Posts

How to reliably signal internal experience? 2020-12-27T11:18:14.451Z
On the stagnation of energy technology and the Cabal of Scientists 2020-12-12T04:24:24.869Z
df fd's Shortform 2020-12-12T04:21:19.526Z
Recommendation for a good international event betting site like predictit.org 2020-12-07T09:09:51.939Z
Efficacy of Vitamin D in helping with COVID 2020-09-08T10:49:58.319Z

Comments

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on Why I Work on Ads · 2021-05-04T10:01:38.404Z · LW · GW

again, I mostly agree with you. however a few thing I want to submit for consideration:

-unrelated but I am mildly miffed at the comparison of me to a child with the seeming implication of lack of knowledge, power and agency [also did you just called me weak will lol?]. Although this may not be the intended effect.

-If I make take my point to the extreme, say on one side of the spectrum we have what you describe "win-win" situation on the other imagine a chip in your brain that stimulates your pleasure centre when you think of buying the product. I am sure we agree that there is no need to regulate the good end of the spectrum and there is an urgent need to fight against the bad end. now obviously we need to draw the line somewhere, and everyone would be affected differently and predisposed to draw the line differently. And I found the current state of advertising in general way over my line, I am glad to hear your experience is different. But to quote banksy:

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you're not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

[...]

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don't owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don't even start asking for theirs.

this beg the question: am I entitled to live my life free of ads if I wanted to? I am not talking about space where I consent to see ads to walking into like youtube. I am asking: am I entitled to walk outside and see no banner ads, watch movies with no product placement. 

 

Anyway, my crux is that ads have at least 2 parts to them, "good" information and "bad" social manipulation. and we may disagree on whether the current ratio of them in ads is worthy of banning or not [inherently subjective I believe]. But surely we agree that if we can turbocharge the good part and minimize the bad part we should try to do that. we may disagree on how to do that though. I am partial to some kind of tax for preference. 

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on Why I Work on Ads · 2021-05-04T02:07:40.272Z · LW · GW

while I agree with most of what you said and in an ideal world ad should work in a win-win manner as you described, I have cut out as many ads from my life as possible since they are significantly net harmful in my experience.

the problem that I found, and you don't seem to address, is that ads are not just a simple showing of "I have the stuff you may want". It is usually an attempt of manipulation using primarily superstimulus or social engineer to maximize profit for the advertisers. e.g. for a car ad they show happy people living exciting lives which have no relation to the car but make you associate the buying of the car with non-existence social fulfillment.

It would be ok if advertisers' incentives are aligned with ours. But usually, they are not perfectly aligned if not horribly misaligned. And I assume that companies that use "honest" ads would fail to compete against "superstimulus" ads. So the majority of ads would be the equivalence of attempted mind control which rational agent should avoid even at the price of not knowing that there are things you may want to buy.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How to reliably signal internal experience? · 2021-01-04T03:07:35.150Z · LW · GW

I will think on this

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on df fd's Shortform · 2021-01-03T10:46:05.777Z · LW · GW

this is a web novel that explore a similar premise:

https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/28111/ultra-ai

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on df fd's Shortform · 2021-01-03T10:45:06.226Z · LW · GW

For all the flak that Qanon is getting for their beliefs and their allegedly atrocious epistemic hygiene, one must admire them for at least one thing. They are a people who act.

They are willing to risk their saving, their reputation, or even their life because they think it is the right thing to do. 

Granted, we found what they believe in hilarious. But how many of us actually act on our beliefs. We are besieged by doubt and false humility. Confused and lost. We stood paralyzed by indecision. 

And so with help from our unlikely friends, we are reminded that it's not enough to be right. You must act or you might as well not believe in anything.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How to reliably signal internal experience? · 2021-01-03T10:08:47.565Z · LW · GW

forgive me if I misunderstand you.

but from my point of view there can only be 3 stands on looking at behavior.

encourage [or push for] 

discourage [or push against]

do not touch and stay away.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How to reliably signal internal experience? · 2021-01-03T10:06:01.690Z · LW · GW

for a simplified story say I am currently spending 4 hours every day consuming mindless entertainment just to make myself feel good enough to go to work.

my friends believe that it's too much and/or not typical. So I converted one hour into productive time [exercise, study, etc] which results in heartburn.

