The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara Tuchman.
So far, I've only read the introduction. It pulls together things I already believe, so I like it.First thought is James C. Scott's work-- Two Cheers for Anarchism is a good starting point. He writes about tyranny's demands for legibility.Also, a lot of science requires taking a close look at the world.See also "the map is not the territory"-- but it takes time to see the territory.I've been doing qi gong-- it's amazingly easy to think I know what I'm feeling physically, and a lot of work to actually start to notice it.And I've been thinking that a way for... (read more)
Maybe there's an organization to contribute to, though I grant that isn't much of an observance. Other than that, there's telling the story.
I've found that searching on [name of product or company sucks] can turn up interesting results, or a significant lack of results.Look at customer reviews, especially those with a geeky level of detail.
Thanks. What is your culture?
Any thoughts about supporting biodiversity (perhaps especially for food crops)?
Rats could be a good bit better than average, and still pretty bad.
Yes. Now how do we sieve good information out of this environment?
Did Vassar argue that existing EA organizations weren't doing the work they said they were doing, or that EA as such was a bad idea? Or maybe that it was too hard to get organizations to do it?
If you for example want the critcism on GiveWell, Ben Hoffman was employed at GiveWell and made experiences that suggest that the process based on which their reports are made has epistemic problems. If you want the details talk to him.
The general model would be that between actual intervention and the top there are a bunch of maze levels. GiveWell then hired normal corporatist people who behave in the dynamics that the immoral maze sequence describes play themselves out.
Vassar's action themselves are about doing altruistic actions more directly by l... (read more)
(a) EA orgs aren't doing what they say they're doing (e.g. cost effectiveness estimates are wildly biased, reflecting bad procedures being used internally), and it's hard to get organizations to do what they say they do
(b) Utilitarianism isn't a form of ethics, it's still necessary to have principles, as in deontology or two-level consequentialism
(c) Given how hard it is to predict the effects of your actions on far-away parts of the world (e.g. international charity requiring multiple intermediaries working in a domain that isn't well-understood)... (read more)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivier_AmeisenA sidetrack, but a French surgeon found that Baclofen (a muscle relaxant) cured his alcoholism by curing the craving. He was surprised to find that it cured compulsive spending when he didn't even realize he had a problem.He had a hard time raising money for an official experiment, and it came out inconclusive, and he died before the research got any further.
This is interesting to me because I was brought up to go to college, but I didn't take it seriously (plausibly from depression or somesuch), and I definitely think of him as a guy with an interesting perspective. Okay, a smart guy with an interesting perspective, but not a god.It had never occurred to me before that maybe people who were brought up to assume they were going to college might generally have a different take on the world than I do.
This is reminding me of a book called Plain and Simple by a woman who spent some time as a guest in Amish Families. She found that she'd mistakenly believed that having lots of options was the right way to live, but the actual effect was that she wasn't making decisions. The revelation hit when she realized she actually wanted something in particular, and ferociously re-decorated her kitchen in as somewhat Amish style. "Ferociously" seems like weirdly strong language, but she seemed surprised that she could really want something and go for it.It's a smallish thing, but I think it's pointing at a pervasive modern error.
""Why didn't you tell him the truth? Were you afraid?"
"I'm not afraid. I chose not to tell him, because I anticipated negative consequences if I did so."
"What do you think 'fear' is, exactly?""The possibly amusing thing is that I read it as being someone who thought fear was shameful and was therefore lying, or possibly lying to themself about not feeling fear. I wasn't expecting a discussion of p-zombies, though perhaps I should have been.Does being strongly inhibited against knowing one's own emotions make one more like a p-zombie?As for social inhibitio... (read more)
Have a theory about why people can be reluctant to google. It may be excessively bitter.To a large extent (especially for neurotypical people, though it seems to depend on the subject) learning is an unconscious process. The result is that people don't know how they learned and don't know how to teach. What's more, people are apt to want to just get things done and also apt to have punishment as an easy strategy. So they shame people for not knowing what they are supposed to have picked up somehow.This means that googling indicates that you didn't kno... (read more)
It seems to me this is getting into Social Safety Net territory. Elliott is cautious because he really has fewer resources. Would the group benefit if he's given more so he isn't running so close to the edge?
