[Classifieds] What are you doing to make the world a better place and how can we help?

post by namespace (ingres) · 2017-06-22T00:44:42.030Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · LW · GW · 4 comments


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comment by sarah.constantin · 2017-06-22T06:00:33.543Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm writing a book on cancer research -- how it's stagnated in recent decades, and what new research directions might offer more promise.

My hope is to influence funders (primarily investors) towards focusing on more diverse types of cancer treatments.

How people can help:

I'm looking for an agent. (I have a draft and a book proposal.) If anybody has contacts, I'd much appreciate it.

comment by Vaniver · 2017-06-25T20:48:43.654Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Julia Galef has a book deal, and could probably point you to her agent.

comment by alexei (alexei.andreev) · 2017-06-27T02:38:48.076Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Arbital 2.0

Blogging / social media platform.

Initially: 1) make math blogging much nicer, 2) help people connect over similar interests. Eventually: change the shape of the social media and information flowing through it.

If you know math bloggers, I'd appreciate a referral so I could tell them about the platform and see what their needs are.

comment by namespace (ingres) · 2017-06-22T00:49:20.119Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

LessWrong is not an appropriate discussion venue for both of my most important current endeavors, so instead I'll start us off with something a bit lighter weight that might help capture the spirit I'd like the thread to have:

A Complete History Of The Word 'Hacker'

I am attempting to chronicle the complete history of the word hacker, from its beginnings in the 1950's as jargon among MIT students (and possibly even earlier as a term used by Ham Radio operators) through the decades to the present day. This includes the split between the MIT hacker community and the phreaking community (which later evolved into the computer 'hacking' community of intrusion artists). For more information see my blog post summarizing most of my research so far.

The basic impact I expect this project to have is to contribute to history, in particular the intellectually and culturally fascinating history of the two major subcultures chronicled by the proposed work.

You can help if you happen to meet one of the following criteria:

  • You happen to have been alive during and participated in the early MIT/Stanford/etc AI scene, or were otherwise involved in the early ARPANET. In this case the best way you could contribute would be by going on record and telling your story so that the recollection is not lost to future generations. (Not impossible given the major AI focus of this community.)

  • You know someone who meets the first criteria, and can convince them to go on the historical record.

  • You're aware of documents or artifacts which predate the ones I've listed as earliest examples of a phenomena. Your pointing these out to me would be massively appreciated!

  • You're aware of interesting documents or artifacts that are not already in my bibliography on that page. I know it's quite long, so if you don't feel like reading it feel free to just message me with what comes to mind.

  • You also have an interest in the subject, and would like to partner up on researching it. In that case message me and we'll discuss where I'm at with things and what avenues are promising.

comment by [deleted] · 2017-09-22T12:42:00.248Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW



Formal sciences give the most abstract representations. People usually shy away from formalism.
For instance, there is a lack of knowledge about formal proof systems and model theory in the rationalist community that is very damaging.

Most thoughts I have are built upon these. Typically, advanced thoughts about linguistics or epistemology will inevitably rediscover those basics.

There are currently courses about those fields, but:
- They are CS/Math/Philosophy oriented, not daily-life / rationality.
- They presuppose a lot of irrelevant background knowledge. For instance, most of models used in model theory come either from databases, algebra or advanced logical considerations.
- They aren't dynamic. Collaborative course editing, online FAQ, automatically generated summaries and exercices (with correction) are paramount.

Expected Impact

I can finally develop complex ideas in some communities.
I can finally introduce, with all the required nuances, critical considerations about personal and collective epistemology.

Smart people reading these get smarter.
I get credibility.

Possible Help


Dynamic features require development effort. I currently don't have time to write them, so if people want to, it'd be nice.


I need various readers to see if I'm understandable, what to add, what to remove, what to modify and such. The earlier, the better.