Posts

Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life 2011-06-10T00:07:04.447Z · score: 14 (25 votes)
Las Vegas LW Meetup! 2011-05-23T19:25:58.934Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
ANKI flashcard deck: Cognitive Biases and Related Terms 2011-05-22T01:33:21.487Z · score: 7 (8 votes)

Comments

Comment by duke on Meetup : Arizona State Lunch Group · 2013-08-29T14:40:51.502Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Great thx.

Comment by duke on Meetup : Arizona State Lunch Group · 2013-08-28T06:28:12.982Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Will be there. Any suggestions on where to park?

Comment by duke on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-08T14:55:48.844Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ah interesting. I don't think the gender thing influenced my interpretations of the writing. Plus I started to figure out that he was a male fairly quickly but wasn't totally sure. I will say that he subverted my I-don't-listen-to-teenagers heuristic with some thoughtful, well-written posts. Funny too that reading his bio he strikes me as quite similar to myself, especially when I was in my late teens. In fact, I have posted on a forum with a girl-sounding name before.

Comment by duke on Instrumental rationality/self help resources · 2013-08-08T04:38:44.286Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks to my previous employer, I actually went a step further and took a Dale Carnegie class called Effective Communications & Human Relations / Skills for Success Course. I think it was $1600 or so a couple years ago. My manager thought that I was doing a good job but that I was not particularly nice to people, which was accurate. So, thankfully, he paid for me to take the course and, as far as I can tell, it had a strong influence on me in a positive way.

The course was geared towards professionals of all flavors--engineers, salesman, executives, etc. And, while they teach technical-ish stuff about remembering names, giving presentations and the like, the essential elements of the course were positivity and high energy. The primary instructors never said a single negative thing and they never let their high energy levels dip. The classes were each three hours and held on like Tuesdays after work. So they were charged with keeping 40-50 people who just finished a full day of work interested. They succeeded each night. It was quite an accomplishment. They were probably the friendliest people I've ever met.

As for me, while I was never particular friendly, I've always had a knack for public speaking. Not only do I not get nerves when speaking to a group, but I feel energized by it. IIRC, every class each student had to speak to a small group and then most of the time we all had to speak to everyone. I did very well and won a couple awards including the highest achievement award, which all my fellow students voted on. I was pretty surprised to win that but it was cool. The experience instilled in me a lot of confidence. So much so that I eventually switched careers to sales.

My favorite memory of the course occurred the night that we each had to get up in succession and give a 3 minute speech on something or other. I was to go about half way through. There was a stage in the room that everyone so far had stood on while giving their speeches. I thought standing on the stage was too impersonal, as the stage was set back and not very well lit. Ever the contrarian, I stood in front of the stage and gave my speech when it was my turn. Everyone after me stood in front of the stage.

Comment by duke on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-08T04:07:30.690Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What is the gender of gothgirl420666?

Comment by duke on Open thread, August 5-11, 2013 · 2013-08-06T20:12:40.801Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Can anyone recommend a book on marketing analytics? Preferably not a textbook but I'll take what I can get.

I have a technical background but I recently switched careers and am now working as a real estate agent. I have very limited marketing knowledge at this point.

Comment by duke on low stress employment/ munchkin income thread · 2013-08-05T01:04:17.191Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Your can start by reading the Tim Ferriss' The 4-hour Workweek book, by the way.

Keep in mind that Tim Ferriss works extremely hard. You are not as successful and prolific as he is on a 4-hour workweek. Ironically enough.

Comment by duke on low stress employment/ munchkin income thread · 2013-08-05T00:56:52.456Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am unclear whether you are claiming that you're disabled or that you're simply lazy. So I am going to assume that you're lazy. But if, in fact, you are suffering from a medical condition, then it would be best to deal with that straightaway.

But I think I would always find being a 9 to 5er unappealing.

This seems to be the null hypothesis by which you basing your desire to work as little and as easily as possible on. I think your null hypothesis should be that developing a full time career will be most beneficial to you. A career is rewarding financially, socially and personally. I'm pretty sure this is why most everyone has one.

And, in fact, if you believe that UFAI is a near-term global catastrophic risk then you should be working diligently to figure out how to maximize your earning potential so that you can donate a lot of cash to MIRI. A good starting point would be developing a marketable skill set so that you can embark on a lucrative career path.

I'd value spending that time reading texbooks or walking around town or lazing around on the beach more than I'd value extra money. I'm also interested to hear about some more conventional part time jobs if they pay enough. I'm ok with doing somewhat boring work if the hours are light and I have time to think.

I think that you are making a lot of assumptions about what you want out of your life when you're simply too inexperienced at life to know what you want out of it. And, frankly, whether for personal pleasure or as a tool to curb catastrophic risk, at one point or another you are going to want money. So start figuring out how you're going to make some.

