JQuinton

JQuinton's Comments

When does heritable low fitness need to be explained?

Being a man greatly reduces reproductive fitness, compared to the reproductive success of women. E.g., at age 12, for example, the death rate for boys is 46 percent higher than the rate for girls. And there are probably other factors that add to less reproductive success among males besides death. Being both gay and male doesn't seem like that much of a difference.

Wild Moral Dilemmas

Most of the moral dilemmas I face in real life I've never read about in ethics or philosophy classes. Most of my real world experiences are more along the lines of decision theory/prisoner's dilemmas.

So for example, if someone has wronged me, what does moral philosophy say I should do? I'm not sure because I don't really know where to look or even if this question has been answered; to my knowledge it's never been addressed in any philosophy or ethics undergrad courses I took.

But from a prisoner's dilemma point of view, I have to juggle whether I should cooperate (let it slide) or defect (retaliate). If I let it slide, then I might be sending the signal that I'm a cooperate bot and future agents will think they can take advantage of me. But if I retaliate, then this might descend into an infinite loop of defect bot behavior. And from either of those nodes, I have to take into account the degree to which I cooperate or defect.

Open Thread, May 4 - May 10, 2015

Here's my half-baked idea.

Since the world is becoming safer, we have less real threats to prevent general ennui and so petty status games start to take on more importance.

Open Thread, Apr. 20 - Apr. 26, 2015

Slightly off topic, but I both program and play guitar and for the longest time I was wondering why I was getting an overwhelming feeling of the two bleeding into each other. While playing guitar, it would "feel" like I was also coding. Eventually I figured out that the common thread is probably the general task of algorithm optimization.

There's no way for me to tell if programming made me a better guitar player or vice versa.

Stupid Questions March 2015

I think the "everybody" is really an American-centric thing. As far as I can tell, all of the New Atheist types are non-European, or who focus most of their polemics on American audiences.

I've never lived in Europe, but this was my experience growing up in the US:

  • "You don't believe in Jesus/God? I must not have raised you right"
  • "You've treated me better than all of my previous boyfriends/girlfriends, but you don't believe in Jesus so I'm breaking up with you"
  • "You're new to the area? Where did you move from? Oh, Nowhereville, Alabahoma? I'm from Otherplace, Nevexico. So what church do you go to?"
  • "How come you're not going to the prayer breakfast/luncheon?"
  • "You didn't get the job/your car broke down/lost your wallet/etc.? Don't worry, god has a plan for you"
  • "Can you believe these scientists and their evolution/global warming/sciency science talk? They'll say anything to reject god, right? My pastor says XYZ so therefore it's true"

I've lived in a lot of places in the US and in my experience the places where this sort of stuff doesn't happen are mainly large cities like NYC or San Francisco. And even then, it has to be the parts of those cities that are leaning on the more affluent side of things. It's not just a USA Bible-Belt phenomenon... I've actually never lived in or visited the Bible Belt so it must be a lot worse there.

... And Everyone Loses Their Minds

Seems like the same sort of bias reference class as the status quo bias.

Rationality Quotes December 2014

Non-agents simply don't fit the definition of "god"

This is false. Not only does the LW wiki have a definition of "god" that is a non-agent, the study of theology points one to numerous gods that people believe in that are non-agents. There's a reason that many of the popular monotheisms refer to their god as a personal god; it stands in contrast to the heresy of a non-personal (i.e., non-agent) god.

Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014

Yes, when I was in high school, I would do about 20 push ups as soon as I got out of bed. After that, my heartrate is a bit too high to go back to bed. Of course, after a while the 20 push ups would get easy so I would increase the number until I was doing about 50-70.

Load More