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DanielLC

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Is there a scientific way to prove or disprove discrimination in the academy?
You could run into problems because of different distributions. If group A and B both have a mean score of zero, but A has a standard deviation of one and B has a standard deviation of two, and you filter out everyone with a negative score, then ... read more

Should efforts by made to stump out Halloween?
But it's just a saying. Nobody takes that seriously. People feel pressured to celebrate Halloween because everyone else does. Not because people are going to prank them if they ... read more

Should the public trust climatologists in the global warming debate?
How about economics? I'd consider that in the same boat, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see someone throwing around precise numbers like that. I guess it's just a result of having precise models. As long as you have the numbers, ... read more

Should efforts by made to stump out Halloween?
Do you think that everybody who gives out gifts when a request happens wants to give out them and doesn't feel like he's forced to do so? People will often feel pressured when asked to so something. But I see no reason why you'd single ... read more

Are there any arguments for wealth inequality being desirable?
And there are over thousands of people. We can't have nearly as much wealth per capita with societies smaller than ... read more

Are there any arguments for wealth inequality being desirable?
Sounds like Star Trek's post-scarcity economy. I agree that in that situation, wealth inequality is pointless. I wouldn't say wealth is pointless. We only have a finite amount of resources, and they have to be distributed somehow. Most ... read more

Are there any arguments for wealth inequality being desirable?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. Can you rephrase ... read more

Are there any arguments for wealth inequality being desirable?
Wealth inequality is necessary to motivate people to work. You make the people who work more wealthier. But having it as an end value in of itself, or even having wealth involved in end values, is ludicrous. Wealth is a useful system, but it's ... read more

Should the SEC stop requiring companies to do quarterly earning reports?
Was this change publicly known? If so, you'd expect that people who know about it would short the stock at some point. If not, I can definitely see why that would be a ... read more

Should the SEC stop requiring companies to do quarterly earning reports?
But why wouldn't long-term prosperity cause short-term increases? If I knew stock was going to be worth a hundred times as much in fifty years, then at an interest rate of 5% per year I'd be able to sell it for 95 times as much in 49 years, ... read more

Should the SEC stop requiring companies to do quarterly earning reports?
Perhaps they should allow the stockholders to vote on if they want quarterly earning ... read more

How far (if at all) should the West go to prevent Iran from getting the nuclear bomb?
It might bring into the more general question on whether and why we are okay with the countries that currently have nukes that they have it.
Ideally, no countries should have nukes. However, getting a country to get rid of nukes is much more ... read more

The unlimited energy assumption ruins AI threat scenarios
I wish I could edit that. I have something to add. Suppose the AI is a paperclip maximizer. If it's more intelligent than a human, it will be able to convert nearly the entire universe into paperclips, so long as nobody tries to stop it. ... read more

The unlimited energy assumption ruins AI threat scenarios
The clones have cognitive diversity. However, their goals are all the same. Humans may not understand the importance of making sure an AI shares your values, but the AI ... read more

Is faster economic growth good for improving long-run outcomes for humanity?
You need capital to build capital. This results in exponential growth. What happens on Earth now isn't intrinsically all that important, but if we can build a good economy now, it will help later. It's sort of like how having more workers at ... read more

Should Western governments encourage or pressure third world countries to adopt democracy?
What exactly would your demands be? Stop saying you'll attack us? I'd say prepare a military but wait for them to make the first move so it's clear you're responding to aggression, and not just taking whatever excuse you can get. If ... read more

Should Western governments encourage or pressure third world countries to adopt democracy?
That is exactly the sort of thinking that leads to aggressive wars. Nobody wants someone to start invading everyone, and once they start resisting, they are now potentially ... read more

Resolving Territorial Disputes - General Principles
They only call it surrendering if it's really close to a fight. People have signed plenty of treaties without ... read more

Resolving Territorial Disputes - General Principles
If you're definition of strength includes that the reason for wanting the territory is legitimate, then strength determines everything, but legitimacy determines strength, so legitimacy is still relevant. People will always try to define ... read more

Resolving Territorial Disputes - General Principles
It's not an all-or-nothing thing. They'd be more willing to surrender for more legitimate reasons. Also, countries will be more willing to ally with a country that's acting legitimately, and against a country acting ... read more

Resolving Territorial Disputes - General Principles
Being stronger does increase your bargaining power, but there's more to it than that. War always hurts both sides. It just hurts the more powerful side less. This means that the more powerful side will tend to be quicker to threaten war, but the ... read more

Should Western governments encourage or pressure third world countries to adopt democracy?
We could intervene only to stop them from intervening. Most governments are perfectly fine with staying by themselves. Besides, I'm more comfortable with influencing what they do then how they do it. There's less room for subjectiveness that ... read more

Should Western governments encourage or pressure third world countries to adopt democracy?
They might have. Or they might not have. If they did, they got lucky, and had Germany or Japan been in power the ones in power they would have pressured someone to emulate the wrong example. The pattern "make people emulate your example" only works ... read more

