Posts

The Unexpected Philosophical Depths of the Clicker Game Universal Paperclips 2019-03-28T23:39:28.461Z · score: 25 (7 votes)
Explanations of deontological responses to moral dilemmas 2017-04-10T03:43:57.398Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
PredictIt, a prediction market out of New Zealand, now in beta. 2015-03-16T02:02:14.126Z · score: 15 (15 votes)
Learn (and Maybe Get a Credential in) Data Science 2014-02-01T18:39:25.445Z · score: 10 (11 votes)
Meetup : Tempe, AZ: How to Measure Anything II 2013-11-01T16:24:55.602Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Tempe, AZ: How to Measure Anything I 2013-10-24T19:36:50.073Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Tempe, AZ (ASU) 2013-09-27T03:58:05.831Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
[Link] Bets, Portfolios, and Belief Revelation 2013-07-01T16:17:28.542Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
[Link] Caplan asks for help optimizing his will. 2013-04-30T02:12:51.663Z · score: 4 (6 votes)
Rationality Quotes March 2013 2013-03-02T10:45:48.626Z · score: 9 (9 votes)
Open Thread, March 1-15, 2013 2013-03-01T12:00:44.477Z · score: 3 (4 votes)
[Link] How Signaling Ossifies Behavior 2013-01-21T14:06:41.557Z · score: 3 (3 votes)
[Link] Think Bayes: Bayesian Statistics Made Simple 2012-10-10T08:11:30.369Z · score: 9 (10 votes)
[Poll] Less Wrong and Mainstream Philosophy: How Different are We? 2012-09-26T12:25:48.899Z · score: 39 (48 votes)
Rationality Quotes September 2012 2012-09-03T05:18:17.003Z · score: 7 (11 votes)
[Link] Nick Bostrom on the Status Quo Bias 2012-06-17T10:51:56.817Z · score: 7 (10 votes)
Meetup : Phoenix, Arizona 2012-05-01T06:31:41.895Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
PredictionBook: Feature Request and Bug Report 2012-01-20T09:20:59.786Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
Rationality Quotes December 2011 2011-12-02T06:01:27.343Z · score: 4 (11 votes)
PredictionBook: A Short Note 2011-11-10T15:10:28.480Z · score: 20 (23 votes)
Rationality Quotes November 2011 2011-11-01T18:28:38.290Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
[Link] Philip Pettit on Consequentialism 2011-09-17T08:13:59.743Z · score: 2 (2 votes)
[Link] Nick Bostrom on the Simulation Argument 2011-08-14T19:15:35.087Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Bayesianism versus Critical Rationalism 2011-01-10T04:54:45.706Z · score: 4 (5 votes)

Comments

Comment by jayson_virissimo on What is the evidence for productivity benefits of weightlifting? · 2019-06-02T20:43:35.892Z · score: 9 (5 votes) · LW · GW

There is some indirect evidence that weightlifting improves productivity, assuming that cognition is an important determinate of productivity.

For example, a recent meta-study, Lifting cognition: a meta-analysis of effects of resistance exercise on cognition by Jon-Frederick Landrigan, Tyler Bell, Michael Crowe, Olivio J. Clay, Daniel Mirman, reports that:

Results revealed positive effects of resistance training on composite cognitive scores (SMD 0.71, 95% CI 0.30-1.12), screening measures of cognitive impairment (SMD 1.28, 95% CI 0.39-2.18), and executive functions (SMD 0.39, 95% CI 0.04-0.74), but no effect on measures of working memory (SMD 0.151, 95% CI - 0.21 to 0.51).
Comment by jayson_virissimo on Rest Days vs Recovery Days · 2019-04-21T04:31:26.769Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Saturday seems to be the canonical answer, but opinions vary.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on If a "Kickstarter for Inadequate Equlibria" was built, do you have a concrete inadequate equilibrium to fix? · 2019-04-06T04:14:04.054Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why Phoenix? (I live in Phoenix, BTW)

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Which textbook would you recommend to learn decision theory? · 2019-04-03T03:37:41.953Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

An Introduction to Decision Theory by Martin Peterson is a good first introduction to the fundamental principles of decision theory as well as the strengths and weaknesses of causal vs evidential decision theory (it doesn't get into the more exotic theories, although it does contain a chapter on social choice).

