Politics Discussion Thread February 2013

What do you mean by "made the world a worse place"? Worse than it was before democracy and liberalism started spreading, i.e. pre-1700s? Or worse today than it would have been today if democracy and liberalism hadn't spread? The first question seems easy (we're more peaceful and prosperous than the past), the second a nearly impossible counterfactual, depending heavily on what government systems and philosophies we'd have instead.

I Was Not Almost Wrong But I Was Almost Right: Close-Call Counterfactuals and Bias

Stories are a huge way we make sense of the world. Adding a narrative sequence to the post did helped me keep track of the ideas and how they fit together.

Histocracy: Open, Effective Group Decision-Making With Weighted Voting

Is histocracy compatible with a secret ballot? (And for that matter, is futarchy?)

And as a separate question, would it be a good idea to keep voters' individual reliability scores secret, too? If a voter is known to have an accurate record and her opinion is public before a vote, couldn't she get overweighted, because she'll sway others' votes as well as getting more weight in the vote sum?

Are Deontological Moral Judgments Rationalizations?

It's broken for me too, in exactly the way you describe. One of the variants on the error page invites me to buy a reddit t-shirt.

Theory of Knowledge (rationality outreach)

I participated in the IB diploma program in 1997, in Texas. My experience was better than KPier's in several ways. I think having a skilled and experienced teacher makes all the difference. Mine wasn't a LessWrong style rationalist, but she had experience with teaching philosophy, so we got past initial naive intuitions on most of the class topics relatively soon, and I witnessed basic changes in attitude toward the nature of language and knowledge in both me and several of my classmates.

In retrospect, I think the best thing that could have been added would have been a discussion up front about how not to be confused about words. Some combo of the material in Disputing Definitions and Conceptual Analysis and Moral Theory. After that, something to undermine reliance on introspection and intuition more generally, perhaps in the context of presenting basic cognitive biases.

Irvine Meetup Tuesday June 21

When I came last week (hadn't checked here a while) and didn't see anybody there, I though the regular meeting was defunct. I'm glad to see it's still going. See y'all this evening!

Southern California Meetup May 21, Weekly Irvine Meetups on Wednesdays

I will attend most of the weekly Irvine meetups, at least through the end of July.

Austin Less Wrong Meetup, Saturday April 23rd, 12:00 Noon

Zip code correction:

501 West 15th Street, Austin, TX 79701

Should be

501 West 15th Street, Austin, TX 78701

Official Less Wrong Redesign: Call for Suggestions

Isn't this already implemented, as the Anti-Kibitzer in the preferences section?

Official Less Wrong Redesign: Call for Suggestions

Drop the little skyline/boat grayscale image (mini-landscape.gif) that appears at the bottom of each top-level post. Original mention. Seems to have no purpose, and doesn't really fit the design theme.

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