Comment by good_burning_plastic on Prediction Markets are Confounded - Implications for the feasibility of Futarchy · 2018-01-18T16:18:57.732Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A mysterious but trustworthy agent named "Laplace's Demon" has recently appeared, and informed everyone that, to a first approximation, the world is currently in one of seven possible quantum states.

What is the word "quantum" doing there? Repeat with me: Quantum superpositions are not about epistemic uncertainty! Quantum superpositions are not about epistemic uncertainty! Quantum superpositions are not about epistemic uncertainty!

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Prediction Markets are Confounded - Implications for the feasibility of Futarchy · 2018-01-17T13:42:26.047Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The following rules are stipulated: There are four possible outcomes, either "Hillary elected and US Nuked", "Hillary elected and US not nuked", "Jeb elected and US nuked", "Jeb elected and US not nuked". Participants in the market can buy and sell contracts for each of those outcomes, the contract which correponds to the actual outcome will expire at $100, all other contracts will expire at $0

An issue about that is that all other things being equal $100 will be worth more if the US is not nuked than if it is.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Teachable Rationality Skills · 2018-01-17T13:38:50.703Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Would buying him the first round count? ;-)

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics · 2017-09-24T12:37:40.589Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

OTOH "venusian" sounds like it's about the planet.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics · 2017-09-24T12:28:53.642Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

to the extent that 'paternalism' implies 'when done by males' I would perhaps want to use a different word

"Parentalism"?

(And "maternalism" when done by females? ;-))

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Of Exclusionary Speech and Gender Politics · 2017-09-24T11:14:23.171Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You won't get approached by women just for looking good

Speak for yourself! :-)

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Bi-weekly Rational Feed · 2017-08-09T15:44:54.997Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not many.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Steelmanning the Chinese Room Argument · 2017-07-27T13:24:00.628Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Since other people are biologically similar to me, they probably say "I'm conscious" for the same reason as me, so it makes sense to believe them.

Be careful (2, 3).

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Can anyone refute these arguments that we live on the interior of a hollow Earth? · 2017-07-27T13:02:58.957Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Meh. You can have two systems of coordinates related to each other by r_1 = R_Earth^2/r_2, theta_1 = theta_2, phi_1 = phi_2, t_1 = t_2 and as per general relativity both will give you the same answers if you use them right. (But one of the two will be much much easier to use right than the other.)

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Becoming stronger together · 2017-07-16T06:59:03.386Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017 · 2017-07-11T07:22:57.038Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I mean that on a 2D board, you could have a king in the corner and a queen directly adjacent above and beside it, and that would be mate.

No, unless the queen is defended by some other piece, otherwise the king could just capture it. Or am I missing something?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017 · 2017-07-07T09:15:50.404Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Putting these numbers together, a value of "having a chicken for a specific lunch" is about 1 / 1 000 000 of a value of a human life.

I'd estimate that as ((amount you're willing to pay for a chicken lunch) - (amount you're willing to pay for a vegan lunch))/(statistical value of life). But that's in the same ballpark.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017 · 2017-07-07T09:07:35.209Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How large part of "a value of human's life" is "having lunch, in general, as opposed to only having a breakfast and a dinner every day of your life"? Let's say it's somewhere between 1/10 and 1/100,

I.e. you'd take a 1% chance of being killed straight away over a 100% chance of never being allowed to have lunch again, but you'd take the latter over a 10% chance of being killed straight away?

...Huh. Actually, rephrasing it this way made the numbers sound less implausible to me.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on a different perspecive on physics · 2017-06-29T08:23:34.471Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know much anything about relativity, but waves on a grid in computational fluid dynamics (CFD for short) typically don't have the problem you describe.

Not even for wavelengths not much longer than the grid spacing?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, June. 19 - June. 25, 2017 · 2017-06-26T13:05:32.168Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Otherwise the distance is infinite.

A metric is supposed to be always finite. Note the round right bracket in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_(mathematics)#Definition.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Any Christians Here? · 2017-06-25T22:29:54.459Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How so?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Any Christians Here? · 2017-06-25T22:15:32.004Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Do you also find the scientific doctrine of light, and mater, being both particle and wave internally incoherent.

