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

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

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Comment author: SamuelHirsch 13 August 2012 07:20:57AM 4 points [-]


I am joining this site as a senior in Engineering Science (most of my work has biomedical applications) in college. I am 22 years old, and despite my technical education, have less online presence (and savvy) than my Aunt's dog. As a result, I apologize in advance for anything improper I may do or cause.

Some personal background: I grew up in the Appalachian foothills of northwestern New Jersey, USA with two brothers in a (mildly observant, Conservative) Jewish household. I mention this because the former explains my insular upbringing, as opposed to the latter, which was the main encouragement for me to reach out to this site and others in an effort to better rationalize my own beliefs and world-view. These relative causes and effects appear to be somewhat unique from what I've observed in casual conversation with others, as well as a brief skimming of this site before I realized I simply had to join it. (Forgive my squee as I step into the unknown of online forums and blogs.)

Where I am (or would like to be) headed: I will be working as an EMT until I can get the few post-bacc credits needed before I apply to medical school. Those credits may stretch into a Masters in BioMedical Engineering, but that is still up for grabs. For whatever reason, the race consciousness' need for progeny runs strong in me, although I'm not picky on if the children come from my genes, so long as it's legal. :). The reason I mention this, is that one of the most pressing issues I am currently facing is determining whether the girl I've been seeing for several years is the one. Please, do not feel compelled to respond with date tips - I only included this information as this selection is one of the driving forces behind my search for more logical and rational thinking.

(What a segue! I'm getting better at this introduction as it continues.)

Why I am here: Ha, I wish I could answer that question. But really, the reason I came to Less Wrong can not be pointed at any one issue, although there are some stronger points. One, I've just mentioned. Another can be pointed at my belief system. (It may have the trappings of religion, and I may have been the Religious Affairs Liaison to my university's student government, but I dislike that word for reasons longer than I can enumerate at this moment.) Simply put, I was unsatisfied with my religious (note!) upbringing's ability to explain my experiences, so I 'checked out' many belief systems until I ironically persuaded myself into my current situation of being a more .....devout/observant/adjective-that-doesn't-call forward-the-word-psychotic Jew than anyone else in my family. Certainly, I welcome any discussion on the topic, both because I wouldn't want to dissuade anyone from speaking openly to me and because this is still in a state of flux. That is, infact how I arrived at the site, when I followed a link while searching for a personal chavruta. My third and final motivation that I'll mention is that I simply and truly wish to clarify my own side while directly understanding others' in all aspects of my life. This is hardly new to me, but I've only recently learned the tools for self-improvement may be found outside the mind and I am thus reaching out to you.

Ultimately, I hope to get out of this site as much as I put into it (which I plan to be a lot). As you watch me grow, don't hesitate to correct me. I will certainly make an effort to ensure my future posts are not as long, nor as full of paranthetical comments. (Although really, I come from a not easily summarized background, and between being easily distracted and recently filling out application forms with limited characters, I just couldn't help myself.) I honestly am honored that anyone is even reading this far down into my words, as they're the first I've ever posted and I realize I've gone on quite enough. In that spirit, thank you all so mucb for your time and contributions across this site. I look forward to getting to know you, myself, and maybe even some online etiquette. Goodnight to all,and to all a good night.

Yours, SamuelHirsch (Samuel on COW)

Comment author: SamuelHirsch 13 August 2012 07:40:55AM 1 point [-]

This is probably a tremendous faux pas but after waking up my girlfriend (work at 4am), I realized I could potentially make myself look less idiotic and stave off great frustration while risking the wrath of self-commenting haters. To wit, I did in fact know Less Wrong existed but wrongly assumed that it was a forum for self-aggrandizement, where one could simply type enough large words and be thought correct, rather than a platform for self-betterment. The irony in that sentence notwithstanding, this prejudice against bouncing ideas and methods of analysis off other people has held me back in the past. I will do my best to overcome it, both here and elsewhere. Thanks for your patience - I hope that provided a little insight into some of my limitations as I move forward.