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In response to comment by NancyLebovitz on Jokes Thread
Comment author: solipsist 24 July 2014 02:32:24PM 3 points [-]

Cool! Before or after 1987?

In response to comment by solipsist on Jokes Thread
Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 July 2014 03:13:27PM 3 points [-]

Was the joke in that book? I'm pretty sure I've never read it, and I remember coming up with the joke.

Early 80s, I think. "All syllogisms" was one of my first mass-produced button slogans-- the business was started in 1977, but I took some years to start mass producing slogans.

My printing records say that I did 3 print runs in 1988, but that plausibly means that I had been selling the button for a while because I don't think I was doing 3 print runs at a time.

In response to comment by James_Miller on Jokes Thread
Comment author: solipsist 24 July 2014 02:54:21AM 8 points [-]

All syllogisms have three parts

Therefore, this is not a syllogism

In response to comment by solipsist on Jokes Thread
Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 July 2014 11:39:50AM 1 point [-]

I came up with that.

In response to Alpha Mail
Comment author: NancyLebovitz 24 July 2014 11:36:13AM 1 point [-]

You might be a practicing but non-believing atheist.

Good point about creations not necessarily being comprehensible to their creator.

Communicating by changing physical constants strikes me as even worse than trying to use words. Of course, I'm living on this level, but even if the local creator is getting comprehensible changes in physical constants from It's next level up (I find this unlikely, but I could be wrong), that doesn't mean we could be communicated with that way.

Changing the physical constants strikes me as a good way of breaking the whole experiment, but people do that sort of thing all the time.

Comment author: advancedatheist 21 July 2014 04:28:48PM -1 points [-]

Why do transhumanists keep setting arbitrary (and frankly nonsensical) "immortality" dates in this century, like 2045?

One, these dates fall within the life expectancies of people alive in 2014. Plenty of people alive now could survive another 30 years and a few months any way, just through natural maturation and aging; they won't mysteriously "become immortal" by making it to January 1, 2045.

Two, you can't tell if a longevity breakthrough has occurred any faster than the rate at which humans happen to live. You would need institutions with the resources to collect data on the experimental groups and conduct longitudinal studies over many decades to see if they live a lot longer than the untreated control group of natural human populations. I don't know of anyone who has proposed doing that.

In fact, that shows the fallacy of Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw's writings over 30 years ago. They wrote their first book, Life Extension, in their late 30's, where they make unsubstantiated claims that they had figured out how to decelerate their aging by ingesting certain artificial chemicals. (As I recall, this book in the early 1980's became hugely popular with the predecessors to today's transhumanists.) Yet Americans in their late 30's who have helpful genetics, enjoy good health and take care of themselves, naturally look pretty good any way, as Durk & Sandy did at the time. These two simply did not have enough of a baseline circa 1980 to show that they had come up with effective hacks into their aging process. And if you can find recent photographs of them in their early 70's, you can see that they still haven't figured out what to do about their aging.

And three, why all the focus on this century for people who aspire to live a lot longer than normal? Why not think about things you would like to see or do in, say, the 24th Century, as Thomas Donaldson wrote about years ago?

References:

http://www.alcor.org/Library/html/24thcenturymedicine.html

http://www.scribd.com/doc/59655111/History-to-3400-AD

BTW, extra credit for finding the math error in the second article.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 23 July 2014 02:52:38PM 0 points [-]

Two, you can't tell if a longevity breakthrough has occurred any faster than the rate at which humans happen to live. You would need institutions with the resources to collect data on the experimental groups and conduct longitudinal studies over many decades to see if they live a lot longer than the untreated control group of natural human populations. I don't know of anyone who has proposed doing that.

That's not likely to be true. If people are aging a lot more slowly, you should be able to see the effects in ten years, maybe less. It's hard for me to imagine a method which would lead to much better markers for aging that left people with the same lifespans.

