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Comment author: 2587 19 September 2016 01:39:52PM 0 points [-]

What does Lesswrong think of this video? What Is God? - Leo Becomes Absolute Infinity (Aka God) - All Of Reality Explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VNoe5tn3tg

I also wonder: What do you think of subjective experience?

Comment author: gjm 21 September 2016 02:12:24PM *  -1 points [-]

I think this is the second time within a week or two that someone who's never posted to LW before has come along with a video from this same person, asking "what do you think about this?" and the first time the person in question turned out to be here not to inquire but to proselytize.

[EDITED because what I initially wrote in the first paragraph wasn't quite what I intended.]

And I think what I've watched of this video (roughly the first 1/3, at double speed) is incredibly unimpressive: this guy took mind-altering drugs and had an experience that made a big impression on him, as people who take mind-altering drugs often do, and now he wants to tell us what an incredible enlightenment he's had. (And he keeps telling us that it's something we won't be able to understand ... and then goes on to try to explain it.)

Comment author: morganism 16 September 2016 11:56:56PM 2 points [-]

KIC 8462852 models that fit Kepler observations quite well

"I have proposed a type of model that is mathematically simple and, with slight variations, is able to produce excellent fits for all the major brightness drops observed in Tabby's star. If this is the correct type of model — its goodness of fit is highly encouraging — the following hypotheses should be considered:

1) Tabby's star has one ore more partially constructed Niven Rings. All partial rings are likely in the same orbital plane and possibly the same orbit.

2) Tabby's star hosts a Dyson Swarm, and some objects in the swarm cluster alongside shared orbits, with an object distribution given by an approximation of a Monod equation. Perhaps the distribution is intentional in D800, and meant to be a beacon.

3) We might be looking at the birth of an accretion disk, or a partial accretion disk. Perhaps Tabby's star is being slowly swallowed by another star or a black hole. Perhaps there's a natural reason why disk material would approximate a Monod distribution, quite perfectly sometimes, and chaotically on different occasions."

http://www.science20.com/indepth_analytics/blog/kic_8462852_models_that_fit_kepler_observations_quite_well-180403

Comment author: gjm 18 September 2016 09:45:35PM -1 points [-]

I thought Niven rings were known to be unstable.

Comment author: reguru 13 September 2016 01:24:09AM 0 points [-]

Because you won't say it straight up how you are thinking, I have to guess, so that discussion can continue.

"You've just got yourself into a state where you are oblivious to the maps involved." What does this mean? So everything is a map?

You have not yet succeeded in communicating any new insights to me; we may of course disagree about why that is.

I've numerous times said communication is inherently flawed due to the nature of the concept. It's a subjective experience, which you can find out for yourself.

I know how it's like to think that you're smarter than anyone else, that's fine, I get that feeling too.

Comment author: gjm 13 September 2016 01:42:39AM -1 points [-]

I have to guess, so that discussion can continue

I think you may have misunderstood the meaning of "Bored now. Bye." (And I see you just can't help continuing to speculate uncharitably about the contents of my mind.)

I will say it more explicitly: I do not believe that continuing to discuss this stuff with you is a good use of my time. I gravely doubt it's a good use of the time of anyone else here, but of course it's not for me to say what others should do. I think your attempts at "awareness" have regrettably left you hopelessly confused and self-deluded. I do not think you have anything useful to teach me, and I do not think you are open-minded enough to learn anything from me.

I am not interested in having discussion continue.

Comment author: reguru 12 September 2016 06:57:06PM -1 points [-]

An alternative for what purpose? If you mean "something that does what thinking does", only better, you haven't begun to make a case. If you mean "something entirely separate that we should do some of the time" then sure, there are plenty of things we should do other than thinking, and I can't imagine why anyone would think we need to be told that.

The purpose is a map, friend, there's more than maps. Personally I think it brings us closer to the truth of us, our existance, our nature. Regarding doing other things than thinking, I agree with that, one thing doesn't have to go at the cost of something else.

