Religion = Cult + Culture 2024-04-02T16:44:27.010Z
Denver – ACX Meetups Everywhere Spring 2024 2024-03-30T11:25:05.183Z
Talking With People Who Speak to Congressional Staffers about AI risk 2023-12-14T17:55:50.606Z
The Real Fanfic Is The Friends We Made Along The Way 2023-10-18T19:21:40.431Z
Denver, Colorado, USA – ACX Meetups Everywhere Spring 2023 2023-04-10T22:08:00.754Z
Petition - Unplug The Evil AI Right Now 2023-02-15T17:13:36.064Z
Lakewood, CO – ACX Meetups Everywhere 2021 2021-08-23T08:51:56.198Z
Trolley Problem Experiment Run IRL 2017-12-07T04:32:19.927Z
Happy Petrov Day 2015-09-26T15:41:37.106Z
The Person As Input 2015-07-08T00:40:20.627Z
First(?) Rationalist elected to state government 2014-11-07T02:30:27.750Z
In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war continued by other means 2014-10-21T19:39:28.783Z
Petrov Day Reminder 2014-09-26T13:57:35.485Z
A reason to see the future 2014-09-05T19:33:42.298Z
Roles are Martial Arts for Agency 2014-08-08T03:53:29.360Z
TED Prize Nomination 2014-01-02T16:47:48.235Z
Video: What is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality 2013-09-30T03:28:55.629Z
Happy Petrov Day 2013-09-26T15:08:21.551Z
[Link] Eliezer, PZ, Brin, and me on Immortality 2013-07-21T20:07:22.101Z
See Eliezer talk with PZ Myers and David Brin (and me) about immortality this Sunday 2013-07-17T15:56:48.895Z
New Canon!HP cover art similarity 2013-03-19T20:59:56.919Z
Exercise in dissolving 2013-03-14T16:40:21.320Z
Signs you're on LW too much 2012-10-09T18:02:03.685Z
Petrov Day Image 2012-09-25T22:41:12.568Z
Shutting up and doing the impossible: Leslie Gordon 2012-09-25T22:30:38.328Z
Son of Shit Rationalists Say 2012-06-01T13:47:47.451Z
When is Winning not Winning? 2012-05-22T16:25:19.474Z
[LINK] Cracked provides a humorous primer on the Singularity 2012-04-20T01:28:10.443Z
Hugo Awards - HP:MoR (part 2) 2012-01-31T21:11:02.625Z
Shit Rationalists Say? 2012-01-25T21:51:52.960Z
Apply your knowledge: pick half a number 2011-10-04T16:49:59.198Z
[LINK] Google Talks: Author lectures about the history of Bayes' Theorem. 2011-08-24T16:45:17.227Z
HPMoR Podcast Over 9000 = New Trailer 2011-06-23T14:57:19.928Z
Murder as a victimless crime 2011-06-13T19:47:42.087Z
[HPMoR Podcast] A Musical Help Request 2011-05-20T16:18:59.694Z
[LINK] Pixar works to make the future better 2011-05-18T22:51:21.333Z
[HPMoR] Trailer up 2011-05-10T06:15:10.928Z
[HPMoR] Celebratory Trailer 2011-05-09T16:20:32.436Z
How Many of Me Are There? 2011-04-15T19:00:48.008Z
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality Podcast 2011-04-13T17:09:19.488Z
HP:MoR Audio Book Pilot 2011-03-29T06:05:02.356Z
Link: Who Is Afraid Of The Singularity (NPR) 2011-03-23T19:13:17.131Z
Hugo Awards - HP:MoR 2011-01-21T19:06:05.325Z
High Failure-Rate Solutions 2010-12-16T23:09:34.694Z
It's not about truth 2010-12-06T19:43:11.014Z


Comment by Eneasz on Petition - Unplug The Evil AI Right Now · 2023-02-16T19:54:17.185Z · LW · GW

Definitely not wrong, the petitions almost certainly won't change anything. is not where one goes to actually change things.

