The MMA Manifesto

Mixed Mental Arts is about constructing a dynamic world view that matches reality as closely as possible. It begins with an honest and naked acceptance that human thinking can be deeply flawed, and that reality is forever a moving target. To overcome this, Mixed Mental Artists seek broad cultural and scientific knowledge, smashing seemingly disparate ideas together to build useful understanding, and distilling it to gain an agile, open perspective.

Some core beliefs of the MMA dojo:

  1. Human hardware (biology) is largely the same, but human software (culture) is very different. Culture can alter what would otherwise be similar human experiences.
  2. Thinking and feeling are linked: how you feel affects how you think. Recognizing this will improve your mental plasticity.
  3. Principle is sometimes obscured in practice, so regularly reflect on how your principles are practiced:
    1. At the heart of the Catholic Church lies a perfect principle in love thy neighbor as thyself, but around that principle there developed an imperfect institution; so Martin Luther felt compelled to challenge it.
    2. At the heart of the Scientific Establishment lies a perfect principle in that we should change our understanding in light of new evidence; a principle that is unfortunately not well followed either.
  4. Never stop evolving. Be open to learning from a range of sources, running experiments of every kind, and react openly and honestly to new evidence.
  5. Leave your intuitions of authority at home: We don’t care where you went to school or what degree you have. Mixed Mental Arts was founded in part because experts were reaching bad conclusions because they weren’t working together. There’s only one authority here: reality. Our goal is to create a culture where everyone is accountable to reality. If it works, then great.
  6. Gang up on the problem, not each other: There are 130 million books and 60 million scientific papers. That’s too much information for any single human or the existing scientific establishment to be able to make sense of. The more we focus on our shared problems the more progress we’ll make.
  7. If you see something you want fixed in MMA, speak up and step up: Sometimes, your ability to see a problem and your ability to fix a problem won’t match. You might see a problem with the website but not yet know how to write code. You might see a problem with how the belt system is structured and not yet know how to improve that. If there’s a problem, tell us so we can all raise our game. But if you see a problem, you can fix then step up and volunteer to help fix it.
  8. Respect in the MMA community is determined only by the value you contribute to the tribe. The more you offer the group, the more the group will give back to you.

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