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Discussion of how to use college to get what you want from it, with rather a lot about the details you need to think about and check. For example, if you're looking for a degree for a profession, it's important to find out whether a particular degree meets the requirement-- and if you're hoping to make money from a profession, you need to check on whether the money's actually there.

Awesome blog post especially the parts about using university as a method of changing social class. I also noticed that it would work as a good method of breaching into new cultures such as joining hacker culture as a programmer or acclimating to US culture as an international student.
excellent post. I will read it through a second time when I can sit down and analyse it.

An interesting concept: Idea Debt.

Idea Debt is when you spend too much time picturing what a project is going to be like, too much time thinking about how awesome it will be to have this thing done and in the world, too much time imagining how cool you will look, how in demand you’ll be, how much money you’ll make. And way too little time actually making the thing.

Seems to me that besides wasting time, the psychological danger is that too much daydreaming may switch the person emotionally from "I do have nothing yet -- anything I do will be an improvement" to "I have a perfect dream -- anything I do will be a disappointment".
What's the difference with garden variety procrastination?
Procrastination is just putting things off. Idea Debt says that the bigger thing you build in your mind the harder it will be for you to actually work at it. Kinda like "Daydreaming Considered Harmful".
Procrastination is a more general concept. Idea Debt, as described in the article, is a particular cause / 'method' of procrastination.

If you are interested in AI risk or other existential risks and want to help, even if you don't know how, and you either...

1. Live in Chicago
2. Attend the University of Chicago
3. Are are intending to attend the University of Chicago in the next two years.

...please message me.

I'm looking for people to help with some projects.

I would like to write a post dissecting the structure of AlphaGo, but I don't know what latitude / technical depth should the article have.
Should I start by explaining what an artificial neuron is? Should I explain combinatorial games? Who would care about the details of the structure of a convolutional neural network? Decisions, decisions, decisions...

I think you can definitely rely on linking to other peoples' expositions of things like minimax and convolutional nets. Even if someone is a novice, they can still watch a video on it. There might even be a good exposition of why monte carlo tree search is good somewhere.

Winning Arguments: Interaction Dynamics and Persuasion Strategies in Good-faith Online Discussions by Chenhao Tan, Vlad Niculae, Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Lillian Lee.

Changing someone's opinion is arguably one of the most important challenges of social interaction. The underlying process proves difficult to study: it is hard to know how someone's opinions are formed and whether and how someone's views shift. Fortunately, ChangeMyView, an active community on Reddit, provides a platform where users present their own opinions and reasoning, invite o

... (read more)
Excellent! I hope there's more along this line that you can post early in next week's thread. Late week posts tend to get ignored. Highlights in the full article: Limitations to non-computational application: The study doesn't really try to, in the author's words: 'Attempt* to capture high-level linguistic properties'

Would anyone like to comment on Eliezer's facebook post about the AlphaGo victory over Fan Hui?

People occasionally ask me about signs that the remaining timeline might be short. It's very easy for nonprofessionals to take too much alarm too easily. Deep Blue beating Kasparov at chess was not such a sign. Robotic cars are not such a sign. This is.

There was quite a bit of commentary on the Jan 27 post ... http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/n8b/link_alphago_mastering_the_ancient_game_of_go/#comments tl;dr: reactions are mixed. My personal reaction is that it is surprising that neural networks, even large ones fed with clever inputs and used in clever ways, could be used to boost Go play to this level. Although it has long been known that neural networks are universal function approximators, this achievement is a "no, really."
AlphaGo will be playing against a top Korean player, Lee Se-dol, in March. Lee is a 9 dan player (highest tier) whereas Fan Hui was only a 2 dan. AlphaGo beat Fan 5-0 so it's hard to tell how good of a player it is in comparison. I'm very interested in seeing the results of the next match. Note: There seems to be some misreporting on the rank of Lee Se-dol on some American news sites. He's definitely a top Korean and world player, but I don't think he's #1 right now. Someone else is welcome to correct me on this.
Agreed, while Lee Se-dol is one of the strongest player of the 21st century, he is at the moment being superseded by Lee Changho. In Korea though (the strongest nation at Go right now), there are five"official top tournaments", so is difficult to say who is on top...
Who cares about nonprofessionals? Oh well, EY understands the situation better than nonprofessionals. What an achievement. Who would have thought.

How can you do your own research on a given subject? I'm not a scientist, just your average guy sitting in front of a screen, and lukeprog's posts makes me envy not having at least sixty points of reference I can base any opinion on.

Maybe "research" isn't the right word, but I don't know a word that fits better. What should I do and where should I look?

Thanks! (I wanted to upvote but I'm missing exactly 1 karma so mind giving some extra help?)
I personally save all important information into Evernote so that I can easily find information again. When it comes to accessing information take a look at the http://lesswrong.com/lw/ji3/lesswrong_help_desk_free_paper_downloads_and_more/ thread. Lukeprog also has that many references because he reads a lot. He practices his own advice of reading textbooks.

Are there any exercises similar to calibration questions where people are 1) asked a question and 2) given some info relevant for the answer, and then required to state how the info influenced the changes in the probabilities they state? I mean, if a brain 'does something similar to a Bayesian calculation', then it should be measurable, and maybe trainable even in 'vaguely stated' word-only problems. And if it is easier to do in some domains, it would be interesting why.

fermi estimates and generating inside view models before constructing an outside view one to compare the results both are kind of in this direction I think.

Evaluating gambles using dynamics by Ole Peters, Murray Gell-Mann

Gambles are random variables that model possible changes in monetary wealth. Classic decision theory transforms money into utility through a utility function and defines the value of a gamble as the expectation value of utility changes. Utility functions aim to capture individual psychological characteristics, but their generality limits predictive power. Expectation value maximizers are defined as rational in economics, but expectation values are only meaningful in the presence of ensemble

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Does the phenomenon described here has a name? Please disregard the political content of the quote, I am not interested in arguing which candidate is better.

Hillary Clinton is the establishment candidate. Therefore, she has far more supporters with loud, influential media platforms than her insurgent, socialist challenger. Therefore, the people with the loudest media platforms experience lots of anger and abuse from Sanders supporters and none from Clinton supporters; why would devoted media cheerleaders of the Clinton campaign experience abuse from Clin

... (read more)
The "selection effect" is the name for this effect, viewed very broadly. (That is, there is some process selecting what evidence you see, and you reason as if the evidence you saw was not filtered by that process.) I'm not aware of a more specific name for the "have you ever noticed that my enemies are mean to me, and my friends are nice to me?" effect besides the standard ingroup / outgroup observations (plus the fundamental attribution error).

I wonder if there is a website so nerdy that if you write there "some people have friends", it will be dismissed as a conspiracy theory.

It would be a logical extrapolation of the existing trends.


Keeping secrets is a burden, or so the traditional wisdom goes. I googled: ''keeping secrets cognitive load''. The first result that referenced a sufficiently trustworthy source was a PDF hosted by Harvard uni. It was too fundamental research - experimental based on neuropsychological tests. I vaguely remember a key reason I abdicated from an intelligence analyst interview was reading about the negative consequences of secrecy. Based on the difficulty of finding clarity on this issue, I'll go with my subjective experience which is that keeping a secret is ... (read more)

