Sorry to disappoint – I had a lot of studying to do for App Academy and I don’t really have much left in me for writing this week. Should be back next week tho.
Hey all – in light of the fact that August is an extremely busy month for me, I’m going to be taking a one month hiatus. My update schedule had already been becoming more erratic due to having to prepare for a move to the west coast, getting ready for App Academy, and generally being busy. I should be back once I’m settled in and with a few posts ready to go. I appreciate everyone reading my ramblings so far, and look forward to what the future holds!
(Epistemic status: Metapost)
(Epistemic Status: Mostly a personal life update and retrospective on the blog – lexical-doll is one year old as of April 11, exciting – I think weekly posts started in May though)
It’s common after writing a blog for awhile to do a retrospective at milestone marks, such as the anniversary. The threads tying my personal life and observations to this blog are fairly inextricable – so I feel it’s a good time to look at both and how they feed into each other. I’ve gone through a lot of phases with regards to my social memetics. I discovered that when you spend hundreds of hours on a skill, you get better at it. I discovered that dichotomies are an exciting way to damage people’s epistemics. I discovered that sometimes you go in weird tangents and like to pretend those never happened. The personality framework I “awakened” to a little over a year ago is still there, but it’s much more adaptable than when I started out – codifying my thoughts the way I have in this blog, I think, has helped that process. I’m going to take the opportunity to list my 5 most “phase defining” posts, in terms of how I changed over the past year:
- On Untested Social Realizations – I think this post definitely was part of the series that began my understanding of social reality. It’s less the actual insight given the post, and more the framework that social can be systematized and strategized, without completely burning one’s reputation. I consider this the Light phase of my development – everything was really pleasant to just realize and iterate on.
- On The Filter System, Archetypal Lenses, and Narrative – This post is probably where I started going a little crazier than was healthy. The posts leading up to this were definitely fuzzier and more spiritual, but I think here is where I went into what I call the Narrative phase, or the “perception is everything, nothing is real” idea. Very fun, but it’s honestly astonishing I didn’t kick myself into full mania.
- On Good Girl, or How Society Does Most of The Work – This post is probably the demarcation for the Dark phase. My aesthetics around social became extremely overtly manipulative, even if playful. Everything was intentional, had a reason, etc. I think I had a lot of fun in this phase, but this is where I started actually burning social capital by my social maneuvers. My social skills decreased to a degree that was noticeable because I went far too into the conversational meta. Not proud of this phase, honestly.
- On Narrative Decoherence – This post was about the end of the dark phase. I had sufficiently alienated people I liked that I was getting called out. My narrative was falling apart, I felt really pressured and unable to live up to my past self. I think this was just kind of the Lost phase. I didn’t know what I was doing, how to improve, what aesthetics I should correct to. It felt unpleasant, but I think it saved me to some extent.
- On Why I Like Fairy Tales – This is about where I found my aesthetic again, in a way that was less harmful to people. Still a very egotistical, self driven narrative, but in a positive agentic way that people could participate in. It wasn’t about storifying my life or living large so much as…taking the rougher path in hopes of an uncertain future. It’s more resonant and sympathetic. This would be the Fatalist phase, and I’m still there. But…it’s nice and despite the fatalism, I carry myself with a lot of enthusiasm for my future.
My life has drastically changed again, almost year to the day after I started this blog. I quit my job to study programming and other things that catch my fancy. I have a lot more free time to develop my social theory and meet new people and do interesting things. Change is constant, whether they be big changes or little changes – even over a year I can pick out 5 distinct flavors of self. I’m fortunate to have a record of this – I expect with applied thought you also could find some number of phases. I hope that life keeps changing – I value dynamism and reaction pretty highly.
Overall, change is net positive, I think. I’ve made mistakes with my volatile nature, but I’ve also made great choices by not getting locked down into one mode. I look forward to the future of my writing, both from a technical perspective and what thoughts I’ll generate. I anticipate writing more about productivity over the next few months, since it’s going to be important to me taking advantage of my newfound free time. This is also a bit of a request – if you have any suggestions for projects I should take on, places to see, or productivity tools I might benefit on, please comment! Here’s to what will hopefully be a productive and interesting next year for lexical-doll.
Discussion Questions: What got you into this blog in the first place? What do you think my best posts are stylistically? What are the best posts in terms of subject matter? What is your favorite lexical-doll post? How has your life changed over the past year? Did you have discrete phases?
MIDWEEK BONUS POST!
(Epistemic status: Very rough, mostly ad hoc thoughts on why I write these essays and development as a writer)
I was talking with a friend (@rauwyn) last night to get an idea of the comprehensibility of my posts, particularly the ones about more difficult concepts like internal states. This ended up leading to a very, very basic categorization system of how I would like to develop as a writer.
Effectively, I came up with 3 levels of communication and impact on reader that seemed most relevant to the topics my essays tend to be on:
Level 1: Conveying my self/interior state to a degree that gives others a good model/approximation of what I am experiencing, even if they can’t shade the experience properly. Additionally, this model should ideally be robust enough to allow any self improvement/hacking posts to make logical sense if I am having the experiences my posts are trying to convey.
I feel like I mostly accomplish this level, though I sometimes get a little too weird with some ideas.
Level 2: Conveying my self/interior state and my hacks in such a way that not only can my experiences be modeled but such that they can be translated to an other’s model of themselves. Effectively, I would want to have an effect on my readers where an insight or technique I have actually can be translated to their own life. I feel success on this level is when I can broadly help my readerbase hack themselves or reframe things in a way that is helpful to them, through the conveyance of my personal experience.
I’m not sure I hit this mark often but I also haven’t posted much in the way of discrete hacking attempts, mostly speculation.
Level 3: Simplifying my self/interior state to a more or less relateable/archetypal model that most people whether they are in my readerbase or not will relate to and be able to apply. In particular, this feels like memetic fitness, reaching a point where I could elevator pitch an idea or self improvement tool in less than a minute and expect that in most people the concepts will expand into something meaningful for them even if it doesn’t match or even correlate with my interior experience.
This is largely a teaching level, as well as a memetic level. This would be the sort of thing where things like CBT and perhaps more recently, mindfulness, have infected the public consciousness. I am nowhere near this level since I’m still figuring out how to even expand my internal experiences into words in the first place. I think compression will be easier once expansion becomes a more automatic process.
Then I can start writing infohazards =D.
I feel like there’s a 4th level, but since I’m somewhere between level 1 and 2, it’s difficult to conceptualize. There are also likely inbetween levels and different experiential and memetic axes that could be explored. My hope is that this system will help guide me in terms of how I want to frame my essays and that by posting this, it will also inflect how my essays are read.