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Erroneous Visualizations 2011-01-19T01:44:13.376Z · score: 9 (9 votes)

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Comment by becomingmyself on Theists are wrong; is theism? · 2011-01-20T01:39:28.904Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Tegmark cosmology is not theism. Theism means Jehovah (etc).

The way I read it, it seems like Will_Newsome is not using the word in this way. It may be a case of two concepts being mistakenly filed into the same basket -- certainly some people might, when they hear "Theism-in-general is a mistaken and sometimes harmful way of thinking about the world", understand "theism-in-general" to mean "any mode of thought that acknowledges the possibility of some intelligent mind that is outside and in control of our universe". Under this interpretation, the assertion is quite obviously false (or at least, not obviously true).

I wonder if there is still a disagreement if we Taboo "theism"? (Though your point in the last paragraph is a good one, I think.)

Comment by becomingmyself on Erroneous Visualizations · 2011-01-19T14:04:12.589Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It took me forever to figure out that these strange thingies were physical systems in the computers themselves, and a bit longer to realize that they didn't look anything like what I thought they did. (I still haven't bothered to look it up, despite having a non-negligible desire to know.)

Look what up, exactly?

Oh, sorry, I thought that was clear. I want to find out what the physical systems in a computer actually look like. Right now all I (think I) know is that RAM is electricity.

Edited to make this more clear.

Comment by becomingmyself on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-01-16T01:51:43.190Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Now that I think of it I didn't say it explicitly, but I was. I called myself Catholic, but I had already rejected the Bible (because it was written by humans, of course) and concluded that God so loved His beautiful physics that He would NEVER EVER touch the universe (because I had managed to develop a fondness for science, though for some reason I did not yet accept e.g. materialism).

Comment by becomingmyself on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-01-15T23:35:59.874Z · score: 30 (30 votes) · LW · GW

Hi, I am Alyssa, a 16-year-old aspiring programmer-and-polymath who found her way to the wiki page for Egan's Law from the Achron forums. From there I started randomly clicking on links that mostly ended up leading to Eliezer's posts. I was a bit taken aback by his attitude toward religion, but I had previously seen mention of his AI Box thing (where (a) he struck me as awesome, and (b) he said some things about "intelligence" and "wisdom" that caused me to label him as an ally against all those fools who hated science), and I just loved his writing, so I spent about a week reading his stuff alternately thinking, "Wow, this guy is awesome" and "Poor atheist. Doesn't he realize that religion and science are compatible?" Eventually, some time after reading Religion's Claim to be Non-disprovable, I came to my senses. (It is a bit more complicated and embarrassing than that, but you get the idea.)

That was several months ago. I have been lurking not-quite-continuously since then, and it slowly dawned on me just how stupid I had been -- and more importantly, how stupid I still am. Reading about stuff like confirmation bias and overconfidence, I gradually became so afraid to trust myself that I became an expert at recognizing flaws in my own reasoning, without being able to recognize truth or flaws in others' reasoning. In effect, I had artificially removed my ability to consciously classify (non-obvious) statements as true: the same gross abuse of humility I had read about. After a bit of unproductive agonizing over how to figure out a better strategy, I have decided I'm probably too lazy for anything but making samples of my reasoning available for critique by people who are likely to be smarter than me -- for example, by participating in discussion on Less Wrong, which in theory is my goal here. So, hi! (I have been tweaking this for almost an hour and will submit it NOW.)