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Comment author: Peter_Twieg 26 April 2011 08:26:40PM 0 points [-]

I put in an application. But I realize that I think I forgot to include my LW username (the site was having issues so I couldn't check.) So here it is. I'm pretty sure you won't have trouble attaching it to my real name. :P

(Also, feel free to delete this comment once it's been registered with the proper authorities.)

In response to Ugh fields
Comment author: Peter_Twieg 14 April 2010 06:52:58PM 1 point [-]

I agree with your basic analysis of how the "ugh field" works, but I wouldn't be so quick to categorically label it as a problem - cultivating an "ugh field" could also be an effective anti-akrasia technique if honed properly. What if you manage to train your usual (wasteful) displacement activities to trigger the "ugh field", so that your new "displacement" activities become what you originally intended to do to begin with?

I'd like to think that I've encountered some success by basically doing this myself - I probably avoid seductive time-wasters just by having a visceral reaction of disgust for even considering them. It's not perfect, but it's a habit I think can be cultivated in the right direction.

Comment author: Peter_Twieg 01 April 2010 05:33:15PM *  2 points [-]

I recently got into some arguments with foodies I know on the merits (or lack thereof) of organic / local / free-range / etc. food, and this is a topic where I find it very difficult to find sources of information that I trust as reflective of some sort of expert consensus (insofar as one can be said to exist.) Does anyone have any recommendations for books or articles on nutrition/health that holds up under critical scrutiny? I trust a lot of you as filters on these issues.

In response to Are wireheads happy?
Comment author: Peter_Twieg 08 January 2010 01:38:45AM 0 points [-]

I realize that I'm late to the game on this post, but I have to say that as economist, I found the take home point about revealed preference to be quite interesting, and it makes me wonder about the extent to which further neuroscience research will find systematic disjunctions in everyday circumstances between what motivates us and what gives us pleasure. Undoubtedly this would be leveraged into new sorts of paternalistic arguments... I'm guessing we'll need another decade or two before we have the neuropaternalist's equivalent of Nudge, however.

In response to Dying Outside
Comment author: Peter_Twieg 06 October 2009 04:00:56AM *  2 points [-]

My sympathies.

I've given the occasional thought to what I'd do if I ever found myself in this kind of situation. And although I can't speak to my will to go through with it at the time, I'd honestly probably choose to die. Not because of concerns about my human dignity or some kind of depression that comes with a diminished quality of life, but just because my discounted present value will probably be heavily negative, meaning that I'm tying up resources that could be better-used than keeping me alive. I can't speak about whether this applies to your situation, not knowing how much treatment costs nor what you do in your life, but if it were me... yeah.

Usually I wouldn't admit to thinking this way because it strikes people as being really bizarre, but I figure if any group would at least be able to understand where I'm coming from, it'd be here.

But I do seriously admire your ability to hold your head high in an extremely adversarial situation... keep it up.

(Oh, and the DPV concern is also why I'm skeptical of cryonics, but I'm open to arguments showing that it really is worthwhile.)

Comment author: Peter_Twieg 28 September 2009 02:04:23AM 4 points [-]

Maybe this isn't my most valuable skill, but lately I've been much better at setting to a routine and sticking to it in the absence of external enforcement: "Do your readings for class over the weekend. Go into the lab to work on research several days per week. Go to the regular seminars. Keep up on RSS feeds and extra readings in the evenings." Naturally there are virtues to flexibility as well, but just floating through my day as an optimized routine and avoiding the problems associated with time-inconsistent preferences has really helped my productivity in the past few months.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 10 September 2009 06:27:41PM 0 points [-]


Comment author: Peter_Twieg 10 September 2009 06:57:09PM *  17 points [-]

It's a photoshopped image of a Mortal Kombat tournament ladder. Once Behe defeats Dawkins he gets to debate Motaro.


Actually, he'd probably go straight to Shao Kahn... I just can't see a centaur being a good advocate for Darwinism.

