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Comment author: Zeb 30 December 2011 08:25:18PM 0 points [-]

[A separate issue from my previous comment] There are two reasons that I can give to rationalize my doubts about the probability of imminent Singularity. One is that if humans are only <100 years away from it, then in a universe as big and old as ours I would expect that a Singularity type intelligence would already have been developed somewhere else. In which case I would expect that either we would be able to detect it or we would be living inside it. Since we can't detect an alien Singularity, and because of the problem of evil we are probably not living inside a friendly AI, I doubt the pursuit of friendly AI is going to be very fruitful. The second reason is that while we will probably design computers that are superior to our general intellectual abilities, I judge it to be extremely unlikely that we will design robots that will be as physically versatile as 4 billions years of evolution has designed life to be.

Comment author: Zeb 30 December 2011 08:10:47PM 0 points [-]

I admit I feel a strong impulse to flinch away from the possibility and especially the imminent probability of Singularity. I don't see how the 'line of retreat' strategy would work in this case because if my believe about the probability of imminent Singularity changed I would also believe that I have an extremely strong moral obligation to put all possible resources into solving singularity problems, at the expense of all the other interests and values I have, both personal/selfish and social/charitable. So my line of retreat is into a life that I enjoy much less and that abandons the good work that I believe I am doing on social problems that I believe are important. Not very reassuring.

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 03 November 2011 04:57:41AM 22 points [-]

Why do girls say they want "nice guys" but date only "jerks"?

I find that claim bewildering because the partnered men I know aren't jerks. It could be that I'm filtering for non-jerkness, but my tentative alternate theory is that the maybe the most conspicuously attractive women prefer jerks, and the men who resent the pattern aren't noticing most women. Or possibly a preference for jerks really is common in "girls"-- not children, but women below some level of maturity (age 25? 30? whatever it takes to get tired of being mistreated?), and some men are imprinted on what they saw in high school.

For those of you who believe that women prefer jerks, what sort of behavior do you actually mean? What proportion of women are you talking about? Is there academic research to back this up? What have you seen in your social circle?

Comment author: Zeb 03 November 2011 02:45:51PM *  29 points [-]

Unfortunately I can't provide sources at the moment (Luke probably can), but I have seen research both sociological and anthropological showing that women and female higher primates in general have a tendency to try to mate with multiple dominate highly masculine males, sometimes secretly, while they tend to have long term pairings with less dominate, less masculine males. The theory is that the genes of the more masculine men lead to more fecund offspring, while the parenting of the less masculine men leads to higher offspring survival. In society this works out to women dating more masculine men (and testosterone is of course linked to the aggressiveness and risk taking we associate with "bad boys") prior to marriage, and then marrying less masculine men (nice guys). And if they cheat, they tend to cheat with "bad boys" and have their "nice guys" raise those kids.

EDIT: For pure anecdote, I am a nice guy (I think) who always complained about the "bad boy" thing, and now I am raising a step-daughter from my wife's youthful short term relationship with a guy everyone would still call a "bad boy." My wife is winning at natural selection! As is that jerk :(

Comment author: Zeb 02 November 2011 11:35:20PM *  7 points [-]

"Indeed, most young people today no longer go on 'dates' to get to know a potential partner. Instead, they meet each other at a social event, 'hook up', and then go on dates (if the hookup went well).4"

Can you provide more back up on the "most" here? I tried to find more information, and while I could only locate reviews of the Bogle book online, none of them even mentioned any numbers. However they did make it sound like Bogle did not get a representative sample of "young people today." If there is not sufficient empirical back up to say " most," you might instead say "many" or "a growing portion."

Comment author: lessdazed 03 October 2011 12:48:44AM *  5 points [-]

"Pointer" dogs are not the only dogs that point, many others do or can be trained to. What's more, not every dog of that breed will grow up to be a hunting dog or ever point! Even those that hunt frequently will spend a very, very small portion of their lives pointing. They will spend far more time eating, sleeping, having four legs (most anyway, some will have accidents or birth defects) and most time of all having warm blood.

We do not call the breed "warm-bloods" because this would not go far in distinguishing them among animals. We latch onto this tiny difference of action, which they spend a tiny portion of their lives doing, which is an even tinier amount more than other dogs do it, and name them by what they distinctly do. It's fine to discuss differences without spending every sentence on similarities. The similarities are the background assumption.

It's entirely appropriate for Luke to speak in generalities with his group as a base case for comparison, and to in writing ignore exceptions and outliers as we know there are always some. He doesn't just mean "some women want", one could construct many, many different true sentences about what "some women want" and it would not be at all useful.

We know men and women are of the same species and are similar. We are interested in differences, it is these differences that the males will fail to correctly model when they mentally model females' minds using their own, as if those minds were like exactly their own.

Comment author: Zeb 03 October 2011 03:26:28AM *  1 point [-]

It seems to me what is important about Luke's statement is the assertion that the kind of women he wants to [blank] are likely to respond appropriately to the behaviors he has learned. Sure, if he just want to [blank] any woman, then it is useful to know what behaviors most women will respond appropriately to. Otherwise it hardly matters what portion (few, many, most...) of women Luke is accurately describing. It only matters that he is describing the ones he is interested in. By failing to qualify the subset of women (and "some...which are the ones I want" would be the most general way to qualify them), Luke is potentially misleading the people who want to [blank] other women, and he is contributing to the general gender stereotyping of women. Furthermore I think it would be very interesting and relevant to know if everything Luke says applies equally or significantly to men. The construction "women want..." does not denote that "men do not want..." but it perhaps accidentally connotes it.

Comment author: lessdazed 03 October 2011 12:19:58AM *  -2 points [-]

Does the name of this dog breed (the Pointer) strike you as outlandishly inappropriate?

Comment author: Zeb 03 October 2011 12:26:08AM 9 points [-]

Just say what you mean. Making a point obliquely in a way that requires readers to click a link is not very helpful.

Comment author: Zeb 02 October 2011 11:11:26PM 12 points [-]

Instead of saying "Women want..." and "Women mean..." would it not be more accurate to say "Some women want.../mean..., and those are the kind of women I wanted to seek, so this knowledge was useful to me."? Also, did your studying convincingly impart that these general desires were gender specific, or would it be more accurate to say "Some people want.../mean"?