I tend to confuse people, or at least tend to give people one impression when what they think I’m doing, or what I’m actually doing, is something else. Lots of people in the rationality community try modeling each other, and themselves, and supposedly this helps us interact with one another. I have implicit models of people I work off of, which will probably form regardless of whether I want them to or not. I used to try acknowledging or noticing my models of other people to make them explicit, but I found this wasn’t useful. I’ve checked with others, and the perceptions or models others have of me are about what I expected. I think I could model myself as accurately as anyone else could model me, or as accurately as anyone else could model themselves, but I don’t know what I’d use such a model for, so I don’t make much of an effort to maintain one.
My whole life people have been impressing upon me the importance of self-esteem, or at least awareness of self-image. These ideas as atomic concepts haven’t been useful to me, so I’ve made an effort of dissolving these concepts, and then disregarding notions of self. That’s not to say I disregard myself, but that the best way for me to achieve non-attachment is to realize self-identity isn’t a fundamental part of my mind. Lots of people who know me would probably call me out as someone who doesn’t seem all that self-possessed, and so while I may aspire to ego death as much as anyone, I’m probably not great at achieving it.
My typical response is much like the following: while self-identify isn’t a fundamental part of my mind, it’s still a part of my mind. The only reason I’d dissolve the self is for my own purposes, or some purpose I see as greater than myself, and not subject to the mere whims of others. So, with regards to what ontology it can be said “Evan”-as-subject really, truly, objectively exists in, while I do care in the abstract, I don’t care enough in the context of any particular conversation to qualify it to others, who aren’t entitled to an opinion on the nature of my own consciousness.
That all stated, it’d seem mutually beneficial to myself and others for others to have a better model of me such that our interactions go more smoothly. So, this post will be the first in a series called “Explaining Evan”, in which I attempt to explain. from my own perspective, how and why I am the way I am, and why I behave in the manners I do.