All of DoubleReed's Comments + Replies

Pascal's Muggle: Infinitesimal Priors and Strong Evidence

I disagree. All the scam artist has to know is your method of coming to your conclusions. Once he knows that then he can probably exploit you depending on his cleverness (and then it becomes an arms race). If anything, trying to defend yourself from being manipulated in that way would probably be extremely difficult in of itself. Either way, my initial guess is that your methodology would still be superficial pattern-matching, but it would just be a deeper, more complex level of it.

This seems to be what Eliezer is doing with all the various scenarios. He's... (read more)

1TheOtherDave9yFair enough. If I accept that guess as true, I agree with your conclusion. I also agree that adopting the enemy's perspective is an important -- for humans, indispensible -- part of strategic thinking.
Pascal's Muggle: Infinitesimal Priors and Strong Evidence

But wouldn't you just be suckered by sufficiently smart and attentive scam artists?

0TheOtherDave9yIt depends on the nature of the analysis I'm doing. I mean, sure, if the scam artist is smart enough to, for example, completely encapsulate my sensorium and provide me with an entirely simulated world that it updates in real time and perfect detail, then all bets are off... it can make me believe anything by manipulating the evidence I observe. (Similarly, if the scam artist is smart enough to directly manipulate my brain/mind.) But if my reasoning is reliable and I actually have access to evidence about the real world, then the better I am at evaluating that evidence, the harder I am to scam about things relating to that evidence, even by a scam artist far smarter than me.
Pascal's Muggle: Infinitesimal Priors and Strong Evidence

Isn't this more of social recognition of a scam?

While there are decision-theoretic issues with the Original Pascal's Wager, one of the main problems is that it is a scam ("You can't afford not to do it! It's an offer you can't refuse!"). It seems to me that you can construct plenty of arguments like you just did, and many people wouldn't take you up on the offer because they'd recognize it as a scam. Once something has a high chance of being a scam (like taking the form of Pascal's Wager), it won't get much more of your attention until you lower ... (read more)

4huh9yI also think that the variant of the problem featuring an actual mugger is about scam recognition. Suppose you get an unsolicited email claiming that a Nigerian prince wants to send you a Very Large Reward worth $Y. All you have to do is send him a cash advance of $5 first ... I analyze this as a straightforward two-player game tree via the usual minimax procedure [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimax]. Player one goes first, and can either pay $5 or not. If player one chooses to pay, then player two goes second, and can either pay Very Large Reward $Y to player one, or he can run away with the cash in hand. Under the usual minimax assumptions, player 2 is obviously not going to pay out! Crucially, this analysis does not depend on the value for Y. The analysis for Pascal's mugger is equivalent. A decision procedure that needs to introduce ad hoc corrective factors based on the value of Y seems flawed to me. This type of situation should not require an unusual degree of mathematical sophistication to analyze. When I list out the most relevant facts about this scenario, they include the following: (1) we received an unsolicited offer (2) from an unknown party from whom we won't be able to seek redress if anything goes wrong (3) who can take our money and run without giving us anything verifiable in return. That's all we need to know. The value of Y doesn't matter. If the mugger performs a cool and impressive magic trick we may want to tip him for his skillful street performance. We still shouldn't expect him to payout Y. I generally learn a lot from the posts here, but in this case I think the reasoning in the post confuses rather than enlightens. When I look back on my own life experiences, there are certainly times when I got scammed. I understand that some in the Less Wrong community may also have fallen victim to scams or fraud in the past. I expect that many of us will likely be subject to disingenuous offers by unFriendly parties in the future. I respectfu
6TheOtherDave9yThe concern here is that if I reject all offers that superficially pattern-match to this sort of scam, I run the risk of turning down valuable offers as well. (I'm reminded of a TV show decades ago where they had some guy dress like a bum and wander down the street offering people $20, and everyone ignored him.) Of course, if I'm not smart enough to actually evaluate the situation, or don't feel like spending the energy, then superficial pattern-matching and rejection is my safest strategy, as you suggest. But the question of what analysis a sufficiently smart and attentive agent could do, in principle, to take advantage of rare valuable opportunities without being suckered by scam artists is often worth asking anyway.
Modularity, signaling, and belief in belief

One way to save face in socially painful situations is to try to appear as though you are doing it all on purpose, to present yourself, for example, as a 'free spirit' rather than a 'loser.' I know for sure that I did this a lot as a child, and even now I have a tendency to emphasize the 'weird' things that I do, to look like I do them confidently and deliberately.

