Slatestarcodex Meetup Hamburg 2019-11-17 2019-10-27T22:29:27.835Z · score: 7 (1 votes)
Welcome to SSC Hamburg [Edit With Your Details] 2019-09-24T21:35:10.473Z · score: 7 (1 votes)
Slatestarcodex Meetup in Hamburg, Germany 2019-09-09T21:42:25.576Z · score: 7 (1 votes)
Percent reduction of gun-related deaths by color of gun. 2019-08-06T20:28:56.134Z · score: 7 (1 votes)
Open Thread April 2018 2018-04-06T21:02:38.311Z · score: 14 (4 votes)
Intercellular competition and the inevitability of multicellular aging 2017-11-04T12:32:54.879Z · score: 1 (1 votes)
Polling Thread October 2017 2017-10-07T21:32:00.810Z · score: 3 (3 votes)
[Slashdot] We're Not Living in a Computer Simulation, New Research Shows 2017-10-03T10:10:07.587Z · score: 1 (1 votes)
Interpreting Deep Neural Networks using Cognitive Psychology (DeepMind) 2017-07-10T21:09:51.777Z · score: 1 (1 votes)
Using Machine Learning to Explore Neural Network Architecture (Google Research Blog) 2017-06-29T20:42:00.214Z · score: 0 (0 votes)
Does your machine mind? Ethics and potential bias in the law of algorithms 2017-06-28T22:08:26.279Z · score: 0 (0 votes)
From data to decisions: Processing information, biases, and beliefs for improved management of natural resources and environments 2017-05-08T21:47:35.097Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Introduction to Local Interpretable Model-Agnostic Explanations (LIME) 2017-02-09T08:29:40.668Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
Interview with Nassim Taleb 'Trump makes sense to a grocery store owner' 2017-02-08T21:52:21.606Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Slate Star Codex Notes on the Asilomar Conference on Beneficial AI 2017-02-07T12:14:46.189Z · score: 13 (14 votes)
Polling Thread January 2017 2017-01-22T23:26:15.964Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor? 2017-01-20T12:40:04.553Z · score: 10 (10 votes)
Scott Adams mentions Prediction Markets and explains Cognitive Blindness bias 2016-12-20T21:23:33.468Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
Take the Rationality Test to determine your rational thinking style 2016-12-09T23:10:00.251Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
OpenAI releases Universe an interface between AI agents and the real world 2016-12-07T22:04:32.139Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Slashdot: study Finds Little Lies Lead To Bigger Ones 2016-10-26T06:53:29.557Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Scientists Create AI Program That Can Predict Human Rights Trials With 79 Percent Accuracy 2016-10-26T06:47:49.124Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
US tech giants found Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society to ensure AI is developed safely and ethically 2016-09-29T20:39:48.969Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016 2016-05-22T21:11:56.868Z · score: 4 (5 votes)
Open Thread March 21 - March 27, 2016 2016-03-20T19:54:49.073Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
[Link] Using Stories to Teach Human Values to Artificial Agents 2016-02-21T20:07:47.994Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Polling Thread January 2016 2016-01-03T17:43:17.911Z · score: 4 (7 votes)
Life Advice Repository 2015-10-18T12:08:04.730Z · score: 9 (10 votes)
Crazy Ideas Thread - October 2015 2015-10-06T22:38:06.480Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Polling Thread - Tutorial 2015-10-01T21:47:38.805Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Meetup : LessWrong Hamburg 2015 Q4 2015-09-22T20:54:35.430Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : LessWrong Hamburg 2015-09-22T20:43:30.553Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
[Link] Marek Rosa: Announcing GoodAI 2015-09-14T21:48:15.364Z · score: 6 (7 votes)
Group rationality diary for July 12th - August 1st 2015 2015-07-26T23:31:05.196Z · score: 6 (7 votes)
LessWrong Hamburg Meetup July 2015 Summary 2015-07-18T23:13:20.023Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
List of Fully General Counterarguments 2015-07-18T21:49:41.608Z · score: 9 (10 votes)
Biases and Fallacies Game Cards 2015-07-15T08:19:35.453Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Crazy Ideas Thread 2015-07-07T21:40:48.931Z · score: 22 (23 votes)
Meetup : LessWrong Hamburg 2015-06-25T23:40:50.966Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
[Link] Self-Representation in Girard’s System U 2015-06-18T23:22:21.142Z · score: 2 (9 votes)
[Link] Robots Program People 2015-06-15T08:42:11.732Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
European Community Weekend 2015 Impressions Thread 2015-06-14T20:21:05.673Z · score: 19 (20 votes)
Summary of my Participation in the Good Judgment Project 2015-06-03T21:51:07.821Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
[Link] Throwback Thursday: Are asteroids dangerous? 2015-05-23T08:00:24.415Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
[link] Bayesian inference with probabilistic population codes 2015-05-13T21:11:05.519Z · score: 10 (10 votes)
[Link] Death with Dignity by Scott Adams 2015-05-12T21:34:49.246Z · score: 5 (5 votes)
When does technological enhancement feel natural and acceptable? 2015-05-01T21:11:11.164Z · score: 8 (5 votes)
[link] The surprising downsides of being clever 2015-04-18T20:33:12.086Z · score: 1 (6 votes)
Effective Sustainability - results from a meetup discussion 2015-03-29T22:15:10.978Z · score: 9 (12 votes)
Meetup : LessWrong-like Meetup Hamburg 2015-03-22T20:53:40.977Z · score: 1 (2 votes)


