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Comment author: Mark_Neznansky 19 April 2014 05:13:41AM 0 points [-]

I can't comment on the size (so LW is growing?), but I have a tingling memory that long time ago (several years back) people did post LW quotes. Since LW doesn't exist that long I suppose it was the case in its inception. I can't say for sure, but actually Eugine's post seems to suggest that as well; otherwise it wouldn't have been "creeping into". Either way, should be easy to check. I do, too, think it is worthwhile to put LW quotes. I remember (I do!) reading those and being led to read the original articles whence they came.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 19 April 2014 06:59:39AM 0 points [-]

I can't comment on the size (so LW is growing?), but I have a tingling memory that long time ago (several years back) people did post LW quotes.

I don't think LW/OB quotes were ever allowed, but MoR quotes used to be.

Comment author: lavalamp 17 April 2014 08:46:25PM 4 points [-]

How does it change the numbers if you condition on the fact that Alcor has already been around for 40 years?

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 19 April 2014 06:48:31AM 2 points [-]

Reminds me of John C. Wright's comments on the subject here

So I tried to puzzle out that safest way to store your body while you slept.

Option one: you can trust to the government to look after it, or some other long lived private institution. Menelaus Montrose does this in an early stage of history called the Cryonarchy, where the control of the suspended animation tombs is the core of the political power of the ruling caste (all of whom are Montrose’s remote inlaws).

You can try the longest-lived institution of all, which is the Catholic Church. Their famous reverence for relict and boneyards and preserving the lore of the past could be turned to preserving their sleeping ancestors as an act of charity.

(No one will believe this, but I had that idea long before I converted. It just seemed a natural extrapolation of human behavior based on non-PC, that is, non-revisionist hence non-lying-ass, history.)

Comment author: ChristianKl 18 April 2014 12:06:02PM 0 points [-]

Christians absolute egalitarianism is view I have never heard articulated before. It seems to be the mirror image of anarcho-capitalism, the philosophy that guns for 100% freedom.

If you want to have it articulated in a bit more detail Zeitgeist Appendum can give you an impression. With 5 million youtube it there are quite a few people on the internet who profess to follow that ideology.

According to it we need a central computer who tells everyone what work to do. People will do what the computer tells them because their education teaches them the value of following what the computer tells them, so perfectly that everybody just does what's in the "public interest" and follows the directions of the central scientific computer program.

Because there won't be money anymore, nothing will stop the digging of intercontinental tunnels for transportation needs so that you don't need airplanes.

I have meet multiple people who believe that framework. Fortunately people outside of the political process where they won't do much harm. Unfortunately a bunch of them are smart, so intelligence doesn't seem to protect against it. One of them ranks quite well in debating tournaments.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 19 April 2014 04:53:34AM 0 points [-]

Wow, there so many things wrong with this proposal that I'll just mention the one that disgusts me on a visceral level. One effect of this scheme (if it could somehow be made to work) is that there is a certain organ that consumes nearly one quarter of the body's energy that is now completely vestigial.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 18 April 2014 09:45:36AM *  0 points [-]

I actually agree that running for 100% equality would likely result in 0% freedom.

For my money that is an extreme illustration of "you can't satisfy all values simultaneously" , not of "left bad".

Christians absolute egalitarianism is view I have never heard articulated before. It seems to be the mirror image of anarcho-capitalism, the philosophy that guns for 100% freedom.

To me, it's symmetric.

To you there is apparently a "side" that is in contact with reality, and a side that isn't.

Yes, there are a lot of things that would go wrong, to the average utility function, with absolute egalitarianism . Ditto for absolute libertarianism. But you never mention that.

It's an open question whether a given extremist, of any stripe, is someone who has (1) a one-sided utility function, (2) who wrongly thinks that an average, mixed UF can be satisfied by extreme policies.

As such, you don't get to assume that (2) is true of anyone in this discussion.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 19 April 2014 04:29:29AM *  1 point [-]

I actually agree that running for 100% equality would likely result in 0% freedom.

It wouldn't result in much equality either. (Unless you mean equality in the sense that everyone is equally dead, which is a possible if extreme outcome.)

Ditto for absolute libertarianism. But you never mention that.

I also never called absolute anarcho-capitalism (I assume that's what you mean by "absolute libertarianism") as a desirable end-state.

It's an open question whether a given extremist, of any stripe, is someone who has (1) a one-sided utility function, (2) who wrongly thinks that an average, mixed UF can be satisfied by extreme policies.

