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Welcome to Less Wrong! (11th thread, January 2017) (Thread B)

1 Post author: Grothor 16 January 2017 10:25PM

(Thread A for January 2017 is here, this was created as a duplicate but it's too late to fix it now.)


Hi, do you read the LessWrong website, but haven't commented yet (or not very much)? Are you a bit scared of the harsh community, or do you feel that questions which are new and interesting for you could be old and boring for the older members?

This is the place for the new members to become courageous and ask what they wanted to ask. Or just to say hi.

The older members are strongly encouraged to be gentle and patient (or just skip the entire discussion if they can't).

Newbies, welcome!

 

The long version:

 

If you've recently joined the Less Wrong community, please leave a comment here and introduce yourself. We'd love to know who you are, what you're doing, what you value, how you came to identify as an aspiring rationalist or how you found us. You can skip right to that if you like; the rest of this post consists of a few things you might find helpful. More can be found at the FAQ.

 

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EXTRA FEATURES:
There's actually more than meets the eye here: look near the top of the page for the "WIKI", "DISCUSSION" and "SEQUENCES" links.
LW WIKI: This is our attempt to make searching by topic feasible, as well as to store information like common abbreviations and idioms. It's a good place to look if someone's speaking Greek to you.
LW DISCUSSION: This is a forum just like the top-level one, with two key differences: in the top-level forum, posts require the author to have 20 karma in order to publish, and any upvotes or downvotes on the post are multiplied by 10. Thus there's a lot more informal dialogue in the Discussion section, including some of the more fun conversations here.
SEQUENCES: A huge corpus of material mostly written by Eliezer Yudkowsky in his days of blogging at Overcoming Bias, before Less Wrong was started. Much of the discussion here will casually depend on or refer to ideas brought up in those posts, so reading them can really help with present discussions. Besides which, they're pretty engrossing in my opinion. They are also available in a book form.

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If you've come to Less Wrong to  discuss a particular topic, this thread would be a great place to start the conversation. By commenting here, and checking the responses, you'll probably get a good read on what, if anything, has already been said here on that topic, what's widely understood and what you might still need to take some time explaining.

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Normal_Anomaly 
Randaly 
shokwave 
Barry Cotter

A note for theists: you will find the Less Wrong community to be predominantly atheist, though not completely so, and most of us are genuinely respectful of religious people who keep the usual community norms. It's worth saying that we might think religion is off-topic in some places where you think it's on-topic, so be thoughtful about where and how you start explicitly talking about it; some of us are happy to talk about religion, some of us aren't interested. Bear in mind that many of us really, truly have given full consideration to theistic claims and found them to be false, so starting with the most common arguments is pretty likely just to annoy people. Anyhow, it's absolutely OK to mention that you're religious in your welcome post and to invite a discussion there.

A list of some posts that are pretty awesome

I recommend the major sequences to everybody, but I realize how daunting they look at first. So for purposes of immediate gratification, the following posts are particularly interesting/illuminating/provocative and don't require any previous reading:

More suggestions are welcome! Or just check out the top-rated posts from the history of Less Wrong. Most posts at +50 or more are well worth your time.

Welcome to Less Wrong, and we look forward to hearing from you throughout the site!

Comments (178)

Comment author: ingive 16 January 2017 11:42:50PM 7 points [-]

Hi, my horizons are towards hardcore Effective Altruism, whereas to be a successful E altruist you have to figure out how your brain works, emotional intelligence, QM and how to condition yourself. I'm very concerned that rational people who have apparently mastered the Way spend their time arguing on irrelevant matters with users here rather than being in line with their utility function and purpose. So a part of my future research is how to figure out how to communicate with high-IQ individuals here to unlock their potential and improve their reasoning.

For now I have to read the Sequences, do some math, read Jaynes and other rationalist material. http://rationality.org/resources/reading-list

I have around 7017+-500 pages left to read and understand, which will take around a year. If you have any other suggestions for material to read based on my post history among others, I highly appreciate it. Thanks.

Comment author: NatashaRostova 17 January 2017 01:37:07AM 2 points [-]

Good luck! I'm looking forward to reading your ebook on 5 easy tips on how to unlock my inner high-IQ potential.

Comment author: yul 26 January 2017 09:39:42AM 0 points [-]

I'm very concerned that rational people who have apparently mastered the Way spend their time arguing on irrelevant matters with users here rather than being in line with their utility function and purpose.

So a part of my future research is how to figure out how to communicate with high-IQ individuals here to unlock their potential and improve their reasoning.

So... you are going to spend your time arguing with users here, but you've come with a reason for it, so it doesn't seem irrational? ;)

Comment author: MaryCh 08 February 2017 01:28:58PM 4 points [-]

Hello, this is the user formerly known as Romashka. I work in a bookstore, read botany articles for pleasure, have a family. I do not expect to post to Discussion, and will probably comment only occasionally. Good luck to everyone.

Comment author: gjm 13 February 2017 03:21:38AM 1 point [-]

Welcome back! Is there a particular reason why you don't expect to post to Discussion? You used to, from time to time, under your old ID. What's changed?

(Please don't feel obliged to answer this question. But I'd be interested in the answer if you'd like to give it.)

Comment author: MaryCh 13 February 2017 06:25:49AM 2 points [-]

I'm now more active on Facebook, where 1) I don't have to use English, and 2) the (few) commenters are mostly botanists and zoologists with much more experience than I have - this is like refining your search terms:) and I live near enough that I can go talk to them in person, if need be, so it's kind of mixed online and real-life discussion.

I haven't had the time to go talk with them lately, but I do hope to do it soon enough.

As to non-biology-related stuff, I don't expect to post on it because I only come across it randomly, and so...don't expect to:)

Comment author: gjm 13 February 2017 12:33:57PM 0 points [-]

Not that you need my approval, but those sound like excellent reasons.

Comment author: Elo 11 February 2017 08:35:40AM 1 point [-]

welcome back!

Comment author: JacobLiechty 22 January 2017 06:04:01AM *  4 points [-]

Was reminded to say hello here!

I'm Jacob Liechty, with a new account after using a less active pseudonym for a while. I've been somewhat active around the rationality community and know a bunch of people therein and throughout. Rationalism and its writings had a pretty deep impact on my life about 5 years ago, and I haven't been able to shake it since.

I currently make video games for a living, but will be keeping my finger to the pulse to determine when to move into more general tech startups, some sort of full time philanthropy, maybe start an EA nonprofit or metacharity, or who knows. I'm one of the creators of a game called Astroneer, which has been doing quite successfully, which opens up a lot of opportunities but also gives me some responsibilities of managing it well for the purposes of giving.

Comment author: rthomas2 25 June 2017 06:28:13PM 3 points [-]

Hello! I'm Ryan; some of you may know me from the Boston or NYC meetups, or from my excursions to the Bay. I'm finally getting around to really using this account; anything that I posted more than a year or so ago can be safely ignored, or laughed at if you're in the mood for a chuckle. I'm hoping to primarily focus on longevity research and how people can work together well on things in general; currently collecting info to try and make a general post about the current state of the field. I'm thoroughly a layperson in most regards--I have a BA in psych and a bit of a knack for cold reading and general Hufflepuffing, but that's about my whole skillset. Well: also meaning well and being quick to learn/update. I'm kinda proud of that. But still, I'm by no means the sharpest or most expert; I just tend to stick to things until I figure them out.

So: pleasure to (cyber) meet you, and hi again to people I already know!

Comment author: pvs 28 March 2017 03:49:21PM 3 points [-]

Hello, I'm a math-cs undergrad and aspiring effective altruist, but I haven't chosen a cause yet. Since that decision is probably one of the most important ones, I should probably wait until I've become stronger.

To that end, I've read the Sequences (as well as HPMOR), and I would like to attend a CFAR workshop or similar at some point in the future. I think one of my problems is that I don't actually think that much about what I read. Do you have any advice on that?

Also, there are a couple of LWers in my college with whom I have met twice, and we would like to start organising meetups regularly. Would you please give me some karma so that I can add new meetups? (I promise I will make up for it with good contributions)

Thanks!

Comment author: Elo 30 March 2017 11:31:30AM 2 points [-]

try rewriting what you have read or teaching it to other people. This will help you feel like you understand it better and go back and re-learn what you might have missed. See also: Feynman notebook method.

Comment author: Grothor 29 March 2017 04:12:17AM 1 point [-]

I think one of my problems is that I don't actually think that much about what I read.

Do you mean that you don't put much thought into deciding what to read, or that when you read something you don't reflect on it?

Comment author: pvs 29 March 2017 08:11:19PM *  0 points [-]

I don't reflect on it. This happens in two ways:

  1. I find reflecting much more cognitively demanding than reading, so if there is a 'next post' button or similar, I tend to keep reading.

  2. Also, sometimes when I try to actually think about the subject, it's difficult to come up with original ideas. I often find myself explaining or convincing an imaginary person, instead of trying to see it with fresh eyes. This is something I noticed after reading the corresponding Sequence.

I guess establishing an habit of commenting would help me solve these problems.

Comment author: Elo 30 March 2017 11:30:37AM 0 points [-]

karma awarded.

Comment author: pvs 31 March 2017 05:17:54PM 0 points [-]

Thank you!

Comment author: Applesauce 01 February 2017 12:37:24AM *  3 points [-]

I am applesauce.

Found this place through another user and quite a few concepts/topics/thoughts/content was interesting. Currently have a year left till I become licensed to start diagnosing people with the DSM-5 and on my way to be an RN as well... I am a crappy counselor so I meet all types of people...but the members of this site have peculiar thoughts and processes which is pretty fascinating.

Bottomline: I just like to listen to people.

Comment author: Xianda_GAO 16 July 2017 11:42:24PM 2 points [-]

First thing I want to say is that I do not have a mathematics or philosophy degree. I come from an engineering background. I consider myself as a hobbyist rationalist. English is not my first language, so pease forgive me when I make grammar mistakes.

The reason I've come to LW is because I believe I have something of value to contribute to the discussion of the Sleeping Beauty Problem. I tried to get some feedback by posting on reddit, however maybe due to the length of it I get few responses. I find LW through google and the discussion here is much more in depth and rigorous. So I'm hoping to get some critiques on my idea.

My main argument is that in case of the sleeping beauty problem, agents free to communicate thus having identical information can still rightfully have different credence to the same proposition. This disagreement is purely caused by the difference in their perspective. And due to this perspective disagreement, SIA and SSA are both wrong because they are answering the question from an outside "selector" perspective which is different from beauty's answer. I concluded that the correct answer should be double-halving.

