Posts

Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-07-29T15:14:42.076Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-07-21T17:05:34.434Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-07-05T20:19:00.646Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-06-22T21:10:13.810Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-06-14T20:10:38.667Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup - Double Crux Game 2016-05-18T18:36:19.456Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-04-21T13:02:17.403Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-03-01T01:18:02.456Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2016-02-18T21:52:59.541Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup Discussion (Topic: Pre-Hindsight) 2016-01-29T22:30:07.376Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup: CFAR Techniques 2015-12-21T18:33:06.445Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup: Seeking Strategic Updates 2015-12-15T16:10:53.695Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup: Goal Factoring Discussion 2015-12-09T15:08:51.661Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Starting University Advice Repository 2015-12-03T23:51:46.259Z · score: 12 (13 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio: TAP Discussion 2015-12-01T03:15:19.825Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup! 2015-11-14T05:40:52.742Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup! 2015-11-14T05:40:10.829Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2015-11-02T03:36:58.692Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2015-10-20T03:23:21.812Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup - Discussion 2015-10-01T23:55:13.140Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2015-09-02T01:21:54.523Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Meetup : San Antonio Meetup 2015-08-21T16:21:09.830Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio, TX 2015-07-03T17:10:55.478Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Meetup : San Antonio New Meetup 2015-06-14T19:12:44.971Z · score: 1 (2 votes)

Comments

Comment by bryan-san on rationalfiction.io - publish, discover, and discuss rational fiction · 2016-06-06T18:20:43.514Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is for SquirrelInHell. rot13 to avoid spoilers.

Gur frevrf vf n engvbany svpgvba orpnhfr Yrk Yhgube'f ernpgvba gb Fhcrezna'f npgvivgvrf vf gur fnzr nf lbhef. Ur fnlf, "guvf vf vzcbffvoyr onfrq ba xabja culfvpf" gura "tvira gung vasbezngvba, jung gur uryy vf npghnyyl tbvat ba?". Gur fgbel cebprrqf sebz gung birenyy fpvragvsvp crefcrpgvir bajneq.

Comment by bryan-san on Request for advice: high school transferring · 2016-03-16T15:46:00.622Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How did this end up going? Any chance of us getting an update?

Comment by bryan-san on Request for advice: high school transferring · 2016-03-02T15:53:58.087Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have several recommendations.

First things first, I strongly recommend reading this blog post by Siderea on the possible values of attending University. The difference between a public and private high school for you may very well be similar to the difference between a lower and higher status university. This article will expand your list of possible benefits and detriments to the two (and more) options. Spending lots of time around higher status and higher income people has a lot of benefits that aren't immediately obvious. (I'm assuming the private school is higher status here. I don't know your area and there are certainly low status private schools out there.)

I recommend adding these ideas to your considerations, reading what ScottL describes below, and then doing Goal Factoring on the entire question. Goal Factoring is a very useful CFAR technique that works well in this exact type of situation. I don't see a great write-up for it online and I'm not sure how great that link is at describing it. However, if you'd like to hear a more thorough explanation and practice the technique after you've looked into this stuff you're welcome to PM me your skype username and we can chat about it sometime soon. (I'm decent at debugging, but if you get any other offers you should definitely take those up as well as or instead of mine.)

And I also recommend going and meeting some people who actually attend the public high school or just taking a day off and wandering into the place to see what it's actually like in person. You may be slightly dissatisfied at your current location but would absolutely hate the public high school. (Bullying isn't a myth, the grass is always greener on the other side, etc.) The year you're in will also have a lot of consequences in what your experience is like since many friendships are already formed and group boundaries defined by the end of the 2nd year (if not the 1st).

Last but not least, if you don't already have a clear answer and want a hundred other things to consider (or you've decided on an answer and are ready for your next challenge) you should take a look at the Starting University Advice Repository thread. One of the primary values of High School is preparing you for and enabling your progression in University. This includes socially (for relationships), academically (for knowledge), building study habits, developing your writing, developing interpersonal skills, acquiring culture (acculturating), making use of the high school's prestige, and more (as described in Siderea's post linked above).