Comment by Eneasz on In Defense of Chatbot Romance · 2023-02-12T22:40:08.390Z · LW · GW

I had a quasi-romantic relationship with a fictional character that lived in my head during my worst year, in college. I could sometimes even "see" him. I knew he wasn't real. It did help me out during the darkest times. Probably woulda been even better to be able to have chat conversations that were run by an AI. And I did outgrow that in a few months, when life got better. 

So, basically, this sounds great and I love this perspective. Thank you.

Comment by Eneasz on Trolley Problem Experiment Run IRL · 2017-12-07T04:32:39.216Z · LW · GW


2 of 7

Comment by Eneasz on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-20T16:13:47.718Z · LW · GW

I have a secret desire for this to become real which I fear may destroy me and/or everything I know.

Comment by Eneasz on Diseased thinking: dissolving questions about disease · 2016-12-16T17:58:37.150Z · LW · GW

The graph image is broken. Does anyone have a copy of the image file? I remember what it looked like, and it was super-useful for demonstrating the concept.

Comment by Eneasz on Bragging Thread January 2015 · 2015-01-07T16:56:42.819Z · LW · GW

Asimov’s Science Fiction has published one of my stories! "Red Legacy," on page 48 of the current issue. Details on how to get it at my blog if you're interested. I think it's a rational story, but I'm interested in opinions if anyone here ends up reading it.

Comment by Eneasz on Good things to have learned.... · 2014-12-05T17:04:01.048Z · LW · GW

Taught early in high school: How to do sex, in real life. Not STI education, not pregnancy/fertility, not how to be safe, or the biology of penises and vagines. How to go into sex and do it so that it's fun and feels good, how to listen to your body and your partner, maybe how to attract the opposite sex, and so on. Dunno about elsewhere, but in the US guys get all their sex education from porn, and girls used to get none at all. (now... also porn?) Porn is fun, but it's Kabuki Sex, and it only vaguely relates to real-life sex. It'd be like giving a 16-year-old a driver's licence when the entirety of his/her driving education consisted of watch Hollywood Car Chase movies.

Of everything useful I ever learned about sex, 50% of it was from Dan Savage and 50% of it was from my fiance, both many years after I had actually started trying to do sex on my own. This is stupid.

Comment by Eneasz on Podcasts? · 2014-11-11T21:07:57.330Z · LW · GW

Every single episode seems to have the deep underlying message of "Humans are fucked up, on a fundamental level. This is what it means to be human, and it cannot be changed. Let us revel in it." Sometimes it's melancholy, sometimes it's straight-up sad-as-hell, but there's never a feeling of "things can get better." It's always of "these problems are too large to change, nothing can be done but to embrace and accept it." It is the loss of all hope that makes me want to just give up on everything and crawl into a dark corner for the rest of the day.

Comment by Eneasz on Weekly LW Meetups · 2014-11-11T21:02:59.195Z · LW · GW

It does seem to be there now, so I guess that was it. Thanks!

Comment by Eneasz on Weekly LW Meetups · 2014-11-08T00:06:48.859Z · LW · GW

Hm. Denver meetup isn't showing up on the map on the front page. Is this the write place to mention that? Should someone else be messaged? Thanks,

Comment by Eneasz on Meetup : Denver Area Meetup 2 · 2014-11-06T19:08:26.621Z · LW · GW

There is a Starbucks, and last time I was there it had lots of chairs. :) I plan on bringing a large wizard's hat for ease of recognition.

Comment by Eneasz on Weekly LW Meetups · 2014-11-06T19:06:16.990Z · LW · GW

Wanted to mention that the Denver Area meet-up next week is basically new. It's the second of a soon-to-be regular event that TheStevenator is starting up from scratch (mad props to him!). He just moved here and I believe there's no connection to the previous sporadic ones. Sounds like the goal is for these to become regular monthly meets. I'm looking forward to them. :)

Comment by Eneasz on Maybe you want to maximise paperclips too · 2014-11-03T03:36:18.584Z · LW · GW

Seconded! I literally laughed out loud, which doesn't happen from reading text very often. :)

Comment by Eneasz on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-30T16:52:15.595Z · LW · GW

Taken, in full

Comment by Eneasz on Podcasts? · 2014-10-29T04:27:20.436Z · LW · GW

I had to stop listening to TAL because I was tired of wanting to kill myself after every episode.

