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Hi, I just successfully

  • checked out the LessWrong git project
  • setup everything as required
  • provisioned the vagrant box
  • fixed one broken dependency (BeautifulSoup 3.2.1 instead of 3.0.7a)
  • run the webserver (paster) within an Eclipse PyDev environment
  • seen LW locally!

Great! Why all that? I consider forking the LW reddit codebase for my own blog - mainly because I didn't find a commenting system that suited me. I may push back improvements into the main trunk. We will see. Just one question: What do I have to respect when using the codebase? Are there any licenses I have to take care of beside CPAL? http://opensource.org/licenses/CPAL-1.0 Does anybody know?

I'm playing around with writing a Chrome extension that identifies countries of the world in the browser and marks them up with expandable, at-a-glance summary data for that country, like GDP per capita, composite index scores (HDI, MPI, etc.), literacy rate, principal exports and so on. I find myself regularly looking this up on Wikipedia anyway, and figured I'd remove the inconvenience of doing so.

This example probably isn't that useful for everyone, but it got me wondering what other sets of things could be marked up in the browser in this way. Another example that occurred to me was legislature voting records, where a similar plugin would provide easy visibility of how elected representatives voted on legislation. Again, not useful for everyone, but I could imagine political junkies getting some use out of it.

Such a set of mark-uppable entities would have to be either identifiable by format (like an ISBN) where the data could be fetched from a remote source, or a finite list of a few hundred items (like countries), where the data could be stored locally. What kinds of things would you like this sort of visibility on in the browser? Is there a set of entities you find yourself tiresomely looking up data for over and over again?

(Partly inspired by the Dictionary of Numbers)

Names/EmailAddresses/Phone numbers of people can be useful. Both by drawing information from my contact book but also in the way https://rapportive.com/ [https://rapportive.com/] works. Unit conversion would be interesting. If someone writes the price of 5£ however over that price to see the conversion to Euro and dollar would be useful. Whenever I read temperature noted in °F, I would appreciate being able to hover over it to see a conversion into the sensible format of °C. The same goes for units like inches. When I read a time noted in EST I would like automatic conversion into GMT+1 with happens to be where I live.
I use autoConvert for that on Chrome.
I would like a Chrome or Firefox extension that notices when I type something like a hundred m2 or 100 m2 into a comment box (there are not so many grammatically valid combinations so it is not too hard) and it turns it into a link saying 1076 sqft, for example linking to a Google search, they do the conversion automatically when I type "100 m2 to sqft" into Google. I really dislike non-metric units, but I have to be realistic, when I want to discuss say what is a good size for a family of 3 on the English speaking Internet, I guess better cut some slack for imperial units.
This would also help those of us that were raised with the imperial rather than metric system acclimate to their usage in approximating values.
There was a chrome extension advertised on LW a while ago that did this for "alternate points of view" - but it was crowdsourced, and didn't have enough links to be useful. But an automated version of that (that say, detected keywords, and posted up links) would be great.
I think you mean http://rbutr.com/ [http://rbutr.com/]
Yeup, that was it!
I'm still sad that there isn't a dictionary of numbers for Firefox, it sounds amazing but it isn't enough to make me switch to Chrome just for that.
This kind of thing sounds very useful especially if easily extensible. How are you planning to make the ui for this work? I think it would be fairly challenging to make it both easily available without being obnoxiously overpresent and am interested to hear your approach to the problem.
For the country data example, every instance of a country name is prepended with a small icon (for development purposes this is currently an obnoxious red X, but I plan to replace this with a neutral-coloured globe or something), and the name itself is wrapped in some custom style (currently boldface, but could be anything). Clicking on the icon places a container with the relevant data on the page, offset to the same location as the icon, (giving the illusion of the icon "expanding" to show the data). Clicking on the icon again, or away from the container, removes it. In terms of extensibility, all the data is in a local JSON file, and the format of the data container is an HTML template that might eventually live in the same file. I'm also planning on having local image assets (maps and flags). This could all be swapped out for anything, or even obtained from a web service.
Yeah that seems like it would work pretty well for the case of country data. Let us know how development goes!

The Elon Musk biography that just came out is quite entertaining, but I didn't any significant actionable knowledge in it.

There's an interesting turn at the end. The author thought at the beginning of the project that Musk was particularly terrible with people. At the end, he says he thinks he gets it: Musk has basically just calculated the work of his companies to be more important that the feelings of its employees, and to go against that calculation would be illogical, which for Musk makes it kind of physically painful. So he'd rather put someone down i... (read more)

