It seems that our morality consists of two elements. First is bias, based on game theoretical environment of our ancestors. Humans developed complex feelings around activities that promoted inclusive genetic fitness and now we are intrinsically and authentically motivated to do them for their own sake. There is also a limited capability for moral updates. That's what we use to resolve contradictions in our moral intuitions. And that's also what allow us to persuade ourselves that doing some status promoting thing is actually moral. One the one hand, t... (read more)
Related to facts vs opinions but not quite the same is objective/subjective dichotomy, popular in conventional philosophy. I find it extremely misleading and contributing a lot to asking wrong questions and accepting ridiculous non sequiturs.
For instance, it's commonly assumed that things are either subjective or objective. Moreover, if something is subjective it's arbitrary, not real and not meaningful. To understand why this framework is wrong, one requires good understanding of map/territory distinction and correspondence. How completely real things ... (read more)
There are a couple of books pointing out mistakes and methodological problems with the Bell Curve. Maybe we will get their reviews as well in the future.
If you are not alergic to long youtube videos you may be interested in this fairly reasonable and thorough approach to critique of the Bell Curve from the left.
In a nutshell, Murray bases his conclusions on a bunch of very epistemically poor research, often uses shady methodology, contradicts himself in a way that hints at writing the book in a bad faith and despite all his neutral tone, smuggles harmful p... (read more)
Standpoint Epistemical Status: I live in a second world country, and monitor USA politics from across the ocean because it's less depressing than the politics of my own country.
I've heard about Pluckrose, Lindsays and Boghossian social experiment. They framed it as a strong evidience that social sciences went astray and are now producing bad science for ideological reasons. Ironically, however, what Pluckrose, Lindsays and Boghossian did, is an example of bad science itself. For instance, they had no control group. A third of their junk papers were actuall... (read more)
I'm not saying that you literally have nothing against fashists. I'm pretty sure you disagree with them on nearly every subject, find them generally evil and do not really want to associate with them. I'm saying that they are not your outgroup in the same sense that Osama bin Laden wasn't outgroup for blue tribe while Margaret Thatcher was:
...Blue Tribe – can’t get together enough energy to really hate Osama, let alone Muslims in general. We understand that what he did was bad, but it didn’t anger us personally. When he died, we were able to very rationall
4. Similarly, I frequently hear about dreams that are scary or disorienting, but I don't think I've ever heard of someone recalling having experienced severe pain from a dream, even when they remember dreaming that they were being physically damaged.
In my childhood I used to have a reoccuring nightmare about a shapeshifting monster that killed me in a really unpleasant way. The best way I can describe this feeling is as being pushed through something very narrow, like a syringe needle. I used to describe this as severe pain and I did my best to evade it. T... (read more)
While I agree with mostly everything your model of Eliezer said, I do not feel less confused about how Eliezer arrives to a conclusion that most animals are not conscious. Granted, I may, and probably actually am, lacking an important insight in the matter, but than it will be this insight that allows me to become less confused and I wish Eliezer shared it.
When I'm thinking about a thought process that allows to arrive to such a conclusion I imagine something like this. Consciousness is not fundamental but it feels like it is. That's why we intuitively app... (read more)
Completely agree! Such possible explanations are the reason why I'm only mildly worried about psychedelic values drift. Cautious curiosity still seems to be the reasonable response.
Well of course I was already familiar with map-territory distinction, and while insightful itself, it wasn't the insight I grasped from that paragraph.
The new insight is deeper understanding to what degree consciousness is functionally necessary for human behaviour. Literally as necessary as thermostats for air conditioning system. Also, while understanding that I have maps of reality in my consciousness, I suppose, I wasn't explicitly thinking that my consciousness is itself a map.
It seems reasonable to be extra sceptical towards evidence that is obtained when your evidence-evaluating-engine is distorted and extremely sceptical toward evidence which can only be obtained in such state.
Experiencing divine grace under lsd is as much evidence in favour of god actually existing as witnessing psychic with an earphone telling you the details of your life is an evidence in favour of telepathy. Both performances can be impressive, but the design of the experiments is completely flawed.
I expect rationality adjacent people to understand it. An... (read more)
I've heard quite a lot about psychedelic-related values changes. This mildly worries me and makes suspicious about respondents being happy with their personality changes.
One example from the data of this survey. I doubt that people from rationality adjacent communities would endorse becoming more religious, than they are now and would like to take a pill that would make them so in 24% causes. Yet the majority of respondents tend to endorse their personality changes from psychedelics.
