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In response to comment by Kaj_Sotala on Polyhacking
Comment author: wisnij 29 August 2011 06:48:48PM 2 points [-]

I have occasional fantasies of men and enjoy some varieties of shounen-ai/yaoi, but I'm almost never attracted to men in real life, though there have been a couple of exceptions. I can never figure out if I should call myself straight or bi, though straight is probably closer to the mark.


In response to comment by wisnij on Polyhacking
Comment author: JackEmpty 29 August 2011 06:55:39PM 2 points [-]

I've identified as that before, but I find it doesn't really apply well anymore.

Instead of slapping labels onto finer and finer grained levels of the fluid scale, I just have a clearly defined set of things that I will do with men, and a clearly defined set of things I will do with women, and that's sufficient for me.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Polyhacking
Comment author: Alicorn 29 August 2011 06:51:31PM 13 points [-]

I platonically snuggle with some of my male friends too. And I have photographic evidence of some guys I know who are not dating each other snuggling, too.

I guess I don't know how typical it is. I don't know many normal people and suspect they're dull.

In response to comment by Alicorn on Polyhacking
Comment author: JackEmpty 29 August 2011 06:52:41PM 4 points [-]

I don't know many normal people and suspect they're dull.

Upvoted for this.

Comment author: Trendsettaren 25 August 2011 04:43:28PM 1 point [-]

I think most people would come up with the correct answer 'with extension'. Such as 'increasing by 2 in ascending order' where the correct answer 'ascending order' is the basis that they have then specified further. In my eyes they have then given a partially correct answer and should not strive so hard to 'avoid this mistake' in the future. My reasoning is that you might then 'dismiss out of hand' a partially correct answer and by default do the same to the 'fully correct answer'. It is better then, to make a habit out of breaking down a hypotheses before dismissing it. Or you could just use up all your energy on convincing yourself that nothing should be believed, ever. Since belief means to know without proof.

Comment author: JackEmpty 25 August 2011 05:17:57PM 5 points [-]

Hey there! Welcome to Less Wrong!

I'd say you should read the Sequences, but that's clearly what you're doing :D. I'd suggest going ahead and introducing yourself over here.

I agree with you that some people might come up with the rule, but with unnecessary additions. The point of looking into the dark is that people may tend to add on to those extensions, when they should really be shaving them down to their core. And they can only do so (Or at least do so more effectively.) by looking into the dark.

Also, that's not exactly the commonly accepted definition of "Belief" around here. For what most would think of when you refer to "belief" check out here, here, and the related The Simple Truth article, and really the entire Map and Territory sequence

Again, welcome!

Comment author: [deleted] 18 August 2011 02:21:10PM 1 point [-]

That Urban Dictionary definition entails that "disgust" does imply a moral component or a judgement that something is universally wrong. However, in my experience, it does not. I can easily imagine a little kid, or a grown adult, declaring a given food or smell or sight "disgusting" without having any objection to its existence. (I can, of course, also imagine a news article in which people interviewed describe someone's immoral behavior as disgusting.) The OED Online describes the word mainly as a visceral reaction and only in passing says it may be brought about by a "disagreeable action".

Instead of creating a new word for what "disgust" currently means and making "disgust" mean something else, perhaps we should leave "disgust" as it is and come up with a word for "moral revulsion". Something like "consternation" or "appallment".

Comment author: JackEmpty 18 August 2011 03:14:00PM 1 point [-]

Yeah, it does seem to be phrased such as to imply that.

I can easily imagine a little kid, or a grown adult, declaring a given food or smell or sight "disgusting" without having any objection to its existence. (I can, of course, also imagine a news article in which people interviewed describe someone's immoral behavior as disgusting.)

So the denotative meaning only very mildly indicates a potential for moral revulsion. But used in certain contexts, it does have heavy (heavier) connotations of moral revulsion. I think it's useful to have words for both the physical reaction side and for the moral reaction side, but I disagree with the UD definition in that "disgust" can be more of a generic umbrella term.

So... in other words, use "disgusted" when it's clear, or you mean both. Use "squicked" when it's unclear, and you want to only imply a physical reaction. And use "appalled" when you want to heavily imply moral reaction.

This is all just speculation and suggestion, but I do still hold that the word is useful.

Comment author: shokwave 18 August 2011 01:19:04PM 3 points [-]

Wow. I have the practice (common to sci-fi readers, I have heard) of taking unfamiliar words in my stride, attempting to figure them out in context, and taking it on faith that if I can't figure it out now, more context will soon be given. So that is how I approach new words on the internet (like 'squick'). This is only important because my internal definition for squick had developed into something very much like saying "eww" or the word disgust. It didn't have that crucial 'no moral component' tag for me. Interesting!