That's a risky game. It makes the company culture less enjoyable. That makes hiring harder and can motivate people to quit. Musk can afford this because of the strength of the vision of his company, that makes people to work there but it's still not clear that it's optimal.
But it is clear that Musk isn't the only highly successful entrepreneur that used this strategy successfully Jobs was the same way.
The problem is that both Musk and Jobs likely act in a way that can't be summarized in a paragraph. If someone tries to copy them based on the idea that his time is more important than the feeling of his employees the person is likely to mess things up.
Basically the ends don't justify the means (Among Humans) [http://lesswrong.com/lw/uv/ends_dont_justify_means_among_humans/]. We are nowhere near smart enough to think those kinds of decisions (or any decisions really) through past all their consequences (and neither is Elon Musk). It is possible that Musk is right and (in this specific case) it really is a net benefit to mankind to not take one minute to phrase something in a way that it is less hurtful, but in the history of mankind I would expect that the vast majority of people who believed this were actually just assholes trying to justify their behavior. And besides, how many hurt feelings are 55 seconds of Elon Musks time really worth from a utilitarian standpoint? I don't know, but I doubt Musk has done any calculations on it.
It is a risky game but there are many factors to consider. I used to work for someone who was quite similar in that they would go completely off the rails if someone underperformed (I never got yelled at, thankfully). I actually never observed resentment or quitting due to this behavior (at least, it was never the quoted reason). However, I did observe that when mistakes happened, people tended to try to hide it much harder. There also grew a culture where people would hide the mistakes of their coworkers even if the mistakes were quite serious. All in all, I don't think productivity was much higher than other workplaces I'd been in. My story is anecdotal of course and I'd love to see actual statistics comparing 'high pressure' workplaces with those that are more lenient.
The general problem with it is that it can be used too easily as an excuse. Hm, I think we should try to find the meta of this, this looks useful. Basically imagine a graph where various human situations are on the X and the usefulness of a given thing in that situation is the Y. And another graph, where the usefulness of that thing as an excuse is on Y. And if the second tends to be higher, that is not a good thing. Another meta: there is a difference between thinking I figure X is good and thinking I am entitled to decide whether X is good. For example the good old trolley problem. Pushing the fat man is the almost obviously right choice looking at that situation only ("shut up and multiply", feelings like OMG I am a murderer now do not matter as much as lives), but it is highly dangerous if people feel like they are entitled to take such choices, they are entitled to sacrifice someone without their consent for the greater good. This is a very different thing. It generates an excuse for others in far different situations. A truly saintly person would push the fat man then demand to be punished, because the choice was right but he was not entitled to make such a choice and others should not feel entitled to either.
I'm not sure how much I agree with the whole "punishing correct behavior to avoid encouraging it" (how does the saintly person know that this is the right thing for him to do if it is wrong for others to follow his example), but I think the general point about tracking whose utility (or lives in this case) you are sacrificing is a good one.
No, my point is that, that the decision is correct, but believing we are allowed to make such decisions is less correct in general, and rules that allow them are suboptimal. E.g. we can believe putting violent criminals into prison is correct, and we can simultaneously believe only the criminal justice system should be allowed to do this and not every person feeling entitled to build a prison in their basement and imprisoning anyone they judge to be violent.
Saintly in what sense? From a consequentialist point of view, there is no point in punishing the pusher (and in any case "entitled to make the choice" is not a consequentialist concept). From a deontological point of view, the pusher shouldn't push the man in the first place.
I think this is a fairly deep and important issue and I think you may be taking it too lightly. Good choices vs. entitlements to make choices are absolutely at the root at the whole history of civilization as such. We may easily agree that putting violent criminals into prison is a good choice, but if we all feel entitled to judge 1) who is a violent criminal 2) who belongs to prison, we are quickly back to the system of mutual vendettas that characterizes pre-civilized life. So the idea that beyond the strictest needs of self-defense, we don't claim any entitlement to take any sort of a violent or coercive action but leave it to judges, policemen etc. is that lies at the heart of civilization. (Of course, democracy makes it a bit of a farce, but whatever.) Same story here. Sacrificing 1 life to save 5 is the right choice, but it is highly dangerous if people feel they are entitled to kill others just because they think they will serve the greater good that way. Every murderer could manufacture an excuse and could try to plead having made a honest mistake at worst. Thus, while it is the right choice, having rules that allow making choices of this kind are not good rules. This is what it boils down to.
Pushing the fat man is the wrong choice because it forces fat men everywhere to constantly be on the lookout for consequentialists, and causes moral hazard by encouraging lax safety around railroads. Consequentialism is only indisputably the correct morality when everybody is perfectly rational and everybody has the same goals. In reality people have differing terminal goals and perfect rationality is impossible because of limited computational ability. Deontology is superior because it is far more predictable. Nobody has to waste brain cycles on avoiding being a convenient victim for some dubious "greater good".
For the record, I don't. The "I'm too important to pay attention to little people. They are nothing but tools" attitude leads to bad places.
http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/ma6/open_thread_jun_1_jun_7_2015/cfn2 [http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/ma6/open_thread_jun_1_jun_7_2015/cfn2]
0Ben Pace8y
Being a pure consequentialist will not give off the signals that a socially acceptable person, who leans towards consequentialism, will. To predict someone's ethical behaviour, some stronger signals could be checked e.g. did the guy ask himself how to create the greatest good for humanity and then go and do that in about five different industries? If so, probably high on ethics. The question about people skills is a good question to ask when you want to predict someone's social behaviour, but that is not the same as ethics, which empathy is often a proxy for.
Consequentialist thinking has a general tendency to get one labeled an asshole. e.g. "Hey man, can you spare a dollar?" "If I did have a dollar to spare, I strongly doubt that giving it to you would be the most effective use of it." "Asshole." Although I think that it's dangerous to think that you can accurately estimate the cost/benefit of tact; I think most people underestimate how much effect it has.
Except if the priority of consequences is ranked as 1. prevent x-risk 2. be popular and you act accordingly :)
I agree and you shouldn't be downvoted. The flip side is that if you're not consequentialist, consequentialists will label you a fool. When I'm labeling myself, "fool" feels less punishing than "asshole", but I think when it's coming from others I'd rather look like an asshole than like a fool. I do wonder how much that is an influence on my consequentialist leanings.

I have my genome data from both 23andMe and BGI. I am wondering what to make of it. BGI reports about thirty times as many SNPs as 23andMe. 23andMe: 598897, BGI: 19695817.

Of these, 475801 are reported by both. I looked to see how well they agree with each other, and summarised the results as a count, for each occurring pair of results, of how often that pair occurred. In descending numerical order, and classifying them by type of match or mismatch, this is what I get. (No individual SNPs are identified here.)

87565 CC CC
86952 GG GG
75289 TT TT
75087 A
... (read more)
Interesting. Thanks for posting this! I received exactly the same number of SNPs from BGI, so it looks like our data were processed under the same pipeline. I've found three people who have publicly posted their BGI data: two at the Personal Genome Project (hu2FEC01 [https://my.pgp-hms.org/profile/hu2FEC01] and hu41F03B [https://my.pgp-hms.org/profile/hu41F03B], each with 5,095,048 SNPs), and one on a personal website [http://virgil.gr/my-genome/] (with 18,217,058 SNPs). The double dashes are no calls [https://customercare.23andme.com/hc/en-us/articles/202907630-What-does-No-call-Not-genotyped-mean-in-Browse-Raw-Data-]. 23andme reports on a set list of SNPs, and instead of omitting an SNP when they can't confidently determine the genotype, they indicate this with a double dash. This seems normal considering the error rates from 23andme that others have been reporting (example [http://roadontime.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-spitting-image-23andme-error-rate.html]). I don't know about BGI's error rates. I think it might be possible to accurately guess the actual genotypes for some of the mismatches by imputing the genotypes with something like Impute2 [https://mathgen.stats.ox.ac.uk/impute/impute_v2.html] (for each mismatched SNP, leave it out and impute it using the nearby SNPs). This will take many hours of work, though, and you might as well phase and impute across the whole genome if you have the time, interest, and processing power to do so (I've been meaning to try this out to learn more about how these things work).