It also contains exercises to ensure basic mastery of the concepts, but only assumes a background of algebra and probability.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on The Very Repugnant Conclusion · 2019-01-21T01:36:22.656Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Offing those with low wellbeing increases average wellbeing.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Introducing the Longevity Research Institute · 2018-12-15T05:22:36.942Z · score: 15 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Are there any kinds of help you are open to receiving besides monetary donations?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on We can all be high status · 2018-10-11T02:25:50.827Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · LW · GW

A much earlier post by David Friedman makes similar points:

This point was originally made clear to me when I was an undergraduate at Harvard and realized that Harvard had, in at least one interesting way, the perfect social system: Everyone at the top of his own ladder. The small minority of students passionately interested in drama knew perfectly well that they were the most important people at the university; everyone else was there to provide them with an audience. The small minority passionately interested in politics knew that they were the most important ones; their friends were there to be herded into meetings of the Young Republicans and Young Democrats in order to get them elected to positions in those organizations that were the stepping stones to further political success...
Comment by jayson_virissimo on The Rocket Alignment Problem · 2018-10-05T22:37:17.658Z · score: 10 (7 votes) · LW · GW

That would break the rule of "show, don't tell" of fiction writing, but working that into the story more explicitly would help, I agree.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Moderation Reference · 2018-09-14T22:46:57.517Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It sounds like principle of charity is a better match for your intended meaning than steelman.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Advances in Baby Formula · 2018-09-10T18:05:47.789Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Then there's the issue that sicker babies often have to be formula fed...

Why do you believe this? My son is currently in the NICU (born at 25 weeks), and they push breast-feeding extremely hard, even going as far as to make it sound like negligence if you don't attempt to breastfeed (due to higher incidences of NEC in premies, among other reasons). Babies whose mothers can't breastfeed are supplied with donor milk, not formula. When my first son was born (who wasn't a premie or otherwise sick), the nurses and doctors talked as if it were just a matter of personal preference.

My experience could be unrepresentative though, so I'd love to see some kind of justification for the above-quoted claim.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Open Thread August 2018 · 2018-08-07T17:03:50.805Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The use of 'self-conscious' to refer to having knowledge of yourself as a conscious being isn't unique to LW, but is borrowed from philosophy. Blame the philosophers I say!

Anyway, they could have chosen to come up with a new term instead of using the not-most widely (but still commonly) used definition of 'self-conscious', but that would mean even more LW-specific jargon (which is also heavily criticized). It's not at all clear to me whether pushing towards greater jargon usage would be an improvement in general.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on The Fermi Paradox: What did Sandberg, Drexler and Ord Really Dissolve? · 2018-07-09T05:22:31.755Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Quine categorized paradoxes into veridical (apparently absurd, but actually true), falsidical (seemingly contradictory, because they actually do assume something false or use an invalid step somewhere), and antinomy (self-contradiction from true premises using only valid steps [arguably there are no such things]). I find these categories to be helpful for improving communication about such things.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Are ethical asymmetries from property rights? · 2018-07-02T03:33:29.672Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Testable implication: communities that strongly emphasize upholding property conventions will contain more individuals that share these intuitions, while communities that do not will contain individuals that share fewer.

Don't you agree?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Oops on Commodity Prices · 2018-06-14T06:06:45.870Z · score: 17 (3 votes) · LW · GW

muflax was the first user I know of that used epistemic status tags.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on A Rationalist Argument for Voting · 2018-06-07T23:57:21.714Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Something brought up originally, but never really dealt with: this argument applies a fortiori to lobbying.

Would the defenders of these kinds of consequentialist arguments for voting also recommend effective altruists become lobbyists? It seems there is some tension there if they don't, or else I am (or they are) confused about the implications of the premises in that argument.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Fundamentals of Formalisation level 2: Basic Set Theory · 2018-05-20T00:38:57.357Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hypothesis: many more people would sign up for this course if there were a way to sample the content before signing up (given that the course material is good).

Comment by jayson_virissimo on LessWrong.com URL transfer complete, data import will run for the next few hours · 2018-03-23T03:43:56.166Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's working for me using the password that was created after migrating to LW 2.0, but it looks like it's HTTP-only right now. Will SSL/TLS be set up at some point?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Request for "Tests" for the MIRI Research Guide · 2018-03-16T00:06:22.331Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW
2. Probability

The Society of Actuaries has a standardized test covering this topic.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Extended Quote on the Institution of Academia · 2018-03-12T21:58:44.549Z · score: 14 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure if it's what cousin_it had in mind, but here's an example: Rather than visiting a doctor again for the same bad advice on how to treat my plantar fasciitis, I paid this guy for (what is essentially) a literature review of the current state of the scientific evidence as to the relative effectiveness of available treatments.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Extended Quote on the Institution of Academia · 2018-03-12T21:52:59.507Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Many masters degrees have thesis and non-thesis tracks. What if PhD programs had a track for searchers (equivalent to currently existing PhDs) and separate tracks for replicators and distillers? They could even have different (by still positive) stereotypical virtues (like creativity, rigor, and clarity, respectively).

