... And Everyone Loses Their Minds 2015-01-16T23:38:35.755Z
A website standard that is affordable to the poorest demographics in developing countries? 2014-11-01T13:43:22.923Z
Does religion help cure insanity? 2014-03-27T17:57:38.901Z
Rationalist fiction: a Slice of Life IN HELL 2014-03-25T17:02:59.732Z
The Craft And The Community: The Basics: Apologizing 2013-11-23T16:55:25.065Z
The State of the Art of Scientific Research on Polyamoury 2013-09-09T21:26:42.463Z
Home Economics 2013-07-07T21:30:34.459Z
A Gamification Of Education: a modest proposal based on the Universal Decimal Classification and RPG skill trees 2013-07-07T18:27:39.809Z
Optimizing Workouts for Intellectual Performance 2013-07-06T19:56:54.641Z
Personal Library Management 2013-07-05T22:14:17.907Z
The Classic Literature Workshop 2013-06-16T09:54:22.971Z
Science, Engineering, and Uncoolness; Here and Now, Then and There 2012-12-08T19:52:17.556Z
Technical Universities in Europe: a Recommendation Thread 2012-11-21T18:25:21.938Z


Comment by Ritalin on Stupid Questions May 2017 · 2017-04-26T13:08:39.567Z · LW · GW

Why do you get up in the morning?

Comment by Ritalin on April 2017 Media Thread · 2017-04-24T10:13:04.347Z · LW · GW

TP's work used to be a delight, but there's a very strange disconnect between the cynicism of the characters and setting, and the optimism of the stories themselves, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. So TP is a bit like eating a lot of cake: sooner or later your tongue starts feeling weird.

Comment by Ritalin on April 2017 Media Thread · 2017-04-22T05:48:56.045Z · LW · GW

I don't think you're getting this. You are a meat sack of chemicals. "Being depressed by the realization" means that your meatsack chemistry shifted.

Well, assuming that said shift was long lasting, I want to shift it back into something more conductive to a productive and enjoyable life. Being miserable feels miserable, and, worst of all, it's boring.

the problem is that your ability to consume and digest that happiness is impaired.

On the contrary, I consume and digest the happiness way too fast. It helps me for a short while, and I feel gladness and joy and merriment and flow... and then I'm hungry again. I'm like an insatiable happiness sinkhole.

Comment by Ritalin on April 2017 Media Thread · 2017-04-21T20:23:35.625Z · LW · GW

Right, but there's a difference between being depressed by the realization, or finding it depressing because there's something wrong with your meatsack chemistry.

I wish to believe that which is true, but getting tested and diagnosed for depression is expensive, and so are the chemicals often prescribed to treat them, in money and in secondary effects.

Forgive me if I seem a little impatient, but I'd rather focus on the stated purpose of this thread: media that will help me feel better about myself and the world and foster in me a sense of curiosity, hope, and discipline.

Comment by Ritalin on April 2017 Media Thread · 2017-04-21T20:02:30.145Z · LW · GW

I like to think it's not some chemical imbalance, but a philosophical, existentialist despair. Think Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, Rick & Morty, Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett's work... "THERE IS NO JUSTICE. THERE IS JUST US."

Comment by Ritalin on April 2017 Media Thread · 2017-04-21T19:35:40.814Z · LW · GW

Hi! I'm an electrical engineering student close to finishing my MsC. These days I feel really, really tired and disenchanted with my work, in spite of it leading to one of my childhood dreams of working on green energies and/or electric transportation.

The same happened when I went to see a couple of museums involving Norway's naval history, Amudsen's arctic expeditions, and the epic journies of the Kon Tiki and the Ra. Despite all the pain and hardship those stories portrayed, I left full of energy and determination.

Over the most recent years, most of my media consumption, both fiction and non-fiction, involved delving deep into the complexities and flaws of human nature, both on an individual and societal level. While that has helped me become somewhat more socially functional, it has also sapped my optimism and energy to the point that I'm not sure why I get away in the morning, or why bother making any kind of effort beyond ensuring survival when everything is absurd and pointless, and everyone, myself included, is irredeemably stupid and evil in ways that cannot be fixed, only mitigated.

I want to feel hopeful, optimistic, interested, engaged, and growing. I want to learn shit that makes me want to strive and thrive.