I always associated this behavior more with machismo. The idea that "acting like you know what you're doing" is more important than "knowing what you're doing." Certainly i... (read more)

2taryneast10ymachismo is, itself, just an aspect of "face" - though perhaps more aligned with the "look how cool I am" aspect rather than the "I meant to do that" face-saving aspect.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Mathematicians - along with scientists - discover new things (what is a proof other than a discovery of a new mathematical property). That's what their job is. In order for Ethicists to be comparable, wouldn't they need to discover new ethics?

1thomblake10ySure, and they do. One out of the three major subfields of ethics is "applied ethics", which simply analyzes actual or potential circumstances using their expertise in ethics. The space for that is probably as big as the space for mathematical proofs.
0[anonymous]10yKilling young children is bad.
0thomblake10yMy guess is you wanted another example?
-2[anonymous]10yRaping folks is bad!
Making History Available

Re-reading Greenberg's article makes me want to compose some classical dubstep.

Making History Available

Just wanted to clarify before I let this go.

I am skeptical about your model of aesthetics. I think the model that allows you to compare so easily cross-genre is not the actual model that you use for your aesthetics. All I'm asking is that you double-check to make sure that the model you use actually fits, and you often are able to make these cross-genre comparisons (not comparing genres but comparing songs within different genres).

It is your comparison that baffles me, not the result of the comparison.

-1wedrifid10yAnd I will ask that in the future when you feel the need to challenge someone regarding knowledge of their own preferences that you at least have the grace to let it drop after one comment. In this case it has been made abundantly clear that not only is your behavior rude as a general practice and absurdly unjustifiable in terms of any intellectual merit it is also personally unwelcome. If you don't have tact to refrain from starting then at least take a hint to stop. If you can't take a hint then at least take a direct request. If you can't respond to direct requests then at least respond to operant conditioning [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operant_conditioning].
Making History Available

The second of the above quotes is something I have claimed. The first one is a response to something I have not claimed. There is a straw man at play.

Well yes, I was using an incorrect model of you.

Valuing Weird Al over classical does not make me less intelligent. It speaks more about my general aesthetic preference for melding a conceptual meaning in closely with the melody, rhythm, tone, etc. For me the concepts themselves seem to be a part of music to a far greater extent than for most people I have compared myself to. I do not consider this to be

... (read more)
Making History Available

No, you can't. If you can make distinctions like that then they are in the same model! And your whole point was based around the fact that I was making such a distinction anyway!

What? Of course you can. If model allows for time and purpose, then you can just say "Weird Al is superior for the current time and purpose to all of classical music." Bam. Done. Everything can be in multiple models but the comparison operator is different.

So in order for Weird Al to be strictly superior to classical music then it must be superior for all times and pur... (read more)

0wedrifid10y' The second of the above quotes is something I have claimed. The first one is a response to something I have not claimed. There is a straw man at play. On something so straightforward as this doing so makes you look ridiculous and tends to be considered rather rude. Far better to not say it. Valuing Weird Al over classical does not make me less intelligent (albeit certainly less sophisticated). It speaks more about my general aesthetic preference for melding a conceptual meaning in closely with the melody, rhythm, tone, etc. For me the concepts themselves seem to be a part of music to a far greater extent than for most people I have compared myself to. I do not consider this to be a weakness of mine.
Making History Available

No, I don't think minimalists are inaccessible. You suggested that there is "increasing musical complexity," and I was merely pointing out there doesn't necessarily have to be "increasing musical complexity."

