Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Comment author: mjk1093 22 April 2016 06:30:07PM 1 point [-]

(Just like our instincts expect that sugar goes with vitamins.)

We have the instinct to consume sugar because it is the most concentrated form of energy that humans can process, not because it is naturally paired with vitamins.

In response to comment by mjk1093 on Dunbar's Function
Comment author: wedrifid 24 April 2016 07:35:48AM *  1 point [-]

We have the instinct to consume sugar because it is the most concentrated form of energy that humans can process, not because it is naturally paired with vitamins.

Sugar is desirable as the most easily accessible form of energy. Being concentrated is more useful for long term storage in a mobile form, hence the use of the more concentrated fat.

Comment author: NatPhilosopher 02 January 2015 07:02:14AM -2 points [-]

There is fairly extensive data (not published in the peer reviewed literature) that groups which are unvaccinated have far lower autism rates than the general public.

UPI Reporter Dan Olmsted went looking for the autistic Amish. In a community where he should have found 50 profound autistics, he found 3. The first was an adopted Chinese girl who'd had vaccinations rushed before she was shipped from China and more here on the way to the adoptive parents. The second had been normal until developing classic autism symptoms within hours of being vaccinated. The third there was no information about. http://www.putchildrenfirst.org/media/e.4.pdf

Olmsted continued his search for unvaccinated Amish with autism beyond that community, finding none for a long time, but eventually found a Doctor in Virginia who had treated 6 unvaccinated Amish people from various places with autism. 4 of them had very elevated levels of mercury.

A telephone survey commissioned by the nonprofit group Generation Rescue compared vaccinated with unvaccinated boys in nine counties of Oregon and California [15]. The survey included nearly 12,000 households with children ranging in ages from 4 to 17 years, including more than 17,000 boys among whom 991 were described as completely unvaccinated. In the 4 to 11 year bracket, the survey found that, compared with unvaccinated boys, vaccinated boys were 155% more likely to have a neurological disorder, 224% more likely to have ADHD, and 61% more likely to have autism. For the older boys in the 11-17 year bracket, the results were even more pronounced with 158 % more likely to have a neurological disorder, 317% more likely to have ADHD, and with 112% more likely to have autism. [15]

In addition to the Generation Rescue Survey, there are three autism-free oases in the United States. Most publicized are Amish communities, mainly studied in Ohio and Pennsylvania [16].The Amish are unique in their living styles in largely self-sustaining communities. They grow their own food. Although they have no specific prohibitions against medical care, very rarely do they vaccinate their children. In local medical centers available to the Amish, most centers reported that they had never seen an Amish autistic child. The only Amish children that were seen as a rule were those with congenital disorders such as fragile X. The one autistic Amish child that was discovered during the surveys was taken to a medical office for an ear infection where the child was incidentally vaccinated, probably without the mother’s consent.

The second is the Florida-based medical practice of Dr. Jeff Bradstreet. While treating several thousand autistic children in his practice, Bradstreet has observed that “there is virtually no autism in home-schooling families who decline to vaccinate for religious reasons” [17]

The third, the “Homefirst Health Services” located in Chicago, has a virtual absence of autism among the several thousand patients that were delivered at home by the medical practice, and remained non-vaccinated according to the wishes of the parents [18].

Clusters of autistic children have also been found among parents with occupational exposures to chemicals prior to conception [19], and in children exposed prenatally to organochlorine pesticides [20].

excerpted from:

http://vactruth.com/2012/03/13/vaccines-human-animal-dna/

Reportedly the CDC has been surveying the vaccination status of the Amish for years, attempting to induce them to vaccinate (with some success I believe), and has consistently refused requests to include an autism question with their survey to gather data.

Its probably worth noting that Seneff et al, http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/14/11/2265 who have identified one pathway by which vaccines might be causing autism, have also in other work argued that glyphosate may invoke the same pathway, and the same groups may also be avoiding glyphosate. http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/WAPF_Slides_2012/Offsite_Seneff_Handout.pdf

Comment author: wedrifid 02 January 2015 10:43:00AM 0 points [-]

UPI Reporter Dan Olmsted went looking for the autistic Amish. In a community where he should have found 50 profound autistics, he found 3.

He went looking for autistics in a community mostly known for rejecting Science and Engineering? It 'should' be expected that the rate of autism is the same as in the general population? That's... not what I would expect. Strong social penalties for technology use for many generations would be a rather effective way to cull autistic tendencies from a population.

In response to comment by [deleted] on Rationality Quotes December 2014
Comment author: bramflakes 26 December 2014 12:14:57AM 2 points [-]

I think this is about the only scenario on LW that someone can be justifiably downvoted for that statement.

Comment author: wedrifid 31 December 2014 11:14:19AM 2 points [-]

I think this is about the only scenario on LW that someone can be justifiably downvoted for that statement.

I up-voted it for dissenting against sloppy thinking disguised as being deep or clever. Twisting the word 'god' to include other things that do fit the original, literal or intended meaning of the term results in useless equivocation.

Comment author: arundelo 23 December 2014 11:45:08AM 6 points [-]

"Hah! Please. Find me a more universally rewarded quality than hubris. Go on, I'll wait. The word is just ancient Greek for 'uppity,' as far as I'm concerned. Hubris isn't something that destroys you, it's something you are punished for. By the gods! Well, I've never met a god, just powerful human beings with a lot to gain by keeping people scared."

