All of chaosmage's Comments + Replies

Irrational Modesty

I think seeking status and pointing out you already have some are two different things. Writing an analysis, it would be quite relevant to mention what expertise or qualifications you have concerning the subject matter.

Irrational Modesty

I'd go as far as to say justified pride and status-seeking is actually a virtue and a moral duty!

Why? Because status is a signal: high status people are worth imitating. That isn't all status is, but it is a very central benefit that justifies its existence. If you are really successful, and you're hiding that, you're refusing to share valuable information. They might want to check what you're dong right, and imitate that, hopefully becoming more sucessful themselves.

And why would you refuse to seek justified status? I see only three reasons.

  • Fear of embara
... (read more)
2ChristianKl7moWhen I write a post the post will be different when it's written to seeking truth then when it's written to seek truth and seek justified status. While often both goals are alligned there are times when they are not aligned and one has to make a decision. It's even worse because given the way the human mind works those decisions are often made without thinking about them in favor of status as evolution primed us to seek status. To not have your desire to seek status disturb your ability to hold accurate beliefs about the world it's necessary to partly ignore status seeking impulses. When thinking about writing a grant application it's important to convey justified status. When writing an analysis of a topic it's less important.
3Rafael Harth7moOne reason would be that seeking status will lead to you having less of it, which I strongly think is true insofar as 'seeking' means 'having it as the driving motivation'. Think about how many of the high-status people in the rationalist sphere are relatively status-blind. If we draw from fiction, note that this is true for Harry in hpmor, too. It's also not always true that high status people are worth imitiating or listening to, but I would agree if you just meant on average.
Thoughts on the Repugnant Conclusion

I will reluctantly concede this is logical. If you want to optimize for maximal happiness, find out what the minimal physical correlate of happiness is, and build tiny replicators that do nothing but have a great time. Drown the planet in them. You can probably justify the expense of building ships and ship builders with a promise of more maximized happiness on other planets.

But this is basically a Grey Goo scenario. Happy Goo.

Yes it's a logical conclusion, yes it is repugnant, and I think it's a reductio ad absurdum of the whole idea of optimizing for conscious states. An even more dramatic one than wild animal suffering.

What cognitive biases feel like from the inside

I think this is off topic here, except it does sort of the same thing by breaking principles down I to concrete statements. That said, I think that site is exceptionally well-written and designed. I wish other persuasion projects adopted that kind of approach.

What's your best alternate history utopia?

Oh I know how!

When Einstein figured out spacetime, we rethought not only physics, but also other faulty conclusions from our false assumption that reality is three-dimensional. Everything is moving through four dimensions, including us, and that means we're four-dimensional too, although our consciousness is limited to three-dimensional moments.

We started to see ourselves as growing through time like four-dimensional snakes. Or branches, really, since we've all branched off our four-dimensional others when we were born. And by simple recursion we realized ... (read more)

4Avi1yHaha - you've clearly thought about the mechanism more than I have!! Very interesting (and entertaining) - thanks.
AR Glasses: Much more than you wanted to know

Awesome article, I would only add another huge AR-enabled transformation that you missed.

AR lets you stream your field of view to someone and hear their comments. I hear this is already being used in airplane inspection: a low level technician at some airfield can look at an engine and stream their camera to a faraway specialist for that particular engine and get their feedback if it is fine, or instructions what to do for diagnostics and repair. The same kind of thing is apparently being explored for remote repairs of things like oil pipelines, where quic... (read more)

Covid 1/7: The Fire of a Thousand Suns

South Africa, and Brazil where the South Africa strain is apparently spreading, are in summer right now. How are temperatures going to save us from that one?

What cognitive biases feel like from the inside

Did you share it with your son, and if so what was the result?

3Gunnar_Zarncke1y"I will read it later, dad" which is OK, sometimes it sticks, sometimes it does not.
What cognitive biases feel like from the inside

I'm fantasizing about infographics with multiple examples of the same bias, an explanation how they're all biased the same way, and very brief talking points like "we're all biased, try to avoid this mistake, forgive others if they make it, learn more at LessWrong.com".

