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Manon_de_Gaillande comments on Failed Utopia #4-2 - Less Wrong

52 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 21 January 2009 11:04AM

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Comment author: Manon_de_Gaillande 21 January 2009 07:56:36PM 12 points [-]

Oh *please*. Two random men are more alike than a random man and a random woman, okay, but seriously, a huge difference that makes it necessary to either rewrite minds to be more alike or separate them? First, anyone who prefers to socialize with the opposite gender (ever met a tomboy?) is going to go "Ew!". Second, I'm pretty sure there are more than two genders (if you want to say genderqueers are lying or mistaken, the burden of proof is on you). Third, neurotypicals can get along with autists just fine (when they, you know, actually try), and this makes the difference between genders look hoo-boy-tiiiiny. Fourth - hey, I *like* diversity! Not just just knowing there are happy different minds somewhere in the universe - actually interacting with them. I want to sample ramensubspace everyday over a cup of tea. No *way* I want to make people more alike.

Comment author: TuviaDulin 01 April 2012 07:35:24PM 6 points [-]

The clever fool doesn't seem to have taken these facts into account. He was a fool, after all.

Comment author: [deleted] 26 December 2012 09:03:39PM 1 point [-]

Two random men are more alike than a random man and a random woman

For any two groups A and B, two random members of A are more alike than a random member of A and a random member of B, aren't they?

Comment author: [deleted] 27 December 2012 11:20:16PM 0 points [-]

Not necessarily -- for example, if all the members of both groups are on a one-dimensional space, both groups have the same mean, and Group B had much smaller variance than Group A... But still.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 December 2012 01:23:20AM *  0 points [-]

Most people are members of more than just one group.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 December 2012 02:08:52AM 0 points [-]

So?

Comment author: [deleted] 28 December 2012 03:55:05AM 0 points [-]

Soooooo, real humans might be a mite more complicated than that, such that your summary does not usefully cover inferences about people.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 December 2012 04:29:45AM 0 points [-]

I don't see where I assumed that the groups were disjoint. My point was that "Two random men are more alike than a random man and a random woman", while technically true, isn't particularly informative about men and women.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 December 2012 04:45:22AM 0 points [-]

Ah, my mistake. I thought you were saying that given your proposition is (asserted to be true), the idea that two random men are more alike than a random man and woman must be meaningfully true.

Comment author: J_Taylor 28 December 2012 05:45:11AM 0 points [-]

What about cases in which group B is a subset of Group A?

Comment author: Nominull 28 December 2012 08:12:43AM 4 points [-]

No. A is [1,3,5,7], B is [4,4,4,4]. A random member of A will be closer to a random member of B than to another random member of A.

Comment author: ygert 28 December 2012 09:16:32AM *  0 points [-]

I probably would say that that is because your two sets A and B do not carve reality at its joints. What I think army1987 intended to talk about is "real" sets, where a "real" set is defined as one that carves reality at its joints in one form or another.

Comment author: Kawoomba 28 December 2012 09:43:33AM 0 points [-]

What I think army1987 intended to talk about is "real" sets

There will be some real sets that are similar to Nominull's (well, natural numbers are a subset of reals, eh?), however army1987 did emphasize the any, so Nominull's correction was well warranted.

Comment author: [deleted] 28 December 2012 11:57:58AM *  1 point [-]

Er, no, I was just mistaken. (And forgot to retract the great-grandparent -- done now.) For a pair of sets who do carve reality at (one of) its joints but still is like that, try A = {(10, 0), (30, 0), (50, 0), (70, 0)} and B = {(40, 1), (40, 1), (40, 1), (40, 1)}.

(What I was thinking were cases were A = {10, 20, 30, 40} and B = {11, 21, 31, 41}, where it is the case that “two random members of A are more alike than a random member of A and a random member of B”, and my point was that “Two random men are more alike than a random man and a random woman” doesn't rule out {men} and {women} being like that.)

Comment author: ygert 28 December 2012 12:09:47PM 0 points [-]

Ah, okay then. That makes sense.

Comment author: Oligopsony 28 December 2012 11:27:34AM 1 point [-]

I believe what Manon meant is that the difference in this case between two random members of the same class exceeds the difference between the average members of each class.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 December 2012 03:34:19AM *  1 point [-]

Leaving aside the fact that this was a failed utopia, I am troubled by your comment "neurotypicals can get along with autists just fine (when they, you know, actually try), and this makes the difference between genders look hoo-boy-tiiiiny." While it appears to be true, it is also true that even a minor change could easily render cooperation with another mind extremely difficult. Diversity has its cost. Freedom of speech means you can't arrest racists until they actually start killing Jews, for example

Comment author: Nornagest 27 December 2012 04:30:27AM *  4 points [-]

Freedom of speech means you can't arrest Nazis until they actually start killing Jews, for example

You need both freedom of speech and freedom of association for that, as long as you're talking about organized Nazis rather than lone nuts. And a governmental culture that takes both seriously as deontological imperatives and not as talking points to bandy about until they conflict with locking up people who actually violate serious taboos of speech and thought.