2komponisto10yI cited increasing musical complexity as the reason why serial music is considered "inaccessible". I didn't say anything about non-"inaccessible" music.
Making History Available

My model of the universe is kinda big but I don't actively try to compartmentalize it because it then I could not answer the question "Hey wedrifid, do you want me to play my Weird Al playlist or the my classical music playlist?". That would be strictly inferior.

Not really. You can have different models and still be able to make strict decisions like that.

Especially with Weird Al, considering part of the aesthetic is the fact that it's hilarious. Do you use the same model with Weird Al and Queen? Iron Maiden? Elvis? Do you put those on a stric... (read more)

3wedrifid10yNo, you can't. If you can make distinctions like that then they are in the same model! And your whole point was based around the fact that I was making such a distinction anyway! That seems a tad disingenuous. That I consider one to have less aesthetic merit than the other does not in any way indicate that I would be unable to make other comparisons between them. Wow. What can you say to someone if they make that sort of declaration? Maybe: * Oh, you caught me. Yes, I'm a dirty liar and I was only saying Weird Al is aesthetically superior to classical music. * I stand corrected. I trust your judgement of how I really rate music aesthetically based on blog comments over my own based on listening to it. * Oh yeah? Well your model says you like to eat dirt! So there. Just tell me I am unsophisticated, naive, uncool, banal and tasteless or even that my claim about Weird Al superiority is outright offensive. Those are at least a mix of accurate (unsophisticated in this respect) and subjective. Trying to convince me (or even anyone else) that I don't really have the aesthetic ratings that I do is just absurd!
Making History Available

One just cannot expect everyone to be able to keep up indefinitely with increasing musical complexity.

I like to point out this line in particular, and then point to minimalist (and post-minimalist) composers.

Music doesn't have to get necessarily more complex. Composers, like any large group of people, don't agree on anything.

0komponisto10yWell wait a minute: you were the one who pointed specifically to serialism as the culprit for the "inaccessible" reputation of "modern music". If you consider minimalists inaccessible also, why didn't you include them in the blame [http://lesswrong.com/lw/j0/making_history_available/58ma]?
Making History Available

I would agree partially with komponisto.

Except that there were a lot French and Western Europe composers at this time. They were using a different model entirely however (Schenkerian Analysis only covers the German model). It didn't put as much emphasis on the bass as german music does. The German model just seems better (from my standpoint, it seems to actually focus on what the ear naturally focuses on), which made their music better, so they lasted the test of time. The German model then spread to the Western Europe and subsumed everything because their stuff was better.

Making History Available

Were those tons of composers like Greenberg doing that sort of work at age 14?

That's not necessarily fair. As I was taught, "nobody composes in a vacuum." Art and Science constantly evolve so you need to learn what came before, which means it will take longer and longer for prodigies to flourish.

0wedrifid10yNobody performs in a vacuum either, for obvious reasons. Unless they are performing Mister Holland's Opus.
Making History Available

But not all modern music is inaccessible. In fact a lot of is more accessible than the old masters (I mean come on, The Firebird isn't hard to understand at all). People seem to act as if once serialism came around all composers immediately threw out all ideas of tonality and harmony and that's not true. Many people openly rejected ideas of atonality.

I don't really have anything against serial music. Some of it is pretty cool. But that's not what "modern music" is.

Making History Available

Again, there are Neoclassical works that "the public" love just like "the public" love the old masters. Pulcinella Suite is a direct example that "competes," but really anything from that era of Stravinsky is a great example. Francis Poulenc's work is immensely popular (his clarinet duet and clarinet concerto are particularly good). In fact, directly after WWI is when all this stuff came out because europe couldn't afford large orchestras.

This idea that modern classical music can't be fun and entertaining is just plain strange... (read more)

1komponisto10yI beg your pardon...! There's nothing "bad" about serial music. (Individual works may of course vary in quality.) Not all music needs to be "accessible". You're right to point out that some modern music is, but it's okay if also some isn't. One just cannot expect everyone to be able to keep up indefinitely with increasing musical complexity. Not even Beethoven [http://lesswrong.com/lw/84b/things_you_are_supposed_to_like/] is accessible to everybody, it seems.
Making History Available

Do you really use the same model for judging Genius in France and judging the Waldstein Piano Sonata?