Comment by Ritalin on April 2017 Media Thread · 2017-04-21T19:35:32.506Z · LW · GW

Cosmos-like works: for inspiration and fuzzies

The other day, I was watching NDT's Cosmos, and even though it taught me absolutely nothing new, it was so gorgeous and beautiful and inspiring that I couldn't help but feel reinvigorated, and tackle my hard, painful, frustrating work with renewed zest and zeal! I'd like to know of more works like that, *especially in Audiobook format, to listen to while bothering with the mundane daily tasks that don't let me hold a book or a computer in my hands while doing them.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 02 - Nov. 08, 2015 · 2015-11-07T01:15:35.736Z · LW · GW

This is the most terrifying comic SMBC has made yet How much of a point does Zach have, here? Can this be the shape of the future?

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015 · 2015-01-30T16:18:12.422Z · LW · GW

A self-improvement inquiry. I've got an irrational tendency to be too relaxed around other people; too sincere, transparent, and trusting. In general I'm very uninhibited and uncontrolled, and this goes to spectacular levels when I'm the slightest bit intoxicated. This has come back to bite me in more than one occasion.

I've had trouble finding documentation on how to improve on this. "Being too honest/sincere/open" doesn't seem like a common problem for people to have.

Comment by Ritalin on ... And Everyone Loses Their Minds · 2015-01-25T19:09:07.751Z · LW · GW

"Beyond good and evil, there is awesome and lame. Don't be lame."?

Comment by Ritalin on ... And Everyone Loses Their Minds · 2015-01-17T16:07:47.122Z · LW · GW

The primary two biases in question are that humans take threats from intent or agencies much more seriously than threats from random chance.

Could you refer me to the relevant bibliography?

Comment by Ritalin on ... And Everyone Loses Their Minds · 2015-01-17T10:14:19.698Z · LW · GW

It is time for man to fix his goal. It is time for man to plant the seed of his highest hope.

His soil is still rich enough for it. But that soil will one day be poor and exhausted, and no lofty tree will any longer be able to grow there.

Alas! there comes the time when man will no longer launch the arrow of his longing beyond man -- and the string of his bow will have unlearned to whiz!

I tell you: one must still have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star. I tell you: you have still chaos in yourselves.

Alas! There comes the time when man will no longer give birth to any star. Alas! There comes the time of the most despicable man, who can no longer despise himself.

Lo! I show you the Last Man.

"What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?" -- so asks the Last Man, and blinks.

The earth has become small, and on it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small. His species is ineradicable as the flea; the Last Man lives longest.

"We have discovered happiness" -- say the Last Men, and they blink.

They have left the regions where it is hard to live; for they need warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him; for one needs warmth.

Turning ill and being distrustful, they consider sinful: they walk warily. He is a fool who still stumbles over stones or men!

A little poison now and then: that makes for pleasant dreams. And much poison at the end for a pleasant death.

One still works, for work is a pastime. But one is careful lest the pastime should hurt one.

One no longer becomes poor or rich; both are too burdensome. Who still wants to rule? Who still wants to obey? Both are too burdensome.

No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same; everyone is the same: he who feels differently goes voluntarily into the madhouse.

"Formerly all the world was insane," -- say the subtlest of them, and they blink.

They are clever and know all that has happened: so there is no end to their derision. People still quarrel, but are soon reconciled -- otherwise it upsets their stomachs.

They have their little pleasures for the day, and their little pleasures for the night, but they have a regard for health.

"We have discovered happiness," -- say the Last Men, and they blink.

Friedrich Nietzsche Thus Spoke Zarathustra,

I read this from the comfort of my couch, and I blink. Isn't that the right way to live, the model of polite society? Is it wrong to want to live that way?

EDIT: I have no idea how this weird formatting thing happened or how to undo it.

Comment by Ritalin on ... And Everyone Loses Their Minds · 2015-01-17T10:07:53.140Z · LW · GW

Indeed, I have very little to contribute on my own. I'm mostly here to learn.

I'm not generalizing from the Joker's reflection. Rather, I'm using it as a springboard to talk about an issue that concerns me; namely, what triggers fear and warth and outrage in people and what doesn't. I think this is a different kind of bias from just scope insensitivity or fundamental attribution error or overconfidence bias or anything like that. Those can be overcome by just explaining the facts. This one, however, can't; explaining stuff and putting numbers forth will only get you accused of sophistry. I find that very frustrating.

