Zoe Curzi's Experience with Leverage Research 2021-10-13T04:44:49.020Z
Discussion: weighting inside view versus outside view on extinction events 2016-02-25T05:18:15.378Z


Comment by Ilverin on Are we in an AI overhang? · 2020-07-27T19:52:58.879Z · LW · GW

Is it more than 30% likely that in the short term (say 5 years), Google isn't wrong? If you applied massive scale to the AI algorithms of 1997, you would get better performance, but would your result be economically useful? Is it possible we're in a similar situation today where the real-world applications of AI are already good-enough and additional performance is less useful than the money spent on extra compute? (self-driving cars is perhaps the closest example: clearly it would be economically valuable, but what if the compute to train it would cost 20 billion US dollars? Your competitors will catch up eventually, could you make enough profit in the interim to pay for that compute?)

Comment by Ilverin on Has Moore's Law actually slowed down? · 2019-08-21T19:45:03.663Z · LW · GW

How slow does it have to get before a quantitative slowing becomes a qualitative difference? AIImpacts estimates price/performance used to improve an order of magnitude (base 10) every 4 years but it now takes 12 years.

Comment by Ilverin on The Copernican Revolution from the Inside · 2017-11-01T20:38:30.374Z · LW · GW

With regard to "How should you develop intellectually, in order to become the kind of person who would have accepted heliocentrism during the Copernican revolution?"

I think a possibly better question might be "How should you develop intellectually, in order to become the kind of person who would have considered both geocentrism and heliocentrism plausible with probability less than 0.5 and greater than 0.1 during the Copernican revolution?"

edit: May have caused confusion, alternative phrasing of same idea:

who would have considered geocentrism plausible with probability less than 0.5 and greater than 0.1 and would have considered heliocentrism plausible with probability less than 0.5 and greater than 0.1

Comment by Ilverin on Postmodernism for rationalists · 2017-10-18T16:10:42.234Z · LW · GW

Any idea why?

Is it possibly a deliberate strategy to keep average people away from the intellectual movement (which would result in an increased intellectual quality)? If so, I as an average person should probably respect this desire and stay away.

Possibly there should be 2 communities for intellectual movements: one community with a thickly walled garden to develop ideas with quality intellectuals, and a separate community with a thinly walled garden in order to convince a broader audience to drive adoption of those ideas?

Comment by Ilverin on Postmodernism for rationalists · 2017-10-17T19:45:22.689Z · LW · GW

Your comment is quite clear and presents an important idea, thank you.

Why is the original comment about coffee in the presentation lacking in context? Is it deliberately selectively quoted to have less context in order to be provocative?

Comment by Ilverin on Postmodernism for rationalists · 2017-10-17T17:48:52.274Z · LW · GW

I think this is honest and I'm thankful to have read it.

Probably I'm biased and/or stupid, but with regard to Slavoj's comment “Coffee without cream is not the same as coffee without milk.” [this article's author's requests being charitable to this comment], the most charitable I can convince myself to be is "maybe this postmodernist ideology is an ideology specifically designed to show how ideology can be stupid - in this way, postmodernists have undermined other stupid ideologies by encouraging deconstruction of ideology to reveal its stupidity". I think that yes you could elaborate on the coffee comment to make it coherent (e.g. talk about how a human can think about the absence of milk or think about the absence of cream while drinking), but the comment isn't meaningful by itself.

I can't convince myself to say "maybe this comment about coffee is meaningful and I should learn to understand it better", for this reason I'm not planning to study postmodernism.

Comment by Ilverin on The Rationalistsphere and the Less Wrong wiki · 2017-06-14T21:32:58.999Z · LW · GW

I think this might be confounded: the kind of people with sufficient patience or self-discipline or something (call it factor X) are the kind of people both to read the sequences in full and also to produce quality content. (this would cause a correlation between the 2 behaviors without the sequences necessarily causing improvement).

Comment by Ilverin on Less costly signaling · 2016-11-24T17:00:18.478Z · LW · GW

Here's a post by Scott Sumner (an economist with a track record) about how taxing positional goods does make sense:

Comment by Ilverin on Less costly signaling · 2016-11-23T04:56:26.674Z · LW · GW

The main problem with taxing positional goods is that the consumption just moves to another country.

I don't have an economics degree, but:

1) governments could cooperate to tax positional goods (such as with a treaty)

2) governments could repair the reduced incentive to work hard by lowering taxes on the rich

3) these 2 would result in lower prices for non-positional goods

4) governments could adjust for lost tax revenue by lowering welfare programs because of (3)

The flaw I can think of (there are probably others) is that workers in positional goods industries might lose their jobs.

What other flaws are there or why isn't this happening already?

Comment by Ilverin on Less costly signaling · 2016-11-23T04:47:59.168Z · LW · GW

Regarding 'relax constraints that make real resources artificially scarce' - why not both your idea and the OP's idea to tax positional goods? In the long run the earth/our future light cone really is only so big so don't we need any and all possible solutions to make a utopia?

Comment by Ilverin on Open thread, Oct. 10 - Oct. 16, 2016 · 2016-10-11T18:13:45.345Z · LW · GW

Is there any product like an adult pacifier that is socially acceptable to use?

I am struggling with self-control to not interrupt people and am afraid for my job.

EDIT: In the meantime (or long-term if it works) I'll use less caffeine (currentlly 400mg daily) to see if that helps.

