Wiki Contributions


Ha, if it's any condolence I did delete the account myself three-ish years ago.

I think it's best to restore it, I would have just used my throwaway otherwise and I discovered that I could still log in by a fluke. Although I was enjoying being anonymous while it lasted. Why aren't deleted accounts just taken off of the database entirely? That seems like a holdover from using Reddit as the forum engine.

Meetup hasn't happened yet. Should the refutations be given on your time frame?

Your historian friends agreed with the global claim which I believe was fairly well established. From what I've heard talking to the interlocutor hosting this meetup (I am not he), it was *how* you extrapolated to that global claim from a local one that is being taken issue with. Notice that the historian on your blog also believes it is difficult to say to what degree Europe declined during the Dark Ages, although there are many possible markers. Notice that the reddit historian backing you is apologizing for your background rather than providing corroborative concrete evidence related to the structure of your argument. The Dominican Friar thing is nice and it's understandable why you wouldn't quote a private email, but it's of course possible that they would make a similar mistake and taken without detail, it definitely seems like a pithy authority appeal.

As far as this meetup goes, from my discussions with the interlocutor, I'd expect mainly methodological criticisms, and criticisms of the rhetorical moves used to waive the limitations of the methodology. These are not the same as criticisms of the goals of SSC, or even the goals of a particular post. The substitutes recommended will be deeper reading of primary and secondary sources instead of *only* using SSC as a source (being that it's tertiary and pop-sci), at the very least.

Maybe these criticisms once brought to light won't be enough to brand you as a "pseudo-intellectual", but people who do not take these kinds of criticisms into account will read your disclaimers against your expertise, yet would still be left with the inability to understand how these affect the soundness of your claims, because supposedly, they too, are not domain experts. I think such refutations, if valid and pondered, could be educational and sanity-raising for everyone in the SSC blogosphere.

Any LW-concept-specific critiques applicable to everyone else?

Do you know what it's like to be stupid?

Similar in theme is "Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology" by Valentino Braitenberg, in that creating simple systems that aren't goal driven can nonetheless produce behavior that we characterize as emotional or thoughtful, somehow. It's more exploratory and illustrative than principled or conceptual, but should be a good read.

Potential tool leveraging relative pragmatism and honesty of the LW community: "Hot or Not?" or attractiveness-rating app for members, done by the opposite gender, focused on physical attractiveness and specific criticism on what works and what doesn't.

Routes around anxiety/weirdness of doing this IRL, specifically the honest commentary part.

I vouch for Ozzie Estimate.

I take shminux's point to be primarily one of ease, or maybe portability. The need to understand sensitivity in heuristical estimation is a real one, and I also believe that your tools here may be the right approach for a different level of scale than was originally conceived by Fermi. It might be worth clarifying the kinds of decisions that require the level of analysis involved with your method to prevent confusion.

Have you seen the work of Sanjoy Mahajan? Street-Fighting Mathematics, or The Art of Insight in Science and Engineering?

Weirdness is a scarce resource with respect to ourselves? Great! Does that mean that we'd benefit from cooperating such that we all take on different facets of the weirder whole, like different faces of a PR operation?

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