Comment by stripey7 on Chaotic Inversion · 2020-12-14T19:22:32.829Z · LW · GW

Unless you're on a really short deadline, why even regard this as a problem? Maybe your brain does some things best while your conscious attention is elsewhere.

Comment by stripey7 on Think Like Reality · 2020-12-14T19:10:32.819Z · LW · GW

"What many people refer to as common sense is nothing more than a collection of prejudices accumulated before the age of eighteen." -- Einstein (first quote I ever memorized, at age nine)

Comment by stripey7 on Probability is in the Mind · 2020-10-31T02:18:37.582Z · LW · GW

Kinship, or more accurately the lack of it, is likewise in the mind. That's why it always annoys me to see the parenthetical phrase "no relation" in a newspaper or magazine article.

Comment by stripey7 on Dissolving the Question · 2020-09-13T12:33:50.896Z · LW · GW

This question never sounded like a meaningful one to me. By the time I first heard it, I was familiar with the understanding of sound as vibrations in the air, so the obvious answer was "yes."

Comment by stripey7 on The Modesty Argument · 2020-09-13T12:27:17.348Z · LW · GW

I can recall at least one occasion on which I momentarily doubted I was awake, simply because I saw something that seemed improbable.

Comment by stripey7 on The Pyramid And The Garden · 2020-07-13T17:09:53.932Z · LW · GW

There's a very good reason not to consider longitude vs. latitude as a degree of freedom. Latitude is measured from the Equator, which is objectively defined by the motion of the Earth. But longitude is measured from the Greenwich meridian, which was defined by nothing more than where the creators of the coordinate system were located.

Comment by stripey7 on The Virtue of Narrowness · 2015-07-30T01:27:21.899Z · LW · GW

It may be a particular incident or person in EY's head, but it's not a unique one. It was very reminiscent of a crank interviewed for a segment of This American Life, who evidently wasn't unique judging from the way physicists reacted to his communications. It's also reminiscent of at least one conversation I've had.

Comment by stripey7 on Mind Projection Fallacy · 2015-07-25T16:34:11.925Z · LW · GW

The Christian in your example isn't projecting ter mind into the atheist's mind. Te is, OTOH, if te says, "You must hate God," or "Why are you so pessimistic?"

Comment by stripey7 on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2015-06-12T18:31:32.294Z · LW · GW

True, but from the definitions I found on this site, those aren't quite the same.

Comment by stripey7 on Hindsight Devalues Science · 2015-06-12T18:25:25.656Z · LW · GW

I "got" 2/5 of the above, before reading they were inverted.

When I took a psychology survey course in college, Dr. John Sabini gave a lot of attention to social psychology experiments, and much of the class was very surprised at their results; they didn't say they "would have predicted them." Of course Sabini may have been cherry-picking results that were likely to surprise. But I've seen it claimed elsewhere that social psychologists in the '60s were largely preoccupied with producing results that would grab a lot of attention by being counterintuitive.

Comment by stripey7 on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2015-04-19T00:36:09.695Z · LW · GW

That quote from J. S. Mill would be perfect for a pasted-on "billboard improvement."

Comment by stripey7 on Privileging the Hypothesis · 2015-04-03T15:15:52.910Z · LW · GW

What do you think of Huw Price's suggestion ( that if one allows for the possibility of advanced action, it's possible to have paradox-free physics within a single universe, since Bell's theorem only proved the non-existence of non-local hidden variables?

Comment by stripey7 on Outside the Laboratory · 2015-03-09T14:50:02.682Z · LW · GW

Especially since Mormons are in the habit of converting non-Mormons after their deaths.

Comment by stripey7 on Outside the Laboratory · 2015-03-09T14:43:24.760Z · LW · GW

My value system is just the opposite. To me eternal hellfire is the worst thing possible, hence infinitely worse than nonexistence. But since the chances for it appear infinitesimal, I easily assign greater expected utility to the freedom from cognitive dissonance that consistent empiricism affords me.

Comment by stripey7 on Church vs. Taskforce · 2014-12-28T03:10:17.312Z · LW · GW

Actually many such groups exist already, except they're not arbitrarily limited to self-described rationalists -- for instance, the committee that's working on a garden for an elementary school in my neighborhood.

