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Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Burdens · 2019-09-04T13:22:18.869Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But modern society is an individual example of the general idea of society, whereas human psychology as optimized is a general idea (performed in every specific individuum to a certain degree).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Time and Effort Discounting · 2019-09-01T02:24:13.823Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't the fact that we perceive all the quantities on a logarithmic scale far wider than the specific effects? We find it again and again and again, from sound perception to explicit amount perception to this. (Note that it is an even wider claim than mattnewport's.) So the distance between 8 and 9 years is not the same as distance between 1 month and 1 year + 1 month because the logarithms' difference... erm... differs; and suggestion to give something "now" is then just as infinite as probability 1.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Nobody Is Perfect, Everything Is Commensurable · 2019-08-31T15:48:32.706Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"But I also benefit from the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, in that I live on land that was formerly dinosaur-occupied" - you... do know that asteroid as a cause is unlikely, and something like volcano activity is much closer (not that it makes much difference to the argument)?

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Burdens · 2019-08-31T15:22:50.610Z · score: 0 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"And that is: humans don’t owe society anything. We were here first" - not true. Society as an idea was clearly established before human race, before language, before thought, it is an all-ape thing, maybe even wider. And (almost) every individual society is older than its individual members. And you apply an illegitimate operation of comparing the individual society with human as an idea. Maybe your idea in general is good, but you're using a wrong argument - incorrigibly wrong, as far as I can tell.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Archipelago and Atomic Communitarianism · 2019-08-30T23:50:56.232Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"And they should be allowed to form completely voluntary communities of icky people that enforce icky cultural norms and an insular society promoting ickiness, just like everyone else" - the child problem again. If a non-icky child is born to such a community, there may be little possibility to avoid it. Say, conservative parents are only going to subsidise their child's law school if it is the one they condone - the one with those rules - and the child is gay (or generally disagreeing with their agenda, but I believe the gay situation is more obvious because that seems to be inborn).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Don’t Fear The Filter · 2019-08-30T23:33:31.469Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Despite science-fiction, I see little plausibility in hive rationality. So - and I may be putting my neck under an axe by this - I claim that no hive race could raise to getting anything near "contemporary technology". Also, most of the contemporary technology usable for colonizing is already costly and/or faulty enough that someone who is "paranoid enough" (and some Prof. Moody tells us there is no such thing - but still) would be unlikely to ever leave theit own planet.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on The Ideology Is Not The Movement · 2019-08-30T23:03:00.926Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"As well try to predict the warlike or peaceful nature of the United Kingdom by looking at a topographical map of Great Britain" - such things are _done_ and _super-done_. Mountains (and difficult-to-cultivate steppes? Is this maybe something about pastoring vs. agriculture essentially?) predict average warlikeness fairly well. Who were the most peaceful Ancient Greeks? Thessalians. Why? Thessalia is, like, the only place in Greece vaguely resembling a grassland, where all other Greece is covered in hills. Caucasus is one major battleplace for centuries. Sco'land? You bet. The East seems to be generally more relaxed, but still less so in Tibet than in Eastern China. Early-Rome-time Italy? Relatively peaceful Greek colonies in the Southern coasts, war-like Etrusci and Gauls and, certainly not the least, Romans near Appenines and Alps. (Note that Rome is relatively far from the sea, compared to usual Greek colonies.)

"It also brings together a group of people with some pre-existing common characteristics: male, nerdy, often abrasive, not very successful, interested in speculation, high-systematizing" - can male be an artifact of nerdy, abrasive, and high-systematizing correlation with gender? After all, as you note, when a girl accepts all the other things she is usually easily accepted, and gender is only a proxy for predicting the qualities.

"I think America has better values than Pakistan does, but that doesn’t mean I want us invading them, let alone razing their culture to the ground and replacing it with our own" - why not? No, seriously. America invaded several Muslim (fundamentalist Muslim, not we-kinda-like-Quran-stop-accusing-us-of-ISIS Muslim) countries already anyway. Why not raze the fundamentalist culture to the ground and replace it with universal?

