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Comment by feministx on High Status and Stupidity: Why? · 2010-01-12T23:29:54.018Z · LW · GW

"Did I miss anything important?"

Yeah. Maybe the observation is false to begin with. I doubt high status people are less intelligent. We just expect more from them because we are supposed to be able to look up to them. They are probably intelligent people who are no more intelligent than other low status intelligent people. They disappoint us because they are only as smart, not more smart, when compared to others of the same IQ level.

Comment by feministx on Call for new SIAI Visiting Fellows, on a rolling basis · 2009-12-02T04:49:32.553Z · LW · GW

Hmm. Maybe I should apply...

Comment by feministx on Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer Yudkowsky: Ask Your Questions · 2009-11-11T05:04:19.243Z · LW · GW

2) How does one affect the process of increasing the rationality of people who are not ostensibly interested in objective reasoning and people who claim to be interested but are in fact attached to their biases?

I find that question interesting because it is plain that the general capacity for rationality in a society can be improved over time. Once almost no one understood the concept of a bell curve or a standard deviation, but now the average person has a basic understanding of how these concepts apply to the real world.

It seems to me that we really are faced with the challenge of explaining the value of empirical analysis and objective reasoning to much of the world. Today the Middle East is hostile towards reason though they presumably don't have to be this way.

So again, my question is how do more rational people affect the reasoning capacity in less rational people, including those hostile towards rationality?

Comment by feministx on Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer Yudkowsky: Ask Your Questions · 2009-11-11T04:51:12.619Z · LW · GW

I have questions. You say we must have one question per comment. So, I will have to make multitple posts.

1) Is there a domain where rational analysis does not apply?

Comment by feministx on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2009-11-07T08:06:12.074Z · LW · GW

Hi,

I am FeministX of FeministX.blogspot.com. I found this blog after Eliezer commented on my site. While my online name is FeministX, I am not a traditional feminist, and many of my intellectual interests lie outside of feminism.

Lately I am interestedin learning more about the genetic and biological basis for individual and group behavior. I am also interested in cryonics and transhumanism. I guess this makes me H+BD.

I am a rationalist by temperament and ideology. Why am I a rationalist? To ask is to answer the question. A person who wishes to accurately comprehend the merits of a rationalist perspective is already a rationalist. It's a deeply ingrained thinking style which has grown with me since the later days of my childhood.

I invite you all to read my blog. I can almost guarenteee that you will like it. My awesomeness is reliably appealing. (And I'm not so hard on the eyes either :) )

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-06T01:21:16.936Z · LW · GW

I found it flattering.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T22:56:37.246Z · LW · GW

"I think I don't hear it from my male classmates because they aren't alert to this need. I would be pleased to hear one of them acknowledge it."

Why do you feel there is a need for more female philosophy students in your department?

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T22:12:22.079Z · LW · GW

Cyan, the poster Larks wrote that response. I had not read that post before I made the comment.

Eliezer says that authority is not 100% irrelevent in an argument. I think this is true because 100% of reliance on authority can't ordinarily be removed. Unless the issue is pure math or directly observable phenomena. But removal of reliance on a particular individual's authority/competence/biological state etc. is one the first steps in achieving objective rationality.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T21:37:32.303Z · LW · GW

Why?

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T20:59:55.726Z · LW · GW

"This is a bit strong: a more reasonable interpritation is that women are simply much less capable or liable to discern the truth than men."

That's not an argument against anyone even if it is true. The relative liklihood of one person vs another arriving at a correct outcome is irrelevant when you see the actual argument and conclusion before you. At that point, you must evaluate only on the merits of the argument and the conclusion.

Secondly, that's not a reasonable interpretation because it is too vague to determine whether it is true or not. Less capable or reliable on average? At the extreme ends of capability? Less capable or reliable in what percentage of endeavors? What kind of endeavors?

"What I'm saying is that you should make sure you're right before calling other people wrong lest you be a hypocrite just like them.

I would not define this behavior as hypocrisy. Being wrong does not make an accusation of a logical fallacy erroneous, nor does it make it hypocritical. And being wrong does not mean the opponent is correct, so calling them wrong is truthful and perhaps a demostration of superior rationality.

