Comment by cronodas on Which scientific discovery was most ahead of its time? · 2019-05-18T17:03:15.942Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Possibly Antonie van Leeuwenhoek's study of microorganisms; he made microscopes that were much better than anyone else's at the time, and he kept his methods secret and they weren't properly reverse engineered until the 1950s. (Conventional lens making techniques did catch up, and people like Robert Hooke had been investigating biology on micro scales, but he was probably a generation or so ahead of everyone else.)

Comment by cronodas on Hull: An alternative to shell that I'll never have time to implement · 2019-04-28T20:47:18.143Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Looks kind of cool, but won't you be reading and writing to disk an awful lot?

Comment by cronodas on The Politics of Age (the Young vs. the Old) · 2019-03-24T16:25:09.300Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If there's a minimum voting age, I think there should also be a maximum voting age. Sufficiently old people suffer from cognitive and physical decline, frequently to the point of dementia, and can be as vulnerable to manipulation or coercion by their caretakers as children are to their parents. It seems entirely reasonable to me that people over 80 should not be allowed to vote.

Comment by cronodas on Akrasia is confusion about what you want · 2019-01-29T15:29:46.367Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There's a simple, very common conflict that happens all the time and frequently results in the appearance of akrasia:

A) In the future, I want X to have been done.
B) I don't want to be doing x.

It's like someone pointing a gun at you and threatening to kill you unless you cut yourself with a knife, or wanting to stop taking a harmful drug with extremely unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. You must "voluntarily" inflict this bad thing upon yourself, or the world will inflict something worse upon you.

Comment by cronodas on [Link] Did AlphaStar just click faster? · 2019-01-29T15:12:50.007Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There's a "simple" fix for this. Make the computer play with the same user interface the human does: a screen, keyboard, and mouse. I don't know if robots can control a computer mouse with superhuman precision or not, but it certainly would keep it from making moves all over the map at the same time...

Comment by cronodas on The E-Coli Test for AI Alignment · 2018-12-20T22:26:13.979Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Humans try to make their pets happy, usually...

[Link] "They go together: Freedom, Prosperity, and Big Government"

2018-11-18T16:51:00.579Z · score: 9 (1 votes)
Comment by cronodas on Fat People Are Heroes · 2018-11-15T00:08:42.744Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Can I get a source on that "six years to recalibrate a set point" thing?

Comment by cronodas on Anthropic Probabilities: a different approach · 2018-07-20T17:21:35.236Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's a lot of math. It looks good to me and seems plausible but I haven't combed it in detail; could one of the math experts weigh in here?

One thing, though... why overload the term "logical uncertainty" to include observer-independent statements about the actual universe as well as mathematical statements that would be true in any universe?

Comment by cronodas on "Artificial Intelligence" (new entry at Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) · 2018-07-19T15:22:31.371Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Incidentally, people have refuted the claim experimentally; soap bubbles fail to correctly solve larger instances of the tree problem.

Comment by cronodas on [Math] Towards Proof Writing as a Skill In Itself · 2018-06-15T22:54:56.341Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I got permission from the math department at Rutgers to skip the proof-writing class... I think I must have picked up the skill elsewhere, because I didn't feel like I had any trouble with the proof-based linear algebra and real analysis classes that would normally require the proof writing class as a prerequisite.

(The most likely places I learned the skill was from non-textbook books on mathematics and from the philosophy department's classes on formal logic that I used to cheat on my degree's humanities requirement.)

Comment by CronoDAS on [deleted post] 2018-06-02T00:21:41.129Z

I think this is an ad.

Comment by cronodas on When is unaligned AI morally valuable? · 2018-05-29T14:27:13.360Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Incest aversion seems to be an evolved predisposition, perhaps a "terminal value" akin to a preference for sweet foods...

Comment by cronodas on When is unaligned AI morally valuable? · 2018-05-27T22:57:51.606Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Counterpoint: would you be okay with a future civilization in which people got rid of the incest taboo, because technology made it safe?

