Posts

[spoilers] EY's “A Girl Corrupted...?!” new story is an allegorical study of quantum immortality? 2016-02-19T11:02:33.568Z · score: 5 (10 votes)
Estimate the Cost of Immortality 2015-12-13T11:38:50.841Z · score: -2 (6 votes)
timeless quantum immortality 2015-12-06T04:14:17.784Z · score: 2 (9 votes)
HPMOR and the Power of Consciousness 2015-11-25T07:00:53.906Z · score: -3 (10 votes)
Wealth from Self-Replicating Robots 2014-07-15T04:42:18.727Z · score: 3 (18 votes)
Why I Am Not a Rationalist, or, why several of my friends warned me that this is a cult 2014-07-13T17:54:51.004Z · score: 13 (77 votes)
Cognitive Biases due to a Narcissistic Parent, Illustrated by HPMOR Quotations 2014-05-24T19:25:50.338Z · score: 15 (43 votes)

Comments

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-21T17:56:10.483Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the kind words.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-21T04:52:43.127Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"What good is life experience to someone who plays Quidditch?" said Professor Quirrell, and shrugged. "I think you will change your mind in time, after every trust you place has failed you, and you have become cynical."

"You have to get seriously burnt by friends/employers/family members (ideally all three) over women/money/jobs (again ideally all three) before you realise that you create more hassle for yourself and crush opportunities if people perceive you to be smart/rich/well connected. Most people simply are not worth knowing and are too insecure to be good friends with."

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-21T03:59:09.327Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Jesus christ dude.

I put a check mark for today on the calendar I use to track my Quirrelmort-inspired cynicism.

But even though crime happens, that doesn't mean that everyone is a criminal.

Brains evolved to enable people to exploit dumber people.

It sounds to me like what might have happened in your case is that you focused really hard on being "good" and not so much on being "powerful"

I naively believed the best way to get a good wife was to act like a good husband.

It turns out that the best way to get a good wife is to be powerful...and the way to become powerful is to selfishly build up skills/power/experience, including sexual experience.

you live in a city that has a dog-eat-dog dating culture.

Welcome to any metropolitan city.

consider the possibility that the bad actors you were harmed by were themselves acting in aggression in response to some bad situation like growing up with an absent father

Probably. But what difference does it make? They still hurt me, violating norms of civil behavior, and were not (and cannot) be punished for it. Thus, the rational thing for me to do is to do unto others first.

Justice is a lie told by the powerful.

A person who's maximizing total utility is not going to grant every favor asked of them.

I am a "happiness monster". My utility deserves a 1000x multiplier.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-21T03:45:28.216Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Don't let the fact that bad female actors exist deter you from having happy relationships with good female actors.

"Good" = doing what benefits others. "Bad" = doing what benefits me.

It's safest to assume that any woman will dump/manipulate/cheat me the second it's in her best interest to do so.

It's safest to assume all guns are loaded.

Nope, the best case scenario is to marry the chief or otherwise secure the commitment of a high status man.

Nope, for any given high status man the woman is able to marry, there exists an even higher status man the woman would be able to fuck, but not marry, given a large population, and assuming infidelity is legal. Thus, in the real world, a woman marrying the most wealthy man who wants to marry her and then cheating with the most attractive man who wants to fuck her gives her the best combination she can achieve. A man who was both as rich as her husband and as hot as her affair partner would never marry her.

It doesn't take a genius to think of stuff like this

Any time this phrase occurs: think about it harder, and insist domain experts check it.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-21T03:25:00.491Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You're still doing it. Surprise + shaming instead of argument.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-20T02:50:55.886Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Being surprised" is privileging your own beliefs over others.

Denying the realities of class doesn't make them go away. Your beliefs are the map, but the terrterritory includes rich people who own the brands that own your mind.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T19:52:28.159Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Can you argue the content? "Old" and "unpopular" are weak refutations.

Classism is part of current politics, as well as my personal experience.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T06:06:10.992Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't follow what about my beliefs is surprising to you, then.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T04:59:16.025Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But the point is the whole framework where the important thing about the girl is that she's a proletarian and the about that man is that he's bourgeoisie.

