AlexanderD

Posts

Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions

Comments

Rationality Quotes September 2013

That would be wonderful, world-changing, and unlikely. I hope but do not expect to see it happen.

Rationality Quotes September 2013

I highly recommend Robert Alter's translation in "The Wisdom Books," if you're interested in reading it.

Rationality Quotes August 2013

What the Great Learning teaches is: to illustrate illustrious virtue; to renovate the people; and to rest in the highest excellence.
The point where to rest being known, the object of pursuit is then determined; and, that being determined, a calm unperturbedness may be attained to.
To that calmness there will succeed a tranquil repose. In that repose there may be careful deliberation, and that deliberation will be followed by the attainment of the desired end.
The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the world, first ordered well their own States.
Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families.
Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.
Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts.
Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts.
Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost of their knowledge.
Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.
Things being investigated, knowledge became complete.
Their knowledge being complete, their thoughts were sincere.
Their thoughts being sincere, their hearts were then rectified.
Their hearts being rectified, their persons were cultivated.
Their persons being cultivated, their families were regulated.
Their families being regulated, their States were rightly governed.
Their States being rightly governed, the entire world was at peace.
From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides.
It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered.
It never has been the case that what was of great importance has been slightly cared for, and, at the same time, that what was of slight importance has been greatly cared for.

-The Great Learning, one of the Four Books and Five Classics of Confucian thought.

Rationality Quotes August 2013

You are telling me I am wrong, but it is not helpful to me unless you explain why I am wrong.

I thought it made sense. As far as I could tell, the original parable has a miser with two desires: the desire for delicious booze and the desire to save money. The latter desire is by far the more important one to him, so he "fools" his desire for booze by promising himself a booze reward, and then reneging on himself each time. In my interpretation, this still results in an overall positive effect for self-discipline, because the happiness of saving money is so much more important to the miser than the disappointment of missing the booze reward.

The truth of whether this would actually work could be seen in an experiment. I tried to think of one with two rewards that satisfy different desires, and tried to think of a way to slightly disappoint the desire for sugar while strongly rewarding the impulse for money, after the completion of the task. Maybe I should specify that people should be hungry before the task, and tested in the future when they are hungry, to see if they are still willing to complete the task?

Rationality Quotes August 2013

I don't think you are correct.

The miser knows each time he will not get the reward, and that he will save on food and drink. That is the real reward, and the rest is a kabuki play he puts on for less-important impulses, to temporarily allow him to restrain them in service of his larger goal. The end pleasure of savings will provide strong positive reinforcement.

This could probably be empirically tested, to see if it is true and would work as a technique. I can imagine a test where someone is promised candy, and anticipates it while acting to fulfill a task, and then is rewarded instead with a dollar. Do they learn disappointment, or does the greater pleasure of money outweigh the candy? This is predicated on the idea that they would prefer the money, of course - you would need to tinker with amounts before the experiment might give useful results.

Why Eat Less Meat?

This seems rather a separate issue, especially since you admit that your choice of "cyborg food" only happened to be vegan. You're an accidental vegan. Next week, you might discover that a powder made from lamb faces had more bio-available iron, and that'd be the end of that.

Unrelated: The Accidental Vegan also sounds like the most boring movie imaginable.

Why Eat Less Meat?

Tofu is a good choice, and can be used in many ways. One secret to tofu is to pay attention to the amount of water in the tofu, as that seriously changes the way it tastes, feels, and acts in dishes. For example, when you are making a stew with tofu, such as the spicy and delicious Korean soup kimchi jiggae, you probably want to choose silken tofu, which is soft and will interact well with the rich broth. But if you are making something like McFoo, a tofu sandwich where you marinate the tofu in select spices until it tastes like junk food, then you want a firm and chewy tofu. You can achieve the latter by pressing your tofu for an hour (there are special things to do this, but a towel, cutting boards, and a brick does just fine). You can make it even firmer and more textured by freezing it first, so most of my tofu goes right into the freezer until I need it.

There are also a few veg-specific things that you almost certainly have never had, such as TVP: textured vegetable protein. Despite the unappetizing sci-fi name, it's actually an amazing thing to include in your diet. The trick to learning to love and use it is not to make the sad mistake of just pretending it's meat. Most fake meat things don't taste anything like meat, but instead have a rank and lingering chemical taste and overwhelming profile of salt and sugar, as they try to mimic what you might have liked about meat. TVP and other decent meat substitutes are different, and they just taste good without trying to taste like meat. So TVP chili is hearty and rich and has a great mouthfeel, giving you that chewiness and resistance that's part of what makes meat good, but it doesn't try to ape meat.

Other things you can make: veggie shepherd's pie (lentils and veggies for the filling), pumpkin mac and cheese (add shredded pumpkin when making mac and cheese; if you use a sharp cheese the tastes blend amazingly), filo-wrapped spinach and veggies (you can buy prepared filo dough), loaded baked potatoes, pizza, calzones, quiches, grilled cheese and chard sandwiches, and lots of variations on curries and stews and things.

Just One Sentence

I like to think about initial application of this sentence.

"How old is this bread? A week? You fool! Look at how sick he is! Get some two-week bread immediately, and feed it to him as fast as you can! NO TIME FOR CHEWING."

Ritual Report: NYC Less Wrong Solstice Celebration

As a newcomer who has never been to a meetup - an outsider - I assure you that you are right. It seems surprisingly cultish. I say "surprisingly" because I would never have imagined that LWers would attempt to ape religion and chain awe at the numinous to a specific set of rituals. I suppose in retrospect there is ample precedent, because certainly the Twelve Virtues and the litanies are pseudo-religious (presumably to lend them gravity), but... yipes!

Gun Control: How would we know?

It will probably save time to look at recent research, which might be flawed but might also help answer some immediate questions. This might be a start; I'd quote and comment, but I broke my arm recently and typing is difficult.

Load More