Proposal: Community Curated Anki Decks For MIRI Recommended Courses 2014-05-07T18:48:32.833Z
HIKE: A Group Dynamics Case Study 2013-07-16T19:14:20.721Z
[LINK] Antibiotic seemingly improves decision-making in the presence of attractive women. 2013-05-07T14:26:04.604Z


Comment by iconreforged on Proposal: Community Curated Anki Decks For MIRI Recommended Courses · 2014-05-08T19:39:23.688Z · LW · GW

I totally agree. Shared decks encourage a lot of SRS vices.

But, given that they exist and that people are going to use them, is there a way to raise the quality of a shared deck significantly above the average? You can page through the shared decks on Anki's shared decks page and dredge up extremely low quality. If you look at the repository of decks by LW users, the average quality is much better, but could still be improved.

I propose that the MIRI courses are valuable, and that people learning them could benefit from Anki decks. I think the best way to make these Anki decks is a wiki-style collaborative effort.

Comment by iconreforged on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-25T18:45:13.735Z · LW · GW

Exactly the right avenue. Unfortunately, Anki typically uses its own idiosyncratic data format that's not very handy for this kind of thing, but it's possible to export and import decks to text, as it turns out.

The issue with this is that if you're months into studying a deck and you'd like to merge edits from other contributors, I'm not certain that you simultaneously import the edits and keep all of your progress.

Even so, the text deck route has the most promise as far as I can tell.

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-23T16:49:19.743Z · LW · GW

I think that Quantified Mind provides some high-value tests. So long as you're willing to sit down and take a test, you can get data on:

  • Reaction Time
  • Visuo-spacial memory
  • Executive Function
  • Working Memory
  • Verbal learning
  • Motor function

Also, looking at what Gwern tracks, it seems helpful to have long-run data on subjective mood and energy. I randomly sample myself on that with PACO. PACO can allow you to poll yourself on any kind of thing you can imagine, like whether you're sitting, standing, or walking, or whether you're in public or private.

Edit: Added detail on QM.

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, 21-27 April 2014 · 2014-04-23T16:21:18.961Z · LW · GW

So, as I've heard Mike Munger explain it, fairness is evolution's solution to the equilibrium outcome selection problem. "Solution to the what?" you ask. This would be easy to explain if you're familiar with the Edgeworth box.

In a simplified economy consisting of two people and two goods, where the two people have some combination of different tastes and different initial baskets of things. Suppose that you have 20 oranges and 5 apples, and that I have 3 oranges and 30 apples, and that we each prefer more even numbers of fruits than either extreme. We can trade apples and oranges to make each of us strictly better off, but there's a whole continuum of possible trades that make us better off. And with your highly advanced social brain, you can tell that some of these trades are shit deals, like when I offer you 1 apple for 12 of your oranges. Even though we'd both mutually benefit, you'd be inclined to immediately counteroffer with something a closer to the middle of the continuum of mutually beneficial exchanges, or a point that benefits you more as a reprimand for my being a jerk. Dealing fairly with each other skips costly repeated bargaining, and standing up to jerks who deviate from approximate fairness preserves the norm.

This is the sort of intuition that we're trying to test for in the Ultimatum game.

Comment by iconreforged on Open Thread April 16 - April 22, 2014 · 2014-04-20T22:24:19.946Z · LW · GW

Does anyone know of a way to collaboratively manage a flashcard deck in Anki or Mnemosyne? Barring that, what are my options so far as making it so?

Even if only two people are working on the same deck, the network effects of sharing cards makes the card-making process much cheaper. Each can edit the cards made by the other, they can divide the effort between the two of them, and they reap the benefit of insightful cards they might not have made themselves.

Comment by iconreforged on Open Thread April 8 - April 14 2014 · 2014-04-08T14:56:47.955Z · LW · GW

Does anyone else here have bizarre/hacky writing habits?

I discovered Amphetype, a learn-to-type application that allows you to type passages from anything that you get as a text file. But I've started to use it to randomly sample excerpts from my own writing. The process of re-typing it word for word makes me actually re-process it, mentally speaking, and I often find myself compelled to actually re-write something upon having re-typed it.

Something similar that I've had positive results with is to print out a draft, open a new file, and make myself transcribe the new draft to a new file.

Comment by iconreforged on Open Thread for February 3 - 10 · 2014-02-08T18:11:14.670Z · LW · GW

I was about to post a comment that said the same!

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-25T23:45:29.065Z · LW · GW

True. It seems like the great-papers avenue is being pursued full-steam these days with MIRI, but I wonder if they're going to run out of low-hanging fruit to publish, or if mainstream academia is going to drag their heels replying to them.

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-25T23:42:18.165Z · LW · GW

Well, yes, there is going to be some inevitable crap, but the purpose of signalling is so that you could impress a much larger pool of people. So it might not be much help for gossip journalists, but it might help with the marginal professional ethicist, mathematician, or public figure. In that area, you might get some additional "Anybody who can do that must be damn impressive.". Does the additional damn-impressive outweigh the cost? I don't know, that's why I'm asking.

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-25T23:36:48.638Z · LW · GW

I'm not certain that getting a degree now counts as the traditional route. Also, I don't think that an additional degree is particularly damaging to his image. People aren't going to lose interest in FAI if he sells out and gets a traditional degree. Or they are and I have no idea what kind of people are involved.

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-25T23:32:45.172Z · LW · GW

Impressing Thiel is independent of a future degree or not, because he's already impressed. Where's the next billionaire going to come from, and will they coincidentally also be as contrarian as Thiel? Maybe MIRI doesn't need another billionaire, but I don't think they'd turn one away.

