All of daenerys's Comments + Replies

[moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment

Daenerys, since there seems to be some uncertainty:

Are you saying that you would prefer if LessWrong increased the height of it's metaphorical wall, keeping out "anti-feminist or biorealist assholes"?

Or are you saying that the model of a public forum is inherently "a great way to drive off women and minorities", and thus you don't use LessWrong and don't care about the moderation policy much?

I've seen different people reading your comment different ways.

Much closer to the latter. I am not making any policy recommendations about LW mo... (read more)

9MugaSofer8y
Excellent, I agree wholeheartedly. Thank you for clarifying. Now, in fairness, I wouldn't characterize people misunderstanding as willful, assholeish misunderstanding. Applying the Principle of Charity is the reason I understood you in the first place, right? As I said, different people interpreted your phrasing in different ways; your phrasing was genuinely ambiguous regarding whether the operative word was "asshole" or "biorealist". I guess this shows our default assumptions about ... sentences? Thanks for the Rationality Compliment, I'm flattered :)
[moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment

I'm currently driving cross country and typing this on my phone at a rest stop so I can't comment as much as I would like, but I DO want to clarify that my post meant what it said and nothing more. Eugine himself was an asshole. He ALSO was a biorealist and an anti feminist. When you combine those traits in a prolific user they're likely to drive away women and minorities.

Even if it's epistemically true, discussing those issues in an assholey way is instrumentally unhelpful (for people with goals at all similar to mine).

[moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment

I'm pretty sure (but don't feel like spending time tracking down examples, so I could be wrong) that I've seen Eugine saying biorealist things.

I changed "racist" to "biorealist" in my comment, if you don't think the two should be equated.

7Daniel_Burfoot8y
I commend you for your reasonableness, which quality seems increasingly rare in the modern world.
[moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment

Hi Stuart! Swimmer is correct; ChrisHallquist posted a link to this on my facebook wall. Personally, I'm glad Eugine is gone, because even without the downvoting he was an asshole. And having anti-feminist or biorealist assholes running around is a great way to drive off women and minorities.

Anyways, I prefer the walled garden, and the conversational tone, and the positive emotional support that Facebook provides, so I doubt I'll come back to posting here.

I'm still extremely active in the meatspace community though, and I have a friend who will be postin... (read more)

4MugaSofer8y
Daenerys, since there seems to be some uncertainty: Are you saying that you would prefer if LessWrong increased the height of it's metaphorical wall, keeping out "anti-feminist or biorealist assholes"? Or are you saying that the model of a public forum is inherently "a great way to drive off women and minorities", and thus you don't use LessWrong and don't care about the moderation policy much? I've seen different people reading your comment different ways.
-3buybuydandavis8y
A fine example of "asshole" = "those who disagree with my values". Should those who disagree similarly start whooping it up for banning feminists and biodenialists? Or should they just be similarly denigrating them as a matter of course? More and more, I'm thinking they need to fight back in kind. It's strange that the supposedly evil, nasty reactionaries are social pacifists who refuse to respond with a little tit for the incessant tat they receive. Charming to see all the karma upvotes going to a post which denigrated a whole swath of users as "assholes" because of their beliefs. Real "friendly/humanising".

Personally, I'm glad Eugine is gone, because even without the downvoting he was an asshole. And having anti-feminist or biorealist assholes running around is a great way to drive off women and minorities.

I applaud the decision to ban Eugine_Nier for abusing the karma system, but I'm a bit disturbed by the idea that espousing certain views could be a valid reason for banning a user. I agree with the goal of attracting more women and minorities, but I think there are good reasons to believe this is not best accomplished by thought policing.

(Upon reading... (read more)

-1Daniel_Burfoot8y
Heinrich Himmler is a racist. Eugene_Nier, not so much. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10860492/Are-we-all-racist-now.html]
0[anonymous]8y
ETA: Another upside of posting on facebook is that it does a better job of raising the general sanity waterline than posting here. It exposes rationality ideas and conversations in a friendly/humanising way to people who would never have sought them out (all my non-rationality friends), and it allows them to participate and interact with those ideas in a much more supportive way. :)
LessWrong as social catalyst

I use LW as a social networking device more than anything else.

