All of RichardKennaway's Comments + Replies

The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism)

Been there, done that. Never noticed any result from it. Now what?

2Elo3ywhat was your thought stream doing while noticing your breath? The point is not entirely to get good at breathing, but to notice everything else as well.
Boundaries - A map and territory experiment. [post-rationality]

It's maps all the way up, not all the way down. At the bottom, outside of ourselves, is the territory.

The usefulness of correlations

Actually, I left LessWrong about a year ago, as I judged it to have declined to a ghost town since the people most worth reading had mostly left. I've been reading it now and then since, and might be moved to being more active here if it seems worth it. I don't think I have enough original content to post to be a part of its revival myself.

As Rick says, he can be pretty cranky, but is not a crank.

The Fable of the Burning Branch

Well, that wraps it up. This post, and some of the asinine comments to it, have persuaded me that I have no further use for this site.

4Anders_H6yRichard, I don't think Less Wrong can survive losing both Ilya and you in the same week. I hope both of you reconsider. Either way, we definitely need to see this as a wake-up call. This forum has been in decline for a while, but this week I definitely think it hit a breaking point.
Rationality Quotes Thread February 2016

Orthodox Islamic apologists rescue Khayyam by interpreting "wine" as spiritual intoxication. (How well this really fits is another matter. And the Song of Solomon is about Christ's love for His Church.) But one can as easily interpret the verse in a rationalist way. Channelling Fitzgerald for a moment...

The sot knows nothing but the tavern's wine
Rumi and Shams but ecstacy divine
The Way of Eli is not here nor there
But in the pursuit of a Fun sublime!

Great literature has as many versions as there are readers.

2Lumifer6yThat's true of most everything if you squint in just the right way :-) In any case, great literature relies on context and a multilayered web of meanings -- it doesn't work well as an isolated quote stuck into the middle of PUA discussions...
Upcoming LW Changes

The human translators hated it, because it moved from engaging intellectual work to painful copyediting. I think a similar thing will be true for article writers.

The talented ones, yes, but there will be a lot of temptation for the also rans. You've got a blogging deadline and nothing is coming together, why not fire up the bot and get topical article ideas? "It's just supplying facts and links, and the way it weaves them into a coherent structure, well I could have done that, of course I could, but why keep a dog and bark myself? The real creative work is in the writing." That's how I see the slippery slope starting, into the Faustian pact.

9Vaniver6yI... have never heard this idiom before, and now want to use it all the time.
Upcoming LW Changes

I'm aware of ELIZA, and of Yvain's post. ELIZA's very shallow, and the interactive setting gives it an easier job than coming up with 1000 words on "why to have goals" or "5 ways to be more productive". I do wonder whether some of the clickbait photo galleries are mechanically generated.

0V_V6yHere [].
0Lumifer6yI guess I just think of chatbots as "old tech" and not as "new and cool" :-/ ELIZA, as you mention, is extremely simple, and still was able to tap into emotional responses. Nowadays we have Siri and Cortana, the Japanese virtual girlfriends, etc.etc. I am also not sure that the ability to generate coherent text (as opposed to generating original, meaningful, useful content) is that valuable nowadays. The intertubes are already clogged with mediocre-to-awful blog posts -- there are enough humans for that.
Upcoming LW Changes

Now, you say you want to turn this to the light side..?

I'm just saying it's so technologically cool, someone will do it as soon as it's possible. Whether it would actually be good in the larger scheme of things is quite another matter. I can see an arms race developing between drones rewriting bot-written copy and exposers of the same, together with scandals of well-known star bloggers discovered to be using mechanical assistance from time to time. There would be a furious debate over whether using a bot is actually a legitimate form of writing. All ver... (read more)

1Lumifer6yAhem. ELIZA, the chat bot, was made in mid-1960s. And... []:
Upcoming LW Changes

Watson can already philosophize at you from TED talks. Someone needs to develop a chat bot based on it, and have it learn from the Sequences.

Actually, that could be huge. Rationality blogs generated by bots! Self-improvement blogs generated by bots! Gosh-wow science writing generated by bots!

