Comment by raisin on What resources have increasing marginal utility? · 2014-06-14T15:05:30.564Z · LW · GW

Time spent with fiction when it's about some coherent body, be it a video game, book, tv series etc. Usually, the more time you spend with that coherent fictional body, the more immersed you become which means you can enjoy it more.

Comment by raisin on What resources have increasing marginal utility? · 2014-06-14T14:48:26.220Z · LW · GW

That clears it, thanks. The sentence "I'd rather spend time with friends than strangers." just confused me a little because I wasn't sure if you were comparing time spent with friends vs. strangers.

edit. Now I understood it. You were talking about the whole timespan from the start of the friendship until the last moment. I thought at first that you were talking about a single session spent with an individual

Comment by raisin on What resources have increasing marginal utility? · 2014-06-14T13:28:55.139Z · LW · GW

I don't understand the last one. Is the thing that is measured here the quality of individuals you spend time with, or the quality of time you spend with individuals, or the amount of time? In any case, you should elaborate.

Comment by raisin on Rationality Quotes June 2014 · 2014-06-12T11:37:01.720Z · LW · GW

It tells a lot about the way our brains are built that you have to consciously remind yourself of this in the course of the argument and it doesn't really come naturally.

Comment by raisin on [Meta] The Decline of Discussion: Now With Charts! · 2014-06-12T07:02:30.121Z · LW · GW

Do you think LW has succeeded because EY attempted to make it a well-kept garden?

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 9-15 June 2014 · 2014-06-10T09:18:21.514Z · LW · GW

You seem to dislike the QM sequence on LW. Besides those links (they're quite short), is there anything else that you'd recommend to read instead of the QM sequence that would be as easy to understand for a layman and would offer significant insight on MWI position? In short, is there anything that would offer the same utility that the QM sequence offers, but in a better manner?

Comment by raisin on Links! · 2014-06-10T09:05:06.298Z · LW · GW

You can access the mockery videos by Robert Gross once again.

Okay, honestly. I think they're pretty bad and lame.

But this recap of maybe the most funniest thing I've read on LessWrong is quite good. But the ending kinda ruins it, I don't think lukeprog is woman-objectifying misogyny rationalizing whatever, I just thought it was adorable.

Comment by raisin on [Meta] The Decline of Discussion: Now With Charts! · 2014-06-05T20:42:21.125Z · LW · GW

I think the most interesting was the discussion about 4chan

You know, Eliezer made that same comparison in his awful and often-referenced “Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism”. It seems to me that 4chan is a wildly successful community, and I can only dream of what a 4chan whose initial core community was made up of aspiring rationalists instead of anime perverts would be like.

The well-kept garden thing obviously hasn't succeeded as planned, so should we be aspiring for some kind of 4chan for rationalists?

Comment by raisin on [Meta] The Decline of Discussion: Now With Charts! · 2014-06-05T05:07:57.417Z · LW · GW

I think a big issue is that any of the big contributors of the past, lukeprog, EY, Yvain, gwern, Kaj_Sotala etc. aren't writing articles here anymore and there is no other similarly good and popular writer that would do the same today. There is no purpose coming here, except for the Open Threads. Posting and making comments itself is not very fun because you always have to watch out what you say.

Anything that requires many people to change their habits probably won't going to happen. Changing norms is difficult for the same reason, so idea D is possible, but a bit hard.

I think a combination of

a more co-operative and cheerful style of discussion


allowing and encouraging submissions of rationalism, artificial intelligence, transhumanism etc related articles from elsewhere, possibly as a separate category.

and generally allowing a more free discussion about related "fun" issues

could work, but I don't know how would you go about implementing the first one. Like I said, changing norms and habits is a bit difficult and making announcement to the effect of "Be more co-operative and cheerful" is probably going to work as well as announcing "Be nice and don't bully!" in schools. Just relaxing moderation wouldn't be enough. Because honestly, I haven't even noticed any moderation here, there's just the feeling of it.

There's the possibility of starting from scratch and making the subreddit /r/lesswrong more active. Then changing habits and community norms wouldn't be such a big problem. LW related subreddits like /r/rational and /r/HPMOR are already pretty active so expanding this "LW cluster" on reddit would only be natural progression. But I feel like even if that happened, it wouldn't be a satisfying solution for many.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-06-01T06:10:59.784Z · LW · GW

In your post I saw several signs that suggest you don't really want to die. You postponed it out of consideration for your relative (i.e. you still care about things in this world). Every day you wake up less sure of doing it than you were the previous night. You still find the idea repulsive on a gut level. By what I'm about to say I mean absolutely no disrespect, and I don't intend in any way to minimize what you're feeling, but as someone who has been terribly depressed before, I can assure you that people who are resolved to suicide find the idea comforting, not unnerving. From your words it's clear you want the pain to end, but not to end it all.

