Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-16T04:10:52.359Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Well, duh. Having high status people fall in love with you is an obvious sort of wish fulfillment plot.

Yet in films targeted largely at males, for example James Bond, the sex interest girls are generally low status. High status girls is not a major male wish fulfillment fantasy, whereas in romance, high status guys are as uniform as moaning in porn.. Even when the sex interest girl is a badass action girl with batman like athletic abilities, for example Yuffie the thief, she gets in trouble for stealing stuff, making her low status.

Further I doubt that there are what males would call action scenes in twilight because if there had been, males would have willingly watched it. What you are calling action scenes were probably status scenes involving violence and cruelty. I assume this because many, possibly most, romances have status scenes involving violence and cruelty. Love interest cruelty in romance is as predictable and repetitious as the girl moaning in porn. The point is not action, but to prove the love interest is potentially capable of cruelty and violence.

In an action scene, James Bond is in grave danger. In a romance cruelty scene, the love interest hurts someone really badly without the audience ever feeling the love interest to be in danger. The heroine is never in danger from the love interest, but the main point of the scene is that she could be. He is dangerous and badass. Hence the propensity of the prince to knock off relatives of the princess with that prominent and lovingly depicted sword.

In contrast, the main point of an action scene is that the hero is in danger. For example the henchman Jaws in "the spy who loved me" is way more badass than James Bond, so that the audience believes James Bond is in danger. No one is ever more badass than the romance love interest.

So yeah...there's a pretty high activation barrier for me to get into a relationship at all

That is because all the available guys are roughly equal to you in status. So you don't really want any of them. Not enough immortal vampires to go around. Hence Saint Paul's policy that females should remain silent in church, wear a head covering, etc - harmless ways to make all females in church artificially lower status than all males in church, thus artificially making all males in church hot, thus making it possible to accomplish his directive: "let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband." without the woman having to wait until they run out of eggs in their thirties, thereby causing their status in the sexual market place to drop like a stone until, at last, due to their lowered sexual market place status, they finally find that males are hot enough that they want to put out the necessary effort.

In order to ban hypergamy, Paul had to make females not want hypergamy.

Like Groucho Marx, you will only find them interesting when they start losing interest - hence the extremely low reproduction rate and high fertility clinic attendance rate of intelligent well educated women.

Observe the reasonably high rates of marriage near the age of maximum fertility among Mormons, Palestinians, and Amish.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-15T23:19:02.027Z · score: -4 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Modern morality is anti sex, and has been ever since the Victorians, for example "date rape", "marital rape", and the ever rising age of consent, all of which started culturally or legally with the Victorians, and has become every more extreme ever since.

Obviously a society in which women generally do not marry until their fertility is about to expire has less sex than a society where women generally marry during their most fertile years.

The New Testament position was that most people are entirely incapable of celibacy, and therefore upholding sexual morality meant maximizing monogamous sex.

(I notice I got downvoted for endorsing the New Testament position that fertile age people are incapable of celibacy, and it is just not going to happen.)

According to the New Testament:

let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time,

And, from the start of Christianity to the early nineteenth century, that was Christian sexual morality. Today's sexual morality is Victorianism on steroids.

From the restoration to the early nineteenth century, they deviated from Christian morality by being OK with men having sex with sluts, but not OK with women being sluts. Victorians cried "hypocrisy" after the fashion of Alinsky, cracked down on men having sex with sluts (rising age of consent, ever more expansive rape laws requiring ever less evidence, etc) and eased up on women being sluts. Compare treatment of Petraeus with treatment of Monica.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-15T02:17:30.025Z · score: -7 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I used to find gay man-man kissing (or any form of intimate touching between males, really) very gross despite a very strong conscious understanding and notion that it was just as "right" for them as between a man and a woman.

Then, as I noticed and saw more of it, it got normal.

I don't think so. I think that everything vile, disgusting, and repugnant got normal, not just gay sex.

I say this from observation of people who have conditioned themselves for a politically correct lack of disgust reflex. They also have a non political lack of disgust reflex: Observe, for example the "no pressure" video, and the cannibalism video

I predict that you are also no longer disgusted by poop eating, cannibalism, or the malicious infliction of painful and destructive injury.

I predict that if you watch the "no pressure" video, or the cannibalism video, you will wonder what the fuss was all about.

Someone who quite genuinely does not find feminists disgusting, is likely to be sincerely astonished when lots of people who piously pretend that they do not find feminists disgusting react with outrage at the "no pressure" video.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-15T00:05:51.063Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yet strangely, I have never heard of a romance novel in which the heroine has an egalitarian relationship with a nice guy who picks up her socks.

a) I've never seen one that had a similar plot arch to what you describe,

Did it have an immortal vampire instead of a prince, a vampire who kills people by drinking them, instead of by chopping them up with a sword?

If so, I would say that would probably be seen by me, though not necessarily by you, as having a plot arch that was not merely similar, but for all practical purposes identical.

Much as all porns probably look indistinguishable to you, (naked girl moans a lot) all romances look identical to me.

All romances have a plot that corresponds to marriage as commanded by the New Testament, and endorsed by Church and state until the nineteenth century: Dangerous powerful high status male overwhelms weak frail low status female, but then falls gooey in love with her and only her.

And now we have a completely different system, and all the indications are that women do not like it, even though they said, and keep on saying, that the new system is what they want.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-14T02:51:09.485Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I'm having trouble evaluating your arguments because, as a woman with a fierce need for independence, who is really enjoying life in this day and age, I deeply disagree with your premise that less patriarchy is a Bad Thing.

Yet strangely, I have never heard of a romance novel in which the heroine has an egalitarian relationship with a nice guy who picks up her socks.

Roissy would of course dismiss your self report as a shit test and the rationalization hamster running, but then you would say that your observations are more reliable than my and Roissy's observations, because you are female and can see the truth from inside, whereas I can only see it from outside.

