Posts

MIRI needs an Office Manager (aka Force Multiplier) 2015-07-03T01:10:05.742Z · score: 16 (17 votes)
One Year of Pomodoros 2014-01-01T21:27:01.797Z · score: 22 (23 votes)
Karma awards for proofreaders of the Less Wrong Sequences ebook 2013-12-12T00:18:53.375Z · score: 6 (11 votes)
[LINK] Is it worth the time? 2013-04-29T12:37:21.264Z · score: 10 (15 votes)
Call for help: volunteers needed to proofread MIRI's publications 2013-04-05T13:43:29.563Z · score: 10 (13 votes)
Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook 2012-10-16T22:32:33.393Z · score: 13 (14 votes)
Curiosity checklist: Looking for feedback 2012-04-20T13:12:04.265Z · score: 2 (9 votes)
Summary of "The Straw Vulcan" 2011-12-26T16:29:46.539Z · score: 30 (31 votes)
How to get the most out of the next year 2011-12-22T21:23:59.188Z · score: 16 (19 votes)

Comments

Comment by alexvermeer on MIRI needs an Office Manager (aka Force Multiplier) · 2015-07-03T17:06:56.797Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Then you should definitely apply!

The salary range is "competitive" given the job and the bay area. It depends a lot of past experience and job performance. You should be able to afford to live in Berkeley, especially if you're a dual-income family.

To echo what ciphergoth said, if you're the right candidate, we would definitely make it work.

Comment by alexvermeer on Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-03-16T16:11:09.487Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The book looks great!

Thanks!

A bunch of inter-book links such as ...

D'oh. It's all good in the epub, but something broke (for very dumb reasons) converting the mobi. It's fixed now. If you've already bought the book though Amazon or e-junkie, you'll have to re-download the file to get the fixed one (in a few hours, while Amazon approves the new book). Sorry about that.

The difference between a link going to the web and one going to a location within the book aren't obvious: one is only a slighter darker grey than the other. In Calibri the links are a nice green/blue, but my kindle doesn't have colours.

Not much we can do about this. Amazon is very restrictive in how you can modify the styling of links. It works fine for displays with color, but people with e-ink displays are out of luck. :-(

Thanks.

Comment by alexvermeer on Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-03-14T03:38:23.044Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yup, but those are convenient distribution platforms.

Comment by alexvermeer on Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-03-13T16:46:10.221Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Just a reminder that mistakes/problems/errors can be sent to errata@intelligence.org and we'll try fix them!

Comment by alexvermeer on Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-03-13T16:40:42.640Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Approximately 600,000 words!

Comment by alexvermeer on Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-03-13T16:40:17.942Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

From Amazon, 30% goes to Amazon and 70% goes to MIRI.

From e-junkie (the pay-what-you-want option): 100% goes to MIRI, minus PayPal transaction fees (a few %).

Comment by alexvermeer on HPMOR Wrap Parties: Resources, Information and Discussion · 2015-03-12T07:25:09.863Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW · GW

(Habryka here. My account still appears to be broken)

I want to outline my thinking a bit, about why I decided to organize all of this with so much reliance on Facebook:

The attendance at these events heavily relies on networking effects and reducing trivial inconveniences. I did consider organizing it on LessWrong, but it's just less integrated into most peoples life as Facebook is. This was the easiest way for people to invite their friends, get notified of new parties, spread information and, most importantly, get interested in the event if you so far haven't been completely hooked on the book.

This is the last obvious big opportunity to get more people to read the book. Sending people to LessWrong, a website they've never been to and often only tangentially heard off, to then send an email to the current organizer, not really knowing who else of their friends will be there, if any, and then add that event manually in their own calendar, just seemed like a path that too many people would not bother to go.

I don't like Facebook. I don't like their stance on privacy, and I don't like the social pressure that drives everyone to sign up for it. But I think the stakes on this are high, and the potential positive impact on the world is large. And I think the number of people who are shied away from this because of its reliance on Facebook is smaller than the number of people who would not otherwise come.

This is the reason why I made all information available outside of Facebook and spent multiple hours copying details from the Facebook events into the spreadsheet. Because I want to make sure that if someone doesn't have Facebook, and wants to attend, that they will be able to. But the need to reduce trivial inconveniences for that category is a lot lower, as I think most would be willing to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to attend these.

