link to a Feynman video (and a 2nd (distantly related) video) 2012-01-16T18:00:50.618Z · score: 3 (6 votes)
Deviant argumentation regarding Monty Hall problem 2011-10-25T23:27:19.126Z · score: 1 (8 votes)
Ig Nobel for the anti-akrasia guy 2011-10-04T13:28:25.222Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Meditations on first philosophy 2011-01-19T00:27:33.631Z · score: -2 (13 votes)
Theory and practice of meditation 2010-12-22T01:23:48.124Z · score: 2 (5 votes)
Human performance, psychometry, and baseball statistics 2010-10-15T13:13:25.322Z · score: 24 (31 votes)


Comment by craig_heldreth on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview · 2017-09-17T02:27:52.910Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What would make you personally use the new LessWrong?

Quality content. Quality content. And quality content.

Is there any specific feature that would make you want to use it?

The features which I would most like to see:

Wiki containing all or at least most of the jargon.

Rationality quotations all in one file alphabetically ordered by author of the quote.

Book reviews and topical reading lists.

Pie in the sky: the Yudkowsky sequences edited, condensed, and put into an Aristotelian/Thomsian/Scholastic order. (Not that Aristotle or Thomas Aquinas ever did this but the tradition of the scholastics was always to get this pie in the sky.) It might be interesting to see what an experienced book editor would advise doing with this material.

Everything I would want to not see has been covered by yourself or others in this thread.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Questions to ask theist philosophers? I will soon be speaking with several · 2014-04-28T18:28:15.548Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Who is your favorite philosopher?

Do you have a favorite atheist philosopher?

If not the same guy as for question number one, who is your favorite philosopher that 95% of the philosophy academy never reads?

Comment by craig_heldreth on To like, or not to like? · 2013-11-16T14:13:14.965Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was sitting in the audience as they got into the part where Bottom acts like an ass and this is supposed to be funny. I was just waiting for them to get it over with, and then remembered that there was nothing after it in the play that I looked forward to anyway.

Your unease may be from the audience reaction, not the action on stage. The action on stage is black magic, in which the King of the Fairies can get away with it because he is powerful enough to escape the consequences of black magic dabbling. This is pretty damn terrifying and not funny at all if you think about it. We are all there in the audience watching a comedy and we don't want to be terrified, and we don't want to think too much. But why do people laugh at that on repeat viewings? I'll try and make a mental note to check if I laugh the next time I see it; that would be a rude surprise.

What thou seest when thou dost wake

Do it for thy true love take

. . .

Wake when some vile thing is near

adds up to one of the worst curses in the library. Shakespeare violated the prime directive of karma with this plot element and he got away with it. Who's to say whether that is the greatest genius but it certainly is skill.

Comment by craig_heldreth on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-13T21:54:49.218Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Are there good reasons why when I do a google search on (Leary it comes up nearly empty? His ethos consisted of S.M.I**2.L.E, i.e. Space Migration + Intelligence Increase + Life Extension which seems like it should be right up your alley to me. His books are not well-organized; his live presentations and tapes had some wide appeal.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Notes on the Psychology of Power · 2012-08-02T01:22:04.666Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Very nice.

I was reminded of this golden oldie from the '90's:

"Bill Clinton is an extraordinarily good liar." --Larry Nichols

Comment by craig_heldreth on Quantified Health Prize results announced · 2012-04-06T18:35:44.218Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I found another physician online endorsing a mg or two daily lithium supplement:

Lithium and Inflammation

Lithium and Longevity

(found the blog on the paleo sub-reddit). I was going to the herb and vitamin store this afternoon anyway to get some ginseng and I am going to see if they have those 1mg lithium pills and if they have them and they aren't 25$ a hundred or anything ridiculous I am thinking I am going to take the plunge and do at least one short experiment.

Comment by craig_heldreth on New front page · 2012-04-01T17:19:10.409Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When I took Edward Tufte's graphics class one of the questions was about website design. He said the gold standard is the Google News website. Almost all signal and almost no noise. This design is not bad at all but it might work better as an "About" page than as the main page. The main page should be precisely what you were looking for when you entered whatever you put into the search engine when it referred you to the LessWrong main page.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Transhumanist philosopher David Pearce AMA on Reddit · 2012-03-29T22:00:43.267Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

David Pearce was still taking questions as of an hour ago. He gave me a much more thorough answer to my question than I have gotten in the two other AMA's I submitted questions to. Neil Strauss and the Atlantic writer whose name slips me at the moment both gave me terrible drive by answers with about two seconds of thought behind them.

