BlackNoise

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Travel Through Time to Increase Your Effectiveness

Thank you for these marvelous hacks, a few of these were unformed at the back of my head for a long time now.

I really like the Second Chances mentality, this line especially:

There are those who tell you to live each day as if it might be your last. I prefer to live each day as if I'm doing it over.

seems like a way to visualize/weaponize a consequentialist viewpoint that's also agreeable to your selves under reflection.

The Split Selves especially crystallized some of the "cooperate with alt-time self-versions" mentality I'm trying to stay aware of.

I do have to say "use with caution": Most of these are hard to execute or maintain consistently, and inevitable failures can end in a feeling of contract breach/lower self-trust/"fuck this shit" attitude and so on.

As such it's important to, um, let go of failure? I mean maybe analyze what went wrong, but definitely skip the punishment and just go to "lesson learned, sins forgiven, lets do our best next time!". At least that seems healthier than guilt/duty as motivation.

Thoughts on Death

Meant more in the context of 'Nothing could have been done' vs 'Something could have but wasn't'. Though yes, it may read as more condescending than intended.

While humans in general have indeed been thinking about death for ages, I doubt many of the less religious ones hold strong beliefs about what exactly it entails. Not to mention those who genuinely believe in an afterlife ought not to be as sad/hurt as those who don't.

All this ultimately doesn't diminish the pain of loss people feel, hence the whole 'death is bad' thing. Also, don't confuse superficially similar things as being similar on a deeper level.

Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013

Not sure where exactly to ask but here goes:

Sparked by the recent thread(s) on the Brain Preservation Foundation and by my Grandfather starting to undergo radiation+chemo for some form of cancer. While timing isn't critical yet, I'm tentatively trying to convince my Mother (who has an active hand in her Fathers' treatment) into considering preservation as an option.

What I'm looking for is financial and logistical information of how one goes about arranging this starting from a non-US country, so if anyone can point me at it I'd much appreciate it.

Yet More "Stupid" Questions

Not sure where else to ask but here goes:

Sparked by the recent thread(s) on the Brain Preservation Foundation and by my Grandfather starting to undergo radiation+chemo for some form of cancer. While timing isn't critical yet, I'm tentatively trying to convince my Mother (who has an active hand in her Fathers' treatment) into considering preservation as an option.

What I'm looking for is financial and logistical information of how one goes about arranging this starting from a non-US country, so if anyone can point me at it I'd much appreciate it.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89

I've used it myself. All it takes is power and a certain mood.

Harry may have had the mood, but there's doubt about the Power, and there's also been multiple foreshadows of how broken low-level spells are, and a recent mention that he's he can't stop himself from noticing them. Hence "censors off".

Asteroids and spaceships are kinetic bombs and how to prevent catastrophe

I was mainly thinking about Project Thor, which roughly means that going at mach 10 (~3km/s) is like being made of TNT energy-wise. Now, current space-shuttles and the ISS weigh around 100 tons, and I'd imagine being able to get at least 10km/s, if not 30 with asteroid mining-level space tech, which should bring spaceships into the kiloton TNT range, that while far from a hydrogen bomb, packs the punch of a smallish fission nuke. So, while it probably won't be easy to wipe out big cities, immense damage is guaranteed.

What I can't estimate properly due to insufficient knowledge is the atmosphere's ability at stopping/limiting such threats, for all I know spaceships/rocks going at too steep an angle might blow up very high up, while stuff going at a gradual entry might be significantly slowed, Although as a rule, bigger things should care less about the atmosphere.

Edit: CellBioGuy's comment points out that spaceships aren't (and probably won't be) built to withstand reentry at dangerous velocities, making at least spaceship-jacks less of a threat.

Asteroids and spaceships are kinetic bombs and how to prevent catastrophe

I think the idea is that active defensive measures (as opposed to just watching with telescopes) are a lot more difficult to set up, and there's little motivation considering that the space activities aren't military-oriented. Although I suppose if we'd be far enough in space exploration to have asteroid mining there'd also be some contingency plans for extinction-grade bricks on a collision course; plans that can probably be adapted to include 'hostile local' handling.

Regarding the physics, do not underestimate heavy things flying very fast, especially if they're good at staying in one piece - a ship/asteroid may well destroy a city when dropped at 10~30km/sec, and attackers will aim.

Visual Mental Imagery Training

Have you tried your hand at drawing?

It is not quite the same skill, but being able to notice/See things as they are (closer to raw visual input) rather than letting your brain auto-label stuff may help you retain images better, and I think it'd also be interesting if you were to take a written scene from a book and try do draw it.

By the way, there is supposedly a fast way (~20h) to go from kindergarten to recognizably realistic in drawing skills using some neat tricks, there was even a series of articles about it here on lw. (the other 10k hours go into those final touches of skill, but to the untrained eyes the difference isn't as jarring as the no-training - some-training gap, at least in simple scenes)

Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013

Here's an anthropic question/exercise inspired by this fanfic (end of 2nd chapter specifically), I don't have the time to properly think about it but it seems like an interesting tests for current anthropic reasoning theories under esoteric/unusual conditions. The premise is as follows:

There exist a temporal beacon, acting as an anchor in time. An agent/agents may send their memories back to the anchored time, but as time goes on they may also die/be otherwise prevented from sending memories back. Every new iteration, the agent-copy at the time immediately after the beacons' creation gets blasted with memories from 'past' iterations, either from only the immediately preceding one which recursively includes all previous iterations as further back in subjective time, or from every past iteration at once, with or without a convenient way to differentiate between overlapping memories (another malleable aspect of the premise), or for real head-screwes, from all iterations that lived.

the interesting question would be how would an agent estimate their probability of dying in the current iteration, based on information it was blasted with immediately post-anchor time.

A very simple toy model would be something like: assuming all agent copies send back memories after T years if they haven't died, with the probability of dying/being unable to send back memories each iteration being p, an agent that finds itself with memories from N iterations, what should it estimate as its probability of dying in this iteration?

There should probably be more unsafe time-travel based questions to test anthropic decision making, maybe also to shape intuition regarding many-worlds/multiverse views.

February 2013 Media Thread

I've been reading a lot of fanfiction recently, starting with HPMoR then going recursively through Eliezer's 'favorites' list, eventually branching to various TVTropes recommended lists. It's in the latter that I found Destiny is a Hazy thing, a Naruto AU fanfic with major Lovecraftian themes and (currently, at least) minor crossover/shout out elements to Evangelion. The author page has a rather good description. Personally I like this story because it combines a lot of elements I seem to enjoy in fiction, mainly a 'large world' feel and Anehgb univat Lbt Fbgubgu nf n sngure svther (minor spoiler).

I'm currently reading another story by Calanor, Harry Potter and the Puppet of Time

Draco receives the memories of his future self and undertakes an effort to free Harry from Dumbledore's plan without turning him into another Dark Lord and make a better life for himself in the process. Naturally, things stray from their planned path very fast.

Seems to be worth reading as well.

If someone is interested, I can probably spare the time to go over the fics I've read and recommend what I liked, but right now I'll limit myself to Calanor due to his works being sufficiently obscure as to not be easily noticeable otherwise (and maybe other obscure but good authors I find).

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