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Comment by daddyhominum on Certainty estimates in areas outside one's expertise · 2010-12-28T05:04:12.945Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps a person tends to make more assumptions in areas not thoroughly familiar. Short-cutting comprehension as a means of saving time or effort where the cost of more study outweighs the benefits, especially short term. Not so much a cognitive effect but a necessary memory expedient.

Comment by daddyhominum on Vegetarianism · 2010-12-28T04:28:30.560Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I agree. There is a reasonable expectation of vegetarian choices at public functions.

Comment by daddyhominum on Vegetarianism · 2010-12-28T04:18:37.856Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I did. It seemed fine in the 'post' window. But the original formatting was done in Word.

Comment by daddyhominum on A Proposed Litany · 2010-12-25T02:50:58.763Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

3) sounds like, "If you can't be with the one you love, love the one your with"

Other old hippies will know

Comment by daddyhominum on Vegetarianism · 2010-12-25T02:40:34.068Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If eating meat is wrong because animals suffer, is it bad to eat animals that don't suffer? Most farm animals are man-made, genetically modified by breeding, to provide food for man. I have been told that some humans cannot experience pain. I suppose that condition may occur from time to time in domestic animals. Suppose pain was bred out of animals raised for food or labs genetically modified animals to eliminate pain. Would meat eating then be less immoral? Because domestic animals are bred for food, they are highly specialized. Dairy cattle and chicken cannot survive without human assistance. A friend likes to say that a farmer is just a cow's way of living like a queen. The animals will die and be food for something. Is it morally better to let the animal die of foot and mouth and feed the death beetles instead of man? I suspect that hanging a moral issue on meat eating because of suffering is anthropomorphic to some degree. All things die and become food. Even me. To demonstrate that eating meat is unhealthy would require a sample of non-meat eating humans for comparison. Does such a population exist? My impression is that as economies have grown and more meat has been added to the diet that overall morbidity decreases. It is true that over indulgence in animal fat can cause problems in my culture but Eskimos ate nothing else for generations without ill effect. Today they get fat on sugar and starches. Is it the food that is bad or the lifestyle? Unsustainable agriculture is agriculture that drains the soil of nutritive value. In the 17th and 18th century soils all over Europe were depleted. North America was the solution. But modern farming and so-called factory farming have reversed that trend. Soils that could no longer support people are now producing excesses of crops. Instead of increasing exports, the European Union has had to mandate ‘set asides' where no crops can be grown to prevent mountains of over supply. Fact is that domestic animals have better lives and better deaths then any of their wild fellows enjoy. Fact is that a meat eating diet improves the overall health of developing nations. Fact is that intensive modern agriculture and factory farming have reduced the burden on nature and virtually eliminated human hunger wherever it is practiced. Vegetarianism is a choice but it is not a moral choice.

Comment by daddyhominum on Study shows placebos can work even if you know it's a placebo · 2010-12-25T00:27:35.074Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with your skepticism about relying on self-reports for a measure. But what do you mean by, "priming effects"?

Comment by daddyhominum on I'm scared. · 2010-12-24T01:52:59.236Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I like your piece, Mass_Driver.
I hope you can tolerate my discourse as a sort of 'stream of consciousness'. What is the proper contribution of a rational person that will give meaning and enjoyment in life? I decide to test the question against the little I know about such things. What is the natural role of individuals in evolution? I believe it is simply to pass on the species to the next generation through supporting current living species success. Evolution has no interest in my individual skills and outputs. It wants another generation of my species. All I need to be an achiever is that I do no harm to my species and if I can add a little extra it will be for my pleasure because evolution doesn’t care. So I am quite smug about my achievements. I have grown daughters and I have grandchildren and that satisfies my primary purpose. In addition, I have spent years educating others, creating horticultural beauty for others, and myself and have worked diligently to improve the lot of disabled people in my community. That satisfies evolution and gives me pleasure I did not discover the graviton. I did not succeed Dr. Borlaug. I have not cured autism. But I have satisfied the standard of nature so I am an achiever; as are you.

This smug self-satisfaction did not come to me until retirement age. It is necessary to struggle for yourself and others when you are of working age. But your success is determined by the fact of your birth. You are a bit of the evolutionary ocean. Enjoy the swim.

Comment by daddyhominum on The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics · 2010-12-24T00:54:20.309Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I guess I realized that after I left the computer. Poor bugger!

Comment by daddyhominum on The blind god's computer language · 2010-12-23T02:11:51.046Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think I own some halfling programs !

Comment by daddyhominum on Is technological change accelerating? · 2010-12-22T00:22:40.367Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It will be difficult to measure without a clear definition. Perhaps, a taxonomy of definitions based on frequency of application would help so that important changes over small domains would be measured separately from unimportant changes over larger domains so that the rate of change in particle physics would a show a measure different from the development of robot vacuum cleaners. But once having determined clean definitions and categories, a simple count expressed as quantity per year, or other time frame, would give a rate. Those expressions could be used to compare a periods of time and determine if technological change was advancing.

Comment by daddyhominum on How Pascal's Wager Saved My Soul · 2010-12-20T00:10:30.456Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps that event is an icon for a process of rejection that had been creeping into your mind more gradually. I recall asking my father about a line from Henley's Invictus, "Deep as the Pit from pole to pole". I wanted to know the referent for 'pit' and whether the author wanted me to read the line as figurative, and, if so, did the pit represent feeling low. In response, my father shouted, "Blasphemy !" For the first time, I consciously realized he was more interested in magic then meaning . But, looking back, I think that event stays in my mind as a point at which I became conscious that my beliefs differed widely from my father and family. It is an icon for a series of less dramatic modifications and rejections.

Comment by daddyhominum on The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics · 2010-12-19T23:41:34.243Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Very nice story but the ending is incomplete.

What became of Lord Iron?

Comment by daddyhominum on Christmas · 2010-12-19T21:51:48.161Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

We will have a family dinner, seeing each other for the first time in months. Our one grand-daughter will thrill us with her enthusiasm. It will be a lovely, cozy day with good food and conversation. No tree;no decorations. Worst thing is that there is no place to go for morning coffee.