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Comment author: simplyeric 18 March 2010 09:45:31PM 1 point [-]

It might be worth considering what answers you give now that might be different than ones you gave 7 years ago. I know I took one of these back in college, and probably every 5 years or so I've revisited it, each time never recalling my previous result (what does THAT say about my personality?). 

But it struck me this time that some answers I gave this time would have been different 5 years ago. Enough that I probably would have been rated a different alphabet. 

For the record: ENFP   (slight, distinct, moderate, slight).

Like the sun over course of the day, our luminousity and spectrum change over time, from the blue tints of dawn to the harsh light of day, and again the blues towards dusk if I recall correctly, followed by gruesome darkness. 

Anyway forgive my lyricism, but you catch my drift (although some claim that people never 'fundamentally' change, I disagree).

I wonder if there's a way to measure how an individual is trending over the years, probably by comparing a series of tests over the years (although I think the act of taking thr tests repeatedly would tend to increase introspection, in the manner of observation effecting the outcome).

Comment author: rela 17 September 2011 09:22:37AM 1 point [-]

Up to this point, in the thread, there have been 2 possible explanations given for why a 5-year old professional exam has different results than a current online one:

-personality changes over a long time-scale (5 years, etc)

-scoring differences between professionals and automated counters.

These two explanations seem based on the assumption that the responses given to the individual questions are only determined by the responder's "personality." That is: person A, having personality x, will always give answer a1, s.t. if A (under reliable test conditions) gives answer a2, A must not have personality x.

I've only just now tried this test, but I at least found questions where my answer could have been either True or False, depending on the moment. (ie, "Your workspace is clean and organized," the answer of which will vary depending on my proximity to deadlines.)

If we're discussing tests, I propose that we need a control, where we take the online exam multiple times over a sufficiently small time-scale that we do not expect our "personalities" to have dramatically shifted. That is: once a day, at various hours, for a week.

If the control tests have similar results, then we can go back to our question of "what changed between 5 years and now." But, if these control tests have differing results (I'm not sure what significance condition we should set), then we should probably assume that the test may not be a "personality" test, but a "state of mind" test given "personality" and "external conditions." In that case, we may want to be suspicious about self-evaluating with these tests.

If I have time (and remember) to take this control myself, I'll post the results. 17/9/11 -> 10:30 -> ISTJ (22/62/12/22)

Comment author: taryneast 29 August 2011 04:23:19PM 5 points [-]

Really, I think someone in the Dept of Transportation is just evil.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence" :P

Comment author: rela 31 August 2011 09:24:33PM 1 point [-]

I feel like this quote is probably intended to be a joke. But, I have to ask anyway:

I always heard this quote as "never attribute... explained by ignorance," with the moral being that ignorance is repairable, but malice is a (presumably?) permanent character trait. Is incompetence supposed to be a repairable or a permanent trait, in this phrasing?

/end randomness...

In response to My Way
Comment author: MrHen 17 April 2009 03:07:05AM 5 points [-]

What would the corresponding female rationalist be like? I don't know. I can't say. Some woman has to pursue her art as far as I've pursued mine, far enough that the art she learned from others fails her, so that she must remake her shattered art in her own image and in the image of her own task. And then tell the rest of us about it.

I sometimes think of myself as being like the protagonist in a classic SF labyrinth story, wandering further and further into some alien artifact, trying to call into a radio my description of the bizarre things I'm seeing, so that I can be followed. But what I'm finding is not just the Way, the thing that lies at the center of the labyrinth; it is also my Way, the path that I would take to come closer to the center, from whatever place I started out.

When I first stumbled upon LessWrong, this is exactly what I expected it to become. I do not think it is there yet, but I do imagine this place as the place that the aspiring female rationalist can tell the rest of us about it. To use the SF labyrinth analogy, I see all of us wandering around in the same maze. Some of us are on connected paths and others are in completely different areas. But radioing our descriptions of these bizarre things back into a depository makes me feel like the journey is worth something more than simply finding a path and plodding along waiting for it to end. Personally, it makes me feel as if the path, my path, is valuable enough to actually look at and analyze and study.

As feel-goody as that sounds, it provides precious ammunition against the some of the horridly long hallways where everything starts looking the same and the feelings of traveling in circles is wearing me down. I will never see the entire maze. I find it highly unlikely that I will even find the end of the path I am on. (Does the end of this path reach the ultimate goal? Is it a dead-end?) I have come to realize that not seeing where this path leads is okay. My life is not about finding the end of the maze. My life is about studying the maze itself and the journey of documenting this particular path is valuable.