Because I'm new and cannot start a new discussion thread I'm posting the first part of my argument here see if anyone is interested. Also my complete argument can be found at www.sleepingbeautyproblem.com

Consider the following experiment:

Duplicating Beauty (DB)

Beauty falls asleep as usual. The experimenter tosses a fair coin before she wakes up. If the coin landed on T then a perfect copy of beauty will be produced. The copy is precise enough that she cannot tell if herself is old or new. If the coin landed on H then no copy will be made . The beauty(ies) will then be randomly put into two identical rooms. At this point another person, let's call him the Selector, randomly chooses one of the two rooms and enters. Suppose he saw a beauty in the chosen room. What should the credence for H be for the two of them?

For the Selector this is easy to calculate. Because he is twice more likely to see a beauty in the room if T, simple bayesian updating gives us his probability for H as 1/3.

For Beauty, her room has the same chance of being chosen (1/2) regardless if the coin landed on H or T. Therefore seeing the Selector gives her no new information about the coin toss. So her answer should be the same as in the original SBP. If she is a halfer 1/2, if she is a thirder 1/3.

This means the two of them would give different answers according to halfers and would give the same answer according to thirders. Notice here the Selector and Beauty can freely communicate however they want, they have the same information regarding the coin toss. So halving would give rise to a perspective disagreement even when both parties share the same information.

This perspective disagreement is something unusual (and against Aumann's Agreement Theorem), so it could be used as an evidence against halving thus supporting Thirdrism and SIA. I would show the problems of SIA in the another thought experiment. For now I want to argue that this disagreement has a logical reason.

Let's take a frequentist's approach and see what happens if the experiment is repeated, say 1000 times. For the Selector, this simply means someone else go through the potential cloning 1000 times and each time he would chooses a random room. On average there would be 500 H and T. He would see a beauty for all 500 times after T and see a beauty 250 times after H. Meaning out of the 750 times 1/3 of which would be H. Therefore he is correct in giving 1/3 as his answer.

For beauty a repetition simply means she goes through the experiment and wake up in a random room awaiting the Selector's choice again. So by her count, taking part in 1000 repetitions means she would recall 1000 coin tosses after waking up. In those 1000 coin tosses there should be about 500 of H and T each. She would see the Selector about 500 times with equal numbers after T or H. Therefore her answer of 1/2 is also correct from her perspective.

If we call the creation of a new beauty a "branch off", here we see that from Selector's perspective experiments from all branches are considered a repetition. Where as from Beauty's perspective only experiment from her own branch is counted as a repetition. This difference leads to the disagreement.

This disagreement can also be demonstrated by betting odds. In case of T, choosing any of the two rooms leads to the same observation for the Selector: he always sees a beauty and enters another bet. However, for the two beauties the Selector's choice leads to different observations: whether or not she can see him and enters another bet. So the Selector is twice more likely to enter a bet than any Beauty in case of T, giving them different betting odds respectively.

The above reasoning can be easily applied to original SBP. Conceptually it is just an experiment where its duration is divided into two parts by a memory wipe in case of T. The exact duration of the experiment, whether it is two days or a week or five years, is irrelevant. Therefore from beauty’s perspective to repeat the experiment means her subsequent awakenings need to be shorter to fit into her current awakening. For example, if in the first experiment the two possible awakenings happen on different days, then the in the next repetition the two possible awakening can happen on morning and afternoon of the current day. Further repetitions will keep dividing the available time. Theoretically it can be repeated indefinitely in the form of a supertask. By her count half of those repetitions would be H. Comparing this with an outsider who never experiences a memory wipe: all repetitions from those two days are equally valid repetitions. The disagreement pattern remains the same as in the DB case.

PS: Due to the length of it I'm breaking this thing into several parts. The next part would be a thought experiment countering SIA and Thirdism. Which I would post in a few days if anyone's interested.

Comment author: Elo 19 July 2017 05:05:04AM 0 points [-]

You should have karma to post now.

Comment author: Convolution 13 March 2017 12:57:14PM *  2 points [-]

What do you do when you have a thousand questions to ask, and a thousand things to say, in a place where you do not normally do either? How do you say the first thing?

As a rationalist, what do you what to see more of in literature? I enjoyed HPMOR, and that's how I got here, a few months ago. It reminds me of textbooks, but I wasn't bored. It's one of my favorite books, and I've been recommending it to Ender's Game fans. I want to write a book or tell a story like that.

Origin story? I think of myself as an irrationalist, but I'm busy debugging. It's more difficult than debugging code (c++ atleast), but more important, and...hopefully more rewarding.

A few questions:

Can we comment here multiple times?

Is this the best place to talk about ourselves on Less Wrong, or is that our User page?

Is there a place to talk about our personal experiences and efforts 'becoming more rational', and encourage each other, or is this just a place for general scientific discussion and posts?

Is there a timeline page for this website? If not, what's important about this site's history? Any interesting simultaneous sets of events? If not, is there anyone keeping records?

Is there a max comment length?

I know politics aren't talked about on Less Wrong, but religion is. If you view irrationality, or 'that which the truth can destroy' as things which 'should be destroyed with the truth', then why not talk about a vortex of bias and irrationality and poor design? Or, as a problem, talk about solutions. If solutions are never discussed how will the problem ever be solved? By everyone joining a group that can solve the problem but doesn't talk about it, but believes it will magically be solved when everyone does? While everywhere else, whenever someone thinks they have magically solved all problems and uncovered the secret to world peace, they shout it to the heavens and don't stop ranting about it where everyone can hear, including the internet. This seems exactly like the one of the few places I'd actually want to talk, and listen to people talk, about politics. It reminds me of Be Secretly Wrong.

How can I get up to date on the latest parts of Less Wrong? If The Sequences are the introduction, where are things now?

Comment author: gjm 13 March 2017 04:39:38PM 0 points [-]

Can we comment here multiple times?

(I assume "here" = welcome thread.) Yes, of course. But no need to introduce yourself more than once.

Is there a place to talk about our personal experiences and efforts

The most recent "Group Rationality Diary" thread might be the best place for that.

[...] timeline [...]

Once upon a time, an economist called Robin Hanson started a blog called "Overcoming Bias". He invited one Eliezer Yudkowsky, an amateur artaificial intelligence theorist and philosopher (note: he might disagree with that characterization), to post on his blog, and for some time OB was a joint Hanson/Yudkowsky blog, with Yudkowsky's contributions constituting a sort of informal course in rationality-as-Eliezer-sees-it. After a few years of this, Robin Hanson wanted his blog back and quite a community had built up that was mostly following and commenting on Eliezer's posts, and a new site was created for that community: lesswrong.com. It was seeded with all Eliezer's old OB posts. It was a thriving would-be-rationalist community for some time, but in the last few years a lot of what used to be its regulars have gone elsewhere and it's generally reckoned that both quality and quantity of content here are much lower than they used to be. There are various plausible conjectures about why. There are occasional attempts to fix this by various means.

Is there a max comment length?

Probably, but it's pretty long. I don't recall ever hitting it, and (some of) my comments tend to be longer than most.

[...] politics [...]

Unfortunately, political discussions here have often turned out quite unhelpful -- more heat than light. So political discussion (especially if more specific) is generally discouraged here. There is fairly frequent political discussion, in a somewhat-rationalist community, in the open threads at Slate Star Codex (whose author was a very highly valued participant here on LW until he went his own way).

How can I get up to date on the latest parts of Less Wrong?

I don't think there's anything cleverer than reading the recent archives. You could look for particularly highly-voted posts, but note that until quite recently there was one user with a multitude of sockpuppets mass-downvoting everything posted by people whose politics he didn't like (and, for all I know, mass-upvoting things posted by people whose politics he did, but that hasn't been noticed if so) so the scores on things are less useful than you might hope.

Comment author: Lumifer 13 March 2017 02:35:05PM *  0 points [-]

Can we comment here multiple times?

Yes.

Is this the best place to talk about ourselves on Less Wrong, or is that our User page?

This. No one looks at User pages on a regular basis (as far as I know)

Is there a place to talk about our personal experiences and efforts 'becoming more rational', and encourage each other, or is this just a place for general scientific discussion and posts?

Yes and yes. Both.

Is there a timeline page for this website?

No, but I'm sure one of the old-timers will be willing to summarise :-)

Is there a max comment length?

Yes, enforced by software. It's quite reasonable.

I know politics aren't talked about on Less Wrong

Well, kinda. Generally speaking, political philosophy is OK, the current outrage of the day isn't. Even-handed analysis of the situation is OK, partisan rants aren't.

How can I get up to date on the latest parts of Less Wrong?

Read the forum.

Comment author: Convolution 19 March 2017 06:43:46AM 1 point [-]

Thanks a lot. I was nervous about posting here.

Comment author: LodewijkvanderMeer 19 November 2017 08:14:55AM 1 point [-]

Hey!

I am a Dutch Liberal Arts & Sciences student (political philosophy, law and economics). Last semester I started studying Game Theory and only very recently I discovered the world of rationalists and this site. I am an absolute newbie when it comes to the themes discussed at LW, but I am completely fascinated.

I am now reading the sequences and will probably not post too much, because I will mostly be learning.

What I am very interested in, is how LW users actually apply rationality to their own lives. In terms of habit-formation, work/life/sleep-schedule, nurishment etc. What do you guys do and why do you do it? What (online) tools do you use? What life rules do you live up to?

Comment author: Elo 19 November 2017 02:36:14PM 1 point [-]

Welcome!

how you apply rationality?

I manage my goals and my time using some systems I built myself. I manage my mental health using methods I built myself. I fix bugs as I go. I have lots of little things that are hard to detail but if you ask something more specific I probably have ideas.

Comment author: Alexandah 09 June 2017 11:59:41PM 1 point [-]

Hi, I'm Alexander. I'm going to university for computer science and an interdisciplinary honors program in the fall that includes formal study into logic as well as literature, physics, and philosophy. My main interests include AI's present and future states, ethics, science, and improving my rational capabilities as a method of further pursuing truth. I'd like to also find effective outlets for altruism. I look forward to dialectics to be had here and to hopefully have some beliefs changed.

Comment author: tpsreport11 03 June 2017 02:24:33AM 1 point [-]

Hi everybody!

I'm new here, so I'd like to share my rationalist origin story. (Please somebody tell me if I'm doing this in the wrong place.) I only became aware that rationality was a thing very recently. I'm getting started with the sequences and rationalist blogs, but there is a ton to read and it will take me a while. I'm familiar with many of the concepts and I have strong opinions about them, though I realize there's a lot to learn. I am going to try to express my opinions but hold onto them loosely, so PCK can work.

