Does this seem to you like evidence for the existence of psychic abilities in humans? 2014-05-30T02:44:00.281Z
Dangers of steelmanning / principle of charity 2014-01-16T06:35:31.625Z
Instrumental rationality/self help resources 2013-07-18T02:58:06.812Z
"Stupid" questions thread 2013-07-13T02:42:56.635Z
Three more ways identity can be a curse 2013-04-28T02:53:18.335Z


Comment by gothgirl420666 on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107 · 2015-02-19T02:14:29.133Z · LW · GW

This theory makes sense, but I'm not sure how it could be done in a narratively satisfying way. "Harry defeats Voldemort" is a lot better than "Voldemort wins, only Harry is Voldemort, so in a way Harry wins, but really there was no battle in the first place, and..."

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Negative polyamory outcomes? · 2015-01-05T15:44:03.394Z · LW · GW

This isn't strictly related, but I was thinking about polyamory today and I was wondering something.

I've never experienced polyamory in real life, and while aspects of it seem cool, there's a major concern I would have with it. I feel like I would deplore a situation in which I have only one partner who in turn has multiple partners. I wouldn't be able to shake the feeling that I was getting the raw end of the deal, like I had been duped into becoming a willing participant in a sort of public systematic cuckoldry.

Given that fact, I feel like any polyamorous relationship with a "primary" would be a constant battle of sorts to ensure that I have a greater than or equal to number of dating prospects as my partner. But as a man (the username is a dumb joke), I feel like this battle would be stacked against me, as women tend to have an easier time finding dates. I imagine that this is doubly true in a rationalist community where the men probably outnumber the women by a significant amount.

I'm not sure if feeling this way says more about polyamory, or my own selfishness and insecurities. Anyway, I would be interested in hearing from polyamorous people if this is an issue that ever comes up, and if so, how it's dealt with.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-05T00:58:10.450Z · LW · GW

Yeah, that's what I thought too. I'm just surprised that bisexuality would be something so many men imagine (perhaps correctly?) women are attracted to.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-04T22:44:11.655Z · LW · GW

Yeah, but gay men are also more promiscuous.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-04T11:36:54.326Z · LW · GW

Oh, wow, that's incredibly strange/interesting, I had never seen that before. Thanks for sharing.

The fact that young bi men are almost always closeted gay men, while old bi men are almost always closeted straight men, is particularly baffling.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-04T07:37:44.188Z · LW · GW

I would be really interested in hearing from one of the fourteen schizophrenic rationalists. Given that one of the most prominent symptoms of schizophrenia is delusional thinking, a.k.a. irrationality... I wonder how this plays out in someone who has read the Sequences. Do these people have less severe symptoms as a result? When your brain decides to turn against you, is there a way to win?

I also find it fascinating that bisexuality is vastly overrepresented here (14.4% in LW vs. 1-2% in US), while homosexuality is not. My natural immediate interpretation of this is that bisexuality is a choice. I think Eliezer said once that he would rather be bisexual than straight, because it would allow for more opportunities to have fun. This seems like an attitude many LW members might share, given that polyamory a.k.a. pursuing a weird dating strategy because it's more fun is very popular in this community. (I personally also share Eliezer's attitude, but unfortunately I'm pretty sure I'm straight.) So to me it seems logical that the large number of bisexuals may come from a large number of people-who-want-to-be-bisexual actually becoming so. This seems more likely to me than some aspect or correlate of bisexuality (and not homosexuality) causing people to find LW.

Alternatively, and now that I think about it probably more realistically, perhaps the vast majority of people in America who are attracted to two genders decide to keep their same-sex attraction to themselves, concluding (arguably rationally) that the added sexual opportunities aren't worth the stigmatization. However, LW members are more likely to be unashamed of being weird, and also more likely to socialize e.g. with a bunch of nerds in the Bay Area, meaning that the risk of stigmatization is much lower.

Or perhaps the true answer is some sort of combination of the two I just postulated.

