Playpen

Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 00:30 on 25-10-2013, Arthur B
"Tremble, evil-doers! It is I! Non-Coercive Campaign For Social Progress Man!"

SEE NCCFSPMan pamphlet an entire city in the space of a second! GASP as his power of multiplicity makes him a true one-man protest! THRILL as he counteracts the diabolical schemes of his foes, including Percy Privilege, Roger Reactionary, and the Dastardly Derailer!
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at 00:12 on 25-10-2013, Dan H
@Janne

You are no doubt right in this. But I would say that this demonstrates exactly the problem of moving from scientific description to prescriptive commands.


I think that's partly true, but I think it gets difficult in practice, particularly when it comes to questions like discrimination.

For example, most professional basketball players are tall. This isn't because of widespread discrimination on basketball courts, it's because tall people are genuinely better at basketball than short people, for obvious reasons (those reasons, of course, being that in the days of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, tall people would have to go out and hunt mammoths by throwing balls into their ears while they slept). Nobody thinks that the NBA needs to be more accepting of short athletes, or that it is a problem that short people are under-represented in professional basketball.

Similarly, women are under-represented in a whole variety of areas - Engineering is a good example. Now a lot of EvPsych arguments would suggest that women are naturally poor engineers, just as short people are naturally poor basketball players, and that the small number of women in engineering is simply a reflection of the small number of women who have the capability to succeed in engineering. Quite a lot of people disagree, and feel that women are just as capable of succeeding in engineering as men, and argue that if women are under-represented it is because the field is hostile to women for solvable, cultural reasons.

Now you could argue that even if women *were* intrinsically worse engineers than men, we should still try to encourage more women to go into engineering, but that argument has a rather shaky ideological footing. If a perfectly fair system produced a gender imbalance as a result of innate biological predispositions, it would be hard to justify changing that system to correct the imbalance, unless you genuinely believe symmetry is more important than fairness.

So the problem arises not so much because of prescriptive statements (which are an issue too, of course, but are also, I think, fairly rare) but because our assessment of what is "natural" affects our assessment of what we would expect to observe in ideal situations. This in turn affects our assessment of whether structural discrimination exists.

Or something.

Also @Robinson:

Thing is, the types of evil I'm most concerned with combating are structural - it's hard to see how having superpowers would help much in that kind of fight


This strikes me as a potential setup for the BEST SUPERHERO COMIC EVER: "Tremble, evil-doers! It is I! Non-Coercive Campaign For Social Progress Man!"
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at 02:35 on 24-10-2013, Melanie
Plus it raises the question of whether it is unnatural or supernatural, what humans are?


Extranatural? Post-natural? Anatural? I dunno. It doesn't seem like there really is an applicable word in the whole natural/unnatural/etc. cluster of words. Even when "nature" is used to mean everything except humans and our stuff, that doesn't seem to really carry an implication that we as a species are specifically (or at least, necessarily) unnatural. But then, "unnatural" has more of a sense of being opposed to nature (or at least, the speaker's understanding of nature?), not just not being part of it/from it. Of wrongness. You don't really hear anyone saying that... pencils, say... are "unnatural", even though they clearly don't just occur without human intervention--they're "artificial" instead. So... in a certain context, "nature" also means "how things are supposed to be". Where "supposed to be" may be according to the speaker's philosophy/religious stories/thought experiments about cavemen, and doesn't have to have any connection to reality at all.

Which is what makes "unnatural" a value judgement when "artificial" is more neutral (not to mention "impossible"). They're both antonyms, but for different senses of the word.
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at 06:12 on 23-10-2013, Janne Kirjasniemi
If you want to say that we're part of nature and not special or separate, that we evolved in this environment and so we're part of it just like everything else... that's a perfectly valid point, but it renders the words "nature", "natural", etc., meaningless

That's basically true and perhaps it would be preferable to limit it's use to that, given that the distinction between natural and not-natural is hard to make and is really value ridden. Plus it raises the question of whether it is unnatural or supernatural, what humans are? The way natural is used is that it is somehow better, even if that is usually not true, as Jules pointed out. Is human exceptionality a good thing or a bad thing? If it is bad, and humans are somehow outside nature in a bad way, it leaves open the way for arguments like we've discussed, appeals to natural laws(in a moral sense) that are being broken, which is what most moral condemnations of sexuality considered to be less normal than others are, even if made by religious people. On the other hand, if the exceptionality is considered a good thing, does this not leave open options of just considering non-human things somehow beneath us and over which we have authority to use as we see fit? If natural and natural laws are used in a strictly scientifically realistic sense, it might be a bit useless, but at least it would remove the basis of moral arguments based on perceived naturalness of things. If something exists, it must be because it is not breaking any natural laws. This might force us to reconsider the way humans have defined those laws, in case of anomalies. But in these terms, when someone is said to break a natural law, it would be as nonsensical as claiming that that person is in opposition to the strong nuclear force somehow.

