Linky Friday #185: Boys & Girls


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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100 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    C1: Many Americans believe in law and order and do not like the idea of criminals go free. The Ankh-Morpork theory of justice is popular in the United States. “If they have you, you must be guilty of something and if you did what your actually accused of than that is just a lucky coincidence.” This is why Americans do not like funding public defenders.

    C2: This seems like a bad idea and your fears are well-justified.

    C3: When I was in law school, my legal ethics professor told us a story about her time in private practice as a matrimonial lawyer. She said that one of the fellow associates in her firm had a practice of having sex with women getting divorced and justified it on the grounds that it would boast their confidence. This was before it was decided to be unethical to sleep with your clients. The hypnosis thing just takes it to another level.

    Fm5: I see a new products line for Amazon.

    G1: There are liberals who like to maintain that all sex differences beyond the biological are purely cultural in nature but also passionately defend transgender rights. This makes no sense whatsoever. There have to be at least some innate and non-culturally caused sex differences for transgenderism to be thing.

    D2, D3: There is a theory that the old Europeans adopted monogamy as a relatively easy way to get men to fight for country. It turned out that people are more willing to be soldiers when they have a stake in society and that a spouse and kids are about the easiest sort of stake you could give them during Antiquity. Monogamous societies always tended to outperform polygamous ones.

    D2: I’m still unconvinced about assertive mating being less common at certain points of history or if there is anything that could be done about it besides encouraging wealthy intelligent people to marry Trophy spouses with good lucks but low levels of wealth and education.

    D5: This is the only Interracial couple I haven’t seen in real life yet.Report

    • Avatar Pillsy in reply to LeeEsq says:

      G1: There are liberals who like to maintain that all sex differences beyond the biological are purely cultural in nature but also passionately defend transgender rights. This makes no sense whatsoever. There have to be at least some innate and non-culturally caused sex differences for transgenderism to be thing.

      Speaking of making no sense whatsoever, what does this paragraph even mean? How is something “innate and non-culturally caused” but not biological?Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Pillsy says:

        Agreed. The fact that at puberty I began to hate my male body, and at age 18 I began to realize that I “should have been a woman” (whatever that means) does not suggest that there are “innate” mental differences between men and women, only that my body didn’t work for me.

        As a matter of fact, I do believe that “psychological sex” is a real thing, which is likely neurological in origin, and is likely set due to pre-natal hormonal effects. However, this says nothing about skills at spacial relations or math of “social” stuff or empathy or anything else really.

        Bad arguments are bad.

        Honestly, we don’t understand transness, precisely inasmuch as we do not understand gender. The correct response is a shrug and a smile.Report

  2. H2: The article is kind of incoherent. The writer mashes up at least three different issues: (1) free-standing ERs have to transport patients with some critical conditions, which takes time; (2) some urgent care centers are misleadingly misidentifying themselves as free-standing ERs and jacking up their prices accordingly; (3) the bills the free-standing ERs charge are higher than some people would like.

    Taking these in turn:

    (1) This clearly is a real problem, but if the point of these facilities is that are located in towns in B-F Texas that don’t have real hospitals, these would seem to be the least-bad alternative. At least the writer doesn’t suggest anything better.

    (2) OK, this is a real issue. There is also a real solution: government regulation. Oh, wait: this is Texas. Maybe there is no solution after all, other than waiting for the invisible hand to do its magic.

    (3) We aren’t given enough information to judge. Are the facilities over-charging, or is this simply what it costs to provide these services? Apparently there is no way to know…Report

  3. Avatar notme says:

    Rolling Stone Headed to Trial Over UVA Campus Rape Story

    Good, I hope they clean up on Rolling Stone.Report

  4. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    C2: What the fecking feck is wrong with judges these days, or have they always been so unwilling to check legislatures who clearly got something wrong?Report

    • Avatar Gaelen in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      After reading the two opinions I think the most troubling aspect is how much support the majority finds for its position. I may be wrong, but it does seem courts are exceptionally deferential when it comes to upholding/rationalizing poorly written criminal laws. With that said, I still think the dissent has the better of the argument.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Gaelen says:

        I am no doubt biased by my time as a staff member for a state legislature, but I am terrified of courts that can say, “The legislature left out something here, we’ll just fill it in for them.” No problem with the court saying that a statute is unconstitutionally vague, but interpreting the statute to mean something other than what it plainly says is scary. A significant part of the job for Colorado’s permanent non-partisan legislative staff is catching things like that.

