't, pretty much, so it's not like this gets annoying in the book - I'll not spoil WHY the author probably isn't a homophobe, but you'll find out for yourself eventually. So it's a good book, but just shy of being a great book to me because the characterisation is a tad bad**, and also because the ending is a bit rushed.





*I'm pretty sure in my case it was bullying
**I am saying this because I like this book and am hence biased. Why it is not a great book to me is because the characterisation pretty much didn't seem to be there at all. Maybe I'm not reading between the lines enough, but every character apart from the two mutually violent lovers seemed to have the same cardboard cut-out personality.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Anhedonia advice

The internet, I think, is a good cure for anhedonia. Well, not exactly a cure but, something that takes your mind off of it at least. Searching for things is so remarkably 'light' on my brain that it doesn't cause me any suffering, while reading books and other things inevitably does. But that's something I haven't mentioned to you before; I discovered the Secret of Anhedonia. You cannot sit and contemplate your navel. You will get bored. And boredom with anhedonia is a horrifying experience where your stomach bursts open and spills acid onto the lower organs of your body. Or well, something like that. It hurts a lot, for reasons unknown to me. I guess it could be because even though you try and try your hardest not to think about the anhedonia, it doesn't work, and the horrible understanding of your confinement to this outrageous reality combined with your current boredom and hunger for pleasure makes you go loco, to say the least.

The SECRET to ANHEDONIA is essentially, I think, to just keep doing things, even if you get no pleasure from them, which you obviously won't, to keep your mind off the nature of your particular disease - that is to say, anhedonia. As long as you are distracted, and as long as the distraction isn't particularly painful, you should survive to live another day. I'm not sure if other people have discovered this or not, but it definitely does work for me (fingers crossed). Also, this is particular to me: my memories are not affected by anhedonia. I can remember something I watched when anhedonic and feel emotion over that thing. Not sure if this occurs with others, though.

My posts, by the way, can no longer be as long as they used to be, be-long-ing now to a different era (one in which I actually had motivation and drive and such). Sorry about that.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Posting for the sake of Posting

I can't write on any topic I want. I can't really do that anymore. The problem with hypomania is that it gives you unrealistic standards of what you should be accomplishing. And now that I've been hypomania-free for what seems like decades (actually probably a year to a year and a half), I feel that those moments of joyous ecstatic insight will probably never come again. But, thanks to my general lack of concern for the world, I don't particularly care - it's more a nagging "Ha, look what you could have done if X". It again brings into question, of course, what this odd 'self' thing actually is, if nothing about me seems constant. And thankfully, to stop all my frantic searching, it is probably an illusory concept anyway - one that is deeply rooted in all humans. Not that that's a bad thing. It's probably something that spares the vast majority of people a lot of pain, knowing that the world isn't this horrible trap that forces you to go on with no safe haven to hide in. Though I could be wrong. A lot of people tend to think that having no self would rid them of their problems, especially Buddhists, I think. My lack of sense of self tells a different story, but it's possible that's just the mental illness talking. Maybe I am better off without a self, but in fact cannot feel the benefits, only the horrifying, HORRIFYING implications, because I am prone to anxiously thinking about things too much.

I would quite like to have a self. I can tell from observation that it isn't such a bundle of laughs - you feel a lot more pain. But at the same time, you feel a lot more comfort in yourself, and can do things automatically. I have seen other autistics. They do things automatically too. It's not my probable autism that's the cause for me having to think through every single movement, but it is most likely my lack of sense of self, which makes every moment feel as if it is the only moment that has ever occurred, and is hence the most painful moment that has ever occurred. Talking is supposed to be a fluid action. Only in the rarest, the RAREST, of cases is it actually this way for me. I have to plan and plan to decide what to say, because I have no self to tell me what I would normally say in such a situation. And this tends to make people think I am a quiet person, because I don't have enough time to decide a response to what they are saying.

The problem is with me saying this is that most people who DO lack a sense of self as I do seem to find it as a source of enlightenment. That's a really big difference. And I'd like to say "it's because they're brainwashed to think that", but probabilistically speaking, they're probably right. There are a lot more of them than there are of me, and moreover, I have never really had a self so cannot compare, while they have once had a self but used meditation to get rid of it (in most cases - some people DO just lose their sense of self), so can compare between the two states.

I still don't know where my self went.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Becoming a social outcast

I am a social moron. To regular readers, this should not be surprising, given how much I ramble on about my social-boo boos and various ways to cope with being a semi-social outcast*. I cannot help non-conforming. I have been destined since my awkward childhood to being forever restricted to making friends only with those who have significantly lowered their standards. This doesn't bother me much, since I've had plenty of time to accept it for what it is. I say 'much', because though it does give me little niggling "Maybe I can change" hopes and "WHY IS IT THIS WAY" outbursts, most of the time it really doesn't impact on me at all. If you can find other outcasts, things aren't so bad, even if they are less outcast enough (grammar police be damned) than you that they frequently play annoying verbal dominance-submission games with insults and such. You get used to those as well. Remember, bullies can be social outcasts too.

