Let's fix the RSS feed so it doesn't re-post articles every time their titles are edited (forgot the hyphen in "re-post") 2012-01-28T22:17:01.927Z


Comment by postal_scale on Far negatives of cryonics? · 2012-06-02T06:09:20.464Z · LW · GW

One thing is for sure: whether in a good way or a bad way, cryonics is your ticket to adventuretown! Books and movies agree.

Comment by postal_scale on Learn A New Language! · 2012-05-20T17:53:34.080Z · LW · GW

I can scarcely imagine myself being fired up enough about something to use that much emphasis, so it seems unlikely your "get super motivated!!!" strategy will be very useful for me.

Comment by postal_scale on General purpose intelligence: arguing the Orthogonality thesis · 2012-05-15T17:49:28.071Z · LW · GW

It does indeed imply a form of convergence. I would assume Stuart thinks of the convergence as an artifact of the game environment the agents are in. Not a convergence in goals, just behavior. Albeit the results are basically the same.

Comment by postal_scale on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2012-04-29T08:34:43.699Z · LW · GW

Who would win in a fight, Harry Potter-Evans-Verres, or the Harry Potter from Wizard People, Dear Reader?

Comment by postal_scale on My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination · 2012-03-28T14:48:48.251Z · LW · GW

Adderall XR, currently 40 mg per day.

Comment by postal_scale on My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination · 2012-03-27T01:43:29.499Z · LW · GW

This is pretty close what I meant by "the absolute absurdity of all goals"; if you hold no "actual", terminal values, than goals are silly. I identify more with myself-while-energetic than with myself-while-apathetic, even when I'm apathetic, and so I feel like I have some stable, difficult goals even when I don't feel like a care about them.

I think I'm the reverse, I identify more with myself-while-apathetic even while energetic. I can drug myself into a state where I enjoy working on difficult projects all day, and I even enjoy it, but it still doesn't feel like I have stable goals. Maybe that will change with time.

Then again, in this new brain-state I can bring myself to care about almost anything that's put in front of me. Instead of caring about nothing, regardless of how important, I care about everything, regardless of how trivial. If nothing else presents itself as a task, I can easily spend the better part of an hour rewording a paragraph in hundreds of different permutations until I find the one that's best (regardless of what that paragraph is about).

I don't feel like my apathy is abnormal in and of itself, but combined with being more aware of the big picture, and thinking more about the future, it seems more troubling. Most people have nothing but the life in front of their noses, working at a grocery store or whatever, and so their listlessness is entirely natural. I'm different. Like you, and like many people on this site, I have vision, I can see that the world is at a crossroads and that I have the potential to change its course. And yet, I still feel nothing, while it seems like the rest of you are enthusiastic.

I'm definitely made tired by socializing with other people, but usually happier - a lot like how most people describe being tired but feeling good right after exercise. What you describe sounds like needing to work hard to spent time with people you don't actually like, which is tiring and unpleasant in the short-term and long-term.

I do genuinely enjoy it while I'm doing it, there's just an unpleasant aftereffect. But maybe you're right, and I don't actually like any of these people. If that's the case, I'm not sure what to do, though. If I don't actually like anyone I've met, what does that mean? That I have a personality disorder? That everyone else sucks?

Comment by postal_scale on My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination · 2012-03-15T06:55:12.091Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the tips. I actually used to do the "anywhere but here" walk in no particular direction thing myself, although in my case rather than a length of time I'd generally walk until i got lost.

It never really improved my mood though, it just killed time.

Once I walked for 11 hours and ended up at a venetian blind factory.

Comment by postal_scale on My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination · 2012-03-15T04:25:44.348Z · LW · GW

I'm not sure I believe in actual values, except as revealed by actual actions. I do think of apathy as a mood, but it generally feels like moods are all that's... there.

I'm not actually as unhappy as the way I wrote that post might be read to indicate. The swearing was meant in the tone of carelessness, not anger, though admittedly when I see other people swear in text I tend to read it as anger as well.

Exercise makes me tired. Socialization elevates my mood while i'm socializing, but afterwards there's a feeling of revulsion, an intellectual emptiness (even after socializing with smart people) and a mental itchiness as I shed the sociable personality I chameleoned into. Achieving a new goal feels like water tastes.

My mood improves when I find or think of something funny or interesting, but as a jaded internet addict this is a fairly high bar, and it doesn't really motivate me to do anything other than search more of the space that had the funny and interesting thing in it, which is procrastination most of the time.

Recently i've found my productivity and mood are both significantly enhanced by amphetamines, though I cannot attest to the long-term effectiveness of this strategy.

Comment by postal_scale on My Algorithm for Beating Procrastination · 2012-02-08T20:16:02.322Z · LW · GW

None of this kind of shit ever works for me, because it seems to assume I'm a bright-eyed go-getter at heart, blundering about and playing video games when I know I should be writing my dissertation, and oh, if only there were an equation made of words that would show me the problem with my motivation pathways. (And if only the post title would change three times so it shows up thrice in my RSS feeds!)

Instead, it's more of an all-pervasive apathy that seems to go all the way to my terminal goals. I think "what do I really want to be doing right now? where do I want to be at the end of the day, or the end of the year?" and there's just nothing there.


Comment by postal_scale on Elevator pitches/responses for rationality / AI · 2012-02-03T23:36:39.392Z · LW · GW

No joke intended, but how much more skeptical are you, percentage-wise, of numerical probability estimates than vague, natural language probability estimates? Please disguise your intuitive sense of your feelings as a form of math.

Ideally, deliver your answer in a C-3PO voice.

Comment by postal_scale on Designing Ritual · 2012-01-11T04:07:45.015Z · LW · GW


Comment by postal_scale on Handling Emotional Appeals · 2011-12-10T11:45:49.006Z · LW · GW

I'm indifferent to emotional appeals by nature rather than averse to them as a defense mechanism.

I don't think this community is particularly bad at getting things done or working together, and I certainly reject the unspoken idea that the people here are so brilliant, if only we could get them pumped up, they'd go out and save the world. People don't do things here for the same reasons people don't do things everywhere: doing stuff is hard and nobody has any good ideas anyway.

Comment by postal_scale on How is your mind different from everyone else's? · 2011-12-10T11:37:54.369Z · LW · GW

Can you elucidate why, and indeed what it is you're actually doing when you pray/worship?

Comment by postal_scale on How is your mind different from everyone else's? · 2011-12-06T20:18:30.943Z · LW · GW

Were you raised in a religious family?