Comment by discredited on Terminology Thread (or "name that pattern") · 2014-07-05T05:00:26.219Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

An argument that halts in disagreement (or fails to halt in agreement) because the interlocutors are each waiting for another to provide a skillful assessment of their own inexpertly-referenced media sounds a lot like a software process deadlock condition in computer science. Maybe there's a more specific type of deadlock, livelock, resource starvation, ..., in the semantic neighborhood of your identified pattern.

Dropping references, while failing to disclaim your ability to evaluate the quality and relevance of topical media, could be called a violation of pragmatic expectations of rational discourse, like Grice's prescriptive maxims.

Maybe a telecommunications analogy would work, making reference to amplifiers \ repeaters \ broadcast stations that degrade a received signal if they fail to filter \ shape it to the characteristics of the retransmission channel.

"Rhetorical reenactment" sounds like "historical reenactment" and hints at the unproductive, not-directly-participatory role in the debate of the people sharing links.

Comment by discredited on [LINK] Elon Musk interested in AI safety · 2014-06-26T02:42:23.479Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

DeepMind isn't doing safety engineering; they're doing standard AI. It doesn't matter if Elon Musk is interested in AI safety, if, after his deliberations, he invests in efforts to develop unsafe AI. Good intentions don't leak value into the consequences of your acts.

Comment by discredited on Rationality Quotes February 2014 · 2014-02-17T05:14:17.432Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You are never going to catch up, and neither is anyone else.

-- Gian-Carlo Rota

Comment by discredited on Tricky Bets and Truth-Tracking Fields · 2014-01-29T18:02:20.233Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Bob will accept that some phrase X is meaningful if there is a test that can be performed whose outcome value depends on truth value of X. If there is such a test, then we can construct a further test of asking someone who has performed the original test what the outcome of the test was. Since the people who set up tests are usually honest, this test would also be a test of X (provided the original test exists).

If I ask an honest peasant how long the emperor's nose is, but I also suspect no one has ever seen the emperor, how much do I learn from her statement? What if she says, "I have never seen the emperor, but other people tell me his nose is 5cm"? How many people has she talked to? Has any of them seen the emperor?

I don't know how to answer those questions, and yet your example is even less clear. You think no one has seen the emperor and you're not sure if he can be seen. 5cm? Well she is honest.

Comment by discredited on Why CFAR? · 2014-01-01T03:26:52.863Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Do you choose that rephrasing because you don't see how MIRI's work could be harmful or because there is nothing CFAR can do in that case?

Comment by discredited on Above-Average AI Scientists · 2013-12-24T06:51:31.840Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Mirror of the Bonobo Conspiracy webcomic: #569: Easy once you know

Comment by discredited on From Philosophy to Math to Engineering · 2013-11-05T05:09:10.070Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Richard Jeffrey!

Comment by discredited on From Philosophy to Math to Engineering · 2013-11-05T03:15:32.987Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The man on the left is Hans Reichenbach.

Comment by discredited on Polyphasic Sleep Seed Study: Reprise · 2013-09-25T04:24:51.216Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

No, I don't dislike that Brienne et al. ran the experiment. They can spend their time how they like, and quantitative self-help is admirable. But we didn't get to the quantitative part yet, so I'm very confused that this post was so well received. It reflects a problem more severe than community standards falling because individuals are unwilling to bear the cost of speaking out; individuals are actively encouraging low standards. Or that's how it seemed before people responded to me. Now my probability mass is mostly split between my values being weird or some cynical explanations about unconscious motivations producing exceptional support/inclusion toward this one post. At this point my complaining has exceeding my gripe, so whatever, ignore me.

Comment by discredited on Polyphasic Sleep Seed Study: Reprise · 2013-09-25T00:54:20.813Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If adopting a weird sleep schedule has a high cost for the experimenter, that also offsets any potential payoff of adopting one on the experiment's basis. The experiment so far hasn't yielded any valuable results, because we already knew that a mild polyphasic schedule can be maintained (siestas), and that only running on naps is difficult (college students). Sleep deprivation is interesting and cognitive test results are fun to read; other than that novelty I don't see the VoI, because we already know with confidence what to expect from the test: slowed reactions and limited attention, with more extreme impairment for more deviant sleep schedules.