No shit. Do you think people here imagine that the world disappears when we go to sleep or watch a movie or have sex or anything else that doesn't involve much thinking?

That's a strawman argument. I was talking about silencing all thoughts or becoming aware of thoughts instead of thinking of thoughts. You might think X activity goes under that umbrella, but I don't necessarily, so that's a strawman.

I do think that a lot of you believe that the map is the territory, even though you will deny it. That's the point I am trying to make as well. But you're not arguing against those points, just where you can get in an easy strawman? I'm just speculating though.

I never said it was. I said that you do it with your brain. Those are not at all the same thing. But if you imagine that when you are in the state you call being "aware" you are somehow perceiving the world directly and map-less: Nope. You've just got yourself into a state where you are oblivious to the maps involved.

So we are talking about different things, I specifically stated my definition yet you bring up your own as if it's possible to argue when we mean different things for different words.

I'm talking about thinking, awareness and similar. You are talking of maps which you are thinking about? It's another layer. For example, in your direct experience, you have all these different things you attribute maps to. Take this as your reference point in this conversation, not maps from neuroscience or anything else if possible.

If you were becoming aware of things, you aren't in the moment of awareness thinking about how your brain created this that is my definition of awareness. It's less so of a map. In that direct experience, you can see the map for what it is.

Would it be proper to say that the territory is oblivious to the maps involved, in that case?

I'm telling you that you are god and the universe, but I have to feed it to you as a "subjective experience" because you are asleep. You are in a matrix of maps. :D

But I don't know.

Take it, however, you want.

That is not my my opinion, nor is it something I have said. Perhaps you might try the experiment of reading what I write with the hypothesis that I understand more rather than less than you do, and see whether it makes better sense.

That was an assumption.

Not so much a strawman as word salad. But for sure it isn't what I'm saying.

What I mean was that you create a map, which all other maps span out from, the first map is the brain and within that map,there is thinking, awareness, feeling and so forth. Maybe even before that it's the universe, physics of the neurons and so forth, or however many layers it might be.

"What you are saying YOU (the actual you) are is: Maps and the map which is the brain, have created your awareness"

"If you aren't aware of the maps, it's because you are oblivious to them, not because they don't exist"

Is that what you say?

If so sit down and meditate and ask yourself that again?

It may please you to believe that you know what I believe better than I do, but I see no reason to agree.

Mr. gjm, relax. Ok?

I never claimed to be "not creating maps". I don't know which of multiple things you mean by "you don't exist" but if what you mean is, say, that my notion of myself is a mental construct that may diverge from how the world really is then yes, I'm aware of that.

According to you, 1) Everything is apparently a map. Even though the territory isn't.

2) But if you are oblivious to the maps, that's not because they don't exist. It's because you're oblivious to them.

So the baseline is that everything is a map. because of 1 and 2, but isn't the territory the actual baseline?

The territory is oblivious to the maps, right? Which is you.

I know I am proposing something different by saying the territory is oblivious to the maps, using a little bit of your wording, but that's my point. You are the territory and within the territory is the maps, the universe, all perceptions of which you label things and project upon. When you silence thoughts (and become oblivious to maps according to you, or think I am) you are it.

You consider that e.g. whether I am on the earth or the moon is "just a layer", a matter of "our projections"? Because that is a thing the human race has discovered how to change, by careful use of well-calibrated maps. If your attempts at "awareness" have detached you so far from reality that you really do think that: well, I'm sorry, and it's too bad you didn't come here earlier when there was still a prospect of a cure.

It is a human projection. You have said it yourself, that it is a map. A map is a projection in my definition. It's a strawman, you saw that I mentioned that science and selecting some maps over others is fine, that's not the argument. It's that we believe the map to be the territory, even though you say you don't.

You keep trying to tell me what I believe (and feel). You keep getting it wrong. Perhaps your "awareness" doesn't confer quite as much insight as you suppose?

