xenologer: (one)
Following belenen's excellent entry about core values, I thought I would set down some that I've come to thanks to a combination of self-examination and conversations with other people who appear to be neuroatypical in a way that I am/have been (more on this in another entry perhaps). For Reasons I sort of think of myself as operating based on rules like with AI design, and so rather than sorting by core values and secondary values, I'll sort by supergoals and subgoals and try to explain the interactions between them.

My morality and ethics and personal qualms and preferences feel intuitive to me, but that is because I know what I mean by certain terms and how important they are relative to other things. The structure is actually fairly rigid. There is an extent to which these aren't reflected in my behavior, but that discrepancy is created by failure to implement them, not a failure in the goals and subgoals themselves.

So here are some personality parameters. This is the Me Manual to the best of my current ability to articulate it; an AI which had my memories and this goal system should be a fair approximation of me as a person. Goals aren't ranked within their categories, though it's possible with some thought I could test out how my internal system prioritizes them and come to something a little more precise.

SUPERGOALS are goals that, when endangered, act as dealbreakers for anything they touch.
  • Improve. This effectively just requires aggressive, frequent, and proactive debugging. I actually do read self-help books in an effort to detect and address flaws and just generally rationalize the whole system. It's better to find and at least be aware of any bugs before they come into play, so in the spirit of "ounce of prevention" it's best to continually seek areas for improvement. Current areas include: patience, concentration, and level of contempt for others who fail to meet my standards.
  • Meet own standards. Basically, don't be a hypocrite. If someone has done a thing which caused me pain or broke some rule, this adds an extra imperative to check myself for that thing to ensure I get opportunities to shore up any shortcomings there. This rule takes certain things (examples: lying, gaslighting, sexual coercion, suspending goals when having an emotional experience, coughing with my mouth uncovered, etc.) off the metaphorical table of my options not because of the harm they would do to others but because of the harm they have done to me. The precise applications of this rule depend on both my own personal history, and my ability to extrapolate from my experience to find analogous experiences in the lives of others (example: despite me not really understanding the myriad complexities of gender and sex, misgendering is off the table because of my ban on gaslighting).
  • Do things on purpose. Just because a decision is quick or intuitive does not mean that it does not need to be intentional. Nothing else can be achieved if decisions aren't required to be considered before being made, if cost-benefit analysis is ever not required. Doing things reflexively is generally inferior to doing them deliberately, unless the reflex was itself deliberately instilled (which can happen).

SUBGOALS
  • Expand awareness of other kinds of life experience. One of the best ways to find new diagnostic tools for myself is to get to know other minds as best I can. There are many kinds of lived experience that I can most efficiently learn to map by listening to people in question as they self-report. More data on minds is good, though giving up an opportunity to get more data can be justifiable if acquiring it would conflict with a supergoal.
  • Indulge. Something which only brings me joy need not justify its value any other way, provided the pursuit or acquisition of it doesn't interfere with a supergoal.
  • Match my contribution to the world with what I think it should have more or less of. This is only a subgoal because there are cases when my contribution to the world needs to be set at a lower priority than the supergoals; after all, I am not guaranteed to improve myself by improving the world, but if I set improving myself as a priority I am guaranteed to improve both myself and the world.

NON-NEGOTIABLE FACTS are things which are to be treated as true regardless of empirical support. For some people this may be a claim such as, "Jesus Christ died for my sins," or may be a value statement such as, "There's no excuse for violence."
  • That which can be destroyed by the truth should be. This is potentially a self-breaking rule; its job is to condemn to eventual destruction any alleged facts which do not stand up to factual examination (including this rule if necessary). It's in this category to prevent anything else from being there.
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