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In response to Any Christians Here?
Comment author: abcdef 14 June 2017 10:21:33PM *  0 points [-]

Catholic here. In regards to the Litany of Tarski, I can say that I want to know the truth since childhood, so I qualify. I have been given a 100% certainty (yes, 100%) that Jesus Christ is God and that ex-cathedra pronouncements of the Popes are true, so I draw my conclusions.

Comment author: Bound_up 21 June 2017 11:14:42PM 0 points [-]

That sounds interesting. By "given a 100% certainty," do you mean that you just noticed that a certainty about certain propositions was now in you, where once it wasn't?

Comment author: Valentine 01 June 2017 03:36:15AM 4 points [-]

I think there's another option to look for.

Sometimes the way you're thinking makes assumptions you're not noticing about how to draw lines in the first place. And they see that, and they see that your assumptions are blocking you from understanding. But they don't know how to explain it in your paradigm. Which means it's easier to ask you to suspend your way of trying to understand and just try something different.

A silly example is with bike riding. Someone who never rode a bike before can study physics all they want to, and dive into neurology and see how learning works in principle and how that interacts with trying… but most of that basically doesn't matter. You just have to get on the bike.

But I see this show up in aikido too. People want to understand how to do a certain movement, but some people insist that they understand through words and principles, and those people are the hardest to teach. I have to slow them down, ask them to stop trying so hard to think of it that way, and draw their attention to their bodies instead. Then their bodies can teach them new nuances of experience.

I really respect the power of analysis. I find it annoying when people who think vague thoughts defend their status and worldview by trying to make me dumber.

But from the inside, sometimes that's what it'll look like when a person who is in fact seeing a dimension you're not even operating in is trying to point that fact out to you.

Comment author: Bound_up 09 June 2017 05:38:38PM 0 points [-]

You both make fine points, and I didn't think of them. Thank you

On "Overthinking" Concepts

3 Bound_up 27 May 2017 05:07PM

Related to http://lesswrong.com/lw/1mh/that_magical_click/1hd7


I've NOT been confused by the problem of overthinking in the middle of performing an action. I understand perfectly well the disadvantages of using system 2 in a situation where time is sufficiently limited.

And maybe there are some other fail modes where overthinking has some disadvantages.

But there's one situation where I'd often be accused by someone of "overthinking" something when I didn't even understand what they might mean, and that was in understanding concepts. I would think "Huh? How can thinking less about the concept you're explaining help me understand that concept more? I don't currently understand it; I can't just stay here! Even if you thought I needed to take longer to try and understand this, or that I needed more experience or to shorten the inferential gap, all of that would mean doing more thinking, not less."

Then I would think "Well, I must be misunderstanding the way they're using the word 'overthinking,' that's all." I'd ask for a clear explanation and...

"You're overthinking it."

Now I was overthinking the meaning of overthinking. This was really not good for my social reputation (or for their competency reputation in my own mind).


Now, I think I got it. At last, I got it, all on my own.

I'm asking them to help me draw precise lines around their concept in thingspace, and they're going along with it (at first) until they realize...they don't HAVE precise lines. There's nothing there TO understand, or if there is, they don't understand it, either. Then they use the get-out-of-jail-free card of "You're overthinking."


Honestly, most nerds probably take them at their word that the problem is with them, and may be used to there being subtle social things going on that they just won't easily understand, and if they do try to understand, they just look worse (for "overthinking" again), so this is a pretty good strategy for getting out of admitting that you don't know what you're talking about.

Comment author: Bound_up 24 May 2017 11:36:45PM 0 points [-]

I'm trying to find the story of a computer therapist that was rated more positively than a real therapist.

If I remember correctly, the computer would basically rephrase and repeat back whatever you said to it, and people actually found this quite helpful.

Anybody know where I can find that? Maybe a link?

Comment author: Bound_up 17 May 2017 12:25:20PM 2 points [-]

Evolution has produced lots of utility functions in different animals. How many of them would you like to have maximized?

This is similar to "How did we get just the right amount of oxygen in the air for us to breathe?" or "How good of the Lord to create us to find the color green most relaxing when it's so prevalent in our environment."

Comment author: Bound_up 22 March 2017 01:36:56PM 2 points [-]

Maybe there could be some high-profile positive press for cryonics if it became standard policy to freeze endangered species seeds or DNA for later resurrection

Comment author: Bound_up 20 March 2017 11:49:25PM 0 points [-]

Suppose there are 100 genes which figure into intelligence, the odds of getting any one being 50%.

The most common result would be for someone to get 50/100 of these genes and have average intelligence.

Some smaller number would get 51 or 49, and a smaller number still would get 52 or 48.

And so on, until at the extremes of the scale, such a small number of people get 0 or 100 of them that no one we've ever heard of or has ever been born has had all 100 of them.

As such, incredible superhuman intelligence would be manifest in a human who just got lucky enough to have all 100 genes. If some or all of these genes could be identified and manipulated in the genetic code, we'd have unprecedented geniuses.

Comment author: Alicorn 17 March 2017 01:46:56AM 21 points [-]

If you like this idea but have nothing much to say please comment under this comment so there can be a record of interested parties.

Comment author: Bound_up 17 March 2017 01:27:56PM 1 point [-]

Absolutely. I've been looking into the different places looking to do something like this (like the Accelerator Project). Would definitely be interested in any similar things going on

Comment author: Bound_up 14 March 2017 12:49:12AM 0 points [-]

The not-"rational" (read "not central to the rationalist concept cluster in the mind/not part of the culture of rationalists"), but rational things we need to do.

The value of pretending, self-talk, I mention in another comment. The value of being nice is another not strongly associated with "rationalism," but which is, I think, rational to recognize.

There are others. Certain kinds of communication. Why can't any "rationalists" talk? The best ones are so wrapped up in things that betray their nerd-culture association that they are only appealing to other nerds; you can practically identify people who aren't "rationalists" by checking if they sound nerdy or not. There's probably a place for sounding a lot more like Steve Harvey or a pastor or politician if there's any place for effectively communicating with people who aren't nerds.

There are other anti-rationalist-culture things we should probably look for and develop

Comment author: Bound_up 11 March 2017 02:53:44PM 4 points [-]

On the Value of Pretending

Actors don't break down the individual muscle movements that go into expression; musicians don't break down the physical properties of the notes or series of notes that produce expression.

They both simulate feeling to express it. They pretend to feel it. If we want to harness confidence, amiability, and energy, maybe there's some value in pretending and simulating (what would "nice person" do?).

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches that our self-talk strongly affects us, counseling us not to say "Oh, I suck" kind of things. Positive self-talk "I can do this" may be worth practicing.

I'm not sure why, but this feels not irrational, but highly not-"rational" (against the culture associated with "rationality."). This also intrigues me...

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