What cognitive biases feel like from the inside 2020-01-03T14:24:22.265Z
Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. 2019-11-04T14:04:10.851Z
Functional silence: communication that minimizes change of receiver's beliefs 2019-02-12T21:32:27.015Z
In favor of tabooing the word “values” and using only “priorities” instead 2018-10-25T22:28:34.920Z
An optimistic explanation of the outrage epidemic 2018-07-15T14:35:26.357Z
The Copenhagen Letter 2017-09-18T18:45:38.469Z
New business opportunities due to self-driving cars 2017-09-06T20:07:47.183Z
Prediction should be a sport 2017-08-10T07:55:44.313Z
Meetup : First LessWrong meetup in Leipzig! 2017-05-17T09:03:01.392Z
Elon Musk launches Neuralink, a venture to merge the human brain with AI 2017-03-28T10:49:44.376Z
Could utility functions be for narrow AI only, and downright antithetical to AGI? 2017-03-16T18:24:22.657Z
In-depth description of a quite strict, quite successful government program against teen substance abuse, spreading from Iceland 2017-01-19T12:04:48.693Z
A different argument against Universal Basic Income 2016-12-28T22:35:31.696Z
What degree of cousins are you and I? Estimates of Consanguinity to promote feelings of kinship and empathy 2015-05-20T17:10:37.941Z
Nick Bostrom's TED talk on Superintelligence is now online 2015-04-27T15:15:21.481Z
3-day Solstice in Leipzig, Germany: small, nice, very low cost, includes accommodation, 19th-21st Dec 2014-10-09T16:38:06.739Z
In order to greatly reduce X-risk, design self-replicating spacecraft without AGI 2014-09-20T20:25:36.802Z
Talking to yourself: A useful thinking tool that seems understudied and underdiscussed 2014-09-09T16:56:38.149Z
[link] The ethics of genetically enhanced monkey slaves 2014-02-20T09:40:56.517Z
A big Singularity-themed Hollywood movie out in April offers many opportunities to talk about AI risk 2014-01-07T17:48:11.363Z
Measuring lethality in reduced expected heartbeats 2014-01-03T14:14:40.145Z
Meetup : Secular Solstice Celebration! (And the Inauguration of the LW Leipzig Community) 2013-11-30T12:42:31.770Z
[Link] Cognitive biases about violence as a negotiating tactic 2013-10-25T11:43:09.909Z
Teaching rationality to kids? 2013-10-16T12:38:25.199Z
Techniques to consciously activate a rationalist self-image 2013-08-30T00:01:14.770Z
The Fermi paradox as evidence against the likelyhood of unfriendly AI 2013-08-01T18:46:53.630Z
Business Insider: "They Finally Tested The 'Prisoner's Dilemma' On Actual Prisoners — And The Results Were Not What You Would Expect" 2013-07-24T12:44:05.763Z
Can we make Drake-like Fermi estimates of expected distance to the next planet with primitive, sentient or self-improving life? 2013-07-10T01:34:36.397Z
Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt: apparently a transhumanist 2013-04-25T00:36:41.935Z
Anybody want to meet in Leipzig, Germany? 2013-04-03T22:53:50.516Z
Caelum est Conterrens: I frankly don't see how this is a horror story 2013-03-06T10:31:48.001Z
My simple hack for increased alertness and improved cognitive functioning: very bright light 2013-01-18T13:43:01.031Z
Replaceability as a virtue 2012-12-12T07:53:48.868Z


Comment by chaosmage on Irrational Modesty · 2021-07-12T19:03:40.080Z · LW · GW

I think seeking status and pointing out you already have some are two different things. Writing an analysis, it would be quite relevant to mention what expertise or qualifications you have concerning the subject matter.

Comment by chaosmage on Irrational Modesty · 2021-06-21T12:28:24.548Z · LW · GW

I'd go as far as to say justified pride and status-seeking is actually a virtue and a moral duty!

Why? Because status is a signal: high status people are worth imitating. That isn't all status is, but it is a very central benefit that justifies its existence. If you are really successful, and you're hiding that, you're refusing to share valuable information. They might want to check what you're dong right, and imitate that, hopefully becoming more sucessful themselves.