I was introduced to rationality by attending a CFAR workshop in early May. I'm not sure exactly why I signed up. A few people at work had raved about it, but I didn't really understand what it would help me accomplish. For the last year I've been feeling a lot of anxiety about the future of humanity and the possible collapse of society, etc. I've been coping with this anxiety by writing short stories about a moral revolution. I think one of our root problems is that people mostly talk about how things aren't working. I wanted to write about how things might be working perfectly. If there was a specific goal, I went to CFAR for help making more progress at becoming an author.

I found the workshop to be transformative in many ways I won't go into here. It helped me with my writing project as well, but not in the way I expected. My writing is concept-heavy, but I am bad at creating characters. One concept that is important to me is that humanity needs a new kind of philosophy. Something that isn't quite a religion or a scientific theory or an economic model but is something that combines all of those domains. This philosophy would strengthen individuals and give groups in different domains shared values/goals. Rationalism strikes me as this kind of philosophy. The rationalists I observed in the workshop struck me as being stronger because of what they know. Rationalism had changed them in ways I don't yet fully understand. In short, you all make me believe that a moral revolution is possible. You help me imagine the kinds of people who will address humanity's biggest challenges.

This is a really long intro I feel weird about that but I'm going to post it anyway. Rationalism is great. You're all great.

Comment author: Elo 05 June 2017 05:12:17AM 0 points [-]

Welcome. My thing is problem solving. Now in the sense that there is a lot of reading worth doing, it might be better to make a bugs list, or a curiosity list and then post it and others can suggest where to go to get understanding of the things you are seeking.

Comment author: tpsreport11 07 June 2017 04:03:01AM 0 points [-]

I think at this point I'm in the learning phase where I'm just staring at things in wonder. For my bugs and technique discussions, I have followups with my workshop buddies and that seems to be working pretty well. I think the reason I came to lesswrong was to understand more about the community itself. Who is part of it? How big is it? What is everybody talking about? Those kinds of things. Reading posts every couple of days seems to be working for now.

It might help if there are recent posts where the community is focused inward and talking about itself. I've seen a couple of these, but if there are any good ones that come to mind for you I would appreciate it.

Thank you for being welcoming.

Comment author: Zarm 02 March 2017 10:22:13PM *  1 point [-]

Hey! My name's Jared and I'm a senior in high school. I guess I started being a "rationalist" a couple months ago (or a bit more) when I started looking at the list of cognitive biases on Wikipedia. I've tried very hard to mitigate almost all of them as much as I can and I plan on furthering myself down this path. I've read a lot of the sequences on here and I like to read a lot of rationalwiki and I also try to get information from many different sources.

As for my views, I am first a rationalist and make sure I am open to changing my mind about ANYTHING because reality doesn't change on your ability to stomach it.

As for labels, I'm vegan (or at least strict vegetarian), anarcho-communist (something around the range of left libertarian), agnostic (not in the sense that I'm on the fence but that I'm sure that we don't know - so militant agnostic lol).

My main first question is, since you guy are rationalists, why aren't you vegetarian or vegan? The percentage that is vegetarian on sites like lesswrong and rationalwiki is hardly higher than the public (or seems so). I would think considering you are rationalists you would understand vegetarian or veganism and go for it for sure. Am I missing something because this actually blows my mind? If you oppose it, I really wanna hear some arguments because I've never heard a single even somewhat convincing argument and I've argued with oh so many people about it. Obviously goal of veganism is to lessen suffering not end it etc.

But yeah hey!

Comment author: Lumifer 02 March 2017 10:30:00PM 1 point [-]

My main first question is, since you guy are rationalists, why aren't you vegetarian or vegan?

Why do you think that rationalism would lead people to becoming veg(etari)an?

And a counter question: since you are a rationalist, how come you're an ancom?

Comment author: Zarm 03 March 2017 01:31:29PM *  1 point [-]

Why do you think that rationalism would lead people to becoming veg(etari)an?

Because it is the rational choice. There are barely any benefits to eating meat and a ton for vegetarianism. Animals are conscious to pleasure and pain and can suffer (ask for sources - its a documented fact). If you gave any consideration at all to animals you would abhor factory farming as 50+billion die each year. Factory farming contributes to 50% of greenhouse emissions. On a macro-economic scale, plant foods are much more sustainable and many more people could be fed if we grew plants. Factory farming is inefficient. On a micro-economic scale, vegetarian foods are cheaper: rice, pasta, beans, etc. Vegetarians and vegans are healthier and general with lower mortality rate, lower bmi, lower risk of heart disease. There are no deficiencies. You do have to take a B12 pill if you are vegan, but lots of livestock are fed B12 pills anyway and they are extremely cheap. Like 10$ for hundreds of them, and this money can be gotten from the money saved from not buying meat.

The only real benefit to eat meat is convenience and that's because of society.

As for counterarguments:

"Meat is delicious" - Just because something is pleasurable doesn't mean its right to infringe on others' rights. We don't allow a lot of things because of this: ie rape etc. Also, if you cared about taste, you would spend more money and effort towards meals.

"Plant rights" - Usually this a joke. My rebuttal is slippery slope etc. Also even if plants should have rights, vegetarianism uses less plants because 70% of plant goods are used to feeding livestock.

There are many arguments but I don't want to counter them all unless you bring them up because that would take too much time.

As for ancom, well that's what I've come up with that's rational? If I hear a new thing my opinion may change, but I believe in equality and liberty.

Comment author: Elo 04 March 2017 12:29:35AM 1 point [-]

Because it is the rational choice.

This is a dangerous statement to make. Would you change your mind about Veg*ism? What would it take?

many more people could be fed if we grew plants.

We grow plants, many more are not automatically fed.

Factory farming is inefficient.

Factory farming exists because it is efficient.

Vegetarians and vegans are healthier and general with lower mortality rate, lower bmi, lower risk of heart disease.

There was a recent meta-study confirming that meat has no link to any of those. I would add the caveat that processed meats are less healthy, but that's a factor of the preservatives not the meat itself. If there is a healthy aspect to veg* it would be about extra effort applied to food maintenance as a lifestyle not about the benefits of vegetables instead of meat. (no link because I don't have it on hand but have asked around to see if I can find it)

right to infringe on others' rights.

That depends on your world view.

70% of plant goods are used to feeding livestock.

Not all plant matter is viable for human consumption. Humans can't eat grass. By feeding it to cows we can harvest nutrients from parts of the earth that are not always viable for human crops.

I've come up with that's rational?

You would make more friends around here describing yourself as, "aspiring rationalist" as we do. And being careful about the label "rational" and using it as an identity (see: keep your identity small)

Comment author: Zarm 04 March 2017 01:42:21AM 0 points [-]

This is a dangerous statement to make. Would you change your mind about Veg*ism? What would it take?

Sure, very easily. You would have to prove to me that 1) Animals aren't conscious or for some reason aren't worth moral consideration 2) Global warming doesn't exist or factory farming doesn't affect it 3) Meat is healthy (I understand paleo can be healthy so this point may not matter) 4) Meat is cheaper, more efficient, and more sustainable compared to plants

We grow plants, many more are not automatically fed.

True, but I think they should be ;)

Factory farming exists because it is efficient.

No it doesn't. It exists because it WAS convenient and efficient. It is now not the best possible solution. It is cheaper and more efficient to produce plants calorie and protein-wise.

There was a recent meta-study confirming that meat has no link to any of those. I would add the caveat that processed meats are less healthy, but that's a factor of the preservatives not the meat itself. If there is a healthy aspect to veg* it would be about extra effort applied to food maintenance as a lifestyle not about the benefits of vegetables instead of meat. (no link because I don't have it on hand but have asked around to see if I can find it)

Nah I know correlation =/= causation.

Not all plant matter is viable for human consumption. Humans can't eat grass. By feeding it to cows we can harvest nutrients from parts of the earth that are not always viable for human crops.

Most cows don't eat grass in factory farming condition. I don't really get what you're saying with the not viable thing. We could always switch those for viable crops and it would be more efficient.

You would make more friends around here describing yourself as, "aspiring rationalist" as we do. And being careful about the label "rational" and using it as an identity (see: keep your identity small)

I didn't know this was a thing. My bad. This was more of a semantics things. I thought of the word "rationalist" as the same as what you think "aspiring rationalist" is.

Comment author: Elo 04 March 2017 01:53:33AM 0 points [-]

We grow plants, many more are not automatically fed.

True, but I think they should be ;)

That would be called politics. (the politics of why some are fed and not others) And has very little to do with how much meat we eat, and a lot more to do with the state of geopolitical events.

Not all plant matter is viable for human consumption. Humans can't eat grass. By feeding it to cows we can harvest nutrients from parts of the earth that are not always viable for human crops.

We could always switch those for viable crops and it would be more efficient.

This is where we disagree on this point. I would say it's not always possible to grow human-edible crops in all land areas that we currently grow animals crops or generally have animal herds. I can't prove that over the internet, but consider climates not ideal for human food, dry climate, wet climate, rocky mountainous regions...

Vegetarians and vegans are healthier and general with lower mortality rate, lower bmi, lower risk of heart disease.

There was a recent meta-study confirming that meat has no link to any of those.

Nah I know correlation =/= causation.

By what mechanism would you propose that veg* is healthier?

I didn't know this was a thing. My bad. This was more of a semantics things. I thought of the word "rationalist" as the same as what you think "aspiring rationalist" is.

Certainly! Not a problem, we tend to have a way of talking around here. Kind of a "jargon", not hard to get used to, but tends to make it possible to tell who is on the same page as you in terms of reasonableness or still learning. Definitely look at the wiki for some of the terms and the sequences is a great read.

Comment author: Lumifer 03 March 2017 03:43:04PM *  1 point [-]

You are confused between rationality and values.

Rationality concerns itself with empirical reality and with causality in this empirical reality. Rationality does not tell you which things you must like, which rights you must respect, or which goals you must pursue. For example, "animal rights" is not a rationality argument, it's a values argument.

I believe in equality and liberty

Equality of rights, equality of opportunities, or equality of outcomes?

Comment author: g_pepper 03 March 2017 03:21:11PM 1 point [-]

Factory farming contributes to 50% of greenhouse emissions. ... On a micro-economic scale, vegetarian foods are cheaper: rice, pasta, beans, etc.

If concern over greenhouse gas emissions is a part of your argument for veg(etari)anism, you may wish to remove rice from your recommended vegetarian food list. Rice cultivation is a major source of anthropogenic atmospheric methane.

Comment author: Zarm 04 March 2017 12:16:22AM 0 points [-]

My main reason is animal suffering but thanks for the new information. I'll look that up and keep that in mind!

Comment author: yul 26 January 2017 09:44:49AM 1 point [-]

Hi, everybody, I am Yuri. I am willing to continue figuring out what is going on in my life, with me and people around me, why this all seems so wrong and how to fix it.

