Wiki Contributions


What would make you personally use the new LessWrong?

Quality content. Quality content. And quality content.

Is there any specific feature that would make you want to use it?

The features which I would most like to see:

Wiki containing all or at least most of the jargon.

Rationality quotations all in one file alphabetically ordered by author of the quote.

Book reviews and topical reading lists.

Pie in the sky: the Yudkowsky sequences edited, condensed, and put into an Aristotelian/Thomsian/Scholastic order. (Not that Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas ever did this but the tradition of the scholastics was always to get this pie in the sky.) It might be interesting to see what an experienced book editor would advise doing with this material.

Everything I would want to not see has been covered by yourself or others in this thread.

Who is your favorite philosopher?

Do you have a favorite atheist philosopher?

If not the same guy as for question number one, who is your favorite philosopher that 95% of the philosophy academy never reads?

I was sitting in the audience as they got into the part where Bottom acts like an ass and this is supposed to be funny. I was just waiting for them to get it over with, and then remembered that there was nothing after it in the play that I looked forward to anyway.

Your unease may be from the audience reaction, not the action on stage. The action on stage is black magic, in which the King of the Fairies can get away with it because he is powerful enough to escape the consequences of black magic dabbling. This is pretty damn terrifying and not funny at all if you think about it. We are all there in the audience watching a comedy and we don't want to be terrified, and we don't want to think too much. But why do people laugh at that on repeat viewings? I'll try and make a mental note to check if I laugh the next time I see it; that would be a rude surprise.

What thou seest when thou dost wake

Do it for thy true love take

. . .

Wake when some vile thing is near

adds up to one of the worst curses in the library. Shakespeare violated the prime directive of karma with this plot element and he got away with it. Who's to say whether that is the greatest genius but it certainly is skill.

Are there good reasons why when I do a google search on (Leary it comes up nearly empty? His ethos consisted of S.M.I**2.L.E, i.e. Space Migration + Intelligence Increase + Life Extension which seems like it should be right up your alley to me. His books are not well-organized; his live presentations and tapes had some wide appeal.

Very nice.

I was reminded of this golden oldie from the '90's:

"Bill Clinton is an extraordinarily good liar." --Larry Nichols

I found another physician online endorsing a mg or two daily lithium supplement:

Lithium and Inflammation

Lithium and Longevity

(found the blog on the paleo sub-reddit). I was going to the herb and vitamin store this afternoon anyway to get some ginseng and I am going to see if they have those 1mg lithium pills and if they have them and they aren't 25$ a hundred or anything ridiculous I am thinking I am going to take the plunge and do at least one short experiment.

When I took Edward Tufte's graphics class one of the questions was about website design. He said the gold standard is the Google News website. Almost all signal and almost no noise. This design is not bad at all but it might work better as an "About" page than as the main page. The main page should be precisely what you were looking for when you entered whatever you put into the search engine when it referred you to the LessWrong main page.

David Pearce was still taking questions as of an hour ago. He gave me a much more thorough answer to my question than I have gotten in the two other AMA's I submitted questions to. Neil Strauss and the Atlantic writer whose name slips me at the moment both gave me terrible drive by answers with about two seconds of thought behind them.

This article showed up on the front page of HackerNews and on the front page of metafilter today.

Do you know anyone who might fall into this category, i.e. someone who was exposed to Less Wrong but failed to become an enthusiast, potentially due to atmosphere issues?

Yes. I know a couple of people with whom I share interest in Artificial Intelligence (this is my primary focus in loading Less Wrong web pages) who communicated to me that they did not like the site's atmosphere. Atmosphere is not exactly the word they used. One person thought the cryonics was a deal breaker. (If you read the piece in the New York Times Sunday Magazine about Robin Hanson and his wife you will get a good idea of the global consensus distaste for the topic.) The other person was not so specific although it was clear they were turned off completely even if they couldn't or wouldn't explain how.

Is it possible that our culture might be different if these folks were hanging around and contributing? Presumably they are disproportionately represented among certain personality types.

It is obvious that the culture here would be different if the more controversial or unpopular topics were downplayed enough not to discourage people who don't find the atmosphere convivial.

If so, can you suggest any easy steps we could take?

Here is what I have personally heard or read in comments that people find most bothersome: cryonics, polyamory, pick up artistry, density of jargon, demographic homogeneity (highly educated white males). Any steps to water that down beyond those already taken (pick up artistry is regularly criticized and Bell Curve racial IQ discussion has been all but tabooed) would not be easy to implement quickly and would have consequences beyond making for a more inclusive atmosphere.

I am not in agreement with the suitability of the word cult to characterize this issue accurately. I did the google test you describe and was surprised to see cult pop up so fast, but when I think cult I think Hare Krishnas, I think Charles Manson, I think David Koresh; I don't think Singularity Institute, and I don't think about a number of the organizations on Rick Ross' pages. Rick Ross is a man whose business makes money by promoting fear of cults. The last time I looked he had Landmark Education listed as a cult; this might be true with an extremely loose definition of the word but they haven't killed anybody yet to the best of my knowledge. I have taken a couple of courses from them and the multi-level marketing vibe is irksome but they have some excellent (and rational!) content in their courses. The last time I looked Ross did not have the Ordo Templi Orientis listed as a cult. When I was a member of that organization there were around a couple of thousand dues paying members in the United States, so I presume the OTO cult (this word is far more appropriately applied to them than Landmark) is too small for him to spend resources on.

The poster who replied that he and his wife refer to his Less Wrong activity as his cult membership is understandable to me in a light and humorous manner; I would be surprised if they really classify Less Wrong with Scientology and Charles Manson.

Load More