Falsification 2012-03-12T03:59:08.854Z
LessWrong opinion of Nietzsche? 2011-11-25T16:08:50.632Z
How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? 2011-11-20T04:23:44.233Z
Any good visual images to explain complicated ideas? 2011-11-03T22:10:36.312Z
Trouble with Bayes Theorem? (The actual math is confusing) 2011-09-25T04:49:49.990Z
Subjective Realities 2011-09-20T19:10:06.590Z


Comment by TheatreAddict on Falsification · 2012-03-15T06:52:46.257Z · LW · GW

He doesn't accept it at all, no idea why.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Falsification · 2012-03-12T10:25:47.374Z · LW · GW

Yeah, he's trying to make the argument that Occam's Razor doesn't work. He insists he understand probability theory and how Occam's Razor works, but he still thinks it's an invalid argument.

I don't understand why. He's religious, and he says that Occam's Razor should prove God exists, then. Because it's easier to just say, "God did it." But I argued that God is a complex being.. ehh.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Undiscriminating Skepticism · 2012-01-22T04:43:53.187Z · LW · GW

Okay, so astrology to me sounds extremely unscientific. But I haven't read anything on the subject, and other than knowing that it's something a lot of scientists thing is.. unscientific. To be perfectly fair, I can't just dismiss it because other people dismiss it.

I'd like to be able to dismiss it for scientific reasons. Because I was reading my horoscope, and I was like, "Hmm, well these are extremely vague statements that could apply to anyone and I don't particularly identify with." But then I was reading a friends, and I majorly freaked out because of how accurate it was.

So because of that, I now want to know the truth. Either astrology works or it doesn't. Does anyone know how I could go about determining this? I mean, does anyone have any books or online articles that they would recommend? I'd really appreciate it. I just want to understand.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Less Wrong mentoring thread · 2012-01-03T06:42:19.839Z · LW · GW

I'm a junior in high school. My GPA isn't terrible, but isn't good. 3.6ish. Meh. I'm of relatively average intelligence, I just possess a genuine curiousity for learning and stuffs. So... learning for me requires more effort than most people on here, it seems.

Basically, I'm confused about politics. I don't really know how to define myself, or even what side I like better (US politics, Republican vs. Democrat), or even if I should identify with a certain party. I have trouble even determining what I think about political issues, because it seems to me like the objective truth, if there is any in politics (to me it seems that multiple solutions exist... yet I assume one has to be at least somewhat more advantageous), is extremely muddled and difficult. And given it's hard to find an unbiased opinion... I just want the truth, damnit.

If anyone is interested in talking to me about stuffs, feel free to email me or add me on Facebook and message. I'm a part of the LessWrong high school club on Facebook.

Comment by TheatreAddict on How is your mind different from everyone else's? · 2011-12-08T03:05:26.567Z · LW · GW

I probably share this with many people, it's just that I haven't come into direct contact with anyone who shares this. I'm extremely right-brained. I'm an actor. I'm slightly introverted, but I do pretty well with people, I struggle in math and science.

Yet I want to be a scientist. Which is a fairly left-brained aspiration, I think. Especially the heavier sciences, like physics. I don't know if that's a realistic goal.

And that isn't really unusual, my mind is higly regular. It's just that I'm using my brain for things it's not as capable of as other people... This is beginning to sound like a disadvantage. But being right-brained isn't all bad. Coming up with creative ideas is nice and fun. :]

Comment by TheatreAddict on Welcome to LessWrong (For highschoolers) · 2011-11-28T20:55:06.677Z · LW · GW

Thanks! :D

Comment by TheatreAddict on Welcome to LessWrong (For highschoolers) · 2011-11-28T05:18:51.596Z · LW · GW
  1. Hello! I'm Allison, 16, a Junior in high school.

  2. Yes, I've tried to enhance my education.. I mean, my GPA is 3.6, so I don't think I fit in with the LessWrong community very well. I'm not gifted with a natural born intelligence. I'm not saying I'm stupid, I'm just saying I'm not a genius and have to work pretty hard what comes easily to others. I struggle in math at school, despite being interested in it. I'm a thespian, so I'm fairly right-brained. But even though school is challenging for me, I also sometimes find it boring. And as I like learning, but not learning boring things, I've turned to the Internet for knowledge. This Christmas, I'm getting some textbooks found on the LessWrong textbook recommendation page. I try to independently study quantum mechanics (albeit largely unsuccessfully), philosophy, and probability theory.

