Comment by jade on Crisis of Faith · 2017-01-25T12:43:05.533Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You're referring to the phrase "many villages were ravaged by the killing of the Arabs of Muhammad", written after Muhammad's supposed death, "Arabs of Muhammad" meaning 'Muslims' the way "people of Christ" means 'Christians'. That Muslims and Christians existed doesn't mean the characters they invoked to justify violence, supremacism, etc. existed as actual humans.

Criteria for considering Muhammad and Jesus near certain are so lax, we'd have to consider some Greek/Roman gods near certain.

Comment by jade on Crisis of Faith · 2017-01-24T01:56:00.810Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Then why don't you just point to evidence of his existence being more likely than others'? We have bodily remains, intact own writings, or historical records made during the lives of many born in 6th century, e.g. Columbanus, Pope Gregory I, founding emperor of Tang Dynasty, Radegund, Venantius Fortunatus, Theodora). So why don't we have any one of those types of evidence about Muhammad?

Comment by jade on Crisis of Faith · 2017-01-23T02:57:37.147Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Historical Muhammad not certain: . Of course, people have set about trying to protect minds from a 'fringe' Bayesian view: "Prof. Kalisch was told he could keep his professorship but must stop teaching Islam to future school teachers." In case anyone missed it, Richard Carrier explicitly used Bayes on question of historical Jesus. I don't know if Kalisch used Bayes, but his language conveys intuitive Bayesian update.

The bearing of fictional stories is simple: calculate probabilities of historical X based on practically 100% probability that human imagination was a factor (given that the stories contain highly unlikely magic like in known-to-be fiction stories, plus were written long after X supposedly lived). Note that that still leaves out probabilities of motivations for passing fiction as nonfiction like Joseph Smith or L. Ron Hubbard did. Once you figure probabilities including motivations and iterations of previous religious memes, it becomes increasingly unlikely that X existed. Paul Bunyan, AFAIK, wasn't based on previous memes for controlling people, nor were the stories used to control people, so I wouldn't be suspicious if someone believed the stories started based on someone real. When people insist religious characters were real, OTOH, I become suspicious of their motivations, given unlikelihood that they examined evidence and updated Bayesian-like.

@Salemicus: Citation for "We do ask JK Rowling what non magical boy inspired Harry Potter"?

Comment by jade on Crisis of Faith · 2017-01-16T03:00:52.727Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You left out the 'magical' part of my question. If magical beings exist(ed), then everything becomes more mysterious. That's partly why we don't pester JK Rowling about what extra-special boy Harry Potter was based on. We don't even suspect comic superheros like Batman, who has no magic, to have been based on a real-life billionaire. We certainly don't have scholars wasting time looking for evidence of 'the real Batman.' Modern stories of unlikely events are easily taken as imaginings, yet when people bucket a story as 'old/traditonal', for some people, that bucket includes 'characters must've been real persons', as if humans must've been too stupid to have imagination.

Comment by jade on Crisis of Faith · 2017-01-11T02:53:48.073Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Would you say the origins of other religions become more mysterious if there never were whatever magical beings those religions posit? Would you think it likely that Guanyin was real human of unknown gender? Do the origins of fictional stories become more mysterious if there never were the fictitious characters in the flesh? Did Paul Bunyan exist, as there were similar lumberjacks?

You're not supposed to tie yourself to any hypothesis, even if mainstream, but rather update your probability distributions. Bits of the NT weren't written until long enough after the supposed death of Jesus that people wouldn't have been like, 'Who you talkin' about?' And I doubt they would've cared whether the character existed, like no one cares whether Harry Potter existed, because it's the stories that matter.

Comment by jade on Crisis of Faith · 2016-12-10T22:38:59.980Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Comment by jade on The Unselfish Trolley Problem · 2013-05-18T02:07:35.890Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

elharo was referring to 'veil of ignorance,' a concept like UDT applied by Rawls to policy decision-making.

Comment by jade on We Don't Have a Utility Function · 2013-04-09T11:46:14.568Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Taken together the four experiments provide support for the Sampling Hypothesis, and the idea that there may be a rational explanation for the variability of children’s responses in domains like causal inference."

Comment by jade on Looking for a likely cause of a mental phenomenon · 2013-01-21T05:08:08.937Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

From what I've learned about brains, the left brain is engaged in symbolic thinking about a problem, which engages more logical, methodical problem-solving. For a combination that you won't arrive at through that approach, you have to give your brain, apparently involving activation of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and other right-brain parts, more time to integrate info from stored memory or lower-level processed stimuli or to make novel associations related to the problem. When left prefrontal cortex is engaged in focusing on performing a task, it'll inhibit the processing of info seemingly irrelevant to the task. This is why aha/eureka moments are more likely when you're relaxed, not focused and your mind gets to wander (e.g. getting on bus while on vacation, taking a shower/bath). Studies suggest that more creative or sudden-insight (as opposed to deliberately trying different combinations) problem-solvers have greater right brain activity and lower inhibition of it.

