Posts

Comments

Comment by voiceofra on Rationality Quotes Thread December 2015 · 2015-12-23T03:08:10.992Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd be even more suspicious of someone telling me that it's not that simple.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2015 · 2015-12-23T03:04:43.415Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

One interesting point, not expanded up on, is this:

One writer chalks this concern up to a bunch of “conspiracy theor(ies)”.

Balding dismisses this by citing Premier Li Keqiang, but I think this objection illustrates a deeper problem with the way the phrase "conspiracy theory" is used. It's frequently used to dismiss any suggestion that someone in authority is behaving badly regardless of whether an actual conspiracy would be required.

Let's look at what it would take for Chinese economic data to be bad. The data is gathered by the central government by delegating gathering the data to appropriate individual branches, by province, industry, etc. So what happens if someone at that level decides to fudge with the data for whatever reason (possibly to make his province and/or industry look better). The aggregate data will be wrong. And that's just one person on one level. In reality, of course, there are many levels in the hierarchy and many corrupt people in all of them.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2015 · 2015-12-23T02:26:32.465Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Recently moridinamael wrote about diswashers: As a pampered modern person, the worst part of my life is washing dishes. (Or, rinsing dishes and loading the dish washer.) How long before I can buy a robot to automate this for me?

Imagine what it was like before the dishwasher.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-23T01:47:36.832Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Wikipedia for example creates a lot of value with being structured as a network.

Which fails completely when the subject is in any way political or controversial. And by fail completely, I mean produces articles which anti-correlate with reality.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-19T02:31:38.979Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, part of what I was intending in the scenario would be that everyone realizes that we could make much faster technological advances (At least, that's the theory) if we didn't bother with keeping track of who owes who.

Except you need to keep track of who (or which algorithm if we want to be sufficiently abstract) is doing the most to contribute and being most efficient so that his success can be repeated in other parts of the system.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-19T02:23:57.592Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's not stable. The problems I mentioned are getting worse.

Comment by voiceofra on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-18T02:44:12.733Z · score: -5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

How about banning concern trolls like hg00?

Comment by voiceofra on The Art of Lawfare and Litigation strategy · 2015-12-17T23:58:06.441Z · score: -4 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Do you support or oppose the government suing tobacco companies to recover health care costs caused by tobacco use?

Do you support or oppose the government suing pro-immigration organizations to recover social service and law enforcement costs caused by the higher propensity of immigrants to commit crimes and be in need of social services?

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-17T19:46:23.552Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Informationally equivalent = plays a role in the flow of information within the system that is equivalent to the role of money in the flow of information within economy.

Ok, I don't see how that applied to the examples in question unless you expand the meaning of "equivalent" so broadly that it becomes meaningless.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-17T19:43:27.157Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This for example.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-17T02:50:05.285Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My point is that in the "whole world adopts anarchy" scenario the warlords wouldn't be able to use trucks. Heck, without the NGOs' money they probably wouldn't be able to use trucks.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-17T02:47:05.074Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Could you define what you mean by "informationally equivalent"? Merely writing a word in bold all caps does not grant it magical powers.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-16T07:18:18.885Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Note that the Somali warlords don't extract or refine gas themselves, they barter for it from better organized nations. Heck, according to the article the vehicles were paid for by misguided foreign NGOs.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-16T07:13:38.749Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Cells certainly utilize a variety of currencies, mostly energy in various forms.

Energy is a resource, not a currency. Cells don't trade amino acids for energy with each other.

I'm pretty sure an anthill or a termite mound has some feedback systems which control the foraging of ants and termites.

Probably, although we don't fully understand them. Also feedback systems =/= currency.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-16T04:05:25.895Z · score: -4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Imagine a person was abused for a large part of their childhood and is subsequently traumatised and mentally ill, then, upon regaining greater functioning as an adult decides to extort their abusive parents for money with the threat of exposing them while still counting on inheritence, instead of simply going to the authorities and approaching a legal settlement (expecting that will cut of any pleasant relations). Are there actions unconscionable? What would you do in their situation?

Depends on what you mean by "abuse"? A lot of what's been called "child abuse", e.g., spanking, isn't. On the other hand, legitimate abuse happens as well.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-16T03:36:20.560Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Whether that is machine AI, or Aliens, or cyborg slave chimpanzees and apes, I would bet dollars to donuts that our caretakers providing us with all the stuff we currently get and then some, will have something which is informationally equivalent to money in their system.

Do ants have something equivalent to money? Do your cells?

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-16T03:35:37.806Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

if your luck is lousy you get roving militias in Toyota pick-up trucks with machine guns mounted in the back.

Probably not. Toyota pick-ups require gasoline. Extracting oil and refining it into gasoline is a sufficiently complex process that it's impossible under the kinds of property regimes the "roving bandits" can maintain.

Comment by voiceofra on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-16T03:30:13.008Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My interpretation of Xyrik's question was more like "Imagine that by some unspecified magic we have solved that problem, so that everyone willingly pitches in to do their bit. What are the drawbacks then?"