2wedrifid10yMy model of the universe is kinda big but I don't actively try to compartmentalize it because it then I could not answer the question "Hey wedrifid, do you want me to play my Weird Al playlist or the my classical music playlist?". A model so crippled would be strictly inferior.
Making History Available

Oh well then NancyLebovitz's line:

Europe before WWI produced classical music so good that no one has been able to compete with it (for classical music, not music in general) since then.

is not correct.

5wedrifid10yI don't have any particular opinion on the subject. Classical music is ok in moderation and I'll play it myself from time to time (trumpet). But I have absolutely no interest in identifying which pieces belong to which area and how they are ranked by those who consider themselves experts. After all, anyone with decent taste will tell you that the best classical music has less aesthetic merit than the best Weird Al songs.
Making History Available

Do we just ignore Neoclassical works? Or does that not count as 'classical'?

The real reason we don't produce classical music like that anymore is arguably because we produce way better music now.

0wedrifid10yOn the contrary the definition (from wikipedia) that you are responding to seems to go out if its way to ensure that they would be included (to the extent that the pieces did, in fact, conform to the same style.)
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I've never heard of anything like that in my jewish community either. Though honestly I've almost never heard the term "kike" actually used before. Even anti-semites just use the word Jew as far as I know.

-2sam034510yIf you hear from a member of group X that group X says Y, it is usually true. If you hear that group X says Y, from those who do not like group X, it often true. If you hear that those who don't like group X say Y, from those who don't like those who don't like group X, it is seldom true.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Oh I see what you're saying.

I don't know. I mentioned before there is a euphoric response to having things finally end in peace. This is why so many people can believe in something like the rapture. It's not a frightening thought. They get caught up in the idea that everything will be all right. Suicide sounds like it would trigger that appeal as well, so I'm still inclined to disagree.

1TheOtherDave10yI'm glad you're now seeing what I said. It makes useful discussion much easier. I share your belief that such an anticipation of relief might be triggered by contemplating suicide. That has certainly been my experience, at least. I infer (though not very confidently) that you believe such anticipation is a more powerful motivator than various other feelings such people have that cause them to make unreliable decisions in other contexts. If you do in fact believe that, then yes, we disagree.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I don't believe that such people are any more reliable when making those decisions than they are when making the decision to end their own lives. People misjudge all kinds of situations.

And that's where we disagree. I don't think suicidal people are just as reliable in their decision-making as others.

4TheOtherDave10yI recommend that you take a break from this thread, go think about something else for a while, come back to what I said, and see if you still believe I'm making a claim about comparisons between two groups of people. If you do, then I agree that we should end this discussion here.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I don't object to using "tragic" to describe cases where someone's death has higher value than their other options. That said, some examples of that seem far more tragic to me than others.

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant to say that if their death had higher value then I would agree that it would be the better decision. It is tragic that there are no positive solutions, and only negative ones.

I agree with you that people often misjudge situations. I don't agree that this is especially true about ending their own lives. People misju

... (read more)
0TheOtherDave10yI'm content to disagree, but I'm not sure we even do. Certainly I agree with you that people often misjudge the decision to end their own lives, often for the reasons you cite. What I'm saying is that, for example, people who are depressed, desperate, and mentally unstable also make decisions about whether to get out of bed, whether to go to work, whether to take their medication, whether to talk to friends about what's going on in their lives, whether to take psychoactive drugs, whether to get more sleep, whether to exercise regularly, whether to punch their neighbor in the head, whether to buy revolvers, and on and on and on. I don't believe that such people are any more reliable when making those decisions than they are when making the decision to end their own lives. People misjudge all kinds of situations.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

If you commit suicide it's not like you're going to jail.

Besides, the policy against suicide attempts is usually psychological treatment not jailtime or something.

