All of David_Gerard's Comments + Replies

Viliam started with a proposal to brigade Wikipedia.

No, he didn't. He started with a description of something he might do individually. Literally the only things he says about anyone else editing Wikipedia are (1) to caution someone who stated an intention of doing so not to rush in, and (2) to speculate that if he does something like this it might be best for a group of people to cooperate on figuring out how to word it.

3gjm4yNo one called anyone a paid shill. Perhaps I am just being particularly dim at the moment. Perhaps you're being particularly obtuse for some reason. Either way, probably best if I drop this now.
Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017

That's fine :-) It ties in with what I commented above, i.e. conspiracists first assuming that disagreement must be culpable malice.

5gjm4yI think you must somehow have read what I wrote as the exact reverse of what I intended. (Unless you are calling yourself a conspiracist.) TAG is not assuming that anything must be culpable malice, he is just finishing off a joke left 2/3 done.
Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017

I already answered #3: the true rejection seems to be not "you are editing about us on Wikipedia to advance RationalWiki at our expense" (which is a complicated and not very plausible claim that would need all its parts demonstrated), but "you are editing about us in a way we don't like".

Someone from the IEET tried to seriously claim (COI Noticeboard and all) that I shouldn't comment on the deletion nomination for their article - I didn't even nominate it, just commented - on the basis that IEET is a 501(c)3 and RationalWiki is also a 5... (read more)

8gjm4yNo, you really didn't, you dismissed it as not worth answering and proposed that people claiming #3 can't possibly mean it and must be using it as cover for something else more blatantly unreasonable. I understand that #3 may seem like an easy route for anyone who wants to shut someone up on Wikipedia without actually refuting them or finding anything concrete they're doing wrong. It is, of course, possible that that Viliam is not sincere in suggesting that you have a conflict of interest here, and it is also possible (note that this is a separate question) that if he isn't sincere then his actual reason for suggesting that you have is simply that he wishes you weren't saying what you are and feels somehow entitled to stop you for that reason alone. But you haven't given any, y'know, actual reasons to think that those things are true. Unless you count one of these: (1) "Less Wrong is obviously a nest of crackpots, so we should expect them to behave like crackpots, and saying COI when they mean 'I wish you were saying nice things about us' is a thing crackpots do". Or (2) "This is an accusation that I have a COI, and obviously I don't have one, so it must be insincere and match whatever other insincere sort of COI accusation I've seen before". I hope it's clear that neither of those is a good argument. I read the discussion. The person in question is certainly a transhumanist but I don't see any evidence he is or was a member of the IEET, and the argument he made was certainly bad but you didn't describe it accurately at all. And, again, the case is not analogous to the LW one: conflict versus competition again. I agree, that's a bad idea. I don't quite understand how you're applying it here, though. So far as I can tell, your opponents (for want of a better word) here are not troubled that you disagree with them (e.g., they don't deny that Roko's basilisk was a thing or that some neoreactionaries have taken an interest in LW); they are objecting to your alleged
Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017

despite hearing that one a lot at Rationalwiki, it turns out the big Soros bucks are thinner on the ground than many a valiant truthseeker thinks

3gjm4yIn case it wasn't obvious (it probably was, in which case I apologize for insulting your intelligence, or more precisely I apologize so as not to insult your intelligence), TheAncientGeek was not in fact making a claim about you or your relationship with deep-pocketed malefactors but just completing the traditional "irregular verb" template.
Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017

Or just what words mean in the context in question, keeping in mind that we are indeed speaking in a particular context.