I think I kinda got obsessed with this part of your post and started thinking really much about it (sorry for ignoring all the other advice in your posts). Mainly because I realized that I even suck at being suicidal - I'm not good at even that, haha. I guess I shouldn't care about things in this world if I'm suicidal. With that in mind I decided to advance it by a week, so umm... today. I have a big amount cognitive dissonance, I still suck at this "really wanting to die" business, but maybe I'll push through.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T17:37:57.226Z · LW · GW

Normally the first rule of responding to a suicidal poster on a web forum would be advising you to get professional help, call an emergency line, join a support group, all that stuff.

Okay, I haven't done the first two. I've made a couple posts on during the past few years but then I started harassing the people of that subreddit for reasons I'm not exactly sure of - I encouraged them to commit suicide, like this - then my whole IP got banned from reddit about a week ago.

And it's still what I will recommend you do in the first place, but we must admit that some of them may be ill-equipped to deal with the struggles of a highly rational person.

I'm not sure if I'd call me "rational", I'm not sure if a rational person would consider suicide, but I'm a bit out of the ordinary for sure.

On the other hand, they may try a supportive approach you haven't thought of yet.

Okay, I promise to call to a suicide hotline before I attempt a suicide (confidence, 90%).

As per the posted LW guidelines, we must point you to these resources:,_Self-Harm,_or_Violent_Content_on_LessWrong#Suicide_and_Self-Harm

I don't live in any of those countries so that didn't help me very much,

In your post I saw several signs that suggest you don't really want to die. You postponed it out of consideration for your relative (i.e. you still care about things in this world). Every day you wake up less sure of doing it than you were the previous night. You still find the idea repulsive on a gut level. By what I'm about to say I mean absolutely no disrespect, and I don't intend in any way to minimize what you're feeling, but as someone who has been terribly depressed before, I can assure you that people who are resolved to suicide find the idea comforting, not unnerving. From your words it's clear you want the pain to end, but not to end it all.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing to say for a person frequenting LW forums who probably has some level of self-awareness, but it surely isn't for a general suicidal person. I quote SQLwitch, the mod from /r/suicidewatch, who's been helping suicidal people for decades:

'Don't disagree with suicidal people about how bad things are. It’s not about their circumstances; it’s about their suffering, and you can’t measure that from the outside. A message that in any way tries to tell or show the suicidal person that “it’s not so bad” is just another way of saying “I don't understand what you’re going through”.'

'For our OPs who are in the lowest and most dangerous state of mind, simply seeing one of these message can make their sense of alienation and failure worse, because they are not remotely able to believe that it's true for them. Anything meant to be universally "uplifting", including the overuse of the "It Gets Better" message, which originated in the specific context that adults aren't usually as emotionally immature as teenagers, tends to backfire."'

This part of your post initially made me feel worse because being suicidal is a considerable part of my identity (I've been thinking about it for the past 7 years). Making assumptions about a person you don't know makes the other person feel kinda bad. It's a bit unfair because you can say the same thing about every person who is still alive and suicidal. Every live suicidal person has something to cling to because otherwise they would have seriously attempted suicide already and would mostly likely be dead - or in the process of committing suicide.

I've had some comfort from suicide, but it has been from a state between "abstract" and "practical". Not from a state "I'm gonna do it a few hours from now".

In your case, you'll find that, when staying alive becomes a conscious decision, it gives you an added strength that most people aren't familiar with. Instead of just living because it's what's supposed to happen, you will feel that you decided to stop inertia from pushing you (as it does to all of us) and instead stepped up to own your life.

I've used that kind of rational to think of myself as a "better person" but it hasn't worked. Or I don't know, maybe it has. And maybe I don't really want to die. Can you taboo the concept "resolved to suicide"? Maybe I'm not actually resolved to suicide, but I've thought about it a lot and made plans. Only time will show if I'm actually gonna do it.

What I can say to you is something that both LW rationalists and suicide counselors say: question what your mind is telling you. Especially if it's telling you that you need to harm yourself; in that case you should not believe it at all.

