Comment by Crush_on_Lyle on [deleted post] 2008-06-30T16:54:00.000Z

I missed the original "Is Overcoming Bias Male?" post, but I am a woman and a reader of this blog. I never gave its maleness or nonmaleness a second thought, but reading these comments and some of the responses to Angel's remarks provides some insight into why (some) women might not want to engage in this forum. "Mindfuckery"? I thought her point about people in a position of privilege not being fully aware of their privilege was quite relevant. And Michael Vassar: it is obviously not the case that everyone believes women and men should have equal rights, negating the usefulness of the term "feminist." Reactions to Hillary's campaign should have made this clear, e.g. the very large Facebook group called "Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich." I saw dozens of media references along those lines. The New Republic reported that her Wikipedia page was repeatedly vandalized with terms like "slut" and "cuntbag." Earlier this year the Washington Post ran an opinion piece (by a woman) called "Women Aren't Very Bright." Later they claimed unconvincingly that it was tongue-in-cheek; the author was no Swift and it wasn't remotely funny.

What is the basis for arguing that gender equality has already been achieved? I would be interested in hearing some facts that support this view.

I'm not going to stop reading this blog or anything, but I am surprised that an openly feminist viewpoint was greeted with annoyance and dismissal. Of course, that's more about the readers and commenters than the blog writers -- I was glad to see Eliezer come to Angel's defense.

Comment by Crush_on_Lyle on Thou Art Physics · 2008-06-06T19:39:10.000Z · LW · GW

But "if your actions are determined by prior causes" then whether or not you think those actions are blameworthy is determined by prior causes too. The act of punishing criminals is subject to the same physics that crime is. So is talking about the act of punishing criminals. And so on.

Comment by Crush_on_Lyle on Thou Art Physics · 2008-06-06T15:21:18.000Z · LW · GW

Stephen: I think it's just an inability to see around an illusion. People think, "It seems like I have free will; I decide to do something and then I do it. How can that not be the case?" But this is just one of many illusions built into our brains, and it's hard to let go of like so many other illusions about time and space and so on that have come up in this series. As far as I can tell, and I've gotten into this discussion with many people, the sticking point is always that illusion.

The other thing that happens is people start to worry about how we can enforce laws/punish criminals and so forth if there's no free will, which just shows how entrenched the illusion is--these people are still imagining that we can somehow step outside the system to make that decision--like criminals don't have free will, but the government still does? They're somehow missing that no-free-will goes all the way up.