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Open thread Jan. 5-11, 2015

Is there any Egan or Vinge fanfic except EY's crossover Finale of the...?

Stupid Questions December 2014

Thanks! I've seen many times the statement that ontology is strictly included in metaphysics, but this is the first time I've seen an example of something that's in the set-theoretic difference.

2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Did the survey! I think i gave highly contradictory answers.

Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014

I think the anagram-of-your-name thing works better if you're called Scott Alexander than if you're called Viliam Bur.

Or Hyaena Hell Infusion.

The Puzzle of Faith and Belief

Nice to see an old face again!

Open thread, September 22-28, 2014

This should be fun!

Distress - it's like the kitchen sink of hard/near-future SF

Quarantine - very enjoyable, but a bit simple-minded

Incandescence - seems like a return to early Egan's minimalism

Permutation City - cool, but rather off for me

Schild's Ladder - doesn't feel innovative, the ending has the same vibe as that of Permutation

Zendegi - was expecting more LW mockery after the discussions, unfortunately it was very limited

Diaspora - although brilliant in some respects, very confusingly written

Teranesia - just boring, I understand why it's not so known

Haven't read yet An Unusual Angle; the Orthogonal trilogy I'll read when I get it whole.

Open thread, Sept. 1-7, 2014

"After all this time?"


Open thread, Sept. 1-7, 2014

A nearby store has this sign that kinda reminds me of What the Tortoise Said to Achilles:

Products marked with can be heated at your request!

Definitely not making this up. Showed this today to my girlfriend who was speechless upon exiting the store.

Open thread, 11-17 August 2014
  1. This happened when I was 12 years old. I was trying to solve a problem at a mathematical contest which involved proving some identity with the nth powers of 5 and 7. I recall thinking vaguely "if you go to n+1 what is added in the left hand side is also in the right hand side" and so I discovered mathematical induction. In ten minutes I had a rigorous proof. Though, I didn't find it so convincing, so I ended with an unsure-of-myself comment "Hence, it is also valid for 3, 4, 5, 6 and so on..."

  2. When I was in high school, creationism seemed unsatisfying in the sense of a Deus Ex Machina narrative (I often wonder how theists reconcile the contradiction between the feeling of religious wonder and the feeling of disappointment when facing Deus Ex Machina endings). The evolution "story" fascinated me with its slow and semi-random progression over billions of years. I guess this was my first taste of reductionism. (This is also an example of how optimizing for interestingness instead of truth has led me to the correct answer.)

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