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Comment by danpeverley on CFAR workshop, June 15th, Salt Lake City UT · 2013-06-10T03:05:57.206Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would really like to sign up for this. It's in my area, at a price I could afford, and it seems like one of the better ways to spend my time due to the combination of instruction and expected networking. However, due to family matters I would not be able to show up until around noon. Would it be too disruptive to show up late? How many of the twelve positions have been filled? I wouldn't want to take one from someone who could be there the whole time.

If the aforementioned problems aren't issues, I plan to sign up and attend.

Edit: Never mind. I have removed the obstacle and am signing up right now.

Comment by danpeverley on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 18, chapter 87 · 2012-12-24T23:51:11.915Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Plausible mechanism which would allow both immortality and lead to gold: The Philosopher's stone is a device which makes lasting transmutations. Thus, it would be necessary to re-use it every once in a while to stay young, but a single usage would suffice to turn materials into other materials.

Comment by danpeverley on December 2012 Media Thread · 2012-12-04T23:28:17.453Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"The Emperor of Scent" was a very entertaining and well written book about Alan Turin and his vibrational theory of scent. It really highlighted some of the problems with the scientific community's model for publishing and how theories are accepted, and it's a great read as well.

Comment by danpeverley on October 2012 Media Thread · 2012-10-03T04:25:44.625Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"Legend of the Galactic Heroes" is the kind of show I would like people to imagine I was watching when I say I've been watching anime.

To start with the things I don't like about it, or that are in any way suboptimal: The animation is an example of a lot of what's wrong with old school anime productions; choppy movements and stock footage abound. There are plenty of strawmen who seem to exist purely to be taken down a notch by the better, more reasonable characters, the idiot ball bounces its merry way through the ranks of secondary characters like a children's sing along movie. There is a whole lot of improbable and just plain stupid pseudoscience, and little attempt is made at making it make logical sense. This is space opera, not science fiction. Occasionally the Japanese writers fanboy on German-style culture too hard, which combined with themes of military rule and strong blond and blue eyed characters receiving salutes from crowds of uniformed soldiers may make casual viewers wonder if the show promotes fascism (It doesn't. Sort of. It's complicated).

With all of that said, I highly recommend this show. It doesn't take the easy way out of having a clear good vs. evil conflict. On one side there is the Free Planet's Alliance, a corrupt and bloated democracy, and on the other is the Galactic Empire, a military aristocracy which has given in to decadence and forsaken noblesse oblige. The actions of the characters within each faction highlight the issues of authoritarian and democratic government, but neither side is explicitly right or wrong. Individual characters have different conceptions of morality, many of which conflict, and many of which are sympathetic. Oberstein, a grey-eyed spy-master and bureaucrat of the Empire, is hated by his own compatriots for his ruthlessness, but does everything out of a sense of utilitarian calculation. If a thousand civilian lives lost to an attack could save hundreds of thousands in the long term, he will push the fat man into the path of the trolley. Yang Wenli, persecuted by his own country over whims of public opinion, refuses to betray the principles of democracy even as its worst elements are brought forth by political maneuvering and populism. This is a satisfying story told on a grand scope, it's about passion and consequence, war and intrigue. I wholeheartedly recommend it on the strength of its characters and the majesty of its narrative style.

Be aware: The early episodes drag a bit, but get better drastically as things continue. This is a BIG series, with one hundred and ten episodes (OVAs), two movies, and two prequel mini-series released from 1988 to 2000. It has never been released in America and probably never will be.

Comment by danpeverley on [Link] Reddit, help me find some peace I'm dying young · 2012-08-21T00:02:40.422Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I felt somewhat phygish when I went into that little chain and started down-voting with a passion after following your link. I guess I would have done the same if I had found such blatant deathism on my own, but it feels weird. Eh, it's an emotional problem, not a logical one.

