I think the best solution to the problem of evil is the Gnostic one. There is indeed a perfectly good ground of being, but we are separated from it by a blind idiot god that keeps us prisoner. This world is not the Real, but only a pale imitation, an inevitable accident, and the Holy is the points of transcendent light within us, the motes of hope and meaning that guide us towards attempting to return to the Real. Of course, bound by the chains of matter, we must use matter's principles in order to do so. The original Gnostics thought that one could throug... (read more)
This is your atheism talking. Those of us from a different background have gained something from it.
Ironically, I also thought "lots of words and nothing new" because I am familiar with Christianity [EDIT: perhaps more importantly: familiar with Chesterton], and I have already heard all of this, and... hey, can we admit that it actually doesn't answer the original question?
We start with: "If God is so loving and powerful, why do people suffer?"
Then the smarter people have to admit that all standard answers suck, because they are mostly "God is stronger than you, therefore shut up" (which makes sense, pragmatically, but it's actually evidence against God ... (read more)
I love this thought. This un-god is what I've always called the Void, or Oblivion, or the Death Force. (I actually am a mystic, myself, and have rather idiosyncratic perspectives on spiritual stuff like this, due to personal experiences, but I definitely have noticed the un-god and been disturbed by how few people seem aware of it. In fact, rationalists may be the only people who are aware of it.)
Yes, yes, yes! This is it, this is exactly it!> Rituals are programs written in the symbolic language of the unconscious mind. Religions are program libraries that share critical subroutines. And the Gods represent subsystems in the wetware being programmed. All humans have potential access to pretty much the same major gods because our wetware design is 99% shared.I've come to the same conclusion in the past. Meme theory plus multiagent models of mind, plus the shared structure of the human unconscious (though another layer of what is shared, which is ... (read more)
I'm only 23 - probably younger than most people here - but I imagine my father must have read many of the same books, as he raised me to think in a way which I now understand to be very much like Yudkowsky's version of rationality. As with what you quoted from Nancy, it all seemed really obvious to me when I read the Sequences, except for the mathematical components (Bayesianism still confuses me, but I'll get there eventually).
The main way I differ here though is that I have had lots of "mystical experiences" due to probably schizotypal or dissociative te... (read more)
This vaguely reminds me of uncertainty principles - both involve a finite amount of information available in a system, where the more you know about one aspect, the less you know about all the others - but I don't know how to make the resemblance precise or whether it's actually relevant to chaos theory.
This will be great for me, because I have tons of ideas but suck at art. In fact, I hope I'll be able to be one of the people who makes all this possible. I've always wanted to dedicate my life to creating virtual worlds better than the real one, after all. (And eventually, uploading as many people and other sentient beings as possible into them, and replacing the real world altogether with an engineered paradise.)
This STRONGLY resembles an old idea of mine that I have, naturally, never actually managed to make - it's called Pique, and it would be a collaborative art-making site, where one person can make an outline, another person can fill in some highlights and shadows, another can add details, etc.In Pique, you randomly get assigned an unfinished picture and you can draw on it whatever you want, making a fork of it, or you can skip it - the more work has already gone into a picture, the more likely it is to show up (because people would skip it if it seemed low q... (read more)
Hmm... I could try actually counting experience points. Like, each flash card reviewed grants a point, and every time I reach, say, a new Fibonacci Number of points, I gain a level and... um... stuff! The idea of leveling up really isn't very motivating by itself, but it would help.
Here's one idea: when reading a textbook or anything else I want to memorize, I might try to come up with just one question and answer pair about each page, and make a card out of that. Summarize the most important info on that page. Anything that's not too info-heavy, that should work. In things which are info-heavy, your method should work quite well.
I have multiple times tried to get into an Anki habit and failed to keep it up. I think the main thing that makes me stop is that I try to make nearly every sentence of something that I'm studying into a card, because I have no idea what's worth remembering and what isn't. (As a general rule, throughout life, I suck at prioritizing.) The other thing, though, is that it feels like Work and things which feel like Work are Unpleasant and I procrastinate them. Do you have any advice for getting over that hump?
I've long been interested in stuff like this. I don't really have any credentials to directly help, but I have the goal of someday creating an MMO (massively multiplayer online game) in which leveling up one's character's skills requires doing real life "quests" related to the skill. So a druid would gain power by actually physically going out and gardening, or buying organic / vegan food, or etc. A player with a necromancer character could level them up by researching their genealogy or respectfully visiting a gravesite. Etc.
