Do you know of any reliable DIY compendium of home physical therapy exercises? 2023-09-16T14:37:14.908Z
Book review: The Importance of What We Care About (Harry G. Frankfurt) 2023-09-13T04:17:16.823Z
“Desperate Honesty” by Agnes Callard 2023-08-01T13:34:57.180Z
Should we be kind and polite to emerging AIs? 2023-02-17T16:58:31.479Z
Notes on Caution 2022-12-01T03:05:21.490Z
Under what circumstances have governments cancelled AI-type systems? 2022-09-23T21:11:48.405Z
Notes on Resolve 2022-09-09T16:42:00.721Z
Artificial Moral Advisors: A New Perspective from Moral Psychology 2022-08-28T16:37:07.626Z
Notes on Love 2022-07-13T23:35:55.224Z
Using Ngram to estimate depression prevalence over time 2022-07-09T14:57:55.313Z
What's the name of this fallacy/reasoning antipattern? 2022-06-18T14:04:17.581Z
Notes on Empathy 2022-05-03T04:06:36.616Z
In the very near future the internet will answer all of our questions and that makes me sad 2022-03-24T03:55:31.462Z
Notes on Social Responsibility 2022-03-19T14:44:19.572Z
Review: Václav Havel’s “The Power of the Powerless” 2022-02-21T02:18:20.584Z
Review: G.E.M. Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy” 2022-02-20T18:58:39.506Z
Freudianism among the 17th century Wendat 2022-01-26T18:15:32.042Z
Notes on Rationality 2022-01-16T19:05:28.964Z
Notes on Shame 2021-11-02T04:33:23.861Z
Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil: A Report on the Beguilings of Evil 2021-09-20T15:19:36.114Z
Truth + Reason = The True Religion? 2021-09-17T22:14:31.565Z
“Who’s In Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain” 2021-09-16T02:38:43.556Z
I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) 2021-09-06T22:31:54.813Z
Musing on the Many Worlds Hypothesis 2021-07-05T19:38:26.407Z
Notes on Kindness 2021-07-03T21:47:45.972Z
Notes on Perseverance 2021-04-08T00:01:36.105Z
How to use hypnagogic hallucinations as biofeedback to relieve insomnia 2021-03-13T15:28:51.407Z
Notes on Amiability 2021-02-15T19:34:48.204Z
Notes on Frugality 2021-02-05T16:54:54.085Z
Notes on Judgment and Righteous Anger 2021-01-30T19:31:21.314Z
Notes on Forgiveness 2021-01-26T02:05:35.651Z
[Link] Philosophers’ Non-Profit Offers Free Online Critical Thinking Course 2021-01-25T15:16:14.529Z
Notes on Optimism, Hope, and Trust 2021-01-20T23:00:04.268Z
Notes on Gratitude 2021-01-13T20:37:30.004Z
Notes on Attention 2021-01-03T21:52:34.139Z
Notes on notes on virtues 2020-12-30T17:47:04.102Z
Martin Seligman’s “Authentic Happiness” 2020-12-27T05:06:39.104Z
Notes on Moderation, Balance, & Harmony 2020-12-25T02:44:55.342Z
Notes on Patience & Forbearance 2020-12-23T16:31:04.680Z
Notes on Fitness 2020-12-21T16:51:17.623Z
Notes on Duty 2020-12-18T18:54:29.179Z
Notes on Dignity 2020-12-17T15:46:15.933Z
Notes on Courtesy 2020-12-16T04:08:31.448Z
Notes on Chastity 2020-12-11T22:01:53.879Z
Notes on Know-how 2020-12-09T17:21:18.936Z
Notes on Fairness 2020-12-07T18:52:46.649Z
Notes on Care 2020-12-05T16:33:18.013Z
Notes on Integrity 2020-12-03T23:42:44.376Z
Notes on Simplicity 2020-12-02T23:14:13.444Z
Notes on Sincerity and such 2020-12-01T05:09:45.198Z


Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on The stereotype of male classical music lovers being gay · 2023-09-20T21:39:24.237Z · LW · GW

Aesthetically, opera seems like it slots in well to a Very Gay modern niche, in that it is flamboyant, is dramatic to the point of histrionic, lends itself well to backstage scuttlebutt about prime donne and other such inside baseball dish, is nicely campy in its traditional overwroughtitude of costume and set design and vocal fireworks and Götterdämmerung, and is a good object to lavish conspicuous aficionado-points on. It's as gay as green is Irish.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Notice your everything · 2023-08-08T12:26:24.831Z · LW · GW

I'd also like to see what work people have already done that I don't already know about.

