All of HumanFlesh's Comments + Replies

Could you give an example of "three reasons why [x] is good, and one broader conceptual reason why it might not be”? I’m not sure I follow.

Warning: politics. This is an example only. Please don't discuss the object-level question of nationalised rail services. In 2009 the (previous) UK government nationalised a railway company that was suffering from credit problems. It's being re-privatised at the moment. Privatisation of publicly-owned assets is an extremely contentious issue for the current government, and so this event spawned a bunch of garbage on Facebook. I responded to a friend forwarding one of these with three reasons why, in this specific case, the railway company probably should be in private hands, and then gave one considerably more abstract argument for why it might make sense to nationalise all railways.

Now I have no idea what it means.

To 'Flip a coin' is to choose randomly between two options.

I prefer the term 'endowed' because our adaptations are often sub-optimal.

You may want to distinguish classical conditioning from operant conditioning.

I thought about that; the original DragonBox example involved operant conditioning instead of classical. Fortunately Richard's quote provided in footnote three offers an example of operant conditioning. Should I say thus in the footnote itself?

Behavioral science and cognitive science had a turf war over control of psychology departments in the mid-twentieth century. We like to recite the criticisms that became tropes in that war in order to pat ourselves on the back.

The link contends the terminology used to describe superstitious behaviour. It doesn't claim that an arbitrary schedule of reinforcement has no effect on the pigeon behaviour.

Cite please.

Skinner avoided appeals to internal states and demonstrated how schedules of reinforcement affected behaviour.

0[anonymous]11y That goes to the Wikipedia entry on Skinner, sub-section 'Superstition of the Pigeon.'

I liked Frailty. Without giving too much away, it demonstrates how any agent with god-like powers could make you believe whatever it wants you to believe. Therefore if you ever find yourself in a universe in which gods and powerful demons exist and have an interest in influencing your life, you could fall into a situation where you have no means of determining which gods or demons are best aligned with your long-term goals. Also, a sufficiently cogent propaganda campaign could have a good chance of convincing you to commit atrocities.

Sorry about the redundant post. I would delete it, but I feel that Jayson_Virissimo's comment is worth archiving.

You are right. However, I don't think the advice was meant to be used to evaluate weather or not a given essay is boring. I found it helpful because it provided a simple rule that I used to change my writing habits. I had a vague sense that some of my sentences were stilted, but I didn't know how to remedy that problem. Not everyone will get the same utility from creative restrictions, but I find them inspiring.

My objection to this class of stylistic advices is that they use tricky arguments to prove their point. Usually the authors choose an extraordinarily ugly piece of text (or even make it up, as is probably the case with the description of bicycles in your link) that abounds in the word or grammatical category they despise and want to argue against, then reformulate it in normal language, taking care to avoid the undesired thing, then pretend having proven a general rule that the despised part of language never should be used, save of course few exceptions which they rarely bother explicitly describing. The readers see two pieces of text, one ugly and one readable, and usually accept that the ugliness is caused by the expression they are advised to purge from their writing (which is even not always the case) and that the less they use it, the better (which doesn't follow). Good writing is not achieved by avoiding everyday expressions and regularly used grammatical features. There are things to be avoided in writing or speech, for sure. But if you are going to ban the most frequent verb which also plays the role of copula and is part of passive and progressive constructions, you are constraining the expressive power of the language, limiting the effectivity of communication, and even making your writing harder to read. It has as much sense as saying you should never use the prepositions "in" and "on"; certainly you can rewrite any text so that the rule is satisfied - and since you are forced to search for alternatives interesting and novel expressions may appear as a by-product - but ultimately, because of artificial limits you have put on yourself, you are not free to say exactly what you want to say.

I know a woman whose husband had been taking her office supplies, leaving her to think that her memory was seriously erratic.

That's called gaslighting.

I haven't seen a wikipedia article look more like it belongs on tvtropes!

Hypertrophy Specific Training lists research that supports their training regimens.

People generally respect doctors. Medical intervention can lend legitimacy to a condition.

If punishing tornados changed their behaviour, then we would try to punish tornados. An event appears to be intentional (chosen) when it's controlled by contingencies of reward and punishment.

There are exceptions to this characterisation of will. When there is a power imbalance between those delegating rewards and punishments and those being influenced by rewards and punishments, the decision is sometimes seen as less than free, and deemed exploitation. Parents and governments are generally given more leeway with regards to power imbalances.

When particul... (read more)

Mephedrone clinics? Do you mean methadone clinics?

That's true, however people with severe hearing loss can often hear faint sounds provided the sounds contain frequencies that stimulate the cilia in their cochlea that remain undamaged. A person with normal hearing will tend to tolerate more audio interference than a hearing impaired person.