And why would you refuse to seek justified status? I see only three reasons.

  • Fear of embarassment when you reach too high.
  • Deliberate deception in order to benefit from asymmetric information.
  • Outmoded cultural traditions from back when it was hard to check someone else's work and see whether it is actually that good.

I don't think any of these are good reasons.

Comment by chaosmage on Thoughts on the Repugnant Conclusion · 2021-03-08T13:45:41.336Z · LW · GW

I will reluctantly concede this is logical. If you want to optimize for maximal happiness, find out what the minimal physical correlate of happiness is, and build tiny replicators that do nothing but have a great time. Drown the planet in them. You can probably justify the expense of building ships and ship builders with a promise of more maximized happiness on other planets.

But this is basically a Grey Goo scenario. Happy Goo.

Yes it's a logical conclusion, yes it is repugnant, and I think it's a reductio ad absurdum of the whole idea of optimizing for conscious states. An even more dramatic one than wild animal suffering.

Comment by chaosmage on What cognitive biases feel like from the inside · 2021-02-27T16:14:46.576Z · LW · GW

I think this is off topic here, except it does sort of the same thing by breaking principles down I to concrete statements. That said, I think that site is exceptionally well-written and designed. I wish other persuasion projects adopted that kind of approach.

Comment by chaosmage on What's your best alternate history utopia? · 2021-02-22T09:42:59.136Z · LW · GW

Oh I know how!

When Einstein figured out spacetime, we rethought not only physics, but also other faulty conclusions from our false assumption that reality is three-dimensional. Everything is moving through four dimensions, including us, and that means we're four-dimensional too, although our consciousness is limited to three-dimensional moments.

We started to see ourselves as growing through time like four-dimensional snakes. Or branches, really, since we've all branched off our four-dimensional others when we were born. And by simple recursion we realized that in four dimensions, we all are branched off common ancestors, way back to the origin of life, and all other life-forms are merely seperate-seeming branches of the only life on Earth, the evolutionary tree of life. All of our bodies and minds are extensions of the same thing, just like our fingers are extensions of the same hand.

Lots of religious and mystically inclined people got very excited about this and wanted to believe this is something like proof of God, or all life is conscious, or there's some grand plan, but we insisted on plain physics: nothing about causality has changed, life isn't smart or intentional or conscious, but life is us, and that merely means our self-image was as mistaken as our image of physics. We had to stop identifying with consciousness, which made a lot of problems with consciousness more tractable, and started to identify with the single process that produces all our seperate consciousnesses.

That necessitated a lot of re-thinking of ethics, because consciousness wasn't so fundamental anymore and suffering of conscious beings started to look more incidental. We decided that our minds were created by us/life to serve its/our purpose, and life's/our purpose, while not conscious, looked from revealed preferences like survival, dissemination and diversification. So that became our yardstick for ethical behavior: good is what helps life to survive, spread, diversity and, somewhere among the stars, maybe meet another one.

Comment by chaosmage on AR Glasses: Much more than you wanted to know · 2021-01-16T08:09:08.814Z · LW · GW

Awesome article, I would only add another huge AR-enabled transformation that you missed.

AR lets you stream your field of view to someone and hear their comments. I hear this is already being used in airplane inspection: a low level technician at some airfield can look at an engine and stream their camera to a faraway specialist for that particular engine and get their feedback if it is fine, or instructions what to do for diagnostics and repair. The same kind of thing is apparently being explored for remote repairs of things like oil pipelines, where quick repair is very valuable but the place of the damage can be quite remote. I think it also makes a lot of sense for spaceflight, where an astronaut could run an experiment while streaming to, and instructed by, the scientists who designed it. As the tech becomes cheaper and more mature, less extreme use cases begin to make economic sense.

I imagine this leads into a new type of job that I guess could be called an avatar: someone who has AR glasses and a couple of knowledgable people they can impersonate. This lets the specialist stay at home and lend their knowledge to lots of avatars and complete more tasks than they could have done in person. Throw in a market for avatars and specialists to find each other and you can give a lot of fit but unskilled youngsters and skilled but slow seniors new jobs.

