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Comment by blueajah on Are Your Enemies Innately Evil? · 2013-01-12T22:21:04.535Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Can you actually provide this evidence to us?"

I could, but it's 7:57am here, and I need some sleep. And half the information you want is in Arabic, and the other half requires you to understand genetics. And I don't think you actually care about the answer. But you could probably Google it yourself if you could suppress your biases and your snark.

Remember, you're looking for these facts, but not necessarily with the exact wording: 1. They saw the USA as somewhere where people are allowed to do whatever they want far more than in other countries or at least than their country. 2. They strongly dislike that fact or think Americans should have to follow harsh laws about many aspects of their life. 3. They are genetically different from us. 4. Genetic differences are caused by mutations in general. 5. They have personality differences from us that seem to be heritable and lead to a desire for external rules and/or violence.

"Citation needed: I've never seen the people who hate America call it "a beacon of freedom". They tend to call it stuff like "imperialist aggressor" instead. And likewise "imperialist aggressor" is rarely used as a descriptor of America by people who love it.

Firstly, people like Michael Moore call America an imperialist aggressor all the time (because it is), but still love America. "Imperialist Aggressor" is our term. Muslim terrorists don't talk like that as much as we do, because they are also trying to establish an Islamic empire through violent aggression.

Obviously, they are going to use synonyms for "beacon of freedom" rather than saying it word for word. And they would say it in Arabic rather than English, so you'd have no idea what they were saying. They would use an exact synonym like "cesspool of depraved anarchy that's sucking other countries in to their depravity" which means the same thing. What they would never say that the USA is a tyrannical totalitarian dictatorship.

The people you are thinking of, like "we need more gun control" or "gay people shouldn't be able to marry" are a bit hostile to freedom, but still very different from Muslim fanatics who think we need to all pray 5 times a day, cover ourselves from head to toe, never criticise our leaders, and a thousand other laws.

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T21:23:42.066Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Environmentally in this context just means anything that's not directly genetic or inherited epigenetic. It doesn't mean plants and animals or anything like that.

IQ is mostly genetic (in rich egalitarian countries like the USA), but everyone seems to agree that there's still some environmental factors that smart parents can do to make their children a tiny bit smarter. I don't know exactly what those factors are though. Probably any kind of practice with thinking and studying would help a tiny bit, but perhaps other things to do with better care such as nutrition. But I know there's not a lot that parents can do that helps with IQ long-term, especially when society as a whole is already trying to do everything they can to boost IQ environmentally already.

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T21:13:04.068Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I can't find anything right now on what effect parents' class (what does that mean? SES?) has on educational attainment for people of the same IQs. Someone else may want to look it up if they're better at googling than me.

But it doesn't matter. We already know that wordsum, IQ, and educational attainment are measuring similar things. Wordsum seems like a good proxy for IQ. It gives sensible answers in all the graphs, and it is said to correlate .71 with adult IQ.

Do you have a point, or some sort of theory about what I was saying? Do you disagree with the idea that Republicans are smarter (except at the top end) than Democrats, or that "liberals" are smarter than "conservatives"?

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T20:30:49.717Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Parents' socio-economic status is directly caused by parents' IQ, which is passed on genetically (and a tiny bit environmentally) to their children.

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T20:12:18.796Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

But educational attainment is directly caused by IQ, so that wouldn't make any sense.

Comment by blueajah on Superhero Bias · 2013-01-12T19:39:12.632Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The police officer is PAID to do that. He isn't doing it for free out of the goodness of his heart like the superhero is. He didn't have to make his own moral judgements like the superhero. He didn't have to resist the option of just taking whatever he wanted in life while nobody could stop him.

By the way, you should know better than to believe the PC propaganda about Ghandi.

Comment by blueajah on The Halo Effect · 2013-01-12T19:23:26.153Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think all those traits correlate, even when measured independently to avoid that effect.

Which makes sense for many reasons.

One reason: who are people going to marry? People of the same worth as themselves, but not necessarily from the same category. Smart rich men get to marry beautiful women, or the kindest women, or the most honest women, whichever they prefer. So the positive traits get mixed with each other, and the negative traits get mixed with each other.

