Rapture/Pet Insurance 2011-05-19T19:51:48.026Z


Comment by Dan_Moore on Survey: What's the most negative*plausible cryonics-works story that you know? · 2015-12-23T14:47:28.309Z · LW · GW

Society is completely different and technologically advanced. The only employment offered to mom and popsicles is as a historical icon from your approximate youth era, tasked with wandering the streets and acting your part, analogous to a Disney character at Disneyland. Your role choices are Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, and someone else you've never heard of.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Clothing is Hard (A Brief Adventure into my Inefficient Brain) · 2015-10-13T13:23:23.662Z · LW · GW

Most underwear has a label that should be on your back facing in. Thus, there are 4 possibilities: (label in) front, back, facing in, facing out. Hope this helps.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Journal 'Basic and Applied Psychology' bans p<0.05 and 95% confidence intervals · 2015-02-26T14:37:08.023Z · LW · GW

Neat in what sense? (i.e., in a popcorn-worthy or a methodological progress sense?)

Also, does this ban make sense for the entire field of psychology, or perhaps just for 'feelings' parameters that range from icky to awesome?

Comment by Dan_Moore on Journal 'Basic and Applied Psychology' bans p<0.05 and 95% confidence intervals · 2015-02-26T02:42:30.513Z · LW · GW

What about p = 0.001?

Comment by Dan_Moore on Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life · 2015-01-07T02:34:33.101Z · LW · GW

Visit a Toastmasters club - for free. If you decide to join, the annual cost will be < $100. The meetings are fairly organized, with people talking in turn. Prepared and short impromptu speeches are delivered. Usually a friendly and supportive environment. I look forward to our weekly meeting.

Comment by Dan_Moore on December 2014 Bragging Thread · 2014-12-21T02:42:47.597Z · LW · GW

I asked and answered a question on Math StackExchange- the first of three related questions. The third question will characterize all faces of the Tridiagonal Birkhoff polytope. The first question is about vertices of certain Tridiagonal Birkhoff faces, and the second will be about the combinatorial type of the facets of these certain faces.

Comment by Dan_Moore on How to write an academic paper, according to me · 2014-10-16T13:36:28.342Z · LW · GW

I have seen at least one math paper where the title was suggestive of a more general result than actually delivered in the paper. I wish the title of the paper was given as much thought as the abstract. In the case I'm thinking of, a well placed 'some' or 'certain' in the title would have fixed it.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Rationality Quotes October 2014 · 2014-10-14T20:17:40.248Z · LW · GW

My greatest inspiration is a low bank balance.

Ludwig Bemelmens

Comment by Dan_Moore on Rationality Quotes October 2014 · 2014-10-14T20:16:35.286Z · LW · GW

Thankfully, they have ways of verifying historical facts so this [getting facts wrong] doesn't happen too much. One of them is Bayes' Theorem, which uses mathematical formulas to determine the probability that an event actually occurred. Ironically, the method is even useful in the case of Bayes' Theorem itself. While most people attribute it to Thomas Bayes (1701 - 1761), there are a significant number who claim it was discovered independently of Bayes - and some time before him - by a Nicholas Saunderson. This gives researchers the unique opportunity to use Bayes' Theorem to determine who came up with Bayes' Theorem. I love science.

John Cadley, Funny You Should Say That - Toastmaster magazine

Comment by Dan_Moore on The rational way to name rivers · 2014-08-07T19:12:39.401Z · LW · GW

It seems clear that the first existing name was Mattaponi, and since the 4 feeder rivers are close together, the syllable names were chosen for the 4 streams, south to north. The Matta (and especially Poni) Rivers look pretty short on the map.

Comment by Dan_Moore on This is why we can't have social science · 2014-07-16T14:17:25.408Z · LW · GW

A mentor of mine once told me that replication is useful, but not the most useful thing you could be doing because it's often better to do a followup experiment that rests on the premises established by the initial experiment. If the first experiment was wrong, the second experiment will end up wrong too. Science should not go even slower than it already does - just update and move on, don't obsess.

If you're concerned about the velocity of scientific progress, you should also be concerned about wrong turns. A Type 1 Error (establishing a wrong result by incorrectly rejecting a null hypothesis) is, IMHO, far more damaging to science than failure to establish a correct result - possibly due to an insufficient experimental setup.

Comment by Dan_Moore on This is why we can't have social science · 2014-07-14T13:43:24.412Z · LW · GW

The goal is to set up the experiments to make it solely about the results and not about colleagues. If 'scientific integrity' means sloppy, porous experimental setup, then impugning this is not a bad thing. Ideally the experimental design and execution should transcend the question of the researchers' motives.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Open thread, 9-15 June 2014 · 2014-06-09T16:01:45.767Z · LW · GW

I just read an AI thriller by Greg Iles called 'The Footprints of God'. Don't want to spoiler it, so I'll just say that it strikes me as singularity-lite.