"except that “race” is a much more complicated concept than ethnicity" - W. H. A. T. Arm people with five-to-eight differential features, and you get a good proxy for all the six main races AND predictions for unclear cases. I'd like to see you try doing that to an ethnicity (without language cheat, which is known to backfire).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Guided By The Beauty Of Our Weapons · 2019-08-30T22:18:19.655Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"If you genuinely believe that facts and logic don’t work on people, you shouldn’t be writing articles with potential solutions" - I have seen people claiming things like "science/logic is only natural for people with schizoid tendencies and utterly unnatural for others". Given that "people with schizoid tendencies" (or whatever the right denominator) may be as much of a tribe dark-matter-like split from the rest of the world as your Red/Blue/Grey tribes you may get an illusion that people are generally convincible, whereas in reality it may well be just a feature of your own tribe.

And then the articles about people unconvincible by logic are written for the tribe's members as a guide to deal with the outsiders.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on In Favor of Niceness, Community, and Civilization · 2019-08-30T21:18:03.347Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Or “And that is why the Geneva Convention was so obviously impossible that no one even bothered to attend the conference” - Geneva Convention prohibited mercenaries. And no one ever used them afterwards... except they did.

"Civilization didn’t conquer the world by forbidding you to murder your enemies unless they are actually unrighteous in which case go ahead and kill them all" - that's... what usually justifies most wars including many civilizational wars.

"In particular, the history of the past few hundred years in the United States has been a history of decreasing censorship and increasing tolerance" - EXCUSE YOU? When was the last time US followed the original (modulo Ten Amendments) version of constitution in its anti-censorship? And, moreover, what about silent censorship (the kind Chomsky describes - effectively censored without any legislation for it)?

"And it kind of was. Just not the way most people expected" - yeah, by creating the Chalcedonian (Orthodox before the Orthodox/Catholic split) church which more or less abandoned all that and either consumed (like Dominicans) or destroyed (like Albigensians). What you may think of as a continuing tradition is Luther-Calvin rebellion against that, there is no way original Christians could have won over Roman Empire, even in its decay. The Sun religion was more powerful when Constantine decided to get some more followers by tricking Christians into obeying them.


Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Book Review: Age of Em · 2019-08-30T01:03:46.926Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"In Star Wars, the Rebellion had all of these beautiful hyperspace-capable starfighters that could shoot laser beams and explore galaxies – and they still had human pilots" - except that, unless the pilot is a Jedi or Bith or something like, most of the work is done by astrodroids like R2 and pilots are something of a general controller/safety measure.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Don’t Fear The Filter · 2019-08-30T00:36:54.687Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You describe the "x-risk" as if it were only one. As far as I understand, the general idea of Great Filter as self-destruction is "every civilization found _one way or another_ to destroy or irreparably re-barbarize itself". Not the same way. Not "EwayAcivilizations" but "AcivilizationsEway". And this is a much weaker claim.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on SSC Journal Club: AI Timelines · 2019-08-30T00:24:35.636Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"As the authors point out, these two questions are basically the same" - strongly not true if we speak of domain-specific AI. Creating an AI that does linguistic analysis of a given dataset better than me is easier than creating an AI that is a better linguist than me because it actually requires additional tasks such as writing academic papers. So the task/occupation difference makes sense.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Should AI Be Open? · 2019-08-30T00:15:14.383Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

1)"Wells believed the coming atomic bombs would be so deadly that we would inevitably create a utopian one-world government to prevent them from ever being used. Sorry, Wells. It was a nice thought" - I don't know about utopian but, save for North Korea, this is more or less what we have since USSR lost the Cold War. USA single-handedly controls most of the world, and no nuclear weapon is sighted in active use.

