[link] Aubrey de Grey answers Reddit AMA in video 2012-06-11T04:44:19.981Z
[Link] FreakoStats and CEV 2012-06-06T15:21:31.259Z


Comment by Filipe on A Proposal for a Simpler Solution To All These Difficult Observations and Problems · 2017-01-16T23:55:15.418Z · LW · GW

You mean Money is the Unit of Caring ? :)

Comment by Filipe on Open thread, 11-17 August 2014 · 2014-08-11T20:41:38.415Z · LW · GW

Economist Scott Sumner at Econlog praised heavily Yudkowsky and the quantum physics sequence, and applies lessons from it to economics. Excerpts:

I've recently been working my way through a long set of 2008 blog posts by Eliezer Yudkowsky. It starts with an attempt to make quantum mechanics seem "normal," and then branches out into some interesting essays on philosophy and science. I'm nowhere near as smart as Yudkowsky, so I can't offer any opinion on the science he discusses, but when the posts touched on epistemological issues his views hit home.


I used to have a prejudice against math/physics geniuses. I thought when they were brilliant at high level math and theory; they were likely to have loony opinions on complex social science issues. Conspiracy theories. Or policy views that the government should wave a magic wand and just ban everything bad. Now that I've read Robin Hanson, Eliezer Yudkowsky and David Deutsch, I realize that I've got it wrong. A substantial number of these geniuses have thought much more deeply about epistemological issues than the average economist. So when Hanson says we put far too little effort into existential risks, or even lesser but still massive threats like solar flares, and Yudkowsky says cryonics is under-appreciated, or when they say AI (or brain ems) is coming faster than we think and will have far more profound effects than we realize, I'm inclined to take them very seriously.

Comment by Filipe on Is my view contrarian? · 2014-03-12T18:18:34.992Z · LW · GW

Even though he calls it "The Smart Vote", the concept is a way to figure out the truth, not to challenge current democratic notions (I think), and is quite a bit more sophisticated than merely giving greater weight to smarter people's opinions.

Comment by Filipe on Is my view contrarian? · 2014-03-12T17:58:16.292Z · LW · GW

Garth Zietsman, who according to himself, "Scored an IQ of 185 on the Mega27 and has a degree in psychology and statistics and 25 years experience in psychometrics and statistics", proposed the statistical concept of The Smart Vote , which seems to resemble your "Mildly extrapolate elite opinion". There are many applications of his idea to relevant topics on his blog.

It's not choosing the most popular answer among the smart people in any (aggregation of) poll(s), but comparing the proportion of the most to the less intelligent in any answer, and deciding The Smart Vote is that which has the largest ratio, after controlling for possible interests.

Comment by Filipe on Huffington Post article on DeepMind-requested AI ethics board, links back to LW [link] · 2014-01-30T06:45:30.629Z · LW · GW

A blog connected to the NYT also linked to the interview.

Mr. Legg noted in a 2011 Q&A with the LessWrong blog that technology and artificial intelligence could have negative consequences for humanity.

Comment by Filipe on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-23T22:06:50.728Z · LW · GW


Comment by Filipe on Gauging interest for a Rio de Janeiro meetup group. · 2012-11-06T14:34:12.579Z · LW · GW

I'm from Rio. You may PM me if there's enough interest.

Comment by Filipe on Eliezer's Sequences and Mainstream Academia · 2012-09-15T10:45:04.829Z · LW · GW

What about Drescher's Good and Real: Demystifying Paradoxes from Physics to Ethics? Eliezer said it's "pratically Less Wrong in book form."

Comment by Filipe on How to deal with someone in a LessWrong meeting being creepy · 2012-09-07T18:28:02.599Z · LW · GW

Is there an actual history of people complaining about 'creepy behavior' in LW meetups? Or is this just one of those blank-statey attempts to explain the gender ratio in High-IQ communities due to some form of discrimination, without any evidence?

Comment by Filipe on How to Find a Personal Assistant to Produce More? Transhumanism · 2012-09-05T14:00:33.570Z · LW · GW

I'm sure it is correlated. One might find even correlations with other things such as race and gender... I questioned the fairness in using it as a way to recruit people.

