Comment by prase on Why is it rational to invest in retirement? I don't get it. · 2013-05-16T22:09:39.716Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This depends partly on the terms of the insurance and partly on the laws. I work as an actuary and at the moment our company's rules are:

  • if the price of the insurance depends on your occupation, you are obliged to report if your occupation has changed and your premiums may be reset to new values (higher or lower)
  • if the price depends on whether you smoke, you aren't obliged to report when you start, but we reserve the right to ask you and then you must truthfully answer (and then the premiums may change)
  • if the price depends on you weight, only your weight at the insurance start date is important, no need to report later changes (and even if you do - e.g. in case you sign another insurance - your old premiums remain intact)
  • if you lie or violate your obligations to report, your benefits may be cut in the ratio of your actually paid premiums and the premiums you would counterfactually pay if you hadn't lied (this is, more or less, specified by the law)

We don't sell any policies which are more expensive for people who are less likely to die (such as pure endowments), but even if we did, I find it hard to imagine that we'd offer lower price for smokers. That would be pretty bad marketing - "insurance company XY motivates their clients to smoke" makes for a pretty diappointing headline. Suing a client for quitting smoking? Unthinkable.

By the way, if I decide to invest in my retirement, I'd want to buy pure annuity without any guarantee or death insurace; I'll need the money if I survive to old age. Unfortunately I don't even know whether such products are ever sold, people clearly prefer to have a guaranteed 10 year annuity or fund transfer to their heirs in case of death or whatever similar, since they are now certain that the insurance company doesn't consume their savings if they die. But it makes the insurance significantly more expensive and most of the advantage the insurance has over bank savings is lost.

Comment by prase on Why is it rational to invest in retirement? I don't get it. · 2013-05-16T21:01:58.971Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose the cap limits the pensions provided by the state and you can in principle buy a private life insurance to increase the payoff, right?

Comment by prase on Avoiding the emergency room · 2013-05-15T18:58:42.804Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Not life in general, but your life, to you.

By "value of life in general" I meant value of one's own life for oneself (the "in general" qualifier was there to mark the absence of "qua man").

Playing the essentialism card allowed her to smuggle in a boatload of values masquerading as implicit in the choice between life and death. The requirements for your concrete life get subordinated to the standards of Man's life qua Man. And then it's "Man can't live as this, Man can't live as that", no matter how many men have managed to do so.

That's what I find most annoying and in the same time bizarre with Objectivism. On the one hand, it asserts that my life belongs to me and nobody else, on the other hand it prescribes what I am entitled to do with my life and what not, lest be considered a looter. Among other freedoms, I want my freedom to be altruistic if I choose to.

Comment by prase on Avoiding the emergency room · 2013-05-15T06:37:25.903Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I had always been under impression that the value of life "qua man" is derived from the value of life in general, because human life which is not "qua man" is actually equivalent to death, as living "qua man", whatever it means, makes one human. Am I mistaken?

I think you are right in your second objection, there is some limited role for observation in Objectivist philosophy.

Comment by prase on Avoiding the emergency room · 2013-05-14T23:46:03.634Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

What is the difference between rationality and objectivism?

I have had few discussions with Objectivists and read few other discussions where Objectivists took part and I haven't seen particularly high level of rationality there. Objectivism as actually practiced is a political ideology with all downsides - fallacious arguments of all kinds, tight connection between beliefs and personal identity, regarding any opposition as a threat to morality by default and so on.

Objectivism as philosophy is a mix of beliefs often mutually incompatible, connected by vague net of equivocations. You may have been mislead by the etymology of "Objectivism" to thinking that belief in objective reality and morality is the distinguishing characteristic belief of Objectivists. But it is not so. To be an Objectivist, you ideally have to agree that

  • For all X, X=X
  • The only terminal value is survival.
  • There are natural human rights to life, property and liberty, and no other rights.
  • Selfishness is a virtue and altruism is a vice.
  • Laissez-faire capitalism with minimal to non-existent state is the only moral political system.
  • All above could be derived step by step by mere logic from the first axiom, no observational data needed.
  • Ayn Rand was one of the greatest thinkers of 20th century (and perhaps of all history of mankind).

That "there is only one true way of some things" is not a steelman version of Rand's Objectivism, it's a vague nearly tautological statement which almost everyone is bound to agree with, Objectivist or not.