  3. Heh. Well, my family, none. They're devoutly religious. I'm not. They don't know... I'm sort of a closet atheist. And yes, I know I probably shouldn't care what other people think of me, and just tell my family that I'm not religious. But I do care. So for now, I'm keeping silent. For the longest time, because I've been raised in a highly religious environment, I had no friends in real life who were rational/philosophical. BUT. This year I've had the pleasure of meeting two great people who have challenged my thoughts on philosophy, and have helped me to refine and develop my views on the subject into what they currently are. Also, they're fun pals to chat with.

  4. I'm considering being an actor, or possibly a scientist, if I can wrap my mind around the material. I'm not really sure at the moment. I like philosophy, but I can't really make a career out of majoring in philosophy. Although it would be the most interesting road to poverty.

  5. Thiel Fellowship? Not sure what that is.


Also, sorry if this is an extremely long post.

Comment by TheatreAddict on LessWrong opinion of Nietzsche? · 2011-11-25T16:33:20.281Z · LW · GW

I'm not really sure if there's any actual link between Nietzsche and rationality, I was merely curious what a person who possesses rationality's opinion was on Nietzsche. If that makes sense.

Thanks, though. Thus Spoke Zarathustra is on my list to read after I finish Human, All Too Human. On my copy of Human, All Too Human, though, they messed up the formatting of the comma on the main page, it wasn't centered properly after "Human", making it look extremely awkward.

I loled. Ironic?

Comment by TheatreAddict on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T17:04:27.274Z · LW · GW

I was, but it would've made more sense to refer to Harry's, sorry, my bad.


Comment by TheatreAddict on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T06:33:26.081Z · LW · GW

Oh.. Erm.. I read that wrong. >_>


Comment by TheatreAddict on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T06:24:38.192Z · LW · GW

This may seem like a silly question, but why isn't not-not-dying the same thing as dying?

Comment by TheatreAddict on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T06:19:02.484Z · LW · GW

Awhh! :D You're welcome! It makes me happy knowing I helped someone.. Albeit inadvertedly. :]

Comment by TheatreAddict on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T04:58:40.300Z · LW · GW

Your first link doesn't work, but I'll check out the second one. I don't completely understand, but I understand more than I did before you commented, so thanks! :]

Comment by TheatreAddict on You Are A Brain · 2011-11-03T22:05:04.165Z · LW · GW

So... Does anyone know of any helpful presentations? My brain likes pictures. This was probably the most helpful thing I've come across on here. I'm 16, not the best at math and complex equations, so this sort of helped a lot of stuff click in my mind. :)

Comment by TheatreAddict on Subjective and Objective Reality: My Essay · 2011-10-27T05:26:28.220Z · LW · GW

Are you referring to staying away from the topic in the essay, or in general? Because I'll admit to being a complete layman on QM, but I do find it interesting. Mind-blowing and confusing, certainly, but interesting.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Subjective and Objective Reality: My Essay · 2011-10-27T04:11:34.007Z · LW · GW

"The debate was then concluded, long ago, because this was science and not a debate club."

Hahahaha. Fair enough point. I'll change that, I sort of wrote the introduction first, when I had done minimal research, and so when I saw that people still believed in subjective reality, I assumed that it was still a legit viewpoint, even though I disagreed with it. I'm glad that I got the recently revived by quantum mechanics part right though. The audience is my teacher, who's fairly intelligent, and while I'm not entirely sure he's familiar with the concept, I'm thinking about going into further detail with the quantum mechanics and briefly (if that's possible) covering how exactly the debate was revived by quantum mechanics. Thank you, Sir.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Trouble with Bayes Theorem? (The actual math is confusing) · 2011-09-25T05:37:17.623Z · LW · GW

I'm awfully glad to here that, I'm not a big fan of percentages... Real numbers just come easier to me, I suppose.

