All of Lila's Comments + Replies

LW article Excluding the Supernatural worked for me. I didn't want it to work! I didn't read it as an attempt to change my mind. I just read it because it seemed interesting, and then realized in horror that there probably aren't any deities. Losing my belief in theism was an upsetting experience, though I can't bring myself to regret it.

No vote, because I don't typically vote unless something sticks out.

I thought the article was pretty ok. I liked reading your story of personal development. :) The short sections with clearly labelled points were effective. I don't have too much objection to the specific advice you mentioned, except: there were certain ones that apply to, yes, a nice large portion of people, but an individual might find that they are more compatible with people outside that portion (eg. people who appreciate math jokes as flirtation) and I think it's worth looking for that compatibility even if it's not as common.

[A discussion between Troi and Data about Riker's possible tactics in a battle simulation.]

DATA: Only twenty-one percent of the time does he rely upon traditional tactics. So, the Captain must be prepared for unusual cunning. Counsellor, Commander Riker will assume we have made this analysis, and knowing that we know his methods, he will alter them. But, knowing that he knows that we know that he knows, he might choose to return to his usual pattern.
TROI: Wait, wait. You're over-analysing, Data. One cannot deny human nature. What kind of a man is Commander... (read more)

I don't intuit any particular correlation between suffering and intelligence. I am not on board with Bentham's idea that capacity for suffering is what counts, morally speaking. It's not intelligence but sapience that I find morally significant.

How is sapience different from intelligence? What do you think it means?
So the vivisection experiments would be okay, to your mind, even if all the experimenter got out of them was amusement? You should be careful declaring that you ascribe literally zero moral weight to non-human animals. It doesn't match up with most people's moral intuitions well at all. There also exist a lot of non-"sapient" humans, as birth defects and brain damage give us a fair continuum of humans with different mental capacities to think about.

If it's typical, then I'm atypical. I'm much more squeamish than when I was a kid. As an 8 or 9-year-old I played with live worms and caterpillars and various bugs, and was equally fascinated by the dead ones, even sometimes cutting them open to see the insides. I thought it would be cool to take an anatomy class and dissect cadavers.

Now I cannot bear the sight of bugs. Just looking at them gives me a visceral feeling of horror. Touching them freaks me right out. And I'm pretty sure if I had to dissect a cadaver I'd scream and vomit.

So you want to wirehead. Do you think you'll have access to that technology in your lifetime?

To be explicit about this, I don't have an opinion on whether I'd choose it, but I do find it attractive. Just repeating this because everyone seems to think I'm advocating it and so I probably didn't make this clear enough. But your actual question: Basically, I think it's long here. The Tibetans [] in particular have developed some neat techniques that are still somewhat time-intensive to learn, but work reasonably well. The route (several specific forms of) meditation + basic hedonism seems like a decent implementation, especially because I already know most of the underlying techniques. Also, MDMA and related drugs and basic implants already exist, though they're still fairly crude and hard to sustain. I'd expect the technology for "good enough" wireheading through direct stimulation to be available in at most 20 years, though probably not commercially.

I didn't pick up that the article was "formulating a hypothesis". Did the article indicate that this is what it was doing? Perhaps I missed it.

Now that I do know, from your comment, that the article was doing that, I have to say I'm a bit surprised; I didn't expect to see that sort of article in the main section. Then again, I'm no expert on Less Wrong so maybe that sort of thing is not so uncommon.

My chief complaint is that almost none of the other articles here are as engaging, compelling, or fun as Eliezer's sequences. Which I have finished reading. :(

The "Top Articles" list has a multitude of great articles and relatively little Eliezer, for lots of pages.
Out of everybody who showed up at a meetup. Out of everybody who corresponded with her and might be useful to keep within arm's reach even if they weren't suited for the Fellows program. Out of... a lot of people.

we're more interested in your anticipations that are related to the above proposition

calcsam, did you not realize this? If not, why?

I had a huge problem in seeing anyone else as wrong

Wow, that is fascinating, sort of like a gory wound is fascinating. I wish I could peer inside an attitude like that to examine it.

First of all, I don't believe I said anything about detachment from emotion.

You used the word "attachment" a lot, as an example of something bizarre and, it seemed, negative.

What do you mean by attachment? (And why is it that this word is so often used for so many different things?)

I am looking forward to part 2 and 3, and I hope that you are planning to give full instructions on how to do the meditation.

Agreed, that's one of the main things this article leaves me hoping to see fully explained in future installments or comments: the term "attachment". Until I understand what you mean by it, I can't have a snowflake's hope in hell of determining whether it's something that afflicts me or that I might want to get rid of (by your method or by any other).

I got the impression that Elspeth and Jacob's relationship remains non-romantic. Is that correct?

I'm leaving that open for others to imagine either way. It certainly does not become romantic when she is five.

If you can get someone to write you a fully-spoiling summary, that might be better.

I'd read one of those. Any volunteers?

I care quite a lot about knowing what's real, but not more than almost anything else. Yet, I was still able to become atheist--by reading this website, and especially Eliezer's post Excluding the Supernatural. I was full-blown religious, and becoming atheist was very painful, and still is.

To me, keeping the weight off after reaching your "maintenance weight" is the real challenge. To keep it off for 5 years or more would be truly impressive. How long have you kept it off?

