youneedacat:

At least, the #1 red flag I’m able to coherently articulate, and that I completely forgot to mention earlier.

They basically take any mental system you have that is capable of showing you what is going badly wrong in their organization, that is capable of showing you actual danger signs, that is…

There’s this other thing they do that really put me off. Where you’re basically just expected to justify your principles *using their preferred jargon* or else get treated in this weirdly condescending way.

E.g., you find yourself having to try and explain stuff like “why *shouldn’t* employers just preferentially hire white males for STEM jobs?” And you have to do so using very carefully-chosen, specific terms. And if you fail to phrase your explanations in just the right way, you’re basically written off as someone who relies on emotional reasoning (even though you might get some brownie points for “admitting” to using ‘emotional reasoning’, and asserting that sometimes it’s okay to do so) or who is engaging in “politically correct social signaling”.

In short, it’s the type of community where you’re not allowed to, you know, just go in figuring racism (or sexism, etc.) is a bad thing and work from there.

Which I guess is some intentional thing intended to encourage you to quantify the basis of your beliefs, this theoretically minimizing cognitive bias in keeping with the goals of the site.

But it’s obnoxious (to me) that they seem to give more of a starting benefit-of-doubt to neocon positions. And it’s exhausting being expected to constantly language everything all the time.

natalunasans:

awwww-cute:

The girls napping


youneedacat

Aww! Makes me think of my cats. And my tattoo, which isn’t exactly like this but is the same sort of idea.

natalunasans:

awwww-cute:

The girls napping

youneedacat

Aww! Makes me think of my cats. And my tattoo, which isn’t exactly like this but is the same sort of idea.

(via clatterbane)

canisantiquus:

Dream House (forget about the interior, I’ll just live in the cat run).

Someday…I would love to make something like this for my kitties. They (well, 3 of them; one prefers the indoors) love going outside but we live one street over from a busy main road. I take them out with me sometimes so they can enjoy the yard and fresh air but it would be cooler if they had their own freely-accessible outdoor space.

canisantiquus:

Dream House (forget about the interior, I’ll just live in the cat run).

Someday…I would love to make something like this for my kitties. They (well, 3 of them; one prefers the indoors) love going outside but we live one street over from a busy main road. I take them out with me sometimes so they can enjoy the yard and fresh air but it would be cooler if they had their own freely-accessible outdoor space.

ajax-daughter-of-telamon said: what's Roko's basilisk?

canonicalmomentum:

ajax-daughter-of-telamon:

canonicalmomentum:

well now…

actually there’s a pretty good wiki article that explains it here (not the best wiki in general but they cover this pretty well)

The short version is that an inevitable deific artifical intelligence will potentially create a perfect simulation of you and torture that simulation in order to retroactively motivate the present you who is imagining this possibility to donate all your money to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in order to bring about the development of the artificial intelligence more quickly, and that by merely reading about this possibility you have made this much more likely to happen.

It’s an idea that bubbled up in a transhumanist internet community called Less Wrong and was heavily censored, which is the main reason that it is now famous-ish.

But I’ll have a go at explaining how this idea came up! I’m not sure how much of this you already know about LessWrong et al. but I’ve been kind of meaning to write about these things anyway, so let’s have a go right from the beginning.

This got really really long, putting it behind a cut to spare your dash.

Read More

Well, that has the distinction of being the silliest thing I’ve read in … a very long while!

(You did a good job of explaining it, it’s just that the idea itself is really fantastical.)

I had heard of Bayesian probability in the context of statistics — my brother does data science and he is often trying to explain stuff he’s working on to me, which not infrequently requires referencing Bayes’ Theorem. But he’s talking about statistical modeling, not Doing Philosophy as a human. 

And I had heard of Less Wrong, though hadn’t really ever been there.

AND I’ve heard of Yudkowsky, the Singularity and the Dark Enlightenment, though I wish I hadn’t. Such smart people, wasting so much mental energy on either 1) chasing fantasies (the first two) or 2) deliberately and philosophically being an asshole (the third). It makes me sad because the real world has so many serious problems that could use smart people working on them.