[Poor calibration] is not a human universal - people who put even a small amount of training into calibration can become very well calibrated very quickly.

Is there a source on this?

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Training Reflective Attention · 2014-12-25T07:26:59.973Z · LW · GW

Oh, okay. To me a thought means something more along the lines of the things the little voice in your head says to you.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Training Reflective Attention · 2014-12-23T18:35:33.215Z · LW · GW

Sorry, I was being kind of snarky, I should have explained further. My point is that the other meditation instructions I've seen have said that it is in fact possible (but very difficult) to be successful at thinking nothing while conscious, and to a certain extent that is the point. So I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that it is impossible. I think Eliezer has written a lot about prematurely concluding that things are impossible, when in fact they are merely very difficult.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Training Reflective Attention · 2014-12-23T18:26:16.554Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the advice, noted.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Training Reflective Attention · 2014-12-22T01:08:17.093Z · LW · GW

This is interesting to me. It seems like you are using meditation to more frequently engage in self-reflection, meta-cognition, introspection, etc. I'm trying to meditate (in part) to do the exact opposite - I think I'm far too self-reflective to my own detriment, and the only way to stop the endless cycle of thought loops is to get better at clearing out my head.

The point is not actually to be successful at thinking nothing, as that is impossible while conscious

[citation needed]

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2014-12-18T23:22:27.821Z · LW · GW

Great point, I didn't think of it that way.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2014-12-18T18:51:31.426Z · LW · GW

Yes, but I don't think the negative press LessWrong receives is simply because journalists are fickle creatures. I think there is something inherent to the culture that turns outsiders off.

My guess is that Eliezer, MIRI, and LWers in general are strange people who believe strange things, and yet they (we) are pretty confident that they are right and everyone else is wrong. Not only that, but they believe that the future of humanity is in their hands. So at best, they're delusional. At worst, they're right... which is absolutely terrifying.

Also, like I said, Eliezer is a big dork, who for example openly talks about reading My Little Pony fanfiction. The idea that such a goober claims to be in charge of humanity's destiny is off-putting for the same reason. I wonder if to most people, Eliezer pattern-matches better to "weird internet celebrity", kind of an Amazing Atheist figure, than to "respectable intellectual" the same way e.g. Nick Bostrom might. We can see in presidential elections that Americans don't trust someone who isn't charismatic, tall, in good shape, etc. to run the country. So, of course, the average person will not trust someone who lacks those qualities to save the world. It's an ivory tower thing, but instead of ivory it's more like green play-doh.

I think Eliezer's lack of "professionalism" in this sense probably has its upsides as well. It makes him more relatable, which helps him establish an audience. It makes his writings more fun to read. And it is probably easier for him to communicate his ideas if he isn't trying to sanitize them so they meet a certain standard. MIRI in general seems to favor an "open book, keep it real, no bullshit" approach, as exemplified with how lukeprog wrote on this forum that it was disastrously managed before he took over, and all he had to do was read Nonprofits for Dummies. From a PR standpoint, that seems unequivocally stupid to publicly admit, but he did it anyway. I feel like this philosophy has its benefits for MIRI as a whole, but I can't quite put my finger on what they are.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2014-12-17T09:30:36.802Z · LW · GW

Eliezer is kind of a massive dork who also has an unabashedly high opinion of himself and his ideas. So people see him as a low-status person acting as if he is high-status, which is a pattern that for whatever reason inspires hatred in people. LessWrong people don't feel this way, because to us he is a high-status person acting as if he is high-status, which is perfectly fine.

