Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T05:24:59.302Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It seems like half your complaints are that Russian doesn't make some distinction that English does and the other half are that Russian forces you to make distinctions that English doesn't. It strikes me that you're simply more comfortable thinking in English.

Comment by azathoth123 on A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion · 2014-12-09T05:03:11.566Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

But then you've already lapsed into consequentialism, and thus stuck yourself with a mandate to consider the trade-offs between desirable and undesirable consequences.

Yes, and deontologists and virtue ethicists consider trade offs between different principles or virtues.

This is not what deontological and virtue-theoretic politicians actually do.

This is not what consequentialists actually do either. In particular, I've never seen an actual utility function, much less using one to compute trade-offs.

"Look how morally brave I am for being willing to let this sort of thing happen out of pure principle!"

Well, this is also what consequentialists talking about trolley problems sound like.

Comment by azathoth123 on A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion · 2014-12-09T04:49:07.265Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would guess that they don't exist in some communist countries.

Yes, and those countries' economies aren't doing to well.

Comment by azathoth123 on A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion · 2014-12-08T05:45:03.434Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If I understand all of someone's logical arguments for believing what they believe, and I have the knowledge and processing power needed to evaluate those arguments,

Outside of math you also need the relevant evidence, i.e., observations, which requires you to trust that they have been accurately reported.

Comment by azathoth123 on A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion · 2014-12-08T05:24:03.665Z · score: -4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

As mentioned above, be very, very sure about what ethical framework you're working within before having a political discussion. A consequentialist and a virtue-ethicist will often take completely different policy positions on, say, healthcare, and have absolutely nothing to talk about with each-other. The consequentialist can point out the utilitarian gains of universal single-payer care, and the virtue-ethicist can point out the incentive structure of corporate-sponsored group plans for promoting hard work and loyalty to employers, but they are fundamentally talking past each-other.

Um, "hard work and loyalty to employers" can also be interpreted as desirable things that raise total utility in the long run. (Also note: the above is not at all an accurate description of any political position that I know off, I was just going with eli's example.)

This is a broad point in favor of consequentialism: a rational consequentialist always considers consequences, intended and unintended, or he fails at consequentialism. A deontologist or virtue-ethicist, on the other hand, has license from his own ethics algorithm to not care about unintended consequences at all, provided the rules get followed or the rules or rulers are virtuous.

Except, as I mentioned above in practice the conventionalist dismisses any consequences he can't or doesn't want to measure as "irrelevant virtue-ethical considerations". And that's not getting into his license to define the utility function however he sees fit.

Comment by azathoth123 on A bit of word-dissolving in political discussion · 2014-12-08T05:09:08.610Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

So by that standard almost no politicians believe in global warming.

Notice how all the rich actors who show up at charity events to "fight global warming" are also lining up to buy beach front property. (They also tend to fly around in private jets, but that's a separate issue.)

Edit: The reason I didn't use politicians in the above example is that not all politicians can afford beachfront property and the ability to do so correlates with other things that may be relevant to whether you want him in power.

Comment by azathoth123 on A Rationalist's Account of Objectification? · 2014-12-08T04:43:59.728Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Men are allowed to be short or tall, fat or thin, strong or weak.

The traits that make men attractive aren't primarily based on appearance. Thus it matters less what the traits are like. And men in movies and games frequently display them in large amounts. People will they're heroes to have unusually positive traits, thus men are unusually strong, courageous, cool under fire, etc. and women are unusually beautiful, as well as unusually pure, nurturing, etc. It is of course possible (but not necessary) to give women high levels in the masculine traits (and conversely). However, removing the positive masculine traits from men, or the positive feminine traits from women will lead to a product no one wants to watch/play.

Amita from Far Cry 4, for instance, is one of two leaders of a terrorist group fighting against an oppressive dictatorship. You'd expect that she'd have scars. You'd expect she'd be too busy to maintain long hair. You'd expect muscles. You'd expect powerful body language. You wouldn't exactly expect her to have turquoise earrings, wear eyeliner, have immaculately plucked eyebrows, have skin as smooth as marble, and wear a pouty / concerned expression half the time.

I agree this is unrealistic, then again the whole concept of warrior women fighting on par with men is itself completely unrealistic. Audiences tolerate this lack of realism because she at least displays (some) possitive feminine traits. They would also tolerate the more realistic option of having no warrior women. If you made female characters that realistically depict what it would take for women to fight on par with men (i.e., women who look like the Eastern block's doped Olympic athletes) you'll find that no one will want to watch/play them.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-08T04:18:47.325Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Sarah Hoyt isn't quite NRx, but her recent (re)post here seems relevant.

In particular, the old distinction between deserving and undeserving poor.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-08T04:14:45.508Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm a virtue ethicist.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-08T03:48:37.928Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Here is Eliezer's post on the subject.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-08T03:37:09.745Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Classics is the traditional solution to the latter and I think it's still a pretty good one, but now that we can't assume knowledge or Greek or Latin, any other culture at a comparable remove would probably work as well.

