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Author Topic: Less Wrong  (Read 2127 times)
kiba
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January 16, 2011, 05:09:34 PM
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Anybody read lesswrong.org?

I myself is still a newbie on this whole rationality thing.

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Hal
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January 16, 2011, 11:43:41 PM
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I read it off and on, and I've met several of the people involved. Yet another way to Change the World. Wei Dai is active there sometimes, one of the godfathers of Bitcoin.

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January 17, 2011, 12:48:21 AM
 #3

Anybody read lesswrong.org?

Thanks for letting me know about this site.

I've just read the article about Simpson's paradox.  I didn't know about it, but it confirmed my feelings about medecine making poor use of statistics as a inference tool.
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January 17, 2011, 05:27:16 AM
 #4

Hadn't been there, the Simpson's paradox article is good, I'll read more.

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February 23, 2012, 11:23:40 PM
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Apologies for practicing the dark arts of necromancy, but this had to be said.

Let's just put it this way. A person who reads LessWrong with some regularity is not the same as a person who doesn't. There really isn't any other site like it.

Anecdotally, LessWrong is how I learned about Bitcoin, and Wei Dai, whose b-money proposal was an inspiration to Bitcoin, is a top contributor.

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February 24, 2012, 04:18:07 AM
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It interested me at first -- then I found it underwhelming.

To me it screams aspergers and obsessions with the details. Sure, sound logic is good but it's not worth obsessing about -- to me at least.

Rationality stems from accounting for the following: Reality only exists within the individual human perception. Humans are independent actors subject to evolutionary and cultural forces.

Everything else will follow accordingly. Everything less wrong covers stems from that. Human systems are complex but as a whole aren't that difficult to comprehend from core principles.

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February 24, 2012, 04:26:18 AM
 #7

http://lesswrong.com/lw/oi/mind_projection_fallacy/

This article for instance just screams pedantry. We have Mr. Smartass here criticizing casual art on the basis that it isn't likely that an alien species could desire the female form in the first place.

To me, this is just socially retarded. As I said, the whole thing screams aspergers. I don't find anything pleasurable about questioning crap like this with no real utility in the end. They even have politics banned from what I've heard.

In a nutshell, it's a circlejerk of pedants.

The Communists say, equal labour entitles man to equal enjoyment. No, equal labour does not entitle you to it, but equal enjoyment alone entitles you to equal enjoyment. Enjoy, then you are entitled to enjoyment. But, if you have laboured and let the enjoyment be taken from you, then – ‘it serves you right.’ If you take the enjoyment, it is your right.
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February 24, 2012, 05:42:50 AM
 #8

To me it screams aspergers and obsessions with the details. Sure, sound logic is good but it's not worth obsessing about -- to me at least.
It's worth being careful with your logic when any mistake can drastically alter the conclusions you make.

It's not a secret that the LW community leans towards the asperger and nerd clusters, but it is markedly much more grounded than you'd expect from the stereotype, not confusing the everyday reality with highly simplified idealized models of it.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/oi/mind_projection_fallacy/

This article for instance just screams pedantry. We have Mr. Smartass here criticizing casual art on the basis that it isn't likely that an alien species could desire the female form in the first place.
This is an excellent example of how you've completely missed the point of LessWrong. Eliezer isn't criticizing the art - art exists to entertain, and if it does that that's fine. He's criticizing the thought processes that would lead us to think this is a plausible scenario - thought processes which are harmless when applied to SF, but which could be very dangerous when applied to some real situations.

Reality only exists within the individual human perception.
No, in fact common LessWrong opinion objects to the notion that reality exists in the mind. It is its perception that exists in the mind.

What you call pedantry, I call being careful with ideas, where mistakes can aggregate and make you reach very wrong conclusions.

Humans are independent actors subject to evolutionary and cultural forces.
That is an important observation in many LW analyses, but is a corollary, not a core principle, of rationality.

Everything else will follow accordingly. Everything less wrong covers stems from that. Human systems are complex but as a whole aren't that difficult to comprehend from core principles.
So it's better to say human systems are magical and mysterious and nobody could ever understand them?


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February 24, 2012, 06:43:05 AM
 #9

This reminds me of one of Issac Asimov's pieces: The Relativity of Wrong

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February 24, 2012, 07:54:50 AM
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Yeah that Asimov's piece and the whole lesswrong.org site is great.  Along a similar vein for people interested in this stuff I'd recommend reading How We Decide.

http://www.amazon.com/How-We-Decide-Jonah-Lehrer/dp/0547247990

Fascinating information that I think can be directly applied to everyone's daily life when making plans and decisions (and should be used and understood more overall).
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