I am destined to be this way, as I have said. I still practice the use of my few social skills to the best of my ability so maybe, just maybe they'll get better, BUT, since my progress has been incredibly slow for the most part, I doubt I will ever progress to the standard of most 10 year-olds. But what about people who can choose? Would anyone ever choose to become a social outcast of their own free will? Is that even a possible thing? The problem with non-conforming as a word, is that it frequently means sacrificing one group's ideals in favour of another group's. Antinatalism for example, if more of us publicly told others that we believed in such a thing, would be an act of TRUE non-conformation as far as I see it, as no real community exists around antinatalism - too few people, not enough eye make-up or headbanging, if you know what I mean (no group homogeneity). True non-conformation in my view of things is rejecting the mainstream group in favour of becoming a social outcast - not a social outcast who is not really a social outcast, like being a nerd with your own subculture and twenty other friends who are nerds like you. I think becoming a transsexual would be a good example of becoming a social outcast by choice. It is not entirely 'by choice' as there's a pretty large drive behind doing so usually, but what is by choice anyway? An even better example would be becoming a hermit, which is not social isolation by prejudice towards people like you as it would be if you became a transsexual, but rather it would be social isolation entirely by choice.

Is it ever a good thing to become a social outcast, either partially, or in the case of hermits, entirely?
You can probably base that off of how much pleasure you expect to receive, or how much pain you expect to be taken away. I am not sure if you can trust your own assessments of such things, but reading a lot of psychology on biases and such could help you plan out your life change appropriately. 



*Outcast due to lack of ability to interact socially, not due to prejudice or poverty etc.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

What is truly wasting my life?

A lot of what I do actively causes me pain. This is not surprising, given that I generally feel no pleasure (though recently I've been feeling a tiny bit more than that). This means that if I, like a lot of the more complex animals out there, want to minimise the amount of pain in my life, I effectively have to reduce those activities which cause pain. This is an incredibly stupid thing to say, since it's extremely obvious. However, I have included it for the simple reason that it isn't as easy as it sounds. To do so completely, I would have to completely turn my way of thinking around. No more striving for anything, much more sleep, less entertainment watching (pain caused from concentration and effort not balanced by pleasure of any sort), and more mindless pissing about on the internet.

It is ridiculous however how many protective mechanisms exist in my mind that prevent me from making this facile change to my current daily roster of meaningless crap. I really like sleeping. But on the other hand, I don't like its after-effects. By which I mean, "YOU'RE WASTING YOUR LIFE" screams from my personal Jiminy Cricket, and a vaguely nauseous feeling that I will definitely regret doing so, even though living painfully and STILL accomplishing nothing is probably something I think I'd tend to regret more.

Am I trying hard enough? Am I REALLY set on changing my fundamental course in life, or am I just too afraid of change? I'd probably go for the latter. But even if I actively set out to remove my fear of becoming a "dirtbag", it's not just an on/off switch (or rather, if it is, it would be 10 metres wide and tall and thus difficult to push). But instead of obeying my views from another time and place, I think I'd better start pushing that gargantuan beast of a switch.



Saturday, 5 May 2012

Technically anhedonia, actually depersonalisation

"Before I had heard about DP I thought I had anhedonia. But from my understanding it is a severe form of depression and with my case I really am not depressed, just nothingness. That still could be the definition of anhedonia but I think it relates to normal severe depression rather than what I experience." - http://www.dpselfhelp.com/forum/index.php?/topic/6784-do-you-read-books-watch-movies/

I'm not putting an end to my previous 'anhedonia' category. I'm much too lazy for that. But on the other hand I am going to say that I have had a revelation of sorts (so powerful, in fact, that it made me feel as if one cell on the surface on my skin had died), that my loss of pleasure is NOT in fact due to extreme depression, as my mood is not quite so terrible as it had once been, but is instead due to a lack of ability to connect to things - i.e. depersonalisation/derealisation. Now since the technical definition of anhedonia IS, I think a loss of pleasure, then I'm still set to call everything in the depression category anhedonia, though it is misleading to lump them together, because my anhedonia is most likely caused by depersonalisation, which was caused by severe anxiety in the past, which as you know, is an entirely different (though frequently comorbid) thing than depression.

What does this mean then? Well effectively it means I can get my psychiatrist to mess about with my anxiety medication (though I no longer have anxiety, I have its ultimate weapon jammed inside me, depersonalisation), or cut to the chase and just start treating me specifically as though I have depersonalisation disorder, which I probably do have given my lack of sense of self, my frequent 'spacing out' periods where I forget where I am and about the universe, and my constant "Who am I?" questions that lead to no answers. I am also fundamentally unable to connect to anything or anyone, because none of them actually seem real to me. School is over forever, and I will probably never see my friends again. This had the same effect as getting a hangnail would, if I'm being particularly generous about things.

Does that mean there's a magical cure for this? Probably not. That's because depersonalisation is still a pretty new topic in psychiatry, I think. Or at least, it's not something psychiatrists have had luck with finding drugs to cure it.