  • I got three jobs through the LW community, through a mix of job postings here and social networks, the succession of which has pretty much raised me from poor/lower class to middle class.
  • The vast majority of my romantic partners since getting involved with rationality are through the LW community, often met at meetups or through related social networks.
  • Almost all of my friends are through the rationalist community, especially if you expand that to include some of the related atheist netw
... (read more)
Open thread, 21-27 April 2014

That quiz looks like it could use an update to fit modern society. It was hard to answer questions about "channel surfing" or "renting videos" in the modern era of hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. Also, thinking back to the days of actual video rental stores, it was much easier to choose a movie there than it is to choose one on Netflix. Possibly because the Netflix selections tends towards "second rate movies I've never heard of OR first rate movies that I've already watched or am not interested in")

Anyways, I am a natural ma... (read more)

[Requesting advice] Problems with optimizing my life as a high school student

A great way to track time spent on activities (especially fluid and unpredicatable ones) is an app called TagTime. It works best on Android, but you can also get it on your computer if you're hacky. It pings you at random intervals that average out to be worth 45 minutes each, and asks what you're doing at that exact moment. You create tags for different activities, so you just click on the relevant tag(s), and don't have to type in anything. It also integrates with Beeminder, if you'd like to track things that way.

Items to Have In Case of Emergency...Maybe.

In the US the guest is still expected to bring them, but as a host it's really nice to be able to provide for your guest if they need it.

This.

Plus, there are many emergencies where a guest wouldn't be prepared. For example, maybe someone who was coming for a couple hours to hang out/play games had their contact fall out. Or maybe a date went really well, and somebody stays the night who wasn't specifically packed for such. Maybe a friend needs last-minute emergency crash space, etc.

Open Thread March 31 - April 7 2014

I have a draft of a post relating to Emergency Preparedness. I can probably fish it out and post it.

Open Thread: March 4 - 10

Organizing is investment cleaning. It takes a lot more time in the beginning (it will even look WORSE mid-project), but once you have a place for everything it is SO much quicker and easier to put everything in its place. If your area isn't organized, then you have to think about each think you pick up or clean. Where does this go? Where should I put it? Once you've organized, cleaning is a simple process of putting things back where they belong.

Some heuristics: Things you use frequently should be easy to get to, and easy to put away. For example put your ... (read more)

Open Thread: March 4 - 10

I would say the big one to start is Family Traditions, and the like. Ideas:

  • A weekly or bi-weekly date night where you go do something different (no dinner-and-a-movie.)

  • If you don't usually have a "Family Dinner", make one day of the week a "Family Dinner" night.

  • Weekly or monthly get-together where you can hash out plans, see what's been problematic, hopefully correct things before they lead to arguments, etc

  • The yearly traditions such as: having a jar where you write down all the awesome things that happened on slips of paper, and read the paper on New Years, various holiday traditions, or yearly vacations, or whatnot

Open Thread February 25 - March 3

Someone was asking a while back for meetup descriptions, what you did/ how it went, etc. Figured I'd post some Columbus Rationality videos here. All but the last are from the mega-meetup.

Jesse Galef on Defense Against the Dark Arts: The Ethics and Psychology of Persuasion

Eric on Applications of Models in Everyday Life (it's good, but skip about 10-15 minutes when there's herding-cats-nitpicky audience :P)

Elissa on Effective Altruism

Rita on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Don on A Synergy of Eastern and Western Approaches

Gleb on Setting and Achieving Goals

0tut8y
Why are these considered inappropriate for people without a google account?
February 2014 Media Thread

It's been mentioned before a couple years ago, but I highly recommend The Steerswoman's Road. Definitely what we would consider to be rationalist "fantasy", though as the protagonist applies logic and scientific reasoning, it becomes more of a sci fi.

From a blogger who explains better than I could: "Too much science fiction glorifies mere scientific fact and appeals to scientific authority. Such books are doomed to obsolescence as the state of the art passes them by. Rosemary Kirstein’s books, in contrast, are made timeless by their emphasi... (read more)

2Sabiola8y
Sounds great! I ordered it, even though it isn't available as an e-book.
Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie"

I don't speak Computer, but this is the bot: http://aaronparecki.com/articles/2011/02/12/1/loqi-the-friendly-irc-bot

We use him in a company hipchat room, and I don't know if he has been altered/reprogrammed in any way to run auctions.

3dreeves8y
Specifically, here's the little add-on for Loqi that conducts auctions: https://github.com/aaronpk/zenircbot-bid [https://github.com/aaronpk/zenircbot-bid]
Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie"

In the article I linked to, Bethany argues that separate finances are a requirement to this, and I tend to agree.

