Upvote/downvote amounts 2018-01-27T08:00:26.533Z · score: 35 (9 votes)
Principals, agents, negotiation, and precommitments 2012-09-21T03:41:55.923Z · score: 20 (19 votes)


Comment by gwillen on Shortform Beta Launch · 2019-07-30T21:06:57.198Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I do see the "show parent" icon, now that you have pointed it out, and I have viewed a short-form post with missing comments, expanded the comments, then explicitly gone back and looked for the comments I knew were missing. I would say that it is extremely subtle. I couldn't find it, even when I was looking for it, until I knew exactly which comment to look for it on.

I think (absent a more-code solution) a reasonable thing would be to replace the tiny subtle icon with text like "(... parent comment omitted, click to show ...)" (presumably on a line by itself above the current top line.)

Right now I claim there is really no indication that a comment is missing unless the reader is extremely familiar with the interface, and even then it's tiny and would be easy to miss even if you knew where to look.

Comment by gwillen on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-30T21:04:51.796Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that it only makes toy demos, but it definitely goes beyond WIMP. It's a simulation of the sort of interface one might expect in a future where every surface is a screen -- it's a janky, extremely-low-fidelity simulation, which holds together barely well enough to serve the purpose, but it does serve, and it's an interesting way to try out this interaction style.

A surprisingly large part of Dynamic Land is actually (in some sense) self-hosting. There is a small core/kernel that is extrinsic, including e.g. the parser for the language. But a lot of low-level functionality is indeed implemented inside the interpreter (as I recall, they use a sort of pseudo-Lua, crossed with Smalltalk-like agent stuff -- my vague recollection is that there's something like a Lua interpreter with a custom preprocessor underlying it.)

Comment by gwillen on Shortform Beta Launch · 2019-07-30T01:09:33.797Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think displaying this in a non-misleading fashion would be pretty easy -- just display the divs for any intermediate elided comments, but with no content in them. Then the nesting will be visible. You could display their content as '...' or 'show comment' or whatever if you wanted, but I think the minimal solution without that would totally solve the problem where I claim the current display is super misleading about the context of comments.

(The most severe example of the thing I'm pointing to would be something like:

>  A: I hate puppies, kick them all!
>      B: You are a terrible person!
>          C: I agree completely.

being rendered as:

>  A: I hate puppies, kick them all!
>      C: I agree completely.

with no direct indication that anything is missing. The example that prompted me to complain was not at this level of severity but the out-of-context reply was jarring and confusing.)

Comment by gwillen on Shortform Beta Launch · 2019-07-30T01:02:13.400Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Facebook does not in any way have the specific problem I'm pointing to here, which is that the nesting structure of the comments is misrepresented. Facebook never elides a comment while showing a direct child of that comment. Of course, facebook only supports a single level of comment nesting, so it does sometimes elide a comment while showing a same-level reply. But I think that does not appear misleading, both because (1) fb users are thus accustomed to a reply-looking comment NOT being a reply to the thing it's displayed under, and (2) the 'show more' link is DIRECTLY in the place where the eye goes searching for the missing comment, not in some unrelated location down below.

(EDIT: Another thing I realized while composing my other comment: If you use the 'reply' button on facebook, and you're replying to a reply to a comment, so that you generate a same-level reply, it will be prefixed with the name of the person you're replying to. So at worst I will see a comment starting with "B: (reply to b)" nested under a comment by person A, which is another cue that the intermediate comment has been hidden.)

Comment by gwillen on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-30T00:54:48.531Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I have been! I thought it was an interesting experiment, and I really hope they have another community day so I can visit again. I think there's probably a lot to learn from it, and I think there are things that you can only learn effectively by trying out weird experiments in real life to see "how this feels". But I don't really expect anything to directly come of it -- the project is pretty janky, and while it's a fantastic platform for tiny cute demos, I don't think any concrete part of it (other than the general sense of "this is an inspiration to try to go recreate this neat type of interaction in a more robust way") is really useful.

Comment by gwillen on Shortform Beta Launch · 2019-07-30T00:22:56.160Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Bug report copied from a FB comment I made:

I was browsing shortform and noticed that a comment was elided (presumably for low score) in a way that made its children appear to be children of its parents. This is really super duper misleading. LW should find some way to indicate that this is not the case, other than the existence of a tiny "show more comments" link that isn't necessarily even very nearby.

[I have no reason to believe that this was specifically a shortform thing -- I assume it will do this elsewhere too. This is just where I discovered it.]

