Open thread, Sep. 12 - Sep. 18, 2016

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Sam Harris' TED talk on AGI existential risk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZhGkKFH1x0&feature=youtu.be

ETA: It's been taken down, probably so TED can upload it on their own channel. Here's the audio in the meantime: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B5xcnhOBS2UhZXpyaW9YR3hHU1k

Was the youtube link video? Do you have the video of the TED talk? Audio is boring, but I can wait.

Yes it was video. As Brillyant mentioned, the official version will be released on the 29th of September. It's possible someone will upload it before then (again), but AFAIK nobody has since the video I linked was taken down.

Sam Harris' Twitter says Sept 29 release for the AI Risk TED Talk.

Thanks for the pointer, though I can't open the audio file either.

I changed the link to the audio, should work now.

No dice.

Edit: either it works from my phone only, or it works now. Yay!

Time to rebuild a library

My 5 terabyte harddrive went poof this morning, and silly me hadn't bought data-recovery insurance. Fortunately, I still have other copies of all my important data, and it'll just take a while to download everything else I'd been collecting.

Which brings up the question: What info do you feel it's important to have offline copies of, gathered from the whole gosh-dang internet? A recent copy of Wikipedia and the Project Gutenberg DVD are the obvious starting places... which other info do you think pays the rent of its storage space?

I don't see much value in having a recent copy of Wikipedia or Project Gutenberg on my computer. In both cases the availability of the information is secured by other parties. It's more valuable to make sure that I store information that's not protected by other people

Someone Is Learning How to Take Down the Internet. What will you do when the only data you have access to is whatever you have stored locally?

What will you do when the only data you have access to is whatever you have stored locally?

Look lovingly at my store of beans & ammo :-P

You do realize that if the whole 'net goes down for more than a few hours, lack of access to Wikipedia is not going to be your most pressing problem..?

I have found wikipedia and other locally saved content interesting to read when the internet was down for long periods of time. It's weird to lose the modern ability we take for granted, that we can just look anything up whenever we are curious.

If the world does collapse access to wikipedia could be enormously useful. Imagine needing to look up what plants are edible, or how to hunt, or how long to wait before nuclear fallout disperses, etc.

If the world does collapse access to wikipedia could be enormously useful.

What makes you think you'll have electricity in a TEOTWAWKI scenario? I'll still take beans & ammo (and maybe a paper survivalist book).

On a more general level, if you desire to prepare for the civilization collapse, downloading Wikipedia to your local hard drive is probably not the right place to start.

not the right place to start

Who says that's where I'm starting? :)

I already have my short-term physical supplies, including water, food, camping gear, and AA-battery-powerable handheld ham radio. I also have a highly-portable solar panel capable of keeping my phone, and the offline copy of Wikipedia I keep on its SD Card, functioning regardless of the power grid; and I have enough battery-backup stuff at home to run my laptop long enough to copy the latest Wikipedia dump (and whatever emergency-survival ebooks I've collected by then) onto that SD card.

Water, tinned food and ammo (if you live somewhere where firearms are legal) is probably the most important, but wrapping some electronic gadgets in tin foil (would that sheild from emp blasts?) and buying some solar panels or a generator could be pretty useful too. For instance, a radio would be very useful for listening to the army trying to organise survivors.

I have a generators and a printer to print any pages I need. It might be worth looking into a low power device that could read text and require minimal batteries or maybe a solar panel.

Data recovery is a last-ditch effort that often as enough fails, and if it succeeds will only get you back kilobytes or megabytes of your most critical material. (Unless you're lucky enough that it's actually a controller failure.)

If you want to avoid disk failures, invest instead in backups.

I have two hard drives, one larger than the other, with the smaller being backed up the larger. When the smaller drive is filled, or when it fails, then I simply buy a new drive, still larger, and the previous larger becomes the new smaller. So far there is no end in view in this process.

I also have everything in an encrypted online backup with CrashPlan.

Depends how much storage space you are willing to buy.

One of my fantasies is a Raspberry Pi that automatically downloads all Wikipedia updates each month or so, to keep a local copy. The ultimate version of this would do the same for every new academic article available on Sci-Hub.

Sci-Hub is the largest collection of scientific papers on the planet, and has over 58 million academic papers. If they average 100 kB a piece, that's only 5.8 TB. If they average 1MB each, then you would need to shell out some decent cash, but you could in theory download all available academic papers.

Someone may even have already done something like this, and put the script on GitHub or somewhere. (I haven't looked.)

(Also, nice username. :) )

EDIT: It turns out there's a custom built app for downloading and viewing Wikipedia in various languages. It's available on PCs, Android phones, and there's already a version made specially for the Pi: http://xowa.org/home/wiki/Help/Download_XOWA.html

I wonder how difficult it would be to translate all of Sci-Hub into a wiki format that the app could add and read. You'd probably have to modify the app slightly, in order to divide up all the Sci-Hub articles among multiple hard drives. It might make the in-app search feature take forever, for instance. And obviously it wouldn't work for the Android app, since there's not enough space on a MicroSD card. (Although, maybe a smaller version could be made, containing only the top 32GB of journal articles with the most citations, plus all review articles.)

Even just converting science into a Wikipedia-like format would be useful for the sake of open access. Imagine if all citations in a paper were a hyperlink away, and the abstract would display if you hovered your mouse over the link. (The XOWA app does this for Wikipedia links.)

Even just converting science into a Wikipedia-like format would be useful for the sake of open access. Imagine if all citations in a paper were a hyperlink away, and the abstract would display if you hovered your mouse over the link.

YES! YES! YES! And this could be done pretty much automatically. Also, links in the reverse direction: "who cited this paper?" with abstracts in tooltips.

But there is much more that could be done in the hypothetical Science Wiki. For example, imagine that the reverse citations that disagree with the original paper would appear in a different color or with a different icon, so you could immediately check "who disagree with this paper?". That would already require some human work (unfortunately, with all the problems that follow, such as edit wars and editor corruption). Or imagine having a "Talk page" for each of these papers. Imagine people trying to write better third-party abstracts: more accessible, less buzzwords, adding some context from later research. Imagine people trying to write a simpler version of the more popular papers...

The science could be made more accessible and popular.

One of my first thoughts was glosses.

