Posts

The dumbest kid in the world (joke) 2021-06-06T02:57:05.230Z
Journal article: "The Mythical Taboo on Race and Intelligence" 2020-10-16T02:58:35.988Z
Am I going for a job interview with a woo pusher? 2019-08-25T14:39:33.813Z
When Having Friends is More Alluring than Being Right (by Ferrett Steinmetz) 2019-07-30T09:58:39.813Z
[Link] "They go together: Freedom, Prosperity, and Big Government" 2018-11-18T16:51:00.579Z
The worst trolley problem in the world 2018-02-27T03:56:26.159Z
RSS feed crashes my reader app 2017-12-21T17:11:56.673Z
A semi-technical question about prediction markets and private info 2017-02-20T02:20:40.146Z
The Ferrett: "The Day I Realized My Uncle Hung Around With Gay Guys" 2016-12-08T16:26:54.095Z
[LINK] How A Lamp Took Away My Reading And A Box Brought It Back 2016-01-30T16:55:11.200Z
What's wrong with this picture? 2016-01-28T13:30:05.222Z
How do I suggest someone for the Rationality Blogs sidebar? 2015-12-03T16:54:04.711Z
We really need a "cryonics sales pitch" article. 2015-08-03T22:42:10.421Z
[Link] "The Problem With Positive Thinking" 2014-10-26T06:50:31.836Z
Bragging Thread, August 2014 2014-08-03T07:23:38.238Z
[LINK] Another "LessWrongers are crazy" article - this time on Slate 2014-07-18T04:57:55.778Z
[Link] Short story by Yvain 2012-08-31T04:33:40.310Z
From the "weird math questions" department... 2012-08-09T07:19:30.480Z
Link: Glial cells shown to be involved in working memory 2012-07-20T07:08:45.622Z
Brain Preservation Foundation [link] 2012-05-11T04:52:44.518Z
Physics question (slightly off-topic) 2011-12-12T05:53:46.271Z
Journal article about politics and mindkilling 2011-09-07T07:46:54.386Z
Ethical dilemmas for paperclip maximizers 2011-08-01T05:31:42.327Z
Yet another cognitive biases book 2011-07-14T08:03:13.602Z
So, I guess the site redesign is live? 2011-06-22T04:51:20.289Z
For the game theorists out there... 2011-06-13T20:55:06.755Z
Rationality Quotes: May 2011 2011-05-02T02:33:45.352Z
Link: "Health Care Myth Busters: Is There a High Degree of Scientific Certainty in Modern Medicine?" 2011-04-01T05:25:59.052Z
:( 2011-01-08T06:38:19.762Z
Suspended Animation Inc. accused of incompetence 2010-11-18T00:20:03.481Z
Refuting the "iron law of bureaucracy"? 2010-11-04T08:18:04.121Z
Link: "You're Not Being Reasonable" 2010-09-15T07:19:46.694Z
Open Thread: February 2010, part 2 2010-02-16T08:29:56.690Z
You have just been Counterfactually Mugged! 2009-08-19T22:24:38.805Z
Recommended reading: George Orwell on knowledge from authority 2009-08-05T15:30:46.718Z
An interesting speed dating study 2009-07-07T07:09:42.080Z
Just a bit of humor... 2009-04-24T04:21:34.312Z
Just for fun - let's play a game. 2009-04-17T23:13:08.720Z
While we're on the subject of meta-ethics... 2009-04-17T08:01:10.478Z
"Playing to Win" 2009-04-09T15:45:07.922Z
"Stuck In The Middle With Bruce" 2009-04-09T00:24:02.553Z
"Robot scientists can think for themselves" 2009-04-02T21:16:22.682Z
The Mind Is Not Designed For Thinking 2009-03-26T21:57:50.014Z
I'm confused. Could someone help? 2009-03-23T05:26:24.617Z
Really Extreme Altruism 2009-03-15T06:51:34.773Z

Comments

Comment by CronoDAS on What are the best ways to improve resiliency? · 2021-06-11T04:07:30.375Z · LW · GW

For me, antidepressant medication makes a huge difference in how much I can tolerate setbacks, demands, interruptions, and other annoying bullshit.

https://medium.com/swlh/rethinking-brain-serotonin-what-does-it-really-do-its-not-mood-8ef6492e8ab4

This kind of tolerance is not always a good thing, however, as this anecdote shows:

The punch line comes when he asks one of his patients how her antidepressant medication is working. “It’s working great,” she says. “I feel so much better. But I’m still married to the same alcoholic son of a bitch. It’s just now he’s tolerable.”