Comment by Eneasz on Things to consider when optimizing: Sleep · 2014-10-29T04:25:40.526Z · LW · GW

1-2 mg of Melatonin ~20min before you wish to fall asleep

Comment by Eneasz on A quick calculation on exercise · 2014-10-28T13:55:57.262Z · LW · GW

2 hours per day seems like way too much. I work out 3x per week, 1 hour each time. (Though I did start 4x per week, 1 hour each, when I was initially losing weight). Just make sure to keep it high intensity. When I'm tempted to slack off I ask myself if I'm here to kill some time by moving around, or if I'm here to achieve a damn objective as efficiently as I can so I can get back to doing other things. If after an hour is up I'm physically capable of continuing for another hour, I obviously was just wasting my time.

Comment by Eneasz on Podcasts? · 2014-10-28T13:47:37.480Z · LW · GW

Planet Money is fantastic, I never miss it. Savage Love is equally fantastic, and on a topic too many people neglect because they don't think there's much to learn.

Welcome to Night Vale is quirky and fun. Plus quite popular, so gives you something to talk about with other geeks you run into at random.

Comment by Eneasz on In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war continued by other means · 2014-10-23T17:22:54.997Z · LW · GW

This reminds me quite a bit of The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect

Comment by Eneasz on Meetup : Denver Area Meetup · 2014-10-07T15:17:42.703Z · LW · GW

Barring catastrophe, I shall indeed be there!

Comment by Eneasz on Open thread, September 22-28, 2014 · 2014-09-23T02:22:47.012Z · LW · GW

Has anyone posted about Seth Dickinson yet? I don't keep up on the open threads as much as I'd like, but my google-fu says no.

Last year I was blown away by a short story by Seth Dickinson called A Plant (Whose Name is Destroyed). Recently I went and checked out Seth Dickinson's other works. I've read over half of them now, and I gotta say - I STRONGLY recommend this author. Many of his works have a very strong transhumanist message, and some could be called rationalist. I'm kinda surprised I haven't already heard his name brought up on LessWrong, or SlateStarCodex, or /r/rational. I'm fixing that this week.

A few of my favorite stories:

Economies of Force - A post-GAI story where humanity made AI that almost captures our values, but not quite, and it results in the sort of utopia you might expect from that sort of failure. Shades of Amputation of Destiny and Bostrom's Empty Disneyland. If anyone can figure out the significance of the name "Loom", please let me know. It must have been chosen for a reason, but I'm not making the connection.

Sekhmet Hunts the Dying Gnosis: A Computation - A rather literal take on Meditations on Moloch, and/or An Alien God

Morrigan in the Sunglare - Like Bayesians vs Barbarians, told from the PoV of the Barbarians (sort of).

Kumara - a seriously beautiful post-singularity transhumanist story. Just... really beautiful. And murderous.

Comment by Eneasz on A reason to see the future · 2014-09-15T02:02:07.731Z · LW · GW

Yeah, but honestly, try reading Dickens or Shakespeare today. Maybe I'm just an uncultured philistine, but it's not what I would call good. If they weren't so highly regarded I'd never choose to read them myself, and certainly wouldn't recommend them to friends.

Comment by Eneasz on A reason to see the future · 2014-09-06T05:48:44.331Z · LW · GW

200 years from now, you probably wouldn't even want to read any of Eliezer's books (or whoever your favorite author is right now). I'm fairly convinced all fiction is contemporary and fades in relevance in a matter of decades. But would a promise today of another Eliezer work in the future motivate you to sign up for cryo?

Comment by Eneasz on Roles are Martial Arts for Agency · 2014-08-11T15:53:21.766Z · LW · GW

That's a good point, and you're right. I wish "person" didn't feel so formal though. I'm having trouble thinking of a gender-neutral word that conveys the same casualness of "guy."