Comment by prase on Minor, perspective changing facts · 2013-04-23T21:19:48.960Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

3 meters underwater is about 30% of atmospheric pressure added, not mere 10%.

Comment by prase on Minor, perspective changing facts · 2013-04-23T21:16:30.786Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Just out of curiosity, what population did you expect Japan to have?

Comment by prase on Worth remembering (when comparing ‘the US’ to ‘Europe’) · 2013-04-15T22:19:11.958Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As for the Portugal/Ireland thing, one could easily blame the conically projected maps which conventionally have the 15th (or so) eastern meridian vertical, making Portugal's 5th western meridian slanted and pushing poor Portugal more to the left than the more northern Ireland.

And it is easy to underestimate the east-west dimensions of Italy. We tend to assume that it is hanging freely from below the Alps, right down as a pendulum in equilibrium should, while actually it is tilted almost 45 degrees to the right. The region commonly refered to as "south Italy" could be as easily be described as "east Italy", although that strangely never happens.

Similar thing happens to Norway. Northern Norway can be as far east as Cairo or Kiev, which only few people realise.

Comment by prase on Worth remembering (when comparing ‘the US’ to ‘Europe’) · 2013-04-15T21:58:44.280Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Most Irishmen at least know a little Gaelic as they have to learn it at school. The map has worse inaccuracies. Occitan and Low German aren't even official and are spoken by tiny minorities, contrary to the impression one could easily get from the map. Ingrian is effectively dead with 500 speakers according to Wikipedia. The Czech-German bilingual area in western Bohemia is completely made up (it even doesn't correspond to the pre-WWII German speaking area). The Hungarian speaking area in Romania should be centered a bit more to the north-west. Breton isn't and never wasn't spoken in the pink-dotted locations. There is a German minority in Polish Silesia, but again the area should be smaller.

Not speaking about the language names and their spelling which reveal French origins of the map.

Comment by prase on Problems in Education · 2013-04-09T23:34:47.194Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I know very little about schools in your country

Whose country? Viliam_Bur's country is most probably not the same country as the OP author's.

Comment by prase on Is The Blood Thicker Near The Tropics? Trade-Offs Of Living In The Cold · 2013-03-29T19:07:10.919Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Antarctica excluded?

Comment by prase on The cup-holder paradox · 2013-03-27T22:02:45.173Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Because Europeans don't use them.

Comment by prase on Thoughts On The Relationship Between Life and Intelligence · 2013-03-18T18:22:11.938Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Although it is not impossible that a topic is such complex and "irreducible" that the understanding of it can only be acquired as a whole and no partial understanding is accessible, I don't find it probable even in case of counterfactual God's existence.

Comment by prase on Thoughts On The Relationship Between Life and Intelligence · 2013-03-15T20:11:41.398Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Even if God existed, "read the Bible!" would not convince me about it.

Telling someone to read a thousand page book is a poor advice as answer to a mistake they've just made, even if the book may be well worth reading. Many people react to such advices with a mix of

  • Damn, I have to read all this to understand the point?
  • I'm offendend, he's implying that I'm uneducated when I haven't read that.
  • He's willing to tell me that I'm wrong without being able to tell me where exactly.
Comment by prase on The military value of shortening copyright · 2013-03-12T23:57:39.176Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Babylon, Rome, and the Aztecs had a great deal in common.

Apart from being great empires, what else did they have in common?

Later, around the Renaissance, crossbows, pikes, and guns unseated the knight from military dominance; and the system that best supported that sort of force turned out to be the republic.

As late as 1914, most countries in the Old World were still monarchies. The republics that happened to exist during the Renaissance (Genoa, Venice) were mainly maritime powers, so no crossbows and pikes.

Later, the Industrial Revolution kicked this sort of thing into high gear, with new military paradigms arising every few decades: ironclads, tanks, planes, nukes. Supporting all of these required the economy to be cranked up to the maximum degree possible to make all that stuff, and scientific research as well to figure out the next trick. As it happens, the form of society that seems to work best at that is something resembling a liberal democracy.

The Nazis and Soviets were quite good at military technologies. At least the latter collapsed for reasons unrelated to having weaker army than their competitors.

Comment by prase on Cognitive Load and Effective Donation · 2013-03-12T23:19:04.054Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Does anyone have any significant examples of the Dark Arts being harmful independent of what they're being used to convince people of?

