All of Rubix's Comments + Replies

One factor is that bread is made sweeter now, dairy is more readily available in skim which is higher sugar content per calorie, and I'm less sure of potatoes but "in the late 1800s, the modern-day russet potato was born" (<>) and I wonder if there's been genetic engineering/selective breeding since then to change them as well.

Food allergies and intolerances are on the rise, I think even controlling for increased recognition (edit: I'm less confident about this than in the original draft of this comment. What would controlling for increased recognition look like?) I don't know what's up with that.

Isn't this reverting in recent decades? I only have anecdotal evidence that a few decades ago, people from Eastern Europe who visited USA complained that it was impossible to buy a non-sweet bread in an ordinary supermarket (if you really wanted some, you had to visit some ethnic food shop), but recently I have heard that ordinary supermarkets now also contain non-sweet bread. (Low N. Maybe only applies to some parts of USA. Also, it is possible that both are true: supermarkets may have introduced a non-sweet bread as a special option, while increasing the amount of sugar in the average bread.)

Here's a similar Eliezer post from long ago: Useless Medical Dislaimers

Unrelated: when I looked into it earlier this week, it seemed like in New York City mid-2021 to mid-2022, on any given night about 60,000 people were sleeping in homeless shelters and about 3,000 people were sleeping rough. 640 homeless people were thought to have died during that year. Seventeen of those deaths were of exposure.

I've been in live contact with how horrible it would be, to die like that, the last few days, and plenty of people who don't actually die just suffer a lot. But I'm also a little proud of humankind in general and New York City 2022 in particular, for making this horrible thing happen less than it otherwise would.

Thanks for posting this speech - I agree about the problems that arise from expecting a new open-hearted moment of darkness speech every year, and this seems like a good approach.

I think that if I were the person in the community, in the audience, hurting, the focus on how the community has Not Done Enough wouldn't land for me. Usually in that situation, I feel pretty anti-conflict-theory and want to be seen in that. In that situation, I would get more out of it if the passage focused on... illegibility between people who are trying hard to communicate about their needs, their un/willingness to fulfill the needs of others, and their material constraints?

Mmm. Yeah I don't really know what the right thing here is. The thing I was trying to respond to and counter is a vague sense of Solstice giving a false impression of communities taking care of each other, in a way that felt sort of "add insult to injury" to people who weren't actually getting taken care of. I'm not sure I quite parsed your suggestion (or, like, it made sense as a concept but I didn't quite grok it well enough that I could write a paragraph expressing it). Could you say more words about it? I'm interested in others expressing opinions on this as well.
Unrelated: when I looked into it earlier this week, it seemed like in New York City mid-2021 to mid-2022, on any given night about 60,000 people were sleeping in homeless shelters and about 3,000 people were sleeping rough. 640 homeless people were thought to have died during that year. Seventeen of those deaths were of exposure. I've been in live contact with how horrible it would be, to die like that, the last few days, and plenty of people who don't actually die just suffer a lot. But I'm also a little proud of humankind in general and New York City 2022 in particular, for making this horrible thing happen less than it otherwise would.

I gave the recording from this year's Boston solstice a listen and disliked it - I feel bad about saying this, and am pushing through that bad feeling not due to unkind intent, but because I imagine you want access to negative feedback as well as positive. It feels like the same reason I dislike the original tune of [] Wrote The Rocks and prefer the Alex Federici version ( In both cases, the tune I like less seems meandering, overly jazzy, and out of sync with the serious/gritty character of t... (read more)

Thanks! Confirming that this is what I want! I do think that having choir-only pieces works well in some contexts, but it's not something we like to do at our event. When we've tried doing it we mostly get the feedback that people want to sing along, which makes sense to me given the rest of the aesthetic of the Boston event.

Kidnapping by strangers, in particular, is vanishingly rare, and without that danger why in the world would you need to be 10 years old to play in your own front yard?

From talking to other parents, it seems like often they also have no sense of their kid's responsibility-when-unmonitored, because they've never tested it, and so aren't sure their nine-year-old wouldn't run in front of a car.

