All of EphemeralNight's Comments + Replies

You were downvoted to -20. It's utterly absurd of you to try to blame people for making the obvious interpretation of your parable and then crawl back and claim you are "astounded." Either you wrote this very poorly, and should apologize, or you are lying to try to conceal your true intention after the fact.

Thank you for your reply. This is not at all what I expected.

I think there's a rule for allegories that the symbols shouldn't be too much like the thing symbolized (in this case an allegory about sex shouldn't use real world genders). I also recommend updating about people's ability to interpret (especially about a fraught subject like sex) rather than complaining that they didn't understand things the way you hoped.

This being said, I agree with you about prostitution, though more from a libertarian /sympathy for the prostitutes who should be allowed to d... (read more)

No, it just says that you don't understand the effect of your writing or a clueless about modern culture. The news of last weeks are about how Rossy is pro-rape because of one article he pretends to have intentend to be satirical calling for the legislation of rape on private property. Not denouncing writing like that has a high cost for a community like this because it affects people who come to this community and read the article. I think the best action from your end if you really claim not to intend to communicate the message that readers of your article understood would be to simply delete the article.

Compare these two lines:

If it was about me, you'd know.

Stop putting words in my mouth.

Either you want your audience to use their ability to infer (which includes imputing motives), or you don't. (And it doesn't matter if you don't, because readers will.) Watch for the illusion of transparency, and make it obvious by highlighting the part that you want people to focus on. If this is a policy argument about the legality of prostitution and not a commentary on anything else, 1) post it to Omnilibrium instead of here because policy arguments about the leg... (read more)

Are you advancedatheist? (If you're not, this changes some things.)
I don't think I believe everything you said in this comment :-/
...oh. I was about to PM you with a personal account from the other side of the story to defend the people I thought you were accusing of not saving you, personally, at a small cost or themselves. I still want to point out that had I read your story in the past, I would have taken it for an accusation of practically murdering someone like the author and tortured myself over it.

It's just a bad metaphor no matter how you explain it. It's very contrived, it elevates sexual choices to life-and-death, and it really doesn't illuminate anything about any of the problems it might be targeted toward.

I suspect it's a mind-killing topic that just can't be discussed well here, but even if you want to try, don't use long, obtuse, pointless stories. Use either personal truths or rational analysis, so there's something to support or discuss.

I had hoped that commenters here of all places would be egalitarian enough to see those genders as the placeholders they are.

If you had a modicum of sense in you as you were considering this, you would have flipped the genders. I assume you have a modicum of sense, so I must conclude you just didn't think about it; you defaulted as much as the people you're complaining about, because you were, in fact, thinking of a specific situation.

Your comment about the real point of the story being the immorality of the opposition to prostitution is fair, and well... (read more)

That is actually what I meant. But the way you're phasing it re-introduces confusion on the word "you".

What this means is, neither branch is privileged, neither branch takes precedence, there is no soul that only goes to one or the other, the subjective "you" prior to duplication does have a 50% chance of experiencing either branch. After duplication, there are two people, who are both, objectively, "you", but neither subjectively experiences being in two places at once.

One experiences the destination and subsequent existence,... (read more)

In this problem, we imagine that you are cloned perfectly in an alternate location and then your body is destroyed.

In which case, "you" have a 50% chance of dying, because your self-continuity forks and one fork is then destroyed. The obvious answer to this dilemma isn't a metaphysical one. It's that this is a stupid way to design a teleporter.

If we instead imagine that you are destroyed and then duplicated perfectly in an alternate location, there is no longer an extra self-continuity branch that terminates. Correct order of operations in the engineering solution is all it takes to solve this problem.

Actually, you have 100% chance of dying. You will also live. The teleporter creates a new branch of you, and the old branch dies. The fact that a copy exists doesn't stop the old one being you too.

I think maybe not if you sign them up for cryonic preservation?

I think it may be much more on point to talk about it being unethical to have children pre-singularity, for the inevitable needless suffering that will occur. I do believe that the moment we solve aging, it is a moral imperative to stop having children until we can be assure that we're not bringing new people into existence just to suffer.

I don't think it is unethical to keep having children today, but only so far as it is necessary to actually reach the singularity. I think ethically, we shoul... (read more)

Cryonics also has what Aschwin de Wolf calls the Cryonics and Something Else (CASE) problem. Many of the older cryonicists connected the cryonics idea with Ayn Rand's philosophy, postwar libertarianism and space colonization ideas from the 1970's. Younger people look at these Something Elses linked to cryonics and don't understand the appeal of these Baby Boomer fads. I would like to see cryonics disengage from the nerd enthusiasms of the day and become a strictly practical experimental medical technology that anyone can avail himself of without having to accept a lot of unnecessary baggage along with it.
Children of cryonicists have a record of dropping their cryopreservation arrangements when they become adults.