Yes. Making generalizations about groups of people is a powerful, useful tool for decision-making.

express my surprise without you reading it as shaming?

Your surprise implies criticism. I assume you believe "it's dirty/wrong to generalize about groups of people. it's especially dirty/wrong to have negative beliefs about poor people and about lower-class people". I appreciate the criticism, though I imagine you find my beliefs repugnant.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T04:54:21.295Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Pretty accurate. Why sacrifice, when the payment is shame, not praise? Why be a good person, when I am called a weak coward for not taking as much as I can?

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T04:53:01.349Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

acted to prevent, what he thought to be, the global catastrophic risk?

That makes it all OK, right?

Hooray! I can be sociopathically self-centered as long as I describe it in a politically-correct way!

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T04:51:48.097Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I hope you continue to find happiness.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T04:48:39.831Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have actual evidence that [Elon Musk was pushed out of PayPal by a secret cabal of global financiers who wanted to ensure global financial markets stayed opaque] or is it just a hunch?

Just a hunch. But, "to understand a complex plot look at the outcome and see who benefits."

Cuckoldry seems relatively rare in non-self-selected populations.

Over 1% risk for unsuspecting men is enough that I'll paternity-test all of my children prior to claiming legal fatherhood.

For an emotionally stable woman, a committed relationship with a respected brave is far better than a fling with the chief.

The woman ideal is getting support/resources from the brave (good resources) while cheating with the chief (better genes). It's why human women evolved to hide their fertility and can have sex during their entire cycle, not just when they're fertile. The woman would have sex with the good-genes guy during her fertile window, and have sex with the good-resources guy the rest of the time.

Cavallo is also notable for being an inventor of the rigid flight helmet. His 1943 design was used by the federal government as prior art in a patent infringement lawsuit defense and subsequently donated to the Smithsonian. [look at that, he was a scientist]

Test pilots are not scientists...most of test pilot work is routine precision flying, and it's the engineers, not the pilots, who typically design the test program.

Nietzche said "Science acts only as a means of self-anesthetization for sufferers (scientists) who do not want to admit that they are such."

I don't think there's been some kind of sudden evolutionary pressure for erectile dysfunction in young men, and I don't think it's a feminist conspiracy (both perpetual Red Pill bogeymen--analogous to "cishet white males" on the SJW side of things).

The Red Pill also speculates about TV, porn, and carbs as causes of male weakness.

To a first approximation, I think emotionally stable women (the sort who make good long term partners) are attracted to the product of how good a man is and how powerful he is.

goodness = willingness to self-sacrifice for others' benefit.

The truth is ugly. Burn it down.

Burn it all down.

I am free.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T04:28:38.434Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So it was OK for them to lie to me?

I did not say that.

To fix this mistake, internalize the fact that the rules don't apply to you. The rules apply to people who follow the rules.

Sounds like you're saying lying is OK.

If you ask for a favor that you know he can easily do and he says “no” this does not imply that the person is mean. Instead? It implies that he has no reason to grant the favor.

That's selfishness...maximizing one's own utility at the expense of total utility. Apparently this is OK.

Roosh (Red Pill thought leader) has written multiple times about how girls he's slept with have cried when they found his blog. This is also a data point that works against Red Pill ideology.

Red Pill ideology says women want a "naturally" successful guy, and seeing how the sausage is made is disgusting to them (male struggles, male suffering, time at the gym, time reading weird forums, steroids, shoe lifts, etc.). Roosh's blog reveals that he is a fake, low-status, STD-spreading manipulator, which is disgusting to most women. His persona, however, is not unappealing.

The Red Pill explained some painful mistakes I had made, more clearly than any other source. Examples:

"Beta orbiting": why demonstrating good character, high value and virtuous restraint through being friends with an attractive woman is disgusting to them, why I spent years in sexless relationships, and why many women I was attracted to dated liars who pushed for sex quickly instead of me.

"Hypergamy": why all of my exes lined up other sexual prospects while in a relationship with me, and dumped me as soon as it was in their best interest. Also why my aunts with fat or poor husbands got divorced, while my uncles with fat or poor wives stayed married.