Also, one thing he does that I think works against him is how defensive he gets when facing criticism. On Reddit, he occasionally will write long rants about how he is an unfair target of hate and misrepresentation when someone brings up Roko's basilisk. Which may be true, but feeling the need to defend yourself to such an extent is very low status behavior. Just the other day I saw him post on facebook a news story which portrayed the secular solstice in a positive light with the caption "FINALLY SOME HONEST JOURNALISM!!!!!" or something like that. This is just not a good look. I wonder if he could hire an image consultant or PR person, it seems like that would be something that could make FAI more likely.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-17T08:53:53.704Z · LW · GW

I'm pretty sure that he has recently said

  • He wants to update the anti-libertarian FAQ, but he isn't sure he's an anti-libertarian anymore
  • He feels like he is too biased towards the right and is looking for leftist media in order to correct this

These together imply to me that he favors libertarianism but idk, I could be wrong, I don't think he has ever really come out and said anything about his concrete beliefs on policy proposals. He also seems to not dislike Ayn Rand and talks sometimes about the power of capitalism, iirc.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-16T02:40:47.972Z · LW · GW

I wonder if, despite the fact that LessWrong members are equally liberal and libertarian, the leaders of the movement are disproportionally libertarian in a way that merits mention. Eliezer and Vassar, the two people featured in the article, both seem to be. Scott Alexander seems to be libertarian too, or at least he seems to like libertarianism more than any other political ideology. Who else?

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014 · 2014-12-15T07:34:11.646Z · LW · GW

People who don't use Predictionbook, why don't you?

I'm not really sure how to answer this. Predictionbook is just one of thousands of websites I don't use.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, Dec. 8 - Dec. 15, 2014 · 2014-12-10T19:54:34.868Z · LW · GW

This seems incredibly obnoxious and I don't understand how it's helpful. It reminds me of a little kid playing the "Why?" game. Regardless of whether someone can provide a precise exact definition for "money", I think we all understand what it is on some level. You don't have to define every single word you use in a conversation, because the definitions are already assumed to be understood... that's the whole point of having words. I agree that there are situations where two people might fundamentally disagree on the definition of a word they are using and unless they define it they will never get anywhere (e.g. utilitarians and deontologists arguing over what is "good"), but I don't see how these situations are like that.

I'm not an economist or statistician but:

Money: an item with no inherent worth of its own, but is understood to have a specific value and can be traded for goods and services

Statistics: facts about the world that are expressed in quantitative form

I don't know how either of those advanced my understanding.

Also I have had the opposite problem with academia, I find it really annoying how every professor feels like they have to spend the first day of class on "what is design?" or "what is psychology?" or "what is logic?" or etc. etc.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-04T07:06:37.507Z · LW · GW

You missed a few:

  • you will die in a way that leaves your brain intact
  • people will care enough in the future to revive frozen people
  • the companies that provide these services will stick around for a long time
Comment by gothgirl420666 on Irrationalism on Campus? · 2014-11-21T00:18:28.963Z · LW · GW

I haven't seen anything quite as drastic as the events in the article, but as a current college student, it definitely feels familiar. To me it feels like there is a very strict divide between people who have "bought into" the social justice / PC memeplex and people who have not. I don't necessarily mean that these groups don't intermingle. I mean simply that I could pretty much label my friends' alignments on these issues on a binary scale. Non-PC people will usually be okay with e.g. someone using the word "gay" as a general term of dislike. It also seems like there is very little meaningful dialogue between these groups. When a PC person talks about these issues, they will typically use words like "privilege" and "oppression" which will make it clear what side they are on. A non-PC person will usually not use these terms or verbally surround them with scare quotes. Once people see that a person is on the opposite side as them, they will see them as the enemy and not really make an effort to find common ground, writing them off as "just another one of those PC people" or "just an ignorant privileged person". Of course, within the classroom, PC rules.

The other day I witnessed a big fight within my friend-group on social media because someone referred to a gay friend of ours (not privy to the conversation) as having a "gay voice". Someone said this was offensive, someone told that person to stop being so politically correct, and a vocal argument ensued.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-13T17:17:19.527Z · LW · GW

It's easier to follow a hard-and-fast rule than it is to promise yourself you'll do less of something.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey - Call For Critiques/Questions · 2014-10-11T21:19:25.264Z · LW · GW

Some questions I'd personally put in if I was writing this survey (you don't need to put these in if you don't want to, just suggestions):

  • To what extent have your beliefs about the world and your reasoning processes changed since you became a member of this community?
  • To what extent do you think that MIRI's mission is a worthy one (i.e. do you think that AI is a major existential risk, do you think it's important to ensure the development of friendly AI, do you think that MIRI is capable of advancing that goal, etc.)
  • To what extend do you identify with the term "nerd"?
  • How do you perceive your physical attractiveness, on a scale of 1 to 10?

