Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)
score: 3 (3 votes) ·
Hello, I'm Evan. I am 28.6!
HOW I FOUND LESSWRONG
I first became aware of LessWrong through some obscure trail of internet breadcrumbs, the only one of which I remember involved a stop at gwern.net.
I seem to have chosen authors to read (in general, over my lifetime) mainly on the basis of how they express themselves, as opposed to the ideas they are expressing. If I had to guess why this is the case, I would imagine it has something to do with my intuition that quality of expression has something to do with the quality of the originating mind, the object-level ideas being express, somewhat less so.
When I first read the sequences, I came away very impressed with both the style of expression as well as the ideas being expressed. This lead me to lurk more on LW and I am happy to say I was pleasantly suprised that I wasn't just a fan of Eleizer and other sequence authors, but that the overall calibre of discussion on the site was unmatched in my experience of Internet commentors in general. In addition, the civility shown here is much higher, on the whole, than most corners of the Internet. So I stayed, and lurked, and recent articles have led in directions where I feel I have some useful ideas to contribute. So here I am.
I've always identified as a rationalist, for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a household where the truth is valued.
I fell victim to the conditioning and culture of the "Traditional Rationalist" until I took up the use of psychedelics, some very interesting philosophy of neuroscience courses, and Vipassana meditation all within a month of each other. This convergence of catastrophes sent me into a period of re-evaluation the fundamental foundations of my identity, epistemology, and many other things besides.
One of the first things that became clear was that Traditional Rationalism was not an adequate set of tools for dealing with reality; if anyone is interested perhaps I'll go into the specifics someday. Suffice it to say I ended up with a rather Bayesian perspective, combined with many tools for self-control and -actualization through an intensive study of meditation, martial arts, and yogicc techniques from around the world.
I am extremely interested in a 'Rationality Dojo.' As a practicing martial artist, I need no further explanation of how awesome that would be.
I hope to use my (now non-lurking) interactions with this community to temper my rationality, keep me honest, expand my social group to include more people who are explicitly rational, and hopefully help make the world a better place to live in.