My real-life social circles don't have much interaction between rationalists and non-rationalists. But my tumblr gives some cross-pollination. My persona there is closer to my rationalish persona than I usually show in public, and it feeds through to facebook, visible only to a group of friends I selected as being unlikely to start hating me for the things I might want to write on it. Many of those friends are non-rationalists. I don't know how many of them typically see my tumblr posts. Usually I don't get any likes or comments on facebook. But occasionally one of them will tell me they enjoy reading them. (This has even happened in the presence of people who didn't know I had a tumblr, and nothing bad has come of that.) So basically, this level of cross-pollination has been pretty uneventful. (My goal is that someone casually stalking me through my real name or my usual pseudonyms shouldn't discover my tumblr. That's why I'm posting this from the throwaway.)
It's pretty easy to find me if you know me in more than one LW-sphere place. I have very little to lose from being a little strange, as I already have that reputation. I wouldn't call it cross pollination in my case; I am exactly the same person in the LW-sphere as I am in "Real Life." I try to stay socially appropriate and interjecting an article about fallacies is taken as hostile in many non-LW discussions. Who knew?! If I ever become more recognizable in either setting, I may have more interesting cross-pollination stories.
I think you should have compared the personal info revealed by them both before setting out to point fingers in public. Clarity is Australian and mixed-race, Gleb is American and white, and that's just where the differences begin. Signed, LW's self-appointed resident doxxing expert
Its true
I'm not sure how serious you are, but FWIW I think Clarity and Gleb are different people who share some quirks. (And, in particular, I think this is sufficient to explain Clarity's enthusiasm for some things Gleb has posted that I'm less enthusiastic about.)
For both if true and if not true: do you think posting this publicly is productive or a good idea when Clarity just said he didn't want to cross pollinate?
If true: don't think it's a good idea to have this sort of thing as a valid community norm.
I think it's far from ideal, but that d̶o̶x̶i̶n̶g̶ things similar to doxing are at least 100x worse as a community norm.
This isn't doxxing, I am not revealing otherwise difficult to get info, like address and phone and social security number, with the aim to harass. In fact, I am not revealing anything, I am just stating a guess. I have no inside info on either Clarity or Gleb.
I don't see a problem with speculating about whether two anonymous posters are the same person, but pushing the idea that a poster who wishes to remain anonymous is the same person as a poster who's publicly identified is close to doxing.
I agree. I feel violated, offended and frankly sorry for Gleb. Illya I honestly never would have expected this and from you of all people.
Ok, I removed the post. And I am out myself.

I think your posts are awesome and a much needed breath of fresh air.

In terms of virtue ethics: you are the kind of person we want here. And if someone doesn't, then that's a personality failing on their part.

Please stick around.


And I am out myself.

If (1) it isn't too late and (2) this is your reason for departing rather than an opportunity for doing something you'd been kinda wanting to for ages, may I suggest that you not leave? Your presence here is valuable and I don't think one misstep changes that.

(I appreciate that #1 or #2 might well be false.)

I think "I am out myself" here means "my real name is publicly associated with my LW account", and has nothing to do with leaving the site.
That's an ingenious conjecture, but I don't think I believe it. We already know Ilya's LW name is also his real name; repeating that fact here doesn't make any sense.
I think that even making guesses about someone's identity on an anonymous account is in very poor taste and actively discourages participation by people who are attempting to use anonymity as a tool to, "share [their] mind authentically". I consider that sort of thing d̶o̶x̶i̶n̶g̶ similar to doxing because it takes actions on identity outside of the anonymous person's terms. These days I'm generally against anything that has the potential to decrease activity on LW. (And even if Clarity is a generally ridiculous poster, he does foster discussions on the site at the very least.)
I think it's a bad idea to have the same person have multiple prolific accounts here. I think calling what I am doing "doxxing" is a fnord. "Fnord" is also a fnord.
I think its important to evaluate the impact of your suspicion being wrong. Calling Gleb Clarity is practically slander. And as I've said before my name is mentioned several times in my post history: Carlos. More ethically questionable is that I started a discussion on the ethics of voluntary identification any my anxiety around the level of association and attention I bring to stress my anxiety here and was 'outed' albeit frivolously in this way
I apologize if I caused you any distress, that was not my intention.
Why don't you both guys edit the existing comments and replace the other person's name with "xxxxxxxx"?
Should I feel bad about this? Granted, neither of those accounts is linked to a meatspace identity, but...
No. It would have been bad if you'd been wrong. But you had reason to be confident, and you were right. Possibly it would have been better to message Nancy privately. But she's busy, and in the time between "Eugine shows up" and "Eugine gets banned", I prefer for the rest of us to know he's here. Even if Eugine was tied to a meatspace identity, he's not allowed to be here. He's still not allowed to be here if he doesn't admit that it's him.
Thanks. Another commenter suggested the same in a PM. I'm going to do that the next time I spot a possible new Eugine Nier account.
How am I ridiculous?
Not all the time. In fact, you display an admirably deep degree of introspection. BUT there's this. And this. And this. And whatever this is. And for the love of Zeus, this,
I'm not Gleb edited

Karma histogram program. Is there a webapp alternative? I don't know how to implement the Github code but I want to analyse and interpret my karma histogram.

Oh hey! I'm pretty sure I wrote the original code for that.
I don't know Ruby, but I think that your code doesn't work properly. It will count the karma score for every comment on the comments page. This includes the comment that you are replying to. I believe that you should have checked the author name somewhere before you added to the karma HashMap.
I'm pretty sure when I wrote that four years ago we didn't have the previous comment for context on the user page. I agree with you that I wouldn't expect it to work now.
can we change that? :D it's beautiful as a concept
Thanks! ....so how do we use it, haha?
If there is not, then I can create something on github pages that should do this. It should be fairly simple to do and would just involve scraping the data in the http://lesswrong.com/user/[specifiedUser]/comments/ pages. I think this is the only way to do it. Let me know what you want and I will look into it. I could probably also include your posts karma and allow you to check how your karma score changes over time.
I want something that mimics or implements the existing program. Why reinvent this wheel? If it already does not feature, %positive will be an interesting feature. A very interesting extension would be to see how %karma and karma correlates with written content. For anyone machinelearning afficionados who wants to experiment with these ideas, I volunteer an unrestricted (for either/or commercial or noncommercial) use of my comments and posts. If you are interested in using my LessWrong account as a training data set, feel free to use my reddit account (/r/fruitheart) for outgroup comparison.

Complice is a paid service. If you aren't desperate to cowork the effective altruism videochatroom or lesswrong equivelant, try tracking time which is free and more professional instead.

The reason though, that I prefer complice is the ontology. I have to categorise my tasks. What counts as workflow integration, what counts of inbox zero, and what as to the content of that email: e.g. acting on a newsletter from my daughter's swim pool place to do something? It's not compatible with the Mckinsey MECE ontology that I prefer. Meanwhile, complice is super expensive and the free version doesn't let me save my goals so they're lost forever. Manually tracking in excel gets really cluttered, too.

Let's say I make six predictions or statements that I believe to be true about someone I've never met and I say the statements taken as a whole are true with P = 0.7. Note that I do not claim to be psychic.

The P of each statement must then lie between 0.7 and 1.0, and if they are equal then the P of each statement is 0.7 ^ (1/6) = 0.94. Let's say 0.9 because I doubt any statement about this type of probability should be reported with two significant figures, and perhaps even one significant figure without an attached tolerance band is a bit of a stretch.... (read more)

You mean that all the statements are true -- right? You're evaluating "a AND b AND c AND d AND e AND f"? Correct. You are assuming the statements are independent of each other. That's not necessarily so. To take an extreme example, all six statements could be a function of the same single property/event. In such a case the P of each is 0.7 and the P of all of them is still 0.7.
I can state with P=.94 (much higher) that you know how to read English. Is that an impossible level of certainty? The real question isn't probability assigned, but prior probability distribution, and evidence. You're on Less Wrong - I've yet to meet somebody on Less Wrong, out of hundreds of conversations, who can't speak English, so I have a prior much higher than .94 starting off. (I don't care to calculate it, since I don't even know the exact sample size, but somewhere in the vicinity of .99) I have evidence that you read and write English, pushing the prior slightly higher. Somebody could throw this statement into a list of several others about any given Less Wrongian without influencing the overall probabilities. It's the relationship of the statements to their prior probabilities that matters.
Everything Lumifer said, plus: P(A), P(B) >= P(A /\ B) and using log-odds allows for some finer psychological control over tiny value of probability (see Jaynes book).
Over two thousand results found. Did you mean a specific one? Could you provide a short summary? Don't get me wrong, the topic is interesting per se, I just don't like the communication in form of google search results. I can't read your mind, and google may filter the results for me, or change the pagerank overnight. You probably wanted to point out a specific link or two, so just post them directly. It would take you less than a minute to do so.
That sort of idea. See the LW wiki for more about how the term has been used around here.
Thanks, I bookmarked that, and will be more specific.