I think this reasoning is not truly acausal; if my kids weren't watching my behavior, I wouldn't expect how I treat my elders to affect my descendants' behavior towards me at all.

I disagree, because past people had their chance to influence us and I am equipped to influence my descendants. If I don't kick in for their values, or my descendants don't kick in for mine, it means the people in the past failed; they don't get extra control over me just because they hoped they would have it.

The closest thing I believe to this is that it's good to empathize with past people, and not dismiss the things they cared about as locally absurd. In my opinion, engaging with Catholicism at all is adaptive for a higher fraction of Westerners in the ... (read more)

I often notice "the person who really likes her iconoclast boyfriend, and defends him in public interactions about him by claiming her partner believes something more normal than he in fact believes." (pronouns for less ambiguous grammar and because I think the gender usually skews that way)

I'm not sure if I'm a Less Wrong-style rationalist, but I feel unequipped to speak to anyone else's weaknesses!

Among the things I'm bad at, here's a few things that get me camaraderie-about-being-bad-at-things from other rationalists:

  • deliberately being present in the moment, for many moments in a row, as a persistent life habit
  • engaging productively with doctors about my medical problems
  • procuring and eating good food that makes me happy
  • presenting myself with approachable confidence in social interactions

Edit: of these four, I have more of a lead on t... (read more)

When it comes to the first three I would expect that people in our community are more extreme on average. Some people focused attention on getting good on those points. The average LessWronger probably meditates more than the average person.

I'm very surprised to learn this, thank you for posting! My kid only uses Khan Academy Kids for educational tablet time; do you have other recommendations?

I can recommend Primates of Park Avenue, which is about status signalling among high-class Upper East Side moms in 2005, by a sociologist who ran in those circles.

I upvoted it because I wish I could give Eliezer a hug that actually helps make things better, and no such hug exists but the upvote button is right there.

A high/small example with someone who isn't physically petite: Stringer Bell, from The Wire, especially when he's interacting with Avon.

“Witches don’t often get angry. All that shouting business never really gets anybody anywhere.”

After another pause, Letitia said, “If that is true, then maybe I’m not cut out to be a witch. I feel very angry sometimes.”

“Oh, I feel very angry a lot of the time,” said Tiffany, “but I just put it away somewhere until I can do something useful with it. That’s the thing about witchcraft—and wizardry, come to that. We don’t do much magic at the best of times, and when we do, we generally do it on ourselves.”

-Terry Pratchett, I Shall Wear Midnight

"Some newcomers often find the culture impenetrable and unwelcoming" seems like a feature (not a bug). If anything ought be changed about it, I think the unwelcoming attitude ought be more discerning - excluding people based on properties most of the community actually doesn't want around, rather than or in tandem with whatever criteria it's currently operating on.

Yeah - What I meant to argue is more like "valuable people who could be contributing a lot a leaving or getting turned away from the community, for reasons I think are bad or shortsighted."

I grew up in a hippie commune and I recommend this!

I voiced my reservations about this project in the feedback form, but in summary for public record:

I approve of:

  • a thriving in-person rationalist or rationalist-adjacent community ("community" for short) existing somewhere that's not a metropolis

  • a community that does not oblige its members to "live rationally" according to some consensus definition thereof

  • a community encouraging people to experiment with their lives and gain real-world rationality skills

I have reservations about:

  • the claim that the rationalist community as it e
... (read more)

Source on those statistics, please? I find the claims dubious: in particular, the 25% figure seems to come from this "information packet", which is unsourced and uncited, suggesting that it may not exist. The two Jensens, Cory Jewell and Steve, seem to build a career around inflating the numbers associated with child sexual assault. I can't find sources for either of the other figures.

