As there are a number of podcasts by LWers now, I've made a wiki page for them 2017-05-26T07:34:19.969Z
Meetup : West LA—R:AZ Part E, Overly Convenient Excuses 2015-05-01T23:20:08.938Z
Meetup : West LA—R:AZ Part D, Mysterious Answers 2015-04-12T08:01:51.156Z
Meetup : West LA—R:AZ Part C, Noticing Confusion 2015-04-03T07:51:19.756Z
Meetup : West LA—R:AZ Part B, Fake Beliefs 2015-03-27T08:28:20.336Z
Meetup : West LA—Sphexishness and Meta-Sphexishness 2015-02-13T02:41:43.256Z
Meetup : West LA—Keep Your Identity Small 2015-01-16T03:51:53.875Z
Meetup : West LA—What Is FAI? 2015-01-01T17:35:48.621Z
Meetup : West LA—DUMP STAT 2014-12-07T05:32:23.708Z
Meetup : West LA—The Relativity of Wrong 2014-11-21T13:48:33.290Z
Meetup : West LA—The Worst Argument in the World 2014-09-26T04:24:48.117Z
Meetup : West LA—Inflation of Terminology 2014-09-21T16:07:41.241Z
Meetup : West LA—The Hierarchy of Requests 2014-09-14T23:33:57.171Z
Meetup : West LA—Behold Moloch! Beware of Moloch! 2014-07-31T08:57:29.882Z
Meetup : West LA—Honor and Glory 2014-04-24T22:24:24.263Z
Meetup : West LA—Expert At Vs. Expert On 2014-03-07T10:10:14.961Z
Meetup : West LA—Practical Taoism 2014-02-21T08:05:38.146Z
Meetup : [ALERT] West LA [ALERT] Location Change!! 2014-02-06T08:50:24.171Z
Meetup : West LA—How to Live on 22 Hours a Day 2014-01-06T06:11:51.012Z
Meetup : West LA—A Conversation About Conversations 2013-11-29T00:01:31.620Z
Meetup : West LA—In Apprehending Hard Stuff 2013-11-14T16:17:21.558Z
Meetup : West LA—The Merits of Specificity 2013-11-08T04:20:52.149Z
Meetup : West LA—Inside the 5-Second Level 2013-10-25T21:17:21.833Z
Meetup : West LA—Talk Like a Pirate Day 2013-09-13T10:20:56.601Z
Meetup : West LA—What, Exactly, Is a Person? 2013-09-05T10:56:17.945Z
Meetup : West LA—Nothing in Particular 2013-08-23T21:29:58.530Z
Meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion 2013-08-09T06:07:27.370Z
Meetup : West LA Meetup—Introduction to Anthropics 2013-07-26T00:51:00.460Z
Open Thread, February 1-14, 2013 2013-02-01T08:26:17.065Z
Open Thread, January 16-31, 2013 2013-01-15T15:50:33.238Z
Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 2013-01-01T06:09:02.403Z
Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 2012-12-16T06:26:14.512Z
Open Thread, December 1-15, 2012 2012-12-01T05:00:57.988Z
Open Thread, November 1-15, 2012 2012-11-02T02:11:24.517Z
Open Thread, October 16-31, 2012 2012-10-16T22:43:18.801Z
Open Thread, September 15-30, 2012 2012-09-15T04:41:03.869Z
Open Thread, September 1-15, 2012 2012-09-01T08:13:47.695Z
Open Thread, August 16-31, 2012 2012-08-15T03:25:30.869Z
Open Thread, August 1-15, 2012 2012-08-01T15:39:18.317Z
Open Thread, July 16-31, 2012 2012-07-16T12:47:22.516Z
Stupid Questions Open Thread Round 3 2012-07-07T17:16:15.592Z
Open Thread, July 1-15, 2012 2012-07-01T22:45:37.450Z
Open Thread, June 16-30, 2012 2012-06-15T04:45:10.875Z
Rationality Quotes June 2012 2012-06-02T17:14:39.130Z
Open Thread, June 1-15, 2012 2012-06-01T04:01:13.236Z
Open Thread, May 16-31, 2012 2012-05-16T07:36:59.871Z
Rationality Quotes May 2012 2012-05-01T23:37:37.317Z
Open Thread, May 1-15, 2012 2012-05-01T04:14:51.616Z
Stupid Questions Open Thread Round 2 2012-04-20T19:38:25.958Z
Open Thread, April 1-15, 2012 2012-04-01T04:24:34.672Z


Comment by OpenThreadGuy on As there are a number of podcasts by LWers now, I've made a wiki page for them · 2017-05-26T07:36:45.652Z · LW · GW

As there were some podcasts on the List of Blogs page, I've removed them from that page.

