200 karmaJoined


It might help to provide a short summary of main points discussed in your post.

You spend over a 1000 words saying that Sam Harris is correct. But at no point do you provide an argument for thinking he's correct. You simply assert it. Over and over. 

I downvoted this post. I watched the first hour of the video and was very unimpressed by the "argument" in it. It seems to be a mix of implicit conspiracism, irrelevant tangents, and intro philosophy of science.

It does (correctly) point out that the replication crisis revealed many weaknesses in the way science has been conducted, but the discussion is superficial. And whereas most scientists who learn about the replication crisis advocate for greater rigor (e.g. larger sample sizes, more diverse samples, preregistration), the video implies that the real problem is that scientists have been making some unwarranted metaphysical/ontological assumptions. For example, scientists should be more open to the idea that extra sensory perception is real??

I think a better use of time would be reading Stuart Ritchie's book Science Fictions, which more clearly and cogently discusses the replication crisis and problems in science more generally.

I was quite surprised by bioethicists' views on paying organ donors. I'd be curious to see what the best argument against it is. I've been extremely unimpressed by the arguments I've seen so far.

It's odd that you say the reviewer provides no support for his assertions. It seems to me like the reviewer presents quite a bit of evidence.

For example, in responding to Bregman's claim that male control over female sexuality (and gender inequality more generally) began with the rise of agriculture, Buckner (the reviewer) mentions arranged marriages among the !Kung, a hunter-gatherer society. Buckner also references husbands beating their wives for infidelity among the Kaska, a nomadic foraging society. He also references the Ache, a hunter-gatherer society, whose elite men "monopolized many fertile women in the population." He also references the Mi’kmaq foragers, whose elite men get priority over the women and children for prime food.

In response to Bregman's claim that sedentism and property ownership are responsible for the origins of warfare, Buckner cites a paper by Wrangham and Glowacki who summarize the literature: "cases of hunter-gatherers living with different societies of hunter-gatherers as neighbors show that the threat of violence was never far away."

In response to Bregman's claim that hunter-gatherers didn't take ownership over inventions or tunes, Buckner contradicts this by referencing the Yolngu and Northwest Coast fisher-forager societies who do just that.

I don't think anyone who actually read the review could honestly say, "The reviewer provides no support for his assertions."

Just to reiterate your original claim, you said that Scott “has done a lot, entirely deliberately in my view, to spread that view [that black people have lower IQs for genetic reasons].”

And your evidence for this claim is that:

  1. He linked to neo-reactionaries on his blogroll who hold this view.
  2. He privately told friends that HBD (which isn’t exclusively about the causes of racial IQ differences) is “probably partially correct or at least very non-provably non-correct.” And he demanded they never reveal this publicly.
  3. He isn’t “repulsed” or “creeped out” or “upset” by reactionaries.

I find this extremely unpersuasive and misleading.

  1. I don’t know which neo-reactionaries you’re referring to when you say he linked to them on his blogroll, but he very clearly doesn’t agree with everything they say. He has explicitly disagreed with the neo-reactionary movement at length.
  2. Telling something to friends in private and demanding secrecy seems like the exact opposite of trying to spread a view. And saying a view is “probably partially correct or at least non-provably non-correct” is hardly a ringing endorsement of the view.
  3. Come on... He doesn’t have the right emotional vibes, therefore he must be deliberately spreading the view?? I’m personally a vegan for ethical reasons. In fact, I think factory farming is among the worst things humanity has ever done. But I’m not “creeped out” or “repulsed” by people who eat meat.

Your evidence is extremely weak, and it’s disappointing that as of my response, it has 18 upvotes.

Any links to where Scott Alexander deliberately argues that black people have lower IQs for genetic reasons? I've been reading his blog for a decade and I don't recall any posts on this.

I think any discussion of race that doesn't take the equality of races as a given will be considered inflammatory. And regardless of the merits of the arguments, they can make people uncomfortable and choose not to associate with EA.

I think collections like this are helpful, but it's a misleading to say it presents the "frontier of publicly available knowledge."

Taking just the first section on moral truth as an example, it seems like a huge overstatement to say this collection of podcasts and forum posts gets people to the frontier of this subject. Philosophers have spent a long time on this, writing thousands of papers. And at a glance, it seems like all of OPs linked resources don't even intend to give an overview of the literature on meta-ethics. They instead present their own personal perspectives.

And all of the resources in this section are EA/rationalist affiliated. Surely there have been some people who've said intelligent things about the nature of morality prior to Yudkowsky's birth, right? Neglecting these voices seems like an oversight, especially given the stated goal of getting readers to the frontier of publicly available knowledge.

Going forward, I'd suggest making more modest claims about what can be accomplished by a reading list like this and expanding the range of perspectives that's considered worth listening to.

Load more