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Comment author: AndHisHorse 23 January 2015 07:30:24PM 2 points [-]

Why is this a rationality quote?

Comment author: Cyan 23 January 2015 07:47:51PM *  1 point [-]

Maybe for the bit about signalling in the last paragraph...? Just guessing here; perhaps Kawoomba will fill us in.

Comment author: XFrequentist 08 January 2015 05:18:25AM 4 points [-]

I call forth the mighty Cyan!

Comment author: Cyan 08 January 2015 06:05:09PM *  8 points [-]

I like it when I can just point folks to something I've already written.

The upshot is that there are two things going on here that interact to produce the shattering phenomenon. First, the notion of closeness permits some very pathological models to be considered close to sensible models. Second, the optimization to find the worst-case model close to the assumed model is done in a post-data way, not in prior expectation. So what you get is this: for any possible observed data and any model, there is a model "close" to the assumed one that predicts absolute disaster (or any result) just for that specific data set, and is otherwise well-behaved.

As the authors themselves put it:

The mechanism causing this “brittleness” has its origin in the fact that, in classical Bayesian Sensitivity Analysis, optimal bounds on posterior values are computed after the observation of the specific value of the data, and that the probability of observing the data under some feasible prior may be arbitrarily small... This data dependence of worst priors is inherent to this classical framework and the resulting brittleness under finite-information can be seen as an extreme occurrence of the dilation phenomenon (the fact that optimal bounds on prior values may become less precise after conditioning) observed in classical robust Bayesian inference.

Comment author: bogus 31 December 2014 03:05:51PM *  5 points [-]

"Privilege" is not really a well-defined concept, but in its most cogent and consistent version, it doesn't really have much to do with suffering at all. It's a rather confusing way of referring to a "biased point of view". Saying that "Person A has privilege" wrt. some issue is a claim that A's overall observations and experiences are unrepresentative, and so she should rely on others' experiences as much as on her own.

It's similar to the argument that truthful Bayesian debaters "can't agree to disagree", except that in the real world, humans don't generally have a clean separation between "different priors" and "different experiences". So, if your priors seem to be somehow different from others', this should make you suspect that something is amiss, because we don't really know of a good reason to reject common priors, if only as an abstract goal.

From this point of view, Scott Aaronson's claim that "privilege" doesn't apply to him is not very meaningful. If anything, a better argument would be that the SJWish folks who have pattern-matched his comment to "Self-proclaimed nice guy(TM) complains about 'feminists', reveals his boorish, entitled attitudes" are showing privilege wrt. nerdy, socially awkward straight males who are expected to navigate the not-altogether-trivial problem of how to interact with women both socially and romantically in a way that's respectful of everyone's autonomy.

Comment author: Cyan 31 December 2014 09:44:00PM *  2 points [-]

It's a rather confusing way of referring to a "biased point of view". Saying that "Person A has privilege" wrt. some issue is a claim that A's overall observations and experiences are unrepresentative, and so she should rely on others' experiences as much as on her own.

That's not quite correct; I think it's best to start with the concept of systematic oppression. Suppose for the sake of argument that some group of people is systematically oppressed, that is, on account of their group identity, the system in which they find themselves denies them access to markets, or subjects them to market power or physical violence, or vilifies them in the public sphere -- you can provide your own examples. The privileged group is just the set complement of the oppressed group. An analogy: systematic oppression is the subject and privilege (in the SJ jargon sense) is the negative space.

The "biased point-of-view" thing follows as a near-corollary because it's human nature to notice one's oppression and to take one's absence-of-oppression for granted as a kind of natural status quo, a background assumption.

Next question: in what way did Aaronson's so-called wealthy white male privilege actually benefit him? To answer this, all we need to do is imagine, say, a similarly terrified poor black trans nerd learning to come out of their shell. Because I've chosen an extreme contrast, it's pretty clear who would have the easier time of it and why. Once you can see it in high contrast, it's pretty easy to relax the contrast and keep track of the relative benefits that privilege conveys.

Comment author: passive_fist 16 December 2014 10:17:55AM 2 points [-]

I tried the pomodoro system for a bit (which I understand is somewhat popular here) but I found it to be largely useless, for myself at least. Instead just removing various distractions was far more powerful. This is corroborated by the literature; Gloria Mark's research is worth a look: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~gmark/Home_page/Welcome.html

Comment author: Cyan 18 December 2014 09:08:46PM 1 point [-]
Comment author: Yvain 21 November 2014 07:09:01AM *  39 points [-]

I've been advised to come here and defend myself.

If you haven't been watching closely, David Gerard has been spreading these same smears about me on RationalWiki, on Twitter, and now here. His tweets accuse me of treating the Left in general and the social justice movement in particular with "frothing" and as "ordure". And now he comes here and adds Tumblr to the list of victims, and "actual disgust" to the list of adjectives.

I resent this because it is a complete fabrication.

I resent it because, far from a frothing hatred of Tumblr, I myself have a Tumblr account which I use almost every day and which I've made three hundred posts on. Sure, I've gently mocked Tumblr (as has every Tumblr user) but I've also very publicly praised it for hosting some very interesting and enlightening conversations.

I resent it because I've posted a bunch of long defenses and steelmannings of social justice ideas like Social Justice For The Highly Demanding Of Rigor and The Wonderful Thing About Triggers, some of which have gone mildly viral in the social justice blogosphere, and some of which have led to people emailing me or commenting saying they've changed their minds and become less hostile to social justice as a result.

