A Little Overwhelmed

(Reminder to self: It doesn’t need to be perfect or even represent me perfectly. It just needs to be readable and honest.)

My audience is suddenly a lot bigger. I posted on the Less Wrong facebook group asking for a mentor. I wanted to know if any other people out there belong to the (aspiring) rationalist group and the (reluctant) politicians group, or if my little Venn Diagram section is populated by only me. (So far, there is one other person in this intersection, who ran for office in the Finnish Parliament several years ago…but he didn’t win, so I’m still the only known resident.)

Then Eliezer Yudkowsky shared my blog on facebook…and tagged Robin Hanson and Carl Shulman. Then somebody created a post on Less Wrong announcing my existence.

I have a lot of emotions about this. Here are a few:

1) Guilt, or something like it. “I don’t deserve this attention. There are lots of people in the rationalist community who are smarter than I am and whose thoughts are more deserving of attention, whose careers have and will accomplish more than my career, who are smarter and more-educated and more thoughtful than I.”

2) Nerves. “Now I have one more community to represent (edit: I mean represent in the general sense, not in the sense of voting in the legislature), and it’s a community I respect a lot. If I make a bad choice or say something ridiculous…”

3) Excitement. “All these extremely intelligent people who’ve put a lot of work into educating themselves and overcoming the flaws in their hardware are now aware of my existence and my goals and able to give me advice. This can only be a good thing.”

The guilt is dumb, because people aren’t paying attention because they think I’m the smartest or the best-educated or the most thoughtful around. They’re probably paying attention because I’m doing something unusual in the rationalist community, and they’re curious about how it will go. Let’s shelve the guilt. The excitement makes the most sense.

…Posts I’m planning on making soon:

Advice Received So Far

Is the New Hampshire State House Optimized for Good Decisions?

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Have Voted for Me (or Anybody Else)

5 thoughts on “A Little Overwhelmed

  1. Elizabeth. . . Never forget you entered this race with a conviction you could make a positive influence. Remember what you want to accomplish. Do the things that will help you advance your vision. Be confident, be open to your constituency, be the Legislator that will make you feel you did what you want to do. Make New Hampshire a better place. I have confidence in you as do so many others.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m not even American, but I’m super excited about your rationality-based approach to politics, and I’d love to subscribe to new posts by email. I use a mix of AutoChimp and MailChimp for WordPress Lite to manage mine, if that’s helpful 🙂


  3. I love you and I think you will be an amazing representative both of NH and of our community. Please don’t worry too much. This has been waiting for you as longas I have known you. You don’t have to do it perfectly. I don’t care what your NHLA rating is. I care that you are you and I wish I could have voted for you


  4. >Is the New Hampshire State House Optimized for Good Decisions?

    Well … no.

    I’d be really interested in your perspectivewhether it *should* be … although I guess you should be focusing on results, not stuff I’m interested.

    >Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Have Voted for Me (or Anybody Else)

    Oooh, I take it back, please write this.

    (Ah, aren’t you a politician, though? A little *early* to be attacking democracy, isn’t it?)


  5. I am tremendously interested in these possible subjects — I’m not sure when the new session starts (the internet has poorly organized this information), but it might be best to talk about structural things before it does, so the process of decision making doesn’t crowd it out when things get going.

    Best of luck!


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