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In response to Formative Youth
Comment author: michael_vassar3 25 February 2009 07:24:25AM 4 points [-]

I don't disagree, but this sure seems to me like something Freud and Jung would say and that Judith Rich Harris would say was nonsense, possibly invoking evolutionary psychology and saying that it would be unfit to optimize for chaotically determined attractors.

Honestly, it seems to me that nerds are far more influenced by childhood and by constructed experiences such as movies, books, TV, religion, and yes, to a more limited extent even classroom experiences than non-nerds are. Partly this is because they consciously choose to try to hold onto their values while non-nerds are content to let their values drift (and "hold onto your values" is an explicit value learned from constructed experiences). Partly this is because nerds tend to simply miss out on many of the less constructed experiences that young people create spontaneously for one another or to get the bad side of those experiences but not the good side. Partly nerds may just be less aware of less processed data and not notice or respond to instincts, impulses, imitative opportunities and assorted influences that would tend to jostle their behavioral patterns into a new equilibrium. They perceive abstractions handed to them explicitly by other people more easily than patterns that show up around them. Oddly, this seems to me to be a respect in which nerds are more feminine rather than being more masculine as they are in many other ways.

Comment author: michael_vassar3 24 February 2009 08:05:10AM 6 points [-]

Hmm. It seems to me that Eliezer had a plan for the economic crisis, namely to keep his mouth shut about it, and when the crisis actually happened the pressure to talk about it apparently exceeded his expectations and he didn't follow through. That with the level of agency and unitary identity of a practiced human rationalist. Imagine how much less able to follow through he would be if he fell entirely under the sway of an arbitrary coalition of sub-motivations every 4 years (hmm... he does deny identity with the authors of his earlier papers). Oh, and I have to ditto "Katrina".

In response to Wise Pretensions v.0
Comment author: michael_vassar3 20 February 2009 08:21:50PM 0 points [-]

I'm with Sigivald here: I think that the archetype here is about serenity, not about impartiality, though the selfishly impartial may at times misuse the archetype when claiming it as a justification for their actions. Personally, I thought that my comment yesterday about the question of whether you should criticize those like or unlike you was more interesting/important.

Answering the question the post posed, I think that the less rhetorical style is superior for every-day use, but it doesn't hurt to whip out a more intense article from time to time, just preferably to make a better point than this one.

Comment author: michael_vassar3 20 February 2009 06:12:04AM 0 points [-]

Taking a hint from the babyeaters, I can say that the pro-life people are doing what's right' and what's right''', the pro choice people are doing what's right'' and what's right'''', Israel, what's right''''' and right''''''' and Hamas what's right'''''' and right''''''''. Then I can also say that if they wanted to switch to doing what was right, all groups would turn their efforts to FAI plus sustaining their actual existence. However, it seems that there may be many situations where fairly intelligent and well intentioned SL1 political commentators in the US, who may identify as broadly conservative or liberal, agree about what is right^, where right^ is closer to right than most actions or preferences are. In this case it often seems to me that the conservative political commentators emphasize opposition to those who are right''' and right''''' because those perspectives are farther from their own thus more wrong^, while liberal commentators emphasize the imperfections of those who are right'' and right'''' because they treat those who are right'' and right'''' as subject to reasons, as moral agents, and thus as subject to correction/criticism while those who are trying to do what's right''' and right''''' are merely seen as moral subjects beneath reproach. Victims. Children deserving sympathy and protection but not blame.

Of course, this was more the case back when there were fairly intelligent and well intentioned conservative SL1 political commentators in the US, e.g. before about 2004.

In response to Against Maturity
Comment author: michael_vassar3 19 February 2009 09:05:43AM 0 points [-]

Infotropism: Michael (dot) Vassar at gmail

Eliezer: You really should tell people how to reach me as well as telling them that they should do so, either with my email or a link to SIAI's "about us" page, which now has my contact info.

In response to Against Maturity
Comment author: michael_vassar3 19 February 2009 12:50:16AM 1 point [-]

Psy-Kosh: My guess is that most learning is deeper and more authentic if it is from one's own experience. Eliezer seems to particularly prize personal learning, favoring secrecy in science in his idea of paradise.

Comment author: michael_vassar3 17 February 2009 08:54:59PM 5 points [-]

Self Help? Maybe some. I think that most of the most popular self-help can seem DEEPLY cynical to someone of nerdy disposition like myself. The essential message of "how to win friends and influence people" is "don't try to reason with people, instead flatter them and otherwise manipulate their emotions to create immediate pleasure that they will associate with you". OTOH, the message is also that if you do this you can have SUCCESS!!!, so whether it's cynical or idealistic depends on how much you value SUCCESS!!!. When I first read it I didn't have Something To Protect (TM), which works like soap for dissolving otherwise analyticophobic cynicism into the nerdy soul. Robert Green is famous for being even more cynical than Carnegie. The Secret, more recently successful, tells people that the world is arbitrary, both simple and inscrutable. IIIck! Worse than saying "Look, Cthulhu is standing over there and is about to eat you". I'd consider suicide if it's worldview was true and if I could even entertain the impossible possibility. Many members of the PUA community sell books that are cynical about women being people but optimistic about sex being widely available. I'd call that VERY cynical on net.

Comment author: michael_vassar3 14 February 2009 07:10:22PM 1 point [-]

Weber's law applies to perceptions. You can't really perceive time on a span of years. I'm pretty certain that human's can't intuitively distinguish 18 years from 20. My post asserted that people should use rough concepts of age categories but that those categories shouldn't involve representing age. Those categories should also not correspond precisely to our categories due to improvements in nutrition and disease burden, e.g. we go through puberty earlier, grow taller, etc.

Comment author: michael_vassar3 14 February 2009 07:55:59AM 0 points [-]

The need for paternal resources for boys seems likely to be a motive. So is the greater ease of recognizing paternal resemblance among boys. Finally, producing boys is a weak signal of fitness by the mother.

Comment author: michael_vassar3 13 February 2009 06:01:39PM 2 points [-]

My mistake. It should only set marginal costs equal to marginal benefits for each stage in development. Cost and benefit should only be about equal at birth.

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