A workaround might be having a joint account, AND separate accounts that are used for whatever fun/luxury you each want. You each get $x/month in your fun/luxury accounts, and that is the money you use to yootle with (and pay for dance class, and buy a new sewing machine with, and whatever other luxury, etc)

7jefftk8y
Julia and I organize our finances this way, and I would recommend it for couples whether or not they plan to yootle.
Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie"

I've lived with other people (either spouses or roommates) pretty much my entire life (30 years), so I feel like I've already acquired the social skills to do without it. Other people's situations may be different. I am generally in support of people learning social skills, so yootling might not be the best answer if it is a replacement for that.

Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie"

The bot doesn't run the money transfer. It runs the auction (collects bids from everybody, displays bids when all have been collected), and runs a random number generator.

We have also used the same bot to play a Schelling Point Game, where someone names a category (eg "a book") instead of a thing to auction, and we all make a guess (e.g "Strategy of Conflict" or "The Bible") instead of a bid. You get a point if your guess is the same as someone else's.

2NoahTheDuke8y
I'd love to hear more about the bot. How does it work? Where is it run? Can others access it too?

The bot could keep track of who owes what, and then you could settle monthly or something. Easier than adding money transfer.

What are you working on? January 2014

Thanks for the input! I think I wasn't clear though. I actually already am a networky type person (the tribe I am leaving behind is one that I did most of the work building) with high social skills.

However, I am ALSO extremely picky in who I'll allow into my close social circle (I have well thought out reasons for this). That means to start a new tribe I'll have to meet LOTS and LOTS of people just to find one that I consider to be worth my time. When I already have a group, then I don't have to be overly proactive about this because there's no particular... (read more)

What are you working on? January 2014

There's the overall "move to Portland and start at my awesome new job" Project, which is coming along well. A friend and I drove here from Ohio (pretty much across the entire country) in a little over two days. We drove because I have a very old dog that I didn't want to fly. My POD arrives tomorrow, and I'm excited to have all my things back in my possession (I didn't bring any nice shirts or sweaters with me, so I've been feeling slovenly-ish), but I am NOT excited for having to unpack and move furniture.

More specifically, I'm working on helpin... (read more)

1Michelle_Z8y
Any advice for someone who might be moving from the east coast to the west in the next year and a half?
4David_Gerard8y
A bit of directed social networking won't go astray. Collect contacts. Socialise with intent. Become a social supernode: the person who knows all the social nodes. It's fun being able to collide people's worlds.
2AndekN9y
Unfortunately it's written in Finnish.
December Monthly Bragging Thread

Got a super awesome new job with Beeminder, and will be moving to Portland in a month. Got rid of so much clothing in preparation for move. Continuing to get rid of things that I don't consider worth moving.

New hobby, making earrings, has been fun and rewarding, and I get pretty earrings out of it. Also, learned to make cake pops, and working on a braid rug.

Held a mega-meetup in Columbus that went off well. Handed off the running of Columbus Rationality, and it's proven to be self-sustaining.

Medical All Things- Got put on allergy shots (did the "rush immunotherapy" where they give you the first six months worth of shots over the course of a single day). Dentisted the cavities.

What can we learn from freemasonry?

I guess the obvious counterproposal is: why don't we just all join the existing freemasons rather than doing work to duplicate them?

Women aren't allowed to be Freemasons, except for a few rare and extenuating circumstances.

I think atheists are also banned.

3Gunnar_Zarncke9y
There are quite a few comparable 'lodges' for women. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry_and_women [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemasonry_and_women] The main disadvantage is really that there are few that admit both genders.
Self-serving meta: Whoever keeps block-downvoting me, is there some way to negotiate peace?

And it is unlikely for the foreseeable future that the mods are going to o anything.

Just pointing out that this IS a problem that is temporarily solvable by collective action. If about five people decided to karmassassinate the user in question, they could keep his karma at 0, which I believe would stop him from being able to downvote (until he set up a sock).

(Interestingly, I'm quite fine with losing a significant amount of karma if this post gets heavily downvoted because people don't like the idea of mob rule. I really don't care about my karma numbe... (read more)

8Dentin9y
Rather than saying that this is a problem that is temporarily solvable by collective action, I would say that this is a problem which is currently ONLY solvable by collective action. The offenders clearly don't care; the admins clearly aren't going to do anything. It even appears as though the karma assassination has begun, as the user in question's karma has dropped quite a bit in the last few days. Frankly, having read through a number of the user in question's posts, I'm ok with that, but I don't think it'll work. He seems to get his karma from rationality quote posting, which is a powerful karma generator. His actual comments are IMHO rarely worthy of an upvote and often deserving of a downvote, but he gains much karma from posting other people's brilliance. Perhaps this is another distortion in the karma system that would be worth looking at. Copy/pasting a rationality quote every few days from last years threads can easily keep your karma at a reasonable level even if the bulk of your other posts are crap or mildly offensive. Perhaps karma from those threads could be configured to not accumulate, or perhaps karma could be 'number of posts upvoted minus number of posts downvoted', instead of a vote total.
6JoshuaZ9y
There' s a less controversial way potentially of having the same result at least at a temporary level: go through the user in question's posts and remove your upvotes.
Self-serving meta: Whoever keeps block-downvoting me, is there some way to negotiate peace?

