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Comment author: ChrisHallquist 06 January 2014 04:16:15AM 17 points [-]

Most of the problems described in this post seem to be things that are not really practical to do anything about, but this caught my eye:

tl;dr: If you just typed in all honesty “I like eugenics”, even if I enjoy your posts about economics, congratulations, you freak me out and I really, really don’t know why I’m still reading your blog.

Really we need to stop using the word "eugenics." In the real world it really isn't smart to keep insisting on the "official" definition of a word decades after it acquired negative connotations for actually pretty good reasons.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 13 January 2014 07:36:48AM 5 points [-]

You know the problem with not outright saying that what you are advocating is actually eugenics is that eventually someone else will do it for you.

Comment author: army1987 18 February 2013 09:06:42PM 3 points [-]

I would say follow your instincts but that doesn't work either in our society since they are broken.

I'd go with “keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel”, i.e.¹ use the evidence that you see to update your model of the world,² and your model of the world to decide which possible behaviours would be most likely to achieve your goals. This applies to any goal whatsoever (not just dating), and ought to be obvious to LW readers, but people may tend to forget this in certain contexts due to ugh fields.


  1. This is probably not what Jim Morrison meant by that, but still.

  2. Note that the world also includes you. Noticing what this fact implies is left as an exercise for the reader.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 18 February 2013 09:48:17PM *  5 points [-]

use the evidence that you see to update your model of the world,² and your model of the world to decide which possible behaviours would be most likely to achieve your goals

I endorse this advice. Note however some consider this in itself unethical when it comes to interpersonal relations. I have no clue why.

Comment author: hg00 16 February 2013 05:16:28AM *  13 points [-]

LW was the first place I've been where women caring about their own interests is viewed as a weird inimical trait which it's only reasonable to subvert, and I'm talking about PUA.

It seems like in the best case, PUA would be kind of like makeup. Lots of male attraction cues are visual, so they can be gamed when women wear makeup, do their hair, or wear an attractive outfit. Lots of female attraction cues are behavioral, so they can be gamed by acting or becoming more confident and interesting.

As one Metafilter user put it:

If you want to understand the appeal of the PUAs, you have to remember that it does work. Mixed in with the cod psychology and jargon are some boring but sensible tips. I would say the big four are:

  1. Approach lots of women
  2. Act confident
  3. Have entertaining things to say
  4. Dress and groom well

There are quite a few guys who haven't really practiced those four things, which do take a bit of effort and experience. So when they start to follow the PUA movement, they absorb the nonsense, start doing the sensible, practical things, and find that they're getting a whole lot more sex. So they conclude that the nonsense is absolutely true.

Do you have ethical problems with any of 1-4?

Ed. - It's possible that when HughRistik said "not all PUA advice is like Roissy's", he meant "the PUA stuff we're discussing on Less Wrong is Roissy-type stuff, and not all PUA stuff is like that".

In response to comment by hg00 on LW Women: LW Online
Comment author: CharlieSheen 17 February 2013 03:49:50PM *  8 points [-]

I'm actually at the point when I think it is impossible to give men useful advice to improve their sex lives and relationships because of the social dynamics that arise in nearly all societies. Actually good advice aiming to optimize the life outcomes of the men who are given it has never been discussed in public spaces and considered reputable.

Same can naturally be said of advice for women. I think most modern dating advice both for men and women is anti-knowledge in that the more of it you follow the more miserable you will end up being. I would say follow your instincts but that doesn't work either in our society since they are broken.

In response to comment by hg00 on LW Women: LW Online
Comment author: drethelin 16 February 2013 05:34:40AM 1 point [-]

If all PUA said was those 4 things, it wouldn't be interesting or controversial, so I think it's pretty ridiculous to respond to a conversation about PUA mentioning the parts few people would disagree with. Trickery, lies, insults, treating people as things, these are the sorts of problems people have with PUA.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 17 February 2013 03:46:06PM *  17 points [-]
  1. Approach lots of women
  2. Act confident
  3. Have entertaining things to say
  4. Dress and groom well

...

If all PUA said was those 4 things, it wouldn't be interesting or controversial

This sounds reasonable until you actually think about the four points mentioned in Near mode. Consider:

  1. What does approaching lots of women actually look like if done in a logistically sound way? How does this relate to social norms? How does this relate to how feminists would like social norms to be?

  2. Observe what actually confident humans do to signal their confidence. Just do.

  3. Observe what is actually considered entertaining in a club envrionment that most PUA is designed to work in.

You know most of the things considered disreputable that PUAs advocate are precisely the result of first observing how points one to three actually work in our society and then optimizing to mimic this.

Only dressing and grooming well is probably not inherently controversial and even then pick up artists are mocked for their attempts to reverse engineer fashion that signals what they want to signal.

In response to LW Women: LW Online
Comment author: Viliam_Bur 15 February 2013 02:34:54PM *  23 points [-]

From the complaints (and not just here and now) it seems obvious that there is a problem we really should solve.

