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Calorie Restriction: My Theory and Practice 2014-02-12T01:16:44.750Z · score: 9 (13 votes)

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Comment by brazil84 on "A good volunteer is hard to find" · 2016-01-02T13:49:54.116Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I posted to this thread basically to add my complaint. I am involved with a not-for-profit and there is a huge problem with people who enthusiastically volunteer but end up doing little or nothing of value for the organization.

So yeah, I don't think it's that people find opportunities elsewhere or that people resent make-work.

Here's a thought experiment: Suppose that Givewell continues to test volunteers, but instead of something boring and tedious, the "test" is something fun and interesting. But still it is admittedly make-work. I predict that the percentage of applicants who complete the test will rise dramatically.

Comment by brazil84 on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-21T17:50:50.059Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

We all know that human pregnancy doesn't scale. We all know that some other problems do scale

I'm not sure what you mean by "scale." When you say that some problems "do scale," I assume you mean that there are tasks where if you double the resources thrown at them, the amount of time to complete the task will be cut in half.

If you look at large, complicated projects involving new technologies, there seem to be at least several aspects to the project: First, the creative brilliant thinking; second, actual construction, manufacturing, and assembly; and third, the small and large failures which occur along the way, which require rethinking, redesigning, and re-manufacturing various components and concepts.

It is this third aspect which concerns me. Because it appears to be an iterative process which will suck down a minimum amount of time no matter how clever you are and no matter how much resources you throw at a problem.

Not only that, there is also the problem of coordination and communication. Common sense says that this will result in diminishing returns.

Of course nobody knows just what's involved in creating practical immortality, but I think it's reasonable to hypothesize that for the above reasons it will necessarily require a good deal more than 20 years no matter how much of a priority it is.

So I really don't understand those 18 points to the comment.

Probably people thought it was cool that I made reference to The Mythical Man Month.

However other processes like creative thinking or inventing new ideas might have sigma comparable to mean.

If it were just creative thinking or inventing new ideas, I would be inclined to agree. But there is still the iterative process of engineering, building, testing, revising, etc. And there's a lot that can go wrong with a human body so presumably there are a lot of problems to solve.

Comment by brazil84 on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-13T20:39:43.107Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

How many women would it take to carry a human baby from conception to viable birth in 1 month?

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-10T21:56:00.631Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm gonna tap out of this. I would suggest re-reading that evidence. Especially that paper and the conclusion of that paper where it doesn't actually say that.

Doesn't actually say what? Never mind, because it seems you don't have a clear understanding of what you are talking about.

An identity-relevant intention is potentially different to a goal or a plan

Then perhaps your evidence is irrelevant to both your position and mine. If so, it's your problem not mine. Because it wouldn't change the fact that all of the evidence supports my position and you haven't cited any evidence to support your own.

Good luck with your future in the goal-space.

Thanks you too.

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-10T15:41:45.640Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

as in bold above) How might we make (or ensure) goal sharing (is) mostly good and mostly not bad?

Ok, but that's a different issue. My position is that generally speaking, goal-sharing is counterproductive. Your position is that generally speaking, goal sharing is beneficial and productive. The evidence supports my position. You have offered no evidence to support your position and instead you have attempted to change the subject.

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-10T08:30:24.051Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

is a line from the conclusion of that paper.

Umm, does that mean "yes" or "no"?

Please just state the question which requires "future research" so that I can understand what you are saying.

Comment by brazil84 on Mark Zuckerberg plans to give away 99% of his facebook wealth over his lifetime · 2015-12-10T02:50:58.118Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I already said that I might have misunderstood you. You suggested that further explanation is helpful. What do you expect to gain for another answer

I'm trying to understand YOUR point now. Regardless of whether you misunderstood me, you said something and I am trying to understand it.

Here's what you said:

If it's in your morality to pratice charitable reading at the cost of human lives, feel free to live with that moral decision.

So you were talking about someone practicing charitable reading at the cost of human lives. When I stated that I did not understand your point, you said this:

The critical media reaction to Zuckerberg announcement likely cost more lives through reduced donations than lifes were lost in Paris during the recent attacks.

