The Seven Secular Sermons guy. Long-time ingroup member. Current occupation: applied AI in media. Divorced dad of three in Leipzig, Germany. 

Wiki Contributions



You are right, I agree.

It seems to me that some types of highly hierarchical organizations rely on this propsed "mindless follower switch" more heavily than others: religions, militaries, political parties come to mind. These all lean male. And they all used to be entirely male, until they were reformed during evolutionarily recent trends against gender inequality. 

Thank you for your excellent work. It is much more extensive than I knew. I have much enjoyed your ACX Podcast and will definitely check out some of the other things you linked here.

Please kindly consider narrating my Seven Secular Sermons at . I have made my own recordings, but on poor equipment and with faint a German accent. I'm sure you could far surpass those if you wanted.

"The Social Leap" by William von Hippel. He basically says we diverged from chimps when we left the forests for the savannah not only by becoming more cooperative (standard example: sclera that make our focus of attention common knowledge) but also by becoming much more flexible in our social behaviors, cooperating or competing much more dependent on context, over the last six million years.

I have tried and failed to find a short quote in it to paste here. It's a long and occasionally meandering book, much more alike the anthropological than the rationalist literature.


I didn't say the risk was "very high" (which would indeed be nonsense), I said it is non-zero. And I personally know two men who were tricked into becomng fathers.

And the thing with average intelligence is that only 50% of the population has it. For both partners to have it has to be (slightly) less likely than that.

I continue to stand by this post.

I believe that in our studies of human cognition, we have relatively neglected the aggressive parts of it. We understand they're there, but they're kind of yucky and unpleasant, so they get relatively little attention. We can and should go into more detail, try to understand, harness and optimize aggression, because it is part of the brains that we're trying to run rationality on.

I am preparing another post to do this in more depth.


I'd like to complain that the original post popularizing really bright lights was mine in 2013: My simple hack for increased alertness and improved cognitive functioning: very bright light — LessWrong . This was immediately adopted at MIRI and (I think obviously) led to the Lumenator described by Eliezer three years later.

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