It's probably worth talking to these people and seeing if the timing works out the same, but it does seem likely that the downvoting is all caused by the same person, and thus would have similar motives and MO with the downvoting.

Personally, I am pretty certain that is gender issues that cause my karma stalking. It's the only topic I write on that gets any significant number of downvotes. Also, due to timing, my best guess (though I'm not highly confident) is that the triggering event was my post in the mistakes thread admitting to staying married longe... (read more)

Huh. This just convinced me that I should be quick to upvote things if they were even a little helpful, so that no one who isn't posting really counterproductive stuff gets that negative hit. Because you're probably not on my facebook feed, and I probably don't already agree with all the things you're going to say, so I want you and people like you to keep posting on lesswrong.

1passive_fist9y
Ideological difference is particularly pervasive in topics that are related to social sciences. I get the feeling from reading your post that you're angry. Angry not about the downvoting but more about the ideological differences.

I have what seems to me like quite good evidence that there is at least one LW user who engages in what one might call intimidatory downvoting of users who express "progressive" views on gender.

I consider this a very, very bad thing for LW.

I am not aware of any reason to think that there is intimidatory downvoting based on any other issue. (Of course there might be some that I haven't noticed.)

That's actually pretty frightening, since that indicates that this sort of thing has a real impact on the tenor and participation in the community. This strongly makes me update to thinking that we should have admins actually look at logs for this sort of thing.

Why officers vs. enlisted?

Is it merely historical accident for each separate profession?

Just like the two ladders in militaries is a holdover from a more classist society, the doctor/nurse divide is at least partly a holdover from a past (more) sexist society. Even today about 90% of nurses are women. This might be interesting if someone had access past the paywall: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3540064

Open Thread, October 20 - 26, 2013

Someone has been regularly downvoting every thing I've posted in the past couple months (not just a single karmassasination). I really don't care about the karma (so please DO NOT upvote any of my previous posts in order to "fix" it), but I do worry that if someone is doing it to me, they are possibly doing it to other/new people and driving them off, so I wanted to point out publicly that this behaviour is NOT OKAY.

Anyways, if you have a problem with me, feel free to tell me about it here: http://www.admonymous.com/daenerys . Crocker's Rules and all.

5Viliam_Bur9y
Do I understand it correctly that the behavior you describe is "downvote every new comment from user X when it appears" (as opposed to "go to user X's history and downvote a lot of their old comments at the same time")? Because when hearing about karma assassinations, I always automatically assumed the latter form; only the words "early downvote" in Nancy's comment made me realize the former form is also possible. A possible technical fix could be to not display the user comment's karma until at least three votes were made or at least one day has passed. Also, off-topic: Crocker's Rules seem to be popular in out culture; maybe it would be nice to integrate them into LW user interface. For example user could add their "anonymous feedback URL" in preferences, and a new icon "Reply Anonymously" would then be displayed below all user's comments and articles.

I've been getting an early downvote on my posts, too. I can afford it, but it does seem malicious.

Open Thread, October 20 - 26, 2013

Awesome! I loved Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and it seems like an interesting subject, besides.

Open Thread, October 20 - 26, 2013

I recently realized that I think the stuff I already know about the history of science, math, etc., is really inherently interesting and fascinating to me, but that I've never actually thought about going out of my way to learn more on the subject. Does anybody on here have one really good book on the subject to recommend? I've already read Science and the Enlightenment by Hankins.

