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Comment author: entirelyuseless 20 October 2017 12:46:09PM *  0 points [-]

I just read the book (Why We Get Fat), and yes, he meant what he said when he said that people overeat because they are getting fat.

He explains this pretty clearly, though. He says its true in the same sense that its true that growing children eat more because they are growing. Since their bodies are growing they need more food to supply that, and the kids get hungrier.

In the same way, according to his theory, because a person's body is taking calories and storing them in fat, instead of using them for other tissues and for energy, the person will be hungrier just like the kids are hungrier. He has examples that were pretty convincing to me on this score, e.g. the rats that had their ovaries removed, who would get fat no matter how much they ate; if you took away food, they would just start moving less, and would get equally fat.

Comment author: Lumifer 20 October 2017 02:36:57PM 0 points [-]

because a person's body is taking calories and storing them in fat, instead of using them for other tissues and for energy, the person will be hungrier

So why does this positive feedback cycle start in some people, but not others?

would get fat no matter how much they ate

That's pretty clearly not true.

In response to Just a photo
Comment author: Lumifer 20 October 2017 12:36:28AM 0 points [-]

It's one of those ambiguity things of which this is the canonical example.

Comment author: Dagon 18 October 2017 02:40:31PM 0 points [-]

To be clear, I wish them well and hope for the best. LW 1.0 has been dying slowly for quite some time, and a new direction is probably a good idea, even if it's not my cup of tea. I'll likely still check in a bit.

It's probably time to formally shut down LW1.0, though. It's confusing to have two independent things called "less wrong".

Comment author: Lumifer 18 October 2017 03:27:03PM *  1 point [-]

I believe LW 2.0 is now technically in open beta and once it ends (Nov 1, I think), there will be a vote about closing down LW 1.0 and moving everything over to 2.0.

Comment author: RobQuesting 18 October 2017 04:47:33AM 0 points [-]

Addition If Gandhi was to be given the choice to reduce his empathy slightly, in exchange for a reward, and he did so, every new exchange like that is more likely to be agreed to. This idea was mentioned on this site somewhere.

It is the same with cultural indoctrination into hierarchical social structures. The more we become used to concentrated power, the less we are able to notice and assess other options. Cultural norms inform and restrain rational thought. Bias is involuntary. Now we see existential threat from the "normal" operation of our structure, we have trouble doing anything about it, because all alternatives have been caused to be widely believed to be wrong. Breaking out of that cognitive trap involves assessing some uncomfortable ideas...

-If it is likely that continuing this socioeconomic structure makes human extinction probable, this century, what actions are acceptable as "resistance"?

Utilitarianism would indicate that massive casualties in pursuit of revolutionary change are preferable to total casualties from inaction. Both positions are only hypotheses. Empiricism splits each as more, or less probable. Extinction does seem increasingly likely as our system unfolds over time, so hardship from revolt in increasingly; the rational option.

...not that this fictional revolt is likely to occur, just pointing out it may well be entirely moral to wage violent revolt in pursuit of a new and more rational system conducive to continuing human survival. Just a thought experiment. Perhaps well-used guillotines in town squares are preferable to apathetic acquiescence to existing power systems. I don't know. I hate the idea. It is worth pointing out the moral efficacy of such an idea now that democracy has been absolutely neutered.

Comment author: Lumifer 18 October 2017 03:22:04PM *  1 point [-]

Breaking out of that cognitive trap involves assessing some uncomfortable ideas...

You're tiptoeing all around this without explicitly saying anything definite. So what do you want your revolution to do, uncomfortably?

Extinction does seem increasingly likely as our system unfolds over time, so hardship from revolt in increasingly; the rational option.

Why do you expect that a revolt will save humanity from extinction? To quote you yourself once again, "we don't know what we are wrong about".

it may well be entirely moral to wage violent revolt in pursuit of a new ... system

That's a popular position. But, historically speaking, the outcomes of taking it are not great.

Comment author: RobQuesting 18 October 2017 04:12:49AM 0 points [-]

re: Pascal's Mugging. There are thresholds. Would a guy hand over his wallet if he was about to die from starvation, and the wallet contained his only means to prevent this? A quadrillion doesn't matter if he is not alive to see it.

The difference is that the best information we have, indicates that no available "officially sanctioned" structural change is better than radical change, if the goal is the survival of the human species. Inequality (capitalism) killed democracy, because wealth is power. WE cannot vote using a democracy we do not have to get democracy back. We cannot vote to prevent an oligarchic class continuing to promote consumption and the poisoning of our world. Strong cultural bias, plus power, is genocidally dangerous. What ought people who see the systemic, structural, existential threat do, if all legal avenues for change are shut off?

re: game theory choice. Yes. We are all in a situation where we must decide if one socio-economic paradigm is worth fighting for over another. Historically wars are fought by the poor, for, the rich. The dominant preserve their hierarchical privilege through various means of convincing the subjugated that it is they who are under threat.

