My Week at Rationalist Summer Camp [Sequence Index]

After spending a week at geek summer camp (not that one!) in July 2012, I never got around to assembling the index post for all the blogging I did in response to the workshop.  But, at least I'm just sneaking in ahead of this year's workshop.  I still think the best summary of CFAR's workshops is the one I posted last year: This is the kind of summer camp where, before you go, they send you and two close friends a detailed survey, so they have a baseline to assess the impact of the camp on you i … [Read more...]

“Didn’t you ever break on the floor?”

This post is a follow-up to a reflection on how going to rationality camp made me really grateful for my college debate experience.  "Break on the floor" is, I'm pretty sure, part of the Yale Political Union vernacular, so a definition is probably in order.  Our debates operated by Robert's Rules of order, but our parliamentary debate style bears little resemblance to the gatling-gun style of debate you may be used to from high school and college.  In some forms of competitive debate, you can … [Read more...]

The gift my weirdo debate friends gave me

Tonight is the summer alumni debate of my philosophical debating group, and I’ve had an awkward time every time someone has asked me what we’re planning to debate. You see, our topic for the night is “R: Heighten the Contradictions,” which tends to throw people for a loop if they were expecting “R: Elect Obama” “R: Repeal the Death Penalty” or something like that.By the end of rationality camp, one of the things that stuck with me was how grateful I am to have been part of this debating circl … [Read more...]

Which Voldemort is Scariest?

Unsurprisingly, I was rereading Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality on the way back from Bayes Camp (specifically chapters 19 and 20). And, between that and the really bizarre and delightful Olympic opening ceremonies, I ended up wondering whether Canon!Voldemort or HPMOR!Voldemort was scarier.That's not the same question as which of them would win in a fight. It's clearly the HPMOR version. I was wondering which of them would be more terrifying to live in the same world with. When I … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (7/27/12)

--- 1 --- Some long time ago, at some point after I'd discovered Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, I found LessWrong.  I liked the articles I stumbled on and occasionally went on link safari the way I do on TV Tropes, but I didn't start reading the Sequences in any organized way until Luke Muehlhauser (then of Common Sense Atheism, now of the Singularity Institute) started blogging through all of Yudkowsky's posts in chronological order. I flagged some of the posts as particularly i … [Read more...]

If only someone had said this to Stoic!Teenaged!Leah

I'm still at Rationality Camp, and I've noticed that a subset of classes all fall into a category of something I might call "Mitigating How Weird You Are."  There are some people talking about body language, clothing style, and other ways to smooth your relations with other people that LessWrongers could probably do better.  I read Tom and Lorenzo, so I've got a pretty good data base to induct heuristics from.The discussion in this genre I liked best so far was called Emotional API.  (An API … [Read more...]

Markets in Everything!

At Bayes Camp, we aren't just doing estimating exercises in class.  At the beginning of camp, the organizers told us that we could start prediction markets in anything we liked.  A staff member would estimate initial odds that a proposition was true or false, and we could add subsequent predictions.  You gained or lost points proportional to how much your prediction was more accurate than the one right before yours (full explanation at the bottom of the post).The markets started pretty quo … [Read more...]