Thank you very much!
I must have accidentally scrolled to the previous month and picked an appropriate seeming Friday. I may have never realized my mistake without your comment.
I would love to host a meeting while you are in town. I live pretty close to Williamsville, so I can personally give you a ride. Once I get a couple more interested parties, I will post an official meet-up to let everyone know the necessary details.
Hi I’m Bojidar (also known as Bobby). I was introduced to LW by Luke Muehlhauser’s blog “Common Sense Atheism” and I've been reading LW ever since he first started writing about it. I am a 25 year old laboratory technician (and soon to be PhD student) at a major cancer research hospital in Buffalo, NY. I've been reading LW for a while and recently I've been really wishing that Buffalo had a LW group (I've been considering starting one, but I’m a bit concerned that I don’t have much experience in running groups nor have I been very active in the online community).
A bit about myself: I enjoy reading about rationality, psychology, biology, philosophy and methods of self-help (or self-optimization). In my spare time I like doing artistic things (oil painting, figure drawing, and making really cool Halloween costumes), gardening, travel, playing video games (casual MMO gamer & RPG fan), and I like watching sci-fi, fantasy genre movies/TV programs. Also, I work out 5 times per week (which thanks to some awesome self-help advice has been a whole lot easier to stick with – thanks Luke!). I hope to learn how to play the piano well (I currently just freestyle on occasion or attempt to learn songs I like by watching youtube synthesia videos, but I would really like to learn how to read sheet music).
As far as by background in rationality, I would have to say that I didn't really grow up in a particularly rational environment. I grew up Christian, but religion wasn't a huge influence on my upbringing. On the other hand, my family (particularly my mom), is really into alternative medicine. I wish I could say it is just a general belief in “healthy eating” coupled with the naturalistic fallacy, but sadly it is not. She is a homeopathic “doctor” (thankfully non-practicing!) and can easily be convinced of even the most biologically implausible remedies (on rare occasions even scaring me by taking or suggesting potentially dangerous treatments). I really fear the possible outcome of these beliefs; given the option between effective chemotherapy and magical sugar pills, she probably won’t choose the option that saves her life. (After several failed attempts to improve her rationality and change her mind, I have long abandoned any attempts in hopes to preserve my relationship with my family.)
That being said, for a large portion of my life, I believed many of the same things my parents taught me to believe. Then I went to college as a premed student and was exposed to a lot of new information, which over time, made me start to reject those beliefs. Growing up, I was considered to be pretty rational by other people around me (not always in a good way; often it was negatively attached to the claim of being "left – brained” or “not being in touch with my intuitive self”). In retrospect, I was only marginally saner than other people around me, perhaps just sane enough to change my mind given the chance.
P.S. I have not taken any formal logic classes and on occasion might need some terms or symbols clarified (although my boyfriend has and frequent discussions with him have helped me pick up some of this nomenclature).