Comment by jesper_ostman on Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo · 2012-10-03T22:56:55.235Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Although the hellish world scenario seems unlikely it might be important to consider. At least according to my own values things like being confined to children's books and being injected with heroin would contribute very little negative utility (if negative at all) compared to even 1 in 1000 of enduring the worst psychologically possible torture for, say, a billion years.

Comment by jesper_ostman on Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo · 2012-10-03T22:54:03.011Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting. Do you have a source on that?

Comment by jesper_ostman on AI timeline predictions: are we getting better? · 2012-09-03T02:25:21.257Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

No videocalls - what about the widespread skyping?

Comment by jesper_ostman on Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations · 2012-07-04T12:20:32.767Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You can get some 5.2GB free with dropbox - first they have a few small"quests" giving 0.2 extra. But then they also gave you up to 3GB more if you synced photos from mobile to dropbox (did this then removed the photos to get extra non-picture storage space).

Comment by jesper_ostman on What was your biggest recent surprise? · 2012-06-10T20:43:42.920Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

That there is reason to believe that it is "relatively easy" (say if we survive x-risk and get a good singleton within a million years) to colonize billions of galaxies. That makes the expected (ignoring possibility of discovering new useful physics, creating universes etc) hedonic utility of x-risk reduction up to some 9-orders of magnitude greater than I had previously thought.

Comment by jesper_ostman on What was your biggest recent surprise? · 2012-06-10T20:20:28.286Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Why it just something which made it easier to "alieve" (in contrast to just believing) in a singularity, or do you think this information was good evidence for updating towards that a singularity is more likely? (eg because it shows that billionaires might invest in such crazy projects)

Comment by jesper_ostman on List of underrated risks? · 2012-05-31T14:24:49.164Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

In general: an unhealthy lifestyle. In the relevant context the overwhelming majority of people die of diseases when relatively old (and not accidents or violence).

Other than that: suicide is often underrated - it is often the main non-disease cause of death for males.

(Eg when checking the stats for my own demographic I had about a 6.55% risk of death the next 30 years. Out of this some 10% were from suicide, 5% from accidents and only 1.5% from infectious diseases but over 50% from malignant neoplasms and circulatory system diseases.)

Useful statistics: Some useful tips:

Comment by jesper_ostman on List of underrated risks? · 2012-05-31T14:02:38.957Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Possible examples: Taking part in paid medical experiments. Selling kidney.

Comment by jesper_ostman on Another reason why a lot of studies may be wrong · 2012-05-03T17:57:03.272Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Mail him and ask?

Comment by jesper_ostman on A few questions on International Rationality · 2012-05-02T17:23:59.033Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was assuming you meant something like "willing to go against the dominant norms in one's society" by it, which is close related to Openness.

I'd expect those people joining/starting new religions to be more open, thus the operalization of your hypothesis in terms of big5-Openness. There should probably be studies on smaller religions, such as new age, which might aptly be called new.

Comment by jesper_ostman on (Almost) every moral theory can be represented by a utility function · 2012-05-02T12:31:26.282Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

For some reason I've never understood consequentialist philosophers also often/usually collapse that cardinal ranking into the right (usualy one) action and all the other wrong actions, see this. Presumably they wouldn't worry too much about this problem.

Comment by jesper_ostman on A few questions on International Rationality · 2012-05-02T12:24:37.785Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In the scandinavian countries SIAI-style thinking seems at least as common to me as in the US (eg comparing Sweden to New York, which I believe is of similar size).

Comment by jesper_ostman on A few questions on International Rationality · 2012-05-02T12:19:20.925Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not unreasonable. Eg personality traits like openness have a decent heritability and are closely related to weirdness.

Comment by jesper_ostman on A few questions on International Rationality · 2012-05-02T12:15:46.765Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"Weirdness" is closely related to a high score in the psychological trait openness in the big5.

According to this meta-analysis the correlations between religiosity and openness are somewhat mixed:

"while Openness is negatively related to religious fundamentalism (weighted mean r=−0.14, P<0.01) and, to some extent, intrinsic-general religiosity (r=−0.06, P<0.01), it is positively related to measures of open or mature religiosity and spirituality (r=0.22, P<0.0001)."

Comment by jesper_ostman on Optimizing your Social Network · 2012-04-27T09:15:31.721Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Why not both? Eg. optimizing for a few really close friends and many more useful acquaintances/friends?

