Using GPT-N to Solve Interpretability of Neural Networks: A Research Agenda 2020-09-03T18:27:05.860Z
What's a Decomposable Alignment Topic? 2020-08-21T22:57:00.642Z
Mapping Out Alignment 2020-08-15T01:02:31.489Z
Writing Piano Songs: A Journey 2020-08-10T21:50:25.099Z
Solving Key Alignment Problems Group 2020-08-03T19:30:45.916Z
No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis 2020-07-24T18:39:40.398Z
Seeking Power is Often Robustly Instrumental in MDPs 2019-12-05T02:33:34.321Z
"Mild Hallucination" Test 2019-10-10T17:57:42.471Z
Finding Cruxes 2019-09-20T23:54:47.532Z
False Dilemmas w/ exercises 2019-09-17T22:35:33.882Z
Category Qualifications (w/ exercises) 2019-09-15T16:28:53.149Z
Proving Too Much (w/ exercises) 2019-09-15T02:28:51.812Z
Arguing Well Sequence 2019-09-15T02:01:30.976Z
Trauma, Meditation, and a Cool Scar 2019-08-06T16:17:39.912Z
Kissing Scars 2019-05-09T16:00:59.596Z
Towards a Quieter Life 2019-04-07T18:28:15.225Z
Modelling Model Comparisons 2019-04-04T17:26:45.565Z
Formalizing Ideal Generalization 2018-10-29T19:46:59.355Z
Saving the world in 80 days: Epilogue 2018-07-28T17:04:25.998Z
Today a Tragedy 2018-06-13T01:58:05.056Z
Trajectory 2018-06-02T18:29:06.023Z
Gaining Approval: Insights From "How To Prove It" 2018-05-13T18:34:54.891Z
Saving the world in 80 days: Prologue 2018-05-09T21:16:03.875Z
Mental TAPs 2018-02-08T17:26:36.774Z


Comment by elriggs on Trauma, Meditation, and a Cool Scar · 2021-01-11T03:49:49.962Z · LW · GW

Looking back, this all seems mostly correct, but missing a couple, assumed steps. 

 I've talked to one person since about their mild anxiety talking to certain types of people; I found two additional steps that helped them.

  1. Actually trying to become better
  2. Understanding that their reaction is appropriate for some situations (like the original trauma), but it's overgeneralized to actually safe situations.

These steps are assumed in this post because, in my case, it's obvious I'm overreacting (there's no drone) and I understand PTSD is common and treatable. Step 2 is very much Kaj Sotala's internal family system's post while this post is mainly about accessing lower-level sensory information about the trauma-reaction. 

Comment by elriggs on Reframing Impact · 2020-12-09T23:29:51.567Z · LW · GW

This post (or sequence of posts) not only gave me a better handle on impact and what that means for agents, but it also is a concrete example of de-confusion work. The execution of the explanations gives an "obvious in hindsight" feeling, with "5-minute timer"-like questions which pushed me to actually try and solve the open question of an impact measure. It's even inspired me to apply this approach to other topics in my life that had previously confused me; it gave me the tools and a model to follow.

And, the illustrations are pretty fun and engaging, too.

Comment by elriggs on Using GPT-N to Solve Interpretability of Neural Networks: A Research Agenda · 2020-09-05T20:44:06.743Z · LW · GW

I’m expecting either (1) A future GPT’s meta-learning combined with better prompt engineering will be able to learn the correct distribution and find the correct distribution, respectively. Or (2) curating enough examples will be good enough (though I’m not sure if GPT-3 could do it even then).

Comment by elriggs on Using GPT-N to Solve Interpretability of Neural Networks: A Research Agenda · 2020-09-04T15:15:07.713Z · LW · GW

I also expect it to be harder as well, and 10-30% chance that it will require some new insight seems reasonable.

Comment by elriggs on What's a Decomposable Alignment Topic? · 2020-08-25T01:51:46.026Z · LW · GW

b) seems right. I'm unsure what (a) could mean (not much overhead?).

