I am a month long lurker who finally decided to make an account.
I’m 24, and am living as a US expat in Beijing right now. I have a BA in Economics from a top 5 university, where the most important thing I learned was just how little that actually meant. I got pretty disillusioned with academia, and I’ve only been able to start enjoying intellectual pursuits again in the last year or so; hence, it is nice to find a non-university community where I might be able to discuss interesting ideas without all of the self-important swagger.
I would say that the other important thing my econ background influenced is my rational decision making: I do not vote; I was involved in effective altruism (until I became an ethical nihilist); etc. I think I’ve experience some significant emotional blunting from this, and have mixed feelings about it. Hopefully being in a community of similarly oriented people (and getting more information about typical outcomes) will help me work through whether this is something that I need to address or not.
I lean somewhat classical-liberal (or pro-market left of center, with significant room for government provisioning for market failure) at the moment, but lately I’ve fallen into a more libertarian heuristi, which I want to become more aware of and counteract as I disagree with that political philosophy on several formal issues. Hopefully I can use the resources at LW to recalibrate on this issue in particular.
My interests are pretty broad:
Public finance / policy
Game theory / auction theory / voting theory (especially wrt collective decisionmaking / policy)
Epistemology (especially regress / Munchausen Trilemma)
Dynamics of social identity (especially the ethics of statistical discrimination)
Aesthetics (especially w.r.t. visual art)
Psychology and personal identity (especially antipsychiatry)
Consciousness, continuity of experience, and personhood
Literature (especially Latin American)
Additionally, I enjoy learning math, though I am not very talented at it (I was a single Algebra/Galois Theory class away from a math degree though). Recently, I’ve been going back through some old analysis / algebra / number theory books to give it another shot; I’m still bad at it, but it’s nonetheless rewarding.
One of the things about LW that seems really awesome is the deep programming knowledge. I enjoyed the few programming classes I took, and look forward to learning more about its applications to modelling decision making.
Anyways, I look forward to engaging with you, and if anyone has anything they want to point me towarda here, I’d love the tip.