Bloody shovel

Don't call it a spade

Rationality

Claim: “Every Cause wants to become a Cult.” (Eliezer Yudkowksy)

Truth: “Upper class cults are but a cover for a swingers club” (Spandrell)

Proof:

DSC_5109-1934681119-O

Claim: The rationalist community is about Overcoming Bias.

Truth: “Everyone I know fears the truth in their private lives. We all want to live delusion that we are something more/better/greater/more powerful than we actually are and most people become extreamlly hostile when you’re blunt and honest with them” (Red)

Proof:

“Haha, how about those girls who say they prefer to be ‘one of the guys’ or that most of their friends are male, huh? Isn’t that always a huge warning sign?”

I see this so often, most recently on Reddit. “Never trust a girl who doesn’t have female friends” or “They don’t get along with other girls because they themselves are usually bitches”, just to choose two comments from the thread on this pressing issue.

Well, I’m the male version of this. Most of my friends are girls. This is none of your business. And if a girl does the same thing, that’s none of your business either.”

1. Girls can make friends with whoever the f@#k they want.
2. Go to hell.

For 2200 years, the proper attitude of a civilized man has been “Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto“. The rationalists, as all other leftists, want you to close your eyes, cover your ears and ignore reality so you stop noticing they are running a swingers club.

 

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30 responses to “Rationality

  1. KK January 16, 2014 at 14:23

    Well that’s not exactly watertight proof there, even though I already agree with the gist of what you’re saying. Where’s the pic from btw?

    Considering the sex ratio within the rationalist community, it seems that part of their raison d’etre is to develop rationalizations why a polyandric relationship model isn’t that bad after all, and why droning around a few loose girls in the hopes that it might be YOUR dick getting wet the next time she goes on a coke binge is a viable mating strategy.

    I would have passed all of this as something those silly Americans do that we’ll copy 20 years from now, except that I’ve seen traces of this among the more ‘edgy’ and ‘avant-garde’ tech geeks here in Finland as well. One of them told me he’s becoming a father, except that he’s not – he’s just in a relationship with a woman with a man who’s the father of the child. Among others, autogynephilia seems to be all the rage, I suspect partly as an innate perversion, partly as a coping mechanism.

    • spandrell January 16, 2014 at 15:22

      Come on, that’s all I could get with my mad Google skillz. There’s lots of text proof if you go into their archives, which I won’t do. Pic I got from Patri Friedman’s blog. Some wedding of theirs.

      I quit trolling on my 18th birthday but I had to say something at this self-congratulatory ritual of theirs. And yes, it’s a coping mechanism. Which they shouldn’t need to do if they didn’t try to become an endogamic cult. I get it, society sucks, nobody likes nerds, they call you names and don’t call you to their parties. You wanna make your own parties. Sure, we all like Exit. But Exit doesn’t mean you get to use your high IQ to make up a new morality to justify all the fucked up things you do to make do in your new community.

      It reminds me of Greg Cochran’s story of the African tribe where boys get a parasite which makes their penises bleed. The whole tribe calls is male menstruation and its celebrated with a big ritual.

      • Contaminated NEET January 16, 2014 at 19:42

        Jesus Christ, these Less Wrong people are irritating. Is there a charity I can donate to yet that will build Roko’s Basilisk?

      • Handle January 17, 2014 at 02:56

        But Exit doesn’t mean you get to use your high IQ to make up a new morality to justify all the fucked up things you do to make do in your new community.

        Sounds like Nietzsche criticizing the origin of Christian ‘Slave Morality’ in Antichrist. Morality as coping mechanism.

        The thread at Scott’s polyamory post is epically long – over 250 comments. The major recurrent ‘argument’ seems to be variations on ‘why should you care?’

        • spandrell January 17, 2014 at 06:49

          I think I made a good point there, that implausible claims about human nature naturally bother me.

          • Handle January 17, 2014 at 11:26

            High IQ people can convince themselves of anything if sufficiently motivated.

            • spandrell January 17, 2014 at 12:13

              I’d change that to sufficiently reinforced.

              I wanted to escape into my world of fantasy too, but I didn’t have a world of like minded friends to reinforce my deviancy. Reality was always a close presence which I couldn’t ignore, irregardless to how fast my hamster run.

              • Handle January 17, 2014 at 12:28

                You’re right. People get id drift or fantasy drift without social-pressure as course correction. But if you can construct a social scene then you can reify the fantasy within the cult bubble. If your bubble grows big enough you take over normalcy.

