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Comment author: Luke_A_Somers 21 February 2015 03:36:46AM *  1 point [-]

If we value them getting to go and make their own choices, then that will be included in CEV.

If we do not value them being brainwashed, it will not be included in CEV.

I strongly suspect that both of these are the case.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 23 February 2015 06:33:19AM *  2 points [-]

I know that is the standard answer. I tried to discourage people from making it by saying, in the parent comment,

I know somebody's going to say, "Well, then that's your utility function!"

I'm talking about a real and important distinction, which is the degree of freedom in values to give the next generation. Under standard CEV, it's zero.

I don't think that parameter, the degree of freedom, should be thought of as a value, which we can plug any number we like into. It should be thought of as a parameter of the system, which has a predictable impact on the efficacy of the CEV system regardless of what values it is implementing.

I don't think people allow their children freedom to make up their own minds because they value them doing so. They do it because we have centuries of experience showing that zero-freedom CEV doesn't work. The oft-attempted process of getting kids to hold the same values as their parents, just modified for the new environment, always turns out badly.

Comment author: Toggle 21 February 2015 05:06:22AM *  3 points [-]

You're comparing two different measures, military casualties versus total casualties. For a reasonably good apples-to-apples measure of wartime violence over time, Better Angels of our Nature is one that I found readable and informative.

IIRC, overall per capita violent death during the world wars was roughly comparable to living in a tribal society during a typical time- of course, for us, those were the exception and not the rule.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 23 February 2015 06:09:15AM -1 points [-]

I am deliberately looking at military casualties, to highlight that tribal "military" casualties couldn't possibly be that high. I would guess that the fraction of deaths that were civilian was higher in both world wars than in tribal conflicts. Tribal conflicts are, AFAIK, almost always strictly men killing other men. Per capita comparison is distorted by the longer lifespan of people in the 20th century. Just having more people live past the age of 40 shouldn't, I'd think, make your age look more peaceful.

Comment author: Tom_McCabe 01 September 2007 11:18:50PM 18 points [-]

"You can actually give a semi-plausible justification of special relativity based on what was known in 1901."

You can give a semi-plausible justification for anything. It was obvious at the time that our knowledge was incomplete, but the specific *way* in which our knowledge was incomplete was still a mystery. It is very easy to invent a plausible-sounding quack theory of physics; that is why we have the Crackpot Index.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 23 February 2015 05:49:59AM *  1 point [-]

Well, the key equation of special relativity had already been written down in 1901 as the Lorentz contraction. People just hadn't thought of interpreting it so literally.

But the larger point is still valid. Change the date to 1894 and it would be a complete novelty.

Comment author: fowlertm 21 February 2015 03:48:19PM 1 point [-]

Why? What's wrong with wanting to be masculine?

Comment author: PhilGoetz 23 February 2015 05:37:44AM *  -1 points [-]

If it were wrong, it would be a problem, not problematic. That defies the dictionary definition, but "problem" can mean something with a simple solution that hasn't yet been implemented, while "problematic" connotes a persistent problem with no easy solution.

The difficulties with it are already listed in the post, as they're the motivation for the post. Though it might be more fair to say gender is problematic.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 21 February 2015 01:20:13AM 51 points [-]

Eliezer and I are now part of the literary canon.

At least, we're both taught in the English department at Princeton. Anne Jamison's course, "Fanfiction: Transformative works from Shakespeare to Sherlock", will cover Eliezer's Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality on March 2, and one of my short stories, "The Magician and the Detective", on March 4.

Comment author: Vaniver 16 February 2015 09:26:39PM *  1 point [-]

Do you have to do anything fancy for tooth storage? As I recall, the dentist managed to extract my wisdom teeth intact and so I think they're sitting in a box somewhere (but have been for ~five years). Given that people get useful DNA out of prehistoric specimens, that makes me not immediately dismiss the possibility (but I expect that freezing them or something similar is better).

Comment author: PhilGoetz 21 February 2015 12:57:23AM *  1 point [-]

Why did the dentist save them?

When I've had surgeries, and tried to get tissue samples, the hospitals have said they're not allowed to let human tissue leave the hospital unless it's treated in ways that destroy the DNA (eg formaldehyde). Even when I have a valid immediate clinical need for DNA testing of the sample backed up by a note from a doctor, and the extraction requires serious, damaging surgery.

Comment author: ThePrussian 19 February 2015 09:07:04AM 0 points [-]

Could it be the high barrier to entry? I'm not an expert, but I have the impression that the biomedical field is regulated up the wazoo. I've been thinking about what it'd take to get a basic company off the ground, and the main trouble that occurs to me is the regulation upon regulation that is required to do anything with human cells - let alone medical procedures!

Comment author: PhilGoetz 21 February 2015 12:52:58AM 1 point [-]

If the regulations on human cells were applied consistently, you'd need a review committee, a hazmat suit, a HEPA filter, and a negative air pressure containment unit each time you went to the bathroom.

Comment author: maxikov 18 February 2015 07:55:56AM 2 points [-]

So where exactly do I go for that? Googling "freeze your cells" gives me the information about technical details of that, rather than a company that provides such service, or completely irrelevant weight loss surgery information.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 21 February 2015 12:51:31AM 1 point [-]


Comment author: polymathwannabe 19 February 2015 07:57:49PM -3 points [-]

I see parts of mainstream society are now neoreactionary from your point of view.

No, the NRx and the machos have overlapping Venn diagrams. Neither one is a subset of the other.

it doesn't give you the right to look down your nose at sweaty macho people who enjoy sport

I have nothing against vigorous exercise. I have a lot against trivializing/romanticizing physical harm.

in Maletopia it would suck to be a woman.


Egalitarian relationships can be expected only from one subset of the available men. The Manfolk tribe isn't under any social pressure to treat women like sentient beings.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 21 February 2015 12:30:03AM 3 points [-]

in Maletopia it would suck to be a woman.


Egalitarian relationships can be expected only from one subset of the available men.

I think less than half of the women I've dated wanted an egalitarian relationship. And I strongly prefer women who want an egalitarian relationship.

Comment author: RowanE 19 February 2015 08:28:25PM 11 points [-]

I don't think "here's my vision of eutopia, isn't it controversial?" is a type of post we should have here. Even if we really should be discussing the possibilities it considers, this seems a particularly bad way of bringing up the ideas - it gives a particular answer to the eutopia question, instead of exploring the relevant aspects of the question, so isn't going to promote useful discussion so much as attempts to smack down the idea.

Comment author: PhilGoetz 21 February 2015 12:10:12AM 0 points [-]

I disagree. Masculinity is an especially important and problematic set of values.

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