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 Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-21T07:20:39.349Z · LW · GW

Epistemic Status: groping around at an event idea I hope others are interested in

I don't know how to communicate this yet, but there's a ritual I want to do with friends this summer. The following describes some inspirations and gestures toward the general aesthestic.

  • It was part of my step-family's lore to learn camping skills and wilderness survival, at one point even giving little "merit badges" for demonstrating mastery. With a similar spirit they would also host summer 'art shows' where'd we'd learn about a different culture and put things we made that year (or day) on display for the family to see.
  • Judaism has this week-long celebration that involves building a simple outdoor shelter which one eats in, sometimes sleeps. The shelter itself symbolizes the fragility and transience of life and one's dependence on God.
  • Burning Man is a temporary Art-themed city that springs up for a week in the middle of the nowhere and gets torn down cleanly at the end. The standard middle of nowhere happens to be in a freaking desert, so it's got this strong ethos of pushing one's limits individually but also looking out for each other. It emphasizes raw experiences and co-creation, eschews symbols of consumerism. Whole lot of drugs, music, sex, and weirdness.
  • Midsummer bonfires or maypoles. For drinking, dancing, singing around. Associated with "fertility", aka event of the year for flirting and/or hookups.
  • How To Make Everything youtube series: "Everything we use comes from 8,000 generations of collective innovation and discovery. But could an average person figure it all out themselves and work their way from the stone age to today?".
  • snippets from the sequences
    • Making History Available - "I should immerse myself in history, imagine living through eras I only saw as ink on paper. ... I had to overcome the false amnesia of being born at a particular time. I had to recall—make available— all the memories, not just the memories which, by mere coincidence, belonged to myself and my own era. ... So many mistakes, made over and over and over again, because I did not remember making them, in every era I never lived . . ." 
    • What is Evidence, Entangled Truth, Contagious Lies - rationality as entangling oneself with truths, and truths being heavily entangled with each other.
    • Truly Part of You - "How much of your knowledge could you regenerate? From how deep a deletion? ... A shepherd builds a counting system that works by throwing a pebble into a bucket whenever a sheep leaves the fold, and taking a pebble out whenever a sheep returns. If you, the apprentice, do not understand this system—if it is magic that works for no apparent reason—then you will not know what to do if you accidentally drop an extra pebble into the bucket. That which you cannot make yourself, you cannot remake when the situation calls for it."
  • Doing stuff badly and having fun with it, like a child. Your work is going to suck. But it's yours in a way many hyper-optimized alternatives are not.
  • Hackerspace/Makerspace: Community-operated work spaces where people with common interests (often in technology, science, and digital art) can meet, socialize, shbrare infrastructure, and collaborate.

Am stalled on figuring out what the minimum viable parts are

Comment by hamnox on An Observation of Vavilov Day · 2022-01-18T21:23:15.520Z · LW · GW

Not a literal culture, rather In My Culture.

Comment by hamnox on An Observation of Vavilov Day · 2022-01-16T19:36:00.434Z · LW · GW

uncomfortable squirm

In my culture, one is to be super wary of lionizing martyrs.

I want to be excited about cool new holiday ideas. I think trying a fast in a coordinated group is a splendid idea. I want to celebrate the amazing capacity of humans to care about others and to do hard things for good reasons.

 

but pain is not the unit of effort.

dying for the cause is not a success.

not every cost is avoidable, but i never, ever want to become the kind of person

who mistakes the price sacrificed for a value bought

 

In my culture there's a meta-tradition around ritual hardships or labors: you are to set aside at least 5 minutes, by the very clock, for considering how you might cheat. If you find you could get results without the hardship, you are expected to cheat for the results and then go find some other way to challenge yourself.

Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T18:11:29.305Z · LW · GW

epistemic status: felt sense poetry

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.

We often dream of leaving the earth and solar system under our own power. It's an important goal. It's not, however, immediately achievable. We are, for now, tied to this pale blue dot. Sol III, Terra, the world that birthed us. And when we do leave, we will take much of it with us. Some of it we will take intentionally, because we're sentimental like that. But some we will take in the marks of growing up on this pale blue dog, in *what kind of beings our first world made us*.

I want to dedicate a time of the year to 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 we 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 how you learn true things and make good choices. But, you are not the general example of an agent. Your mind did not spring up from first principals. Evolutionary history, cultural memetics, and human institutions also play a role in the way you learn true things and make good choices. That which is at your roots effected what the truth to be found and good choices to be made even are, thousands of years later.

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

And spread your leaves wide. Plants are often portrayed as passive; that's incorrect. They move. They move a great deal, efficiently and slowly, in order to catch the sun. In the spirit of a plant, you need not chase after every opportunity. You can position yourself well, and take the chances as they come to you. Have patience, not passivity. And spread your leaves wide. Catch every ray of sunlight and harness it. Drink in the present moment, and turn it into something awesome.

  • 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. What don't you know about them that you would like to?
  • What serendipitous chance might you hope to catch, this month? What would you be prepared to act on if it happened?
Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T16:26:27.460Z · LW · GW

I don't remember reading anything like that. If I had to make a wild guess of where to find that topic I'd assume it was part of the Luminosity sequence.

Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T15:48:10.575Z · LW · GW

I read through your proposal, and I don't understand how all your suggestions are covered. Can you run through which of your proposed elements

  • lightbulb: is used for surprising or insightful information
  • exclamation mark: is used to warn about something that requires attention
  • question mark: flags open questions that should be answered
  • trend (up/down): information about a general positive/negative trend
  • checkmark: Different from an up-vote; indicates that something was completed and does not need further attention

you see as corresponding to which elements in the current setup?

Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T15:40:43.603Z · LW · GW

Polar opposite opinion on the truth buttons.

Agree / Disagree is not a relevant axis of quality on Lesswrong.
True / False is so relevant, when a comment contains explicit or implicit claims about reality to fact check.

I tentatively infer that the use case you're thinking of is some kind of Quick Poll, where someone shares subjective anecdata and others can quickly chime in with whether their anecdata is alike or in contrast of that example. This would be an incredibly valuable tool; I really want to have that. What I don't want is to have that tool in the place of a quality control system.

Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T15:05:56.576Z · LW · GW

if i had to redesign the system right now based on these thoughts, I'd go for 3 sections of feedback.

First, reactions: Skepticism, Enthusiasm, Surprise, Empathy, Ugh, Wrath

Second, upvote/downvote.

Third, rubric breakdown. this is collapsed by default, if you voted Strong in either direction then it automatically opens. 

  • False | True
  • Muddled | Clear
  • Irrelevant* | On the Mark
  • Seeds Discord | Truth Converging

*-possible alternative: out of bounds?

Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T14:25:13.458Z · LW · GW

Agree it's overwhelming.

Agree it'll get better if limited to relevant contexts and polished up.

Agree the axes are difficult to distinguish from one another. True speech, truth-seeking speech, precisely specified speech, and accurately aimed speech are all distinctly important! buuuut they're strongly correlated so the distinctions are usually only useful to point out on the extreme ends of the quality spectrum, or on very short comments.

There's an axis? reaction? that is not quite muddled or conflict-seeking or missing the point or false, nor does it warrants skepticism or surprise. It's just... an ugh field. It's the category of too much text, too far outside my base context, too ugly, too personally triggering, too why I should even try.

My browser shows does not display the skepticism or enthusiasm icons, I too have great difficulty identifying their meaning.

Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T13:39:26.903Z · LW · GW

I interpreted it as "vibing with this" or "mood". Feeling a moment of connection with another human being through their words, either because it matches your own experience or because they painted a foreign vista vivid enough to inhabit.

Comment by hamnox on Open Thread - Jan 2022 [Vote Experiment!] · 2022-01-16T13:20:42.022Z · LW · GW

I am getting rectangle boxes for both Enthusiasm and Skepticism.

Comment by hamnox on hamnox's Shortform · 2022-01-04T18:47:35.410Z · LW · GW

uh, something got lost in translation because I can't make sense of what you're saying

  • we can't unknow our scientific knowledge.
  • of course we'd learn from and partially integrate into the local institutions when we stay some place, it would be literally insane not to
  • we already have migration--seasonal farmhands, escaping small towns, ratspies to the bay area?
Comment by hamnox on hamnox's Shortform · 2022-01-04T17:50:58.968Z · LW · GW

i wish for a modern nomadic tribe
 

imagine a group that was intelligent, rational enough they could rapidly adjust to new circumstances like (snap) *that*. they carry what they need in with them, wherever they go, and have the science of bootstrapping from the ground up down to an art form.
 

imagine they had a burning man ethos of 'leave no trace', or even left the place behind them better than it was found. imagine they stealth into a settled community like brownies to turn leather scraps into shoes.

imagine a culture of intentionality: rapid prototyping and testing of norms, thoughtul adoption with an eye to the long term.

i wish. now what?

Comment by hamnox on Solstice Quaker Darkness Circling · 2022-01-01T21:18:23.181Z · LW · GW

I love this idea, and I'm glad you shared it

Comment by hamnox on hamnox's Shortform · 2021-12-28T15:58:14.449Z · LW · GW

dropping some predictions in my shortform for safekeeping
------------------------------------------
country invades another this year 20%

total covid cases in california < 7.4mil by end 2022 90%
total covid deaths in california < 110,000 by end 2022 93%
https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard/

Dow Jones closes year between 17k and 42k 90%
Dow Jones does not exceed 17k and 42k bounds during year 85%
NASDAQ closes year between 8k and 17k 90%
NASDAQ does not exceed 8k and 17k bounds during year 88%
S&P 500 closes year between 3.5k and 6k 90%
S&P 500 does not exceed 3.5k and 6k bounds during year 86%

2024 US Presidential Election is Trump vs. Biden 23%
New Supreme Court Justice in 2022 15%
Omicron variant less lethal than Delta 94%

Comment by hamnox on Conversational Cultures: Combat vs Nurture (V2) · 2021-12-26T01:58:52.072Z · LW · GW

Wow, I really love that this has been updated and appendix'd. It's really nice to see how this has grown with community feedback and gotten polished this from a rough concept.

Creating common knowledge on how 'cultures' of communication can differ seems really valuable for a community focused on cooperatively finding truth.

Comment by hamnox on Most Prisoner's Dilemmas are Stag Hunts; Most Stag Hunts are Schelling Problems · 2021-12-26T01:37:17.214Z · LW · GW

I like this, in the sense that it's provoking fascinating thoughts and makes me want to talk with the author about it further. As a communication of a particular concept? I'm kinda having a hard time following what the intent is.

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.