Posts

[Link] Small-game fallacies: a Problem for Prediction Markets 2015-05-28T03:32:05.146Z · score: 10 (12 votes)
[Link] YC President Sam Altman: The Software Revolution 2015-02-19T05:13:53.705Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
[LINK] How Long Does Habit Formation Take? 2014-01-04T01:33:40.658Z · score: 17 (18 votes)
Interactive Infographic on Simpson's Paradox 2013-09-20T17:37:39.644Z · score: 25 (26 votes)
Stats Advice on a New N-back Game 2013-05-29T21:44:51.627Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
[LINK] "Moral Machines" article in the New Yorker links to SI paper 2012-11-28T01:38:34.679Z · score: 16 (19 votes)

Comments

Comment by antisuji on How much do we know about creativity? · 2015-06-09T16:25:40.599Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

First of all, I can highly recommend Nachmanovitch's Free Play. It's at the very least thought-provoking and entertaining—whether it helps you be more creative is harder to tell. I got a bit of milage creativitywise out of Comedy Writing Secrets, which I hear is well-regarded among professional humor writers. I wasn't very diligent about the exercises, or I might have gotten more out of it.

Regarding LW-like thought and creativity, I'm reading through Minsky's Society of Mind and the Puzzle Principle section talks about machines and creativity:

Many people reason that machines do only what they're programmed to do — and hence can never be creative or original. The trouble is that this argument presumes what it purports to show: that you can't program a machine to be creative! In fact, it is surprisingly easy to program a computer so that it will proceed to do more different things than any programmer could imagine in advance.

And he goes into a bit more detail.

My thoughts on this, cribbed more or less directly from my notes:

I think there's an equivocation in common uses of the word "creativity." There's one sense, generally used by technical people, that means something like the ability to make intuitive leaps when solving a problem. Then there's the other sense, which is probably closer to what most people mean, the attributive sense. That is, someone might be a creative person, meaning they make those intuitive leaps, yes, but they also have certain stereotypical personality traits; they're quirky, they dress in non-conformitive ways, they're artsy, emotional. And so on.

So Minsky's answer doesn't really adequately address what most people mean when they say you can't program a machine to be creative.

But of course you can, and we're getting better and better at this.

Comment by antisuji on [Link]: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Recurrent Neural Networks · 2015-06-05T16:28:31.585Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Syntactically it's quite a bit better than an N-gram markov chain: it gets indentation exactly right, it balances parentheses, braces, and comment start/end markers, delimits strings with quotation marks, and so on. You're right that it's no better than a markov chain at understanding the "code" it's producing, at least at the level a human programmer does.

Comment by antisuji on [Link]: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Recurrent Neural Networks · 2015-06-05T01:15:35.418Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Discussion on Hacker News. Definitely an interesting article, very readable and (to me) entertaining. But I agree with interstice that it doesn't say much about strong AI.

Comment by antisuji on Are consequentialism and deontology not even wrong? · 2015-06-03T08:02:48.546Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yes and no. Morality is certainly less fundamental than physics, but I would argue no less real a concept than "breakfast" or "love," and has enough coherence – thingness – to be useful to try to outline and reason about.

The central feature of morality that needs explaining, as I understand it, is how certain behaviors or decisions make you feel in relation to how other people feel about your behaviors. Which is not something you have full control over. It is a distributed cognitive algorithm, a mechanism for directing social behavior through the sharing of affective judgements.

I'll attempt to make this more concrete. Actions that are morally prohibited have consequences, both in the form of direct social censure (due to the moral rule itself) and indirect effects that might be social or otherwise. You can think of the direct social consequences as a fail-safe that stops dangerous behavior before real harm can occur, though of course it doesn't always work very well. In this way the prudential sense of should is closely tied to the moral sense of should – sometimes in a pure, self-sustaining way, the original or imagined harm becoming a lost purpose.