Comment by gunnar_zarncke on COVID transmission by talking (& singing) · 2020-03-29T22:56:58.071Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Relevant recent post with good summary of many recent findings even better than the SSC post about mask wearing:

Author Sui Huang is working for the NYC Institute for Systems Biology. I'm not affiliated or anything.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Could you save lives in your community by buying oxygen concentrators from Alibaba? · 2020-03-16T20:51:32.346Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Agree. This is definitely not intended as a replacement for proper care.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Could you save lives in your community by buying oxygen concentrators from Alibaba? · 2020-03-16T17:46:18.039Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Actually it looks more like 400$ - including shipping and taxes. Plus the risk that it will get there at all or not in time.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Could you save lives in your community by buying oxygen concentrators from Alibaba? · 2020-03-16T17:43:02.627Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Depends on the level of emergency. I have a mild case of asthma and if I catch it at a time the medical system is overwhelmed I think I would choose this. Measuring blood oxygen levels is relatively easy: I already got a 20€ blood oxymeter. If it goes up it is enough oxygen?

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-15T21:15:18.279Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have seen quite a bit of advice here or elsewhere but not so much what people actually do. I'd like to post a poll but unfortunately that is no longer possible. But maybe you can comment here what you do.

In the spirit of this question I have written this on my FB page:

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Frivolous speculation about the long-term effects of coronavirus · 2020-03-15T20:58:49.035Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It was mentioned elsewhere before, but it fits the pattern: Children who routinely wash their hands like a surgeon.
My son suggested that Amazon will be speeding up their delivery by drone program.
Seen on twitter: Divorce and childbirth rates go up.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on How to have a happy quarantine · 2020-03-15T20:52:48.777Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My ex-wife has cancelled a party and replaced it with an outside gathering. It is much easier to keep a distance there and talk. Just do not get close or touch. I think she will even provide food - muffins fresh from the oven for everybody to pick up from the tray.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on How to have a happy quarantine · 2020-03-15T20:48:29.476Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Make sure you get real alone time

This one was the most surprising and I like it. I have no lack of it but anyway.

Set up passive Skype calls with other houses so it’s kind of like we’re hanging out in each other’s living rooms

This is a great one and I hope we will see more of it. Setting it up is not trivial though. Mostly because of the permanent part. Zoom for example limits to 40 min even in the paid version.

Anyway here are some pointers:

Setup in general

Jitsi video solution (which you can host yourself and can have a permanent call then):

I had good results with a Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam because it has a good compromise of which sounds it picks up in front of the screen. A Jabra Speak 510 is better but who can afford that?

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on A practical out-of-the-box solution to slow down COVID-19: Turn up the heat · 2020-03-15T20:29:47.509Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have turned up the thermostat to 27°C anyway.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on A practical out-of-the-box solution to slow down COVID-19: Turn up the heat · 2020-03-15T20:28:47.803Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Now that some more days have passed and more data is in from some countries in Africa and South America I think that the seasonality/temperature claim becomes less plausible: The development of cases in Algeria, Brasil, and Egypt for example show doubling times even worse than the average doubling times in other affected countries (Germany for example which I'm tracking most closely). Source is the Wikipedia COVID19 pages on these countries

I think the remaining explanation is much less international traffic to these locations from China.

This is bad news for the hope of summer fixing things.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-15T14:22:57.382Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A bit more copper might actually be a good idea for people who also take zinc (see the zinc thread elsewhere in this post) as the body needs to keep both of these in some balance.

