Posts

Visual Mental Imagery Training 2013-02-19T22:21:28.672Z · score: 39 (29 votes)
Taking into account another's preferences 2012-12-10T05:06:00.819Z · score: 10 (11 votes)
Cooperative Surplus Splitting 2012-09-19T23:56:52.149Z · score: 5 (8 votes)
Meetup : Board Games "Seattle" 2012-08-10T02:55:00.199Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Queueing and More 2012-03-07T20:44:36.693Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Seattle Board Games 2012-01-05T21:03:59.547Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Seattle: Intro to Bayes' Theorem 2011-09-24T21:15:02.606Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Anyone else work at Microsoft? 2011-06-08T19:41:03.314Z · score: 4 (7 votes)

Comments

Comment by guysrinivasan on Total horse takeover · 2019-11-05T17:24:49.712Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

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

https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Coherent_Extrapolated_Volition

Comment by guysrinivasan on "But It Doesn't Matter" · 2019-06-02T17:51:19.237Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

On the contrary, one of my go-to techniques for decision-making is to examine questions that seem relevant to see if I can tell by the magnitude of their possible answers whether I care about what their possible answers are. If my choice boils down to "if X > 100, yes, otherwise no" and I am pretty confident that X is somewhere around 90-110 and I find a question that seems relevant but it turns out any answer sways X by at most a tenth of a point, I will dismiss that question and look for more important questions.

It is a flag to check for rationalization, sure.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Nash equilibriums can be arbitrarily bad · 2019-05-01T17:21:59.579Z · score: 16 (7 votes) · LW · GW

If your strategy remains unchanged, I can change my strategy to "999,999.99 please" and come away with 1,000,000.01 in total, so that's not a Nash equilibrium.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Karma-Change Notifications · 2019-03-03T06:37:22.146Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · LW · GW

These notifications just showed me a very old thread I did not know existed. The thread made me laugh. Thank you, I think. https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/yffPyiu7hRLyc7r23/#okLFFnQhgTzqANvQy

Comment by guysrinivasan on Some Thoughts on My Psychiatry Practice · 2019-01-20T09:14:48.593Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have a way of seeing your expenditures for the past year, categorized and summed? Use Mint or something similar. Take a day every couple years to go through and look at _all_ of them and determine which are simply extraneous, which you don't endorse.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Playing Politics · 2018-12-06T18:19:05.385Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. I can't really imagine being several hours late and still showing up, except for events where that is explicitly the norm, like a long party.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Playing Politics · 2018-12-05T05:15:08.898Z · score: 48 (26 votes) · LW · GW

What I have learned as to do as an organizer both private and professional life:

  • Always assume the buck stops with you*, that people you're trying to organize will not effectively volunteer the information you need to make an informed decision. If you want to know what the best date is, one of the most effective ways to find out is to choose a date, then ask everyone individually "does this date fail for you?"
  • To gather useful data rather than making a Dictator's Decision, first go abstract: declare, as Dictator, that this meeting is a brainstorming session. Then tell them exactly how to brainstorm, like "okay in the next 3 minutes we'll write down everything we can about X". Dictate that they must spend this time giving you useful data. Then use it to make decisions. Other methods include creating a poll, sending it out, pinging everyone the next day to please fill it out, then two days after that pinging individually everyone who hasn't yet filled it out. Or having a 1:1 with each person for 5 minutes to discuss.
  • Never ask for people to take initiative unless you are asking a specific person or are prepared to very soon after designate a specific person.

Recent examples: we're having Christmas with 10 people. I told one "you are responsible for acquiring materials for communal cookie decorating. Do you accept or should I pick someone else?" I'm putting some people together for a game this weekend and needed exactly 1-2 more. I emailed a couple asking if they wanted to join. The day after, rather than waiting, I emailed again, specifying one of them, saying "reply yes, no, or maybe-but-we're-not-sure so that if no I can email others". I needed a design for a project at work. It is not my responsibility to produce the design. So I wrote up a design, put a meeting on relevant people's calendars, and said "hey let's discuss the design, here's a proposal", knowing my design was definitely flawed but someone had to produce a seed for others to critique. Two coworkers were supposed to lead a meeting to bring our team up to speed on some work they'd done in the past few months so that we could all participating in planning the followup. One said he had a fire to put out; the other said there are no more free times this week so let's meet next week; I said that sounds awful, pick one of meet anyway, meet tomorrow missing one person, or meet two days from now missing one other person.

