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How to Evaluate Data? 2013-04-09T04:10:30.365Z · score: 5 (12 votes)

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Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, December 1-15 · 2013-12-06T03:13:09.902Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. Reading HPMoR. Chapter 8 in particular.

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, December 1-15 · 2013-12-05T17:12:26.177Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I have been rereading HPMOR and come up with an elegant hypothesis that I found to be ever more fitting as I continued to read. However, I just realized that I have been looking only for tests that confirm my hypothesis, and not looking for things that would cause my hypothesis to be wrong. This is not the sort of realization that I often have.

Comment by jetm on The Craft And The Community: The Basics: Apologizing · 2013-11-25T12:09:15.409Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Once you get fairly strong, you can sometimes even win free points by apologising in front of a big group of people for something that everyone but the other disputant think is completely outweighed by the other disputant's actions.

Why would this be true? If the other disputant was so clearly in the wrong, wouldn't it be obvious that that's what you're trying to do, thus voiding the effect?

Comment by jetm on Open Thread, November 15-22, 2013 · 2013-11-21T05:11:34.873Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting. Does this.... urgency ever turn out to be useful? I'm assuming that at the worst it's not distracting enough to justify taking the time to prevent it.

(In case I was not clear, I was talking about a more general thingy than being sat upon. Pretty much all of 6.3 for example.)

Comment by jetm on Open Thread, November 15-22, 2013 · 2013-11-21T04:41:22.280Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

So I've been reading Worm ( parahumans.wordpress.com ), and there's this tiny thing that's been growing ever-more annoying, and I can't hold off asking about it any longer.

I keep seeing passages like this: "Realizing the position he had me in, feeling the pressure of his thighs against my hips, his weight resting partially on my lower body, I must’ve blown a synapse. My thought process ground to a halt. It didn’t help that the first place my mind went was interpreting his ‘start’ as being this position leading to something else."

Do people actually think like this? Seems like it would be really inconvenient.

Comment by jetm on How habits work and how you may control them · 2013-10-12T16:17:55.846Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm having trouble reading your footnote. What am I supposed to make of the numbers 12 and 13?

Comment by jetm on How do you say no? · 2013-10-04T06:04:37.403Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I do have a bit of a problem saying no, largely, I think because I 'respect' authority too much. For example, right now I am the only person working on a series of projects, the sort of which an entire team normally handles. But now everyone's depending on me, so it's too late to back out.

However, I say no a lot more than I used to, and it is amazing.

  1. A while ago, I found myself working 12-14 hour days for a week due to training. I spent the evenings working on a research paper for class. The Monday after this week, there was going to be a completely voluntary oral test. Passing this gets you nothing but shinyness for your record. The list of topics it covered was very long and vague. We learned about it about ten days in advance.

I, being an idiot who says volunteers for everything, volunteered for it despite everything else going on. After two days, I managed to cram the first three subjects out of 20 or so, truly comprehending very little of it. At that point, I realized that it just wasn't going to happen and told my boss that I wished to withdraw. His response was something along the lines of "That's probably a good idea." It didn't really feel like anything.

As a second, quick, example. Someone just asked me to critique a lengthy excerpt of her novel. This was very easy to say no to, as it was erotica, which I cannot stand.

  1. Estimate how long it will take, tack on 25% to account for planning fallacy, compare to current schedule and priorities. Another recent thing I said no to would have required at least 4 hours a week for two months, in addition to at least $500.

  2. Both? Thinking about other people suffering is one of my main motivators, but I have trouble feeling anything for people on an individual level.

  3. Yes. Without going into detail, I said 'yes' a few too many times and reaped horrible consequences. Also, it's a lot easier to say no when you primarily associate with people you don't like.

Comment by jetm on How to Become a 1000 Year Old Vampire · 2013-10-03T19:12:54.878Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There is little to tell. Basic Training has more to do with getting used to being miserable than actually pushing yourself. The actual job training is somewhat more challenging, but only because there is very little room for error. You aren't allowed to bring stuff home to study either, so there's little extra you could do even if you wanted to.

I did force myself up and down 800-some steps (as in a staircase sort of thing) while wearing about 90 lbs (I weigh 140) of gear, but that was completely voluntary. It was excruciating, but I recognized that quitting would have to be a conscious choice not to take another step, so I just didn't do that. I did stop before I had properly finished, but that was only because my legs were about to stop supporting me. It shouldn't be that hard to find an exercise program that gives a similar effect, without being anywhere nearly as bad for your body.