Thing is, the types of evil I'm most concerned with combating are structural - it's hard to see how having superpowers would help much in that kind of fight, and you might just as easily fall into reinforcing one or another oppressive system.

To butt in, if one would have some sort of abilities that generated a lot of power, perhaps that power could be used to generate lots of clean power. It wouldn't solve all problems, but it would make some things easier and make it possible to have a fairly regular life. Generating power from 9-5 and then do things.

Most probably the hypothetical AI would consider all these hopes and aspirations heaped upon it to be creepy and stress inducing. Try being a unique life form going through some heavy stuff in relation to your place in the world and some dorks are clamoring for you to enable their pointless hedonism.
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at 04:42 on 23-10-2013, Bookwyrm

Thing is, the types of evil I'm most concerned with combating are structural - it's hard to see how having superpowers would help much in that kind of fight, and you might just as easily fall into reinforcing one or another oppressive system.


Yeah same here. If I had superpowers I would want to spend my time rescuing people, not hunting down criminals. Aside from the above reason I just don't think I have it in me to hurt anyone. Besides there is a very realistic possibility that I could interfere in what I think is criminal activity and wind up hurting innocent people . There's also the possibility that I could run into a crime so violent and disturbing that it scars me for life. Which would cause me to give up super heroics altogether... or turn me into Rorschach.
Ideally if I were a superhero I'd work with public service. That way I could get training (basic first aid, how to handle injured people, emergency protocol, etc), insurance, a salary (I won't have to split my time between a regular job and superhero duty), access to therapists, and legal protection. I'd also like a secret identity. I value my privacy.
As for superpowers I would really like have the ability to phase through solid objects and invisibility. It makes getting from place to place easier and makes you impervious to harm. These powers also make it easier to lose people who are attempting to follow you. It allows you to sneak up on people, just for the giggles.
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at 02:58 on 23-10-2013, Jules V.O.
It means that "nature" is just... everything that exists, I guess, and that "natural" just means things that can happen.

I remember reading a book about advertising which had a really entertaining/depressing list of what certain commonly-used terms meant, legally. 'All-natural' meant 'composed of matter.'
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at 00:34 on 23-10-2013, Melanie
Oh, wow, speaking of "cult-like", apparently they have a special way of saying "cult" (rot13ing it to "phyg", which entertainingly enough is some kind of winged pig in Minecraft) to avoid, um, search engine troubles apparently?

...Hey. Shouldn't anyone worried about the possibility of a hypothetical "good" AI torturing simulations of them for not donating enough also be worried about the possibility of the institute thing fucking up and creating that Voldetron 5000? In which case donating anything would essentially be the worst possible use of their money since it would help create or at least hasten some future hell?

As long as we're talking about AI and all, I'd like to rec Freefall, which is a fairly light sf webcomic with AI themes, and a lot more interesting than "what if we accidentally make a super-machine that hates us".
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at 22:36 on 22-10-2013, Arthur B
I vaguely remember a Ken MacLeod novel where the premise was that the AIs, once invented and given the wherewithal to make their own upgrades to themselves as required by the transhumanist pipe dream, built spaceships and blasted themselves off to go live in the atmosphere of Jupiter, because there was nothing in our ecosystem they couldn't get elsewhere with less trouble and they were entirely disinterested in being bothered with human visitors.
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at 22:01 on 22-10-2013, Melanie
My favourite thing about LessWrong is the Roko's Basilisk incident - summarised here, explained in more detail here, original exchange here - in which they freaked the fuck out about the possibility of future AIs torturing them for not doing enough to make the AIs come into existence


Every time I see the phrase "Friendly AI" I think of "Friend Computer", which I bet isn't what they're going for, but I am impressed that they apparently have this idea that 1)if they make a good enough AI it will definitely solve all our problems for us, because why wouldn't it, 2)their instutite thing (and nobody else) will definitely create such an AI, given enough money, and 3)they are in a race of some kind against an evil AI being created, meaning that 4)they are literally the most important people in the world and humanity's last hope.


