All of grendelkhan's Comments + Replies

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 rom... (read more)

0Lumifer5yMaybe it wasn't designed for grown-ups. To quote Duncan [],
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 sc... (read more)

Rationality Quotes December 2014

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

"Murphy's Laws of Combat"

0aausch7ythe map is not the territory. if it's stupid and it works, update your map.

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

This is what survivorship bias looks like from the inside.

-1Gondolinian7yOne of my former fencing instructors had this as a sort of catchphrase. Needless to say, he was a pretty cool guy.
-4IrritableGourmet7yI can divorce my wife by beating her to death. Things can work, but that doesn't stop them from being stupid.
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

... (read more)
31 Laws of Fun


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 re... (read more)

0TheOtherDave8y []

That's the standard Eastern Orthodox doctrine: everybody goes to heaven, but only those who love God will enjoy it.

Eternal Sunshine of the Rational Mind

Even with memories that cause PTSD, it's not so much the forgetting that helps as the being able to reconsolidate the memories without them being hooked into trauma.

1ialdabaoth8yFrom that article, it seems that knb's original resolution to not erase any memories is doomed to failure - since the brain already erases our memories and re-writes them using something like a lossy compression scheme each time we recall them.
Serious Stories

even if the rest of the story had made good on its promise of providing an interesting look at a posthuman world. (It doesn't. We don't even get to see anything of it.)

You may enjoy A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace--it's based in part on the author's history of card-counting--but then, you might not, as the Casinos don't seem like a very Fun place to go.

Alcor vs. Cryonics Institute

I think I'm missing something here. As I understand it, you (Mike Darwin) have a great deal of experience and expertise in the actual practice of cryonics, as well as a lot of actionable recommendations. The current staff at Alcor (e.g., Max More) seem to take you seriously.

Is it a silly question to ask why you're not working for Alcor?

0[anonymous]7yDig into Mike Darwin a little more. He was president of Alcor from 1983 to 1988.
Rationality Quotes July 2013

"You're like an infant!" Tosco sneered. "Still humming at night about your poor lost momma and the terrible thing men do to their cos? Grow up and face the real world."

"I have," Carlo replied. "I faced it, and now I'm going to change it."

Greg Egan, The Eternal Flame, ch. 38

Rationality Quotes May 2013

I think the problem is that it should take more than one explicitly evil person per country to cause that much damage.

Rationality Quotes May 2013

PROF. PLUM: What are you afraid of, a fate worse than death?
MRS. PEACOCK: No, just death; isn't that enough?

--Clue (1985)

Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence

a Rational (tm) Work Out sequence

Liam Rosen's FAQ, i.e. "the sticky" from /fit/, struck me as being an island of reasonableness in an ocean of bad advice and broscience.

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

That's pretty much the plot of Quarantine, isn't it?

-2MugaSofer9yHaving trouble googling that. Could you provide a link? Or an explanation, I guess. ETA: actually, I think I found it [\(Greg_Egan_novel\]).

Wow; that just reminded me of a bit from The Smartest Guys In The Room, where Enron partnered with Blockbuster to stream movies-on-demand over the internet in 2000. It was a scam, but clearly someone thought it was a real thing. (Netflix started streaming movies in 2007.)

And--yes, you said it. Projects like this and OpenWorm are particularly important because they help narrow down really uncertain things; OpenWorm, for instance, might be able to settle the "neurons are really complicated"/"neurons are accurately simulatable-in-bulk by simple... (read more)

Well, a number of things have gone not-as-planned, but it did help to make a public commitment here, and I've (finally!) donated an order of magnitude more than I did last year, along with the corresponding employer match. Last year's donation drive is over, but I expect they'll still have science to do.

I look forward to seeing the results.

Thoughts on the Singularity Institute (SI)

For fitness, I'd found Liam Rosen's FAQ (the 'sticky' from 4chan's /fit/ board) to be remarkably helpful and information-dense. (Mainly, 'toning' doesn't mean anything, and you should probably be lifting heavier weights in a linear progression, but it's short enough to be worth actually reading through.)

SMBC: dystopian objective function

Could you expand on the 'chilling' bit? I thought it was touching, had a thumpingly ignorant bit about bisexuality, and did a reasonably good job of picking apart the feedback loop inherent in being able to choose what makes you happy.

Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo

Yeah, I don't mean the crazy-ministry people, I mean people connected enough to reality that they wouldn't say that sort of thing now, but who did right up to the point where normal human babies showed up and the position became unsupportable.

Maybe I'm looking too far into this, but I'm trying to understand how you could look at a person pretty much indistinguishable from other people and claim that they have all of these hilariously weird properties. I can see if happening if people conceived via IVF all had red hair or something, but people did know these would be, y'know, people conceived in-vitro, right?

0Eneasz9y/shrug. The concept of souls is unsupportable right now but it doesn't stop anyone from claiming all sorts of hilariously weird properties for them. I don't know how hard it would be to say that one person has an unsupportable property X and another person doesn't, since they're both just naked assertion anyway. When your references are that detached from reality you can start saying all sorts of nonsensical crap.
Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo

It was argued that in vitro fertilization would cause soulless humans to be born (seriously) with all sorts of ramifications (from them destroying society, to their existence being constant agony).

Did someone actually suggest that? A cursory glance through some articles shows, for instance, the Pope expressing worry that women would be used as 'baby factories', but questions about IVF seem to have, historically, been tied up with worries about custom-designed people.

3Eneasz9yYes. I suppose it depends a bit on how official you require the suggester to be before you're willing to grant that it was a legitimate social discourse. A few examples: Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today's "Faith & Reason" column asked her readers [] "Do you think a baby conceived in test tube is still a child in the eyes of God?" in 2010. People have reported asking priests [] for advice and being told " He told them that if they were to go ahead with it, they would be doing something worse than abortion, their child would be born without a soul as he or she would be manmade and not Godmade." There's various crazy ministries on the internet that make/made the soulless claims as well. So yes, someone did actually suggest that. Multiple someones. How much they count is debatable.
Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo

It's reinforced by a lot of talk. Historically, men do not save women in shipwreck situations. This is information that would be pretty surprising based on your previous beliefs. Shouldn't it change your mind?

0Desrtopa9yIt's somewhat surprising, but then, men can still be significantly more prone than women to consider themselves expendable, and still outsurvive women in shipwrecks if both genders tend to be non-self-sacrificing enough for the situations to devolve to "every man for himself." For purely physical reasons, men are more likely to make it out of a panicked crowd alive. I'm a bit surprised that the Titanic scenario was as exceptional as it was, but I would not necessarily have predicted that relative rates of self sacrifice would dominate survival rates. If a reliable study were to find that women are as or more likely to risk or sacrifice their lives to save non-progeny compared to men, it would certainly be sufficient to change my mind.
0gwern9yI'd say the shipwreck data reinforces it: in the circumstances where heroism is least observable and where death is most likely (reducing the potential reward and increasing the incurred risk), we see less peacocking. If the relationship ran the inverse direction - the more the reward and the less the risk, the less risk-taking - that'd be pretty strange and hard to reconcile with the Baumeister paradigm.
Rationality Quotes October 2012

It's all fine and good to declare that you would have freed your slaves. But it's much more interesting to assume that you wouldn't have and then ask, "Why?"

--Ta-Nehisi Coates, "A Muscular Empathy"

I've donated a relatively small amount, and will donate more when my finances allow (that's not open-ended; I'm expecting a small windfall in a few months). It should go without saying, but if you have a good employer, check to see if they match charitable donations! Mine turned my donation from a pitifully small one into a just plain small one.

Wouldn't it be weird if it turns out that there's an excellent and durable method of preserving brains, but it's not the one that's been used for the last half-century or so? Horrifying, obviously, but profoundly we... (read more)

A world in which people who sign up for preservation avoid death if and only if they're lucky enough to have signed up after, say, 2030, feels weirder than a world where the rational are rewarded, the irrational punished

It feels weirder, but has many precedents. Many 'bubbles' can be profitably interpreted as people being 100% correct about their vision of the future - but messing up the timing (see and (read more)

2grendelkhan9yWell, a number of things have gone not-as-planned, but it did help to make a public commitment here, and I've (finally!) donated an order of magnitude more than I did last year, along with the corresponding employer match. Last year's donation drive is over, but I expect they'll still have science to do. I look forward to seeing the results.
Rationality Quotes August 2012

The math here is scary. If you spitball the regulatory cost of life for a Westerner, it's around seven million dollars. To a certain extent, I'm pretty sure that that's high because the costs of over-regulating are less salient to regulators than the costs of under-regulating, but taken at face value, that means that, apparently, thirty-five hundred poor African kids are equivalent to one American.

