Link: Biotech Corporate Email Hacked 2014-12-02T06:12:42.880Z · score: -5 (9 votes)


Comment by ilzolende on Open Thread, May 11 - May 17, 2015 · 2015-05-13T03:20:10.382Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I endorse discussion of virtue ethics on LW mostly because I haven't seen many arguments for why I should use it or discussions of how using it works. I've seen a lot of pro-utilitarianism and "how to do things with utilitarianism" pieces and a lot of discussion of deontology in the form of credible precommitments and also as heuristics and rule utilitarianism, but I haven't really seen a virtue ethics piece that remotely approaches Yvain's Consequentialism FAQ in terms of readability and usability.

Comment by ilzolende on When does technological enhancement feel natural and acceptable? · 2015-05-03T22:48:01.306Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I recently registered to vote and did not see his party listed as an option, even though I have never heard of the "Americans Elect Party" and it is an option. I mostly pay attention when other people mention him. Also, I kind of wish the Transhumanist Party would issue some statements about ballot issues besides "vote for Istvan".

Comment by ilzolende on Gasoline Gal looks under the hood (post 1 of 3) · 2015-05-03T21:02:41.853Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Speculating wildly about your real subject: Either uploading (why should you care if you can't have the real galaxy or the real gasoline engine, if you can't tell the difference) or something to do with p-zombies or qualia or whatnot (she cares about the internal properties even if everything is the same when she drives it). Leaning towards the former because "Fuller Chen" sounds like a nanotech reference (although I am aware fullerene is not nanobots).

Also, I don't see how Galaxy wanting a gasoline engine just because she likes gasoline engines is more irrational than me wanting to have human life continue to exist just because I like the continued existence of humanity.

Comment by ilzolende on Self-verification · 2015-04-28T00:54:25.124Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would probably believe something signed with my own PGP key enough to thoroughly investigate it. If I found something packaged with a blood sample I probably would not be willing to pay to check the sample, because I'm a minor and the costs of testing a DNA sample are something like a year of income for me. Since I wouldn't verify the sample I would probably take the message about as seriously as I'd take anything else in my own handwriting with my signature, which is to say I'd put in several hours of effort but not much more unless I found confirming evidence. If I found a video of myself saying things, accompanied by a PGP sig and a PGP-signed transcript, which did not include any subtle signals of coercion that I could have potentially sent, I'd be very confident.

Comment by ilzolende on Self-verification · 2015-04-20T01:56:24.754Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Naively, I'd say to write it as short text and sign it with my public key, but that was under the assumption that my recent memories were being wiped.

If all my memories are being wiped there isn't really a "me" to send the message to in any reasonable sense. Even if it's just all my episodic memories I would see amnesiac!ilzolende as a member of my in-group but not as me.

I suppose I could try to package the message with a blood sample (with a lock on a timer), any sample coercively obtained would have much higher cortisol levels (edit: or show signs of sedatives or something).

Comment by ilzolende on A pair of free information security tools I wrote · 2015-04-18T01:35:12.896Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hah, the decoy account is trivially easy to determine to be not-mine, the idea is less "permanently trick someone into thinking it's my main account" and more "distract someone while I log into it so that it can send an automated email, then keep them from powering down my computer for 30 seconds while the program sends the email, because I can't get it to do that in the background just via Automator".

Also, in that sort of scenario there really isn't that much I have to hide. There are some computer of my computer usage that I would strongly prefer not to disclose, but at that point I wouldn't be concerned about "linking ilzolende to my real identity" or "what if my friends/parents/future employers know about my actions" or "what if something I did was actually intellectual property theft" or "what if I had to change all my passwords that would be really annoying".

If there was something I really didn't want to disclose I would probably do it from other people's computers using Tor Browser or a TAILS DVD with URLs I memorized. There isn't something I value my privacy for that much, so I don't do that. (Although I'm considering getting a TAILS USB for using with the school computers mostly to make the "the fact that this browser didn't tell me that Website X was not a reason I chose the browser, I use it for privacy, the fact that it apparently circumvents the filter is just a side effect, what am I supposed to do, check if the website is blocked from a different computer before I visit it?" claim.)

Honestly, a lot of my motives here are more "normalize security/privacy" and "make sure that if something goes wrong I can say that I took a ton of preventative measures" than "losing control of my data would be a complete disaster". If I were truly concerned about privacy, I wouldn't have participated in a study involving MRI scans and DNA analysis from a blood draw and whatnot for ~%100. I mostly don't like the state of affairs where people have more information about me than I do.

