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Welcome to LessWrong (10th Thread, January 2017) (Thread A)

11 folkTheory 07 January 2017 05:43AM

(Thread B for January is here, created as a duplicate by accident)

Hi, do you read the LessWrong website, but haven't commented yet (or not very much)? Are you a bit scared of the harsh community, or do you feel that questions which are new and interesting for you could be old and boring for the older members?

This is the place for the new members to become courageous and ask what they wanted to ask. Or just to say hi.

The older members are strongly encouraged to be gentle and patient (or just skip the entire discussion if they can't).

Newbies, welcome!

 

The long version:

 

If you've recently joined the Less Wrong community, please leave a comment here and introduce yourself. We'd love to know who you are, what you're doing, what you value, how you came to identify as an aspiring rationalist or how you found us. You can skip right to that if you like; the rest of this post consists of a few things you might find helpful. More can be found at the FAQ.

 

A few notes about the site mechanics

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EXTRA FEATURES:
There's actually more than meets the eye here: look near the top of the page for the "WIKI", "DISCUSSION" and "SEQUENCES" links.
LW WIKI: This is our attempt to make searching by topic feasible, as well as to store information like common abbreviations and idioms. It's a good place to look if someone's speaking Greek to you.
LW DISCUSSION: This is a forum just like the top-level one, with two key differences: in the top-level forum, posts require the author to have 20 karma in order to publish, and any upvotes or downvotes on the post are multiplied by 10. Thus there's a lot more informal dialogue in the Discussion section, including some of the more fun conversations here.
SEQUENCES: A huge corpus of material mostly written by Eliezer Yudkowsky in his days of blogging at Overcoming Bias, before Less Wrong was started. Much of the discussion here will casually depend on or refer to ideas brought up in those posts, so reading them can really help with present discussions. Besides which, they're pretty engrossing in my opinion. They are also available in a book form.

A few notes about the community

If you've come to Less Wrong to  discuss a particular topic, this thread would be a great place to start the conversation. By commenting here, and checking the responses, you'll probably get a good read on what, if anything, has already been said here on that topic, what's widely understood and what you might still need to take some time explaining.

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A note for theists: you will find the Less Wrong community to be predominantly atheist, though not completely so, and most of us are genuinely respectful of religious people who keep the usual community norms. It's worth saying that we might think religion is off-topic in some places where you think it's on-topic, so be thoughtful about where and how you start explicitly talking about it; some of us are happy to talk about religion, some of us aren't interested. Bear in mind that many of us really, truly have given full consideration to theistic claims and found them to be false, so starting with the most common arguments is pretty likely just to annoy people. Anyhow, it's absolutely OK to mention that you're religious in your welcome post and to invite a discussion there.

A list of some posts that are pretty awesome

I recommend the major sequences to everybody, but I realize how daunting they look at first. So for purposes of immediate gratification, the following posts are particularly interesting/illuminating/provocative and don't require any previous reading:

More suggestions are welcome! Or just check out the top-rated posts from the history of Less Wrong. Most posts at +50 or more are well worth your time.

Welcome to Less Wrong, and we look forward to hearing from you throughout the site!

Comment author: folkTheory 24 December 2015 11:18:56PM 19 points [-]

Just donated $1100

Comment author: folkTheory 16 March 2015 10:29:17PM *  3 points [-]

This is fantastic Malcolm, thank you!

Comment author: ChristianKl 10 February 2015 12:49:10AM 3 points [-]

I think it would be interesting but I see no good reason to do a retreat for specifically for rationalists. I'm not sure whether there are people in this community who are at the 10,000 hour skill level. It's probably easier to find that outside.

I'm apologizing in advance for a bit of bit irreducible spirituality. I try to keep it to a minimum.

I have two experiences of group meditations among rationalists. On was last year at the European Community Camp in Berlin. It felt like there was nobody in the room who gave the thing stability. In the dose of 15-20 minutes that's not harmful but I wouldn't expect a few days in that state to be good.

I lead a meditation during the solstice celebration in Leipzig and only used 20 minutes of 30 that I had asked for on the agenda, because that felt enough.

In total that leads me to think that meditation makes a decent agenda item at an LW event but no good program for a complete day. At least without someone to lead the event who really knows what they are doing.

Comment author: folkTheory 10 February 2015 03:12:17AM 0 points [-]

Good point, thank you.

Comment author: folkTheory 09 February 2015 05:24:28PM 6 points [-]

I recently got into practicing meditation, and got a lot out of the old LW posts about it. I was wondering if there is any interest to have a meditation retreat for rationalists?

Comment author: folkTheory 31 January 2015 07:27:54PM 22 points [-]

Donated $1000

Comment author: BenLowell 16 January 2015 03:25:18AM 7 points [-]

This is awesome!!!

Comment author: folkTheory 16 January 2015 03:25:41AM 5 points [-]

Upvoted for phaticness

Comment author: folkTheory 16 September 2013 07:40:18AM 1 point [-]

I'm signed up for the programming one. This'll be my first time at CFAR. pretty excited!

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 July 2013 12:50:47AM -2 points [-]

Are you already married? What do your current spouses say?

Comment author: folkTheory 22 July 2013 01:07:28AM 2 points [-]

I am not currently married.

Comment author: folkTheory 18 July 2013 07:02:22AM 4 points [-]

I'm trying to decide whether to marry someone, but I'm having a lot of trouble deciding. Anyone have any advice?

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