[here, let me do your homework for you]

In particular, expertise does not constitute a Wikipedia conflict of interest:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest#External_roles_and_relationships

While editing Wikipedia, an editor's primary role is to further the interests of the encyclopedia. When an external role or relationship could reasonably be said to undermine that primary role, the editor has a conflict of interes

... (read more)
4gjm4yNo one is actually suggesting that either "expertise" or "not being enough of a fan" constitutes a conflict of interest, nor are those the attributes you're being accused of having. On the other hand, the accusations actually being made are a little unclear and vary from occasion to occasion, so let me try to pin them down a bit. I think the ones worth taking seriously are three in number. Only one of them relates specifically to conflicts of interest in the Wikipedia sense; the others would (so far as I can see) not be grounds for any kind of complaint or action on Wikipedia even if perfectly correct in every detail. So, they are: (1) That you are, for whatever reasons, hostile to Less Wrong (and the LW-style-rationalist community generally, so far as there is such a thing) and keen to portray it in a bad light. (2) That as a result of #1 you have in fact taken steps to portray Less Wrong (a.t.Lsr.c.g.s.f.a.t.i.s.a.t.) in a bad light, even when that has required you to be deliberately misleading. (3) That your close affiliation with another organization competing for mindshare, namely RationalWiki, constitutes a WP:COI when writing about Less Wrong. Note that #3 is quite different in character from a similar claim that might be made by, say, a creationist organization; worsening the reputation of the Institute for Creation Research is unlikely to get more people to visit RationalWiki and admire your work there (perhaps even the opposite), whereas worsening the reputation of Less Wrong might do. RW is in conflict with the ICR, but (at least arguably) in competition with LW. For the avoidance of doubt, I am not endorsing any of those accusations; just trying to clarify what they are, because it seems like you're addressing different ones.
Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017

The first two would suggest I'm a subject-matter expert, and particularly the second if the "reliable sources" consistently endorse my stuff, as you observe they do. This suggests I'm viewed as knowing what I'm talking about and should continue. (Be careful your argument makes the argument you think it's making.) The third is that you dislike my opinion, which is fine, but also irrelevant. The final sentence fails to address any WP:RS-related criterion. HTH!

8eternal_neophyte4yWhy? Are the two or three most vocal critics of evolution also experts? Does the fact that newspapers quote Michio Kaku or Bill Nye on the dangers of global warming make them climatology experts?
3Viliam4yOh, I see, it's one of those irregular words: I am a subject-matter expert you have a conflict of interests
Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017

(More generally as a Wikipedia editor I find myself perennially amazed at advocates for some minor cause who seem to seriously think that Wikipedia articles on their minor cause should only be edited by advocates, and that all edits by people who aren't advocates must somehow be wrong and bad and against the rules. Even though the relevant rules are (a) quite simple conceptually (b) say nothing of the sort. You'd almost think they don't have the slightest understanding of what Wikipedia is about, and only cared about advocating their cause and bugger the encyclopedia.)

Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017

This isn't what "conflict of interest" means at Wikipedia. You probably want to review WP:COI, and I mean "review" it in a manner where you try to understand what it's getting at rather than looking for loopholes that you think will let you do the antisocial thing you're contemplating. Your posited approach is the same one that didn't work for the cryptocurrency advocates either. (And "RationalWiki is a competing website therefore his edits must be COI" has failed for many cranks, because it's trivially obvious that their tru... (read more)

Is any of the following not true?

  • You are one of the 2 or 3 most vocal critics of LW worldwide, for years, so this is your pet issue, and you are far from impartial.

  • A lot of what the "reliable sources" write about LW originates from your writing about LW.

  • You are cherry-picking facts that descibe LW in certain light: For example, you mention that some readers of LW identify as neoreactionaries, but fail to mention that some of them identify as e.g. communists. You keep adding Roko's basilisk as one of the main topics about LW, but remove ment

... (read more)
Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

Yes, but if it's not visible in quality of life, and it's not visible in technological advancement ... what quantity is it detrimental to?

3jaime20006yQuality of life. The idea is that without the ravages of modernity, technological advancement would have created an even higher quality of life. By way of example, consider the 1950s. Their technology was obviously inferior to ours. And yet they had intact families (marriage rates were higher, divorce and bastardy rates lower) and well-paying jobs (a husband's salary alone sufficed to support his entire family, his wife was free to cook and clean and raise the children). Is our quality of life higher than theirs? It's not obvious to me. Even if it is, why is this trade-off necessary? Why can't we have the superior scientific technology of the 2010s and the superior social technology of the 1950s?
Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

I haven't really seen much discussion on the intersection of neoreaction and transhumanism.