Comment by gwillen on The Relationship Between the Village and the Mission · 2019-05-19T00:47:58.823Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I like your definition of the mission -- I haven't heard it described in that way / that degree of detail before, and I tend to agree with it. I'm not sure how universally agreed it is, but I would certainly advocate for your vision of it.

Comment by gwillen on Nyoom · 2018-10-13T02:34:36.759Z · score: 23 (8 votes) · LW · GW

My experience with physical therapists has been that they are good at finding soft tissue (muscle, tendon, ligament) issues; and they generally provide exercises for you to do at home which are supposed to help your specific issues. (They do not expect you to pay close attention to your movement at all times; normal people can't do that and they're at least that realistic.) I suppose they might ask you to do something like it for a short time to help with diagnosis, but not as a form of long-term treatment. (Although as another caveat, if there's a specific thing you are doing that they think is causing major problems, they may suggest you stop doing it. For example, I significantly changed my sleeping position to fix some back problems I was having.)

Payment-wise, I believe you may be able to get this covered by insurance if you get a referral to a PT through your primary care physician. And notably, in the state of California I believe a PT can't legally see you without such a referral anyway, from my own research when I was going to see one.

Your physician may want to test you for other things that might cause your issues, if they can think of any common ones, e.g. vitamin deficiencies. They may want you to get a general-purpose blood test for Basic Deficiencies in Important Stuff, just to check. Your insurance ought to cover all of this, subject to any copays/deductibles etc., which I understand could still be expensive depending on your insurance.

Comment by gwillen on Things I Learned From Working With A Marketing Advisor · 2018-10-09T11:56:37.372Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I like the word 'synergy' for this, because people literally use it as a generic example of a meaningless business word, but -- when not being abused -- it actually has a very precise meaning. (Value created by combination; the part of the whole which exceeds the sum of the parts. You could almost translate it as "binding energy." Or perhaps by analogy "binding value.")

I didn't really fully grasp the importance of the concept until I was spending some time thinking about the question: Why merge or spin off companies? Doesn't a free-market merger or spinoff transaction result in trading a business for an amount of cash worth the same amount as the business? Synergy (or, I suppose, anti-synergy, though I've never heard the word used) -- binding energy, positive or negative -- is the answer.

Comment by gwillen on Does anyone use advanced media projects? · 2018-06-23T01:14:49.396Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am extremely interested in this area and would love to work with other interested individuals in this area, or be directed to any relevant resources.

(Bret Victor and Alan Kay are both, as far as I know, responsible in part for this project, which I've visited and seems pretty interesting: . I am not really object-level convinced that what they are currently building is a fruitful direction, but it's at least quite cool, and it's the right kind of new direction/idea.)

Comment by gwillen on Ben Hoffman's donor recommendations · 2018-06-23T01:10:01.185Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am curious about the reasoning behind "giving unsolicited monetary gifts to friends or acquaintances (people known to you personally, not via mass media) who seem like they're basically benevolent and competent, have high marginal value for money, and aren't asking for any." This doesn't seem like a very EA recommendation -- anybody I know personally is almost certainly among the richest individuals in the world, and even if they have the highest marginal value for money of anybody I know, it's probably still quite low relative to e.g. recipients of GiveDirectly grants. Right?

(I'm asking more to understand the reasoning behind the suggestion, and whether Ben feels this is indeed an "EA" recommendation -- not to challenge that this may well be a great thing to do, either way.)

Comment by gwillen on Open Thread June 2018 · 2018-06-05T06:36:10.302Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Test reply-reply.

Comment by gwillen on Open Thread June 2018 · 2018-06-05T06:35:08.435Z · score: -4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Test comment. Please don't upvote etc. etc.

(Sorry moderators, I assume you deleted my other ones, but I can't really try to debug notification breakage without creating more.)

Comment by gwillen on Meta-Honesty: Firming Up Honesty Around Its Edge-Cases · 2018-06-01T18:48:33.865Z · score: 36 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I made a proposal for a moderator tool that seems like it might have been helpful to this thread, partly in response to your bracketed text, and I'd be curious to hear your thoughts.

Comment by gwillen on The Berkeley Community & The Rest Of Us: A Response to Zvi & Benquo · 2018-05-22T00:39:19.305Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The winter solstice last year used the same venue it had used the previous year, but the venue imposed a new, lower restriction on the maximum number of attendees, due to some new interpretation of the fire code or something. As a result, tickets did sell out. (I wasn't close enough to organization last year to know how last-minute the change was, but my impression was that there was some scrambling in response.)