Hilariously, the IPCC got flak from anti-globalization activists for positing a fifteen-to-one ratio in the value of life between developed and developing nations.

Serious Stories

I'm surprised that none of the other commenters suggested "What if you just invert the human sense of pain, causing it to become a new form of pleasure, and then write stories about that?"

I think you'd get Crossed. It makes sense, at least through the first book (I haven't read the others), that the infection makes every experience pleasurable, and since painful or horrific experiences are more intense and memorable than good ones, it makes people into Reavers, pretty much.

Serious Stories

At one point it was thought that it would be a good idea to shut off pain, replacing it, perhaps, with some sort of warning message. Then it was discovered that pain was the warning message, and to remove it carried the danger of apparent invulnerability. The best that could be done was to make the message less... distracting.

--Sam Hughes, Fine Structure

…One could imagine a conscious nervous system that operates as humans do but does not suffer any internal strife. In such a system, knowledge guiding skeletomotor action would be isomorphic to, and never at odds with, the nature of the phenomenal state — running across the hot desert sand in order to reach water would actually feel good, because performing the action is deemed adaptive. Why our nervous system does not operate with such harmony is perhaps a question that only evolutionary biology can answer. Certainly one can imagine such integration occur

... (read more)
Rationality Quotes: June 2011

The earliest known citation of the anecdote is from 1935, quoting Canadian William Aberhart. Milton Friedman certainly told the story, and may have invented the somewhat snappier form quoted here. (Interestingly, William Aberhart was speaking for the Social Credit Party, which was hardly libertarian.)

[Book Suggestions] Summer Reading for Younglings.

I didn't notice the Christian allegory (I wasn't brought up Christian) until I had it explicitly pointed out to me, and even then, it struck me as being so off-base that I couldn't imagine being convinced by it. (The dwarves with their eyes shut--the people who refuse to integrate readily available empirical evidence when it might change their minds about something, those are supposed to be atheists?)

7Desrtopa10yI find it doubtful that C. S. Lewis ever intended it to be convincing. He wanted it to function as a fantasy story, but I think he also wanted it to resonate with people who buy into the Christian myth, and to make people who don't think "Huh, so this thrilling fantasy story is something that all ties into Christian belief? I'd be interested in learning more about that then." When I realized what it was supposed to be an allegory for, though, I was hit by a wave of plot elements I'd always accepted as perfectly sensible fantasy elements which suddenly struck me as crashingly wrong. It was like Hirou's revelation in The Sword of Good [] . Like when, just a few chapters earlier (I was rereading Prince Caspian, at the part where Aslan tells Peter and Susan that they won't be able to return to Narnia and would have to come to know him in their own world, and it finally hit me that he was supposed to be Jesus,) Lucy had asked Aslan why he couldn't simply raise up an army and crush Miraz like he did with the White Witch, and Aslan said something like "Child, don't you know such things are never done the same way twice?" I wanted to shout at him, "Why!? Justify yourself to me, Aslan!" The bottom dropped out of the plot and everything started to seem arbitrary and unnecessary; Aslan has the power to solve every problem, he has absolutely no need for the protagonists, has no comprehensible reason for selecting them out of the entire world population to fill their spots in the song and dance he's orchestrated, and the entire structure of the plot is determined by some set of supernatural laws or requirements which are completely opaque to the reader []. C. S. Lewis wrote that an allegory should be able to stand on its own merits as a narrative, but once I turned a more critical eye to it, I was overwhelmed by the degree to which the Chronicles of Narnia failed to do so.
Existing Absurd Technologies

For me, the one-way functions weren't the impressive part of public-key crypto; it was the idea that you can stand in a crowded room full of people who desperately want to eavesdrop on you, hold a shouted conversation with someone you've never met before or spoken with privately, and keep everything secret. I mean, wow, y'know?