Comment by cronodas on Dimensional decoupling · 2018-05-24T14:03:04.806Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A cat-dog? What is even the use of this classification?

Challenge Accepted! ;)

Comment by cronodas on The league of Rationalists · 2018-05-23T13:31:07.346Z · score: 21 (8 votes) · LW · GW

In practice, unless such a group is small, won't it just develop large status gradients anyway?

Comment by cronodas on "Politics is the Mindkiller" is a mindkiller · 2018-05-23T13:28:50.328Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There's no consensus here that American Libertarianism is correct politics.

Comment by cronodas on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-23T04:02:29.886Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There is still coca extract used in Coca-Cola, but the psychoactive ingredient in the coca leaf is removed from the extract. (Cocaine still sees legitimate medical use as a local anesthetic, by the way.)

Comment by cronodas on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-20T14:56:54.591Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, if you want to go into details, Mao had a lot of help and he didn't explicitly plan to cause the famines. The person who personally killed the most people that he specifically intended to kill is the guy who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

Comment by cronodas on Soviet-era Jokes, Common Knowledge, Irony · 2018-05-13T14:16:32.017Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In Capitalist America, bank robs you!

Comment by cronodas on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-13T13:28:13.954Z · score: 37 (10 votes) · LW · GW

There seems to have been vehicle attacks before the recent ones, they just didn't get widespread press coverage as "terrorism", such as the one in 2006, or the guy with the Killdozer:

As usual, Wikipedia has a list.

Comment by cronodas on Duncan Sabien: "In Defense of Punch Bug" · 2018-05-13T13:18:02.640Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This was not entirely a hypothetical question. My wife has attacked me several times. She hits me hard enough to hurt but not hard enough to injure. She had said several times that my refusal to fight back makes me less of a man and less attractive to her. The last time this happened, I did fight back, and she ended up with a nasty bruise on her stomach which was tender for days afterward. I also went to the local police station and filed a report, declining to press any charges. It has not happened since, although it could just be a matter of time.

(I am not the only person that my wife has attacked. She says that if she gets mad enough, she "blacks out" and can't remember what happens. Apparently, years ago, she went to the hospital to visit a close relative, only to be rudely told by a doctor "You can't go into that room, that person's dead." She doesn't remember what happened next, but supposedly she tried to strangle the doctor and had to be restrained by the people who went with her to the hospital.)

Comment by cronodas on Terrorism, Tylenol, and dangerous information · 2018-05-13T12:47:42.906Z · score: 11 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Someone actually did try a 9/11 style attack back in the 1970s. A man named Samuel Byck tried to hijack a passenger jet with the goal of crashing it into the White House and assassinating President Nixon, but instead of hijacking a plane in flight, he boarded one by force and demanded that it take off - which did not happen.

Comment by cronodas on The Driver of Wealth Inequality · 2018-05-11T19:50:14.128Z · score: 17 (4 votes) · LW · GW

We generally try to avoid discussing politics here.

Comment by cronodas on Turning 30 · 2018-05-11T19:46:39.659Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I prefer to implement "don't invest in speculative bubbles" myself. I see no reason why Bitcoin should hold its value better than Beanie Babies did.

Comment by cronodas on Duncan Sabien: "In Defense of Punch Bug" · 2018-05-06T01:08:06.992Z · score: 17 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It's a lot better than some other ways that could have gone - Harley could have just said "Fuck you, asshole, this wasn't any of your business" and stormed off. It's better to be able to understand and articulate what and why something is causing you distress than to simply react to distress.

Comment by cronodas on Duncan Sabien: "In Defense of Punch Bug" · 2018-05-06T01:00:48.532Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If my wife hits me, should I hit her back?

Comment by cronodas on Eight political demands that I hope we can agree on · 2018-05-02T17:01:27.027Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Incidentally, I would love to be able to ban tobacco cigarettes if it were at all practical. Are e-cigarettes a good enough substitute that banning them wouldn't create a huge black market?