Comment by bryan-san on Rationality Quotes Thread February 2016 · 2016-02-03T21:32:02.658Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Does that include the grade inflation at major universities or the universities with specific classes that have their difficultly increased and grading deflated so that they fail out students at a more regular rate? (I know some universities do the second type on the introductory science courses while others do it at 3rd year courses.) Or were you referring to something else like bribes?

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Feb. 01 - Feb. 07, 2016 · 2016-02-03T15:07:29.350Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I think your posts are awesome and a much needed breath of fresh air.

In terms of virtue ethics: you are the kind of person we want here. And if someone doesn't, then that's a personality failing on their part.

Please stick around.

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Feb. 01 - Feb. 07, 2016 · 2016-02-03T14:21:51.138Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

AlphaGo will be playing against a top Korean player, Lee Se-dol, in March. Lee is a 9 dan player (highest tier) whereas Fan Hui was only a 2 dan. AlphaGo beat Fan 5-0 so it's hard to tell how good of a player it is in comparison. I'm very interested in seeing the results of the next match.

Note: There seems to be some misreporting on the rank of Lee Se-dol on some American news sites. He's definitely a top Korean and world player, but I don't think he's #1 right now. Someone else is welcome to correct me on this.

Comment by bryan-san on Starting University Advice Repository · 2016-02-03T00:36:54.442Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Very impressive article by Sidrea on the real reasons and value behind university
http://siderea.livejournal.com/1261773.html?format=light

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Feb. 01 - Feb. 07, 2016 · 2016-02-01T16:58:40.747Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think that even making guesses about someone's identity on an anonymous account is in very poor taste and actively discourages participation by people who are attempting to use anonymity as a tool to, "share [their] mind authentically". I consider that sort of thing d̶o̶x̶i̶n̶g̶ similar to doxing because it takes actions on identity outside of the anonymous person's terms. These days I'm generally against anything that has the potential to decrease activity on LW. (And even if Clarity is a generally ridiculous poster, he does foster discussions on the site at the very least.)

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Feb. 01 - Feb. 07, 2016 · 2016-02-01T16:28:12.757Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think it's far from ideal, but that d̶o̶x̶i̶n̶g̶ things similar to doxing are at least 100x worse as a community norm.

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016 · 2016-02-01T16:08:33.531Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think there is very high value in sincerity, that both of the qualities you've described are heavily attached to sincerity, and that the effective and regular signaling of sincerity is going to be pretty much impossible to maintain without actually being sincere. If you really want to be effective in these areas, you might try to become easygoing and less selfish rather than trying to figure out how to fake those things.

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Feb. 01 - Feb. 07, 2016 · 2016-02-01T15:53:10.211Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

For both if true and if not true: do you think posting this publicly is productive or a good idea when Clarity just said he didn't want to cross pollinate?

Comment by bryan-san on Open Thread, January 11-17, 2016 · 2016-01-28T19:41:43.404Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What % do you define as "many"? Those percentages of content already known sound very high to me in regards to the first 1/3rd of the Sequences. (I'm still working on the rest so can't comment there.) Also, they can use the Article Summaries to test out whether they've seen the concept before and then read the full article or not. I don't recommend just reading the summaries though. I think a person doing that would be doing a disservice to themselves because of the reasons supplied by Vaniver above.

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016 · 2016-01-28T19:20:34.832Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If someone has anxiety about a topic, I suggest they go after all the normal anxiety treating methods. SSC has a post about Things that Sometimes Work If You Have Anxeity, though actually going to see a therapist and getting professional help would likely help more.

If he wants to try exposure therapy, good results have apparently recently occurred from doing that while on propranalol.

