Comment by prismattic on Open Thread, Jun. 29 - Jul. 5, 2015 · 2015-06-29T19:12:36.323Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Counter-anecdote. I am a hetero man and have been using OkCupid since July 2012. I have had almost 40 first dates, about 5 second dates, and 2 relationships from it in that time.

Both the median and mean age difference of the women who have gone out with me has been about 7 years younger than me, with the youngest 15 years younger and the oldest 1 year older than me. Comparison between genders is hard, especially from the inside, but I'm confident that at least a few of these women would be rated as more attractive than I am. While most of them probably weren't as high IQ as I am, screening out people of totally incompatible intellect ahead of time is pretty easy.

I'm told that I'm lucky in that I've never run into anyone really crazy or unpleasant, but of ~40 first dates, only 2 have been really awkward, and none scarily so.

(Admitted other-optimizing warning: I am already in my mid-30s, possibly autism-adjacent but not actually autistic, and although my face is nothing special, I am in exceptionally good shape. On the other hand, that's partly to compensate for being a single father, so it probably balances out somewhat. I'm also on the US east coast, which has a more favorable gender balance in the population at large than, in particular, the Bay area, where many rationalists seem to congregate..)

Comment by prismattic on Group rationality diary, May 24th - June 13th · 2015-05-31T04:07:47.351Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

(None of the following should be particularly surprising. I just want to provide additional personal confirmation that well-established cognitive techniques work as advertised.)

I have fairly strong social anxiety and get overstimulated by loud noises/bright lights. I've previously conditioned myself out of most ordinary and small-group anxiety through a)unavoidable practice with socializing and b)getting a black belt. However, until recently, I continued to have problems with a)a strong stress response to crowds and b)inability to hit on women (at least outside of OKCupid, where the invitation to do so is implicit).

Over the last month, I've successfully applied a couple of standard techniques to deal with this. First, about once or twice a week I would go to a crowded, noisy bar alone and just nurse a drink and people watch for an hour. Exposure therapy worked exactly as expected -- my pulse no longer elevates, I don't perspire excessively, etc. in the crowded/noisy environment.

However, I didn't actually talk to anyone, and even though I can generally be about 95% confident that I will be at least the second-most muscular person in any bar I walk into, I have found that the "strong silent type" approach does not work at all. So it was time for step two. Before going to the bar, I made a commitment on Facebook to make a small extra charitable donation if I did not strike up a conversation with an attractive woman within 60 minutes of arrival (with the intention of increasing the donation amount each time in case of failure. Note that I did not choose a donation to a cause I disagree with, because that would have been adding a source of additional stress in an already stressful situation. The actual motivator here was more "not fail publicly in front of my FB friends," since I'll end up donating to AMF or GiveDirectly eventually regardless.)

And it turns out that pre-commitment works as intended, too. I made my first attempt about 20 minutes in. I did strike up a brief but extremely awkward conversation for a minute or two. I consider this a useful outcome, because it reinforces {failed awkwardly --> no serious consequences} on a subconscious level. I tried again another 20 minutes later (with arguably the most attractive woman in the bar at the time), had a pleasant conversation for 5 or 10 minutes, and got her name.

I don't regard any of this as a particularly heroic accomplishment. I just want to reinforce that, as they say, useful technique is useful.

Group rationality diary, May 24th - June 13th

2015-05-31T03:41:41.803Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Comment by prismattic on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-08T02:46:48.349Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

(Prefacing this by noting that I am not going to get into a normative discussion here of whether liberal values are better or worse than libertarian values. I'm only addressing the question of whether Arnold Kling is accurately framing liberal values.)

I'll leave speaking about what's wrong with the conservative frame for an actual conservative (from my also-outside perspective, it doesn't sound particularly accurate).

But as far as liberalism goes, I think what Kling describes might be an accurate depiction of, say, "social justice" blogs, but those are a subset of liberalism, not the essence of it, and it doesn't describe the way the blue tribe people I grew up around (New England, middle class, disproportionately Jewish) reasoned, nor do I think it captures the way the more wonkish liberal bloggers reason.

