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Comment author: Evan_Gaensbauer 25 May 2015 05:09:44AM 5 points [-]

I'm currently twenty-two years old. Over the last two weeks, I've discussed with a couple friends that among the "millenial" generation, i.e., people currently under the age of thirty-five, people profess having goals for some kind of romantic relationships, but they don't act in a way which will let them achieve those goals. Whether they:

  • are lonely and want companionship,
  • want to stay single, but have more sex,
  • want a monogamous but casual relationship,
  • want a more committed and serious monogamous relationship,
  • want to find someone to one day marry and have children with,
  • want to find someone to love and love them to become happy, or happier,
  • want romance for any other usual reason,

it seems the proportion of young people who are and stay single is greater than I would expect. I don't just mean how the fastest-growing household configuration since the 1980s (in the United States) has been single adults. I mean how most of my friends profess a preference for having some romantic relationship in their life, yet most of my single friends stay single, and don't appear to be dating much or doing something else to correct this. Maybe popular culture exerts a normative social influence which favors people in relationships over single people, and so young single people feel pressured to signal a preference for being in a relationship. However, I can't determine who is just professing fake preferences to signal. It still seems single people aren't seeking or successfully finding relationships at a rate which corresponds well to genuine preferences for a relationship. Why aren't single people trying harder to find relationships?

One answer could be "dating and romance are hard, especially for young people". If that's vaguely true, it doesn't satisfy my curiosity. I think it has in large part to do with the extended adolesence of people born after, e.g., 1980. More committed relationships, higher frequency of dating, and/or marriage seem to people around my age something we're supposed to do more when we're "real adults". That happens some time after you get a "real job". Or after you complete a degree. Or after the age of twenty-five. Something like that.

It also seems dependent upon changes in dating culture in North America. I'm aware there are more hookups and one-night stands among young adults of the current generation than there was for prior generations. In terms of who one settles down with, or marries, people get married at greater ages. I don't know if it's because we young adults are pickier with whom we choose for long-term relationships, or what. This is where I don't know exactly what's going on, so I could use your help. If you (think you) can explain what's going on, please share.

Anyway, what I've concluded so far is that, as someone who doesn't date very much, a sensible strategy would be to date more often and more early to satisfy relationship goals. That is, while many of my generation have similar goals and expectations for dating, relationships and/or marriage compared to previous generations, the styles and culture of such in North America are very different. If young adults wait until their mid-thirties before they start fulfilling long-term relationship goals, it might take longer than they expect, and by that point seeking relationships may cut into time developing other valuable aspects of one's life, such as career. Dating earlier and more frequently allows one to discover what one initially wants in a partner, how to navigate the dating pool and social scenes comfortably, adapt to potential setbacks and heartbreak, and mature.

Now, there are lots of young adults in graduate school, or going through a period of time when prioritizing a romantic relationship wouldn't allow the time and attention to fulfill more immediately important goals. During the period(s) of life when you have downtime, if busy young adults aren't satisfied with being single, I think it makes sense for us to try dating and relationships more, because there may not be as much time and opportunity as we hope later in life. What do you think of this model/strategy?

Comment author: knb 25 May 2015 11:51:13PM *  1 point [-]

A lot of Millennials have moved back in with their parents (boomerang generation). Especially for men, this makes any kind of romantic life very difficult. Mostly I think many Millennials have serious anxiety/social dysfunction and a bad case of Peter Pan Syndrome. For example, cultural favorites of Millennials include superhero/comic book movies and My Little Pony.

Comment author: knb 24 May 2015 12:18:12AM 3 points [-]

So if I understand correctly, you're leaving LW because you think LW is too hostile to AGI research and nanotechnology? I don't mind your decision to leave, but I'm not sure why you think this. My own impression is that a lot of us either feel unqualified to have an opinion or don't think AGI is likely any time soon.

I think you're way off if you believe that MIRI or LW are slowing down AI progress. I don't think MIRI/LW have that much reach, and AGI is likely decades away in any case. In fact, I don't even know of any work that MIRI has even argued should be stopped, let alone work they successfully stopped.

Comment author: chaosmage 21 May 2015 06:50:32PM 3 points [-]

For diabetics, a blood sugar monitor.

Comment author: knb 23 May 2015 11:44:48PM *  0 points [-]

As a diabetic, I would dearly love to have something like this. I read Google was working on a contact lens blood glucose monitor with Novartis.

Comment author: Romashka 11 May 2015 06:34:15PM 5 points [-]

(Random) by analogy with what Quirrellmort led people to believe about his imminent death, it would be cool to read a fic, 6th year AU, in which Dumbledore teaches defence...

Comment author: knb 14 May 2015 08:51:50PM 2 points [-]

What does 6th year AU mean?

Comment author: passive_fist 11 May 2015 10:20:54PM *  -1 points [-]

Just a PSA: advancedatheist has a fixation on dehumanizing rationalists with an especial focus on rationalists 'not being able to get laid'. Here's some of his posts on this matter:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/lzb/open_thread_apr_01_apr_05_2015/c7gr

http://lesswrong.com/lw/m4h/when_does_technological_enhancement_feel_natural/cc09

http://lesswrong.com/lw/m1p/open_thread_apr_13_apr_19_2015/cams

http://lesswrong.com/lw/dqz/a_marriage_ceremony_for_aspiring_rationalists/72wr

It's best not to 'feed the trolls', so to speak.

