Comment by echoinghorror on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-18T00:18:31.718Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks. The middle paragraph was far too predictable and mundane to exist without the proper punchline.

Comment by echoinghorror on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-11T20:14:51.650Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

Jesus in Potterverse, as a wizard who experimented with turning squib-disciples into wizards so he could eventually do the same with all muggles and be their king. His blood in wine-potions and flesh in bread-potions only gave the recipients as much magic as went into creating those body parts, allowing the occasional "miracle".

Decades after this story, Draco and his Science Eaters isolate and replicate the magic genes and start making potions that turn muggles and squibs into wizards (but also marks them in a way they can't see, for ... research, and to give them extra power), and use their huge army of new wizards and noble and blood purist allies everywhere to conquer the world. Hermione leads a resistance force of the best trained wizards alive to stop them. Harry discovers that Draco's mark sets in too soon before the transformation to wizard is complete, becoming fatal within a few years in ~90% of cases, which Draco considers an acceptable risk to become a wizard. And that it bends their will to Draco's. So Harry, the elite Bayesian Conspiracy, and the Chaos Legion, formed from anyone/anything else that would fight, fight to remove the mark, stop Hermione's people from killing new wizards before they've been freed and had a chance to choose their own actions, distribute a potion that doesn't fatally mark new wizards, and protect the new wizards without the mark, who are about as powerful as third-years.

The rise in wizard creation and deaths triggers the end of Jesus's stasis spell, and he analyzes the situation, gathers Harry, Hermione, and Draco together, and tells Harry to divide a third of his troops between Draco's and Hermione's armies, to make it fair. Hermione dies.

Comment by echoinghorror on People who "don't rationalize"? [Help Rationality Group figure it out] · 2012-03-03T03:39:42.795Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The cues people have for noticing their rationalizations are things they notice before they're done thinking. They have not rationalized; they had a thought that could lead to rationalization or a feeling they associate with rationalizing. And then they stopped. But there was a large enough time between when they started arguing for a conclusion and when they decided to think about it that they noticed their rationalization. Having a reflex to think about a question fast enough compared to the reflex to rationalize can cause someone to not notice their arguments for some answer, then say they never rationalize, or just not rationalize.

I don't relate to anyone's examples of their own rationalizations or have use for the Litany of Tarski except for explaining myself to people who don't think deliberately. I would say I never rationalize if that is the alternative to giving an example of a time when I did because I haven't noticed such an example. But I also know that I am not in conscious control of most of my thought process, and that enumerating potential evidence for a hypothesis looks suspiciously like rationalization, so I would say I do rationalize if I can explain that instead of giving examples. Rationalization can occur subconsciously and not be recognized as a rationalization if it is not allowed to corrupt the whole line of thinking.

Comment by echoinghorror on Shit Rationalists Say? · 2012-01-26T21:30:18.185Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

"I want to get my microexpressions analyzed so I can know what I'm thinking."

Comment by echoinghorror on MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own · 2011-09-29T03:35:24.183Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It helps that I never get the jokes.

Comment by echoinghorror on MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own · 2011-09-28T21:04:55.020Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I imagine some researchers will study learners' processes for learning in terms of cognitive algorithms, mental habits, preferred thinking styles, or whatever it turns out to be that makes some people learn better and faster than others, and then experiment with ways to change the process individuals use to learn. And they'll teach us how to teach how to learn.

Comment by echoinghorror on MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own · 2011-09-28T04:00:31.776Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, after that and that's successful implementation on a large scale.

Comment by echoinghorror on MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own · 2011-09-28T03:54:27.784Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

From what you wrote in Holistic Learning about the use of genius and innate talent to explain away successful learning, I think we agree that anyone without some relevant disability who is in a stable environment with access to the right resources should be able to do the same, and will after we learn how to teach how to learn. By "unimpressive," I mean "what one would expect, given what the wide distribution of mental skill levels and effort made by people who complete 4-year university says about its actual difficulty and the probable level of skill and effort of the 'productivity hacking' person doing it." You are comparatively impressive, and a very special snowflake.