I'm not sure "natural" is really even a useful concept in the context of humans. I mean, the whole idea of "nature" is basically "everything except us and stuff we make/do", so in some sense all of human society is by definition "unnatural" because it's us doing it. If you want to say that we're part of nature and not special or separate, that we evolved in this environment and so we're part of it just like everything else... that's a perfectly valid point, but it renders the words "nature", "natural", etc., meaningless--because in that case what could possibly not be natural? How is a house less natural than a beehive or a nest? It means that "nature" is just... everything that exists, I guess, and that "natural" just means things that can happen. Which seems spectacularly pointless.
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at 20:33 on 22-10-2013, Janne Kirjasniemi
I think it's more subtle than that. I think a lot of Evolutionary Psychology stuff (particularly of the armchair variety, but also a lot of the actual mainstream stuff too) makes the mistake or - if you prefer - cynical strategic decision of seeking to provide an "explanation" for something which may or may not be true at all.

You are no doubt right in this. But I would say that this demonstrates exactly the problem of moving from scientific description to prescriptive commands. The point in these is to prove the "naturalness" of a supposed phenomenon and by using the rhetoric of evolution make it so that the phenomenon in question cannot be changed and is somehow deterministic. But an evolutionary framework does not have to be genetically determined, as it is generally accepted today that it is not nature vs. nurture, but nature and nurture together; with humans being specifically such complex creatures that no one's behaviour can be reduced to simple genetic triggers. It's been some time since I've read up on the subject and I freely admit that EvPsych no doubt includes a lot of bad science, especially in its popular forms, but I do have this quote from Robin Dunbar:

"Vertebrates evolved large brains precisely to allow them to adjust their behaviour to suit the circumstances in which they happened to find themselves on a moment-by-moment basis. The genes that code for the brain have been selected expressly to enable the organism to escape from a genetically driven existence."

And it can't be denied that EvPsych is hopelessly vague and it's findings are often gleaned from statistical tests of very specific circumstances, where one can imagine a lot of differing qualities between subjects which can make the findings questionable. Secondly, it has the fault shared with economics of depending on very simplified idealizations to explain behaviour, where the assumptions implicit in the idealization are very rarely justifiable in the real world. But in some limited circumstances and with appropriate care to abstain from generalizations and speculations, there can be enlightening insights.

Your example of the caveman theorem is a great one. Even if all the claims were true(which is really iffy for cavemen. Which never existed.), there is really no reason to draw any conclusions from it since there is no reason to assume that people behave deterministically. Since people change their behaviour according to circumstances.

I sincerely doubt, for example, that there is a strong selection pressure in favour of cracking one's knuckles in a particular way. And ice-cream headaches can be explained in terms of it being generally useful to have a nervous system that warns you when your body is at risk of damage, but I don't see much advantage in having a body that is likely to be damaged by things you are likely to eat.

I have to say I agree with this. Actually, one could easily claim that as every living thing, including humans, are descendants of a straight line of evolutionary "victors", as it were, all the way to the hypothetical abiogenesis, most of the evolutionary traits we have are either very strongly selected for or are incidental. Of course there are a lot of exceptions, but most people do live to an adult age. (Actually I'm a bit of an exception here because I have diabetes mellitus and would have gone the way of the dodo just a hundred years ago, so I probably have no business being a parent, biologically speaking.)

But as this is so and I agree, my examples are faulty, all human behaviour is actually natural and possible, in as it has not been eliminated from what we do by natural selection. So everything people do is as natural as anything else, which includes what is generally seen as good and which is generally considered bad. So even if we would observe a majority of people doing thing X, there is still no reason to say to people who are doing thing B that they are behaving against evolution or anything like that, since you can only say that after the fact and even then it doesn't really matter since if it were truly against some natural law to not have children, people would simply be unable to abstain from trying. I mean, sure, the genes will not carry on(excluding some cloning or whatever), but if someone doesn't want to, there is really no way of arguing from evolution that they should be obliged to do something they don't want to and the existence of such behaviour is actually empirical data that has to be included in an explanation of how people behave. Okay this is getting long and I'm as usual unsure of how good a job I'm doing of this.