Comment by danpeverley on July 2012 Media Thread · 2012-07-04T23:13:41.766Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I purchased the Humble Indie Bundle in its latest incarnation, and was most impressed with the action RPG "Bastion." The game-play is very satisfying on a visceral level, they did an excellent job making the control scheme intuitive. This game excels in creating atmosphere, it uses a narrator for significant portions of the in-game experience who responds to all of your actions, and it works very well. The superb soundtrack and art only add to the joy of just playing. One thing I really liked was how the game gives you plenty of tools to accomplish your tasks and optimize your character, this is a game you can genuinely play differently depending on your own style. The way they handle difficulty levels reflects the ability to personalize as well, instead of having set levels, you activate Gods at a shrine to increase certain game play-relevant difficulties (monster speed, no free potions, etc.). The only real annoyances were that a couple of the weapons were clearly inferior to other options, or at least I haven't found a use for them yet (the flamethrower is somewhat underwhelming), and that the secret skills didn't have a whole lot of relevance to character success.

Comment by danpeverley on July 2012 Media Thread · 2012-07-02T00:15:11.200Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with you about Fate/Zero, quite good (I've watched all but the last episode, saving it for a rainy day), but there is something I just have to say. The Fate/Stay Night ANIME is a horrendous piece of steaming dung, but the Visual Novel is a masterpiece. The anime is one of the worst adaptions that has ever been done, it takes a wonderfully written and executed story and ruins it. If you like the Fate series at all, read the VN. (I don't think that Rider is gay. I think that you could interpret it that way, but the entire relationship dynamic with Waver seems more like manly platonic camaraderie.

Comment by danpeverley on Be Happier · 2012-04-17T21:42:13.653Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Everyone goes into those threads primed to be friendly to the other people, because they are all members of the same fan-fiction reading in-group. There is also a shift from "on a rationality site" mode to "talking about media" mode, where rigor in voting rationale tends to become somewhat more lax. I don't mind, but I'm part of the in-group so that's to be expected.

Comment by danpeverley on Minicamps on Rationality and Awesomeness: May 11-13, June 22-24, and July 21-28 · 2012-04-01T23:29:52.167Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Another question I realized is probably more relevant: What has been the median age for attendees of these events? Are they demographically young college age students, or what?

Comment by danpeverley on Minicamps on Rationality and Awesomeness: May 11-13, June 22-24, and July 21-28 · 2012-03-31T05:02:21.367Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I understand that you are expected to have read at least part of the sequences, but what sort of general education is necessary, if any? What kind of math should a participant be able to do in order to get optimal utility out of the event? I am seriously considering flying out to attend, and would like to know if I need to review anything :)

Comment by danpeverley on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 13, chapter 81 · 2012-03-28T03:34:54.154Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I am really interested in how this is all going to work back at Hogwarts. Harry has already been pushing the envelope in the past, but this was a public power display. Draco's out for a while, Hermione will be considered a murderess by significant portions of the school (and apparently she's now magically sworn to obey Harry?), Quirrel is doing... something... and all the schemers and plotters are scheming and plotting on overdrive. I think the money will really be the least of Harry's concerns before this tangle is unwoven. I sort of enjoy learning little bits about Eliezer in the author's notes. "Why yes, I do lead the same sort of life as fanfiction characters, thank you for noticing," made me laugh quietly to myself. This is doubtless because I am a gossip-monger and a hopless platonic voyeur of other peoples lives.

Comment by danpeverley on How would you take over Rome? · 2012-03-14T21:56:50.729Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If you are getting into a military conflict, the introduction of stirrups would give your cavalry forces a serious edge. I think the most difficult part of this problem is getting an initial powerbase though, once you have that you can implement all of your future tech ideas and go crazy on Rome, but before that you're just a sitting duck.

Comment by danpeverley on Sudden Future Singularity (SFS) as soon as 8.7 million years in the future? · 2012-03-11T20:50:34.799Z · score: -7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Downvoted for telling people you're downvoting, contributing to a trend within this thread of increased emphasis on semantics and insults.....(I'm not proud of what I've done here)

Comment by danpeverley on Acausal romance · 2012-02-26T22:14:00.385Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I laughed, solved it, and am printing it off to share with friends and family. Thank you for showing me this.