Comment by stripey7 on Non-standard politics · 2014-11-02T04:15:46.879Z · LW · GW

I could be called libertarian socialist or libertarian communist. It's hard to say whether I fit the "usual" meanings of the individual words since most people don't have a clear idea of what any of them mean. Certainly I don't fit any of the categories in the first part of the survey. In the extra credit part I could pick "socialist," but only by ignoring the definition in the first part. "Anarchist" would describe one aspect of the desired end (non)state, but often implies a more rigid attitude toward present-day politics than I actually have.

Comment by stripey7 on Non-standard politics · 2014-11-02T03:39:08.343Z · LW · GW

A third point would be that, often, the reason for the miscarriage was a fundamental defect of the embryo or fetus that makes it nonviable.

Comment by stripey7 on Non-standard politics · 2014-11-02T03:35:22.188Z · LW · GW

The latter is exactly my position and the reason for it, although I didn't know the term "Schnelling point" years ago when I decided that.

Comment by stripey7 on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-29T16:07:25.622Z · LW · GW

The political ideology question seems to equate libertarian with libertarian capitalist, and communist with totalitarian There's no option for libertarian communism/socialism.

Also, the moral philosophy question seems to assume one believes moral questions have truth values. "None" isn't given as a choice.

Comment by stripey7 on Philadelphia Meetup: Sunday 12/6, Postrel's _The Power of Glamour_-- Winfrey/Moore video link added · 2013-12-11T01:23:59.923Z · LW · GW

Wow -- quite an emotive piece. I suppose that very fact illustrates the point.

Comment by stripey7 on Links: so-called "knockout game" a "myth and a "bogus trend." · 2013-12-04T04:05:23.458Z · LW · GW

Sorry for you, but that's sort of a relief for me, since just a few months ago I got punched in the face in exactly the same way, and I was starting to think it must be part of this "trend" the media are reporting in the past couple weeks (of which I'd never heard before). So perhaps this was just a temporal coincidence. Or perhaps there are periods when it increases in popularity and others when it declines. The media stories I've heard didn't suggest a racial angle, by the way.

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-14T04:41:43.988Z · LW · GW

Once when I was maybe 13, I played a card-guessing game with my father. He would hold up a card and I would guess what it was, then he would show me what it was. For what seemed a very long streak -- like 15-20 cards in a row -- each of my guesses was not the card my father was holding, but the next card he held up, drawing from the top of a face-down deck. Although at the time I was inclined to believe in ESP, I knew this was anecdotal evidence, however bizarrely improbable a coincidence it might seem. In retrospect I wonder why we never repeated the game or tried to specify a hypothesis to test.

A few years ago my brother told me our father was an amateur hypnotist, and that he has memories of being hypnotized by him without his informed consent. I now wonder if he did something similar in this instance -- for instance, using a suggestion to prevent me from noticing that after each guess, he was searching through the deck for the right card to hold up next time.

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-14T04:25:11.432Z · LW · GW

One may surmise that, if the family not been in an unusual state of tension already, your younger brother would have figured it out for himself.

Comment by stripey7 on Good movies for rationalists? · 2013-11-14T04:01:45.199Z · LW · GW

One movie that certainly portrays a rationalist favorably is Contact. An almost-perfect humanist movie is UFOria, which weaves the two leads' developing connection with each other and with reality together in a very organic way. Unfortunately, in the last few seconds it seems to wimp out in favor of ontological ambiguity.

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-04T02:03:05.298Z · LW · GW

Possibly you'd previously mentioned his name to her before forgetting it. Or she'd seen the name somewhere. Or she'd seen him on the street.

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-02T20:23:36.195Z · LW · GW

I experienced this striking coincidence between what I was reading and what I was doing:

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-02T20:13:11.873Z · LW · GW

The red appeared to be in the water only for a split second, and then everything was clear again. The kind of transition you're proposing would surely take longer.

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-02T20:02:17.422Z · LW · GW

On rereading your post (and decoding the last part), I realize my explanation doesn't fit.

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-02T19:53:08.170Z · LW · GW

I have a similar dream frequently, in which I levitate simply by pointing my toes upward, causing me to rise a few feet off the ground. Alternatively, I sometimes fly horizontally like Superman. This has led to the repeated experience of waking up and realizing I can't fly after all, and subsequently dreaming it and realizing "I can fly after all." But there are also times when, after starting to fly in a dream, I recall that this is something I can only do in dreams, and thereby infer that I'm dreaming. Sometimes this induces a creepy paradox feeling that compels me to wake myself up; at other times I'm comfortable continuing in the dream even while knowing it isn't real.

