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<p>Vladimir - I'm puzzled about your book recommendation! It looks more like a self-help book for struggling couples rather than something addressing the concepts of (to use Cyan's terms - thanks Cyan) explicit and implicit understanding.</p>

<p>A lot of people posting in this thread, and similar o...(read more)

First, can you clarify what you mean by "everything is permissible and nothing is forbidden"?

In my familiar world, "permissible" and "forbidden" refer to certain expected consequences. I can still choose to murder, or cheat, blaspheme, neglect to earn a living, etc; they're only forbidden in the s...(read more)

<p>To clarify, Q#1 is querying what constitutes "understanding", using Sarah (not Mike) as an example. If a person can articulate information but can't, for whatever reason, make use of the information, is that "understanding"? (And doesn't that happen a lot around here?)</p>

<p>Q#2 is querying jus...(read more)

<p>An anecdote, followed by a question:</p>

<p>My friend (call her Sarah) explained to me how she and her boyfriend (Mike) were different: she was "tactile" and liked to get presents - just something to keep and hold - to make her feel loved; he was "auditory" and liked to hear her say that she lov...(read more)

Eliezer - "an opportunity to help people think differently"?

But what for?

And: "a moral choice about whether human beings should modify themselves in certain ways"?

Again; what for? Enjoyment of life increases physical and emotional health. Each person's enjoyment is a matter of individual taste...(read more)

Further on reality:

A poem or story about ghosts or dragons is a product of a human mind, made possible by the evolution of imagination in humans, and influenced by that human's experiences and cultural heritage.

In other words, it's just as much a part of the natural world as the song of a bird. ...(read more)

Eliezer, you seem to be deeply offended by the fact that many people enjoy fantasy over reality, or don't get a kick out of science. As you put it, they don't have the scientific attitude that "nothing is mere".

Yet why should you expect people to be different from the way they are?

You said it yo...(read more)

"The mathy posts appeal to people who are serious about moving this burgeoning field forward, and the non-mathy posts appeal to people who are more casually interested in the concepts" - (Snappycrunch)

Beware of mistaking mathematical thinking for rational thinking; math is a tool like any other, t...(read more)

Very sensible. I never could understand why people made such a fuss about whether the tree made a sound or not. (The best answer I saw was a cartoon of the fallen tree saying quietly to itself, "Oh, shit.")

Perhaps this also has relevance to the classic omnipotence paradox - "Can an omnipotent bein...(read more)

"The point is that given this information, rationality picks choice 2." - Posted by: GreedyAlgorithm

Sorry, no. Given this information, rationality says that there is not enough information to make an appropriate decision, and demands to know the context. If contextual information isn't available, ...(read more)