Dark Arts have externalities. Once you become known as a skilled manipulator fewer people are going to trust you and fewer people you can influence in the long run. Using Dart Arks is a Prisoner's dilemma defection with all associated problems - a world full of Dark Artists is worse than a world full of honest truth sayers, ceteris paribus. Heavy use of Dark Arts may be risky for the performer himself and compromise his own rationality, as it is much easier to use a manipulative technique persuasively if one believes no deception is happening.

These aren't actually examples, but it's hard to come up with a specific example under "independent of what they're being used to" clause.

Comment by prase on MetaMed: Evidence-Based Healthcare · 2013-03-10T22:24:54.159Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you.

Comment by prase on MetaMed: Evidence-Based Healthcare · 2013-03-09T21:17:40.445Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'd be interested in the linked Begg's paper but it's behind a paywall. Can someone please tell what exactly they had done and how did they obtain all those various p-values?

Comment by prase on MetaMed: Evidence-Based Healthcare · 2013-03-09T21:12:54.747Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The incidence of the disease may be different for different populations while the test manufacturer may not know where and on which patients the test is going to be used.

Also, serious diseases are often tested multiple times by different tests. What would a Bayes-ignorant doctor do with positives from tests A and B which are accompanied with information: "when test A is positive, the patient has 90% chance of having the syndrome" and "when test B is positive, the patient has 75% chance of having the syndrome"? I'd guess most statistically illiterate doctors would go with the estimate of the test done last.

Comment by prase on [SEQ RERUN] Wise Pretentions v.0 · 2013-03-07T20:23:30.852Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

By "this version" you mean the 2006 version? Does it really feel less wise than the 2009 version? To me it's definitely the opposite, but perhaps it depends on what kind of wisdom signalling one expects. The older version reads more like something a revered writer or theologian may write, the newer is written in a style that associates more with science.

For the record, I prefer the newer version.

Comment by prase on The more privileged lover · 2013-03-05T21:23:28.780Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Is it just me, or is non-consensual sex obviously a bad thing?

"Obviously bad" isn't a utilitarian justification.

Banning Dalits from going within 96 feet of Namboothiris has much more harm done to Dalits than Namboothiris' feelings of ritual pollution. This isn't the case with non-consensual sex.

To play the Devil's advocate:

  1. I expect you seriously underestimate the strength of Namboothiris' feelings. To us it seems like pure religious madness, moreover we feel outrage at the extreme inequality existing because of ancient caste prejudices, so we tend to sympathise with the Untouchables and regard the traditional Brahmin rights as unjust. But it doesn't seem that way from the Brahmin perspective.
  2. Some of the unpleasantness connected with non-consensual sex is probably status related - being raped makes one lose a lot of status and we tend to avoid status loss. I wonder how much less serious problem would rape become in a society where the negative status effects were removed. We find it acceptable to solve the caste problem by rebuilding the society and changing the people's values - even when many people are objecting; why not attempt the same approach to rape?

(Disclaimer: I think that caste society is unjust and I don't actually wish to change our society to be more rape-tolerant. But I am no utilitarian. This comment is a warning against creating fake utilitarian explanations of moral judgements made on non-utilitarian grounds.)

Comment by prase on [deleted post] 2013-02-28T22:32:25.115Z

my friends were ready to raise $100 so I would carry it out

Are you sure you want to call them "friends"? Willingness to pay to lower someone else's status isn't particularly friendly behaviour, even if the person "doesn't care" about status.

Comment by prase on [deleted post] 2013-02-28T22:16:52.409Z

The health hazard would probably be worth less (in absolute value) than the discussed reward of $200. The PR hazard, on the other hand, would justify your bottom line.

Comment by prase on Constructive mathemathics and its dual · 2013-02-28T22:10:59.833Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't been suggesting using (A or B) as a name for (not ((not A) and (not B))) in constructive logic where they aren't equivalent. Rather, I have been suggesting using classical logic (where the above sentences are equivalent) with a constructivist interpretation, i.e. not making difference between "true" and "theorem". But since it is possible for (A or B) to be a theorem and simultaneously for both A and B to be non-theorems, logical "or" would not have the same interpretation, namely it wouldn't match the common language "or" (for when we say "A or B is true", we mean that indeed one of them must be true).

Comment by prase on Constructive mathemathics and its dual · 2013-02-28T19:21:02.125Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Wouldn't it be still possible for a constructivist to embrace classical logic and the theoremhood of TND? The constructivist would just have to admit that (A or B) could be true even if neither A nor B is true. (A or B) would still not be meaningless, its truth would imply that there is proof for neither (not A) nor (not B), so this reinterpretation of "or" doesn't seem to be a big deal.