Depends on the nature of the magic. Most of the obvious ones I can think of basically require the destruction of all individuality.

Comment by voiceofra on How to Not Lose an Argument · 2015-12-16T03:20:28.274Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, if what you want to accomplish is motivating large groups of people into supporting you and using them to conquer a large empire, you should study what they did and how they did it.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-16T03:15:08.362Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

A lot of problems that the establishment has been ignoring for decades, e.g., illegal immigration, out of control PC policing, pensions for government employees crowding out other spending, are starting to become critical and the seasoned politicians don't know how to address these problems. In fact they probably can't be addressed without upsetting established interests to whom the seasoned politicians are beholden to.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-16T02:51:00.069Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't mind knowing myself. However, I don't think having Satoshi's identity publicly known would be good to bitcoin.

Comment by voiceofra on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-16T02:45:00.975Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Seriously, if you're going to go into panic mode every time someone outside the community criticizes it, you'll never accomplish anything.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-16T02:25:55.609Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The smarter you are, the less likely you are to change your mind on certain issues when presented with new information, even when the new information is very clearly, simply, and unambiguously against your point of view.

Also, as George Orwell said "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them".

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-16T02:18:39.980Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, since we're genetically engineering anyway, we should be able to combine genetic material from two males or two females (or just clone, of course). And once an artificial womb gets developed you won't need to rent anything, um, living.

If we're assuming artificial wombs are widely used, humanity effectively becomes a eusocial species.

Comment by voiceofra on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-16T02:14:53.092Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Consider President Obama who has a very high IQ

Evidence?

Comment by voiceofra on Maximizing Donations to Effective Charities · 2015-12-14T23:46:12.790Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think we can both agree that there is significant likelihood of problems, such as major flooding of low-lying areas, in the next 20-30 years.

This is so nostalgic, this was what the GW alarmists were saying 20 years ago.

Comment by voiceofra on Rationality Quotes Thread December 2015 · 2015-12-13T19:20:32.515Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

cheap O-rings in space shuttles

Look at Feynman's analysis. I'd say this is a good example of disproportionate channeling of optimism.

Comment by voiceofra on LINK: Most of EvoPsych is pseudoscience · 2015-12-09T22:20:37.399Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If that's your idea of "addressing", I can point you to some creationist sites.

Comment by voiceofra on Dark Arts: Defense in Reputational Warfare · 2015-12-09T02:01:48.339Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You exploit the weakness by demanding more concessions. To use an example strait from today's headlines the Christakises' showing of weakness by apologizing was exploited by the BLM thugs putting pressure on her to resign.

Comment by voiceofra on Dark Arts: Defense in Reputational Warfare · 2015-12-09T01:58:38.336Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I believe in having a gun for home defense.

Comment by voiceofra on LINK: Most of EvoPsych is pseudoscience · 2015-12-08T21:47:20.545Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"evopsych may get a bad reputation because of racism but that's not evopsych's fault and its proponents should be fighting abuse of evopsych"

Well many critics of EvoPsych accuse perfectly correct parts of EvoPsych of racism because they don't like the conclusions. True, maybe Carrier doesn't do that specifically in this essay, but I think it's only fair to expect critics of EvoPsych to be more involved in publicly combating the nonsense accusations some of the critics make.

Comment by voiceofra on LINK: Most of EvoPsych is pseudoscience · 2015-12-08T21:46:35.745Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

EvoPsych also rarely finds any genetic correlation to a behavior

This is a ridiculous standard. The author presumably has no problem with using evolution to describe non-psycological traits. No one, say, demends we find the "trunk gene" before talking about why elephants evolved trunks.

More problematic still is the rarity of ever even acknowledging the need to rule out accidental (byproduct) explanations of a behavior

It's called Ockham's razor. If a behavior has beneficial (to the individual) effect X, it having evolved for that purpose is a more parsimonious explanation than to having evolved for reason Y that just happens to correlate with X.

The evidence actually suggests human evolution may operate at a faster pace than EvoPsych requires, such that its assumption of ancient environments being wholly determinative of present biology is false.

EvoPsychs are perfectly willing to explain traits using more recent enviroments when the evidence warrants it. Of course, Richard Carrier probably considers those parts "abuse of EvoPsych for purposes of racism". After all if a trait evolved after the human populations diverged, it probably didn't evolve the same way in all populations.

“Neuroscientists have been aware since the 1980s that the human brain has too much architectural complexity for it to be plausible that genes specify its wiring in detail,”

Amazing how the Creationists' "argument from complexity" suddenly becomes respectable when applied to psycological traits specifically.

Comment by voiceofra on Engineering Religion · 2015-12-08T06:22:46.526Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Religion serves numerous purposes, some of which have been mentioned already by other commenters. I want to add two others:

1) a mechanism for preserving Intersubjective Truths, that is, truths that it is not possible to re-derive from first principles in a reasonable amount of time.

2) a connection to the spiritual side of life and spiritual experiences.

