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Comment author: Viliam_Bur 25 March 2015 04:07:55PM *  -1 points [-]

development of a new religion or variant of Islam

Perhaps someone who knows more about Bahaism (without being one of them) could tell whether promoting Bahaism might be a way to stop violent Islam.

Bahaism tries to be the next version of Islam, so for people who need religion in their lives it should be easier to convert from Islam to Bahaism, as opposed to Christianity. At this moment, Bahaism seems like a peaceful religion; which of course can be due to the fact that they are an oppressed minority at most places. But still, some peaceful memes could survive even if they would grow.

So, the strategy is that non-Islamic countries should support on their territory the Bahai preachers trying to convert all Islamic immigrants to their faith. First, more peaceful religion is preferable. Second, let's give our enemies one more problem to care about, so they have less time to spend on fighting us.

Comment author: knb 25 March 2015 06:39:26PM *  1 point [-]

Perhaps someone who knows more about Bahaism (without being one of them) could tell whether promoting Bahaism might be a way to stop violent Islam.

Islam has a pretty effective internal system for suppressing religious innovation. Religious innovation in traditional interpretations of Islam carries the death penalty. Bahai is an interesting, very progressive religion in a lot of ways, but they are heavily persecuted throughout the Muslim world and cannot proselytize openly.

Comment author: advancedatheist 25 March 2015 02:44:54PM -2 points [-]

Toxic religions do exist, and they can become existential threats. Frankly I don't have a problem with stomping on Islam - HARD! - before we see land wars with Muslim armies on the European continent again. I also favor immigration restrictions to keep Muslims out of Western countries.

We really should put more effort into studying and learning from history as a corrective to fantasizing about transhuman futures. The experience of applying prophylaxis to Islam as a nuisance cult could come in handy for dealing with this sort of thing if another dangerous religion emerges in a few centuries.

Comment author: knb 25 March 2015 06:32:40PM *  4 points [-]

It amazes me that people think this scenario of Muslim armies invading and conquering Europe is even slightly realistic. Of course that doesn't mean there won't be terrorism. But military invasions are a complete fantasy. This particular fantasy is something I see frequently among US conservatives.

I think it is worth pointing out that the Islamic State only came to power due to previous Western attempts to "stomp on" Muslim countries--the invasion of Iraq and attempts to destabilize the Assad regime in Syria.

Comment author: knb 23 March 2015 07:50:01PM 4 points [-]

This is an analysis of the Six Day War (Egypt vs. Israel, 1967)-- the Israelis were interested in how Egypt managed a surprise attack, and it turned out that too many Israelis believed that the Egyptians would only attack if they had rockets which could reach deep into Israel.

I believe they are actually talking about the Yom Kippur War of 1973. The Six Day War was a (highly successful) Israeli strike.

Comment author: CellBioGuy 16 March 2015 07:17:00AM *  0 points [-]

And a far more serious one (certainly moreso than I) to think that it's a terribly likely thing in our future rather than just a fun notion.

Comment author: knb 21 March 2015 03:13:48AM *  0 points [-]

Off course, in-universe, Star-lifting seems absolutely doable, once you know about the concept.

Admittedly, probably more difficult than saying "Accio sun."

Comment author: DataPacRat 20 March 2015 11:55:01AM 0 points [-]

In a curious twist to this process, I just dreamed that I checked this thread for a response to this comment, and found one, of which I explicitly remember only the words, "You're playing with fire here" and "You're taking your life into your hands", and implicitly remember something about the authour reminding me that I'm a cryonicist.

Going camping does happen to increase the odds that I'll have an accident where my brain ends up warm and dead. Having a communications device that's quite likely to remain intact and ready to use if I fall down a cliff and break my legs modestly reduces the odds of that particular negative scenario. In fact, assuming that I'm not going to quit going camping, and that I already have my chosen first-aid equipment, there are few expenditures I can make which are as likely to increase my QALYs.

So: Does /that/ sound like actually useful reasoning, or mere rationalization?

Comment author: knb 20 March 2015 06:00:22PM 3 points [-]

Sounds like a rationalization to me.

I think you would be better off buying a ruggedized cell phone or radio if that is your true purpose. I suspect a watch is quite likely to get smashed in a serious fall like that.

Comment author: skeptical_lurker 11 March 2015 08:54:59AM 3 points [-]

So... people should work inside greenhouses? I can see more than one problem with this.

Comment author: knb 16 March 2015 07:55:40AM 0 points [-]

Not quite greenhouses. It seems like Eliezer is saying it would be a glass canopy without enclosing walls (so you would still get natural fresh air flow.

Comment author: Macaulay 15 March 2015 07:02:21PM 0 points [-]

If the "tear apart the stars" prophecy just refers to Harry harvesting the stars for resources, then Voldemort looks really stupid for misinterpreting it.

Comment author: knb 15 March 2015 08:56:27PM 4 points [-]

Star-lifting isn't well known even among sci-fi fans in 2015. In 1991 you would have to be a fairly serious space-geek/sci-fi fan to know about it.

Comment author: Subbak 13 March 2015 09:31:25AM 4 points [-]

Well, I read canon a loooong time ago but IIRC in book 7 in one of the first chapter Voldie goes around humiliating Lucius, in particular taking his wand without offering a replacement, and insulting him for believing he (Voldie) would give Lucius his wand in exchange. The conversation with Mr. White (" most delinquent of my servants") and the fact that he humiliates him similarly by removing part of his magic ability is reminiscent of that.

Also, before I thought Mr. Grim was Peter Pettigrew, but now that we know that Black is the actual bad guy, it's even clearer that Mr. Grim = Sirius Black. In particular, Voldie says to him "I was surprised to see you here tonight; you are more competent than I suspected", which in retrospect clearly means "I thought you were rotting in Azkaban".

Comment author: knb 14 March 2015 05:52:59AM 2 points [-]

Also, before I thought Mr. Grim was Peter Pettigrew, but now that we know that Black is the actual bad guy, it's even clearer that Mr. Grim = Sirius Black.

Mr. Grim is also a reference to canon, because The Grim is an omen Harry sees which turns out to be Sirius in his black dog animagus form.

Comment author: linkhyrule5 12 March 2015 03:16:17AM 2 points [-]

... You know, if I had had to predict which character would end up as a magical girl, Voldemort would've been at the bottom of my list...

Comment author: knb 12 March 2015 10:12:19AM 0 points [-]

I was thinking of this. Note that the Soul Gem is green...

Comment author: JoshuaZ 10 March 2015 02:46:08PM *  8 points [-]

The modern establishment has shown itself unable to protect us from crime and urban decay

Murder rates have been going down over time as has many other types of crime in the US (see e.g. here and here), which seems to be where you are implicitly focusing. This is also true for many other developed countries. There's a lot of question of what is causing this, from legalized abortion, to reduction in lead levels, to improved emergency care, to improved policing, to higher incarceration levels. One can make strong cases for all of these but one would suspect that the vast majority of the change is really just one or two of them since it is highly unlikely that all different causes would be sheer coincidence move in the same direction.

But the cause is incidental to the primary issue: the claim here (and most of the rests of the claims in the paragraph in question) seems empirically false. You need at least some sort of evidence otherwise it looks like generic pessimism and inaccurate nostalgia.

Comment author: knb 11 March 2015 08:17:27AM *  1 point [-]

In the long run, I expect crime will continue to decrease because technology tends to augment the capabilities of intelligent people and large, coordinated groups more than it augments dimmer people and small groups. Since crime is mostly committed by less capable individuals and smaller groups, they should fare poorly against private security and law enforcement.

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