They could be mass produced with different examples. Like one with a proponent of Minimum Wage and an opponent of it, arguing under intense confirmation bias as described in the table above, with a headline like "Why discussions about Minimum Wage often fail&quo... (read more)

2Mathisco2yNo harm done with experimenting a bit I suppose. Do you have examples of infographics that come close to what you have in mind?
What cognitive biases feel like from the inside

I'm using pictures because I couldn't get either editor to accept a proper table.

2Stuart_Armstrong2yYou can do it in latex, with textrm to get your formatting out of the math mode. Not elegant, but it serves: SystemSApossible?Penalty neutralised?20BQYesNoRRYesNoAUProbablyMostly Code: $$\begin{array}{|c|c|c|c|} \hline \textrm{System}&& SA\textrm{ possible?} & \textrm{Penalty neutralised?} \\ \hline\hline \textrm{20BQ} && \textrm{Yes} & \textrm{No} \\ \hline \textrm{RR} && \textrm{Yes} & \textrm{No}\\ \hline \textrm{AU} && \textrm{Probably} & \textrm{Mostly}\\ \hline \end{array}$$
2orthonormal2yRelatedly, there's an awkward cursor line in the top-right box for optimism bias.
6habryka2ySorry for that! We do have an editor in the works that has proper table support.
Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons.

In a car park? But they will be way more densely packed than cars in car parks, because no humans need access. The cabins get placed there and retrieved from there by autonomous engines.

1Kenny2yGood answer! I was thinking about people living in detached homes in residential neighborhoods, i.e. places where I would expect local politics to prevent car parks ('parking lots' in my colloquialisms) from being built at all.
Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons.

Here are more use cases.

  • A specialized cabin for your kid to drive to/from school alone, or for your toddler to drive to/from kindergarten alone. Robotaxis will definitely be used for this because it is super valuable to parents. But a small specialized cabin would be more economical than a standard (typical car size) cabin fitted with child seats.
  • Visiting dialysis station.
  • Specialized delivery cabins for particular types of cargo: refrigerated, extra suspension, stuff for transporting animals. We do this with trucks, but trucks are big because they're
... (read more)
1Kenny2ySpecialized cabins seem like they would hurt this idea – where would people store all of their cabins?
Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons.

I think I made a mistake using the word "accommodation". (English isn't my first language.) What I meant is basically "where the people and cargo are stored safely and comfortably". That can be something big to live in, but it could also be a single seat cabin for a commute.

The point is you can have several different types for different purposes, because you don't need to buy an expensive motor and computer with each of them.

Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons.

Good points.

Agree about the battery swaps, but swapping a tug would be easier.

Cargo containers are definitely like this, but they're big because it is more economical to spread the cost of the driver over a large amount of cargo. Cargo wagons/modules could be in a wide range of sizes, including small/fast ones that are more like courier service than like bulk transport.

Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons.

You don't need a parking spot - the system can still be used as a robotaxi, it just has additional uses.

You don't need to be where your wagon is, you can send it places. Because of that, you could even rent out your wagon (say you offer a rental sound system or a mobile massage parlor).

2Matt Goldenberg2yWait how can you use as robotaxi without a wagon? They provide standard wagons?
3sig2y...but you could put a bed in your wagon? And you could rent out your bed to massage parlors? I think this system is going to have some hygiene issues with most people...
Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons.

If you're a first world citizen and able to spend $35k+ on a car, sure. Most of the cars that need replacing are way cheaper, and their replacement needs to be way cheaper too.

3Dagon2yAccording to Kelly Blue Book, the average new light vehicle in the US was $37,185 in May 2019. Replacement pretty much has to happen as a substitution for new car sales, then flowing into the pre-owned markets.
1Dustin2yIsn't that just the price of an electric car right now? Won't they be vastly cheaper in the future?
Winter Solstice 2018 Roundup

There is a Secular Solstice in Berlin, Germany, but it happens in a small apartment so it has to be invitation only and is already full AFAIK.

Frankfurt, Germany might again be doing one but I do not know particulars.

Leipzig, Germany is not having one this year due to the place where the last couple of Solstices happened being currently infested with toddlers.

2UnplannedCauliflower3yBerlin location has been changed, but the space is still somewhat limited (date: 15th December). Contact Anne (Lachoutte?) if you really want to attend Frankfurt definitely has a Solstice celebration, but I don't know the details.
Embedded Agents

The text is beautifully condensed. And the handwritten style does help it look casual/inviting.

