I think the general claim this post makes is
I think there's an objection here that value != consumption of material resources, hence the constraints on growth may be far higher than the author calculates. Still, the article is great
I'm in two minds about this post.
On one hand, I think the core claim is correct Most people are generally too afraid of low negative EV stuff like lawsuits, terrorism, being murdered etc... I think this is also a subset of the general argument that goes something like "most people are too cowardly. Being less cowardly is in most cases better"
That being said, I have a few key problems with this article that make me downvote it.
I think this post does two things well:
I think this post presents a plausible explanation for why Europe colonised the world. I think my problem is that there are numerous other explanations with a great deal of supporting literature and argumentation and I don't see much if any engagement with the alternative explanations in this post. In other words, I feel this post is trying to convince me of a certain answer without acknowledging the existence of other answers.
A few more specific thoughts:
Your model of why Europe wins:
I don't think the conclusion "stateless societies are not in a Hobbesian state of constant war" is warranted here. With stateless societies or those in a weak state, the war isn't between members of the group/family/clan/tribe. It's between different groups. Within a group people are still subject to rules, sanctions for bad behaviour etc...
I'm not sure I agree.
Some class of errors/problems are due to taking the wrong approach. Trying harder here is indeed not effective and is bad advice.
Another class of errors are due to giving up too early, not putting in enough effort or not really caring about doing something well/properly. For this class of errors, "try harder" is legitimate feedback because the problem is indeed the amount of effort being put in.
An example from my time at secondary school. Some people would try to study but take the wrong approach and as a consequence not do that well. ...
Are you already committed to a specific person to have children with?
The reason I ask is that who you have children with will have a drastically larger impact on the quality of children you get vs even 100% accurate polygenic screening. If waiting 10 years gets you better polygenic screening but makes finding a good partner (genetics + character/culture etc...) somewhat less likely, then the tradeoff may not be worth it.
(It's still smart to freeze eggs/sperm anyway)
Agreed but it seems to me that agreeableness/conflict-avoidance makes you far more susceptible to frame-control. Not that it's the only factor which matters or that a disagreeable person is immune.
This article gives me a strange feeling of looking through a mirror into a very different kind of world. I'm highly disagreeable. Vulnerability to frame control seems to stem from being agreeable/conflict-avoidant/unassertive. I personally find many of the situations where person A tries to frame control person person B and person B just silently takes it and doesn't say anything (at least in the initial stages) really weird and hard to imagine myself doing. Further, while rationally I know people behave like this, I really can't put myself in their shoes ...
Yeah, instinctive accepting of other people's frames seems like an important part of "agreeableness".
Which is different from the skill of switching to different frames intentionally, which is generally useful for everyone (it allows one to consider a situation from multiple perspectives, and understand the thinking of other people), but agreeable people need to learn this as a self-defense skill -- to switch away from other people's frames and maintain their own frame when necessary.
Counterpoint: Sometimes you don't have a clear title because you don't have a clear understanding of what you want to say. Starting by writing and iterating can help you clarify your thoughts and eventually lead to a clear title & article once you're clearer on what you're thinking/want to say.
Hard agree with the potential negative effects. Debating is essentially learning to be good at motivated reasoning. That can be very good if you choose to apply said motivated reasoning skill to deeply understand all positions on a topic, even those you disagree with. It's usually bad because most people just use their superior motivated reasoning skills to engage in confirmation bias more effectivley.
I think there are two parts to being good at philosophy: argumentative skill and cached knowldge.
Cached knowledge is knowing a given topic, the arguments around it and so on. Without cached knowledge you can't engage in a real discussion because you have to reinvent the wheel while other people are discussion the best design for a car. Getting cached knowledge is largely a matter of reading existing work and discussion with people who know the field
Argumentation is being able to argue well. This means spotting flaws in arguments, being able to distinguish ...
It's not necessarily clear that disaster relief is better handled by the government. A few things to keep in mind:
I recently finished reading the book with a small group of friends. One thing we all thought was that the micro half of the book was far better written then the macro half. We all came away from the micro half with a clear, intuitive understanding of most of most of the concepts explained. On the other hand the macro explanations seemed to be both more complex and also less persuasive. There were a number of times we thought up obvious objections to a macro explanation, expected the book to cover it only to find that it moved on.
