12 – Listener Feedback

We covered ten episodes of feedback in one hour (and a half)! After this, we’ll reply to comments regularly at the end of episodes. Comment either at the website (www.thebayesianconspiracy.com) or at the subreddit (www.reddit.com/r/thebayesianconspiracy/). Or email us – bayesianconspiracypodcast at gmail.

TONS of links this episode, because we covered such a variety of stuff:

An article about Elizabeth Sheff’s research on modern polyamorous families. A paper on partible paternity in lowland South America.

Judith Rich Harris argues that parenting doesn’t matter that much. So you should worry less about screwing up your kids, as long as you aren’t actually hurting them. Bryan Caplan says much the same.

Make Beliefs Pay Rent

Project MKUltra – a real conspiracy by the CIA to effect mind-control

Sacred Values Are How Ethical Injunctions Feel From The Inside (related: How An Algorithm Feels From Inside and Ends Don’t Justify Means (Among Humans) )

Robert Nozick’s “Experience Machine” thought experiment.

Fun Theory Sequence (which is mostly a list of links to even more articles, so… this’ll take a while if you haven’t read it before)
Or more briefly (but much less comprehensively) – Morality is Awesome!

Rudi Hoffman

GiveWell estimates their most effective charity – the Against Malaria Foundation – saves lives at a cost of ~$3,000 per life saved (I was off a bit). They consider anything under $5,000 to be extremely cost-effective.

Morality Should Be Moral

Eliezer’s essay on the ethics of signing up your children for cryonics.

On The Origin of Circuits“, discussing the chip evolution experiment

Article on Google’s AI-specific chip design

Does Divestment Work?

Slate Star Codex on Vegetarianism for Meat-Eaters and Ethics Offsets.

The story of Stu Rasmussen, who became the first transgender mayor in the USA, in a small rural town. Turns out it’s a RadioLab episode, not 99PI.

Blink – Malcolm Gladwell’s book about the power of human intuition.

The episode of Skeptoid regarding the fire in Waco and David Koresh. I think it’s a great way to give some more info on the topic and sneak some critical thinking in as well.

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4 Responses to 12 – Listener Feedback

  1. Jess says:

    I like that you guys discussed (and Eneasz and Katrina disagreed) whether Eliezer is the best source for explaining rationality. Katrina, who do you think is better, and can you go a little more into why you don’t think Eliezer is the best person for that role? I have theories, but of course I could be totally off-base with them 🙂

    • Katrina Stanton says:

      Hi Jess!

      The best person would be… a variety of types of people, for a variety of audiences. That’s all I meant. Not everyone is a futurist, for example. Another example: different people prefer different writing styles.

  2. Edgar says:

    It amuses me that you all had a discussion of whether or not various animals want to live based on imaginings of what the inside of their minds might be like.

    Our empathy software is well honed on humans, but it’s just not geared for elephants (for example), and so we find it really difficult to imagine our way inside their minds (as anything other than anthropomorphism, of course). It seems to me that this tends to make discussions (on the podcast and elsewhere) go in circles: some seem to tacitly assume that other animals have minds just like humans, others appear to have made the assumption that they secretly have no minds at all. We tend to pose ourselves questions, asking “Well, do tadpoles feel more like people, or more like mindless husks?” or “If I were a dog, what would I think about as I fell asleep?”

    It doesn’t matter what answers you give, you’re still making it all up!

    I know that assigning ethical significance to animals (or just being in the world) is difficult without employing gut-reactions and other nebulous feelings, but don’t let your willingness to employ your feelings be an excuse for sloppy thinking or allow yourself a back door into just making stuff up.


    • Katrina Stanton says:

      Hi Edgar,
      Thank you for your comment! We are recording an “animals” episode today and I’ll address your good points there.

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