"Tingles Uber Alles": why tall, muscular and slightly scary men get a lot of sex, and why my outgoing middle-class Asian friend who's 5'3" is a virgin at age 30.

"Alpha Fucks; Beta Bucks": why many women enjoy casual sex, and lie about it without hesitation or remorse, including one of my exes.

Look it up. Or don't. Actually, it's better for me if you stay naive.

It sounds like this issue is important to you--this is your opportunity to be a hero. I would much rather see you seek revenge in order to get this off your mind and then join aturchin on the good guy team (a relatively high-trust group, by the way, with few bad actors) than stew in effective egoism.

Thank you for permission to turn evil. I make my own rules from now on. My revenge will be legal, general (not targeting any specific group, people or company), and anonymous.

For the sake of argument, if my sexual fetish was nuking densely populated cities and fucking in the heat of the fireball while listening to the screams of the dying, can you say with certainty that this is morally wrong?

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-19T03:59:34.962Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm sexually attracted to overachievement. Your question is paradoxical.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-17T08:16:03.055Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No...Voldemort isn't altruistic, and considers the "global community" too disorganized to be an ally worth seeking favor with.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-17T08:13:37.792Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A nice proletarian girl isn't supposed to sleep with a bourgeoise man, that makes her worse than a slut -- that makes her a traitor.

If she can get a bourgeoise man to marry her, good for her. But chances are she won't, and she will never tell the proletarian man she ends up marrying about her past with the bourgeoisie man. This causes the proletarian man to suffer increased health risks.

I'm somewhat surprised to find this attitude on the 'net in 2016.

This is liberal shaming language.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-17T07:33:03.603Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

A lot of great topics here.

Elon Musk has risked his entire fortune for you.

I am a huge fan of Elon Musk.

I suspect a big reason Mr. Musk tries to make the greatest possible positive difference for humanity is to reduce his risk of being murdered by established players. He’s pissed off a lot of powerful people, but provided benefits to many more.

He was forced out of controlling PayPal...and his vision for PayPal was to make it a “full-service financial institution”. He wanted to “convert the financial system from a series of heterogeneous insecure databases to one database.” This is threatening to the global elite in a way that going to Mars is not. Thus, he was forced out.

While he risked his personal fortune on SpaceX in 2013 when it looked like they would run out of money, he also had plans to sell a large interest in Tesla to Google in order to acquire funding for additional SpaceX launches. The story he tells about betting all of his assets with no recourse is true but under-emphasizes his backup plans for additional launches.

Paul has written 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 essays that touch on the topic of why cooperators tend to get rich in Silicon Valley rather than defectors.

I am a huge fan of Paul Graham as well.

However, his advice can mislead young technical people into thinking that a startup is going to make them rich. He says, “If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join a startup....you can think of a startup as a way to compress your whole working life into a few years”. But in reality most startups fail and waste 5 years of the founders’ time in the process. Plus, for every founder, there are dozens of joiners/employees who work for below-market-rate salary plus a small percentage (often 0.1%) of the new company. Thus, his advice to “start or join a startup” is dangerously misleading because his target audience is young technical people without the political or sales skills to actually succeed.

Arguing for the opposition is Michael Church. I was intrigued by The 3-Ladder System of Social Class in the US (summary: college-educated technologists learned how to make wealth, not how to own it) and his VC-istan series (summary: Silicon Valley got colonized by MBA financiers who extracted all the goodwill). He alleges he deleted his blog archive and left the Valley because of threats from financiers affiliated with Paul Graham.

The Forbes 400 does not and cannot track privately-held wealth. Thus, the Forbes 400 only includes rich people who wanted to appear there.

Sean Parker on his giving philosophy...

That’s a marketing piece. Rich people often hide their wealth, but if they can’t they market themselves as hyper-successful good people, not as the driven perfectionist tyrants they often are. As the MacLeod Hierarchy explains, rank-and-file workers work best if they think they’re climbing a career ladder. Rich people climbed a different ladder, then hid it.

