I don't think people ever really step out of the status level. Maybe when thinking alone or among trusted friends...
The level of facts only works right when the topic is status neutral. This is my guess from numerous anecdotal evidence.
Just out of curiosity, are you a startup, a non profit or a guy doing a side project?
I predict the site's userbase will not explode overnight but will escalate in the shape of a hockey stick. That's how these things usually happen. You will have to keep improving it even while the userbase is still low, otherwise people will think the site is dying and they will stop showing up. Interesting things need to already be happening on the site before a larger audience will keep coming back to it, not vice versa.
Also, you need to add documentation no matter how ... (read more)
Also, there need to be more explanations of how things work and the interface needs to be tweaked for better user friendliness. Also, please add more bandwidth. Otherwise, awesome idea.
This is pure awesome. Finally something has been done! This is akin to the mythbusters going on TV and doing science instead of just talking about how awesome science is.
Apologies for my little rant above.
As for the site itself, other than being awesome, it needs a few tweaks. There is no place to discuss the site itself and possible improvements to it. Also, I wish there was a feature to hide the result until after I vote.
I would suggest reading: http://lesswrong.com/lw/sc/existential_angst_factory/
Silly? But is it true or false?
[quote]the worst part of a factory farm cow's existence isn't death, but life[/quote]
I disagree on multiple levels.
-Dying is worse than living no matter how bad of a place you live in
-cows don't think like humans. the biggest factor in their happiness is food. cows might be quite happy in farms, or at the very least I think their life is not a permanent state of torture.
It doesn't bother you if cows go extinct but it bothers you if humans kill cows for food? I don't understand. Going extinct is worse than individuals periodically dying. Going extinct means the ALL die.
I am trying to make a point AND I am curious about people's answers to my questions. These are not mutually exclusive. It is my style to ask many questions.
If I don't ask questions, I will have to make more assumptions about what you actually think. I don't want to make declarative statements as if I already know exactly what you think about a topic. That is how people end up talking past each other. They don't fully understand what the other one is trying to say.
So if I understand you correctly, you say that the reward 'quality of life of whoever might eat cows' does not justify the cost of taking the life of said cows.
Well, why not? Not only are cows delicious, cows need humans to survive. Many
humans enjoy the deliciousness of cows. It is a symbiotic relationship, cows evolved deliciousness and passivity to be easily handled while humans use their technology to protect and provide for cows in return.
Interrupting this relationship will result in the extinction or near extinction of cows. If said cow is not eaten... (read more)
Let's call it 'genetic determinism'.
Ok, you got me on the topic of where bacon comes from. For the sake of argument, substitute bacon with beef jerky.
As for your second point, are you saying it's ok to drive a species to extinction or near extinction as long as the individuals of the present generation get to live a bit longer?
What do you think of the following idea? Would you go to a wild life park and erect electric fences to keep lions away from antelopes and instead feed fish to the lions? This would stop the unethical violence lions commit against antelopes.
Hey, I very much agree with your explanation. Jonathan Haidt has a very good theory on what makes humans feel this "ick".
Don't be turned off by his implication that liberals should be more conservative. Strictly as an empirical model, his theory is quite good.
But if people ate less bacon it would diminish the population of cows. It would hurt cows.
I am trying to make a point. One cannot infinitely regress one's explanations. At some point one starts engaging the brains' basic machinery. Avoiding pain is a drive coming from our basic machinery. It is possible to explain how humans evolved pain. But it is pointless to ask for justification for wanting to avoid pain.
Incidentally, English is not my first language.
What's 'useful'? What's 'purpose'?
Do you think it is unethical for humans to eat other animals? If so, what do you suggest?
So does that mean vegetarians are ok with eating animals that were treated very humanly or that died of natural causes? Could a vegetarian here explain?
In case there are no vegetarians on this site, how are we driving away or failing to attract vegetarians?
Hey, could someone explain the logic of vegetarianism to me? I get the part where vegeterianism is supposedly healthier. But I don't get the part about not wanting to eat animals because they get killed. I mean, it's not like cows would live happily ever after if nobody ate them. If all humans suddenly stopped eating cows, there would be no reason to raise cows anymore apart from zoos, and cows are not very good at taking care of themselves in the wild. It seems like vegeterianism would lead to cow extinction or very close to it.
What I want to know is if any of them are black.
By heresy I mean preemptively denouncing an idea because it doesn't adhere to some doctrine with no regard to whether the idea is true or false.
I don't like this rule. I don't like rules that restrict truth seeking. I think this amounts to modern day heresy.
Hmmm. I can see a difference between religion and gender / race etc.
So is the rule: "It's ok to offend a group if individuals have the option of belonging or not belonging to that group, but if individuals don't have such a choice, then it's not ok to offend them."?
"You may offend people who do or believe foolish things"
How does one determine which acts and beliefs are foolish?
"Of course, there are some situations where the need not to offend an off-limits person or group must take the backseat to some greater need."
What are these situations?
Who are the off limits people?
What is the greater need?
I'm not asking to annoy, I really want to know. I don't get it. Please explain.
Indeed, people can be offensive accidentally and/or ignorantly. And yet, people can also be offensive while seeking truth. The offensive thing might not even be true, but to reach a conclusion either way, the offensive thing must be entertained as a hypothesis.
What if there was a hypothetical situation where the goal of seeking truth and the goal of not offending were at odds with each other such that one had to chose one or the other? Which goal is more important, truth seeking or non offense?
People have hinted that it depends on the situation. Pretend I'... (read more)
I have another question: Would statements of the type made by Lawernce Summers* be considered too offensive for LW or is discussion allowed?
What about "everything that can be destroyed by the truth should be"? There might be an inconsistency between saying maximally true things and not offending people. What is the priority on LW?
On a somewhat related note, I can see it already. You spend years carefully programming your AI, calculating it's friendliness, making sure it is perfectly bayesian and perfectly honest. You are finally done. You turn it on and the first line it prints: Oh dear, you are quite ugly.
Under which circumstances would 'saying true things' win and under which other circumstances 'not saying anything' would win? I would also add, under which circumstances would you 'say something you believe to be false' or 'agree with something you believe to be false' in order to avoid offense?
I have a small question, and this is an abstract question not specifically about any particular controversy on LW:
-Suppose there is a statement that happens to be true, but which will also lower someone's or a group's status resulting in offence. Will you chose not to offend and keep the statement to yourself, or will you say it?
Could I get step by step instructions on how to more active in real-land instead of head-land?