This wouldn't necessarily be a... (read more)
Here's mine: a large portion of the things that matter most in human life, including particularly most of the ways of life we originally evolved for, are swiftly becoming rare luxuries throughout the West, primarily at the behest of liberalism (which otherwise has produced many positives). Examples:
I'm 23 and I still feel like a child who knows nothing. If I peak in two years I will be very cross with the universe.
I suppose I must be such an envelope worshiper myself. I've actually over time semi-consciously striven to modify my epistemology and ontology in such a way as to force my ethical or spiritual views to be absolutely coherent with the visible state of the world, rather than letting go of moral realism.
I have felt since childhood that there is some unknown thing which I called the Mysteria which is the true object of all desire, and like light it shines through each thing that we think we desire. They are lenses for it, refracting the white Mysteria-light in... (read more)
Truth is not an arbitrary aesthetic choice.
Ah, but what about when your arbitrary aesthetic choice influences your actions which influences what ends up being true in the future? My thought process went something like this: "Oh shit, the gods aren't real, magic is woo, my life is a lie" -> "Well then I'll just have to create all those things then and then I'll be right after all."
My core principle is that since religion is wishful thinking, if we want to know what humans actually wish for, look at their religion. There's a lot of deep wisdom in religion... (read more)
This has long been my suspicion. Combine meme theory with a multi-agent model of mind and it starts to look like the occult concept of "egregores" is right after all - distributed agents composed of many separate programs running on many separate human minds, coordinating via communication and ritualistic behaviors, control most of the world. Corporations and gods are two obvious examples.
I remember when I first visited 7cups, my listener acted so much like a parody of ELIZA that I accused them of being a chatbot. I actually can't stand those emotional support websites because most of the people on them clearly have no interest in the person they're talking to - I get more benefit out of Omegle, oddly enough. So yeah, that's a very good point.
This is an interesting point, but I think you're missing something fundamental about what originality means. This isn't a question of map versus territory, it's a question of what identity is.
The same people who value an original Mona Lisa, or an original NFT, would likely also be wary of treating a copy of someone as equivalent to the original person. Those who see no distinction, would probably see copies of people as fungible, too. This is an argument between pattern identity theory (you are a data pattern with some number of instances) and continuity i... (read more)
Depth-first search is the right approach to reading a math textbook.
That's a great point! I never explicitly thought of it like that but it's clearly true now that you mention it. And not just math - nearly any scientific writing has the same quality where lack of knowledge about one idea or principle ruins your ability to understand any of it - these are examples of those "complex machines" which break if any part doesn't work.
A friend of mine mentioned that reading Wikipedia tends to be like your second example - going depth-first (chasing links) instead... (read more)
Then, let's say, it could add an yaml heading with tags to each of the notes in the format, compatible with the Nested Tags VSCode extension. In theory, we could also adjust the graph visualization extension to show the overview of notes, but it would be trickier. Would it be what you need?
I have no idea. Unfortunately I am not a programmer and I'm not familiar with any of those things. You probably should explain it in terms of what I can do with it and how rather than talking about specific libraries etc; the most coding I am familiar with is mathematica... (read more)
Even the idea that variations in moral intuition matter is probably one which is nowhere near universal. After all, most cultures think their moral values are the True ones and don't care about any others. I'm not sure what to do with that fact, but it's something I noticed.
Perhaps this could be turned into an exercise in mindful eating. I remember reading a book by Jon Kabat-Zinn years ago about mindfulness, which had a section on mindful eating, which I did find makes me enjoy food more and be more satisfied after eating, but it's rather hard to maintain the habit and to be mindful enough. Striving to pay enough attention to the experience of eating that you can write something like this, though, every time you eat anything, could be a good mindfulness practice - and enable you to act like a pretentious food blogger, which for some people is a plus.
For a while I have been looking through my journal and other writings of mine over the years, trying to organize it all into a personal knowledge base, piece by piece, and it's a very slow process. But it feels like your tool could massively speed up the process for me - if I were to split everything I've ever written into small chunks using some python scripts, I could set your tool to generate a map of it for me and use it to analyze clusters of related ideas, as a starting point for building a map of my whole mind.I might end up having to do it all by h... (read more)
Hello. I'm new, and as always, faced with the mild terror of admitting that I exist to people who have never previously met me. "You exist? How dare you!"
I've lurked on LW for a while, binge-reading tons of posts and all the comments, and every time promptly forgetting everything I just read and hoping that my subconscious got the gist (which is pretty much how I learn - terribly inefficient, but akrasia, alas, gets in the way of better forms of self-education, and thus I have likely wasted many years in inefficient learning methods).
I only just decided to... (read more)