Depending on what exactly you mean by "particle" that's either no less tautological than dogs being both mammals and animals or a possibly-only-approximate provisional model (complete with well-studied mathematical techniques to sweep the consequences of the incoherence under the rug) we're using while we figure out how to extend quantum field theory down to the quantum gravity scale and beyond.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, June. 19 - June. 25, 2017 · 2017-06-22T23:46:35.363Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

you learn science inter alie to achieve job safety

LOL

Comment by good_burning_plastic on S-risks: Why they are the worst existential risks, and how to prevent them · 2017-06-21T16:05:24.418Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

They said "adjacent in design space". The Levenshtein distance between return val; and return -val; is 1.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Stupid Questions June 2017 · 2017-06-12T15:49:09.451Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ethanol has that OH group. It's a polar molecule, and a small one.

Yes, I was just mentioning it as an example.

But take two pure long-chained fatty acids, mix well, and then what will happen?

I guess they stay mixed. They are pretty similar molecules, so the forces that hold e.g. oleic acid molecules together so that it doesn't evaporate (Van der Waals, I think?) can just as well hold oleic acid molecules to e.g. linoleic acid molecules. (Whereas since water molecules and oleic acid molecules are pretty different, the force between a water molecule and an oleic acid molecule is a lot smaller than between two water molecules or two oleic acid molecules.)

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Stupid Questions June 2017 · 2017-06-11T14:53:29.467Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So, they don't just form very small micelles within the body of the, well, liquid of which there's more there?

I don't think they would. After all, olive oil and sunflower oils are themselves mixtures of several different fatty acids.

if their amounts are comparable, they will just separate according to gravity

Not if they form a solution, which I think they do. After all it's not like if you leave a bottle of vodka alone all the water will sink to the bottom and all the ethanol will float to the top.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Thoughts on civilization collapse · 2017-05-21T08:01:46.117Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No, I don't. I was just pointing out that you picked a very disingenuous way of stating that. (You could have said instead, for example, "some people who said something mean about the migrants have gotten harsher sentences")

true facts

Huh. I've been living for a year in a city where most of the population is foreign-born (myself included) and it doesn't look like it's going to hell. In particular I feel safer here than in certain other places with many fewer immigrants.

You may want to learn about how chilling effects on free speech work.

Judging by the number of people I hear saying ridiculous things about migrants every day, I wonder what would happen if such "chilling effects" were not in place -- would my Facebook feed ever contain anything else at all?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, May 15 - May 21, 2017 · 2017-05-19T09:23:28.139Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If you make 100 loaves and sell them for 99 cents each, you've provided 1 dollar of value to society, but made 100 dollars for yourself.

Total, $101. (Society also includes you.)

If you make 100 loaves and give them away to those who can't afford it, you've provided 100 dollars of value to society, but made zero for yourself.

Total, $100.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Thoughts on civilization collapse · 2017-05-19T09:21:08.203Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

So basically you're conceding I'm right, but still want to call bullshit on it.

If by "some" you literally meant nothing but "more than zero", fine. (But "some" people get harsh sentences for pretty much anything, so "some people get harsh sentences for X" is not very informative about how little X is tolerated.)

But usually "somebody who does X undergoes Y" is used to imply something like "if you do X you'll most likely undergo Y", which in this case is very far from being the case. (I just have to spend some time on Facebook to see dozens of western Europeans saying mean things about migrants and AFAIK hardly any of them have ever gotten any sentence.) So I'm getting the impression that you were using the literal meaning as the motte and the colloquial meaning as the bailey.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Thoughts on civilization collapse · 2017-05-16T08:23:56.214Z · score: 0 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There is a significant qualitative difference

Did you mean to type "quantitative"? If you didn't, what difference?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 24 - Apr. 30, 2017 · 2017-04-29T17:49:15.446Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Once per decade per planet (i.e. 2e-10/km²/yr) is "particularly often"?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 24 - Apr. 30, 2017 · 2017-04-29T13:29:12.174Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fukushima

That was caused by the fourth strongest earthquake in the world in half a century, so it's not something you'd expect to happen particularly often.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Cheating Omega · 2017-04-20T08:24:49.443Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, make that "with probability greater than 99.95%".

