Many of us *are* hit with a baseball once a month.

Watch­ing the video of Eliezer’s Sin­gu­lar­ity Sum­mit 2010 talk, I thought once more about the ‘base­ball’ ar­gu­ment. Here’s a text ver­sion from How to Seem (and Be) Deep:

[...] given hu­man na­ture, if peo­ple got hit on the head by a base­ball bat ev­ery week, pretty soon they would in­vent rea­sons why get­ting hit on the head with a base­ball bat was a good thing.

And then it dawned on me. Roughly half of hu­man kind, women, are in­flicted with a painful ex­pe­rience about once a month for a large pe­riod of their lives.

So, if the hy­poth­e­sis was cor­rect, we would ex­pect to have deep-sound­ing memes about why this was a good thing float­ing around. Not one to dis­ap­point, the in­ter­net has in­deed pro­duced at least two such lists, linked here for your read­ing plea­sure. How­ever, nei­ther of these lists claim that the benefits out­weigh the costs, nor do they make any deep-sound­ing ar­gu­ments about why this is in fact a good thing over­all. Whether or not they are sup­ported by the ev­i­dence, the benefits men­tioned are rel­a­tively prac­ti­cal. What’s more, you don’t hear these go­ing around a lot (as far as I know, which, ad­mit­tedly, is not very far).

So why aren’t these memes philosophised about? Per­haps the ick fac­tor? Maybe the fact that hav­ing the other half of the pop­u­la­tion go­ing around and hav­ing perfectly nor­mal lives with­out any ob­vi­ous draw­backs acts as a san­ity test?

In any case, since this is a counter-ar­gu­ment that may even­tu­ally get raised, and since I didn’t want to sup­press it in favour of a sol­dier fight­ing on our side, I thought I’d type this up and feed it to the LessWrong hive­mind for bet­ter or worse.