Consciousness is the most recent module, and that does mean that. I'm sorry, I thought this was one point that wasn't even in dispute. It was laid out pretty clearly in the Evolution Sequence:

Complex adaptations take a very long time to evolve. First comes allele A, which is advantageous of itself, and requires a thousand generations to fixate in the gene pool. Only then can another allele B, which depends on A, begin rising to fixation. A fur coat is not a strong advantage unless the environment has a statistically reliable tendency to throw cold wea

... (read more)
Sorry, but no. Yes, maybe some very similar forms of all the other modules which can still be found in our human mind design today were necessary for consciousness to arise. But this does not mean that the modules which are actually there now could not have evolved out of these modules because they work better for a conscious agent.
That doesn't sound right to me. First, fixation is much faster. The earliest known DNA sequence with the lactase tolerance gene is 4300 years old. That's less than 200 generations ago and the gene looks to me to be quite fixed in the Northern European populations. Second, allele B can piggyback. Allele A spreads through children of allele A carriers. If some subpopulation of A carriers also has allele B, their children will also have both A and B and these children have even more of an evolutionary advantage than children of just A (but not B) carriers.
The causes of the fixation of a genotype in a population are distinct from the causal structures of the resulting phenotype instantiated in actual organisms.

There is a wrong-note in the reasoning of this post that immediately started niggling at me, but it's subtle and I'm having trouble teasing out the underlying assumption. I want to say that you're taking "The purpose of consciousness is consciousness" as a given, when that is arguably false. Likewise, I want to accuse you of drawing causal arrows from consciousness to other modules of human mind design, which as far as I know is ruled out, evolutionarily speaking.

I offer this:

The "executive process" as you call it is part of the world-m... (read more)

Why would that be? Did evolution stop once man became conscious? Even if all the modules were there before consciousness arose that does not mean that evolution could not have given consciousness some sort of causal effects on some mind modules. In fact, if consciousness did not have effects on our mind modules, what would it have an effect on?

I think there is a strict and useful definition of "supernatural" to be had, that suitably reduces the concept.

Take the game of life as an example. In the cell grid, the rules governing individual cells are the laws of physics. Those rules completely define natural phenomenon in that universe. It seems clear to me, then, that the definition of supernatural phenomenon points to operations on patterns of cells, IE, anything that edits the outputs of the natural rules.

For example, "Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the ... (read more)

I think you may have misunderstood. I'm talking about my router, which is a separate device from my modem. I have never observed the router rebooting to fix a problem, and have on several occasions observed the reboot to cause a problem. I just want to know if there is something nonobvious going on that will cause problems if the router does not reboot once a week, keeping in mind that it is a separate device from the cable modem.

I've gone from rock-bottom self-esteem and hopeless crying, to... rock-bottom self-esteem and StepfordSmiling. LessWrong has helped me become much less self-centered by providing the skills to quantify exactly how I am not, in fact, worth anything to anyone, and am, in fact, entitled to nothing.

I talk about transhumanism and cryonics instead of nihilism and suicide.

I went from feeling like I'm always in hostile territory waiting to die, to feeling like I'm always out in the cold looking in on something beautiful that will never include me.

I get much less e... (read more)

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply

Okay, so I have a "self-healing" router that ostensibly reboots itself once a week to "allow channel switching" and to "promote network health", and given that this seems to NOT mess up my internet access in one of several ways every tuesday morning only MOST of the time, it has been causing me stress absurdly out of proportion with the actual danger (of being without internet access/my ONLY link to the outside world, for a short time).

So, my question is, what the HECK does "channel switching" or "promoting network health" even mean, and is it actually important enough that I shouldn't just flat out disable my router's "self-healing" feature?

"Channel-switching" is referring to the wireless channel. Modern wireless routers will "intelligently" select a wireless channel to communicate over, taking into account features of their environment. For example, if there's high competition with other wireless transmissions on one wireless channel, they'll switch to a less contested one. "Promoting network health" is a bit of a nebulous thing to say about a home network served by a single router. As a pragmatic observation, rebooting a router can solve a variety of problems it might be experiencing. Most home users can't distinguish local machine problems from problems with the network, and automatic periodic rebooting of the router probably prevents a lot of support calls. If you're happy with rebooting your own router as and when you see fit, I don't see why you shouldn't turn this feature off.
In Germany most internet connection have a clause that requires regular reestablishing with get's you a new IP address. It's in the contracts because the changing IP address makes it harder to run a server behind a home connection. The advantage of a changing IP address that it's a lot harder to track you for random websites. It makes sense for the router to choose a time in the night where the connection isn't used to do the reconnecting. Otherwise the ISP would on it's own choose the timing which might be worse. If your router however does this when you aren't sleeping see if disabling the feature helps.

I have a random physics question:

A solid sphere, in ordinary atmosphere, with a magical heating element at one pole and a magical refrigeration element at the other. If the sphere itself is stationary and at room temperature; one pole is super-cooled while the opposite pole is super-heated. (Edit: Assume the axis connecting the poles is horizontal.)