Comment author: knb 12 May 2015 03:13:30AM 10 points [-]

So why lash out at him for this now when he isn't currently doing that? In any case I don't think he was trolling (deliberately trying to cause anger) so much as he was just morbidly fixated on a topic, and couldn't stop bringing it up,

Comment author: James_Miller 07 May 2015 07:27:11PM 25 points [-]

The easy economic (although not political) solution is to raise the price of water. Long-term, the way we can help is by causing more people to understand very basic microeconomics.

Sociologically, it would be nice if this destroyed the norm that good home owners maintain grass lawns.

Comment author: knb 10 May 2015 02:11:44AM 3 points [-]

People like lawns, and there is research that shows plentiful greenery increases a sense of well-being. It is just absurd to force this kind of pointless water austerity on people while enabling massive scale waste elsewhere.

Comment author: knb 08 May 2015 01:42:31AM *  5 points [-]

Many libertarians and conservatives have been calling for a free market in water in California. I agree that would likely be the best solution overall. However that solution will have inevitable pushback from farmers, who benefit from their existing usage rights. My understanding is that California farmers have a "use it or lose it" right to water resources. In other words, they can use the water or not use it, but they can't re-sell it. This leads to a lot of waste, including absurdities like planting monsoon crops in a semi-arid region. If the farmers could simply resell the water they don't use (at or near the residential water price), there would be more water to go around, and farmers would probably actually come out ahead of the game. While less beneficial overall, it might be politically easier to implement.

In response to comment by knb on Why capitalism?
Comment author: Viliam 04 May 2015 12:26:22PM *  2 points [-]

The problem is that there is a massive amount of not-fun work which needs doing. Contra the marxists, most work is not fun--and will never be fun.

I think it is more complicated than merely "fun" and "not fun".

Some work requires a lot of education -- programming, or surgery. The work itself perhaps is not so bad, and someone would volunteer to do it for free... but first they would have to spend years or decades just getting the necessary education and skills.

If we would have an utopian society tomorrow -- where I would know that I will never have to work for living, and yet all my needs will be fulfilled -- and someone would ask me "Viliam, could you make a new version of LW website?", I would probably say "yeah, it seems like an interesting work, I will start it right now". But I could give this answer only because I have already gained my skills in the existing system, and the process of gaining them included doing a lot of work that I hated. Instead, if the utopian society would start when I was 10 years old, even if I would decide to spend my life programming, I would be focusing on funny parts and ignoring the frustrating parts, so I would probably lack many skills that I have now.

tl;dr -- sometimes the work itself is "fun", but getting all the necessary education and skills is "not fun", which could be a problem in long run even if it would work in short run

Also there is the problem of checking quality. You could have people who want to do surgeries for fun, but you wouldn't want them anywhere near you. There could be many professions where you could get volunteers for the wrong reasons.

In response to comment by Viliam on Why capitalism?
Comment author: knb 07 May 2015 06:13:34AM 1 point [-]

Some work requires a lot of education -- programming, or surgery. The work itself perhaps is not so bad, and someone would volunteer to do it for free... but first they would have to spend years or decades just getting the necessary education and skills.

Sure, but a lot of work is just not fun at all, and practically no one is intrinsically motivated to do it. No one is going to become a plumber or garbageman for kicks; some kind of instrumental motivation is needed. I've noticed a lot of people on the political left are really hostile to the idea that some people have to do unpleasant work--and isn't just the fault of some arbitrarily cruel capitalist.

As I mentioned above, Corey Doctorow tried to solve this problem with "Whuffie," but I think Whuffie is fundamentally flawed, and would not provide a well-functioning incentive structure.

In response to comment by knb on May 2015 Media Thread
Comment author: MrMind 06 May 2015 07:05:54AM 1 point [-]

For what I've understood of the movie!Ultron rationale, having as goal peace-keeping, he devised what he thought was a better way to do this than the Avengers itself: instead of maintaining peace by fighting the enemy of peace, do it by evolving a new kind of human being (the project that eventually phyzvangrq jvgu gur nppvqragny perngvba bs gur Ivfvba) and then killing all the older ones.
Screw with the fact that there's no continuity between the latter and the former... :/

Comment author: knb 06 May 2015 07:49:04AM 0 points [-]

do it by evolving a new kind of human being (the project that eventually phyzvangrq jvgu gur nppvqragny perngvba bs gur Ivfvba)

Oh. Thanks. I thought he was just creating a new body for himself.

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 01 May 2015 01:44:35PM 3 points [-]

It's probably worth mentioning that Avengers: Age of Ultron jumps on the Lets-Be-Afraid-of-Artificial-Intelligence bandwagon. I think it's safe to say there's a bandwagon now.

Comment author: knb 06 May 2015 12:34:56AM *  1 point [-]

The movie wasn't very good, even by Marvel superhero movie standards. Did anyone understand Ultron's motivation? It seems like Ultron's logic was:

  1. humans are going to destroy the world
  2. ????????
  3. Therefore I will destroy the world.

Also, I was left wondering about whether Iron Man was going to be financially/criminally liable for the damages Ultron caused.

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