None of this means that morality is a false concept. Even though you might explain why moral rules and emotions exist, or point out their arbitrariness, it's still simplest and I'd argue ontologically justified to deal with morality the way most people do. Morality is a standing wave of behaviors and predictable shared attitudes towards them, and is as real as sound waves within the resonating cavity of a violin. Social behavior-and-attitude space is immense, but seems to contain attractors that we would recognize as moral.

That said, I do think it's valuable to ask the more grounded questions of how outcomes make individuals feel, how people actually act, etc.

Comment by antisuji on Effective effective altruism: Get $400 off your next charity donation · 2015-04-21T02:25:50.253Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In my experience, micro optimizations like these represent yet another thing to keep track of. The upside is pretty small, while the potential downside (forget to cancel a card?) is larger. If you're ok with paying the attentional overhead or it's a source of entertainment, go for it.

Personally I'd rather use a standard rewards card (mine is 1.5% cash), not have to think about it, and spend my limited cognitive resources on doing well at my job, looking out for new opportunities with large upsides, working on side projects, or networking.

Comment by antisuji on Request for Intelligence Philosophy Essay Topic Suggestions · 2015-03-13T15:40:30.608Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

That's interesting, because to me it read more like "I'm going to write something interesting about anything you like, do some research for you, and even share the results" and "as long as I have to do this assignment I might as well make it useful to someone" but maybe that's because I recognized the poster's name, read his blog, etc.

I can see how someone might interpret it this way, though.

Comment by antisuji on Bragging Thread March 2015 · 2015-03-09T06:49:17.383Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Not something I actually did last month, since I wrote the piece two years ago, but it feels like it since that's when the validation arrived. A blog post of mine hit /r/basicincome and then /r/futurism, which are sitting at ~470 (98% positive) and ~1080 (92% positive) votes respectively, and found its way to hacker news. Some of the discussion is pretty good. The relevant quote:

"Let us keep in mind how poorly we treat those who cannot currently contribute to society. Sooner or later we will have to face this question: how do we define personal worth in a world where most people have no economic value?"

The actual accomplishment of the month is a post on Christopher Alexander's Notes on the Synthesis of Form, which won't be as big a hit, and I'm ok with that.

Comment by antisuji on Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015 · 2015-01-26T04:02:16.285Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Schmidhuber's formulation of curiosity and interestingness as a (possibly the) human learning algorithm. Now when someone says "that's interesting" I gain information about the situation, where previously I interpreted it purely as an expression of an emotion. I still see it primarily about emotion, but now understand the whys of the emotional response: it's what (part of) our learning algorithm feels like from the inside.

There are some interesting signaling implications as well.

Comment by antisuji on Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015 · 2015-01-26T03:44:24.379Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This, I assume? (It took me a few tries to find it since first I typed in the name wrong and then it turns out it's "Wardley" with an 'a'.) Is the video on that page a good introduction?

Comment by antisuji on Programming-like activities? · 2015-01-08T05:39:56.735Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Networking.

Comment by antisuji on How much does consumption affect production? · 2015-01-06T07:06:36.954Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There is undoubtedly some slop built in to the system, both to cover ordinary fluctuations in demand (which is, after all, stochastic), and because inventory control is itself expensive and difficult and only worth doing up to a certain level of precision.

That said, there's a fallacy here, the same one as in this recent post (addressed here, e.g.). In brief, what matters is not whether you cause stores to waste measurably less food with certainly, but the expected amount of change in food waste due to your actions, especially over the long term.

Comment by antisuji on Non-obvious skills with highly measurable progress? · 2015-01-03T07:19:14.671Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Speedcubing. I don't recommend it, though—I started about a year ago and it sniped a significant amount of my free time in 2014, on the order of 400-500 hours. (I had a similar experience with Go in college.)