Comment by CronoDAS on The dumbest kid in the world (joke) · 2021-06-11T03:53:02.710Z · LW · GW

That doesn't work on mobile.

Comment by CronoDAS on The dumbest kid in the world (joke) · 2021-06-07T06:08:11.327Z · LW · GW

Why does this joke remind me of Newcomb's Problem?

Comment by CronoDAS on Seven Years of Spaced Repetition Software in the Classroom · 2021-03-14T07:42:08.682Z · LW · GW

This seems like it would really suck if you're trying to learn something that doesn't have a simpler model than the thing itself. English spelling can be like this: you either know how to spell "through" and "separate" or you don't. I've always found foreign language vocabulary to be the hardest thing for me to learn in school. It's terribly incompressible. Knowing that "red" is "rojo" and that "blue" is "azul" doesn't help you at all when trying to remember that "green" is "verde". I wasn't terrible at it, but my usual trick of "remembering things by actually understanding what's going on, so I can compensate for imperfect memorization" was completely useless.

Comment by CronoDAS on A simple way to make GPT-3 follow instructions · 2021-03-11T22:52:14.151Z · LW · GW

Someone on Reddit got GPT-3 to figure out the mystery in the story he was writing, when no human reader had guessed the correct solution yet.

Comment by CronoDAS on The case for aligning narrowly superhuman models · 2021-03-11T22:48:29.693Z · LW · GW

Someone on Reddit managed to successfully get GPT-3 to guess the solution to his mystery story, which none of the human readers had figured out yet.

Comment by CronoDAS on Deflationism isn't the solution to philosophy's woes · 2021-03-10T21:08:35.225Z · LW · GW

Philip K Dick gave a pretty good informal definition of reality: "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

Comment by CronoDAS on Exercise: Taboo "Should" · 2021-02-19T02:24:35.655Z · LW · GW

Protozoa, not virus.

Comment by CronoDAS on Technological stagnation: Why I came around · 2021-02-08T20:36:10.319Z · LW · GW

It's the grid-level storage problem. Solar panels don't produce much energy at night, wind doesn't blow all the time, etc., so you need to produce extra energy and store it for when production is less than demand.

Comment by CronoDAS on Technological stagnation: Why I came around · 2021-02-08T20:21:13.072Z · LW · GW

Shipping small packages from China to the US via the USPS has been subsidized - the price of mailing a Beanie Baby from Beijing to New York has been lower than the price charged to mail that same Beanie Baby from Los Angeles to New York. One of the few things the Trump administration did right was renegotiate the international postal system treaties so that China doesn't get "developing nation" subsidies any more.

https://reason.com/2019/11/11/american-taxpayers-are-subsidizing-ultra-cheap-shipping-from-china/

Comment by CronoDAS on Anti-Aging: State of the Art · 2021-01-20T01:33:45.799Z · LW · GW

If the actuarial statistics I've read are accurate, about 1 in 1000 18 year old men in the US die before their 19th birthday. If the chance of dying each year stayed perfectly flat, life expectancy would be about 1000 years...

Comment by CronoDAS on Anti-Aging: State of the Art · 2021-01-20T00:51:49.750Z · LW · GW

Science fiction author and physicist David Brin has pointed out a theoretical reason why we might expect anti-aging therapies that work in mice to fail in humans: the human lifespan is already a ridiculous outlier. Life spans vary with size, metabolism, and other factors, but one thing tends to hold constant: most mammals have a lifetime of about one billion heartbeats. Humans get a whopping 2.5 times that. An intervention would have to more than double a mouse's lifespan just to catch up with whatever it is that evolution has already done to humans - if there are any simple mechanisms that can cause a mammal's body to increase its lifespan, humans are probably already pushing them to their limits.