There are plenty of first-world countries that don't fully implement that combination.

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 December 2012 04:15:14PM *  1 point [-]

talking points to bandy about until they conflict with locking up people who actually violate serious taboos of speech and thought.

Locking people up for violating "taboos of speech and thought" is clearly a violation of their freedom of speech (and freedom of opinion/belief, I suppose, but that one is less catchy.) Just as locking up anyone is a violation of their freedom of movement, and executing them is a violation of their right to life, and giving a psychotic drugs they think are spiders is a violation of their right to bodily integrity. Rights require compromise, and this is how it should be, because no bill of rights is perfectly Friendly.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 27 December 2012 05:33:24AM 1 point [-]

Freedom of speech means you can't arrest Nazis until they actually start killing Jews, for example

In point of fact, Nazis started threatening and assaulting Jews, vandalizing their businesses, and imposing weird new discriminatory rules on them, some years before the mass murder started in earnest. None of the above are generally taken to be protected by "freedom of speech".

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 December 2012 05:10:50PM 1 point [-]

It was such incidents I had in mind. Clearly, I was suffering from the illusion of transparency; I'll change it.

Comment author: hairyfigment 27 December 2012 07:01:03AM -2 points [-]

I'm pretty sure you can arrest Nazis when they start attacking other parties with the intention of overthrowing the government. Wiki says the following happened before they were officially Nazis:

Some 130 people attended; there were hecklers, but Hitler's military friends promptly ejected them by force, and the agitators "flew down the stairs with gashed heads."

Comment author: MugaSofer 27 December 2012 04:02:40PM *  -1 points [-]

It was such incidents I had in mind. Clearly, I was suffering from the illusion of transparency; I'll change it.

Comment author: hairyfigment 27 December 2012 09:59:21PM -1 points [-]

See, racists (even in a fairly strong sense) would often have been in power. I don't know what verbal beliefs you think characterize Nazis more than their willingness to use violence against particular targets. Hitler had belonged to (what they would later call) the Nazi Party for at most two months when the cited violence happened. He wouldn't write Mein Kampf for more than three years. Mussolini allegedly said,

The Socialists ask what our political program is. Our political program is to break the heads of the socialists.

Comment author: MugaSofer 29 December 2012 07:39:21PM 1 point [-]

I don't know what verbal beliefs you think characterize Nazis more than their willingness to use violence against particular targets.

You don't? Well, you may not have heard of this, but they had kind of a thing about Jews. Thought they were subhuman and corrupting society and all sorts of crazy shit.

Comment author: MixedNuts 29 December 2012 08:33:13PM 2 points [-]

Is a typical Nazi closer to someone who privately thinks Jews are subhuman and corrupting society and is exactingly nice and friendly to everyone so that the Jewish conspiracy have nothing to use against her, or to someone who advocates violence up to and including mass murder against green-eyed manicurists on the grounds that they are subhuman and corrupt society?

Comment author: Oligopsony 29 December 2012 09:06:04PM *  2 points [-]

Temperamentally, or in terms of verbal beliefs?

Comment author: MixedNuts 29 December 2012 10:03:47PM 1 point [-]

Yes.

Comment author: Oligopsony 29 December 2012 11:08:39PM 1 point [-]

Well, let's compare Nazis to Ankharists. Ankharists if anything have a longer hitlist than Nazis, although they have nothing in particular against Jews. Are Ankharists more Nazi than Nazis? Uh, no. Ankharism is actually an entirely different ideology, with little in common besides the long hitlist (consisting of different targets.)

Of course with respect to the original question it's also true that there are lots of distinctions between National Socialism and the various ruling racist ideologies that preceded them other than hitlist as well, so.

Comment author: MugaSofer 30 December 2012 12:06:50AM 0 points [-]

The latter, historically. However, focusing on the specific example is probably counterproductive, as it doesn't affect the point that certain verbal beliefs are dangerous; specifically those that stereotype, demonize and dehumanize particular groups. Obviously most who hold such beliefs will never attack anyone; but ... if they were restricted, there would be less hate crimes. This would cause irreparable damage to society in other ways, of course - that's rather the point.

Comment author: hairyfigment 29 December 2012 10:44:10PM -1 points [-]

Apparently people dispute that Georg Ratzinger published the same beliefs. But again, since I've apparently had trouble making myself understood: none of those verbal claims, at least the ones publicly known before the start of violence, distinguished the Nazis from other people (if not literally people like GR within the German government).

Comment author: MugaSofer 30 December 2012 12:40:51PM *  -1 points [-]

Oh, right. Well, it's certainly true that anti-semetism was a lot more popular and socially acceptable before the holocaust. But it was even more popular, socially acceptable, and extreme among Nazis.