The obvious question is "what's so contradictory about being an advanced culture and staging bloody spectacles"? Especially given the large ground that is covered by the term "advanced culture".


Well, it is one of the things that was drilled into us all life long that there is a progress in history from barbaric behavior to "nice" (or, properly, ethical, compassionate) behavior.

But beyond that there is indeed a process of increasing cooperation. There is usually peace inside nations and empires, i.e. they don't allow their constitutent tribes, if they still exist, to fight each other. While this increasing cooperation is largely about banding together to fight someone else, still it creates a certain progress in morals. Thucydides wrote ... (read more)

Rationality Quotes Thread June 2015

by Gondolinian 1 min read31st May 2015134 comments


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

  • Please 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  • Do not quote yourself.
  • Do not quote from Less Wrong itself, HPMoR, Eliezer Yudkowsky, or Robin Hanson.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.
  • 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 Do not quote with only a name.