Comment by duke on Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013 · 2013-08-04T02:06:26.657Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Depending on you current skill level, I'd think that the less than 2% likelihood is a generous estimate. Online poker was a bubble back in the early to mid 00's. Presently, edges are razor thin and only a very elite group are making 100K+/year.

Players are highly skilled--and getting better all the time--and able to populate multiple tables simultaneously (as opposed to live poker where you can play only a single table at a time); rake is high; online poker legality is hazy in many parts of the world; transferring money off the site is problematic; you'll be paying taxes on your winnings; and, like you mentioned, fish are drying up.

Botting, player collusion and hacking certainly have negative effects on the game but it is unclear to what extent.

If you're an American and live near a casino, you're more likely to win $100k playing there in games with at least a $5 big blind. But, generally, playing poker for a living is a bitch for a lot of reasons, namely that you'll be spending a lot of your life in a casino with no windows. Also, statistical variance is difficult to handle emotionally--assuming that you become a winning player to begin with. For every story your read about some guy living high on his poker winnings, there are countless others who went broke and now are either hopeless degenerates scrounging around casinos or working square jobs.

If you do not have an obvious marketable skill set worth 100k/yr, might I suggest getting into sales of some sort. Generally, the barriers to entry are low, and while the success rates are small, the upper bounds of earning potential are very large.

Comment by duke on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2011-08-08T03:52:45.262Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

For the sake of clarity, my criticism of Josh's book was developed within the context of Josh promoting his book in a LW thread titled "The Best Textbooks on Every Subject."

Comment by duke on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2011-07-28T03:16:05.411Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I think the title--and especially the subtitle, " Mastering the Art of Business,"--signals that the book will be a thorough examination of business principles. As well, I think that hocking your book in a thread called "The Best Textbooks on Every Subject" signals that the book will be, at least, textbook-like in range, complexity and information containment. You now call your book "not densely written or overly technical." I call it cotton candy.

Comment by duke on [prize] new contest for Spaced Repetition literature review ($365+) · 2011-07-23T00:57:43.067Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks!

Comment by duke on [prize] new contest for Spaced Repetition literature review ($365+) · 2011-07-21T03:23:31.666Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What is the status of this contest? Has there been another submission since mine? If not, then I would like my submission re-considered.

If, in fact, the spirit of the contest was to accomplish something, then, in retrospect, the value of my submission should have increased. I knocked out the article in a matter of days (here we are now, many weeks later) and it received a net of 14 upvotes. It may not have met the initial standards of the judges, but in light of new evidence--specifically, that there has been zero submission since--I think my accomplishment deserves renewed consideration.

Comment by duke on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2011-07-21T03:17:46.238Z · score: 4 (14 votes) · LW · GW

This book, or, to be accurate, the 20 or so pages I read, are terrible. For someone who prefers dense and thorough examinations of topics, The Personal MBA is cotton candy. It is viscerally pleasing, but it offers little to no sustenance. My advice: don't get an MBA or read this book.

The mistake I made was considering the author's appearance in this thread as strong evidence that his book would offer value to a rationalist. In fact, the author is a really good marketer whose book has little value to offer. Congratulations to him, however, since he got me to buy a brand-new copy of a book, something I rarely do.

Comment by duke on Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life · 2011-06-18T01:04:07.458Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It depends on how much time you are willing to devote. I spend 0-3 minutes per day on the cognitive biases deck which allows me to spend the additional 17-30 minutes I have allocated for Anki working on the NVC deck, which is massive. I plan to add a spanish vocab deck soon.

Comment by duke on Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life · 2011-06-17T16:22:01.952Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not asking for a Rationalist of the Month Award, just a measly upvote.

Comment by duke on [prize] Spaced Repetition literature review · 2011-06-14T20:30:47.041Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

After some deliberation, I've decided to withdraw this request. I am content with my submission. I am also content not to receive the prize or any portion thereof.

Comment by duke on Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life · 2011-06-14T20:30:15.610Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

After some deliberation, I've decided to withdraw this request. I am content with my submission. I am also content not to receive the prize or any portion thereof.

Comment by duke on Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life · 2011-06-11T21:19:38.866Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I request arbitration and that it be done publicly.

Comment by duke on [prize] Spaced Repetition literature review · 2011-06-11T21:04:17.837Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cross-commented from submission thread:

I think it is unfair of you to post a public critique of my submission since this is a contest. I have effectively been penalized for being first. Every submission that follows will have the benefit of seeing this critique.

I am also concerned that you have decided to change the contest format immediately following my submission. In my estimation, you had either already decided to change the format prior to my submission (clearly a major disadvantage to me), or you decided to change the format based on my submission, which, again, effectively penalizes me for being first.


Additionally, I request arbitration. I think this contest has been mismanaged to my detriment; as such, I am entitled to financial compensation.