Look up "Aha! moments" in the index of Eric Kandel's book, The Age of Insight, which cites many papers, incl. "Explaining and inducing savant skills: privileged access to lower level, less-processed information". A few of my other references: "Bayes for Schizophrenics: Reasoning in Delusional Disorders", "Creativity tied to mental illness", "Through the Wormhole: Creativity Cap"

Comment by jade on Giving What We Can, 80,000 Hours, and Meta-Charity · 2012-11-18T11:04:40.633Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Did you know about Humanity United or other orgs for reducing human trafficking?

Comment by jade on Psychologist making pseudo-claim that recent works "compromise the Bayesian point of view" · 2012-10-09T06:04:30.778Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Infants' behaviors predicted by Bayesian models

There's another argument that Bayesian theories of brains are just-so stories where whatever happens is optimal, the response being that Bayesian modelling is not the same as implying that brains are optimal, the counter-response being that "many Bayesian researchers often appear to be make claims regarding optimality". Finally, there's a call for unification between Bayesian and non-Bayesian theories:

Comment by jade on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-10T21:12:25.566Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Why assume I was using a continuum? Is a continuum necessary? Even if we must put them on a continuum, why assume the order you've assumed? We could, for example, base the continuum on how wrong their theories of humans are, in which case, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to lump the individuals into those three categories and place them on the continuum.

Any more excuses or unnecessary assumptions for me to dispel? I have yet to see a better theory or counter-evidence not accounted for by my theory. Instead, I see just-so theories pigeon-holing humans as just "fundamentally" sex-driven or creeps as just "desperate" or "low-status." Now, given what I know about how brains work and assuming some readers' brains here have absorbed evo psy terminology, it's understandable why brains are spouting such overly-narrow views of humans. I took a course on evo psy with Gordon Gallup where he taught a little about our ancestors living in trees and moving onto land, but mostly the course was on mating. Even Eleizer's article on evo psy has a story revolving around modern humans mating.

But one's theory would have to include more than data on mating to be less wrong about humans. It would have to include a theory of fun, for example, to account for how persons could enjoy their lives without sex, like Tesla or Erdos did. Even the fact that you guys enjoy being on LessWrong, which isn't the best activity for getting laid, says something about the inadequacy of some of the stupid theories posited on this thread, which started off being about how to improve "creepy" persons' theories using information from the suggested articles.

Some of you guys have work to do for your brains to develop a theory of everything, with which you may be less likely to form ad hoc, just-so theories and discount data that don't fit your theories.

(Disclosure & "help wanted ad:" My brain developed a theory of everything, which I'm working on sharing with others. I'm calling it the Enlightenment project, b/c I can't simply tell people what the theory is--"Information won’t set you free by itself". We have to help brains develop their own less wrong ToEs. I'm looking for brain-hackers who can help create a wiki, videos, and whatever other materials could be used to help most people. And I have some specific ideas that require a digital graphics artist to become something outside of my head for people to use. If you want to help, message me.)

Comment by jade on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T15:03:44.566Z · score: -6 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for being able to not take words too literally.

pjeby, obviously I couldn't possibly know all creeps, rapists & PUAs; so you were correct in your first interpretation that I meant: "some creeps, some rapists, and some PUAs." Give me one example where I've dismissed others' knowledge, rather than their knee-jerk reactions based on wrong interpretations of my words meaning what they couldn't possibly mean. Apparently, there are some readers here who've identified with being a creep or PUA and some wouldn't want them to be associated with rapists, hence your downvoting. But the fact is we're talking about humans, not apples and oranges. (Are you gonna downvote this now because you think I'm "lumping"? What a BS excuse for downvoting.) Fallacious justifications of un-illuminated thoughts & behaviors is a problem we all have to face. I was pointing out specifics of this problem to address this thread, giving abstractions of cases I've known. Instead of offering counter-examples or counterarguments, some have written blunt rejections or simply downvoted. If I am wrong, why can't someone make me less wrong? Instead, what I'm getting here is not unlike how abuse victims get dismissed when they accuse liked persons as abusers. How do I know this? Cuz I was abused and tried to make the truth known and got similar knee-jerk denials. Feeling rational, I think it's appropriate discourse for LW to say: "Fuck you deniers." Now do you get how my talking about ass-kicking was an expression of emotion [specifically, indignation], not an actual threat?