Comment by bryan-san on "Why Try Hard" Essay targeted at non rationalists · 2016-01-28T19:02:22.364Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Immediate ideas that come to mind: lots of CFAR goal-oriented techniques like goal factoring, pre-hindsight, murphyjitsu, seeking strategic updates, and urge propagation. You can learn those at CFAR itself or Anna might be writing up something on them at some point during this year.

From other stuff I've been exposed to: Generating 3rd option alternatives Noticing and rejecting Fool's Choices (presented with A but not B and B but not A, which you reject and then find a way to obtain both A and B) being sure to write down actual models for decision trees and assign probabilities to them finding people who failed in the past and avoid their failures thinking about what someone cleverer or craftier than you would do asking someone who is cleverer and craftier than you what they would do etc.

Comment by bryan-san on [Link] AlphaGo: Mastering the ancient game of Go with Machine Learning · 2016-01-28T18:25:31.610Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In what specific areas do you think LWers are making serious mistakes by ignoring or not accepting strong enough priors from experts?

Comment by bryan-san on AI Fiction - Crystal Society · 2016-01-27T16:15:19.361Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm curious: what were your direct motivations for posting this in a thread instead of as a comment in the Open or Media threads?

Comment by bryan-san on "Why Try Hard" Essay targeted at non rationalists · 2016-01-25T15:32:52.201Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This article looks like a good Part 1 of Many. I would normally expect this article to be followed by several more that go into detail about what good, rational planning actually looks like and how to do effective and useful research on topics like these.

Breaking things down into smaller parts and doing research sound like good ideas #1 and #2 of 20 or 30 needed to do really awesome planning.

Comment by bryan-san on Open Thread, January 11-17, 2016 · 2016-01-13T21:01:52.943Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Nate Soares' recent post "The Art of Response" on Minding Our Way talks about effective response patterns that people develop to deal with problems. What response patterns do you use in life or in your field of expertise that you have found to be quite effective?

Comment by bryan-san on Monthly Bragging Thread January 2016 · 2016-01-07T15:02:57.281Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Finally completed my dieting goal of losing 20% of my original body weight.

Comment by bryan-san on List of techniques to help you remember names · 2015-12-22T04:24:26.107Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You put the person's name on both sides of the badge (this is a flat badge on a lanyard) so that if it gets turned around it's still visible.

Comment by bryan-san on List of techniques to help you remember names · 2015-12-22T00:39:08.325Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

CFAR uses double sided badges and they helped me substantially in memorizing people's names by the end of the workshop.

Comment by bryan-san on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-21T22:01:55.993Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I've also talked to many of the prominent posters who've left about the decline of LW, and pointed out that the coordination problem could be deliberately solved if everyone decided to come back at once. Everyone that responded expressed displeasure that LW had faded and interest in a coordinated return, and often had some material that they thought they could prepare and have ready.

High value is assigned to many original top posters. This leads me to three questions:

  1. What demand will LW 2.0 satisfy that will keep these prominent original posters returning to LW regularly in the future over the course of 2+ years?

  2. Do you think the reasons that led them to leave the first time can be prevented this time and will not be soon reiterated?

  3. How can new top posters as good or better than the old ones be found/recruited/marketed to?

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2015 · 2015-12-21T21:01:31.750Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could you expand on this further? I'm not sure I understand your argument. Also, intellectual humility or social humility?

Comment by bryan-san on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-21T20:17:52.482Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

A few points:

  1. I would hate to see LW close and I don't think that would be a helpful step in getting people exposed to rationality unless a new central hub rose to take its place. I found LW through HPMOR just this year and have very little idea of what LW looked in it's supposed glory days. Things aren't great now, but if LW had been completely dead I likely wouldn't have moved from wanting to be rational to reading 600+ pages of Rationality:From AI to Zombies, making tons of connections and rationalist friends, attending CFAR, starting a LW meetup in my area, and more. A completely dead website would have given the impression of a dead philosophy that was abandoned by the people who followed it because it wasn't actually that useful after all.