I feel confused to think about decomposability w/o considering the capabilities of the people I'm handing the tasks off to. I would only add:

By "smart", assume they can notice confusion, google, and program

since that makes the capabilities explicit.

Comment by elriggs on What's a Decomposable Alignment Topic? · 2020-08-24T22:16:10.791Z · LW · GW

If you only had access to people who can google, program, and notice confusion, how could you utilize that to make conceptual progress on a topic you care about?

Decomposable: Make a simple first person shooter. Could be decomposed into creating asset models, and various parts of the actual code can be decomposed (input-mapping, getting/dealing damage).

Non-decomposable: Help me write an awesome piano song. Although this can be decomposed, I don't expect anyone to have the skills required (and acquiring the skills requires too much overhead).

Let's operationalize "too much overhead" to mean "takes more than 10 hours to do useful, meaningful tasks".

Comment by elriggs on What's a Decomposable Alignment Topic? · 2020-08-23T23:24:58.839Z · LW · GW

The first one. As long as you can decompose the open problem into tractable, bite-sized pieces, it's good.

Vanessa mentioned some strategies that might generalize to other open problems: group decomposition (we decide how to break a problem up), programming to empirically verify X, and literature reviews.

Comment by elriggs on What's a Decomposable Alignment Topic? · 2020-08-22T03:27:44.221Z · LW · GW

I don't know (partially because I'm unsure who would stay and leave).

If you didn't take math background that in consideration and wrote a proposal (saying "requires background in real analysis" or ...), then that may push out people w/o that background but also attract people with that background.

As long as pre-reqs are explicit, you should go for it.

Comment by elriggs on Writing Piano Songs: A Journey · 2020-08-15T00:07:19.153Z · LW · GW

I tend to write melodies in multiple different ways:

1. Hearing it in my head, then playing it out. It's very easy to generate (like GPT but with melodies), but transcribing is very hard! The common advice is to sing it out, and then match it with the instrument. This is exactly what you did with whistling. If I don't record it, I will very often not remember it at all later; very similar to forgetting a dream. When I hear someone else's piano piece (or my own recorded), I will often think "I would've played that part differently" which is the same as my brain predicting a different melody.

2. "Asemic playing" (thanks for the phrase!) - I've improv-ed for hundreds of hours, and I very often run into playing similar patterns when I'm in similar "areas" such as playing the same chord progression. I'll often have (1) melodies playing in my head while improvising, but I will often play the "wrong" note and it still sound good. Over the years, I've gotten much better at remembering melodies I just played (because my brain predicts that the melody will repeat) and playing the "correct" note in my head on the fly.

3. Smashing "concepts" into a melody:

  • What if I played this melody backwards?
  • Pressed every note twice?
  • Held every other note a half-note longer?
  • Used a different chord progression (so specific notes of the melody needs to change to harmonize)
  • Taking a specific pattern of a melody, like which notes it uses, and playing new patterns there.
  • Taking a specific pattern of a melody, like the rhythm between the notes (how long you hold each note, including rests) and applying it to other melodies.
  • Taking a specific patter of a melody, like the exact rhythm and relative notes, and starting on a different note (then continuing to play the same notes, relatively)
Comment by elriggs on Solving Key Alignment Problems Group · 2020-08-08T17:13:05.149Z · LW · GW

Thanks for reaching out. I've sent you the links in a DM.

I would like to be listed in the list of various AI Safety initiatives.

I'm looking forward to this month's AI Safety discussion day (I saw yours and Vanessa's post about it in Diffractor's Discord).

I'll start reading other's maps of Alignment in a couple days, so I would appreciate the link from FLI; thank you. Gyrodiot's post has several links related to "mapping AI", including one from FLI (Benefits and Risks of AI), but it seems like a different link than the one you meant.

Comment by elriggs on Solving Key Alignment Problems Group · 2020-08-04T11:59:35.801Z · LW · GW

It's not clear in the OP, but I'm planning on a depth-first search as opposed to breadth. Week 2-XX will focus on a singular topic (like turntrout's impact measures or johnswentworth's abstractions).