If I recall, in the early middle ages, one of the main ways by which philosophy and proto-science advanced was through the extensive use of glosses. (as adapted from biblical glosses) Contemporary thinkers would all write commentaries on various works of Aristotle. At first, these were confined to the margins of the manuscripts being copied, but later they were published separately.

Since Aristotle had a fairly comprehensive philosophy, this meant reading all the glosses on a particular work of his brought you up to speed with the current state of knowledge on that topic. This had the effect of creating domains of knowledge, and scholarly specialization first nucleated around individual texts.

I say this, because one of the main problems with science today is just that there is so much of it. This makes it difficult to have interdisciplinary#Interactions) exchange of knowledge and meaningful communication and coordination.

Having a search engine like Google Scholar helps enormously, but it can be difficult to sift through a body of knowledge if you don't already know all the right keywords to search for. The existence of review articles also helps summarize, but it's still a somewhat clumsy solution. Why not replace the review article with a wiki?

It would be nice to have everything arranged formally and hierarchically, by field, sub-field, and then by topic within that sub field. Each level could have their own publicly editable summary, if there was enough human effort to maintain it. Imagine all that also ordered by citation index, and with links to all relevant news articles, blogs, and reddit threads commenting on each article.

Read a tabloid headline starting with "Scientists Say..."? Go directly to the wiki, and check what other scientists and the internet think of the research quality, background context, reputability, etc. Maybe even have a prediction market on whether the findings will replicate.

A huge part of the scientific discourse is no longer happening in the journal articles themselves, but this could capture it all in one place.

Citeseer was originally supposed to serve a similar purpose by automatically extracting the excerpts where the paper was cited, so that the human could judge whether they were positive or negative. But it seems to have been abandoned after the advent of google scholar, or maybe before.

Innovation in science may undermine the efficacy of science if science is a process.

For Wikipedia, I've been reasonably satisfied with Kiwix for software, and their updated-every-month-or-three copies of Wikipedia, and the related Wikimedia foundation sites, at http://wiki.kiwix.org/wiki/Content_in_all_languages .

If they average 1MB each, then you would need to shell out some decent cash

Unfortunately, I don't have "decent cash" to shell out. I've seem some setups at /r/DataHoarder that I would be extremely happy to ever own, but don't expect to until typical HDs are an order of magnitude or two bigger than today's. By which time I expect people will have come up with brand-new forms of data to fill the things with. :)

(Also, nice username. :) )

It's not just a nom-de-net, it's a way of life. :)

Ah, data hoarding. This is a subject that interests me for multiple reasons. I think preserving humanity's knowledge is important to start with. But I also like to have local copies of things in case of emergency or just a regular internet outage.

You mentioned wikipedia. I found it takes a long time to download, and viewing it is difficult.

I am working on a scraper for lesswrong. I already downloaded all the html of every post, but I need to parse it into a machine readable format, and then I will publish it as a torrent.

All reddit comments ever are available. I don't really know what the utility of this is, I'm mostly interested in this stuff for machine learning. But I have found that reddit comments are fantastic for answering questions that wikipedia might not be able to answer, not to mention multiple lifetimes of reading material. I once had an IRC bot that would answer questions by searching askreddit, and it was fairly effective for many types of questions. Similarly it might be worth scraping other social media sites such as hacker news.

I find a torrent for "reddit's favorite books" which contains hundreds of books people recommended on reddit. It may be worth downloading say all books that have ever appeared on a best sellers list. But one would need to have such a list and how to scrape libgen, which I haven't looked into yet.

Various textbooks are available through torrent sites or the library genesis. These contain knowledge in a format better than wikipedia, I think. Also scientific papers.

The problem with this is that many books and especially papers and textbooks, are distributed in weird formats like pdf or even postscript. These formats are awful and don't compress well.

The fantastic thing about text data is that it's so small, compared to images or video. And it compresses super well. You can store multiple libraries worth of text in a cheapish hard drive.

But pdfs store tons of data as overhead. Just converting them to text might be possible. But that fails terribly on math or anything that isn't english text. Especially graphs which are important I think. OCR has tons of errors. I'd love to someday have a local archive of all of humanity's knowledge with almost every book and paper ever published, but it would require solving this problem.

Then perhaps it would be possible to store the data on nickel plates that will last up to 10,000 years. One website is doing that to all of their data. Which is crazy because it's mostly images too. There is no information on the total storage space, but they do say "Ten thousand standard letter-sized sheets of text or more could fit onto a 2.2-inch diameter nickel plate", which seems like a lot.

Maybe there is good info in reddit comments, but how do you find it? google? Maybe if you restrict to askreddit it is tractable. Did your bot do its own searching?

My IRC bot used reddit's own search api, but restricted to a handful of subreddits like eli5, askscience, and askreddit. I also used a bit of machine learning to improve the results a bit, by predicting whether or not a post would have a good answer. It was based on just a few simple features like the number of n-grams that matched in the title, the body, and the number of votes, etc.

It was on the #lesswrong irc for some time and people loved to play with it, until eventually a fun hating op muted it.

Sample conversation: https://i.imgur.com/LDD9isL.jpg

I am working on a scraper for lesswrong. I already downloaded all the html of every post, but I need to parse it into a machine readable format, and then I will publish it as a torrent.

I think that'll be worth at least a Discussion post when you publish it, for those of us who don't keep track of every comment. :)

(Will you be including OvercomingBias?)

But I also like to have local copies of things in case of emergency or just a regular internet outage.

I've found a torrent of public-domain "survival books" of which at least some may interest you; unfortunately, LW doesn't seem to want to let me embed the magnet URL, so I'll try just pasting it: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:57963b66246379aa3c10d84a5de92c0ab5173faf&dn=SurvivalLibrary&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.tfile.me%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fpow7.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.pow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftorrent.gresille.org%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fp4p.arenabg.ch%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.krs-ix.ru%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fmgtracker.org%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.dutchtracking.nl%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fshare.camoe.cn%3a8080%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.dutchtracking.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexplodie.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftorrent.gresille.org%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.krs-ix.ru%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ft1.pow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fpow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fsecure.pow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.tfile.me%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fatrack.pow7.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fextremlymtorrents.me%2fannounce.php&tr=http%3a%2f%2finferno.demonoid.me%3a3414%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftorrentsmd.com%3a8080%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fopen.facedatabg.net%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.opentrackr.org%3a1337&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fthetracker.org%3a80&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.to%3a2710&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.me%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.to%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.me%3a2710&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fopen.facedatabg.net%3a6969&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.ex.ua%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2finferno.demonoid.com%3a3411%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2finferno.demonoid.ph%3a3389%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.com%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.leechers-paradise.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.ilibr.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fzer0day.ch%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fwww.eddie4.nl%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftorrent.gresille.org%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fp4p.arenabg.ch%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fp4p.arenabg.com%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.leechers-paradise.org%3a6969&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.kicks-ass.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.tiny-vps.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f91.218.230.81%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f168.235.67.63%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fexplodie.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2feddie4.nl%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3a6969&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.opentrackr.org%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.aletorrenty.pl%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.dler.org%3a6969%2fannounce

Yes if I finish it I will make a discussion post for it. I didn't plan on including overcoming bias, but that could be done.

