Sorry, I couldn't get what do you mean by "We're the only species that acquires it automatically". Does it mean human beings have language skills by birth and other animals don't?
Thank you for the direction. These articles seem to be the ones I were looking for. (Plato's work and Diogenes' answer is worth further investigation)
Human beings may not be that special. This search of mine may be futile, it being a remnant of my believer times (and I being raised in Eurasian soils).
Even so, "what is a human being" seems to be the right question to further investigate. I guess this will immediately be useful (if not already is) at information security: "is perfect authentication possible?" (with protection against rubber hose technique, or clones etc.)
Hello. I am from Istanbul, Turkey (A Turkish Citizen born and raised). I came across LessWrong on a popular Turkish website called EkşiSözlük. Since then, this is the place I checked to see what's new when there's nothing worth reading on Google Reader and I have time. (So long posts you have!)
I am 31 years old and I have a BSc in Computer Science and MSc in Computational Sciences (Research on Bioinformatics). But then, like most of the people in my country does, I've landed upon a job where I can't utilize any of these information. Information Security :)
Why did I complain about my job? Here is why:
I've been long since looking for "the best way to have lived a life". What I mean by this is, I have to say, at the moment of death "I lived my life the best way I could, and I can die blissfully". This may come off a bit cliché but bear in mind that I'm relatively new to this rationality thing.
While I was learning Computer Science for the first time, I saw there was great opportunity in relating computational sciences to social sciences so as to understand inner workings of human beings. This I realised when the Law&Ethics instructor asked us to write an essay on what would be "the best way to live your life" and I was then learning "Greedy Algorithms" Granted there would be many gaps in my arguments but my case was like this: "You can't predict how long you will live. So the best way to search for the (sub)optimal life was to utilize a greedy algorithm. That is, at every decision point, you have to select the best alternative that maximizes your utility at that time." You soon come to learn that this is easier said than done. (No long term goals, no relationships.. etc) And greedy algorithms may generate a sub-optimal solution, rather than the optimal solution (because you have at one point chosen the wrong path since you didn't consider leaving this far)
I currently suspect that Bayesian (Or Laplacian maybe? ) methods may have the best luck to increase the possibility that I live a good life. I wrote all over the place, but one last thing I want to add.
I do not believe an afterlife or a soul for that matter. This has happened very recently relative to most of you. So, I was constantly looking for a "rational" justification for continuing living a good life . I am on the verge of giving up looking, since there seems to be nothing to find, and just living. Which is a little sad actually, since I still have the feeling that I could probably do something great with my life. But then constant questioning seems to also lead to a sub-optimal life. (May be with an even lower utility than greedy algorithm) I guess, what I am trying to say is I am on the verge of becoming a hedonist..
I'd love to learn your ideas or reading recommendations on how best to live a life. I'd also love to organize meetups of rationalists in Turkey.
P.S. If you haven't seen yet, there's a book called "The theory that would not die", which is an excellent source on many (and I mean it when I say many) things Bayesian.
I actually am very curious to hear about your techniques, so much so that I registered to add this comment :) It is an art to manage your mood swings I believe, much like "air bending". So, please keep them coming.