Is there much other than Michael Anissimov's essay?

2CellBioGuy6yHadn't seen that one (as previously stated). That is indeed a funny troll. However, my friend found the reporting in the geeks for monarchy article so outlandish that he was sure someone was putting a credulous writer on.

You specifically said he was "hanging around neoreactionaries". It sounds like a quibble, but it's actually worth knowing the real result. The entire weight of your original statement implied his ideological change came from the people he was actually spending time with IRL. But now in this latest post you admit you were wrong about that, and that's important.

Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

We have more people living better than ever before in history, and this is because of the Enlightenment.

6jaime20006yThe traditional neoreactionary counter is that increased quality of life is due to technological advancement, and that social "progress" has been neutral at best and detrimental at worst.
Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

For a long time, LW was the only place you would read this stuff outside the tiny NRx blogosphere.

I've been advised to come here and defend myself.

If you haven't been watching closely, David Gerard has been spreading these same smears about me on RationalWiki, on Twitter, and now here. His tweets accuse me of treating the Left in general and the social justice movement in particular with "frothing" and as "ordure". And now he comes here and adds Tumblr to the list of victims, and "actual disgust" to the list of adjectives.

I resent this because it is a complete fabrication.

I resent it because, far from a frothing hatred of ... (read more)

It's about the difference in quality of debate. Their manifold flaws notwithstanding, at least most neoreactionaries are articulate (Moldbug almost esoterically so). SJWs on the other hand feel entitled to go apeshit on you -- to hell with convincing and productive debates.

The steelmanning is due to the fact that neoreaction is a strange composite of a few very good things (originality, aesthetics, appreciation for virtue) dispersed in an extremely toxic medium of hatred, drive for dominance, and undue confidence in the rightfulness of their own ideas. (Mo... (read more)

-2HBDfan6yThese things are disgusting. Slate Star is increasing in reasonableness.

Yvain admits that he had negative personal experiences with feminists that may have left him prejudiced. It's a bias, but at least he is aware of it.

Biases aside, I think that many people, including Yvain, are concerned by the large political influence that SJWs can exert.
NRx, as wrong as they might be, hold virtually zero political influence at the moment, hence debating them is just an intellectual exercise.
SJWs can influence mainstream media, college policies and even legislation. They are perceived as hostile towards straight white men, and especially ... (read more)

1MichaelAnissimov6yWhere did Yvain state this? I didn't think he had any neoreactionary friends.

whereas it reacts with actual disgust and lack of philosophical charity to feminism, social justice, Tumblr, etc

http://slatestarcodex.com/2013/04/20/social-justice-for-the-highly-demanding-of-rigor/

3dxu6yHaving only a passing familiarity with Slate Star Codex, I can't claim to have much knowledge of the context here. However, using information gleaned from this comment alone, I would say that polite steelmanning is probably the default reaction to a lot of things as far as LW readers are concerned (this is obviously and sadly untrue outside of these circles), and that if feminism, social justice, and Tumblr were reacted to with genuine disgust, something probably happened to justify that disgust. If I'm wrong about this, feel free to inform me.

Tumblr!social_justice and Tumblr!feminism (note the Tumblr! part) are not political ideas, though; they're more closely described as echo chambers (whoops, sorry, I meant to say "safe spaces", of course.) where meaningless duckspeak is endlessly repeated - so reacting with disgust and ridicule to them is arguably appropriate given LW's and - plausibly - SSC's goals. Neoreaction at least makes the grade as something that's (marginally) politically relevant. Which is still not saying much, of course.