Comment by CronoDAS on Great minds might not think alike · 2021-01-03T02:51:04.689Z · LW · GW

It seems like David Shor tried to do the same thing to politics that Billy Beane's team successfully did to baseball - replace intuition and qualitative analysis with statistics and careful quantitative analysis - but he ended up doing worse than the existing experts, rather than better. Why was that?

Comment by CronoDAS on Great minds might not think alike · 2021-01-03T02:46:57.151Z · LW · GW

It seems like David Shor tried to do the same thing to politics that Billy Beane's team successfully did to baseball - replace intuition with statistics and careful quantitative analysis - but he ended up failing. Why was that?

Comment by CronoDAS on What are the best precedents for industries failing to invest in valuable AI research? · 2020-12-16T03:34:28.701Z · LW · GW

The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center produced many innovations in information technology - including the graphical user interface and mouse - that Xerox as a corporation completely failed to capitalize on. (There were PARC innovations that Xerox did successfully exploit, but the ones it missed the boat on are the ones that get all the attention.)

Comment by CronoDAS on Real-Life Examples of Prediction Systems Interfering with the Real World (Predict-O-Matic Problems) · 2020-12-06T09:05:39.942Z · LW · GW

There's a legend about a stock market prediction scam:

Pick 2^N potential targets. Send half of them a prediction that a stock will go up and the other half a prediction will go down. Eliminate the people who got a wrong prediction, and then do this again and again. Eventually you'll end up with one guy who's convinced you're never wrong, so charge him an arm and a leg for investment advice.

Comment by CronoDAS on How Much is Your Time Worth? · 2020-12-03T04:31:51.583Z · LW · GW

How much is your time worth if you're retired, a homemaker, a student, or otherwise not working for pay?

Comment by CronoDAS on Pain is not the unit of Effort · 2020-11-29T17:13:50.473Z · LW · GW

True for both metaphorical and literal butt pain!

Comment by CronoDAS on Less Wrong used to like Bitcoin before it was cool. Time for a revisit? · 2020-11-26T16:21:47.194Z · LW · GW

I have since lost some faith in the Magic Online Event Ticket. I do not have any more faith in Bitcoin than I did eight years ago. Furthermore, I'm fairly confident that Bitcoin is of net negative value to the world - a huge amount of energy is devoted to computing otherwise useless hashes so hackers can collect ransoms and some people can try to take money from greater fools.

(There are blockchain projects that might have actual value, but Bitcoin is not one of them.)

Comment by CronoDAS on A review of Where Is My Flying Car? by J. Storrs Hall · 2020-11-08T00:29:01.878Z · LW · GW

If regulation killed nuclear power plants in the US, why aren't there any other countries building nuclear plants more cheaply?

Comment by CronoDAS on Industrial literacy · 2020-10-06T18:38:07.367Z · LW · GW

Phosphate rock?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_phosphorus

Comment by CronoDAS on Notes on "The Anthropology of Childhood" · 2020-09-03T15:16:35.909Z · LW · GW

Graduation ceremonies?

Comment by CronoDAS on Introduction To The Infra-Bayesianism Sequence · 2020-09-02T19:09:39.976Z · LW · GW

Why are you minmaxing over expected values of policies, instead of over outcomes? Isn't the worst case for the "tails only" policy "I'm in COPY and the coin is heads", not "'I'm in COPY"?

Basically I don't understand why "past me, who is screaming at me from the sidelines that it matters whether I pick tails or not" once I see that the coin comes up heads is actually correct and the "me" who's indifferent is wrong; one man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens.

Here's another example that makes my intuition go "ouch" - suppose that choosing heads in REVERSE HEADS when the coin is heads gives 0.1 utility. Then the "match the coin" policy has an expected value in REVERSE HEADS of 0.3 instead of 0.25 and the minmax rule you picked still tells you to "always pick tails", but conditioning on heads, "pick heads if you see heads" gives you 0.1 utility or 1 utility, while "always pick tails" gives you 1 utility or 0 utility, so isn't "pick heads" a better strategy?

