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Why Don't Rationalists Win?

"Local rationalist learns to beat akrasia using this one weird trick!"

High Challenge

Jonathan Livingston Seagull doggedly pursues his passion, improving continuously, and as he does so, the needs and limits of his body fall away. By flying, he no longer needs to eat. By flying, he no longer needs to age. By flying, he no longer needs to die. Richard Bach allows his character to surpass realistic diminishing returns, distractions, and danger.

That, uh... that sounds pretty good.

November 2014 Media Thread

Strength is determined by biology and behavior; the stereotype reflects both biological reality and cultural expectations. Note that boys are/were expected to be stronger than girls even before puberty actually creates a meaningful biological gap...

LW's take on nutrition?

Can we safely tack "processed sugar bad" onto that list?

How to Avoid the Conflict Between Feminism and Evolutionary Psychology?

Being cuckolded (in this context) means unknowingly raising not-your-genetic-offspring while believing it is your own. A male partner's infidelity can't cuckold a woman.

But I imagine most mothers would be horrified to discover, ten years after the fact, that their newborn was stolen and replaced with someone else's, and the child they've devoted so much to is not actually their genetic offspring. A brief bout of Google indicates that hospital baby swaps can spark multimillion dollar lawsuits, sometimes successful...

The flawed Turing test: language, understanding, and partial p-zombies

Are AI players actually indistinguishable from humans in Chess? Could an interrogator not pick out consistent stylistic differences between equally-ranked human and AI players?

Dissolving the Question


If we perfectly understood the decision-making process and all its inputs, there'd be no black box left to label 'free will.' If instead we could perfectly predict the outcomes (but not the internals) of a person's cognitive algorithms... so we know, but don't know how we know... I'm not sure. That would seem to invite mysterious reasoning to explain how we know, for which 'free will' seems unfitting as a mysterious answer.

That scenario probably depends on how it feels to perform the inerrant prediction of cognitive outcomes, and especially how it feels to turn that inerrant predictor on the self.

For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books

"If you're so good at logical reasoning why didn't you create the next killer app"

'Designing the next killer app' seems to rely heavily on predicting what people will want, which is many steps and a lot of knowledge away from logical reasoning.

A Prodigy of Refutation

Seems like idea-fights between humans result in vastly more effort put into the fight than into the idea.

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