Downloading a girly cartoon romance at random, labelled as a romance and intended for a female audience, and skimming it: Princess is much younger than the prince, and has been given to the prince to seal a peace treaty: The deal was that she was supposed to marry the King, but the King took one look at her and unilaterally changed the deal, giving her to the Prince instead. Prince treats her like the small brat that she in fact is. Prince is a leader of men, commander of the army, and has slaughtered various people in princess' immediate family. The deal is that her land conditionally surrenders to the prince's King as a result of military defeat, but the prince has to marry her so that her people get representation and her royal lineage does not totally disappear. Story is that, like the King, he does not want to marry her, because she is a small brat and much hotter chicks keep trying to get his attention, and she homicidally hates him because he has with his own sword killed one of her beloved relatives, and his army under his direct command has killed most of her other relatives (hence the marriage)

Skipping over a zillion frames of the prince in manly poses experiencing deep emotions, thinking about deep emotions, and talking about deep emotions, to the end, they start to like each other just in time for the scheduled wedding,. Final scene is that he goes off to war again and realizes he misses her. He wears the sword with which he killed her beloved relatives in every frame except for a frame when they go to bed, including the frame where he realizes he misses her.

Well I did not check every frame, but every frame that I checked he is wearing that sword, except when they were in bed. As far as I could tell in my somewhat superficial reading, he never regrets or apologizes for killing off much of her family, and treats her as an idiot for making a fuss about it until she stops making a fuss about it.

My account of the story is probably not completely accurate, (aagh, I am drowning in estrogen) but it is close enough. Prince, Princess, sword, arranged marriage, and sword.

So, I would say that the intended readers of that romance rather like patriarchy, and I would not believe anything they said to the contrary.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-14T01:50:08.355Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

as someone had already told you once when people got angry at your defense of Roissy's writing, sometimes the tone does tell us more than the denotation! ... Im absolutely not going to tolerate this.

How then could the same facts be stated in a way that has acceptable "tone"?

How could one state in a tone that meets your approval that the socially conservative family structure that was the ideal endorsed by authority from the New Testament to the Georgian era worked and was good for everyone, and the new progressive emancipated family structure started not working in the Victorian era, and has been working less and less for everyone as it has become more and more progressive?

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-13T02:05:25.237Z · score: -1 (11 votes) · LW · GW

And that does happen in practice, I think: most everyone who lived in the USSR would agree that its brainwashing of children was benign in that particular area - teaching cooperation and suppressing zero-sum games.

I don't think so.

Compare East Germans with West Germans. Started off the same race and same culture, yet socialism made them subhuman. Germany has all the problems in assimilating East Germans that a conservative would plausibly attribute to an inferior race with inherently inferior genetics, except that in this case the problems are obviously 100% caused by recent environmental differences.

Socialism did not make them good cooperators, it made them layabouts and criminals.

And, come to think of it, that is a good parallel to the social decay we have seen following state attempts to impose egalitarianism on the family.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-13T01:42:12.324Z · score: -3 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Given that, why should we return to the world where the father had great influence rather than abandon all the memes and ideas that remain that rely on that power disparity?

Because this egalitarian family does not seem to be working, or, indeed, even existing. The law proclaims equality, but instead of getting equality, gets family breakdown.

Find me a family where they equally share picking up the socks, and you will find a family where they do not share the main bed.

Egalitarian families suffer absolutely total dysfunction. Georgian era right, Victoria era wrong.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-13T01:29:45.888Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Just give me a plain answer of some sort: what do you want power structures within a family and in the workplace to look like?

Every long established functional family that I am aware of, where the couple remained married, the grown up children love and respect their parents, and so on and so forth, is quietly and furtively eighteenth century. Dad is the boss. When the kids were kids, Dad was the head of the family. The family was one person, and that person was Dad. Mum picked up the socks.

So, eighteenth century did it right, and it has all been social decay since Queen Victoria was crowned.

Show me a family where husband and wife fairly share the task of picking up the socks, and I will show you a family where dad sleeps on the couch and Mum's lovers visit every week or so to use the main bed.

It is just not in women's nature to have sex with their equals, so the egalitarian family just does not function. Legal measures to make it egalitarian invariably backfire and fail to have the desired effect. Maybe after some millenia of evolution, women will evolve the capability to have sex with their equals, but right now, does not work.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-13T01:18:34.161Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Do I even need to bring up comparably bad situations created by modern institutions? I mean we even have ones that are perfectly analogous. coughcrushingstudentdebtcough

Quite so. I am fond of pointing out that an eighteen year old girl cannot commit herself to always be sexually available to one man and never to any other, in return for a promise of undying love and guaranteed life long support for her and her children, but can commit herself a gigantic debt that can never be expunged by bankruptcy in return for a credential of uncertain, and frequently negative, value.

Why not go one step further with the debt system, and allow people to pledge themselves into debt slavery? That would remove the feckless from circulation, and ensure that they had responsible supervision.

The supposition is that if someone goes into debt for a post graduate degree in English literature or a master of fine arts in advanced basket weaving, they are making a responsible decision, so should be allowed freedom of contract, but if someone goes into debt for food and stuff, they are making an irresponsible decision, so should not be allowed freedom of contract.

Seems to me the reverse supposition is wiser - that it is more desirable to allow the stupid to voluntarily choose to restrict their future freedom of action than it is to allow the smart. And I am also inclined to doubt that those who go into debt for a postgraduate degree in English literature are the cognitive elite.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-13T00:50:04.130Z · score: -3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

There are (and have been) other decisions made by other societies. So what?

The question is, which society was right? I argue that this society's decisions constitute evil, decadence, moral decay, and are an indictment of democracy.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-12T23:42:24.628Z · score: -2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

But it is totally rejected by society's decisions about involuntary medical procedures and economic support of children. Once those decisions are made, there is no space for anything like what the quote advocates for.

Exactly so: Moral and social decay. People behaving badly, bad behavior being encouraged, and frequently enforced. Hurtful consequences, decadence, and all that. "Society" is making wrongful decisions to advance the interests of one group at the expense of another, a characteristic flaw and failing of democracy.

A previous society decided that women and their children were not entitled to support except by a contract voluntarily entered into by both parties, whose terms differed strikingly from current terms. The question then is, which society was right?