Dangerous levels of copper seem highly unlikely just from touching but you should probably avoid lining your pots and pans:

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T20:18:06.008Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Keep them until you more clearly see what the best possible or most urgent immediate use turns out to be.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T20:14:52.910Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is an interesting timeline of people in different countries (or speaking different languages) looking for information on the corona virus - based on Wikipedia view stats:

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Paper Trauma · 2020-02-06T22:14:42.078Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you. I looked into ReMarkable and it seems very alike to the Boox that I got as a present and that I'm utterly disappointed with (yes really). Can you tell me whether it has

  • a screensaver mode that just keeps on the screen what was last visible?
  • an OCR that does not throw the original notes away (the arrangement e.g. in a mindmap)
Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Paper Trauma · 2020-02-05T22:38:40.789Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I also have paper and pen with me all the time. A lot of people are trying to convince me to go digital - including my son - but I have yet to be convinced that there is a way to improve my workflow. Which is this:

  • take notes and sketches making use of however much paper is available and being creative in size, positioning and alignment of text. Quickly.
  • Clearly this doesn't digitize well. It will be ugly, hard to read and lack all the context that you have in your mind at that time. After all it is adding to your memory not replacing it.
  • So the obvious and necessary next step is to convert these notes into actually useful longer-term representations like diagrams, summaries, tasks in a task tracker, calendar entries,...

Until someone creates an app that automates at least some of these things while creating the sketches I am usually worse of with a digital solution:

  • It is not as readily available and always on.
  • It disincentivizes the next step: "I will convert it later" (at which time you have lost of your memory context)

My minimum requirements are really

  • always on (incredibly, eink readers typically do not preserve the last page on power off!!)
  • recognize handwritten text
  • convert lines into appropriate geometric forms (rectangles, ellipses - in any orientation)
  • convert text blocks to calendar entries, tickets, mails,...

Maybe there is an app for that but I have yet to find it. It should be there as these things are all solved, right?

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on "But that's your job": why organisations can work · 2020-02-05T22:19:28.742Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It seems like if you add evolution to the mix over time the worst abuses will be weeded out because they are no longer suitable as a lip-service performance but will make you vulnerable.

It seems we could derive a weak law of progress: Over time not the best systems will win but the worst will die out - raising the sanity water line from below.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Pieces of time · 2019-11-13T20:12:17.255Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Human minds run on stories. Identity is the stories you tell about yourself. At least that is what I hear. I kept my identity small.

I can relate to your description of how 'natural' chunks of time influence how you think in them. Recognizing common features of a day, a week, an episode like a walk, is what the brain is good at. And also providing the relevant (more salient) thoughts and memories and associations in these situations.

I can less relate to there being a different mood at the start or end of an episode. Except in so far as the border of the episode or situation requires naturally a change of gears. going to sleep making sure to set the alarm to a proper time for the schedule of the next day (and thus thinking of the next day). Or collecting your thoughts of the day - whether to appreciate (and thus reinforce) good things or to memorize things before they are lost to sleep.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on We tend to forget complicated things · 2019-10-24T23:29:00.401Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also consider that people are different and some people might have an easy time learning and reliably remembering a lots of (unconnected) facts while other people have much bigger problems with that but will have an easy time learning highly connected concepts.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on When does technological enhancement feel natural and acceptable? · 2019-10-09T18:52:49.075Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
What would the use be of thinking slower? Maybe for boring times?

No, though that might be useful for things like long space travel too.

I'm more thinking about the ability to perceive and act on longer timescales effectively. What Robin Hanson calls the Long View. We are not very good at noticing and consciously dealing with processes that are much slower than our attention span. We have to piece these together from episodic memory.

Sorry for the laaaaate reply. Curious whether you are still here.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Percent reduction of gun-related deaths by color of gun. · 2019-09-07T22:59:43.615Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As promised: The question was originally posed by Scott Adams on Twitter.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Percent reduction of gun-related deaths by color of gun. · 2019-09-07T22:57:10.364Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for offering your thoughts on the question with such depth! While I agree with your sentiment your answer didn't help answer the original question. But maybe the answer really is that the question is ill-posed.

(sorry for the late reply - I was switching working machines...)

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Percent reduction of gun-related deaths by color of gun. · 2019-08-08T09:34:55.977Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with this distinction. Thank you for pointing it out. One seems more immediate, the other more longer term.

What do you think about the magnitude of the effect?

