Let's talk about politics 2012-09-19T17:25:21.348Z


Comment by WingedViper on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-31T15:04:27.572Z · LW · GW

Done. Though I feel guilty about skipping a few of the more involved questions.

Comment by WingedViper on European Community Weekend 2014 retrospective · 2014-04-30T12:16:46.208Z · LW · GW

I overlooked a "no hug" sign myself, even though I'm an organiser and had a part in choosing them. I agree that they need to be more visually distinct and we will improve that next time.

Comment by WingedViper on A vote against spaced repetition · 2014-03-11T22:18:20.027Z · LW · GW

As spaced repetition and flashcards are a technique and tool respectively it is (to me) obvious that they are useful for certain kinds of circumstances. Flashcards really are useful only when you want to associate 2 things to each other (for example a word and its translation) and might not be the best way to build an organized knowledge of a subject. Because of that I wouldn't use them for that purpose in any case.

Thank you for pointing out an area where they fail, that was useful information.

A question to the community: Do you really believe as much in spaced repetition/Anki as the post suggests?

Comment by WingedViper on Learning languages efficiently. · 2014-03-06T20:37:07.918Z · LW · GW

There are a lot of good suggestions in the comments already. I'd like to emphasize immersion (films, audio books etc.) and especially lots of practice talking (!). Try to find as many possible ways to increase your talking time in the target language. E.g. by talking over skype, seeking out a local Hebrew club or whatever.

Also I'd like to point to because Benny (the blogger) has a lot of good tips for language learning.

Comment by WingedViper on A self-experiment in training "noticing confusion" · 2014-02-23T11:30:48.265Z · LW · GW

Thanks for clearing that up. That was my guess, I was just confused that it suddenly popped up without me ever having heard about it. Is it popular/well-known? When I googled it, there were no hits for an explanation.

Comment by WingedViper on A self-experiment in training "noticing confusion" · 2014-02-23T10:36:37.276Z · LW · GW

I have a (kind of) meta question: What's up with the "zir" and "zirself" in the text? I've never heard/read that word before and from context I'd infer that it should be "their" and "themselves". Would you clear that up?

Comment by WingedViper on Mental Subvocalization --"Saying" Words In Your Mind As You Read · 2014-02-17T20:37:00.043Z · LW · GW

I don't think it was meant as a distinction but as a description of a mental process that might not be exactly the same for everyone. So the dichotomy is between say/hear on the one side and not say/hear on the other.

Comment by WingedViper on Meta: social influence bias and the karma system · 2014-02-17T14:35:03.066Z · LW · GW

For posts I use the vote as an indication of what the LW-consensus of this post is. So if the title is not that promising and the score is low I often don't read it. If I do read it though, I try to account for the "bias" of the up-/ downvote and make an effort to find an independent evaluation. So I don't really think it's an issue.

Comment by WingedViper on On saving the world · 2014-01-31T14:30:37.392Z · LW · GW

The more stories I hear of other LessWrongers' life stories (and taking my own into consideration) the more I realise how one of our defining traits is our inability and/or unwillingness to compartmentalize on important ideas.

Comment by WingedViper on On saving the world · 2014-01-31T14:28:44.825Z · LW · GW

I have to disagree a bit on the communism part. One of the ways that it went wrong, that it ended in Totalitarianism, was due to how it was implemented and foreseeable to a certain extent. All it really tells us is that we have to take human nature into account when designing a society for humans, not that we shouldn't try out powerful ideas.

Comment by WingedViper on On saving the world · 2014-01-30T21:43:37.707Z · LW · GW

I have to agree with Kawoomba. It would be totally awesome to try and puzzle out the reasons that you have for your ideas with just the ideas given. An hour of your time (to write a post) could prompt people to change their minds on how society should be optimized and that is an opportunity that you shouldn't miss. Also, changing the way society works is one of my pet peeves.

Comment by WingedViper on European Community Weekend in Berlin · 2014-01-28T01:44:35.504Z · LW · GW

Fair point. It is not (yet) a big convention though, so I think the timescale is ok. It's more about trying to gather the people that are most interested in starting a European community and getting something going that we can build upon.

Comment by WingedViper on European Community Weekend in Berlin · 2014-01-26T20:41:08.048Z · LW · GW

Wait, what? It's happening on the 11th of April, that's another 2.5 months?!

Comment by WingedViper on Rationality Quotes December 2013 · 2013-12-19T22:57:46.382Z · LW · GW

I guess we could just add most of the "Prince of Nothing" and the "The Aspect-Emperor" Series by Scott R. Bakker to the LessWrong quotes ;-) By the way, is there a reading list that we can add them to?

Comment by WingedViper on Seeking a reader for LessWrong sequences · 2013-08-05T01:10:38.258Z · LW · GW

Ok, had a go on it as well. And what format do you want?

