Comment by Lorien on Teachable Rationality Skills · 2018-02-21T21:40:08.155Z · LW · GW

To some extent, those are also signs of someone low on the social hierarchy (or someone who feels low on the social hierarchy), and a punitive culture that punishes individuals for brainstorming or otherwise being visibly wrong.

Comment by Lorien on Popular religions suggest extrapolated volition is non-existence and wireheading · 2018-02-18T18:56:19.258Z · LW · GW

A lot of optimism towards life and the future (vs old-world desire for a different, better heaven, or the Eastern desire for oblivion) comes from the fact that we are living in a golden age and, for many of those of us who have access to computers and higher learning, golden parts of the planet. For most of human history, life was proverbially nasty, brutish, and short: the shortness was a mercy. Even today, we age; we accumulate psychic injuries as we lose pets, friends, and family and as we accumulate injuries and indignities. It makes one tired, but in our golden lives we can stay proverbially awake longer because it just doesn't wear us out as fast.

We catch our breaths in nearly religious awe at those boosters because they represent a pinnacle in the things that make our lives golden: science represents real miracles to us. Our lives are objectively better than they were for our ancestors. A lot of people around the world, even now, don't have access to these benefits; if anything, the boosters and the beautiful car in space may represent to them exclusion and the bifurcation of the population. Why would they show joy? chances are high that neither they nor their children will see much of the benefit. It trickles down in first world countries to some extent, but less so the further removed one is from the epicenter of the scientific miracle.