Current Law Proposed to allow competition in Social Media 2019-10-23T13:13:32.581Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Does human choice have to be transitive in order to be rational/consistent? 2019-08-11T01:49:23.967Z · score: 9 (6 votes)
Would refining the question a bit be better in terms of getting to answers? 2019-08-01T16:25:32.549Z · score: 4 (2 votes)
Another case of "common sense" not being common? 2019-07-31T17:15:40.674Z · score: 6 (4 votes)
Learning Over Time for AI and Humans and Rationality 2019-06-13T13:23:58.639Z · score: 5 (2 votes)


Comment by jmh on Hard to find factors messing up experiments: Examples? · 2019-11-19T13:55:57.558Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe, and this is getting to be a divergence off on a tangent. I wonder, for the rat experiment, if the sounds were actually rather relevant and not something that should have been just excluded.

Comment by jmh on Hard to find factors messing up experiments: Examples? · 2019-11-17T15:01:21.494Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I am curious about the last bit in the post: " thought to be a completely irrelevant factor, was wreaking havoc on an experiment."

When saying "thought to be" are you suggesting that perhaps we should not view some of these factors as irrelevant and messing up results or should I see the emphasis on "the painstaking effort" applied to identify some irrelevant factor that messed things up?

Comment by jmh on Hard to find factors messing up experiments: Examples? · 2019-11-17T14:53:46.407Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

While perhaps not directly pertinent to the goals of collecting these data points, I wonder if it's accurate to say the rat example is really a case of "completely irrelevant" factors. Seems to me the lesson from the rat experiment is rats prefer navigating via sounds over images. Taking away their ability to hear where they are is not training them to rely on vision but forcing them to do so.

Comment by jmh on Operationalizing Newcomb's Problem · 2019-11-13T14:53:26.730Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know if these comments will be helpful or even pertinent to the underlying effort related to posing and answering these types of problems. I do have a "why care" type of reaction to both the standard Newcomb's Paradox/Problem and the above formulation. I think that is because I fail to see how either really relates to anything I have to deal with in my life so seem to be "solutions in search of a problem". That could just be me though....

I do notice, for me at least, a subtle difference in the two settings. Newcomb seems to formulate a problem that is morally neutral. The psychologist seems to be setting up the incentives to be along the lines of can I lie well enough to get the $200 and my 10 minutes. Once you take the test, the envelope's content is set and waiting or not has no force -- and apparently no impact on the experiments results from the psychologist's perspective as well.

Is the behavior one adopts as their solution to the problem more about personal ethics and honesty than mere payoffs?

Comment by jmh on Units of Action · 2019-11-07T23:55:04.324Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if the idea of unit testing might fit with your thinking, and perhaps have some useful approaches as well as caveats.

Perhaps also either the idea of factions or special interests in political/social choice theories -- but here fear those might be a bit too broad a "unit".

Comment by jmh on Where should I ask this particular kind of question? · 2019-11-04T13:16:14.354Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

APOD has a comment on the daily image section and (IIRC) a number of forums for posing questions. Why not ask there?

Comment by jmh on Iron: From mythical to mundane · 2019-10-25T14:21:19.881Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That reminds me of a story I read about a lambic brewer in Belgium who needed to replace an again brewery roof. They ended up building a roof over the existing, but dilapidated, one because of the wild yeast that was had grown in it over the decades. His concern (legitimate) was removing the old roof and replacing it would cause the flavor of the brew to change.

One can easily see how such an event 2 or 3 hundred years back might produce a more mystical explanation but based on a very empirical observation.

Comment by jmh on Who captures economic gains from life extension treatments? · 2019-10-24T12:41:24.404Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think one should ask if life extension has any public good characteristics, such as is argued about things like general education for people, and if so to what extent that public good characteristic stands in relation to the private good characteristic? (could one create a ratio metric for that????)

Comment by jmh on Why Ranked Choice Voting Isn't Great · 2019-10-22T13:51:42.848Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This will all be interesting to see play out and I do agree that we can improve the election process.

I do wonder just how well it will actually improve the end outcome: better government and better representatives. From my perspective one of the main problems is that representatives are simply not representative of any real majority of the population or exposed to any real incentives to pursue what might be call common/general good over the special interests and partisan policies.

