Mitchell_Porter's Comments

"It's Okay", Instructions, Focusing, Experiencing and Frames

"Everything is fundamentally okay."

If the point of this philosophy is about seeing things as they are, you need a different motto.

What truths are worth seeking?

We don't know that all possible worlds are actual. This could be the only one. Also, non-contradiction doesn't tell you what's possible, only what's impossible. How were you first informed of the existence of numbers, colors, space, time, or people? It wasn't by non-contradiction.

April Coronavirus Open Thread

What should be the relative importance of natural herd immunity vs vaccination, in anti-corona strategy?

Scott Atlas argues that mass isolation prolongs the problem by delaying natural herd immunity. Meanwhile, countries like Australia and New Zealand have engaged in national isolation as well, creating entire national populations where natural immunity will be rare.

Will we see the world divided between countries that rely on natural herd immunity, and those which rely on the artificial herd immunity of vaccination? Does it make sense to have a differentiated strategy within a single country, with natural herd immunity encouraged in some subpopulations but not others?

There are also time issues here: vaccines don't exist yet or are not available in large quantities; and coronavirus immunity may fade out after a year or two.

I assume these issues have been discussed somewhere, and would even be part of public health strategies for well-known diseases like the flu, but I seem to have overlooked such discussions.

P.S. I am looking for nuance, something about the appropriate relative importance of natural versus artificial herd immunity.

What are some fun ways to spend $100,000?

Help to liberate, heal, and educate a unique young thinker.

Open & Welcome Thread - March 2020

Hello Less Wrong. Greetings from Kelowna, in the interior of British Columbia, Canada. I came here from Australia just a few weeks ago in order to meet, and hopefully to help, a young transhumanist I knew online. There is a blog of the journey here.

I could only ever afford a brief visit, and the coronavirus shutdown will probably send me back to Australia even sooner than I had planned. Despite having given myself to the struggle in every way that I could, I have been unable so far, to forge a lasting connection between her, and any element of the local academic or startup communities. People meet her and say, clearly she's very bright, but the lasting connection has not yet been made.

I first talked to her seven years ago, and back then she was fine, but while in school she was handed over to psychiatrists, followed by years of mental distress and physical ill health. I strongly suspect that this handover was a major cause of what later went wrong, along with a neglectful home environment. And that world is where she still dwells.

We just went for an evening walk, and she talked of ideas for achieving physical immortality and a benign universe, and I was reminded again of my wish that someone from the futurist or tech world, someone with middle-class means or greater, would 'adopt' her or sponsor her or otherwise take her in. That would give her a real chance to heal and reach her potential.

I fear that I have not done her, or her situation, or its urgency, sufficient justice, out of a desire not to get subtle details wrong. She's only twenty, and she's extraordinary. I have the melancholy privilege of being the first to visit her world, but I hope there will be others soon, and that together we can uplift her to a better existence.

What to make of Aubrey de Grey's prediction?

You can tell an audience that they have a chance of living a thousand years, and they will be indifferent. You cannot count on mass support for such an agenda.

Why Science is slowing down, Universities and Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Can you provide references, specify what's wrong with Maslow's hierarchy, and/or supply a superior model?

Don't Double-Crux With Suicide Rock

"Honest rational agents should never agree to disagree."

I never really looked into Aumann's theorem. But can one not envisage a situation where they "agree to disagree", because the alternative is to argue indefinitely?

How was your decade?

For me the decade ends in a sudden collaborative attempt to do the impossible, so multidimensional and urgent, that there's no chance for me to reflect on the decade that is ending, or even to really describe what's going on. Maybe a few months from now, there will be a chance to reflect.

(Reinventing wheels) Maybe our world has become more people-shaped.

You go from "there is no way to perfectly accurately reconstruct" reality from incomplete information, to "[observation of humanly comprehensible] causality should be a rare and fleeting thing", but I see no argument.

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