And this makes literal hands-on training much cheaper. You can put on AR glasses and connect to an instructor who will instruct you to try out stuff, explain what is going on and give you the most valuable kind of training. This already exists for desk jobs but now you can do it with gardening or cooking or whatever.

Comment by chaosmage on What cognitive biases feel like from the inside · 2021-01-08T06:47:06.030Z · LW · GW

Did he read it later?

Comment by chaosmage on Covid 1/7: The Fire of a Thousand Suns · 2021-01-08T06:45:12.106Z · LW · GW

South Africa, and Brazil where the South Africa strain is apparently spreading, are in summer right now. How are temperatures going to save us from that one?

Comment by chaosmage on What cognitive biases feel like from the inside · 2020-08-26T17:35:09.622Z · LW · GW

Did you share it with your son, and if so what was the result?

Comment by chaosmage on What cognitive biases feel like from the inside · 2020-03-13T14:08:51.965Z · LW · GW

Awesome! Thanks a lot!

Comment by chaosmage on What cognitive biases feel like from the inside · 2020-01-04T12:53:17.177Z · LW · GW

I'm fantasizing about infographics with multiple examples of the same bias, an explanation how they're all biased the same way, and very brief talking points like "we're all biased, try to avoid this mistake, forgive others if they make it, learn more at".

They could be mass produced with different examples. Like one with a proponent of Minimum Wage and an opponent of it, arguing under intense confirmation bias as described in the table above, with a headline like "Why discussions about Minimum Wage often fail". Another one "Why discussions of Veganism often fail", another one "Why discussions of Gun Control often fail" etc. Each posted to the appropriate subreddits etc. Then evolve new versions based on what got the most upvotes.

But I am completely clueless about how to do infographics. I'd love for someone to grab the idea and run with it. But realistically I should probably try to half-ass something and hope it shows enough potential for someone with the skills to take pity.

Or at least get more eyes on it to further improve the concept. Getting feedback from fellow LessWrongers was extremely helpful for development thus far.

Comment by chaosmage on What cognitive biases feel like from the inside · 2020-01-03T14:33:02.270Z · LW · GW

I'm using pictures because I couldn't get either editor to accept a proper table.

Comment by chaosmage on Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. · 2019-12-13T14:58:11.410Z · LW · GW

In a car park? But they will be way more densely packed than cars in car parks, because no humans need access. The cabins get placed there and retrieved from there by autonomous engines.

Comment by chaosmage on Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. · 2019-11-06T10:04:43.039Z · LW · GW

Here are more use cases.

  • A specialized cabin for your kid to drive to/from school alone, or for your toddler to drive to/from kindergarten alone. Robotaxis will definitely be used for this because it is super valuable to parents. But a small specialized cabin would be more economical than a standard (typical car size) cabin fitted with child seats.
  • Visiting dialysis station.
  • Specialized delivery cabins for particular types of cargo: refrigerated, extra suspension, stuff for transporting animals. We do this with trucks, but trucks are big because they're optimized to need less human drivers per mass of cargo, and once that restriction is gone the disadvantages of big trucks should incentivize a move to smaller cargo vehicles.

I think these three are major enough that even if we stay with single vehicles, these use cases would merit development of specialized robotaxis to cover them, sooner or later. But a tug and cabin system gets there sooner.

Comment by chaosmage on Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. · 2019-11-05T09:25:09.331Z · LW · GW

I think I made a mistake using the word "accommodation". (English isn't my first language.) What I meant is basically "where the people and cargo are stored safely and comfortably". That can be something big to live in, but it could also be a single seat cabin for a commute.

The point is you can have several different types for different purposes, because you don't need to buy an expensive motor and computer with each of them.

Comment by chaosmage on Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. · 2019-11-05T09:15:51.791Z · LW · GW

Good points.

Agree about the battery swaps, but swapping a tug would be easier.

Cargo containers are definitely like this, but they're big because it is more economical to spread the cost of the driver over a large amount of cargo. Cargo wagons/modules could be in a wide range of sizes, including small/fast ones that are more like courier service than like bulk transport.

Comment by chaosmage on Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. · 2019-11-04T15:23:08.116Z · LW · GW

You don't need a parking spot - the system can still be used as a robotaxi, it just has additional uses.

You don't need to be where your wagon is, you can send it places. Because of that, you could even rent out your wagon (say you offer a rental sound system or a mobile massage parlor).