All this has a common theme, I think.

  • No one wants to risk imposing, so in the absence of hard constraints, no one makes low-stakes decisions where any decision is far better than no decision, and any reasonable decision is at most a bit worse than any other reasonable decision. Whenever it's super easy to change the decision if it turns out it's actually really bad, like choosing a date and then the main event says they're busy that day, just make a decision. It's pro-social. You're providing a ton of value by allowing everyone else to avoid feeling bad about risking imposition. Far more value than the value lost by not having great coordination first.

*buck stops with you, or with someone else who is actually engaged in making this thing happen. Just never with a mere participant.

Comment by guysrinivasan on No Really, Why Aren't Rationalists Winning? · 2018-11-04T21:14:35.640Z · score: 25 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I went from borderline nonfunctional to pretty functional. This is not at all obvious even to those who knew me because I had been masking the growing problems really well using just raw intellectual brute force. More "attracts the walking wounded" anecdote.

Further, I kind of expect that Really Winning in the sense you're talking about is far more likely when (a) you get lucky, and/or (b) you're willing to stomp on other people. The first is not increased and the second is actively decreased by LWing (I think and hope).

Also, we have funded, active research into the not-so-covert true goal of original LW.

Can we do better? Yeah, definitely. Is it really so bleak? I don't think so.

Comment by guysrinivasan on In favor of tabooing the word “values” and using only “priorities” instead · 2018-10-26T11:41:45.719Z · score: 7 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I don't like it. To me, very broadly, "values" are what I want, "priorities" are what I will go after given that I have limited resources and it costs things to go after what I want and succeed at getting it.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Decision Theory Anti-realism · 2018-10-10T05:23:03.066Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"I mean we wouldn't suspect there is a fact of the matter about which formal model of computation (Turing machines, register machines, DFAs, Quantum Turing Machines etc..) is the true model. They are all valid formal constructs and we use whatever one seems most appropriate to a given question. So why would we suspect decision theory to be any different?"

We also have an entire field of study devoted to characterizing exactly when one model is equivalent to another, the power of each, etc. I would suspect decision theory to be very similar, and would expect to end up with a similar poset zoo, in particular claiming that certain decision theories are just straight up better than others assuming you have the power to implement them.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Theories of Pain · 2018-08-28T06:37:14.788Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Simple sounding question.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Counterfactuals, thick and thin · 2018-07-31T16:46:43.987Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know enough math to understand whether you've covered this in your examples, but here's my intuition in the form of typing without a lot of reflection or editing okay disclaimer over:

If we have two variables, A and C, and we're considering A, C, and (A xor C), it sounds to me like we've privileged things arbitrarily in some sense... relabeling them A, B, and C it's clear that we could have pivoted to consider any two of them the "base" variables and the third the "xor'd" variable, so there should be no preferred counterfactual. It's a loopy cause, a causal diagram that's not a DAG. Which doesn't show up IRL. Like going back in time to kill grandpa.

But we often pretend they occur by abstracting time and saying steady-state is a thing (or steady-states, and we're looking at the map of transitions) and then we get loops and start studying feedback and whatnot. But if you unpacked any of those loops you'd get a very-very-repetitive DAG that looks a lot like the initial diagram copied over and over with one-way arrows from copy to copy.

Seems like there are three options to deal with {A,B,C}. They are isomorphic to each other, so in some sense we shouldn't be able to say which counterfactuals to use. We could:

  • do our modeling relative to a specified imposed ordering of all variables, which seems really hard, or
  • somehow calculate all possible results and average over permutations, which seems either factorially harder or much easier depending on Math!, or
  • assume there is hidden structure, that A, B, and C are abstractions atop a real DAG, and use a not-known-to-me mathematics of loopy causation to define something other than counterfactuals atop the variables, calling counterfactuals over A, B, C a sort of type error.
Comment by guysrinivasan on LW Update 2018-06-11 – Vulcan Refactor, Karma Overhaul, Colored Links, Moderation Log · 2018-06-12T15:00:20.259Z · score: 6 (7 votes) · LW · GW

"No one will need to comment on this, and no one will." -- bets please, lizardman constant, etc etc.