See Notes on Attention for some possible leads.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on What Caused the Puzzling Decline in Activism Against Policy Violence Towards Black People? · 2023-07-19T15:19:45.474Z · LW · GW

I'd add "Covid" to the hypotheses. At the time it was difficult to sustain many varieties of coordinated grassroots activity, even something as banal as a book club, just because you didn't want to meet indoors in groups and because alternatives like Zoom were off-putting to some and suboptimal in many ways. People may have relished the opportunity to come out in the streets and protest a bit, or to engage in social media histrionics, but to sustain this sort of activism in a meaningful way requires the sort of organizing and group deliberation that was unusually difficult at that time.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Physics is Ultimately Subjective · 2023-07-15T01:45:23.794Z · LW · GW

This reminds me of a POV that I find perennially tempting, a sort of Buddhism verging on solipsism:

"Reality Itself" is already completely here and completely available to you. That indeed is the definition of Reality Itself: the actual subjective contents of the present moment, your (pre-"assessed") subjective experience. To discover Reality Itself, you don't have to assess your subjective experience as though it were merely evidence left behind by the real reality that you have to examine for clues. It's already the real deal. Our ideas about "objective reality" (atoms and quarks and fields, but even chairs and tables and people) are models and linguistic conventions we find helpful for discussing, finding patterns in, and predicting Reality Itself, but they are not themselves Reality Itself hiding behind our subjective experience. You can learn interesting things about Reality Itself by examining it and subjecting it to scientific analysis, but you can't get any realer that way: any closer to reality. You're as close as you can get already -- it's right here; you can't miss it.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on The virtue of determination · 2023-07-10T14:52:09.636Z · LW · GW

See also: Notes on Resolve

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on What in your opinion is the biggest open problem in AI alignment? · 2023-07-03T23:05:28.123Z · LW · GW

This will probably be dismissed as glib, but: human alignment.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on What is your financial portfolio? · 2023-06-28T21:58:21.087Z · LW · GW

FWIW, here's how my "investment" strategy has been changing ("investment" considered broadly, in a time=money sense).

I'm weighting foreign language acquisition less than I used to, in part because advances in AI are making that a somewhat less-valuable skill than I had originally anticipated.

I'm googling for websites a lot less than I used to. This is partially because Google's web search has declined in quality (and while its competitors can roughly match it, none have really leapfrogged it) and partially because the web itself has become such a morass of crap. I'm correspondingly increasing my investment in particular sources of web content (these seem vulnerable as well, so I'm keeping my options open, but by the time AI starts writing LW content on the regular it might be worth reading). I'm long on the wisdom of the ancients, short on anything expressed in an op-ed.

I've given up on Twitter/Facebook, and am finding my long-shot investment of time in Mastodon to be paying off better than I'd hoped. I'm tentatively exploring other fediverse options.

I've been divesting from politics / political arguments broadly for a while, and shifting to a more-local focus on political action (meaning not just action involving governments & elections, but any organized efforts for social goals). This is I think in part motivated by an inchoate hunch that our ability to rationally observe and engage in useful discourse about events outside of our own back yards is going to be terribly disrupted by AI/bot-fueled disinformation.

My retirement portfolio is slightly more tech-heavy now, but I otherwise don't feel confident picking winners & losers among public companies or sectors and haven't made any galaxy-brained I-think-I'm-smarter-than-the-market moves.

So far, my policy of frugality has paid good dividends. My spending has been largely in sectors less-affected by inflation, and I have accumulated enough buffer savings that if my job gets automated away I'll have some time to pivot gracefully.

