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Comment by interpolate on Open thread, Dec. 22 - Dec. 28, 2014 · 2014-12-23T03:20:16.963Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I would like to try NSI-189: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSI-189

People's experiences with this drug and suggestions for vendors would therefore be welcome.

Comment by interpolate on Open thread, Dec. 22 - Dec. 28, 2014 · 2014-12-23T03:18:23.755Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Code Academy: http://www.codecademy.com/

Harvard's CS50 course: https://cs50.harvard.edu/

You can also take CS50 through edX, which grants certificates: https://www.edx.org/course/introduction-computer-science-harvardx-cs50x#.VJjeyf8AAA

Comment by interpolate on Open thread, Dec. 22 - Dec. 28, 2014 · 2014-12-23T03:15:20.117Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't read this book myself, but I've read other books in this series and would recommend them:

http://www.amazon.com/Philosophy-Short-Introduction-Edward-Craig/dp/0192854216/

I like the idea of directing him to the Less Wrong sequences as he would probably benefit more from that. It's available in pdf and other print-suitable forms here so you could print it out and put it in a fancy binder or something:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/37v/sequences_in_alternative_formats/

Comment by interpolate on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-23T03:07:40.850Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

These aren't so much "stupid" questions but ones which have no clear answer, and I'm curious what people here feel have to say about this.

-Why should (or shouldn't) one aspire to be "good" in the sense of prosocial, altruistic etc.?

-Why should (or shouldn't) one attempt to be as honest as possible in their day to day lives?

I have strong altruistic inclinations because that's how I'm predisposed to be and often because coincides with my values; other people's suffering upsets me and I would prefer to live a world in which people are kind and supportive of each other. I want to be nice, but I don't want to want to be nice; I can't find strong rational reasons to be altruistic.

I'm honest with people I voluntarily interact with, but ambivalent about lying in general. For example, I'm currently on sort of intermittent fasting regimen and if someone I'm not particularly familiar with offers food, I tend to say "I've already ate" rather than giving my real reason for abstaining from. I've seen it argued that lying to others will make you more likely to lie to yourself, but I'm unconvinced this is the case.

Comment by interpolate on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2012-01-04T15:49:44.454Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I wish I could upvote this more than once.

Comment by interpolate on Melbourne Less Wrong Meetup for November · 2010-10-16T05:01:14.010Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps this is juvenile, but I think it would be amusing if part of the meetup consisted of zealously handing out "The Twelve Virtues of Rationality" pamphlets (which conveniently is available in pamphlet form: http://yudkowsky.net/assets/pdf/twelve_virtues.pdf); like you see Christians handing out evangelistic paraphernalia in shopping malls, street corners etc. Ideally in some sort of uniform dress, like monastic (Bayesian master inspired: http://lesswrong.com/static/imported/2008/03/27/elimonk2darker.jpg) cloaks.

Or if you could integrate the pamphlet distribution as part of a flash mob activity/public prank.

Comment by interpolate on Nootropics and Cognitive-enhancement Discussion Area · 2010-10-09T00:48:57.755Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Modafinil is something I've wanted to try for some time. How did you acquire it?

Comment by interpolate on How to better understand and participate on LW · 2010-10-08T18:36:29.272Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The original edit was titled "Prerequisites for understanding and participating on LW", in line with cousin_it's post. The aim is to guide people to relevant information.

Some elucidation of the implicit norms of what kind of posts or comments are worthwhile could be useful to newcomers.

Maybe you could write one?

Comment by interpolate on Nootropics and Cognitive-enhancement Discussion Area · 2010-10-08T18:07:59.131Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was told by a friend who reports to have drastically benefitted from Piracetam that it requires ~2 weeks to take effect, based on his and his housemate's experiences. I abandoned a piracetam regime a few days in because it had little observable effect besides increasing energy, currently a few days into my second attempt.

ETA: Each of us supplemented it with Choline, sourced http://www.nutraplanet.com/product/primaforce/piracetam-choline-citrate-stack-1-1-units.html

Comment by interpolate on How to better understand and participate on LW · 2010-10-08T16:40:31.171Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not disturbed, just in disagreeance. A simple rewording of the post and title into something like "how to better understand Less Wrong" would stop it being potentially off-putting to new users.

Comment by interpolate on How to better understand and participate on LW · 2010-10-08T16:38:40.626Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is great, thanks. Although I don't agree all of this is prerequisite for reading/participating/benefitting from Less Wrong, I'm sure it will useful for anyone autodidactically inclined, and I like how you've categorised and explained them according to how they pertain to topics discussed here.

I would add to the list: http://academicearth.org/ (similar to, but of a much higher quality than Khan Academy)

Comment by interpolate on What I wish the internet had: pharmaceutical forum · 2010-10-08T14:16:41.803Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

At least one already exists: http://www.bluelight.ru/vb/

Comment by interpolate on Melbourne Less Wrong Meetup · 2010-10-05T21:22:23.755Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How did this go? I'm not in Melbourne, but I am in Australia so if I ever visit I think I would like to attend one.

Comment by interpolate on Slava! · 2010-10-03T12:57:05.155Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In suit:

Balulalow - Britten

Miserere mei, Deus - Allegri

Ave Maria - Caccini*

*actual composer in dispute

Comment by interpolate on The Irrationality Game · 2010-10-03T11:29:20.775Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I downvoted this, and consider the artistic and cultural contributions of religion to society to alone warrant this assertion.