More specifically, libertarians think that only libertarians care about freedom, while liberals think that libertarians are privileging one particular, controversial, definition of freedom -- the negative liberty of freedom from government (and only government, and in some but not all cases, specifically Federal but not local government) coercion. The liberals I have always known also think that maximizing freedom is the goal, but we define it as something like the autonomy in practice to flourish. So for example, some (not all) libertarians think the Civil Rights Act reduced aggregate freedom, but pretty much all liberals think it increased it. There is a similar divergence in attitudes about net effect on freedom with regards to regulatory interference in freedom of contract between parties with unequal bargaining power. Etc.

Comment by prismattic on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-07T04:40:34.189Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Correct.

Comment by prismattic on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-04T21:59:40.644Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

In my experience, libertarians tend to think highly of Arnold Kling's taxonomy, and liberals and conservatives do not. I regard it as a Turing test fail.

Comment by prismattic on Lifehack Ideas December 2014 · 2014-12-11T03:55:32.943Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not related to upfront costs per se, but here are some additional thrift tips.

  1. A top-loading freezer loses less heat when opened than a front-loading freezer. Regardless of which kind you have, though, packing all the space not taken up by food with bottled tap water will greatly reduce the heat loss and save you money on your electrical bill.

  2. If you're in the US, you're probably using fabric softener when you do laundry. I have experimented with the concentration of liquid fabric softener, and found that you can dilute it with water down to about 5-10% of its original strength and it still softens the clothing. I do laundry for a family of 3, and I only have to buy fabric softener once every six months or so, if that.

  3. Laundry detergent is not quite as extreme as fabric softener, but I've found that diluting it (or if powder, just using less) to about 80% of its original concentration works fine, unless your clothes are really dirty or really smelly.

  4. Still on the topic of laundry. Most of the time, there is no reason to wash your clothes with hot water. Unless they are really disgusting, cold water works fine, and save electricity.

  5. If you don't want to switch from disposable razors, you can greatly extend their life by stropping them (against your arm works fine; just remember not to do it in the damaging direction).

  6. If you eat out (not very thrifty to begin with, but sometimes time is precious), remember that even a non-alcoholic beverage is probably adding $2 to your bill ($2.40 with tip). Switch to water when eating out, and if you do so once a week, you're saving about $125/year.

Comment by prismattic on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-21T04:52:59.413Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, but I didn't say this had already happened. I said it is something I would not want to see happen in future. Possibly you were just using my comment as a convenient anchor for a point you were already prepping for someone else, but it doesn't really make sense to address it to me.

Comment by prismattic on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-21T01:16:23.660Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't understand which half of that sentence you are objecting to, or what statistic in particular you would be looking for.

Comment by prismattic on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-19T02:06:15.113Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Why were the John Stewarts the real leaders, not the politicians? What's up with the left?

There are lot of legitimate criticisms to single the left out for. But this is not one of them.

Comment by prismattic on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-18T14:46:10.997Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Creationism was discussed to death long before Lesswrong existed, which is why people downvote attempts to rehash it as a waste of everyone's time. To the extent that Neoreaction is something different than plain old Reaction, a) it's a relatively new memeplex, so if it's bad, someone has to do the work of swatting it down, and b) when the Neoreactionaries aren't busy reviving obscure archaic words for their own jargon, they're using Lesswrong-style jargon. You run the risk of outsiders pattern-matching LW and Neoreaction together either way. I'd prefer the association be "Lesswrong is a place where neoreactionary ideas are discussed and sometimes criticized" than "Lesswrong is that place that sounds very similar to Neoreaction minus the explicit politics".

That being said, there's ample discussion already on Slate Star Codex, and I wouldn't want to see it crowding out other topics here.

Comment by prismattic on Weird Alliances · 2014-10-28T01:36:34.022Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

To pick trivial examples, "negging" would be unethical, while "spend some time in the gym" is ethically neutral, and I would consider it instrumentally rational.