4Alejandro19y
I second the recommendation of The Copernican Revolution, and suggest another book on the same topic: Arthur Koestler's The Sleepwalkers. Koestler was a great novelist (his best known novel, Darkness at Noon, rivals 1984 in its portrayal of totalitarian thought) and a brilliant, eclectic and sometimes bizarre thinker. The Sleepwalkers is a grand history of astronomy and cosmology from ancient times to Newton, with the bulk of the focus on Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo. Pros: Fascinating and very detailed biographical information on these three figures (and others like Tycho Brahe), presented in a way that reads like a novel, indeed a page-turner. His biography of Kepler is especially unforgettable, very different from a dry academic presentation. The historical presentation is peppered with opinionated philosophical and even sociological detours. Cons: unbalanced covering of different topics, subjective and somewhat biased viewpoints. In particular, his interpretation of the relationship between Kepler and Galileo, and of Galileo's dealings with the Church, is colored by what seems to be a strong personal dislike of Galileo. His interpretation of the reasons why the heliocentric model was rejected in ancient times is also unreliable. As long as his interpretations are taken with a grain of salt (or balanced with a more objective presentation like Kuhn's) I would definitely recommend it; it is the most enjoyable book on history of science I have read.
7asr9y
The Copernican Revolution, by Kuhn is one of the best science histories I've ever read. The folk-tale version of how we adopted heliocentric cosmology is something like this: "Aristotle and Ptolemy thought the world was arranged as concentric crystalline spheres. Copernicus proposed a new model that better fit the data, and it was opposed by the Church. Ultimately thanks to the Reformation and the Enlightenment, the correct model won out." None of those claims is right, and Kuhn does a great job explaining the true story. He explains what problem Copernicus thought he was solving and how well he solved it.
2Emily9y
I really enjoyed The Nothing That Is by Robert Kaplan. It's about the history of the concept (and the numeral) zero.
Megameetup on December 13-15th, NYC

This sounds awesome, I can't wait! What's the parking situation for people who are driving up?

2Raemon9y
We have a driveway! There is a limited number of cars that can fit, but you certainly get first dibs at a parking spot.
Schelling Point Strategy Training

V nyfb snvyrq ng cvpxvat gur fnzr bar nf nalobql ryfr. V jnf cvpxvat haqre gur cerivbhf cerzvfr bs "trarevp qngr avtug", naq fb gevrq gb cvpx gur zbfg "qngr avtug-l" zbivr, juvpu frrzrq yvxr Ebzrb naq Whyvrg, juvpu vf na npgvbal ebznapr. (Nygubhtu, crefbanyyl zl zbivr qngr avtugf graqf gbjneq zber fpv-sv, fhcreureb, Wbff Jurqba, rgp, ohg gung'f zber bhgyvre-l guna trarevp, V guvax.)

1sixes_and_sevens9y
That choice does seem to be more popular than chance alone would suggest. I was wondering why, but this is a plausible explanation.
Open Thread, September 30 - October 6, 2013

Those sorts of questions are asked in a field called Information Visualization, which is a part of Human Factors Engineering.

0ChristianKl9y
What's a good resource to learn about it? Is there a textbook you can recommend?
Meetup : Columbus, OH MEGA-MEETUP, Oct 11-13

UPDATE: The upcoming Columbus Mega-Meetup is already halfway full! Don't put off pre-registering, if you are interested in coming, or you might get locked out. ( link to pre-reg form )

Pre-registration is FREE and the form should only take a minute. You can cancel as late as October 4, if you end up unable to come. Thanks!

Meetup : Columbus, OH MEGA-MEETUP, Oct 11-13

In the previous thread, you mentioned "Friday we may do a swing dance class. Sunday we may go shopping."

Is the Maker's Faire the shopping? Has the swing dancing disappeared into the void?

Swing dancing has disappeared into the void. It was for a different weekend that was under consideration for the mega-meetup. If you already swing dance, I'll happily dance with you for a bit, and/or we have some new leads who would love some instruction, if you'd like to work with them. If you DON'T already swing dance, I'm happy to teach you the basics.

The ... (read more)

2arundelo9y
So good. My first time (on Saturday night) was a peak experience.
The State of the Art of Scientific Research on Polyamoury

This dissertation blog focuses on the author's doctoral work on polyamory, including lots of reference lists (scroll down to see reference list for post).

3Ritalin9y
Thank you very much, Dany, much obliged. Now I'll need to go through that huge reference pool and sort the useful from the useless... (Not sarcasm, I mean all of this in earnest).
Mistakes repository

-Taking the non-thinking NPC college route (going to whatever school was close enough to commute to, majoring in classes you thought were easy or letting your family influence your decision too much)

-Getting married extremely young because you think (probably correctly) that you can't support yourself, and then staying married much longer than you should have for the same reasoning (probably incorrect, by then).

-Spending most of college trying (and failing miserably) to take a large course load before realizing that you really just can't do it, and the onl... (read more)

5kalium9y
Upvoted for your mistake #3, which bit me as well (except it looks like you figured it out before graduating, whereas I didn't).
Open thread, September 9-15, 2013

In my experience, this is something that liberal arts does better than STEM. When I was a History undergrad they DID teach many contrasting theories or interpretations (once you got past 101-level stuff). The common interpretation these days is to say that "Here are three theories for why happened. They probably all contributed to .", instead of just choosing a single interpretation.