The question at issue is moral progress. That society has decided X is not, in the context of this debate, evidence that X is right, since a previous society decided Y.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-12T22:51:50.565Z · score: -1 (15 votes) · LW · GW

The problem is not nine months servitude, but twenty years servitude.

Comment by sam0345 on Interview with Singularity Institute Research Fellow Luke Muehlhauser · 2012-11-12T22:41:29.392Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

You cannot, or at least should not, ask people to contract to that which they cannot perform. Thus, moment to moment consent to sex, requires in practice moment to moment consent to marriage, which abolishes marriage. Abolishing marriage violates freedom of contract.

Which is not moral progress.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-12T02:09:13.546Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If you are hiring for an important job, family matters, because the apple does not fall far from the tree, and because you can always get more information through family connections that through formal sources.

Hiring people that have family connections is apt to be positive sum, because they cannot get away with bullshit, and because their incentives are more oriented to long term benefits.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-12T00:18:44.809Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I meant, our behaviour being closer to our CEV than Homer's behaviour was to his CEV, if that makes sense.

I don't think that makes sense. Also, I am pretty sure that Xenophon's behavior (massacre and pillage the bad guys and abduct their women) was a lot closer to his moral ideal than our behavior is to Xenophon's moral ideal.

Further, the behavior Xenophon describes others of the ten thousand performing is astonishingly close to his moral ideal, in that astonishing acts of heroism were routine, while the behavior I observe around me exhibits major disconnect from our purported moral ideals, for example the John Derbyshire incident, though, of course, Xenophon was doubtless selective in what incidents he though worthy to record.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-11T23:04:20.999Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

For example, some dudes say that it's self-evident that all men are created equal. Then somebody notices that this doesn't really jive with the whole slavery thing. So at least some of what gets called moral progress is just people learning to live up to their own stated principles.

By this reasoning, abolishing slavery was moral progress, but declaring that all men are equal was moral regress.

If the fallacy is slavery, then moral progress. What if the fallacy is that all men are created equal?

By your measure, hypocritical values dissonance, we morally regressed when some dudes said it was self-evident that all men are created equal, and have indeed been morally regressing ever since, since affirmative action and so forth are accompanied by ever greater levels of hypocrisy and pretense. While the abolition of slavery reduced one form of hypocritical values dissonance, other forms of hypocritical values dissonance have been increasing.

Example: Female emancipation, high accreditation rates for females. Most successful long lived marriages are quietly eighteenth century in private, and most people, whether out of sexism or realism, quietly act as if female credentials are less meaningful than equivalent male credentials. Your criterion is neutral as to whether we do this out of sexism or realism. Either way, by your criterion, it is an equally bad thing, and there is a mighty lot of it going on.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-11T22:48:55.604Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think violence has declined. State violence has increased. Further, since we are imprisoning a lot more people, looks like private violence has increased, supposing, as seems likely, most of them are being reasonably imprisoned.

Genghis Khan and the African slave trade cannot remotely match the crimes of communism.

And if it has declined, Xenophon would interpret this as us becoming pussies and cowards. Was Xenophon more violent and cruel than any similarly respectable modern man? Obviously. But he was nonetheless deservedly respectable. We rightly call the ten thousand brave, not criminal.

Social acceptance of brave, honorable, and manly violence has greatly diminished, and so brave, honorable and manly violence has greatly diminished. But vicious, horrifying, evil and depraved violence, for example petty crime and the various communist mass murders, has enormously increased.

Comment by sam0345 on [link] Back to the trees · 2012-11-11T21:40:54.825Z · score: 2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

After 1830 or so there is a PC reluctance to mention certain facts about the Tasmanian aboriginals that people previous to that time found glaringly obvious.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-11T21:07:31.385Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

We are fucked. Probably since 1914.

We have been about to be fucked ever since they declared that all men are created equal with inalienable rights, which foreshadowed the collapse of all the institutional barriers that the founding fathers created to protect against democracy.

Comment by sam0345 on Rationality Quotes November 2012 · 2012-11-11T20:27:09.504Z · score: -3 (27 votes) · LW · GW

Insert abortion debate: Right to choose is morally coherent, and right to life is morally coherent. It is debatable which of these would constitute moral progress.

However, what is not morally coherent, is that women have sole power over reproductive decisions, but men have an obligation to support those choices whatever they may be, that husbands don't have a say, that unmarried men can be forced to support babies, but women cannot.

This is not moral progress, but anti white male democratic coalition.

One could coherently argue that right to choose, but no right to child support is moral progress

One could coherently argue that right to life, plus right to child support is moral progress.

One cannot argue that right to choose plus right to child support is moral progress. It is morally right that he who pays the piper, calls the tune, and that she who calls the tune, gets stuck with the piper's bill.

Comment by sam0345 on Interview with Singularity Institute Research Fellow Luke Muehlhauser · 2012-11-11T20:08:20.583Z · score: -2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

But as Saint Paul rather delicately said, and people in the eighteenth century rather more plainly said, enforced abstinence is not going to fly.

So, if "rape" in marriage is a concept, marriage is not a concept. If marriage is not a concept, massive drop in female fertility and male investment in offspring, decrease in total children, increase in fatherless children.

Which is not moral progress.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-11T19:37:58.822Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see how any amount of crypto can keep the management+board from favoring themselves in how they account the wealth.

The board contains major shareholders, who would mostly be in favor of honest accounting. It seems more likely to work, than that a democratic government would be in favor of honest vote counting.

Comment by sam0345 on Interview with Singularity Institute Research Fellow Luke Muehlhauser · 2012-11-11T07:23:48.447Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW · GW

On "rape in marriage" you are clearly wrong. Freedom of contract is morally superior, the traditional contract for the past two thousand years being that a man and a woman each gave their consent to sex once and forever:

The concept of "rape" in marriage defines marriage, as it was originally understood out of existence, marriage as it was originally understood being the power to bind our future selves to stick it out

According to the New Testament:

let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time,

If consent to sex is given moment to moment, rather than once and forever, then marriage cannot be a durable contract: Consent to marriage then has to be moment to moment, which is to say routine hooking up, rather than marriage, thus producing the present situation where men are reluctant to invest in children and posterity, and where eighty percent of fertile age women have sex with twenty percent of men.