Comment by jmh on The Proper Use of Doubt · 2019-10-21T15:36:57.461Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just adding a view. Seems that one might connect the desire to eliminate the doubt and the problem of confirmation bias. I think it highly rational to accept that we do have limited knowledge and so all conclusions, outside some (narrow?) contexts, must be suspect at all times.

Pick anything "fact" your claim you know -- for instance, that you know how to drive a car -- and then start digging into just what you need to really know to make that claim 100% true. Do you actually know all that information or do you just get by and not cause/avoid accidents?

So little in our world is independent from everything else so when we start pulling one thread....

Comment by jmh on We tend to forget complicated things · 2019-10-21T11:56:42.415Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A long (long, long) time ago a friend of mine said: Being smart is not about how much information you know but knowing where to get the information you need.

I tend to agree with that general statement.

I also agree that we will remember the things we actually understand much better than those cases were we just memorized a set of rules or other "facts" that have little meaning to us -- except when they become those meaningless things we have to use regularly ;-)

I think this has some important aspects related to how we think about our personal optimization or efficiencies regarding knowledge and information management -- what we "know" (stored in our head) and what we have ready access to and can retrieve without much search effort that is in that "off-line" memory (books, notes, computers, more generalized things like operational procedures...)

I do understand this changes the focus of the OP and I am not rejecting that view -- we do remember the things that we really understand and those things just seem "easy" and tent to "just make sense" without the need to (consciously) rederive the rule(s).

But I do wonder if it is really inefficient to study something only until you have a beginning understanding even if you know you don't have an interest or need to fully understand as long as you learned enough to know where to apply that and created a good "index" to where to quickly locate that information should you need to actually use that "knowledge" in the future.

Comment by jmh on What's your big idea? · 2019-10-20T14:13:37.602Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Regarding economic progress:

  • Solving the coordination problem at scale seems related to my musing (though not new as there is a large literature) about firms and particularly large corporation. Many big corporation seem more suitable to modeling as markets themselves rather than market participants. That seems like it will have significant implications for both standard economic modeling and policy analysis. Kind of goes back to Coase's old article The Nature of the Firm.
  • Given the availability of technology, and how that technology should (and has) reduced costs, why are more developing countries still "developing"? How much of that might be driven more by culture than by cost, access to trade partners, investments, financing or a number of other standard economic explanations?

What we don't understand looks like random noise: Perfect encryption should also look exactly like random noise. Is that perhaps why it seems the universe is so empty of other intelligent life. Clearly there are other explanations for why we might not be able to identify such signals (e.g., syntax, grammar and encoding so alien we are unable to see a pattern, perhaps signal pollution and interference due to all the electromagnetic sources in the univers) but how could we differentiate?

Comment by jmh on Attainable Utility Theory: Why Things Matter · 2019-09-28T20:48:07.610Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Can you give other conceptions of "impact" that people have proposed, and compare/contrast them with "How does this change my ability to get what I want?"
The next post will cover this.

(no way to double quote it seems...maybe nested BBCode?)

Anyhow, looking forward to that as I was struggling a bit with the claim cannot be a big deal if it doesn't impact my getting what I want without being tautological.

Comment by jmh on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019 · 2019-09-27T13:34:25.369Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A slightly different thought that might be easier to coordinate. Have the button hide all the comments of a specific user on LW -- adds the variance that the thread is not merely bilateral. We could also add something that might obscure the actor, thought not entirely hide their action.

Additionally, we could have the button delete a selected subset of comments/posts allowing a scenario where one needs to decide if an all out attack was launched or something else is going on. That seems to be what Petrov faced. I would also add something that produced an almost identical signal even if no one pushed their button.

Though, now it's becoming more like a war game on LW than simply noting a (at least I think) positive event in history. Still, we might make it a good experiment and see what can be learned.

Maybe I'm in a dark mindset here....

Seems like today, even with (due to?) the advances in weapons and other technology that MAD assumption may no longer be believed. I recall Putin claiming Russia would in fact survive an all out war with the USA. I wonder how much that view might change the way the game plays out.

On a tangent here, part of the concern is the proliferation of the technology. What would a Guarantee Assured Destruction (GAD) policy be for any country/group seeking such technology? Is that a better world than what we have now?