I am looking forward to disjunctive maps though!

Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-27T14:22:47.561Z · LW · GW

But how do you verify that? What does it mean (to you) to become more conscious of it?

Comment by elriggs on Become a person who Actually Does Things · 2020-07-26T21:59:40.353Z · LW · GW

I'm very confused about your interpretation of the post. I read the post as saying:

Most people have too high of a risk/reward threshold for action (it has to be the perfect opportunity to act). Having a lower threshold leads to much more rewards. To become that person, install the TAP to notice when a problem shows up now and try to fix it now. Being that type of person increases the chances of finding golden opportunities/ black swans.

But I've also installed this habit before (noticing the risks were much smaller in reality than in my head!), so maybe that's why the purpose/message was clear to me?

My personal standard for LW posts would prefer more specific examples, so that it's more fun, clear, and vivid in my mind.

What benefits do you think this post would gain if it fit your standard of (1-4) in your comment?

Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-26T16:03:35.887Z · LW · GW

I didn't mean to come across as "not knowing what I want at all", but it's more like your last paragraphs on uncertainty (I've added a tl;dr at the beginning to help clarify).

1) I have my values, but they are not completely coherent, and I don't know their extrapolation... Give me immortality, food, and books, and I will gradually find out what else do I want

Thanks to your comment, I think I understand the question I want to ask: What sensations/ feelings do you experience that you use to know "this is what I value"?

Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-26T15:47:58.386Z · LW · GW

It doesn't make sense to me either, but how do you specifically know you're on the right track? What specific qualia do you experience?

Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-24T23:10:00.075Z · LW · GW

I found this absurdly hilarious; loved the punchline. Thank you.

But then, how do you decide what to do?

Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-24T22:34:47.785Z · LW · GW

I think you're saying that there are two different relationships to goals (lighthouses and final destinations).

Could you give an example of a goal you used to treat as a final destination, but you now treat as a lighthouse? And in what way it is better?

Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-24T22:30:09.716Z · LW · GW

Thanks for all the links! It will take some time to read through them, but it's good to have them all in one place:)

I especially appreciate you writing out your current views explicitly. Your view seems to boil down into useful heuristics/ strategies, but it doesn't explain why they're good. For example

Following these strategies for setting goals, I've noticed myself and those close to me being happier, and I haven't burnt out doing this so it's more sustainable.
Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-24T22:14:53.593Z · LW · GW

I like the "how to weigh multiple values" frame.

But to use the initial argument in the post, why should pleasure and pain be the ultimate metric?

Comment by elriggs on No Ultimate Goal and a Small Existential Crisis · 2020-07-24T22:00:24.458Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the link! I've just read ~12 of them, and I think I've read them before. They sort of touched on the subject, but do you have a specific article(s) in the sequence that speak on it more directly?

Comment by elriggs on Meta-preferences are weird · 2020-07-18T20:08:30.085Z · LW · GW

I appreciate the write-up!

Explaining 3 possible meanings of "meta-preferencers" was insightful and rang true to me.

I was very confused about the lake/ocean distance metaphor, but I think I've got it now (?) Coordinates represent preferences and an arrow/gradient represents meta-preferences. Ex. I want to smoke (0,1), but I want to quit smoking [wanting to move from (0,1) --> (0,-1)].

Suicide as a "discontinuous jump", I assumed to mean in the OP, "a preference to have no preference". This is a large jump, but it's not how I interpret suicide. How is it even a meta-preference? "I prefer to be hurt/ depressed/ a burden, but I have a meta-preference to not be"?

Comment by elriggs on Does equanimity prevent negative utility? · 2020-06-17T02:56:11.637Z · LW · GW

Based on your comment on Ricraz's answer, "something that is bad for me", I will make a guess at what you mean. Let me know if it answers your question.

Objectively (outside-perspective):

"Bad" requires defining. Define the utility function, and the answer falls out.