Why is the manosphere so maligned? It seems it's easier to ban men's rights activists than a whole lot worse people in society. Julien Blanc was banned from Australia for, from what I can see, basically amounts to BDSM and RooshV is widely accused of wanting to legalise rape and has recently been banned from Australia on that basis. I did a bit of snooping and found RooshV's article is specifically about how to stop rape and legalising rape of private property to specifically counter false rape accusations. It's a bad policy, but so is the libel. I'm reall... (read more)

http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/12/17/the-toxoplasma-of-rage/ You sum it up aptly with this comment. You complain about the treatment of Roosh and Julien, both of whom deliberately foster controversy for the sake of increasing their own fame/infamy, and who more-or-less wholly deserve that hatred, since they've worked so hard to get it. You -don't- complain about the treatment of AVoiceForMen, which has retreated from their couple of over-successful-for-their-tastes attempts to engage in the same kind of tactics, and which far fewer people have heard of. Or, in short: Masculinists imitate the most -popular- feminists, not realizing, or not caring, that their popularity is a result of their controversy, and not paying attention to the fact that feminism is a discredited cause at this point precisely because of those tactics. (Most of the truly good feminists have stopped talking, because they've noticed, too.) More, they imitate tactics that would never work for them - feminism leans extremely heavily on the (sexist, note) desire to protect women, which is why so much feminist rhetoric revolves around rape and domestic violence - things which occur approximately equally to men, but which nobody cares about. MRAs are prone to harp on and on about rape and domestic violence against men, failing to notice that these things don't really attract sympathy for women as a class of human beings anymore, since they've been so severely overplayed (and then interpret the apathy that is increasingly universal as specific to them).
Tim Hunt will be glad to hear that, so when is he getting his job back?
Discredited doesn't mean toothless.
Julien is a person who wanted to get famous by baiting feminist bloggers and succeeded at it in a way that might have been more than he asked for. His behavior has very little to to with values of the BDSM community. The BDSM community focuses strongly on explicit consent and not touching people when they haven't consented to being touched. Calling for making rape legal on private property does happen to be a call to want to legalise a good portion of the rape that's happening.
I don't think PUA sympathies are any less common than feminist leanings, but rather that the former isn't considered "okay" in polite company whereas the latter is often encouraged. There are a lot of fundamental reasons the manosphere is attacked so frequently. One of them is that people tend to value a sense of mystery in their romantic and sexual interactions. For the average person, knowing all the moving parts in the interaction dynamics and seeing the dry cause-and-effect relations ruins the "magic". Thus no matter how strongly people incorporate a subconscious understanding of how heterosexual encounters work, they don't want it verbalized. Getting angry and offended is a great way to engage a cognitive firewall that prevents belief incorporation, so that's what they do. Banning Roosh from Australia is an opportunity for surface-level political signaling.
You're assuming PUA theory is an accurate description of the details of romance.
It's less a map of the territory, and more a set of directions for getting from point A to B, with hints at the geography. Depending on the specific flavor, it's more accurate than some, less accurate than others. For an average heterosexual man, the overall thrust of the advice (be confidently dominant) is more-or-less correct with regard to the average heterosexual woman, and significantly more correct than the standard modern advice men receive (be humble and nice). The actual details advocated in PUA vary by flavor, but cluster loosely around "correct" (unfortunately often falling into the uncanny valley of human relations, as nothing is more off-putting than something that is almost, but not quite, right). And implementations... well, the general gist is right, and the details are close to right, but hand that to somebody who doesn't understand why they're doing what they're doing, and you get something terrifying, because now you're several degrees off of "close enough" and firmly into the territory of "this person isn't behaving like a person", which is more or less exactly what the word "creepy" conveys.
I think that a few sections of PUA provide a well-developed and accurate system for navigating one of the sides of female sexual/romantic psychology in a certain subset of the population. To be specific, I believe the original Roissy is a good example of someone who developed a solid system for gaining the genuine interest of physically healthy women looking to activate their short-term oriented feelings of sexual infatuation and romantic enjoyment. With that said, however, I don't think my post assumes that PUA theory is accurate (though my phrasing may have revealed my bias). It merely assumes that a significant number of people don't want to see convincing-sounding detailed descriptions of how the sexual- and romantic-escalation process works (whether or not the descriptions are true), and that many within that group use feelings of anger or annoyance to get those descriptions out of their head before they destroy their inner atmosphere of magic and mystery, or make the beautiful relationships in their life feel dry and mechanical.
RooshV, Julien Blanc, and perhaps 'manospherians' more generally, are not representative of typical PUA advice. (Notably, most PUAs would not advocate 'surprise BDSM' as Julien Blanc did.) Clarity is probably right that 'manospherian' sympathies are not well-regarded, but this has little to do with PUA itself.
For reference, who would you say is representative of typical PUA advice?
These days I would point to /r/seduction on reddit as a good example. Notably, the now mildly-infamous '/r/TheRedPill' section split off from the '/r/seduction' folks arguing that they were being too PUA-focused and apolitical, i.e. they were not focusing enough on 'manosphere' concerns.
Interesting point about the split. One way to understand what kind of people these communities attract is to consider "what's in it for them". Most people who are focused only on understanding sexual/romantic dynamics well enough to get a girlfriend they're happy about being with will dip their feet into the community for a few months or a couple years and then disappear. It's the perpetual failures, and more importantly the people with a political agenda, who stay. Roosh wrote Bang in 2007! That's a long time ago. He's in his 30s now and openly says that he's not interested in closing with a high number of women per year anymore. I don't know what your opinion is, but my impression is that Roosh's early work was pretty solid in terms of the basic mechanics of going from the approach to the close (though nothing past that, like LTRs). But nowadays his agenda is political, and I assume you're saying that PUA (e.g. r/seduction) is apolitical and practical, whereas the manosphere (e.g., RooshV Forum, r/TheRedPill) is political and focused on macro trends. Kind of unfortunate I guess. Almost everything in the "manosphere" comes directly from the original Roissy of 2007-2009 (e.g., this post). Even The Misandry Bubble is just Roissy Macro written with more academic patience and less penetrating intelligence. While Roissy's practical system was also quite good, most people in the manosphere have given up talking about micro dynamics with any sort of insight. It gets pretty shaky with charlatens like Rollo Tomassi, who seem in it only for the political agenda (and consequently have their head in the clouds). The reason I say it's unfortunate is because they've really made no progress since Roissy and a few other people (e.g., Ricky Raw here) laid the macro groundwork all those years ago. They're just getting louder and more active politically. Too bad the real Roissy didn't have the discipline and desire to use his intellectual power for something more rigorous. And no
If you read "The Feeling Good Handbook" than it claims that vunerability is central for love relationships. There are PUA people like Mark Manson who are pro-vunerability but Roosh certainly isn't. Quite a lot of PUA behavior leads those people to not living long-term relationships because the PUA paradigm prevents them from opening up and being vulnerable.
'Vulnerability' is a highly ambiguous term, though. You can definitely show an 'emotional' side (good!vulnerability) without slipping into unattractive 'beta/doormat' mode (bad!vulnerability).
You are right in the sense that simply telling people "be vulnerable" is likely fix all issues on it's own. In general I however think it's a mistake to think in terms of mode. It's possible to put on an act in a bar that makes a guy "alpha". In a deep relationship where both parties are open it's not possible to put an act anymore and the core shines through. A guy who's generally driven in life will be more attractive than one that isn't. A guy who also puts value on keeping strong relationships with his male friends and who knows what he's doing with his life will be more attractive than a guy who's only priority is his girlfriend. Using different tactics of interacting with the girlfriend doesn't change something about the core. Elon Musk hooked up with an attractive actress in late 2008 while he both Tesla and SpaceX was at the brink of bankrupcy and he was loaning money for rent. At time where he was sad. He didn't do any game on the super model but told her about his emotional troubles and the sadness he feels about the state of Tesla + SpaceX. That's likely very different behavior then what the actress is used to from most guys. I also think that's not repeatable by in the same way by a person who doesn't actually have the drive that Musk has by going to a seminar to learn how to interact with woman like Elon Musk interacts with woman. On the other hand the promise that PUA marketing sells is that you can become successful with woman mainly by focusing on becoming successful with woman.
That's my point though. I don't really know much about this story, but Elon Musk is anything but a beta/doormat - his current achievements kinda speak for themselves. This would surely make a difference, even if at some level he was 'sad' and thus low-status. A better description is that focusing on being successful with women can help you succeed socially in a more general sense, given the right methods/mindset. Though maybe that's mostly because being successful with the opposite sex is something everyone cares about at some level, and having that kind of goal as a thing you can steadily improve on makes a big difference in your overall rationality.
In what way does the PUA paradigm prevent people from opening up and being vulnerable? You may have the causality backwards. PUA is a tool for creating short-term sexual attraction, and the men most invested in improving this tool will be men geared more toward short-term relationships than the average person. Rather than PUA causing men to lose out on the joy of long-term relationships, it may simply be that the community is disproportionately populated by men who's thinking was already firmly oriented toward short-term flings.
Basically people close down if you tell them to force themselves to approach strangers in relatively hostile enviroments. That what the resident person I know who wrote a book on comfort zone expansion and who run a weekly meetup on comfort zone expansion has to say on the topic. PUA trains man to consistently reflect on whether their behavior is attractive and then change their behavior based on that reflection. Commonly that means that a man thinks he isn't supposed to show weakness when he's in a relationship. It trains the idea that if the man stops engaging in PUA type behavior his girlfriend will cheat on him. That creates resonance with fear of the girlfriend leaving that prevents opening up. Two of key people in the game are publically out as being depressed a decade afterwards. Tyler and Mystery. That even through those two have actual success in attracting woman and they make a lot of money coaching people. Herbal/Tynan isn't but then he stopped the PUA lifestyle, by his own account lost skills and is now seeking a wife to settle down with. Losing skills is quite interesting because it indicates that the skills are superficial and not deeply rooted. The fact that Mystery reports still having approach anxiety years after being a PUA is another indication of a failure to actually do deep changes. I haven't actually meet Mystery or Tyler in person but I do know over a handful of people who make money with selling products to the PUA demographic and who see PUA often as causing those effects. Basically most people linked to MALEvolution think that way.
Let me summarize in my own words some of the points in your post: Many members of the PUA community: * take it too far and believe that newbies should immediately dive head-first into doing uncomfortable and anxiety-producing approaches in often-hostile environments. (Which causes these newbies to wall off their real selves and hide behind manufactured personalities.) * are paranoid about girls cheating on them and think a single slip into beta-provider mode may seal a crushing and depressing fate. (Which prevents them from opening up and showing vulnerability, which is required for escalating into a love relationship.) * believe that showing weakness in a relationship is always and everywhere a poor tactic. (Which causes the same problem as the last bullet.) * are depressed even if they have had a lot of success attracting women, as evidenced by two of the key individuals, Tyler and Mystery, encountering this issue. (Which shows that PUA working for seduction doesn't necessary mean it works for a good life.) * lose a sufficient amount of skill after a short enough time out of the game to suggest that they failed to create deeply-rooted changes in themselves. (Which stands as more evidence that PUA teaches people how to put on an act rather than how to truly improve themselves.) Am I on the right track? Although I agree with you on all of these claims, I don't agree with you on what I perceive to be the overall argument you're constructing, which is that reading a large selection of material from the PUA community is unlikely to be a good way for a man to better himself in the realm of achieving genuine connections with women he desires either sexually or romantically. Before I continue: Have you read HughRistik's writing here on Less Wrong?
