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BAP Theory with Geoffrey Miller


Geoffrey and I discuss Bronze Age Pervert, what it means to SUBMIT, Kanye West, bugmen, Curtis Yarvin, and much more. You can watch the video on Geoffrey's channel. Catch the first glimpse of my next big project at IndieThinkers.org.

Big thanks to all the patrons who help me keep the lights on.

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5 comments on “BAP Theory with Geoffrey Miller”

  1. What evidence do we have that a god hack works if you're an atheist? Don't you have to actually believe?

    1. It does not work if you're an atheist! That's the hack: to truly believe. If you currently don't believe, all you have to do is decide to believe. Without evidence. It's not rational. That's what faith is. It's like a cheat code in a video game, when you enter the password it unlocks new levels of play you rationally inferred to be non-existent (until you were handed the cheat code). The leap of faith opens up new levels that you can't access through rationality. If you're not "convinced" or just don't want to, that's fine. You're perfectly free to play all the regular levels of the game of life.

      As for evidence, use the scientific method. Any given rationalist atheist is a N=1 time-series experiment. Every day is one unit in a longitudinal dataset. Measure your feelings, relationship quality, and outputs every day for 90 days as an atheist. On a randomly assigned day, start going to church and praying sincerely every week and day, respectively, for another 90 days. Measure your feelings, attitudes, relationship quality, and outputs in this period as well. If these metrics improve to a statistically significant degree, there's your evidence. If they don't, it is either the case that God Theory is wrong or intervention non-compliance occurred (a perfectly scientific concept by the way, it's a problem that haunts many proper scientific experiments). I.e., perhaps you did not really commit to believing. Rationalists will often accuse me here of an anti-scientific trick: that this way of thinking makes religious faith tautologically true and unfalsifiable ("if it doesn't work then it's not religion"). But here's the major error of this position: I'm not trying to convince you, I'm not trying to produce intersubjectively valid demonstrable empirical knowledge. That's rationality and science, which is cool, but it's only one thing a human can do, and it only works with certain pieces of reality. What I am saying is that, if you are a rationalist atheist, you can actually use scientific method to rationally approach religious faith. But whether you really take the leap of faith, whether you really do that or merely pretend to, nobody knows how to verify or measure! I personally, subjectively believe — in the face of uncertainty and shoddy data and global complexity — that there seems to be a real mechanism there, which I can phenomenologically attest to in my own N=1 time-series experiments and which is arguably visible in the sociological data. But if others don't, I don't really care lol. That's the difference with science: if someone doesn't acknowledge the results of a valid and reproducible experiment, they are effectively liars assaulting the community pursuing empirical truth. It rightfully demands indignation and condemnation. If an atheist says my experimental protocol for testing faith doesn't work, I believe that it didn't work — for them. But whether it was because I'm wrong or because they privately failed to comply, is non-demonstrable. (Maybe brain scans could do it if they ever become cheap enough for bio-hacking). In other words, scientific method can get you 90% of the way there, I think. But I would not say my claims are scientifically demonstrable. Quite the contrary, the cheat code is precisely a decisive assertion of disregard for scientific rationality.

      By the way, you might not even know if you complied with the intervention! That's where this stuff gets wild. I don't even know if I really believe, I don't know that I can, but I do believe that if I could believe that would be good. So at a certain point I just decided I would keep trying. Then I realized that that is what it means to believe. It's never finally validated, within your own phenomenology or externally, that you're even truly believing! But I have found that if I keep trying, as sincerely as possible, the results are always good. And yes I do claim those results are measurable; what's not intersubjectively demonstrable is the causal link. But why would it be?! We shouldn't expect it to, from a scientific perspective! The whole idea is that a decisive subjective break with scientific rationality produces novel positive results you can't get with scientific rationality, we should rationally infer that — if this were true — it would defy scientific demonstration.

      All of this has always been known by smart Christians, fwiw. This is why — for those who do believe — the conversion experience is described as an act of Grace. We have no idea how to engineer the leap of faith and it's miraculous results ("miraculous" here is not superstitious but a rational and honest admission that it doesn't really make sense!), because you're right: You can't prove it to an atheist, and one can't quite properly prove even that it worked for oneself. And yet, to those who have experienced it, all of our empirical data suggest real positive effects of the leap of faith. We'd be straight-up lying — surely the greatest violation of rationality and science! — to say otherwise.

  2. BAP is a disgusting anti-Semite. As a gay Jewish man, I have found myself living in fear of goin to the gym, where I could be subjected to hate speech from a right-wing gym-bro. Shame on you for promoting this racist asshole. #reported

  3. what you mention at 10:18 was a huge takeaway from BAM to me: the fruit of fringe internet subcultures can be much richer than what they currently produce if only a handful individuals would put forth the effort. i believe it's incredibly important right now for people in these spaces to start creating lasting works- beyond just "content". as a librarian, i LOVE to see this happening in the form of books. it's a perfect medium through which to make a splash in the two "arenas" you mention: the political and the intellectual. but imo what is _sorely_ needed as well is for these kinds of creators to engage in the arena of the artistic. curtis yarvin explains the reasons why much better than i ever could in his clear pill essay (pt. 1), but i think this is what our world truly NEEDS most rn. i see it beginning with self-published fiction like the works of Zero HP Lovecraft and (as mentioned by Geoffrey later in this podcast) Delicious Tacos, but i personally can't wait to see how it might manifest in other mediums as well; music, films, and- the medium i'm personally most excited/primed to explore myself- video games

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