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Rationalist Lent · 2018-02-14T02:58:48.655Z · score: 34 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I'll be putting my smartphone in airplane mode everyday from 21-09. I expect that this may reduce my stress levels and improve sleep, but I'm only tracking the latter.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Pseudo-Rationality · 2018-02-06T17:44:08.922Z · score: 16 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Back in 2014, I posted some tweets with the #skepticfailuremodes hashtag that are similar to your examples of "psuedo rationality", some of which were:

  1. Thinking it is virtuous to assign low probabilities, forgetting this implies high probabilities for the negation.
  2. Ignoring an argument after finding a deductive fallacy, even when it can be easily restated as an strong inductive one.
  3. Increasing evidential standards for out-group claims; decreasing it for in-group claims.
Comment by Jayson_Virissimo on [deleted post] 2017-10-12T20:20:28.051Z

I had exactly the same reaction: the inferential distance between me and my childhood friends completely dwarfs that between me and the typical member of the coding bootcamp I attended in San Francisco, with whom I share almost none of those features.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Different Worlds · 2017-10-08T21:42:50.688Z · score: 15 (6 votes) · LW · GW

(Crossposted from the SSC comment thread)

Many years ago, I worked a security job that involved selecting some people for “additional screening”. We were issued a mechanical pseudorandom number generator. Essentially, you would click the button each time someone would come through the checkpoint. After some (non-constant) number of clicks, it would have a different readout that is supposed to prompt you to select the next person in line for additional screening. We were also instructed to never tell the public how they are selected.

The majority of the time, the person selected was a member of the majority demographic category in the region in which we were operating (as would be expected). They would be selected, shrug, and say something along the lines of “I guess it’s my lucky day”. Much more rarely, someone would get selected from a minority group. A fraction of these people would say something along the lines of “Oh, what a surprise, you picked the #{minority class/race/etc…} person” and be visibly agitated. At the time, I wondered how many of these incidents got recounted to others as clear instances of discrimination, not knowing that the result was determined by a dumb clicker.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Self-conscious ideology · 2017-06-29T04:44:25.085Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You've already been scooped. The "research programme" that Lakatos talks about was designed to synthesize the views of Kuhn and Popper, but Kuhn himself modeled his revolutionary science after constitutional crises, and his paradigm shifts after political revolutions (and, perhaps more annoyingly to scientists, religious conversions). Also, part of what was so controversial (at the time) about Kuhn, was the prominence he gave to non-epistemic (normative, aesthetic, and even nationalistic) factors in the history of science.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Priors Are Useless · 2017-06-23T05:22:17.968Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So, in the meantime, priors are useful?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Destroying the Utility Monster—An Alternative Formation of Utility · 2017-06-08T16:29:53.163Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is the ultimate example of... there should be a name for this.

I think the name you are looking for is ad hoc hypothesis.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Explanations of deontological responses to moral dilemmas · 2017-04-10T03:45:35.481Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

...deontological responses (DRs) seem to be equivalent to responses that demonstrate cognitive biases in non-moral situations. For example, the omission bias favors harms of omission over less harmful harms caused by acts, in both moral and non-moral situations (Ritov & Baron, 1990). This similarity suggests that the DRs arise from some sort of error, or poor thinking. Much evidence indicates that the cognitive processes supporting moral and non-moral judgments are largely the same (e.g., Greene, 2007). If this is true, the question arises of what sort of thinking is involved, and when it occurs.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on LessWrong Discord · 2017-03-14T04:17:42.501Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

IRC is near the center.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Dialectic algorithm - For calculating if an argument is sustained or refuted · 2016-11-21T02:07:03.130Z · score: 6 (7 votes) · LW · GW

This could be a great technique for adding structure to internet discussions, but this algorithm says more about which debate team has more time on their hands, than which arguments have been refuted or not.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on What do you actually do to replenish your willpower? · 2016-11-07T03:06:23.164Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've noticed something even more general: people that have a well-defined philosophy of life seems more motivated and resilient to setbacks or tragedy than those who lack such a self-narrative. But this appears to be the case even for philosophies of life which have tenets that contradict (or at least stand is strong tension with) each other in important ways, such as Christianity, Objectivism, Buddhism, Stoicism, etc...

This is pure anecdote, and obviously the people I come in contact with are not even close to a random sample of humanity, so I'd very much like to be pointed towards a more systematic study of the phenomena (or lack thereof).