What effect does this have on air-flow around the sphere? Does it move? If so, in which direction?

Well, of course, the hot pole will heat the air around it and warm air rises. Same thing for the cold pole and cold air sinks. The specifics depend on how the poles are oriented with respect to gravity.

That just means that the spell inventor doesn't need to know anything about or implement natural language processing. To get magical primitives like ontologically basic mental parts you still have to have complex and fully reducible algorithms running over the base physics outputs somewhere even if that somewhere is "parallel to or between frames of the simulation".

If "gets the answers to the test" is a primitive, no you don't. The magic just does it. That's the difference between magic and science. The spell is a black box with no parts inside.

I sometimes have a similar experience, and when I do, it is almost always simply an effect of my own standards of competence being higher than those around me.

Imagine, some sort of problem arises in the presence of a small group. The members of that group look at each other, and whoever signals the most confidence gets first crack at the problem. But this more-confident person then does not reveal any knowledge or skill that the others do not possess, because said confidence was entirely do to higher willingness to potentially make the problem worse throug... (read more)

I'm wondering if this is the kind of confusion that can be cleared up by tabooing the right words.

I believe it can be taken as obvious that the image in the muslim woman's head upon hearing the phrase "monkey's transformed into humans" isn't at all similar to the image in the mind of someone who understands evolution, as even to my ear it comes across as, at best, misleading.

Thus my response would be more along the lines of:

I don't believe monkeys can change into humans. I believe that both monkeys and humans belong to a larger category of creatu... (read more)

Nitpick: humans are a subgroup of apes, apes are a subgroup of EDIT simians, and simians are a subgroup of primates; “monkey” refers to non-ape simians specifically and “ape” is often colloquially used to refer to non-human apes specifically, whereas I can't remember anyone using “primate” to exclude humans (and BTW, I can't recall “mammal” nor “vertebrate” ever being used to exclude humans either whereas “animal” often is; colloquial English¹ is weird). -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. BTW, in Italian there's no common single word for apes EDIT nor one for monkeys, the word for “simian” basically never includes humans, whereas the same things I've said about English words for “primate”, “mammal”, “vertebrate” and “animal” apply.
Agreed on all points; I've found it interesting in my conversations with anti-evolutionists that even doing the work of dispelling the straw man argument - "monkeys turning into humans", "why are there still monkeys", etc. - doesn't seem to change even their conception of the evolution argument; they STILL think all the science and reason in the world can be summarized as "monkeys turned into humans". Their degree of investment in opposing that argument may be too great for additional rationality to crack. When/if that becomes apparent, I've found the more-effective-yet-less-satisfying counter to be something along the lines of: "America grew out of England, yet England's still a country.". Not the most accurate metaphor, granted... but it seems to back their confidence level down from outright absoluteness. Plus, it's kinda fun to see their faces turn red. Whoever coined "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." must not have been a rationalist amongst children.

There are a lot of games that can be played with a standard deck of playing cards, but it has occurred to me that I've never heard of a skill-based strategy game that minimizes luck-of-the-draw, meant for ordinary playing cards.

So, I tried my hand at inventing such a game.

Unfortunately, I have no practical way to play-test it, so I'm putting it out there for other people to try.

Suggestions on a name for the game are welcome. I have considered and dismissed "Card Chess" as derivative and inaccurate.

While Bridge still relies somewhat on luck it is my opinion mainly skill-based.

Question for anyone who knows:

I've been getting "cannot connect to the real..." error messages in Google Chrome when trying to access several websites, which I gather has something to do with invalid certificates. I would like to know if going to Settings > Advanced > Manage Certificates and simply Removing everything under every tab will a) fix the problem and b) not break anything else. If not, then I would like to know what will.

Earlier last year, I set out to write a crossover fanfiction, that crossed something popular over with something completely original that nobody had ever heard of before, to see where my writing skills stood when it came to introducing an unfamiliar setting.

The fic is titled Forever After Earth, and as of today is over a hundred thousand words long and has gotten mostly positive reviews. I think I've learned a few things about how to get important details across without bogging down the narrative, from where reviewers were confused or outright wrong about ... (read more)

Place your fingers on your pulse and feel your heartbeat. If you're sitting at rest, every beat you feel is accompanied, somewhere in the world, by two or three people running to the end of the time nature allotted and being annihilated forever.

Short term solution is exactly that. People are dying RIGHT NOW. And cryonics is a way to potentially save those lives RIGHT NOW.

The following is merely my own intuition and guess, but... I suspect that the future will look back on this era, see that we had cryonics and CHOSE not to use it, and condemn current funeral practices as systematic murder.