I was just assuming, I had no clue what you believe. Even if this is a Tu quoque fallacy: You did kind of the same with the video.

I let go of it ages ago. It's no fault of mine that you keep harping on it.

About the video? Okay, sorry.

Comment author: gjm 12 September 2016 10:45:36PM -1 points [-]

You are repeatedly telling me I've said things I actually haven't, telling me I think things I actually don't, telling me I don't know things I actually do, etc., etc. You have not yet succeeded in communicating any new insights to me; we may of course disagree about why that is.

Bored now. Bye.

Comment author: Lumifer 12 September 2016 02:57:06PM 0 points [-]

From what I can (barely) understand, reguru is advocating the notion of enlightenment as understood in the East, if in a very confusing way. Abandoning the reliance on rationality is a major idea in Zen Buddhism, for example, and koans are one of the ways to move in that direction.

Comment author: gjm 12 September 2016 04:20:29PM -1 points [-]

Yeah, I think s/he's aiming for something of the sort. I don't think s/he's doing it very well, though.

Comment author: Lumifer 12 September 2016 02:50:23PM 0 points [-]

Then, oversimplifying in some obvious ways, we have the following:

A bit too much oversimplification for my taste. In particular, there is a rather important bit missing: what happens to the price of the products (or services) that these people produced. Let's say they made widgets. In a market-based economy the price of the widgets would go down considerably and this will lead to a lot of extra consumer surplus for all buyers of widgets. This could easily be the most important effect and the greatest source of utility.

And because of that your option 2 is actually very unlikely to happen, other than in a monopoly-like situation, even in the short run.

In the long run, all of these are probably better than leaving things as they are.

There we go :-)

we only get worlds designed by Moloch

I don't know about that. Moloch has to wrestle with the invisible hand of Adam Smith :-D and the world we are currently living in isn't half bad, is it?

Comment author: gjm 12 September 2016 04:19:36PM -1 points [-]

In particular, there is a rather important bit missing: what happens to the price of the products (or services) that these people produced.

Yeah, in retrospect I should have said something like

(In this case, what probably happens next -- at least if there is competition -- is that the company lowers its prices somewhat. So now the business owners win and their customers win. In the long run these lower prices may lead to new jobs.)

... Oh, wait. I did.

Comment author: reguru 12 September 2016 02:23:27PM *  -1 points [-]

But what you go on to present is not an alternative.

An alternative to thinking. Which is "awareness".

Do you really imagine that those of us who attempt to be rational think that reality would disappear without our attachment to maps? This is real Strawy McStrawface stuff.

I think that's the case, you think "you" have to think, not a strawman, but what I suspect. Thinking IS everything to you? Is not?

"Maps" are how human beings think about the world.

I know, that's why they are human projections, that's why it's inherently flawed in relation to the arational, not between different thinking. That's why the arational simply is, without understanding or reasoning. It's not a map. You can't think of it, but you can gain awareness of it, being aware that everything is a human projection is a start. Might be the limitations of rationality, because you can't think your way through this.

So, are you (1) suggesting that we not think about the world any more, or

No, I've said it's fine to think, to have human projections, to do math, physics, other science.

(2) claiming to have a way of doing it that doesn't rely on maps?

Of course, you don't have to think.

The world doesn't disappear, neither does anything else. That was the point of "reality won't disappear without your attachment to maps". When you silence all thoughts, or when you become aware of thoughts instead of thinking of thoughts. Might you be arational? Because there's nothing to do. Just awareness.

But, here's the kicker, it's always the case. You can think however much you want and it's exactly the same.

If #1 then, well, good luck to you but I don't think it can be done. If

If you understand what I said in the above paragraph, maybe you can see that it might be always the case.