But returning to my point about the difference between descriptive and prescriptive language(or Hume's guillotine or the naturalistic fallacy), given that all that human's do in its diversity has to be accepted as empirical phenomena, we can instead of headaches picture a different situation. On the one hand, it has happened that a human has found a baby on the road and has taken it with them and taken care of it. On the other hand it has no doubt happened that a human in similar circumstances has actually killed the baby. So, we can have a psychological explanation for both, whether evolutionary or not. But since both are actually things that can happen, those explanations are useless for prescriptive commands, because clearly they both are "natural" as it were. We can strive to build our society so that abandoned babies are taken care of, based on for example evolutionary explanations of what might cause a certain sort of behaviour. But descriptive explanations can not really tell anything beyond what is, they cannot tell us what should be or what is preferable. And that is what I tried to say, by saying that evolution, in a sense, is the cause for all things humans do. It cannot be used to tell us what we should do, at least not by itself. Because people do bad things as well and saying that if something is natural it cannot be bad is begging the question. Which is what many people do when they try to argue that science tells us to do something. I think J. S. Mill wrote that if women could not be blacksmiths, because of their being women, there would be no point in laws saying that they can't be blacksmiths.

Oh glob. Sorry about the length of this. Such meandering sentences.
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at 20:30 on 22-10-2013, Robinson L
Bookwyrm: If you could choose your superpowers and decide to become superhero what type of hero would you be?

Ooh, interesting question. Thing is, the types of evil I'm most concerned with combating are structural - it's hard to see how having superpowers would help much in that kind of fight, and you might just as easily fall into reinforcing one or another oppressive system. I also find the concept of superheroes kind of patronizing - "oh, I see you have a problem, let me just swoop in and fix it for you, no need to thank me." And then we get into the whole issue of misuse of power. Even the most beneficial powers I can think of like empathy or emotional healing I could easily see myself misusing, out of the very best of intentions (most of the time) ... Clearly I am approaching this question with entirely the wrong mindset, but I can't switch it out for another one.

Heroics aside, I believe I'd like the power to fly because - well, come on, seriously. Hmm, I think I had this conversation with one of my sisters a couple years ago, and I believe the answer I came up with at the time was the ability to become indestructible at a moment's notice, that could be pretty fun.


Janne: Hey, if the supercomputer is inevitable and virtual reality is a thing, then we might actually already live in a horrid simulation for the amusement of some machine god.

I actually ran across a very similar argument in, of all places, Star Wars on Trial around five years ago. Except it wasn't a machine god that created the simulation, but an advanced civilization that had already created artificial reality - perhaps many layers of artificial realities.

Even in those less analytical days of mine, the argument struck me much the way arguments for the inevitability of the Singularity or the profundity of Bayes' Theorem strike me now - taking for granted assumptions about the nature of intelligence and technology and society and a boat-load of other things on which the actual science involved is extremely inconclusive at this point. Still not sure how seriously I was supposed to take the whole thing.


@Dan: Great discussion. I have nothing to add.
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at 19:01 on 22-10-2013, Dan H
the problem as I see it is making the jump from descriptive explanation of the incredible diversity of human behaviour into prescriptive commands of how some people are somehow doing nature wrong.


I think it's more subtle than that. I think a lot of Evolutionary Psychology stuff (particularly of the armchair variety, but also a lot of the actual mainstream stuff too) makes the mistake or - if you prefer - cynical strategic decision of seeking to provide an "explanation" for something which may or may not be true at all.

An awful lot of EvPsych stuff, at least as far as I've seen, has basically been about "explaining" cultural stereotypes in terms of evolutionary biology. It almost always comes down to some variant of "Group X does thing Y because In Caveman Times Group X had to do thing Z which is a bit like thing Y". Frequently these claims show no evidence that group X actually does thing Y at all, nor that group X ever did thing Z in the past, nor that thing Y necessarily constitutes a continuation or revival of thing Z even if Y and Z really were things to begin with.

Classic examples of this being things like "women like to go shopping more than men because in hunter-gatherer societies females would have been the gatherers and males the hunters" and "women talk more than men because men would go away hunting and the women would stay in the caves and do things that required communication." There's little evidence that women do in fact shop or talk more than men, and nobody actually knows very much at all about how our evolutionary ancestors lived, so neither of these arguments really have any scientific merit at all. They do, however, have rather a lot of *rhetorical* merit because superficially "X can be explained by Y, therefore X and Y are both true" is remarkably convincing, particularly if you leave out the final clause and just let people fill it in for themselves.

If we accept that evolution is the best explanation for life being how it is, then everything is because of evolution, from the way that some people crack their knuckles to ice cream head aches


I'm not sure that's strictly true. Or rather, I'm sure it's *strictly* true but I'm not sure it's usefully true.