This said, it seems to me that people are complaining about multiple things. I think they should be analyzed separately. Maybe not all of them are a problem, or maybe the same solution would not work for all of them. Even if they have similar patern "reading A makes person X unhappy", it is still not the same situation. (For a trivial example, some people are unhappy when they read about atheism. While we should not offend religious people unnecessarily, there is only so far we can go, and even then some people will remain offended.) Specifically, from the article and also this linked comment, women complain when men do the following:

  • talk about "getting" "attractive women";
  • make remarks about attractive/unattractive women;
  • speak of women as symbols of male success or accessories for a successful male;
  • talk about difficulty to deal with women;
  • make claims about men and women having different innate abilities, especially without saying "on average";
  • uncritically downvote anything feminist sounding, and upvote armchair ev-psych;
  • are much more likely to point out one's flaws than to appreciate what one said;
  • create an environment where warmth is scarce;
  • focus on negative reinforcement;
  • argue with one's self-description.

I see at least three different topics here (maybe more could be found in other articles and discussions) -- speaking of women as objects; unsupported or incorrect theories about differences between men and women; unfriendly environment -- and I believe each of them deserves to be discussed separately.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 17 February 2013 03:19:56PM *  6 points [-]

uncritically downvote anything feminist sounding, and upvote armchair ev-psych;

This is frustrating to read since complaints of other groups that amount to the same thing are ignored, but then again this is to be expected.

In response to LW Women: LW Online
Comment author: Viliam_Bur 15 February 2013 02:34:54PM *  23 points [-]

From the complaints (and not just here and now) it seems obvious that there is a problem we really should solve.

This said, it seems to me that people are complaining about multiple things. I think they should be analyzed separately. Maybe not all of them are a problem, or maybe the same solution would not work for all of them. Even if they have similar patern "reading A makes person X unhappy", it is still not the same situation. (For a trivial example, some people are unhappy when they read about atheism. While we should not offend religious people unnecessarily, there is only so far we can go, and even then some people will remain offended.) Specifically, from the article and also this linked comment, women complain when men do the following:

  • talk about "getting" "attractive women";
  • make remarks about attractive/unattractive women;
  • speak of women as symbols of male success or accessories for a successful male;
  • talk about difficulty to deal with women;
  • make claims about men and women having different innate abilities, especially without saying "on average";
  • uncritically downvote anything feminist sounding, and upvote armchair ev-psych;
  • are much more likely to point out one's flaws than to appreciate what one said;
  • create an environment where warmth is scarce;
  • focus on negative reinforcement;
  • argue with one's self-description.

I see at least three different topics here (maybe more could be found in other articles and discussions) -- speaking of women as objects; unsupported or incorrect theories about differences between men and women; unfriendly environment -- and I believe each of them deserves to be discussed separately.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 17 February 2013 03:18:39PM *  3 points [-]

From the complaints (and not just here and now) it seems obvious that there is a problem we really should solve.

There being a problem people complain about and it actually being worth solving are remarkably uncorrelated. Here is an argument I made on the matter in the past.

In response to LW Women: LW Online
Comment author: CharlieSheen 17 February 2013 03:14:36PM *  6 points [-]

Schelling point for metacontrarian replies of the sort I currently don't feel like making but probably need to be made despite bad signalling.

Comment author: FiftyTwo 16 January 2013 06:21:17PM *  1 point [-]

Can we add ignoring Moldbug to our general "don't feed the trolls" policy? He's deliberately provocative.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 16 January 2013 07:02:19PM *  7 points [-]

No dude. Just no. If that becomes policy I'm out of here.

Comment author: Multiheaded 28 November 2012 09:27:36AM *  -2 points [-]

Okay, so... you're going to argue that undersocialized straight white males in 1st world countries currently suffer the most? And what else? Because I already agree that they have it bad, and I can't for the life of me think of any other oppressed group that is denied publicity.

Meanwhile, you'd seemingly like to deny the practical use of identity politics as self-defense for the "mainstream" cases like gender-based aggression - all for the greater good. Such a proposition indeed feels cruel and morally corrupt to me.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 28 November 2012 09:54:08AM *  11 points [-]

Okay, so... you're going to argue that undersocialized straight white males in 1st world countries currently suffer the most? And what else? Because I already agree that they have it bad, and I can't for the life of me think of any other oppressed group that is denied publicity.

Consider the context of this debate. Are you really sure (mostly) white (mostly) heterosexual (mostly) middle class women are really the most depriviliged group present on LessWrong?

Yet clearly they are the ones with the most explicit political activism and seem to be winning the popularity contest here. See any kind of controversy over sex/romance/gender/PUA we've had over the past oh... 5 years?

Comment author: Multiheaded 28 November 2012 09:43:09AM 1 point [-]

It is near-impossible to compare the space of all possible human "barons" with the space of all possible human "popularity contests" and decide which one is more "civilized" across multiple criteria.

Comment author: CharlieSheen 28 November 2012 09:51:52AM *  3 points [-]

Apply this argument to the politics of suffering Konkvistador talked about.

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