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I would like to talk to you about the nature and limitations of rationality. Are you still here?
cognitive scientist man
What's the difference between me, and a robot that behaves exactly like me given the same input?
Try not to give me any existential dread. I'm almost out of my anxiety meds.
An off button.
Are you worried about getting eaten by p-zombies?
The real problem is not in establishing whether you yourself are a p-zombie, but whether everyone else is.
Are you afraid that if you answer me, it'll set a precedent that you do all your cognitive sciencin' for free? Because I can't pay you...
Well, the p-zombie argument generally assumes that you can nail down the fact that you are conscious because you have first-hand experience. (Cogito ergo sum and all that, though you can even doubt that if you want to be a radical skeptic about it.) A zombie would not be self-aware, but would only act like it. The problem then is extrapolating that to other people and/or zombies.
In the sequel, they fight an army of Blockheads.
That's easy: the robot is a figment of your imagination and you are, I suppose, a real entity.
I hope you realise, Ariel, that everybody in that conversation left the site years ago?
If you have any time...
There is an article on Christina Hoff Sommers now. Chief authors so far are a GamerGate supporter and an opponent whose sources appear to be "whatever blogs come up on Google". It needs the attention of someone who is actually familiar with the context of her work, and unless I am misremembering you for womeone else, you have some knowledge in the area.
You must be thinking of someone else. I've never read anything by her.
Why is the Vervet monkey study "really dumb?"
If you're wondering why it's a study on monkeys and not humans, and why I chose that one in particular, it's because there is no way to definitively rule out the possible effect of societal influence among children old enough to even have toy preferences, as studies in those cases also show that little girls prefer dolls, but in those events, how can we know if that is not a result of preconceived notions?
Monkeys don't have preconceived notions about gender. And that's why I must ask: in what way is that peer-reviewed study "dumb?"
I suggest looking at the external link that Nebuchadnezzar left at the end of the post. Here it is again, for your convenience:
Okay, I read through the blog post, but I'm still not seeing it. She doesn't refute (at all) the findings of the study. Rather she deflects and tries to associate it with something else, then associate THAT with something else, until she's going on at great length about object-oriented vs. person-oriented. But at no point does she make any argument that suggests the findings in the study were wrong or inaccurate.
True, she doesn't negate the vervet study. She does minimize it by pointing out how the actual differences in behavior were relatively small. In medical research (my area), that'd be statistical significance combined with clinical irrelevance. The findings may be right, but they're small.
She also points out that using human toys in a monkey study is ridiculous. A red frying pan is apparently a girl's toy, but how can that possibly apply to a species that has no concept of cooking. The same goes for the toy truck in a species that I would imagine would have trouble recognizing the connection between a tiny toy and an actual vehicle. Further, there are problems in comparing gender roles in primates as they vary wildly from species to species.
I understand that, Marlow, but the reason why she's using monkeys is at all is because any time humans are used, regardless of age, we can't rule out the possibility that, even at such a young age, there could be a preconceived bias from observations in society. The real problem with this kind of study at all is that it's impossible to do any kind of double-blind study involving humans. Primates are all we have.
What does she mean when she's talking about object-oriented behavior? I know object-oriented programming as in the computer science stuff, but a lot of the points she's making refers to subjects that are less in the 'hard' sciences and more in the social sciences, which I'm not really all that well versed in.
I'm not certain what she means by object, but I think it's the opposite of animate which I think refers to people/animal like. A dump truck is an object. A doll is animate. Thomas the Tank Engine is a confusing mix of the two.
WIGO Clog revert
So apparently the rollback button doesn't like to let you give a reason. Oops.
Reverted the FACEPUNCH post because it was already a WIGO World item in early June, sorry for the lack of proper documentation.
Ah sorry. I saw it linked somewhere and thought it was current.
"The correct usage is lulz."
Thank you! As a former EDiot, that was gnawing at me. But I didn't have the heart to correct him.
You said you've been meaning to create an article on him. That bozo deserves all the exposure he can get. There's something about him that just drives me…Hoppeing mad! (Obscure Rothbard reference.) Shall I suggest that you start with his argumentation ethics first?
