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Comment author: ialdabaoth 23 March 2017 10:12:00PM *  1 point [-]

Well, obviously first we'd need land. What land we get will determine who is legally allowed to build a dormpartment building, and what techniques and materials they're allowed to use.

That said, if it was up to me, I'd probably want to build something out in the Arizona desert, probably near Snowflake, and I'd want to use cinderblock construction. The great thing about that is that you're basically making giant lego-houses out of hollow concrete blocks and mortar.

So step one would be getting a bulldozer to level the land, then a cement truck and a shitload of cement to make a foundation (highly recommended we get a construction company to do that part, rather than doing it ourselves), then build up from there. A backhoe to dig out large water tanks and a septic system will be necessary, assuming this will be somewhere off-grid.

The great thing is that solar is actually doable these days, so we could get REAAAALLY cheap off-grid land, build a big-ass solar farm, and then our only issue is potable water, which is doable with a reverse osmosis system and a large enough catchment tank, if you don't care about living too close to a major city.

Comment author: ialdabaoth 23 March 2017 10:18:00PM 0 points [-]

On the other hand, if you actually need this to be somewhere near the Bay, then I don't know what to tell you, because I'd basically need to go to school for something like 12 years to get all the necessary certifications to prove that I know how to do what I know how to do.

Comment author: Alicorn 22 March 2017 10:47:00PM 0 points [-]

Hi! What would you need to construct a dormpartment building?

Comment author: ialdabaoth 23 March 2017 10:12:00PM *  1 point [-]

Well, obviously first we'd need land. What land we get will determine who is legally allowed to build a dormpartment building, and what techniques and materials they're allowed to use.

That said, if it was up to me, I'd probably want to build something out in the Arizona desert, probably near Snowflake, and I'd want to use cinderblock construction. The great thing about that is that you're basically making giant lego-houses out of hollow concrete blocks and mortar.

So step one would be getting a bulldozer to level the land, then a cement truck and a shitload of cement to make a foundation (highly recommended we get a construction company to do that part, rather than doing it ourselves), then build up from there. A backhoe to dig out large water tanks and a septic system will be necessary, assuming this will be somewhere off-grid.

The great thing is that solar is actually doable these days, so we could get REAAAALLY cheap off-grid land, build a big-ass solar farm, and then our only issue is potable water, which is doable with a reverse osmosis system and a large enough catchment tank, if you don't care about living too close to a major city.

Comment author: ialdabaoth 21 March 2017 01:10:35AM 1 point [-]

I do not know how to build a dormpartment building and probably neither do you.

Hi.

Meetup : Bay Area Winter Solstice 2016

2 ialdabaoth 22 September 2016 10:12PM

Discussion article for the meetup : Bay Area Winter Solstice 2016

WHEN: 17 December 2016 07:00:00PM (-0700)

WHERE: Anna Head Alumnae Hall, 2537 Haste St, Berkeley, CA 94720

It's time to gather together and remember the true Reasons for the Season: axial tilt, orbital mechanics and other vast-yet-comprehensible forces have converged together to bring another year to a close, and as the days grow shorter and colder we remember how profoundly lucky we are to have been forged by blind, impersonal forces into beings that can understand, and wonder, and appreciate ourselves and each other. This year's East Bay Rationalist Winter Solstice will be held in the center of Berkeley, bringing 300 rationalists together in a theatre hall for food, songs, speeches, and conversations. We encourage other Bay denizens who can't make our solstice to put on their own show. Or even if you do come, we encourage people to try out their own ideas. The East Bay Solstice celebration will be on Saturday, December 17th, in the Anna Head Alumnae Hall in Berkeley. Acquire tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-bay-area-winter-solstice-tickets-27853776395 We are coordinating with the Bayesian Choir and will be coordinating with various speakers, as in previous years. An MC and schedule will be posted as details solidify. Kids are welcome. Vegetarian food will be available. Let us know if you have specific accomadation requests or have questions.

Discussion article for the meetup : Bay Area Winter Solstice 2016

Comment author: lisper 25 February 2016 08:33:04PM 0 points [-]

What can I say? The compatibilists are wrong. The proof is simple: either all reliably predictable agents have free will, or some do and some don't. If they all do, then a rock has free will and we will just have to agree to disagree about that (some people actually do take that position). If some do and some don't, then in order for the term "free will" to have meaning you need a criterion by which to distinguish reliably predictable agents with free will from those without it. No one has ever come up with such a criterion (AFAIK).

Comment author: ialdabaoth 25 February 2016 09:48:51PM 0 points [-]

My intuition has always been that 'free will' isn't a binary thing; it's a relational measurement with a spectrum. And predictability is explicitly incompatible with it, in the same way that entropy measurements depend on how much predictive information you have about a system. (I suspect that 'entropy' and 'free will' are essentially identical terms, with the latter applying to systems that we want to anthropomorphize.)