Are you implying that Jesus' crucifixion was an example of suicide via cop?

If you show me a photo of a non-modular analog synthesizer manufactured between the years 1971-1995, there is a good chance that I can name it and tell you how many oscillators it has.

Physiology of Behavior by Neil R. Carlson

You also could've searched the "Pain and Gain motivation" post page for the first reference to SASS. (Perhaps someone should make a wiki entry for it, though.)

Adrafinil is similar to modafinil, only it's much cheaper because its patent has expired.

They're not ethnic slurs.

I guess we should call them class slurs.

They both live in cities.

People can become so used to certain styles and colors that they don't even classify certain sartorial habits as fashion. They don't notice the cultural currents that surround them anymore than a fish notices that it's wet. To them, the word fashion is associated with only the most loud and heavily marketed forms of fashion.

It's similar to how people associate the word diet with slimming diets. In truth, as long as we are eating, we have a diet. And as long as we dress ourselves, we are making fashion decisions.

Conservative garb is not necessarily timeless... (read more)

I like timeless fashion and just bought a pair of Adidas Superstars.

Which conjunction do you find odd? Is it the "and" between lapel and tie?

In London, there is a reasonable overlap between set businessmen and set lager louts.

The books that I mentioned discuss many kinds of signaling, not just sexual semiotics. Sometimes people wear uncomfortable shoes not to look hot, but merely to avoid looking like a proletariat.

Read Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class and Zahavi's Handicap Principle if you'd like to know the answer.

I don't think it applies. When was the last time you heard a guy say, "Man, her shoes were so hot!"

But by 2015, that stigma will be gone and purple has a chance to come "back in style".

Six years seems too soon for a style to come back into fashion. People sometimes keep a garment in rotation for six years, so it would be hard to distinguish the people who intentionally adopt an old style from those who never bothered to update their wardrobe. It can also take six or more years for a style that's first accepted in Manhattan to spread to Topeka.

Fashions tend to run in 15 to 30 year cycles. In this way, a style can seem new to teenagers and no... (read more)

Stereotypically feminine colors (e.g. pink and purple) for shirts and ties were popular among London's businessmen in 2002. Not long after that, lager louts and Essex wide boys took a shine to pink polo shirts -- typically worn with the collar popped. Eventually chavs, spides, neds, and scally lads began to collect pink shirts sold in market stalls.

Young men in New Jersey and other guido (AKA gino) habitats were seen wearing pink polo shirts in 2004. The fashion eventually trickled down to garden-variety North American dudebros.

Pink polo shirts were in fashion in the 1980s. I was there.

Conservatism filters clothing from status signals, making other signals relatively stronger.

Designer suits, Savile Row suits, and bespoke brogues are among the most expensive garments men can buy. Surely there is status signalling involved in conservative fashions. Granted, the logos are typically less conspicuous in formal, semi-formal, and business attire, but doesn't that just signal refinement?

Designer jeans and expensive basketball shoes were largely unheard of until the late 1970s. The peacock signaling that you associate with clubwear may just be... (read more)

One doesn't necessarily "sidestep fashion" by dressing conservatively. Desired lapel and tie widths change over the years. Do you care if your clothes have stains or holes? That signals something about your fashion sense.

Figuring out which clothes appeal to the shifting tastes of various audiences in various social settings is not easy for someone who suffers from schizophrenia, autism, trisomy 21, severe depression, or other affliction that impairs one's will or ability to conform to mercurial social trends.

Even someone who buys desirable brand... (read more)

It's been my experience that fashion revivals leave a sort of "residue" of retro coolness that doesn't disappear entirely. My only suit probably dates back to the seventies (I wasn't born until the early eighties), but wearing it gives me occasional points for being "retro" or something to that effect. Since it doesn't stand out glaringly it doesn't attract too much attention (I think there is something to being conservative), and since I'm totally out of phase either with cutting edge fashion or any revival cycles, I don't appear to ... (read more)

Expensive enough clothing comes with in-store fashion coordinators, though you can ignore them once you get home of course.
I agree with both of those sentences, but I think the conjunction is odd. There is fashion in lapel widths, but that fashion is, I think, for people who have to wear jackets, for whom jackets are thus not conservative. For such people, there are conservative (ie, low-risk) widths. For people who don't have to wear jackets, lapels may matter, but they'll matter in a very different way. For settings where a wide range of clothes are allowed, there are options that are low-risk and slow-changing. These usually involve dressing up a little, but not too much. I think people trying to avoid fashion underestimate the risk, ie, the residual details that matter. Also, there's some other mistake they make...maybe overdressing out of confusion of different meanings of conservative?