[Link] Digital Democracy Is Within Reach 2020-11-11T22:12:41.438Z
Efficient Market Frontier 2020-08-22T23:52:06.063Z
What posts on finance would your find helpful or interesting? 2020-08-22T04:31:51.804Z
"The Holy Grail" of portfolio management 2020-08-22T04:25:55.199Z
Dissolving the "Is the Efficient Market Hypothesis Dead?" Question 2020-08-02T04:46:39.481Z
The Mind: Board Game Review 2020-05-10T00:45:56.456Z
What research has been done on the altruistic impact of the usual good actions? 2020-01-27T19:33:16.818Z
Is it worthwhile to save the cord blood and tissue? 2020-01-11T21:52:24.256Z
New Petrov Game Brainstorm 2019-10-03T19:48:14.009Z
What tools exist to compute all possible programs? 2019-09-09T16:50:57.162Z
Mapping of enneagram to MTG personality types 2019-07-29T15:20:09.115Z
Watch Elon Musk’s Neuralink presentation 2019-07-19T21:48:11.162Z
Black hole narratives 2019-07-07T04:07:11.835Z
Crypto quant trading: Naive Bayes 2019-05-07T19:29:40.507Z
Swarm AI (tool) 2019-05-01T23:39:51.553Z
Crypto quant trading: Intro 2019-04-17T20:52:53.279Z
[Link] OpenAI LP 2019-03-12T23:22:59.861Z
Link: That Time a Guy Tried to Build a Utopia for Mice and it all Went to Hell 2019-01-23T06:27:05.219Z
What's up with Arbital? 2017-03-29T17:22:21.751Z
Toy problem: increase production or use production? 2014-07-05T20:58:48.962Z
Quantum Decisions 2014-05-12T21:49:11.133Z
Personal examples of semantic stopsigns 2013-12-06T02:12:01.708Z
Maximizing Your Donations via a Job 2013-05-05T23:19:05.116Z
Low hanging fruit: analyzing your nutrition 2012-05-05T05:20:14.372Z
Robot Programmed To Love Goes Too Far (link) 2012-04-28T01:21:45.465Z
I'm starting a game company and looking for a co-founder. 2012-03-18T00:07:01.670Z
Water Fluoridation 2012-02-17T04:33:00.064Z
What happens when your beliefs fully propagate 2012-02-14T07:53:25.005Z
Rationality and Video Games 2011-09-18T19:26:01.716Z
Credit card that donates to SIAI. 2011-07-22T18:30:35.207Z
Futurama does an episode on nano-technology. 2011-06-27T02:44:14.496Z
Considering all scenarios when using Bayes' theorem. 2011-06-20T18:11:34.810Z
Discussion for Eliezer Yudkowsky's paper: Timeless Decision Theory 2011-01-06T00:28:29.202Z
Life-tracking application for android 2010-12-11T01:48:11.676Z


Comment by alexei on What posts on finance would your find helpful or interesting? · 2021-01-16T15:55:26.212Z · LW · GW

What exactly do you mean by door of entry? Like a way to get into the industry? Or start trading yourself?

Comment by alexei on The impact merge · 2021-01-14T06:38:36.312Z · LW · GW

Thanks, but these seem to be discussing pride in general. I am curious specifically about the “You have to be the one who has controlled/owed a particular choice in the ways that matter in order to be proud of it or its outcomes.” part. Do you know where you picked up that bit?

Comment by alexei on What is the currency of the future? 5 suggestions. · 2021-01-14T06:34:13.248Z · LW · GW

Resources like corn and oil are typically called commodities in this context.

Comment by alexei on The impact merge · 2021-01-13T22:56:37.257Z · LW · GW

Interesting! Any links / videos you’d recommend exploring that point?

Comment by alexei on Covid 1/7: The Fire of a Thousand Suns · 2021-01-09T06:08:47.873Z · LW · GW

How likely are you to get infected from someone who has been infected a while ago (say a month) compared to a random person? What about from someone who was vaccinated?

Comment by alexei on Covid 12/24: We’re F***ed, It’s Over · 2020-12-29T16:51:34.378Z · LW · GW

Odds are the same but it’s the difference between 10 flips and a 100.

Comment by alexei on How to eradicate the desire to check time-wasting sites · 2020-12-21T05:58:06.383Z · LW · GW

Same here. That’s why I stopped using FB. And that’s currently my main filter for whether to continue engaging with something.

Comment by alexei on What confusions do people have about simulacrum levels? · 2020-12-15T18:48:04.332Z · LW · GW

Right...! I think that's a very good point on the usefulness of the model. Like, I find it interesting and useful as a model, but I don't think I've ever applied it in practice.