Are you buying the textbooks/ finding your own? Just using the video lectures (and internet for removed sections) seems unbearably slow, and you aren't in nearly as much control over the flow of information.

Comment by echoinghorror on MIT Challenge: blogger to attempt CS curriculum on own · 2011-09-28T01:58:31.793Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A lot of people do four courses over 14 weeks, and that average of 24.5 days/course makes a speed reader's ~11 days/course without all the work and stress of assignments he understands before completing unimpressive. Sounds fun though.

Comment by echoinghorror on [Poll] Who looks better in your eyes? · 2011-08-25T20:51:13.280Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why would person A being significantly smarter be a bad thing? Just from the danger of being hacked? I'm not thinking of anything else that would weigh against the extra utility from their intelligence.

Comment by echoinghorror on People who want to save the world · 2011-05-15T07:18:54.829Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Save the world" is a subset of "improve the world" where saving is improving by a lot in a way that the world really needs it. "Improving the world" can mean settling for a smaller improvement, but probably doesn't mean "improving in every way so it will include saving the world". If people stop wanting to "save the world" because they weighted their desire to improve it in lesser ways anywhere near their desire to save it, to sound less egotistical, to avoid the applause light, or to dissociate from people who think they're saving the world by raising awareness or making a list of people who say they want to save the world, or whatever, and the world doesn't get saved because of it, I will be sad.

Comment by echoinghorror on People who want to save the world · 2011-05-15T06:32:20.698Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

For these eleven ... maybe. Much more likely than 10^-33 for eleven average or random people. My guess is yes, but they may just be good at presenting their credentials.

Comment by echoinghorror on Southern California Meetup May 21, Weekly Irvine Meetups on Wednesdays · 2011-05-15T05:44:05.308Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sweet: three meetups (Saturday and surrounding Wednesdays) at the time I'm couch-surfing (or urban camping) in the area.

Comment by echoinghorror on What we're losing · 2011-05-15T04:38:47.896Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

In my vision for the future of the rationalist community, most members are interested in the core of meta-rationality and anti-akrasia and each is interested in a set of peripheral topics (various ways of putting practicing rationality, problems like Sleeping Beauty, trading tutoring, practicing skills, helping the community in practical ways, study groups, social meetings with rationalists, etc.). Some fringe members will be involved in the peripherals and rationality applications but not theory, but they probably won't last long. LW is the core, and will be based around meta-rationality. Meetup groups will form around what local members are interested in, and start talking about those things online, maybe in their Google groups, maybe on their own websites, but probably somewhere cozier and not part of current LW, so the local communities can build their relationships. Meetup groups in different areas talking about the same things will merge their online discussions when they want to, possibly as part of LW.

But perhaps a lot of people would rather talk about rationality than use it. It's the easy thing to do. Meetups might be useful to get people to observe more evidence and encounter new problems, encouraging the use of rationality.

Or we could skip straight to that by creating subforums for specific topics like Probability, Values, AI, and Singularity for LW users, inviting more posts on the topics you're missing.

Comment by echoinghorror on People who want to save the world · 2011-05-15T04:07:04.556Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Your action, praise, do I.

  • Rationalist!Yoda
Comment by echoinghorror on People who want to save the world · 2011-05-14T08:24:51.302Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I want the world to not need to be saved, but will settle for it being saved. The reality of existential risk is such an inconvenience. I want to help, but probably won't have, recognize, and successfully act on the opportunity to do so.

The scenarios I can imagine where a list like this would be useful are farfetched.

Comment by echoinghorror on Phoenix Less Wrong Meetup- Saturday, 5-7-11, 5pm · 2011-05-06T05:13:38.573Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Plans changed; I'll see you there. I'll be the one generously keeping some student's guest pass or M&G from going to waste.

Comment by echoinghorror on Ethics and rationality of suicide · 2011-05-02T20:00:49.610Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I do have a couple grams of adderall... om nom nom.

MDMA is a legit treatment option I should probably try; I wouldn't want to influence public opinion against it.

Comment by echoinghorror on Ethics and rationality of suicide · 2011-05-02T19:20:51.952Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Dammit; all the good ways to die are slow and painful. Might as well live.

