What research has been done on the altruistic impact of the usual good actions? 2020-01-27T19:33:16.818Z · score: 12 (4 votes)
Is it worthwhile to save the cord blood and tissue? 2020-01-11T21:52:24.256Z · score: 19 (7 votes)
New Petrov Game Brainstorm 2019-10-03T19:48:14.009Z · score: 19 (6 votes)
What tools exist to compute all possible programs? 2019-09-09T16:50:57.162Z · score: 18 (4 votes)
Mapping of enneagram to MTG personality types 2019-07-29T15:20:09.115Z · score: 6 (3 votes)
Watch Elon Musk’s Neuralink presentation 2019-07-19T21:48:11.162Z · score: 10 (3 votes)
Black hole narratives 2019-07-07T04:07:11.835Z · score: 27 (10 votes)
Crypto quant trading: Naive Bayes 2019-05-07T19:29:40.507Z · score: 31 (8 votes)
Swarm AI (tool) 2019-05-01T23:39:51.553Z · score: 18 (4 votes)
Crypto quant trading: Intro 2019-04-17T20:52:53.279Z · score: 61 (24 votes)
[Link] OpenAI LP 2019-03-12T23:22:59.861Z · score: 15 (5 votes)
Link: That Time a Guy Tried to Build a Utopia for Mice and it all Went to Hell 2019-01-23T06:27:05.219Z · score: 15 (6 votes)
What's up with Arbital? 2017-03-29T17:22:21.751Z · score: 24 (27 votes)
Toy problem: increase production or use production? 2014-07-05T20:58:48.962Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
Quantum Decisions 2014-05-12T21:49:11.133Z · score: 1 (6 votes)
Personal examples of semantic stopsigns 2013-12-06T02:12:01.708Z · score: 44 (49 votes)
Maximizing Your Donations via a Job 2013-05-05T23:19:05.116Z · score: 116 (118 votes)
Low hanging fruit: analyzing your nutrition 2012-05-05T05:20:14.372Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Robot Programmed To Love Goes Too Far (link) 2012-04-28T01:21:45.465Z · score: -5 (12 votes)
I'm starting a game company and looking for a co-founder. 2012-03-18T00:07:01.670Z · score: 16 (23 votes)
Water Fluoridation 2012-02-17T04:33:00.064Z · score: 1 (9 votes)
What happens when your beliefs fully propagate 2012-02-14T07:53:25.005Z · score: 22 (50 votes)
Rationality and Video Games 2011-09-18T19:26:01.716Z · score: 6 (11 votes)
Credit card that donates to SIAI. 2011-07-22T18:30:35.207Z · score: 5 (8 votes)
Futurama does an episode on nano-technology. 2011-06-27T02:44:14.496Z · score: 3 (6 votes)
Considering all scenarios when using Bayes' theorem. 2011-06-20T18:11:34.810Z · score: 9 (10 votes)
Discussion for Eliezer Yudkowsky's paper: Timeless Decision Theory 2011-01-06T00:28:29.202Z · score: 10 (11 votes)
Life-tracking application for android 2010-12-11T01:48:11.676Z · score: 20 (21 votes)


Comment by alexei on The Zettelkasten Method · 2020-04-02T17:46:46.230Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I stopped doing it. I also stopped learning things (like math) that required that system. I think at this point I'd probably just get a grid notebook if I started learning math again.

Comment by alexei on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-19T20:29:49.330Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My wife's doctor said chloroquine (a treatment for malaria) was shown to be very promising in treating COVID-19. I guess it's public now as well:

Comment by alexei on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-19T02:56:58.602Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The whole abstract:

For over a hundred years Finnish sauna has been documented as a physiotherapeutic method in respiratory diseases. Physiological changes of ventilation remain small (about 10%) in the sauna. Heat load, sauna air and sympathetic stimulation generally do not cause problems to the lungs. Electron microscopic studies have not shown irreversible damages to the airway epithelium. Sauna takers should avoid bathing during acute respiratory infections. Sympathomimetic drugs may provoke tachycardia and arrhythmias in the sauna.

So I think they're specifically talking about bathing; while the sauna (dry air) is actually good.

I can't find the entire paper but if someone send me a link, I'll look more into it.

Comment by alexei on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-18T17:44:16.476Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A random thought: If the virus doesn't survive well in high temperatures would going to a sauna help treat it?