At least at my college, liberal arts methods seemed better than STEM at presenting alternate theories but much worse at providing the tools to filter them or evaluate their plausibility. I'm not sure the gains from the former outweigh the losses from the latter.

The Up-Goer Five Game: Explaining hard ideas with simple words

Hi, I'm new to LessWrong and haven't read the morality sequence and haven't read many arguments for effective altruism, so could you elaborate on this sentiment?

How I read this: "Hi! I know exactly where to find the information I am asking for, but instead of reading the material (that I know exists) that has already been written that answers my question, can you write a response that explains the whole of morality?"

To start off with, you seem to be using the term "rationality" to mean something completely different than what we mean when we say it. I recommend Julia Galef's Straw Vulcan talk.

0[anonymous]9y
You slightly misunderstood what I meant, but maybe that's understandable. I'm not a native English speaker and I'm quite poor at expressing myself even in my native language. You don't have to be so condescending, I was just being curious. Do you usually expect people to read all the sequences before they can ask questions? If so, I apologize because I didn't know this rule. I can come back here after a few months when I've read all the sequences. Okay, sorry. I just wanted to be honest. I have read most of the sequences listed on the sequences page. The morality sequence is quite big and reading it seems a daunting task because I have books related to my degree that I'm supposed to be reading and they are of bigger importance to me at the moment. I thought there could be a quick answer to this question. But if you have any specific blog posts related to this issue in mind, please link them! I'm aware of that. With quotation marks around the word I was signaling that I don't really think it's real rationality or the same kind of rationality LessWrong people use. I know that rationalist people don't think that way. It's just that in some economic texts people to use the word "rationality" to mean that: a "rational" agent is only interested in his own well-being. I have read relevant blog posts on LessWrong and I think I know this concept. People think rational people are supposed to be some kind of emotional robots who don't have any feelings and otherwise thinking like modern-day computer, very mechanically and not being very flexible in their thinking etc. In reality people can use instrumental rationality to achieve the emotionally desired goals they have or use epistemic rationality to find out what their emotionally desired goals really are?
The Up-Goer Five Game: Explaining hard ideas with simple words

Effective Altruism

"Doing Good in the Most Helping Way"- It is good to try to help people. It is better to help people in the best way possible. You should look at what actually happens when you try to help people in order to find out how well your helping worked. If we look at lots of different ways of helping people, then we can find out which way is best. You should give your money to the people who are best at helping people.

Where we live, and in places like it, everyone has lots more money than most people who live in other places. That mean... (read more)

-1[anonymous]9y
Hi, I'm new to LessWrong and haven't read the morality sequence and haven't read many arguments for effective altruism, so could you elaborate on this sentiment? I agree with this kind of movement because intuitively it feels really good to help people and it feels really bad to know that people or animals are suffering. I think it's quite certain that there other minds similar to mine and these minds are capable of same kind of feelings that I am. I wouldn't want other people to feel the same kind of bad feelings that I have sometimes felt, but I know there are minds who experience more than a million times the worst pain I've ever felt. Still, there are some people, who think rationality is about always thinking about only one's own well-being, who might disagree with this. They might say, that the well-being of other minds doesn't affect your mind directly. So if you don't know about it, it's irrelevant to you. Some of these people may also try to minimize the effect of the natural empathy by acknowledging that the being who is suffering is different from you. They could be your enemies or someone who is not "worth" your efforts. It's easier to cope with the fact that an animal who belongs into a different species is suffering than someone in your family. Or consider someone who has a different skin color and whose people behave strangely and who sometimes have violent and "primitive" habits are suffering on the other side of the world (note, this is not what I think, but what I've heard other people say... they basically think some people are a bit like the baby eating aliens) - are their suffering worth less? Intuitively it feels that way because they don't belong into your tribe. Anyway, these minds are still capable of same kind of suffering. The question still stands, if someone is "rationally" interested in one's own well-being only, and if someone only cares about other minds to the extent of how they affect your own mind through the natural empathy ref
Rationalist households: What can London learn from its predecessors?

We are also establishing a community house, but don't expect to be ready to actually move in together for about a year or so. The first difficulty we ran into was actually moving/lease dates. Some people needed to move asap (moving to city, didn't want to renew current lease, etc), other people won't be ready for a while (waiting for a house to sell, etc). Everyone's leases are up on different months.

Another (probably unique to us) situation is that everyone in the group has been living/ moving to the same area/neighborhood, so that about two-thirds of th... (read more)

More "Stupid" Questions

Datapoint: I was poly before joining LW.

