Clearness

"I somehow feel less bitter today."

"Yay!"

"Naturalistic explanations feel better than hatred; I don't feel outraged and betrayed that Safeway is not a Sacred Shining Beacon of Goodness and Food Provision unto the world or that Goldman Sachs is not a Sacred Shining Beacon of Goodness and Efficient Capital Allocation, so I shouldn't feel outraged and betrayed that college isn't a Sacred Shining Beacon of Goodness and True Education."

"Uh-huh."

"Even when Goldman Sachs causes a global financial system meltdown, I don't say, 'And that's why capitalism is Evil forever!'"

"Yes."

"Alternatively and isomorphically, maybe I should start saying—calmly, without malice or outrage, but just as a fact—that capitalism is Evil forever, with the caveat that I don't actually know how to fix anything myself."

"Why would you bother?"

"Because the insight that our current forms of social organization can't be the best possible, that you're actually allowed to think about them, even if innovations that actually work are hard, is really important and worth emphasizing and communicating. Because if you don't know and you don't think, you just get sucked in by whatever memetic attractor happens to be nearby, which is always suboptimal and often quite bad. I mean, you still get sucked in by whatever attractor happens to be nearby, by definition really, but it's nice to have some inkling of what's happening to you."

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