92 – Replacing Guilt

Jess and Phoenix tell us about Replacing Guilt.

Favorites from the series: “Should” considered harmful and Confidence all the way up

Another recommended book is The Courage To Be Disliked

Also mentioned – Flint’s water is OK now.

Hey look, we have a discord! What could possibly go wrong? And What Lies Dreaming now has audio of the early chapters, with more coming!

Rationality: From AI to Zombies, The Podcast… and the other podcast

LessWrong posts Discussed in this Episode:

Making Beliefs Pay Rent (in Anticipated Experiences)

Belief in Belief

Bayesian Judo

Next Episode’s Sequence Posts:

Professing and Cheering

Belief as Attire

Big thanks to David for our intro music! Check out his music and VFX here!

We’d like to thank creators of our new outro music from the Sumerki Project! Check out their stuff here!

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5 Responses to 92 – Replacing Guilt

  1. Tepid Gruel says:

    I think this is your best episode yet! The Replacing Guilt series already has a positive impact on my life, and I plan to read it several times over.

    These days, when I hurt or offend someone, I write about it. First, I write a letter of apology. It is an uncomfortable but therapeutic exercise, similar to how Lincoln wrote angry letters and kept them secret. Only this time, whenever it is appropriate and I can work up the courage, I actually send the letters and make amends! Second, I write down a list of things I learned and ways I can use the experience to become a better person.

    The writing helps me move on. I have tangible documents at the end of the process, so I am no longer afraid of forgetting what I learn. This usually stops the recurring loop of lingering guilt. (I find that journaling in general helps move my thoughts along. It is like doing math on paper instead of all in my head.)

    Anyway, when I first started this exercise earlier this year, I was only writing apologies. After I read the “Update from the suckerpunch” post, I started writing lists of learnings too, and it is already helping. So thank you for introducing me to Nate Soares’ work!

    • BayesianAdmin says:

      That’s awesome to hear. I’m working on reading through these too and sharing them with friends. It ought to be mandatory reading in primary school.
      – Steven

      • Tepid Gruel says:

        I totally agree! It has been so helpful to read and reflect on guilt.

        The more I think about it, the more I believe the purpose of guilt is to *oppose* motivation. Guilt tries to stop us. It’s a one-time emergency kill switch for recklessness and impulsivity and anger. It’s like a sprinkler system for the apartment building of our minds. It can put out a fire, but who wants to be wet all the time?

        Looking at it this way, I think I understand why guilt-based motivation is so brittle: once I make one mistake, that’s the end.

        Kindness, on the other hand, for both myself and others, is one of the most renewable sources of intrinsic motivation I know.

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