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Comment author: Joshua_Fox 21 February 2009 08:33:29PM 3 points [-]

"Why does ancient Egypt, which had good records on many other matters, lack any records of Jews having ever been there?"

Of course the words "Jews" isn't used, but it is well-documented that West-Semites lived in Egypt. (They even ruled it for a while as the Hyksos dynasty.) There is also the Mernepthah Stele, with a small mention of "Israel."

Though we do have written records from ancient Egypt, they are nowhere near complete or consistent enough for the absence of evidence to be treated as useful evidence of absence.

Not that I'm claiming to be wise or anything.

In response to Against Maturity
Comment author: Joshua_Fox 19 February 2009 06:51:46AM 1 point [-]

I was being forced to memorize and recite

Without getting into the theological aspects, a good technique as part of learning a second language is memorizing a text, particularly one with a poetic structure (like many prayers), even before it can be fully understood.

We were given a transliteration, but not a translation. I asked what the prayer meant. I was told that I didn't need to know

That is an extremely unusual experience, except as a temporary stage of learning. In most Jewish circles, reading Hebrew in the original script is considered important, and it is believed that one does need to understand what texts mean.

In response to Value is Fragile
Comment author: Joshua_Fox 29 January 2009 10:39:04AM 1 point [-]

What about "near-human" morals, like, say, Kzinti: Where the best of all possible words contains hierarchies, duels to the death, and subsentient females; along with exploration, technology, and other human-like activities. Though I find their morality repugnant for humans, I can see that they have the moral "right" to it. Is human morality, then, in some deep sense better than those?

In response to Failed Utopia #4-2
Comment author: Joshua_Fox 21 January 2009 04:41:13PM 3 points [-]

Another variation on heaven/hell/man/woman in a closed room: No Exit

In response to Imaginary Positions
Comment author: Joshua_Fox 23 December 2008 08:00:14PM 3 points [-]

Minor point perhaps, but in the field I once studied, diachronic linguistics, people always want to know what the oldest language is, and no amount of explanation will convince them that there question is off-base.

In response to Chaotic Inversion
Comment author: Joshua_Fox 30 November 2008 09:00:21AM 0 points [-]

Among the positive values of school, matriculation exams, college, grad school, the tenure system, and the career-track rat-race: In some cases they help motivate and bring out the best in people; even smart, creative people sometimes need that sort of external motivation.

(See also James Miller above.)

Comment author: Joshua_Fox 13 November 2008 09:04:42PM 1 point [-]

Eliezer, can you mathematically characterize those environments where randomization can help. Presumably these are the "much more intelligent than you, and out to get you" environments, but I'd like to see that characterized a bit better.

Comment author: Joshua_Fox 07 October 2008 07:25:18PM 2 points [-]

> "You should go to college and get a Master's degree and get a doctorate and publish a lot of papers on ordinary things - > scientists and investors won't listen to you otherwise." Even assuming that I tested out of the bachelor's degree... You can "test out of" every step to the ladder, and go straight to post-doc/professor equivalent by publishing multiple well-respected papers (and not necessarily on ordinary things) in top journals.

Comment author: Joshua_Fox 25 September 2008 01:07:27PM 0 points [-]

So do you now think that engineers can create a "Completely Alien Mind Design"? Do you have a feasible CAMD yourself?

> I don't know if Eliezer2002 invented this reply on his own, or if he read it somewhere else. What about the concept of "optimization process"? Did you come to that idea yourself, or read about it elsewhere?

Comment author: Joshua_Fox 25 September 2008 11:03:00AM 3 points [-]

> I've been stupid.

More generally, I'd like to see Overcoming Bias bloggers writing more about their current biases, either ones they struggle against, though not always successfully; or ones they have decided to surrender to.

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