Anyway, the Basilisk strikes me as what happens when someone very smart, very mathematically adept, but also very naive and unworldly, has only half overcome the fear of Hell they likely were brought up to have. Their education tells them it’s not real, but their emotions still fear it, so they make up something functionally identical to take its place.

Why did Yudkowsky ban discussion of it? Was he just mad because it made his actual fear of an all-powerful, evil AI look silly?

I seriously have no idea why Yudkowsky banned it with such fervour, or how he could fail to think of the whole ‘Streisand Effect’ thing that inevitably followed. Nobody outside the website would bother to parse the esoteric jargon and figure out what they were actually talking about if he hadn’t.

Honestly, I’m not sure the world does need people like Yudkowsky or the neoreactionaries (wealthy white men, secure in capitalism, thoroughly convinced of their own ‘rationality’ and its universal relevance and applicability) to do anything other than shut up, educate themselves, and support marginalised people who are trying to dismantle the systems that are oppressing us (just like every person benefitting from some oppressive power structure, me strongly included).

I have a lot of discomfort with notions of ‘intelligence’, even when they’re not being used to sell me on an AI deity.

I don’t know how far Less Wrong’s views on AI simulated torture arise out of ‘hell’, though, even if functionally it looks very similar. I think it’s a utilitarianism thing? If your ethical system is about minimising ‘suffering’/maximising ‘pleasure’, then the worst possible thing is something which creates suffering. And their sympathies towards utilitarianism probably come out of the whole desire to cast the world in nice mathematical terms like utility functions and computer programs?

That’s mostly going off where I feel like I was coming from five or six years ago (when I was 16-17), when I kind of had a ‘LessWrong phase’ before deciding it was cultish and dangerous and I had to get out. I’ve kind of been vaguely drawn to it since then, and I think some of their ideas influenced me while I was studying science at uni (though they probably weren’t of as much benefit as Yudkowsky would hope).

I still find LessWrong really interesting, at least in small doses, which is weird because I am basically completely in disagreement with pretty much everything they believe and consider their demographics scary and their politics to be generally really horrible? I still follow a handful of LessWrong connected blogs (really not very many) and as you can see, I can still type a huge essay on an unlikely belief about AIs with very little provocation :P

I think he (EY) banned it because he was genuinely afraid of the idea. As in, he thought that even invoking it in language would make any potential “unfriendly AI” that happened to be brewing actually adopt it as a strategy.

good-golly-lolly:

"Machine Birdcage" Skirt from Fanplusfriend

!! This exists!

(via lichgem)

prokopetz:

grrspit:

nessanotarized:

nativefemboy:

thartist72:

“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street. A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”

powerful Black Science Man

Exactly.

“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.

I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.


Wow. o_O

prokopetz:

grrspit:

nessanotarized:

nativefemboy:

thartist72:

“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.

A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”

powerful Black Science Man

Exactly.

“I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.

This is a good illustration of what’s wrong with the US criminal justice system.

I’m more struck by the second anecdote, in which he was evidently disqualified from jury duty for displaying the ability to do math.

Wow. o_O

(via plures)

ajax-daughter-of-telamon said: what's Roko's basilisk?

canonicalmomentum:

well now…

actually there’s a pretty good wiki article that explains it here (not the best wiki in general but they cover this pretty well)

The short version is that an inevitable deific artifical intelligence will potentially create a perfect simulation of you and torture that simulation in order to retroactively motivate the present you who is imagining this possibility to donate all your money to the Machine Intelligence Research Institute in order to bring about the development of the artificial intelligence more quickly, and that by merely reading about this possibility you have made this much more likely to happen.

It’s an idea that bubbled up in a transhumanist internet community called Less Wrong and was heavily censored, which is the main reason that it is now famous-ish.