But questioning my mind is one of my problems to begin with. Other people have told me that "I should be more confident" and I "should trust myself more". Being suicidal is such a big part of my identity that I should basically question everything I do, and then I'm not at all sure what I should do which leads to further problems.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T17:02:31.821Z · LW · GW

If you aren't in the US, which country are you from?

Didn't notice this question. I'm from Finland.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T15:01:37.245Z · LW · GW

It's not very simple. I'm not sure if I have coverage for those conditions. It could be.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T14:38:30.499Z · LW · GW

Does your country provide universal health care?

Yes. Why?

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T14:30:58.817Z · LW · GW

Alright, my problems are Irritable bowel syndrome and borderline personality disorder.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T13:47:26.979Z · LW · GW

Then it's not a problem. If it's easier, then I will talk to them, if it's not, I will commit suicide. It may very well be that I will talk to them even though it will be very painful, only time will tell.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T13:41:41.730Z · LW · GW

I don't feel particularly close to them, so that's an even more difficult thing to do.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T13:26:12.046Z · LW · GW

Those people usually have such a different way of thinking that I feel even more alienated. I don't want to be convinced out of suicide, I'm not even sure if I want help.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T13:11:16.448Z · LW · GW

Now I'm curious than ever, but of course you're not obliged to satisfy my curiosity.

Let's see if I can muster enough courage to speak about my problems more explicitly.

sounds odd from a person with suicidal thoughts.

I've heard that one before (that I have weird issues for a person with suicidal thoughts. Even that I'm maybe even lying to myself... that I'm not actually suicidal.)

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T12:57:34.978Z · LW · GW

Nah. And I don't have enough money anymore to do that. That was probably very dumb thing to do, but whatever.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T10:54:25.961Z · LW · GW

It's not exactly clear what propels your suicidal thoughts.

It's because I'm not exactly sure about it myself. I also didn't want to make it clear because I feel it's too embarrassing.

The sufference given by your mental/physical condition? Or are the condition themselves that generate those thoughts?

Probably both, but the former more.

I'm also curious about gambling away your money: why gambling instead of say, donating or spending them in drugs, prostitutes, etc.?

I first thought about donating it to GiveDirectly. But I don't have a 100% will to die. I thought I'd want to live if I had so much money that I could live comfortably and not have to work for years and gambling has a very small chance of achieving that. About drugs, I have no interest in mindless wireheading. I would, if the state of euphoria would last, but in regards to contemporary drugs what goes up must come down so the negative/positive mental states even out and I might as well live in a normal neutral mental state. But I bought some psychedelics and used them for a while until I grew tired of them and threw the rest of them away. I also thought about prostitutes, but I wasn't excited enough to do anything about it.

Generally, I've been sensory binging for some time now and it hasn't made my situation that much better so I don't feel like drugs or prostitutes would make me feel very much better on the long term.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 26 - June 1, 2014 · 2014-05-29T10:02:43.039Z · LW · GW

This might be the wrong type of thing to post here.

I suffer from a medical disorder that is very unpleasant. I also suffer from a personality disorder that is very unpleasant. For these reasons, and a few others, I planned a suicide for next week (next week because my family member has an event coming up and I don't want to ruin it). I already kinda precommitted to it by gambling away all of my money and even taking a loan and gambling that away too. I bought the necessary tools to carry out the task.

Even though I understand the position of Eliezer and other people on this site who say that death is the ultimate bad - I found the related parts in HPMOR very beautiful - I don't personally endorse it the same way. Death is pretty bad, but it's not that bad. Using Hanson's language, when I engage in far mode thinking I definitely agree with anti-deathism, I'd really like to party on the moons of Jupiter, hang out with friends, read books, play games and do science, become a being of pure energy and whatever people who live forever do for as long as possible. I mean, life can be very great. But often when I'm in near mode, I just wanna get the hell out of here.

Thinking about actually killing myself feels very unnatural to me. It's easy to think and talk about it on an abstract level, but whenever I feel like I'm gonna actually do it, I feel absolutely miserable. I like to think that when I've properly slept and woken up, my brain has reset to the default setting and I'm in a "natural state" and it's usually then when thinking about doing suicide hurts the most. It's taken years of thinking about it and becoming tolerant to the idea so that I can actually do anything about it, and I still feel very shitty whenever I think about it. This all shows how unintuitive it is, but I guess people can get used to anything. The fact that it's unnatural doesn't mean it's a wrong decision, it's just very interesting to observe my feelings about it.