Comment by interpolate on The Irrationality Game · 2010-10-03T11:20:26.451Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It does not all add up to normality. We are living in a weird universe. (75%)

My initial reaction was that this is not a statement of belief but one of opinion, and to think like reality.

We are living in a Fun Theory universe where we find ourselves as individual or aggregate fun theoretic agents, or something else really bizarre that is not explained by naive Less Wrong rationality, such as multiversal agents playing with lots of humanity's measure.

I'm still not entirely sure what you mean (further elaboration would be very welcome), but going by a naive understanding I upvoted your comment based on the principle of Occam's Razor - whatever your reasons for believing this (presumably perceived inconsistencies, paradoxes etc. in the observable world, physics etc.) I doubt your conceived "weird" universe would the simplest explanation. Additionally, that conceived weird universe in addition to lacking epistemic/empirical ground begs for more explanation than the understanding/lack thereof of the universe/reality that's more of less shared by current scientific consensus.

If I'm understanding correctly, your argument for the existence of a "weird universe" is analagous to an argument for the existence of God (or the supernatural, for that matter): where by introducing some cosmic force beyond reason and empiricism, we eliminate the problem of there being phenomena which can't be explained by it.

Comment by interpolate on Open Thread, September, 2010-- part 2 · 2010-09-25T20:17:54.674Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I realise he is a med student, which is why I suggested "at work". Maybe this is a personal quirk, but people in surgical scrubs exude compassion and approachibility to me. Conversely, pictures of people at work in an office setting usually seem impersonal and/or trite to me.

Comment by interpolate on Open Thread, September, 2010-- part 2 · 2010-09-25T18:26:52.016Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would make your third picture your display picture.

I don't have many specific names/titles listed in the favourites section, but I found that I received more messages when I did.

Comment by interpolate on Open Thread, September, 2010-- part 2 · 2010-09-25T18:11:01.255Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I get the sense that your profile content doesn't do you justice - perhaps you could afford to be more arrogant? No one you want to meet would find you boring.

I like most of your pictures, but I would include a few where you look more friendly and approachable, eg. pictures of you at work.

Comment by interpolate on Intelligence Amplification Open Thread · 2010-09-20T04:54:01.764Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Is neorationalist the term we are adopting for the kind of Rationality espoused on LW, to distinguish from Cartesian Rationalism?

Comment by interpolate on September Less Wrong Meetup aka Eliezer's Bayesian Birthday Bash · 2010-09-09T05:30:00.951Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

http://wiki.lesswrong.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Special:ListUsers&limit=1500

Comment by interpolate on September Less Wrong Meetup aka Eliezer's Bayesian Birthday Bash · 2010-09-09T05:26:23.921Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps that is when the universe is due to expire.

Comment by interpolate on Should I believe what the SIAI claims? · 2010-08-14T03:58:50.135Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I upvoted the original post for:

  • Stimulating critical discussion of the Less Wrong community - specifically: the beliefs almost unanimously shared, and the negativity towards criticsm; as someone who has found Less Wrong extremely helpful, and would hate to see it descend into groupthink and affiliation signalling.

A question to those who dismiss the OP as merely "noise": what do you make of the nature of this post?

  • Stimulating critical discussion of the operating premises of the SIAI; as someone who is considering donating and otherwise contributing. This additionally provides elucidation to those in a state of epistemic limbo regarding the various aspects of FAI and the Singularity.

I am reminded of this passage regarding online communities (source):

So there's this very complicated moment of a group coming together, where enough individuals, for whatever reason, sort of agree that something worthwhile is happening, and the decision they make at that moment is: This is good and must be protected. And at that moment, even if it's subconscious, you start getting group effects. And the effects that we've seen come up over and over and over again in online communities...

The first is sex talk, what he called, in his mid-century prose, "A group met for pairing off." And what that means is, the group conceives of its purpose as the hosting of flirtatious or salacious talk or emotions passing between pairs of members...

The second basic pattern that Bion detailed: The identification and vilification of external enemies. This is a very common pattern. Anyone who was around the Open Source movement in the mid-Nineties could see this all the time...

The third pattern Bion identified: Religious veneration. The nomination and worship of a religious icon or a set of religious tenets. The religious pattern is, essentially, we have nominated something that's beyond critique. You can see this pattern on the Internet any day you like...

So these are human patterns that have shown up on the Internet, not because of the software, but because it's being used by humans. Bion has identified this possibility of groups sandbagging their sophisticated goals with these basic urges. And what he finally came to, in analyzing this tension, is that group structure is necessary. Robert's Rules of Order are necessary. Constitutions are necessary. Norms, rituals, laws, the whole list of ways that we say, out of the universe of possible behaviors, we're going to draw a relatively small circle around the acceptable ones.

He said the group structure is necessary to defend the group from itself. Group structure exists to keep a group on target, on track, on message, on charter, whatever. To keep a group focused on its own sophisticated goals and to keep a group from sliding into these basic patterns. Group structure defends the group from the action of its own members.

Comment by interpolate on Book Recommendations · 2010-08-11T11:54:13.697Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There isn't a copy of The MIT Encylopedia of Cognitive Sciences lying around, or is it not specific enough? (For those interested, the surprisingly navigatable pdf version can be downloaded surreptitiously here)

EDIT: Amazon shows Mapping the Mind as a suggestion after viewing MITECS; from a cursory glance it seems topical.

Comment by interpolate on Open Thread, August 2010 · 2010-08-07T06:58:08.499Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If he is gifted and interested in science, introducing him to lesswrong, rationality and the Singularity could have a substantial positive impact on his academic development. What would be the worst that could happen?