2 then I don't believe you. Like it or not, you think (and feel, and experience "awareness", and everything else)

Awareness is not thinking. Please try and understand the difference, by meditating. Otherwise, you can't ever understand what I am talking about. Just because you might think that you can only think about things, there is a difference.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Awareness not https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thought

But don't meditate unless you really want to, the Wikipedia article gives enough of a definition.

with your brain and all its interactions with the world are mediated by "maps", and if you think you've escaped that then I guarantee all you have actually done is to fool yourself into not noticing the maps you're using. That does not, I'm afraid, count as higher "awareness".

I have never said that human projections are bad, the brain, neuroscience, neural pathways and so forth, it's all cool, but there's still a lot left. But you are really missing the point.

What you're saying is that you are "maps, that maps of the brain have created your awareness"? or is this a strawman? Don't you see this leads nowhere, that you actually believe the territory is the map without realizing it? The territory is arational.

I never denied that these are maps, in fact, I have said so multiple times. However, when you are becoming aware, there will be no map of the territory or YOU thinking about maps. It makes no sense. We become aware of the territory then we create maps.

But maybe you're making a more modest claim, namely that we should be aware of our map-using. Yup, we should. What makes you think we aren't?

Are you sure you are not creating maps? Are you aware that you don't exist, for example, that this is a map? Or will you rationalize this and hold on? They are all logical conclusions you've made. There's probably a lot of things you can become aware of now which you mistake for not being a map. The more advanced mistake is to talk about neuroscience. Because if you really are honest you believe that you exist, that there is a being, a creature of some kind. That it's not a map. Now this is speculation of course.

You might even say things like "I exist" in your mind without being aware that your thoughts might be untrustworthy, true dogmatic thinking is to ourselves. Or let's say you might say "it's maps created out of physical brain" lost in thought.

The world is rational enough that application of rational techniques enables us, e.g., to make machines that can take us from one continent to another in less than a day. So any notion of "arationality" that could possibly describe the actual world needs to be compatible with that.

No that's maps. The map is not the territory. The territory is arational, which I mean by the world.

So we have different definitions of "world" now?

Anyway, to answer your point, I have no issue whatsoever with planes, science, going into space, quantum mechanics... Neuroscience. Rationality. This is not the question. It's just a layer, our projections. It's not undermining it, even though you might think so.

Then "the point" is bullshit, because some arguments lead to demonstrable real-world benefits and some don't.

In relation to the arational which I didn't mention specifically, just an attempt at defiining which cannot be definied?

Maps in relational to human projections obviously have "real world benefits" and some don't, that's why rationality still is fine, as long as you are aware :D

Take a look somewhere around 32:00 in the video (I am just going on the times I listed above; I am not going to sit through it again to check the exact time) and see whether you can tell me with a straight face that the reason I think the person making the video is thinking in patterns of being superior is because I do it.

Well, you are doing it the moment you believe that someone is trying to be more superior than you, because that can't be the case. How dare they. I don't know if that's the case, but my overall impression that it all starts with ourselves. I can understand why you would think this, but it's very difficult. I don't know how you can let go of this point.

Maybe I can reassure you that the point was not to be superior for superior sake. Maybe to "motivate" you? Maybe? I don't know.

You shouldn't do anything without your own research and skepticism, so it truly is your work.

Comment author: gjm 12 September 2016 04:18:37PM -1 points [-]

An alternative to thinking

An alternative for what purpose?

If you mean "something that does what thinking does", only better, you haven't begun to make a case.

If you mean "something entirely separate that we should do some of the time" then sure, there are plenty of things we should do other than thinking, and I can't imagine why anyone would think we need to be told that.

Of course, you don't have to think. The world doesn't disappear [...]

No shit. Do you think people here imagine that the world disappears when we go to sleep or watch a movie or have sex or anything else that doesn't involve much thinking?

Awareness is not thinking

I never said it was. I said that you do it with your brain. Those are not at all the same thing.

But if you imagine that when you are in the state you call being "aware" you are somehow perceiving the world directly and map-less: Nope. You've just got yourself into a state where you are oblivious to the maps involved.

you might think that you can only think about things

That is not my my opinion, nor is it something I have said. Perhaps you might try the experiment of reading what I write with the hypothesis that I understand more rather than less than you do, and see whether it makes better sense.