        Arizona appears to have a much smaller legislative legal staff for that sort of thing than Colorado, where I worked.Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Does Arizona elect its judges? That would provide your answer right there, I suspect.Report

      • Avatar Pillsy in reply to dragonfrog says:

        They’re appointed but then stand for re-election, but I’d think a judge would be cognizant of the potential political problem of criminalizing diaper-changing. Especially since suspicion of child-abuse charges is hardly limited to lefties and civil libertarians.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Pillsy says:

          It’s the attitude of, “Eh, they have a recourse, never mind that it is expensive & ruinous. Besides, prosecutors would NEVER file frivolous charges like that.” It’s Scalia’s “Professionalism of the Police” rearing it’s ugly head again.

          But, you know, I’m just a crazy libertarian, being all silly worrying about the abuse of power. I’m sure this will only be used when appropriate, or the ends justify the means.Report

          • Avatar Pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            Like, even if you set aside the civil libertarian angle [1] the decision is just totally boneheaded. “This outcome is so obviously stupid that no prosecutor would ever file charges that result in it,” probably isn’t true, but if it is, why would the argument apply any less forcefully to the intent of the legislature?

            If I were I slightly more cynical man, I’d think the outcome desired by the majority is one where the state gets that much more power by criminalizing perfectly innocent behavior.

            [1] Not because you should, mind you, because it’s very important.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Pillsy says:

              I’d think the outcome desired by the majority is one where the state gets that much more power by criminalizing perfectly innocent behavior.

              This is what keeps me up at night, that judges are more focused on a desired outcome and craft arguments to support that, rather than just working with the realities of the law. I mean, why would a high court judge care what power the state had over innocent behavior, except that it satisfies an ideology.

              Personally, I hope when the judges in the majority stand for re-election, their opponents all beat the drum about how they ruled to make diaper changing and baby bathing sex crimes.Report

              • Not sure any judge ever loses being too tough on “sex offenders.”Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Will Truman says:

                Being tough on sex offenders, while rife with it’s own issues, is a far cry from supporting a statute the generates them at a rate equal to the birth rate.Report

              • They’re not going to just go and arrest parents who change diapers. They’re going to take somebody that they (or people) suspect did Bad Things. They can’t prove the Bad Things, but they can prove the diapers. Who is going to want to take that tool away from them and let Bad Things People run free?

                Well, you will, I will, Pillsy will, and most people here will. But lots of other people are going to view it differently.

                And when this is used as leverage for plea bargains and in custody hearings, they’ll never hear about it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Will Truman says:

                Jesus if people are that concerned about bad guys getting away, let’s just outlaw the unregulated use of oxygen.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Don’t give them any ideas!Report

              • I remember a case from back home where there was this guy. It was thought that he was the guy behind High Profile Abduction. Nobody had any proof. But people just KNEW.

                Anyway, he was caught giving a cigarette for a minor. The prosecutors worked it so that he was prosecuted for giving that cigarette in exchange for sex. No sex occurred, girl initially denied it had anything to do with sex, then said it did, then said it didn’t. They only saw it because they had the guy under surveillance.

                Nobody was especially bothered. Bad Things Guy. He’d been previously convicted of something and everything. He was forgotten when the killing became linked to somebody else.

                They didn’t actually drop the sex-for-cigarette charges. Even though he was (more-or-less) cleared of the High Profile Killing, it was followed by the media.

                People were bothered when he got a Not Guilty verdict.Report

              • Avatar Pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

                Well, yeah. That’s precisely what I’m worried about. It’s setting up an ultra-high-stakes version of the dynamic where traffic laws are such that a cop can always find a reason to pull you over.

                I’m just trying to decide if the judges who made the ruling are doing this on purpose, or are suffering from complications of cranio-rectal impaction.Report

              • Avatar Maribou in reply to Will Truman says:

                @will-truman Not only that, but (statistically speaking) the rare person who gets accused under this law who DOES do the bad things is more than likely going to be in a parental situation, lie like a motherfisher, and win on the affirmative defense anyway. Over time, the general strictness of the law will no doubt be wielded as a reason WHY we have to be careful not to overcharge parents, because the law is so awful, etc etc etc., allowing some actual parental/stepparental/uncle/whatever abusers more leeway instead of less.

