Eliezer Yudkowsky and Will Wilkinson.  Due to a technical mistake - I won't say which of us made it, except that it wasn't me - the video cuts out at 47:37, but the MP3 of the full dialogue is available here.  I recall there was some good stuff at the end, too.

We talked about Obama up to 23 minutes, then it's on to rationality.  Wilkinson introduces (invents?) the phrase "good cognitive citizenship" which is a great phrase that I am totally going to steal.

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I encourage you to do one with Koch on consciousness, free will, and zombies. Be agressive with him like you were with that AI researcher with the dreads (not deferential like you were with Aubrey de Gray. I think it'll be very useful.

The video isn't actually adding very much (in my opinion).

I don't mean to be insulting. However, audio-only, or alternatively, relevant graphics (say, relevant wikipedia or cooliris surfing of the keywords mentioned) would be more internetty and less tv-punditish.

I agree with Johnicholas. People should do this over IRC and call it "bloggingheadlessnesses".

the video adds a lot if it is kerry and not will hosting free will. just sayin'.... ;-)

Freddie, Abandoning our alleged "intellectual arrogance and ... certitude in your own cognition" would be valuable to us how? We'd have fewer false beliefs? We'd be happier? Life would be more meaningful? We'd annoy you a lot less and we care a lot about not annoying you?

Will Wilkinson said at 50:48:

People will shout at you in germany if you jaywalk, I'm told.
I can't say for sure this doesn't happen anywhere in Germany, but it's definitely not a universal in German society. Where I live, jaywalking is pretty common and nobody shouts at people for doing it unless they force a driver to brake or swerve by doing so.

I agree with Will Wilkinson's comments about monarchy, Canada and Australia. I am in favour of us here (Australia) remaining a monarchy for very much the reasons he gave.

Sounds like Eliezer has a touch of Obamamania. On the Nafta point (signaling he's a free trader really!) Obama supporter Jagdish Bhagwati recently slammed his early backdoor protectionism.

Only watched the first 20 mins - looking forward to rationality discussion.

What exactly is it about America that causes you shame?


Obama and Dubya both fit into what I call the "Frodo Baggins" category of leader. Admired by their supporters for being inexperienced yet pure of heart and able to move the country forward thanks to a grand vision of the future.

Is it really rational to believe in one person being able to deliver us from x, y, or z?

Wilkinson's point about Federal spending as a percentage of GDP is right on. Only if we believe (quite irrationally) that Frodo will save us will we want him to make our economic decisions for us! It doesn't matter if it's a "war on terror" or a visionary demand for "green collar" jobs. It's all built on slogans, pomp, and irrationality. I think EY has drunk a bit of the Obama kool-ade on this one.

EY's comment about "something else" rising to fill the void doesn't address what he's worried about filling that void... is it terrorism? Veganism? Hinduism? Sports fandom? Sleep? I'd argue that the void would be filled by rational introspection about what is actually important to each person individually...

Regarding Obama vs. Bush, I wonder why even rationalists seem to operate under the assumption that the president has the power to make all important decisions. Even if Obama wanted he probably couldn't go against the power elite that is operating behind the scenes. JFK tried it.


There were a number of anti-Bush comments in that video. Whatever you thought of him, there were no terrorist attacks for 7 years. Let's hope Obama can beat that record.

Ian C.: What are you talking about? There were thousands of terrorist attacks in those 7 years.

Unless you mean in the continental US. In which case Bush's record doesn't compare well to even Clinton's... (2001-1993 = 8)

Eliezer, at 39:38 if I heard correctly you say:

"I have to say I'm the first person who actually ran to the opposite extreme and put the entire burden of rationality on system one fast perceptual intuitive judgement."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't that make overcomingbias meaningless because what we do here is more on the side of deliberative reasoning? After all we can't change system one that much.

I think it would be interesting if you could make a posting contrasting the notion of rationality against verbality since a lot of people might fall into the latter trap.

No, he says "you're the first person who etc..."

Allan/Eliezer: sorry, I misheard that, my fault.

@Roland: Over time, intuition starts to follow observations that you learned to make deliberatively. You start to think differently, wasting less thought on things you deemed irrelevant, noticing bias-relevant characteristics of experience, feeling the meta-understanding of facts and automatically correcting. Being aware of the question "Why do I believe what I believe? Why do I do what I do?" enriches experience through playing with models that seek to answer it. When you learn a new language, you start with deliberate effort, compensating for the lack of knowledge and experience, not able to see past the surface no matter the effort. But in time, a new language becomes part of you, all its richness at your fingertips.

Thanks Vladimir. Maybe a game like chess could also be a model. When you start to see the patterns you start getting better. Btw, I noticed that in fact a lot of errors people make when playing chess can be attributed to biases.