Comment by prase on Newcomb's Problem dissolved? · 2013-02-28T17:31:53.797Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As I understand the responses most people think the main point of Newcomb's problem is that you rationally should cooperate given the 1000000 / 1000 payoff matrix.

I am no expert on Newomb's problem history, but I think it was specifically constructed as a counter-example to the common-sensical decision-theoretic principle that one should treat past events as independent of the decisions being made now. That's as well how it is most commonly interpreted on LW, although the concept of a near-omniscient predictor "Omega" is employed in wide range of different thought experiments here and it's possible that your objection can be relevant to some of them.

I am not sure whether it makes sense to call one-boxing cooperation. Newcomb isn't Prisoner's dilemma, at least in the original form.

Comment by prase on Newcomb's Problem dissolved? · 2013-02-26T23:25:24.252Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

OK, I understand now that your point was that one can in principle avoid being predicted. But to put it as an argument proving irrelevance or incoherence of the Newcomb's problem (not entirely sure that I understand correctly what you meant by "dissolve", though) is very confusing and prone to misinterpretation. Newcomb's problem doesn't rely on existence of predictors who can predict any agent in any situation. It relies on existence of rational agents that can be predicted at least in certain situations including the scenario with boxes.

I still don't understand why would you be so much surprised if you saw Omega doing the trick hundred times, assuming no stage magic. Do you find it so improbable that out of the hundred people Omega has questioned not a single one had a quantum coin by him and a desire to toss it on the occasion? Even game-theoretical experiment volunteers usually don't carry quantum widgets.

Comment by prase on Extrapolating an Obscurantist's Volition · 2013-02-26T22:33:27.052Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Tell that to the hypothetical obscurantist.

Edit: I find it mildly annoying when, answering a comment or post, people point out obvious things whose relevance to the comment / post is dubious without further explanation. If you think that the non-equivalence of the mentioned beliefs somehow inplies the impossibility to extrapolate obscurantist values, please elaborate. If you just thought that I might have commited a sloppy inference and it would be cool to correct me on it, please don't do that. It (1) derails the discussion to issues of uninteresting nitpickery and (2) motivates the commenters to clutter their comments with disclaimers in order to avoid being suspected of sloppy reasoning.

Comment by prase on Newcomb's Problem dissolved? · 2013-02-25T17:58:09.395Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

(1) Why would Joe intend to use the random process in his decision? I'd assume that he wants million dollars much more than to prove Omega's fallibility (and that only with 50% chance).

(2) Even if Joe for whatever reason prefers proving Omega's fallibility, you can stipulate that Omega gives the quest only to people without semitransparent mirrors at hand.

(3) How is this

First of all I want to point out, that I would still one box after seeing Omega predicting 50 or 100 other people correctly, since 50 to 100 bits of evidence are enough to ovecome (nearly) any prior I have about how the universe works.

compatible with this

So I would be very very VERY surprised if I saw Omega pull this trick 100 times in a row and I could somehow rule out Stage Magic (which I could not).

(emphasis mine)?

Note about terminology: on LW, dissolving a question usually refers to explaining that the question is confused (there is no answer to it as it is stated) together with pointing out the reasons why such a question seems sensible at the first sight. What you are doing is not dissolving the problem, it's rather fighting the hypo.

Comment by prase on The Logic of the Hypothesis Test: A Steel Man · 2013-02-25T17:30:16.368Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Couldn't this be said about any inductive method, at least in cases when the method works?

Comment by prase on Extrapolating an Obscurantist's Volition · 2013-02-24T18:55:48.953Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There are obscurantists who wear their obscurantism as attire, proudly claiming that it is impossible to know whether God exists. It can be said, perhaps, that such an obscurantist has a preference for not knowing the answer to the question, for never storing a belief of "the God does (not) exist" in his brain. But still all the obscurantist's decisions are the same as if he believed that there is no God - the obscurantist belief bears no influence on other preferences. In such a case, you may well argue that the extrapolated volition of the obscurantist is to act as if he knew the answer and therefore the obscurantist beliefs are shattered. But this is also true for his non-extrapolated volition. If the non-extrapolated volition already ignores the obscurantist belief and can coexist with it, why is this possibility excluded for the extrapolated volition? Because of the "coherent" part? Does coherence of volition require that one is not mistaken about one's actual desires? (This is a honest question; I think that "volition" refers to the set of desires, which is to be made coherent by extrapolation in case of CEV, but that it doesn't refer to beliefs about the desires. But I haven't been interested in CEV that much and may be mistaken about this.)

