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In response to Crazy Ideas Thread
Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 18 June 2016 07:16:47AM *  1 point [-]

A form of society that is based on a social contract where the rules (like the rules of e.g. democracy) are constructed in such a way that

  • individuals are (monetarily) rewarded if they take more responsibility (for other people basically) in a way that a doubled responsibility leads to a unit increase in reward (with a unit reward for taking responsibility for one self).
  • sub groups can make individual decisions and take local responsibility (and e.g. distribute the reward according to the rules)
  • there is an increase in power with group size but limited in a mathematically precise way
  • optional: Limitation of private property to that which you can actually regularly use.

Thus there is a limit to income in a mathematically precise way (logarithm of total social product).

ADDED: Construct this in a way that it can be embedded in existing society (via existing contracts) such that it can grow from a small set of members to all.

Comment author: pianoforte611 18 June 2016 05:34:52PM 2 points [-]

I don't understand why you would want this. It doesn't take exactly X times as much effort to provide X times as much productivity, but its a way better approximation than a log scale. Is the goal to discourage commerce, and promote self sufficiency?

Comment author: pianoforte611 26 April 2016 01:08:19PM 1 point [-]

I agree that popular quotes can be used irrationally - a shield to hide behind instead of questioning what is actually best. However, sometimes they are simply good advice in some situations and bad advice in others. Can you not think of a class of scenarios in which Lincoln's advice is good advice?

Comment author: dedman 18 April 2016 07:34:51PM 2 points [-]

Thanks Nancy. Some of the symptoms are similar to states caused by epilepsy., but i'm not sure if they are seizures or not. It's not like he stops and his eyes roll back. According to him it only lasts around 5-20 seconds. And seems pretty normal to observers. I guess the best way he could explain it was that someone just controls him completely for a few seconds. And to him it feels like a snap of fingers. He goes to brush his teeth, looking in the mirror he lifts up the tooth brush SNAP he is no longer facing the mirror. He then resumes brushing of teeth facing back at the mirror.

Comment author: pianoforte611 19 April 2016 02:07:41PM *  3 points [-]

Strongly second the advice to have him go to a psychiatrist or neurologist. The type of seizure you are thinking of is a grand mal seizure which is not the only kind. This sounds like a very typical partial seizure to me.

Comment author: pianoforte611 12 April 2016 03:02:32PM 0 points [-]

I agree very much that this is a thing that happens, but I don't think it needs to a named fallacy. There is even a standard nomenclature - failure of theory of mind (its more general but it works).

Comment author: pianoforte611 03 April 2016 10:32:55PM *  6 points [-]

I think can finally state what is it about many of your arguments makes me go "sigh, here we go again". (And I suspect a lot of people, given that your political posts tend to be negatively received by a lot of people).

Your arguments take a general form that is something like the following. State that A could have beneficial effects B, C and D. Dismiss any suggestions that A could have negative effects E, F and G. Insistently state that since A could have beneficial effects B, C and D, then the expected utility of A is positive - throw some made up numbers and probabilities to justify said expected positive utility of A, so therefore we should do A.*

This is incredibly annoying. It is even more annoying because, (and I'm sorry to be blunt), you're way out of your depth on most of the things you write. You don't know how ISIS works (not that I think that the average person should spend time figuring out how ISIS's ideology works), you don't know how politics works, and your model of rationality is out of touch with how human knowledge is actually furthered.

*Also ignore suggestions that A could have a net negative effect on B, C and D via other casual pathways. See here to see what I'm talking about:


Comment author: The_Jaded_One 18 March 2016 02:58:13AM 1 point [-]

As I said in another comment, it sounds extremely plausible to me that CFS is mainly caused by a viral infection doing damage to one of the hormone glands in the HPA-axis. Nothing else out there makes any sense and I'd bet at 40% that the HPA-axis is what's wrong with CFS sufferers.

The question is, what can we do about it right now? The medical establishment has already lost interest in doing anything about CFS. I am not a medical researcher, I don't have loads of money either.

Perhaps interested people here on LW can form a startup-style charity to try and investigate this? I'd be up for chatting over skype or something.

Comment author: pianoforte611 18 March 2016 03:21:23PM 2 points [-]

The medical establishment has already lost interest in doing anything about CFS


Comment author: johnlawrenceaspden 16 March 2016 05:13:36PM *  0 points [-]

No worries about sounding harsh! I declared Crocker's Rules, so I'm explicitly asking you to optimise for communication and not worry about offending me. And I very much appreciate you taking the time to tell me things I don't know.

I'd be surprised if pig's thyroid cured a mitochondrial myopathy.

That's exactly what I'm saying! The action of T3 seems to be to control ATP recycling in the mitochondria. Sarah Myhill's beautiful paper to my mind proves almost beyond doubt that that's the problem in CFS. This is what I mean by 'every time I look for disconfirming evidence, I find new reasons to believe'.

I know that I sound like a crank. That's because I am a crank. I am a member of several at-risk groups for Arrogant Overconfidence Disorder, which I strongly suspect to be related to hypothyroidism in some way. Others have suggested that I am under a certain amount of 'stress'.

CFS/FMS and hypothyroidism are much more similar than most diseases, to the point where out of a fabulous number of possibilities I was trying to fit to what was wrong with me, hypothyroidism looked instantly like what I had, despite the fact that I'd not only had the test for it, but the test was bang in the middle of the normal range. And I think the CDC agree. One of the diagnostic criteria is explicitly that hypothyroidism have been ruled out (haven't checked this, just a memory).

But also, doesn't the fact that all diseases look similar strike you as suspicious? As I understand it that was the whole reason for the 'stress' theory in the first place.