Comment by Filipe on How to Find a Personal Assistant to Produce More? Transhumanism · 2012-09-04T23:35:16.017Z · LW · GW

Ultrasummary of abilities: Very good English command, goals that either pro-technology or pro-effective giving, minimally rational, somewhat rich (there is a niche of people who work to feel fulfilled more than for money, in Brazil, this correlates strongly with good english skills and all the abilities social class can buy)

(emphasis added)

Is this acceptable now? I suspected some would practice such discrimination privately, but to proclaim it publicly and to expect it to be seen as a fair requirement surprises me.

Comment by Filipe on Friendly AI and the limits of computational epistemology · 2012-08-08T21:26:28.178Z · LW · GW

This seems essentially the same answer as the most upvoted comment on the thread. Yet, you were at -2 just a while ago. I wonder why.

Comment by Filipe on Free Kindle Textbook: The Cerebellum: Brain for an Implicit Self (FT Press Science) · 2012-06-08T22:56:40.055Z · LW · GW

Free in Brazil, as well.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-07T15:30:02.440Z · LW · GW

If you read the session on Welfare, you'll find it's pretty not liberal. So a mere liberal mistaken position on welfare + censoring certain views on racism and sexism (if some of those happen to be right) could be damning to civilization. Besides, theocracy and totaliarism are not only alive - take Islamic countries, with their huge populational growth - but coming back in a lot of places, like Venezuela or Turkey.

Now, I guess that some Liberal positions such as favoring Gay Rights and Abortions are the more reasonable shoudn't be really surprising among smart people, and I'm sure they're among the majority here, too.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-07T14:02:54.059Z · LW · GW

I think you are underestimating the share of metacontrarians probably disagree with many of them.

If they are contrarians for contrarianism's sake, why would I take them into consideration? Those are the true dangerous ones: in most cases, those people are just autodidacts who when confronted with a true expert, have their theories pretty much discredited.

Take in mind, for instance, Yvain's (who's a student of Medicine) triumphant answers to Hanson on Medicine (so harsh that he regrets on his blog being so incisive), or Kalla724's comment on cryonics which made many people lower their estimates of cryonics being of any worth. And that's because true experts won't take much of their time arguing with those people! It's funny that Hanson himself sometimes complains of 'rational folks' being ignorant about Sociology, which he has a PhD in, or how much he changed his mind on the power of actual Economics after getting a degree on it.

Remember normal neurotypical humans, even very intelligent ones, don't really take ideas that seriously. Ideas as tribal markers work just as well at 120 IQ points as they do at 80, its just that very few ideas can fill this role for both groups.

High-Iq circles are not monolithic: there are many groups they are be part of, on which different ideas would be 'tribal markers'. And there are the people who are intelligent and are not even in high-Iq circles, due to having low income etc. And the analyses, controlled for many variables, many times show clear intellectual trends, turning the fact that people individually are biased not very relevant, really.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-07T13:28:06.079Z · LW · GW

A key problem of most people thinking about policy is I think mind projection fallacy. Is there evidence that intelligent people are significantly better at avoiding it?

As it has been said, sometimes smart people are pretty prone to some biases almost like anybody else, but even in those cases they're always at least a little better (or 'less bad') than dumb people. And it is the dumb-smart trend, not the percentage, which will point to the better answer. So, no, they need not be significantly better at avoiding certain biases, including mind projection fallacy.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-06T23:45:52.423Z · LW · GW

That we cannot measure intelligence reliably after a certain point does not imply that there are not (infinite?) levels of intelligence after it. There are certainly - at least theoretically - levels of fluid intelligence that correspond to IQs of 170, 180, 300..., and it was in this theoretical sense that I raised my question.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-06T23:11:14.235Z · LW · GW

Ah! Indeed, without the distributions - from dumb to smart -, one can't be much certain. However, in many (if not all) cases he doesn't merely calculate what the smart vote is. He analyses and interprets it, and in a very artful way (the guy is smart), although sometimes art is not really necessary, e.g. as in an graph of an increasing monotonical dumb-smart function.

Anyway, you do raise an obvious problem: even if a graph dumb-smart represented something like a monotonic function, how would one know that, after a while, eg. at the 300 IQ point, there isn't going to be a radical change?

