Multiheaded

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Rationality Quotes February 2014

Credibly dissociate yourself from people you don't want to be pattern-matched to, and show that you understand the reasoning by which your audience opposes them (in this case, for example, Salemicus should at least acknowledge that at-fault divorce can - to put it mildly! - increase underlying gender inequality without any explicitly gendered provisions), and that you're not going to defend them in that particular battle. Leftists do it all the time, to the extent that they have the opposite problem of not being able to unite while agreeing with each other on 95% of everything.

Rationality Quotes February 2014

I say "damages in the case of breach" and I am confronted with people suggesting I mean specific performance, dragging people off in chains, or slavery. It's so strange.

Pattern-matching is often rational in politics just because it's so cheap, as long as the pattern makes sense in the first place. I'm sorry, but the pattern of reactionary rhetoric about marriage has these very deliberate connotations. People who discuss this tend to discuss punishing sinners (vicariously so), not holding rational economic actors accountable for damages on underrecognized-but-valid contracts.

Rationality Quotes February 2014

a two-tier society, with the virtuous Vickies behaving themselves and keeping each other in check, and the other types reverting to the Somalia that Kennaway etc so fervently desire

David Brooks Says

I personally call this phenomenon "the Regressive Cost of Virtue" (virtue in the descriptive, not the normative sense). Too lazy to write a good comment on it, I'll just quote myself from IRC.

06:00 < Multiheaded> anyway, the thesis: not only is poverty insanely cognitively expensive, etc, but wealth and cultural capital are very very good for you. not only can you afford to buy virtue, but crucially it's easy and not painful to desire to buy virtue. like crazy work/study hours, responsible substance use, etc.
06:01 < Multiheaded> http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-5-stupidest-habits-you-develop-growing-up-poor/
06:01 < Multiheaded> http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/17/science/the-rational-choices-of-crack-addicts.html
06:01 < Multiheaded> http://killermartinis.kinja.com/why-i-make-terrible-decisions-or-poverty-thoughts-1450123558/1469687530
06:07 < Multiheaded> note: naturally, there is much less written about the... cultural luxury of the rich and how awesome it is than about the culture of poverty. except by conservatives, who are awed at how inherently virtuous the elites seem to be, not noticing the regressive cost of virtue.
06:07 < Multiheaded> rightists say that the elites profess liberal values but are good hard-working conservatives at heart. i say that they profess liberalism but really just go with the flow in daily life and the "flow" is mostly determined by material circumstances, not memetics, even though it does shape behaviour
06:09 < Multiheaded> http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/03/other-peoples-pathologies/359841/
06:09 < Multiheaded> http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/04/black-pathology-crowdsourced/360190/

Rationality Quotes February 2014

Once people realised that marriage wasn't enforceable, the marriage rate collapsed.

Would social conservatives and social liberals please both attempt to explain and steelman/criticize this assertion? Because it has always been among my biggest gripes with the conservative account of why divorce is so bad. It just doesn't seem plausible, especially given how over-optimistic most people are about the prospects of their marriage! And frankly, I'd be creeped out by people who start a marriage for affection or companionship and already think about enforcing loyalty. It might be rational in the abstract, but signals many troubling things about the individual, such as low trust and an instinctively transactional view of relationships. (Marriages for economic reasons probably need a whole different set of norms, such as a historically seen unspoken tolerance for adultery.)

I always understood falling marriage as being primarily linked to the rise in women's education and economic independence. Now, reasonable people who think those are great things can disagree whether the decline of traditional marriage is a cost or a neutral consequence, but I've never had time for people who seek to pin the blame on deliberate and direct political subversion.

Sure, I don't like how some liberals attempt to be contrarian and claim that all the changes in this sphere have actually been unreservedly wonderful and a worthwhile goal from the start.... but that's a general problem of people wanting policies to have no downsides, and the other side's logical leap from calling out the downside to denying the problem is always baffling. Liberals cheering for something as a triumph for the Wonderful Nice Liberal Agenda might be less evidence that it's a triumph for the Degenerate Corrupt Liberal Agenda and more evidence that liberals like cheering. This should not inform one's analysis of the material/economic factors.

Open thread, 23-29 June 2014

...stand back and look at what you've written. I don't know whether to laugh or cringe. What connection could this... "Rationalist"-fanfic-thinking possibly have to the real fucking world?! This is not how urban legends work, how teenagers work, how speading disinformation works... not to mention the ethics of it (which would not come into play in practice, as you'd just get called out on your bullshit).

This sort of utter fucking idiocy comes from a long-time and highly-upvoted LW user! No wonder LW is already seen as a fucking joke in some circles, and not for the transhumanist/singularity stuff either.

What resources have increasing marginal utility?

But cheating on spouses in general undermines the trust that spouses should have in each other, and the cumulative impact of even 1% of spouses cheating on the institution of marriage as a whole could be quite negative.

In the comments on Scott's blog, I've recently seen the claim that this is the opposite of how traditional marriage actually worked; there used to be a lot more adultery in old times, and it acted as a pressure valve for people who would've divorced nowdays, but naturally it was all swept under the rug.

What is Evil about creating House Elves?

This is among the best political comments on LW.

Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014

Many internet libertarians aren't very consequentialist, though. And really, just the basic application of rule-utilitarianism would expose many, many problems with that post. But really, though: while the "Non-Aggression Principle" appears just laughably unworkable to me... given that many libertarians do subscribe to it, is lying to voters not an act of aggression?

Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014

Evil Stupid Thing Alert!

"The Duty to Lie to Stupid Voters" - yes, really

I decided to post it here because it's just so incredibly stupid and naively evil, but also because it's using LW-ish language in a piece on how to - in essence - thoroughly corrupt the libertarian cause. Thought y'all would enjoy it.

Standard rejoinders. Furthermore: even if Brennan is ignorant of the classical liberal value of republicanism, why can't he use his own libertarian philosophy to unfuck himself? How is lying like this ethical under it? Why does he discuss the benefits of such crude, object-level deception openly, on a moderately well read blog, with potential for blowback? By VALIS, this is a perfect example of how much some apparently intelligent people could, indeed, benefit from reading LW!

[Link] More ominous than a [Marriage] strike

Don't know; it's quite intellectually consistent, sure, but my point is that the argument in favour of poverty was pure 110% motivated cognition, and its full absurdity can be seen much better in retrospect . At the very most, I'd suspect that someone paid lip service to the latter part after a long attack on the poor - like, say, a right-libertarian like Tyler Cowen spends much more time condemning labour regulation (and I agree with him that private companies shouldn't be charities in disguise) than he does advocating for more ample welfare to compensate the proletariat.

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