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Comment author: mortal 25 March 2017 01:11:42PM 0 points [-]

What do you think of the idea of 'learning all the major mental models' - as promoted by Charlie Munger and FarnamStreet? These mental models also include cognitive fallacies, one of the major foci of Lesswrong.

I personally think it is a good idea, but it doesn't hurt to check.

Comment author: ChristianKl 27 March 2017 08:31:18AM 0 points [-]

Learning different mental models is quite useful.

On the other hand I'm not sure that it makes sense to think that there's one list with "the major mental models". Many fields have their own mental models.

Comment author: Viliam 25 March 2017 03:14:37PM *  2 points [-]

I'd suggest being careful about your approach. If you lose this battle, you may not get another chance. David Gerard most likely has 100 times more experience with wiki battling than you. Essentially, when you make up a strategy, sleep on it, and then try imagining how a person already primed against LW would read your words.

For example, expect that any edit made by anyone associated with LW will be (1) traced back to their identity and LW account, and consequently (2) reverted, as a conflict of interest. And everyone will be like "ugh, these LW guys are trying to manipuate our website", so the next time they are not going to even listen to any of us.

Currently my best idea -- I didn't make any steps yet, just thinking -- is to post a reaction to the article's Talk page, without even touching the article. This would have two advantages: (1) No one can accuse me of being partial, because that's what I would openly disclose first, and because I would plainly say that as a person with a conflict of interest I shouldn't edit my article. Kinda establishing myself as the good guy who follows the Wikipedia rules. (2) A change in article could be simply reverted by David, but he is not allowed to remove my reaction from the talk page, unless I make a mistake and break some other rule. That means, even if I lose the battle, people editing the article in the future will be able to see my reaction. This is a meta move: the goal is not to change the article, but to convince the impartial Wikipedia editors that it should be changed. If I succeed to convince them, I don't have to do the edit myself; someone else will. On the other hand, if I fail to convince them, any edit would likely be reverted by David, and I have neither time nor will to play wiki wars.

What would be the content of the reaction? Let's start with the assumption that on Wikipedia no one gives a fuck about Less Wrong, rationality, AI, Eliezer, etc.; to most people this is just an annoying noise. By drawing their attention to the topic, you are annoying them even more. And they don't really care about who is right, only who is technically correct. That's the bad news. The good news is that they equally don't give a fuck about RationalWiki or David. What they do care about is Wikipedia, and following the rules of Wikipedia. Therefore the core of my reaction would be this: David Gerard has a conflict of interest about this topic; therefore he should not be allowed to edit it, and all his previous edits should be treated with suspicion. The rest is simply preparing my case, as well as I can, for the judge and the jury, who are definitely not Bayesians, and want to see "solid", not probabilistic arguments.

The argument for David's conflict of interest is threefold. (1) He is a representative (admin? not sure) of RationalWiki, which is some sense is LessWrong's direct competitor, so it's kinda like having a director of Pepsi Cola edit the article on Coca Cola, only at a million times smaller scale. How are these two websites competitors? They both target the same niche, which is approximately "a young intelligent educated pro-science atheist, who cares a lot about his self-image as 'rational'". They have "rational" in their name, we have it pretty much everywhere except in the name; we compete for being the online authorities on the same word. (2) He has a history of, uhm, trying to associate LW with things he does not like. He made (not sure about this? certainly contributed a lot) the RW article on Roko's Basilisk several years ago; LW complained about RW already in 2012. Note: It does not matter for this point whether RW or LW was actually right or wrong; I am just trying to establish that these two have a several years of mutual dislike. (3) This would be most difficult to prove, but I believe that most sensational information about LW was actually inspired by RW. I think most mentions of Roko's Basilisk could be traced back to their article. So what David is currently doing in Wikipedia is somewhat similar to citogenesis... he writes something on his website, media find it and include it in their sensationalist reports, then he "impartially" quotes the media for Wikipedia. On some level, yes, the incident happened (there was one comment, which was once deleted by Eliezer -- as if nothing similar ever happened on any online forum), but the whole reason for its "notability" is, well, David Gerard; without his hard work, no one would give a fuck.