Comment by duke on Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life · 2011-06-11T20:38:24.346Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think it is unfair of you to post a public critique of my submission since this is a contest. I have effectively been penalized for being first. Every submission that follows will have the benefit of seeing this critique.

I am also concerned that you have decided to change the contest format immediately following my submission. In my estimation, you had either already decided to change the format prior to my submission (clearly a major disadvantage to me), or you decided to change the format based on my submission, which, again, effectively penalizes me for being first.

Comment by duke on Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life · 2011-06-10T15:19:28.454Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with all of this. Maybe it doesn't come across clearly in my post, but I tried to differentiate between rank trivia and applicable knowledge, such as cognitive biases, decision theory concepts, logical fallacies, stuff you listed, etc. I don't know what exactly differentiates applicable knowledge with near-worthless trivia, however.

Comment by duke on Memory, Spaced Repetition and Life · 2011-06-10T04:01:31.041Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was trying to avoid re-inserting the links, so thanks so much for your time!

Comment by duke on [prize] Spaced Repetition literature review · 2011-06-09T18:58:41.885Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My entry has been submitted: http://lesswrong.com/lw/64k/memory_spaced_repetition_and_life/

Comment by duke on [prize] Spaced Repetition literature review · 2011-06-07T18:05:56.023Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am working on this vigorously and expect to produce a submitted product soon. Proceed at your own risk if you are considering competing for this prize.

Comment by duke on [prize] Spaced Repetition literature review · 2011-06-07T16:40:57.003Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Getting it done to other's satisfaction and getting it done to your own are not mutually exclusive. You can work quickly to win the prize and then go back and expand.

Comment by duke on [prize] Spaced Repetition literature review · 2011-06-07T15:18:01.509Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why do you care if it is done to your satisfaction when the prize is awarded based on other's satisfaction with it?

This is an expected value problem. Decide how much a unit of your time is worth, how much time you are willing to invest and then (the hard part) estimate your likelihood for success.

So, if you value your time at $10/hr, are willing to invest 10 hours and estimate you will win the $155 X% of the time then we get this equation:

P(winning)$amount won - P(losing)$amount not won = initial investment

x$155 - (1-x)$0 = $10/hr * 10 hours

solve for x

x = 64.5%, in other words, to "break even" you need to be sure that if you invest 10 hours of your time in this project that you will win it at least 64.5% of the time.

A race may not be the best way to run this for you, since I suspect that you value your time a high rate relative to the potential payoff. But someone who values their time less (or is more productive than you per unit time) may think a race is a wonderful idea.

Comment by duke on [prize] Spaced Repetition literature review · 2011-06-07T12:36:39.284Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am an Anki user and I am interested in working on this project.

Comment by duke on What would you do with infinite willpower? · 2011-06-05T22:39:57.782Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

While for a couple periods I counted my calories, measuring nutrients--either of the food or my own--is a low priority for me. If I could afford to pay someone to do these things for me I wouldn't hesitate. I'm content for now with this simple reasoning: How bad could it be to eat only fruits and vegetables? Plus, I can alter the diet in a moment if needed.

Comment by duke on What would you do with infinite willpower? · 2011-06-04T16:50:42.415Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Redacted because I misread Manfred's comment the first time.

Comment by duke on What would you do with infinite willpower? · 2011-06-04T16:32:32.995Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The diet is the result of a 5-ish year development. The major changes were, first, elimination of animals, then animal products, then processed products and finally everything that wasn't fresh fruits and vegetables and some pb and tofu. I heard a couple reasonable talks in the past year making the case that fresh fruits and veggies are unequivocally the healthiest foods. I said fuck it, why not just eat all fruits and veggies then? This was ~3 months ago.

In every way that matters to me it has been an overwhelming success: it's cheap, it tastes good, it gives me ample energy, it seems to make me feel better physically and emotionally, I have lost weight, I think I appear more lean, and it's filling--it was a pleasant surprise to find that a small salad can create a satisfying fullness in my body.

*Added: One downside is frequent trips to the store.

Comment by duke on What would you do with infinite willpower? · 2011-06-04T15:18:36.943Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't be reading LW right now.

Comment by duke on What would you do with infinite willpower? · 2011-06-04T15:15:17.036Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I try to eat only fruits, vegetables and peanut butter. I live alone and prepare my own food. I am at the grocery store 5 to 7 days a week. When freshness is essential and overstocking is bad, then I don't know of a better way.

A tip on consuming more vegetables and fruits when you have them: don't also keep other food around that you prefer to veg/fruits. If you prefer x to mangoes and have x and mangoes available to eat, then you'll eat more x than mangoes. Take willpower out of the equation. Force yourself to eat what you "should."

