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Comment author: akshatrathi 17 March 2011 03:01:13PM 0 points [-]

I'm working on

1) Synthesising biologically active and structurally challenging molecules for my PhD. See link.

2) Relaxing Stories iPhone app: The app is able to relax the user in under five minutes by listening to visually enhanced stories read by soothing voices.

3) Science communication: Writing about latest advances in chemistry for a wider audience. Also, reaching out other graduate students and institutes to get involved in communicating science.

Comment author: Robin_Hanson2 26 March 2007 06:06:51PM 1 point [-]

My only recent mention of "hypocrisy" is: What is completely natural and human is to claim to want to believe truth. Most every group likes to feel superior by believing that its beliefs are less biased than other groups' beliefs. Consider today's "reality-based politics" or frequent Christian references to TRUTH. ... Probably our greatest lever is shame and hypocrisy, i.e., the fact that most people pretend to want what we (say we) want. If forced to choose between what they pretend to want and what they usually want, many may choose their pretensions.

Wikipedia says hypocrisy is criticizing others as worse than you for not living up to a standard you fare no better on. This is the sense in which I used the word, and my use seems appropriate there.

It is also worth emphasizing that weakness of will is not the only plausible explanation for a deviation between thoughts and actions. Another explanation is motivated bias; we feel good thinking well of ourselves and badly of others, and because of that don't look very critically at our positive claims about ourselves.

Comment author: akshatrathi 12 November 2010 02:10:29PM 0 points [-]

Another explanation is motivated bias; we feel good thinking well of ourselves and badly of others, and because of that don't look very critically at our positive claims about ourselves

Surely there must be more than the reason that you give.

Comment author: akshatrathi 13 August 2010 01:50:57AM 2 points [-]

I enjoyed your article and as a scientist, I've been interested to understand this: what seems an intuitive method to use to solve a scientific problem is not seen as an intuitive method while solving 'other' problems.

By 'other', I mean things like psychological problems or problems that arise from conflicts amongst people. It may be obvious why it is not 'intuitive' but what goes beyond my understanding is most will not even consider using the scientific method for the latter types of problem ever.

In response to Fight Zero-Sum Bias
Comment author: akshatrathi 12 August 2010 07:07:06PM 0 points [-]

The zero-sum bias seems to be also responsible for the the concept of karma which is a ubiquitous concept (not just amongst Hindus). The roots of this can be found in the ancient religious texts like the Bhagvad Gita and go on to support what multifoliatrose says in the post.

In response to Feeling Rational
Comment author: michael_vassar 26 April 2007 02:47:27PM 39 points [-]

Well, at the very least women constitute half of society, it's certainly acceptance within that half. I actually think that it's actually acceptance more broadly though. Women are arguably not accepted my men in general, but in so far as they are accepted it is only in a few narrow domains, primarily science, engineering, and big business that women do best by adhering to men's norms. Actually though, emotional suppression is only normative among men in science, in the military, and in low status positions. Enthusiasm (irrational exuberance) is the ultimate business virtue. If one doesn't claim a level of confidence that can't possibly be justified one is simply not a contender for venture capital or angel investor money. In a hierarchy, one's not suitable for upper management or sales. Beyond that, almost all social elites are, in large measure, "emotional expression professionals". Actors and actresses are the most obvious example of this, but I would say that this is also true of athletes, artists, and other performers and entertainers, religious leaders, and politicians. Al Gore was dismissed with a characterization of "wooden". Hitler practiced his emotional expressions for hours in front of a mirror.

Comment author: akshatrathi 10 August 2010 04:32:20PM *  3 points [-]

That's a really nice view to have on emotions. And frankly, I've known it all along but never put it the way you have. Cheers!

What bothers me is that in case of 'emotional expressions' in a profession, it is possible to fake it and am sure we have seen examples of such (hypocrites) in our life. But may be in a given situation it is rational to fake it.

PS: Could you give the source of the Hitler example?

Comment author: Drahflow 25 March 2010 10:04:42AM 10 points [-]

<effort: 5 minutes> - tl;dr: It takes too long

All communication takes time. We should minimize the time necessary to communicate our arguments. As a speaker (or writer for that matter), I cannot know which parts of my argument will be obvious to the listener and which ones won't.

"It can be argued"/"There is evidence for" should be used whenever the speaker assumes further detailed arguments are unnecessary but would be able to supply further details if requested without undue delays. By stochastically testing whether the speaker actually can supply correct arguments/evidence if requested, we can quickly build trust - saving us a lot of time during later communication with said speaker.

In this way, these phrases could not be used for bluffing disagreeing listeners, because they would simple request more details.

Comment author: akshatrathi 14 April 2010 01:26:51AM *  1 point [-]

Interesting piece.

I agree with Drahflow and utilitymonster here though. An argument needs to be made in the context of the audience. Unnecessary details about an argument may dilute the effect of your speech. And stating the obvious (which it may be to the audience) makes one look like an arrogant guy, who is assuming that the audience wouldn't know.

Yet, I agree with you in the example you give about being truthful to kids. Making an argument based on truth and stating that truth may be a good way of dealing with kids. And as you claim it is showing in their development.

Comment author: mattnewport 19 January 2010 10:24:57PM 0 points [-]

I've yet to be convinced by the arguments for cryonics either. Given my age and health there's a < 1% chance that I will die in the next 20 years. There are numerous reasons why cryonics could fail and I estimate the chances of it succeeding at < 10%. The events that would make it more likely to succeed will also tend to make my survival without cryonics more likely. Overall I don't find the cost/benefit very compelling. The weirdness of it (contra the theme of Eliezer's post) is a factor as well.

Comment author: akshatrathi 20 January 2010 12:17:25AM *  0 points [-]

Say you survive the next 20 years and say your probability to die in the 20 years hence be < 10%. Would you sign up for cryonics then? If not, what is that probability of death which will make you sign up for cryonics?

PS: How did you come up with the probability of < 1% about your own death?

In response to comment by Roko on Normal Cryonics
Comment author: MichaelGR 19 January 2010 10:26:51PM 3 points [-]

their brains just go walla-walla-bonk crazy

Anything specific you can share?

I'm thinking about mentioning cryo to a few people, and am curious to know what kind of reaction to expect.

In response to comment by MichaelGR on Normal Cryonics
Comment author: akshatrathi 20 January 2010 12:14:31AM *  0 points [-]

I second Michael's question

In response to Normal Cryonics
Comment author: CronoDAS 19 January 2010 09:36:36PM *  11 points [-]

I see a disturbing surface similarity.

"If you don't teach your children the One True Religion, you're a lousy parent."

My own excuse for not signing up for cryonics is not that I don't think it will work, it's that I don't particularly value my own existence. I'm much more concerned about the effects of my death on other people than its effects on me; I've resolved not to die before my parents do, because I don't want them to suffer the grief my death would cause.

Incidentally, is it possible to sign someone else up for cryonics, if they don't object?

In response to comment by CronoDAS on Normal Cryonics
Comment author: akshatrathi 20 January 2010 12:07:48AM 1 point [-]

I've resolved not to die before my parents do, because I don't want them to suffer the grief my death would cause.

How would you make sure that will not happen?

Comment author: DanArmak 30 November 2009 07:13:39PM 2 points [-]

And maybe some pilots eject when they could try harder to save the plane instead. Has anyone checked which is correct?

Comment author: akshatrathi 30 November 2009 07:32:49PM 0 points [-]

Does a fighter plane have a black box, like the one that is there in passenger planes?

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