All of epigeios's Comments + Replies

How to learn soft skills

Soft skills are hard. I'm extremely good at learning soft skills. I try as hard as I can to teach one whenever someone desires one, but they're damn near impossible to teach. I've thus far only been successful at teaching someone how to do something related, in a way that their mind can grasp and run with, so that a few years later they will have developed the soft skill "on their own" (At which point, they will be doing exactly as I said exactly how I told them to, and they will tell me about this cool new thing they figured out how to do, an... (read more)

Could you give examples of how those three points play out in social interactions?

How to learn soft skills

People's inner simulator is almost always more accurate than their explicit models. It's just less precise. The thing about your statement of [if it were more accurate, people would be using it more, and be successful at more things] requires a few initial assumptions to be true. The first is that people are able to use their inner simulator on purpose, which is usually not the case from my observation. The second is that people are able and willing to take the path indicated by their inner simulator when it contrasts with their explicit models, which ... (read more)

Meditation: a self-experiment

RE: your frazzled after-busy state. Yeah, breathing meditation at that time is not only hard, it's kinda pointless. Well, until you get to the point where you can either enter a state of right-brain flow on purpose, or enter a REM-like state on purpose. When you can do those, breath control is a natural part of it.

A trick is to control your breath while you are busy. Every chance you get, especially when heavily focused on something, take a single slow breath, preferably into either your gut or your whole body (but just a slow breath with no direction i... (read more)

0ChristianKl8yCould you illuminate what you mean with REM-like state? I do enter from time to time a state where I have REM activity meaning that my eyes move. I don't see that as particular useful or a state that I would seek intentionally.
8Viliam_Bur8yShe reports on her experiences; the results of the experiment. "How much your life is going to be different" is at this moment merely an unsupported belief. I prefer when people separate these. Okay, maybe for you it had life-changing effects. I would like to read an article about it, because you seem to know a lot. Preferably one that focuses on the technical "how to" parts. The effects, if they are real, I would then experience myself. It's just that saying "your life is going to be different" and not supporting it with evidence... gets you a downvote on LW. Not because the topic is taboo, but because of the way it is presented.
Meditation: a self-experiment

Speaking form personal experience, the breathing meditation you did is what spawned the ability to be mindful of your physical state. This is because in order to successfully breathe into various areas of your body, you have to be mindful of that area. It is directly practicing physical awareness.

The fact that you have become aware of subtleties of flight-or-flight responses is extremely good. That's stage 2 of what it is possible to be mindful of.

Stage 3 is emotions. Try purposefully creating emotions. Try listening to music, and enhancing the emotio... (read more)

2Swimmer9638yCFAR actually has a class on this–well, not as specific as creating an emotion when you breathe in and letting it dissipate when you breathe out, but on purposely creating emotions in general. This is something I've been doing for years, because emotions are interesting to explore. I'm not at all sure that my current goals involve going "more than halfway" along a path that's described in such abstract terms that I have no idea how it actually maps onto my real-life experiences. I'm happy to, y'know, keep meditating and reap whatever benefits may come.
1ChristianKl8yI'm very certain that you don't have personal experience of what spawned her mindfulness of her body. Breathing meditation is certainly a way to develop it but it's not the only way. Body scanning is probably partly responsible for her gains in that area. What do you mean here? I would just avoid visualing negative images. If you visualize something positive and it doesn't disappear there no harm done.
1bbleeker8yAfter reading Swimmer's article, I was thinking about starting to meditate; but you're making it feel very hard, complicated and dangerous now.
0Gunnar_Zarncke8yThat is strange. I'm not versed in meditation except as tried here [http://lesswrong.com/lw/iuh/meditation_trains_metacognition/9z4q]. But I'd think that can do stages 2 to 5 and possibly 6 at least to some lesser degree guessing from your summary. But I can't breath consciously. I always get short winded until I let go of control (which I consciously can). Maybe it is related to my asthma.
1[anonymous]9yI stopped reading right here. It sounded the crackpot alarm for me.
4wedrifid9yYou are lonely up there because you are slightly insane (and, alas, in a way that isn't a sufficiently shared cultural insanity for it to form a group bonding role for you).
2Kawoomba9yGonk. Gonk. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74iL-Of5YUU]
Explaining vs. Explaining Away

Well, I hate to say something against your post here, because I quite agree with it all. Except there is one Mind Projection Fallacy of which I question whether it was done on purpose. The fallacy where you are reducing the poem to it's parts.

