Posts

Faerie Ring meet #2: At Gather.Town 2021-04-27T23:17:28.654Z
Faerie Ring: A Small Gather.Town Call 2021-04-22T06:02:58.618Z
Faerie Rings 2021-04-21T21:47:33.581Z
What I Learned From Running a Pol.is Conversation 2021-01-05T00:14:33.356Z
Agency Volume of "A Map That Reflects the Territory" Set - My Personal Commentary 2020-12-27T23:35:25.765Z
Epistemology Volume of "A Map That Reflects the Territory" Set - My Personal Commentary 2020-12-24T21:34:33.135Z
Jester's Court - Mini Group Exercises 2019-10-24T19:49:33.365Z
Jester's Court - Mini Group Exercises 2019-10-24T18:49:08.736Z
Kate Stillwell Talk - Berkeley Effective Altruism Meetup at REACH 2019-09-01T20:12:06.147Z
Rationality Meetup at REACH (Gratitudes) 2019-09-01T20:07:35.102Z
REACH Reading Group: Soviet Bioweapons Program 2019-09-01T19:54:22.673Z
Effective Altruist Group Debugging at REACH 2019-09-01T19:33:06.484Z
hamnox's Shortform 2019-08-25T18:30:12.940Z
What would a zetetic explanation be for the rationality community? 2019-02-28T20:05:18.787Z
First steps of a rationality skill bootstrap 2019-02-20T00:57:41.661Z
Creating Space to Cultivate Skill 2017-10-13T15:51:11.448Z
Learnday 2017-10-09T19:15:07.080Z
Meetup : Sandy, UT—Altruism Discussion 2015-02-13T19:16:13.464Z
Meetup : SLC, UT — January Meetup 2015-01-19T04:29:47.055Z
Meetup : Sandy, UT - Debugging 2014-12-16T19:42:07.249Z
Meetup : Salt Lake, UT: Lightning Talks 2014-07-27T02:44:35.598Z
Meetup : Salt Lake City, UT: Summer Solstice 2014 2014-06-18T05:30:08.776Z
Meetup : Salt Lake City, UT: Schelling Day 2014-03-10T12:38:14.723Z
Meetup : Salt Lake City UT — Open Possibilities and Improv Skills 2014-02-23T00:04:54.267Z
Meetup : Fall Equinox: Festival of Heroes 2013-08-29T01:59:51.042Z
Meetup : Love and Sex in Salt Lake City 2013-01-27T16:12:39.502Z
Meetup : Salt Lake City Monthly meetup 2012-11-15T00:46:31.702Z
Meetup : SLC Meetup: Free Will, Minicamp Braindump, and Group Goals 2012-10-12T20:50:30.737Z
Meetup : SLC, UT: Free Will and Rationality Checklists 2012-08-25T04:29:45.793Z
Meetup : Salt Lake City: The Really Getting Bayes Game 2012-07-02T03:56:20.818Z
Meetup : SLC Meetup: Social Hacking Presentation 2012-05-03T19:48:58.126Z
Cataloging my skills - good idea? 2012-01-29T14:07:19.889Z

Comments

Comment by hamnox on Why I Work on Ads · 2021-05-04T14:02:14.444Z · LW · GW

I think the vast majority of my altruistic impact is through donations, I don't think my work in advertising is something harmful to offset.

I agree, but I think what you are doing is a fairly noncentral example of "working in advertising". You are helping to add good constraints on a probably-bad process.

Comment by hamnox on Why I Work on Ads · 2021-05-04T13:25:56.828Z · LW · GW

this is a problem with you rather than a problem with ads

Oh, I absolutely agree that this is a problem with me rather than with ads. But the problem with me is that my brain is human. I can't totally fix the exploits in the human brain that ads target.

Given that this is a society of humans, ads seem contraindicated. I do try to avoid them, but ads are going out of my way to expose themselves to me in a way sodas mostly do not (except insofar as they are advertised).

