Akrasia and Immunity to change 2014-03-03T16:04:40.944Z · score: 5 (6 votes)


Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-05T17:51:43.829Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Some up- or down-voting happens on the basis of the quality of comments, but a lot just signals the agreement or disagreement with the views of the poster.

Oh well... I'm totally ok on being downvoted on accounts of low quality of my comments however, I wasn't really expecting people here to downvote comments just because they don't agree with them. I have adjusted that belief now and will act with a little bit more caution.

You basically proposed communism which magically lacked all the icky bits. That will get you a bunch of downvotes :-)

I guess I did that :) but it was a good lesson. It pointed to the fact that I should refrain from speaking without having at least a reasonable model about what I am speaking about. :)

Comment by terasinube on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-05T09:20:14.400Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A commitment to being healthy and happy could be a good idea. The information from the Blue Zones could provide lots of useful ideas.

A commitment to love could also be a good idea. Love 2.0 book has scientific research in this field.

On a simpler note, you could commit to a long walk in nature with your wife every month or every fortnight. Find a nice trail and keep returning there for a nice slow walk. You could use this time to unwind or to calmly discuss what you could do about things.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-05T07:07:14.803Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

we're both of us well into politics-as-mindkiller territory here, and I don't think prolonging the discussion is going to be useful in this venue.

I agree. I also discovered that my comments are down voted into oblivion.

I have to assume that my contributions to this forum are not yet of high enough quality.

Anyways... I'm grateful for your comments. They have been uncomfortable and made me think.

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-04T17:34:19.829Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

google says that the definition of greed is "intense and selfish desire for something, esp. wealth, power, or food."

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-04T16:47:57.274Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Prosocial behavior, or "voluntary behavior intended to benefit another",is a social behavior that "benefit[s] other people or society as a whole," "such as helping, sharing, donating, co-operating, and volunteering."

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T16:43:55.339Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You are talking about a state that takes everything from everyone beyond what they "need".

I never said anything about the state taking.

"Totalitarian" is exactly the right word for this. This is a vision of the state giving and the state taking away, where all belongs to the state and personal property is to be justified by a plea of need.

Again... you are projecting your vision of what I said but you did brought up an interesting idea... the idea of personal property. I don't think land should be owned by people. If people don't own the land, then it follows that houses should not be owned by people.

Do you see any way in which this could be implemented without totalitarianism?

I don't agree with caps on individual wealth, and were I Swiss, I'd have voted against 1:12 even without seeing any of the so-called FUD.

Why not?

The only reason capitalism works is that the losing experiments run out of money.

That brake on failure is really important. When someone decides to Do Something and commits their resources to it, if it doesn't work out, they have to stop. A government's ability to carry on regardless is in comparison almost unlimited.

Is the defence budget of USA for the past 60 years an experiment that ran out of money?

We were talking about a new society, one that runs on rationality. Experiments in this kind of society could have very clear parameters for a brake.

I look at capitalist societies and what I see is oligarchies masquerading as capitalism. The game is rigged and people are too afraid to even dream of changing it because, in most cases... this is the only game they know OR... the other games are just as bad.

Is really capitalism the best way to handle education? Healthcare? Public transportation infrastructure? Defence?

To me, the stories with happy people "finishing paying their college loans" are horror stories. Stories with people getting charged thousands of dollars for simple medical procedures are insane. People maximising PROFITS out of selling weapons and military technology/services... is not the mark of a sane and healthy society.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T16:06:10.189Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm wise enough to know that giving people like myself the power to allocate all money isn't the solution either. There are many things I don't understand.

It doesn't have to be black and white.... all to NIH OR all to projects like yours.

To me... investing money in exploration, in research is a defensible position and research... by its very nature is unknown territory. As long as you can make a rational argument for why you think the allocation of resources is warranted, you should have a chance of getting some. ;)

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T15:58:15.435Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If that's the reigning philosophy I don't think humanity survives the next 200 years.

What do you think would happen?

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T15:55:48.571Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So? You want to reduce the diversity of model of learning.

I have no idea how you derived this conclusion from what I've said.

Last week I attended the Berlin Bachata Congress. Bachata is a dance. Organizing such a context means flying world class teachers from all over the world to Berlin and paying for a location in which to held the event.