Comment by alexei on What confusions do people have about simulacrum levels? · 2020-12-14T20:47:04.387Z · LW · GW

Hmm it’s not that I find them confusing, and I even managed to explain them to someone who didn’t know about them. I think it just feels... too high complexity or something. Like there’s a simpler version just around the corner. Maybe I’d benefit from 3 positive and negative real life examples of each level.

Comment by alexei on Pseudorandomness contest, Round 1 · 2020-12-13T15:12:38.183Z · LW · GW

Can I use computer to prepare for part 1, as long as I don’t try to memorize any bit sequences?

Comment by alexei on D&D.Sci Evaluation and Ruleset · 2020-12-12T18:31:43.571Z · LW · GW

Seconded. Very happy with the solution and the resulting reflection on my attempt.

Comment by alexei on Covid 12/10: Vaccine Approval Day in America · 2020-12-11T05:27:26.077Z · LW · GW

If someone got COVID how long do they need to wait to get tested so that the test correctly identifies them as positive?

Comment by alexei on My Weirdest Experience · 2020-12-10T05:23:09.419Z · LW · GW

Note the part where it says that it’s usually passed on by a teacher. It’s entirely possible to meet this teacher in your dream; in your case, the coach.

Comment by alexei on My Weirdest Experience · 2020-12-10T05:20:43.942Z · LW · GW

A number of spiritual traditions have their most advanced practices in dream realms.

Comment by alexei on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-07T05:53:12.649Z · LW · GW

Nice find!

Comment by alexei on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-06T16:14:26.628Z · LW · GW

You can do spoilers with >! although it's kind of finicky. 

 One problem with your strategy is that the stats follow a normal distribution. This means that there are more students with average stats. That's why your algo invests in the lowest stat: because that's the biggest delta in terms of students.

Comment by alexei on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-06T16:05:36.053Z · LW · GW

My research so far:

Made graphs of stat vs prob of success. Pretty clean linear relationships between each stat and increase in success, except for dexterity. That seems to hurt.  
Checked for correlations between stats; none detected.  
Given that we can't go down in stats, I also looked at the data for students whose stats are at least as high as ours. Did linear regression on that; seems like Dex helps in this case, but there are a lot fewer samples, so I'm going to chuck it up to noise.

Going off all the data, Wis and Cha have the highest slope. (Cha is slightly higher.) So I'd invest evenly in both. Going off the conditioned data, Cha has the highest slope. So I'll shift to +7 Cha and +3 Wis.

One thing I also thought about is coming up with various hypotheses, Zendo style. E.g. "you win if your Str > Dex" or "you win if the sum of your lowest three stats is > 10" But I don't think that's the nature of the problem.

Comment by alexei on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-06T02:43:32.381Z · LW · GW

Do we have to spend all 10 points?

Comment by alexei on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-06T02:25:09.174Z · LW · GW

Hmm, normally I don't participate in things like these... but something about this one appeals to me. So why not! Let's give it a shot.

What are the guidelines for posting my research / insights?

Comment by alexei on Prize: Interesting Examples of Evaluations · 2020-11-28T21:52:55.876Z · LW · GW

I agree with the sentiment. Although I think this should be a comment, not an answer.

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/26: Thanksgiving · 2020-11-27T06:30:43.807Z · LW · GW

For real though! I mean, the concept of a “rationalist newspaper” has been floated around for a while now. But now I have a much better sense of what it might look like. This is a great way to get news; I feel like I’m learning about the world in the process too.

Comment by alexei on Zen and Rationality: Skillful Means · 2020-11-22T01:59:11.630Z · LW · GW

That’s a really good point. For the most part there’s no kind of apprenticeship program in the rationalist community. CFAR partially fills that role, but not long term in most people’s lives.

Comment by alexei on How do you evaluate whether a $500 donation to a project that you know well is a good idea? · 2020-11-21T01:27:40.316Z · LW · GW

I’ll bite. One thing I’d look at is who’s organizing the event, what their track record is, and what their reputation is. I’d also get a feeling for the community’s trajectory and importance. I’d also check if there’s a way to get the entire community to chip in to pay for the event (for example by buying tickets).

Comment by alexei on How do you evaluate whether a $500 donation to a project that you know well is a good idea? · 2020-11-20T04:59:35.206Z · LW · GW

This seems like a cop out answer, but I wholeheartedly agree.

Comment by alexei on How do you evaluate whether a $500 donation to a project that you know well is a good idea? · 2020-11-20T04:58:03.293Z · LW · GW

Oh man, you/habryka made a good point in this post. But I almost didn’t read it, because of the title: I just thought it was a question. Sometime maybe write a post for that point alone.

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/19: Don’t Do Stupid Things · 2020-11-19T21:01:05.191Z · LW · GW

Got it, thank you!

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/19: Don’t Do Stupid Things · 2020-11-19T20:00:12.142Z · LW · GW

I don’t understand the last paragraph. How does that work? Feel free to reply with a link to something if it’s too long to explain.

