All of vizikahn's Comments + Replies

Jinnetic Engineering, by Richard Stallman

Thanks for this! I recently tried to find this story, but couldn't remember who wrote it or what the title was.

2jtolds11yoh no! i was totally scrolling down to post hi when i saw this. I put high five day in my calendar as the 19th of april, and so I was super stoked for tomorrow. who knew it was the third thursday? not me. :( what a bummer also, hi!
Do Fandoms Need Awfulness?

I can imagine meeting another Vance aficionado in person: we just nod politely, in silent agreement, or talk in cryptic sentences like vorlons.

H. R. Giger is an excellent painter and sculptor, anyone can see that, but for most people his sculptures are just too... alien. I discoved that I really like Giger and Vance, but I can see that others would have to acquire the taste.

The Trouble With "Good"

When I had a job behind a counter, one of the rules was: "We don't sell 'I don't know'". We were encouraged to look things up as hard as possible, but it's easy to see how this turns into making things up. I'm going to use the term Counter man syndrome from now on.

0mytyde9yIf they don't have the nutritional basis for changing their bodies, they won't. Some people, mostly those suffering from chronic conditions, are actually low in cholesterol
3gwern10yBesides that Australian study, see "The Workout Enigma" [http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/phys-ed-the-workout-enigma/], describing http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20689460 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20689460]
3JulianMorrison12yUnsurprising given that most of the effect of exercise is informational, equivalent to twiddling a control knob. Some people have mis-wired controls; for them exercise does no more than just burning a small number of immediate calories.
-9AlexU12y
1kluge12yOulu as well.
Rational Me or We?

As a martial arts enthusiast I have to concur that the practical survivability impact of my training is somewhat limited. In fact, I would go as far as to say that my martial art training is far less likely to save my life than is my previous sporting hobby, running.

My krav maga instructor (a bouncer) used to emphasize that 90% of realistic self-defense is about avoiding trouble, and running is a battle-tested survival technique. I think running was the best way to keep your sanity in the Cthulhu role-playing too. So, the first line of self-defense: don't open that old book, run away and read what people at LW are saying.

5nazgulnarsil12y90% of actual self defense confrontations involve extremely simple techniques. hard core martial arts training is about beating other martial artists. if you just want practical survival skills you learn the control techniques cops use and just practice.
3 Levels of Rationality Verification

What we need is a rationality equivalent of a katana or a machine gun. One for each student, some basic training and even ninja masters go down pretty quickly (unless they really can dodge bullets). Occupatio "weapon of mass rationality".

2Tom_Talbot12yPerhaps the notion of an 'art of rationality' is completely misguided. Why are we relying on the skills of individual people who evolved to be irrational when systems can be built for the purpose of giving rational answers? Why walk to the answer when you can drive?
6Johnicholas12ySoftware tools for rationality, decision support systems, might very well be more valuable than extensive personal training in rationality.
2swestrup12yThis has been voted into the negatives, but I'm not sure its so basically bad as an idea. If we can set up a system where all of the students, teachers, and any other staff, are all in continuous rationality competitions with each other, then this would quickly cause one to hone their skills. For example, maybe the teacher of a class is chosen from within a class and has to fight (metaphorically) to maintain that position. Maybe the choice of whether you are teacher, student, principal, cafeteria cook, or janitor depends on the outcomes of numerous rationality contests between members. And note that I don't necessarily mean that cafeteria cook or janitor would be positions that go to the losers...
Talking Snakes: A Cautionary Tale

If I were talking to a Muslim (on this level) about evolution, my next questions would probably be: "Are you aware that humans give birth to deformed babies?" and "Do you think a monkey could give birth to a deformed baby that looks like a human baby?"

Do I think that a snake could produce sounds that can be interpreted as words? Well, yeah. "Can I eat this apple?" "Sssss..." "Sounded like yessss to me, let's eat."

3Strange77yParrots can talk; a parrot named Alex even accidentally learned how to spell out a word for emphasis when the listener didn't seem to be paying attention. Pre-curse, this "snake" wasn't crawling around on the ground. Maybe it was just a slightly cleverer species of parrot.