This year a new venue is being sought that can better accommodate the number of people who want to attend.

Comment by gwillen on Visions of Summer Solstice · 2018-05-22T00:15:27.467Z · score: 15 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yikes, ok. "Party-hopping" makes it sound like they didn't actually buy tickets or know what the event was, but just came in off the street. Perhaps this is a case for ticket enforcement / bouncers? I'm reluctant to suggest a remedy based on a single example, since it sounds like the people you're talking about arrived together, and so arguably constitute a single datapoint among them. But having someone designated to deal with "problem people" is arguably a good idea even from zero datapoints -- usually this is the sort of thing a code of conduct might spell out, but I think the most basic step is having a person with extra cycles who knows it's their responsibility to deal with this kind of thing (and who knows they have the full authority to eject people, with right of appeal if the organizers want to take those, but without having to involve a committee.)

Comment by gwillen on Visions of Summer Solstice · 2018-05-21T19:08:42.528Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I kind of wish it were simple to just go "hm, can you identify these people to me so that I can make my own judgement?" But there are probably several reasons that's impractical including (I expect) that you don't know them by name.

It seems surprising to me that, in such a large crowd, there could be multiple people managing to make you uncomfortable (as opposed to, by contrast, managing to make someone somewhere uncomfortable, but not all the same someone, if that makes sense.) I am definitely wondering whether I didn't encounter them, or encountered them and they didn't have the same impact on me. I'm curious if you are able to describe the behaviors you saw, and also if you have a sense of broader context of like, do you think they were having this effect on lots of people? Do you feel like other rationalist events have similar issues or is this something unique to this one (maybe because it's advertised more widely? Did you have a sense of where they came from?)

Comment by gwillen on Raemon's Scratchpad · 2018-04-19T04:30:47.537Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(A possible downside I see is that it might somehow do the opposite -- that voting will feel like something that is reinforced in a conditioning sense, so that users with more voting power will get more reinforcers since they do click->reward more times, and that this will actually give them a habit of wanting to apply the maximum vote more than they otherwise would because it feels satisfying to vote repeatedly. This isn't clearly a lot worse than the situation we have now, where you always vote maximum with no option.)

Comment by gwillen on Raemon's Scratchpad · 2018-04-19T04:28:42.821Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I liked the idea I think you mentioned in an earlier thread about this, where each click increases vote weight by one. It's conceptually very simple, which I think is a good property for a UI. It does involve more clicks to apply more voting power, but that doesn't seem bad to me. How often does one need to give something the maximum amount of votes, such that extra clicks are a problem? It seems to me this would tend to default to giving everyone the same voting power, but allow users with more karma to summon more voting power with very slightly more effort if they think it's warranted. That feels right to me.

Comment by gwillen on April Fools: Announcing: Karma 2.0 · 2018-04-01T20:16:50.811Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Posting because my ego feels compelled to see how big my text is.

Comment by gwillen on URL transfer complete, data import will run for the next few hours · 2018-03-26T18:18:12.489Z · score: 15 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure if this is known to you, but I realize it may not be obvious to other people (and it's not a secret, but not widely advertised either): "Conor" was someone's alt account, not actually a newcomer. (His main account has also been wiped.) I don't think it would be fair to call him a 'dissident' either. 'Placed under an uncomfortable spotlight' does seem closer, although I can't quite fathom the reaction unless there were comments I didn't see (perhaps ones that GW didn't have time to mirror, between their creation and their final removal.)

Comment by gwillen on URL transfer complete, data import will run for the next few hours · 2018-03-25T23:19:50.571Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would also have said that it seemed quite unlikely, but my perception is that he's had ample opportunity to clarify and has not done so, which leaves me feeling that 'gone Roko' is the most likely conclusion available to me. (I have definitely seen confirmation that he is still around and communicating with others outside of this site, as of today, and is not radiating obvious distress in so doing.)

Comment by gwillen on [deleted post] 2018-03-22T01:43:18.687Z

I would be curious to hear some examples of the jargon and rituals and hand gestures and weird tics about physical space. (Mostly it's just idle curiosity. I especially am not sure and thus curious what "weird tics about physical space" means. I'm also wondering how they compare to the examples in the fictional version of Dragon Army that you wrote up way back when.)