Is this ego-centric? Yes. But I think that this is pragmatically inevitable. I do not think it is realistically possible for me to eliminate all personal bias and all effects placed on me during my travels. I started at a gate labeled "male" and "American" and "middle-class." The gate holds hundreds (infinite?) of other labels that define the beginning of my life (I am white; my name is Adam). Some of these factors will effect me the rest of my life and this is okay. It is impossible to cheat this. Even if I were somehow able to possess the ability to perfectly understand a woman's perspective, there are impossible perspectives to encompass. Two rather blunt examples: my gate also held the labels "human" and "born in 1984."

I built my art out of myself, and it became tied into every part of myself, and it happens to be a fact that I'm male. And if a woman were to pursue her art far enough, and tie it into every part of herself, she would, I think, find that her art came to resemble herself more and more, tied into her own motives and preferences; so that her art was, among other things, female

Does this mean that my art, my path, is now tainted by "male, American, middle-class, white, named Adam, human, born in 1984"? I think, in a nit-picky and causal sense, the answer is yes. The key phrase in the quote above is that this art becomes "tied into every part" of ourselves. But if our paths are nothing more than the lives we lead, what is the point of radioing it back to the rest of us? What about our observations and analysis is valuable? What we learn about our own paths is valuable because we share a common goal.

I say all this because I want to convey this important idea, that there is the Way and my Way, the pure (or perhaps shared) thing at the center, and the many paths we take there from wherever we started out.

Our paths converge. Our ways will cross and bump into each other and we will have the opportunity to walk each other's paths. When I reach a section of my life that aligns itself with Eliezer's path I can tune into his radio and listen. I know that his goal is my goal and that I happen to share this path.

The labyrinth is an analogy and I think this is where the analogy begins to break down. A more apt analogy would be one where I have more than one marble in the same labyrinth. I am controlling all of these marbles and am moving them simultaneously along the various turns and alleys. The path that each marble takes represents one aspect of my life or one way of thought or one belief I hold. These marbles are extremely difficult to maintain and control all at the same time. If I focus on one particular marble for too long the others may stray from the path I wanted them to follow. The laziest of all approaches is to simply let go of the controls and let the labyrinth itself guide the marbles. To beat the labyrinth, however, I cannot do that. To win I must learn how to control as many marbles as I can and to guide them the best I can.

Say that in my attempts at this, one marble touches a path that one of Eliezer's has and Eliezer radioed the right information back to me. I can set that marble on Eliezer's path and this allows me to move that portion of my life in a safer manner. The effort required to do this is significantly less than if I were to redo all of Eliezer's experience on this same path. Even more so, once I have followed Eliezer's path and know it to work, I can start asking about other paths that may be very near to where my other marbles are. I can guide those marbles toward other paths traveled by Eliezer. But I can never replicate Eliezer's entire life. My way is not his way. I can never get all of my marbles lined up with his so as to essentially let him guide my every action and choice. There are some marbles that belong to me that are on a path so unique it will likely never see another marble's history. This is what defines my path and my way. This is what I radio back for the person entering from a gate near my own gate who may have a marble on a path that I managed to conquer.

In this analogy, my way is not a singular path through the labyrinth. My way is the collective paths of each facet of my life as it progresses toward the common object we are trying to find. Even if we find it there is still the great task of getting all of our marbles into the proper little holes. Ideally, this will get easier the more people we have communicating in the maze. Ideally, this is what I see in LessWrong's future.

Even so, you should be aware that I have radioed back my description of the single central shape and the path I took to get closer. If there are parts that are visibly male, then there are probably other parts - perhaps harder to identify - that are tightly bound to growing up with Orthodox Jewish parents, or (cough) certain other unusual features of my life.

I think there will not be a proper Art until many people have progressed to the point of remaking the Art in their own image, and then radioed back to describe their paths.

In response to comment by MrHen on My Way
Comment author: rela 22 April 2011 03:22:00PM 0 points [-]

Does this mean that my art, my path, is now tainted by "male, American, middle-class, white, named Adam, human, born in 1984"? I think, in a nit-picky and causal sense, the answer is yes. The key phrase in the quote above is that this art becomes "tied into every part" of ourselves.