I can resonate with an example like this because I learn tango right now and yes... there are masters that could help one improve the technique BUT... I don't see how this constitutes a valid example since is mixing current model with what I was exploring. If plane tickets cost thousand of euros, if space renting is highly expensive... and if everyone involved has a high enough imperative to get a lot of money... you will get something like this expensive bachata festival. If transportation, food and lodging would be free.... masters could come only to build status. An you will not need any permission from a centralized authority. Local events authority involved might be involved for scheduling some event locations...

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T10:17:48.883Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's just that being a heretic is hard work.

I agree. I'm only at the beginning. One of the reasons I started to lurk around here is a need for clarity in my own thinking. I often am vague and expose half baked ideas. I hope that this will change in time.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T10:12:43.741Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That doesn't change that Marx carries some responsibility for what happened.

This is like accusing a blacksmith for a murder someone did with a knife he created.

Responsibility lies with the ones who act in a destructive way or the ones who coerce others to act destructively.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T10:05:06.539Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe NIH is not spending the money effectively. Maybe a rational discourse could make your way one of the official ways.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T10:03:33.620Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There are models of education where you become a partner once you understand the concepts. Something like Peer Instruction. You could have as a tutor a person from the same generation, a person who just happens to understand the concepts that you are trying to learn better. I did this for my friends with programming back in college.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T07:19:01.332Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Marx's ideas were perverted by Lenin and the totalitarian mess we saw last century derived from that.

Also, I'm not advocating the destruction of the status quo but its transformation, its transcendence. I'm non-violent and I don't believe in forced societies. My hope is that we will outgrow the old ways.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T07:12:18.767Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with you. This is the world as we know it.

We are, however, exploring here. What would be the point of an exploration if we remain stuck in the old paradigms. Just because most of this world is a masked oligarchy where people with money control public policy does not mean that a more just and rational political representation can ever exist.

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-04T07:07:33.520Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

non sequitur.

Just because you view capitalism as a form of success it does not follow that greed has pro-social outcomes.

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-03T22:28:18.133Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


Start here:

Then the success of capitalism must be a complete mystery to you.

Wouldn't be more useful to just provide a valid counter example instead of mocking me?

Comment by terasinube on Strategic choice of identity · 2014-03-03T21:47:03.568Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In non-Toastmasters settings, these skills have been useful when I’m trying to talk to people who have different interests, or when I’m put on the spot to talk about something I feel like I don’t know a lot about.

This sounds like you became more sociable. Now I'm curious how would a sociable person be like to you? I mean... what is the line that separates the sociable from not sociable in your perspective?

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-03T21:42:27.397Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What does "fidelity to the truth" mean in the context of ideology?

Think about a SF movie like Gravity, fidelity to truth is making sure the details are coherent with the way reality works, with the way we currently understand reality to work.

Science doesn't tell you what your values should be.

In a certain regard this is true. Science doesn't tell you if you should be a sociopath of a pro-social person. However, once the pro-social stance has been selected, science can point at what values have a track record of providing this pro-social outcome. Cooperation, compassion, forgiveness... this have documented outcomes. There are scientific studies regarding what is conducive to happiness and meaning. There is the whole field of eudaimonia studies that is clearly pointing towards specific values. It doesn't tell you how to prioritise them but it sure points at what they should be.

Greed, altho a value to some... is not something that has pro-social outcomes (not to my knowledge).

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-03T21:26:40.034Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't proposed a totalitarian state. This is something that you inferred from what I've wrote.

I was talking about a society with certain characteristics.

I was thinking more about a StarTrek kind of thing than an old soviet republic.

One practical, slow way in which I see this happening is by shifting the focus on cooperation in education and slowly limiting the massive accumulation of wealth together with strong regulations regarding ecological impact and labour compensation.

One very fine idea I found was in a Howard Gardner interview for BigThink (scroll down to " What is the US getting wrong?" )

Another interesting approach was an initiative called 1:12 proposed in Switzerland. Unfortunately, that initiative got hit massively with FUD from the competition which was able to outspend it in terms of advertising 40:1.

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-03T16:45:22.010Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The truth I was referring in the previous comment is Scientific understanding.

Also, when I said story I did not meant a work of fiction but more like an work of vision.

Something like a reimagining of what life could be for the human race and the commitment to implement that vision as expressed by the people telling the story and living the story.

Comment by terasinube on Akrasia and Immunity to change · 2014-03-03T16:22:31.583Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Robert Kegan's wikipedia entry has a pretty good summary of the idea.

