I, lmf, am back

I am returning to CF, because I meet one of the conditions I set for my return

Despite the language I used above, I actually think that in some sense it is bad to conceptualize what I am doing as “returning to CF.” CF is not some club that I am re-joining, and I am not making any sort of commitment. The better way to think about what I am doing is: I am no longer restricting myself from reading stuff or posting stuff here, if and when it is in my self-interest to do so.

The value that this forum offers me is that, though I have mounting disagreements with the philosophy of CF, I appreciate and agree with CF’s ideas about rational discussion. There’s no other place on the internet where one can expect conversations with the level of depth which is basically the policy here. The norm for places like Reddit, HBL, LessWrong, or even many private conversations, is that people talk past one another, never bring up meta-issues or goals, and arbitrarily let unfinished threads fizzle out. Time is wasted, very little is learned, then almost the exact same conversation happens between the exact same people in a thread 3 months later.

Why am I now devoting “significant effort” to philosophy? Though I always recognized the importance of philosophy on some level, until somewhat recently my idea was something like: I’ll start getting more serious about philosophy after I have a more secure position in life. Recently, I have come to the conclusion that it is crucially important that I work on philosophy now, and not hesitate another second. The reason for this is basically just that I have more knowledge of what the world is like. E.g. I now think academia is so bad that progress towards advancing my nominal career is at best orthogonal to progress towards achieving true greatness, and at worst it is counterproductive.

The main thing I am going to do differently from last time is that I am going to treat this website professionally, like I treat my actual career. I’m only going to come here when I am in full focus, and I’m going to ~exclusively engage with and write posts about philosophy, and about its application to math and physics.

I plan to make very few ‘personal’ posts like this one here. I just thought it would be a good idea to briefly explain.