Humor: GURPS Friendly AI 2013-02-04T16:38:11.271Z
'Life exists beyond 50' 2013-01-14T14:28:20.274Z
Meetup : Atlanta - Practical Rationality Meetup Session 2012-11-20T23:01:59.536Z
Signalling fallacies: Implication vs. Inference 2012-11-14T21:15:19.200Z
Final cause is epistemologically primary, but efficient cause is metaphysically primary 2012-10-25T06:02:07.611Z
Less Wrong views on morality? 2012-07-05T17:04:21.187Z
Meetup : Atlanta - Game night! 2012-04-20T15:12:13.257Z
Meetup : Atlanta 2012-04-03T16:00:10.251Z
Meetup : Atlanta 2012-03-08T17:35:17.659Z
Meetup : Atlanta 2012-02-25T18:15:35.236Z
Meetup : Atlanta 2012-02-13T00:30:24.091Z
Meetup : Atlanta 2012-01-28T15:51:39.017Z
The Third Annual Young Cryonicists Gathering (2012) 2012-01-07T03:30:33.879Z
Active AGI and/or FAI researchers 2012-01-07T03:08:46.687Z
Meetup : Atlanta, GA 2012-01-04T00:31:38.377Z
Meetup : Next Atlanta Less Wrong Meetup 2011-11-20T03:21:16.068Z
Meetup : Atlanta Less Wrong Meetup 2011-11-18T13:59:40.418Z


Comment by hankx7787 on Rationality Quotes October 2013 · 2013-10-27T14:28:27.152Z · LW · GW

Completely wrong.

As a software engineer at a company with way too much work to go around, I can tell you that making a "good effort" goes a long way. 90% of the time you don't have to "make it work or get a zero". As long as you are showing progress you can generally keep the client happy (or at least not firing you) as you get things done, even if you are missing deadlines. And this seems very much normal to me. I'm not sure where in the market you have to "make it work or get a zero". I'm not even convinced that exists.

Comment by hankx7787 on Meetup : Atlanta: ATLessWrong Meetup · 2013-03-19T04:01:24.579Z · LW · GW

Anyone can join the group, right?

Comment by hankx7787 on Meetup : Atlanta: ATLessWrong Meetup · 2013-03-18T23:13:11.267Z · LW · GW

Link to said group:

Comment by hankx7787 on Meetup : Atlanta: ATLessWrong Meetup · 2013-03-18T08:24:37.958Z · LW · GW

Definitely looking forward to any new people

Comment by hankx7787 on Meetup : Atlanta: ATLessWrong Meetup · 2013-03-17T23:07:21.630Z · LW · GW


Comment by hankx7787 on Exercise in dissolving · 2013-03-15T04:49:50.154Z · LW · GW

no he's right

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T17:19:14.545Z · LW · GW

I'm not trying to write persuasively. I already have all the information in the first place. I know the organizers reasons, she told them to me. I know the contract is garbage, I just looked at it last night to make certain I was actually corresponding fully with reality here. If I wanted to be persuasive I would have just laid all of that on the line. But I don't want to do that here. I'm not trying to persuade the people who don't believe me, I'm just trying to make sure anybody who seriously cares about this can see it, and knows they can get more information from me if they want it in order to better make a decision. Since it's relatively costless to simply ask me for the evidence, it's silly for anybody who seriously cares about the answer to complain that they don't believe me without even asking.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T16:45:37.383Z · LW · GW

So why don't you respond down here?

Why don't you tell me that it's ok to screw our friends with an enormous, unexpected bill because your contract was garbage and it would hurt the program's budget to treat them fairly? Even though it's against all of your your own instrumental goals, even though you have no legal basis, even though that's an incredibly heartless, dick thing to do.

You seem to be suggesting that's perfectly rational behavior and not crazy at all, so why don't you elaborate on that.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T06:02:44.540Z · LW · GW

The lady who runs this is quite literally, nuts.

I do not think this means what you think it means, but thanks for the funny image anyway.

I do not think this means what you think it means, but thanks for the funny image anyway.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T05:38:46.995Z · LW · GW

The sad part for me is that I wasn't smart enough to figure out on the spot how to fully convince her to change her mind and make nobody here have to pay anything...