Comment author: anonym 08 September 2009 12:27:46AM 1 point [-]

You asked for non-arbitrary standards for believing creationism to be the most boycott-worthy of the views represented on BhTV. I gave you a plausible answer. I don't know enough about all the BhTV participants to argue that it is actually the case, but you seemed to have difficulty in even coming up with any such potential explanation, which is why I made the suggestion. You were implying that believing creationism is the most boycott-worthy was prima facie an arbitrary, totally subjective choice.

And for the record, I think Eliezer made the right decision based on what is known so far. I think that BhTV does deserve a second chance. At the same time, I am very disappointed in the intentional vagueness of the editorial policy that was posted, for the reasons I've talked about above.

People find creationism more disturbing than ghost hunters because (among other reasons) creationism is making inroads in the educational system in USA, which could have very serious effects. I'm not sure why I even have to mention this. Do you really not see that creationism is different than ghost hunters in some pretty fundamental ways and that the repercussions of each being taken seriously and widely debated are very different?

Comment author: Peter_Twieg 08 September 2009 01:13:48AM 3 points [-]

I don't know enough about all the BhTV participants to argue that it is actually the case

I'm quite sure that there are political participants who would fare worse than Behe on any of the dimensions you'd offer. I guess one could lack the expertise to evaluate more than a subset of participants, however, in which case one could apply the principle consistently..

People find creationism more disturbing than ghost hunters because (among other reasons) creationism is making inroads in the educational system in USA, which could have very serious effects. I'm not sure why I even have to mention this

You have to mention this precisely because it's disingenuous to hide behind the purely non-political justifications of the boycott - you end up trying to draw up a non-political dividing line which just so happens to exclude the viewpoints you have political objections to. This is precisely why I expressed skepticism that there's a non-arbitrary principle for the unique objection to Behe, because if the political considerations are a necessary factor in the boycott, there isn't one, unless one wants to get into a broader defense of one's particular political sympathies... which most people will avoid because they realize that "people who I dislike sufficiently shouldn't be given platforms to speak on" is a principle that isn't going to sway one's opponents.

Comment author: SforSingularity 07 September 2009 11:21:46PM 5 points [-]

they just can't stand the thought of being within 300 internet meters of Creationists

this is not their stated position

Comment author: Peter_Twieg 08 September 2009 12:06:45AM 0 points [-]

Of course it isn't.

Comment author: anonym 07 September 2009 11:45:18PM 1 point [-]

Perhaps the "called Creationism science" bit is because the young earth creationist was part of the "Science Saturday" series of diavlogs. I agree that it is misleading and very poorly phrased.

Suffice to say, I would be surprised if there's a non-arbitrary standard that would dictate that advocating Creationism is the most boycott-worthy of all views represented on BhTV.

How about the standard of the extent to which you engage with critics using commonly accepted norms of intellectual discourse, the extent to which you update your position when unable to counter critics' counter-arguments and refutations, and the extent to which your public behavior (including the preceding 2 points and otherwise) suggests you are an intellectually honest person.

Comment author: Peter_Twieg 08 September 2009 12:06:24AM *  4 points [-]

It sounds like those are reasons to avoid engaging Creationists, not BhTV in general. If this is going to expand into a point about lowering BhTV's intellectual standards like you mentioned above... then I find it odd to argue that one podcast could have such a powerful marginal effect on the enjoyment one derives from the site, unless you're using some weird criteria where your overall evaluation of BhTV is based on the least intellectual podcast it hosts at any given time.

And I would be surprised if the worst podcast on BhTV by the criteria you described were Behe's - rom a lot of comments on Sean and Carl's posts, plenty of people would love to see Megan McArdle boycotted as well. I'd imagine that most people's list of "least rational" targets to successively knock off would end up looking awfully partisan (get Megan, and then Jonah Goldburg, and then that annoying Will Wilkinson!), which fuels my skepticism here. I'd submit that if a diavlog with a "ghost hunter" was uploaded, people would find it annoying but the reaction would be otherwise subdued.

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