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Percent reduction of gun-related deaths by color of gun. · 2019-08-07T05:01:19.155Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

New guns, e.g. those newly produced or sold.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Being the (Pareto) Best in the World · 2019-08-01T10:07:36.423Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Don't trust any numbers Scott Adams gives. They are just directional. And they include self-perception. So someone who is actually 95th percentile may *feel* like he is just 75th.

Also he talks a lot about creating a stack of multiple skills. And stack doesn't mean just having the skills but combining them in a productive way. Like robertskmiles: Being a YouTuber and being interested in AI Safety doesn't automatically make you an AI Safety
YouTuber. You have to do some actual work for that. And it doesn't hurt to e.g. know enough economics to do A/B tests.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Expressive Vocabulary · 2019-07-12T09:41:10.851Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW
Pedantry like this _is_ a way to assert a little bit of independence/disagreement (or, less justifiably, dominance), and to open the concept of disagreement in a way that's deniable, and start a subtle, unacknowledged negotiation which can be de-escalated easily if either party decides it's not worth pursuing.

Great point! That is, provided you make this a conscious choice. But if you are not making it consciously. If you are just following a habit of nitpicking (for whatever deeper psychological reasons) then de-escalation will be harder because you don't know where the conflict comes from.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on "Just Suffer Until It Passes" · 2019-06-15T23:13:08.835Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Ozy, in their sequence on Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

I can't find it here on LW. Can you point me to it?

Radical Acceptance says, "It's okay to screw up. ..."

I recently attended a meditation retreat organized by the Berlin LW group. Buddhist meditation is a lot about seeing yourself and your needs and actions as it is. Seeing pain as pain. Seeing feelings as feelings and distractions as distractions. In a way the thoroughness of this could be called radical. But it goes beyond acceptance. Acceptance relates to or alters your identity. But Buddhism goes farther: There is nothing to accept. Which part of you is doing the accepting?

Related to

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Highlights from "Integral Spirituality" · 2019-04-14T21:09:00.301Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would have liked some links to definitions of terms used as they come along, e.g. the colors and meditative levels (the former I could google the latter less so).

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Spaghetti Towers · 2019-02-06T21:25:44.865Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The general patterns is

Systems in general work poorly or not at all.


Which also has lots of examples but needs to be taken not too serious.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Meditations on Momentum · 2019-01-07T17:53:05.034Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Well, can't disagree with such an abstract approach. Must be true somewhere.

But I do. The world must look like that if you run a fast strategy. From here where I am with a slow strategy in the upper middle of the range where it looks mostly flat and the ends far away and the strategy is mostly to keep it that way.

As usual Scott Alexander explains it much better:

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Death in Groups · 2018-04-07T15:26:39.455Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I tend to agree with this view. I think that is also one of the aspects implied (sic) by the implicit and explicit communication post: The value of maintaining a highly cohesive and committed team may be a higher value (for a military force) than the risk of loss of life - because in a real war many more lives will be lost (at least that is the reasoning of the military I guess).

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Open Thread April 2018 · 2018-04-06T21:50:40.568Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think fortnightly will work. That's why I left that out. Adding a tags rule without tags makes no sense either.

Ask a lesswronger.

That's a bit difficult if there is no place to ask. I like the posts on LW 2.0 but I miss the open discussions.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Open Thread April 2018 · 2018-04-06T21:48:09.853Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think MIT’s new AlterEgo headset still falls into the category "Devices and Gadgets" of When does technological enhancement feel natural and acceptable? But it's still a pretty nice step forward.

The device, called AlterEgo, can transcribe words that wearers verbalise internally but do not say out loud, using electrodes attached to the skin.
“Our idea was: could we have a computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?”
Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Open Thread April 2018 · 2018-04-06T21:14:33.211Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

An interesting though somewhat bizarre prediction on the difficulty of building AI by Scott Adams in a recent Periscope session of him (paraphrased from memory):

"The perception that building human intelligence seems so difficult results from a perceptual distortion. Namely that human intelligence is something great when in fact we humans do not possess superior rationality. We only think we do. We just bounce around randomly and try to explain that as something awesome after the fact. Building artificial intelligence then is hard because we try to build something that doesn't exist. On the other hand building e.g. a robot that moves around arbitrarily based on some complex inner mechanism and generates explanations why it does so would be easy and appear very intelligent."

The thing is that this is a testable approach and prediction. I want to document it here partly because he claims that he has said that for some years now.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on About: LessWrong · 2018-04-06T20:56:43.949Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Does something like Open Threads exist in LW 2.0? When I create one how would anybody get to know about it?