Theistic proof from abiogenesis just passes the buck of improbability from abiogenesis to the existence of God that wills abiogenesis to happen.
Invoking many worlds here will do more harm than good. Next thing we will have theistic proof from many worlds.
The Good Regulator Theorem asserts that "every good regulator of a system must be a model of that system." Therefore, the air conditioning system must have some heat-map (e.g. via thermostats) of the building (i.e. a model). Similarly, for an organism to maintain its existence, it must have a model of the system it is trying to sustain, i.e. a model of itself and its surrounding environment. This way, the organism can remain within a narrow set of favourable physical states (the organism's attractor set) which allow it to stay alive.
This was insightf... (read more)
First of all, notice how all the talk about predestination and fate doesn't change anything in our decision making process.
- Your honour, I may have killed all these kids but, I was to do it due to the laws of the universe! It's unfair to punish me!
- Be it as it may, but I'm to sentence you to life in prison due to these laws of the universe. It's useless to nag about it.
- But I was predestined to nag about it, so it's useless to ask me not to nag!
- And I'm fated to ask you to shut up, also we've already exceed 3 levels of recursion... (read more)
You are doing a thing where you misunderstand me because you are filtering my statements through your beliefs.
Of course our inferential distance is huge. It's no surprise. Neither do I feel that you are really trying to cross it. Also, considering that OP question was about determinism, it seems very appropriate that i talk from determinist position. However, as it happens, I'm indeed interested in better understanding indeterminism and libertarian free will. I accept that your usage is different but currently I don't understand it so it doesn't make ... (read more)
Isn't the current consensus that fitoestrogens from soy and grain do not affect male fertility or testosterone level?
What? Where did I say that?
You said that some people would feel more free if counterfactuals and probability, which are part of our decision making algorithm, existed somewhere outside of our mind.
I don't know what you are referring to. Counterfactuals follow from indeterminism because indeterminism means an event could gave happened differently. It's quite straightforward.
There seem to be a huge gap between "something could have happened differently" and "there actually exist a parallel universe where this indeed happened differently". If we conside... (read more)
I don't see how what you explained is more than decision making. As soon as we understand that probabilities are part of the map, not the territory, it's clear that causing the future is exactly the same thing as influencing it in a way that makes future A more likely than future B. I also do not understand why would anyone feel more free if their decision making algorithm existed outside of their mind and how it's even possible in theory.Another thing that I have troubles understanding, is how the objective existence of counterfactuals follows from, or ev... (read more)
I mostly agree.
I like this. Free will is the feeling when you don't know the causes of your thoughts and actions.
It's definetely a huge part of the puzzle. But not all of it. Free will is also a feeling of not knowing the choices you will make in the future. And the process of determining this choice due to all the causes.
Suppose Omega perfectly knows all the prior causes of my decisions, it has my source code and all the inputs. Omega would still have to run the source code with these inputs, to actually execute my decision making algorithm, so that it ca... (read more)
I haven't read Harris's book, but my guess would be that he takes appropriate care not to sound like he does more than describing the world he sees.
I had originally expected exactly that from the book! But, in my opinion, it didn't turn out to be the case. I'm pretty sure that Harris could have done it if he intended to. My guess is that he wanted to be more relatable and appealing to a layman reader rather than polish his speech too much.
I assume by determinists you've meant the so called "boring view of reality" something in a cluster of causal determinism and reductive materialism. I seem to fit quite good in there, so here is my take:
Humans have free will in a sense of decision making, planning, achieving our goals and shaping the future the way we would like it to be. It (spoiler alert) requires causal determinism or, at least, quite a lot of it. It does not require indeterminism or the existence of conterfactual worlds outside of ones mind at all. Libertarian definition of free will d... (read more)
I've been genuinely confused about all these antropics stuff and read your sequence in hope for some answers. Now I understand better what are SSA and SIA. Yet am not even closer to understanding why would anyone take these theories seriously. They often don't converge to normality, they depend on weird a priori reasoning which doesn't resemble the way cognition engines produce accurate maps of the territory.SSA and SIA work only in those cases where their base asumptions are true. And in different circumstances and formulations of mind experiments differe... (read more)
I really empathize with being troubled by such questions. I was amused by them a decade or so ago and I've found a way to actually make peace with them before I discovered Less Wrong, which in turn gave me so crucial insights, allowing to solve these enigmas to my own satisfaction.
The way I originally made peace with these questions was through embracing the doubts rather than running from them. To, as you put it, "surrender to radical skepticism" Suppose that the questions are indeed unsolvable. That there is no ultimate justification, that everythi... (read more)