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T05:36:00.475Z · LW · GW

can't believe this gold gets down-voted so heavily, lol.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T05:30:47.638Z · LW · GW

yes, well. this kind of unexpectedly evolved into exercise that everybody failed. if you don't like it perhaps you can start a petition. fucking rofl...

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T03:18:24.543Z · LW · GW

man now I feel bad about cussing when you took it so elegantly, lol. and yeah, on your last point, I seemed to be much more confident than the average Less Wronger about Kim Souzzi for example. Not really sure if that's related but it at least seems like another data point.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T03:09:04.819Z · LW · GW

I found most of the conference to otherwise be overly regimented without enough unstructured time.

I actually agree with this completely. That was my main piece of constructive advice for the conference: more unstructured time. The best conversations were around the hot tub. Funny how that works.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T03:07:19.510Z · LW · GW

More total time was wasted with discussion and worry about this (and not getting to know each other) than actual sum time wasted by the handful of people who showed up late.

Which just goes to illustrate my question, which do you think was a bigger pain in the ass for Frodo, the Fellowship or the Ring? lol

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T03:00:32.138Z · LW · GW

You're too fucking late you idiot

Now let's learn from this and not make the same mistake when it counts, shall we? :)

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T02:44:55.984Z · LW · GW

Tim, the distinction is moot from the point of view of the poor bastard getting screwed in all this. Anyone with a shred of empathy can see that. It's especially bad since these are explicitly young people, most of whom are not going to be economically well off, which is why they needed the scholarship so much in the first place!

I don't think our mutual friends to whom this email was sent would agree that it's ok to screw them with an enormous, unexpected bill because your contract was garbage and it would hurt the program's budget to treat them fairly (in some crazy scenario you're suggesting may be possible). I don't know of any reason why the cases last year couldn't be taken to court except that nobody tried or it wasn't worth it. But you're a lawyer so maybe you can answer that...

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T02:40:52.927Z · LW · GW

I'm sorry, I didn't realize "easily verified" was a technical term. It seems perfectly easy to just ask me and receive what you want. How is that any different than getting results from a google search, except that you'd have to confirm that the evidence is real, which at that point would be a significantly higher probability (or lower probability, I suppose, depending on what you saw) belief anyway (and a requirement that the results of your search would be subject to anyway)?

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T02:11:48.614Z · LW · GW

well, you're systematically wrong.

I don't want to, say, "name the victims", unless someone genuinely wants more evidence if this is real or not, so I can run it by them first. "Serious inquiries only." I've already explained below about not wanting to be "too serious" in my tone in the email. The fact that Google returns no results is a sad testament to the fact that nobody else apparently thought it worth telling about (and Cairn Idun's bizarre, cryptic snail mail packages of paper don't exactly facilitate an online presence. If you knew anything about this you'd know what I mean.)

But the main point is that you're not actually responding to what I said. What possible evidence could you have to think I'm making this up? I'm not not giving out my evidence, I'm actually telling you that I can provide it if asked for.

If you seriously don't care one way or another about why it's true, then I really don't know why you care so much about why everything is not instantly transparent, when you can easily think of reasons why I would want to keep some details private in making the claim.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T01:57:22.448Z · LW · GW

I never said I don't want an answer. Actually I think I explicitly asked for one.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T01:04:47.545Z · LW · GW

Actually this makes sense, in a twisted way. I guess I'll have to take the karma hit to make sure this isn't noticed by people who don't actually care :P

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-12T01:01:06.488Z · LW · GW

This is neither a blog post nor an article.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-11T23:54:56.533Z · LW · GW

It never occurred to me that a Less Wronger whose name you can click and view their history, who has no known reasons to randomly start attacking this one person with a very specific, elaborate story that could be easily verified... I'm sorry I can't even finish this sentence.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-11T23:32:20.526Z · LW · GW

Yes, in this particular situation, specifically her callousness in how severe a sentence she was imposing, without giving any specific advance notice about her criteria, and how coldly she rejected my pleas to have mercy on them. That's pretty clearly over the line, which is what I meant by "literally nuts" instead of just "nuts". The quite considerable concession she later made to reduce their punishment seemed, yes, more humanizing. So I'm not just trying to universally bash her, I know some people are friends with her and everything. Also I don't know that this exhibits a persistent personality trait, for example I was told they are making the rules more explicit in the contract, so I don't want to be seen as committing a fundamental attribution error. Also, I was using "lol" to defuse the warning just a little bit, since people who are already financially committed may be liable to freak out just a little bit too much and I didn't want to be sending the wrong signal... Ok, enough said.

