As a judoka, this really spoke to me and was a useful analogy - thankyou very much for it!
My own idea of what good mental posture looks like includes some idea of the way you model yourself. One of my biggest failure modes is when I slip into seeing myself as 'random useless seventeen-year-old' and therefore acting as I expect a random useless seventeen year old to act (ineffectively) or waiting to get permission before I do things. When I manage to change into seeing-myself-as-agent mode, my productivity and rationality gets supercharged compared to the a... (read more)
Ooh, yay, free knowledge and links! Thankyou, you're awesome!
The linked study was a fun read. I was originally a bit skeptical - it feels like songs are sufficiently subjective that you'll just like what your friends like or is 'cool', but what subjects you choose to study ought to be the topic of a little more research and numbers - but after further reflection the dynamics are probably the same, since often the reason you listen to a song at all is because your friend recommended it, and the reason you research a potential career in something is because ... (read more)
I do think that some kind of organisational cooperative structure would be needed even if everyone were friends - provided there are dragons left to slay. If people need to work together on dragonfighting, then just being friends won't cut it - there will need to be some kind of team, and some people delegating different tasks to team members and coordinating efforts. Of course, if there aren't dragons to slay, then there's no need for us to work together and people can do whatever they like.
And yeah - the tradeoff would definitely need to be considered. I... (read more)
You make me suddenly, intensely curious to find out what a Reynolds number is and why it can make streamlining increase drag. I am also abruptly realising that I know less than I thought about STEM fields, given I just kind of assumed that astrophysicists were the official People Who Know About Space and therefore rocketry must be part of their domain. I don't know whether I want to ask if you can recommend any good fluid dynamics introductions, or whether I don't want to add to the several feet high pile of books next to my bed...
Okay - so why do you thin... (read more)
Yup, playing status with accounts would be kinda stupid. (That's why you should stop doing it.)
You know what would be especially stupid? If we lived in a world that accorded me higher status than you because of my general level of aggression, and I could end this entire argument with "I'm high status, you're low status, I'm right, you're wrong, shut up now".
Now, wouldn't that be a really stupid world...?
So tell me again why giving status and prestige to aggressive people is a great idea?
Um, how exactly do you want to preserve older things while I want to tear everything down and build it back up again? I don't want to tear things down. I want the trends that are happening - everything gets fairer and more liberal over time - to continue. To accelerate them if I can. (To design a whole new State if and only if it seems like it will make most people much happier, and even then I kinda accept that I'd need to talk to a whole lot of other people and do a whole lot of small scale experiments first.) None of those trends are making society end ... (read more)
Acty, a question. What are you information sources? This is very general question -- I'm not asking for citations, I'm asking on the basis of which streams of information do you form your worldview?
For example, for most people these streams would be (a) personal experiences; (b) what other people (family, friends) tell them; (c) what they absorb from the surrounding culture, mostly from mainstream media; and (d) what they were taught, e.g. in school.
You use phrases like "I cannot see any evidence" -- where cannot you see evidence? Who or what, do you think, reliably tells you what is happening in the world and how the world works?
I think there's also definitely a prestige/coolness factor which isn't correlated with difficulty, applicability, or usefulness of the field.
Quantum mechanics is esoteric and alien and weird and COOL and saying you understand it whilst sliding your glasses down your nose makes you into Supergeek. Saying "I understand how wet stuff splashes" is not really so... high status. It's the same thing that makes astrophysics higher status than microbiology even though the latter is probably more useful and saves more lives / helps more people - rockets sp... (read more)
Thankyou - this statement of the idea was much, much clearer to me. :)
It seems like the solution - well, a possible part of one possible solution - is to make the social science research institute that everyone listens to have some funding source which is completely independent from the political party in power. That would hopefully make the scientific community more independent. We now need to make it more powerful, which is... more difficult. I think a good starting point would be to try and raise the prestige associated with a social science career (and... (read more)
Opponent is a word. Here, it refers to the person advocating the opposite view to mine. If you would like, I can use a different word, but it will change very little. Arguing over semantics is not a productive way to cause each other to update. Though to be honest, I ceased having much hope that you were in this discussion for the learning and updates when you started using ad hominem and fully general counterarguments. (Saying that your opponent is defensive and emotional and "opponentist" is also a fully general counterargument and also ad homi... (read more)
Oh, I definitely have some kind of inbuilt ideology - it's just that right now, I'm consciously trying to suppress/ignore it. It doesn't seem to converge with what most other humans want. I'd rather treat it as a bias, and try and compensate for it, in order to serve my higher level goals of satisfying people's preferences and increasing happiness and decreasing suffering and doing correct true science.
Different people learn in different ways. I'm really good at textbook learning and hate hands on learning (and suspect that is common among introverted intellectual people). Ideally, why not offer both a university course that qualifies you as a teacher and an apprenticeship system that qualifies you as a teacher, and allow prospective teachers to decide which best suits their learning style? We could even do cognitive assessments on the prospective teachers to recommend to them which program would be best for what their strengths seem to be.
Although, as s... (read more)
Telling your opponent that they are incapable of arguing with you until they are older is a fully general counterargument, and one of the more aggravating and toxic ones.