-- Lisa Bradley, a character in Brennan Lee Mulligan & Molly Ostertag's Strong Female Protagonist

Comment author: wedrifid 31 December 2014 11:06:22AM 4 points [-]

Hubris isn't something that destroys you, it's something you are punished for. By the gods!

Or by physics. Not all consequences for overconfidence are social.

Comment author: dxu 28 November 2014 01:28:19AM *  5 points [-]

I think you're seriously underestimating the power of motivated cognition. If they're in argument mode, it doesn't matter how reasonable you sound or how politely you phrase your questions, because their goal isn't to clarify a point or to reach an agreement; it's to forcibly make you give up your position. It's as Error put it in the actual post:

When your theist parents ask you, “What? Why would you believe that?! We should talk about this,” they do not actually want to know why you believe anything, despite the form of the question. There is no genuine curiosity there. They are instead looking for ammunition.

Trying to use reasoned discussion tactics against people who've made up their minds already isn't going to get you anywhere, and if you're unlucky, it might actually be interpreted as backtalk, especially if the people you're arguing against have higher social status than you do--like, for instance, your parents. It's unfortunate, but it's the truth. And believe me when I say that I have met people like this in real life. The experience was not pleasant.

In response to comment by dxu on The Hostile Arguer
Comment author: wedrifid 28 November 2014 02:20:27AM 4 points [-]

Trying to use reasoned discussion tactics against people who've made up their minds already isn't going to get you anywhere, and if you're unlucky, it might actually be interpreted as backtalk, especially if the people you're arguing against have higher social status than you do--like, for instance, your parents.

At times being more reasonable and more 'mature' sounding in conversation style even seems to be more offensive. It's treating them like you are their social equal and intellectual superior.

Comment author: Unknowns 27 November 2014 08:09:49AM 3 points [-]

Eliezer has said he would be willing to make one more bet like this (but not more, since he needs to ensure his ability to pay if he loses). I don't think anyone has taken him up on it. Robin Hanson was going to do it but backed out, so as far as I know the offer is still open.

Comment author: wedrifid 27 November 2014 01:27:43PM 1 point [-]

I want the free $10. The $1k is hopeless and were I to turn out to lose that side of the bet then I'd still be overwhelmingly happy that I'm still alive against all expectations.

Comment author: Liso 27 November 2014 06:25:27AM *  1 point [-]

It seems that the unfriendly AI is in a slightly unfavourable position. First, it has to preserve the information content of its utility function or other value representation, in addition to the information content possessed by the friendly AI.

There are two sorts of unsafe AI: one which care and one which doesnt care.

Ignorant is fastest - only calculate answer and doesn't care of anything else.

Friend and enemy has to analyse additional things...

Comment author: wedrifid 27 November 2014 08:01:09AM -1 points [-]

Ignorant is fastest - only calculate answer and doesn't care of anything else.

Just don't accidentally give it a problem that is more complex than you expect. Only caring about solving such a problem means tiling the universe with computronium.

Comment author: wedrifid 27 November 2014 06:22:15AM 3 points [-]

Wow. I want the free money too!

Comment author: Azathoth123 22 November 2014 05:03:54AM 1 point [-]

What's the in practice difference between say, a polyamorous group raising children together in a stable situation and a large, extended family with various cousins and so on?

The fact that their internal dynamics are completely different.

Or to make it even simpler, I see no strong reason to say "you shouldn't be gay" when you could be saying "Hey gay guys, you should form a monogamous pairbond and raise children together for 18 years".

Because:

1) The child is deprived of a mother (or father). And yes the two play different roles in bringing up children.

2) Gays aren't monogamous. One obvious way to see this is to note how much gay culture is based around gay bathhouses. Another way is to image search pictures of gay pride parades.

Comment author: wedrifid 26 November 2014 10:05:59PM 1 point [-]

2) Gays aren't monogamous. One obvious way to see this is to note how much gay culture is based around gay bathhouses. Another way is to image search pictures of gay pride parades.

This user seems to to spreading an agenda of ignorant bigotry against homosexuality and polyamory. It doesn't even temper the hostile stereotyping with much pretense of just referring to trends in the evidence.

Are the upvotes this account is receiving here done by actual lesswrong users (who, frankly, ought to be ashamed of themselves) or has Azathoth123 created sockpuppets to vote itself up?

Call for volunteers: Publishing the Sequences

13 wedrifid 28 June 2012 03:08PM

The Singularity Institute is in the process of publishing Eliezer Yudkowsky’s Sequences of rationality posts as an electronic book. The Sequences are made up of multiple hundreds of posts. These are being downloaded and converted to LaTeX for publishing programmatically and that’s where the human tasks begin. These will entail:

  • Verifying that all the content has all been transferred, including all text, equations and images.
  • Proofreading for any typographical errors that may have escaped attention thus far.
  • Verifying that all external links are still alive (and replacing any that are not).
  • Creating a bibliography for all material referenced in the chapters (posts).

The recent document publishing efforts at SIAI would not have been possible without the assistance of dedicated volunteers. This new project is the perfect opportunity to help out lesswrong while giving you an excuse to catch up on (or revisit) your reading of some foundational rational thinking material. As an added bonus every post reviewed will save the world with 3.5*epsilon probability.

We need volunteers who are willing to read some sequence posts and have an eye for detail. Anyone interested in contributing should contact me at cameron.taylor [at] singinst [dot] org.

For those more interested in academic papers we also have regular publications (and re-publications) that need proofreading and editing before they are released.

View more: Next