Let me think about the logic for a while, I'll get back to you.

OK, logic looks fine. I really need to know if that bit's wrong. It means my mind is broken.

If they're not differently caused then they have the same cause. And if that's true, then in one case the TSH test is picking it up, and in the other it's not. So the test is not doing what it's supposed to.

Suppose diabetes was diagnosed by insulin levels instead of blood glucose. And there were two sets of patients, who had roughly the same symptoms, but one lot weren't treated because the insulin test showed that their problems weren't diabetes.

Would you not say that the insulin test was broken?

We should be looking for the 'blood glucose' for hypothyroidism. And as a very lot of people have been claiming since 1940, that's 'slow metabolism'.

I really hate arguing by analogy. But it seems people don't understand unless I do, and I'm now arguing to persuade. Not of the truth of the hypotheses, but of their plausibility.

The sciences I trained for would leap on this. Medical Science has left it uninvestigated (to say the least) since 1970. Whether I'm right or not, that's careless.

And if I'm right.... Jesus Christ.

Comment author: pianoforte611 17 March 2016 02:20:04AM 1 point [-]

It seems I somewhat misunderstood your argument and misjudged you; I tentatively pegged you as a pig’s thyroid evangel feigning humility. I apologize. I also apologize because I am not the opponent you are looking for.

Since I apparently didn’t stress this enough, I will conclude by saying again that without interventional data, you have nothing. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are, if it disagrees with experiment then its wrong. Repeating your hypothesis again and again, doesn’t help your case, it hurts your credibility. Unfortunately this is all I have to offer that I think is worth offering at this point.

Comment author: johnlawrenceaspden 15 March 2016 11:58:53PM *  0 points [-]

I honestly want to know - what do you expect him, or someone here to do?

I want him, or anyone else, to show me things that I haven't thought about, or have just missed, that mean I'm wrong. If I wanted disciples, I know exactly where to find them.

It is a core belief of this website that one is very bad at seeing the evidence against one's own ideas. I believe in that.

I am asking people to take me down, because I am probably unable to do that for myself, and I do not want to cause a catastrophe while I am still dithering, but if I just dither secretly, all I will do is find more evidence in favour.

If you want to convince anyone, then you need interventional data, not hypothesizing.

This seems like the entire problem. How to convince people to do the expensive experiments needed to explore the obvious hypothesis, without already knowing the answers?

Physics will spend billions trying to find surprises, for the sheer joy of it.

In medicine, where millions of lives may hang in the balance, no one cares.

Comment author: pianoforte611 16 March 2016 12:22:49PM *  3 points [-]

This seems like the entire problem. How to convince people to do the expensive experiments needed to explore the obvious hypothesis, without already knowing the answers?

Get an MD, prescribe pig's thyroid if you really believe it such a fantastic treatment. If the evidence is clear, start a clinical trial. Admittedly, I don't know if you can do that in the the nationalized UK health system, if you're in private practice in the US I believe you have enough leeway to do that. You'll be under very heavy scrutiny though, and there may be insurance issues but I don't understand them well.

As to what you're missing? It's really simple - you have an interesting hypothesis and not much else. And you have almost no quality data to back it up. Without that, there is nothing there to criticize. Your single case of pig's thyroid working is the most interesting evidence to me, however, personally I would bet on FM and the other somatoform disorders having heterogeneous causes (they aren't the same disease in every person). For example:


I'd be surprised if pig's thyroid cured a mitochondrial myopathy.

Also, the reason why expert' aren't taking you seriously, is that you kind of sound like a crank. A very intelligent crank admittedly, but a crank nonetheless. It's not that you have lots of facts wrong, it's more subtle than that, and I'm afraid it's hard to explain. Statements like this

It seems that one is either forced to accept (CFS/FMS/Hypothyroidism are extremely similar diseases which are nevertheless differently caused), or to believe that blood hormone levels can be normal in the presence of Hypothyroidism.

slightly exaggerated reaction Erm what? No they aren't extremely similar, and that's not even logically correct, rejecting 2.1 doesn't entail accepting 2.2 at all. And why is diseases having similar presentation a grand revelation? Do you know anything about the rest of medicine? Differential diagnoses based on a clinical picture are the rule not the exception.

I'm sorry if that's sounds harsh, but I'm trying to convey the attitude that someone who is in the field might have towards you. You don't quite speak the language. To use an analogy - you know the words but you have funny accent.

Comment author: johnlawrenceaspden 15 March 2016 06:05:30PM *  0 points [-]

Scott and I were in communication earlier, and he asked some good questions that provoked post 2. Now he's not talking to me. Not sure why.

Just really busy, apparently.

Comment author: pianoforte611 15 March 2016 10:37:38PM *  2 points [-]

I honestly want to know - what do you expect him, or someone here to do? Say you're right? Figure out a way to fund a clinical trial of FM patients treating them with T3 or pig's thyroid? (I admit I didn't read all of your posts from beginning to end, you said that such trials were already done? If that's the case are they good quality? If this is such miracle treatment then were the results not clear?)

If you want to convince anyone, then you need interventional data, not hypothesizing. In other words, you have to pony up, or convince someone to pony up and fund said research.

Comment author: philh 15 March 2016 11:12:11AM *  2 points [-]

I'm pretty sure someone asked Scott on tumblr for his opinions on the first post. I think his reply was something like, "seems plausible but not my area of expertise", but I can't find it now.

edit: I just scrolled through seventeen pages of his tumblr (until I got to before the first one was posted) and didn't find it. I could have missed it, but this decreases my confidence that it happened.

Comment author: pianoforte611 15 March 2016 01:45:03PM 2 points [-]

Yes he said it could be plausible but would require more work to form better thoughts on.

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