Although assisting suicide seems to be a felony in most states in the US according to wikipedia.

5wedrifid10yOf course for the majority of people wikipedia page [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_methods] itself is all the assistance they would require. My discovery of the day: Suicide by locking yourself in the garage with the car on just aint what it used to be. Apparently it was once painless and only minimally unpleasant due to the large amount of carbon monoxide produced. These days, however, we have more efficient engines and catalytic converters. This means you need an awful lot of exhaust fumes to get enough carbon monoxide to kill you - and exhaust fumes still aren't pleasant. Evidently it is better to use a barbeque (charcoal burner) than a car if you really want to off yourself with CO.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

That said, I do believe that situations can arise where the expected value to a person of their death (1) is greater than the expected value of the other alternatives available to them. If I understood you, you disagree that such situations can arise, and therefore you believe that in all cases where a person thinks they're in such a situation they are necessarily mistaken -- either they're wrong about the facts, or they have the wrong values, or both -- and therefore it's better if they're made to choose some other alternative.

I think people often misj... (read more)

0TheOtherDave10y* I agree with you that people often misjudge situations. I don't agree that this is especially true about ending their own lives. People misjudge all kinds of situations. * I don't object to using "tragic" to describe cases where someone's death has higher value than their other options. That said, some examples of that seem far more tragic to me than others. Also, it cuts the other way too. For example, when my grandfather suffered a stroke, nobody expected him to recover, and both he and his loved ones preferred him dead rather than continuing to live bedridden, frequently delirious, and in constant pain. The law prevented us from killing him, though. I consider every day of his life after that point far more tragic than his eventual death. * I agree that knowledge about consent is not always sufficient to make a moral judgment. * I think if we switch from talking about expected-value judgements to moral judgements, we will have to back up a very long way before we can keep making progress, since I'm not sure we have a shared understanding about what a moral judgement even is.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

How so?

Obviously permanent and long-term effects have more issues with consent. I don't see how that's particularly wishy-washy.

Edit: If anything I'm declaring a harsh limit on how far consent goes. It is insufficient for certain moral situations.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

== (1) Admittedly, what counts as consent is not a simple question; I am assuming unambiguous examples of the category here.

There's no way that consent could ever be simple or unambiguous here. Wanting to die might be a temporary state of mind, while death is a very permanent effect. The victim would have to be completely unable to change his/her mind ever in his/her life.

I don't think if a friend asks you to kill him, you should do it. No, clearly your friend needs mental help, and hopefully his suicidal urges are temporary.

2TheOtherDave10yI agree with you that consent is not simple... indeed, I said as much in the first place. That said, I do believe that situations can arise where the expected value to a person of their death (1) is greater than the expected value of the other alternatives available to them. If I understood you, you disagree that such situations can arise, and therefore you believe that in all cases where a person thinks they're in such a situation they are necessarily mistaken -- either they're wrong about the facts, or they have the wrong values, or both -- and therefore it's better if they're made to choose some other alternative. Did I understand you right? == (1) For conventional understandings of death. I acknowledge that many people on this site consider, for example, having my brain removed from my skull and cryogenically preserved to not be an example of death, because the potential for reconstituting me still exists. Personally, I'm inclined to still call that death, while allowing for the possibility of technologically mediated resurrection. That said, that's ultimately a disagreement about words, and not terribly important, as long as we're clear on what we're talking about.
2wedrifid10yThe meaning of this 'consent' term seems to be drifting closer and closer to 'whatever it takes for the action to be considered morally right'.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Ignoring morals and legality for a moment, this sounds logistically infeasible. The reason I brought up the fact that sex is physically exhausting, is sometimes it really is difficult (and painful) to have sex. Life can get in the way. Women have periods. People take vacations and business trips. People get sick. This sounds more straining on a relationship than anything. Does monogamy drop when such things occur? Maybe it could work if both people have low sex drives.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I think I'll prefer ECDSA for my documents. Elliptic Curves are so much sexier.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Let me put it this way. You're saying that "it doesn't make any sense to be in that position." But that is exactly and precisely the situation we're describing. So it makes me think you either misunderstand the issue or simply lack imagination about real world events.

