Natural Hazard

It wouldn't be the road to hell if it wasn't paved in good intentions

Who exactly are you trying to fool?

A clip from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, a wealth of hidden wisdom. It's 2 min:

If we're all so self-delusional why aren't we happier? It's a question that keeps me up at night. I can throw a thousand pop-cognitive science books at you that all scream about how biased self-delusional we are. I bet $5 that NPR has an episode on "How Confirmation Bias Explains Trump Voters" (CALLED IT). Everyone, except you and me 😉, is stuck in there own ways and won't believe anything they don't want to believe.

If that's all true, why are there still miserable people? I refuse to believe that all the miserable people are those who are too conscientious and pure to delude themselves, and all the happy people are the one's who have already succeeded in wireheading.

Here's what I see as the crux of TLP style [[Narcissism]]; believing that what other people think about you defines reality, so you try to fool yourself in order to fool other people into seeing you the way you want to be.

From the song: "I have friends, I definitely have friends. No one can say that I do not have friends [...] objectively I can say that I have all the friends."

That's not what you say to convince yourself. That's someone who's trying to convince a jury. No one can say that I do not have friends, the song is being sung at you.

Flashback to a relevant memory from binging on zombie apocalypse forums in elementary school: there was an off-hand comment from one of the cool people that wrote fun content, "[bullshit about something] luckily, I'm not someone who relies on other people's opinions to feel good about myself."

5th grade me saw the clear structure: cool people shit on people who care what others think therefore if you want other people to like you, you need to not care what they think. Q.E.D

Great, perfect plan, I cracked the code of cool. One problem: this line is only compelling if you care about what people think in the first place, and I 100% did, and I 100% still do.

This is one way blind-spots develop. If the reason you strive to not care about what others think is, historically, that you want others to think good of you, you're gonna have a hell of a time noticing that. Took me a long ass while.

Connecting to crazy ex-girlfriend: if I just needed to "feel better about myself" and if humans are great at arbitrarily deluding themselves when it's useful, I would have just not cared about what others think in the first place. But that's not how it works. You can escape the fusing to others opinions, but not via "confirmation bias". Instead, the hack worked via trying to assert a story ("I don't care what people think") that other people can see, and then reap the benefits of being a cool kid that doesn't care. Good gig if you can get it. It works until it doesn't.