Expansion of "Cached thought" wiki entry 2010-12-16T07:27:07.332Z


Comment by Davorak on CFAR fundraiser far from filled; 4 days remaining · 2015-01-29T07:13:32.877Z · LW · GW


I would recommend making the donate link large, currently it is the smaller link on the page and is harder to notice. "Donate" or "Donate here" in the link text would also make it more noticeable.* Putting a donate link at the top of the fundraising page, would also make it more noticable and more likely to capture vistors and therefore donations.

  • These things are so common I look for them by default. Some might argue that putting the link at the top or making it larger might be untasteful or communicates a spammy signal, I would argue that at least these techniques and more are so standard as to be expected and missed when not present to many.
Comment by Davorak on Rationality Quotes September 2012 · 2012-09-12T14:25:03.755Z · LW · GW

If I remember correctly the second quote was edited to be something along the lines of "will_newsome is awesome."

Comment by Davorak on Irrationality Game II · 2012-07-31T19:24:34.228Z · LW · GW

Interesting, I will be more likely to reply to messages that I feel end the conversation like your last one on this post:

It feels like this one caused my to update far more in the direction f basilisks being unlikely than anything else in this thread, although I don't know exactly how much.

maybe 12-24 hours later just in case the likelihood of update has been reduced by one or both parties having a late night conversation or other mind altering effects.

Comment by Davorak on Irrationality Game II · 2012-07-09T21:04:17.626Z · LW · GW

Speculating that your evidence is a written work that has driven multiple people to suicide, further that the written work was targeted to an individual and happened to kill other susceptible people who happened to read it. I would still rate 2% as overconfident.

Specifically the claim of universality, that "any person" can be killed by reading a short email is over confident. Two of your claims that seem to contradict are, the claim that "any one" and "with a few clicks", this suggests that special or in depth knowledge of the individual is unnecessary which suggest some level of universality, and the claim "Never said it was a single universal one." Though my impression is that you lean towards hand crafted basilisks targeted towards individuals or groups of similar individuals, but the contradiction lowered my estimate of this being corrected.

Such hand crafted basilisks indicates the ability to correctly model people to an exceptional degree and experiment with said model until an input can be found which causes death. I have considered other alternative explanations but found them unlikely if you rate another more realistic let me know.

Given this ability could be used for a considerable number task other then causing death, strongly influence elections, legislation, research directions of AI researchers or groups, and much more. If EY possessed this power how would you expect the world to be different then one where he does not?

Comment by Davorak on CFAR website launched · 2012-07-07T21:36:05.807Z · LW · GW

From my layman perspective it looks professional and very clean, great job.

Comment by Davorak on Problematic Problems for TDT · 2012-05-23T18:41:41.352Z · LW · GW

I do not know if Omega can say that truthfully because I do not know weather the self referential equation representing the problem has a solution.

The problems set out by the OP assumes there is a solution and a particular answer but with out writing out the equation and plugging in his solution to show the solution actually works.

Comment by Davorak on Problematic Problems for TDT · 2012-05-23T17:42:51.755Z · LW · GW

Omega (who experience has shown is always truthful) presents the usual two boxes A and B and announces the following. "Before you entered the room, I ran a simulation of this problem as presented to an agent running TDT.

There seems to be a contradiction here. If Omega siad this to me I would either have to believe omega just presented evidence of being untruthful some of the time.

If Omega simulated the problem at hand then in said simulation Omega must have siad: "Before you entered the room, I ran a simulation of this problem as presented to an agent running TDT." In the first simulation the statement is a lie.

Problem 2 has a similar problem.

It is not obvious that the problem can be reformulated to keep Omega constantly truthfully and still have CDT or EDT come out ahead of TDT.

Comment by Davorak on Group rationality diary, 5/14/12 · 2012-05-18T21:06:05.314Z · LW · GW

I tried entering "Check weather tomorrow" into Toodledoo and it did not automatically set a due date of tomorrow.

I spend ~2 minutes and I found out how to turn on keyboard shortcuts but did not find the page explaining them, it was under a minute for both in RTM. May keyboard short cuts overlapped with gmail and or unix environments in RTM which made them easy to pick up.

