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Comment by albeola on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-08T22:54:14.640Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There's already the option of doing this through alternate accounts.

Comment by albeola on Rationality Quotes August 2012 · 2012-08-04T20:43:51.031Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It's bs to die.

Comment by albeola on CFAR website launched · 2012-07-04T08:11:54.490Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The "FAR" keeps pushing me into far mode and then the red color keeps pulling me back into near mode. It's like a Stroop task!

Comment by albeola on New "Best" comment sorting system · 2012-07-04T08:07:08.708Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Apologies — I should have taken reinforcement into account and noted that the new algorithm is probably still a lot better than the previous one.

Comment by albeola on New "Best" comment sorting system · 2012-07-02T18:22:22.997Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Ironically, it appears the new algorithm is frequentist.

Comment by albeola on Glenn Beck discusses the Singularity, cites SI researchers · 2012-06-12T20:38:32.617Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I see it as being like the Chuck Berry scene in Back to the Future.

Comment by albeola on Glenn Beck discusses the Singularity, cites SI researchers · 2012-06-12T20:26:17.978Z · score: 16 (16 votes) · LW · GW

Beck is a Mormon, and Mormons generally seem a lot friendlier to transhumanist-type ideas than standard Christians.

Comment by albeola on Open Thread, June 1-15, 2012 · 2012-06-06T21:30:35.131Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

http://knowyourmeme.com/photos/88818-philosoraptor

Comment by albeola on A plan for Pascal's mugging? · 2012-06-05T00:02:10.298Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, I don't see anything here to disagree with.

Comment by albeola on Raising safety-consciousness among AGI researchers · 2012-06-04T22:38:50.524Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The problem of locating "the subjective you" seems to me to have two parts: first, to locate a world, and second, to locate an observer in that world. For the first part, see the grandparent; the second part seems to me to be the same across interpretations.

Comment by albeola on A plan for Pascal's mugging? · 2012-06-04T22:25:23.656Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The original justification for the Kelly criterion isn't that it maximizes a utility function that's logarithmic in wealth, but that it provides a strategy that, in the infinite limit, does better than any other strategy with probability 1. This doesn't mean that it maximizes expected utility (as your examples for linear utility show), but it's not obvious to me that the attractiveness of this property comes mainly from assigning infinite negative value to zero wealth, or that using the Kelly criterion is a similar error to the one Weitzman made.

Comment by albeola on Raising safety-consciousness among AGI researchers · 2012-06-04T19:16:00.771Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

if you are seeking lowest complexity description of your input, your theory needs to also locate yourself within what ever stuff it generates somehow (hence appropriate discount for something really huge like MWI)

It seems to me that such a discount exists in all interpretations (at least those that don't successfully predict measurement outcomes beyond predicting their QM probability distributions). In Copenhagen, locating yourself corresponds to specifying random outcomes for all collapse events. In hidden variables theories, locating yourself corresponds to picking arbitrary boundary conditions for the hidden variables. Since MWI doesn't need to specify the mechanism for the collapse or hidden variables, it's still strictly simpler.

Comment by albeola on "Progress" · 2012-06-04T18:59:55.641Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

There's a difference between thinking as if dimensions are linked together, and thinking as if there's "some cosmic niceness built into the universe that makes everything improve monotonically along every dimension at once" (emphasis mine). Switching between attacking moderate and extreme versions of the same claim is classic logical rudeness.

Comment by albeola on "Progress" · 2012-06-04T04:56:44.770Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

But there isn't some cosmic niceness built into the universe that makes everything improve monotonically along every dimension at once.

Who believes this?

Comment by albeola on This post is for sacrificing my credibility! · 2012-06-02T01:14:59.480Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Is any of it transmissible? If not, is the reason why it isn't transmissible transmissible? Do your reasons carry over to other people's situations?

Comment by albeola on [deleted post] 2012-05-15T20:11:47.938Z

The commonly accepted view is that women and men are equally good at math on average

Some googling informs me that there's a gender gap on the math SAT and other standardized tests. It may be that you have in mind some way in which these tests don't reflect a real gap in average math ability, but I think it's more likely that you confused the data on math ability and the data on IQ. A .3 standard deviation gap would mean 62% of women are below the male average. I agree that this makes "most women are bad at math" an exaggeration, though more male spread means the numbers look worse the higher you set the bar.

