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Outlawing religion outright in a religious society would cause some serious problems and would probably require a very authoritarian government.

I'd say that's just the kind of thing that would define a government as "very authoritarian".

Decided to check out HPMOR yesterday. Now I know what I'll be doing with my free time in the next week.

Also pointed about 15 people to it... I hope it'll get through to at least a couple of them (it's kind of fun trying to figure out which ones). That does seem more likely to work than any strategy I've tried before.

After looking around a little more, I should clarify what I meant perhaps.

The part about agreeing with EY (so far) was about psychology, ethics, morality, epistemology, even the little of politics I saw. The "so far" is doing heavy work there, I've only been around for a week, and focusing first on the topics most immediately relevant to my work and studies. More importantly, I haven't touched the physics yet (which from what I've seen in this page is something I should have mentioned), and I'm not qualified to "take sides" if I had.

The paragraph was not prompted (only) by EY, but by my marvel at the quality of discussions here. No caveats there, this community has really impressed me. The way it works, not the conclusions, although they're certainly correlated.

I'm used to having to defend rationality in a very relevant portion of the discussions I have, before it's possible to move on to anything productive (of course, those tend not to move on at all). This is a breath of fresh air.

Hello, Less Wrong; I'm so glad I found you.

A few years ago a particularly fruitful wikiwalk got me to a list of cognitive biases (also fallacies). I read it voraciously, then followed the sources, found out about Kahneman and Tversky and all the research that followed. The world has never quite been the same.

Last week Twitter got me to this sad knee-jerk post on Slate, which in a few message-board-quality paragraphs completely missed the point of this thought experiment by Steve Landsburg, dealing with the interesting question of crimes in which the only harm to the victims is the pain from knowing that they happened. The discussion there, however, was refreshingly above average, and I'll be forever grateful to LessWronger "Henry", who posted a link to the worst argument in the world - which turned out to be a practical approach to a problem I had been thinking about and trying to condense into something useful in a discussion (I was going toward something like "'X-is-horrible-and-is-called-racism' turning into 'We-call-Y-racism-therefore-it's-horrible'").

Since then I've been looking around and it feels... feels like I've finally found my species after a lifetime among aliens. I have heartily agreed with everything I've seen Eliezer write (so far), which I suspect is almost as unusual to him as it is to me. It's simply relieving to see minds working properly. Looking around I've found that I'm not too far behind, but still find something to think and learn in nearly every post, which looks like the perfect spot to be. "Insight porn", somebody said here - that seems about right.

As for my "theme":

I'm Brazilian (btw, are there others here?), currently studying Law. Specifically, I've been trying to apply the heuristics and biases approach to research about day to day decision making by judges and juries. I mean to do empirical research after graduation if possible, but right now I'm attempting a review of the available literature. Research in Portuguese proved futile, but that was expected (sadly, it seems I wouldn't have a problem if searching for psychoanalysis...).

So I humbly ask: if you know of research about cognitive biases in a legal setting, would you kindly direct me to it?