Comment by joew on How my social skills went from horrible to mediocre · 2015-05-20T09:16:00.982Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

(b) A woman sends signals of romantic interest, either accidentally, or whimsically. I mistakenly assume that she's carefully deliberating over the possibility of dating me, as I would be in her position. I decide to express interest in her.

She hasn't been thinking about whether or not she'd like to date me at all, she was instead engaging in casual preliminary flirting and/or wasn't carefully guarding against accidentally sending signals of romantic interest. So from her point of view it looks like "This guy expressed romantic interest in me without paying attention to how I'm feeling." She reactively reprimands me, or cuts contact with me, usually with connotations (even if slight) that I might not respect her boundaries.

I mistakenly think that she had carefully deliberated on how to respond to my expression of romantic interest. So I mistakenly perceive the false dichotomy:

 I'm a delusional potential rapist, and she sees this.
I'm not a delusional potential rapist, she knows that she's made me feel like I might be one. The woman who I loved has turned out to have so little empathy that she doesn't mind the fact that she's done this.

Both of these possibilities are extremely upsetting, and I fall into severe depression, totally oblivious to the fact that she was behaving in a reactive way and that her reaction is neither evidence that I'm a potential rapist, nor evidence that she doesn't mind me feeling like a potential rapist.

I am not a "Social Justice Warrior" (more a social justice wizard/rogue) but I am considering responding to this as someone who has tried to multiclass in both rationality and social justice.

My previous forays in this direction on LW (admittedly not very skilled or persuasive) were not well received. Is there interest in discussing social justice fails as a subset of social skill fails and thus as rationality fails?

Comment by joew on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-11-29T22:18:56.479Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Heh, in fact I started but then deleted as a derail some discussion of problems in activist and academic discussions of sexual orientation - what are we to make of someone whose claimed orientation (identification) does not match their current and past behaviour, which might in turn be different again to their stated actual preferences.

I'm not current in my academic reading of sexuality, but when I was, anyone researching from a public health perspective went with behaviour, while psychologists and sociologists were split between identification and preference.

Queer activism seems to have generally gone with identification as primary, although I'm not as current there as I used to be. The trumping argument there was actually precisely your situation, where to accept behaviour as primary meant that no virgins had any orientation, and that does not agree with our intuitions or most peoples' personal experiences.

There's also a bi-activism point which says that position means the only "true" bisexuals are people engaged in mixed-gender group sex. (This is intended as reductio ad absurdem but I've heard people use it seriously.)

Poly seems to be more complicated still, q.v. distinctions between swinging, "monogamish", open relationships, polyfidelity and polyamory. I know multiple examples of dyadic couples who regularly have sex with other people but identify as monogamous, and of couples who aren't currently involved with anyone else, aren't looking, but are firm in their poly identification.

I guess my TL;DR is that I'm entirely untroubled by an apparent difference between preference and practice, and if the survey had asked similar questions about sexual orientation preference & practice, we would have seen "discrepancies" there too.

Comment by joew on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-11-29T21:46:12.567Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

TL;DR - I think it's not that simple.

Opinion is divided as to whether poly is an orientation or a lifestyle (something one is vs. something one does).

i.e. saying someone with no partners is practising neither mono nor poly is like saying someone with no partners is not currently engaged in homo-/bi-/hetero-sexuality. (However I would accept a claim that they were engaged in asexuality.)

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-12T05:23:44.415Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, thank you, you've just crystalised some thoughts for me.

I think my definition of intersectional social justice now includes explicit precommitment to bypassing & minimising defensiveness. It's as valued, encouraged and sought after as bypassing & minimising irrational biases are here.

Your comment prompted this when I realised that for me, external calls for me to get past my defensiveness cause very similar frustration to when I feel like I'm being told to be more patient/tolerant/self-effacing than I think is reasonable. It may be that it works similarly for you and others, too.