Yes. Let's start by explictly stating my position: There are man who get into PUA and develop skills that make it easy to get laid. Those aren't the majority. There are other man who get damanged by PUA and get hold back in their development. A bit of what he actually wrote on LW but I don't think the majority of the linked articles. But let's take one http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2008/04/26/do-women-know-what-they-want/ That post basically argues that woman don't know what they want.The evidence that it brings is that the mating preferences that woman give out when you give them a questionaire don't match what other studies found in a controlled experiment. That's a bad belief to have. It prevents guys from having deep conversations with women about their desires. If you look at the Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller point of view as articulated on http://thematinggrounds.com/ one of the aspects that a guy can learn by actually listening to woman is woman's desire for safety. When a guy goes on a date his biggest fear is getting rejected. Often for woman a big fear is getting physically violated. That's not something that the mating priorities questionaire that HughRistik cites or even gathers data on. In some sense you could argue that Mating Grounds is PUA material but Tucker Max would take that as an insult as he consider PUA to do more harm than good. I think a guy who wants to get layed will do better by taking that book than by taking one about 2008 PUA. Mating Grounds about PUA: Other more substantial things that are wrong about PUA from my perspective: The language. Terms like k-close and f-close serve to disassociate emotions. Just because a word like sex is charged with emotions doesn't mean that it should be avoided. If man feel uneasy about speaking those words they should explore their relationship with those words instead of replacing it with more constructed language. Treaing woman as numbers. It prevent deeper relating. The PUA theory o
This belief is broadly correct wrt. attraction. Safety is not remotely the same thing as attraction - it is psychologically a very different need. That's why when women started opening up about the importance for them of physical safety (or even just the clear perception of safety) in public settings, many PUAs actually listened to them. They came up with guidelines like 'always leave a line of retreat' - and these guidelines turned out to work strikingly well in the field, and so became increasingly popular. This is perhaps the clearest possible example of beliefs paying rent, no matter where they originally came from. It's how an empirically-focused art improves. These are flawed terms, but there is an important insight behind them. Namely, that the preconditions for having sex are not very different from the ones that will lead to you two kissing/making out (k-close) or exchanging numbers (#-close) - all of these are 'closes' that reflect some level of commitment. That the 'f-close' is thus not something far-fetched and unachievable, but something that can potentially be reached, provided that you approach it with the right sequence of steps or 'courtship dance'. And yes, this does require ongoing attention to "what feels good", but that's not enough. Having a clear framework to hang it all on is very helpful, even from a pure emotional POV.
The problem is that while some PUAs actually listen a lot of people who read PUA material don't think that it's valuable to listen to women for their perspective. The might speak with other PUA's in their lair but think that the outside world is stupid. It produces an intellectual fantasy world in which not enough reflection happens. I don't think guidelines itself are enough. Actually having deep conversations is the key to understanding other people. It's an emotional shield to prevent certain emotions from being felt. The PUA focuses on intellectual steps instead of being in touch with the emotions of the moment. The shield disassociates the emotion more if the goal is considered to be a 'f-close' instead of the goal being considered sex. I'm not sure to what extend that feature is be design or simply by memetic evolution but it's there. The problem is that the guidelines don't work well. I remember one naked dance event led by a tantra bodywork person. A guy who earn part of his money with giving erotic massages to woman. We danced naked but the rule was not doing it with a sexual vibe. One guy didn't get it, and that hurt the event. The standard PUA model doesn't even acknowledge that you can touch the same part of the body with a sexual vibe and can also touch it with a nonsexual vibe. There are a lot of professional at human touch who have thought about how it works and PUA largely ignores that knowledge base and instead orients itself on techniques developed in bars and clubs. Just like there a lot of professional knowledge about coaching that PUA don't interface with much.
Mating Grounds: The prototypical feminist alternative to PUA, which is to say, it removes women from one box, and shoves them in another, and pretends that's an improvement because they don't use words they declare as harmful (even as they repackage all the same concepts into other boxes). They're standard PUA rebranded with more feminist labeling, pretending to be morally superior while engaging in the same behaviors. "This isn't PUA. PUA is a disgusting reduction of women to sexual transactions." What the hell do you think all of that is? "Nothing meaningful to show for their efforts" = "We'll get you sex!". They're telling men that they have the cheat codes to sex, same as every other PUA-peddler out there. I can seduce -anybody-. I'm not even unique - I'm not a decent human being, but it just requires acting like a decent human being. No tricks, no magic sequence of steps, no nothing. It just amounts to paying attention to the other human being who is sitting across from you, and realizing that, hey, they're human too, they also want sex and intimacy and affection and to feel loved, and giving them what they want means getting what you want. But "Give the other person what they want" means realizing that -both- parties in the relationship are equal, -both- parties in the relationship both want the same things, and that -both- parties in the relationship both have something to offer and need to give their partner what their partner needs, and apparently it is too goddamn hard for people to think in terms of what their -partner- desires, rather than the magic Ur-Woman In The Heart of All Women Who Must Be Satisfied To Dispense Sex. Blind leading the friggin' blind.
Calling Tucker Max who might be one of the people who attracted most feminists to demostrate against him for a prototypical feminist seems a bit far fetched. Just like the accomplished evolutionary pschology professor Geoffrey Miller is prototypical feminist. If you call an actually evolutionary psychology professors feminist because he don't share the ideas about how mating works that the PUA community has, maybe your view of reality is a bit distorted.
I am calling him a prototypical feminist (which is distinct from a feminist - that modifier is there for a reason) because he's failing in the same way feminists do, for the same reasons. He exemplifies a common failure mode of feminism. I'm not sure about your use of language (I'm guessing at what you mean because some critical words are missing, there), but I am precise about what words I use, and why.
Drawing your judgement from the academic literature on evolutionary psychology is failing for the reasons feminists fail? That as far as Geoffrey Miller goes. As far as Tucker Max goes, are you aware you Tucker Max happens to be and why he's hated by feminists?
I'm not commenting on Geoffrey Miller, no matter how many times you bring him up. And nope. No idea who Tucker is, and don't really care. I read a few pages from the site you linked, and my criticism is exactly what it is: He moves women from one box, and into another. He fails for the same reason many feminists do; because he believes in a virtuous stereotype, regards other stereotypes as unvirtuous, and attempts to stereotype in a more positive way. Charitably, he recognizes that the stereotype is a problem, but is incapable of moving past a social level and into the level of individual, so supplants one stereotype with another. Uncharitably, he just thinks other people's stereotypes are wrong, and that his is correct. What feminists think of him doesn't matter to me in the least. More, that feminists hate him doesn't surprise me, since they're fundamentally similar with slight aesthetic differences, which is always a recipe for deep hatred.
Calling a person who got famous enough to hit the TIME 100 by telling the world a lot of nonvirtues stories about himself "believing in a virtuous stereotype" mistakes who he is.
I agree that many men in the PUA community use jargon such as "k-close" and "f-close" as a technique for disassociating emotions. Where we differ is that you're condemning this method whereas I believe it's a crucial tool to have available. First of all, let's consider where the emotions come from. If a man is choosing between saying "I had sex with a beautiful woman I met last weekend" and "I f-closed a solid 8 last weekend", he's choosing between different linguistic constructions. The thought remains the same. In both cases, he imagines the woman, the situation, and the interaction. The difference, rather, is in the realm of cached thoughts and emotions. When he says the former, his mind transitions to associations relating to mainstream thought. When he says the latter, his cognition completes the pattern straight into the received wisdom and social influences of the PUA community. Note that you are operating firmly within the current of mainstream thought on this topic. This isn't to say that you're wrong. You may very well be on the right track in your criticisms of PUA. But nevertheless your thoughts on this subject demonstrate absolutely no break from the mainstream of polite society. This is the only information we need to understand why you prefer to use terms like "sex" rather than "f-close". For better or for worse, the PUA community contains a lot of information which is very much contrary to mainstream thinking and tends to draw very strong, negative emotions from the average person. Imagine a socially active and happy person using mainstream language yet trying to retain PUA-type beliefs. The amount of stoicism required to avoid cracking under social pressure would be immense. The ultimate conclusion is this. You value the mainstream on this subject, so it's concerning to you that PUA writers run away from terms like "sex" because they don't want the associations which come along for the ride. But I'm in a different position: I think the mainstre
I'll be straight to the point - dating advice considered harmful. A lot of dating advice is seemingly more on why "X is better" rather than what you should be actually doing. The well is poisoned and nobody is stopping to think why people die a short amount of time after they drink from it. No belief pays rent in those cultures, and nobody gets evicted for unpaid debt either. They're often anti-epistemology and their epistemology covers as much as the emperor's clothes, and any instrumental advice they may have is like a smith handing out unsharpened swords to soldiers. Let's throw away 1000 words of advice and see what we can get.
Well, you're certainly right that the people who stay in the community are likely unrepresentative of the average. But there are many people who stay because they're seeking to be PUA wingmen/coaches (either amateur or paid-for), or simply to improve their outcomes and their understanding of seduction- and social dynamics. To some extent, this describes 2007!Roissy and 2007!RooshV too, but even then they were quite controversial and 'political', in a way that many others in the community would have found distasteful and unhelpful. The flip side of it though is that if the 'heavyweight' political folks are right about what they infer from PUA micro dynamics (I'm far from convinced about this, but we can assume it for the sake of this argument) there might not even be much need for further work on the micro side. Overall, PUA has seen remarkably little change since 2007, though there's definitely been a welcome emphasis on 'inner game' and 'being a natural' as being the next level, and low-level tactics and tricks as useful training wheels that can eventually be dispensed with to a large extent.
Good point. I don't see the connection. Even if the coordination system of society is falling apart, that doesn't mean that men can't enjoy the fruits of PUA ability in the short term. Why would Roissy Macro being correct not leave room for further refinement in the practical art of seduction?
In the US that might be true, when looking at the people I know in Germany who make money in that industry, a lot of them say that the 2007 PUA stuff creates more harm than good. Instead of getting told to force myself to do approaches that make me feel unconfortable I get told that it would be good for me to do more non-violent communication style expressions of my own desires. But even in the US there are people who speak at PUA conferences and take the label of PUA as an insult and claim there are there to get the people away from PUA style thinking.
So how does that actually help with seducing girls? Because that sounds like it simply decayed into yet another "generic self-help movement".
The person in question does write articles about how to get girls to have sex in the bathroom of a nightclub and make his money with the blog hosting those articles. That was the specific personal advice he gave me at the end of spending 10 days at a retreat in nature together. Actually changing the substance through "generic self-help" seems to work better for the goal of getting woman than focusing on learning tactics for getting woman. The idea of learning a bunch of techniques to change woman into liking you instead of working to change yourself doesn't seem to be successful.
Makes sense then. He got to know you quite well, and realized that a 'direct' style would work best for you. That's not really what's happening, though. The techniques are there to change the image you're presenting and ensure that it reflects you at your best and most attractive. That's why 'the inner game' (changing yourself) and 'the outer game' (changing your social image/approach) are largely seen as complementary and mutually reinforcing.
