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Kallio comments on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) - Less Wrong

25 Post author: orthonormal 26 December 2011 10:57PM

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Comment author: Kallio 27 December 2011 01:03:34AM 21 points [-]

Hi; I've been reading LessWrong for more than a year and a half, now, but I never quite got around to making an account until today.

So, introduction: I'm eighteen years old, female, transgender. I live in California, USA. I don't have a lot of formal education; I chose to be homeschooled as a little kid because my parents were awesome and school wasn't, and due to disability I've not yet entered college.

The road to rationalism was fairly smooth for me. I'm a weirdo in enough ways that I learned early on not to believe things just because everyone else believed them. It took a little bit longer for me to learn not to believe things just because I had always believed them.

I guess my major "Aha!" moment came when I was fourteen, after I finally admitted to myself that I was transgender. I had lied to myself, not to mention everyone else, for almost a decade and a half. I had shied away from the truth every time I'd had the opportunity to see it. And while I'd had pretty good reasons for doing so (Warning: Big-ass PDF), the truth felt better. Not only that, but knowing the truth was better, in measurable ways; it allowed me to begin to move my life in a direction I actually liked.

Avoiding the truth had hurt me enough that I began systematically examining every belief I could think of, and some I would rather not have thought about at all. And thus was a rationalist born.

I found LessWrong in spring of 2010, through Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. I haven't had the time to read all, or even most, of the sequences yet, but I've made a good start on them: so far I've read all of Map and Territory, Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions, Reductionism, and A Human's Guide to Words. I've also read large parts of How To Actually Change Your Mind, as well as bits and pieces of other sequences, and various independent articles. They've helped a lot, both with teaching me things about rationalism which I didn't already know, and making me more sure of the things I'd worked out for myself.

Since I'm interested in not only rationalism, but also in probability theory, transhumanism, and both human and machine intelligence, this has been pretty much my favorite site to read ever since I found it. Thanks for being awesome.

Comment author: [deleted] 08 February 2012 02:20:25PM *  3 points [-]

Welcome to the site Kallio!

The road to rationalism was fairly smooth for me. I'm a weirdo in enough ways that I learned early on not to believe things just because everyone else believed them. It took a little bit longer for me to learn not to believe things just because I had always believed them.

I don't think you are alone in your experience of this. People here are pretty contrarian, metacontrarian even. I hope that in the month since you've posted this you've continued to gain utility from the site. :)

I haven't had the time to read all, or even most, of the sequences yet, but I've made a good start on them: so far I've read all of Map and Territory, Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions, Reductionism, and A Human's Guide to Words. I've also read large parts of How To Actually Change Your Mind, as well as bits and pieces of other sequences, and various independent articles. They've helped a lot, both with teaching me things about rationalism which I didn't already know, and making me more sure of the things I'd worked out for myself.

While I have long ago read most of them, there are still sequences that I haven't read in a systematic fashion and I don't think I'm that exceptional among long time readers in that regard, so once you feel you've gotten a good grasp on issues don't be afraid to post. Also if you have a question about the material, need a beta reader for a contribution or would just like to discuss stuff with someone, please feel free to PM me.

All the best, Konkvistador