Rationality Quotes August 2016

by bbleeker1 min read1st Aug 201618 comments


Rationality Quotes
Personal Blog

Another month, another rationality quotes thread. The rules are:

  • Provide sufficient information (URL, title, date, page number, etc.) to enable a reader to find the place where you read the quote, or its original source if available. Do not quote with only a name.
  • Post all quotes separately, so that they can be upvoted or downvoted separately. (If they are strongly related, reply to your own comments. If strongly ordered, then go ahead and post them together.)
  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson. If you'd like to revive an old quote from one of those sources, please do so here.
  • No more than 5 quotes per person per monthly thread, please.
11 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 12:12 AM
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Five Trump quotations in "Rationality Quotes" posted within about a minute of one another. Is this some sort of experiment to see how LW reacts to the name of Trump? (With one possible exception they do not in fact seem to me to be rationality quotes in any useful sense.)

Downvoted. Punching teachers in the eye because you don't think they know enough is generally counterproductive. This mostly tells us that in second grade Donald Trump had an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and underdeveloped sense of control. How could this possibly be a "rationality quote"?

Downvoted. This isn't entirely wrong -- surely there are some people who "get their sense of accomplishment and achievement from trying to stop others" -- but I strongly suspect that Trump is exaggerating how many people are actually in that category and I would expect (for fundamental-attribution-error reasons) that this is a commoner error than its opposite; and this sort of dismissive attitude to other people is usually unhelpful as well as unpleasant.

Much easier for some people, and some varieties of work, than others. (That "privilege" thing social-justice types like to talk about? You can see it in Trump's remark here. He has the power and the freedom to change the work he does and how he does it to make it more fun for him, and he shows no sign of awareness that anyone else is in a very different situation.)

Adjusting your work and/or your attitude to your work to make it more pleasurable is a good idea for anyone who can do it, but I think it's only a very small fraction of the population who can do it enough that it no longer makes sense to talk about balancing work with not-work.

I wonder, does LW have active mods? Surely there must be rules against manipulating the karma system.

Because last night this post was still downvoted to heck, and now it's suddenly at the top. That's at least 15 upvotes in less than ten hours, in a largely deserted thread. On a quote where Trump brags about assaulting his teacher.
And the other four top comments are also unimpressive Trump quotes posted by cody-bryce, which had negative scores last night, and the comments calling them out – which had noticeably positive scores last night – are now all below the score threshold.

Mods, yes, active, no. Mass up- and down-voting sprees are a thing, but no one cares enough to effectively combat them. There is a user, Multi-Banned Eugine Of Many Names, who is prone to this.

That doesn't even make sense...

Yes, sometimes it's best not to make an investment, obviously, trivially. But surely it makes no sense to include that decision in the category of 'your investments', good or bad.

Beginning to reason is like stepping onto an escalator that leads upward and out of sight. Once we take the first step, the distance to be traveled is independent of our will and we cannot know in advance where we shall end.

-- Peter Singer, The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress

[-][anonymous]4y 1

“We understand the world by how we retrieve memories, re-order information into stories to justify how we feel.”

― Stephen Elliott, The Adderall Diaries

"Why live alone on a mountain if you love conversation?"
"There are many hungers it is better to deny than to feed. Discipline against the lesser aids in denial of the greater."

-- Paarthurnax (Skyrim)

(I edited out the bits of gratuitous dragon language.)

[-][anonymous]4y 0

‘We can forget that it is often painful to be a narcissist. It is not easy always having to be Admired/Admiring or Contemptuous, in order to avoid - desperately - the Contemptible pole. If we are lucky enough to usually inhabit a more normal Self-State (e.g. "reasonably competent; Respectful of-Respected by others; relaxed about being Ordinary"), can we find compassion for Narcissists who have not achieved this?’