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In response to comment by Viliam on Crazy Ideas Thread
Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 15 July 2015 02:38:56PM 1 point [-]

I have a whiff of this type of literary time travel being supernatural i.e irreducibly mental: the closest model is replaying a memory differently this time: a mental thing.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 25 July 2015 11:59:14AM *  0 points [-]

Charles Williams' Many Dimensions has time travel as moving your sense of the present along your time line.

Comment author: cleonid 20 July 2015 02:12:33PM 3 points [-]

Would statistical feedback on the style and content of your posts be useful to you?


Comment author: NancyLebovitz 20 July 2015 03:14:34PM 0 points [-]

I don't know whether feedback would affect how I post. It would depend on whether the feedback made sense to me and whether it pointing in a direction of something I thought I could do and was worth doing.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 20 July 2015 02:19:47PM 5 points [-]

Tim Ferriss interviews Josh Waitzkin

The whole thing is interesting, but there's a section which might be especially interesting to rationalists about observing sunk cost fallacies about one's own strategies-- having an idea that looks good and getting so attached to it that one fails to notice the idea is no longer as good as it looked at the beginning.

Unfortunately, I can't find the section quickly-- I hope someone else does and posts the time stamp.

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 20 July 2015 08:21:29AM *  0 points [-]

I have realized I don't understand the first thing about evolutionary psychology. I used to think the selfish gene of a male will want to get planted into as many wombs as possible and this our most basic drive. But actually any gene that would result in having many children but not so many great-great-grandchildren due to the "quality" of our children being low would get crowded out by the genes that do. Having 17 sons of the Mr. Bean type may not be such a big reproductive success down the road.

Since most women managed to reproduce, we can assume a winner strategy is having a large number of daughters but perhaps for sons the selfish gene may want quality and status more than quantity. Anecdotally, in more traditional societies what typically men want is not a huge army of children but a high-status male heir, a "crown prince". Arab men traditionally rename themselves after their first son, Musa's father literally renames himself to Musa's father: Abu-Musa. This sort of suggests they are less interested in quantity...

At this point I must admit I have no longer an idea what the basic biological male drive is. It is not simply unrestricted polygamy and racking up as many notches as possible. It is some sort of a sweet spot between quantity and quality, and in quality not only the genetic quality of the mother matters but also the education of the sons i.e. investing into fathering, the amount of status that can be inherited and so on? Which suggests more of a monogamous drive.

Besides to make it really complicated, while the ancestral father's genes may "assume" his daughters will be able to reproduce to full capacity, there is still a value in parenting and generally quality because if the daughter manages to catch a high quality man, an attractive man, her sons may be higher quality, more attractive guys, and thus her sons can have a higher quantity of offspring and basically the man's "be a good father of my daughter" genes win at the great-grandchildren level!

This kind of modelling actually sounds like something doable with mathemathics, something like game theory, right? We could figure out how the utility function of the selfish gene looks like game-theoretically? Was it done already?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 20 July 2015 02:16:09PM 4 points [-]

As I understand it, humans are on the spectrum between have maximum number of offspring with low parental investment and have a smaller number with high parental investment. There are indicators (size difference between sexes, size of testes, probably more) which puts us about a third of the way towards the high investment end. So, there's infidelity and monogamy and parents putting a lot into their kids and parents abandoning their kids.

Humans are also strongly influenced by culture, so you also get customss like giving some of your children to a religion which requires celibacy, or putting your daughters at risk of dowry murder.

Biology is complicated. Applying simple principles like males having a higher risk of not having descendants won't get you very far.

I'm reminded of the idea that anti-oxidants are good for you. It just didn't have enough detail (which anti-oxidants? how much? how can you tell whether you're making things better).

Comment author: VocalComedy 14 July 2015 08:55:33PM 0 points [-]

Thank you for listening. There wasn't really any context beyond 'son returns to Father's mansion', and the matrimonial surprise revealed during his speech.

Would perhaps a static image in the background with text stating the above have helped?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 July 2015 10:29:49PM 0 points [-]

You're welcome.

An image wouldn't have helped-- my problem was with the monologue.

Comment author: VocalComedy 14 July 2015 01:26:53AM *  1 point [-]

17/7 - Update: Thank you to everyone for their assistance. Here is a re-worked version of Father. It is unlisted, for testing purposes. If one happens to comes across this post, please consider giving feedback regarding how long it captures your attention.

In the interests of privacy, please excuse the specialised account and lack of identifying personal information.

A bit of background: recently created a YouTube channel for the dual purposes of creating an online repository of works that can easily be hyperlinked, and establishing an alternative source of income. The channel is intended to be humorous, though neither speciously nor vituperatively so. One aim of posting this here is to see whether the humour is agreeable to elements of the LW community.

Another is to ask for advice. After a few days utilising Google's AdWords to generate views on one of the videos, of the 600 views received, not a single one engaged with the video beyond merely watching it. All the low-hanging fruit - enticing the viewer to engage by liking, subscribing, etc. has been plucked. One question is whether these requests for engagement are too subtle; perhaps erring on the side of not trying to annoy viewers has led to missed opportunities? The prospect for channel growth seems bleak in light of the above statistic.