More specifically, no, no-one is supposed to show unlimited patience; minorities do not automatically "win" (qv. situational & relative privilege, plus lack of privilege does not confer a magical anti-jerk field). However we are all asked to do the work in acknowledging any defensiveness and its downstream reactions & responses.

I have other early ideas about defensiveness as a cognitive bias, too. :)

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-11T13:55:44.085Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Good points, thank you.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-11T13:54:49.486Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wish I'd graduated from the Cooperative Conspiracy before attempting these arguments. :)

Yes, I see what you say and agree. Updating.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-11T13:53:08.973Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Oh my, I hadn't read that Wiki page, that's not very useful no.

The answer from bogus doesn't seem incorrect to me, but it seems incomplete. It's not just a call for cooperation but for rejecting single-issue reductionism, which fails to address (sufficiently or at all) matters such as relative privilege (e.g. women of colour face additional issues that white women do not) or situational privilege (localised exceptions to more global privilege divisions, such as some public health policies discriminating against men.

The claim is engaging in any one issue of social justice without considering the others alienates allies due to hypocrisy (e.g. where relative privilege recapitulates inequalities in wider society). First-wave feminism has been heavily criticised for being a feminism of middle-class educated white women, for instance, just as 1970s sexuality movements have been criticised for being largely run by white men.

TL;DR might be "utility functions take more than one argument" and "don't burn your allies - you'll also burn yourself".

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-10T14:45:08.068Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That was my question though, albeit not stated so clearly: is it really an opportunity cost?

Does fetishising intelligence, sex positivity, communicative effectiveness, intersectional social justice, and active informed consent really turn off mainstream conventional women? Serious question; I seldom have relationships or sex outside that constellation of characteristics.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-10T14:11:13.816Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What's the downside?

Adopting PUA techniques and values: arguably improves sex and/or relationship outcomes with some women. Visibly adopting and affiliating with PUA: definitely worsen sex and/or relationship outcomes with some (other but not wholly disjoint set of) women.

Addressing those perceptions might offset some of the latter (certain) penalty, and it's not clear to me that it would come at any reduction to the former (possible) bonus.

I'm still reading the "PUA at its best" links so I don't know enough to say how costly this approach is. Perhaps you're saying you think it's better to cut your losses, completely give up on any women alienated by PUA and focus on those who don't notice or don't care?

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-10T14:01:48.839Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Moreover acting as if you need to justify yourself (or your group) to others already represents a significant loss of standing.

[boggled] Isn't that what we're all doing here at LW? Arguing and justifying our arguments? Did you just lower your standing with your justification? At time of writing I see quite the reverse.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-10T10:18:16.625Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am willing to attempt a separate Discussion post that attempts to put together specific, practical, measurable "do this (and here's why)" techniques from a rationalist approach. (Or as close as possible; there won't be a lot of peer-reviewed scholarly research here, but there is some.)

If there's interest in this, I'd welcome assistance and critiques. I'm not stonewalling but I'm feeling we've wandered a bit too far from the OP.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-10T10:14:16.370Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

(you wouldn't even have thought to make this accusation here if SilasBarta was female and Eliezer was the target)

Agreed, and I think that says something interesting and useful. Symmetry is not a useful tool here.

If there's broader interest in seeing some attempt at a rationalist view of privilege I'm keen to get whatever help is available, and take it to a separate Discussion.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T11:41:31.739Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Just confirming: are you disagreeing because link posited risk of escalation to assault which I agree seems impossible in a purely online context?

I drew the analogy because it called out the toxic effects on a community, and that in many ways the toxicity is not that there was a creeper, but that there is much signalling in their support that has follow-on effects.

Assuming those claimed signalling secondary losses are correct, I don't see anything specific to an online context that would be immune. The "risk of escalation" discussed there seems severable from its other points.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T10:53:46.883Z · score: 2 (16 votes) · LW · GW

I suspect if I were LW-high-status, I could politely point out that while we've both argued from assertions, one of us has expanded on their assertion, and one of us has not.

