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Comment author: David_Gerard 18 August 2014 05:03:20PM 0 points [-]

Remember to give Kaj an upvote for this post :-)

Comment author: David_Gerard 18 August 2014 04:59:43PM 0 points [-]

I note also KnaveOfAllTrades' recent post about the analogous concept of a "sports quotient".

Comment author: David_Gerard 18 August 2014 04:55:46PM -1 points [-]
Comment author: Error 12 August 2014 10:30:04PM 1 point [-]

I posted this in the last open thread but I think it got buried:

I was at Otakon 2014, and there was a panel about philosophy and videogames. The description read like Less Wrongese. I couldn't get in (it was full) but I'm wondering if anyone here was responsible for it.

Comment author: David_Gerard 13 August 2014 11:22:41AM 1 point [-]

The description: "Philosophy in Video Games [F]: A discussion of philosophical themes present in many different video games. Topics will include epistemology, utilitarianism, philosophy of science, ethics, logic, and metaphysics. All topics will be explained upon introduction and no prior knowledge is necessary to participate!"

Did they record all panels?

Comment author: David_Gerard 11 August 2014 10:13:19AM 1 point [-]
Comment author: solipsist 08 August 2014 07:47:11PM *  13 points [-]

Speaking only to the proximate cause (ebola). The headline of the article read:

‘God is angry with Liberia,’ local religious leaders say, blaming Ebola on ‘homosexualism’

Local leaders blaming Ebola on homosexuality is bad. But this is a country where the GDP per capita is less than $2 per day. This is a country with 300 confirmed cases of malaria per 1000 people (ebola has killed 255 Liberians in total this epidemic, according to that article), and were only a few years ago a majority of children tested positive for malaria. I'm thrilled people are paying attention to the welfare of Liberians. There are many problems in Liberia, and a poor response to the ebola virus is nowhere near the top of the list.

Comment author: David_Gerard 09 August 2014 11:59:10AM *  3 points [-]

It's worse in Britain - remember that the Church of England is a state church, with bishops in the House of Lords. And here we have bishops literally claiming tolerance for sodomy causes floods. Clearly, this is strong evidence that Britain, despite being a rich first-world country, is a sick state that must be taken over by somewhere sane forthwith.

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 August 2014 11:05:16AM 10 points [-]

Being right while being a dick about it is being a dick. If people then object saying you're acting like a dick, reacting "but I'm RIGHT!" doesn't address that.

Comment author: TheMajor 05 August 2014 01:01:21PM 5 points [-]

Not sure if this belongs here, but not sure where else it should go.

Many pages on the internet disappear, returning 404's when looking for them (especially older pages). The material I found on LW and OB is of such great quality that I would really hate it if a part of the pages here also disappeared (as in became harder to access for me). I am not sure if this is in any part realistic, but the thought does bother me. So I was hoping to somehow make a local backup of LW/OB, downloading all pages to a hard drive. There are other reasons for wanting this same thing: I am frequently in regions without internet access, and also this might finally allow me to organise the posts (the categories on LW leave much to be desired, the closest thing to a good structure I found is the chronological list on OB, which seems to be absent on LW?).

So my triple question: should I be worried about pages disappearing (probably not too much), would it still be a good idea to try to make a local backup (probably yes, storage is cheap and I think it would be useful for me personally to have LW offline, even only the older posts) and how does one go about this?

Comment author: David_Gerard 05 August 2014 07:43:58PM 6 points [-]

Pages here are disappearing - someone's been going through the archive deleting posts they don't like. (c.f. [1] versus [2].) (The post is still slightly available, but the 152 comments are no longer associated with it.) So get archiving sooner rather than later.

Comment author: gwern 04 August 2014 03:28:38PM *  17 points [-]

A fun one which came up recently on IRC: everyone thinks that how your parents raise you is incredibly important, this is so obvious it doesn't need any proof and is universal common sense (how could influencing and teaching a person from scratch to 18 years old not have deep and profound effects on them?), and you can find extended discussions of the best way to raise kids from Plato's Republic to Rousseau's Emile to Spock.

Except twin studies consistently estimate that the influence of 'shared environment' (the home) is small or near-zero for many traits compared to genetics and randomness/nonshared-environment.

If you want to predict whether someone will be a smoker or smart, it doesn't matter whether they're raised by smokers or not (to borrow an example from The Nurture Assumption*); it just matters whether their biological parents were smokers and whether they get unlucky.

This is so deeply counterintuitive and unexpected that even people who are generally familiar with the relevant topics like IQ or twin studies typically don't know about this or disbelieve it.

(Another example is probably folk physics: Newtonian motion is true, experimentally confirmed, mathematically logical, and completely unintuitive and took millennia to be developed after the start of mechanics.)

* Rich's citation is to Rowe 1994, The Limits of Family Influence: Genes, Experience, and Behavior; from pg204:

But this interpretation foolishly neglects to consider the genetic component of parent-child similarity. Table 7.2 summarizes reports of two twin studies, an adoptive study, and a family study. In all these studies, the offspring of smokers were adults at the time they were surveyed. Smoking's heritability averaged 43%, whereas smoking's rearing environmental variation was close to zero. [Shared rearing variation (c^2): N/A (family, Eysenck (1980)); <0% (Twin, Cannelli, Swan, Robinette, & Fabsilz (1990)); <0% (Twin, Swan, Carmelli, Rosenman, Fabsitz, & Christian (1990)); <0% (Adoptive, Eysenck (1980)); mean: 0%] In other words, effects of rearing variation (e.g. parents' lighting up or not, or having cigarettes in the home or not) were nil by the time the children had reached adulthood. In Eysenck's (1980) report on adoptees, the smoking correlation of biologically unrelated parent-child pairs was essentially zero (r = -.02). Parental smoking may influence a childs risk through genetic inheritance: The role of parents is a passive one-providing a set of genes at loci relevant to smoking risk, but not SOCially influencing their offspring.

Comment author: David_Gerard 04 August 2014 04:16:00PM 8 points [-]

A fun one which came up recently on IRC: everyone thinks that how your parents raise you is incredibly important, this is so obvious it doesn't need any proof and is universal common sense, and you can find extended discussions of the best way to raise kids from Plato's Republic to Rousseau's Emile to Spock.

Except twin studies consistently estimate that the influence of 'shared environment' (the home) is small or near-zero for many traits compared to genetics and randomness/nonshared-environment.

This is quite possibly the most comforting scientific result ever for me as a parent, by the way.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 August 2014 08:42:39PM 0 points [-]

TV and Movies (Live Action) Thread

Comment author: David_Gerard 04 August 2014 04:11:58PM 0 points [-]

Finally showed the seven-year-old Star Wars this afternoon. (DVD Greedo-shot-first version, not that she gives a hoot.) She was delighted. Her previous reference for all the stuff in it is Angry Birds Star Wars. Culture! It's important!

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