What I call hypocrisy is relying on the very logical error you accuse another person of when you accuse them. The merit of the ultimate conclusion is not what I am discussing. I am only referring to the argumentation.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T17:01:53.704Z · LW · GW

But those are celestial virgins. I mean the real women that die and go to heaven. What happens to them? Perhaps they also enjoy the celestial virgins.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T16:33:14.777Z · LW · GW

" An assertion that murder is wrong is not falsified by it being said by a murderer."

No, but saying that there is no point in arguing with a woman because women are not capable to discerning objective truth is an instance of making an assertion which is not based on objective truth (unless you can provide evidence that being female necessarily prevents capacity for objective reasoning in all cases and subsequently prevents the ability to arrive at objective truth).

It is like saying, "you rely on personal attacks, therefore your perspective on the environment is not correct"

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T06:24:46.366Z · LW · GW

I saw that Eliezer posts that politics are a poor field to hone rational discussion skills. It is unfortunate that anyone should see a domain such as politics as a place where discussions are inherantly beyond salvage. It's a strange limitation to place on the utility of reason to say that it should be relegated to domains which have less immediate affect on human life. Poltiics are immensely important. Should it not be priority to structure rational discussion so that there are effective ways for correcting for the propensity to rely on bias, partisanship and other impulses which get in the way of determining truth or the best available course?

If rational discussion only works effectively in certain domains, perhaps it is not well developed enough to succeed in ideologically charged domains where it is badly needed. Is there definitely nothing to be gained from attempting to reason objectively through a subject where your own biases are most intense?

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T05:59:14.486Z · LW · GW

"

Also, what is a leader other than an authority figure to be obeyed? "

In our world, that is what a leader must be. In the general human concept of an ideal world, I do not know if this is the case. I actually think that humans have some basic agreement about what an ideal world would be like. The ideal world is based on priorities from our instincts as mortal animals, but it is not subjected to the confines of natural experience. I think the concept of heaven illustrates the general human fantasy of the ideal world.

I get the impression that almost everyone's concept of heaven includes that there are no rich and poor- everyone has plenty. There is no battle of the sexes, and perhaps even no gendered personalities. There is no unhappiness, pain, sickness or death. I personally think there are no humans that hold authority over other humans in heaven (to clarify, I know that a theological heaven cannot actually exist). What this means to me is that to have a more ideal world, the power differential between leaders and the led should be minimized. I understand that humans with their propensities for various follies aren't as they are necessarily suited for the ideal world they'd like to inhabit, but striving for an ideal world would to me mean that human nature would in some ways be corrected so that the ideal world became more in tune with human desires for that state.

" Can you provide an example of one your female social hierarchies?"

Say a nursing floor. There is such a thing as a nurse with the most authority, but the status differential between head nurse and other floor nurses is sometimes imperceptible to all but the nurses that work there. The pay difference is not that great either. Sometimes the nurse who makes the most decisions is the one that chooses to invest the most time and has the longest experience, not necessarily one who is chosen to be obeyed. This is entirely unlike a traditionaly male structure like an army where the difference between general and a corporal.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T05:36:00.178Z · LW · GW

"May I ask the moral difference between a female supremacist and a male supremacist?"

What I call female supremacism does not mean that females should rule. I feel that the concept of needing a ruler is one based on male status hierarchies where an alpha rules over a group or has the highest status and most priviliges in a group.

To me, female supremacism means that female social hierarchies should determine overall status differences between all people. In my mind, female social hierarchies involve less power/resource differentials between the most and least advantaged persons. A "leader' is a person who organically grows into a position of more responsibility, but this person isn't seen as better, richer, more powerful or particularly enviable. They are not seen as an authority figure to be venerated and obeyed. I associated those characteristics with male hierarchies.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T05:16:45.929Z · LW · GW

"Why do you think of the discussion of gender roles and gender equality to necessary break down into a camp for men and a camp for women?"

I don't personally think this. I don't think there are two genders. There are technically more than two physical sexes even if we categorize the intersexed as separate. I feel that either out of cultural conditioning or instincts, the bulk of people push a discussion about gender into a discussion about steryotypical behaviors by men and by women. This then devolves into a "battle of the sexes" issue where the "male" perspective and "female" perspective are constructed so that they must clash.