Comment by discredited on Polyphasic Sleep Seed Study: Reprise · 2013-09-23T02:35:02.205Z · score: -3 (13 votes) · LW · GW

All this post says is that some people can maintain a polyphasic sleep cycle. Why is it being upvoted? At first I guessed the votes were just coming from the clique that participated, but the number keeps rising. Does a picture of a rooster elevate a comment in the open thread to a post in Main?

Comment by discredited on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97 · 2013-08-26T20:59:40.617Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

For Snape, I was specifically thinking of the scene in Dumbledore's office where Harry reveals that he knows about the prophecy and Snape reacts without hesitation as though he hadn't heard of it. Snape was also a double agent during the war, and continues to maintain close relationships with Dumbledore and Lucius Malfoy. His actions do seem crude, awkward, uncontrolled or mostly defensive in other scenes such as in the bullying arc or his conversation with Quirrell in the forbidden forest in Chapter 77. But then, one can act with false impulsiveness too.

I suppose the characters are in a cold war and in the shadow of a hot war. That circumstance makes "offensive" deception in one's social presentation more useful.

Comment by discredited on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 26, chapter 97 · 2013-08-26T04:47:22.903Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Quirrell, Dumbledore, Snape, Harry, and (increasingly) Draco have something in common. They are all creepy. These characters are intentionally inauthentic - acting as though they posses the specific beliefs, preferences, and abilities that they want others to attribute to them.

I feel unusually strong revulsion about this kind of deception - more than toward someone hiding their faults to manage their appearance, much more than toward someone being tactful and withholding or biasing sensitive claims to avoid conflict.

When I try to unpack "creepy", my mind suggests it has components of outrage at violations of close interpersonal social norms, distrust of unfamiliar thought patterns, fear of people with motivations that need to be hidden, and a special kind of disgust related to fears of idols, photographs, glassy eyed dolls, humanoid robots, and other simulacra. - the disgust toward an exemplar that doesn't fall clearly in or out of the human-mind category, toward a soul that has been captured in the depiction of a face and deprived of its intelligence and agency.

Are very intelligent people generally creepy like that? If I were a standard deviation smarter, would my peer group consist of people strategically concealing their identities and mutually modelling their mutual modelling up to the nth order of meta? Or is that inauthenticity just an abnormal personality type that doesn't correlate much with intelligence, but does fit nicely into a rationalist literary drama?

Comment by discredited on [LINK] Hyperloop officially announced — predictions, anyone? · 2013-08-13T10:59:00.813Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Ha, thanks. Fixed.

Comment by discredited on [LINK] Hyperloop officially announced — predictions, anyone? · 2013-08-13T09:23:21.146Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Big tube in the air rests on pylons / support towers. Maybe goes along a highway. Vehicle inside the tube has batteries for running a compressor. It pumps air away from its front to reduce air resistance, pumps below for suspension and behind. High subsonic speed (~700 mi/hr, 1100 km/hr). Accelerated by occasional linear induction motors on the tube, like a maglev train. Vehicle estimated to cost millions, tube estimated to cost billions. Conventional rails cost tens of billions. That's all from the abstract, much more inside.

Comment by discredited on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-02T11:36:59.183Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Adding to the laundry list of explanations and trivializations, gender skew!

Comment by discredited on Rationality Quotes from people associated with LessWrong · 2013-07-30T09:43:21.271Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

"Taking up a serious religion changes one's very practice of rationality by making doubt a disvalue." ~ Orthonormal

Comment by discredited on Superrationality and network flow control · 2013-07-22T04:01:00.517Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Another unsatisfying Nash equilibrium in traffic control I'd like to see analyzed from a modern decision theory perspective is Braess's Paradox.

Comment by discredited on Semi-open thread: blackmail · 2013-07-15T21:46:57.873Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Previous LW discussion here.

Comment by discredited on Open Thread, July 1-15, 2013 · 2013-07-11T16:53:34.773Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm sorry to drop references without a summary, but this will have to do at the moment: "Lost thoughts: Implicit semantic interference impairs reflective access to currently active information"

Comment by discredited on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 22, chapter 93 · 2013-07-07T16:20:40.733Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Then he would have prepared for those >3 things failing to happen.

The path leading to disaster must be averted along every possible point of intervention.

~ Quirinus Xanatos Quirrell

Comment by discredited on RIP Doug Engelbart · 2013-07-04T03:16:06.605Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Every time I hear "Rest in Peace" my mind corrects with "...except not resting or at peace". Does anyone have a secular, naturalistic world view analogue? Like "whom we should remember with honor", but catchy.