Comment by hamnox on Why I Work on Ads · 2021-05-04T13:19:09.839Z · LW · GW

Third funding model: You pay with contributed labor value

Consider how amazon turk employs people to work on small problems for small payments.

Google maps engages users to answer questions and write reviews for places they have been, for free. What if instead, occasional contributions to updating the map was the price for using it?

What if more online resources worked on a torrent-ish model where those accessing it contribute to hosting it for others? Wouldn't that be grand?

Comment by hamnox on Small and Vulnerable · 2021-05-04T12:18:30.184Z · LW · GW

Correct. Though the latter depends on what someone means by "never be fixed"; trauma is always going to leave a mark but it does not have to remain debilitating nor defining.

Comment by hamnox on Small and Vulnerable · 2021-05-04T12:16:26.132Z · LW · GW

We were forced to 'play outside' for hours most days and even longer on weekends. I was not even allowed to bring a book outside though sometimes I would hide them outside at night and find them the next day.

Oh stars, this gives me flashbacks. Being forced outside was the worst.

Amazingly my mom made fun of her children for being weirdos.

My mom was also a bigger bully than I ever encountered at school or in the neighborhood, figuratively and literally. It looms even larger in my head, because I had to give a damn about what the person in charge of my life thought.

ps. fiskkit review, it's a thing I'm trying out.

Comment by hamnox on What topics are on Dath Ilan's civics exam? · 2021-04-27T21:42:27.391Z · LW · GW

also signing Dath Illan's nonverbal language, because why would you only make use of the visual modality when you happen to have access to a pen and writing surface?

Comment by hamnox on What topics are on Dath Ilan's civics exam? · 2021-04-27T21:38:58.207Z · LW · GW

Intuitive and non-intuitive findings of systems theory, like what adding a second queue does or increasing the variability of a flow rate or  changing the size of a buffer.

Comment by hamnox on Let's Rename Ourselves The "Metacognitive Movement" · 2021-04-24T13:36:30.723Z · LW · GW

Because rationality is not just winning!  Its about winning systematically rather than by fluke, about narrowing the diff between reality and your model of it such that the forecasted wins you aim for correspond to actual wins.

Comment by hamnox on Let's Rename Ourselves The "Metacognitive Movement" · 2021-04-24T12:31:32.028Z · LW · GW

Overall agreed that metacognitive is better branding. I like rationality as in-community jargon for the thing that cognition should aim for.

Comment by hamnox on Let's Rename Ourselves The "Metacognitive Movement" · 2021-04-24T12:26:12.262Z · LW · GW

fwiw I don't think rationality has much connotation of agency, except for what it's achieved by dint of association with us.

Comment by hamnox on Faerie Ring: A Small Gather.Town Call · 2021-04-24T12:22:17.782Z · LW · GW

I don't expect these to go longer than 1.5 hours, though it's possible people want to hang out on the line.

Comment by hamnox on Covid 4/22: Crisis in India · 2021-04-23T14:13:55.481Z · LW · GW

I do kind of see it as being the responsible action, I just do not think this is the same thing as it being the right or even reasonable action.

It's trying to be "responsible" despite not actually having the kind of control over the situation that makes things your responsibility.

Comment by hamnox on hamnox's Shortform · 2021-04-23T11:33:09.531Z · LW · GW

Decentralized Networks Thoughts
Scuttlebutt, IPFS, and Dat

Networking can be demonstrated with people as an anology, and it usually works except for how the speeds are magnitudes off and people naturally handle errors more gracefully.

And the way we currently structure internet applications is analogous to, like, a command economy. All the locus of decision exists in one spot, in a server. It may delegate, but it doesn't ever truly *co*-ordinate. And there's no way that's computationally efficient. The internet allows to access a distant computer with our own, and that's *all* we're doing most of the time.  It's exactly like having a whole country of self-interested intelligences close to their individual problems, and trying to make a handful of government officials solve it instead. (And remember: computers handle their errors even less gracefully than people do.) We aren't using most of the compute we have at our fingers!