Comment by Eneasz on Bragging Thread, August 2014 · 2014-08-04T15:22:46.389Z · LW · GW

I've written a short fiction piece that has been accepted for publication. My first ever professional publication will appear in February's issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine.

Comment by Eneasz on What do rationalists think about the afterlife? · 2014-05-13T22:15:52.158Z · LW · GW

Not much has been said cuz there ain't much to say about things that don't exist. Your mind is what your brain does. When the brain stops, so do you. This isn't even advanced rationality - it's reductionism 101. I believe there was a Intelligence Squared debate on it just a few days ago that rehashed all the same old ground if you'd like a refresher. Here we go.

Giving a prior of .5 is ridiculous. Something for which you have no evidence and which breaks several known laws of physics should begin with a seriously tiny prior. You're being heavily influenced by social traditions.

Comment by Eneasz on The Cryonics Strategy Space · 2014-04-28T21:29:08.275Z · LW · GW

Ever since my brother joined the Military I've thought that could be a potentially good way to push cryonics. The Military is already well-known for forcing technological change, but it's less known that the Military's effort to reduce loss of fighting men to Syphilis (as well as other STIs) was a major contributor to the social acceptance of condoms, which had previously been shunned. The social changes resulting from that campaign are often cited as a precursor to the sexual revolution.

People don't seem to care that much when an old person dies of natural causes, which is the case for most cryo. A young, attractive corpse gathers enough sympathy and attention to get crowd-sourced funding. The Military produces a much higher-than-average number of young, tragic deaths. A fair percentage of them leave the brain intact. It shouldn't be that hard of a case to make that since the Military is the reason that these young people are losing their lives, it has a duty to give them the best chance at getting their lives back.

Difficulty of engineering a moderately-sided canister that can be fitted over the head of a dead soldier and automatically sever and preserve it (obviously opt-in only)? Probably well within DARPA resources. A decade of this being a standard option for military personnel would do wonders to ease social acceptability, no? A family that has a son/brother in cryo now has emotional motivation to consider that it just might, maybe, work some day in the future.

Also -

I actually have a list of about ten of these, which I will happily make available on request (i.e. I’ll write another discussion post about them if people are interested)

I am interested, please consider this +1 requests. :)

Comment by Eneasz on Lifestyle interventions to increase longevity · 2014-02-28T21:12:28.924Z · LW · GW


Not terribly expensive. The recovery is painful. But the pain is temporary, and the improvements are amazing. It was a major turning point in my life, and I'd strongly recommend it to anyone who is considered a good candidate (consult your specialist)

Comment by Eneasz on Google may be trying to take over the world · 2014-01-27T22:12:04.445Z · LW · GW

Well, someone's gotta do it.

Comment by Eneasz on Boring Advice Repository · 2013-12-04T16:49:10.797Z · LW · GW

Interestingly, I've been using card and online banking for so long that I seem to have internalized "money is the number stored in the bank's computer/my mental register". Recently I came into a steady flow of cash (long story), and I didn't want to go to the bank every damn week to deposit it, so I started paying for groceries and restaurants with that cash. It felt like giving away play money and getting real goods and services in exchange. "You mean I can give you some colored paper slips, and you'll just give me $100 worth of groceries? It doesn't reduce the money I have in the bank? And I'm not going to jail for this?" It was weird.

Comment by Eneasz on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-12-03T23:27:27.140Z · LW · GW

Well, my actual guess is 85%, so it's not a symmetrical split for me. Hopefully I'm not doing confidence intervals wrong..

Comment by Eneasz on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-12-03T21:50:20.276Z · LW · GW

Personally I picked "monogamous" because it's the closest to how my relationship actually works. Aside from sex with other people, we are a monogamous couple.

Comment by Eneasz on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-26T23:38:32.615Z · LW · GW

I don't think we're using the same definition of 'win'. This is the same thinking that leads to two-boxing.

