A quick Google search suggests that reverse osmosis will take fluoride levels down by an order of magnitude, and although under-sink reverse osmosis filter output is indeed “way more expensive” than tap water, the difference is negligible as long as you only use the filtered stuff for drinking, while still bathing, cleaning, landscaping etc. with unfiltered.
This all assumes you actually want to remove fluoride from your water, though; I still haven’t seen any decent evidence suggesting you would.
It’s hard to say; maybe there’s a bit of cultural osmosis involved? Maybe it has to do with the combination of the vast amounts of unused space and the influx of jobs other than family farms (the one branch of my father’s family that almost kept their own little extended clan together is so big on livestock, especially horses, that I honestly have no idea what jobs any of them have had. There was a family farm before I was born, but my father’s oldest brother mismanaged it into oblivion).
My town has a significant manufacture sector, but it’s mostly food products. It has some diversity by virtue of being a college town, though the college’s primary majors are agriculture and business. So it’s a bizarre sort of place that keeps growing, but refuses to stop being the biggest small town around in spite of a population literally 100 times the size of many nearby towns*. I think it’s technically a city, but in practice it’s an amalgamation of rural and suburban.
* I don’t think this town has broken 100k yet. I haven’t heard population numbers on nearby towns in a while, but I was not exaggerating my orders of magnitude, given the populations when last I heard them.
Or don’t read any books and simply pick it up by osmosis.
I should say that people typically fail to learn about it through osmosis.
(Too simple a subject, indeed. What a prime example of a statement that’s Not Even Wrong. Perhaps “too removed from ordinary human experience” is a better description.)
not so much “Can I work with you to somehow learn your wisdom by osmosis?” but “Where are the practice grounds for the insight just displayed?”
It’s less the insight just displayed and more a general tendency to see Pareto improvements in group rationality. But debate’s an interesting idea.
Have you tried Aquafina? I used to hate water, but I’ve gotten to like reverse-osmosis purified water in general, and Aquafina in particular.
I used to have that the-world-is-ending feeling, too. I picked it up by osmosis. Environmentalists were talking like we were going to run out of natural resources any day now (and often predicting disaster just a few years ahead). A lot of people casually mentioned that they expected the world to end any day now from nuclear war, although that might have been exacerbated by the fact that I read books which were written before the Soviet Union broke up. But nuclear tensions have been steadily ebbing, and environmental doomsday predictions have consistently failed to come true, and now I’m feeling optimistic enough to think about actually dealing with a technological future.
By the way, this reminds me of one of the fake job application cover letters from Joey Comeau’s book Overqualified, which probably qualifies as a rationality quote in its own right, if only for the brilliant last paragraph. It hails from an alternate universe where Greenpeace isn’t stupid and counterproductive.
Here’s what I did, which is all I know how to recommend:
0) Absorb liberalism by osmosis.
1) Learn neoclassical economics—price curves, opportunity cost, many of the basic arguments of politicized economics.
2) Learn how especially the politicized stuff is incomplete (should see it coming if you read LW) - evidence for and basics of Keynesian economics, read economic analyses of past trends (growth of trusts, great depression, WW2, silicon valley, banking crisis), economics of public and common goods.
3) Study the world a bit, try and find out what other countries are doing well and how we can copy them. My one book recommendation: Deep Economy by Bill McKibben—excellent book, even if you partly disagree you will be very glad you read it.
I’ve shirked reading all the sequences end to end, instead focused on the most popular ideas transmitted by Internet cultural osmosis.
I don’t expect to convince you, but (1) the sequences exist in the book form, free to download, which has the advantage that it is a little more polished, linear, and without the distraction of comments, but still quite long, however (2) when I once actually measured how many pages of text I read on an average day of online browsing, I got the impression that the sequences are actually not as long as they seem. I mean, reading a 1000 pages long book seems like a big deal, but sometimes I spend an afternoon reading hundred web pages, some of them several pages long, so I actually process the same amount of text in a week.
Ideally, every article would have its own page which could be heavily tagged up with metadata such a themes, importance, length, quality, author and such.
That would be an insane amount of work. Perhaps doing this only for articles with karma 50 and more would be less insane, but still a lot of work.
I imagine it’s less widespread a belief than before the 80s, but it’s just one of those things you get by osmosis from the broader culture when you’re young. It’s part of the stereotypes there are about the sexes: women can’t drive, men won’t ask for directions when they’re lost, blah blah blah.
I’ve never watched the show, but if it works anything like the mental model of it that I’ve built through cultural osmosis, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were filtering for compatibility in some way before they finalize the selections. Closer competition makes for good TV; the network’s essentially throwing away free money if a non-trivial number of the contestants give it up as a bad job before they can cause drama.
Thanks, I had no idea why people were downvoting this, and you gave me a better idea. I fully agree with the osmosis problem you mention.
I wonder why Modus Ponies got 66 upvotes for saying that same thing.
I spent the first six years of my life in Israel, and the rest in France. Now, my immediate family wasn’t really religious, but cultural osmosis did lead me to believe in the better-known Old Testament stories—a vague belief in God, as others might believe in Santa Claus (I also believed in the Tooth Fairy. And that she looked like Gonzo in a skirt. Muppet Babies may have been to blame).
Around age 8-10, I became enamored with science, which became central to my worldview. Now, one of the books I owned around then was a children’s animal encyclopedia, and it had a couple pages explaining old animal-related superstitions, ranging from “black cats bring bad luck” to “ants fighting means an enemy army is approaching”. It was my first introduction to the concept of superstitions. But then, when I stopped, and thought of those examples, and what I knew of science, and what I knew of God and all those biblical stories… It occurred to me that religion sounded remarkably like superstition. It would be an overstatement to say I became a rationalist at that specific point, but that’s when I became an atheist; furthermore, it was around then that I decided superstition, and incorrect beliefs, were something to oppose and grow out of.
