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Comment author: Gleb_Tsipursky 06 February 2016 06:23:55PM *  0 points [-]

This was referenced in the article itself, so I didn't feel a need to highlight it in the post - unnecessary information and all that. I also didn't speak of her being the Intentional Insights co-founder and Vice President, for example, as this was also discussed in the article. Thanks for pointing this out, as since a number of people upvoted your comment, it seems like salient information that's helpful for other Less Wrongers :-)

Comment author: gjm 06 February 2016 07:46:12PM 1 point [-]

Linking to something written by your wife without saying that's what you're doing pattern-matches to the following more general template: recommending something being offered by a close associate, without declaring that association. And this makes people twitchy because it resembles two other things that do. First: encouraging people to do something that benefits you or your associates, without declaring your own interest. It should be obvious why that makes people twitchy: you're saying "do X, you'll like it" when you have another reason for wanting people to do X. Second: recommending something that you have specific personal reasons for liking, without mentioning those reasons. It should be obvious why that makes people twitchy, too: you're suggesting that other people will like X, but perhaps you only like it for your own personal reasons.

Now, perhaps in fact you think your wife's article is interesting for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with her being your wife, and perhaps neither she nor you stands to gain in any way from directing people's attention to the article (though in fact the article just happens to speak highly of you, recommend Intentional Insights, etc., etc.). But as a general rule recommending things in which you have any sort of personal interest, without declaring that interest, is going to strike some people as dishonest, or at least a little bit sketchy.

Comment author: gjm 05 February 2016 03:11:19PM 6 points [-]

It seems kinda strange to post this without mentioning that "aspiring rationalist Agnes Vishnevkin" is in fact your wife.

Comment author: Jiro 05 February 2016 08:49:31AM *  2 points [-]

If you say you want insider stock trading to be legal as long as you wear a suit, but your rationale is "it's so easy to convict innocent people of insider stock trading that the benefits from stopping false convictions outweighs the harm done by the insider trading", then that's the noncentral fallacy--a noncentral use of "want". Normally saying that someone wants X carries the connotation that they like X and don't believe X causes harm, which isn't true in this case.

If you don't want people to be convicted of rape based on evidence obtained by torture, you also "want rape to be legal" (specifically, you want the subset of rapes "rapes where evidence is only obtained by using torture" to be legal) but describing it that way would be misleading. You don't think rape is good, you just think encouraging torture is worse than rape. It would be possible to think that encouraging false accusations is worse than rape as well (especially if false accusations are common) and want to allow some rapes so you can discourage false accusations in the same way that you might want to allow some rapes to discourage torture.

(I really hope it's okay to even talk about this. I would rather not get banned.)

Comment author: gjm 05 February 2016 01:58:18PM 0 points [-]

I don't think anyone is saying that Roosh wants rape. Only that he wants (many instances of) rape to be legal. Which is in fact what he wants (or, at least, what he says he wants; he may not be sincere).

There is a risk of the noncentral fallacy here -- if someone proposes to make a small minority of atypical instances of something legal, that's not fairly described by saying they want to legalize whatever-it-is. But AIUI most rapes are committed on private property, even if (as I can imagine Roosh might want to) you take "rape" to imply outright nonconsent and force or threat or the like. (I confess I don't have statistics to hand to back up this claim.) If I'm right about this, then Roosh is proposing to legalize most rapes, and I think it's reasonable to describe that by saying he want to legalize rape.

I'm sure it's true[1] that he wants to do this because he sees bad side-effects of the illegality of rape, rather than because he would like there to be more rape. But I think this is very often the case when people propose to legalize things, and therefore saying "Roosh proposes to legalize rape" doesn't amount to claiming he likes rape.

[1] Or at least true-according-to-what-he-says; again, he might not be sincere.

Comment author: Jiro 05 February 2016 08:29:24AM *  0 points [-]

The definition "length of the shortest program which minimizes (program length + runtime)" isn't undecideable, although you could argue that that's not what we normally mean by number of bits.

Comment author: gjm 05 February 2016 01:51:09PM 0 points [-]

Adding program length and runtime feels to me like a type error.