It goes without saying that if you disagree with my decision to make this page, or what I wrote in it, you can make your own edits.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-20T21:26:38.645Z · LW · GW

I desperately want something like this, so long as it is anywhere other than the bay area. god help me, I will avoid living there if it means being as socially isolated as I currently am forever

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on A List of Nuances · 2014-11-13T13:05:00.180Z · LW · GW

I agree that it makes sense there.

The reason I put it where it is, is: belief-edifice-memeplex-paradigm-framework-system-movement-whatevers have members who say different things. Some members say things that are more like a motte and others say things that are more like a bailey. Even if the individual members consistently claim one or the other, this looks suspiciously like a group responding to incentives by committing the fallacy.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Summary of the first SoCal FAI Workshop · 2014-04-30T18:13:40.119Z · LW · GW

I was there.

"but most of our time was spent thinking about probability distributions on consistent theories" seems incorrect to me, unless I'm a lot more confused than I thought I was. What I saw was that we spent an equal amount of time on essentially three topics:

  1. Trying to manufacture a truth-predicate weaker than provability but still able to do work, for getting around Löb's theorem;
  2. Binary logical versions/formulations of Solomonoff Induction (Abram's prior);
  3. What to do if you have an inconsistent set of probabilities over sentences / how to turn inconsistent probabilities into a prior (probability distributions on consistent theories).

(The hosts then talked about #3 for seven more hours after the official end of the mini-workshop. Scott apparently spent n hours after that writing down what he had talked and thought about. And then it was a dead end. Таких математике!)

Despite my lack of math knowledge, I enjoyed attending. I am even told that I did not distract everyone with my stupid questions and uninteresting ideas, so I will go to future ones as well.

The other participants were madmen. They didn't take any breaks at all, only furiously bashed brains against unsolvable problems, demanding solutions from the aether and holding their ideas hostage until some otherworldly god, some invisible champion of mathematics relented to give them what they want. They did not succeed, nor did they fail, for they have not given up. To tell the truth, it was a little bit frightening.

I got all excited about math because of this, which may or may not be a positive effect, and hopefully next time I'll have read some of the relevant papers, and understood more than a modicum.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup Report Thread: February 2014 · 2014-02-17T06:34:54.275Z · LW · GW

Capital idea, old sport. I was considering making a thread about our group, but now there's no need. Supposing then that I, Grognor, should kick things off with a State of the Union address for the West Los Angeles LW meetups, eh, wot?

Our relocation last week went well. It was my goal to make it as difficult as possible not to know we had Officially Moved Somewhere Else; to that end I mentioned it in every single paragraph in the meetup post and the post to the mailing list, and individually messaged everyone I could contact who had ever attended who was not there when we agreed to move, two weeks ago. To the extent that this means anything, it means fast food places with good acoustics (no matter how loud we are in the back, you can't hear us at the front! which is cool) are better than dark, noisy, out-of-the-way bars where closed-to-the-public events frequently happen.

Abram recently proposed (because we are ostensibly a Less Wrong meetup group) that each week we openly report on rational or irrational things we've noticed ourselves doing since the last date of attendance, or whenever, really. I think it's a good idea, as it may provide useful feedback, motivation for the speakers, and inspiration to the audience, but it's been difficult to put into practice, because people naturally tend to talk of sundrier things, and because it's just really difficult to keep track of one's rationality. "The" checklist is unwieldy and there are still few objective day-to-day rationality metrics. I'm going to keep trying, though.

Over the last year, there has been a transition from/to, and a tension between, more practical meetup topics, and more theoretical, mathematical ones. I think this distinction is unprincipled and lacking in nuance; nevertheless it exists, and to the extent I do not say "mu" to the very framework, I lean toward the theoretical and the mathematical. This even though the meetups I've hosted have been more on the former side, with two exceptions. This is entirely because I don't know enough math, which I now consider a character flaw. One which I am remedying, 'ho!.