There are also times when I'm in a state close to sleep -- either having just awakened, or having become drowsy later in the day -- when my brain is in a state that makes me feel I should be able to fly. At these times I can't resist trying to "will it," even though I know intellectually that it's impossible.

Comment by stripey7 on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-02T00:45:22.366Z · LW · GW

The most anomalous experience I can recall was when I was 14 or maybe 15. My workplace was a makeshift walk-down below ground level, in which the restroom was constructed from plywood with a bare electric light bulb hanging over it IIRC. At the time of this incident, I was being frequently harassed by a co-worker about the same age as myself. While using the restroom on one occasion, it seemed for an instant that I was spraying blood into the toilet, yet in the next instant there was no sign of blood anywhere and the water in the bowl seemed perfectly clear. I initially assumed that this was some sort of prank on the part of my co-worker, yet I couldn't explain why there was no residue of blood to be seen, nor where there was any opening through which he could have sprayed it.

Later I wondered if it might have been a laser pointer, but the lack of any apparent aperture makes this just as unsatisfying an explanation. I'm also not sure these had been invented at the time (probably 1976.)

One plausible explanation eventually occurred to me: vg znl unir orra n genafvrag vyyhfvba pnhfrq ol n pbfzvp enl uvggvat zl bcgvp areir.

Comment by stripey7 on Review of studies says you can decrease motivated cognition through self-affirmation · 2013-11-01T00:49:46.476Z · LW · GW

I have no studies to cite, but in my personal experience, expanding my social circle from almost exclusively a rather ideologically narrow grouping of political activists, to people with whom I shared various other sorts of interests, I became much less defensive about my beliefs and much more capable of revising them, and in fact did so for a number of them. In real time, I perceived this as a consequence of no longer being totally dependent on the first group for my senses of community and identity.

Comment by stripey7 on Superintelligence fiction - "Understand", by Ted Chiang · 2013-10-08T02:03:53.878Z · LW · GW

I'll have to reread before I can make a comment specific to this story. But I found the collection as a whole (Stories of Your Life and Others) incredibly stimulating. I don't think I've ever seen so many really original ideas between two covers.

Comment by stripey7 on The Santa deception: how did it affect you? · 2010-12-27T05:38:41.245Z · LW · GW

I'm no fan of Chick's, but that's a bit of a reach.

Comment by stripey7 on The Santa deception: how did it affect you? · 2010-12-24T03:58:50.313Z · LW · GW

I'm aware of no evidence that theistic belief even helps people be more altruistic. I subscribe to the view held by many psychologists, that philosophical rationales (including theistic ones) are usually the effects of behaviors, not their causes, while the actual causes are typically emotional in nature. As TheOtherDave suggests, the kind of emotional response people have to a situation is largely shaped by their previous social experience.

Comment by stripey7 on The Santa deception: how did it affect you? · 2010-12-24T03:43:41.100Z · LW · GW

I would suggest you be a good skeptic and answer the question about Santa Claus the same way you answered the question about Jesus: that you don't believe in him. Note this isn't the same as saying he doesn't exist, as this would be stating as fact that which is only highly probable.

Comment by stripey7 on The Santa deception: how did it affect you? · 2010-12-24T03:38:18.394Z · LW · GW

There's a valid point here, with one big qualification: one can learn the truth about Santa Claus without first being deceived by one's parents, with the emotional confusion that may bring. It's the same as how I learned about skepticism of God: I was acquainted with the concept through my peers' belief in it, and when I asked my mother about it she explained that this is an idea people came up with when they didn't understand the Universe as well. My parents could have let me learn about the fiction of Santa the same way, without modeling deception themselves.

Comment by stripey7 on The Santa deception: how did it affect you? · 2010-12-24T03:23:50.573Z · LW · GW

I stopped believing in Santa Claus at age seven, probably shortly after Christmas, when my older brother told me he didn't exist. I was very upset and cried at the time. But a year later, as Christmas approached I had a very "special," superior feeling from knowing something my parents didn't know I knew. I think it was on the same Christmas day when I was eight that I informed them I knew he wasn't real. Mysteriously, after this he no longer gave me any presents, though I think the total number was unaffected.

I don't recall having any conscious sense of having learned any more general lesson from this experience. It didn't lead me to stop believing in God since I never had, my parents being atheists. I suppose it might have made it easier to understand how others could believe in God or other things without objective foundation but, again, have no conscious recollection of its having played that role.

Seems to me you probably can't learn much from individual anecdotes about the causal relations being asked about here.