Comment by Ritalin on ... And Everyone Loses Their Minds · 2015-01-17T10:00:09.502Z · LW · GW

I think most LWers can be expected to know about those. I'm just curious as to which biases are involved specifically.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014 · 2014-12-20T20:53:30.583Z · LW · GW

Could you elaborate on any specifics? Apparently the plant is legal in most of the world and only prohibited in very few countries.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014 · 2014-12-19T11:59:34.228Z · LW · GW

Actually exercise has been suggested to me as the alternative to drugs. "Spinning", specifically. Addictive, very pleasurable, and makes you healthier (unless you overdo it, but sports are much more difficult to overdo than drugs, for some reason).

Comment by Ritalin on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2014-12-18T10:56:43.926Z · LW · GW

Describing myself as a "rationalist" pretty much automatically makes a bad impression, no matter how much you explain afterwards that you value emotion and passion and humanity and you're totally not a Straw Vulcan or an Objectivist.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014 · 2014-12-18T10:54:47.863Z · LW · GW

The Anti-Drug

I've seen that a lot of drugs seem to act like "gratification borrowers": they take gratification/happiness from the future and spend it all on the present, sometimes extremely quickly, then leave you feeling miserable for a certain duration, the "low" or "hangover".

I was wondering whether there was any drug that did the opposite, that functioned like delayed gratification: a drug that makes you feel utterly miserable at first, then eventually leaves you with a long-lasting feeling of satisfaction, accomplishment, and joy.

Does anyone here know of such a thing?

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-07T18:10:14.752Z · LW · GW

Court OKs Barring High IQs for Cops

An aspiring cop got rejected for scoring too high on an IQ test.

I cannot begin to understand why they would do that.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-04T14:59:08.390Z · LW · GW

They're a bit hard to come by, and, let's face it, we can be hard to live with even among ourselves.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-04T11:31:15.573Z · LW · GW

Right now I think my two weakest points are:

  • Akrasia: I have a lot of trouble keeping a proper sleeping schedule and not slipping into night owl lifestyle, going to the gym as often as I should, keeping my diet, and, depending on the circumstances, I have a lot of trouble keeping myself motivated, organized, and productive.
  • Relatively poor social skills. They're not nearly as bad as they once were, but I still find myself somewhat clumsy and awkward, in the way high IQ people tend to be. Out of synch. Having different priorities than the folks around me. Coming up with stuff out of left field. Spacing out, being prompted to explain, retelling a train of thought that to them seems convoluted and to me seems natural. Having a terrible time maintaining proper etiquette, especially table manners.

Either I'm put down "crazy" or put in a pedestal as "genius", but I'm always put aside, and have very few friends. Love life is similarly disastrous, but I don't think there's a book for people who fall in love too hard, too soon, and too easy.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-03T16:14:41.076Z · LW · GW

Self Help Books

I'm looking to buy a couple audiobooks from Amazon. Any good recommendations?

Comment by Ritalin on November 2014 Media Thread · 2014-11-29T23:23:35.710Z · LW · GW

So I just finished reading Fate Stay Night, and I feel hungry for more, but its sequels are a lot more silly and laid back, and what I want isn't the easy familiarity of characters whose tales are already told, but the poignant drama and character development, and the poetic narrative delivery, that I'd never experienced before. Does anyone here know stories that have this type of heart-gripping-ness?

Comment by Ritalin on November 2014 Media Thread · 2014-11-29T23:22:41.341Z · LW · GW


Comment by Ritalin on November 2014 Media Thread · 2014-11-26T16:55:57.316Z · LW · GW

You know, it may well actually make it to 'acclaimed univesal classic' status. It's tremendously good stuff.

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-24T23:08:26.279Z · LW · GW

Are you arguing against this?