The problem is that as I pointed out the way these people pursue their one-sided goal won't even maximize the one-sided utility function.

Edit: Speaking of freedom and equality don't you also want a term for prosperity in there somewhere?

Comment author: ChristianKl 18 April 2014 11:47:31AM *  0 points [-]

Rousseau's "The Social Contract" begins with the words:

MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. How did this change come about? I do not know. What can make it legitimate? That question I think I can answer.

I don't think that any modern person on the left is as direct as that when it comes to freedom, but in European political thought the idea of the Social Contract is quite central.

Well, another consequence is that it would destroy the motivation for people to engage in productive work (if the benefits would just get redistributed) so you'd wind up with a bunch of equally starving people.

The idea is that in the end state people would be motivated to work as a way of self actualization and don't need financial incentives to do work. Star Trek has characters who work without getting payed to do so.

The observation that today many people need money to be motivated to work doesn't mean that will always be true in the future and that we shouldn't work on moving society in that direction.

The idea of an end state doesn't mean something that can be reached in 10 years a state that can take quite a while to reach.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 19 April 2014 04:20:39AM 1 point [-]

MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. How did this change come about? I do not know. What can make it legitimate? That question I think I can answer.

Could you taboo what Rousseau means by "master" and "slave" in that quote. As is, to me it sounds like deep wisdom attempting to use said words in some metaphorical way that's not at all well-defined. Also I don't see what this has to do with the subject.

The idea is that in the end state people would be motivated to work as a way of self actualization and don't need financial incentives to do work.

The problem is that the work that's self-actualizing is not necessarily the same as the work that's needed to keep society running. In other words, attempting to run society like this you'd wind up with a bunch of (mediocre) artists starving and suffering from dysentery because not enough people derive self-actualization from farming or maintaining the sewer system. Historically, many attempts by intellectuals to create planned communities fell into this problem.

Star Trek has characters who work without getting payed to do so.

Fictional evidence.

Comment author: brazil84 18 April 2014 07:51:24AM 0 points [-]

I agree that it's difficult to tell how good a lawyer is, which leads to a lot of nonsense like firms spending a lot of money of impressive offices and spending hours and hours of time chasing down every last grammatical error before filing court papers.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 19 April 2014 04:03:53AM 0 points [-]

I agree that it's difficult to tell how good a lawyer is,

This is true for a lot of professions. Most of them don't have the problem you're describing.

Comment author: Nornagest 18 April 2014 04:41:16PM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure that's quite in the spirit of the thread rules, what with how closely tied Slate Star Codex is to the LW community. But it's a good enough abuse of Solzhenitsyn that I'm upvoting it anyway.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 19 April 2014 04:01:32AM 0 points [-]

Am I the only one who finds it annoying how the "do not quote LW rule" has been creeping into ever broader interpretations?

Comment author: James_Miller 17 April 2014 07:07:55PM 6 points [-]

Unless the company had an established record doing other things. If Google got into the cryonics business I would likely transfer my membership from Alcor to them.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 18 April 2014 04:40:34AM 7 points [-]

I wouldn't. Technology companies have an unusually low expected lifetime, and in any case frequently undergo restructurings to deal with disruptive technologies.

Comment author: James_Miller 17 April 2014 08:45:58PM 3 points [-]
Comment author: Eugine_Nier 18 April 2014 04:28:24AM 3 points [-]

Also, I'm not convinced those would protect against hyperinflation, given the kinds of things countries suffering from hyperinflation tend to do.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 17 April 2014 10:37:52AM *  1 point [-]

Amazingly enough, freedom supporting policies can negatively impact equality. To put it another way, if there were no conflicts between values, there would be no politics. To put it a third way, you keep writingas though you are the Tablet, and have the One True Set of Values inscribed in your brain.

Comment author: Eugine_Nier 18 April 2014 02:05:46AM 3 points [-]

Christian mentioned having the government constantly redistributing money as a possibly desirable end state. I was pointing out one of the implications of said end state.

Also I'm getting increasingly frustrated at people, yourself included, who keep trying to pass off their false beliefs about the nature of the world as different preferences.

In particular, to use the economic equality example, if you constantly redistributed money to keep everyone equal, as I mentioned it would destroy anything resembling freedom. But suppose you claim to have a utility function that puts no value on freedom. Well, another consequence is that it would destroy the motivation for people to engage in productive work (if the benefits would just get redistributed) so you'd wind up with a bunch of equally starving people. Assuming, that is, that this redistribution was somehow magically enforced, more realistically you'd wind up with everything in the hands of the redistributors.

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