Should Western governments encourage or pressure third world countries to adopt democracy?
The problem is that you can't just pressure someone to emulate the right example any more than you can just do the right thing yourself. You don't get to assume you're right. You can talk about what to do without assuming democracy is ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
but I would also be wary about trusting any theory that does not have supporting empirical evidence.
If there's no empirical evidence of any real use in either direction, do you trust the theory that minimum wage causes unemployment, or do ... read more

Should Western governments encourage or pressure third world countries to adopt democracy?
This forces third world countries to adopt democracy regardless of if it's a good idea. It's not fundamentally different from a monarchy putting pressure on other countries to become ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
Public support discourages you to make enough money to get off of public ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
Have you actually seen a study like that which made sense to you?
I haven't actually looked at any studies on the matter. I just really don't trust correlation. I suppose this is the part in the argument where I'm supposed to not be ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
Given the political biases in this question, the only evidence I would seriously consider is simple and easily verifiable statistics (something like in this example). Is it really an excessive requirement?
If all you need is a correlation, then ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
but the absence of correlation does imply the absence of causation.
Didn't you say there was a correlation?
By contrast, countries with the highest minimum wages (relative to the GDP per capita) are among the world poorest.
It's ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
Correlation does not imply causation. Richer countries have less need for minimum wage. How do you know it's not how rich the country is that causes the minimum wage and not the other way ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
For now, though, welfare system creates a demoralized underclass. It always has and it always will. You can make the poor suffer less, or you can give them more incentive to work. There is no way to get both. If you don't want to help the ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
Minimum wage is a price floor. It increases the price of untrained labor, but it lowers the demand increasing unemployment. It also increases the supply, which means that there will be more competition from people who don't really need the job. ... read more

Should government redistribute income from high to low earners?
In your original response, you gave the impression that there were two possibilities. Either the government avoids wealth redistribution, or it will take all the wealth it can without causing economic collapse. Do you know any countries that took ... read more

Should government redistribute income from high to low earners?
Not if it involves some obscure tribe in the Amazonian forest. Obviously. What if it's a first-world country? How do you distinguish a country that is taxing as much as possible from one that is not? I've heard Hong Kong has a pretty ... read more

Should government redistribute income from high to low earners?
Assume that there is a counterexample. Would you be able to find it? Would you know it off the top of your head? The US spends large amounts of money on the military. They could move that to paying for the poor without risk of imploding the ... read more

Should government redistribute income from high to low earners?
Not necessarily. For instance, if motivation vs. redistribution (M vs. R) graph looks like an inverted "V" letter where the peak is at R=0, your conclusion would not generally hold. Yeah, but it has to be not smooth, and at that particular ... read more

Should government redistribute income from high to low earners?
In particular, redistribution tends to demotivate people on both ends of it. In an ideal scenario where the value of money is linear etc., if you redistribute money from the poor to the rich, you will over-motivate people. They will perform ... read more

Should government redistribute income from high to low earners?
Income isn't going to just happen to be distributed perfectly. Either we should redistribute it from high earners to low earners or vice versa. I think high earners to low earners makes more sense. If the value of money was linear and was the ... read more

Is the free speech vs offending Muhammad a non-debate?
It's not about form. It's about content. If someone one day invented telepathy, he'd be free to bash the government with it but it would still be illegal to use it to lie about his competitors to make them look ... read more

Should there be zoning laws in cities that limit the maximum height of buildings?
As long as all the direct stuff is agreed upon and you're only doing indirect things to shift the market, and everyone is rational and all that, the market will produce the ideal amount of everything. You don't need to worry about buggy whip ... read more

Should there be zoning laws in cities that limit the maximum height of buildings?
There's a difference between a high tax and banning. If you tax it a lot, then if someone really needs to do it, or you vastly underestimated the importance and everyone needs to do it, they can just pay the taxes. If you ban it, then they need ... read more

Is the free speech vs offending Muhammad a non-debate?
"Protected" just means we're not allowed to ban it. Protecting everything not banned is meaningless. The closest we could get is requiring any piece of speech we ban to be explicitly stated in the ... read more

Should there be zoning laws in cities that limit the maximum height of buildings?
Putting buggy whip manufacturers out of business just altered the market instead of directly harming anyone. It helped the people who would have bought them as much as it hurt them, so the net externalities are zero. If you make the neighborhood ... read more

Is pay discrimination possible in a laissez faire economy?
One simple way is imperfect information. If black people are generally worse workers than white people, and adjusting for whatever is in the resume and interview is insufficient to fully explain the difference, then the rational thing to do would ... read more

Should there be zoning laws in cities that limit the maximum height of buildings?
Given that it's not feasible to buy the rights to build the building higher from the people nearby, I'd suggest making it so they have to pay the neighbors, or at least the government, and amount equal to the negative externalities they ... read more

Is the free speech vs offending Muhammad a non-debate?
I don't consider them all to be the sort of communication protected by free speech. There are many pieces of information that you're not allowed to disseminate, such as copyright material, trade secrets, government secrets, slander and libel, ... read more

Is the free speech vs offending Muhammad a non-debate?
I take it to mean that the government doesn't try to restrict communication so as to create the illusion of opinions that do not exist. A picture of Muhammad isn't such a piece of ... read more

