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To be honest, I'm not entirely sure that anyone is a consequentialist.

I do use consequentialism a lot, but almost always in combination with an intuitive sort of 'sanity check'- I will try to assign values to different outcomes and try to maximize that value in the usual way, but I instinctively s...(read more)

Oh, neat! I hadn't heard of modern species with trilateral symmetry before, I wonder if it's a mutation or developmental defect?

Well predicted, and I'm glad to entertain. :-) The Marshall paper I link to at the beginning of the paper covers the vast majority of sentences here that would require a citation, and itself is a review paper if you want to follow the breadcrumbs for these and many other related ideas. The Darwin qu...(read more)

On my screen, it shows up as an indented text block, which generally doesn't require separate quote marks. Is it not showing up that way for you?

Yeah, my language is *at best* imprecise here, mostly in the interests of legibility and not dumping too much information in a sentence that was meant to direct your attention elsewhere. The technical term I was dancing around was "amniotes", animals that develop an amniotic sac. Even that would hav...(read more)

Much appreciated.

Chalk one up for the site design, by the way. I ended up feeling much more comfortable tossing this up on a semi-personal blog than I would have been starting a new topic in a public message board.

The implied moral principle here (assign zero value to the welfare of people that you wouldn't be friends with) would lead to some seriously deranged behaviors if broadly applied. But even if that were a workable system, you and your friends are still likely to benefit from a high-trust society that...(read more)

It's a fascinating piece of Earth history for sure! If you can figure it out, let me know.

There are definitely domains where this isn't a problem at all- for example, geology terms like 'tufa' or 'shale' seem basically static on the relevant timescales. So it's probably possible to completely solve the dilution problem, it at least some cases.

There are at least a few relevant structura...(read more)

Understood, sounds like that information won't be in for a while. I look forward to hearing about your results in a few months!