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-02-04T23:54:44.857Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · LW · GW
The only reason I persisted was because I was interested in the cryptography aspect and wanted to be a part of an up-and-coming technology.

And that is a reward I guess a very high fraction of the people actually 'investing' in Bitcoin had. Those hackers, nerds, tech enthusists didn't need high fractions of likelihood times payoff.

And maybe the true lesson to draw from this is not to look at an abstract payoff but at the social dynamic: Are there enough people attracted to something.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Singularity Mindset · 2018-01-21T20:53:04.119Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think this goes beyond math and is really a general pattern about learning by system 1 and 2 interacting. It's just more clearly visible with math because it is neccessarily more precise. I once described it here (before knowing about system 1 and 2 terminology):

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Making Exceptions to General Rules · 2018-01-18T21:36:34.271Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That sounds very close to the meta rule of being only allowed to change the rule to more precise rule. So you have the rule of not eating cookies and come across a very special cookie. Making an exception opens the door to arbitrary exceptions. But what about changing the rule to allow only cookies that you have never eaten before? That is clearly a rule that allows this special cookie and also future special cookies, satisfies the culinary curiosity without noticaby impacting the calories.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Why did everything take so long? · 2017-12-30T23:16:05.592Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Reality has a surprising amount of detail (there was a post about this explaining it at the example of contructing a simple wooden ladder which I can't find, but I bet there are a lot comparable descriptions out there). Or take a candle. I guess you have used one recently. Looks pretty simple, right? Just use some wax and a wick. Turns out that people have used candles since ages. They were frequently used in rome for example. But the easy to use candles of our time are pretty recent. Recent as in last century. Before that

  • they didn't have wicks that burned themselves away and you had to cut them all the time
  • there was no good wax. Most candles were made of fat with lots of residue that stank and smoked. Bees wax was much better but harder to get

To fix these things you need much better raw materials and production processes...

See this article about candle history (German, but I guess Google translate is good enough).

And you can look at any kind of thing we take for granted and it is basically not posible to grasp all of it. The classical example is I, Pencil: My Family Tree as told to Leonard E. Read Most things depend on the presence of a whole environment - and take part in bringing it about. You could see it as a co-evolution of lots of inventions. Something just hinted at in the comment about roads needed for wheels (and actually you benefit from having wheels when building roads...).

I think this is one of the main overlooked points when talking about the possibility of space travel, esp. interstellar one. Even if you assume AIs. But let's not. As mentioned in another comment we not really know what kind of coordination problems it comes with. Scaling isn't automatic. Just look at Moore's law. Sure we continue to scale, but we pile technology on technology on technology to do so, And we can't just invent the last one. And neither can a future AI. You need the whole stack (OK granted, you might be able to simplify, but still). And it will keep growing and might become inherently unmanageable. Remember: The price of a chip factories also continues to grow and that might be the limiting factor. See e.g. McKinsey on Semiconductors 2013.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Against Love Languages · 2017-12-29T19:23:59.740Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Added: I wonder whether this is a kind of niche need of our kind of folks. Or maybe it is the other way around and I project, because I had also trouble of understanding other people especially people my age. On the other had I could always relate well to older (adults when I was young) and younger, esp. children.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Against Love Languages · 2017-12-29T19:21:07.707Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wow. That's almost exactly the same as what I offerered in a discussion about the love languages. I also couldn't relate to either of the 5 strongly. I all see all of them of kind of having their place. But I was also missing point 6: making an effort to understand the other person. At least that was I have been desperately missing for most of my life and which I got mostly from basically one (male) friend only. Except for recently when a date turned out to not be a partner but the person being able to give me the feeling of bein understood and related to closely.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Happiness Is a Chore · 2017-12-20T21:31:44.111Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This kind of illustrates the point, right? We only profess to strive for happiness, but actually don't care that much. Just kidding. I guess proper estimates of likelihood of success vs cost I probably also wouldn't make the travel. But what you could do is try meditation. A rationalist starter can be found e.g. here.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Happiness Is a Chore · 2017-12-20T15:39:31.096Z · score: 29 (8 votes) · LW · GW

TL;DR Extracted quotes of what I see as the key points:

[The] human activity [of] "pursuing happiness" [...] seems to be in the same category as other common activities such as "acquiring education", "helping people", "talking to friends" (or should I say "talking" to "friends") and so on. Which is to say, people do them in a way which is outwardly convincing enough to allow everyone to keep up the social pretenses. This is way different from what you'd see people do if they actually cared. The simple matter of fact is that the human brain is a kludge, [...]. Almost anything they claim to be doing isn't for real. This is true even when they themselves know about this. The best you can do is gradually nudge yourself in the right direction, gaining new footholds in consistency and consequentialism painstakingly and precariously.