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Cheating Omega · 2017-04-20T08:23:37.592Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Now, I've pre-committed that after Omega offers me The Deal, I'll make two quantum coin flips. If I get two tails in a row, I'll two-box. Otherwise, I'll one-box.

Omega predicted that and put the large box in a quantum superposition entangled with those of the coins, such that it will end up containing $1M if you get at least a head and containing an equal mass of blank paper otherwise.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 10 - Apr. 16, 2017 · 2017-04-15T17:33:22.855Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

relativistic mass

That's not a very useful concept, because it's nothing but the total energy measured in different units. It only has a name of its own for hysterical raisins. A much more useful concept is the invariant mass, which is the square root of the total energy squared minus the total momentum squared (in suitable units), which (as the name suggests) is the same in all frames of references; in particular, it equals the total energy in the frame of reference where the total momentum is zero. Nowadays when people say "mass" they usually mean the invariant mass, because it makes more sense to call the relativistic mass "total energy" instead.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 10 - Apr. 16, 2017 · 2017-04-15T17:25:00.445Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

At one moment, nothing can be faster than light, the next moment there is a billion of faster than light galaxies.

The next moment, it's okay, they are not faster than light, only the space is replicating itself between us an them.

Exactly. If you have two ants on a rubber band and you stretch the rubber band, the time derivative of the distance between the ants may be larger than twice the maximum speed at which an ant can walk, but that's not due to the ants walking so there's no paradox.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 10 - Apr. 16, 2017 · 2017-04-15T17:20:43.601Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

2) do the galaxies appear deformed when viewed in a telescope?

Even in flat Minkowski space-time and even with stereo vision, no they wouldn't, because the fact that the light from the far side of an object left it earlier than the light from the near side compensates the length "contraction". If anything, if the object is moving perpendicularly to the line of sight you would see it rotated.

(And I find "length contraction" a pretty misleading name. It's a purely kinematic effect due to the geometry of spacetime, and no more of a "contraction" than the fact that the height of a pencil is less if it's askew than if it's upright.)

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 10 - Apr. 16, 2017 · 2017-04-14T16:37:58.905Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A photon is usually redshifted.

Yes. Thanks. Fixed.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 10 - Apr. 16, 2017 · 2017-04-11T22:39:46.351Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't like this solution.

But it's the standard way the luminosity distance is defined.

There is nowhere the speed of light to be seen there.

Units with c = 1 are used in the formulas.

OTOH, the "curvature of space" they mention, is not very necessary in our flat space.

Space alone is flat (within measurement uncertainties), but space-time is curved, because space expands with time.

But the Lorentz factor would be needed here.

It's not the easiest way to treat objects moving with the Hubble flow...

Not only for the time dilatation factor, by which the energy output is to be reduced - but also for the relativistic mass increase by the same factor.

Yes, there are two (1+z) factors, one because fewer photons are emitted per unit time because "time was slower back then" (I know, not a very clear way to put it) and one because each photon is redshifted. The luminosity distance is defined with one (1+z) factor so that when you divide by its square you get (1+z)^-2.

And for the length contraction as well!

No, because we're talking about the total luminosity of the galaxy -- if its length is contracted and its luminosity density is increased by the same factor, nothing changes.

That's the real problem, I think.

What do you mean? It's not like this is an open question in cosmology. The implications of the FLRW metric have been well known for decades.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 10 - Apr. 16, 2017 · 2017-04-11T11:08:38.985Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, they do. That's where the extra (1 + z) factor in the definition of luminosity distance comes from.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on The Ancient God Who Rules High School · 2017-04-08T13:19:12.340Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Simply starting school later would not have substantial effects in the long run, anymore than, say, changing to DST, or moving to a different timezone would.