How would you rate your general success in life in the following areas, before and after you became a member of this community?

  • Progress on goals
  • Wealth
  • Social life
  • Romance
  • Happiness
  • Overall
Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 3-8 June 2014 · 2014-06-04T06:06:21.396Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I tried this for a while, along with putting Chrome in increasingly obscure places on my hard drive. After these failed, I came upon the flash drive idea, which has the feature that it involves physical activity and therefore can't be done mindlessly. If you need to, you can throw it across the room.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 3-8 June 2014 · 2014-06-04T01:53:39.179Z · LW · GW

This is kind of funny because I came to this open thread to ask something very similar.

I have noticed that my mind has a "default mode" which is to aimlessly browse the internet. If I am engaged in some other activity, no matter how much I am enjoying it, a part of my brain will have the strong desire to go into default mode. Once I am in default mode, it takes active exertion to break away do anything else, no matter how bored or miserable I become. As you can imagine, this is a massive source of wasted time, and I have always wished that I could stop this tendency. This has been the case more or less ever since I got my first laptop when I was thirteen.

I have recently been experimenting with taking "days off" of the internet. These days are awesome. The day just fills up with free time, and I feel much calmer and content. I wish I could be free of the internet and do this indefinitely.

But there are obvious problems, a few of which are:

  • Most of the stuff that I wish I was doing instead of aimlessly surfing the internet involves the computer and oftentimes the internet. A few of the things that would be "good uses of my time" are reading, making digital art, producing electronic music, or coding. Three out of four of those things rely on the computer, and of those three, they oftentimes in some capacity rely on the internet.

  • I am inevitably going to be required to use the internet for school and work. Most likely in my graphic design and computer science classes next year I will have to be able to use the internet on my laptop during class.

  • If I have an important question that I could find the answer to on Google, I'm going to want to find that answer.

It's hard to find an eloquent solution to this problem. If I come up with a plan for avoiding internet use that is too loose, it will end up getting more and more flexible until it falls apart completely. If the plan is too strict, then I inevitably will not be able to follow it and will abandon it. If the plan is too intricate and complicated, then I will not be able to make myself follow it either.

The best idea I have come up with so far is to delete all the browsers from my laptop and put a copy of Chrome on a flash drive. I would never copy this instance of Chrome onto a hard drive, instead I would just run it from the flash drive every time I wanted to use it. This way, every time I wanted to use the internet, I would have to go find the flash drive. I could also give the flash drive to someone else for a while if I felt like a moment of weakness was coming on. I've been using this for exactly one day and it seems to be working pretty well so far.

The other thing I've been doing for a few days is writing a "plan" of the next day before I go to bed, then sticking to the plan. If something happens to interrupt my plan, then I will draft a new plan as soon as possible. For example, my friend called me up today inviting me over. I wasn't about to say "No, I can't hang out, I have planned out my day and it didn't include you". So when I got back, I wrote a new one. Most of these plans involve limiting internet use to some degree, so this also seems promising. I might also do something where I keep track of how many days in a row I followed the plan and try not to break the chain.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Does this seem to you like evidence for the existence of psychic abilities in humans? · 2014-05-30T07:31:42.879Z · LW · GW

No, that's how an honest person fools themselves. The encouragement gets stronger as you get closer, so finding the solution goes from a brute force search to a simple hill climbing exercise. The answers should all be "No" without any variation. No hints, no "I think you have some of the right ideas", no "that's not even close!", just "No" "No" "No" "No" "No".