So that's my focus in decentralized technology. Instead of central coordinators, make swarms of individually capable nodes that can interoperate. Put the controls where they can react meaningfully to local conditions.

An example of this is moderation. Social media moderation teams have to deal with SO much shit, all the concentrated filth in the world lands on their head. They can barely keep up. And we *still* need to have a individual blocking & mute tools, because they can't hope to react appropriately to local need.

Contrast this to the moderation models for scuttlebutt and cabal chat
TBC

Comment by hamnox on Faerie Rings · 2021-04-23T00:06:54.630Z · LW · GW

You could try to start your own ring, there's templates for it on that page, or I could put you down to invite in for the second meeting. (provided we're not full up then)

Comment by hamnox on Iterated Trust Kickstarters · 2021-04-21T21:22:52.449Z · LW · GW

This is what I wanted Jester's Court to be. An iterated kickstarter for trust and competence, of self and of others.

Didn't have words for it.

Comment by hamnox on hamnox's Shortform · 2021-04-21T17:55:41.352Z · LW · GW

anatomy of a summer solstice talk. comments?


anatomy of a solstice talk

- Dig your roots deep, and spread your leaves wide

- We sometimes associate summer with passion, with fire and flash. As we celebrate today, I say lean into this. Let's have fun. Let's have passionate joy. Let's dive head-first into the gut sense of living at its best. Not to stoke burning hot coals of determination, just to enjoy it. Take in the warmth and light for its own sake. Life is not just abstractly good and important, it's viscerally so.

Pretty good theme. Have fun, be wild. I could end my speech there.

Instead, I'll ask you to think about a tree. A tree with roots going deep into the ground, and leaves spread out to catch as much sun as it can. Hold that tree in mind, I'm gonna speak more about that in a moment.

The other solstice, we often reference the dream of leaving the earth and solar system under our own power. That's an important goal. It's not, however, immediately achievable. We are, for now, pretty tied to pale blue dot we were born on. And when we leave, we will take much of it with us. Much of it intentionally, because we're sentimental like that, but also it will come in the marks of *the kind of beings it has made us*.

I want summer to be a time that we think about the environment that we live in, how it shapes us and how we shape it. We ought to know the soil we grow in, and know it well. A general purpose rationality must produce local knowledge, specialized to the time and space and life you are living. We must dig our roots deep, and spread our leaves wide.

We talk a lot about the general theory of rational agents. It informs a lot about how to learn true things and make good choices. But we are not the general example of an agent. Our minds did not spring up from first principals. Evolutionary history, cultural memetics, and an academic tradition also inform the way you learn true things and make good choices. That which is at our roots can affect what the truth and good choices even are, thousands of years later, whether you are aware of them or not.

The tree is a metaphor. There are grand forces of optimization that have existed before you, and will exist after you. Seek them out. Use what they can give you. Dig your roots deep.

And spread your leaves wide. Catch every ray of sunlight and harness it. Drink in the present moment, and turn it into something awesome. Plants are often portrayed as passive; that's incorrect. They move. Their movement is more efficient, and slower, but they move a great deal to catch the sun. In the same way, you don't have to chase after every opportunity. You can position yourself well and take in the chances that come your way. Have patience, not passivity. and spread your leaves wide.

Now for the audience participation bit. 
- I'll give you five minutes to think. What's something you know about the environments that you live in, or that shaped you? Your city. your ecosystem. Your history. Your economy. Your community. Just write down some facts, or some questions. After those five minutes, I'll take contributions from the audience. With these, I want to paint a collective picture of where we are rooted, and how deeply. This is the first time I'm trying this, so.
- As an example. California is more environmentally conscientious than most US state governemnts. We have a few extra restrictions on cars and plastics. Native tribes maintained the forests around here with regular burns, and I want to know if they maintained the forests in other ways or if they still do in some areas. There's a lot of resentment towards people moving in for jobs who don't really have roots or interests in the people they're displacing, and the rationalist community is a small part of that.
- If you want to share but don't want to speak, write down what you want to say and hand it to someone. It can keep getting passed along until it hits a person willing to read it aloud. It can be anonymous this way, or you can write your name.
- TIME
- I encourage giving silent responses in ASL or gesture.  False. True. Yes. No.
- READ
- Another five minutes, let's talk about opportunities. What serendipitous chance might you hope to catch, today? What would you be prepared to act on if it happened?
- TIME
- READ