Comment by craig_heldreth on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2012-03-26T01:58:04.923Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This article showed up on the front page of HackerNews and on the front page of metafilter today.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Cult impressions of Less Wrong/Singularity Institute · 2012-03-20T23:37:26.227Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Do you know anyone who might fall into this category, i.e. someone who was exposed to Less Wrong but failed to become an enthusiast, potentially due to atmosphere issues?

Yes. I know a couple of people with whom I share interest in Artificial Intelligence (this is my primary focus in loading Less Wrong web pages) who communicated to me that they did not like the site's atmosphere. Atmosphere is not exactly the word they used. One person thought the cryonics was a deal breaker. (If you read the piece in the New York Times Sunday Magazine about Robin Hanson and his wife you will get a good idea of the global consensus distaste for the topic.) The other person was not so specific although it was clear they were turned off completely even if they couldn't or wouldn't explain how.

Is it possible that our culture might be different if these folks were hanging around and contributing? Presumably they are disproportionately represented among certain personality types.

It is obvious that the culture here would be different if the more controversial or unpopular topics were downplayed enough not to discourage people who don't find the atmosphere convivial.

If so, can you suggest any easy steps we could take?

Here is what I have personally heard or read in comments that people find most bothersome: cryonics, polyamory, pick up artistry, density of jargon, demographic homogeneity (highly educated white males). Any steps to water that down beyond those already taken (pick up artistry is regularly criticized and Bell Curve racial IQ discussion has been all but tabooed) would not be easy to implement quickly and would have consequences beyond making for a more inclusive atmosphere.

I am not in agreement with the suitability of the word cult to characterize this issue accurately. I did the google test you describe and was surprised to see cult pop up so fast, but when I think cult I think Hare Krishnas, I think Charles Manson, I think David Koresh; I don't think Singularity Institute, and I don't think about a number of the organizations on Rick Ross' pages. Rick Ross is a man whose business makes money by promoting fear of cults. The last time I looked he had Landmark Education listed as a cult; this might be true with an extremely loose definition of the word but they haven't killed anybody yet to the best of my knowledge. I have taken a couple of courses from them and the multi-level marketing vibe is irksome but they have some excellent (and rational!) content in their courses. The last time I looked Ross did not have the Ordo Templi Orientis listed as a cult. When I was a member of that organization there were around a couple of thousand dues paying members in the United States, so I presume the OTO cult (this word is far more appropriately applied to them than Landmark) is too small for him to spend resources on.

The poster who replied that he and his wife refer to his Less Wrong activity as his cult membership is understandable to me in a light and humorous manner; I would be surprised if they really classify Less Wrong with Scientology and Charles Manson.

Comment by craig_heldreth on How to avoid dying in a car crash · 2012-03-18T23:23:02.936Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I found the seat belt commercial on youtube.

Comment by craig_heldreth on How to avoid dying in a car crash · 2012-03-18T18:11:00.204Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is all good information. One thing missing in the seat belt part. Everybody in the car needs to be buckled down and heavy cargo like your laptop should be stowed in the trunk. There is a great video they showed in my defensive driving class which was an Irish television public service advertisement with four people in a car and three of them were wearing their seat belts and they were in an accident and everybody got killed with the unbuckled passenger flopping around the inside of the passenger compartment like a billiard ball.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Brain shrinkage in humans over past ~20 000 years - what did we lose? · 2012-02-22T18:29:25.272Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Anthropologist John Hawks (quoted in the Discover article) in this video (at the 9:23 mark) shows data on the shrinking human brain over 16000 years. On his display it looks to me like the scatter extrema for today are over twice as large as the decline in the linear regression line. The number of data points from 16000 years ago is not large.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Brain shrinkage in humans over past ~20 000 years - what did we lose? · 2012-02-22T15:57:50.470Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

From the article:

Some 30 animals have been domesticated, he notes, and in the process every one of them has lost brain volume—typically a 10 to 15 percent reduction compared with their wild progenitors.

A strong claim if true.

I found this book on google scholar and the parts of it I read supported this claim more than refuted it but were not so definitive and absolute.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Quantified Health Prize results announced · 2012-02-19T15:47:07.359Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Here's what it says on the label of mine:

Manganese 2.3 Mg 115%

Anybody want to plug a one pill supplement a middle class American could find easy?

