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

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

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Comment author: DasAllFolks 28 December 2011 02:23:08AM 5 points [-]

Hi all,

I'm a 23 year old male living just outside of Philadelphia, PA, and this is my first post to LessWrong after having discovered the site through HPMoR the Summer of 2010. I have been reading through the Sequences independently for the past year and a half.

To make a long story short, I came to consider myself an aspiring rationalist after I used rational methods to successfully diagnose myself with Tourette Syndrome this past May (confirmed by a neurologist) after my symptoms, which I had exhibited since age three and a half, had been missed or misdiagnosed by my family and medical professionals alike for 20 years. Successfully hacking such an insidious threat within my own mind inspired me to investigate how else rationality might enable me to optimize both my own life and the world, hence my increasing participation on this site.

I am presently doing some independent consulting work while I await audition results from graduate programs in Opera; if I do not gain acceptance to any program which I consider to be worth the time and money, I plan to return to school in the Fall to retrain in Physics (my original major was in Electrical & Computer Engineering and I worked as a software engineer for roughly a year, but my study of rational methods allowed me to realize, upon careful reflection, that my path to this field was quite haphazard and largely influenced by sunk costs. Armed with a better-trained brain, I intend to do better than this going forward).

LessWrong-related topics which interest me heavily (although I still consider myself a fledgling learner in nearly all of these) include Transhumanism and indefinite life extension, mind/body hacking for optimal health and self-improvement, methods for achieving optimal happiness, seasteading, and, as my experience with Tourette Syndrome might suggest, evolutionary psychology and using rational methods to overcome severe genetic and learned biases. I would be particular eager to write an article analyzing the wide prevalence of neurological disorders such as Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and ADHD in the general population through the lens of evolutionary psychology once my experience with the Sequences is somewhat more comprehensive.

Other personal interests include music (Classical voice, trumpet, piano, and conducting to varying degrees, with an eye to learning composition), entertainment technology/theme parks, theatre, physics, reading, writing, film, computer science (though not to the level of depth of many on this site), economics, travel, entrepreneurship, and a slew of other topics.

I would be particularly eager to create a regularly scheduled LessWrong meetup in Philadelphia or the Philadelphia suburbs, as it appears that the Philadelphia chapter has lain dormant for more than a year now. Please feel free to comment on this post if you are in the Philadelphia area and would be interested in doing this; I will happily take care of the scheduling logistics if it helps this group become a regular fixture!

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 December 2011 02:45:06AM 0 points [-]

I live in Philadelphia and I'm interested in meet-ups.

Comment author: DasAllFolks 29 December 2011 05:25:08AM 2 points [-]
Comment author: DasAllFolks 29 December 2011 04:46:51AM 0 points [-]

I'm happy to hear it, Nancy. I'll be announcing a Philadelphia meetup shortly; I hope to see you on the comment thread!

Comment author: loxfordian 28 December 2011 04:10:26AM 0 points [-]

I live right outside Philly and would be interested in meet-ups too!

Comment author: DasAllFolks 29 December 2011 05:25:16AM 1 point [-]
Comment author: DasAllFolks 29 December 2011 04:47:19AM 1 point [-]

I'm happy to hear it! I'll be announcing a Philadelphia meetup shortly; I hope to see you on the comment thread!