All of Patri_Friedman's Comments + Replies

Man, I can't count the number of times I've started randomly reciting: "I am Adam, prince of Eternia, defender of the secrets of Castle Greyskull and this is Cringer, (chuckle) my fearless friend. Fabulous secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword and said...."

I don't remember anything else about the show well enough to judge how it might have affected me. Although, I remember my mom liked it and said it was better than other cartoons, so perhaps it was relatively virtuous.

Awesome post. I love both these ways of looking at the world, have realized for years that they are in conflict, but had not seen the conflict illustrated this cleanly before. In theory, people are rational. In practice, they are kluged together out of proteins by the blind idiot god.

Don't expand this into a novel, it was superb but I'd rather see a wider variety of short works exploring many related themes.

Perhaps this is just me not buying the plot justifications that set up the strategic scenario, but I would be included to accept the SupperHappy deal because of a concern that the next species that comes along might have high technology and not be so friendly. I want the defense of the increased level of technology, stat. Sure it involves giving up some humanity but better than giving up all of humanity. Once I find that there ar... (read more)

nazgulnarsil I think it more realistic that non-sentient sexdroids will enable healthier relationships. When people get the urge to procreate with fitter partners they can just spend an afternoon in the holodeck. I see what you're saying as advocating keeping people a little hungry so that they appreciate food more.

PUA techniques suggest that this may actually help. If men are able to score with hot women on the holodeck, this may make them feel more "alpha", which will then make them better at picking up women - and more attractive to women (so... (read more)

I really liked this post. Not sure if you meant it this way, but for me it mostly applies to imagining / fantasizing about the future. Some kinds of imagining are motivating, and they tend to be more general. The ones you describe as "soul-sucking" are more like an Experience Machine, or William Shatner's Tek (if you've had the misfortune to read any of his books).

For me this brings up the distinction between happiness (Fun) and pleasure. Soul-sucking is very pleasurable, but it is not very Fun. There is no richness, no striving, no intricac... (read more)

Agreed that upgrtading humans is hard. Nick bostrom's suggestion is another version of Algernon's Principle ("every genetically easy change is a net evolutionary disadvantage in the EEA"). (Strangely, this principle does not show up on Google - am I spelling it wrong? Has the Algernon's Principle meme failed to spread on the internet, for some odd reason?)

Tim's "resource costs" is a general counter to this, since resources are much cheaper now than in the EEA, but it is unlikely to actually be the reason in all cases. And since agin... (read more)

frelkins: Someone has to sit on top of the female monkey hierarchy, Eli. We really don't care who it is, or if we meet her, as long as we can kind of relate to her somehow and understand the unspoken rules by which she is judged, so we can rank ourselves in this order and know where we sit ourselves.

None of this addresses the point: we compare ourselves to a much bigger hierarchy than we were programmed for, which means far more losers and far fewer winners. Instead of winning by being the best female monkey out of dozens, you have to be the best female monkey out of tens of millions to billions. That's a much tougher contest, and it's hard on us psychologically.

This may also explain why people in modern societies (especially women) have such terrible body image. We feel like disgusting monstrous freaks when in fact we are objectively prettier than our ancestors were even a few generations ago. (Men are taller, breasts are bigger... the only major backslide is obesity, and that is to some extent a product of poor body image.)

But we already live in a world, right now, where people are less in control of their social destinies than they would be in a hunter-gatherer band, because it's harder to talk to the tribal chief or (if that fails) leave unpleasant restrictions and start your own country. There is an opportunity for progress here.

I'm working on it!

Another problem with our oversized world is the illusion of increased competition.. in a "neighborhood" the size of Earth - well, you're actually quite unlikely to run into either Bill Gates or Angelina Jolie on any gi... (read more)

I'm glad to hear that you aren't trying to take over the world. The less competitors I have, the better.

I'm not particularly asking for help on the productivity thing.

Why not? Isn't this topic deeply related to overcoming bias? To me, they are all part of the same striving for self-improvement. Improving my ability to work and not be distracted is a way to be a more effective human (better at achieving my goals), just like improving my ability to accurately judge the truth and not be biased.

While it doesn't have much recursive loop potential, an improvement in personal productivity is a meta-level improvement - it improves our general ability to create st... (read more)

I prefer my blogs to be high quality and low quantity (so that I get diversity in my mind food). So a lower rate of posting is a win from my standpoint.

Anything that makes it easier to find good posts/comments is a win too. Threaded, votable comments would be awesome.

In terms of a community site, what I would personally most like would be some way to exchange "rationality exercises", like the "homework" you talked about at Convergence. Allow people to suggest them, vote on them, and write up what they learned from them. Basically, evolve part of the homework & curriculum for a rationality dojo.

I'm interested in the meetup. I live in Mountain View. Thursday or Friday evening are best for me.

This is one reason I'm skeptical of the consensus on global warming and what should be done about it. Most of the articles on global warming I read smell much more like RHIC than like LA-602.

Great post! I'd guess the effect is smaller than cognitive dissonance, but it definitely seems real. The tricky part, as you point out at the end, is how to apply it. But I don't think it's that hard to separate trolls from dissenters.

It might not convey information, but I bet you could get thunderous applause. Often, the latter outweighs the former when it comes t the goals of a speech.