Comment by alexei on Why don't singularitarians bet on the creation of AGI by buying stocks? · 2020-03-11T17:57:37.697Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I think this is spot on. I’ve had this idea for a few years and have been holding a few stocks of each company that I think has a chance at AGI.

Comment by alexei on What research has been done on the altruistic impact of the usual good actions? · 2020-01-27T19:50:25.222Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Part of my interest behind this question is that recently I've been noticing the subtle (but also not so subtle) ways our choices affect the people and the social fabric around us. Also, listening to Jordan Peterson highlight historical cases where the moral fabric of society fails (e.g. Nazi Germany and Soviet Union). It makes me think there's a lot of under-appreciated value in being a morally upright person. Some of the value is in directly impacting the people around you, but the majority is in signaling that "this is the kind of society we live in."

Comment by alexei on Coordination as a Scarce Resource · 2020-01-26T02:02:58.479Z · score: 17 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Love your posts! I’d recommend publishing them at a slower pace so people get a chance to see and read them. It’s also a bit confusing on LW when several posts are published on the same day, and you can’t tell which one is first in the series (just from the front page).

Comment by alexei on Is it worthwhile to save the cord blood and tissue? · 2020-01-11T22:09:34.448Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

One source I looked at was:

Some highlights:

  • There are three public cord blood banks in CA, but non in the bay area. So donating might be hard if that's where you're delivering.
  • The expected cost of cryo preserving is a bit under $2,000 upfront and $150 / yr.
  • It costs about $30,000 to obtain a cord blood collection from a public bank, and that cost is charged to the patient’s health insurance.
  • Looks like the stem cells could be used by the family members too. (Assuming it's a match, I'm guessing?). But actually the child might not be able to use them. (Is it only while they are a child?)
  • The main advantage of cord blood is that it does not have to be exactly matched to the patient like transplants from an adult donor.
  • In the United States, about 80% of cord blood donations are discarded.
  • In the United States, the net probability that a child will need any type of stem cell transplant by age 20 is 3 in 5,000 or .06%.
Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread - January 2020 · 2020-01-08T20:20:08.708Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can you expand on “ AI/ML capabilities research in finance” or shoot me a PM?

Comment by alexei on human psycholinguists: a critical appraisal · 2020-01-03T04:42:48.988Z · score: 16 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I’m definitely not an expert, but it does sound like a few people moved the goalposts. It sounds very similar to the "AI can't play chess" argument switching to "well, it's not really playing chess, it's just following rules" and then to *quietly mumbling something about it not having the True representation of chess*.

So, I agree with the core point. GPT-2 is writing! And it's writing pretty damn well. Whatever is left has more to do with the general cognition skill than writing.

Comment by alexei on What spiritual experiences have you had? · 2019-12-27T16:04:25.493Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Great question! I will just say that I had such an experience, but don’t know how to share it in a way that feels adequate for me.

Comment by alexei on Get a Life · 2019-12-26T02:08:25.889Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think you can lead a healthy and happy life playing tennis most of your time, while avoiding the (incorrect and unhealthy, in my opinion) belief that “getting a life is finding a singular passion and pursuing it to the end”. It seems to me like a motivated reasoning used to defend what the person is doing. However the rest of the post is closer to the real truth: “I enjoy playing and teaching tennis and I find meaning in it.”

Also I think the singular/plural purpose divide is pretty smooth with plenty of people on both sides. I’ve met lots of people who say that to live your life you basically need to specialize like crazy.

My invitation to the author would be to write a similar essay to steel man the other side.

Comment by alexei on Bayesian examination · 2019-12-09T21:54:31.464Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Wow, this seems huge to me! Great find! I’m not in the business of constructing tests, but if I ever do any home schooling with my children, I’ll definitely try this method.

Comment by alexei on If giving unsolicited feedback was a social norm, what feedback would you often give? · 2019-12-05T05:27:49.615Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Your decision / advice is rooted in anxiety / fear. This is much more about you than about the thing you’re talking about.

Comment by alexei on Laws of John Wick · 2019-11-25T23:53:37.071Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This post convinced me to watch the movies. Was not disappointed: great world building indeed.