Also, here's an objectivist Harry Potter treatment.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Self-serving meta: Whoever keeps block-downvoting me, is there some way to negotiate peace? · 2014-05-15T20:25:49.315Z · LW · GW

If individuals want less of things they ought to want more of, I endorse opposing the incorrect values of those individuals.

Downvoted per your request.

Comment by Dan_Moore on The Universal Medical Journal Article Error · 2014-04-29T20:09:17.278Z · LW · GW

Perhaps a clearer title would have been 'A Universal Quantifier Medical Journal Article Error'. Bit of a noun pile, but the subject of the post is an alleged unjustified use of a universal quantifier in a certain article's conclusion.

By the way, I think PhilGoetz is 100% correct on this point - i.e., upon failure to prove a hypothesis using standard frequentist techniques, it is not appropriate to claim a result.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Open thread, 24-30 March 2014 · 2014-03-28T17:03:27.660Z · LW · GW

Some of the effects will depend on details of the implementation. For example, if self-driving cars are constrained to obey highway speed limits, the commute time may increase in some cases, at least initially. Upon achieving saturation of self-driving cars, I would expect shorter commute times on non-highways. Also, upon saturation, it may be seen as desirable to raise the highway speed limit.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Open thread, 24-30 March 2014 · 2014-03-28T16:10:13.564Z · LW · GW

I am wondering about the effect of the advent of self-driving cars on urban sprawl. Will it increase or decrease sprawl?

Urban sprawl is said to be an unintended consequence of the development of the US interstate highway system.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... · 2014-03-28T14:55:16.676Z · LW · GW

The Pollination Project is run by a guy who gives $1,000 a day, to a different recipient every day. Rational justifications for this approach include minimizing the model risk - i.e., perhaps the model you used to decide which single charitable cause is the best is wrong. Also, small donations seem likely to produce a high velocity of the money donated.

Comment by Dan_Moore on What are you working on? March / April 2014 · 2014-03-27T14:52:08.470Z · LW · GW

I've taken an interest in steepled arrangements of quadrilaterals; i.e., an arrangement of n quadrilaterals with 2n vertices such that the intersection of any two quadrilaterals is either a vertex or the empty set, and each quadrilateral meets four others at its vertices. The implication is that n >=5, and I'm focused on the 3 dimensional case. A link from an earlier open thread shows that such an arrangement is possible.

The term steepled refers to a hand position where the corresponding fingers of each hand meet at the fingertips, forming a 'steeple'.

Consider an ant crawling on the surface of one of these arrangements. Starting at a vertex, she makes a bee-line (ant-line?) for the diagonally opposite corner of the quadrilateral she's on, and then enters the next quadrilateral which intersects at that point, and repeats the process again and again, always going across the diagonal. Eventually, she must arrive at her starting point, because there are a finite number of vertices. She may not have hit all the vertices, but she did not retrace her steps at any point.

Given a numerical labeling of the quadrilaterals, her path can be represented by a cycle of numerals corresponding to each quadrilateral she traversed. If there are unvisited vertices, the process can be repeated starting at an unvisited vertex, generating another cycle, until all vertices have been visited.

Different cycles or product of cycles (different even after a permutation of quadrilateral labels) represent different steepled quadrilateral arrangement types. The cycles have the following properties:

  • Each of the n numerals appears exactly twice (corresponding to the two diagonals of each quadrilateral).

  • Each numeral is neighbored in the cycle(s) by four different numerals between its two appearances.

  • Each cycle must have length >= 3.

Looking at the case n = 5, there are at least 7 distinct potential quadrilateral arrangements - i.e., 7 different eligible cycle products of the numerals 0 through 4. I'm looking into the question of whether each of these represents a physically possible 3-d steepled quadrilateral arrangement, and if so, can it be accomplished with all convex quadrilaterals or not. (That is, are you forced to use any non-convex quadrilaterals to construct the arrangement.)

I'm planning on posting this as a question to Math StackExchange, but I prefer to first be confident I can answer the question asked within a month - due to the logistics of that site, it's possible for a question to disappear after a month if no-one has answered it.

Comment by Dan_Moore on In favour of terseness · 2014-03-11T13:30:22.858Z · LW · GW

Here is an example of a long post that requires a good deal of reader perseverance to arrive at its main point. To wit, CDC obesity studies since the mid-20th century underwent a change in demographic sampling partway through (with more blacks and Hispanics sampled), resulting in a likely overstatement of obesity trend statistics.

The post title gives a hint, but the article would have been improved by indicating where it was headed much earlier on.

In contrast, this post delivers its message regarding the interpretation of "accurate more than 90% of the time" (including definitions of sensitivity and specificity) in a straightforward manner. I wouldn't describe the post as terse, but I give it high marks for content/length.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-04T18:41:00.450Z · LW · GW

Are you saying that each pair of quadrilaterals intersect at a mutual vertex and nowhere else, and that each vertex is common to exactly two quadrilaterals?

