NPC Meme & Simulated Thinking

The NPC concept is something that I have been chewing on for a few years now, as various forms of mysticism have long recognized a brand of human that is not capable of thinking for themselves, and is called an anthropoid by some, and back fill people by others, but it basically equates to the concept of NPC’s (non-player characters) in tabletop and video gaming.  NPC’s are characters that do not have free will, and are there to interact with the players in a manner that helps them to further their development as a character, either by providing a quest, acting as an antagonist, for buying and selling, and other routine interactions  In their engagements with players, NPC’s follow a script, which can range from simple to complex, but they do not actually have their own volition or ability to think free from their scripted programming.

I have found that I often run into problems when I, as a self-developed collaborative thinker, attempt to engage with a person who has instead chosen to attack, debate, and argue with me from an emotional position.  Whereas my goal is to collaborate, learn, and grow my viewpoints, their goal is to defeat my position and make me look bad.  These two end goals are incompatible, and like oil and water, cannot mix. SJW’s are the ones most often being called NPC’s, but really anybody who repeats talking points, unknowingly practices sophistry, and has not learned or developed collaborative thinking skills, can display NPC like behaviors.  To learn more about collaborative thinking, which is also known by names and tools such as dialogical thinking, dialectical thinking, multilogical thinking, and Socratic Dialogue, see the following article: Dialogical and Dialectical Thinking.

In the last few days the NPC (non-player character) meme has broken free of social media and made its way into the mainstream. Why has it spread so fast, and how does it relate to Jordan Greenhall’s concept of ‘thinking vs simulated thinking’. ~Rebel Wisdom

I particularly enjoyed this quote from Jordan Greenhall:

“A debater is engaging in a pattern recognition and rapid response activity with perhaps a specific small amount of focused thinking controlling the structure. I think I should be clear that the primary utility [of sophistry and debate] is in besting someone in a social conversation, and that isn’t at all conducive to collaborative thinking. So what ends up happening, is that when someone shows up that is actually trying to engage in collaborative thinking, and someone else deploys the primary toolkit of debate, the debater will show up as winning, at least to those who are not watching closely, and the thinker will show up as being often times really rather stupid, and so nobody wants to emulate that. So what ends up happening is it begins to select against thinking in both directions, which is to say that people trying to think lose, and other people don’t even try because it just looks like a bad choice. This shows up all over the place, and political infighting is of this sort.” ~Jordan Greenhall

Here’s the original video by Jordan Greenhall on collaborative vs simulated thinking:

Here’s Jordan Greenhall’s article on the same topic, “On Thinking and Simulated Thinking“.

Black Pigeon chimes in with his take on what the NPC meme is all about, and why it is happening:

This is a movie that explores that notion that it is algorithms and what is programmed into people that determine how they behave, and that people don’t necessarily have the ability to think freely for themselves. This is only a half truth, as those who have a collectivist mentality are subject to the whims of those who have a reason and purpose, but those who do have their own internal reason and purpose, and who have developed their psychological individuality, are not subject to such unconscious (and mindless) pattern repetition; at least not to the same degree as a collectivist would be.

We’ve created an integrative methodology called “the Unity Process“, which combines the Hermetic Principles (Natural Law), the Trivium Method, Socratic Questioning, Jungian shadow work, and the Emotional Freedom Techniques (meridian tapping)—into an easy to use system that allows people to process their emotional upsets, work through trauma, correct poor thinking, set healthy boundaries, and refine their viewpoints. We practice it together in our groups, and in our individual sessions. You can learn more about our offerings at our Eventbrite page.

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