The Betterment Institute

ideologies you choose.

About the project

betterment

noun

making or becoming better;

institute

verb, noun

a facility or habit to build, create, raise, or educate;

The word ideology is drenched with dark meaning. And yet, we are saturated with them. Rituals of thought, feeling, and action thrust upon us by the tiny sliver of the world we inhabit and the people with whom we have shared ideas. These are protective—graceful solutions to an impossibly complex world. Yet, remarkably dangerous left unexamined. Ideologies should be chosen, not ignored. Instituted with care, not by default. btrmt is about the ideologies you choose.

Projects

The Analects Image

Analects

analects

In order to choose ideologies, we must first examine them. The analects are a collection of examinations: long form Articles and videos exploring common ideologies and coming up with the sharpest possible version of those things. A particular cut on an idea, with the evidence considered and a decision made. You'll also find short form commentaries like the Marginalia which are my notes on interesting content around the web, or the Missives---the newsletter and the changelog, so you can keep track of what's happened since you were last here.

Curricula Image

Curricula

curricula

Many of our existing ideologies are filtered through an economy of shame, outrage, yearning, and terror. The narratives of growth we have left are increasingly superficial. Worse, the scholastic enterprise has gone a bit funny. A thousand proliferating disciplines, showering us with knowledge split into a million isolated fragments until "we know more and more about less and less". For these fragments to be truly useful, they should stem from an architecture of thought—an overarching set of beliefs we can trust to point even our errors in the right direction. The curricula are this: a collection of heuristics, or frames, through which we make some of the chaos into meaning while accepting that in doing so, we are choosing to make some meaning into chaos.

The Armchair Collective Logo

The Armchair Collective

armchr

Humans, of all the animals, have the greatest capacity for nurture. Our capacity to thrive is due to our ability to adapt, and our ability to adapt is merely a reflection of our ability to come together and share ideas. The Armchair Collective is a place to do just that.

Things to Read

Changelog

July 31, 2022

June 23, 2022

Overhauled article: the value of social comparisons.


May 13, 2022

Overhauled article: The value of relationship control.


Marginalia

How to speak - Patrick Winston's famous lecture.


Grasslands rank among the most imperiled and least protected biomes on Earth. They are disappearing even faster than forests, and much of what remains has suffered varying degrees of damage. Their decline threatens a huge chunk of the planet’s biodiversity, the livelihoods of roughly 1 billion people, and countless ecological services such as carbon and water storage. Yet these losses don’t register with the same force as deforestation. Perhaps because we do not notice, or perhaps because we do not care.


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