Yes, exactly.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-04T14:02:38.992Z · LW · GW

Here is another puzzle.

Can you take ten points, forming the vertices of five convex quadrilaterals in three dimensions, such that every quadrilateral intersects each of the other four at a vertex? Solution

Comment by Dan_Moore on Anthropic Atheism · 2014-01-16T14:06:32.987Z · LW · GW

I'm not seeing why atheism is included in the post title.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Rationality Quotes December 2013 · 2013-12-19T16:24:06.601Z · LW · GW

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. -Samuel Beckett

Comment by Dan_Moore on December Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-12-04T17:31:18.375Z · LW · GW

I answered my own question on Math Stack Exchange, and thus avoided a pocket veto, wherein a question gets deleted if it has a negative vote total and no answer after 30 days.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Open Thread, December 2-8, 2013 · 2013-12-03T15:19:08.078Z · LW · GW

The phrenology guy isn't showing up on the homepage for me. Did LW take him off?

Comment by Dan_Moore on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-25T15:33:15.797Z · LW · GW

I completed the survey & had to look up the normative ethics choices (again). Also cisgender. I cooperated with the prisoner's dilemma puzzle & estimated that a majority of respondents would also do so, given the modest prize amount.

Also, based on my estimate of a year in Newton's life in last year's survey, I widened my confidence intervals.

Comment by Dan_Moore on What are you working on? October 2013 · 2013-10-09T13:53:54.646Z · LW · GW

I've worked it out, and now I'm not sure that this function is OEIS-worthy (although it's at least as worthy as Jenny's constant). I will definitely post a question on Math StackExchange, and not answer it (if even necessary) for a month or two, in honor of my namesake.

Here is a link to the question.

Here is a link to a related question that is more fun.

Comment by Dan_Moore on What are you working on? October 2013 · 2013-10-08T16:32:09.213Z · LW · GW

I am calculating the first several terms of a combinatorial function that is useful in the counting of certain elements of a polytope I'm studying. The combinatorial function has three integer parameters, so it forms a tetrahedral array. It's not in OEIS.

I have a recursive means of calculating the function. Next, I'm going to figure out the function as a rational expression in integers i, j, k. Then, I'll post it on Math Stackexchange. Then, I'll submit it to OEIS.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Inferential silence · 2013-09-25T20:16:26.781Z · LW · GW

Another possible interpretation:

Disagree with the post; can't personally refute it, but believe that someone who shares my views (and is more knowledgeable) could.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Satisficing versus optimizing in instructor selection · 2013-09-10T19:09:46.884Z · LW · GW

Like me (back in the day), I think a lot of students do not choose their instructor, just the courses.

Comment by Dan_Moore on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-15T13:18:28.777Z · LW · GW

I like that this thread provides an incentive to finish a project so that you can brag about it.

Comment by Dan_Moore on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-12T13:45:47.362Z · LW · GW

As this is the first bragging thread, even if this happened over a month ago, it should be admissible. (Heck, even if it weren't the first bragging thread.)

Comment by Dan_Moore on New Monthly Thread: Bragging · 2013-08-12T13:43:53.129Z · LW · GW

It must be this you are referring to. Congratulations!

Comment by Dan_Moore on Meetup : West LA - Randomness: Why We Want It, How We Get It · 2013-07-02T19:09:52.009Z · LW · GW

One option you can rule out: Excel RAND(), because it's not random.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Why one-box? · 2013-07-01T15:47:40.140Z · LW · GW

Two-boxers think that decisions are things that can just fall out of the sky uncaused.

It seems that 2-boxers make this assumption, whereas some 1-boxers (including me) apply a Popperian approach to selecting a model of reality consistent with the empirical evidence.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Why do theists, undergrads, and Less Wrongers favor one-boxing on Newcomb? · 2013-06-20T22:18:53.597Z · LW · GW

It seems to me that there is backward causation under the decoherence interpretation, as the world we inhabit is affected by the experimental set-up (there's either a diffraction pattern on the back screen characteristic of a wave, or a pattern characteristic of a single slit). I really think people tend to overestimate the latitude that exists among the various quantum interpretations. They are just interpretations, after all.

I don't think that Omega knowing a person better than they know themselves is sufficient to explain the 100% accuracy of Omega's prediction.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Why do theists, undergrads, and Less Wrongers favor one-boxing on Newcomb? · 2013-06-20T14:15:57.245Z · LW · GW

It may be that two-boxers perceive the key issue as the (im)possibility of backwards causation. However, Wheeler's delayed choice experiment demonstrates what seems to me to be backwards causation. Because backwards causation is not categorically impossible, I'm a one-boxer.

