there's a duality that I'd like to have a clearer handle on, it seems really interesting but it's a bit blurry in my mind
basically planning vs execution, top-down vs bottom-up, symbol vs reality, goal vs life, structure vs sensation?
especially how these work mutualistically
my thoughts about ADHD medicine lately revolve around this axis, how their effect seem to clearly enhance from the bottom-up in a way that doesn't automatically stabilize the top-down
I think of Dreyfus's explanation of Heidegger but I have to avoid identifying the top-down with the "present-at-hand" — it's not only that, it's also the kind of non-thematic complex intentional structure that Dreyfus labels "for-the-sake-of-which"
in other words the "top-down" is not the same as "conscious symbolic thinking" or "explicit goal-crafting" or "following rules and schemas"
it's also something like "attunement to the embodied role of being a father" regardless of whether that involves thinking & planning
in my concrete daily life I have multiple overlapping for-the-sake-of-whiches, not explicit symbolized goals but they can be identified as "being a father", "maintaining a workshop", "discoursing on Twitter" and so on
and I have to balance them, choose between them, etc
these are like upper overarching nodes in my salience structure, my "primary values" or something
but their existence is not fixed, clear, "structural", determined
they are kind of emergent from the bottom-up, with a mutual feedback process that can be kind of shaky?
if I lived in an idealized "traditional society" then I would be quite firmly established in these structures just as a matter of upbringing, necessity, strong norms, sacrosanct divine hierarchies, etc
but I sure don't live there!
I know @vervaeke_john talks about the bottom-up and the top-down their relations of emergence and feedback, I think I'm quite deeply indebted to his explanations of how all this relates to "the meaning crisis"
and @Meaningness is a big node in my thoughts about this since yeaaars ago, his writings were super meaningful for me
but I feel like I still don't really grok his stance...
Chapman linked to a book by @willbuckingham called "Finding Our Sea-Legs: Ethics, Experience, and the Ocean of Stories" which I remember as beautiful and wise
now it strikes me that "finding our sea-legs" nicely describes learning to cope with ADHD
a central theme running through Heidegger, Dreyfus, Buckingham, Chapman, mingling a lot with Buddhism, is that there is no "foundation" that roots the top-down in some fixed, permanent, structural, complete, unquestionable, immutable clarity
however there is a strong tendency to yearn for such grounding, because of the anxiety and confusion associated with being ungrounded
there must be a "source of truth" at the top level of the salience hierarchy, otherwise we succumb to chaos, emptiness, depravity, disorientation
instead of being held in place comfortably by such a superstructure, the authentic way to deal with life is to "find our sea-legs in an ocean of stories"
centering ourselves in the bottom-up life, learning to participate in emergence rather than searching for transcendence
the discource about self-coercion also fits into this framework
self-coercion is like when a thematic conscious top-down construction that isn't connected synergetically with bottom-up emergence and fails to really activate
a system like @CompliceGoals which is aware of the problems of self-coercion seems to stand out by being more attuned to the more immediate levels closer to bottom-up emergence, so "what will you do today?" rather than "what is your overarching plan?"
also there daily intentions are structured according to a higher-level conception of "goals" which different people formulate at different "scales" of intentionality, so the system helps to clarify and reinforce a basic relevance structure
also @RoamResearch can be looked at from this perspective, since it seems that one of its most generative and insightful features is the emphasis on the "daily notes" as a bottom-up chaotic source of emergence that synergizes with top-down symbolic "pages"
I believe both systems are more or less explicitly intended as ways to help people cope and flourish with these perennial issues; @RoamResearch is definitely conceived and promoted as an enhancer for people with ADHD
this thread is helping me make sense of why the primary themes and frameworks in my life for the past year or two are: John Vervaeke, meaning crisis, goals, embodiment, ADHD, @RoamResearch, @CompliceGoals, structures and symbols in life, salience landscapes, narratives, myth, etc
the approach @visakanv puts forth here is like "think of planning itself as a bottom-up embodied process, and don't be attached to the solidity and permanence of the emergent symbolic results of that process"
so here bottom-up planning is more of an arena that you enter in order to visualize and explore the potential realities in your life-world, and the results may be sketched as plans but really the thing is to attune with your body to these vectors of potential movement
what you produce in planning is not a self-coercive script: you are not "your own boss", you can't tell yourself what to do, your real future actions have to be grounded in an embodied intentionality that you can't control, only inspire
in this view, ADHD seems like a divergent mode of the process that anchors bottom-up emergence in higher-level intentional structures
whether that's dysfunctional depends on context, but it's not just a matter of "opinion", there are real consequences that require attention
here my fascination with MacIntyre's "After Virtue" comes into play — I think the main theme of that book is precisely this anchoring, and "virtue" as an adaptive social process that links bottom-up and top-down in the real life of practical activity
it seems quite reasonable to hypothesize that ADHD generally makes it hard to be "virtuous" in this sense of sustainable social flourishing, but it gets interesting when you realize that ADHD can be generative within certain practices and ways of life
so I think MacIntyrean Virtue Ethics would just say that ADHD as a variation can be generative, but for the sake of participation in higher-level structures the ADHD mind needs some kind of assistance, and providing such assistance is necessary for a flourishing society
and this is not just about political structures: just properly attending to any obligation or participation seems to require the type of processing that ADHD makes difficult, thus various problems of work-life balance, addictions, obsessions, etc
gotta stop thinking about this now, I think I don't yet have so much to say about actually stabilizing and attuning with higher-level intentionality, other than I now see that it's something I need to work on, and it's made easier by better bottom-up engagement
ahh, also there's a thing about not seeing the top-down as a hierarchy, but as something more alive and strange
life doesn't have a superstructure, it's a rainforest landscape of paths, horizons, rabbit holes, the occasional sacred quest, various social practices, etc
the landscape is also cultivated and built upon and it's essentially human that we build structures to hold us, are held by structures already built, and work to improve the structures
I actually find this aspect of the @Meaningness vibe to be a bit... um, dualistically extreme? It doesn't actually seem like a "complete stance." https://t.co/tuaceNc5d7