Comment author: JackEmpty 18 August 2011 01:39:50PM *  2 points [-]

Likewise, but I think I have a bit of an obsession with learning obscure jargon... to the point of reading through the provided dictionaries in SF&F books a half dozen times, then referring to it when the words come up. And reading through online lists of terminology for fictional universes and technical activities.

But yes, searching for "squick" on here, I have seen it used as "eww", but I'm not quite sure from the brief glance if it had that particular tag, at least not explicitly.

Comment author: JackEmpty 17 August 2011 02:24:10PM 19 points [-]

A small nitpick, and without having read the other comments, so please excuse me if this has been mentioned before.

The 5 actions listed under the heading "Emotion and Deontological Judgments" squick me. But they don't disgust me.

From Urban Dictionary:

The concept of the "squick" differs from the concept of "disgust" in that "squick" refers purely to the physical sensation of repulsion, and does not imply a moral component.

Stating that something is "disgusting" implies a judgement that it is bad or wrong. Stating that something "squicks you" is merely an observation of your reaction to it, but does not imply a judgement that such a thing is universally wrong.

It may be useful to add this to our collective vocabulary. Some might argue it's adding unnecessary labels to too-similar a concept, but I think the distinction is useful.

Please, let me know if something like this has been explored already?

Comment author: shminux 10 August 2011 05:55:52PM 1 point [-]

It's more likely that some of the younger participants would be weirded out by someone their parents' age discussing anything related to sex, something they are probably still compartmentalizing into the "they did it once for me, once for my brother" box.

Comment author: JackEmpty 10 August 2011 06:19:12PM 3 points [-]

At around age 16, I thought, "My parents own a cabin cruiser sailboat. They go up the river alone on the weekends... Oh. Well then." And went on with my life.

I'm 19 now. Some point between then and now I learned my father had a vasectomy. So at least they're enjoying themselves.

I may be an outlier in this situation, however. It just didn't exactly faze me at all.

[LINK] Father of Cryonics "Dies" at age 92

0 JackEmpty 27 July 2011 06:19PM

Free (old) scientific papers [Link]

7 JackEmpty 21 July 2011 04:22PM



Greg Maxwell is torrenting 33Gib of public domain JSTOR documents that were behind paywalls.


What's your take on this, ethically, legally, etc?


ETA: More on this: http://gigaom.com/2011/07/21/pirate-bay-jstor/

Comment author: dripgrind 14 July 2011 08:40:56PM 20 points [-]

It's definitely a good idea to do this.

But the way you've set about doing it isn't going to produce any worthwhile data.

I'm no expert on branding and market research, but I'm pretty sure that the best practice in the field isn't having conversations with 9 non-random strangers in a lift (asking different leading questions each time) then bunging it in Google Docs and getting other people to add more haphazard data in the hope that someone will make a website that sorts it all out.

First you need to define the question you're asking. Exactly which sub-population are you interested in? You start off asking about "the average person"'s attitude to rationality, suggesting that maybe you want to gauge attitudes across the whole (US?) population. But then you decide that the 60+ man is "outside our demographic bracket", although your 70+ grandmother apparently isn't.

Either way, the set of [people who work in your office building plus your grandmother] might not constitute a representative sample of the population of the USA, let alone everyone in the world. Getting people who frequent Less Wrong to ask people they cross paths with isn't going to be a representative sample of all people - you can see that, right?

The most efficient way to answer your question is likely to be piggybacking on existing polling organisations. Now, it's probably true that corporate marketing/branding "researchers" have a bias towards confirming what the bosses want to hear - I was just reading this Robin Hanson article about how people don't evaluate the quality of predictions after the fact: http://www.cato-unbound.org/2011/07/13/robin-hanson/who-cares-about-forecast-accuracy/ - but still, I think it would be better to at least consider that there are organisations whose job it is to find the general public reaction to a "brand".

You could find someone who works for such an organisation and suborn them to add an extra question to a proper survey. That way you could gather the reactions of 1000 or 10,000 demographically-representative people in a single action. Let's not waste our time dicking around uploading meaningless data to Google Docs.

A good target in the UK would be YouGov.

I also think it's pointless to worry about a concise definition of rationality until it's been determined that "rationality" is in fact a good brand for public consumption. What if it turns out that the term "rationality" makes 60% of people instantly hostile? Do the research first, then start proselytising.

I find it interesting that the response to this article hasn't overwhelmingly been about criticising Raemon's methodology. Is that because LessWrong members fallaciously assume that attempting to measure the public's subjective, irrational responses to a word doesn't need to be carried out in an objective, rational manner? Or is it, as I increasingly suspect as I edit and re-edit this comment, that I'm a total dick?

Comment author: JackEmpty 15 July 2011 01:07:52PM 0 points [-]

Or is it, as I increasingly suspect as I edit and re-edit this comment, that I'm a total dick?

Upvoted for having a very good point, downvoted for being a dick, then upvoted again for having attempted to edit out dickishness :D

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