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Comment author: Cthulhoo 06 December 2013 11:02:36AM *  9 points [-]

You are right, I should eat less chocolate

In this particular case, I think the use of "should" is more an implicit dismissal than a semantic stopsign (but there may be an overlap between the two concepts). What I mean is that it's usually clear to both the participants of the conversation that you have acknowledged the problem but do not intend to implement a solution yet. More explicitely, the meaning of the phrase sounds like: "I know that I should eat less chocolate, but this is not a priority for me now.". It stops the conversation by stating your full position regarding the subjet, even if not explicitely.

Back on the main topic, one of the most powerful semantic stopsigns is probably "It's complicated". It's so powerful that even PUAs encourage to exploit it as a relationship weapon. I'm guilty of using it myself very often, even though I hate to hear those words uttered to me.

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 07 December 2013 10:05:55PM 2 points [-]

I'm torn on "it's complicated." Clearly, you're correct that it can function as a powerful semantic stopsign. But increasingly, I also find that it's actually an entirely appropriate and even useful response (or at least an initial response) to many questions, especially political/policy/legal/normative questions.

For example, imagine a poll asking American citizens the following question: "In one sentence, what would you say is the major problem with the American health care system?" Now imagine the people who respond with something like "It's complicated," and ask yourself whether these individuals might ultimately have something interesting and productive to say about health care (compared to the average responder).

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 07 December 2013 09:57:50PM 5 points [-]

Answered every question to which I had an answer. I haven't spent much time on Less Wrong recently, but it's really pretty remarkable how just answering Less Wrong surveys causes me to think more seriously than just about anything else I come across in any given week.

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 22 September 2013 05:45:50PM 6 points [-]

Zortran, do you ever wonder if it's all just meaningless?

What's "meaningless?"

It's like... wait, really? You don't have that word? It's a big deal over here.

No. Is it a good word? What does it do?

It's sort of like... what if you aren't important? You know... to the universe.

Wait... so humans have a word to refer to the idea that it'd be really sad if all of reality weren't focused on them individually?

Kinda, yeah.

We call that "megalomania."

Well, you don't have to be a jerk about it.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 07 May 2013 04:04:16AM 1 point [-]

I'm not quite sure what to make of this post as a whole. I find myself appreciative of the general point, and a lot of it seems to register with me, but I also agree that more precise sourcing would be desirable for such a controversial and empirically open-ended subject.

But the main reason why I wanted to comment is that Bang With Friends seems like such an obvious and obviously value-adding concept that I was surprised I'd never heard of anything like it before. If I were in the position of looking for additional sexual partners right now (and if the privacy was functional), I don't see any good reason not to use something like that. If people feel comfortable sharing on this subject, has anyone out there had positive experiences with this app or something like it?

Comment author: Eneasz 15 April 2013 08:34:47PM *  1 point [-]

Why not something catchy? The sequences often had extremely catchy titles (eg "An Alien God"). "Becoming Less Wrong" is pretty good, but it doesn't have enough pizzazz. How'sabout something like:

  • "If you're reading this, Phase One of my master plan is already complete" (yes, stolen from a T-shirt, but rather appropriate) or
  • "The world is mad, you don't have to be"

or some variety of the 'rationality is applied winning' meme:

  • "On Winning"
  • "Winning - Theory and Practice"

Maybe a take on defeating Azathoth?

  • "Kill a God - Become an Agent"
  • "Wresting Control of Yourself from Evolution's Grasp"

At any rate, the Memetic Hazard sign should be somewhere on the cover. :)

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 15 April 2013 08:52:11PM 5 points [-]

I like the general point about something catchy with pizzazz. "Being Less Wrong" is my favorite so far, but it could probably be improved on. "Winning: Theory and Practice" is also pretty good, though I wonder whether there's too much of an association between "winning" and Charlie Sheen. Maybe that's a silly concern, but we wouldn't want anyone to think this was just a joking reference to that.

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 15 April 2013 08:46:00PM 13 points [-]

Is it helpful for the phrase "The Sequences" to appear in the title? My sense is that anyone who's already familiar enough with the Sequences to know what it means isn't going to need that phrase to be interested in the book, and that the phrase doesn't add much value for someone who's never heard of the Sequences before. It's sort of a weird word that doesn't immediately suggest anything about rationality.

The only people for whom it would add value would be those who (1) have at least sort of heard of the Sequences and are somewhat interested; (2) need to know that this ebook is about the Sequences to decide to read it; and (3) wouldn't understand that this was the Sequences ebook without that word in the title. I doubt that's a very large class, so my initial sense is that it's not necessary in the actual title. But then, that's just what occurred to me in the last 10 minutes, and the people who have thought about this more carefully may well have other reasons.

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 04 April 2013 02:18:00PM *  35 points [-]

Jack Sparrow: [after Will draws his sword] Put it away, son. It's not worth you getting beat again.

Will Turner: You didn't beat me. You ignored the rules of engagement. In a fair fight, I'd kill you.

Jack Sparrow: Then that's not much incentive for me to fight fair, then, is it? [Jack turns the ship, hitting Will with the boom]

Jack Sparrow: Now as long as you're just hanging there, pay attention. The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can't do. For instance, you can accept that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can't. But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you'll have to square with that some day. And me, for example, I can let you drown, but I can't bring this ship into Tortuga all by me onesies, savvy? So, can you sail under the command of a pirate, or can you not?

--Pirates of the Caribbean

The pirate-specific stuff is a bit extraneous, but I've always thought this scene neatly captured the virtue of cold, calculating practicality. Not that "fairness" is never important to worry about, but when you're faced with a problem, do you care more about solving it, or arguing that your situation isn't fair? What can you do, and what can't you do? Reminds me of What do I want? What do I have? How can I best use the latter to get the former?

Comment author: [deleted] 04 February 2013 01:55:07AM *  17 points [-]

Been making a game of looking for rationality quotes in the super bowl

"It's only weird if it doesn't work" --Bud Light Commercial

Only a rationality quote out of context, though, since the ad is about superstitious rituals among sports fans. My automatic mental reply is "well that doesn't work"

In response to comment by [deleted] on Rationality Quotes February 2013
Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 05 February 2013 07:46:24PM 7 points [-]

Well, but in the universe of the commercials, it clearly did, so long as you went to the appropriate expert.

Comment author: FiftyTwo 29 January 2013 01:18:52PM 5 points [-]

But I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.

Randall Munroe

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 29 January 2013 06:30:59PM 2 points [-]

And to think, I was just getting on to post this quote myself!

Comment author: pragmatist 29 January 2013 10:49:30AM *  15 points [-]

This is a great new feature. Thanks!

I will note, though, that the implementation of this feature seems to have artificially inflated my karma score. It has gone up by about 200 points over the last couple of days, and I don't see any sudden increase in actual upvotes to account for this. Also, my karma over the last 30 days doesn't display a commensurate increase.

Here's my hypothesis about what happened: I had a post that I moved from Discussion to Main after it had already accrued a number of upvotes. The upvotes it got while in Discussion only gave me 1 karma point each, but I suspect something about this new feature has retroactively scored those upvotes as if they were for an article in Main, so I got an additional 9 points for each of them.

I'm not complaining, of course. Just a heads up about what seems like an unintentional side effect.

Comment author: Jay_Schweikert 29 January 2013 04:20:51PM 2 points [-]

Same thing happened to me, and I also had moved an article from Discussion to Main after it had gotten a lot of upvotes. So that's almost certainly the explanation.

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