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Comment author: TheAncientGeek 31 January 2014 02:28:29PM -1 points [-]

I've read it, and I believe it doesn't..

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 31 January 2014 02:37:51PM 4 points [-]

Regardless, I wish to not take over (a part of) this comment thread by discussing this thing in detail.

If further comments from me on the matter are in demand, contacting me through some other means is a better option.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 31 January 2014 02:14:12PM 0 points [-]

As a Brit, you already have a king/queen in your country.

And it's not paradise on Earth.

hough the king would be elected from among the re-invented Aristocracy in a meritocratic way,

How does that work? If an aristocrat's offpsring are crap, do they get thrown out of the aristocracy? If so, how does that differ from meritocracy?

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 31 January 2014 02:21:42PM 2 points [-]

I believe this comment thread is not the proper place to discuss the details of my proposal.

(Also I believe the page linked earlier answers those specific questions.)

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 31 January 2014 12:46:11PM *  5 points [-]

The class of bright political ideas that would be a clear improvement is surprisingly large

But it doesn't include bringing back Kings.

This is why examples are important. You can't coclude "the world just doesn't want to listen to ideas, however, good" if the ideas , are in fact, terrible.

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 31 January 2014 01:11:52PM 1 point [-]

As a Brit, you already have a king/queen in your country.

Details are important as well as examples, and I'm not in the business of simply bringing back empowered kings. In the system I discussed the role mostly is about being a cool figurehead, not so terribly different from what you have now (though the king would be elected from among the re-invented Aristocracy in a meritocratic way, and therefore be better at the role than what you have now -- and it is of course true that the discussed system would be about bringing back the nobility in a genuinely empowered way).

In response to On saving the world
Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 31 January 2014 10:11:30AM 0 points [-]

Thank you. I can relate to much of what you said, as isn't terribly rare here.

And the most enjoyable of the feelings evoked in me (as has happened on several occasions already), is seeing a young one being better and more promising than me.

(Though my enjoyment at being superseded is dangerous in the sense that such may be associated with laziness, so you are very welcome to not enjoy yours -- or enjoy, however you wish.)

The actual reason why I started to comment at all, however, is that it's amusing to note how I'm in a sense in the reverse of your situation. I found MIRI/SIAI over 10 years ago (and am almost that much older than you), started contributing to them then, but have recently refocused, of all things, on political system-building. Just what you left behind!

It would be complex and unnecessary to discuss here why I have done so, but let it be said that it's not because I wouldn't still consider MIRI's work to be of paramount importance. I do, but there are circumstances that I feel influence me towards a differing personal focus, among them certainly being a degree of laziness that I've come to joyfully accept of myself, after being more demandind earlier. Also, not putting all eggs in one basket.

Anyway, studying what's currently termed neoreaction (and associated things) is what I'm doing. For the heck of it, here's some early comments I recently wrote regarding that stuff.

(Also let it be noted that the difficult part in fixing politics is devising the ways in which one can actually get to implementing the bright ideas. The class of bright political ideas that would be a clear improvement is surprisingly large and easy to pick examples out of, but the class of ideas that one is likely to be able to implement is much more constrained.)

Comment author: novalis 13 August 2012 06:27:15AM 6 points [-]

I think part of the difference between my experience and your statement, is that the liberals I know tend towards the libertarian end of the spectrum. At least on the drug issue, this might be a function of age.

The liberal argument against libertarianism is not that it is irrational to have a preference for liberty, but that (a) liberty is a more complicated concept than libertarians say it is (see Amartya Sen, for instance), (b) that libertarians often equivocated between the moral and practical arguments for libertarianism (see Yvain's non-libertarian FAQ, for instance), and (c) that the practical benefits are often not as-claimed (ibid).

Similarly, many liberals are in favor of certain sorts of regulations on sexual autonomy -- many oppose prostitution and traditional polygyny, for instance (there are, of course, a number of complications here, as well as variance among liberals). Some liberals also oppose the burqa and would criminalize clitoridectomy (this is more of a live issue in Europe). Finally, liberals tend to favor regulations against sexual harassment, which, defined broadly, could include some consensual conduct such as a consensual boss-subordinate relationship. In each of these cases, their arguments in these cases are similar to their arguments in the other cases where they favor regulation.

