Sunday, November 22, 2009


Here is a non-exhaustive list of my beliefs and opinions, both conventional and unusual (or worse):

- IQ is the best known measure of cognitive ability, predicts lifetime success in many domains, is predominantly genetically determined in modern populations, and systematically differs between various ethnic groups

- evolution is a fact, not a theory

- there is no god around these parts, and even if there was, he/she/it would not be somebody worthy of invitation for dinner, much less worship

- espousing the three opinions above is enough to make you a pariah almost everywhere

- affirmative action is evil, it is a form of institutional racism directed primarily against Asians

- I give you 9:1 odds we will be destroyed in an artificial intelligence singularity

- I have no soul, YMMV

- hard drugs should be legalized

- the FDA should be abolished

- medical licensure should be abolished

- governments should be abolished and replaced by non-monopolistic, commercial providers of law and order

- World of Warcraft is a masterpiece of psychoengineering, a dark maw that swallows the weak of mind

- charity is noble

- welfare is immoral

- salsa is fun

- the demographic transition is still a mystery, its effects are mildly dysgenic but it doesn't matter (see singularity, above)

- if I ever get root access to my mind, about 70% of it will be removed in the first round of modding

- carbon dioxide contributes to retention of heat in the atmosphere but nobody really knows how much

- carbon dioxide is good for plants (yes, I actually read the Jasper Ridge research), and therefore it is good for people

- liberals are even more hypocritical than conservatives but not by much

- highway speed limits are one of the stupidest laws in the US, destroying millions of QALY-adjusted life-years each year

- deer are the enemy, and should be shot, poisoned or vaporized with lasers, whatever comes handy

- as a point of meta-ethics, ethical theories that fail to specify an in-group are gibberish

- as a point of meta-ethics, ethical theories must be computable using available resources

- female hypergamy offers both challenges and opportunities to the conscientious male

- even for a math-challenged neurologist, the many-world interpretation of QM is obviously more reasonable than the alternatives

- there is no proof that lowering cholesterol makes you healthier, although some things that make you healthier (such as statins and exercise) do lower cholesterol

- don't eat margarine

- the only a priori moral duty within my in-group is the duty of non-violence

- consent is only possible if a meaningful option to refuse is given

- taxation by a territorial state denies the meaningful option to refuse

- taxation is a form of violence

- helmetless biking is good for the rest of us, who might need a kidney someday

- kids are fun to have

- it is sophomoric to strive for happiness, we grown-ups have more important things to do

- once you go Mac, you'll never go back

- it is wrong to vote, except to abolish elections, and maybe not even then

- more than 70% of modern medicine is a waste of time and money but the average value of medicine is still positive

- a laser bug shield is going to be the next killer app from Microsoft

- I am not sure what I am trying to signal here but it sure feels good

- some of Chopin's music is divine

- Glock 27, .40 S&W

- it bears repeating that non-initiation of violence is the only criterion for differentiating between good and evil

- network redundancy is extremely important

- short-selling, insider trading, and hostile takeovers are good for the stockholders

- the only legitimate sources of law are non-monopolistic providers, such as trade associations, private licensing authorities, and commercial courts

- in a timeless multiverse, causation is nothing but correlation, and consciousness is a property of some series of patterns that exhibit a significant degree of self-reference

- everything that can exist, does, but most of it really far away in the configuration space

- God exists ... actually all of them do, which is why you could call me a polytheist, or even a maxitheist (all thinkable gods exist somewhere)

- environmentalism is immoral, since it explicitly ascribes an intrinsic value to non-sentient objects, above and beyond their instrumental value to members of my in-group

- cryonics is kooky, and my Alcor # is 1941

- socialists are mean, nasty, hypocritical and confused

- fascists are mean, nasty and confused but at least not so hypocritical

- still, socialists are the lesser evil

and, last but not least:

- don't hurt dachshunds or you will make me very angry

1 comment:

  1. - affirmative action is evil, it is a form of institutional racism directed primarily against Asians

    My view is more nuanced. It's unfair, but unfairness can have benefits to a society. Randomly favoring people who look like members of low-achieving minority groups isn't necessarily the best way to get the random unfairness in question, but it is politically expedient and it reduces the crushing pressures towards conformity in its beneficiaries. Also, I think that whites from the lower classes end up penalized almost as much as Asians.

    Smith and Franklin both correctly explained the demographic transition. Ironically, one of your earlier posts touches on their answer.

    What do you mean by "mind"? By "violence". These strike me as the questions that you most need to work on to develop your philosophy as I have seen it.

    "- as a point of meta-ethics, ethical theories must be computable using available resources"
    is a truly excellent and infrequently appreciated point.