So apparently your point is that the media (or some part of the media) "practiced charitable reading" which cost human lives.

So how exactly did the media "practice charitable reading"? It's not a very complicated question.

Comment by brazil84 on Mark Zuckerberg plans to give away 99% of his facebook wealth over his lifetime · 2015-12-10T01:11:32.320Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That it's right of the media to say that Zuckerberg made the donation to increase his own reputation and status.

I didn't say any such thing. Please read what I say carefully before responding.

And please answer my other question:

In what way did the media "practice charitable reading"?

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-10T00:11:18.572Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

is goal sharing mostly good or mostly bad?

So this is the question which requires "future research" according to you?

Comment by brazil84 on Mark Zuckerberg plans to give away 99% of his facebook wealth over his lifetime · 2015-12-09T23:58:24.615Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If I misunderstood you and we agree that's great.

Well what did you think I was saying?

The critical media reaction to Zuckerberg announcement likely cost more lives through reduced donations than lifes were lost in Paris during the recent attacks.

And in what way did the media "practice charitable reading"?

Comment by brazil84 on Mark Zuckerberg plans to give away 99% of his facebook wealth over his lifetime · 2015-12-09T21:44:42.438Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If a debate is obvious with the charitable interpretation it makes sense to have the debate about the actual reasons why people take the positions they take.

I'm not sure what your point is here but it sounds like you agree with me. The real question to discuss is how much it matters if Zuckerberg is doing this primarily to enhance his reputation and status.

If it's in your morality to pratice charitable reading at the cost of human lives, feel free to live with that moral decision.

I have no idea what your point is here.

Comment by brazil84 on Mark Zuckerberg plans to give away 99% of his facebook wealth over his lifetime · 2015-12-09T16:11:14.515Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's a bit surprising that anyone is arguing over this issue. Clearly if Zuckerberg can convince people that he is giving 99% of his fortune to (worthy) charity, it will enhance his reputation and status. This is obvious to anyone, and therefore it opens up the reasonable possibility that his primary motivation is in fact to enhance his reputation and status.

Maybe the problem is that people are getting hung up on the word "publicity." When people say "He's doing it for the publicity," the charitable interpretation is "he is doing it to enhance his reputation and status."

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-09T09:11:15.914Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Future research is needed to solve this question.

Exactly what question?

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-09T08:23:17.732Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

http://www.psych.nyu.edu/gollwitzer/09_Gollwitzer_Sheeran_Seifert_Michalski_When_Intentions_.pdf

Umm, that article completely supports my position:

When other people take notice of one’s identity-relevant behavioral intentions, one’s performance of the intended behaviors is compromised. This effect occurs both when the intentions are experimenter supplied and when they are self-generated, and is observed in both immediate performance and performance measured over a period of 1 week.

If this is the only evidence you have -- besides your own logic and common sense -- then you may want to rethink your position.

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-08T02:46:30.022Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds like he says there is a way to share goals without getting the negative attributes.

Right. In other words he is stating that there may be exceptions to the general rule.

By contrast, your position is (apparently) that general rule is that sharing goals is productive and beneficial. And I am again asking you for the evidence which supports your position.

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-07T23:49:07.013Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

yes.

Ok.

Looks like your source agrees with me.

Not sure how you get that. Pretty clearly he is saying that in general it's better not to share your goals.

Anyway, please answer my question:

What is the evidence which supports your position?

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-07T15:06:59.417Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What we're really talking about is the balance of the two sides.

Given that: sometimes goal sharing will be bad sometimes goal sharing will be good

I am suggesting that the balance falls on a mix of: 1. mostly good 2. you make what you want out of it and there is no automatic win-state.

So it sounds like you are saying that, generally speaking, goal sharing is not counter-productive and is in fact beneficial. Is that right?

I am pretty sure we can't get much further on convincing one another of a different state of balance... Especially without more evidence either way.

Well what is the evidence which supports your position?

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-07T09:48:28.750Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's complicated again. Trouble is that you have the potential to miss out on opportunities.

