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Comment author: [deleted] 25 March 2015 10:53:00AM *  3 points [-]

Being Swedish (at least by citizenship) is probably also a very good signal internationally speaking. Better than German for sure.

If you go to the ex-Eastern Block, you find German usually has the signal "awesome rich industrial powerhouse, want to imitate, the kind of capitalist overlord I would want to be become, bossing over everybody" and Swedish has the signal "pretty people with funny ideas like non-gendered kindergartens, lacking courage or else they would beat the shit out of immigrant rapists".

Basically in Eastern Europe German is the second most powerful signal after American, and since people tend to worship power it works...

In response to comment by [deleted] on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas!
Comment author: Friendly-HI 29 March 2015 03:52:03PM 1 point [-]

Could very well be true. But it leaves open the curious question what on earth I would be looking for in the ex-eastern block ;)

Comment author: arbo 20 December 2014 06:51:32AM 11 points [-]

Hello. I’m Mark. I’m a 24-year-old software engineer in Michigan.

I found LessWrong a little over a year ago via HPMOR. I’m working through the books listed on MIRI’s Research Guide. I finished Bostrom’s Superintelligence earlier this week, and I’m currently working through the Sequences and Naive Set Theory. I’m not quite sure what I want to do after I complete the Research Guide; but AI is challenging and interesting, so I’m excited to learn more.

P.S. I’m a SuperLurker™. I find it very difficult to post in public forums. I only visualize the futures where future!Me looks back at his old posts and cringes. If you suffer similarly, I hope you will follow my lead and introduce yourself. Throw caution to the wind! Or, you know, just send me a private message (a simple “hey” will suffice) and maybe we can help each other.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 26 December 2014 11:53:47AM 1 point [-]

Be honest, do you really actually fear cringing when you re-read your stuff months or years from now? Sounds to me like an invented reason to mask a much more plausible fear: Looking foolish in front of others by saying foolish things. Well in case you do make a fool of yourself you always have the option of admitting "back then I was foolish in saying that and I have changed my mind because of X". In this communuty being able to do that is usually accompanied with a slight status gain rather than severe status punishment and ridicule, so no need to worry about that.

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 24 November 2014 10:18:17PM *  2 points [-]

I had a similar issue, although I think it was just a product of OCD. I used to have insane, tear-your-hair out arguments online with idiots which I could never ever not respond to, no matter how petty. It just bounced around in my brain until I had to vomit out a response to stop myself from going nuts.

I'd like to see a competent cognitive-behavioral therapist, as Eliezer recommended, but I don't believe that competent mental health professionals actually exist. Better to do your own research, and find your own solution.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 25 November 2014 09:59:30PM 2 points [-]

I don't believe that competent mental health professionals actually exist

Ouch shots fired. How the success rate of CBT looks like depends heavily what exactly the mental health problem is. "Curing" or rather alleviating many kinds of phobias via cognitive behavior therapy has a really excellent success rate for example.

Comment author: Swimmer963 04 August 2014 02:05:20AM *  6 points [-]

Lots of reasons. The reasons why I originally chose it at age 15 aren't all the same reasons why I keep doing it now.

At age 15: -I wanted to get better at social skills, and nursing seemed like good practice for that. -I wanted a steady guaranteed well-paying job after 4 years of university. Not many things promise that. Nursing does. (My hospital guaranteed me a job, in the unit that I wanted, a year before I even graduated.) -I read number of books by Tilda Shalof about working as an ICU nurse, and my response to them was a powerful "yes, that, I want to do that."

Now: -It's exciting and varied, and challenges and rewards many different parts of me. On a good day at work, I'm curious. I'm admitting a patient and we don't quite know what's going on yet and I stay after the end of my shift to look up their lab results because I fought to get that bloodwork (it's really hard to do blood draws on someone who's in severe shock) and I want to know. On a good day at work, I care. I have the same sweet old lady for a week and she's telling me her life story and keeping me laughing as I coax and cajole her to get up in the chair an extra time, walk an extra lap around the unit, eat one more bite of hospital chicken puree. On a good day, I'm a well-oiled part in a machine much bigger than myself, a necessary and essential member of a great team, and it feels awesome. On a good day, I'm proud: of the IV I put in, the infected central line site that I noticed first, of the antibiotics I reminded the doctor to change, of the help I gave the other nurses. There are some bad days, and lots of meh days, but the work that I'm doing is always important...and in a way that my System 1 can really grasp. No productivity hacks required; I don't need urging to work my butt off. -I'm 22 years old and I have $50K in savings. And job security forever. That's pretty rare. -I have skills that are unusual within the rationality community. Nursing, like engineering, takes in random first-year undergrads and trains them to have a specified set of skills–and, in the process, to see the world in a particular way. I think like a nurse. It makes me inexplicably good at some things, like running logistics for CFAR workshops. It's brought me up to average or above average in a lot of areas, like reacting under pressure and most types of social skills. It's made me generically useful. And I don't think it's done making me more useful. I'm not even a particularly good nurse yet; you aren't expected to be until ~5 years in.

