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Comment author: ReaganJones1 16 August 2017 12:56:13AM 0 points [-]

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Comment author: WalterL 16 August 2017 01:33:37AM 1 point [-]

I think I speak for all of us when I say that I did not know about this.

Comment author: WalterL 15 August 2017 03:13:18PM 1 point [-]

I generally agree with you in terms of diagnosis (people don't mean what they say, don't take your words to mean what they say, it is pointers all the way down), but I'm not sure I get exactly what you are recommending.

Like, Lesswrong is Animal Farm, where the nerds drove out the jocks (or rather, ran off and hid from them). Cool. And you are pointing out that we don't speak jock, and won't be able to communicate with surrounding farms. Cool.

So..what to do about that?.We need somebody to take levels in Jock to be our interpreter? Like, people can tell if you cross class, yeah? Like you said, the stench of nerd comes through a few minutes in. Anyone who is 'us' enough to understand us isn't 'them' enough to do the signalling dance well.

Comment author: WalterL 14 August 2017 01:06:20PM 2 points [-]

That seems about right, although the whole 'lies are truth and truths are lies' way of phrasing it make sit seem unnecessarily Orwellian.

Like, the concept of the 'white lie' seems to cover this pretty well. You do it when you talk to kids.

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 08 August 2017 11:24:59PM *  3 points [-]

Theory of programming style incompatibility: it is possible for two or more engineers, each of whom is individually highly skilled, to be utterly incapable of working together productively. In fact, the problem of style incompatibility might actually increase with the skill level of the programmers.

This shouldn't be that surprising: Proust and Hemingway might both be gifted writers capable of producing beautiful novels, but a novel co-authored by the two of them would probably be terrible.

Comment author: WalterL 09 August 2017 02:49:36AM 0 points [-]

Kind of...

Like, part of being 'highly skilled' as a programmer is being able to work with other people. I mean, I get what you are saying, but working with assholes is part of the devs tool bag, or he hasn't been a dev very long.

Comment author: MrMind 26 July 2017 09:30:24AM *  1 point [-]

That is probably the first post of that site that doesn't make me want to pull my hair out.
I am too trying to create a taxonomy of the antithetical approaches to rationality.
So far, I've classified them in two dimension: the existence of an objective truth (yes/no) and the fallibility of some part of human understanding (yes/no).
On the other hand, I don't feel that some political movements are against the method of rationality, as much as they are against the actual content of what said method has discovered. If one had the patience and if an alt-righter (say) had "climate change is a hoax" as a true objection, I believe that one could theoretically arrive at an agreement on what are the facts and what is a fair interpretation. Basically, I would just chuck political movements and their associated moral panic as generic tribalism.

Meta-rationalists have been promising a coherent account of meaning for nearly a century. Somehow, we’ve never delivered, although we think we understand it quite well. It’s time we put up or shut up.

I wholeheartedly agree on the last sentence. I also believe that to 'overcome' rationality, one needs transfinite computation, so good luck with that.

Comment author: WalterL 27 July 2017 12:55:01PM 0 points [-]

Why are you trying to create a taxonomy of the antithetical approaches to rationality? What would you do with that once you had it?

I'm not opposed, mind, I just don't see the use.

Comment author: Stabilizer 21 July 2017 07:43:53PM *  3 points [-]

I don't necessarily disagree with all Dark Arts practitioners. By a Dark Arts practitioner, I just mean someone who uses rhetorical techniques to win debate points, without particular regard for the truth. What they're defending may or may not be true.

In the case of Scott Adams, in my view, most of what he is defending is false. But that's a different debate. In this post, I just wanted to highlight the techniques he uses. I try not take a particular position with respect to his claims; I probably don't succeed.

I'm neither a moral relativist nor an epistemological relativist. I suspect you probably reject epistemological relativism—i.e., you probably believe there are statements (e.g., 2+2=4) that are unambiguously true or false.

Not being a moral relativist does not mean I believe there is a giant stone block with the One True Morality on it. Indeed, the existence of such a stone block is a poor account of the nature of morality for the reasons highlighted by Socrates in the Euthyphro. The nature of morality is a contentious issue, and I won't pretend to be an expert. But having heard several arguments, I think moral relativism is untenable, mainly because it's an unlivable thesis. Sometimes you just need to say something is straightforwardly wrong: e.g., if you torture an innocent person for hours to alleviate your boredom. Here is an argument I'm convinced by.

Comment author: WalterL 21 July 2017 08:24:41PM 0 points [-]

Like, a big part of our deal is that the 'just need to say something is straightforwardly wrong' is something you are making up. It is just in your mind. The Paperclip Maximizer would trade the human race for a paperclip, and that isn't 'wrong' in any absolute sense.

'Wrong' for you means something different than it does for Clippy. You can deny that that is relativism if you like, I'm not huge on labels. The key thing is that you get that there is no dif between you picking what is 'right' and Clippy picking what is 'clippiest'. They are both value judgements created by moral systems.

In response to Book Reviews
Comment author: WalterL 21 July 2017 03:21:22PM 0 points [-]
Comment author: WalterL 21 July 2017 03:10:18PM 5 points [-]

I dunno man. I feel like 'practitioner of Dark Arts' is a sneaky way to describe 'rationalist who disagrees with me'.

Surely, as a rationalist, you are also a relativist, yeah? Like, you get that there is no giant stone block with the One True Morality on it somewhere? Like, when you say that Adams doesn't believe in morality...you agree with him, right?

Comment author: WalterL 20 July 2017 01:31:36PM 0 points [-]

This is gonna be great. Thanks for linking.

Comment author: MrMind 18 July 2017 08:36:24AM 0 points [-]

From Gwern's newsletter: did you know that algorithms already can obtain legal personhood?
Not scary at all.

Comment author: WalterL 18 July 2017 07:05:10PM 4 points [-]

How encouraging. Truly we are making great strides in respecting ever more threatened minorities. Algorithmic-Americans have much to contribute, once the biophobes cease their persecution.

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