Comment by jade on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T23:48:27.182Z · score: -17 (27 votes) · LW · GW

What do you know about them that makes them like apples and oranges in your mind? If you can't give me a reason for why they're not comparable in any way, I'm gonna have to give your a kick in the ass for being so dismissive of what another person knows.

Comment by jade on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T04:47:03.786Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

We don't have to "casually demote" anything. Like Fox News says, "we report -- you decide."

Generally, "need" is used to refer to something perceived to be necessary in an optimization process. There are cases where a human doesn't need companionship, let alone sex (see recluses or transcendentalists' recommendations that persons isolate themselves from society for a while to clear their heads of irrationalities).

If "the average case" involves little luminosity of sexuality and lots of sexualization of beings, then of course sexual abstinence wouldn't be likely. Rape occurs in epidemic proportions in such places where people are also demoralized or decommissioned from doing much good work, like on reservations.

Nice Guy and Nice Gal are idealized gender roles for an optimal society. Some oppose gender roles to the extent that they limit persons from doing good, esp. when they make one gender subservient to the other or make a person of one gender subservient to another person of another gender (like the promulgated view that wife should serve husband). A person or AI caring only about one person or half the human population would not be optimal.

Comment by jade on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T02:46:21.946Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Your theory fails to account for cases of creepiness among men surrounded by their targets (women, children, men, whatever). See my explanation.

Comment by jade on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T02:36:07.318Z · score: -1 (47 votes) · LW · GW

That Readercon example points out an irrationality in the thinking of some creeps, rapists, or PUAs: "sex is a need." Related to that fallacy is the sense of entitlement that sex with desired sex objects should be a reward for being "nice," even though real nice persons avoid using sentient beings as tools and may avoid short-lived pleasures like sex altogether (e.g. Paul Erdos, Nikola Tesla). [And I can tell you from experience, women fawn over good guys. I even had a crush on Tesla. But being good guys, they focus on doing good and may not even notice women fawning over them.] Another fallacy in the minds of some creeps is that their behavior is good for their targets, e.g. "she needs a dicking."

Basically, what we're dealing with are persons who need some luminosity, or awareness and control, over their lusty wants, so they no longer act on those wants as "needs," spending more resources on satisfying those wants over other wants (their own or others') or other beings' real needs, like humans' need to feel safe enough to socialize.

High-status creeps are the worst because they're allowed to be repeat offenders (e.g. Jerry Sandusky). In my experience with a low-status creep, he excluded himself after not getting what he "needed" from his target. That is, he was welcome at meetings but didn't want to go without the prospect of his "need" being met by his desired sex object. That was several years ago, with a freethought group, before I developed this understanding and ability to counteract that irrationality.

Simply saying "sex is not a need; you can live well without it" actually worked in one case. A case that's been difficult for me to crack is where the person, somewhat high-status, is committed to irrationalities and harasses people (sexually harassing females, verbally harassing whomever does something he doesn't like). I might break of his icon of Mercy, taking away his method for reducing his guilt, which he should feel to avoid harming others.

[Edit replacing backslashes with commas. Not that it changes the meaning to me, having known creeps, rapists, and literature by PUAs.]

See "Romance and Violence in Dating Relationships." Apologetics or confabulations are part of the process of passion escalating into aggression or violence. A rational person would avoid the costs and risks of continuing interactions with someone interested in sex and who's brain, like most brains, could rationalize or delude itself, with such fallacies as I noted above (another example: "blue balls") or with thinking that the woman wants sexual relations with him when she doesn't. Hence, avoidance of "creeps." Women poor at detecting and avoiding such dynamics may be more likely to get abused (

Evidence of what I said about lack of illumination: "Results indicate that there is a considerable degree of overlap between victims of physical violence and offenders over time and that certain covariates including school commitment, parental monitoring, low self-control, and sex significantly discriminate victim and offender groups. Furthermore, low self-control appears to be the most salient risk factor for distinguishing both victimization and delinquency trajectories" 2010 Longitudinal Assessment of the Victim-Offender Overlap.

Comment by jade on Natural Laws Are Descriptions, not Rules · 2012-08-21T03:32:08.555Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Metaphysics is when one tries to understand macrophysics. Symbols are from how conscious beings process and use info, which they do in different places and with different bodies/processors encoded with info from all their previous places all the way back to the beginning or infinity. All these differences are what I refer to as "perspectivism," which we have to correct for in trying to understand macrophysics and in helping beings.