Comment by cronodas on Eight political demands that I hope we can agree on · 2018-05-01T18:58:42.983Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Lots of other countries rely indirectly on the FDA for deciding what medical treatments to allow...

Comment by cronodas on Eight political demands that I hope we can agree on · 2018-05-01T18:58:30.549Z · score: 20 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Wondering how controversial this would be:

Copyright terms on software should be closer to 30 years than to 100 years.

Comment by cronodas on Eight political demands that I hope we can agree on · 2018-05-01T18:46:15.709Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

::insert something about anthropogenic global warming here::

Are there any political parties anywhere in the world, other than the US Republican Party, that endorse climate change denial?

Comment by cronodas on Eight political demands that I hope we can agree on · 2018-05-01T17:54:54.941Z · score: 21 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Which drugs? As a baseline, "anything not obviously worse than tobacco cigarettes" might as well be legal. On the other hand, it seems to me that things like methamphetamine and many opioids aren't things that you should just be able to walk into a store and buy...

Comment by cronodas on Does Thinking Hard Hurt Your Brain? · 2018-05-01T17:36:53.089Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I know of exactly two things that do this to me: writing - especially fiction or formal essay writing - and programming. Many mental tasks I don't perceive as effortful; usually if I already know the algorithm to do them it's not usually not strenuous, although it can still be unpleasant in other ways. For some reason, though, writing anything that's more involved than a blog comment or doing programming both feel like they're costing me mental energy.

Comment by cronodas on Noticing the Taste of Lotus · 2018-04-28T13:46:08.948Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In the past, I've run into a problem where if I start giving up on lotuses in general, I start losing motivation to do anything at all.

Also, mediocre video games suddenly become a lot more appealing when I have work to avoid. :)

Comment by cronodas on Sentience · 2018-04-22T13:57:11.454Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you very much for answering.

How do you know that the algorithm doesn't implement feelings? What's the difference between a brain and a simulation of a brain that causes one to have feelings and the other not to?

(My take is that if we knew enough about brains, we'd have the answer to philosophical questions like this, in the way that knowing enough cell biology and organic chemistry resolved the questions about the mysterious differences between stuff that's alive and stuff that isn't,)

Comment by cronodas on Funeral Ritual · 2018-04-20T22:20:03.376Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If I were hit by a truck tomorrow, I don't think any of the people who would go to my funeral would be rationalists, and most of the people who would go would be religious. Should I just let them do whatever they want with my corpse? I don't want a religious funeral, but it really doesn't seem like time to have someone put up a big "only idiots believe in an afterlife" sign, as much as I wish I could have one at my funeral.

(My wife has said that she's opposed to me being cryopreserved because then I won't join her in the afterlife. She has some strange beliefs about death and spirits and such: she doesn't just believe in ghosts, she thinks that when things go missing, it's because the ghost of her dead brother moved them. I'm going to have to work it out with her once I can actually afford to pay for it - we're at the "choosing which of food, rent, and electricity we're going to pay for this month" stage of broke.)

Comment by cronodas on Honest Friends Don't Tell Comforting Lies · 2018-04-20T20:54:32.531Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Sometimes your feelings are complicated. An honest answer to "Are you annoying me" could be "Very slightly, but not enough that I think you should stop doing what you're doing" or "I hadn't noticed it until you brought it to my attention, but now I'm having trouble ignoring it again" or "Being asked that question is more annoying than anything else you've been doing; if something gets bad enough that I want you to stop it, I'll tell you."

Comment by cronodas on Sentience · 2018-04-20T20:35:36.183Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

How do you know that the Chinese Room isn't conscious?

Comment by cronodas on How Going Meta Can Level Up Your Career · 2018-04-17T18:11:14.811Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What if you end up with a solid grounding in meta skills but no object level ones? "Software architects" who make pretty UML diagrams they call designs, but who never actually write code themselves because they're no good at it?