Rationality Quotes April 2012

Okay, but if not everyone graduates from college, and the point of admissions is to weed out people who'll succeed in school rather than wasting everyone's time, then how does a college degree mean anything different for a standard graduate, a legacy graduate, and an affirmative-action graduate? (Note that the bar is lowered for legacy graduates to the same degree as affirmative-action graduates, so if you don't hear "my father also went here" the same way as "I got in partly because of my race", then there's a different factor at work here.)

5steven046110yIn the extreme case where being above a given level of competence deterministically causes graduation, you're correct and AA makes no difference; the likelihood (but not necessarily the prior or posterior probability) of different competence levels for a college graduate is independent of race. In the extreme case where graduation is completely random, you're wrong and AA affects the evidence provided by graduation in the same way as it affects the evidence provided by admission. Reality is likely to be somewhere in between (I'm not saying it's in the middle). It depends on the actual distribution of legacy and AA graduates.
2Desrtopa10yI'd say that the point of admissions is less to weed out people who'll succeed from people who'll waste the school's time than to weed out people who'll reflect poorly on the status of the school. Colleges raise their status by taking better students, so their interests are served not by taking students down to the lower limit of those who can meet academic requirements, but by being as selective as they can afford to be. Schools will even lie about the test scores of students they actually accept [] , among other things, to be seen as more selective.
Rationality Quotes April 2012

Has anyone ever claimed that any criticism of Obama is racist by definition? I only ever see this claim from people who want to raise the bar for racism above what they've been accused of. It's not like targeting welfare to play on racism is a completely outlandish claim--I hope you're familiar with Lee Atwater's very famous description of the Southern Strategy:

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and a

... (read more)
-2Eugine_Nier10yNo, they just declare each individual instance 'racist' no matter how tenuous the argument. The rather ludicrous attempts to dismiss the Tea Party as 'racist' being the most prominent example.
Rationality Quotes April 2012

Um, Affirmative Action. Also tail ends of distributions.

I was under the impression that AA applied to college admissions, and that college graduation is still entirely contingent on one's performance. (Though I've heard tell that legacy students both get an AA-sized bump to admissions and tend to be graded on a much less harsh scale.)

Additionally, it seems that there's a lot of 'different justification, same conclusion' with regards to claims about black people. For instance, "black people are inherently stupid and lazy" becomes "black pe... (read more)

0Eugine_Nier10yI think it's more a case same observations, different proposed mechanisms.
3Desrtopa10yA quick google search isn't giving me an actual percentage, but I believe that students who're admitted to and attend college, but do not graduate, are still significantly in the minority. Even those who barely made it in mostly graduate, if not necessarily with good GPAs.
Limitless, a Nootropics-Centered Movie

I noticed--I was very surprised indeed. (I also appreciated the "I can't think my way out of a knife!" bit--the power of intelligence, indeed.) It's more unambiguously positive than the original ending, even--definitely not what I was expecting. This kind of story is inevitably going to end up being about someone who changes the whole world, and hey, that's what the movie fades out on. I'm impressed.

Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

The "black names" were not high status

From the paper: "We find little evidence that our results are driven by employers inferring something other than race, such as social class, from the names." Section 5 deals with this; "Carrie" and "Neil" (low-status white) do just as well as "Emily" and "Geoffrey", while "Kenya" and "Jamal" (high-status black) do just as poorly as "Latonya" and "Leroy".

A minor nitpick - this isn't just about perfectly competent pe

... (read more)
0lessdazed10yThis makes me think that you are right. There was a weakness in the method, though. In appendix table one they not only show how likely it actually is that a baby with a certain name is white/black, they show the results from an independent field survey that asked people to pick names as white or black. In table eight, they only measure the likelihood someone with a certain name is in a certain class (as approximated by mother's education). Unfortunately, they don't show what people in general, or employers in particular, actually think. If they don't know about class differences between "Kenya" and "Latonya," or the lack of one between "Kenya" and "Carrie," they can't make a decision based on class differences as they actually are.

