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Comment author: bogus 06 April 2017 05:07:27PM *  0 points [-]

So, remind me, why does the West have that obesity epidemic going on?

Well, a simple conjecture is that many obese people in the West care more about their obesity being "accepted" in a way that's fully open and free of "unwanted discrimination", than about losing weight in the first place. (Many of them are also not too happy about being made aware of the clearly negative effect of being obese on their own health.) Such attitudes of entitlement seem to be a rather pervasive problem in contemporary Western culture.

Comment author: drethelin 12 April 2017 05:21:01PM 1 point [-]

this is why we need downvotes

Comment author: bogus 06 April 2017 01:28:05AM *  0 points [-]

"to stop the obesity epidemic we just need to tell people they have to eat less and exercise more."

Well, if by 'obesity epidemic' you mean "people complaining about how fat they are" (by analogy with the complaint about school starting too early), then yes, that's exactly what should happen. Start exercising, reduce your intake of highly-processed foods/drinks, and you'll be losing weight. Part of being rational involves being willing to shoulder responsibility for things that are quite easily under your direct control.

Comment author: drethelin 12 April 2017 05:18:17PM 0 points [-]

Part of being rational involves not trying the same thing over and over that doesn't work. Giving people the factually correct, simple advice that you believe does not work.

Comment author: bogus 06 April 2017 12:08:34AM *  2 points [-]

Sleep is also an interesting example of pathologies in American high schools. Why do they start so insanely early

As long as the "insanely early" hours do not involve starting school before dawn, this is a non-issue. Anyone can adjust their circadian rhythm by just going to sleep earlier, and/or by napping throughout the day in order to compensate for any sleep deficits; we should be raising awareness about these solutions among students. Simply starting school later would not have substantial effects in the long run, anymore than, say, changing to DST, or moving to a different timezone would.

Comment author: drethelin 06 April 2017 01:07:41AM 8 points [-]

"Anyone can just do x" is an insane and unrealistic way to frame solutions to a problem. Like saying "to stop the obesity epidemic we just need to tell people they have to eat less and exercise more." or "we should tell people to save more money for retirement" the fact that you can frame a solution in simple terms does not in fact make it a non-issue.

also for much of the year in America going to school DOES in fact involve getting up well before dawn.

Comment author: Lumifer 03 April 2017 08:46:34PM 3 points [-]

The point is that eliminating OpenAI (or merging them with DeepMind) will not lessen the arms-race-to-Skynet issue.

Comment author: drethelin 06 April 2017 12:58:25AM 0 points [-]

It might! the fewer people who are plausibly competing in arms race the more chance of negotiating a settlement or simply maintaining a peaceful standoff out of caution. If OpenAI enables more entities to have a solid chance of creating a fooming AI in secret, that's a much more urgent development than if China and the US are the only real threat to each other, and both know it.

Comment author: Tyrrell_McAllister 22 March 2017 11:16:15PM *  2 points [-]

Planned obsolescence alone doesn't explain the change over time of this phenomenon. It's a static explanation, one which applies equally well to every era, unless something more is said. So the question becomes, Why are manufacturers planning for sooner obsolescence now than they did in the past?

Likewise, "worse materials cost less" is always true. It's a static fact, so it can't explain the observed dynamic phenomenon by itself. Or, at least, you need to add some additional data, like, "materials are available now that are worse than what used to be available". That might explain something. It would be another example of things being globally better in a perverse sense (more options = better).

Comment author: drethelin 22 March 2017 11:40:00PM 1 point [-]

Planned obsolescence is technically difficult: it's relatively easy to design and use a material which lasts indefinitely, but harder to design a machine around materials that last a specified period and then fail. You need to tread the tight-rope between "too shitty to buy" and "too high quality to require frequent replacement."

Comment author: Dustin 20 March 2017 01:51:49PM *  1 point [-]

Consider that the phrase seems like a pretty effective way to out-group other people.

Comment author: drethelin 21 March 2017 04:34:00PM 1 point [-]

Consider that if you focus on a single throwaway generalization from a longer essay that you're the one outgrouping yourself.

Comment author: username2 19 March 2017 02:05:30AM 0 points [-]

Sounds a lot more like rationalization than rationalism.

Comment author: drethelin 19 March 2017 02:52:34AM 0 points [-]

This is why we need downvotes.

Comment author: username2 18 March 2017 09:56:45AM 1 point [-]

That seems entirely unjustified. More people and ore space means more threats and more opportunities. Most child molestation happens from a SINGLE close and trusted family member, acting alone. Yet your same argument could be applied to the single-family household -- with a family living together it is more likely that someone else in the family will notice. But the data doesn't seem to support that.

Comment author: drethelin 18 March 2017 09:49:45PM 1 point [-]

most single family households have a lot fewer than 10-20 people in them.

Comment author: username2 18 March 2017 04:44:04PM *  3 points [-]

As the other anonymous said, this doesn't follow at all. A group living situation creates a larger field of "trusted adults" per child. Unless all the adults are mindful of these risks, a situation arises where any adult may at any time be put in charge of watching any child or children. This is frankly the textbook definition of what not to do.

If the adults are mindful of the risk, then they can be open about it, and ensure that two or more adults are always tasked with watching children, so that the adults can watch each other. And even this may eventually cease to be necessary.

Also, I find that your definition of paranoid must be different from mine if you look at those statistics and think "nothing risky going on here". I have to assume you have no personal experience with this issue. I can't help but feel like people in this thread are conflating a feeling of "I don't want this to be true and I don't want to have to think about it" with "this is obviously overly paranoid".

Comment author: drethelin 18 March 2017 09:44:28PM *  4 points [-]

I think the statistics you quote are exaggerated in order to terrify. When I tried to look up "4% of adults are sexually attracted to children," for example, I found nothing. Similarly, the news is often full of stranger danger fears because terror is what gets attention and therefore revenue and funding. And as others have said, they also include stuff like 18 year olds having sex with 17 year olds, which some people may find unacceptable but I don't.

Comment author: RyanCarey 17 March 2017 11:23:02AM *  1 point [-]

Two thoughts:

1 - Why buy? Can't you rent? Personally, I'd get most of the value by living with friends across two floors of a large house (Event Horizon) or in two nearby houses on a street (The Bailey). A few stable families could buy a big house later per Romeo.

2 - Suppose you actually buy a small dormitory or an old tiny hotel. Call this the hard mode version of the project. Such a building would accommodate at least the 20 you're looking for. But it would require commensurate investment. If I imagine pitching this project, my story for some rationalist investor is that it's a socially responsible investment that will pay itself back with some risk and low ROI but that nonetheless delivers social value by growing the rationalist community. But what projects would be run from such a venue, and what is my case for such? I could imagine mitigating the downside risk by arranging a Free-State-Project--like signup, with some deposits. I could increase the upside by promising to make a chain of such houses. I could buffer the EV by just already being a proven competent impressive startup founder. The hard mode version of the project does seem valuable, but not necessarily that valuable compared to how hard and expensive it is. It would take a serious leader to actually drive it.

Comment author: drethelin 18 March 2017 03:21:44AM 5 points [-]

A huge advantage to buying over renting is you actually get to be in charge of what's done with the space and who lives there, as opposed to a landlord who has different desires. A landlord might want to sell the land to build a zoo, or kick you out so his newly turned 18 son can live there, or simply just not want to divide up the units in your apartment in such a way as facilitates your plans because that'll reduce the building's value.

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