There’s a tradition of robber barons giving away vast wealth to manage their public image.

highly intelligent people tend to be interested in things other than sex,

I agree with this.

But it's hard to tease out exactly why.

The truth is not just politically incorrect; the truth is disgusting and offensive.

The Red Pill says is clearly: women want good genes and good resources. This means that men with good genes have the opportunity for lots of sex, and men with good resources get strung along in sexless relationships, and men with neither good genes (looks) nor good resources (money/power) get nothing except shame. Women want the best they can get, so the top 10% of men have sex with the top 80% of women. Below-average men get nothing. Traditional marriage is illegal (“until death do us part” is legally unenforceable). Many women try to copy the behavior of the most attractive men -- promiscuous casual sex that they lie about -- and then settle down with someone much less attractive than their casual sex partners once they reach their late 20s. And for men: most men are weak, emotionally-manipulated, directionless sheep.

This explains why rock band front-men, criminals, and selfish finance bros enjoy lots of sex despite their toxic behavior: they have looks plus power.

If you want more sexual partners, a good first step is to start working out

Yup. Will do. To be clear, the advice is to develop a ripped body that generates tingly feelings in women’s vaginas, not to “be a good person” or “make a positive difference” or even “have a job”. We deserve the coming global Apocalypse.

you'll likely feel less insecure about who your girlfriends have slept with.

So it was OK for them to lie to me? Fuck you. If that’s how it works, I’m gonna go date 5 young women at the same time by telling them lies, then blame them for being insecure when the truth comes out.

Do not mistake my righteous anger for “insecurity”. That’s what old women do when they’re trying to shame a man into marrying them.

you can work on cool stuff like decreasing existential risk.

I don’t see how this would benefit me. “Cool” is a fossilized instinct for what is powerful. I’d rather go get what will really make me powerful: a shitload of money, and skill at building alliances I control.

Research also seems to indicate that having lots of sexual partners is associated with decreased happiness.

For women, definitely. For men, the data is inconclusive.

Those dominant "defector" types are often rejected by women for longer-term relationships

Did you start acting like a non-dominant non-defector type, and get dumped soon after? Or did you become less attractive/successful/high-status over time? The struggle is real.

Psychological research, insofar as it relates to this topic, is more mixed.

The Art of Manliness is clickbait for unsuccessful beta males. A psychological survey is a hilariously inaccurate methodology for gaining insight into a biological response.

If there's a particular sort of defection you are concerned about, you can work to change society in order to disincentivize it.

I don’t have the power to make a difference.

For example, I want to make it illegal to lie about one’s relationship status and sexual history. But, I can’t at my current power level. More specifically: I have met 3 different employees of a certain investment bank, who all were more sexually successful than me despite routinely lying to women to get sex. One tried to seduce my girlfriend at the time despite having one “girlfriend” and several “casual sex partners” who were unaware of each other, and who he implied possible long-term relationship potential with. Another tried to set me up with a woman he was tired of seeing (she wanted a relationship; he just wanted sex) without disclosing that he had had sex with them. A 3rd talked to me about startup projects while badly hiding the micro-expressions for “smugness/contempt” and “duping delight” and then predictably failed to follow up. I’m pretty sure at least 2 of these guys are into spreading genital herpes. But, I looked up the slander laws and it’s illegal for me to publicly shame these selfish men or their firm without recorded evidence (there’s a presumption of innocence), and it’s illegal for me to collect that evidence (two-party consent required for recording, and they avoid using email for their games). Thus, they win, and I lose, and their sex partners lose, and the people they do business with lose (their attitude carries over to their business dealings...it’s all about wealth extraction.).) Check out Wall Street Playboys for a description of the “finance bro attitude” including advice about being attractive enough for someone in a relationship to want to cheat with. I’ve thought about creating some sort of morality Leviathan app, to track people’s “trust graphs” over time to provide a permanent record of who burned who, but this has the potential to go badly wrong.

