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Thank you!!! I know it's been almost three years, but I've just discovered LessWrong (and my account) and highly appreciate your help.

I look forward to reading the article.

Wasn't visiting LessWrong with my profile for a long while.

Thank you for the detailed steps.

I suspect the down-vote is for the Taoist references where some LW'ers are heavily against references to Chi since they haven't found substantial evidence for its existence.

For me, your post is a thumbs up: I appreciate the applicability of what you wrote.

Thank you!

How'd it go? Did you talk about a 2nd meeting?

I just lost a long response, because I was naive enough not to check if the "More Help" link in formatting was an in-tab link. It was. Hence a short answer (my self-allowed free-wheeling time is almost up)

First of all. Thank you for your more fulfilling answer.

First admission: In the bright light of hindsight I see that my reply was unnecessarily snide.

Second admission: Yes, I actually saw your first as being slightly noisy. Perhaps because the post on "Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate" was so fresh in my mind. Your post fit very well into the self-sabotaging conducted by rationalists attempting communities that I perceived Eliezer to have described in that post.

Now I see that of course the interjection is valid. I just think our opinions differ on following points:

  • (1). The effectiveness of dancing and singing. Like you I've gone through quite a lot of years of mental gardening (around 7). With my current weed-out techniques, I do not think that the proposed exercises have an effect I couldn't effectively undermine with ½-1 hour worth of auto-hypnosis. Hence my cost-benefit says (potentially) low cost and probable high benefit (low transaction cost of knowledge between me and rational-striving people who have tested approaches to subjects, or gained knowledge about subjects, I'm curious about, but have yet to explore myself).

  • (2). How profound the effect is. I'm obviously not a(n internet) network expert or I wouldn't just have lost my entire post, but I wouldn't liken dancing and singing together as root access. Nor as:

    a cultural process that accepts everyone, and gets everyone to believe whatever is in everyone else's heads at the beginning

More like opening a few ports perhaps (or allowing more bandwidth? - again I'm not nearly as tech-savvy as I have been, which means a lot less than most LW-members).

  • (3). Teaching creates more of a power division than a community feeling. Learning/exploring a new subject together, on the other hand, can be a quite powerful bond creation mechanism. My deepest bond of friendship has grown through learning a wide array of skills together and sharing insights on the way to the attainment of said skills.

  • (4). Your proposed ritual strikes me as being way more cultish than that of the post. The process mentioned strikes me as being very close to an initiation ritual. Furthermore: benevolence criteria is dubious: that means that we should agree on an ethical code (or at least points), which I'm not sure we do.

  • (5a). I do not personally consider it a minus to feel connected to strangers. Quite the opposite; my ethical position actually endorses that actively. Hence:

  • (5b). I'm slightly saddened by you likening a strong unity feeling to a parasitic disease.

PS. I tried reading the article on smallish groups (my best social structure for learning), but it was unfortunately a paid article and I'm not currently enjoying free access to the publication. If you have a way of enlightening me that does not require 35$ for me upfront, I'll be more than willing to check it out.

PPS. When I format to use lines, is it normal that the formatting resets every number to one? IE: " 1" " 2" became " 1" and " 1". I didn't in the sandbox, and I didn't immediately find something about it in the guide (and hence ran out of patience).

If the context loses the safety property, sing out of tune, miss the beat and do some negative association exercises. In other words I regard it as overtly cautious to fear a cult sensation before the community is even at a community level.

But for those of us that are risk-averse (which should be none of us, but probably is the majority): Do you know of any community building exercises that do not have a potential negative backlash?

[... or is our kind doomed to be one of a kind? insert ominous music of own choice]

Could you enlighten us with your preferred approach to meditation then? I've had very positive experiences just with simple breathing exercises, but I'd definitely like to improve.

I'd have a hard time presuming anyone to be completely rational. But I'd have an even harder time understanding why I shouldn't point that out to someone who (presumably; due to them being here and all) wants to be more rational.

About your second point: I'm probably a bad choice for identifying your conformity filters due to the rather big amount of time I've spent at salsa and tango courses. Time which takes gargantuan proportions when contrasted to the awfully little time I've spent in Cthulhulian sects.

I disagree. Techniques for spreading rationality are highly rational to learn. Considering subjects such as Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate I dare say that it's almost essential for the project of disseminating rationality that LessWrong as a group learns how group dynamics work and how successful communities are built. If we consider being rational a good thing then we ought to make it as attractive as possible to feel as part of the rationalist group.

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