Comment by ilzolende on A pair of free information security tools I wrote · 2015-04-17T03:57:43.281Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I have a superficial measure against this, which is having two user accounts, one of which is superficially similar to mine. If it is easy to send two images which unlock with different passwords then that could be an anti-rubberhose cryptanalysis measure?

Comment by ilzolende on Who are your favourite rationalist bloggers? · 2015-04-12T16:55:28.522Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Also, Kevin Simler's Melting Asphalt is great and has lots of insightful essays about things. Warning: Still doesn't have archives, you're going to need to go through the meta posts to read old things.

Comment by ilzolende on Who are your favourite rationalist bloggers? · 2015-04-12T16:53:06.071Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I like Eneasz Brodski's Death is Bad. Not as moralizing as the title sounds, has lots of fun book reviews.

Comment by ilzolende on A pair of free information security tools I wrote · 2015-04-12T16:41:27.922Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is not a program I wrote but while we're posting things I have a guide to setting up Automator on a mac to send out an email on login on my blog.

Comment by ilzolende on Thinking well · 2015-04-08T00:29:57.228Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that I explained the about-letter-looks-words without using them, and the other person seemed to understand me, and then he changed the thing that I tried to explain, so I think I was able to explain it.

I am happy that you think this was not easy, but actually it was easier than a class where I use words that are not from this place but from across the big body of water. I could take longer to write things and I have to talk sort of quickly in that class. Also, I know these words better.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015 · 2015-04-03T22:48:11.906Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe it's not, but it's super-conspicuous and might be useful for reputation-building. Also, if you want to practice dealing with blood draws in a not-being-sick context it could be useful. (I haven't donated yet though because age restrictions.)

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015 · 2015-04-02T10:17:47.568Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It seems like other people have built solutions that use steganography with the image pixels themselves, given that I see examples on Wikipedia.

I can't be remotely useful with the text stuff, though, my coding skills are such that I still have trouble generating token frequency histograms from text files and my most persuasive "chatbot" relayed an entirely pregenerated script to the user, only took 1 bit of user input, and was written on a graphing calculator. (I still got my Theory of Knowledge to feel empathy for it and be unwilling to let me delete it in exchange for a cookie, though, so it did prove my point that people can feel empathy for morally irrelevant things, like a program shorter than your above comment.)

Comment by ilzolende on Thinking well · 2015-04-02T04:21:10.661Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I think this writing is very good, but the way the words look is not normal. The words have letters with more lines than they need to have, stuck onto the ends of other lines, but the other writing on the Less Wrong shared computer thing uses letters with only as many lines as they need, and the words under each other are closer together.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015 · 2015-04-02T01:31:01.507Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If you just want some stuff full of fantasy themes that LessWrong will not spoil, read The Steerswoman and its sequels.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015 · 2015-04-02T01:08:28.710Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

For future reference changing specific details may be a good idea, such that if your girlfriend reads the post stripped of its username she would not say "the poster is describing me". This is what Yvain does when discussing specific patients.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Apr. 01 - Apr. 05, 2015 · 2015-04-02T01:03:12.697Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I know that sixes_and_sevens probably wants a software solution here, but if they are willing to put up with sending lots of extra data they could just declare the third letter of every sixth word or use some other similarly arbitrary rule to determine which letters were pieces of data in the secret message.

There's also lots of tools to steganographically embed data in images.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Mar. 16 - Mar. 22, 2015 · 2015-03-17T01:22:53.229Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Does James Miller let his students take d% dice to his tests?

Comment by ilzolende on Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-03-15T22:28:34.395Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I am thinking of recommending this to people, all of whom are unlikely to pay. Is having people acquire this for $0 who would otherwise not have read it beneficial or harmful to MIRI? (If the answer is "harmful because of paying for people to download it", I can email it to my friends with a payment link instead of directing them to your website.)