Wait... DST makes sunrises and sunsets later by civil clocks, so I would expect its effects to be quite the opposite of starting school later (and pretty similar to those of starting schools earlier). Did you mean to say something like "abolishing DST" instead, or am I missing something?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on The Ancient God Who Rules High School · 2017-04-08T07:53:41.909Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Anyone can adjust their circadian rhythm by just going to sleep earlier,

No, the circadian rhythm doesn't work that way. Perhaps you don't notice because your chronotype is earlier than your lifestyle required so you never had much trouble falling asleep even when going to bed relatively early, but people with later chronotypes if they go to bed earlier will just take more time to fall asleep.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Apr. 03 - Apr. 09, 2017 · 2017-04-05T23:07:28.402Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

On the other hand, utilitarianism is a subset of consequentialism, so whereas a criticism of utilitarianism is not necessarily a criticism of consequentialism, the converse is true.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag · 2017-04-05T23:05:12.403Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think people who say[1] that guess culture only exists some places are meaningfully confused.

Or maybe they just don't fall prey to the fallacy of gray and realize it sometimes might make sense to call something black even though it doesn't literally scatter exactly no light at all (otherwise there'd be no point in having a word if it didn't apply to anything at all).

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Project Hufflepuff: Planting the Flag · 2017-04-02T21:11:56.236Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think you can escape guess culture.

Sometimes you can escape it literally, e.g. move to a different city or find a different social circle.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Am I Really an X? · 2017-04-01T07:36:31.854Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not taking orders from a glorified janitor

Do you say that to bouncers in real life too? How does that work out?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Rationality Quotes January - March 2017 · 2017-03-31T10:38:44.012Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

We need data, but we also must prioritize understanding the data we have over collecting ever more data.

-- Bruce Schneier

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Am I Really an X? · 2017-03-31T10:37:19.610Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

bursts into laughter, then resumes eating pop-corn

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017 · 2017-03-29T08:12:43.702Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The claim doesn't mention any measurement uncertainties.

That's why I said "much more". If I claimed "X is greater than Y" and it turned out that X = 15±1 and Y = 47±1, would my claim not be falsified because it didn't mention measurement uncertainties?

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017 · 2017-03-28T17:25:15.301Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's not precise enough to be falsifiable

Yes it is. For example, if CO2 concentrations and/or global temperatures went down by much more than the measurement uncertainties, the claim would be falsified.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Mar. 20 - Mar. 26, 2017 · 2017-03-28T15:47:01.893Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

iqtopercentile = lambda x: erfc((x-100)/15)/2

The 15 should be (15.*sqrt(2)) actually, resulting in iqtopercentile(115) = 0.16 as it should be rather than 0.079 as your expression gives, iqtopercentile(165) = 7.3e-6 (i.e. 7 such people in a city with 1 million inhabitants in average), and iqtopercentile(180) = 4.8e-8 (i.e. several hundred such people in the world).

(Note also that in python (x-100)/15 returns an integer whenever x is an integer.)

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Open thread, Mar. 27 - Apr. 02, 2017 · 2017-03-27T20:21:43.818Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

let's say theta is modeled by a Gaussian

The conjugate prior of the binomial distribution is the beta distribution, so if you use a beta distribution for theta, the posterior is also a beta distribution, and the expected value of the posterior predictive is just (u0 + u)/(u0 + u + d0 + d) where u and d are the number of up- and downvotes and u0 and d0 are the parameters of the prior distribution, or pseudocounts.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on Am I Really an X? · 2017-03-23T23:08:40.914Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

we don't have a word for people who ... don't believe they are avatars of a god either

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laity

Comment by good_burning_plastic on March 2017 Media Thread · 2017-03-23T07:48:28.538Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Only in your inbox as far as I can tell.

Comment by good_burning_plastic on LW mentioned in influential 2016 Milo article on the Alt-Right · 2017-03-19T21:16:26.534Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I believe he posted on OB when EY was posting there.

Yes but it's not like there was a lot of love lost between MM and EY (or RH).