Comment by danpeverley on February 2012 Media Thread · 2012-02-09T06:05:09.697Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's like Andrew Hussie has a list of the things I like, and decided to make to make something perfect with all of them included. The fandom is a bit crazy for me, but I think Homestuck is freakishly well written considering the pace that the pages come out. His characters are incredible, the little details of his descriptions are gems, and the art is nice to look at too. I know people who refuse to read it because they've only been exposed to it via over-zealous fans of the slash-yaoi shipping variety (not all yaoi shippers are crazy, but a lot of crazy fans are yaoi shippers), but it's really a clever and moving piece of unique artwork. For anyone interested in it, I would actually suggest reading Problem Sleuth first though. Ignore the earlier works until you have an appreciation for Hussie.

Comment by danpeverley on February 2012 Media Thread · 2012-02-05T19:27:26.230Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

(I am assuming that comics can go here as well) Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman" is incredibly well written, and also has characters with a positive spin on immortality. Beautiful art, great story, it's a gem. "The Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer" is a manga with a standard plot (group of mostly teens with magical powers must save the world) which subverts your expectations in a big way. If you like manga, anime, or just fantasy adventure stories, you will absolutely love this.

Comment by danpeverley on I've had it with those dark rumours about our culture rigorously suppressing opinions · 2012-01-28T01:50:15.533Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The wording of the last line before the notes reminds me of something. ROW ROW, FIGHT THE POWAH!

Comment by danpeverley on Deliberately trying to annoy simulators? · 2012-01-28T01:46:43.403Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

.... Whenever I see a particularly awful piece of infrastructure, I will imagine that this was the intention of the engineer and laud them for their creativity in creating chaos for our simulating overlords.

Comment by danpeverley on Meetup : First Salt Lake City Meetup: 22 January 2012 03:00PM · 2012-01-14T00:01:10.442Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This sounds excellent. Barring situations beyond my current knowledge, I shall be attending.

Comment by danpeverley on Smart and under 20? Peter Thiel wants to pay you to not go to school. · 2011-12-30T09:39:20.151Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I understand not going to college if you've already got an idea for a company, have a skill, etc., but for those of us who still have yet to learn a trade (intellectual or practical) is college worth it? My intuitions say yes, but I've already sunk a lot of costs toward getting admitted so I'm suspicious of my own judgement.

Comment by danpeverley on [LINK] High school students coerced into non-optimal philanthropy via psychological warfare · 2011-12-23T23:44:33.141Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Something similar was used at my school, but it failed because they messed it up completely. For a week, students payed to change the annoying music they played during passing periods, but they just changed it to another annoying song, some of which were worse. It ended up raising almost no money, because who wants to pay to change the song from Bieber to Nyan-Cat? I donate in small quantities to charities at school purely for signalling purposes, I donate if I'm in a class with cool people, and not at all if I'm in one of my required classes I simply tolerate.

Comment by danpeverley on Meetup : Any Salt Lake City residents who might be interested in a meetup? · 2011-12-22T23:27:46.340Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would be interested. It'd be a bit of a drive, but I would make time :) It's good to know that there are more of you out here.

Comment by danpeverley on For those in the Stanford AI-class · 2011-12-12T04:24:50.179Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Becominggaia" as a website name set off my alarms, and it only got worse when I read one of his papers. The author appears to believe that greater intelligence is necessarily equated with greater benevolence, thus limiting any need for fear of existential risk. I skimmed though, and I admit I was a bit biased from the onset by the use of Kant's philosophy, so draw your own conclusions.

Comment by danpeverley on How is your mind different from everyone else's? · 2011-12-08T02:06:08.905Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It is a royal pain in the ass, and I certainly don't view it as some sort of adorable quirk. It hinders my social life and occasionally makes me feel completely incompetent. Getting lost when you're on your own is one thing, but getting lost with a date is a completely different level of embarrassment. I'm not sure where you got the idea that I think this is some sort of "fun aspect" of my personality, it's a patch of uselessness in my brain which I have to work around all the time. The reason I pointed out some positive characteristics was because this was a thread about neural irregularities, and a person who had poor spatial memory and sucked in other areas too would just be stupid, not that interesting at all. Maybe I could have just talked about my spatial memory problems, I guess, but I thought that detail seemed pertinent. It wasn't like I spent very long talking about my positives, only 27 words out of 154 dealt with the positive characteristics mentioned. While signalling influences what we do, not everything is signalling by necessity. For instance, I could say that here, and in your earlier reply, you are attempting to set yourself apart from the group as a contrarian, attempting to score yourself some sweet, sweet internet status as a free thinker. Also, just for fun, some of the methods I am using to "FIX THIS" and their relative success.

