All of nonplussed's Comments + Replies

Hm, I'm not sure the thermometer can conclude that it's accelerating from seeing the black body radiation. I think it's equivalent to there being an event horizon behind it emitting hawking radiation (this happens when you accelerate at a constant rate). The thermometer can't tell if it's next to a black hole or if it's accelerating. Could be wrong though, but I vaguely remember something along these lines.

I don't see anything incorrect in what you say. (Sounds to me like a direct consequence of the equivalence principle, although I'm no GR expert.) But I'm assuming away the possibility of rogue black holes in this hypothetical, since I'm wondering whether a sufficiently sensitive sensor could detect its own acceleration even inside an otherwise empty universe (or at least without reference to the rest of the cosmos).

I like something with 'rationality' and 'less wrong' in it. I don't think it's helpful to have 'the sequences' in the title if an aim to to have non less-wrongers pick it up.

What are the odds of a physical book? Would make a great gift, and gifting an ebook still seems weird. I'm still undecided about whether I like my books made out of dead trees or not.

I disagree with including the word 'rationality'. It has pretty poisoned connotations for much the same reasons as 'singularity' does. Spock is basically the lay stereotype for rationality, and I don't think we want to hit that particular button. As far as physical books go, it's fairly straightforward to turn ebooks into dead tree books. Basically the hardest part is getting a good cover for it. Making a dead-tree mass-produced version is only really a good idea if it makes economic sense to distribute. I think the minimum economically viable offer is small enough that it can be done, but that's more special-ordered books rather than mass-market.
No physical book planned. It would be a very expensive endeavour. The PDF version is close to 2500 pages ;)
Also, who is the target audience and what are the plans for reaching it? I don't think there are many people who are willing to invest time AND money into a book like this while still not having read the sequences (available freely on the web, and also in all kinds of e-book formats). For the two use cases I imagine at the moment: * giving it as a gift as an introduction to rationalist stuff feels better with a physical book indeed. Yes, there is a difference between buying an e-book for yourself and downloading the same stuff for free, especially in terms of motivation to actually read it, but on the receiving end e-books still might feel like being sent long pdf-s with a label "you should definitely read this", in addition to the e-book gifting weirdness (I might be wrong, I never did such a thing before). * buying it for yourself, to be able to put it on your bookshelf. Obviously, also much harder to do with an e-book. (I usually prefer e-books to dead-tree versions, but then I had nothing against reading the Sequences on the web either.)

You're all wrong — if the happiness of the utility monster compounds as the comic says, then you get greater happiness out of lumping it all into one monster rather than cloning.

I haven't gone through any of the supposed derivations, but I'm led to believe that the Born rule is convincingly derivable within many worlds. I have a book called "Many Worlds? Everett, quantum theory and reality", which contains such a derivation, I've been meaning to read it for a while and will get around to it some day. It claims:

An agent who arranges his preferences among various branching scenarios—quantum games—in accordance with certain principles of rationality, must act as if maximizing his expected utilities, as computed from the B

... (read more)

meetups select for people outgoing enough to go out of the house in the first place

Excellent point, I know that effect makes a huge difference in other contexts, so that resonates with me. Ok, well I'll give it a shot. There are no meetups near where I am in Germany at the moment, but I'll be back in Melbourne later in the year where there seems to be some regular stuff going on.

Surprised no ones mentioned this, but what's wrong with a phone compass app? They don't use GPS, they are actually measuring the local magnetic field, and they don't delay whilst 'getting a lock' or anything. And it's not like they use much battery power.

Agree that a compass is superior to GPS for orientation, but I'm not seeing why it can't be an app.

1) I don't trust the reliability of any of the compass apps I've tried. There's enough variance on them to make me doubt what they're telling me. 2) I generally want to be looking at Google Maps on my phone when I'm trying to orient myself.

Hi everyone, I'm Chris. I'm a physics PhD student from Melbourne, Australia. I came to rationalism slowly over the years by having excellent conversations with like minded friends. I was raised a catholic and fully bought into the faith, but became an atheist in early high school when I realised that scientific explanations made more sense.

About a year ago I had a huge problem with the collapse postulate of quantum mechanics. It just didn't make sense and neither did anything anyone was telling me about it. This led me to discover that many worlds wasn't a... (read more)

I'm pretty social and would love to meet more rationalist friends, but I have the perception that if I went to a meetup most people would be less extroverted than me, and it might not be much fun for me.

My experience at meetups has been pretty social. After all, meetups select for people outgoing enough to go out of the house in the first place. I'd encourage you to go once, if there's a convenient meetup around. The value of information is high; if the meetup sucks, that costs one afternoon, but if it's good, you gain a new group of friends.

Welcome! What do you think of the Born probabilities?