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In response to Sensual Experience
Comment author: Matthew_C.2 21 December 2008 11:17:49PM 1 point [-]

because creating sexual variety is so much more difficult than sprinkling cinnamon on an apple.

A friend of mine, who shall rename nameless, likened monogamy to eating chocolate cake and nothing else for the rest of your life. . .

In response to Sensual Experience
Comment author: Matthew_C.2 21 December 2008 08:41:09PM 1 point [-]

Laugh. Your whole body's sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing are part of sexual experience, at least good sex. . .

Comment author: Matthew_C.2 06 November 2008 12:45:03AM 0 points [-]

This is off topic, but bestselling author and OB reader and occasional commenter Michael Crichton has died.

Comment author: Matthew_C.2 03 November 2008 12:51:25PM 1 point [-]

Vladimir,

Excellent comments and insight.

The biggest problem with being religious, in the way you have defined, is that your "oughts" start to influence your perception of what "is". We see exactly the same thing happening with traditional religions, with political religions, and here with Singularitarian religion.

The one true worthy action is to perceive the "is" without blurring our vision with the distorting filters of "oughts". This is the true "Way". But, of course, it is not nearly as popular as promising salvation, whether religious or technological.

Comment author: Matthew_C.2 23 October 2008 12:20:34AM 2 points [-]

Eliezer, I suspect the coalition in control of your fingers is not as coherent or stable as it appears. Ruling coalitions like to give the impression that they have little effective opposition and are unified without internal dissent, but the truth is usually otherwise.

That comment was quintessentially Hanson, and an observation whose insight gives me much cause to believe that the coalition in control of those fingers has travelled across many a Rubicon. . .

Comment author: Matthew_C.2 23 October 2008 12:16:00AM 0 points [-]

I'm a bit dismayed, however, by the obvious emotional response and meanness from someone who prides himself on sharpening the blade of his rationality by testing it against criticism.

Let's be fair. All "someones" operate according to the same basic Darwinian principles, which involve the subsumption of some ideas and rejection of others into a self-concept which then defends "itself" against any perceived threat. And the biggest threat, of course, is the truth that the self is not fundamentally *real*. When that is clearly seen, the gig is up.

Expecting "someones" to operate according to principles of integrity and truth-seeking is like expecting foxes to babysit chickens without indulging their appetites. Sure, there is an (at first) fun and interesting game of status seeking to be played called "I'm more honest (and smarter BTW) than you". But it's all in the service of covering up the truth about the imagined "I" who is playing that game.

When reality is actually engaged with an approach of genuine inquiry rather than an chest-expanded assumption that the "someone" is well along the "straight and narrow path" and treading "the way", then the "someone" is seen to be insubstantial, unimportant and essentially unreal, and displays of self-importance, pomposity and grandiosity fade away. And many of the activities and goals that seemed oh-so-important to the "someone", are smiled at, and put away on the shelf like the other outgrown toys of childhood.

Comment author: Matthew_C.2 22 October 2008 08:18:17PM 1 point [-]

There is no actual "you" in the way that it seems to be. A persistent thought pattern / meme complex got mistaken for a "you" by awareness and, sooner or later, awareness can see through the "you", which is a tremendous relief when it occurs.

As Einstein put it:

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us. . .

Comment author: Matthew_C.2 12 September 2008 05:41:02PM 2 points [-]

One of the strongest lines of evidence is, indeed, that we have successfully reduced minds. . .

Just what exactly are you referring to here?

In response to Touching the Old
Comment author: Matthew_C.2 20 July 2008 05:19:15PM 0 points [-]

Memories decay exponentially. This occurs both over time and over number of items to remember.

That is a popular model, but one I find does not match my own experience of memory at all.

Sometimes just a particular smell is able to bring back a memory from decades ago of a small and insignificant happening that I haven't recalled for many years.

Certainly there are some individuals who absolutely do not fit into your characterization, and there is a lot of reason to suspect that the rest of us also can have access to that kind of remembering.

In response to Touching the Old
Comment author: Matthew_C.2 20 July 2008 05:07:33PM -1 points [-]

I always say I do not, and all evidence suggests this is the case.

Actually there is an enormous amount of evidence that consciousness can sometimes temporarily be disassociated from the body, however this evidence is extremely disconcerting for committed reductionist materialists who therefore dismiss, ignore, and minimize it, and impugn those who research it, and associate it all with people like Shirley MacClain and Deepak Chopra.

I don't personally like the term "soul" as it seems to bring too many assumptions to bear. But for those who are willing to entertain questions instead of assuming they already have the right answers, there is some very interesting data out there. . .

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