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Comment by frood on Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014 · 2014-04-09T06:47:02.023Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

One of the first things that I tell people is that it's the most powerful story that I've ever read. I've never cried or laughed as hard as during HPMoR.

Comment by frood on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-01-01T08:45:17.161Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Just finished it. I missed the deadline, but it seems to have let me submit. Thanks for a good time!

I defected because I decided that I'm one of the last ones to complete the survey, so RIGHT NOW I have the choice between 4 tickets and 1 ticket in a lottery for approximately the same amount of money. My gut now tells me this was bad decision making, so...Contemplation Time!

Comment by frood on Meditation Trains Metacognition · 2013-10-20T16:21:02.442Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I had the same experience with the pitch changes, but when I altered speed I could feel my pulse change. It didn't feel good to think quickly.

I also tried switching the gender of my subvocalizations (male to female). It was incredibly disorienting, which makes me curious about how my mind distinguishes between 'thinking like a male' and 'thinking like a female'.

Comment by frood on Open thread, August 19-25, 2013 · 2013-08-20T06:07:16.772Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm guessing that the goal here is to gather information on how to teach rationality to the 'average' person? As in, the person off of the street who's never asked themselves "what do I think I know and how do I think I know it?". But as far as I can tell, LWers make up a large portion of the workshop attendees. Many of us will have already spent enough time reading articles/sequences about related topics that it's as if we've "already viewed the lectures online".

Also, it's not as if the entire internet is going to flock to the content the second that it gets posted. There will still be an endless pool of people to use in the experiments. And wouldn't the experiments be more informative if the data points weren't all paying participants with rationality as a high priority? Shouldn't the experiments involve trying to teach a random class of high-schoolers or something?

What am I missing?

Comment by frood on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-07-25T20:39:06.634Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

Hi! HPMOR brought me here. I now spend about as much time telling people to read it as I do discussing the weather with them. I’ve read about half of the sequences. I lurked for a long time because I often find that getting involved in discussions blurs my ability to think objectively. Right now I’m working on a Litany Against Non-Participation, as well as taking gradual steps towards participating more, in an attempt to remedy this. I’m very interested in learning how to ask better questions.

I’m entering my fourth year of an interdisciplinary-or-is-it-multidisciplinary program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Basically, I've chosen to focus my formal education on skill development (reasoning, writing, researching, etc.) instead of specialized content acquisition (that’s for my spare time).

For at least the last five years, I've been a philosophy-based thinker. Most of my courses were non-philosophy, but I took them to aid with my philosophical education. Sort of like how a guitar player might learn piano to improve their music theory and develop new musical ideas. I have a (very idealistic) vision for philosophy, one in which philosophy is the ‘highest’ discipline that makes space for only the most educated and able. In most cases, I think that philosophers should embrace scientific knowledge and methodology, and stop pointless quibbles about matters that they are not qualified to address. For instance, I'm quite frustrated by the lack of understanding of modern social psychology and sociology in political philosophy and ethics.

I've recently concluded that completing an undergraduate education in philosophy is not worth my time, and I totally agree with lukeprog’s diagnosis. Moving forward, I am going to attempt to transition into a science-based thinker. I’ll learn the same material, but to a different end. Maybe I’ll save philosophy later.

I'm very grateful to LW. I’m a better thinker than I was a year ago, and I've finally been able to shed some of the old beliefs that have been holding me back from reaching my potential as a rationalist. Feels good. Thanks y'all!

Comment by frood on Open thread, July 23-29, 2013 · 2013-07-24T23:17:46.108Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I suspect that there are times when it's appropriate to "use nonstandard fonts to good affect". Would it be just as easy to issue a warning with the option to "convert to standard font"? Then everyone wins.

Comment by frood on Open thread, July 23-29, 2013 · 2013-07-23T16:59:31.479Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted the original comment. Is your goal to do a self-hack to eliminate the (now) troublesome feelings towards the SO or to simply 'move on' while maintaining some of those feelings?

Comment by frood on Open thread, July 23-29, 2013 · 2013-07-22T17:54:58.084Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm currently reading Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow, and while discussing how System 1 tends to jump to conclusions and the importance of preventing people from influencing each other before revealing their thoughts (in section I.7), he explains that

The principle of independent judgments (and decorrelated errors) has immediate applications for the conduct of meetings. A simple rule can help: before an issue is discussed, all members of the committee should be asked to write a very brief summary of their position. ...The standard practice of open discussion gives too much weight to the opinions of those who speak early and assertively, causing others to line up behind them.

I'm immediately reminded of the Five-Minute Rule. Writing down your position seems a lot like proposing a solution. Kahneman might be thinking that the group members will have already spent time thinking about the problem, but in this case it seems unlikely that they would so easily "line up" behind the first person to speak in the meeting. They'd have already committed themselves to an idea.

I'm confused. It appears to me that Kahneman and Yudkowsky/Maier are in conflict here. I wonder whether it's a choice between rushing to solutions and jumping on the bandwagon. Or perhaps they're not in conflict, and the hold-off-on-proposing-solutions rule can be improved by having group members write down their (non-solution) thoughts beforehand.

Comment by frood on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-13T20:28:58.644Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

describe your current situation, the cause of your current situation, and what you want to change.

That's helpful. Do you think it works as a general strategy? For example, academic discussions:

I just read article M on X because it seems like a better understanding of X will help with PURSUIT. How would you recommend that I proceed?

Or should the question/what I want to change be more specific?

Comment by frood on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-13T16:45:57.767Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

When I'm in the presence of people who know more than me and I want to learn more, I never know how to ask questions that will inspire useful, specific answers. They just don't occur to me. How do you ask the right questions?

Comment by frood on [META] Open threads (and repository threads) are underutilized. · 2013-07-11T21:40:25.833Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Are the open threads important enough that they should always be the top link?

Comment by frood on [META] Open threads (and repository threads) are underutilized. · 2013-07-11T21:26:15.301Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that there's a problem.

If we did open threads more often (once a week, say), I think it would fix the issue. Looking at the current page 1 of the Discussion section, posts from July 4 are still visible.

I agree that the Reddit format would probably work, but it seems inefficient to use another site to be able to operate this one.

Comment by frood on Svante Arrhenius's Prediction of Climate Change · 2013-07-11T02:56:54.702Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that this case study gives evidence against attempting to predict the far future being useful

Isn't it evidence for a more narrow conclusion? Specifically, that attempting to precisely predict the far future isn't going to work well? Arrhenius was correct that climate change was going to happen, just wrong about several particulars. Or was he right for so many wrong reasons that it's not worth noting?