The majority of poetry is metaphor. All of the specific examples in that poem are metaphors for the feeling of majesty. So to the poet, those three examples are quite the same. The poet's distaste for scientific reduction isn't that everything is explained away, it's that explaining something reduces it's perceived... (read more)

-7epigeios9y
Attention control is critical for changing/increasing/altering motivation

Crap! I'm sorry I didn't see this. I've had a love/hate relationship with LessWrong while I've been getting as far as I can with meditation. a year late, hopefully you get this response so that it may have some use.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/blr/attention_control_is_critical_for/6frz. In this post I describe the steps for learning the prerequisite to Taoist meditation. At the time, I was not able to properly describe Taoist meditation, despite being very familiar with it. I can at least try now.

The prerequisite to Taoist meditation is about practicing bei... (read more)

0SkyDK7yWasn't visiting LessWrong with my profile for a long while. Thank you for the detailed steps. I suspect the down-vote is for the Taoist references where some LW'ers are heavily against references to Chi since they haven't found substantial evidence for its existence. For me, your post is a thumbs up: I appreciate the applicability of what you wrote. Thank you!
Don't Get Offended
  • Imagine that something is true.
  • Observe that it is not true.
  • Keep imagining it is true.
  • Listen to someone state that it is not true.
  • Let the conflict between those two things continue to build up and manifest as a negative emotion directed at the person who stated that it is not true.

An example of imagining that something is true is having the idea that things ought to be a certain way, such as thinking that people ought to be not racist. Observe that people are racist. Continue to think that people ought to be not racist. Hear someone be racist.

The ... (read more)

2Normal_Anomaly9yYour bullet-points example doesn't appear to match your paragraph example. "Think people ought not to be racist; observe that they are" is different from "Imagine something is true; observe that it is not." I can imagine that people ought not be racist (they shouldn't) but be aware that they are. Then when I observe someone being racist, there's no conflict between my beliefs and reality. Instead, there's a conflict between reality and how I think reality ought to be, which I attempt to resolve by calling the racist out in the hope that they'll behave better next time. Note that the above says nothing about whether or not I should call out the racist, just that I think epigeios' example is bad. Also I agree that it's a bad idea to be angry at concepts rather than the people who believe them.
4Eliezer Yudkowsky9yOn the basis of this comment, I have recognized this user as a possible troll and may delete comments from them (downvoted or otherwise) which seem to be attention-seeking. [I.e. our local equivalent of "User was banned for this comment."]
0Qiaochu_Yuan9yHave you ever met me in real life?
Don't Get Offended

The training method is called Taoist meditation.

Do this: be aware of yourself. Once you can do this to some extent, do the next step: be aware of your awareness of yourself.

Keep practicing this forever. That is meditation in a nutshell.

A checklist can help as long as it's used to further the practice of being aware. If you're having trouble being aware of yourself, practice being aware of other things first.

Oh, and another trick is that the fastest way to improve is to never go beyond 70% of your ability. One should only do so to gauge one's ability, to better know what 70% is.

Don't Get Offended

At the low end of the mind, you're absolutely right. The options are: take the hit, dodge, hit back, or redirect the punch away, or don't even get near people in the first place. The best of those options is to redirect the punch away, which is very difficult to do.

At the high end of the mind, where extreme layers of subtlety exist, where most people don't even have the ability to be aware of at any time during their life, there is another way: realize that the punch is not directed at you. At that level of depth into the mind, the offendee actually enti... (read more)

Don't Get Offended

The functional role sadness, fear, suffering, and all such emotions plays is the same role pain plays: It is an indicator, telling the mind where the problem is. There are certainly multiple ways to "fix" the problem. In the end, however, the methods that in any way dampen progress are methods that don't actually fix the problem. (The problem is never external)

Roughly 80% of the time, people are offended by things that they don't know they do themselves. That's why it is very important to listen to the emotional pain: to figure that out.