The concept of "rape" in marriage defines women as incapable of contract. Like so much of feminism, it infantilizes women in the guise of empowering them.

Saint Paul phrased it more delicately than I phrase it, or people in the eighteenth century phrased it, but what he meant, and what he rather delicately implied, and what people in the eighteenth century said plainly enough, is that if a fertile age wife is not getting done by her husband, she will be getting done by someone else pretty soon, and if a fertile age wife knocks her husband back, she is probably thinking about getting done by someone higher status than her husband, and pretty soon will be so. If she violates the marital contract by not servicing her husband, she is about to violate the marital contract a lot more drastically.

Comment by sam0345 on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-10T10:30:05.934Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If I buy stock in the sovcorp, who protects my property rights? The sovcorp? The sovcorp is run by executives. Why would they not simply, essentially, steal the corporation?

There are cryptographic solutions to this problem: Suppose the stock/money of the corporation consists of crypto signatures. You can use threshold signatures to make heavy weapons only work for the leader most recently authorized by a majority of the board most recently authorized by majority of shareholders.

Of course the leaders could furtively @#$%^ the crypto in the heavy weapons but then democratic leaders can, and regularly do, furtively @#$%^ the vote.

Indeed, it is probably easier to @#$%^ the vote than the crypto, since most voters are idiots, and any one vote is not worth much, but most shareholders are smart, and the votes of the most important (and powerful) shareholders are worth quite a lot, so there are more concentrated interests upholding the integrity of the crypto, than the integrity of the democratic vote.

My objection is that Moldbug's solution ignores the dynamics of ruling elites - but then so does democracy.

Comment by sam0345 on Prediction market sequence requested · 2012-10-28T08:18:31.524Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

But you can use "evolution" or "free market", because people are divided about this topics, because many of them just lack the basic knowledge.

Evolution is true, in the sense that there is overwhelming evidence that men evolved from apes, and that likenesses between kinds is a literal family resemblance, the result of ancestral shared blood or sap. "Evolution" is untrue, in that use of the word "evolution" tends to be almost perfectly correlated with distaste for the implications of Darwinism, and complete disbelief in the implications of Darwinism for humans and human nature, tends to be a codeword for denial of Darwinism.

Darwinism, however, is true, for the same reasons as evolution is true, and, unlike "evolution", is not a codeword for a collection of pious politically correct beliefs. Hence Dawkins, despite his otherwise progressive beliefs, calls himself a Darwinist, not an evolutionist.

However any discussion of the difference between "evolution" and Darwinism would produce a mind killing response that makes the discussion of gender differences harmless by comparison.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-21T21:03:33.168Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Is it not at least equally likely that the present is crazy, and the past was wise?

No, it is not. Knowledge is generally cumulative, although there are occasional setbacks

There are frequent major setbacks

If it is not "at least equally likely", it is still quite likely - particularly in matters influenced by politics, where knowledge, for obvious reasons, does not accumulate.

To defend the present, one has to argue truth, not cite today's authorities. One has to compare today's authorities with the evidence on which their claims are supposedly based. That the official truth about the past is a lie reveals social decay, just as that the official truth about the Soviet harvest was a lie revealed that communes do not work.

The way the wind is blowing, future generations living in hovels may well be as amazed by the moon landing as we are amazed by the Antikythera mechanism, as political lies spill over into bureaucratic lies, producing irreproducible results in science.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-21T20:03:32.525Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

But as far as I can tell, Marie Curie was the first scientist to realize that radiation is attributable to internal properties of atoms

Untrue - and for evidence of it being true, you would need to quote a paper by her issued before she was made into a mascot, not a paper about her after she was made into a mascot.

For her to be the first scientist to realize that, she would have to issue a paper in which she asserted that, which she did not do.

What she in fact did was measure various samples prepared for her by her husband and another of his assistants, using a radiation measuring device invented and built by her husband, and as a result of these measurements, she did in fact assert that:

"All the uranium compounds studied are active, and are, in general, more active to the extent that they contain more uranium.[25]

From which other people, Rutherford and people around him, concluded that the radiation arose from the internal structure of the atom.

Marie Curie was not able to draw the conclusion you and the twenty first century Nobel committee attribute to her, because the radioactivity she measured was not in fact exactly proportional to the amount of uranium, due to the build up of radon after purification. To make the discovery you attribute to her, would have needed to first discover radioactive decay, or at least first discover radon.

She strongly suspected the conclusion you attribute to her, and did experiments intended to show it, but her results were confounded by radon.

Since the measured radioactivity was not exactly proportional to the amount of the element, the evidence that she thought she saw seemingly showed that radioactive decay was influenced, at least to some extent, by the chemical form.

Which is why the discovery of radon by Rutherford and his people was far more important than the discovery of radium by Pierre Curie and his people: because it enabled Rutherford to draw the conclusion that you falsely attribute to Marie Curie.

The reason Pierre Curie's group gets bigger publicity than Rutherford's group is that one of the people in Pierre Curie's group was a woman.

The discovery of radon made it possible to do measurements that substituted "exactly", for "generally", to measure that radioactivity was exactly proportional to the amount of the element, rather than "in general, more active to the extent that they contain more uranium", from which one could then conclude that radioactivity was internal to the structure of the atom - a conclusion Marie Curie's evidence seemingly contradicted.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-21T19:48:03.098Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

From the Nobel Prize website:

This discovery was absolutely revolutionary.

I claimed history was rewritten in the period 1906, 1911. To refute that claim, you need early sources, pre 1906 sources, not today's sources.

Perhaps you should instead look at 1900 sources, stuff published shortly after Pierre Curie discovered radium, rather than post hoc rationalizations published after Marie Curie had already been made a mascot.

The original basis for making her a mascot was the discovery of radium - in which her role was minor and peripheral.

