Characterising the reaction to Cummings as about being about people overreacting to a small violation of the rules is misleading. The issue wasn't the initial rule violation, it was that the initial denial and lack of even token punishment was symbolic of a wider issue in the Johnson government with corruption and cronyism. Caring about hypocrisy and corruption among leaders is entirely rational as it is indicative of how they will make other decisions in the future.
Yeah I like a lot of EY's stuff (otherwise I wouldn't be here) but he does have a habit of treating his own preferences as universal, or failing to appreciate when there might be good reasons that the seemingly obvious solution doesn't work, as is common with people commenting on areas outside their expertise
I think its unfair to say "everyone in Europe lost their minds" when the EU health agency was very loudly saying things were fine. It would be more accurate to say a couple of specific countries medical regulators and some politicians went crazy.
Obviously that's still bad, but when looking at systemic failures like this it is important to identify the actual source of the problem. Which seem to be due to idiosyncratic political issues in teh countries involved. Blaming the wrong people undermines the ones who have been doing a good job
How would you differentiate this from someone just asking for additional evidence because they think you've made a false statement? E.g. If Alice tells Bob the earth is flat, its reasonable for him to ask for additional evidence, and doing so doesn't imply he's playing status games. But could equally reasonably be replied to by saying that Bob is only disagreeing because he thinks Alice isn't high status enough to make cosmological claims.
Like, who has the authority to say "thou shalt not try things that might fail"? As long as you're not conning anybody out of resources, your failure doesn't pick anybody else's pocket.
What about altruistic reasons for asking? If my friend is planning to quit their job and become a famous musician I would probably attempt strongly to dissuade them, even if it wouldn't directly affect me.
If however I thought they were likely to succeed (e.g. have made money selling music on bandcamp and performing, in talks with a record company, etc.) I probably wouldn't dissuade them.
I feel like after reading this I have a much better insight into how Eliezer thinks than I did before, even having read most of his published work.
I think his model of other people is off though.
Specifically, he uses ideas of comparative status to explain other people not challenging conventional wisdom, or trying new things a lot. Which feels like it could be a fully general argument for any observed behaviour (e.g. it could equally well explain a habit of disproportionately challenging experts, as being in conflict with them puts you at their level and gains status).
I think its more accurate to say that people are reluctant to try new things because of loss aversion. Let’s say people are investing a certain amount of time and energy in a project, like writing HPMOR, one option has a 1/100 chance of a million-dollar (or utils or whatever) reward, the other is a certainty of a thousand dollars. Most people would choose the second, even if that’s not what the naive math would say. Similarly, if they thought that a project as big as writing a novel had a 9/10 chance of being a flop, then they wouldn’t even try it. (I definitely notice this habit in myself, rejections and failures weigh on me mentally more than successes. So, my behaviour often defaults to avoiding them.) The moderate position is to start with less investment heavy/risky projects first to get a better idea of likely success levels and build confidence.
Hello! Just rediscovered this thread. The website doesn't seem to be up anymore. How did it go in the end? Where are you at with learning mandarin?
Since you seem to be sincere in asking for reasons:
"Whore" is considered an unpleasant word by many people. That combined with the overall tone may have made people think your intention was trollish
You seem to deeply misunderstand the dynamics that lead to ssex eduation being the way it is. There is no plausible transition from the way the world exists at present to one where retired sex workers were employed in the school system to teach sex education.
a) Because the majority still have moral objections to sex work and it is illegal in many places.
b) there is no common agreement that children should be taught about sex full stop, much less about sexual techniques aimed at pleasure. The only way the very minimal sex education that does exist has been allowed has come to exist is because it framed in terms of health
Maybe he's secretly a creationist, its unlikely but it would be more interesting/controversial than he standard internet contrarian ideas.
Having just moved to China I am interested in this