Comment by chaosmage on Elon Musk is wrong: Robotaxis are stupid. We need standardized rented autonomous tugs to move customized owned unpowered wagons. · 2019-11-04T14:52:11.624Z · LW · GW

If you're a first world citizen and able to spend $35k+ on a car, sure. Most of the cars that need replacing are way cheaper, and their replacement needs to be way cheaper too.

Comment by chaosmage on Winter Solstice 2018 Roundup · 2018-11-28T09:04:26.007Z · LW · GW

There is a Secular Solstice in Berlin, Germany, but it happens in a small apartment so it has to be invitation only and is already full AFAIK.

Frankfurt, Germany might again be doing one but I do not know particulars.

Leipzig, Germany is not having one this year due to the place where the last couple of Solstices happened being currently infested with toddlers.

Comment by chaosmage on Embedded Agents · 2018-11-01T08:47:51.237Z · LW · GW

The text is beautifully condensed. And the handwritten style does help it look casual/inviting.

But the whole thing loaded significantly slower than I read. How many megabytes is this post? I haven't waited this long for a website to load for years.

Comment by chaosmage on On Doing the Improbable · 2018-10-29T13:11:25.300Z · LW · GW

What really helps is mortality and our inbred need to leave a legacy. It is better to pick a project with low probability of success than none at all. That can help you stick with something you only estimate to have a low chance of success, at least long enough to have sunk costs kick in. Does for me anyway.

This mechanism may only work for one man projects, or work in tight knit groups like bands of musicians. Your contribution to a big project doesn't feel like a legacy to the same degree.

Comment by chaosmage on [deleted post] 2018-10-28T17:30:20.522Z

That sounds a *lot* like .

It does not sound a lot like any existing variant of Panpsychism. Since the word isn't doing any work here, I suggest you do without it.

Comment by chaosmage on An optimistic explanation of the outrage epidemic · 2018-07-15T20:12:20.418Z · LW · GW

No, the degree of outrage also depends on closeness to the victim. In this case Jews will feel closer to Israelis (the victims of Palestinians), and Muslims will feel closer to Palestinians (the victims of Israelis) so that's what they're outraged about. Closeness to the perpetrator is a factor I think, but I don't expect it is stronger than closeness to the victim.

Comment by chaosmage on Understanding is translation · 2018-06-01T15:35:17.596Z · LW · GW

Yes! Thank you!

I've had similar ideas for a long time. I've translated three books and find that I think of many acts of communication as translations. In particular, I find it useful to think of misunderstandings as mistranslations.

To think of thinking/speaking styles as languages just plain makes sense, and I feel that when people "are on the same wavelength" what is really happening is that they're (somewhat unusually) actually speaking the same language.

I don't use this concept for processes inside a single mind, though. Might be worth thinking about, but a term that denotes work with explicit communications does not seem like a good fit for processes that are almost entirely implicit.

Comment by chaosmage on Eight political demands that I hope we can agree on · 2018-05-01T23:04:20.364Z · LW · GW

#6 is really "we want legal euthanasia" right? Might as well say it like it is.

I think legal prostitution belongs on the list as well.

And maybe an end to tax advantages for churches? Because that's direct state funding for irrationality.

Comment by chaosmage on Mythic Mode · 2018-02-24T10:43:05.182Z · LW · GW

This fake frameworks thing looks quite clearly like Chaos Magic, and the reference to the Book of the Law quote "wine and strange drugs" is a dog whistle to that effect.

Some chaos magicians like to use drug experiences as ready-made containers for what Val calls the Mythic Mode. Some drugs can both increase the ability to suspend disbelief while inside the experience and make it easier to distance oneself from it when outside of it. A good description of techniques for this, with all non-scientific woo-woo strictly optional, is Julian Vayne's "Getting Higher - The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony".

There's more where that came from. I like to recommend Philip Farber's "Meta-Magick - The Book of Atem" with a bunch of visualization-focused techniques very similar to the ones Kaj Sotola has described and demonstrated to great effect. Julian Vayne's and Nikki Wyrd's "The Book of Baphomet" is perhaps the best example of an artificial myth created with great artistic and poetic skill and then inhabited with significant personal results.

