Hello, everyone.

Apparently I was supposed to introduce myself here when I joined the site. Looks like I'm about two (?) months late. I'm not really sure when I registered my account, but I just started actually commenting recently.

Anyway, I'm a 21 year old Biomolecular Engineering/Pre-medicine student living in the backward state that just put Intelligent Design in the state curriculum (And also recently proposed outlawing teachers mentioning homosexuality in the classroom before the 9th grade, among other remarkably boneheaded things). I know a marginal amount of programming - most of what I do is visual basic to go along with my Excel spreadsheets or MATLAB work for class, but I really enjoy it. I also know marginal amounts of C++ and PHP, but I'm not entirely sure why I'm telling you this.

I was introduced to Eliezer's work sometime this spring (April?) by a friend who (without having read it herself) posted HP:MOR on my Facebook wall, and said it was right up my alley. I read it in two weeks, and was hungry for more. Since he wrote it under the pen name "LessWrong", it actually took a bit of digging to find out who actually wrote it, but I gradually uncovered it. (I keep an impeccably documented collection of quotes and wanted the proper attribution. Eliezer has about 6 or 7 quotes in my collection now...) I then started reading all of Eliezer's OB posts from the beginning, and I'm currently on Leaky Generalizations, taking a rather lengthy hiatus, since I'm busy doing research and studying for the MCAT. And honestly, I'm wasn't a huge fan of the evolution sequence, since I already knew most of it, being highly related to my major, and it was highly technical.

But I can thank Eliezer for my identification as a transhumanist - I've worn many labels in my day, including everything from Christian to Objectivist, but I have never identified with a philosophy as strongly as I do transhumanism. His e-mail regarding Yehuda's death was one of the most moving things I've ever read.

Areas where I seem to disagree with, as I've seen it called, the LessWrong Hive Mind:

Cryonics - This is mostly out of ignorance, if anyone can point me to some respectable and unbiased sources of information, I would be greatly obliged. I have a difficult time finding most of what I've seen linked to to be credible. Regardless, I'm not too incentivized to research the matter, since I don't have the means with which to afford it.

Mind stimulating drugs - I don't take anything psychoactive, including caffeine. (Edit: In clarification, I try to avoid anything psychoactive. I would obviously take a psychoactive drug if it would save my life, significantly reduce pain, etc.) This is for a variety of reasons, primarily because I feel I have an addictive personality, and that the medical studies seem to show that there is little to no effect after long term use. (See another of my favorite blogs)

Hobbies: Collecting quotes, video games, programming, photography, contract bridge, biking, Diplomacy, college football

Favorite post so far: Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Quesitons

Most thought-provoking post so far: Pascal's Mugging

Anyway, this was really just a way to wake up because I was dozing off while studying for the MCAT, and I think I've said about everything I wanted to say. This quickly became one of my favorite sites, and I count myself lucky to have discovered it.

Hi, welcome to Less Wrong!

Cryonics - This is mostly out of ignorance, if anyone can point me to some respectable and unbiased sources of information, I would be greatly obliged. I have a difficult time finding most of what I've seen linked to to be credible. Regardless, I'm not too incentivized to research the matter, since I don't have the means with which to afford it.

There is respectable science backing up various parts of cryonics. This page has some titles of relevant papers. For more specific information, about which of the following are you most... (read more)

1christina9yHey, I think I've seen you around the forum. I feel similarly about psychoactive drugs. I do consume small amounts of caffeine (via chocolate and the occasional caffeinated tea), but I try to avoid it since even those amounts can make me jittery and thus I don't drink coffee at all. I don't feel any desire to take recreational drugs, legal or otherwise. I suspect this qualifies as an unusual tendency, so it's always interesting to meet people who feel similarly. Nevertheless, I have a tendency not to mention this fact spontaneously for fear that people will feel I'm judging them.
2MixedNuts9yOn cryonics: For: Alcor's FAQ [http://www.alcor.org/FAQs/index.html] Against: Sadly, not much. Paul "ciphergoth [http://lesswrong.com/user/ciphergoth]" Crowley collects anti-cryonics writing [http://blog.ciphergoth.org/blog/2010/02/07/survey-anti-cryonics-writing/], and it sucks. You can almost certainly afford it. Eliezer said he paid less than $200/year [http://lesswrong.com/lw/wq/you_only_live_twice/]. I know how expensive a photography hobby is; you're not dirt poor. For a potentially life-saving treatment, that's pretty cheap - people routinely pay more for treatments with worse odds that'll buy them less than ten years.

Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011)

by orthonormal 1 min read12th Aug 2010805 comments

42


This post has too many comments to show them all at once! Newcomers, please proceed in an orderly fashion to the newest welcome thread.