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Comment by paulwright on By Which It May Be Judged · 2013-01-09T14:15:50.544Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Note that there's some discussion on just what Eliezer means by "logic all the way down" over on Rationally Speaking: http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/lesswrong-on-morality-and-logic.html . Seeing as much of this is me and Angra Maiynu arguing that Massimo Pigliucci hasn't understood what Eliezer means, it might be useful for Eliezer to confirm what he does mean.

Comment by paulwright on Intuitions Aren't Shared That Way · 2012-11-29T11:03:41.899Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You mention naturalism as a "bad habit" for using science to understand the world?

No, he doesn't (which is why I downvoted this comment, BTW). Luke says that even naturalistic philosophers exhibit these bad habits. He does not say that naturalism is a bad habit, or that it's a bad habit because it uses science to understand the world.

Comment by paulwright on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-10-08T13:37:55.142Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The latest Rationally Speaking post looks relevant: Ian Pollock describes aspects of Eliezer's view as "minimalism" with a link to that same SEP article. He also mentions Simon Blackburn's book, where Blackburn describes minimalists or quietists as making the same point Eliezer makes about collapsing "X is true" to "X" and a similar point about the usefulness of the term "truth" as a generalisation (though it seems that minimalists would say that this is only a linguistic convenience, whereas Eliezer seems to have a slightly difference concept of it in that he wants to talk in general about how we get accurate beliefs).

Comment by paulwright on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-09T12:38:42.282Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps I should amend that to "don't be obviously indiscriminate in a sleazy way". The bad thing isn't finding lots of people attractive, it's apparently caring nothing for them as a person (which is about having had no conversational interction with them before asking them out, some small amount of buildup is necessary, though as siduri says, if you're a decent chap, it's probably less than you think) or alternatively appearing desperate (which is about demeanor, I think). Things I've heard remarked upon have been bemusement at dinner invites following a dance with a stranger with no prior conversation, or demeanor problems.

If you actually like more than one person and have talked to the people concerned a bit, I don't see the harm.

(There's usually a niche for being the confident guy who flirts a lot with absolutely everyone: you get a name for yourself, but it's more as the loveable rogue than the creepy guy. That's possibly an advanced skill, though.)

Bonus link: only try these moves with a consenting partner ;-)

Comment by paulwright on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-08T12:21:45.570Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Even better than book groups, though, are dance classes.

Amen to that. I'd add a slight caution that chemistry generated on the dancefloor can sometimes just be about the dancing, and telling when it is more than that is possibly an advanced skill. So, as this Mefi comment says, don't push your luck on the dancefloor itself.

Workaround: ask after the class or when you're standing around chatting (assuming you don't dance all the time). Don't be the guy who asks everyone in turn: the women talk to each other :-) EDIT: I elaborate on what I mean by this below...

Comment by paulwright on Cambridge UK Meetup Saturday 12 February · 2011-02-03T10:38:11.972Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think I'm free. The same time the following weekend is bad for me, but Sunday 20th is OK.

Comment by paulwright on Logical Rudeness · 2010-01-29T17:29:35.660Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

which I'm pretty sure I first found here, HT

Glad you liked it.

Suber seems to concentrate on tactics where one person avoids responding to the argument by making some statement about the arguer ("you're saying that because of your hopeless confirmation bias!") That sort of rudeness is a potential problem if someone has a belief which includes explanations of why other people don't believe it. I'm not sure what to do to about that, since I certainly have such beliefs. As far as I can make out, if I want to avoid being rude, I end up having to respond to arguments against my belief even though I think those arguments aren't reason the arguer doesn't share my belief.

Your example of people who concede Y but then switch to Z reminds me of When Theism is Like an M.C. Escher Drawing.

[edit: remove spurious "aren't']

Comment by paulwright on Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics · 2009-07-26T21:36:37.819Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So, the context is whether it's ethical to let people believe they've understood how the tricks work when their understanding is that it's done with psychic powers or with NLP.

DERREN: Well, I not a big a fan of it, but I've done it and think in some contexts there's some use--that's a whole other conversation--but it's a dirty word as far as I'm concerned. If somebody came up to me and said, "Look, I really liked your show, and I'm going to go to an NLP course," which I've had happen, I would say to them, "Well, if you want to do that, do that, but here's what you'll get out of it. It's not what I do. It's part of what I do," which is I think true, I think that's fair enough to say.