But I’ll have a go at explaining how this idea came up! I’m not sure how much of this you already know about LessWrong et al. but I’ve been kind of meaning to write about these things anyway, so let’s have a go right from the beginning.

This got really really long, putting it behind a cut to spare your dash.

Read More

Gaaaah, this is a great reminder of why I stopped even trying to read LW. It’s not “rationality” those guys are about, it’s “rationalIZING”. And generally the things they rationalized tended to be bat-crap-asinine notions along the lines of “why we’re justified in believing we’re the smartest people on earth”.

Bleah.

Is it really a triumph of “free speech”

…if, the more I think about it, the more I would prefer to be a nobody on the Internet these days? I used to do public blogging under my real name. I had no fear because (a) I wasn’t writing anything I wouldn’t want my grandmother reading, and (b) I figured if someone didn’t care to read my blog, or if they found it boring or irrelevant, they would simply not read it.

A few years later, though, it became abundantly clear that I wasn’t the sort of person that was allowed to just exist comfortably in public as myself. I never forced anyone to read my blog and I never assumed anyone would find my writing interesting. I just figured I would put it out there on the chance someone might find it worth reading, or useful, or relatable in some way. And yet to see some of the comments I began getting, you’d think I was running around begging for praise, treats, and validation of my physical attractiveness at every turn. Which, just, no. I refuse to believe that including something like a photo of oneself in a blog post equates to “attention seeking” or showing off in some nefarious way. The most egregious thing I’ve ever done in this regard is stuff along the lines of “oh hey check out this outfit!” And even in that case it’s not so much about ME, but about…well, outfits are kind of like art projects, and it needs to be okay for people who (like me) are graced with big noses and scrawny necks and lopsided smiles and frequently-uncooperative hair and other “not conventionally attractive” indicators to visibly exist.

But. I don’t even really make posts of outfits here on tumblr these days. Too nerve-racking, too much attention that *I don’t actually want*. Same for real -name public blogging, period.

It has gotten to where I am afraid to even blog about my cats for fear that some obnoxious troll will come along and decide to mess with my head just because someone decides “girls don’t belong on the Internet” (gender identity notwithstanding) or because someone decides it’s bad form to admit being autistic/disabled, or because they see me as a “feminist” or “social justice whatever” (despite the fact that I do not identify as either of those, for my own reasons that are based not in politics but in cognitive processing style).

I guess I just hope to see the day when people can just be people. In public spaces. Warts, weird hobbies, outfits, food pictures, odd aesthetic preferences and all without being given a hard time about it. Least of all by people who claim to be deeply invested in free speech. It’s not free speech at all if you have to be willing to make and go along with horrendously bigoted, logic-void comments in order to avoid being deemed “the enemy”. Especially when more and more bullies are figuring out ways to go after not just people individually, but their families, their jobs, their homes, etc. The amount of attempted life-destroying I’ve been seeing lately is nothing short of ghastly. Where do these people get all this spare time to devote solely to harassing others?

I don’t expect an answer to that and I will probably delete this later but I hope a few people see it first. Not because I want attention but because I want people to know that they are not alone in being sick of the bullies and their crap. And that, really, if they are being harassed they have no reason to wonder if they deserve it. They don’t.

Police and fire scanners

…are interesting not just from the standpoint of “hey, where’s that fire engine going, and is it going to make my bus late?”, but also because they provide a window into the kinds of things (and people) that prompt the most calls. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve heard “disabled person decides to go for a walk” framed as “wandering”, or the number of times I’ve heard the cops summoned to check out a “suspicious person” who turns out to just be a random black guy trying to exist in public. Teenagers also get a disproportionate number of calls, especially non-white teenagers.

So while I will put up with “ha ha, you’re such a busybody!” jokes from people who see me loading up the scanner app, I do think there are valid reasons for listening to this stuff that have nothing to do with “nosiness” and everything to do with “wanting a look at what actually happens in your community, without waiting for the newspaper to filter it.”

Tags: scanner apps

photogenicfelines:

(daneesaur)