Comment by CronoDAS on Introduction To The Infra-Bayesianism Sequence · 2020-09-01T00:39:35.073Z · LW · GW

Maybe I'm understanding this wrong... but isn't there another kind of dynamic inconsistency here?

Suppose you walk into an empty room. Then you're told you're in either WORLD A, which gives reward 1 for choosing heads and reward 0 for choosing tails, or WORLD B, which gives reward 0 for choosing heads and reward 1 for choosing tails. You have Knightian uncertainty between the worlds, so you minmax and end up indifferent between them; you arbitrarily choose heads.

Then you hear a voice:

"Actually, I flipped a fair coin that came up heads. If it had instead come up tails, in WORLD A you would have gotten reward 1 for choosing tails and reward 0 for saying heads, but in WORLD B you would have gotten 0.5 reward no matter what. (And my monologue would have changed appropriately.)"

Should you reconsider your decision to choose heads? What you learned doesn't actually change the decision you're faced with, does it?

Comment by CronoDAS on [deleted post] 2020-08-09T10:05:08.224Z

The work of Dr. Mew and people making similar claims, such as the authors of the book "Jaws", is controversial at best.

https://www.toportho.org/think-pieces/jaws-dr-proffit-and-dr-ackerman-review-a-sensationalist-book

(The comments include back-and-forth responses by the reviewers and the book's authors. Don't ignore them.)

Comment by CronoDAS on The EMH Aten't Dead · 2020-05-25T07:07:33.258Z · LW · GW

Sports bookies deal with "investors" that have net biases - lots of people will, for example, bet on the home team because they're fans. I also have it on pretty good authority that people drastically underestimate the variance in soccer matches between closely matched teams; when the World Cup comes around, a simple strategy of "bet on the underdog in every match" makes money.

Comment by CronoDAS on Karate Kid and Realistic Expectations for Disagreement Resolution · 2019-12-06T23:03:09.111Z · LW · GW

I have a bit of a dilemma. What do you say to someone who says things like "I believe in ghosts because I see and have conversations with them"? (Not a hypothetical example!)

Comment by CronoDAS on Two explanations for variation in human abilities · 2019-11-04T15:44:08.789Z · LW · GW

Calculus itself isn't inherently more difficult to learn that earlier math, but it is where many math students hit a wall because it has a lot of prerequisites; if you were a mediocre student in algebra and trigonometry, there is a good chance that you will have trouble with calculus because you never completely mastered other skills that you have to use over and over again when doing calculus.

Comment by CronoDAS on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-18T23:38:13.046Z · LW · GW

There are bootleg videos on YouTube, and if you happen to be in New York, the public library system there records all major Broadway shows and lets people watch them for free.

Comment by CronoDAS on How to Ignore Your Emotions (while also thinking you're awesome at emotions) · 2019-08-18T15:30:01.854Z · LW · GW

Reminds me of this...

https://youtu.be/Of5cgecGIhg

Comment by CronoDAS on What woo to read? · 2019-07-30T10:06:36.404Z · LW · GW

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/fnkbdwckdfHS2H22Q/steelmanning-divination-1

Comment by CronoDAS on Being the (Pareto) Best in the World · 2019-07-29T18:02:49.663Z · LW · GW

Generalized Efficient Markets - if something is easy and obvious, someone else is already doing it.

Comment by CronoDAS on Micro feedback loops and learning · 2019-05-26T03:17:45.368Z · LW · GW

You can get a lot of very tight feedback loops when playing video games, too...

Comment by CronoDAS on Which scientific discovery was most ahead of its time? · 2019-05-18T17:03:15.942Z · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · 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 · LW · GW

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

Comment by CronoDAS on [deleted post] 2018-11-15T00:08:42.744Z

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

Comment by CronoDAS on [deleted post] 2018-07-20T17:21:35.236Z

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 · 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 · 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 · LW · GW

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westermarck_effect

Comment by CronoDAS on When is unaligned AI morally valuable? · 2018-05-27T22:57:51.606Z · 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 · LW · GW

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

Challenge Accepted! ;)

https://youtu.be/OztGJhiBQTo

Comment by CronoDAS on The league of Rationalists · 2018-05-23T13:31:07.346Z · 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 · 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 · 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.)