Once I figure out the formulat itself, then I feel comfortable using a calculator, but I hate using a calculator if I don't understand the mental math to begin with.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Trouble with Bayes Theorem? (The actual math is confusing) · 2011-09-25T05:17:06.521Z · LW · GW


Well, thanks Owen, Swimmy. I now understand Bayes Theorem significantly more than I did a half hour ago. :)

Comment by TheatreAddict on Trouble with Bayes Theorem? (The actual math is confusing) · 2011-09-25T05:08:39.874Z · LW · GW

Thanks. I'm pretty sure I understand now. Although I'm not sure why I get the correct answer when I'm working with the actual numbers and not percentages when I do the math wrong.

But when I do the math like you wrote, I get the right answer for the precentages. So I get that part. But aren't I ignoring the base rate in the actual numbers one? Or no?

Comment by TheatreAddict on Interest in LW meetup in Farmington Hills, Michigan? · 2011-09-25T04:29:10.694Z · LW · GW


Comment by TheatreAddict on Subjective Realities · 2011-09-25T04:18:05.431Z · LW · GW

Whoever thumbed up my comment about not understanding.... Why?

XD If someone doesn't understand something, I'm not going to slap them on the back and tell them "Good job."

Comment by TheatreAddict on Subjective Realities · 2011-09-21T19:03:07.825Z · LW · GW


I confronted him with many of these arguments.

He still expects that people will exist in the future.

I think I've figured it out. This is what is wrong with his belief.

  1. It doesn't pay rent.

Even if he's right, and people stop existing when we stop percieving them, it still won't change how we behave, or what we're expecting to happen. He expects to see his friends later, he just says he can't prove they exist at the moment. (I asked him about memories, he said that we still have memories of dead people, are they alive?)

  1. It's not falsifiable. It doesn't constrain experience, I can't use this new idea as a model for future information. It's utterly useless because it permits anything to happen.

When I think about it, it's like the tree dropping in the forest analogy. We're not anticipating different experiences. We both expect to see our mothers later. And we can both agree that we cannot percieve people when they aren't in front of us.

He's just choosing a rather complicated way to state the obvious. At least this is what I'm getting.

Am I right, guys?

Comment by TheatreAddict on Subjective Realities · 2011-09-20T19:56:13.713Z · LW · GW

Thank you (and others who have posted) for helping me with this silly argument.

:) I'll let you know how things turn out. He's quite clever at thinking on the spot.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Subjective Realities · 2011-09-20T19:23:32.385Z · LW · GW

I've already read that, and I still don't understand.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Meetup : Chicago Meetup · 2011-07-09T06:50:26.206Z · LW · GW

Oh, well... Not that I'd.. well, yeah, I'd probably feel a bit awkward. Still, I plan on going to Chicago sometime in the next year, do teenagers show up at the Chicago one?

Comment by TheatreAddict on Fake Causality · 2011-07-09T06:47:14.543Z · LW · GW

Ehh, I don't mind the exaggeration and oversimplification.. If it wasn't simplified, I probably wouldn't understand it. :3

Comment by TheatreAddict on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-07-09T06:11:56.937Z · LW · GW

Edit: I've read most of the sequence, Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions.

Comment by TheatreAddict on How An Algorithm Feels From Inside · 2011-07-09T03:26:33.126Z · LW · GW

So.. is this pretty much a result of our human brains wanting to classify something? Like, if something doesn't necessarily fit into a box that we can neatly file away, our brains puzzle where to classify it, when actually it is its own classification... if that makes sense?

Comment by TheatreAddict on Two More Things to Unlearn from School · 2011-07-09T03:16:31.984Z · LW · GW

As a student, I can definitely see the benefit of not having knowledge just, as you said, handed to me on a silver platter. I'd actually much rather be challenged to attempt to figure out something for myself instead of simply being told about it. It honestly makes science rather dull, simply because I have a horrid teacher who doesn't even understand the material she teaches. Hopefully next year I'll have a competant teacher for physics.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Meetup : Chicago Meetup · 2011-07-09T02:43:12.103Z · LW · GW

It's alright. I'm rather new to the site, so would you happen to know if there are ever events or meeting in Michigan? And how old are the people who usually go? Do teens ever show up?

