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Comment author: adam_strandberg 01 August 2014 04:28:45AM 0 points [-]

This is exactly what I was thinking the whole time. Is there any example of supposed "ambiguity aversion" that isn't explained by this effect?

Comment author: Azathoth123 01 August 2014 03:52:48AM 0 points [-]

Yes, our brain also has the a general purpose module, but it's not as effective as the special purpose ones on the problems they are designed for.

They aren't designed, they're shaped by evolution, and evolution is driven by differential reproduction, which is larger for more widely applicable improvements.

It's also larger for improvements that do really well in situations that commonly come up.

How so? Did you read my link? Two people are making a bet on a trait. If results gone other way, would ethics theory predict that too?

Sorry, I didn't. Now taking a look at it, that is indeed not directly moral. Although I suspect it might be implicitly moral since there is a presumption in our culture that unmarried men are not to be trusted with children.

The relevance is complicated and highly dependent on context and prior experience of the subject.

Ok, so your theory is even less falsifiable.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 01 August 2014 12:44:51AM *  0 points [-]

again look at confidence bounds. Most of the studies you'll find to simply lack the statistical power to make concrete recommendations. Fish seems unambiguously good and shows the largest effect sizes vs vegans (e.g. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1710093), I agree that ovo-lacto evidence is weaker, but I'll maintain that there is slight evidence in favor of it. Given that a diet including fish, eggs, and milk, is much much easier to adhere to it remains something I recommend. Remember that my approach to nutrition in the OP is that effect sizes are small and you should focus your efforts elsewhere.

I do appreciate you taking the time to argue this point, smacking various claims with a hammer is essential.

Comment author: Angela 01 August 2014 12:37:51AM 0 points [-]

Drink lots of water. Stop eating anything that contains wheat and other grains.

I don't think that either of these two has much evidence going for it.

Do short but intense exercise once a week.

Once a week is not often enough. The endorphins from exercise wear off fast so to sustain high energy levels I require a short burst of intense exercise is required every few hours with a longer run at least once a day.

In response to Polyhacking
Comment author: SeanMCoincon 01 August 2014 12:31:17AM 0 points [-]

My favorite part, at which there was actual LOLing:

"•[Imaginary Model Alicorn] acquired a certain level of status (respect for her mind-hacking skills and the approval that comes with having an approved-of "sensible" romantic orientation) within a relevant subculture. She got to write this post to claim said status publicly, and accumulate delicious karma. And she got to make this meta bullet point."

Comment author: VAuroch 31 July 2014 10:57:33PM 0 points [-]

More rational, no. More informed, yes, necessarily; they receive a constant supply of information relevant to their political decisions, largely from lobbyists and think tanks. It is biased information, but so is most of what the general public receives.

Comment author: VAuroch 31 July 2014 10:54:59PM -1 points [-]

Not all things can be measured practically, and testing of politically-loaded topics (including most laws that have serious opposition) would be inherently biased. Also, as mentioned upthread, many laws would have no effect or drastically different effect when true at only the local level from the effect if national; for example, dry counties (counties with local prohibition) do not resemble the national-scale effects of Prohibition.

Comment author: shminux 31 July 2014 10:41:24PM 2 points [-]

There's no "should" or "should not" when it comes to having feelings.

So far so good.

They're part of who we are

Indeed.

their origins are beyond our control

This gets somewhat misleading. While the origins are, the feelings themselves are not.

When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.

A missing option here is to deconstruct the lightning-fast reasoning steps from the "origins" (e.g. "he downvoted me!") to feelings (e.g. "I am upset!") and see where this chain can be broken and reforged into something more desirable (e.g. ...?).

In a more engineering way of describing it, it is not only possible to close the feedback from feelings to "origins", but also to break the feedforward from origins to feelings. The feedforward part is largely intuitive and is harder to analyze, but in some cases it is much more useful.

Comment author: Nornagest 31 July 2014 10:32:02PM *  0 points [-]

Sure. Outside of a biology class I wouldn't nitpick someone saying "humans are descended from monkeys"; it might be wrong by the formal definitions of those groups, but it's not wrong in any way that the Muslim woman in the ancestor will care about, and if the last common ancestor of H. sapiens and, say, a spider monkey were alive today it'd probably be called a monkey in English.

(Not my downvote, by the way.)

Comment author: Jiro 31 July 2014 10:28:46PM -1 points [-]

Whatever.

If you reply "well, humans aren't really descended from monkeys, they're descended from _", you're just being pedantic. To an average person, being descended from "apes" or "non-human apes" or "non-human monkeys", or "monkey-like creatures not exactly like any existing monkey", or any other "correction" will have pretty much the same connotations as and be objectionable in exactly the same way as and to exactly the same extent as, being descended from monkeys.

It's like someone complaining that all the computers in his house were stolen, and replying "well, in fact, your microwave oven contains a computer, so it's not really true that all the computers in your house were stolen".

Comment author: SeanMCoincon 31 July 2014 10:22:52PM 0 points [-]

"...Although, do please make the check out to 'Cash'."