Comment by antisuji on Lifehack Ideas December 2014 · 2014-12-11T18:18:35.733Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've been fasting one day a week since the beginning of May of this year. I usually start Sunday evening and fast through Monday evening or Tuesday morning, around 24 to 36 hours, and this fits my schedule pretty well—alternate-day would be considerably more difficult. The trickiest part is declining offers from coworkers to go to lunch and then having to explain why. Sleeping through the night on Monday can be a little uncomfortable if I'm doing a longer fast.

I've fasted erratically for years (when I felt like it, which turned out to be once every month or two), but started the weekly cadence because I found out I had very high total cholesterol (~280 mg/dL) when I went to the doctor in May. When I donated blood in October my total cholesterol was down to ~190 mg/dL.

It's hard to know how much of this effect to attribute to fasting, since I did make some other minor systematic changes to my diet (more fish, fewer pastries, a shift from butter to olive oil in cooking) and there might be other changes that I don't know about or haven't considered. Since I'm comfortable with this amount of fasting and since there are non-health-related benefits I suspect the VoI of a more careful experiment is low to negative. (I can imagine finding out there's no fasting -> cholesterol lowering effect, stopping the habit because of this, and losing out on the less tangible benefits.)

Comment by antisuji on December 2014 Bragging Thread · 2014-12-02T15:05:54.993Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

That's consistent with my experience. That is, most people aren't particularly impressed, or don't want to let on that they are, and I'm only moderately impressed with myself. And I'm fine with that, since these days I make an effort not to indulge the urge to optimize for impressiveness, except evidently in threads like these.

Contrast this with juggling 5 balls, which is for me about the same level of difficulty (both in terms of learning the skill and performing it once learned). People are much more likely to be visibly impressed, though the way they show it isn't always agreeable or complimentary.

Comment by antisuji on December 2014 Bragging Thread · 2014-12-01T01:01:42.670Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Solved a Rubik's cube in under 15 seconds. Still having trouble getting my averages below 25, though.

Comment by antisuji on The Hostile Arguer · 2014-11-29T04:45:23.991Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I generally agree, but I'd caution against raising threats to the level of mutual knowledge. Intuitively it feels dangerous to ask things like "are you threatening me?" Thinking about it for a few minutes, it seems that it's dangerous in part because once a threat has been made explicit, the threatening party can no longer back down without losing face and credibility. The question also feels like a power play and can be seen as disrespectful.

It's still good to know whether you're just dealing with a hostile argument vs. a real threat vs. intimidation without intent to follow through, but when there's a power differential it's probably bad for the knowledge to be out in the open.

Comment by antisuji on Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014 · 2014-10-01T03:24:58.291Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I consider myself a vim poweruser and this doesn't match my experience. Vim is a great tool and I use it for a lot of things, but it's absolutely not a replacement for bash, screen, Chrome, etc.

Comment by antisuji on What are you learning? · 2014-09-15T16:56:20.753Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't been playing on KGS recently, but if you're interested in a teaching game send me a PM and we can schedule something. I'm around 4k.

Comment by antisuji on [Link] 3 Short Walking Breaks Can Reverse Harm From 3 Hours of Sitting · 2014-09-11T01:54:01.801Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I used to feel that way about interruptions, but at this point I'm not convinced that taking breaks is particularly harmful to my productivity as a programmer. I'm usually in one of two situations. I'm either stuck on something, in which case taking a break can be helpful, or in the zone, in which case I know exactly what I'm doing and it takes less than a minute to get back into things. The intuition that interruptions are bad for productivity might stem from the fact that being interrupted feels unpleasant.

Of course my experience may not apply to everyone, etc, etc.

Comment by antisuji on Talking to yourself: A useful thinking tool that seems understudied and underdiscussed · 2014-09-10T07:40:03.497Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I've sometimes been in the habit of talking into my phone, which conveniently removes the social stigma as long as no one is close enough to hear what you're saying. Taking walks helps. You can either record yourself or not—I find that talking into an inert phone feels awkward while recording myself makes me feel a little self-conscious. I never did find a method I was completely comfortable with, which might be why I don't do it anymore.