The conflict between liberty and equality seems to dominate contemporary political philosophy, but do we all understand this conflict only happens when you already have fairly high levels of both? If the lack of liberty means someone gets to give you orders, you are clearly not equal with that someone, so you cannot achieve meaningful equality through repressing liberty. Conversely, why a purely wealth/income inequality is compatible with liberty, there is a more fundamental sense of equal respect or consideration that is a prerequisite for liberty. Libert... (read more)

I suspect that when people frame the question as whether A or B is more important to you, they are trying to take one of them from you. No, it does not follow technically; but why else would they ask such question? When you agree to play the game and say that you e.g. prefer A to B, in the next step someone will offer to take B away in exchange for a promise to make A really safe.
I recommend this essay, entitled appropriately Confessions of an ex Commie [http://jim.com/confess.htm].
Interesting, he does not even consider that one rad-left anarcho-socialist idea that makes at least some sense: Kropotkin's temporary usage rights vs. permanent property rights. What exactly would happen in a, say, simplified agrarian model where people can homestead and own much land as they can work, but if they stop working it and hire employees to work it or rent it out then they lose it? So whoever they give the usage / working over also automatically owns it? Not immediately, maybe with a gradual transitition. I figure a lot of bad things would happen, but this one idea seems to be only faulty in implementation details, and does not get human nature fundamentally wrong like all the others. And this is the primary anarcho-soc idea.
People would start thinking about how best to bend the rules. How much work is required to own the land? I would try to own as much land as possible with minimum effort. Or grow something that gives maximum profit per unit of care. (Wood?) Probably no one would hire employees, because that would be extremely shortsighted, if you would lose the land as a result. If I can't work on the land anymore, I might as well just ignore it, and perhaps hope that no one will notice it immediately. I would rather buy machines than hire people, even if the machines were expensive and people cheap, because the machine could give me a profit in long term, while people would always mean a loss in long term. If you lose the land as long as you employ someone e.g. 12 months in a row, I would always employ people for 11 months, and work 1 month alone. If the work would be impossible to do by 1 person alone, I would have a friend or a relative that would help me in that 1 critical month in a year, and then I would help them 1 month in a year. In other words, I would use exactly as much other people's work as possible without losing the land, and not a bit more. Can I build a house on the land (and then I am no longer required to grow plants on it)? I would have a huge house. Most of it would probably be the minimum structure that legally qualifies as a house. And I certainly wouldn't be the only one doing that. People would quickly notice and start doing the same thing.
Also, if the land needs to be left fallow every few years, this system doesn't allow for it.
You'd have a slash-and-burn method of agriculture where your incentives are to extract the most from a particular piece of land in the short term, then abandon it and grab a new piece of land. Moloch smiles.
People have children, they can hold on to it forever as long as a descendant of theirs works it... if I assumed a no-child economy, I would have the same outcome.
My point is not that they can't hold onto it, my point is that the incentives are to NOT hold -- the incentives are to extract the short-term value even at the cost of long-term detriment. The situation is similar to the tragedy of the commons: grab what you can fast and some other schmuck can deal with the problems you left behind.
But why are the incentives so? If we know wildly assume everybody has children and they continue their profession, the only they cannot do is sell, rent out or hire people to work it. Are you basically saying something along the lines of short-termism is the default behavior (I would agree with that), and the possibility to exploit in the family long term is not strong enough incentive to counter-act, we also need the other incentives like possibility to sell, rent out or hire others to work it?
That was kinda-sorta true for peasants in the XIII century, it is very very far away from true now. And if you're talking about being unable to hire people, this is just plain silly, small plots of land cultivated mostly as a hobby (it's very hard to support yourself at a reasonable standard of living from a plot of land that only you and your immediate family can work) are economically meaningless in a normal economy (as opposed to e.g. Soviet Russia).
You'd immediately lose all economy of scale in agriculture, for one. This would be extremely bad.
Yes, but that is implementation detail. You can still have larger entities by these individual owners cooperating, or even collectively using their property. The end result is similar to a corporation with many shareholding workers. A better argument would be that people will not invest if they will lose the property. But even that has a fairly natural solution: hand it over to your kids, they will keep working it. I am not arguing this is a super good idea, just arguing it does not have the usual immediately glaring flaws and deserves some consideration.
You still have no way to get outside investors.
It doesn't make much sense. You basically punish efficient usage of land with that system. If a peasant comes up with a idea that allows him to grow the same amount of crops for the same amount of work with half the land he has no incentive to reduce his land use. In California you see how water drawing rights that work that way, produce problems. A farmer has to use all his water drawing rights or lose his rights and he can't resell his drawing rights. Water would be more efficiently used if water drawing rights could be easily transferred and wouldn't be use-it-or-lose it.
This would greatly slow technological progress. Suppose I come up with a way to double yield. Under the current system, I can use the extra money I make to buy out my neighbors and hire people to apply the same technique on their fields. Under your system my technique might slowly defuse to them eventually. Suppose I have an idea for how to improve yield but it needs an upfront investment that I can't afford (like say buying a tractor), under the current system I can use my land as collateral to get a load from the bank. Under your system that's impossible. Incidentally, I've heard the argument that this problem (namely lack of completely secure property titles) is the main reason the third world stays poor.
This is one of the good arguments. This was the problem with guilds. It was a good solution to how to have an entrepreneurial market without much inequality, sort of the best of both worlds. The trick is that price floors ensured that competition will largely happen in artisanal handwork quality, and that sort of competition is very good at producing the kind of setup where there are a lot of small vendors, not a few big ones, and thus not much inequality. A price floor for beer would kill Heineken and benefit the micros with their artisanal banana chocolate chili gummybears ales. However, technological innovation usually means cheaper production, not artisanal quality. Thus guild price floors prevented that from happening. While a cheaper, more automated production method was still useful, because it leads to higher margins, it did not allow one to undercut competition and put them out of business and that reduced its speed. I think the guild idea could still be salvaged. The trick is to have multiple competing guilds, and price floors only inside guilds, not between them, and inside the guild innovations are licenced to other members for a fee. The guild on the whole uses them to undercut the competition, and the innovators get paid by other guild members profits. That could work.
Why is inequality ipso facto a problem? You still have the problem of idea spreading between guilds (or replacing unsuccessful guilds with successful ones). A corporation with a successful product expands and hires more employees. A guild can't expand without diluting the voting power of existing members.