Tradeoffs. Do the mods have to deal with more BS because they show the text and a handful of people are like "but reeeeaaaallly? I got something good from that one comment!" or because they hide the text and a handful of people are like "but reeeeaaaallly? What if you're acting in bad faith?" I assume that's what's going on here.

Or maybe it's just wishful thinking. "What do we have to do to make Eugine just go away forever and we never have to talk about it again?" ==> disappear everything and hope

Comment by guysrinivasan on Leaving beta: Voting on moving to LessWrong.com · 2018-03-13T01:34:21.792Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not. And I have given up on many comments because commenting on Android has been broken. It appears to be almost working right now, except the text is flowing outside the comment box. :S

Comment by guysrinivasan on An experiment · 2018-01-31T13:22:53.739Z · score: 18 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Buying expensive things does not make you rich.

Comment by guysrinivasan on ProbDef: a game about probability and inference · 2018-01-10T20:25:18.952Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Played through the campaign. It feels too slow and arbitrary. That's why I almost quit. There's no quick feedback loop saying "you did well!" other than whether you won, and the progression in the campaign has too much time between concepts. I want to know "okay so I captured 3 mines is that a little, expected, lucky...?" I want to progress quickly to "the real game" once I understand what's going on. And only at the end do I know what mines are for, and I don't know whether I have enough or way too much or what. Arbitrary: you can do the right thing and lose and no one even says "hey you did the right thing", also there's a feeling of "am I a chump if I keep playing rather than restart when the completely unavoidable shot from the turret hits me rather than misses?".

That said, it was fun! The above is my guess at why you get fun without engagement.

Comment by GuySrinivasan on [deleted post] 2017-05-26T02:31:49.454Z

Love it. Reminds me of my strong preference to make rules for myself and follow them even when it seems locally silly over trying to continually make good decisions in the moment.

Comment by guysrinivasan on How often do you check this forum? · 2017-01-30T20:42:17.240Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Polled.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Prediction-based medicine (PBM) · 2016-12-30T17:22:52.540Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW

As a rule, practitioners are currently very averse to giving credence estimations to patients. Chesterton's Fence: understand thoroughly why before tearing that down. Here are some possible reasons.

  • practitioners are unskilled in that estimation; their heuristics output a decision instead
  • patients are unskilled in interpreting that estimation and on average providing it would be harmful
  • hospitals disincentivize providing that information
  • insurance companies disincentivize providing that information
  • patients would rather be told what to do and would be averse to doctors otherwise
  • doctors would rather tell what to do and would be demoralized otherwise

I'm sure there are more. For each, if it were the main driver of the current situation, what would happen if you tried a startup that tore down the fence?

Comment by guysrinivasan on How do you identify complex systems? · 2016-12-30T17:15:13.564Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is a dense comment which I would love to see unpacked with a concrete example in a top level post. Do you have an example of working through this process on some other data?

Comment by guysrinivasan on Double Crux — A Strategy for Resolving Disagreement · 2016-11-29T23:50:31.245Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This is well written and makes me want to play.

I think the cartoon could benefit from concrete, short, A and B. It also may benefit from rewording the final statements to "If I change my mind about B, that would change my mind about A too"?

Take some of your actual double crux sessions, boil down A and B into something short, try the comic out with the concrete example?

Comment by guysrinivasan on Quick puzzle about utility functions under affine transformations · 2016-07-16T18:59:20.104Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

What they said about the U(-)=0 problem. But the way I think about it resolves more contradictions, more easily, IMO.

  • Utility is no more than a mathematical artifact, do not phrase questions in terms of utility

Utility functions are equivalent under positive affine transforms. This is a huge clue that thinking about utility will lead to major intuition problems. Instead, use quantities that are not ambiguous. You're gonna have to get rid of the a and b in au(x)+b, so you're going to need three states of the world, always, before you're allowed to use intuition. You can combine them in different ways, but I like

r = [U(x)-U(z)] / [U(y)-U(z)]

Mere differences in utility are not pinned down, because of scale. Ratios of differences in utility are great, though. It's 2.67x as good to go from nothing to chocolate as to go from nothing to vanilla. 0 and 3 and 8, or 4 and 7 and 12, those are just there for computational convenience in some circumstances and can be ignored.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Iterated Gambles and Expected Utility Theory · 2016-05-25T22:10:35.375Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

tl;dr: If you have less than ~$13k saved and have only enough income to meet expenses, picking B might legitimately make you sad even if it's correct.