My stake in the game: I strongly distrust statistics given about child sexual assault unless they are highly specific about what is being discussed, for two reasons... (read more)

I couldn't find the original page I was getting those numbers from, but here's another [] that gives a bit more granularity. It does seem like that 25% number interprets "sexual abuse" very broadly, but the more detailed numbers are still horrifying and still cause for alertness. Indeed, I didn't say "this is a horrible idea, Alicorn." I was just trying to mention this consideration, which I was a bit surprised not to see mentioned in the original post. If the children are all well-educated about how to respond to attempted abuse, and the adults all know this, a strongly abuse-deterring environment is created.

For the author and the audience: what are your favourite patience- and sanity-inducing rituals?

For me, sanity always starts with remembering times that I was wrong—confidently wrong, arrogantly wrong, embarrassingly wrong. I have a handful of dissimilar situations cached in my head as memories (there's one story about popsicles, one story about thinking a fellow classmate was unintelligent, one story about judging a student's performance during a tryout, one story about default trusting someone with some sensitive information), and I can lean on all of those to remind myself not to be overconfident, not to be dismissive, not to trust too hard in my feeling of rightness. As for patience, I think the key thing is a focus on the value of the actual truth. If I really care about finding the right answer, it's easy to be patient, and if I don't, it's a good sign that I should disengage once I start getting bored or frustrated.

I'm up for doing this, because I think you're right; I notice that commenting/posting on LessWrong has less draw for me than it did in 2011/2012, but it's also much less intimidating, which seems useful.

The contrast on the side-by-side options is way too low (clicking a dark blue text bubble turns it a slightly darker blue).


Personally: Overall positive experiences. I'm polyamorous by nature, and have never had a relationship that wasn't poly. In my friend circle (bay area rationalists) there's a fair bit of polyamory. It seems like there's more + happier relationships, as well as more + calmer breakups, when I compare to the current relationships of my acquaintances from high school.

Negative data point: someone I know tried polyamory for (I think) 10-25 years, had a lot of difficult life experiences some of which related to her relationships, and has lately skewed towards re... (read more)

Nope. You've been surveilled, by the survey.

s/by seeing someone else stupidity/by seeing someone else's stupidity/

The top item in my to-do list reads: "If confused, make list! If confusion persists, make lists for lists!"

Point being, I think taskifying in order to avoid counting difficult, unpleasant tasks as one item is useful because it better mirrors reality. For (very ground-level) instance, eating enough meals in a day is hard for me to do consistently because "eat a meal" has a ton of steps: decide what to eat, find ingredients, assemble, and so on. So if I lie to myself and say it's only one step, I feel bad about being so stupid for having ... (read more)

"In any man who dies, there dies with him his first snow and kiss and fight. Not people die, but worlds die in them."

-Yevgeny Yevtushenko

Ironically, the man Yevtushenko is now dead too; but the world Yevtushenko, asteroid number 4234, lives on.
I wonder if we'll ever learn to reconstruct people-shadows from other people's memories of them. Also, whether this is a worthwhile thing to be doing. It's a little creepy the way Facebook keeps dead people's accounts around now.

I assume the capitals are about signaling "goodness"

I use Meaningful Initial Caps to communicate tone, but recognize that it's nonstandard. Sorry for any confusion.

So as far as I can tell, you're saying that "awesomeness" is a good basis for noticing what one's brain currently considers moral, so it can then rebuild its definitions from there.

To extend the metaphor, "sexiness is (perceived by the intuitive parts of your brain, absent intervention from moralizing or abstract-cognition parts, as) consent" is a good thing to ... (read more)

I recognize the idiom (I've read most of c2 wiki, and other places where such is used), just unsure how to parse it in this case. The closest match of "Perfectly Moral Good Individual" is a noun emphasizing apparent nature, rather than true nature. Or did you mean "ignore those preferences in order to be a Perfectly Moral Good Individual who does not Like Evil Things." to be taken literally in the sense that you have to lie about something to be moral? That seems odd. Lie to who? Yes, it's a cached thought, but one that has a solid justification that is easy to port. I have no trouble with bringing those over. The ones the "switch to awesome" procedure targets are cached thoughts like "I am confused about morality", or the various bits of Deep Wisdom that act as the explosive in the philosophical landmine. (Though of course many people in this thread managed to port their confusion and standard antiwisdom as well.) The fact that you were forced to explicitly import "this is a bad idea because of X and Y" shows that it is generally working. Not sure what you are getting at here.