Comment by chaosmage on An Equilibrium of No Free Energy · 2017-11-05T18:57:56.484Z · LW · GW

I posted the idea of installing very bright lights on LW five years ago and Eliezer commented there so I give myself credit for at least making that spontaneous idea more likely. And it happens to be the case I've been thinking about the failings of light boxes for SAD in the meantime.

What happened is that a few people experimented with light therapy, got succcess with 2500lux for two hours, decided two hours per day was infeasible outside the lab, found that they could get the same result dividing the time but multiplying the light intensity and then... just... stopped. They did studies with 10000 lux boxes and that's a relatively expensive study so you better cooperate with a producer of such boxes. So you get some type of kickback and suddenly nobody's interested in studying whether stronger, cheaper lights are even better. Light boxes became a medical device and magically became just as expensive as medical insurers would tolerate. That they don't work for everyone was expected, because no depression treatment works for everyone (maybe except electroconvulsive therapy, and Ketamine but that was later). And LEDs only became cheap enough recently (five years ago they still weren't clearly the cheapest option), so going much beyond 10000 lux presented enough of a technical challenge to make further trials pretty expensive, until recently.

Right now, you could probably do a study with SAD sufferers who have tried light boxes and found them insufficient. Give them a setup that produces like 40000 lux and fits in a normal ceiling fixture so they can have it running while they do things, rather than have to make time to sit in front of it. For a double blind control design, maybe give one group twice the brightness of the other? Have your participants log every day how much time they spent in the room with the lamp running, and how much time they spent outside. Don't give them money but let them keep the lamp if they continue mailing their fillled out questionnaires. Should be doable at a hundred dollars per participant, and without ever physically meeting them. You still need six figures to run that study at a large enough size, and no light box maker is going to fund you.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-13T15:41:58.446Z · LW · GW

Yes. I wonder how hard it'll be to sleep in the things. I find sleeper trains generally a bad place to sleep, but that's mostly because of the other passengers.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-12T18:50:28.428Z · LW · GW

I should be disappointed, but disappointment requires surprise.

Comment by chaosmage on Inconsistent Beliefs and Charitable Giving · 2017-09-12T13:12:00.548Z · LW · GW

Don't worry, you didn't actually come across that way, Lumifer is just being a jerk again. You're fairly new here, so you don't yet know Lumifer prefers that kind of comment. Sorry about him, and about LW not having a mute button.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-12T13:06:38.855Z · LW · GW

I completely agree with everything you said here.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-12T12:49:09.061Z · LW · GW

contemporary car design is driven by law-mandated safety requirements

I don't know about your country but in mine (Germany) the car industry has so much influence they basically write their own laws. (That's how we got those safety requirements: They're defense against cheaper cars from abroad.) If their business model stops being focused on general use cars, the laws will change very quickly.

a general-purpose car will spend less time sitting in a parking lot doing nothing while waiting for someone to require it

Sure! Not a problem if its TCO is pretty low. Most of those more specialized vehicles will be cheaper than general purpose cars, because they have sharply reduced capabilities. A great number of them will be pretty small, just enough to carry a single person or (in an even smaller, windowless car) a piece of cargo. Others will have to require paying a premium, but they'll mostly be doing things general purpose cars cannot do, like transport a horse.

Side note: Some of those specialized cars will also be sold, not rented. I imagine rich parents gifting their seven year olds their own car. And as soon as someone makes what is basically just a bed on wheels, a small minority of people will live in those things.

The doctor doesn't come to your house first because her time is more valuable than yours

That's a good point. So maybe it starts with hairdressers.

Of course offering services at home will be most attractive to those who are new to their field and haven't sunk costs into an office.

and second because it's hard (=expensive) to bring along all the nurses and assistants and the medical equipment that she has around her office.

Most doctors need very little equipment most of the time. Some types of doctors (psychiatrists, dermatologists) need very little equipment period.

The cost of a driver is a minor component of the cost of renting large, expensive, luxury things. Taking it out will not make them suddenly affordable.

The main cost is insurance and autonomous vehicles means that one drops hard. The lack of a driver mostly means you can rent things out in a very large operating radius.

