grendelkhan

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I strongly support this post.

It would be much better if it were less inflammatory. The last sentence, in particular, is reprehensible. But you respond to the substance of the criticism you get, not the criticism you might want or wish to have at a later time. Otherwise you might as well be slashing your own tires. The vast majority of the discussion below is simple tone policing. Someone's telling you that your house is on fire, and you're complaining that they're shouting.

It's correct that it's incredibly troubling that the author didn't even consider romantic drama in designing his bootcamp. It's correct that these are really not impressive outcomes. They're moderately-functional outcomes. Shouldn't there be some sort of control group where people attempt a similar level of life-changing upward momentum on their own and see if it was actually effective to cede their autonomy? It is correct that trying to LARP a bizarre combination of Ender's Game and Fight Club is perhaps not a sign that this person has any idea how grown-ups work.

And most troubling of all, why weren't these issues noted by anyone who Duncan ran this idea by first? Why does it take this level of willingness to break with social norms to notice the skulls? And no, intoning "I Have Noticed The Skulls" doesn't mean you've actually addressed the problem unless you actually address it. Twelfth virtue!

In a broader sense, what the hell happened? I read the Sequences roughly when they came out, commented here occasionally, moved over to SSC and, more often, the associated subreddit. I donate effectively and regularly, I do my best to tax people's bullshit with bets, and I do feats with spaced repetition. Apparently while I was doing that and not being directly involved in the community, it turned into... this. Scott Alexander is getting published in moderately prestigious outlets. AI risk is mainstream. Effective Altruism is considerably more mainstream than it was. But the community at the center of it has, if anything, regressed, from what I've seen here.

Rationality Quotes November 2014

We're doing politics? Cool.

In a very short-term sense, "death panels". We provide a terrible end-of-life experience for people; we keep people barely at great expense in states of pain and confusion as long as possible even when this is not something that they would want; finite healthcare dollars are thus spent torturing the dying rather than fixing treatable problems in otherwise healthy people.

An attempt to make a dent in this (by at least getting people to talk about advance-care directives, for example) was derailed in a failed attempt to score some political points. As a result, this will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future, because it's no longer a technical problem, it's a Red Team/Blue Team thing. Well done, politics.

Rationality Quotes December 2014

If it's stupid and it works, it's not stupid.

"Murphy's Laws of Combat"

Rationality Quotes August 2014

Sometimes the biggest disasters aren't noticed at all -- no one's around to write horror stories.

Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep

Dying Outside

Linkrot marches on; the summary is here and the full case report is here. (The former says that A-2435 is Alcor's 88th patient, the latter the 89th, which is a bit odd.)

Rationality Quotes July 2014

HEALY: The doctor recommends a bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.
ROSA: Who doesn't love a surgery with "ooph" in it?
HEALY: Yeah, well, uh the, uh, DOC has set certain limits on invasive... It's not gonna happen. [pause] You're not out of options. We'll stick with the chemo.
ROSA: "We"? You got cancer in your ovaries, too?
HEALY: I'm your counselor. I'm here to help you through this.
ROSA: There is no "through this". I'm gonna die.
HEALY: Hey. Come on, now. You could live for years.
ROSA: That's a fucking lie.
HEALY: Language! Look, I know this is difficult for you. My cousin had lung cancer. It didn't look good for him, but he stuck with the chemo and now he's back fixing roofs in Oneonta.
ROSA: Lucky duck, your cousin. Me? Dead duck.
HEALY: You have to try to remain positive. No one knows the future.
ROSA: Doctors know the future. They think I need the surgery.

Orange is the New Black, 2x08, "Appropriately Sized Pots"

31 Laws of Fun

Fascinating!

These theological symbols, heaven and hell, are not crudely understood as spatial dimensions but rather refer to the experience of God's presence according to two different modes.

31 Laws of Fun

I think you may have been giving them too much credit. Here's an adherent explaining that wireheading is a bad thing, but in heaven, wireheading is good because everything in heaven is good.

I don't think people don't always put much effort into critically considering their beliefs.

I had an idea for a sort of Christian fanfiction, in which people marked for heaven and people marked for hell both go into the same firey pit, but the former are wireheaded to be happy about it. It's a far more efficient construction that way. (I suppose you could also do the reverse, with the people marked for hell being reverse-wireheaded to find nice things agonizing, but that doesn't have the same tasty irony.)

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