The more interesting case is an obscurantist who holds obscurantism as a worldview with real consequences. Talking about things that are plausible (I am not sure whether this kind of obscurantists exist in non-negligible numbers), imagine a woman who holds that the efficacy of homoeopathics can never be established with any reasonable certainty. Now she may get cancer and have two possibilities for treatment: a conventional, with 10% chance of success, and a homoeopathic, with 0.1% chance (equal to that of a spontaneous remission). But, in accordance with her obscurantism, she believes that assigning anything except 50% for homoeopathy working would mean that we know the answer here, and since we can't know, homoeopathy has indeed success chance of 50%.

Acting on these beliefs, she decides for the homoeopathic treatment. One of her desires is to survive, which leads to choosing the conventional treatment upon extrapolation, thus creating conflict with the actual decision. But isn't it plausible that her another desire, namely to ever decide as if the chance of homoeopathy working were 50%, is enough strong to survive the extrapolation and take precedence upon the desire to survive? People have died for their beliefs many times.

Comment by prase on Extrapolating an Obscurantist's Volition · 2013-02-24T10:11:59.318Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

First of all, is the existence of such an agent implausible? Not really, considering there are masochists out there and that, to some individuals, ignorance is bliss.

Why argue for plausibility of something when it clearly exists? I have personally met several people who fit your definition of obscurantist and I don't doubt that you have too.

How much, then, will be left of an obscurantist's identity upon coherently extrapolating their desires? The answers is probably not much, if anything at all.

Is there some argument for the probable answer? I don't find it obvious.

Comment by prase on Utilitarianism twice fails · 2013-02-21T22:56:02.913Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Bad posts often get a strong karma hit initially when the most vigilant readers check them and later return towards zero. It is possible (although not likely) that two months from now the post would stand at +2, your vote contributing to the positive score.

Comment by prase on The Logic of the Hypothesis Test: A Steel Man · 2013-02-21T19:59:12.658Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

a way of doing induction without trying to solve the problem of induction

Well, this is the thing I have problems to understand. The problem of induction is a "problem" due to the existence of incompatible philosophical approaches; there is no "problem of deduction" to solve because everybody agrees how to do that (mostly). Doing induction without solving the problem would be possible if people agreed how to do it and the disagreement was confined to inconsequential philosophical interpretations of the process. Then it would indeed be wise to do the practical stuff and ignore the philosophy.

But this is probably not the case; people seem to disagree about how to do the induction, and there are people (well represented on this site) who have reservations against frequentist hypothesis testing. I am confused.

Comment by prase on The Logic of the Hypothesis Test: A Steel Man · 2013-02-21T18:46:12.611Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My understanding of standardised hypothesis tests was that they serve the purposes of

  1. avoiding calculations dependent on details of the alternative hypothesis
  2. providing objective criteria to decide under uncertainty

There are practical reasons for both purposes. (1) is useful because the alternative hypothesis is usually more complex than the null and can have lots of parameters, thus calculating probabilities under the alternative may become impossible, especially with limited computing power. As for (2), science is a social institution - journal editors need a tool to reject publishing unfounded hypotheses without risk of being accused of having "unfair" priors, or whatever.

However I don't understand how exactly hypothesis tests help to solve the philosophical problems with induction. Perhaps it would be helpful to list several different popular philosophical approaches to induction (not sure what are the major competing paradigms here - perhaps Bayesianism, falsificationism, "induction is impossible"?), present example of problems where the proponents of particular paradigms disagree about the conclusion, and show how a hypothesis test could resolve the disagreement?

Comment by prase on Utilitarianism twice fails · 2013-02-21T18:12:52.965Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think North Korea is no problem for the quoted sentence. I interpret it as saying that the government doesn't care about the wants of non-citizens, rather than asserting that the government cares about a significant number of citizens.

Nevertheless, even assuming this interpretation it is still not self-evident.

Comment by prase on Strongmanning Pascal's Mugging · 2013-02-20T19:44:28.958Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The historical Steelman was also a strongman, at least according to Wikipedia.

