Ascetic Aesthetic
Last Updated: 2019-08-08 18:04

I have a Mood or a Feel that I care a lot about. It's a little like minimalism. It's a little like praising deprivation. It's a little like mindfulness. I think that there is a lot to be mindful of in the space of doing things like being hungry / sore / lustful. In general, these are states where you have a feel of Wanting.

I think peering into this space of things is interesting, although I realize I haven't quite articulated why. Some other actions which also seem to fit this pattern:

  • Avoiding video games / TV shows / general attention-commandeering activities.
  • Taking more appreciation in very mundane activities like staring at a wall, going for a walk, or lying on the ground.
  • Eating bland foods, staying in the cold, abstaining from sexual things.

One explanation that sort of fits this Aesthetic is that I'm trying to find ways to renormalize my standards when it comes to rewards and reinforcement. In this way, if I'm finding even bland things exciting, then it's a lot easier to do productive things because most things in life tend to be better than bland things.

It doesn't feel like that from the inside, though. It just feels like a Good thing to do, in the same way that helping people or other Virtuous things feel good.

Tangential: There's a thread here about what sorts of things I consider when making decisions. As in, what are the relevant factors? I don't do a straight-up util calculation, and it's not clear that I'm doing any naive consequentialism reasoning either.

Rather, there's a lot happening, from self-signaling, to chaining actions, etc. etc.