But the whole thing loaded significantly slower than I read. How many megabytes is this post? I haven't waited this long for a website to load for years.

4habryka3yThis should now be fixed! We added compression to all the images, and things should now pretty fast (total size of the images is <1 MB)
9habryka3yGood, point. We just uploaded the images that Abram gave us, but I just realized that they are quite large and have minimal compression applied to them. I just experimented with some compression and it looks like we can get a 5x size reduction without any significant loss in quality, so we will go and replace all the images with the compressed ones. Thanks for pointing that out!
On Doing the Improbable

What really helps is mortality and our inbred need to leave a legacy. It is better to pick a project with low probability of success than none at all. That can help you stick with something you only estimate to have a low chance of success, at least long enough to have sunk costs kick in. Does for me anyway.

This mechanism may only work for one man projects, or work in tight knit groups like bands of musicians. Your contribution to a big project doesn't feel like a legacy to the same degree.

1cousin_it3yGood point. Isn't that a bit neurotic though? I pretty much avoid dreaming about any kind of legacy (apart from kids), because that would be setting myself up for unhappiness in old age.

That sounds a *lot* like http://slatestarcodex.com/2018/04/01/the-hour-i-first-believed/ .

It does not sound a lot like any existing variant of Panpsychism. Since the word isn't doing any work here, I suggest you do without it.

3MakoYass3yIt's a genre. I sort of hope we never actually give rise to any simulist religions that people come to earnestly believe in, but we probably will. Most of those religions wont be true. Some of them might be. I don't know. Not sure what you mean. Disambiguate "it"? The presented theory (Concentrated Existence) is not something I would call panpsychism. It might be implied by panpsychism. It should still have its own name.
An optimistic explanation of the outrage epidemic

No, the degree of outrage also depends on closeness to the victim. In this case Jews will feel closer to Israelis (the victims of Palestinians), and Muslims will feel closer to Palestinians (the victims of Israelis) so that's what they're outraged about. Closeness to the perpetrator is a factor I think, but I don't expect it is stronger than closeness to the victim.

Understanding is translation

Yes! Thank you!

I've had similar ideas for a long time. I've translated three books and find that I think of many acts of communication as translations. In particular, I find it useful to think of misunderstandings as mistranslations.

To think of thinking/speaking styles as languages just plain makes sense, and I feel that when people "are on the same wavelength" what is really happening is that they're (somewhat unusually) actually speaking the same language.

I don't use this concept for processes inside a single mind, though. M... (read more)

Eight political demands that I hope we can agree on

#6 is really "we want legal euthanasia" right? Might as well say it like it is.

I think legal prostitution belongs on the list as well.

And maybe an end to tax advantages for churches? Because that's direct state funding for irrationality.

2fortyeridania4yUpvoted for the suggestion to reword the euthanasia point.
Mythic Mode

This fake frameworks thing looks quite clearly like Chaos Magic, and the reference to the Book of the Law quote "wine and strange drugs" is a dog whistle to that effect.

Some chaos magicians like to use drug experiences as ready-made containers for what Val calls the Mythic Mode. Some drugs can both increase the ability to suspend disbelief while inside the experience and make it easier to distance oneself from it when outside of it. A good description of techniques for this, with all non-scientific woo-woo strictly optional, is Julian Vayne'... (read more)

4Eric Raymond10moThe reference to the Book of the Law was intentional. The reference to chaos magic was not, as that concept had yet to be formulated when I wrote the essay - at least, not out where I could see it. I myself do not use psychoactives for magical purposes; I've never found it necessary and consider them a rather blunt and chancy instrument. I do occasionally take armodafinil for the nootropic effect, but that is very recent and long postdates the essay.
2dsatan4yThere are a lot of different people who talk about similar thing. Impro was mentioned. There's also Jung. They are probably interrelated and have similar influences. I'd be very wary of Chaos Magick in who it seems to explicitly break down useful psychic walls for the sake of freedom and power (eg. rejecting virtue).
An Equilibrium of No Free Energy

I posted the idea of installing very bright lights on LW five years ago and Eliezer commented there so I give myself credit for at least making that spontaneous idea more likely. And it happens to be the case I've been thinking about the failings of light boxes for SAD in the meantime.

