Edward Pascal

Wiki Contributions


Thank you for this Data Point. I'm 6'1" and age 43 and still have these issues. I thought by now I would not need as much food, but it's still there. I'm still rail thin, and I can easily eat two breakfasts and elevensies before 1pm lunch.

One thing I love is my instant pot. It can get me a porridge of maple syrup, buckwheat groats, sprouted brown rice, and nuts and dried fruit within 20 minutes by just dumping in ingredients. Yeah, it only lasts 90 minutes or so, but I have enough to eat it again in 90 minutes. Later, for lunch, I can combine some more with a 12" subway sandwich or something.

It could be the classic issue of enemies misunderstanding each other/modeling each other very badly.

I think pre-invasion, Putin had a lot more effective options for bothering the US/NATO, causing them to slip, etc. For example, he could have kept moving troops around at his borders in ambiguous ways, or put a ton of nukes out on Kaliningrad, with big orange nuclear signs all over them, or etc, etc. But he misread the situation.

Which I think the US also does, and has done in more wars than it has not (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, or any other place where "They're going to throw down their weapons and welcome us as liberators.")

Truly, knowing the psychological models of the enemy is rare and non-trivial.

I'm thinking, based on what you have said, that there does have to be a clear WIFM (what's in it for me). So, any entity covering its own ass (and only accidentally benefitting others, if at all) doesn't qualify as good paternalism (I like your term "Extractive"). Likewise, morality without creating utility for people subject to those morals won't qualify. The latter is the basis for a lot of arguments against abortion bans. Many people find abortion in some sense distasteful, but outright banning it creates more pain and not enough balance of increased utility. So I predict strongly that those bans are not likely to endure the test of time.

Thus, can we start outlining the circumstances in which people are going to buy in? Within a nation, perhaps as long things are going fairly well? Basically, then, paternalism always depends on something like the "mandate of heaven" -- the kingdom is doing well and we're all eating, so we don't kill the leaders. Would this fit your reasoning (even broadly concerning nuclear deterrence)?

Between nations, there would need to be enough of a sense of benefit to outweigh the downsides. This could partly depend on a network effect (where when more parties buy in, there is greater benefit for each party subject to the paternalism).

So, with AI, you need something beyond speculation that shows that governing or banning it has more utility for each player than not doing so, or prevents some vast cost from happening to individual players. I'm not sure such a case can be made, as we do not currently even know for sure if AGI is possible or what the impact will be.

Summary: Paternalism might depend on something like "This paternalism creates an environment with greater utility than you would have had otherwise." If a party believes this, they'll probably buy in. If indeed it is True that the paternalism creates greater utility (as with DUI laws and having fewer drunk people killing everyone on the roads), that seems likely to help the buy-in process. That would be the opposite of what you called "Extractive" paternalism.

In cases where the outcome seems speculative, it is pretty hard to make a case for Paternalism (which is probably why it broadly fails in matters of climate change prior to obvious evidence of climate change occurring). Can you think of any (non-religious) examples where buy-in happens in Paternalism on speculative matters?

There must be some method to do something, legitimately and in good-faith, for people's own good.

I would like to see examples of when it works.

Deception is not always bad. I doubt many people would go so far as to say the DoD never needs to keep secrets, for example, even if there's a sunset on how long they can be classified.

Authoritarian approaches are not always bad, either. I think many of us might like police interfering with people's individual judgement about how well they can drive after X number of drinks. Weirdly enough, once sober, the individuals themselves might even approve of this (as compared to being responsible for killing a whole family, driving drunk).

(I am going for non-controversial examples off the top of my head).

So what about cases where something is legitimately for people's own good and they accept it? In what cases does this work? I am not comfortable that since no examples spring to mind, no examples exist. If we could meaningfully discuss cases where it works out, then we might be able to contrast that to when it does not.

Is it possible to build a convincing case for the majority that it is either acceptable or that it is not, in fact, paternalism?

Can you articulate your own reasoning and intuitions as to why it isn't? That might address the reservations most people have.

Then a major topic LessWrong community should focus on is how buy-in happens in Paternalism. My first blush thought is through educating and consensus-building (like the Japanese approach to changes within a company), but my first blush thought probably doesn't matter. It is surely a non-trivial problem that will put the breaks on all these ideas if it is not addressed well.

Does anyone know some literature on generating consensus for paternalist policies and avoiding backlash?

The other (perhaps reasonable and legitimate) strategies would be secretive approaches or authoritarian approaches. Basically using either deception or force.

The problem I think this article is getting at is paternalism without buy-in.

On the topic of loss of credibility, I think focusing on nudity in general is also a credibility-losing problem. Midjourney will easily make very disturbing, gory, bloody images, but neither the Vitruvian man nor Botticelli's Venus would be acceptable.

Corporate comfort with basic violence while blushing like a puritan over the most innocuous, healthy, normal nudity or sexuality is very weird. Also, few people for even a moment think any of it is anything other than CYOA on their part. Also, some may suspect a disingenuous double standards like, "Yeah, I guess those guys are looking at really sick stuff all afternoon on their backend version" or "I guess only the C-Suite gets to deepfake the election in Zimbabwe." This would be a logical offshoot of the feeling that "The only purpose to the censorship is CYOA for the company."

In summary: Paternalism has to be done very, very carefully, and with some amount of buy-in, or it burns credibility and good-will very quickly. I doubt that is a very controversial presupposition here, and it is my basic underlying thought on most of this. Eventually, in many cases, paternalism without buy-in yields outright hostility toward a policy or organization and (as our OP is pointing out) the blast radius can get wide.

I liked it. Made me consider a bit more.

First Take: Tangentially, does this point to an answer to the question of what are bureaucrats trying to maximize? (As sometimes addressed on LessWrong) Maybe they are trying to minimize operational hitches within their small realm.

Duly Noted. What about the Subtopic Title? I'll see if I can change to normal-sentence case and bold.

You are making too many assumptions about my values and desires. I don't care for religion and I think people can get a lot more social statues by bypassing or rendering irrelevant the social systems around them.

To pay all the dues would be like "Work to rule" in a factory, a well-known protest tactic of adhering to every policy as a method for bringing an operation to a standstill.

Many who get far places didn't pay all their dues. Your life isn't long enough. Maybe some pragmatic signaling, but no need to actually do everything that seems to be demanded.

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