                So they’ll lock up some not-actually-proven-guilty-if-it-wasn’t-for-this-unconstitutional-law-and-people’s-assumptions childcare workers, yell about what monsters these people are, and get kudos for winning the war on child sexual abuse. Meanwhile nothing much will change in terms of protecting kids from actual abusers, who are generally speaking great at convincing people they couldn’t possibly be so terrible as all that.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

            This is along the same lines of my old gripe with contracts: They put something absolutely insane in a contract and then say or imply that it’s just boilerplate and they’d never actually use that clause. Or the person signing it is told that the clause is certainly unenforceable.

            Maybe. But how smart is rolling the dice?Report

            • Once upon a time, I worked on mortgage documents. Some of them had a Special Clause. The Special Clause basically said that if you pre-paid (payed anything more than the monthly payment), they could just keep the money and not apply it towards the principle (or future payments). Not a small penalty. All of it.

              I don’t know that the trigger was ever pulled on this clause, though.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

              they’d never actually use that clause. Or the person signing it is told that the clause is certainly unenforceable.

              Oh, well, then you certainly won’t mind me striking that clause from the contract before I sign it, right?Report

              • Avatar Kim in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                No, see, you keep that shit in your pocket. (and you get your own lawyer to verify if it’s actually unenforceable and illegal).

                Then if they ever try to tell you bullshit, you explain to them that you’re going to tell all the rubes that their contract is totally unenforceable. And then that you’re going to court and going to try and get the whole thing struck, rather than just the unenforceable parts.Report

  5. Avatar Kimmi says:

    D1: no mention of soccer moms. I am disappoint. Seriously, biology is fucked up in the head. Article completely fails to capture significant portions of human sexuality (probably by arbitrarily thresholding things at 21)Report

  6. Avatar J_A says:

    G1: The way I read this would help better explain FTM transgenderism, but would at the same time preclude MTF transgenders.

    Because we know MTF exists (and in my extremely limited anecdata, is more represented) at the very least, transgenderism would not be related to the X chromosome. Which sounds strange because you would expect all sexual characteristics, be them gonads, hormonal response, brain sex, etc, to tie in with the X-Y chromosomes.

    So I’ll guess it’s epigenetics playing the biggest role here

    Fish, so much we don’t know yet.

    Less fishing, it’s exciting to have the opportunity to learn so muchReport

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to J_A says:

      @j_a — These days there seem to be nearly equal numbers of trans men versus trans women [1]. It is different to get precise counts, inasmuch as trans women are far more likely to seek genital surgery, and thus the many studies that count surgical instances will naturally overcount trans women. Likewise, many within the trans-masc spectrum find it easier to “fit in” to contemporary queer/lesbian spaces than trans women can fit into traditional gay spaces. In other words, we operate under very different cultural forces, which lead to different relationships with the medical community. Inasmuch as most statistics are gathered in a “convenient” way from gender clinics, you can only get a pretty narrow view.

      There is just no way to get a good count. You can look at HRT, “top surgery”, “bottom surgery”, pronoun choices, “trans identities”, etc., and arrive at very different numbers.

      In any case, few believe that “transness,” even if it has a genetic cause, should be located on the X or Y chromosome. After all, the actual gene that leads to masculinization isn’t even located on the Y chromosome. Furthermore, most of the actual masculinization process isn’t properly “genetic” at all. Instead, it occurs due to hormonal balances, which result from the development of gonadal tissue, which is a result of the gonads “dropping,” which is caused by the sex-selection proteins, which result from SF1, which is triggered by the protein SOX9, which is produced by the gene SRY, which is located on the Y chromosome.

      In other words, whatever “gender stuff” happens in the developing fetus, it is very unlikely that it results directly from the chromosomes.

      [1] And let us please retire the “ftm” and “mtf” language.Report

      • Avatar J_A in reply to veronica d says:


        Appreciate the explanation(s). It’s always better to have more information (I’m information nerd). On other news, I met my first (that I know) trans man some weeks ago. So far it had always been women. As I say, it as all anecdata (*).