What you're saying is that you are "maps, that maps of the brain have created your awareness"? or is this a strawman?

Not so much a strawman as word salad. But for sure it isn't what I'm saying.

Don't you see this leads nowhere, that you actually believe the territory is the map without realizing it?

It may please you to believe that you know what I believe better than I do, but I see no reason to agree.

But maybe you're making a more modest claim, namely that we should be aware of our map-using. Yup, we should. What makes you think we aren't? Are you sure you are not creating maps? Are you aware that you don't exist, for example, that this is a map?

I never claimed to be "not creating maps". I don't know which of multiple things you mean by "you don't exist" but if what you mean is, say, that my notion of myself is a mental construct that may diverge from how the world really is then yes, I'm aware of that.

(I may well think that fact less earth-shattering than you would like me to think it, though.)

No that's maps [...] It's just a layer, our projections

You consider that e.g. whether I am on the earth or the moon is "just a layer", a matter of "our projections"? Because that is a thing the human race has discovered how to change, by careful use of well-calibrated maps.

If your attempts at "awareness" have detached you so far from reality that you really do think that: well, I'm sorry, and it's too bad you didn't come here earlier when there was still a prospect of a cure.

you believe that someone is trying to be more superior than you, because that can't be the case. How dare they

You keep trying to tell me what I believe (and feel). You keep getting it wrong. Perhaps your "awareness" doesn't confer quite as much insight as you suppose?

I don't know how you can let go of this point

I let go of it ages ago. It's no fault of mine that you keep harping on it.

Comment author: reguru 09 September 2016 03:38:42PM -1 points [-]

Of course. There is no alternative to doing that. So if you're saying that just to inform me: thanks, but I already knew. And if you're saying it as a criticism: you need to explain what the actual criticism is, rather than just saying something that's vacuously true of anyone saying anything.

There is an alternative, which rationalists doesn't understand because it cannot be understood. It is arational, which is the reality, the map is not the territory, neither is "the map is not the territory" and so on. You can notice myself making the same mistake because that's what I have to do to get to you, but you still have to figure it out yourself.

The criticism is that you do not understand the point of the video, the point is that you can sit down, become aware of all the maps, and notice that reality does not disappear because what you call "you" (The I thought) lose attachment to maps.

That is a lack of awareness, because if you had awareness by such an exercise you would immediately notice that the map is not the territory and that there has to be no map which to point this out. If it's still hard, that's fine, but at least by becoming aware you are not aware, you have increased your awareness.

Notice how everything I just said was a map, and every single letter after that, it doesn't have to be, you can view the words for what they are, absolutely nothing, nothing in the word of which the word "nothing" says it is, simply no - thing.

One of the prerequisites is that the people involved are actually willing to engage with one another's arguments.

But what if the point is that all arguments are equally untrue, it is a map when the territory is not the map? What if the argument is to come to the truth which you can only figure out for yourself? Our engagement is the problem itself. Not that from the engagement's perspective, but what's actually is tried to be communicated by me, when it cannot be.

Very little, except that one of the reasons why the video contains so few arguments given its length is that its maker wastes a lot of time talking about how much better than us he is.

It is natural for people to one-up another I think. It is a way to give the point across or to invoke reaction as the person who were afflicted may look into it. It's not actually harsh in the sense that it is a kneejerk reaction or feeling of superiority, ego-wise. Personally, the world is your (mine, and everyone else's) mirror.

Because you think in patterns of being superior, you actually believe others do it too, because how else do people think? (You think) This isn't a straw man, but it is speculation and I think it is applicable to myself.

Comment author: gjm 12 September 2016 01:04:54PM -1 points [-]

There is an alternative

But what you go on to present is not an alternative.

you can sit down, become aware of all the maps, and notice that reality does not disappear because what you call "you" lose attachment to maps.

