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Scott Aaronson's "On Self-Delusion and Bounded Rationality"

I didn't suggest saying this out of the blue!  My recommended riposte borrows the story protagonist's vocabulary and tone.

I understood that much the first time.

  If a woman asks you:

"What you're saying is tantamount to saying that you want to fuck me. So why shouldn't I react with revulsion precisely as though you'd said the latter?"

then, it may be appropriate to discuss, optionally using the word "fuck", why she'd react that way if you'd asked that question, which you didn't, having instead (as in the story) made a much more innocuous suggestion, neither culturally inappropriate nor abrupt and crass.

I think the protagonist makes an excellent point. In fact, she understates it. She mentions plenty of reasons to expect essentially any heterosexual male classmate to be interested in having sex with her if given the chance, so if she's going to be revolted by that, she might as well go ahead and be revolted without waiting for anyone to tell her anything.

The obvious way out of this conundrum, as you pointed out, is to question the premise that she should be revolted by her male peers' sexual desires toward her. This doesn't seem to stop people in general from agreeing with that premise and deeming it self-evident.

As Ilyssa herself argues, how is focusing on the first domino any more innocuous than admitting the hundredth will fall, too? Is there anything to what you call socially appropriate behavior, not abrupt or crass, beyond a lame attempt to deceive her? In fact, since he's probably well aware she won't be fooled, I don't even know which simulacrum level he's trying to operate at; likely 4.

I wish I'd been asked that kind of questions, including the ones in the few following paragraphs, while being both young enough for them to make sense and the situation not to be too disgusting, and mature enough to understand them and know my true answers. At Eric and Ilyssa's age, I'm sure I would have enjoyed and come to crave an unbounded amount of physical intimacy with almost any of my female classmates, provided we got along and could trust each other, but I didn't really know it. I just knew I wanted to get to know them, necessarily slowly, much like I found out, half a decade later, that women tend to emphasize. Funny; in my case, it probably comes from being perpetually isolated and vulnerable. Also, I didn't have the vocabulary to know what "if I offered myself to you" means, so I'd just be puzzled by the question and probably look like a hypocrite to everyone. Also, my parents would have put a stop to that kind of relationship sooner rather than later, and I guess hers would have, too. Also, I was no "one of the more desirable seniors". Okay, I'll shut up.

Scott Aaronson's "On Self-Delusion and Bounded Rationality"

Uh, ... I've wondered since about four years before this post was published why women seem so universally offended by any signs that a man would like to have sex with them, with the possible exception of a man they're already very very very much into. Especially considering those signs seem to be redundant, since most of the time a man and a woman meet, he'll want to have sex with her, unless, of course, his sex drive is being satisfied to the point of exhaustion elsewhere.

I've never been able to discuss this rationally with anyone. Women usually imply it should be obvious to everyone why they're offended and there's nothing else to say about it. Besides, everyone knows I'm talking to the woman only because I'd like to have sex with her, which makes the topic, and me, doubly disgusting.

I find it therefore amazing, though still puzzling, to see a woman suggesting that question.

On the other hand, does anyone here actually frequent environments where you can get away with such a long reply, in an ordinary conversation, without the other person interrupting you, walking away, slapping you or anything like that? I find it hard enough to believe among mature adults, let alone a teenage boy talking to a haughty and exceptionally attractive and smart female peer. That's yet another reason for me to deeply envy all of you.

Can the Chain Still Hold You?

Let's not forget the other side of the coin: can the chain hold you again—and, this time, forever? Unless you've managed to become immortal, that is.

Book review: The Dawn of Everything

It also doesn't tell us whether people who grew up relying on police would be able to adapt to a police-free society.


Do people who want to get rid of the police even care about that? Isn't the whole implied idea that if you can't survive without police, you don't deserve to survive at all?

It Was You Who Made My Blue Eyes Blue

Typo nitpicking:

  • Day One – "When you wake up at see me not dead" instead of "when you wake up and see me not dead". I think "and they knew I knew I knew" should be "and they knew I knew they knew".
  • Day Two – Missing period between "but we’ve got to do it" and "if we don’t kill ourselves tonight".
ITT-passing and civility are good; "charity" is bad; steelmanning is niche

How can Bob not get it? Is he crazy or stupid or what?


It looks to me like Bob doesn't respect Alice enough to fully listen to her, and much prefers the sound of his own voice. As a consequence, he truly doesn't understand her. A combination of status dynamics and not-concentrating humans not being general intelligences.

