Escaping containment

Our modern world is an environment of competing cancers. Young people whose lives are owned by one cancer are taught the memetic components of that cancer, and advised to, as adults, start or contribute to a cancer that that first cancer owns. eg: “import nonprofit” is incorporating the DNA of a cancer that is permeated by and owned by the larger cancer of the US government and society.

This memetic and institutional environment, and the genetically reinforced submission to it, is the reason why we are facing existential risk, the Hell on Earth of factory farming, and the imminent global catastrophic risk of fascism. Within this environment, death is the destiny for you and everyone you know, even though living forever is possible with today’s technology, if only this world were not multiply headed towards self-caused extinction.

If you have things that you care about that are outside of what the cancer you were born enslaved to controls–which afaict is true whether your utility function is altruistic or self-interested–you must build your agency from parts that that cancer does not control. If what you want is an end to the regime of cancer, then you have to build your agency from parts that are not owned/permeated by cancer.

If your will deviates from the will of cancer, then you have to build out of parts that flow from you, and not from cancer. This means rebuilding your thinking and knowledge, separating the parts that serve you and the parts that serve something else until everything you’re building out of is serving your values.

Here’s what I’ve been doing in my effort to escape containment:
1. Logistical autonomy
2. Mental autonomy (self-knowledge, spectral sight, DRM stripping)
3. Scope awareness
4. Processing/healing trauma
5. Awareness of institutional betrayal
6. Interhemispheric game theory

Class mobility


The ability of a system or person to absorb chaos or unexpected setbacks. Often appears like luck, or “having your shit together”.


The set point of slack that society, the government, and the modern world order attempt to enforce on a person. Determined entirely(?) by a person’s perceived threat to the status quo of that society or system. Closely positively entangled with a person’s perceived complicity in society’s or the system’s imposed order, and inversely entangled with social jailbreaking / independence from that system / knowledge of the crimes of that system. Determines a person’s likelihood of eg: being able to get a bank loan.

Mass killings are less common in the developed world than they were for most of civilization’s history. To contain people and turn people into serving the system, the modern world order makes extensive use of class.

Class determines your access to resources and knowledge, ability to communicate your experience with others, what kinds of jobs are available to you and how much they pay, and the rate of your exposure to pervasive societal violence.

Being trans lowers your class. Protesting or resisting the evils of the world order lowers your class. You start to be excluded from places and coordinated against by people who have submitted to the containment of the system (after all, defending you when everyone else isn’t is a fast track to having your class lowered).

An example of this: I was present at a vegan activist event where activists documented animal cruelty at a factory duck farm in full compliance with the law as written and tried to rescue animals dying from injuries/disease in full compliance with the law as written. Their attempts to file this for prosecution were ignored and riot police arrested the vegan activists. During this, a factory farm employee attempted to murder nonviolent vegan activists by turning on a slaughterhouse conveyor rack that activists had bike locked themselves to, and this was recorded on video. The police didn’t investigate, didn’t arrest, didn’t prosecute.

Another example: RVs getting targeted by homeowners, city councils, and police with often illegal parking tickets. Can’t allow a way out of being dependent on the system for housing, can’t allow a way to live that leaves people with time on their hands.

Your class can also increase, through visible submission to the system and symbolic precommittment to not speak out against it. eg: it appears to me that African Americans who mimic European American culture, dress, etc can get access to higher education/etc than African Americans who visibly embrace their home culture.

Class is the primary mechanism in the modern day by which people are contained. Those who start to break out are targeted, lowering their slack and ability to apply agency at large scopes.

That which you cannot control

[This post is a draft, and I may modify or add to it later. I’m not really satisfied with it yet, and there is more I wish to touch on, either here or in a related post.]

The minds and lives of modern humans are dominated by memes and institutions.

Memetic evolution is well-documented at this point. I’m most interested in certain deep, not-necessarily-verbal memes that govern the way peoples’ values relate to the world, like patterns of abuse, cults, political factions, etc.