Because money is power. And that wouldn't be a problem in itself. The real problem is that money does not look like power. For example, in a feudal system, where power is obvious, the rights and duties of lords and servants are clearly defined and the lords generally understand they have responsibility. That is not too bad. In a system where there is formally equality, yet money is still power, none of this is there, nobody defines the duties of the rich, this kind of power does not come with a clear sense of responsibility and so on. Money works as power in multiple ways. Influencing politics is an obvious one, and although one good argument would be that politicians should not have too much power to sell to begin with, it is a moot one - since reducing government is in itself a political act, you can bet your ass that every time it gets reduced, it gets reduced in a way that it serves the interests of influential people. So true limited government you could only have through frequent revolutions, not by simply arguing and voting so that politics should limit itself - it will never happen in a way that is truly fair, it can only happen as a farce to serve vested interests. Money is also power in different ways, and this is why I now consider the libertarian economics textbooks I tended to worship when I was 25 (Rothbard's Man, Economy and State etc.) way, way too naive. It is easy to see market exchange as an equitable transaction that makes both sides better off. But in reality often one party has the power. Adam Smith already saw it, when he wrote that a typical employee will need money right now, the typical employer can easily wait a month or two to employ a new worker, and thus the employer has the power in the bargain. The transaction itself still makes both parties better off, of course, the problem is not with the transaction, the problem is with the structural situation before the transaction. The problem is not that people exchange work for money, the p
No, it's not. Money can be used to purchase power, if you know what your doing and have the right connections. But it itself isn't really power. That's why throughout history those with money frequently find themselves on the receiving end of power, at best they must pay off those with power [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danegeld], at worst they get killed, e.g., the Jews in Nazi Germany, the bourgeois and "kulaks" in Soviet Russia.
There is one thought experiment I created a while ago to illustrate the problem. Imagine that Stalin gets enlightened in 1948 and introduces capitalism and a free market. There is one caveat: he owns everything the state or local councils used to own: all the businesses, the farmlands, the apartment houses, the roads and so on. Everybody works for him, there are no other employers. Most urban people live in apartments he owns. People are free to start new businesses, or build houses, but he does not intend to make competing with him easy, there will be outrageous tolls for using the roads and so on, and if a startup still somehow survives making sure to use his weight to suffocate competitors at their infancy, such as by undercutting them at all and any costs - he can bear some loses with an immense wealth like that. Would you say he still has immense economic power? If yes, this illustrates why the distribution of property matters, and a shorter form to express it is to say money is power. It is important to understand here that it does not simply means cash: owning productive property is far more important. Money is just used as the short form of this. The issue is that a lot of libertarians grew up in a place like Colorado where the distribution of property is very decent, because it is a post-frontier type distribution, which is actually quite close to the homesteading principle. And that is excellent, but property does not automatically distribute itself so in all possible societies. Being used to these types of fair distributions, it may be hard to see why property or money could be power. But in other types of distributions it can be. This is why it would be important to try to move all societies towards a post-frontier type of setup: many, many independent small businesses, self-employed people and homeowners, not masses of employees and renters. This is not a new idea. Have you heard of Ted Roosevelts Frontier Thesis? Look. It's very simple. Imagine an is
His main power would not come from money, it would come from the people having been trained that questioning Stalin leads to death camps. Or if they ignore you, or kill you. No, the second most important thing after a gun is connections. Now obviously money can buy both if you know what you doing and can ensure that the people you bought stay bought. However, that makes money less important then both. The most important sources of Caesar's power were violence and the popularity he acquired, due to being good at said violence. Compare him with Crassus who made even more money without using (as much) violence. I believe Machiavelli had some rather pointed things to say about how much power using mercenaries actually gave you.
I am afraid this way it would be an endless argument, so I try a different angle. Do you believe that "Power resides where men believe it resides; it's a trick, a shadow on the wall, and a very small man can cast a very large shadow." ? If yes, well, you cannot deny that people feel their employers or landlords have power over them: and this feeling is power itself, because it makes them behave so.
Power is a relationship. You have power over me if I find it in my interest to grant it to you. This could be a financial interest, a desire to avoid physical harm, or anything else. What's granted can be revoked. If I no longer fear your ability to inflict harm or if I decide I don't want your money, your power over me ceases to exist. Power resides where men believe it resides, because they put it there. With that said, there are, as observed, a number of methods of reliably gaining power over individuals. Money and force will work on most people in the short term.
That's sophistry -- it's easy to adjust your interests. Power still grows out of the barrel of a gun. Yes, you can be a martyr and get shot, but the great majority of people do what powers-that-be tell them.
Force comes from the barrel of a gun. It may or may not lead to actual power. There are countless historical examples where use of force simply served to fan the flames of resistance or where brutal persecutions only strengthened the cause. People generally listen to the powers-that-be because said powers still look after their interests to an extent. People might not like the local tyrant. They may yearn for a better government. They are also keenly aware of how things can get worse. If the Emperor is tough on crime, leaves you alone if you follow the rules, and makes the trains run on time, that's probably better than a bloody civil war or domination by criminal gangs. If I willingly submit to force, it's because I expect better treatment than I'd get by resisting.
I understand what you are saying, it's just that I don't think it's a useful framework for analysis. There are a bunch of issues with what we mean by "power", so let's define the thing. Actually, let me offer three definition in a descending order of generality. (1) Power is the ability to achieve your goals, make things happen, actually do stuff. If you're Superman you have the power to fly. (2) Power is the ability to make other people do what you want. If you're Elon Musk, you have the power to build spacecraft. (3) Power is the ability to make other people do what you want through negative incentives (basically, threats). If you're a cop, you have the power to arrest people. Going back to DVH's point, neither of these is "a trick, a shadow on the wall".
Having been a landlord, I can testify that this is not in fact the case.
Anyone can testify anything, but I don't see how "having been a landlord" gives you any particular authority to say whether tenants commonly feel that landlords have power over them. (You might be able to say that your tenants didn't obviously-to-you feel that. If you knew them closely enough to be sure of being right, then that itself makes you a very non-typical landlord.) I would not want to claim that anything nontrivial is true of all tenants or of all landlords. But the tenants I know who have said much to me about their experience of tenancy do in fact appear to feel that their landlords have power over them -- but there's a selection effect here: you're more likely to be talking to other people about your relations with your landlord if something's gone wrong somehow.
You mean they easily disregarded your rules and things like that?
Yes, rules like that they have to actually pay the rent with checks that don't bounce.
A form of power being abrogated under certain circumstances doesn't automatically make it not a form of power.
Curiously, that sounds like a description of equality to me.
Given that my whole point is that they overlap in all but the highest levels, it is not surprising. But many libertarians tend to think a huge part of liberty is a very strict protection of property rights. Hence this.

