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Comment author: Duncan_Sabien 31 May 2017 06:24:16PM 6 points [-]

Ilya: if you recommend your top 2-5 sources, I'll commit to reading at least 30,000 words in the next two weeks. (I ask for more than one source in case you propose things I've already read.)

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 31 May 2017 06:39:06PM *  3 points [-]

Scientology: http://www.xenu.net/ (clambake.org). Lots of interesting links there, including about offshoots.

Castaneda: https://www.amazon.com/Sorcerers-Apprentice-Life-Carlos-Castaneda/dp/1583942068. Also some other stuff online, easy to google.

Live stuff on Robert Burton's Fellowship of Friends: http://robertearlburton.blogspot.com/. Also some exposes are googleable. Also some stuff on wikileaks. I have personal second hand info on this cult (was never in it, but know people who were). The Fellowship of Friends has their main base (Apollo, in Yuba County) in California and preys on educated, high salary types.

There are a ton of Gurdjieff offshoots in various states of virulence/danger. One thing I learned about the concept "cult" is it's a fairly fuzzy concept and sort of dissipates around the edges into fairly benign reading groups/clubs and so on. Probably has to do with how charismatic the main person (almost always male) is. So discussions of whether something is "culty" or not are, to me, kind of silly. If the question is raised at all, probably yes a bit culty.


I like reading lots of heterogenous sources and personal accounts to try to piece together what's happening in places like that, rather than books.

Comment author: cousin_it 31 May 2017 10:08:04AM *  3 points [-]

My favorite cult to read about is Rajneeshism. It's very recent, the head guy was almost supernaturally charismatic by all accounts, and the story is hilarious! From the collection of 93 Rolls-Royces to a bioterror attack by poisoning salad bars in an Oregon town with salmonella (yes).

BTW, Scott of slatestarcodex has also chimed in against the OP's proposal:

On third thought, everyone else is right and I am wrong. The Dragon Army group house is a very bad idea, enough so that it’s okay to be forceful in encouraging Duncan to modify it or other people not to join it. This is true even if the required modifications are so hard that they end up sinking the project.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 31 May 2017 02:38:34PM 2 points [-]

Slatestar: "Also, Duncan’s taking the wrong strategy by denying it’s a cult. His pitch should be “Hey, cults seem pretty good at controlling their members, let’s get together a bunch of people who are interested in using cult techniques to become the best people they can be by their own values, and see if we can make it work.”"

And the circle is complete.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 30 May 2017 10:18:19PM *  11 points [-]

[I don't want to be here, but this is important].

To Duncan: I am not going to say you are trying to start a cult group, like some other folks did in this thread. However, I am going to suggest some background readings on cults if you are interested. Cults are a hobby of mine. My favorite cults are Scientology, unofficial Scientology derivatives who kept most parts of the belief system (yes they exist), and the Fellowship of Friends and other Gurdjieff-offshoot cults. Also Carlos Castaneda's group is a fun one. Those are the fun ones to read about.

To people Duncan is talking to: you are a human being, not a space monkey. The space monkey road is not a good road, I speak from personal painful experience. The space monkey road is going to abstract personal growth issues in a way that will be counterproductive for you in the long run, imo.

Comment author: Stuart_Armstrong 30 May 2017 06:40:59AM 0 points [-]

I am not an ML person

I do write papers for ML conferences sometimes.

Interesting ^_^ under what name are these paper?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 30 May 2017 02:04:19PM 0 points [-]

Mine? I can send you my cv if you want.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 26 May 2017 01:18:30PM 8 points [-]

Hi Stuart. I am not an ML person, and I am not close to Oxford, but I am interested in this type of stuff (in particular, I went through the FDT paper just two days ago with someone). I do write papers for ML conferences sometimes.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 17 May 2017 03:13:02AM 2 points [-]

I am not actually here, but

"Note that in non-Newcomb-like situations, P(s|do(a)) and P(s|a) yield the same result, see ch. 3.2.2 of Pearl’s Causality."

This is trivially not true.


CDT solves Newcomb just fine with the right graph: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGNINCggokM.

Ok, disappearing again.

Comment author: [deleted] 02 February 2016 02:10:57AM 0 points [-]

I agree. I feel violated, offended and frankly sorry for Gleb. Illya I honestly never would have expected this and from you of all people.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Open thread, Feb. 01 - Feb. 07, 2016
Comment author: IlyaShpitser 02 February 2016 02:55:06PM 0 points [-]

Ok, I removed the post. And I am out myself.

Comment author: [deleted] 02 February 2016 03:45:53AM *  2 points [-]

I think its important to evaluate the impact of your suspicion being wrong. Calling Gleb Clarity is practically slander. And as I've said before my name is mentioned several times in my post history: Carlos.

More ethically questionable is that I started a discussion on the ethics of voluntary identification any my anxiety around the level of association and attention I bring to stress my anxiety here and was 'outed' albeit frivolously in this way

In response to comment by [deleted] on Open thread, Feb. 01 - Feb. 07, 2016
Comment author: IlyaShpitser 02 February 2016 03:57:55AM 2 points [-]

I apologize if I caused you any distress, that was not my intention.

Comment author: Bryan-san 01 February 2016 04:58:40PM *  2 points [-]

I think that even making guesses about someone's identity on an anonymous account is in very poor taste and actively discourages participation by people who are attempting to use anonymity as a tool to, "share [their] mind authentically". I consider that sort of thing d̶o̶x̶i̶n̶g̶ similar to doxing because it takes actions on identity outside of the anonymous person's terms. These days I'm generally against anything that has the potential to decrease activity on LW. (And even if Clarity is a generally ridiculous poster, he does foster discussions on the site at the very least.)

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 01 February 2016 05:15:15PM *  2 points [-]

I think it's a bad idea to have the same person have multiple prolific accounts here. I think calling what I am doing "doxxing" is a fnord. "Fnord" is also a fnord.

Comment author: Bryan-san 01 February 2016 04:28:12PM *  4 points [-]

I think it's far from ideal, but that d̶o̶x̶i̶n̶g̶ things similar to doxing are at least 100x worse as a community norm.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 01 February 2016 04:31:58PM *  0 points [-]

This isn't doxxing, I am not revealing otherwise difficult to get info, like address and phone and social security number, with the aim to harass. In fact, I am not revealing anything, I am just stating a guess. I have no inside info on either Clarity or Gleb.

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