Roughly... (read more)

Rationality Quotes February 2013

"being yourself": A metaphor for a feeling which is so far removed from modern language's ability to describe, that it's a local impossibility for all but a tiny portion of the people in the world to taboo it. It's purpose is to illicit the associated feeling in the listener, and not to be used as a descriptive reference. It is a feeling that is so deeply ingrained in 50% of people, that those people don't realize the other 50% of people don't know what it is; and so had never thought to even begin to try to explain it, much less taboo it.

tabooi... (read more)

Right for the Wrong Reasons

You're the one skimming credit off the top.

My interpretation of this point is that the person doing the rewarding and punishing is the person doing the predicting.

This hints at the deeper problem, too: that the subconscious reinforcement of these predictions is causing them to continue. the most common reward is that a wrong prediction seems right. For most people, that is a reward in and of itself.

So the real question is: are you going to reward yourself for being wrong for the right reasons? how about being right for the wrong reasons?

1NancyLebovitz9yI agree that the comment system could be much improved, but I don't see where direct access to one's subconscious fits into that.
0[anonymous]9yI'm not sure what to make of your post, honestly. There's a lot of seemingly New-Age BS catchphrases/language, but it seems like you're trying to say something. Posts which may help you, for starters: What is Evidence? [http://lesswrong.com/lw/jl/what_is_evidence/], 37 Ways Words Can be Wrong [http://lesswrong.com/lw/od/37_ways_that_words_can_be_wrong/] Do not attempt to read all the Sequences at once, there's way too much material to do that.
8Morendil9yNot systematically - you have some upvoted comments, some downvoted ones, and some at zero. That's an informative set. You're being told "more of this, less of that". It may not be clear yet what distinguishes this from that. Try figuring out the pattern. Take it as a puzzle.
1[anonymous]9yHave you read the sequences [http://lesswrong.com/sequences/]? I feel the urge to downvote you because I have no idea what you are talking about and you are tripping a lot of the usual quack-alarms. Usually, this is because you (generalized to refer to all people to which I have this reaction) don't know what you're talking about, and are not using our language. As for why it's important to use our language, consider that any idiot can talk like an outsider, and most of the people who can talk the talk around here are also saying intelligent things. As for the danger of excluding good ideas from outside, I've found that I can usually understand outsiders who have something valuable to say. You are obviously intelligent, but if you want to contribute, you kindof have to read a lot of our background info. I'd like to make this easier, but right now, it's a slog. Good luck.
The Nature of Offense

It's not status that's the issue, it's the offendee's conception of reality. Status is just the most common (by far) example of this.

Whenever a person has an "image" (subconscious subtle bias) of how things work, without consciously being aware of it, that person's perception of reality is distorted by the image/bias. Then, whenever some input does not fit with the image; either due to someone else asserting their own conflicting image of reality, or due to someone speaking bluntly about a conflicting observation of reality, the biased person su... (read more)

2wedrifid10yIf the offender wishes to avoid the consequences that come from the offended individual successfully portraying them as offensive or otherwise doing reputation damage then yes, it is the offender's job not to offend people. It is likewise the offender's job to avoid offending people if they happen to intrinsically value other people not being offended by them, where the degree of value is less than the cost of limiting their freedom of expression and extra modelling of expected reactions. Not true. Have the offender publicly executed via gruesome torture. That can make future instances highly unlikely. (Reduce the degree of 'tantrum throwing' as necessary.) You can change the environment to be more like how you want it to be. It is also worth noting that avoiding the emotional experience of being offended is not the point. In the same way avoiding the emotional experience of being angry, sad or afraid is not the point. Those feelings are usually there to indicate that we are best served by taking actions in the actual real world so that outrageous, sad or scary things don't happen to us as much. Removing the feeling without removing the stimulus is not always a good thing.
Ask an experimental physicist

This might be out in left field, but:

Can water be pumped through carbon nanotubes? If so, has anyone tried? If they have, has anyone tried running an electric current through a water-filled nanotube? How about a magnetic current? How about light? How about sound?

Can carbon nanotubes be used as an antenna? If they can be filled with water, could they then be used more effectively as an antenna?