I see what you're saying, but you have to understand the context. This was not a formal scientific experiment, this was part of a puzzle game that was meant to be fun. In every other level of Notpron, except some of the final ones, it was suggested that people ask those farther ahead of them for hints and pushes in the right direction if they got hopelessly stuck. It would have been weirdly incongruous and callous for DavidM to have done as you suggest and not offer even words of encouragement to those who he knew were close.

One more thing to consider: one of the reasons I stopped was because I had already begun to feel embarrassed by how long the conversation was going. One would expect that if the method of figuring it out was brute force -> hill climbing, DavidM would say things to imply that it takes time and that more guesses are better. In fact, he maintains that most people solve it their first time, he says "don't brute force, or you'll be banned from this level", and at some points he explicitly told me to stop guessing and go clear my mind.

Also it's important to notice how many guesses you're making. For example, when you said "I'm imagining palm trees by a lake at sunset." in the conversation you posted, that was a guess. Actually, more like three guesses...

I don't understand what you're implying here.

By the way, I hope it doesn't sound like I'm some sort of shill for parapsychologists by continuing to defend what I'm saying. The fact is that I remain unconvinced. While I can see many possible explanations, I can't find any that are actually believable. I feel like when I have investigated most paranormal or strange phenomena, I always end up coming across that one explanation that makes me say "Okay, that's what happened, I can go home now." This whole scenario, on the other hand, just seems like one big confusing mystery.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Does this seem to you like evidence for the existence of psychic abilities in humans? · 2014-05-30T04:54:32.327Z · LW · GW

Maybe? Maybe you need to reread that email conversation you posted.

See my response to ShardPhoenix. It would be nice if you could elaborate on this. Obviously if I saw that my conversation with him was leading, I would not have posted this in the first place.

Every answer after that is contaminated.

Fair point.

It's not DavidM you should be worried about. Actually, I should rephrase that: given the long history of fraud in this area, it is DavidM you should be worried about, believing in it has nothing at all to do with whether you are willing to lie about it and is an excellent reason to lie about getting positive results (how many people lie to produce evidence against cherished beliefs? and is there any way you could ever produce a smoking gun which could backfire like you claim he might be worried about?), and it's also everyone else lying about it that you need to worry about (again, contamination).

It seems unlikely to me that he is explicitly lying in some way. I fully expect him to run a biased experiment, but not a rigged one. Most of the fraudsters have something to gain from their lies - either money, or fame. DavidM doesn't make any money off of this (he worked on a movie about "the 5 natural laws of health", but that is a completely different piece of woo than remote viewing and he also to my knowledge has never advertised the movie in association with Nu), and he is addressing an already captive audience. Secondly, if he truly believes remote viewing to be real, why would he run a faked experiment in support of it? Thirdly, for what it's worth, my impression from playing Notpron for a few years is that he basically seems like an honest person.

If you think that he is lying, then in what way? How did he convince 31 minus one people to go along with this lie? Most of the people who solved Nu were active members of the community before DavidM ever became a conspiracy nut.

(By the way, did you know 'boat' is a rather common object? eg 149m hits in Google, comparable with 'Obama' at 141m hits. In Ngram, 'boat' even beats' apple' but not 'table', funnily enough.)

"Boat" is definitely a common object. I would say that it is one of the 100 most common objects to come to someone's mind. So there should be a 1/100 chance that someone would guess it right on their first try.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Does this seem to you like evidence for the existence of psychic abilities in humans? · 2014-05-30T04:53:18.145Z · LW · GW

It would be nice if you could elaborate on this. To me it seems like he exclusively either flat out told me "no" or gave me completely useless confirmation. When I guessed the palm trees by the lake, he said it wasn't bad but he didn't want to give me any more information. This seems like the only potentially useful hint, I'm imagining he said it wasn't bad because I mentioned a body of water. Then I guessed the bee. I have no idea why he said it seemed on track, the only thing I said that seems relevant was "sharp". But he told me that it wouldn't help me and I couldn't guess based on this confirmation. Then I guessed a helicopter, and he said it might be on target, but to ignore it. Again, I have no idea how this would lead me to the shark.