"Morality is awesome", as a statement, scans like "consent is sexy" to me. Neither of these statements are true enough to be useful except as signalling or a personal goal ("I would like to find X thing I believe to be moral more awesome, so as to hack my brain to be more moral").

In some cases of assessing morality/awesomeness or consent/sexiness correlation, one would sometimes have to lie about their awesomeness/sexiness preferences, and ignore those preferences in order to be a Perfectly Moral Good Individual who does not Like Evil Things.

It was secretly meant to be parsed the other way: "awesome is morality". Sorry to confuse. It's not about signalling, it's supposed to be an entirely personal thing. It's not about hacking your brain to find your current conception of morality more awesome either. It's about flushing out your current conception of morality and rebuilding it from intuition without interference from Deep Wisdom or philosophical cached thoughts. I assume the capitals are about signaling "goodness". Sometimes one will have to lie about what is actually moral, in order to appear "moral". The awesomeness basis is orthogonal to this, except that it seems to make the difference between what is actually good and "morality" more explicit.

Quirrell scans, to me, as more awesome along the "probably knows far more Secret Eldrich Lore than you" and "stereotype of a winner" axes, until I remember that Hermione is, canonically, also both of those things. (Eldrich Lore is something one can know, so she knows it. And she's more academically successful than anyone I've ever known in real life.)

So when I look more closely, the thing my brain is valuing is a script it follows where Hermione is both obviously unskillful about standard human things (feminism, kissing boys, Science M... (read more)

I scored really low on everything - in fact, I got 4th percentile Agreeableness. Not over-correcting for self-importance is hard!

ETA: I do actually have reason to believe that I'm not an extremely disagreeable person; I'm concerned that failing to acknowledge that or present those reasons made it look like I failed to consider that possibility.

I got 1th (1st?) percentile on agreeableness, and I disagree! (yes that sounds like High Fallacy) Infact all of my Big Five scores were quite low barring N which was a nicely high number.
I got similarly extreme results on C/E/A (not that I disagree with the direction) and lower-than-casually-expected O: link [] (Edited to add: Very amused by the Myers-Briggs question "Your actions are frequently influenced by emotions". Um....)

Took it. I think the example of 0.5 being interpreted as 0.5% and not as 50% anchored me a bit, but don't see a way to circumvent it.

.X will be interpreted as 0.X% and not as X0% ?

Yeah. I actually hack this somewhat; if I'm distressed, even if I've objectively had enough to eat, the ritual of snacking on something little often gives me the wherewithal to at least get myself to a less stressful location.

Thanks for making this! It's motivated me to copy and play around with your code, which I haven't actually done with code before and which turns out to be insanely low hanging fruit for learning. (Which you already knew, but I didn't.)

You're welcome! However, don't do that quite yet since I'm planing to do more stuff and it'd lead to a mess of forking and having to redo things over and over. Feel free, and even encouraged, to make suggestions thou! (except spelling ones, to many of those to be workable at this stage) Exception is if you're redoing most of the templates and adapting it to some other form of statements than deeply wise LessWrong ones. Feel free to do that kind of using the engine as much as you want. Strongly recommend using the JSbin Clone feature for that.

As well as a much-loved pastime.

The thirty-fourth virtue of rationality is avoid sex at all costs.

Dammit, Spock.

sex is truly part of any rationalist

But you just said...

Less Wrong is not a cult so long as our meetups don't involve a cult.

Less Wrong is not a cult so long as our meetups don't include a sex maximizer.

The forty twoth virtue of rationality is "avoid universal rationality at any cost"

In the new version of Newcomb's problem, you have to choose between a box containing rationality and a box containing truth.

Humanity is the art of winning at torture.

Okay. I'm done here.

Thanks! I totally did misread the comment.

Honestly, I might just be filtering out the noise at this point - or having recently worked out how to point out that a comment is noise in a certain way might be helping me consider noise more of a learning experience and less of a blank field.

