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Comment by igoresque on Selecting Rationalist Groups · 2009-04-04T13:53:14.611Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This post is really about 2 issues, both interesting. The 'game' thread is interesting and fun.

However, the 'group vs individuals issue' deserves attention as well! I believe it is entirely true, and this simple observation may sky-rocket efficiency in many areas. At the same time, this isn't very apealing on a personal level. There doesn't seem place for our ego's anymore. That may be rational, but not fun. Also, as individualists will collectively agree, groups just. suck. I can't be creative 'in a group'. And I suspect I am not alone in that...

Comment by igoresque on Where are we? · 2009-04-04T13:25:54.526Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yvelines, next to Paris

Comment by igoresque on Degrees of Radical Honesty · 2009-03-31T21:03:00.200Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not that it matters to the discussion, but Anne Frank lived in Amsterdam, Netherlands (not in Nazi Germany). As a native of the city I can't not make this remark. There have been many Jews in Amsterdam for centuries, until WW2. But it would be relatively hard to find German establishments there. Sorry for being off-topic.

Comment by igoresque on The Benefits of Rationality? · 2009-03-31T20:39:49.774Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

There the danger doesn't seem to be getting something that isn't the truth, the danger is stopping at something that's just true enough for a certain purpose, and no more.

Why is that bad?

It's not, if you know you're doing it.

This is an interesting debate. I believe all the truth we'll ever get will be like the tube map: good for purpose X, and no more. Or at least, bad for purpose Y. Wanting more is surrendering to metaphysics, realism, platonism, absolutism - whatever you wish to call it.

I believe platonism shaped first the Hellenistic world, then christianity (Paul was of Greek culture, the whole new testament was written in Greek, and books like the one of John are soaked in primary platonic philosophy), and rules until today. It also really sucks. Because it makes people to not want to be less wrong. They want to be completely, absolutely right, in a way you can never claim with the help of mere rationality. Only delusion can help with that.

The Truth Pilgrim's progress goes like this:

Slightly Rational -> Less Wrong -> Delusional

Comment by igoresque on Building Communities vs. Being Rational · 2009-03-31T20:16:54.483Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The irony isn't very hard to spot here: writing about that which you don't want to read about? Reminds me of the dilemma: is it rational to complain about complaining?

I rather agree on the point being made. I also hope for more enthousiasm about rationality in all its forms.

The solution, I believe, is to invest in lesswrong.com wisely: read only the parts that are most interesting, avoid investing energy in side tracks. Please share your enthousiasm with us. I am sure the investment will pay off.

Comment by igoresque on Helpless Individuals · 2009-03-31T19:57:19.245Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I appreciated the post, but can't deny Annoyance has a point here...

Comment by igoresque on Helpless Individuals · 2009-03-31T19:55:20.018Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think part-time science is a cool idea. I would like that, rather than a full-time corporate job (as I have now) or a full-time science job. There are disadvantages of course - science requires an awful lot of time investment - but it might get scientists out of their ivory tower (without corrupting them or killing their time with fund-raising).

Comment by igoresque on Crowley on Religious Experience · 2009-03-30T00:05:58.612Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

If I may make a suggestion (both to the author and to the commenters): why not devote less words to people and more to the issues.

I think it irrelevant whether this Crowley guy was an addict or an evangelical, or whatever. What matters are the issues. I would have liked to read more about what exactly Yvain believes and why, and less about some trip to Asia and parents of a person I never heard off and frankly don't care about.

PS don't hesitate to summarize Godel, Escher Bach. It might be helpful. And why not summarize the bible while you're at it. Who cares. If anyone does mind, they are free to read the original, right? No one loses anything.

Comment by igoresque on Most Rationalists Are Elsewhere · 2009-03-30T00:02:39.125Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As a regular reader of overcomingbias.com (through RSS) I honestly had never really noticed lesswrong.com yet, until Eliezer repeatedly posted about it recently. I do remember talk about reducing the number of posts on overcomingbias.

Overcomingbias.com is wonderful, because it is unique, perhaps, and because the contributors have lots of interesting stuff to say. Apart from that and in spite of the unambiguous title, it`s identity doesn't seem overly clear. It doesn't always seem overly focused on actually, practically overcoming bias.

That's perhaps where lesswrong has a role to play: as an exercise by an actual community in overcoming biases, being less wrong, in "real life". For now though it isn't clear to me yet where this new site is headed. The people involved are obviously interested in the same issue that are discussed on overcomingbias, especially those of the Eliezer variety, so is my first impression.

Comment by igoresque on Rational Me or We? · 2009-03-29T01:11:28.778Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This is ofcourse exactly the point. People will be people. The solution is to depersonalize, not pick some fine guy and put faith in him. Trying to find out which experts to trust feels to me like asking which tyrants can be best trusted. Experts are valuable (unlike tyrants), but is better be placed in a market, rather than in individual people.

Comment by igoresque on The Costs of Rationality · 2009-03-29T00:07:50.498Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am interested to know what kind of temptations, reasons and exceptions you have in mind.

Comment by igoresque on The Costs of Rationality · 2009-03-29T00:03:06.978Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I believe a 'simple' cost-benefit analysis is warranted on a case-by case basis. It is not some absolute, abstract decision. Clearly truth has a price. Sometimes the price is relatively high and other times it is lower. The reward will equally vary. Rationally speaking, truth will sometimes be worth the trouble, and sometimes not.