What happened is that a few people experimented with light therapy, got succcess with 2500lux for two hours, decided two hours per day was infeasible outside the lab, found that they could get the same result dividing the time but multiplying the light intensity and then... (read more)

3ChristianKl4yWhy isn't a light box maker willing to pay $100,000 as a marketing expense?
New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

Yes. I wonder how hard it'll be to sleep in the things. I find sleeper trains generally a bad place to sleep, but that's mostly because of the other passengers.

New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

I should be disappointed, but disappointment requires surprise.

Inconsistent Beliefs and Charitable Giving

Don't worry, you didn't actually come across that way, Lumifer is just being a jerk again. You're fairly new here, so you don't yet know Lumifer prefers that kind of comment. Sorry about him, and about LW not having a mute button.

New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

I completely agree with everything you said here.

New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

contemporary car design is driven by law-mandated safety requirements

I don't know about your country but in mine (Germany) the car industry has so much influence they basically write their own laws. (That's how we got those safety requirements: They're defense against cheaper cars from abroad.) If their business model stops being focused on general use cars, the laws will change very quickly.

a general-purpose car will spend less time sitting in a parking lot doing nothing while waiting for someone to require it

Sure! Not a problem if its TCO is prett... (read more)

-5Lumifer4y
New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

Wow, this is amazing! Thank you!

He talks about various general effects rather than specific business opportunities, so the overlap is very small, but his vision and mine seem entirely compatible.

New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

What I failed to say is that I expect the time between production of a good and arrival at the customer to continue to shorten. I think additive manufacturing makes just in time production economical for a growing segment of goods.

Obviously the production and delivery specifics of different goods are very different. Wheat will continue to be warehoused long after jewellery and clothing have completely moved to just in time production and direct delivery. I misstated my position by not mentioning these important differences.

I say I think this transition wil... (read more)

1ChristianKl4yOne of the reasons why electric cars are a good idea is that you can burn fuel much more effectively in a stationary turbine than you can burn it in the turbine of a car. Similarly, a 3D printer that's stationary is likely better than one that sits inside a car. The 3D printer inside a car has to consider factors like the shocks that the car has while driving on the road.
New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

You make excellent points. I hadn't even heard of SnapGoods, NeighborGoods etc.

I'm imagining it not as a peer to peer service, but more along the lines of a car rental company that owns a fleet of things it rents out.

I think you're right about the need to build a significant customer base rather quickly. My guess is that it might be feasible to first offer big expensive things that people don't usually own already, like a fancy jacuzzi, a top end VR rig, a complete "wedding size" soundsystem and a bouncy castle. And once you're known for those, work your way down into more normal consumer goods, guided by the requests of your first customers.

3ChristianKl4yThe items that Bauhaus currently rents out might be a decent starting list: https://www.bauhaus.info/service/leistungen/leihservice?show=All [https://www.bauhaus.info/service/leistungen/leihservice?show=All]
New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

Well said.

To be fair, I didn't expect this to be voted very high. Not in these times. I was basically writing this down to have a public record of the talk I gave, and to look back at this years later and see how I did predicting things.

I do see your larger point though. I was clearly motivated to produce this by the large and friendly crowd at the European Less Wrong Community Weekends, where most people go by Crocker's Rule and give way better feedback than Lumifer is able to. The little extra effort of writing down would have been worth it even if all t... (read more)

New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

"services that go visit the customer outcompete ones that the customer has to go visit" - and what does this have to do with self-driving cars? Whether the doctor has to actively drive the car to travel to the patient, or can just sit there in the car while the car drives all the way, the same time is still lost due to the travel, and the same fuel is still used up.

Yes. But a significant part of the job of a doctor is paperwork (filing stuff for insurance companies etc.) and she can do that while the car drives itself. If she had to hire a dri... (read more)

0TheAncientGeek4yAnd they could relocate overnight. That raises the possibility of self-driving sleeper cars for business travellers who need to be somewhere by morning.
New business opportunities due to self-driving cars

I don't see how it was a failure, so you're wrong about it being obvious.

Given the intensity of your criticism, I wonder why you aren't being more specific about the faults you see here.