I'd take B every time. But it depends on your financial situation. If the stakes are small relative to my reference wealth I maximize expected dollars, no regrets, and if you can't without regrets then maybe try playing poker for a while until you can be happy with good decisions that result in bad outcomes because of randomness. You may not make that exact decision again, but you make decisions like it plenty often.

If the stakes are large relative to my reference wealth then the situation changes for two reasons. One, I probably won't have the opportunity to take bets with stakes large relative to my wealth very often. Two, change in utility is no longer approximately proportional to change in dollars. Perhaps $240 is a non-trivial amount to you? For a hypothetical person living in an average American city with $50k saved and an annual income of $50k, an additional $240 is in no way life changing, so dU(+$240) ~= 0.24 dU(+$1000) and they should pick B. But with 1000x the stakes, it's entirely possible that dU(+$240,000) >> 0.25 dU(+$1,000,000).

Another way of looking at this is investing with Kelly Criterion (spherical cow but still useful), which says if you start with $50k and no other annual income and have the opportunity to periodically pay $24x for a 25% chance at $100x, you should start by betting ~$657 a pop for maximum growth rate, which is within shouting distance of the proposed $240 - and KC is well known to be too risky for individuals without massive wealth, as people actually have to spend money during low periods. This is proportional to wealth, so the breakeven wealth before you're sad that you have to bet so much at once ($240) is, under the too-risky KC, about $18k, which means actually it's probably like $10k-$15k.

I have very little intuition how this translates if, for example, you have heaps of student load debt and are still trying to finish education in hopes of obtaining a promised-but-who-knows well paying job in a few years.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open Thread March 7 - March 13, 2016 · 2016-03-07T19:36:42.684Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Looks like 9 to me. It's not crazy.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open Thread March 7 - March 13, 2016 · 2016-03-07T13:49:56.994Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do note that a large bit in the Fun sequence is dealing with the fact that we still want to have fun when there aren't enough consequential things to go around.

Not saying puzzles are consequential, or that you can't have fun doing consequential things, but amused that "difficult and not consequential" is almost enough to describe Fun of the Future.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open Thread March 7 - March 13, 2016 · 2016-03-07T05:40:52.595Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Fun.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open Thread March 7 - March 13, 2016 · 2016-03-07T04:02:12.750Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Puzzle playtesters needed! I'm looking to beta test a whole bunch of puzzles for the Microsoft Puzzle Hunt. I've got many types - logic, math, words, uncategorizable, etc. Best done with a friend or 7. PM me for details if you're interested. Example of (an easier version of) the kinds of puzzles I mean, insofar as any one puzzle could possibly be an example: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BwYx-fx5mJcaa3kxSUFHVjAtVG8xQlZYcHpKS25ZSHhTSTdN

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open Thread - Aug 24 - Aug 30 · 2015-08-27T17:53:15.742Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"any objection must take the form of a counterproposal"

Most of my social circle says "dinner semantics" to mean exactly this. So far we've skirted but basically avoided the trap of gaming it by bluffing - proposing an option you know is unacceptable to force someone else to propose.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Bragging Thread July 2015 · 2015-07-15T21:47:05.323Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Some things I did during recovery which feel related, though I make no hard claims:

  • regular talk therapy including about those issues
  • be completely genuine with at least one person
  • change employers
  • mentor an intern
  • work with a team who were all selected to be both high-functioning and low-ego
  • learn about imposter syndrome
  • accept that I was depressed to the point that I lost a number of years of experience ("explain away" a certain portion of the feeling as genuine)
  • work with an individual who I felt was competent but who I was distinctly more competent than in select areas
  • complete a substantial at-home coding project

It is entirely possible that recovery was simply regression to the mean. I do not know.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Bragging Thread July 2015 · 2015-07-15T16:34:16.458Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

For me, when I had it (I have since crawled out and am merely underconfident, scared, etc), the feeling is "I am secretly not nearly* as good as people think I should be and therefore as people think I am because they don't look closely and if they did then they'd find out so wow I hope they don't look closely good thing people are usually content with surface thought hahaha but really oh god".

