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Making yourself small

11 min read
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On the Loss and Preservation of Knowledge

Samo Burja
Samo's Medium
6 min read
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Book Review: Consciousness Explained

Charlie Steiner
21 min read
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The abruptness of nuclear weapons

1 min read
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Extended Quote on the Institution of Academia

Ben Pace
8 min read
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[Link] Arguments about fast takeoff

1 min read
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Robustness to Scale

Scott Garrabrant
1 min read
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Two types of mathematician

4 min read
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Toward a New Technical Explanation of Technical Explanation

17 min read
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8 min read
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The Value of Meetups

11 min read
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The Craft and the Community

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Bring Back the Sabbathby Zvi
Epistemic Status: Several months of experimentation Previously:Choices are Bad [],C...(Read more)

Very helpful, I've been trying to generate better ideas for restful leisure since too many of my activities are the kind of things you record yourself often and focus improvement and I often feel tired even after my "rest" activities. I'd be really interested for more people to say what they do at e...(read more)

Appropriateness of Discussing Rationalist Discourse of a Political Nature on LW?by Evan_Gaensbauer
There was recently a back-and-forth between Slate Star Codex and Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs, a major national news magazine on the political left in the United States. It didn't end well. I think it would serve as a good example in how I think rationalist diaspora members could better think...(Read more)

> While circling, I experienced a sudden rush of conviction

Wanted to respond more fully to this. This is really not how I learn things from circling (not new beliefs, anyway). In the LW frame, circling is an unusually good opportunity to collect training data about how humans respond to other huma...(read more)

Huh, I didn't know about the older TV program or the generic term "current affairs magazine". Thanks for explaining the context that made you feel you were misled! That said, I still think that's really a stretch and I don't think the magazine's name is meant to mislead.

I think also throughout you...(read more)

Uh... I can try to unroll the context and thinking I guess..

I think in my head I initially associated the name with childhood memories of a [vaguely Investigative TV News Program that was apparently founded in 1986](

Also, it appear...(read more)

The Epsilon Fallacyby johnswentworth
Program Optimization One of the earlier lessons in every programmer’s education is how to speed up slow code. Here’s an example. (If this is all greek to you, just note that there are three different steps and then skip to the next paragraph.) // Step 1: import Import foobarlib.* // Step 2: Initiali...(Read more)

> The first response is what I’m calling the epsilon fallacy. (If you know of an existing and/or better name for this, let me know!)

This reminds me of [Amdahl's Law]( You could call it Amdahl's fallacy, but I'm not sure if it is a bette...(read more)

Rationalist Lentby Qiaochu_Yuan
It's that time of year again. Pick something to give up for 40 days as an experiment / comfort zone expansion. Post about it here. Good luck...(Read more)

Basically stuck to my commitment - early on I bent it a bit by taking 'notes' in the form of drawing abstract scribbles, but I now mostly don't do that. I have also once or twice looked up info relevant to the meeting, but both times felt pretty in the spirit. This has partially been achieved by att...(read more)

I've stuck to not using Youtube for three weeks (I only committed to not do it for a week), and found it a very enlightening experience. I now use it much more sporadically, and was quite surprised how much I really wanted to go to Youtube during the first week.

I've stuck to no fiction. (I unthinkingly read a few paragraphs of a short story that came across my Twitter, but otherwise have been consistent.)

It's mostly been fairly easy. It's really obvious now that it's a social pica. I think some of the time I would have spent on it has been going to incre...(read more)

My attempt to explain Looking, insight meditation, and enlightenment in non-mysterious termsby Kaj_Sotala
Epistemic status: pretty confident. Based on several years of meditation experience combined with various pieces of Buddhist theory as popularized in various sources, including but not limited to books like The Mind Illuminated, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, and The Seeing That Frees; ...(Read more)

> Of course we can use reductionist materialism to reason about processes that happen in our brain when we are doing this very reasoning.

I'm not disagreeing with that. I'm saying that:

* It's pretty normal to miss the confusion in this case. * Looking isn't reasoning.

> The reason the paperc...(read more)

> It still shouldn't be an impediment to understand what Looking _is_.

Except if the parts that listen to the explanation, don't care about actually understanding it.

I don't know whether this is the thing that Val means, but I've certainly had times of finding things that were _kind of like_ Look...(read more)

> Starting from reductionist materialism to frame the question of what our brains are doing when we Look at reductionist materialism yields a strange loop that often causes the process to glitch

I don't understand why should it happen. Of course we can use reductionist materialism to reason about p...(read more)

On the Loss and Preservation of Knowledgeby Samo Burja
[Crossposted from my Medium blog] Let’s say you are designing a research program, and you’re realizing that the topic you’re hoping to understand is too big to cover in your lifetime. How do you make sure that people continue your work after you’re gone? Let’s say you are trying to understand what A...(Read more)

This is an excellent analysis of a particular aspect. Firstly I do want to emphasize that this mindset is already very rare, few people reason from the existence of traditions of sound knowledge and begin thinking how to access them. The exercise for most remains, pardon the pun, _academic_.

The on...(read more)

I'm finding this a bit vague, to be honest. More examples would be good. For instance, modern mathematics is a living tradition, certainly, but modern mathematics would not help if you wanted to answer "how would Archimedes consider the Riemann hypothesis?" Now, Archimedes's school certainly died, u...(read more)

If access to learning mastery in an ongoing living tradition, or having the best chance of reviving a dead tradition if so-called experts of it can't be relied upon, requires access to a physical location, that doesn't seem like an insurmountable obstacle for most people. Elon Musk predicts one day ...(read more)