Comment by alexei on What's the largest sunk cost you let go? · 2019-11-25T07:17:47.394Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This was back in 2013. At that point I have been developing games (as a hobby and then professionally) for 13 years. During my free time in high school and college, that's basically all I did. And then right out of college I got a job in the game industry. I also developed and published my own game. In 2011 I moved to the bay area, joined a game startup, and it was acquired. (By Zynga, so not that exciting, but overall, I'd say things were going well.)

Around that time, I realized that there was no way making games would help with x-risk. So I left the industry. This involved letting go of the deepest passion and the most developed skill I've had at the time. It involved changing which circles I networked in. And it included abandoning all the knowledge I accumulated of the programming libraries and framework, game design, game lore, and all the half-baked game ideas I had and was hoping to develop some day.

I still stand by that decision. But I've also found a way to incorporate a bit of that old self into my present life. For example, sometimes I design a board game. Or write down and explore game ideas until I can "see" how it would be developed. Or dream about having enough money to just hire an entire studio and have them develop it.

Comment by alexei on Do you get value out of contentless comments? · 2019-11-22T05:58:57.053Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by alexei on The Pit · 2019-11-20T17:03:50.656Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Found this video and it reminded me of this story:

Comment by alexei on A mechanistic model of meditation · 2019-11-17T21:55:07.044Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Tangentially related:

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-11-17T21:54:18.760Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I have read the entire "My big TOE" book/trilogy by Thomas Campbell. If at least three people promise to read my summary of it, I'll write it up. Let me know how long you want the summary to be.

Super quick summary of the book: Thomas Campbell seems like a decently smart guy; he has a PhD in physics and works for the government. He claims his mind/consciousness can exist in and travel between multiple realities. In this book he explains his version of how the universe works, how it got started, why it's here, and why we are here.

Personally, I found it mildly interesting. There are a lot of big claims, but it's very hard to verify them. Tom is pretty upfront about it: his goal is to lay out a conceptual framework so that everyone can develop their own TOE (Theory of Everything). He doesn't ask the reader to trust him or his version. At the same time, if you can't trust it... it's kind of like reading sci-fi.

I'm also happy to answer any questions about the book / author.

Comment by alexei on A mechanistic model of meditation · 2019-11-17T21:15:08.001Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Kaj, first off, huge thank you for writing up all these posts on meditation. I don't have time to read a lot of these books, but it's good literature, so it's perfect to get the summary from someone I can trust.

"Introspective awareness" sounds like the right object. Or, more specifically, it definitely feels like it's describing my own experience. And my own, homegrown hypothesis was something like: consciousness is like an echo or picture-in-picture. We can get glimpses of "ourselves" because we can look at / load partial concepts of ourselves into the working memory.

Introspective awareness is its own type of mental object...

Wow, yes, yes, yes! My original fear with starting meditation was that it would remove certain experiences from my life. It felt like I'd lose something. And in the 7+ years I've done it, that just hasn't happened. And now I have the precise language to describe it. That is exactly what happens for me: like, I can still see the suffering and all that, but it's like it's wrapped in a bubble, which still allows me to see the emotion/sensation exactly like I would before, but it loses the ability to instantly propagate its agenda to the rest of my system.

This kind of a process also teaches you to pay attention to patterns of cause and effect in your mind.

Yeah, I have seen this emphasized in various teachings, but I never actually practiced it. Probably some low hanging fruit here for me. I'll try it out.

“first you resolve a lot of issues, but then you can get the ability to push down the rest” dynamic

One, I think the foremost goal for any type of meditation should be to learn to see what is there. (Just like with rationality.) So there's no pushing or pulling or trying to change anything. And sometimes with bad feelings or headaches, I've noticed that simply paying attention to it (instead of flinching away) resolves it. It doesn't make it "go away" or "block it", it actually just unties the knot, so to speak.

Two, I think there are two orthogonal skills that get bucketed into "spiritual development." One skill is insight (see MCTB for a good definition), but it's basically the ability to see what's going on in your mind. And that skill will eventually take you to enlightenment. The other skill is morality. And while some practices do empathize morality practice as well, I think in the classical western tradition (MCTB is a good example of this) we found paths to get to enlightenment without all other "unnecessary" stuff... like morality training. So you end up with people who are technically enlightened, but it doesn't automatically make them good human beings. (I think this also resolves the confusion in one of the recent SSC posts.)