I want to be able to communicate my internal experience so my friends can suggest an alternative way I can convert that hour without hurting myself.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How to reliably signal internal experience? · 2021-01-03T09:56:30.638Z · LW · GW

huhm, I didn't realize I was asking multiples question at once, thank for clarifying, that was helpful.

your answer seems to give me something, I am not sure what. I would have to meditate on it.

I'll try out what you suggest though I am a bit foggy on the detail. Will see how it turn out.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How to reliably signal internal experience? · 2021-01-03T09:48:45.148Z · LW · GW

ooohhhh yes, this makes something clicked for me. I have not considered it in relation to simple acquaintances.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How to reliably signal internal experience? · 2020-12-28T05:09:43.824Z · LW · GW

uhm take the rational norm in lesswrong. But imagine for some reason people have a limit on how rational they can get, so they behave irrationally sometimes when they hit their limit. From the outside, you can't tell whether a person is behaving irrationally because they hit their limit or for other reasons. If you do nothing your community is getting more irrational, if you push all people to be more rational you risk hurting people at their limit.

replace rationality with whatever group norm that is beneficial to enforce, and that is pretty close to why I want to find a way to reliably signal limit.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How to reliably signal internal experience? · 2020-12-28T04:59:41.558Z · LW · GW

this makes sense, but I am also in the reverse position where I saw a friend heading down a destructive path where he is constantly complaining about his current situation and also claim that he is at the limit of will power to change [even before the covid thing]. 

I am at a loss as to how I should evaluate his statement to determine my action. i.e. should I take his statement at face value and let him arrange his own life to suit his limited capacity or should I push him to change despite his statement otherwise?

in short, I found it hard to determine if other people actually hit their limit or not.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on On the stagnation of energy technology and the Cabal of Scientists · 2020-12-15T00:32:13.579Z · LW · GW

so I should have phrased it as manipulating the media by boosting or obscuring certain signals to drive popular sentiment, promoting the Cabal of Scientists agenda?

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on On the stagnation of energy technology and the Cabal of Scientists · 2020-12-14T14:56:31.788Z · LW · GW

I am confused as to what you meant. I couldn't google what you meant by energy flux, if you don't mind elaborating?

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on df fd's Shortform · 2020-12-12T04:21:50.533Z · LW · GW

[Epistemic status: conspiracy theory/raving of the mads]

We all know that GPD/standard of living all track with energy use, yet arguably the most convenient and widespread energy sources current are fossil fuels, which saw mass adoption with the start of the industrial revolution. Which happened, it can be said without hyperbole, eons ago [citation needed].

For some time, nuclear fission seems poised to replace fossil fuel, yet a series of unfortunate events permanently sour the public perception of this technology [Chernobyl, Fukushima]. Even in countries that push for nuclear fission as an energy source [France, South Korea, China], nuclear reactors are plagued with construction delays and cost overrun. The whole field is generally regarded as a dead-end and widely distrusted [citation needed]. 

Let us digress at this juncture and talk about the virtue of silence. The one rightful Caliph Eliezer once lamented that the secret of nuclear power was unwisely disclosed/leaked. That due to such disclosure, we are now living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. He proposed that it may have been wiser for scientists, especially those that could coordinate, to form a cabal to keep dangerous power from unwise/unworthy hands. Yet reading between the lines, we can see that any form of empowerment is dangerous. We are now living with a higher quality of life than kings in the middle ages. It can also be argued that we have more power than them as well. For examples: a state militia with guns vs 10x the number of pikemen, truck transport vs horse transport, phone communication vs runner communication, etc. It is not hard to imagine with ever more power granted to our hands we would become ever more dangerous, so much so that future us would be to us now as we are now to medieval kings in the past. This is inherently destabilizing. Remember that medieval kings are immensely powerful beings, capable of changing the course of history. Imagine a billion of such individuals. Such a scenario is precisely what a Cabal of Scientists, if they exist, is meant to prevent.

Viewed from this lens, it is easy to see why in the civilized world, where cooperation and coordination are easier than their counterpart, every potent source of energy that could be turned to war is discredited and under heavy pressure to be phased out. Fission and fusion power are considered laughing stock, money invested into such ventures are considered wasted, proponents are universally derided [citation needed]. Imagine yourself as part of a Cabal of Scientists, knowing that a dangerous specimen of forbidden knowledge was leaked by unsteady hands, what would you do? Personally, I would orchestrate a series of events to smother current/future use and prevent investment in exploring the topic. Suspiciously, this is remarkably similar to reality. 

The only technology that seems to enjoy widespread support is renewable, which requires cooperation due to a long chain of supply and extremely hard to be converted directly to war purpose. 