This Video Will Make You Angry by CGP Grey discusses the meme-ic virility of controversial arguments.

A few different sources have also discussed the idea that we are out of the Age of Information, and into the Age of Attention, and that attention is the currency of the day.

Now, has anyone found these ideas combined in a short online text or video to present the idea that: If you find an idea to be ideologically offensive, the best way to fight it is to not engage it in argument but to starve it of attention and let the cat photo and inspirational quote weeds of social media grow over what ever fertile soil it may have found.

...then you should consider disengaging the concepts of "idea" and "offensive". That depends. Some ideas will wither and die, but some will spread like weeds without opposition. I don't know how to decide ex ante what will happen to an idea ignored.
I dunno. I think it's pretty reasonable to consider ideas like these offensive: * "We should just kill all the Jews." * "People with black hair are less than human and we needn't care about hurting them." * "If your net worth is less than $10M, who cares what you want?" * "Everyone should have to affirm that everything in the Bible is 100% literal truth, or be executed." What's actually offensive is endorsing these ideas, not their mere existence, but I'm pretty sure that's the kind of offensiveness wadavis has in mind. (Perhaps there are better responses than offence to someone who seriously endorses this sort of thing. If so, I bet it's because getting offended at all is unhelpful, not because getting offended at ideas is specially unhelpful.)
I don't know -- if "endorsing" is the problem, then the target of your starve-of-attention campaign should be the person (people, organizations, etc.) who had endorsed, not the idea itself. But my impression was that wadavis was talking about ignoring ideas. Well, both :-)
If the problem is that people endorse the idea then starving the idea of attention might be a reasonable approach. The aim would be to reduce the number of other people getting persuaded to endorse the idea, rather than to change the minds (or destroy the credibility) of the people already persuaded.
Great video! But I agree with Lumifer that ignoring bad ideas is not always the answer. Many bad ideas are kind of marginal and if you ignore them they'll wither. Others will catch on. Even if they die off eventually, they can cause a lot of damage before they do (the 20th century provides ample evidence of this, and the 21 is providing addition evidence).
Which ideas are you talking about? If you are talking about something like communism, it wasn't really ignored.
Communism and National Socialism are two examples of what I had in mind for the 20th century. That is certainly true. If we could somehow get everyone to simply ignore bad ideas, then yes, bad ideas would wither. The problem is, I have direct control over only what I ignore. Even if I choose to ignore a bad idea, others likely will not. Now lets suppose an entire group of really thoughtful people (e.g. the LW community, perhaps) could be convinced to ignore bad ideas - there are still going to be plenty of people discussing bad ideas, and so bad ideas might catch on. All we’ve really accomplished is removing a group of (presumably) reasonable, thoughtful people from the discussion – and I don’t see how that would be helpful. An alternative to ignoring a bad idea is to confront it in a dispassionate manner; i.e. present good arguments as to why the idea is bad and address the arguments made by supporters of the bad idea while avoiding appeals to emotion, ad hominem arguments, other logical fallacies, etc. This allows us to address the bad idea without (hopefully) ramping up the anger and polarizing affects discussed in the video. So, should we confront all bad ideas? I don’t think so; plenty of bad ideas are marginal enough that ignoring them is probably the right answer. For example, it is possible today to find on the internet people arguing in favor of a return to National Socialism. In much of the world, this idea finds little traction (unlike in the 1930s). Therefore, it may be the case that today, ignoring this attitude is the best approach. However, if this attitude ever begins becoming mainstream, then we should switch strategies and address rather than ignore the idea.
One problem is that if a bad idea is allowed to progress long enough, it is no longer safe to present any arguments against it.
This is true. So, it is probably better to err on the side of addressing, rather than ignoring, bad ideas.

Would a series of posts explaining the basics of Homotopy Type Theory be well accepted here?

I estimate it will be well accepted in the sense that nobody objects to your posts. At the same time I wouldn't expect much engagement. I think your posts likely will receive a bit of upvotes and nearly no downvotes.
Poll: [pollid:987]
I'd be interested to read another take on it if there's some novel aspect to the explanation. Do you have a particular approach to explaining it that you think the world doesn't have enough of?
Yeah, the HoTT book doesn't have enough pictures and animations. The whole point of HoTT is that programs in type theory have homotopical content, that you can usually depict, at least for the very basics of the subject.

Ray Kurzweil spouts more innumerate nonsense. Why does a date 15 years from now sound like some far-off future time to him? I could see how FM-2030 made the year 2030 as the arrival date of the Cool Future sound sort of plausible back in the 1980's. But Ray should know better than to say something like this now:

Ray Kurzweil: Humans will be hybrids by 2030


I'll give you a prediction I have more confidence in: According to the actuarial tables, a man Ray's age has a 45 percent chance of dying... (read more)

Suggestion: We should ask futurists to predict what will happen 5 years in the future. Then publish the results. Then publish it again 5 years later.

With shorter time period (but probably still long enough to trigger wild imagination in some) we could get more iterations, so we could filter out the worst ones, and still get a few useful predictions from the remaining ones.

It's unfair to criticize someone making claims in that area that are based on the summary of a CNN journalist. To me the most likely explanation is that the CNN journalist doesn't provide a good summary of what Kurzweil said. It's under the standards we should have on LW.
Agreed on all counts. It amazes me that anyone listens to that man.
It's interesting that Google seems to be following up on several of Kurzweil's predictions, Google Glass/Magic Leap, Project Jacquard, and the self-driving car are all predictions Kurzweil made in The Age of Spiritual Machines and The Singularity is Near.

I'm trying to understand fear of public speaking, because that's an emotion I appear to lack entirely.

So if you have it - a little or a lot - can you tell me if it is better when your audience is paying full attention, versus when they're somewhat distracted, looking somewhere else, versus when they're not listening at all but looking at their cellphones or something?

What does it feel like when someone is silently looking at you with a blank expression, and how does that feeling change depending on whether you're speaking?

