Undergraduate Philosophy Student
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"I am randomly selected from all animals" I don't endorse this claim. It implies that my essence is prior to my existence, and I disagree with this assumption. I do believe I was once a soul placed into a random body within a set.

 My essence follows from my existence, if I was different I would be someone else. I do stand by the claim, "I can reason as if I am randomly selected from all animals" this is true for any set I am a part of, if you did select a random member of that set I am a possible result, some sets just give unintuitive results, but that's simply because reasoning from a particular positionality only gives part of the picture. 

Anthropic shadow only requires the later epistemic claim to be valid and is not dependent on the metaphysical claim.

The fact that I am not an ant doesn't undermine it because I know that I am human. Humans will always be humans, and so have a tendency to discover themselves to be humans. This selection effect is even more extreme than the tendency for humans to find themselves in worlds without a nuclear war. 

I could not be anything but what I am, as then I would not be myself. A reference class of just me is however not useful. So to do anthropic reasoning I conceive of myself as one of a set to which I belong and consider how general observation biases within that set might be misleading me. 

In the fine-tuned planet case the fact that Animals couldn't have occurred on a planet without liquid water is useful. The various contingencies around the seeming fine-tuning of the earth are explained by my being an animal. I am where animals, and by extension me, could exist. 

Yes. I am a random animal within the set of animals. I am also a random human,  a random American, a random anthropics enthusiast, a random person on the EA forum, a random non-binary person, a random Jewish person... etc 

When considering different problems I experience different forms of selection effects in different ways. For example, Insofar as I am Jewish I am more likely to exist in a world where the nazis lost ww2. 

I am unsure how these different categories interact. I imagine that I am more likely to live in a world with more humans, but fewer total animals than I am to live in a world with more animals but fewer humans. I take any category to be a legitimate starting point and am unsure how to weigh them against each other. 

I am skeptical of this first claim about anthropics. To me, it seems like every observer type can be relevant. The particular type used in the context of anthropic reasoning is ultimately subjective and is chosen insofar as it is illuminating. I agree that people thinking about anthropics are particularly unlikely after nuclear war.

Yes, I agree. This paper is framed around the fine-tuning argument because the multiverse undermining the teleological interpretation is uncontroversial within the theory, and so extending this argument to nuclear war doesn't require someone who accepts anthropic shadow to accept the conclusion of this paper. I happen to believe in anthropic shadow, and such a belief implies our situation is worse than what is implied by this paper. 

Ah, that's too bad, do you have the email of anyone who would?

I understand it could be done by one strong actor unilaterally, I simply wonder if I could reasonably support such an action being taken unilaterally. This paper is what sold me on this position https://nickbostrom.com/papers/unilateralist.pdf

I think you are overestimating what could be accomplished during this time period, I imagine that most people would become hostile to any movement which just intentionally triggered a nuclear winter. 

Do you have a source on how disruptive nuclear winters would be to food production, I am skeptical.


On an unrelated note, I see that you sight "Nuclear war near misses and anthropic shadows" which is marked as being in preparation. I wrote an essay that I imagine is similar titled "Nuclear fine-tuning". I am wondering if you have access to this document and if you could send it my way, as I would like to read it to see what gaps in my arguments it might fill in.

My essay can be found here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/Gg2YsjGe3oahw2kxE/nuclear-fine-tuning-how-many-worlds-have-been-destroyed

Tomorrow(September 26th 2022) is also Rosh Hashanah(the Jewish new year). Appropriate to begin the new year celebrating someone who made it possible.

I agree with this assessment insofar as we might be far closer to climate tipping points than it at first seems. I am curious about how a society might use and recover from urgent geo-engineering.

It seems like any scenario where urgent geo-engineering is used would have drastic effects. Who do you imagine would make this decision? If it is the governments like the UN what efforts might be made to get them to seriously consider this proposal? If you Imagine that it would be individual actors this seems like it might do more harm than good insofar as it violates the principle of conformity.

On a separate note, it doesn't seem like it would be easy to recover from the use of urgent geo-engineering in such a way that doesn't put us past the tipping point again. It seems like the use of such technology would drastically reduce our ability to research after its use, as it seems like it would totally destroy the supply chain. I am curious if I am missing anything there. 

As a result, I wonder if urgent geoengineering might not be a solution even if we are very close to tipping points. 

To clarify I’m of the view that during this time period the unplanned detonation of a nuclear weapon on American soil would have prompted a nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union. I think this is a relatively safe assumption due to how high the tensions were and how gunho the US was with nuclear weapons. I think the coincidences surrounding nuclear weapons also support this interpretation.

The alternative explanations you suggest are ad-hawk and don’t hold up to scrutiny. Disarmament supporters wouldn’t favor a system with more close calls so that fear over those close calls might lead to disarmament. This only make sense if they support disarmament for reasons other then being worried about nuclear risk. The bombs being duds also doesn’t make sense, none of the bombs in these cases turn out to be duds, if this is the case then this would be a massive conspiracy and such a conspiracy would be hard to keep under raps.(it also conflicts with the US’s general nuclear strategy)

Can you define methodology? If you are defining the term so broadly that monarchy, catholic rule, and republic are methodologies then you don't have to bite the bullet on the "effective nazi" objection. You can simply say, "fascism is a methodology I oppose" however at this point it seems like the term is so broad that your objection to EA fails to have meaning. 

I don't think this example holds up to historical scrutiny, but it's so broad Idk how to argue on that front so I'm simply going to agree to disagree.

If the object-level-agreeing, method-disagreeing "allies" turn on me, I have no recourse to shared methods.

You can work to understand other people's philosophical assumptions and work within those parameters.

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