I think we need to remember the distinction between sex and gender. It is our identity (how we interpret our physical description and existence) that our art/path is tied to, not our physical description/existence itself. I'm glad curious brought it up, but this thread still seems to be using "sex" where it means "gender" (how we interpret our sex given social norms, etc).

So, my ability to build on Eliezer's posted knowledge is not dependent on physical differences explained by my sex, but the similarities I perceive between Eliezer's reported-identity and my identity. (This is why I would expect "communicating in the maze" to be necessary, not to find out whether Eliezer is male.)

I expect this would be true until we discover exactly what mental traits have been genetically hardwired to correspond to sex, and how those traits socialize.

Given that we haven't yet, I would imagine that we shouldn't be asking what a "female-rationalist" would do but what a "rationalist who identifies as a woman" would do.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 23 April 2009 01:23:32AM 10 points [-]

Initial quick fix: downvote limit = 4x karma.

Comment author: rela 22 April 2011 02:45:53PM 3 points [-]

Out of curiosity, why 4?

Comment author: rela 21 April 2011 06:50:48PM 1 point [-]

As I understood this post, there is an argument that: - posters who want to signal will use formality - only persuaders want to signal - the reader should be suspicious of anyone who writes formally

In general, IAWYC, but I think that we may be ignoring the fact that signal-recognition has legitimate uses. Standard example: if I read Eliezer's blog, I know in advance that he is a legitimate source of rational, logical arguments. If I read xxyy's blog (assuming this is not peer-reviewed, etc), I have no idea - given the volume of data published online - whether what I'm reading is in any way factual. Yes, I should analyze content, read reviews, and track down references, and such. But, this is very time consuming. It is reasonable to have some pre-selection mechanism.

If this pre-selection mechanism happens to be something as silly formal word-choice, the "right" font, or using some keyword within the first few paragraphs of a paper, then so be it. To clarify: signal-recognition is weak evidence that the paper is worth reading.

I think some of the comments act as though only things written by name-brand authors can be trusted. This is false: new science is done by new scientists every day. But, the presence of new scientists implies that there must be a signaling mechanism, and that this signaling mechanism cannot be morally wrong.

We shouldn't conclude that because someone uses signaling ("formality"/"expert style"/"eloquence"/etc) that they are attempting to persuade readers of their message. They may simply be trying to pass the first gate to readership.

Is it possible that (counter-intuitively) by attempting to disband recognized signals, we are simply being elitist?

Comment author: rela 02 October 2010 07:04:09PM 5 points [-]

I'm not sure how ironic I should find it that my procrastination site is now actively discussing anti-procrastination methods. -rela

In response to comment by cousin_it on Sayeth the Girl
Comment author: bogus 20 July 2009 01:46:29PM *  3 points [-]

What? Clothing lipstick fingernails haircut tan waxing liposuction diet aerobics...

Most of this is part of some silly game which women play amongst themselves: some of it may be male-directed, but it's definitely a minor portion. Overall, F2M seduction and "focused self-improvement" are still woefully underexplored.

In response to comment by bogus on Sayeth the Girl
Comment author: rela 13 September 2010 02:40:18AM 3 points [-]

Most of this is part of some silly game which women play amongst themselves: some of it may be male-directed, but it's definitely a minor portion.

It is possible that I have misunderstood your comment. So, I hope that you will not mind if I reiterate in order to make sure that I have understood correctly: Women spend time on "clothing lipstick etc" primarily because they are concerned about the impression other women will form of them.

I'm afraid that any response will be purely anecdotal: but I can say that I am much more likely to shave my legs when I go to have coffee with a group of women, as compared to with a group that contains men. And I am almost certain to shave my legs before going to coffee with a man who I would be interested in dating.

Best, rela

Comment author: Alicorn 21 July 2009 04:20:28PM -2 points [-]

Perhaps you never intended for me specifically to change anything

My memory informs me of no instances in which you've said anything that tripped my "gah sexism" switch.

In response to comment by Alicorn on Sayeth the Girl
Comment author: rela 13 September 2010 02:20:57AM 3 points [-]

You (A) aren't particularly a "feminist"

I feel this might be the right time to re-state the definition of feminism: "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes." (Websters)

Why isn't everyone a feminist?

No offense meant, rela

Comment author: Mass_Driver 16 July 2010 05:49:52AM 4 points [-]

Citation needed.