I resent it because, far from failing to intellectually engage with the Left, in the past couple of months I've read, reviewed, and enjoyed left-leaning books on Marx, the Soviet economy, and market socialism

I resent it because the time I most remember someone trying to engage me about social justice, Apophemi, I wrote a seven thousand word response which I consider excruciatingly polite, which started with a careful justification for why writing it would be more productive and respectful than not writing it, and which ended with a heartfelt apology for the couple of things I had gotten wrong on my last post on the subject.

(Disgust! Frothing! Ordure!)

I resent it because I happily hosted Ozy's social justice blogging for several months, giving them an audience for posts like their takedown of Heartiste, which was also very well-received and got social justice ideas to people who otherwise wouldn't have seen them.

I resent it because about a fifth of my blogroll is social justice or social justice-aligned blogs, each of which get a couple dozen hits from me a day.

I resent it because even in my most impassioned posts about social justice, I try to make it very clear that there are parts of the movement which make excellent points, and figures in the movement I highly respect. Even in what I think everyone here will agree is my meanest post on the subject, Radicalizing the Romanceless, I stop to say the following about the social justice blogger I am arguing against:

[He] is a neat guy. He draws amazing comics and he runs one of the most popular, most intellectual, and longest-standing feminist blogs on the Internet. I have debated him several times, and although he can be enragingly persistent he has always been reasonable...He cares deeply about a lot of things, works hard for those things, and has supported my friends when they have most needed support.

(DISGUST! FROTHING! ORDURE!)

I resent it because it trivializes all of my sick burns against neoreactionaries, like the time I accused them of worshipping Kim Jong-un as a god, and the time I said they were obsessed with "precious, precious, white people", and the time I mocked Jim for thinking Eugene V. Debs was a Supreme Court case.

I resent this because anyone who looks at my posts tagged with social justice can see that almost as many are in favor as against.

And I resent this because I'm being taken to task about charity by somebody whose own concept of a balanced and reasonable debate is retweeting stuff like this -- and again and again calling the people he disagrees with "shitlords"

(which puts his faux-horror that I treat people I disagree with 'like ordure' in a pretty interesting new light)

No matter how many pro-social-justice posts I write, how fair and nice I am, or what I do, David Gerard is going to keep spreading these smears about me until I refuse to ever engage with anyone who disagrees with him about anything at all. As long as I'm saying anything other than "every view held by David Gerard is perfect and flawless and everyone who disagrees with David Gerard is a shitlord who deserve to die", he is going to keep concern-trolling you guys that I am "biased" or "unfair".

Please give his continued campaigning along these lines the total lack of attention it richly deserves.

Comment author: Cyan 25 November 2014 01:24:06AM *  3 points [-]

I'm a SSC fan and highly sympathetic to SJ goals and ideals. One of the core LW meetup members in my city can't stand to read SSC on account of what he perceives to be constant bashing of SJ. (I've already checked and verified that his perception of the proportion of SJ bashing in SSC posts is a massive overestimate, probably caused by selection bias.) As a specific example of verbiage that he considers typical of SSC he cited:

And the people who talk about “Nice Guys” – and the people who enable them, praise them, and link to them – are blurring the already rather thin line between “feminism” and “literally Voldemort”.

When I read that line, I didn't take it literally -- in spite of the use of the word "literally". I just kind of skipped over it. But after it was pointed out to me that I ought to take it literally, well... "frothing" is a pretty good description.

I remain a SSC fan, but I'm less likely to just blank out the meaning of these kinds of things now.

Comment author: Cyan 10 November 2014 06:55:34PM 0 points [-]

Embarrassingly, I didn't have the "who feeds Paris" realization until last year -- well after I thought I had achieved a correct understanding of and appreciation for basic microeconomic thought.

Comment author: FullMeta_Rationalist 02 November 2014 01:12:24AM *  28 points [-]

FINISHED. ALL OF IT. \m/ Literally superhuman.

TIL I'm undifferentiated according to the BSRI... huh.

Karma for all, per tradition. <3

- a long time lurker

P.S. You can trashcan the premature submission that answers Part 8's first question with 23200. While revising my predicted date of the singularity, I brushed my keypad's enter (next to the 3) by mistake. ಠ_ಠ

Comment author: Cyan 02 November 2014 02:36:43AM 8 points [-]

Nice choice of username. :-)

Comment author: XFrequentist 30 October 2014 04:15:54AM 2 points [-]

Ooh ooh, do mine!

Comment author: Cyan 30 October 2014 12:36:35PM *  2 points [-]

Same special-snowflake level credible limits, but for different reasons. Swimmer963 has an innate drive to seek out and destroy (whatever she judges to be) her personal inadequacies. She wasn't very strategic about it in teenager-hood, but now she has the tools to wield it like a scalpel in the hands of a skilled surgeon. Since she seems to have decided that a standard NPC job is not for her, I predict she'll become a PC shortly.

You're already a PC; your strengths are a refusal to tolerate mediocrity in the long-term (or let us say, in the "indefinite" term, in multiple senses) and your vision for controlling and eradicating disease.

Comment author: Cyan 30 October 2014 01:57:25AM 1 point [-]

FWIW, in my estimation your special-snowflake-nature is somewhere between "more than slightly, less than somewhat" and "potential world-beater". Those are wide limits, but they exclude zero.

Comment author: CronoDAS 28 October 2014 10:08:29AM 2 points [-]

I don't want to embarrass my girlfriend.

Comment author: Cyan 29 October 2014 06:25:12AM *  2 points [-]

Hikikomori no more? If so (as seems likely what with the girlfriend and all), it gladdens me to hear it.

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