So we have two confirmations, two of which he explicitly told me not to think about and that they wouldn't lead me in the right direction.

A question: how would you expect an honest person to act in this situation vs. a charlatan?

I would expect an honest person to deny incorrect guesses, and to give very vague words of encouragement when the other person said something that was close. This is in fact how DavidM behaved, except for some reason he was overly trigger-happy with the encouragement.

I would expect a charlatan to be much more leading. For example, I would expect that after my initial guess of the lake, he would have told me or at least hinted towards the fact that water had something to do with it.

EDIT: Also, I'm surprised he outright rejected the elephant guess, given that it and the shark are both big gray animals.

Also if 50% of people really get it on the first try without being led it should be easy to reproduce this in a controlled experiment since the effect is far stronger than that allegedly found by psychic phenomenon researchers.

Good point. (Then again, ChristianKI also makes a good point.)

Comment by gothgirl420666 on A Dialogue On Doublethink · 2014-05-09T21:29:36.244Z · LW · GW

Geeks have most likely absorbed the "geeks are lesser, should be laughed at" meme to a certain extent as well.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014 · 2014-04-11T13:13:24.218Z · LW · GW

This meme is at least a decade old. If we're going to do rationality memes, we should do something more relevant...

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Irrationality Game III · 2014-03-13T22:21:44.667Z · LW · GW

Wow. I think this one might win.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-13T21:31:12.382Z · LW · GW

Oh, okay, I see what you're saying.

I don't know. For literally all my life I've felt compelled to work on creative projects in a variety of fields (most of which have never lead anywhere, but only really exceptional people have completed major creative projects on their own volition by their freshman year of college so I don't feel that upset about it). While working on most of these projects, I would say that I am just "grinding" a majority of the time and in a state of flow a sizeable minority of the time. The best part is the feeling you get when you complete something and can look upon your work with satisfaction. I think game making probably has the best flow to frustration ratio of any creative endeavor I've done, followed by visual arts, then writing, then music. The one time I more-or-less completed a game for a month-long open-ended class project I absolutely loved doing it and was in a state of flow almost the whole time.

If it turns out that I "don't actually enjoy" game making then I have absolutely no idea what I "actually enjoy".

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Irrationality Game III · 2014-03-13T08:27:03.751Z · LW · GW

What are your odds on this?

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-13T08:22:17.934Z · LW · GW

I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say.

If you could just snap your fingers, and the game would magically appear already completed, according to your specification, with your name on it... how would you feel?

Good, obviously. Isn't this every creator's dream, to have their vision realized down to the exact detail without having to put in any of the work?

If Omega would predict that you will never make a game, or participate in creating one... how would you feel?

Bad, but I would get over it and find something else to do.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Irrationality Game III · 2014-03-12T21:29:56.716Z · LW · GW

LessWrong member for [at least a few] months. Guys, it checks out.

... is what I would say if this was reddit.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Irrationality Game III · 2014-03-12T21:27:23.193Z · LW · GW

I changed my downvote to an upvote.

I think you're playing it wrong? You upvote if you disagree.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T21:20:58.897Z · LW · GW

What if "it" doesn't exist?

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T21:14:37.189Z · LW · GW

This is really frustrating because I feel like the culture is constantly spamming two contradictory memes. Lumifer even explicitly gave me both of them upthread.

  1. Don't do something you don't truly enjoy, follow your dreams
  2. Don't do something that isn't practical, whatever you do, don't end up working at McDonalds

But in my case (and probably a substantial majority of people) I honestly think that the venn diagram between one and two might have literally zero overlap. Like, isn't the whole point of a job that it isn't fun, and that's why they have to pay you to do it? I tried to compromise by double majoring in something I am genuinely passionate about (art) and something practical (comp sci), but I feel like this is still not enough somehow...? Sometimes I think the only winning move is to get lucky and be born the type of person who has a natural burning desire to become an engineer.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T21:05:40.149Z · LW · GW

No, I don't think so. Game makers don't really have enough status in society for this to be a problem, I think. Or at least, they don't have the romantic imagery of writers, painters, poets, musicians, etc.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T20:57:47.376Z · LW · GW

Do you code on your own, not because something external (like homework) requires it, but on your own volition, because it's a natural thing to do?