Edit: Clearly relationships are going to be different for different people. I personally would never expect my spouse to always give in to my desires or the other way around. And the idea that I would be legally obligated to is strange to me.

1thomblake10yIt does not make sense to be in a situation where you agreed publicly to X, and then were confused and surprised enough when X happened that you felt the need to press charges for what is considered one of the worst crimes in existence. I could see noting that a misunderstanding had occurred, even being angry if you thought you were misled deliberately, and opting out of the arrangement, but that seems to go way too far. It's possible. I thought we already established that we were talking about different possible arrangements and there's not much more to say about it, but maybe I'm missing something important.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Because it is rape?

I mean, you do realize they will almost always get a divorce if they file rape charges...

2wedrifid10yYou miss the point thomblake is making entirely. In counterfactual in question it is not rape. Because there is consent - formal, legal and certified consent. For it to be rape that consent would need to be withdrawn - which is what thomblake said you do. You can say people don't have the right to enter into a contract where they have given consent to have sex until they decide they don't want to continue in the contract. You can argue that such contracts are bad and should be illegal (like they are now). But if someone is, in fact, operating within such a contract then just isn't rape. So they don't say "No! Don't rape me!" they say "I divorce you!". Then the former partner has to stop or it is rape. Because these are grown ups who understand the contracts they have entered into and know how to make choices within that framework.
2thomblake10yThat's precisely begging the question. Yes, I should hope so. Though I think the better solution is to say "oops, I guess I didn't really mean to be in that arrangement" and obtain a divorce as soon as possible. Though clearly there are different ideas at play here about just what the arrangement entailed in the first place.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

No no no. You can't do that. We're talking about consent. If you are going to say "I just want to make you happy, so even though I'm not in the mood I'll still have sex with you," then that is consent. You are consenting. We are not talking about that. If that is your thought process, then that is still consent.

What we're talking about is if you say "No, I don't want to have sex with you right now," and your wife has sex with you anyway.

3Vaniver10yNote that the premise here requires elaboration. thomblake may be stating that he would not say "No, I don't want to have sex with you right now," and instead would say something like "having sex right now would cause me to be late for work" or "having sex right now would be painful for me" (notice the lack of a 'no'). His wife could either retract the request or not, and if she doesn't he has precommitted to accepting whatever consequences come from having sex with her then. That is, the root question is whether or not there should be a spousal sex veto, and it sounds like thomblake thinks that, for his relationship at least, there shouldn't be.
-3thomblake10yRight, and I'm saying that it doesn't make any sense to be in that position, and if you find yourself in that position and object to it, then you should get a divorce, not cry rape.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

And how is it slavery if it is entirely voluntary and can be opted-out of?

All right, slavery is too strong.

I think my earlier assertion was that they'd given consent to have sex, regardless of whether they're in the mood for it. But assuming that distinction doesn't run very deep, what do you think the purpose of marriage is?

Oh? How far does this go? Can you demand any kind of sex from them? What if you are physically exhausted? What if it becomes really painful (and not in a good way)? Nothing matters? Nope, you already gave consent. I have the doc... (read more)

0thomblake10yI can't conceive of that situation for myself. My wife and I wrote our own vows, and they roughly summed up to "I will try my hardest to do whatever you want me to do, and be whoever you want me to be, for eternity." I can't imagine wanting to marry someone who I didn't feel that way about, or who didn't feel that way about me. Though I can hardly imagine wanting to marry anyone other than my wife, so maybe it's just a failure of imagination on my part.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

No, that's called sex slavery. Maybe that's what marriage used to be, but it isn't anymore.

Wives aren't obligated to always be in the mood for sex (this could easily be gender swapped by the way). That is not their purpose.

It's even more ridiculous when you consider that sex is physically exhausting (for both genders). It's completely unrealistic to expect someone to do something like that whenever you want.

