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On the Care and Feeding of Young Rationalists

I wasn't raised explicitly atheist--that is to say, when I was young, no one told me, "God does not exist." (Though I could conceivably have overheard it when someone wasn't talking to me.) But I was also certainly not raised theist. And I was taught (via very aggravating, though now I recognize also useful, conversations with my dad) to have good arguments. If I said, "So, everyone X, right?" as the beginning to an argument, he'd say, "Oh? Why do you say that?"

Raised in Technophilia

I suspect that people raised with the idea of global warming have an advantage in knowing that the human race might well one day die out, that it is not necessarily immortal.

On the other hand, perhaps not. I remember learning about global warming. I don't remember the specific details of what I learned, or even if it was at all accurate, but I do remember learning about it. And I thought something along the lines of, "There's a fair chance everyone's going to die if we don't all do something about this."

And I looked around.

And even the people I knew who believed in global warming--which, considering my social circles, consisted of pretty much everyone--seemed not to really see this. Even the ones who learned the exact same things I did, from the exact same place (that is to say, school) just seemed to assume that everything would, by necessity, just turn out all right.

After a while of this, I just gave up.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 2

I don't know about Seamus Finnigan, but:

" "Romantic?" Hermione said. "They're both boys!"

"Wow," Daphne said, sounding a little shocked. "You mean Muggles really do hate that? I thought that was just something the Death Eaters made up."

"No," said an older Slytherin girl Hermione didn't recognize, "it's true, they have to get married in secret, and if they're ever discovered, they get burned at the stake together. And if you're a girl who thinks it's romantic, they burn you too." " -From the beginning of Chapter 42

It would seem to imply that being gay is certainly accepted, so much so that the Death Eaters used the Muggles' homophobia as an argument against them.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread
  1. Yes
  2. Reading through the Sequences. Well, I say reading read through and then there's a link, and then there's another link, and another and another...So yes, reading through, but not in exact order.
  3. I suppose...not necessarily have yet found useful, but am anticipating finding most useful in the future: the planning fallacy, the bit about believing the way Spinoza thought you did and not Descartes, and the conjunction falllacy.
  4. Yes. And yes.
*Cryoburn* by Bujold

I disagree that the book is basically unsympathetic to cryonics. It's true that Miles is basically unsympathetic to cryonics, but Miles is, as we have seen in earlier books, somewhat prejudiced by his Barrayaran upbringing. The characters native to the planet seem to think that Cryonics is good, and that it's just the corporations that are going wrong. True, some of them later accept life-extension technologies in place of this, but I think that's natural--especially since the people accepting know that they can't keep running their cryo-place forever.

The Halo Effect

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Words cannot express the depths of my gratitude, and I am not being sarcastic.

The Halo Effect

Quite possibly; I am not certain. I have a question--not a challenge, just a question: I have noticed that it is much harder to call up the faces of people I am intimately familiar with than people I barely know. I thought that maybe it was because I knew more about the latter than the former, and that it was related to the above issue. If it is exposure effect, than maybe not. Any ideas?

Also, I may have accidentally reported your comment. If so, my huge, overwhelming, absolute apologies. (I thought I was hitting the reply button.) Consider it a newbie mistake and feel free to castigate me all you want. I will stand and accept your metaphorical rotten fruit.

Doublethink (Choosing to be Biased)

Agreed. I always feel profoundly relieved and even moderately triumphant.

The Halo Effect

Ive noticed something interesting thats sort of this but backwards. This is how it goes: when I first meet someone, I might find them aesthetically displeasing. But as I get to know them, if they become my friend or just someone I find nice and intelligent, I find them prettier than I did to begin with. Possibly it`s just that as I now know more about them, their beauty or lack thereof becomes less important in my judgement about them.