This 15 min. youtube video is also a nice introduction.

In short, the real reason people don't do the things they consciously want to do might be related to a sort of immune system that tries to keep things as they are because there are competing commitments that steam from unconscious assumptions. e.g. a person might not take their heart medication because taking medication is associated with end of life and they have a competing commitment to not perceive themselves as being at the end of their life.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-03T15:58:36.482Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well... I did mentioned the fact that increase in wealth correlates with decrease compassion. There is also the flat-lining of experiential happiness above a certain income as described by Kahneman.

But maybe I'm misunderstanding what you are expecting. Could you give more information about what kind of information would you like to receive?

Also, I lived my entire childhood in such a totalitarian state. I am aware of how bad state involvement in these matters can be.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-03T14:20:27.059Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In fewer words, I don't have a blueprint, nor a crystal ball. ;)

If you require either in order to have a conversation about the future... oh well... sorry to disappoint. ;)

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-03T13:08:04.854Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How? by rational discourse, I guess. By whom? I guess some sort of representative body.

What happens in this society, if I want a bigger house than the state thinks I need?

I don't know but I imagine that some kind of balanced utility function could be produced that could provide different resource allocation. e.g. bigger shelter (if requested).

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-03T09:42:30.787Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Developing fusion power. Defeating disease. Defeating death. Colonising space. AGI. And so on.

Oh... I meant what would a single individual spend the money on, what would be the incentive to get more money for oneself. In the society I was mentioning... the rest of the resources would have been redirected in activities related to the furthering of the human evolution.

Comment by terasinube on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-03T08:09:00.458Z · score: -4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I view proportional giving as a mechanism for compensating economic parasitism (the right-side variety).

I view 2 types of social parasitism:

  • right side is accumulation of capital and use of such capital in very wasteful self-serving ways.
  • left side is getting by with society support without producing value for society.

A society that addresses both types of parasitism through some kind of mechanism is a society in which money can quickly become meaningless. If you have adequate shelter, food, clothing and free access to education, entertainment and transportation what would you use the money for?

I think there are arguments to be made for a tougher protection against right side parasitism, arguments like studies that demonstrate a reduce in empathy and compassion in the wealthy. Unfortunately, this is such a great transgression against the god of capitalism that all its disciples quickly react. I've had discussions with friends where I proposed Gartner's 4 million cap on income per year and I was met with resistance from people making 100 times less. They wanted the freedom to go beyond that.

Comment by terasinube on Strategic choice of identity · 2014-03-03T07:28:43.050Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, the Insufficient mindset is a very limiting identity. The tango experience was more like... "X months have passed and I'm still not able to compose a dance with the moves I know" morphing into "I can compose but it's too linear" morphing into "I can compose but I have a lot of decision points" morphing into "to hell with good enough. what is important is to have fun" and ending up with me dancing in a tango flash mob in a subway station. :)

How does the "fifth order of consciousness" approach work?

Everyone needs a philosophy of life, a way of being into this world. Mine is one inspired by the way Tolstoy interpreted the teachings of Jesus. In short, morality is redefined as the continuous movement towards an ideal of perfection with the full understanding that you will never be able to reach it. My perfection ideal is the ideal of the Jedi. It has 3 components: emotional regulation (Emotions, yet Peace), rationality (Ignorance, yet Understanding) and noosphere contribution (Death, yet The Force). The Kegan's 5 order of consciousness mind involves all three and it is thus perceived as a valid guideline for my journey. The main advantage being the fact that there is a progression (there are signposts available, e.g. 4th order consciousness).

Comment by terasinube on Learning languages efficiently. · 2014-03-03T07:09:18.591Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In my perspective this would be deliberate practice. You would get to practice sentence construction and you would get to practice your sound creation which is quite a difficult thing to do.

Starting from simple things like asking for direction or requesting stuff is a great place to start.

You can't expect fluency from the very beginning but, in order to get there, you'd have to start from somewhere.

If this kind of sentences drive you crazy... it's ok... choose something else. I'm in no way trying to tell you what to do. :) I'm only providing my perspective on things. If it's useful... ok, if not.... still ok. :)

Comment by terasinube on Learning languages efficiently. · 2014-03-02T21:02:49.965Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's just a simple "hello, my name is X, nice to meet you" kind of greeting. All languages have them. They might sound silly for a native speaker but also endearing. They warm the atmosphere.

