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Comment author: Lewsome 17 January 2010 12:44:36AM 5 points [-]

The notion of delaying proposition of 'solutions' as long as possible seems an excellent technique for group work where stated propositions not only appear prematurely but become entangled with other, perhaps unproductive interpersonal dynamics, and where the energy of the deliberately 'unmade up' group mind can possibly assist the individual to internally change position. The thorny bit for me however, is the individual trying to 'hold that non-thought' - a challenge that is more or less equivalent to stopping, or even slowing the thought process deliberately, which is meditation after all - something we mere mortals haven't found all that easy so far. Indeed, some argue that many of us aren't even aware there is an 'internal dialogue', let alone knowing how to stop it. In other words, it's easy to say don't make up your mind, but not so easy to enact.

Comment author: ericn 30 December 2010 06:45:00AM 2 points [-]

It's okay to think up solutions. You just have to write them down and refocus on the problem.

This is how a brainstorming session is supposed to work. The main goal of the facilitator is to keep the group criticism from spinning out of control. Usually, if someone proposes a solution, someone will shout out an objection to it. But we should still be thinking about the problem. Just write down the solution and shush the objection, then return to the problem.

Comment author: ericn 30 December 2010 06:38:21AM 6 points [-]

I agree. I really hate our notion that "you shouldn't bring up a problem unless you have a solution".

It is obvious to anyone that solves problems that we should analyze the problem before letting our minds move on to a solution.

In response to Scope Insensitivity
Comment author: ericn 28 December 2010 02:22:31PM -2 points [-]

Vegetarianism is similar. I know many vegetarians who only think about the poor cow who now is served as dinner instead of the thousands of animals who are killed by pesticides, fertilizers, and mechanized farming equipment needed to grow a bowl of soy beans.

We should not make decisions based on emotional reactions. They do not scale.

I haven't read the studies. I'd like your opinion on the following idea. Could it be that the way to ask the question relates to the type of curve you get? Could you lead someone to come up with a linear ramp-up of money?

Also: how does the amount the subjects stated compare to the actual cost? If I have to save one bird, it might cost me a few hundred dollars in travel expenses, etc. But saving two birds is only slightly more.

Comment author: Justin_Corwin 10 December 2007 07:50:28AM 5 points [-]

I have also speculated on the need for a strong exterior threat. The problem is that there isn't one that wouldn't either be solved too quickly, or introduce it's own polarizing problems.

A super villain doesn't work because they lose too quickly, see Archimedes, Giorgio Rosa, et al.

Berserkers are bad because they either won't work or work too well. I can't see any way to make them a long term stable threat without explicitly programming them to lose.

Rogue AI doesn't work, again because it either self-destructs or kills us too quickly, or possibly sublimes, depending on quality and goal structure.

The best proposal I've ever heard is a rival species, something like an Ant the size of a dog, whose lack of individual intelligence was offset by stealth hives, co-op, and physical toughness. But it would be hard to engineer one.

Comment author: ericn 26 December 2010 09:11:52AM 3 points [-]

My friend had the idea that we need a race of bunnies from another planet to infest Earth. They would be a nuisance, nothing more. They would breed and eat crops. But they would be enough trouble that we would have to work together to stop them.

Comment author: pdf23ds 04 March 2007 04:58:28AM 13 points [-]

TGGP, I think we have to define "deserve" relative to social consensus--a person deserves something if we aren't outraged when they get it for one reason or another. (Most people define this based on the consensus of a subset of society--people who share certain values, for instance.) Differences in the concept of "deserve" are one of the fundamental differences (if not the primary difference) between conservatism and liberalism.

Comment author: ericn 26 December 2010 05:05:49AM 8 points [-]

Do we need a definition of "deserve"? Perhaps it does not correspond to anything in reality. I would certainly argue that it doesn't correspond to anything in politics.

For instance, should we have a council that doles out things people deserve? It just seems silly.

Politics is ideally a giant cost/benefit satisficing operation. Practically, it is an agglomeration of power plays. I don't see where "deserve" fits in.