Comment author: hijajoo 30 October 2017 03:58:08AM 0 points [-]

I need some way to examine the core beliefs of my life and evaluate whether they are actually sensible or just what I have grown up thinking? Just thinking about these things and trying to evaluate them is not working, since what I already know seems correct (Confirmation bias), and my mind is just going around in circles.

Here are some of the things I believe strongly, that I want to examine, and proof of one should not come from an unproven point.

  • Being a religious agnostic
  • Believing that things should be proven using the method of "scientific enquiry and experimentation".
  • Individual freedom is paramount. Society should give people freedom to practice their own religion, sexual preference, occupation, way of living etc, as long as it doesn't harm others. => This is typical liberal stuff, but what is the criteria for evaluation? What function are we trying to maximise, and how do we calculate what the return value is?
  • Reading a lot of books to expose myself to new ways of thinking.
  • Travel as a means of personal development. => Learning new languages, meeting new people etc to gain a varied perspective on life.
Comment author: Lumifer 30 October 2017 05:43:13PM 0 points [-]

What kind of things could potentially disprove your core beliefs?

Comment author: hijajoo 31 October 2017 01:49:25PM 0 points [-]

I don't know. Need help figuring that out too. The thing that is making me uncomfortable is that these are mostly things I have taken for granted, and they just sound right to me. I have not examined them, or considered any of the alternatives seriously.

Comment author: Lumifer 31 October 2017 02:41:48PM 0 points [-]

To quote Karl Marx, "practice is the criterion of truth". Observe reality (as opposed to what's inside your skull), see if it matches what you believe it is, experiment and check if the outcomes agree with your predictions.

However for certain things, for example those called "values" or "preferences", the categories of true/untrue are not applicable. Here, the issue is more of considering the consequences of your actions and deciding on the acceptable trade-offs.

Comment author: hijajoo 05 November 2017 10:01:32AM 0 points [-]

"Considering the consequences of your actions and deciding on the acceptable trade-offs". This should work I think.

Comment author: Elo 30 October 2017 06:34:28AM 0 points [-]

things should be proven using the method of "scientific enquiry and experimentation".

Read, "theory and reality" by Peter Godfrey Smith

Comment author: hijajoo 31 October 2017 01:49:44PM 0 points [-]

I will try this out.

Comment author: RobQuesting 05 September 2017 08:19:29AM 0 points [-]

Hello to all rationalistas. (?)

I am new here, and I intend to lurk, doing the reading regularly, and catching up from a position of being far behind, until I feel more confident about contributing. I only discovered this group a few days ago.

I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that socioeconomic revolt, by any means necessary, is a moral and ethical imperative for all people, to maximise the chances of the survival of the human species.

I hope to be proven wrong, and have my bias revealed and dissected. I am perhaps rather desperate to be proven wrong, because I do not like my own conclusions.

Thanks in advance for any help I receive, and am able to reciprocate.

Comment author: RobQuesting 05 September 2017 08:54:09AM 0 points [-]

Is there some sort of new member "kiddie pool" where people aspiring to improve their own rational processes can feel free to speak as they/we wish without knowing the correct terminology, and without an academic background regarding logic itself?

I guess, to learn, and express, in aid of learning, there needs to be some sort of safe "bumper bowling" alley available.

I have little access to formal education, and so, in the interests of self improvement, would like discourse which is both forgiving and conducive to improving discursive quality.

I feel I am just as likely to say something which is misinterpreted, due to (what amounts to) sub-cultural norms here, from this community, as I am to say something accurately insightful. This is intimidating, despite my intention to improve my expressive accuracy. Maybe I am intimidated by elitism and expertise, to the point of rejecting the service itself? This is probably biased and irrational, but worth describing, because the act of changing cultural attitudes (in service to the goal of increasing societal rationality), requires us all to be aware of the limitations of a macro-cultural audience.

Maybe I just mean to ask: Is there a way to throw ideas around and see what sticks, without becoming a forum pariah?

Comment author: RobQuesting 06 September 2017 11:52:59AM *  0 points [-]

Thanks for the feedback Elo, Luminifer, gjm.

"You are on an internet forum. How much safer to do you want to be?" - Lumifer. Some forums are "more equal than others." I suspect anyone who has had unpleasant experiences online develops a modicum of caution if not healthy apprehension.

One of the reasons I wish to participate here, is because of social isolation in a regional area. I don't have access to face to face discourse with people who share a curiosity or desire to analyse topics much further away than the end of their nose, so to speak (bar a few much-loved exceptions).

Thank you each for your assistance and time. I feel I have a great many stupid questions to ask, and look forward to discovering which of those are not stupid.

Comment author: Elo 06 September 2017 09:04:15PM 0 points [-]

Community is great! You'll fit right in :)

Comment author: gjm 06 September 2017 09:05:29AM 0 points [-]

I hope you won't become a pariah regardless, but if you are extra-worried then there are occasional "stupid question" threads which might be usable as "stupid idea" threads too. (Not to imply that either the questions or the ideas are necessarily stupid, but the point is that even if they are the norm in such threads is meant to be to (1) be nice and (2) not inflict reputational damage on the person saying stupid things.)

Comment author: Lumifer 05 September 2017 02:45:24PM *  0 points [-]

Is there some sort of new member "kiddie pool"

This is the kiddie pool.

there needs to be some sort of safe "bumper bowling" alley available

You are on an internet forum. How much safer to do you want to be?

It is perfectly fine to try, fail, and try again. In fact, that's how most of learning works.

Sure, some people will misunderstand you. Take it as an opportunity to practice expressing yourself very very clearly.

Comment author: Elo 05 September 2017 12:19:33PM 0 points [-]

There are some chat groups you can join, you can post in the open thread. You can try and fail. If you want to write a post and are not sure about the quality - make sure to have spent 2 hours writing it (if not more like 20 hours) as a fail-safe.

Yes we come across as elitist. As long as you are willing to learn, willing to be curious about why others think differently from you and willing to change your mind - that's what matters.

If you want to teach yourself and you are willing to read and do your research you will fit right in. That means books, papers, theories. We are always ferocious about knowledge. And if you can teach us - that would be great too

Comment author: Elo 05 September 2017 08:34:29AM 0 points [-]

Welcome! You may find the topic of politics is generally frowned upon around here because of the tendency for people to go a little bit tribal in the process of talking about it. "us or them" and all that.

Aside from that, glad to have you on board and willing to question your beliefs. Feel free to ask any questions you have :)

Comment author: RobQuesting 05 September 2017 09:58:13AM 0 points [-]

Regarding politics, and the frowning, is it acceptable to focus on measurable results, rather than ideologies (or political "teams" - re: cerulean vs blue vs green)? Whilst I understand the tribalism you refer to, it is a bias this group and website seems to be inherently about combating; as such falsely dichotomous thinking is irrational.

For example: No matter which party is in power, across most of the world's countries, economic systems remain largely unaltered over recent decades. The social and psychological effects on cultural norms, born of the structural economic framework, ought not be discussed despite their affect on trends of perceived rationality (the bias of culturally normal rational thought) because this topic bleeds into "politics". I don't see how economic debate can be considered separate from political or cultural debate. I don't see how rationality can be separated from politics.

Is that too political for the scope of this forum? Interdependent causation?

If so, that's okay, it just negates about half of my reasons for engaging here.

I don't know how it is possible to separate rational discourse and political discourse. I don't see how there can be a firewall between them. The social is the political, which defines what is considered rational, which is in turn influenced by cultural normalcy in the form of bias. Art, culture, community, education, social and even civilisation outcomes seem inextricable from the organisational structure we call the political sphere.

I could be wrong about all of the above.

It may be better to let me know now, if political discourse, about theory and measurable socio-cultural results, are beyond the scope of this forum, because then, I won't waste anyone's time.

I opened by saying: "I have unfortunately come to the conclusion that socioeconomic revolt, by any means necessary, is a moral and ethical imperative for all people, to maximise the chances of the survival of the human species."

This is my present, primary concern. If I am not allowed to discuss this, I am in the wrong place. Thanks.

Comment author: Mitchell_Porter 07 September 2017 12:08:33AM *  0 points [-]

It sounds like you want some second opinions and rational evaluation regarding your political conclusion - necessity of revolt. OK.

I can think of reasons for and reasons against such a conclusion, but probably you should spell out more of your reasoning first. For example, why will revolt help humanity survive?

Comment author: Lumifer 05 September 2017 02:52:01PM *  0 points [-]

Generally speaking, it's fine to discuss political philosophy and political theory. What LW tries to avoid is dumb tribal-emotional fights along the lines of "Trump is a moron! No, he will MAGA!" which just make everyone stupider.

Of course you should be prepared for disagreement -- this is a diverse forum, so it's guaranteed that there will be someone who doesn't like your ideas. Note that this is normal -- ideas that everyone agrees with are too milquetoast to be interesting.

Comment author: RobQuesting 06 September 2017 11:02:12AM 0 points [-]

I understand. I guess I am a little surprised that this forum has had problems with such views, given its intent.

I don't know which of my own views are unusual or not though. I am sure reading more of the content here will help me assess this. I don't know how commonly known, are notions of determinism, social engineering, or involuntary cultural identity. I may also be quite unskilled at describing such in a way which can change a mind. I don't know.

We do not know what assumptions we already hold, which we do not or have not questioned, until something happens to highlight them, and bring them to conscious analysis. So, it seems safer to assume we all have such false assumptions than not. I hope to share some I have discovered within myself. Perhaps that may help others, or perhaps they will just say "D'uh".

Perhaps I could find a more effective way to say: belief in objective free will is of much the same rational coherency as a belief in ghosts. Not provably impossible, but there is not much reason to fixate on either sans empiricism.

I don't know if any of the above is interesting, or just mundane to you. Would it be better to say: "Belief in objective free will is just as irrational as belief in ghosts?", and then make a case to be tested?

Comment author: Lumifer 06 September 2017 02:32:21PM 0 points [-]

I am a little surprised that this forum has had problems with such views

It's not that the forum had problems, it's just that this forum is quite vigilant about preventing such problems from appearing and spreading.

I don't know which of my own views are unusual or not though.

Is there a particular reason for you to care? LW is quite insistent that whether your views are correct is much, much more important than whether they are popular.

belief in objective free will is of much the same rational coherency as a belief in ghosts

Eh. The issue of free will is discussed here on a regular basis. Eliezer's take is here. Your assertion probably needs some clarification (e.g. what's "objective" and how do you measure coherency?)

Comment author: RobQuesting 02 October 2017 05:13:41AM 0 points [-]

The reason I care, is because if I feel enthusiastic about writing a piece on a topic, I don't want to bore others with what they have already considered. I don't know what others have already considered. I quite agree that correct is far more important than popular or common.

