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Comment by woodchuck64 on Thoughts on the Singularity Institute (SI) · 2012-05-10T20:46:35.963Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, make that: I strongly suspect the rationality of the rational internet would improve many orders of magnitude if all arguments about arguments were quietly deleted

Comment by woodchuck64 on Thoughts on the Singularity Institute (SI) · 2012-05-10T20:37:32.510Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I strongly suspect the rationality of the internet would improve many orders of magnitude if all arguments about arguments were quietly deleted.

Comment by woodchuck64 on To like each other, sing and dance in synchrony · 2012-04-26T19:45:44.033Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The dichotomies are always rationally solvable, but we are hardwired to loathe compromise on moral issues.

I think it is possible to interpret my comment is saying something bad about conservatives and good about liberals. However, what I wanted, rather, was to make the point that we (as liberals or liberal rationalists) need to think about taking group binding moral foundations as seriously as conservatives do, because if we dismiss them as outdated evolutionary vestige, that will definitely not solve social and political polarization (which in the US, at least, is at record levels).

What "taking seriously" should mean I'm not completely sure. But I think it starts at understanding and using what is known to work while attempting to avoid the known pitfalls (much like the OP suggests). And as this comment thread demonstrates, that seems to be a bit of a tightrope.

Comment by woodchuck64 on To like each other, sing and dance in synchrony · 2012-04-24T19:51:22.546Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think the dislike is visceral, coming from the same place that makes incest feel icky. Haidt's research seems to show people feel moral conclusions first, then rationalize them. I think it possible that a fairly large percentage of conservatives experience an intense visceral disgust for any blatant disregard of group binding moral foundations.

But my conclusion from that is not that conservatives should be vilified; just that we need to understand that the issue of group --vs- individual moral emphasis is a lot more than just a friendly disagreement over facts. The OP is making the point that we need to take group-binding dynamics seriously, both in understanding and using them to our advantage.

Comment by woodchuck64 on To like each other, sing and dance in synchrony · 2012-04-23T19:53:41.118Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Strong agreement with your disagreement. I just finished Haidt's The Righteous Mind and observe that rationalists seem to gravitate towards a liberal, individualistic moral foundation, while the rest seem to automatically balance that with, or favor, group binding moral foundations. Thus, we rationalists (and liberals in general) are seen as immoral because of our tendency to disregard others' crucial moral foundations of ingroup/loyalty, authority/respect, purity/sanctity. Thus, this has never been a disagreement over facts at all, but rather, a moral loathing of our very kind.

Comment by woodchuck64 on How to Be Happy · 2012-04-18T23:39:45.699Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What I've learned is that the authentic happiness I felt while married and raising a family - now replaced by singledom and an empty nest - will take great effort to achieve through activities that offer temporary relief and only a semblance of the real thing.

I wonder why the loss of happiness feels like a major internal organ is gone, leaving a huge empty space inside?

This sounds like serious depression to me, not just reduced happiness; you might consider method 1 first. Sympathies and best wishes.

Comment by woodchuck64 on Brain Preservation · 2012-04-02T19:59:47.687Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My intuition as well. Continuity seems less of a big deal when we imagine computer hardware intelligence scenarios.

As another scenario, imagine a computer based on light waves alone; it's hard to see how a temporary blocking of the input light wave, for example, could cause anything as substantial as the end of a conscious entity.

However, if I think too much about light waves and computers, I'm reminded of the LED cellular-automaton computationalist thought experiment and start to have nagging doubts about computer consciousness.

Comment by woodchuck64 on Brain Preservation · 2012-03-28T20:38:15.149Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Instead, let's say I froze my brain. My brain that makes me me, stops working. That makes the thing that is me cease to exist. The continuity stops there.

How is sleep, unconsciousness, deep anesthesia any different, though?

But further, why is continuity important? If intelligence can be simulated on a computer, and it seems likely that intelligence sophisticated enough to ponder it's own consciousness probably really is conscious, why would a reboot have any effect on its identity?

In any case, I don't have any answers. Eliezer's Identity Isn't In Specific Atoms for me seems to suggest cryonics is probably unnecessary if I can instead do a molecule-level brain-image upload before death (assuming that turns out to be possible). But if that's so, don't we also need to reject the idea of a personal future?

Comment by woodchuck64 on How to avoid dying in a car crash · 2012-03-20T20:29:05.984Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

And brain injury is particularly prevalent:

In a previous analysis of injuries among drivers admitted to Maryland hospitals following car crashes, it was noted that 37.7% incurred a TBI (Dischinger, 1999).

From Causes and Outcomes of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: An Analysis of Ciren Data

Comment by woodchuck64 on I Was Not Almost Wrong But I Was Almost Right: Close-Call Counterfactuals and Bias · 2012-03-08T20:53:23.162Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Challenge the mutability of the antecedent. Since AS-01's counterfactual is of the form ”if A, then B”, Dr. Zany could question the plausibility of A.

brain balks at "mutability", stumbles over "antecedent", sprains ankle on "counterfactual"

”Baloney!” exclaims Dr. Zany. ”No TV reporter could ever have wandered past, let alone seen the robbery!”

Oh, I get it! Brain jumps up and down with glee.

I found it helpful and entertaining.

Comment by woodchuck64 on The Fox and the Low-Hanging Grapes · 2012-03-07T20:37:57.955Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Clever remake of the old parable, thought-provoking, definitely worth an upvote.

Comment by woodchuck64 on The Threat of Cryonics · 2010-08-05T21:03:02.546Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Cryonics seems inherently, and destructively, to the human race, grossly selfish.

Cryonics is a cost, yes, but living is a cost as well. Is spending my money on cryonics more or less selfish than a 2-week vacation in the Bahamas every year for 10 years? In both cases, my money supports an economy, and I get a benefit --a recharge, in the latter, a possible regeneration in the former-- that will enhance my contribution to society.