Unless you mean "that linked post does not discuss LW or any of the individuals you reference, so claiming it specifically discusses exactly this scenario is trivially false"? I have no objection to curbing my hyperbole with an edit.

I take from your vehemence that your disagreement is more fundamental though. Do you have more words there you're willing to add, here or in PM?

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T10:37:09.259Z · score: -4 (22 votes) · LW · GW

Oh the irony. The last link in the OP specifically discusses exactly this scenario.

While the outcome for a woman targeted by a man like this is poor, the damage done to the group by all the other men staying silent (or outright supporting him) is huge. Really, this isn't even buried in the comments, this is the whole point of the two letters discussed in that link.

I can't speak to whether there are problems of this sort in LW meetups, but right here is our evidence of it here in LW comments.

I understand concerns about censorship, arbitrary moderation, special treatment, etc, but everyone who downvoted Alicorn and upvoted wedrifid here has also sent a message of tacit support for SilasBarta and a very clear message to any other woman here.

From my link above, edited:

Step 1: A creepy dude does creepy, entitled shit and makes women feel unsafe {in LW}

Step 2: The women speak up about it {in LW}

Step 3: It gets written off as “not a big deal” or “he probably didn’t mean it” or “he’s not a bad guy, really.” {...}

Step 4: Everyone is worried about hurting creepy dude’s feelings or making it weird for creepy dude. Better yet, everyone is worried about how the other dudes in the friend group will feel if they are called out for enabling creepy dude. Women are worried that if they push the issue, that the entire friend group will side with creepy dude or that they’ll be blamed for causing “drama.” {...}

Step 5: Creepy dude creeps on with his creepy self. He’s learned that there are no real (i.e. “disapproval & pushback from dudes and dude society”) consequences to his actions. Women feel creeped out and unsafe. Some of them decide to take a firm stand against creeping and not {participate in LW} anymore. {...} Some of the woman decide to just quietly put up with it, because they’ve learned that no one will really side with them and it’s easier to go along than to lose one’s entire community. The whole group works around this missing stair.

The Geek Social Fallacies seem rather apt here, too.

(Edit to fix square bracket use)

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T08:38:15.997Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Actually that's a very useful and powerful analogy because it also references ingroup vs. outgroup asymmetry, and how that is a driver for power imbalance and perceptions.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T08:21:31.998Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This could be something that's kicked around in Discussions for a while perhaps?

Related, I'd like to see defensiveness discussed through the lens of cognitive bias. It has wide impact; it can be improved; improving it likewise has wide impact on one's life. I think it's one of those meta-levels of improvement where upgrades significantly affect our ability to upgrade many other things.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T08:05:21.566Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I find I agree with everything you've said, yet I'm still wondering what happens to the poor person whose foot has been stood on.

Perhaps I'm just restating and agreeing with "no obligation to fix others", but the comments in the CaptainAwkward link address this specifically: the approach you describe still makes the person transgressing boundaries the focus of our attention and response. I find that caring about why someone routinely steps on feet is quite low on my list, and (perhaps this is my main point) something I'm only willing to invest resources in once they (1) stop stepping on people's feet and (2) agree and acknowledge they shouldn't be stepping on feet.

I'm also a bit skeptical of the idea you peripherally touch on, but we're seeing in a lot of the comments in this post, that avoiding the "creeper" equivalent on stepping on toes is a tough bar to clear and is unfair to ask of someone with deficits in social/people/communication skills. I think it's very telling that such people seldom seem to get into boundary-related trouble with anyone they recognise as more powerful than them (law enforcement; airport security; workplace bosses).

There was that study about (average, neurotypical) men's supposed deficits in reading indirect communication compared to women that found that it's basically rubbish - they can do it when they think they have to, and they don't with women because they think they don't have to. (Link is to non-academic summary, but has the links to the journal articles.)