Most emphatically not. I'm very glad to have discovered that, and I'm grateful for EY's impassioned preaching, that made it seem immediately, crucially, urgently relevant. By comparison, when I read books like Think Fast and Slow, or watch shows like Crash Course Psychology or Earthlings 101. I feel like I'm just collecting a bunch of interesting, quaint. and curious trivia that aren't much of a factor in how I think of myself, the world, and my place in it. (And don't get me started on new Cosmos. NDG doesn't preach, he lectures. Carl Sagan at least used to wonder )

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-20T12:08:07.295Z · LW · GW

... Why students specifically?

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-20T00:11:24.601Z · LW · GW

Well, we've never caught Nature glitching or bugging or even simplifying its calculations, and absence of evidence is evidence of absence. That we're living in a simulation is about as plausible as the Abrahamic narrative, about as falsifiable, and about as proven.

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-20T00:09:06.146Z · LW · GW

What they believe in, or rather, endorse, and what they end up actually doing or wanting to do have usually been at odds. The ideal solution is different for every combination of individual and circumstance: the ideal universal solution is therefore an superstructural (ideological, legal, cultural, etc.) framework capable of running and accommodating any specific arrangement between interested parties. Objectively speaking, I think the only hard and fast rule is "Safe, Sane and Consensual".

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-20T00:03:53.594Z · LW · GW

Weird, I thought that link would lead to Straw Nihilist.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-11-19T03:52:09.234Z · LW · GW

A-ha! That makes sense! Also, it's actually an important virtue! People judge you on it!

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-19T00:02:45.998Z · LW · GW

At another point in the discussion, a man spoke of some benefit X of death, I don't recall exactly what. And I said: "You know, given human nature, if people got hit on the head by a baseball bat every week, pretty soon they would invent reasons why getting hit on the head with a baseball bat was a good thing. But if you took someone who wasn't being hit on the head with a baseball bat, and you asked them if they wanted it, they would say no. I think that if you took someone who was immortal, and asked them if they wanted to die for benefit X, they would say no."

I am aware that some people live in Gor-inspired relationships, that some people are masochistic, that some women want to be dominated, and that more people would like to live that way than those who would care to admit it, or even that those who know for a fact that they would. I still assume these numbers to be small.

Of course people would adapt. That's what people do. That doesn't make it right.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-11-19T00:02:39.777Z · LW · GW

This sounds somewhat like a specialized form of the very Christian value of Resignation, specifically resignation towards the Ineffability of God and his Mysterious Ways, and the seemingly chaotic creation.

Then again God often plays a Dao-like "empty center that lets the wheel turn" in these sorts of doctrines.

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-18T22:09:13.317Z · LW · GW

That's standard preacher approach. Incendiary accusations to destroy everything you take for granted, then, when you're in tears and directionless, a promise of salvation if you follow their way.

Come to think of it, that's a pattern EY has used extensively as well... "Here's proof that religion is insane and most people are predictably and systematically stupid, including yourself. Now believe in the Singularity, general self-improving artificial intelligence, cryogeny, space expansionism, and libertarianism!"

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-18T22:03:10.854Z · LW · GW

Depends on how patriarchal the society is. Few women would like to live in, say, Gor. "Please freeze me again while I wait this out."

Comment by Ritalin on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-18T22:01:11.581Z · LW · GW

originated in an intellectual experiment in the 18th Century called the Enlightenment: democracy, egalitarianism, cosmopolitanism, feminism, secularism, individualism and so forth

... Actually all of those ideas are considerably older than the Enlightenment, and can be traced to Antiquity and beyond.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-11-18T14:38:19.330Z · LW · GW

A riddle for Lesswrong: what exactly is the virtue of Bissonomy?

When I read the article, I got the feeling that there were enough clues to extrapolate a solution in the same way that EY extrapolated the Dementors' 'true natures'. That this was a solvable riddle. I've got my suspicions, but I'd like to hear what you guys can come up with.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-13T13:18:47.020Z · LW · GW

Well, sorting out system 1's inconsistencies can help one feel happier and more at peace with oneself. You can't achieve serenity just by giving in to all your impulses, because they contradict each other.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-12T15:28:14.415Z · LW · GW

diffs between the should-world and is-world are defects

My understanding is that defects are like speed-bumps and potholes, pieces where the harmonious flow of reality is interrupted, dissonances and irregularities. Going with the flow and being in harmony with the world requires more sensitivity, training, and awareness than simply letting oneself get carried by the current. It's the difference between 'surfing' waves, and 'getting engulfed' by them, yes?