I am sure you can find more complete comparisons elsewhere and I was not aware of Toodledoo until your post so it is probably not an evenhanded review on my part.

Comment by Davorak on Thoughts on the Singularity Institute (SI) · 2012-05-18T18:06:18.945Z · LW · GW

I graduated ~5 years ago with a engineering degree from a first tier University and I would have consider those starting salaries to be low to decent and not high. This is especially true in places with high cost of living like the bay area.

Having a good internship durring college often ment starting out at 60k/yr if not higher.

If this is significantly different for engineers exiting first tier University now it would be interesting to know.

Comment by Davorak on Where do I most obviously still need to say "oops"? · 2011-11-24T01:12:10.121Z · LW · GW

It is a bad thing if it discourages people you want posting from posting. Which could happen if Luke came off as dominate and territorial. I do not think Luke appears dominate and territorial so this has not registered as a problem to me.

Comment by Davorak on Intelligence Explosion analysis draft: types of digital intelligence · 2011-11-15T06:26:46.947Z · LW · GW

What about:

digital intelligence has certain advantages (e.g. copyability)

No degradation with iterative copying is a an advantage digital media is often thought to have over analog media. What I think they are trying to convey is perfect reproduction is possible and is a large advantage.


Comment by Davorak on Meetup : Houston Meetup · 2011-10-31T00:56:00.282Z · LW · GW

Thanks for an overview of a current analytical model of how the nurons learn timing and answering our random neuroscience questions.

Comment by Davorak on Social status & testosterone · 2011-10-20T20:30:32.236Z · LW · GW

You gave yourself a powerful mind altering chemical that most peoples bodies/minds have grown up with and have built up mental models, skill, techniques to handle it. Your mind however did not have a half a life time to learn how to handle it. That is why:

it probably isn’t very helpful in a technological civilization which requires people to sit at computers all day manipulating symbols. My guess is that women are going to rule in such a world, as high testosterone men become increasingly useless and tend to wind up in prison. It may get to the point where testosterone levels will need to be technologically lowered to reduce crime and make men more socially acceptable.

So understand this, all you LessWrong nerds: when you see someone who is like a thug to you, realize that he is in the grip of an incredibly powerful mind-altering chemical called testosterone which, more than any other, is responsible for the evil that men do.

seem to be based on thin evidence.

Comment by Davorak on What are you working on? · 2011-10-11T07:43:45.072Z · LW · GW

I consider it a low probability that I have enough experience/knowledge to generalize my understanding/perceptions to a wide audience with fidelity. If you want to talk about it over the phone or on skype some time I would be happy to oblige. Quick iterative discussion can do much to shorten inferential distance and if a common understanding is found easily it might be worth writing up and posting.

Comment by Davorak on What are you working on? · 2011-10-07T06:38:00.731Z · LW · GW

Do you just want to learn to control your sneezes? Or are you interested in the photosensitive effect directly? If the former I would encourage you to learn more direct control mechanism rather then using a external trigger like light.

edit: spelling

Comment by Davorak on The Santa deception: how did it affect you? · 2011-09-23T17:07:04.978Z · LW · GW

Deception of children for the purpose challenging them to spot the inconstancy is common practice in my experience. In this case though the inferential distance seems like it would be way to large to overcome with out additional evidence. The additional evidence is often the parent taking on a different tone of voice and method of reasoning while presenting faked evidence. Which makes it hard to tell if the parent is going too far in this example.

If the purpose of this system is what it does, POSIWID, then this tradition of deceiving often trains children to look for verification of presented evidence, trains them not to take one data point too seriously, as well as to not always to take what is said at face value no matter who says it.

Ideally the deception would be just the right inferential distance to stretch the child maximally while still being able to overcome it.

Some people are bound to participate in the tradition with out understanding its purpose and achieve ill results. As is with participating in any tradition with out understanding what its results commonly are.

Comment by Davorak on Rationality Quotes September 2011 · 2011-09-01T16:28:13.603Z · LW · GW

Better memory and processing power would mean that probabilistically more businessmen would realize there are good business opportunities where they saw none before. Creating more jobs and a more efficient economy, not the same economy more quickly.

ER doctors can now spend more processing power on each patient that comes in. Out of their existing repertoire they would choose better treatments for the problem at hand then they would have otherwise. A better memory means that they would be more likely to remember every step on their checklist when prepping for surgery.

