LessWrong developer, rationalist since the Overcoming Bias days. Jargon connoisseur. Currently working on auto-applying tags to LW posts with a language model.


Ack, I misread that, sorry. Will edit the grandparent comment to remove that part.

There are a few significant things to say about this post. The first is that you ought to read the Metaethics sequence (long version) or Value Theory (abridged version). Knowing how our current values arose is reason for pessimism about whether AIs we create will share our values, about humanity's values in unsteered futures, and about what the values of aliens might look like. Knowing how our current values arose is not something that should move us away from them, or confuse us about which things are good and bad.

The impression I get from this post is that you're trying to argue, through subtextual moves, that values are explained away rather than merely explained. You make a number of subtle errors, which consistently bend towards that direction. The practical upshot of which is that you are spreading falsehoods about moral philosophy which, if widespread, would make people adopt worse values and make the world worse.

You mix up your tenses in sneaky way, projecting bad aspects of the past onto the future:

"Cultural values which valorize physical male violence and facilitate its coordination at scale will become the dominant paradigm purely as a result of the circumstances’ ruthless logic."

"Any folklore or morality code which facilitated this core mission will replicate, spread, and become enshrined as humanity’s unquestioned zeitgeist."

"Fundamental to this community’s well-being is a male’s ability to commit acts of horrific physical violence in his individual capacity and to coordinate others to do the same"

(Emphasis added).

You speak positively of violence through the lens of past societies that needed it, without disclaiming that it's bad in a present-day lens:

"The men of martial prowess — those exceptionally good at killing people and taking their shit — were appropriately exalted and deified for the base survival and material gain they were able to provide to their community."

Taken together, these make me think that you would prefer to live in a world of pure Azathoth, with more violence and more oppression.

Which is bad.

Strong downvoted.

When new users pop up in the moderation dashboard (which happens when they make their first post/comment), we see the HTTP referrer they had the first time they landed on the site. (At domain granularity, not page-level granularity, and only for users who clicked a link not users who typed the URL into the address bar). So, if we get a bunch of users coming from YouTube leaving bad comments that would make the site worse, we do have the ability to notice that's what happening.

That said, I do think that there's a real risk here. Among all the places on the internet, YouTube is unique in that it isn't filtering for people who read a lot, so it may attract a crowd that's both much larger and much less intellectually sophisticated than LW is used to. On the other hand, maybe the subset of people who wouldn't fit on LW wind up bouncing off the walls of text anyways. I could see it going either way.

I think there is some value in exploring the philosophical foundations of ethics, and LessWrong culture is often up for that sort of thing. But, it's worth saying explicitly: the taboo against violence is correct, and has strong arguments for it from a wide variety of angles. People who think their case is an exception are nearly always wrong, and nearly always make things worse.

(This does not include things that could be construed as violence but only if you stretch the definition, like supporting regulation through normal legal channels, or aggressive criticism, or lawsuits. I think those things are not taboo and would support some of them.)

They should be live now. They were live, then temporarily rolled back because a change that deployed in the same operation (not related to reacts) broke something, now they're live again.

First round of changes based on feedback from this thread. There are a bunch of new reactions, some UI changes, and some small bugfixes. Not being in this changeset does not mean that a suggestion has been rejected; this is just a first pass.

  • New reactions: Agree, Disagree, Obtuse, I'll Reply Later, Not Planning to Respond, I Don't Understand, Non Sequitur, Shaky Premise, Too Many Assumptions, Misrepresentation, Continue, Not Worth the Time
  • The add-reaction button is moved to the bottom-right
  • The reactions display highlights reactions that you yourself made or antireacted to
  • Replaced the icons for Support and Concrete
  • Recapitalized some reaction titles to be in title-case

You aren't meant to be able to anti-react to a reaction that no one else has reacted (but there are some minor bugs that make this not be fully enforced). Tooltip should probably be on the right rather than below, will fix.

Currently they aren't sorted at all (so the order is some arbitrary emergent property, which I haven't reverse-engineered but which might be "sort by least recently applied"). I agree that sorting by descending count makes sense and will change it to that.

The intent is that you can post comments on any subject here.

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