I wager, in fact, that the poor woman has become Didyme for all intents and purposes

If she has, that might imply that Elspeth's power doesn't just send memories/experiences, but also personality traits. Or that identifying strongly with a set of absorbed memories is enough to give you those personality traits (I don't really like that theory).

The bond might or might not be affected by personality, but I'm not sure I could consider her to be "Didyme resurrected in a new body" (or even just "close enough") unless the personality was basically Didyme's (or close enough).

(nods) That intuition is shared by many. Ironically, the reversal test often fails, though: that is, it's not uncommon for people to intuit that a copy of X that lacks trait Y isn't really X, while at the same time intuiting that if X were to lose trait Y, it would still be X. Identity is complicated. For my own part, I think the terms "memory" and "personality trait" stop being clearly distinguishable from one another, when you drill down into implementation. Our brains create persistent data structures in response to events, and those data structures underlie both personality and memory. That distinction is functional -- we distinguish a personality trait from a memory based on how we behave, not based on any kind of awareness of the underlying data structures. And it's not at all obvious (nor even likely) that all the things we call "memory" share a common data structure, or that they don't share underlying data structures with what we call "personality." Then again, I feel the same way about "identity." To understand an elephant is to realize that recognizing the difference between trunk and tusk is not the end of the story. So I would expect a psychic power that interacted with those data structures not to respect the boundaries between "memory" and "personality" in any kind of intuitive way. That said, many witch-powers in this fictional world do respect those intuitive boundaries, so it's not clear what any of the above actually has to do with events in the story.
Or that Paola and Benito were already similar in personality to Didyme and John, although that's a bit of a coincidence.

I don't think I have a single example of something in that category for myself.

Not even if you include relationships with people? (It's often said that "relationships require work", so relationships with people could be relevant to the subject.)

Hmmm. Interesting point. I'm tempted to draw some kind of distinction between the two, as I see the "work" in this post typically as impersonal, static objectives that need to be completed whereas a relationship is a personal, dynamic entity that I'm "undergoing." I don't see my relationships as "tasks" or work in the sense of them having a deadline, concrete end point, etc. Perhaps if I broke relationships down into steps (e.g. "get coffee with so-and-so by x date for at least 30min)... they could be looked at like that. If one considers relationships as "work"... then yes, I have at least one thing that I've been working on for a long time that doesn't feel like work :) Edit: I'd still be interested in the more "traditional" meaning of my question, though... has someone done some task/line of work for say 1+ years straight and been as enthralled about it as they day they started? Something like that.

Maybe Elspeth can learn to love her mother in much the same way as a child who is adopted at an older age might learn to love their adoptive parents. That would require Elspeth to give Bella a chance to act motherly towards her. If Elspeth thinks mothering is something she needs, she might accept it from Bella.

But if Elspeth doesn't need or want that kind of relationship (maybe 5-year-old half-vampires can do fine without it) I see no reason why she should love Bella. She might also choose to have that kind of relationship with someone else, though it woul... (read more)

I didn't select my friends from (a conservative Christian) college for lgbt-friendliness or non-conformist dating styles or really anything at all, besides maybe an enjoyment of genre television or some connection to friends I already had. And yet it turned out that at least a third of the women in my social circle share my love of hot bi guys and m/m in general. Also, m/m fanservice for the benefit of female fans seems to be rather a common thing for hot young male celebrities to do in certain cultures, such as Japan.

Have you heard of Capgras syndrome? For people who have this (according to Wikipedia), "their conscious ability to recognize faces was intact, but they might have damage to the system that produces the automatic emotional arousal to familiar faces. This might lead to the experience of recognizing someone while feeling something was not "quite right" about them." Possibly similar?

But apparently Chelsea doesn't just change how you feel about someone, but how important you think they are?

Chelsea can destroy relationships. If Chelsea walks up to some person A and goes "snip snip" on A's relationship with some other person B, then A no longer emotionally distinguishes B from any demographically similar person that A has never met or seen who lives far away and isn't related to A's social network. So, for example, no one who Chelsea has "snip snipped" with regards to Natalie considers Natalie more interesting or important than some random baby in sub-Saharan Africa who has died of iodine deficiency. Yes, it is mildly saddening to think of any dead baby, but this dead baby is not special to you; why think about or grieve for this dead baby first? Of course, some kinds of social importance "grow back" immediately. It's a form of social importance just to be physically nearby - you will care more about someone who dies in front of you than about someone who dies on another continent, even if you have the same facts about each case. Someone biologically related to you, or who is a friend of a friend, will "grow back" a little bit too after the snipping - just like you'd care a little bit about a long-lost sibling you just suddenly discovered you had as compared to an unrelated stranger - but with regular maintenance from Chelsea, native consistency effects ("for the last five years, I have seemed to be the person who does not care about relationships of type X") will slow and eventually halt this regrowth.

Demetri is also immune to Allirea's power. Due to the magic bond he never sees her as unimportant.

Allirea wouldn't be sensing how well her fading works on Elspeth. She would just be sensing how well Elspeth's "counter-fading" power is working. And it seems like she can sense that.

Elspeth doesn't need to feel the effect of lies, she can just remember what worked better and what worked worse when she lied to people in the past, based on the reactions of those people.

I agree that it would have been wiser for Elspeth to take some time to confirm that she could carry out plans (of varying complexities) while faded and thus not remembering the reasoning behind her actions. But hey, she's 5. Probably a lot more brain power than a human child, but brain power doesn't necessarily equal sense. She can have the idiot ball for awhile.

Hmm, I su... (read more)