It is not uncommon for people to make stupid decisions with mild to dire consequences because they are pressed for time. Everyone now thinks faster and has more time to think. Few people are pressed for time. Fewer accidents happen. Better decisions are made on average.

There are problems which are not human vs human but are human vs reality. With increased memory and processing power humanity gains an advantage over reality.

By no means is increasing memory and processing power a sliver bullet but it seems considerably more then everything only moving "much more quickly!"

Edit: spelling

Comment by Davorak on Philosophical apologetics book suggests replacing Bayes theorem with "Inference to the Best Explanation" (IBE) · 2011-08-30T13:53:08.526Z · LW · GW

It is currently unknown how to apply special relativity SR and general relativity GR to quantum systems and it appears likely that they break down at this level. Thus applying us SR or GR on black holes or the very beginning of the universe is unlikely to result in perfectly accurate description of how the universe works.

Comment by Davorak on Schroedinger's cat is always dead · 2011-08-26T18:48:07.524Z · LW · GW

But I've heard people talk about such situation as if Schroedinger's belief that the cat was alive or dead was important. Especially in connection with the idea that a waveform only truly collapses when an observation is made by a conscious agent.

No. Strong evidence for consciousness being a fundmental part of reality would be a huge deal.

The whole business seems murky and mysterious to me, and I hope for some enlightenment. And if it is not enlightening, it can at least be entertaining.

It is often not so entertaining for the person trying to explain because it takes most people serious effort to understand, something most are unwilling to do for amusement sake. In person it can be more productive in my opinion, but I have not had much success online.

QED by Feynman is a decent place to start if you want to learn more about quantum mechanics.

Comment by Davorak on The basic questions of rationality · 2011-08-26T18:36:39.912Z · LW · GW

Definitely when:

  • You are only going in circles. ** You need more data, to do so, you should preform an experiment.
  • You can no longer remember/track your best created strategies.
  • You can not judge value difference between new strategies and existing strategies.
  • You spend x percentage of your time tracking/remember your created strategies. Where x is significant.
  • There are better questions to consider.
  • The value of answering the question will diminish greatly if you spend more time trying to optimize it. ** "It is great you finished the test and got all the right answers but the test was over a week ago" -- extreme example some times .../years/months/weeks/days/hours/minutes/seconds/... count.

It can be a hard question to get right in my experience.

Comment by Davorak on Schroedinger's cat is always dead · 2011-08-26T18:10:55.989Z · LW · GW

There seem to be several problems with the reasoning displayed in your post.

Could you communicate what you want people to take a way from this so I can put the post in a proper context and decide how to communicate the problems I see?

Comment by Davorak on A History of Bayes' Theorem · 2011-08-26T02:33:26.640Z · LW · GW

Another graduate student, I have in general heard a similar opinions from many professors through undergrad and grad school. Never disdan for bays but often something along the lines of "I am not so sure about that" or "I never really grasped the concept/need for bayes." The statistics books that have been required for classes, in my opinion durring the class, used a slightly negative tone while discussing bayes and 'subjective probability.'

Comment by Davorak on Help Fund Lukeprog at SIAI · 2011-08-25T00:39:45.519Z · LW · GW

It does charge a 5% fee which is not small.

Comment by Davorak on Do we want more publicity, and if so how? · 2011-08-23T05:35:14.828Z · LW · GW

How about college newspapers, forums, meetups, talks, casual lunches and what ever else works. Colleges often act as small semi-closed social ecosystems so it is easier to reach the critical number needed for a self sustaining community, or the critical number of people to take an idea from odd to normal.

Comment by Davorak on Do we want more publicity, and if so how? · 2011-08-23T05:28:15.478Z · LW · GW

Can you think of other online communities that suffer or at least go through great and unpredictable change due to a high influx of new people?

Comment by Davorak on Are Deontological Moral Judgments Rationalizations? · 2011-08-22T09:05:49.311Z · LW · GW

I have heard people talk of punishing abortion on par with other kinds of murder. This view point has the real potential to alienate people. It makes sense that people with that view point and realize this are not shouting it to the world or filing court cases. Instead they judge small changes are the best way to get what they want in the long term and fight those intermediary battles instead of taking it straight on.