And, by the way, who will unload, set up, dismantle and load back into the self-driving truck all these jacuzzis and huge sound systems?

Most of the things never leave the "truck". The vehicle is built around them, on a standardized flat chassis. Some of them will have staff, sure. For example, you'd have a bartender if you were renting out a highly specialized mobile bar that has casks of twenty different excellent whiskeys and might be popular with bachelor parties.

Also, about the "stuff that previously only millionaires or billionaires would afford" that your median-income person would be able to rent if only you take the truck driver out of the equation -- literally nothing comes to my mind.

Alright. I'll leave it at that.

They are called caravans or camper vans or RVs. They exist. Have you tried renting them? They are quite expensive to rent, much more so than hotel rooms.

You're simply wrong about rental RVs: their prices are not much more expensive than hotel rooms anymore. (They do remain more expensive than small rental cars.) Check for yourself at places like . They'll get cheaper by going electric (like all cars will) due to less moving parts and less repairs. They'll get cheaper again by going autonomous (like all cars will) due to less mass for the driver cab and less accidents. So even if it was just self-driving RVs, they'd be an opportunity to disrupt stationary hotels.

But RVs are lower class than most hotel rooms, they're cramped, they're optimized for carrying lots of supplies and they have kitchens. A lot of people wouldn't want to use an RV even if it was half the price of a typical hotel room. If you have a self-driving RV and you want to really tear into the market share of stationary hotels, you throw out the kitchen and most of the cupboards and put in the best bed that you can make fit and a great entertainment system.

" for a large number of people, driving is their only reason not to drink or do drugs" -- that's, um, wrong. I have no idea how you came up with such nonsense.

Couple of years in psychiatric research.

no such thing as a "sailing license" (in most countries that I know of)

So you don't know a lot of European countries? I don't know a lot of non-European ones, so you may be right this isn't a factor there.

renting sizeable boats is quite expensive

Exactly. And why? Because the risk of accidents, and the insurance to cover that, is a larger cost factor than with cars. And the main advantage of vehicle autonomy is the sharply reduced number of accidents.

Recreational boating doesn't want fully autonomous boats, anyway

Maybe many don't. But recreational divers and anglers and people who just need to get across the water will be happy with it.

commercial shipping already uses autopilots and still finds out that it needs people to run ships

Yes but it needs way fewer people. If you charter a yacht now, you have a crew of at least 5 people. With an autonomous yacht, you can go down to one crewmember who mostly cleans the place, and maybe a cook.

Renting a self-driving truck is not going to be cheaper than renting a regular truck

Your assertion is ludicrous. Yes it will be cheaper, and a lot. The self-driving truck doesn't need to carry all the mass that the driver needs, including fragile points of failure such as windows, it doesn't have mandatory stop times, it gets into way fewer accidents, it basically cannot be stolen. If you don't think a self-driving truck company can undercut a traditional trucking company, I hope you don't run a trucking company.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-11T09:44:09.086Z · LW · GW

Wow, this is amazing! Thank you!

He talks about various general effects rather than specific business opportunities, so the overlap is very small, but his vision and mine seem entirely compatible.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-11T09:18:47.446Z · LW · GW

What I failed to say is that I expect the time between production of a good and arrival at the customer to continue to shorten. I think additive manufacturing makes just in time production economical for a growing segment of goods.

Obviously the production and delivery specifics of different goods are very different. Wheat will continue to be warehoused long after jewellery and clothing have completely moved to just in time production and direct delivery. I misstated my position by not mentioning these important differences.

I say I think this transition will be slower than the others because I imagine it starts with goods that are precious, fragile or spoil quickly, i.e. the goods where you most want to minimize loading and unloading.

I don't think trucks will be free, but I do think they'll be much cheaper per ton per mile than they are now. Electric means the motor gets rid of most moving parts and becomes much more reliable. Autonomy means the rest of the vehicle gets rid of all the things that only a driver needs, especially the operator's cab and mandatory stop times. A warehouse will still be cheaper in many cases (especially in rural areas), but the fraction of things that it is easier to just leave in the car can only go up.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-11T08:54:17.350Z · LW · GW

You make excellent points. I hadn't even heard of SnapGoods, NeighborGoods etc.

