All of ExaminedThought's Comments + Replies

Dark Arts of Rationality

I've found myself to be overly drawn to the dark arts in general. Whether it's the idea of becoming a Dark Lord, a sith, or using self-deception to achieve my goals (or just my desires). What feels somewhat related is that I am terrified that I would take the option of "blissing out" if it were available. Realizing I am like this and that I need to compensate is all that kept me away from becoming a drug addict.

On first reading this post, my reaction was extreme eagerness. I thought of dozens of applications before I was done reading. I have done... (read more)

2013 Survey Results

It was interesting to see how very average I am (as a member of Less Wrong). My feelings of being an outsider (here at least) have diminished.

I've also resolved to do two things this year, thanks in part to this survey: 1) sign the hell up for cryonics already and 2) take a professional IQ test.

For cryonics, the number of yeses compared to the number who want to or are still considering is a bit of a wake-up call for me.

2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

130 at bare minimum is what I think to myself, but the higher the better. It feels shallow to admit that.

(nods) So, would you rather know what it is now, so you can either be content at having achieved your goal or know how much you have to increase it by to achieve your goal? Or would you rather remain ignorant?
2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey

I answered everything I could. I wish I could have put what my IQ is, but I've never taken an official test. I'm not sure I want to know what my IQ really is. If it's lower than I want, I think I'll feel inferior, envious, and generally frustrated that I can't do much to improve it.

I don't know if this helps, but I felt the same way, and took the Mensa entrance test to find out my IQ. Turns out that they don't actually give you the results, just tell you if you've entered ... and at the moment, that's satisfied my desire to know without feeling unhappy it's not high enough.
What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn't make it worse. []
What do you want your IQ to be?
Effective Rationality Training Online

"Contributors would, at the very least, need to be familiar with how to write articles using a skill acquisition process agreed upon by the entire community."

Are you talking about a process for acquiring rationality skills or writing skills? Requiring an entire community to agree on how to write something seems to indicate the whole community would be qualified to do the writing...

Bureaucracies are really bad about actually getting anything done. Beware of that.

Thank you, I meant the process for acquiring skills. Post edited.
More "Stupid" Questions

I'm only talking about myers briggs here, but I'm really confused about why you say the tests seem to work. They don't seem to work to me. I can get any of handful of different results and so can many people I know. Not only that, but I've studied the underlying theory enough to know that a lot of people I've met who only go by the tests are mistyped. They don't even know what the letters mean. They don't know if they use extroverted or introverted thinking/intuition/feeling/sensing. They think that if they're smart, they have to have a T in their type.

One of the main criticisms of MBTI is actually its lack of reliability - that is, its lack of consistency from test to test. MBTI in general is rubbish and when I talk about personality tests or correlations, it's always Big Five or some other decent test.
Crossing the experiments: a baby

"All else being equal, creating new lives would be a bad thing"

Is negative utilitarianism the idea that we should minimize pain? And a new life will undoubtedly experience some degree of pain and suffering?

Is there any good PR for negative utilitarianism out there? Or some reading that you would recommend on it?

Prioritarianism seems more coherent.
Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

Digging through the survey, I'm surprised to see Myers Briggs types listed. I was wondering if LWers considered it to be pseudoscience before I even saw the question.

I don't think LWers collaborate to write the survey (correct me if I'm wrong, though)...please don't generalize the decisions of a small group to the entire community. Edit: Oh, sorry, didn't realize you were the OP. lol. So you wouldn't know...and I'm not sure either.
Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

I wouldn't assume about the ones that aren't actual names. But I also wouldn't have guessed the number was as low as 10%!

Well, given that LW is/was* predominantly appealing to STEM-types, with a focus on computer science-y topics (artificial intelligence), decision theory etc., it's no wonder that the gender gap here reflects the gender gap in e.g. computer science colleges: Edit: * "was" because Harry Potter!
Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

I do have a pair of Vibrams! The sprint model. Those and flip flops are all I wear.