First they made her a mascot, then they discovered her contributions were absolutely revolutionary.

What was revolutionary was the discovery of radioactive decay, that radioactivity arose from the transmutation of the elements, which discovery came from Rutherford and the circle of people around him, not from Pierre Curie and the circle of people around him, and came from the discovery of radon, not the discovery of radium.

Pierre Curie's big contribution was to invent and build a device for quantitatively measuring radioactivity, and then set his wife to work measuring the radioactivity of various samples that he and his other assistants prepared.

So even if the discovery that radioactivity was independent of the chemical form of the element was "absolutely revolutionary", it can even less be attributed to Marie Curie than can the discovery of radium.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-21T08:36:47.337Z · score: -3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I notice you completely ignored the concrete example I gave of comparable discrimination being explicitly avowed by a premier scientific organization at about the same time (Hertha Ayrton at the RS). No national scientific academy in the West would conceivably respond to a female nominee that way now.

But is this evidence that they are reasonable and realistic now, while they used to be moonbat crazy right wing misogynists back then, or is it evidence that they were moonbat crazy leftwing feminists back then, and even more moonbat crazy left wing feminists now?

If the view in 1911 was right wing misogynist, and the view now is rational and evidence based, why did everyone back then "know" who discovered radium, and yet not know who discovered any of the other elements?

Supposing that the post 1830 view is non ideological and evidence based, this needs to argued for and justified, rather than merely assumed.

Should you assume that the present is wise, and the past was crazy? Is it not at least equally likely that the present is crazy, and the past was wise?

Seems to me that the view of women that was held from 1680 to 1830 was realistic and evidence based, while the view of women held by the influential and higher authority from 1830 to the present is moonbat crazy and ideologically based. For example, the seduction community is today rediscovering politically incorrect truths about female sexuality that everyone knew and took for granted before 1830 - albeit the old account was that women tend to make self destructive sexual choices, so need male kin supervising their sex lives, while the new seduction community account is that women tend to make self destructive sexual choices, so here is how to take advantage of them.

Official truth about sex and the sexes changed pretty drastically some time not long after 1830, but then it took a couple of centuries to remake society in accord with the new official truth. But the strains, the lies, the hypocrisy, and the doublethink required for this social engineering give credence to the 1660-1830 official truth and cast doubt on the post 1830 official truth. The more society is remade in accordance with the 1830 official truth, the more strain it shows.

That you don't know who discovered any of the elements other than Radium without looking it up, is reason to doubt the version of history in which Marie Curie discovered Radium, and even if she was the discoverer of Radium (which she was not) the fact that everyone "knows" it now, and everyone "knew" it then, shows she was a mascot then as now - which in turn shows that women have been being affirmative actioned for a very long time, which in turn is reason to suspect that the modern view is moonbat crazy - and that it was similarly moonbat crazy in 1911, in fact moonbat crazy from around 1830 to the present.

She was the first scientist to realize that radiation isn't due to a chemical reaction, but due to structural properties of individual atoms. She was also thereby the first scientist to provide evidence that atoms have an internal structure.

This is simply untrue. Rutherford, and the discovery of radon, revealed that.

And Pierre Curie, not Marie Curie, discovered radium.

Pierre Curie was working with radioactivity before he set his wife to work on it. He invented and made the radiation sensor that she then used to measure various things, under his supervision. He built the sensor; he selected the materials that she measured; he or his assistants prepared the materials that she measured.

Giesel and Elster report that in 1900, Pierre Curie, having discovered radium and prepared samples thereof, gave them samples, and they thereupon proceeded to study the chemical properties of Radium.

Giesel, FO. Ueber radioactive Stoffe. Ber Dtsche Chem Ges. 1900;33:3569–71.

Six years later history was progressively adjusted to give progressively more prominence to one of his assistants.

Which adjustment of history (from the account given at the time, to the account given a few years afterwards) indicates that they were moonbat crazy left wing feminists then, and even more moonbat crazy now.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-20T05:25:37.544Z · score: -6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I don't have an actual quote from the Royal Institution, and I doubt that they specifically gave that as a reason in this particular case.

Well of course you doubt - thereby admitting what you deny: that saying such a thing out loud would be politically incorrect then as now.

This is a period when women could not receive a degree at Cambridge,

And men could not receive a degree at Vasser.

Having men and women go to the same institutions has been a disaster for both genders, since it necessitated faking up women's scores, and dumbing down certain academic fields.

Co education has also caused severe dysgenics by preventing smart women from getting married. Thus, for example, a woman with a PhD in EngLit generally will only marry a male PhD, even though getting an advanced degree in a field with absolutely horrible employment prospects is usually a sign that you are too dimwitted to qualify for a useful degree - EngLit being infamously easy, while useful degrees tend to be hard, with the result that the great majority of PhDs in EngLit are female. And by the time she has completed her degree, her fertile period is running out, she is deeply in debt that cannot be expunged by bankruptcy, has no job, and is looking for a PhD with a sufficient income to support her, with the result that female PhDs tend to wind up as cat ladies.

With separate colleges, females are not on the same status ladder as males, but on separate and independent status ladders, so you can give them all the degrees that are politically convenient, without undermining their ability and willingness to get married and have children.

Thus, the glaringly obvious - that Marie Curie received two Nobel prizes and huge publicity for work that would not have received a Nobel prize or substantial publicity if a man did it (compare the far more important discovery of radon) because she was a mascot rather than because she was a scientist, was as likely then as it is now.

Marie Curie was primarily famous for being a woman scientist. Who discovered the other hundred odd elements?

Giving disproportionate publicity to rather ordinary work in which women were arguably involved implies the reverse of the intended message, implies that woman are, on average, substantially poorer at intellectual fields, especially STEM fields, than men, a lesson confirmed by the SAT and LSAT.

