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Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 03 January 2016 05:52:10PM *  5 points [-]

In the LW Slack an online test by the Birkbeck University of London for prosopagnosia (face blindness) was posted and some took it. The Test says that 80% is population average and below 60% means possible face-blindness (and I guess 33% means random answers). The results posted in the LW slack show an average below 70% (for 10 values) and the hypothesis was offered that the LW populace in not neuro-typical in this regard. How about verifying this?

Take test test here.

My test result (give percentage points as reported by the test in range 0..100; use 80 if you absolutely don't want to do the test):

ADDED: This test takes about 20min according to its intro and some say that it takes longer (see below).


Comment author: Lalartu 11 January 2016 02:08:07AM 0 points [-]

I got 44. Six faces is too much.

Comment author: James_Miller 04 December 2015 03:03:38AM *  2 points [-]

I'm not a biologist, but am I right in thinking that Crispr could be the most important human innovation ever? This Wired article claims that a knowledgeable scientists thinks that the "off-target mutations are already a solved problem." Within a decade we should know a lot about the genetic basis of intelligence. Wouldn't it then probably be easy to create embryos that give birth to extremely smart people, far smarter than have ever existed?

Comment author: Lalartu 08 December 2015 12:05:24PM 0 points [-]

It is hard to tell in advance what is important. Quite a few innovations that were promised to change everything turned out to have much more limited value.

Within a decade we should know a lot about the genetic basis of intelligence

I don't see any reason for it. So far, all knowledge in this area is just correlation between some genes and IQ, with no understanding how it works. Judging from history of other technologies, with such theoretical base any major improvements take centuries of trial and error.

Comment author: Lumifer 17 November 2015 04:20:36PM 0 points [-]

The top post actually talked about 'a "universal" progress of society towards a more moral baseline', but let's see.

A fair-warning preamble: no one really knows much about cultural practices in the Paleolithic, so the credence of statements about what Paleos (sorry, diet people) did is low.

Slavery -- sure, there was less slavery in the Paleolithic. So, what did they do instead? The usual source of slaves in Antiquity was wars: losers were enslaved. And during the Paleolithic? Well, I would guess that the losers had all the males killed and the fertile women dragged off to be breeding stock.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see how the Paleolithic way is morally better or closer to the "more moral baseline", whatever it might be.

As to torture, it is entirely not obvious to me that Paleos had less torture than the Roman Empire. Primitive tribes tend to be very cruel to enemies (see e.g. this).

And freedom... it depends on how do you define it, but the Paleo tribes were NOT a happy collection of anarchists. In contemporary political terminology I expect them to have been dictatorships where the order was maintained by ample application of force and most penalties for serious infractions involved death. That doesn't look like a particularly free society.

I have a feeling you are thinking about noble savages. That's fiction.

Comment author: Lalartu 18 November 2015 12:33:32PM 2 points [-]

I don't think it is reasonable to portray Paleolithic tribe as dictatorship. When the best weapon is pointed stick, and every man is has skill to use it, minority simply can't rule by force.

Comment author: Lumifer 16 November 2015 04:10:25PM *  -1 points [-]

If from Paleolithic to the height of Roman Empire, then trends would be exactly opposite, a march from freedom to slavery.

Um... You believe that between Paleolithic and the height of Roman Empire the progress went in reverse?

Comment author: Lalartu 17 November 2015 08:51:33AM *  2 points [-]

If we define "progress" as "less slavery, less torture, more freedom" as in top comment, then yes it went in reverse.

Comment author: MrMind 16 November 2015 10:35:37AM 0 points [-]

A meta-ethics reflection about the three chimps.
We know that chimps societies are in a meta-stable Molochian equilibrium of violence, but you can tip them off with more resources into a more pacific state.
There is supposedly a "universal" progress of society towards a more moral baseline, such as less slavery, less torture, more freedom, but there were also notable exception. I was thinking about the seventeen's century Venice, which was freer than contemporary Venice. But at the time Venice was one the most powerful city-state in the Mediterranean sea, and was enjoying considerable wealth.
So my thinking went: there are at least two modalities in our ethics, one more resembling the chimps societies, the other closer the bonobo way of life, and we oscillate between the two based on the wealth available. This would mean that the moral progress is actually a progress in wealth, which tips off an oscillation in the bonobo region of our ethical system.
Thoughts? Counter-examples?

Comment author: Lalartu 16 November 2015 01:53:46PM 3 points [-]

Whether there is "universal progess" in described sense depends on which start and end points do we choose. If take say from Middle Ages to today, then there is. If from Paleolithic to the height of Roman Empire, then trends would be exactly opposite, a march from freedom to slavery. So growth of per capita wealth can coexist with different directions of moral change.

Comment author: Lumifer 06 November 2015 03:36:59PM 3 points [-]

nukes can destroy enemy army without turning whole country into a blasted radioctive wasteland like scaremongers say

That's pretty obvious to anyone with a couple of functioning brain cells. The whole idea of tactical nuclear weapons is limited strikes against military targets. During the Cold War, the NATO doctrine explicitly relied on tactical nukes to stop Russian armored thrusts into Western Europe.

non-proliferation is a lost cause

Non-proliferation isn't based on some third-world politicians being afraid of a nuclear holocaust. It's based on the empirical fact that if you try to develop nukes, Uncle Sam will be very very mean to you.

Comment author: Lalartu 09 November 2015 09:34:23AM -1 points [-]

First, it is not. Idea that this Cold War doctrine was suicidal (for the Europeans) madness is rather popular, I think more than the opposite.

Second, given that exactly zero states were attacked by US for trying to make nukes, I wouldn't call this the most important reason. As for third-world politicians, they adopt the first-word attitude to nukes as thing you can only threaten with but can't really use.

Comment author: Lalartu 06 November 2015 09:01:09AM 0 points [-]

The article makes a good point: USA can lose very much in case of such war. If the world sees that nukes can destroy enemy army without turning whole country into a blasted radioctive wasteland like scaremongers say, then non-proliferation is a lost cause and US military might suddenly turns into a heap of useless expensive toys.

Comment author: [deleted] 17 August 2015 04:19:07PM *  0 points [-]

I can think of three explanations, but I'm not sure how likely they are: Gamma ray bursts are exploding unfriendly AGIs (i.e. there actually is astronomical evidence), unfriendly AGIs destroy themselves with high probability (lack of self-preservation drive) or interstellar space travel is impossible for some reason.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Open thread, Aug. 17 - Aug. 23, 2015
Comment author: Lalartu 18 August 2015 08:00:10AM 2 points [-]

If interstellar travel (and astroengeneering) is impossible, that is enough to explain Great Filter without additional assumptions.

Comment author: Lalartu 24 June 2015 09:42:29AM 2 points [-]

First, this map mixes two different things: human extinction and collapse of civilization. It has a lot of risks that cannot cause the former such as resource depletion, and has things like "disjunction" box that I would call not a risk but a desirable future.

Second, it mixes x-risks with things that sound bad. Facsism in not a x-risk.

Third, it lacks such category as voluntary extinction.

Comment author: Lalartu 05 June 2015 08:14:03AM *  1 point [-]

I don't think that so high estimate for first statement is reasonable.

Also, link now leads to bicameral reasoning article.

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