(Perfectionism: useful overall. It might make my learning curve flatter at first, but I think I'll keep improving for longer.)

I probably won't do nursing forever. It's pretty varied, but it's not infinitely varied. Currently I'm having too much fun at work to want to leave; if I'm bored in five years, and I can find a way to legally work in the US in any capacity other than nursing, there are a bunch of interesting things I could do.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 04 August 2014 11:03:08AM 1 point [-]

Thanks for the response, that was an interesting read.

As for perfectionism - In retrospect I think it was a huge drag on my own well-being and social relationships but helpful in getting things done. I am much less of a perfectionist nowadays and that has improved my life in many ways at the cost of making me somewhat less effective when it comes to work. Perfectionism for me wasn't just about my work but also about myself and others - seeing the imperfections and trying to iron them out. A pattern of perception if you will that didn't see the good things about myself and others and predominantly focused on optimizing the negatives. I feel much better now after changing that pattern of perception, so I was interested in how you thought of it - also outside of work.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 02 August 2014 04:43:53PM *  0 points [-]

I think you just need to reload the page for the 'delete' option to become available to your retracted comment, but that it's only possible if it hasn't yet been responded to. So the very fact you asked about how to delete it under your original post, meant that you no longer could.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 03 August 2014 12:53:28AM 0 points [-]

Someone with moderator/admin rights should be able to delete it entirely - if anyone with those rights passes by here then please do so. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Comment author: gwern 02 August 2014 03:16:38PM 1 point [-]

When you retract a comment, then a deletion button appears in the retraction button's place. So deletion is a two-step process.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 02 August 2014 03:35:00PM 0 points [-]

...is there a time limit before that happens? Because my button is gone now yet it wasn't replaced by another button, it just says "Retracted" where the button was beforehand and the word is not clickable either.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 02 August 2014 02:59:38PM 0 points [-]

I am (still) listening to an audio-book called "Command and Control" by Eric Schlosser. It's mainly dealing with a Titan II missile incident in the US. I know the Stanislav Petrov and Vasili Arkhipov incidents, but very little about just how badly America managed her own stockpile. I was prepared this would send a few shivers down my spine and I was not disappointed.

What I don't like about it is that first and foremost it's written in a way to tell a gripping story, so the juicy information is embedded in a narrative that spends too much time describing things I don't care about. It jumps around too much, it cuts just like a movie - the overarching plot is the Titan II incident and the narrative jumps back and forth from this red thread to how the first bomb was built and tested, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, how the bombers worked, how Eisenhower saw it, how Kennedy saw it, how the safety and failsafe mechanisms were slowly developed and added, how NATO became the dumping ground for missiles that were just about as likely to blow up somewhere you didn't want as they were to hit anywhere close to a Soviet target...

I'm not quite finished with it yet but I mainly enjoyed listening so far and learned quite a deal despite the suboptimal "story-presentation". Also I can only recommend audio-books in general, they are really good while you have to do tedious chores that require more working with your hands than with your head.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 02 August 2014 03:03:48PM *  0 points [-]

Oh no I cocked that one up. I wanted to copy-paste this under "Meta", as audio-books aren't listed yet. I thought to retract this post meant to delete it entirely. Captain?

Comment author: Friendly-HI 02 August 2014 02:59:38PM 0 points [-]

I am (still) listening to an audio-book called "Command and Control" by Eric Schlosser. It's mainly dealing with a Titan II missile incident in the US. I know the Stanislav Petrov and Vasili Arkhipov incidents, but very little about just how badly America managed her own stockpile. I was prepared this would send a few shivers down my spine and I was not disappointed.

What I don't like about it is that first and foremost it's written in a way to tell a gripping story, so the juicy information is embedded in a narrative that spends too much time describing things I don't care about. It jumps around too much, it cuts just like a movie - the overarching plot is the Titan II incident and the narrative jumps back and forth from this red thread to how the first bomb was built and tested, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, how the bombers worked, how Eisenhower saw it, how Kennedy saw it, how the safety and failsafe mechanisms were slowly developed and added, how NATO became the dumping ground for missiles that were just about as likely to blow up somewhere you didn't want as they were to hit anywhere close to a Soviet target...

I'm not quite finished with it yet but I mainly enjoyed listening so far and learned quite a deal despite the suboptimal "story-presentation". Also I can only recommend audio-books in general, they are really good while you have to do tedious chores that require more working with your hands than with your head.

