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Kindness & Evidence

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joined 2022 September 27 17:57:06 UTC


User ID: 1368


Kindness & Evidence

1 follower   follows 6 users   joined 2022 September 27 17:57:06 UTC


No bio...


User ID: 1368

Please proactively provide evidence in proportion to how partisan and inflammatory your claim might be

Virtually no one here takes that rule seriously.

Empirical Verification of Sailer’s Law - there is some truth to this "law" (the odds ratio is about 2.4:1) but thinking it is anywhere near conclusive evidence is crazy

My response was an attempt to give OP exactly why they asked for (steelman arguments for veganism). The “low effort” rule is intended to exclude “three word shit-posts”, which mine is definitely not.

Their responses were literally just boo-out-group and therefore almost the epitome of the “three word shit-post”. Therefore, they consisted of entirely 100% rule-breaking content.

Under your odd interpretation that relies only on length, any comment consisting of a simple clarifying question would now be allowed to be responded to with shit posts.

Edit: when some members of this forum are EAs/rationalists/veterans - that distinction is pretty narrow.

Gotcha - on first reading, I misinterpreted it as

To treat liberalism as an inevitable endpoint, or a universal truth, or some manifestation of the underlying laws of the universe; it undermines [the principles and values that] made liberalism triumphant and successful.

which triggered my confusion. Based on what you said, the intention is more along the lines of

To treat liberalism as an inevitable endpoint, or a universal truth, or some manifestation of the underlying laws of the universe; it undermines [the courage, actions, and habits that] made liberalism triumphant and successful.

You should've just said something like

I accept that as weak evidence against a Leviathan-shaped hole existing


Seeing as I find veterans insufferably obnoxious this isn't a surprise to me.

Those kinds of quips don't result in any Mod response and can net you quite a few upvotes! :D


To treat liberalism as an inevitable endpoint, or a universal truth, or some manifestation of the underlying laws of the universe; it undermines what made liberalism triumphant and successful.

What does this mean?

I think there are two important lenses here.

Via the probability-theory lens, we must distinguish between

  • the propensity for the coin to land on heads - unknown
  • the subjective (in the Bayesian sense) probability Yudkowsky assigns to the coin landing on heads on the next flip

Under a Bayesian epistemology, the former is reasoned about using a probability density function (PDF) by which (approximately) every number between 0 and 1 is assigned a subjective probability. Then, when we observe the flip we update using the likelihood function (either x for heads or 1-x for tails). What you're talking about is essentially how spread out Yudkowsky's current PDF is.

The other lens is markets-based, which I've touched on before. Briefly, for reason that are obvious for anyone in finance, there is a world of difference between

  • believing a stock is worth X
  • offering to buy the stock for X+0.01 from anyone and sell it for X-0.01 to anyone

In real life, the bid-ask spread that market makers offer depend on a great number of factors including how informed everyone else in the market is relative to themselves. On this lens, credible intervals (or whatever phrase you want to use) are not things individuals have in isolation, they are things individuals have within a social space: if you're with a bunch of first-graders, you might have a very tight bid-ask spread when betting on whether a room-temperature superconductor was just discovered; if you're with a bunch of chemist PhDs, you're going to adopt an extremely wide spread (e.g. "somewhere between 5% and 95%").

Ok, but, again - all the court case proves is that one company wanted an IQ test and at least one organization was willing to sue them for it?

For all the evidence that has been presented in this thread (i.e. none), media backlash was sufficient to prevent literally every other company in the US from using IQ tests. I'm not saying this is actually true - just that the existence of a court case is not, inf act, good evidence that "media backslashes would not have been enough."

I would consider court case itself as an evidence that media backslashes would not have been enough

not have been enough to what?

Doesn't the court case merely prove at least one company wanted an IQ test and at least one organization was willing to sue them for it?

Specifically, GSS data showed that 63% of young men reported themselves as single while only 34% of young women did. This was of course immediately seized upon as proof that a huge proportion of girls are in “chad harems.” Since nobody bothers to read beyond a sensationalist headline, not many dug deep enough to discover that this proportion has been roughly the same for over thirty years, so if the chadopoly is real, it’s been going on for a long time

When I looked into this, I found that, across all age groups, the implied number-of-non-single people was roughly equal in both sexes. This strongly suggests the factor driving this are a large number of younger-woman-older-man pairs.

You know - I've done some searching (Google, Google Scholar) and llm-ing (GPT, Claude, Bard), and I can't really find any evidence I would consider strong

  1. in favor or against significant media backlash against IQ testing potential hires
  2. in favor or against the claim that IQ tests were common before Griggs
  3. in favor or against the claim that IQ-testing of potential hires significantly decreased post Griggs

So, I guess I'm gonna revert to agnosticism.

To clarify: are you arguing that subscribing to utilitarianism causes people to be more likely to cheat on their romantic partners?

Or are you merely exploring how utilitarians rationalize cheating - as opposed to how people of other ethical persuasions rationalize it?

Peter Singer considers himself a hedonistic utilitarian. My understanding is that (broadly speaking) lying is nearly intrinsically bad to the preference utilitarians (most people have a preference against being lied to) but not the hedonistic utilitarians (if the lied-to-party never finds out, their hedonism is not impaired).

