ektimo's Shortform 2024-06-21T02:53:21.846Z
Who does the artwork for LessWrong? 2024-05-26T05:55:12.224Z
6 Minute Intro to Evolutionary Psychology 2010-10-01T21:07:28.527Z


Comment by ektimo on ektimo's Shortform · 2024-06-21T02:53:21.994Z · LW · GW

Imagine you have a button and if you press it, it will run through every possible state of a human brain. (One post estimates a brain may have about 2 to the sextillion different states. I mean the union of all brains so throw in some more orders of magnitude if you think there are a lot of differences in brain anatomy.) Each state would be experienced for one instant (which I could try to define and would be less than the number of states but let's handwave for now; as long as you accept that a human mind can be represented by a computer imagine the specs of the components and all the combinations of memory bits and one "stream of consciousness" quantum).

If you could make a change would you prioritize:

  1. Pruning the instances to reduce negative experiences
  2. Being able to press the button lots of times
  3. Making the experiences more real (For example an experience could be "one instant of reminiscing over my memories of building a Dyson Sphere" but nothing like that ever happened. One way to make it more real would be to create the set of all the necessary universe starting conditions to be able to create the set of all unique experiences; each universe will create duplicate experiences among its various inhabitants but it will contain at least the one unique experience it is checking off, which would include the person reminiscing over building a Dyson Sphere and they actually did build it. Or at least the ones that can be generated in this fashion.)
  4. This is horrible, stop the train I want to get off.

(I'd probably go with 4 but curious if people have different opinions.)

Comment by ektimo on Significantly Enhancing Adult Intelligence With Gene Editing May Be Possible · 2024-06-04T16:38:48.536Z · LW · GW

I have enough mana to create a market. (It looks like each one costs about 1000 and I have about 3000)

1. Is manifold the best market to be posting this given that it's fake money and may be biased based on its popularity among LessWrong users, etc?

2. I don't know what question(s) to ask. My understanding is there are some shorter prediction that could be made (related to shorter term goals) and longer term predictions so I think there should be at least 2 markets?

Comment by ektimo on Jaan Tallinn's 2023 Philanthropy Overview · 2024-05-21T15:57:29.809Z · LW · GW

On behalf of humanity, thank you.

Comment by ektimo on How to do conceptual research: Case study interview with Caspar Oesterheld · 2024-05-14T21:14:37.602Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the interesting write-up.

Regarding Evidential Cooperation in Large Worlds, the Identical Twin One Shot Prisoner's dilemma makes sense to me because the entity giving the payout is connected to both worlds. What is the intuition for ECL (where my understanding is there isn't any connection)?

Comment by ektimo on How to do conceptual research: Case study interview with Caspar Oesterheld · 2024-05-14T21:04:27.007Z · LW · GW

What is PTI?

Comment by ektimo on Open Thread Spring 2024 · 2024-04-29T19:38:48.459Z · LW · GW

Btw, I really appreciate if people explain downvotes, and it would be great if there was some way to still allow unexplained downvotes while incentivizing adding explanations.  Maybe a way (attached to the post) for people to guess why other people downvoted?

Comment by ektimo on Open Thread Spring 2024 · 2024-04-29T19:30:18.191Z · LW · GW

Maybe because somebody didn't think your post qualified as a "Question"? I don't see any guidelines on what qualifies as a "question" versus a "post" -- and personally I wouldn't have downvoted because of this --- but your question seems a little long/opinionated. 

Comment by ektimo on A voting theory primer for rationalists · 2018-04-30T19:57:55.936Z · LW · GW

Interesting and thanks for your response!

I didn't mean there would be multiple stages of voting. I meant the first stage is a random selection and the second stage is the randomly chosen people voting. This puts the full weight of responsibility on the chosen ones and they should take it seriously. Sounds great if they are given money too.

The thing I feel is missing but this community has a sense for is that the bar to improving a decision when people have different opinions is far higher than people treat it. And if that's true then the more concentrated the responsibility the better… like no more than 10 voters for anything?

Comment by ektimo on A voting theory primer for rationalists · 2018-04-27T18:41:55.692Z · LW · GW

The greater the number of voters the less time it makes sense as an individual to spend researching the options. It seems a good first step would be to randomly reduce the number of voters to an amount that would maximize the overall quality of the decision. Any thoughts on this?

Comment by ektimo on Open Thread: February 2010, part 2 · 2010-02-17T23:31:05.243Z · LW · GW

Interesting experiment. It reminds me of an experiment where subjects wore glasses that turned world upside down (really, right side up for the projection on our eye) and eventually they adjusted so the world looked upside down when taking off the glasses.

What do you think a "yes" or "no" in your experiment would mean?

Note, Dennett says in Quining Qualia :

On waking up and finding your visual world highly anomalous, you should exclaim "Egad! Something has happened! Either my qualia have been inverted or my memory-linked qualia-reactions have been inverted. I wonder which!"

Comment by ektimo on Shut Up and Divide? · 2010-02-10T01:09:12.355Z · LW · GW

Part of it is that person let someone else die (theoretically) to save his own life. You let someone die for the Latte.

Note: I drink the Latte (occasionally), but it's because I think I can be more effective on the big stuff and that not saving is less bad than killing (as we both agree).

