Comment by astray on Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics · 2009-07-21T20:29:42.585Z · LW · GW

I missed most of the PUA stuff, so bear with me a bit. Does "honesty" include averred intention? Does the "natural" style promote the mutual and explicitly acknowledged one night stand associated with PUA, or does it foster a "Relationship Artist"?

Have discussions of the "inner" style conjured "ick" factors? Would continued discussions be frowned upon? (If yes, I think this is a more fruitful area for dissection.)

Comment by astray on Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics · 2009-07-21T19:59:04.880Z · LW · GW

Do PUA techniques withstand the woman's reflection? Once made aware, do they acknowledge the effectiveness and accurately reaffirm their interest independently of the technique's effect? If incredulous, is her attention held after a demonstration on another woman?

If the answer is yes, that does a good deal in converting PUA from a ("dirty") trick (like Fool's Mate, in chess) into a valid strategy (like Sicilian defense). If you could demonstrate valid strategies, you'd get a lot more karma out of the effort.

Comment by astray on Sayeth the Girl · 2009-07-20T18:01:33.273Z · LW · GW

What about objectifying a job candidate in an interview? Do you choose the candidate with experience, who will feel dead-ended but perform a better job? You might interpret this as a deliberate stunting of their volition (the sense of objectification I'm using), interfering with their actual goals despite their outward actions.

Any overqualified candidate that gets hired is objectified in an arguably worse way than the target of a PUA, despite the potential mitigations the economic transaction may bring about.

(Edit: Rereading this, I'm worried that I sound confrontational; I don't mean to be, but I'm not sure how else to edit without becoming too prolix.)

Comment by astray on Zwicky's Trifecta of Illusions · 2009-07-17T19:46:42.665Z · LW · GW

I, admittedly, haven't read enough of the posts to know the specific cases, but I presume uptalk and quotative like rank highly.

The trends themselves are secondary, I was mostly just commenting on the supposed one to one mapping between adults being the main texters and adolescents being the supposed main originators of the trends. As thomblake notes, this may merely be an artifact introduced in the noise of reproduction and reporting.

Comment by astray on Good Quality Heuristics · 2009-07-17T17:39:51.476Z · LW · GW

This is a problem I often have myself. I will note that cooking for two ameliorates much of the pain, and cooking with two is even better.

Comment by astray on Zwicky's Trifecta of Illusions · 2009-07-17T17:36:14.651Z · LW · GW

I will note a shortcoming in Jerz's analysis - whether or not kids are the leading texters, they may be the leading originators of undesirable language trends.

The adolescent illusion seems tied to representativeness, with perhaps a tinge of in/out groupness.

The frequency and recency illusions show up in cases like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

Comment by astray on Good Quality Heuristics · 2009-07-16T19:39:33.299Z · LW · GW

Just um... think of it as deck construction? Get your land balance right and you'll have an excellent aggro dish.

It sounded like a better suggestion in my head...

Comment by astray on The Aumann's agreement theorem game (guess 2/3 of the average) · 2009-06-09T14:15:42.242Z · LW · GW

This is also known as a Keynesian beauty contest.

Comment by astray on With whom shall I diavlog? · 2009-06-05T18:56:24.931Z · LW · GW

Lee Smolin might make for an interesting discussion on MWI.

Comment by astray on Image vs. Impact: Can public commitment be counterproductive for achievement? · 2009-05-29T17:21:16.855Z · LW · GW

A solution that I have heard work before is adding the same item multiple times. Not directly, that would be too easy, but instead, add a new task to finish an older list. The longer a task languishes, the more "tasks" you can cross off when it finally gets done.

Comment by astray on Do Fandoms Need Awfulness? · 2009-05-28T15:21:09.207Z · LW · GW

There are a fair number of Revolutionary War reenactments - it's a pretty spirited community, from what I've heard. They also seem to evade some of the corniness criticism Renaissance Fairs seem to garner. Chess and go may not count as "fandom", but they are reasonably popular.

I don't think it's the /badness/ that is required to have a fandom, but a constant stream of discussion. Without badness, it's harder to sustain the discussion. If everyone agreed pirates would beat ninjas or that longswords were better than katana, eventually conversation dries up. Badness spurs arguments that allow adherents to share their beliefs and signal their devotion.

Comment by astray on Do Fandoms Need Awfulness? · 2009-05-28T14:50:59.055Z · LW · GW

Your PS for the newly imported post is out of date- the colored text doesn't seem to have come with it.

Comment by astray on Eric Drexler on Learning About Everything · 2009-05-27T17:53:09.789Z · LW · GW

These are good reads; I was going to post these links later today, after I had time to write up a summary, but you have saved me the trouble.

Notice that concepts make more sense when you revisit a topic, and note which topics provide keys to many others.

I realized when reading this that I have largely been following this method for computer science. Even without any obvious gears clicking into place, I understand talk about, e.g., binary trees or closures that would have baffled me a year ago.

Comment by astray on This Failing Earth · 2009-05-26T17:05:26.553Z · LW · GW

If you look at NK in conjunction with South Korea, it begins to look a lot worse.

(At the same time, you can look at Kenya relative to Somalia and it is just as unflattering.)

Comment by astray on Changing accepted public opinion and Skynet · 2009-05-22T19:28:42.235Z · LW · GW

"The Internet" is probably an interesting case study. It has grown from a very small niche product into a "fundamental right" in a relatively short time. One of the things that probably helped this shift is showing people what the internet could do for them - it became useful. This is understandably a difficult point on which to sell FAI.