"potentially" is pulling a lot of weight there. What probability do you give cryonics of working? Roughly?
The problem I see with your reasoning lies in the term "potentially save". Personally I think it is better to focus our efforts on actions that bring >1% chance to increase the quality of life and average lifespans of a huge populations (say fighting diseases and famine) rather than on something that has a 0.0005% percent chance of possibly preserving your mind and body so that there is a 0.0005% chance that you achieve immortality or elongate your lifespan when future generations decide to "thaw" you (or even give you new awesome body if you are lucky enough). As for judgements, I hope they wouldn't really mind just like no one of our contemporaries condemns ancient egyptians for not balsaming more corpses or medieval philosophers for not seeking philosophers stone with enough effort.

I'm trying to answer this, but I can't help feeling like is overly arbitrary. I've lived with family, but which family? I've lived alone, but how alone? I might have lived with friends, or not, how do you define "friend"? What about living situations that are not covered by those categories, such as living with a lover, or living with coworkers?

This question seems meaningless to me without a lot more specificity.

I've had some success of my own with lucid dreaming. Relatively speaking.

The problem I have is that I dream so rarely that it is almost impossible to develop habits. I still manage to go lucid about half the time I do dream, and manage to go lucid without inadvertently waking myself up about half again of those times.

I don't know if lucid dreaming has improved my rationality, but I do think that my rationality helps with the "oh, this is silly and must be a dream" reflex. There is correlation, but it is not obvious in which direction there is cau... (read more)

I very rarely remember my dreams. In order for me to remember a dream I have to be unexpectedly woken up (at the right point in my sleep, obviously) and then I have to fix that dream -- by writing or talking or just repeating the key points in my conscious mind -- or it will fade away in a matter of seconds. For all practical purposes I don't dream. On the other hand I can do lucid dreaming, but the conditions have to be there: a morning when I can doze and no one will interrupt me. Happens rarely :-(
The standard advice in these cases is that you may be dreaming more than you think but unable to remember the fact. You might want to try writing down all of your dreams as close to awakening as possible, as this will build dream recall.

There are many many more submissive/masochistic men in the world than there are dominant/sadistic women, so if you are a woman who feels a strong temptation to command men and inflict pain on them, and you want a large harem of men serving your every need, it will suffice to state this fact anywhere on the Internet and you will have fifty applications by the next morning.

More like, twenty sincere applications, ten trolls, five misogynists who think they can tame you, five socially inept introverts who aren't into being a sub but will put up with it in e... (read more)

Here's a post I found useful, though I haven't tried it yet.

But having sex with unattractive people does usually “require you to go significantly out of your way or put you at risk of significant harm”, so you don't need a special case for that.

In my experience this (positing a special case when sex is involved even though a special case isn't needed) is a such a general and epidemic problem in modern american culture that most people don't notice they're doing it even when you point it out.

Well, I actually got the "multiply" pun. That was clear enough. I'm just not getting what prompted the "Ewww..." though.

Science does not rule out a notion of personal identity that requires the location of an individual to be a continuous function, which would imply that the copy of me on Mars isn't me, assuming I started on Earth.

You know, the first time I read this sequence post, I thought something similar. But then something clicked.

Yes, if you create a duplicate of me on mars, and then disintegrate the me that's still on earth at some point afterward, that's murder. But I realized that asking if that was killing me was a Wrong Question.

When the process that is me is... (read more)

The people demand a strict morality police after an era of total acceptance drains all the fun out of it. Everyone is fully expected to both seek out sexual thrills and aid in the swift punishment of anyone who seeks out sexual thrills:

I can imagine this being one of those many MANY things that a handful of people get into but everybody else has no interest in, but for me personally.... AAAAAAAAAHH!

That's pretty much my idea of Hell.

/clicks link, watches

... I can barely understand a single word this guy is saying. Is it just me or is the audio in that video really bad? I don't suppose it was transcribed anywhere?

It's not just you. It was comprehensible but annoying for approximately the first 10 minutes, and then it became completely muddy. I hope there's a transcript somewhere.

The first time I read this, a few things came to mind as possible ugh fields in my own mind, such as "borrowing/lending" or "making conversation", but on reflection my behavior isn't consistently ugh on these subjects.

A powerful ugh field I do seem to have, based on observations of my own past behavior, is one of imposition. Courses of action which involve imposing on another person are slow to even occur to me as options, which to my intuition seems more like what an Ugh Field would feel like from the inside, rather than a mere conscio... (read more)

I've recently noticed I too will go to great lengths to avoid imposing on another person. Even if the person has offered something to me, I will turn it down. I've assumed I do this either because 1) I do not want to owe a debt to anyone, no matter how small, or 2) I want to feel as self-sufficient as possible, which is a notable subset of 3) a general lack of confidence. On a related note, I don't feel imposed on when another asks something of me; most of the time I am glad to help. However, it annoys me to great lengths when I am asked to do a simple task that I know the imposer could have done on their own.

...doesn't the structure or contents of the uncausing stuff cause me to...


...the uncausing stuff cause me...


Try reading this charitably as expressing confusion about how we can (knowingly, consistently) talk about epiphenomena, since they (obviously, duh) don't cause us to think in this way rather than that way.

