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Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 25 March 2015 08:19:58AM 1 point [-]

I don't know if you are extremely optimistic or I am misunderstanding something, but much much more common is the case when you feel entirely powerless to change the things you are critical of, because they are set up so by bigger, more powerful people or some other similar cause, or simply you don't think you are the kind of person who can tackle big things. Low self-esteem is the most common cause of feeling goal-por. BTW the analogy stands: the most common move to being surrounded is not shooting in 360 but surrendering.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 25 March 2015 06:33:39PM *  1 point [-]

I was inverting the connotation of the expression — in the same way that "target-rich environment" has been inverted from being a euphemism for a bad situation (being surrounded by people who want to kill you) into an expression for a good situation (having lots of opportunities to choose from).

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 23 March 2015 02:11:50PM 7 points [-]

Instrumental rationality is about reaching goals. Any methods for finding goals? There is a military term "target-rich environment". I think you live in a goal-rich environment if it is risky both ways: if you both fail hard and win big. If your environment does not look very goal-rich, what are some good ways to "mine" goals out of it? Broader, fighting boredom / tedium.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 24 March 2015 07:41:58PM 3 points [-]

IIRC, "target-rich environment" was originally a euphemism for being surrounded by the enemy.

By analogy, a "goal-rich environment" might be one in which you are very critical of everything — no matter what you look at, you can see a way in which it sucks and should be improved — and a "goal-poor environment" is one in which pretty much everything is okay with you.

Comment author: bramflakes 18 March 2015 01:46:31AM 8 points [-]
Comment author: fubarobfusco 18 March 2015 07:48:40PM 1 point [-]

A related idea is psychologizing — analyzing someone's belief as a psychological phenomenon rather than as a factual claim.

Comment author: g_pepper 18 March 2015 01:50:39AM 1 point [-]

I believe that is the genetic fallacy.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 18 March 2015 07:42:48PM 1 point [-]

The genetic fallacy has more to do with dismissing a claim because of its origins or history, rather than because of who holds that view today. For instance, arguments from novelty or antiquity are genetic fallacies.


Comment author: Jayson_Virissimo 11 March 2015 05:35:27PM 6 points [-]

Saying grace before a meal can help you maintain tranquility (thereby making it more likely you will experience positive emotions) via framing effects:

Before eating a meal, those saying grace pause for a moment to reflect on that fact that this food might not have been available to them, in which case they would have gone hungry. And even if the food were available, they might have not been able to share it with the people now at their dinner table. Said with these thoughts in mind, grace has the ability to transform and ordinary meal into a cause for celebration.

-- William B. Irvine, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

Comment author: fubarobfusco 11 March 2015 08:57:06PM 2 points [-]

You might consider reflecting on your good fortune to live in a time when food is abundant — indeed, where there's a global agricultural and transport system bringing that food to you.

And you might reflect on the folks actually involved in producing that food and making it available to you. Although (to paraphrase Adam Smith) you do not depend on the benevolence of the baker, the butcher, or the refrigerated truck driver, you're still much better off than if they did not exist to fill those economic roles.

Or, to put it graphically ...

Comment author: Normal_Anomaly 04 March 2015 08:58:26PM *  11 points [-]

I'd like to request that when the date and time of a meetup is finalized, that somebody post as much on LW. I don't have a facebook and would prefer to keep it that way, but I also don't want to miss the London party. Please and thank you.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 06 March 2015 12:42:36AM 8 points [-]

Yes, please! Not everyone is on Facebook.

Comment author: ZankerH 04 March 2015 09:46:40AM 2 points [-]

This bothers me as well. I don't see why rejecting the mythology should be grounds for rejecting the institution and its many social functions that have yet to be replicated in any capacity by secular organisations.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 04 March 2015 09:59:49AM 1 point [-]

Some religious social functions are denied to people who do not believe, or are unwilling to lie to their loved ones about their disbelief. It's one thing to attend church services, quite another to participate in a baptism wherein you swear to the best of your ability to raise the baptized child in a belief you think is a flat lie.

Some religious social functions may be deemed socially harmful, for instance the inculcation of false material or social beliefs in children. (I don't mean false beliefs of the form "Jesus loves you", but of the form "experiencing lust corrupts your mind", "listening to the Beatles will cause you to join a cult", or "yoga is an occult practice and doing it will cause to become insane".)

In many cases, the institution uses its access to members to advocate specific political and social positions which are opposed to humanist values; thus, the atheist humanist may see the organization as a political opponent.

Comment author: jimrandomh 03 March 2015 06:47:33PM 10 points [-]

The way he set it up gives Hermione the same credit for defeating Voldemort that Harry got when he was a baby.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 03 March 2015 06:51:56PM 10 points [-]

... which conveniently explains why Hermione has super powers now.

Comment author: Alsadius 03 March 2015 06:41:57PM *  0 points [-]

3) Voldemort is evil and cannot be persuaded to be good; the Dark Lord's utility function cannot be changed by talking to him.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 03 March 2015 06:50:44PM 8 points [-]

Voldemort doesn't want the world destroyed, and he just made Harry into a world-destruction-preventer. Pointing this out — and pointing out that Harry is now a better world-destruction-preventer than Voldemort could become — doesn't involve changing Voldemort's utility function.

(Voldemort can't swear an Unbreakable Vow akin to Harry's because nobody has trust in him that could be sacrificed to power it.)

Comment author: V_V 28 February 2015 10:08:53AM 2 points [-]

but Star Trek made a certain kind of sense in the late 1960's (nearly 50 years ago!) when the U.S. and the Soviet Union had real space programs which tried to do new things, one after another.

I haven really watched more than a few episodes of ToS, but IIUC it never even bothered to be a realistic depiction of how space exploration would look like. It was more e metaphor of the Cold War, in Space!

would people 50 years from now, in a permanently Earth-bound reality, bother to watch these ancient shows and obsess over the characters?

They will probably idolize some dude who played a vampire. Or zombie. Or BDSM vampire zombie...

Comment author: fubarobfusco 01 March 2015 07:42:04PM 3 points [-]

I haven really watched more than a few episodes of ToS, but IIUC it never even bothered to be a realistic depiction of how space exploration would look like. It was more e metaphor of the Cold War, in Space!

The original series was rarely about the political or military tension between the Federation and an opposing major power (i.e. the Klingons or Romulans). It was much more often about dropping in on some planet and solving some local problem; or some psychic effect or setup by superhuman powers causing the crew to reenact a moral or metaphorical drama. Superhuman godlike entities appear more often than the Federation's rivals.

(Klingons only appear in seven TOS episodes, and Romulans in three — out of 79 episodes produced. Alternate Earths, such as those of "Miri" and "Bread and Circuses", and explicit reenactments of Earth social systems, such as the Nazis of "Patterns of Force" or the gangsters of "A Piece of the Action", are about as common.)

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