Comment by Davorak on Are Deontological Moral Judgments Rationalizations? · 2011-08-22T08:57:46.829Z · LW · GW

For the people down who would down vote this, is it better if she did not respond to lukeprog's post at all? Acknowledging someone when they attempt to communicate to you is considered polite. It often serves the purpose communicating a lack of spite and/or hard feels even as you insist on ending the current conversation.

Comment by Davorak on Meetup : Houston Hackerspace Meetup · 2011-08-12T19:21:49.019Z · LW · GW

We could have a google+ account open and offer to hangout with interested parties near by or far. I got the idea from:

Comment by Davorak on Strategic ignorance and plausible deniability · 2011-08-11T22:08:24.971Z · LW · GW

I think the point that others have been trying to make is that gaining the evidence isn't merely of lower importance to the agent than some other pursuits, it's that gaining the evidence appears to be actually harmful to what the agent wants.

Yes I was proposed the alternative situation where the evidence is just considered as lower value as an alternative that produces the same result.

I don't see how the situation is meaningfully different from no cost. "I couldn't be bothered to get it done" is hardly an acceptable excuse on the face of it

At zero cost(in the economic sense not in the monetary sense) you can not say it was a bother to get it done because a bother would be a cost.

Comment by Davorak on Strategic ignorance and plausible deniability · 2011-08-11T16:25:52.854Z · LW · GW

I disagree. In the least convenient world where the STD test imposes no costs on Alex, he would still be instrumentally rational to not take it. This is because Alex knows the plausibility of his claims that he does not have an STD will be sabotaged if the test comes out positive, because he is not a perfect liar.

In a world were STD tests cost absolutely nothing, including time, effort, thought, there would be no excuse to not have taken a test and I do not see a method for generating plausible deniability by not knowing.

Some situation at a college where they'll give you a cookie if you take an STD test seems quite likely

You situation does not really count as no cost though. In a world in which you must spend effort to avoid getting a STD test it seems unlikely that plausible deniability can be generated in the first place.

You are correct "Avoiding the evidence would be irrational." does seem to be incorrect in general and I generalized too strongly from the example I was working on.

Though this does not seem to answer my original question. Is there a by definition conflict between "Whatever can be destroyed by the truth, should be." and generating plausible deniability. The answer I still come up with is no conflict. Some truths should be destroyed before others and this allows for some plausible deniability for untruths low in priority.

Comment by Davorak on Strategic ignorance and plausible deniability · 2011-08-11T13:49:25.571Z · LW · GW

Is the standard then that it's instrumentally rational to prioritize Bayesian experiments by how likely their outcomes are to affect one's decisions?

It weighs into the decision, but it seems like it is insufficient by itself. An experiment can change my decision radically but be on unimportant topic(s). Topics that do not effect goal achieving ability. It is possible to imagine spending ones time on experiments that change one's decisions and never get close to achieving any goals. The vague answer seems to be prioritize by how much the experiments will be likely to help achieve ones goals.

Comment by Davorak on Strategic ignorance and plausible deniability · 2011-08-11T00:13:56.431Z · LW · GW

Additional necessary assumption seems to be that Alex cares about "Whatever can be destroyed by the truth, should be." He is selfish but does his best to act rationally.

Let's call the person Alex. Alex avoids getting tested in order to avoid possible blame; assuming Alex is selfish and doesn't care about their partners' sexual health (or the knock-on effects of people in general not caring about their partners' sexual health) at all, then this is the right choice instrumentally.

Therefore Alex does not value knowing whether or not his has an std and instead pursues other knowledge.

However, by acting this way Alex is deliberately protecting an invalid belief from being destroyed by the truth. Alex currently believes or should believe that they have a low probability (at the demographic average) of carrying a sexual disease. If Alex got tested, then this belief would be destroyed one way or the other; if the test was positive, then the posterior probability goes way upwards, and if the test is negative, then it goes downwards a smaller but still non-trivial amount.

Alex is faced with the choice of getting an std test and improving his probability estimate of his state of infection or spending his time doing something he considers more valuable. He chooses to not to get an std test because the information is not very valuable him and focuses on more important matters.