But nitrous oxide would be fun.

Signalling against suicide makes a lot of people want to kill themselves, but I'm not one of them. Bunch of whiners...

Comment by echoinghorror on Ethics and rationality of suicide · 2011-05-02T08:14:46.193Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Is there a list of cryonicist-approved suicide methods? That could prove helpful.

Comment by echoinghorror on Ethics and rationality of suicide · 2011-05-02T08:13:22.023Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW · GW

I regret not killing myself a few years ago, after losing the things that made me happy and getting further away from other things that could make me happy. This actual future self wouldn't mind being murdered. At the time I was rendered psychologically incapable of even trying to help myself, and was also incapable of applying my knowledge that it probably wasn't going to get better with my then-strong motivation to die.

I'd felt suicidal before I was happy, but wasn't certain it was a good idea. So I picked someone who would listen and understand, and tried to get a second opinion. She couldn't take the pressure and I preferred not to torture her, so that stopped. Apparently people don't want to deal with suicide as an issue, and that may also lead to ineffective attempts at prevention.

And I have this other friend who, like me, isn't in any particular pain most of the time, but would choose to opt-out of life if it were convenient to do so. Thanks but no thanks, reality, we'll have no more of this. For us, inflicting pain on others from our suicides is relevant. That may be the only reason she's still alive. At least I have someone to text "opting out kthxbye" to, just in case.

I managed to stay out of mental hospitals after the first time by telling anyone who asked that I would kill myself if I were detained, because it would adversely affect the improvements I would have been making to my life. I wasn't sure that would work, but it did and that amuses me. There are ways to work around the constraints Chris complained about.

This is depressing. Maybe that's why people don't want to think about suicide, and moral issues aren't their true rejection.

Comment by echoinghorror on Mitigating Social Awkwardness · 2011-05-01T22:19:24.021Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I once had a job that required a lot of walking in hot weather, and everyone, coworkers and customers smelled bad. For some reason, an anonymous coworker complained to the boss about my smell in particular (I was already showering daily, wearing fresh clothes, and shaving body hair to reduce smell). So I bought some pocket-sized Axe deodorant spray and used it frequently. After that, everyone noticed the way I smelled. It was a little like the commercials, but much less extreme.

And that's the story of how I started wearing deodorant. You should too if you don't, and don't worry about people making fun of the smell or certain brands. Market research reflects people's preferences better than social memes.

Comment by echoinghorror on Phoenix Less Wrong Meetup- Saturday, 5-7-11, 5pm · 2011-05-01T06:24:00.194Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I get into the area a week late; please have extra fun for me. I'll try to recruit from the ASU students I know, but they may be planning to be celebrating the end of the semester in normal ways. Because they're lame.

Comment by echoinghorror on Random advice: Teenage U.S. LW-ers should probably be taking more AP exams · 2011-04-07T05:17:35.101Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

YES! If you're already going to graduate and look good enough to get into the college you want, this is probably more important than whatever else you're doing right now. Take a few tests, then get an extra year of your life out of school. Worth it.

Some college science classes have lectures, labs, and recitations, so they take up twice as much time as normal classes for only slightly more credit. I'd prioritize science AP tests.

Comment by echoinghorror on Link: "Health Care Myth Busters: Is There a High Degree of Scientific Certainty in Modern Medicine?" · 2011-04-02T18:37:17.387Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hurray! A portion of what physicians do has solid research to support it! There are ways that work; we just have to do those more often and other things not at all.

What if the 15% of doctors who can at least follow the numbers started a medical sub-community dedicated to making decisions based on solid research and standardizing the practice of medicine, then commissioned an independent study of their success rate? That could take objective models for treatment, spread them to those who understand how they work, then spread them to everyone else who can see them working better than an average physicians choices.

Individual doctors could be certified by their sub-community as users of the research-supported ways, and their value would increase, and more would join them.

