All of Letharis's Comments + Replies

These are all excellent points. The increase in labor productivity accruing to immigrants to e.g. the US is often discussed by economists. I'll grant that it's not often discussed in general media, which is part of PhilGoetz's point, but I'm sure I've seen it there too.

Also, many economists have argued that in certain contexts immigration (even low-skilled) does result in economic gains for the native born. The argument goes that immigrants' negative impact on native born wages is small and that this small change is more than offset by the immigrants' abil... (read more)

Related to your second paragraph, I was intrigued when I saw economists pointing out [] that even low-skilled immigrants could raise natives' productivity & income by (1) nudging natives to upskill and move into higher-skill jobs, and (2) lowering childcare & housework costs, making it easier for native women to work paid jobs.

When you talk about perfectly competitive markets having no profit, you're probably thinking of the term "economic profit". The sort of profit everyone usually thinks of is revenue minus cost, which is called accounting profit by economists so as to distinguish it from economic profit. Also economists are really bad at naming things. Economic profit is revenue-costs-opportunity costs.

In perfect competition, firms do make accounting profit, but they don't make economic profit.

Thanks for posting your model here and getting involved in the discussion. It's always good to be able to discuss these things publicly because I'm sure many people are learning a lot from it.

..and I'm all for profit. I think it is a great thing....I just also think there is an advantage to it being a time bound great thing. You made a profit! Awesome! Good for you! Now use it for the greater good or give it back(slowly...but still...)

I'm bothered by it more than you are I guess. I mean, for people already involved in the rationality community maybe RationalWiki can just be seen as some silly vindictive website dressed up as a place to learn. But I feel like RationalWiki has decent pagerank and random people do get sent there in google searches. To have that site be the first or one of the first introductions a person has to a given rationality topic seems pretty destructive.

I'm glad it was discussed in the book because I'd never come across it before. So far though I find it one of the least convincing parts of the book, although I am skeptical that I am appropriately evaluating it. Would anyone be able to clarify some things for me?

How generally accepted is the orthogonality thesis? Bostrom presents it as very well accepted.

Danaher's Motivating Belief Objection is similar to an objection I had while reading about the orthogonality thesis. Mine was not as strict though. It just seemed to me that as intelligence increases new ... (read more)

The main point of the orthogonality thesis is that we can't rely on intelligence to produce the morality we want. So saying that there's a 50% chance of the thesis being correct ought to cause us to act much like we would act if it were proven, whereas certainty that it is false would imply something very different.
It seems that way because we are human and we don't have a clearly defined consistent goal structure. As you find out new things you can flesh out your goal structure more and more. If one starts with a well-defined goal structure, what knowledge might alter it?

I believe you are deeply incorrect about almost everything you've said in this thread regarding this subject. Can you direct me to any literature that supports anything you're saying?

Care to explain how the welfare system caused fatherless households?

Well the most direct method is that some of the early programs were specifically for single mothers, and one tends to get more of what one subsidizes. The less direct effect is that freed from the practical need for a provider women were free to indulge their hypergamic impulses.

Great list, but why the manosphere?

It has lots of "rah squats and oats and psychosocial dominance!" which LWers (mostly nerdy men) need more of, plus many here seem interested in it. (Not interested in getting into a protracted debate about its merits, though - we have more than enough of that.)

While I recognize the true HIV prevalence is probably higher than most people would guess, what propaganda are you referring to?

I was young in the 80's, but my impression is that HIV/AIDS was considered a pretty gay-specific thing at first. Later there was more media pushing the idea that it can affect anyone - for example, one of my schools had a straight woman with HIV visit to tell us about it. While this was presumably well-meaning and may have even had good effects in terms of encouraging safety, it did lead me to a quite skewed perspective of the relative risks (I was still aware that it was more prevalent in gays, but not by how much).

I agree that Eliezer maintained his calm better, but I don't believe that Wright is the simpleton you seem to be painting him to be. I've watched a lot of his videos, and I would say there are very rarely moments of "red-faced rage," and certainly none in this video. He was at times frustrated, but he really is working to understand what Eliezer is saying.

Nothing I said implied Wright is a "simpleton", and I certainly don't think he is. I was merely pointing out an amusing aspect of their conversation. And, yes he did have a moment of "red-faced rage" when he yelled at Eliezer (I believe it was toward the middle of the video). I certainly understand his frustration since the conversation didn't really get anywhere and they seemed stuck on semantic issues that are hard to address in a 60 minute video.