I'm not sure how to turn most of the epiphanies into actions. But I try to think of examples of how myself or others have failed at a particular aspect of it. Is that what you mean by reactions? I'm the type of person to read it all as fast as possible and then go back and try to implement specific actions during a reread. Although some of the general frame of mind is already rubbing off on me I think.

Thank you for the suggestion about CFAR. I will be looking into it.

Sort of. The main thing is identifying a situation that will trigger a behavior. For example, whenever I notice I'm the least bit confused, I say out loud "I notice I am confused." This is an atomic action that I can do out of habit, and which will make me much more likely to follow up on the confusion. Oftentimes, this will be something like saying "event is on Saturday the 25th," and then noticing that Saturday isn't the 25th. This is something I really ought to get to the bottom of, because thinking the event is on the wrong day will lead to missing the event, which is totally preventable at this point if I notice my confusion. Most people have defaults against noticing this sort of thing, though (I know I definitely did, even knowing a lot of decision science and about baises). Having a specific plan of action makes it way easier to react the right way in the moment, and having a workaround for one bias is better than knowing about twenty biases. This is a better approach, I think, but I'm leery of recommending it because enough people have trouble reading through the sequences one time that suggesting it two times seems like asking too much.
Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

I don't actually see ads on YouTube and assumed it was because of AdBlock.

0Said Achmiz9y
Aha — it seems the extension you suggested is Adblock Plus (lowercase b), whereas I had been using an unrelated one called AdBlock (capital B, no "Plus"). I've now switched and the YouTube ads seem to be gone!
Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

I was going to link to that. You beat me at linking to my own post!

Note: the post talks about priming research. I made the following comment there: In general, a lot of research on priming is statistically dubious. There are a few robust findings, but there's also a lot of stuff that doesn't hold up under closer examination.
Welcome to LW. :)
Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

My name is Crystal, and I'm 25 years old. I don't see a lot of female names around here but I guess I'm used to that. I was the only girl in most of my college engineering classes. I was the only female programmer where I worked.

I've always tried to be rational in an intuitive sort of way. Knowing the truth is one of my prime life motivators, and I've always been strange to others because of it.

People so often don't want the truth because it hurts, but I've tended to treat that hurt like a thrill seeker would. I came up with a little motto for myself, &q... (read more)

I applaud your pragmatic response to ridiculous social pressure.
I also prefer bare feet, though to a lesser extent. I hate wearing just socks, but I don't mind wearing worn tennishoes that bend easily.
It's not like your username sounds obviously feminine either, so how confident you are about whether a given user (except the obvious ones, say lukeprog or NancyLebovitz) is male or female? But yes, according to the last survey [], only around 10% of the people here are women, and even fewer among the most prolific contributors [].
Welcome! Have you tried out Vibrams []? I have found them to be a delightful shoe replacement. That feeling will fade as you read and do more. I do want to call back to something you said earlier, though: This is where you want to end up; it's one thing to talk a good game about biases, and another to understand them on the five second level []. While reading through the sequences, it's helpful to try to turn the epiphanies into actions or reactions, rather than just abstract knowledge. If you are interested in putting your programming skills to work on rationality education, you might want to get to know some people at CFAR []; there are a number of useful things that could exist but don't yet because no one has programmed them. (Here's an example of one of the useful things [] that does exist.)
1Said Achmiz9y
Welcome to Less Wrong! I don't have much else to say, except that several of your "traits that normal people find weird" are ones I share: I've been approaching that view myself, more and more, but I don't think I've seen this talked about much here (not directly, anyway; a lot of the "Dark Arts" / manipulation discussions are applicable, though). I think it would be cool if you wrote a post or two about your thoughts on this issue. (And/or linked to any related blog posts you might have, if you're willing.) Agreed. Also agreed. This view, I think many people here share. Yes, my family has a similar reaction to the idea of not voting.