At present, most bot-written books are pretty obviously junk, but instead of going for volume and long tails, you could hire human editors to make the words read more as if they were originated by a human being. They'd have to have a good command of English, though, s... (read more)

3Lumifer6yLOL. Wake up and smell the tea :-) People who want to push advertising into your eyeballs now routinely construct on-demand (as in, in response to a Google query) websites/blogs/etc. just so that you'd look at them and they get paid for ad impressions. See e.g. recent Yvain []: Now, you say you want to turn this to the light side..?
0Vaniver6ySo, early on people were excited about machine translation--yeah, it wasn't great, but you could just have human translators start from the machine translation and fix the mess. The human translators hated it, because it moved from engaging intellectual work to painful copyediting. I think a similar thing will be true for article writers.
0Gram_Stone6yThe pitch generator and story generator on TVTropes is sort of like this, although far less sophisticated.
What's wrong with this picture?

Suppose Alice and Bob are the same person. Alice tosses a coin a large number of times and records the results.

Should she disbelieve what she reads?

Welcome to Less Wrong! (8th thread, July 2015)

It's like repairing the foundations of a building. You can't uproot all of them, but you can uproot any of them, as long as you take care that the building doesn't fall down during renovations.

if there is no morality but the will to power, then how could a mod, or anyone else, abuse their power?

Accusations of abuse would simply be a move in the power struggle. Nothing is true, all is a lie.

I don't think most nrxers do believe this

I am extrapolating outrageously, of course. Or, to continue in this vein, those that don't believe this are merely fellow-travellers and wannabe nrxs, beta foot-soldiers to be exploited by Those Who Know the truths that lesser beings fear, hide from, and hide from themselves the fact that they are hiding.

0bogus6yThat's always true, though, isn't it? Most political conflicts are to some extent power struggles. Or maybe an accusation of 'abuse' only becomes true ex-post-facto, as the pre-existing power structure is successfully overturned in some way. Since 'power' is often complex and has a multi-level structure, this must always be seen as a definite possibility.
Welcome to Less Wrong! (8th thread, July 2015)

Welcome to Less Wrong!

My short answer to the conundrum is that if the first thing your tool does is destroy itself, the tool is defective. That doesn't make "rationality" defective any more than crashing your first attempt at building a car implies that "The Car" is defective.

Designing foundations for human intelligence is rather like designing foundations for artificial (general) intelligence in this respect. (I don't know if you've looked at The Sequences yet, but it has a lot of material on the common fallacies the latter enterprise ... (read more)

0InhalingExhaler6yWell, it sounds right. But which mistake in rationality was done in that described situation, and how can it be improved? My first idea was that there are things we shouldn't doubt... But it is kind of dogmatic and feels wrong. So should it maybe be like "Before doubting X think of what will you become if you succeed, and take it into consideration before actually trying to doubt X". But this still implies "There are cases when you shouldn't doubt", which is still suspicious and doesn't sound "rational". I mean, doesn't sound like making the map reflect the territory.

I think an interesting aspect here is that Eugine/Azeroth/Ra/Lion is a neoreactionary and believes in a strong hierarchy. Well, the mods are above you in the heirarchy, so respect their authority!

OTOH, an nrx might argue that the strength of the authority must be continually tested by fighting it. Their ideal society is a struggle of all against all, all the time. Respect is but the acknowledgement of another's greater power, to be granted for only so long as they actually have it, and only to their face, as a polite ritual. They would argue that this i... (read more)

0skeptical_lurker6yI don't think most nrxers do believe this, and one who did certainly would be a hypocrite to accuse a mod of abusing their power - if there is no morality but the will to power, then how could a mod, or anyone else, abuse their power?
[moderator action] Eugine_Nier is now banned for mass downvote harassment

He purposefully attempted to remove other contributing members from the community. He also did not confess to it

Never publicly, but I believe that (when he was posting as "Eugine Nier") a moderator did question him privately about it and he said that was his intention.

0EGarrett6yYes, he confessed to it when confronted. My understanding was that there were posts about mass downvoting and people asking who was doing it and if it was happening and he never admitted it or posted in them to confirm it, whereas if he thought it was okay there was no reason for him not to.
[moderator action] The_Lion and The_Lion2 are banned

Possibly, you could have a "report" button to ask a moderator to review a very offensive comment.

I believe there used to be one, but it went away some years ago. I don't know why. Maybe it was being abused, or was found to just not be useful.

[Link] AlphaGo: Mastering the ancient game of Go with Machine Learning

Research groups don't typically do this.

In my experience, research groups exist inside universities or a few corporations like Google. The senior members are employed and paid for by the institution, and only the postgrads, postdocs, and equipment beyond basic infrastructure are funded by research grants. None of them fly "in orbit" by themselves but only as part of a larger entity. Where should an independent research group like MIRI seek permanent funding?