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/19: Don’t Do Stupid Things · 2020-11-19T18:13:59.674Z · LW · GW

Elon Musk gets tested four times for Covid-19 in one day, gets two positives and two negatives,

I guess I’m confused too. The rate of a false negative is that high?

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-17T23:41:49.041Z · LW · GW

Ok, here's the thing that doesn't quite make sense. You're mostly concerned about specific topics (like politics) not being visible. But this issue is being solved by hiding all personal blog posts. Clearly there could be a large number of personal blog posts that are not about the sensitive topics.

Now that you have tags, I think a better solution is to show all personal blog posts unless they have certain tags (like politics). Which solves the problem more directly. (Edit: I guess that opens the door for some users to add politics tags to a lot of posts to hide them from the front page... Hmm. May be these tags are reserved for trusted users.)

Also, yeah, definitely people should be able to say that their post shouldn't appear on the front page. That's totally fine.

Comment by alexei on On Arguments for God · 2020-11-15T05:13:32.781Z · LW · GW

No, not everyone knows!

I’m all for discussions about god, but I think you have to at least try to narrow down your definition somewhat. Although maybe that’s not what this post is about, but rather general uncertainty about things?

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-14T02:10:36.678Z · LW · GW

Thanks, that’s good context. I’ll post if I think of anything.

Comment by alexei on What could one do with truly unlimited computational power? · 2020-11-13T15:04:45.101Z · LW · GW

Good point!

Comment by alexei on What could one do with truly unlimited computational power? · 2020-11-13T05:17:40.430Z · LW · GW

I don’t think there’s any reason to create the agents for those games, since you can just brute force solve for the optimal play.

Comment by alexei on What risks from vaccines? · 2020-11-13T02:55:52.370Z · LW · GW

To the extent this post is correct, I think it suggests a number of answers. If we're talking about RNA vaccines specifically, some very quick Googling shows:

  • The mRNA strand in the vaccine may elicit an unintended immune reaction. [1]
  • Fever, nausea, fainting [2]
Comment by alexei on Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter · 2020-11-13T02:43:25.007Z · LW · GW

Ah ok, no worries. Mostly I'm just happy that Zvi is actually still posting. :D 

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-13T02:42:57.586Z · LW · GW

It is a plausible decision to turn on personal blogposts by default when you log in, but I am currently leaning against, but it's definitely a non-obvious decision. 

I'm curious why. (You don't have to reply if you don't think it's worth the time.) My original intuition was that it's hard to discover things you've never seen. Vs turning things off is usually pretty intuitive.

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter · 2020-11-12T20:12:25.147Z · LW · GW


Comment by alexei on Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter · 2020-11-12T19:42:20.707Z · LW · GW

I've been watching Joe Rogan interview with Elon Musk, back from May 7th this year, and they both thought that we kind of overreacted to the virus. At first we thought it was going to be very deadly for everyone, but in a few months it became clear that it was just going to be deadly for elderly and people at risk. ("The average age of a person who dies from covid is the average age of a person who dies from anything.")

If that's the case, then I agree with their conclusion that we should open everything up and basically just focus on helping/protecting the people at risk.

Zvi, I'm curious if that's your take too?

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter · 2020-11-12T19:37:08.130Z · LW · GW

By the way, my mom told me recently she was speaking with a friend from Russia. Her friend went to a clinic and tested positive for covid. Then they went again and tested negative. They asked what the deal was. They were told by a doctor in a very straightforward manner that: "the state tells us how many positive tests we can report per week." There's some chance that they don't even do testing in some clinics, but just assign results randomly to people following the state's prescription.

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter · 2020-11-12T19:33:27.563Z · LW · GW

I'm not sure how it worked before, but I saw your posts reliably on the main page (up until about 1.5 months ago). I'm talking to habryka about it here.

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-12T18:15:05.996Z · LW · GW

Maybe we could make the filter button for personal blog posts more noticeable? It seems pretty prominent at the moment, but we could make it more prominent.

Oh! I did not see that at all until I just went to search for it. I think the problem there is that it was not clear at all to me what those tags (next to Latest) meant. I thought they were just showing recent tags from recent posts. I had no idea they were filter settings. I think a bit of a UI tweak should help, like maybe adding a filter icon.

Also probably have Personal Blog on by default.

Another two places I'd expect to see those settings: and (but they aren't in either of those two places)

I think another thing that would help is when you're looking at a Personal Blog page for someone you're not subscribed to, there should be a relatively prominent message that says: "Hey, do you want to subscribe to this person? That way you'll see their posts (like this one) in your feed."