  2. Decreases to the level of polish, rigor, and rationality knowledge publicly deemed necessary before posting in the various areas could be helpful (in current LW or a LW 2.0). I mainly post in Open and Stupid Question threads because of this.

  3. People here can be pretty cold and harsh in their replies. I've also heard of issues regarding downvote brigades or mass downvoting of people's posts due to personal disagreements. If this place really is full of "unquiet spirits" then a method of removing them, discouraging that kind of conduct, or changing them into kind benevolent spirits should be included in the works.

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Dec. 14 - Dec. 20, 2015 · 2015-12-21T20:08:43.262Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is a perspective I hadn't seen mentioned before and helps me understand why a friend of mine gives low value to the goal-oriented rationality material I've mentioned to him.

Thank you very much for this post!

Comment by bryan-san on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-21T19:02:16.941Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

•Discourage/ban Open threads. They are an unusual thing to have on a an open forum. They might have made sense when posting volume was higher, but right now they further obfuscate valuable content.

I don't think this is a practical idea. The site is hostile enough to new users who lack much rationality knowledge and perspective on the content. The Open threads (and even moreso the Stupid Question threads) give people a place to pose questions and try out ideas that they aren't confident enough in to make into Discussion posts. People are less harsh in those threads (although I've seen people be harsh in stupid questions threads) and it provides a chance to participate in content without having read the 1700 pages of The Sequences or having lurked on the site for 2+ years.

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Dec. 14 - Dec. 20, 2015 · 2015-12-19T16:26:39.172Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What are the strongest arguments that you've seen against rationality?

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, December 7-13, 2015 · 2015-12-09T20:21:06.822Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Whoever is running the meetup needs to make Meetup Posts for each meeting before they show up on the sidebar. IIRC regular meetups are often not posted there if the creator forgets about it. You can ask the person who runs the meetups to post them on LW more often or ask them if you can post them in their stead.

I run the San Antonio meetup and you are very welcome to attend here if it's the nearest one to you!

Comment by bryan-san on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-09T15:07:26.128Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

From our different observations of anecdotal evidence on this and the other comment thread I think that the university environments and populations you and I were exposed to were very different from one another. My environment was not with exceedingly intelligent people (likely below LW average) and was at a decent but not great university. My observations were from when I was a Freshman in college and observing other people that age though.

I've seen and heard of people who were older (grad school or working) and had much better experiences managing their time. However, I also remember meeting plenty of people when I was in high school who were much older and seemed to be playing far too much. Statistics on the topic would likely be useful at this point and people who are better at managing their time and dealing with

At this point for giving advice to Freshman aged students, I'd rather put out a warning and see how they handle it than not say anything at all. If someone isn't already adept at managing their time at that age then I honestly think that playing an MMO on a regular basis could be detrimental and far more addictive a hobby than they should be testing themselves with at such a crucial time in their life.

Comment by bryan-san on Stupid Questions, December 2015 · 2015-12-07T02:37:32.926Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Evaporative Cooling in that situation should lead to readers and commenters being only people who like you and people who hate you and want to verbalize it on a regular basis.

On a seperate note, your karma history is 44% positive. I think people both often agree with your comments and often disagree with your comments. They just disagree slightly more often. I think this is a good reason for you to keep posting for the time being.

Comment by bryan-san on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-06T22:08:22.135Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Depends on the amount and specific interval of time investment. MMOs create demands like playing 3-4 hours every tuesday and thursday evening without fail for raids. This now requires a 6-8 hour time investment a week minimum with strong social pressures from online friends. That's not going to be helpful if you have a test on wednesday or friday. If you had a normal RPG or other hobby you could pick it up and put it down without social pressures and regular time investments at intervals in the middle of the week.

