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Comment author: MichaelVassar 12 August 2012 05:14:26PM 9 points [-]

To be fair, I think that this triad is largely a function of the sort of society one lives in. It could be summarized as "submit to virtuous social orders, seek to dominate non-virtuous ones if you have the ability to discern between them"

Comment author: EditedToAdd 26 March 2017 06:10:27PM 0 points [-]

I think it’s more along the lines of: people in the third stage have acquired and digested all the low-hanging and medium-hanging fruit that those in the second stage are struggling to acquire, that advancing further is now really hard. So they now seek sex and money/power partly because acquiring those will (in the long run) help them further advance in the areas that they have currently put on hold. And partly because of course it’s also nice to have them.

Comment author: EditedToAdd 02 April 2012 04:51:17PM 17 points [-]

But, the hard part comes after you conquer the world. What kind of world are you thinking of creating?

Johan Liebert, Monster

Comment author: EditedToAdd 18 March 2011 10:38:23PM 5 points [-]

Rationalists are still human, and we still have basic human needs.

I see this happen quite a bit: people (even other rationalists, apparently) seem to believe that rationalists should be advanced enough to not have basic psychological needs of this sort. This is a complete non sequitur. How does having accurate beliefs, good decision-making skills, and the rationalist attitude inhibit those basic needs? And why those needs and not even more basic needs, like comfort?

Comment author: Tesseract 31 December 2010 03:00:39AM *  19 points [-]

There's a certain style distinct to many didactic quotes: they express claims in a wise-sounding but opaque way, so that they automatically appear deep without requiring the reader to actually think about them. This can cloak empty language and doubtful claims in a veneer of impressiveness -- not to mention being uncommunicative if the ideas really are good.

It looks to me like these match that style. The ideas here could be both true and interesting, but making them into aphorisms (to fit Twitter) removes the explanation and examples that would convince me they're true and interesting. As it is, they sound meaningless to me -- the medium totally obscures the message.

I'd be interested in a post exploring some of these ideas, but tweets seem to me to be a format utterly unsuited to the topic.

[Also, I really think that this should not be on the front page. If even commenters have to puzzle over many of these, it's not a good choice for the general audience.]

Comment author: EditedToAdd 04 January 2011 06:31:14PM 4 points [-]

Michael Vassar has this quote on Twitter: “Every distinction wants to become the distinction between good and evil.” Which I’m sure I would have understood differently had I not previously read the post from which it (I believe) originated:

Math/Logical style analysis seems like the original of the far-mode paradigm. Fiddling with things with your hands without explicit executive scrutiny over what you are doing while trusting in non-conscious cognitive processes to figure out a solution seems like the paradigm for near-mode thought. Both have an important place, but it seems to me that placing math in near mode is simply an attempt to place everything that works, or that you have affectively labeled as good, in near mode. Every distinction wants to become good versus evil.

In response to The Moral Void
Comment author: EditedToAdd 02 January 2011 07:57:45PM 0 points [-]

I like to think of this as being extreme artificiality. Humans have always attempted to either ignore or go against certain natural elements in order to flourish. It was never this fundamental, though. Logic has, at best, managed to straighten us out and make things better for us. And at worst, it reaches conclusions that are of no practical consequence. If it ever told us that killing babies is good, we would of course have to check all the consequences of what it would mean to ignore this logic. If we get lucky, it’s a logic that doesn’t really extend very far, and does not manifest much consequences, making it okay for us to exercise our extreme artificiality from this logic. If we don’t get lucky, it’s a logic that branches out into many/severely negative consequences if not carried out (worse than killing babies), and then, by looking at this logic, we would have to kill babies.