This would not matter nearly so much if we did not have evidence that our species' projected timeline is shrinking. There is a large body of evidence that humanity may wipe ourselves out in several different ways before the end of this century. This circumstance is systemically unacceptable. If we could all continue indefinitely, being brutal and torturous, over consuming, wasting, propagandising the lessers, and toxifying this blue marble... that would be less bad, than doing so knowing the likely result is near term extinction.

We know there is an existential threat from inaction. This means inaction is morally deficient.

There are high odds that the economic incentives and stratification (including sub-cultural influences on values - Lord Acton's letters from 1880s: "Power corrupts" etc), will override the ability of the powerful to rationally guide humanity out of the trap we have built for ourselves.

The wealthy are now sociologically obsolete, and the ideologies they use to rationalise their positions, are also the ones which prevent conservation and environmental preservation, peace, egalitarianism, positive health outcomes, and rational planning for our collective future. Self interest often opposes any notion of global planning to shield against shared threats.

Sorry for the ramble. I'm doing my best, and hopefully learning to do better.

Comment author: Lumifer 18 October 2017 03:16:38PM *  1 point [-]

re: Pascal's Mugging. There are thresholds.

Why are there thresholds (=discontinuities) and where do they come from?

What ought people who see the systemic, structural, existential threat do, if all legal avenues for change are shut off?

So tell us.

Historically wars are fought by the poor, for, the rich.

Not true. Ancient times' wars were fought for survival. The side which lost decisively was often just erased. The males were killed, the women were taken and sold off, the settlements were razed. See Carthage, for example.

Medieval times' wars were fought for power and wealth -- the poor (that is, the peasants) were often the victims, but if their side lost, little changed in their lives. They continued to be serfs, just to another lord, and it didn't matter that much.

There is a large body of evidence that humanity may wipe ourselves out in several different ways before the end of this century.

Would you like to estimate the probabilities for these different ways?

We know there is an existential threat from inaction. This means inaction is morally deficient.

Equivalent: We know there is an existential threat from action. This means action is morally deficient.

The wealthy are now sociologically obsolete

What does that mean?

There are societies without wealthy people. They... don't do well. Notable examples are Soviet Russia and Communist China.

Comment author: RobQuesting 18 October 2017 03:33:09AM 0 points [-]

re: self evident. If no one is left alive to question, then there are no more questions from us. Tree-falling in the woods. Does it fall is no-one notices? Yes. Do we care? On what foundation do we judge this new lack of tree?

We "know" so little, or at least know our knowledge is imperfect, so we also know that we would form more coherent/accurate/cogent value judgements if we had more information which was accurate. Our present judgements on moral value are likely to change with a greater understanding of reality.

If, right now, we don't value human existence as much as we ought to, we can only discover how correct that judgement is, with more data/information.

We don't know what we are wrong about, and what we are wrong about informs our value judgement.

If a person is a misanthropist, the pursuit of accurate knowledge is the pursuit of proving one's own bias irrational.

That process is valuable. In order to validate the "choices" we make now, someone needs to be able to learn from them, and validate them, or not. Continued human existence, is a core of moral philosophy. Morality cannot exist in a void. Morality exists because we do.

Questioning is intrinsically definitive of human value, because without it, our existence is without experience. The difference between experience and reality, is the unknown.

Comment author: Lumifer 18 October 2017 03:05:23PM 0 points [-]

If no one is left alive to question, then there are no more questions from us.

So what?

If, right now, we don't value human existence as much as we ought to, we can only discover how correct that judgement is, with more data/information.

Equivalent: If, right now, we value human existence more than we ought to, we can only discover how correct that judgement is, with more data/information.

As you yourself point out, "we don't know what we are wrong about".

Morality exists because we do.

Sure, but again, so what? You treat the existence of morality (or of "questioning") as an absolute good, but offer no reasons why this should be so.

Comment author: RobQuesting 18 October 2017 03:15:44AM 0 points [-]

This is more about "Prima facie", as a legal and rational term. On face value, we weigh evidence, intending to look anew. We must consciously discard existing assumptions, in order to consciously re-asses the topic of free will.

We accept that: -in utero nutrients and stress for the mother can affect behaviour later. -A horridly abusive childhood influences behaviour later. -A hot day can alter a person's cognitive ability. -Low blood sugar can affect emotional intensity and cognitive ability.