Social media marketing, in the form of reddit, Twitter, and Pinterest have not yielded any subscribers. Word of mouth has yielded positive feedback, but no engagement outside of personal acquaintances. If the advice received here does not help, the next step is to create an account on a YouTube specific forum asking for assistance.

Are there obvious avenues for marketing being overlooked, here? Is there an obvious demographic or audience that would most enjoy these videos? Outside perspective is needed, and the dearth of feedback from strangers - both positive and negative - does not offer much indication of how to do things differently. Thank you for your time.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 July 2015 11:02:52AM 2 points [-]

I listened to about three minutes of the one about the narrator's father. The humor wasn't to my taste-- a sort of silliness that just didn't work.

I see you were trying not to be annoying, but I wasn't crazy about the unclear context (was this a video game, a dream, or what?), the weird voices, and the narrator's fear of his father.. My tentative suggestion is that you go for being as annoying as you feel like being, and see whether you can attract an audience who isn't me.

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 14 July 2015 09:35:08AM *  3 points [-]

Aggression is one of the less useful terms here and really deserves tabooing, because it is a too broad term, it covers everything from a bit too intense status competition to completely mindless destructivity.

In other words, aggression is not a useful term because it describes behavior largely from the angle of the victim or a peaceful bystander, and does not really predict what the perpetrator really wants. Few people ever simply want to be aggressive. They usually want something else through aggressive behavior.

I would prefer to use terms like competitiveness, dominance and status, they are far more accurate, they describe what people really want. For example, you can see war between tribes and nations as a particularly destructive way to compete for dominance and status, while trade wars and the World Cup being a milder form of competing for status and dominance. This actually predicts human behavior - instead of a concept like aggression which sounds a lot like mindless destructivity, it predicts how men behaved in wars i.e. seeking "glory" and similar status-related concerns.

This formulating is actually far more predictive of what people want and here the link with testosterone is clear, even so much that researchers use T levels as a marker of a compeititive, status-driven behavior, for example when they wanted to test the effects of stereotype threat in women, they had this hypothesis that being told that boys are better at math will only hold back women who have a competitive spirit i.e. want to out-do boys and will not harm women who simply want to be good at it but not comparatively better than others, they used T levels as a marker of such spirit. They say " given that baseline testosterone levels have been shown to be related to status-relevant concerns and behavior in both humans and other animals".

This is the central idea, aggression is not really a good way to formulate it. To see war-waging esp. tribal raids and other typically, classically male behavior as aggressive, while technically correct, it misses the real motivation i..e. competing for status and dominance.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 14 July 2015 10:51:49AM 2 points [-]

"Competitive spirit" can play out in more than one way. Some people give up when they're told they have no chance of winning, others are motivated to try to do the "impossible".

Comment author: Eitan_Zohar 13 July 2015 10:28:10AM *  1 point [-]

Is this facetious?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 July 2015 01:47:40PM 0 points [-]


Your line of thought started with people in general dying slowly as they go to sleep. Wouldn't this suggest that some of them should die (leaving a corpse) before they wake up?

Maybe I've missed something, but I think your argument implies that we would have to be in the extremely rare universe where everyone appears to have survived in spite of death during sleep being the default?

Or did you mean that the person (in the sense of continuity of consciousness) dies during sleep, but the body doesn't die?

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 July 2015 08:07:46AM 0 points [-]

An extrapolation of Dust Theory [3] implied that you might die upon going to sleep, not immediately, but through degeneration, and that the person who wakes up in the morning is simply a different observer, who has an estimated lifespan of however long he remains awake.

If that were true, wouldn't a lot of people be dying in their sleep so that we'd be seeing their corpses?

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 11 July 2015 09:48:37PM 1 point [-]

What if doing housework is actually bad for people?

I'm not sure what you mean by it being 'bad'. Leading to unhappiness? As opposed to even more unhappiness due to a messy house?

It's certainly something that people have to be trained into

I disagree with this in it's generality. The ability to to household tasks needs to be trained. Establishment of the habit is another thing. An approach that leads to a relaxed approach to 'chores' depends on the motivational structure of the child (if you imply parenting).

An intrinsically motivated (on this kind of tasks) child will likely want to do the tasks if it clear that this is necessary to achieve it's own goals. So if household tasks are routinely coupled to some things the child want/needs for itself like clothing of its choice, access to materials, support in its projects..., then it will do these tasks (as long as it doesn't perceive the dependency as arbitrary, constructed, forced or unfair. Prototype example is my oldest son who has lots of projects for which he needs space and materials.

An extrinsically motivated child (more like my second oldest) can be influenced via frequent positive feedback for performing these tasks.

a lot of people resist doing [it]

Sure. I can confirm that my sons resist doing it in many circumstances. But the details differ widely.

No one does it for the fun of it.

Gamification is possible. Though not always. And it has a cost in terms of efficiency. But you don't need fun to want to do it and feel satisfaction from completing it.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 13 July 2015 07:47:09AM 1 point [-]

Doing housework isn't the same thing as living in a clean orderly house-- someone else might be doing the housework.

I'm not sure in what way doing housework might be bad for people, I'm just inclined to think that people's instincts aren't totally unreliable, and people tend to not like doing housework.

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