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A Fate Worse Than Death 2011-01-02T09:23:24.961Z · score: 2 (15 votes)

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Comment by giambolvoe on Branches of rationality · 2011-01-14T05:38:38.801Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What about teaching other people these skills/helping other people become aware of their own incorrect beliefs? Is that completely separate?

Comment by giambolvoe on A Fate Worse Than Death · 2011-01-03T21:47:23.065Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That was a cool discussion, thanks for the link.

Comment by giambolvoe on A Fate Worse Than Death · 2011-01-03T10:53:36.844Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with everything you say here. If anything I said disagrees with it, I take it back.

Comment by giambolvoe on Subject X17's Surgery · 2011-01-03T03:02:04.489Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would undergo the procedure iff I knew I could maximize its effectiveness. I doubt I could maximize the effectiveness, though, so it would be a tough sell.
Good for a "would you rather" scenario, though.

Comment by giambolvoe on Self Improvement - Broad vs Focused · 2011-01-03T02:51:33.645Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As to your goal to get more exercise:

I work at a computer for 9 hours a day, and spend about 3 hours commuting on a train

I wouldn't spend extra energy working out. When I commuted last summer 3 hours/day I found that working out wasn't worthwhile. I exercised like a maniac the first month and a half and then just lost all motivation. Maybe 30 minutes, 3 times per week, but in order to keep a healthy body, I would suggest improving your diet. This is just advice; take it or leave it, I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life.

  1. No bleached white flour, no hydrogenated oils. No amount of these is acceptable in a healthy diet. Sources: any fast food. Most breaded/fried food at restaurants. Margarine (I think). Check the ingredients of anything you eat. Anything that says partially hydrogenated, or most white doughs you should avoid.
  2. Minimize sugars and saturated fats. These aren't unacceptable in any amount, like bleached flour and hydrogenated oil. However, they should be kept to an absolute minimum (and you can actually really cut them out completely, it's not impossible). Sources: non-lean meats, desserts, candies, many many other things (check nutrition facts!). For every gram of saturated fat you consume, try to consume a few grams of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. These are found in nuts and grains.
  3. Check where your calories are coming from. If you're trying to lose weight, get around 40-50% of your calories from protein, 40-50% from carbs, and <20% from fats. If you're happy with where you are, 30-40% protein, 50-60% carbs, 10-20% fats. This will change depending on whether you're male or female, and whether you are prone to being overweight, and many other factors, such as your activity level, any health problems you may or may not have, etc. FYI, 4 calories/gram each of protein, carbs, 9 calories/gram of fat. Minimize the amount of simple carbs you consume (e.g., sugars, I even try to stay away from potatoes, but they aren't terrible) and maximize the amount of complex carbs you consume (grains and rice are great, bread made from good flour is a good source of grains)
  4. Make sure any changes in your diet are sustainable. If you aren't able to make your diet completely healthy, only change it as much as you can stand to live with. Your diet should be a lifestyle, not a 3-6 month fad. If you change your diet for a year or more, you may find that being healthy is a motivating factor for you, and you may be encouraged to keep improving it.

Good luck, and if you can find it in you to work out as well, you're far more motivated than I am.

Edit: after reading the rest of your post, I see that you want to move closer to your job. I strongly suggest this, especially if you want to have a social life and work out. With 12 hours/day spent on your job, having both of those is going to be really tough. Also, I saw that improving your diet is important to you. I do suggest cutting down on cheese. When I did a calorie count for my diet I had to do this as well, and it really made me sad...but it's worth it, in the end. However, this depends on what else is in your diet. If you don't have many sources of fat in your diet other than cheese, you may be okay, but this is not likely, fat is everywhere.
remember, immediate gratification<good diet

Comment by giambolvoe on A Fate Worse Than Death · 2011-01-02T22:15:31.422Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

there would be a very difficult calculation involved

Absolutely, which is why I tried to give obvious cases (except for the blissful coma) which most people would agree is not worth it. I wasn't trying to say that the calculation is easy, only that when you say that life is the ultimate good, you ignore the calculation altogether, which I don't think is wise..

Comment by giambolvoe on A Fate Worse Than Death · 2011-01-02T22:13:34.692Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

While I see your point for the most part, I wouldn't want to end my life rather than "suffer" 50 years of bliss prior to dying.

I wasn't saying that everyone would agree with my analysis of every situation I gave, only that most people have a point at which they will decide life isn't worth [fill in the blank].