2)"Find all the smartest people, make them marry each other for a couple of generations, and you’d get some really smart great-grandchildren" - unless they all die out from genetic diseases. This is the Ashkenazi evolutionary experiment (the one you link too) up to eleven.

3)"and that one reason we’re not smarter may be that it’s too hard to squeeze a bigger brain through the birth canal" - should be pretty much obliterated by modern Caesarian, but do we see burst of intelligence in last decades?

4)"If an alien species showed up in their UFOs, said that they’d created us but made a mistake and actually we were supposed to eat our children, and asked us to line up so they could insert the functioning child-eating gene in us, we would probably go all Independence Day on them; computers with more goal-directed architecture would if anything be even more willing to fight such changes" - phew, THAT metaphor finally explains why "just don't let it self-modify" is not enough. Yudkowsky's arguments, I'm afraid, did not come through to me on the necessary level... stupid, stupid brain.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on How The West Was Won · 2019-08-29T22:47:29.183Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As a huge antipostcolonialist (thus colonialist) I really incline towards the "go universal culture" idea. However, there is also a more specific thing. As Nikonov notes, we are to distinguish immigrants and colonists. Immigrants get largely subsumed by the country they arrive to, even if they keep some peculiar details about them. Colonists do... well, what 16th-18th century colonists did, they are certainly not subsumed (how much of Aborigen Australians or Native Americans is seen in Australian/US usual settlers?). And the usual (partly justified, IMO) fear of Muslim "immigration" is that they do not, in fact, immigrate - they colonize. Or, at least, try to. They want to get European riches but keep their culture - like American colonists were certainly not going to acquire "Indian" culture while gaining resources and land in Americas.

"Heroin use is something every society would select if given the opportunity" - erm, consistently not true. Even Friedman in "Machinery of Freedom" concedes that the governmentless world he pictures could still ban heroin.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Considerations On Cost Disease · 2019-08-29T19:38:51.039Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Cowen seems to use it indiscriminately to refer to increasing costs in general – which I guess is fine, goodness knows we need a word for that" - the word _is_ inflation. Maybe averaging is not the best way to get the real inflation, but wages are calculated as if it were?

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Against Tulip Subsidies · 2019-08-29T18:30:59.321Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This could have been rigorously applied to schools as well in the past, and we would have ended with people not knowing basic math unless they need to. As someone from Russia where there are still many remnants of Soviet free education (and commercial education is notoriously worse), I really do not see most of your point. I would argue that providing free higher education does not require actually paying that much - prices for education, as everything, are regulated (I don't mean direct governmental regulation) and thus will probably get lower if it is a universally-accessible thing.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Living Metaphorically · 2019-08-29T18:04:23.363Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Very cool argument; note though that:

1)L&J directly reject analytic philosophy;

2)Frege ended up in a contradiction - namely, Russel's paradox.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Living Metaphorically · 2019-08-29T18:00:41.110Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I mean, I always disliked L&J's work. Perhaps because there is a tendency for overstatements overall, perhaps because it often gets dragged to grammatical categories as well, where the basis is much lower (while lexical Time is certainly often metaphorized as both Money and Space, grammatical tense is never Money (and its similarity to spatial relationships, when persists, is due to the concept of axis relevant for both)).

(Now, as linguists rarely agree on anything, there are certainly linguists (Croft 2001 "Radical Construction Grammar", for one) who claim that lexical/grammatical distinction is non-existent. I believe this is a no-go, but you might believe otherwise.)

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on How Common Are Science Failures? · 2019-08-27T19:35:27.740Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Very cool article, but... Fifty scientific fields? A major overkill, imho. I doubt there are twenty.

