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Comment author: lifelonglearner 21 January 2017 05:13:15AM 3 points [-]

I'm working on a primer on the planning fallacy that will cover statistics, debiasing, and general research of the topic. In the coming weeks, I'd love for some people to give quick feedback on the flow / readability of the primer, if they're interested.

Comment author: chaosmage 21 January 2017 11:27:46PM 0 points [-]

Happy to help, send me a draft when you have it.

Comment author: ingive 19 January 2017 03:07:54PM *  0 points [-]

I think then you should ask what can you do about it (or do the most effective action).

Comment author: chaosmage 21 January 2017 11:26:10PM 1 point [-]

You could give this answer to literally anything.

Comment author: chaosmage 20 January 2017 02:05:28PM 2 points [-]

I'd like to see more about spreading rationality. Translations of sequences into other languages, presentations of rationality in other forms (podcasts, videos, graphic novels, whatever) and other attempts to reach people who we currently don't, like Red Tribe people, kids or seniors.

I'd also like posts by Eliezer, Yvain and some of the other people who have moved on to their private blogs.

[Link] In-depth description of a quite strict, quite successful government program against teen substance abuse, spreading from Iceland

0 chaosmage 19 January 2017 12:04PM
Comment author: chaosmage 13 January 2017 05:32:28PM 3 points [-]

This is a particularly instructive article, worth in-depth study. Thanks for posting it.

Comment author: chaosmage 11 January 2017 12:06:00PM *  2 points [-]

What I do is consciously decide, right in the beginning, that "I'd rather know if this is true than believe that it is true."

For the short intervals that I expend conscious attention on a belief, I find it not too hard to value "finding out this is actually false" more highly than "continuing to believe I'm right".

It seems important, whenever I change my mind about something, to sustain conscious attention on the subject for a while. This gives my more automatic, system-1-ish thoughts the timne they need to learn to emulate the new thought and keep thinking it when my conscious thinking has moved elsewhere.

Comment author: niceguyanon 09 January 2017 03:58:05PM 4 points [-]

Is your objection really that the topic has no relevance to LW or that because the information is found in so many other places that it has no relevance?

I appreciate summaries on LW even if they are found elsewhere because it provides for comments and discussion from a very particular group whose input which I prioritize(over other internet strangers). I often do a quick search on LW for new ideas I am exposed to, to get the LW spin. Say you just discovered this forum and you decided you like how everyone aspires to be a rationalist, but you have gaps in your knowledge about cults, this article might be far more informational than what you can find on a Google search. A Google search on cults leads to lots of websites on christian apologetics, not exactly the places I would encourage people to go to find truth. The information can be found in thousands of places but the places matter– a rationality oriented forum vs a website you are not quite sure of it's motives.

Comment author: chaosmage 10 January 2017 02:39:01PM 2 points [-]

That's exactly my point. The information posted here is a reformulation of exactly the type of material at Christian apologetics sites. It does not deserve to be in a place where you would encourage people to go to find truth.

Comment author: The_Jaded_One 09 January 2017 09:02:04PM 6 points [-]

Since downvoting is disabled, I'll criticize you instead.

This sentiment indicates to me that LW needs a bit of a culture change. It's a decent article, I feel informed by having read it. Probably not perfect and not a Yvain level insight about the world. But why do you want to downvote it? Couldn't you just not upvote it?

Comment author: chaosmage 10 January 2017 02:37:02PM *  2 points [-]

I want to downvote it because it lazily rehashes outdated clichés.

This type of description of "cults" has always had a bunch of problems. Let's be generous and disregard the "cult" label (although it is entirely discredited in the scientific study of what is now referred to as New Religious Movements) because we can replace it with some other word. Still, this does not look at actual existing cults at all. People's Temple self-destructed almost 40 years ago. There are thousands of other cults (tens of thousands if you include Asia) and this description disregards all of them. It has no basis of data whatsoever.

What it has is a "checklist" of criteria that are very fuzzy and offer no clarity on what is or isn't a cult. All these do is provide a lot of threatening language to reinforce the idea that cults are dangerous. Which is not a proven fact. There's solid evidence certain specific group have certain specific dangers - Scientology is the big one. But "cultishness" in general, i.e. basically religiosity with heightened tribalism, is not established to be dangerous. [Edit: Not established to be more dangerous than mainstream religion.] And this type of "cult checklist" narrative distracts from this simple fact by just piling vague threatening assertions onto vague threatening assertions.

I would downvote this anywhere, but on LW, where we're supposed to think critically, check our sources and believe only what we have good reason to believe, it seems particularly inappropriate.

Comment author: chaosmage 08 January 2017 11:01:16PM 4 points [-]

Since downvoting is disabled, I'll criticize you instead.

You're presenting the classic anti-cult narrative that is being repeated since the eighties and that is available on the web in thousands of places. In fact, I would not be surprised if it turned out you copied and pasted much of this. This has no obvious relevance to LessWrong and your attempt to restate this outdated narrative in LW lingo does not change that.

A few more substantial criticisms: Jonestown, your only actual example has always been the extreme exception (in modern times), the 9/11 of cults. There are a few other much smaller examples of cults violence, but most cults are very different from that and much less extreme than you describe. They are really mostly a waste of time that people stay in because of the sunk costs fallacy. Since this narrative you copied was created, the number of cults has gone down noticably and their members' average age has gone up. The ones that remain perpetuate themselves mostly by having children, rather than "brainwashing" new members, much like other religions do. And leaving is generally easy, except if you have other family members inside.

Comment author: honeybadger 03 January 2017 01:39:23PM *  0 points [-]

Society where a majority requires UBI to live is going to be a perfect situation for any state - this means that the majority knows that without the state, it gets nothing. Soon, they are going to start hating the productive minority. Tax the productive guy maximum he can bear, give part of that to the masses, keep part for yourself. No democratic change possible because the majority needs UBI and would kill to keep it. No popular revolution either.

It's not that unlike the current welfare state model, just taken to its logical conclusion. One of the problems of the welfare state - from the government's perspective - is that many people see eg. public pensions and money from make-work as something they earned, rather than something that they get from the state, which makes it much harder to vilify the actual producers.

Comment author: chaosmage 03 January 2017 06:53:18PM 1 point [-]

Germany's welfare state has unlimited unemployment benefits that are actually a lot like a UBI. It is basically 400 Euros plus rent for a cheap place. There's a lot of nagging and hoops to jump through from the agency that gives you the money, but as long as you do those you never need to work.

And still, Germany's unemployment rate is 4,2% right now, the US unemployment rate is 4,9%. How do you explain that?

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