I am a man of indiscriminate age (not true) and of indiscriminate gender (also not true).
I hope you’ve learnt a lot about me.
I’m curious about nearly all things.
Well, I am glad we cleared that up. ;-)
I’ll make sure to remember,
In case I ever forget my gender.
The discussion in the comments has been interesting, but I believe I have a simple answer to Eliezer’s question (please tell me if I am mistaken). Consider a society that has a moral idea say, like valuing bodily autonomy, but they don’t give woman that right. They often kill women for the organs to give to men and children, due to an old tribal culture mainly forgotten. Unfortunately, certain rituals and dogma still continue on. One day, a leading public intellectual points this out on tv, and they change their actions to fit in with their true moral beliefs, and stop acting on non-moral ones. Wouldn’t this be an example of moral progress?
A TED Talk centred on this subject came out today:
Dare to Disagree
I’ve just gotten out my magnifying glass, and, by golly, you’re right. My apologies. I’ll be more scrupulous with my map reading techniques in the future. Also, I’m glad you like it.
I see. I’ve said that if people become more aligned with their meta-morals in practice, then it is progress… And you’ve offered that their meta-morals might seem or be bad anyway, so it wouldn’t seem to be progress to us. I suppose, to be able to show my progress to be directional and not arbitrary, I’d have to present a perfect, objective basis for morality. I won’t be doing that in this post (sorry) so my point is redundant. Thanks for clearing that up with me.
An entirely unrelated genie joke. http://www.lulztruck.com/42520/genie-loophole/
The front cover of Chalmers’ new self-help book… http://www.lulztruck.com/42025/mommy-why-did-you-shoot-daddy-in-the-head-2/
That’s the point, I believe. To call something ‘real’, and yet say in principle it couldn’t affect us causally, is to contradict yourself. If you’re contained in a set of nodes that are causally linked, then that is your reality. Any other sets of nodes that can’t contact you just don’t matter.
Even if there was, say, a causal structure beside our universe, of puppies and kittens running around, it wouldn’t matter in the slightest, if in principle we could never interact with them. If we could deduce from the laws of physics that they had to exist, then we would be causally linked. The point I am (and perhaps Eliezer is) trying to emphasise is that our reality is everything that can, and does, affect us.
The difference between much of mainstream philosophy and LessWrongian philosophy: http://www.lulztruck.com/43901/the-thinker-and-the-doer/
What exactly do you mean by “mean”?
Are you going to put on the Free Will sequence? And other important contributions from the sequences, like the reductionism post and dissolving the question (and Zombies too!)? (They’re pretty important to philosophy.)
The map is not the territory. We discuss reality on many levels, but there is only one underlying level. Justice, duty and the like are abstractions; we use the same symbol in multiple places to define certain patterns. You don’t get two identical ‘happinesses’, like you get two identical atoms. It’s useful for us though, to talk about this abstraction at the macro level and not the micro, and it’s meaningful, given that we’re assuming the same axioms. I think, stuff that causes other stuff is reality, and if we assume certain axioms that correspond to reality, any new truthful statements and concepts deduced are meaningful because they also correspond to reality. Everything there is covered. Things that exists, and things we think exists.
I took the first survey. Everything seemed great! Thanks a lot Yvain.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t do the last extra questions. Sorry :(
The results should be interesting...
I’m attempting to use it alongside Udacity to grasp Maths, Science, Statistics and Computer Science (well, programming). I’ve not got down to doing everything systematically yet, but it’s all much more effective and efficient than school (I’m 15).
Currently, I’m learning Calculus, and it’s much better than the English education system, even though I have a one-to-one session for one hour per week with my teacher.
On Khan, I have an Earth Badge, and 66,858 points.
I’m 15, and I would really like to be part of a community of teenage rationalists-in-training/LessWrongers. Also, I think a couple of people have over-read into this post. I don’t think Josephthink is proposing a whole new blog and site, I think this is a call out to any LW teenagers to get in contact. I have, and so have three others as far as I know. And I think that’s a great idea.
Also, I think the small community could come up with posts (or post ideas) useful to them, and other people (as certain kind members below have offered) could help with the writing. Teenagers are often still getting used to life in the big wide world, and loads of different discussions taken from a rationalist standpoint about basic things ( I found this really useful: Social Status Hacks ) and aspects of academic knowledge (maths, science etc.) would be interesting to everyone, I think.
Or not. I’m certainly glad for this post, I now know of three other teenage rationalists after two days.
Yeah, I signed we up for it too, with two friends (one if them does LW). :)
… Well done, Hackerikiba, it’s great that you’ve gotten so much out of it.
I wasn’t boasting, I was just giving a piece of information as to where I’m at (If you’re wondering why you’ve been downvoted, it’s because you sounded as though you were).
I agree with Spectral Dragon. There are two main areas I’m thinking of: the first are introductions:: rationality ideas for people with no rationality background, presented clearly and not dependant on having read ALL of EY’s posts, and also introductions to major topics related to science, maths, computer science and the like, written by rationalists—Like the Causal Disgrams post from the new Epistemology sequence. For instance, explaining what maths and physics are without referring to a ‘non-natural platonic realm of being’ etc. Clear and not confused, rather than clearly confused.
Also, applying rationality to (teenage) life—that is, life rationality for newcomers to that particular field. All types of interpersonal relationships, how signalling and status fit into everything, how to organise your life now that you need to think for yourself (etc).
That would be brilliant :)
Just to point out: your 3rd footnote all links to the same page.
Enjoyed the post. Perhaps a case study of a big philosophy problem fully dissolved here?