4Luke_A_Somers9ySorry for the delayed response - I don't see a mechanism for reply notifications. You can definitely cram water into carbon nanotubes, but they're hydrophobic, so it's not easy. You can run an electric current through carbon nanotubes whether they've got water in them or not. Spin transport is possible in perfect carbon nanotubes (magnetic current). Carbon nanotubes are strong antennas, so they strongly interact with light. However, they are way way way too small to be waveguides for optical wavelengths, and EM radiation with an appropriate wavelength is way way way too penetrating. Water within them would just cause more scattering, not help carry current. Water carries ionic currents, which are orders of magnitude slower than electron or hole currents in nanotubes. You can definitely carry sound with carbon nanotubes - google 'nanotube radio'.
Ask an experimental physicist

Wait wait wait. A muon beam exists? How does that work? How accurate is it? Does it only shoot out muons, or does it also shoot out other particles?

1Dreaded_Anomaly10yThere is actually some research being done into the creation of a muon collider [http://www.fnal.gov/pub/muon_collider/].
9RolfAndreassen10yWell, for values of 'exist' equal to "within vast particle accelerators". You produce muons by a rather complicated process: First you send a proton beam at graphite, which produces kaons and pions. You focus these beams using magnetic fields, and they decay to muons. Muons are relatively long-lived, so you guide them into a circular storage ring. They decay to a muon neutrino, an electron anti-neutrino, and an electron. I'm not sure whether accuracy is a good question in these circumstances. Our control of the muons is good enough to manipulate them as described above, and we're talking centimeter distances at quite good approximations to lightspeed, but it's not as though we care about the ones that miss, except to note that you don't go into the tunnel when the beam is active. You do get quite a lot of other particles, but they don't have the right mass and momentum combinations for the magnets to guide them exactly into the ring, so they end up slightly increasing the radiation around the production apparatus. The above is for the Gran Sasso experiment; there may be other specific paths to muon beams, but the general method of starting with protons, electrons, or some other easily accessible particle and focusing the products of collisions is general. Of course this means you can't get anywhere near the luminosity of the primary beams, since there's a huge loss at each conversion-and-focusing.
Ask an experimental physicist

I've got a lot of questions I just thought of today. I am personally hoping to think of a possible alternative model of quantum physics that doesn't need anything more than the generation 1 fermions and photons, and doesn't need the strong interaction.

  • What is the reason for the existence of the theory of the charm quark (or any generation 2-3 quark)? What are some results of experiments that necessitate the existence of a charm quark?
  • Which of the known hadrons can be directly observed in any way, as opposed to theorized as a mathematical in-between or
... (read more)
5RolfAndreassen10yI had to split my answer in two, and clumsily posted them in the wrong order - some of this refers to an 'above' which is actually below. I suggest reading in chronological rather than page order. :) Well no, you get a specific resonance in hadron energy spectra, as described above. There's the notorious sigma and kappa resonances, which are basically there only to explain a structure in the pion-pion and pion-kaon scattering spectrum. Belief in these as particles proper, rather than some feature of the dynamics, is not widespread outside the groups that first saw them. (I have a photoshopped WWII poster somewhere, captioned "Is YOUR resonance needed? Unnecessary particles clutter up the Standard Model!) I see the PDG doesn't even list them in its "needs confirmation" section. I'm aware of them basically because I used them in my thesis just as a way to vary the model and see how the result varied - I had all the machinery for setting up particles, so a more-or-less fictional particle with some motivation from what others have seen was a convenient way of varying the structure. So quark masses are a vexed subject. The problem is that you cannot catch a quark on its own, it's always swimming in a virtual soup of gluons and quarks. So all quark masses are determined, basically, by taking some model of the strong interaction and trying to back-calculate the observed hadron and meson masses. And since the strong interaction is insanely computationally intractable, you can't get a very good answer. For the tau lepton it's rather simpler: Wait for one to decay to charged hadrons, calculate the four-momentum of the mother particle, and get the peak of the mass distribution as described above. I don't believe anyone has observed a bound state mediated purely by the weak force. In fact one of the particles in such a state would have to be a neutrino, since otherwise there would be other forces involved; and observing a neutrino is hard enough without adding the req
6RolfAndreassen10yOk, that's a lot of questions. I'll do my best, but I have to tell you that your quest is, in my opinion, a bit quixotic. Basically the strange quark is motivated by the existence of kaons, charm quarks by the D family of mesons (well, historically the J/psi, but I'm more familiar with the D mesons), and beauty quarks by the B family. As for truth quarks, mainly considerations of symmetry. Let's take kaons, the argument being the same for the other families. If the kaon were to decay by the strong force, it would be extremely short-lived, because it could go pretty immediately to two pions; there would certainly be no question of seeing it in a tracking detector, the typical timescale of strong decays being 10^-23 seconds. Even at lightspeed you don't get far in that time! We therefore conclude that there is some conservation principle preventing the strong decay, and that the force by which the kaon decays does not respect this conservation principle. Hence we postulate a strange quark, whose flavour (strangeness) is conserved by the strong force (so, no strange-to-up (or down) transition at strong-force speeds) but not by the weak force. I should note that quark theory has successfully predicted the existence of particles before they were observed; you might Google "Eightfold Path" if you're not familiar with this history, or have a look at the PDG's review [http://pdg.lbl.gov/2011/reviews/rpp2011-rev-quark-model.pdf]. (Actually, on closer inspection I see that the review is intending for working physicists familiar with the history - it's not an introduction to the Eightfold Path, per se. Probably Google would serve you better.) For this I have to digress into cross-sections. Suppose you are colliding an electron and a positron beam, and you set up a detector at some particular angle to the beam - for example, you can imagine the detector looking straight down at the collision point: ___detector e+ -----> collision <------- e- Now, the cross-section (whi
Typicality and Asymmetrical Similarity