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-11T23:20:59.088Z · LW · GW

Oh come on, it's a figure of speech, this isn't a freakin scholarly article, it's just an email I sent to someone that I put here because I genuinely want to help others... point taken about context, I guess that really is a serious issue here, in terms of karma at least. I wasn't venting, but this was a first-hand experience, so I guess I just really relate well to the situation (lol) and feel free to stick in those barbs

Comment by hankx7787 on Young Cryonicist Gathering Warning · 2013-03-11T20:41:48.287Z · LW · GW

Genuine question: why is this getting down voted?

Edit: Ok, not enough context, and questions of legitimacy. I at least added a disclaimer at the top now...

Edit 2: And nobody cares apparently. That's just sad.

Comment by hankx7787 on [Link] Tomasik's "Quantify with Care" · 2013-03-09T14:45:11.788Z · LW · GW

this should go without saying, but you should be highly skeptical of any decision based on inestimable ineffables.

Comment by hankx7787 on Positive Information Diet, Take the Challenge · 2013-03-02T00:04:58.563Z · LW · GW


Comment by hankx7787 on [deleted post] 2013-02-28T22:05:32.589Z

This is the official ad campaign for MIRI from now on.

Comment by hankx7787 on Philosophical Landmines · 2013-02-28T17:00:59.047Z · LW · GW

Oh, excellent. I'm one of today's lucky 10,000!

Comment by hankx7787 on Philosophical Landmines · 2013-02-27T12:23:28.679Z · LW · GW

This is quite true.

Comment by hankx7787 on Philosophical Landmines · 2013-02-27T12:15:53.296Z · LW · GW

Yes, I invented the idea of "philosophical hurdles" ages ago. For every "topic" there are some set of philosophical hurdles you have to overcome to even start approaching the right position. These hurdles can be surprisingly obscure. Perhaps you don't have quite enough math exposure and your concepts of infinity are a bit off, or you're aren't as solidly reductionistic as others and therefore your concept of identity is marginally weakened - anything like these can dramatically alter your entire life, goals, and decisions - and it can take a significant amount of time and motivated conversation before you can debug someone's belief system to identify exactly what hurdle they are stuck on (and fixing it is a whole other problem, usually there are hurdles to overcome before you can overcome hurdles, and then more before that...). And any small confusion in metaphysics or epistemology (let alone ethics or politics) seems to limit your soul to a certain point, beyond which you can't proceed to the next philosophic hurdle. And these are pretty advanced problems to have anyway, you have to already be pretty intelligent, well-educated, and have some strong rationalist skills to really have a chance at overcoming the sheer burden of human bias in the first place.

Comment by hankx7787 on Let's make a "Rational Immortalist Sequence". Suggested Structure. · 2013-02-27T12:06:21.948Z · LW · GW

Please see this excellent essay by Bruce Klein, founder of the Immortality Institute...

Immortalist Philosophy

The immortalist philosophy is based upon the idea that humans only have one life and one chance to live. There are no alternative states to the current state other than oblivion. Thus, what we experience now and the life we have now is the only alternative.

Many people may look at the prospect of immortality with a large degree of skepticism. There is a pervasive feeling in society today that humans should not tamper with the cycle of life or that physical immortality is impossible, to boring, or just plain silly.

Why Should We Live Forever? One should not be intimidated or put off by the idea of physical immortality. This has nothing to do with a religious or spiritual immortality and more to do with a sustainable form of life that is never-ending and attainable in the physical world we live in now. Most would argue it can't be done. But this is usually a reflex response brought on by conditioning by the influence of religion and society.

Things, however are starting to change. Advancements in science and technology are opening up new possibilities in the field of life extension. We are on the threshold of great breakthroughs in nanotechnology, biotechnology, and artificial intelligence.