I can think of only one way in which a human can output a TOE useful to other humans: there being plenty of cosmic info encoded in him to express through symbols that can be easily decoded by other humans. But if there's plenty of info in them, what about in other bodies? People are realizing that there's more encoded in, sought, and processed by beings than they previously realized (e.g. consciousness in non-humans, latent savant skills, latent creativity, etc. In the case of Derek Amato, an acquired savant, what would've happened if he didn't have a piano with which to process and express info? Would he have been stuck with racing thoughts or considered crazy, lame, or autistic, like in Yellow Wall Paper or as with Cassandras, who have trouble communicating info to left-brains to use?

LessWrongers have so far been left-brainy, using symbolism, rather than realistic or even representational imagery, despite using the word "map." This website lacks multimedia for conveying more than words or numbers can and preventing symbolic framing bias. To the extent that brains manipulate symbols, or "symbol polish" as Seth Godin would say and those manipulations don't connect to and activate much sense-data, the symbols can be useless or misleading, like listening to what the GPS says without sensing much else while driving. So what happens if one doesn't sense much about beings' inner workings, yet still must work with or write about those beings? The left-brain can end up treating the beings like objects that came out of nothing, like when Yvain didn't figure that delusional persons still have volition & histories that lead to their particular delusions and that words wouldn't be enough to update the sense-data in them. (See also how using a mirror reflection works for fixing phantom limb syndrome, whereas using words about the limb probably didn't work.) This is why I'd like a video(s) for people to update their sense-data without having to rely on symbols and left-brain apologetics. It would be like an update to Sagan's Cosmos, including how beings work and how symbols are expressions of reality, not nonsense from mindless beings. For example, the treatment of another's abstractions as not resulting from that person's intellectual development can be seen in some LessWrongers' criticisms of metaphors as being "inexplicable" or unnecessary, even though the metaphors were useful in the writer's development and the text conveys info about his inner workings at the time (probably written at night), like choosing not to make a prediction and his Apollo (the left-brain's frontal lobe under the influence of sunlight) not inhibiting his Cassandra (right-brain processed info, incl. novel associations). Religious fundamentalists are also people who underestimate the sophistication of brains, like when American Dad said (paraphrasing), "Francine doesn't have thoughts she doesn't say out loud," so they go about like Chicken Little to fill others' heads with religious words, warnings, and commands. So even if videos wouldn't help current LessWrongers, the videos could bypass the ideologies of underestimators and update their sense-data.

Comment by jade on The ideas you're not ready to post · 2012-08-20T15:46:51.681Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Does it work for understanding non-human peoples?

Comment by jade on Not all signalling/status behaviors are bad · 2012-08-20T15:41:13.848Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Looking "good" is still based on priors, which in anorexics, vegans, and ascetics usually involve perceptions of costs their brains subconsciously figure would be reduced if people ate less, ate less meat, or consumed less of everything.
Some vegans feel disgust when thinking of meat, even lab meat
"Disgust as embodied moral judgment"

Generally, all signaling is good from the perspective of the signaler's brain, which may be updated, like when Buddha left groups of ascetics to continue optimizing.

Comment by jade on Natural Laws Are Descriptions, not Rules · 2012-08-20T15:01:33.251Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

One reason for privileging the laws of physics is revealed to be the product of a confused metaphysical picture.

I have a fix for others' "confused metaphysical pictures." It's another (moving) picture: an updated, more complex, dynamic version of Powers of Ten (that includes info that came out of different humans and at least one non-human animal and a computer -- to convey perspectivism). But it's in my head and I don't have the skills to express it through multimedia production & distribution. Help?

Comment by jade on The limits of introspection · 2011-07-25T22:07:33.951Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

When asked for favorites or 'what do you like to do for fun,' I offer recommendations (for myself and/or the questioner). Or, to help the questioner generate recommendations, I give recent likes, potential likes, and/or liked/disliked characteristics. This way, we have ideas of what to do in the future and don't get stuck on past interests or activities that have become boring. The NY Times website also uses the word “recommend,” instead of “like,” on its Facebook-share button. [If you didn’t know this already: information about your preferences may be used by another’s (esp. a stranger’s) brain to calibrate how much to associate with or help you; see for example “Musical Taste and Ingroup Favouritism:”]

"Why did you do that?" --> "Multiple factors..."

"What will you do" or "What should you do?"--> "Depends..."

Comment by jade on In Praise of Boredom · 2011-03-28T21:50:12.656Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Another way to get one category instead of two... Think of boredom as a signal of not incorporating new, useful physical info. Breathing and thinking (usefully) are not boring because those processes facilitate the body's exploitation or incorporation of physical info. In other words, boredom arises from a lack of novelty on the level of physics, though the process of breathing may seem repetitive or non-novel on the level of biomechanics.