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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.


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 *  2 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 *  27 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 1 point [-]

Ooh ooh, do mine!

Comment author: Cyan 30 October 2014 12:36:35PM *  1 point [-]

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.

Comment author: Cyan 22 October 2014 03:50:15AM 4 points [-]

In the biz we call this selection bias. The most fun example of this is the tale of Abraham Wald and the Surviving Bombers.

Comment author: Cyan 19 October 2014 01:39:26AM 2 points [-]

I was working in protein structure prediction.

I confess to being a bit envious of this. My academic path after undergrad biochemistry took me elsewhere, alas.

In response to The Level Above Mine
Comment author: AshwinV 06 October 2014 03:41:44AM 0 points [-]

Can anyone tell me whether Jaynes' book can be read and understood without any particular formal training? I do know the basic concepts of probability, and I usually score around the 85th percentile on math tests... And how hard/time-consuming exactly will the book be? I am employed in a somewhat high pressure job on a full time basis...

Comment author: Cyan 06 October 2014 04:33:02AM *  6 points [-]

Try it -- the first three chapters are available online here. The first one is discursive and easy; the math of the second chapter is among of most difficult in the book and can be safely skimmed; if you can follow the third chapter (which is the first one to present extensive probability calculations per se) and you understand probability densities for continuous random variables then you'll be able to understand the rest of the book without formal training.

Comment author: EHeller 03 October 2014 05:11:55AM 3 points [-]

I don't know any LW-ers in person, but I'm sure that at least some people have benefited from reading the sequences.

You miss my meaning. The stated core goal of MIRI/the old SIAI is to develop friendly AI. With regards to that goal, the sequences are advertising.

With regards to their core goal, the sequences matter if 1. they lead to people donating to MIRI 2. they lead to people working on friendly AI.

I view point 1 as advertising, and I think research papers are obviously better than the sequences for point 2.

Comment author: Cyan 03 October 2014 05:53:31AM *  2 points [-]

The stated core goal of MIRI/the old SIAI is to develop friendly AI. With regards to that goal, the sequences are advertising.

Kinda... more specifically, a big part of what they are is an attempt at insurance against the possibility that there exists someone out there (probably young) with more innate potential for FAI research than EY himself possesses but who never finds out about FAI research at all.

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