Depending on your goals and the context of being hurt, it might be negative, positive, or a mix of both! (ex. being unintentionally burned while cooking, being a masochist, and being burned to protect a clumsy loved one, respectively)


If you mean negative utility as in the negative valence of an observation, then I would argue that negative valence is a signal telling you how well you're achieving a goal. (this is from Kaj's Non-mystical sequence)

From a multi-agent view, you may have an agent giving you valence on how well you're doing at a goal (say a video game). If you're really invested in the game, you might fuse with that sub-agent (identify that with a "self" tag), and suffer when you fail at the game. If you're separated from the game, you can still receive information about how well you're doing, but you don't suffer.

The more equanimity you have (you're okay with things as they are), the less you personally suffer. Though you can still be aware of the negative/positive signal of valence.

Comment by elriggs on Today a Tragedy · 2020-06-13T01:43:53.703Z · LW · GW

I think I've convinced my girlfriend that it's okay for me to be sad because of what happened to you. She used to try to cheer me up, but I would tell her that it's okay for me to be sad. It sucks and it's okay if I act like it sucks.

I had honestly thought the day was July 15th. Then I saw my calendar and saw that it was today. As soon as I noticed, I started watching youtube, I guess to distract myself. When I stopped, it all just weighed on me again.

It's hard to accept your death. You had your goals and friends and all of your expectations, and then it just ended.

Your sister still posts for you on Facebook. Your friends still think of you.

I remember you. I miss you man

Comment by elriggs on Corrigibility as outside view · 2020-05-12T17:27:01.006Z · LW · GW

Okay, the outside view analogy makes sense. If I were to explain it to me, I would say:

Locally, an action may seem good, but looking at the outside view, drawing information from similar instances of my past or other people like me, that same action may seem bad.

In the same way, an agent can access the outside view to see if it’s action is good by drawing on similar instances. But how does it get this outside view information? Assuming the agent has a model of human interactions and a list of “possible values for humans”, it can simulate different people with different values to see how well it learned their values by the time it’s considering a specific action.

Considering the action “disable the off-switch”. It simulates itself interacting with Bob who values long walks on the beach. By the time it considers the disable action, it can check it’s simulated self’s prediction of Bob’s value. If the prediction is “Bob likes long walks on the beach”, then that’s an update towards doing the disable action. If it’s a different prediction, that’s an update against the disable action.

Repeat 100 times for different people with different values and you’ll have a better understanding of which actions are safe or not. (I think a picture of a double-thought bubble like the one in this post would help explain this specific example.)

Comment by elriggs on Meditation: the screen-and-watcher model of the human mind, and how to use it · 2020-05-03T02:06:00.800Z · LW · GW

I pattern match this to the Buddhist idea of interdependence, where what you are is reliant on the environment and the environment is reliant on you (or embedded agency).

Comment by elriggs on My experience with the "rationalist uncanny valley" · 2020-04-24T02:40:38.855Z · LW · GW

If I understand you right, you value some things (finding them meaningful) because you robustly value them regardless of circumstances (like I value human life regardless of whether I had coffee this morning). Is this correct?

But you also mentioned that this only accounts for some values, and other things you value and find meaningful aren’t robust?

Comment by elriggs on Today a Tragedy · 2020-04-11T00:03:46.650Z · LW · GW

Happy Birthday Will,

I remember in 9th grade you started dating my ex right after consoling me. I was so mad! Haha. I never told you this, but me and the others on our forensics team saw y’all just sitting, holding hands, and having a good time, and Jennifer suggested that me and her hold hands and sit next to y’all giggling.

I said no, though it would’ve made a better story if I went through with it, haha. I think we started getting along again after she moved, although I can’t remember saying anything mean to you because of it.

I’m not sure she knows what happened to ya. I know y’all kept in touch when she moved, and maybe she checks Facebook more than I do.

Anyways, a lot of us are back home cause of the Coronavirus, and I would love to be able to give you a call and see how your life’s progressed these past few years.