1: Practice getting lost, find way back to set points. I intentionally leave one of my paths (GPS in my car in case I fail), and drive off into side streets, making essentially random turns. Then, I try to get back to my path. So far, I have had incredibly limited success with this method. I usually end up having to arbitrarily choose turns until I pop back onto the main road, but often even when I make it back without GPS assistance, it is not because I knew where I was, but because I got lucky. I haven't seen any real improvement in this area.

2: Map study. I look at maps of the area, identify main roads, and then try to get places. It doesn't work. While it's better than going blind, I end up missing most of the visual cues needed to get anywhere. I've had to use this method mostly in live fire situations when I couldn't get my GPS, and four times out of five I've had to pull over and call for directions. When I have a map with me, I can get there, but I'll make several wrong turns and have to return to the correct path multiple times.

3: Avoiding the problem through assistance. My GPS is wonderful. I love it so much, and it loves me. I can get places, and it is able to help even after I've ignored its sage advice and made an incorrect turn due to operator error or traffic factors. A passenger who knows where they are going is around equivalent in terms of usefulness. However, these only help me when I'm with other people or in a car. In situations where I am on foot and alone, I give myself significant amounts of time to get to my destinations, because I will probably get lost (Planning fallacy means I am occasionally late anyway).

By all means, suggest how I can fix this issue. I don't mean that in a passive aggressive way (maybe a little, I'm a bit annoyed), it'd be nice to hear some alternative strategies. I want to be awesome, smart is better than stupid in all areas, and I want to be better. I have changed things about myself before, but this trait is annoying and persistent.

Comment by danpeverley on How is your mind different from everyone else's? · 2011-12-06T01:55:38.893Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I have an incredibly poor memory regarding spatial relations. I still have to look where the night stand is by my bed is to avoid hitting it, and it's been there for more than a year now. I get lost constantly, I can memorize routes from point A to point B, but I can't extrapolate routes between points based on location, because I have no general idea of location outside of specific routes and landmarks. Given that my verbal and visual memory are superb, and that I can absorb relatively large amounts of information in short amounts of time for most things, my inability to get anywhere without a GPS or absurdly specific directions is met with disbelief and amazement on the part of those who know me. I experience very strong sensations when reading, not just visual but the other senses as well, but I imagine that's not too uncommon.

Comment by danpeverley on Which fields of learning have clarified your thinking? How and why? · 2011-11-11T05:56:10.068Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You are completely right. I'll fix that right now.

Comment by danpeverley on Which fields of learning have clarified your thinking? How and why? · 2011-11-11T05:10:49.615Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For me, one of the most enlightening experiences I had in high school was learning how to play black-jack in the weeks after the AP Calculus Test. With the test done, our awesome teacher taught us all how to count cards and set up tables for us to play, and had us all keep track of our "winnings". Everyday, some students would play control, using a chart of statistically optimal moves to decide whether to hit, stand, split, or double down. I learned in a very intuitive way that making the correct decisions doesn't always lead to good results, and more importantly that that didn't invalidate the correct decisions. Control group pretty much always won overall, even if some kids got ahead in the short term it was better to play the way the math said to. We all enjoyed the experience, and learned some gambling and life skills while we were at it. She was definitely my favorite math teacher :)

Comment by danpeverley on [SEQ RERUN] Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK? · 2011-10-09T05:35:58.887Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I can't even imagine what sort of hell would break loose in my Politics class if I were to profess a belief merely in the possibility of measurable differences in intelligence between races. Any logic would be ignored, immediately branded as justification for a bigoted agenda. Politics truly is the mindkiller.