Comment by blueajah on False Laughter · 2013-01-12T18:34:25.980Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's funny when you realise that Godzilla was an unforeseen consequence of Science used for evil purposes. Godzilla is actually a metaphor for the dangers of science. So, you ironically made a cartoon that makes sense.

But you misunderstand humour. Humour is mostly about building rapport. So for smart people that could involve jokes that are intelligent. But that doesn't make intelligence the defining characteristic for humour.

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T18:02:57.538Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

No, he's saying that liberalism and conservatism also come with sets of beliefs about the nature of reality and sets of predictions about the consequences of their actions. Some of which are wrong (for both groups). And he's saying we should be able to guess which group has a better understanding of the world by comparing their IQs. Which I think is a valid point, except that the example he chose is one where IQ clearly creates a bias of its own, and one where black people probably miscategorise themselves.

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T17:46:28.495Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

This article has a lot of bell-curve verbal IQ graphs from GSS (General Social Survey) data for the years 2000-2012, using the wordsum score as a measure of intelligence:

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/04/verbal-intelligence-by-demographic/

It shows Republicans as smarter than Democrats, but Liberals smarter than Conservatives, and White people smarter than Black people, and some other comparisons.

Comment by blueajah on Argument Screens Off Authority · 2013-01-12T17:08:26.446Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You've called two different things "Argument Goodness" so you can draw your diagram, but in reality the arguments that the expert heard that led them to their opinion, and the argument that they gave you, are always going to be slightly different.

Also your ability to evaluate the "Argument Goodness" of the argument they gave you is going to be limited, while the expert will probably be better at it.

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T16:47:36.497Z · score: -1 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Declaration of bias: I am a liberal, I am intelligent, but I'm not a Democrat or Republican.

It's hard to measure liberalism. For example, half the black people say they are conservative and half say they are liberal. But most outsiders would say most black people are liberal (and it's common for 100% of black people in an area to vote for Obama). People judge their liberalism against people like themselves, so it's hard to compare groups.

If you count most black people as liberals, then that intelligence difference between liberals and conservatives might disappear (if it exists, I haven't checked). For example, it's a proven fact that Republicans are smarter than Democrats (because of black people with an average IQ of 85 voting Democrat), although just between white people there is no real difference.

You also need to consider that intelligence comes with biases, even though it also improves your thinking. Intelligent people are biased towards things that benefit intelligent people, eg. complexity, even if they hurt other people.

Intelligent people are biased towards letting people do whatever they want, because intelligent people like themselves will do sensible things when given the choice. They aren't used to stupid people, who do stupid things when allowed to do whatever they want. Intelligent people need freedom, while stupid people need strong inviolable guidelines about acceptable behaviour.

Comment by blueajah on Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence · 2013-01-12T16:23:29.763Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Again, I disagree. Cults can't form around anything. They can only form around issues that would make them social or intellectual outcasts. And in a world in which there were poorly hidden aliens, too many intelligent people would be of the opinion that there are poorly hidden aliens, and no such cult could arise.

But the more important point is... IF I start to think that there are poorly hidden aliens, that could be due to one of two reasons: either because I have reasonable evidence for their existence, or because I'm being influenced by some sort of bias.

The existence of cults around the issue shows that those biases exist and are reasonably common, and thus are a more likely reason for my belief than the alternative of actual aliens.

Comment by blueajah on Are Your Enemies Innately Evil? · 2013-01-12T16:11:26.071Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but dying is against God's law... so they've cleverly got around that problem.

Comment by blueajah on Are Your Enemies Innately Evil? · 2013-01-12T15:54:44.166Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Everyone is already a mutant. Mutation is a normal part of evolution, and the reason for the diversity in the world. Different people have different sets of mutations. It doesn't have to come from a single generation.

Comment by blueajah on Are Your Enemies Innately Evil? · 2013-01-12T15:47:35.315Z · score: -7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"On September 11th, 2001, nineteen Muslim males hijacked four jet airliners in a deliberately suicidal effort to hurt the United States of America. Now why do you suppose they might have done that? Because they saw the USA as a beacon of freedom to the world, but were born with a mutant disposition that made them hate freedom?"

