Comment by azavoluk on [deleted post] 2018-03-22T04:48:07.199Z

For the record, I play Magic regularly and have for a long time, and I didn't get it. I'm still not sure to what extent the colors really align with the descriptions given by either Duncan or Zvi.

The red knight values individual sovereignty, yes, but is not risk-averse or cautious. Red is certainly capable of forming armies that follow a leader.

Black doesn't particularly care about "convincing arguments."

Green could be a plant-like thing that's hard to kill, but it could also be a very fragile plant that shrivels up and dies. Or judgy, racist elves, or whatever.

Perhaps these are not so much absolute representations, as the representation of each color that is most likely to appear in a rationalist house (basically, these are all X/u knights, not pure X knights).

Comment by azavoluk on [deleted post] 2018-03-22T04:32:34.745Z

I'm not really familiar with DA beyond the 2 posts and knowing Vaniver. That being said, thoughts that came to mind as I read.

0. This just seems like a standard coordination problem that I would expect most rationalists to be familiar with. Is there some reason you needed an entirely new analogy? I would not have predicted that out of ~12 reasonably dedicated rationalists, more than 1 would not have this idea as a Thing That Exists In One's Mind.

1. Seems like a good suggestion that I would not have thought of ahead of time, but seems obvious in retrospect.

2. I guess I didn't realize how much you were supposed to still be doing at CFAR while this was going on. If I had, I probably would have been significantly more pessimistic. It certainly sounds like the most "obvious" thing out of this list, a priori, even more than the things in 5.

6. Have you read Superforecasters? Something the book goes into, that SSC's review does not, is a bit of military history and strategy, pioneered by a German named Moltke. The basic idea is that generals cannot anticipate everything that can happen on the ground, and so they should direct the objective of lower officers, rather than the means of attaining them. Perhaps, if you are going to form an "army," that is equally as valid a model to consider as infantry grunts? My guess would be that rationalists are naturally going to resist the sort of hyper-hive-assimilation of a low-level unit (having many Red Knights, in your terms). Under this model, setting goals, agreeing on serious consequences for not meeting them, encouraging working together on them, and providing communal resources for working on them, might be more effective.

(Allegedly these ideas largely explained the Germany Army's disproportionate effectiveness in WW2, and Moltke's ideas have been adopted by pretty much every modern military).

I believe this is also the model described in Ender's Game, which leads me to my next thought--is 12 too many? Or worded differently, is it likely the same group size is optimal for all the things you want to accomplish? Ender broke his army into many more pieces than usual, all the way down into groups of 4 or 5, to get each group to be very tight. Maybe you've already got this part covered; I only mention it because I didn't see any mention of doing this systematically, only the EE thing (which you said was very successful).

16. I really like your phrasing at the end of this, and will probably look for an opportunity to use it at some point.

edit: I totally forgot, I think 7) is the one that is basically in line with what I actually did predict at the start.

Comment by azavoluk on The Craft & The Community - A Post-Mortem & Resurrection · 2017-11-07T03:00:28.158Z · LW · GW

" Thankfully, the guy who took over running Austin's LW meetup group is doing a better job of it than I ever did, and it's growing "

I appreciate the confidence, though I'm not entirely sure how much of that is stuff I did.