"Objective" is what is still real, when you do not believe in it.

Comment author: Lumifer 02 October 2017 03:52:56PM *  1 point [-]

if I feel enthusiastic about writing a piece on a topic, I don't want to bore others

Bored people can click over to another post very easily. If you feel enthusiastic, do it.

"Objective" is what is still real, when you do not believe in it.

Not a terrible useful definition when applied to free will.

(The canonical form of the above is "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away" -- Philip K. Dick)

Comment author: RobQuesting 03 October 2017 03:40:12AM *  0 points [-]

Thanks for the PK Dick origin. I'm grateful.

I've recently been examining the Sopolsky lectures on behavioural biology (25 part y-tube playlist from Stanford), and have had my view that objective free will is unlikely to exist in any practical way, thoroughly reinforced.

Feeling free, is rather different to being a free self determining agent.

It is remarkably useful to note that what "is", is not necessarily what we think/believe "is" real.

Subjective reality vs objective reality. Never the twain shall meet... but our subjective position on what is real and true, can come closer to the objective foundation on which our minds are built. The journey to attain greater subjective accuracy of our understanding of the [objective] universe... is the pursuit of ... being more correct... and less wrong... and is of great value.

Comment author: Lumifer 03 October 2017 03:05:48PM 0 points [-]

objective free will is unlikely to exist in any practical way

Is there any kind of empirical test which can answer whether free will is objective or not?

In Kuhnian terms, is there a falsifiable statement somewhere in here?

Comment author: Elo 05 September 2017 12:13:52PM 0 points [-]

By the time you have named a political figure of recent history you are already in the territory of what might be people's identities.

Sometimes by naming an ideology you challenge someone's identity. Then without realising it you are having a debate about how a person's own character must be wrong because this ideology is wrong. From there is a short step to full flame wars.

Part of the problem is that people are not good at talking about their ideologies while separating those ideologies from themselves.

There is theoretical discussion here. Some people will choose to not participate, if there is too much talk there will be complaints.

We work with "not too much" being a common resource as you might find in the tragedy of the commons. It's very hard to agree on how much is not too much but still worth it.

There is a series called, "politics is the mindkiller" which fuelled a lot of avoiding talking about politics. There are definitely other places to talk about politics on the internet. Having said that if you can explain (when you do) by way of moving up and down the ladder of abstraction while not naming ideologies or politicians - you are welcome to start a discussion.

Rationality has lots of parts. It has the parts that have you working out how to conclude that a coin flip is or is not biased (epistemics) and it has the parts that have you deciding how to bet on the coin in real life (instrumental). Yes some of that is socio-political. But some of it is also working out how to stop procrastinating or how to lose weight.

Comment author: RobQuesting 06 September 2017 11:34:29AM 0 points [-]

You are claiming the inherent bias of identity (ontology?), is involuntary. I'm not disagreeing, but pointing it out because it seems unavoidable. In service to being "Less Wrong" I suppose we'd all like to have such identity based bias highlighted for us in such a way which was not a cause of conflict and defensiveness. I visualise this a sort of communicative code, in which I pretend to be a robot, and try to avoid habits of subcultural expression.

Instead of saying "tankie" or "Stalinist" I should say "centralised authoritarian left". Is that adequate?

Is it better to use terms like "individual profit motive", or "private ownership rights", as opposed to "capitalist ideology"?

Is that what you are concerned about? Labels, particularly political labels, are useful as a linguistic tool of thought, but also neatly disposed of by someone else's preconceptions. It's better to speak in concepts rather than labels, because labels mean different things to different people, and entire conversations can occur, where each participant thinks the others understand the same thing by a term, but don't, leading to... horror.

I ask a lot of questions, apparently, at first. Thanks for your assistance.

Comment author: ChristianKl 06 September 2017 04:33:43PM 0 points [-]

I'm not disagreeing, but pointing it out because it seems unavoidable.

BBC managed to do the show "Yes, Minister" with contains plenty of political content without saying which ideology the minister happens to have and which party he belongs to.

Quite a lot of what political ideology is about isn't actual politics but the spectator sport of politics.

Comment author: RobQuesting 03 October 2017 06:35:47AM 0 points [-]

"Yes Minister" showed us all that the notion of an ideologue in politics is a fallacy. Whatever values a person has, those values are constantly compromised and neutered, because the way politics "really" works, is more about compromise based on career goals, not some sort of ideological purity.

Self interest kills idealistic goals.

Bureaucracy and the status quo render idealism untenable.

So, relying on politicians to create significant socioeconomic change in society, and the world, must rely on a person doing an impossible job. There is no point electing a different person to do the same job, if the job is actually impossible.

Economic power is political power. Wealth equates to political power. Democracy and Capitalism are incompatible concepts.

Princeton proved this in 2014. There is no democracy in the US, and there is no particular reason to think any other Western country is particularly different. For your consideration: https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

Comment author: ChristianKl 03 October 2017 03:16:57PM 1 point [-]

The Princeton study didn't say that the rich have all the power. Both the rich and the poor want performance-based pay for teachers but it doesn't happen because the teacher's unions and various unelected bureaucrats in the educational system don't want it.

Both the Kochs and Soros want to end the war on drugs but the DEA is politically powerful enough that it doesn't simply get shut off.

Comment author: g_pepper 03 October 2017 03:31:31PM 0 points [-]

There is no democracy in the US

No democracy, really? Or would it be more accurate to say that US democracy falls short of some sort theoretical ideal?

Comment author: Lumifer 03 October 2017 03:14:21PM 0 points [-]

So can you cut to the chase and tell us your solution to all this?

Comment author: RobQuesting 03 October 2017 06:38:52AM 0 points [-]

Short version: The lower 90% of citizens on the socioeconomic scale, have absolutely no influence over the actual policies which are enacted by the US government. No matter which party is in power, for the last 40+ years.

Comment author: RobQuesting 03 October 2017 06:40:28AM 0 points [-]

So, Democracy does not exist. It isn't real. It is fake. It is a culturally accepted reality, but not an objective reality.

Comment author: Lumifer 06 September 2017 02:40:30PM 0 points [-]

Instead of saying "tankie" or "Stalinist" I should say "centralised authoritarian left". Is that adequate?

I wouldn't recommend it. Language should be clear and to the point -- the purpose of an expression is to communicate meaning and given that the recipient understands the word, "tankie" would usually be a better term to use. People with severe identity-based bias problems should deal with them and not force everyone else to tiptoe around.

Besides, precision matters. "Individual profit motive" is not the same as "private ownership rights" which is not the same as "capitalist ideology".

It's better to speak in concepts rather than labels

True, but you are forced to use words in any case and unnecessarily roundabout expressions do not help.

Just explicitly define the terms you use and don't worry too much whether to put a "label" sticker on these terms, or the "concept" sticker :-)

Comment author: RobQuesting 02 October 2017 05:36:16AM 0 points [-]

The "or" clauses in my question define sub-categories of the concept. Both ownership and profit motive are inherent to capitalist ideology, but neither define the whole.

Hmmm. If there is no human left to ask questions, moral philosophy becomes extinct, and all questions are moot. In order to continue questioning, there must still be humans alive. Ergo: the basis of all moral philosophy must be constrained by, and its quality measured by, the resulting probability of the continuation of humanity (including whatever evolutionary processes ensue). If any ideology places the survival of the human species at risk, it is fundamentally unacceptable, and ought to be rejected.

Any ideology which accepts "mutually assured destruction" as a reasonable geopolitical tool, is inherently irrational, meaning, rationally deficient, or, genuinely insane. These ideologies ought to be opposed by any means necessary, excepting those means which endanger human continuation. The continuation of a system of hierarchy and privilege for existing rulers, ought never supersede the necessity of continuation of the species (and of course humans need many other species, to continue).

I would like to make a case for the necessity of revolt when I have time and energy appropriate to the task.

Thanks.

Comment author: Lumifer 02 October 2017 04:01:40PM *  1 point [-]

Ergo: the basis of all moral philosophy must be constrained by, and its quality measured by, the resulting probability of the continuation of humanity

Not ergo. Preventing moral philosophy from becoming extinct is not the absolute good dominating all others.

If any ideology places the survival of the human species at risk

Future is uncertain, the risk always exists. Ideologies typically make trade-offs (different for different ideologies, of course) between competing goals.

Any ideology which accepts "mutually assured destruction" as a reasonable geopolitical tool, is inherently irrational

What other option (in the context of, say, 1950s) would you propose and how would you implement/enforce it?

I would like to make a case for the necessity of revolt when I have time and energy appropriate to the task.

LOL.

To quote from an old flash cartoon

-- Fire ze missiles!

-- But I am le tired

-- Fine, take a nap AND THEN FIRE ZE MISSILES!

Comment author: RobQuesting 03 October 2017 05:04:28AM *  0 points [-]

All questioning; one reasonable definition of human progress and value, ...would end if humans end. The process is what we are, more than anything else. We ask, we find answers, we evolve, we continue (hopefully) with better information than before. We make better decisions, and forge better priorities.

Some people I know are unperturbed by the idea of human extinction, as if the result would be "deserved" because "we" failed to survive.

I have a problem with that, relating to the notion that few humans decide the fate of many. A few of us have massive influence over culture, beliefs, and the actions of the many, and so only a few of us can decide to extinguish all of us. The "blame" for disaster, is not shared equally. It is disproportionately allocated to those with socio-economic power.

Most of us are not blame for the perspectives we have been taught to accept. Most of us are victims of ideological premises which are held involuntarily. One example, is nationalism. Why is one country one never chose to be born into, better than another, who's populace never chose to be born there? We are one species, and we need to continue, to keep asking questions, and thereby fix our mistakes.

Comment author: RobQuesting 03 October 2017 04:45:27AM 0 points [-]

The first goal of any moral human is to reduce the likelihood of human extinction. I hope that clears up the issue.

I would rather obey some different ideological socio-economic-political construct/model, than accept all of humanity ought to die to avoid such a scenario. After all we are speaking of a very few humans in positions of power, making these decisions for everyone, and they seem biased towards maintaining their own privilege as if it is objectively necessary. It is not. Involuntary bias is inherent to hierarchy. It is a product of social apartheid. The alternative would be inclusion of "leadership" within the same social circumstances as the many. ie: inclusion in the communities they rule, rather than separation. Social norms in a given sub-culture, like that of the so called "elite", change circumstantially. The resulting values and attitudes are divergent from what the majority would consider appropriate.

I would propose that the inherent problem with hierarchy, is isolation from the macrocultural values of a population, which leads to a psychosocial bias including derision of those lower on the hierarchy than the rulers, and so the rulers become disconnected from collective rationality. Disconnected via involuntary bias.