I'm wandering well past your point here but you reminded me of this. :)

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-09T07:53:35.999Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you, I'll take a look.

EDIT: Have read those links several times and digested them over the last few days. I am poking at why the third one bothers me (I think it's the "it's in their nature" statement).

Certainly the first two are good counter-examples to my earlier impressions. Thank you again.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T12:13:26.086Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I do agree with everything you say here.

I say in another reply here that I'm a fan of reframing for active consent and opt-in. I don't ask "can I give you a hug" for precisely the reasons you say.

If it's not clear to me if we're on hugging terms or not, then I assume we're not. Cost to me if wrong about that = low.

If I have high confidence that we're on hugging terms, but I don't know if you feel like it right now, and I have high confidence that we're on terms where asking this is ok, I'll ask "would you like me to hug you?" That's an implied "at this particular time", and not used for escalating from non-hugging to hugging. If I have doubt on any of these points, I don't ask. Cost to me if I'm wrong about that = low.

Perhaps it asks a lot in terms of social/people/communication skills to model if processing the question will be costly, or if the cost to them is high for me asking when perhaps I shouldn't have. It doesn't particularly seem so, to me.

TL;DR : costs to you in me asking when I shouldn't are higher than the costs to me of not asking when it would've been ok. I'm ok with that asymmetry - privilege is profoundly asymmetric.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T11:28:50.376Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Possibly off-topic for the top-level post, but I don't agree opt-in requires implications or any great amount of social skills.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T11:24:02.887Z · score: 11 (17 votes) · LW · GW

Mm, I agree I could know PUA better than I do. You're under no obligation to educate me, of course, but if you had a few links you thought exemplary for PUA at its best, I'd be much obliged.

I'm finding (scholarly, thoughtful) critiques of PUA and the seduction community from a feminist social justice perspective, but in case they're attacking PUA at its worst. I'll do some reading. I'm concentrating on inside-view critiques from people well versed in PUA techniques and the seduction community, there are some good links out there.

Putting this as charitably as possible, even if in fact there is nothing misogynistic or unjust in PUA, there is a vast amount of feminist distrust of it, and PUA doesn't seem to have responded well to those critiques (or even particularly to think they need to be responded to, as far as I can tell).

PUA is probably too far off-topic for this post and I'm willing to continue this elsewhere (Discussions?) or let it drop for now.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T09:24:36.632Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I would love to see a discussion of privilege in terms of biases. Obvious ones include: attribution errors (fundamental & ultimate); system justification; outgroup homogeneity & ingroup superiority biases.

I hadn't considered the availability heuristic but yes, that's probably relevant too.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T09:18:25.409Z · score: 16 (20 votes) · LW · GW

These are good points, and I don't have great answers to them.

My weak answer is that in a field that isn't well represented in peer-reviewed academic journals, we still have to sift it by some measures. I agree self-reports are close to worthless - we could find self-reports extolling the virtues of astrology and homeopathy.

My other weak answer is that Elevator-Gate and responses to the discussion of forming a Humanist+ community make it abundantly clear that the atheist/rationalist movement is widely perceived by a lot of smart women as both passively a horrible place to be and actively hostile to anyone who says so. I haven't tried exhaustive online searches but I'm not finding even 1% of the same data volumes from women saying they find atheist/rationalist space actively attractive because of these attitudes.

I like your point about non-wood, but if someone tells you you are stepping on their foot, non-stepping-on-feet probably does need to figure prominently in your short term decision tree.

(Great link, it's short, it's to the point.)

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T09:02:51.618Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Mm, that's fair. I don't think anything should be taken uncritically.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T05:59:23.293Z · score: 8 (16 votes) · LW · GW

I saw the main gains of the top post being the links. I don't agree that the links contain only "don'ts"... but, well, so what if they did? If there are clumsy don'ts as routine mistakes, learning to recognise and avoid them is surely an improvement?