Um, wow. Clearly you've pattern-matched to something completely different than the objection I was trying to convey. I'm so not in any way offended by sexual behavior reductionism.

To me, the author of MMSL only seems to care about creating something that looks like an intimate relationship from the outside. And he's other-optimizing; very egregiously so. My revulsion stems from my belief that I wouldn't be any happier living the way he advocates than I am now. I want something that feels like an intimate relationship from the inside, and the sort of relati... (read more)

I'm totally with you there, in that it wouldn't be any fun to be in a relationship with someone who wasn't aware of this stuff. You have to be aware though that sometimes appealing to the elephant IS more effective than appealing to the rider. It is not possible to consciously reason myself into being turned on. I am /not/ in conscious control of my hormone emitters. I need my environment to influence them for me. Even if I'm consciously aware that you're a great guy and super smart and all that, if you don't press my elephant buttons, so to speak, being in a relationship with you just isn't any fun. Placating the elephant isn't a terminal value for sufficiently awake people, but for most people it's an important instrumental value. Also, the impression he usually gives is not that he interacts with only his wife's elephant, just that his rider-rider interaction is fine and he never struggled with it. He also occasionally gives advice for female riders regarding male elephants. Also, take it from me that this stuff adds to rather than detracts from intimate relationships. From the inside. (If it helps you believe me, this is what Athol's wife thinks.)

Married Man Sex Life -- a blog about maintaining attraction in marriage. I recommend reading the older articles (before he published a book) because they seem to have much better signal:noise ratio.

Thanks for actually providing a link. Being told to "just google it" gets frustrating.


I started at the beginning of the archive, the oldest posts, and I am reading them in order. Granted, I have only yet read a handful of posts, but I can't imagine a person who thinks like the author writes having a worthwhile life. What he advocates seems... (read more)

If that is what you really want then by all means go ahead. To the external observer that just looks like someone sitting in the corner sulking because the universe doesn't give them what they want.

What he advocates seems so hollow and dishonest

Be specific. Taboo "hollow". Taboo "dishonest".

The important information from that website, and from PUA materials in general, is that (heterosexual) women have sexual preferences, too. Those preferences were shaped by evolution. The preferred traits would statistically increase reproductive success in ancient environment (which is not necessarily true today).

This should not be a surprise, unless you believe that men are beasts, but women are pure angelic souls that only happen to have a... (read more)

MMSL is my personal source and what I had in mind as something that worked when I recommended just googling it. Most Game material sounds weird without being able to put the ideas into practise, which is why I recommended you search for material more applicable to you: I was able to get instant feedback on ideas by getting or prompting my OH or myself (depending on material) to try them. I don't recommend the start of MMSL though, it sounds cynical because it is; that part is mainly aimed at men who are married to wives who aren't attracted to them, who really need to do something drastic if they want to keep their relationships. I'm not actually sure I'd recommend the blog at all to someone not in a long term relationship; in terms of referring to the science of attraction it doesn't do much different from sites like Hooking Up Smart, which afaics is information of a similar quality aimed at a different audience (college students, in this case). I'm sure there are more sites of a similar quality out there. (Look for references to Helen Fisher), whose research is most commonly cited). Apologies if the google advice isn't useful, looks like I failed to avoid other-optimising after all! (I usually take a "just google it" approach to these things myself.) ETA: if you're having ethical "disgust" responses, it may help to keep firmly in mind the elephant/rider (in the usual LW language) or hamster/agent distinction. Manipulation is done from the rider to the other party's elephant. This can be done with or without the other rider's permission, and the ethics of the action where done without permission may well depend on how much the other rider is in control of their own elephant. In the specific case advocated by the opening posts of MMSL, the wife who says things like "I love you but I'm not in love with you" or cheats on their husband without knowing why, has an actively harmful elephant, whose rider is unaware of how to control the elephant, or worse, vehemently d
I didn't really look at much of MMSL either, but I did notice an encouraging sign: the author's wife is listed as a coauthor and adds occasional remarks to the posts, which if nothing else suggests that she reads them. This puts an upper bound on how dishonest it can possibly be.

I only mentioned that to explain the origin of a false belief. It is not currently a problem for me, just an annoyance.

By "annoyance" I assume you mean you still have the feeling but work around it? In that case, it may be a problem in ways you're not aware of. Other people, prospective mates especially, can pick up on that feeling in tricky subtle ways and react to it.
Ok-- sorry for unneccesary advice.

There aren't enough italics in the world to sufficiently emphasize how much whining about being rejected was not the intent of my comment.

It may not have been the intent, but that was what it looked like to me also.
I have a hack which usually gets such points across efficiently, though: "How did you - that's exactly, completely what I was thinking! You're totally right! ...(short pause)... Now put that in parenthesis, and put a minus sign in front. You'll see what I mean." I'd also add that the whining itself could not possibly have caused the rejection, since you'd have some kind of causal loop. I agree on the implied denotation that such a general attitude, if applied in other circumstances, would be detrimental. I disagree about the also-implicit conclusion that EphemeralNight does use that attitude in general. Nothing in particular seems to indicate that this person is prone to whining about rejection in general. We've only seen one single instance of some person kicking the soda machine, without knowing about their brother that just got arrested and the 5K$ debt they just learned about - to reuse an old example.

