Sorted by New


A Bayesian Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus

I may be late to the party, but I really have to ask. Why is this a featured article? Bayesian defense of the resurrection of Jesus gives me a 404, so I cannot even read it.

Intellectual Hipsters and Meta-Contrarianism

I have a style question. Are there less grating ways to write gender neutral texts?

I, to my great surprise, was irritated to no end by "ey" and "eir". I always stumbled when reading it. I dislike it and think "he/she" or "they" may be more natural and cause less stumbling when reading the article.

So far, I am against all the invented gender-neutral pronouns. Most of them sound strange ("ey" and "eir" look like a typo or phonetic imitation of deep southern accent, "xe" and "xir" use "x" sound and are simply painful to pronounce)

As of now, I am willing to sacrifice gender neutrality in texts in favor of readability.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85

So, Mr. Potter made an ominous resolution, and again without a thunder rumbling in the background... Instead, he caused women all around the globe to see nightmares and cry... I don't remember if seers tend to be female in canon or not. I find the fact that seers, while living in different places and being of different age, are invariantly female, suspicious.

Epilogue: Atonement (8/8)

I would recommend "Down and out in the Magic Kingdom" by Cory Doctorow. A wonderful insight in transhumanism. Furries, social structure based on Facebook, etc. Also, there is Cure for Death. Book is avaliable for free on author's site.

True Ending: Sacrificial Fire (7/8)

Well, it's not like it's hard to see reason in Superhappies' values.

1) I, personally, don't have a terminal value of non-cannibalism. Actual reason I don't eat babies now is a result of multiple other values:

  • I value human life, so I consider killing a human to get some food a huge utility loss.
  • Any diseases initial owner of meat had contracted are almost 100% transferable to me. Any poisons that accumulated in initial meat owner's body will also accumulate in mine. Also, humans eat a lot of junk food. Eating humans is bad for one's health.

So, I don't have any problem with eating safe-to-eat human meat that is not produced by killing conscious human beings. I would be actually curious to taste, for example, vat-grown clone meat grown from my own cells sample. This position may not be held by an average human, but I don't think it's particularly disturbing from transhumanist point of view.

2) I consider humans' desire to keep their identity and humanity at least in part being status-quo bias. Also, humans don't really stay themselves for long. For example, 5 year old human is quite different from that same human at 10, 15, 20, 25, etc. Change is gradual, but it's real and quite big. (Sorry, I have no idea how to measure this quantitatively, but, for example, my 5-year-old-self is an entirely different person from my current self) That said, I personally don't value status quo all that much.

3) Now if we were to somehow describe set of humanity's core values we could try to reason against Superhappies. But I fail to see ability to feel pain as necessary part of this set.

All that considered, I don't see Superhappies' proposal as horrifying. At least, I don't think decision to kill 15 billion people to delay Superhappies' modifying humanity is better than decision to enter species-melting-pot with losing (some of) humanity and getting neat bonuses in form of interstellar peace, and better survival rate for combined 3-component species.

War and/or Peace (2/8)

Some observations:

  • Confessors seem to be a future form of beisutsukai.
  • Spam still exists or is still widely remembered in the distant future.
  • Even aliens recognize Hitler as central figure of human ethics. (I think I already encountered this statement on LessWrong, but can't quite remember where...)
Ethical Inhibitions

I find it important that ethical inhibitions are not absolute. Sure, they feel absolute, but history shows they aren't nearly as absolute as they feel. Even if we (tentatively) accept that our moral inhibitions are an adaptation, it seems probable that our ability to violate them is also an adaptation. Finally, what worked in an ancestral environment is not guaranteed to work now. In short: even if ethical inhibitions evolved as described, it doesn't follow that obeying them is a good idea.

Welcome to Less Wrong!

Hello, Less Wrong.

I am Russian, atheistic, 27, trying to be rational.

Initially I came here to read a through explanation of Bayes theorem, but noticed that LessWrong contains a lot more than that and decided to stay for a while.

I am really pleased by quality of material and pleasantly surprised by quality of comments. It is rare to see useful comments on the Internet.

I am going to read at least some sequences first and comment if I have something to say. Though, I know I WILL be sidetracked by HP:MoR and "Three worlds collide". Well, my love for SF always got me.