As these aren't academic peer-reviewed articles, I can't give you objective evidence in the form of citations and impact measures. What sort of metrics could one provide that would make them more convincingly expert? If these aren't the best experts available I too would like to know who is better so as to learn more.

Can you identify even one person that has (as you put it) gained a few levels from these resources?

If you're saying you'll accept anecdotes as weak evidence, then yes, I am one data point there. :) Comments particularly on the pervocracy and Captain Awkward links contain other such claims.

As many have said - both here, and perhaps ironically, in many of those links too - it's more productive to focus on behaviours rather than on labels for people. "Creeper" is a very laden term, probably very similar to "racist" - most of us don't want to think of ourselves as someone with all the imputed characteristics of those labels, and we get defensive.

When I started being able to focus on behaviours (my own and others'), I recognised a number of ways in which my own biases, ignorance and negligence were costing me flawless victories in many social & business settings. This is why I wonder why there's so much pushback, as the upgrades in general communication/social/people skills from a good reading of privilege and social justice are useful everywhere.

Rationality & intelligence should win, right? If smart women with better people skills than us have specific practical advice, how can we lose by listening carefully and bypassing our defensiveness? Even if only 1% of it were useful, don't you want that 1%? I do.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T04:12:46.863Z · score: 0 (42 votes) · LW · GW

My experience of PUA memes for "improving success with women" is that they're written by men, cast interaction in competitive terms, treat all the parties' interests as zero sum, and their success relies on women having little or no agency and remaining that way.

I contrast that with intersectional social justice feminism, which is largely written by women, casts interaction in collaborative terms, rejects zero-sum framings, and its success relies on upgrading everyone's agency & ability.

I also can't help but think that if & when PUA works, its success inversely varies with a woman's intelligence, self-awareness and rationality. The opposite is true with social justice feminism.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T04:03:13.976Z · score: 9 (21 votes) · LW · GW

Naively, I thought the LessWrong commitment to being, well, less wrong, would extend to all opportunities to be less wrong.

I know attempts to discuss privilege here have typically not gone well, which is a pity because I think there's some good argument that privilege is itself a cognitive bias - a complex one, that both builds on and encourages development of others.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T03:59:42.348Z · score: 5 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with you that the socially awkward among us could reap large benefits by implementing these "anti-creeper measures". That's because we live in a society where such "creepy" behaviors are deemed unacceptable, and in order to fit into a society, one has to follow that society's norms.

Actually society mostly has no problem at all with these behaviours, which is why the creeper memes flourish. The success of high-status creepers critically relies on this.

But if I grant you your point, I'm reading what you say as the benefit of not being a creeper is conformity with supposed anti-creeper norms. Is that what you meant? Because if so, er, I would have thought the benefits of not being a creeper were the upgrades from no longer seeing women chiefly (or solely) as mating opportunities.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T02:02:51.942Z · score: 16 (42 votes) · LW · GW

I have seen several posts in LW where someone moderately informed in a field comes to us with (my paraphrase) "there are many flaws and mistakes being made here, and time spent dealing with issues that are actually well understood in the field; here are some high-value expert resources that will quickly level you up in this field so you can at least now make interesting and important mistakes, rather than repeating basic mistakes the whole field moved past".

These have been universally well received (AFAIK) except for this one - and make no mistake, that's exactly what the OP was.

I strongly suspect in any other topic area, the defensiveness, cached behaviours and confirmation bias abounding in many of the replies here would be called out for what it is.

I also suspect in any other topic area, any links presented as "read these to quickly level up" would in fact be read before the post is being argued with. I strongly suspect that is not the case here because, well, basic arguments are being made which are addressed and dealt with in the links (sometimes in the comments rather than in the OP).

Variations on "but if we did that, all of us would constantly be in trouble" are the main ones I'm thinking of there. Since I'm sure there's a significant overlap of LW readers with SF fandom, many of you would also have seen this thoroughly dealt with in the Readercon debacle.

