One possible issue with radically increased lifespan 2012-05-30T22:24:38.149Z · score: 10 (35 votes)
Counter-irrationality 2012-02-09T20:04:26.597Z · score: -3 (10 votes)


Comment by spectral_dragon on Lesswrong 2016 Survey · 2016-04-02T10:35:30.639Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I've said it before and I've said it again - this is mild cult behavior.

... That being said, bring on the low cost gratification! I've taken the survey!

Comment by spectral_dragon on Meetup : Lund Meetup · 2015-11-18T12:52:03.125Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Hello, me and a friend were planning to get involved in the meetup, however as I expect you to be rather difficult to distinguish I'd prefer some way to be able to find you lot. If I am outside Ideon Alpha building, on the west side, at 12:15 thursday wearing a tie and a portal bag, would I be correct in the belief that someone will locate me and direct me to the meet up?

Comment by spectral_dragon on Meetup : First meetup in Lund · 2015-10-19T15:46:59.924Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Turns out quantum mechanics is much too great a challenge at the moment. I wish both other LWers a good day, and shall do my best to attend the next meeting instead - there is still interest from my part.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Meetup : First meetup in Lund · 2015-09-21T16:37:30.986Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'll gladly meet up, just to see what people there are that have seen Lesswrong before. However, you may need to be more specific on location. I am 22, skinny and with long brown silky hair. We're not much different from the norm.

Comment by spectral_dragon on How has lesswrong changed your life? · 2015-04-09T13:54:32.406Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I went from being dead set on physics to a joined major of math and physics, following up with a master in math in a while, and instead of thinking "I should learn programming some time", I am currently sitting at a lecture in Python. Had I not encountered lesswrong, I would have been a quirky, regular physicist who lives their life, thinking of some Big Questions, but not actually coming to an answer. I would also not have become atheist quite as quickly. I intend to keep being less wrong in the future, and I've seen results - positive, as well as negative due to what some people consider too much honesty. But all in all, I have improved my odds of reaching my goals.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-22T20:23:35.524Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've contemplated testing it, a few times. If you do not mind facing a complete newb, I might be up for it, given some preparation and discussion beforehand. Just PM me and we can discuss it.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Help me refactor my life · 2013-02-16T22:40:49.108Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have a deadline for when you have to move out, or when to have a solid plan? I'll likely know if I have a position or not before wednesday, and there's plenty of living around the university area, in case you want to look at things yourself. I'll have to say likewise - you seem like a decent person, and I'm sure it is, as I'm indeed very flexible. I'll update you if I find anything relevant.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Help me refactor my life · 2013-02-16T20:17:05.443Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am currently looking for job around the british isles, currently aiming at Belfast. If I find a good job, and an affordable place, shared, I could message you, if you like? We sound reasonably similar (and why, I AM a mentally odd person who likes living with other people!). Or, if that is prefered, if you're considering moving to Sweden, I'd do my best to assist you. Always easier with a local contact.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Open Thread, February 1-14, 2013 · 2013-02-10T12:09:48.243Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

hug is essentially what I can do as well. I have some experience with this (age 19, depression for the last 2,5 years), and the professionals I've talked with have been very understanding and adaptable to how I think (cognitive behavorial therapy for the win), so I think you should at least talk to one if you find yourself on the verge again. For what it's worth, what I use when I feel really terrible is the internet for reasons life is still awesome enough. Cracked has something like this, though this might only work for me. And I support moving this to Discussion if you want a better chance of help. But if you just want to talk, I'm up for that, too. Just drop me a message.

Anyway, I don't think I can do more for you except say that every life lost is a tragedy, and you're the kind of person the world would definitely be worse without.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Politics Discussion Thread January 2013 · 2013-02-03T21:00:51.384Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'd actually put you in "for", as you're favouring a suggestion that raises prices and lower consumption. For this I'd say effect is more central than opinion. And no, it wouldn't lower it much - on average just under 7 percents, but it'd reduce health care costs as well.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Politics Discussion Thread January 2013 · 2013-01-20T19:18:28.366Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's one of the more effective ways of lowering consumption. It's not the problem drinkers that cause the worst effect though - it's the casual drinkers that cause the most damage (for example by overestimating themselves and driving). Taxes would still work on most groups, so yes, it definitely counts.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Politics Discussion Thread January 2013 · 2013-01-20T19:14:13.465Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've never noticed it used as an excuse, and to me that seems a lot like saying "I was biased!", to cast away blame. Though I have a different frame of reference - here you're accountable for anything you do, sober or drunk, including making mistakes/looking incompetent. Where is the line drawn where you can just shrug off any blame? I can't think of any rational reason to want to drink, then, unless you want to... Act incompetently and get away with it? Is this then a good thing?