The columniation of this research and experimentation will give way to actual methods that will enabling us to heal and replenish our bodies in a perpetual state of youthfulness. At some point in the future, a realization will crystallize within the consciousness of humankind that "death in not inevitable."

Throughout history, the questions surrounding death have stumped humankind. Ever since humans evolved the ability to contemplate our existence, we've asked the question "what will happen to me after I die," yet we have yet to have the chance to ask the question, "what happens if I could live forever."

The Only Alternative Is Life An Immortalist does not want to find out what happens after death. There are more than a few good examples in nature of what happens. All humans, until now, have had a beginning, middle and then die. An immortalist would suggest that "life" is the answer to the question that has perplexed humankind for so long. Simply stated:

Nothing Happens After Death We only die - no afterlife, no second chances, no reincarnation. Thus, this only leave us with one simple option - embrace life.

At the onset of death, consciousness is obliterated by hypoxia. Neuronal connections built up over a lifetime are destroyed by the lack of oxygen. The essence of what makes us who we are is destroyed by this process. Cryonics, if implemented quickly enough may save this identity, however the prospects of cryonics are still unknown and tenuous. Therefore, it's much preferred not to die altogether, and only rely upon Cryonics as a sort of safety net or 'life' insurance.

Thus, staying alive is exceedingly important thing. There are no second chances after death, baring the success of Cryonics. One way of looking at death is to try and remember a time before birth... this is what one should expect after death, a void never to be filled again.

Comment by hankx7787 on [Link] Tomasik's "Quantify with Care" · 2013-02-23T14:58:28.172Z · LW · GW

I agree with this completely. A lot of the times we simply don't have information beyond broad generalizations or estimates more accurate than within a order of magnitude or something, and yet people still insist on trying to formulate and act on precise quantifications, even though such information doesn't even exist.

Comment by hankx7787 on Visual Mental Imagery Training · 2013-02-20T21:08:40.748Z · LW · GW

I would guess walks in familiar areas (e.g. common routes within your house/apartment) would be more helpful. Since you see a lot of the same imagery it may help your imagination fill in the details. again be careful walking around with eyes closed.

another thing that could help is visualization by parts. work on getting just one piece clear in your mind before gradually expanding on that, and maybe with practice you can put the pieces together more quickly.

Comment by hankx7787 on Visual Mental Imagery Training · 2013-02-20T21:06:23.071Z · LW · GW

I guess I should point out that if you really don't have mental imagery to be careful walking around with your eyes closed, obviously.

Comment by hankx7787 on Visual Mental Imagery Training · 2013-02-20T15:46:47.077Z · LW · GW
  1. Pick a video game. Preferably something with a lot of consistent imagery/gameplay. A racing game running the same map would be a great example.

  2. Play this video game from when you wake up to when you go to bed, with minimal time for breaks or distractions.

  3. After hours of having these images burned into your retinas, randomly try closing your eyes for just a moment or two and rest your brain every once in a while.. When I'm playing video games intensely and then I shut my eyes, sometimes it's like I never even shut them in the first place - all the images are still mostly there and still mostly behaving as I've been watching them behave (e.g. I'm involuntarily visualizing the walls rushing by as I make turns in the race, etc. My eyes feel funny and then I realize they are actually closed! holy crap! etc...).

I've found first-person games like FPS or racing games to be the most intense and reliable in producing this effect. You might also get better results at different times of the day (e.g. alone in a quiet room in the middle of the night). But it works with any game, or really just in general I can close my eyes and have the scene flashing in my mind.

Here's another thing to try:

Walk casually around your house or another familiar area. With your eyes closed. Only once every few seconds (or when you think you really need to) - as quickly as you can, blink your eyes open and instantly shut again. Try to retain as much information as possible for the next few seconds of your blind walk so you don't run into things or step on things. You will be amazed at how normally you can perform with scant visual information.

er, also note that trying to visualize something from nothing can be extremely hard. For example I cannot look at someone's face and then imagine them in all kinds of new facial expressions that I've never actually seen on them before. If you try to change something you're not really equipped to visualize, it will just seem like an amorphous blob or an abstract symbolic designation rather than striking visual imagery. If this happens with something like geometry, that probably means you just need to spend more time trying until you get it, but don't be too surprised if you're trying to visualize this massively detailed scene of real-life visualizations, and things just aren't as vivid as you like. Visualizing geometry and relatively abstract scenes is way, way less demanding than trying to manipulate the full visual resolution of real-life images in your mind.