Actually, someone beat me to it. I am working on cleaning it up a bit. I find Hoppe to be refreshingly honest. He pretty much draws out what ancapistan would look like in real life, it's just that he endorses it rather than finding it horrifying.
Basically, he wants a paleoconservative town, but just dresses it up as a "proprietary community". It's always the JBS types who say that they're anti-government, but when they explain abolishing the federal government and the state government, I'm left scratching my head. It always sounds like a town with a government. Take Gary North for instance: he yaks on and on about "the state", but he just seems to be replacing it with theocratic government. Hardly "anti-statist", if you ask me. Unfortunately, I've lately been leaning towards seeing it as "zero government" for some strange reason, but my older views seem more accurate. But, really, you have to add argumenation ethics to it. It is SO bad. (Strangely, though, I still feel like it works, but again, my more rational side disagrees.)
Yes, the paleo-libertarians are really railing against FedGuv, so they can set up their own governments at local levels.
I am most familiar with Hoppe's book Democracy: The God That Failed. Maybe you would be better at writing up a section for argumentation ethics? It is quite amusing, from the little summary I read on the LvMI site. It is very similar to the other rhetorical ploy used as regards the action axiom -- "Are you denying that people act? You are contradicting yourself!" Also very much like the Randroids' abuse of identity -- "Do you deny that A is A??"
The article also notes that Jurgen Habermas was his adviser! I wonder what Habermas thinks of him? And vice-versa? Hoppe is the intellectual descendant of... (thunderclap) cultural Marxism!
Yup. Argumentation ethics is a rip off of discourse ethics. Is it bad if I still feel AE is kind of convincing?
Hoppe says his theory proves that arguing for any political position other than libertarian anarchism is logically inconsistent. ... his theory is an a priori, value-free praxeological argument for deontological libertarian ethics. Argumentation ethics asserts the non-aggression principle is a presupposition of every argument and so cannot be logically denied during an argument.
This is just the transcendental argument for God adapted for libertarianism, isn't it?
Austrian arguments often look logically airtight until you scratch the surface and notice how specious they are underneath. I can't even say that for this one, though. I don't even understand the justification Hoppe gives for jumping from rational discourse to the bits about homesteading and scarce resources. Perhaps this is omitted in the summary; it doesn't seem to be too informative.
As for Habermans, I always thought his ideas came from an overly idealistic rationalism, though I haven't read him in any depth. All my knowledge is second-hand from some historians I read who seem to love him.
Dhimmi and rational criticism of Islam
Thank you for offering your improvements to my recently created article on Dhimmi, in particular bolstering the "historical" section. I hope my initial write was appropriately snarky.
We can take this discussion to the talk page for the article, but I wasn't sure how to best get your attention. I want to ask you about what you disagree with with regards to Harris's and Hitchens's criticisms of Islam. I'm looking for a discussion on how we can include some solid examples of what constitutes valid criticism and what is simple fearmongering. I considered their viewpoints more reasonable than not, especially in the discussion Sam Harris had with Glenn Greenwald. Thoughts and critiques are appreciated.
Thanks. I think the current article is a good start.
As for Harris and Hitchens, I won't address Hitchens because I haven't read his book, but my impression is that the only major difference of opinion between the two was that Hitchens overtly supported neocon policy. As far as Harris goes, he lost all credibility when he advocated racial profiling and then got trounced in the debate with Bruce Schneier. Even before that, Harris' work was still dubious. Having read some of the research on terrorism, his armchair theorizing seems to have little to do with the reality on the ground. For one, there is Robert Pape's Dying to Win, which analyzes hundreds of terrorist attacks and ties them to American military occupation. Though this book does not address Harris directly, there is another very good one that does. There is Scott Atran's Talking to the Enemy, which I would recommend very highly not only for its insights on terrorism, but also on the general recent findings of cognitive science of religion. He has a brief chapter that directly addresses Harris and systematically refutes him. One of the most interesting findings by Atran is that religious education is inversely correlated with suicide bombing. Atran argues that social networks are the most important component, and the best predictor of joining a terrorist organization is having a friend involved with one. Unfortunately, I cannot find a preview or excerpt of this chapter. I did find a a lecture he gave on this book, but I don't know if he addresses Harris specifically in this.
