Sorted by New


Semaglutide is cool, but no one wants to talk about b. animalis ssp. lactis?

The microbiome is one of the newest branch of science in human health. There are some phenomenal preliminary reports that much of our health is influenced by our microbiome, but it hasn't yet reached wide social recognition in the US. You're not missing anything; you're on the bleeding edge of medical science. 

So if you had 10,000 dollars, you would buy all 10,000 lottery tickets to win the grand prize of $9,900?

Whenever you're investing you always want to use compound interest. $10,000 invested would give you a grand total of $43,219 after 30 years with 5% yearly compound interest.

Finally there is an increased marginal utility the less money you have, not more. So when you have $0, each additional dollar gives a large marginal utility; whereas when you have $10,000 each additional dollar gives a smaller marginal utility. When you're poor each dollar goes a long way. So in your scenario people are doubly worse off: money is being siphoned off at a %1 rate every day; there is no compound interest; and the 9,999 people have lost greater marginal utility than the 1 person who won $10,000. 

You should always be looking for ways to maximize the return on your investment. If you spend a dollar, you'll want to receive one dollar or more of value. Buying a dollar lottery ticket returns less than a dollar of value.

Praying to God

It seems Kohlberg is primarily concerned with moral/cultural behaviour, what an individual may think is the right thing to do. Undeniably the desire to follow the group is strong. What is the relevance in the context of teaching rationality and scientific skepticism? No doubt, if your local environment teaches that science and rationality are weird and strange, and you're a nerd for attempting it learn it, there exists social pressure against learning science. But I still can't escape the fact that the great majority of people are attempting science and rationality in their daily lives, though with much less precision. The status quo can increase the barrier of entry for certain sects of knowledge, but people are still learning in their daily lives through their failures and experiences. I don't see the relevance of a study on group based(tribe/political) thinking in the endeavour of trying to teach science and rationality; in effect trying to teach science and rationality is just trying to change the status quo of the group. 

The Teleological Mechanism

I think part of the difficulty I have in understanding your post is the distinction between active and passive systems, and it's why I linked the article on emergence. No matter which way I think about it, I can't disentangle a living (organic) system from its surrounding environment. It's why I posed the question of what distinguishes living systems and non-living systems; when I look deep enough I still see the same fundamental rules of physics applied in each instance. 

Under this view that all matter, living and non-living is indistinguishable and each running under the same laws of physics, purposefulness and purposelessness do not appear anywhere in these systems. Living objects can be regarded as atomic components moving and interacting in very interesting ways. So I cannot distinguish between purposefulness and purposelessness. Colloquially, of course, I know what you mean. You are talking about the behaviour of living organisms; but on a deeper inspection I can't find purposefulness.

Is the argument you're making that there are localized areas of space that possess lower levels of entropy, and that living systems can be generalized as simply lowering the entropy in an area of space?

Praying to God

What data? Where is the evidence? Where is your evidence that your model actually coincides and explains reality? At least Sagan was on the front line of his work; he actually worked with children, he spoke to people, he had direct and personal experience with trying to teach science and rationality. That's very strong evidence. Is your evidence stronger than Sagans, Feynmans, Dawkins, and Hawkins?

Meditations on faith

But your original post implied a sort of scientific nihilism. 

>That is, no matter what I believe about the world, it will always be just the way it is regardless of how I feel about it or how I want it to be.

Your beliefs affect your actions, even if it's so small that it's hard to register. Being a skeptic in anything may make your face contort in such a way that it resembles incredulity; changing how others view the topic and how the talker responds to you. I think what you really mean is that you have better understood the order of magnitude that your beliefs have on the world. Where previously, you may have believed that thinking something will have great affect on the world, you now realize that thinking something will have a small, but still existent, effect on the world. 

Why Productivity Systems Don't Stick

A meta-productivity system would be using a productivity system to find and explore productivity systems. I don't think that works by the nature of what a productivity system is. Fundamentally, you're always trying to be more productive. That is your ultimate goal. Trying out new methods and ways of thinking is beneficial to your future productivity, because you may find something that works better for you, and so you implement it. But you never really lose the "trying out new methods and ways of thinking" part; that's just necessary for progress. 

Praying to God

Sure, I will grant that, in certain extreme examples where a person's specific genome makes them much more anxious and much more depressed, then maybe some unscientific beliefs may improve their day-to-day functioning. But I think overwhelmingly this is not the case, and that while people may suffer from anxiety stress and depression, a greater understanding of reality can help you resolve those problems.

Overwhelmingly, people are born with a knack for science. The natural curiosity of children to explore, touch, smell, taste, and feel are fundamental to scientific inquiry and exploration. Children also possess the same knack for rationality as we do. When a child falls and scrapes himself while running downhill, he learns not to run downhill because he may fall and hurt himself again. He is being a rational agent: he is using prior experience to make predictions for future events. I do not believe that certain people are not "ready for science"; people are born scientists, all use evidence and predictive reasoning in our day to day lives. They are not rigorous scientists and rationalists, but they are scientific and they are rational. 

In light of humanities natural curiosity and capacity for rationality; it is unnecessary (or only marginally helpful) to create large and complicated "groupthinks" to persuade people to more rigorous thinking. The best way forward is through honesty (making room for some Noble Lies), and to spark that natural curiosity and wonder that we each have. 


Load More