In conclusion, this obviously [note: not obviously] prove the existent of a Cabal of Scientists controlling societies in the shadow, handicapping our power and technology until we prove worthy of such power. This, conveniently, also explains the great stagnation of our societies, where despite our striving, little progress has been made in any dimension. The solution is clear, we must prove ourselves capable of bearing the responsibility of such power so that the Cabal of Scientists would deign to share their blessing with us. We must prove that we are able to align our interests and be beyond the reach of moral mazes. Comrades I call upon you to do your duties to follow 5 years plans from the glorious leaders for an ever brighter future.

I mean what is the alternative to a Cabal of Scientists? Things just randomly happen as the world goes to the dogs? Hah, I laugh.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on df fd's Shortform · 2020-12-12T04:21:20.660Z · LW · GW

[Epistemic status: conspiracy theory/raving of the mads]

We all know that GPD/standard of living all track with energy use, yet arguably the most convenient and widespread energy sources current are fossil fuels, which saw mass adoption with the start of the industrial revolution. Which happened, it can be said without hyperbole, eons ago [citation needed].

For some time, nuclear fission seems poised to replace fossil fuel, yet a series of unfortunate events permanently sour the public perception of this technology [Chernobyl, Fukushima]. Even in countries that push for nuclear fission as an energy source [France, South Korea, China], nuclear reactors are plagued with construction delays and cost overrun. The whole field is generally regarded as a dead-end and widely distrusted [citation needed]. 

Let us digress at this juncture and talk about the virtue of silence. The one rightful Caliph Eliezer once lamented that the secret of nuclear power was unwisely disclosed/leaked. That due to such disclosure, we are now living under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation. He proposed that it may have been wiser for scientists, especially those that could coordinate, to form a cabal to keep dangerous power from unwise/unworthy hands. Yet reading between the lines, we can see that any form of empowerment is dangerous. We are now living with a higher quality of life than kings in the middle ages. It can also be argued that we have more power than them as well. For examples: a state militia with guns vs 10x the number of pikemen, truck transport vs horse transport, phone communication vs runner communication, etc. It is not hard to imagine with ever more power granted to our hands we would become ever more dangerous, so much so that future us would be to us now as we are now to medieval kings in the past. This is inherently destabilizing. Remember that medieval kings are immensely powerful beings, capable of changing the course of history. Imagine a billion of such individuals. Such a scenario is precisely what a Cabal of Scientists, if they exist, is meant to prevent.

Viewed from this lens, it is easy to see why in the civilized world, where cooperation and coordination are easier than their counterpart, every potent source of energy that could be turned to war is discredited and under heavy pressure to be phased out. Fission and fusion power are considered laughing stock, money invested into such ventures are considered wasted, proponents are universally derided [citation needed]. Imagine yourself as part of a Cabal of Scientists, knowing that a dangerous specimen of forbidden knowledge was leaked by unsteady hands, what would you do? Personally, I would orchestrate a series of events to smother current/future use and prevent investment in exploring the topic. Suspiciously, this is remarkably similar to reality. 

The only technology that seems to enjoy widespread support is renewable, which requires cooperation due to a long chain of supply and extremely hard to be converted directly to war purpose. 

In conclusion, this obviously [note: not obviously] prove the existent of a Cabal of Scientists controlling societies in the shadow, handicapping our power and technology until we prove worthy of such power. This, conveniently, also explains the great stagnation of our societies, where despite our striving, little progress has been made in any dimension. The solution is clear, we must prove ourselves capable of bearing the responsibility of such power so that the Cabal of Scientists would deign to share their blessing with us. We must prove that we are able to align our interests and be beyond the reach of moral mazes. Comrades I call upon you to do your duties to follow 5 years plans from the glorious leaders for an ever brighter future.

I mean what is the alternative to a Cabal of Scientists? Things just randomly happen as the world goes to the dogs? Hah, I laugh.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on A review of Where Is My Flying Car? by J. Storrs Hall · 2020-11-07T00:47:39.408Z · LW · GW

wikipedia shows the same rise of doctor per capita that look suspiciously the same as the lawyer rise:
   
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Physicians_in_the_United_States_per_10,000_people_(1850-2009).svg

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on What Does "Signalling" Mean? · 2020-09-16T22:57:28.309Z · LW · GW

It does not follow for me, say "yelling" is a type of "talking" this we all agree.

but when I say "I am yelling" I am giving more/different information than just "I am talking"

sure mere "assertion" is a type of "signalling"

but for me when we use "signalling" I infered that we are doing things differently than "asserting"


is this what you mean?