You are arguing that back in the horrible evil bad old days they discriminated against women, therefore affirmative action for women could not possibly have existed. This presupposes that there were no rational grounds for discriminating against women. If rational grounds for discriminating against women exist, both because they are on average less smart and less responsible, and also because their role as mothers is far more important than their role as PhDs, then the fact that discrimination against women was diminishing is evidence for the presence of affirmative action, rather than the presence of remaining discrimination being evidence against the presence of affirmative action.

Is it really good for women that a great many of our smartest women wind up as cat ladies?

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-19T11:19:05.888Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is a time when the Royal Institute could refuse to let her give a talk simply on the grounds that she was a woman.

I find that extraordinarily hard to believe. Can you produce an actual quote wherein the Royal institute gave that reason?

It would be as suicidal to give that reason then, as it would be now.

Of course, in practice, people do tend to quietly assume that women tend to be idiots in certain fields, and might well not allow one to speak for that reason, but they don't say the reason out loud in plain words.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-19T09:52:55.312Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

but it doesn't follow from this that Curie's contemporaries would feel obliged to praise her scholarship even though they didn't think that much of it simply because she was a woman.

PC was already in effect in the late nineteenth century. When people said politically incorrect things, they were conscious of transgressing.

This is a time when the Royal Institute could refuse to let her give a talk simply on the grounds that she was a woman.


They said that was the grounds? Actually said such an unspeakable thing out loud? I find that mighty hard to believe.

Sounds mighty like the story that Tully was lynched for whistling at a white woman.

Now possibly the real reason that they did not have her give a talk was that she was woman, but no one would have dared say out loud "because she is a woman"

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-19T08:12:39.406Z · score: -6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Marie Curie was regarded as an accomplished scientist by her contemporaries, and it is implausible that this high regard is explicable in terms of political correctness, given the time period.

Marie Curie was not famous for being an accomplished scientist. You have never heard of the person that discovered Radon, that being a far more important discovery than Radium, for Radon revealed the transmutation of the elements. She was famous, then as now, for being an accomplished female scientist. She was, then as now, like many famous women of the nineteenth century, a mascot.

The evidence that unqualified females have been affirmative actioned in to STEM fields since 1880 or so, and into administrative positions since around 1850 or so, is pretty similar to the evidence that they are being affirmative actioned today. This produces predictable results, which results are then denounced, starting in the 1860s, as the result of incorrigible misogyny, and proclaimed to be grounds to apply affirmative action even more vigorously and suppress thoughtcrimes even more harshly.

In practice everyone acts as if female STEM credentials are given merely for being female, rather than actually being qualified, and those that deny acting in this manner, nonetheless do act in this manner, just as those that repudiate John Derbyshire's infamous advice as racist nonetheless act in accordance with that advice. This could be because everyone is consciously or unconsciously misogynistic, or it could be because credentials really are given merely for being female.

And this has been the case for well over a hundred years, with everyone saying for over a hundred years that it was the last generation that was horribly misogynistic, but now we are thankfully past all that.

Which then is it? Misogyny or gender realism? One statistic that might be relevant to that question is that today's SAT is no longer an intelligence test, but instead measures the same thing that grade point average is supposed to measure. Predictably, boys do substantially better on the SAT, and substantially worse on grade point average. Affirmative action grading for female GPA is one possible explanation. You, perhaps, may have a better explanation.

Boys also do substantially better on the LSAT, but that is to be expected, since the LSAT is an intelligence test rather than an accomplishment test.

When I claim that women have been affirmative actioned for over a hundred years, it was of course denied back then, just as it is denied now, so I cannot prove that claim, but the smell of hypocrisy and doublethink were suggestive then, as they are suggestive now.

If you ask me for a properly authoritative citation for that claim, I will not be able to give it. All I can produce as evidence is a funny smell, which funny smell has not changed much in over a hundred years.

If you insist, however, I can give you properly authoritative citations for grade point average, LSAT, and SAT.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-18T09:29:27.348Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Your prior should be that a mascot is fictitious until proven otherwise. That a mascot is a mascot is reason to believe that official history has been improved.

In 1906, when Pierre Curie died, his death was reported as follows in the French newspaper Le Matin

"M. Pierre CURIE, le savant qui découvrit le radium, a été écrasé dans la rue et tué net par un camion"

Translation "Mr. Pierre Curie, the scientist who discovered radium, was crushed in the street and killed by a truck"

As for Grace Hopper, she gets credited with the first compiler: But a compiler compiles a language. The great majority of references to the language her compiler supposedly compiled are mascot references rather than language references, and are hugely outweighed by language references to Fortran. Therefore, no such language, no such compiler.

Grace Hopper's actual contribution to computing was that she designed the Cobol language, the second high level computer language. She seems to have originally been made a mascot for developing Cobol, which she quite genuinely did, and then, when people responded by saying unkind things about Cobol, got credited with the first compiler instead, an improvement typical of mascot history..

If Cobol was less loathed, Grace Hopper would be a reasonable mascot as the creator of the second high level language. Since Cobol stinks, Lovelace, the second computer programmer, is the better mascot.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-18T08:50:27.433Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Near as I can check history, the manufacture of poster girls for science first happens at the start of the twentieth century, but the manufacture of poster girls for computer programming did not happen until much later. Thus history that makes Ada the second computer programmer can be believed, to the extent that it quotes pre twentieth century sources.

Whenever history involves mascots, it should be viewed with suspicion. If people make an undue fuss about a dancing bear, that is evidence that bears cannot dance, rather than evidence that bears can dance. Your prior should be that a mascot is fictitious until proven otherwise.

Ada Lovelace is a mascot, Grace Hopper is a mascot. However Ada Lovelace predates promotion of female mascots, and was the second computer programmer (Babbage being the first), in that she found a bug in one of Babbage's programs.

Babbage wrote, thirty years before it was policy to ballyhoo the contributions of oppressed groups:

I then suggested that she add some notes to Menabrea's memoir, an idea which was immediately adopted. We discussed together the various illustrations that might be introduced: I suggested several but the selection was entirely her own. So also was the algebraic working out of the different problems, except, indeed, that relating to the numbers of Bernoulli, which I had offered to do to save Lady Lovelace the trouble. This she sent back to me for an amendment, having detected a grave mistake which I had made in the process.