Comment by Eneasz on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-26T16:48:40.240Z · LW · GW


Comment by Eneasz on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-26T16:41:19.580Z · LW · GW

So if a group using your decision-making-process all took this survey, "rationally" trying to win the contest, they would end up winning $0. :)

Comment by Eneasz on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-26T16:35:59.529Z · LW · GW

Because I think it's one of the three major relationship models. Pure Monogamy is traditional, and Polyamory is the reaction against it, but Monogamish is how a lot of relationships actually work (while operating under the cloak of monogamy). It's like a worldwide religion survey allowing only "Christian" and "Muslim", and lumping Hinduism under "Other". There's another major option here that should be broken out.

Comment by Eneasz on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-22T21:19:11.468Z · LW · GW

I'm seconding the request for next year to include a Monogamish option. I'm in a basically monogamous relationship, but we both sometimes sleep with friends.

(also I took the survey)

Comment by Eneasz on Video: What is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality · 2013-09-30T20:12:30.710Z · LW · GW

In the spoken presentation I did amend that to "or early next year" :)

Comment by Eneasz on Video: What is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality · 2013-09-30T15:16:59.451Z · LW · GW

I don't think I was frightened in the same way that other people say they are - I certainly wouldn't rate this worse than death. It was more of that fear of doing something in public for the first time where you know you could screw it up badly and there's no way to undo the mistake.

A podcast is a very different animal. You're in a private room, there's no one there watching you as you do it, you have all the time you need to correct mistakes and edit them out later. It's nothing like public speaking. :)

Comment by Eneasz on Video: What is Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality · 2013-09-30T15:11:51.450Z · LW · GW

For my first, possibly-terrible public talk, I'm ok with lowering expectations. :) That whole first intro paragraph ended up being more of a dialog with the audience (which is why it's cut from the video) and it went pretty well.

Comment by Eneasz on Help us Optimize the Contents of the Sequences eBook · 2013-09-20T22:35:13.165Z · LW · GW

Expecting Short Inferential Distances may be a good idea, since it encapsulates the reason there are so many words/posts in the sequences.

I thought Religion's Claim to be Non-Disprovable is an amazing post, one of the most memorable, and it'd be a shame not to include it.

Likewise, The Hidden Complexity of Wishes was an incredibly intuitive way to explain that an AI doesn't have to hate you for it to destroy the world, it simply has to not have your values.

Comment by Eneasz on [LINK] Behind the Shock Machine: book reexamining Milgram obedience experiments · 2013-09-13T18:24:52.164Z · LW · GW

I think a much more interesting take on Milgram is one presented by Radio Lab in which it's put forth that people were particularly likely to obey due to the spirit of scientific exceptionalism during that era. Science had won WWII, science was responsible for our prosperity and was making life better for everyone on earth, and they were helping that cause. It was idealism and optimism that prompted people to go beyond their own bounds in the pursuit of the greater good, rather than cynicism and obedience.

Also of note was that everyone who continued all the way to the final shock never heard the final prompt (“You have no other choice, teacher; you must go on”). Anyone who did hear that prompt would instantly fight back and refuse to continue. Being told you have no other choice was apparently counter-productive and would trigger resistance.

Comment by Eneasz on Yet more "stupid" questions · 2013-08-28T19:04:50.462Z · LW · GW

Comment by Eneasz on Valuing Sentience: Can They Suffer? · 2013-07-29T16:28:57.176Z · LW · GW

Only tangentially related, this reminds me of a flash-fiction about vast farms of neuron-less meat, and the conundrum a humane society faces when some of those slabs of meat develop neurons. Great story, only 1000 words. Neither Face Nor Feeling.

Comment by Eneasz on Valuing Sentience: Can They Suffer? · 2013-07-29T16:24:23.442Z · LW · GW

Can we taboo "Suffer"? Because at this point I'm not even sure what that means. Is it "a biological signal that identifies damage"? That seems too simple, because most sophisticated machines can detect damage and signal it, and we don't particularly worry ourselves about that.