0IlyaShpitser6yBy "in orbit" I mean "funded by grants rather than charity." If a group has a steady grant research stream, that means they are doing good enough work that funding agencies continue to give them money. This is the standard way to be self-sustaining for a research group.

I assume that NRX does contain some genuine insight about the real world, even though some or perhaps even most of it may be quite wrong.

For me, that is far too low a bar for getting my interest.

Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016

FAI is only a problem because of AI. The imminence of the problem depends on where AI is now and how rapidly it is progressing. To know these things, one must know how AI (real, current and past AI, not future, hypothetical AI, still less speculative, magical AI) is done, and to know this in technical terms, not fluff.

I don't know how much your friend knows already, but perhaps a crash course in Russell and Norvig, plus technical papers on developments since then (i.e. Deep Learning) would be appropriate.

Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016

He sounds like someone with a phobia of fire wanting to be a fireman. Why does he want to work on FAI? Would not going anywhere near the subject work for him instead?

2Fluttershy6yHe wants to work on FAI for EA/utilitarian reasons--and also because he already has many of the relevant skills. He's also of the opinion that working on FAI is of much higher value than, say, working on other x-risks or other EA causes.
Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016

Was that "How true?" or "How true!"?

I think it is true, with the proviso that the habit to make can be the habit of noticing when the old habit is about to happen and not letting it.

Rationality Quotes Thread January 2016

That would be an absurd overreaction. I can't see the law taking the matter seriously, even if anyone knew "Eugine's" real identity.

"Why Try Hard" Essay targeted at non rationalists

I think there's an overemphasis on planning in more and more detail. Some things are opaque at the point of making the plan. For example, some parts of a plan may require you do to things you don't know how to do. That breaks down into (1) find out how, and (2) do it. But you don't know what you're going to find, and what acting on you find will look like. (2) is opaque at the planning stage, and may not even exist if the answer to (1) suggests a different way of going about the parent goal.

Also, things can go wrong during execution. No complicated car rep... (read more)

0lifelonglearner6yYou raise some good points about other things that can happen in planning, and your point about opacity in plans along with learning new skills is also something I hadn't considered. The general idea of "getting things done" doesn't seem to vary, but there's definitely much more room for variation than I've implied. I think a large part of that is caused by my: 1) Inexperience with applying planning skills 2) Using them only on a very narrow range 3) Extrapolating from my personal experience.
Rationality Quotes Thread January 2016

Eugene is saying not that "they don't really have a comparative advantage", but that they have a comparative disadvantage so strong that any purported great achievements should be dismissed as fakery, exaggeration, or, if it seems that one of them really has achieved something, "exceptions". In Eugene's view, they're still nothing more than performing dogs, they've just managed the miracle, despite their intrinsic inferiority, of doing it as well as the best real people.

0Vaniver6yI think it's possible to make the same point, drained of malice. To take Neil deGrasse Tyson as an example, he's a PhD physicist, but when compared to other popularizers of science I'd say he's closer to Bill Nye than he is to Carl Sagan when it comes to scientific productivity. (All three of those are people I like and respect, so this isn't meant as a slur against any of them; if only there were more Nyes and Tysons and Sagans!) Similarly, I remember the three recurring examples of scientists during my time in elementary school being Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and George Washington Carver. Again, all three are worthy of respect, but it's misrepresenting the mechanics of science to see those three as equally prominent in the history of science, and when comparing groups what matters is not the most extreme member of each group, but the depth of the field.
Rationality Quotes Thread January 2016

BTW, the original, sourceable quotation uses the image of "a dog walking on its hind legs". Your response still applies.

"Why Try Hard" Essay targeted at non rationalists

Full marks for the pep talk, but the prescription of "planning" is surely only part of what is needed. How would you handle the planning fallacy? I don't think "better planning" is the answer.

0lifelonglearner6yThat's definitely true. The planning fallacy is a huge issue, and I don't address it here when I talk about plans to reach your goals. I think finding the motivation to get things done is also a central part of the "achieving goals" target. I'd like to try and address both of those in some form or another. Do you feel the essay would be strengthened if I added it in passing, or devoted smaller, separate pieces to cover those two?
Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016

Any important dynamics I'm missing?

Saudi Arabia flooded the market in order to reduce the price, in order to combat the benefit to Iran of the raising of sanctions.