Comment by sam0345 on Happy Ada Lovelace Day · 2012-10-18T05:57:09.087Z · score: -6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Grace Hopper did not write a compiler, nor did Marie Curie discover radium. Marie Curie was the least important and least qualified person on the three man team that discovered radium. No one remembers the second most important person on the team, and few remember the team leader (Pierre Curie, Marie Curie's husband and mentor). Similarly Grace Hopper was peripherally involved in events that eventually led to the development of the first compiler, and no one remembers the people that actually wrote the first compiler (which was, by the way, John Backus' FORTRAN compiler)

Radium was discovered in 1898, and, until the twentieth century, no one thought that Marie Curie was the discoverer. Similarly for compilers. History was rewritten, as it so frequently is.

Comment by sam0345 on Open Thread, March 1-15, 2012 · 2012-09-25T08:13:49.317Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The traditional critique of democracy is that it leads to what we moderns would call class warfare, demosclerosis, and political corruption (by political corruption, I mean the regulatory state, spawned by Olsonian multiplication of special interests). All of this stuff used to be called the social war, named after the Roman civil wars leading to Sulla's reforms.

To check theory against observation, compare Britain from the restoration to the mid nineteenth century, with Britain from the mid nineteenth century to the present.

Restoration Britain founded the scientific, technological, and industrial revolutions. British merchant adventurers went forth as mobile bandits, and settled down as stationary bandits, creating what was later called the British empire.

Democratic Britain has been downhill from there. If Cecil Rhodes or Lord Garnet was around, you can imagine what they would think of the present state of Britain.

Comment by sam0345 on How about testing our ideas? · 2012-09-24T04:36:59.153Z · score: -3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That is just people waving their hands fast to distract you from noticing that not only do you have no idea what they are saying, they have no idea what they are saying either: Much like postmodernism, hence I described it as "postmodern physics"

Comment by sam0345 on How about testing our ideas? · 2012-09-17T08:43:56.086Z · score: -3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I'm guessing this post was down voted because of author not content

My guess differs from your own: Criticizing academia is as political, indeed more political, than criticizing women, blacks, gays, Islam, the poor, Mexicans, the underclass, the fatherless, and so on and so forth, but because academia does not proclaim itself as a victim group, but rather a victimizing group, no one can leap forth with outraged cries of racist sexist homobophobic Islamophobia. ("homophobic" intentionally misspelled)

Those who find my postings offensive are allowed to outraged on behalf of the poor victimized oppressed victims of victimization, but if outraged by unkind accounts of academia, have to find some new rationalization for outrage.

One may, of course, criticize academia for racism sexism etc, and be much loved for doing so, but criticizing academia for intellectual misconduct, accusing academia of ignorance, closed mindedness, dogmatism, and just plain not caring about the truth does not get one loved.

Comment by sam0345 on How about testing our ideas? · 2012-09-17T08:21:14.786Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

That's just an approximation. Those situations (flat space, hyperbolic space) are really just asymptotically fixed - the form of the space-time in the infinite past or the infinite future is fixed. But in between, you can have topology change.

I don't think string theory as it exists is capable of of describing a space time that undergoes topological change as a result of the dynamics of the strings. They talk about branes undergoing topological change, but they undergo topological change within a given background spacetime that acts without being acted upon.

And if it is capable of describing such an event, string theorists don't really have any idea of how to make it do it.

People go into Quantum Gravity because it is the big unsolved problem, find they cannot solve it, but they have to publish papers anyway. And so they do, resulting in postmodern physics.

Comment by sam0345 on How about testing our ideas? · 2012-09-17T06:43:44.360Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

There was no such stagnation. This is the period which saw M-theory, the holographic principle, and the twistor revival,

I understand M theory sufficiently well to be seriously underwhelmed.

M theory and the holographic principle suspiciously resemble postmodernism: insiders talking to each other in ways that supposedly demonstrate their erudition, without any external check to verify that they are actually erudite, or even understand each other, or even understand what they themselves are saying. Twistors are valid and erudite mathematics, but don't seem to get us any closer to anything interesting.

M theory is just string theory only more so. The trouble with string theory as a theory of spacetime is that it takes place in a fixed space time background, thus inherently makes no sense whatever. If you start with a contradiction, you can deduce anything you please. The central problem in any quantum theory of spacetime is that you have no fixed spacetime to stand upon, and string theory just blithely ignores the problem. That is not an advance in theoretical physics, that is finding weak excuses to publish meaningless papers.

Comment by sam0345 on How about testing our ideas? · 2012-09-17T03:12:45.275Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

You seem to be under the impression that Einstein's papers were not reviewed by professional physicists. That's incorrect: They were reviewed by journal editors who were professional physicists.

But Einstein only needed one journal editor to decide that his paper was good stuff that would rock the boat, whereas under peer review, he would in practice need every peer reviewer to agree that his papers did not rock the boat.

Under the old system, he needed one of n to get published. Under the new system, it tends to be closer to n of n.

Consensus, as Galileo argued, produces bad science.

And, pretty obviously, we are getting bad science.

Recall the recent study reported in nature that only three of fifty results in cancer research were replicable.

The background to this replication study is that biomedical companies pick academic research to try to develop new medications - and they decided they needed to do some quality assurance.

Comment by sam0345 on Under-acknowledged Value Differences · 2012-09-16T06:04:34.493Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

For example, when discussing gender-related problems, [edit] one solution may be generally better for men, while another solution may be generally better for women

Love is war.

All is fair in love and war.

Individually optimal behavior by each male doing what is best for himself, and each female doing what is best for herself, is unlikely to be optimal as for males and females as a whole, or even particular male/female couples.

Such prisoners dilemma problems are normally solved by coercion - chastity imposed on females, shotgun marriages and continued material support imposed on males.

However, I am fairly sure that were I to discuss the usual solutions in detail, the response would be strikingly lacking in rationality.

Comment by sam0345 on How about testing our ideas? · 2012-09-16T05:48:25.389Z · score: 4 (18 votes) · LW · GW

The modern peer review system is something Einstein didn't have to deal with for example.

