Comment by carwajalca on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T07:48:33.735Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Harry could possibly decipher some of the meaning without asking. When seeing the original ("Thrayen beyn Peverlas soona ahnd thrih heera toal thissoom Dath bey yewoonen."), what did you make of it? I understood it was about Peverell sons and Death. The last word was somewhat reminiscent of German "gewonnen", but this Harry possibly doesn't recognize.

Comment by carwajalca on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T07:21:57.374Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A good guess, if it's someone else than Draco. But where and when did that happen? Are you referring to Harry's comment "I thought of my absolute rejection of death as the natural order." in Chapter 46? Neither of the gentlemen present thought that was sufficient information for understanding how to cast a Patronus.

Comment by carwajalca on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T06:59:06.200Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

That was when the shining creature came to him, gleaming soft white beneath the candlefires of the Ravenclaw common room, as it slithered out from nowhere, the silver snake.

Any guesses why Draco is contacting Harry?

Comment by carwajalca on Meetup : Helsinki Social Meetup · 2013-07-23T06:04:05.413Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately I can't make it this time either. Have a fun meetup! Maybe the next one could be an informal picnic? We should enjoy the short summer while it lasts :)

All rationalists in Finland, FYI:

Comment by carwajalca on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2013-07-18T08:06:59.886Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Nope, you weren't.

Comment by carwajalca on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 16, chapter 85 · 2013-07-18T07:59:02.181Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Pioneer 11 is moving at a speed of 11.4km/s relative to the Sun. The Earth's orbital speed is around 30km/s. Hence it's possible that the Earth-Pioneer distance increases to over six hours for a while and then drops again.

Comment by carwajalca on Decision Theory FAQ · 2013-02-28T10:53:04.691Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe worth noting that there's recommended reading on decision theory on the "Best textbooks on every subject" post.

On decision theory, lukeprog recommends Peterson's An Introduction to Decision Theory over Resnik's Choices and Luce & Raiffa's Games and Decisions.

Comment by carwajalca on Decision Theory FAQ · 2013-02-28T10:48:51.809Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for your post, it was a good summary of decision theory basics. Some corrections:

In the Allais paradox, choice (2A) should be "A 34% chance of 24,000$ and a 66% chance of nothing" (now 27,000$).

A typo in title 10.3.1., the title should probably be "Why should degrees of belief follow the laws of probability?".

In 11.1.10. Prisoner's dilemma, the Resnik quotation mentions a twenty-five year term, yet the decision matrix has "20 years in jail" as an outcome.

Comment by carwajalca on Rationality Quotes January 2013 · 2013-01-29T11:21:28.207Z · score: 26 (26 votes) · LW · GW

"I've never seen the Icarus story as a lesson about the limitations of humans. I see it as a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive."

-- Randall Munroe, in (What-if xkcd, Interplanetary Cessna)

Comment by carwajalca on Rationality Quotes: April 2011 · 2011-05-18T20:16:10.292Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. What I meant is that this quote could be used to defend anything. "Being irrational is interesting, and if you don't agree you can fuck off."

Comment by carwajalca on Rationality Quotes: April 2011 · 2011-05-18T19:43:27.670Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Science is interesting, and if you don't agree you can fuck off.

By Richard Dawkins, quoting a former editor of New Scientist (here's at least one source). I don't think this quote contains any deep wisdom as such, but it made me laugh. Actually you could replace the word science with any other noun and it would still make grammatical sense.

Comment by carwajalca on People who want to save the world · 2011-05-18T14:15:14.158Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I want to increase the probability of world survival. This I intend to do by choosing a career which has some impact on existential risk and by donating money to SIAI. I also believe that promoting cryonics decreases existential risk indirectly - if you expect to be around 1000 years from now, that tends to give a longer-term view on matters.

Comment by carwajalca on People who want to save the world · 2011-05-18T14:09:05.328Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hope you get well soon!

Comment by carwajalca on People who want to save the world · 2011-05-18T14:04:24.798Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

(Possibly weak) evidence for this is the underfunding of organizations which actually appear to be trying to save the world (specifically GiveWell's charities and the SIAI).

I'd say that the reason for the underfunding is more the fact that the organizations are rather unknown, not that most people wouldn't prefer saving the world. E.g. when walking to the university I almost daily meet Greenpeace and Amnesty representants harvesting new members but no-one representing SIAI or GiveWell. What are the latter two doing to make themselves more known to the public?

