cousin_it

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Non-poisonous cake: anthropic updates are normal

Where are you on the spectrum from "SSA and SIA are equally valid ways of reasoning" to "it's more and more likely that in some sense SIA is just true"? I feel like I've been at the latter position for a few years now.

Reply to Nate Soares on Dolphins

I think the genealogical definition is fine in this case - once you diverge from fish, you're no longer fish, same as birds are no longer dinosaurs. But I would also add that Nate might not have been fully serious, and you tend to get a bit worked up sometimes :-)

Often, enemies really are innately evil.

So you think that between two theories - "evil comes from people's choices" and "evil comes from circumstances" - the former can't be "leveraged" and we should adopt the latter apriori, regardless of which one is closer to truth? I think that's jumping the gun a bit. Let's figure out what's true first, then make decisions based on that.

Often, enemies really are innately evil.

I think that theory is false. In an unconstrained wild west environment, an asshole with a gun will happily bully those who he knows don't have guns. And conversely, people have found ways to be good even in very constrained environments. Good and evil are the responsibility of the person doing it, not the environment.

What to optimize for in life?

One possible answer is "maximize win-win trades with other people", explained a bit more in this comment.

Alcohol, health, and the ruthless logic of the Asian flush

Wait, you don't know? Disulfiram implants are widely used in Eastern Europe.

Social behavior curves, equilibria, and radicalism

What a beautiful model! Indeed it seems like a rediscovery of Granovetter's threshold model, but still, great work finding it.

I'm not sure "radical" is the best word for people at the edges of the curve, since figure 19 shows that the more of them you have, the more society is resistant to change. Maybe "independent" instead?

Rationalists should meet Integral Theory

I agree that something like a math theorem can be independent from its author's life details. But Wilber is a philosopher of life, talking about human development and so on, and the people he holds up as examples again and again turn out to be abusers and frauds. There's just no way his philosophy of life is any good.

Rationalists should meet Integral Theory

I've read a lot of stuff from EST, Castaneda, Rajneesh and so on. Before my first comment on this post, I downloaded a book by Wilber and read a good chunk of it. It's woo all right.

But attacking woo on substance isn't always the best approach. I don't want to write a treatise on "holons" to which some acolyte will respond with another treatise. As Pelevin wrote, "a dull mind will sink like an iron in an ocean of shit, and a sharp mind will sink like a Damascene blade". It's enough that the idea comes from a self-aggrandizing "guru" who surrounds himself with identical "gurus", each one with a harem, a love for big donations, and a trail of abuse lawsuits. For those who have seen such things before, the first link I gave (showing the founder of the movement promoting a do-nothing quantum trinket) is already plenty.

Unattributed Good

Good post. I think the principle you attribute to Truman is originally from the Sermon on the Mount ("don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing").

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