That's something I've never understood about myself: I'm terrified to ask a passerby for the time of day, or ask a prospective love interest out on a date, or even call to order a pizza, but I have absolutely no problem standing in front of a room of strangers and speak for hours and hours. My suspicion is that it's a power dynamic issue: when I need to ask something of someone, I'm at a disadvantage, but when a group of people have already been convinced to gather in a room with little choice but to listen to me, I don't need to be afraid.
Another hypo: it is a confidence issue because you know you are an expert of what you speak about and the audience is interested and how good a presenter you does not matter so much. So you are full of confidence. You know you are giving them a good product, you know they want to buy this product, maybe the packaging is not so good but that is okay. For the other situations, you don't know the product is good and you don't know they want to buy.
Mild fear here, I can talk in groups of people just fine, but I get nervous before and during a presentation (something for which I have taken deliberate steps to get better at). For me at least, the primary thing that helps is being comfortable with the subject matter. If I feel like I know what I'm talking about and I practiced what I am going to say it usually goes fine (it took some effort to get to this level, btw), but if I feel like I have to bluff my way through everything falls apart real fast. The number of people in the audience and how well I know them both have noticeable effect as well, but what the audience is doing has almost no influence at all. The one exception to this is asking questions, if I have a good answer to a question my mind switches from presentation mode to conversation mode, which I am, for some reason, much more at ease with. (Note: This doesn't work on everyone, some people instead get way more nervous, so don't take this as an encouragement to start asking questions when the presenter seems nervous.)
I had a paralyzing fear of public speaking which I have now mostly overcome. However this was almost entirely anticipatory fear that would go away once I actually started to speak, for example I would lose sleep about teaching a small group, excessively rehearse even for small and relatively unimportant public speaking occasions. My worries were mainly related to performance failure, e.g. that I would lose track of my plan, that I would stammer too badly, that I would suffer momentary anomia and be unable to get past it, or that I would freeze in some other way. Audience engagement: entirely orthogonal to fear of public speaking at least for me. I may be self-critical later on if the audience isn't engaged, and may try to adapt on the fly if I notice signs of reduced engagement, but for me the fear is gone as soon as I start talking.
I don't have much fear of public speaking myself, but I'll guess that the answer to your question about audience attention depends heavily on whether they're paying / not paying attention (1) from the outset for reasons that have nothing to do with you, (2) from the outset because of your reputation or appearance or something, or (3) as a result of what you've said and done so far. I would expect a public appearance to be maximally traumatic when everyone is initially paying rapt attention, but as you proceed they visibly get bored and stop listening.
I don't think I have a particularly extreme fear of public speaking, but it certainly makes me feel very nervous. People are investing their time and attention into what you have to say and if you disappoint them, you have a whole room full of people that are immediately allied against you in their distaste for what you provided them in return for that attention. Disappointing a few people in a crowd of many is nothing. Disappointing the crowd is fucking terrifying.
It's primarily fear of embarrassment taking the form of something very similar to, if not exactly similar to, anxiety. Anxiety, judging by the couple of times I've experienced it, originates from over-and-behind, is tinted reddish-orange and tastes sharp, and feels somewhat like you've consumed too much caffeine (these descriptions may or may not make any sense to you, and may not translate correctly even if they did make sense owing to the subjective nature of emotion) - there's a need to act, to do -something-, which I think is supposed to express as a feeling to get away from the current location, but may get expressed instead as, for example, a need to pace. Fear of public speaking is similar, with tinges of yellow and sour - embarrassment, I think. There's a bit of a leftish direction to it? It expresses more as a need to do nothing, to prevent anything from being done wrong. It provokes a curious mixture of a need to run away and a feeling of being pinned in place and being unable to. When you start talking, the need to "run" pushes into your voice, and you talk too quickly, while the need to do nothing may cause you to stand completely still, doing nothing but speaking. Fear of public speaking seems only weakly influenced by the audience - it's an internal experience. Everything will get interpreted according to the internal narrative - people looking at their cell phones are rude if you're feeling okay, and bored with you and your terrible presentation if you're still feeling anxious. People studying you with a blank expression will intensify the feeling of being studied for any mistakes, but how you interpret their expression in the first place will, again, be largely determined by the internal narrative.

I've heard that lots of folks from LW have graduated from App Academy. Has anyone from LW participated in a data science bootcamp?

I've been looking into data science bootcamps which accept people who don't have PhD's, because data science seems much more intrinsically interesting to me than web design. Zipfian Academy's data science program looks interesting, though I've just started looking into the idea of doing a data science bootcamp, and am not yet committed to the idea of doing one. Thanks for any thoughts or recommendations!


Maybe I've gone far too deep into the Terrible LessWrong Cult, but could someone remind me why everyone else around me often seems to think that not-thinking and irrationality are happier, more satisfying ways to go through life than thinking clearly about stuff? Because I really don't fucking get it anymore.

It's much, much easier. Thinking clearly for most people ranges from hard to impossible. Worse, you might come to unpleasant or even dangerous conclusions. Much better to just go with the flow.
But the unpleasant, dangerous truths are true (by definition). Ignoring them just means getting bitten on the ass later because you didn't want to think now!
Sometimes, ignoring an unpleasant truth just means that someone else gets bitten on the ass.
And I'm supposed to not give a shit? I mean, I can't actually be assured that they deserved it.
You can't be rationally assured that they deserved it... (Though in fact I think this is all one notch too cynical.)
Agreed. Let's just stop now.
First, you might get lucky. Second, getting bitten on the ass just indicates that the world is harsh, unjust, and personally mean to you. It can't possibly be your fault.
Blaming someone other than me doesn't help me in any way whatsoever. I need to reason in actionable ways, not misread the universe's basic randomness as a moral decree.
Of course it does. The status of a victim can be highly useful. Besides you get psychological comfort which is very important to a lot of people. Blaming oneself is unhealthy, dontcha know that? X-/ I see you have been corrupted by the LW cult. Thankfully, most people have not. In general, let me suggest to you a couple of ways to think about it. First, consider people whose System 1 is much much stronger than System 2 and basically overwhelms it. Second, consider the relative importance of actual outcomes and feelings. For you actual outcomes matter more, but that is not true for everyone. To some people how they feel about something is more important that what actually happens.
See, the problem is, I don't remember a time when I didn't think this way, which is why I fell in with LW-types in the first place. The kinds of talks that usually end in, "Doesn't that make you feel better?" have never made me actually feel better, because I always knew that no facts were being changed whatsoever. Does anyone ever actually endorse this kind of thinking retrospectively, on reflection? That is, does anyone ever, for instance, get in a car crash and think, "Gosh, I sure felt great about not wearing a seatbelt, so the fact that I almost broke my neck and died is actually pretty ok"? That sounds pretty implausible to me.
Makes sense, doesn't it? People we are talking about are not fans of retrospective thinking either and reflection -- that's what you use to check your makeup, amiright? X-)
You had to go and gender it?
Being rational, intelligent, and able to make good decisions sounds great. If you could wave a magic wand and grant these things, I'm sure many people would like to take advantage. In the absence of a magic wand, the journey can be unpleasant and fraught with peril. Making progress involves seriously examining your own life and dealing with all those problems you'd rather not confront. It can ruin your present social life and require you to find a new circle (as with recovering alcoholics recognizing the difference between friends and drinking buddies). And there are plenty of failure modes. There's a stereotype that the youth who first discovers atheism becomes arrogant and quarrelsome. A little learning is a dangerous thing. There's an initial decline in effectiveness of reason before it catches up to (and eventually surpasses) good old common sense. No one likes a straw Vulcan. I would heartily recommend Erasmus of Rotterdam's In Praise of Folly [http://www.gutenberg.org/files/30201/30201-h/30201-h.htm] for a satiric look at the benefits of not-thinking and irrationality. Here's an excerpt which I think is fitting for the present discussion:
It's quite ironic, but people don't engage in not-thinking because they think not-thinking makes them happier. Pretty per definition, those people don't make there decision based by thinking.

