June 5, 2019

[WIP] Remarkabilities: Be slightly Evil (Venkatesh Rao, 2013)

Or; Be Slightly More Effective In Whatever You Do, in socially questionable ways.

Misdirect. Play The Game.

"One principle this  philosophy gives me is what I call my amorality heuristic: an idea is  Slightly Evil only if it is, in principle, equally valuable to both good  and evil people. Anything that works better only if you are good, is  naturally suspect in my mind."

"Action for the Slightly Evil favors chaos creation"

"Let’s say you learn a  few clever techniques to close sales. You know the sort of thing I mean –  using words that have subliminal persuasive effects, specific gestures  or facial expressions, priming, cues unrelated to the sale like sexual  imagery – things like that. Things that hack the overt intentions of  whoever you are interacting with, and bring unrelated desires into play.  You’re dangerously close to playing with the psychological equivalent  of roofies." ... "But most everyday  situations are only partly adversarial. To the extent that they are not,  you should assume that there is value in having the other party’s fully  engaged intelligence in play."

" the paradox:  idealism believes in change and creates unchanging human beings.  Tragedism (to coin a word) believes humans cannot change their  fundamental natures, yet believing in it actually transforms humans far  more radically than the idealist view."

"Among the major  pop-psychology/self-improvement classics, the only one that hints at  this process is Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, which has at its core a  gem of an idea: that seeking the philosopher’s stone to transform base  metals into gold ends up transforming you. The protagonist of the book  isn’t an angsty, tortured soul looking for personal growth, he is on a  mundane quest for literal treasure, like your average entrepreneur in  Silicon Valley. The transformation is a side effect."

"The smart way is to  acknowledge the reality of true conflict and judiciously decide, for  each obstacle, whether to go through it or around it."

"The rules aren’t a  minimum definition of the profit-making business of a corporation. They  are well below the minimum. Even disengaged minimum-effort types  (“losers” in the Gervais Principle sense) do more than this under  normal circumstances."

"blatant archetyping. A subtly different (and morally more defensible) approach to typecasting people."