Comment by prase on Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Argument · 2013-02-19T23:08:51.900Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wedrifid's interpretation is the intended one. I agree that the chosen formulation wasn't particularly clear.

Comment by prase on Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Argument · 2013-02-18T20:42:29.260Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Bayes was a priest, after all. Now divine quote of gay Turing would be a different feat altogether.

Comment by prase on What are your rules of thumb? · 2013-02-15T19:49:17.842Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not sure I want to know that.

Comment by prase on LW Women: LW Online · 2013-02-15T19:32:44.380Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hope that wasn't me. My dislike for emoticons has somehow waned during recent years and sometimes I even use them myself when I want to be really sure that my interlocutor doesn't misinterpret me as being serious when I am not, but I am the sort of person that has commenting policies and it's not that improbable that this was one of them.

I still hate "lol" pretty passionately, however.

Comment by prase on LW Women: LW Online · 2013-02-15T19:25:24.829Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

The discussions on e.g. Flickr often consist solely of comments like "Awesome pic! Great colours, looking forward to your next contribution." or "I like your style, please post more!"... To me, this represents the prototype of internet friendliness - not that I would like it to see it here, not that it couldn't be easily faked, but one just cannot deny that it sounds encouraging. There is even no need to talk about ourselves or to say anyting substantial at all, just signal friendliness the most obvious way, it works.

(It's interesting to note how dramatically Flickr differs from Youtube in the commenter culture.)

Comment by prase on Higher than the most high · 2013-02-14T18:09:37.756Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If I were Omega (feels good to think about the possibility), I would demand a program written in a specified high-level computer language which prints a string in the form SSSS...S0 (or something equivalent). This would exclude all sophistries from "the number my opponent chose plus one" to "the largest number you, Omega, can calculate [under specific conditions]".

Comment by prase on Higher than the most high · 2013-02-13T20:00:56.014Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

uniquely define it even if you can't calculate it

By calculating it you mean writing the decimal expansion? Or is it enough to write a terminating algorithm that does so? Or something else?

Comment by prase on A confusion about deontology and consequentialism · 2013-02-12T23:12:46.233Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think it isn't precise to say that they value different things, since the deontologist doesn't decide in terms of values. Speaking of values is practical from the point of view of a consequentialist, who compares different possible states (or histories) of the world; values are then functions defined over the set of world states which the decider tries to maximise. A pure ideal deontologist doesn't do that; his moral decisions are local (i.e. they take into account only the deontologist's own action and perhaps its immediate context) and binary (i.e. the considered action is either approved or not, it isn't compared to other possible actions). If more actions are approved the deontologist may use whatever algorithm to choose between them, but this choice is outside the domain of deontologist ethics.

Deontologist rules can't force one to act as if one valued some total amount of murders (low or high), as the total amount of murders isn't one's own action. Formulating the preference as a "deontological" rule of "you shouldn't do things that would lead you to believe that the total amount of murders would increase" is sneaking consequentialism into deontology.

Comment by prase on LW Women- Crowdsourced research on Cognitive biases and gender · 2013-02-11T18:20:02.073Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have always subconsciously assumed that you are male, probably based on the overall LW gender distribution. Unfortunately I have no intuitions relating gender to Chinese names.

Comment by prase on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2013-02-11T01:22:11.369Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Why are we causing them to think of LW in terms of identity in the first place, instead of, say, a place to learn about and discuss some interesting ideas?

It may be because lot of LW regulars visibly think of it in terms of identity. LW is described by most participants as a community rather than a discussion forum, and there has been a lot of explicit effort to strengthen the communitarian aspect.

Comment by prase on How to offend a rationalist (who hasn't thought about it yet): a life lesson · 2013-02-08T18:21:32.676Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Out of curiosity, how did you make the strikethrough line which extends far to the right outside the comment box?

Comment by prase on Young Americans believe they have the best health in the world... · 2013-02-08T17:57:39.137Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My female co-worker says that men are always ill and are aggravating minor health problems. She also steadily complains about her own health and has spent more time off-work for health reasons than anybody else in the department last year (no chronic disease, repeated instances of common cold or, at worst, influenza).

Needless to say, I don't trust similar gender-related memes.

Comment by prase on The Wrongness Iceberg · 2013-02-07T23:44:37.879Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If they don't want to. But as an employee, I care about things that influence me directly; if the company is poorly managed to some degree but offers good wages, I still want to work for them, at least until I find something better. Trying to judge the management quality doesn't seem to be a good employee strategy.

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