I continue to be long on health, and take steps to secure a vigorous longevity to the extent fortune allows. Whatever happens in the coming decades, I don't want to miss it.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Wikipedia as an introduction to the alignment problem · 2023-05-30T02:34:19.391Z · LW · GW

Reduced it by ~43kb, though I don't know if many readers will notice as most of the reduction is in markup.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on New User's Guide to LessWrong · 2023-05-17T15:43:56.368Z · LW · GW

Since you've gone with the definition, are you sure that definition is solid? A reasoning process like "spend your waking moments deriving mathematical truths using rigorous methods; leave all practical matters to curated recipes and outside experts" may tend to arrive at true beliefs and good decisions more often than "attempt to wrestle as rationally as you can with all of the strange and uncertain reality you encounter, and learn to navigate toward worthy goals by pushing the limits of your competence in ways that seem most promising and prudent" but the latter seems to me a "more rational reasoning process."

The conflation of rationality with utility-accumulation/winning also strikes me as questionable. These seem to me to be different things that sometimes cooperate but that might also be expected to go their separate ways on occasion. (This, unless you define winning/utility in terms of alignment with what is true, but a phrase like "sitting atop a pile of utility" doesn't suggest that to me.)

If you thought you were a shoe-in to win the lottery, and in fact you do win, does that retrospectively convert your decision to buy a lottery ticket into a rational one in addition to being a fortunate one? (Your belief turned out to be true, your decision turned out to be good, you got a pile of utility and can call yourself a winner.)

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on New User's Guide to LessWrong · 2023-05-17T02:10:17.757Z · LW · GW

LessWrong is a good place for:

Each of the following bullet points begins with "who", so this should probably be something like "LessWrong is a good place for people:"

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on New User's Guide to LessWrong · 2023-05-17T02:09:12.860Z · LW · GW

A more rational reasoning process tends to arrive at true beliefs and good decisions more often than a less rational process.

It's not clear from this or what immediately follows in this section whether you intend this statement as a tautological definition of a process (a process that "tends to arrive at true beliefs and good decisions more often" is what we call a "more rational reasoning process") or as an empirically verifiable prediction about a yet-to-be-defined process (if you use a TBD "more rational reasoning process" then you will "tend[] to arrive at true beliefs and good decisions more often"). I could see people drawing either conclusion from what's said in this section.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on New User's Guide to LessWrong · 2023-05-17T01:45:58.612Z · LW · GW

Although encouraged, you don't have to read this to get started on LessWrong! 

This is grammatically ambiguous. The "encouraged" shows up out of nowhere without much indication of who is doing the encouraging or what they are encouraging. ("Although [something is] encouraged [to someone by someone], you don't have to read this...")

Maybe "I encourage you to read this before getting started on LessWrong, but you do not have to!" or "You don't have to read this before you get started on LessWrong, but I encourage you to do so!"

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on What does it take to ban a thing? · 2023-05-08T20:07:10.542Z · LW · GW

See also: Under what circumstances have governments cancelled AI-type systems? 

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on What's the difference between Wisdom and Rationality? · 2023-04-14T14:12:58.685Z · LW · GW

For some food for thought on this question, see:

from the LessWrong Notes on Virtues sequence.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Stupid Questions - April 2023 · 2023-04-07T02:27:15.753Z · LW · GW

California adopted a "Housing First" policy several years ago. The number of people experiencing homelessness continued to rise thereafter. Much of the problem seems to be that there just aren't a lot of homes to be had, because it is time-consuming and expensive to make them (and/or illegal to make them quickly and cheaply).

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Stupid Questions - April 2023 · 2023-04-06T14:01:44.897Z · LW · GW

It seems to me that a major factor contributing to the homelessness crisis in California is that there is a legal floor on the quality of a house that can be built, occupied, or rented. That legal floor is the lowest-rung on the ladder out of homelessness and in California its cost makes it too high for a lot of people to reach. Other countries deal with this by not having such a floor, which results in shantytowns and such. Those have their own significant problems, but it isn't obvious to me that those problems would be worse (for e.g. California) than widespread homelessness. Am I missing something I should be considering?