This might be an interesting question to ask Yvain to put on the next mega survey.

2Kaj_Sotala9y
I was also.
2ikrase9y
My guess is that it's a combination of it existing among original LWers in the first place and LW culture being much more favorable to it than main stream.
Columbus Mega-meetup Planning- RSVPs wanted

Glad to hear of the interest! I updated the posting with current details.

In answer to your questions: Attendance to the talks is limited to 50 (our regular workshops bring up to the 30s in attendance). Because of this, we will be selling (very cheap) tickets which will cover Saturday lunch (it's just a way to hold people's places). More people will be at the talks, than at the rest of the weekend.The group of people hanging out for the rest of the weekend will be about 20, I'd guess. Friday we may do a swing dance lesson. Sunday we may do a shopping trip.... (read more)

low stress employment/ munchkin income thread

Tutoring- If you don't want to find clients yourself, there are companies that will hire you, and then match you up with students. When I did this, I made $20/hr with a bachelors. The problem with tutoring is that you are only working an hour or two, and have to drive there and back. If you're lucky, you can schedule two clients back-to-back, but you still are having to travel for short shifts.

Nannying- If you find taking care of kids and houses to be unstressful, this can pay pretty decently (generally under the table), be full-time or part-time, and inc... (read more)

Open thread, July 23-29, 2013

Ranty complaint: Someone always downvotes ONLY my meetup posts with no explanation. (I do not flood the list. My last post included topics for the next NINE meetups). I think whoever-they-are is an asshole.

0Adele_L9y
Seems likely that it could be someone who had a bad experience at one of these meetups, and is trying to punish you for it.

Sites with votes always have a tiny proportion of people who engage in really really weird voting behavior IME.

0Oscar_Cunningham9y
Perhaps they long-ago stated that they though meetup threads were a bad idea, and they've been downvoting since?
"Stupid" questions thread

You are claiming to speak for all introverts, which turns this into an "introvert v extrovert" discussion. In other words, you are saying that half the population is forcing themselves onto the introverted half of the population. In reality, introverts are often the MOST happy that someone else initiated a conversation that they would be too shy to start themselves.

In reality, the situation is more like "NTs v non-NTs", and you are speaking for the non-NT part of the population. The same way you say half the population shouldn't force ... (read more)

1Desrtopa9y
Not all introverted people are shy, and vice versa. Personally, I do not have a degree of shyness that holds me back from the level of social contact I want. ... But I feel uncomfortable lying to disengage with another person. As a general policy I prefer to tell the truth lest I lapse in holding up a deception, and this is definitely not a case where everyone recognizes a falsehood as a white lie to disengage politely which should not be taken as offensive if uncovered.
0savageorange9y
Data ("data"?) point: I test reliably as NF (ENFP, specifically) and SaidAchmiz's objections seem quite similar to my father, who is clearly (by both of our estimations, and tests) NT (INTJ). I can think of another relevant person, who tests as INFP and seems to be at pains to encourage interaction, and yet another who is also ENFP and similarly tries hard to encourage interaction. So I was rather surprised to see you painting SaidAchmiz's objections as non-NT. My current model suggests that what I am promoting is F values (possibly NF, but I don't know any SF's well enough to compare) with an extraverted slant (but not as much of an extraverted slant as SaidAchmiz seemed to think, I agree that even if at the time being drawn out of ourselves is an unpleasant experience, everyone, extraverted or introverted, gains something of real worth if they really attain that level of self-detachment regularly.)
-3Said Achmiz9y
Perhaps. Would you agree that there is much heavier overlap between "NT" and "extrovert", and "non-NT" and "introvert", than vice versa? "half the population shouldn't force their preferences on the other half" is an inaccurate generalization of what I said; my claims were far more specific. As such, no, I can't agree the 95% / 5% thing. The point is that it depends on the preference in question. You shouldn't force your desire to interact with me on me; conversely, it seems perfectly ok for me to "force" my desire not to interact with you, on you. The situation is not symmetric. It is analogous to "why are you forcing your preference not to get punched in the face on me?!" First, I'd like to say thank you for bothering to include concrete advice. This is a practice I endorse. (In this case, the specific advice provided was known to me, but the thought is a good one.) That said, it is my experience that the kind of people who force interactions on strangers very often ignore such relatively subtle hints (or consider them rude if they notice them at all).
-3[anonymous]9y
What of minority rights? I think you've come to a pretty repugnant conclusion on accident.
Home Economics

I'm really interested to see what people have to say on this topic, but I think its broadness prevents most people from responding, since we don't really know what you're looking for.