Comment by gwillen on [deleted post] 2018-03-21T17:59:40.403Z

The "common knowledge" aspect implies e.g. other people not engaging with them, though. (And other people not looking down on Duncan for not engaging with them, although this is hard to measure, but still makes sense as a goal.)

Comment by gwillen on [deleted post] 2018-03-19T08:23:10.564Z

I was surprised to hear that you ended up with Red Knights in Dragon Army. I would tend to fit that stereotype myself, I think, but your original post made it very clear what to expect going in. I'm surprised that anybody made it past that filter with Red Knight tendencies, while not being consciously aware of needing to rein them in as part of the experiment.

Comment by gwillen on [deleted post] 2018-03-19T07:03:47.704Z

I think I materially contributed to the creation of the Arbital post, by being an Arbital investor and specifically requesting one (as well as requesting the open-sourcing of the code). This may sound weird, but I think in that case "a good postmortem" is the best outcome I would feel entitled to hope for, and I was investing more with the goal of "learning what will happen if someone attempts this project" than making a monetary return.

I think it's a real tragedy that, in probably most major project failures, the principals are too drained by the fact of the failure to pass on knowledge that would be helpful to future attempts. That feels to me like wasting the most likely potential value to have come out of a big novel project in the first place. Most truly interesting projects will fail. I think it's good to go in hoping for success, but I also think it's irresponsible not to have a plan for how something can be learned from failure.

So, more positively: 1000 thank-yous to Duncan for taking the time to write this up.

EDIT: Oh, I guess I got distracted and failed to include sort of the punchline here: One way to encourage this is maybe to donate resources to a project, conditional (explicitly or implicitly) on being entitled to information about what happened if it fails?

Comment by gwillen on Cryptography/Software Engineering Problem: How to make LW 1.0 logins work on LW 2.0 · 2018-03-18T21:21:43.034Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I can't immediately think whether there's a better scheme given the described constraints, although I would somewhat snarkily comment that usually "my framework makes this inconvenient" is not a good reason to avoid doing something more secure. ("Inconvenient" and "impossible" are not the same.)

But let me suggest this, if you do implement this scheme: Immediately force a password change after a user logs in with this method. Don't allow them to interact with the site in any way until they perform a password change, which resets them to a 'new-style' password hash. This ensures that active users will be switched over in short order, and -- assuming that a hash leaks and the attacker doesn't know the underlying password -- ensures that an attacker can't have control of an account also used by a legitimate user, because the attacker changing the password will lock out the legitimate user, who will be likely to complain.

You should consider the question of whether these converted accounts get access to any secret information from the corresponding LW1 account. For example, does a converted account get access to the user's LW1 sent or received private messages? If so, I think you have a duty to your users to come up with a secure scheme, and fight with your framework if necessary to make that happen. Otherwise, if the main possibility is impersonation or use of a converted account for spamming, it seems less critical.

Comment by gwillen on Should we remove markdown parsing from the comment editor? · 2018-03-13T01:31:37.183Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

See for my summary of the issues.

Comment by gwillen on Leaving beta: Voting on moving to · 2018-03-12T19:06:36.663Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Otherwise I think lesserwrong is awesome and is totally ready to replace LW. I have <1000 LW karma though, so I'm not vote-eligible. :-)

Comment by gwillen on Leaving beta: Voting on moving to · 2018-03-12T18:55:53.952Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think the existence of an alternate interface has any bearing on whether the main interface is good, or should be promoted out of beta. Practically speaking almost nobody will use the alternate interface. Me using it does not solve any problems except my personal ones, which are of no import.

Comment by gwillen on Leaving beta: Voting on moving to · 2018-03-12T07:32:04.311Z · score: 17 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I would STRONGLY prefer that. I'm sorry for using strong language and I'm trying to be emphatic here, not upset or judgemental, but: I would describe the current state of the editor as "unacceptably broken" and "totally unusable (for anything at all complex)".

If you don't agree with me about "unacceptably broken", please reread the bug I filed about this: -- it's not just that automatically applying formatting is bad, it's not even just that it COMPLETELY breaks copy-paste and links that have underscores in them -- which would alone be reason enough to turn it off and leave it off -- the implementation of autoformatting also DOES NOT WORK RIGHT AT ALL.

Comment by gwillen on 2/27/08 Update – Frontpage 3.0 · 2018-02-28T10:49:19.101Z · score: 36 (10 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW, I don't really parse the sequences section on the front page as "common knowledge about the canon", and my reaction to the change was "oh, good, the large block of noise above the actual content got smaller." Perhaps this is different for people who haven't read them already, but seeing a list of things I've read already that never goes away is really boring and I have long since tuned it out -- my eyeballs skate right over it.