Comment by hankx7787 on Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Argument · 2013-02-19T13:31:17.542Z · LW · GW

I like this a lot. It's often said by conservative commentators that conservatives completely understand liberals, but liberals do not understand conservatives at all. I think there's truth to that, I would love to see some experiments like this, hehehe...

Comment by hankx7787 on Domesticating reduced impact AIs · 2013-02-16T16:12:10.838Z · LW · GW

It's an incredibly complicated software and hardware system. Maybe the most complex thing ever invented. There are bugs. There are unknown unknowns. There are people trying to steal the AI technology. There are people who already have AI technology who are going forward without hindering themselves with these restrictions. All of this doesn't happen in a bubble; there's context. This setup has to come from somewhere. The AI has to come from somewhere. This has to be implemented in an actual place. Somebody has to fund all of this - without using that power to compromise the system. Obviously there are loads of surrounding social and technical problems, even assuming this system is built absolutely perfectly, that cannot be swept under the rug when the stakes are this high. I don't really want to go into specifics beyond that. This is a great attempt at one piece of the puzzle, but it's only one piece. We will need a lot more.

At any rate, my point is that this is like anything else that generally falls under Hank's law of AGI safety, which states something like, "Your AGI safety measures will not be good enough, even when taking into account Hank's law of AGI safety..."

Comment by hankx7787 on Domesticating reduced impact AIs · 2013-02-15T21:42:29.012Z · LW · GW

I love what you're doing and was with up until the conclusion, "Given all these assumptions, then it seems that this setup will produce what we want: a reduced impact AI that will program a disciple AI that will build a paperclip and little else."

Obviously such a conclusion does not realistically follow simply from implementing this one safety device. This is one good idea, but alone isn't nearly sufficient. You will need many, many more good ideas.

Comment by hankx7787 on The Virtue of Compartmentalization · 2013-02-15T21:37:32.422Z · LW · GW

I don't think "compartmentalization" is an appropriate word for a virtue...

Comment by hankx7787 on Rationality Quotes February 2013 · 2013-02-13T15:20:34.135Z · LW · GW

another great quote for 2013

Comment by hankx7787 on Isolated AI with no chat whatsoever · 2013-02-09T16:40:37.237Z · LW · GW

This is called AI boxing, google it. It's a really, really bad idea to rely on boxing for anything serious (and besides, you're missing about a dozen things I can think of off the top of my head from your little list of proposed boxing techniques.)

Comment by hankx7787 on Singularity Institute is now Machine Intelligence Research Institute · 2013-02-09T16:33:30.214Z · LW · GW

"What exactly do you mean by ‘machine’, such that humans are not machines?" - Eliezer Yudkowsky

Comment by hankx7787 on Rationality when it's somewhat hard · 2013-02-09T16:27:21.883Z · LW · GW


Comment by hankx7787 on Humor: GURPS Friendly AI · 2013-02-05T14:11:23.560Z · LW · GW


Comment by hankx7787 on Rationality Quotes February 2013 · 2013-02-04T23:34:13.566Z · LW · GW

Quote of 2013!

Comment by hankx7787 on Humor: GURPS Friendly AI · 2013-02-04T23:15:41.633Z · LW · GW

It's at the bottom here, and I thought it was the most interesting thing of all that I found :)

I thought there used to be a much longer list of "Failures of Friendliness" but I can't seem to find anything else.

Comment by hankx7787 on Don't Build Fallout Shelters · 2013-01-28T19:46:04.638Z · LW · GW

Comment by hankx7787 on Update on Kim Suozzi (cancer patient in want of cryonics) · 2013-01-27T16:10:20.630Z · LW · GW

"If god has given us the brains to figure this stuff out, then who's to say what plans he has once we have figured it out?" - Jane Suozzi on cryonics