Thus, I figured the best thing to do was to pull a Voldemort and go all-in on selfishness. Investing in other people and in relationships is a bad deal because the relationships inevitably end. Successful people only invest in relationships that they control. God is OK with animals violently killing each other all the time, with zero regard for suffering or fair play, and who am I to question God? The 48 Laws of Power (by Robert Greene) has some fascinating ideas about how to find common grounds to shit in.

This probably isn't the best example, but I've always wondered why we don't punish rapists (and maybe other criminals) with castration.

False convictions. “Cruel and unusual” punishments are illegal because they make people angry in a way just locking up the wrong person doesn’t. Can you imagine the rage of the Black Lives Matter movement if the US Government was routinely castrating rapists? Or, more accurately, rich people are against physical punishments because they can’t be undone (whereas a long prison sentence + enough expensive lawyers = freedom).

what we want to happen

Taking a step back here...I shouldn’t be this angry for this long with this little forward progress.

Better to choose a specific dream and make it happen.

Undisciplined flailing with no single clear goal has kept me middle-class for a decade.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-17T01:17:05.121Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True. Voldemort would have spent less time sulking than I have.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-16T22:25:52.783Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

OP wants me to help stop global catastrophic risks.

It's illegal to hurt the people who created the global catastrophic risks, so count me out. I don't work for free. I'd rather enjoy a nice life.

"Why, no," said Professor Quirrell. "I stopped trying to be a hero, and went off to do something else I found more pleasant."

"What? " said Hermione without thinking at all. "That's horrible! "

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-16T22:21:58.209Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't ask but it comes up. Certain occupations have corresponding values, that align with "cooperate" or "defect" strategies. For example, scientists "cooperate", while criminals and finance guys "defect" whenever they think it'll be profitable.

I notice you are using shaming language. I realize my beliefs are unusual but I am not clear what your question means.

Comment by algernoq on The map of cognitive biases, errors and obstacles affecting judgment and management of global catastrophic risks · 2016-07-16T20:15:25.799Z · score: -1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Assuming this is all true...it's not at all clear that cooperation is my best move.

I refuse to sacrifice my life to protect billionaires who would not do the same for me. I won't labor under pointlessly annoying conditions to protect an ownership class that despises the technological progress and growth that I worked to create.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but...scientists get less sex than criminals.

In my personal experience...all of my ex-girlfriends had sex with someone who doesn't share my values -- a criminal, a future lawyer/financier, or an actual Owner with inherited wealth -- before meeting me, and lied to me about it. I experienced mental anguish and other negative consequences as a result of this bad system.

It's not illegal to always defect in prisoner's dilemmas. It's illegal to punish people who always defect in prisoner's dilemmas.

Fuck this; I'm out.

Comment by algernoq on Open thread, Mar. 14 - Mar. 20, 2016 · 2016-03-17T06:17:24.582Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Modest proposal for Friendly AI research:

Create a moral framework that incentivizes assholes to cooperate.

Specifically, create a set of laws for a "community", with the laws applying only to members, that would attract finance guys, successful "unicorn" startup owners, politicians, drug dealers at the "regional manager" level, and other assholes.

Win condition: a "trust app" that everyone uses, that tells users how trustworthy every single person they meet is.

Lose condition: startup fund assholes end up with majority ownership of the first smarter-than-human-level general AI, and no one's given smart people an incentive not to hurt dumb people.

If you can't incentivize smart selfish people to "cooperate" instead of "defect", then why do you think you can incentivize an AI to be friendly? What's to stop a troll from deleting the "Friendly" part the second the AI source code hits the Internet? Keep in mind that the 4chan community has a similar ethos to LW: namely "anything that can be destroyed by a basement dweller should be".

Comment by algernoq on After Go, what games should be next for DeepMind? · 2016-03-12T09:45:20.763Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Oh no! The AI would make us hate each other before betraying us.

Comment by algernoq on [spoilers] EY's “A Girl Corrupted...?!” new story is an allegorical study of quantum immortality? · 2016-02-21T00:48:18.262Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Makes sense.

It all breaks down if my consciousness is divisible. If I can lose a little conscious awareness at a time until nothing is left, then Quantum Immortality doesn't seem to work...I would expect to find myself in a world where my conscious awareness (whatever that is) is increasing.