Comment by Dan_Moore on The Paucity of Elites Online · 2013-06-03T14:29:20.078Z · LW · GW

Gil Kalai also has a nice blog.

Actually, I hadn't checked this site in a while. There is some awesome stuff there, including some questions probably of interest to many LWers.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Antijargon Project · 2013-05-09T15:14:45.881Z · LW · GW

The list of LessWrong Jargon contains plenty of non-neologisms like that.


Comment by Dan_Moore on Googling is the first step. Consider adding scholarly searches to your arsenal. · 2013-05-08T14:06:17.275Z · LW · GW

Red meat adds a literal sizzle to research papers.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Privileging the Question · 2013-04-29T16:17:54.025Z · LW · GW

Both the development of scientific hypotheses and testing them fall under the category of expanding the general knowledge base. Also, both research areas identified are at the fundamental level. Expanding the general knowledge base about the fundamental facts of nature is an inherently valuable activity.

Comment by Dan_Moore on What truths are actually taboo? · 2013-04-18T18:55:06.716Z · LW · GW

I'm also having trouble connecting the dots between the functionalist position that the Holocaust was caused by mid-level Nazi bureaucrats and the assertion that the Holocaust would not have happened were it not for the war.

Comment by Dan_Moore on What truths are actually taboo? · 2013-04-17T14:50:29.517Z · LW · GW

Bill thinks the war was avoidable. Bill thinks the Holocaust would not have happened were it not for the war, and that some of the Holocaust was a reaction to actual Jewish subterfuge and abuse.

Here's the problem: everything Bill has said is either true, a matter of serious debate, or otherwise a matter of high likelihood and reasonableness.

I wouldn't classify the above statements as either true or likely/reasonable. As to the statements being seriously debated, please provide a link or something.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Optimal rudeness · 2013-04-14T01:43:09.632Z · LW · GW

You're ugly.

I would call that an opinion. A pejorative one.

Also not likely to be relevant to any serious discussion I would ever have on the internet.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Optimal rudeness · 2013-04-13T14:08:30.720Z · LW · GW

I agree that lofty disdain tends to be rewarded with karma points on this board. Also, rudeness when you are in the minority is a karma loser. I prefer to think of karma points on this board as measuring a person's covariance with the group opinion. So, if you find the group opinion optimal, you should try to maximize karma points.

I'm planning on stating a personal policy of posting that I intend to follow on a different board. Basically, I will refrain from using pejoratives, or 'one-off' pejoratives. However, stating facts are always in-bounds, no matter how unflattering they are to some. An example of a 'one-off' pejorative is to call someone's argument 'nonsense'; the implication being that the person is nonsensical. It's in the vein of Crocker's Rules, but slightly different.

Why I plan to do this:

  1. I think that people engaged in internet discussions should be given the benefit of the doubt that they sincerely believe what they are saying (without evidence to the contrary). So, it's overly harsh to go off on someone on the internet because their opinion differs from yours. If you wouldn't behave that way IRL, you shouldn't on the internet either. Also, if people know you will be sticking to the facts, they will be less inclined to engage in distracting flames.

  2. This is purely a tactical decision, as I have presented an alternative hypothesis to a dogma that is cherished on that board, and plan to expand on that. Thus, I am in the minority. So, I won't follow this policy because I believe I am nicer or better than others, but rather out of intelligent self-interest. So, I will be turning the other cheek, but I hope to use that to my advantage later.

Comment by Dan_Moore on g, a Statistical Myth · 2013-04-12T19:08:20.546Z · LW · GW

I made it halfway through the comments thinking this post was about the gravitational constant.

It seems to me that it's fine to attack an existing model; however, you should then present an alternative model that does a better job empirically. I don't think the latter has been accomplished.

Comment by Dan_Moore on Decision Theory FAQ · 2013-02-28T22:36:05.429Z · LW · GW

I concur. Plus, the St. Petersburg paradox was the impetus for Daniel Bernoulli's invention of the concept of utility.

Comment by Dan_Moore on When should you give to multiple charities? · 2013-02-27T15:29:28.574Z · LW · GW

Being risk-averse with respect to wealth utility is reasonable, and is empirically verified to be the case with most people. Wealth utility is a special case of the more general concept of utility regarding outcomes. Risk-averseness is reasonable for wealth utility because the risk is personal. The risk that the donation with the highest expected saving of lives in fact saves fewer lives than another donation is not a personal risk. So, I agree that, assuming accurate information about the probabilities, you should donate to get the maximum expected bang for the buck.

Comment by Dan_Moore on [Link] Is the Endowment Effect Real? · 2013-02-27T15:17:39.349Z · LW · GW

Also, in my experience, I buy stuff all the time, but I rarely sell anything. If someone asked to buy my toaster, I would decline. I know it works. If I replaced it with the proceeds of the sale, I might get a lemon.