PaulWright

Software engineer and dancer. I make robots. Blog at http://www.noctua.org.uk/blog/

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Dominic Cummings: "we’re hiring data scientists, project managers, policy experts, assorted weirdos"
I assume you mean “fee paying.”

Argh, I mistyped "fee" as "free". Fixed.

So “public school” (UK) = “private school” (USA)?

Yes, though I'm not sure whether the USA has the similar phenomenon of a few private schools providing so much of the ruling establishment figures or whether there's a similar "private school bluffer" / Upper Class Twit archetype there.

Dominic Cummings: "we’re hiring data scientists, project managers, policy experts, assorted weirdos"

A "school" in Britain provides primary or secondary education (tertiary is "a university", you wouldn't find a UK person saying "Cambridge is a good school"). A "public school" in Britain is a secondary school where the parents pay a fee for their kids to attend. Confusingly, if you also describe it as a private school, people will know what you mean. ISTR the name arises because in the Olden Days if you were properly posh you'd have a personal tutor, so shared (but fee paying) schools were "public". In the UK, what Americans call a public school is typically referred to as a state school.

As well as just having more money for teachers, books and equipment, a major advantage public schools offer is connections (since your school's alumni basically are the British establishment) and confidence, which may or may not be proportional to ability. Since Oxbridge applicants are interviewed, confidence can affect who gets in there (although these days they're aware of it and try to level the playing field), and so the cycle continues. Cummings is saying he doesn't want the archtypical public schoolboy who can quote a bit of Latin but doesn't really know anything (which is odd given who he works for, but so it goes).

By Which It May Be Judged

Note that there's some discussion on just what Eliezer means by "logic all the way down" over on Rationally Speaking: http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/lesswrong-on-morality-and-logic.html . Seeing as much of this is me and Angra Maiynu arguing that Massimo Pigliucci hasn't understood what Eliezer means, it might be useful for Eliezer to confirm what he does mean.

Intuitions Aren't Shared That Way

You mention naturalism as a "bad habit" for using science to understand the world?

No, he doesn't (which is why I downvoted this comment, BTW). Luke says that even naturalistic philosophers exhibit these bad habits. He does not say that naturalism is a bad habit, or that it's a bad habit because it uses science to understand the world.

The Useful Idea of Truth

The latest Rationally Speaking post looks relevant: Ian Pollock describes aspects of Eliezer's view as "minimalism" with a link to that same SEP article. He also mentions Simon Blackburn's book, where Blackburn describes minimalists or quietists as making the same point Eliezer makes about collapsing "X is true" to "X" and a similar point about the usefulness of the term "truth" as a generalisation (though it seems that minimalists would say that this is only a linguistic convenience, whereas Eliezer seems to have a slightly difference concept of it in that he wants to talk in general about how we get accurate beliefs).

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

Perhaps I should amend that to "don't be obviously indiscriminate in a sleazy way". The bad thing isn't finding lots of people attractive, it's apparently caring nothing for them as a person (which is about having had no conversational interction with them before asking them out, some small amount of buildup is necessary, though as siduri says, if you're a decent chap, it's probably less than you think) or alternatively appearing desperate (which is about demeanor, I think). Things I've heard remarked upon have been bemusement at dinner invites following a dance with a stranger with no prior conversation, or demeanor problems.

If you actually like more than one person and have talked to the people concerned a bit, I don't see the harm.

(There's usually a niche for being the confident guy who flirts a lot with absolutely everyone: you get a name for yourself, but it's more as the loveable rogue than the creepy guy. That's possibly an advanced skill, though.)

Bonus link: only try these moves with a consenting partner ;-)

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

Even better than book groups, though, are dance classes.

Amen to that. I'd add a slight caution that chemistry generated on the dancefloor can sometimes just be about the dancing, and telling when it is more than that is possibly an advanced skill. So, as this Mefi comment says, don't push your luck on the dancefloor itself.

Workaround: ask after the class or when you're standing around chatting (assuming you don't dance all the time). Don't be the guy who asks everyone in turn: the women talk to each other :-) EDIT: I elaborate on what I mean by this below...

Cambridge UK Meetup Saturday 12 February

I think I'm free. The same time the following weekend is bad for me, but Sunday 20th is OK.

Logical Rudeness

which I'm pretty sure I first found here, HT

Glad you liked it.

Suber seems to concentrate on tactics where one person avoids responding to the argument by making some statement about the arguer ("you're saying that because of your hopeless confirmation bias!") That sort of rudeness is a potential problem if someone has a belief which includes explanations of why other people don't believe it. I'm not sure what to do to about that, since I certainly have such beliefs. As far as I can make out, if I want to avoid being rude, I end up having to respond to arguments against my belief even though I think those arguments aren't reason the arguer doesn't share my belief.

Your example of people who concede Y but then switch to Z reminds me of When Theism is Like an M.C. Escher Drawing.

[edit: remove spurious "aren't']

Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics

So, the context is whether it's ethical to let people believe they've understood how the tricks work when their understanding is that it's done with psychic powers or with NLP.

DERREN: Well, I not a big a fan of it, but I've done it and think in some contexts there's some use--that's a whole other conversation--but it's a dirty word as far as I'm concerned. If somebody came up to me and said, "Look, I really liked your show, and I'm going to go to an NLP course," which I've had happen, I would say to them, "Well, if you want to do that, do that, but here's what you'll get out of it. It's not what I do. It's part of what I do," which is I think true, I think that's fair enough to say.

There's also Brown's statement in Tricks of the Mind (see the Straight Dope article on Brown and NLP) that

I now have a lot of NLPers analysing my TV work in their own terms, as well as people who say that I myself unfairly claim to be using NLP whenever I perform (the truth is I have never mentioned it)."

Given the way NLP is a "dirty word", I don't think Brown is doing whatever you find on NLP courses, or at least, he doesn't think it's quite ethical to let people think he is and as a result decide to pay for an NLP course.

Whether there's anything to NLP is a separate consideration from whether Brown uses it on stage (except that if there's nothing to it, it's obviously not how Brown does it). On the wider question of whether there's anything to it, in the section on NLP in Tricks of the Mind, he says there's some valid stuff in NLP, but he was put off actually being an NLP practitioner by attending an NLP course where there was a lot of bunk mixed in with the valid stuff.

The tricks where I've seen him "explain" how it was done using what I think of as NLP (although, as Brown says, he never uses that word) were the one where he predicted Simon Pegg's ideal birthday present (a BMX bike), and the finale of one of his stage shows, where the effect is that he predicts a word freely chosen from a newspaper which itself was freely chosen from a bunch of possible newspapers (I can't access the formerly working YouTube links for any of these, or indeed your own link, but that may be because I'm in the UK, so you might have more luck viewing them). In both cases, the "explanation" involved words hidden within sentences ("that would B-aM-Xellent present"). "Part of what I do" might mean that he does some stuff which NLP lays some claim to (telling people are lying by watching eye movements) and/or that his act includes him making it look like it was done using NLP :-)

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