It's hard to find proof of what most people consider obvious, unless its part of the Canon of Great Moments in Science (tm) and the textbook industry can make a bundle off it. Tell you what -- if you like, I'll trade you a promise to look for the citation you want for a promise to look for primary science on anthropogenic global warming. I suspect we're making the climate warmer, but I don't know where to read a peer-reviewed article documenting the evidence that we are. I'll spend any reasonable amount of time that you do looking -- 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 90 minutes -- and if I can't find anything, I'll admit to being wrong.

unlike democratic rulers who have never presided over atrocities such as slavery, genocide, or more recently, say the Iraq war, Vietnam, or in an ongoing sense, the drug war or factory farming.

Slavery, genocide, and factory farming are examples of imperfect democracy -- the definition of "citizen" simply isn't extended widely enough yet. Fortunately, people (slowly) tend to notice the inconsistency in times of relative peace and prosperity, and extend additional rights. Hence the order-of-magnitude decrease in the fraction of the global population that is enslaved, and, if you believe Stephen Pinker, in the frequency of ethnic killings. As for factory farming, I sincerely hope the day when animals are treated as citizens when appropriate will come, and the quicker it comes the better I'll be pleased. On the other hand, if you glorify dictatorship, or if you give dictatorship an opening to glorify itself, it tends to pretty effectively suppress talk about widening the circle of compassion. Better to have a hypocritical system of liberties than to let vice walk the streets without paying any tribute to virtue at all; such tributes can collect compound interest over the centuries.

The Vietnam war is generally recognized as a failure of democracy; the two most popular opponents of the war were assassinated, and the papers providing the policy rationale for the war were illegally hidden, ultimately causing the downfall of President Nixon. The drug war seems to be winding down as the high cost of prisons sinks in. The war on Iraq is probably democracy's fault.

Human life is bloody. Power pushes the perceived responsibility for that brute fact onto the powerful.

True enough, but it also pushes some of the real responsibility onto the powerful. I would much rather kill one person than stand by and let ten die, but I would much rather let one person die than kill one person -- responsibility counts for something.

it is possible that you are saved from bloody hands by an elected representative who you hired to do the job.

God forbid, if you'll excuse the expression. I'm not paying anybody to butcher for me, although sometimes, despite my best efforts, they take my tax dollars for the purpose. So far as I can manage it without being thrown in jail, it's not in my name; I vote against any incumbent that commits atrocities, and campaign for people who promise not to, and buy renewable energy from the power company and fair-trade imports from the third world and humanely-labeled meat from the supermarket. I'm sure that I still benefit from all kinds of bloody shenanigans, but it's not because I want to.

Finally, are you any relation to Michael Vassar, the political philosopher and scholar of just war theory? You seem to have a mind that is open like his, and a similarly agile debating style, but you also seem considerably bitterer than his published works.

Comment author: rela 13 August 2010 06:57:22PM 1 point [-]

Tell you what -- if you like, I'll trade you a promise to look for the citation you want for a promise to look for primary science on anthropogenic global warming. I suspect we're making the climate warmer, but I don't know where to read a peer-reviewed article documenting the evidence that we are.

I don't know if you're still looking for this, and if this would be an appropriate place to post links. But:

Primary Evidence: - temperatures increase over the last 2000 years as estimated by tree ring, marine/lake/cave proxy, ice isotopes, glacier length/mass, and borehole data. figures S-1, O-4, 2-3, 2-5, 5-3, 6-3, 7-1, 10-4, and 11-2 are probably the most useful to you. Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years. Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, National Research Council ISBN: 0-309-66144-7, 160 pages, 7 x 10, (2006) - anomalies in combined land-surface air and sea-surface water temperature increase significantly 1880-2009. Global-mean monthly, seasonal, and annual means, 1880-present, updated through most recent month. NASA Goddard. [GISS Surface Temperature Analysis][http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/)

Other Supporting evidence: - earlier flowering times in recent 25 years, with data taken over the past 250 years. Amano, et. al [A 250-year index of first flowering dates and its response to temperature changes] (http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/277/1693/2451.full). Proc. R. Soc. B 22 August 2010 vol. 277 no. 1693 2451-2457

Contradicting evidence: - extremes of monthly average temperatures in Central England do not appear to match either a "high extremes after 1780s/1850s only" or "low extremes before 1780s/1850s only" hypothesis. Manley. [Central England temperatures: Monthly means 1659 to 1973] (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/qj.49710042511/abstract). Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. Volume 100, Issue 425, pages 389–405, July 1974

Hope that's helpful.

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