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Salvage Epistemology

Could go "aspirat". (Pronounced /ˈæs.pɪ̯.ɹæt/, not /ˈæsˈpaɪ̯.ɹɪʔ/.)

Boston Solstice 2018 Retrospective

I have a copy of Allison Lonsdale's Live At Lestat's album somewhere, but I usually just listen at

Boston Solstice 2018 Retrospective

Her Mysteries! I love that song and keep hoping it'll catch on, but never managed to make much headway. What was people's feedback on it?

I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

My current landlord has allowed our friends to apply to other places on our lot before they are put on the market, and has also agreed to rent to people in our friend group and below-market rates. I think landlords do get value from tenants encouraging their friends to move in, because they can be expected to be similar quality tenants and make each other less likely to leave.

I Want To Live In A Baugruppe

I would totally live in a Bay Area rationalist baugruppe if it were brought into existence!

I think that it would be totally possible to find an appropriate space pre-existing in the Bay somewhere that we could acquire and populate without having to worry about construction or the like. Evidence: something becoming more popular in the Bay Area is the idea of a "co-living" space. I toured one in San Francisco with a boyfriend of mine during his last housing search, and it was a charming dormitory-like multistory arrangement where each floor had several bedrooms, a bathroom, a living area, and a kitchen, with larger communal hangout spaces in a basement and everything connected by flights of stairs in the back. While we were there, the people living there spoke of other similar spaces in the city that they had contact with. More casually, my own living situation also resembles a baugruppe - I live in one of eight duplexes on a private lot, half of which are populated with good friends of mine. If rationalists bought out the landlord, it would not be much work to transform it into a baugruppe. I bet there are other apartment buildings or lots that would fit the bill, if we put in the legwork of finding them.

Actually, it occurs to me that I know the founder of Radio Eden (a co-living space in the Bay Area aimed at temporary or transitional tenants who just need to crash somewhere in the Bay for a few months). I'll talk to her about how she made that happen and see if she has any advice on how we could make this happen!

Causal Universes

There are plenty of sentences that have a noun, a verb, and a subject without having an agent - anything in passive voice or any unaccusative will do the trick. I suspect the argument would be even better worded using semantic roles rather than syntactic categories, eg: "Causality exists when there is an event with an agent". This isn't a very interesting thing to say though, because "agent" is a casual semantic role and so relies on causality existing by definition. You literally cannot have an event with an agent unless there is causality.

Causal Universes

Sometimes I still marvel about how in most time-travel stories nobody thinks of this. I guess it really is true that only people who are sensitized to 'thinking about existential risk' even notice when a world ends, or when billions of people are extinguished and replaced by slightly different versions of themselves. But then almost nobody will notice that sort of thing inside their fiction if the characters all act like it's okay.)

The only story I've seen directly address this issue at all is Homestuck, in which any timeline that splits off from the 'alpha' timeline is 'doomed' and ceases to exist once it diverges too far from the alpha. The three characters with time traveling capabilities are someone who is extremely careful to avoid creating doomed timelines, one who is nihilistically apathetic about death and creates doomed timelines willy-nilly, and one who is a psychopathic monster bent on using his powers for destruction. Several times, main characters are shown experiencing existential despair over the idea that their own timeline might be a doomed one, and at one point a character with time-traveling capabilities realizes that the only way to prevent the destruction of the universe is to travel back in time, leaving his current timeline doomed. His realization of the implications of dooming that timeline and his efforts to somehow save his timeline's version of his only surviving friend were particularly poignant (to me, at least).

Meetup in San Diego, CA, USA

I hope to come. If anyone would like to carpool from North Park, let me know.

Build Small Skills in the Right Order

I was at one point a 14 year old girl taking a Scientology Communications course, brought there by my father to train me in his religion. While I certainly can't speak for all of the children in all Scientology classes, most of the other children there that I hung out with were also brought there by their parents to be trained in Scientology.

It seems plausible to me that if there happened to be a 12 year old girl in lukeprog's class, they would have paired them together for that part of the class specifically because it would create an uncomfortable, "creepy" situation. Developing the ability to react unflinchingly to that sort of situation is pretty much the point of the exercise. (As an example, they paired me with a grandmotherly older woman for a different exercise: bullbaiting. She was certainly not the sort of person who I was comfortable trying to provoke a reaction from or had an easy time remaining stoic to.)

But it seems unlikely to me that the people at the Org I went to, at least, would have gone to the extent of enlisting their daughters in the class specifically to make one man feel uncomfortable, as you seem to be proposing.

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