Bob Jacobs

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Bob Jacobs' Comments

Bob Jacobs's Shortform

Continuing my streak of hating on terms this community loves.

I hate the term 'Motte-and-bailey'. Not because the fallacy itself is bad, but because you are essentially indirectly accusing your interlocutor of switching definitions on purpose. In my experience this is almost always an accident, but even if it wasn't, you still shouldn't immediately brand your interlocutor as malicious. I propose we use the term 'defiswitchion' (combining 'definition' and 'switch') since it is actually descriptive and easier to understand for people who hear it for the first time and you are not indirectly accusing your interlocutor of using dirty debate tactics.

Reexamining The Dark Arts
In sum, I felt your piece didn't address what it might look like if things 'went bad with Dark Arts'.

Yeah I've always wondered if I should write about this. A sequence on 'defense against the dark arts' might sound like a good idea in theory but in practice you have write out a lot of dark arts techniques to point out how you can defend yourself against them and I'm afraid people will just start using those techniques. If you look at the karma-vote discrepancy of the posts with the 'dark arts' tag you will see how controversial this topic is. I don't blame people for downvoting me and the others because even talking about it brings risk, but I think that's sometimes worth it. But even if a 'defense against the dark arts' sequence ever gets written, I don't think it should be me but rather someone with more expertise in this field.

Under which conditions are human beings most likely to be altruistically motivated?

Yeah fair enough, I just wanted to show a case where even a very abstract and hard to measure advantage in resource gathering is shown to be correlated with giving resources away.

Should we stop using the term 'Rationalist'?

Upvoted for introducing me to the term baconianism, even though it is a little bit off. We could do what every academic and their dog does when they find something they almost agree with and slap a 'neo-' in front of it to create e.g neobaconianism. But if we are gonna invent new terms anyway we might as well go with aspirationalist.

Should we stop using the term 'Rationalist'?

Cool quote, but in this case probably not accurate. From wikipedia:

The term became useful in order to describe differences perceived between two of its founders Francis Bacon, described as an "empiricist", and René Descartes, who is described as a "rationalist".

From etymonline:

Were I obliged to give a short name to the attitude in question, I should call it that of radical empiricism, in spite of the fact that such brief nicknames are nowhere more misleading than in philosophy. I say 'empiricism' because it is contented to regard its most assured conclusions concerning matters of fact as hypotheses liable to modification in the course of future experience; and I say 'radical,' because it treats the doctrine of monism itself as an hypothesis, and, unlike so much of the half way empiricism that is current under the name of positivism or agnosticism or scientific naturalism, it does not dogmatically affirm monism as something with which all experience has got to square. The difference between monism and pluralism is perhaps the most pregnant of all the differences in philosophy. [William James, preface to "The Sentiment of Rationality" in "The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy," 1897]

EDIT: There is some debate as to when "modern" use of the term empiricism started, the first use was at least much much older. Stanford.edu writes:

The first people to describe themselves as empiricists (empeirikoi) were a group of medical writers of the Hellenistic period. We know of these thinkers only indirectly, through the work of other ancient writers, in particular Galen of Pergamon (129–ca. 200 CE).

EDIT 2: [emphasis added]

Reexamining The Dark Arts

I immediately answered that question with ‘yes’, didn’t I? Meaning I asserted that it was sustainable.

Reexamining The Dark Arts

So this schelling fence doesn’t say that you can’t be blunt, only that you’re sometimes allowed not to be. Designing also has diminishing returns so in reality people will not only optimize aesthetics. I’m not sure what you mean by effectiveness, but me giving my guide certain colors or shapes did not hinder the argument being made. But let’s say for the sake of argument that you are forced to make a choice between accuracy and aesthetics. This schelling fence says that you should choose accuracy since you couldn’t trust any argument if everyone sacrifices accuracy, making it self defeating. Kantian Dark Arts still work.

Reexamining The Dark Arts

So things are allowed if they’re sustainable. Visually pleasing things are beautiful. I already said earlier that beautiful things make people happy. I said that the answer resolved positively because it is sustainable. I honestly still don’t understand your criticism. If you were my editor before I posted this, what would you have liked to add or subtract from this sentence?

Reexamining The Dark Arts

Why do you say that? Not only does it not self-contradict, it also fills the world with more visually pleasing stuff, making it more beautiful? Does your comment say I shouldn't point these things out? Or would you like me to edit it to say that it's 'doubly allowed' since it does two things? I'm not sure what you're trying to say :(

Under which conditions are human beings most likely to be altruistically motivated?

Intelligence is highly correlated with altruism. This study proposes that it has to do with the fact that intelligent people can afford to lose some resources:

The cost incurred by engaging in unconditional altruism is lower for highly intelligent people than for less intelligent people because they may expect to regain the drained resources. As a result, unconditional altruism can serve as an honest signal of intelligence.

So maybe altruism is just a way of showing off how many resources you can donate without taking a hit and thus having/being able to generate lots of resources makes people more altruistically motivated.

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