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Information icon.svg This debate was created by Promethean (talk).


Should a geek like me participate regularly on LessWrong? If so, which Sequences should I read first? If not, are there any good alternatives?

My points in favour[edit]

  • This comment of mine got a thoughtful reply, rather than a "Speak English!" and a ton of downvotes. I don't know anyone IRL or on other sites, except maybe some of my profs, who'd have been able to understand the jargon and analogy. When I have to translate my thoughts into layman's terms (or at least downgrade the jargon to code-monkey level, as even career programmers have sometimes had to ask me to), it takes a lot more time and effort to get any feedback about them; hence I can't Release Early Release Often as ec429 advocates. I spend a long time editing even casual e-mails before I send them.
  • I'm already a Singularitarian.
  • I understand the basic concepts of derivatives and hedging, having taken a Financial Securities course in high school and done well. I'm very interested in seeing the "emotional hedge" concept developed further and generalized, especially after reading this. — Unsigned, by: Promethean / talk / contribs 2013-08-05T16:35:22‎

My points against[edit]

  • Roko's basilisk. If I'd been deep into LessWrong at the time, I'd probably have been affected -- as it was, I'm thinking the utility function I wanted to adopt may have been equivalent. I may also be vulnerable to technological versions of Pascal's Wager more generally (the details of why cryonics won't work are over my head, and some of them may be out of date by the time I have the money).
  • Because of my Asperger Syndrome, I tend to overthink things, and try to solve problems all at once even when a feedback loop is available. I'm trying to change this, and MIRI's approach to FAI (I'm guessing they'd count an Agile-developed FAI as a soft takeoff) suggests they may not be much help.
  • I'll have to be selective about reading the Sequences -- there's no way I have time for all of them. — Unsigned, by: Promethean / talk / contribs 2013-08-05T16:35:22‎


I'll quote our LW page, because it sums it up so nicely: "Such time would probably be better spent reading some of the books written by the actual researchers behind the Sequences' concepts, such as Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb, or Thinking and Deciding by Jonathan Baron — all of which are just as easily readable if not more so." Plus, once you understand these concepts in their original non-LW form, it'll be easier to wade into the more technical side of things if you're so inclined. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 16:43, 5 August 2013 (UTC)

f you are like "I spend a long time editing even casual e-mails before I send them", I think the problem may be within yourself. Like, you are the problem. Your attitude. Towards others. So maybe think about that. Turokpoops (talk) 18:04, 12 November 2015 (UTC)