Just another Bay Area Singulatarian Transhumanist Libertarian Rationalist Polyamor-ish coder & math nerd. My career focuses on competitive governance; personally I'm very into personal development ("Inward & upward"); lately I've gotten super into cultivation novels because I want to continuously self-improve until my power has grown to where I can challenge the very heavens to protect humanity.

Wiki Contributions


As a former Evangelical Polyamorist, now a born-again Monogamist, I enthusiastically endorse items 1 & 2 in this comment.

It can be thought of as the cultural equivalent of Algernon's Law - any small cultural change is a net evolutionary disadvantage. I might add "previously accessible to our ancestors", since the same principle doesn't apply to newly accessible changes, which weren't previously available for cultural optimism. This applies to organizing via websites. It does not apply to polyamory (except inasmuch as birth control, std prevention, and paternity testings may have affected the relevant tradeoffs, though limited to the degree that our reactions are hardwired and relevant).

Eliezer Yudkowsky's keyboard only has two keys: 1 and 0.

The speed of light used to be much lower before Eliezer Yudkowsky optimized the laws of physics.

Eliezer Yudkowsky doesn't have a chin, underneath his beard is another brain.

As a contrarian rationalist, I can assure you that my attitudes are the results of my personality & upbringing, not some bold brave conscious decision. I was always different, enough that conforming wouldn't have worked, so finding true & interesting & positive-attention-capturing ways to be different was my best path. The result is that I'm biased towards contrarian theses, which I think is useful for improving group rationality in most cases, but still isn't rational.

I am starting to believe that Patri is motivated by status and worldly accomplishment much more than by learning or curiosity, and if Patri is indeed (as this article suggests) forgoing opportunities to take pleasure in learning for the sake of optimizing his increases in status or accomplishment, well, then even though Patri certainly is a fine and commendable young man, that is a mistake

Yes, I am indeed attempting to choose my reading based on how it supports my consciously chosen goals, rather than simply the vague non-goal of "learning" or short-term hedonic utility ("pleasure"). There is a name for this - it's called "instrumental rationality", and I'm rather surprised to find an LW commenter calling it a mistake! I thought I could count on it as a shared assumption.

Now, the question of what I'm motivated by & whether that's good is totally separate. I frankly admit that one of my goals is to climb the status ladder, and I can understand why some people might not see that as desirable. On the other hand, I'm again surprised to find "worldly accomplishment" characterized negatively - isn't accomplishing things in the world the point of...everything?

Curiosity is fun for kids, but the world ain't gonna save itself.

I use audio books / podcasts some, but I don't run, have a minimal commute, and so don't end up getting much time in.

I'm pretty good at getting rid of the worst things, still trying to figure out what the best things are.

I see, that makes sense. I find it easiest to prioritize within a domain like "books", vs. among all possible skill-increasing activities. Also, when it comes to "generally increasing my knowledge / improving my map", that is something that I think it makes sense to allocate a fixed bucket of time to, although one should also compare alternatives like documentaries, blogs, and conversations as ways of doing it.

I personally know many people who have made those figures in the past, although high-stakes online poker has gotten much tougher in the past few years and it takes extremely high skill to make that much now.

I have personally made about $240/hr at online poker ($200 NLH SNGs on Party Poker back before the UIGEA). But I couldn't make anywhere near that nowadays.

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