Eric Weinstein Glossary of Terms
Eric often uses terms or turns-of-phrase that some people may not immediately understand. This page is a reference source for those only. This should not be confused with more general topic areas that may at first cause confusion such as the DISC, EGOs, Load-Bearing Fictions, etc.
- A Modern Contradictionary: New Words for our New World – a Twitter Moment by Eric with a vocabulary adapted to our changing world.
- Eric Weinstein Quotes
- 1 A/B Testing
- 2 Adaptive Landscape
- 3 Adaptive Valley
- 4 Adjective, Occupation, Name
- 5 Anthropic Capitalism
- 6 Anti-Expert
- 7 Anti-Fragility
- 8 Anti-Interesting
- 9 Artificial Outelligence
- 10 Audio Samizdat
- 11 The Big 5 Personality Traits
- 12 Church and Pike Commissions
- 13 Consensus
- 14 The Cosmic Spelling Bee
- 15 Critical Feeling
- 16 Deaths of Accountability
- 17 De-Potemkin
- 18 Dining a la Carte Philosophically/Politically/Ideologically
- 19 Don't screw yourself out of magic
- 20 The Educational Complex
- 21 Efficient Frontier
- 22 Electronic Tribalism & Electronic Feudalism
- 23 Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation
- 24 Environmental Insult
- 25 Escher's Hands Drawing Hands
- 26 Forced Citation
- 27 Fragility of Masculinity
- 28 Game B
- 29 Gating Function
- 30 Gene Drive
- 31 Genius vs Excellence
- 32 High Agency
- 33 Irrationality
- 34 It's a beautiful thing
- 35 Injustice Budget
- 36 Kayfabe
- 37 Litella
- 38 The Looting Party
- 39 Long Term vs Short Term Optimization
- 40 Long/short positions (nuanced positions)
- 41 Maladaptive strategies
- 42 Meaning
- 43 Message Violence
- 44 Middle Finger
- 45 Minus Epsilon
- 46 The N^2 Revolution
- 47 New Gimmick Economy
- 48 No More Heroes
- 49 Operation Cointel pro
- 50 Overton Window
- 51 Perfectly Legal
- 52 Potemkin Village
- 53 Preference Falsification
- 54 Rent-seeking Elites
- 55 Reputational Violence
- 56 Resource Capture
- 57 Riding on a technical substrate
- 58 Rough Space
- 59 Selective Pressures
- 60 Semi-reliable Communal Sense-making
- 61 Sharp Minds vs. Sharp Elbows
- 62 Speaking Fee
- 63 Split Level Argument
- 64 Steady Hands
- 65 Steel-manning
- 66 Teaching Disabilities
- 67 Terms of Service
- 68 The Twin Nuclei Problem
- 69 The Observerse
- 70 There is no secret ingredient
- 71 Thinkquisition
- 72 TIM - Technology Intelligence Media
- 73 Umwelt
- 74 Vampire syndrome
A/B testing (also known as bucket testing or split-run testing) is a user experience research methodology. A/B tests consist of a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B. It includes application of statistical hypothesis testing or "two-sample hypothesis testing" as used in the field of statistics. A/B testing is a way to compare two versions of a single variable, typically by testing a subject's response to variant A against variant B, and determining which of the two variants is more effective. (Source)
Reference:  Discussed in the context of adding “differential diagnosis” to our educators’ toolkit so that teaching disabled educators can learn how to add to better instruct students rather than externalizations the blame for their inadequate methods onto into the students.
- Sewall Wright's theory of adaptive landscapes of fitness
- Sewall Wright's theory of adaptive landscapes of fitness
Adjective, Occupation, Name
"Anti-Expert, n: 1. A person with expert training & credentials, yet who rejects consensus/institutional positions that cannot bear scrutiny."
"Artificial Outelligence, n: An unintelligent computer system that evolves by hijacking the minds it dupes & outwits."
The Bass designs false fish used by the mussels to better parasitize the bass.
It’s one thing to think & talk about the risks of unintelligent agents using *our* brains to outsmart ourselves. Another to see such examples in nature:
The clandestine copying and distribution of literature banned by the state, especially formerly in the communist countries of eastern Europe.
