Odinn

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Less Wrong fanfiction suggestion

I really wish I could find a topic to join within less than a year... In any case, you would have to make most of the other characters much higher operators in order to pose any threat to a Lelouch even slightly better at game theory. "Hmm, my power allows me to give one command to any one person. The effect is permanent if non-conclusive or pattern-based. Once a command is issued I can never leverage my power against that same person again. Well, I guess I'm only ever going to use the command 'follow my every command from now on' because why would I waste this incredibly important advantage on a lesser command?"

Crisis of Faith

I really am having trouble doubting my conviction in rational thought. I can't visualize an alternative. I can visualize an alternative to my atheist philosophy though, since if God descended from heaven and handed me a bunch of concrete evidence that He exists, I wouldn't say 'ah, rationality was wrong.' I would say 'Oh, so you exist. I'll eat my hat on that one and concede that my confidence in your non-existence has been defeated, but to be fair until just now you've given me no rational reason to believe in you.' I'm a rational atheist because all of the convincing evidence is in that bucket, but even if a religion came along that was rigorously provably correct I would just be a rational theist. And I would have many pointed questions for that deity about the way life in the universe seems to be 'designed' in the sloppiest, most reckless way possible, like a programmer trying to compile all of the text from Wikipedia and then making random edits until it returned with no errors. Yes, I stole a joke from xkcd.

Leave a Line of Retreat

Not sure why you got a downvote. Displaying, or worse still obstinately defending, poor reasoning is a valid reason for getting a down (I got a big stack of them with a sloppy article and from rushed comments [working on making it better]) but admitting that you aren't a mathematically focused person and providing feedback on Eliezer's communication styles is no cause for it. Got my upvote.

The Fun Theory Sequence

I knew there would come a day when almost a decade of mandatory bible classes in private school would pay off. (That's not true, I've generally written it off as a really depressing waste of my mental resources... still) You've got the order of events in the Garden of Eden backwards. After God finished up and took off for Miller Time, Adam and Eve had nothing to do. They didn't need clothes or shelter, all animals were obedient and gentle, they had to live of fruit for eternity which would get old, the weather and season (singular) was always the same and they were the only those two people in existence with no concept of there ever being any more. Sure, they would have lived forever, but there was no challenge, inspiration, reason or stimulation. Only AFTER the forbidden fruit and the knowledge of good and evil does God start up Eve's biological clock and issue the 'be fruitful and multiply' command, society starts to develop, there's a ton of implicit incest (er... bonus?) and they can cook up a nice lamb shank to break up the monotony. Once again, the literal interpretation of the bible leaves a lot to be desired in a literary sense, because the Garden of Eden is one of the most depressing 'paradises' ever devised. Also, here I go again responding to many-years-cold comments.

Teapots and Soda Cans

Responding to this after so long is strange. Anyways: There is a solid, evidence based reason that we suspect higher dimensions are real rather than strictly theoretical. Particles quantum tunnel, occasionally interacting with the observable dimensions. If and when we develop the capacity to more fully explore these inconceivable aspects of reality we can sweep the corners of the eleventh dimension for the traces of deities (or their tart-crafting secrets) that have yet to provide any evidence for themselves. And in that untold time, when we've devised ways to knit the universe back together on one end while it unravels like a cheap knit sweater on the other from entropy, when we've conquered death and consciously seized the future of our living form, when we have faster than light travel and can wrangle a star like cowboys breaking a new calf, when the difference between the perceived and the real can be eradicated through the combined talents and ever growing powers of ten trillion eternal human minds... Maybe then we can stop wasting hot breath allowing for the theoretical existence of something that we have no factual reason to believe in.

Science as Attire

Even the simplest expression such as 2+2=4 should not be literally tautological. There is an infinitesimal possibility that the human brain has a fundamental flaw that causes us to read the expression incorrectly, or that every person or program that has ever attempted to calculate the sum of 2 and 2 has erroneously provided an incorrect answer, or that our universe is actually configured in a way that isn't mathematically accurate (despite what those pictures of apples in first grade textbooks claim.) Conjugate all of these extremely strange possibilities and your odds of 2 and 2 not equaling 4 are so small, so imaginary, that we can confidently and adequately use probability 1 for 2+2=4, but a perfect Bayesian formula still has no room for entries of P=1 or 0, especially since the formula just doesn't provide useful data that way.

Teapots and Soda Cans

Fixed. All being the same, it's true my real focus was the teapot metaphor, but I should have been more careful with vetting my source. Thanks for pointing it out again, and for reading my metaphor.

Rudeness

Typically, if they're talented enough to be funny, I just make them part of my performances, since I'm pretty adept at improvisation. If they aren't funny, then they can still serve as a butt of jokes. I've been moving more towards preparations for online videos or other productions, so the extent of dominance struggles will be people leaving nasty comments on Youtube videos, and me ignoring them. Anyway, I want to be clear that when my audience has a lot of energy and I match it with dominant confidence, that is a form of aggression that is far removed from anger. An audience is more comfortable with someone whom is strong, confident and dominant. If I'm up on stage saying "Well, if it's okay with you guys, we might do some comedy sketches or... I dunno, whatever you guys wanna do," Then they'll get up and walk out. Glad to clarify.

Rudeness

Thank you for asking this. I'm an improvisation actor and comedian, starting the groundwork for a productions company, and I've found that one of my most useful resources is an intimidating presence which allows me to take over a room, often for the entertainment and comfort of my audience. My appearance is part of that, and my body language is strong, but spoken words are the clearest way my dominance is communicated. I am almost impossible to intimidate, and generally I am quite happy with my directness and energy. When it isn't serving my best utility, however, I call that rudeness and note how I might make myself more effective. As far as your in-law, I was also known to be physically violent in my teen years, but these days I don't count myself as an effective leader or confident human if I feel I need to resort to violence. Calm, assertive, confident, entertaining communication skills are my strongest utility, and it is tied to my aggression, so no I am not unhappy with my rudeness. Just want to trim away bad habits while increasing utility.

Rudeness

This more or less cuts to the core of the issue. Would I be better off if I could flip a switch and shut off my aggression entirely? Almost certainly not, since I wouldn't care enough to form a cogent answer to any comments. Would I be well served by immediately jumping to action every time I feel passionate? Evidently not, since in my haste to resolve a perceived insult or problem I could forget to fully think through the issue from the start and form an erroneous or biased response. Essentially I'd just like to learn more patience, so that when something does ruffle my feathers I don't feel the need to instantly answer before I've given careful consideration.

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