YES! That's exactly what I think. Because I've looked at the evidence, and that's what the evidence says. The United States is renowned as a beacon of freedom. Some people think that's a good thing, some people think that's a bad thing, but they mostly agree it's a beacon of freedom. And a lot of people don't like freedom. And those people clearly have different genes than we do (including personality genes). And people's desire or dislike of freedom tends to relate to personality differences (such as self-control, accepting responsibility for one's own actions, etc).

You must have noticed genetic personality differences between Muslim countries and non-Muslim countries. And those differences were originally caused by mutations.

As I've previously discussed in my comment on your last page, I think your accusations of "correspondence bias" are mistaken and in reality the opposite bias is more of a problem.

Comment by blueajah on Correspondence Bias · 2013-01-12T15:28:20.904Z · score: -3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I believe the key point of this article is very wrong.

I urge you to either show some evidence to support your statements, or retract them.

There are huge differences in personality from person to person.

When I kick a vending machine, it IS because I have an angry personality. Even when I kick the vending machine because the bus was late, the train was early, my report is overdue, and now the damned vending machine has eaten my lunch money for the second day in a row... it's still because of my angry personality, and it's a well proven fact that many other people would not do that in the same situation. There are whole countries full of people that would just feel sad, or blame themselves, or just let it go, or get only a little angry inside.

This has been well studied, and almost everyone who's studied it honestly has arrived at the conclusion that people do have different personalities, which account for their behaviour more than the events do, and which are the best predictor of their future behaviour.

So, I'm going to take (or at least emphasise) the opposite position... "We tend to see far too little correspondence between others' actions and personalities, when in reality that's the main cause.... "

Comment by blueajah on Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided · 2013-01-12T15:01:54.646Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"Nobody chooses their genes or their early environment. The choices they make are determined by those things (and some quantum coin flips)."

All true so far... but here comes the huge logical leap...

"Given what we know of neuroscience how can anyone deserve anything?"

What does neuroscience showing the cause of why bad people choose to do bad things, have to do with whether or not bad people deserve bad things to happen to them?

The idea that bad people who choose to do bad things to others deserve bad things to happen to them has never been based on an incorrect view of neuroscience, and neuroscience doesn't change that even slightly.

Comment by blueajah on Politics is the Mind-Killer · 2013-01-12T14:33:36.484Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You couldn't be more wrong. What you should say is that you don't notice the impact your political opinions have on the world, because it happens slowly, because people with radically different political views tend to live in far off countries that you don't think about or in the distant past, and because currently people like you have somewhat sensible political opinions in terms of their short-term consequences (but not at all sensible in terms of their long-term consequences).

Your life would be very different if you lived under a different political regime (Islamism, Communism, Fascism, etc.). And the future of the world will be very different depending on the political views of people like you. It's just hard to see from your point of view.

There are multiple apocalypses headed your way within the next century, and you have limited time to take political action about them. So I'd encourage you to change your mind, and do those bias-stretching mental exercises, to work out a rational political response.

Comment by blueajah on A Fable of Science and Politics · 2013-01-12T14:09:10.494Z · score: -5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

This story isn't about politics... it's about religion.

Politics is actually quite different, because politics has a proven genetic basis, and actual effects on the world. People don't follow different political "colours" just because they are following a meaningless tradition. People inherit their parents' politics, but largely through genetics. People have different personalities, so they want different things for their countries.

Politics is still a little bit like this article, but it's misleading to portray that as the main factor in politics. Because it isn't.

I think it is the main factor in religion though.

Comment by blueajah on A Fable of Science and Politics · 2013-01-12T14:00:22.199Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

But there can't be any cross-cultural confusion, because it is written in English. Vietnamese or Japanese people either know what the English words "blue" and "green" mean, or they don't speak English at all and wouldn't be reading this story.

And if the story was written in Vietnamese, it would use "xanh lá cây" which means green and "xanh dương" which means blue, rather than just "xanh". Just because people normally use the same word to describe two different colours, doesn't mean they can't see the difference between those colours, and don't have ways of describing the difference when they need to.

Comment by blueajah on A Fable of Science and Politics · 2013-01-12T13:31:48.852Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

No, blue is what is collectively perceived as blue, while also not being collectively perceived as any other colour (or color if you are a "gray"). That's how they came up with the objective, standard, scientific definition of blue above.

And the sky isn't pure blue, it's a quarter of the way between blue and green.