Sure, but that's true for anything. It's bad for your life expectancty to smoke cigarettes, but it's also possible that while you are out smoking a cigarette, the building you work in catches fire and collapses.

I will concede that there are exceptions to every general rule and situations where following the general rule works against you.

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-07T06:52:46.004Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's complicated. And depends on the way those people treat your goals.

I would not be surprised if you were right to an extent, but I think in general the more careful thing to do is to maintain radio silence.

Comment by brazil84 on New year's resolutions: Things worth considering for next year · 2015-12-07T01:17:00.537Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My two cents:

Don't tell people your goals!!

https://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself?language=en

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-06T22:38:50.536Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My statements were informed by evidence, and making a statement that it "risks" radicalizing more Muslims would be factually incorrect, since evidence that we do have shows that it does radicalize

That's not true at all, and it's easy to demonstrate with a thought experiment. Suppose I read a post on an internet by someone who says he spoke to a terrorist and the terrorist told him he was radicalized by reading Tsipursky's posts on less wrong. To be sure, this is weak evidence that Tsipursky's post are radicalizing people, but by your standards, it would be legitimate to say "Further posts by Tsipursky WILL radicalize more people." Which is ridiculous, of course, but by your standard it would be correct.

We might talk about how many would be radicalized, but it would be false to state that aggressive western activities do not radicalize Muslims.

There is another possibility, which is that it is not known whether Western activities radicalize anyone. In other words, that the evidence is inconclusive. Surely you are aware of this possibility?

I see from the latter part of your comment now that you have come to a firm conclusion about my views

Pretty firm yeah -- based on your complete failure to provide satisfactory evidence for your position; your dodging and weaving; and your failure to look for legitimate evidence.

and were arguing from that perspective all along.

If you had come up with evidence which stood up to scrutiny, then of course I would have revised my views. For example if anti-American terrorists were disproportionately from towns in Iraq as opposed to Syria, it would actually bolster your argument.

So it looks to me like you are again rationalizing -- the fact is that your evidence has completely failed to stand up to scrutiny; you failed to take well-known biases into account; and rather than just admit it, you need a face-saving out.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-06T03:04:04.137Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Anecdotal reports by terrorists is the best data we have available. Weak evidence is still evidence.

If you had said that Western activities "risk" radicalizing more Muslims, you might have a point. Instead you came to a firm conclusion based on spectacularly weak evidence.

As aspiring rationalists, we need to orient toward the truth, and avoid confirmation bias.

Unfortunately, it seems you have fallen into exactly that trap. It looks like you gave a few self-serving anecdotal reports far far more weight than they deserved because it fit your pre-determined Leftist conclusion.

Not only that, but it seems that, having been informed about social desirability bias, you are not updating your confidence in your conclusion. You still believe that generally speaking we can trust terrorists to accurately report their motivations.

If you were serious about investigating your hypothesis, you would compare measures of radicalization in Iraq to other countries like Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, etc. If the Sipursky Rage hypothesis has any validity, one would expect lots of radicalization in Iraq and far less in Syria. But I doubt it ever occurred to you to do that, since you seem mainly interested in finding evidence to support your pre-determined Leftist beliefs than in actually investigating them.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-05T00:15:20.668Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think you and brazil84 may have different notions of summarizing in mind. If summarizing a book means describing what's in it then most books can be summarized in a few paragraphs. If it means conveying a large fraction of the useful or interesting content then many books can't. (A dictionary or encyclopaedia might be an even better example than a physics textbook.)

Yes, I think so. Here is how I would summarize an unabridged dictionary:

This is a book which contains entries for most of the words in the English language; each entry sets forth the typical pronunciation as well as definitions for the word. Here are a few examples:

Example 1:

Example 2:

Example 3.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-05T00:12:36.492Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I dispute the statement that peoples' accounts of their own motivations are generally unreliable.

Then I suggest you educate yourself about social desirability bias. It's well known -- and obvious just from general observation -- that people have a strong tendency to self-report information which puts them in a more flattering light. If you have not taken this into account in your assessments, then it's fair to say that any conclusions you have drawn are suspect.