Comment author: Vaniver 05 February 2016 12:06:16AM 0 points [-]

Oh, very likely, but Clarity claimed that people were libelling Roosh for proposing to legalize rape when actually he's just proposing, er, to legalize rape.

I do want to point out that there are huge noncentral fallacy issues with this framing; if I say "hey, we should add an age difference exemption to all the statutory rape laws that don't have one yet" that would be arguing for legalizing rape.

(The steelman of Roosh is basically arguing that, instead of changing campus culture to reflect the law, we should change the law to reflect campus culture. So it's certainly skeevy enough that "legalizing rape" has fair connotations, and that's even before one drops out of the steelman lens and into the literal lens.)

Comment author: gjm 05 February 2016 01:49:59PM 1 point [-]

huge noncentral fallacy issues

Yup, I agree. That's why I remarked that I think a large majority of rapes fall into the category he's proposing should be legal, even if you adopt a relatively narrow definition of rape.

Of course, I could be wrong. (And I could have said more explicitly that "legalize some instances of X" is by no means always fairly summarized as "legalize X".)

Comment author: Jiro 04 February 2016 06:29:27PM 0 points [-]

lets pretend "number of bits needed to describe X" means "log2 the length of the shortest theory that proves the existence of X."

Whether a theory proves the existence of X may be an undecideable question.

Comment author: gjm 04 February 2016 11:24:14PM 0 points [-]

How many bits it takes to describe X is an undecidable question when defined in other ways, too.

Comment author: OrphanWilde 04 February 2016 04:59:02PM 2 points [-]

The proposal has nothing to do with that. This is Roosh's real proposal: "Pay more attention to me! I'm still edgy and obscene and dangerous!"

And it's working.

Comment author: gjm 04 February 2016 06:02:36PM 1 point [-]

Oh, very likely, but Clarity claimed that people were libelling Roosh for proposing to legalize rape when actually he's just proposing, er, to legalize rape. My bemusement at this has basically nothing to do with how sincere Roosh is or what ulterior motives he may have for proposing to legalize rape.

(Unless his proposal is so obviously not intended to be taken seriously that the objection should be not "he wants to legalize rape" but something more like "he thinks legalizing rape is a reasonable thing to propose as a joke", I guess.)

Comment author: Clarity 04 February 2016 02:04:32PM 0 points [-]

Social necessity? Think of all the drunk driving accidents fueled by alcohol. The king hit murders. The rapes, the suicides, the hospitalization, the addictions and psychoses, the cost to the health care system, the filthy vomit ridden streets, the dopey people wasting their youth and their lives, the children that grow up neglected, the fetuses that grow up poisoned and the activists that believed before me and you that there was hope in the face of the way things have been done for time immemorial. Are that a social necessity? No. We can do better than this.

Comment author: gjm 04 February 2016 04:56:21PM 0 points [-]

You are using "social necessity" in a different way from Raemon. Maybe that's entirely deliberate, but it's worth making explicit. It's perfectly possible for something to be

  • a social necessity in the sense that anyone who doesn't do it will suffer serious adverse social consequences, but
  • not a social necessity in the sense that our society would be better off if people did it much less or not at all.
Comment author: Brillyant 04 February 2016 03:50:36PM -1 points [-]

"I really wanted this person and I pursued them persistently until they settled for me"

Yuck.

Comment author: gjm 04 February 2016 04:52:40PM 1 point [-]

I think the yuck-ness is pianoforte611's point.

Comment author: johnlawrenceaspden 04 February 2016 03:54:35PM *  0 points [-]

It occurs that I could just delete the first three paragraphs. Anyone else think that's a good idea? All I'm trying to say there is 'don't trust me', 'this is interesting, important and hard', and 'it's mostly John Lowe's ideas'.

Comment author: gjm 04 February 2016 04:51:54PM 2 points [-]

It might be, but

an abstract, or a brief description of the question you're trying to evaluate

would be a much bigger improvement. Maybe some other signposts to help the reader grasp the structure of what you're doing, but I think most important is for the reader to go in with some idea of (1) what's at issue and (2) what you're suggesting might be true. And maybe also of (3) what the prevailing consensus is and (4) why you think it might be wrong. Of course laying out #3 and #4 is the purpose of the whole article, but maybe you can give a brief summary for readers to hang their thoughts on.

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