Comment by craig_heldreth on Trust · 2012-01-29T14:28:39.679Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The government security clearance manuals have documented what can be reduced to procedures and rules and whatnot. I know a guy who worked for the CIA a few years ago and he tells me the most trusted positions are the guys who do the security clearance evaluations. He said over half of them were Mormons. (Friend of a friend information is inherently untrustworthy.) One of the greatest spies in American history, James Angleton, was apparently paranoid to the brink of mental illness. It is generally a very difficult problem.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Help! Name suggestions needed for Rationality-Inst! · 2012-01-28T19:49:32.962Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The gold standard of such institutions is The Royal Philosophical Society.

Perhaps some form of The __ Philosophical Society.

What goes in the blank I am drawing a blank on. The California or Silicon Valley P.S. would be fine. The opposite of Royal is Commoner so the Common P. S. might be OK. Or Common Sense P.S. Or Real or Reality P. S. I would not use Bayes as a bunch of physical scientists whose attention you might want to attract are nigh-dogmatic frequentists right now but could presumably be weaned from their dogma.

Comment by craig_heldreth on "Politics is the mind-killer" is the mind-killer · 2012-01-27T20:43:33.517Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is not likely to be implemented easily here. When I looked at the poll it was around 20 for and 20 against having a politics open thread.

What could be done easily is start a subreddit lesswrongpoliticsbeta and if there did happen to be a great discussion on some topic ongoing there then put a pointer to it in the discussion sections here.

Comment by craig_heldreth on How would you talk a stranger off the ledge? · 2012-01-25T00:16:44.080Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is a series of posts by a fellow who volunteered on a suicide hotline for a number of years which I found informative. It provides the straightest answers I have seen to the question: how do you talk a stranger off the ledge?

This is an aggregation of resources on another website which has discussed the issue in detail.

Comment by craig_heldreth on The Singularity Institute's Arrogance Problem · 2012-01-20T18:12:49.075Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah I remember that and it was certainly a megalomaniacal slip.

But I do not agree that arrogant is the correct term. I suspect "arrogant" may be a brief and inaccurate substitute for: "unappealing, but I cannot be bothered to come up with anything specific". In my dictionaries (I checked Merriam-Webster and American Heritage), arrogant is necessarily overbearing. If you are clicking on their website or reading their literature or attending their public function there isn't any easy way for them to overbear upon you.

When Terrel Owens does a touchdown dance in the endzone and the cameras are on him for fifteen seconds until the next play your attention is under his thumb and he is being arrogant. Eliezer's little slip of on-webcam megalomania is not arrogant. It would be arrogant if he was running for public office and he said that in a debate and the voters felt they had to watch it, but not when the viewer has surfed to that information and getting away is free of any cost and as easy as a click.

Almost all of us do megalomaniacal stuff all the time when nobody is looking and almost all of us expend some deliberate effort trying to not do it when people are looking.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Open Thread, January 15-31, 2012 · 2012-01-18T18:34:18.960Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Fair question, but not an easy one to answer.

I signed up for the reading group along with the 2600 Redditors. It was previously posted about here. The book is an entry point to issues of Artificial Intelligence, consciousness, cognitive biases and other subjects which interest me. I enjoy the book every time I read from it, but I believe I am missing something which could be provided in a group reading or a group study. As I stated in the previous thread, I am challenged by the musical references. The last time I read music notation routinely was when I sang in a choir in middle school; many of the Bach references and other music references to terms such as fugue, canon, fifths & thirds, &c are difficult for me to grasp.

If one of those 2600 redditors felt moved to build some youtube tutorials with a bouncing ball along and atop the Bach scores illustrating Hofstadter's arguments, then I presume many others besides myself would enjoy seeing them.

Have you seen that Feynman video where he says he usually dislikes answering "why" questions? If not that, perhaps that Louis C. K. standup routine where he talks about his daughter asking "why?" It is a discussion prompt but it often does not point to anywhere. I have that feeling now that I am rambling.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Open Thread, January 15-31, 2012 · 2012-01-18T14:33:49.806Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It would be easier to discuss the merits (or lack) of the book if you specify something about the book you believe lacks merit. The opinion that the book is overly hyped is a common criticism, but is too vague to be refuted.