Also, linguistics... well, linguists rarely agree on anything but most of us do agree that Blumfield-style descriptivism was wrong (though I was recently startled to find a French linguist using almost precisely their arguments, but that is an outlier). Of course, one may say that it is counting evidence twice, as some kind of link to behaviourism is obvious, but their going down in flames in linguistics (thanks, Chomsky! And... thanks, weird guys like Langacker and Givόn, I gue-ess?) kinda predated their failure in psychology.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on The Categories Were Made For Man, Not Man For The Categories · 2019-08-26T22:49:56.346Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"I could point out that trans-Napoleonism seem to be mysteriously less common than transgender" - well, because the Napoleon is a far more specific thing than (wo)man, nothing mysterious about that (even ignoring the fact that you are squaring off one (trans-Napoleon) against two (MtF and FtM). A better example would perhaps be something like "Asian feeling themselves as Caucasian" or - a broad category of a really small set (even if there are more than two genders I doubt many people would claim there are more than ten).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Philosophy: A Diseased Discipline · 2019-08-26T21:48:49.850Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As a scientist, not a philosopher, I still don't see much virtue in writing "simply". This is a particulary Anglo-Saxon tradition, whereas I (and most of the German-Russian tradition, AFAIK) have always felt that when you try writing simply you lose at least speed of the train of thought and quite likely some of your arguments' power. "No math - no science" is a specific example, but not the only one.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on But There's Still A Chance, Right? · 2019-08-26T21:04:19.154Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Time for nitpicking... "Consider his example if you ever you find yourself thinking, “But you can’t prove me wrong.” If you’re going to ignore a probabilistic counterargument, why not ignore a proof, too?" - ...your own argument of certainty being infinity. In cardinal numbers theory the highest infinity (be it aleph-zero or continuum or 2^continuum or whatever) trumps any lower numbers (you can through out all the rational numbers, whose number is aleph-zero, and [0;1] will still be continual), including all natural numbers, and only an infinity of the same size or larger may compete. And I believe that the usual, single-infinity models do the same. If we _could_ have infinite certainty, it would be end-of-story, allowing for no possibility to "put the weight down - yes, down". The problem is, we can't.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Human Evil and Muddled Thinking · 2019-08-23T21:06:59.045Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Woes and leaps forward can be intertwined. Peter the Great deliberately sent many workers (not to mention soldiers) to certain deaths to build St. Petersburg and fleet to win over Charles XII of Sweden. Nor was he ever hypocritical about it - he was strict enough to witness executions and not care. But in the end Peter's actions do seem like a leap forward. No hypocrisy, no stupidity, but huge woes.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Feeling Rational · 2019-08-21T11:55:32.412Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What. Female misogyny seems to be at least as powerful as male, however contradicting it may seem. Women do not generally accept womanhood, it takes a certain subtype of feminists to do so (first wave did _not_, second wave is arguable).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Feeling Rational · 2019-08-21T11:52:42.844Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That invites a rather optimistic view of mind. If we have a mind deprived of emotions but similar to us in other we expect that it will on average fare better than ours. Not because emotion is somehow _underlyingly_ irrational but because it tends to intensify our biases (and be the main motivation for some of them - affective death spirals come to mind first).

You could respond that curiosity and having something to protect are both based on emotions - but that's human motivation for rationality not guarantee of its efficiency, and both, unless supported by a good model, can also be fulfilled by religion. Truth as an instrument could be sufficient for emotionless brain as well.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Biases: An Introduction · 2019-08-21T11:27:00.298Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Most people answer “librarian.” Which is a mistake: shy salespeople are much more common than shy librarians, because salespeople in general are much more common than librarians—seventy-five times as common, in the United States" - ...this completely ignores the fact that works have personality requirements. Salespeople have to actually, y'know, talk to many people. I would not deem impossible that less than half a percent of salespeople and more than of half of librarians are shy.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Variable Question Fallacies · 2019-08-20T18:55:08.764Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Variable truth-value (VTV) of a sentence is a technical thing in formal semantics - it means that the truth-value of this sentence depends on the little thingy called variable assignment. While the term might seem misleading, it is useful for explaining why we still claim "He walked in" has a truth-value - it first has the VTV, and then we find some "discourse" assignment that converts VTV to truth-value. Also, variable assignment can be manipulated from within the sentence (anaphora, movement, you name it).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Words as Mental Paintbrush Handles · 2019-08-20T18:49:15.368Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Believe it or not, for some decades, there was a serious debate about whether people really had mental images in their mind—an actual picture of a chair somewhere—or if people just naively thought they had mental images (having been misled by "introspection", a very bad forbidden activity), while actually just having a little "chair" label, like a LISP token, active in their brain" - AFAIK, you misrepresent the debate. It was rather about what is primary and what is secondary. Sure, your brain paints a chair - but does it first paint the chair and then search for its properties, or is the mental image merely one of the properties of a pre-found concept (the correspondence to the options you represent is _in the order given_)? Not _that_ silly, is it? (It still has a right answer, but it happens to be the second one not the first one.)