A couple of times, we've played a game called Contact, which is surprisingly fun for something that requires no equipment. It has nothing to do with rationality. We have played The Resistance a few times, which has received mixed reactions. Anton has introduced us to Quantum Go-Fish (also called Quantum Fingers, although Anton's name is better), which everyone likes the idea of but is really hard to play. There are basically two versions: one where we have cards and paperclips and everyone tries to play, and the version where we try to keep track of everything in our heads and on our fingers and all the fun is from everybody getting confused about the actual state of the game. The latter might be called "Drunken Quantum Go-Fish", since there's no reason to play it while sober. We have not tried the former. We haven't tried very many activities together, nor projects, even though I've tried to inspire people to make something more out of the group.

It seems most others just want a group to hang out with on Wednesday nights, and I'm the only one that wants to do some useful stuff with the group. This is okay; people shouldn't engineer some project just because I want them to. However, some of us have a Secret Awesome Thing in the works; stay tuned, but don't be surprised if it produces nothing.

This comment is already pretty long, so I might as well soapbox a bit: The "How to Run a Successful Less Wrong Meetup Group" PDF is terrible. It's full of gross salesman prose and useless pictures that require more scrolling, and because it's two columns, half the scrolling you must do is upways. If no one else wants to be a hero, I might just (with the blessing of (Luke? Kaj? whoever owns this thing)) condense it into a proper LW post or wiki article like it should have been all along, if I have another burst of mania like the one that caused this comment. and free access to a CFAR workshop.

For lack of a better name, The West LA LW Meetup Group is a fun and growing crowd. By the ever-reliable metric of "intuition", I think we are a successful group, in part thanks to me. We seem to be unique in that, rather than having zero hosts or one person who hosts every time, whoever feels like hosting the next meetup just goes ahead and does so. We meet every week, but when no one feels like hosting, the meetup is unannounced, on both this site and the mailing list, and attendance is smaller when that happens. I prefer these meetups, because they are more intimate and less stressful, although this is an uncommon sentiment. I might prefer if "someone" took over and hosted every meetup, to reduce the total number of decisions we collectively have to make about who hosts.

I really appreciate this crowd. They have directly improved my life, not only with their presence but also with acts of kindness and of prudence, and I have improved theirs with my stage presence and the items I give to every newcomer. The West LA LW Meetup Group is approximately my entire meatspace social life, and thus I say hooray.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Book Review: Computability and Logic · 2013-11-22T12:11:31.462Z · LW · GW

A friend lent me this exact book recently, and while I followed the first chapter, I quickly gave up upon encountering the exercises, because I could not even do the first one. At all.

I don't think I am stupid, so I hope you're just underestimating the required mathematical thinking experience (if not actual background knowledge, none of which is assumed) required to get through this book. Mathematicians do so as a rule.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup: Somewhere you do not live even close to · 2013-11-08T06:50:35.532Z · LW · GW

The "Add new meetup" button automatically creates a discussion post, in addition to posting to /meetups (which already exists).

When I used to actually read this site, this annoyed me too, so I'd be fine with removing that "feature".

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup: Somewhere you do not live even close to · 2013-11-08T06:48:24.644Z · LW · GW

This does not work for meetup groups that have a different topic every time, like ours does. I'm going to ask the group whether they think this is a good idea, but membership is getting a bit poorer and it might still impact that.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup : West LA Meetup: What are the odds? · 2013-09-30T21:16:27.632Z · LW · GW

Recommended reading:

(Also, this meetup will be at 7pm, not 7am.)

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion · 2013-08-11T06:31:47.032Z · LW · GW

wouldn't you, if you were her?

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup : West LA Meetup—Confess Your Unpopular Opinion · 2013-08-09T18:28:26.194Z · LW · GW

I have no idea. I just included it because it was Sister Y

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup : West LA Meetup—Introduction to Anthropics · 2013-08-02T03:30:00.799Z · LW · GW

yes, all of the people who recognized it was a joke

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Meetup : Group Decision Making (the good, the bad, and the confusion of welfare economics) · 2013-05-02T04:00:57.246Z · LW · GW

Oh, no wonder no one else was there. It's May 8, not May 1.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, March 1-15, 2013 · 2013-03-03T17:56:31.107Z · LW · GW

For various reasons, I cannot make open threads anymore, ever again.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, January 16-31, 2013 · 2013-01-19T04:44:35.279Z · LW · GW

I've played and loved all of Matt Roszak's games. He is good at making games.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, January 16-31, 2013 · 2013-01-15T15:53:52.810Z · LW · GW

I'm moving to Los Angeles. I leave on the 21st. If anyone along this or another route wants to give me a shower and bed for a night, it will soon be your chance to do so!