I'm imagining it not as a peer to peer service, but more along the lines of a car rental company that owns a fleet of things it rents out.

I think you're right about the need to build a significant customer base rather quickly. My guess is that it might be feasible to first offer big expensive things that people don't usually own already, like a fancy jacuzzi, a top end VR rig, a complete "wedding size" soundsystem and a bouncy castle. And once you're known for those, work your way down into more normal consumer goods, guided by the requests of your first customers.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-11T08:35:12.224Z · LW · GW

Well said.

To be fair, I didn't expect this to be voted very high. Not in these times. I was basically writing this down to have a public record of the talk I gave, and to look back at this years later and see how I did predicting things.

I do see your larger point though. I was clearly motivated to produce this by the large and friendly crowd at the European Less Wrong Community Weekends, where most people go by Crocker's Rule and give way better feedback than Lumifer is able to. The little extra effort of writing down would have been worth it even if all the comments would have been Lumifer level quality. If LessWrong was the only place I put these ideas, the current environment here would indeed not feel very much worth the work of spelling them out in the first place.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-11T08:19:25.989Z · LW · GW

"services that go visit the customer outcompete ones that the customer has to go visit" - and what does this have to do with self-driving cars? Whether the doctor has to actively drive the car to travel to the patient, or can just sit there in the car while the car drives all the way, the same time is still lost due to the travel, and the same fuel is still used up.

Yes. But a significant part of the job of a doctor is paperwork (filing stuff for insurance companies etc.) and she can do that while the car drives itself. If she had to hire a driver (and have her sit idly while she's with a patient), the driver would be the most expensive part of her vehicle, just like the taxi driver is the most expensive part of the taxi.

If she's the kind of doctor that can carry all her equipment inside that car (i.e. not a radiologist 😉) she might even be able to abolish her office and waiting room entirely, for extra savings.

And self driving hotel rooms? What, are we in the Harry Potter world where things can be larger in the inside than in the outside?

No, we're in a world where tourists generally don't mind going slowly and enjoying the view. These things would be pretty big on the outside, at least RV size, but they wouldn't be RVs. They wouldn't usually have kitchens and their showers would have to be way nicer than typical RV showers.

Comment by chaosmage on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-09T12:47:26.442Z · LW · GW

I don't see how it was a failure, so you're wrong about it being obvious.

Given the intensity of your criticism, I wonder why you aren't being more specific about the faults you see here.

Comment by chaosmage on Prediction should be a sport · 2017-08-11T14:50:21.528Z · LW · GW

I'd definitely want to participate, and looking at the yearly predictions SSC and others do, I'm surely not the only one.

But someone would have to set it up, run it and advertise it. You don't even strictly need to write software for it. It could be done on any forum, as a thread or series of threads. It could be done here, if this place wasn't so empty nowadays.

Comment by chaosmage on Prediction should be a sport · 2017-08-10T14:38:22.534Z · LW · GW

I don't know why you think that. Quiz shows need huge production values and very valuable prizes to still be interesting.

With the kind of budget that's conceivable for a startup group of amateur organizers, you have to be novel/creative to be found worth noticing outside the immediate circle of participants. Sure you could run a quiz show on a shoestring budget, but nobody is going to talk about it after.

And since this is about reaching people with ideas of thinking in probabilities and updating on evidence, everything that doesn't get talked about after is a failure. Even if the event itself was entertaining.

Comment by chaosmage on Prediction should be a sport · 2017-08-10T12:09:20.622Z · LW · GW

But in that case, it isn't really about prediction anymore. A game like that rewards knowledge, not the ability to do research and deal with probabilistic information.

Someone who has read a lot of Wikipedia, or who happens to have read papers on topics similar to the experiment in question, could outperform someone who constructs predictions very rationally but from a different set of domain knowledge facts. This makes it closer to a quiz show, i.e. a less original and less interesting event.

A slow, online tournament (where everyone has the same internet to do research in) greatly reduces the value of blunt knowledge and makes success more dependent on the ability to weigh evidence.

Comment by chaosmage on Prediction should be a sport · 2017-08-10T11:11:08.347Z · LW · GW

A special event can bring people together, but most games of Poker don't happen in the setting of a tournament.