I think this is the "motte and bailey" applied to PUA. Normally when people say "PUA techniques," they mean something narrower than "anything you might do to increase your attractiveness."

Comment by prismattic on Non-standard politics · 2014-10-25T18:36:36.594Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The ability to declare bankruptcy has a similar relationship to the riskiness of entrepreneurial activity, but we do not generally describe bankruptcy law as "encouraging people to fail at business" or "paying people to fail at business."

Comment by prismattic on question: the 40 hour work week vs Silicon Valley? · 2014-10-25T05:21:55.590Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Not being a programmer, I don't know if this is relevant to silicon valley in particular, but people in general overestimate how many hours per week they work, and the greatest exaggeration is found among the people reporting the longest hours.

Full BLS report

Shorter NYT version

Comment by prismattic on Non-standard politics · 2014-10-25T05:06:09.384Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"Paying people to be poor" carries an additional connotation of "encouraging them to remain poor"; it's distinct from "paying people because they are currently poor".

Comment by prismattic on October 2014 Media Thread · 2014-10-24T03:21:01.920Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just an FYI for the interested: Homestuck has returned after a yearlong hiatus.

Comment by prismattic on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-23T18:22:41.007Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Next year I want to see an independent measure of conscientiousness, and compare this between people who bother to answer the digit ratio question and those who don't...

Comment by prismattic on A quick calculation on exercise · 2014-10-23T17:27:51.343Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not the sure the optimal point is going to fall in the same place depending on which factors you choose to weight. It would not surprise me at all to discover that the amount of exercise I get (typically, 6 days a week, for a total of around 7-8 hours of strenuous exercise, plus an hour or so of walking /week, and I stand at my desk at work) is well above the optimum for long-term joint health or longevity, but it's right where I want it for a) strong antidepressant effect (cardio) and increased confidence (weight training) and b) increased sexual attractiveness.

This isn't hyperbolic discounting; it's just accurate discounting. I'd rather have fewer years of life with higher quality of life than another couple years at the very end where I'm alive but too old to do much of anything.

Comment by prismattic on What supplements do you take, if any? · 2014-10-23T17:13:52.326Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Vitamin D, 5000IU daily, year-round. (My latitude is about 38.85 oN, but I think I'd be taking it even further South).

Perhaps once ever 2-3 days I'll also take B6/B12/Folate.

I don't take a multivitamin because I don't want excess Vitamin E.

ETA: Forgot to mention that I add crushed flaxseed to my yoghurt.

Comment by prismattic on In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war continued by other means · 2014-10-23T17:10:01.595Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

On further reflection, I like to have control of the pace I play a game. Real-time strategy games against human opponents are stressful, but I don't mind PvP with asynchronous turns. (Even in chess with a clock, I'm not forced to move faster just because my opponent does.)

Comment by prismattic on In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war continued by other means · 2014-10-23T05:26:06.691Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In video games, I prefer PvE to PvP and, in fact, largely stopped playing video games because I disliked the focus.

Yet I strongly prefer competitive over cooperative board games.

I haven't figured out why my brain draws this distinction yet.

Comment by prismattic on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-23T05:13:09.468Z · score: 65 (65 votes) · LW · GW

I'm done, but my ruler isn't good enough that I'm super confident in my digit ratios; I would have preferred one less significant digit (no pun intended, but I'll take it anyway).

Comment by prismattic on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-23T05:05:50.201Z · score: 38 (38 votes) · LW · GW

Some US states do not have partisan voter registration, so choosing "no party" does not necessarily mean someone would not register by party if that option were available.

Comment by prismattic on What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong? · 2014-10-17T02:58:53.978Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I vaguely recall believing when I was young that there were no real bisexuals, just gays in denial about it.

I used to think acne was unrelated to diet (other than perhaps via direct facial contact with grease).

When law enforcement first started being equipped with tasers, I thought this was a good thing, because they would use nonlethal force on occasions where they would previously have used firearms. It turned out that police continued to use lethal force as before, and instead used tasers in situations where they might actually have talked people down in the past.

