Comment by erinflight on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2015-03-14T17:24:15.885Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is not a specific problem caused by Less Wrong users, but I doubt I am the only one to experience it. I found Less Wrong as a young teenager searching for ways to improve herself and understand the world. This site was immensely helpful but it was also immensely isolating. I live in the bible belt, and I have always had few people to talk to. Also due to my age and inexperience there were few contributions I could make to the Less Wrong community. The intelligent level of discussion here contrasted sharply with my school and my friends and I began spending far too much time wanting connections I could not yet have. This contributed to a state of depression I was unable to think my way out of.

Sad as it made me, I actually had to ignore the Less Wrong community for a while so I could get back into equilibrium. I am older now, and on my way to college so I plan to get involved in this community again.

A more concrete example: I attempted to talk to my mother, a doctor, about humans and immortality. She took it as an insinuation that doctors and scientists weren't currently working hard enough and grew very angry.

Comment by erinflight on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-23T03:22:53.996Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you. Last week was full of "Is this religious? Yes? No? I can't tell!." My brain has thankfully returned to normal function, and I will avoid intently analyzing every thought for religious connotations. The lack of guilt is nice, and I don't want to bring it back by stressing about the opposite.

Comment by erinflight on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-23T03:16:09.784Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The religious allusions seem even blatant now, but there is no way I'm getting rid of my copy of Chronicles of Narnia. I still feel the urge to look in the back of wardrobes.

Thank you. I had a religious song stuck in my head yesterday, but remembered reading you comment so was able to bypass the feeling of guilt.

Comment by erinflight on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-23T03:12:01.358Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Unlike religion, here no one claims to be all-knowing or infallible. Which, from my point of view at least, is why LessWrong is so effective. Reading the arguments in the comments of the sequences was almost as important as reading the sequences themselves.

I wouldn't mind the paradise part or the living forever part though.

Comment by erinflight on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-23T03:06:41.401Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Cafeteria catholics fits most of my family, and for the past few years I could have also claimed the term. Though I've never met anyone who used it for themselves, it is generally considered a bad thing by most parts of the hierarchy. Cafeteria catholicism has recently been strongly condemned by the Catholic Church itself, part of the reason I started reconsidering religion in the first place.

Comment by erinflight on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-23T02:58:04.526Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the advice. I've started by rereading the scientific explanations of the big bang, evolution, and basically most general scientific principles. Looking at it without constant justification going on in my mind is quite refreshing.

So far I've been able to avoid most of the arguments, though I was surprised by how genuinely sad some people were. I'm going to keep quiet about religion for a while, and figure out what other pieces of my worldview I need to take a rational, honest look at.

Comment by erinflight on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-19T23:08:58.252Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

Last week, after a lot of thought and help from LessWrong, I finally stopped believing in god and dropped my last remnants of Catholicism. It is turned out to be a huge relief, though coping with some of the consequences and realizations that come with atheism has been a little difficult.

Do any of you have any tips you noticed about yourself or others after just leaving religion? I've noticed a few small habits I need to get rid of, but I am worried I'm missing larger, more important ones.

Are there any particular posts I should skip ahead and read? I am currently at the beginning of reductionism. Are their any beliefs you've noticed ex-catholics holding that they don't realize are obviously part of their religion? I do not have any one immediately around me I can ask, so I am very grateful for any input. Thank you!

Comment by erinflight on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2014-04-01T03:31:52.196Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the resources! Kahneman's book looks very interesting, and luckily my library has it. I'll check it out as soon as possible. I am planning on taking a Java Programming class next year. Does Java have the same set up/structure/foundation as the languages that are referenced on here? What would you say is the programming language that is most relevant to rationality (even if it isn't a good beginning language)?

Comment by erinflight on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2014-04-01T03:25:52.814Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the link. I'm very pleased to find another source of such interesting ideas. I anticipate the day when I too will read the sequences and be able to say "everything in them seems so obvious."

Comment by erinflight on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2014-04-01T03:13:00.407Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you both! Just starting to go through those explanations, Bayes Theorem is making a lot more sense, and I'm also starting to see why everyone is excited about it.

Comment by erinflight on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2014-04-01T03:10:07.754Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the link and for starting the thread. The article made me realize that I am going about trying to understand rationality as if I have a major exam in a couple months. Reading many of the articles on here for a second time, I'm grasping them a lot better than I did before. The new thread seems like it will be immensely useful. I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question!

Comment by erinflight on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2014-03-31T01:19:55.873Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Hello, I'm Erin. I am currently in high school, so perhaps a little younger than the typical reader.

I'm fascinated by the thoughts here. This is the first community I've found that makes an effort to think about their own opinions, then is self aware enough to look at their own thought processes.

But, this might not be the place for this, I'm am struggling to understand anything technical on this website. I've enjoyed reading the sequences, and they have given me a lot to thing about. Still, I've read the introduction to Bayes theorem multiple times, and I simply can't grasp it. Even starting at the very beginning of the sequences I quickly get lost because there are references to programming and cognitive science which I simply do not understand.

I recently returned to this site after taking a statistics course, which has helped slightly. But I still feel rather lost.

Do you have any tips for how you utilized rationality when you were starting? How did you first incorporate it into your thought processes? Can you recommend any background material which might help me to understand the sequences better?

Comment by erinflight on Attention control is critical for changing/increasing/altering motivation · 2014-03-31T01:06:12.409Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This seems to be a direct reply to the common thought/command/belief "Just stop" As in "why don't you just stop biting your fingernails/smoking/overeating/procrastinating?" or "Why can't I just stop (hated activity here)?" I don't know if this is a common experience, but everyone I have met and discussed the issue with personally (a very small minority) believes that humans have the ability to stop an action by "deciding to stop". Then, when that fails anger and self-loathing is immediate result. I understand that these thoughts are in no way original, but this is the first time I have seen anything even remotely explaining or offering a solution to the "just stop" in normal areas of life. I had heard of CBT before, but only in regards to extreme depression or self-harm. So, my question. Do you commonly use this process for motivation? Has it proven to be effective in smaller, immediate areas of life?