So this is the core, and then there are some additional details. Such as, it is misleading to tell the readers what 1% of LW survey identify as, without even mentioning the remaining 99%. Clearly, "1% neoreactionaries" is supposed to give it a right-wing image, which adding "also, 4% communists, and 20% socialists" (I am just making the numbers up at the moment) would immediately disprove. And the general pattern of David's edits, for increasing the length of the parts talking about basilisk and neoreaction, and decreasing the lenght of everything else.

My thoughts so far. But I am quite a noob as far as wiki wars are concerned, so maybe there is an obvious flaw in this that I haven't noticed. Maybe it would be best if a group of people could cooperate in precise wording of the comment (probably at a bit more private place, so that parts of the debate couldn't be later quoted out of context).

Comment author: ChristianKl 27 March 2017 08:27:00AM 1 point [-]

It's worth noting that David Gerard was a LW contributor with a significant amount of karma: http://lesswrong.com/user/David_Gerard/

Comment author: math67 27 March 2017 02:01:03AM 0 points [-]

So now whole threads are disappearing because they point out the disappearing of comments. Seriously, what are the mods afraid of?

Comment author: ChristianKl 27 March 2017 07:07:19AM 0 points [-]

No, they are disappearing because the mods happen to enforce the ban and delete the post of the banned people.

Comment author: freyley 17 March 2017 11:10:59AM *  16 points [-]

Cohousing, in the US, is the term of art. I spent a while about a decade ago attempting to build a cohousing community, and it's tremendously hard. In the last few months I've moved, with my kids, into a house on a block with friends with kids, and I can now say that it's tremendously worthwhile.

Cohousings in the US are typically built in one of three ways:

  • Condo buildings, each condo sold as a condominium
  • Condo/apartment buildings, each apartment sold as a coop share
  • Separate houses.

The third one doesn't really work in major cities unless you get tremendously lucky.

The major problem with the first plan is, due to the Fair Housing Act in the 1960s, which was passed because at the time realtors literally would not show black people houses in white neighborhoods, you cannot pick your buyers. Any attempt to enforce rationalists moving in is illegal. Cohousings get around this by having voluntary things, but also by accepting that they'll get freeriders and have to live with it. Some cohousings I know of have had major problems with investors deciding cohousing is a good investment, buying condos, and renting them to whoever while they wait for the community to make their investment more valuable.

The major problem with the coop share approach is that, outside of New York City, it's tremendously hard to get a loan to buy a coop share. Very few banks do these, and usually at terrible interest rates.

Some places have gotten around this by having a rich benefactor who buys a big building and rents it, but individuals lose out on the financial benefits of homeownership. In addition, it is probably also illegal under the Fair Housing Act to choose your renters if there are separate units.

The other difficulties with cohousing are largely around community building, which you've probably seen plenty of with rationalist houses, so I won't belabor the point on that.

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 March 2017 06:16:57PM 0 points [-]

The Wikipedia summary of the Fair Housing Act says: "The Fair Housing Act is a federal act in the United States intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Its primary prohibition makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person's inclusion in a protected class."

Not being a rationalist doesn't seem like a protected class.

Comment author: username2 26 March 2017 05:38:43PM 0 points [-]

Summation of probabilities.

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 March 2017 06:00:25PM *  1 point [-]

You could also subtract properties or multiply or divide them.

More trusted adults might increase the chances that the child isn't isolated and talks about his experiences with someone which makes them less susceptible to be a victim.

The WHO for example says that among the risk factors for abuse there are:

being isolated in the community or lacking a support network

a breakdown of support in child rearing from the extended family.

If your true concern is the children not getting abused it makes sense to look at the actual risk factors that the literature supports.

Children in this project might actually be less at risk because there's a support network. The textbook says "have a strong support network" and not keep the support network small to reduce the number of trusted adults.