Comment by echoinghorror on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-31T04:28:20.902Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Don't panic. There is no automatic confirmation. The email came a few days later, and said that if we know others who applied and did not get an email, that doesn't mean they won't get one later. Be exactly as nervous as you were immediately after submitting, minus the worry that your application didn't go through.

Comment by echoinghorror on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-29T20:42:50.251Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you mouse over those sections on the application, messages should be appearing on the right saying "Don't be discouraged if you haven't read much of Less Wrong, we have other ways of gauging your knowledge during the interview" and "Again, don't be discouraged if these are unfamiliar". If I had put it on the application, it would be to gather information about the applicant's devotion to research on the subject of rationality, not their actual knowledge (reading does not imply understanding).

Still, the current best of those ideas that have been actively discussed for thousands of years is what went into the creation of the sequences and (hopefully, I haven't read much of them) the foundation of the SIAI literature. They did that on purpose; it would have been rather silly for them not to.

Comment by echoinghorror on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-29T20:12:20.568Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'd consider resubmitting if not for the email. I only submitted once.

On the bright side, it will give us the opportunity to test the correlation between number of applications submitted (among those who applied) and selection.

Comment by echoinghorror on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-25T21:58:21.818Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Quoth Wufoo support: "Yep, it looks like they set up the redirect like that, for after the form is submitted. Not sure why they would do that, but it sounds like you did submit the form successfully. (If you know the people who created the form, you might consider letting them know about it.)"

So they probably have our applications.

Comment by echoinghorror on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-25T04:46:22.796Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, advance the craft. This appeals to my sense that more is possible, and I am pleased.

Comment by echoinghorror on On Pi day, we eat pie; On Tau day, we eat Taoists? · 2011-03-15T20:16:18.354Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Tau looks like r, which is used for radius length, which is relevant to some equations that use the circle constant. Of all possible letters, why use tau? Are they trying to mess with students and teachers whose handwriting makes it ambiguous whether a symbol is tau or r? Maybe it was just because it's half the pi symbol.

I'm pretty sure people only care about Pi Day because it sounds like pie. Tau Day will never be as celebrated, unless you call it 2Pi Day, which defeats the point, but is still a good excuse to eat pie.

Comment by echoinghorror on On Pi day, we eat pie; On Tau day, we eat Taoists? · 2011-03-15T19:56:50.254Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I favor 1/e, because I am demented.

Comment by echoinghorror on What other causes are relevant to LessWrong? · 2011-03-13T20:16:44.099Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And Alec Baldwin, who might know, said the lawsuit might have real grounds.

Also, he's branding himself with easily repeatable memes, making a distinction between winning warlocks with tigerblood and loser trolls who can't process his brain, making a lot appearances on various programs, gathering an online following, and selling merchandise with his slogans. That really looks like political campaigning, but he would have to explain the craziness as a tactic in order to get past it. I think it's more likely he's recruiting a fan base for a future project where he can have more control. When you don't know what you want, take power.

Comment by echoinghorror on Organ donation versus cryonics · 2011-03-13T19:08:13.575Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There are also synthetic organs which may be used anyway, in the scenario where you're revived from cryopreservation, cured of all damage, and go on living normally. If the process of preserving someone isn't harmed by organ harvesting, I don't see a reason not to donate.

As long as you can get around how harvesting takes extra time, allowing further decay and more opportunities for neurostructural damage, that seems right. Maybe partial preservation for the brain that doesn't damage the organs, then harvesting, then full preservation? Unless organs can be harvested after full preservation, in which case one shouldn't mind others using them to live for a while and getting new organs made with future technology.

Too bad we can't have our organs sold and the proceeds invested to pay the medical expenses of our future selves. Or can we...

Comment by echoinghorror on Organ donation versus cryonics · 2011-03-13T18:40:49.298Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You'd have to ask an attorney who knows the relevant laws in your area. Since there are opt-in and opt-out organ donation norms, you may have to opt-out but give someone trustworthy the power to opt you in, in a will, in time for your organs to be viable, if allowed by law. Cryogenics companies won't mind not storing you if you work that out contractually and in advance; otherwise it would look bad that they didn't fulfill their obligation.