*understatement

Comment by guysrinivasan on Guidelines for Upvoting and Downvoting? · 2015-05-06T15:21:14.749Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Different folks have different reasons, and it's not just a noisy-but-additive result, since some folks use an algorithm like "upvote an article that 'feels like' an article that should end up at +5 if it's currently below +5, otherwise don't, or even downvote" for whatever value of 5 the article makes them feel. A control system in the midst.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open Thread, Apr. 27 - May 3, 2015 · 2015-04-27T18:17:21.635Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have access to units of caring?

Are you trying to gain knowledge, get a piece of paper, both, one as a side effect of another?

"actually graduate" versus "see if they learn anything" might hugely inform your process. Off-the-cuff I'm guessing you want to actually graduate first with hopes of nice learning side effects, then see if they learn anything via something that takes longer.

Also a consideration: 3+ arms. Instruction game, instruction non-game, and non-instruction game. Also possibly non-instruction non-game.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open Thread, Apr. 20 - Apr. 26, 2015 · 2015-04-22T06:58:10.178Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Does anyone have software or procedures they have found useful for evaluating large, hard, inference problems? I don't know what the right class of problem is. Mine is that I have several years and lots and lots of notes of symptoms a family member has exhibited, including subjective recollections all the way to MRIs, and I'd like to organize my thoughts and inferences around what common cause(s) might be, priors, weight of evidence, etc.

I plan to improvise, but I'd like to steal first.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open thread, Mar. 23 - Mar. 31, 2015 · 2015-03-24T02:13:27.368Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW
  1. How do you rank the difficulty of Koans? My intuition does a very good job by now, but caching it out has always resulted in obviously wrong corner cases.

  2. "A Koan has the Buddha-nature if and only if all the pieces are ungrounded, except for blue pieces." is unclear to me. I am not sure whether blue pieces must be grounded or may be grounded.

  3. Nice job!

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open thread, Mar. 16 - Mar. 22, 2015 · 2015-03-18T19:16:06.816Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have the belief that I solve math, design, and logic problems more rapidly when standing/pacing in front of a whiteboard with a marker in my hand, far out of proportion to any marks I actually make (often no marks), possibly because the physical motions put me in the state of mind I developed during university.

(I don't know if it actually helps; I have not tested it)

Comment by guysrinivasan on Innate Mathematical Ability · 2015-02-18T21:35:09.266Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I thought about the pattern completely differently: every element is present in a 2x2 subarray.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open thread, Feb. 9 - Feb. 15, 2015 · 2015-02-09T22:30:26.348Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ways to develop habits: start small, give yourself positive reinforcement, give yourself negative reinforcement, get someone else to force you... Try committing to no matter what go to bed without devices at midnight on Sundays? Try taking short naps at predetermined times and rewarding yourself with chocolate chips when you successfully lie down with an alarm prepped to get you back up? Try putting aside $100 in singles each month and burning one whenever you stay up after thinking "I should go to sleep"? Do you have a roommate? Can you get someone to call you at 11:30 PM each night and stay on the phone until you're tucked in? :) Have you tried reframing sleep to yourself as a productivity booster rather than a time-waster? "Okay present self, you know future you will think you could have gotten more done if you just went to sleep now rather than staying up trying to do things, so hop to bed now"

Comment by guysrinivasan on Behavior: The Control of Perception · 2015-01-21T15:32:31.318Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Suppose I am in the presence of a bunch of data going this way and that into and out of a bunch of black boxes. What kind of math or statistics might tell me or suggest to me that boxes 2, 7, and 32 are probably simple control systems with properties x, y, and z? Seems I should be looking for a function of the inputs that is "surprisingly" approximately constant, and if there's a simple map from that function's output to states of some subset of the outputs then we've got a very strong clue, or if we find that some output strongly negatively correlates with a seemingly unrelated time series somewhere else that might be a clue... Anyone have a link to a good paper on this?

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open thread, Jan. 19 - Jan. 25, 2015 · 2015-01-19T01:52:37.523Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

We're looking for beta testers for the 16th "annual" Microsoft puzzle hunt. Interested folks should PM me, especially if you're in the Seattle area.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Why you should consider buying Bitcoin right now (Jan 2015) if you have high risk tolerance · 2015-01-15T08:06:42.277Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ander's claim, which I see repeated a lot, seems to be that it is positive EV rather than neutral. That's the bit that raises my hackles.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Why you should consider buying Bitcoin right now (Jan 2015) if you have high risk tolerance · 2015-01-14T20:05:44.551Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fleshing out my intuition.