The errors are relevant. So what if the person who mentions an error doesn't have the capacity to deduce the relevancy? It's still possible that someone on here will deduce the relevancy.

Your post, by contrast, as well as Bob3's just above, are making the assumption that the only argument to be found is the one that was stated. Caledonian2 is right, and if you weren't focused on the irrelevancy of his argument, you might have been able to find the relevancy of his point.

Granted, Caledonian2 did his best to find an argument fitting his idea, and the argu... (read more)

Typicality and Asymmetrical Similarity

It seems to me that diseases would be more likely to spread from robins to ducks than from ducks to robins. The reason I am thinking this is the case is that robins fly around more than ducks, and ducks rest in water. This means that ducks are fairly likely to come in contact with traces of past robins, but robins are unlikely to come in contact with traces of past ducks.

The idea that the spread of disease between species is equally likely not only ignores differences in immunity, as Caledonian2 said; it also assumes direct contact between the species. In... (read more)

Attention control is critical for changing/increasing/altering motivation

Awesome! This is very useful. I now have a perfect way to describe why Taoist meditation is among the most useful things someone in this community can learn to do. And I have tons of experience to back it up.

Mindfulness meditation is the prerequisite for Taoist meditation. And Wikipedia doesn't explain how to practice Mindfulness meditation.

1SkyDK10yCould you enlighten us with your preferred approach to meditation then? I've had very positive experiences just with simple breathing exercises, but I'd definitely like to improve.
Attention control is critical for changing/increasing/altering motivation

http://lesswrong.com/lw/blr/attention_control_is_critical_for/6frz How to learn how to meditate properly

In short: Yes, you will. This is how to accomplish that goal quickly and efficiently.

Attention control is critical for changing/increasing/altering motivation

That's called learning how to meditate. And yes, it works wonders with cognitive ability and control of cognitive ability. The standard efficient process of learning how to meditate is:

  • Focus attention somewhere for as long as possible.
  • Move focused attention around from subject to subject, including inside your own body.
  • Spread your attention outward from the focused point, making sure to maintain attention on the focused point.
  • Scan your body. Just become aware of everything you observe when scanning; don't try to change anything.
  • Scan again and again
... (read more)
4johnlawrenceaspden8yThis was a year ago now. Anyone tried it? Did it seem to work? Any tangible benefits (I don't crash my motorbike so often...) rather than feelings of inner wisdom?
SotW: Check Consequentialism

The left side still has to employ massively parallel process to generate the chirps to the specific purpose.

What makes you say that? In your example, the left brain has 2 inputs, and only needs to find a plausible connection between the two.

Although, in hindsight, You're right. The brain uses many neurons in parallel no matter what or where it is processing.