In retrospect, I can see that a lot of the fiction I read around that time helped shape my worldview. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court showed me superstition being used to manipulate a nation, while displaying the power of science. Odyssey from River Bend showed me post-apocalyptic heroes searching for lost scientific knowledge. Rahan showed me a caveman using reason to overcome superstition.
Of course, all of this only constituted early steps. I was years later that I would formalize my philosophy, and learn that “believing in rationalism” was, at most, the first step to actually being rational.
But if I had to point out where it all started...I’d say it was my childhood science magazine, and that animal encyc
What you are thinking of as “a common sense and common decency” is nothing more then SJW (and their predecessors’) memes that you’ve acquired by osmosis.
But a large aspect of it is actually very old. Look at how a gentleman talks to a lady in any old movie. Politely etc. Or in novels from the 19th century. Monte-Cristo, whatever. Concepts like tact, polite and gentle behavior, and taking other people’s feelings into account stems from much older times than SJW stuff. Imagine an old novel or movie hero like Monte-Crisot meeting a gay person. Likely he has a very, very negative opinion of it but he still does not go “lol look at the faggot, did you suck many dicks today lol” because that 4chan level behavior is not allowed to an old fashioned gentleman. Most likely he keeps a stiff upper lip, discusses the weather politely and does not say anything directly at all, although later on he may whisper in his friends eye “the Viscount is apparently practicing unspeakably unnatural vices”.
I am still fairly “well bred”, not on that 19th century level, but I was taught to be polite way before I ever heard about any other left wing or progressive idea than socialism. And I don’t understand the confusion here. What are we even talking about? Isn’t it obvious that for example Vox Day has the kinds of manners and style any people who were raised to be polite in a conservative family who never subscribed to progressive ideas still find repulsive? I am confused what is even the issue here.
You appear to have no idea either what the USA was like in the 1950′s or what it’s like now. The above statement has so little relation to reality I don’t even know where to start. Really, you might want to look for sources of news about what’s going on in other countries that don’t have an absurd level of “left-wing/SJW” bias.
The other way around. I am not from Internet Default Country (I actually hate the defaultism) and probably this is why we may have a misunderstanding of manners.
Re: why are there so few rationality researchers? Why aren’t there hordes of people interested in these issues
Rationality is not on the curriculum. People typically learn about it through osmosis in the science classes. Along with critical thinking, it has been considered to be too simple to be a subject in its own right. So, it fell somewhere between the science and math stools—and got lost down there.
Adam Cadre has an entertaining account on watching the LotR movies as someone who has neither read the books nor picked up the content via cultural osmosis.
I think the causality has to run: X-Rationalists raise the standards for ordinary rationalists and scientists-> People connected to the scientists raise their standards-> Everyone else
Sort of top down by osmosis rather than decree. Everyone gets slightly better, but most ordinary people won’t have to unrealistically become X-Rationalists.
Now that you mention Rushdie, another topic comes out: how not to appear to be a Westernized sellout? I don’t know much about Rushdie himself, but the image I got of him from popcultural osmosis is that of a professional traitor attacking Islam for the sake of getting accolades from Westerners. Regardless of how much of that is true, this is obviously an image one needs to avoid at all costs.
I would compare it to the amalgamation of “Socialist” and “Servant of the USSR” that took place during the Cold War.
People can have interesting perspectives on the topic of religious conversion. I remember a Muslim apostat getting asked, in all innocence, whether they’d be converting to Christianity next, as if it was the logical next step. Yet another argument for “people actually think of religion as a tribe, not as a set of metaphysical beliefs with moral prescriptions attached”
One interesting kid science experiment is to dissolve an egg’s calcium shell in vinegar. Naked egg experiments can make a good demonstration of osmosis. (Osmosis comes up a lot in cryobiology, so it is of considerable interest for cryonics.)
Not so much from the reading, or even from any specific comments in the forum—though I learned a lot from the links people were kind enough to provide.
But I did, through a kind of osmosis, remind myself that not everyone has the same thing in mind when they think of AI, AGI, human level AI, and still less, mere “intelligence.”
Despite the verbal drawing of the distinction between GOFAI and the spectrum of approaches being investigated and persued today, I have realized by reading between the lines that GOFAI is still alive and well. Maybe it is not the primitive “production system” stuff of the Simon and Newell era, or programs written in LISP or ProLog (both of which I coded in, once upon a time), but there are still a lot of people who don’t much care about what I would call “real consciousness”,and are still taking a Turing-esque, purely operationalistic, essentially logical positivistic positivistic approach to “intellence.”
I am passionately pro-AI. But for me, that means I want more than anything to create a real conscious entity, that feels, has ideas, passions, drives, emotions, loyalties, ideals.
Most of even neurology has moved beyond the positivistic “there is only behavior, and we don’t talk about conscious”, to actively investigating the function, substrate, neural realization of, evolutionary contribution of, etc, consciousness, as opposed to just the evolutiounary contribution of non-conscious informaton processing, to organismic success.
Look at Damasio’s work, showing that emotion is necessary for full spectrum cognitive skill manifestation.
THe thinking-feeling dichotomy is rapidly falling out of the working worldview, and I have been arguing for years that there are fallacious categories we have been using, for other reasons.
This is not to say that nonconscious “intelligent” systems are not here, evolving, and potentially dangerous. Automated program trading on the financial markets is potentially dangerous.
So there is still grea