Certainly any fact about a living organism can be explained in terms of evolution, but an awful lot of the time the explanation will be "because there is no strong evolutionary pressure against it."

I sincerely doubt, for example, that there is a strong selection pressure in favour of cracking one's knuckles in a particular way. And ice-cream headaches can be explained in terms of it being generally useful to have a nervous system that warns you when your body is at risk of damage, but I don't see much advantage in having a body that is likely to be damaged by things you are likely to eat.

In a roundabout way, a lot of evolutionary "explanations" wind up being curiously like the way people try to explain away the problem of evil. The thing is, evolution isn't supposed to be omniscient or omnibenevolent. It's perfectly okay to accept that some features of living organisms have no evolutionary benefit at all. It's certainly okay to accept that some - I might even suggest most - elements of human behaviour may not actually be the consequences of heritable biological factors for which our ancestors preferentially selected.
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at 11:33 on 22-10-2013, Janne Kirjasniemi
Hey, if the supercomputer is inevitable and virtual reality is a thing, then we might actually already live in a horrid simulation for the amusement of some machine god. Actually, it's statistically certain really, as I'm sure could be proven by some Bayesian analysis, when done right(which is judged by results of course). So there is a god and the singularity folks are right. Now the only thing we can hope for is that the machine's esthetic taste will change from absurd and sadistic dark comedy to something more lighthearted and slapsticky... which admittedly could be worse.
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at 11:25 on 22-10-2013, Arthur B
Ah, but if the future AI's one goal is to have sadistic or other fun, to somehow while away it's inescapable and eternal existence in an empty universe devoid of real goals, that is entirely rational.

"Buh... buh... but a truly rational AI would never be mean to me!" wails transhumanist Harry Potter as the Voldetron 5000 goes all I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream on him.
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at 11:14 on 22-10-2013, Janne Kirjasniemi
a future AI might decide to resurrect and torture them for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with blackmail or rationality. (It might just decide "wow, these LessWrong people were dorks, I'm going to bring them back to life to haze them".)


Ah, but if the future AI's one goal is to have sadistic or other fun, to somehow while away it's inescapable and eternal existence in an empty universe devoid of real goals, that is entirely rational. You can do all sorts of wacky stuff rationally, if you just choose your goals and aspirations accordingly.
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at 11:03 on 22-10-2013, Arthur B
@Melanie:
...Is it just me, or is there sort of a cult-like vibe to them listing "have read our website" as a qualification?

Especially when they have an established canon which is promoted as the stuff you need to read in order to know what they are talking about.

My favourite thing about LessWrong is the Roko's Basilisk incident - summarised here, explained in more detail here, original exchange here - in which they freaked the fuck out about the possibility of future AIs torturing them for not doing enough to make the AIs come into existence - a blackmail which would only make sense if the AIs realised this was something they were worried about, so naturally thanks to the Streisand Effect arising from their attempts to censor discussion of this it's all but assured that a future AI with access to the Internet will find out about their bad thoughts and resurrect them for a rationalist transhuman spanking.

It never occurs to them that a) real scientists don't get this panic-y about very, very theoretical scenarios, and b) a future AI might decide to resurrect and torture them for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with blackmail or rationality. (It might just decide "wow, these LessWrong people were dorks, I'm going to bring them back to life to haze them".)
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at 08:09 on 22-10-2013, Janne Kirjasniemi
Bookwyrm:
I wanted to know why this post was so different in tone and format than the other ones. I don't think I will comment on the blog. I'm almost sorry I brought it up. :(

Aw, don't be. It's just, at least how I understood it, the post was supposed to be provocative and hyperbolic and while my own initial reaction was probably typical and defensive, there's not much to question, if you acknowledge the basic premise of the post: that things suck and it is a thing to be angry about.

I also really liked Chiusse's takedown of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.


Very interesting, especially as I've been able to avoid most of this singularity stuff and fan fiction in my life, so getting these sorts of glimpses into it is very fun. I have to say I find her treatment of evolutionary psychology a bit too dismissive. While I am aware that that particular hybrid of psychology and psychology is used to make far too many questionable and objectionable arguments about people, the problem is not that academic studies are necessarily fundamentally wrong, it is that people, some scientists, but more commonly all sorts of armchair philosophers(everyone can call the kettle black at this point), but the problem as I see it is making the jump from descriptive explanation of the incredible diversity of human behaviour into prescriptive commands of how some people are somehow doing nature wrong.