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Where to Draw the Boundary? · 2019-08-20T18:28:45.848Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What is wrong (if you don't try to match the real biological taxonomy of Pisces) with definition like "vertebrate constantly living in water" for "fish"? While true_fish and dolphins have some differences, they have the very common points that led to the unification in the first place.

EDIT: Had already expanded upon by Scott Alexander.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on The Argument from Common Usage · 2019-08-20T17:51:50.321Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There is descriptive linguistics and prescriptive linguistics (and that applies, in particular, to lexicography); but to make sense, to create rules people will not immediately and fully ignore (merely somewhat in some relatively rare cases as the language changes), prescriptive linguistics feeds on descriptive linguistics to prescribe something not too different (which does not say "the same"). Thus to create a dictionary which will unify common usage you need to describe common usage first - not to be too astray.

Unfortunately, in English tradition this is also blurred by having no usual distinction between prescriptive grammars (and lexicons) and style guides.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Feel the Meaning · 2019-08-20T17:44:26.300Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, you describe language somewhat as if it were designed for communication. If, as Chomsky et al. argue, it was not, if it is a thought machine with communication hastily and inconveniently added later, then:

1)it is a bad - no, really bad - idea to try and teach computers speak language the way humans do - they should do better and probably start with a different (functional) architecture;

2)sound 2b and sound 2c may have a different underlying structure which is simply compressed by the hasty externalization (aka communication) module.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on My Way · 2019-08-19T23:19:12.214Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've read this and "On gender and rationality", and I still have to ask - is there any rational reason for you preferring multiple-gender-society, as opposed to, say, Asari-like guys (ahem, gals) or women with parthenogenesis (suppose it is actually really truly possible, and the problems of imprinting and insufficient DNA reparation are solvable) or eunuch-like people reproducing by cloning/cell combining/whatever?

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Money: The Unit of Caring · 2019-08-19T18:09:23.927Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"It is the measure of how much society cares about something.

This is a brutal yet obvious point, which many are motivated to deny.

With this audience, I hope, I can simply state it and move on.  It's not as if you thought "society" was intelligent, benevolent, and sane up until this point, right?" - saying that a non-intelligent object can "care" about something is strange.

Also, your position of no one using the logic for feeding is clearly distorted - I hear from time to time from not-so-stupid people that it is merely an artifact of city life that we buy food because it is simpler and we really should spend some of our time to grow edible plants instead, and quite a lot people actually do that, actually waste their time on growing onion instead of buying onion THAT NOT BEING THEIR MAIN PROFESSION.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Rationality: Common Interest of Many Causes · 2019-08-19T18:01:30.022Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Any comments on why drug legalization is to be considered good except the many historical failures of prohibiting alcohol and tobacco and libertarian speaking of addicts' rights (which, for anyone who does believe "people are to be forcibly protected from themselves" to at least some degree, is a non-argument)?

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Can Humanism Match Religion's Output? · 2019-08-19T16:43:05.739Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

1)"purposes of of motivation" is a typo, I presume.