Obviously none of his great papers could have survived peer review. Some people argue that this was merely because of trivial stylistic issues, and could have been fixed by giving citations in correct format, and so on and so forth, so that they read like modern peer reviewed papers.


But the fact that he got his degree with a boring trivial paper, when he had several of his greatest papers in hand, suggests that there was no fixing them. If they could not be submitted for a degree, probably could never pass peer review. Peer review is in a sense a form of committee, and committees tend to be dumber than their dumbest member. The primary job of a committee, whatever its ostensible job, is to make sure that no one rocks the boat, just as the primary job of a bureaucracy, whatever its ostensible job, is to breed red tape with red tape to generate more red tape.

Getting a group of people to function together so that their output is smarter than any one of them is hard, a deep and unsolved problem. The normal outcome is that their output is dumber than any one of them.

The scientific community solved this problem from the late seventeenth century to late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Although engineering continues to advance, and more powerful tools such as DNA readers continue to advance science, science itself seemed to run out of puff after Einstein.

Comment by sam0345 on Politics Discussion Thread September 2012 · 2012-09-07T19:36:13.349Z · score: -3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

In feminist terms, the ‘personal is political’ refers to the theory that personal problems are political problems, which basically means that many of the personal problems women experience in their lives are not their fault, but are the result of systematic oppression. [...]

Women have a higher need than men to belong to small groups (in mean and distribution, but the difference is so great that there is not a lot of overlap) I am unaware of any statistics or studies on this topic, but everyone knows it, just as enthusiasts for diversity are reluctant to visit certain highly diverse parts of town, such as for example, all those diversity lovers at the Democratic Party Convention who found themselves assigned to residences in the wrong part of town and then immediately put John Derbyshire's recommendations into effect. An infertile woman without a family is sarcastically called a cat lady. We have no similar jokes about men Women tend to hang out in small groups markedly more than men do.

At the same time, women have a higher propensity than males to break their groups up. The general cause of divorce (usually observed by relatives of the wife, but blissfully unseen by the husband) is that the wife is screwing a high status male, divorces her husband, perhaps in hopes that the high status male will spend more time with her, but instead, upon hearing the of the divorce, the high status male takes off like a startled jack rabbit, never to be seen again. A husband, on the other hand, will attempt to keep both the wife and the mistress, and if he cannot have both, will retain the mother of his children. The viciousness of women to other women is legendary. Most women who has had a female boss will tell you that she does not want to work with female bosses, something men cannot say for reasons of PC.

Thus female personal problems are indeed political in that they are frequently evidence for the seventeenth century view that females innately need male supervision over their lives: for example workplace problems and fatherless children.

And now here comes the part that will result in this post being massively voted down, and accused of making claims without evidence:

asking for it

2005 US Crime victimization survey, file cv0513.csv Rape/sexual assault rate for wife of male head of household 0.1 per 1000 (which is one in ten thousand, which zero within the margin of error)

Rape/sexual assault rate for children over 18 of male head of household 2.3 per thousand

Rape/sexual assault rate for female heads of households 1.6 per thousand.

Notice how quickly political correctness marches on. Today, using the survey category “wife of male head of household” is apt to cause outrage and indignation. Today, households supposedly have no heads. Indeed, for a household to have a head, and that head be male, is arguably criminal, something that is supposedly only practiced by rare extreme right wing fundamentalist extremists.

Comment by sam0345 on Open Thread, September 1-15, 2012 · 2012-09-07T02:32:56.445Z · score: 1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I follow your comments, because you usually have something interesting to say - and usually something that gets a little close to the borders of what is permissible on less wrong.

Now, sorry to say, your recent comments have become boring. Has Less Wrong become even more repressive, or did you just run out of things to say?

Comment by sam0345 on Open Thread, August 16-31, 2012 · 2012-09-02T02:54:18.181Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, but it's hardly possible to fake such a tremendous increase in such basic statistics.

And equally hard, no doubt to fake the very similar tremendous increase in the basic statistics for North Korea, Cuba, and Ethiopia.

I notice that in the case of Marxist Ethiopia, we saw a tremendous increase in basic statistics despite bloody and unending civil war, and the massive use of artificial famine to terrorize the peasants.

And when the Marxist Ethiopian regime was finally overthrown in that bloody and terrible civil war, and peace returned, their statistics abruptly fell back to African normal. Did everyone suddenly forget how to read? Perhaps capitalism caused the death rate to suddenly rise, but did it overnight erase all that wonderful education that the communists had so successfully done?

Comment by sam0345 on Open Thread, August 16-31, 2012 · 2012-09-01T13:20:15.920Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Under Mao, life expectancy literally doubled and the literacy rate went from 20-25% to 80%. And the increase in life expectancy is largely attributed to his vast state healthcare initiatives.

I have heard similarly glorious statistics for Cuba, and, until quite recently, for North Korea.

Visiting Cuba in 1992 it was obvious to me that living standards, literacy, and health, had collapsed since the revolution. People are living in the decayed remnants of what had been decently comfortable houses fifty years ago. People were hungry, frightened, and desperate.

It is clear that China suffered poverty and economic stagnation under Mao. You don't double living standards and life expectancy while having massive famines and operating an economy based on slave labor. Taiwan unambiguously and obviously experienced dramatic growth. Kuomintang rule was competent, efficient, and successful. Communist rule was a disaster propped up by foreign intervention.

Comment by sam0345 on What is moral foundation theory good for? · 2012-08-17T09:07:56.088Z · score: -2 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Despite the fact that your claims are extraordinary and therefore in need of evidence to raise them to any probability worth consideration, you do not cite evidence for your claims.


For example I never asserted that "that the design intent of cervical-cancer prevention programs is to cover up for the evils of male homosexuality."

Rather, I produced evidence that might incline some people to draw the conclusion that was a factor in the design, without ever suggesting that conclusion myself.

So far from making an assertion without evidence, I have been producing evidence without assertions and letting that evidence speak for itself.