The Big 5 Personality Traits
Eric has referred to the Big 5 Personality Traits as a person's hedonic composition.
Church and Pike Commissions
Were two parallel committees run in the US House and Senate investigating illegal activities by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA). In the 1970's
References and Links:
There’s no arithmetic consensus because it doesn’t require a consensus. But there is a Washington consensus. There is a climate consensus. “Consensus” is how we bully people into pretending that there’s nothing to see, move along, everyone. And so I think that in part, you should start to learn that people don’t naturally come to high levels of agreement unless something is either absolutely clear, in which case consensus isn’t present, or there’s an implied threat of violence to livelihood or self.
The Cosmic Spelling Bee
Bret Weinstein's term for the existential position humanity faces.
"You're over-feeling this."
Similar to critical thinking, but with emotional content. "Most of our emotions are susceptible to becoming maladaptive and because the content is not analytic thoughts they are harder to access and harder to influence." According to Jocko's philosophy, the Dichotomy of Leadership, we must remain aware of emotional balance and when to engage.
#6 Jocko @ ~25:00
Deaths of Accountability
Depotemkin, verb: To create the missing reality that a façade was originally constructed to suggest was present.
Dining a la Carte Philosophically/Politically/Ideologically
The concept that you can take parts of different ideologies that you find beneficial without swallowing the whole group of other ideas that typically come along with that ideology.
Eric's go-to for this a "Xenophilic Restrictionist".
A xenophile is a person with intense interest/love for other cultures, this is normally paired with an open borders policy.
Restrictionist in this context is an immigration restrictionist, that is derided as a Xenophobic perspective.
Thus a "Xenophilic Restrictionist" would be viewed as an oxymoron/contradiction in terms without decoupling them from their typically associated ideologies.
Other Commentary and Links
Don't screw yourself out of magic
The Educational Complex
A system of selective political, economic, and memetic pressures resulting in a cult of the teaching profession which prioritizes the careerist desires of the educators over the learning needs of the students.
The efficient frontier is the blending of all possible components into portfolios with the highest possible return and the lowest possible volatility.
Electronic Tribalism & Electronic Feudalism
Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation
Escher's Hands Drawing Hands
Eric uses this drawing as a metaphor when beginning his discussion of our Source Code.
Wiki's article will hopefully be growing with this community's influence.
Fragility of Masculinity
Humankind has lived in Game A since we have escaped the Dunbar limit. Humankind has never seen or fully imagined Game B. People like Daniel Schmachtenberger, Jamie Wheal, and Jordan Hall speak about this process of dialogue and its risks on Rebel Wisdom. A fundamental shift from adversarial processing to opponent processing.
A genetic engineering technology that propagates a particular suite of genes throughout a population by altering that a specific allele will be transmitted to offspring from the natural 50% probability.
Genius vs Excellence
When you’re told that something is impossible, is that the end of the conversation, or does that start a second dialogue in your mind, how to get around whoever it is that’s just told you that you can’t do something? So how am I gonna get past this bouncer who told me that I can’t come into this nightclub? How am I going to start a business when my credit is terrible and I have no experience? You’re constantly looking for what is possible in a kind of MacGyverish sort of a way. And that’s your approach to the world.
Irrationality is a feature not a bug. It gives us the ability to Camp and decamp.
It's a beautiful thing
This originates from New York City.
Meaning: You can extract money from people with no say in the matter.
"A rigorous system would be capable of tying together an altered reality of layered falsehoods in which absolutely nothing can be assumed to be as it appears. Such a system, in continuous development for more than a century, is known to exist and now supports an intricate multi-billion dollar business empire of pure hokum. It is known to wrestling's insiders as "Kayfabe"." (E Weinstein 2011)
"Litella, v: to become politically & publicly outraged by one's own misinterpretation of the opinions of others."
The Looting Party
Episode 27, 1:46:00:
- when Bill Clinton decided that he couldn't take yet another loss to the Republican party, he was going to start experimenting with republicanism inside of the democratic party. By that point, we had two parties that more or less were two flavors of the same thing. I refer to that collective as the looting party.
Long Term vs Short Term Optimization
Long/short positions (nuanced positions)
"The meaning of my life is the progressing struggle to impart meaning to meaning." 