Also, with so many different purposes it is tempting to design different religions to fill all these roles. I suspect that is harder than it seems. Since whatever fills at least some of these roles will attempt to expand to fill all of them.

Comment by voiceofra on Engineering Religion · 2015-12-08T05:55:23.122Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A successful religion must serve Moloch, and your designer choice is how much and what exactly are you going to sacrifice first.

Not a bad first approximation, however, let's examine Gnon, or Moloch if you insist on that terminology, a little bit first. Notice that of the four of Gnon's sub-processes all but Cthulhu naturally, if in some cases rather brutally, converge towards making people believe true things or at least having an accurate working model of local reality.

Cthulhu is different, it causes people to engage in signalling completions that may very well result in them competing to believe ever more false things. In a way this signals "I'm so high status I don't need to have an accurate model of what the peasants are doing". One thing religion can do, when it's working right, is keeping a throttle on this kind of status competition, by accusing anyone who starts saying anything too outlandish of heresy. Of course, there are several ways this can go wrong. For example:

1) some outlandish thing may turn out to be true.

2) once it ceases to be conservative (as is happening with the quasi-religion of "social justice") it starts accusing anyone saying insufficiently outlandish gets accused of heresy.

Comment by voiceofra on Engineering Religion · 2015-12-08T05:48:42.681Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The focus of the questions is intended to be on the engineering and social aspects, rather than on a question like "Should Atheism be considered a religion?" I understand that the vagueness makes this a less than perfect delineation of a topic.

Atheism shouldn't be thought of as a (single) religion for the same reason non-apples aren't a (single) type of fruit.

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-08T05:25:11.871Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I see you're a fan of the "say something outrageous and when called on it get angry and claim to have said something different" school of debate.

Comment by voiceofra on Dark Arts: Defense in Reputational Warfare · 2015-12-08T05:20:49.828Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Rather using a "weakness" in the sense of belonging to an officially approved "victim group" is an advantage. Actually showing weakness in a fight will be exploited even more ruthlessly than before.

Comment by voiceofra on Dark Arts: Defense in Reputational Warfare · 2015-12-08T05:18:44.885Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So this was supposed to be the "surrender to the the dark arts" article?

Comment by voiceofra on Rationality Quotes Thread December 2015 · 2015-12-07T19:17:38.843Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

but that's about putting technically unsavvy managers into positions of power over engineers,

Technically unsavy manages who insisted that the engineers tell them what they wanted to hear, i.e., who insisted that they be included in the consensus and then refused to shift their position.

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-07T19:06:31.614Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

There wasn't a great deal of sympathy for Nazism in the rest of the world

In the 1930s, yes there was. There wasn't much by 1945, but that was because people saw what happened to the Nazis and were basically going "despite appearances to the contrary, we never really liked the Nazis we swear, please don't do that to us".

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-07T19:04:18.425Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Then what were you trying to say when you wrote that clause?

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-07T19:03:10.505Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

and the defeat of fascism was not exactly painless and effortless.

And attempting to avoid offending them, as Gleb is arguing for, was obviously counterproductive in retrospect.

Comment by voiceofra on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-07T18:56:09.377Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The correlation studies that lead to defining IQ suggested that there is a single one, or if there multiple, they themselves are strongly correlated with each other.

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-07T00:17:53.230Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

the sort of leftism Hitler worried about, or the sort neoreactionaries worry about, didn't exist in that form before the 19th century.

So you're arguing not wanting to live under a leftist totalitarian dictatorship with an economy based on a delusional economic theory makes one a fascist?

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-07T00:15:42.920Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

or the higher-level question of whether and to what extent you can get rid of ideas with bombs.

I never said one could get rid of an idea with bombs. Bombs + boots on the ground, on the other hand.

I think I kinda agree with you about the first, am inclined to disagree about the second

Why the difference? This sounds like a classic near mode/far mode thinking split.

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-06T22:59:50.172Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My apologies for being dim, but I'm not sure what it is you think I'm doing that I shouldn't. What model am I treating what as extrinsic to?

You may want to look at how this thread started.

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-06T22:01:33.429Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

One element [emphasis mine] of fascism is a desire to restore (alleged) past glories.

Yes, and Hitler ate sugar.

Human biology probably doesn't change much on (merely) historical timescales, but human societies certainly do and human brains are pretty malleable.

Except we're talking about human political philosophies, not individual people. Thus it makes no sense to consider political philosophies and societies as extrinsic to our model.

Comment by voiceofra on [Link] A rational response to the Paris attacks and ISIS · 2015-12-06T21:54:57.438Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Anecdotal reports by terrorists is the best data we have available.

Which explains why you ignored all the reports that didn't fit your conclusion, e.g., the ones about how ISIS is planning to conquer Europe and considers this a war. You don't win a war by worrying about not offending the other side.

Comment by voiceofra on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-06T21:23:29.622Z · score: -5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, I do. How about you read up on IQ research sometime.

Comment by voiceofra on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-06T21:21:58.603Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

MMOs are optimized to be superstimuli in ways most hobbies aren't.