8Lumifer4yThe two root problems in your post are that you treat self-driving cars as cost-free instant teleportation devices and that you don't understand which costs drive the particular forms that businesses take. Somewhat, but much less than you expect because contemporary car design is driven by law-mandated safety requirements. The same requirements put a floor on the cars' weight. There is also the fact that a general-purpose car will spend less time sitting in a parking lot doing nothing while waiting for someone to require it. Renting specialized equipment is expensive partially because of this -- there is a lot of idle time. Nope. It's not the case that the doctor doesn't come to your house because she can't afford a driver. The doctor doesn't come to your house first because her time is more valuable than yours and second because it's hard (=expensive) to bring along all the nurses and assistants and the medical equipment that she has around her office. And, by the way, the doctor doesn't fill out the insurance paperwork -- she has a much cheaper assistant who does. Of course you can get a doctor (and a hairdresser, and a tatoo artist, etc.) to come to your house, even without self-driving cars. It's just going to be very very expensive. I don't expect this to change. The cost of a driver is a minor component of the cost of renting large, expensive, luxury things. Taking it out will not make them suddenly affordable. And, by the way, who will unload, set up, dismantle and load back into the self-driving truck all these jacuzzis and huge sound systems? Also, about the "stuff that previously only millionaires or billionaires would afford" that your median-income person would be able to rent if only you take the truck driver out of the equation -- literally nothing comes to my mind. They are called caravans or camper vans or RVs. They exist. Have you tried renting them? They are quite expensive to rent, much more so than hotel rooms. " for a large number of pe
Prediction should be a sport

I'd definitely want to participate, and looking at the yearly predictions SSC and others do, I'm surely not the only one.

But someone would have to set it up, run it and advertise it. You don't even strictly need to write software for it. It could be done on any forum, as a thread or series of threads. It could be done here, if this place wasn't so empty nowadays.

0tadasdatys4yWell, I can imagine a post on SSC with 5 statements about the next week, where other users would reply with probabilities of each becoming true, and arguments for that. Then, after the week, you could count the scores and name the winners in the OP. It would probably get a positive reaction. Why not give it a try? I'm not sure what the 5 statements should be though. I think it must be "next week" not "next year", because you can't enjoy a game if you've forgotten you're playing it. Also, for it to be a game, it has to be repeatable, but if you start predicting the most important events of the year, you'll run out very fast. On the other hand, weekly events tend to be unimportant random fluctuations. I think that's a big problem with the whole idea. One possible solution could be to do experiments rather than predict natural events, i.e. "On day X I will try to do Y. Will it work?".
Prediction should be a sport

I don't know why you think that. Quiz shows need huge production values and very valuable prizes to still be interesting.

With the kind of budget that's conceivable for a startup group of amateur organizers, you have to be novel/creative to be found worth noticing outside the immediate circle of participants. Sure you could run a quiz show on a shoestring budget, but nobody is going to talk about it after.

And since this is about reaching people with ideas of thinking in probabilities and updating on evidence, everything that doesn't get talked about after is a failure. Even if the event itself was entertaining.

1ChristianKl4yI hold that opinion because a variety of Quiz shows are commercially successful. I think most entertainment has experiences with short feedback circles. I don't see how the event you propose is about updating on evidence. Updating on evidence in the sense it was done in the Good Judgement Project needs longer time frames than a tournament of a few days. I see that the offline model doesn't let people compete on research abilities but competition on calibration still gives you an event that's about probabilities. It has the advantage that the players can make a lot more predictions in a short time frame and it's less likely that the tournament gets won by lucky overconfident participants. A 2-day event where people do 1 hour research per question likely doesn't give you a dataset that allows you to pick a winner based on skill.
Prediction should be a sport

But in that case, it isn't really about prediction anymore. A game like that rewards knowledge, not the ability to do research and deal with probabilistic information.

Someone who has read a lot of Wikipedia, or who happens to have read papers on topics similar to the experiment in question, could outperform someone who constructs predictions very rationally but from a different set of domain knowledge facts. This makes it closer to a quiz show, i.e. a less original and less interesting event.

A slow, online tournament (where everyone has the same internet to do research in) greatly reduces the value of blunt knowledge and makes success more dependent on the ability to weigh evidence.

