Comment by examinedthought on Dark Arts of Rationality · 2014-01-23T17:09:30.125Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've found myself to be overly drawn to the dark arts in general. Whether it's the idea of becoming a Dark Lord, a sith, or using self-deception to achieve my goals (or just my desires). What feels somewhat related is that I am terrified that I would take the option of "blissing out" if it were available. Realizing I am like this and that I need to compensate is all that kept me away from becoming a drug addict.

On first reading this post, my reaction was extreme eagerness. I thought of dozens of applications before I was done reading. I have done the things described, largely intuitively, before ever starting a journey as a rationalist. But after taking a deep breath and saying, "Whoa now," to myself... I think I need to walk away and not think about this until I've worked on myself a bit more.

What makes me uncomfortable is not the suggestions, it's how perfectly comfortable I am with them.

Comment by examinedthought on 2013 Survey Results · 2014-01-23T15:27:14.134Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It was interesting to see how very average I am (as a member of Less Wrong). My feelings of being an outsider (here at least) have diminished.

I've also resolved to do two things this year, thanks in part to this survey: 1) sign the hell up for cryonics already and 2) take a professional IQ test.

For cryonics, the number of yeses compared to the number who want to or are still considering is a bit of a wake-up call for me.

Comment by examinedthought on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-28T02:26:59.634Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

130 at bare minimum is what I think to myself, but the higher the better. It feels shallow to admit that.

Comment by examinedthought on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-28T02:06:04.451Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I answered everything I could. I wish I could have put what my IQ is, but I've never taken an official test. I'm not sure I want to know what my IQ really is. If it's lower than I want, I think I'll feel inferior, envious, and generally frustrated that I can't do much to improve it.

Comment by examinedthought on Effective Rationality Training Online · 2013-08-10T05:48:37.843Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Contributors would, at the very least, need to be familiar with how to write articles using a skill acquisition process agreed upon by the entire community."

Are you talking about a process for acquiring rationality skills or writing skills? Requiring an entire community to agree on how to write something seems to indicate the whole community would be qualified to do the writing...

Bureaucracies are really bad about actually getting anything done. Beware of that.

Comment by examinedthought on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-06T20:31:59.408Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm only talking about myers briggs here, but I'm really confused about why you say the tests seem to work. They don't seem to work to me. I can get any of handful of different results and so can many people I know. Not only that, but I've studied the underlying theory enough to know that a lot of people I've met who only go by the tests are mistyped. They don't even know what the letters mean. They don't know if they use extroverted or introverted thinking/intuition/feeling/sensing. They think that if they're smart, they have to have a T in their type.

Comment by examinedthought on Crossing the experiments: a baby · 2013-08-06T03:18:28.341Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"All else being equal, creating new lives would be a bad thing"

Is negative utilitarianism the idea that we should minimize pain? And a new life will undoubtedly experience some degree of pain and suffering?

Is there any good PR for negative utilitarianism out there? Or some reading that you would recommend on it?

Comment by examinedthought on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-02T19:00:30.931Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Digging through the survey, I'm surprised to see Myers Briggs types listed. I was wondering if LWers considered it to be pseudoscience before I even saw the question.

Comment by examinedthought on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-02T18:14:36.308Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't assume about the ones that aren't actual names. But I also wouldn't have guessed the number was as low as 10%!

Comment by examinedthought on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-02T00:58:45.393Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I do have a pair of Vibrams! The sprint model. Those and flip flops are all I wear.

I'm not sure how to turn most of the epiphanies into actions. But I try to think of examples of how myself or others have failed at a particular aspect of it. Is that what you mean by reactions? I'm the type of person to read it all as fast as possible and then go back and try to implement specific actions during a reread. Although some of the general frame of mind is already rubbing off on me I think.

Thank you for the suggestion about CFAR. I will be looking into it.

Comment by examinedthought on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-02T00:48:27.437Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't actually see ads on YouTube and assumed it was because of AdBlock.

Comment by examinedthought on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-02T00:47:49.499Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was going to link to that. You beat me at linking to my own post!

Comment by examinedthought on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-01T22:54:17.412Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

My name is Crystal, and I'm 25 years old. I don't see a lot of female names around here but I guess I'm used to that. I was the only girl in most of my college engineering classes. I was the only female programmer where I worked.

I've always tried to be rational in an intuitive sort of way. Knowing the truth is one of my prime life motivators, and I've always been strange to others because of it.

People so often don't want the truth because it hurts, but I've tended to treat that hurt like a thrill seeker would. I came up with a little motto for myself, "We grow by questioning what we know."

I have a shit ton of curiosity. I ask questions along the lines of "I wonder why..." that make people look at me like I've grown a second head. When ideas sound really strange, I want to investigate them. I grew up reading my dad's moldy Asimov books. I love reading and read tons of non-fiction, sci-fi, and fantasy.

Growing up, I wanted to be a scientist and a writer. I wanted to do both, perhaps, because I thought writers could never make any money. But I also wanted to help colonize space, which from a young age I thought was crucial to humanity’s survival.

After I finished my Computer Engineering and Computer Science degree, I set out to find a job. I'm not totally sure why I picked that major. I think I wanted to build Asimov's robots, but I'm not totally sure of my motivations now. I took the highest paying job offer I received and then I worked like a good worker bee. I was firmly on the Proper Path according to everyone I knew.

And I wanted to shoot myself in the head because programming business portals and websites for big chain restaurants was so utterly incompatible with how I saw the world and how I wanted to spend my time. I did not think I was contributing anything positive to the world with my work. I decided to leave my job without knowing what I wanted to do instead. I've been living on my savings and thinking I've been experiencing a dreadful existential crisis.

Through my years of researching ideas that struck me as strange, I've collected more and more traits that normal people find weird. I don't like ever wearing shoes. I'm a minimalist. I don't think advertising is moral. I don't buy much of anything physical. I don't think businesses have much incentive to be healthy or ethical. I'm not a Democrat or a Republican. I don't think voting third party helps. I've lied to my family that I've actually voted because they're horrified that someone wouldn't. I stopped eating meat. I'm an atheist. I've just recently heard of transhumanism and it feels like I've FINALLY found like minded people in that regard. I could come up with more, but that's probably enough.

I started blogging years ago and had no idea what the overall theme of the crap I was writing was. It took me a lot of writing to figure out what I was even trying to say. But I think what I've been writing about is my own convoluted stumbling around in the dark on how to think better. Trying to be rational when I didn't know Rationality was a Discipline.

I stumbled across HP:MoR on July 19, 2013 and read it all within four days. I always thought the snitch was stupid. And Ron was annoyingly dumb. I've read a ton of pop science books and even knew of some of the studies and biases that Harry/Eliezer talked about. Reading it was a weird feeling of focusing so much of what I've been stumbling around with into a Coherent Thing.

Then I moved on to the sequences that were referenced from HP:MoR. I downloaded the ebook copy for my Kindle. I've only read 20% of them, but I feel the very way I think changing again. A lot of it confirms what I already thought, but there's also epiphany after epiphany. When I go to sleep lately, I notice my thoughts are a nonsensical blend of probability this and that.

The sequences are like what I almost blindly wanted to do with my blog. But the sequences are obviously a million times better. What little I've written is put to shame. I would consider myself a Rationalist now only because I am on the path. I am very unconfident in my skills at this point.