Comment by bryan-san on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-06T04:41:53.040Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Let's go with a minimum of:

  • Immediately delete or throw away all MMOs and games that require regular time investments
  • Stick to games that can be picked up or put down easily so that they don't cause harm to your study schedule, sleep schedule, or social commitments
Comment by bryan-san on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-05T17:27:34.677Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Two important questions to ask yourself about the job a major will get you:

  1. What is the unemployment rate on these jobs?
  2. Will this job be automated in 5-10 years?

Health
-Your health is very important for your success
-Getting enough sleep, having a good diet, maintaining energy levels, and being healthy will contribute to your long-term happiness and success.

Sleep
-Melatonin is a supplement that many rationalists take to get better sleep at night
-Sleep Cycle is a good app that monitors your REM sleep cycles and wakes you up in a 30 minute time period when you are closest to being awake
-Setting an alarm at 9:30pm to be able to keep track of time late at night can help avoid the "oh god, it's already 2am?" effect. It also helps avoid...
-Hyperbolic Discounting

Diet
-You will be determining your own diet for the first time in your life
-Most freshman gain lots of weight after starting University due to poor diet and not knowing how to feed themselves in a healthy sustainable way
-Your diet is important for maintaining your general energy level and keeping you healthy
-MyFitnessPal is your new bestfriend for keeping track of what is in the food you eat and for losing weight
-If you want to lose weight: Avoid getting calories from liquids
-Eat and drink far less sugar. Sugar turns in to fat and has tons of calories. Soda and sugary coffee drinks are your new worst enemy

-Edit-
People on Slack reccomended
Cal Newport
and in the same vein as Cal Newport: Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy

Comment by bryan-san on Group Rationality Diary, Dec. 1-13, 2015 · 2015-12-04T20:34:14.275Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I do this, though I hadn't heard of other people doing it before and use it slightly differently. Mine is set to 9:30pm and it is a marker point for me to use when keeping track of time late at night.

If you have the kind of schedule where you get home at 6pm and use a computer until late, then it's easy to lose track of time until it's suddenly 2am. Having a marker point closer to your sleep time (say 9:30pm for a 11pm bedtime) helps in keeping up your internal clock and signals when you need to make schedule modifications in order to finish things up before you need to sleep. I think this is also a good idea to create the form of alarm that will get you to go to sleep but also avoid Hyperbolic Discounting at the last minute.

Comment by bryan-san on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-04T18:37:26.562Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I might agree with your rationale, but not with following the conclusion. It can be very important to attend lectures in order to hear about most likely topics that will be on tests, any possible changes in test or project details and deadlines, to keep good rapport with the professor (so you aren't one of those "students who never show up to class"), and to keep yourself focused on following the material at the rate from which you will be tested on it.

This may also vary by University and professor since some may care more about attendence and some are better than others at emailing information about test and project changes to students rather than just announcing it in class.

Comment by bryan-san on Starting University Advice Repository · 2015-12-04T00:07:20.627Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

80000 Hours
The 80000 Hours Career Guide
An impressive career guide that helps people maximize future impact and future earnings. It gives lots of strong advice on a variety of career choosing topics as well as looking in-depth into a few specific ones. (This website was created for Effective Altruists, but can be used by others very easily.)

Adulthood Fallacy?
This is purely me talking. Do not trust someone to be wise, emotionally mature, responsible, or trustworthy just because they are old. This applies to everyone you meet in the future and everyone you already know. There are people older than you who are worth going to for advice, but they are rare and you will need other heuristics to figure out who these people are.
This is part of Argument from Authority but I think it could be a useful distinction. Most people are not experts on life anyway.

The Planning Fallacy

Social Skills and Networking Social skills and networking are extremely important for long-term success. People start building their skills and networks either in high school or university. Start early. I don't think I am qualified to give specific advice in this area, but I am confident in saying that these things are very important and worth spending time building and learning.