Despite my precommitment, I probably won't do it because I haven't done it before after similar feelings of certainty. (If you think suicide is bad, you might say akrasia is good for some things, eh? I'm not sure if suicide is bad for me, so I'm not sure if akrasia is good or bad in this case.) If I estimate the probability the same way I estimate other probabilities on PredictionBook, there's probably 20% chance I'm gonna do it during next month. No one dies of hunger in my country and if for nothing else, if I life for 40 years there's a small chance that I could see an intelligent explosion, an em explosion or some other exponential growth event.

Comment by raisin on Rationality Quotes May 2014 · 2014-05-19T17:36:56.810Z · LW · GW

"There's a blind spot in the center of your visual field," Sarasti pointed out. "You can't see it. You can't see the saccades in your visual timestream. Just two of the tricks you know about. Many others."

Cunningham was nodding. "That's my whole point. Rorschach could be—"

"Not talking about case studies. Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. Stops noticing— irrelevant things. Truth never matters. Only fitness. By now you don't experience the world as it exists at all. You experience a simulation built from assumptions. Shortcuts. Lies. Whole species is agnosiac by default. Rorschach does nothing to you that you don't already do to yourselves."

Comment by raisin on Common sense quantum mechanics · 2014-05-16T18:22:27.431Z · LW · GW

But I still don't understand how raisin proposes to reject physics in favor of probability theory or vice versa.

Well, 'reject' was a bad word. Physics is fine for mostly everything. What I meant was that "bayesianism" could supplement physics in areas that are hard to test like MWI, parallel universes etc. Basically what Tegmark argues here.

Comment by raisin on Common sense quantum mechanics · 2014-05-16T12:48:56.194Z · LW · GW

I agree that "This removes the whole problem of wavefunction collapse", but only in the minds of philosophers of physics and some misguided philosophically inclined physicists. This paper adds nothing to physics.

Is physics important to you in ways other than how well it corresponds to reality? Physics relies on testing and experiments, but if we have another kind of system - let's call it bayesianism - and we have a reason to believe this other kind of system corresponds better to reality even though it doesn't rely perfectly on testing and experimenting, would you reject that in favor of physics? Why?

Comment by raisin on [LINK] Utilitarian self-driving cars? · 2014-05-14T13:50:40.697Z · LW · GW

Why 'of course'? This doesn't seem obvious to me.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 12 - 18, 2014 · 2014-05-12T18:41:06.561Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I read that, reconsidered my impression and it seems you are right. My memories about his opinion seemed to have become muddled and simplified from several sources like his Uploads essay where he says "Most uploads should quickly come to value life even when life is hard or short, and wages should fall dramatically." (which doesn't seem to be a value statement) that poor folks essay, this discussion here (in which he doesn't commentate) and this video interview in which he constantly says that life will be okay even though we'll become more and more alienated from nature.

But I don't think my view of his opinion was 100% incorrect. The distinction between "valuing your life" and "wanting to live" is interesting. If you want to live, does that automatically mean that you value your life? I mean, I've had days when maybe 95% of the time I've felt miserable, and 5% of the time I've felt okay and in the end I've still considered those days okay. If I want to have more of those kind of days, does that mean I value misery? How do you assess the quality of life in these kind of cases, and in cases where the 'misery' is even more extreme?

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 12 - 18, 2014 · 2014-05-12T15:11:01.714Z · LW · GW

If it provides bayesian evidence, shouldn't there be something that would in principle provide counterevidence? I can't figure out what that kind of counterevidence would be. Can you imagine an em population explosion where at some point no ems would want to make copies of themselves? I've got the impression that once an em population explosion gets started you can't really stop that because those ems that want copies get selected no matter how miserable the situation.

Ems should have some ability to alter themselves to enjoy life more. Wouldn't they use that?

Since in this scenario almost all ems work on a subsistence level and there's a huge number of ems, if enjoying life makes them even slightly less productive I don't think that kind of alteration would become very common due to selection effects.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 12 - 18, 2014 · 2014-05-12T11:01:56.184Z · LW · GW

Corretational or causational e.g. how it affects intelligence or how much intelligent people usually drink?

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 12 - 18, 2014 · 2014-05-12T10:59:28.871Z · LW · GW

Would an average year in the life of an em in Hanson's Malthusian explosion scenario really be >0 QALY? Hanson has kinda defended this scenario because the ems would want to be alive but I don't think that means anything. I remember reading about mice and painful wireheading (probably Yvain's post) and how you can make mice want that kind of wireheading even though it's painful. Similarly it's easy to imagine how people would want to live painful and miserable lives.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, May 5 - 11, 2014 · 2014-05-06T17:00:04.744Z · LW · GW

your brain is already a finely-tuned machine for learning and doing.