Comment by hamnox on Open and Welcome Thread - April 2021 · 2021-04-21T17:54:24.059Z · LW · GW

anatomy of a summer solstice talk. comments?


anatomy of a solstice talk

- Dig your roots deep, and spread your leaves wide

- We sometimes associate summer with passion, with fire and flash. As we celebrate today, I say lean into this. Let's have fun. Let's have passionate joy. Let's dive head-first into the gut sense of living at its best. Not to stoke burning hot coals of determination, just to enjoy it. Take in the warmth and light for its own sake. Life is not just abstractly good and important, it's viscerally so.

Pretty good theme. Have fun, be wild. I could end my speech there.

Instead, I'll ask you to think about a tree. A tree with roots going deep into the ground, and leaves spread out to catch as much sun as it can. Hold that tree in mind, I'm gonna speak more about that in a moment.

The other solstice, we often reference the dream of leaving the earth and solar system under our own power. That's an important goal. It's not, however, immediately achievable. We are, for now, pretty tied to pale blue dot we were born on. And when we leave, we will take much of it with us. Much of it intentionally, because we're sentimental like that, but also it will come in the marks of *the kind of beings it has made us*.

I want summer to be a time that we think about the environment that we live in, how it shapes us and how we shape it. We ought to know the soil we grow in, and know it well. A general purpose rationality must produce local knowledge, specialized to the time and space and life you are living. We must dig our roots deep, and spread our leaves wide.

We talk a lot about the general theory of rational agents. It informs a lot about how to learn true things and make good choices. But we are not the general example of an agent. Our minds did not spring up from first principals. Evolutionary history, cultural memetics, and an academic tradition also inform the way you learn true things and make good choices. That which is at our roots can affect what the truth and good choices even are, thousands of years later, whether you are aware of them or not.

The tree is a metaphor. There are grand forces of optimization that have existed before you, and will exist after you. Seek them out. Use what they can give you. Dig your roots deep.

And spread your leaves wide. Catch every ray of sunlight and harness it. Drink in the present moment, and turn it into something awesome. Plants are often portrayed as passive; that's incorrect. They move. Their movement is more efficient, and slower, but they move a great deal to catch the sun. In the same way, you don't have to chase after every opportunity. You can position yourself well and take in the chances that come your way. Have patience, not passivity. and spread your leaves wide.

Now for the audience participation bit. 
- I'll give you five minutes to think. What's something you know about the environments that you live in, or that shaped you? Your city. your ecosystem. Your history. Your economy. Your community. Just write down some facts, or some questions. After those five minutes, I'll take contributions from the audience. With these, I want to paint a collective picture of where we are rooted, and how deeply. This is the first time I'm trying this, so.
- As an example. California is more environmentally conscientious than most US state governemnts. We have a few extra restrictions on cars and plastics. Native tribes maintained the forests around here with regular burns, and I want to know if they maintained the forests in other ways or if they still do in some areas. There's a lot of resentment towards people moving in for jobs who don't really have roots or interests in the people they're displacing, and the rationalist community is a small part of that.
- If you want to share but don't want to speak, write down what you want to say and hand it to someone. It can keep getting passed along until it hits a person willing to read it aloud. It can be anonymous this way, or you can write your name.
- TIME
- I encourage giving silent responses in ASL or gesture.  False. True. Yes. No.
- READ
- Another five minutes, let's talk about opportunities. What serendipitous chance might you hope to catch, today? What would you be prepared to act on if it happened?
- TIME
- READ

Comment by hamnox on Direct effects matter! · 2021-03-14T15:23:47.460Z · LW · GW

Have you considered the possibility that people do not list first-order effects to individuals because huge swaths of the political establishment do not actually care about people they don't know?