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-06T21:01:14.893Z · LW · GW

Not only it makes more sense, but it is the approach adopted by Zietsman. Please check my answer below.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-06T20:53:58.146Z · LW · GW

It seems most of his analyses are on political opinions, not on matters of fact. The one exception seems to be on the existence of God, where the smart vote was on agnosticism, which is not exactly "politically correct", but would signal intelligence.

Now, some of the political positions are PC, such as support for Gay Rights, for Immigration, and opposition to Death Penalty. The position on welfare state seems very un-PC, though ("doesn’t think is really a state responsibility but is not opposed to some welfare spending so long as the country can afford it"). The total support for abortion doesn't seem PC at all either, at least it isn't in Brazil.

It is important to note that those people were answering a survey, so signalling isn't that strong a factor as it would be if they were talking of their position to, say, their work colleagues.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-06T20:27:17.683Z · LW · GW

How come? If you mean they would solve different problems due to different levels of education, or income, I think the regression analysis was meant to handle those. If you have another thing in mind, I'm afraid I don't understand you.

Comment by Filipe on [Link] FreakoStats and CEV · 2012-06-06T18:08:10.601Z · LW · GW

Thank you for your interest in the matter.

1) I think even in your example model, the answer chosen by the method would still be C, the correct conclusion, for, as the author says, "The percentage of smart and dull groups choosing each answer is compared and the largest ratio of the smart to dull percentages is the Smart Vote."(emphasis added) As you see, it's not the difference (a subtraction) that matters, but the ratio: A = 50/70 ~ 0.71 B = 40/27 ~ 1.6 C = 10/3 ~ 3.3 Thus, C > B > A.

2) and 3) I don't grok totally Regression Analysis yet (dropped out College, akrasia+depression won), but he emphasises in many comments that he controls for many variables such as income, education, to avoid non-cognitive motivations (I'm not sure this is the right term, but I hope you understand me) and only get the 'smart' decisions.

Regarding biases, he once gave an answer to User:gwern who once commented on his blog, that even though it is true that even bright people are prone to some biases as everyone else, still in these cases they're a little bit less prone, so what counts is the 'trend' from the dumb to the smart. In his words:

"In cases like the sunk cost fallacy high IQ people usually make mistakes like everyone else. The point however is that on average they make them less often. Typically you see stuff like 70% of a smart group get it wrong but 90% of the dull group do. That trend, and not the % correct, is what points to the better answer.

I have a big collection of common logical mistakes people make (gleaned from Tversky & Kahneman mostly, but also many others). On all those I've tried so far - including the sunk cost fallacy - the brighter group does quite a bit better, even though most still get them wrong. Contrary to what you are saying here the Smart Vote does particularly well on such fallacies."

Regarding the question posed in the EDIT, he seems to use the General Social Survey (GSS). According to Wikipedia ,

"The General Social Survey (GSS) is a sociological survey used to collect data on demographic characteristics and attitudes of residents of the United States. The survey is conducted face-to-face with an in-person interview by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, of a randomly-selected sample of adults (18+) who are not institutionalized. The survey was conducted every year from 1972 to 1994 (except in 1979, 1981, and 1992). Since 1994, it has been conducted every other year. The survey takes about 90 minutes to administer. As of 2010 28 national samples with 55,087 respondents and 5,417 variables had been collected. The data collected about this survey includes both demographic information and respondent's opinions on matters ranging from government spending to the state of race relations to the existence and nature of God. Because of the wide range of topics covered, and the comprehensive gathering of demographic information, survey results allow social scientists to correlate demographic factors like age, race, gender, and urban/rural upbringing with beliefs, and thereby determine whether, for example, an average middle-aged black male respondent would be more or less likely to move to a different U.S. state for economic reasons than a similarly situated white female respondent; or whether a highly educated person with a rural upbringing is more likely to believe in a transcendent God than a person with an urban upbringing and only a high-school education."

So, yes, I think it's a fairly comprehensive and diverse sample.