Today I learned that I should go re-read the Wikipedia page on fallacies.

I agree with almost all of what you've said here, except for the idea that taking the middle way is correct in this instance.

Also, let it be stated in advance that anything I say about my behavior patterns, social strategies and so forth is noticed in hindsight. I am not actually a Machiavellian mastermind who plots every interaction to maximize for making you all my slaves. (Of course I am telling you the truth. I am your friend. )

My favorite approach to social tactics is taking the Harry James Potter-Evans-Verres route: I perceive that people are genera... (read more)

Perhaps lukeprog's assistant should make a separate account to post these through, to avoid getting this complaint every time they make such a post.

He could get paid in karma, too. ;P

I notice about equal proportions of my male and female acquaintances/friends showing this kind of fear of being seen as showing off. It seems like it's perceived as a much more attractive trait in women, so people create two categories to describe it: shy, insecure, awkward girls, and beta, submissive, loser men. [Note that I think this kind of behavior is perceived as a subset of beta-malehood, not the whole thing.]

My shot-in-the-dark theory is that men nearly always prefer to be described as aggressive, competitive, forward &etc, while for women ther... (read more)

This is fascinating. I agree that it's safer for a girl to act shy, awkward, and insecure, especially when first meeting people, and that agressive, competitive behavior is frowned upon. However, I feel like there's a happy medium between these two poles. Is it possible for a girl to be confident, forthright, and assertive, while remaining respectful and cooperative? That is the ideal towards which I strive.

Actually, I'm quite meta-self-conscious about my lack of self-consciousness. I'm neither shy nor insecure, and I worry that I'm violating some uns... (read more)

This is funny to me, because the first time I met a group of Less Wrongers, one of them tickled me a day or two into us having met. However, the person in question was MBlume, who is known to not be scary.

This comment does all of the things I was concerned about Alicorn's not doing. The conversation I'd expect to ensue from her comment would be an argument over the definitions of "torture," "incomprehensible bossing" &etc, which wouldn't be explicit so much as the bashing together of "Doing these things to autistics is good" and "Doing these things to autistics is evil." I have good reasons to expect this, because it's what I've seen take place subsequent to such a remark a million times and with no positive outco... (read more)

I remain badly uncomfortable with this portrayal of the situation as "High status men are permitted to touch arbitrary women in their social group more," and this being presumed to be the same as "Women are more happy when high status men touch them [than when low-status men do.]" I can allow someone to touch me for a lot of reasons: fear, paralysis, having been Psychology-of-Persuasion'd into it, being friends with them, being ecstatic about something unrelated, sexual or aesthetic attraction. However, I have good reason to believe tha... (read more)

A woman who's afraid to resist the touch in the moment might still label the guy afterwards as a creep. When I said allowed, I meant behavior that doesn't lead to being labeled creepy. When it comes to the girl being happy about being touched things can be more complex. Most people find being tickled a bit uncomfortable. Some guysenjoy tickling a girl even if the girl would prefer in the moment not to be tickled. Tickling a girl communicates "We have a relationship where I have the power to tickle you without negative consequences for myself". It's demonstration of power. If the girl goes along with it, she recognises the power. It demonstrates status to other people who are watching. Successful demonstration of power can increase the amount of attraction that a girl feels. Jerks who demonstrate power have more success with girl than nice guys who don't. The pickup literature is full with advice that suggest that being "nice" isn't enough to create attraction. Unfortunately that frequently leads to guy's behaving in creepy ways. They try to act like they have social power that they don't have.

I was also pleasantly surprised to notice how little this thread was mindkilled.

As for something I learned, the distinction between individual interpretation of someone's behavior as charismatic v. an individual's social status within a group was made salient in a way that let me notice it. There's several other things I can't call to mind but which I'm pretty sure I did learn.

I think you may have misread the comment you are replying to. He said that this thread had a low signal to noise ratio, and expressed disbelief that anyone "honestly... learned something from this thread."
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