Posts

Robin Hanson on whether governments can squash COVID-19 2020-03-19T18:23:57.574Z · score: 11 (4 votes)
Should we all be more hygenic in normal times? 2020-03-17T06:14:23.093Z · score: 9 (2 votes)
Did any US politician react appropriately to COVID-19 early on? 2020-03-17T06:12:31.523Z · score: 22 (11 votes)
An Analytic Perspective on AI Alignment 2020-03-01T04:10:02.546Z · score: 54 (16 votes)
How has the cost of clothing insulation changed since 1970 in the USA? 2020-01-12T23:31:56.430Z · score: 14 (3 votes)
Do you get value out of contentless comments? 2019-11-21T21:57:36.359Z · score: 28 (12 votes)
What empirical work has been done that bears on the 'freebit picture' of free will? 2019-10-04T23:11:27.328Z · score: 9 (4 votes)
A Personal Rationality Wishlist 2019-08-27T03:40:00.669Z · score: 44 (27 votes)
Verification and Transparency 2019-08-08T01:50:00.935Z · score: 37 (17 votes)
DanielFilan's Shortform Feed 2019-03-25T23:32:38.314Z · score: 19 (5 votes)
Robin Hanson on Lumpiness of AI Services 2019-02-17T23:08:36.165Z · score: 16 (6 votes)
Test Cases for Impact Regularisation Methods 2019-02-06T21:50:00.760Z · score: 65 (19 votes)
Does freeze-dried mussel powder have good stuff that vegan diets don't? 2019-01-12T03:39:19.047Z · score: 18 (5 votes)
In what ways are holidays good? 2018-12-28T00:42:06.849Z · score: 22 (6 votes)
Kelly bettors 2018-11-13T00:40:01.074Z · score: 23 (7 votes)
Bottle Caps Aren't Optimisers 2018-08-31T18:30:01.108Z · score: 71 (27 votes)
Mechanistic Transparency for Machine Learning 2018-07-11T00:34:46.846Z · score: 55 (21 votes)
Research internship position at CHAI 2018-01-16T06:25:49.922Z · score: 25 (8 votes)
Insights from 'The Strategy of Conflict' 2018-01-04T05:05:43.091Z · score: 73 (27 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Guilt 2015-07-27T09:39:18.923Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: The Efficient Market Hypothesis 2015-07-13T04:01:59.618Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: More Zendo! 2015-05-27T13:13:50.539Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Deep Learning 2015-05-17T21:34:09.597Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Putting Induction Into Practice 2015-04-28T14:40:55.876Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Intro to Solomonoff induction 2015-04-19T10:58:17.933Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: A Sequence Post You Disagreed With + Discussion 2015-04-06T10:38:21.824Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra HPMOR Wrap Party! 2015-03-08T22:56:53.578Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Technology to help achieve goals 2015-02-17T09:37:41.334Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra Less Wrong Meet Up - Favourite Sequence Post + Discussion 2015-02-05T05:49:29.620Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: the Hedonic Treadmill 2015-01-15T04:02:44.807Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: End of year party 2014-12-03T11:49:07.022Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Liar's Dice! 2014-11-13T12:36:06.912Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Econ 101 and its Discontents 2014-10-29T12:11:42.638Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Would I Lie To You? 2014-10-15T13:44:23.453Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Contrarianism 2014-10-02T11:53:37.350Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: More rationalist fun and games! 2014-09-15T01:47:58.425Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Akrasia-busters! 2014-08-27T02:47:14.264Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Cooking for LessWrongers 2014-08-13T14:12:54.548Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Effective Altruism 2014-08-01T03:39:53.433Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Intro to Anthropic Reasoning 2014-07-16T13:10:40.109Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Paranoid Debating 2014-07-01T09:52:26.939Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Many Worlds + Paranoid Debating 2014-06-17T13:44:22.361Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Decision Theory 2014-05-26T14:44:31.621Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
[LINK] Scott Aaronson on Integrated Information Theory 2014-05-22T08:40:40.065Z · score: 22 (23 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Rationalist Fun and Games! 2014-05-01T12:44:58.481Z · score: 0 (3 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Life Hacks Part 2 2014-04-14T01:11:27.419Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Canberra Meetup: Life hacks part 1 2014-03-31T07:28:32.358Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Canberra: Meta-meetup + meditation 2014-03-07T01:04:58.151Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
Meetup : Second Canberra Meetup - Paranoid Debating 2014-02-19T04:00:42.751Z · score: 1 (2 votes)

Comments

Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-10-15T18:35:18.481Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

To be explicit, here are some reasons that the EA community should cancel Kaczynski. Note that I do not necessarily think that they are sound or decisive.