I will now proceed to twist my words to attempt to better communicate what I mean. In reality, i spoke too hastily, generalized too greatly, and still obviously don't know the correct words to use... (read more)

SotW: Check Consequentialism

Simple left-brain vs right-brain. The problem you refer to isn't that hard to fix, it's just that very few people know about it. Reading through the sequences will, in most cases, make people want to exercise their minds in daily life. Eventually, the right brain will activate despite the left-brain dominance of english-speaking culture.

to put it simply. The left brain's job is to process individual points of data in series as a pattern. The right brain's job is to process all points of data in parallel as a chaotic fractal flow.

Granted, most of the s... (read more)

0Dmytry10yI do think theres truth to here being two ways to using the thought but I don't think its simply one side vs other side in humans. The left side (of right-handed individuals) has the speech centre, and thus is more involved in process of making sequences of chirps that achieve particular social purpose, and subsequently less involved in the decision making or reasoning. In the split brain patients, when left side is presented with chicken, and right side is presented with snow, and the right side picks shovel as related, the left side explains that the shovel is for cleaning chicken shit. The left side doesn't have slightest clue why shovel was chosen, nor does have any need-to-know what so ever (even when the corpus callosum is present) as the optimum chirps are entirely dependent to listener and independent of motivation. The left side still has to employ massively parallel process to generate the chirps to the specific purpose - that's the only way brain can do it - clearly there's a lot of parallel processing required for coming up with an explanation how the shovel is related to chicken - but the chirps themselves are sequential in nature and so it appears as if there is some sort of serial process going on. It even looks like some sequences of chirps are consequences of other sequences of chirps, when the chirp making rule requires them to be produced in that order. Then the people here have trouble with 'procrastination', 'akrasia', and the like, which is inevitable outcome of the disconnect between decision making (which decides not to do something) and speech synthesis (which talks of wanting something), and are generally a case of the pirate ship's parrot complaining of the weather. Letting the part-brained parrot take over the pirate ship is generally a bad idea, even if the parrot is very extensively trained. For one thing, the part-brained parrot doesn't know one thing about navigation and can't read the maps or charts, which are non verbal in nature.
SotW: Check Consequentialism

So, first of all

The easiest way to help people learn this skill, I think, would be to teach people:

  • Good posture

  • How to relax and open their muscles and joints

  • How to breath properly

And, the easiest way to teach people this skill, I think, is to instead teach them about this skill. This means that exercises should be somewhat indirect. Exercises should definitely get people to experience the problem instead of getting people to learn the solution, and only make available this solution as an option. Partly because the proposed solution is not the o... (read more)

SotW: Be Specific

8) Get people to recognize when other people want them to be more (or less) specific.

9) Get people to recognize when they are being specific about the wrong subject.

SotW: Be Specific

Okay, so split into sets of 2 people (or, split into 2 teams, or even dynamic teams could work). Person A asks a simple personal question about person B (such as "do you have a girlfriend?" or "do you have a college degree?" or "do you prefer dogs or cats?"). Person B then tries to answer like the people in the video did, by telling an abstract related story, or by answering a different question contained within or related to the question (like "well, dolphins are really my favorite animal" or "college degrees... (read more)

Is That Your True Rejection?

Most people don't even go as far as to make a hypothesis there. It's arguable that every time someone forms a question, it is the same as forming a hypothesis; purely because questions can be reworded as hypotheses. However, in the case of someone who is just exploring, they would not go so far as to hypothesize.

It's normal for the person to say something like "I wonder if it happens with all sodium compounds" or, "I wonder if there are any sodium compounds that explode as well". But in these cases, there is no basis and no reason to... (read more)

Is That Your True Rejection?

Here's something I'd love to put into an entire article, but can't because my karma's bad (see my other comment on this thread):

Many people make the false assumption that the scientific method starts with the hypothesis. They think: first hypothesize, then observe, then make a theory from the collection of hypotheses.