Comment by discredited on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 20, chapter 90 · 2013-07-02T12:22:51.823Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Draco and Lucius, Snape, Bellatrix, Amelia Bones. Maybe the Weasley parents or Nicholas Flamel. I haven't given up on Minerva. Grindelwald is still alive and undemented.

Comment by discredited on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T11:23:11.857Z · score: 17 (21 votes) · LW · GW

Robin often displays unusual confusions. I think that stems from a reliance on his explicit memory over implicit memory. If he doesn't have a theory to account for why society fails to distinguish songs by whether their lyrics are fictional, as we do with literature, then he considers that a puzzle to solve, even if he's never wanted society to draw that category to aid him in selecting songs.

So when Robin asks, "Why do we appear to value X more than Y", he's not making any claim about how he feels about X and Y. He disregards his feelings and intuitions, because they would mask opportunities to improve his explicit, formal, verbal, theoretical understanding.

This distinction between questions as a tool to point out when the audience is wrong and as a tool of apolitical inquiry closely mirrors the difference between questions as requests for favors and questions as inquiries. It's also similar to questions as argumentative challenges vs questions as inquiries.

Comment by discredited on Initial Thoughts on Personally Finding a High-Impact Career · 2013-06-23T04:54:56.785Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Getting people to stop existing might not be the right thing to do, but there are many people who should not be created. All else equal, I feel people whose children would be at a high risk for horrible diseases like depression should avoid procreating until the state of genetic engineering or embryo selection is much advanced (in both reliability and generality of factors identified).

Comment by discredited on Robust Cooperation in the Prisoner's Dilemma · 2013-06-17T04:13:51.820Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well, not at all for the literal complexity of agents, because we don't estimate the complexity of our peers. Aristotle thought the heart was the seat of intelligence, Shannon thought AGI could be built in a year, everyone and their mother anthropomorphizes inanimate objects like smoke alarms and printers.

I suspect perceived character traits that engender distrust, the Dark Triad traits, make the trait-possessor seem complex not because their brain must be described in more bits absolutely, but conditionally given the brain of the character judge. That is, we require a larger encoding diff to predict the behavior of people who display unfamiliar desires and intents, or to predict them with comparable accuracy as one does for one's warm, honest, emotionally stable peer group. For example, someone who appears paranoid is displaying extreme caution in situations the character judge finds forthright and nonthreatening, an extra piece of situational context to the other person's decision making.

This is a poor explanation overall because we're much less likely to distrust atypically nice humane people than Machiavellian, sub-psychopath people, even if they're both less conditionally compressible. It takes a lot of niceness (Stepford Wives) before the uncanny-differential-encoding-valley reaction trips.

Edit: This might have been uncharitable. People who are more prone to lying may be more absolutely complex, because lying skillfully requires keeping track of ones lies and building further lies to support them, while honest beliefs can simply be verified against reality. People who decide by a few fixed, stable criteria (e.g. always voting for the nominated candidate of their political party) might be called trustworthy in the sense of being reliable (if not reliably pro-social). Fulfilling promises and following contracts also make one more trustworthy, in both the weak sense of predictability and the stronger sense of moral behavior. Yudkowsky makes the argument that moral progress tends to produce simplified values.

Comment by discredited on Tegmark's talk at Oxford · 2013-06-13T18:07:47.499Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

No. Elsewhere he has said "I believe that consciousness is the way information feels when being processed", but in this talk he seems to make a little bit of a retreat. He describes a positive singularity with p-zombie AI/robots that have perception and appear conscious, but aren't "aware" of the world around them. He makes no clarification of how perception differs from awareness and doesn't mention introspection at all.

Comment by discredited on Finding interesting communities · 2013-05-31T15:06:26.286Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What? Rock climbing demonstrates depth? Circus skills are virtuous?

Which hobbies are especially shallow and narcissistic? Arts, crafts, gardening, cooking? Team sport, extreme sport, cycling, karate, yoga? Romance novels, short films, video games? Genealogy, collecting, puzzle solving? Card games, brewing, stage magic, lock picking? Sailing, camping, fishing, geocaching, trainspotting?

You are right that a cluster exists, and not everyone will be a con-langing, rocket building, capoeira fighter, but the attributes you're naming don't select for that group (or any group really).