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Larks comments on Building Weirdtopia - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 12 January 2009 08:35PM

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Comment author: Larks 16 December 2010 02:46:52PM 2 points [-]

Sexual Weirdtopia:

Everyone is celebate every other year. Because these periods go between birthdays, people arrange relationships on this basis, and there are tragic couples born on the same day but a year apart.

Comment author: Leonhart 16 December 2010 03:11:35PM 6 points [-]

Why would this be an improvement? Weirdtopia is not just weird customs, it's weird customs that are still recognisably an improvement. Let's be careful not to dilute the meaning.

Comment author: Larks 16 December 2010 03:37:53PM 1 point [-]

It could have many of the benefits of serial monogamy, while making coordination a lot easier. During the celibate periods people wouldn't get distracted by sex at all. It'll encourage people to plan their lives, rather than just drifting. It would allow people to get any benefit from asceticism, whilst also benefitting from sexual relations; possibly even becoming Millean Competent Judges...

I don't actually think it would be an improvement. But it doesn't seem to be more obviously worse than many of the previously mentioned wierdtopias.

Comment author: Leonhart 16 December 2010 03:52:17PM 3 points [-]

Ah, now I take your meaning. Perhaps "asexual" would have been a better term than "celibate".

I still think there's some confusion here, though it might be me. If you don't think it's an improvement on reflection, it's not a weirdtopia.

Comment author: Jack 16 December 2010 03:58:14PM 2 points [-]

It doesn't seem to be more obviously worse than many of the previously mentioned wierdtopias.

It's 50% less sex!

Comment author: Strange7 17 December 2010 09:35:07PM 4 points [-]

Actually, it's 50% less aggregate demand for sex.

You could spend even-numbered year being a good little worker-bee and saving up, with considerably less relationship-drama to distract you from maximum productivity, and odd-numbered years blowing it all on booze and hookers, for a net increase in sexual activity and net decrease in sexual frustration.

Comment author: Larks 17 December 2010 09:42:09PM 2 points [-]

Yes, in the same way that being half-asleep for 24 hours a day won't necessarily make you better rested.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 16 December 2010 03:50:08PM 2 points [-]

I'd say recognizably a possible improvement. If the weirdness was just an improvement, in no uncertain terms, it'd be just a utopia.

That having been said, the grandparent post needs justify what's the society's reasoning regarding these "tragic" couples not being able to petition their celibacy cycles to synch. Otherwise it's just a dystopia.

And also to explain whether the celibacy is enforced by custom, law, or biological modification.

Comment author: Leonhart 16 December 2010 03:55:52PM 1 point [-]

I'd distinguish between "possible improvement" and "definite improvement, but only perceived as such after you've worked through your initial squick".

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 16 December 2010 04:36:59PM 1 point [-]

Eliezer in the original post talked about arguable improvements, not definite ones.

Comment author: Strange7 18 April 2011 11:21:14AM 2 points [-]

My understanding of love, as distinct from lust, is that it involves wanting the other person to be happy even when their preferences are otherwise different from your own.

As such, I imagine an out-of-sync couple would have a single set of sex toys, passed back and forth as perennial birthday presents. Whoever was using them this year would fantasize about the other partner's activities of the previous year, which seemed uninteresting at the time.

Alternatively, and especially if the lusty/celibate cycle ratio was different, the ideal marriage could be a ring rather than a pair: spend the first half with someone who activated before you, the second half with someone who activated after, maybe loneliness or three-ways in between depending on the timing, and then pass the passion on down the line.

Comment author: xxd 15 December 2011 12:02:51AM 2 points [-]

Only people who don't want children can have children. As a way to reduce the population.

Of course this wouldn't be required in a post-scarcity environment but as a plausible wierdtopia..