Do you get into flow state while coding?


In your context just look up post-graduation employment rates by college major. Engineers and accountants will do well. Women Studies majors, not so much.

Yeah, I already did this. Science has always been far and away my least favorite subject in school, so science and engineering are definitely out. Math and economics seem to be the next best things after computer science, but neither of these, while interesting to a certain extent, exactly seem like buckets of fun.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T20:06:12.349Z · LW · GW

Piece one says that you don't seem to enjoy coding.

I don't know if this is really true about me. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I hate it, to be honest. I've pretty much hated it in college, but this might just be because of the way the courses are taught.

Something that is called a marketable skill (BFA isn't it) which will allow you to become employed after graduation.

What are other examples of marketable skills to you?

As an aside, while I know and accept the fact that statistically BFA pays pretty poorly and has relatively high unemployment, I don't understand it. Every company in the world needs a designer in some form or another. Who needs an anthropologist, a philosopher, a historian, a sociologist, a psychologist, etc.? And yet we are told that getting a college degree is definitely a good idea. Maybe there are a whole pool of white-collar jobs that have nothing to do with any particular major, but are only available to people who can signal their intelligence in a way that art majors can't?

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T19:46:39.594Z · LW · GW

I know, I know, I know. I know all of this rationally. I just can't make my brain realize this. All the small ideas I come up with fail to motivate me even a little bit. My current plan is to wait for my current unrealistically big project to inevitably fall apart and then hopefully my brain will finally get the message.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T19:43:15.498Z · LW · GW

This is sort of what I am doing right now, I'm working with two people who are focusing on the programming side of a game while I'm essentially designing it, only it's an unrealistically big project and the other two people don't seem to grasp the idea that if you want to make something it won't magically make itself and you actually have to push yourself to work on it.

I realize that I could make a dumb two-week iPhone game if I wanted, only this doesn't really appeal to me at all, to the point where I don't think I could find the motivation to do it. I think what I will do is I will probably wait for the current big project to eventually fall apart, work on a medium sized one until it falls apart, at which point my brain will realize that I actually need to start small.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T06:13:18.446Z · LW · GW

Also, you may have heard this before, but the video game industry for programmers is kind of a shitshow, because lots of people want to do it, enough so that they're willing to be paid less and endure crappy conditions. Being an indie developer might be a better bet, if you can make it work; I have no idea what the odds of success there are.

I did not know that, thanks.

Anyway, I would rather be involved on the artistic side, but I don't really know anything about that career path either, so.... ¯|_(ツ)_/¯

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T06:11:45.621Z · LW · GW

Can you elaborate on this? Where does "the code you've written" come from? Do you produce it in school projects? Or is it from jobs you might take on the side? Are you expected to be passionate enough about programming to have a bunch of code that you wrote for fun and practice lying around? Is it a mix of all three? What should I be doing with my time?

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T06:09:31.624Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the advice, but it doesn't work that way. The problem is that, for some indiscernible reason, in order to get the art degree I need to take 48 credits in the school of arts and sciences (i.e. an entire year and a half). So it would be much easier to have a second major in the arts and sciences (e.g. math or economics) instead of the school of engineering.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T06:06:22.372Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I am already working on my own games. I worked on one for two hours earlier today.

My eternal problem is that I can only think big. When I was a little kid I would constantly envision these 1000-page epics I was going to write, type about seven pages or so, and then get bored and start a new project the next week. I constantly try to come up with ideas for small, fun little games that I could realistically make by myself in a few months but I can never come up with anything that appeals to me even a little. My current project seems like it will take a few years to complete and it will in all probability never see the light of day since I have never actually completed a game before. This is the most irrational habit I have and I hate it but I don't know how to stop.