Um, the reason for studying Greek and Latin is not just because they're a far-removed culture. It's also because they're the cultures which are the memetic ancestors of the memes that we consider the highest achievements of our culture, e.g., science, modern political forms.

Also this suffers from the problem of attempting to go from theoretical to practical, which is the opposite of how humans actually learn. Humans learn from examples, not from abstract theories.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-08T01:28:34.012Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To put it shortly, it seems to me we have lost the ability to build new things, and became an online debate club.

Did LW as a group ever have this ability? Going by the archives it seems that there were a small number (less than 10) of posters on LW who could do this. Now that they're no longer posting regularly, new things are no longer produced here.

try creating a new one from scratch, or whatever?

A reasonable case could be made that this is how NRx came to be.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-08T01:18:12.175Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe we should have a meta-rule that anyone who starts a political debate must specify rules how the topic should be debated.

Um, this is a horrible idea. The problem is people will make rules that amount to "you're only allowed to debate this topic if you agree with me".

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-08T01:16:03.816Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One aspect of neoreactionary thought is that it relies on historical narratives instead of focusing on specific claims that could be true or false in a way that can be determined by evidence.

I don't see how it does this any more than any other political philosophy.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-07T23:08:51.147Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

When you say "X does Y", you must specify gender of X in Y's form.

Nitpick: I believe you meant "X did Y".

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-07T23:00:22.430Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Berkeley's explanation that there is no physical world, but God exists and is directly causing all of our sensations is an alternate theory, although a rather unlikely one.

What evidence lead you to this conclusion?

Comment by azathoth123 on [Link] Eric S. Raymond - Me and Less Wrong · 2014-12-07T09:11:10.170Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The impression I get from Gardner is that "the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good".

So what does that make the LW sequences?

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-06T23:24:36.005Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

When the most powerful weapon is the pointed stick…

Skill is an a large premium. Thus those who have the free time to practice can end up dominating.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-06T23:20:43.572Z · score: 8 (12 votes) · LW · GW

We just really don't know very much about the roman economy, and are unlikely to find out much more than we currently do.

On the other hand we do know a lot about what happened in 1921, Krugman just wishes we didn't because it appears to contradict his theories.

Generalizing from one example isn't good .. science, logic or argument. But it's better than generalizing from the fog of history.

Um, no. History contains evidence, it's not particularly clean evidence, but evidence nonetheless and we shouldn't be throwing it away.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-06T23:11:29.284Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

NRx's are generally not utilitarians.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-06T02:18:55.709Z · score: -4 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Logic only works cryogenically. You can prove all kinds of shit with it at the temperatures people usually live at.

Nyan Sandwich

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-06T02:16:04.403Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Obligatory link to relevant sequence post.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-06T01:58:57.861Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hey hallucinations are totally a thing.

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-12-06T01:24:24.882Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Otherkin (or transgenderism, as discussed in previous posts) is an identity. It refers to who you are. Homosexuality is an orientation. It refers to whom you desire.

And this distinction is relevant because?

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-06T00:50:04.086Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

What's the alternative. Site what's currently going on in other countries (people generally aren't to familiar with that either)? Generalize from one example (where people don't necessarily now all the details either)?

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-06T00:46:09.216Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

which makes progressivism the stream itself, rather than a dead thing floating down some other stream.

Well progressivism self-identifies as "being on the right side of history".

Comment by azathoth123 on When the uncertainty about the model is higher than the uncertainty in the model · 2014-12-04T04:36:49.478Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This assumes the different black swans are uncorrelated.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-04T04:13:56.719Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I'm inclined to think that non-ideological autocracy (we're in charge because we're us and you're you) is the human default.

I'm not sure about that. In fact, I can't think of any actually non-ideologically autocratic society in history. Are you sure you're not confusing "non-ideological" with "having an ideology I don't find at all convincing"?

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-04T04:04:18.224Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was just amused by the distinction between what we think of when thinking "grammar nerd".

I was thinking of the people involved in things like lojban. Who were you thinking of?

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-12-03T02:59:36.986Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I couldn't care less whether sexual orientation is innate or a choice. If it's innate, the debate is over. If it's a choice, you're free. In both cases, nothing wrong has happened.

s/homosexuality/other-kinness in that paragraph. Do you still agree with it? If not, what's the difference?

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014 · 2014-12-03T02:11:00.991Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Even in 200 years we went from homosexuality being legal

Citation please.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-03T01:47:32.530Z · score: -2 (22 votes) · LW · GW

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-03T01:43:28.414Z · score: -1 (27 votes) · LW · GW

When men have come to the edge of a precipice, it is the lover of life who has the spirit to leap backwards, and only the pessimist who continues to believe in progress.

G. K. Chesterton

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-03T01:31:53.186Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Is, or was, anyone actually saying anything that amounted to "we are safe, therefore precautions are unnecessary"? What I've heard people saying is more like "we are safe enough with our current level of precautions, therefore such-and-such an extra precaution is unnecessary".

