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Hammertime Day 1: Bug Hunt

One strange bug-fix: praying once in a faraway Church in Spain helped daylight some relationship damage I was suffering. I've never been religious and still am not.

This didn't come out of explicitly looking for bugs, but it seemed in keeping with the theme.

This entire project looks very exciting. I hope it yields something life-changing, and I'd love to take part.

Boiling the Crab: Slow Changes (beneath Sensory Threshold) add up

This is a good point. I anecdotally hear that crabs don't do this from my parents who cooked crabs, but this may be suspect due to memory issues on my part. If I am understanding correctly, the major objection your comment brings up is: this article presents a faulty anecdote and a 'lesson' that can be abused by the speaker. And that is dangerous.

In particular, I think you are referring to speakers who do misuse the metaphor to achieve group compliance. I agree this seems possible, and I respect your experience with it. Thus, I agree that there is a phenomenon at play here that can be misused.

Anyhow, I like to attach " The discerning reader will find problems in each of the anecdotes and applications. " at the end of my writings, in order to ameliorate the effects you mention -- you will notice it on the original article. Perhaps this doesn't actually achieve the right ends of encouraging skepticism and cynicism, hohwever.

Thank you for bringing this up. I will check my anecdotes more carefully next time (I did check this one on Googling, but hearsay from people who have cooked crabs in the past led me to believe the initial title was solid enough to post.) In due time, I will edit this post to reflect your thoughts :).

Boiling the Crab: Slow Changes (beneath Sensory Threshold) add up

This sounds like the idea that is good in theory, but difficult to implement in practice.

I am not too familiar with the community, but my understanding is that most communities 'drift' into what they are, often by happenstance: not much is a conscious choice.

For example, it is well documented that people tend to live in communities and have friend groups that are ethnically similar to themselves. (Example: Nicky Case's Parable of the Polygons. http://ncase.me/polygons/). Few people consciously choose to do this. It happens when people follow their feelings on what groups make them feel comfortable and at home. You can think of this as gradient descent.

As such, it seems like "choosing to set things up in the same way" is a bit of a mis-classification. I would guess that most properties of the community you are referring to, which I am not familiar with, occurred due to the individuals within the collective following what felt right to them at the time. I would imagine only a few core bits were consciously decided on.

Here, I may be very wrong. I'm not familiar with the 'we' you are referring to, and who that does and does not cover :). (Is it LesserWrong? Or is it some broader umbrella).

Prune

I'm mostly thinking of: conversations I've had with Rationalists in Berkeley. They encouraged me to do some exercises involving free-association and idea generation. For example coming up with a list of twenty plants as quickly as possible. Or saying 5 words that I do not mentally associate with each other. Improv-style exercises (perhaps excellent method of training some types of babble).

I see where you are coming from. I agree with your comment w.r.t. what you are pointing at :).

Boiling the Crab: Slow Changes (beneath Sensory Threshold) add up

Hmmm, that may be the case on diets. Positive changes below the sensory threshold. Maybe you can write a post on it :).

There is a heuristic I have heard about PhD studies. A capable mathematics professor once told me: a graduate student should feel like s/he is making progress every day. Even if no new resullts are forthcoming. Experimentally, this is possible, and leads to improved happinness and better results. I am part of the academic system, so my anecdotes are biased in that direction.

I wonder if diets where you can feel improvement every day, work better. Some friends partake in keto, vegetarian, low-carbohydrate, soylent, and/or paleo. A subset of these dieters tell me, through enthusiastic blog post or private message, how amazing their new diet makes them feel, and how much more daily energy and diligence they have. I have not done a systematic study of whether this makes them stick to the diet for longer. For the critically dehydrated, half of China for instance, I have anecdotally heard that drinking 3-5 glasses of water a day has the same effect.

(There is another common probem I have observed with diets, that has nothing to do with slow-boiling. Some people get results fast, and then ditch their diet to eat ice cream.)

Prune
If a balanced Babble and Prune game is supposed to involve one Artist against one Critic, then having an overactive Prune is like pitting a pitchfork-wielding mob of Critics against one Artist. The first three Critics tar-and-feather the Artist and the rest are just there for moral support.

In my internal experience, there are multiple sources of babble. A thousand artists crying out at once.

I suspect a lot of neural machinery is at work here, and that the babbler, like the gates, is secretly many many voices speaking in semi-unison. This goes beyond the usual "classifying emotions" and/or "splitting one's thoughts into subpersonas". The implication is that each individual voice within the babble-stream can be enhanced, just like each individual gate can be isolated.

Prune

Preliminary comments:

The task of relaxing all of Prune at once is monumental. Instead, relax the Gates individually in order. Simultaneously, shorten the psychological distance between them.

This is intriguing. I want to give it a try sometime. I like the way you set it up. This recommendation naturally follows from the model of the multiple dams, or the multiple tar-and-featherers.

Rationalist training (and schooling in general) slants towards developing Prune over Babble. I'm trying to solve the dual problem: that of improving the quality of your Babble.

I suspect this mischaracterizes a fair amount of rationality training. I would want to know what you are concretely referring to.

Public school: I recall kindergarten and elementary school encouraged babbling. My recollection is hazy. Your experience may vary.

....a medium much more free-form and personal than the book.

Them be fighting words (book lover here). This point of contention is unimportant to your thesis.

I like the overall arc, and the metaphor of the river and gates. This accurately captures my thinking processes. The important feature of the metaphor for me: the "river" is large, big, and held back. It gives me glee to think of my babble in that fashion, accurate or not. I enjoy the implication that babble flows freely (uncontrollably?) absent the Three Gates.

Some Dynamics around Project Organization

Wow, that sounds great. Can I poke you for a few questions on how those organizations ran? I think that experience is invaluable.

In particular, I'd like to know how wikidata's community reaches a consensus, when I imagine many different players would like many different things for the future of the community.

Something about Status Ladders in Berkeley

I suspect you might get more traction on comments like these if you provided examples, and/or reasons for taking this more seriously. As it stands, it's not clear to me why I should be taking it more seriously other than taking your word for it [and I say this as someone who wrote the section you just commented on :)].

Something about Status Ladders in Berkeley

The first point is a good question. The goal is personal: feeling out whether such thoughts find a place in the LW space, and if so, engaging with this community more :). Altenately, it's a reflection/"blog post", whose partial intention is to throw some thoughts out there and hear alternative perspectives that may cause me to update.

The second point: yeah, that's a great point and sadly I don't know how to elaborate effectively. I'll think on it and update this comment if that changes. Thanks for the point on body language -- that's a good one.

As for discussions, I once had a fairly long 3-hour one with some pillars of the community on this, which didn't feel like it resolved anything. It was nice that the discussion happened at all, though.

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