Comment author: Nornagest 31 July 2014 10:15:22PM *  0 points [-]

apes are a subgroup of monkeys [...] colloquially “monkey” is often used to refer to non-ape monkeys specifically

That's not how I learned it, nor how Wikipedia describes it. I understand "monkey" as a term describing a polyphyletic grouping consisting of the Old World monkeys (a family-level group, the Cercopithecidae) and the New World monkeys (five families), but not including the apes. Originally I expect the presence of a tail would have been the distinguishing factor.

"Simian" is the word for both, while "primate" also includes lemurs, tarsiers, and so forth. (Colloquially, "ape" is often taken to exclude humans, but that's understood to be technically wrong by anyone that accepts evolution.)

Comment author: ialdabaoth 31 July 2014 10:08:24PM *  1 point [-]

There's no "should" or "should not" when it comes to having feelings. They're part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings.

— Fred Rogers, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

In response to Truly Part Of You
Comment author: SeanMCoincon 31 July 2014 09:58:16PM 0 points [-]

"Could I regenerate this knowledge if it were somehow deleted from my mind?"

Epistemologically, that's my biggest problem with religion-as-morality, along with using anything else that qualifies as "fiction" as a primary source of philosophy. One of my early heuristic tests to determine if a given religious individual is within reach of reason is to ask them how they think they'd be able to recreate their religion if they'd never received education/indoctrination in that religion (makes a nice lead-in to "do people who've never heard of your religion go to hell?" as well). The possibles will at least TRY to imply that gods are directly inferable from reality (though Intelligent Design is not a positive step, at least it shows they think reality is real); the lost causes give a supernatural solution ("Insert-God-Here wouldn't allow that to happen! Or if He did, He'd just make more holy books!").

If such a person's justification for morality is subjective and they just don't care that no part of it is even conceivably objective... what does that say for the relationship of any of their moral conclusions to reality?

In response to Lost Purposes
Comment author: SeanMCoincon 31 July 2014 09:27:14PM 0 points [-]

"I wish I lived in an era where I could just tell my readers they have to thoroughly research something, without giving insult."

Is that not what this entire site is accomplishing?

Comment author: shminux 31 July 2014 09:22:31PM 0 points [-]

conflate "selfishness" with "enlightened self-interest" for the positive connotations of the latter...

If you have a look at this blog post by one of the more famous ex-regulars, this is basically the "motte-and-bailey" tactics, where motte is "selfishness = "enlightened self-interest" and bailey is something like "let the free market rule".

Comment author: shminux 31 July 2014 09:14:23PM *  0 points [-]

If you look through the many subsequent discussions of this, you'll see that indeed $1,001,000 is not in the outcome domain, but the classical CDT is unable to enumerate this domain correctly.

In response to Fake Selfishness
Comment author: SeanMCoincon 31 July 2014 08:57:56PM 0 points [-]

Many big-L Libertarians I've met - along with those who consider themselves to be trench-fighters for Ayn Rand-ian Objectivism - seem to want to conflate "selfishness" with "enlightened self-interest" for the positive connotations of the latter... yet their rationale for various big-L proposals (such as "let's turn over national security to corporations, who will certainly never abuse the power to force decisions upon people") tends to be of the extremely rosy, happy death spiral, declare-anything-that-doesn't-fit-an-"externality" variety. That seems somewhat removed from any meaning of "enlightened" that approaches sensibility; and that's coming from a mild, little-l, "A free society means you need a reason to make things illegal" libertarian framing.

Ultimately, I can understand the "It's So Simple! (tm)" appeal of claiming that selfishness itself is good as an absolute, but delivering that advice only appears to hold true - at either a societal OR individual level - if the scoreboard is measuring relative altruistic effects. A benefit to oneself that derives from (having helped propagate) a mutually self-interested society only qualifies as a benefit relative to 1) a society of self-sacrificial lemmings (which is a bit of a straw man); or 2) no society at all, where there really ARE no externalities and self-interest can be truly self-referent. ...I feel I may not be explaining this clearly, so I'll simply request suggestions and wrap up this comment.

It seems that, instead of trumpeting "selfishness!" as a counterintuitive moral panacea, all that's really needed for altruism to symbiotically cohabitate with "selfishness" is to use the phrase "rational self-regard" instead, since it doesn't require you to engage in Ethical-Egoism-esque displays of unnecessary dickishness towards one's fellow man. ...And I feel I may have to try to write an article on that subject if one does not yet exist.

Comment author: army1987 31 July 2014 08:43:17PM *  0 points [-]

I believe that both monkeys and humans belong to a larger category of creatures called apes

Nitpick: humans are a subgroup of apes, apes are a subgroup of monkeys, and monkeys are a subgroup of primates; colloquially “monkey” is often used to refer to non-ape monkeys specifically and “ape” is often used to refer to non-human apes specifically, whereas I can't remember anyone using “primate” to exclude humans (and BTW, I can't recall “mammal” nor “vertebrate” ever being used to exclude humans either whereas “animal” often is; colloquial English¹ is weird).


  1. BTW, in Italian there's no common single word for apes, the word for “monkey” always includes non-human apes but basically never includes humans, whereas the same things I've said about English words for “primate”, “mammal”, “vertebrate” and “animal” apply.
Comment author: Lumifer 31 July 2014 08:12:55PM *  0 points [-]

No pointers, sorry. But for fun I searched PubMed for "vegan" and it came up with 3200 hits...

Random example thought not meta.

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