It was a bestseller. Of course many of those people who bought it are silly.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Open Thread, January 15-31, 2012 · 2012-01-17T15:29:52.869Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There are 2600 people signed up for the Reddit Godel Escher Bach group.

Comment by craig_heldreth on link to a Feynman video (and a 2nd (distantly related) video) · 2012-01-16T22:46:53.274Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Here is another snip from the text. It is from lecture # 3 The great conservation principles.

"For those who want some proof that physicists are human, the proof is in the idiocy of all the different units they use for measuring energy." (p 75 of the 1967 MIT press edition)

Comment by craig_heldreth on Can the Chain Still Hold You? · 2012-01-14T15:40:51.133Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is a question where fiction might give us more insight than fact. If you read realistic novels from the 19th century you will find right away that many of the characters are atheists or agnostics. The gold standard novel is War and Peace which contains only one overtly religious character (Maria Bolkonskaya) if I recall correctly. More than one of the characters is overtly atheist. Tolstoy could put this into fiction when his counterparts in the Physics department and the Philosophy department and the Political Science department would not dare to say it.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Introducing Leverage Research · 2012-01-10T20:10:20.966Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have html for those documents? PDF is OK for me, but my guess is html is more openly accessible.

Comment by craig_heldreth on An inducible group-"meditation" for use in rationality dojos · 2012-01-03T19:15:17.085Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

More references to Cannabis research.

Hard to come by because of the legal restrictions. The best sources I have seen:

Altered States of Consciousness edited by Charles Tart, 1969, Wiley.

Pharmako/Poeia by Dale Pendell, 1995, Mercury House.

They include pros and cons although it is obvious both guys are at least a little more pro than con. From Pendell's book: "Smoking it occasionally makes you wise; smoking it a lot turns you into a donkey." (p.199)

Comment by craig_heldreth on "Misbehaving Machines: The Emulated Brains of Transhumanist Dreams", Corry Shores · 2012-01-02T20:30:35.035Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

neural irregularities as pink noise, which is also called 1/f noise

A few minutes of fooling around with a color tool will show you that the spectrum of pink is flat (white) with a notch at the green and the 1/f spectrum is brown, nothing at all resembling pink. The misnomer of pink to label 1/f seems to come from a misconception that flat + a pole at red is pink (it's not--it's red) and 1/f (it's not--it's flat with a pole at red).

It is a pity this idea has gotten so much traction into the English language as it is so horribly wrong. It's like one of those things that Pauli would describe as "not even wrong."

Comment by craig_heldreth on New Year's Prediction Thread (2012) · 2012-01-01T17:34:19.433Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the link to Silver's piece. I followed 538 in 2008 but I had not looked at it in awhile. Obviously .9 is far too high.

Comment by craig_heldreth on New Year's Prediction Thread (2012) · 2011-12-31T18:51:46.590Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The Super Bowl will not be Packers over Patriots in February 2012.

P=~.8 (80%)

Comment by craig_heldreth on New Year's Prediction Thread (2012) · 2011-12-31T18:50:43.417Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Obama will win in November 2012.

P=~.9 (that is ninety percent!)

Comment by craig_heldreth on The Value (and Danger) of Ritual · 2011-12-31T00:48:56.197Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am reminded of an essay by the Anthropologist Edmund Leach, 'Once a Knight is Quite Enough' (p. 194ff in The Essential Edmund Leach Volume I 2000 Yale U. Press) where he details the parallels between his initiation into British knighthood by Q. Elizabeth II and a Borneo headhunter ceremony which he saw at the end of WWII. Headhunting was illegal at that time in Sarawak, but they got special permission as the two victims were Japanese soldiers. Anyway the idea was if you watched a silent movie of the two ceremonies and ignored the costumes, the two rituals were nearly indistinguishable. He also mentioned that the Sarawak ceremonial grounds were laid out like a typical English village church.

Here is a link to the headhunters ritual map from google books

Comment by craig_heldreth on [LINK] Gödel, Escher, Bach read through starting on Reddit · 2011-12-29T19:28:01.984Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I signed up.

I am mostly interested in this part: links to recordings and analysis of the relevant Bach pieces.

(My music skills are poor and that part of the book was a little over my head.)