Comment by ilzolende on Human Capital Contracts · 2015-03-11T05:04:41.448Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As a minor: considering that I:

  • can't own things (I can buy them, but if someone can legally take the object which is legal for me to possess without some special, explicitly-legally-defined reason to do so and prevent me from accessing the object for arbitrarily long periods of time I wouldn't call it ownership)
  • seriously, even if I get a job on my own through connections I made on my own, people can just take away arbitrary objects I legally buy with that money, and it's not like taxes because I can't predict it in advance and I lose non-interchangable resources (I can't decide that I would rather lose [amount of money equal to the cost of renting a computer for a few days] in place of [access to my computer with my files for a few days])
  • have no legal right to privacy beyond rather limited forms of confidentiality when talking to doctors/lawyers/certain religious leader types (if my parents want to copy my backup drive and have someone decrypt it for them, the only thing stopping them is software, I couldn't file a police report)
  • have no real right to freedom of religion, people could punish me for refusing to attend religious services if they wanted to
  • have no right to view my own medical records, my parents can see the results of IQ and psych tests I spent an entire Saturday taking and I can't

I am kind of slanted towards the view that parents have too much influence over minors. I would, however, gladly give up some of my earnings to be able to own property and have the right to privacy.

Comment by ilzolende on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 117 · 2015-03-08T20:35:44.523Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I can't give you evidence, but I saw lots of posts about freezing the death eater's heads before today.

Comment by ilzolende on Stupid Questions March 2015 · 2015-03-04T04:20:34.649Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

How would someone donate to GiveWell in an externally verifiable manner? I am permitted to do fundraisers as volunteering projects, and donating or (if online) having customers donate to an EA organization seems like an obvious choice.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015 · 2015-03-04T02:00:09.081Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I asked for them because (a)I want to highlight long lines of characters in the LW comment interface and watch the Mac anti-aliasing overlap with itself, which looks cool, and (b)I don't want to just post a series of comments that have no valuable content but are just playing with the reply nesting system and posting repeating lines of characters and whatnot, because I don't want to get down voted into oblivion.

Alternating 0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O0O is visually appealing to me, and I want to see visually appealing things, so I asked to see more visually appealing things on the website. The request was made purely for selfish reasons.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015 · 2015-03-03T06:43:39.528Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The popular method right now seems to be using areas of shapes or heights of bars on graphs when this sort of visual representation is necessary.

However, I like the way you showed it here, mostly because I have wanted to enter repeating sequences of characters like that into a comment on this site to see what it would look like. ;). I hope people represent numbers with long lines of repeating characters on this website more often. I vote for alternating '0' & 'O'.

Comment by ilzolende on Keep Your Identity Fluid [LINK] · 2015-03-03T05:01:28.423Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This seems like a much more palatable idea to me than refusing to affiliate myself with groups and ideologies. (I really like affiliation, as long as I like the group.) This is also useful because I can best work towards certain goals by being a member of certain groups, and those groups tend to prefer members who genuinely care about a number of unrelated goals.


Comment by ilzolende on Imagining Scarcity · 2015-03-02T06:08:45.959Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I concur. I've yet to have taken my required HS Econ class, and while I read the occasional post here and on Overcoming Bias about economics, that probably doesn't count.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-27T04:02:36.299Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, hope my suggestion wasn't too counterproductive.

I don't think the signal value of swearing is "how much I want to offend this person" but rather "how strong my opinion on this subject is". Swearing at someone more will probably only make them more offended (if they get offended by swearing in that context at all). However, when the person who swears every day says that Policy X is f---ing scary, people will take them less seriously when the person who swears about once/year does.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-25T00:36:22.858Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sending difficult-to-source messages in general?

Using TAILS from a public computer would probably work, as long as you are willing send the messages online. Keep in mind that people are unlikely to take prank messages from anonymous email accounts very seriously. (I have only ever gotten form letters from elected officials, and I send well-researched serious messages, so if they ignore that, they'll probably ignore anything from

There should be some way to order flowers or other objects that you can send with physical notes attached without creating an account linked to you, but it would probably be difficult to anonymously buy a prepaid credit card, I'm not involved in bitcoin-related stuff, and I don't think there would be enough of a market for bitcoin-based flower delivery for anyone to get involved in it anyway.

This sounds like a generally bad plan, though. It seems likely to end with your local newspaper's police report column making snarky comments about you.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-25T00:15:37.325Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Was the control group silence or yelling non-profanities? Because saying/yelling "ow" tends to be fairly effective.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-25T00:14:54.540Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think this can be explained to kids, and I don't think Alex is the average 10-year-old. "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is basically a story about "don't weaken your cheap signals by misusing them", so a general case is clearly already explainable to kids. I'm pretty sure that Alex is smart enough to understand the concept if explained well, and that James Miller has the teaching skills to explain the concept. I've been using this as the reason why I don't swear before turning 16. I am absolutely atypical for a teenager, but Alex has been described as being more similar to the average LW reader than to the average member of the general population, so this may be applicable.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015 · 2015-02-24T06:58:16.782Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Tell Alex that swearing a lot weakens the value of your swearing as a signal. If you get a reputation for not swearing, then the one time you do, people will take you more seriously than if you used profanity on a daily basis. Also, swearing is a much cheaper signal than any alternatives you might want to signal with if you'd made your swearing meaningless.