I suspect there is also a correlation here with approving of PUA and disapproving of anti-"creeper" measures, and am now fascinated by how we might confirm or deny that.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T01:54:00.043Z · score: 6 (14 votes) · LW · GW

As it stands your definition simply assigns to one person the responsibility for another person's feelings. This is infantilizing to the 'victim' and places the 'perpetrator' at the mercy of the "victim's" subjectivity.

It seems to me that it is this argument that infantilizes the targets of harassment and other unwelcome behaviour we're lumping under "creepy". It only works if these targets are "gormless, passive babies who can't be trusted to make decisions for themselves". (That link is on "trigger warnings" but applies here for the same reasons.)

Allowing people to define their own subjective states ("this is how I feel") seems to me to in fact be the opposite of infantilizing.

"Oh no we'll all be in trouble if this sort of behaviour is explicitly forbidden" is actually quite a common response in these sorts of discussions, and it is discussed and addressed in the OP's links.

... how many commenters here have actually read those links? :/

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T01:05:26.691Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

[Edit] Misread, unfairly singled out one responder, editing to make generic.

My take is that any such person can read all the links provided by the OP, some of which are written specifically for people in that scenario.

Some of the other links have many comments now, but it's worth reading all of them. Anyone who can read every comment on all of those links is pretty much guaranteed to level-up in all sorts of ways that will be to their benefit in many respects, including improving their interactions with other people, which includes women.

Comment by joew on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T00:21:39.858Z · score: 13 (23 votes) · LW · GW

I am amused that you came up with exactly the same list I would produce in trying to introduce this discussion to any geeky audience. :) The Captain Awkward ones especially have many useful comments - a bit of a read but nothing compared to the Sequences.

Since there have been lots of requests for specific rules to implement that don't reference supposed categories of people:

  1. Ask first. Always. For everything. Really.
  2. Frame all such questions to require enthusiastic active consent to proceed.

To expand on the second point: rather than ask "may I [x]?", ask "would you like me to [x]?" Keen readers will note an analogy with opt-out vs. opt-in. It is easy to mumble, to take too long thinking about it, to start calculating social & status costs if the opt-out is chosen... but those issues are largely addressed by the second form.

Comment by joew on SotW: Be Specific · 2012-04-03T10:23:39.792Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Mm, the studies looked at where people were assigned specific tasks and then given incentives for speed/volume results. It may be that it works differently when used as open-ended bait to motivate people to self-assign tasks.

Comment by joew on SotW: Be Specific · 2012-04-03T06:49:09.445Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The Center for Modern Rationality is now offering prizes for suggested exercises:

$50 for each exercise promising enough that we test it during a Saturday session. A $500 prize for any exercise which actually seems to work (as in, we decide to adopt it into the unit after testing).

Hmm. I'd understood that there was some pretty convincing evidence that offering cash incentives like this is counterproductive - it decreases creativity and effectiveness of troubleshooting. I don't have scholarly cites handy (I know there was a CMU/LSE study) but this is popularised in Dan Pink's "Drive". (There's a TED talk and a great RSAnimate video on this.)

Comment by joew on Meetup : Melbourne, Ben's house · 2011-09-01T02:12:59.146Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sadly I will still be in the USA for this. I'll keep an eye out for future ones.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-09-01T00:10:32.567Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I see I have written poorly. I understand you're against the meme and I have no problem with anything you've written about your conduct or attitudes. My apologies, it seems I have come across as combative when I was aiming for "musing collaboratively".

I think perhaps I had misread you as saying your motivation to combat the memes was reduced if that combat reinforced clueless entitlement. I thought that was an unfortunate result. Entitlement always annoys me, but I try to be explicitly suspicious of decisions I make out of annoyance, and I thought that was interesting in a more general case as well as for our subtopic. Perhaps I've been projecting; perhaps I shouldn't try writing on LW when jetlagged.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-31T14:47:40.949Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What I dislike is the implied obligation to police a group of people with whom my only assured point of commonality is our nonmonogamy for their painfully stupid and/or offensive ideas so that a monogamous person feels better about poly people as a whole.

