Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron 2015-12-07T21:39:27.650Z


Comment by wizard on Who Wants The Job? · 2018-07-24T05:33:48.165Z · LW · GW

Typical ultra-privileged useless advice rambling from an interviewer who can choose who to reject and got the goal of hiring someone anyway and still complains. Like the guy who says "people can't program" but he extended the definition of "can't program" way beyond non-programmers to apply to people using IDEs on the corner.

As an interviewer you can dismiss anyone based on anything that pops your head like "didn't engage or show interest properly" (wow!) or "hmm, seemed rude at the phone" to "doesn't seem employable" and no one calls you on extreme random prejudice, then justify it because some cvs had grammar errors, as if you'd easily get hired trivially by not committing this mistake whereas other cvs can be dismissed too for any reason if they don't like whatever answer you gave to a company trick question, you don't answer fast enough or simply they don't like your face at the interview.

My answer, since more typical insults wouldn't fit the culture of the forum; go get 2^^^^^4 razor cuts on fire by malignant time-travel AIs.

Comment by wizard on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-10T19:04:47.562Z · LW · GW

I'm talking about classes where teachers cover the topics and occasionally there are movies. Even in a class like this, the success rate of it is low, unless one has real experience on their own (self-learning by books, traveling abroad to where they speak that language). Reading a book in class and outside cannot be compared. The teacher has to specifically assign a "book-reading" class then read out loud for a class (that will cover... a single chapter per lecture?) and the material they choose is usually something artificial they made for the course... it's not comparable. You say these classes are effective. I don't believe you.

Comment by wizard on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-10T14:48:50.369Z · LW · GW

That was an example but it could be woo.

Go down a level and find a class or collaboration group on the object level thing you want to do.

That's not realistic advice. You can't simply take a single class because you're interested in it, if you do so you have to take the whole time-consuming package of other classes that you may or may not be interested in, the class could be another year. Usually you do it because of pressure or you have to take the chance that the credentials are useful for something.

There are specific exceptions, one that I know is foreign language. I know people who've been 4 years on foreign language courses and haven't learned it. I suggest reading an actual book written in that language then looking up what you don't know. I know this works because I tried it, not that taking one semester of class first isn't good. But nope, maybe another class is better. Hmmm.

Comment by wizard on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-09T22:43:15.848Z · LW · GW

SolveIt: In the very thread there is someone who confuses this and you say, "My post was about classes, not "self-improvement communities". I'm very skeptical about the latter."

I'm not contesting that learning is improving but there is a class of things that people call self-improvement like "how do I not procrastinate". There is a common term for lone-wolf learning which is "self-learning". Not every improvement is learning either, what if you do a workout? If there are already two common terms why switch them? But then, when I was introduced to LW I saw a post mentioning "literal wireheads". Hmm.

But if you are simply talking about learning things by reading a book from home (vs a class setting where the professor barely explains the subject matter, rants about unrelated stuff for an hour then asks you to learn by reading a book from home and this is "motivating"), you can do it just fine. If you want to socialize, there are other ways to do so.

Comment by wizard on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-09T13:24:36.697Z · LW · GW

Title is misleading, I thought you were going to talk about self-improvement in general for which this was an interesting statement but it's about academic learning so why not "against lone-wolf learning"? What you said is both, (1) already consensus pretty much everywhere, everyone thinks taking classes is best, it's improbable that even someone from LW isn't aware of this viewpoint (2) clearly wrong, but not something I feel discussing and I'm only replying to complain that I was click-baited into reading this.

Comment by wizard on A defense of Senexism (Deathism) · 2017-01-06T16:01:48.282Z · LW · GW

Has anyone considered that life may not be that great? Considering that:

  • Death is by default neutral as you get none of the downsides of life.
  • One has to cope every day with the fact of being alive (what they call existential problems). Unless you (1) find distractions, (2) find a compelling project to work on, -- and these are temporary solutions subject to Diminishing Returns --, you'll experience sheer boredom, ennui, anxiety, self-doubt, etc. I suspect this point applies to everyone, even someone otherwise really fortunate in a best-case scenario who has won the lottery.
  • High potential for disappointment and misfortune.
  • Half of life is spent working, which may be tiring or stressful.
  • Doing chores.
  • Old age increases problems.
  • Possible depression or other mental disorders.
  • Possible poverty, be starving.
  • Able to experience pain.
  • (Bonus) By eliminating life we also eliminate the possibility of bad AIs instituting worse-than-death scenarios.
Comment by wizard on My Kind of Moral Responsibility · 2016-12-30T21:48:10.873Z · LW · GW

I don't get the problem here.

