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cousin_it comments on Building Weirdtopia - Less Wrong

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

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Comment author: cousin_it 07 May 2011 06:24:18PM *  11 points [-]

Your story doesn't immediately come across as a horrible dystopia only because you chose not to depict the emotions men would feel when leaving their kids behind, or to describe the truly equitable arrangement where women would be forced to leave their kids behind 50% of the time.

Comment author: roomanitarian 09 May 2011 06:59:49PM 0 points [-]

I hear you - and I don't disagree.

However, I ask that you imagine it from the perspective of a small village.

It's fairly well known that, in some villages, everyone is responsible for raising the children, not just the parents who conceived them. Over time, this process might evolve and grow, as populations evolve and grow, into the modern day version I've depicted.

In this latest version of the system, you're still allowed to keep in touch with the children you've conceived (and the wives you've had); it's just that someone else from your village is raising them right now.

And this seems weird (which is the point), but not when you consider that this system didn't come about overnight, but grew from something that made a lot more sense when the population was smaller.

Does that make any sense?

Comment author: Barry_Cotter 09 May 2011 08:13:56PM 2 points [-]

It's fairly well known that, in some villages, everyone is responsible for raising the children, not just the parents who conceived them. Over time, this process might evolve and grow, as populations evolve and grow, into the modern day version I've depicted.

I think this is stretching the reality of the situation a fair bit. In societies with very strong and consistent social norms, in communities where everybody more or less knows everybody (less than the Dunbar number), anybody can discipline children who are misbehaving. The children still have a mother and a home, and they know who that is and where it is. This will be much weaker in societies that aren't so much about the nuclear family.

I can't see any plausible mechanism to get a society with apartments and suburbs doing this though. (Meaning such a society would not develop such living arrangements, and such living arrangements would rapidly destroy such a social arrangement)

It's well written. You may have inspired me to write my own weirdtopia.