But this is sort of a problem with all things that begin that this is so and so because evolution. Of course it is! If we accept that evolution is the best explanation for life being how it is, then everything is because of evolution, from the way that some people crack their knuckles to ice cream head aches. Saying that something is caused by nature, does not actually add any new information, because everything is(assuming that scientific worldview is accepted)!

It just seems that instead of people trying to ponder ethical issues, some are more interested in trying to sidestep the issue by claiming that science can somehow resolve these issues. But of course ethics is done by fuzzy philosophers who are just wasting their time with splitting hairs, it is not that utilitarism or any ethical theory have significant problems or anything.
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at 05:43 on 22-10-2013, Daniel F
...Is it just me, or is there sort of a cult-like vibe to them listing "have read our website" as a qualification?


You'll find more than a few cult-like vibes about LW if you read on. ;)

In many ways I think they're a vaguely Platonist cult: that is, an ivory tower skeptical of outside knowledge, keen on the noble lie, convinced that armchair philosophising can trump empirical investigation, and believing that through their special knowledge of Rationality/the Good they are uniquely qualified to comment on any number of social issues.

And I know I shouldn't say that because armchair psychology and so on, but damn it if they aren't creepy and cultish sometimes.
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at 03:30 on 22-10-2013, Robinson L
Melanie: Why are you both using "strident" specifically when that word has such ugly, and pertinent, connotations?


Daniel F: I was not aware of any anti-feminist connotations

Shit, neither was I. I was casting about for a word that to my knowledge was non-judgmental and didn't have any patriarchal baggage attached to it (hoo boy was I wrong there), and which meant to me "assertive, forceful, emphatic." Sorry for the offense.

Interestingly enough, I've since read several more posts, and I'm more well-disposed to the blog now. It's still got stuff I still feel a bit iffy about (which is not to say that I necessarily consider it iffy, if you see the difference) but mostly I think it's very good and it makes me uncomfortable in the self-reflexive "this is something which I should still be working on" kind of way.

I think I may understand where the author is going with the "Men Have Ruined Everything" post, but I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth or go off mansplaining, so I'm not sure if I should go into it here.

I also quite liked the "Methods of Rationality" post. I'd been kind of wondering what all the fuss is about, and now I know that, plus why I should not trouble myself to investigate further.
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at 02:55 on 22-10-2013, Arthur B
Yeah, see it turns out that "Friends" are electric, and Ferretbrain's broke down (so Ferretbrain has no-one to love).
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at 02:25 on 22-10-2013, Michal
Wait wait wait wait...does Ferretbrain even have a "Friends" page anymore? Because I don't see one on the sidebar.
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at 02:02 on 22-10-2013, Bookwyrm
Would I like to have superhuman powers? Maybe - I can see pros and cons, even setting aside the social aspects.


That's an interesting thought, if you had superpowers what would you do? I would like to be a superhero but realistically I don't think I could handle the psychological strain.
What do all of you think? If you could choose your superpowers and decide to become superhero what type of hero would you be?
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at 01:49 on 22-10-2013, Melanie
was not aware of any anti-feminist connotations, I'm afraid.


Alright then; I hoped that was all it was.

As far as that community goes I'm more inclined to get angry at MetaMed, though. At least HPMOR is just a repulsive work of fan fiction: MetaMed is a scam with the potential to cause real, physical harm.


Oh, I haven't heard of MetaMed, let's just... see... what...
their management includes some names LWers will find familiar, and their researchers know math and stats and in many cases have also read LessWrong.


...Is it just me, or is there sort of a cult-like vibe to them listing "have read our website" as a qualification?
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at 01:34 on 22-10-2013, Bookwyrm
I'm genuinely curious: why do you want to comment on Chiusse's blog/post? Do you disagree with their opinions? With their tone? Would you like clarification on what they mean? Basically: what is it that's prompting you to respond to their post(s)?

The problem I had was the tone. The hyberbole and the idea that "men ruined everything" really bothers me but I'm not sure how literally I'm supposed to take this post. But still the vitriol makes me feel uncomfortable.
Also, this post felt different from the other ones. In the other posts when Chimuse makes a point they back it up with essay. In this one it's just "this thing was ruined by men" with an embedded link. That's why I wanted to comment, I wanted to know why this post was so different in tone and format than the other ones. I don't think I will comment on the blog. I'm almost sorry I brought it up. :(
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