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TheOtherDave comments on Eutopia is Scary - Less Wrong

33 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 January 2009 05:28AM

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Comment author: TheOtherDave 02 February 2011 10:18:10PM 8 points [-]

(nods) My version of this, back when my social circle was dealing with the question, was that poly was like turning somersaults. Some people are good at it and some people aren't, some people enjoy it and some people don't, some people can significantly damage themselves and others by trying it if they don't choose a time and place carefully, and even people who are good at it and enjoy it will get hurt doing it from time to time, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't do it. Ya pays yer money, ya takes yer chances.

Comment author: datadataeverywhere 02 February 2011 11:38:32PM 1 point [-]

and even people who are good at it and enjoy it will get hurt doing it from time to time

This I think is true. The woman in question does polyamory well, and has for a long time, and in my opinion should continue to for her own happiness. However, she definitely wasn't doing it right at that time. To my knowledge, it's the only problem she's had that has stemmed from her.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 02 February 2011 11:43:07PM 1 point [-]

(nods) My husband and I do monogamy pretty well, also, but we've been known to create problems for ourselves and each other from time to time. Occupational hazard of imperfection.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 02 February 2011 11:43:34PM 1 point [-]

How large is the poly community? It seems like one of the Common Interest in Rationality groups; but I don't know if it's large enough that marginal investments in evangelism should be targeted there.

Comment author: WrongBot 03 February 2011 12:08:13AM 3 points [-]

I'm not sure whether this is a pro or a con for evangelism attempts, but a very large swathe of the poly community is of a new-age and/or neopagan bent. So on the one hand, they really could use some rationality. On the other, they're probably not very receptive to it.

As far as numbers go, I don't think I've heard any good estimates. Judging by the uptick in media coverage of late, though, I'd guess they're growing at a pretty decent clip.

Comment author: Nornagest 03 February 2011 12:12:17AM *  1 point [-]

There's a good amount of crossover with geek culture, too. I think it's growing into part of the usual contrarian cluster, if it isn't part already.

Comment author: datadataeverywhere 03 February 2011 12:22:30AM *  0 points [-]

a very large swathe of the poly community is of a new-age and/or neopagan bent

Ugh, agreed.

I think P(newage|poly) - P(newage) > P(rationalist|poly) - P(rationalist) > 0.

I also think P(poly|rationalist) - P(poly) >> P(rationalist|poly) - P(rationalist), which is why we see it as a Common Interest.

As an aside, I've been reading your blog since (I think) before you joined LessWrong; like Wei Dai, you're one of the connections I've made to a different community that has appeared here. I usually read it through RSS, which I think broke. You also appear to have abandoned your earlier blog posts?

Comment author: ciphergoth 03 February 2011 01:32:09PM 2 points [-]

I think P(X|E) - P(X) is the wrong measure - should be the log likelihood ratio log(P(E|X)) - log(P(E|NOT X))

Comment author: datadataeverywhere 03 February 2011 02:36:56PM 1 point [-]

I was feeling uncomfortable about that myself.

In all likelihood, I shouldn't be using probability at all, because probability theory doesn't capture cause and effect well. Thinking back, what I should have said is just that rationalists are more likely to adopt polyamory than polyamorists are likely to adopt rationalism. The actual ratios of each are less relevant.

Comment author: ciphergoth 06 February 2011 11:26:34PM 0 points [-]

To be clear, this is almost the same as the formula you gave; I'm just using the log odds ratios formulation of Bayes theorem

LOR(X|E) = LOR(X) + log(P(E|X)) - log(P(E|NOT X))

where LOR(X) = log(P(X)/P(¬X))

in other words LOR(X|E) - LOR(X) = log(P(E|X)) - log(P(E|NOT X)) the log-likelihood ratio, the weight of evidence you need to update from one to the other.

Comment author: WrongBot 06 February 2011 12:26:07AM 0 points [-]

This comment motivated me to update my blog again, which I am quite grateful for. Has that showed up in your RSS?

My earlier blog posts were eaten when I screwed up the transfer of the site to Wordpress. I wasn't terribly happy with them in any case, but you're not the first person to indicate that they were better than I thought.

Comment author: datadataeverywhere 07 February 2011 07:47:24PM 0 points [-]

It didn't; I'm sure RSS also broke during the site transfer. I re-subscribed, and I suspect everything will work again. The re-subscription at least retrieved your two current posts. I really did find your earlier writings interesting and enjoyable. I'm not sure I necessarily need them reposted (I wouldn't classify them as reference material for re-review), but more like that would be appreciated.

Comment author: Nick_Tarleton 03 February 2011 09:22:03AM *  3 points [-]

neopagan

Note that naturalistic neopaganism exists.

Comment author: ciphergoth 04 February 2011 08:13:50AM 2 points [-]

Looks like a failure of relinquishment to me. Are there any naturalistic neopagans who are not former non-naturalistic neopagans?

Comment author: Nick_Tarleton 04 February 2011 08:23:33AM *  4 points [-]

I don't see where you're coming from — the essay I linked seems to make it extremely clear that its author was never a non-naturalist.

Comment author: ciphergoth 04 February 2011 04:57:24PM 2 points [-]

Ah, got the wrong end of the stick from a skim read - thanks!

Comment author: Blueberry 04 February 2011 08:24:12AM 1 point [-]

Are there any naturalistic neopagans who are not former non-naturalistic neopagans?

I think I would fall in that description. I see (and have always seen) my neopaganism as a philosophical expression of humor and absurdism.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 04 February 2011 03:56:53PM 0 points [-]

Yes, many. Indeed, there are naturalistic neopagans who were not formerly neopagans at all, of any sort.

Comment author: MBlume 04 February 2011 08:46:07AM 0 points [-]

Ah. Thank you for that =)

Comment author: MBlume 04 February 2011 07:20:19AM 1 point [-]

My experience was that being a sorta-halfway-decent-rationalist was part of what made it possible for me to do poly. I imagine there's others like me, but they'll already be rationalists (or have innately strong self-awareness skillsets and those may be good targets...). Others would have managed it using completely different sets of skills and I don't imagine they'd be any more interested in rationality than the mean.

Comment author: ciphergoth 04 February 2011 08:09:20AM 2 points [-]

This metaphor I think captures some of it, but it has the downside that it introduces an asymmetry between poly and its alternatives. I've never been anything but poly, so for me it would be any other style of relation ship that would be a potential strain and risk.