Comment author: -necate- 26 March 2017 08:30:06AM 0 points [-]

Unfortunately I cannot fix the UI problems, because I lack the programming skills and asked a fried to set up the survey for me. He is pretty busy now and I don't want to bother him again, since I already requested many changes before the survey went live. The winner will gain the amount he ended up with not only the gains.

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 March 2017 04:08:12PM 0 points [-]

There's no reason to run your own survey software. SurveyMonkey or even Google forms do the job.

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 March 2017 09:55:50AM 0 points [-]

As far as I understand the Accelerator project is supposed to go in this direction: https://www.facebook.com/groups/664817953593844/

Comment author: Viliam 18 March 2017 06:20:45PM *  12 points [-]

I want to urge people to not dismiss this without a thought. And it's not just about children.

There are already a few sexual predators hanging around with the rationalist community. I can't say names, because it is typically a "they said, they said" situation, and these types usually have a lot of practice at threatening legal consequences for "slander". (But if you know someone who used to be around and suddenly lost all interest at coming to your meetups, it might make sense to ask them discreetly whether they had a bad experience with someone specifically.)

I personally often don't care much about the statistics for general population, because we are obviously not average. Problem is, "not average" doesn't in itself show the direction. For general intelligence, we are obviously smarter, and that generally correlates with lower (detected?) crime. On the other hand, we also seem to score quite high for unusual sexual behavior in general.

As long as each family has a door they can close (and everything necessary to survive the day is inside), living in a community doesn't seem worse than simply living with neighbors. But there are good reasons why neurotypical people require long time before they start trusting someone; so "they are a member of the same community" should never be used as a replacement for "I have a lot of personal experience from gradually deepening interaction with this specific person". In other words, just because someone says "hi, I also like Less Wrong", doesn't mean I would invite them to my home and leave them alone with my child. Some nerdy people may need to be explicitly reminded of this.

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 March 2017 09:52:25AM 1 point [-]

But there are good reasons why neurotypical people require long time before they start trusting someone; so "they are a member of the same community" should never be used as a replacement for "I have a lot of personal experience from gradually deepening interaction with this specific person".

Given that most abuse happens from people who aren't strangers and successfully passed the filters of neurotypical people that are required to build trust, I don't think trusting a person because you spent a lot of time with them is generally a good heuristic.

Comment author: username2 18 March 2017 09:43:50AM *  0 points [-]

I'm also pretty sure the solution is to NOT put your children in a shared living situation with a dozen other possibly-predacious adults. There is a middle ground of having a secure, private environment for your family with walls and clear separation. Such as most conventional living situations.

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 March 2017 09:16:19AM 0 points [-]

There is a middle ground of having a secure, private environment for your family with walls and clear separation. Such as most conventional living situations.

Most conventional living situations lead to the abuse rate of 25%. I don't think you have provided good evidence that the conventional layout is better.

Comment author: drethelin 18 March 2017 09:44:28PM *  4 points [-]

I think the statistics you quote are exaggerated in order to terrify. When I tried to look up "4% of adults are sexually attracted to children," for example, I found nothing. Similarly, the news is often full of stranger danger fears because terror is what gets attention and therefore revenue and funding. And as others have said, they also include stuff like 18 year olds having sex with 17 year olds, which some people may find unacceptable but I don't.

Comment author: ChristianKl 26 March 2017 09:00:11AM *  0 points [-]

Even if 4% of adults are sexually attracted to children that doesn't mean that they are going to abuse children. There are guy's in this communities who are sexually attracted to women but who never had sex and also wouldn't rape a woman just to have sex.

If it's clear a rationalist that abusing a child will mean that he get's expelled from the community in which he lives and might face legal challenges than I think most of the people in this community wouldn't act on a system I desire to engage in sexual abuse because their system II is strong enough to think through the situation.

Practically that means that it's important to have an environment where open communication happens so the expectation that a child will communicate about situations with whom they are uncomfortable exists. I think a lot of abuse does happen in environments where that open communication is lacking and a child will stay silent about abuse.

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