EDIT: I typed this out in the hopes that somehow the act of writing it down and LW users commenting on it would kick my brain into realizing how irrational it was being, and it worked exactly as planned. I will start working on a small project starting tomorrow. Thanks guys.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-12T02:01:12.572Z · LW · GW

Request for some career advice:

I am planning on pursuing computer science as a double major (along with art). I'm doing this mainly for practical reasons - right now I feel like I don't really care about money and would rather enjoy my life than be upper-class, but I want to have an option available in case these preferences change. I enjoyed CS classes in high school, but since coming to college, I have found CS classes, while not profoundly unpleasant, to basically be a chore. In addition to this, my university is making it needlessly difficult for me to choose CS as a second major. This has lead me to rethink - is CS really worth it? After researching it a bit, it seems like CS genuinely is worth it. From what I hear, programming jobs pay very well, are easy to find, have good working conditions, and seem to relatively easily facilitate a 4-hour-workweek lifestyle, should one choose to pursue it. No other career path seems to be able to boast this.

Am I correct in thinking this? Is a computer science degree worth it even if it means a lot of drudgery during college? Conventional wisdom seems to be no - "don't try to major in something you don't enjoy" is something I've heard a few times. But that seems kind of idealistic.

The alternatives would be econ or math, both of which I am fairly unfamiliar with and find sort of interesting but don't exactly have a passion for.

For reference, my current preferred careers are, in order:

  1. something with video games (Lifelong Dream is to be in that hideo kojima or satoshi tajiri role where I am the man with the vision in charge but I don't even really know how you work your way up to that position?)
  2. something with art or illustration where i can be creative
  3. something with graphic design where i am less creative and am doing something boring like designing logos for people or whatever
  4. some sort of programming thing
Comment by gothgirl420666 on On not getting a job as an option · 2014-03-11T19:58:57.755Z · LW · GW

This has been one of my dreams for forever. I remember playing Okami and encountering a "wandering artist " character who travels the world and interprets what he sees in the form of art, and thinking to myself "wow, that is exactly what I want to do".

But it seems like more of a thing to do for a few years and then go back into the workforce than something to do for the rest of your life. For starters, it would probably get tiring. Secondly, it would be a lot easier and less terrifying if you saved up a bunch of money in preparation for this adventure, to use when absolutely necessary, rather than literally have no means of income and be surviving on a day-to-day basis.

I wonder what the impractical or risky aspects of this are. It seems like if you have living relatives available to bail you out if you get in too deep then there aren't too much, but there are probably some that I am forgetting. Healthcare? Do employers care if you have a five-year gap in your resume? What else? Is there a reason why I shouldn't do this a few years after I graduate college?

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Is love a good idea? · 2014-02-22T17:03:37.259Z · LW · GW


Comment by gothgirl420666 on New Year's Prediction Thread (2014) · 2014-01-28T23:24:53.855Z · LW · GW

A 138 average doesn't seem far-fetched at all to me. A little bit of self-serving bias is inevitable, but I highly doubt the real average is e.g. in the 120s. This random website I found says that the average IQ of an Ivy League student is 142. I go to a school that isn't as good as most Ivys but is better than some of them. I would guess the average IQ of a student here is 135-ish. The average LW poster seems much, much smarter to me than the average person at my school.

Comment by gothgirl420666 on Are you a virtue ethicist at heart? · 2014-01-27T23:24:42.767Z · LW · GW

However, I posit that most of us intuitively use virtue ethics, and not deontology or consequentialism. In other words, when judging one's actions we intuitively value the person's motivations over the rules they follow or the consequences of said actions.

Consequentialism has nothing to do with how to judge someone else's actions. If I am trying to poison my friend, but by some miracle the poison doesn't kill him and instead manages to cure his arthritis, then I am still a bad person. Virtue ethics seems like a rational framework to judge other people by, perhaps tautologically.