I agree on the placebo bit, anyway.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Politics Discussion Thread January 2013 · 2013-01-20T18:51:18.281Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've had enough experience to compare interactions with and without alcohol, and I've noticed it's much more difficult to connect with anyone who's been drinking, even if I've also been. Merely personal, but with no alcohol in my regular life, I still gain friends easily, now having gained far above my Dunbar's Number. Have you tested if it actually is more difficult if all parties are sober?

I'm against this particular one, since as a placebo, something lacking the negative effects while achieving the positive placebo effects would be much more awesome.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Politics Discussion Thread January 2013 · 2013-01-20T02:27:37.075Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm curious about the general stance towards alcohol, from Lesswrong. It (1) lowers the quality of life, and life expectancy (3rd highest cause of preventable death in the US), for almost all people drinking, or closely linked to people who drink, (2) costs a fair bit (The money spent per year in europe on alcohol-related damages could fund a manned mission to mars), (3) and offers little to no positive effects (Only proven short-term effects are temporary loss of motor control and some brain functions like balance and memory, anything else seems to be a placebo).

So, I'd like to know if you're for or against limiting alcohol (through laws lowering sales, altering public opinion etc.) and why.


Comment by spectral_dragon on Farewell Aaron Swartz (1986-2013) · 2013-01-12T22:56:52.558Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Here, we fight for as long and happy lives as possible for as many as possible, no? Just imagine how bad your life is if you ACTIVELY want to reduce your lifespan. An experienced negative QALY. So I say worse. It's one of the most horrible things you could ever experience. I've heard it said that a life barely worth living, is still worth living, here. So, a life not worth living...

Comment by spectral_dragon on Most Likely Cause of an Apocalypse on December 21 · 2012-12-03T21:52:03.053Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As there seems to be no evidence pointing to deadly diseases, AI, or anything on that particular day, I'm of the opinion that the closest thing to an apocalypse will be rioting due to the fact that we are scared. The earth won't explode or anything (likely) but I'll still be staying indoors to avoid the potential insanity. It'll be just like friday 13, only bigger.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Good Places to Live as a Less Wronger · 2012-11-20T20:28:51.207Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was basing it on what this seemed to be aimed at - single males in working age with nothing keeping them anywhere else. For younger people, you're right, it's great - my education has so far not cost me a thing, including uni, they're supposed to build more student corridors, and it's a really calm city. Sweden has free healthcare, and great welfare in general.

Update: Wonderful for people up to 25, fairly meh for working age, but there's a larger city within commute range (20 minutes by train), so it's definitely not too bad. But I've yet to hear of anyone with any considerable wealth being from here.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Good Places to Live as a Less Wronger · 2012-11-20T17:19:03.057Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Lund, Sweden - despite not living here that long, just a few months, I've gotten a good grip of it. Pros: Massive university that serves as an intellectual meetingplace, everything from feminism to transhumanism in unofficial lectures, a particle accelerator is being built if you're into that kind of thing, and it's possible to get EVERYWHERE with a bike.

Cons: Difficult to get anywhere fast with a car, the weather can be less than enjoyable, housing prices are fairly high and we might be heading for an economical crash soon, and it would likely seem quite different moving here from outside europe.

In short: Economical value low, cultural value high.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Dying Outside · 2012-11-19T22:47:06.377Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Inspiring words. Something I wish I would be able to write if such a fate ever befell me. I didn't really know who you were before, but now, you're among those I'd like to emulate whenever life gets hard. Best of luck with your life. Keep fighting.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-17T12:24:16.482Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Misclicking like a madman today, Transitional species, Winston Rowntree is one massive, awesome quote. Only one part wouldn't do it justice, unfortunately.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-17T12:20:40.304Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Transitional species, Winston Rowntree

I couldn't just quote a part of this, as any one good quote would drag half the comic with it. It deserves reading, though.

Comment by spectral_dragon on PROPOSAL: LessWrong for Teenagers · 2012-11-14T18:28:46.852Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think maybe an introductory sequence - simple, straightforward, easily contemplated and applied, for new people. Especially teenagers, then - I'd have LOVED to read Guessing the Teacher's Password when I was 15, but it wasn't among the first I read. Hard to find unless you knew what you were looking for. So simple things to find their own answer to - do we have free will, figure out why the people arguing about trees making sounds are arguing in the first place, stuff like that. A place to discuss this without anyone spoiling it would be great for newcomers, I think.