Anyway, I'm generally a fan of self-talk / private speech. I think it's a good way to put your thoughts through a BS detector, or at least so goes my theory: since you're hearing the words aloud you interpret the message as if someone else were saying it and so you hold it to a higher standard.

Comment by antisuji on What steep learning curve do you wish you'd climbed sooner? · 2014-09-04T07:27:12.586Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The hows and whys of refactoring and DRY. How and why to achieve proper separation of concerns (I still have lots to learn there).

Social protocols, especially around initiating and maintaining friendships and other levels of relationships. Being empathetic.

Comment by antisuji on Quantified Risks of Gay Male Sex · 2014-08-19T05:19:01.778Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW · GW

While it's probably justified to correct for the sampling bias in prevalence statistics, it's worth pointing out that sexual partners are not sampled uniformly: the prevalence of a given STD will potentially be higher in the population of likely partners than in the general population.

Comment by antisuji on Identification of Force Multipliers for Success · 2014-06-27T06:45:01.807Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Looking back at this, I'm realizing that a lot of these suggestions are more plain old advice rather than force multipliers. The true force multipliers are proficiency with tools, continually investing in improving your workflow, and probably certain people skills like delegation and team-building.

Comment by antisuji on Identification of Force Multipliers for Success · 2014-06-27T06:37:21.709Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As pushcx said it's not about speed as much as not having to pay attention to what your fingers are doing (and crucially, being able to look elsewhere while you type). The bottleneck isn't bandwidth but the size of your L1 cache.

Comment by antisuji on Identification of Force Multipliers for Success · 2014-06-22T00:27:20.632Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This sort of optimization is a pretty foundational concept for software engineers. These are things that have helped my career as a software engineer and made me more effective in my job (not exactly the same thing, but related!):

Basics

  • Touch typing. This should go without saying, but I've worked with people who hunt and peck and it's painful to watch. But you don't have to type really fast to get most of the benefit, since other bottlenecks will start to dominate. In my experience a pokey 50 WPM is more than sufficient.

More Advanced Mechanics

  • Gain fluency in a powerful shell, a good text editor, and an expressive "scripting" language
  • Learn a modern version control system such as git
  • Set up an environment that works for you and keep improving it – this is very much along the lines of Nick5a1's systems mindset. Keep your dotfiles in version control.
  • Don't repeat yourself. Learn to refactor code to remove unnecessary duplication.
  • Keep configuration decisions out of code
  • Understand dependencies among different pieces of code and know a few strategies for simplifying them (the pub/sub or event bus pattern, dependency injection, etc.)
  • Know how to deal with asynchronous operations using both callbacks and promisesNodeSchool has a great tutorial for server-side JavaScript.

Soft Skills

  • Keep a todo list (I keep my own, or you can get really good with your issue tracker)
  • Keep a log of things you've done (bonus if you can generate the log automatically from your todo list)
  • Keep notes on how you solved tricky problems
  • Understand your role (you're not a designer or product manager, but you need to know what they care about to work with them effectively)
  • prioritize the product, then others' goals, then your own (this is usually the most effective way of furthering your goals)
  • insist on regular one-on-one meetings with your manager
  • before answering a question find out why the question was asked
Comment by antisuji on Proportional Giving · 2014-03-04T04:39:51.194Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As you get older, you gain more ability to buy utility at good prices: for instance, kids become increasingly expensive as they age.

Perhaps because my economic intuition isn't that sharp, I'm having trouble connecting the dots on this statement. I'm not seeing how the example implies the assertion, and I'm having trouble coming up with another example. Can you expand on this?

Comment by antisuji on Useful Personality Tests · 2014-02-12T07:14:00.551Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is interesting, thanks for the link. The model seems to be partly based on one's assessment of self-worth as compared to their partner. Based on this I'd expect to see a person exhibit different styles depending on who they're dating, though this effect could be diminished by acclimation. This might account for some portion of the 20-30% of people who change styles. Is this explored in the literature? Or maybe I'm misunderstanding and the self- and other-assessments are purely positive or negative and not at all comparative.

