Questions for Andy Dufresne

Continuing the discussion from Super Fast Super AIs [ post]:

(Moving this here because maybe I shouldn’t ask this question in a thread that’s supposed to be about ET’s Super Fast Super AI’s blog post.)

Have there been topics or threads on CF that you believed you could learn from? Any examples of particular comments or conversations with CF community members where you learnt something useful, or went in expecting to learn something useful and were right/wrong about that?

From following your posts here, on, and from the FI google group, it seems like you’ve done a lot of different things in your life and put into place solutions for many different personal problems or goals, so it makes sense that you’ve had useful info or perspective to share in various contexts (as an example, this home security blog comment: Curiosity – What To Do About Coronavirus)

I’m also curious: Do you derive value from posting about what you know well? Is that fun for you, or valuable in some other way? Is it like a social dynamics kind of value of feeling respected/looked up to as a smart person etc.?

Personally from reading your posts, I did feel that kind of respect for you and thought that you had figured out a lot of cool stuff in life and were tackling big problems like solving aging for yourself or your kids. I never considered at the time that it might be a social dynamics thing or that your posts might be (unconsciously and automatically) designed to come across that way. It makes sense to me that I’d have a difficult time spotting any of that though, since I haven’t studied it.

I don’t mean this as an attack or anything negative, and me putting the respect stuff in past tense doesn’t mean I don’t still respect you. I’m pretty sure I do (edit: although I might be wrong to, but that should be clear from the following social dynamics comments and stuff), I just tried writing it in present tense and it looked weird. I was also trying to not pander and just be truthful and direct but that might be beyond my current skillset cuz maybe I have pandering/flattering people as an automated social habit whenever talking with someone I view as higher in social status or smarter or older/experienced or more accomplished or things like that.

Mostly asking because I’m curious and I might learn something about how I can handle some social dynamics stuff and spot similarly designed posts/replies in the future. I think in real life I also am drawn to people that seem smart and knowledgeable, but maybe they’re doing it more through social dynamics than real arguments/reason.

Also, I only recently watched Shawshank Redemption for the first time, so it was cool to see where your alias is inspired from and what the character is like.

I believe I can learn from any topic. But I don’t think I choose or optimize for that.

For example, I think Popper, evolutionary epistemology, and problems with induction were completely unknown to me before FI/CF. Everything I know about them - even if all you credit me for ‘knowing’ is that they exist - I think I learned here. Pretty core stuff.

But I don’t remember those things coming up in a discussion I chose for learning them. My ignorance of them came up as part of some other discussion, probably where I was trying to debate, lecture, or organize my existing thoughts.

It feels fun. It also feels like my thoughts are organized better after writing what I know about a topic. Why I care about that may be social.