-1ChristianKl6yI claim that certain views are hold by a certain group of people for reason that have to do with the actions of certain organisations. You claim that's I'm engaging into a logical fallacy if I look at the way beliefs are formed. As humans don't form their beliefs through logic, that's besides the point. Even if you form your beliefs through logic, it's still an interesting discussion to discuss why the medical profession believes what it believes. That fact that you are unable to make that distinction makes you unable to follow the argument I'm making. I didn't argue in this thread that chiropractors deserve a good reputation or for that matter recommended to someone that he should go to a chiropractor. I don't think in terms of black and white but make statements that are much more nuanced.
-1ChristianKl7yNo, my claim is about the process in which memes succeed. As such it's not invalid ad hominem to analyse that process. If you forbid all kinds of ad hominems than you basically say that it's in general a fallacy to call out someone who's suffering from bias. To stay in the overall argument, there no reason to blind yourself and ignore features of the process that produces memes. I haven't made a claim that includes the word "conspiracy". You used that word. There no reason for my to provide evidence for claims I haven't made. Given the kind of claims I'm arguing there no reason to attack straw mans. If you want evidence for big pharma paying kickbacks to promote drugs : http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q22013/feds-sue-novartis-pharma-for-paying-kickbacks/ [http://www.whiteoutpress.com/articles/q22013/feds-sue-novartis-pharma-for-paying-kickbacks/] That are two companies paying together a billion in bribes and it only counts the bribes of doctors. Whether or not you want to call a billion in bribes a conspiracy is semantics which doesn't have much to do with Bayesian reasoning and I specifically didn't use the word 'conspiracy' because I don't think it's very helpful in this case. Do you doubt that big pharma has a bunch of lobbyists that have a lot of influence on the medical system? Is that a claim for which you want proof? Do you want me to search of the marketing budget of various big pharma companies and for the amount of money that the chiropractor associating can afford to spend on similar activities?
The Danger of Invisible Problems

Your arguments against doing science in this case seem fully general to me. They could be used by anyone promoting their brand of alternative medicine no matter how bizarre their claims would be.

And indeed it turns out they are: this is a pretty standard part of the alternative medicine anti-rationalist toolkit.

The Danger of Invisible Problems

Big pharma also has a business model where they can outspend chiropractors by a huge margin when it comes to lobbying and PR to establish memes in society.

Big pharma versus big placebo: one of these is constrained by expectations of evidence, the other to people opposed to joined-up thinking.

Are you seriously claiming the medical opposition to chiropractic is a big pharma conspiracy? If so, do you have actual evidence rather than merely asserting it's possible?

-3ChristianKl7yI make a claim that's more complex than that. Conspiracy assumes not being open. It has nothing to do with a university rather funding research that produces patents that a pharma company can use than the university doing research that's beneficial for individuals doing various kind of manual therapy. As far as real conspiracy goes, there plenty of evidence of pharma companies having to pay huge fines because they bribe doctors in various ways to do what's good for the pharma company. If a doctor gives his patients a drug from a big pharma company that company invites him to a fancy all-costs payed luxury vacation conference. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it was bad over decades and that made certain memes win memetic competition. Chiropractors don't have similar systems for paying doctors who refer clients kickbacks. In the 20st century big corporations very often won conflicts because the have more power than a bunch of individual practitioners. It also seems to me more and more silly to believe that the blind man sees more and that blinding in general is the key to knowledge gathering. It's one of those things, were a kid in a hundred years will have a hard time understanding history because the idea is just so silly. Just like we today have a hard time understanding what people in the middle ages used to believe. It's also interesting that the ideal of blindness is so strong in the medical field and not as strong in any other domain. A medical professor usually teaches the "evidence-based method" with teaching methods for which he as no evidence that they work. Somehow they succeed to do this without feeling weird. It's quite remarkable. I don't think you can solve the puzzle of why that double standard exists without acknowledging that well-funded parties have an interest in things being that way. Nobody makes money based on a platform of "evidence-based teaching" so we don't have it in our society but we do have "evidence-based medicine"
Weird Alliances

The health store phenomenon you observe (weird alliances) is called "crank magnetism". People who believe one weird thing tend to believe other weird things. (This particularly applies to conspiracy theorists.) Alternative medicine advocates are highly supportive of other alternative therapies that directly contradict their own, because they're of a subculture that defines itself oppositionally. The money flows in to support this weird alliance.