  • EAs are known as utilitarians who are concerned about the impact of AI technology. By associating with him, that could give people the false impression that EAs are in favour of terroristic bombing campaigns to retard technological development, which would damage the EA community.
  • His threat to bomb more people and buildings if the Washington Post (WaPo) didn't publish his manifesto damaged good discourse norms by inducing the WaPo to talk about something it wasn't otherwise inclined to talk about, and good discourse norms are important for effective altruism.
  • It seems to me (not having read the manifesto) that the policies he advocates would cause large amounts of harm. For instance, without modern medical technology, I and many others would not have survived to the age of one year.
  • His bombing campaign is evidence of very poor character.
Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-10-15T17:04:27.143Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
  1. Yes, it was published by the Washington Post.
  2. Yes, there were no further bombings after its publication.
  3. He did.
  4. "eight life sentences", IIUC, means that he will serve the rest of his life, and if the justice system decides that one (or any number less than 8) of the sentences should be vacated, he will still serve the rest of his life. I'm not sure what his life expectancy is, but he's 78 at the moment.
Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-10-15T16:49:02.384Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Ted Kaczynski as a relatively apolitical test case for cancellation norms:

Ted Kaczynski was a mathematics professor who decided that industrial society was terrible, and waged a terroristic bombing campaign to foment a revolution against technology. As part of this campaign, he wrote a manifesto titled "Industrial Society and Its Future" and said that if a major newspaper printed it verbatim he would desist from terrorism. He is currently serving eight life sentences in a "super-max" security prison in Colorado.

My understanding is that his manifesto (which, incidentally, has been updated and given a new title "Anti-Tech Revolution: Why and How", the second edition of which was released this year) is lucid and thought-out. Here are some questions the answers to which are not obvious to me:

  • Should anybody read "Industrial Society and Its Future", given its origin?
  • Suppose an EA group wrote to Kaczynski in prison, asking him to write a letter about opposition to technology to be read aloud and discussed in an EA meetup, and he complied. Would it have been unacceptable for the EA group to do this, and should it be unacceptable for the EA group to hold this meetup?
Comment by danielfilan on Postmortem to Petrov Day, 2020 · 2020-10-04T21:55:15.658Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If I decide not to Petrov-Ruin out of a desire to protect your belief that people can hold the power without abusing it, and I make that change because I care about you and your suffering as a fellow human and think your life will be much worse if my actions demolish that belief, then a successful Petrov Day is at risk of becoming another example of Goodhart's Law.

TBC, I think you're supposed to not Petrov-ruin so as to not be destructive (or to leverage your destructive power to modify habryka to be more like you'd like them to be). My interpretation of habryka is that it would be nice if (a) it were actually true that this community could wield destructive power without being destructive etc and (b) everybody knew that. The problem with wielding destructive power is that it makes (a) false, not just that it makes (b) false.

Comment by danielfilan on Postmortem to Petrov Day, 2020 · 2020-10-04T21:51:40.324Z · score: 9 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'd like to hear more about why you think some or all parts of this are hacking so I can calibrate my "I'm probably not a sociopath" prior.

I don't think that you doing this would be "brain hacking". But your plan to press the button in order to make me be more cautious and paranoid works roughly like this: you would decide to press the button, so as to cause me to believe that the world is full of untrustworthy people, so that I make different decisions. Here's my attempt to break down my complaint about this:

  • You are trying to manipulate my beliefs to change my actions, without checking if this will make my beliefs more accurate.
  • Your manipulation of my beliefs will cause them to be inaccurate: I will probably believe that the world is contains careless people, or people with a reckless disregard for the website staying up. But actually what's going on is the world contains people who want me to be paranoid.
  • To the extent that I do figure out what's going on and do have true beliefs, then you're just choosing whether I can have accurate beliefs in the world where things are bad, vs having accurate beliefs in the world where things are good. But it's better for things to be good than bad.
  • If I have wrong beliefs about the distribution of people's trustworthiness (or the ways in which people are untrustworthy), I will actually make worse decisions about which things to prioritize in AI security. You seem to believe the converse, but I doubt you have good reasons to think that.

On the contrary, the fact that all attendees are supposed to leave in silence if the button is pressed suggests that the risk is meant to be real and to have consequences.

Yes. Pressing the button makes life worse for your companions, which is the basic reason that you shouldn't do it.