The water they swim, the air they breathe: Bringing up how something affects the outgroup's feefees is not "obvious" or "direct", it's bringing up Nth-order civil breakdown effects in the most vague and indirect way possible, with figuring out all the critical details left as an exercise for the listener.

We live in a society; aka we have a tenuous contract to be copacetic and trade resources with others. They give the smallest amount of fucks about the outgroup's happiness because an unhappy outgroup may have second-order effects in breaking down civil society with associated third-order effects on them and theirs.

Comment by hamnox on Covid 3/4: Declare Victory and Leave Home · 2021-03-05T00:38:00.907Z · LW · GW

Someone suggested to me recently that, against all appearances and expectations, the Trump Administration not buying enough mRNA vaccine for everyone right off the bat was actually the right call. We knew other vaccines were on the way which had way less exacting distribution conditions and/or were single-dose.

I suspect that proposition is Off in some important way, like the doses weren't enough even to hold out for a switch out, and am curious what thoughts you all have about it.

Comment by hamnox on Your Cheerful Price · 2021-02-17T00:25:36.199Z · LW · GW

That's a possibility, sure, but not an overriding one.

Consider the case that your happy price is $5. It's worth it to you to do for free if your friend wants a cake, as it is a small cost for the sake of a friend. How you balance the costs and benefits of maintaining a relationship is up to you.

Y hates baking, and out of typical-minding expected it to be more like $40 when she asked. She can, at that point, just ask you to do her a personal favor on the scale of $5. How scrupulously you follow up on favours and IOUs is also up to you.

Comment by hamnox on hamnox's Shortform · 2021-02-16T23:48:14.465Z · LW · GW

How do politics actually happen? I have so few gears in my model. I don't like trying to figure out the object level of what's going on through layers of other people's interpretations and commentary. I want there to be eyes on the ground collecting what's newsworthy from a Gearsy or EA perspective, and for I might as well give it a try it myself. Ground up, by skimming meeting agendas and possibly video feeds to figure out play by play what powerful people are spending their time on.

Of the US Gov, I want to know

What Congress is up to - 
What the Senate is up to -

What the President is up to -
What the First Lady is up to - 
What the VP is up to -

What the Executive Office of the President is putting out -

What the supreme court members are up to -
What the US court of appeals is up to -

Still thinking about how to do this, just want the idea on the record.

Comment by hamnox on Democratic Currency · 2021-02-16T05:03:33.616Z · LW · GW

I'd be interested in doing an exchange of this sort! I'm here. I do tedious data entry work. What kinda somethings are you thinking?

Comment by hamnox on jp's Shortform · 2021-02-12T02:17:11.756Z · LW · GW

I use org-mode and export the same information in both HTML and PDF. If you're looking for a way to annotate the web take a look at hypothes.is!

Comment by hamnox on hamnox's Shortform · 2021-02-12T02:11:51.711Z · LW · GW

So this is what I've spent my time thinking about. It's a consideration of how to structure a Roam-alike cross-referencing notes system on the data mesh structure of CTZN.

\o/ Federated Peer-to-Peer for the WIIIIN!

Comment by hamnox on We Need Browsers as Platforms · 2021-02-12T01:59:02.052Z · LW · GW

It is not, but I do see people treating it that way.

Comment by hamnox on We Need Browsers as Platforms · 2021-02-10T03:51:14.474Z · LW · GW

thanks, fixed

Comment by hamnox on We Need Browsers as Platforms · 2021-02-09T18:45:40.466Z · LW · GW

Points of comparison

Comment by hamnox on How do you optimize productivity with respect to your menstrual cycle? · 2021-02-09T06:52:47.170Z · LW · GW

I have suspected there might be mood/energy effects but never managed to track my cycle and mood well enough to show a correlation. It's only gotten harder to track since my IUD lightened the bleeding to almost non-existent.