Love you Will,


Comment by elriggs on Link Retrospective for 2020 Q1 · 2020-04-10T01:55:46.637Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the links and I hope you post another next quarter!

Comment by elriggs on "No evidence" as a Valley of Bad Rationality · 2020-04-01T21:20:41.390Z · LW · GW

Correct, favoring hypothesis H or NOT H simply because you label one "null hypothesis" are both bad. Equally bad when you don't have evidence either way.

In this case, intuition favors "more chemo should kill more cancer cells", and intuition counts as some evidence. The doctor ignores intuition (which is the only evidence we have here) and favors the opposite hypothesis because it's labeled "null hypothesis".

Comment by elriggs on Attainable Utility Preservation: Scaling to Superhuman · 2020-02-27T18:26:33.926Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the link (and the excellent write-up of the problem)!

Regarding the setting, how would the agent gain the ability to create a sub-agent, roll a rock, or limit it's own abilities initially? Throughout AUP, you normally start with a high penalty for acquiring power, and then you scale it down to reach reasonable, non-catastrophic plans, but your post begins with having higher power.

I don't think AUP prevents abuse of power you have currently have (?), but prevents gaining that power in the first place.

Comment by elriggs on Attainable Utility Preservation: Scaling to Superhuman · 2020-02-27T12:46:15.577Z · LW · GW

I expect AUP to fail in embedded agency problems (which I interpret the subagent problem to be included). Do you expect it to fail in other areas?

Comment by elriggs on Firming Up Not-Lying Around Its Edge-Cases Is Less Broadly Useful Than One Might Initially Think · 2020-01-13T08:20:43.566Z · LW · GW

I realized afterwards that only “not sharing others secrets” is an example of “it’s ethical to lie if someone asks a direct question”. The other two were more “don’t go out of your way to tell the whole truth in this situation (but wait for a better situation)”

I do believe my ethics is composed of wanting what’s “best” for others and truthful communication is just an instrumental goal.

If I had to blatantly lie every day, so that all my loved ones could be perfectly healthy and feel great, I would lie every day.

I don’t think anyone would terminally value honesty (in any of it’s forms).

Comment by elriggs on Firming Up Not-Lying Around Its Edge-Cases Is Less Broadly Useful Than One Might Initially Think · 2020-01-13T07:47:58.526Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the clarification.

For me the answer is no, I don’t believe it’s ethically mandatory to share all information I know to everyone if they happen to ask the right question. I can’t give a complete formalization of why, but three specific situations are 1) keeping someone else’s information secret & 2) when I predict the other person will assume harmful implications that aren’t true &3) when the other person isn’t in the right mind to hear the true information.

Ex for #3: you would like your husband to change more diapers and help clean up a little more before they leave work every day, but you just thought of it right when he came home from a long work day. It would be better to wait to give a criticism when you’re sure they’re in a good mood.

An example for #2: I had a friend have positive thoughts towards a girl that wasn’t his girlfriend. He was confused about this and TOLD HIS GIRLFRIEND WHEN THEY WERE DATING LONG DISTANCE. The two girls have had an estranged relationship for years since.

If I was my friend, I would understand that positive thoughts towards a pretty girl my age doesn’t imply that I am required to romantically engage them. Telling my girlfriend about these thoughts might be truthful and honest, but it would likely cause her to feel insecure and jealous, even though she has nothing to worry about.

Comment by elriggs on Firming Up Not-Lying Around Its Edge-Cases Is Less Broadly Useful Than One Might Initially Think · 2020-01-13T07:08:50.632Z · LW · GW

Ethical is undefined here, but if it was a defined standard, you’d just pick the available action that scores well on that standard, even if it doesn’t satisfy the constraint “behave as if you know all information you in fact know” (which I think the hiding Jews from a Nazi is the classic example)

If the point of solving the puzzle is to better understand the concept “ethics in relation to truth-acting” then I don’t think I’ve added much by the Nazi example or the games & performances ones.

What do you believe the point of the puzzle is? What would a good solution entail or imply?