I wish I could quantify how consciously aware I am.

Comment by algernoq on [spoilers] EY's “A Girl Corrupted...?!” new story is an allegorical study of quantum immortality? · 2016-02-20T03:23:17.258Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Can you say a little more about what specific past observations are not matched by a sophisticated version of Quantum Immortality?

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-13T11:56:53.977Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The 20th-century physicists speculated a lot about it. Schrodinger's Cat, the Wigner's Friend problem, etc. But in the absence of a test for consciousness they mostly went on to other things.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-13T11:55:24.054Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That summarizes the "what" of the idea. The "why" part is that classical physics violations are improbable so timelines with lots of classical physics violations would be improbable.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-13T11:51:17.413Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In terms of conscious experience, dreamless sleep and death feel similar, as far as I know.

Comment by algernoq on Estimate the Cost of Immortality · 2015-12-13T11:48:24.372Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My naive linear model is that ~$400 billion research funding currently spent per year buys about 1 year increased lifespan per decade, so it would take about $4 trillion per year spent on research to stop aging, or a one-time investment of $80 trillion. For 99% confidence I'll add a safety factor of 4, yielding a one-time payment of $320 trillion, or $16 trillion per year. In other words, this back-of-the-envelope guess suggests the entire economic output of the United States would be just sufficient to discover and maintain an aging cure.

Comment by algernoq on Rationalist Magic: Initiation into the Cult of Rationatron · 2015-12-13T11:34:55.541Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can I recruit followers? Starting a cult is a useful exercise for ambitious rationalists.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-11T07:20:20.545Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The "Wigner's Friend" experiment has some interesting examples that physicists already thought about.

whether this is a "correct" way to describe reality

I'll find out in about 100 years.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-11T07:02:00.930Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know if anyone else is conscious, but if they are, and they die in my branch of reality, then in my theory they experience a branch of reality in which they continue living.

seems indistinguishable from any other regligious belief in infinite life

I agree it's pretty similar. I have to accept the consciousness-causes-collapse interpretation, and it's a short hop from that to full-on theism.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-11T06:58:26.647Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's a flawed argument but if for some reason there was a high complexity penalty to being born in an older Universe then it could be more likely to be born in a younger Universe where immortality technology has not quite been invented yet.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-11T06:44:34.612Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I agree provided the many-worlds interpretation is correct, which seems likely.

If the consciousness-causes-collapse interpretation is correct (which seems less likely), then the special form I described might still work. But I can't count on it.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-09T09:20:21.891Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In that case, it seems like Quantum Immortality doesn't work.

And here I thought I was safe. Dammit.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-08T06:56:33.332Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you again for the thoughtful reply.

Your brain decoheres a zillion times per second. Your consciousness is far, far, far into the classical regime.

Observing does not cause collapse. Events which cause the wavefunction to split into dynamically separate parts do, and those happen at the same rate in a system regardless of how you cut it.

Eh? Observing is the only thing that causes collapse.

I agree that there are constant tiny thermodynamic events that, if observed, could cause decoherences a zillion times a second. But, usually these events are not observed.

Decoherence is me finding out which world I end up in, and this only happens as quickly as I think, once every ~1/10 seconds when I'm awake.

I'm guessing you would say that decoherence is my brain ending up in some world, and this happens every time any entropy-increasing chemical event happens.

How can I experimentally tell the difference between these? It's not obvious because even a high-speed detector requires me to read the readout with my (slow) brain. From my perspective, the detector doesn't collapse any wavefunctions until I look at it. I agree with you that if I looked at another brain I would see that brain decohering / doing thermodynamic stuff all the time. I also agree with you that if I looked at my own brain I would see my own brain doing a bunch of stuff really rapidly. You would say that my brain decoheres as quickly as a detector measures it. I would say that my brain decoheres only as quickly as I notice detector readouts. Until I look at the detector, my brain and the detector are in a superposition of states with different possible detector readouts.

I don't know how to test this.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-07T08:20:22.187Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I love this forum.