Comment by danielfilan on Postmortem to Petrov Day, 2020 · 2020-10-04T18:13:16.664Z · score: 27 (7 votes) · LW · GW

However, seeing the amount of thoughtfulness generated by what went down in 2020, if I get codes in 2021, I will give serious thought to pressing the button because doing so will, no matter the reason, instill even further caution and security-paranoia in AI researchers, which is stressful for them but beneficial for humanity.

The reason that it induces stress to see the website go down is that it tells me something about the external world. Please do not hack my means of understanding the external world to induce mental states in me that you assume will be beneficial to humanity.

Comment by danielfilan on Math That Clicks: Look for Two-Way Correspondences · 2020-10-02T04:06:50.926Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just like how open maps turn out to be way less useful in topology than continuous maps.

Comment by danielfilan on Math That Clicks: Look for Two-Way Correspondences · 2020-10-02T04:06:28.051Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I guess it has a bunch of names: the link at the top of the wikipedia page is on the words "non-expansive map", at the bottom it's "short map", and the title of the wikipedia page for the thing it calls it a "metric map", and also lists the name "weak contraction". So strange that this simple definition would be so little-used and often-named!

Comment by danielfilan on Math That Clicks: Look for Two-Way Correspondences · 2020-10-02T03:51:40.414Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Contractions bring points closer together.

I'm actually really bothered by this one because that's not what a contraction mapping is. A contraction mapping isn't just something that brings points closer together, it's a mapping where there's some factor such that for any pair of points, their distance gets multiplied by a factor of at most . So, if your function brings all points closer together but e.g. the distance between points 1 and 2 gets multiplied by 0.9, the distance between 2 and 3 gets multiplied by 0.99, the distance between 3 and 4 gets multiplied by 0.999, etc, then that's called a "short map" or a "metric map", not a contraction, and the contraction mapping theorem fails to hold (counterexample left to the reader's imagination).

Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-09-17T17:10:17.765Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Homework: come up with a model of this.

Comment by danielfilan on What Does "Signalling" Mean? · 2020-09-17T03:41:57.682Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed, to me 'signalling' is doing some action which is differentially costly depending on whether some fact is or isn't true - so mere assertion doesn't count, even if it conveys information.

Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-09-17T03:34:47.211Z · score: 11 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Models and considerations.

There are two typical ways of deciding whether on net something is worth doing. The first is to come up with a model of the relevant part of the world, look at all the consequences of doing the thing in the model, and determine if those consequences are net positive. When this is done right, the consequences should be easy to evaluate and weigh off against each other. The second way is to think of a bunch of considerations in favour of and against doing something, and decide whether the balance of considerations supports doing the thing or not.

I prefer model-building to consideration-listing, for the following reasons:

  • By building a model, you're forcing yourself to explicitly think about how important various consequences are, which is often elided in consideration-listing. Or rather, I don't know how to quantitatively compare importances of considerations without doing something very close to model-building.
  • Building a model lets you check which possible consequences are actually likely. This is an improvement on considerations, which are often of the form "such-and-such consequence might occur".
  • Building a model lets you notice consequences which you might not have immediately thought of. This can either cause you to believe that those consequences are likely, or look for a faulty modelling assumption that is producing those assumptions within the model.
  • Building a model helps you integrate your knowledge of the world, and explicitly enforces consistency in your beliefs about different questions.

However, there are also upsides to consideration-listing:

  • The process of constructing a model is pretty similar to consideration-listing: specifically, the part where one uses one's judgement to determine which aspects of reality are important enough to include.
  • Consideration-listing is much easier to do, which is why it's the form that this hastily-written shortform post takes.
Comment by danielfilan on TurnTrout's shortform feed · 2020-09-11T23:09:16.052Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Is the problem still gone?

Comment by danielfilan on The Best Virtual Worlds for "Hanging Out" · 2020-09-06T02:26:24.326Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Nah, online town still has the URL theonline.town, gather.town is just their upscale version.

Comment by danielfilan on Introduction To The Infra-Bayesianism Sequence · 2020-08-31T23:30:11.238Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Therefore, there is a real sense in which its hypothesis class includes things as difficult to compute as it is. That being said, my guess is that halting oracles would indeed let you compute more than just the lower semi-computable functions, and it's also true that being able to run Solomonoff induction would also let you build a halting oracle.

I guess the way to reconcile this is to think that there's a difference between what you can lower semi-compute, and what you could compute if you could compute lower semi-computable things? But it's been a while since I had a good understanding of this type of thing.