No, that's called sex slavery.

Not unless sex slaves are able to divorce you and take most of your stuff if you piss them off.

The ability to terminate a contract at will means that the other party can coerce you to the extent that you value the continuation of the contract more than they do. Calling a marriage contract with a rather unusual "always willing to have sex" clause sex slavery is a massive insult to sex slaves.

Within the limits of how efficiently of how divorce is set up in the contract, effectively the contract in question is actua... (read more)

-1thomblake10yOkay, let's go ahead and make that correction then, since I find gender distasteful: I think my earlier assertion was that they'd given consent to have sex, regardless of whether they're in the mood for it. But assuming that distinction doesn't run very deep, what do you think the purpose of marriage is? And how is it slavery if it is entirely voluntary and can be opted-out of? ETA: (responding to edits) That's crazy - people expect their spouses to lots of exhausting things for them on demand; cook dinner, do the laundry, work a day job, take out the garbage, help move furniture... it doesn't seem unrealistic at all.
0[anonymous]10yI've heard that in Italy wives were legally required to have sex with their husbands whenever they wanted (and husbands to economically maintain wives) until not-so-long ago (the early 20th century IIRC), so I wouldn't be very surprised if that were still the case in at least one country.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Well, even if marriage was a contract to say "I want to have sex with you" it's a little ridiculous for it to say "I want to have sex with you whenever you want."

2thomblake10yIs it? Here I thought that was the point.
1pedanterrific10yRidiculous? This seems to actually be rather similar to what wedrifid is describing (correct me if I'm wrong).
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

(also, even with consent you can still have statutory rape, though it's debatable whether that's a "natural" subcategory of rape)

If I'm not mistaken statutory rape is based on the age of consent. The law is claiming that the people do not have the right to consent to such acts, much in the same way that children many times do not understand what is happening in cases of pedophilia.

Specific laws and ages of consent have problems and flaws, of course. But when you say "even with consent," that is what people are disagreeing about. Do they really have consent?

6wedrifid10yNot True consent. Because we want to call the sex 'rape' and rape is forcing someone to have sex with you without consent. So what they did when they said "I want you baby. #$%# me now." then tore of the clothes of the 'rapist' and forced them down on the bed couldn't have been consent. Consent in this context must mean "whatever it takes for me to not call the act rape". Repeated disclaimer: This isn't a claim about morality or what punishment is appropriate for any given sexual act. It's about word use!
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Yea, the major issues I've seen are when consent is ambiguous, like pedophilia/bestiality, but also with long term damage. After all, if something is permanent, then they may not want it later. It is impossible to give "eternal consent" as far as I've seen and that is where there are serious moral ambiguities. Like if someone asked you to kill him. That has a permanent effect of a hopefully temporary state of mind.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I understand. What I mean is:

Is it something I would like them to do to me? Yes or No.

Do all parties involved consent that this is what they want to do? Yes or No.

The first question doesn't override the second question. Both parts has to say yes. If the you don't care about consent, that only affects the first question.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

The thing is I would like to have her do it without my consent.

And you are not the only party in the engagement. Therefore it is not consensual. That does not defeat what I am saying. It's not like first part overrides the second part or something.

Anyway, this is getting way off topic.

0wedrifid10yOK, I begin to understand how you are including consent into the moral principle. It seems like it puts most of the moral work into the "Don't do things to people without their consent" part but that is at least safer than actually following the adage itself and does rule out any problem which includes "things are done to people without their consent." This leaves only those inefficiencies that, well, fall short of the extremes of brutal, unwelcome violations.
4dlthomas10yThat is not what he said. He said, "If I did not consent and she did, I would still want her to do it." Your objection does not apply to this, but others clearly do... Edited to add: He may be conflating "consent" and "voiced consent"?
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Uhm... did you miss "is actually quite a good rule when you factor in ideas of consent."

If the girl consents to that, then there is no rape and it is not bad.

Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I'm really confused.

