Horatio Von Becker

Hi! I'm Helaman Wilson, I'm living in New Zealand with my physicist father, almost-graduated-molecular-biologist mother, and six of my seven siblings.

I've been homeschooled as in "given support, guidance, and library access" for essentially my entire life, which currently clocks in at nearly twenty two years from birth. I've also been raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and, having done my best to honestly weigh the evidence for its' doctrine-as-I-understand-it, find myself a firm believer.

I found the Rational meta-community via the TvTropes>HPMOR chain, but mostly stayed peripheral due to Reddit's TOS, the lack of fiction community on LessWrong, and somewhat-borne-out concerns that I would not actually be accepted here. I was an active participant in Marked for Death, but left over GMing disagreements about two years in.

My biggest present concern with LessWrong as a community is the Karma system, which is not only one-dimensional, but not even a specific axis. I don't mind one-dimensional praise, but I hate inarticulate criticism. Deeply awful feeling. I always try to give my best effort, you know?

If you want to place me elsewhere, it's almost always a variant of Horatio Von Becker, or LordVonBecker on Giant in the Playground, due to the shorter character limit.

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Open & Welcome Thread September 2021

Hi! I'm Helaman Wilson, I'm living in New Zealand with my physicist father, almost-graduated-molecular-biologist mother, and six of my seven siblings.

I've been homeschooled as in "given support, guidance, and library access" for essentially my entire life, which currently clocks in at nearly twenty two years from birth. I've also been raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and, having done my best to honestly weigh the evidence for its' doctrine-as-I-understand-it, find myself a firm believer.

I found the Rational meta-community via the TvTropes>HPMOR chain, but mostly stayed peripheral due to Reddit's TOS, the lack of fiction community on LessWrong, and somewhat-borne-out concerns that I would not actually be accepted here. I was an active participant in Marked for Death, but left over GMing disagreements about two years in.

My biggest present concern with LessWrong as a community is the Karma system, which is not only one-dimensional, but not even a specific axis. I don't mind one-dimensional praise, but I hate inarticulate criticism. Deeply awful feeling. I always try to give my best effort, you know?

 

If you want to place me elsewhere, it's almost always a variant of Horatio Von Becker, or LordVonBecker on Giant in the Playground, due to the shorter character limit.

Welcome to LessWrong!

I  think we need an actual style guide, and it needs to be prominent, properly maintained, and right here.

If it's not obvious why, and I weakly presume it isn't, it's because linguistic standardization seems like the obvious group-context form of linguistic precision, which seems like an obvious rationality virtue.

Thoughts?

Rationality Is Expertise With Reality

I can see where you're coming from, but tracing every connection is very difficult, because beliefs/heuristics are based on whole networks of data, which I think are stored as smaller heuristics. Efficiency demands that I not explain more than I must to get my point across. Not just on my end, either. This is why target audience is useful.

...Thinking about it, I should see if I can optimize the site-intro stuff. A proper style guide for posting and reading seem like they'd have big advantages, although they would obviously need justification.

Rationality Is Expertise With Reality

I was going for a style of writing I'm familiar with in explaining useful things - question to conclusion, I don't know the formal name for it - and then I wrote the title last, so that people who already knew the core point wouldn't need to waste time getting the evidence.

I'm not sure excluding this style from LessWrong actually improves Less Wrong's efficiency at sharing useful knowledge? Tagging it better would be good, of course.

Rationality Is Expertise With Reality

Ah, language difficulties. Sorry. Will update for 'extremely literate crowd, even for nerds' then.

Why do you think it's ignored here? Just so widely accepted as to be invisible, or?

Rationality Is Expertise With Reality

Perhaps the problem is that my writing style is kind of intense, and thus reads as persuasion-coded rather than explanation-coded to this audience? I'd be happy to fix that, but I'll need a guide if it's going to happen any time soon.

(Relatedly, does anyone have a good guide for 'subtext in general'? Connotation varies even more than denotation, of course, but just really diving in to exploring connotations would be nice. Twig was valuable to me for that reason, even if it's hard to recommend on other counts.)

Rationality Is Expertise With Reality

Hm. Gotta say, I'm disappointed with how inarticulate the criticism has been here. Perhaps it's because Karma is supposed to be defined elsewhere, but if so, that seems like an issue with the Karma system.

The who?

One thing I think this community may not realize, is that "religion" - and indeed "Christianity" - is too broad a term to be useful without further definition. People have been fighting over what defines a True Christian for hundreds - and, if you include the Old Testament era, thousands - of years. Characterizing us as all equivalent to some prominently bad examples is, well, quite fallacious.

That said:

I do remember a story from the Old Testament where the Moabites were, according to the standard translation, supposed to all be killed. But then Saul is told off for keeping their livestock to use as sacrifice, and Jesus' lineage specifically mentions Ruth, a Moabitess from a later era, who's the hero of her own book.

Which I read as evidence, at least in that case, of "you're supposed to drive them out of the city, by force if necessary, but not take any of their stuff" having been retranslated as "you're not supposed to leave any of them alive". You can see how those'd be phrased similarly, right?

The Biblical records we have access to are translated, retranslated, and frequently reframed, sometimes maliciously. Even translations that seem clear often aren't, because word usage changes.

In conclusion, I shouldn't believe any part of it any harder than I have evidence for, or for that matter less hard. "Religions usually symbolize incorrect things" and "religious association isn't a perfect heuristic for determining falsehood" are two opinions that can exist simultaneously, and indeed should.

I thought it was odd that I couldn't find the general tag, and that's why I gave it the 'Should Possibly Be Merged' flag. I'm pretty sure I used the tagsearch before creating a new one, though, so this might be a coding issue.

So much of mapping reality is figuring out what the pieces are, and how they overlap and don't overlap, that defining terms is arguably the only product of thinking.

I'd really like to crowdsource this, as it's an extremely strong claim.

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