Hello, I found Less Wrong after a friend recommended Methods of Rationality, which I devoured in short order. That was almost a year ago and I've been lurking LW off and on ever since. In June I attended a meetup and had some of the best conversation I've had in a long time. Since then, I've been attacking the sequences more systematically and making solid progress.
I'm in my late 20's, live in Los Angeles, and work in the entertainment industry (after failing miserably as an engineering student). It's my ambition to produce stories and science fiction that raise the sanity waterline of our society. Film and television science fiction has never come close to approaching the depth and breadth of imagination and thoughtfulness of literary science fiction and I'd like to be a part of the effort to close that gap, however slightly.
I have a hypothesis that the sociological function of stories is to communicate lessons about desirable or undesirable human behavior and translate them from an intellectual idea that can't be grasped by us on an intuitive level to an emotional idea that can, in the process making it more likely we'll remember them and apply the lesson to our own behavior. Almost like a mnemonic device.
For example, I could give a three hour lecture on the importance of reputation and credibility in group dynamics. Or I could tell the story of the boy who cried wolf in under three minutes and communicate the same idea in a way that is intuitively graspable on an emotional level and is therefore much more likely to be retained.
Anyway, my grasp on this idea is far from complete and I hope this community can help me get a better handle on it, ultimately resulting in propagating ideas that contribute to the optimization of humanity.