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Comment author: ShardPhoenix 23 November 2015 11:16:36PM *  4 points [-]

What is the optimal amount of attention to pay to political news? I've been trying to cut down to reduce stress over things I can't control, but ignoring it entirely seems a little dangerous. For an extreme example, consider the Jews in Nazi Germany - I'd imagine those who kept an eye on what was going on were more likely to leave the country before the Holocaust. Of course something that bad is unlikely, but it seems like it could still be important to be aware of impactful new laws that are passed - eg anti-privacy laws, or internet piracy now much more heavily punishable, etc.

So what's the best way to keep up on things that might have an impact on one's life, without getting caught up in the back-and-forth of day-to-day politics?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 24 November 2015 08:42:17PM 8 points [-]

Some things to think about:

Are there actual political threats to you in your own polity (nation, state, etc.)? Do you belong to groups that there's a history of official repression or large-scale political violence against? Are there notable political voices or movements explicitly calling for the government to round you up, kill you, take away your citizenship or your children, etc.? (To be clear: An entertainer tweeting "kill all the lawyers" is not what I mean here.)

Are you engaged in fields of business or hobbies that are novel, scary, dangerous, or offensive to a lot of people in your polity, and that therefore might be subject to new regulation? This includes both things that you acknowledge as possibly harmful (say, working with poisonous chemicals that you take precautions against, but which the public might be exposed to) as well as things that you don't think are harmful, but which other people might disagree. (Examples: Internet; fossil fuels; drones; guns; gambling; recreational drugs; pornography)

Internationally — In the past two hundred years, how often has your country been invaded or conquered? How many civil wars, coups d'état, or failed wars of independence have there been; especially ones sponsored by foreign powers? How much of your country's border is disputed with neighboring nations?

Comment author: fubarobfusco 29 October 2015 09:31:40PM 4 points [-]

A word of warning: Conspiracy-theorists tend to think of themselves as members of "the cognitive elite" — the unusually well-informed, those who think clearly and skeptically, those who have broken free of brainwashing or consensus.

Comment author: Stefan_Schubert 27 October 2015 06:07:15PM 0 points [-]

Your criticism would be much more interesting if you pointed to concrete problems in my fact-checking/argument-checking.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 28 October 2015 12:13:49AM 0 points [-]

I wasn't asserting problems with your fact-checking; I was stating a limitation on the project of fact-checking in general.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 25 October 2015 10:06:16PM 0 points [-]

Awesome! I'm glad this is taking off so well.

Regarding getting players, though ... maybe connect it to some other medium besides the web site, such as IRC? Having the same game instance available on the web and IRC would be pretty awesome.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 23 October 2015 11:08:14PM 5 points [-]

In order to be fact-checked, a statement has to be truth-apt in the first place. That is, it has to be the sort of statement that is capable of being true or false.

A lot of political arguments aren't truth-apt; they amount to cheering ("Georgism, boo! Synarchism, yay!") as opposed to historical claims ("Countries that adopt goat control have seen their arson rate double") or even theoretical claims ("The erotic calculation problem predicts that college-educated adults will move out of states that ban vibrators").

Comment author: CronoDAS 12 September 2015 05:55:50PM *  6 points [-]

Waaait a sec.. how can this be true? This seems counterintuitive: the average US citizen would probably have less high-income jobs available to them if not less jobs overall as they have to compete with immigrants too now.

Lump-of-labor fallacy. The number of jobs in the economy is not fixed; the more people you have that are good at doing stuff, the more stuff gets done overall.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 13 September 2015 03:01:04AM 1 point [-]

Please fix your link.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 04 September 2015 06:48:17PM 1 point [-]

A summary of rather counterintuitive results of the effect of priming on raising people's performance on various tests of cognitive abilities, and the ability to negate (or enhance) the effects of stereotype threat through priming:

"Picture yourself as a stereotypical male"

(It's not all about gender, either. Some of it is about race! How exciting!)