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-12T13:05:13.440Z · LW · GW

Because there's a grain of truth in it that extends far beyond its admittedly limited scope.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-12T11:40:10.018Z · LW · GW

The Dude abides... {B{í=

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-11T22:40:19.712Z · LW · GW

The pre-ecclesiastical Jesus of Nazareth is referenced as a Dude avant-la-lettre (as are Sidhartha, Laozi, Epicurus, Heraclitus, and other counter-culturals that gained a cult following). Not to be confused with Jesus of North Hollywood, who is the opposite of a Dude.

Also, again with the smileying. :-(

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-11T17:07:28.490Z · LW · GW

Nah, he's no hero, he's just a selfish man. But, of all the characters, he is the only one who is honest about doing nothing, while every other character on the film (and many, many people in Real Life) go to great lengths to sustain the illusion of activity and productiveness.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014 · 2014-11-11T15:15:08.308Z · LW · GW

Dudeism? What in the world are they blathering about?

It turns out Dudeism is a thing. Wikipedia summarizes it best:

The Dudeist belief system is essentially a modernized form of Taoism purged of all of its metaphysical and medical doctrines. Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of "going with the flow", "being cool headed", and "taking it easy" in the face of life's difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people. It also aims to assuage feelings of inadequacy that arise in societies which place a heavy emphasis on achievement and personal fortune. Consequently, simple everyday pleasures like bathing, bowling, and hanging out with friends are seen as far preferable to the accumulation of wealth and the spending of money as a means to achieve happiness and spiritual fulfillment.

I thought it'd be worth bringing to attention here, because if there's one adjective that would not apply to the online LW community, it's "laid back". Note that many of us are lazy, but we struggle with laziness, we keep looking for self-help and trying to figure out our motivation systems and trying so hard to achieve. Other urges and "sufferings" we struggle with are the need to fit in, the need to make sense of the world, the need to be perfectly clear in thought and expression (and the need to demand that of others), and so on and so forth.

How much could we benefit from being more laid-back, from openly and deliberately saying "fuck it"? From doing what we actually want to do without regard for what's expected of us?

The thoughts on this post aren't very well-articulated, and perhaps I'm misjudging LW completely, but, um, you know, that's just, like, uh, my opinion, man. Obviously, it's open for debate; that's what we're here for, yes?

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014 · 2014-11-10T16:08:25.440Z · LW · GW

How about rephrasing it as a "right to a chance to live again"?

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014 · 2014-11-10T16:06:15.459Z · LW · GW

They are two sides of the same coin. "The right to circulation" tells people "you can go wherever you want", and tells States "you can't demand a travel permit every time someone wants to move". "The right to live" tells people "you may go on living if you want" but also "you can't stop people from living if they don't consent to it". The freedom to do something restricts another person's ability to stop you from doing that.

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014 · 2014-11-10T03:52:50.774Z · LW · GW

What'd be the difference between that and an ethical injunction?

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014 · 2014-11-10T01:27:21.560Z · LW · GW

Further research among the second journal's older issues shows that it treats at least two of the other "loves" (romance, family), and support networks in a general sense, but In five issues I've yet to find a single article about friendship as such. The one time it's mentioned in a title it's in relation to romance: "Creating positive out-group attitudes through intergroup couple friendships and implications for compassionate love."

It's like they take friendship for granted!

Comment by Ritalin on Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014 · 2014-11-10T01:15:28.236Z · LW · GW

Understanding how rights work:

This topic still confuses me greatly. Let's take the example of the "Right to Life, Liberty and the Security of Person". Can a "Right to Cryogenic Treatment" be argued from there? Would that, in turn, simply entail that I get to sign up for cryogenic treatment without obstacles and cannot be forbidden from doing so (for instance, cryo is illegal in France), or could it be spun otherwise?

Comment by Ritalin on A website standard that is affordable to the poorest demographics in developing countries? · 2014-11-10T01:05:05.287Z · LW · GW

Could you expound on that "time-tested ethical injunctions" thing? I understand the concepts separately, but not how they go together, nor how they relate to "rights" as in "La Déclaration des Droits de L'Homme et du Citoyen", the "Bill of Rights", or the "UN Declaration of Human Rights".