There are a lot of people who want to believe that anyone can do anything, that we're all equals in every way. One can sometimes run into really nasty attitudes when talking about intellectual differences, clear examples of fluff like "we're all gifted" and myths like "giftedness goes away when children grow up". Granted, it would be kind of weird to see that on LessWrong because these guys seem pretty in touch with reality when it comes to acknowledging that intellectual differences exist. Perhaps it is, instead, mind projection fallacy. Most of these guys can program, so maybe they figure most other people can learn to program the same way they did. I've noticed that a lot of gifted people have this problem - they have an ability, think of it as normal, and they assume average people will be able to do it.

Public Service Announcement Collection

by Eliezer Yudkowsky 1 min read27th Jun 2013330 comments

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P/S/A:  There are single sentences which can create life-changing amounts of difference.

  • P/S/A:  If you're not sure whether or not you've ever had an orgasm, it means you haven't had one, a condition known as primary anorgasmia which is 90% treatable by cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • P/S/A:  The people telling you to expect above-trend inflation when the Federal Reserve started printing money a few years back, disagreed with the market forecasts, disagreed with standard economics, turned out to be actually wrong in reality, and were wrong for reasonably fundamental reasons so don't buy gold when they tell you to.
  • P/S/A:  There are many many more submissive/masochistic men in the world than there are dominant/sadistic women, so if you are a woman who feels a strong temptation to command men and inflict pain on them, and you want a large harem of men serving your every need, it will suffice to state this fact anywhere on the Internet and you will have fifty applications by the next morning.
  • P/S/A:  Most of the personal-finance-advice industry is parasitic and/or self-deluded, and it's generally agreed on by economic theory and experimental measurement that an index fund will deliver the best returns you can get without huge amounts of effort.
  • P/S/A:  If you are smart and underemployed, you can very quickly check to see if you are a natural computer programmer by pulling up a page of Python source code and seeing whether it looks like it makes natural sense, and if this is the case you can teach yourself to program very quickly and get a much higher-paying job even without formal credentials.