Comment by alexei on Genesis · 2019-11-15T06:18:38.327Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Use the power wisely. :)

Comment by alexei on Indescribable · 2019-11-11T06:52:35.094Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I think some big life events fall into this category: being married, having a kid, having a close loved one pass away, dying yourself.

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-11-10T16:16:47.634Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Welcome! Thank you for your posts!

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-11-10T16:16:27.897Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting! I’ll take a look.

Comment by alexei on Self-Keeping Secrets · 2019-11-10T16:14:40.040Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · LW · GW

You kind of lost me at the end. Isn’t part of the appeal of magic tricks that even though they are easy to learn, they still take work to master, and even if you could do it, you don’t, but you DO enjoy watching someone else perform them?

I think a related, but somewhat opposite observation is: we have more and more niches for everyone. For example, I often run into people who watch TV shows, even TV shows that are similar to what I watch (scifi, fantasy), but we still have zero overlap. That just couldn’t happen even 10 years ago. It’s not that they can’t watch my shows, or I theirs. It’s just we don’t.

Also this:

Comment by alexei on The Zettelkasten Method · 2019-11-08T23:47:09.547Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It just occurred to me that with math, but especially with music theory, it's hard to take notes in a digital system (like Workflowy), because you can't easily draw symbols.

Comment by alexei on The Zettelkasten Method · 2019-11-08T23:43:28.582Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Just remembered today too.

Overall, I created about 30+ cards. (I think the number if more a function of how much time I spend learning new things rather than anything else.) Mostly the cards are about statistics + math, but today I started creating cards for music theory. I'm not as in love with the system as I thought I would be, but it definitely feels more like an addition rather than a replacement to my existing systems. I'm currently creating cards for things I normally wouldn't write down. I think that's a good thing.

Mostly I've just been adding cards. I think I only looked through the cards twice. But right now I'm rewatching some videos I watched earlier today, just so I can create the cards for the things I found useful, just so I can then go and apply them to the piece of music I'm writing. So, overall, it definitely seems useful.

Comment by alexei on The Pit · 2019-10-27T04:33:36.052Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am happy for you. :)

Comment by alexei on The Pit · 2019-10-27T01:48:07.226Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nice story. Do you feel like the boy, the elders, or the scientists?

Comment by alexei on Implementing an Idea-Management System · 2019-10-19T05:03:14.913Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Comment by Alexei on [deleted post] 2019-10-15T22:08:50.680Z

Which tools are you talking about?

Comment by alexei on Reflections on Premium Poker Tools: Part 1 - My journey · 2019-10-09T04:07:37.978Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I’m not sure how big the market is for a poker software. There aren’t that many people playing poker and a vast majority of them play it casually with no software. So even if you capture the entire market, it still might be only 1000 people or so.

As for people who say they are interested but then flake, Sebastian Marshall has the perfect word for them: jokers. Just ignore them immediately and move on. If someone wants to do business, you’ll feel it.

I did a web startup too for a few years. And everything took me longer than expected as well. Including authentication. It’s just a fact of life; but hopefully we can plan better now.

Comment by alexei on New Petrov Game Brainstorm · 2019-10-05T06:59:23.907Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I guess that seems to me to be within the spirit of the game.

Comment by alexei on New Petrov Game Brainstorm · 2019-10-05T00:30:27.347Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What information would you share that would give you an advantage? (Keep in mind that players are anonymous. Though I guess anyone could in theory de-anonymize themselves.)

Comment by alexei on Meeting the Dragon in Your Garage. · 2019-10-03T01:29:36.438Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

No easy answers to these questions. Welcome to LessWrong where we try to figure it out. I’d recommend reading the Sequences if you haven’t already.

Comment by alexei on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019 · 2019-10-02T20:45:27.158Z · score: 2 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I’m confused why you got downvoted so much over a joke.... sorry.

Comment by alexei on Meeting the Dragon in Your Garage. · 2019-09-30T20:07:29.348Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The first two examples are for finding more of a type of thing we already know to exist (astronomical objects, elementary particles). The third example is less obviously so. So, your priors are different.

That aside, I suppose there is no difference. The only thing that I’d consider is the opportunity cost.

Comment by alexei on Idols of the Mind Pt. 2 (Novum Organum Book 1: 53-68) · 2019-09-27T21:56:12.766Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've read all of these so far, but may be you can post them a little less frequently?