It's the sentence ending in footnote 22.

Ok, so apparently a typical example of the best evidence of your claim is a polemic in which someone cites the Dresden bombing as a rationale to criticize Western attempts to purge Nazis from post-WW2 Germany. There is no evidence as to how much such events actually motivated anyone; it's just an argument someone is making.

Your evidence for Sipursky Rage is quite weak as to Nazi Germany and extremely weak as to the situation in Syria:

A few anecdotal reports of terrorists who make the self-serving and unverifiable claims that they were motivated by Western misdeeds is so weak as to be ridiculous.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-28T21:54:54.847Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There are many pieces of evidence, it's not helpful to speak of the strongest one.

Then please summarize the best evidence for your claim.

Also, please answer my question: Do you dispute that peoples' accounts of their own motivations are generally unreliable?

. Here's one typical example, a link from a prominent book that shows that there were a number of newspaper articles expressing outrage over the bombings that made de-nazification more difficult.

Can you please quote the relevant part of your source? I did not see what you were talking about.

Comment by brazil84 on Creating lists · 2015-11-28T14:48:21.186Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The main thing is to publish the list online in such a way that people have to click and go to a new page to see each element in the list.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-28T12:07:13.742Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So you're saying you're incompetent at your job, got it.

Well it depends on how one define's his "job." As a tenure-track professor, one could argue that his primary job is to make a good impression on his tenure committee. From that perspective, publishing an op-ed which implies that rationalism just happens to support left-wing foreign policy is probably a pretty good idea. So one could say that he's doing his job rather well.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-28T11:53:16.839Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My looking at history is that this isn't quite correct. It is the most restrained aggressor/tyrant who winds up getting targeted.

That may very well be the case, and if so, it's positive evidence that Tsipursky Rage is not a relatively important factor in motivating peoples' behavior. Which is consistent with my instincts.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-28T11:45:25.604Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The implosion of Iraq, which paved the way for the emergence of ISIS.

The most obvious weakness with this evidence is that there exist numerous plausible reasons -- other than Tsipusrky Rage -- for the "implosion of Iraq" as you put it.

For example, the obvious explanation for the "implosion of Iraq" is that the American invasion destabilized the area and left something of a power vacuum. Your evidence provides no way of distinguishing between this factor and Tsipursky Rage. The same is true of the situation in Libya.

In short, your evidence does not stand up to scrutiny.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T23:10:27.198Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That's a peculiar choice of wording.

Your evidence is pretty vague and flimsy.

The aftermath of 9/11 is by itself overwhelmingly sufficient evidence for the hypothesis that enraging your enemies is a terrible idea.

Actually that's not the issue under discussion. Sipursky's claim seems to be that airstrikes would "radicalize" people who were not necessarily enemies beforehand.

In any event, do you care to cite any specific post 9/11 events which characterize this "aftermath" you refer to?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T23:07:38.347Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The text in question is allegedly called "Al Qaeda's Strategy until Year 2020." My search met a dead end at the website of the newspaper Al Quds al Arabi. I don't read Arabic, and that newspaper doesn't show digital archives for 2005, which was the date when Makkawi's writings were first made available to the general public. Journalist Abdel Bari Atwan wrote a book on the subject, but Google Books doesn't give a complete view of it.

Ok, well your second source states the following:

The immediate question on the above is how much of these strategic theses of al-Qaeda actually predate events, or whether they constitute a ‘moving target' that takes as much from the unfolding of events as it purports to steer them.

It would be interesting if an individual who was known to be a senior Al Qaeda official were known to have written BEFORE the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq that they had a plan to goad the US into such invasions. But without this kind of evidence, your claim does not stand up to scrutiny.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T22:46:15.084Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In this branch of the thread I have already elaborated on the 9/11 example and why should we take it as a warning of what not to do about ISIS.

So you have no evidence for the Sipursky Rage hypothesis besides what you posted about 9/11?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T22:10:54.360Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My position was explicit in my comment.