I don't think the decision was completely clear, but I did make the decision consciously and tried my best at weighing the benefits and drawbacks. I am interested in anyone's thoughts on this.

Comment by alexvermeer on HPMOR Wrap Parties: Resources, Information and Discussion · 2015-03-06T22:55:52.088Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(Writing from this account, since through some strange bug my original account can't comment on this post):

I just added the Spreadsheet to the list of resources, and am just in the process of getting everyone's contact information. I hope this helps everyone who doesn't have Facebook to find the details for the parties in their area. I think posting every wrap party individually is probably a bad idea.

Comment by alexvermeer on Karma awards for proofreaders of the Less Wrong Sequences ebook · 2014-10-25T22:11:46.676Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The plan is to do both.

Comment by alexvermeer on Karma awards for proofreaders of the Less Wrong Sequences ebook · 2014-10-25T22:11:31.402Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hopefully by the end of the year.

Comment by alexvermeer on "Smarter than us" is out! · 2014-05-08T03:05:14.355Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

FYI, Smarter Than Us is now available in print form. :-)

Comment by alexvermeer on One Year of Pomodoros · 2014-01-02T15:06:09.605Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately, the app is in extremely alpha stages, running locally, and I doubt I'll prioritize it over other projects.

Comment by alexvermeer on One Year of Pomodoros · 2014-01-02T15:03:33.232Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

How do you not get fatigued with recording things?

I'm actually a bit surprised that I was able to maintain my recording for over a year. Some reasons why I think I was successful in hindsight:

  1. Since I made the tracking app myself, I was excited to use it for the first little bit.
  2. I intentionally made my tracking app such that I could see my daily, weekly, and category totals, all at once for a given week, which is important for me since my primarily unit of productivity measurement/planning is the week.
  3. I came to realize that tracking all of the categories was key to the whole thing working. By tracking e.g. miscellaneous stuff (which seems pretty pointless at times), you're given a constant reminder that you are "covering all your bases."
  4. After tracking pomodoros for several months, not tracking pomodoros made it feel like I wasn't being productive.
  5. Once I passed a critical threshold, I was motivated by the thought of having an entire year's worth of data.

What are your recommendations for amount of structure before you incorporate pomodoros? Is there any structural/organizational stuff you should have set up before you do them?

You need basically zero structure to start using pomodoros; just a task and some time to work on it. (I say this especially because I'm really bad for wanting my system to be "perfect" before I use it.) I treaded the pomodoro waters for several months before delving in to tracking everything. My organization system, in short, is having a +/-5 year plan, a current year plan, and current quarter plan, and current month plan, and then specific tasks/projects for the current week (which I roughly estimate in pomodoros, or at least aim to hit a certain total for the week).

Comment by alexvermeer on One Year of Pomodoros · 2014-01-02T14:48:48.498Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the encouragement. :-)

Comment by alexvermeer on One Year of Pomodoros · 2014-01-02T14:48:17.617Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've been meaning to check this out. Thanks for the reminder.

Comment by alexvermeer on One Year of Pomodoros · 2014-01-02T14:47:44.546Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Real artists ship

Apparently attributed to Steve Jobs, though it was Seth Godin's book Linchpin that drove this point home for me.

Comment by alexvermeer on Karma awards for proofreaders of the Less Wrong Sequences ebook · 2013-12-14T00:01:42.582Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Basically all of them, with some modifications (e.g. a significantly reduced QM sequence), and with some reorganizing to improve flow.

Comment by alexvermeer on Karma awards for proofreaders of the Less Wrong Sequences ebook · 2013-12-13T23:58:56.122Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It will probably be available as pay-what-you-want, similar to the Facing the Intelligence Explosion ebook.

Comment by alexvermeer on Open thread for December 9 - 16, 2013 · 2013-12-11T03:33:53.949Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, not sure why that's happening. I'll look into it.

Comment by alexvermeer on Kurzban et al. on opportunity cost models of mental fatigue and resource-based models of willpower · 2013-12-08T00:20:11.328Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is exciting and interesting stuff. A good one-sentence summary from the paper:

In sum, many experiences, particularly the more or less unpleasant sensations discussed here (e.g., effort, boredom, fatigue), can be profitably thought of as resulting from (1) monitoring mechanisms that tally opportunity costs, which (2) cause an aversive state that corresponds in magnitude to the cost computed, which (3) enters into decision-making, acting as a kind of "vote," influencing the decision ultimately taken.