Outside LW Links:
Three Things to Unlearn from School by Ben Casnocha
What You'll Wish You'd Known by Paul Graham

LW Links:
Two More Things to Unlearn from School
College Discussion Thread
Interesting critique of British education by outgoing advisor
What Are Useful Skills to Learn at University
Which College Major
The Best Textbooks on Every Subject

Various books to read:
The Sequences (Start here)
Influence: Science and Practice (very important to learn how to stop other people from influencing you and from influencing yourself through the use of biases)
Thinking: Fast and Slow

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015 · 2015-11-15T16:32:52.716Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Correction: first is an example of weak man argument mixed with personal uncomfortability. However, we could also strong man that as character 1 being agnostic and annoyed at people's attempts at arguing for certainty on the topic.

Second comment is a variant on "my opponent believes something" (noncentral fallacy territory) but breaks into genetic fallacy with the emotion part. My opponent feels annoyed by two opposing groups which is kind of like he thinks that they are intrinsically inferior which is kind of like he thinks he is better/smarter than them which is kind of like he had a superiority complex which is kind of like he doesn't care about the issue at all which is kind of like he is just self centered which is kind of like he's a bad person.

(I may have added extra steps but you get the picture)

Also, good job at noticing your own confusion and uncomfortableness with it even if you weren't sure why!

Comment by bryan-san on Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015 · 2015-11-15T16:28:11.617Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Is this a quote from something? Please rephrase in plain English so every user who reads it doesn't have to take time decoding it.

Comment by bryan-san on Does the Internet lead to good ideas spreading quicker? · 2015-11-05T01:36:48.152Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That's very interesting and I would be interested in seeing her proof. Was it a new idea that religious people had not thought of and spread before?

I should change my claim. People would be likely to think of "loads" of attempted proofs.

The theory I was trying to state is that certain perspectives or states of mind may be more effective at finding certain ideas than others. Calling "being a contrarian" might not be a good name for a perspective but I'll treat it as such for the moment. Do you think if people at CFAR and LW (our local contrarians) were left to their own devices, they would occupy perspectives to reach every single one of the literally hundreds of proofs for the existence of god compared to people who are highly motivated by belief, social-utility, and dedication to an imagined highly dangerous omnipotent deity? Are there some that would be much harder to obtain or much easier?

I think what I may have been trying to get at was that while LW contrarianism is awesome and a pretty great method for thinking about things, it may not be the best for finding all the possible good ideas out there in idea space.

Comment by bryan-san on Does the Internet lead to good ideas spreading quicker? · 2015-11-05T00:29:14.275Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I like the idea of verified experts and fact-checking, though in practice I have a much smaller expectation of the mass public obtaining high quality experts.

I feel like my post is going to be way too negative and I'm sick right now with my cognition mildly compromised, but I like the idea of effectively spreading good ideas so I'll make it anyway.

It also makes it much easier for people with shared interests to get in contact.

This is red flag #1 for me. Even with the ability to use the internet to connect to massive networks of people who have different ideas than use people still seem to have the habit of connecting with people who are already like-minded or close to like-minded. If your main social networking is Facebook and a list of subreddits that don't annoy you then you're less likely to be exposed to ideas that you would both consider different from your current mindset and worth considering. If everyone is spending time obtaining new ideas from their family, real-life friends (who have been selected for similar preferences), religious group, news channel that shares the same political bent as them, online-friends (from similar interests), and possibly worst of all a dictionary that shares the same political bent as them then they aren't going to be getting quality new ideas.

Ways to break this cycle could include trojan-horsing people into it, creating multiple presentations/versions of an idea and then quietly exposing people in separate groups to them in ways that are most effective at gaining that one group's following, figuring out ways of presenting information that skips over worldviews (I'm assuming this is hard), or some other method someone cleverer than me on here can think of. If you want to do something like get everyone to read the Sequences then you could create a handful of versions that covertly make bad but initially believable attempts to convince them that their current worldview is correct. (I may go to rationalist hell just for saying that and please no one attempt it without reading comments to this making it clear what a stupid idea it is.)

