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Comment author: RichardKennaway 02 September 2015 03:41:06PM 4 points [-]

Could a moderator please nuke the swidon account and all of its posts?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 September 2015 07:56:47PM 2 points [-]

The account is nuked. I need to find out how to remove posts.

Comment author: Lumifer 01 September 2015 05:16:36PM 2 points [-]

It's not a memory error, it's a hasty pattern-match error.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 September 2015 07:04:18PM 0 points [-]

I agree that it's a pattern-match error, but I think I'd classify that as a type of memory error.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 01 September 2015 04:18:17AM *  0 points [-]

Sorry for misspelling your name. I don't think memory errors are rationality errors.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 September 2015 07:03:23PM 0 points [-]

Memory errors have a bearing on rationality because you need accurate data to think about, and one of the primary causes of not remembering something is not having noticed it.

I can say my name twice, spell it, and show people a business card, and still have them get it wrong.

If you want more about how little people perceive, I recommend Sleight of Mind, a book about neurology and stage magic.

Comment author: passive_fist 02 September 2015 10:04:44AM *  2 points [-]

A very reasonable suggestion, and I'm not just saying that because I have a PhD. I'm saying it because it's so easy to reinvent the wheel and think you're doing original research when you're really just re-discovering other people's work in a different context. It's very hard to root out these sorts of errors; when I was doing a PhD I thought the work I was doing in developmental biology was new and unique until about a year later I found that the 'new' mathematical problems I had solved had actually been widely used in polymer science for years. I just wasn't able to find the research because none of the search terms matched.

A link to the wider academic community would do a lot to help in MIRIs goals, and a very good way to do this would be undertaking PhDs. It should be a snap for the MIRI folks...

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 September 2015 07:00:01PM 0 points [-]

Do you have any ideas about how it could be made easier to find out whether you're just rediscovering previous work?

Comment author: SilentCal 01 September 2015 10:31:26PM 0 points [-]

I haven't watched the video. Does being an effective altruist count as trying to change the world (say, into a less malarial version of itself)?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 02 September 2015 02:24:26PM 0 points [-]

The answer isn't obvious, so I think you'd do better to listen to the panel than to rely on my interpretation.

Comment author: Jiro 01 September 2015 03:32:02PM 4 points [-]

Being a sex buyer is low status. Being in an oppressed group such as sex workers is high status in many political contexts.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 01 September 2015 03:53:58PM *  3 points [-]

From memory: Amnesty International has come out in favor of legalizing prostitution. They were grudging about admitting that, while they aren't going to call it human rights, they have to support something like human rights for prostitutes' customers and agents.

Comment author: James_Miller 31 August 2015 04:49:25AM *  2 points [-]

Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who has a fantastic rationalist-compatible blog, is giving Donald Trump a 98% of becoming president because Trump is using advanced persuasion techniques. We probably shouldn't get into whether Trump should be president, but do you think Adams is correct, especially about what he writes here. See also this, this, and this.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 01 September 2015 02:46:12AM 1 point [-]

Did Adams praise Obama for skillful use of vagueness? "Hope" seems to be in the same category as "take your country back".

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 01 September 2015 02:43:38AM *  0 points [-]

Thanks for the post.

One difference that might make good mental posture more difficult than good physical posture is that we have instincts for good physical posture-- you can learn about good movement by studying animals and 3 year old children. It isn't obvious that there's anything like that for thinking.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 31 August 2015 05:36:25PM *  5 points [-]

Nancy Leibowitz was quoting this. Having spent the weekend reading 20th century French philosophers, this was refreshing. From the paper:

To make a loose statistical analogy, [asking for more nuance] is a little like continuing to add variables to a regression on the grounds that the explained variance keeps going up.

It's not a loose analogy. It's a literal description of an example of the sort of thing that should happen in the reality underlying the theory.

There is another aspect to nuance that I don't yet see mentioned in the paper. In French philosophy, the nuance is nuance of interpretation, not an attempt to handle more cases. Many theories are presented without having any cases at all that they handle! Jacques Lacan, for instance, only described one case history during his entire career; he presented detailed theories of personality development with no citations or data.

This happens with many who descend academically from Hegel: Marx, Lacan, Derrida. The model is not "nuanced" in the sense of handling many cases; it is never demonstrated to handle any data at all, or at best one over-simplified case (a general claim, or a particular sentence which the philosopher made up to illustrate the model). The nuance is all in the interpretation. It complexifies the theory without enabling it to handle any more cases--the worst of both worlds.

Connoisseurship gets its aesthetic bite, and a little kick of symbolic violence, from the easy insinuation that the person trying to simplify things is, sadly, a bit less sophisticated a thinker than the person pointing out that things are more complicated.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 31 August 2015 05:50:44PM 5 points [-]

Thanks for mentioning that I'd already brought up the paper. I've got three quotes here.

My last name is Lebovitz.

I think of the way people tend to get it wrong as a rationality warning. I know about those errors because I have an interest in my name, but the commonness of the errors suggests that people get a tremendous amount wrong. How much of it matters? How could we even start to find out?

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 29 August 2015 12:07:13AM 2 points [-]

Sorry, is this supposed to refute my claimed definition?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 29 August 2015 12:51:17AM *  0 points [-]

Not as good a refutation as one might hope.

Second try: while it's certainly possible that one can be called a misogynist* for asserting (some) innate differences between men and women, it's also true that there's such a thing as clear expressions of hostility towards women, and I'd say that Nietzsche engaged in them.

*I'm giving "asshole" a rest, as it's just an expression of anger.

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