Comment by hamnox on Promoting Prediction Markets With Meaningless Internet-Point Badges · 2021-02-09T06:44:45.607Z · LW · GW

I want one. Give me the internet points.

Comment by hamnox on Quadratic, not logarithmic · 2021-02-08T14:32:19.715Z · LW · GW

Here's that's risk curve.

Percent risk by No. of contacts


and the risk-to-others curve, against the 0.01x*0.30x quadratic for reference. the risk gets closer to linear the farther out you go.

Expected contribution to spread given number of contacts
(assuming 30% transmission risk if positive)

I have no idea how to model the effects beyond this point tbqh. There's complicated probability dependence among social contacts and I don't know how to avoid double-counting people who were already infected.

Also keep the Gambler's fallacy in mind when considering whether to add contacts:
    If you meet 1 person then the risk is 1%. If you meet 100 people the risk is 63%. If you meet 99 people, confirm you didn't get covid, and then meet 1 more, your risk is 1%.
(Very Approximately because, again, there's complicated probability dependence among social contacts.)

Comment by hamnox on What are some real life Inadequate Equilibria? · 2021-02-02T22:20:58.506Z · LW · GW

A broad range of examples, lots of variety! That's perfect for gesturing at the overarching idea, lest we blow up conversations focusing on specifics in a narrow set.

3. pretty sure the biggest blocker to changing school times is parents' work schedules.  If the schedules diverge too much parents would have a harder time providing transportation to school and mandating adult supervision at all times.
6. it's not entirely about relative armament. there is base benefit to being able to get rid of neighbors you don't like or who are sitting on top of resources you want, independent of whether they pose any military threat to you.

Comment by hamnox on Unpopularity of efficiency · 2021-01-28T16:03:47.047Z · LW · GW

The tails come apart. If you aim for extremes, you wind up selecting against other forms of goodness. It's not robust. This is bad both for your goals, if you are incorrect about your goals at all, and socially bad, because it moves you off of (?)cooperative ground(?) where seeking your values correlates with seeking theirs.

Comment by hamnox on Li’l pots · 2021-01-26T22:12:40.657Z · LW · GW

Latex or nitrile, like you'd find at a hospital.

Most grocery stores will sell reusable rubbery gloves for cleaning, but those are usually too thick and oversized to get the fine motor control I want when cooking.

Comment by hamnox on Open & Welcome Thread - January 2021 · 2021-01-24T16:23:43.761Z · LW · GW

You should be skeptical about your most current one! It is likely better informed than previous ones, but that doesn't mean you're done processing.

BUT, you need to exercise that skepticism by knowing what your best understanding strongly predicts and what discrepancies should surprise you, not by trying to make yourself give humbler answers.

Comment by hamnox on Open & Welcome Thread - January 2021 · 2021-01-24T16:13:43.524Z · LW · GW

It seems you've had some success in thinking things through rigorously on your own, so kudos to you! I can relate to not buying into any existing worldview.

Glad you did stick around. Anything in particular about the epistemic culture that you think works especially well or poorly?

Comment by hamnox on Open & Welcome Thread - January 2021 · 2021-01-24T16:09:05.500Z · LW · GW

I am tickled by your website, you have interestingly suckless aesthetic. Are you open to chatting in gather.town sometime?

Comment by hamnox on Everything Okay · 2021-01-24T15:52:24.060Z · LW · GW

oh dear. J is so familiar it was painful to read.

I expect to forward this post to people close to me, so we can better talk about Stress and Action without triggering all my Attack associations.