Have you tried reading PUA-Game material (and then selectively applying the ethical parts of it)?

I might, if I had any idea where to find said material (rather that just people talking about the material), or how to identify the optimal starting point within the material. (Or anyone to apply it to.)

It depends on what data you need. My general recommendation would be: * "The Blueprint Decoded" -- a video about pickup and social skills in general that gives you a greater context, instead of just throwing thousand random details at you. (Buy, or find a torrent.) * Married Man Sex Life -- a blog about maintaining attraction in marriage. I recommend reading the older articles (before he published a book) because they seem to have much better signal:noise ratio. From all the PUA stuff I have seen, these two seem highest-quality to me. The first one is like "the best of PUA". The second one contains additional information about human chemistry; the author is a nurse. Both of them seem to me ethically OK, but because different people have different degrees of OK-ness, let me add a data point: The author of the second one has a wife who is also reading the blog and commenting on it; and they seem to have a very good relationship. This is also an evidence that the advice is long-term-relationship compatible.
There are torrents of it. Someone linked a torrent of a bunch of books by some famous PUA a while back, I found it fairly interesting, but "what was true wasn't new." It may be helpful in building your confidence to actually go out and try things, which is the hard part but also rather key.
Where to find said material: I'm going to steer clear of other-optimising here, and suggest what I did (rather than link you to my favourites), which involved basically google, then a breadth-first (affiliated links and commenters with their own blogs will help) search of blogs that seem relevant by sampling critical posts, then reading the most useful blogs in depth from the start chronologically, skipping material that seems irrelevant to you. Since I'm female, I ranked reading material by looking for posts that described their model of women and seeing which applied best. You'll have to decide which posts to look for by your own selection criteria, though I suggest checking any of: the posts that the site owner chooses to highlight, posts that describe the type of relationship the author wants/has/caters for, posts which echo strongly with your personal situation, or just random posts. Similar principles apply for forums and general websites, though it makes the breadth-first search harder. I'd be happy to help if you tell me the specifics, either via messaging or replying, since I had to read a lot of material to get to where I am. As for people to apply it to (assuming heterosexual male), you can try making more female friends by actually going to social activities and clubs/meetups. You can also test the theory by going to places where women go to be approached by strange men, such as bars and clubs if you live near a busy area. You're unlikely to find the type of girl you'll want long-term there, but it can be useful for experimenting theory and confidence-building. If you're wary of experimenting in person, and are relatively good at applying a general theory to a new situation, I think the principles of Game should also apply well to dating sites, so you may want to give those a go: it's a very low-cost way of experimenting, and you also might find someone you like!

I was paraphrasing based on my understanding of that conversation. Apologies if I misunderstood and inadvertently misrepresented you.

Hopefully she PM'd you her best estimate of her real reason for losing interest.
This might come out a little harsh, but... whining about having been rejected, in public, in front of the woman who rejected you, is not exactly a turn on, I suppose.

Ask someone who knows you and has seen you....

There is no such person.

First, accumulate 117 acquaintances who would trust you to relay an unimportant piece of information accurately, and four true friends who would trust you to provide support in a situation which unexpectedly became violent.

Then I think you might benefit from improving your social skills after all.

Others are involuntarily celibate; perhaps they can't find or attract suitable mates. This problem can often be solved by learning and practicing social skills.

What ought one do when the problem is not solved by social skills?

I seem to have a tendency to feel extremely inadequate about any skill at which i am not noticeably better than everyone I know about. Due to this quirk of my psychology, I spent a significant portion of my life believing myself to have horrendous social skills. And, for a long time, I attributed my social and sexual failings to t... (read more)