Comment by jmh on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019 · 2019-09-27T13:14:39.299Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not entirely sure we can ever have a correct choice in foresight.

With regard to Petrov, he did seem to make a good, and reasoned call: The US launching a first strike with 5 missiles just does not make much sense without some very serious assumptions that don't seem to be merited.

I do like the observation that Petrov was being just as unilateralist as what is feared in this thread.

Do we want to lionize such behavior? Perhaps. You argument seems to lend itself to the lens of an AI problem -- and Petrov's behavior then a control on that AI.

Comment by jmh on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019 · 2019-09-26T17:28:59.136Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Certainly good to hear. I almost accidentally pressed it earlier! No codes so good fail-safe for me.

Comment by jmh on Honoring Petrov Day on LessWrong, in 2019 · 2019-09-26T12:18:15.303Z · score: 18 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I was not aware of this story and happy to hear it. While I think having the day of celebration and rememberance should be done, I wonder about the exercise with the button.

First, just not pushing the button and bring the page down for a day seems not to fit the problem. The button should be shutting down someone else's site with the realization that they will have some knowledge of that coming and have a button that shuts your page down. Perhaps next year the game could include other sites, and particularly sites whose members do not really see eye-to-eye on things.

Second, it doesn't really tell others much about avoiding such situations. Reading Eliezer's post the critical insight for me seems to be that of remaining calm and taking the time available to think a bit rather than merely react and follow instructions of a mindless process. That Petrov realized that launching 5 missiles just made no sense, so came to the conclusion that there was a system error/false positive is critical here.

Comment by jmh on How can I reframe my study motivation? · 2019-09-25T13:29:46.989Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if this is merely putting pressure on your self to reach some goal rather than just an interest in learning on your own.

I might suggest reflecting on why you are interested in, or perhaps what you are interested in, learning outside your coursework.

As something of a side note, it is probably a safe statement to say you are already independently learning outside your coursework just by living your daily life but perhaps you're not consciously aware you are.

Comment by jmh on Taxing investment income is complicated · 2019-09-23T12:08:20.418Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

With regard to distortions one need to look at supply (and possibly demand) elasticities. It is possible that a small tax could produce a larger welfare loss than that of a large tax.

It might also be good to look at where the tax is initially falling -- have not thought this out yet but is there a multiplier effect potential here?

Another view might also be that of costs -- why is the cost of governance any more distortionary than the presence of costs anywhere else in the input markets? Maybe the approach here should be to look at potential real economic profits in the input cost prices (which would include cost of government) and make those incremental costs the distortionary element.

Comment by jmh on False Dilemmas w/ exercises · 2019-09-19T13:40:07.816Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
This post is about seeing constraints in planning/agents/environments and how to wield those constraints effectively to achieve your goals.

There is a huge literature on this type of agenda setting. I think for the most part one person achieving their goals will depend a lot on how well others, with competing and possibly incompatible goal, recognize the situation and formulate their own strategies.

Comment by jmh on Accelerating the capitalistic tendencies of social systems to do good · 2019-09-18T16:57:14.583Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Agree with most of what is said. I would also point to educational alternatives like the Khan Academy.

Regarding " If the systems are as a corrupt as you think they are, they should destroy themselves on their own in any case." I am wondering if that is saying we will not see stable systems that are inherently corrupt (no stable equilibrium with corruption) or "that level" is not stable -- but I didn't see anything that suggest some excessively large level of corruption.

I think I would be more concerned about corrupt practices driving out possible innovations and perhaps limiting growth (but here not sure as I see China's economy and polity as largely corrupt but they seem to be growing fine and are as stable as the USA or EU I would suggest)

Comment by jmh on Reframing the evolutionary benefit of sex · 2019-09-16T18:33:42.768Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting article on Quanta.

Comment by jmh on Reframing the evolutionary benefit of sex · 2019-09-15T14:04:48.412Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not quite sure where this would fit into your views. A numbers of years back I came across an article about snails. Those that lived below of certain depth of water were unisex -- self replicating. The same species of snail, when living in shallower waters displayed male and female and reproduction required the exchange of genetic materials as you mentioned.

The theory on why that was observed was at a certain depth the snails were not confronted with a lot of the diseases they faced in the shallower waters. Sharing the genetic code improved their ability to fight the diseases, IIRC.

