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Comment author: pepe_prime 13 September 2017 01:20:21PM 10 points [-]

[Survey Taken Thread]

By ancient tradition, if you take the survey you may comment saying you have done so here, and people will upvote you and you will get karma.

Let's make these comments a reply to this post. That way we continue the tradition, but keep the discussion a bit cleaner.

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 14 September 2017 03:34:57PM 20 points [-]

I have taken the survey.

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 13 August 2017 01:29:12PM *  1 point [-]

The thinking here seems muddled.

  1. Ordinarily locus of control refers to events in the future, explanatory style refers to events in the past. Your last 3 examples refer to past events but you switch back and forth between past and future when you break down each example. Anxiety is uncertainty, you can't feel anxious about events in the past.

  2. Locus of control is about the degree of control you have over an outcome/event. Events are in themselves good or bad. How you feel about a future event is a consequence of whether or not that event is within your control and whether that event is good or bad. The way you've broken it down in your chart is it's your moods that are good or bad rather than the event itself. Your advice then seems to boil down to "choose to feel good about things all the time."

  3. The degree to which a future event is within your control is a fact about the world, not a choice that you make. Choosing to go from external to internal over whether the sun will rise tomorrow is a recipe for self delusion.

Comment author: turchin 21 July 2017 09:36:05PM 4 points [-]

The game may be dangerous. One sleepless night I thought to create rational theology just for fun, but possible arguments in my mind start to grow so quickly that I have to stop my thinking before I succeed.

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 22 July 2017 01:59:56PM 0 points [-]

Can you talk a bit more on this? I'm curious to know how you imagine talking yourself into believing something you don't believe, like some kind of double-think. And it seems avoiding scary thoughts is not a habit a rationalist would want to encourage.

Comment author: Vaniver 21 June 2017 10:57:10PM 2 points [-]

The first time I read this poll...


Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 26 June 2017 10:17:35AM 0 points [-]

I'd expect mobiles to be under-represented in these results as you can only vote if you are logged in and I'd expect more people are logged in on their desktop rather than their mobile.

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 18 June 2017 03:17:09AM 1 point [-]

Help the lesswrong wiki.

Is any effort to improve the wiki now in danger of disappearing once LW 2.0 comes around?

Comment author: lifelonglearner 04 June 2017 06:45:35PM *  1 point [-]


So there seems to be this conceptual cluster of rationality techniques that revolve around facing the truth, even when it's hard to face. This seems especially useful for those icky situations where your beliefs have some sort of incentive to not correspond to reality.


  • You don't want to clean out your fridge because if you had to look in there, then part of you feels like it would make the rotting food at the back more 'real'. (But in reality, your awareness of the food is independent of its existence, and if you don't clean it out, it'll only get worse.)

  • You don't want to get your homework done because it's boring/painful to think about, and if you don't do it, then you don't have to think about it, which basically means it's not really there. (But in reality, this only pushes it closer to the deadline.)

  • You plan to finish your project in 30 minutes even though it took you 1 hr last time, because part of you thinks that if you write down '1 hr', it'll really take you that long. But you really need it to be done in 30 minutes, so you write that down instead. (But in reality, you need to decouple your estimates from wishes to get well-calibrated. Your prediction is largely independent of your performance.)

And on and on. These sorts of problems often comprise ugh fields, feel painful to think about, and are often sources of aversion.

To debug these sorts of problems, there are several (in my opinion) conceptual variants of harnessing epistemological rationality. These techniques often focus on trying to get to the root of the aversion and also calibrate your gut-level senses with the idea that your belief about a matter doesn't actually control reality.

Mundanification is just another one of these variants that's about being able to peek into those dark "no, I must never look in here!" corners of your mind and trying to actually state the worst-case scenario (which is often black-boxed as a Terrible Thing that is Never Opened).

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 05 June 2017 08:18:02PM 0 points [-]

Mundanification is just another one of these variants that's about being able to peek into those dark "no, I must never look in here!" corners of your mind and trying to actually state the worst-case scenario (which is often black-boxed as a Terrible Thing that is Never Opened).

How does it work specifically? I can't see the technique posted anywhere.

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 04 June 2017 01:59:39AM 0 points [-]

Mundanification is about facing the truth, even when you flinch from it, via Litany of Gendlin-type things.

Can you talk a bit more about this? I'm only familiar with the Litany of Gendlin itself.

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 02 June 2017 04:42:43PM *  0 points [-]

Books on leadership. The psychology + social dynamics of leadership and the traits of successful leaders. There are so many books I don't know where to start.

Comment author: Lumifer 10 February 2017 05:56:02PM 9 points [-]

Let's define "stupidity" as "low IQ" where IQ is measured by some standard tests.

IQ is largely hereditary (~70%, IIRC) and polygenic. This mean that attempting to "cure" it by anything short of major genetic engineering will have quite limited upside.

There are cases where IQ is depressed from its "natural" level (e.g. by exposure to lead) and these are fixable or preventable. However if you're genetically stupid, drugs or behavioral changes won't help.

we could, for instance, sequence a lot of peoples' DNA, give them all IQ tests, and do a genome-wide association study, as a start.

We could and people do that. If you're interested in IQ research, look at Greg Cochran or James Thompson or Razib Khan, etc. etc.

We could see affirmative action for stupid people. Harvard would boast about how many stupid people it admitted.

That, ahem, is exactly what's happening already :-/

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 11 February 2017 08:45:14AM *  2 points [-]

Let's define "stupidity" as "low IQ" where IQ is measured by some standard tests.

That already seems pretty different to what OP is talking about. See -

"Stupidity," like "depression," is a sloppy "common-sense" word that we apply to different conditions, which may be caused by genetics (for instance, mutations in the M1 or M3 pathways, or two copies of Thr92Ala), deep subconscious conditioning (e.g., religion), general health issues (like not getting enough sleep), environment (ignorance, lack of reward for intelligent behavior), or bad habits of thought.

This seems more like stupidity is anything anti-instrumental rationality rather than IQ based. I don't necessarily disagree with anything you've said, but I'm pointing out you might be talking past one another.

Comment author: ig0r 29 January 2017 05:18:21AM 1 point [-]

+1 for the suggestions made by others. I will ping the blog writer about this post to see if he's interested in reaching out.

You may also want to look at Daniel Ingram and his MCTB community

Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 30 January 2017 03:04:23PM 0 points [-]

I've read all of Daniel Ingram's stuff. He's a fantastic resource. If you like his stuff, MCTB v2 is scheduled to come out later this year. The draft is much improved over the original IMO.

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