Comment by WingedViper on Near-Term Risk: Killer Robots a Threat to Freedom and Democracy · 2013-06-18T10:01:50.847Z · LW · GW

What do you disagree strongly with? My speculation that you would need fewer people to control them? I'm not sure about that so if you can bring in a good argument you can change my view on that.

Terrorists are not our problem (in general and in this specific state). Terrorists with nukes cannot feasably control a country with them.

I am talking about people that have easy access to drones and want to control a country with them. Traditional totalitarian techniques plus drones is what I am really worried about, not terrorists.

So I admit that with "a few people with drones vs. nukes" I thought about a (close to) worst case. Obviously some low tech terrorists in Afghanistan are not a real substantial problem when they control drones, but high military officials with power fantasies are. Of course rouge states with drones are even more dangerous...

Comment by WingedViper on Near-Term Risk: Killer Robots a Threat to Freedom and Democracy · 2013-06-14T22:26:37.897Z · LW · GW

That is indeed a fair point, but I think it is not so important when talking about a tyrant gaining control of his own country. Because the soldiers in Iraq, Bosnia etc. saw the people they tortured (or similar) not as people, but as "the Enemy". That kind of thing is much harder to achieve when they are supposed to be fighting their own countrymen.

Comment by WingedViper on Near-Term Risk: Killer Robots a Threat to Freedom and Democracy · 2013-06-14T12:49:09.717Z · LW · GW

Yes they are, because nukes can only be aimed once and then destroy the targets (so they are just a direct threat) while autonomous robots can be used to control all kinds of stuff (checkpoints, roads, certain people). Also they allow much more accurate killing while nukes have a huge area of effect. Also I think (that is speculation, admittedly) that you would need fewer people to control a drone army than nukes of comparable destructive power.

Comment by WingedViper on Open thread, February 15-28, 2013 · 2013-02-16T00:06:07.041Z · LW · GW

Acting "weird" (well or just weird, depends) is something I have contemplated, too. For now I have to confess that I mostly try to stick to the norms (especially in public) except if I have a good reason to do otherwise. I think I might make this one of my tasks to just do some random "weird" acts of kindness.

About the alienation: I don't think that we should do a lot about that. I think enforcing certain rules and having our own memes and terms for stuff already has some strong effects on that. I certainly felt a bit weird when I first came here. And I already was having thoughts like "don't judge something by it's cover" etc. in my mind (avoiding certain biases).

Comment by WingedViper on Is protecting yourself from your own biases self-defeating? · 2013-02-15T18:11:08.389Z · LW · GW

I would say that it is better to try and fail to become "the best possible you" than to live life in mediocrity. I would definitely not choose the safest option instead of the best while still in university. (In fact I was so fortunate as to have a compromise available.) The time to work for your dreams is now. You (hopefully) don't have burdens like kids, debt, huge possessions (house, car) etc. to care for so make mistakes and learn from them. Me stealing/paraphrasing: "Try and you can fail, try not and you have already failed!" Of course I might just be someone giving bad advice, but I think not. (obviously) You won't waste your time if you fail becoming a researcher, so definitely try it.

Comment by WingedViper on 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-01T13:22:23.904Z · LW · GW

Well, you cannot be totally sure. I for one would consider myself a consequentialist, but would still choose dust specks. Correlation doesn't imply causation!

Comment by WingedViper on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-14T08:18:03.400Z · LW · GW

Yep, imperial system was quite a frustration and is not really appropriate for such a scientifically minded group.

Comment by WingedViper on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T18:27:02.959Z · LW · GW

Same for me here. Most of them were surprisingly easy and some (about 3 or 4) were just plain bizarre.

Comment by WingedViper on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T18:24:31.570Z · LW · GW

Longtime lurker that finally signed up in July. All questions except for the last ones with the tests. (did the IQ test though)

Comment by WingedViper on The Two-Party Swindle · 2012-11-04T14:37:42.405Z · LW · GW

I would be interested in the conclusions you (all) draw from the two-party swindle. Do you think it gets better with multiple party politics? And what would be the best political system? Direct democracy? A council based republic? I agree that the two-party system is greatly flawed, but what is best (multiple parties is better, but clearly not best, right?)

Comment by WingedViper on Rationality Quotes October 2012 · 2012-10-09T13:52:37.187Z · LW · GW

I don't know if you know, but just in case you (or someone else) don't: There is no inequality symbol on the computer keyboard, so he used a typical programmer's inequality symbol which is "!=". So yes, it is not easily readable (i! is a bad combination...) but totally correct.

Comment by WingedViper on Let's talk about politics · 2012-09-23T16:36:33.965Z · LW · GW

Well the intention was indeed twofold. Firstly advocate the possibility for good political discussions (because then, and to a lesser extent now, I thought that it would be good to have them) and genuinely ask why you don't have them.