I think you may be confusing utilitarianism and consequentialism a bit. Your arguments for accepting utilitarianism past a certain scale (e.g: would you kill one person to save the world, no logical basis for act/omission distinction) are more arguments for consequentialism generally than they are for utilitarianism specifically. Your objections on the other hand are specific to utilitarianism.
Have you considered that you may be a consequentialist (you think the best principled course of action/universe is one where we maximise goodness) but not a utilitarian (consequentialism + the only thing we should care about it utility. No weighting for desert, justice, knowledge, etc...)
I think these are all good examples of language reforms. I guess my issue is that I was over-fixating on english.
I agree that there are many metrics on which you can judge a language. My post above was meant to be more about writing systems specifically than languages generally. (Sorry for the lack of clarity). Given a set language with a certain vocabulary, grammar etc.. I don't why a phonemic system of writing would lead to less communication bandwidth, expressiveness, ambiguity etc... than a non phonemic one. Ditto for logogramatic writing systems.
In essence my mental model is that you can say certain things in certain ways with a given language. Which writing sy...
I think a fair bit of the confusion here arises from the difference between judging an act or package of acts as good/bad vs judging a person as a whole as good or bad.
Judging acts is simple. Are those actions or that combination of actions permissible and or desirable under your moral system.
Judging people is harder. Do we judge a person by their actions? Do we judge them by the actions they would have taken in a variety of hypotheticals? (Almost no one will steal/kill/rape when doing so is socially prescribed and likely to be harshly punished. The fact t...
Thanks for this. This is the kind of post which seems obvious in retrospect but I didn't think/know beforehand.
It's worth noting that assessing your own learning is far easier in domains where there are practical tasks gated by knowledge. E.g: When learning.a programming language, I can measure the learning by my ability to do tasks of increasing complexity with it.
I imagine that for textbook learning you could try exams. That certainly works for maths although it has a failure mode in that it only verifies that you've memorized passwords whereas what you want to do is to develop a deep and intuitive understanding.
Wholeheartedly agree that having the capacity to cause good outcomes is important. I'm not sure it's part of being a good person. Let's say you have two people. Both have the same personal amount of Wisdom and Courage. Both choose to do good. One person is born poor and the other is born with 100 billion dollars in inheritance. The richer person is undoubtedly more powerful and can do more good but does that mean they're a better person?
Maybe "ability" or some other word is better here than power. For me power implies being able to force other agents to do/not do things. Ability suggests being able to do something, even when that something doesn't involve other agents.
Putting it forward as a religion-substitute would probably turn people off
I agree this is a risk. Both due to culty vibes and people not wanting a religion. I'm not sure in practice whether growing rationalism as a core identity would lead to less or more rationalists. I'm also not sure how far non-core and core identity rationalism are mutually exclusive. (Just like a lot of people are vaguely christian without belonging to a church, so maybe a lot of people would be vaguely interested in rationalism without wanting to join their local temple)
I feel a similar way to you in that rationalism is part of my core identity. Why do you think talking about rationality/rationalism will make you loose social status? I've often broached the topic with people in work, my friendship groupm, debating etc and have never had any problems.
Wonderful. Thanks for creating this. One small tip: when doing remote interviews consider sending your guests a cheap mic or headset. Even a $30 mic/headset can drastically improve sound quality and would really improve listening experience for some of your episodes.
So I think it's interesting that the market seem so expensive for these tasks. It makes sense for the carpenter case due to the information asymmetry but I don't see what there aren't more affordable moving companies in your nation.
As for markets vs trust a few thoughts:
So I think that the explanations for the gradual spread of ever more intense agriculture are:
This sequence was incredibly interesting while also being very short and to the point. Thanks a great deal for writing it.
Generally speaking i think your hypothesis is interesting and plausible.
A few questions
Out of curiosity, why a US tracker fund instead of a global one like FTSE all-world?
Hmmm. So I don't think more global exposure = more diversified. What you should be aiming for is investing in each country/region in proportion to it's share of the market.
Consider the following situation
I'm not sure I've ever felt anger in the way it seems to be described here. As in, anger as an uncontrolled emotional response to disliking something/someone. I have felt something close to violence-instinct where I thought that a person was a danger/bad and it was time to hurt them but that seems different.
While I tend to agree with you that anger is bad an should be avoided that seems like an extension of the general rule of "You should decide what you feel' rather than letting feelings just randomly happen to you as if they're something external to you ...