This will of course lead to a tremendous increase in the amount of false or useless information. But it will also lead to an increase in true and relevant information.

People still have limited time and limited resources for obtaining information from. Figuring out ways to decrease the false and useless information obtained and increasing the true and relevant information at the same time would be handy.

We also run into the problem that experts are wrong on occasion and our best attempts at true and relevant information fail. Correcting widely spread incorrect information should have a higher priority than a tiny blurb in the hard-to-see corner of a newspaper. Are there any blogs for "Things You Were Told By Experts Not Very Long Ago That We Are Now Pretty Damn Sure Are Not Correct"? If so, please tell me.

Now members of the cognitive elite are, or so I claim, reasonably good at distinguishing between good and bad ideas.

They do? I thought we just pushed ideas that match up to our worldviews, are novel, and we think other people will enjoy/give us status for.

On the other hand, [non-elite groups] are likely to be heavily influenced by the cognitive elite, especially in the longer run.

In the long run, yeah I can see that. People are influenced by new political ideologies and you have to be pretty smart to think of a brand new political ideology (to think of a single example). However, I'm not sure the pathways that ideas follow from the cognitive elite to the cognitive lacking are pathways that select for the ideas that you might want to see spread. Ideas that spread are selected for Divine Plaguespreadingness (I want to use the term memetic virility here but I don't know enough about memetics yet and don't want to explain it away with a fancy term).

Finding ways to hack into the normal Divine Plaguespreadingness could be useful here or finding ways to skip the normal pathways that ideas follow for moving from higher IQ to lower IQ populations. This is also true of different populations with similar IQ. Rationality is likely nowhere near hitting critical mass for the high IQ population in the English-speaking world. If we can hit a larger percentage of that population then other populations may follow. HPMOR certainly falls into the criteria of branching into other populations that might benefit from rationality concepts but wouldn't normally be exposed to LW. Are any other groups trying to branch into other populations in similar ways? The online Harry Potter fanfiction community almost certainly can't be the single low-hanging fruit here, guys.

There are a couple of ways of addressing this problem. One is better reputation/karma systems. That would both incentivize people to disseminate true and relevant information, and make it easier to find true and relevant information.

Oh please god no! No no no no no. If you want to go with a handful of experts Metacritic or Rottentomatoes style then okay we can try that out. However, I don't trust democracy to be the effective way of finding good ideas and spreading them out to people. Democracy is the way of getting the majority to be in control and slowly shift from their current position to another close-but-similar-and-widely-agreed-upon position. It just produces groupthink over time (which can be good politically and could help avoid political upheaval but isn't good for what we're wanting it for).

We would still need effective methods of doing double-blind reviews of things with future changes in opinion only available when don't publicly and the past opinion still visible. That, or some other method that we can get people to make reviews while avoiding biases like signaling their in-group, matching positions with people they regard as higher IQ than them, and all of the other mind-killing biases out there.

I would suggest doing rationality tests, but (assuming people on LW are more rational. now that's a worrying thought) we'd need to adjust for the fact that it would select for people who are exposed to LW rationality or read some of the popular sources like SSC. Besides, people who are rational don't have a monopoly on good ideas and some ideas may be more easily obtainable if you are already heavily biased. (̶Y̶o̶u̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶'̶t̶ ̶g̶e̶t̶ ̶l̶o̶a̶d̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶i̶n̶t̶e̶r̶e̶s̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶a̶t̶t̶e̶m̶p̶t̶e̶d̶ ̶p̶h̶i̶l̶o̶s̶o̶p̶h̶i̶c̶a̶l̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶o̶f̶s̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶x̶i̶s̶t̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶g̶o̶d̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶a̶ ̶n̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶f̶u̶l̶l̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶a̶t̶h̶e̶i̶s̶t̶s̶.̶)̶ (edit you would get "loads". see comments) I think I'm just rambling and disagreeing with myself at this point so I'll stop this line of reasoning.

