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Comment by torquedrifter on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-01T21:53:34.724Z · score: -1 (13 votes) · LW · GW

So you believe that racism is not alive and well in modern America and American politics?

You don't think that the "birther controversy" was racist in nature? You think this whole thing is a coincidence? You think this type of thing doesn't happen? You think this is a complete fabrication?

This seems like a complete failure of critical thinking.

If this isn't what you're saying, could you say plainly what it is you believe and why?

Comment by torquedrifter on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-01T18:09:33.195Z · score: -3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe. There is still undoubtedly a strong racist component to the right-wing belief melange.

But perhaps we're arguing semantics. I meant that the belief in question is something that would be associated with the right wing (due to said component), something that would be argued, with not-insignificant frequency, covertly by public figures and publicly by private citizens of that party, not that it's something a majority of right-wing-identified people would assent to, privately or publicly. Is that unfair?

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-12-01T18:00:26.603Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Who's "focusing"? I would argue, if we take your numbers, that the incorrect 30% are disproportionately problematic compared to the remaining 70%, and that there are other, non-epistemic problems involved in racism. Eugine_Nier said that "the problem" is the 70%. That's the disagreement that's going on here. My claim is not that modern-day racism is on average a greater distortion of the facts than an inability to perceive race would be.

Comment by torquedrifter on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-01T17:51:53.684Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's the explanation I'd lean towards myself.

As for the radical-feminists-versus-transsexuals thing - there seems to be a fair amount of tension between the gender/sexuality theories of different parts of the queer and feminist movements, which are generally glossed over in favor of cooperation due to common goals. Which, actually, is somewhat heartening.

Comment by torquedrifter on Causal Universes · 2012-12-01T17:46:37.045Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Neat! I still need to give some thought to the question of where we're getting our probability distribution, though, when the majority of the computation is done by the universe's plothole filter.

Comment by torquedrifter on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-01T10:28:37.962Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I dunno, 2 and 3 seem like things I'd expect the right-wing to believe (though probably with less nuance) in America (not to say they wouldn't go into sputtering apoplexy if you said certain formulations of those ideas out loud and there was a camera nearby). And who was calling for revolution after the recent election? (tongue somewhat in cheek there)

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-12-01T10:23:39.361Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's certainly my (a) true rejection of "the problem is that [people] are updating correctly". What did you expect I was rejecting?

I dunno what that society would be more similar to. I expect it'd be a fair distance from either, and that there would remain significant problems apart from inequality of social status, economic status, etc. Eugine_Nier's assertion was that it would be identical (read: very similar) to what we have now. I disagreed.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-12-01T09:52:20.958Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Some such information is degraded, yes, but not all, and not to uselessness. And yes, people are beaten in the first world in this day and age for being black or for being white, and I find it difficult to blame either of those on the use or misuse of Bayesian updating (except to the extent that observing a person's race might tell you "I can get away with this").

I do not accept your contention that people just happen to be exactly the correct degree of racist.

Comment by torquedrifter on The substrate · 2012-12-01T09:10:48.352Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, they don't exist at all, so the risk that they will stop existing is very low.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-12-01T09:08:24.214Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I disagree. Many statistical effects of race are screened off by fairly easily obtained information, but people act as though this is not the case. Moreover, if you, say, beat someone for being black, that's really not tied to any sort of problem with your use of Bayesian updating.

Comment by torquedrifter on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-01T05:51:52.469Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, no idea how good my intuitions are here. I don't have much experience with the subject, and frankly have a little difficulty vividly imagining what it's like to have strong feelings about one's own gender. So let's go read Jandila's comments instead of this one.

Comment by torquedrifter on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-11-30T20:43:38.823Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know of any such data. I'd imagine that there's less of a psychological barrier to engaging in traditionally "gendered" interests for most transgendered people (that is, if you think a lot about gender being a social construct, you're probably going to care less about a cultural distinction between "tv shows for boys" and "tv shows for girls"). Beyond that I can't really speculate.

Edit: here's me continuing to speculate anyway. A transgendered person is more likely than a cisgendered person to have significant periods of their life in which they are perceived as having different genders, and therefore is likely to be more fully exposed to cultural expectations for each.