Also I tried searching for frequencies of the four styles in the population and wasn't able to find anything. Do you know if that's available anywhere? Or even better, how the styles are distributed (are there strong clusters or are most people borderline as with MBTI?).

Comment by antisuji on White Lies · 2014-02-08T07:40:02.101Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You're right, I made some assumptions that probably don't apply to SaidAchmiz, and I realize my comment comes off poorly. I apologize. I was trying to refer to the situation from the OP, but found it difficult to write about without using a hypothetical "you" and I'm not entirely satisfied with the result.

What I was trying to get across is that this kind of situation can be complex and that the girlfriend in the scenario can have legitimate emotional justification for behaving this way. I agree that wishing you'd lied is a bad situation to be in. I agree that the OP's story is not a very good mode of interaction even if handled the way Sam Harris would. I agree that people should be able to have explicit conversations about emphasizing positives rather than veiled ones (which I was trying to get at when I said the conversation was "actually" about that).

I don't mean to imply that SaidAchmiz wants to feel completely free to say anything regardless of consequences. I'm trying to say that I have felt that tendency myself and have unintentionally taken advantage of a "we should be able to say anything to each other" policy as an excuse not to think about the effects of my speech.

Hopefully this is clearer. I'm only trying to relay what I've learned from my experiences, but maybe I've failed at that.

Comment by antisuji on White Lies · 2014-02-08T05:32:43.109Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I understand the sentiment, but I'd caution that the desire to be able to express yourself freely can be seen as cover for having license to say whatever you want without regard to how it effects the other person. This is bad even if you don't intend to use it that way: you should be spending some cycles thinking about how the other person will feel about what you say. I speak from experience: saying what's on my mind has at times been hurtful to people I care about and I should have censored it or redirected the impulse.

Perhaps part of what you're objecting to is not that the person prefers you to lie, but that they prefer a world that can't exist to exist. If this were really what's going on, that would be a severe lapse of rationality. But that world can exist: our opinions are mutable and it's quite possible to decide to like the play. The conversation is actually about something completely different: whether you're willing and able to emphasize the positive over the negative aspects of something for her sake, which is an essential skill in any relationship.

The conversation is also about asking for acknowledgement and approval for something she's worked hard on and probably partially identifies with.

Please note that I'm not saying this is easy or obvious. Empathy is a difficult skill and requires training (or socialization), followed by practice and attention even for those to whom it comes easily.

Comment by antisuji on Rationality Quotes February 2014 · 2014-02-06T02:42:47.661Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Or, of course, some combination thereof.

Comment by antisuji on Find a study partner · 2014-01-24T19:13:05.317Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is a great idea for a regular thread! Thanks for posting.

I'm taking Computing for Data Analysis on Coursera, which is more or less an R primer. There's only one more week left in my session, so there's not much time left to study together, but regardless I'm open to studying with other LWers taking the course. So far it's pretty good, so I can recommend the course if you're thinking of taking it.

I probably won't have much time for MOOCing in the near future since next week I'm starting a new job that I expect to be intellectually demanding and I'll want to do other kinds of things in my free time. But you never know.

Edit to add: I'm also on Lesson 5 of Differential Equations on Udacity, but since it's not timed I've put it on the back burner. I'm planning to finish it up once the R course is done.

Comment by antisuji on Dark Arts of Rationality · 2014-01-22T16:49:47.526Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's always about direction of attention

This is one of my favorite things about a certain brand of writing: it's meta, or somehow self-aware or self-similar, without rubbing the fact in your face. Italo Calvino's Six Memos for the Next Millennium are also like this (and are the only lit-crit-like thing I've ever enjoyed reading).