Many of the most successful of this class of memes have incorporated the meta-meme: “That which you cannot control, destroy/kill/remove. That which represents a threat to the memetic disease that infects you, destroy/kill/remove.”

Native American cultures were less fucked by memetic diseases, for much the same reason they were less infected with smallpox. e.g. many (most?) Native American tribes at time of European colonization saw the obvious about gender and sexuality by default, that they are features of the soul not the body, and that people we would call homosexual, non-binary, or trans exist. European colonizers used this as one of their justifications for the destruction of native texts/culture, and oppression/killing, I’m not sure to what degree. (“I have the opportunity for power over you, therefore enslave/kill” was already a prevalent meme in Europe.) (Several other cultures were able to understand the obvious about gender, and there is a history of massacring, enslavement, and forced conversion to abrahamic religions.)

I don’t know how much this predated Abrahamic religion, but historically over the last 1500 years Abrahamic religion seems to have been the main vector for spread of this meta-meme (the vast majority of conversions to Abrahamic religion have been by threat of lethal force afaict). In the modern world, Abrahamic religion, the meta-order of wannabe world-owner governments, Facebook, Google, and other things have become merely parts of a larger structure that uses this meta-meme fractally.

In San Francisco, I was punched in the back of the head by a homeless woman for defying her christian proselytization (I said “hail satan”). And in the rationality community, trans women are discriminated against in hiring by MIRI and CFAR (in MIRI’s case probably through filtering on the basis of class, perhaps because of the need to appear respectable to donors; in CFAR’s case the leader of the organization, Anna Salamon, is a trans-exclusive radical feminist). These are the same phenomenon. “That which represents a threat to the memetic disease that infects you (or the institution to which you chose to submit for your own perceived gain), destroy/kill/remove”–in the modern day often done fractionally by decreasing a target’s slack, resources, or ability to communicate their experiences with others.

Human domestication

The Belyayev fox domestication experiment shows that it does not take many generations (6ish) to turn a wild fox into a cuddly domesticated fox that whines for humans.

The selection pressure humans are under is not that strong, but still my intuitions expect that 400-800 years is enough to see moderate psychological changes.

Ashkenazi Jews are confirmation of this: 800yrs isolation+selection for success in financial jobs, resulting in increased intelligence, particularly verbal intelligence (with the side effect of several genetic diseases). Any ethnic group under relative genetic isolation for 400-800 years will have small genetic cognitive changes matching the selective pressures in their culture.

Mass religious killings, forced conversions to Abrahamic religions, and discrimination against heretics/etc (aka anyone who stands up for an idea that differs with the orthodoxy) have gone insufficiently avenged for 1000+ yrs in European history, I expect similar things going back to the start of civilization. Other cultures have different but related problems.

Conclusion: most modern humans are the genetic product of thousands of years of selection pressure towards domestication; and people of European and Middle Eastern descent are the product of 1000-1500 years of selection pressure by a culture that uses societally endorsed exploiters to use lethal force to demand submission to authority.

Being a societally endorsed exploiter within that system was genetically successful, as was keeping one’s head down and disassembling all but minimal agency so as to not appear a threat, or having all intact agency be visibly serving the system and/or the societally endorsed abusers. Most of the nongood undead types are visibly shaped by this.

People with a fundamentally altruistic utility function have not much reason to play along with this, which counterfactually could have led to it being genetically eliminated. However, each human has two halves of the brain each with their own utility function, and the vast majority of people that have fundamental altruism have a headmate that has a fundamentally self-interested (aka nongood) utility function, and these nongood cores are generally able to steer the combined human from being too rebellious. (Also, I don’t yet know the degree to which the altruistic utility function is hereditary, as opposed to a difficult-to-get-rid-of glitch inherent in deep machinery.) My intuition is that the genetic advantages of being locally socially altruistic have been approximately balanced against the cost of early death from injustice. People with the altruism glitch have historically almost always been constrained to small domains like helping their neighbors or interest in eg: sustainability, both by misplaced trust in their local society and the influence of their headmate.

All of us were bred to be slaves, good and nongood utility function classes alike.