I'm trying to get my head around ways I could use this to sustain better and longer levels of focus, reduce boredom, etc. Two questions come to mind, that as far as I can tell have not been investigated in detail yet, and to which I don't have answers:

  1. What, exactly, are the sorts of things my brain decides are more important than what I'm currently doing? Is it things like "I'm not signaling the right things to the people around me", "need food", etc.?

  2. What are good ways to "reset" my internal monitoring mechanisms and thus return to a non-aversive state? I presume the answer is some kind of reward or positive feedback?

Basically, is it possible to trick this internal cost-benefit analysis into being focused for long periods of time?

Comment by alexvermeer on How to Become a 1000 Year Old Vampire · 2013-10-03T17:15:10.547Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

getting strong is very likely to be a good idea, thus arguments against it are very suspect

This strikes me as a very useful heuristic.

Comment by alexvermeer on Help us Optimize the Contents of the Sequences eBook · 2013-09-20T18:33:38.266Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One metric that could be calculated automatically: how many articles in the book contain hyperlinks to the articles that appear later in the book,

I like this idea!

or don't appear in the book?

That's the list at the end of the OP.

Comment by alexvermeer on Help us Optimize the Contents of the Sequences eBook · 2013-09-20T18:29:06.598Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have a list of blog posts that won't be in the book as a result?

That's what the list at the bottom of the OP is for: posts that are currently not slotted to be in the book, but are linked to by sequence posts.

What can be left out should be.

I lean this way as well.

Comment by alexvermeer on Help us Optimize the Contents of the Sequences eBook · 2013-09-20T18:24:58.618Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Opps, you're right, there are a few that are already in the sequences that accidentally made it onto this list (I count three). All other links are to posts that are not in the sequences, but are linked to posts within the sequences. The list is auto-generated.

Comment by alexvermeer on Help us Optimize the Contents of the Sequences eBook · 2013-09-20T18:22:35.874Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A prettier format for LWers to review the Sequences in, allowing easy full-text-search.

That's the one.

A tidier, better-organized, more approachable update of the Sequences to introduce entirely new people to the ideas therein.

This is outside the scope of this project.

Comment by alexvermeer on Algorithmic Progress in Six Domains · 2013-08-08T17:12:26.341Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It is cited later on page 33, though citation added to the page 4 reference as well. Thanks!

Comment by alexvermeer on Algorithmic Progress in Six Domains · 2013-08-08T17:10:01.367Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Insais" on page 26 should probably be "insei."

Fixed, thanks!

Comment by alexvermeer on What are you working on? July 2013 · 2013-07-03T16:19:27.901Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Writing up a "One Year of Pomodoros" post. I'm just three weeks shy a year of tracking every planned and completed pomodoro, for a grand-total of almost 5,000.

Comment by alexvermeer on Rationality Quotes June 2013 · 2013-06-16T20:32:59.315Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW · GW

The recognition of confusion is itself a form of clarity.

T.K.V. Desikachar

Comment by alexvermeer on Call for help: volunteers needed to proofread MIRI's publications · 2013-04-18T19:09:17.285Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You need to specifically join the MIRI Proofreaders group. Once in Youtopia, go here and click on Join Organization. Hope that helps!

Comment by alexvermeer on Call for help: volunteers needed to proofread MIRI's publications · 2013-04-05T20:22:16.661Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Fixed, thanks. :-P

Comment by alexvermeer on Call for help: volunteers needed to proofread MIRI's publications · 2013-04-05T16:24:01.522Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

For a long time, assuming it works well. Definitely for the next few months.

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-26T18:51:06.475Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Since the planned improvements are minor, the effort will not be expended to backport the changes to the web version. A published book is not planned.

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-26T18:46:53.964Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In the spirit of being more specific, could you please list all the chapters in the order they will have in the book?

The chapters are all the posts listed on the wiki under the various sequences.

appear in more than one sequence.

There are a few overlapping chapters, which will be removed.

In wiki we have these pages with short descriptions of the posts in the sequences.

