Comment by evgenit on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-25T11:50:34.448Z · LW · GW

Done, all questions answered. Yvain, well done on clear questions and good design.

Comment by evgenit on The Inefficiency of Theoretical Discovery · 2013-11-05T17:01:30.666Z · LW · GW

Seconded, I am also curious about why this is hard/how the style needed differs from how lukeprog and Eliezer write papers.

Comment by evgenit on Hofstadter's Superrationality · 2012-04-22T12:22:13.497Z · LW · GW

I keep thinking that this is one of the big reasons identity and group politics are so prevalent. It helps answer the question "is this person sufficiently like me?".

Comment by evgenit on Emotional regulation Part II: research summary · 2012-03-20T00:24:17.156Z · LW · GW

An informative read, thank you.

Also, for this "oh my god, and then I have to cite my sources!" I find that what makes life easier for me is to do in-place citations as I write (sometimes not completely correctly). That way, there is no "and then", as I've done all the thinking about my cites as I was writing.

Comment by evgenit on The Stable State is Broken · 2012-03-13T14:53:58.931Z · LW · GW

Replications make much more sense as an example. You could also add the file-drawer problem in research. Why do we not see studies that do not find anything? Because there is no prestige in publishing them. (Some journals do try to correct for this, but they have to explicitly do that)

Comment by evgenit on The Stable State is Broken · 2012-03-12T21:27:58.797Z · LW · GW

Reminds me of Scott Aaronson's Malthusianisms. Is this the article you couldn't find?

Also, I am not sure your example of science is correct: After all, plenty of very famous journals do publish retractions, and some that do not are (rightly) laughed at (parapsychology journals for example).

Comment by evgenit on Longevity Insurance · 2012-02-20T14:10:02.180Z · LW · GW

An appealing idea. I would also consider such an insurance.

I also see a problem, similar to kilobug's second point: How would such an insurance handle a person refusing some recommended treatment? Especially if the treatment is effective (say in terms of life expectancy), but also has nasty side effects (for a while/for the rest of your life/etc). The parallell obvious to me is life insurance and suicide, but life insurance does not pay out for death due to suicide. The policy becoming void if treatment is refused (without caveats) would, however, be a dealbreaker for many people (me included). As far as I can tell, Robin Hanson's proposal also does not address this.

I can imagine wanting to say something about what risk/quality of life/life expectancy tradeoffs I would want to make (and thus what treatment I would refuse), but it's not clear to me how something like this could be specified.

Comment by evgenit on Epistemic security: example from experimental physics · 2012-02-17T11:30:44.413Z · LW · GW

So, it’s like if you use a map of the territory to build a road from A to B, and then you later realize that the map that you used to build the road was wrong. But the road still takes you from from A to B! So it doesn’t matter if you built it with the wrong map, it still works.

I think this summary omits a key point: How we know that the road still takes us from A to B? As far as I can tell, the answer is "by experiment" --- we know from repeated use how the instruments behave, and therefore it doesn't matter what our map of the world was when we initially built them. It could, of course, be that they are off --- but we know (by experiment) their precision, and so we can use that to check precision on other things.

What do you think?

Comment by evgenit on Intellectual Hipsters and Meta-Contrarianism · 2010-09-14T01:14:12.314Z · LW · GW

The counter-counter culture often cares just as much about differentiating itself from the culture as it does the counter-culture.

Of course they do, otherwise their signalling would be indistinguishable from the culture's, and thus useless.

Comment by evgenit on Arrow's Theorem is a Lie · 2009-10-24T21:42:28.546Z · LW · GW

Oh, right. I should check before posting.

I don't quite see the second part, but thank you for the explanation.

Comment by evgenit on Arrow's Theorem is a Lie · 2009-10-24T21:12:35.456Z · LW · GW

I may have misunderstood something, but I don't think your system excludes pivotal voters. For example, with the aforementioned ten people, it is possible that everyone gave every alternative except B score 0, and alternative B got score 1 from every member of the group. If one of the members then changes her score for A to 10 and for B to 0, we have A(10) > B(9).

This does appear fixable with a scale tailored to the number of people and alternatives.

Comment by evgenit on Near and far skills · 2009-10-19T22:38:42.450Z · LW · GW

Propositional knowledge does not make anything happen by itself, but it can help when actually doing something. For example, the venture won't happen by itself, but once it is started, it might be that certain things happen, and you go "hmm, this looks like something I read about". This allows you to make predictions and act upon them, potentially avoiding a pitfall others have already trod in.

To take programming, once you start programming something, you might go "wait, this looks exactly like that theory, and there was a solution", or "wait, here I also need to guard against this problem" --- both things you have not experienced yet. Learning by doing can be quite expensive.

Comment by evgenit on Why Many-Worlds Is Not The Rationally Favored Interpretation · 2009-09-29T17:20:55.429Z · LW · GW

Many-worlds is contended only conceptually correct, in the same way classical illusions of our billiard ball world are conceptually correct.

Upon reading Collapse Postulates, or If Many-Worlds Had Come First, I would say that Eliezer_Yudkowsky is not merely arguing this correct a la "billiard ball world". Quote from the latter article:

Imagine an alternate Earth, where the very first physicist to discover entanglement and superposition, said, "Holy flaming monkeys, there's a zillion other Earths out there!"

Also, we hang on to the billiard ball view only where we know it conincides with the QM view, as we know that "billiard balls", as a theory, is false. Thus, any predictions derived from it would be suspect unless also derived from QM. None of this seems to me to concide with Elizer_Yudkowsky's view on Many-Worlds.

Summary: I disagree that Mitchell_Porter is arguing a strawman. Also, I have a question: What value do you see in Many-Worlds merely as a concept?

Comment by evgenit on Your Most Valuable Skill · 2009-09-27T21:18:02.109Z · LW · GW

Computer programming. Aside from the market value, it helps me analyze and plan day-to-day tasks. If there are several things I need to do, and they are tangled (one necessitates another, say), I start thinking like I would when programming, breaking the whole mess down into manageable pieces and then stringing them back together into a plan of action.

I expect that other people may have this as a separate skill not related to programming at all.