3ChristianKl6yTheir oil production didn't rise that much. They didn't really flood the market. They mainly decided not to cut their production.
0knb6yThat's one argument. Another common argument is that they want to increase their market share and kill the US tight oil industry.
0polymathwannabe6yThat's a strange move. Right now the last thing oil producers need is even lower prices.
0gjm6yAh yes, OK, essentially the same randomization helps against an adversary when you're growing exponentially as when you're growing only linearly. Fair enough.
The correct response to uncertainty is *not* half-speed

Randomising the length of the first step will improve on the constant factor by about 2. Similar analysis to the non-adversarial case, and with the same ETA I just added to my earlier comment.

0gjm6yIf you make the run lengths increase exponentially instead of linearly then you get O(k) unconditionally.
Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016

What are the dynamics that produce a fad rather than growth into the mainstream? It might be worth CFAR thinking about that.

3username26yBecoming a niche is a third possibility if ideas are suitable to one area but hard to expand to different areas.
6ChristianKl6yIn the 20st century serious intellectual thought mostly became thought backed up by academia. Academia then had a custom that it didn't really like interdisciplinary departments but it tried to organize itself into nonoverlapping departments. Many departments were also pressured into doing research that's directly useful to corporations and that can produce patents. General Semantics and also Cybernetics are fields that lost as a result. I think there a good case that times change. With the Giving Pledge there a lot of Billionaire money that wants to fund new structures. OpenAI is one example of a well funded projected that likely wouldn't have existed in that form in the past. Sam Altman also wants to fund other similar research projects. The OpenPhilantrophy project is sitting on a lot of money that it wants to funnel into effective project without caring at all about departmental overlapping. A world where a lot of people live in their own filter bubble instead of living in the bubble created by mainstream media might also lack what we call mainstream at the moment. Yesterday I was at a Circling meetup in Berlin. I also read at the same day about the experience of an old Facebook friend that lives in the US that did a circling trainers training. In my filter bouble Circling is a global trend at the moment but that doesn't mean that it's mainstream. If we look at general semantics it's also worth noting that it both succeeded and failed. The phrase "The map is not the territory" is very influential. Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) is named that way because of Korzybski usage of the term neuro-linguistic. NLP is based on general semantics but it evolved a lot from that point. NLP is today an influential intellectual framework outside of the academic mainstream.
4TimS6yLikely strong factors include: * Ease of applicability. If the average middle manager cannot apply a technique easily or straightforwardly while working, the major pressure to use a technique will be social signalling (cf. corporate buzzword speak). * Measurable outcomes. If the average middle manager cannot easily observe that the technique makes her job easier (either the productivity of subordinates or her control over them), then she will have no reason to emotionally or intellectually invest in the technique.
Intentional Insights and the Effective Altruism Movement – Q & A

Why not just be absolutely anonymous?

Accountability matters.

2Ego6yBeing public does not provide accountability. Is Zuckerberg being held accountable for the Newark schools debacle? No. People are saying, "At least he tried." Here's the thing.... We understand the idea of creative destruction in other realms but fail to see it when our attention is attracted, like a bull to the red cape, to the people who are suffering in the destruction phase. Propping up a dysfunctional system is worse than letting it fail and rebuilding entirely.
The correct response to uncertainty is *not* half-speed

It wasn't me, but at a guess I'd say, irrelevance to the subject of the post. Which is not about how to find a hotel.

Open Thread, January 11-17, 2016

The lesson I take from this is this: "maximize to solve a particular problem, rather than as a lifestyle choice."

Is that a solution to a particular problem, or a lifestyle choice?

4IlyaShpitser6yIt's a solution to a problem of bad (underspecified) ethics. The lifestyle choice I am referring to here is "MAXIMIZE ALL THE THINGS." But of course ethics is hard to fully specify because human minds are involved. It's hard to have models of those. Most of the specification work, the dominating term, is in the most difficult to model part. In this sense I think virtue ethics is playing in the right stadium. They are trying to describe things in terms of the part of the problem that is hardest to model.
The correct response to uncertainty is *not* half-speed

Since the problem posed is scale free, so should the solution be, and if there is a solution it must succeed in O(k) steps. Increase step size geometrically instead of linearly, picking an arbitrary distance for the first leg, and the worst-case is O(k), with a ratio of 2 giving the best worst-case value approaching 9k. The adversary chooses k to be much larger than the first leg and just after one of your turning points.