Well, the political agenda is also a natural evolution. After getting laid enough times, it gets dull. Also if one is at all philosophically inclined, one notices that the very existence and need for PUA is a symptom of how dysfunction certain aspects of society are. Thus one is naturally led to politics.
That's what I was getting at, though I didn't mention the mechanism. People who are not philosophically inclined will tend to learn the basics of PUA, get a bit of success going, and then go back to their life. Those who are, well, there's a natural evolution which leads into politics related to growing older, losing interest in closing with many women per year, and so forth. I suppose mentioning the "perpetual failures" in the same sentence and also using the negative-connotation word "agenda" may have made it seem like I was criticizing PUA practitioners who develop an interest in the political side of PUA theory. But I meant nothing of the sort. I myself have a strong philosophical demeanor and a deep interest in understanding the current tides of human organization and the pathologies underlying the modern-day erosion of proper societal coordination.
I am not going to follow that link here at work; for the benefit of others who may be similarly cautious, would someone like to explain what "legalizing rape of private property" means? On the face of it, rape is something that can only be done to people, and there aren't many people around these days who would justify having people as private property.
It's a typo. RooshV wants to legalize rape that happens in private property.
OK, so I briefly considered that interpretation but thought it was more unlikely than that he had some unorthodox meaning attached to "rape of private property". So apparently he wants rape to be legal as long as it happens on private property. OK, Clarity, in what possible sense is it a "libel" to accuse Roosh of if in fact he I mean, that does in fact mean legalizing a whole lot of rapes. (I would bet that a large majority of rape happens on private property, even if you adopt a narrower definition of rape than the law generally does.) If I say I want insider stock trading to be legal provided you wear a suit when you do it, I am proposing to legalize insider trading. If I say I want murder to be legal unless it's done with a gun, I am proposing to legalize murder. If I say I want making copies of copyrighted works to be legal if it's done by men rather than women, I am proposing to legalize copyright infringement. And: if I say that I want rape to be legal if it's done on private property, I am proposing to legalize rape. (For the absolute avoidance of doubt: I am not, in fact, making any of those proposals.)
The proposal has nothing to do with that. This is Roosh's real proposal: "Pay more attention to me! I'm still edgy and obscene and dangerous!" And it's working.
Oh, very likely, but Clarity claimed that people were libelling Roosh for proposing to legalize rape when actually he's just proposing, er, to legalize rape. My bemusement at this has basically nothing to do with how sincere Roosh is or what ulterior motives he may have for proposing to legalize rape. (Unless his proposal is so obviously not intended to be taken seriously that the objection should be not "he wants to legalize rape" but something more like "he thinks legalizing rape is a reasonable thing to propose as a joke", I guess.)
I agree with this framing for this specific case, but I do want to point out that there are huge noncentral fallacy issues with this framing in general; if I say "hey, we should add an age difference exemption to all the statutory rape laws that don't have one yet" that would be arguing for legalizing some rapes (because it involves redefining rape). (The steelman of Roosh is basically arguing that, instead of changing campus culture to reflect the law, we should change the law to reflect campus culture. So it's certainly skeevy enough that "legalizing rape" has fair connotations, and that's even before one drops out of the steelman lens and into the literal lens.)
Yup, I agree. That's why I remarked that I think a large majority of rapes fall into the category he's proposing should be legal, even if you adopt a relatively narrow definition of rape. Of course, I could be wrong. (And I could have said more explicitly that "legalize some instances of X" is by no means always fairly summarized as "legalize X".)
His overall point is that the current memes circulating in the general public on the topic of rape are ineffective at handling the issue, and furthermore that they're so ineffective that getting rid of them altogether and doing something as extreme as legalizing rape on private property would actually lead to a better aggregate outcome for not only men but also women. At least that's my interpretation. Note that Roosh writes a lot of satirical essays that are supposed to systematically introduce various details that he thinks are important while suggesting a general conclusion. This I think is a common tactic for people who write on controversial topics or have a lot to allude to and brainstorm about but don't have a fully fleshed out conclusion to simply state directly. Here is another example of his non-literal exposition style.
The idea of how the law is supposed to benefit woman is by making woman so fearful of getting raped that they don't go home with a boy after a club night. It's that woman are too promiscuous and have to be forced by fear to to less promiscuous. It's an ugly argument.
You're taking it too literally. See here for a better explanation of what Roosh means.
That's his PR strategy, for sure. He wouldn't be nearly as popular if he wrote rigorously thought-out expositions using neutral language and containing a lot of qualifiers to make sure nobody thinks he's a bad person. While I think part of his mission puts being famous and notorious as an end in and of itself, I don't think we should assume he's not also genuinely motivated by an attempt to disseminate information that he believes is important. For a brief attempt to translate the overall point of his article on legalizing rape into language that's more literal, see this post I just submitted elsewhere in this thread.
I'm not particularly interested in reading it; he's neither my ally nor my enemy, and I find neither what he says, nor how he says it, particularly entertaining or useful. I'd guess it's something along the idea that "Removing safety rails make people behave more safety-consciously", or consideration of its converse, "Safety rails make people behave less safety-consciously". Which is true, but... premature. Society isn't there quite yet. We have at least another decade, although things are accelerating a bit, so it's hard to pin down a time. Shrug I encountered exposure to his ideas back when I read Captain Capitalism, before that blog turned into yet another outlet for the backlash against the constant overreach of social justice types. I find him... unnecessary. ETA: Ugh. I regret having participated in this.
No need to read it. I don't think Roosh is very good. For me reading him even for a few minutes feels like akrasia. I guess I'm more entertained by the style than you are, but entertainment is different than education. My priority is the latter. For reference, it's not just the safety-rail consideration, though that's relevant too. It's also that the current cultural landscape removes personal responsibility in many cases. Women will sometimes regret having sex the same way anyone may regret eating a cookie (they felt good then, but feel bad now). While no man would be proud of being the sexual equivalent of junk food during a one-night stand with a woman, I think today's society is a bit trigger happy in such situations in saying the man took advantage of the woman instead of saying that she indulged in the moment and later thought herself hedonistic. Making rape legal on private property would be the most extreme version of expecting personal responsibility from women. It certainly goes (way) too far, but within the fog of satire I believe Roosh has a point. Though, again, I wouldn't recommend his writing to someone looking for thoughtfulness or rigor.
Ahh..the: it's not rape if she liked it argument! rape is a serious accusation and all though some women may feel the way you described/misuse the legal system... I doubt that it's a common occurrence, most women are ashamed to admit they've been raped...don't think many would put themselves through the stress of it willy nilly. Haven't read the article, but even if the idea of legalizing rape on private property is looked at as sincere for even a second... it falls flat on its face. Marital rape is a thing that happens, seems likely this legalization would condone it. And so long as we're talking about responsibility, it would be the responsibility of the owners of properties legally raping people to put up a sign saying as much..kinda like the beware of angry dog ones...except about rape...which I don't think would catch on.
I assume the "it's not rape if she liked it" argument refers to circumstances where the woman doesn't consent to the sexual encounter, but then changes her mind part of the way through. In other words, we're talking about a shift from "don't want" (when the sex started) to "want" (before the sex is over), and describing the general result as "she liked it". It would be more precise, of course, to phrase it as, "She didn't like it and then she did like it." Now, which part of my post were you saying fit that argument? I assume you meant this part. With the considerations above in mind, I don't see how my point fits the "it's not rape if she liked it" argument. While that argument refers to situations where the woman felt averse to sex but then changed her mind part of the way through (with no specification about how she felt afterwards, the following day, and so on); on the other hand my example refers to situations where the woman wanted the sex both during the initial escalation and throughout the entire act (but then felt regret later on). Let me know if I misinterpreted you. I'm under the impression that when alcohol is involved the average person is more likely to use the words "taken advantage of" than "raped" unless the woman is passed out. I wasn't necessarily referring to misusing the legal system, though that's probably an issue in certain isolated cases. My concern, instead, is that Western culture at this time in history seems to allow women an escape route from admitting personal responsibility for certain actions. Women may not be flocking to the justice system, but there's certainly a trend where female sexual hedonism is blamed on the men who take up the offers. It was a satirical article and Roosh has no intention of trying to legalize rape on private property. I don't necessarily suggest reading the article, as it's long and liable for misinterpretation from anyone unfamiliar with the PUA community, but if you want to criticize his reasoning
If you say you want insider stock trading to be legal as long as you wear a suit, but your rationale is "it's so easy to convict innocent people of insider stock trading that the benefits from stopping false convictions outweighs the harm done by the insider trading", then that's the noncentral fallacy--a noncentral use of "want". Normally saying that someone wants X carries the connotation that they like X and don't believe X causes harm, which isn't true in this case. If you don't want people to be convicted of rape based on evidence obtained by torture, you also "want rape to be legal" (specifically, you want the subset of rapes "rapes where evidence is only obtained by using torture" to be legal) but describing it that way would be misleading. You don't think rape is good, you just think encouraging torture is worse than rape. It would be possible to think that encouraging false accusations is worse than rape as well (especially if false accusations are common) and want to allow some rapes so you can discourage false accusations in the same way that you might want to allow some rapes to discourage torture. (I really hope it's okay to even talk about this. I would rather not get banned.)
My impression is that incivility and social obliviousness is really what gets to people. The couple people I've seen banned here over the past year or so, even though many people pointed to the non-PC content of their posts as the reason for the ban, I believe that was a misinterpretation. They were banned for being unlikeable and uncivil. Simple as that. This mirrors my experience on almost any forum out there, except where systematic censorship exists for the benefit of a certain established agenda (like selling a product).
I don't think anyone is saying that Roosh wants rape. Only that he wants (many instances of) rape to be legal. Which is in fact what he wants (or, at least, what he says he wants; he may not be sincere). There is a risk of the noncentral fallacy here -- if someone proposes to make a small minority of atypical instances of something legal, that's not fairly described by saying they want to legalize whatever-it-is. But AIUI most rapes are committed on private property, even if (as I can imagine Roosh might want to) you take "rape" to imply outright nonconsent and force or threat or the like. (I confess I don't have statistics to hand to back up this claim.) If I'm right about this, then Roosh is proposing to legalize most rapes, and I think it's reasonable to describe that by saying he want to legalize rape. I'm sure it's true[1] that he wants to do this because he sees bad side-effects of the illegality of rape, rather than because he would like there to be more rape. But I think this is very often the case when people propose to legalize things, and therefore saying "Roosh proposes to legalize rape" doesn't amount to claiming he likes rape. [1] Or at least true-according-to-what-he-says; again, he might not be sincere.
Given that people call the gatherings proposed by Roosh to be gatherings of rapists, I'm not sure whether that's true.
I don't think "sincere" is the best word to use here. You're contrasting "interpret him literally" with "assume he's not sincere", but I don't see a connection. It's entirely possible that he's completely sincere in his attempt to communicate certain information through a satirical article. That is, he may be honest in his communication attempt but speaking in a way where interpreting him in too straightforward of a way would lead to misinterpretation. This is I believe what he's doing. See here for another post of mine, building on the points I made in my previous reply to you. It seems clear to me that he's writing a satirical polemic against a societal trend that he believes exists where women are not expected to bear personal responsibility for certain actions (such as voluntarily increasing their time preference through alcohol consumption). For reference, did you read his article in full?
