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Z._M._Davis comments on Changing Emotions - Less Wrong

21 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 05 January 2009 12:05AM

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Comment author: Z._M._Davis 05 January 2009 05:45:04AM 8 points [-]

Eliezer: "[E]very time I can recall hearing someone say 'I want to know what it's like to be the opposite sex', the speaker has been male. I don't know if that's a genuine gender difference in wishes [...]"

*sighs* There's a name for it.

Eliezer: "Strong enough to disrupt personal identity, if taken in one shot?"

Is it cheating if you deliberately define your personal identity such that the answer is No?

Frelkins: "I mean, if anyone wants to check it out, just try Second Life."

Not exactly what we're looking for, unfortunately ...

Frelkins: "[T]hey flunk the shoe chatter and reveal themselves quickly."

Surely you're not literally claiming that there are no women who aren't good at shoe chatter. Maybe in Second Life there are enough men using female avatars such that P(male-in-RL | female-avatar-bad-at-shoe-chatter) really is greater than P(female-in-RL | female-avatar-bad-at-shoe-chatter). But I should hope that being a woman or man is not conflated with behaving in gender-typical ways, for to do so is to deliberately ignore the nontrivial amount of variation in actually existing women and men.

Frelkins, in the other thread, you said you were saddened by Tino Sehgal's Edge answer about the end of masculinity as we know it, and you asked, "Why do even men hate men nowadays?" Well, please take my word for it that Sahgal and friends don't literally hate men. Rather, we just find it kind of obnoxious that far too often, being male is systematically conflated with talking about porn or football or whatever it is that "guys' guys" talk about (I wouldn't know--or I wish that I didn't). I hope I am not misunderstood--of course there is nothing wrong with being typically feminine or masculine. It's just that there should be other options.

adept42: "Therefore, since we can only observe gendered behaviors through social interaction the presumption should be each behavior has a social origin; biology carries the burden of proof to prove otherwise on a case-by-case basis."

I really don't think that follows. These empirical questions aren't like a court trial, where "nature" is the prosecution and "nurture" is innocent until proven guilty (cf. Eliezer's "The Scales of Justice, the Notebook of Rationality"). Rather, for each question, we must search for evidence and seek out the most accurate belief possible, being prepared to update as new evidence comes in. Sometimes this is very painful, when there's something you desperately want to be true, and you're afraid of the evidence. But we must be brave together, else we be utterly deceived. And what would we do then?

Comment author: juliawise 03 October 2011 11:17:21PM 2 points [-]

My guess is that non-shoe-chattering women have more practice than men at identifying other non-shoe-chatterers. But also that even most women who aren't interested in shoes learn to do a little.

When I moved to Denmark, I wasn't good at finding Danes I wanted to be friends with. Then I realized I didn't want to be friends with most Americans, but I was better at finding kindred spirits in America because I had more practice at reading Americans.

Comment author: Nisan 04 October 2011 12:34:13AM 0 points [-]

Did you learn anything about reading Danes? I'm going to spend a few months there soon.

Comment author: juliawise 05 October 2011 11:35:02AM 2 points [-]

Not much. In Copenhagen, 95% of young women wear a lot of eye makeup. I have a theory that there's something significant about the 5% who don't, but I never really found out. Christiania is a place to look for counter-cultural types, though some of that centers on drug use.