Oh, absolutely. But the big events are great PR and lead to lots of private games. So if there's a big event for prediction I think that helps people start to think in probabilities and conscious handling of prediction on other occasions.

Poker has the advantage of being able to be played casually with low feedback circles. Adrenalin rises while you play and you don't have to wait a year to see whether or not you win.

I think we need games like the credence game that have tight feedback loops.

That would be cool. I have a hard time imagining them though. Maybe a group of players could watch a video together, pause every couple of minutes and place percentages on a set of predictions on what happens next?

Comment by chaosmage on Prediction should be a sport · 2017-08-10T10:50:11.219Z · LW · GW

A simple fix would be to include predictions about particular parts of the year. For example, have a bunch of predictions about each quarter, on top of the ones about the whole year. And then you could have an extra prize for each quarter where you score only that subset of predictions.

You could easily go more short term, like "what are your predictions for September", but I think this requires more participation and work from everyone so maybe it would be better as a second step that you do only if the relatively relaxed yearly tournament has turned out to be cool.

Comment by chaosmage on Prediction should be a sport · 2017-08-10T09:56:48.863Z · LW · GW

In that type of scenario, I think it is hard to avoid a situation where domain knowledge dominates rational handling of evidence. It might be better, I don't know. Could you describe in more detail what kind of game you're imagining?

I'm slightly biased against it because this seems even more like gambling. Specifically, like sports betting. And as soon as you involve prizes, it'll be hard to avoid being subject to gambling legislation.

Comment by chaosmage on The Unyoga Manifesto · 2017-08-09T08:06:32.781Z · LW · GW

I like this a lot, especially the beginning. Concise, clear and true. And the bit about the difficulty of following subtle gradients is particularly well put.

I'd like you to flesh this out more, especially because the title "manifesto" leads readers to expect more substance. Maybe add examples, or thoughts on group vs. solitary practice, or considerations about yoga for kids and yoga for seniors, and in each case make very clear what you think isn't helpful and what you think is.

Comment by chaosmage on Bet or update: fixing the will-to-wager assumption · 2017-06-08T10:32:27.389Z · LW · GW

Is there a way to get the benefit of including betting into settling arguments, without the shady associations (and possible legal ramifications) of it being gambling?

Comment by chaosmage on Net Utility and Planetary Biocide · 2017-04-28T14:17:41.744Z · LW · GW

Yes, because it has more potential for improvement.

The Earth of a million years ago, where every single animal was fighting for its life in an existence of pain and hunger, was more hellish than the present one, where at least a percent or so are comparatively secure. So that's an existence proof of hellishness going away.

Emptiness doesn't go away. Empty worlds evidently tend to stay empty. We now see enough of them well enough to know that.

Comment by chaosmage on Effective altruism is self-recommending · 2017-04-22T06:01:28.686Z · LW · GW

Very very interesting. I have nothing to add except: This would get more readers and comments if the summary was at the top, not the bottom.

Comment by chaosmage on Net Utility and Planetary Biocide · 2017-04-09T08:04:24.842Z · LW · GW

I'm not convinced that perpetual suffering is particularly human. We could be the species of animal that suffers least on an average day, since we have better solutions to hunger and thirst than anyone else and no predator is likely to disembowel us and our offspring in our sleep.

So it seems to me what you're really doing is questioning the value of (conscious) life itself. Is that right?

It is an old question that has been answered many ways, because no single answer has appealed to everybody. Buddhism is one answer that I particularly dislike but is apparently soothing to many.

To me, an indictment of life itself as not worth living is a reductio ad absurdum of the whole project of reducing the complexity of literally everything to a single one-dimensional utility-disutility scale to which everything is commensurable. (The paperclip maximizer is another.)

My personal supposition is that (conscious) life is an engine that runs on (conscious) suffering to produce (conscious) understanding. And since there are probably innumerable lifeless universes, I'd rather have one with suffering and understanding in it, if only for variety, than prefer another lifeless one. I don't expect to convince you, I'm just saying this works for me.

Comment by chaosmage on Musical setting of the Litany of Tarski · 2017-04-07T18:30:24.531Z · LW · GW

It seems like something like seems to be the answer. It has musicians available down into the 50 dollars range.