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Meetup : First LessWrong meetup in Leipzig!

0 chaosmage 17 May 2017 09:03AM

Discussion article for the meetup : First LessWrong meetup in Leipzig!

WHEN: 31 May 2017 01:00:00PM (+0200)

WHERE: Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Deutscher Pl. 1, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

There's no Leipzig LW group yet, but there should be! Leipzig has an fledgling EA group, it has hosted Secular Solstices and starting this year it is the host city of the Chaos Communication Congress, so maybe the time is right for LWers in Leipzig to have their own meetup. This is a lunch break moot, 1pm in a fairly central location. We meet in the Cafeteria of the German National Library, which is both a remarkable building worth visiting and a little-known place for decent cheap food. Look for a sign that has "LW" written on it.

Discussion article for the meetup : First LessWrong meetup in Leipzig!

Comment author: kgalias 27 April 2017 09:53:34AM 0 points [-]

Regarding your last point: is a hellish world preferable to an empty one?

Comment author: chaosmage 28 April 2017 02:17:41PM *  0 points [-]

Yes, because it has more potential for improvement.

The Earth of a million years ago, where every single animal was fighting for its life in an existence of pain and hunger, was more hellish than the present one, where at least a percent or so are comparatively secure. So that's an existence proof of hellishness going away.

Emptiness doesn't go away. Empty worlds evidently tend to stay empty. We now see enough of them well enough to know that.

Comment author: chaosmage 22 April 2017 06:01:28AM 6 points [-]

Very very interesting. I have nothing to add except: This would get more readers and comments if the summary was at the top, not the bottom.

Comment author: chaosmage 09 April 2017 08:04:24AM 5 points [-]

I'm not convinced that perpetual suffering is particularly human. We could be the species of animal that suffers least on an average day, since we have better solutions to hunger and thirst than anyone else and no predator is likely to disembowel us and our offspring in our sleep.

So it seems to me what you're really doing is questioning the value of (conscious) life itself. Is that right?

It is an old question that has been answered many ways, because no single answer has appealed to everybody. Buddhism is one answer that I particularly dislike but is apparently soothing to many.

To me, an indictment of life itself as not worth living is a reductio ad absurdum of the whole project of reducing the complexity of literally everything to a single one-dimensional utility-disutility scale to which everything is commensurable. (The paperclip maximizer is another.)

My personal supposition is that (conscious) life is an engine that runs on (conscious) suffering to produce (conscious) understanding. And since there are probably innumerable lifeless universes, I'd rather have one with suffering and understanding in it, if only for variety, than prefer another lifeless one. I don't expect to convince you, I'm just saying this works for me.

Comment author: gjm 07 April 2017 03:34:48PM 0 points [-]

It would need to be a really low-wage country for a couple of bucks to be enough to make it worth enough singers' time. My impression is that super-low-wage countries tend not to have flourishing communities of musicians experienced in the Western art music tradition, and I'd guess they're also not the easiest places to get hold of the equipment required to make decent recordings.

Comment author: chaosmage 07 April 2017 06:30:24PM 0 points [-]

It seems like something like airgigs.com seems to be the answer. It has musicians available down into the 50 dollars range.

Comment author: chaosmage 07 April 2017 02:19:37PM *  4 points [-]

This might be too obvious to mention, but Eliezer's2009 post "Why our kind can't cooperate" seems quite relevant to this. http://lesswrong.com/lw/3h/why_our_kind_cant_cooperate/

Comment author: gjm 28 March 2017 03:38:18PM 0 points [-]

Why would you expect it to cost only "a couple of bucks"?

Comment author: chaosmage 07 April 2017 12:46:57PM 0 points [-]

Because musicians from low-wage countries can compete in such a market.

Comment author: chaosmage 03 April 2017 02:18:01PM 8 points [-]

One of the skills to talk about would be the skill of actively proselytizing and getting people into rationality. I don't mean onboarding people who are already interested, I mean actually going up to people who you wish were rationalists and trying to make them.

Successful communities do this, although the specifics vary widely. EA does it, which I think is why EA is growing while LW isn't. We've been largely coasting on Eliezer's wave.

Thus is difficult because LW rationality arose in the tech culture of California, I.e. an unusually individualistic culture within an unusually individualistic part of the most individualistic country ever. Only in California could one be called a "cult" for seeking a consensus philosophy. Any active proselytizing would definitely encounter the "cult" charge again.

But proselytizing works. It keeps a movement young - we're already noticably older on average than we were ten years ago and we're starting to look like a cohort of tech nerds who were in their impressionable college age when Eliezer wrote the sequences. And it keeps a movement dynamic - if new people are coming in all the time, you don't have to suffer the ossification that it takes to retain people as they get older. LW rationality has no less need of this than other movements.

And there are definitely people who are much better at it than others, so a systematic study of what works is eminently doable. I think this fits squarely into Project Hufflepuff.

Comment author: komponisto 28 March 2017 06:11:25AM *  2 points [-]

It plays back at the link! (Synthesized rendering, but not too bad.)

This was the point of putting it on MuseScore (otherwise I would have just linked a PDF I had already typeset with Finale).

how does this compare to your other work?

If we take this piece to be broadly similar to works like this or this (yes I know: as if), then my other work might be compared to something like this or this.

At least, it will once it exists. (I currently only really have an undergraduate portfolio's worth of "other work", and barely that. In progress!)

Comment author: chaosmage 28 March 2017 10:58:33AM 1 point [-]

I see. That's really neat! Thanks!

Isn't there some choir-for-hire somewhere on the web who will record a score for a couple of bucks? It seems that logically, there should be.

[Link] Elon Musk launches Neuralink, a venture to merge the human brain with AI

1 chaosmage 28 March 2017 10:49AM

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