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Comment by deschutron on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-27T04:35:51.130Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

People have had this idea before. It's called "eugenics".

It has a bad reputation from its implementation by the Nazis, who might have corrupted it a bit for their other political goals.

But I think even a pure implementation of eugenics is not as good as the other options we have for improving the lives of future humans.

Comment by deschutron on Have you changed your mind recently? · 2015-02-18T01:06:10.226Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Is there anything important you think you should change your mind about?

Comment by deschutron on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-17T22:47:13.139Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I just read a description of that lottery. I see its expected value is a divergent series. If both games you compare have their expected values defined this way then I think you can subtract one series from the other. i think this is the approach you mentioned, and I would do it.

Also, I'm not an expert on infinity, but I think there are different kinds of infinity. If one game gives you, on average, a dollar for each natural number, and one gives you, on average, one dollar for each pair of natural numbers that exists, then the second game gives you infinitely as much expected value as the first one.

Comment by deschutron on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-16T05:01:26.587Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I used to think that the way mathematicians did things was forced to be the best way we could do because of the requirements to do things properly in order to advance in maths. But then the Tau Manifesto showed me I was wrong.

I think you're right about cosine. I think sine seemed simpler when it was named back in classical times, but then when complex numbers were discovered and their relationships to the trigonometric functions was discovered, cosine turned out to be simpler.

Here's one I come across as a programmer: which number is better for starting indexing and counting things with? Zero or one? Zero is so much better for calculating with relative indexes, you have less off-by-one errors. In maths, the default convention is to number things starting at one. But when working with serieses (arithmetic series, discrete fourier transforms, maclaurin series e.g. the polynomial that equals e) the convention is to start at zero.

Comment by deschutron on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-16T04:46:46.501Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Wow, you have a good point. I always use the concept of surface area (and considering spheres of equal total force) to remember why the r on the bottom is squared. Putting the surface area into the formula is like replacing a factor that raises questions with the answer to those questions.

Comment by deschutron on Bill Gates: problem of strong AI with conflicting goals "very worthy of study and time" · 2015-01-29T03:10:14.387Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The solution to the friendly AI problem: Make an AI that detects what people are trying to do and asks them if they'd like some help.

Comment by deschutron on Bill Gates: problem of strong AI with conflicting goals "very worthy of study and time" · 2015-01-24T10:24:07.232Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Ten years ago this would have been a great segue into jokes comparing a post-singularity AGI to Microsoft Windows.

Comment by deschutron on Open thread, 18-24 August 2014 · 2014-08-23T23:57:11.723Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, but if you've never tried to be vegetarian before, then your fears of the downsides (bad health and not enjoying food, right?) might be out of proportion. Going fully vegetarian for a bit gives you a chance to get feedback from your body about it, and so help you determine your limit.

If you cut down your meat intake but stay high above the limit then you're causing some animal suffering for no significant gain. (I assume reducing animal suffering is the goal of your plan.)

I planned to this myself but I'm not doing it, because of issues with my SO.

Comment by deschutron on Open thread, 18-24 August 2014 · 2014-08-22T03:43:55.353Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've known a couple of people who became vegetarians for a while and then changed to eating meat occasionally, saying that it was for health reasons. Apparently, they got weak or sick when they went a while without eating meat. And a lack of iron was part of it IIRC. Maybe you could try being a full vegetarian until you notice side effects. The side effects might be really subtle, but if you do have them and detect them then you can get a measure of how much meat you need to eat.

Comment by deschutron on Bragging Thread, July 2014 · 2014-07-23T03:56:03.708Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Created a Sound-Cloud account and shared some music I made with my reversible spectrogram program on it. Got feedback from budding musician work colleagues and checked out their music. So I encouraged them and they encouraged me. And I have experience publishing on one of those social network publishing sites. And when I die, something of me will be available for others to see.

Comment by deschutron on Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts · 2014-07-21T12:58:32.637Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted for the first one.