Jach's personal blog

(Largely containing a mind-dump to myselves: past, present, and future)
Current favorite quote: "Supposedly smart people are weirdly ignorant of Bayes' Rule." William B Vogt, 2010

10 Random Facts

Cross posted from my dA account, here's some blog filler so I don't feel like I wrote nothing this month. Also this will add my word-count score.


I just tried to read the same thing six times and still didn't parse it, so instead of going to sleep I'm going to do this instead! Tagged by :iconTechnologic-Skies: here are Teh Rules:

1. Post these rules
2. Each tagged person must post ten facts about themselves on their journal
3. Choose ten friends and put their icons on the same page
4. Go to their page and send a message saying you tagged them

For anyone who remembers I did 8 + 2 bonus = 10 a few years back: So some of my facts will be corrections/affirmations of those! Anyway, let's go.

1. I'm in love with :iconribbeh:, unrequitedly. (Don't pity me though! Either I'll move on or I won't.)

2. I'm still a nerd, trying to double my current power level but I'm running into hard limits. I'm not smart enough to be as smart as I'd like (within standard expectations) to be. Outside of standard expectations I'm hoping others can solve the intelligence enhancement problem (making an intelligence level leap, rather than just a higher IQ, such that normal humans are as ants are to us now) soon 'cause I can't!

3. I still run Gentoo Linux, I haven't needed any help compiling my kernel from scratch since I posted. genkernel actually makes it harder for me... So I don't use it. Gentoo's pretty easy-sauce now.

4. I'm in a Computer Engineering program! I like it because it mixes electrical engineering which I was previously totally ignorant of (and it's hard to learn about it without a lab), and computer science which I've always liked.

5. I dropped my pursuit of asexuality some time ago as that was wrong. Now sex interests me, but I'm a messed up monkey so its only value to me is in strengthening a relationship and breeding. Pointless romping is pointless (and dangerous if you have lots of partners) and I'd rather do math.

6. I've been training as a Bayesian rationalist for a couple years or so, slowly getting better. Bayesian rationality is different to traditional rationality in that rather than making vague qualitative statements like "beliefs must be supported by evidence" (which are still true), Bayesians can make quantitative statements about belief, as well as use various mathematical models and theorems (like Bayes' Theorem , Solomonoff Induction and others) that let us reason precisely correct. (Of course, sometimes there isn't enough data to reason narrowly, but you can always use Fuzzy Numbers.) Belief and evidence are measured in bits, and if you have the bit-values then the formula is simple: belief in some proposition X = previous belief in X + evidence for X.

7. I'm both optimistic and pessimistic about the future of humanity, which fits my emotional state of being in total control and also a mess! I have an upper bound of 100 years before we reach something similar to a Post-Scarcity society where, as a possible example, solar-powered nanotech provides us everything we need to live comfortably and safely without destroying things. 100 years seems reasonable since technological progress appears to be exponential, and what seems a likely way to do it is intelligence enhancement, which again is likely through building an artificial general intelligence that doesn't have conflicting goals. I'm pessimistic about humanity making it another 100 years though since it always seems like we're this close to destroying each other, and there are many ways this can happen accidentally (e.g. engineered nanobots go out of control and kill everyone) and even outside of our power (e.g. asteroids).

8. I've become a Lisp Snob. Even though I don't primarily work with Lisp, I know its power and I'm constantly frustrated when I don't have access to it in C++, Java, and sometimes Python. It frustrates me when people get excited over features Lisp has had for 50 years.

9. I'm a practical Anarchist whose primary value is Transhumanism, which is simplified Humanism by valuing life without upper bound. (If technology exists to save someone, save them. Who cares if they're 4 or 80 or 400 years old.) Therefore I'm willing to push for a non-Anarchy government that nevertheless benefits a lot of people, so I'm open to ideas like national healthcare, minimum incomes (let's say 30k a year, though 65k is where the happiness cutoff is (making more than that doesn't make you significantly more happy while amounts below correlate directly with happiness--low income people aren't as happy)), etc. If the rich don't like it, they can go somewhere else. :) Anyway, the reason I'm not all-out Anarchist is because I don't think it can work very well without a post-scarcity society which means we need more technology or a lot less (primitive era where resources seem limitless). I prefer more tech, others want less for some reason even though with more tech living a less-tech lifestyle becomes more feasible. (For a total non-justification of that, and even worse from fictional evidence, see The Nox from Stargate! )

10. I like pizza too much. I'm also hard to horrify, but I have some interesting weak points. e.g. I can watch without flinching but if you talk about a suffering cat I might cry.

I don't think I have even 10 people that read anything of mine, so if you're bored and want to do it, do it. If not, don't.

(Okay, so these weren't so random. Go eat a fish! Maybe I'll say "I have AIDS" next time.)

Posted on 2011-04-19 by Jach

Tags: personal


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