How to improve the higher education system?
If everyone gets a college degree, then people who flip burgers will have college degrees. Education is all well and good, but there are things we need people to do that don't require an education. And things we need people to do that require a ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
I am not trying to address what to do if you care primarily about yourself. I'm addressing what to do if you care primarily about others. If you mean to say that you care about intellectual honesty in general, your personal intellectual ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
What do you mean by "your terminal value is something outside yourself"? I terminally value the happiness of others. Since there's so many more of them, this will outweigh any values I have about my own intellectual honesty. Intellectual ... read more

Is the free speech vs offending Muhammad a non-debate?
I'm not sure it can be considered "peaceful protest". It may be more comparable to protesting against pro-lifers by having unprotected sex and getting an abortion. Or protesting against vegetarians by killing animals. You're doing something ... read more

How to improve the higher education system?
Teach everyone to fish, and the fish go extinct. Or in a magical world with an infinite number of fish in the ocean, which is probably more comparable, people get tired of fish. Everyone will have fishing to fall back on, which is nice, but not ... read more

Should government stimulate the economy through deficit spending?
I can't edit posts, so I'll just add another one. I also looked at China. That one's definitely exponential, and freakishly fast. I tried a few others, and most of them are pretty ... read more

Should government stimulate the economy through deficit spending?
Here is a graph of Greece's real GDP per capita. I was hoping to show that, despite the drop off near the end, it's still clearly generally increasing exponentially. But if you click that button to switch between linear scale and log scale, ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
Valuing intellectual honesty etc. is similar to valuing your own happiness. If that's what you care about, then maybe ignoring evidence is your best option. But if your terminal value is something outside of yourself, then intellectual honesty ... read more

Is it wrong to offend someone else's religion?
It depends on the context. If someone is offended by the idea that you don't believe in god, that does not make it wrong to not believe in god. If you're intentionally offending someone as a method of signalling your loyalty to the atheist ... read more

Is the free speech vs offending Muhammad a non-debate?
I don't think that being able to draw pictures of Muhammad is necessary for free speech, but other people do. It's a ... read more

Who would you vote for in the US 2016 presidential elections?
You mean an unwinnable war? Or possibly a winnable war? Does it even matter ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
"In the US there are 3.6 million workers with wages at or below the federal minimum wage" There's 140 million employed Americans. Only 2.5% make that little. "A startup has to pay it's founders minimum wage even when they are willing to ... read more

Should government stimulate the economy through deficit spending?
Nobody's suggesting we do this so people can have more stuff. It's to help the economy. I'd argue that the moment you stop borrowing it will reverse any improvement in the economy that it caused, but if it wasn't for that, it would be ... read more

Should government stimulate the economy through deficit spending?
Even if it is on a regular basis, it still isn't necessarily a bad idea. If you're offered a loan at 2% interest per year, and you can invest the money for a return of 3% interest per year, then you should keep getting in debt and not try to ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
I think minimum wage is usually below the market rate for untrained labor, so for all intents and purposes, it might as well not ... read more

Comments - Suggestions - Criticism
I'd prefer to not have to judge them at all. Do you need everyone on here to judge ... read more

Should there be a government mandated minimum wage?
A minimum wage could help get money for people who don't make much, but only by increasing the number of unemployed people who don't get anything at all. It also means there's less incentive for good working conditions, since any employees ... read more

Comments - Suggestions - Criticism
I'm not very good at judging stuff, so I haven't been using the rating system. Since all of the replies are unrated, it keeps telling me about all of them, and I don't have way of seeing just the unread ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
And whether we like it or not, humans are social animals who are really good at justifying ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
Then don't describe them using words with negative connotation. Don't say you're a coward. Say you're cautious. Don't say you're a hypocrite and a conformist. Say you're pragmatic. People have a lot of ideals. A lot of them ... read more

Is Inequality The Product Of Cognitive Biases?
But if you're above average to start with, raising your status will only increase ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
I might feel upset that they're using words with a bad connotation and thereby insulting me. But the same would apply if they called me reckless. Things aren't bad just because there are words for them with negative ... read more

Should the U.S. congress approve the latest nuclear deal with Iran?
Is there an alternative? Are you asking if we think the plan should be altered? If we should just let Iran build the infrastructure for building ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
What precisely is wrong with ... read more

Should we be completely rational about our ideological views?
What will make him happier? Probably ignoring the outsider, so long as the views aren't anything important to him. But if he has something else to worry about, he can't afford to just do what makes him happy. I'd suggest publicly ... read more

Should government stimulate the economy through deficit spending?
"However, in the long run it will only make your problems worse." Why? You have to pay a loan later, but if you help the economy now, you'll have more money later, so it may very well be worth ... read more

Should government stimulate the economy through deficit spending?
The question is unclear. Are you asking if the government should spend more money during a recession to end it sooner, or if they should spend more money in general? I'm guessing the first one. The economy is stable. If it's bad, it will ... read more

How to improve the higher education system?
I think we overspend on education. It's not necessary for everyone to have a college education. Education is an investment. If you get an education, you can be more productive and make more money. But you could also invest the money, along with ... read more