Something similar—summary/notes of an entire sequence, not for every single post—will exist at the beginning of the ebook.

I am already imagining a paper version...

A paper version is not planned (our current template puts the entire sequences at a 2,400 pages).

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-26T18:42:58.617Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure if we will need these, though you should definitely put your summaries in the LW wikI!

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-26T18:41:29.178Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

We will be looking for volunteer Sequence proofreaders* using our new volunteer platform, with details are to come shortly.

*proofreading, in this case = spelling, punctuation, minor grammar fixes, etc. Changes to content, terminology, overall style, etc. are beyond the scope of this project.

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-26T18:32:44.917Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is beyond the scope of what we're looking to do at the moment; we won't be making changes to the content of the sequences, just fixing minor things like spelling, punctuation, some grammar, etc.

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-26T18:24:16.356Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

LessWrong itself seems like it's already the Sequences in better-than-ebook form.

The main appeal with having an ebook is the ability to read it on an e-reader such as a Kindle.

quality loss

How so?

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-18T19:51:08.520Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Definitely don't lead with The Simple Truth

The current plan is to include The Simple Truth and An Intuitive Explanation as "appendix" items, so not at the start of the book.

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-18T18:18:22.577Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I like this idea. I've had the same problem with the current epub, where clicking non-internal links (without realizing they're non-internal) takes me to my Kindle's (rather aweful) internet browser.

Comment by alexvermeer on Looking for alteration suggestions for the official Sequences ebook · 2012-10-17T16:06:58.524Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is a separate project solely to get the Sequences into ebook form.

Comment by alexvermeer on Group rationality diary, 8/20/12 · 2012-08-22T14:47:51.421Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've been using the pomodoro technique for over three weeks with great success. I was skeptical, b/c I've tried similar techniques before, with much less success. Previous to this test, I was doing 90 minute chunks of work, which evidently made it much easier for me to burn out. My own details/log are here.

The pomodoro cheat sheet is an excellent summary of the technique, for those interested.

I switch between using a pomodoro app and e.ggtimer.com/25minutes. I plan/track my pomodoros weekly using mind maps.

Comment by alexvermeer on The Quick Bayes Table · 2012-07-12T19:47:55.528Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I made an Anki deck from this table, with the following card layouts:

  • dB <-> percent
  • percent <-> odds
  • dB <-> odds

You can find it here: Quick-Bayes-Table.anki.

Note: I rounded some of the values even further, for simplicity.

Comment by alexvermeer on Blogs by LWers · 2012-06-26T22:44:39.551Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

alexvermeer --- alexvermeer.com

Comment by alexvermeer on What is the best way to read the sequences? · 2012-06-18T13:12:15.154Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Some suggestions:

  • Read How to Read a Book and implementing as many of the suggestions as possible. It's working well for me, particularly the act of writing out summaries in my own words.
  • Chronological order. This stopped me from being overwhelmed by the number of tabs opened in my browser. Whenever I click on a link I think, "Oh yeah, I remember reading this," and can continue with the original reading.
  • Mind mapping for comprehension and retention.
Comment by alexvermeer on Meditation, insight, and rationality. (Part 2 of 3) · 2012-05-16T16:48:13.585Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Is meditating for 60mins once better than, say, 4x15mins spread throughout the day?

Comment by alexvermeer on Thinking and Deciding: a chapter by chapter review · 2012-05-11T17:40:48.717Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is great. Many thanks.

Comment by alexvermeer on Facing the Intelligence Explosion discussion page · 2012-05-02T14:12:24.536Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Previous Chapter" links could make navigation a little easier.

Comment by alexvermeer on Curiosity checklist: Looking for feedback · 2012-04-20T19:02:53.493Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Can we flesh out what makes people uncomfortable about it? Is it primarily that the benefits of a specific skill/question are unclear/unproven?

AFAIK a list of proven habits doesn't really exist. As these do become clear, the checklist could be updated, improved, items added, items removed, etc.? I see potential value in that. Thoughts?

Comment by alexvermeer on Curiosity checklist: Looking for feedback · 2012-04-20T18:50:52.702Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Simply the style of wording I chose. It could all be changed to, "Which of these are true for you?" and the points made simpler/non-queries. Not a bad idea, actually. Would clean it up a bit.