You seem to be confused here. Rape is and should be illegal. This however does not conflict with the idea that there are limits to what the state can do to obtain convictions in criminal cases. Laws prohibiting extracting confessions under torture, warrantless searches, the principle that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, etc., are on the books to prevent innocent people from being convicted by overzealous prosecutors (or by an overzealous system). They are in no way an endorsement of the offending behavior.
Let's consider two of the lines from Jiro's post: * * Put together, it seems obvious that Jiro is pointing out a verbal technicality and you're interpreting him as if he means what he's explicitly saying he doesn't mean. Jiro's post is highly contextual and makes sense only by taking into account what he's responding to. You may want to re-read the subthread.
Upvoted for skillful use of diplomacy.
I may be missing Jiro's point, but it seems to me that he is stating that having limits on what the prosecution can do to achieve a conviction in rape cases is somehow the same as making rape legal. It is exactly that point that I am disagreeing with. Not allowing torture to obtain a conviction for a crime is not the same as making the crime legal.
Allow me to paraphrase the essentials of the conversation in my own words: To be concise, Roosh said that we should "legalize rape on private property", various people described that viewpoint as Roosh "wanting to legalize rape", and Jiro is claiming that such a phrasing is misleading. When we use the phrase "want X", we usually mean that we like X. But Roosh isn't saying that he likes rape. From your original reply: Jiro drew an analogy to Roosh's argument, and then advised against describing the content of that analogy with the words "want rape to be legal", because it makes it sound like the arguer endorses rape. And then your rebuttal included clarifying that putting into effect the law explained in the analogy would not, in fact, be an endorsement of rape. Put as simply as possible, Jiro used an analogy to suggest against describing Roosh's argument as X because it causes people to react like Y (which would constitute a misinterpretation), and then in response you wrote a post which was purely a matter of reacting like Y. Let this be a lesson for how easily words lead to systematic miscommunication.
I suspect that you are taking an expansive interpretation of what it is in the OP that I am objecting to. As I have already stated, I am objecting to exactly one statement: And, I will repeat and (hopefully) clarify my objection as well: Making rape legal is not the same as not permitting the state to resort to torture to obtain a conviction in rape cases. Making rape legal is tantamount to a legal endorsement of rape in the sense that the law is stating that it is legally OK to commit a rape, and that the law will not take action against the perpetrator of that rape. Declining to allow torture to be used to obtain a conviction in a rape case is however not an endorsement of rape. The distinction I am making is a distinction with tangible differences. For example, suppose action X is taken against person Y. Now consider two different scenarios: 1. X is legal. 2. X is illegal, but there is insufficient evidence against any suspected perpetrator to allow a conviction without, for example, resorting to torture to obtain a confession. In scenario 1, legally no crime has been committed (because X is legal). Therefore, person Y is not a victim of a crime. This means that person Y is not entitled to victim’s services. Beyond that, since there is no crime, it is doubtful that the state will even mount an investigation. And, there could be implications for insurance settlements and/or liability resulting from action X as well (e.g. suppose X occurs at a nightclub with lax security. If X is legal, it is less likely that person Y would win a liability settlement against the facility than it would be if X were illegal). In scenario 2, a crime has been committed. Presumably the state will mount an investigation, update crime statistics to reflect the incident, attempt to bring the perpetrator to justice, etc. Even if no one can be convicted or even brought to trial, person Y is recognized as a victim of a crime and would be eligible for victim’s services (if victims' ser
This is your problem right here. You can't simply single out a specific statement and attempt to grapple with its internal logic. Again, Jiro's response is highly contextual and only makes sense when you consider the big picture. Have you read the subthread carefully, going all the way back to Clarity's question? Have you read Roosh's article? If you haven't done these things, then you're being irresponsible in your attempt to interpret Jiro. Let's look again at the statement you're objecting to: Oh wait, you misquoted Jiro. Let's take a look at what Jiro actually said: See the quotation marks? Jiro's whole response was an attempt to explain that we shouldn't use the phrase "want rape to be legal" to describe either Roosh's position (that rape should be legal on private property) or the analogy (that rape convictions based on evidence obtained by torture should be thrown out) because it makes it sound like Roosh or the hypothetical person in the analogy endorses rape. If I sound condescending, it's because it's tiresome to argue with someone who is taking a single point as literally as possible while neglecting to look into the context of the discussion. Taking a step back: Jiro expressed uneasiness about submitting his or her post, probably because he or she knows how likely explicit discussions on these topics are to provoke angry or offended replies. While you didn't seem offended, you nevertheless began your reply with an emotionally charged claim that Jiro seemed "confused". I'm sure you're aware that such phrasing provokes the same kind of emotions that you're experiencing with my patronizing responses. I believe that it's very important for people to speak openly on these kinds of subjects, so when Jiro made what I interpreted as a solid point and then showed uneasiness about being part of the conversation, I found this somewhat alarming. I wrote a reply, and then soon afterwards I discovered your response, which began in a condescending way and then
Thanks for the lengthy response. I better understand the cause of the disagreement. And, I reread my response to the OP with your comments in mind, and you are 100% correct; I did sound more irritated and dismissive than I had any reason to (when I used the word “confused”). That was not my intention; I apologize for any offense caused. In addition, I would like to respond to and/or comment on some of your other comments. You asked: Yes and yes. It was an interesting thread. However the point I was making was not about what Roosh may or may not have meant in his article, nor was it about Clarity’s question, nor about gjm’s comments to Clarity’s question. All of those are interesting topics, and I have opinions on them, but I did not express them. Why not? Because the discussion volume on all of those topics has been large enough that my opinion on each of the main controversial points of the thread has been stated by someone else (in some cases, by multiple people); my stating opinions that have already been stated would add little value to the conversation. However, Jiro’s post did contain a statement that had not been addressed elsewhere and that I thought should be addressed, so I addressed it. You also said: Actually, you can. Jiro made a propositional statement and it can be evaluated independently without rehashing the entire thread history. Agreed – Jiro’s entire response was multifaceted, nuanced and complex, and were I disagreeing with his/her entire comment, the context of the thread would be relevant. The one statement I was commenting on however was self-standing and could be evaluated as such: And, no, the quotes in the original do not significantly change the meaning of the sentence; certainly they do not render my objections (stated here) invalid. So, why did I think that this one statement was important enough to respond to? Two reasons: 1. The statement is factually incorrect – it expresses a false equivalence, as explained here 2. The be
I appreciate the level-headed emotional de-escalation. And with that, onto the content: Understood. The next thing I'm wondering, then, is whether you've read this article. The reason I'm asking is because that's the full and original explanation of the non-central fallacy, the fallacy that Jiro was claiming was exemplified by saying that Roosh "wants rape to be legal". Whatever your answer to that question, I would like to make a request. Can you re-state Jiro's original argument in your own words? I don't mean simply repeating the propositional logic inherent in the single statement that you're objecting to; I mean explaining in full detail what Jiro meant to convey. Oh wait, I guess you may think that my request is irrelevant. I believe we have a fundamental disagreement on the nature of language and epistemology, and I'm not optimistic that we will be able to resolve this dispute within this subthread. I will, however, put your username in my notes and contact you if I put together a sequence on logic which bears on this discussion. But I might as well give it a brief attempt. Few things are more common in Less Wrong culture than taking things far too literally. Most people on this website come from a background of social oddity and nerd interests. The source of the average Rationalist's superpowers is also the source of his weakness: undue attention to the finely delimited moving parts of single isolated statements. Such an orientation of mind allows deep analysis, innovative thinking, and so forth. But the danger is that natural language is too primitive of a tool to expect to be able to scrutinize single statements; arguments must be evaluated as a whole unless we're in the realm of mathematical logic. Perhaps it would be easier to explain if I merely claim that your original post was irrelevant and off topic. Whatever the case with the single statement that you're analyzing, neither I nor Jiro make any claim which rests upon that foundation. Sure, yo
I believe the relevant term is "satrie". Or should we start accusing Swift of promoting cannibalism.
Note to moderators: I have a strong suspicion that Old Gold is Eugine Nier. Based on this suspicion, I made a comment from the anonymous "Username2" account. This comment was deleted almost immediately by someone else logged in as Username2. I see this as additional evidence in favor of the Eugine_Nier hypothesis. The suspicion was based on the following observations: (1) As Lumifer has previously hinted, Old Gold's writing style is recognizable (2) The political opinions that he has stated so far are also recognizable (3) The rapid increase in Karma on Old Gold's comment above is anomalous. (4) Around the same time as the comments above were posted (within a 15 minute time period), the username2 account was used for a personal attack on Nancy corresponding closely to Eugine's modus operandi.
Instead of figuring out an answer to that I'll concede it was a poor choice of words
yep, true, sorry for the typo
My thoughts are as always: internet drama, ABSOLUTELY NO (not mis-)communication between anyone, and slippery slopes. I'd add confirmation bias in and put it in the oven although the cake won't taste good.
Because women are perceived to be the weaker sex therefore it is rude to argue against them. Most people don't want to be seen as rude, except actually rude people who don't care. It doesn't matter if MRM have a point, they will inevitably be both seen as rude and actually have a disproportionate number of rude people.
I think you're correct about it being rude. More than rude, it's a social taboo to criticize feminism. The statement "women are perceived to be the weaker sex" does not seem to generally apply. It's more that we've internalized the more that "Anything that looks like an attack on the concept of equal rights is to be shunned." That gets extrapolated to "Anything that looks like an attack on the tools we've used to get more equal rights should be shunned." Note that the latter is not a position I endorse. It's complicated. To speculate, I'd say it's a mix: 1. Different groups have different aims in discourse. The phrase "competing access needs" comes to mind; even when the ultimate goals of two groups are not different, the things they are trying to achieve at the object level are mutually exclusive. These groups are often bad at realizing when they've bumped into each other, and conflate each other with genuine opponents 2. Cultural mores against criticisms of equality, and therefore against criticisms of HOW we are getting equality 3. A flawed model of oppression 4. Typical mind fallacy 5. Identity groups and the tribal feelings they incite
The social taboo against criticizing feminism is built on the taboo against male violence against women. Note how readily some people label criticism or disagreement as "harrassment" and "violence", or how women who disagree with feminism are erased from the debate -- this is how the former gets labeled as the latter. If we succeed to reframe the situation -- if we see a man verbally disagreeing with a feminist, but our emotions correspond to "a strong man is beating a weak woman" -- then the instinct to protect the woman gets activated. At least it is my experience that in eyes of most observers I would lose any debate with a sufficiently skilled female feminist, because she could twist even the most polite verbal disagreement as "attacking her" simply by starting to cry. People pattern-match all the time. They see a man opposing a crying woman; their brains may try to analyze what happened, but their hearts already gave a clear verdict.
Yeah. I don't know how to fix it, either, and it frustrates me (I also don't know how to keep from perpetuating it, because I tend to cry during confrontations by default).
Oh, but that's when you can win by "gracefully conceding" the argument. You're showing your own protective instinct, and everyone else can see that what you're really doing is bowing out because having a proper debate is clearly not a possibility.
Well, in my social circles a woman who'd use crying as a way to win an argument would lose major status. "Now, now, dear, don't worry your pretty little head about this" is something you don't want to hear :-/