The biggest thing I learned is that you have a choice about your attitude. When doing sucky things, I've noticed that there are two main ways that people do it. They either complain, or they laugh at the people who are complaining. Either way, you're miserable, but at least the second group has something to laugh about.

Sorry that kind of rambled. I hope I answered the question to your satisfaction.

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, October 1-15, plus frequency poll · 2013-10-03T04:14:39.616Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If I understand it correctly, much of the power in Beeminder comes from the threat of losing money when you fail. How many times did you fail at writing before giving up? I have not used BM in a while, but I did successfully use it for writing.

(Number of consecutive push-ups doesn't seem like a good thing to Beemind. If your body doesn't have 50 push-ups in it, wanting it really bad isn't going to help much. Tracking number of push-ups done in a given amount of time would probably work better, which would naturally increase consecutive pushups.)

Comment by jetm on Rationality, competitiveness and akrasia · 2013-10-03T04:08:39.869Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't follow. What does "All the world is a stage" have to do with anything? What do you mean by 'competition of all effective varieties' and why should anyone avoid it? What is the goal, and how is testing a rationality skill losing sight of it?

Comment by jetm on How to Become a 1000 Year Old Vampire · 2013-10-03T03:55:53.182Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Explosive ordnance disposal

Comment by jetm on How to Become a 1000 Year Old Vampire · 2013-10-02T13:48:16.255Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I've considered joining the army for a similar reason of pushing myself to become stronger.

For me, the military did not push me nearly as hard as I expected. Pushed myself harder while preparing for it than I was pushed in Basic Training. Advise not doing this, or at least joining Marine Corps instead for proper pushing. There are also things (i.e. Tough Mudder) that can similarly physically push you without requiring you to sign a contract.

Comment by jetm on Reading habits/techniques/strategies (second post on the topic) · 2013-10-02T04:11:24.302Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is, of course, more ideal. Sadly, I get most of my books from unrenewable inter-library loans and therefore require an unfortunate focus on speed.

And now that I type this, I realize that nothing stops me from requesting a different edition of it a week or two before my current one is due......

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, October 1-15, plus frequency poll · 2013-09-30T23:31:01.914Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am beginning to track my motivation so I can have something of an idea of how often I ought to 'refuel' as well as what sorts of things work for 'refueling.'

I began to schedule a chunk of time to make a to-do list for the next day in my daily to-do lists. They work great when I actually make them, but I remember to make them less than half the time.

Comment by jetm on Reading habits/techniques/strategies (second post on the topic) · 2013-09-30T19:35:44.895Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I did not see this up there. I cannot think of a dense was of saying this at the moment, so I'll go ahead and ramble and hope someone finds it useful.

I am currently slogging through Causality by Pearl. It's probably a little above my level, but I'm getting most of it. However, just a little bit into the first chapter, he throws in stuff about covariance and regression coefficients that go way over my head. I almost gave up. Fortunately, I recognized them as terms from statistics. I inferred from his rapid coverage of it that it was included as an 'ooh, shiny!' moment for people who are already familiar with the terms. So I glazed over it and moved on. So far it hasn't been a problem, but I'm not terribly far into it either.

So maybe, don't dwell on stuff that you don't really need to? Focus on the important stuff?

Comment by jetm on What makes us think _any_ of our terminal values aren't based on a misunderstanding of reality? · 2013-09-26T03:16:06.657Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

When you said to suppose that "everything we want is [impossible]", did you mean that literally? Because normally if what you want is impossible, you should start wanting a different thing (or do that super-saiyan effort thing if it's that kind of impossible), but if everything is impossible, you couldn't do that either. If there is no possible action that produces a favorable outcome, I can think of no reason to act at all.

(Of course, if I found myself in that situation, I would assume I made a math error or something and start trying to do things that I want and that I think I messed up when I decided that the thing was impossible.)

If you didn't mean -everything-, then why not just start pursuing the thing which gives the most value which is possible to do?

Perhaps I misunderstood the question?

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, September 16-30 · 2013-09-24T03:49:53.607Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Are you using any tools to keep yourself cut off, or do you merely choose not to visit those sites?

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, September 16-30 · 2013-09-24T03:48:55.959Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Why? Do you get extra points for doing things the hard way? As opposed to: choosing the right tool for the job."