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on Covid 9/10: Vitamin D · 2020-09-13T22:09:25.471Z · LW · GW

but there is a great body of work proving that Vit D is beneficial for treating respiratory infection in general [I can cite on request] so unless most respiratory infections secretly involved cytokine storm [which I don't believe to be true] or Vit D is beneficial in other ways than what you suggest.

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/LwcKYR8bykM6vDHyo/coronavirus-justified-practical-advice-thread?commentId=KEAc428gk4F6Ys3tv

comment above suggested that the benefit is from Vit D prevent the pneumonia from covid from getting worse, and I found the argument persuasive

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on Covid 9/10: Vitamin D · 2020-09-11T06:58:20.308Z · LW · GW
– A study in Indonesia found that out of the patients that died from COVID-19, 98.9% of them were deficient in vitamin D, while only 4% of the patients with sufficient vitamin D died.
-A study of patients in New Orleans found that 84.6% of the COVID-19 patients in the ICU were deficient in Vitamin D while only 4% of the patients in the ICU had sufficient levels of Vitamin D.
-A study in the Philippines found that for every standard deviation increase in vitamin D people were 7.94 times more likely to have a mild rather than severe COVID-19 outcome and 19.61 times more likely to have a mild rather than critical outcome.

I would be highly skeptical of this since it came from a facebook post and I have not been able to verify the content. If someone else can do the leg work to independently verify what had been said?

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on Efficacy of Vitamin D in helping with COVID · 2020-09-08T15:19:15.711Z · LW · GW

>>> 2. Death rates in countries with high incidence of vitamin D deficiency e.g. Belgium, Italy, versus those with low levels (Scandinavia even Sweden, who eat oily fish and supplement/fortify).


if you don't mind expanding on this, Germany however have very low fatality rate, yet for data as of 2015 they have the same level of vit D deficency as Italy

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on How big of an issue are patent trolls to the average startup? · 2020-07-16T12:36:07.727Z · LW · GW

Paul graham did one 2006

http://www.paulgraham.com/softwarepatents.html

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on Has LessWrong been a good early alarm bell for the pandemic? · 2020-04-05T05:48:45.803Z · LW · GW

as someone who is working in ED in Australia, I can say that Lesswrong has been consistently predict the behaviors of my hospital management by 2-3 days.

for example: I've read a lesswrong post arguing that covid-19 is serious and people should stock up while my manager was still telling us to just calm people down if asked. The stance was reversed 2-3 days later.

Slatestarcodex recommended the wide spread use of masks a whole week before my local health district recommened the same thing.

I am not certain that being slow is not part of the system design. but Lesswrong has allow me to predict future hospital policies quite consistently.

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on CO2 Stripper Postmortem Thoughts · 2019-12-01T18:39:45.743Z · LW · GW

I just skimmed the article, but given that you already willing to make suck huge investment in capital and space, I just got a feeling it's easier if you just have a grow room or an algae bio-reactor running at night. the immediate benefit would be the hardware are available in consumer form and most of the design parts have been attempted.


This way the on going cost would only be marginally higher [back of envelope calculation] and you would reap other benefit beside. [food or algae oil]

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on CO2 Stripper Postmortem Thoughts · 2019-12-01T03:05:37.637Z · LW · GW

yeah, I dropped the ball on that one, the grow box is out but I got a feeling a grow room is still possible but this is splitting hair.

I am wondering if I also dropped the ball on the algae claim

Comment by df fd (df-fd) on CO2 Stripper Postmortem Thoughts · 2019-12-01T02:16:15.439Z · LW · GW

I vaguely remember the 4 g/L/day but on further inspection, I now realise that we can't ever reach that efficiency. If we use the 1 g/L/day but human use 1kg/day (they use less in sleep don't they?) divided by 2/3 it would be about 1.5 m3 (still quite big) and we have to account for the actual foot print which would be much higher (2x higher? 3 m3?).

I am tempted to argue that we don't have to match the CO2 production rate so perfectly since the CO2 should naturally diffuse a bit, but let's leave some margin of error on our side.

for the total volume, can't we just continuously filter out the algae to retain the optimal condition while barely increasing total volume? and since we only use it at night, the total volume need would be less. If we automatically drain it to a hidden larger tank or press it straigth to oil in the basement we maybe saving effort here but increasing volume.