Comment author: [deleted] 30 July 2014 03:21:30PM 0 points [-]

Did you even read my post? Getting drunk and not remembering things or being in a coma are not states where the brain stops working altogether.

Comment author: Friendly-HI 30 July 2014 05:20:56PM *  1 point [-]

Hmm, you're right I did a lousy or non-existant job of refuting that idea. Okay let's try a thought experiment then. Your brain got instantly-frozen close to absolute zero and could be thawed in such a way that you'd be alive after say 100 years of being completely frozen and perfectly preserved. I think it's fair to say here your brain "stopped working" altogether during that time, while the world outside changed. Would you really expect your subjective experience to end at the moment of freezing, while some kind of new or different subjective experience suddenly starts its existence at the time of being thawed?

If you wouldn't expect your subjective experience to end at that point, then how is it possibly any different from a perfect copy of yourself assuming you truly accept reductionism? In other words yes, for that reason and others I would expect to open MY eyes and resume MY subjective experience after being perfectly preserved in the form of stone tablets for 20 million years. It sounds strange even to me I confess, but if reductionist assumptions are true then I must accept this, my intuitions that this is not the case are just a consequence of how I model and think of my own identity. This is something I've grappled with for a few years now and at the beginning I came up with tons of clever reasons why it "wouldn't really be me" but no, reason trumps intuition on this one. Also yes, destructive teleportation is a kind of "death" you don't notice, but its also one you don't care about because next thing you open your eyes an everything is okay you are just somewhere else, nothing else is different. That's the idea behind the drunk analogy, it would be the same experience minus the hangover.

Comment author: [deleted] 17 July 2014 05:19:18PM 2 points [-]

That doesn't fit predictions of the theory. As you sleep you are not forming long term memories, to various degrees (that's why many people don't typically remember their dreams). But your brain is still causally interconnected and continues to compute during sleep just as much as it does during waking time. Your consciousness persists, it just doesn't remember.

Teleportation / destructive uploading is totally different. You are destroying the interconnected causal process that gives rise to the experience of consciousness. That is death. It doesn't matter if very shortly thereafter either another physical copy of you is made or a simulation started.

Imagine I passively scanned your body to molecular detail, then somebody shoots you in the head. I carve the exact coordinates of each atom in your body on stone tablets, which are kept in storage for 20 million years. Then an advanced civilization re-creates your body from that specification, to atomic detail. What do you expect to experience after being shot in the head? Do you expect to wake up in the future?

Comment author: Friendly-HI 30 July 2014 10:02:27AM *  -2 points [-]

If you accept reductionism, which you really should, then a copy of your brain is a copy of your mind. I submit you don't actually care about the interconnected causal process when you're conscious or asleep. You probably couldn't if you tried really hard, what does it even matter? You couldn't even tell if that causal connection "was broken" or not.

People get drunk and wake up in some place without recollection how they got there and their life doesn't seem particularly unworthy afterwards, though they should go easier on the liquor. The supposed problem you feel so strongly about is merely a conceptual problem, a quirk of how your mind models people and identities, not one rooted in reality. It's all just a consequence of how you model reality in your mind and then your mind comes up with clever ideas how "being causally interconnected during sleep" somehow matters. You model yourself and the copy of yourself as two separate and distinct entities in your mind and apply all the same rules and intuitions you usually apply to any other mind that isn't you. But those intuitions are misplaced in in this novel and very different situation where that other mind is literally you in every way you care about. Which is fine because you are and you will be separated in space and perhaps also in time, so it really makes sense modeling two instances of yourself, or at least to try. If you imagine to kill yourself and your copy goes on it really somehow fells like "I die and some impostor who isn't me -or at least doesn't continue my own subjective experience- lives on and my unique own inner subjective experience will be extinguished and I'll miss out on the rest of it because someone else has internal experiences but that's not me". That's just a quirk of how we tend model other minds and other people, nothing more, All the dozens of clever reasons people tend to come up with to somehow show how they won't be able to continue their internal experience as their own copy hold no merit, it's all just an outgrowth of that really deeply rooted intuition based on how we model ourselves and other people.

People wake up from year long comas and if you were to wake up from one you wouldn't go: "oh no I'm suddenly not me anymore, I lost track of my causal interconnectedness because I stopped paying attention". The fact that your brain is the result of causal things doesn't mean "causal interconnectedness" carries any kind of actually valuable information your copy would somehow miss, or to be precise that you would miss. In fact this kind of information is lost all the time, there is nothing that keeps track of it, information about our causal past gets lost all the time as entropy increases. Eventually the universe will face its slow heat death and there will be no information about the causal chains of the past remaining at all. In the end there is maximum entropy and minimum information. It's happening right now all around us, we're moving towards it and information about the causal past is being lost everywhere as we speak.

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