Comment by Ilverin on - publish, discover, and discuss rational fiction · 2016-05-31T16:05:12.040Z · LW · GW


Comment by Ilverin on Open Thread - Aug 24 - Aug 30 · 2015-08-26T22:36:05.203Z · LW · GW

Efficient charity: you don't need to be an altruist to benefit from contributing to charity

Effective altruism rests on two philosophical ideas: altruism and utilitarianism.

In my opinion, even if you're not an altruist, you might still want to use statistics to learn about charity.

Some people believe that they have an ethical obligation to cause a net 0 suffering. Others might believe they have an ethical obligation to cause only an average amount of suffering. In these causes, in order to reduce suffering to an acceptable level, efficient charity might be for you.

It's possible that in your life you will not come across enough ponds with drowning people that only you can save and you will have to pursue other means of reducing suffering. An alternate method is charity, and statistics can identify which charities and how much to donate.

In order to save money to satisfy your own preferences, you might want to donate as little as possible. You might also calculate that a different time might be best to donate (like after you die). But if you come to either of these conclusions, you're still using the idea of efficient charity.

Comment by Ilverin on Open Thread, May 18 - May 24, 2015 · 2015-05-18T18:33:40.376Z · LW · GW

Disclaimer: I may not be the first person to come up with this idea

What if for dangerous medications (such as 2-4 dinitrophenol (dnp) possibly?) the medication was stored in a device that would only dispense a dose when it received a time-dependent cryptographic key generated by a trusted source at a supervised location (the pharmaceutical company/some government agency/an independent security company)?

Could this be useful to prevent overdoses?

Comment by Ilverin on Open thread, Dec. 8 - Dec. 15, 2014 · 2014-12-08T15:47:53.563Z · LW · GW

Disclaimer: Not remotely an expert at biology, but I will try to explain.

One can think of the word "gene" as having multiple related uses.

Use 1: "Genotype". Even if we have different color hair, we likely both have the same "gene" for hair which could be considered shared with chimpanzees. If you could re-write DNA nucleobases, you could change your hair color without changing the gene itself, you would merely be changing the "gene encoding". The word "genotype" refers to a "function" which takes in a "gene encoding" and outputs a "gene phenotype"

Use 2: "Gene phenotype". If we both have the same color hair, we would have the same "Gene phenotype". Suppose the genotype for hair is a gene that uses simple dominance. In this case, we could have the same phenotype even with different gene encodings. Suppose you have the gene encoding "BB" whereas I have the gene encoding "Bb". In this case, we could both have black hair, the same "Gene phenotype", but have different "Gene encodings".

Use 3: "Gene encoding". If we have different color hair, then we have different gene encodings (but we have the same "genotype" as described in "Use 1"). This "gene encoding" is commonly not shared between siblings and less commonly shared between species.

So "we share 99% of our genes with a chimpanzee" likely refers to "Genotype".

"95% of our genes with a random human" likely refers to "Gene phenotype".

"50% of our genes with a sibling" likely refers to "Gene encoding".

Comment by Ilverin on LINK: In favor of niceness, community, and civilisation · 2014-02-26T16:54:49.689Z · LW · GW

Thank you, I initially wrote my function with the idea of making it one (of many) "lower bound"(s) of how bad things could possibly get before debating dishonestly becomes necessary. Later, I mistakenly thought that "this works fine as a general theory, not just a lower bound".

Thank you for helping me think more clearly.

Comment by Ilverin on LINK: In favor of niceness, community, and civilisation · 2014-02-24T17:25:53.598Z · LW · GW

"How dire [do] the real world consequences have to be before it's worthwhile debating dishonestly"?

M̶y̶ ̶b̶r̶i̶e̶f̶ ̶a̶n̶s̶w̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶s̶:̶

One lower bound is:

If the amount that rationality affects humanity and the universe is decreasing over the long term. (Note that if humanity is destroyed, the amount that rationality affects the universe probably decreases).

T̶h̶i̶s̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶a̶l̶s̶o̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶a̶n̶s̶w̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶q̶u̶e̶s̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶"̶w̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶i̶s̶t̶ ̶c̶o̶m̶m̶u̶n̶i̶t̶y̶"̶?̶

R̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶w̶i̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶f̶,̶ ̶o̶v̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶o̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶e̶r̶m̶,̶ ̶r̶a̶t̶i̶o̶n̶a̶l̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶i̶n̶c̶r̶e̶a̶s̶i̶n̶g̶l̶y̶ ̶a̶f̶f̶e̶c̶t̶s̶ ̶h̶u̶m̶a̶n̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶u̶n̶i̶v̶e̶r̶s̶e̶.̶

Comment by Ilverin on Luck I: Finding White Swans · 2013-12-13T14:11:52.175Z · LW · GW

If the author could include a hyperlink to Richard Wiseman when he is first mentioned, it might prevent any reader from being confused and not realizing that you are describing actual research. (I was confused in this way for about half of the article).

Comment by Ilverin on Prisoner's Dilemma (with visible source code) Tournament · 2013-06-24T20:30:12.226Z · LW · GW

I wonder if there's a chance of the program that always collaborates winning/tieing.

If all the other programs are extremely well-written, they will all collaborate with the program that always collaborates (or else they aren't extremely well-written, or they are violating the rules by attempting to trick other programs).