If you put 4 spaces before it you can make it a codeblock which should fix it:

magnet:?xt=urn:btih:57963b66246379aa3c10d84a5de92c0ab5173faf&dn=SurvivalLibrary&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.tfile.me%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fpow7.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.pow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftorrent.gresille.org%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fp4p.arenabg.ch%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.krs-ix.ru%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fmgtracker.org%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.dutchtracking.nl%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fshare.camoe.cn%3a8080%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.dutchtracking.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexplodie.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftorrent.gresille.org%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.krs-ix.ru%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ft1.pow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fpow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fsecure.pow7.com%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.tfile.me%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fatrack.pow7.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fextremlymtorrents.me%2fannounce.php&tr=http%3a%2f%2finferno.demonoid.me%3a3414%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftorrentsmd.com%3a8080%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fopen.facedatabg.net%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.opentrackr.org%3a1337&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fthetracker.org%3a80&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.to%3a2710&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.me%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.to%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.me%3a2710&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fopen.facedatabg.net%3a6969&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.ex.ua%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2finferno.demonoid.com%3a3411%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2finferno.demonoid.ph%3a3389%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f9.rarbg.com%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.leechers-paradise.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.ilibr.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fzer0day.ch%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fwww.eddie4.nl%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftorrent.gresille.org%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fp4p.arenabg.ch%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fp4p.arenabg.com%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.leechers-paradise.org%3a6969&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.kicks-ass.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.tiny-vps.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f91.218.230.81%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f168.235.67.63%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fexplodie.org%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2feddie4.nl%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.coppersurfer.tk%3a6969&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.opentrackr.org%3a1337%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.aletorrenty.pl%3a2710%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.dler.org%3a6969%2fannounce

Data-recovery insurance is called "a backup".

There is not much need for me to have copies of information off the 'net. The exceptions are music/movies/books which I don't bother to backup (I just want to have them locally and know where to find them if my local storage dies) and a variety of interesting to me titbits which fit into Evernote quite well. I don't see any point in having a local copy of the Wikipedia and/or Project Gutenberg.

Being around here has made me think that I know everything interesting about the world and suppressed my excitement and joy from many minor things I could do. I also feel like my sense of wonder diminished. As I write this, I am a little unhappy, and in a period of depression, but I had similar feelings, if less intense, even before this period.

I was wondering whether you have any advice on how to restore this; or even better, how to "forget" as much rationality and transhumanism as possible (if not actually forgetting, then at least "to think and feel as I did before I read the Sequences")?

LessWrong has made me if anything more able to derive excitement and joy from minor things, so if I were you I would check if LW is really to blame or otherwise find out if there are other factors causing this problem.

I keep doing that but it's kind of hard, and I can't easily get a proof of what's causing the problem.

Being around here has made me think that I know everything interesting about the world

You know everything interesting? Including, say, how to build FAI? Do tell! :P

I can understand how rationality might make you depressed, in fact sometimes I feel that the more I understand about signalling, psychology and so forth the more other people annoy me. I find myself picking apart what other people say for logical fallacies and translating every political statement into 'The outgroup is bad! Fight the outgroup!".

However, I'm surprised that transhumanism would diminish your sense of wonder - a philosophy about how humans could turn into Jupiter-brain gods seems to me like the sort of thing that should increase your sense of wonder. Maybe you have been reading too much analytical stuff and you need to read something more 'far-out'? Maybe read 'the headonic imperitive?'

Being around here has made me think that I know everything interesting about the world

I don't think that's an inherent feature of Lesswrong. The idea that most humans are overconfident and that there much left to be understood seems to me one of the ideas of rationality.

The skepticism of Feymann would be an example of a rational way of looking at the world but that still have it's sense of wonder.

Well, yeah, but it also gives a lot of answers and provides an argument to everything. Also it feels like reading from the community reduces everything to either effective altruism or AI. It may not be true but I've internalized it so much that now I can't listen to, say, any politician's statement on state budget, without EA or AI funding immediately coming to mind. Or even any economics or politics or important decision making without feeling like "this is all wrong and we shouldn't care about it". It's a little disheartening :)

Or even any economics or politics or important decision making without feeling like "this is all wrong and we shouldn't care about it".

Most people aren't happy when they read political news. If you care about happiness then spending less time reading political news might be good regardles whether you are in this community or not.

Secondly that reaction isn't the result of LW ideology. Eliezer wrote http://lesswrong.com/lw/gz/policy_debates_should_not_appear_onesided/ and having a credence for beliefs instead of categorising them as right/wrong are pillars of LW.

In general "this is all wrong" might not be the best trigger from a rationality perspective. Asking "What's the likelihood that this is right?" is better from a rationality perspective. Thinking about whether that probability is 20% or 30% can be much more interesting intellectually than thinking in right/wrong terms.

Sometimes a change is as good as a rest.

If you want to use your sense of wonder again, it might be good to seek out something completely new to you. Learn about something new, develop a new skill, or go to some place that you haven't been before. Then spend some time being quiet and observing or practicing.

Or spend some time in person with people who are enthusiastic about things you are not enthusiastic about, and get curious about why they like it, and listen to what they say.

I'm pretty sure you still have a sense of wonder in there, waiting to be used. It may be something that grows with practice though.