Catch-22 re God & pain:

Oh, He was really being charitable to us when He gave us pain! Why couldn't He have used a doorbell instead to notify us, or one of his celestial choirs? Or a system of blue-and-red neon tubes right in the middle of each person's forehead. Any jukebox manufacturer worth his salt could have done that.

Listening to RadioLab they described a wasp who's midsection had been accidentally crushed. As it was dying it began to eat it's own viscera. Likely because it detected a rich food source and began executing the standard action when in the presence of a rich food source. It was at this point that I finally intuitively understood that insects are simply biological replicating machines. I cannot think of them as feeling anything akin to suffering any more, merely damage-avoidance subroutines.

It seems we're concerned about the capacity of a mind to experience something it wants to avoid. Doesn't that imply that the complexity of the mind is a factor?

Comment by Eneasz on low stress employment/ munchkin income thread · 2013-07-24T17:12:33.010Z · LW · GW

I can read fine, I've taken up writing, and I do most of my online-doable chores & blog reading. And reply to LW posts. ;) I suppose it depends on your office but mine is cool.

When I'm actually working it's a lot of number juggling on spreadsheets, pulling data from databases, and tracking down where money went and why it wasn't entered into our system the way it was supposed to be. About half of it requires little enough concentration that I can listen to podcasts while doing it. The other half takes actual mental effort.

The pay right now - yeah. Starting pay is lower, I've been in the game for a while. And it depends on how you live. After bonus I make aprox 66k/year, which isn't spectacular, but is more than enough for me, and seems fair based on how much free time I get at work. I've had to start investing my money, because it was piling up and doing nothing.

Comment by Eneasz on MIRI's 2013 Summer Matching Challenge · 2013-07-24T03:04:26.449Z · LW · GW

$200, and finally signed up for monthly donations as well.

Comment by Eneasz on low stress employment/ munchkin income thread · 2013-07-24T01:21:23.448Z · LW · GW

This takes some start-up time, but accounting can work for this. Without higher ed you can get various low-level positions in large corporations and if you're smart you work up quickly. The work process is likely to be old and very inefficient, with some computer savvy you can streamline your work and slowly phase out duplicated labor. And the work naturally comes in cycles - quarter-ends are rough, the rest of the time is fairly light. It's been a few years, but now (aside from 2 weeks per quarter) I only actually labor for 20 hours/week. The down side is that you do still have to be at the office for 40 hours, but if you can be productive at your computer, or read surreptitiously (eReaders are great), that time isn't lost. And it pays fairly well.

Comment by Eneasz on [Link] Eliezer, PZ, Brin, and me on Immortality · 2013-07-23T15:45:54.590Z · LW · GW

Were you, then, truly using the technical definition? Do you actually feel you do not understand the mental processes and lines of thought by which people decide that immortality is undesirable? If so, it's worth discussing because it's generally bad form to give a strong dismissal a viewpoint that you know you don't fully understand.

I was using it in both senses. I've tried doing a lot of reading and talking about the subject, and it hasn't helped. The panel was an effort to further that as well. I really am trying to get it. I almost feel like I need Yvain to write a "Deathism in a giant planet-sized nutshell" post.

Comment by Eneasz on [Link] Eliezer, PZ, Brin, and me on Immortality · 2013-07-22T15:50:19.491Z · LW · GW

much too uncharitable and [...] not sincere

This is a blind-spot for me, and honestly is the reason I tried to get some smart people together to talk. I know it's uncharitable, and I feel like I'm strawmanning my opposition, yet I just can't seem to wrap my head around how this viewpoint even exists. The panel didn't help much with that, but that was mainly my fault.

You're the host, your introduction primed the debate on religion, which is among the least interesting aspects (to me), and made Brin talk about monasteries later on. Thanks ...

I'm also uninterested in the religion aspect, but I was trying to tie it into the con's theme of atheism/religious-skepticism. It's how I pitched it to PZ in the first place, so I didn't feel I could abandon it once the show started. If I didn't think it was necessary for inclusion in the con I wouldn't have bothered.