It's true that liberals often oppose regulations on sex which are either (a) based more-or-less solely on tradition, or (b) which affect only consensual conduct (I recognized that consent is a complex issue). I don't think case (a) is really an argument for liberal hypocrisy, because it is rare to find other cases where liberals support laws based solely on tradition (historical preservation districts might be one, although I have no idea whether liberals on average actually support them). Case (b) is the important one, and I can think of a couple of other cases where liberal views are similar to their views on sex. The first is drugs, where liberals are far more likely than conservatives (though of course less likely than libertarians) to want to reduce or remove regulations; the second is freedom of speech (although this varies dramatically by country, and liberal views on laws differ from their views on institutional rules). Some liberals also oppose most regulations on immigration.

Which supposedly-liberal arguments in favor of regulation do you think apply to which proposed regulation of sex?

And what particular bad effects do you see from the individual autonomy view of sex?

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 13 August 2012 01:48:58PM 13 points [-]

In response to your final questions:

Liberals (myself included) tend to very much like the idea of using regulation to transfer some wealth from the strongest players to the weakest in society. We like to try to set up the rules of the game so that nobody would be economically very poor, and so that things in general were fair and equitable.

In the case of sex and relationships, the argument could also be made for regulation that would transfer "sexual wealth" and "relationship wealth" from the strongest players to those who are not so well off. In fact, it seems to me that very many traditional conservative societies have tried to do just that, by strongly promoting e.g. such values that one should have only one sexual partner (along with marriage) during one's life. Rock stars and other sorts of alpha males who take many hot girls for themselves would be strongly disapproved of by typical traditional conservative societies. The underlying reason may be that traditional monogamy produces a sexually more equal society, and that this has been one contributing factor why societies with such values have been so successful throughout much of human history.

Most liberals, however, would be unwilling to engage in a rational discussion and cost-benefit analysis of whether conservative sexual morals (or some modified version thereof) would in fact create a more equal and strong society. Liberals are ok with the strongest players amassing as much sexual wealth as they can, at the expense of the weaker competitors, which strongly contrasts with their ideas about regulating economic activity and limitless acquisition of monetary wealth.

Comment author: [deleted] 29 July 2012 05:44:39AM 2 points [-]

If I were not currently in a job that forbids me from taking on outside work, I would be the first to apply.

However, I'm currently in a job that forbids me from taking on outside work.

I have offered in the past to volunteer some time to this sort of thing, but I get that coordinating volunteers is harder than hiring people.

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 29 July 2012 01:01:46PM 0 points [-]

I have offered in the past to volunteer some time to this sort of thing, but I get that coordinating volunteers is harder than hiring people.

Sounds like something that happened during earlier years, when the SI people that one ran into when volunteering were different than currently.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 26 July 2012 09:27:50PM 16 points [-]

Though it's possible the reporter has twisted your words more than I manage to suspect

D'you think? You'll understand better after being reported-on yourself; and then you'll look back and laugh about how very, very naive that comment was. It's the average person's incomprehension of reporter-distorting that gives reporters their power. If you read something and ask, "Hm, I wonder what the truth was that generated this piece?" without having personal, direct experience of how very bad it is, they win.

I think the winning move is to read blogs by smart people, who usually don't lie, rather than anything in newspapers.

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 26 July 2012 10:57:44PM 10 points [-]

Actually, I feel that I have sufficient experience of being reported on (including in an unpleasant way), and it is precisely that which (along with my independent knowledge of many of the people getting reported on here) gave me the confidence to suspect that I would have managed to separate from the distortions an amount of information that described reality.

That said, there is a bit of fail with regard to whether I managed to communicate what precisely impacted me. Much of it is subtle, necessarily, since it had to be picked up through the distortion field, and I do allow for the possibility that I misread, but I continue to think that I'm much better at correcting for the distortion field than most people.

One thing I didn't realize, however, is that you folks apparently didn't think the gal might be a reporter. That's of course a fail in itself, but certainly a lesser fail than behaving similarly in the presence of a person one does manage to suspect to be a reporter.

Comment author: scientism 26 July 2012 09:03:47PM 12 points [-]

It's not so much the content as the presentation. The tone is incredibly self-absorbed and condescending. I thought the whole thing was a joke until I encountered the above quoted paragraph with its apparent sincerity. Presumably some of the content is intended to be tongue-in-check and some of it posturing, but it's difficult to separate. There's a compounding weirdness to the whole thing. Fetishes or open relationships or whatever aren't in themselves causes for concern but when somebody is trying to advocate for rationalism and a particular approach to ethics, the sense that you're following them somewhere very strange isn't good to have.