Also, remember that familarity is not the same thing as comprehension! You may very well be familiar with more interesting things about the world than you were before, but that does not me an that you understand them! And Less Wrong is certainly not a comprehensive compendium of all the interesting things in the world. For example, a topic that is rarely discussed on Less Wrong is Fluid Dynamics, which is something that awakes my sense of wonder. Here's a link to a blog about fluid dynamics: http://fuckyeahfluiddynamics.tumblr.com

I'm not sure whether to think up some strategies to help you find joy in the things you used to enjoy, or if what would help is spending time on completely new things, and making bigger changes in your life. Or some mixture, like remixing your past and present to make your future.

If there are still some minor things that you do find joy in, do those more often. Sometimes it is as simple as noticing what you like doing, what makes you feel even a smidgen happier, and doing it more.

I'm a bit confused as to how reading the Sequences could make it harder to find joy and excitement in minor things, or make you feel like you know everything. What happened, if you don't mind sharing?

That's helpful, thank you! Your mention of Fluid Dynamics was particularly nice.

Happy to share.

Part of is what I replied to ChristianKl: that I feel like every important thing should be reduced to thinking about EA or AI. This makes me think that I can't find any new areas interesting because they're not good, or should be eliminated to divert resources into one of those two items.

Another part, I think, is that previously, I could always discover a... greater... area of interest once I grew out of the old one. When I got good at video games, I could move on to try making friends, then to do volunteering, then to attend college, then to try living alone, but, once I started to seriously think through the Sequences, which made read other Yudkowsky's writing, including, sigh, "The Road to Singularity", the next thing then was "saving the world" and it doesn't feel like I can get much further from there.

You should probably start by accepting the fact that you do not know everything interesting about the world, nor does anyone else on Less Wrong, or anyone else in the world.

That does not require forgetting anything or pretending things are other than they are: it is just a simple fact about the world. I agree that LW has a negative tendency to produce the opposite, and mistaken, conviction in people.

Huh, um, okay! ^^ I somewhat suspected that that is the case, but it's still hard to believe it. (thank you)

Why do you think spending time on Less Wrong is the cause of your depression?

Not neccessarily cause of depression.

I mean, I am suspicious and I believe it has something to do with it. At my worst during depressive periods, I keep thinking about death, altruism, rationality, AI etc. Also, there's these surveys that tell me that LessWrong members are unusually likely to have depression.

But I think my depression is mostly innate.

If you are looking for a sense of wonder in particular, I'd recommend pretty much anything by Carl Sagan. Audio-books, Cosmos show, etc. My thought is that the social proof will transfer his positive valence) to you. Ideally, when thinking about anything on a grand scale, it would trigger an association with that sense of wonder.

I hesitated to say this though, since it is also likely to make a sense of smallness more salient, if it isn't already salient. Use your best judgement.

So... you don't want to know whether or not there's a diamond in the box?

You're referring to http://lesswrong.com/lw/js/the_bottom_line/, yes?

It just seems like those situations don't present themselves very often. More often, a situation presents itself like this: A team member makes all the wrong arguments to support a thesis I disagree with. Previously, I would just fight against each of his arguments. Now, I don't do anything much (I'm not good at convincing people) but instead keep thinking "yeah, yeah, arguments, soldiers, written the bottom line, blah, blah" without it actually being useful.

That's not really related to my main problems, but in general, rationality for me poses that problem, that merely thinking in a Sequences-like fashion causes me to feel sad and doesn't bring enough benefit to compensate, I suspect.

No, I was making a reference to the Litany of Tarski.

When you ask "how do I forget rationality?", it seems to me that you're asking how to go back to deceiving yourself. After all, rationality is the adherence of beliefs to reality, and there's nothing that subtracts you joy by changing your beliefs so that they are more in tune with reality: after all, reality was there all along.
Perhaps ponderating on the joy of the merely real could help.

"Reality was there all along." The fact that someone believes something is part of reality, and if it changes, then reality is changing. There is no reason that this cannot take away some joy from someone, even if their beliefs end up less accurate.

As St. Paul said, "For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things." Asserting that conforming your beliefs to reality cannot make you less joyful is itself a form of wishful thinking in which you refuse to conform your beliefs to reality.

If I correctly read what you're saying, you're basically asserting that you can be sad because your belief structure has changed. That implies to have meta-beliefs, which are extremely dangerous from a rationality point of view.
As a rationalist, you should keep your identity very small and do not presuppose anything about the general structure of how your beliefs should be like, because you will be almost certainly wrong (and disappointed).
Consider this extreme example.

On the other hand, I don't understand the Paul quote: we're exactly saying that you shouldn't be judgemental (about reality, that is). Obviously we're talking about ideals to aspire, as with everything in this forum and self-improvement.

No, it does not imply that you have "meta-beliefs", although everyone does. It implies that your beliefs affect the world, as for example by making you say things. If your beliefs affect the world, changing your beliefs will both change the part of the world which is your beliefs, and also other parts of the world. All of that has the possibility of making you sad.

This is all perfectly obvious, and I should not have to bring up examples from real life.

It could be that reality has nasty things in mind for us that we can't yet see and that we cannot affect in any way, and therefore I would be happier if I didn't know of them in advance. Encountering a new idea like this that somebody has discovered is one my constant worries when browsing this site.

The thought that you know everything interesting about the world, is a thought.

In fact, by thinking that you know, you won't ever be able to know. Because you think you already have what you seek, thus you cannot gain what you seek. In the same manner, you won't buy an expensive object when you already have said object.

I also feel like my sense of wonder diminished. As I write this, I am a little unhappy, and in a period of depression, but I had similar feelings, if less intense, even before this period.

I was wondering whether you have any advice on how to restore this; or even better, how to "forget" as much rationality and transhumanism as possible (if not actually forgetting, then at least "to think and feel as I did before I read the Sequences")?

The unknown is vastly beyond, in fact, if you are familiar with "map not being the territory", you are the territory.

The territory precedes time, space and everything that is a map. Which are, you. The concept of who you think is you is a map.

By practicing daily meditation, you will be able to increase your awareness where the separation of thoughts and awareness occurs, by becoming less oblivious to the maps, all that's left is the territory.

The ego loves to stay in control, and it's a very tricky thing, I can highly recommend starting meditation, every single day, have a timer or follow a guided meditation practice. No matter how you feel or what the day is, get it done, even if you have to do it every time before you go to sleep.

