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Comment by __emil__ on A signaling theory of class x politics interaction · 2011-10-19T10:56:54.916Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But poverty as in relative poverty is unavoidable.

Why?

Comment by __emil__ on Radio Interview with David Deutsch on AI, Immortality, Many Worlds and Quantum Computing · 2011-10-16T10:45:52.135Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This can also be downloaded as an iTunes podcast: itpc://www.cbc.ca/podcasting/includes/current.xml (LW doesn't seem to let me link to this).

Comment by __emil__ on Intro-level training materials for rationality / critical thinking · 2011-09-20T11:35:17.155Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'd recommend linking to the main Skeptic's Guide to the Universe podcast, as well as their "5x5" podcast (which is currently linked to). Most weeks some common fallacy or cognitive bias is mentioned (usually in connection with alternative medicine).

Comment by __emil__ on Your favorite pdfs? · 2011-09-18T15:40:17.152Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

ciphergoth has made an epub version of Eliezer's posts, which can be read with iBooks on the iPad (or iPhone, iPod Touch). I would recommend this over a PDF version, as you cannot adjust line lengths with PDFs. I've been reading the sequences in this way recently. Before discovering this, I used the Instapaper app to save the LW web pages.

Comment by __emil__ on Atheism & the autism spectrum · 2011-09-18T10:21:47.891Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I am an agnostic because I have no faith, not because logic tells me there is no god. [snip] but there's no evidence that "Let There Be Light" wasn't what God said right as he initiated the Big Bang.

I recommend you read some of the sequence posts, for example Occam's Razor and Absense of Evidence is Evidence of Absense.

Comment by __emil__ on Which Fields Are Underserved? · 2011-09-15T22:11:49.045Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Apologies in advance for nitpicking, but the heuristic is to ask what are the real-world consequences of propositions in this discipline being right or wrong, not whether the discipline has real-world consequences. So what are the propositions of mathematics that can be right or wrong? Clearly a published theorem can be right or wrong, but most are correct. What can be right or wrong is what areas of pure mathematics people consider to be interesting. I would say that these propositions can be right or wrong, and do have "real world" consequences. People used to think graph theory was not interesting - they were wrong.

Comment by __emil__ on What does it take? · 2011-09-12T19:45:57.129Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure what the difference is between 'dead but sentient' and 'brain in a vat'.

I was assuming that we want to distinguish between:

  1. The universe is simulated and the Simulator has the power to preserve minds even after their bodies in the simulation die. (This may or may not include brains being in vats.)

  2. You are still in this universe and someone is trying to trick you into thinking that (1) is true.

Comment by __emil__ on What does it take? · 2011-09-12T14:32:59.850Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

If the gray-haired gentleman is the Simulator of our universe, then presumably he could demonstrate this by allowing you to "view" the simulation, in particular your decomposing corpse, grieving loved ones &c. Also, he could further replay to you events from the past: events you remember vividly, and perhaps some historical ones too. And also, he could allow you to spectate on the ongoing simulation.

Of course, he would no doubt have to provide a considerable number of bits of information in order for the Afterlife hypothesis to become more likely than the alternatives such as dreaming, drugs, major brain malfunction, &c.

Comment by __emil__ on Rationality Attractors in Personspace · 2011-09-05T16:12:25.960Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A rational reason for not professing opposition to the war on drugs is that you do not want to lose status. Surely your tests are for identifying contrarians?

Comment by __emil__ on Do you expect a singularity within your life time? · 2011-08-30T14:07:02.130Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

On the one hand, no. I suspect building a better than human intelligence to be much harder than we imagine.

While I understand your desire to correct for Optimism Bias, aren't you making a fully general counterargument?

Comment by __emil__ on That cat: not dead and alive · 2011-08-30T13:55:51.286Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So sometime after the experiment starts we magically stop the clock on the wall of the universe. Since we are at a particular point the cat is either alive or dead, let's say dead.

If we stop time, we do not find ourselves at a "a particular point [where] the cat is either alive or dead". If we stop time, we find ourselves at a point in the configuration space. At this point in configuration space, the different possible configurations have different amplitudes. Some of these configurations include the cat being alive, and some include the cat being dead.