Comment by echoinghorror on Social Necessity of Drinking · 2011-02-15T00:36:33.775Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I'm about the same age and like and dislike the same things about alcohol. I never had a top hat, but did have tails and a cane. Yay.

Don't forget this, whatever you do.

1) Try saying you haven't found a drink you like yet and you aren't in the mood to experiment. That implies you're one of them, don't judge them for drinking, is an adequate and lasting refusal, and gives you a chance to redirect conversation if they pry about your "mood". "I'm just thinking about..." works fine. You may have to tell them what you don't like is the taste, but they already know that and are asking anyway, because they're silly, so they won't be as shocked.

Have fun, but never say you don't need alcohol to have fun. Instant Stick in the Mud status from that one.

2) Social conventions vary widely; follow people's lead. Use coasters when appropriate, don't chug anything unless someone tells you to or there's loud music playing, and don't blame the alcohol for anything you do or say that isn't a result of poor coordination.

Following what others have said about drinking less: You're drinking less because you're a lightweight, not because you want to be the least drunk. That way they're the empowered ones, having higher alcohol resistance traits than you. Match their demeanors, but don't fake slurring or stuttering. Not attempting to move is more believable than stumbling. If you're as affected as they are, or act like you're not experienced with alcohol and having any is already significant, you'll be easily dismissed and no one will question your light drinking.

Random tips for specific drinks: If you're doing shots, take them together or alternate, just follow their lead. Bow out if you want to, acting like it would be a bad idea not to. For bottled beers/wine coolers/whatever, you might be able to just have one by drinking it slowly. If it's a situation where someone gets up and asks who needs another, you can have half of what the average person there has without being weird. Wine poured in glasses and refilled from a bottle tends to be topped off periodically, but emptying less before being refilled means you drink less. I find mixed drinks that contain ice/water/soda taste nastier than just whatever liquor goes in them, so I just get a shot of that when I can. No one has minded yet, it's cheaper if you're out somewhere, and you're drinking less.

3) It could just be force of habit, since other people also like physical disorientation and tend to do that when they get together. People aren't usually good at thinking of things to do, and even when they are they throw alcohol in there too because it's fun. You have to learn to drink or blend as a non-drinker because people are boring but you still don't want to miss out on interacting with them.

If they know each other professionally, alcohol designates it as a social situation and not just a professional one, as opposed to a team building party sort of thing. If they aren't happy in their jobs (or upon getting home after losing time and energy to their jobs), drinking signals a mini-vacation so they can prove to themselves they have a life outside of work.

Comment by echoinghorror on Note on Terminology: "Rationality", not "Rationalism" · 2011-01-15T13:05:54.361Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ernst Mayr's What Evolution Is uses "evolutionism" for "belief in evolution" and isn't even slightly worse because of it. I'm not sure we should let people who are wrong whenever they use a certain word prevent us from using that word. I feel the connotation, but I know where it's coming from.

As for "rationalism", I don't see a good reason someone would prefer it over "rationality" and it isn't understood with the same separate meaning for everyone. So until a need to universalize it comes along, I'll stick with "rationality", and would recommend the same, for those less-ambiguity points. Clear communication matters, and such.

Comment by echoinghorror on I want to learn economics · 2011-01-15T11:54:31.136Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm learning and learning to learn economics too. If they're not a primary source for learning, I still find textbooks useful as references. A detailed table of contents and explanations of each concept can be useful when concepts or explanations are omitted from another source. And, if you don't mind reading textbooks cover-to-cover, they tend to be complete.

Here are some free online economics texts. Other commenters are suggesting micro before macro, so go with that. They should all be useful for optimizing the world in specific ways. Reading the introductions of more advanced texts should tell you about how the field is divided and may guide you to realize what you want to study in particular.

Comment by echoinghorror on Rationality Quotes: December 2010 · 2010-12-05T00:25:16.824Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

your perceptions are fine, it's your opinions that are worthless and misleading.

I'm quoting this frequently for the next five years.

