The Assemblies on The Precepts of Project Optimization and Project Projects

Previous in Series: The Assembly on the Precept of Project Goodness

Sorry about there not being a post about last week’s meeting already, we got rather busy dealing with our financial and housing situation. It’s somewhat resolved now, but our essay output will probably continue to be down for a bit longer until we get it all fully worked out.

That said, since we missed last week, this week we’ll be making up for it with a double feature, covering the Precept of Project Optimization, and the Precept of Project Projects, going through both sets of minor precepts in one post.

We’ll begin with the Precept of Project Optimization. This is the fifteen major precept, which we described as:

15. Do not accept the state of the universe as absolute, honor and pursue the project of Optimization.

The project of Optimization, if you’ll recall, we described all the way back in Until we build dath ilan:

Our ongoing battle to shape the universe to our desires, to reform the material structure of the universe to be more optimized for human values, and to iterate and build upon the structures we have in order to optimize them further. This is the project of technology and engineering, the way we remake the world. We call those who follow the project virtue of Optimization a maker. 

From this, during the meeting, we came up with the following minor precepts:

  1. There is always a better way of doing things, even if you don’t know what it is.
  2. Doing things in a different way necessarily has costs and tradeoffs different from the costs and tradeoffs of the current methods.
  3. No solution found is a perfect solution, there are always better solutions to be found, beware fully generalizable solutions.
  4. Study the full impacts of systems and their interactions, beware making a change without an understanding of the consequences.
  5. All optimization has tradeoffs, beware hidden or externalized tradeoffs.
  6. Resist the temptation to take the first solution that appears regardless of tradeoffs.
  7. Do not let the search for a perfect solution cost the chance to make a positive change.
  8. Always know what you are optimizing for. Beware substituting your values for their symbols and optimizing for the wrong things.

Following that, during this most recent meeting, we went over the Precept of Project Projects, which is:

 16. Do not accept these precepts as absolutes, honor and pursue the project of Projects.

Back in Until we build dath ilan, we described the Project of Projects as:

All of these projects we’ve defined, if they could be said to exist, exist as huge vague computational objects within our minds and our communities. They interact with each other, and their interplay gives rise to new properties in the system. They all recursively point at each other as their own justifications and understanding how they interact and what the should-ness of various projects is with respect to each other is a project unto itself. We call those who follow the project virtue of Projects a coordinator. 

From that we derived the last set of minor precepts:

  1. All the material associated with Origin, the Precepts, the Spiral, The Edicts of Civilization, the narratives, and collective knowledge, should be able to be changed and modified, and the Season of Candles should be set aside for this task.
  2. The process of changing Origin should itself be subject to the Origin Charter.
  3. The Origin Charter should be subject to the major precepts.
  4. The major precepts should be subject to each other.
  5. Seek ways to Improve and update upon Origin as a whole to be more effective and good.
  6. Participate in the ongoing growth and improvement of Origin and the world, connect and coordinate with other community members on projects and goals.
  7. Origin should change and modify itself and the projects and problems it takes on as it changes in scale. What works at once scale may not work at another.
  8. Some portion of the output of Origin should be directed outside of itself. Origin’s ability to improve the world is only meaningful if it is actually improving the world.

This closes out the marathon through the Sixteen Major Precepts of the Anadoxy and the construction of the minor precepts. Moving forward, we’ll begin to construct the rest of our narrative, create rituals, and expand from this foundation we’ve built. The Edicts of Civilisation and Origin Charter need to be created, and The Spiral needs to be fleshed out. Our next meeting will be on Rationalist Mythmaking and the Pantheon of the Night Gods. Suggested reading is Gods of the New World by Everything Narrative, and Meditating on Moloch’s Pantheon by /u/DataPacRat. Once more the meeting will be on Sunday at 12:00pm PST on the alpha voice chat on the GSV Biggest Spotlight I Could Haul Into The Dark Forest discord server.

Part of the Sequence: Origin
Next Post: Complete Precepts of the Anadoxy
Previous Post: The Assembly on the Precept of Project Goodness

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