Comment by Filipe on Have you changed your mind lately? On what? · 2012-06-05T21:46:53.144Z · LW · GW

I've changed my mind on whether Cosma Shalizi believes that P=NP. I thought he did, upon reading "Whether there are any such problems, that is whether P=NP, is not known, but it sure seems like it.", at his blog, only to discover after emailing him that he made a typo. I've also learned not to bet with people with such PredictionBook stats, and specially not as much as $100.00.

Comment by Filipe on This post is for sacrificing my credibility! · 2012-06-04T17:33:09.912Z · LW · GW

On Will_Newsome's profile, one sees a link to his blog, Computational Theology, where it is possible to have an idea of how he thinks, or what kind of reasoning is behind this whole stuff. I wasn't impressed, although I would not be able to do better myself (at least at this point).

Comment by Filipe on Scooby Doo and Secular Humanism [link] · 2011-12-03T11:02:53.116Z · LW · GW

The quote is actually considered by the end of the article:

"To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, Scooby Doo has value not because it shows us that there are monsters, but because it shows us that those monsters are just the products of evil people who want to make us too afraid to see through their lies, and goes a step further by giving us a blueprint that shows exactly how to defeat them".

Comment by Filipe on [LINK]: Interview with Daniel Kahneman · 2011-12-02T00:34:33.668Z · LW · GW

What about this:

"Q. So of course there’s been a whole slew of research showing that we are quite irrational and prone to errors in our thinking. Has there been research to help us be more rational?-T

A. Yes, of course, many have tried. I don’t believe that self-help is likely to succeed, though it is a pretty good idea to slow down when the stakes are high. (And even the value of that advice has been questioned.) Improving decision-making is more likely to work in organizations (together with Olivier Sibony and Dan Lovallo, I published an attempt in that direction in the Harvard Business Review in June 2011.)"

Comment by Filipe on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-12-01T08:15:31.964Z · LW · GW

Ah! I see. Thank you.

Comment by Filipe on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-12-01T06:52:20.984Z · LW · GW

Heheh, thanks.

Comment by Filipe on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-12-01T06:44:50.739Z · LW · GW

I agree, but now I'm not sure how I'd rephrase it.

Comment by Filipe on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-12-01T06:10:43.998Z · LW · GW

I haven't learned how to upvote comments yet. I'll upvote yours when I have.

Comment by Filipe on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-11-30T23:38:11.348Z · LW · GW

Do you mean that their source of suffering = me + misguided beliefs, not just me?

Comment by Filipe on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-11-30T23:00:25.653Z · LW · GW

Hi, everyone! I'm Filipe, 21, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I've dropped out of Chemical Engineering in the 4th semester, and restarted College after one year off with Mathematics, from scratch. I thought redoing the basic subjects, if I worked hard through them, would be a good idea. It probably would, but so far I've studied those subjects with the same sloppiness of before, heheh. Now I'm one semester off College, due to depression, obsessive thoughts and some suicidal tendecies. Some of this is related to a deconversion from Christianity at age of 18: I was really devout and lived for the religion. My father is a pastor and my whole family continues to be serious about Christianity and it's pretty obvious that I'm the greatest source of suffering in my parents' lives, as they believe I'm going to end up suffering eternally if I don't return to my former beliefs. It also relates to having been a sort of a child prodigy (many family members, even those who don't like me a lot, testify that I could read at age of 2) and now not being able to excel academically, because of those problems and because of akrasia. Speaking of which, I have never read the sequences even though I've being reading this site for some months. I guess this may change when I convince my parents to buy me an e-reader. Sorry for the babbling and the sloppy English.

Comment by Filipe on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-11-30T22:44:46.194Z · LW · GW

Hi, everyone! I'm Filipe, 21, from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I've dropped out Chemical Engineering in the 4th semester, and restarted College after one year off, with Mathematics, from scratch. I thought redoing the basic subjects, if I worked hard through them, would be a good idea. It probably would, but so far I've studied those subjects with the same sloppiness of before, heheh. Now I'm six semesters off College, due to depression, obsessive thoughts, and some suicidal tendecies. Some of this is related to a deconversion from Christianity at age of 18: I was really devout, and lived for the religion. My father is a pastor and all my family continues to be serious about Christianity, and I'