Comment by danielfilan on Introduction To The Infra-Bayesianism Sequence · 2020-08-31T22:35:35.120Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

much like how halting oracles (which you need to run Solomonoff Induction) are nowhere in the hypotheses which Solomonoff considers

The Solomonoff prior is a mixture over semi-measures[*] that are lower semi-computable: that is, you can compute increasingly good approximations of the semi-measure from below that converge eventually to the actual semi-measure, but at finite time you don't know how close you are to the right answer. The Solomonoff prior itself is also a lower semi-computable semi-measure. Therefore, there is a real sense in which its hypothesis class includes things as difficult to compute as it is. That being said, my guess is that halting oracles would indeed let you compute more than just the lower semi-computable functions, and it's also true that being able to run Solomonoff induction would also let you build a halting oracle.

[*] semi-measures are probability distributions that have 'missing density', where the probability of a 0 and then a 0, plus the probability of a 0 and then a 1, is less than or equal to the probability of a 0, even though there aren't any other options in the space for what happens next.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 18: Life in an algorithmic economy · 2020-08-29T23:31:25.263Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The Caplanian story about education is that a lot of what people are signalling is conformism, and it's inherently hard to move to a new better way of signalling conformism.

Comment by danielfilan on Matt Botvinick on the spontaneous emergence of learning algorithms · 2020-08-23T00:09:46.359Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

it's not clear that the handyman would have remembered to give the advice "turn clockwise to loosen, and counterclockwise to tighten"

It's the other way around, right?

Comment by danielfilan on ricraz's Shortform · 2020-08-22T16:27:27.083Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you get an 'external' randomness oracle, then you could define the utility function pretty simply in terms of the outputs of the oracle.

If the agent has a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG) inside it, then I suppose I agree that you aren't going to be able to give it a utility function that has the standard set of convergent instrumental goals, and PRNGs can be pretty short. (Well, some search algorithms are probably shorter, but I bet they have higher Kt complexity, which is probably a better measure for agents)

Comment by danielfilan on ricraz's Shortform · 2020-08-22T06:00:42.015Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And so this generates arbitrarily simple agents whose observed behaviour can only be described as maximising a utility function for arbitrarily complex utility functions (depending on how long you run them).

I object to the claim that agents that act randomly can be made "arbitrarily simple". Randomness is basically definitionally complicated!

Comment by danielfilan on ricraz's Shortform · 2020-08-21T06:34:31.394Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As mentioned in this comment, the Unrolling social metacognition paper is closely related to at least one research paper.

Comment by danielfilan on The ground of optimization · 2020-08-18T18:21:12.775Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But Filan would surely agree on this point and his question is more specific: he is asking whether the liver is an optimizer.

FYI, it seems pretty clear to me that a liver should be considered an optimiser: as an organ in the human body, it performs various tasks mostly reliably, achieves homeostasis, etc. The question I was rhetorically asking was whether it is an optimiser of one's income, and the answer (I claim) is 'no'.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 16: Tool AIs · 2020-08-18T02:06:27.670Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Recent work on mesa-optimisation is relevant to the discussion of search IMO: see the paper Risks from Learned Optimization. Basically, the idea is that your search procedure finds a thing that's an agent, and it's not obvious that the agent it finds has the same goals as the search process.

Comment by danielfilan on Sunday August 16, 12pm (PDT) — talks by Ozzie Gooen, habryka, Ben Pace · 2020-08-16T21:11:44.765Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For the record I saw this on LW, then didn't take any note of it, assuming there would be a FB event. But I do think it's fine to run this experiment.

Comment by danielfilan on Sunday August 16, 12pm (PDT) — talks by Ozzie Gooen, habryka, Ben Pace · 2020-08-16T19:45:54.709Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wish there had been a FB event for this, since that's one of the main ways I keep track of events. Alternatively, perhaps this page could have had some sort of downloadable calendar file so that I could have easily added it to google calendar.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 13: Capability control methods · 2020-08-14T16:03:49.591Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose the other alternative is that you don't change the goal in the agent, but rather change the world in a way that changes which actions achieve the goal, i.e. incentive methods.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 13: Capability control methods · 2020-08-14T01:34:12.737Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

See Hadfield-Menell and Hadfield on Incomplete Contracting and AI Alignment, that attempts to use insights from the first to help with the second.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 13: Capability control methods · 2020-08-14T01:31:54.470Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When an agent does something, it does so because it has some goal, and has determined that the thing it does will achieve the goal. Therefore, if you want to change what an agent does, you either change the goal (motivation selection), or change its method of determining stuff (capability control)*. Alternatively, you could make something that isn't like an agent but still has really good cognitive capabilities. Perhaps this would count as 'capability control' relative to what I see as the book's implicit assumption that smart things are agents.