Comment by elriggs on Firming Up Not-Lying Around Its Edge-Cases Is Less Broadly Useful Than One Might Initially Think · 2020-01-13T05:50:31.686Z · LW · GW

If I understand your puzzle right, then poker, surprise parties/engagements, and those lying games you play with your friends where some people are “murderers” but are trying to hide the fact.

Is your puzzle different than that?

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T20:01:06.934Z · LW · GW

Thanks, and curious questions are welcomed.

I don't think it's affected it, though I don't have an easy way to compare. I lost most of that vision last August, have been meditating for a year, and have learned to see these perceptions in the past week. The vision in my left eye is definitely much, much noisier!

You can sort of recreate it by covering one eye and checking, though the difference is my left eye has no lens, no iris, and some retinal detachment.

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T17:05:27.373Z · LW · GW

Thanks, I've honestly learned so much throughout our comment thread.

One thing I'm confused about it why/how local contexts recognized by neurotypicals.

Maybe "mimic high-status members of in-group" explains most of it(?), or "what's other people doing?" or "what would someone else in my current role do?"

I think that's confused because if I know what "role" I'm in, then I already have a context in mind, and I'm trying to figure out how that context is derived in the first place!

Maybe contexts feel more solid/real to neurotypicals. "School" feels like a real/solid thing (even though it's just a building where kids ...). "Money" feels like it's real/solid (even though it's just paper or a number in a database with a socially agreed upon value attached). Being a "Good Student" feels real/tangible (even though it's just writing notes directly from the board and ...)

Those 3 examples are definitely things I felt were real/solid/tangible and I didn't connect the "even though it's ..." definitions until highschool/ undergrad.

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T16:39:47.031Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the info!

I also especially liked the saccadic masking, specifically

This can easily be duplicated by looking into a mirror, and looking from one eye to another. The eyes can never be observed in motion, yet an external observer clearly sees the motion of the eyes.

Which I remember trying and failing to do a few years ago. I recently lost my vision in one of my eyes, so it seems impossible to try the mirror test now (Although I still don't notice movement in my peripheral switching from my good eye to my nose, so maybe?).

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T10:44:17.146Z · LW · GW

Could you give examples of s1 "knowing" things until s2 inquires? I can understand how it "knows" visual snow, and by doing these tests we are "inquiring" about it. But I'm sure there are other contexts (other than visual information) where this concept is true.

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T10:38:33.286Z · LW · GW
At one extreme all data could be sent all the time to all functionalities but each functionality only really digests a small portion of it.

Is this the context-blind extreme? and

Or in reverse a brain that gets easily confused by garbage data might limit by only transitting information really required for the operations

is the other extreme?

Rephrasing: All people need to filter data, but from which data? Context-blind filters global variables while context-sensitive filters from local variables.

Also, what about games/activities with explicit rules such as chess or programming languages? Wouldn't everyone be able to identify those contexts and apply the right rules? (Assume they know the rules)

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T10:24:30.109Z · LW · GW

I agree. These all feel like very real sensory information. This is in contrast to being in sleep paralysis and creating extra sensory information or in very vivid dreams, since in both of these cases I realize afterwards "Oh, those weren't real" as in, I didn't actually receive that sensory information.

Also, I made a mistake in my initial post, my correction is separating different things that might be confused with "visual snow" such as:

1. Visual Snow - Like a million very tiny dots. Very much like static/white noise in the wiki. More visible in low light conditions or when you're tired. I saw it for the first time this (8/12) morning in low-light conditions.
2. Patterned lines (?) - Like the geometric/kaleidoscopic shape in this picture. Doesn't have to be that consistent or patterned but is better described by "lines" than either of the other two. This is what I meant by "jumpy spiderwebs made out of light" and what I thought visual snow was.
3. Blue-sky Sprites - The picture is a nice animation (can be seen without looking at the blue sky but apparently it's more prominent in that case). Dots and wisps the size of a mm or a little bigger. Maybe 5-100 at a time vs the million in "visual snow". Resembles afterimages and the "black stars" when feeling faint.
4. (Also very possible there's more that I've missed)

Did you see visual snow as in #1? And the others?