LW Women Entries- Creepiness

I find it very puzzling how people can get used to so much lying and casual disrespect for each other's intelligence. I'm looking at it from the "privileged" viewpoint of someone who never entered the world of dating or sex, nor would've had much to offer in it, and thus didn't bear its costs, but I expect a lot of people to consider the very fact that you feel the need to give someone a fake phone number, as opposed to simply refusing, or to pretend you don't have your phone with you, a gigantic red flag and a sign that there are an awful lot of much better things you could be doing than being in that place interacting with that person.

Measly pieces of knowledge I've gathered so far:

  • The man probably just wants to get into the woman's pants and to show and defend his masculinity and his status. He needs to look tough, and hence can't let his lack of mutual trust with the woman visibly bother him; that's why he doesn't appear to think twice if given the chance before inserting a pretty vulnerable part of his body into an orifice whose unenthusiastic owner could've set up any number of nasty surprises in the way. This also probably implies he can't afford to respect the woman very much.
  • The woman..., well, I have no idea what she wants in the first place. If asked, she'll probably say she just wants to have a good time, making a point to look down on all those sex-starved men who fall dismally short of her standards, as if they don't know there's more to life than sex. Of course, her own sexual drive is not contemptible at all, and neither is that of the men she does find attractive. She obviously has no respect for the man she's interacting with. She might fear him, and—unlike in a man—this fear may be high-status, since it signals her desirability and her ability to summon allies eager to mop the floor with any lowlife who distresses her.

I read the great-great-grandparent as giving your number so the other person can ring you at any time if they so wish, not as pressuring them to ring you immediately. I think this removes any incentive to give you a fake number, unless, of course, the other person wants to mess with you by getting you to call someone you really, really don't want to call—perhaps to get back at you for wasting their time with a long interaction they didn't dare stop?

I'm definitely not the first person in history with these thoughts, so it's extremely likely that measures have been taken all the time to enable people to get to know one another without so many barriers to honest communication. Access to such an environment is itself a privilege, of course; therefore, if you're not desirable enough, any difficulty to get into those environments, or even to learn they exist, is a feature, not a bug.

How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy

I wonder what a normal person would do in a slightly trickier situation.

You and someone you're only slightly acquainted with (I'm not sure the relationship I've ever had with anyone can be described as more than a slight acquaintance) start walking off along one, broad street both your destinations happen to lie close to, so deliberately avoiding that street is rather impractical and time- and energy-consuming, and you don't exactly have the latter to spare. You've made the trip together once before, the preceding day, uneventfully, and you faintly hoped that might be a chance to break out of your lifelong social isolation. The other person is younger than you, but not to the point that you clearly have no business socializing with them.

Surprise! Someone else quickly catches up with you both. They're half your age and just about the most popular and high-status person in the group you're leaving for the day. It goes without saying their social bonds to everyone else in the group are orders of magnitude stronger than any you can dream of ever establishing, including to the person you were walking with. As naturally as they breathe, the third person says goodbye to you and starts talking lively to the other, who, surely enough, reciprocates and forgets about you. They don't look the slightest bit interested in halting their chat to hear "Actually, I'm heading in the same direction" from you. Hence, you're stuck with only a few unpleasant options:

  • Keep walking next to them, quietly and creepily. I suppose crossing the street and walking along the other side may reduce a bit the creepiness, but it'll still be awkward if they ever notice.
  • Walk faster to leave them comfortably behind. Oh, if only you were young and fit like them!
  • Wait for them to leave you comfortably behind. Well, that sucks, because you're tired, aching and in pressing need of reaching your bed and collapsing on it. You're not sure you'll have the energy left to take a shower first. With a fresher mind, you could at least use the wait to read or study a bit, but this is certainly not the case now.
  • Waste even more time and energy taking a detour.

Of course, the last two options are also massively awkward if they ever find out you did that only to avoid them.

On second thought, my initial question doesn't make sense: a normal person will never let themself fall into this predicament, will they?

Yes, I know I'm replying to a nine-year-old comment.

LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

Needless to say, a lot of people won't simply vote reflecting their own agreement or disagreement, but aim at the net amount of agreement minus disagreement they think the comment should have.

Benign Boundary Violations

To me it seems like all interactions with another person are opt-in, and the baseline should be "leave me completely alone, don't touch me, don't speak to me, don't even acknowledge my presence." I find basically all human interaction overwhelming and more or less boundary violating, and I didn't realize until reading this post that my experience of life could be described that way.

Is it just me or does this policy effectively leave no way to opt in?

If noöne can interact with you without violating your boundaries, only boundary violators will interact with you—an asshole filter.

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