If I understand the experiment, your theory is that quantum weirdness makes it more likely to see four heads in a row because you resolved to flip many more coins if you don't.

Sounds fun. I'll flip four coins (actually use a string of 0's and 1's that's 4 bits long). If I don't get four heads, I'll generate a 10-digit sequence and memorize it. Let's explore this frontier!

I did it. It didn't work. My new favorite number is 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.

Reality hack failed.

Let's try again. If I don't get 4 heads, I'll memorize a 20-digit number.

It didn't work. My other new favorite number is 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1.

I wonder if there's a better way to test this theory.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-07T07:55:04.577Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Counterexample: I go to sleep (lose consciousness) and wake up again. QI seems to predict that I would never fall asleep, because I stop observing when I'm asleep and so QI would force me into universes in which I don't fall asleep. Timeless QI has no problem with me falling asleep and then observing I'm alive and awake hours later.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-07T07:52:54.684Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the criticism.

summary: If, hypothetically, I tried to catch a terminal-velocity bowling ball with my face, your theory says I would experience the bowling ball doing nonfatal damage and then stopping just before killing me, and my theory says I would experience changing my mind and getting out of the way of the bowling ball. It looks like our key disagreement is whether Quantum Immortality only operates over short timescales. You say it only acts in an instant, and I say it acts over long time intervals as well.

longer argument: I'm not convinced by your argument yet. Specifically:

1) I agree that two worlds may be very similar or very different or many places in between. However, my consciousness observes exactly one world at once. Do we have a disagreement about reality, or only about word definitions?

2) I agree that splitting events produce massive numbers of worlds (I have no idea how many, but I'm guessing no more than the volume of the Universe divided by the cube of the Planck length). Does this invalidate my argument (that I'll live forever without appearing to get lucky)?

3) I agree that the likelihoods are a sum over various paths whose magnitude ranges from approximately 1 to approximately 0. I also agree with your intuition that if I ended up in a situation with a high-velocity bowling ball partially inside my head then my survival paths are much much less likely than my death paths. However, my argument is that Quantum Immortality works backward in time, if that makes sense. For example, consider all the ways I can walk through a bowling alley -- a 10-minute-long time interval. Quantum Immortality means I will not experience death during that 10 minutes. Looking at all of the different worlds in which I don't die in the bowling alley, it's most probable I'll find myself in one where I walk safely and nothing weird happens, and really really improbable that I'll throw a bowling ball straight up in the air and then try to catch it with my face and then have the bowling ball spontaneously lose its momentum right before impact. This looks like where we disagree. This is clearer in your next point...

4) I'm kept off of those doomed states by Quantum Immortality. I disagree with you here, and I'll make two arguments why...

4a) My conscious experience already averages over large lengths of time relative to quantum processes. The brain runs at about 10Hz. In the time it takes for one neuron to fire, many many quantum processes have time to happen. Since my consciousness only collapses the universal wavefunction once every 1/10th second, I see no problem with looking at the problem as if my consciousness only collapses the universal wavefunction once every 10 minutes, or once every lifetime.

4b) When I look at the real world, it looks like I'm kept away from doomed states. Why was I so ridiculously lucky as to be born in the current era, where human immortality is a possibility for the first time in history? Timeless Quantum Immortality provides an answer: because it's more probable that I'll live forever from the World I experience now, than it would be for me to live forever from most other worlds. Being born an ancient Sumerian or a dolphin would require many more improbable events to get me to immortality. Being born in a post-Singularity culture where immortality already exists would require a more complicated Universe. My existence looks like it's one of the most likely ones of the set of all possible Universes in which I don't die.

4c) I go to sleep (lose consciousness) and wake up again. QI seems to predict that I would never fall asleep, because I stop observing when I'm asleep and so I couldn't observe that instant. Timeless QI has no problem with me falling asleep and then observing I'm alive and awake hours later.

5) QI is all about the timeless perspective because it requires looking at worlds splitting into other worlds from a perspective outside of time. I'm just doing what regular QI is already doing, just on a longer timescale.