(To be clear, I do value the idea that there should be a canon, and I think content-wise you've probably made good choices about the canon... but I also think that having a block of static stuff that sits above the dynamic "place where people are actually doing things" will just tend to cause people to tune-out the stuff the way I have. Honestly if you're familiar with "ad blindness", it's basically like that.)

Comment by gwillen on Meta-tations on Moderation: Towards Public Archipelago · 2018-02-28T10:30:45.431Z · score: 13 (3 votes) · LW · GW

This is reminiscent of Usenet-style killfiles, only fancier. I think anybody designing a discussion site could learn a lot from Usenet and newsreaders.

Comment by gwillen on Intuition should be applied at the lowest possible level · 2018-02-28T10:28:29.924Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

To give an example, because I think I'm being too abstract: If I am thinking of making an investment decision, I won't just query my intuition "is this a good investment?" because it doesn't necessarily have useful things to say about that. Instead I will query it "how does this seem to compare to an equity index fund", and "what does an adequacy analysis say about whether there could plausibly be free money here", and "how does this pattern-match against scams I'm familiar with", and "what does the Outside View say happens to people who make this type of investment", and "what does Murphyjitsu predict I will regret if I invest thusly?" This seems similar to your described approach, if not quite the same.

Comment by gwillen on Intuition should be applied at the lowest possible level · 2018-02-28T10:23:52.332Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think this is a really interesting framing. I like to do something that seems related but slightly different. Where I see what you're describing as something like "explicitly (system2) take something down one level (potentially into smaller pieces), and apply intuition (system 1) to each of the pieces", I like to do "explicitly (system 2) consider the problem from a number of different angles / theories, and try applying intuition (system 1) to each angle, and see whether the results agree or how they differ."

Comment by gwillen on Meta-tations on Moderation: Towards Public Archipelago · 2018-02-25T08:00:10.677Z · score: 25 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The New World moderation over at Hacker News has been handling off-topic stuff similarly to how you describe (perhaps that's where you got the idea.) My impression is that they don't have as much a system, as just a button that reparents a post to the root and marks it as 'sorts last'. This seems to work pretty well IMO.

Comment by gwillen on Don't Condition on no Catastrophes · 2018-02-23T00:15:52.374Z · score: 17 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I suspect the intuition behind asking these questions in this way is this: People mentally have a model of "AGI", and maybe a model of "nuclear war" or other disasters, and these models are mostly separate (that is, when thinking about AGI timelines, most people "don't worry about" nuclear war and other disasters, whatever that means. So if you don't ask people to exclude those considerations, SOME people will exclude them anyway (because they don't come to mind), while others (call them "pedants" perhaps) will try to manually adjust their model for those considerations, which is technically correct but isn't really what you wanted, and which means you will get heterogenous answers.

Comment by gwillen on Open thread, February 2018 · 2018-02-13T05:17:55.957Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if it would be better for there to be a throwaway account that could post open threads to its personal page. (This seems easier than having the system treat open threads specially, which I might otherwise advocate.)

Comment by gwillen on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-01-30T00:50:07.166Z · score: 16 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Hal Finney was Bitcoin user number 2, and is currently cryopreserved at Alcor. There's been a LOT of overlap from the very beginning. Hard to say about Satoshi, though.

Comment by gwillen on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-01-30T00:47:09.539Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW
I'm a little worried about Bitcoin's externalities.

I think most such worries are not well-founded, but I would also like to point out that "Bitcoin seems like it might eat the world in a bad way" is not exactly a reason not to invest. It might be a reason to fight against Bitcoin, but if you're not fighting against it, it seems like precisely a reason you would want to buy it.

Comment by gwillen on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-01-30T00:45:05.560Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As someone who made a profit investing in Bitcoin I endorse and encourage your decision. I definitely want to avoid this somehow turning into "rationalists should win by trying to jump on every crazy make-money-fast scheme because one of them could be the next Bitcoin." If it's the case that rationalists should have been able to predict Bitcoin's success, we should focus on specific factors that indicated there was something there to be gotten.

