emr

emr's Comments

In Defense of the Fundamental Attribution Error

Good points. This may be another case where we evolved to have probability-weighted-by-utility intuitions, and where we work backwards from these intuitions when ask for a model of raw probability.

Open Thread, Apr. 27 - May 3, 2015

Can we finance cryogenics by revival awards?

Create a market for frozen humans. The reward is for the agent who performs the revival. Investors can either search for revival technology and patent it, or they can invest in frozen humans, which they can sell to agents who wish to attempt revival.

Open Thread, Apr. 20 - Apr. 26, 2015

Maybe the head is the most vulnerable region to injury, and the locating of the self in the head reflects the need to protect the brain and other inputs (mouth, eyes, ears).

LessWrong experience on Alcohol

I hypothesise a lower proportion of drinkers than the rest of the population. (subject of course to cultural norms where you come from)

Curiously, high SES in the United States is correlated with more frequent alcohol consumption.

SSC discussion: growth mindset

The discussion itself is a good case study in complex communication. Look at the levels of indirection:

  • A: What is true about growth, effort, ability, etc?
  • B: What do people believe about A?
  • C: What is true about people who hold the different beliefs in B?
  • D: What does Dweck believe about C (and/or interventions to change B)?
  • E: What does Scott believe about C (by way of discussing D, and also C, and B, and A)?

Yikes! Naturally, it's hard to keep these separate. From what I can tell, the conversation is mostly derailing because people didn't understand the differences between levels at all, or because they aren't taking pains to clarify what level they are currently talking about. So everyone gets that E is the "perspective" level, and that D is the contrasting perspective, but you have plenty of people confusing (at least in discussion) levels ABC, or A and BC, which makes progress on D and E impossible.

Open Thread, Apr. 13 - Apr. 19, 2015

(Not the OP, but musing on part of this)

I've never been in therapy, but I find it almost impossible to map certain psychological concepts and questions to coherent internal things. It's like when someone describes political liberalism as "the belief that government should be bigger": It's not total nonsense, but it doesn't connect with solid, and it's probably a sign of confusion if you feel that you can give a categorical answer.

Or another way: Trying to apply these concepts to myself feels like asking if some Canadian guy more culturally Japanese or Spanish (extroversion/introversion, high/low self-esteem, inner/outer locus of control, masculine/feminine). I can see that certain percentage of the world population is really clearly Japanese or Spanish, but what's the meaning of saying this Canadian guy is more Japanese, or even that he's more Japanese in contexts X, Y, and Z, and more Spanish in environments P, Q, and R?

What are "the really good ideas" that Peter Thiel says are too dangerous to mention?

Well put.

Furthermore, is there any great mystery about the possible scope of these hidden opinions? I suspect (though how can I verify?) that most of these "too controversial to mention" opinions can be enumerated by simple inversion of common beliefs.

Blue is right -> Blue is wrong Green is good -> Green is bad

If we're talking about things you can't say because of moral outrage, then there aren't that many beliefs that are common enough to provoke widespread outrage by publicly challenging them. Maybe you can't guess exactly why Blue is Actually Bad, but you know the general forms of how it could be so.

Certainly there are other, more exotic things you shouldn't say in public ("How to build a super laser weapon from pocket change", etc), but I doubt this problem is the driving force here.

Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015

Even a dog knows the difference between being kicked and being stumbled over.

-- Oliver W. Holmes

Political topics attract participants inclined to use the norms of mainstream political debate, risking a tipping point to lower quality discussion

I'm a bit curious what prompted you to post this?

Well, I think it's true, interesting, and useful :)

The argument is a specific case of a more general form (explaining changing group dynamics by selection into the group, driven by the norms of the group, but without the norms necessarily causing a direct change to any individual's behavior) which I think is a powerful pattern to understand. But like a lot of social dynamics, explicitly pointing it out can be tricky, because it can make the speaker seem snooty or Machiavellian or tactless, and because it can insult large classes of people, possibly including current group members. I felt that LW is one of the few places where I could voice this type of argument and get a charitable reception (after all, I'm indirectly insulting everyone who likes to talk politics, which is most people, including me :P)

To be clear: I don't think lesswrong is currently being hurt by this dynamic. But I do see periodic comments criticizing the use of only internal risks (mind-killing ourselves) as the justification for avoiding political topics. I'm sympathetic to some of these critiques, and I wanted to promote a reason to avoiding political topics that didn't imply that mind-killing susceptibility was somehow an insurmountable problem for individuals.

Load More