Comment by jmh on The Power to Understand "God" · 2019-09-14T14:03:42.847Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I do not see that it is my position to suggest or argue that you be anything. I would suggest the "burden of proof" why X does y will always belong with X.

If atheism is the faith position you want to defend or challenge with your power of specifics that is fine with me. It would be engaging shminux's suggestion rather than sidestepping it.

I am not defending or refuting anything here but will point out that atheism is a statement about something not existing. Proving something does not exist is a highly problematic exercise.

Comment by jmh on The Power to Solve Climate Change · 2019-09-14T13:26:16.244Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm finding this post difficult. The main reason I think is that the most focuses on controlling the temperature change rather than focusing on the results of temperature change and identifying the resulting problem.

Both provided links are nearly mute on that question, providing a short paragraph without further discussion or support.


The impact of global warming is far greater than just increasing temperatures. Warming modifies rainfall patterns, amplifies coastal erosion, lengthens the growing season in some regions, melts ice caps and glaciers, and alters the ranges of some infectious diseases. Some of these changes are already occurring.


A couple of degrees change in the average yearly temperature is far from a minor event. When Earth"s temperature was 5°C lower, the sea level was 120m lower and all of Northern Europe and Canada were covered by a gigantic ice cap (one could hike from Vermont to Greenland). Furthermore, average temperatures do not tell the whole story. As average temperatures increase, the likelihood of extreme temperature events might increase as well.
A change of a couple of degrees over the surface of the Earth first causes the oceans to absorb the extra heat. In the process, they expand (raising the sea level) and cause increased evaporation, which leads to perturbed air and water currents. This yields an increased likelihood of extreme weather events, such as drought, hurricanes or floods. This is already observed as e.g. coral reefs are starting to die.
Longer term effects are harder to quantify as a temperature change this sudden has never been witnessed in the past. To get an rough idea, this map shows what the world will look like 4° warmer while this article shows how sensitive birds and bees are to climate change. Furthermore, higher temperatures and more extreme weather causes crops to fail which will force refugees to flee inhabitable regions.That's ultimately bad for the economy.

The NASA statement seem, in most cases ambiguous. Changing rain patterns may be good, may be bad and the assessment probably depends on where you are. Lengthening growing seasons seems like a good thing -- we can feed more people, food maybe gets cheaper to produce and so cheaper to buy? I would like to know more about the affects of coastal erosion -- I don't believe it is one sided and always detrimental.

Tomorrow offers more but also includes more "weasel" terms -- might be, hard to quantify....

Additionally, another NASA link (found when looking for how temperatures are estimated for the past when we don't have recorded data) indicated 65 million years back temperatures were 10 - 15 degrees C higher. Life certainly seems to have been flourishing back them.

So, what specifics should be be looking at here. Seems like we're jumping on the "stop the warming" train without considering the benefits to warming and then considering the better approach might well be to accept higher temperatures (so it doesn't matter the cause really) and develop the technologies that are consistent with the evolving environment. Or more likely, some middle ground -- there are lots of reasons to limit emissions unrelated to temperature rising.

I just don't get why I really need to care about the average temperature as the main focus of either problem or solution. This is much more complicated than that and all the specifics here seem to cast as much shadow as light.

Comment by jmh on The Power to Solve Climate Change · 2019-09-13T19:04:45.205Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Politics and policy more often than now works to internalize rewards and externalize cost for a relevant block or special interest.

Comment by jmh on The Power to Understand "God" · 2019-09-13T16:23:05.850Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would like to see shminux challenge addressed here. Let's pick another faith based case -- or even the atheist position (which I would argue is just as much about faith as the religious persons). I agree with the position that rationality leads not to no belief (in god or some other position) but an agnostic position.

Comment by jmh on Is competition good? · 2019-09-11T13:35:18.606Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Two observations.

I think you use "value" in a confusing manner. If value is the nominal price then value increases or decreases only if total income increases or decreases. If value is used in the sense I think you generally mean, then that is a largely (overwhelmingly largely IMO) subjective judgement and it's not clear if buying the car or making the donation a superior outcome.

