Vanilla_cabs

Posts

Sorted by New

Comments

RationalWiki on face masks

All your points are correct, but they explain why censorship can be successful, which I don't doubt. My point was that it ends up not being for the greater good.

RationalWiki on face masks

Ever read history? Censorship has a really bad track record. I'm puzzled at why some people think it'll be for the greater good this time.

The True Face of the Enemy

Well I think as a general matter that a case against status quo is incomplete without the case for an alternative, because everybody can picture the status quo, but few will guess what your alternative looks like.

There's been a plethora of essays denouncing the school system already, and I haven't seen any major change except more restrictions on alternatives to public schools. A difficulty IMO is that good teaching is hard to scale. To keep motivated, young people need models to look up to, and the most relatable are the ones they can interact with IRL. An alternative would be teaching parents to be those role models, but your mileage would vary.

Have you heard of the monitorial system - bleh, this sounds carceral in English - ? When public education appeared, a lot of leeway was left to teachers. To manage large numbers of students, the school didn't batch students by age. Students who had learned a topic would teach it in return. This seems like a clever way to form role models, personalize learning, teach responsibility and reinforce the learnings, all with minimum investment.

My current best plan would be to get rich, fund multiple private schools based on alternatives, rate them, keep the best, open more. I'm far from milestone 1.

The True Face of the Enemy

Great writing, enthralling, whether or not one adheres with the message. The Enemy feels like it fits a very general pattern in my mind, like this article could be interpreted as a metaphor for many different struggles.

However I am sick and tired of the "we will eventually prevail" mantra (my gratitude for whoever finds if there's an actual name). I am starting to get old, and in my life I've seen countless of these claims about various causes, how group X is suffering unfairly now, but someday, just someday... you'll see. We'll have to change, the conditions will be different. The bad guys can't stay unpunished. The truth will triumph - when? They never achieve anything. A cheap hope, better than despair? I disagree. Hope can induce passivity as easily as despair, two ways of changing your perception of the situation without changing the situation. What we need is a plan, concrete actionable steps to a goal. Spare the motivational speech, cut to the strat if you've got one.
 

The True Face of the Enemy

When a person is incarcerated for 8 hours every day, it's previsible, and I'd say even fair, that they will make life harder for their jailors' accomplices in their free time. The point 'children are hurricanes' fits both sides of the argument.

Anyway, I don't believe that point to begin with. Sure, some children are like that, but nowhere near the majority.

Centrally planned war

If you look at wars during the Antiquity, barbarians would rush to combat in disorder. They would challenge each other to kill the most enemies to keep themselves motivated. And they were utterly decimated by the roman legion. Hierarchy replaces morale with discipline: centralised armies can push soldiers way beyond the point where they would give up and flee if they could. Therefore, trust is less an issue in centralised armies: each soldier can be assured that their neighbour will not leave their side at the worst moment. This in turn boosts the soldier's morale. Unorganised armies would rush to combat, but also break and flee easily, which made it easy for fast troops like cavalry to chase and slaughter them.

Also, strategy: sometimes, troops must be sacrificed to make a higher gain. Who would volunteer to be sacrificed?

Anti-Aging: State of the Art

I am not under the impression that physical comfort is what was opposed in Fight Club. After all, hunter-gatherers also accessed more resources than they could ever consume, like top-quality fresh air and sunlight. I think it was consumerism. Under consumerism, consuming is not driven by personal motivation, but by the external general goal of supporting the economy. Instead of being an end, the consumer has to be turned into a means to that single end, a slave to consumption, through ads and social pressure.

Intended enjoyment

I do not mean to intrude as the last (rhetorical) question seems to imply that you do not actually seek an answer, but let me be the one to state the obvious, you do not have to enjoy what others enjoy. While acquired tastes exist and it might be worth generally trying stuff,  letting the tastes of a group supersede your tastes will simply draw your awareness further and further away from yourself. You will end up vainly following fads and frustrated at having to fake the enjoyment that others express genuinely.

In the particular cases you cite though, it might be cases of selection bias: only positive appreciations are broadcast. And/or maybe you simply draw information from a group that does not share your tastes in chewy paper, but there exist other groups that do share that taste that you are not aware of.
 

I don't want to listen, because I will believe you

That we are unconsciously suggestible to information is a valuable point. Now, this begs the question: why do some people leave cultish beliefs after being raised in them? It seems we are not all equally suggestible in all circumstances. It then seems to me of the greatest importance to discover what prevents or accelerates unconscious validation of information: what circumstances, what character traits? What allows people to un-validate unconsciously validated information?

Note: Some readers might not get the half-joke if I include cosmology and nutritional epidemiology in the above list, so I refrained from doing so

Not to mention belief in the Egyptian god Apophasis.

Avoid discussions that heavily relate to sex and politics, because people tend to switch to full-on tribal-signaling and tribal-propaganda

These topics most of the time are a rational minefield with little to gain. Still, nothing says there isn't or won't be a time when it's worth going there. Maybe there will be a particularly strong incentive, maybe you will be trained enough in rationality so the costs to your sanity will be lower. In any case, there seems to be a risk if all the rational actors leave such important fields to everyone else.

Learn the "establishment" position and the arguments for it before learning the "wake up sheeple" position. On the whole, I think it's safe to assume establishment positions are better than random the alternatives.

Correction by me to avoid biased word.

Everybody can agree that there were historical situations in which this was the right thing to do, and others in which this was the wrong thing to do. So the question is: how to distinguish them?

Moral moralizing

Where do you get the opinion that slavery, genocide and rape are bad? Whatever the answer is seems to be a solid base for ethics in your eyes. And clearly that's not only professional ethicists who hold that opinion, and I doubt they even hold it in a higher proportion than other people.

Load More