Hello, I'm ExCeph (short for Extradimensional Cephalopod). I've been mostly lurking here for the past decade and occasionally commenting within the past year or so. However, I never got around to actually introducing myself until now. It's good to meet you.
I was advised by a friend to actually write up a short bio, so here’s a bit about me.
*starts puffing a bubble pipe*
I grew up on science fiction and fantasy, plowing through satirical books such as the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett and the MythAdventures series by Robert Asprin, which inspired me to approach problems with a clear and critical mind.
One of my high school friends introduced me to both Less Wrong and Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which resonated with me. I read HPMOR up through its then most recent update and moved on to other rational fiction, like Luminosity and Elcenia. I also acquired an addiction to taste for reading TVTropes, which has Enhanced My Life. (But ask your doctor if TVTropes is right for you).
Reading through some Less Wrong and Slate Star Codex articles about the inadequacy of existing institutions confirmed my childhood suspicions that humans didn’t really know what they were doing with the world. I became extremely frustrated that fixing these institutions was not a public priority, as if no one was aware of what was wrong or how to approach the situation.
It was the summer before my senior year of high school when I came up with the first version of my insanely ambitious plan to change the world, which has been my main project ever since. As part of the plan, I researched and tested different concepts and tools to improve my productivity and my ability to effect positive change in the world, with sporadic progress.
During my first job out of college, I reached out to find other people who wanted to change the world, and that led me to the local effective altruism community. As a result, I spent some time volunteering with an effective altruist organization. Eventually, through both the job and the EA organization, I discovered I was still missing some fundamental attributes that nobody responsible for my education had noticed or figured out how to instill in me.
Since then I've spent the past year and a half refining and practicing the tools and attributes I'd discovered, and am now ready to participate in the rationality community. I hope you find my suggestions and perspectives useful.
Okay, I’m out of bubble fluid. *withdraws into the abyss*