Do you really imagine that those of us who attempt to be rational think that reality would disappear without our attachment to maps? This is real Strawy McStrawface stuff.

"Maps" are how human beings think about the world. So, are you (1) suggesting that we not think about the world any more, or (2) claiming to have a way of doing it that doesn't rely on maps? If #1 then, well, good luck to you but I don't think it can be done. If #2 then I don't believe you. Like it or not, you think (and feel, and experience "awareness", and everything else) with your brain and all its interactions with the world are mediated by "maps", and if you think you've escaped that then I guarantee all you have actually done is to fool yourself into not noticing the maps you're using. That does not, I'm afraid, count as higher "awareness".

But maybe you're making a more modest claim, namely that we should be aware of our map-using. Yup, we should. What makes you think we aren't?

It is arational

The world is rational enough that application of rational techniques enables us, e.g., to make machines that can take us from one continent to another in less than a day. So any notion of "arationality" that could possibly describe the actual world needs to be compatible with that.

what if the point is that all arguments are equally untrue

Then "the point" is bullshit, because some arguments lead to demonstrable real-world benefits and some don't.

Because you think in patterns of being superior, you actually believe others do it too

Take a look somewhere around 32:00 in the video (I am just going on the times I listed above; I am not going to sit through it again to check the exact time) and see whether you can tell me with a straight face that the reason I think the person making the video is thinking in patterns of being superior is because I do it.

Comment author: gjm 12 September 2016 12:48:35PM -1 points [-]

It looks like the analysis didn't suppress responses that gave something other than 50 as an answer to the question about a coin flip. It probably should.

Comment author: Lumifer 12 September 2016 04:08:41AM *  -1 points [-]

And a lot more jobs are soon to be automated out of existence.

That's a good thing. For example, the job of swinging a pick at the coal face in the mine has been automated out of existence. Do you really want it back?

Comment author: gjm 12 September 2016 12:46:28PM -1 points [-]

Whether it's a good thing, and how good, depends on what happens to the people who had those jobs.

Imagine that there are a thousand people doing a horrible job for $20k/year. Now a machine of negligible cost comes along that can do the same job as one of them for $1k/year. Then, oversimplifying in some obvious ways, we have the following:

Option 1: Machines replace humans, workers take the benefits. Each of these people switches from doing the job for $20k/year to doing nothing for $19k/year. They're better off, their employer is exactly the same as before. This is better for some people and not worse for anyone. Of course it will never happen.

Option 2: Machines replace humans, owners take the benefits. Each of these people switches from doing the job for $20k/year to doing nothing for $0k/year. Maybe they can find other jobs, maybe not. Their employer is just $19k/year per worker better off. This is better for some people (the owners of the business) but much worse for the employees, at least in the short term. It is quite likely to happen.

(In this case, what probably happens next -- at least if there is competition -- is that the company lowers its prices somewhat. So now the business owners win and their customers win. In the long run these lower prices may lead to new jobs.)

Option 3: Something in between. A union negotiates a special deal, or the government steps in in the hope of reducing unemployment and disaffection, or something. Exactly what happens will vary but it's probably better for workers than 2 and worse than 1, better for owners than 1 and worse than 2, and probably a non-negligible fraction of the benefits get eaten up by administrative costs.

In the long run, all of these are probably better than leaving things as they are. In the short run -- say, a few decades -- option 2 (which is the most likely of the three, I think) means a thousand people out of work, and quite a lot of them may be unable to find other jobs. This may well be a bigger loss of net utility than the business owners' gain in wealth.

If machines end up taking everyone's jobs, that could be glorious (if it leads to lives of comfortable leisure for all) or terrible (if it leads to lives of comfortable leisure for people who are already wealthy enough not to need to work, and starvation for everyone else).

So: yes, a lot of jobs are pretty terrible and an optimal world without those jobs is much better than an optimal world with them. But we don't have the option of either sort of optimal world, we only get worlds designed by Moloch, and the Moloch-world without those jobs may be even worse than the Moloch-world with them.

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