Of course, this isn't medical advice, for emergencies, you should visit a doctor :)

Take care, god bless.

Thank you. I admit I didn't understand most of what you said. Sorry.

I tried meditation once and it was terrible. Emptying my head allows all the negativity to come in :).

Check this out:

https://www.mindandlife.org/remembrance-things-come-predictive-nature-mind-contemplative-practices/

If you're interested in giving meditation a try again, try the headspace website/app.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVzTnS_IONU

Meditation for beginners on youtube from actualized is a great start, he also has a guided meditation track and more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXmG1x1ih1U

In my opinion by not approaching the meditation for benefit's sake will you paradoxically benefit the most, but I don't know, it's a speculation. Alan Watts have some great videos about this and similar on youtube :)

No problem, wish you the best :)

Peace!

Transposon Theory Of Aging, some more support.

"As cells get older, prior studies have shown, tightly wound heterochromatin wrapping that typically imprisons transposons becomes looser, allowing them to slip out of their positions in chromosomes and move to new ones, disrupting normal cell function. Meanwhile, scientists have shown that potentially related interventions, such as restricting calories or manipulating certain genes, can demonstrably lengthen lifespans in laboratory animals."

http://www.science20.com/news_articles/a_transposon_theory_of_aging-180287

report at PNAS, but link not provided.

"Chromatin-modifying genetic interventions suppress age-associated transposable element activation and extend life span in Drosophila", Wood et al 2016 http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/09/07/1604621113.long

KIC 8462852 models that fit Kepler observations quite well

"I have proposed a type of model that is mathematically simple and, with slight variations, is able to produce excellent fits for all the major brightness drops observed in Tabby's star. If this is the correct type of model — its goodness of fit is highly encouraging — the following hypotheses should be considered:

1) Tabby's star has one ore more partially constructed Niven Rings. All partial rings are likely in the same orbital plane and possibly the same orbit.

2) Tabby's star hosts a Dyson Swarm, and some objects in the swarm cluster alongside shared orbits, with an object distribution given by an approximation of a Monod equation. Perhaps the distribution is intentional in D800, and meant to be a beacon.

3) We might be looking at the birth of an accretion disk, or a partial accretion disk. Perhaps Tabby's star is being slowly swallowed by another star or a black hole. Perhaps there's a natural reason why disk material would approximate a Monod distribution, quite perfectly sometimes, and chaotically on different occasions."

http://www.science20.com/indepth_analytics/blog/kic_8462852_models_that_fit_kepler_observations_quite_well-180403

Goodness of fit is good, but goodness of prediction is really better.
The fact that you need to add parameters after each drop is not encouraging, but obviously it might be better than any alternatives. Have you published the detail of those equations?

I thought Niven rings were known to be unstable.

that's why niven had to add jets to the ring walls.

prob not a biological entity...

"The thought of long-term galactic survival for humanity was comforting to some, and in any case it seemed inevitable, humanity’s fate or destiny.

there is no Planet B,Earth is our only home.

This conclusion, startling to some, obvious to others, has ramifications that are worth pondering. If it comes to be a generally agreed on view, it might change how we act as individuals and a civilization. These changes in behavior might turn out to be crucial for our descendants."

Kim Stanley Robinson on generation ships and hazards

http://boingboing.net/2015/11/16/our-generation-ships-will-sink.html

"Destroyed Worlds" --Cause Star's Strange Dimming (VIDEO)

"A team of U.S. astronomers studying the star RZ Piscium has found evidence suggesting its strange, unpredictable dimming episodes may be caused by vast orbiting clouds of gas and dust, the remains of one or more destroyed planets."

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2017/12/destroyed-worlds-cause-stars-strange-dimming-video-4.html

Long-term consequences of observing an expanding cosmological civilization.

"What sort of boundary forms between their expanding domains, and how does the presence of one limit the ambitions of another? "

"If a domain is visible at the time one embarks on expansion, there exists an optimum value for the "practical speed limit," and if the speed limit is much higher than optimal, one's future will be severely limited. In the case of two visible domains, it is possible to be "trapped" by them if the practical speed limit is high enough and their angular separation in the sky is large enough, i.e. one's expansion in any direction will terminate at a boundary with the two visible civilizations. "

http://arxiv.org/abs/1608.07522

The Neural Network Zoo

A visual characterization of most neural models, with brief descriptions.

http://www.asimovinstitute.org/neural-network-zoo/

Very interesting and, in these times of NN proliferation, very much needed. Thanks!

Four Basic Personality Types Identified: Pessimistic; Optimistic; Envious And Trusting

A study on human behavior has revealed that 90% of the population can be classified into four basic personality types: Optimistic, Pessimistic, Trusting and Envious. However, the latter of the four types, Envious, is the most common, with 30% compared to 20% for each of the other groups.

http://www.science20.com/print/180407

Well, well, where have we seen this before? Looks like it's not just an altruism gene....

That's really interesting, thanks for making it known.
Now it would be really interesting to widen the sample variation to multi-ethnics groups and try to apply it to other situation than cooperation / defect type of situation (say, trolley problems and the like).

So, I was trying to figure out exactly what Socrates was doing, and think I figured it out. But it made me realize I don't know how induction (deriving from inductive reasoning) works.

Socratic questioning:

You take someone's claim, induce(derive by inductive reasoning) a general principle, deduct a different claim from the same principle, disprove the new example, this disproves the general principle, which leaves the original claim unsupported. Repeat until they run out of principles, which leaves their claim ultimately unsupported.

But if someone says we shouldn't paint someone's house purple without their permission, how do we know which abstract principle to induce?

My mind goes immediately to "don't do things to people's stuff without their permission." But how? Why didn't I think the rule was "don't paint things purple," or "don't paint houses?" Obviously in this case, my familiarity is influencing me, but what about in unfamiliar situations?

Does anyone know how to reduce inductive reasoning? What algorithm are we using? What's going on in a mind which outputs an inductive inference?

But if someone says we shouldn't paint someone's house purple without their permission, how do we know which abstract principle to induce?

Here's a humorous illustration of the difficulty of selecting the correct abstract principle.

Is the NEET lifestyle of welfare more pleasant for the individual than a working life?

Unless you are wealthy being NEET is generally not a good thing IMO because you will feel crappy about being low status, and you will lack resources. Not sure what your definition of doing nothing is, but reasonable ones include eating at nice restaurants, expensive video games, gym memberships, courting mates, concerts, clothes, etc... doing nothing costs a fortune.