        (*) Similar numbers of trans men and women makes intuitive sense, but (if I understood correctly) it was probably easier in the past for trans women to move along the process, that it was for men (**)

        (**) if I say something incorrect or improper, it is in all innocence, and don’t feel that you cannot correct me. I am fully convinced that transgender people are real, just like gays are real, and fully support them. At the same time, I find the biological process interesting to understand, so bear with me, please.Report

  7. Avatar J_A says:


    “When I was fourteen, I was horrified at how ignorant my father was, when I was twenty one, I was amazed all he had learned in only seven years”Report

  8. Avatar Mo says:

    D2: I have issue with using educational attainment as a measure of assortative mating. The big change happened when far more men went to college and women did not. It then reversed itself when women started going to college. This does not say whether or not smart men dated smart women that did not attend college. Also, a Harvard grad marrying a Directional State U grad is considered equally assortative as a MIT grad marrying a Stanford grad.

    This measures educational attainment in the US. Pre-GI Bill/land grant colleges, universal low educational attainment and therefore high similarity. Mid-century, men go to school, women don’t, low similarity. 1970s and beyond, all genders go to school at the same level, therefore high similarity again. The way to measure sorting better is parental SES similarity.Report

    • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Mo says:

      Would it matter if the college-educated women who would otherwise pair off with uneducated guys simply never got married?

      Of all the (straight) women I know from work or went to college or law school with, I can think of one who married someone without at least a four-year degree, and that guy was a CNC machining expert who makes enough money to be the sole breadwinner in that household. The rest are married off to educated men, in LTRs with them or have been single for years. Unmarried, unattached college-educated heterosexual men? I can name just one, and that’s mostly because he moves constantly.Report

      • Avatar Mo in reply to LTL FTC says:

        Like you the vast majority of people I know that went to college married other people in college. Though I know a handful of unmarried unattached college educated men. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a similar thing going on before women went to college in significant numbers. Barbara Bush did not graduate from college, but she came from the same elite/rarefied circles that HW came from.Report

        • Avatar LTL FTC in reply to Mo says:

          I don’t think the non-college track for college-class women exists anymore. At least, I’d be surprised if it did.

          Per my comment, I wonder what it would take to build an alternate route to get non-college men on a track to get set up with those college women for whom there aren’t enough college men.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Cohabitation: a few years ago there were a series of trend pieces in the times about excouples that lived together in NYC because no one could move out. Or married couples that each kept their places. Right now my girlfriend and I are still in our rent-stabilized apartments.Report

    • Avatar J_A in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I’m very familiar with a similar case, except that he consented amicably to the divorce but vetoed every effort to Sell the house to a third party (nor could he buy his wife’s share, nor she his).

      He lived in the house for five or six years, until he died of cirrhosis (did I mention he was an alcoholic, to boot?)Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to J_A says:


        I think this is somewhat different as a situation and more just a sign of craziness that is NY real estate.

        Interestingly if couples get divorced in CA, it often ends in a court-forced sale of the home because of community property rules unless there are young kids (because the courts don’t want to disrupt the kid’s schedules or make them change school districts unnecessarily.) But CA declares that any property obtained during the marriage is equal to both and most couples can’t afford to buy out the other half.

        In NY it is often that both would need to leave the city if they moved from the apartment.Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      I still share an apartment with my ex-wife. It’s a great apartment.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Looking at that, while I agree with Shumer and have no idea who the other is but agree with her even more, there is one thing that I think is throwing it off. Boys life is a subscription mag, per the address tag in the photo, while Girls Life is newstand sales, per the placement tag in the photo. In other words, it appears that they have different marketing strategies, which could be reflected in the mag cover. See every checkout line sales mag for further into.