Suppose we have a set S of n elements, and we ask people to memorize sequences of these elements, and we find that people can generally easily memorize sequences of length k (for some definition of "generally" and "easily"). If we then define a function f(S) := k log n, how will f depend on S? Have there been studies on this issue?

Why k log n? I imagine n would be largely independent of k, so f(S) would become arbitrarily large just by using bigger and bigger sets.
k log n is the number of bits it takes to represent a random sequence of k elements from S. So f(S) is the number of bits one can remember when they're encoded as sequences of elements of S. My guess is that f(S) will be smaller when n is very small (it's not twice as easy to remember 20 digits from {0,1} as to remember 10 from {0,1,2,3}, unless perhaps you explicitly convert them) and maybe when n is rather large (as it starts to require cognitive effort to distinguish elements of S). It will surely also depend in complicated ways on what sort of thing is in S (words? common first names? photos of faces? ...). I'm sure there's been work on this in the context of computer security -- looking for things that are a bit like passwords but make a better memorability/bits-of-security tradeoff than passwords do. In that context it's also worth considering what happens if you allow the sequence to be remembered slightly wrongly.
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k and n are implicitly functions of S. So f(S) = (length of a memorizable sequence of elements of S) * (cardinality of S).

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"Trying to control your thoughts" sounds like a recipe for failure. If you exert force on trying to change a thought pattern you often strength it. On the other hand there are a variety of ways to influence your thinking. Meditation is useful. I use a variety of techniques to interact with my emotions. Most of them not easily describable. Goal setting is a good way to prime thinking.
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And I answered. You don't try to control. Mediation isn't about doing something. It's about sitting and doing nearly nothing.
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I'm not specifically referring to zazen. You can't force yourself in a sustainable way to be mindful. You can only set conditions that make it likely to happen. The fact that beginners prefer meditation instructions that seem straightforward and easy to understand doesn't mean that those instruction set provide you full information.
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If you are constantly busy trying to do something you are maxed out. You have no free capacity. Most of the time if we try to do 10 things at the same time we get nothing done. I think a lot of akrasia in myself and on LW comes from being overstretched.
There should be no space between ] and (.

Is Solomonoff induction a theorem for making optimal probability distributions or a definition of them? That is to say, has anyone proved that Solomonoff induction produces probability distributions that are "optimal," or was Solomonoff induction created to formalize what it means for a prediction to be optimal. In the former case, how could they define optimality?

(And another question: I posted this a couple days ago on the last open thread, but it was closed before I got a response. Is it okay to repost it?)

Ops, I answered there.

I just got a Kindle Paperwhite. I'm still in the process of learning how to interact with the device. In case you have a Kindle, can you give me a few pointers?

1) How do you organize the relationship between the Kindle and Evernote?
2) How easily is a Kindle damaged by falling to the ground? Is it important to use a case to prevent damage?
3) Do you have tips for good PDF conversion. Especially for textbooks?
4) Anything useful to know as a new Kindle user?

Congrats on your new Kindle. :-) I keep my Paperwhite 2 with me always and have started buying jackets based on whether or not they have pockets into which my Kindle fits. 2) Don't know how easy they break, since I haven't dropped one. I mean, when was the last time you dropped a book to the floor, or your phone? You'll probably be equally careful with your Kindle. I had an accident with my Kindle Keyboard, however, where I put it in my backpack without cover and pressure from a corner one of my hardcover books made an indentation in the screen. It slightly discolored the background of the Kindle, but the text is still readable. The reason I don't use a case is that I carry it with me, and the case makes it slightly thicker and heavier. I would use a case if I had it in my backpack. 1) I don't. 3, 4) Check out Caliber for library management and book-tagging. I much prefer it to organizing books into collections on my Kindle. It will also convert between formats, but if your pdf is a scanned book it won't improve. Also check out the Kindle add on for Chrome/Mozilla. It sends web pages directly to your Kindle.
My phone does occasionally drop to the floor. I already wear Scottevest clothing, so I have big enough pockets :) At least when I'm wearing more than just a T-Shirt. In what kind of instances do you use it?
Whenever I want to read articles or text, but not on my computer. Either because I want a distraction free environment (no tabs on the Kindle), or because I won't bring my laptop with me, or because I'm outside and need a glare free screen, or because I prefer the soft light of the Kindle screen late at night and in bed, etc., etc. My most recent sent-to-Kindle article is this one [http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/06/secrets-of-the-creative-brain/372299/]. If I like it, I will import it into my Calibre library and tag it as "read" and maybe "thinking" or "creativity" or some such. As an alternative to bookmarking or Evernote web-clipping.
I have accidentally dropped Kindle in a case a couple of times; there was no perceptible damage. K2pdfopt [http://www.willus.com/k2pdfopt/] is God's gift to Kindle readers. Compare [http://www48.zippyshare.com/v/tTw9qfzm/file.html] a processed version of the latest paper I read with its original version.
It seems to have a lot of settings, do you simply use the standard ones?
Yes, except that I change the "Device" setting to "Kindle Paperwhite" instead of "Kindle 1-5", and I usually convert the first 5 pages or so to make sure I have the borders right before I convert the whole document. The idea of cropping the margins is to set them such that page numbers and chapter headers are cut while retaining the text. You shouldn't need to touch the left and right margins most of the time, only the top and bottom ones. Use binary search.

