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Viliam comments on Becoming stronger together - Less Wrong Discussion

14 Post author: b4yes 11 July 2017 01:00PM

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Comment author: Viliam 15 July 2017 10:10:04PM 3 points [-]

Congratulations on actually doing things! Seems to me that it may be difficult for a smart person to actually do things, because they don't have a comparative advantage there. If you are an Einstein, you have higher probability to invent theory of relativity than the average Joe. However, it will cost you the same amount of work and time to develop muscles. And your time may be actually more costly, because you are busy inventing the relativity. So in some sense it seems wasteful for Einstein to do what anyone can do equally well. Problem is, everyone can benefit from the theory of relativity being invented (e.g. they can use GPS navigation), but everyone has their own health to care about.

Most of the things you describe -- exercise, diet, finance, programming, polyamory -- can be also done by deeply irrational people. Is there anything specifically Less-Wrong-like about what you do? Because I don't see any probabilistic equations or artificial intelligence here. It feels more like Quantified Self; especially the parts about tracking your data. Which is not a criticism of you, just saying that epistemic rationality and instrumental rationality often feel like separate magisteria.

I wonder how much of functionality of your group could be preserve without the personal meetings, as an option for rationalists interested in instrumental rationality, but living too far away from similarly thinking people. Perhaps with some videoconferences, where people could see face to face; or just a blog or Slack channel where people would use their real photos.

We share tips about tools and techniques, and show each other our data. Journaling, time tracking, exercise logging, step counting, finance tracking...

Could you share some of those with us? Perhaps as a separate article.

Most of us are, mostly or completely, vegetarian or vegan.

You mention taking B12 supplements to the vegan diet. Are there other important things an "aspiring vegan" should take care about?

Many of us are polyamorous.

"Rationalists and polyamory" is becoming a trope. I am curious whether you are dating within the rationalist community or also with non-rationalists. If within the community, how much is gender imbalance a problem? If outside the community, do you have an opinion on whether polyamory in rationalist circles is similar to polyamory outside, or whether "rationalist polyamory" is significantly different; and how specifically?