SeanMCoincon

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Proper posture for mental arts

Make your mind flexible. Achieve & maintain full mental range of movement. Don't get "stiff", and view mental inflexibility as a risk to your mental health.

There's a fun (or at least "fun") exercise in which I regularly engage at my heavily right-wing, ex-military workplace: I try to agree with the guys who are in knee-jerk agreement with Fox News. I find this helps immensely with mental flexibility, as it forces me to try to actually reason from a foreign point of view. For example: when my coworkers are vociferously agreeing that a wall should be built of the border with Canada, I try to enter the discussion from the Rationalist perspective, looking for any objective benefits a Canadian border wall might have.

This has the double benefit of developing mental flexibility AND making me seem to be a potential political/philosophical ally to the coworkers in question. That way, when I keep developing the Rationalist perspective into the deep, blatant flaws in such a measure, my inputs are actually considered instead of being immediately shouted down.

Occasionally, a coworker even abandons their support for the measure in question.... which leads me to believe I'm on the right path.

The Uses of Fun (Theory)

"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon,"

Of late, during my discussions with others about rational politics and eudaimonia, I've been experiencing a strangely significant proportion of people (particularly the religious) asking me - with no irony - "What would you even DO with immortality?" My favored response: "Anything. And everything. In that order." LessWrong and HP:MoR has played no small part in that answer, and much of the further discussion that generally ensues.

So... thanks, everyone!

Causal Universes

DAMN. IT.

"There might be - if you were just picking the simplest rules you could manage - a physical constant which related the metric of relatedness (space) to the metric of determination (time) and so enforced a simple continuous analogue of local causality... ...in our universe, we call it c, the speed of light."

I am now starting to REALLY lament my lack of formal education, because I JUST NOW managed to grasp why the whole "speed of light" thing makes sense. Stupid poverty, ruin my fun. :D

Logical Pinpointing

"The axioms aren't things you're arbitrarily making up, or assuming for convenience-of-proof, about some pre-existent thing called numbers. You need axioms to pin down a mathematical universe before you can talk about it in the first place. The axioms are pinning down what the heck this 'NUM-burz' sound means in the first place - that your mouth is talking about 0, 1, 2, 3, and so on."

Ok NOW I finally get the whole Peano arithmetic thing. ...Took me long enough. Thanks kindly, unusually-fast-thinking mathematician!

Firewalling the Optimal from the Rational

"It should be another matter if someone seems interested in the process, better yet the math, and has some non-zero grasp of it, and are just coming to different conclusions than the local consensus."

I anticipate that helping such people gain a better grasp of the process may well be the best possible demonstration that you care about the process itself. At minimum, providing rationalist adjustments to people's conclusions helps ME feel as though I have regard for the process, even if I'm currently still struggling to implement the process rigorously when deriving conclusions of my own.

Eutopia is Scary

"Remember—boredom is the enemy, not some abstract 'failure.'"

Boredom is the mind-killer. Boredom is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my boredom. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the boredom has gone there will be... all kinds of interesting shit, actually. Which I might never have noticed... had boredom not driven me to look.

Sympathetic Minds

"The way to imagine how a truly unsympathetic mind sees a human, is to imagine yourself as a useful machine with levers on it."

Or imagine how you feel about your office computer. Not your own personal computer, which you get to use and towards which you may indeed have some projected affection. Think of the shitty company-bought computer you have to deal with on a daily basis, else you get fired. That's right. NOT AT ALL. "That damned thing CAUSES more problems than it SOLVES!"

Monthly Bragging Thread July 2015

I finally admitted to myself that I exhibit all the signs and underpinning patterns of thought associated with Impostor Syndrome, and asked an actual human being (!!!) for help. My hope is not that I will thus have more things about which to brag, but will feel something other than guilt over my successes. Fun times!

"Stuck In The Middle With Bruce"

@CronoDAS - I used to play a very long time ago, but attempting to keep up with the expansions became too expensive, so I let the hobby lapse. This decision was made when Ice Age came out, so... there's your timeline. However, I did manage to acquire the old 2004 "Shandalar" PC version, which has been delightful both tactically and strategically (the overland game - defeating NPCs and ganking their cards - may be even more enjoyable to me than the card game itself). While I haven't tried the more recent multiplayer video game version, I'd definitely be amenable. So let me know. I can be reached at DarianSentient@gmail.com if you prefer, or if anyone else reading this would like to reach out, as well.

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