Today I realized that people generally like me, respect me, listen to me, care what I think and value my mind and my input, and the main reason people often don't listen to me or care what I think or value my mind and my input is because I get too involved in a topic and forget to pay attention to the person I'm talking to. Because I talk AT them rather than TO them, and NOT necessarily because they strongly disagree with what I'm saying. I thought of two recent examples which constitute fairly conclusive evidence of this which I SOMEHOW overlooked.
Anyone who isn't interested in the nitty gritty details can stop here. Otherwise feel free to continue.
But before you continue I should probably warn you that a while back I picked up this cognitive skill called "probablistic reasoning", which allows me to more precisely estimate my levels of certainty or uncertainty in my opinions/beliefs, as opposed to using an all or nothing binary confidence system like most people naturally tend to use if they haven't learned how to think in terms of probabilities. I just wanted to let you know that in case you get confused, since the rest of what I am about to tell you involves a lot of probabilistic reasoning, but I'll do my best to make it easy for you. If you're already confused, I apologise. Please don't tune me out yet though, I promise things will start to make more sense in just a bit... I hope.
Anyways, after evaluating the evidence, my mind (or as cognitive scientists would call it, my intentional system) updated its belief within probably about five minutes, then helped my heart (or as cognitive scientists would call it, my autopilot system) internalize the new knowledge and accept it as the truth (updated to ~60-80% subjective probability, an increase of ~50-70%, if you want to be precise) which took probably about forty minutes, for a total of probably ~45 min for me to integrate the evidence and change my mind about a significantly entrenched belief. My mind is more certain of the new prior than my heart (80-90-something% subjective probability, an increase of maybe ~65-85% or more) and my heart is going to need some time to get used to the new prior and better calibrate its level of certainty/uncertainty, so for now it agrees to trust my mind as more reliable than it is in regards to this particular issue at least for the time being.
My heart thought my mind is being a bit insensitive to its feelings by bragging about how it managed to persuade my heart to agree with it, but my mind reminded my heart that this was a shared accomplishment that they should both be proud of and it is right and proper to brag about it, since this is exactly the kind of situation I've been training for as a rationalist. And also that a lot of other people in my place, after noticing and recognizing fairly conclusive evidence contrary to such a significantly entrenched belief, probably would have gotten stuck and taken weeks or months or even years to change their minds about the kind of significantly entrenched belief that it took me only about 45 minutes to change once I noticed and recognized such evidence. (I believe this particular claim regarding other people's updating speed with somewhere between 55% and 65% subjective probability)
My heart still feels like my mind is being insensitive to it. Like, it got through this difficult process of changing its mind about a belief that it had spent so much time and emotional energy on, a belief that had caused it so much pain, and my mind is making light of that and not taking it seriously and now my mind is telling my heart "it's called a coping mechanism, get used to it" and "you take things too seriously and maybe that's part of why you are so anxious all the time and maybe if you took serious things less seriously sometimes (though not all the time because sometimes you really do have to be serious) then maybe you could relax more and solve problems better."
And then my heart was all like "You're saying I should be LESS serious about big important life or death sort of stuff?" and my mind was all like "YES! Gallows humor is funny for a reason! And some risks are too large to ever feel a proportional amount of anxiety over them anyways and in any case human fear/anxiety evolved for running from lions tigers and bears etc that want to eat you and it is not wired to handle existential risks, nor is it wired to handle more common social risks in a global society and it has a tendency to make you more afraid of things like ostracision from a particular peer group and "being alone forever" even when there are plenty of other options available, rather than more common and more serious social risks like having your identity stolen or giving $20 to some random homeless guy on the street that you could have used to help feed like ten times as many poor people in Africa.
My heart is now like "fine okay you're right."
By the way, this process felt really weird. Most of the time I feel like just one person, and whenever I converse with myself it feels reflexive, like forward and backward, rather than side to side like I've been doing for the past couple hours. Does that make any sense to you? Well, regardless, it's still super weird.
Thanks for listening to me about my psychological problems. I really appreciate it. (I should have probably talked to my therapist about this earlier instead of just airing it out before an audience, but whatever, I figured it might be a bit entertaining. I'll talk to him about this stuff later.)