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Psyched out

by Josh Smith-Brennan1 min read23rd Apr 20217 comments


Personal Blog

I don't know where to begin as I've apparently spent my whole life working at being a Rationalist and didn't know it until I heard about this site and the Rationalist Movement. As a Starving Artist/Amateur Intellectual/Hermit, I'm not in a position to go to graduate school right now, and the people around me these days don't share my same interests. Like any human being I need to engage with people thinking about the same things I do. So here I am. 

I've kept boxes of sketchbooks and journals for a couple decades that are full of ideas and concepts I've developed from my own personal experience, reading and studies, but my work doesn't do well on traditional 'art' forums. It's usually very dry, scientific, conceptual work looking for a form, but as a trained artist I've run into technical issues - requiring skills, experience and/or data and resources I don't have - so my work stays theoretical and stacks up in boxes in my living room. I've attempted to write research papers, grant proposals, blogs, twitter posts, essays and books but can't quite finish them because I've lacked a support network. My work is my passion, but I've been unable to share it because I hadn't found a place where so many of my interests could be satisfied. When I look at the list of topics of discussion on this site, I feel agitated I didn't find this community sooner. 

So as a newbie looking to develop, share, develop, and share my own work, contributing while benefiting from the work of the others on this board, I'm a little overwhelmed by the scope of this place. Since I'm pretty comfortable in my sexual and gender identity as a man, I wouldn't mind a little hand holding in the beginning. 

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Welcome! I recommend checking out the Sequences. It's what I started with.

I have no concrete advice for you but Good Luck! I wish you all the best.

Thanks. I checked your comments and I'd guess you were a programmer with an interest in investments and financial markets. Not areas I'm really familiar with, but I can see the draw of rational thinking within them. What do you think of the site? Just curious.

2Caridorc Tergilti17dI am quite young, I am in fact in university studying artificial intelligence and this website did play a bit of a role in me choosing this field of study (I was already quite drawn to it before). I think this site has a too extremist view of AI risk, but it is important to read opinions different from mine. This site is mostly quite interesting if not at the level astral codex 10.
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When COVID-19 is over, you could try visiting the nearest LW or SSC meetup.

If you have some art you want to show, feel free to write an article that will include links to pictures.

To get an idea what this site is about, keep reading, but if you want to get a more concentrated version quickly, you may want to read this and this (digital versions available for free).

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I've got time on my hands, and so doing some reading to attempt to keep my head above water here just makes sense. I would love to pay for the book versions as they look like they would be best appreciated in print form, but right now free is the only way for me. I'm guessing my local library won't have copies and you mentioned free digital versions, can you expand on that idea? 

The first book, if you download it from Amazon, you can choose how much you pay... that includes zero.

The second book is a collection of selected articles from this site, you can see the table of contents and then google each article individually. I would recommend skipping the comment sections to save time.