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 22 July 2014 12:59:01PM *  6 points [-]

This seems to me like learned helplessness, which is probably a "farmer" adaptation. In my opinion, hapiness is always good for the individual, but sometimes my unhappiness may benefit the rest of the tribe, so there can be a cultural norm against happiness. And if other people punish you for happiness, you will learn that happiness is actually bad for you, and rationalize some wise reasons for it, or the culture will already provide you with ready rationalizations.

How is individual happiness bad for society? While people are enjoying sex at their homes, churches and supermarkets are empty.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 23 July 2014 02:50:23PM 2 points [-]

How is individual happiness bad for society? While people are enjoying sex at their homes, churches and supermarkets are empty.

It's not just that-- I go with Wilhelm Reich in the idea that getting people to give up harmless pleasures is a way of getting more extensive control of them.

Getting people to wear uncomfortable clothes or give up sleep for no good reason is also a way of getting them to overwork or get themselves killed for your purposes.

Comment author: ShardPhoenix 23 July 2014 07:02:00AM *  0 points [-]

If your first paragraph was true, wouldn't people continue to feel happy but just not show it? I feel like unhappiness must be adaptive (even without considering social effects) at least in some cases.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 23 July 2014 02:48:09PM 1 point [-]

That gets into Hansen's theories about hypocrisy-- sometimes it's easier to believe the mask one is wearing is one's real self. And this overlaps what Vassar has said (as I understand him) about some people trusting what society says about what a person ought to be, rather than taking the light and flexible approach to language that the majority of people do. (Translation: being a geek can be being a sucker.)

Comment author: Viliam_Bur 23 July 2014 08:32:38AM 1 point [-]

I think that secret happiness is a real thing. Some people take pleasure in complaining, enjoy being passively aggressive about something, etc., but of course they would publicly deny it.

On the other hand, I agree that in some situations, unhappiness may be adaptive. Evolution does not care about our values.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 23 July 2014 02:43:58PM 1 point [-]

There are other categories of secret happiness-- enjoying low status or otherwise deprecated pleasures and schadenfreude about high status people. Either of those could have social support, but sometimes they don't.

Comment author: blogospheroid 08 September 2012 05:10:06AM 1 point [-]

How important is the shape of the noses to the jewish people?

Consider a jew is injured in an accident and the best reconstruction that is present restores the nose to a nazi shape and not a jew one. How would his family react? How different will be his ability to achieve his life's goals and his sense of himself?

How would a nazi react to such a jew?

If the aspect of the Jews that the Nazis have to change is something integral to their worldview, then a repugnant conclusion becomes sort of inevitable.

Till then, pull on the rope sideways. Try to save as many people as possible.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 22 July 2014 03:21:10PM 0 points [-]

In the real world, Nazis believed that Jews were inimical to Aryans, and treacherous as well. Jews that didn't look like Jews were still considered to be threats.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 21 July 2014 03:48:17PM 1 point [-]

Fear of happiness

Some major cultures and some individuals mistrust happiness (see article for reasons)-- if happiness is not a major value, how does this affect ethics/utilitarianism?

Comment author: Douglas_Reay 18 July 2014 10:20:11AM 0 points [-]

I wouldn't mind seeing a few more karma categories.

I'd like to see more forums than just "Main" versus "Discussion". When making a post, the poster should be able to pick which forum or forums they think it is suitable to appear in, and when giving a post a 'thumb up', or 'thumb down', in addition to being apply to apply it to the content of the post itself, it should also be possible to apply it to the appropriateness of the post to a particular forum.

So, for example, if someone posted a detailed account of a discussion that happened at a particular meetup, this would allow you to indicate that the content itself is good, but that it is more suitable for the "Meetups" forum (or tag?), than for main.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 18 July 2014 01:37:19PM 0 points [-]

A detailed discussion of what happened at a meetup might well belong in discussion or even main if what's important is the discussion rather than the meetupness.

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