For those interested in the subject, I would recommend checking out Mindfulness in plain english. Even reading introduction and chapter 1 might provide strong motivation for taking the exercises seriously. It is written by highly regarded buddhist monk but stripped of almost all religious/mythical references.
I suspect this post tends to produce a burning urge to move to Bay Area, unless you're already there. Or am I the only one?
It seems that sufficiently intelligent agent should be able to change sigma. Sufficiently advanced rover might be able to design and assemble new sensors in place, or advanced trading algorithm might look for a new relevant streams of data on the net, or strong AI might modify its sensory mechanisms in various ways. After all, human intelligences do it when they need new tools to make scientific discoveries.
Even better, if party A want to play the game, they could announce to party B that they will vote for 26% of total (assuming 50%+ is what it takes to pass the vote) and to split in case the bill doesn't pass. This way they can be sure that party B wouldn't outvote them without passing the bill and ruining thhe game.
In "The Evil Plutocrat" all parties would probably cooperate to vote the bill down, since otherwise they will be sending a message that they could be played in that (and probably other) fashion, which will deminish their future profits, as other lobbyists would try to play them instead of bribing.
Maybe we can get ru.lesswrong.com?
Don't forget the vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uV3yTmUlgo
There are plenty of options for collaborative learning today, I had a good expirience with OpenStudy.com (by MIT students) and collaborative learning wikis on PBworks.com.
There might be one another case: in casual conversation, something that looks like an applause light, could be just expression of recent insights of a particular person on the subject. Like, he just yesterday deduced (based on some fragments of rational texts on the web) that we should balance risks and opportunities of this. Or, maybe the audience level on the subject is so low that even the applause-like statements do convey some information.
We in Russia are cherishing the similar idea. I think it would be great to add to LW engine a feature to switch the language on every article, if any translation is available, like one there is in Wikipedia.