This means the ruling "class" make decisions which suit themselves, rather than decisions which are of objective benefit to the continuation of the species.

You have made me feel bad with your "LOL", and I'm unsure if you have said this to make me feel poorly, or to make yourself feel better. Perhaps some of each?

Comment author: Lumifer 03 October 2017 03:11:47PM 1 point [-]

The first goal of any moral human is to reduce the likelihood of human extinction. I hope that clears up the issue.

I don't see it as self-evident.

If you assert that reducing the likelihood of human extinction overrides all and any other goals, you become vulnerable to what's locally known as Pascal's Mugging (basically, for an extremely high-value event you are forced to react to extremely low probabilities of it happening).

I would rather obey some different ideological socio-economic-political construct/model, than accept all of humanity ought to die to avoid such a scenario.

Is that a choice someone is offering you? By the way, how do you think such scenarios work in game theory?

You have made me feel bad with your "LOL", and I'm unsure if you have said this to make me feel poorly, or to make yourself feel better.

It was a chuckle. Laughter is good. Don't take everything as social jousting.

Comment author: tototavros 31 August 2017 05:01:05AM 0 points [-]

I started reading Ozy and SSC's blogs about a month ago, thought they were quite good, so I figured I may as well see what LW is like.

I'll be starting school quite soon, taking some classes from what used to be Shimer College (now the Shimer Great Books Program at North Central College, if I remember correctly). Are there any Shimerians on here?

Also, has anyone here read Robert Pirsig's Lila: An Inquiry into Morals? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was good, so I figured I may as well read the sequel, and Lila has a lot of neat tricks in it that help me in trying to figure out what certain concepts/institutions might have in common with other ones, what they are opposed to, etc.

There's a good division in it between static and Dynamic (I normally don't like arbitrary capitalizations, but I figure I may as well follow Pirsig's style guide, it has a good feel to it) divisions of Quality, where static is the easily recognizable forms in the manner of "This feels bad, I think the hot stove is hurting me" or "It feels good to belong to a community", whereas Dynamic quality is mostly unanalyzable due to it's nature (it's a rational kind of irrationality--we see Dynamic Quality, so we go for it. Only when backed up by static patterns of Quality does it succeed).

Pirsig hypothesizes that the universe is trying to move towards greater and greater Dynamic Quality, but can only do so with the help of static patterns of Quality, otherwise the mystical euphoria of Dynamic Quality will come upon us and we will die, unable to bring about more Dynamic Quality. There's a long history lesson to go along with this, but I'm getting quite tired and would like to just post this so that I don't forget to later.

Comment author: INHuman 30 August 2017 05:52:16AM 0 points [-]

Hi LW community, if anything I hope my experiences from here on are humbling, I'm not particularly well read though extremely opinionated, my only real interaction with Philosophy has been a collection of works by Plato, not to say they didn't teach me anything, I feel as if they merely solidified my previous beliefs, whether that's a good or bad thing I'm also not sure which I'm more afraid of, I've barely even scratched "Rationality: From AI to Zombies" hope to change that within the month though as I understand there is a wealth of suggested readings. I only stumbled across this community some 2 hours ago, I had heard the outline of what is probably the most controversial topic to have existed and followed the white rabbit down this rabbit hole, I'm not sure what the communities attitude towards that topic is whether its like Voldemort and should not be name or conversation on it is as open as any other.

I am a Theist though my beliefs differ from my religious surroundings immensely to the point of either the more accurate interpretations or complete heresy, my beliefs and path to them mostly stemmed from the idea What if there is a 'God and Reverse Engineering such an entity from the perspective of human reality, though not to say my up bringing didn't influence me but I agree very little on anything, regardless I like to think if presented with an argument that should convince me I would change my mind on the subject, I've historically mostly been your typical Hollywood Rationalist being introduced to the anime Death Note from a young impressionable age I idealized the character "L". I wouldn't exactly know how to label myself, I don't believe in labels per se, I don't believe two individuals can believe the same thing based on fundamental Nature Nurture influences, I do believe labels serve their purpose of generalizing and that our brains use this as a way of organisation though such organisation leading to bias. I believe that there must exist one inherent truth though perspective is the protagonist existing in its own reality of such truth, and that the human perspective isn't the definitive view i.e. Meaning is non existent, merely a construct of the brain, murder is not evil it just is a thing, nor is that which is good, good, I do not believe truth and reality are the same thing, I'm concerned about freewill and the implications of its existence or its non existence and experience, where is and what is color and the experience of it, what is it about science that allows for the creation of experience and where does it reside. My Apologize for what is an example albeit abstract mess of not necessarily relating views and simply the ones at the top of my head in the 5 minutes of writing of my stance future topics and places I'll be lurking.

If there is a label for me based on those I'd be interested to hear it, other than that after i get some reading done you may find me lurking about

Thank you, say hi, I wonder if there are any vices we share that we can socialize through such as games though my social life has deteriorated to non existence since I stopped playing I'd love to meet new people.

Comment author: Elo 30 August 2017 06:12:21AM *  1 point [-]

attitude towards that topic

If it's basilisk - no one cares.
If its cult - no one cares.
If it's eugenics - no one cares.
If it's politics - no one cares but don't post it here.
If it's mra it's generally not appreciated here.

If it's other stuff - sounds like fun! Welcome! Let's talk!

Comment author: INHuman 30 August 2017 07:22:26AM 0 points [-]

I very much appreciate the clarification.

Comment author: Elo 30 August 2017 07:37:18AM 0 points [-]

Feel free to ask via pm.

Comment author: DustinWehr 23 February 2017 03:09:11AM *  0 points [-]

Hey, I've been an anonymous reader off and on over the years.

Seeing that there was some interest in Bostrom's simulation argument before (http://lesswrong.com/lw/hgx/paper_on_the_simulation_argument_and_selective/), I wanted to post a link to a paper I wrote on the subject, together with the following text, but I was only able to post into my (private?) Drafts section. I'm sorry I don't know better about where the appropriate place is for this kind of thing (if it's welcome here at all). The paper: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~wehr/rd/simulation_args_crit_extended_with_proofs.pdf

This is a very technical paper, which requires some (or a lot) of familiarity with Bostrom/Kulczycki's "patched" Simulation Argument (www.simulation-argument.com/patch.pdf). I'm choosing to publish it here after experiencing Analysis's depressing version of peer review (they rejected a shorter, more-professional version of the paper based on one very positive review, and one negative review that was almost certainly written by Kulczycki or Bostrom themself).

The positive review (of the earlier shorter, more-professional version of the paper) does a better job of summarizing the contribution than I did, so with the permission of the reviewer I'm including an excerpt here:

Bostrom (2003) argued that at least one of the following three claims is true: (1) the fraction of civilizations that reach a 'post-human' stage is approximately zero; (2) the fraction of post-human civilizations interested in running 'significant numbers' of simulations of their own ancestors is approximately zero; (3) the fraction of observers with human-type experiences that are simulated is approximately one.

The informal argument for this three-part disjunction is that, given what we know about the physical limits of computation, a post-human civilization would be so technologically advanced that it could run 'hugely many' simulations of observers very easily, should it choose to do so, so that the falsity of (1) and (2) implies the truth of (3). However, this informal argument falls short of a formal proof.

Bostrom himself saw that his attempt at a formal proof in the (2003) paper was sloppy, and he attempted to put it right in Bostrom and Kulczycki (2011). The take-home message of Sections 1 and 2 of the manuscript under review is that these (2011) reformulations of the argument are still rather sloppy. For example, the author points out (p. 6) that the main text of B&K inaccurately describes the mathematical argument in the appendix: the appendix uses an assumption much more favourable to B&K's desired conclusion than the assumption stated in the main text. Moreover, B&K's use of vague terms such as 'significant number' and 'astronomically large factor' creates a misleading impression. The author shows, amusingly, that the 'significant number' must be almost 1 million times greater than the 'astronomically large factor' for their argument to work (p. 9).

In Section 3, the author provides a new formulation of the simulation argument that is easily the most rigorous I have seen. This formulation deserves to be the reference point for future discussions of the argument's epistemological consequences."

Comment author: DustinWehr 23 February 2017 04:13:50AM 0 points [-]

For example, the statement of the argument in https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Simulation_argument definitely needs to be revised.

Comment author: Sandi 08 February 2017 10:15:13PM 0 points [-]

I'm not 100% clear as to where the non-ambitious posts should go, so I will write my question here.

Do you know of a practical way of finding intellectual friends, so as to have challenging/interesting conversations more often? Not only is the social aspect of friendship in general invaluable (of course I wouldn't be asking here if that was the sole reason), but I assume talking about the topics I care and think about will force me to flesh them out and keep me closer to Truth, and is a great source of novelty. So, from a purely practical standpoint (although I don't deny other motives), I want to improve this part of my life.

Sporadic discourse with my normal friends often pops up in unsuitable conditions and with underequipped participants. Meeting the right type of person in real life takes a huge sample and social skills. Focused forums, like this one, contain the right type of people and are very useful, but lacking in one-to-one personal and casual conversation (neither method is superior, I'd prefer a mix of both to the current imbalance).

Fun fact about me (or a thinly vailed plea for a diagnosis): Often when I'm bothered by a problem or simply bored, my mind will conjure vivid conversations with one of my friends and have us argue this problem. I never actually aim for it to happen, it's as spontaneous as normal thinking. I have no proof, but I'd say those imaginary conversations are more productive, because my imaginary listeners will disagree or misunderstand me, raising important points or faults in my reasoning. Whereas with normal thinking, I agree with myself the wast majority of time.

Comment author: g_pepper 08 February 2017 11:30:21PM 1 point [-]

Do you know of a practical way of finding intellectual friends, so as to have challenging/interesting conversations more often?

Depending on where you are in your life and education, you could consider enrolling in graduate school. I found that I tended to have intellectual conversations with my fellow students and professors in graduate school. Plus you will have at least one common interest with your fellow students - whatever subject you are studying in school.

Grad school is too big of a commitment just to find intellectual friends. But, if you have an interest in grad school to advance your education or career, then meeting intellectual friends is an added benefit.

Finally, even if you are working and do not wish to go back to school full time, many universities offer a master's program that you can enroll in on a part-time basis. As a part-time student you will have less contact with your fellow students and therefore fewer chances to make friends, etc., but this can be overcome with a little effort to socialize, attend events, host small dinner parties, etc.

Fun fact about me (or a thinly vailed plea for a diagnosis): Often when I'm bothered by a problem or simply bored, my mind will conjure vivid conversations with one of my friends and have us argue this problem.