LW's interests do indeed not necessarily hang together, except being things advanced by the transhumani... (read more)

October 2014 Bragging thread.

It's a really good original story and everyone should read it.

Open thread, Oct. 6 - Oct. 12, 2014

Evidence or speculation? I saw the $300 sell wall, but that does not account for the previous week's dip, which is when the "bearwhale" speculation started. I did see plenty of speculation to this end ... but humans, particularly bagholders in a bubble, will grasp for any explanation that is not "we were foolish".

Really, everything is based on the assumption of conspiracy:

  • December - Just a small market correction after bubble, soon we go up!
  • February - Price dropped because Mark Karpeles is an incompetent thief. (This one I'll give th
... (read more)
3Ander7yYes. The conspiracy theories are rationalizations that have been invented because reality contradicted their belief system. It is absolutely possible for the price to decline the way it did. It could go much lower. It could even go a lot lower and still recover, and go much higher in the future! It already did exactly that in 2011-2013.
4Ander7yNeither of those are true (probably). The price is the result of normal market forces, not a "conspiracy' to decrease the price, or 'manipulation' upward last november due to bots. All of the 'manipulation' talk is complete bullshit. There is nothing at all unusual in the price movements of bitcoin. It is completely normal for an asset that is growing from essenitally no value, into the billions of dolalrs range, in five years. If there was a startup company that went public with shares at its inception, until a point of it having a $10 billion market valuation, over a 5 year period, it would look a LOT like the bitcoin price chart. Huge, massive increases in value as it reached new milestones of adoption. Massive contractions as it looked like it might fail. But the thing is, you DONT see the valuation of startup companies like this, because they are owned by a small number of founders and venture capitalists and angel investors. So the bitcoin price looks unusual to most people. So the first hypothesis: "there is a conspiracy to manipulate the price", is complete BS. (There are tons of idiots on places like bitocintalk.org that beleive things like this, because they are clueless. But this is not a truth about reality. it is a rationalization made up after the fact by people for whom bitcoin is essentially a religion that you must take on faith, to explain why the price is now going down). The second hypothesis "Bitcoin is a bubble on the way down", is also probably not true. (Though the chance that it is true is a lot greater than the idiotic manipulation theory). The reason why this is unlikely is that the blockchain is a truly revolutionary technology, whose impact on the world is goign to be MUCH greater than a mere 10 billion dollar company. (If you look at bitcoin's market cap as a valuation of a company, it peaked around $10 billion). It might be true that the bitcoin blockchain is about to be surpassed by a competitor. That is, if you think of bitcoin
0[anonymous]7yRandom fluctuations have moved the price that much on a daily basis. The fact that we are trending downward generally is certainly expected -- it is exactly what has happened 5x earlier in bitcoin's history, and numerous other times in speculative bubbles. It's possible for the near-term trend to be down 90% of the time, and yet the overall long term trend to be up. Indeed, this is expected due to the typical behavior of whales. They moderate demand so that prices continue to gradually fall, all the while accumulating coins. Eventually the bottom is reached when they no longer are in control of demand. Then the bull market starts and you have a very quick run up to an all-new high. This is a very common pattern. It happens in commodities, it happens in stock markets, it happens in real estate prices. It has repeated over and over in the history of bitcoin.
Open thread, Oct. 6 - Oct. 12, 2014

At least with tulip bulbs you can, like, grow tulips.

5fubarobfusco7yAt least some recent research suggests that the Dutch tulip bubble was in fact a tulip contracts bubble, which expanded when legal changes converted commodity futures contracts to options [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulip_mania#Legal_changes] and collapsed when authorities halted trading.
9James_Miller7yIn five years the go-to example for speculative bubbles that popped might be bitcoins rather than tulip bulbs.
Open thread, Oct. 6 - Oct. 12, 2014

There are (or were) many, many Bitcoin advocates in the world who can't see it being anything other than deflationary (as there is a limited supply), it does interesting things, etc. Then the world turns around and sends Bitcoins inflationary for this whole year. Empiricism beats praxeology (again).