Comment by carwajalca on Mere Messiahs · 2011-05-17T13:46:49.186Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · LW · GW

John Perry was a New York City police officer who also happened to be an Extropian and transhumanist, which is how I come to know his name. John Perry was due to retire shortly and start his own law practice, when word came that a plane had slammed into the World Trade Center. He died when the north tower fell. I didn't know John Perry personally, so I cannot attest to this of direct knowledge; but very few Extropians believe in God, and I expect that Perry was likewise an atheist.

Don't know about the atheist part, but seems that the man was at least a cryonicist - found this on Alcor's webpage :

Two members of cryonics organizations were lost in the 2001 collapse of the World Trade Center towers. One was a policeman performing rescue operations.

Comment by carwajalca on How did you actually become more effective? · 2011-05-06T14:46:25.711Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I bought David Allen's book Getting Things Done and started applying some of the things mentioned there.

More specifically: I stopped using my calendar as a todo-list ("Tuesday: do some school stuff"), now it only contains things that are bound to a certain date/time. Also defining my todo's better (not "do some school stuff" but "read p. 20-35 and make a short summary") has been helpful.

If I have a bigger project / cause of stress - at the moment my bachelor thesis would be a good example - I write down the next action I need to take regarding it. This usually helps a lot. As he states in the book: "There is no reason ever to have the same thought twice, unless you like having that thought."

The cold showers thing that Kaj mentioned sounds very interesting, have to give it a try.

Comment by carwajalca on Helsinki meetup on May 13, special guest star Patri Friedman (patrissimo) · 2011-05-06T13:28:39.521Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There's now a group in Google Groups called LW Helsinki, it's a closed group so you'll need to request a membership. I'll soon put a short description about this in the LW wiki together with the group's e-mail address. I'm not too familiar with Google Groups but I understood that it can basically be used as an e-mail list (probably with some fancy extra features). It also saves all sent messages for later viewing, i.e. new members on the e-mail list can easily catch up on past discussion.

Short summary for Helsinki LWers: click here and request a membership.

Comment by carwajalca on Helsinki meetup on May 13, special guest star Patri Friedman (patrissimo) · 2011-05-06T10:04:43.290Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I updated the wiki. Does the Helsinki meetup group already have an e-mail list or another means of communication besides LW blog posts?

(Won't be attending this meetup but I'm joining the group later in summer when I'm moving to Finland.)

Comment by carwajalca on SIAI - An Examination · 2011-05-04T13:40:06.893Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Splitting SIAI to separate geographic locations (polymaths in Cheapistan and some people doing networking in the Bay Area) would create costs in the sense that communication is more tedious with e-mails than face-to-face. I wouldn't want to split the working community either if I was working there (assuming that the community is good which I believe it is).

Your question about what the Bay Area benefits are, is a good one. Are there other benefits besides networking?

Comment by carwajalca on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-05-04T11:43:16.051Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

First a suggestion: I think it would make sense to change the topic to "Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010&2011)". I was confused whether I should post here or on the original "Welcome to Less Wrong!"

Then to the actual topic of my comment:


I've been lurking a couple of months now, the rationality mini camp finally activated me to do something instead of just passively soaking up information. I wasn't selected, but I definitely do not regret applying for the camp.

Some info about myself, I grew up on the south coast of Finland and went to a Swedish-language school. Consequently I'm bilingual (Fin&Swe) and also acquired a strong interest in languages - besides the aforementioned I speak English, German, Russian and French. My other hobbies are skiing (both downhill and cross-country), travelling and car repairing.

LW was the biggest reason why I bought myself a Kindle - namely I wanted to read the sequences during commuting but carrying the laptop arround was too tiresome. Thanks to jb55 for making eBook-versions of them! I've made my way through around 80% of the sequences, although I'll have to reread at least the quantum mechanics one with pen and paper at hand.

My location is in France, 2 km from the Swiss city of Basel. I'm currently doing an exchange year in ETH Zurich, but the apartment prices in Zurich together with the fact that my fiancee studies in Basel led us to choose France instead. My main subject is operations research, in a nutshell statistics/mathematics flavoured with lots of simulating. I'm very interested in decision analysis and decision theory. The information about cognitive biases on LW has exceeded that what I learned on the university course about decision analysis, don't know though whether this tells more about the course or LW... Furthermore the self-development interest and striving (Tsuyoky Naritai!) is something I share with the community.

Looking forward to summer meetups in Southern Finland! (Might organize one myself once I've relocated to the area)

Comment by carwajalca on Official Less Wrong Redesign: Call for Suggestions · 2011-05-04T11:02:39.287Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted, this would also encourage people to contribute (lower the threshold of actually beginning to write a post).