I do this too. I don't think that it is abnormal - I agree with you that it can be a useful way to think through issues. I once worked with a more senior engineer who was also a personal friend and mentor. But, his job was demanding and he was always quite busy. So, when I needed his help to solve some problem, I would think about what sorts of questions he would ask, so that I could be prepared to answer them - basically, I would play out the (probable) conversation in my head ahead of time to avoid wasting his time. More often than not, this process would yield the answer to the problem, and I would end up not having to bother him at all.

Comment author: Sandi 09 February 2017 09:08:55PM *  1 point [-]

Depending on where you are in your life and education, you could consider enrolling in graduate school.

If I've managed to translate "graduate school" to our educational system correctly, then I currently am in undergraduate school. Our mileages vary by quite a bit, most people I meet aren't of the caliber. Also, it's hard to find out if they are. Socially etiquette prevents me from bringing up the heavy hitting topics except on rare occasions.

I guess I should work on my social skills then cast a bigger net. The larger the sample, the better odds I have of finding someone worthwhile. Needless to say I'm introverted and socialization doesn't come easily, but I'll find a way.

I do this too.

Oh, thank the proverbial God.

Comment author: g_pepper 09 February 2017 10:36:21PM 0 points [-]

I currently am in undergraduate school.

In that case, you could look for clubs and organizations to join at your university. If you are in engineering or natural sciences, there will probably be a professional/academic organization for your sub discipline you could join (e.g. IEEE for electrical engineers, ACS for chemistry majors, ACM for computer science, etc.) I would imagine that mathematics and liberal arts have similar organizations as well. And, attend the meetings and functions. You could also look for other organizations on campus such as political organizations, cultural organizations, a cinema society (if you are a film enthusiast), etc.

No guarantees that these will lead to intellectual conversations, but the people who join and participate in these type of organizations tend to be (on average) more intellectual than those who do not.

And, as Grothor suggested, look for nearby LessWrong meetups (if any).

Comment author: Grothor 09 February 2017 02:16:34AM 1 point [-]

I do this too. I don't think that it is abnormal

Same here. I find that simulating other people's reaction to my arguments, mistakes, or work that I've done is helpful. When I want to find logical errors in my arguments, I imagine explaining them to someone with a strong background in philosophy. When something isn't working well in the lab, I imagine explaining the situation to someone with experience, and if I feel embarrassed or like they're about to offer a super obvious solution, it usually means I've made some silly mistake. Also, getting back to Sandi's question, some of the most helpful people for me to simulate are people that I met through the LessWrong meetup in Austin.

you could consider enrolling in graduate school

My classmates in grad school are often, but not always, a good source of more productive intellectual conversations. There is still sometimes an issue of differences in the style of thinking that people appreciate, or the kinds of topics they're interested in. And, of course, just because someone has had enough success in graduate school to stick around and be a friend for a few years doesn't mean they don't succumb to a variety of biases that can make it harder to have the kinds of conversations you're seeking.

Comment author: Grothor 09 February 2017 02:18:07AM 0 points [-]

(Also, the place to ask this sort of question might be the current Open Thread: http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/ol5/open_thread_feb_06_feb_12_2017/)

Comment author: Flinter 16 January 2017 10:31:18PM *  0 points [-]

I am new and a moderator already made a clearly irrational action against me and I am dumbfounded. I mean to present a very difficult subject that no one else can present, and I did so perfectly and in the only way possible and the moderator moderated the attempt out of existence.

Doesn't irrationality run counter to this site's stated mission?

To be clear, I am presenting the most important topic in the world, with the assumption that it is probably significant and correct because it's John Nash's (most significant) work.

Why is Less Wrong censoring out Nash's work and implying that it is irrational?

Comment author: Vaniver 16 January 2017 10:43:57PM *  8 points [-]

I'm the person that moved Flinter's post to drafts, suggesting that he resubmit it as a linkpost to Nash's talk and put his commentary in a comment, instead of the primary post.

It's not Nash's most significant work, and it is not the most important topic in the world. Those sorts of statements are a major contributor to why I thought the post was bad.

(In case people are wondering if I'm politically motivated, Hayek, a person who Nash describes as thinking parallel thoughts, is my favorite political thinker. This is policing post quality, not content.)

Comment author: niceguyanon 17 January 2017 10:04:45AM 1 point [-]

Is it possible to use moderation tools to hide the parent comment or move it. It doesn't even belong here and others have been nice enough to offer good feedback regardless. This is a welcome thread, and it's being derailed with bizarre behavior.

Comment author: Vaniver 17 January 2017 06:55:11PM 0 points [-]

Sadly, the only direct tool I have is comment deletion, which rather than pruning or hiding the tree below it replaces it with a box that says "Comment Deleted" and its children in place. I could ask Grothor to make a new intro thread, and then delete or draft this thread.

Comment deleted 16 January 2017 10:52:54PM [-]
Comment author: RainbowSpacedancer 17 January 2017 02:00:21PM *  0 points [-]

if you claim you are, I am going to show that you are not.

when I am allowed to explain what Ideal Money is then we will all see this

I'd like to bet with you on one or both of those predictions if you are open to it.

Comment author: shev 17 January 2017 07:57:48AM *  3 points [-]

Re this post: http://lesswrong.com/lw/ogp/a_proposal_for_a_simpler_solution_to_all_these/

You wrote something provocative but provided no arguments or explanations or examples or anything. That's why it's low-quality. It doesn't matter how good your idea is if you don't bother to do any legwork to show anyone else. I for one have no why your idea would and don't care to do work to figure it out because the only reason I have to do work is that you said so.

Also, you might want to tackle something more concrete than "all these difficult observations and problems". First, it's definitely true that your 'solution' doesn't solve all the problems. Maybe it helps with some. So which ones? Talk about those.

Also, your writing is exhaustingly vague ("I also value compression and time in this sense, and so I think I can propose a subject that might serve as an "ideal introduction" (I have an accurate meaning for this phrase I won't introduce atm)."). This is really hard not to lose interest in while reading, and it's only two random sample sentences.

Re http://lesswrong.com/lw/ogt/do_we_share_a_definition_for_the_word_ideal/, you're going to have to do more work to make an interesting discussion. It's not like "Oh, Flinter, good point, you and (all of us) might have different meanings for 'ideal'!" is going to happen. It's on you to show why this is interesting. What made you think the meanings are different? What different results come from that? What's your definition? What do you think other peoples' are, and why are they worse?

I agree with Vaniver that those two posts in their current form should have been at least heavily downvoted. Though that doesn't happen much in practice here since traffic is low. I'm not sure what the removal policy is but I guess it probably applied.

Also, if you keep writing things like "No, you can't give me feedback. It's above you. I have come here to explain it to you. I made 3 threads, and they are equally important." you're going to be banned for being an ass, no question. You're also wildly incorrect, but that's another matter.

Comment author: gjm 17 January 2017 02:30:29PM 1 point [-]

those two posts [...] should have been at least heavily downvoted. Though that doesn't happen much in practice here since traffic is low.

And, more directly, since downvoting is currently disabled.

Comment deleted 17 January 2017 08:14:19AM [-]
Comment author: gjm 17 January 2017 02:33:47PM 1 point [-]

Are you going to [...] only attack my character? [...] Stop attacking my character

Neither of the things you are complaining about has anything to do with your character. One is attacking your prose style and the other your willingness to be explicit about your points and why we should be interested in them.

If you treat all criticism as personal attack and accordingly take it personally, you make it impossible to learn from criticism. This is an appropriate course of action only if you believe yourself immune to error. I do not know of anyone who is immune to error.

Comment deleted 17 January 2017 03:52:06PM [-]
Comment author: gjm 17 January 2017 05:30:05PM 0 points [-]

So you refuse to discuss Nash's works then

Where on earth do you get that from?

and you will continue to troll me and derail attempts to discuss the actual content of ideal money?

I have done, and intend to do, neither of those things.

Comment author: shev 17 January 2017 08:33:15AM *  1 point [-]

I'm not trying to welcome you, I'm trying to explain why your posts were moved to drafts against your will.

I'm not arguing with or talking about Nash's theory. I'm telling you that your posts are low quality and you need to fix that if you want a good response.

My point in the last paragraph is that you are treating everyone like dirt and coming across as repulsive and egotistical.

"You are incorrect" was referring to "No, you can't give me feedback.". Yes, we can. If you're not receptive to feedback, you should probably leave this site. You're also going to struggle to socialize with any human beings anywhere with that attitude. Everyone will dislike you.

Keep in mind that it's irrelevant how smart or right you are if no one wants to talk to you.

Comment deleted 17 January 2017 08:49:07AM [-]
Comment author: shev 17 January 2017 08:55:28AM 1 point [-]

Why do you think there is nothing wrong with your delivery? Multiple people have told you that there was. Is that not evidence that there was? Especially because it's the community's opinions that count, not yours?

Comment author: TiffanyAching 16 January 2017 10:49:24PM 2 points [-]

Hi Flinter, welcome to Less Wrong.

Don't be too upset about a mod moving your post. You just need to get a bit more familiar with the site rules before you dive in. I'm sure it's nothing to do with their views on John Nash. If I made a post about how much I love Terry Pratchett, a mod would take it down for being irrelevant, but that wouldn't mean they necessarily disapproved of Terry Pratchett, would it?

Maybe take a day or two to read some threads, make a few comments and settle in here. You've got plenty of time to make your arguments once you've found your feet a bit.

Comment deleted 16 January 2017 10:55:35PM [-]
Comment author: TiffanyAching 16 January 2017 11:03:10PM 4 points [-]

Okay, I hear you, but the site has its own rules about presentation and dialogue. Given that you've said it's something that only you can explain correctly to people, maybe you'd actually be better off starting a blog and putting it in there? Then you could do it your own way and present your information as you see fit. Because if you explain it here people might not listen the way you want them to, and that might be very frustrating for you.

Comment deleted 16 January 2017 11:07:24PM [-]
Comment author: TiffanyAching 16 January 2017 11:17:05PM 3 points [-]

I think the problem here is that this a place for people who accept the possibility that they could be wrong and look to others to check and maybe improve their ideas - so that we can all help each other be "Less Wrong".

You have an idea that you're certain is right, and you don't think anybody here can possibly improve it or contribute anything to it. That's why people are questioning whether this is the right place for your material.

You also haven't had time to build up credibility - not John Nash's credibility, your credibility. That's why I suggested participating in the community a bit before insisting that people listen to you.

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Comment author: gbear605 16 January 2017 10:44:12PM 1 point [-]

Epistemic status: I do not speak for that moderator or the rest of LW. I rarely post here but have been a long time lurker. I believe that the following is correct, but I haven't thought about it for a significant length of time.