Instead of doing this, Alex simply acts as though they already knew the results of the test to be negative in advance, and even goes on to spread the truth-destroyable-belief by encouraging others to take it on as well.

Alex is selfish and does not care that he is misleading people.

By avoiding evidence, particularly useful evidence (where by useful I mean easy to gather and having a reasonably high magnitude of impact on your priors if gathered), Alex is being epistemically irrational (even though they might well be instrumentally rational).

Avoiding the evidence would be irrational. Focusing on more important evidence is not. Alex is not doing a "crappy" job of finding out what is false he has just maximized finding out the truth he cares about.

I tried to present a rational, selfish, uncaring, Alex who chooses not to get an STD test even though he cares deeply about "Whatever can be destroyed by the truth, should be.", as far as his personal beliefs are concerned.

Comment by Davorak on Strategic ignorance and plausible deniability · 2011-08-10T22:49:20.420Z · LW · GW

The few specific situations that I drilled down on I found that "deliberately doing a crappy job of (a)" never came up. Some times however the choice was between doing (a)+(b) with topic (d) or doing (a)+(b) with topic (e), where it is unproductive to know (d). The choice is clearly to do (a)+(b) with (e) because it is more productive.

Then there is not conflict with "Whatever can be destroyed by the truth, should be." because what needs to be destroyed is prioritized.

Can you provide a specific example where conflict with "Whatever can be destroyed by the truth, should be." is ensured?

Comment by Davorak on Strategic ignorance and plausible deniability · 2011-08-10T21:20:10.146Z · LW · GW

I do not see an obvious and direct conflict, can you provide an example?

Comment by Davorak on New Post version 2 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with l–z) · 2011-08-02T23:16:04.152Z · LW · GW

Some sense that there's something distinct about her which would mean that lukeprog

This something distinct, would a more detailed set of specs qualify? In your mind, is it that lukeprog seems to have few and shallow specs that bothers you? Or is your "distinct" distinct from specs entirely?

Comment by Davorak on New Post version 2 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with l–z) · 2011-08-02T23:11:15.593Z · LW · GW

Do you see a difference between that, and stating a intention to leave the relationship if the other person has sex with someone else? Luckily I currently live in a time and place where these two scenarios are often functionally similar.

Comment by Davorak on New Post version 2 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with l–z) · 2011-07-29T05:40:15.258Z · LW · GW

Can you give examples of beliefs and actions of people who believe they "own other people's sexualities."

Comment by Davorak on New Post version 2 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with l–z) · 2011-07-29T05:32:52.979Z · LW · GW

I think I understand where you are coming from approximately, but for clarity what specifically would liking her entail above and beyond a set of specs?

Comment by Davorak on How To Lose 100 Karma In 6 Hours -- What Just Happened · 2011-07-26T08:01:42.267Z · LW · GW

Why wish for:

I wish I wasn't as intelligent as I am, wish I was more normal mentally

and had less innate ability for math?

Why not just with for being better at socializing/communicating?

Comment by Davorak on Essay-Question Poll: Dietary Choices · 2011-07-23T08:17:11.429Z · LW · GW


our cultural sentiments surrounding meat consumption

Do you mean the rationalist community or the human community at large?

Comment by Davorak on Voluntary Behavior, Conscious Thoughts · 2011-07-13T22:29:48.206Z · LW · GW

Also what about the children who learn baby sign language before speaking?

Comment by Davorak on Insufficiently Awesome · 2011-07-13T22:18:15.093Z · LW · GW

Tying objects on top of or in cars for transport is a pretty practical skill.

Comment by Davorak on Community norm question: brief text ad signatures · 2011-07-11T18:23:05.051Z · LW · GW

I would not want it at all in the comments. It might be acceptable to have them on main post.

Comment by Davorak on The True Rejection Challenge · 2011-06-29T18:22:03.135Z · LW · GW

I am no psychologist. I thought one of the benefits of gradual habituation was that it was in a controlled setting that subject could end at any time with essentially no consequences. This contrasts "sometimes forced in to situations", I also have the impression that these forced situations there is no sequential order of events from the least discomfort to the most, in other words no gradualness(Also perhaps these events start at too high of a stimulus level.)

Finding someone capable of setting up a gradual habituation regiem and having the time to follow through with it are the biggest obstacles to experimenting with habituation regiems in my experience.