      Is it wrong to try to market your product, or is it wrong to buy from that marketing?Report

  10. Avatar Kim says:

    High heels don’t actually make you stand taller. they distort the body, rather than increasing height.Report

    • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Kim says:

      How’s that supposed to work, geometrically, given that your body sits on top of your legs, your legs sit directly on top of your heels, and your heels are now raised a few inches above where they would normally sit? Where are those extra inches being clawed back to maintain a constant height at the head?Report

  11. Avatar Chris says:

    [G3] Nope, it’s not. (The ultimate argument, that it is an “opportunity” to forge your own identity, is kinda stupid, if for no other reason than that you don’t need marriage to do that, and in fact if that’s what it is, wouldn’t it be even more self-liberating to pick an entirely new one, not just adopt someone else’s while perpetuating an antiquated and blatantly sexist practice?)Report

    • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Chris says:

      I know couples who have both taken a new last name.
      – one couple who used both their last names hyphenated
      – one couple who took a whole new name

      I do take the view that, in general, the less one tells women what is ‘acceptable’ for them, the better.

      I expect that, over time, more women will choose to keep their names on marrying, and more men will choose to change theirs, than is the case now. But demanding that people do what we think is right isn’t usually “liberating”.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to dragonfrog says:

        The former (women keeping their name) was a trend for a while, but it’s halted and might have even reversed a bit. In the US, at least.

        Though from a very low starting point, I do think men changing their names is probably still increasing in frequency.

        As an aside, I have a friend who had a falling out with his family and changed his last name to that of a philosopher. What’s interesting about it is that he was engaged at the time, and his future wife decided to take that name.

        It seems to me like there was an easier solution.Report

        • Avatar dragonfrog in reply to Will Truman says:

          The problem I see with hyphenation is that it lengthens names, after a few generations it would get silly, or come back to a different version of the same game, just about which paternal vs maternal names to drop.

          Personally, I advocate using some kind of arithmetical combination of each of the letters of the two family names – addition module 26, bitwise XOR of ASCII values, etc.

          For some reason, nobody seems to take my excellent proposal seriously.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman in reply to dragonfrog says:

            Hyphenation isn’t sustainable unless there is a system for the second order. So if John Smith and Jane Jones become John and Jane Jones-Smith, then David Jones-Smith marries Martha James-Miller, they become David and Martha James-Smith (her keeping the mother’s name, him keeping the father’s).

            If I were king, women would keep their names, men would keep theirs, sons would take the father’s name and daughters the mother’s, with hyphenated household names and aliases.

            So to use the above family, you have David Smith, Martha James, their kids Peter Smith and Alice James, collectively known as the James-Smith household and the parents as Mr and Mrs James-Smith.

            Confused yet?Report

            • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to Will Truman says:

              Then you’d just push the problem to people being angry that sons don’t sometimes take their mothers’ names, etc. I agree that it’s a more equitable solution, but at the end of the day, somebody’s losing naming rights to something, so somebody is always going to stir the pot about whether the outcome of your system is Right and Just.

              My wife is a pretty no-nonsense independent lady, but she took my name because it was a simple low-friction solution to the problem and we sort of felt like getting fancier than that was putting effort into solving a new problem we invented for no reason. I’m certainly against making it mandatory, but I’m kind of scratching my head at the disdain I see directed at women who choose to follow the traditional algorithm.

              A friend of mine and his wife didn’t hyphenate but rather invented an entirely new portmanteau last name. He’s a linguist by training and their names merged together pretty well, so that was kind of a cool win. It only works with certain name parings, preferably ones with reasonably common linguistic roots. Having a last name with spelling/phonetic/tonal rules that change half way through probably wouldn’t be a win.Report

            • Avatar KenB in reply to Will Truman says:

              That’s not a bad system, but any hyphenation at all is problematic for those of us with long last names. My last name and my wife’s maiden name are both twelve letters long — it would be nine syllables to put them together (not to mention that each one on its own is challenging to learn to pronounce for someone who isn’t familiar with the culture of origin). People would go out of their way to avoid referencing us as a household or couple.Report

            • Avatar J_A in reply to Will Truman says:

              Like every decent Spaniard kid, I was born with two last names.