Maybe tips on how to combat procrastination, getting efficient at studying and social insights. Do we have a wiki entry for basic expressions used here, that might not be so basic to teens? We should expect intelligent people with zero knowledge on rationality here, so we prepare for that. That's all I can think of now, I'll add more if I think of anything.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Coursera course on critical thinking · 2012-11-13T16:57:43.725Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Sign up to plenty of stuff, meaning to work on them... Then I get busy, of course, and postpone... I keep procrastinating since I have more important stuff to do. Doesn't hurt to sign up, though! Thanks for mentioning it's about to start!

Comment by spectral_dragon on How many of you doing Khan Academy? · 2012-11-10T17:38:32.238Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Did some with Java, mostly messing around and getting used to the interface, and some math, as I got done with it a year before you're supposed to, so I've forgotten some of it, and did... I think I started with simple integrals. So far, mostly videos, few exercises, though.

Comment by spectral_dragon on How many of you doing Khan Academy? · 2012-11-10T17:16:35.993Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's helped me tremendously - just started university, and we had a teacher who just wasn't that good. Nice person, not enough teaching experience. Looked up Khanacademy, and a second explanation made it stick. I'll use it to repeat things later on. Started peeking into javascript too, as I've yet to write a single line of code in my life, it's a much appreciated source of information.

Comment by spectral_dragon on XKCD - Frequentist vs. Bayesians · 2012-11-09T14:32:41.126Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I found it hilarious, I think it's the first time I've seen bayesians mentioned outside LW, and since it seems to be a lot of betting, wagers, problems hinging on money, I think both are equally approporiate. Insightful for being mostly entertainment (the opposite of the articles here - aiming to be insightful, usually ending up entertaining as well?), but my warning light also went off. Perhaps I'm already too attached to the label... I'll try harder than usual to spot cult behaviour now.

Comment by spectral_dragon on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-08T18:21:32.177Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Last time it took about a month, IIRC.

Thanks for the time frame!

Simple solution: Aim to move the karma score to what you think it should be, based on the actual wisdom of the comment. I have no preference on the upvote - I'm just thrilled I've achieved a new high score on a comment, considering my second record was set by the comment "I'm bad at math" in more eloquent terms.

Comment by spectral_dragon on PROPOSAL: LessWrong for Teenagers · 2012-11-08T15:46:11.833Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I joined LessWrong at age 18, and noticed no massive hurdles apart from not having read enough math to comprehend the math-ier sequences, but I can see where you're going with this. I'd have been incredibly eager to start thinking better at age 16 or so already. I would LOVE to introduce my more intelligent friends to this, but it can be pretty terrifying here at first. Your idea sounds perfect for that purpose. I'll join that other site too, and provide feedback if I can.

Edit: Ah, must've skipped a paragraph. Not interested in skipping college, ignore. I'd just be interested in, as with me, casual refinement beside my normal education, as for the people I'd recommend this site to.

Comment by spectral_dragon on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-07T19:14:22.096Z · score: 19 (23 votes) · LW · GW

All done! Surprised since my IQ's apparently dropped roughly 20 points in the last 2 years. But everyone knows the internet is reliable when it comes to that. Eagerly awaiting results, when can we expect them to appear on the site?

Also, please do not upvote this comment, as I want my karma to reflect when I've thought something insightful, and only taking a survey to recieve it does not properly reflect this. "By ancient tradition" makes that the most cultish thing I've ever heard lesswrong.

... Maybe topped by "we're a cult" or something of that effect, but still.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Recovering the 'spark' · 2012-10-25T08:14:53.318Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like good introspect. I'll do my best, then. Just let us all know when you post, and I'll be happy to give constructive criticism.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Recovering the 'spark' · 2012-10-24T14:08:21.911Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I can relate, so it might be beneficial for me. Going from way above average to slightly below in the last years of school, or I at least get that feeling due to mild chronic depression, I think it might help me as well. The goal of this site is (from what I have observed) roughly in line with improving thinking, and destroying negative thought patterns, so I think you're doing something COMPLETELY in line, and at least a few other LWers would benefit from this.

Do you need support of any kind?