Comment by prismattic on What false beliefs have you held and why were you wrong? · 2014-10-17T02:50:33.402Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I was convinced in 2008 that Obama was going to be good for civil liberties. I don't think I need to discuss in any detail why that was wrong or how I got convinced otherwise, since the reasons should be pretty obvious.

I also made this mistake (although, to be fair, on the issue of torture, Obama genuinely was an improvement.)

My current belief is that, rather being grossly mistaken about the character of the former Constitutional law scholar/sponsor of a bill requiring videotaped confessions, I was grossly mistaken in underestimating the corruptive influence of the concentrated power of the executive branch/national security apparatus on anyone who wields it. I no longer think real reform will come from any President of any background; if reform is ever to happen it would require the legislative branch to actually prioritize reigning in the executive branch.

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, Oct. 13 - Oct. 19, 2014 · 2014-10-14T02:45:35.203Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I think you might be underestimating the amount of money in politics that comes from large organized contributors who give money to both parties for purposes of making the system in general beholden to them rather than favoring one ideology over the other.

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, Oct. 13 - Oct. 19, 2014 · 2014-10-14T02:40:57.321Z · score: 20 (20 votes) · LW · GW

For example, I've noticed a ramping up lately of propaganda against those horrible people called "billionaires." I would call today's billionaires the early adopters of future living standards, assuming that we continue to have exponential economic growth.

I don't think this is a good example of the broader phenomenon you are describing. When people criticize the very wealthy, they're primarily making a criticism about relative, not absolute standards of living. I.e. "It is a sin to have so much when others have so little." I wouldn't say this is the only criticism, because I have seen, for example, criticisms of people owning mansions when they have small families (since it creates enormous upkeep costs and the unused rooms have basically no value except as a positional good). But that's the exception; I don't think anyone would consider owning a Maserati immoral (at least on grounds of wealth rather than environmentalism) if there weren't also people struggling to pay for basic necessities.

Comment by prismattic on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey - Call For Critiques/Questions · 2014-10-13T02:54:04.132Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I live my with my children but not with a partner or spouse, so I'd want to see even more family arrangements, since I don't think single parenthood is unusual enough to be lumped in with "other."

Comment by prismattic on [Link] Forty Days · 2014-10-02T03:06:20.752Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with this, but just wanted to note that typhoid fever and typhus are distinct diseases (with typhoid being misleadingly named).

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014 · 2014-09-30T00:38:53.490Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Alternative metaphor:

Throwing the steering wheel out of the car while playing a game of chicken = clever. Throwing out the steering wheel AND cutting the break fluid tube -- less clever.

Comment by prismattic on You’re Entitled to Everyone’s Opinion · 2014-09-21T03:38:38.601Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As I have mentioned before the polling data on partisan affiliation is worthless, because most so-called independents are lying about their actual behavior.

Comment by prismattic on What are your contrarian views? · 2014-09-18T04:01:52.644Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I also have the general impression that in the past few months there has been an uptick of uncharitable tinman-attacks on progressivism by libertarians in the LW comment threads. Curiously, there seems to be less overt hostility between reactionaries and progressives, even though they're much further apart than libertarians and progressives (although this might be because the more hostile Nrx were more likely to exit after the creation of Moreright).

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, September 15-21, 2014 · 2014-09-18T03:11:42.319Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Because I hadn't seen it.

I find the implied accusation of bias amusing. I've actually tweeted at Matt Yglesias once to complain about the quality of an article on Vox.

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, September 15-21, 2014 · 2014-09-17T18:52:16.958Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would argue that this summing, not averaging exposure. There's a difference between saying "You should read both GreenNetNews and BlueCast" and saying "To save time, read GreenNetNews on odd-numbered days and BlueCast on even-numbered days".

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, September 15-21, 2014 · 2014-09-17T18:31:47.241Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well, taking those specific examples as non-rhetorical: PETA, the Catholic Church, and Infowars are various kinds of insane in ways that extend beyond ordinary political mindkilling, so I'd be unlikely to recommend them. Al-Jazeera English is actually pretty good as a news source, but its website is an adjunct of being a broadcast news source, which is less helpful from a time-investment perspective. I predict that a center-left news source will provide coverage on a broader range of issues than a far-left news source, but your mileage may vary.