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You look at: * "I seem to have a tendency to feel extremely inadequate" * " I begin to... worry, and that feeling of helplessness starts showing up." The "social skills" referred to when considering mating potential are somewhat specific and include particular emphasis on displaying confidence, particularly sexual confidence. Google "dating inner game" and you'll have an overabundance of resources explaining what signals you need to send and giving tips on how to change yourself so that you are the kind of person who sends those signals more.
This is my primary problem. "Meeting people that I can interact well with, regardless of the mate-suitability criterion" is a fairly/relatively trivial (and different) problem, but all my approaches to meeting people generate massive amounts of noise-results, such that finding a combo-match of (person-I-could-find-suitable) + (person-that-could-find-me-suitable) + (meeting-said-person) + (sufficient-common-knowledge-barrier) statistically becomes very hard. For each of the above "suitable mate met" events, I would have to generate tens of thousands of "person met" events. Considering the amount of time required to generate these events, and the relative resulting chance of a payoff, it becomes trivially obvious that my time is better spent otherwise (such as reducing the noise through learning better event-generation behaviors) since it computes to rather low expected value.
I believe that this is a serious problem in itself. It's probably undercutting your quality of life in many ways, In particular, it's probably on your mind when you're in relationships, distracting you from what's actually going on between you and the other person. Cognitive behavioral therapy might help. It goes into detail about undercutting that sort of belief. More generally, I believe that the crucial thing is to believe that it's safe to be on your own side. Getting to that belief can be amazingly difficult (believing that you shouldn't be on your own side is probably the result of gut-level fear from repeated attacks), but it's worth the trouble.
Retracted. I had written some brutally honest advice but realized after reading a bit more that you know a lot of people on here in person, so I'll PM instead.
Have you tried reading PUA-Game material (and then selectively applying the ethical parts of it)? I could /feel/ my attraction to my OH increasing just by getting him to Game me. It turns out that making friends and attracting mates requires different sorts of social behaviour. For example, women seeking mates tend to be very status-aware, but you can get on with friends perfectly well without any ability to signal high status. If you felt inadequate very often, that itself could mean you were projecting low status and driving off mates.
I did not say that. I looked at the chatlog to be sure, and I did not say that.
Ask someone who knows you and has seen you interacting with women to give you honest feedback. Such feedback will help you spot the actual causes of your inability to attract suitable mates more than anything anyone could tell you here.

There's a theorem of rationality called Aumann's Agreement Theorem which shows that no two rationalists can agree to disagree. If two people disagree with each other, at least one of them must be doing something wrong.

This seems like one of those things that can be detrimental if taught in isolation.

It may be a good idea to emphasize that only one person in a disagreement doing something wrong is far less likely than both sides in a disagreement doing something wrong.

I can easily imagine someone casually encountering that statement, and taking it to ins... (read more)

This was roughly my reaction.

Okay, maybe we need to taboo "excited".

I do see, though, that so long as they think that learning about either the cause of their wonder or the cause of the rainbows will steal the beauty from them, no progress will be made on any front.

This right here is at the crux of my point. I am predicting that, for your average neurotypical, explaining their wonder produces significantly less feeling of stolen beauty than explaining the rainbow. Because, in the former case, you're explaining something mental, whereas in the latter case, you're explaini... (read more)

If people react badly to having somebody explain how their love works, what makes you think that things will go better with wonder? And, in a different mental thread, I'm going to posit that really, what you talk about matters much less than how you talk about it, in this context. You can (hopefully) get the point across by demonstrating by example that wonder can survive (and even thrive) after some science. At least if, as I suspect, people can perceive wonder through empathy. So, if you feel wonder, feel it obviously and try to get them to do so also. And just select whatever you feel the most wonder at. Less dubiously, presentation is fairly important to making things engaging. Now, I would guess that the more familiar you are with a subject, the easier it becomes to make it engaging. So select whether you explain rainbow or the wonder of rainbows based on that. Maybe. I'm speculating.

the life of the typical animal, and of the typical human in history, were not worth living -- you'd prefer that they had never existed.

When I read this, a part of my brain figuratively started jumping up and down and screaming "False Dichotomy! False Dichotomy!"

that even if you know that the rainbows are refraction phenomena, you can still see feel wonder at them

This kind of touches my point You're talking about two separate physical processes here, and I hold that the latter is the only one worth getting excited about. Or, at least the only one worth trying to get laypeople excited about.

Eh, both phenomena are things we can reasonably get excited about. I don't see that there's much point in trying to declare one inherently cooler than the other. Different people get excited by different things. I do see, though, that so long as they think that learning about either the cause of their wonder or the cause of the rainbows will steal the beauty from them, no progress will be made on any front. What I'm trying to say is that once that barrier is down, once they stop seeing science as the death of all magic (so to speak), then progress is much easier. Arguably, only then should you be asking yourself whether to explain to them how rainbows work or why one feels wonder when one looks at them.

This may be the wrong tact. As I pointed out above, I think it likely that the problem lies not in the nature of the phenomenon but in the way a person relates to the phenomenon emotionally. Particularly, that for natural accidents like rainbows, most people simply can't relate emotionally to the physics of light refraction, even if they sort of understand it.

So, I think a more effective tact would be to focus on the experience of seeing the rainbow, rather than the rainbow itself, because if a person is focusing on the rainbow itself, then they inevitably... (read more)

It may be true that saying these things may not get everybody to see the beauty we see in the mechanics of those various phenomena. But perhaps saying "Rainbows are a wonderful refraction phenomena" can help get across that even if you know that the rainbows are refraction phenomena, you can still see feel wonder at them in the same way as before. The wonder at their true nature can come later. I guess what I'm getting at is the difference between "Love is wonderful biochemistry" and "Love is a wonderful consequence of biochemistry". The second, everybody can perceive. The first, less so.
That is an interesting analysis. I think I might view "just" and "wonderful" more like physically null words, so as to say they do not have any meaning beyond interpretation. I guess I am just getting too rational for interacting with normal people psychology purely by typical-mindedness.