Does this by extension imply that the type of instrumental rationality training advocated by LW is useless? Why, why not?

Comment by raisin on Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity! · 2014-05-06T14:32:10.973Z · LW · GW

For the year 2012 total revenue was $1,633,946. The financials for 2013 don't seem to be available, but probably it was even higher then.

Comment by raisin on Calling all MIRI supporters for unique May 6 giving opportunity! · 2014-05-05T01:49:57.127Z · LW · GW

So let's say I'm planning to donate once. If I want to make sure it has the most marginal utility, I'll just donate during 1am hour even though many other LWers probably also give during that time given that it's the first item on the list?

Comment by raisin on Hawking on AI · 2014-05-04T15:58:32.384Z · LW · GW

It seems to be almost the same text that was already discussed in this earlier thread.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread, April 27-May 4, 2014 · 2014-05-01T18:41:05.530Z · LW · GW

How is the picture of the Sirens and Odyssey tied to a mast in the header of Overcoming Bias related to the concepts talked on the site?

Comment by raisin on Book Review: So Good They Can’t Ignore You, by Cal Newport · 2014-04-27T15:33:23.130Z · LW · GW

“Passion” is bull. What you need is personal energy.

Can you clarify the distinction between the two, maybe by tabooing both concepts?

Does 'system' basically mean structuring your life in a way that makes it more likely that you will be productive?

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-27T13:01:39.140Z · LW · GW

I tried what you suggested. I sat in one position for 50 minutes and tried to focus on the feeling of breathing in my belly (see how I tabooed my earlier use of "meditating mindfully"?) Here's what I observed:

At first it was a bit hard to find the breathing, it's more subtle than the feeling in my nostrils. But I was able to occasionally focus and my focus gravitated towards that region close to the belly button. It feels better to focus on my belly than on my nostrils. Focusing on nostrils feels heavy and shallow, while focusing on belly feels a bit more light and deep.

What surprised me most was that I felt like I was actually able to focus on the feeling in my stomach without trying to control my breathing as much. At least I was able to more easily convince that this was the case. It feels like nostrils are so close to where the act of breathing happens, while my belly is more distanced from this thing that does the breathing. It feels more like focusing on an external object.

It was mostly fantasizing and daydreaming and I was able to focus only for short periods of time, maybe a few seconds and just occasionally. I got obsessive-compulsive thoughts like "focus on your nostrils", but I tried to be mindful about those and mostly succeeded. I was a bit tense and at least at one point I noticed my heartbeat was quite fast, which made me more anxious. Part of this tenseness was due to the fact that I decided a poor posture when I started. I decided not to change this posture along the way.

I feel more relaxed than when I started and I don't usually feel like that when I've meditated. So overall, a positive experience, placebo or not.

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-26T19:58:25.418Z · LW · GW

I'm not sure if I got anything else out of your post, but I will try to focus on my belly the next time I meditate. The chakra and third eye stuff didn't bother me, just maybe confused a little, but I have a vague feeling of what they might describe. I've actually downloaded the Feeling Good handbook, but reading the whole book is currently a pretty daunting task. That questionare seems easy so it might just be something I could do. Diary is also something I've tried to do, but akrasia has prevented me from doing it frequently (I'm also embarrassed if someone notices I'm keeping a diary which is of course really stupid and something I should work on).

Thanks for being kind, I expected a more hostile reply.

Comment by raisin on Questions to ask theist philosophers? I will soon be speaking with several · 2014-04-26T18:45:02.765Z · LW · GW

someone who is paid to think rationally about this sort of thing, and who is recognized to be very good at doing so

Does rational mean the same in this context than how the word is usually used on LW? Or does 'rational' mean something that is academic, uses certain kind of words, seems rational to outsiders etc..

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-26T14:20:28.651Z · LW · GW

After I made that post I thought I should have put "tried" before "meditating mindfully", but then I forgot about it. You're right, I'm probably not doing it correctly.

I focus on my breath, but it's of course really hard for me and I don't know if I'm doing it properly. More specifically I focus on the feeling when air goes in and out of my nose. The problem is that I can either focus on my breath and breath forcefully, or I daydream and breath naturally. This process feels like a cat chasing its tail. In the "mindfulness in simple English" they said that I shouldn't control my breathing, but I don't know how to do that. It's really hard for me to focus on my breath without trying to control it.