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Stupid Questions - April 2023 · 2023-04-06T13:50:05.652Z · LW · GW

Has anyone done an in-depth examination of AI-selfhood from an explicitly Buddhist perspective, using Buddhist theory of how the (illusion of) self comes to be generated in people to explore what conditions would need to be present for an AI to develop a similar such intuition?

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Ways to be more agenty? · 2023-02-28T02:59:34.625Z · LW · GW

Might be helpful:

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Ways of being with you · 2023-02-26T16:41:09.704Z · LW · GW

See also: Notes on Empathy

Comment by David_Gross on [deleted post] 2023-02-19T18:57:46.437Z


Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Why and How to Graduate Early [U.S.] · 2023-01-29T19:25:18.068Z · LW · GW

FWIW: I dropped out of high school a year early via the GED route. I am very glad I did, and recommend it. At the time this was not really an option that was discussed above-ground by e.g. guidance counselors: instead the assumption was that you'd either graduate from high school or "be a drop-out" with all sorts of bad connotations.

I enrolled in a community college and began taking my lower-division undergrad courses there (and some electives that I was curious about). This was far less expensive than taking the equivalent courses at a university, and by and large the lower-division courses I took at community college were of higher quality than those I later took at university (smaller class sizes, professors seemed to care more).

OTOH, my friends who stayed behind for their high school senior year described it as being a much better year than others: more collegiality, a better social scene in general. So if your high school social life means a lot to you, you ought to add that into the calculations.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Mental Abstractions · 2023-01-08T16:07:12.529Z · LW · GW

Going off on a wild tangent here, but all this strikes me as eerily similar to what I recently read in Rob Burbea's "Seeing That Frees": a book about meditative approaches to Buddhist "emptiness" insight.

Burbea repeatedly insists on the "fabricated" nature of reality: that it doesn't appear to us in any raw form with an inherent nature of its own, but that any time it appears to us it does so by means of our own construction of it (and in a way that's always tangled up in our agendas: i.e. we don't see anything "as it is" but only "as it means to me").

This isn't anything I can vouch for, but it's something I've been trying to get my head around. Burbea's book is largely a catalog of exercises a meditator can undertake to try to get first-hand knowledge of this fabricated/constructed/inherently-empty nature of reality so he or she doesn't have to take Burbea's word for it.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Ordinary People and Extraordinary Evil: A Report on the Beguilings of Evil · 2023-01-02T23:44:44.477Z · LW · GW

Tangentially, FWIW: Among the ought/is counterarguments that I've heard (I first encountered it in Alasdair MacIntyre's stuff) is that some "is"s have "ought"s wrapped up in them from the get-go. The way we divide reality up into its various "is" packages may or may not include function, purpose, etc. in any particular package, but that's in part a linguistic, cultural, fashionable, etc. decision.  

For example: that is a clock, it ought to tell the correct time, because that is what clocks are all about. That it is a clock implies what it ought to do.

MacIntyre's position, more-or-less, is that the modern philosophical position that you can't get oughts from izzes in the human moral realm is the result of a catastrophe in which we lost sight of what people are for, in the same way that if we forgot what clocks did and just saw them as bizarre artifacts, we'd think they were just as suitable as objet's d'art, paperweights, or items for bludgeoning fish with, as anything else, and it wouldn't matter which ways the hands were pointing.

Now you might say that adding an ought to an is by definition like this (as with the clock) is a sort of artificial, additional, undeclared axiom. But you might consider what removing all the oughts from things like clocks would do to your language and conceptual arsenal. Removing the "ought" from people was a decision, not a conclusion. Philosophers performed a painstaking oughtectomy on the concept of a person and then acted surprised when the ought refused to just regrow itself like a planarian head.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on How to use hypnagogic hallucinations as biofeedback to relieve insomnia · 2022-10-27T13:05:46.158Z · LW · GW

Yeah, disturbing imagery like that can wake you right back up in a hurry. But at that stage of falling-asleep, that imagery is going to arrive whether you're using this method or not. This method just helps you get as far as that stage more quickly.

