All of wizard's Comments + Replies

Against lone wolf self-improvement

I'm talking about classes where teachers cover the topics and occasionally there are movies. Even in a class like this, the success rate of it is low, unless one has real experience on their own (self-learning by books, traveling abroad to where they speak that language). Reading a book in class and outside cannot be compared. The teacher has to specifically assign a "book-reading" class then read out loud for a class (that will cover... a single chapter per lecture?) and the material they choose is usually something artificial they made for the course... it's not comparable. You say these classes are effective. I don't believe you.

1Lumifer5y
Foreign language study doesn't quite fit into the lone wolf vs classes paradigm because my understanding is that the most successful method is full immersion and that is neither lone wolf, nor classes.
Against lone wolf self-improvement

That was an example but it could be woo.

Go down a level and find a class or collaboration group on the object level thing you want to do.

That's not realistic advice. You can't simply take a single class because you're interested in it, if you do so you have to take the whole time-consuming package of other classes that you may or may not be interested in, the class could be another year. Usually you do it because of pressure or you have to take the chance that the credentials are useful for something.

There are specific exceptions, one that I know is f... (read more)

0cousin_it5y
In my experience, foreign language classes taught by native speakers of that language tend to work for everyone. The other kind, not so much. Reading books and watching movies in class is also indispensable, all good classes do it.
Against lone wolf self-improvement

SolveIt: In the very thread there is someone who confuses this and you say, "My post was about classes, not "self-improvement communities". I'm very skeptical about the latter."

I'm not contesting that learning is improving but there is a class of things that people call self-improvement like "how do I not procrastinate". There is a common term for lone-wolf learning which is "self-learning". Not every improvement is learning either, what if you do a workout? If there are already two common terms why switch them? But ... (read more)

3cousin_it5y
I'm not just talking about reading books. Gym classes, art classes, job training, toastmasters, etc. Moreover I'm not sure any activity aimed at "stopping procrastination" is worthwhile. It's just inherently unreliable woo. Go down a level and find a class or collaboration group on the object level thing you want to do. You'll end up doing it so much that it becomes effortless.
Against lone wolf self-improvement

Title is misleading, I thought you were going to talk about self-improvement in general for which this was an interesting statement but it's about academic learning so why not "against lone-wolf learning"? What you said is both, (1) already consensus pretty much everywhere, everyone thinks taking classes is best, it's improbable that even someone from LW isn't aware of this viewpoint (2) clearly wrong, but not something I feel discussing and I'm only replying to complain that I was click-baited into reading this.

0[anonymous]5y
I don't see how this is limited to academic learning.
2cousin_it5y
Not sure I believe in self-improvement without learning. If you aren't learning, you'll just slide back.
A defense of Senexism (Deathism)

Has anyone considered that life may not be that great? Considering that:

  • Death is by default neutral as you get none of the downsides of life.
  • One has to cope every day with the fact of being alive (what they call existential problems). Unless you (1) find distractions, (2) find a compelling project to work on, -- and these are temporary solutions subject to Diminishing Returns --, you'll experience sheer boredom, ennui, anxiety, self-doubt, etc. I suspect this point applies to everyone, even someone otherwise really fortunate in a best-case scenario who
... (read more)
My Kind of Moral Responsibility

I don't get the problem here.

A murderer is bad. A non-murderer is neutral. Some guy is good. A martyr is gooder.

Somehow he takes this and utilitarianism to mean that everyone is evil, a non-sequitur. Then he blames the bystander for deaths that don't even have a cause-effect connection to him.

Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron

Edit: the ultimate truth is too much for mortals to behold.

Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016

It seems a stretch to put Buddhism in the category of don't-really-care-about-Being. Rather, it's an important point that there is no being and realizing so brings countless bliss and enlightenment.

Are we failing the ideological Turing test in the case of ISIS? (a crazy ideas thread)

ISIS is led by a cabal of wizards. The destruction they caused feeds into a spell designed by smart, rational magicians to create the Philosopher's Stone.

Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron

Fair enough, the idea already exists although in the edgier guise of satan.

Have you actually tried using any of them?

I did most and added some for completion. I already had some contact with spirits and mystical visions.

Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron

Yes, everyone has permission to gather followers and begin cults for Rationatron.

Open thread, Nov. 16 - Nov. 22, 2015

My understanding is that LWers do not believe in a permanent consciousness.

  • A teleporter makes a clone of you with identical brain patterns: did it get a new consciousness, how do you tell your consciousness didn't go to the clone, where does the consciousness lies, is it real, etc.
  • It's not real, therefore the clone is literally you.

Either that or we're dying every second.

Rationality Quotes Thread November 2015

The world is all that is the case.

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein

0[anonymous]7y
I had totally forget about the Tractus! When I read the Tractus (yes...there was a time) I thought it was the most amazing thing ever. This was awhile I had very poor coping with both psychotic and OCD type symptoms so I remember reading sections of it over and over again, having all kinds of grandiose ideas and going on rants to strangers on the internet about things I was trying to understand, devoid of context... thinking the Vienna circle had figured it all out. Haha. I hope I can look back on today in the future and see a bit of a loon in me now too, a sign that I've matured. Then one day I decided to read a bit of Witties later works where he lost his former writing style. I couldn't get through it. I read reviews that said he denounced basically the entirety of the Tractus. In retrospect, the tractus really is amazing, from a certain perspective, but not from most of them...
What is the best way to develop a strong sense of having something to protect

Maybe I couldn't resist posting this suggestion (sorry) because "having something to protect" is such a staple of anime. But - there's also a good case to be made here.

An analogy is motivational posters. Animes are essentially motivational posters for "having something to protect", since after all this is often the moral of them. Nonetheless, they have advantages over motivational posters:

  • Higher budget. They can last hours, have animation instead of a single phrase, etc.
  • They follow narratives (Hero's Journey, etc)
What is the best way to develop a strong sense of having something to protect

Watching the animes. Witnessing the struggles and bravery of Goku, Seiya, Naruto, Ichigo and Harry Potter will motivate you to follow in their heroic footsteps.

0ChristianKl7y
Why do you believe that this approach is helpful?
1[anonymous]7y
I was once motivated to show support to a fellow enlister into a PhD program mostly because I had recently read a sentimental StarTrek fanfic. (She got through that first test but soon had to drop it, so on net my action was a loss, leading to waste of time and brain cells on her part, but I had had no way to foresee it.)
5RowanE7y
If you're wondering why you're getting downvotes, it seems to be that you're revelling in having fallen prey to the Absurdity Heuristic [http://lesswrong.com/lw/2d/talking_snakes_a_cautionary_tale/]. Also, more pedantically, "utilities" are electricity and water, the arbitrary unit for quantifying utility is "utilons".
Magic and the halting problem

This line of inquiry is very weird. To address this you'd have to define what you mean by "magic". I believe in this community they call this the "TabbooGame". It's a game where you tabboo the word "magic".

After you tabboo the word magic, then you're just asking if it's possible for laws of physics to exist where you dress as a wizard and wave sticks. It's definitely not possible in our world because I tried and never got any superpowers (damn!!). It's "possible" but it's very lazy for a law of physics for something so complex as dressing as a wizard and waving sticks to exist. [slander against anime and Harry Potter].

1ChristianKl7y
Most children trying to do the same proof you did would get the same result in the Harry Potter universe. It's fairly bad as far as a proof goes.
3Jiro7y
Downmodded for the gratuitous anime slam. Also, I have never heard of a magic system where the magic depends on wearing wizard robes. It's true that wizards are associated with robes, but there's no law of physics which connects robes and spells any more than there is one which connects white coats and being a doctor.