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T05:35:57.564Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I guess I'm hereby tapping out of the discussion.

Comment by albeola on [deleted post] 2012-05-09T05:01:26.395Z

OK, so compare "BLUE-CAR person" with "CLOWN-car person". They still seem different to me. (I didn't downvote, though I wouldn't blame people if they downvoted this entire sub-conversation for pedantry.)

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T03:53:25.545Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There are some corpses in the street. Some people are proposing to bury them, because they'll rot and cause diseases. Others are proposing to leave them there, because haha, corpses. In this situation, you may prefer cryopreservation to burial and at the same time prefer burial to non-burial, because cryo probably won't happen. (Maybe this is an insane alien hypothetical world where cryo is just really unpopular.) If you're facing a "bury yes or no" button, it may well be rational to push yes. This is true even though the probability of cryopreservation depends on your preferences. Now substitute bad commenters for corpses, banning for burial, and sidebar change for cryo. I'm not saying the parameter values are the same, but do you agree with the qualitative point?

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T03:11:03.980Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Preferring sidebar change to banning does not imply preferring no banning to banning given actual probability of sidebar change. Do you agree?

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T03:08:24.849Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So you're not saying that you prefer no banning to banning (given whatever you predict will actually happen to the sidebar)?

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T02:58:33.754Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True, but it would discriminate less well. It would hide many OK comments that happened to be downvoted once or twice.

Note that for this solution to be an argument against the banning solution, it would need to actually be implemented. Are you predicting that will happen?

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T02:53:48.095Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Comments in the sidebar tend to be too new to have been voted below -3 or whatever the threshold is.

Comment by albeola on [deleted post] 2012-05-09T02:49:52.774Z

Doesn't feel the same to me. One is adjective noun, the other is noun noun. It affects the intonation. "I'm a blue CAR person" vs "I'm a CLOWN car person".

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T02:10:51.100Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The question isn't whether it "exists in order to" make cracking down unnecessary, or whether it "is supposed to" replace moderator action. The question is whether it actually does those things. And it's far from perfect at doing them. Yes, heavily downvoted comments take up a little less space in the recent comments and in the thread (at least if you have the willpower not to click on them! virtue of curiosity!) But they still take up some space; they take time to be downvoted enough to be hidden; I'm pretty sure they still appear in the sidebar; and the responses to them tend to appear in full, even though these too tend to be valueless. On a more abstract level, I'm worried that such comments influence a collective sense of what the current topic of the site is.

There are intellectual problems other than arguing for the wrong views, and ways of being ban-worthy other than being a troll or spammer. I haven't read most of the exchanges, but it was certainly my impression that Monkeymind has been communicating in ways that downvotes had made very clear weren't working for the audience, that he's been reasoning badly, and that he's been responding with hostility to downvotes. Are you sure that nobody has been banned for such behavior previously, and that a genuine Rubicon is being crossed here?

If the current system is so perfect that the comments being banned weren't attracting any attention anyway, is it really a big additional problem for them to be censored?

Comment by albeola on The ethics of breaking belief · 2012-05-09T01:52:12.296Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I was assuming you'd see both colors as the same. Then a zebra crossing would just look like an ordinary stretch of road. That wouldn't kill you. What would kill you is to see an ordinary stretch of road as a zebra crossing. If that were to happen, though, it definitely wouldn't be at the next zebra crossing.

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-09T00:06:31.176Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Removing comments happens silently and without a trace. Such tools can be used by the establishment to quiet dissent.

So let's have a policy that banned commenters get to post a link to their anti-LW blog. We could list all the anti-LW blogs on a wiki page or something.

They can break existing conversations.

By removing examples of what not to do, we can no longer point at them as examples.

I don't think anyone is proposing to delete past comments.

We need more contrarians, not fewer.

If I promise to be a high-quality contrarian, can we ban the next five low-quality contrarians?

discourage participation amongst those who are in particular need of our help

This is a good thing. LW's positive impact is likely to lie mostly in building an effective movement, figuring out what issues are important, and pushing on those issues; all of these are helped by a high average level of rationality. LW's positive impact is unlikely to lie in trying to fix whatever hopeless cases wander by.