Comment by ektimo on Shut Up and Divide? · 2010-02-10T00:44:48.559Z · LW · GW

The point I'm responding to is:

Why are you carrying the moral burden?

Because everyone is. I'm assuming you meant that comment as saying something like the burden is diluted since so many people touch the money, but I don't think that is valid.

Comment by ektimo on Shut Up and Divide? · 2010-02-09T23:28:15.756Z · LW · GW

Imagine a 1st world economy where nobody ever spends any money on aid. If you live in that hypothetical world you (anybody) could take $200 that is floating around and prevent a death (which is not the same as killing somebody but that's a different point). Our world is somewhat like that. I don't think things are as convenient as you're implying.

Comment by ektimo on Rationality Quotes November 2009 · 2009-11-30T21:46:25.287Z · LW · GW

Wondrous yes, but not miraculous

Star Trek, Richard Manning & Hans Beimler, Who Watches the Watchers? (reworded)

Comment by ektimo on - Track your calibration · 2009-10-16T18:30:03.816Z · LW · GW

Some of my predictions are of the sort "the stock market will fall 50% tomorrow with 20% odds" (not a real prediction!). If it did happen I should get huge credit, but would it show up as negative credit since I predicted there was only a 20% chance it would happen? Is there some way it would be possible to do this kind of prediction with PredictionBook?

I predict this comment will get less than 4 points by Oct. 19 with 75% odds.

Comment by ektimo on - Track your calibration · 2009-10-16T18:13:17.266Z · LW · GW

Me too. The interface for that was confusing enough that I ended up not submitting at all.

Comment by ektimo on Utilons vs. Hedons · 2009-08-12T17:07:26.124Z · LW · GW

+1 for above.

As a separate question, what would you do if you lived in a world where Peter Unger was correct? And what if it was 1 penny instead of 1 dollar and giving the money wouldn't cause other problems? Would you never have a burger for lunch instead of rice since it would mean 100 children would die who could otherwise be saved?

Comment by ektimo on Utilons vs. Hedons · 2009-08-12T03:38:29.669Z · LW · GW

The price of the salt pill itself is only a few pennies. The one dollar figure was meant to include overhead. That said, the Copenhagen report mentioned above ($64 per death averted) looks more credible. But during a particular crisis the number could be less.

Comment by ektimo on Utilons vs. Hedons · 2009-08-12T01:13:47.899Z · LW · GW

According to Peter Unger, it is more like one dollar:

First, a little bit about some of the horrors: During the next year, unless they're given oral rehydration therapy, several million children, in the poorest areas of the world, will die from - I kid you not - diarrhea. Indeed, according to the United States Committee for UNICEF, "diarrhea kills more children worldwide than any other cause." Next, a medium bit about some of the means: By sending in a modest sum to the U.S. Committee for UNICEF (or to CARE) and by earmarking the money for ORT, you can help prevent some of these children from dying. For, in very many instances, the net cost of giving this life-saving therapyis less than one dollar*

Even if this is true, I think it is still more important to spend money to reduce existential risks given that one of the factors is 6 billion + a much larger number for successive generations + humanity itself.

Comment by ektimo on Applied Picoeconomics · 2009-06-18T20:38:03.206Z · LW · GW

Yvain, did you consider how much getting to the point of not having interest in the opposite sex would cost you and harm your ability to achieve your rational goals before abandoning that high standard? It sounds like you're confusing accepting your humanness as a factor of your current environment versus trying to achieve your goals given the reality in which you exist (which includes your own psychology and current location).

Comment by ektimo on Issues, Bugs, and Requested Features · 2009-06-06T22:34:59.369Z · LW · GW

It shouldn't default to "Today". It ends up looking like the main page. Is this a known bug?

Comment by ektimo on Issues, Bugs, and Requested Features · 2009-06-06T18:23:58.545Z · LW · GW

Popular and Top aren't working well. I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be, but neither of them had the articles I wanted to send to someone -- the ones with the most points.

Comment by ektimo on You Are A Brain · 2009-05-10T03:01:36.316Z · LW · GW

Loved the gut example.

Comment by ektimo on The Sin of Underconfidence · 2009-04-20T17:25:12.280Z · LW · GW

If there was a message I could send back to my younger self this would be it. Plus that if it's hard, don't try to make it easier, just keep in mind that it's important. (By younger self, I mean 7-34 years old.)

Comment by ektimo on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2009-04-16T16:54:06.631Z · LW · GW
  • Name: Edwin Evans
  • Location: Silicon Valley, CA
  • Age: 35

I read the "Meaning of Life FAQ" by a previous version of Eliezer in 1999 when I was trying to write something similar, from a Pascal’s Wager angle (even a tiny possibility of objective value is what should determine your actions). I've been a financial supporter of the Organization That Can't Be Named and a huge fan of Eliezer's writings since that same time. After reading "Crisis of Faith" along with "Could Anything Be Right?" I finally gave up on objective value; the "light in the sky" died. Feeling my mind change was an emotional experience that lasted about two days.

This is seriously in need of updating, but here is my home page.

By the way, would using Google AdWords be a good way to draw people to 12 Virtues? Here is an example from the Google keyword tool:

  • Search phrase: how to be better
  • Cost per click: $0.05
  • Approximate volume per month: 33,100

[Edit: added basic info/clarification/formatting]