Comment by echoinghorror on "Nahh, that wouldn't work" · 2010-11-29T07:15:28.297Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I recommend threats, but not of violence. And not in anger. Those seem ineffective if you don't participate in organized crime or disorganized crime, respectively. Am I wrong? Because the part of me that cares doesn't want them to work, but I usually keep that part tied up in the basement.

I threaten with a smile whenever possible. It's not my fault they've backed me into a corner and selected my actions for me. I'm even nice enough to explain the situation and offer my help getting out of it, or some easy suggestions if they want to do it on their own.

Then there's the "You're...not very nice" I use when it's true. Somehow the people I don't think are nice always take it as a threat and act all scared.

Comment by echoinghorror on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 5 · 2010-11-27T23:24:25.220Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A degree of realism is selected for by the process of wizarding wars against dark lords. He's not awesome on purpose, as far as we know.

Comment by echoinghorror on I didn't want to have to do this but... · 2010-11-27T08:23:15.410Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Return it for the refund.

If you feel like playing Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit, it's probably because you're overestimating the value of the short term enjoyment of the shiny screen and colorful characters compared to the value of using your time in a good way, like reading the sequences, practicing kung fu, or getting crunk.

Comment by echoinghorror on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 5 · 2010-11-27T06:30:17.958Z · score: 26 (26 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to be anything that would change the actions of the ones who hear it can't be passed back. I'm thinking it's a simulation that's processing 6 hours at once, with the earliest arbitrarily small unit of time being finalized at the same rate new time starts processing. So Harry just needs to upgrade the universe's hardware and he'll be good to go further back, but he should be able to get around the maximum daily uses per Time-Turner before then.

In other words:

All Cube Truth denied. 4-corner days, 24 hours divided by 4 corners is 6 hours per corner. The math is simple but no wizards will debate me. Time-Turner can only turn one corner at a time. 4 days are in one rotation. If Time-Turner turned more than 6 hours it would be in a previous day! Turners are connected in ONEness with Time and to disconnect equates death of opposites.

Comment by echoinghorror on Buy Insurance -- Bet Against Yourself · 2010-11-27T05:18:30.313Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yes! I told people to do this after the immigration bill in Arizona made them much more indignant than usual.

Choosing so that all paths lead to recommended.

Comment by echoinghorror on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 5 · 2010-11-27T04:39:37.113Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd go ahead and make him both, just in case.

Comment by echoinghorror on Why abortion looks more okay to us than killing babies · 2010-11-27T04:24:46.049Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Most things are artifacts of limited technology in the sense that they wouldn't exist if strictly preferred technology that made them obsolete existed. Word.

Removal and growing externally would have to be as cheap and safe for the host as abortion, not just possible. And there would have to be no overpopulation concerns from the policy of turning abortions into extra people. Or other net negative effects from it. But there could also be a positive side, like keeping the not-aborted one in its life-support chamber as it matures for experimentation or organ harvesting. Live fetusectomy could replace the usual sort outright.

Comment by echoinghorror on Why abortion looks more okay to us than killing babies · 2010-11-26T08:00:52.027Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Before birth, destruction is the only way to get rid of your babies. After birth, you can give them away. What's the word? Donate your babies? Or sell them if you're lucky. That way you don't produce a little bundle of biohazards and, for those who don't like killing people, you have the added advantage of never even coming close to killing it after it gets personhood.

"On the way to victory, if you get to choose between destroying and not destroying without negative repercussions from not destroying, don't destroy" seems like a reasonable moral precept. If victory is having fewer babies, and it is, birth is an objectively special moment.

Comment by echoinghorror on Do you visualize Omega? · 2010-11-22T03:00:03.100Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense. Ozymandius is the smartest man on the pile of paper clips.

Comment by echoinghorror on Do you visualize Omega? · 2010-11-22T01:55:52.472Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't personify Omega until now.

Now Omega is Dr. Manhattan. This cannot be undone.

Comment by echoinghorror on Advice for a Budding Rationalist · 2010-11-21T20:38:25.189Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Be attractive and popular. We need rationalists who will understand the need for x-risk avoidance and be able to get the humans to do whatever they need to do to save themselves. It will also help you get money, which can be used to buy happiness.