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European Community Weekend in Berlin

Well done! Awesome idea. Will be thinking of ways I can contribute as well as attend.

January 2014 Media Thread

I watched 'Oz the Great and Powerful'. I really liked the pro-innovation / science-inventory / mind-over-might themes.

Meetup : NewYork - Humanist Culture Open Mic

This sounds pretty awesome. Sadly nothing LW seemed to be going on in NY when I visited earlier in the month (sadly no-one married me so I'm back in the UK), but I'm excited to hear about an active musical-participatory branch of Less Wrongers.

I'm a pianist/performer currently undergoing a painful transition to composer/lyricist. I'd like to write musicals to broadcast various rationalist, effective altruist, existential crisis and pro-open borders messages, probably delineated to some degree. I'd like to get in touch with people who do similar things!

Is this open mic night popular? What are people's experience of the intersection between music and rationality?

Rationality, Transhumanism, and Mental Health

Also, it helped to realize that my current state has seven billion years of universe behind it. I can change for the better, but whatever is wrong isn't some intrinsic personal defect, and it isn't all my mother's fault either.

File under "warm-fuzzy pseudo-platitudes that don't set off my thoroughly-trained self-dishonesty detector"; a near-empty category!

Recovering the 'spark'

I can relate to this a lot, and I'd find it very useful to see how someone else monologues about it. Just to take another step meta here, a framework for doing the sort of thing ('re-calibration'?) you want to do in itself would be a useful akrasia-kick for people who for whatever reason haven't gotten to the stage of automating how to get out of the inefficiency slump.

September 2012 Media Thread

Regina Spektor, I've been discovering her stuff over the last few months and I've reached the point where I know roughly all of it. As I think is expected in this thread, all I can really offer here is possibility that blog-reading choices vaguely correlate with musical preferences. Her lyrics are pretty non-inane, especially upon repeated listening. Her variance of musical style is pleasing to me, makes it fun to play and listen to. Nothing especially Less Wrong-y, but I might be forgetting something. Though I don't think I know any composer at all who's (consistently) Less Wrong-y. She has a wild imagination and has written songs about being robots. She's one of those artists whose discography is a tapestry of varied and wonderful worlds that I can never really appreciate unless I'm in the process of listening to it, always a process of both rediscovery and familiarity. (She often writes in the first-person as non-Regina people, from fiction, the bible, or anonymous people; more than half of her songs are probably from the perspective of a different person). There are also lots of moments in her various songs that strike me in the right way, that capture some complex emotion I had never put into words, which gives her songs a sense of salience and intelligence. Some especially enjoyable songs: Us very uplifting, makes you think; Call Them Brothers the man singing is her husband, I like the eeriness; The Party, uplifting, pretty; All the Rowboats, she makes cute noises, quite fast. Back of a Truck, from her unusually jazzy first album.

Disclosure: I play and especially like piano so appear to be skewed towards liking such artists.

[SEQ RERUN] Optimization and the Singularity

Just me, or is this like the most convincing article on this subject? Certainly it has the best verbal illustration of the theory. Very neat.

Facebook worries me.

+1 for

In general, tautologies aren't cause for concern

This would have been a useful phrase during philosophy classes.

You're welcome :) yes, in that sense it does confer (by confer I mean involuntarily foist upon you) a handful of learning opportunities, especially as you grow up with a wider view of gender-stuff. I'm not certain I'd go back in time and choose the norm, for the variety having an extra order of weirdness.

Though fitting in with weirdness never seemed like it'd be a huge problem with Less Wrong.

I totally will, thank you.

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