Sorted by New


This post is for sacrificing my credibility!

Thanks for the info. I opened this post for the same reason as you, and now that I've read this I'm going to close it.

Nonmindkilling open questions

By that criterion, anything people can have an opinion on is "mindkilling". Yes, people are vulnerable to becoming entrenched in any way of thinking, but some are less vulnerable to such than others. And in my experience, diets are something people tend to be open to a variety of opinions on.

Nonmindkilling open questions

Too vague; "a low fat diet" could be taken to mean replacing fats with carbs, replacing fats with proteins, or just eating less in general. Otherwise I think it's a fine idea.

Nonmindkilling open questions

Clearly cheering on a sports team and checking a bookie's odds fulfill two different functions. One is about signaling, whereas the other is about improving your knowledge.

Trying to convince someone to forsake one in favor of the other makes about as much sense as telling them to buy a Prius instead of learning to juggle.

Nonmindkilling open questions

It's still a good idea, though. If you changed it to, say, paleo vs. Okinawan diets, I think it would work fine.

New IRC channels

How, exactly, is this discussion a "waste of time"? If it is worth having an IRC channel, it is worth taking the time to ensure that it functions smoothly.

What math should I learn?

I second badger's recommendation of the Princeton Companion. In fact, I expect that reading it might give you some ideas of your own as to what math to study.

You say below that you are interested in "fundamental" mathematics. Based purely on that, I would recommend abstract algebra, number theory, or some sort of course in proofs.

Also, this might seem obvious, but go talk to a math professor if at all possible. Much of the answer to this question depends on what the specific courses open to you are.

On Saying the Obvious

There is no reason an action like this can't have a compound cause. I would guess that, in the hypothetical, the person is not actually thinking "Okay, I'll preface this with 'obviously' so that I look good." However, it is likely that, since saying "obviously" is high status, they wouldn't think too hard about whether the thing is in fact obvious - certainly not as hard as if they were about to say something low status.

How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious

He made this reply before Eliezer's second post. Given that fact, it seems at least more fair than it would otherwise have been.

"Talking with God", a transhumanist short story

It would be very surprising if all the substantial advice one had for me turned out identical to what merely mortal soft transhumanists with environmental and social concerns are already saying.

Obviously a human author cannot foresee what "substantial advice" a transhuman intelligence would actually offer; therefore the story's god probably just functions as a mouthpiece for the author. I suggest you stop thinking about whether a superintelligent being would in fact say the things that character does, and start thinking about whether those things make sense on their own terms.

Load More