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Comment by noumenon on Interpersonal Entanglement · 2009-01-22T18:06:27.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why would anyone want to "catgirl" when they could make a human who was perfectly suited for them?

If catgirl technology precedes pseudo-human technology, corporations may shape our preferences so that we truly prefer the catgirls.

Comment by noumenon on Thanksgiving Prayer · 2008-11-28T16:55:07.000Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Last year I went to St. Andrew's church in Madison with my mom. The pastor read a letter to the editor where someone wrote, "Instead of giving thanks to God, we should praise our hard work and the economy that brings us all these gifts -- which God certainly never brought to us before we helped ourselves."

The pastor finished reading and ripped the newspaper in half. "Good for lining your bird cage," he said. "Not much else."

Comment by noumenon on Guardians of Ayn Rand · 2007-12-23T09:43:33.000Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Is it just me or do others too notice that the quality of comments and dialog here is much higher than on most blogs?

It turns out that all the people who think otherwise have already left... :) But I agree with you! All hail Cultmaster Eliezer!

Comment by noumenon on Illusion of Transparency: Why No One Understands You · 2007-10-24T08:18:40.000Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Talk about clever -- Mark illustrates this entire post in one sentence! He points out all these readings:

It should have been perfectly obvious to Julie that I was being sarcastic. (sarcastic) It should have been perfectly obvious to Julie that I was being sarcastic. (sincere) It should have been perfectly obvious to Julie that I was being sincere. (sarcastic) It should have been perfectly obvious to Julie that I was being sincere. (sincere)

and the point of the post is that you really can't tell from the text which way he means it or how he really felt.

Comment by noumenon on Expecting Short Inferential Distances · 2007-10-23T17:36:29.000Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, this is good stuff, I wish I could identify the inferential gaps when I communicate!

Comment by noumenon on Illusion of Transparency: Why No One Understands You · 2007-10-23T17:35:15.000Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I believe the reason for saying the opposite of what you mean is so that you and your friend can say, "We're clever. Others would not perceive our nuanced tone and would stupidly think we meant what we said." In the bush, don't people sometimes make the sound for "snake" when there is no snake, just so they can laugh and mock the person who foolishly believed there was a snake?

Comment by noumenon on Illusion of Transparency: Why No One Understands You · 2007-10-22T07:03:55.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, then, that's just weird. To me there's obviously not enough information in a text message to tell sarcasm that way. Even a voice message wouldn't be enough for someone who didn't know Mark, like the restaurant manager.

I can't really imagine myself in this scenario any more. My takeaway is that some people are dumb about text messages (or were in 1994 before the smiley).

Comment by noumenon on Illusion of Transparency: Why No One Understands You · 2007-10-22T03:53:08.000Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'd have to hear the voice mail message to believe what you're saying. In my daily life, when one of my friends says, "That's great. Just great" it's totally clear whether he's being sarcastic or not. Because he intends to sound sarcastic, and changes his inflection.

Now in this case the message was the same, so the inflection didn't carry any content. But the subjects were told Mark was leaving a message for his friend. So it's a reasonable assumption that Mark is using an inflection that his friend will recognize as sarcasm. I would assume that unless, as in the second case, they told me he was trying not to show sarcasm.