Now that that surface analogy is over, how about the teleological analogy? In a way, environmentalism assumes the same mantle as FAI - "do it for the children". Environmentalism has plenty of benefits over FAI - it has fuzzier mascots and more eminent problems - Terminators aren't attacking, but more and more species are becoming extinct.

Environmentalism is still of interest here through the subtopic of climate change. Climate change already deals with some of the problems existential risk at large deals with - its veracity is argued, its importance is disputed, and the math is poorly understood. The next generation serves as a nice fuzzy mascot and the danger is of the dramatically helpful ever inexorably closer variety. Each day you don't recycle, the earth is in more danger, &c. (The greater benefit of a creeping death, "zombie" danger may be that it negates the need for a mathematical understanding of the problem. It becomes "obvious" that the danger is real if it gets closer everyday.)

How can you convince people to solve a harder problem once, rather than every problem that crops up?

Comment by astray on Rationality quotes - May 2009 · 2009-05-20T19:40:34.323Z · LW · GW

“Whether and when law is more effective than code is an empirical matter — something to be studied, and considered, not dismissed by banalities spruced up with italics.” - Lawrence Lessig

Comment by astray on Rationality in the Media: Don't (New Yorker, May 2009) · 2009-05-12T18:14:09.469Z · LW · GW

Interesting in a similar way is the article "How To Make Your Own Luck".

We asked subjects to flip through a news-paper that had photographs in it. All they had to do was count the number of photographs. That's it. Luck wasn't on their minds, just some silly task. They'd go through, and after about three pages, there'd be a massive half-page advert saying, STOP COUNTING. THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER. It was next to a photo, so we knew they were looking at that area. A few pages later, there was another massive advert -- I mean, we're talking big -- that said, STOP COUNTING. TELL THE EXPERIMENTER YOU'VE SEEN THIS AND WIN 150 POUNDS [about $235].

For the most part, the unlucky would just flip past these things. Lucky people would flip through and laugh and say, "There are 43 photos. That's what it says. Do you want me to bother counting?" We'd say, "Yeah, carry on." They'd flip some more and say, "Do I get my 150 pounds?" Most of the unlucky people didn't notice.

Comment by astray on The Craft and the Community · 2009-04-28T21:49:05.443Z · LW · GW

I don't think that b is necessarily an immediate entailment of rationality, but a condition that can be met simultaneously with a and c. The post presents a situation where c is satisficed only through a and b. (It does not take much finagling to suppose that a lonesome mountain man existence in a world ruled by barbarians is inferior in fuzziness and utilons relative to the expectation of the world where a b and c are held to be true.)

Comment by astray on The End (of Sequences) · 2009-04-27T21:36:46.671Z · LW · GW

Do, whatever you may find worth doing.

Does anyone know about any Chicago area Singularity-esque groups at which doing might be done? I am interested in volunteering amateur labor in the hopes of progressing toward volunteering professional specialized labor.

Comment by astray on My Way · 2009-04-17T21:29:47.523Z · LW · GW

I hear Memoirs of a Geisha has a good female lead written by a male author.

Comment by astray on Of Gender and Rationality · 2009-04-16T14:10:51.924Z · LW · GW

I'm in a similar situation - I comment (sometimes) on reddit and HNews, and have occasionally posted a few sentences to OB, but I am much less likely to comment here. The high quality of the posts and comments leads me to agonize a bit overmuch about every part of a comment, and sometimes I will write, edit, and rewrite a comment before deciding to just not comment at all. I, too, often feel I would not be contributing anything original.

(I should also note in this comment that I am male.)

Comment by astray on Of Gender and Rationality · 2009-04-16T13:59:51.428Z · LW · GW

It is an answer short on patience, but it was a comment short on insight. In response to a post relayed in short as: 'The common definition of rationality is stupid. Here is a new proposal that is a basic tenet of most of my writing. (Implicitly, keep this in mind when you see me talk about rationality.)', the poster simply added 'Well, I think the original definition of rationality is right, and I've said this before.'

The inciting comment seems just like the responses (on Fark, HNews, etc.) to Pullum's article about Strunk & White- people who like what they learned flatly deny any counterargument.

Comment by astray on Rationality is Systematized Winning · 2009-04-03T16:29:15.915Z · LW · GW

It runs into problems elsewhere, but what about "Rationalism should win" ?

Comment by astray on The Least Convenient Possible World · 2009-03-19T19:31:56.935Z · LW · GW

The souped up Pascal's Wager seems like the thousand door version of Monty Hall.

Comment by astray on Rational Me or We? · 2009-03-18T16:29:04.665Z · LW · GW

Your torture vs. pie experiment makes me think of another potential experiment. Is torture ever preferable to making, say, 3^^^3 people never have pie again? (In the sense of dust specks, the never eating pie is to be the entire consequence of the action. The potential pie utility is just gone, nothing else.)

Comment by astray on Rational Me or We? · 2009-03-18T16:14:03.382Z · LW · GW

Another method may be to list the top 10 achievements first and then check whether a specialist or a generalist. I imagine Prometheus was a generalist.

Comment by astray on Rational Me or We? · 2009-03-18T16:11:51.083Z · LW · GW

Darwin was almost preempted by Wallace. Newton and Leibniz arrived at the same calculus independently, and similar work was done by Seki Kowa at the same time. They were merely there first and most prominently, but not uniquely. I think to satisfy importance, we want cut vertex scientists and academics.