Comment by giambolvoe on A Fate Worse Than Death · 2011-01-02T22:12:09.291Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I cannot even imagine suffering 50 years at Guantanamo Bay. Is 20 potential years of freedom after 50 years in Guantanamo Bay worth enduring? Probably not, at least to me. Is there a point at which 50 years in Guantanamo Bay becomes worthwhile? Probably. I don't know exactly where that point is, but I know that it exists (e.g., 1000 yrs of satisfying life is worth it, but is 100?).

Given the human failures, "unsolvable" is usually a mistake, especially when you can expect more than two decades of lifetime.

I agree completely. This is even more obvious when you postulate life-extending technology. However, this still does not change the fact that death is not the absolute worst thing, which was my point (however well I communicated that).

Comment by giambolvoe on A Fate Worse Than Death · 2011-01-02T22:02:43.604Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You are right. There are people who believe that nothing is worse than death. There are also people who believe that in the primordial past, thetans brought the material universe into being largely for their own pleasure. I believe that both are wrong. I am not surprised at the existence of people who disagree. I would be surprised by the existence of people who have critically considered their beliefs and decided that there is no fate worse than death, and I would be very interested to hear them explain why they believe this.
I don't, however, believe that just because there are fates worse than death, you should ever kill yourself, for the reason that we can't see the future, and it is a terrible thing for someone to die who could have possibly had positive life experiences in the future.

Comment by giambolvoe on Vegetarianism · 2011-01-02T08:02:48.478Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps the intellectuals of less wrong individually have decided that they don't see animal suffering as a bad thing, or eating meat as leading to animal suffering, or any other very normal reasons for not choosing to not eat meat.
I avoid eating meat because I prefer to get a higher percentage of my calories from carbohydrates in my diet than protein and fat. But when I'm working out, you can't get a better protein-to-fat ratio than you can in meat (nuts, grains, etc. all have at least a 1:2 protein:Fat ratio, lean meat is more like 9:1, and I don't like getting my dietary protein from supplements). Which is only to say there are reasons for eating meat (I guess I only addressed reason 2, but I've thought about reason 1, and reason 3 is initially unconvincing to me, although I should do more research about it).
It seems to me that you are surprised and/or upset by the fact that other rational people haven't come to the same rational conclusions as you. What you should rather be pointing out is that this is an actual discussion that rational people should be having, and such a discussion hasn't yet happened.

Comment by giambolvoe on Truly Part Of You · 2011-01-02T06:08:15.459Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, here's my background:
I taught myself math from Algebra to Calculus (by "taught myself" I mean went through the Saxxon Math books and learned everything without a teacher, except for the few times when I really didn't understand something, when I would go to a math teacher and ask).
I made sure I tried to understand every single proof I read. I found that when I understood the proofs of why things worked, I would always know how to solve the problems. However, I remember thinking, every time I came across a new proof, that I wouldn't have been able to come up with it on my own, without someone teaching it to me. Or, at least, I may have been able to come up with one or two by accident, as a byproduct of something I was working on, but I really don't think I'd be able to sit down and try to figure out the differentiation, for example, on purpose, if someone asked me to figure out a method to find the slope of a function.
That's what I meant when I said that I'm intimidated by this. It's not impossible that I wouldn't ever figure out one of the theorems on accident, by working on something else, I just can't see myself sitting down to figure out the basic theorems of mathematics. If you think it'll help, I'll have to pick up "How to Solve It" from a library. Thanks for the advice!

Comment by giambolvoe on I'm scared. · 2011-01-02T05:53:44.150Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The whole comment? Or just one part? I don't necessarily see any mistakes (possibly because I don't see any conclusions he makes, other than the pithy quote at the end*)

*which I like, regardless of its pithiness

Comment by giambolvoe on Original Seeing · 2010-12-24T21:29:50.205Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This happens to me every time someone asks me to explain what I believe. I say "uhhh..."
I try to ask people to be more specific (what do you believe about this particular topic)
If they don't, I just tell them I believe human rationality can come to an understanding of everything, and can at least attempt to account for the things it doesn't understand. I may be wrong, but it's so damn hard to start from nothing, even if you do know everything (which I don't).

Comment by giambolvoe on Truly Part Of You · 2010-12-23T23:18:50.235Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've always been intimidated by this. I'm quite positive I couldn't regenerate the Pythagorian Theorem, but I know that I should be able to. I certainly wouldn't be able to figure out basic calculus on my own. I wish that I could, but I know that I wouldn't be able to. Are there any things we've learned from mathematicians in the past that make figuring out such things easier? Anything I can learn to make learning easier?

Comment by giambolvoe on Truly Part Of You · 2010-12-23T23:16:05.657Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I always do my 9x multiplications like this! We were taught this, though. I can't say I figured it out on my own.