You should have taken your own advice and remembered the bit about Politics being The Mind-Killer. Yes, this is a reasonably good illustration of your point about the size of mind-design-space, but it generated a lot more heat than light, and I think it's more illustrative of the ways in which even careful work in this area can fly off the rails with ease.

if you think that women don't take the initiative enough in sex
the men with harems of synthetic sex slaves, and the women with romantic sensitive robots

(I'm aware the second is you quoting someone els... (read more)

2Blueberry10yThere is biology behind it, but it's probably changeable by culture as well. You've misrepresented that study. You're correct in pointing out some of the flaws of the Clark and Hatfield study, but the empirical observation that women are more selective on average has a lot more support than that. Looking at your link: * Women were much less likely than men to accept the coffeeshop proposition from a random person. * If the man is Brad Pitt or Johnny Deppp, women are just as likely to accept a coffeeshop proposition as men are from a random person or a celebrity * Men are more likely than women to accept a proposition from their best opposite-sex friend even though perception of danger was equal. * When you account for what the researchers euphemistically refer to as "perceptions of sexual capabilities," women are just as likely to accept a proposition from their best friend. In other words, women are more selective about casual sex partners, and more selective about who they think has "sexual capabilities." My guess is that "sexual capabilities" here is a proxy for sexual attraction. That is, if you're attracted to someone, you think they have more "sexual capabilities." So yes, women are more selective about sexual attraction. Which makes complete sense in terms of both evolved, unconscious assessment of risk and parental investment (women are the ones who get pregnant) as well as conscious assessment of what they should do based on culture and beliefs about sex. The latter is probably changeable with the culture.
Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

I'll try to unpack that, especially since the original post was so sloppy.

The original post said "But why is it that the rest of the world seems to think that individual genetic differences are okay, whereas racial genetic differences in intelligence are not?". This is incorrect. "The rest of the world" seems to think that individual genetic differences in intelligence exist and are meaningful, whereas racial genetic differences do not. (Does Yudkowsky really think that anti-racist activists believe that black people are inherently less... (read more)

1TheOtherDave10yYes, thanks for clarifying. I agree with you that there's a difference between treating groups differently based on differences that actually exist, and based on differences that don't actually exist, and that the second thing involves a kind of unfairness that's different from the first thing. That said, it does seem to me that a lot of people not only think that racial genetic differences in intelligence don't exist, they also think that if racial genetic differences in intelligence did exist, that would be a bad thing, in a way that they don't think that the existence of individual genetic differences in intelligence are a bad thing. Do you disagree?
Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

I'm not sure what I was going for there; the whole point of the Chicago resume study was that racist outcomes happened even when nobody involved set out to do racist things. I think I meant "unfair things that people do", as opposed to unfair things that simply happen.

Book trades with open-minded theists - recommendations?

In retrospect, that was really what did it for me. I held on to various forms of wishful thinking for a long time, because it seemed to me that minds and matter were fundamentally separate things, I couldn't see how it could be any other way--though I knew at that point that religious claims tended to be laughable, so I had some kind of vaguely half-assed do-it-yourself wishing-makes-it-so I believed in--and that implied the whole universe of dualism. Somehow I came away from it having relinquished that idea, and it, more than any other one book I'd read b... (read more)

Rationality Quotes October 2011

Whether their motives were righteous or venal, highminded or base, noble or ig-, in retrospect the obvious verdict is that they were all morons--yes, even the distinguished fellows and visiting scholars at think tanks and deans of international studies schools. They were morons because the whole moral, political and practical purpose of their scheme depended on its going exactly according to plan. Which nothing ever does. The Latin phrase for this logical fallacy would be Duh. Some of them were halfway intelligent; some of them may even have been well-int

... (read more)
Rationality Quotes October 2011

The least evil is still evil. The least monstrous is still monstrous

When, as will happen, you are yourself forced to choose between two bad things, then choose the lesser of the evils and choose it boldly. That will be the right choice and, if circumstances are truly as circumscribed as you believe them to be, that will be the right thing to do in that situation.

But it still won't be a good thing. It isn't a good thing and cannot be made good.

Fred Clarke, August 9

1RobinZ10yAlternative link [], for anyone else who had problems with the typepad one.
Rationality Quotes October 2011

If something doesn't make sense, one of your assumptions has to be wrong, because if something doesn't make sense, it can't be real.