The center-left source is also most likely to compensate specifically for the coverage holes in a center-right source. That still isn't averaging their factual claims.

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, September 15-21, 2014 · 2014-09-17T16:37:39.902Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The US "left" is considerably to the right of the European left, and LW has a broad international readership, so I think just saying "left" would be more confusing ("liberal" would even more confusing, given the dispute between libertarians and progressives over who is the legitimate heir of 19th century liberalism). But yes, in this case, I meant progressive in the sense of "mainstream center-left."

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, September 15-21, 2014 · 2014-09-17T16:30:33.707Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not arguing that the views should be averaged, but that the combined sample of news stories will be less likely to suffer from politically motivated selection bias. A libertarian/fusionist source is likely to devote more coverage to, say, stories of government corruption and less to stories of corporate wage theft or environmental degradation; a progressive source to do the opposite. All of those stories might be important (in general or to sixes-and-sevens in particular), so the combined news feed is in that sense better.

Comment by prismattic on What are your contrarian views? · 2014-09-17T05:38:40.311Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW · GW

I'd argue that height privilege (up to a point, typically around 6'6") is a real thing, having nothing to do with being good at sports. There is a noted experiment, which my google-fu is currently failing to turn up, in which participants were shown a video of an interview between a man and a woman. In one group, the man was standing on a footstool behind his podium, so that he appeared markedly taller than the woman. In the other group, the man was standing in a depression behind his podium, so t that he appeared shorter. The content of the interview was identical.

Participants rated the man in the "taller" condition as more intelligent and more mature than the same man in the "shorter" condition. That's height privilege.

Comment by prismattic on What are your contrarian views? · 2014-09-17T05:33:32.748Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

That's in the bailey, because of "enjoyed by a majority group."

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, September 15-21, 2014 · 2014-09-17T05:26:32.795Z · score: 4 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I don't wish to get into a mindkilling debate about this here, but for sixes-and-sevens benefit, I'll note that Instapundit is a highly ideological libertarian (alternatively, in the view of many progressives, a partisan Republican pretending to be a libertarian). If you use him as a news source, you should balance with a progressive source.

ETA: This advice holds even if you are skipping narrowly political articles and reading about crises/disasters, etc., since ideology informs what kinds of crises people consider salient.

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, September 15-21, 2014 · 2014-09-17T05:23:18.754Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I already mentioned the A.D.A. to Ialdabaoth, but fighting a discrimination case probably takes more money than he's looking to raise to move, as well as being psychologically exhausting.

Comment by prismattic on What are your contrarian views? · 2014-09-17T05:20:15.783Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I think there are more LW members who are meat-eating and feel hypocritical/gulity about it than there are actual vegetarians.

Comment by prismattic on What are your contrarian views? · 2014-09-17T01:43:48.104Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You may find this article by Tom Stafford (of Mindhacks) to be of interest.

Comment by prismattic on What are your contrarian views? · 2014-09-17T01:37:00.481Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with the first sentence, but I'm not sure if our reasoning is the same. Here's mine: If humans were perfectly rational overall, buying a lottery ticket would never make sense. But we aren't. I think it's rational to buy a lottery ticket say, every six months, and then not check if it's a winner for the six months. Just as humans seems to enjoy the anticipation of an upcoming vacation more than the actual vacation, the human brain can get utility from the hope that ticket might be a winner, and 6 months of an (irrational, but so what?) hope far outweigh the one day of disappointment and one dollar lost when you check the ticket and it hasn't won.

Comment by prismattic on What are your contrarian views? · 2014-09-17T01:31:02.597Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with claim 1 for some definitions of feminism and not for others. I agree with claim 2. I think that Scott would agree wtih claim 1 (for some definitions) and with claim 2 as well, so I disagree with claim 3.