Comment by jesper_ostman on A question about Eliezer · 2012-04-20T18:05:46.799Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

It seems you are talking about high-functioning psychopaths, rather than psychopaths according to the diagnostic DSM-IV criteria. Thus the prior should be different from 0.03. Assuming a high-functioning psychopath is necessarily a psychopath then it seems it should be far lower than 0.03, at least from looking at the criteria:

A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as >indicated by three or more of the following: failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are >grounds for arrest; deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure; impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead; irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults; reckless disregard for safety of self or others; consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial >obligations; lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another; B) The individual is at least age 18 years. C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years. D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode."

Comment by jesper_ostman on Attention control is critical for changing/increasing/altering motivation · 2012-04-14T21:40:04.763Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Nice post with much interesting material.

I wonder when I read the following:

"Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has a highly successful approach for breaking habits, which requires only a very subtle alteration to this process. You notice that you are biting your nails...."

Do you know of any studies on this, or could you link me to some other source of further reading? (eg on the specifics of the method, on the evidence for them, whether there are any high-quality meta-reviews, etc)

Comment by jesper_ostman on Journal of Consciousness Studies issue on the Singularity · 2012-03-13T17:18:51.473Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Unlikely, they have been highly ranked for a long time and singularity/transhumanist topics are only a very small part of what JCS covers.

Comment by jesper_ostman on Schools Proliferating Without Evidence · 2012-01-16T17:48:21.771Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Here's a review of meta-analyses on CBT:

Comment by jesper_ostman on [MORESAFE] Starting global risk discussion · 2011-10-30T14:35:54.189Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Generally, to me, a cross-linking dedicated x-risk-forum, a literature list and perhaps also a wiki seem like useful things which don't already exist.

There are several small organizations which are created by one person and limited to a small website that nobody reads.

Seems like a good idea to write a discussing post gathering the names and links to the websites of such groups (or persons), as well as more well-known groups, aiming to get a comprehensive list. In addition to being useful in itself such a list could provide a starting point for people to contact about your ideas of a forum and a wiki.

  1. Open complete library of all literature on existential risks.

Similarly, it seems like a comprehensive bibliography of X-risk literature would be a useful resource. Seth Baum's GCR bibliography might be a good starting point.

Comment by jesper_ostman on Review of Kahneman, 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' (2011) · 2011-10-30T13:54:39.563Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Nice. Just ordered it for my University Library, hopefully that might make it more likely that someone else reads it too.

Comment by jesper_ostman on Social status & testosterone · 2011-10-20T16:22:21.616Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm curious about your musings on the connection between masturbation and risk-taking. Would it be mediated by testosterone levels?

I've heard several people mention the idea that frequent masturbation would lower testosterone levels. But after a very brief search, I found claims that no studies supporting such a relationship exists, and a study (admittedly with few subjects) which failed to find any effects from sexual activity on blood plasma testosterone levels. Know any results to the contrary?

Comment by jesper_ostman on Social status & testosterone · 2011-10-20T15:43:49.354Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Very useful info.

Comment by jesper_ostman on Meetup : Stockholm meetup · 2011-10-05T22:39:33.543Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Same here. Anyone interested in an Umeå/Norrland meetup?

Comment by jesper_ostman on Weight training · 2011-08-31T17:15:40.376Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Creatine might also have additional cognitive benefits

Comment by jesper_ostman on How to Be Happy · 2011-03-31T22:04:56.238Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Nice post. It seems like a good summary of important results from happiness science, with interesting ideas about how to increase one's social skills added. Some comments:

So which personality traits tend to correlate most with happiness? Extroversion is >among the best predictors of happiness,22 as are conscientiousness, >agreeableness, self-esteem, and optimism.23

I'm surprised that you don't mention the trait neuroticism, which in many studies has the strongest correlation with happiness. (see eg) In general, neuroticism and extraversion are far better predicators of happiness than conscientiousness and agreeableness (even if the latter traits have some effect).

One benefit of religion may be that it gives people a sense of meaning and >purpose

Interestingly, religion doesn't correlate with happiness in more athestic (compared to US) european countries like Sweden. One way to explain this is that much of the effect is socially mediated and that less of the effect is meditated by finding meaning in life.

Many people report that constantly checking to see if they are happy actually >decreases their happiness

Do you know of any studies showing that checking if you are happy reduces happiness? As far as I know very few empirical studies have been done and this idea is mostly based on philosophical speculation by people like J.S. Mill and Sigdwick ("The paradox of hedonism").

Comment by jesper_ostman on High Status and Stupidity: Why? · 2010-01-12T17:45:20.695Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Some support for hypothesis 4 (assuming a correlation between status and age):

Not only do studies show that fluid intelligence decreases with age but the psychological trait Openness to experience also declines with age. Openness is related to characteristics like curiosity, independence of mind and broad interests, which should facilitate the possibility of having an "intelligent conversation".