I think there are two ways to read this article. "Markets are inefficient and you can often beat them" or "most systems are fairly broken and you can usually outperform the average person a lot by just using your brain".
I think the second hypothesis is true. I think the first hypothesis is probably not. Most people can't generate market beating returns and are better off investing in index funds.
While I think there are some flaws with this proposal, my biggest question is "Why not do other things that are done abroad and we know work?"
The US system for deals is really strange. In the UK and many european countries there's no such thing as a deal. The police can charge you with a crime. The earlier in the process you admit guilt, the bigger % a sentence reduction you get. This seems to solve the overcharging problem, a prosecutor can't charge you with crime X and then give you a deal for crime Y, and aligns incentives better as prosecutors can't fe...
It doesn't cost that much. i put some funds in polymarket and my total costs were around 18$, Use metamask and wait for a low=price time of day to send money. Alternately, use matic or something similar to get fees which are less than a dollar
I think it's worth noting that there are often both fixed and percentage fees associated with crypto which it's important to be aware of/minimize in order for the trades you mentioned to be profitable. Specifically:
One argument is that the US stock market already contains a lot of global exposure as many/most large US firms are internationally diversified themselves. Buying global funds means you're actually under-investing in the USA relative to the world as 40% of your "US companies" are actually global companies.
I don't vouch for this argument, it's just something I've heard which sounds somewhat plausible.
I think one thing to consider is that the two paths don't have an equal % chance to succeed. Getting a tenure track position at a top 20 university is hard. Really hard. Getting a research scientist position is, based on my very uncertain and informal understanding, less hard.
That's a good point. I'lll update the post to mention it. There is another trump market offering 5% (so 3% after the fees) but it's far smaller. https://polymarket.com/market/will-donald-trump-be-president-of-the-usa-on-may-31-2021
1: Nuclear Power Currently we (the developed world except France) rely mostly on fossil fuels for energy with some usage of renewables. This has been the case since WW2. This is bad. It's bad because global warming and other kinds of pollution. It's bad because we rely either on coal, which is extra dirty, or oil and natural gas which largely comes from brutal autocracies and causes us to be needlessly involved in wars and influence battles. Renewables are coming but they're too inconsistent to be useful. until we have better energy storage tech.
None of th...
Just to point out that there are consequentialist arguments for first past the post, namely that it leads to stable majority governments and a small number of well-defined political parties.
20% over two months sounds extremely high to be close to risk free. I'd be very curious to hear more.
Are you sure you can do it with no fees? I know you can do it if you deposit USD but I don't think it's possible with other currencies.
That's a good point. I'm used to the free withdrawals. Didn't realize the costs until I looked at their blog just now.
Will update the article.
So I don't really think it's the price of risk. I think it's just the markets being shallow and inefficient and most casual players being uninterested in a 4% return and unable to exploit one even if they were interested as their transaction fees would erase that margin.
Why do you believe that proof-of-stake is a mirage? We know it's possible as some existing blockchains already use it. Do you believe that:
Instituting rule of law in foreign policy. In many countries foreign policy is essentially at the discretion of the executive. Insofar as it is controlled by the legislature, it's controlled through committees and reporting requirements rather than actually courts and rules of conduct. Imagine if the prime minister could choose to kill whoever they wanted and was only contrainted by the threat of parliamentary sanction. That's basically the status qou for foreign policy at the moment.
Make nuclear our main source of power. It's green, safe, sustainable, cheap and reliable. We could have done this in the 60's/70's as France did but irrational fears of nuclear power and subsequent over-regulation and lack of gov support killed it in the US and UK.
I'd heard of cryonics quite a bit but never brain scanning or preservation. The story of the young man is particularly poignant. It's is truly a tragedy that brain preservation is not more widely commercially available.
Fair enough. It's good to know that inspections are no longer pre-announced..
I find this super interesting, but as always I worry about selection effects.
There are many famous, successful and influential people in history. My question would be what % of those people had tutoring, cognitive apprenticeships etc...
This post chooses a number of famous people. Presumably the selection process goes something like this:
The problem is that those with unusual educations are more likely to have written about them. What if there are many famous/successful people who mostly had normal education
Your question seems like it should be the other way around. We don't really care about P(tutoring | success) directly when choosing actions, but we do care about P(success | tutoring) versus P(success | not tutoring).
Unless the relevant base rates P(tutoring) and P(success) are known, P(tutoring | success) by itself tells us little.