0James_Miller7yWe can't live in a world in which the market expects Bitcoins to steadily increase in value compared to the dollar because of the arbitrage opportunities this would create.
Open thread, Oct. 6 - Oct. 12, 2014

[tangential] The price of Bitcoin has been dropping significantly in the past few weeks, and dropped below $300 yesterday. I've read many theories as to how this can't happen, but it is. What's going on?

3[anonymous]7yThe entire market is based on speculation right now, as well as being small enough for a few big players to significantly move the needle. This is a combination that means that one or two people can cause a drop, which causes a mass sell off (the inverse can happen too). Of course, this is a "just so" story... the reality is more complicated. Point being, you won't be able to predict bitcoin prices until bitcoin as a payment network and store of value overcomes bitcoin as speculation.
8Ander7yIts a bear market. The price moved from ~100 to ~1100 in the fall of 2013. The price action for the past 10 months is a correction of that move. After an 11x price increase, a retracement of 70% is perfectly normal market behavior. This is just the bitcoin boom and bust market cycle. A larger holder did sell 30000 coins yesterday at $300 each. (And in fact, did so in a much less sophisticated way than normal - he simply stuck 30000 coins out there at a price of $300, and then just sat there. A more sophisticated trader selling in smaller increments could have gotten more money for them). This action did control the price of bitcoin for a number of hours. It was one small piece of the decline from $1100 in Dec 2013 to $300 now, but obviously it wasn't the main driver. There is nothing special about the decline in bitcoin from $1100 to $300. It is merely the result of the fact that the price previously rose from $100 to $1100 in a short time. This is how markets work. The price does not move smoothly in straight lines. It moves three steps forward and two back. It overshoots massively to the upside and to the downside. It is very hard to tell exactly where the top and where the bottom are going to be. Back last november, it would have been hard to guess whether the top would be at $500, or $1100 as it was, or $2000. And its hard to guess the bottom now. You might have thought it was done falling when it was at $500. It might be done now. Or it might drop to $200 or lower. (You can make a pretty decent case for $275 on sunday morning having been the absolute low however, based on the fact that the volume of trading was enormous, and the extreme distance that the price moved away from the moving average. Of course, it is possible that even larger volume and an even more extreme drop could be coming. We will not be able to say for sure what the bottom was until well after the fact).
-1[anonymous]7yThere is substantial evidence that a giant whale dumped $9m worth of coins at $300. Now that the sell wall is gone, the price is back up. Otherwise, just the typical accretion phase of a boom-bust cycle.
3[anonymous]7yI don't know why someone would believe it couldn't happen. The price of bitcoin is determined exactly like stock prices and subject to the same variations based on the same reasons. The growth of the bitcoin market is below expectations so people sell their bitcoins to monetize their earnings so the price drops. That's economics 101.
Open thread, Sept. 1-7, 2014

You're seriously raising the notion of testosterone as magical competence juice as an explanation worth taking seriously? This would make teenage males the most competent and convincing people on the planet.

I took the claim to be something different: testosterone is magical confidence juice, and at reasonable levels of competence more confidence leads to greater career success.

"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

I've been desperately in search of a good history as I seek to decrappify the RW article on the topic, which is rather too cobbled-together (and the SJWiki one doesn't even try for a history). So if anyone has something handy ...

(The stereotypical Tumblr SJW phenomenon seems to have escaped academic notice. This actually surprised me when I went looking, given I know how rabid sociology students are in seeking out new subcultural study fodder.)

Why I Am Not a Rationalist, or, why several of my friends warned me that this is a cult

The cut'n'paste not merely of the opinions, but of the phrasing is the tell that this is undigested. Possibly this could be explained by complete correctness with literary brilliance, but we're talking about one-draft daily blog posts here.

