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

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

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Comment author: hesperidia 07 January 2012 10:45:02PM 5 points [-]

Hi,

I recently found myself making a rather impassioned defense of how living logically does not preclude living morally. As I have found monitoring my actions to be more reliable than introspection, this was a much better confirmation of "I think this is the right thing to do" than my saying to myself that I think this is the right thing to do.

Other proximate causes include TVTropes via Methods of Rationality (obviously), one of my acquaintances linking several articles in succession from this site, and the fact that I find myself extremely prone to hero-worshipping anyone who happens to be more intelligent than I am.

I have historically had some hang-ups around the concept of "right" and "true" and am currently attempting to disentangle my rather weird upbringing (and its non-religious but nevertheless absurd repurposing of the concept of "not being wrong") from the practice of matching map to territory.

Meanwhile I am an 18-year-old psychology/biology major in college who enjoys actually reading from scientific journals on subjects that include evolutionary psychology and theories of autism spectrum disorders.

Personally, I have some unusual experiences involving actually caring about large numbers of people, the topic of which I am not sure I want to broach immediately. (That, however, is why I'm excited about transhumanism. If my mind is augmented then I can coherently think about large numbers of people without either compressing or ignoring them. And my day won't be ruined if I happen to accidentally read yet another news story about hundreds of thousands of people dying. Suffice it to say, screw the 24-hour news cycle, I have to remain ignorant of most news in general for my own sanity - if you guys have anything for that, please let me know.)

Comment author: MixedNuts 07 January 2012 10:50:32PM 0 points [-]

How do you feel about news about large numbers of people being saved?

Comment author: hesperidia 07 January 2012 11:16:41PM 0 points [-]

I seem to underweight such news, mostly because of the difficulty of speculating on what "would have happened", although another contributory factor is that such news is rare and frequently suffixed with a number of disclaimers about how it could still happen somewhere else, etc. etc. (Yes, I am glad that the Fukushima nuclear reactor didn't end up exploding; but other reactors in other parts of the world are at least as old and prone to breaking down if they're looked at wrong.)

Comment author: MixedNuts 07 January 2012 11:19:11PM 0 points [-]

I was thinking in terms of cures or vaccines for diseases. So we know a lot of people died, and will continue to die from other diseases, but these bits aren't new, while the reduction in death toll is. (Bonus: they're also a lot less rare than I thought.)

Comment author: hesperidia 08 January 2012 12:36:47AM 0 points [-]

Hm. Well, this I have not thought about in detail, but my immediate emotional reaction is "so what?" which is not really helpful to me on any count.

This is probably exacerbated by the aforementioned difficulty in determining "could have beens". I will sit on this question overnight and see what happens.