Meryseshat

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The Sacred Mundane

I agree. When I've experienced sleep paralysis, I've rarely seen anything much at all other than distortions of the appearance of the room. What I get instead is a buzzing noise and a sense of vibration through my body, and then my body feels as if it's being tossed around the bed in impossibly rapid circles by some kind of evil force. I've never culturally heard of any experience like it. It certainly has the sense of oppression and evil, but there's nothing about it that sounds like any kind of mythology I've ever heard in my culture or another.

What I've learned from Less Wrong

I've been looking around the site for awhile, having several people I know who go here. What I've learned is unfortunately that I'm unlikely to be able to learn from this site unless something changes. Which is too bad because I don't think I'm unable to learn in general.

I have no academic background whatsoever, and no expertise in science or philosophy. I am not an intellectual. I am good at noticing jargon, but terrible at picking it up and being able to use and understand it. I have no particular skill in abstract thinking. While tests aren't everything, I score in the range of borderline intellectual functioning on IQ tests and I do so for a reason: I am quite lacking in several standard cognitive abilities.

I also have obvious cognitive strengths, writing among them, but they don't match up with the ones necessary to navigate this site. From my perspective, reading this site is like trying to read a book with several words per sentence chopped out, and the words that remain being used in /ways/ that don't match well with my ability to comprehend.

Normally I would just turn around and walk away. I don't think anyone here has any particular desire to see someone like me shut out. I find it saddening though that a site dedicated to helping people think more accurately is mostly dominated by people who have a good deal of intellectual skills already. I would be curious to see how the ideas here could be modified to assist people who are not typical users here. People who can't read mountains of text in order to prepare themselves for the conversations that are taking place, and who need things explained in ways that are understandable even if you're average or even a slow learner.

This isn't meant as an attack, just a suggestion for new directions the site could take in order to benefit people who aren't all that intellectual. You don't have to have all the traditional cognitive abilities to appreciate the importance of thinking clearly about reality. I even bet that the techniques would have to be modified for some of us who can't hold complex ideas in our heads. But modifying them would be a good way to show there's more than a single set of cognitive techniques to get to the same goal of understanding the world as accurately as possible.