Comment by torquedrifter on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-11-29T22:14:27.219Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Under this theory, it seems (with low statistical confidence of course) that LW-interest is perhaps correlated with biological sex rather than gender identity, or perhaps with assigned-gender-during-childhood. Which is kind of interesting.

Comment by torquedrifter on Causal Universes · 2012-11-29T17:50:27.327Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why exponentially, precisely?

Comment by torquedrifter on Causal Universes · 2012-11-29T17:49:11.233Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

True! That's why every twelve-year-old establishes elaborate passphrases for identifying alternate / time-displaced selves.

Comment by torquedrifter on Causal Universes · 2012-11-28T20:17:07.845Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Can't you just receive a packet of data from the future, verify it, then send it back into the past? Wouldn't that avoid having an eternal computer?

Comment by torquedrifter on Causal Universes · 2012-11-28T18:56:11.749Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

My understanding is that Stable Time Loops work differently: basically, the universe progresses in such a way that any and all time traveling makes sense and is consistent with the observed past. Under the above model, you will never witness another copy of yourself traveling from the future, though you might witness another copy of yourself traveling from an alternate past future that will now never have been. With STL, you can totally witness a copy of yourself traveling from the future, and you will definitely happen to travel back in time to then and do whatever they did. That's my understanding, at least.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-28T18:38:06.033Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

That would have been more reasonable, though also trivial and irrelevant (yes, some reformers fail. what of it? this comment wouldn't make sense in context). But the claim in the great-grandparent is made in absolute terms, a claim about the nature of the world - if you push society from default modes, then it will get harder and harder to accomplish nothing much and eventually you will be crushed.

One might feel compelled to interpret this as an error, and say that the intent was to say something trivial instead of wrong. But I thought that unlikely based on the user's posts in this topic: one about how reformers are crushed by history, one about how "the PC hive mind" is trying to silence them in order to establish themselves as the unquestioned masters of reality, and one misinterpreting and mocking a post about how you can insult people with facts.

Comments about how one's "opponents" are doomed to horrible violent retribution by the very nature of the universe are not unheard of. See, for example, the Men's Rights Movement, branches of which prophecy a coming time of inevitable violent revolution against our feminist overlords, or Communism, under some versions of which the success of the movement and the overthrow of all opposition is an (eventual) immutable fact.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-28T07:04:13.123Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You say there was what size bang?

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-28T02:19:00.227Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My bad! Probably just oversensitive because of what thread we're in. Apologies!

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-28T01:10:59.272Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Grunt grunt grunt, ook ook.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-28T01:00:10.697Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And these afterlives tend to be less pleasant, as I understand it. As an added wrinkle, there are also Evil energies and spells, for example the energy animating a non-evil undead, or certain spells cast by a non-evil cleric.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-28T00:49:03.057Z · score: 6 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Exactly, this is why there haven't been any successful social reforms, and people who try to effect reform are successful at first but lose momentum as the reform gets more and more established before being crushed by powerful historical forces. At least that's the word in my local Baron's court.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-28T00:42:13.809Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This claim does not appear in the post you responded to. There is in fact no gendered language except with reference to a previously-established example (and a brief additional example in which the genders of the interlocutors are not stated).

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T20:03:23.661Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not a very sturdy assumption. That's true in a minority of cases.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T19:58:53.068Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No need to snark! That's probably true, but also it's mitigated by the fact that the great-grandfather is a prediction rather than an after-the-fact interpretation. In any case, I'm just translating, not making my own assertion.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T17:29:19.277Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

my name is used fairly often

This seems like an important detail.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T07:24:43.800Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The comment objected to suggested looking for data rather than picking an answer and arguing for it without looking for data.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T07:02:54.728Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Are you saying you would prefer that insults, nagging, implicit normative claims, misleading innuendos, and outright falsehoods presented as statements about someone's perceptions of reality be accepted in the environment in question (specifically, lesswrong)?

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T05:42:39.594Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But if there weren't politically extremist / misanthropic / misogynistic (mind-killed) posts, the discussion wouldn't be very long!

(Or at least that's how I'm reading the grandparent.)

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T05:38:08.134Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, fair enough. Personally, I would say that, yeah, men do have gender-related "privilege", that this is trivial once it's pointed out, and that it's basically part of why "the traditional gender structure is unjust, immoral and insidious". So there you go.

