Comment by mercury on Are we in an AI overhang? · 2020-07-28T23:58:05.290Z · LW · GW

I just realized with a start that this is _absolutely_ going to happen. We are going to, in the not-too-distant-future see a GPT-x (or similar) be ported to a Tesla and drive it.

It frustrates me that there are not enough people IRL I can excitedly talk about how big of a deal this is.

Comment by mercury on Attacking enlightenment · 2018-10-01T16:09:48.344Z · LW · GW

As somebody who has attempted a goal-oriented practice and failed (and continues to fail :P), I agree with these sentiments :)

value of both inter-generational accumulated wisdom


Comment by mercury on Attacking enlightenment · 2018-10-01T15:53:47.906Z · LW · GW
What's the value proposition of enlightenment?

Like Elo said, it's quite difficult to describe. MTCB has an entire chapter on what Enlightenment is not as well as what is. My understanding is that Enlightenment is the state of seeing fundamental reality clearly, which:

  • removes an entire class of suffering: "delusional" identification with the self, which causes obsessive rumination, worrying about your status/position in the world, etc.
  • improves your relationship with others: related to the above, once you see how you're actually not a separate, disconnected entity and very much part of this world, you "play well" with others.
  • provides access to states of extreme bliss, equanimity.
choice between taking up organized religion and going to church or taking up spirituality

Many people (including me) feel that there are many paths to achieving the intended outcomes of introspective practices, and that they are mostly equally valid. Some traditions and practices are arguably more effective, helpful, conducive to your philosophies, etc. It doesn't matter which route you take up the mountain, as long as you are climbing the right one, not using the wrong maps, etc.

The reason I personally prefer the maps provided by Buddhism is that they can be used independently of Buddhist religious dogma, which is not possible with, let's say, Christianity. There is no reason you can't achieve the same results with Christianity, but arguably it'd be more difficult, and the dogma is a necessary component. whereas meditation lends itself quite well to empiricism. "Do these practices, and you'll observe these results".

most of the value in the book would come from people getting together IRL and actually doing them


and I haven't heard of anyone doing this

Check out communities like :)