Posts

Comments

Comment by ericn on Hold Off On Proposing Solutions · 2010-12-30T06:45:00.617Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's okay to think up solutions. You just have to write them down and refocus on the problem.

This is how a brainstorming session is supposed to work. The main goal of the facilitator is to keep the group criticism from spinning out of control. Usually, if someone proposes a solution, someone will shout out an objection to it. But we should still be thinking about the problem. Just write down the solution and shush the objection, then return to the problem.

Comment by ericn on Hold Off On Proposing Solutions · 2010-12-30T06:38:21.552Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I agree. I really hate our notion that "you shouldn't bring up a problem unless you have a solution".

It is obvious to anyone that solves problems that we should analyze the problem before letting our minds move on to a solution.

Comment by ericn on Scope Insensitivity · 2010-12-28T14:22:31.456Z · score: -2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Vegetarianism is similar. I know many vegetarians who only think about the poor cow who now is served as dinner instead of the thousands of animals who are killed by pesticides, fertilizers, and mechanized farming equipment needed to grow a bowl of soy beans.

We should not make decisions based on emotional reactions. They do not scale.

I haven't read the studies. I'd like your opinion on the following idea. Could it be that the way to ask the question relates to the type of curve you get? Could you lead someone to come up with a linear ramp-up of money?

Also: how does the amount the subjects stated compare to the actual cost? If I have to save one bird, it might cost me a few hundred dollars in travel expenses, etc. But saving two birds is only slightly more.

Comment by ericn on The Robbers Cave Experiment · 2010-12-26T09:11:52.232Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My friend had the idea that we need a race of bunnies from another planet to infest Earth. They would be a nuisance, nothing more. They would breed and eat crops. But they would be enough trouble that we would have to work together to stop them.

Comment by ericn on Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided · 2010-12-26T05:05:49.849Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Do we need a definition of "deserve"? Perhaps it does not correspond to anything in reality. I would certainly argue that it doesn't correspond to anything in politics.

For instance, should we have a council that doles out things people deserve? It just seems silly.

Politics is ideally a giant cost/benefit satisficing operation. Practically, it is an agglomeration of power plays. I don't see where "deserve" fits in.