What would be a simple phrase that you would like to learn?

Asking this question 2 times and adding the answers to the "water in the fridge" & "son of a whore" would effectively double your skill. :)

Comment by terasinube on Learning languages efficiently. · 2014-03-02T18:47:41.186Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Of course you cannot say what you want to say, but maybe you are able to say something else.

You might not be able to express some complex idea from the get go but, would it be that difficult to say: konnichiwa, watashi wa Creutzer desu. Hajimemashite. ? :)

Comment by terasinube on Strategic choice of identity · 2014-03-02T18:40:01.271Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

There is an "insufficient" mindset that's my biggest obstacle. Like, insufficiently smart to ask questions, insufficiently creative to contribute, insufficiently good tango dancer, etc. Work by Brene Brown on vulnerability has helped me a lot with this.

The identity that helps me most is: I'm a fifth order of consciousness in the making (I just levelled up to 4). :)

Comment by terasinube on Strategic choice of identity · 2014-03-02T18:31:39.026Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Have you noticed any improvement on social anxiety since you joined Toastmasters? Is it in any way easier now to speak up?

Comment by terasinube on Learning languages efficiently. · 2014-03-02T18:16:57.309Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Listen as much audio spoken by native speakers as you can. My guess is that children programs are best. Maybe some Hebrew dubbed cartoons that you are already familiar with. First priority is to get your brain trained on the sounds of the language.

Speak with a native speaker that knows English. You can use for this.

Speak badly but speak.

From my personal experience, biggest hurdle in learning a new language is actually using it. Getting past the "shame" filter of your brain. If you accept that mistakes are unavoidable and just start speaking, you will get a lot of practice and you will improve. Of course, it's nice having a professional aware of the fact that you are a beginner, giving you clear and precise feedback. :)

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-02T17:46:24.178Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That just means that you don't have a well defined concept of the term you are speaking about. I would guess the same is true for most Lesswrongers for most emotions.

Good point. It made me realise that I haven't investigated this more seriously lately.

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-03-02T17:34:31.898Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think a fidelity to the truth will make the story rational. I would love a story without slips into magikal thinking.

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-02-28T16:28:32.269Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well... it depends on what you point at.

Love, as I view it is not something that can be easily defined. To me it's a way of being into this world. This video describes it.

As for emotions... why would anyone dislike the joy of figuring things out? the post flow feeling of accomplishment? They are wired into our positive reinforcement system and as long as the thing they are reinforcing is a thing worth investing in, why not let nature run its course?

Comment by terasinube on Rational Evangelism · 2014-02-26T18:19:11.271Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

A master was once unmoved by the complaints of his disciples that, though they listened with pleasure to his parables and stories, they were also frustrated for they longed for something deeper. To all their objections he would simply reply: "You have yet to understand, my friends, that the shortest distance between a human being and truth is a story."

You need a good story. That's all. A good story.

2 things come to my mind as examples:

The first one is about the past and comes from a novel called "Quo Vadis" which is about early christianity. There is a scene there where a roman guy searching a girl he wanted stumbles on a christians meeting and there was Peter retelling the story of Jesus. The power of his words as a living witness made the guy forget what he was looking for. Personal testimony is one huge attention grabber if is done right.

The second one is from Dune. Pardot Kynes, the planetologist, tells to the fremen the story of Arrakis could become and tells it so well that Uliet, the guy in charge of killing him chose to take his own life and with this self-sacrifice started the terraforming process.

So, what would a rational story be about? Health and Happiness sound like good bets. It should incorporate elements described by religious mysticism, stuff like Love, Joy, Strength, Peace, Trust, etc. It should position itself to the current effort to find common ground... like the Charter for Compassion. It should be about a long journey of discovering the power of love.

"What paralyzes life is lack of faith and lack of audacity. The difficulty lies not in solving problems but expressing them. And so we cannot avoid this conclusion: it is biologically evident that to gain control of passion and so make it serve spirit must be a condition of progress. Sooner or later, then, the world will brush aside our incredulity and take this step : because whatever is the more true comes out into the open, and whatever is better is ultimately realized. The day will come when, after harnessing the ether, the winds, the tides, gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And, on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."

  • Pierre Teilhard de Chardin