A clever point on the EA reddit. Guessing the Open Philanthropy Project will sniff this out if its the case.

Would you mind summarizing the point. Because I don't get it.
Instead, I will elaborate on my interpretation of it and the meaning that I attribute to it: Seligman briefly mentions that 'PERMA' can be the foundation for a new value-model in politics in a video by the channel: 'happy and well'. This suggests that comparisons of wellbeing above '1', on say a QALY scale are useful. By convention, people are '1' when well, and less than 1 depending on the degree of disease (mental or physical) as it affects their quality of life. The reddit point highlights for me that we may find it effective to improve the happiness of a banker who's stressing himself out making money and blowing it on hookers than someone in ill health in the developing world. Seligman also describes research that shows people who have experienced all 3 of the 'worst' traumatic experiences tend to experience 'post traumatic growth', more so than those with 2 or one of these experiences: rape, torture and capture. With a bit of Googling I can't find the literature. This makes me less confident in his position but none-the-less hopeful that I've stumbled upon an important line of research for EA's to pursue. Discussing positive things is probably good for the EA diaspora anyway, since doom and gloom talk is rather unpleasant IMO.
If there was anything useful the banker could get for $5 then he would buy it himself. The argument for giving to the poorest people is not that they are the most deserving, or even that they are suffering the most, but rather that they are the cheapest to help.
No, he could. Whether he would do it is another issue. Moreover, the relationship between money and happiness is weak.
  • Effective Altruism Ineffective-funding-diversion (setting up organisation to indirectly divert flows of say, music philanthropy to...the EA political party?

