Comment by Bluehawk on Self-fulfilling correlations · 2013-04-22T03:31:31.972Z · LW · GW

The chances overwhelmingly are that there are factors affecting the rocket's trajectory that the experiment (and by extension, the hypothesis) has failed to take into account.

Unless it's that you have a very specific definition in mind for "well-controlled burns" (ie. burn engine P for X seconds:milliseconds, then burn Q and R for Y seconds:milliseconds, and your position will be Z) and the mechanism controlling the rockets has failed to time them properly, or if your rocket is shot down by an orbital defence laser (or otherwise sabotaged).

That may have been what you meant anyway? To be fair, I would expect that kind of misdirection in a high school experiment. But it parsed to me as implying "if an experiment doesn't do what you predicted, reality is wrong".

Comment by Bluehawk on Religion's Claim to be Non-Disprovable · 2013-04-21T09:49:39.262Z · LW · GW

Lack of rationality causes religion causes lack of rationality causes religion causes lack of rationality --

Comment by Bluehawk on The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world? · 2013-04-21T05:08:41.069Z · LW · GW

I'm having a little trouble actually articulating what I find wrong here, and I'm not sure if that's a fault in what I'm supposedly intuiting or in my ability to articulate.

That's not so much a "logical fallacy" as a mistaken belief that belief is incontrovertible (or a mistaken over-valuing of "the personal opinion"). You've also substituted Argument for Fallacy.

The one you've outlined might also be less important here because it's a lot easier to recognise for what it is, and is likely to be recognised as a stonewall rather than as a convincing argument in a Dark Arts debate. The convincing Bad Argument does a heck of a lot more damage.

Which argument is "worst" comes down to semantics: does Worst Argument resolve to "Argument That Does Most Harm", or to "Argument That Is Least Correct", or to "Argument That Is Least Convincing", or to "Argument That Is Least Likely To Be Useful"?

Comment by Bluehawk on Welcome to Less Wrong! (5th thread, March 2013) · 2013-04-20T05:32:00.610Z · LW · GW

Hi there, denizens of Less Wrong! I've actually been lurking around here for a while (browsing furtively since 2010), and only just discovered that I hadn't introduced myself properly.

So! I'm Bluehawk, and I'll tell you my real name if and when it becomes relevant. I'm mid-20's, male, Australian, with an educational history in Music, Cinema Studies and Philosophy, and I'm looking for any jobs and experience that I can get with the craft of writing. My current projects are a pair of feature-length screenplays; one's in the editing/second draft stages, the other's coming up to the end of the first draft. When I have the experience to pull it off (gimme another year or two), I'm hoping to develop a few projects that are more focussed on rationality. The backup plan for my future is to take on a Masters and beyond in screenwriting and/or film, either at RMIT or overseas (NY, LA, France?) depending on where my folio can get me.

That said, my scientific literacy is way lower than it "should" be, and I'm tempted to spend a few years working on that instead, but I'm not sure how much would be practical for my life; I normally find that I can ask (some of) the right questions about a list of stats, and I can generally understand human psychology when the concepts are put in front of me, and that seems to have been enough to get me by so far; I just feel really, really out of my league whenever I run into predicate logic, advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry, or programming languages.

I also aspire to aspire to become fluent in French and Japanese.

Comment by Bluehawk on Optimal Employment · 2013-04-16T03:36:49.411Z · LW · GW

As an Australian with an American partner:

Australia has slightly different rules about relationships than the U.S. does. Getting married is one way to do it, but if you and your partner live together in an exclusive relationship for the span of a year or two you can be recognised with "de facto" status. It's a legal step between "single" and "married", and it's another legal basis on which you can apply for a longer-term visa in Australia and CAN be done from within Australia.

It is, however, just as expensive to travel back to the U.S. and apply for the de facto visa from there (Flights + ~$2k), as it is to apply for the de facto visa from within Australia (~$3k). And of course you need to be able to show that you've been in that relationship for a year or more, and that the relationship is both long-term and stable, which is out of the question for most Work/Holiday visa holders.