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T10:04:16.913Z · LW · GW

Would you be willing to comment on the role of neurodivergence, meditation, psychedelic experiences, or a 4th alternative, that may explain why you can already see all of them?

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T10:02:42.710Z · LW · GW

Honestly I mixed up different phenomena for "visual snow" in my description:

1. Visual Snow - Like a million very tiny dots. Very much like static/white noise

2. Patterned lines (?) - Like the geometric shape in this picture. Doesn't have to be that consistent or patterned but is better described by "lines" than either of the other two.

3. Blue-sky Sprites - The picture is a nice animation. This can be seen without looking at the blue sky but apparently it's more prominent in that case.

Did you mean #1 for the "visual snow"?

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-12T09:51:48.460Z · LW · GW

That’s a really good animation for the blue-sky sprites. When teaching a friend to see visual snow, they could only see these.

Do you see the kaleidoscopic, patterned lines like the picture from slate star codex’s article? It’s not always regular or geometric, but it’s separate from visual snow and blue-sky sprites. Actually, I had never seen visual snow until this morning in low light conditions. I thought the patterned lines were visual snow the whole time!

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-11T17:34:35.285Z · LW · GW

Is it similar to when colors are more vibrant on a cloudy day? (When the blue glare of the sky is gone)

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-11T16:15:49.348Z · LW · GW

No wait, this doesn't make sense framed this way. I think everyone isn't context-blind when the rules are explicit. If we're playing tag, or chess, or programming in Python, (I think) most people know which rules apply in this context because those rules are more explicit.

If so, maybe it's contexts with implicit rules? And implicit rules are learned by mimicking other's reactions?

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-11T15:38:21.717Z · LW · GW
One of the theories for the type of divergence I have is context-blindness. That would explain that if a more typical brain has very strong magisteria for each kind of context they can't cross-pollute as easily. Thus low-level pattern matching would be encapsulated to be invisible to the rest of the brain.

Thanks for pointing out "context-blindness". Let me see if I've got this straight.

A neurotypical has these different contexts/magisteria where different rules and interpretations apply. Someone who is context-blind has trouble identifying different contexts and so applies a global set of rules and interpretations in all situation.(?)

And this relates to low-level patterns because these different contexts are actually just sort of arbitrary, or just social constructs, so they're impossible to see when you're only paying attention to low-level details (?)

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-11T15:27:04.088Z · LW · GW

I think I understand your first point connecting "not seeing rawer data" and a synesthetic person having a mismatched letter/color. I think your main point is: You do/don't see rawer data depending on the context. (Also, can you choose to see the rawer data, or choose to only the abstract deduction?)

I guess with meditation black boxes become more white. The effect would depend a lot how how boxed things were to begin with. And it probably isn't activity that is generated but just acknowledged. Thus it is not really hallucinations

What is "not really hallucinations" here? The 3 tests above? Also, what do you mean by hallucinations in this context?

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-11T14:59:23.243Z · LW · GW

Do you think you could write your own type of test for seeing that type of "glowing". Like what's the ideal environment and what should one look for?

Comment by elriggs on "Mild Hallucination" Test · 2019-10-11T14:56:59.658Z · LW · GW

Thanks for taking the time make another account!

That's interesting. I see the "kaleidoscope patterns" like the picture, but also like ~100 pulsating/popping tiny dots that resemble afterimages (is this what others think for visual snow?).

I view these as two separate low-level information because I could see the first yesterday, but I can now see the second today. Someone I asked today could only see the second. But, you said

Note it wasn't visual snow with this pattern overlaid - the visual snow had become this pattern.

which makes it seem like you view them as one and the same?

Also, that insight seems related to concepts explored in the book Seeing that Frees, and the podcast Deconstructing Yourself. I'd also be more than happy to discuss that insight with you though I am by no means an expert.