Is this because of the "damn it, I know I made a mistake, you telling me I did doesn't help!" effect?

No, I react the same way whether I was previously aware of my mistake or not. I only experience that effect when I'm told to do something I am already doing.

A good thought experiment is that if I was making a type of mistake that I couldn't automatically tell I was making on my own, I would prefer it to be pointed out, even if not in a concise detailed fashion–the idea of not knowing that I'm making a mistake is kind of scary. What would your

... (read more)
2Swimmer963 (Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg) 11y
My actions have impacts on others. In general, I prefer to help other people or at least not harm them–however, I may harm someone by mistake, and I really don't want this to happen. If I make a mistake once and I realize it–fine, hopefully no harm done, I won't do it again. If I make a mistake and I don't know about it, well, maybe no harm done that time in particular, but I'm likely to keep making this mistake over and over, and possibly the first time I'll find out is when there is harm done. I think that justifies finding it scary.

The reason you should ignore poor performance if you say "No, you're doing it wrong!" you are inadvertently punishing the effort. A better response to a mistake would be to reinforce the effort: "Good effort! You're almost there! Try once more.

I am probably unusual in this regard, but I think I would find both approaches equally aggravating. If someone points out that I've made a mistake, anything other than a concise detailing of exactly how what I did differs from what I was supposed to do, is just going to irritate me. Also, my brain tends to interpret being ignored as a signal that I'm doing correctly.

I've always found that recommendations of what to do are much more useful than any kind of praise, reward, punishment, or criticism. On the other hand, if everyone told you how to do everything, you might never learn the very important skill of teaching yourself to do things.
4Swimmer963 (Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg) 11y
Is this because of the "damn it, I know I made a mistake, you telling me I did doesn't help!" effect? I get that too... A good thought experiment is that if I was making a type of mistake that I couldn't automatically tell I was making on my own, I would prefer it to be pointed out, even if not in a concise detailed fashion–the idea of not knowing that I'm making a mistake is kind of scary. What would your reaction be in that situation?

I suppose that the existence of something resembling a god is possible if we are actually living in a simulation. Even the christian god would be somewhere in that space of possibilities, though given the space of possibilities, that one specific possibility would still have to have extraordinarily low probability.

But let's say the christian god shows up on our world one day and says "hey all, yup, I'm totally real, now get on your knees and praise me or suffer eternal torment!"

I don't know about anybody else, but my atheism wouldn't so much as w... (read more)

Is there an inherent value to human (or sentient) life?

"Inherent Value" is an oxymoron. The universe does not assign values to things. Value is a thing which exists only within a mind's Map of the world, and is not a property things can have.

See also: Metaethics.

I can only conclude that if I took them to see Seurat’s painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," they would earnestly ask me what on earth the purpose of all the little dots was.

... which we might call the disappointment of explicability. “A rainbow is just light refracting.” “The aurora is only a bunch of protons hitting the earth’s magnetic field.” Rationalists are, sadly, not immune to this nasty little meme.

It occurred to me upon reading this, that perhaps your analogy about the painting is overlooking something importan... (read more)

Brilliant train of thought, there may very well be something to this idea. I used the painting analogy myself in debating anti-materialists but could always see, how that analogy didn't really satisfy them the way it satisfied me and you've possibly give a valuable clue why.

Not really. I think there is a difference betwween your consciousness existing in a branch where the casual chains leading to its destruction merely haven't reached your senses yet, and your brain existing in an unchanging state for a long period of time that would stretch the possible restoration of "you" over all branchings forward from the time of successful preservation.

Your consciousness not "running" at all seems like a very different thing from it merely not knowing which branch(s) it is "running" in.

If an American signs up for cryonics and pays their ~$300/year, what are their odds of being revived?

This may just be my own intuition running away on me, but it seems like there are two different answers to that question.

In an absolute sense (as in, percentage of everett branches where you are revived from cryonics), the chances are probably pretty slim.

However, in a subjective sense. ("You" experience waking up from cryonics), the chances seem near certain. It's not like you'd be aware of any of the universes where you weren't revived, after all.

Doesn't this same argument say that the chances are certain that some branch of you keeps happening not to die anyway?

(I believe the term is "Unbirthing".)

And I'm sorry but I'm not seeing it.

They were clearly reacting to something about the implications of the depicted humans reciting multiplication tables. The Xenopsychologist says "I can't even begin to imagine why -" and then cuts off when the whole room suddenly realizes why they're reciting multiplication tables, which is apparently supposed to be both obvious and eww-worthy, but I'm drawing a blank.

What was the part "they" didn't understand, which resulted in porn in which humans recit... (read more)

As Vaniver said, "Because they enjoyed it until the tentacles started pushing the baby back in." They did not react to the math mouthing. You are confused by the coincidental timing of the Xenopsychologist's statement and the unbirthing clip.

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