Also many of the more interesting eg fun things to do require quite a bit of money. Most forms of travelling, medical interventions, most hobbies like climbing/hiking/boardgames etc. etcetc.

Needs expanding. Based on my personal experience with long vacations ... Yes, provided you work at home.

Just sitting on your ass all day playing games is pretty close to sticking a wire up your head. That's a lonely existence. It can be fun, if you turn your self-reflection off and just let yourself go. If you have enough cash, you can buy and watch what you want. But that's bound to be unhealthy, so I guess you'll end up with health problems at some point.

"Not in Employment, Education or Training" is not a bad thing. Retired people are NEET, kind of. And they can do just fine. So imagine what retired people would do. Maybe go on a world trip. Maybe have quiet rest? I think it's a great idea to position yourself as such that you don't need to work to live (UBI woooo), but to then go and just sit on your ass all day and just consume is boring.

Don't be a shut-in your whole life. Don't be a workaholic your whole life. Experience more.

Genetic Engineering to Clash With Evolution, (gene drive modeling)

But wild populations may resist gene drives in unpredictable ways. “We know from past experiences that mosquitoes, especially the malaria mosquitoes, have such peculiar biology and behavior,” Those mosquitoes are much more resilient than we make them. And engineering them will prove more difficult than we think.” In fact, such unpredictability could likely be found in any species.

"Nonhomologous end joining is a recipe for resistance. Because the CRISPR system is designed to locate a specific stretch of DNA, it won’t recognize a section that has the equivalent of a nonsensical word in the middle. The gene drive won’t get into the DNA, and it won’t get passed on to the next generation. With homology-directed repair, the template could include the gene drive, ensuring that it would carry on."

he worries that researchers will be fooled into thinking that forms of resistance offer “more of a buffer and safety net than they do.”

And while mathematical models are helpful, researchers stress that models can’t replace actual experimentation. Ecological systems are just too complicated. “We have no experience engineering systems that are going to evolve outside of our control. We have never done that before,” Esvelt said. “So that’s why a lot of these modeling studies are important — they can give us a handle on what might happen. But I’m also hesitant to rely on modeling and trying to predict in advance when systems are so complicated.”

and a comment: Gene Partlow says:
September 8, 2016 at 11:20 pm

So far as I can tell, nobody has brought up the fact of lateral, ie: horizontal transmission of genetic material, a rich phenomenon which involves microbes and viruses. This is turning out to be important in evolutionary scenarios and must be considered in any Gene Drive research. We cannot control those pathways of genetic transfer in the wild environment.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/20160908-gene-drives-and-evolution/

That seems to be mostly speculation. I think they overestimate evolution, but we do know it is possible to Evolve to Extinction.

But even if it doesn't work, we should still try of course. Eventually we will figure it out. And exterminating mosquitoes could be the greatest public health program of all time, so it's worth whatever it takes. It could still be effective at temporarily reducing the population until they evolve resistance.

What does Lesswrong think of this video? What Is God? - Leo Becomes Absolute Infinity (Aka God) - All Of Reality Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VNoe5tn3tg

I also wonder: What do you think of subjective experience?

When someone that claims to have had remarkable experiences will show remarkable skills, that's when I'll start listening to them.
Not raising the dead, mind you, just above average competence in living their life. Until then, it's just wasted time.

My personal reaction: the prior probability that it's bullshit doesn't motivate me to spend 48 minutes watching it.

I agree with Viliam's sentiment. I would add that in general rational arguments of the kind that this website discusses can be made via text. If someone avoids the clearity of thought that text provides but instead tries to make his argument via video to tell stories that rise emotions, that suggests that the arguments that the person brings forward aren't a good fit for this website.

As far as subjective experience. Yes, humans do experience something subjectively and that can be great. It however doesn't mean in any way that there isn't an objective reality out there.

I think this is the second time within a week or two that someone who's never posted to LW before has come along with a video from this same person, asking "what do you think about this?" and the first time the person in question turned out to be here not to inquire but to proselytize.

[EDITED because what I initially wrote in the first paragraph wasn't quite what I intended.]

And I think what I've watched of this video (roughly the first 1/3, at double speed) is incredibly unimpressive: this guy took mind-altering drugs and had an experience that made a big impression on him, as people who take mind-altering drugs often do, and now he wants to tell us what an incredible enlightenment he's had. (And he keeps telling us that it's something we won't be able to understand ... and then goes on to try to explain it.)

If much effort should be invested in the initial search for hypotheses/explanations, before they are weighed against each other, then how come there are apparently so few cases where more than two major hypotheses are proposed?

I mean, I don't know much about the history of physics, but I do remember being surprised by the (relatively) many models of the Structure of the Atom we heard about in chronological order. And there used to be lots more Trees of Life, back in the XIXth century. But I cannot, on the fly, think of crazy-but-who-knows things of today (well, except for the Search for Ancestors of Angiosperms, it just goes on).

How does this compare to your ability to think of major research questions in various subfields? It's possible that it's just harder to keep up with current research, either because keeping current is always hard or because there's more stuff you have to know now compared to the past. The examples I hear the most about in physics are models for particle physics beyond the standard model, macroscopic models of gravity and dark energy, and the gigantic muddle over how high temperature superconductivity works.

I don't think I've thought really hard about questions in more than two subfields of botany. There are hard questions which seem to just snowball since Darwin's times, but from what I can tell, there's a major line of research (comparing various groups of plants using progressively complex machinery), from which theories branch off without much re-weighing after initial rejection.

But I cannot, on the fly, think of crazy-but-who-knows things of today (well, except for the Search for Ancestors of Angiosperms, it just goes on).

If we look at the future of humanity there might be "The Long Now", "The Age of Em", "AGI goes FOOM" and a bunch of other hypothesis.

More generally Anglo-culture prefer Democrats against Republicans and Whigs and Tories. As such it often tries to put a conflict as a competition of two alternatives. A lot of the mechanism of science like the students t.test also is build on the foundation that you make decisions between two alternatives. Continental philosophy doesn't tend to do that to the same extend but continental philosophy also doesn't have much influence on the natural sciences.