Comment by antisuji on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-17T06:07:37.137Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The toast is Josey Baker Bread (yes, that's actually his name; short documentary here) and it really is that good. By which I mean, as another exploitative Bay Area techie, I've paid that price at The Mill more than once and I felt it was worth it.

Comment by antisuji on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-17T05:47:02.018Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I more or less agree, but note that extra effort does not necessarily mean extra hours. Though, depending on who you work for the latter might be a good proxy for the former.

Comment by antisuji on Variables in Arguments as a Source of Confusion · 2014-01-09T18:57:18.948Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is closely related to a failure mode of communication discussed here recently. The error made by the "fascists" and "rakes" in the linked post is a special case of the OP's error of assumed variables: in this case the hidden variable is whose morality applies.

My guess is that these miscommunications often arise from inadequate empathy or theory of mind. It's very common for assertions to have hidden or assumed variables that are reflexive, that is, they refer to the speaker. Some people have the ability to automatically transfer the hidden referent when changing such an assertion's subject, and others must to reminded to do so. (And indeed, in some cases some will argue that it's not appropriate to transfer the referent!)

Comment by antisuji on [Link] More ominous than a [Marriage] strike · 2014-01-04T18:43:24.843Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It appears to be this.

Comment by antisuji on [LINK] How Long Does Habit Formation Take? · 2014-01-04T01:35:18.935Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Non-paywall article here.

Comment by antisuji on Wait vs Interrupt Culture · 2013-11-24T14:29:47.298Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

A little while back I read a Language Log post on this, one of Mark Liberman's breakfast experiments. He looks at differences in switch timing, which I think is the same as what you're calling LSV, between male and female speakers in a large corpus of telephone conversations.

Comment by antisuji on Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013 · 2013-11-23T15:24:35.438Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

A very readable new paper on causality on Andrew Gelman's blog: Forward causal inference and reverse causal questions. It doesn't have any new results, but motivates asking "why" questions in addition to "what if" questions to facilitate model checking and hypothesis generation. Abstract:

The statistical and econometrics literature on causality is more focused on “effects of causes” than on “causes of effects.” That is, in the standard approach it is natural to study the effect of a treatment, but it is not in general possible to define the causes of any particular outcome. This has led some researchers to dismiss the search for causes as “cocktail party chatter” that is outside the realm of science. We argue here that the search for causes can be understood within traditional statistical frameworks as a part of model checking and hypothesis generation. We argue that it can make sense to ask questions about the causes of effects, but the answers to these questions will be in terms of effects of causes.

See also this discussion post on LW.

Comment by antisuji on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-22T06:16:43.929Z · score: 37 (41 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey. Thanks for putting this together, Yvain!

I chose DEFECT: CFAR/MIRI can keep their money. Furthermore, if I win I precommit to refusing payment and donating $120 * (1 - X) to MIRI, where X is the proportion of people who answer COOPERATE. I humbly suggest that others do the same.

Comment by antisuji on On learning difficult things · 2013-11-11T19:11:17.588Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you ever study with pomodoros, and if so does that affect whether or how often you eject?

Comment by antisuji on On learning difficult things · 2013-11-11T19:04:01.898Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Which seems related to building skills in the right order.

Personally I find that during study it's sometimes hard to tell the difference between material that is too challenging and material that is difficult but tractable with some effort. That is, I have to put forth the effort either way and it's only afterwards that I find out which is the case.

Comment by antisuji on A Workflow with Spaced Repetition · 2013-11-03T16:41:57.967Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm a fairly long-time Anki user, about 2.5 years now, and my biggest frustration with it is a lack of workflow. I've tried to set one up a couple of times, including one point where I was using Anki's CSV import functionality, but there were always too many steps. Things would get backed up at the bottleneck. So at this point I just use it in maintenance mode and add a new card manually once a month or so.