Just to underline the fundamental question: if pain isn't a good metric (and I agree that it isn't) what is a good metric?I'm recommending Bruce Frantzis' tai chi, qi gong, bagua etc. classes at Energyarts.com.One of the fundamental principles is to put out reliable 70% effort-- this is enough to create progress without much chance of injury or burnout. Considerably less effort if you're sick or injured.This is harder than it sounds, if you're from a culture which assumes that more effort = better results and is a sign of more virtue. Your effort leve... (read more)
What have you been learning? How has it been working out for you?
Plurality of my effort has been studying agency-adjacent problems. How to detect embedded Bayesian models (turns out to be numerically unstable), markets/committees requiring unanimity as a more general model of inexploitable preferences than utility functions, abstraction, how to express world models, and lately ontology translation.
Other things I've spent time on:
Until I read this, I didn't realize there are different possible claims about the dangers of cults. One claim-- the one gwern is debunking-- is that cults are a large-scale danger, and practically anyone can be taken over by a cult.The other less hyperbolic claim is that cults can seriously screw up people's lives, even if it's a smallish proportion of people. I still think that's true.
As I understand it, the purpose of a ventilator is to make up for a person's inability to move sufficient air in and out of their lungs, but it assumes that the lungs, if given air, don't have a problem with getting oxygen into the bloodstream.
Tell me about more of the things expers weren't talking about.
" In 2017, a federal court, the U.S. Southern District Court of New York, sided with Elsevier and ruled Sci-Hub should stop operating and pay $15 million in damages. In a similar lawsuit, the American Chemistry Society won a case against Elbakyan and the right to demand another $4.8 million in damages.
In addition, both courts effectively prohibited any U.S. company from facilitating Sci-Hub’s work. Elbakyan had to migrate the websit... (read more)
A thing I regret not thinking of is that ventilators aren't as crucial as was expected because they're dependent on the long tissue being healthy.
I'm not an expert, but it's so obvious. I don't know how to avoid making that sort of mistake. Maybe being careful about tracking chains of causation.
Why should this have been obvious? Invasive mechanical ventilation is much more helpful for typical ARDS than for COVID-19-style ARDS and other COVID-19 dysfunction. What's the earliest evidence that should have strongly updated us in that direction?
Conservation of thought, perhaps. The root problem is having more options than you can handle, probably amplified by bad premises. Or the other hand, if you're swamped, when will you have time to improve your premises?
"Conservation of thought" is from an early issue of The New York Review of Science Fiction.
I don't have children, and my upbringing wasn't especially good or bad on learning rationality.
Still, what I'm noticing in your post and the comments so far is the idea that rationality is something to put into your children.
I believe that rationality mostly needs to be modeled. Take your mind and your children's connection to the universe seriously. Show them that thinking and arguing are both fun and useful.
I think that even if the NYT doesn't dox Scott in a first article, his identity is now part of the story, and he'll be doxed in various major media, probably including a second article from the NYT.
Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency is about why businesses fail if they ignore all other values in favor of maximizing profit-- they lose too much flexibility.
I'm looking forward to the rest of this series.
I never would have thought biological systems are random, but spaghetti code isn't about randomness, it's about complex interdependence. This being said, the book looks really valuable-- even if can only help sort out the simpler parts of biology, that's quite a bit.
There may be another piece-- the ability to count on each other for help.
I think the anime thing is partly feeling a compulsion to say something combined with availability bias. Of course, there's also an element of completely ignoring consent.
There was someone who was interviewed on Tim Ferriss who recommended finding out what you care about and spending a lot more on that and what you don't care about and spending a lot less on that. In particular, there was a suggestion to think about spending ten times as much on what you care about-- you've got a chance of turning up improvements which aren't nearly that expensive.