House, episode 2x24, "No Reason"

9Desrtopa10yOr if something doesn't make sense, you may not have learned to think like reality [].
5[anonymous]10yIsn't possible that you've just asked a Wrong Question []? Although I guess you could claim that you have then made an assumption that the question could be answered . . .
Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

It's more that racism is unfair in a different way than people simply being different from each other. People don't get upset that some people are cleverer than others because it's fundamentally different from the unfairness of perfectly competent people having their opportunities crushed because of unfair things that people actually do on purpose. They're fundamentally different kinds of unfairness, and that's why they provoke fundamentally different responses in people.

I'm confused that this wasn't more obvious when this was posted. I'm usually not struc... (read more)

3lessdazed10yOne thing to say about the study you cited is that I don't think it was conducted well. The names chosen were steeped in confounding status effects. The "white names" ("Emily" and "Brendan") were high status and they didn't include white low status names like Seth, Clint, Cody, Angel, Neveah...I'd better stop, I'm having way too much fun with that list. The "black names" were not high status ("Lakisha" and "Jamal") and they didn't choose available black higher status names like Jasmine (sic), Andre, Jeremiah, or Xavier. A minor nitpick - this isn't just about perfectly competent people, the study interestingly found a constant relationship between interviews for both perfectly competent white-named/black-named and incompetent white-named/black-named people, with employers 1.5 times as likely to take chance on a poorly qualified "white-named" person as "black-named" person just as they are 1.5 times more likely to give an interview to a qualified "white-named" as "black-named" person. I think this is incontrovertibly true if reversed, but not as it is; they provoke different responses in people and that effects how we should treat each kind of unfairness, but I'm not sure that aside from that they are so different. One person is born brilliant, ugly and fat, another good-looking and of average intelligence. Both of the same race, gender, propensity to work hard etc. Both work just as hard. They are given the same scores on their oral exams, do just as well in interviews, and so on. Both do just as well performing their job because the good-looking one does better on collective projects. It's unfair that the first isn't rewarded for his or her intelligence or given more opportunities, and this is because of his or her poor appearance, but he or she didn't earn or deserve his or her intelligence in the first place. I could easily be persuaded to support treating the different cases of unfairness differently on the mere grounds that humans feel they are different, i
5TheOtherDave10yIt's still not obvious to me. Can you unpack a little here? What is most confusing to me about your comment is what it means for two examples of unfairness to be fundamentally different, rather than... um... non-fundamentally different (superficially different?). For example, is there some framework I can use to determine whether, say, treating able-bodied people differently from handicapped people is also fundamentally different from treating black people differently from white people, or is fundamentally the same and merely superficially different, or is not different at all, or...?
7lessdazed10yI plan on replying to this later as it deserves a full reply and I have no time. For now let me just say I am suspicious of perspectives on racism that have as an integral component the belief that most racism is on purpose.
Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

It's potentially misleading to quote a statistic like that in isolation without describing the base rate. A quick scan seems to imply that nine men whose ancestry is predominantly West African have ever run 100m in less than ten seconds... which certainly seems to support your point anyway, since less than nine elevenths of the Olympic talent pool is from West Africa.

4Douglas_Knight10yYou misdescribe your link and so are off by a factor of 8. Your list is of the ~10 people, all west African, who have set records faster than 10s. Here [] is a list of 80 people to have run that fast. Immediately above that on the page is a list of the 2 or 3 non-Africans and the 2 south Africans to have run that fast.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread

I read it in middle school, and, though I know there's a tendency to see my earlier self as having the benefit of hindsight, I swear that while I really enjoyed the cathartic nerd-violence, I also had an awareness that there was something creepy and wrong with the whole thing, even if I couldn't put my finger on it. I was both attracted to and horrified by the book. I had a faint sense that feeling that self-righteous is a very dangerous sign.

I then largely forgot about it (it seems to have strongly influenced a lot of people who read it at that age, but n... (read more)

Limitless, a Nootropics-Centered Movie

Well, egg on me; that's definitely the sort of thing I should have checked on first. Thanks for pointing it out.

I'll attempt to save face by claiming that "technothrillers" are pre-watered-down, in that they're written in a format which is conducive to world-changing stories, and include technology that would indeed be world-changing, but shy away from their conclusions the same way that mainstream movie adaptations shy away from the conclusions of their source material.

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