Freedom of speech is valuable in itself, and its presence here is aesthetically pleasing.

I disagree on both counts, and I suspect your other arguments may be rationalizations springing from this value judgement.

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-08T23:36:06.397Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

such measures are very damaging

Why?

Comment by albeola on The ethics of breaking belief · 2012-05-08T23:08:31.347Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

prove to emself that black is white, and be killed in the next zebra crossing

You wouldn't be killed, you'd just fail to cross the street.

Comment by albeola on On what rationality-related topic should I give a school presentation? · 2012-05-08T21:55:24.118Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Illusion of transparency?

Comment by albeola on Configurations and Amplitude · 2012-05-08T21:25:43.178Z · score: 7 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Please crack down earlier, harder, and more often. Nobody is going to die from it. Higher average comment quality will attract better commenters in a virtuous circle. There's no excuse for tolerating the endless nonsense that some commenters post, and those enabling them by responding to them should stop.

Comment by albeola on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-06T23:11:45.158Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Has this actually been working?

Comment by albeola on Rationality and Winning · 2012-05-06T21:24:51.341Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

spending their life complaining about how they would do this and that if only they didn't have akrasia

Do you agree the quoted property differs from the property of "having akrasia" (which is the property we're interested in); that one might have akrasia without spending one's life complaining about it, and that one might spend one's life complaining about akrasia without having (the stated amount of) akrasia (e.g. with the deliberate intent to evade obligations)? If this inaccuracy were fixed, would your original response retain all its rhetorical force?

(It's worth keeping in mind that "akrasia" is more a problem description saying someone's brain doesn't produce the right output, and not an actual specific mechanism sitting there impeding an otherwise-functioning brain from doing its thing, but I don't think that affects any of the reasoning here.)

Comment by albeola on Rationality Quotes May 2012 · 2012-05-06T21:07:11.862Z · score: 8 (14 votes) · LW · GW

instead of covering pending legislation or the impact it could have on your life

If "impact on your life" is the relevant criterion, then it seems to me Wong should be focusing on the broader mistake of watching the news in the first place. If the average American spent ten minutes caring about e.g. the Trayvon Martin case, then by my calculations that represents roughly a hundred lifetimes lost.

Comment by albeola on Betrand Russell's Ten Commandments · 2012-05-06T20:31:30.995Z · score: 24 (24 votes) · LW · GW

8, especially, is an especially eloquent formulation of Aumann's Agreement Theorem.

It may or may not be eloquent, but it sure as hell is not a formulation of Aumann's Agreement Theorem.

Comment by albeola on [deleted post] 2012-05-06T20:23:15.301Z

Some people might see the descriptions below as sappy or silly, and that's a small loss that I'm happy to take; these songs (and emotions) have really improved my thinking and made me stronger, and if other people can more easily and powerfully achieve the same results by having this tool from the beginning, then I want to do what I can to make this tool available.

I appreciate your thinking here, but I'm worried that this is just going to turn into a thread where people list random songs they like. I mean, if "a cool love song" qualifies...

If emotional responses to songs are substantially personal in nature, it might be more interesting to discuss what mix of emotions most helps motivation, so everyone can solve their own optimization problem. For my brain, I don't think it's straightforwardly the case that making it emotionally appreciate the existence of good and bad things propels it to good actions. (At least on shorter time scales. On longer time scales, it gets really hard to tell what works and what doesn't.)

Comment by albeola on Rationality and Winning · 2012-05-06T19:20:34.538Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You're changing the subject. The question was whether actually having akrasia is compatible with rationality. The question was not whether someone who claims to have akrasia actually has akrasia, or whether it is rational for someone who has akrasia to complain about akrasia and treat it as not worth trying to solve.

Comment by albeola on Open Thread, May 1-15, 2012 · 2012-05-04T07:34:53.756Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

(I may try emailing Jaan Tallinn to ask him myself, depending on how others react to this post).

It seems like that might carry some risk of making him feel like he was being bugged to give more money, or something like that. Maybe it would be better to post a draft of such an email to the site first, just in case?