                Progressivism is sufficient social reinforcement to ignore reality for most people. It helps if you have a way of making hypocrisy / revealed preferences (self segregation into homogeneous neighborhoods) someone else’s fault.

            • VXXC January 17, 2014 at 20:45

              And are proved unfit to govern, advisors at best in low concentrations of toxicity.

      • Contaminated NEET January 17, 2014 at 06:57

        I just read that whole comment thread, and I have to say spandrell, you were doing God’s work there. I didn’t notice the hyper-rational overmen doing any “steelmanning” in that argument!

        So the big guru Yudkowsky himself is “poly,” right? I don’t know which is more horrifying, that or the Basilisk. I don’t mean to say he’s ugly and the thought of him doing the deed with multiple women disgusts me, but rather that this extremely intelligent man, who has made more serious effort to be rational than almost anyone, ends up using his smarts to rationalize his big-man polygamy.

        • spandrell January 17, 2014 at 07:13

          It was pretty surreal, I didn’t know things like that existed. The US is a really weird place. And I’m pretty well traveled! But yes, this rings more true every day:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/arts/people-argue-just-to-win-scholars-assert.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

          Yudkowsky wouldn’t be ugly if he wasn’t that fat, and given his clout he could get a pretty hot and smart babe to marry and have babies with. But no, he’d rather run a swingers club and bang lots of fatties.

          Patri Friedman got a hot redhead, had a baby with her and recently announced he’s out of the swinger thing. Of course the rest of the cult called him a self-interested asshole, but he made the right call.

          • ivvenalis January 18, 2014 at 23:52

            SA linked to Friedman’s post saying he didn’t want to be a swinger anymore, and I don’t remember if it was in the original or the link thread (or both) that several commenters were pointing out that Friedman’s criticisms of the lifestyle sounded suspiciously like Enemy arguments against it, therefore they must be wrong.

            The endless analysis of relationships and emotions and how everybody’s feeling seems to occupy quite a bit more of the practitioners’ time and energy than actual sex. I think this may actually be what the non-Big Men get out of such arrangements. Maybe that’s why Heinlein’s editor didn’t axe all the tedious poly-drama in Time Enough for Love–fanservice?

            • spandrell January 19, 2014 at 21:24

              Yes that’s a good point. For all their super IQ and AI worship, instead of finding the cure for cancer they like to talk about Love and what would the AI do about Love and how to protect Love from the Robots. Sounds like one of those EST rituals.

          • Nyk January 19, 2014 at 17:56

            You get fatties but you might also get someone like Julia Galef from time to time. Some would find that a good arrangement.

            Though I would surmise that any 7s, 8s, 9s would disproportionately allocate time to sexual encounters with the tribal leader (i.e. Yudkowsky) and the good-looking males.

      • KK January 17, 2014 at 08:27

        There’s lots of text proof if you go into their archives, which I won’t do.
        Well, I started skimming that link from your comment and was just about to return here and reply with something along the lines “Hell no. When you gaze too long into faggotry, faggotry gazes into you.” when I noticed this comment from one of their residents:

        Gay pride parades are not meant to look appealing to the public. They are are a way of gloatingly intimidating the public to accept your self-rule. I say that as the greatest compliment.
        Gotta appreciate the honesty, at least. This is no longer even tangentially related to your original post, but I find it encouraging that we’re starting to see the homo lobby show their true colors lately. “gloatingly intimidating the public to accept your self-rule” is a better distillation of the gay pride phenomenon that I as an impartial hater could ever come up with. We’ll see what happens in the near future as the American Manifest Destiny of the 21st century seems to mostly consist of making sure that there’s an annual pride parade happening in Moscow and Belgrade. In Soviet Russia, you haze faggotry.

        Back to topic. Way back when LW/OC was readable, Yudkowski wrote an article where he drew an analogy on cults becoming more fanatic after events that contradict their worldview (only the true believers remain) and the formation of Bose-Einstein condensate where only gradually lower energy particles remain and eventually form a supercold condensate mass. While the model was aiming to describe the effect of large cognitive catastrophes on a collective mind, and how a core of ever more fanatical fanatics will remain afterwards, I think it applies to at least some ideological communities as well. The rationalists at least. What started as a forum for systematically-oriented atypical high-IQ people writing about our natural psychological misconceptions has become just another cult with their own peculiar ways and taboos (of which they are rightly proud of, just as they should expect themselves to be).

