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Comment by dar_veter on Open Thread, August 16-31, 2012 · 2012-08-23T23:09:01.786Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If i wanted to find a way to prolong WW2 as much as possible and maximize the body count (including American one), it would be hard to find better strategy than McCarthy's proposed one. This synopsis managed to get put my opinion about him even lower. Why shall i care about political opinions of someone who never even bothered to look at map (physical map showing mountains, rivers, roads and railroads, not political one)?

Comment by dar_veter on Rationality Quotes December 2011 · 2011-12-20T19:37:54.469Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the link to that interesting essay.

Would be more interesting had author defined what he means by "highly evolved tradition" and added some real world examples.

Most small deviations, and practically all "radical" deviations [in cultural beliefs], result in the equivalent of death for the organism: a mass breakdown of civilization which can include genocide, mass poverty, starvation, plagues, and, perhaps most commonly and importantly, highly unsatisying, painful, or self-destructive individual life choices.

Genocide is usually (and traditionally) fate of traditional society that meets more modern one. And as for mass poverty, starvation and plagues, these were traditional part of life for all recorded history and were abolished by modernity. I'm afraid the author disproves his own thesis...

Comment by dar_veter on Rationality Quotes December 2011 · 2011-12-20T19:26:55.965Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As Nick Szabo points out in this essay, tradition often contains wisdom

The problem is that there is no such thing as "tradition". In every society bigger than village there are numerous, mostly incompatible traditions. Even in one family often happens that, if you follow grandmother's way, you anger the other one.

Comment by dar_veter on Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet · 2011-12-14T14:08:53.182Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You all are overanalyzing it, the issue is simple. Romney's own church position on gambling is clear:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposed to gambling, including lotteries sponsored by governments. Church leaders have encouraged Church members to join with others in opposing the legalization and government sponsorship of any form of gambling. Gambling is motivated by a desire to get something for nothing. This desire is spiritually destructive. It leads participants away from the Savior's teachings of love and service and toward the selfishness of the adversary. It undermines the virtues of work and thrift and the desire to give honest effort in all we do.

As if Jewish or Muslim candidate invited his opponent to a pork dinner :P

Comment by dar_veter on Mere Messiahs · 2011-12-08T01:19:08.389Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

In theory, Christians can go one up on non-believers in the self-sacrificing stakes, which is to act in such a way as to condemn themselves to Hell, a fate which I would consider worse than non-existence. If they do it for the greater benefit of mankind this might be seen as a supreme act of virtue.

In theory, deed that would damn your soul is never a good deed, per definition.

Does anyone know of a real-life analogue of Kenny McCormick in this context? (Not in terms of whether they actually went to Hell, but in terms of what they thought the consequences of their actions would be, and the resulting choices they made.)

Ljubo Milos,Croatian war criminal, according to anecdote:

Dr. Maček was in custodio onesta and was interned for a while in Jasenovac. And when they become more familiar because they slept in the same room - Dr. Maček noticed that Miloš prayed every night before going to bed. Finally, he ventured the question, and he said, "How do you combine your Catholicism with the task you are performing in this camp?". "Don't ask me anything", replied Miloš. "I know that I'll burn in the hell - for everything I have done and for everything I'm going to do. But, I'll burn for Croatia."

Comment by dar_veter on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-29T11:44:39.506Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I would not agree even with the second statement. Do Holocaust survivors fear Holocaust deniers are telling the truth? (or insert some even more offensive and unpopular belief)

Comment by dar_veter on Video: Skepticon talks · 2011-11-28T12:59:24.065Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Simply check for which of my posts have been downvoted into oblivion?

Ones where you forget you are in an international forum and insist on discussing parochial American political issues?

Want to discuss who originated the idea of common descent

Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis in 1745

You won't be able to. If I should quote the relevant passages from the earliest who proposed this idea, I suspect my post would not merely be downvoted, but deleted.

Could one not say that, in the fortuitous combinations of the productions of nature, as there must be some characterized by a certain relation of fitness which are able to subsist, it is not to be wondered at that this fitness is present in all the species that are currently in existence? Chance, one would say, produced an innumerable multitude of individuals; a small number found themselves constructed in such a manner that the parts of the animal were able to satisfy its needs; in another infinitely greater number, there was neither fitness nor order: all of these latter have perished. Animals lacking a mouth could not live; others lacking reproductive organs could not perpetuate themselves... The species we see today are but the smallest part of what blind destiny has produced...

from Vénus Physique

awaiting deletion :P

Comment by dar_veter on Video: Skepticon talks · 2011-11-28T12:46:37.305Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

sam0345 is referring to the Condemnation of 1277

The full text is here

I'm not sure which of the propositions he believes are true but disbelieved by the typical Less Wronger.

He probably wanted to point out that in the propositions that can be verified, the philosophers were wrong and the Church was proven right (the universe is not eternal, mankind is not eternal, astrology is bunk etc...)

Comment by dar_veter on In favour of a selective CEV initial dynamic · 2011-10-23T12:31:40.594Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Aliens are generally benevolent

How would malevolent aliens behave? :-P

I suspect that (at least in a Western world) "Pope" and "Dalai Lama" would be the most frequent answers.

"Western world" is small portion of mankind and, in this scenario, all mankind counts. I cannot see even one Western person out of hundred remember Dalai Lama when facing death and for the rest of the world, the few who heard about him (excepting Tibetan Buddhists) would not appreciate his morality in the slightest.

My vote goes to the Pope - Roman Catholics are the largest religous group worldwide. The result of your gedankenexperiment is fully Catholic world and Crusade decared against the alien scum.

Comment by dar_veter on Peter Thiel warns of upcoming (and current) stagnation · 2011-10-06T16:17:56.063Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I cannot see how can anyone see 2001 as "inspiring hope".

Set in crapsack world of overpopulation, famine and imminent nuclear war, where human race was from the beginning a toy of omnipotent aliens. What hope? Our world in 2001 was not like in "2001", it was much better.

Comment by dar_veter on Peter Thiel warns of upcoming (and current) stagnation · 2011-10-06T16:16:33.837Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

One man's bitter cynicism is another man's gritty realism and one man's hope is another man's delusionary dream. Looking at another literary genre, did the emergence of hardboiled school "collapsed" crime fiction?