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

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

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Comment author: FeatherlessBiped 31 December 2011 12:55:49AM 5 points [-]

(Reposted from the wrong thread, per Kutta's suggestion)

If by "rationalist", the LW community means someone who believes it is possible and desirable to make at least the most important judgements solely by the use of reason operating on empirically demonstrable facts, then I am an ex-rationalist. My "intellectual stew" had simmered into it several forms of formal logic, applied math, and seasoned with a BS in Computer Science at age 23.

By age 28 or so, I concluded that most of the really important things in life were not amenable to this approach, and that the type of thinking I had learned was useful for earning a living, but was woefully inadequate for other purposes.

At age 50, I am still refining the way I think. I come to LW to lurk, learn, and (occasionally) quibble.

Comment author: orthonormal 04 January 2012 01:15:45AM 5 points [-]

Welcome!

If by "rationalist", the LW community means someone who believes it is possible and desirable to make at least the most important judgements solely by the use of reason operating on empirically demonstrable facts

You'll be relieved to know that's not quite the Less Wrong dogma; if you observe that your conscious deliberations make worse decisions in a certain sphere than your instincts, then (at least until you find a better conscious deliberation) you should rely on your instincts in that domain.

LWers are generally optimistic about applying conscious deliberation/empirical evidence/mathematical models in most cases besides immediate social decisions, though.

Comment author: FeatherlessBiped 08 January 2012 05:51:04AM 1 point [-]

Thanks for the introduction and welcome. Upvoted.