2)Don't use abbreviation CBT. It brings BDSM readings, and it is not even THAT unreasonable to read the idea that males will be more motivated if threatened (or offered pleasure, for certain types) with CBT. ;)

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate · 2019-08-19T16:21:04.390Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Yes, a group which can't tolerate disagreement is not rational.  But if you tolerate only disagreement—if you tolerate disagreement but not agreement—then you also are not rational". Well, agreement may just be perceived default. If I sit at a talk and find nothing to say about (and, mind you, that happens R. A. R. E. L. Y) it means either that I totally agree or that it is so wrong I don't know where to begin.

Also, your attitude on "we are not to win arguments, we are to win", your explicit rejection of rhetorics (up to the seemingly-ignorant question "Why do people think that mentioning the death of some poor fella buying snake oil is argument for regulation?" - because bringing it up like that is a rhetorical argument to that side even if it is not a rational one) may be another weakness more or less common among rationalists. There are ways to sway people to your side, not necessarily including direct lies - and still rationalists tend to refuse using them.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on The Comedy of Behaviorism · 2019-08-19T16:08:51.708Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Having Chomsky, of all people, accused of denying the importance of biology? Chomsky was the guy that said "we need psycholinguistics to verify predictions of linguistics" - and thus, along with Müller, basically created psycholinguistics. Chomsky remains the guy who radically inspects the field once in a while with a question of "yes, that's cool, but how a child could learn it?" Chomsky expects progress of neurobiology due to linguistics, sure, but it does not mean that he believes that what we find in our brains is unimportant - quite the opposite, he believes that it is ultimately the same field (but we have too little data on brain - and we do have too little direct data).

(And on Cartesianity - I cringe at the mention of it but Chomsky said of Newton that the latter expelled the Machine out of the world and left the Ghost. Then again, this whole dualism thing seems rather fake to me.)

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on 3 Levels of Rationality Verification · 2019-08-19T15:51:23.835Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Erm... let me be Brennan and go with the "obvious". Find problems whose solutions are known in some field but not widely, provide the initial data and results of additional experiments on request (with "too expensive to perform" being a possible result). Then have two measures:

1)Someone who is _also not an expert_ checks solutions for, well, everything you discuss here. Biases, effort, mysterious answers - you name it. (For effort, you might need to register when every thought was written, not just what it was.)

2)An expert checks the dataset used - what of the really conducted experiments students failed to request and which of them were actually useful.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Trying to Try · 2019-08-19T13:09:33.298Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You really need to read up on Star Wars. Soresu, the style you describe, was shown to "merely delay the inevitable" more often than not, as Kreya put it, if the opponent fights to the death. And two Jedi would never need to fight to the death with each other because they would not do something to make the opponent think their death is preferable in the first place.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Trying to Try · 2019-08-19T13:06:27.877Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As you put Jedi, they stink of Voldemort's "there is only power and those too weak to seek it". While the Force is omnipotent, Jedi are not, and, while their self-limitation by beliefs is a powerful reason of it, it is not the only reason. Jedi Council could not break through Palpatine's Force Concealing not because they believed Force Concealing to be unbeatable but for two reasons: defense is simply stronger than offense in this field (likewise with Occlumency and Legilimency in Harry Potter) is the first, they had too little information to focus solely on Palpatine (there were probabilistic cues, but probabilities for someone like Mas Amedda, given their information, were still high even if they fully believed Dooku) is the second.

(We need MOAR generalizing from fictional evidence... Joking))

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Beginnings: An Introduction · 2019-08-19T11:18:21.749Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Classes in formal logic and informal fallacies have not proven similarly useful" - do we have enough data to predict that the problem was what was taught not how it was taught?

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Lost Purposes · 2019-08-19T01:06:22.369Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Likewise with people not automatically noticing when supposedly selfish people give altruistic arguments in favor of selfishness, or when supposedly altruistic people give selfish arguments in favor of altruism" - maybe it's because they want to encompass everyone? So the altruistic guy thinks "other altruistic guys like myself are not to be encourage to be altruistic but I need to appeal somehow to those who are currently selfish", and vice versa?