The reality is quite the opposite. The first point on the scientific method is the observation. Any hypotheses before observation will only diminish the pool of possible observations. Second is building a theory. Along the process, many t... (read more)

1Zackmarty10yThis isn't related to the entire post so much as it is a response to the problem with the scientific method. The scientific method does start with a hypothesis in relation to individual experiments. The hypothesis starts with general observations made from previous experiments or just some kind of general observation. If we assume complete ignorance about NaCl (Sodium Chloride), but previously observed that pure sodium (Na) explodes in the presence of water, we might decide to devise an experiment to see what happens when we place other compounds with sodium in water. Our hypothesis might be something like, everything that has sodium explodes in water. It is not necessary to write down this hypothesis, because the hypotheses we generally make are made in our head when we are not in some kind of laboratory setting. By that I mean we constantly make hypotheses about subjects before we observe the results of our 'experiments.' Anyway, we toss a block of sodium chloride in a bucket of water and observe that an explosion does not immediately follow. We had previous observations from former experiments, or general observations, to suggest that stuff with sodium will explode, but our observational evidence suggests that our previously made hypothesis is not true. We make plenty of observations before making hypotheses, but we always make some sort of hypothesis before making some sort of observation when starting an experiment of any manner.
How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious

If you're having trouble changing, one easy thing I have found to work for me is: Take it upon myself to do the things I would normally do out of habit, and do them on purpose. Take it upon myself to do the things I would normally do as a reaction, and do them independently.

This, for me, sets my mind on the path of being conscious of and in control of what I was previously unable to change. So, I think you should do the opposite of the lesson you've learned from this. I think you should, for a short period of time, purposefully act the way you are current... (read more)

A Much Better Life?

I, personally, tell the difference by paying attention to and observing reality without making any judgments. Then, I compare that with my expectations based on my judgments. If there is a difference, then I am thinking I am interacting instead of interacting.

Over time, I stop making judgments. And in essence, I stop thinking about interacting with the world, and just interact, and see what happens.

The less judgments I make, the more difficult the Turing Test becomes; as it is no longer about meeting my expectations, but instead satisfying my desired le... (read more)

1Nighteyes567810yI think it'd be useful to hear an example of "observing reality without making judgements" and "observing reality with making judgements". I'm having trouble figuring out what you believe the difference to be.
Poll results: LW probably doesn't cause akrasia

When I was a kid, I didn't have a problem with procrastination. I procrastinated on purpose. Now, I have a problem with procrastination. I did it so much as a kid that I ingrained it into the depths of my mind.

Fortunately, I just now realized this. And now that I know it exists, it's really easy to fix.

Morality is not about willpower

My interpretation of the post in this case is: it's not that you're not employing willpower, instead you're not employing personal morality. So, while TORRENT vs BUY fits into the societal ethics view, it does not fit into your personal morality.

From the personal morality perspective, the bad feeling you get is the thing you need willpower to fight against/suppress. You probably also need willpower to fight against/suppress the bad feeling you might be getting from buying the album. These need not be mutually exclusive. Personal morality can be both against torrenting and against spending money unduly.

5Scott Alexander10yLet me rephrase my objection, then. I feel a certain sense of mental struggle when considering whether to torrent music. I don't feel this same sense of mental struggle when considering whether or not to murder or steal or cheat . Although both of these are situations that call my personal morality, the torrenting situation seems to be an interesting special case. We need a word to define the way in which the torrenting situation is a special case and not just another case where I don't murder or steal or cheat because I'm not that kind of person. The majority of the English-speaking world seems to use "willpower". As far as I know there's no other definition of willpower, where we could say "Oh, that's real willpower, this torrenting thing is something else." If we didn't have the word "willpower", we'd have to make up a different word, like "conscious-alignment in mental struggle" or something. So why not use the word "willpower" here?
Connectionism: Modeling the mind with neural networks

Name an object that isn't a jar of peanut butter. What did you immediately think of?

An elephant. Due to the fact that the question that's usually asked is about elephants. So I thought of elephants before I finished the sentence

Second, I thought of a jar of peanut butter.

I still haven't consciously thought of another object yet, except just now as I was thinking about what object I might think of, and thought of the spoon I was using to eat my food.

4lessdazed10yNisan was referring to an assumption: IGNORANCE>FALSE BELIEF, for all beliefs. You are referring to the related assumption: If TRUE, then BEST TO BELIEVE, so TRUE BELIEF>IGNORANCE and TRUE BELIEF>FALSE BELIEF, once again, all of these for all beliefs. I don't think either are widely assumed around here, and I think the link JGWeissman provided shows that. Like many others, I'm not familiar enough with the field to have any idea what those assumptions might be.