This is the actual reasoning I (high verbal IQ, boundary testing 16-year-old) end up swearing < once/month.

Not sure if this will get the result you want, but it will approach what you want.

Comment by ilzolende on Ask me anything. · 2015-02-16T05:26:24.525Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure what sort of questions you're looking for...

Favorite Sequences post?

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 9 - Feb. 15, 2015 · 2015-02-16T01:25:10.371Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My goal is not to live with it, my goal is to remain stable until I can leave the situation. Long-term suppression is bad, but the alternatives to short-term suppression are generally worse.

I have funneled the emotion into action when possible (I am quite possibly the only teenager who configured FileVault in the middle of an angry argument), but sometimes you just need to appear calm.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 9 - Feb. 15, 2015 · 2015-02-13T01:40:57.543Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

When the state is genuinely counterproductive to your goals, remind yourself of that while suppressing it. If you're worried about lashing out and yelling at people, try to redirect your anger towards your irritating endocrine system that was involved in you being angry even though you don't want to be. Pretending that reductionism implies more than it does is useful: the mantra "just because I'm in a physical state associated with anger doesn't mean I have to be angry" is pretty good for suppressing reactions.

This still holds when the people in question are harming you, as long as anger is genuinely counterproductive. I used this method when an opposing team was cheating and purposefully running out the clock during a Mock Trial scrimmage. I had every right to be angry, but my anger was only impairing my competitive ability, so I just told myself that I needed to shut down this anger, and even though I had trouble trying to tone down my physical reactions (heart rate), I managed to stay calm and compete well.

If the anger is partially productive, trying to suppress all of it will not work because you are incentivized to fail. Try to suppress the parts that are problematic, and tell yourself things like "I'm allowed to be angry in this situation, but I'm not allowed to have [problem-causing component of anger], because it's just counterproductive."

Comment by ilzolende on Human Minds are Fragile · 2015-02-11T23:53:30.805Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

What is paul-boxing?

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 9 - Feb. 15, 2015 · 2015-02-11T23:51:21.638Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Clearly, I do not understand the goal here. It would be useful to know not only the point of a profile picture but also UnrequitedHope's goal in creating a Facebook account.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 9 - Feb. 15, 2015 · 2015-02-11T01:58:22.864Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In terms of photos, I use a self-portrait that is artistically edited to the point of near-unrecognizability (and is unsearchable via Google Images) for my profile picture, and used to use a silhouette. My cover/background picture is something I made in Apophysis and Photoshop that I thought looked nice. You may not actually need a photo at all. If you want a less artificial cover/background image, take a nice close-up photo of some plant or something else visually appealing in your area, then edit it a bit.

For a "good photo", you may want to take a passable photo, apply the basic touch-ups (the Spot Healing brush is great for acne, small cuts, and out-of-place hair), and then perhaps overexpose or otherwise apply a visually appealing edit to the image such that it looks like you, but obviously edited. (Here's an overexposed picture.) It's hard to go too wrong with taking a shower and wearing some of your nicer clothing, standing in front of a white wall, and getting a friend to take a picture while you smile a bit.

Your avatar/profile pic should look good at small scales. You want your face, not your body.

You don't need to post a lot of pictures: just enough to make people know who you are, and using a real name with a location should be sufficient for that.

In terms of other content: you don't care about listing what movies/books/games you like, just write a good description of yourself. Follow some accounts you like, join groups that you participate in IRL. Post interesting links with commentary occasionally. Don't use the account to get into too many comment-section arguments.

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 9 - Feb. 15, 2015 · 2015-02-10T06:37:07.757Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Considering the "no addiction" guarantee, it's hard for me to see the downside. I like sleeping, and a vacation in which I could spend >10 hours/day sleeping sounds nice, but sleep doesn't lead to friendship, or knowledge, or novelty, or any of that other stuff that people typically state that wireheading lacks. Since I don't consider the happiness caused by sleeping to be bad or fake, there's no real reason why I should reject wire-headed bliss as fake. (This is assuming that I don't have important stuff to do, and wireheading isn't dangerous to me.) The main reasons to reject it seem to be rejecting it as a permanent state.