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, 11-17 August 2014 · 2014-08-12T02:02:53.942Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've read that engineers and scientists, or students of those disciplines, are disproportionately represented among jihadists

I've also read this, but I want to know if it corrects for the fact that the educational systems in many of the countries that produce most jihadis don't encourage study of the humanities and certain social sciences. Is it really engineers in particular, or is the educated-but-stifled who happen overwhelmingly to be engineers in these countries?

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, August 4 - 10, 2014 · 2014-08-05T03:28:38.369Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Whereas for me, it's horrifying, given that my ex-spouse turned out to be an astonishingly horrible person.

I seem to recall Yvain posting a link to something he referred to as the beginnings of a possible rebuttal to The Nurture Assumption; I suppose I shall have to hang my hopes on that.

Comment by prismattic on Fifty Shades of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy · 2014-07-24T03:02:39.128Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

but it's no better than any of the other fantasy books out there.

That's a very generous way of putting it. I picked it up off the bargain shelf not realizing the age of the author. The plot is totally derivative and every character speaks in the same, implausibly stilted voice.

Comment by prismattic on [LINK] Another "LessWrongers are crazy" article - this time on Slate · 2014-07-19T01:20:14.752Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I found Ian M. Banks' Surface Detail to be fairly disturbing (and I'm in the Roko's-basilisk-is-ridiculous camp); even though the simulated-hell technology doesn't currently exist (AFAWK), having the salience of the possibility raised is unpleasant.

Comment by prismattic on Open thread, 14-20 July 2014 · 2014-07-14T23:48:31.261Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The term "nationalism" is used in at least two very different ways. The particularist use is more accurately termed "national chauvinism", usually but not always ethnically-based, is the idea that one's own nation is in some way better than all the others, and the interests of its people should be accorded disproportionate weight. Note that this kind of nationalist doesn't necessarily care about political organization outside of his own country; he has an ideology about his nation, not necessarily about nations in general.

I would agree that used in this sense, "nationalism" is basically indefensible.

There is a different, generalist use of the term "nationalism," however, which traces academically to people like Ernest Gellner, and philosophically, arguably back to people like Friedrich List. Nationalism in this sense, is merely the proposition, "National boundaries should coincide with state boundaries." Importantly, it doesn't require ethnically-defined nations, merely people who self-identify as being part of a common national community, whether that be based on blood, culture, or something else. A natural corollary of this view of nations and nationalism is that, at least in the world as it actually exists now, everyone is either a nationalist or an imperialist (one could carve out a small exception for anarchists).

In this generalist sense of "nationalism," which makes claims not about "my nation" but about "all nations," I think there are tradeoffs on both sides. I identify as an somewhat ambivalent nationalist. But unlike the the first sense, I don't think you can argue that the nationalist position is prima facie inferior from a consequentialist standpoint.

Comment by prismattic on Why I Am Not a Rationalist, or, why several of my friends warned me that this is a cult · 2014-07-14T23:25:40.052Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Not a heuristic, but I would suggest an auction. Example: You have 5 people, A and B want seafood, C wants Thai, D wants Mexican, and E wants steak.

E -- I'll pay for 1% of everyone else's bill if we get steak. A -- 2%, seafood, C -- 3%, Thai, B -- 4% seafood (all pass)

Result, A + B get the food they want, but C, D, and E pay less (with B picking up 2.67% of their bills and A picking up 1.33%).

There are edge cases where this doesn't necessarily work well (e.g. someone with a severe food allergy gets stuck bidding a large amount to avoid getting poisoned), but overall I think it functions somewhat similarly to yootling.

Game theory question -- iterated truel with private information

2011-09-15T01:15:07.986Z · score: 5 (7 votes)

Stanford Prison Retrospective

2011-07-14T01:23:49.238Z · score: 3 (6 votes)

An inflection point for probability estimates of the AI takeoff?

2011-04-29T23:37:19.797Z · score: 11 (14 votes)

The non-painless upload

2011-02-15T04:23:24.516Z · score: 1 (10 votes)