Comment by duke on "Thank you for updating" · 2011-05-29T00:56:13.507Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You should say something like "Now that we can agree on x, let's discuss y." (Given that agreeingt on y is dependent on a prior agreement about x.) Getting someone to agree with you is not the end of the conversation, it is the beginning. Thanking them for agreeing with you makes it seem like all matters are settled and now you may peacefully part ways.

Also, I disagree that it is intrinsically rational or polite or part of some gentlemen's agreement to thank someone when they concede your point.

Comment by duke on [SEQ RERUN] Futuristic Predictions as Consumable Goods · 2011-05-27T22:41:26.256Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Judging both from experience and after reading the original comments for this post, it seems that many people share the misconception that betting--be it on ideas or sports, etc--is always done at odds of 1:1, ie I bet $100 that my prediction y will occur by date z and if i am wrong I lose $100 and if I am right I win $100 (plus my original wager). In fact, astute gambling is about predicting the likelihood of an event and then finding someone to bet with whom you think has done a worse job than you at predicting the likelihood of the event.

For instance, when I watch golf and a player has a long and difficult putt, I frequently hear the commentators say "I wouldn't bet on this putt going in." If betting was restricted to wagers at 1 to 1 odds then they would be correct not to bet on the putt dropping, as it is less than 50% likely that it will. But what if I gave the commentator 1000 to 1 odds on the putt going in--would they take that bet? They should. Similarly, I wouldn't place a bet at 1 to 1 odds that there will be superhuman intelligence by the end of the year. But I'd certainly place this bet if someone would give me 100000 to 1 odds, and I'd consider placing this bet at much lower odds.

On a related note, if you ever see or hear someone make an outrageous prediction of certainty which they are willing to bet on, you are making a mistake by wagering with them at 1 to 1 odds on their prediction. You are allowing them to place a bet where they break even if their prediction is only 50% likely to occur, yet they are claiming 100% likelihood. You should push them to give you better on odds on the bet--as good as you can get from them since theoretically they should think they will never lose this bet. But be careful pushing too hard because the mark will realize that they aren't actually certain about their prediction.

Comment by duke on [SEQ RERUN] Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People · 2011-05-26T02:08:00.456Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What's the evidence that knowing about cognitive biases is more dangerous than knowing math? My claim is that it is just as easy to apply math in an unbalanced way that favors one's already-held beliefs as it is to apply cognitive biases in a similarly unbalanced way.

In other words, why did EY speak specifically to cognitive biases as opposed to the general problem of using your knowledge more vigilantly to attack others arguments than to attack your own arguments?

Comment by duke on [SEQ RERUN] Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People · 2011-05-25T21:46:38.717Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't understand what makes learning about cognitive biases intrinsically different from obtaining any other type of knowledge. That is, couldn't you make a parallel argument that learning math (or any rationality skill) is dangerous unless it is applied evenhandedly to your own beliefs and to the beliefs of others?

Comment by duke on Should I be afraid of GMOs? · 2011-05-22T01:08:50.489Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

GMO tech is used for a broad set of purposes and on a broad set of organisms. Monsanto uses GMO tech for specific purposes (firstly, to profit) on specific organisms. I don't see why this is a big problem for GMO tech even if there is an ethical breach by Monsanto.

Comment by duke on Should I be afraid of GMOs? · 2011-05-20T05:48:59.610Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The claim that "the purpose of GMOs is so Monsanto can have a plant they own.." is false. One tiny aspect of GMOs which objectors constantly harp on is Monsanto's business model.

Comment by duke on Suffering as attention-allocational conflict · 2011-05-19T07:17:52.939Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I tend to treat anger and frustration as resulting from my map not matching the terrain somewhere. I suspect that your frustration is rooted in inaccurate mapping concerning the prior commitment that prevented you from meeting Patri. My guess is that you correctly assumed that there would be a small chance that something “better” than your commitment would pop-up that you would have to miss; but, you failed to properly assess the emotional impact this unlikely scenario would have on you. Now you can update your priors, do some re-mapping and be better prepared emotionally to deal with low-probability/high-annoyingness events.

Also, how similar is the present Patri-hysteria in Finland to the Beatles-hysteria in the 60's?

Comment by duke on Open Thread, September, 2010-- part 2 · 2010-09-25T14:01:01.722Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Somehow I doubt that the part about needing a guy to have lots of sex with you is worth mentioning.

Comment by duke on Open Thread, September, 2010-- part 2 · 2010-09-24T22:40:37.899Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was going to say that same exact thing in 10x as many words.

Comment by duke on Let's make a deal · 2010-09-23T19:22:34.822Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

While I would be interested in contributing to someone's independent research, a vague post on LW doesn't come anywhere close to meeting my minimum threshold for confidence to do such a thing. I would recommend that you continue working and spend your free time writing a paper or an intricate analysis or something else to inspire confidence in your potential to contribute significantly to the singularity/AI body of knowledge. Otherwise, why shouldn't I just donate my money to SIAI?