However, on my thread, there are a number of people that seem to have no qualms with the idea of barring female voting and such things. I think that sort of opinion goes beyond the point where one could say that an issue was framed to set up a camp for men and a camp for women. Once we are talking about denying functioning adults sufferage, then we are talking about an attitude which should be properly labelled as anti-female.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T05:03:11.742Z · LW · GW

The discussion here helped me reanalyze my own attitude towards this kind of issue.

I don't think I ever had a serious intention to back up my arguments or win a debate when I posted on the issue of why men hate feminism. I am not sure what to do when faced the extreme anti feminism that I commonly find on the internet. I have a number of readers on my blog who will make totalizing comments about all women or all feminists. Ex, one commenter said that women have no ability to sustain interest in topics that don't pertain to relationships between individuals. Other commenters say that feminsm will lead to the downfall of civilization for reasons including that it lets women pursue their fleeting sexual impulses, which are destructive.

i suppose I do not really know how to handle this attitude. Ordinarily, I ignore them since I operate under the assumption that people that expouse such viewpoints are not prone to being swayed by any argument. They are attached to their bias, in a sense. I am not sure if it is possible for a feminist to have a reasonable discussion with a person that is anti feminist and that hates nearly all aspects of feminism in the western world.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T04:46:16.250Z · LW · GW

"winces* So, I agree that no one is competent and everyone has an agenda, but it's not as if everyone sides with "their" sex."

I didn't mean to imply that they did always side with their physical sex.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T03:57:41.652Z · LW · GW

"And now I've gotten to this part of the page and I've decided I don't want to read anything else you have to say:

I am a female supremacist, not a true feminist "

Why does this bother you so much? Why would it invalidate everything I have to say or render everything I say uninteresting?

It is indeed impossible to find someone who will remain detatched from the issue of feminism.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T03:30:20.699Z · LW · GW

And I should add that it was foolish of me to present that post, which was possibly my most biased, as an introduction to my blog. Actually, my blog gets more insightful than this. Please don't dismiss my entire blog based on the content of that post about the motivations for a visceral reaction against feminists as indicative of what my blog is usually about. That particular post was designed to spur emotional reactions from a specific set of readers I have.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T03:27:14.952Z · LW · GW

Oh, sorry. To clarify, I know my original post was never substantiated with any evidence based analysis for the true motivations behind anti-feminism. What I was referring to was the latter part of the comment thread between a commenter, Sabril and a few other commenters and me.

I think their attacks on my capacity for objective reasoning are a bit hypocritical.

Comment by feministx on Open Thread: November 2009 · 2009-11-05T02:28:10.791Z · LW · GW

Hi, I have never posted on this forum, but I believe that some Less Wrong readers read my blog, FeministX.blogspot.com.

Since this at least started out as an open thread, I have a request of all who read this comment, and an idea for a future post topic.

On my blog, I have a topic about why some men hate feminism. The answers are varied, but they include a string of comments back and forth between anti feminists and me. The anti feminists accuse me of fallacies, and one says that he "clearly" refuted my argument. My interpretation is that my arguments were more logically cogent that the anti feminists and that they did not correctly identify logical fallacies in my comments, nor did they comprehensivly refute anything I said. They merely decided that they won the debate.

Now, the issue is that when there is an argument between feminists and anti feminists on the internet, the feminists will believe that other feminists arguments include more truth and reason while anti-feminists will believe that anti-feminist arguments include more truth and reason. The internet is not a place where people are good at discussing feminism with measured equanimity.

But I wondered, who could be the objective arbiter of a discussion between feminists and anti feminists? Almost anyone has a bias when it comes to this issue. Everyone has a gender, and gender affects a person's thinking style, desires and determination of fairness in assessing behaviors between genders. Where in the world could I find intelligent entities that would not be swayed by gender bias and would instead attempt to seek out objective truth in a "battle of sexes" style discussion.

Well, I am not sure if unbiased people can exist regarding the issue but the closest thing I could think of was Less Wrong. Thus, I invite readers of Less Wrong to contribute to the admittedly inane thread on my blog, Why so much hate?

http://feministx.blogspot.com/2009/11/why-so-much-hate.html