There's also Brown's statement in Tricks of the Mind (see the Straight Dope article on Brown and NLP) that

I now have a lot of NLPers analysing my TV work in their own terms, as well as people who say that I myself unfairly claim to be using NLP whenever I perform (the truth is I have never mentioned it)."

Given the way NLP is a "dirty word", I don't think Brown is doing whatever you find on NLP courses, or at least, he doesn't think it's quite ethical to let people think he is and as a result decide to pay for an NLP course.

Whether there's anything to NLP is a separate consideration from whether Brown uses it on stage (except that if there's nothing to it, it's obviously not how Brown does it). On the wider question of whether there's anything to it, in the section on NLP in Tricks of the Mind, he says there's some valid stuff in NLP, but he was put off actually being an NLP practitioner by attending an NLP course where there was a lot of bunk mixed in with the valid stuff.

The tricks where I've seen him "explain" how it was done using what I think of as NLP (although, as Brown says, he never uses that word) were the one where he predicted Simon Pegg's ideal birthday present (a BMX bike), and the finale of one of his stage shows, where the effect is that he predicts a word freely chosen from a newspaper which itself was freely chosen from a bunch of possible newspapers (I can't access the formerly working YouTube links for any of these, or indeed your own link, but that may be because I'm in the UK, so you might have more luck viewing them). In both cases, the "explanation" involved words hidden within sentences ("that would B-aM-Xellent present"). "Part of what I do" might mean that he does some stuff which NLP lays some claim to (telling people are lying by watching eye movements) and/or that his act includes him making it look like it was done using NLP :-)

Comment by paulwright on Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics · 2009-07-23T00:30:57.823Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I admire Derren Brown enormously for his cleverness, but he's not doing NLP (if indeed there's anything to do: an article which addressed the evidence would be good, I think). He just wants you do think he is. The bit at the end of the trick where he gleefully shows you how he did it using NLP to implant words in people's minds is itself misdirection. It's part of his act, as pretending to be psychic would have been back in the days when people kind of believed in that.

Brown: "Years ago the issue was whether or not you told people it was psychic because people were prepared to believe in psychic ability--and how far down that road do you take them. Now we're in a situation where we're into pop psychology, and NLP, all these huge industries, and people are prepared to believe in that, and maybe in a way that's the new psychic realm." The whole interview the quote came from is worth reading.

Comment by paulwright on Where are we? · 2009-04-03T23:03:54.852Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Me too! (But gjm knew that).

Comment by paulwright on Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts · 2009-03-23T02:00:14.422Z · score: 6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Eliezer Yudkowsky can isolate magnetic monopoles

Nah, that's Dave Green. You'd better hope Dr Green doesn't find out...

Comment by paulwright on When Truth Isn't Enough · 2009-03-23T01:39:53.050Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

I feel like I might have seen this game on Overcoming Bias before, but I can't find it there

The game is familiar to me from Yes, Minister, a TV programme which was an expert satire on British politics. Bernard Woolley, a senior civil servant, would refer to these as "irregular verbs". From the quotes page at IMDB: "That's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential security briefings. You leak. He has been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets Act. "

More irregular verbs here.

Comment by paulwright on How to Not Lose an Argument · 2009-03-19T10:31:35.321Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

You've taken Yvain's example of a bad argument to use as if it were his argument, and then called it wrong headed. You're agreeing with Yvain. There is a difference between using an argument and quoting it.

Comment by paulwright on 3 Levels of Rationality Verification · 2009-03-15T23:54:56.788Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

My empathies: that happened to me about 6 years ago (though thankfully without as much visible vacillation).

My sister, who had some Cognitive Behaviour Therapy training, reminded me that relationships are forming and breaking all the time, and given I wasn't unattractive and hadn't retreated into monastic seclusion, it wasn't rational to think I'd be alone for the rest of my life (she turned out to be right). That was helpful at the times when my feelings hadn't completely got the better of me. I suppose we can be haunted by stuff that is real.