I think you mean "implicit" not "explicit."

Short version: Yes

Ok, and what's your evidence in favor of the Sipursky Rage hypothesis?

Yes, to respond to violence with more violence is counterproductive, to create more enemies is a stupid idea, and the aftermath of 9/11 gives ample evidence of it.

Can you be specific about the evidence? And are you saying that it's always a bad idea for a state to respond violently to a violent attack?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T22:07:54.597Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Various journalists have analyzed the writings of Al Qaeda strategist Muhammad Makkawi a.k.a. Saif al-Adel

What exactly did he write and when?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T21:30:03.642Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The U.S. response to 9/11 serves as a didactic example of the most counter-productive way imaginable to respond to terrorism. If France follows the U.S. example after these attacks (and the recent news about their military cooperation with Russia seems to indicate so), the potential for stupid mistakes escalates manyfold. Especially considering that the West and Russia have opposite opinions on what the future of Syria should be, adding more guns to the situation can only make it worse.

Umm, do you have a position on the Sipursky Rage hypothesis? Or do you want to change the subject?

It's a simple enough question.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T21:23:59.927Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

ISIS (or any enemy, for that matter) doesn't need to be led by evil geniuses in order to know how to set a trap for the West to fall into

No, but it would (edit: arguably) help quite a lot.

With 9/11, Al Qaeda set a perfect trap for the U.S. to be blinded by pain and rage (having the simpleminded W. in office certainly helped) and, as a result, the U.S. engaged in what from the White House looked like a righteous campaign for the liberation of oppressed masses, but to those masses looked like a meddlesome intrusion into their already complicated lives. In this case (in every case, actually),

What is the evidence that Al Qaeda's intention with the 9/11 attacks was to goad the United States into invading Afghanistan and later Iraq?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T21:11:15.833Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You're forgetting that one of the reasons why ISIS exists in the first place was the chaos the U.S. invasion created in Iraq

Let's assume that's true. How does it follow that in terms of dealing with ISIS (or any other enemy or adversary for that matter) avoiding anger is more productive than creating fear and despair?

I will certainly concede that creating power vacuums is dangerous policy.

Going about purposely making enemies is hardly "productive."

It depends what you get in return. But anyway, the issue on the table is the Sipursky Rage hypothesis. Sipursky seems to believe that air strikes in retaliation for the Paris attacks will be counter-productive since they will make people angry and more likely to support ISIS. My position is that insufficient evidence has been presented to reach such a conclusion.

Do you have a position on this issue? Or do you just want to change the subject?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T20:41:57.485Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Start a war between Islam and the rest of the world. Since our religion basically teaches that we are inevitably going to conquer the world by force, we will be guaranteed victory in such a war."

I agree with this to a large extent.

But it would be an extremely bad thing if it happened at all, regardless of whether they win. So playing into their hands is probably not a good idea anyway, even though they are wrong.

Assuming that's true, it's still not like the situation where your adversary is an evil genius so that doing what he wants you to do is likely to be helping him succeed in his evil goals. In this situation, it's not worth it to put much stock in whether the West is playing into Isis' hands.

But it would be an extremely bad thing if it happened at all, regardless of whether they win.

It depends how far they get in their war, it seems to me.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T17:21:47.894Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would like an answer to my question:

Do you really not see why Sipursky has the burden of proof and I do not have the burden of proof?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T16:43:49.018Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Saying someone is making a "ridiculous statement" is not something that I read charitably.

Actually what I said is this:

That said, your point does illustrate how silly Tsipursky's position is if taken to its logical conclusion.

So let's see if I have this straight. You use the principle of charity to reinterpret Tsipursky's position so that my statement becomes less reasonable; then you refuse to offer any such charity to my statement based on your general principles. And you don't disclose any of this until pressed onit, instead you just pretend to be responding to my point.

Please stop being so dishonest.

Also, for future reference please tell me what types of statements you refuse to read charitably.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T15:54:31.276Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Tsipursky's article. The article only provides one reason. There no reason to see it as arguing that the reason alone is sufficient.