Comment author: Tem42 29 August 2015 07:40:31PM 3 points [-]

It is not really interesting that a circle can be X if you first change the definition of circle.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 29 August 2015 08:34:54PM 2 points [-]

It's not arbitrary redefinition, though. like the old joke about "calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one"; it's actually a consistent geometry.

Comment author: polymathwannabe 27 August 2015 12:28:38AM 1 point [-]

There is a difference between things that are impossible per se and things we think are impossible. Logical impossibilities are impossible regardless of anyone's opinion. Good luck with that square circle survey.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 29 August 2015 02:37:17PM 1 point [-]

Square circles exist in the Manhattan metric.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 26 August 2015 04:48:29AM *  4 points [-]

I find myself occasionally in conversations that aim at choosing one of two (or more) courses of action. Here are some patterns that arise that frustrate me:

A: We'll get to City in an hour. When we're there, do you want to do X? Or maybe Y?
B: I haven't thought about it yet, I've been dodging sheep and potholes. What do you want to do?
A: Whatever you're comfortable doing.
B: Umm ... Which is easier to get to?
A: I don't know. Or, we could do C, D, or E?
B: Now I'm getting choice paralysis.
A: Well, I wanted to see if you were really enthusiastic for any of them when I mentioned them. Like "Ooh, C, we have to do C, it's awesome."
B: Are you enthusiastic for any of them? Or are there some that we can rule out because they'd be hard on you?
A: Well, I'm not very interested in X but I'd do it if you wanted to.
B: Wow, X was like the first option you proposed. I would have guessed that was the one you most favored.
A: No, that was the one I thought you would most want to do. It sounds okay but not great to me.

(It may be relevant that A has a mild physical disability and self-describes as an introvert, while B self-describes as an extrovert diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Both are relatively neurotypical for around here.)

A: Where should we eat dinner tonight? Can you look on the search results for "City restaurants"?
B: Well, there's Anna's Afghan, Caonima Chinese, Dack's Deli, and Ed's Ethiopian, plus a bunch of taquerias and burger joints.
A: That's too many options. Which are any good?
B: I already filtered out the ones that really didn't sound like we would like them. Like Pat's Pork-Fat BBQ Smokestack.
A: Ew, yeah, good idea, but it's still too many. We should narrow it down.
B: Okay, how about Dack's Deli? I could go for a turkey avocado sandwich.
A: How about Bob's or ... hey, there's a second page of search results. Flora's Flounder Fish, Greg's Garlic Gustables, ...
B: Wait, I thought you said we needed to narrow down the list we already had?
A: Well yes, we do.
B: So, I nominated Dack's Deli and you didn't respond, and extended the list of candidates instead. Should I take that as meaning that you're rejecting Dack's Deli outright and narrow the list down?
A: No, I just want more information. Any of these could turn out to suck.
B: Well, sure, but we don't need to find the very best budget restaurant in City. We just need to find one that is nice enough that we like it,
A: Caonima Chinese has an alpaca on their logo, but I'm not sure I want to go to a restaurant that tells me to fuck my mom.
B: Yeah, that is a little creepy. Mumble mumble hipsters mumble.
A: So you really want to go to Dack's Deli?
B: Not particularly but since all we know about any of these is the listings, we might as well choose kind of arbitrarily.
A: FIne, let's do that.

(The deli turned out to be closed, but the fish & chip shop next door was fine.)

It feels like we're running two different negotiation scripts. Mine (B) works by collecting a pool of candidate results (by brainstorming, or using a search engine, then filtering out things that we're definitely not up for doing, then doing a tiny bit of stack ranking and presenting the list. A's script seems to start out by proposing the option that A thinks I will like most, even if A doesn't want that option very much, then falling back to "rattle off some results and see if any elicit +++ enthusiasm.

Assume that the conversational partners have heard of NVC, value of information, basic business negotiation; and also assume that one another are acting in good faith. The limiting factor is not "can we come to equitable terms?" or "is this going to lead to a big fight?" ... it is more "can we more rapidly converge on a common-knowledge prediction of an enjoyable dinner, without spending huge mental effort on it up front?"

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