Additionally, I think the conclusion, seems to needs something said about what the new restaurant owner and workers are doing. If we're in a zero-sum game then it really should be a wash. If, as generally accepted, markets tend to be positive sum games then we have a case of a smaller share of a larger pie (that is some of the employees will now eat at the first restaurant where as they could not before as they were unemployed, or making less money).

The other observation is about network effects. It used to be that businesses, particularly restaurants type businesses I think, used think they needed to be away from other restaurants. It was a form of spacial competition for demand. But that view has fallen to reality. We we that proximity to other competitors is not that bad and can actually increase total demand for all on the supply side. That seems to be driven by network type effects. Think about the dinning/club districts in cities, shopping mall and their food courts.

Of course there are limits but the simple model of competition don't really seem to capture the real dynamics of market competition.

Comment by jmh on Is my result wrong? Maths vs intuition vs evolution in learning human preferences · 2019-09-10T16:01:35.919Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if part of messiness might stem from confusing various domains and ranges. For example, for human, we have a complex of wants -- some are driven very much by physiological factors, some by cultural factor and some by individual factors (including things like what I did yesterday or 5 hours ago). We might call these our preference domain.

Then we need some function mapping the preferences into the range of behaviors that are observable. Assuming that there is something approximating a function here (caveat - not a math guy here so maybe that is misused/loaded here). From that we have some hope for deducing the behavior back to the preference.

However, we should not consider the above three sources as coming from the same domain, or mapping to the same range. Confusion may come in from both the fuzziness (I'm implicitly agreeing with the general cannot infer preferences from behavior that well as a general proposition) of the "correct" function as well as a confusion of associating a behavior to one of the three ranges, and then attempting to deduce the preference.

If I see A doing x and ascribe x to the physiological range and then attempt to deduce the preference (in the physiological domain) when x is actually in the individual range for A I will probably see a lot of errors. But maybe not 100% error.

I do think there is something to the we're all human so can recognize a lot of meaning in action from others -- but things like culture (as mentioned) does influence performance here. So, what is an acceptable accuracy rate? Is the goal mathematical certainty or something else?

Comment by jmh on The Power to Demolish Bad Arguments · 2019-09-05T12:23:55.404Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not invested either, but I thought its view of the future where, in general, people moved from owning transportation capital (cars) to one of an on demand use of transportation service seems to have some sense to it. Coupled with the move toward rental of personal assets while not used, like the AirBnB model it looks a bit better too (perhaps as a transition state...?)

That does seem to depend on more than merely the technical and financial aspect. I suspect there is also the whole cultural and social (and probably the legal liability and insurance aspects for the autonomous car) part that will need to shift to support that type of market shift.

Not sure if this is a move in the similar direction but one of the big car rental companies just launched (or will) a new service for longer term rental. Basically you can pay a monthly fee and drive most of the cars they offer. The market here seemed to be those that might want a difference car every few weeks (BMW this month, Audi next, any maybe Lexus a bit later...). In the back of my mind I cannot help be see some time of signaling motivation here and wonder just how long that lasts if everyone can do it -- all the different cars you are seen driving no long signals any really type of status. Still, there are clearly some functional aspects that make it appealing over having to own multiple vehicles.

Comment by jmh on The Power to Demolish Bad Arguments · 2019-09-03T12:12:55.228Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I find that I struggle with the rhetoric of the argument. Shouldn't the goal be to illuminate facts and truths rather than merely proving the other side wrong? Specifics certainly allow the illumination of truths (and so getting less wrong in our decisions and actions). However, it almost reads like the goal is to use specificity as some rhetorical tool in much the same way statistics can be misused to color the lens and mislead.

I'm sure that is not your goal so assume one of the hidden assumptions here could be put in the title. One additional word: The Power to Demolish BAD Arguments might set a better tone at the start.

Comment by jmh on A Personal Rationality Wishlist · 2019-08-28T12:58:52.896Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

True, it would be a very awkward mechanism to allow the front wheel to be turned.

Clearly an example of what Said was pointing out!

Edit - after some though driving home yesterday it occurred that I was in error in agreeing with the "cannot steer" claim. My error was imposing the image of the rear drive chain arrangement as the only way to drive the front wheel. That is not the case and it seem a few others besides Ericf and I fell into that error in mindset.

Comment by jmh on How do you learn foreign language vocabulary, beyond Anki? · 2019-08-28T12:55:39.012Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I did understand that. I find that my ability to read Korean is improving with my ability to understand the spoken language and my vocabulary improved faster than with just flash cards.