:shrug: Then you should have made that clear when you responded to my point, i.e. that you would respond to a different version of the article than the one I was responding to.

And you should have also applied the same principle of charity to my point and made it clear that you were changing the subject.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T15:47:32.162Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As I mentioned below, the "What would ISIS not want us to do?" is not a good heuristic, because by asking it you implicitly accept their world view.

I think part of the problem here is that it is difficult to discern how rational ISIS is as an organization. It is some combination of militia group; millennialist cult; and breakaway state. (It's interesting that it has changed its name a couple times.) As best I can tell, the overall game plan of ISIS is -- generally speaking -- to follow in the footsteps of the most fundamental religious doctrine it can, and have faith that this will result in their eventual success. Under such circumstances, I don't think it's very useful to "avoid playing into ISIS's hands."

This may be a more useful consideration if the enemy was some kind of James Bond super-villain who was carefully scheming at every stage. Even then, you never know if the other fellow really wants something or if he is only pretending to as some kind of ruse or feint.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T15:19:26.287Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

For what it may be worth, I have read thousands of books in my life and I have never encountered a book which is impossible to summarize in a few paragraphs or even less.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T14:20:23.814Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

With charity the topic is whether resentment produced through bombing is a significant factor.

Charity as to whose statements? Mine or Sipursky's?

Can you please quote or summarize the statement you are interpreting charitably.

TIA.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T14:04:13.583Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You don't do things like bombing or not bombing for a single reason. At the same time it's okay for an article in a mainstream venue to focus on a single reason because the medium doesn't allow for a deep analysis of all factors that matter.

Again, assuming that is true, so what? If one of those reasons doesn't stand up to scrutiny, and you want to change the subject and discuss a different reason, then please be open and honest about what you are doing.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T12:28:28.456Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It means that in practice doing one thing means that you can do the other less well.

Let's assume that's true. So what? The argument under discussion was not whether the West should avoid focusing on killing people because it will undermine the West's ability to focus on cutting funding for ISIS. The issue under discussion is whether the West should avoid killing people because it will make other people angry.

Please don't try to change the subject without openly acknowledging that's what you are doing.

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T12:08:04.695Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If you want to use certain NATO bases to do your bombing, then you will be less likely to criticize the policy of the countries that host the bases.

Umm, does that mean "yes" or "no"?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T12:06:45.170Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why? You started to speak about Nazi Germany as an example of bombings haven't lead to problems.

Are you joking? DId you actually read what I said? Here's what I said:

During WWII, the United States slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Japanese and German civilians in various bombings. How much "rage" did this cause? Did it make it more difficult to de-Nazify Germany? I'm not sure but my gut feeling is that on balance, it was not counter-productive. My instinct is that creating fear and despair is more productive than avoiding anger. And that if it is perceived that Western powers are afraid of creating anger, it will only embolden the radicals and encourage them to use human shields.

Anyway, these are empirical questions and the rational thing to do is to see what worked and did not work in the past in similar situations.

By contrast, here's what Tsipursky said:

Because any of these changes in government policy would radicalize more Muslims.

He also said this:

I can attest that archival evidence shows such slaughter did make it more difficulty to de-Nazify Germany.

Do you really not see why Sipursky has the burden of proof and I do not have the burden of proof?

Really?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T10:35:59.914Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's not really silly. Focusing on cutting funding sources might be better than focusing on killing ISIS operatives,

The two are not mutually exclusive, agreed?

Comment by brazil84 on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-11-27T10:34:04.890Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There was a lot less general slaughter after WWI, so it should have caused Germany to be demilitarized a lot better then after WWII, oh wait.

What's interesting to me is that as an American, if you visit Japan, there does not seem to be a lot of Tsipursky Rage in evidence. Even though we bombed the hell out of them and nuked two of their cities. And you don't see many Japanese people plotting to launch terrorist attacks in the United States. Of course Japanese culture is probably different from that of the Arabic-speaking peoples in the Middle East. But anger at perceived injustice is a pretty universal human emotion (based on my general observations).