What does the evidence have to say about where to send effective altruism and/or rationality related (startups? happenings?) media release or news item to help it go viral' and get picked up by other news sources? Google Advertising? Facebook Advertising? The ethnic newspaper that operates in the next city over? Starting a meetup thread? Reuters? a Change.org petition? The Senate sub-committee on the boogey man?

Send them everywhere and measure the impact. You could create a page with a few different URLs, then use different URLs for different distribution channels, and measure the page views and the conversion rates for each channel separately.

how would you be different if you only told yourself great things, how would your life be different if you used all the wrongs as fuel to be massively successful?

Living in denail isn't helpful for success.
I'm not sure that's true. All the research I've seen on the subject suggests that successful people in most contexts harbor optimistic rather than accurate views of their chances, skills, and associates. That said, there's probably a sweet spot.
Optimism changes your chances; changes the risks you will take, changes whether or not you'll employ your skills, changes how you interact with your associates.
Optimism changes your behaviour, that may or may not change your chances. In any case, on the pessimism - optimism axis both extremes look like not a good place to be. To discuss where is the sweet spot in the middle you first need the ability (vocabulary and metrics) to talk about specific locations in the middle, otherwise it's all just handwaving.
Being optimistic is not the same thing as living in denail and ignoring reality. Telling yourself only great thing is likely to make you not be in touch with reality. I don't think that's a good model. You can be fully in touch with reality and be optimistic through exercises like doing a lot of gratitude journaling.
I'm not talking about having a generally sunny disposition, although that probably helps; I'm talking about quantifiable questions like "how likely am I to get this job?" Unrealistically high estimates could fairly be described as denial (though a relatively benign form); nonetheless they're empirically correlated with success. I'm open to the possibility that this isn't causal, though.
They could be described with denial1, but I mean something more like denial2. Denial2 is about not exposing yourself to feedback loops and thinking hard. Chris Sacca who run the venture fund with the highest returns ever speaks of people strongly believing in their own success as one of the strongest signals for a good startup. But he doesn't mean that the startup funder is supposed to be in denail of reality. A good startup funder actually understands the problems that face him. He reacts to feedback.
The peril of ignoring emotions

Google search suggests: a positive psychology task generator webapp and positive psychology hackathons don't exist...yet


When I first skimmed this I read it as if Singer, upon deciding hell should be destroyed, planted a car bomb in order to get sent to hell in order to destroy it.

  • Effective Altruism political party?
How many voters do you expect?