[*] Note that this argument allows that the desired type of capability control would be to increase capability, perhaps so that the agent realises that doing what you hope it will do is actually a great idea.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 12: Malignant failure modes · 2020-08-13T22:58:06.444Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It doesn't seem to me that mind crime is a malignant failure mode in the sense that Bostrom defines it: it doesn't stop actual humans from doing their human things, and it seems that it could easily happen twice.

Comment by danielfilan on How should potential AI alignment researchers gauge whether the field is right for them? · 2020-08-13T05:11:14.891Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'd say a pretty good way is to try out AI alignment research as best you can, and see if you like it. This is probably best done by being an intern at some research group, but sadly these spots are limited. Perhaps one could factor it into "do I enjoy AI research at all", which is easier to gain experience in, and "am I interested in research questions in AI alignment", which you can hopefully determine through reading AI alignment research papers and introspecting on how much you care about the contents.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 10: Instrumentally convergent goals · 2020-08-13T05:09:03.233Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

See also TurnTrout's contribution in this area.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 10: Instrumentally convergent goals · 2020-08-13T05:07:02.159Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I thought Bostrom's qualifications about when various alleged instrumentally convergent goals might not actually be desireable were pretty interesting.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 9: The orthogonality of intelligence and goals · 2020-08-13T05:04:09.173Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The form of moral realism I prefer is that the word 'morality' just means something like utilitarianism, and therefore for moral knowledge you need to be able to figure out which things can have preferences/welfare, assess what their preferences/welfare are, and somehow aggregate them. I think there are also plausible versions where a moral system is something like a set of social norms that ensure that everyone gets along together, in which case you need to be in a society of rough equals, figure out which norms promote cooperation or defer to someone else who has figured it out, and be able to apply those norms to various situations.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 9: The orthogonality of intelligence and goals · 2020-08-13T04:58:45.689Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think in a world with multiple superintelligent agents that have read access to each others' code, I expect that agents 'change their own goals' for the social signalling/bargaining reasons that Bostrom mentions. Although it's unclear whether this would look more like spawning a new successor system with different values and architecture.

Comment by danielfilan on Will OpenAI's work unintentionally increase existential risks related to AI? · 2020-08-13T04:41:39.990Z · score: 24 (6 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW, I thought the original question text was slightly better, since I didn't read it as aggressive, and it didn't needlessly explicitly assume that everyone at OpenAI is avoiding increasing existential risk. Furthermore, it seems clear to me that an organisation can be increasing existential risk without everybody at that organisation being a moral monster, since most organisations are heterogeneous.

In general, I think one should be able to ask questions of the form "is actor X causing harm Y" on LessWrong, and furthermore that people should not thereby assume that the questioner thinks that actor X is evil. I also think that some people are moral monsters and/or evil, and the way to figure out whether or not that's true is to ask questions of this form.

Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-08-13T04:31:41.550Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

As far as I can tell, people typically use the orthogonality thesis to argue that smart agents could have any motivations. But the orthogonality thesis is stronger than that, and its extra content is false - there are some goals that are too complicated for a dumb agent to have, because the agent couldn't understand those goals. I think people should instead directly defend the claim that smart agents could have arbitrary goals.

Comment by danielfilan on Is Wirecutter still good? · 2020-08-08T04:20:23.572Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

FYI it's "Wirecutter" not "The WireCutter", according to Wikipedia and the website.

Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-08-07T19:05:13.397Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Alternate title: negation is a little tricky.

Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-08-07T19:00:18.270Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Avoid false dichotomies when reciting the litany of Tarski.

Suppose I were arguing about whether it's morally permissible to eat vegetables. I might stop in the middle and say:

If it is morally permissible to eat vegetables, I desire to believe that it is morally permissible to eat vegetables. If it is morally impermissible to eat vegetables, I desire to believe that it is morally impermissible to eat vegetables. Let me not become attached to beliefs I may not want.

But this ignores the possibility that it's neither morally permissible nor morally impermissible to eat vegetables, because (for instance) things don't have moral properties, or morality doesn't have permissible vs impermissible categories, or whether or not it's morally permissible or impermissible to eat vegetables depends on whether or not it's Tuesday.