Comment by alexei on Rationality and Levels of Intervention · 2019-09-26T00:24:53.019Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · LW · GW

There are a few factors which I imagine influence the optimal strategy criteria:

  • How much time do you have? If there's not a lot of time, more direct intervention methods (lower levels) seem to work better. If you have a lot of time, then it's probably okay to let people meander more as long as they eventually reach the low entropy. (Low entropy = behaving well consistently.)
  • How sticky is the low entropy? If the child notices that when it's behaving well things are going much greater for them, then probably they'll continue to stick with that behavior. But if the rewards are random, then they might be well behaved but then switch their behavior.
  • How much do you value the individuals? I.e. what's your utility for one well behaving kid vs one misbehaving one? I think in the rationalist community there's a tendency to value few very well behaving kids as being much better than a lot of somewhat well behaving kids. In that case, individual attention does seem more warranted / effective.
  • Your overall resources and expertise. If you had it all, why not do all of the levels at once? There's obviously something good to be said for all levels. But if you're not experienced in one of them, then you have to weigh the cost of getting better + making mistakes vs ignoring that level + focusing on others. And if your resources are limited, but expertise is even, you probably want to spread the resources around and focus on 80/20'ing each level.
  • The expertise brings up the point of: do you even know what "well behaving" is? To the extent you're not sure, you should probably focus on reducing uncertainty around that for yourself first. (Level 0)

At the end of the day, you either need to build robust gear level models that will help you make these decisions or have enough kids in your study that you could collect and analyze it statistically.

Comment by alexei on How can I reframe my study motivation? · 2019-09-25T04:14:38.778Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd ask yourself a few things: Is there a way to read those things that seems more fun? May be skip "boring" parts? May be read out of order? May be there's a chapter / section that caught your eye? May be there's a part that connects with something else you're interested in / something useful?

I'd also recommend to not read what you think you _should_ read, especially during your free time. Read what interests you. And if that's nothing, then do something else personally productive with that time.

Comment by alexei on The Zettelkasten Method · 2019-09-24T13:40:28.931Z · score: 16 (5 votes) · LW · GW

1. Thank you for sharing about this method! I don't think I've ever heard about it.

2. I'm super excited to try it! There's something that just immediately made sense / called out to me about it. Specifically about the fact that these are physical cards. I'm guessing it's similar to why you like this method as well.

3. I ordered the supplies. By the end of October I promise I will write up a post / comment with how this method went for me.

Comment by alexei on Timer Toxicities · 2019-09-22T13:19:09.804Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Now that I think about it, the first game with a serious timer mechanic I played was Tamagotchi. But I think that mechanic worked in its favor / was consistent with the game’s central point of taking care of a “live” creature that couldn’t just be paused. Another part that made it work was that it was a separate physical object vs a thing on your computer (or phone; not that there were smart phones back then).

Comment by alexei on Focus · 2019-09-16T02:37:31.418Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I like your analysis of the situation, and it honestly doesn’t seem like a problem to me. Find more things you’re excited about, if you really have a lot of free time. One thing you can do when you have random free 1-3 minutes is meditate or journal.

Comment by alexei on Is competition good? · 2019-09-11T19:59:30.271Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

So an incorruptible person is one that has all of their needs met, but doesn't depend on anything for it. They can always make the moral choice, because no choices are incompatible with the foundation of their well-being.

This actually goes to the very heart of Buddhism (and probably a few other religions). Well done. ;)

Comment by alexei on Russian x-risks newsletter, summer 2019 · 2019-09-07T20:22:50.146Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the updates!

Comment by alexei on Seven habits towards highly effective minds · 2019-09-06T03:14:21.637Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Great list! I was happy to be reminded of all these points for myself too.

Comment by alexei on LW Team Updates - September 2019 · 2019-09-06T03:11:42.845Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Looks like it’s now fixed by the iOS menu showing up before the pop up.

Comment by alexei on LW Team Updates - September 2019 · 2019-09-04T23:38:40.755Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Actually I wasn’t opted in. But now I changed my settings to opt in.

Comment by alexei on LW Team Updates - September 2019 · 2019-09-04T20:00:10.784Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

On mobile, I often click+hold a link to bring up the iOS menu to open a new link. Now when I do this the LW pop up appears and doesn’t go away, until I find a safe spot to click away from it.