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Comment author: Metus 08 December 2014 12:19:59PM 11 points [-]

Physics: "what is energy?"

I am a graduate student of physics and I am inclined to say that I now know even less about what energy is.

Comment author: Emile 08 December 2014 04:03:19PM 0 points [-]

Maybe completely blanking on that question is a sign of having studied some physics?

Comment author: Emile 02 December 2014 08:59:37AM 0 points [-]
Comment author: [deleted] 24 November 2014 11:46:40AM 1 point [-]

I am considering deleting all of my comments on Less Wrong (or, for comments I can't delete because they've been replied to, editing them to replace their text with a full stop and retracting them) and then deleting my account. Is there an easier way of doing that than by hand?

(In case you're wondering, that's because thanks to Randall Munroe the probability that any given person I know in meatspace will read my comments on Less Wrong just jumped up by orders of magnitude.)

In response to comment by [deleted] on Open thread, Nov. 24 - Nov. 30, 2014
Comment author: Emile 24 November 2014 01:12:54PM 1 point [-]

?! But your name seems even less tractable to yourself than mine is, and I don't worry about that!

(also, if you take into account the probability that they will link those comments to you, and that they will think badly of you because of it, no?)

Comment author: Capla 21 November 2014 09:48:19PM *  1 point [-]

and you can't see the forest if you mind sees every tree.

Why not? I'd just ask to see every tree and the forest. Transcending current human limitation is exactly what the singularity is god for.

Comment author: Emile 22 November 2014 01:59:38PM 1 point [-]

exactly what the singularity is god for

... I'm not sure whether that is a misspelling ... (Freudian slip?)

Comment author: Emile 21 November 2014 08:34:41AM 8 points [-]

(ok, I deleted my duplicate post then)

Also worth mentioning: the Forum thread, in which Eliezer chimes in.

Comment author: efim 20 November 2014 08:15:12AM *  1 point [-]

No, it doesn't look like they are the same person, they are from different countries and there is no reason for 'ment.if.ex' to know russian. [edited to hide the name]

Comment author: Emile 20 November 2014 09:36:40AM *  1 point [-]

From here:

(Do not write his name in the comments without the dots. Writing his name online summons him. I'm not joking.)

(not that this policy has been applied much here; and indeed he has been summoned)

(I also wondered whether it was that person, but decided the russian thing made it unlikely)

Comment author: Lumifer 18 November 2014 07:16:56PM 3 points [-]


Because if you're not upsetting some people, you are not impacting the status quo in any meaningful way.

Comment author: Emile 18 November 2014 11:09:34PM 3 points [-]

What's so great about impacting the status quo? That doesn't seem like something worth aiming for. I mean, yeah, sure, most ways of making the world a better place impact the status quo; but most ways of making the world a better place involve making noise at one point of the other, that doesn't mean that making noise is some great thing we should aim for.

Things that make the world (or lesswrong, or your family, etc.) a worse place are more likely to make people upset than things that make the world a better place. There are also more ways to make things worse than to make things better.

Comment author: Capla 18 November 2014 03:06:22AM 0 points [-]


Yeah. I've been posting a lot recently and my overall karma is increasing, but my percentage of positive karma is steadily decreasing. I suppose that if I'm not upsetting some people, I'm not doing a good job, even among a community that I by and large respect.

Comment author: Emile 18 November 2014 05:13:01PM 5 points [-]

if I'm not upsetting some people, I'm not doing a good job

Why?? I occasionally hear that repeated, but it sounds like a cheap excuse to act like a dick, or to retroactively brush off when people point out when you said something wrong in public. It calls to mind the image of a lazy teen spouting out every random stupid idea that goes through his mind and considering that the essence of being a Brave Independent Thinker.

(this is not targeted at you, Capla, I haven't been paying special attention to your posts)

Open Thread: What are your important insights or aha! moments?

16 Emile 09 November 2014 10:56PM

Sometimes our minds suddenly "click" and we see a topic in a new light. Or sometimes we think we understand an idea, think it's stupid and ignore attempts to explain it ("yeah, I already know that"), until we suddenly realize that our understanding was wrong.

This kind of insight is supposedly hard to transmit, but it might be worth a try!

So, what kind of important and valuable insights do you wish you had earlier? Could you try to explain briefly what led to the insight, in a way that might help others get it?

Comment author: FiftyTwo 04 November 2014 02:51:03AM 5 points [-]

Working on a near future hard sci fi story. What are plausible economic reasons to have a fair number of space stations? (generally earth orbit but can be further out)

Comment author: Emile 07 November 2014 10:41:57PM 2 points [-]

As others mentioned: mining, special manufacturing exploiting microgravity.

A lot of competition and innovation in the area of data transfer protocols and encryption and localization and espionage increasing the need for engineers that can build, test and maintain new communications directly from orbit, which is cheaper than launching prototype after prototype.

A fad for having a marriage and honeymoon in space, making luxury space hotels commercially viable.

Companies having headquarters in space as the ultimate signal. Especially if it gives them an advantageous legal environment.

China wanting to outshine the US, so heavily subsidizing the stuff above for it's citizens / companies.

Space junk becoming enough of a problem that specialized repair and disposal jobs become viable, mostly financed by the satellite insurance companies.

Some of the things above increasing the number of space flights, and so decreasing prices and making a few more uses become viable.

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