Comment by craig_heldreth on Are Yearly/Monthly Book Suggestion Threads a Good Idea? · 2011-12-29T18:40:34.081Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Here is the link to the freakonomics post for those interested. I thought it was OK. You might also be interested in the works of Bill James. Bill James was doing freakonomics and cognitive bias analysis back in the early 1980's, selling his Bill James Baseball Abstract self-published to a list of subscribers gathered by word-of-mouth. He is the man most responsible for the state of modern Major League Baseball statistical analysis--the emphasis of On Base Percentage, the de-emphasis of pitchers' Won-Loss totals and a number of other changes and innovations.

I tried to argue in this post that the collection of large numbers of baseball player performance statistics and the incessant analysis towards meaning and reliability of them by fanatics make them as good a raw data set on human performance we have anywhere. The prediction accuracy of Las Vegas sports bookmakers may well be the singular most successful prediction market anywhere at anytime.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Dubstep and algorithmic information theory · 2011-12-27T20:07:59.843Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A similar idea but taken a little farther.

(Tutorial: How to make hip hop hits by boyinaband)

Comment by craig_heldreth on [LINK] Scientists create mammalian H5N1 · 2011-12-24T19:27:18.589Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The bio guys I know thought doing and publishing this research was important because it underscores the hazard of factory pig and cattle farms. This experiment (they tell me) is ongoing without controls all over the globe. (I am not a biologist.)

Comment by craig_heldreth on How to get the most out of the next year · 2011-12-24T18:40:40.561Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Inside your google doc is a link to another google doc with "Strengths Finder" as the label which is restricted access. Is that from a publicly accessible aptitude test?

Comment by craig_heldreth on Prediction is hard, especially of medicine · 2011-12-24T17:24:47.440Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Did a physician inform you about the sleeping-on-side hack?

I personally know of an instance where a person had gastric reflux, went to the doctor, was prescribed a proton pump inhibitor as the sole treatment (Nexum), didn't get any better, went poking around the internet with google, and got non-medicine lifestyle adjustments (elevated bed head, fasting for five hours before bedtime) to fix their reflux problem. Then, later they told the doctor, who said nothing but "oh yeah".

We had no google in 1988 although surely some futurist genius somewhere foresaw it.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2011-12-22T19:11:27.938Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This might interest you.

Comment by craig_heldreth on [Transcript] Tyler Cowen on Stories · 2011-12-17T15:31:38.495Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Very nicely done.

For emphasis I cut and paste the following:

as an economist, I'm thinking about life on the margin. The extra decision: should we think more in terms of stories, or less in terms of stories? When we hear stories, should we be more suspicious? and what kind of stories should we be suspicious of?

This repetition of "at the margin" or "on the margin" and even calling his blog Marginal Revolution may be the biggest thing about Cowen's writing which really hooks me.

And now some narrative. In the beginning the story was a memory device. There were bards and storytellers before we had writing and their greatest power may be as mnemonic. I have forgotten where I saw this--it may have been in a largely bogus pop psychology book--but one story about stories I have always liked goes something like: when telling a fairy tale to a child, they will never permit you to alter or leave out any important detail. So say you are telling Cinderella; in that case you cannot leave out the part about the abusive stepmother and stepsisters, or the child immediately goes bonkers.

I have no idea if that is true or not but it certainly is memorable.

OK one more and then I will stop. I took a community police class a couple years ago. Three hours, one night a week, ten weeks. Really interesting. It was free and if you have one in your town I highly recommend going for it. One of the things in the class was the pedophile detective explaining how you do an interrogation to catch a suspect in a lie. He said the trick (and it's really easy) is you get him to retell his story starting over again in the middle. He claimed the guys have their story memorized A, B, C, D, E, . . . X, Y, Z. But, if you say: OK begin at F and start over; or, if you ask: now did M happen before O or did O happen first? They always had to go back to A and start over again in their mind from the beginning of their story and that 40 second or 80 second or whatever delay while they were working down from A was the tell.

I have no idea if that is true or not either but it certainly is memorable for me.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet · 2011-12-14T13:20:08.047Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

challenge someone to put up or shut up.

That is exactly right. Challenging someone to put up or shut up is a confrontation and an escalation. That is how fistfights begin. The challenge is construed as being to their honor.