-1FeepingCreature7yI feel like charitably, another explanation would just be that it's simply a better phrasing than people come up with on their own. So? Fast doesn't imply bad. Quite the opposite, fast-work-with-short-feedback-cycle is one of the best ways to get really good.
Open thread, Sept. 1-7, 2014

This one from someone going MTF was interesting: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8279058 She found the sexism ridiculously more blatant than transphobia.

7shminux7yThis is pretty disconcerting. However, I can't help but wonder if this is specific to some areas of the US. I've worked with women in various companies at various technical positions, and I'd heard plenty of "glass ceiling" complaints, where women were basically never promoted to the executive level (except for one exceptionally capable becoming a CFO), possibly because the head office was in the South East and the board being an old boys club. But I do not recall any mention of casual or subconscious sexism described in the link.
6James_Ernest7yThis is his explanation at its most explicit: www.unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2010/02/from-mises-to-carlyle-my-sick-journey.html
Open thread, Sept. 1-7, 2014

So why do women do worse in certain fields of work? It turns out you can in fact do a direct A/B comparison on workplace gender discrimination: ask a transgender person. Formerly respected scientist Barbara Barres, now inexplicably-more-respected scientist Ben Barres. Actual quote: "Ben gave a great seminar today—but then his work is so much better than his sister's."

5polymathwannabe7yI agree this is a very real issue. For example: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/violence-women-hurts-men-20-things-men-can-hesaid/ [http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/violence-women-hurts-men-20-things-men-can-hesaid/]
0D_Malik7y1. I know of at least one male-to-female transgendered person who has made the exact opposite claim, viz. that women are treated better by society. (Not going to dig up a link.) 2. I would prefer not to see gender politics on LW, especially when the connection to rationality is tenuous.

Saying it's a direct A/B comparison is seriously overstating it. Transitioning is itself a huge confounder, and if it were true that time before/after were exactly comparable, that would debunk one of the main justifications for allowing sex-changes in the first place!

Of course, the sample size is small here. And there’s no perfect agreement on cause-and-effect. Chris Edwards, a trans advertising executive, says that post-transition, he was given greater levels of responsibility—but he thinks it’s because the testosterone he took changed his behavior. He

... (read more)
"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

Because the "biological grouping" isn't one. It's been a social grouping all along. You realise that groups have joined and left "white" at different times over the past few centuries, right? The historical definitions of races are amazing stuff. The Wikipedia article is a good start (and I link that in particular because you can be sure it's been closely inspected by all interested sides).

5ErikM7yThat's like arguing that because the line between "dog" and "wolf" is socially constructed, there's no need to worry if one's chihuahua is replaced by a timber wolf, or saying that because the Greeks thought of water as a basic substance, "hydrogen" is actually a social grouping. It's true in the trivial sense that every grouping humans refer to is in some sense a social grouping, but that doesn't alter the underlying biology. Think of it as lumpers and splitters [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumpers_and_splitters] in action - disagreements over where to draw the boundary of a group don't change the characteristics of group members.

A century ago I would not have been 'white' - I'd be hopelessly ethnic.

Half-Italian-half-Polish with a dash of ashkenazi jewish five generations back? Waaaaay down in the caste system of even 1930. Nowadays? Just another white guy.

"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

I think the Social Justice movement came out of postmodernism

The term approximately as we know it was used by Catholics in the 19th Century, coined in the 1840s by Jesuit priest Luigi Taparelli. (How we got from there to Tumblr is an interesting journey but an approximately continuous one.)

8[anonymous]7yIs there a history of the term anywhere? I'd be interested in seeing how it got here from there.
"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

c.f. the Cathedral, which is an attempt to frame the culture that the rest of us call "Western civilisation as it is now" as a conspiracy, or something enough like a conspiracy to speak of in the terms appropriate to one.

"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

Compared to neoreaction, libertarianism and liberalism are virtually twins, as children of the Enlightenment.

