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roryokane comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) - Less Wrong

42 Post author: orthonormal 12 August 2010 01:08AM

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Comment author: roryokane 14 August 2010 09:31:03AM *  5 points [-]

Hi, I’m Rory O’Kane. I’ve been reading Less Wrong for a few months. I first came across it a year or two ago, when a Hacker News comment linked to the AI-in-a-box experiment description. I followed some links from that and liked each Less Wrong post I read. A few more times in the next months, I stumbled across a random comment or article pointing to a Less Wrong post that I also enjoyed, until I finally decided to read the About page and see just what Less Wrong was all about anyway. Every so often, I came to the site, read posts, and followed links from those posts. In this way I read most of the sequences, but not in the order listed on the wiki.

I have been programming computers since I was 7 and I like math too, so articles about how to think logically naturally interested me. I’ve been reading and loving Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality – I’ve recently noticed many more of the stupid actions characters in stories do, and HPatMoR has helped satisfy my want for a story in which characters generally don’t do such obviously stupid actions. (There are examples of such actions in, for instance, the magical girl anime CardCaptor Sakura, in which the main character Sakura just accepts that she has to collect all of the magic cards without asking their magical guardian how the cards were created and who created them, or what the meaning behind a certain recurring dream is, or how magic works, or what this upcoming doom he keeps hinting about is.) I’m in college right now taking a Computer Science degree, about to start my sophomore year. I’m currently trying to figure out what the elements of the best possible programming language would be, hoping I can eventually write a language or tool to ease my frustration at the redundancy of C++, which we must program our assignments in.

A note about the welcome post:

A note for theists: you will find LW overtly atheist. […] This isn't groupthink; we really, truly have given full consideration to theistic claims and found them to be false.

I don’t really like the use of “we” here. I, too, am atheist, but I would guess that there are probably some people new to this site who are atheist but who have not yet really “given full consideration to theistic claims”. I would revise the sentence to “In general, this isn't groupthink; most of us really, truly have given full consideration …”.

Comment author: orthonormal 15 August 2010 02:28:33AM 4 points [-]

I don’t really like the use of “we” here. I, too, am atheist, but I would guess that there are probably some people new to this site who are atheist but who have not yet really “given full consideration to theistic claims”. I would revise the sentence to “In general, this isn't groupthink; most of us really, truly have given full consideration …”.

Hmm, fair point. Quick poll below:

Comment author: orthonormal 15 August 2010 02:29:53AM 10 points [-]

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Comment author: komponisto 15 August 2010 02:41:54AM *  5 points [-]

Voting for original wording. In context, "we" clearly refers to the "core" of LW, which, just as clearly, is the collection of people whose atheism needs explanation to new readers.
Changing to "most of us" implies there is a notable subset of participants who haven't given full consideration, and draws attention to that subset ("well, most of us have...[but there are a few people who haven't]").

There isn't any need to weasel-word around the atheism here; it's not anything we need to be apologetic about.

Comment author: orthonormal 15 August 2010 02:29:22AM 2 points [-]

Vote for me if you would prefer the post edited as suggested. (Karma balance below.)