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Your claim was that child abuse and trauma have barely any influence on adult life. This is clearly an extraordinary claim, that requires evidence to be taken seriously.

Your evidence are three quotations, two of which only contain more links, and the third is about the heritability of divorce, which has nothing to do with your claim.

So in other words you have given zero evidence for your claim. Maybe there is some evidence to be found in one of the many citations you gave, but without knowing which one or what to look for it would take many hours to investigate this. That is not a reasonable burden to place on your readers, given the prior unlikeliness of your initial claim. I'm not saying you should make an airtight case for your claim in a single post, but at the very least you should give us some reason to put in further effort.


There's nothing rational about refusing to believe data you don't like, and linking Eliezer doesn't change that.

It's good to have an absurdity filter. You can't investigate every claim on the internet in great detail, so dismissing the more unbelievable ones out of hand is not a bad strategy. But you need some kind of reason. Either a known bias or untrustworthiness of the author, or knowledge that at least some of the claims made are false. Assuming you don't have some personal beef with the author, I don't see how you can dismiss this post out of hand. The numbers mentioned are quite reasonable and in line with what you find in other sources.

Also, there's nothing wrong with conflating two things that are, in fact, identical. Not all child abuse is equally bad, and an occasional spanking won't greatly harm a child. But it will harm a child. This has been shown often.


The US federal budget is 3.7 trillion. The president probably can't meaningfully affect the spending of most of that, but his impact is still significant. If I had to ballpark it I'd say a trillion over 4 years seems likely. Plus his long term effect on the nation through laws and regulations.

How many Americans vote? About a hundred million? So the average value of a vote is in the area of $10,000. That is a lot of money. Sure it is much less if you live outside a swingstate, but not by a factor 100k.

Even if your non-swingstate vote was meaningless there is still a tragedy of the commons. If every California Democrat stayed home because the Democrats will win California anyway... they won't. The rational solution to a tragedy of the commons is not to defect.


Very droll.

But define winning. In many situations, finding the truth is winning.

For example take global warming. Maybe I'm lobbyist for big oil and for me winning means making sure no one takes global warming seriously. But even then knowing the facts is still in my interest. So if I'm amongst fellow lobbyists who I trust it is in my interest to take an open, truth seeking approach. This will help me identify the strong and weak points in my opponents' arguments. It will help in formulating distractionary strategies. Etc. I will just have to make sure no one records the meeting and then leaks it.


I think that's somewhat missing the point of a lot of advice like that though. Often advice in the form of proverbs or popular quotes is not meant to be taken literally. It's meant to offer you a new angle from which to look at the problem.

Just because two quotes contradict each other, doesn't mean they can't both be good advice. If you think someone is being too rash, quoting a proverb like "discretion is the better part of valour" can be good advice. But if you think they are being too cautious, the opposite ("nothing ventured, nothing gained") can also be good advice.

Most advice is context dependent.


Sure, cryonics would help. But it wouldn't be more than a drop in the ocean. If QI is true, and cryonics is theoretically possible, then 500 years from now there'll be 3 kinds of universes: 1) Universes where I'm dead, either because cryonics didn't pan out (perhaps society collapsed), or because for some reason I wasn't revived. 2) Universes where I'm alive thanks to cryonics and 3) Universes where I'm alive due to quantum fluctuations 'miraculously' keeping me alive.

Clearly the measure of the 3rd kind of universe will be very very small compared to the other two. And since I don't experience the first, that means that subjectively I'm overwhelmingly likely to experience being alive thanks to cryonics. And in most of those universes I'm probably healthy and happy. So that sounds good.

But quantum immortality implies forced immortality forever. No way to escape, no way to permanently shut yourself down once you get bored with life. No way to die even after the heath death of the universe.

No matter how good the few trillion years before that will be, the end result will be floating around as an isolated mind in an empty universe, kept alive by random quantum fluctuations in an increasingly small measure of all universes that will nevertheless always have subjective measure of 1, for literally ever.

Now personally I don't think QI is very likely. In fact I consider it extremely unlikely. All I'm saying is that if it were true, that'd be a nightmare.


The problem with Quantum Immortality is that it is a pretty horrible scenario. That's not an argument against it being true of course, but it's an argument for hoping it's not true.

Let's assume QI is true. If I walk under a bus tomorrow, I won't experience universes where I die, so I'll only experience miraculously surviving the accident. That sounds good.

But here's where the nightmare starts. Dying is not a binary process. There'll be many more universes where I survive with serious injuries then universes where I survive without injury. Eventually I'll grow old. There'll be some universes where by random quantum fluctuations that miraculously never happens, but in the overwhelming majority of them I'll grow old and weak. And then I won't die. In fact I wouldn't even be able to die if I wanted to. I could decide to commit suicide, but I'll only ever experience those universes where for some reason I chose not to go through with it (or something prevented me from going through with it).

It's the ultimate horror scenario. Forced immortality, but without youth or health.

If QI is true having kids would be the ultimate crime. If QI is true the only ethical course of action would be to pour all humanity's resources into developing an ASI and program it to sterilize the universe. That won't end the nightmare, there'll always be universes where we fail to build such an ASI, but at least it will reduce the measure of suffering.


Downvoted. I personally agree that username2's idea is naive, but it seems sincerely held, and making fun of it instead of explaining its problems is dickish.


Wait? is 'LessWrong' not an admin account? I always assumed it was, but this thread implies otherwise.

I think it's an extremely bad idea to allow an ordinary user to name themselves after the site. You're basically inpersonating an admin!


When I was a little kid we used to make blackberry jam. You can just pick wild blackberries in some places, which is quite a lot of work, but hey, you're out in nature, it's fun, and it's free. Looking back I think it was mostly my parents picking berries while my sisters and I were running around and playing in the forest and eating half the berries our parents picked.

The recipe for making jam is indeed just berries, water and sugar. We used a large pot though, not a frying pan. Just cook and steer until it's done. Pour the jam into a jar while it's still hot, and screw the lit on. As the jam cools it'll create a slight underpressure in the jar, helping preserve the jam and tightening the lit even further.

Sealed properly it can stay good for a long time. One year we kind of overdid things (my sisters and I were a bit older, and actually starting helping instead of 'helping') and ended up with over 300 jars of blackberry jam. They were still good 10 years later.

Self-made jam tastes much better than store-bought jam. Whether that is because it actually tastes better, or because your brain just thinks it tastes better because you made it yourself, I don't know. But it doesn't matter, the end result is the same.

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