Jun 22, 2019

[Epistemic status: A useful framework for understanding my own creativity]
Disclaimer: much of the terminology here has been lent from

  • Venkatesh Rao (especially
  • Ziz (,
  • Elizabeth Gilbert.

The concepts aren't mine, but the presentation is.


You have a mask. You also have a daemon.
The mask consists of mostly _structure_ and some core. (Social and habitual patterns)

The daemon consists of mostly _core_ and some structure. (part of your "inner self". pretty static) Often manifests as "internal rebellion".
`f(x) > x` is the _freedomful creative output_ inequation. Visualized at ribbonfarm.

What is a hit

To actually see if your output contains _freedom_ you need to look. Open your eyes and see. Unavoidably you will observe if `f(x) > x` gets fulfilled.
Also unavoidably, looking will make you see how useless social structure is in the context of real quality. This leads to a crossroads; you’ll choose between becoming * _blind_ (to quality, either by abandoning quality as a principle or by inventing a _self-apogoletic_ view of quality)

  • A rebel (abandoning the belief that the group knows where we are going, realizing you need to make your own map and find your own territory

Missing (`f(x) < x`)

When you use just the _mask_ to traverse idea-space, you usually end up lost. In the wrong destination, or through the wrong path. You miss.
Usually when missing you end up destroying territory or map. You lock future options from yourself or lose pointers to useful existing information.
Missing can also manifest as creative self-harm. Destruction of quality input by outputting garbage. _Medium writers writing self-actualization advice for other similar writers_. Your creations aren’t useful, they just fulfil a memetic circlejerk. And you amplify your own belief in the circlejerk, creating a viscious cycle.
When you use just the _daemon_ to traverse idea space, you _move wrongly_. Travelling as a daemonic explorer in a _territory_ designed for non-daemonic entities, with non-daemonic maps puts you at risk of applying your reasoning in hazardous places.

Hitting (`f(x) > x`)

When you properly contract or synthesize mask & daemon, you hit. You can generate. This means you output an amount of quality that’s greater than what you took in. This is _real creativity_.

Escape velocity

If you start using _real quality_ to generate and reform your own belief system it becomes possible to reach _escape velocity_. You can escape the binding social realities. Achieve acceleration that'll lead to increasing amounts of freedom in the long run.
You'll receive amplified _mana_ (strength of will/personality) and _spark_ (creativity, ability to go "against the flow"). However, it usually does not make you _happier_. It forces you to see false happiness as the false band-aid it is.


Do you _need_ a mask? You do, to dent society/humanity. You don't need a mask to dent material conditions. Abandoning the mask makes you mute and inperceivable to masked inviduals. It lets you avoid distractions, but also halts access to social resources.

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