              When I immigrated to America (soft version) I dropped my mother’s last name, used my father’s as last name and my second Christian name as middle name. That’s what my Social Security, Drivers license, car and home tittle, bank accounts, tax returns, etc. said

              Then I applied for citizenship, and the US INS decided that, since my birth certificate had two last names, my legal American last name was to betwo words -no hyphens- and fifteen letter long (plus space) which doesn’t fit any form’s last name space (*)

              So now I need to fo fill in forms with J_A_M C, a.k.a. J_A_M

              Like a gangster. Hehe

              Damn bureaucrats

              (*) plus the TX drivers license computer system does not allow for spaces in the name.Report

            • Avatar Mo in reply to Will Truman says:

              Hispanics solved this a long time ago. Last names are in the format “FLN MLN*”. So if Sergio Garcia Fuentes married Miranda Veracruz Cardinal their son would be Jesus Garcia Veracruz. When Jesus Garcia Veracruz marries Marta Conchita Alonso, their daughter would be Juana Garcia Conchita, and so on.

              * Father last name and mother last name, respectivelyReport

  12. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Do you want to participate in an AI Threat persuasion experiment?

    Sure, we all do!Report

    • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

      I went ahead and took it. For the record, I’ve been tangling with Scott and the LW crowd forever on this topic, and given that I know a bit about the kinds of software engineering we’re talking about — I mean, I work for Google and all, numerical optimization is my hobby, etc. Anyway, I’m just not convinced, not hardly.

      So anyway. Take the survey.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

        For all that we’ve gotten AIs past the Turing test, that’s not all that high of a hurdle.
        An ai is worlds faster than humans (given sufficient processing…*cough* bitcoins *cough*)… but that could just as easily be read as “it breaks itself quicker than humans break themselves”Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

        We need an AI that is a decent rule-based utilitarian with the rules based on solid and uncontroversial deontological rules.

        Then we need that AI to build the AI that will build the AI that can rule us all.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird says:

          To me the real “AI risk” is what those in power will do with big data. To worry about “self directed” evil AIs is so premature. To worry about the NSA (or for that matter my employer) is more reasonable.

          Read Seeing Like a State, and then ask, what if they actually could solve the problem?

          Evil Foom-AIs turning us to paperclips is not what should concern us.Report

          • Avatar Kim in reply to veronica d says:

            I would like to cautiously agree that big data is a much,much bigger problem than rogue AIs. Rogue Ais at worst cause strange international incidents that may lead to a petty war at some point [or they overheat your thermostat]. Big data? Causes systemic and uncorrectable discrimination.

            Today’s How to End The World without Even Trying: Feminism Edition.
            Create a drug that decreases the sex drive of men with high sex drives, and make it mandatory.
            Motivation: This can be provably shown to decrease/end rape.
            Unintended Consequence: lack of transformative ideas, due to nobody much giving a shit about doing new and shiny things…Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d says:

            I don’t think that the NSA will ever do anything but modify a Commercial Off The Shelf AI for its own use.

            Now, your employer? That’s worth fretting about.

            I suspect that Alexander’s arguments will be best compared to Urban II’s anti-crossbow arguments.

            In practice, it’ll just mean that someone else’s AI team will have the head start instead of our own.

            For large values of “our”.Report

      • Avatar Pillsy in reply to veronica d says:

        I haven’t gone too far into it, but when I saw Scott Alexander try to argue that fending off AI risk is gonna save 10^54 QALYs I noped right the fuck out.

        Now when people ask me why you should discount QALYs at the same rate you discount costs, I tell them if you don’t, you may end up donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to people who want to save the United Federation of Planets from Skynet.Report

        • Avatar veronica d in reply to Pillsy says:

          Oh freaking good gawd I detest “let’s play dumb number games” utilitarians.

          I don’t have a problem with consequentialists, as such. I can even sorta buy that one might combine a commitment to consequentialism with some kind of Bayesian decision theory. Fine. Whatevs.

          You’re priors are almost certainly wrong. Your “utility function” is almost certainly subjective. Plus, you either pre-commit to your algorithm and parameters, and accept madness, or you tweak your algorithm and parameters post hoc, in which case why bother?

          In any case, NP complete is NP complete. Non-linear optimization over non-convex spaces is legit hard. But more, you’re not optimizing over a fitness landscape, at least not exactly, because you’re building principles for agents to follow, and thus your algorithm is itself part of the fitness landscape. Thus you’re seeking an optimal fixed-point. This is almost certainly EXPSPACE. (Don’t ask me to prove that.)

