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Is Race Realism Racist?

-12 Aurini 12 May 2012 04:05AM

Race Realism AKA Human Biodiversity Theorem is an extremely contentious issue, which frequently seems to be owned by the extremists on both sides.  Some people say we should have a frank discussion on race, and personally I think we should have one.

The link that follows goes to a 20 minute youtube video where I discuss the issue.  Is it racist to discuss race realism?  By the colloquial defintion of racist.  Well, sort of.  But that doesn't mean you should throw the baby out with the bath water.  Stormfront might happily embrace any study that shows disparate achievement, but that doesn't mean that the studies are false.

Are the Race Realists on the internet anti-black, or is sensible social policy based upon acceptance of differences?




BTW, I've acted like a jerk.  This will be deleted in 48 hours.

Possible Cockatrice in written form

-5 Aurini 05 January 2011 09:54AM

My various interweb browsings stumbled me upon a potential Cockatrice in written, philisophical form.  I've thus far read through the first chapter, and it is less anti-rational than most philosophical writings.

I'm reading through it right now, and will provide my feedback when I'm done, likely as a front-page post.

Personally, I'm a Fatalist, with some sort of Weird Soldier Ethic, who plans to go out the same way that Hunter did (if the cops don't get me first), but I've got a bunch of nonsense to Write first.  I figure that'll make me somewhat immune.  That aside, I doubt it's a real cockatrice - or we would've heard about it before.

It is a strong exercise in Nihilism.  So, with those cautions given, I offer it to you:  an extensive suicide letter.

Tip of the hat to this guy.










Any LessWrongers in Calgary?

1 Aurini 12 December 2010 02:43AM

I'm wondering if there'd be any sense in organizing a meet-up.  If you're local leave a comment.


The Dark Arts - Preamble

44 Aurini 11 October 2010 02:01PM

I’d like to tell you all a story.

Once upon a time I was working for a charity – a major charity – going door-to-door to raise money while pretending it wasn’t sales.

This story happened on my last day working there.  I didn’t know that at the time; I wouldn’t find out until the following morning when my boss called me up to fire me, but I knew it was coming.  For weeks I’d been fed up with the job, milking it for the last few dollars I could pull out, hating every minute of it but needing the money.  The Sudden Career Readjustment would come as a relief.

So on that day, my last day, I was moving slowly.  I knocked on one particular door and there was no response.  I had little desire to walk to the next one, however, and there was an interesting spider who’d built its web below the doorbell.  I tapped its belly with the tip of my pen, and it reacted with aggression – trying to envenom and ensnare the tip of my ballpoint.  I must have been playing with it for a good minute or so when the door suddenly opened.

A distraught woman stood before me.  After a brief period of Relating I launched into my pitch.

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The Price of Integrity

-5 Aurini 23 July 2009 04:30AM

Related Posts: Prices or Bindings?

On the evening of August 14th, 2006 a pair of Fox News journalists, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig were seized by Islamic militants while on assignment in Gaza City.  Nothing was heard of them for nine days until a group calling themselves the Holy Jihad Brigades took credit for the kidnappings.  They issued an ultimatum, demanding the release of Muslims prisoners from American jails within a 72 hour time frame.  Their demands were not met.

But then a few days later the journalists were allowed to go free... but not before they’d been forced into converting to Islam at gunpoint, and had each videotaped a statement denouncing U.S. and Israeli foreign policy.

The war raged on.

A couple of kidnapped journalists is nothing new (certainly not three years after the fact) and aside from the happy ending this particular case wouldn’t worth mentioning if not for a unique twist that occurred after they returned home.  A fellow Fox News contributor, Sandy Rios, openly criticized the two men; she said that no true Christian would convert – falsely or otherwise – merely because they were threatened with death.  As she later explained to Bill Maher:*

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Comment author: RichardKennaway 22 July 2009 09:50:47PM *  7 points [-]

The cost depends very much on where you live.

I've just been looking on the web, and as far as I can tell, there are no cryonics services currently available in the U.K. On top of that, I'm over 50 and have no life insurance (by deliberate choice, because I have no dependents). I think it would cost me a great deal more than a dollar a day to assure my preservation, beginning with emigrating to another country and finding employment there to finance preservation costs in the region of $100,000. Or alternatively, helping to set up such services here, which would also involve large amounts of time and money.

Quite a lot of us are not from the U.S. I'd be interested to know the state of cryonics facilities in other countries.

Also, a real commitment to cryonics surely involves a lot more than just taking out membership and arranging the finance for the big day. You would presumably want to ensure that wherever you go, you have a plan for a suspension team to reach you if you drop dead, and never go anywhere too far out of reach. No backpacking trips to the wilderness, no travel to less developed countries, etc. U.S. people signed up: what additional steps do you take to ensure that your trip to the future is not merely paid for, but actually happens?

Comment author: Aurini 23 July 2009 03:40:44AM 2 points [-]

Transmetropolitan has a tragic story about a wife and husband team of investigative journalists (born slightly before you) who signed up together. The wife died of a heart attack, saying "I'll see you in the future," but then the husband died in a third-world dirt country. His last words were, "If you people had learned to clean your toilets..." Her revival was heart-breaking.

