[ExI] How to make progress (was Re: Why do political and economic leaders deny Peak Oil and Climate Change?)

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Sep 9 15:38:09 UTC 2013

On Sat, Sep 07, 2013 at 03:53:45PM -0600, Brent Allsop wrote:

> >Therein lies the problem. We are yeast.
> Oh puuleese.  Yeast can't communicate, at least like we can.  And

Transmitting information without purpose is useless.
See http://www.google.com/trends/topcharts and

> there are ways to comunicate much more effectively than like this.
> If there truly is a terrible risk, the most effect way to
> communicate such is to start building an expert consensus arround it

There is an expert consensus. But most people can't tell who's
an expert, unless they're experts themselves. In fact, most
people don't bother with experts, and are authority-driven.
Therein lies a part of our problem.

> in an open survey way, where you can also survey for why others
> can't yet accept what you are saying, if there are any, and have a
> concice and quantitative reference to that to work with.  Currently,
> you are just working from your frame of reference, having no clue
> why I so hate what you are saying, or what might convince me.  It

I know why you hate what I'm saying. You think I'm the party who's
putting everything in jeopardy. Unfortunately, it's exactly the
other way round. Wrong goals kill.

> also would help to find a set of experts that I trust, and start to
> build a consensus amongst them.  That would definitely convince me,

This is not how reality works.

> and I bet most every rational person.  Once people understand, I and

Rational people who think that the world works in a rational way are irrational.

> I believe anyone would go to the end of the world to save it, or any
> loved one.

Not confirmed by empirical observation. Twerking lolcats get in the way.
> To bad you have no clue as to why I so desperately truly 'hate'

I might be stupid, but I'm not that stupid. I can model you ok.
In fact I know that I'm wasting your and my time with this exchange.

> these kinds of points of view, and why I feel they are leading to
> the unnecessary eternal damnation of so many of my loved ones,
> indeed possibly most everyone alive today.  Maybe if you had half an
> idea, you could finally find a way to communicate to all of us that
> feel as I do, then I could help you?
> >What is the best way to go about it? It seems that we've ran
> >out of options but at personal and small community level due
> >to the reasons outlined above.
> Oh yee of little and mistaken (thinking we are all nothing more than
> yeast...) faith.

The empirical evidence does not support your interpretation.
> >Even knowing that doesn't help much, since most of us are locked
> >in a precarious configuration it will hurt to change short-term.
> >Yet by acting too late we will not be able to effect that transition.
> Once we can communicate, concisely and quantitatively, in an expert

I used to communicate concisely and quantitatively. However,
I soon found it's a complete waste of everybody's time, so
I'm now mostly doing my best impersonation of Statler and Waldorf
from the peanut gallery. Pffffffrt. 

> consensus way, it will amplify the moral wisdom of us all, and
> enable all of us to do whatever is required.  Co-operation only
> requires definitive expert consensus.  Sure, yeast can't achieve

No, you're completely wrong.

> that yet, but we most certainly can.  You can't expect everyone to
> be experts in the infinite number of existential end of the world
> threats an infinite number of individuals are going on about

The question is one of prioritiziation in face of limited resources. 
Most people are terrible at that.

> infinitely.  All we need to do is to measure for which of them have
> the most expert consensus, and enable all these experts to
> comunicate in a definitive and concise, nobody can deny way, and
> rigorously measure for how fast this consensus is growing.  And if
> it isn't growing in certain cercles, finding out why, concicely and
> quantitativedly, and surveying for what might work better, from

Have you never ever wondered why your pet project, or LessWrong never
went anywhere?

> their frame of reference.  Why would the world not follow that, on a
> dime, giving any and all required, if you could do that?
> >It seems the best strategy now is to act ruthless, bold and selfish,
> As in kill people?  Take away their free agency?  Excommunicate

No, no. It's about building islands of resilience, which can
somewhat resist creeping regression around them. Unfortunately, 
it requires a lot of resources to do so effectively.

> nonbelievers? Give up on people? Force everyone to work on what you

Give up on the majority, absolutely. Heading for the rescue boats
beats rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

> think is the most pressing existential threat, rather than what

Forcing? Me, and which army?

> others think is a far more serious and pressing?

What is your set of pressing problems, listed in their
priorities? Top five would be enough.
> >and make your exit while you still can. The exit must involve building
> >a mutually supportive rural community. This is an alien concept to
> >many.
> Exit?  What will any of that do?  So, yes, you hate, or are giving

It will last a little bit longer against the rising tidal wave
of shit. Hate? Another perfect waste of time, I'm afraid. 

> up on the rest of us?  You'd leave us behind?

I've given on this community to accomplish significant goals
a long time ago. I still value it as a social circle, though
I've been taking vacations in the past when the aggravation got
too serious.

> >Here my fortune cookie ends.
> Yup, definitely giving up.

Insufficient information. 
> >In case yours says something else,
> >let's compare notes
> What are you saying here?  It sounds like you are almost asking
> people to try to communicate, concisely and quantitatively?

Surprise me.
> >(please no discussions about how it's all
> >unreal; because: nazis wear nice leather uniforms).

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