Might be me but my thinking was still along the lines of forming more connections to the meaning and so making it more efficient learning of the vocabulary.

Comment by jmh on How do you learn foreign language vocabulary, beyond Anki? · 2019-08-27T13:13:22.365Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I do like that suggestion about trying to remove the English word and just try to associate the foreign word with the concept/thing.

Comment by jmh on How do you learn foreign language vocabulary, beyond Anki? · 2019-08-27T13:08:24.279Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

not sure if this would help or not.

Basically someone talking about how to use Anki effectively based on his own experiences and what he found he was doing wrong.

It might be not so great as it's about learning medical terms for med school so not quite a new language.

Not sure if you've seen Quizlet before or not. I like that tools it offers. If you have not already looked at that you might take a look. Not sure how easy it would be but Quizlet also allows sharing decks with others so if you have anyone you are learning with -- or are in any online groups for learning German that might provide some options to help.

It sounds like you've already homed in on one of the big items -- relevance and context to you personally.

One last thing, do you speak the word aloud? If not maybe try. That will engage other parts of your brain and so perhaps create more links to the meaning and a stronger memory of the word and meaning.

Last edit... Do you listen to any German language music or watch German language movies/shows?

Comment by jmh on A Personal Rationality Wishlist · 2019-08-27T12:49:55.912Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, never thought about it but an all wheel drive bike sounds like it might be useful -- maybe as off road/mountain bike. (Said by the guy who has ridden the bike he bough at least 5 years ago about 5 time now....)

Comment by jmh on Actually updating · 2019-08-24T21:04:46.008Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Along the same lines as TurnTrout, I was wondering about the abstraction versus specific situation. I am not asking that any share anything they would not be comfortable with. However, I do think abstraction from oneself in the analysis can just be another one of the protection mechanisms that can be used to allow us to appear to be making progress while while still avoiding the underlying truth driving our behaviors.

That said, I think Sara offers some very good items to consider.

Okay, this next bit is not directly related but seems implicit in the posting, and other posts I've read here. Does the LW community tend to see the human mind and "person" as a collection of entities/personalities/agents/thinking processes? Or am I jumping to some completely absurd conclusion on that?

Comment by jmh on Paradoxical Advice Thread · 2019-08-23T15:00:48.472Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I think that helped.

Very relevant to this post:

"Don't over think things." versus "If it seems clear and obvious, you don't really understand it."

Thinking of the skin in the game and asymmetric justice example, I wonder if one aspect might be considering why the saying came about. Skin in the game seems to be something about *others* we interact with on something. We're happy to join in to play under those terms, perhaps some incentive to trust the other will also make an effort. The asymmetric justice aspect is more about how we might behave to a large extent independent of what the others are doing.

We might also want to say both are saying the same thing, but illustrating a different facet. If no one has any skin in the game how would mistakes be punished? The incentives for all having skin in the game is about getting people to join (play with the others) while the asymmetric justice incentive notes the cost of that buy-in to get a game played.

Not all all sure how far that get though. It is a very interesting thought you've given.

Comment by jmh on Intentional Bucket Errors · 2019-08-23T11:35:22.422Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if casting the approach as a prudent application of Occam's Razor might make it a bit less needful of defense.

If one can simplify things by treating to arguably different things the same and thereby shed light and gain a better understanding of either or both that seems useful.

Comment by jmh on Paradoxical Advice Thread · 2019-08-22T12:24:04.792Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hazzard, I don't think you're suggesting that such a paradoxical situation is necessarily false or wrong but wanted to check. If not, then part of the question might be when (necessary and sufficient condition if possible) are such paradoxes to be strongly questioned/challenged and when should we accept we do live in a world with paradoxes.

Looking at the equal and opposite link I came away with one main reaction: one size never fits all.

Comment by jmh on Paradoxical Advice Thread · 2019-08-22T12:20:57.443Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Was thinking of the same comment. Heard it from my nephew when he was living in my house shortly after he graduated.

FYI -- , the quip appears to go back to at least 1994.

Comment by jmh on Do We Change Our Minds Less Often Than We Think? · 2019-08-20T16:35:17.973Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if one can connect this suggested outcome with the old always go with your first intuition on multiple choice questions.