Which is to say... if we're going to use his affair as evidence of anything, it should be to discredit hedonistic utilitarians.

More specifically, I think classical utilitarianism as a whole suffers from a lack of respect for duty to the near in ways that this sort of misconduct highlights

No comment on whether utilitarianism "suffers from a lack of respect for duty to the near", but I really don't see how Peter cheating on his wife is related to this. Like, if he was sleeping with people to get them to donate to malaria charities, you'd have a point - but, per your summary, he was enjoying sex for purely selfish reasons.

Ehh, Griggs vs. Duke Power is overrated by HBD/IQ folks. It's not like IQ tests were ubiquitous before Griggs, were they?

I think the more important problem for large companies is that the PR costs might be large and that PR costs are very salient/legible in a way that employee quality is not, at least no in the short-term (and people are hardly paragons of rationality in the long-term). Like, if you were a CEO and added IQ tests, you can be certain of a media backlash and you're also risking subsequent punishment by the board. Even if you're certain it would improve employee quality, that would (a) be hard to prove and (b) even if you could, it would take years...

Smaller firms,

  1. often just copy larger firms (they are often, in a sense, even more risk-averse than big firms, since all the financial risk is borned by the owner)
  2. often aren't super g-loaded anyway (e.g. mom-and-pop shop, contractor laying flooring, etc)
  3. have less principle-agent problems (arguably, IQ-esque tests are most valuable, because they partially displace hiring favoritism) - like, if I'm mostly hiring people I know and have worked with before, the additional value of an IQ test is ~0

Sure, I'm just pushing back against what @f3zinker said:

you might just arrive at grandas ethics.

This is false. [ETA: unless you think grandma condones bullying, I guess...]

Ahh, gotcha.

We're interested in class/socioeconomic status. This variable is fairly abstract, and income is merely a proxy for it. If, for instance, the causal graph goes

genes -> status status + noise -> income

then, even if status is 100% heritable, the heritability of income will only be equal to the correlation between income and status.

The paper effectively models reality as

status + noise -> occupation

and uses surnames and the model (i.e. Figure 7) to try to circumvent making any strong assumptions about how good of a proxy occupation is for status.

Well, except if you're with a group of people bonding by bullying someone, you perspective implies I should start bullying them too...

ETA: though, I do admit, definitionally that taking the selfish perspective does "better serve" you

Can you elaborate?

Other evidence exists. For instance, in Sweden, social status decays by about 25% per generation, which is consistent with it being (a) entirely genetic and (b) approximately perfect assortative mating. Similar estimates are found for the US, England, Chile, and China - Japan and India have even smaller levels of decay.

ETA: The alternative interpretation is that there is an absolutely enormous environmental factor. However, given many twin studies (feel free to ask for link) that collectively show ~0 impact of environment on earnings, this seems exceedingly unlikely.

Assortative Mating and the Industrial Revolution: England, 1754-2021:


Using a new database of 1.7 million marriage records for England 1837-2021 we estimate assortment by occupational status in marriage, and the intergenerational correlation of occupational status. We find the underlying correlations of status groom-bride, and father-son, are remarkably high: 0.8 and 0.9 respectively. These correlations are unchanged 1837-2021. There is evidence this strong matching extends back to at least 1754. Even before formal education and occupations for women, grooms and brides matched tightly on educational and occupational abilities. We show further that women contributed as much as men to important child outcomes. This implies strong marital sorting substantially increased the variance of social abilities in England. Pre-industrial marital systems typically involved much less marital sorting. Thus the development of assortative marriage may play a role in the location and timing of the Industrial Revolution, through its effect on the supply of those with upper-tail abilities.

ETA: bolded the most important sentence

If we had proof that intermarriage between class was as (in)frequent as intermarriage between race, how would you change your mind?

It's existence mostly serves to confirm the validity of the 1d model

Statistical Structure of the Supreme Court

Inspired by earlier discussion on The Motte, I decided to statistically investigate the voting patterns of the Supreme Court.

The obvious place to start is by looking at how frequently each justice's opinions aligned with each other's. We can interpret the percent-of-times-disagreed as a measure of how "far apart" justices are. We can then use a variety of approaches to plot this onto a 2d graph (e.g. using sklearn.manifold.MDS)

I found data from back when Breyer was on the Court rather than Jackson. My preferred model results is this graph and fairly consistent with @Walterodim's characterization:

  • Sotomayor as a left outlier
  • Kegan (and Breyer) on the left
  • Kavenaugh, Roberts, and Barrett towards the center
  • Thomas and Alito on the right

Finally, he characterizes Gorsuch as a "Maverick", which is admittedly a little hard to formalize in a 2d projection of a high-dimensional space, and the model just spits him out between Barrett and Thomas.

My point is not saying "Americans are better than Nigerians." My point is that this kind of "mirrored-weight utilitarianism" avoids some of the unintuitive ethical results of normal utilitarianism.

I guess you should define "a lot".

I was mostly thinking along the lines of most of them presumably not earning-to-give and then donating almost of all of it to third world health charities - i.e. the Effective Altruist way.

I'm open to the idea that they would overall, as a country, do 50% more for us, or whatever.