1) You said you had no objections to bestiality. 2) I bring up pets. 3) You say that you are against that. Therefore, (3) is a clarification of (1).

0[anonymous]10yNo, he specifically said: In other words, he's against an alternative, nonstandard definition of bestiality, which is not the same thing as the kind of bestiality for which he has no objections. The allusion to torture vs. dust and his emphasis of standard bestiality "only requir[ing] that a person have sex with one animal" suggests that he is against this sort of serial bestiality because the numbers involved become large.
0wedrifid10yNo, I said I'm against "the quest to have sex with ALL animals. I'm against that. Kind of like a 'torture vs dust specks' for perverts". I said that because that would be what required for your mention of pets as a reason to reject or 'clarify' my earlier declaration of non-objection to be valid.
5dlthomas10yThis is not a meaningful direction for debate. Let me clear things up for both of you. He meant: "I have no objection to acts just because the label 'bestiality' can be applied." You took him to mean: "I have no objection to any acts to which the label 'bestiality' can be applied."
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

Can you clarify this? I don't understand your point on rape. Even in the old days, I'm pretty sure rape implied not-consent...

Is the idea of consent really that modern?

3Oligopsony10yDeuteronomy: Note also the shockingly late dates at which marital rape has been criminalized (where it has.) As best I can tell none predate 1922, and most were much later.
0Emile10yIn many traditional cultures marital rape is/was not considered as rape. (also, even with consent you can still have statutory rape, though it's debatable whether that's a "natural" subcategory of rape)
2pedanterrific10yThe relevant comparison would be vandalism or theft. Yes. [http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/teaching-modules/230]
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

You know, I agree that at first my ideas were post-hoc, but that could just be where it started.

The fact is that the old adage "Do unto others as they would have them do unto you" is actually quite a good rule when you factor in ideas of consent. It immediately rules out sadomasochism and rape issues. There are still issues of course (usually in terms of irreversible or serious harm).

3wedrifid10yOn the contrary rape is exactly the example I bring up to reject that adage as a moral absurdity. I don't go and tear a girl's clothes off and do to her just because I'd like it if she tore off my clothes and did to me! That would be rape. And rape is bad. Therefore following the adage would make me bad.
1wedrifid10yNo I don't. I have no idea why you are saying that. Which is why I am still rejecting the relevance of pets. Since bestiality only requires that a person have sex with one animal even if someone declared or assumed sex with pets was forbidden (which you seemed to) it still wouldn't be a rejection of bestiality. Because it does not require that you have or desire to have sex with all animals including pets.
Rational Romantic Relationships, Part 1: Relationship Styles and Attraction Basics

I was referring to pets in that statement.

Clearly, we don't care about animals' consent when we kill and eat them. So I guess we can have sex with them all we want. Kind of an odd train of thought, I admit...

Math is Subjunctively Objective

It doesn't really work this way. And to demonstrate, I bring up the prime numbers.

What many people don't quite understand is that mathematics, like the sciences does not invent things, it discovers them. The structures are already there. We did not invent cells, electricity, or gravity. They were already there. All Mathematics does is name them, categorize them, and show properties that they have. There is nothing human about the prime numbers, for instance. There really is nothing human about mathematics.

Counting is essentially the building block of all o... (read more)

7shminux9yThat is not such an unquestionable truth, there are many different schools of thoughts [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mathematics#Contemporary_schools_of_thought] . None overly useful.
3Spinning_Sandwich9yThis is only true to a point. In some sense, yes, the real numbers are the only complete & [canonically] totally-ordered field, up to isomorphism; but this last part is a bit of a snag for the language being used here, since the tools used to develop the real numbers in those different ways are certainly created as much as language & software are created. You could cling to the idea that even these things are merely "discovered," but eventually you'd find yourself talking about the Platonic ideal of the wobbly, scratched up table in the neighbors' house, and how the carpenter originally discovered the Form of this particular table. This is more a criticism of the English words for invention, creation, discovery, & the like; but then, philosophy of math that gets too far afield from actually doing logic is basically just philosophy of language.
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