Comment by alexei on Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter · 2020-11-12T18:05:41.859Z · LW · GW

I only today realized that you started making "Personal Blog" posts a while back, which means they weren't showing up on the front page. I thought you were taking a long hiatus from blogging. So I totally missed when things went from "kind of bad but getting better" to "nope, nope, nope, this is the worst it has ever been". Sigh.

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-12T17:39:48.444Z · LW · GW

GPT-5: *creates GPT-6*

Skeptics: Eh, it's only like 10% better.

Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-12T17:38:51.418Z · LW · GW

I wanted to make two points as feedback for the LW designers, but I realized there's actually only one point: Personal Blog feature makes me very sad.

  1. I wanted to find this Open Thread page, but it didn't show up on my front page as it usually does. 
  2. I was wondering why Zvi hasn't posted about covid in a while. I went to his user page and turns out he has been posting, but because they are Personal Blog posts, I haven't seen them.
Comment by alexei on Open & Welcome Thread – November 2020 · 2020-11-12T17:36:25.610Z · LW · GW

FWIW, I have run into similar problems before, and I still don't have a good intuition about it.

Comment by alexei on Where do (did?) stable, cooperative institutions come from? · 2020-11-12T17:32:08.454Z · LW · GW

Individuals' ethics is the cornerstone

To answer the first question: I think it's mostly individuals' ethics. I think the shared ethics lead to a culture based on those ethics, which in turn reinforces the individuals' ethics. This accounts for the changes created by a large group of people as well as the changes created by individuals.

I think personal ethics have been slowly degrading as evidenced by the reception of Jordan Peterson's (and others') message along the same lines. The message is: pay close attention to your individual ethics and how they are impacting the people around you; if your life is a mess, start fixing it locally.

Speaking of JP, one of his points is that we lost respect for things that we have, like the government, industries, and policies). We have a lot of people trying to disrupt the system for the greater good without realizing they are breaking down the Chesterton's fence. I think this explains, for example, people fighting for the the reduction of police force, while it pretty conclusively leads to increased crime.

Overall, I think I mostly disagree with your sentiment. I agree that things are changing, but I think a lot of the things you mentioned still exist and work fine. They might appear worse than they are due to modern media's alarmist reporting and short term (~20y) trends.

Internet is responsible for degradation of real-world communities

Internet leads to online communities and cooperation, but directly drains time from local and national communities. (Not counting the insane time drain from all the distractions it creates.) Plus the social media rewards social bubbles + polarized thinking, leading to intense tribalism within your bubble and overall divisiveness.

If you look at how many online communities there are, it's kind of insane. How many movements start online. Previously a lot of that effort would have gone into the real-world communities and movements.

The best are getting better

Given increased mobility, people go for the best. Case in point: all the rationalist chapters around the world went into a decline, but it's because the bay area attracted most of the people who were really into rationality. I think the best of the best (companies, communities, etc...) are growing faster than ever before. 

Government and decline of nationalism

I think short, acute wars (WW2 + Cold War) lead to an increase in nationalism. Plus they shift people towards Level 1. ("There's a sniper across the river" has to be interpreted on Level 1.) People operating on Level 1 likely have better individual ethic, leading to my first point. Increased nationalism leads to higher interest and prestige in working for the government, and during the war itself there's an increased urgency as well.

Comment by alexei on What Would Advanced Social Technology Look Like? · 2020-11-12T05:50:47.736Z · LW · GW

Quantum trading: you get access to some information. If you do anything meaningful with it, you have to share the result with the owner of said information (or do a profit share). At any time you can delete this information from your mind (as well as any derived insights).

Maybe you only have a limited time to consider whether or not you want this info.

Maybe it’s more of a barter system. Both of you exchange info and if you both like it, you keep it. But if either party doesn’t like the deal, you’re reverted back to the before deal state.

Comment by alexei on Time Travel Markets for Intellectual Accounting · 2020-11-11T17:24:19.355Z · LW · GW

It seems to me that you can game the system by finding one algorithm that would make you some money. Then keep submitting very slightly different version of the same algorithm (so they'd have the same complexity) over and over, receiving additional money for each one. (If I'm understanding the proposed system correctly.)

Another way is to submit algorithms that are essentially random. If you submit enough of them, some of them will do well enough to earn you money.

Yet another way is to submit an algorithm that essentially encodes the history of the thing you're trying to predict (i.e. overfit). It seems like it would be maximally rewarded under this system.

My proposal: reward models (and their creators) only based on how well they are predicting incoming data after the model has been submitted. Also submitting an algorithm costs you some money.

Comment by alexei on The 300-year journey to the covid vaccine · 2020-11-10T04:53:51.895Z · LW · GW

I’m curious if other people can confirm the info here. I’m only saying this because this is a really good summary of the space and I didn’t know a lot of these things. Thank you!

Comment by alexei on Is Success the Enemy of Freedom? (Full) · 2020-10-29T22:37:00.908Z · LW · GW