Yeah. I'm kind of startled that CW can say "I wouldn't trade my life for less than a billion strangers' lives" and get more than one person to go "Wait, what?" in response to that comment. I understand that not everybody on here is an extreme altruist or anything like that, but CW is definitely coming across as the sort of free rider who's only alive because the rest of society is more pro-social than they are, which is a red flag in general.
Somebody who considers altruism to be weird is probably also somebody who will eat a high-trust society for breakfast whenever and wherever they can get away with it.
I hope you're going to be talking about whether the dog breeds are emotionally independent enough to enjoy being alive on balance.
Mostly, yes. I've written up a yet-to-be-posted-here entry on the Havanese, in which I note that they've got attachment issues, but this isn't a strong mark against the Havanese in the way that e.g. bulldog noses are, because if you work from home or something like that, then your Havanese will be quite happy.
For that reason, "Havanese shouldn't be had by people who spend a lot of time away from the house" doesn't seem like it should be a mark against them, any more than "Collies shouldn't be had by people who can't provide an intellectually stimulating environment" should be a mark against collies.
General anxiety, however, is definitely a bad mark, and the Havenese will only be getting a decent ranking because, on balance, it is one of the less anxious of the "separation-anxious" breeds. Other, more anxious breeds, will probably get only one star, or none, because it won't be very good to be those dogs.
I have! I'll end up disagreeing with it in these posts, because we're both looking for things that the other isn't (I don't care about appetite or cost, for example), but it was good to see that we could agree on bulldogs. :)
Health is most important characteristic of all, because I care about whether it is good to be that dog.
Next is intelligence, mostly because I’m an ape who got where I am because my ancestors were clever enough to figure out nifty things like “fire-starting” and “germ theory.” This probably biases me a little, but I still can’t help but feel that a dog that is dumber than a wolf has lost something.
Loyalty and affection (or at least tolerance) for humans are important because dogs are wolves, but they’re domesticated wolves, and if a breed is mean and vicious and unfriendly then it’s failing super hard at “being domesticated.”
To be hardworking and to have dignity are mostly aesthetic concerns for me. To the extent that the former matters at all, it’s because I associate work ethic with purposiveness, and aimless breeds whose only task is to provide companionship have a tendency toward neuroticism and especially separation anxiety, in my experience.
Just as I’m judging dogs as domesticated wolves, I’m also judging them as domesticated wolves.
That said, don’t take any of this too seriously. It’d be good to keep the health stuff in mind before getting a dog, but my personal favs are greyhounds and I don’t think they’re going to get three stars, let alone the #1 Top Dog ribbon.
The real objective rating, of course, is “the best dog is whichever breed best suits your personal circumstances, and also isn’t an inbred freak like a pug.”
Part of me says that you're being too optimistic, but that part of me thinks everything is too optimistic, and what you say does sound plausible. I can certainly imagine how people might work that way, and the world look exactly how it does.
Many people like abusing others in various ways, yet would probably be happier if they didn't, but they are stuck in a local optimum
This, in particular, is a valid point.
I think that Baker would reply that only the whole brain, or perhaps some specific part of the brain, is a whole agent in the ways she considers important. One of the most crucial characteristics of a person is that they have "a first-person perspective." Hammers do not have any kind of first-person perspective (i.e. there is no "what it is like to be a hammer"), so they are not persons.
I'm currently working on a précis for one of her books, but suffice it to say, I'm no more convinced by her arguments when she has a whole book in which to expound on them.
Oh, absolutely. Ligotti suffers from regular bouts of anhedonia, where his brain just can’t be bothered to experience pleasure, and his anhedonic states can last for years. It’s no mystery why Ligotti thinks everything is terrible, because he’s incapable of feeling happy for more than a couple months here and there...
I’m glad you liked this! Thank you for reading.
They aren't rationalists per se, and don't seem to overall have a high opinion of rats (though they're also willing to paint a better picture of e.g. Scott Alexander than e.g. r/SneerClub paints, so it's probably best to not confuse the two), and they're willing to get personal and ad their hominems.
However, while I'd give them less credence than Wikipedia (which has issues of its own, as we're all aware), that doesn't mean that I ignore it entirely. Maybe it's because I grew up in a cult, but RatWiki is really nice to visit every now and then, for much the same reason that I still visit r/exmormon every now and then. Also, it keeps a better list of cranks and scoundrels (and their cons and scandals) than Wikipedia, so I also use it every now and again as a(n initial) resource whenever my parents mention some person or thing which I'm pretty sure is bullshit just by the sound of it.
Maybe? It doesn't square with my personal experience, at least. I went through the usual spiel with someone last night, without knowing whether that was going to be a deal breaker, and I very easily could have avoided that problem, because (1) I'm a good liar, or at least I was back when I let myself do it, and (2) this person and my SO live in totally different cities and run in completely different social circles, so an alternate version of me who's willing to cheat and lie would have no reason to think that keeping this particular secret would be hard to do.
On the other hand, my father lied a lot and much of who I am today is basically An Attempt At Being Not-Him, so I might have a Weird Reluctance To Lie for reasons other than "am a nerd."
Blindsight, by Peter Watts, helped a lot with my depression (though I am very much an outlier here, and nobody should expect the same result) and was sort of my "rabbithole" moment for thinking about brains and consciousness and "What makes me, 'me'?" and so on, which continues to pay dividends insofar as a hugely useful tactic for dealing with depression is realizing that "you" are, at best, just one brain-part of a whole system of brain-parts, some of which are malfunctioning, and that e.g. you shouldn't necessarily trust the brain-part which is saying "You are awful and need to die."
(It also helped my depression because there's just a certain element of "horrifying beauty" in Blindsight, but again I don't expect other people to agree.)