My impression from a few arguments I've been in is that there are people who simply don't/can't believe that health extension is possible, so they can't assimilate arguments based on the idea of health extension. You say life extension and they hear miserable old age extension.
I think I'm on a waiting list.
Do I pay now, or when a space opens up?
It's a fascinating essay, but non-automation isn't all that great. In particular, Confucian China had foot-binding for nearly a thousand years-- mothers slowly breaking their daughter's feet to make the daughters more marriageable.
It's possible that in the long run, societies with automation are even worse than societies without it, but I don't think that's proven.
This also implies that it's a good idea to avoid houses with a history of mysterious deaths. The deaths were no longer mysterious when carbon monoxide poisoning was figured out, but before that?
I was very fond of this site. There were excellent essays, and the discussion structure suited me very well. I'm more of a short form writer. Also, the way it was easy to find old material and conveniently add to old threads is a feature that ssc doesn't have.
The big block of unchanging recommendations at the top of LW2 gets on my nerves.
This being said, the resident troll squeezed a lot of the fun out of LW1, and getting to be moderator-- and then discovering I didn't have adequate moderation tools-- gave me something of an ugh field about the place. And now it's over. It was good when it was good.
I'm somewhat annoyed that this claims there's a solution to becoming happier, goes on at some length, and doesn't include the solution.
So, some years later, and I'm surprised I was upset. I consider this to be progress.
There's an alternate approach I've seen in Neo-Paganism-- have a structure for rituals, and a high proportion of people who can improvise within the framework.
I don't know whether this would work for rationalist rituals (maybe if we start having smaller more frequent rituals), but I'm mentioning it for completeness.
I think the long history of "getting the homeless ready for housing" rather than just giving them housing is an example of civilizational inadequacy.
"Suburbanization makes it costly to raise children humanely; parents are forced to choose between sending their kids off to a designated abuse facility, or designating at least one parent to be a full-time caretaker. This work cannot be shared among communities to realize economies of scale, because most adults are busy far away at work, and in any event you can’t let your kids run around freely because nearly every house abuts an active road with deadly automobile traffic."I believe another way that raising children outside the school system is
First, I'm seconding a couple of things. There should be a comment box.
And please don't have huge pictures for static material at the top of the home page. There's a lot to be said for tabs with words on them at the top. I realize three lines for a menu is fairly standard these days, but it still leaves me feeling as though the site is a puzzle which has to be solved.In the spirit of experimentation, I tried out the numbers on the strip under the comment space. Being able to change font size and line spacing probably has its uses, but the o
Thanks very much.
I've done that. Still haven't gotten an email. I've checked my spam folder.
I didn't get the password reset email.
LW2.0 doesn't seem to be live yet, but when it is, will I be able to use my 1.0 username and password?
"One obvious candidate for such a generic cost effective safety intervention is a small but fully autonomous city on mars, or antarctica, or the moon, or under the ocean (or perhaps four such cities, just in case) that could produce food independently of the food production system traditionally used on the easily habitable parts of Earth."
That sort of thing might improve the odds for the human race, but it doesn't sound like it would do much for the average person who already exists.
I'm fond of LW (or at least its descendants). I'm somewhat weird myself, and more tolerant of weirdness than many.
It has taken me years and some effort to get a no doubt incomplete understanding of people who are repulsed by weirdness.
From my point of view, you are proposing to destroy something I like which has been somewhat useful in the hopes of creating a community which might not happen.
The community you imagine might be a very good thing. It may have to be created by the people who will be in it. Maybe you could start the survey process?
I'm hoping that the LW 2.0 software will be open source. The world needs more good discussion venues.
How about the boring simplicity of having downvote limits? Maybe something around one downvote/24 hours-- not cumulative.
If you're feeling generous, maybe add a downvote/24 hours per 1000 karma, with a maximum or 5 downvotes/24 hours.