          Anyway, blah blah blah. These ninnies churn out endless “trolley problems” that don’t resemble life, and churn out endless fake numbers, which denote nothing in reality, and they babble on about Bayes theorem, with no inkling of the fact that actual probability spaces are exponential in complexity — like go actually read Pearl for the love of Pete.

          They act like they know the math but they do not know the math.

          Tangentially related, I’m reading this right now:

    • Avatar David Parsons in reply to Jaybird says:

      Do you want to participate in an AI Threat persuasion experiment?

      Ugh. In a world filled with various intelligent species the AI community seems amazingly captivated with the lint in their belly buttons. Though I did like the story about Galactus the thank-you note writing robot.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird says:

    An unmitigated good thing for Hillary.

    You want a GOTV for Hillary? This is one hell of a GOTV for Hillary. More than that, this seems like something that will fly under the radar of Republican Operatives for how important it is.Report

  14. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    [Fm1] Notably absent from the article: children. Theoretically still one of the things one is waiting until after marriage to have (?) Unless “having children” one of things you are supposed to wait to have “in order” before marrying. I guess it would get the sleep deprivation part done at the time when you’re more resilient to sleep deprivation…

    I agree largely with the writer here (as I should, having gotten married at 24). You can grow personally and professionally with the support of, and by supporting, your spouse, perhaps more effectively than you can going it alone – there’s no particular reason to demand of yourself or your spouse that you already have that stuff behind you before beginning to support one another.

    [H4] seems not surprising to me. Fledermaus is in touch with a lot of mothers in the US, through a forum she joined when pregnant, particularly the moms who were expecting their babies in the same month. The expenses American women described for even relatively minimal pregnancy care were nuts. We paid a grand total of bupkis for a good six months of pre-delivery, delivery, and post-delivery care from an excellent team of midwives, and neonatal care from a pediatrician. If we’d had to pay at US rates, there is no way we’d have been able to afford that level of care.Report

  15. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Assortive Marriage Increases: Women, Minorities Hardest HitReport

  16. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Remember the SpaceX rocket that went boom, they think they have a cause.

    I pulled up a systems diagram of such a system, and the Helium is used to keep the oxygen cold (it’s the heat exchange medium). If the helium system suffered a rupture, depending on where, it could have pierced the oxygen tank, or the sudden loss of cooling medium could have resulted in oxygen temps going up fast enough to cause oxygen tank pressure to spike fast enough to overwhelm any pressure relief valves.

    Either way, it sounds like the oxygen tank ultimately failed in some fashion because of the failure of the helium system. It’ll be interesting if they can the exact location and mode of failure from the wreckage.Report

  17. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Remember Gamergate?

    Well, Gizmodo just published an article explaining how one of the inventors of the Oculus Rift is pro-Trump and how he (the inventor) is dating a gamergater.

    It’s back.Report

  18. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    [H1] From the article: ” Perhaps these doctors who advise this tack think that in this way they’re absolving themselves of the responsibility?”


    The issue is that, when parents they ask for a genetic test, what they’re really asking is “should I abort this baby?” And if the genetic test comes back with positive markers for some condition or other, their next stop is probably gonna be Planned Parenthood.

    And, y’know, it’s still hard for doctors anywhere–but particularly in America–to give parents news that will definitely result in a dead baby.Report

  19. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Paging Chris!

    An excerpt:

    In it, Fiske accuses people who’ve publicly criticized the methods of psychological research of public bullying and what she calls “methodological terrorism.” Not surprisingly, the line in the letter with this phrase has gotten the most attention.


    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      She also calls this loosely-defined group the “self-appointed data police” and argues that their social media activism hurts careers and undermines science.

      Ahh. That makes sense. I was curious about who was engaging in “tactics … [which] are outside of the rules of war that have stood for years in the field of psychological research”. I mean, everyone knows about psychological research just war theory.

      Turns out it’s the data police. Which is obvious, now that I think about it. Bastards.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      And to reinforce the call for Chris, I’ll quote … Kripke:

      “See how high the seas of language can rise. And at the lowest points, too.”Report

  20. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Hi Donald. You know I'm in your corner and will definitely be at the debate!…?— GenniferFlowers (@gennflowers) September 24, 2016


    I think the Cuban maneuver was a mistake.Report