Comment by danpeverley on Get genotyped for free ( If your IQ is high enough) · 2011-10-01T22:31:55.657Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hmmm... this seems like a fascinating project. The ego boost I got from qualifying is enough to motivate me to sign up :) .

Comment by danpeverley on Don't ban chimp testing · 2011-10-01T22:19:22.418Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You made a statement with undue confidence, and the votes would appear to indicate that at the very least, this large subset is not monitoring this thread.

Comment by danpeverley on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 8 · 2011-08-30T01:31:46.688Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Quirrel is starting to get antsy... things are going to become very interesting once his term as Battle Magic professor is over. The Tracy girl... I don't like her. This is not to say I don't like the writing associated with her (great for comic relief, I'll EAT YOUR SOUL), it may have to do more with her being a vapid girl character in "competition" (within her own mind, anyway) with a smart, eminently likable Hermione Granger... I believe I may be in serious danger of becoming one of those shipper people.

Comment by danpeverley on Beware The Believer, or a study in depth of recursion · 2011-08-01T05:45:51.625Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I thought of it was hilarious. The dissonance between the two parts caused the humor for me. Then again, I wasn't really looking at this sort of thing in the nineties, so maybe I haven't had a chance for my joviality to mature sufficiently.

Comment by danpeverley on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-07-18T02:36:10.383Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Salutations, LessWrong!

I am Daniel Peverley, I lurked for a few months and joined not too long ago. I was first introduced to this site via HPatMOR, my first and so far only foray into the world of fan-fiction. I've been raised as a mormon, and I've been a vague unbeliever for a few years, but the information on this site really solidified the doubts and problems I had with my religion. Just knowing how to properly label common logical fallacies has been vastly helpful in my life, and a few of the posts on social dynamics have likewise been of great utility. I'm seventeen, headed into my senior year of highschool, and on-track to attend a high end university. My hobbies include Warhammer 40k, watching anime, running, exercising, studying chinese, video games, webcomics, and reading and writing speculative fiction and poetry. I live in the skeptic-impoverished Salt Lake City area. I look forward to posting, but I'll probably LURK MOAR for a while just to make sure what I have to say is worth reading.

Comment by danpeverley on [Link] Computer improves its Civilization II gameplay by reading the manual · 2011-07-18T00:50:45.612Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

78%? Depending on the difficulty, that could either be equivalent to an eight year old child or a dedicated gamer. I wonder how long it will take until they get a computer that can beat Koreans at Starcraft :)

Comment by danpeverley on The RPG Thread · 2011-06-30T17:41:38.758Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm a pretty huge fan of the Transhuman Space series of rpg books. It's a mostly hard science fiction setting with lots of biotechnology, terraforming, and artificial intelligence. There is no faster than light travel, psychic powers, or aliens. One of the things I love about it the most is the way it presents a wide variety of future viewpoints, it doesn't try to thrust the values of the game creator onto you. I would highly suggest it just for reading value, but if you can find people to play with that's awesome (I'm in a game right now, its pretty dang sweet.

Comment by danpeverley on What would you do with infinite willpower? · 2011-06-05T03:29:13.703Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would obtain a small library of textbooks on academic subjects and read them all, then reread them, then do all the exercises contained therein several times. In my current state, being without a will of iron, I tend toward less efficient and detailed learning methods like online articles and wikipedia for extra education. I would take maybe five years and revolutionize a field of science after studying it continually, with regard for only my health and basic socialization. Eight hours of sleep, three hours of internet, movies and videogames, and thirteen hours studying and improving on widgets would make for an impressive work output, considering that that would be thirteen hours uninterrupted by distractions, procrastination, or sudden desires to scream.

Comment by danpeverley on Specific Fiction Discusion (April 2011) · 2011-06-05T03:03:11.046Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Homestuck is an amazing example of what you can do with the web format. Flash animations, high quality music, and an intensely intricate plot with strong characterization and stable time loops (and some unstable ones) are just a few of the awesome things that Homestuck has. Andrew Hussy is a uniquely talented individual. Doesn't hurt that he updates with extreme regularity either.