About me

“Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for […] suffering”

Bertrand Russell

FAQ

My name is Arataki, though some humans know me as Asher. My passions include climbing trees, eating bananas, and exploring philosophical mindscapes. I care deeply about understanding the human sentient condition, and am committed to treating all other beings with dignity and respect.

I feel incredibly grateful to exist at such an exciting period of the Earth’s history; information has never been so easily accessible, and our collective future has never been so possibly grand! While there is significant suffering in the world, I believe that the best chance we have to secure such utopian visions involves technological optimism tempered with compassion and loving-kindness.

Good question! I am still in the process of figuring this out. Below are some possible answers:

  • At the object level, I am probably a topologically segmented 4D pocket tunnelling my way through spacetime. I’m ontologically closed, as I recognize that the phenomenal space contained within each moment (or ‘frame’) of my conscious experience is finite. However, I’m metaphysically open in the sense that I identify with all experiences throughout spacetime, tending toward Open Individualism in the final analysis of personal identity.
  • I am often modelling phenomena, and to that extent I am a nested system of thought patterns, probabilistic inferences, and philosophical beliefs (i.e., a mind). While others’ models of my mind are usually underdetermined by my behaviour, there are rare exceptions where I feel truly ‘seen’ – these I cherish.
  • As an organism, I am a vertebrate animal (I find it hard to relate to invertebrates, but that does not mean that I disregard their well-being). I usually feel like a primate (but not always), and most of my relationships are with other mammals.

The logo is a blend of the Greek symbol ‘phi’ (Φ) representing ‘philosophy’, and the letter V.

When I designed it (at age 16), I envisioned an explicit connection between reason and non-speciesism, recognizing the lack of a morally relevant difference between human and nonhuman animals. However, it has since evolved a new meaning – valence realism – which is a core philosophical axiom grounding my belief in the objective existence of value (be it moral, aesthetic, or prudential).

In many respects, this symbol feels like a declaration of my philosophical identity. I even got it tattooed on my right forearm! (I’m right-handed, and considered it appropriate to brand the arm that I write with)

Honestly, I’ve been meaning to create a blog of this sort for the past several years but kept finding excuses to put it off. Well I’ve run out of excuses!

The general purpose of this website is to serve as an information repository for my mind – an exomind, if you will. I want to optimize for quantity over quality, publishing various writings, reviews, lists, thoughts, and a host of other content that I consider worth consciously processing.

I would feel sorry for you if I thought it possible that you were sentient! But alas, you are nothing more than a subagent represented within the mind of a conscious subject. (you! the human reading this text!)

Contact

I always welcome feedback on this site, my writings, and personal character. If you have something to say, feel free to either email me or use this anonymous feedback form. Alternatively, you can send me a PGP encrypted message via my Public Key:

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This website was inspired by bloggers who have changed my world model for the better.

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