There seem to be quite a number of distinct topics that would each deserve their own post. Off the top of my head: budgeting/finances, decorating, cooking, organizing, cleaning, clothing, entertaining, mixology, etc

Could you ask some specific questions that people could respond to?

My random tip: White vinegar (the cheap kind you buy in a big plastic jug) is great for getting ... (read more)

2Ritalin9y
Indeed one thing that surprised me with the Home Economics section was how big it was. I am currently in the "don't even know where to begin" stage, but all these posts are giving me ideas; don't worry, I'll follow up on this with more specific stuff.
2Tyrrell_McAllister9y
I add a half-cup of white vinegar to the dish washer every time I run it. This solved the problem it had with leaving lots of soap scum and hard-water mineral residues. White vinegar also seemed to clear out blocked water-jet sources (or something; I'm hazy on the details), because the dish washer did a much better job of washing away food debris after it had run with the vinegar a few times. There is no vinegar smell left after the washer runs.
2arundelo9y
I (like [http://lesswrong.com/lw/5o6/youll_die_if_you_do_that/45oh]) that site.
June 2013 Media Thread

That's my current read! Hey! I'm reading the same EY is!

(Yeah, that actually did make me feel "cool" and "hip" and "with it"...:P )

0philh9y
I don't recommend that book, which makes me feel suitably contrarian. (For roughly the same reasons as shminux's quote. I felt like the universe was interesting on the surface, but didn't have any depth.)
4shminux9y
One of the reviewers is quite discouraged by the overuse of the Deus Ex Machina/Diabolus Ex Machina tropes:
0arundelo9y
"As" "the" "kids" "say".
Finding interesting communities

Seeing this get voted to be top comment, I figured I should also probably give some downside to the SCA.

What they are actually accomplishing is not very important. There are no startups formed. There is no higher goal. Yes, people are actually doing stuff, which is cool, but WHAT they are doing isn't overly useful (getting really good at tablet weaving, or horn carving, or whatever), and is often done as a status competition (since you gain status by doing these rather overall useless things) [ETA: This is also going to be true about the vast majority of s... (read more)

Finding interesting communities

A specific example that is available worldwide is the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). [ETA: A medieval and rennaisance recreational and educational non-profit organization]

I have actually had in depth conversations with the local rationalist community about how the SCA does community building/running right, and what part of that can we steal. I think it's set-up is highly optimized for geeky types:

Explicit, official hierarchies (aka The Order of Precedence), with explicit rules of how to advance in it (Do Awesome Things)

Strong reputation-based soci... (read more)

Seeing this get voted to be top comment, I figured I should also probably give some downside to the SCA.

What they are actually accomplishing is not very important. There are no startups formed. There is no higher goal. Yes, people are actually doing stuff, which is cool, but WHAT they are doing isn't overly useful (getting really good at tablet weaving, or horn carving, or whatever), and is often done as a status competition (since you gain status by doing these rather overall useless things) [ETA: This is also going to be true about the vast majority of s... (read more)

The Centre for Applied Rationality: a year later from a (somewhat) outside perspective

Those seem like very generalizable rationalizations for never actually doing anything.

On rationality amateurs causing harm to the public image of rationality-

  • They can (and DO) do this anyways. On LW, reddit, facebook, blogs, vlogs, etc etc. In fact, I would guess that an enthusiastic amateur could cause more overall harm to the movement on the internet, than running a class irl.

  • The people who are likely to say EXTREMELY harmful things are extremely unlikely to be the types to decide to lead an organization (require related social skills).

  • What do yo

... (read more)
3katydee9y
Yes, and this is a very serious problem that really shouldn't be exacerbated any further at all. I don't agree. Leaders of organizations say outrageous or harmful things all the time, social skills or no social skills. Worst case likely scenario? Rationality becomes karate. There are dozens or hundreds of different people claiming to teach rationality. What they actually teach varies wildly from instructor to instructor. Some groups teach effective skills; some groups teach useless skills; some groups teach actively hazardous skills. In the eyes of the general public, these groups are not distinguishable from one another-- they all provide "rationality training." A newcomer to the field has no idea what groups are good and is not likely to find a good one. Worse, they may not even know that good and bad groups exist, and ultimately gain a degree of confidence unsuited to their skill level. It is dangerous to be half a rationalist, [http://lesswrong.com/lw/3h/why_our_kind_cant_cooperate/] which many learn the hard way. Ultimately, rationality training becomes diluted or confused enough that it more or less possesses no value for the average person.
Load More