Has anyone here had associations/subjective feelings about subjects of study? (Probably in high school, where the range of subjects is wide and students' attitudes depend on the teachers' images, to some degree.) I tended to like algebra, because solving equations and the like reminded me of gradual shifts of attention in yoga-style exercise - flowing, ordered and always seeking the point of balance. Geometry, I took for a much more "masculine" discipline, a form of exercise in endurance, and was not fond of it. Of course, calculus messed things up...:)

Different subjects do seem to require different thinking style, but, at least for me, they are often quite hard to describe in words. If one has an inclination for one style of thinking, can this inclination manifest in seemingly unrelated areas thus leading to unexpected correlations? This blog posts presents an interesting anecdote.

And true for me! Thank you! I have the feeling that 'I've been talking in prose my whole life':)

Although, since we grow our own comb, and the grains can be quite uneven, I confess I sometimes start in the middle.

Have you ever had a moment where they could not directly recall something, but you could recall it indirectly, if you were given a list of words with the correct one in it?

I'm going to try this for myself with Anki, but I'm curious if anyone else ever had this. Something like the information is stored, but cannot be retrieved.

For example: "What is the ___ word?"

1) Right 2) Code 3) Missing 4) Test

Any of those don't seem inappropriate, but option (3) should be the correct answer.

What you're describing is the difference between recall and recognition, if you want to google it.

E.g. the question "What is the atomic number of Oxygen?" is a recognition task if you're given multiple choices "a) 1 b) 6 c) 8", and it's a recall task if you're just presented a blank space in which to write down your answer.

Recognition tasks are generally easier.

Isn't this what normal memory forget/recall looks like? Same as seeing a celeb whose name you forgot, but if given a list of names, you could immediately be sure of it once again. The combination to your lock, the items on your grocery list, the meaning to a word, are all things I cant remember directly but if given a list to choose from then no problem.

If animals lead more happy than unhappy lives on the margin is eating them marginally good because incentivising further production? If they live unhappy lives is eating them marginally good because it expedites their good, on the margin

What's the best ways to upgrade my defence mechanisms from immature splitting and projection in addition to seeing a psychologist?

In David Burn's book "Feeling Good", a CBT self-help book, he teaches how to identify 10 cognitive distortions in our thinking patterns and develops practices for counteracting them.

Among the distortions he identifies are all-or-nothing-thinking (i.e. splitting). I don't remember if he says anything about projection specifically, but another of the distortions is mind-reading/jumping-to-conclusions, which at least is in ballpark of falsely attributing mental states to others.

The context of the book is to alleviate your own depression, but it is also really interesting from an anti-biasing perspective.

Do some people here agree with the 'prime directive' approach in general? I think its not very good myself, for the same reasons one might contact and exchange ideas with tribes that have no knowledge about the rest of the world.

I've reasoned about this too.

The obvious moral thing to do about a species is to save them from an exploding sun, if they do not have the technological means to save themselves.

On the other side, "in fiction" it can be justified by a slippery slope: start by saving a civilization today, tomorrow you're patronizing another, after a decade you're relocating another because you need their healing gas... Oops!
The prime directive is acknowledging that the Federation (the human mind?) is too fragile not to succumb to such temptations.

A lot of things have you confused the territory being the map.

For example, that you exist, is a map.

That there is a being there, creature of some kind, it's a map.

That you have a brain.

Every. Single. Word. Is A Map.

What is the territory?

Become silent of all thoughts, without using thoughts to manipulate or lie, neither using thoughts not to manipulate or lie.

You think you are in control, thus the flow of life doesn't flow effortlessly. :)

But it's fine to let go, and be present in this moment, where there, you are, the territory, which is arational.

There will be no reason for reasoning or understanding, it is arational.

It is always the case, whether you think about it or not. I can welcome you in to see for yourself, there's a lot of beauty to be had.

Please don't be dogmatic. Try and see for yourself the possible truth which is right before your eyes, the possible truth that you do not exist, that you, and the possibility that everything else is a fiction. The fiction of the mind.

But you will still be to function, to be able to go to AI conferences and talk about the latest improvements, or talk decision theory or whatever else you have going on in your life. Because the belief that you will lose these things, by becoming more aware, is a trick of the ego. It's highly improbable.

So go ahead, and see for yourself. Likely though you need to work on yourself, there's nothing which is more important than the machine which does not come with an instruction manual. That is you. What you think is you. What I mean is the practical you.

You do realize that all of these ideas are in fact part of the foundation documents of this community?

I highly doubt so from my experience, although I can see why it should be. It's so obvious that it is not obvious. Maybe.

First, you should probably read the documents we refer to as the Sequences before you try to "correct" us.

Second,

A lot of things have you confused the territory being the map.

For example, that you exist, is a map.

That there is a being there, creature of some kind, it's a map.

That you have a brain.

Every. Single. Word. Is A Map.

We all know this.

What is the territory?

Become silent of all thoughts, without using thoughts to manipulate or lie, neither using thoughts not to manipulate or lie.

You seem to be referring to meditative states. A lot of us do this, for various reasons. It really has little to do with rationality or arationality. Quieting down and dissociating from one's thoughts certainly helps with clear thinking.

You think you are in control, thus the flow of life doesn't flow effortlessly. :)

We mostly don't believe in free will.

But it's fine to let go, and be present in this moment, where there, you are, the territory, which is arational.

There will be no reason for reasoning or understanding, it is arational.

Just because you're in a meditative state of thoughtlessness doesn't mean that you're doing anything beyond engaging with yet another set of maps. You're just engaging with them nonverbally and intuitively.

It is always the case, whether you think about it or not. I can welcome you in to see for yourself, there's a lot of beauty to be had.

Again, lots of us meditate, and we're all about beauty. Not sure where you're getting this perspective.

Please don't be dogmatic. Try and see for yourself the possible truth which is right before your eyes, the possible truth that you do not exist, that you, and the possibility that everything else is a fiction. The fiction of the mind.

But you will still be to function, to be able to go to AI conferences and talk about the latest improvements, or talk decision theory or whatever else you have going on in your life. Because the belief that you will lose these things, by becoming more aware, is a trick of the ego. It's highly improbable.

So go ahead, and see for yourself. Likely though you need to work on yourself, there's nothing which is more important than the machine which does not come with an instruction manual. That is you. What you think is you. What I mean is the practical you.