Comment by hamnox on Technological stagnation: Why I came around · 2021-01-24T14:53:44.631Z · LW · GW

More dependencies tho

Comment by hamnox on Li’l pots · 2021-01-24T14:40:29.151Z · LW · GW

Suggestions:

  • wear gloves. seriously, major life hack for sensory dysphoria.
  • individually pack things yourself from bulk purchases right away. It can be a lovely experience, making forty little gifts to your future self.
    • It's a worse tradeoff to have to engage with bad packaging every time you want a thing. you get efficiency benefits from dealing with that all at once. you're very correct to point that out.
    • Small reusable containers exist! get beautiful ones, get neatly stackable ones, get convenient ones.
      • part of *my* experience with disposables is wincing at the environmental externalities
    • Deli paper, metal foil, plastic sheets and bags.
    • Make plates stackable in your fridge. Repurpose something used to store pot lids, probably
Comment by hamnox on Heads I Win, Tails?—Never Heard of Her; Or, Selective Reporting and the Tragedy of the Green Rationalists · 2021-01-23T22:18:11.004Z · LW · GW

Crucial. I definitely remember reading this and thinking it was one of the most valuable posts I'd seen all year. Good logical structure.

But it's hard to read? It has jarring, erratic rhetoric flow; succinct where elaboration is predictably needed, and verbose where it is redundant. A mathematician's scratch notes, I think.

Comment by hamnox on Mini thoughts on mintheism · 2021-01-11T17:18:13.196Z · LW · GW

I like your thought, thanks for sharing it. Also lovely to see someone else familiar with Microsolidarity.

Comment by hamnox on The Amish, and Strategic Norms around Technology · 2021-01-10T22:18:22.523Z · LW · GW

THIS. TIMES 1000.

I want more people to know this about the Amish! More people should have the concept of "distributed community with intentional norms that has a good relationship with the government and can mostly run on their own legal system" floating around in their head.

For followups, I'd want to see

  1. discussing the issues without proposing solutions
  2. a review of the history + outcomes of similar attempts to take the benedict option
    • this could turn out to be a terrible idea in practice, and if so I want to know that so I can start harping on about my next terrible idea

It's simple, which is not the same thing as easy. Not every attempt to try something different with norms has to look like Dragon Army.

Comment by hamnox on Approval Extraction Advertised as Production · 2021-01-10T20:57:24.610Z · LW · GW

This post makes assertions about YC's culture which I find really fascinating. If it's a valid assessment of YC, I rather expect it to have broad implications for the whole capitalist and educational edifice. I've found lots of crystallized insight in Paul Graham's writing, so if his project is failing in the dimensions he's explicitly pointed out as important this seems like critical evidence towards how hard the problem space really is.

What does it mean for the rationalist commmunity if selecting people for quickness of response correlates with anxiety or test-contrained thinking? Should the LW review cycles be more like a 5 years long? How much value do selection effects leave on the table, from LW being mostly in English and white male geek coded?

If I had more time I'd review the linked documents to see how congruent Benquo's summary is.

Comment by hamnox on The Goddess of Everything Else · 2021-01-09T00:32:08.170Z · LW · GW

Okay, so I finally have a good handle to talk about the giant blindspot in Solstice Rituals that's been bugging me. This story obsfucates a very significant leap of reasoning:

In the story, individuals start forming packs and tribes. Then the goddess of Cancer speaks, "pitting black ant on red ant, or chimps against gibbons, whole tribes turned to corpses in terrible warfare." and after this point, the Goddess of everything else does not talk about symbiosis of different animal groups, or co-evolution, or ecologies of interrelated species forming a dynamic equilibrium. She just... completely ignores the looming problem of interspecies conflict to tell a story of how one species in particular unites to dominate everything.

I can imagine a permaculture perspective on the next step, that acknowledges humans could act as especially valuable coordinators for ecologies. Ones that can plan ahead, ones that care, ones that gently bend each part of a system towards benefiting from and sustaining the whole. I want that story.

Maybe it was necessary to unite our species first. We grew more powerful in our service to the goddess of Cancer, and now that we are no longer her creatures we can turn that power towards Everything Else.