In the non-adversarial case, if log(k) is uniformly distributed between the two turning points in the right direction that enclose k, the... (read more)

0gjm6yThey can't, because this is all happening in a discrete setting ("Imagine an undirected graph...") where the minimum possible distance is 1 and your initial distance isn't going to vary over a very large range.
The correct response to uncertainty is *not* half-speed

Anyone have a better procedure for fixing this than the following?

When the implications of the situation are clearly perceived, the right action is effortless.

0Jack_LaSota6yI agree, for a certain sense of the word "clearly". The procedure is to make you clearly understand the implications of the situation, which can be harder for some instantiations of the situation.
[Stub] The problem with Chesterton's Fence

The more effectively something does its job, the less superficially useful it appears to be.

If I have effective locks on the doors and windows of my house, as a result of which no-one breaks in, it will seem as if the locks are unnecessary. If I keep my car well maintained, so that it never breaks down, it will seem as if all that expense on maintenance was unnecessary. You don't see the casual thief who tried the door and went away, or the timing chain that never snapped and wrecked the engine. When there is no crime, it seems that the police are unnecess... (read more)

[Stub] The problem with Chesterton's Fence

But the proper argument would require much more examples, and much defining of what a Chesterton Fence is.

Indeed. Your examples seem to be simply changes. Not every change is a fence, and for that matter, not every taking down of a fence is done because no-one thought for five minutes about why it was there. All of those examples were intensively discussed at the time. Those opposed spoke at length about why it was there and why it should stay there, and those for spoke at length about why it should be taken down. In particular, extending the franchise,... (read more)

Stupid Questions, 2nd half of December

Height positively correlates with IQ and foot length is a very good proxy for height.

However, "correlated with" is not a transitive relation unless the correlations are fairly substantial. Precisely, if A correlates with B with coefficient c1, and B with C by c2 (both positive or both negative), then the minimum possible correlation of A with C is cos(arccos(c1)+arccos(c2)). E.g. if c1=c2=0.5, then this minimum is -0.5. If c1=c2=0.707, the minimum is 0. In general, a positive correlation of A with C is guaranteed if and only if c1^2 + c2^2 > 1.

2Good_Burning_Plastic6ygoogles for "correlation between height and foot length" Uh, I thought that was much stronger than it actually is.
Rationality Quotes Thread January 2016

All the changes that people make are "well-meaning", even those being made by ISIS. A word that better makes the distinction is "intentional".

2CCC6yNot necessarily. I know that if I get really angry, I sometimes make (generally small) decisions out of a desire to hurt whatever I am angry at. I don't think that counts as "well-meaning".
2Lumifer6yDepends on your definition of "well" and that line of approach would lead us into the usual definitional morass :-/ And, technically speaking, there is also compulsive behaviour.
Open Thread, January 11-17, 2016

Can you think of any good reason to consult any so called psychic?

I can think of a good reason for anything. I ask my brain "conditional upon it being a good idea, what might the situation be?" and the virtual outcome pump effortlessly generates scenarios. A professional fiction writer could produce a flood of them. Try it! For any X whatever, you can come up with answers to the question "what might the world look like, conditional upon X being a good idea?" For extreme X's, I recommend not publishing them. If you find yourself being... (read more)

2seuoseo6yYou got me, there was no real question. It was all made up for fun. It would be fun to know of a rationalist's experience and interpretation or desire to visit a psychic and whatever unusual circumstances and reasoning led them to it.
What is Metaethics?

Because most people cannot count any higher than one.

Are we failing the ideological Turing test in the case of ISIS? (a crazy ideas thread)

It seems to me that the sensible thing to do, if you're aware of this hot debate and want to avoid a firefight, is not

to make a post that casually asserts one side's preferred position, and then when questioned say you don't want to argue about it,


to refrain from making unnecessary hot-button statements in the first place.

Each side's preferred position already is a hot-button statement to the other.

6gjm6yRight. Which is why I am suggesting that if Val genuinely wanted to avoid distraction and dispute, s/he would have done better simply not to throw in that remark about "the predominantly left-leaning political elite in Europe encouraging the acceptance of and submission to Islamic culture in Europe". It's not like it was essential to the actual point Val was making.
What can go wrong with the following protocol for AI containment?
  1. Keep the AI in a box and don't interact with it.

The rest of your posting is about how to interact with it.

Don't have any conversations with it whatsoever.