What exactly I observed? Usually I feel more tense and focus on myself more after I've meditated. I'm not sure if I can give more specific examples because I haven't kept a diary about this.

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-26T13:20:14.510Z · LW · GW

I looked at those links JayDee posted below, namely

and this is what was said about Edwards' book:

Later on, neuroscientists learned that while the two processing centers are real, they are not neatly divided between brain hemispheres. The modern edition of the book uses the terms "left mode" and "right mode" to distinguish between the modes of though

Since she recognized this, it seems my critique about the hemisphere stuff is not meaningful anymore.

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-26T13:04:58.272Z · LW · GW

After I started meditating mindfully, my anxiety got worse, a lot worse. I talked about this on meditation forums and they said it means that "I'm working on my problems" and I should just keep doing it more and more and I would somehow overcome it. Well, I tried to, but my anxiety only got worse. Currently I have a small break from meditating.

Comment by raisin on LSD, Meditation, Enlightenment, and Ego Death · 2014-04-21T20:07:49.962Z · LW · GW

How effectively can long-term meditation cure anxiety?

Comment by raisin on Hawking/Russell/Tegmark/Wilczek on dangers of Superintelligent Machines [link] · 2014-04-21T17:44:15.110Z · LW · GW

I decided to post this with a catchy title (edit. on retrospect that title doesn't put nearly enough emphasis on the danger aspect) to bunch of subreddits on reddit to get more recognition to this. Asking for upvotes is not allowed, so do with this information as you wish.

Submission on /r/technology

Submission on /r/TrueReddit

Submission on /r/Futurology

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-21T15:54:08.932Z · LW · GW

Any guides on how to do that?

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-21T15:53:30.254Z · LW · GW

Oh, now I realized the point of that article was the comments, not the article itself. Thanks for clarifying this!

Comment by raisin on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-21T14:07:48.508Z · LW · GW

Drawing from the real life is especially useful for someone who is learning to draw. It teaches you that drawing is not simply about holding a pen and drawing the correct lines, but it's also about seeing and thinking correctly. We tend to think in terms of shapes, outlines and symbols, but such things don't represent the reality very well. You should be thinking in terms of form and contour.

Here's a good video about it.

I think this post is a good start:

So forget drawing humans for a while and start painting simple primitives. Cylinders, spheres, spheres with a section sliced off, cylinders which end with a sphere, stuff like that. Don't even color them, just work in grayscale and try to get the lighting right. Use real cylinders or photos of cylinders as reference. Buy some clay, sculpt some simple primitives and draw those. Do it over and over again while looking at what you see instead of drawing what you think you see. The more you do it, the faster you'll get better.

And when you feel comfortable with basic forms, you can start combining them into more elaborate forms. When you use reference, try to see the basic shapes of which your reference form consists of. A human head is like a sphere, with both sides sliced off, attached to a cylinder. Of course, there's a LOT more to human heads. Keep it simple until you're comfortable with drawing tens, if not hundreds of primitive contours together, because that's what heads consist of.

If you're drawing from reference (which you should be doing), try flipping the reference image upside down before drawing a single stroke. This can trick your brain into actually looking at form instead of sticking with the symbolic shapes which are deeply ingrained with how you look at the world. Crop the reference image to a tiny area, then try to replicate it as closely as possible. Then do it again even better. And again and again etc.

So draw a lot, draw from the real life and draw from reference and begin to think in 3D.

I think Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is probably pretty effective because one of its main point is the above - that you should just draw what you see and not think in terms of symbols when you draw. The underlying idea about the brain hemispheres is pseudoscience, but that doesn't mean it can't still teach useful lessons.

Comment by raisin on Rationality Quotes April 2014 · 2014-04-17T14:37:11.391Z · LW · GW

You're right.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014 · 2014-04-12T05:57:02.353Z · LW · GW

You could get more answers if you posted this to /r/rational, which is a subreddit entirely dedicated to rationalist and rationalist-esque fiction.

Comment by raisin on Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014 · 2014-04-10T04:37:59.581Z · LW · GW

Yeah. I may not feel as strongly as you about this, but I still feel music is something intrinsically valuable to me. At least something about is is, and I haven't yet found a better substitute for it. If I stop listening to music entirely, I feel like the world is a bit more devoid of value to me. It might make sense to talk about this for those who don't feel strongly about the matter, but for me personally this starts to drift into the Straw Vulcan territory.