Actually, I did just find a video where Atran confronts Harris directly here. It is a bit soundbyte-y -- Atran's arguments are fleshed out in very great detail in that chapter of the book I mentioned. (Also, bonus Neil deGrasse Tyson.)
I have a question about an edit you made
so way back in 2012. (I forget was that when dinosaurs where still around?) you made an edit to the Transhumanism page (http://rationalwiki.org/w/index.php?title=Transhumanism&diff=prev&oldid=1023840) where you mention "Henry Markram, head of the Blue Brain Project, estimates that simulating a brain would require 500 petabytes of data for storage and that the power required to run the simulation would be about $3 billion." Can you explain the 3 billion figure? is that 3 billion dollars to buy power every month? every year? to build a new power plant to run this thing? for the entire project? If you don't remember I guess I'll just have to try harder to find the source of the figure and find out that way.
Do you mind taking a look over the evolutionary psychology article again? There are a couple of complaints about it being a little straw-man-ish and problematic, but it seems like it's way out of the field of expertise for a lot of people and I figure you're a good starting point since a number of the edits are yours.
Also, you're still around! Huzzar.
The edits I did were to try and distinguish and debunk some of the common straw men, pro- and con, as well as to give a little bit of intro to the broad issues. Now the article looks a bit inconsistent, but I guess that's what happens with a wiki. I'm afraid we're running into the "crappy Wikipedia" problem here.
If you are in the mood for arguing in blog comments...
look at the last few posts on Ophelia Benson's blog at Freethought Blogs - the recent re-ignition of controversy around Woody Allen has sparked the expected re-hash of arguments about confabulation.
Maybe I'm missing something here but I don't see anything particularly objectionable in the posts.
That's why I wrote "blog comments" in the thread title - E.Loftus and her involvement in the FMSF got mentioned in at least one of the comment threads.
I've always had some trepidation about the way FMSF has used the term "syndrome." That said, recovered memory proponents repeatedly make the mistake that research on false memory and confabulation precludes the possibility of "recovered" memories. (By recovered, I mean late recall, not the use of quack therapies intended to draw out "repressed" memories.) It is a straw man -- both the literature and the APA only repudiate the notions that a, recovered memory of trauma and sexual abuse is commonplace and b, that it can be done through recovered memory "therapy."
dear god, how we need an article on teh rise of "outrage". I'm on facebook, and image after image about how OBSENE AND OUTRAGEOUS it is that stores are open on turkey day. and BOYCOTT BOYCOTT BOYCOTT!! Course, i'm curious why no one is boycotting the NFL for their turkey day game. a game which lots of low paid hourly people have do to jobs like clean up after your butts... but no... just WALMART AND PIZZA HUT SHOULD BE BOYCOTTED!!!!
I'm outraged about all this outrage! But seriously, I bet a lot of those people will end up going to Walmart or some such anyway. And you can't boycott the NFL -- it's FUCKING FOOTBAWL! You don't mess with that.
Do I remember correctly that eugenics was within your sphere of interests? If so, please have a look at Talk:Eugenics, there is a little argument about categorization.
And, as a side note - there is now an article about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and it's mostly written by a Szaszian.
Re: the DSM page, it seems to be pretty reasonable, if rather arbitrary in the issues it covers.
Sometimes, the BBC has a peculiar way of reporting the news
And even more peculiar way of deciding what's news: Bondage fear at Trumpington Village Hall sparks event cancellation (It's somehow reassuring to know that news titles apparently follow their own rules of grammar all over the world, not just at home.)
That's okay reporting. It happened, the BBC says how it happened - though it's unusual for the Beeb to use a stock photo like that. If you want weird, look up the Daily Mail's take on it.
Politics and evo psych
Thanks to Smerdis' recent rants I've been reading up on the nature of feminist/postmodernist objections to EP (regarding what behaviours are generated by the mind via biology/genetics compared to culture). Regardless of the falsifiability issues of EP, what studies do the left-wing side specifically object to?
I don't pay much attention to the postmodernists. Some of the leftist criticism of EP is a spillover of the sociobiology wars coming from scientist-activists like Lewontin and co. Far more interesting and substantive critiques are coming from within EP itself or related fields. Is there anything specific you're looking for?
