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Comment author: advancedatheist 30 October 2014 04:21:25AM 8 points [-]

I'd like to see a Wikipedia article from the 24th Century about the Enlightenment which reverses the usual judgments now about the heroes versus the villains in the culture war of the 18th Century.

Comment author: David_Gerard 30 October 2014 10:51:56PM 0 points [-]
In response to Weird Alliances
Comment author: David_Gerard 25 October 2014 01:58:22PM *  4 points [-]

The health store phenomenon you observe (weird alliances) is called "crank magnetism". People who believe one weird thing tend to believe other weird things. (This particularly applies to conspiracy theorists.) Alternative medicine advocates are highly supportive of other alternative therapies that directly contradict their own, because they're of a subculture that defines itself oppositionally. The money flows in to support this weird alliance.

LW's interests do indeed not necessarily hang together, except being things advanced by the transhumanist subculture. Friendly AI doesn't go naturally with cryonics or nanotechnology as interests, for example (even if those things might plausibly have synergies).

I submit that promoting LW as material for crank magnets may not work well and will just end up infuriating those capable of joined-up thinking.

Comment author: DataPacRat 07 October 2014 07:25:18PM 15 points [-]

I've passed 200,000 words in the story I started writing at the end of May, and as far as I can tell, I'm still on track to keep writing daily and bring it to a finish, instead of just trailing off into... well... not. That's pretty close to four NaNoWriMos in a row, with more to come. And the next story I write will be that much better for the work I've done on this one; and if I can manage my motivation so as to keep it up, I just might be able to consider myself "a writer" instead of "someone who writes".

"On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow." -- Nietzsche

Tsuyoku naritai!

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 October 2014 08:47:03PM 2 points [-]

It's a really good original story and everyone should read it.

Comment author: Mark_Friedenbach 06 October 2014 03:24:36PM 1 point [-]

There is substantial evidence that a giant whale dumped $9m worth of coins at $300. Now that the sell wall is gone, the price is back up.

Otherwise, just the typical accretion phase of a boom-bust cycle.

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 October 2014 07:06:13PM *  3 points [-]

Evidence or speculation? I saw the $300 sell wall, but that does not account for the previous week's dip, which is when the "bearwhale" speculation started. I did see plenty of speculation to this end ... but humans, particularly bagholders in a bubble, will grasp for any explanation that is not "we were foolish".

Really, everything is based on the assumption of conspiracy:

  • December - Just a small market correction after bubble, soon we go up!
  • February - Price dropped because Mark Karpeles is an incompetent thief. (This one I'll give them.)
  • May - China dropped the price, now all Chinese is priced in, we go up!
  • August - Wall Street dropping the price because they want to enter cheap. Hold and we'll go up!
  • October - The bearwhale dropped the price, cheap coins that will go up!

It's a cliche for good reason that everything and its opposite is "great news for Bitcoin!"

The ridiculously inflated prices peaking in December 2013 are almost completely explained by Mt. Gox's blatant fraud and the Willy and Marcus bots. A decline from that would be the expectation.

So what was the solid evidence for (and against) conspiracy, as opposed to the null hypothesis that this is just one week in a bubble on its way down?

Comment author: James_Miller 06 October 2014 01:03:23PM 6 points [-]

The price of bitcoin is determined exactly like stock prices

Stock prices are anchored to the expected discounted present value of firms' profits. Bitcoins have no anchor. Think of it this way: If the market went crazy and valued Apple at zero you would do very well to buy the entire company for $1000. But if the market decided to value Bitcoins at zero, you would not want to buy them all up for $1000.

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 October 2014 02:12:16PM 6 points [-]

At least with tulip bulbs you can, like, grow tulips.

Comment author: Kyrorh 06 October 2014 11:30:44AM 2 points [-]

I don't know why someone would believe it couldn't happen. The price of bitcoin is determined exactly like stock prices and subject to the same variations based on the same reasons.

The growth of the bitcoin market is below expectations so people sell their bitcoins to monetize their earnings so the price drops. That's economics 101.

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 October 2014 02:11:11PM *  -1 points [-]

There are (or were) many, many Bitcoin advocates in the world who can't see it being anything other than deflationary (as there is a limited supply), it does interesting things, etc. Then the world turns around and sends Bitcoins inflationary for this whole year. Empiricism beats praxeology (again).