This has the Chesterton's post problem. What do you mean by "our current level of precautions"? Do they include the existing provisions for quarantine in case of emergencies?

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-03T01:31:27.886Z · score: 7 (33 votes) · LW · GW

We have remarked that one reason offered for being a progressive is that things naturally tend to grow better. But the only real reason for being a progressive is that things naturally tend to grow worse. The corruption in things is not only the best argument for being progressive; it is also the only argument against being conservative. The conservative theory would really be quite sweeping and unanswerable if it were not for this one fact. But all conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change. If you leave a white post alone it will soon be a black post. If you particularly want it to be white you must be always painting it again; that is, you must be always having a revolution. Briefly, if you want the old white post you must have a new white post.

G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy.

Comment by azathoth123 on The cryopreservation of bad people · 2014-12-03T01:04:48.249Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

OTOH there is a single point of failure

There is something worse than having a single point of failure, that's having multiple points of failure in "series", for lack of a better term.

Comment by azathoth123 on The cryopreservation of bad people · 2014-12-03T01:02:06.144Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Um, NRx's aren't arguing for totalitarian countries.

Hint: Monarchy =/= Totalitarianism.

In fact one of the main neoreactionary arguments for monarchy is that historical absolute monarchies have been less totalitarian, in terms of government intrusion into citizens day-to-day life or control of the economy, then modern "liberal democracies".

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-12-02T03:01:52.170Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

People who sleep with their same sex do not necessarily identify as homosexuals

Just noticed this clause. Then which of the two is the thing that is supposedly 100% innate?

Comment by azathoth123 on When the uncertainty about the model is higher than the uncertainty in the model · 2014-12-02T02:55:41.608Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How about the Black-Scholes model with a more realistic distribution?

Or does BS make annoying assumptions about its distribution, like that it has a well-defined variance and mean?

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-01T05:43:19.465Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, fixed.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-01T03:10:19.292Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Interestingly, most of the arguments against language influencing thought that I've seen wind up showing the grammar doesn't influence thought. Basically the biggest effect language has on thought is via vocabulary, which must be really disappointing news to all the grammar nerds obsessing over the perfect grammar to give their conlang.

Comment by azathoth123 on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-01T03:02:53.271Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Technically true, although Mao managed to get remarkably close.

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-12-01T02:58:39.049Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not as familiar with WHO's ICD; however, I'd expect the process that produces its contents to be similar to the one for the DSM.

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-28T05:37:56.299Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

On the other hand, gender dysphoria is classified as a mental disorder in the DSM, and the treatment is helping your body match your brain, not the other way around.

Um, you do realize the DSM's contents is massively influenced by politics?

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-28T05:37:07.839Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There are ontogenetic factors (insufficient uptake of testosterone, for instance) that might lead to a child with male-typical sexual organs but more female-typical neurological features.

Why would this effect the neurological and only the neurological features? On the other hand the example of other-kin shows that it's possible for a human brain to identify as something it isn't.

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-27T06:56:03.177Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Depends on where I went to school in a liberal state and what I describe was definitely going on.

Comment by azathoth123 on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-27T06:54:49.614Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

People who sleep with their same sex do not necessarily identify as homosexuals, and definitely not all homosexuals identify as transgender.

Sorry if my wording wasn't clear.

No valid argument exists to equal homosexuality per se with, (..) or having a psychiatric disorder.

I don't see what argument you can possible make for why say transsexuality shouldn't be considered a psychiatric disorder but being an "other kin" should. Today people who call transsexuality a psychiatric disorder are labeled "evil trasphobes", the way progressivism is going in a couple decades people, like yourself, who call other-kinness a psychiatric disorder will be labeled "evil other-kinphobes".

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-11-27T04:49:46.129Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You're leaving out that he left Latin America to get away from those problems

But do they understand what caused them.

also that a lot of immigrants want to become real Americans (or whichever country they're moving to).

I'd be more comfortable with an immigration policy that explicitly screened for something like this.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-11-27T04:46:47.840Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Many Western societies have seen pretty dramatic productivity-enhancing institutional changes in the last few hundred years that aren't explicable in terms of changes in genetic makeup.

Who said anything about genetics?

Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea seem to make a pretty strong case for a huge independent effect of institutions.

Korea is. China (I assume this is what you mean by Hong Kong and Singapore) is evidence against.

Comment by azathoth123 on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-11-27T04:42:30.767Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It could be any number of things. Including the one I take it you're looking for, namely some genetic inferiority on the part of the people in country A.

Not necessarily, my argument goes through even if it's memetic.

The people who move from country A to country B may be atypical of the people of country A, in ways that make them more likely overall to be productive in country B.

Your only response to this has been a handwavy dismissal, to the effect that that might have been true once but now immigration is too easy so it isn't any more. How about some evidence?

How about some yourself. Note simply saying that something may happen is not a reason to ignore the prior that it won't. I responded to your only argument about the prior. Also, look at the way the immigrants are in fact behaving, I believe it involves lots of riots and creating neighborhoods that the police are afraid to go into.