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What do you mean with "private domain whois"? That website can show you what's written in the Whois entry. What's written there depends on what the Register wrote into the entry. If you register with a host like GoDaddy you can choose against putting your name in the Whois entry.
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The NSA :-P Also, anyone with a subpoena and, probably, sufficiently skillful black hats. But if you are asking whether there is an alternate way you can just look it up, then no, that's the whole point of the private part.

This illustrates the problem I have with how we leave boys' sexual development to the haphazard and just hope that they can figure it out somehow. What about the boys who can't or don't have these experiences and learn these skills at an appropriate age?

Sex And The Valley: Tech Guys Seek Expert Love Advice From Therapists


“Dan” seems at first to perfectly embody that popular object of scorn these days in San Francisco: the privileged tech worker. He’s a developer-turned-manager at

... (read more)

I think this is true and I don't really understand the downvotes. Before the Sexual Revolution it was simple, not necessasarily satisfying but the rules were easy to grasp.

The early stages of the Sexual Revolution, say 1940-1970 were simple too. Pretty much everybody understood that the kind of guy who is good at sports and dancing and similar things will get the girls, and they would pretty much just go to the dances on the weekends, where Tommy Dorsey type of music was played in the 1940's or the newer rock and roll in the 1960's, and these dances still had traces of the old ballroom etiquette where girls would be sitting on one side and the boys on the other and they would approach a sitting girl and politely ask them for a dance. And things would develop on their own from there. Although the SR meant people stopped marrying as virgins (excluding the religious crazy at least) the goal was still to get married after having a few relationships and women were pretty open about basically testing men for marriage or LTR and attitudes were monogamous so there was this idea that you knew those five boys are far better than you but still as the five prettiest girls at the dance grabbe... (read more)

I don't really understand the downvotes

I downvoted to say "less like this." advancedatheist has brought this topic up far too many times.

Why? Just because the rules are very different than what they used to be (i.e. there is far less jumping through hoops, and a lot more direct, often intuitive/implied negotiation) doesn't mean that such rules don't exist or can't be learned conciously. Even "looking real good" is very much a craft that can be improved upon.
I think I have not expressed myself clearly. I need to go one meta deeper. The limiting factor is courage or confidence. When rules are more direct, you must muster more courage to follow them because there is also a higher risk (of being accused of harassment or public embarrassment). Same with looks, there are less conspicious kinds of good looks, like the past, where you would put on a well tailored suit, and more conspicuous kinds of good looks, like a todays dance club where it is spiky hair and sleeveless shirts showing gym-made arms. Where it is more conspicuous kinds of good looks required, it is a test of courage or confidence, because if you don't have so much, you will feel that you are noticed too much or stand out too much or look like a clown, basically get too "self-conscious" about it. So the central issue is that today the rules test courage, confidence or testosterone harder, because you need more conspicous looks that attract too many gazes and you may feel like you are being ridiculous, or braver negotiation that could result in louder embarrassment.
My impression has been a well-tailored suit is more in right now than a sleeveless shirt. My friends and I were making fun of how many over-dressed guys there were at a show a few weeks ago; way too many dress pants and blazers for a concert.
I guess that the being "self-conscious" has a bigger effect than the actual looks.
I think so too. I should also say I don't like this term very much, it is unaccurate, so I like that you used quotes. Self-consciousness is supposed to mean a good thing, like knowing what you are doing and why. But a while ago in the English language this term gained a different, and more negative meaning, e.g. Daniel Radcliffe: “I used to be self conscious about my height, but then I thought, fuck that, I'm Harry Potter.” What would be a better term to express that feeling? It is something close to being inhibited and artificial because your attention is focused on yourself and not on the situation. Recommendations from other languages are welcome, we can Anglify them by translating them to Latin then using that root :)
This [http://lesswrong.com/lw/fmt/lw_women_lw_online/8h9c] comment by user "CharlieSheen" from a similar [http://lesswrong.com/lw/fmt/lw_women_lw_online/8h0k] thread seems relevant I find his point here [http://lesswrong.com/lw/fmt/lw_women_lw_online/8h9b] quite insightful.
You certainly complain about this a lot. But do you have any suggestions of how to fix this problem?
Not sure if you are suggesting this, but I really want to discourage any "don't draw attention to a problem unless you have a solution" bullshit. These are two separate things, and they both have value. It is nice and good if you happen to have a solution to a problem that you've identified, but to keep silent about a problem just because you don't have a solution is nuts insofar as you would like for the problem to be solved someday. There are productive ways to filter writing (writer is doing crappy analysis, propagating misinformation on purpose or through incomptence/ignorance, etc), but doing so based on "did you propose a solution" is actively harmful. Remember the "don't jump to solutions, scope out the problem first" bit.

Given that he has been "drawing attention" to this issue more or less constantly for months, I think it is reasonable to demand he stop repeating himself and start actually developing the idea further in some actually constructive way.

I think he keeps repeating it because he cannot and he would like others to try. This is a perfectly reasonable request / idea. I think at this point he should be offering some trade as apparently there is not really enough people interested in trying to solve it for free.
I doubt it, it's the same pattern of behavior displayed when he complains about liberal transhumanists or the media bias against cryonics. It's a "woe is me, the world is unjust" attitude, not constructive at all. It seems to me he just wants people to commiserate with him.
Commonly known as "whining".
That's not the problem. If you leave boys' sexual development to the haphazard, history shows most will figure it out. The problem is that society is actively giving boys bad advice.
I don't think this is strictly a male problem. I would guess the average person does not have as much sex as they would prefer. A lot of this is due to child rearing. Without strict controls on relationships, a lot of women throughout history would have ended up as single parents, their partners unsupportive of their fling that went a way they didn't expect. I'm not sure if its possible to entirely avoid such problems unless we have better birth control systems or very different child raising practices; the latter is a whole new can of worms. By better birth control i'm referring to widespread usage, lack of side effects, and product satisfaction; not just availability and quality.