Let me try to make that clearer: Utilitarianism already has the problem of frequently sounding as if sociopaths are discussing ethics as something entirely abstract. Applying that to relationships, in the form of evangelical polyamory, takes it to another level of squeamishness (as others here have indicated). Seeing those ideas put into practice in the context of the dating profile of a self-professed sadist (who has been accused of wanting to take over the world, no less), replete with technical terminology ("primary", "dance card", etc), condescending advice to prospective conquests to help them overcome their fear of rejection and a general tone of callousness, sends it over the edge. Read straight, the profile could almost serve as a reductio for SIAI-brand ethics and rationality.

I'm also worried about who the intended audience is. Since I can't imagine anyone not deeply immersed in the Less Wrong community responding positively to it, I was left with the sense that perhaps our community's figurehead is (ab)using his position in ways that, as some else put it, "don't help the phyg pattern matching." It's basically an advertisement saying, "I'm a leader in small community x and I'm open to your sexual advances, so don't be shy."

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 26 July 2012 10:29:16PM *  12 points [-]

As someone who had read Eliezer's OkCupid profile sometime not very recently, I was actually gonna reply to this with something like "well, scientism goes maybe a bit too far, but he does actually have a point"

...but then I just went and reread the OkCupid profile, and no, actually it's wonderfully funny and I have no worries similar to scientism's, unlike earlier when the profile didn't explicitly mention sadism.

Obviously Eliezer is a very unusual and "weird" person, but the openness about it that we observe here is a winning move, unlike the case where one might sense that he might be hiding something. Dishonesty and secrecy is what the evil phyg leaders would go for, whereas Eliezer's openness invites scrutiny and allows him to emerge from it without the scrutinizers having found incriminating evidence.

Also, where are you seeing evangelical polyamory? I'm very much not polyamorous myself, and haven't ever felt that anyone around here would be pushing polyamory to me.

Comment author: advancedatheist 26 July 2012 05:40:07PM 1 point [-]

Transhumanism seems to hold people's interests until around the time they turn 40, when the middle-aged reality principle (aging and mortality) starts to assert itself. It resembles going through a goth phase as a teenager.

BTW, I find it interesting that Peter Thiel's name keeps coming up in connection with stories about the singularity, as in the New York Observer one, when he has gone out of his way lately to argue that technological progress has stagnated. Thiel has basically staked out an antisingularity position.

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 26 July 2012 05:51:49PM 25 points [-]

That position is "antisingularity" only in the Kurzweilian sense of the word. I wouldn't be surprised if e.g. essentially everyone at the Singularity Institute were "antisingularity" in this sense.

Comment author: Manfred 25 July 2012 11:28:50PM *  8 points [-]

(I'm assuming that your complaint is about the interview quality on LW topics, rather than the physical intimacy, which we can assume is present but was amplified in the writing process. Honestly there are several things I think your comment could be about, so fortunately my problems with it are general)

I think this comment is uncharitable. Which you kind of knew already. And which, by itself, isn't so bad.

But unfortunately, you fall into the fundamental attribution error here, and explain other peoples' failings as if they were inherent properties of those people - and not only do you mentally assign people qualities like "sucks at explaining," you generalize this to judge them as whole people. Not only is this a hasty conclusion, but you're going to make other people feel bad, because people generally don't like being judged.

I can understand the impulse "I would have done much better," but I would much rather you kept things constructive.

Comment author: Aleksei_Riikonen 26 July 2012 12:52:08PM 5 points [-]

The starting point for my attitude was people doing things like intervening in front of a reporter to stop discussion of a topic that looks scandalous, or talking about Singularity/AI topics in a way that doesn't communicate much wisdom at all.

Being silly with regard to physical intimacy and in general having a wild party is all well and good by itself, if you're into that sort of thing, but I react negatively when that silliness seems to spill over into affecting the way serious things are handled.

(I'll partly excuse being light on the constructiveness by having seen some copy-pastes that seem to indicate that what I'm concerned about is already being tackled in a constructive way on the NYC mailing list. The folks over there are much better positioned to do the contructive things that should be done, and I wasn't into trying to duplicate their efforts.)

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