(My second biggest frustration is that Anki doesn't really let you learn things as sets, and I can't figure out how to make cards parameterized. For example, I want to really learn the NATO phonetic alphabet, and I have a card for each letter, but I'm still slow when I spell things out. I want software that creates drill cards and uses spaced repetition scheduling based on how I do on the drills. Same thing for certain types of math problems. I understand Khan Academy is now using spaced repetition to periodically reinforce older subjects, but you're stuck using their material.)

I looked around for alternatives a week or so ago and discovered memrise, which is actually quite good, in some ways a distinct improvement over Anki (the game-like feel, the UI in general, lots of decent pre-made decks), but has its own share of disadvantages (can't copy decks or edit decks you didn't create, all data is stored on their closed, proprietary system, creating decks still feels clunky). (ETA: it occurs to me that creating a LW Concepts deck on memrise might be a good way to raise the sanity waterline. There are similar decks there already, like this list of cognitive biases.)

I don't really want to spend the gobs of time that would be required to create the ideal SRS system (good workflow, adjustable importance, parameterized sets, etc, etc) especially since so much pretty good stuff already exists. But if someone else feels inspired to take on that task I'd be glad to help out however I can.

Comment by antisuji on How habits work and how you may control them · 2013-10-19T01:04:27.433Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Here's another blog post that's largely a response to The Power of Habit: http://simulacrumbs.com/2013/09/shouts-whispers-and-the-myth-of-willpower-a-recursive-guide-to-efficacy/. It also touches heavily on some of the ideas you developed in your post on addiction and games. If you don't already know this guy, you probably should.

Comment by antisuji on How habits work and how you may control them · 2013-10-13T17:02:42.075Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I've been thinking about self-administering mild electric shocks or something of the like when I pursue an unwanted behaviour, but lack an appropriate device. Any suggestions, anyone?

This has been discussed here previously. Short answer: don't. Also, from a LWer's excellent summary of Don't Shoot the Dog:

Note: self-punishment is particularly useless; you train down the act of punishing yourself more than you train down whatever behavior you’re punishing. This is unpleasant and useless!

Comment by antisuji on October Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-10-05T17:19:04.771Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not at this time. I am planning on porting the game to Android in the coming months, but this is not my top priority, so I can't guarantee when it'll be available.

Comment by antisuji on October Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-10-05T02:10:47.721Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! I'm very much open to feedback and suggestions, so fire away.

Comment by antisuji on October Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-10-04T17:54:36.587Z · score: 19 (19 votes) · LW · GW

I released my first game to the App Store on Oct 1. It's a dual n-back game with a rhythm component called Double Dynamo. (Previously mentioned in the July what are you working on thread.)

Comment by antisuji on Rationality, competitiveness and akrasia · 2013-10-02T15:42:11.278Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

2 will still lead to some strange behavior. For example, when composing a comment on a forum, rather than typing directly into the textarea you'll switch to a text editor and copy-paste when you're done.

Comment by antisuji on Inferential silence · 2013-09-25T18:55:33.814Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The existing karma system does a good job of addressing the first two possibilities, but the last three cases are still pretty hard to distinguish. Kaj_Sotala seems to be talking about cases 4 and 5, more or less.

As long as we're talking about a technical solution, it seems like the relevant dimension that Kaj is talking about is difficulty/understandability as opposed to agreement or general quality, and I can imagine a few different solutions to this[1]. That said, I'm not convinced that this would tell you the information you're after, since readers who have a strong technical background will be more likely to read difficult, technical posts and may vote them as relatively easy to understand. And the situation is the same with less technical readers and easier posts.

The third case could be addressed to a certain extent just by tracking number of views and displaying that somewhere. Maybe also with summary statistics like (upvotes - downvotes) / views. Views could be triggered when a post is clicked on, voted on, or just visible for greater than, say, 10 seconds, which will produce some false positives and false negatives but might be better than nothing.

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[1] E.g. two new voting buttons ("too basic", "too difficult"), a larger set of radio buttons, or a slider. Not sure what the icons would be, but maybe something like "1,2,3" for basic and integral signs for difficult.