The de facto visa also gives you the right to live, work and study in Australia for two years, after which if the de facto relationship is still stable, exclusive, etc. you're then eligible for permanent residency.

Comment by Bluehawk on The Useful Idea of Truth · 2012-11-26T11:52:11.333Z · LW · GW

At the risk of nitpicking:

"Makes Deity happy" sounds to me like a very specific interpretation of "utility", rather than something separate from it. I can't picture any context for the phrase "P should X" that doesn't simply render "X maximizes utility" for different values of the word "utility". If "make Deity happy" is the end goal, wouldn't "utility" be whatever gives you the most efficient route to that goal?

Comment by Bluehawk on Conjunction Fallacy · 2012-04-26T01:16:18.407Z · LW · GW

There was an implied "Bill is not an accountant" in the way I read it initially, and I failed to notice my confusion until it was too late.

So in answer to your question, that has now happened at least once.

Comment by Bluehawk on When None Dare Urge Restraint · 2012-04-26T01:11:48.584Z · LW · GW

While words have a normative value as part of their common use, I think the reason you're getting so many down votes for those comments is that "value" is only a behavioral mechanism on our own part. Lots of people ascribe negative or positive values to event X. Great. But that's just a response in the human brain(s) that observe(s) event X, not a part of event X itself.

And to say that "his courage was vicious" -- you know what, I like that. I'm going to look for a way to use that in prose.

Comment by Bluehawk on Conjunction Fallacy · 2012-04-26T00:51:57.469Z · LW · GW

But if the question "What is P(X), given Y?" is stated clearly, and then the reader interprets it as "What is P(Y), given X", then that's still an error on their part in the form of poor reading comprehension.

Which still highlights a possible flaw in the experiment.

Comment by Bluehawk on Every Cause Wants To Be A Cult · 2012-04-25T20:39:26.092Z · LW · GW

Ah. Yeah, I may have parsed that one incorrectly, now that you mention it. Thanks for pointing that out.

Comment by Bluehawk on The Robbers Cave Experiment · 2012-04-17T01:46:33.429Z · LW · GW

And for all that, The Devil is simply used as more rationalization for pack behavior and scapegoating.

Comment by Bluehawk on Every Cause Wants To Be A Cult · 2012-04-17T01:11:06.989Z · LW · GW

Consider replacing "core ideas of science" with "core ideas of society" and I'll wager that's closer to the commonly-used meaning of "cult".

Comment by Bluehawk on Every Cause Wants To Be A Cult · 2012-04-17T00:59:40.661Z · LW · GW

That's a question that everybody here needs to ask themselves every time they post, if they're to fight the good fight against cult-entropy.

Comment by Bluehawk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-12T02:12:48.438Z · LW · GW

I think it's easy to forget that world events that might have had lasting visible effects in present day might have much bigger lasting effects in a world of extended lifespans and older parenting that is also taking place twenty one years ago.

So I guess what I'm saying is I agree?

Comment by Bluehawk on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-12T02:10:08.096Z · LW · GW

Fetusmouth sounds to me remarkably like a synonym for "babyeater".

Comment by Bluehawk on File Under "Keep Your Identity Small" · 2012-04-09T01:30:47.127Z · LW · GW

Worth testing as to whether it occurs to different extents depending on what type of division it is, or how important the test subject believes that one difference to be.

Comment by Bluehawk on The Strangest Thing An AI Could Tell You · 2012-04-07T22:49:52.034Z · LW · GW

The programmer believes that it's capable of lying for a good laugh...

Comment by Bluehawk on The Strangest Thing An AI Could Tell You · 2012-04-07T22:48:32.356Z · LW · GW

Falling. With style.

Comment by Bluehawk on The Strangest Thing An AI Could Tell You · 2012-04-07T22:33:32.890Z · LW · GW

I wish I could cite a source for this; assume there's some inaccuracy in the telling.

I remember hearing about a study in which three isolated groups were put in rooms for about one hour. One group was told to wiggle their index fingers as much as they could in that hour. One group was told to think hard about wiggling their index fingers for that hour, without actually wiggling their fingers. And the third group was told to just hang out for that hour.