I see buried in here a sales pitch for engaging in some kind of meditative or mindfulness practice. I admit that the foundational documents of Less Wrong don't explicitly advocate for taking up meditation, but it's a popular community topic.

First, you should probably read the documents we refer to as the Sequences before you try to "correct" us.

There's plenty of others who disagree with you, I think, based on my experience writing with others here.

We all know this.

Yet a lot don't really know it, by that I mean actually experiencing. (no absolute truth I get it, but let's not make maps without understanding that we are)

You seem to be referring to meditative states. A lot of us do this, for various reasons. It really has little to do with rationality or arationality. Quieting down and dissociating from one's thoughts certainly helps with clear thinking.

The meditative state is always the case, of course, we may practice meditation more intensely. Not being attached to thoughts is baseline in my opinion, if it can be done for oneself.

Just because you're in a meditative state of thoughtlessness doesn't mean that you're doing anything beyond engaging with yet another set of maps.

That's not correct during the meditative state? The state can be constant.

Again, lots of us meditate, and we're all about beauty. Not sure where you're getting this perspective.

I'm sure that's likely, but there can be a lot more to meditation we think, trying to understand who we truly are and what is actually more likely to be the truth?

I see buried in here a sales pitch for engaging in some kind of meditative or mindfulness practice. I admit that the foundational documents of Less Wrong don't explicitly advocate for taking up meditation, but it's a popular community topic.

It's increasing awareness so we can less be attached to the map of our maps and so forth. It's like a layer on top of it all in my opinion, while simply being as it is.

Dude, we already know that rationality is inside the mind. Reality ("the thing that doesn't go away when you stop believing it") doesn't have to play by any rules.
But it does. It's a fact that our puny brains are Turing complete, and that reality is very regular in such a way to be computable. Heck, in such a way to be linear, at a fundamental level! This must be a sort of joke from the Gods or the Architects of the Matrix.
I think the one who is not accepting that reality can be described by rationality is you.

Dude, we already know that rationality is inside the mind. Reality ("the thing that doesn't go away when you stop believing it") doesn't have to play by any rules.

I get this moment you're having, it's obvious when we talk about a brand new science, that is neuroscience. Even if there are a lot of work still left. In relation to you, that is still a map, that you have a mind. Okay, now I might be playing on definitions if "mind" doesn't mean arational reality to you.

But it does. It's a fact that our puny brains are Turing complete, and that reality is very regular in such a way to be computable. Heck, in such a way to be linear, at a fundamental level!dea

That's your opinion. That's your map.

This must be a sort of joke from the Gods or the Architects of the Matrix.

A cosmic joke :D Really, though, you are the God, the Architect of the Matrix.

I think the one who is not accepting that reality can be described by rationality is you.

I fully agree. I do argue that reality cannot be described by anything, as it is arational. But of course you have to see for yourself.

That's your opinion. That's your map.

No, that's quantum physics 101. Unless you're saying one of two things:
1) law of physics change for people who have different maps
2) you're just calling reality "maps that can't change", in which case there's no point in having this conversation.

Really, though, you are the God, the Architect of the Matrix.

If that's true, why isn't Liza sucking my c@{k right now? It's my Matrix, after all.

I fully agree. I do argue that reality cannot be described by anything, as it is arational.

So how do you call those parts of the maps that agree on each other and are independent from individual minds?

1) law of physics change for people who have different maps

I'm saying laws of physics is a map. Our reality is arational and exists without reasoning or understanding. Sure your map may be more accurate than other maps, but it's never the territory as it's a human projection.

2) you're just calling reality "maps that can't change", in which case there's no point in having this conversation.

No, of course, you can change maps. But it'll always be a map. "It's a map and it'll never be the territory, as it is a map"

If that's true, why isn't Liza sucking my c@{k right now? It's my Matrix, after all.

If you silence all thoughts, you experience arational reality. But the moment a thought appears, you have a map, if you didn't silence all thoughts, you created a map. If you believe you are experiencing arational reality, you are not, as you created a map of the memory of experiencing arational reality. Within a snap of a finger you may become present, and each snap of the day you are either aware or not.

Thoughts and all senses are the matrix of which you base everything, thus you are the Architect, the projector. But it's not normal to be God.

Just because it is your matrix, doesn't mean that you are in control. Because the thought of you is a part of your matrix, so is the illusion of control, and everything else.

So how do you call those parts of the maps that agree on each other and are independent from individual minds?

Maps that agree on each other, will always be maps. L a n g u a g e i s a m a p. Some maps may have higher expected value in relation to maps which are perceived to have low. But they never break the illusion of being a map itself.

Maps can't ever be independent of maps, that's the illusion of one map being the territory. Some might say it is more likely that something is the territory, but I disagree since you can become aware what is the territory in the present moment and it is arational.

I'm saying laws of physics is a map.

and

No, of course, you can change maps.

So... you can change laws of physics?

Just because it is your matrix, doesn't mean that you are in control.

Who is then? And why do you call it my Matrix, since I cannot affect it in any way?

So... you can change laws of physics?

I don't know, I'm not a physicist. Based on my limited knowledge is that you cannot change the map. Imagine everything in the world being a map called X, and it has a revision number. Just because you know the maps are X and have a revision number doesn't undermine the content of the maps themselves. Your life experience might become different, however.

Who is then?

For there to be control, there has to first be someone or something which can be controlled and a controller. All is illusionary. You can create maps, but they will still be maps in relation to the arational.

And why do you call it my Matrix, since I cannot affect it in any way?

I'm telling you in a practical sense since you have to have the experience yourself. You believe you are a creature, being of some kind. You can affect your matrix, by realizing it is a matrix, it's kind of paradoxical.

Based on my limited knowledge is that you cannot change the map.

At last, I've finally found something that you cannot change. Well then, just call this "reality" and discard everything we've said so far.

You can affect your matrix, by realizing it is a matrix, it's kind of paradoxical.

Yeah, call me when someone learns to affect the map.

At last, I've finally found something that you cannot change. Well then, just call this "reality" and discard everything we've said so far.

But if you are creating these maps at every given moment, isn't the maps changing depending on you? :D

Yeah, call me when someone learns to affect the map.

Can we call it your perception of the map? Because that's all there really is, that's why it's a map. Nothing exists which isn't in your present moment, except as maps.