A murderer is bad. A non-murderer is neutral. Some guy is good. A martyr is gooder.

Somehow he takes this and utilitarianism to mean that everyone is evil, a non-sequitur. Then he blames the bystander for deaths that don't even have a cause-effect connection to him.

Comment by wizard on Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron · 2016-02-05T00:16:37.980Z · LW · GW

Edit: the ultimate truth is too much for mortals to behold.

Comment by wizard on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-11T04:14:02.844Z · LW · GW

That's the reason Batman doesn't use guns.

Comment by wizard on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-10T18:12:07.126Z · LW · GW

It seems a stretch to put Buddhism in the category of don't-really-care-about-Being. Rather, it's an important point that there is no being and realizing so brings countless bliss and enlightenment.

Comment by wizard on Are we failing the ideological Turing test in the case of ISIS? (a crazy ideas thread) · 2016-01-09T21:46:55.483Z · LW · GW

ISIS is led by a cabal of wizards. The destruction they caused feeds into a spell designed by smart, rational magicians to create the Philosopher's Stone.

Comment by wizard on Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron · 2015-12-14T05:56:36.409Z · LW · GW

Fair enough, the idea already exists although in the edgier guise of satan.

Have you actually tried using any of them?

I did most and added some for completion. I already had some contact with spirits and mystical visions.

Comment by wizard on Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron · 2015-12-14T05:45:19.848Z · LW · GW

Yes, everyone has permission to gather followers and begin cults for Rationatron.

Comment by wizard on Open thread, Nov. 16 - Nov. 22, 2015 · 2015-11-22T02:00:10.946Z · LW · GW

My understanding is that LWers do not believe in a permanent consciousness.

  • A teleporter makes a clone of you with identical brain patterns: did it get a new consciousness, how do you tell your consciousness didn't go to the clone, where does the consciousness lies, is it real, etc.
  • It's not real, therefore the clone is literally you.

Either that or we're dying every second.

Comment by wizard on Rationality Quotes Thread November 2015 · 2015-11-05T13:51:07.014Z · LW · GW

The world is all that is the case.

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein

Comment by wizard on What is the best way to develop a strong sense of having something to protect · 2015-09-12T18:47:25.552Z · LW · GW

Maybe I couldn't resist posting this suggestion (sorry) because "having something to protect" is such a staple of anime. But - there's also a good case to be made here.

An analogy is motivational posters. Animes are essentially motivational posters for "having something to protect", since after all this is often the moral of them. Nonetheless, they have advantages over motivational posters:

  • Higher budget. They can last hours, have animation instead of a single phrase, etc.
  • They follow narratives (Hero's Journey, etc)
Comment by wizard on What is the best way to develop a strong sense of having something to protect · 2015-09-08T03:37:54.738Z · LW · GW

Watching the animes. Witnessing the struggles and bravery of Goku, Seiya, Naruto, Ichigo and Harry Potter will motivate you to follow in their heroic footsteps.

Comment by wizard on Is semiotics bullshit? · 2015-08-25T16:51:19.818Z · LW · GW

Wow, that sounds like a lot of bullshit?? It's like those theories where lizards inhabit the Hollow Earth. Sorry you had to put up with those fakes. They need to wake up and realize that magic is not real.

Edit: before you say I didn't look into it in extreme depth before calling it bullshit, consider that I'd be losing... a bajillion utilities by doing so!! I lost enough utilities just looking at a cursory explanation of the theory it's really bad

Comment by wizard on Magic and the halting problem · 2015-08-25T16:37:04.342Z · LW · GW

This line of inquiry is very weird. To address this you'd have to define what you mean by "magic". I believe in this community they call this the "TabbooGame". It's a game where you tabboo the word "magic".

After you tabboo the word magic, then you're just asking if it's possible for laws of physics to exist where you dress as a wizard and wave sticks. It's definitely not possible in our world because I tried and never got any superpowers (damn!!). It's "possible" but it's very lazy for a law of physics for something so complex as dressing as a wizard and waving sticks to exist. [slander against anime and Harry Potter].