Comment by spectral_dragon on Open Thread, October 16-31, 2012 · 2012-10-19T17:27:17.925Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would want the 80k, given I've not met anyone who trusted my idea I got from an article at Cracked - that you're supposed to help each other, and not be in debt to them, and therefore contribute the percentage you can, so if you make 20 % of the income, you're responsible for 20 % of expenses - since I've yet to make more money than any potential partners. I basically only want to feel like I'm not freeloading on anyone, including my spouse.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Open Thread, October 16-31, 2012 · 2012-10-18T15:28:31.770Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"It's a guy, pretty much as intelligent as, and at least twice as effective as a dozen Ph.D's in philosophy examining and discussing how to think better. Look, just... Here, The Simple Truth. Read this. It's basically this kind of thinking applied to everything."

Not that brief, but it's gotten at least a few interested in LW.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Taking "correlation does not imply causation" back from the internet · 2012-10-03T16:02:21.503Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This is entirely true - as a mere human, my interest plummeted at "covariance", and I'd still like to think I'm SOMEWHAT equipped to handle correlation/causation. Just not numerically. So, as a roughly average human, I say your suspicions are correct.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Things you are supposed to like · 2012-09-24T14:41:09.775Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As a fairly new member at Lesswrong, I've not until now taken to reading Eliezer's fanfiction Harry Potter and the Arts of Rationality, but the manga/amine Death Note gets taken up there, seemingly on par with any other form of media. It's the second time manga/anime's hinted at as a source of inspiration.

You COULD solve the FAI problem, but you need time to do other things too, and then the medium is of far less importance than the message. After all, if another medium can be more effective in delivering the same message - a film as opposed to a book, wouldn't READING be worse than anime since you could be spending that extra time working instead?

Comment by spectral_dragon on How To Actually Change Your Mind eBook (In Order) · 2012-09-06T15:42:49.208Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My lump of thinking meat is throbbing with glee! This is the perfect thing I didn't know I wanted. It's just perfect since I usually end up with far more tabs than I can read efficiently, this will make me able to read everything in order, and I'll even be able to keep my focus on the more massive posts! I knew I should keep this shorter, but I wanted to thank you properly. Just... Wonderful, thank you.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Rationality Quotes June 2012 · 2012-06-03T00:35:55.876Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.

-- Albert Einstein

Comment by spectral_dragon on One possible issue with radically increased lifespan · 2012-06-02T13:52:08.247Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That all sounds rather well, but sort of lights warning lights in the back of my head - that sounds suspiciously like an Applause Light.

My current issue would probably be regulation - it's possible this will all happen within a century. What if some superintelligent beings don't get to handle it in a few billion years? What if WE have to face it, with the less than rational people wanting to live as long as possible (We might want to too, but try to look over the consequences. Or I HOPE so at least), then what? I'm not asking what anyone else should do. I'm asking what WE should do in this situation. Assuming it first becomes available in developed countries to those that can pay for it, and gradually, which to me seems most likely, what happens and what can we do about it?

Comment by spectral_dragon on One possible issue with radically increased lifespan · 2012-05-31T20:36:49.177Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's interesting, but doesn't cover the points I'm most concerned about - within a century, it's likely this will become a problem, birth/death have to be regulated. And given not everyone is rational... How do we do it? Cost, promising not to have kids, or what?

Also, I agree that the human mind might not function at optimum efficiency that long. It's a side point, and can probably be fixed, but... We're NOT adapted to live more than a few millenia at best. Maybe even a few centuries. Though this is only speculation.

Comment by spectral_dragon on One possible issue with radically increased lifespan · 2012-05-31T12:30:40.800Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. Should I move it? If so, I don't know how.

I'd really like to see anyone here who really knows what they're talking about (I don't, for example, but I want to know) discuss it here. Currently looking for both a plausible situation and solution.

Comment by spectral_dragon on One possible issue with radically increased lifespan · 2012-05-31T12:15:37.689Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I don't, but I'm NOT going to stop thinking about something just because smarter beings are considering it as well.

The problem is that I'm worried we'll reach the point of having to choose between long lives/no artificial reduction in birth rates/an elite with an advantage and most people carrying on as usual, far too soon. We won't have progressed to superintelligence when this first becomes an issue. It might even be that we've not left the solar system by that time. And most people will definitely be more against letting a possible AI shape the fate of mankind than the thought of using science (It's a vague term, but I'm not sure what will increase our lived most first - tech, drugs or gene splicing).