I'd like to second Mr Kennaway's question about any international information. I'm in Soviet Canuckistan for now, and I haven't been able to root anything up. Presumably the Cryonics organizations would have that sort of information on a website, that maybe one of you is familiar with?

In response to comment by Aurini on Shut Up And Guess
Comment author: Yvain 21 July 2009 03:56:29PM *  24 points [-]

Ooh, this is interesting. Eliezer says he hopes this wasn't at MIT or somewhere, and now people are remembering the MIT reference and assuming I go to MIT. Reminds me of that bias where you try to debunk a rumor, and all people can remember is that they heard someone talking about the rumor somewhere and believe it more. What's that called? There was an OB article on it somewhere, I think.

I should hire Eliezer to come by and make offhanded MIT references during my job interviews.

In response to comment by Yvain on Shut Up And Guess
Comment author: Aurini 21 July 2009 04:40:34PM *  6 points [-]

Dear lord, I just pooped myself. I'm thoroughly familiar with this bias - and I just fell into it.

Isn't this sort of language manipulation exactly what the PUAs do? Hmm... a potential way of strengthening one's arguments occurs to me. While in conversation with somebody IRL it should be more effective to phrase things as "Well, Eliezer said..." than "According to Eliezer's article on..." so as to give the impression of possible first hand knowledge, or at least thorough familiarity with the relevant material.

This is a dark art no doubt, but with most people I find that this is the only way of dealing with them.

(I am not above name-dropping Eliezer to pick up chicks.)

In response to Shut Up And Guess
Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 21 July 2009 09:12:00AM *  12 points [-]

A year back, I encountered a this kind of a test: binary multiple choice, one point for right answer, minus half a point for a wrong answer, zero points for no answer. (Multiple-choice exams of any kind are very rare in Finnish universities, so that's pretty much the only time in my life when I've been faced with a test like that.) Looking at the scoring, I came to the same conclusion as you: my expected score would be higher if I'd just try guessing each of the questions I wasn't sure on.

I didn't follow my own advice. I now wish I had, as I failed that exam. I was under a pretty heavy workload at the time, so I never ended up retaking it. I suspect I'd have passed if I'd just shut up and multiplied.

Why didn't I follow my own advice? I did have some kind of a conscious reason, but in retrospect it seems so flimsy that I have difficulty even formulating it here. It went something along the lines of "I might as well take all the questions I have absolutely no clue on and mark them all as 'true', which gives me a 50-50 chance to be right on each one assuming there are as many true as there are false questions. But what if the lecturer, forseeing that somebody would reason this way, wrote the questions in such a way that one alternative is more frequently correct than the other, and there isn't a 50-50 chance for all questions to be 'true'? Then my expected return calculation would be off, possibly costing me points!"

Yes, I'm aware of all the flaws in that line of thought, no need to point them out. I really didn't think it through properly. That implies that the very thing you suggest happened to your friends, happened to me - I instinctively disliked the idea, and then rationalized myself a (bad) reason not to do it.

Comment author: Aurini 21 July 2009 03:42:49PM *  7 points [-]

TANSTAAFL: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

That's still a better justifcation of your behaviour than the MIT students [edit: Yvain did not actually say MIT!] used - not to mention that you're able to look back in retrospect and acknowledge the error of your decision.

This sort of suspicion is a good heuristic, if not the best heuristic. Scam artists (by which I mean casinos and carnies) are skilled at making things appear as if you've found the loophole in their game, and when you don't have enough time to examine the loophole thoroughly you're generally better off assuming it to be false. From the sound of things you were too busy to do this, not to mention that - being unfamiliar with multiple choice tests in general - it caught you with your pants down. You would have had to devote twice the analysis time as a typical North American, who is familiar with these sorts of exams.

Don't discount the TANSTAAFL heuristic - you made a rational choice based on limited data and available processing time. Your error is wholly different from the errors at MIT.

In response to Shut Up And Guess
Comment author: Aurini 21 July 2009 05:26:30AM *  9 points [-]

This... absolutely sickens me. It's bad enough when I hear my family members argue morals/politics/economics that they subscribe to for proximate lifestyle purposes - but when University students pull this, and then ignore the eminent Yvain when he councils them otherwise?

My only comforts are the harsh cold truth of schadenfreude, that such beings don't deserve an extra 5%, and that at least I only wasted three years and $20 000 at post-secondary.*

*(My degree was non-technical; Humanities students who don't want a PhD should drop out in second year, spend a year reading, and then lie on their resume.)

P.S. Excellent break down of the reasoning process, Yvain. I think you hit the nail on the head.

Comment author: dclayh 20 July 2009 08:19:28PM *  5 points [-]

Further, if you don't think you would give Omega the $100 in that situation, I'm afraid this article will mean next to nothing to you.

Surely you mean something more like, "...if you don't understand the reasoning by which one would be inclined to give Omega the $100..."

I've seen this sort of thoroughly unnecessary divisiveness in several LW posts, and it really puzzles me. Have we really fallen so far into confirmation bias and ingroup/outgrouping that we're actually telling those who disagree to stay away?

Comment author: Aurini 21 July 2009 05:02:07AM 1 point [-]

No offence, but I'm getting worried about how you and a few other people keep trying to force ingroup/outgroup concerns on the rest of us. It's unnecessary and it sows dissension; you really ought not to be doing this.

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