...There are so many circumstantial factors which influence our thinking, involuntarily, that they must be considered overwhelming.

Competing with all of that evidence for why people behave the way they do (sociology, psychology, neurology, etc) is the experience of "being" oneself. An agent of one's own story.

The narrative we create for ourselves, about why we do what we do, presently seems to come after the biological and circumstantial reaction to influences on us. From this position (so far an empirical one) we can surmise that our own personal narrative is more of a post-reaction rationalisation, and not actually something which could be called "free" or "agency" or "independence".

However, because we cannot be certain that free will is not some metaphysical, sans-causation "force" (sorry for lack of a better term) we cannot presently explain, we must accept that free will is not disprovable. Much like God.

We have a weight of empirical evidence which explains influences upon people, and it is opposed by "feelings", culture, religion, and subjective experience. Anecdotal stories promote free will. These are the same as thinking a dream is real at the time, or thinking the room is warm when really you have a fever. This is subjective experience, not empiricism.

We can doubt (Descartes) pretty much anything from an epistemological point of view, but after that, we still have to accept that there is a weight of evidence one way or another. This is our (limited) guide for our rational positions.

The weight of evidence leads us to see that advertising exists because it works. An influence designed to corrupt rational choice, still exists because it is effective.

We are all unaware of two major influences on our actions. One is bias. Irrational bias exists as an influence on us, largely because we are unaware of it. We cannot compensate for a bias of which we are unaware. The other big influence is the cultural indoctrination of ideas we have ceased to question. We do not question foundational cognitive items, if it does not occur to us to do so. We don't know what our assumptions are, until something happens to revel them.

The more likely, evidence based scenario, is that we are far more reactionary, involuntary actors, than not. On top of that, we are more likely to rationalise our own agency post-neurology, post-influence, than to be "free" agents. Then we arrive back at the idea that our own subjective experience of agency and "self" is involuntary.

I hope that helps further the discourse.

I'm sorry I am unfamiliar with Thomas Kuhn's work, I will examine it soon. In the sense that a statement's opposite ought to be true, if the statement is true... I'm not sure how to apply that to personal subjectivity of self and the involuntary narrative we observe ourselves observing. hehe.

Comment author: Lumifer 18 October 2017 03:00:46PM 1 point [-]

There are so many circumstantial factors which influence our thinking, involuntarily, that they must be considered overwhelming.

I don't see any reason for that must.

Consider driving. There are so many factors which influence where the car is going -- from gravity to roads -- and yet, you are driving.

we can surmise that our own personal narrative is more of a post-reaction rationalisation

I don't think we can. It is possible, of course, for you to take the position that it's turtles all the way down, that is, that the next moment in time is fully and mechanically determined by the state of the universe at the previous moment, including your brain and your consciousness, but this approach is also not provable or disprovable and doesn't look to be too useful for anything.

This is subjective experience, not empiricism.

How do you gain any information about the outside world other than through subjective experiences?

we still have to accept that there is a weight of evidence one way or another

Not so. "I don't know" is a perfectly good answer. Honest, too.

we are far more reactionary, involuntary actors, than not

That's a different claim. It's one thing thing for you to say that free will does not exist at all -- as you do in the beginning of the comment -- and quite another thing to start talking about the degree to which our (free-will) decision-making is influenced by factors we're not conscious of.

Comment author: fortyeridania 18 October 2017 03:41:48AM 0 points [-]

That's too bad; it probably doesn't have to be that way. If you can articulate what infrastructural features of 1.0 are missing from 2.0, perhaps the folks at 2.0 can accommodate them in some way.

Comment author: Lumifer 18 October 2017 02:33:04PM *  2 points [-]

The 2.0 folks made a deliberate decision to step away from "let's just all talk about stuff" towards "people should write essays and others should attend to these essays and respectfully comment".

Comment author: root 17 October 2017 03:28:53PM 2 points [-]

Is LW 1.0 dead?

Comment author: Lumifer 17 October 2017 04:15:52PM 1 point [-]

The patient is fading: pulse is weak, blood pressure is low and dropping, brain is getting anoxic. Absent a radical intervention, we don't anticipate a good prognosis.

Comment author: entirelyuseless 15 October 2017 03:20:13PM 0 points [-]

It is partly in the territory, and comes with the situation where you are modeling yourself. In that situation, the thing will always be "too complex to deal with directly," regardless of its absolute level of complexity.

Comment author: Lumifer 15 October 2017 10:06:29PM 0 points [-]

comes with the situation where you are modeling yourself

Maybe, but that's not the context in this thread.

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