Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 26 February 2009 04:50:36AM 0 points [-]

Doug, I meant ceteris paribus.

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 26 February 2009 02:32:57AM 10 points [-]

Psy and John, I think the idea is this: if you want to buy a hundred shares of OB at ten dollars each, because you think it's going to go way up, you have to buy them from someone else who's willing to sell at that price. But clearly that person does not likewise think that the price of OB is going to go way up, because if she did, why would she sell it to you now, at the current price? So in an efficient market, situations where everyone agrees on the future movement of prices simply don't occur. If everyone thought the price of OB was going to go to thirty dollars a share, then said shares would already be trading at thirty (modulo expectations about interest rates, inflation, &c.).

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 24 February 2009 05:33:02AM 2 points [-]

Kellen: "I am looking for some introductory books on rationality. [...] If any of you [...] have any suggestions [...]"

Cf. "Recommended Rationalist Reading."

In response to Wise Pretensions v.0
Comment author: Z._M._Davis 21 February 2009 02:32:49AM 0 points [-]

"To care about the public image of any virtue [...] is to limit your performance of that virtue to what all others already understand of it. Therefore those who would walk the Way of any virtue must first relinquish all desire to appear virtuous before others, for this will limit and constrain their understanding of the virtue. "

Is it possible to quote this without being guilty of trying to foster the public image of not caring about public image? That's a serious question; I had briefly updated the "Favorite Quotes" section of my Facebook before deciding the potential irony was too great. And does my feeling compelled to ask this have anything to do with the fact that I still don't understand Lรถb's theorem?

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 15 February 2009 04:50:11AM 0 points [-]

"I assume that underlying this is that you love your own minds and despise your own bodies, or are at best indifferent to them."

Well, duh.

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 13 February 2009 04:59:00AM 2 points [-]

Isn't the byline usually given as "Stephen Jay Gould"?

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 09 February 2009 08:42:22PM 1 point [-]

Tom: "Hmmm.. Maybe we should put together a play version of 3WC [...]"

That reminds me! Did anyone ever get a copy of the script to Yudkowski Returns? We could put on a benefit performance for SIAI!


Comment author: Z._M._Davis 08 February 2009 05:49:03AM 0 points [-]

Nick: "Where was it suggested otherwise?"

Oh, no one's explicitly proposed a "wipe culturally-defined values" step; I'm just saying that we shouldn't assume that extrapolated human values converge. Cf. the thread following "Moral Error and Moral Disagreement."

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 08 February 2009 04:30:30AM 2 points [-]

Nick Hay: "[N]either group is changing human values as it is referred to here: everyone is still human, no one is suggesting neurosurgery to change how brains compute value."

Once again I fail to see how culturally-derived values can be brushed away as irrelevant under CEV. When you convince someone with a political argument, you are changing how their brain computes value. Just because the effect is many orders of magnitude subtler than major neurosurgery doesn't mean it's trivial.

Comment author: Z._M._Davis 08 February 2009 02:06:00AM 9 points [-]

I don't think I see how moral-philosophy fiction is problematic at all. When you have a beautiful moral sentiment that you need to offer to the world, of course you bind it up in a glorious work of high art, and let the work stand as your offering. That makes sense. When you have some info you want to share with the world about some dull ordinary thing that actually exists, that's when you write a journal article. When you've got something to protect, something you need to say, some set of notions that you really are entitled to, then you write a novel.

Just as it is dishonest to fail to be objective in matters of fact, so it is dishonest to feign objectivity where there simply is no fact. Why pretend to make arguments when what you really want to write is a hymn?

View more: Next