A well-written analysis of the dynamic is given by a lawyer, William Ian Miller, in Humiliation. Among the other interesting tales he tells is how a medieval Icelandic noble family feud began with a too extravagant gift.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Mitt Romney's $10,000 bet · 2011-12-13T21:14:41.436Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Can you imagine Angela Merkel or Margaret Thatcher or even Sarah Palin doing that? Offering to bet a lot of money on the issue in the middle of a debate is hyper-masculine, aggressive, and low class. It is not all that different from asking the guy if he wants to step outside.

Prediction markets where the other side of the bet is a faceless horde are completely different. There is no humiliation inflicted.

Comment by craig_heldreth on 2011 Survey Results · 2011-12-04T20:00:47.690Z · score: 33 (33 votes) · LW · GW

Intriguingly, even though the sample size increased by more than 6 times, most of these results are within one to two percent of the numbers on the 2009 survey, so this supports taking them as a direct line to prevailing rationalist opinion rather than the contingent opinions of one random group.

This is not just intriguing. To me this is the single most significant finding in the survey.

Comment by craig_heldreth on 2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey · 2011-12-03T16:24:39.101Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Eagerly anticipating your analysis and the subsequent discussion.

Thanks again!

Comment by craig_heldreth on Rationality Quotes November 2011 · 2011-11-23T17:09:12.329Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Kahneman gave a talk at Google about how and why intuition works well for us on 10 November. I am about halfway through it and so far it is marvelous.


edit The same talk (very close) at Edge transcribed plus discussion after with Cosmides and Tooby and Pinker. Link to transcript.

Comment by craig_heldreth on OPERA Confirms: Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Light · 2011-11-18T19:52:36.691Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The last time I looked at prediction book the allowed values were integers 0 - 100 which makes it impossible to really use it for this. Here the meaningful values are is it .00001 or is it .0000000001?

I liked this fellow's take.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Poll results: LW probably doesn't cause akrasia · 2011-11-17T17:19:33.383Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I concur that the Ann/Bob/Carol question is more taxing than the Cognitive Reflection Test.

In fact I can prove for my own case sample size N = 1. I scored 3/3 on the CRT and I missed Ann/Bob/Carol as I did not look at Bob as being unambiguously either married or unmarried and shot myself in my own damn foot on the sucker.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Poll results: LW probably doesn't cause akrasia · 2011-11-17T16:02:14.807Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Also, that Ann/Bob/Carol question snagged a bunch of people. We have a lot of work to do.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Poll results: LW probably doesn't cause akrasia · 2011-11-17T15:48:53.252Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

5 tabs. Three of them are related to the Akrasia poll and I will be closing them within 5 minutes. I do not like large numbers of open tabs.

Comment by craig_heldreth on Open Research · 2011-11-16T15:17:36.598Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This quotation from a failed Nature collaborative project from Nielsen's website leaped out to me:

"A small majority of those authors who did participate received comments, but typically very few, despite significant web traffic. Most comments were not technically substantive. Feedback suggests that there is a marked reluctance among researchers to offer open comments. "

Many of the folks here have pet projects where they imagine easy pickings out there and they wonder why nobody is much interested in pursuing them and free software and open source software look like good analogs for making progress on a wide number of subjects. How to make this happen is a great question and I can only encourage Nielsen but I do not put a high probability on finding any simple solutions. Sharing is hard to do without trust, and trust is hard to build across the ether.

I will share with you my own pet idea that could potentially be researched in such a manner to great benefit for humans if not great profit for Silicon Valley entrepeneurs. Garlic. There are a plethora of anecdotes that eating a bunch of garlic is great for your health. Doing a rigorous study that is worthy of submission to New England Journal of Medicine or similar costs a lot of money and there is a lot more money in atypical antipsychotics and antidepressants and other chemicals which a company can patent; the incentives for medical and biology and biochemistry researchers are completely lined up to ignore garlic. There have been a couple of studies (the current wikipedia article on garlic looks pretty good to me) but dependable science looks to me like it may well never get here, short of something like Nielsen advocates: thousands of collaborative networked individuals all pitching in a little piece.

This makes me sad on the one hand. When I eat a couple of cloves of garlic there is an obvious and significant effect. It is as if my muscles and my blood are mildly drunk while my brain and reflexes remain completely sober. I want some more certain knowledge about what is going on here and I am not hopeful that I will ever find it. On the other hand there is an opportunity here, and many other similar opportunities in a wild variety of areas, just like Nielsen is writing and talking about. In theory I agree with him totally. What will come of his vision and those of similarly minded folk remains to be seen.