Comment by cronodas on You Are Being Underpaid · 2018-04-16T02:26:58.180Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, but can I get something better than the proverbial McJob? The only "real" languages I ever used was some C++ in college and some Perl back around 2000 or so. My resume isn't getting me any interviews from anywhere at all.

Comment by cronodas on Trust the (local) expert · 2018-04-15T18:37:12.894Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If I read and comment on someone's blog, and they respond to my comments once in a while, does that make them a local or remote expert?

Comment by cronodas on You Are Being Underpaid · 2018-04-15T17:52:43.885Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm in a difficult position, employment-wise... I graduated from Rutgers with a Computer Engineering degree in 2006 and a high GPA but I literally haven't written a line of code in over ten years and have spent that time with no formal employment, instead taking care of sick relatives. How screwed am I?

(I happen to live within commuting distance of New York City, but relocating is impossible for me because reasons.)

Comment by cronodas on Competition for Power · 2018-04-13T13:55:42.839Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Imagining someone aiming to become a chess player that has never played with someone else, but only attempted to derive optimal moves from the rule-set. Competitive skill growth typically just doesn’t work that way.

Well, not for humans, at least. AlphaZero did pretty well, or so I hear. ;)

Comment by cronodas on *Deleted* · 2018-03-28T11:34:13.933Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What is the source of the evolutionary pressure? I don't see the connection.

Comment by cronodas on Browser Bug Hunt for migration · 2018-03-25T00:52:29.985Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have an IPhone 6s and it happens in Safari and in browser windows opened by my RSS reader too. If you lived somewhere near New York I could show you the actual device but I suspect that you're in California...

Comment by cronodas on Browser Bug Hunt for migration · 2018-03-23T20:12:25.481Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It happens pretty much every time for me.

Comment by cronodas on Browser Bug Hunt for migration · 2018-03-23T13:37:32.680Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For some strange reason, on my iPhone I can reply to comments properly, but I can't post a new comment because instead of a box to type in, there's an extremely narrow oval that grows and shrinks. I actually can type in it, but it's only one letter wide and constantly moving, so I can't see anything I type in it.

Comment by CronoDAS on [deleted post] 2018-03-20T15:04:48.736Z

The Arthurian Green Knight lets Gawain cut off his head, then picks it up and puts it back on. Trying to use force on the Green Knight is useless.

Comment by CronoDAS on [deleted post] 2018-03-20T15:03:07.292Z

Also the Red Knight card is named "Blood Knight".

Comment by cronodas on Is the Star Trek Federation really incapable of building AI? · 2018-03-19T02:27:04.540Z · score: 13 (3 votes) · LW · GW

They also use a variant on this as an in-universe reason why genetic engineering of humans isn't done: people modified for increased intelligence tend to turn out evil, the way that Khan did. They haven't solved the biological enhanced intelligence alignment problem either.

Comment by cronodas on Is the Star Trek Federation really incapable of building AI? · 2018-03-18T19:42:57.577Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There's an early season TNG episode in which a race called the "Binars" upgrade the Enterprise-D's computer, and as a result Picard and Riker are amazed at how the Holodeck is now creating much more real-seeming characters. So making an AGI in the TNG era that can pass the Turing Test does seem to be a rare and difficult thing, although a ship's computer apparently does have hardware capable of generating one. So part of Dr. Soong's achievement also seems to be making a non-evil AGI that runs on hardware that can fit in a human-sized body instead of a ship-sized one.

The worst trolley problem in the world

2018-02-27T03:56:26.159Z · score: -1 (4 votes)

RSS feed crashes my reader app

2017-12-21T17:11:56.673Z · score: 3 (1 votes)

A semi-technical question about prediction markets and private info

2017-02-20T02:20:40.146Z · score: 6 (7 votes)

The Ferrett: "The Day I Realized My Uncle Hung Around With Gay Guys"

2016-12-08T16:26:54.095Z · score: 4 (5 votes)

[LINK] How A Lamp Took Away My Reading And A Box Brought It Back

2016-01-30T16:55:11.200Z · score: 9 (10 votes)

What's wrong with this picture?