I don't know what potential employers are looking for (and now I realize that I haven't even tried to find out), but I would expect them to be more impressed with a thing if I were to do it in a more 'difficult' language than if I did the same thing in a language that needed only two lines of code for the job. My focus is on signaling my skill, rather than completing the program itself.

Then again, I'm thinking it would be even more impressive to learn Python's deepest secrets and exploit them to the max.

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, September 16-30 · 2013-09-21T22:44:11.754Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Huh. After reading that, I'm thinking it might be more impressive to switch to something less ridiculously simple than Python.

More importantly though, you made a great point about the halo effect. I had completely forgotten to take that into account. On further reflection, I realized that I consistently forget to account for the halo effect, and that it may be in part because I wish to believe it does not exist. This could use some work.

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, September 16-30 · 2013-09-20T21:02:38.397Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My current plan is to focus on simplistic games such as Pong and Caterpillar, as well as programs designed to play said games

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, September 16-30 · 2013-09-17T20:04:55.592Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I suppose I could be more specific in case someone else finds it helpful.

I am currently pursuing a BS in Comp Sci at an obscure online university. I decided to supplement this with classes from Udacity. However, I found myself becoming addicted to the little 'correct' sign when you get an answer right. I found myself going mindlessly through the courses as if merely having taken it would make me better. I've since slowed down, making sure to internalize the information, and I've allocated much more time into building my portfolio so I can show future employers something more substantive than an easily-fakeable certificate.

I also changed a strategy from googling "How do I get into [x]" with doing actual research about what x involves and how best to get there from where I am now. In my experience, the former approach provides little useful information.

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, September 16-30 · 2013-09-16T07:40:17.533Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I realized that I was approaching my future career by doing the sort of things that I think I am supposed to do prepare for said career rather than actually figuring out how to go about preparing for it.

Comment by jetm on What is Evidence? · 2013-07-07T22:14:53.244Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Um... "There has to be Shannon mutual information between the evidential event and the target of inquiry"?

Comment by jetm on How to Have Space Correctly · 2013-07-06T21:06:54.000Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Another idea is to use different browsers for different tasks. For example, Firefox for school, IE for goofing off, and Chrome for extra-curricular projects.

Anyway, time to remove all the books I will likely not want to look at in the near future to make room for useful things like my calendar and vitamins.

Comment by jetm on Welcome to Less Wrong! (5th thread, March 2013) · 2013-04-12T21:24:34.410Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What I want to do is to figure out what I want to do. My basic (and vague) goal is to do the most amount of good with my future career. If I make that decision with my current tools, I will likely overlook something.

Comment by jetm on Litany of Instrumentarski · 2013-04-09T19:12:52.553Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If I'm reading this correctly, if A is true and the evidence available to you for A is false, you wish to believe that A is false? Or am I missing something?

Comment by jetm on How to Evaluate Data? · 2013-04-09T13:59:04.642Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That makes a lot of sense. Looks like I'll be slogging through a lot of links then. Thank you for the tip!

Comment by jetm on Welcome to Less Wrong! (5th thread, March 2013) · 2013-04-09T02:29:40.122Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I've been browsing the site for at least a year. Found it through HP:MoR, which is absolutely amazing. I've been coming to the LessWrong study hall for a couple weeks now and have found it highly effective.

For the most part, I haven't really applied this at all. I ended up making a final break with Christianity, but the only significant difference is that I now say "Yay humanism!" instead of "Yay God!" I've used a few tricks here and there, like the Sunk Cost Fallacy, and the Planning Fallacy, but I still spent the majority of my time not thinking about things. Because thinking is hard.

Then I started trying again to figure out what I should do with my life. Now, the first time I tried this I spent less effort on the decision than I did on most papers I've written for class. Ended up signing a five-year contract with miserable results. Now I'm actually thinking. It is incredibly difficult, but I am convinced that it is worth it.

My current goals are to broaden my knowledge (I know a ton of information about classical music but almost nothing else) and sharpen my critical thinking skills.

Comment by jetm on Group Rationality Diary, April 5-14 · 2013-04-09T01:59:03.526Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW
  • I actually thought about something for the first time in years
  • While thinking about it, I jotted down "Find an article to back this up." I quickly noticed my error and replaced it with "See what science has to say on the subject."
  • I recognized that there is a problem with how I think about social interactions.