Luckily, when you're saying the litany of Tarski, you have a prompt to actually think about the negation of the belief in question. Which might help you avoid this mistake.

Comment by danielfilan on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-03T01:35:38.107Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · LW · GW

We haven't yet built any ways to recognize or reward the taggers, and I'd really like to. Any suggestions for how to do that?

Publish a book of the best instances of people applying tags to posts in 2020.

Comment by danielfilan on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-03T01:12:47.925Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This is probably a joke, but in my experience, explaining other people's ideas is also a valued contribution if you explain it well and people are interested in the ideas.

Comment by danielfilan on Tags Discussion/Talk Thread · 2020-07-31T16:19:39.619Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW I vote for "Bayes' Theorem" over "Bayes Theorem".

Comment by danielfilan on New Paper on Herd Immunity Thresholds · 2020-07-31T02:11:08.725Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In SIR models you can overshoot herd immunity, right? As such, I'm not sure I should take ~30% seroprevalence as strong evidence that herd immunity is greater than ~20%. That being said, it's hard to understand how you could have ~70% seroprevalence if herd immunity is ~20%.

Comment by danielfilan on What if memes are common in highly capable minds? · 2020-07-30T21:54:28.612Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

My understanding of meme theory is that it considers the setting where memes mutate, reproduce, and are under selection pressure. This basically requires you to think that there's some population pool where the memes are spreading. So, one way to think about it might be to ask what memetic environment your AI systems are in.

  • Are human memes a good fit for AI agents? You might think that a physics simulator is not going to be a good fit for most human memes (except perhaps for memes like "representation theory is a good way to think about quantum operators"), because your physics simulator is structured differently from most human minds, and doesn't have the initial memes that our memes are co-adapted with. That being said, GPT-8 might be very receptive to human memes, as memes are pretty relevant to what characters humans type on the internet.
  • How large is the AI population? If there's just one smart AI overlord and then a bunch of MS Excel-level clever computers, the AI overlord is probably not exchanging memes with the spreadsheets. However, if there's a large number of smart AI systems that work in basically the same manner, you might think that that forms the relevant "meme pool", and the resulting memes are going to be different from human memes (if the smart AI systems are cognitively different from humans), and as a result perhaps harder to predict. You could also imagine there being lots of AI system communities where communication is easy within each community but difficult between communities due to architectural differences.
Comment by danielfilan on Forum participation as a research strategy · 2020-07-29T18:00:59.420Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hm, I percieved Raemon to be referring more specifically to turning forum discussions into posts, or otherwise tidying them up. I think that's importantly different to transcribing a talk (since a talk isn't a discussion), or a debate (since you only have a short period of time to think about your response to the other person). I guess it's possible that the tagging system helps with this, but it's not obvious to me how it would. That being said, I do agree that more broadly LW has moved towards more synthesis and intertemporal discussions.

Comment by danielfilan on Forum participation as a research strategy · 2020-07-29T15:53:19.930Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Just got a calendar reminder to check if this happened - my impression is that any such efforts haven't really materialised on the site.

Comment by danielfilan on DanielFilan's Shortform Feed · 2020-07-29T04:35:45.398Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Just learned that 80,000 hours' career guide includes the claim that becoming a Russia or India specialist might turn out to be a very promising career path.

Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 7: Decisive strategic advantage · 2020-07-29T01:52:17.283Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Some reasons that come to mind:

  • It might take you a while to come to the conclusion that your technology won't overtake theirs.
  • You might have slightly different computational resources, and the code might be specific to that.
Comment by danielfilan on Superintelligence 6: Intelligence explosion kinetics · 2020-07-23T04:58:35.347Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW I think this 'milestone' is much less clear than Bostrom makes it sound. I'd imagine there's a lot of variation in fidelity of simulation, both measured in terms of brain signals and in terms of behaviour, and I'd be surprised if there were some discrete point at which everybody realised that they'd got it right.

Comment by danielfilan on What should we do about network-effect monopolies? · 2020-07-22T17:51:49.477Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I basically disagree with the idea that the US FTC gets to decide what the word 'monopoly' means. I also think that having a high market share doesn't mean you face competition - indeed, it can mean that you're winning the competition.

Re: Apple, it may have a monopoly on iOS app distribution, but when people are considering what phones to buy, they get to choose between iPhones and iOS apps and Androids with Android apps. Admittedly, there's some friction in changing from one to the other.