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Ethical Injunctions · 2019-08-19T00:49:48.378Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Your protecting of Knut Haikelid's decision only comes from your "it is more meaningful that we save lives than that we conform to a particular pattern while attempting it" moral rule (which is, as I argued, not part of many people's ethics) - or am I getting something wrong?

As for lies on Singularity - a clever skeptic could say "people who are smart enough to expose you in a lie on such a technical matter are also smart enough to help you instead of exposing you, and you even could leave them a clue that you know you are lying that those outside the technical paradigm simply will not get". It is a difficult technical matter, after all. As for simplicity - is it a terminal value? I think not.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on The Allais Paradox · 2019-08-19T00:18:36.720Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, here I come again, I've already commented in similar fashion elsewhere, and several people said the same here: nothing vs. non-nothing as a binary switch may work better if the situation is not repeated to "add up to normality" but only played once. One can argue that repeats may seem as being played once each time, but, being creatures gifted with memory, we can notice a catch of encountering such situations often and modify behaviour.

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Sympathetic Minds · 2019-08-18T23:44:43.639Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My prediction would be "you do even if you do not think so, you are just in the illusion of understanding". I found a similar thing about my own empathy (though not with the same diagnosis).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Sympathetic Minds · 2019-08-18T23:44:20.803Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So you believe that the sympathy is on and *then* you mark someone as alien and turn it off? Seems rather... optimistic. Both cynical and optimistic - so professor Quirrel's level of optimistic, if you pardon me for stealing your own character. (Just a comparison, not generalizing from fictional evidence. Obviously.)

Why not "sympathy is defined as "feeling good for a non-alien" so you have to explicitly mark someone as a non-alien (also called "imagine yourself in their place") to sympathize"?

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Beyond the Reach of God · 2019-08-18T23:28:06.850Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

On WWII - the "more or less the same way" is actually rather flexible. Usual advocates of "don't put it all on Hitler" say (AFAIK) something among the lines "historical balance was such that SOME major war involving Germany was bound to occur and, given the rise of tech, be about as deadly and as propaganda-fueled; Hitler did not invent or destroy so much tech as to change that particular statement" but not "there would arise a party against Jews which would win over Communists, make an alliance with another "communists", then betray them". Without Hitler we may have found Communist Germany led by Telman out to destroy Capitalism, instead of Jews, and then fighting against USSR before actually managing that for reasons similar to why Trotsky was exiled and then killed - because Stalin would fear Telman the Führer to be an opponent of his. Or something entirely different - I've already given too much detail to my alternative history. The only thing advocated is "major, deadly, propaganda-fueled war in several decades after the Last War with Germany as a prominent player".

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Changing Your Metaethics · 2019-08-18T22:31:07.653Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"You shouldn't kill people because X" actually contains two statements: "You shouldn't kill people" and "If X, you shouldn't kill people". I believe you presume only the latter to be meta-ethical (and yes, you need that hyphen, given how many ae-digraphs we have).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on My Kind of Reflection · 2019-08-18T21:47:38.078Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But the question "Can I prove that induction/Occam's Razor works?" is different from both "Does it work?" and "Why does it work?", and we can easily find ourselves in the world where the first question ends up with an irreducible NO and the second one ends up with YES (as you said yourself, |- P and |- []P are different).

Comment by dmitrii-zelenskii on Fake Utility Functions · 2019-08-18T21:33:16.850Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"But at least you won't convince anyone else" - maybe the poorest AND the most unexpected argument in all I've read on lesswrong.com. What if the optimal utility function does exist (not literally "bananas" but something), but some human biases - of the sort you describe or of some other - prevents even good Bayescraft masters from admitting the derivation?

(This is an attack on the proof not on what it claims to prove.)