Another method is automatic quality-control of information (e.g. fact-checking). Google have done some work on this, but still, it is in its infancy. It'll be interesting to follow the development in this area in the years to come.

I like fact-checking. Definitely an applause light going on there. If we've gotten the p-value of studies low enough, the vast majority of experts agree, and there are a notable lack of studies disagreeing then that could be very nice.

Has anyone tried setting up a quality-control engine similar to fact-checking but instead works as a meta-analysis generator for scientific journals? It would be nice to see something along the lines of "Vitamin D is good for you (Note: Only 55% of studies agree on this for improving X, Y, and Z. There is not general consensus on the benefits of Vitamin D for anything by bone health. However, Vitamin D has been recognized as safe to take by organization A so take it anyway and see what happens." And then we can also automatically set you up to an internet database that will email you if that information changes later on so that you can update your behaviors accordingly.

Comment by bryan-san on ClearerThinking's Fact-Checking 2.0 · 2015-10-31T18:30:44.469Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If people on LW are using Bayesian updating properly and check comments for refutations (which some commenters love to do), then this shouldn't be as large a problem.

Comment by bryan-san on Stupid questions thread, October 2015 · 2015-10-15T16:19:06.011Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is an interesting heuristic! Has it led you to any unexpected situations or conclusions?

Comment by bryan-san on Stupid questions thread, October 2015 · 2015-10-15T02:28:43.505Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

What traits do you look for when making friends?

Also, what clues or tells do you use to identify these specific traits?

Comment by bryan-san on Stupid questions thread, October 2015 · 2015-10-14T16:25:09.735Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

http://slatestarcodex.com/2015/03/05/a-cascade-of-dunbar-numbers/ https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_number Those links may interest you

Comment by bryan-san on A few misconceptions surrounding Roko's basilisk · 2015-10-06T22:33:07.912Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I hope they're as hard to come by as you think they are.

Alternatively, Roko could be part of the 1% of people who think of a dangerous idea (assuming his basilisk is dangerous) and spread it on the internet without second guessing themselves. Are there 99 other people who thought of dangerous ideas and chose not to spread them for our 1 Roko?

Comment by bryan-san on A few misconceptions surrounding Roko's basilisk · 2015-10-06T02:57:41.542Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

At the end of the day, I hope this will have been a cowpox situation and lead people to be better informed at avoiding actual dangerous information hazard situations in the future.

I seem to remember reading a FAQ for "what to do if you think you have an idea that may be dangerous" in the past. If you know what I'm talking about, maybe link it at the end of the article?

Comment by bryan-san on How To Win The AI Box Experiment (Sometimes) · 2015-09-16T16:54:44.776Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for posting this. I think it goes a long way in updating the idea that a sane person with average intelligence would let an AI out from low chance to very high chance.

Even if a person thinks that they personally would never let an AI out, they should worry about how likely other people would be to do so.

Comment by bryan-san on Stupid Questions July 2015 · 2015-07-05T14:56:00.863Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

So there are some relationships where you gain emotional energy from the time you spent with the person? This is different from basic extroversion 'recharging'?

I am very glad I asked this question because I did not realize that was even an option. Thank you very much!

Comment by bryan-san on Stupid Questions July 2015 · 2015-07-02T17:49:50.540Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you think the sex alone makes it all worth the time and emotional investment?

Separately (and now we're getting completely hypothetical), what if sex was unavailable or impossible, would it still be worth it to you?

Comment by bryan-san on Stupid Questions July 2015 · 2015-07-02T17:45:40.887Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW
  1. Because I am occasionally terribile at phrasing questions (though my odd phrasings usually get me the answers I'm searching for anyway)
  2. Because the question was more of a ramblingly phrased question than a highly specific and carefully crafted framing
  3. Because I have no intention of ever having children and the question pertains to me