I share your annoyance!

However I also have an explicit policy of doing (or continuing to do) something I have decided is the right thing to do, even if in so doing I apparently reinforce stupid/annoying entitlement. I thought I should not allow irritation to be so powerful as to derail me from my chosen behaviour.

Comment by joew on Help Fund Lukeprog at SIAI · 2011-08-31T00:26:31.115Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Asking generally - is there a compelling technical reason we don't have an option to "subscribe" to a thread, or be emailed notifications of direct replies to our comments? Or even that there was a reply, if not the reply itself?

I am mildly irked that I have to go check my LW inbox for this; I think it reinforces my light tendencies towards online OCD and ADD to work to a pull model rather than a push.

(Or if there is one, please enlighten me, as I had thought I had searched sufficiently to find one if it existed.)

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-31T00:11:34.013Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I can only report from direct experience, and experience reported to me, that there certainly seems to be at least one geeky poly loose social web where this is said with a smile and a laugh... but is followed up with "you're welcome to contact them directly".

I have seen mostly-joking forms to do this in text, too. Yes, really. Again, while it's mostly not serious, there is a serious signal of "no skeletons in the closet".

I suspect this is more about a certain kind geeky attitudes and aptitudes than it is about poly. q.v. "geek flirt".

Oh, and I've also seen "references available on request" after an amicably resolved breakup. Again, within the sub-communities that have this geeky approach to sex and to relationships, it's a powerful signal.

(Enjoying the meta of posting this during a trip to the USA where I'm seeing LDRs, amicable exes and friends within these geeky sub-communities. There's a presentation in a tech conference in there somewhere too, but it's mostly about poly and friends-known-through-poly.)

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T23:14:10.823Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I have found that a reliable way to reduce relationship drama is to explicitly prioritize alternative conflict-management and -resolution tools.

Plus, you know, filter for low-drama people. Poly is an advantage there, as there is opportunity to observe their drama-generation and -mitigation. And one can carry out more reference checks.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T23:10:11.602Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"Poly" <> "available".

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T23:06:39.606Z · score: 11 (17 votes) · LW · GW

The existence and popularity of PUA isn't so much a response to men who feel deprived of sex, it's targeted at men who feel deprived of sex and romance and any idea of what they're doing wrong and any known strategy for even getting started on fixing things.

Oh, interesting. That's the first explanation/justification for PUA that hasn't seemed creepy to me.

There is a significant difference though between wanting an explanation and feeling entitled to one. Anything that suggests a sense of entitlement, particularly when that crosses a privilege asymmetry, risks seeming threatening. "I've already said no and they have not unconditionally accepted that" is not that far a step from "they are giving vibes that suggest they think my right to a no can be overridden by their desires".

I don't think it's actually that hard to signal "unconditional acceptance and a harmless desire for more information if you're feeling generous", but if we're talking about a population with insufficient people/social skills, that will not be easy for them.

I agree it's a virtue to donate information in such cases, but I don't agree they're entitled to it.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T22:50:58.629Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, many poly folks do think they're more evolved. Yes, this is just embarrassing at best, and sanctimonious and preachy at worst. No, the rest of us are not accountable to shut them down so you don't feel squicked by the whole thing.

I'll call people on the offensive tropes not because I feel responsible on behalf of the Poly Conspiracy to do so, but because they are offensive tropes.

This is a perspective some poly types share, that jealousy and polyamory are not compatible. I've never quite understood it;

We're almost playing Poly Trope Bingo now! (Although they don't actually seem to have the "poly = no jealousy" meme there, oh well.)