I'm not convinced. The march of human progress is a distinctly narrow lens on history, and I find it suspicious how Everything Else happened to get crushed along the way. In any case, we're going to have to learn at some point how to not depend on conquering and consuming to meet all our needs. It's not sustainable. Resources have to come from somewhere, waste has to go somewhere. All that we've got is just one pale blue dot.

Comment by hamnox on Weekend Review Bash: Guided review writing, Forecasting and co-working, in EU and US times · 2021-01-08T21:47:53.099Z · LW · GW

Before the session I have turned 10-20 claims from review posts into forecasting questions or binary polls.

I think I just fell a little bit in love. (Epistemically, not romantically)

Comment by hamnox on S-Curves for Trend Forecasting · 2021-01-07T06:31:27.374Z · LW · GW

Broken image link! Broken image link! Sad.

Using "evolution" when referring to things other than breeding populations, BOO!

Important concept. Very light on backing evidence and references. I wanna hear more about Systems and Networks angles. Could do with fewer examples of Innovation.

Comment by hamnox on Noticing Frame Differences · 2021-01-07T06:15:03.003Z · LW · GW

Oh man, I loved this post. Very vivid mental model for subtle inferential gaps and cross-purposes.

It's surprising it's been so long since I thought about it! Surely if it's such a strong and well-communicated mental model, I would have started using it.. So why did I not?

My guess: the vast majority of conversation frames are still *not the frame which contains talking about frames*. I started recognizing when I wanted to have a timeout and clarify the particular flavor of conversation desired before continuing, but it felt like I broke focus or rappor anytime I had to ask.

If the mentioned subframes carve reality neatly at its joints, I wouldn't know it. I could have brute force updated on them, going through each frame to consider what experiences I should anticipate if someone is using it, and figuring out what cheap tests I can use to distinguish between them.

I didn't.

(The right call, in hindsight. I need vastly more social training data: explore rather than exploit... Could have picked a better year to realize this.)

This post succeeded at giving me "a general sense of what to look for", rather than specific failure modes. Just as it was going for. It just leaves me with a lingering sadness that it didn't also establish common knowledge for how to go about having that meta conversation u_u

Comment by hamnox on The Tale of Alice Almost: Strategies for Dealing With Pretty Good People · 2021-01-07T05:06:09.777Z · LW · GW

So. I have the distinct sense I just read an unusually mathematical vagueblog.

Was there a way to explain these dynamics with concrete examples, and *NOT* have those groups' politics blow up in your face about it? Not sure. I'm really not sure. Could do with a flow chart?

I would be fascinated to see this in the form of a flowchart, and *then* run an experiment to test if jointly going through it shortens the time it takes to get two people arguing over norms/punishments to a state of double-crux.

Comment by hamnox on Instant stone (just add water!) · 2021-01-07T04:27:36.013Z · LW · GW

This is so lovely! Pure happy infodump energy. Reveling in the wonder of reality.

It's very close to a zetetic explanation, which I massively approve of. You might even say it's a concrete example.

(Side note: Rebar reinforced concrete was a mistake. It rusts in place and this fucks up so much modern architecture.)

Comment by hamnox on Book summary: Unlocking the Emotional Brain · 2021-01-07T04:00:54.948Z · LW · GW

This is a more kludgy dense read than some of Kaj's other writing. I think I'm mostly only making sense of it because I'm familiar with similar ideas already. Some of those from Kaj's later posts! I guess I'm not that interested in an overview of a particular book? I can't tell if I read this post before, or if the same points were repeated in other writing. But I'm getting stuck on some clinical wordiness. 

Doesn't seem... foundational? It's a starting-to-build on literature and other posts. I'm not sure how someone else would build on it.

If anything, I want to dig deeper into the transcript and concrete examples. Step back from the clinical language, and start thinking in terms of specific actions + predictions that individuals can test. That is likely a point in favor of directly reading the book.