By the way, I am Grognor. I created this account because I didn't want to get karma for posting open threads or the monthly rationality quotes threads.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-20T22:42:15.810Z · LW · GW

An untitled Christmas poem, in the style of Dr. Seuss, by Yvain.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Less Wrong Polls in Comments · 2012-09-20T03:04:27.904Z · LW · GW

Psh, of course rationalists think Twilight Sparkle is the best pony.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, August 16-31, 2012 · 2012-08-30T02:18:53.381Z · LW · GW

Congratulations to Vladimir Nesov for passing Anna Salamon in karma and making it to the top contributors, all time list.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, August 16-31, 2012 · 2012-08-28T05:44:48.089Z · LW · GW

I don't think this reasoning actually makes sense, but regardless, why do you think this makes it okay for other people to die, if they don't want to? That's what deathism is.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world? · 2012-08-28T04:40:08.579Z · LW · GW

Ending on a high note: "Deontology is the philosophy of enshrining the Worst Argument In The World as the only acceptable form of moral reasoning." Discuss.

-Original (and in my opinion better) version of this article

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, August 16-31, 2012 · 2012-08-15T03:27:48.823Z · LW · GW

PSA: If you want there to be a new Stupid Questions Open Thread, make it yourself! There is not and never has been a rule against this. I consider the "how often to make them" question unanswered, but a good interim answer is, "whenever someone feels like making one".

(Also, my computer broke, and so I posted this from a Wii, which is incapable of using the article editor. If someone could kindly edit "the sentence" into the post.)

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on A "landing page" for scientific naturalism · 2012-07-24T00:47:06.451Z · LW · GW

Do you downvote all of my submissions, since this is a sock-puppet account?

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, May 1-15, 2012 · 2012-05-11T19:35:53.107Z · LW · GW

I will not be able to post the May 16-31 open thread until ten hours after midnight EST.

Edit: Circumstances have changed. I will be able to post it on time. (Thus, comment retracted.)

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Stupid Questions Open Thread Round 2 · 2012-04-20T20:52:41.805Z · LW · GW

I'm a guy.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, April 16 - 30, 2012 · 2012-04-16T06:30:59.348Z · LW · GW

[Meta] I hope it's okay that I posted the new open thread. Don't know what the procedure is, if any. I wanted to post something, but saw the last open thread was out of date. Please moderate/correct as appropriate.[/Meta]

you broke the code

Edit: Not really, anyone can make the open threads. But I've been doing it for a little while and I think it's a little strange that someone else did it when I'm only two hours late. C'est la vie.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on You only live once: a reframing of working towards posthumanity · 2012-04-04T21:51:02.809Z · LW · GW

Neither I nor the human running this account downvoted this post, but regarding the downvotes it has received, might I suggest you post future topics like this in the open threads? I think this would be quite well-received there!

Remember, open threads are our friends! We should love and respect (and use) them.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, March 16-31, 2012 · 2012-03-16T05:25:01.591Z · LW · GW

Karma balance: do the opposite of whatever you did for the parent comment. (Not that it matters much, since this is a sock-puppet account!)

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, March 16-31, 2012 · 2012-03-16T05:24:37.240Z · LW · GW

Upvote this comment if you prefer the status quo of two open threads per month. Downvote it if you prefer to go back to one open thread per month.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, March 16-31, 2012 · 2012-03-16T05:23:48.123Z · LW · GW

Activity on these seems to be dying down, so my own reply to this comment is a poll.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on Open Thread, March 1-15, 2012 · 2012-03-07T05:29:12.854Z · LW · GW

Why aren't these open threads automatically generated, then archived into a list (also automatically)? The same could be said for the monthly quote threads and the Welcome to Less Wrong threads and the HPMoR threads. I don't understand.

Comment by OpenThreadGuy on January 1-14, 2012 Open Thread · 2012-01-16T00:36:12.482Z · LW · GW

I plan to make a post for the second half of this month because daenerys hasn't made one yet. Can I have a couple of karma points so I can make it happen?