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-25T23:25:55.016Z · LW · GW

Eddie has some math talent. He can invest some time, money, and effort C to get a degree, which allows other people to discern that he has a higher probability of having that math talent. This higher probability confers some benefit in that other people will more readily take his advice in mathematical matters, or talk with him about his math.

The fun twist is that Eddie lives in a society with many other individuals with varying degrees of math talent, each of whom can expend C to get a degree and the associated benefits. People with almost no mathematical talent have a prohibitively high C, because even if they can pony up the time and money, they have to work very hard to fake their way through. But people with high math ability often choose to stand out by getting the degree, because their C is relatively lower, and a very high proportion of them get degrees. This creates a high association between degrees and mathematical ability, and makes it unlikely to see high mathematical ability in the absence of a degree.

That's the basic idea, plus degrees signal other things which may be completely unrelated to math, but are still nice. Even in the case where the degree has no causal effect no math ability, there are benefits to having one, in that the other math people can judge very quickly that they're interested in talking to you.

Hopefully that demonstrates that I understand signalling. My question is about the costs and benefits of a particular signal.

Comment by iconreforged on Open thread, January 25- February 1 · 2014-01-25T20:34:05.224Z · LW · GW

Even if you know that signaling is stupid, it doesn't escape the cost of not signaling.

It's a longstanding trope that Eliezer gets a lot of flack for having no formal education. Formal education is not the only way to gain knowledge, but it is a way of signaling knowledge, and it's not very easy to fake (Not so easy to fake that it falls apart as a credential on its own). Has anyone toyed around with the idea of sending him off to get a math degree somewhere? He might learn something, and if not it's a breezy recap of what he already knows. He comes out the other side without the eternal "has no formal education" tagline, and a whole new slew of acquaintances.

Now, I understand that there may be good reasons not to, and I'd very much appreciate someone pointing me to any previous discussion in which this has been ruled out. Otherwise, how feasible does it sound to crowdfund a "Here's your tuition and an extra sum of money to cover the opportunity cost of your time, I don't care how unfair it is that people won't take you seriously without credentials, go study something useful, make friends with your professors, and get out with the minimum number of credits possible" scholarship?

Comment by iconreforged on Decision Auctions aka "How to fairly assign chores, or decide who gets the last cookie" · 2014-01-25T17:51:06.003Z · LW · GW

Am I mistaken, or is this a case of Coasian bargaining?

Comment by iconreforged on Moral enhancement · 2013-10-26T01:56:21.609Z · LW · GW

I attended a talk by Julian Savulescu today, and I'm typing up some notes for a discussion-level post.

Comment by iconreforged on How to get cryocrastinators to actually sign up for cryonics · 2013-09-23T19:02:13.961Z · LW · GW

On the form, there is a question about Nicotine Usage. Is nicotine usage being conflated with smoking here?

Comment by iconreforged on Open Thread, May 1-14, 2013 · 2013-05-23T13:26:00.596Z · LW · GW

Vs V'z guvaxvat pbeerpgyl, lneqf hfrq gb or ragveryl qveg, fhpu gung vs lbh fcevaxyrq gur lneq jvgu jngre, lbh pbhyq nibvq evfvat qhfg.

Comment by iconreforged on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2013-05-19T17:29:22.153Z · LW · GW

A very small number of people read LW, and a fraction of those people are going to apply any status hacks. Only a small number of people are going to apply status hacks, and they are the people who are diligent enough to research and implement them.

Posting such hacks is not going to push everyone to universally adopt them and return everyone to the previous status quo.

Comment by iconreforged on Two Anki plugins to reinforce reviewing (updated) · 2013-05-15T20:50:29.821Z · LW · GW

I was excited to program this myself and you beat me to it!

Thanks! This will beat doing the random draw by hand.

Comment by iconreforged on [LINK] Antibiotic seemingly improves decision-making in the presence of attractive women. · 2013-05-07T14:29:22.132Z · LW · GW

Also, reading here, I get the sense that this isn't the first time minocycline has been used to aid sober decision making.

Scientists think the drug may clear the brain of distractions like, in this case, arousal, to improve focus for making rational decisions. And these scientists aren’t the first to show that the antibiotic has effects other than getting rid of zits. Other studies have demonstrated that minocycline can improve patients’ focus on social cues, encourage sober decision making and improve the symptoms associated with schizophrenia and depression.

Comment by iconreforged on Programming the LW Study Hall · 2013-04-07T23:01:20.745Z · LW · GW

All right, where can I commit time-sensitive monetary rewards to those working on this? I'd like to see it done by next week, and I'd like to see it by about $50.

Comment by iconreforged on Antagonizing Opioid Receptors for (Prevention of) Fun and Profit · 2013-04-07T21:37:45.231Z · LW · GW

Did you ever look into this more?

Comment by iconreforged on Knowledge ready for Ankification · 2013-04-04T17:33:21.505Z · LW · GW

Where do you get your jokes? I thought of this myself, but I only have a few, and I'm not sure where to find more.

Comment by iconreforged on Knowledge ready for Ankification · 2013-04-04T16:15:41.960Z · LW · GW

Seconded. I'd love a decent incremental reading capability.

Comment by iconreforged on Open Thread, April 1-15, 2013 · 2013-04-04T15:20:24.254Z · LW · GW

I watched an awesome movie, and now I'm coasting in far mode. I really like being in far mode, but is this useful? What if I don't want to lose my awesome-movie high?

Are there some things that far mode is especially good for? Should I be managing finances in this state? Reading a textbook? Is far mode instrumentally valuable in any way? Or should I make the unfortunate transition back to near mode?