Comment by ilzolende on The morality of disclosing salary requirements · 2015-02-10T00:27:16.136Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have to say, it's in the best interests of the survey-taker to lie on this survey. I would refuse, and also 1-box on Newcomb's problem, and also reject any offer lower than 50% in an Ultimatum Game.

(Yes, making this fact known is not in my best interests, but this is a pseudonym, people don't believe the precommitments of a high school student made under pseudonyms anyway, and I think the benefit to me of mentioning this is higher than the slight cost incurred by making my commitment less believable.)

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Feb. 9 - Feb. 15, 2015 · 2015-02-09T23:32:13.982Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Somebody is going to mention cryonics here, so it might as well be me: Cryonic preservation! We don't have the brain scanning technology that would be needed to reproduce someone's mind based on physical access to their brain yet, but we can preserve the brain in good condition such that someone's mind could be reproduced/revived after their death in the future.

Also, about the getting lots of voice data for machine learning purposes: I'm sure the NSA has been doing something like that. If you just want to record yourself, a typical iPod Touch has good storage capacity for hours of audio and can record from inside a bag. The one thing is that some states require 2-party consent before a private conversation can be legally recorded, so even if you consent to record yourself, you might have to ask the other person for permission or stop recording. On the other hand, you probably wouldn't get in trouble for having an illicit audio recording unless you do something with it that leads to you getting caught, so just recording a conversation for personal use and not using it as evidence or posting it online would probably not get you in trouble.

Comment by ilzolende on How to learn soft skills · 2015-02-07T18:46:06.708Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Solution: get an eBook edition or get a used hardcover and take off the dust jacket.

Also, it's not going to make you meaner than the general population. It just teaches you how to do consciously what some people can do unconsciously.

If it's morally good for me, as an autistic person, to improve my social/manipulation skills such that they're closer to the average NT, then why would it be immoral for you to improve your social skills? Unless there's some morally optimal level of social skills that is quite conveniently the level of the average person, this seems strange.

Comment by ilzolende on Welcome to Less Wrong! (7th thread, December 2014) · 2015-02-06T06:58:52.807Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It's been better than that so far (first few weeks). We haven't argued much over meanings of things yet.

The one disappointment is that I get really defensive every time we discuss whether doing whatever empathy tells you to do is moral, because that's half of the argument that says autistics are evil mass murderers (not actually the position of anyone in the class), and I get mildly annoyed when people mischaracterize utilitarianism or have clearly never heard of it before. (The situation in which all the available options are rule-violating and you choose the utility-maximizing one is different from the situation in which all the high-utility options are rule-violating, and you violate the rules and then choose a low-utility action.)

Comment by ilzolende on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-03T06:31:30.382Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I take daily antibiotics for acne (doxycycline), and have done so for years. How much harm am I actually doing by increasing antibiotic resistance?

Comment by ilzolende on Welcome to Less Wrong! (7th thread, December 2014) · 2015-02-02T05:44:20.198Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Pantheism is the belief that the universe (or nature as the totality of everything) is identical with divinity, or that everything composes an all-encompassing, immanent God. Pantheists thus do not believe in a distinct personal or anthropomorphic god" (Wikipedia).

That matches to my interpretation of your stated beliefs.

I believe that God exists as the Universe working within itself... and that as each of us live, we each experience God.

Most of the atheism stuff on this site has more to do with a god that is a discrete being with supernatural capabilities than the thing you describe. However, if the main reason that you're not an atheist is that you have trouble picturing a godless universe, and you change beliefs based on what you learn and hear about the world (good work, by the way), chances are good that you'll end up being an atheist if you spend enough time on this site. ;)

If you actually want to clarify your beliefs, it could help to imagine some different worlds and see whether they count as having God in them or not, in order to consider what constitutes the absence of God. If there's no scenario that counts as God not existing, then I'm not sure what your belief that "God exists" is supposed to represent, and what information about the world someone could derive from that belief, given that it was true.

Thanks so much for the data about party affiliation!

Also, if you count subconscious desires to act in one's own interest as "ulterior motives", you may like what Robin Hanson on Overcoming Bias has to say about signaling.

Comment by ilzolende on Welcome to Less Wrong! (7th thread, December 2014) · 2015-02-02T02:33:55.539Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There seems to be a lot of other high school students on this site lately. If you like this stuff, you may also like the International Baccalaureate class Theory of Knowledge, which you can often take as an elective even if you're not an IB student.

Kind of curious about your theism, don't feel required to answer: A lot of nonreligious people who believe in a god are deists or pantheists. Are you either of those? If not, would you be willing to give more detail about your beliefs?