The analysis of message violence: "that there is certain violence that is committed theatrically as an instrument of transmission to induce preference falsification."
"The idea is to create something so horrific, beyond what is necessary to silence someone through murder and death, to communicate to others the instant necessity of beginning to falsify their preferences."
"A leveraging effect where a small amount of violence results in the maximum amount of preference falsification."
#4 Timur Kuran @ 28:50 Eric describes Saddam's Ba'ath party meetings. @ 31:45 Eric puts forth his theory.
"The point of the violence is to be so picturesque that it works its way into your mind and it won't let you go because somebody did something that was unnecessarily unthinkable; just for the purpose of torturing your brain with knowing that is what is on the other side."
#6 Jocko @ 55:03
It's the US’s Competitive Advantage. One of the things that the US still has over, let’s say, a competitor like China is that we tolerate the middle finger. it’s really important to start respecting our marginal citizens of greatest ability, and looking for the unusual personality types that are irreverent and committed enough to making things happen and really do things.
This originates from the epsilon-delta definition of a limit in mathematics.
The N^2 Revolution
This idea was shared with Eric on Dec, 07, 2017. The No Name Revolution, or N^2 Revolution, is the name Eric has given crisis we are currently facing. He proposes that our current cultural predicament was caused by our loss of Semi-Reliable Communal Sense-making. This is the sum total of the DISC, EGOs, and Load-Bearing Fictions being realized.
"...there was enough complex for us to function as a country and I think that has gone away. So I think that this (our loss of Semi-Reliable Communal Sense-making) is the parent of the crisis which I increasingly think of as, what I call it is: The No Name Revolution or the N squared revolution. We are in some sort of new regime which doesn't look like revolution we have seen before. It's much physically violent, so far. It is digitally extremely violent. And it has to do with the fact that we cannot make sense of things communally at some semi-reliable level."
New Gimmick Economy
No More Heroes
Operation Cointel pro
The Overton Window doesn't describe everything about how politics works, but it does describe one key thing: Politicians will not support whatever policy they choose whenever they choose; rather, they will only espouse policies that they believe do not hurt their electoral chances. And the range of policy options available to a politician are shaped by ideas, social movements and shared norms and values within society.
"It's perfectly legal" – something ethically dubious may be going on.
"Perfectly Legal, adj.: Of a case where the letter of the law has been arbitraged against its spirit (see Pettifog)."
In politics and economics, a Potemkin village is any construction (literal or figurative) whose sole purpose is to provide an external façade to a country which is faring poorly, making people believe that the country is faring better.
Timur Kuran's theory brought forth in his book Private Truths, Public Lies.
Eric contests that the theory of Preference Falsification is Intellectual Kryptonite. "Because your theory can be accommodated within the standard theory... the problem is that it is a ready made upgrade to the existing theory in which nothing is lost but new degrees of freedom are gained; and that could have an absolutely unpredictable effect on the entire field because it is at the level of the substrate." #4 Prof. Timur Kuran @ 1:07:03
Riding on a technical substrate
"Rough Space, n: A place to think, joke & observe that is neither safe nor tolerant of abuse."
We now need rough spaces to replace safe ones.
Semi-reliable Communal Sense-making
Sharp Minds vs. Sharp Elbows
"Speaking Fee, n: 1) Asynchronous Baksheesh received once a politician has left office. 2) (Archaic) A modest honorarium for giving a speech."
Split Level Argument
Related to the "Motte-and-Bailey Doctrine".
This originates from Washington D.C.
"He has steady hands." You can count on him to do the wrong thing during an emergency to keep everyone on the inside okay Everyone on the inside is super dependent to burn all of their credibility in public
The steel man argument (or steelmanning) is the exact opposite of the straw man argument. The idea is to find the best form of the opponent's argument to test opposing opinions.
Not Learning Disabilities Differential diagnosis
Terms of Service
The Twin Nuclei Problem
There is no secret ingredient
This is a line from Eric's favorite movie, Kung Fu Panda.
TIM - Technology Intelligence Media
(in ethology) The world as it is experienced by a particular organism.
"Sensible people who live on the internet and are saying dangerous things cannot be reflected inside of institutional media because it's an official structure."