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EphemeralNight 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: EphemeralNight 07 September 2011 11:09:40PM *  6 points [-]

Hello LessWrong.

We'd love to know who you are, what you're doing, what you value, how you came to identify as a rationalist or how you found us.

In order then,

I would consider myself to be on the line between an aspiring and burgeoning Artistic Polymath; a storycrafter not picky about means or medium, but very picky about what I would call Extrapolated Contextual Detail. For my part, I treat stories very much like thought-experiments, and as such I've invested a lot of effort in expunging from my mind the defaultness of the environment in which I was raised, so that it does not taint my creations (I am still far from perfect at this). Unless I am mistaken, this particular route to rational thinking is less than common here, but even coming from a different direction, I seem to have ended up in the same place. However, I don't think it was storycrafting in itself that led me to question why I thought what I thought. I remember the very first time I Noticed My Confusion. It's actually one of my very earliest memories, pre-kindergarten: I wanted to know how computers worked, and I had books for kids with big friendly titles like "How Computers Work" but they didn't actually explain. I remember working myself up into quite a fit before my dad finally found an old textbook of his and used it to actually explain logic-gates and such to me. My artistic inclinations were with me that early, also, and I don't know which developed first or if they're even related. But that was the trend of my early life, at least until the public school system spent 12 years crushing my spirit and destroying my health. Today I happen to be male, 22 years old, sexually attracted to females, ambiguously pale, and of average height and weight. Also romantically bereft, socially frustrated, and professionally aimless, mostly due to my sleep disorder.

Officially, I'm unemployed. Unofficially I'm being paid to house-sit here in California for my dad, who lives in Arizona. Beyond that, I am currently working on: planning a fantasy novel or two, planning a finite-length webcomic or three, producing machinima, learning 3d-modeling, writing fanfic, and map-making in Starcraft 2. Also, keeping a log of how long it takes for my sleep cycle to lap the clock (20 days on average so far), ever since I discovered that my abnormal circadian rhythm was an actual recognized neurological condition and not just some bizzare psychological problem.

I value creativity and sexuality. I value other things as well, of course, but these are the pieces of the human puzzle that most intrigue me. On sexuality, I personally (since I try to modify my self to test my theories, lacking a more reliable experimental option) have what are likely to be very weird views. For instance, I've managed to get myself to honestly feel that it is morally reprehensible to be squicked-out by anyone's sexual attraction towards myself, regardless of my own reciprocal attraction or lack-thereof. I'm also fairly confident that I've succeeded in completely decoupling my sense of identity from my gender. My pet theory is that a far greater portion of the human sociosexual dynamic than commonly thought, is Nurture rather than Nature. Given how drastically I've been able to change my own sexual morals, I've come to have some confidence in the theory.

I don't know if I do identify as a Rationalist yet (note the capital) because I'd rather not risk falling into the traps of Cheering or Atire.

I discovered LessWrong through TvTropes. I did little more than glance at the site before diverting to read Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which captivated me right from the first chapter, for having clearly not Hollywood!Science and for the character of HJPEV who I related to instantly and not just because we have the same sleep disorder. His lamentation of child-prodigies who flash and fade hit particularly close to home even though I never really considered myself a prodigy (I never specialized in just one thing enough to be good enough, and I never saw the point of working to better myself in unenjoyable ways since I'm just going to cease to exist several decades down the road anyway. Yes I was still in the single-digits when I first comprehended my own mortality). I also read Luminosity before finally coming back to LessWrong, which was awesome for being what Twilight should have been. I've read somewhat more than half of the Sequences so far. Its very much engaging stuff, and its great to be able to put names to all the stuff that's been going on in my head for a while now, and grow those seeds into more robust understandings.

Comment author: Oscar_Cunningham 08 September 2011 08:59:00AM 2 points [-]

Welcome!

Extrapolated Contextual Detail. For my part, I treat stories very much like thought-experiments, and as such I've invested a lot of effort in expunging from my mind the defaultness of the environment in which I was raised, so that it does not taint my creations

That's very cool.

Comment author: lessdazed 07 September 2011 11:38:47PM 0 points [-]

it is morally reprehensible

Welcome!

Someone with the stamina to go through half the sequences should take a relatively brief detour and read Yvain's posts. Finishing them isn't as time consuming and the content is dense in value. Disease.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 07 September 2011 11:41:14PM *  1 point [-]

(That post assumes Eliezer's sequence about words though.)