Also, I'm kind of starting to wonder if some people don't really like classifying themselves into groups. Is the reason you don't affiliate with a political party because you want one that better matches your positions on policy, or because you wouldn't associate with one even if you agreed with them on all policy proposals?

Most people define "evil" as "wants evil things", not "has evil revealed preferences". If you're looking at social behavior, we all have ulterior motives (I want to talk about things regardless of how annoyed a listener is, I want a strong support structure so that if something goes wrong I can get help, I want people to entertain me), but the actions those motives lead to are pretty low on the scale of bad stuff, somewhere close to EY's dust speck.

Comment by ilzolende on Update: A failed attempt at rationality testing · 2015-01-31T01:14:09.388Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The article seemed to be about "should legislation requiring internet access at a certain speed to be made more available require a higher speed than it currently does?" Yes, it is true that the means of increasing the speed required would be modifying a legal definition.

However, the debate over "should law X define Y to include Z" always seems to be about "should law X apply to Z" and not "does Z really count as Y", and people saying "Z is/isn't Y" tend to immediately follow that with "if Z is/isn't defined as Y, that would lead to implications." Take, for example, the piracy debate. People counting piracy as theft say things like "if piracy isn't classified as theft, then it won't be prosecuted, which will lead to fewer people spending money on media", and people who say that piracy isn't theft tend to say things like "classifying piracy and peer-to-peer file sharing as theft leads to treating these poor teenagers who just wanted to make CDs for their friends as criminals and sending them to jail".

It looked like a debate over whether legislation should be changed by way of changing a definition, but I wouldn't call noticing that a special rationality skill.

Comment by ilzolende on Group Rationality Diary, January 16-31 · 2015-01-29T02:47:33.160Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I already don't hurt people. My problem was that I was entering mental states that, if I continued to enter them, made me somewhat liable to potentially hurt someone.

Also, the people who make me extremely angry have so far been either people who I am not near in person (historical figures and people running organizations with goals directly counter to my interests), or people with power over me (I'm a disabled teenager, they're legally allowed to do all sorts of stuff and call it 'treatment' if they wanted to), both of whom are groups that I really don't want to or can't scream at. (I would like to scream at the people who state that preventing deaths from measles leads to autism, and that a chance of autism is worse than a lower chance of dying painfully, but they quite wisely avoid me.)

Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015 · 2015-01-29T02:06:15.740Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, I wasn't aware of that. I've been able to download and run Tor from plenty of computer user accounts without administrator privileges, so I assumed that you could just download it to a (non-Apple) phone the same way.

Comment by ilzolende on Group Rationality Diary, January 16-31 · 2015-01-28T04:34:37.896Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As a minor, anger is pretty much the only way I have of creating negative incentives for my parents that doesn't automatically lead to me being punished, because anger is not seen as purposeful retaliation in the same way that other things that annoy people are. (I can't fine my parents, I can't refuse to associate with them, and I can't damage their reputation within the community without breaking community social norms.)

Anger is also really great for signaling that you consider someone else's behavior extremely unpleasant. If I just tell people I'm upset, I have strong incentives to make this statement when I am only mildly annoyed, and so people can't trust me to verbally signal the level of disutility their action causes me. However, because people generally don't enjoy being angry, you can generally tell that if someone is angry, they are very upset.

Also, my judgement is definitely affected by anger, but I can limit what angry!ilzolende decides to do, because I am aware of my poor judgement when I'm angry, so I default to the the hard rules that my non-angry self sets, such as "don't cause property damage or injury while angry, you're probably wrong". Things I have done while angry:

  • Turn on lots of lights and faucets to increase my parents' utility bills, because I thought there needed to be a financial disincentive to their actions. (Unfortunately, losing ~$0.5 at most is really not a strong incentive.)
  • Move objects to annoying locations, because I wanted to inconvenience the person who I was upset at.
  • Encrypt my hard drive and backup drive, because I realized after catching my parents wiretapping me that the only reliable privacy boundaries were the ones that I could enforce, and trust had just been shown not to work as an enforcement mechanism. This was probably the best decision I've made while upset.
Comment by ilzolende on Open thread, Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, 2015 · 2015-01-27T00:38:18.831Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I would say that smartphones should have age filters on them

I agree. We should encourage children to develop an interest in anonymous filter-dodging web access systems like Tor, securely encrypting their messages such that they can't be monitored for inappropriate language usage, and other related skills while they're still young.