I prefer OB and don’t read LW as much, but that’s partly because there are other things competing for my time and you’d have to sift through a lot of mediocre stuff at LW to find the same sort of quality. I expressed my disagreement with Eliezer in his post on gardens, which I’d rather not reiterate here as others can read it there. Personally, I don’t do any voting at all.
“Pure capitalism is so cruel at times that it cycles rebellion”
“Deprivation theory is wrong, social construction is right. “Objective” conditions don’t predict the rise of movements, but problem construction.”
Fabio Rojas—Most Important Social Movement Findings
North Korea does not permit people to engage in “problem construction”, so the objective conditions of deprivation do not pose as much risk of rebellion.
Yvain, people seem to have a hedonic set point. If you currently prefer life to non-life, I highly doubt you would not if you lived in Saudi Arabia or Burma.
Eliezer, what aspects of you do you think would have been different if you had consumed only non-fiction as a child?
I somewhat recently decided to only read non-fictional books. One of the reasons I gave for that in making that decision was the desire to seek the truth more fully and a distrust of my ability to discount the biases of fiction, but now I think the more operative reason was that there was a large number of non-fictional books I wanted to have read (distinct from wanting to read) and was dissatisfied with my throughput while fiction was able to compete.
Yvain, the most murderous dictator the world had ever seen and the biggest imperialist power of the day were on the side of the Allies and if our country had gone to war with his (and been as succesful) I am sure you would be talking about how lopsided the scales were in the other direction, having had it drummed into you through school and popular culture.
I don’t think the teacher being punched by a parent is a good analogy. Here are two possible other scenarios that differ from the original in a small way:
The teacher sees one student punch another student.
Two parents are fighting (this does happen). The teacher does not know who started it.
Regarding judges, we consider it necessary for them to pass judgment but they can gain greater respect sometimes by practicing “judicial minimalism”, or saying as little as possible while resolving the specific dispute.
“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral.”
—Dante Alighieri, famous hell expert
The “good” part does all the work. 90% of everything is crap, and that’s if you’re an optimist.
This seemed terribly appropriate.
A reader at 2Blowhards: Depiction of trickster gods in West Africa seems a bit positive, at worst morally neutral. In Northern Europe, Loki was a clear-cut villain. Could that contrast come from selection-induced personality differences?
Greg Cochran: And yet Bugs Bunny is our hero. I think this line of analysis is about as sound and solid as Citibank.
I had been thinking of Hanson’s above-mentioned metacynicism recently when he discussed the signalling that he engaged in. I don’t actually have as much trust for people that claim to be Guardians of the Truth as for those who admit to having other motives in which truth may be incidental. I’m more willing to listen to Hopefully Anonymous even as he proclaims that he engages in mythmaking for his own advantage, and one of the things I liked about Der Ego was Stirner proclaiming in the opening that he owes no more duty to Truth than Truth does to him, and elsewhere that you are not reading his book for your own betterment (presumably through enlightenment) but his. I am now reminded of Barack Obama’s ingratiating acknowledgment of the differing views of others as a sort of pre-emptive neutralizer of opposing arguments that didn’t actually grapple with them head on. I could be granting too much credibility to people who have lowered my guard by being honest about their lack of commitment to honesty.
I should write about this later.
I highly encourage you to. I find it an interesting topic without enough attention (with economic-type broad analysis rather than direct participation not part of public knowledge).
Why should we believe there are “moral truths”? And why are the rules so different with regard to physics? What other topics have a standard more like morality than physics?
I agree with Yvain. The mirror neuron argument was just shoddy. After acknowledging that the science didn’t necessarily support your point about them, you then said that doesn’t matter. If the truth of an argument is irrelevant, why bring it up at all? Doesn’t such an argument falling back on “deeper truth” have the same weaknesses as the religious/mystical in their attempts to avoid falsification?
This is an idea that I think is plausible, although it might be false: Uncle Tom’s Cabin was more an epiphenomenon in the demise of slavery than a cause. It is an easy focal point to think of, and so we associate the end of slavery with it. If the book had failed (perhaps through having a lousy publisher or distribution) we would instead point to something else whose fame has been displaced in our own history by Stowe’s novel.
Wondering, I like rationality posts.
I’m happy to hear that Eliezer will go back to posting on rationality.
Maybe it’s the types I of haunts I’ve been frequenting lately, but the elimination of all conscious life in the universe doesn’t strike me as too terrible at the moment (provided it doesn’t shorten my own lifespan).
Dagon, as I explained in Interpersonal Entanglement, it’s okay except when it isn’t.
My comment got flagged as spam. I’m removing the links now but would appreciate it if this comment was removed when the original gets approved.
I’ve never understood the fascination with cats, which is perhaps because I’m allergic to them. For misanthropic reasons, I suspect I’d prefer replacing you all with some sort of non-sentient beings (though perhaps not when I’m at my most misanthropic).
He said, “Well, then I’d just modify my brain not to get bored—” And I said: “AAAAIIIIIIEEEEEEEEE”
Why? You’ve just given a frightened response rather than an argument.
well, call me a sentimental Luddite
You’re a sentimental Luddite.
“Sterile” is often a good thing and means safe/clean/pure. What is bad about sterile simplicity?
That strikes me as kind of sad.
It strikes me as an improvement. People should separate if they are happier that way. Let’s hear it for secession!
they aren’t just incompetent
Is that something you actually believe or an idea you want to discourage for reasons other than truth? I’ll be the first to admit having no competence whatsoever.
doesn’t strike me as solving the problem so much as running away from it
What exactly is the difference? That one sets off alarm lights in your brain while the other lets you think the ship of Theseus still retains its identity?
I’m willing to bet that a few psychological nudges
Also known as “modifying your brain”. It seems its okay when brains are modified for ends you approve of but not for those of others. Like how eating certain calories “don’t count” among people who are supposed to be on a diet.
For myself, I would like humankind to stay together and not yet splinter into separate shards of diversity
I suspect you’ve fallen under the spell of The People’s Romance.
There is nothing objectively desirable or undesirable. I suspect it would disgust me (I’ve not bothered to watch the video) but I have a hair-trigger disgust reflex.
I haven’t played computer games in a while, but I suspect the game designers know what they’re doing better than Eliezer. When he creates a game that people want to play, I’ll reconsider.
I would (or should I say “do”) want to know if life is worth living, so I can cut my losses in advance.
I don’t like surprises. That’s part of why I like chain restaurants. That’s an area where I am in sync with most people, as evidenced by their success and proliferation.
Zubon, from what I’ve read of Austrians they laugh at the claim (I think Gunnar Myrdal made it) that you can solve the knowledge/calculation problem with such a computer as a misunderstanding of the problem.
Yvain, you are groping toward one of the oldest forms of democracy.
Let’s say I picked the happiest moment in my life (I honestly don’t know what that is, but we can ignore that for now). After the Singularity when we can do things currently considered impossible, could I for all practical purposes rewind time and experience that moment again as if it had never happened to shift my hedonic set point?