Gender, specifically. Is there any significant study (ie. not pop psychology) that conflicts with the mainstream goals of gender equality? EP is likely the scientific field that I'm least familiar with.
I highly doubt there is anything in the technical literature that, by itself, conflicts with said goals. However, there is a good bit of research that is based on assumptions of '50s-style gender roles. The most notorious is, probably, the work on mating preference and parental investment. The cornerstone of this research program is David Buss' 1989 cross-cultural study. His interpretation of the results have been heavily criticized (e.g., Eagly and Wood and Buller.).
9/11 conspiracy theories
I noticed that you reverted my edits on 9/11 conspiracy theories. I am going to change it back. I know this site should have some funny content, but this is too far. It is just plain right insulting and disrespectful to the people who had a loved one die on that horrific day. It's okay to say some well know conspiracies, but this was too far and immorally wrong. Please leave back a message soon. Leoesb1032 (talk) 01:27, 30 July 2013 (UTC)
Another user reverted again. Consensus seems to be that this bit of snark is acceptable.
Here's the thing, Leosb, *someone* *somewhere* will always be offended by something done. especially humor. I'm offended by rape jokes. Nebby is offended by jokes about babalonyan kings who make shitty ass gardens. The question is, why are you offended. Is the joke putting down someone? Is the joke making fun of situation that was harmful? or is it just a joke about something "sacred", like 9/11. we tend to dis the sacred here, cause sacred clowns should always be challenged. If it's truly offensive to someone because it is harmful, because it makes fun of them, or because it belittles THEM (not the sacred cow, but themselves) then please explain our offense, and I will make sure i fight with you. but just saying it's disrespectful or insulting isn't harm.
Here is My Thing Godot, yeah someone, somewhere is always offened by something, but in the case of 9/11, I would expect 10 to 15,000 people are offended by this. Get my drift? It's me that is offended, it is me trying to respect the 10s of thousands of people that are. Leave a reply please.
Yes, the article is poking fun at truthers, not 9/11 victims. You seem to be failing to grasp this concept.
And, BTW, aren't all gardens shitty?
Are you kidding me, no conspiracy theorist every assumed goats and wikiiest's did 9/11. This isn't a theory, this is snark too far. If I lost a relative in 9/11 and went on RationalWiki and saw some snark guy wrote goats did it, I would be furious and demand it takdn down.
You seem to be interested in global warming so you might want to look at the article I just started on the term CAGW. I had noticed it on some blogs but don't really know enough about the topic to flesh the article out. Thanks.
You know as much about it as I do. I don't know where it originated, but it was probably somewhere in the denialist blogosphere (deniosphere?). I've never seen it used in any academic or reputable publications. If I had to guess, I'd say it was originally concocted by lukewarmers to make themselves out to be the "sensible moderates" of the climate change "debate."
So you think so too?
I assume your block was referring to this edit, right? It's always hard for me to tell whether I'm being oversensitive about such things, because I already know I have a tendency to be oversensitive in general. Still it did strike me as very similar to... every transphobic comment ever.
The cat says "meow", the dog says "rahn rahn".
Hey. I was just burned out for a while - especially since i hit this patch where it seemed like every other edit was a correction of one particualar editors, edits. :-) but i'm back now. ready to clean up some of teh fun women's stuff after a full year of ignoring the republicans and their antics.
How did the finals/writing go? I know ADK got his PhD, but not sure where you stand. you were writing your dissertation, i think, when you were absent.
Some burnout here too -- I didn't stop but my edit count is definitely down.
Still haven't finished the diss, but that's okay because a lot of it needs to be rewritten due to a change in concentration. I can't wait.
Also, I hope your dog isn't related to Otto.
"change in concentration?" as in your field specifically, or just the dissertation?
I have this thing for animal sounds. I want to write a book about how all the animals talk around teh world! it still amuses me how differently we hear/reproduce basic animal sounds.
never heard a bird "tweet tweet" much less "chirp" in my life. heheh
Same department, but what I'm doing now is based more in cognitive anthropology.
Thanks for helping out with Dead Links, there's been so little discussion I forgot who was a part of it.
Thanks, but I haven't fixed a whole lot of links.
At this point, I'm not concerned about the pace.