I can talk now about all the smart people I know who believe in Bitcoin as a reason to want to keep it, but I didn't know any of those people yet when I first bought it -- I met them along the way. It's hard for me to remember what it was that attracted me to it at the time. I think it had a lot to do with the way the technology played into my own specific vision for the future of tech, which is very personal and not necessarily portable to an arbitrary person in the rationalosphere (in terms of reasons to have believed in Bitcoin at the time.)

Comment by gwillen on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-01-30T00:39:13.711Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I like this much much better than the other proposed proposed solution, of effectively pressuring people to buy. Removing inconveniences (trivial and otherwise) would probably have been the most helpful thing someone could do. (I can't honestly remember if I was in the LW community yet when I started in Bitcoin, as they were both so long ago, but I was definitely not part of an IRL rationalist community, and it didn't occur to me that rationalists would be interested in Bitcoin at the time.)

Comment by gwillen on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-01-30T00:33:10.048Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I tend to agree that social factors work against the idea of telling someone to invest in cryptocurrency or other high-risk high-reward things like this. (And despite Eliezer's point that modesty is not necessarily correct in making decisions for oneself, I find it hard to sensibly eliminate modesty in what one tells other people to do.)

Comment by gwillen on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-01-30T00:13:48.838Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think this seems correct and is also what I have settled on. In theory you can use the Kelly Criterion to work out bounds on the percentages to use. In practice that seems hard.

Comment by gwillen on A LessWrong Crypto Autopsy · 2018-01-28T19:59:28.327Z · score: 40 (13 votes) · LW · GW

I have some Bitcoin, and have made some money on Bitcoin[1], and am currently a software engineer at a Bitcoin startup, where I've been working since the beginning of 2015.

I have complicated feelings about this. Obviously I invested in Bitcoin because I thought it was +EV, and I did make a nice profit by doing so. That doesn't necessarily mean I was correct to imagine that it was +EV, and I struggle to understand whether my choices were reasonable or just lucky. I think Eliezer's recent sequence about adequacy probably has something useful to say about this. But I also think that a lot of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency behavior is fundamentally a function of the psychology of the market, rather than actual value, and the psychology of the market is a dangerous thing to bet on.

Of course, it's not wrong to take dangerous bets with good upside. Ultimately I think cryptocurrency investing may or may not have been the correct decision for people depending on their circumstances. There's no conventional wisdom or obvious right answer to fall back on.

I might have more to say on this later.

[1] Bitcoin is very hard to store safely. Don't ask anybody how much Bitcoin they have (at least in public non-anonymously). They would be very foolish to disclose it, and the more it is the more foolish they would be.

Comment by gwillen on Taking it Private: Short Circuiting Demon Threads (working example) · 2018-01-24T23:13:26.230Z · score: 10 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think it's been mentioned a couple times that the site does not have any limits on comment length. If you're having trouble posting long comments, can you elaborate on what happens when you try?

Comment by gwillen on Taking it Private: Short Circuiting Demon Threads (working example) · 2018-01-22T23:39:48.920Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think you and Raemon may be talking about different kinds of threads (and if that turns out to be true, you might want to pick a different name for the kinds of threads you're talking about?)

My intuition matches Raemon's, I think -- it's not possible for a private thread between two people to be 'demonic' in my model, because being 'demonic' is deeply wrapped up in social signalling, and a private conversation between two people doesn't have the same kind of social signalling that exists as soon as you add a third participant or an observer.

Comment by gwillen on Taking it Private: Short Circuiting Demon Threads (working example) · 2018-01-22T23:36:51.091Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think statements about models of a conversation partner's intent can be good or bad. They are bad if they're being used as accustations. They're potentially good if they're used in the context of a request for understanding (e.g. "I feel like your tone in this post is hostile -- was that your intention?") I don't see the latter much outside of the LW-sphere, but when I do see it, I think it has value.

Comment by gwillen on Book Review: The Secrets of Alchemy · 2018-01-22T09:21:27.303Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Comment attempting to reproduce character limit issue:

EDIT: Here I originally posted the string 'xxxxxxx ' repeated 512 times, totalling more than the sum of the lengths of Said Achmiz' two comments, with no issue. I have removed it because it took up a lot of space on the page. But as far as I can tell it was successful.

Comment by gwillen on How the LW2.0 front page could be better at incentivizing good content · 2018-01-21T16:48:38.760Z · score: 17 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, 100%. I was confused and disheartened when the original LW removed all the posts from the frontpage. That UI decision felt to me like one of the steps along the road to death for LW, and I still don't understand why it was done. The posts are the heart of the site. Put the posts where people will see them.