Comment by Davorak on The True Rejection Challenge · 2011-06-29T07:27:24.055Z · LW · GW

Effort is hard enough to judge in person and pretty much impossible over the internet. I have observed more then once in my life people judged as lazy, or many other negative traits, only to have the person years latter discover a perviously unknown medical condition causing the underlying problems. Once it is diagnosed as organ failure, a growth putting pressure in an odd place society stops judging them as lazy or any number of other negative traits.

The initial label of laziness(or other negative trait) was a logical misstep, coming to a conclusion without sufficient evidence.

Comment by Davorak on The True Rejection Challenge · 2011-06-29T07:19:17.102Z · LW · GW

I understood/understand that was/is your point. I was referring to "select people", meaning people who are more sensitive to reduced food intake or photo sensitive. People not near the mean of the bell curve.

realize that irrational psychological flaws are things that should and in many cases can be overcome (I know, I've done it), not taken as unshakeable premises.

I know I have done it too. However I can not put "psychological flaws" in the right context to understand exactly what you mean by it, since it is not always possible to just try harder to change some physical structures that cause said psychological flaws.

It is awesome when trying harder fixes the problem. The problem is not always not trying hard enough or lack of motivation, it can because an organ is slowly dying in your body, or you produce proteins in a different as of yet unmeasurable way due to a quirk of genetics, or one of many other hard to diagnoses and solve problems.

If you want to engage Alicorn on her level or lack thereof of effort your should be asking for a detailed description of what she has tried and for how long, but I have not observed you doing that.

Comment by Davorak on The True Rejection Challenge · 2011-06-29T06:56:37.003Z · LW · GW

My reply to the edited post:

The world is not obligated to be convenient for you.

I assume you state this because you are under the impression that Alicorn believes/acted like/implied the world is obligated to be convenient for Alicorn.

That is not the impression I have obtained by reading the posts in this discussion. What specifically gave you that impression?

Comment by Davorak on The True Rejection Challenge · 2011-06-29T06:49:23.171Z · LW · GW

edit: The whole post I responded to was:

  1. and 3. there are essentially true.

The negative consequence of following through with 1 or 3 can be so high for select people that they are not worth doing.

Following through with 1 may cause weight loss but may also cause diminished intelligence, diminished energy, malnutrition, again with select people.

Following through on 3 may cause cancer or increase the risk of cancer to high levels, again with select people.

Also, it's a good idea to get over harmful and unnecessary aversions regardless.

This statement is true, however the cost may be too high with known methods. Hence this exercise to produce new methods to experiment with.

Comment by Davorak on How exactly do you deal with irrational reactions to insects and spiders? · 2011-06-16T16:43:27.678Z · LW · GW

This think jmed's link has the right idea.

The key to desensitization, in my experience at least, is to be able to force calmness during the whatever is causing the nervousness/stress/fear durring exposure. Start off with the smallest stimuli that invokes fear and do your best to be calm and relaxed. Deep breathing at first and latter activities that require some attention like reading, cooking, stretching, etc. After the current level of stimulus does not interrupt these activities increase the level of stimulus and repeat.

If no progress is made in a month I would recommend continuing the effort, but shifting focus to conquering smaller fears first. Take advantage of real life situations that make you nervous/stressed/fearful and do your best to calm yourself. Do scary/action movies get your heart pumping? Go to a movie let yourself get wrapped up in the movie and then try to calm yourself down.

Comment by Davorak on Houston Hackerspace Meetup: Sunday June 12, 3:00PM · 2011-06-13T17:03:18.236Z · LW · GW

A few interesting things about LOS where brought up that covered CH1. CH2 is planned for next week.

I enjoyed the paranoid debating more then expected. Three additional people joined the paranoid debating after walking through the room on other business. So It ended up with a total of seven people. Cog has a record of responses and is going to tell us our score latter. It should be fun to track scores over time and see how people adjust after having played the game for awhile. Also it will be fun to see if people will learn how to hide their tells of weather they are the trickster or not.

Everyone went over their goals from the pervious week and commented on weather they had achieved them or not and why. Everyone set new goals for next week and said a little on why they were chosen.

Yes I think it went well.