Comment by WingedViper on Let's talk about politics · 2012-09-22T16:39:15.694Z · LW · GW

I realise more and more that I did not phrase my question/query very well. What I meant with a political discussion was that you have a general issue and you try to find either the truth or a consens if possible. So I don't want to discuss Democrats vs Republicans (I am German anyway) but talk about certain issues that you would not want to discuss, because they are "political". (e.g. same sex marriage, how to minimise poverty etc.)

Comment by WingedViper on Let's talk about politics · 2012-09-22T16:07:20.821Z · LW · GW

That is the sort of answer I was aiming for when I was writing the post. I genuinely wanted to know why you don't have those discussions and this is an interesting reason.

Comment by WingedViper on Let's talk about politics · 2012-09-22T15:26:17.941Z · LW · GW

I may have been overly optimistic. I was just stating my confusion about the fact that this chance (people with different political opinions and small identities that are interested in finding the truth and like to discuss on a fair basis) has not been used (much) to discuss politics.

I guess with "perfect" I meant that it is one of the best places you can find, not that it is really perfect.

Comment by WingedViper on Let's talk about politics · 2012-09-22T14:36:37.160Z · LW · GW

But that doesn't explain (entirely) why there are no political threads. A better explanation is (I guess) that you downvote everything that has the word politics in it.

Comment by WingedViper on Let's talk about politics · 2012-09-22T14:34:18.682Z · LW · GW

I never said that we are immune, I said that there was potential for good political discussions not that there would be no bad ones. And I wanted to ask a question, not state that you are all wrong and stupid.

Comment by WingedViper on Meetup : Berlin Meetup · 2012-09-19T17:21:53.987Z · LW · GW

I think I missed the poll for the date, so is it going to be Thursday the 28th?

Comment by WingedViper on Meetup : Berlin Meetup · 2012-09-19T17:21:06.237Z · LW · GW

Hi, I looked through the games and (as far as I remember) we could play at least 2 (nearly) without preparation and 1 with very little, so that's the ones I want to try. We will definitely have 2 to 4 games/activities to chose from. So we can decide what we want to do. It is of course just an offer, no pressure there.

Comment by WingedViper on Rationality Quotes September 2012 · 2012-09-19T16:54:11.556Z · LW · GW

It does not state which (!) former self, so I would expect some sort of median or mean or summary of your former self and not just the last day. So I'm sorry but there is no shortcut ;-)

Comment by WingedViper on Meetup : Berlin Meetup · 2012-09-01T21:06:01.730Z · LW · GW

Hi Leute, werde vielleicht da sein, komme aus dem Südwesten nach Berlin.

Comment by WingedViper on Superstimuli and the Collapse of Western Civilization · 2012-07-04T03:14:59.188Z · LW · GW

Drug use is IMO not a good example because drug prohibition does our (modern, informed and scientifically advanced) society no favor. Quite the opposite, as more and more people seem to realise.

Banning superstimuli is not the best way to go (it might not even be a good way), early education is much more effective. Our information society opens up new possibilities to make well informed decisions and to come closer to the free market ideal.

Comment by WingedViper on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... · 2012-07-03T10:05:39.871Z · LW · GW

Of course, that's why I would call myself a consequentialist even though I mainly/very often argue by using deontic principles. I wasn't talking about theory (or foundation), but about the practicality/practical use of deontic reasoning versus consequentialism.

Comment by WingedViper on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... · 2012-07-02T07:07:35.826Z · LW · GW

Upvoted. I really like this comment because it shows some of my own concerns about consequentialism. For example I have decided that for most cases the deontic answers fit the consequentialist ones so well that we should start out following them and only if they appear to be nonsatisfactory we should dive into consequentialist reasoning. This quite leads to some peace of mind, but it obviously is the easy answer, not the correct one... Is there a post on lesswrong for deontology as a subset of consequentialism? (According to wikipedia there seem to be some scientists that state a similar opinion.)

Comment by WingedViper on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2012) · 2012-07-01T09:15:28.702Z · LW · GW


I'm a German student-to-be (I am going to start studying IT in October) and I am interested in almost anything connected with rationality, especially the self improvement, biases and "how to save the world" parts. I hope that lesswrong will be (and it already has been to a certain amount) one of the resources for (re-)shaping my thinking and acting towards a better me and a better world.

I came here, like so many others ;-), because I wanted to check out the foundations/concepts behind HPMOR and I could not just leave again. So over the last few months I visited again and again to read some of the sequences and posts.

As I am interested in science, especially physics, maths, technology and astronomy, I have a question that I would like to ask the lesswrong community: What is a fast and secure way of determining the trustworthiness of scientists and scientific papers? I ask this because there is a lot of pseudoscience and poorly done science out there which often isn't easy to distinguish from unconventional/disrupting science (at least not for me).

all the best Viper