Comment author: David_Gerard 06 October 2014 11:06:51AM 4 points [-]

[tangential] The price of Bitcoin has been dropping significantly in the past few weeks, and dropped below $300 yesterday. I've read many theories as to how this can't happen, but it is. What's going on?

Comment author: gwern 06 September 2014 10:49:38PM *  13 points [-]

Saying it's a direct A/B comparison is seriously overstating it. Transitioning is itself a huge confounder, and if it were true that time before/after were exactly comparable, that would debunk one of the main justifications for allowing sex-changes in the first place!

Of course, the sample size is small here. And there’s no perfect agreement on cause-and-effect. Chris Edwards, a trans advertising executive, says that post-transition, he was given greater levels of responsibility—but he thinks it’s because the testosterone he took changed his behavior. He became less timid and more outspoken—and was seen, at work, as more of a leader. Indeed, some suggest that transmen might experience these workplace benefits partly because, post-transition, they are happier and more comfortable, and that this confidence leads to greater workplace success. But if that’s the case, one would expect that transwomen, armed with this same newfound confidence, would see benefits. The opposite seems to be true.

Note the willful incomprehension of the author about the possible effects of things like testosterone. 'Opposite seems to be true' my ass. But I suppose materialism and individual differences should never be allowed to get in the way of a good story about endemic sexism and racism...

(Sadly, this is only the second most infuriating statistical argument I've seen today. The first is a linear regression in the Washington Post about whippings vs productivity for slaves, in which they claim it shows whipping works. Aside from the usual correlation!=causality problem, their scatterplot clearly shows that there is not such a small positive correlation: their model does not fit the data because most slaves were never whipped so it's not Gaussian but more like a zero-inflated model, and in the population that was whipped a non-zero number of times, more whippings correlate dramatically with decreased cotton production. At a guess, male slaves were much more likely to act out or run away or get into fights or refuse to produce, and would be whipped for it. It borders on malpractice to present this graph baldly without including sex as a covariate or better yet doing a mixture model - certainly any model diagnostics would flag this regression as bogus. The author's bio says he's a professor at Columbia who "studies the roots of poverty and violence in developing countries, especially Africa"; all I can think is that if that's what passes for analysis for him, then no wonder Africa remains poor and violent.)

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 September 2014 09:59:09PM *  -2 points [-]

You're seriously raising the notion of testosterone as magical competence juice as an explanation worth taking seriously? This would make teenage males the most competent and convincing people on the planet.

Comment author: nydwracu 07 September 2014 01:23:24PM 5 points [-]

Is there a history of the term anywhere? I'd be interested in seeing how it got here from there.

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 September 2014 05:38:53PM *  2 points [-]

I've been desperately in search of a good history as I seek to decrappify the RW article on the topic, which is rather too cobbled-together (and the SJWiki one doesn't even try for a history). So if anyone has something handy ...

(The stereotypical Tumblr SJW phenomenon seems to have escaped academic notice. This actually surprised me when I went looking, given I know how rabid sociology students are in seeking out new subcultural study fodder.)

Comment author: FeepingCreature 17 July 2014 10:38:15PM *  2 points [-]

I have been contemplating this point. One of the things that sets off red flags for people outside a group is when people in the group appear to have cut'n'pasted the leader's opinions into their heads. And that's definitely something that happens around LW.

I don't know. On the one hand side, that's how you would expect it to look if the leader is right. On the other hand, "cult leader is right" is also how I would expect it to feel if cult leader was merely persuasive. On the third hand side, I don't feel like I absorbed lots of novel things from cult leader, but mostly concretified notions and better terms for ideas I'd held already, and I remember many Sequences posts having a critical comment at the top.

A further good sign is that the Sequences are mostly retellings of existing literature. It doesn't really match the "crazy ideas held for ingroup status" profile of cultishness.

Comment author: David_Gerard 07 September 2014 10:38:35AM -1 points [-]

The cut'n'paste not merely of the opinions, but of the phrasing is the tell that this is undigested. Possibly this could be explained by complete correctness with literary brilliance, but we're talking about one-draft daily blog posts here.

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