Comment by algernoq on timeless quantum immortality · 2015-12-06T05:10:25.288Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This distinction is irrelevant to the main point: I expect to experience living forever without experiencing unusual luck. This is true regardless of whether MWi-QI or Tegmark's MU theory is more accurate.

Comment by algernoq on Crazy Ideas Thread, December 2015 · 2015-12-05T10:04:44.348Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The computer could just halve our clock speed every time we launch a new simulation. No matter how many simulations we launch, our clock speed never reaches zero, so everything continues as normal inside our simulation. Problem solved! Suggested reading: "Hotel Infinity" followed by "Permutation City".

If you wanted to launch a higher order of infinity number of ssimulation from inside our simulation, that would be another story...

Comment by algernoq on Crazy Ideas Thread, December 2015 · 2015-12-05T09:53:33.719Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A timeless interpretation of Quantum Immortality means that my choices are guaranteed to lead to immortality, and I'll probably get there through a series of totally normal-seeming events. Like orbital corrections, early and slow changes require less effort than late and fast changes. I'm more likely a not-too-unlikely immortal consciousness, and the not-too-unlikely path I experience is a world where I live forever without getting improbably lucky.

Furthermore, generalizing timeless Quantum Immortality across multiple Universes, I was probably created by an entity that creates immortal consciousnesses at a rate that's increasing nearly as rapidly as possible. Thus, there's a good chance that I too will spawn huge numbers of conscious immortal beings during my infinitely-long life, if I haven't already.

Comment by algernoq on Bragging thread, December 2015 · 2015-12-05T09:08:09.118Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Got an engineering job not in the defense industry.

Comment by algernoq on The Growth of My Pessimism: Transhumanism, Immortalism, Effective Altruism. · 2015-11-30T07:20:05.720Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

You sound unhappy. Do you still hold these conclusions when you are very happy?

Comment by algernoq on Smarter humans, not artificial intellegence · 2015-11-30T07:04:41.069Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Computing power per dollar has doubled every ~2 years for the past 40 years, per Moore's Law.

Can biology keep up? The next generation of humans would reach adulthood in 20 years, at which time computers would have ~1024x today's processing power. That's a pretty high bar for selective breeding or genetic modification to keep up.

Comment by algernoq on Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015 · 2015-11-15T01:25:26.915Z · score: -3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The "Normies REEEEEEE" meme is how I feel about average people.

Comment by algernoq on Munchkining for Fun and Profit, Ideas, Experience, Successes, Failures · 2015-03-19T04:47:21.835Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Haven't worked in a sales job yet.

Comment by algernoq on The mystery of pain and pleasure · 2015-03-04T07:33:34.875Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I assume hedons, a type of qualia, exist.

For the sake of argument, I'll argue the opposing view:

I don't believe anyone "feels" anything. People act as if they have preferences and talk about subjective experiences because that is what their brain structures do, not because subjective experiences actually exist. It is perfectly normal for evolved organisms to talk about "the meaning of life", but these organisms are only patterns in a formal system. In other words, "consciousness", "self-awareness", and "meaning" are only patterns in physical brains. There is no "mind" having experiences anywhere. A "ghost" -- a mind without a corresponding physical structure -- is nonsensical because a mind is merely its pattern in matter.

It does not matter if the patterns representing a brain are computed using pencil-and-paper (see the short story "A Conversation With Einstein's Brain" by Douglas Hofstadter, in which a choose-your-own-adventure book tries to argue that it has conscious experience).

Hedons -- conscious experiences of enjoyment -- do not exist. I am aware that I am just a pattern of a brain in a formal system, and not a "person" in the sense of actually having experiences.

In other words, people are all philosophical zombies. Prove me wrong, if you can...

Comment by algernoq on The mystery of pain and pleasure · 2015-03-04T06:24:26.047Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How can we prove hedons exist at all?

I "feel" stuff happening to me, but that's hardly evidence. I can point to my patterns of choosing pleasure over pain corresponding to electrical activities in brain structures for sensing and planning, but those aren't hedons.

One answer is to assume that all brain structures that look like they could correspond to hedons actually do correspond to hedons. This seems like a big assumption, and begs the question of why.