Comment by chase_johnson on Return of the Survey · 2009-05-05T00:23:16.770Z · LW · GW

What does Electrical Engineering count as, under Professional Field?

EDIT: And why is not possible to select both student and for-profit work? I work as a programmer and study as an electrical engineer.

Comment by chase_johnson on Special Status Needs Special Support · 2009-05-05T00:03:40.447Z · LW · GW

Huh. You know, in many ways I think there are several fictional stand-bys that serve a somewhat similar function for me. One of them is Star Trek. I watched Star Trek TNG with my parents when I was younger, it was a weekly ritual. As an adult, I can recognize that it really isn't very good TV: the acting was often poor, the writing poorer, and don't even get me started on the technobabble. But it has a comfortableness to it that I find soothing in times of stress. LoTR, also. I do not think LoTR is great fiction. Tolkien was not a great writer. But it like to read it. It is a comfortable story, and has been with me for most of the years I could read.

I think its interesting that perhaps atheists and rationalists can find some of the spirituality we are allegedly so bereft of in the pages (or fast-moving frames) of an acknowledged fictional work. I would not be surprised if this has come up before on LW, but I must have missed it if it has.

EDIT: I also wonder if part of the difficulty in leaving religion is leaving the comfortable stories. To be taught for your entire life that the stories are true, and then realize that they might be false... to acknowledge such a realization might horribly taint the stories in ones mind. Humans seem to be very storytelling oriented, and it may be more powerful than we imagine, to reject ones storytelling tradition.

Comment by chase_johnson on Where are we? · 2009-04-27T16:47:21.051Z · LW · GW

We do seem to be thin on the ground in Texas.

Comment by chase_johnson on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2009-04-18T00:52:01.667Z · LW · GW
  • Handle: Chase_Johnson
  • Name: same
  • Location: Richardson, TX (near Dallas)
  • Age: 22
  • Occupation: Software Developer
  • Education: BS Electrical Engineering '09
  • Things I Fiddle With: Electronics, Software, Cars, Motorcycles
  • Things I Read: SF, math, physics, lifehacking, technical manuals

I read LW and OB in part as procrastination. It's interesting stuff. I don't spend a lot of time implementing the LW/OB rationality techniques right now, and I am not sure I ever will. What drew me in in the first place was the discussion of AIs. However, I am more interested in the implementation of AGI than in the development of rationality that seems to be dominating at LW. Introspection can be interesting and useful, but I have a lot more fun building and tinkering.

Within my domains of specific knowledge, software and electrical engineering, I am interested in creating systems with novel uses that were impossible five or ten years ago, e.g., I am trying to get involved with the nascent GandhiCam project. Ambient intelligence, autonomous systems, things of that nature. I see a world of data all around us almost entirely unprobed and unanalyzed, and I want to collect that data. I am an inveterate generalist and interested in almost everything.

I suppose within the jargon of OB/LW, I would be considered an instrumental rationalist. I have little interesting in anything of a purely theoretical nature; I want to see something happen in reality. As a result, I pursue rationality with the intent of understanding the world and making things to expand our human abilities.

Currently, LW is losing interest for me. This is probably not a problem with LW, just a mismatch of interests. I probably won't participate much, but I do hope to see the cause succeed. However, I think I'd be more happy with the entire world being somewhat less irrational, rather than a few of us being extremely more rational.

EDIT: i suck at formatting

Comment by chase_johnson on Missed Distinctions · 2009-04-12T22:26:56.733Z · LW · GW

Been lurking since LW launched. First time posting. Hi guys.

This article is interesting and relevant to me, because I regularly experience distinct de-motivation and lack of willpower, which I believe is the result of blood sugar regulation issues. I wonder how much variation in motivation and productivity in life is caused by inadequate handling of one's personal biochemistry. I know I can be productive as hell one day, and completely unable to focus the next.

Comment by chase_johnson on Where are we? · 2009-04-03T17:44:30.828Z · LW · GW

I live in Richardson.

Comment by chase_johnson on Where are we? · 2009-04-03T17:44:16.559Z · LW · GW

Post in this thread if you live within driving distance of Dallas, TX.