The physical effects of this exercise were examined directly afterward, and the first two groups checked out (almost?) identically.

Comment by Bluehawk on The Strangest Thing An AI Could Tell You · 2012-04-07T22:17:00.723Z · LW · GW

I count thirteen.

Oh no.

Comment by Bluehawk on Rationality Quotes April 2012 · 2012-04-07T21:54:11.372Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I spotted that after making my comment, but after that I wasn't sure whether you were citing the same source material or no. The actual evidence does say a lot more about how humans (don't?) perceive musical sounds. Thanks for clarifying, though.

Comment by Bluehawk on Rationality Quotes April 2012 · 2012-04-06T00:04:09.149Z · LW · GW

I'm curious. Did you say "aspire to aspire to post into Main" deliberately?

Comment by Bluehawk on Rationality Quotes April 2012 · 2012-04-05T23:32:31.112Z · LW · GW

Might have something to do with the fact that happy/sad is neither an accurate nor an encompassing description of the uses of major/minor chords, unless you place a C major and a C or A minor directly next to each other. I for one find that when I try to tell the difference solely on that basis, I might as well flip a coin and my success rate would go down only slightly. When I come at it from other directions and ignore the emotive impact, my success rate is much higher.

In short: Your conclusion doesn't follow from the evidence.

Comment by Bluehawk on SotW: Check Consequentialism · 2012-04-05T21:12:18.881Z · LW · GW

Being promised low stress/high satisfaction and having a rough idea of what kind of work or work environment is (more or less) enjoyable to you are quite different things. A given idea of which work is enjoyable won't be 100% accurate; there are always going to be surprises from both inside the mind and out. But most people have a rough idea what kind of work they prefer to do. That's where the low stress/high satisfaction predictions come from in this scenario.

Obviously one can only expect so much "enjoyment" in a work environment (and no "work" is fun and enjoyable 100% of the time), but if one type of work feels worthwhile to a given person, and the other doesn't, even if this is on the basis of inference, then for some people this is going to be a significant factor in how good/bad they feel about passing up those $90k jobs for the PhD program that might now be in question.

Comment by Bluehawk on SotW: Check Consequentialism · 2012-04-05T17:27:02.876Z · LW · GW

The money isn't necessarily the only factor. Don't forget about location, working hours, stress levels, and job satisfaction. I'd take a $70k job that's intrinsically rewarding over a $100k job that "isn't really my type of environment" any day.

Of course, I'd have to KNOW that the $70k job was intrinsically rewarding and that the $100k job wouldn't be, but if the hypothetical fool does know this about his PhD job prospects, for example he wants to be an academic and the job offers so far are in unintellectual labor, or in the family business, or in a city he/she would like to avoid settling down in, or involve 50% more hours than the target job of the same wage --

I don't know if that's useful or not, but I'll err on the side of opening my mouth.

Comment by Bluehawk on SotW: Check Consequentialism · 2012-04-04T21:43:03.549Z · LW · GW

Actually they would associate the stick with a number of things, including but not limited to the stupid thought process. They would be quite likely to associate the stick with their encounter with Eliezer, and to their (failed) attempt to converse with and/or follow his thought processes. Mind: They associate the stick with all aspects of the attempt, not only with the failure.

It might work in a Master/Apprentice scenario where the stick-hitting-victim is bindingly pre-committed to a year of solitude with Stick-Happy!Eliezer in order to learn from him the art of Cognitive Kung Fu. This is the only scenario I can immediately visualize in which the stick-hitting victim would not immediately decide that Stick-Happy!Eliezer is a person they can get away with avoiding, and possibly with reporting to the police for assault.

EDIT01: This is assuming that the experiential sample size is 1.

Comment by Bluehawk on Two More Things to Unlearn from School · 2011-05-14T08:24:32.630Z · LW · GW

Easily reduced, in theory; educate them about the false dichotomy and other basic fallacies -early-, and have it cost them marks when said basic fallacies punctuate their thinking, the same as any other error.

Of course, it's not so easy to get that implemented in the broader system, in a world where people refuse to be taught how to think. But while we're talking about the "ideal" education...