At this point I'm being extra-speculative, but it may be that above-normal levels of anxiety in ordinary waking life bleed over into the hypnagogic imagery and make it more likely that you'll be presented with disturbing images. It could be that more attention to pre-bedtime calming (pleasant nature videos, meditation, chamomile tea, turning off the phone, or whatever works for you to put aside the stresses of the day) could help.

And then there's my pet theory that the mind sometimes gives us nightmares to jolt us out of sleep when our sleep has become dangerous (e.g. tongue threatening to block the airway) so that we'll change sleeping position. If you find yourself frequently jolted into wakefulness in this way as you're falling asleep, maybe talk with a specialist about the possibility that you have obstructive sleep apnea or something like that.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on In the very near future the internet will answer all of our questions and that makes me sad · 2022-10-22T17:45:53.038Z · LW · GW

Why do you think there will be heavy selection against things like made-up stories presented as fact, or fabricated/misrepresented medical baloney, when there doesn't seem to be much such selection now?

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on So, geez there's a lot of AI content these days · 2022-10-07T15:20:51.478Z · LW · GW

I'm one of those LW readers who is less interested in AI-related stuff (in spite of having a CS degree with an AI concentration; that's just not what I come here for). I would really like to be able to filter "AI Alignment Forum" cross-posts, but the current filter setup does not allow for that so far as I can see.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on How to use hypnagogic hallucinations as biofeedback to relieve insomnia · 2022-09-18T15:50:06.873Z · LW · GW

Two possible answers to this:

  1. Maybe people are different in this way and my experience falling asleep doesn't match yours and so my advice won't be of much use to you.
  2. The visualizations are somewhat subtle. They are, like dreams, hallucinations rather than visions of real-things-out-there. But they are also much less vivid than dreams. You may not notice some of them just because they're pretty subdued and uninteresting and so unless you're looking for them they won't jump out at you. Also: you may be used to categorizing some of these images not as hallucinations happening in your visual field but as "imagination" happening elsewhere. If you're accustomed to being able to visualize things when you imagine them in waking life, you may think about these hypnagogic hallucinations that they're not "visualizations" but "imaginations" and you may dismiss them for that reason.
Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Lamentations, Gaza and Empathy · 2022-08-07T14:54:42.501Z · LW · GW

Empathy might not work that way. See: Notes on Empathy.

For one thing, we seem to be wired to empathize more with people in the in-group than people in the out-group. For another, once we begin to see a conflict through the lens of empathy, we tend to adjust our interpretation of the evidence so as to share the interests and bias of whomever we first began to empathize with in the conflict. In short: empathy ought to be approached with caution.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on What's next for instrumental rationality? · 2022-07-25T13:48:08.202Z · LW · GW

FWIW, I'm trying to create something of a bridge between "the ancient wisdom of people who thought deeply about this sort of thing a long time ago" and "modern social science which with all its limitations at least attempts to test hypotheses with some rigor sometimes" in my sequence on virtues. That might serve as a useful platform from which to launch this new rigorous instrumental rationality guide.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Marriage, the Giving What We Can Pledge, and the damage caused by vague public commitments · 2022-07-14T13:52:00.143Z · LW · GW

Further reading: Notes on Honesty (particularly the Collateral damage of “harmless” dishonesty, Honesty about future commitments, and Oaths, pledges, and formal declarations of intent to honesty sections).

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Literature recommendations July 2022 · 2022-07-02T15:17:29.367Z · LW · GW

I'm working on an essay about "love" as a virtue, where a "virtue" is a characteristic habit that contributes to (or exhibits) human flourishing. I'm aiming to make the essay of practical value, so a focus on what love is good for and how to get better at it.

"Love" is notoriously difficult to get a handle on, both because the word covers a bunch of things and because it lends itself to a lot of sentimental falderol. My current draft is concentrating on three varieties of "love": Christian agape, Aristotelian true-friendship, and erotic/romantic falling/being in love.