        Years ago, someone wrote about the same thing happening to the PUA community. The normal ones who wanted to get a fulfilling relationship or a family – or even just a reliable girlfriend – had left and had no need to contribute any more, which left only the increasingly marginal sex addicts, harem builders and spergy approachbots remaining. Which further slanted the community focus towards their preferences. The longer you are with someone, the less applicability PUA stuff has. You don’t need to neglect replying to your wife when she texts you with an urgent issue at the middle of your work day just because you’ve sent the last 3 messages before that and you want to “avoid seeming too eager” or to “give the impression that you have plenty of interests besides her”. You don’t “dump the bitch” just because she has a nasty case of PMS this month.

        • spandrell January 17, 2014 at 13:55

          That post is funny.

          My own theory of Internet moderation is that you have to be willing to exclude trolls and spam to get a conversation going. You must even be willing to exclude kindly but technically uninformed folks from technical mailing lists if you want to get any work done. A genuinely open conversation on the Internet degenerates fast. It’s the articulate trolls that you should be wary of ejecting, on this theory—they serve the hidden function of legitimizing less extreme disagreements.

          Heh. I wonder what happened with that. Also interesting how they got leftist entryists even in transhumanist newsgroups. I mean wtf.

  2. Baker January 19, 2014 at 19:25

    Is your problem with polyamory is the polyandry part not the polygamy part? Polygamy is the natural and de facto system while mongamy is a nominal social constraint for social stability, so nothing to be deluded about.

    • spandrell January 19, 2014 at 20:57

      Polygyny and polyandry where they exist are always exclusive, and reflect a balance of power or an old-age Malthusian law on who should have babies with whom.

      This guys are running swingers club where both sides are encouraged to have multiple sexual partners at the same time. All in the name of not treating people as property and using rationality to overcome caveman jealousy blabla.

      But yeah to the extent that the women aren’t sharing men to avoid too much population growth in the Himalayan valleys, the idea that women can be attracted to more than one man at the same time does require extraordinary evidence.

  3. anonymous January 22, 2014 at 21:33

    I read the entire comment thread on Polyamory. Hilarious stuff Spandrell. “Pics or STFU” is in fact a pretty damn good argument. However, I’m really glad nobody used it against Moldbug…

    • spandrell January 23, 2014 at 08:51

      Moldbug is afaik a regular family man, and has never made any implausible claims about sex.

    • Anthony January 23, 2014 at 20:33

      This is partly a test of some WordPress stuff, and partly a response.

      Your response wasn’t that good, and you failed to respond to a fairly strong point made by some commenters: Humans are diverse. Some fraction of women (I’d estimate it at less than 10% of white, middle-class Americans) *are* psychologically able to maintain a strong attraction to more than one man. I suspect that the proportion increases among the more intelligent and more conscientious, because those are the ones more clearly able to examine the causes of their emotional reactions, and deal with them or change them, even without the mind-hacking tricks that the Rationalist Community loves so much.

      The better argument (which you didn’t press very well, though asdf did somewhat) is that proselytizing for polyamory is harmful because most women can’t do it without psychological damage, and that harm is both to the community at large, and to the community of polyamorists, because of the number of people who will enter that community even though they’re not suitable for it who will spread their drama around in bad ways.

      Another argument to make is that when there aren’t relatively strong legal and/or social strictures against general polygamy, one doesn’t get widespread polyamory, but widespread polygyny. Sure – I know a number of MFM triads and relationships, but I live in the Bay Area (in a subculture which tolerates polyamory pretty well, and has very little crossover with the LW community, even though EY lives 15 miles away). But I know that (having observed the BDSM community, and knowing Mormons) that the vast majority of polygamous relationships if polygamy becomes more accepted will be either polygynous, or a sort of ghetto-culture free-floating pool of hookups and transient pair bonds; both of which, in large numbers, are bad for society.

      • spandrell January 27, 2014 at 20:18

        . Some fraction of women (I’d estimate it at less than 10% of white, middle-class Americans) *are* psychologically able to maintain a strong attraction to more than one man.

        Any evidence on that? Besides the subculture you live in. Humans are surely diverse, you also get BSDMs and cuckold fetishes. But those aren’t normal. And that was the claim of the post, that it’s all just *so* normal and nice and warm.

        The only real argument is that you don’t mess with monogamy. We’ve been doing it for millennia, for a reason. End of the story. If you prioritize your feeling good, next you end up calling your girlfriend “ze”. It’s a slippery slope if there ever was one.

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