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Voting is like donating hundreds of thousands to charity · 2016-11-04T00:56:30.706Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Trying to calculate the expected value of voting goes back at least to public choice economists in the 1960s.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Seeking Optimization of New Website "New Atheist Survival Kit," a go-to site for newly-made atheists · 2016-08-16T03:30:56.937Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I like your failed arguments section. IMO, frequent reminders about the phenomenon of using "arguments as soldiers" is one of the most straightforward and effective ways to encourage a higher levels of rationality in ourselves and others.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Now is the time to eliminate mosquitoes · 2016-08-13T19:56:32.826Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Have you already tried getting the idea through to Trump via a backchannel like Scott Adams (some of Trump's staffers pay attention to him), who takes cost-benefit style arguments seriously?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Now is the time to eliminate mosquitoes · 2016-08-07T19:28:47.577Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Most prediction markets give Hillary Clinton an advantage over Donald Trump. In general, if one candidate comes out in favor of something, the supporters of the other candidate will be more likely to oppose that thing (all else equal). Doesn't this suggest attempting to get Clinton to come out in favor of eradicating mosquitos is the better strategy?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Rationality Quotes August 2016 · 2016-08-01T16:13:38.765Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Beginning to reason is like stepping onto an escalator that leads upward and out of sight. Once we take the first step, the distance to be traveled is independent of our will and we cannot know in advance where we shall end.

-- Peter Singer, The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Link: Re-reading Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow · 2016-07-06T18:12:27.601Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Correct.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Link: Re-reading Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow · 2016-07-05T02:15:15.006Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The article is short enough that I'm confused about why you didn't just crosspost it here in its entirety.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-06-30T01:46:58.217Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The expression "irrational values" sounds like a category mistake to me.

I'd be comfortable describing someone with a preference set that violates the axiom of quasi-transitivity as having "irrational values," but certainly not for valuing a "self-perception as a person who" engages is some kind of activity, such as voting.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on General-Purpose Questions Thread · 2016-06-19T18:31:27.797Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If by graphics, you mean graphical user interfaces, then shoes is a pretty easy way to get started. If by graphics, you mean drawing shapes and designing your own games, Gosu might be a good fit. Here is a book for learning programming by creating games with Ruby and Gosu.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Kahneman's Planning Anecdote · 2016-06-18T22:06:34.684Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True, but high school curricula have changed very little in the last four decades.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on [Link] Salon piece analyzing Donald Trump's appeal using rationality · 2016-04-24T19:39:11.799Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

According to Pew Research Center, "More than eight-in-ten Republicans (84%) say the nation should impose tighter restrictions on immigration, compared with about six-in-ten Democrats (58%)."

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Open Thread March 28 - April 3 , 2016 · 2016-04-02T05:56:20.526Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

If the book was targeting AI researchers I would agree that Harris is a poor choice. On the other hand, if the goal is to reach a popular audience, you could do much worse than someone who is very well known in the mainstream media and has a proven track record of writing best selling books.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Is altruistic deception really necessary? Social activism and the free market · 2016-02-29T05:08:28.849Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that Marxism is a bad theory of history and of economics, but it simply isn't that case that Marx didn't rely on data in his work. His work (and, perhaps to an even greater extend, Engel's work) is chock-full of data that confirms his theory. This is actually one of the examples Popper uses to demonstrate the uselessness of data-theory fit as a demarcation criterion for science. Confirmation is simply too easy to come by (especially, when you are more or less avoiding places where disconfirming data is likely to show up).

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Open Thread, Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2016 · 2016-02-13T03:28:14.148Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Just ordered it. Thank you.

EDIT: Paperback isn't expected to ship until 3/8/2016.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Religious and Rational? · 2016-02-11T06:02:37.451Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It may help to point out which conception of faith you have in mind. For example:

  • faith as a feeling of existential confidence
  • faith as knowledge of specific truths, revealed by God
  • faith as belief that God exists
  • faith as belief in (trust in) God
  • faith as practical commitment beyond the evidence to one's belief that God exists
  • faith as practical commitment without belief
  • faith as hoping—or acting in the hope that—the God who saves exists
  • etc...
Comment by jayson_virissimo on [Stub] The problem with Chesterton's Fence · 2016-01-05T17:30:11.692Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

...the common practice of taking down Chesterton fences is a process which seems well established and has a decent track record...

How are you measuring this?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-04T21:06:48.626Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You're welcome.

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2016-01-02T17:01:18.078Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that the political beliefs of citizens living in democratic societies come about via a process that we have no reason to believe is truth-tracking, but why should past thinkers such as Carlyle be much better? By what measure has he been shown to be a reliable guide on political/sociological questions?

Comment by jayson_virissimo on Crazy Ideas Thread, December 2015 · 2015-12-05T21:39:04.404Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Insofar as attention is zero sum, making circus arts mandatory would not make those that are at risk of commiting violence more able to get attention. For that to work, you would have to encourage the relatively violent-prone to learn circus arts and discourage the relatively non-violent-prone.