Anyway: that long preamble aside, if you know of any sources I could consult that would help me along, I'd appreciate the pointers.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on What's the name of this fallacy/reasoning antipattern? · 2022-06-18T19:56:32.773Z · LW · GW

I notice that in notation form it’s just an extra ergo in the ordinary (p→q, p, ∴q) argument to yield (p→q, ∴p, ∴q). So maybe “ergotism” or “alter-ergo” for the name of the fallacy?

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on In the very near future the internet will answer all of our questions and that makes me sad · 2022-04-05T22:32:44.912Z · LW · GW

Google already pivoted once to providing machine-curated answers that were often awful (e.g. I'm just extrapolating.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on In the very near future the internet will answer all of our questions and that makes me sad · 2022-04-05T14:25:59.414Z · LW · GW

You're imagining that Google stays the same in the way it indexes and presents the web. What if it decides people like seeing magic answers to all their questions, or notices that consumers have a more favorable opinion of Google if Google appears to index all the answers to their questions, and so Google by default asks gpteeble (or whatever) to generate a page for every search query, as it comes in, or maybe every search query for which an excellent match doesn't already exist on the rest of the web.

Imagine Google preloads the top ten web pages that answer to your query, and you can view them in a panel/tab just by mouse-overing the search results. You mouse-over them one by one until you find one that seems relevant, but it's not one that Google retrieved from a web search but one that Google or a partner generated in response to your query. It looks just the same. Maybe you don't even look at the URL most of the time to notice it's generated (the UI has gone more thumbnaily, less texty). Maybe "don't be evil" Google puts some sort of disclaimer on generated content that's noticeable, but the content still seems good enough for the job to all but the most critically discerning readers (the same way people often prefer bullshit to truth today, but now powered by AI; "it's the answer I hoped I'd find"), and so most of us just tune out the disclaimer.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Best non-textbooks on every subject · 2022-04-04T19:36:18.067Z · LW · GW
Free Will: A Very Short Introduction

Who doesn't like to opine about the free will problem? This short book will quickly catch you up on the philosophical state of the art so you can do so more cleverly and can understand the weaknesses of the easy answers you thought up in the shower.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Best non-textbooks on every subject · 2022-04-04T19:33:02.423Z · LW · GW
Language, Truth, and Logic

Logical positivism in one witty lesson. Make your beliefs pay rent in anticipated experiences.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Best non-textbooks on every subject · 2022-04-04T19:27:35.833Z · LW · GW

Pihkal: A Chemical Love Story if you'd like to know all about a huge variety of phenethylamines from the inside and out, including how to go about synthesizing them.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Best non-textbooks on every subject · 2022-04-04T19:25:27.128Z · LW · GW

On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen delivers what it promises: a deep understanding of the materials and processes involved in home-scale food production.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on In the very near future the internet will answer all of our questions and that makes me sad · 2022-03-31T02:23:49.135Z · LW · GW

And, right on schedule: Meta wants to use AI to write Wikipedia articles; I am Nervous™

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on In the very near future the internet will answer all of our questions and that makes me sad · 2022-03-24T14:55:01.145Z · LW · GW

That's pretty much exactly what I meant.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Review: G.E.M. Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy” · 2022-02-20T23:57:26.362Z · LW · GW

That was probably her opinion, but I think she was carefully trying to write with respect for a non-religious audience.

I think she was saying, more or less, that secular people can either go forward in the direction they are going, but they'll have to leave should/ought/morality behind (and with it any judgements about e.g. whether shoving Jews in the ovens was necessarily a bad thing to do)—which was what philosophers of her place and time were doing with e.g. emotivism—or they can go backwards to a pre-Christian perspective from which ethics had a grounding other than divine law and then move forward from there.