So we might have to face this issue, even within our own lifetimes. While I still have only a crude understanding, I think it's possible we have to face something like this. At the very least, the amount of resources we have even without increased lifespans will pose problems.

Comment by spectral_dragon on One possible issue with radically increased lifespan · 2012-05-31T12:04:51.028Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you! That was what I was looking for in a title, I just couldn't seem to find the right words. I'll be editing the title in a minute. I also got pretty intimidated - within 10 minutes I'd lost about a fifth of my total karma and no one would tell me why. That seems to me another weakness - we are too quick to vote and seemingly not good enough at debating some topics and explaining WHY something deserves to be voted up/down.

Comment by spectral_dragon on What useful skills can be learned in three months? · 2012-05-30T22:02:02.456Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think Lifehacker has a lot of this kind, like 10 tech things you can teach yourself can be really helpful.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Feeling Rational · 2012-04-23T15:01:18.945Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting post. I think something like that happened to me - I was only glad when I was right, or at least thought I was right, but... Doesn't rationality in general diminish sadness over non-acute things? Sure, wars are awful no matter how rational or irrational you are, but... For example, dealing with the fact that The Universe Doesn't Care seems very troublesome for a lot of my peers, to the point where they push it away, same with genetically-determined intelligence.

Same with, as I've noticed, a seeming lack of empathy towards people. Not sure how to deal with that, as I want to be right, and correct others, even when they don't like it. Ah, the dilemmas... And I can't think of a third alternative either.

Comment by spectral_dragon on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2012-04-01T16:50:44.107Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

By definition atheism is closed minded.

Is it, really? I find more open mindedness in "there is no evidence for this, so I have no reason to believe it" than any theism. Someone telling you to be open minded usually means they want you to agree with them: Accepting a solution instead of considering others as well. It's happened to me, when people talked about ghosts, which have been disproven regardless. But then, it's just accepting one seemingly possible solution.

If all unlikely explanations seem possible, how is it open minded to select just one?

Comment by spectral_dragon on Rationality Quotes March 2012 · 2012-03-07T20:20:47.859Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe we should, then. I've always percieved it as we can potentially deduce everything from... Well, not just that fact, but the assumption that what is is, and we can only do our best to interpret it. We'll most likely never be completely right, I know damn well I'm not, but I understand your reasoning, anyway. What would in your view be impossible to deduce, then?

Comment by spectral_dragon on Rationality Quotes March 2012 · 2012-03-06T18:04:56.946Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for clearing that up! As far as I can tell, however, all subjective knowledge is based on interpretations of the objective. We can all be wrong, but what is, is. We experiment to figure out what is in the first place, before we can try to form calculations, no? It would be more of something like "look at the territory first, else you might fall and break your neck if your map's wrong". I feel like I'm missing something painfully obvious here, though. Where am I going wrong here?

Comment by spectral_dragon on Rationality Quotes March 2012 · 2012-03-06T15:39:34.387Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I have yet to study probability theory in depth, but how can it be wrong? It simply means relying on facts, reason of wishes, facts instead of faith. Probability might be interesting, but since it's subjective, it only serves as an estimate in figuring out what might be true. The above quote tells us that facts are facts, and we can choose not to believe them, but they are still there. Using logic, for example Occam's Razor, helps in discerning fact from belief.

The quote can be boiled down to "what is is, regardless of our knowledge".

Comment by spectral_dragon on Rationality Quotes March 2012 · 2012-03-04T02:13:50.988Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"The only sovereign I can allow to rule me is reason. The first law of reason is this: what exists exists; what is is. From this irreducible, bedrock principle, all knowledge is built. This is the foundation from which life is embraced. Reason is a choice. Wishes and whims are not facts, nor are they a means to discovering them. Reason is our only way of grasping reality--it is our basic tool of survival. We are free to evade the effort of thinking, to reject reason, but we are not free to avoid the penalty of the abyss we refuse to see."

-- Terry Goodkind, Faith of the fallen. I know quite a few here dislike the author, but there's still a lot of good material, like this one, or the Wizard Rules.

Comment by spectral_dragon on How to Seem (and Be) Deep · 2012-02-16T23:16:08.595Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Next time around, I'd be more careful to link to tvtropes - that site is even more addictive than lesswrong! Ah, Eliezer, you continue to find new ways to steal time from me.

Is there any deepness, though, that you can just figure out without previously contemplating it, or is nearly all philosophy something that needs to just be explained later? And isn't then anything deep just regurgitating what we've already thought?