For that argument for DCA to go through, we must justify that it's the correct argument to choose from these three:

  • For example, lets say I take $3000 and buy a stock all at once at $50 for 1 share. I get 60 shares. Now instead, what if I buy $1000 each at 3 different times, once at $40 for 1 share, once at $50 for 1 share, and once at $60 for 1 share. I end up with 25+20+16.66 shares = 61.66 shares, even though the average price per share I bought at was identical. (original argument)

  • For example, lets say I take $3000 and buy a stock all at once at 0.02 shares for $1. I get 60 shares. Now instead, what if I buy $1000 each at 3 different times, once at 0.025 shares for $1, once at 0.02 shares for $1, and once at 0.0167 shares for $1. I end up with 25+20+16.66 shares = 61.66 shares, because the average shares per dollar I bought at was 0.02057 which is better than 0.02. (original argument with prices preserved, "average metric was the same" changed, and conclusion changed)

  • For example, lets say I take $3000 and buy a stock all at once at 0.02 shares for $1. I get 60 shares. Now instead, what if I buy $1000 each at 3 different times, once at 0.025 shares for $1, once at 0.02 shares for $1, and once at 0.015 shares for $1. I end up with 25+20+15 shares = 60 shares, because the average shares per dollar I bought at was 0.02 which is identical to 0.02. (original argument with prices changed, "average metric was the same" preserved, and conclusion changed)

Comment by guysrinivasan on Why you should consider buying Bitcoin right now (Jan 2015) if you have high risk tolerance · 2015-01-14T02:47:55.891Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

When I see the concept of dollar cost averaging my math intuition module throws up a big red "This Is Clearly Wrong" sign. I never seem to have that thought when I have the time and inclination to tease out what's wrong and write a clear explanation of why it's BS (or find out that it's not).

Today is no exception. But here are some pointers my math intuition module is producing which say "investigate this, it will show you what's wrong":

  1. If you flip a coin and invest the lump sum $3000 at either $40, $50, or $60 with equal probability, your expected value is 61.66 shares, not 60.

  2. The "average price" should be the harmonic mean, not the arithmetic mean, and buying at the harmonic mean gets you 61.66 shares.

  3. If you have the option of buying $3000 worth at $50, that doesn't mean you could switch to instead buying at a non-zero-variance-distribution with arithmetic mean $50 over time.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Financial Effectiveness Repository · 2014-11-18T21:23:54.545Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Unmoderated finance repository could be harmful

Comment by guysrinivasan on A Cost- Benefit Analysis of Immunizing Healthy Adults Against Influenza · 2014-11-11T06:50:23.904Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

None of the meta-reviews examined in this report found any evidence that receiving an influenza vaccine can cause serious adverse responses in patients

What about the non-serious responses? How much would you pay to avoid a mild fever/etc, how often does it happen?

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open thread, Sept. 29 - Oct.5, 2014 · 2014-09-29T15:56:42.068Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Give it to a trusted creative acquaintance and ask for a surprise gift every few months, no expectations or judgment, until the money runs out. If this is an imposition, tell her she can keep some of it.

Comment by guysrinivasan on An introduction to Newcomblike problems · 2014-09-22T01:24:54.990Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Very clear. I suggest adding a diagram of bluegreen to highlight where the objection goes wrong, possibly side by side with a repeat of the Newcomblike diagram.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Knightian Uncertainty and Ambiguity Aversion: Motivation · 2014-07-23T19:27:42.554Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is very important. Feeling like there are status consequences has an effect on decision making in humans regardless of whether there are actual status consequences.

Comment by guysrinivasan on April 2014 Media Thread · 2014-04-01T14:53:05.871Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sanderson’s First Law of Magics: An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Open thread, 11-17 March 2014 · 2014-03-14T19:08:48.051Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My wife has this exact symptom set with her removed gallbladder. She has not found any reliable treatments/habits. Not helpful but FYI.

Comment by guysrinivasan on Plan while your ugh field is down · 2014-01-24T20:34:46.408Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

When I think Ugh Field, I am referring to a pattern of mental avoidance that develops sometimes because of anxiety, sometimes because of disgust, sometimes because of hopelessness... Maybe Ugh Fields my brain creates from different root negative feeling causes are sufficiently different, and calling them by the same name obscures something very important?