All of keen's Comments + Replies

...there are potential Problems when you arrange the plot so that...

True conflict strengthens narrative. But then, you're not really complaining about creating problems for your characters.

Perhaps I phrased my template too formally. Though as I search for examples, I notice that different uses of the word "guy" would require various replacements ("person," "someone," or "the one") in order to sound natural.

Really, I begin to think it would be simpler to alter our culture so that nobody expects "guy" to imply "male".

That's simpler to say, but not at all simpler to do.

A form like "the one who acts" sounds perfectly natural to me.

That sounds even more formal than "person" to me, actually. Edit: how about "someone who acts"?

Consider me to be among those who would establish an Indianapolis meetup.

I don't suppose there's a highly-accessible curated database of hypotheses which appear to have tested very differently between mice (or other subjects) and humans. Suddenly this strikes me as a highly valuable resource.

Now I'm wondering if there's a way to make that the start of a viable business, but of course my pondering is limited by knowledge outside my domain.

You may find some of the reviews and meta-analyses in to be of interest! I'm not sure about the FDA, though. IIRC, they only require all human trials to be reported, and they don't release the information. (This is why the recent Tamiflu meta-analysis was such big news: because the researchers managed to force the disgorgement of all studies' data and show poor performance of Tamiflu & systematic bias in which studies got officially published.)
There's data from clinical trials. Before doing experiments with humans a company has to make the experiments in mice (or other animals). Any clinical trial of a drug that fails can be seen as a trial where a hypothesis failed to generalize. If I remember right the FDA does release some of the relevant data.

Doesn't this plan seem rather risky if the primary benefits are so limited?

On the other hand, now Quirrell has a way to convince Harry to help him get the Philosopher's Stone, or to consider leaving Hogwarts in spite of the danger to help him with a "life-saving ritual".

On the other other hand, telling Harry about these life-saving methods could just make him angry that no one mentioned them with respect to Hermione.

Who says he's blind? He won't so much as drink from his own containers in Quirrell's presence because Quirrell might teleport something nasty inside. And even if he decided that Quirrell was totally irredeemable, Harry should still be upset about losing the enjoyable aspects of Quirrell's personality.

I suggest that you research the difference between instrumental values and terminal values.

I understand the difference. Perhaps I wasn't clear. You can't just call feelings "pointless" because they don't change anything.

In the situation you describe, the settlement is weak evidence for the product not working. Weak evidence is still evidence. The flaw in "Absence of evidence is evidence of absence," is that the saying omits the detailed description of how to correctly weight the evidence, but this omission does not make the simple statement untrue.

We simply don't have the time and computing power to use full rigor on our individual decisions, so we need an alternative strategy. As I understand it, the human brain operates largely on caching. X-rationality allows us to clean and maintain our caches more thoroughly than does traditional rationality. At first, it seems reasonable to expect this to yield higher success rates.

However, our intuition vastly underestimates the size of our personal caches. Furthermore, traditional rationality is simply faster at cleaning, even if it leaves a lot of junk behi... (read more)

Clear reasoning: there is no evidence that humans have some fixed set of terminal goals (afortiori, there is no unchanging essence of personhood). There is also no discernible difference between discovering "true" goals and changing goals. Am you can't fix reasoning by fixing reasoning, you need to fix emotion and habit too.

Human brains do experience in-group reinforcement, so we ought to aim that reinforcement at something like truth-seeking, which tends to encourage meta-level discussions like this one, thus helping to immunize us against death spirals. Note that this requires additional techniques of rationality to be effective. Consider that some truths--like knowing about biases--will hurt most people.

It is possible to avoid peer pressure for an entire childhood. Even to overdo it to irrational levels, which I managed to accomplish, mainly by sheer egomania. An addiction to defiance can be helpful, but reining it in more so.

We hardly have enough evidence after just one attempt. Additionally, subtlety is a form of deceit, and not generally encouraged in rational discussion.

Anyway, my complaint would have to be toward the out-of-hand dismissal of yaro's post, rather than offering a substantive disagreement or at least a link regarding the perceived flaws in yaro's argument. That's proper rationalist encouragement. No subtlety required.

Excellent point. I suppose for some, the many shortcomings of their religion are enough to overthrow any intellectual authority that religion may have held over them. This does grant such individuals more freedom to evaluate the remainder of their beliefs. I do hold such freedom in high regard. "Your religion is demonstrably not a scientific authority. If some of it is wrong, it cannot all be the untarnished word of a supreme being. How then can it justify authority in other areas?"

There is, however, a certain temptation among those first realizi... (read more)

There is a peculiarity of religions that causes them to attract this sort of scrutiny. Religions are meant to be treated as package deals, as if claims about the efficacy of eating shrimp have some special correspondence to favoritism toward heterosexuality and premarital abstinence. As if the latter two things have any special correspondence! There's no reason subscribing to some "core" values of a religion should require someone to accept the whole subscription. Seldom are a religion's "core" values enough to reconstruct the rest of t... (read more)

But of course, if you can't test many of a religion's claims, but those you can test have a tendency to be simply wrong, it suggests that the say-so of religious dogma shouldn't be enough to accept the others either.