Even if it wasn't a fully general counterargument, it would be fallacious because it's ad hominem. There are plenty of people 5-10 years older than me who share my ideas, and you could as easily be arguing with one of them as you are arguing with me now; the fact that by chance you are arguing against me doesn't affect the validity/truth of the ideas we're talking about, and it's very irra... (read more)
You know what else is a good way to stop people being killed? Create a liberal democracy where people are equal. So far in history, that has kinda correlated... really strongly... with less people dying. There is both less war and less crime. Forget strength, give them equality and elections. (I don't actually think democracy is the optimal solution, I think I advocate more of an economics-exam-based meritocratic oligarchy, but it is a really good one to put in place while we figure out what the optimal one is. And I need to read lots more books before I a... (read more)
I'm not trying to describe the people who disagree with me as wanting to bring back slavery or supporting burning down the whole Middle East; that isn't my point and I apologise if I was unclear.
As I understood it, the argument levelled against me was that: people who say they're really angry about terrorism are often idiots who hold idiotic beliefs, like, "let's send loads of tanks to the Middle East and kill all the people who might be in the same social group as the terrorists and that will solve everything!" and in the same way, people who sa... (read more)
There could be solutions to this, I'm sure, or at least ways of minimising the problems. Maybe an independent-from-current-ruling-party research institute that ran studies on all proposed laws/policies put forward by both the in-power and opposition power, which required pre-registration of studies, and then published its findings very publicly in an easy-for-public-to-read format? Then it would be very obvious which parties were saying the same things as the science and which were ignoring the science, and it would be hard for the parties to influence the social scientists to just get them to say what they want them to say.
As advice for others like me, this is good. For me personally it doesn't work too well; my A level subjects mean that I won't be able to take a STEM subject at a good university. I can't do statistics, because I dropped maths last year. The only STEM A level I'm taking is CompSci, and good universities require maths for CompSci degrees. I could probably get into a good degree course for Linguistics, but it isn't a passionate adoration for linguistics that gets me up in the mornings. I adore human and social sciences.
I don't plan to be completely devoid of ... (read more)
I don't know, maybe because I was randomly listing some things that I'm angry about to explain why I'm motivated to try and improve the world, not making a thorough and comprehensive list of everything I think is wrong?
Could also fit under "war", which I listed, and "death", which I listed.
I think that there's a good chance in general that most people can be led into supporting policies with bad consequences. I don't think higher levels of idiocy are present in people who are annoyed about racism and terrorism compared with those who aren't. The kind of people who say "on average people with black skin are slightly less smart, therefore let's bring back slavery and apartheid" are just as stupid and evil, if not stupider and eviler, than the people who support burning down the whole Middle East in order to get rid of terrorism.
Well, "providing universal healthcare and welfare will lead to a massive drop in motivation to work" is a scientific prediction. We can find out whether it is true by looking at countries where this already happens - taxes pay for good socialised healthcare and welfare programs - like the UK and the Nordics, and seeing if your prediction has come true.
The UK employment rate is 5.6%, the United States is 5.3%. Not a particularly big difference, nothing indicating that the UK's universal free healthcare has created some kind of horrifying utility d... (read more)
Eh, I'm not sure I'm an anything-ist. Socialist ideas make a lot of sense to me, but really I'm a read-a-few-more-books-and-go-to-university-and-then-decide-ist. If I have to stand behind any -ist, it's going to be "scientist". I want to do research to find out which policies most effectively make people happy, and then I want to implement those policies regardless of whether they fall in line with the ideologies that seem attractive to me.
But yeah, I do think that it is morally wrong to let people suffer and morally right to make people happy, a... (read more)
I am very angry about terrorism. I think terrorism is a very bad thing and we should eliminate it from the world if we can.
Being very angry about terrorism =/= thinking that a good way to solve the problem is to randomly go kill the entire population of the Middle East in the name of freedom (and oil). I hate terrorism and would prevent it if I could. In fact, I hate people killing each other so much, I think we should think rationally about the best way to eliminate it utterly (whilst causing fewer deaths than it causes) and then do that.
There is no connection. I'm not trying to imply a connection. The only connection is that they are both things possibly implied by the word "racism".
I'm trying to say that when I say "I oppose racism", intending to signal "I oppose people beating up minorities", and people misunderstand badly enough that they think I mean "I oppose IQ-by-race studies", it disturbs me. If people know that "I oppose racism" could mean "I oppose genocide", but choose to interpret it as "I oppose IQ-by-race studi... (read more)
I think that anger at the Bad and hope for the Good are kind of flip sides of the same coin. I have a vague idea of how the world should be, and when the world does not conform to that idea, it irritates me. I would like a world full of highly rational and happy people cooperating to improve one another's lives, and I would like to see the subsequent improvements taking effect. I would like to see bright people and funding being channeled into important stuff like FAI and medicine and science, everyone working for the common good of humanity, and a lot of ... (read more)
In my (admittedly limited, I'm young) experience, people don't disagree on whether that tradeoff is worth it. People disagree on whether the tradeoff exists. I've never seen people arguing about "the tradeoff is worth it" followed by "no it isn't". I've seen a lot of arguments about "We should decrease inequality with policy X!" followed by "But that will slow economic growth!" followed by "No it won't! Inequality slows down economic growth!" followed by "Inequality is necessary for economic growth!&qu... (read more)
"So what we really want is interventions that are very well-thought out, with a lot of care towards the likely consequences, taking into account the lessons of history for similar interventions."
That is exactly why I want to study social science. I want to do lots of experiments and research and reading and talking and thinking before I dare try and do any world-changing. That's why I think social science is important and valuable, and we should try very hard to be rational and careful when we do social science, and then listen to the conclusions... (read more)