2advancedatheist7yAs I understand their position, Neoreactionaries view the classical liberalism which evolved into modern libertarianism as just an earlier stage of leftism. Advocates of classical liberalism made the case for breaking down traditional, hierarchical societies into collections of atomistic individuals who interact mainly through the market, and not through traditional social relationships like that between a serf and his feudal lord. Socialists came along later to push this idea to its reductio ad absurdum by promoting the idea of complete human fungibility. Ironically, while the socialist view of "equality" treats humans like commodities, in their private lives I notice that progressives in the U.S. like eating differentiated foods produced locally and organically, and sold in farmers' markets. Apparently they feel that they have the right to Notice differences in the characteristics of the organisms which go into the foods they eat that they deny in their interactions with members of their own species.
4skeptical_lurker7yI've heard it said that neoreaction is libertarianism meeting reality. This seems paradoxical, but under certain monarchys the state actually was smaller and interfered with people's lives less.
-3ErikM7yWhy are you equivocating between the biological grouping and the social grouping?
"NRx" vs. "Prog" Assumptions: Locating the Sources of Disagreement Between Neoreactionaries and Progressives (Part 1)

More specifically, I thought the main connection was (a) Moldbug frequenting OB (b) Mike Anissimov as the transhumanist neoreactionary. Was there more I've missed? (I know lots more of such showed up later.)

LessWrong primes you to suspect social consensus with people are crazy, the world is mad, teaches that you have to actually grapple with difficult stuff in detail instead of grabbing the closest cliche to end the discussion, and then introduces a Really Important Thing that relies on us being able to understand the mechanics of intelligence better than anyone has done before. It's not a long jump to go looking into human intelligence as the best existing model for intelligence we have, and then it turns out you don't need to dig very far into the research ... (read more)

6NancyLebovitz7yI didn't know or had forgotten about) the OB connection. In any case, when I was talking about a connection, I meant to explain why there would be a enough similarity of ideas and temperament that NRx would be active members of LW rather than exploring the historical connection.
Open thread, 25-31 August 2014

I really don't think so. There's a pattern of this with creationists, c.f. Paul Broun condemning embryology as (literally) the work of Satan - which sounds truly weird unless you know how much e.g. Dawkins hammered on embryology as slam-dunk proof of evolution in The Greatest Show On Earth. This is another in a long series of bills attempting to get creationism a foothold in publicly-funded education, even if it has to be written entirely in dogwhistles. It may seem uncharitable in the evidence given (a single link), but not if you know the history of this sort of attempted legislative end-run.

1Lumifer7yI don't know (and don't care much) whether that was a dogwhistle. The claim was that "the actual process of joined-up thinking itself is literally your enemy" and your link doesn't come anywhere close to supporting it. You're just looking for ammo in the culture wars not even caring whether it looks suitable or not.
Open thread, 25-31 August 2014

The Fate of Galt's Gulch Chile, an experimental Objectivist community. Post is by a buyer.

-1Lumifer7yA story of Yet Another Real Estate Swindle..?
1Lumifer7yThat's a very very uncharitable interpretation of that sentence in the body of the bill.
The metaphor/myth of general intelligence

I note also KnaveOfAllTrades' recent post about the analogous concept of a "sports quotient".

6gwern7yI think a sports quotient is a bad counterexample, because it's pretty obvious there is a sports quotient: take someone who weighs 500 pounds, and another person who weighs 150; who do you think is going to win most of the time if you have them play tennis, basketball, sprinting, crosscountry running, archery, soccer...? Similarly, if someone has a gimp leg, they're going to perform badly at pretty much any sport, from table tennis (gotta stand and move around) to boxing.
Open thread, 11-17 August 2014

The description: "Philosophy in Video Games [F]: A discussion of philosophical themes present in many different video games. Topics will include epistemology, utilitarianism, philosophy of science, ethics, logic, and metaphysics. All topics will be explained upon introduction and no prior knowledge is necessary to participate!"

Did they record all panels?

2Error7yAccording to their FAQ, most panels are not recorded. Google doesn't turn up any immediate evidence that this one was an exception.
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