I have said that poly doesn't mean no jealousy; poly means additional tools in the repertoire with which to deal with jealousy. Perhaps I can draw a long bow and say just as some bi people might describe themselves as gender-oblivious while others might self-ID as gender-aware-and-interested-in-more-than-one gender, my experience has been that some poly people self-ID as "did not install the jealousy patch" while others can be jealous but don't regard that as fatal to poly. I cannot find any research on this.

As to the question of children's welfare, there's very little data because it's difficult to get funding for it

Custody has been (successfully) awarded and children removed from parents in some (USA) areas simply by referencing open poly or revealing closeted poly. There are a lot of cultural and privilege challenges in poly for families with children.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T20:40:52.866Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Heh. I was thinking of an entire site devoted to poly tropes. But now you have me considering what that would look like.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T20:25:42.984Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I chose "tolerance" because I was thinking of the converse scenario where it seemed to me that a monogamous person not only does not want their partner to have other romantic or sexual relationships, but would regard it as intolerable.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T20:22:09.283Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Just as there is a "More Highly Evolved" poly trope, there is also what I might call "Needs-Based Poly" trope. ("I can't meet all the needs of one partner, nor can they meet all of mine, so by diversifying there is now more chance of our various needs being met by someone.")

That is not exactly incorrect, in that it does increase the probabilities, but it's by no means a guarantee. For instance I'm currently involved with (for various instances of "involved with") five people and I still don't have a partner I can play board games with.

The reason I'm calling this a trope is because when taken to excess it often seems to promote an idea of ... fungibility of relationships or people. This is possibly what the "replaceable" notion above was getting at.

Perhaps relatedly, I'll observe that one measure of relationship reassurance for me is how easy it would be for someone to leave me, and how many other options & opportunities they have. This seems counter-intuitve sometimes, but for me, the fewer constraints tying someone to me, the more it suggests (to me) that they are with me solely from desire and choice. The relevance to poly is that if they have other relationships and don't seem to lack opportunities for more, I can safely discount loneliness and horniness from their motivations for being with me. That's a plus in my head.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T19:52:07.191Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

probably considerably less than half of the population, who are genuinely and naturally well-suited to monogamous closed relationships

If you're using "monogamous closed" here to mean "no cheating behaviour" then many studies widely report this is well under half of the coupled (presumably Western, first world) population. I'm not aware of any studies on genuinely monogamous inclination.

But the point that immortal superbeings would do something polyish actually does strike me as a clear argument in favor of "poly is More Highly Evolved"

I must be missing something here; I read this as a circular argument.

This is why I've always felt vaguely guilty about not being bisexual, since immortal superbeings clearly would be.

If you have more words here I would read with great interest. Again, I must be missing something, because it seems to me a similar argument could be made for immortal superbeings also enjoying every food and music type because that would similarly maximise the likelihood of obtaining food- and music-derived utility.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T19:36:51.902Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I should have added more context - the expression "more highly evolved" seems to pop up dismayingly often when talking about poly (and often bisexuality, too). I have long thought it seems to rely on notions of tribal Othering and the Geek Social Fallacies when used by poly people, but curiously it can also used by mono people being dismissive of poly.

It is so common a poly fail that if there were TV Tropes for poly, "More Highly Evolved" would be heavily referenced.

i.e. quite apart from it being arguably improper use of the term, it's objectionable for other reasons.

Comment by joew on Polyhacking · 2011-08-30T19:20:52.946Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

We were adorably earnest at 16. We also poked at our attitudes towards having children, and to materialism/wealth/possessions. I'm not recalling anything else that we discussed up-front like that. Maybe home ownership.

Results: we identified discrepancies in our desires for some of these things and flagged them as something to be extra careful in figuring out, and also identified some congruences which meant less conflict than expected, but we also flagged them explicitly as something to re-examine every five years.

We've been together 23 years and have toggled our position on one of the points; the others have (EDIT) not changed substantially.