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There is a reasonable question about why it is that "For group decisions that require unanimity very little passes the process.". How much of this effect is honest difference in values, and how much is mere linguistic artifacts caused by our tiny communication bandwidth and how sloppily we use it.

IMO any CEV algorithm that had any hope of making sense would have to ignore words and map actual concepts together.

Why I Am Not a Rationalist, or, why several of my friends warned me that this is a cult

We don't just use 'winning' because, well.. 'winning' can easily work out to 'losing' in real world terms. (think of a person who alienates everyone they meet through their extreme competitiveness. They are focused on winning, to the point that they sacrifice good relations with people. But this is both a) not what is meant by 'rationalists win' and b) a highly accessible definition of winning - naive "Competition X exists. Agent A wins, Agent B loses"). VASTLY more accessible than 'achieving what actually improves your life, as opposed to what you merely want or are under pressure to achieve'

I'd like to use the word 'winning', but I think it conveys even less of the intended meaning than 'rationality' to the average person.

How do you take notes?

I just want to clarify here -- are you aware that personal wikis and server software such as MediaWiki are different classes of software? The most relevant reason to use personal wiki software rather than wiki serving software is, no server == no consequent security holes and system load, no need to do sysadmin type stuff to get it going. Personal wiki software is generally just an ordinary program, meaning it has it's own GUI and can have features that it would be insecure to expose over the internet.

Personally I have found Zim a little lacking when I wanted tables (it doesn't currently support them, except through diagrams), but it supports most other things I've wanted, including some rather exotic stuff

Anyway I mainly commented because using MediaWiki only for your own personal notes seems rather like cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer.

How do you take notes?

Is there some reason you use MediaWiki rather than a personal wiki software (for example Zim)?

Open Thread: March 4 - 10

Simple part first: yes, I claim that every city has or will soon have near-ubiquitous internet access. If you need to deny your future self the ability to choose to use the internet easily, you won't be able to live in a city.

One doesn't follow from the other.

Take out any built-in wifi hardware; get a usb wireless module. These are tiny enough that you can employ almost any security/inconvenience measure on them. Decide which security/inconvenience measures are appropriate. Done.

Dark Side Epistemology

Evidence that would substantially inform a simulation of the enforcement of those beliefs. For example, history provides pretty clear evidence of the ultimate result of fascist states/dictatorships, partisan behaviour, and homogeneous group membership The qualities found in this projected result is highly likely to conflict with other preferences and beliefs.

At that point, the person may still say 'Shut up, I believe what I want to believe.' But that would only mean they are rejecting the evidence, not that the evidence doesn't apply.

Polling Thread

I'd be a lot more inclined to respond to this if I didn't need to calculate probability values (ie. could input weights instead, which were then normalized.)

To that end, here is a simple Python script which normalizes a list of weights (given as commandline arguments) into a list of probabilities:

import sys
weights = [float(v) for v in sys.argv[1:]]
total_w = sum(weights)
probs = [v / total_w for v in weights]
print ('Probabilities : %s' % (", ".join([str(v) for v in probs])))

Produces output like this:

Probabilities : 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4
The Rationality Wars

Yes, that's roughly the reformulation I settled on. Except that I omitted 'have the habit' because it's magical-ish - desiring to have the habit of X is not that relevant to actually achieving the habit of X, rather simply desiring to X strongly enough to actually X is what results in the building of a habit of X.

Rational Evangelism

But in point of fact, the way it works out is that Christianity tends to make people more generous, caring and trustworthy than atheism does. So it goes.

But this is not in point of fact. Citation very much needed.

I don't disagree that (strong, ie. 'God does NOT exist' rather than 'there is no evidence that God exists') atheism attracts some jerks, btw. Any belief that is essentially anti-X has the problem of attracting at least some people who simply enjoy punishing belief in X.

The Rationality Wars

Upvoted, but I would like to point out that it is not immediately obvious that the template can be modified to suit instrumental rationality as well as epistemological rationality; At a casual inspection the litany appears to be about epistemology only.

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