1ChristianKl4yI'm not sure why you consider quiz shows to be uninteresting. It's a quite successful format when it comes to gathering an audience.
Prediction should be a sport

A special event can bring people together, but most games of Poker don't happen in the setting of a tournament.

Oh, absolutely. But the big events are great PR and lead to lots of private games. So if there's a big event for prediction I think that helps people start to think in probabilities and conscious handling of prediction on other occasions.

Poker has the advantage of being able to be played casually with low feedback circles. Adrenalin rises while you play and you don't have to wait a year to see whether or not you win.

I think we need games l

... (read more)
0ChristianKl4yAs long as you have an existing set of questions with known answers that are unknown to participants of the game you can have instead feedback. Public knowledge that you can find on Wikidata works if you have an offline tournament. For an online tournament, it can use data from nonpublic experiments. The CASP [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CASP] tournament for protein structure prediction uses that method. For our purposes, I think surveys make good experimental data.
Prediction should be a sport

A simple fix would be to include predictions about particular parts of the year. For example, have a bunch of predictions about each quarter, on top of the ones about the whole year. And then you could have an extra prize for each quarter where you score only that subset of predictions.

You could easily go more short term, like "what are your predictions for September", but I think this requires more participation and work from everyone so maybe it would be better as a second step that you do only if the relatively relaxed yearly tournament has turned out to be cool.

Prediction should be a sport

In that type of scenario, I think it is hard to avoid a situation where domain knowledge dominates rational handling of evidence. It might be better, I don't know. Could you describe in more detail what kind of game you're imagining?

I'm slightly biased against it because this seems even more like gambling. Specifically, like sports betting. And as soon as you involve prizes, it'll be hard to avoid being subject to gambling legislation.

2ChristianKl4yBefore releasing the results of the LW survey, we might have a tournament about predicting the outcome of many survey questions.
The Unyoga Manifesto

I like this a lot, especially the beginning. Concise, clear and true. And the bit about the difficulty of following subtle gradients is particularly well put.

I'd like you to flesh this out more, especially because the title "manifesto" leads readers to expect more substance. Maybe add examples, or thoughts on group vs. solitary practice, or considerations about yoga for kids and yoga for seniors, and in each case make very clear what you think isn't helpful and what you think is.

0SquirrelInHell4yI sort of take pride in having written a post called "manifesto" which is not at all like a manifesto :) One point I'm trying to make is that there is no "right way" to do things here, so of course the advice ends up rather open-ended.
Bet or update: fixing the will-to-wager assumption

Is there a way to get the benefit of including betting into settling arguments, without the shady associations (and possible legal ramifications) of it being gambling?

2evand5yI'm not aware of any legal implications in the US. US gambling laws basically only apply when there is a "house" taking a cut or betting to their own advantage or similar. Bets between friends where someone wins the whole stake are permitted. As for the shady implications... spend more time hanging out with aspiring rationalists and their ilk?
Net Utility and Planetary Biocide

Yes, because it has more potential for improvement.

The Earth of a million years ago, where every single animal was fighting for its life in an existence of pain and hunger, was more hellish than the present one, where at least a percent or so are comparatively secure. So that's an existence proof of hellishness going away.

Emptiness doesn't go away. Empty worlds evidently tend to stay empty. We now see enough of them well enough to know that.

Effective altruism is self-recommending

Very very interesting. I have nothing to add except: This would get more readers and comments if the summary was at the top, not the bottom.

Net Utility and Planetary Biocide

I'm not convinced that perpetual suffering is particularly human. We could be the species of animal that suffers least on an average day, since we have better solutions to hunger and thirst than anyone else and no predator is likely to disembowel us and our offspring in our sleep.

So it seems to me what you're really doing is questioning the value of (conscious) life itself. Is that right?

It is an old question that has been answered many ways, because no single answer has appealed to everybody. Buddhism is one answer that I particularly dislike but is appar... (read more)

0kgalias5yRegarding your last point: is a hellish world preferable to an empty one?
Musical setting of the Litany of Tarski

It seems like something like airgigs.com seems to be the answer. It has musicians available down into the 50 dollars range.

0gjm5yIn so far as the figures there are representative, that suggests that $200 would be the right ballpark for getting a choral work performed. That sounds more plausible to me than a couple of bucks, though I wouldn't be surprised if you could get the price down somewhat from there.
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