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Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 April 2014 07:14:59AM 0 points [-]

Online Videos Thread

Comment author: knb 10 April 2014 06:10:33AM 0 points [-]

Live Forever as You are Now: pop culture depiction of transhumanism, mind uploading, and immortalism. Funny and slightly disturbing.

Comment author: JoshuaFox 08 April 2014 03:17:02PM *  1 point [-]

Thanks for those answers; but they don't quite explain

  • why some people are induced to change their life by it (perhaps only because it piques their interest for other material on LessWrong)
  • why some readers get more enthusiastic about it than about some excellent non-fanfic books. (These readers are mostly not part of a group that might put social pressure on them to become fans.)
  • why Eliezer has described his own work as "fictional literature from what looks like an entirely different literary tradition." (That's in the April Fool's post, but he has said similar things elsewhere. And though this bullet point could be explained as arrogance on the part of Eliezer, some comments I've seen suggest that many fans agree with him.)
Comment author: knb 09 April 2014 06:08:17AM 9 points [-]

why some people are induced to change their life by it (perhaps only because it piques their interest for other material on LessWrong)

I'm also kind of surprised by this but... actually how rare really is it for people to say "X caused me to change my life."

I do know for a fact that people have changed their lives based on canon Harry Potter, with hundreds of people becoming obsessed with different character pairings etc. So maybe it isn't too surprising that it would happen with HPMoR, at least to a few people.

A weird fact about humanity and mass society is that virtually anything that reaches a large enough audience will wind up with some obsessive fans. As an example, dozens of women pledged their undying devotion to Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker."

Comment author: JoshuaFox 08 April 2014 02:14:12PM 7 points [-]

What's so special about HPMoR?

Some people seem to think that it is more than just a decent read: that it genre-breaking, that it transcends the rules of ordinary fiction. Some people change their life-pattern after reading HPMoR. Why?

For some context on who is asking this question: I've read 400 pages or more of HPMoR; as well as pretty much everything else that Eliezer has written.

Comment author: knb 09 April 2014 05:52:30AM 1 point [-]

I wasn't aware that people have been changing their "life-pattern" after reading it. Are there any examples?

Comment author: knb 03 April 2014 02:27:21AM *  3 points [-]

Here's what I keep in my car kit:

  1. Small gas can
  2. Spare tire/jack/lug wrench
  3. Jump starter/air pump. Like this one This has come in handy many times, mainly to help other people.
  4. First aid kit.
  5. Some spare clothes.
Comment author: knb 01 April 2014 01:09:26AM 12 points [-]

Most people on LW aren't actually believers in natural rights. The typical perspective on LW is utilitarian.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 16 March 2014 04:06:31PM *  2 points [-]

It might be worth comparing Harvard and Oxford (Oxford occupies a similar power law position in the UK, but some covariates differ in a possibly instructive way -- Oxford has a medieval college system which makes it harder to coordinate investments, and UK is relatively small). Harvard's endowment far outstrips all the Oxford colleges put together.

Comment author: knb 30 March 2014 04:12:15AM *  0 points [-]

My general impression is that Oxford is more closely associated with political power than financial power. Cambridge has a far larger endowment than Oxford and in fact it's equivalent to some of the US Ivy League schools. But Christ Church, Oxford alone has had as many Prime Ministers among its alumni as Cambridge in its entirety.

Comment author: CronoDAS 27 March 2014 05:26:05AM 1 point [-]

"In order to get a loan, you must first prove that you don't need one."

-- My "Murphy's Law" wall poster

(Note that this particular example is no longer true.)

Comment author: knb 29 March 2014 08:14:44PM 1 point [-]

I don't think that was ever true.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 17 March 2014 02:44:11PM 0 points [-]

Right, in the UK they call it "Oxridge." But if you plot the histogram it will probably look like the power law also.

Comment author: knb 28 March 2014 04:42:03AM 2 points [-]

I've always heard it as "Oxbridge."

Comment author: knb 28 March 2014 04:32:52AM 2 points [-]

I mentioned in a recent comment that there is evidence for a systematic bias against applicants with conservative/rural/working-class-white cultural signifiers. Espenshade found that most extracurriculars were positive factors for admission to Harvard, but 4H, Future Farmers of America, and ROTC are all negatively correlated with admissions when controlling for test scores and GPA.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 19 March 2014 11:16:53PM -1 points [-]

What is your irrational reading guilty pleasure? Whenever I need a cheap laugh, I browse Conservapedia. Where do you go to indulge the occasional craving for high-octane idiocy?

Comment author: knb 23 March 2014 12:34:42AM 4 points [-]

RationalWiki.

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