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Comment author: Rubix 02 April 2017 04:52:24AM *  4 points [-]

“Witches don’t often get angry. All that shouting business never really gets anybody anywhere.”

After another pause, Letitia said, “If that is true, then maybe I’m not cut out to be a witch. I feel very angry sometimes.”

“Oh, I feel very angry a lot of the time,” said Tiffany, “but I just put it away somewhere until I can do something useful with it. That’s the thing about witchcraft—and wizardry, come to that. We don’t do much magic at the best of times, and when we do, we generally do it on ourselves.”

-Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

Comment author: Rubix 02 April 2017 04:34:15AM 2 points [-]

"Some newcomers often find the culture impenetrable and unwelcoming" seems like a feature (not a bug). If anything ought be changed about it, I think the unwelcoming attitude ought be more discerning - excluding people based on properties most of the community actually doesn't want around, rather than or in tandem with whatever criteria it's currently operating on.

Comment author: username2 18 March 2017 09:57:27AM 1 point [-]

Knowing some people personally who grew up in hippie communes, I don't think a single one of them would recommend this.

Comment author: Rubix 18 March 2017 07:22:01PM 3 points [-]

I grew up in a hippie commune and I recommend this!

Comment author: Viliam 18 March 2017 06:20:45PM *  12 points [-]

I want to urge people to not dismiss this without a thought. And it's not just about children.

There are already a few sexual predators hanging around with the rationalist community. I can't say names, because it is typically a "they said, they said" situation, and these types usually have a lot of practice at threatening legal consequences for "slander". (But if you know someone who used to be around and suddenly lost all interest at coming to your meetups, it might make sense to ask them discreetly whether they had a bad experience with someone specifically.)

I personally often don't care much about the statistics for general population, because we are obviously not average. Problem is, "not average" doesn't in itself show the direction. For general intelligence, we are obviously smarter, and that generally correlates with lower (detected?) crime. On the other hand, we also seem to score quite high for unusual sexual behavior in general.

As long as each family has a door they can close (and everything necessary to survive the day is inside), living in a community doesn't seem worse than simply living with neighbors. But there are good reasons why neurotypical people require long time before they start trusting someone; so "they are a member of the same community" should never be used as a replacement for "I have a lot of personal experience from gradually deepening interaction with this specific person". In other words, just because someone says "hi, I also like Less Wrong", doesn't mean I would invite them to my home and leave them alone with my child. Some nerdy people may need to be explicitly reminded of this.

Comment author: Rubix 18 March 2017 07:18:55PM 1 point [-]


Comment author: bendini 17 March 2017 05:59:58AM 5 points [-]

I am organizing a project that is 95% this, and people are flying to the selected location later this month for a 3-day meetup

My project: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wmVZJiDjTjxmVshSFSk2rH-b8GLiQ0DJ0Cw1hyOnswM/edit?usp=sharing

Anyone who would be interested in this is welcome to join us

Comment author: Rubix 18 March 2017 01:56:45AM *  4 points [-]

I voiced my reservations about this project in the feedback form, but in summary for public record:

I approve of:

  • a thriving in-person rationalist or rationalist-adjacent community ("community" for short) existing somewhere that's not a metropolis

  • a community that does not oblige its members to "live rationally" according to some consensus definition thereof

  • a community encouraging people to experiment with their lives and gain real-world rationality skills

I have reservations about:

  • the claim that the rationalist community as it exists is predominantly upper-middle-class.

In particular, it seems very likely to me that Bendini's sense of alienation from the UK Cambridge Solstice is best explained by the demographics of Cambridge, rather than the demographics of rationalists. I know many high-profile rationalists who do not come from upper-middle-class backgrounds and who spend their money carefully. Most of the rationalists I know in-person are college dropouts, not Oxbridge elites. There's plenty more I could say on this issue.

  • the tone of the project

  • the difficulty of immigrating to the UK

  • the degree of similarity to Alicorn's bagruppe idea - there's one line about kids, but this doesn't seem like a thoroughly kid-oriented project.

Comment author: username2 18 March 2017 01:16:17AM 1 point [-]

I think the word "trust" probably wouldn't exist in a rationally designed language. If I know the base rate of pedophiles is 4% then I will expect that each person I meet has a 1 in 25 chance of being one. If they demonstrate certain qualities to me I will gradually update downward until I reach a point where they become an acceptable risk. There's absolutely no reason to trust anybody on this front without such an analysis.

Comment author: Rubix 18 March 2017 01:49:05AM *  13 points [-]

Source on those statistics, please? I find the claims dubious: in particular, the 25% figure seems to come from this "information packet", which is unsourced and uncited, suggesting that it may not exist. The two Jensens, Cory Jewell and Steve, seem to build a career around inflating the numbers associated with child sexual assault. I can't find sources for either of the other figures.

My stake in the game: I strongly distrust statistics given about child sexual assault unless they are highly specific about what is being discussed, for two reasons.

One is that the definition is incredibly vague: some sources mean "an adult engaging in intercourse with a minor under 13", others mean "touch intended to be sexually gratifying, of a minor under 18, by another party of any age", and definitions run the gamut. Another example: under this website's definition of child sexual abuse, "any sexual activity between adults and minors or between two minors when one forces it on the other (...) like exhibitionism, exposure to pornography", I was sexually abused at 11 when a chatroom troll sent me a link that turned out to be Two Girls, One Cup.

My second reason for reservation around these statistics is that they rarely take into consideration the preferences of the minor. When I was a minor, I had healthy and fulfilling sexual relationships; under many existing definitions, I was sexually assaulted by my loving sixteen-year-old boyfriend when I was sixteen, and under many more I was sexually assaulted by him when he turned eighteen and I was still seventeen. This seems ridiculous and objectionable to me.

A last note: I agree that it is impossible to tell from a few hours of interaction whether someone will abuse your child. Many people can't tell even after years of loving marriage whether their spouse will abuse their children, so "demonstrating acceptable qualities" is not a very good intervention. The absolute best defense against one's children having unwanted/traumatic interactions is to tell them how to set boundaries, tell them to yell if they're touched in a way they don't want, tell them that their body is their own and that nobody gets to touch it without their permission. This has the virtue of defending against all manner of abuse and mistreatment, at the hands of parents, extended family, family friends and acquaintances alike.

Comment author: Alicorn 17 March 2017 01:46:56AM 21 points [-]

If you like this idea but have nothing much to say please comment under this comment so there can be a record of interested parties.

Comment author: Rubix 17 March 2017 04:41:15AM 1 point [-]


Comment author: Rubix 02 December 2016 01:21:23AM 0 points [-]

For the author and the audience: what are your favourite patience- and sanity-inducing rituals?

Comment author: Rubix 27 November 2016 07:16:55AM 2 points [-]

I'm up for doing this, because I think you're right; I notice that commenting/posting on LessWrong has less draw for me than it did in 2011/2012, but it's also much less intimidating, which seems useful.

Comment author: Rubix 28 March 2016 10:09:05PM 11 points [-]

The contrast on the side-by-side options is way too low (clicking a dark blue text bubble turns it a slightly darker blue).


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