Comment author: ialdabaoth 11 December 2015 09:38:01AM 8 points [-]

As someone who regularly 'embraces his despair', I've noticed that it's one thing to visibly despair as a startup founder with 18 months of runway, and another thing to visibly despair as a freeloader staring at the possibility of homelessness.

Despair has social signalling consequences, and whether those signals help or hinder your ability to actually Get Shit Done is highly context-dependent.

And yes, it has these signalling consequences whether or not you choose to actively talk about your despair - it affects everything you do. For example, one person might be the head of a non-profit FAI research organization, and his tiredness and grimness are seen as evidence that he's obviously super-dedicated and working super-hard - and the fact that he's not talking about it and making jokes instead just show how stoic and resolute he is / the fact that he's talking about it and worrying about what to do just show how sensitive and in-touch with himself he is. Someone else might be a socially awkward quiet girl who doesn't know where she's going to sleep next, and her tiredness and grimness are seen as evidence that she's obviously bad news and going to be a drain on other people / the fact that she's talking about it and worrying about what to do just show how desperate and needy and self-absorbed she is.

So there's definitely structural social incentives for people who are already on a certain kind of success trajectory to embrace their despair, but the principle of 'equal and opposite advice' strongly holds, and I'd probably advise people on the other side of the impact bell curve to avoid anything that might break the fragile bubble of positivity that's likely shielding them from the howling vacuum of the Horns Effect.

Comment author: Mollie 29 December 2014 07:09:11PM 1 point [-]

The link in "And no, evolutionary psychologists do not only offer 'postdictions'..." is broken.

Comment author: ialdabaoth 29 December 2014 07:27:31PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: ialdabaoth 24 October 2014 01:21:52AM 52 points [-]

I exist in a quantifiable way! (I took the survey)

Comment author: ialdabaoth 12 September 2014 05:40:57PM *  19 points [-]

So, I just had a weird turn at work, that's made it obvious that I can't stay here.

And when I ask myself, "what does Protagonist Brent do?", I immediately imagine powering through my flu, putting my most valuable possessions in my car, pointing West, and driving until I reach Berkeley - then finding an apartment and walking into start-ups and big companies and saying "I can code. I just moved here from Idaho. I need a job. What have you got?"

And then I don't do that, because I'm too dizzy to get out of bed, let alone drive 10 hours to Berkeley, and I have no idea where I'd stay, and I only have $3,000 to my name.

Because my imagination does NOT conserve detail, it just builds a narrative.

How do you work around that?

Comment author: ialdabaoth 27 September 2014 07:19:33PM *  10 points [-]

How do you work around that?

Hello Past Brent, this is Future Brent, aka the actor playing Protagonist Brent on the popular hit show, "Ialdabaoth".

Here's what you're missing:

"Montage".

It looks like Protagonist Brent has to power through recouperation, driving, interviews, hiring, etc. in a matter of weeks because you forget that Protagonist Brent's super-long slogs get edited down into a montage. Six months of work still takes six months, but Protagonist You gets to construct that into a montage-like narrative where the boring parts take up maybe two sentences each, and the cool parts take up minutes to hours of excitedly-narrated epicness.

But I, the actor playing Protagonist Brent, still have to slog through the full six months of work, so that we can pick the best highlights and edit it down in post-production to a few pithy, iconic representations of "this was hard work and there was lots of improvement and moments of triumph". The payoff of the slog is the moments of triumph and the distilled moments of "I can sweat for this", and neglecting them means a fake montage, which means Protagonist Brent doesn't look very epic.

And that itself can be motivating! When things are a slow slog, and you can't just 'flow' it, but are actively obsessing over the future in a way that prevents you from connecting to the present, stop saying "I can't wait to stop having to do this" and start saying "man, I can't wait to see what the highlights real for this is going to look like." Don't imagine the you that's STOPPED working the slog, imagine the you that's FINISHED working the slog. It's a subtle but profound difference.

Comment author: Vaniver 20 September 2014 03:00:52AM 14 points [-]

Drive safely, and live well! We're behind you.

Comment author: ialdabaoth 26 September 2014 03:40:00AM 26 points [-]

salutes I profoundly appreciate that. So far, there have been zero police chases inside shopping malls, or their metaphorical equivalents.

Content appropriate to the thread:

Invoking what brave, confident Brent would do has been working SWIMMINGLY WELL for me. Absurdly well. Impossibly well. I have literally spent my entire life not understanding the underlying principle behind "fake it till you make it", but now I get it instinctively.

Thank you all.

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