For her as a Catholic, the answer was “what was so bad about divine law anyway? That grounds morality just fine.” but she knew that wouldn't fly with most of her audience, so she said: here's the diagnosis, if you don't like my cure find one of your own, but you're gonna have to do something other than what you're doing right now.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on [New Feature] Support for Footnotes! · 2022-01-06T23:54:38.210Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the new feature. Minor bug report here: The footnote marker seems to be followed by a non-breaking space, such that it can interfere with normal paragraph formatting. See the bullet point that begins "correlates suggestively with virtues like altruism" on this page.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on How do people become ambitious? · 2021-11-14T02:21:30.140Z · LW · GW

See also: Notes on Ambition

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Notes on Shame · 2021-11-04T04:39:19.973Z · LW · GW

When an author uses a term that has many, conflicting definitions in popular use, it's reasonable to hope the author will explain which of these definitions he or she intends. It's less reasonable, I think, to insist that the author must use those terminology choices that you prefer.

In the case of "shame" it's impossible for me to please everyone, since there are so many competing and conflicting definitions in popular use. I can only choose one, explain myself, and ask my readers to meet me half-way.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Voting for people harms people · 2021-10-28T12:14:16.705Z · LW · GW

No need to stop at not voting for people. Voting in general fuels the madness. Please stop voting: You’re just making things worse.

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on Open & Welcome Thread September 2021 · 2021-09-23T01:10:56.416Z · LW · GW

Any chance we could get a "book review" icon to decorate post titles in lists so that people don't feel they need to flag them with "[book review]..."? This could be based on the presence of the "book review" tag.

Comment by David_Gross on [deleted post] 2021-09-16T15:49:48.638Z

FWIW, the philosopher William Wollaston's magnum opus is devoted to defending the thesis that truth and morality completely overlap with one another: that to adhere to truth and to be moral are identical.

Here's a free ebook version of his argument:

And my summary of his argument:

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-08T02:07:18.981Z · LW · GW

I think you may be reading more (and more sinister things) into this than were originally there. I don't think DiAngelo starts with "a large part of your core identity is inherently very bad" at all. The progression she has in mind is more like this:

  1. You were raised in a culture that has a lot of baggage from its explicitly white supremacist origins, and as part of learning to adopt to that culture you learned ways of getting along with it that have the effect of reinforcing its racism. In part this is because as a white person those things were designed with your benefit in mind and so you didn't have much reason to look the gift horse in the mouth. You did this even if you didn't have any bigoted intentions or desire to be awful to non-white people.
  2. If you would rather work to repair the racist system rather than coast along continuing to take advantage of it, you'll have to work on that. But if you respond defensively whenever such opportunities are pointed out to you, you probably won't succeed.
  3. So try to drop your defensiveness and don't take it so personally when someone points out ways in which you have picked up patterns of behavior that help to reinforce a racist system you aren't even very sympathetic with.
Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-07T22:08:14.527Z · LW · GW

This isn't my area of expertise, but as best as I understand it, one reason why racismS is not de facto a synonym for "being white" because racismS is not primarily a description of individual people, the way racismF can be.

That is to say, you can call someone a racistF, which is de facto a synonym for calling them a bigot or intolerant or a "race realist" or something like that, because a racistF is someone who believes in or professes racismF or acts like they do. But racismS doesn't work like that. It isn't an explicit belief system, but "a sys­tem­ic, usual­ly (now­a­days) non-ex­pli­cit or eu­phem­is­tic, often sub­con­scious, in­ter­lock­ing and per­va­sive set of social, cultural, and political devices that reinforce white supremacy."

So you wouldn't tell someone "you're racistS" but you might tell someone "you might want to be aware that the decision X that you made, or the thing Y that you said, had the effect of strengthening or perpetuating racismS."

Comment by David Gross (David_Gross) on I read “White Fragility” so you don’t have to (but maybe you should) · 2021-09-07T21:54:07.813Z · LW · GW

I see where you're coming from, and I also wish I didn't have to do the extra work to remember the correct technical definition of racism when I read White Fragility. That said, I expect that when I read a book in a particular discipline that I will need to be more attentive to the terms of art in that discipline. For instance, when I read a book of physics, I don't expect the author to cater to my folk definitions of "work", "energy", "power", "momentum", and so forth: instead, I expect that I will need to learn how to use the terminology of the field precisely as its practitioners do if I am to follow its arguments and learn what they have to teach.