One aspect to getting answers here seems like it would be about how much is our decision-making about existing preconceptions and biases we carry around and how much might be related to things we actually know but do not keep front of mind or articulate to ourselves while thinking.

Comment by jmh on Eight Short Studies On Excuses · 2019-08-20T15:38:26.272Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

" to some degree these are devil's bargains, as anyone who can predict you will do this can take advantage of you. "

What if one randomized their response to the acceptable excuse case? I suppose there might still be some gaming to occur but that should greatly reduce the ability for being taken advantage of as prediction is no longer really possible.

Comment by jmh on Does human choice have to be transitive in order to be rational/consistent? · 2019-08-12T12:04:39.343Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thought I had replied ... but no seeing that now.

You are showing me an error in casual thought and speech I have. I should not link the two terms as I did -- but do carry seem to carry the two concepts around in my head largely in the same bucket as it were. I should stop doing that!


I really should have just stayed with the question of consistency and if transitivity was really a sufficient condition to suggest inconsistency was present -- which seemed implied in the comment I read sparking the thought.

Comment by jmh on Does human choice have to be transitive in order to be rational/consistent? · 2019-08-11T13:52:38.297Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You give me two things to think about now. Your comment about intelligence and how models fit in.

It could be that as intelligence grows (and I'm using intelligence loosely to include both raw analytic capacity and knowledge and information) we become better at distilling those bundles of attributes we labeled A, B and C into a common denominator. But I also can see that working the other way too -- we gain an ability to further differentiate alternatives so see more intransitive relationships.

I wonder if there are settings -- not sure if that would be specific to the characteristics of the alternatives or characteristics relating to uses of the alternatives (means-driven versus ends-driven) -- where we might predict which of the two paths would be taken.

Since we only interact with the external world via the models in our head I am now wondering about the relationship between the consistency of the models and the consistency of the decision or observed behavior/choices. But this is even less thought out than my original questions so think I stop at that.

Comment by jmh on Trauma, Meditation, and a Cool Scar · 2019-08-09T14:19:35.928Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for sharing. It is great to hear you have come though the dark and back into the sun (even if with one shaded eye -- pirate patches are a cool accessory for cools scares right?)

Great seeing the two smiling faces with that cool scare too!

For me it is very hard to share that type of personal trauma but you give others some courage to open up as well. Thanks again.

Comment by jmh on Why do humans not have built-in neural i/o channels? · 2019-08-08T23:02:46.235Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

While I am also not sure I should try answering here, seems that an obvious first cut at answering the first question would that to address why it would be an evolutionary advantage? How good does the communication need to be for survival and being the fittest for whatever niche is to be occupied?

Behind that might be two related questions/assumptions. One, when a mutation evolves to provide and advantage in some environment should we expect big changes, little changes or some ongoing sequence of "improvements" leading to some big change (think rapid changes over a relatively short period). Putting that a bit differently, is evolution a slacker that settles for the minimum or some type of maximizing process?

The other question/assumption is what are the constraints or opportunity costs for an evolution. Just how big a change can occur as one might expect that to be a costly process for the organism.

[And yes I realize the above sounds a bit like evolution as a conscious or intelligent process but that is due of writing quickly and so poorly expressing the thought ...]

Comment by jmh on Searle’s Chinese Room and the Meaning of Meaning · 2019-08-06T11:39:52.355Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've often thought the best test of the present of an intelligence would not be "can it solve a problem someone gave it to solve" but rather can it identify a problem for itself to be solved without some external intelligence posing the problem. In other words, can it start asking and answering it's own questions.

Comment by jmh on The Importance of Those Who Aren't Here · 2019-08-01T14:15:04.745Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Fully agree. I would add this is something politician and political parties would do well (from the perspective of becoming actually Representatives of the people -- though might not be good from a partisan goals view...) to pay attention to.

Or, perhaps in light of the parenthetical thought, perhaps that is something the electorate and, more so, the media should take note of.

Comment by jmh on Another case of "common sense" not being common? · 2019-08-01T14:08:13.185Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW
Problems are encoded in technical jargon which makes understanding them, much less solving them, more time consuming.

You make many good observations/points that I agree with.

The quoted bullet is really related to the main reaction I had.