I believe the issue is that you are asserting a specific issue as being the most important ever, with little proof other than that John Nash worked on it, which could be an appeal to authority. You provided little proof about why it is important. You gave no actual suggestions, merely comments.

You also posted three individual posts in a short time span, when all three could have been combined into a single one. It is considered polite to limit the number of posts started.

If I were you I would have presented the three separate posts in a single one, with more explanation about why you think the topic is significant, relying solely on the merits of the topic, not on an appeal to authority. I would also have given a suggestion, since you clearly seem to think that there should be something done about the issue, rather than relying on the community to give a suggestion.

Also, this might be just me, but I still have no clear picture on what the topic actually is after skimming the beginning of Nash's lecture.

Comment author: Flinter 16 January 2017 10:51:15PM 0 points [-]

Thank you! You cannot argue it is an appeal to authority as a way of refuting it. I say its probably significant and correct because its Nash, and it is quite easy to traverse an 8 page paper as a community and decide whether I am making a substantial claim.

I am presenting a very difficult topic that not even Nash could get you to understand. It makes little sense for you to suggest that I am doing it wrong.

"Also, this might be just me, but I still have no clear picture on what the topic actually is after skimming the beginning of Nash's lecture."

Exactly. Please allow me to explain 20 years of lectures, in a very short time, so we can all understand the significance...especially before I am banned by this mod.

Comment author: James_Miller 16 January 2017 10:36:59PM 1 point [-]

What did you post? I study game theory and might be able to give you more feedback.

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Comment author: James_Miller 16 January 2017 10:51:42PM 1 point [-]

No, you can't give me feedback. It's above you.

Why do you think it's above me?

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Comment author: moridinamael 16 January 2017 10:57:18PM *  10 points [-]

The person you are talking to is a university professor who teaches game theory, so it is definitely on you to prove that assertion.

Incidentally, your tone and posting behavior suggests that you are a troll and are not participating in the community in good faith.

Comment author: Elo 17 January 2017 01:45:24AM 1 point [-]

you are a troll

This person is new, I know we deal with troll behaviour a bit around here, and I'd prefer if you were more delicate with throwing out such opinions.

Comment author: moridinamael 17 January 2017 06:35:56PM 1 point [-]

This is an unusual case. If we still had downvote activated, the early argumentative comments by Flinter would have been banished to oblivion, and this would essentially have been a non-event.

After reading this comment I decided to take a break from interacting with Flinter, and then resumed communicating with them with a firm resolution in mind to treat them in good faith even if I harbored doubts. I suppose I view it as a kind of challenge, like a Rubik's cube, to try to crack through to actually communicate with such a person. I still think there's about a 33% chance that I was right in my original assessment, that they're just here for the lulz. I never liked the downvote, in fact I was vocal about wanting to get rid of it, but I do wish there was some mechanism for constraining the impact someone like this can have on the forum.

Comment author: niceguyanon 17 January 2017 07:09:00PM *  1 point [-]

Do we have the same definition of a troll? Just wondering because the term seems to have drifted and I wonder where I stand. One sided flaming is what I would call it, because the person is hostile and insulting, resulting from emotional discussion. IMO Trolling requires the deliberate intent to provoke, as if that was his whole reason to post here. It's more likely that this person is dead serious, but socially inept (too strong?)

This person has written volumes of stuff in various places for years, seems unlikely that he's just messing with people for amusement. More likely that he is a true believer, just really bad at communication. I'd say Lumifer is lightly trolling (somewhat acceptably) because he is egging this person on, knowing full well that this person will make a spectacle of themselves.

Comment author: moridinamael 17 January 2017 07:15:23PM *  2 points [-]

I would have just gone with the term "crackpot" which I think has sufficiently clear meaning and points to exactly the right thing. They don't seem to be at all interested in actually convincing or communicating; they were much more interesting in establishing how persecuted they were.

Now Flinter has deleted a large number of posts, but if he hadn't, you would be able to see that they gleefully continued all discussions that were combative but stopped responding on discussion threads where his points were being directly and dispassionately challenged. I see that as evidence that they were some flavor of ne'er-do-well, if not a typical "for the lulz" troll.

Comment author: Lumifer 17 January 2017 07:39:41PM 1 point [-]

Oh, not a vanilla troll, this was a prophet, bringing glorious and eternal truth to the unwashed masses. As befits a true prophet, he was laughed at and cast out by hoi polloi. Surely this proves the great significance of his message.

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Comment author: shev 17 January 2017 07:59:51AM 0 points [-]

How could you possibly know what a random person knows of? Why are you so rude?

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Comment author: shev 17 January 2017 08:40:52AM *  0 points [-]

Rude refers to your method of communicating, not the content of what you said. "I mean that you do not know of the subject, and I do. I can explain it, and you might understand" is very rude, and pointlessly so.

Why do you think you know how much game theory I know?

edit: I edited out the "Is English your first language" bit. That was unnecessarily rude.

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Comment author: Dagon 17 January 2017 02:36:18PM 1 point [-]

Probably not banned, but I predict that your ideas will play out without a lot of impact over a few weeks. There's a core of an interesting idea - money as in indicator of values (in the CEV sense of "value"), but you don't seem to be listening to discussion, don't seem to see the gaping holes, and are mostly preaching.

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Comment author: Dagon 17 January 2017 03:59:07PM 0 points [-]

Probably not in a disorganized, random way, and certainly not filtered through an already-decided lens. Some people have had success (on other topics) by having a discussion topic for a specific paper or book, and a thread that's effectively a reading/study group for that paper.

Unsure if Nash's monetary ideas will fit that profile or not.

Comment author: Elo 17 January 2017 01:39:22AM 0 points [-]

Welcome! So glad that you invited yourself to join us!

John Nash won a nobel prize for game theory. No one ignored him. He's a great mathematician and economist, they made a movie about his life. The whole community mourned when he died in a car accident. No one is ignoring him.

Battles over definitions are interesting, and I would encourage you to become familiar with 37 ways that words can be wrong before challenging definitions.

presenting the most important topic in the world

This is a very bold claim, and would require very confident evidence to back it up. I am certainly not saying no, but the burden of proof is on you to explain why it matters so greatly to be world changing. Please feel free to put together a thesis which describes that.

Why is Less Wrong censoring out Nash's work and implying that it is irrational?

Again a bold claim, no one is censoring any body of work and if we did it would still be on Wikipedia, or free to talk about it elsewhere (as with the general avoidance of politics)

You seem very excited about the idea, please explain more!

If future if you want people to be more interested in listening to you, you might want to avoid saying the following phrases:

  • " a moderator already made a clearly irrational action",
  • "action against me",
  • "I mean to present a very difficult subject",
  • "no one else can present",
  • "I did so perfectly",
  • " the only way possible",
  • "Doesn't irrationality run counter to this site's stated mission?"(rhetorical question),
  • "To be clear,"
  • "the most important topic in the world"
  • "with the assumption that it is probably significant and correct"
  • "Why is Less Wrong censoring ..."
Comment author: Flinter 17 January 2017 01:57:26AM *  0 points [-]

John Nash won a nobel prize for game theory. No one ignored him. He's a great mathematician and economist, they made a movie about his life. The whole community mourned when he died in a car accident. No one is ignoring him.

He spoke for 20 years and wrote for that time on the subject Ideal Money that he had been developing his whole life. He toured country to country proposing his idea. Have you head of it, because you just stated you aren't ignoring him and neither is the community. Do you understand his argument/proposal and what are you doing about the significance of it?

edit: (also btw what he was given prizes for was just components and sub-solutions contained within his bigger proposal Ideal Money)

Battles over definitions are interesting, and I would encourage you to become familiar with 37 ways that words can be wrong before challenging definitions.

There is nothing to battle over. I will be using all commonly accepted definitions. But I am particularly interested in whether or not we share the same definition for "ideal", which is not a challenge or battle.

This is a very bold claim, and would require very confident evidence to back it up. I am certainly not saying no, but the burden of proof is on you to explain why it matters so greatly to be world changing. Please feel free to put together a thesis which describes that.

I have such a thesis' but why would you ask for mine and not attend to Nash's in order to judge the truth of it? That is irrational.

Again a bold claim, no one is censoring any body of work and if we did it would still be on Wikipedia, or free to talk about it elsewhere (as with the general avoidance of politics)

Yes my thread on it was removed and the mod explained they favor Hayek over Nash which is a clear indication of such bias. If they thought Nash's proposal had merit and was rational then we would be having dialogue in the main forum like it belongs or AT LEAST in the discussion section.

Thanks, cheers!

Comment author: Elo 17 January 2017 02:49:12AM 0 points [-]

John Nash... Do you understand his argument/proposal and what are you doing about the significance of it?

I haven't had a chance yet, but it's now on my list. I am digging into Keynesian Economics and Revealed preference theory at the moment.

I will be using all commonly accepted definitions

I hope so, but just to be clear it's best to state your premises. Especially when presenting your information.

why would you ask for mine and not attend to Nash's

Nash was a mathematician, I would love to see the easiest explanation to understand that you have.

main forum

Main is currently closed. As a matter of retirement, it's mostly inactive. And is reserved for posts that both excel in ideas and clear presentation of those ideas to a wide audience. If I were to drop a link to the homepage of wikipedia and suggest all folks need to read it, that would be of little help to anyone, and would not make it to main.

Comment author: Flinter 17 January 2017 02:57:33AM 0 points [-]

I haven't had a chance yet, but it's now on my list. I am digging into Keynesian Economics and Revealed preference theory at the moment.

Nash explains how Keynesian is just another form of failed communism. He explains even post-Keynesians are just Keynesians (alluding to the fact that he is thinking FAR beyond anyone even just emerging crypto currencies. He explains how a revolution will end the Keynesian ero of central banking.

More importantly you said we aren't being ignorant to Nash, and I showed that you are and still assert we all are. He did something significant with his whole life and stored it in 8 pages. I read more than 8 pages of links from you alone I think ;)

I hope so, but just to be clear it's best to state your premises. Especially when presenting your information.

My premise is well stated. The introduction of an objective stable unit of value. But the mod moderated my presentation out of existence.

Nash was a mathematician, I would love to see the easiest explanation to understand that you have.

He was much more than that, and the mod removed the explanation! It involves two thread that still exist that I made today though, one on how to solve every problem on this forum, and another that discusses the shared meaning of ideal. Read those and that is the best explanation ever.

Main is currently closed. As a matter of retirement, it's mostly inactive. And is reserved for posts that both excel in ideas and clear presentation of those ideas to a wide audience. If I were to drop a link to the homepage of wikipedia and suggest all folks need to read it, that would be of little help to anyone, and would not make it to main.

Nash's works Ideal Money obviously belongs there. Don't be irrational.