2016-01-28T13:30:05.222Z · score: 15 (18 votes)

How do I suggest someone for the Rationality Blogs sidebar?

2015-12-03T16:54:04.711Z · score: 5 (6 votes)

We really need a "cryonics sales pitch" article.

2015-08-03T22:42:10.421Z · score: 10 (17 votes)

[Link] "The Problem With Positive Thinking"

2014-10-26T06:50:31.836Z · score: 13 (14 votes)

Bragging Thread, August 2014

2014-08-03T07:23:38.238Z · score: 4 (5 votes)

[LINK] Another "LessWrongers are crazy" article - this time on Slate

2014-07-18T04:57:55.778Z · score: 11 (19 votes)

[Link] Short story by Yvain

2012-08-31T04:33:40.310Z · score: 31 (34 votes)

From the "weird math questions" department...

2012-08-09T07:19:30.480Z · score: 5 (10 votes)

Link: Glial cells shown to be involved in working memory

2012-07-20T07:08:45.622Z · score: 9 (12 votes)

Brain Preservation Foundation [link]

2012-05-11T04:52:44.518Z · score: 6 (9 votes)

Physics question (slightly off-topic)

2011-12-12T05:53:46.271Z · score: 2 (25 votes)

Journal article about politics and mindkilling

2011-09-07T07:46:54.386Z · score: 30 (32 votes)

Ethical dilemmas for paperclip maximizers

2011-08-01T05:31:42.327Z · score: 11 (23 votes)

Yet another cognitive biases book

2011-07-14T08:03:13.602Z · score: 1 (2 votes)

So, I guess the site redesign is live?

2011-06-22T04:51:20.289Z · score: 18 (18 votes)

For the game theorists out there...

2011-06-13T20:55:06.755Z · score: 8 (13 votes)

Rationality Quotes: May 2011

2011-05-02T02:33:45.352Z · score: 3 (4 votes)

Link: "Health Care Myth Busters: Is There a High Degree of Scientific Certainty in Modern Medicine?"

2011-04-01T05:25:59.052Z · score: 8 (10 votes)


2011-01-08T06:38:19.762Z · score: 0 (13 votes)

Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence

2010-11-18T00:20:03.481Z · score: 38 (41 votes)

Refuting the "iron law of bureaucracy"?

2010-11-04T08:18:04.121Z · score: 2 (7 votes)

Link: "You're Not Being Reasonable"

2010-09-15T07:19:46.694Z · score: 12 (15 votes)

Open Thread: February 2010, part 2

2010-02-16T08:29:56.690Z · score: 10 (13 votes)

You have just been Counterfactually Mugged!

2009-08-19T22:24:38.805Z · score: 4 (15 votes)

Recommended reading: George Orwell on knowledge from authority

2009-08-05T15:30:46.718Z · score: 7 (11 votes)

An interesting speed dating study

2009-07-07T07:09:42.080Z · score: 15 (24 votes)

Just a bit of humor...

2009-04-24T04:21:34.312Z · score: -7 (22 votes)

Just for fun - let's play a game.

2009-04-17T23:13:08.720Z · score: 6 (13 votes)

While we're on the subject of meta-ethics...

2009-04-17T08:01:10.478Z · score: 2 (7 votes)

"Playing to Win"

2009-04-09T15:45:07.922Z · score: 14 (19 votes)

"Stuck In The Middle With Bruce"

2009-04-09T00:24:02.553Z · score: 58 (74 votes)

"Robot scientists can think for themselves"

2009-04-02T21:16:22.682Z · score: -3 (4 votes)

The Mind Is Not Designed For Thinking

2009-03-26T21:57:50.014Z · score: 7 (10 votes)

I'm confused. Could someone help?

2009-03-23T05:26:24.617Z · score: -2 (13 votes)

Really Extreme Altruism

2009-03-15T06:51:34.773Z · score: 16 (41 votes)