[...] I have felt levels of happiness which are far above the upper limit of your mental scale. I know exactly how to be happy. And yet I find myself not consistently applying my own methods. Do you realize how impossibly mind-twisting this situation is? What happens in reality is that I enjoy and see great value in happiness when it happens, but when it doesn't I only work on it grudgingly. It's like with exercise, which is great but I'm rarely enthusiastic about starting it. The problem is not that I don't value happiness enough. The problem is rather that there is no gut-level motivational gradient to get actual happiness. There are gradients for all sorts of things which are crappy, fake substitutes. Once you know the taste of the real thing, they aren't fun at all. But you still end up optimizing for them, because that's what your brain does.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Happiness Is a Chore · 2017-12-20T15:36:07.359Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

From a former post of him I trust that he actually figured it out for real. It's mainly about meditation. I have made a comparable experience (actually with much less effort than even learning swimming, though not teachable but basically by luck). And I can tell you it is true. I can also make myself happy by small mental effort. But what for? All the complexity of human experience gets lost if you just switch on one part of it without the rest.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Moloch's Toolbox (1/2) · 2017-11-05T08:36:30.328Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

At least the first two chapter links are broken (currently). It says

Sorry, we couldn't find what you were looking for.
Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Intercellular competition and the inevitability of multicellular aging · 2017-11-05T08:25:34.380Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My first though was whether this might be applied to organisations (cells correspond to individuals and (multi-celled) organisms correspond to organisations). And what the differences are. Companies seem to change but not so much to age. My guess is that the assumption in the article doesn't hold there:

A central assumption of our work is that the distinction between c and v represents a natural categorization of cellular traits; that is, somatic mutations or other cellular degradation events tend to primarily affect only one of the two traits: cellular cooperation in the case of mutations to tumor suppressors and oncogenes and vigor in the case of basic cellular metabolism and other internal housekeeping functions.

And considering AI I think it would be quite possible to engineer it such that it wouldn't either.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Intercellular competition and the inevitability of multicellular aging · 2017-11-04T12:33:51.140Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW


We lay out the first general model of the interplay between intercellular competition, aging, and cancer. Our model shows that aging is a fundamental feature of multicellular life. Current understanding of the evolution of aging holds that aging is due to the weakness of selection to remove alleles that increase mortality only late in life. Our model, while fully compatible with current theory, makes a stronger statement: Multicellular organisms would age even if selection were perfect. These results inform how we think about the evolution of aging and the role of intercellular competition in senescence and cancer.

Full text:

Note I came across it via this link which is not really saying what they model:

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Thinking Toys · 2017-10-21T17:15:04.679Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, it's totally un-intuitive that the titles are also links. I guess even with better formatting (underlines) it wouldn't be much better. I have some experience with our internal wiki where this was an issue for many people too. Never make titles links.

Comment by Gunnar_Zarncke on [deleted post] 2017-10-20T22:29:33.152Z

I think there are a few other dimensions. Not sure whether you see this as a different category:
size of the community - bigger communities/teams/companies inherently need different organisational means and there seem to be non-linearities involved i.e. there are certain optima of organisation (like a single person doing all the paperwork) and growing beyond what can be handled at that size requires leaving a local optimum. This seems to be one core insight of Growing Pains which I'm currently reading and which is totally relevant (though focussed on businesses).

type of the community - what is the main type of purpose of the community?

  • mutual support

  • relaxed company

  • getting something done

  • advertising for a cause

I'm uncertain whether this makes sense of whether is should be along social/religious/economic reasons.

Other relevant links:



Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Why no total winner? · 2017-10-17T21:50:46.766Z · score: 2 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think that is mainly the point argued in more detail by jedharris. I think it would really be valuable to understand that mechanism in more detail.

Comment by gunnar_zarncke on Polling Thread October 2017 · 2017-10-10T22:00:51.235Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Currently (6 votes) it at first looks like Domainmodeling is leading. But depending on how lower ranks are weighed it could also be Stackoverflow or (my favorite) "Modelling the programs operation".