Comment by torquedrifter on [META] Retributive downvoting: Why? · 2012-11-27T03:59:03.618Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

They don't appear to be ON the user page. Apparently it doesn't (entirely)!

Comment by torquedrifter on [META] Retributive downvoting: Why? · 2012-11-27T02:35:54.623Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I think it could certainly be wise to implement a limit on the rate at which one can downvote posts by a specific user, or, if that's technically difficult to implement, the rate at which one can downvote fullstop.

The more involved measures you suggest would require effort, but I suppose the question becomes: what is LessWrong for? If it's actively for improving rationality, such measures could be worthwhile, assuming we could find or reroute some moderators / mentors / monitors.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T02:25:01.302Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hm. Perhaps make a post in Discussion? This seems like a pretty good idea :)

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T02:03:11.984Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The whole point is that this is a strawman.

It's not. Maybe you're lucky enough to have never encountered it.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T01:57:53.381Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Similar thing happened to me earlier today after a post on this same topic. C'mon lesswrong.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T01:01:05.391Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Probably: controversy -> lots of comments. If you think that, for example, feminism should be trivial or trivially dismissed, then controversy indicates a problem.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T00:55:56.221Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yep. They don't see themselves as sexist, but they are. That makes it more difficult to effect change.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-27T00:13:13.959Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So you think they should argue positively for "clothes and makeup have an effect", given no evidence?

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-26T23:56:25.322Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see why this merited such wide-target downvoting of my comments, but I'll bite: why didn't you direct your complaints to Emile for bringing up the apparently irrelevant tangent, rather than Morendil for correcting Emile's assumption?

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-26T23:23:33.966Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

X is obviously stupid. Not-X.

Actually, data suggests X, or at least the issue is non-obvious.

That's not really the point.

???

Comment by torquedrifter on Checklist of Rationality Habits · 2012-11-26T20:25:23.685Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

To comment on the linguistic issue, yes this particular argument is silly, but I do think it is legitimate to define a word and then later discover it points out something trivial or nonexistent. Like if we discovered that everyone would wirehead rather than actually help other people in every case, then we might say "welp, guess all drives are selfish" or something.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-26T20:12:58.929Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The show is actually fairly popular amongst the male internet nerd demographic. The original creator, Lauren Faust, was a well-liked animator beforehand, and something about it just caught the popular imagination ('nerdy' references, characters and animation, well-timed slanderous editorials, etc.). There's a huge fandom that constantly produces ludicrous streams of stuff.

There's been some discussion of it on LW, and I expect there's a not-insignificant population of fans here. Or "bronies", as some style themselves.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-26T18:23:08.809Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

THANK you. Role-playing theory is awesome.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-26T03:20:47.263Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Rather, I meant to say: I expect LW posters to largely agree that it can be correct to select an option which has lower expected utility according to naive calculation so as to prevent such situations from arising in the first place (in that it is correct to have a decision function that selects such options, and that if you don't actually select such options then you don't have that decision function). It seems possibly reasonable to construe an organization having access to high utility but opposing specific human rights issues as creating such a situation (I do not comment on whether or not this is actually the case in our world).

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-26T03:14:54.810Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

So, then, I guess I provisionally agree that a factual statement minus any sort of opinion, implication, social role, etc., including the fact that it was stated instead of nothing or instead of other statements, is probably not offensive. This is a pretty weak claim, though!

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-25T23:41:43.109Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Unless this can be construed as blackmail, in which case, it is.

Comment by torquedrifter on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-11-25T23:31:23.370Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"I could rape you right now, and there's nothing you could do about it."

Comment by torquedrifter on How minimal is our intelligence? · 2012-11-21T19:36:53.546Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Number theory might have progressed faster... we might better understand the “Great Filter”

Isn’t this kind of thing archetypal of knowledge that in no way contributes to human welfare?

I don't think you'll find many here to agree that math doesn't help with human welfare.

Comment by torquedrifter on How minimal is our intelligence? · 2012-11-20T01:15:52.625Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Tangentially, and specifically because I followed the link from LessWrong, this jumped out at me:

"Haitians have a culture of tending not to admit they're wrong[.]"

(Pretend that this sentence is a list of reasonable caveats about what to conclude from that.)