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Comment author: Caledonian2 07 November 2007 02:19:12PM 0 points [-]

Obviously, selection on the level of the individual won't produce individual restraint in breeding. Individuals who reproduce unrestrainedly will, naturally, produce more offspring than individuals who restrain themselves.

Wrong. Sometimes quality, not quantity, matters. Which is why rabbits will abort and reabsorb fetuses when under stress, even though the reabsorption process has a significant chance of causing permanent infertility.

It's not about which organism produces the greatest number of offspring - although restricting fertility can sometimes lead to that - but the greatest number of surviving offspring. It's more complex than a madcap race to reproduce as rapidly and prolifically as possible.

Comment author: Gradus 27 October 2016 09:42:19PM 0 points [-]

Yeah, this article seems overly harsh on the "restrainists." After all, their assumption could have started from the empirical observation that many species have reproductive strategies that do not emphasize "as many as possible." Humans, elephants, and Lions have few offspring per reproductive cycle relative to spiders and frogs. Clearly SOMETHING is restraining their reproductive rate and promoting a high investment strategy.

Comment author: Gradus 27 October 2016 08:42:31PM 0 points [-]

Even so, it was probably very improbable, considered in an isolated event—but it only had to happen once, and there were a lot of tide pools.

isn't it more likely that the "first replicator" was not a single event, but that it started multiple times and failed to survive in the vast majority of cases?

Comment author: thrawnca 22 July 2016 02:57:21AM *  0 points [-]

If those are the unfortunate downsides of policies that are worthwhile overall, then I don't think that qualifies for 'supervillain' status.

I mean, if you're postulating the existence of God, then that also brings up the possibility of an afterlife, etc, so there could well be a bigger picture and higher stakes than threescore years and ten. Sometimes it's rational to say, That is a tragedy, but this course of action is still for the best. Policy debates should not appear one-sided.

If anything, this provides a possible answer to the atheist's question, "Why would God allow suffering?"

Comment author: Gradus 25 October 2016 09:49:26PM 0 points [-]

"Policy debates should not appear one-sided" doesn't in this case give credence to the idea that a world with suffering implies the possibility of the God. Quite the opposite. That is a post-hoc justification for what should be seen as evidence to lower the probability of "belief in just and benevolent God." This is analogous to EY's example of the absence of sabotage being used as justification for the concentration camps in "Conservation of Expected Evidence"

Comment author: Gradus 25 October 2016 04:39:42PM 2 points [-]

How much havoc do you think a two-hour movie can wreak on your judgment? It will be hard enough to undo the damage by deliberate concentration—why invite the vampire into your house? In Chess or Go, every wasted move is a loss; in rationality, any non-evidential influence is (on average) entropic.

Yet in my estimation, the most damaging aspect of using other authors' imaginations is that it stops people from using their own

10 years later, post HPMOR, the irony of this is delicious.

Not denying the value of the underlying point -- but one could gather from this post that EY is against consuming fiction in general, lest it poison your mind, and particularly against allowing your ideas to be influenced by other author's ideas.

His current notoriety as one of the most pre-eminent writers of fan-fiction makes this thought amusing.