Interaction is far broader than just conversation. If you can affect it and it can affect you, that's interaction. If you're going to have no interaction, you might as well not have created it; any method of getting answers from it about your questions is interacting with it. The moment it suspects what it going on, it can start trying to play you, to get out of the box.

I'm at a loss to imagi

... (read more)
0ZoltanBerrigomo6yThese are good points. Perhaps I should not have said "interact" but chosen a different word instead. Still, its ability to play us is limited since (i) we will be examining the records of the world after it is dead (ii) it has no opportunity to learn anything about us. Edit: we might even make it impossible for it to game us in the following way. All records of the simulated world are automatically deleted upon completion -- except for a specific prime factorization we want to know. You are right, of course. But you wrote that in response to what was a parenthetical remark on my part -- the real solution is to use program checking to make sure the laws of physics of the simulated world are never violated.
0Silver_Swift6yTo be fair, all interactions described happen after the AI has been terminated, which does put up an additional barrier for the AI to get out of the box. It would have to convince you to restart it without being able to react to your responses (apart from those it could predict in advance) and then it still has to convince you to let it out of the box. Obviously, putting up additional barriers isn't the way to go and this particular barrier is not as impenetrable for the AI as it might seem to a human, but still, it couldn't hurt.
Why CFAR's Mission?

If you define 2 differently what's the definition of 2?

One popular definition (at least, among that small class of people who need to define 2) is { { }, { { } } }.

Another, less used nowadays, is { z : ∃x,y. x∈z ∧ y∈z ∧ x ≠ y ∧ ∀w∈z.(w=x ∨ w=y) }.

In surreal numbers, 2 is { { { | } | } | }.

Are we failing the ideological Turing test in the case of ISIS? (a crazy ideas thread)

The Koran requires ISIS to do whatever ISIS decide that the Koran requires them to do. Thus it is with all religions. It is impossible to apply a document more than a thousand years old and not interpret it, however much the religion itself may literally cling to the exact letter of the text.

3ChristianKl6yNot really since the legitimicy of ISIS relies on them being perceived as a legimite caliphate and their own followers think they have a duty to dispose of an ISIS leader who wouldn't run according to the Koran. Their followers consider the Koran to be pretty clear about the fact that a caliph has to provide free housing and free healthcare to the citzens of the caliphate. It's also prevents high level ISIS personally to voice that they doubt that the prophecies are true. ISIS declared the caliphate when an internal faction argued that that if the precursor organisation doesn't declare a caliphate they don't fulfill their Islamic duty.
Are we failing the ideological Turing test in the case of ISIS? (a crazy ideas thread)

Fighting Western troops in Dadiq is important to ISIS because the Koran says that it's supposed to happen. The Koran does constrain the range of possible strategies.

The Koran inspires ISIS in their supreme goal. If something in it can be matched to current events and opportunities, ISIS will milk that to the full, but I doubt that the Koran constrains them from any direction they may choose to prosecute their struggle.

2ChristianKl6yNo. It also requires ISIS to do things like providing free housing and free healthcare to people in it's territory and a host of other choices.
Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016

What specifically would one do to literally optimize for the chance that their children would "make their own mark on the world"? I am not going into details here, because that would depend on specific talents and interests of the child, but I believe it is a combination of giving them more resources; spending more resources on their teachers or coaches; spending my own time helping them with their own projects.

Does this work? I don't know; I have no children.

Are we failing the ideological Turing test in the case of ISIS? (a crazy ideas thread)

Especially if they are smart enough to realize they are likely to fail

Are they likely to fail? They are not going to fail unless the people who want them to fail (most of the world) make them fail. Being able to defeat them is not enough. They must actually be defeated. Is this going to happen?

Compare with startup founders. Most startups fail, yes? Therefore if every would-be startup founder is smart enough etc., then we don't get Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, ...

No-one ever won a war by wishing their enemies would recognise they can't win. ISIS h... (read more)

Are we failing the ideological Turing test in the case of ISIS? (a crazy ideas thread)

These are the most common theories about what isis wants

The theory that they want what they say they want is missing, but I don't know what population you've been looking at to say what is most common.

to gather weird and unusual theories about what the true agenda of isis was

Your first three paragraphs suggested to me that you were interested in discussing the reality of ISIS. All weird and unusual theories are rendered false off the bat by their frankness about their aims and their actions in pursuing them. This is hearing hoofbeats and inviting pe... (read more)

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