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Comment by ryan on Attention Lurkers: Please say hi · 2010-04-20T00:30:17.964Z · LW · GW

Hi.

I comment pretty rarely but read very often.

EDIT: read mistercow's comment and I feel pretty much the same way.

Comment by ryan on Babies and Bunnies: A Caution About Evo-Psych · 2010-02-23T03:52:18.363Z · LW · GW

May be something to that. Other animals have an innocence factor about them that humans lose pretty quickly for me. Especially by 2 years old or so, I start finding some human kid behavior more manipulative than cute.

Comment by ryan on That Magical Click · 2010-01-23T06:15:56.991Z · LW · GW

Yep. As far as I can tell a world where people can be and are being revived is almost certainly one I want to live in.

Comment by ryan on This Failing Earth · 2009-05-27T09:35:51.074Z · LW · GW

Agreed we're in the successful group, easily. Sucks that NK exists as it is, but they are isolated and have no way to expand or threaten the world system. The fact that we can have websites like this, and people actually can sit in the basement and work on the math means we are doing well, up to this point at least.

My guess is more of the failed earths were long ago. Like humans continue to wander around in small tribes for millions of years and never get beyond stone-age technology. We are eventually wiped out by a meteor or some such.

Comment by ryan on Belief in Self-Deception · 2009-03-05T23:10:02.144Z · LW · GW

I know some people who are like the woman you describe, my own folks might be like that to some extent. I became atheist pretty early on. So I'm not sure that adults who believe in belief are likely to be passing that along to their kids, if they even try. In my case, I put on a show for a while, but when I stopped it was no big deal.

If these people are able to agree with a scientific worldview and not be obstructionist on things like stem cell, but simply want to add "and I believe there is a god" to the end of it, fine. Seems like a natural step towards the end of belief in god entirely.

Comment by ryan on Unteachable Excellence · 2009-03-03T07:38:13.006Z · LW · GW

I wonder about the value of any advice from a person or company once they hit their super success. Does someone like Buffett have influence to the point where he just forces his moves be good or great? Not that he would be unaware of that, but still.

Or Microsoft, they could release a piece of software which for them can make profits and define industry standards, but for another firm might be considered a disaster.

It does seem like the best advice from these types will at some point boil down to 'be me' or 'be us'. In that case its probably cheaper to learn the basics which can be taught elsewhere.

Comment by ryan on Normal Ending: Last Tears (6/8) · 2009-02-04T22:51:30.000Z · LW · GW

I'm with Kaj Sotala in not finding this ending to be awful.

The prospect of never feeling pain again would not in the least disturb me. Oh, I may 'enjoy' the pain of a good workout, but only because I believe it will help to reduce or postpone more pain later on.

The babyeating is weird, but we are talking about being transformed to want to do that, not being forced to do something we would actually find disgusting.

Whats the trouble there? I don't regret my past self being unable to forever prevent my current self from enjoying brussels sprouts.

Comment by ryan on BHTV: Jaron Lanier and Yudkowsky · 2008-11-02T07:09:33.000Z · LW · GW

I find it odd that Mr. Lanier derides AI as a sort of religious belief, yet he is attached to the idea that consciousness is mystical and impenetrable. Surely the one invoking mystical and magical thinking is closer to a religious mindset?

Although frankly the whole comparison to religion is way overused and I don't think it applies to the views of either of them.

Comment by ryan on A Prodigy of Refutation · 2008-09-18T23:01:27.000Z · LW · GW

"You cannot rely on anyone else to argue you out of your mistakes; you cannot rely on anyone else to save you; you and only you are obligated to find the flaws in your positions; if you put that burden down, don't expect anyone else to pick it up."

Really? Over the last few years I've changed my outlook and positions on lots of issues based on reading sites like this, among other material I didn't generate myself.

I guess the willingness to change based on new information must have been in place already to some extent. Yet I feel like I was pushed quite distinctly by exposing myself to papers and books about cognitive bias and such.

Comment by ryan on No Logical Positivist I · 2008-08-04T03:40:53.000Z · LW · GW

The positivist accusation seems obviously false just based on the whole quantum mechanics series of posts.