Comment by TheatreAddict on Say Not "Complexity" · 2011-07-08T17:42:27.759Z · LW · GW

I think I just thought of an insanely over-simplified analogy.

Say I'm not invited to my best friend's sleepover and I don't understand why. I call her, and the answer she gives me is: "It's complicated."

The situation might indeed be complicated, but the word complicated is just a fake explanation... :D Amiright, guys?

Comment by TheatreAddict on Fake Causality · 2011-07-08T16:57:46.352Z · LW · GW

Thank you for clearing that up for me.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Fake Causality · 2011-07-08T15:04:07.673Z · LW · GW

So.. How precisely would I go about doing this? I mean, let's say I really thought that phlogiston was the reason fire was hot and bright when it burns. Something that today, we know to be untrue. But if I really thought it was true, and I decided to test my hypothesis, how would I go about proving it false?

What I think the point is about, is that if I already believe that phlogiston was the reason fire is hot and bright, and I observe fire being both hot and bright, then I think this proves that phlogiston is the reason fire is hot and bright. When actually, that's pointless because I'd have to prove that phlogiston is indeed the reason fire is hot and bright, not the other way around. Am I right? Or did I just end up confusing myself even more, because I'm not entirely sure that what I said is correct and/or makes any sense. O_o

Comment by TheatreAddict on Scope Insensitivity · 2011-07-08T13:44:05.895Z · LW · GW

Thanks. :3

Comment by TheatreAddict on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-07-08T07:00:48.365Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I mean from history, it shows that even when people think they're right, they can still be wrong, so if I'm proved wrong, I'll admit it, there's no point holding onto an argument that's proven scientifically wrong. :3

Hmm, I've darted around here and there, I've read a few of the sequences, and I'm continuing to read those. I've read how to actually change your mind. I've attempted to read more difficult stuff involving Bayes theorum, but it pretty much temporarily short-circuited my brain. Hahh.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Meetup : Chicago Meetup · 2011-07-08T05:57:39.675Z · LW · GW

I might've gone if I had prior notice. :/

Comment by TheatreAddict on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-07-08T05:54:48.773Z · LW · GW

Ahh! I forgot, I learned about this site through Eliezer Yudkowsky's fanfiction, Methods or Rationality. :3 A good read.

Comment by TheatreAddict on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-07-08T05:51:49.682Z · LW · GW

Hello everyone,

My name is Allison, and I'm 15 years old. I'll be a junior next year. I come from a Christian background, and consider myself to also be a theist, for reasons that I'm not prepared to discuss at the moment... I wish to learn how to view the world as it is, not through a tinted lens that is limited in my own experiences and background.

While I find most everything on this site to be interesting, I must confess a particular hunger towards philosophy. I am drawn to philosophy as a moth is to a flame. However, I am relatively ignorant about pretty much everything, something I'm attempting to fix. I have a slightly above average intelligence, but nothing special. In fact, compared to everyone on this site, I'm rather stupid. I don't even understand half of what people are talking about half the time.

I'm not a science or math person, although I find them interesting, my strengths lie in English and theatre arts. I absolutely adore theatre, not that this really has much to do with rationality. Anyway, I kind of want to get better at science and math. I googled the double slit experiment, and I find it.. captivating. Quantum physics holds a special kind of appeal to me, but unfortunately, is something that I'm not educated enough to pursue at the moment.

My goals are to become more rational, learn more about philosophy, gain a basic understanding of math and science, and to learn more about how to refine the human art of rationality. :)

Comment by TheatreAddict on Scope Insensitivity · 2011-05-01T17:25:16.764Z · LW · GW

If three groups of subjects were asked how much they would pay to save 2000/20000/200000 birds... Was one group asked how much they would pay to save 2000 birds, another group asked how much they would pay to save 20000 birds, and the final group asked how much they would pay to save 200000 birds? Or was one group asked how much they would pay to save 2000, then 20000, then 200000 birds, and the experiment repeated on the other two groups? I didn't quite understand... I think I was reading too hard into the subtext. But I'm leaning towards the first one, can anyone elaborate?