Posts

Best Explainers on Different Subjects 2015-03-18T20:32:55.958Z · score: 16 (17 votes)
Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated 2013-10-07T16:13:57.950Z · score: 3 (6 votes)
Computer Science and Software Engineering 2013-05-12T17:01:02.724Z · score: 1 (10 votes)
Confusion about Normative Morality 2013-02-07T20:34:31.303Z · score: 9 (12 votes)
[suggestion] New Meetup Tab 2013-02-03T23:40:01.607Z · score: 22 (25 votes)
Morality: Theory and Practice 2013-01-15T20:03:47.503Z · score: 0 (9 votes)
A question about two books concerning biases 2013-01-11T00:36:17.808Z · score: 1 (6 votes)
A Probability Question 2012-12-06T05:29:22.028Z · score: 3 (6 votes)

Comments

Comment by jmiller on Best Explainers on Different Subjects · 2015-03-19T17:14:42.052Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Awesome, I'll be checking this out for sure. I recently began studying computer security; do you have any more recommendations?

Comment by jmiller on Best Explainers on Different Subjects · 2015-03-19T17:12:26.813Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I appreciate the initiative to send meta-sources rather than single pieces.

Comment by jmiller on Best Explainers on Different Subjects · 2015-03-19T17:11:52.809Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Added to my reading list, thanks!

Comment by jmiller on Best Explainers on Different Subjects · 2015-03-19T17:11:28.511Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks Gunnar. Luke may not have linked his thread, because I did so in the OP.

Comment by jmiller on Best Explainers on Different Subjects · 2015-03-19T17:10:51.475Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, Luke. I'll be checking your physics recommendations out soon.

Comment by jmiller on Items to Have In Case of Emergency...Maybe. · 2014-04-03T16:01:34.069Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you are often travelling over bridge by car, having a car-knife could be handy in case you go over. The device generally comes equipped with a seat belt cutter, pressurized hammer, and flashlight.

Comment by jmiller on Some Tools For Optimizing Our Media Use · 2014-02-14T00:29:18.570Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Some policy issues affected by media in democratic countries: Daniel Komo argues that people hear about trade policy (I imagine this is extensible to other kinds of policy) largely because oppositions have incentive to attack government trade initiatives. But because propagating information is expensive, often opponents will focus attacks on simpler, easier to explain policy decisions, rather then ones that are more complex, since efficient use of space is cheap. He concludes that democratic political competition may lead to what I might call a kind of "reverse" conjunction fallacy: simpler policy decision tend to get more prime-time, coverage, and critism than more complex decisions.

Comment by jmiller on Open Thread for February 11 - 17 · 2014-02-12T21:32:33.131Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Awesome, thanks so much! If you were to recommend one of these resources to begin with, which would it be?

Comment by jmiller on Open Thread for February 11 - 17 · 2014-02-12T21:31:15.426Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not. The reason I picked it up was because it happens to be the book recommended in MIRI's course suggestions, but I am not particularly attached to it. Looking again, it seems they do actually recommend SICP on lesswrong, and Learnyouahaskell on intelligence.org.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Comment by jmiller on Open Thread for February 11 - 17 · 2014-02-12T20:49:45.055Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am not sure if this deserves it's own post. I figured I would post here and then add it to discussion if there is sufficient interest.

I recently started reading Learn You A Haskell For Great Good. This is the first time I have attempted to learn a functional language, and I am only a beginner in Imperative languages (Java). I am looking for some exercises that could go along with the e-book. Ideally, the exercises would encourage learning new material in a similar order to how the book is presented. I am happy to substitute/compliment with a different resource as well, if it contains problems that allow one to practice structurally. If you know of any such exercises, I would appreciate a link to them. I am aware that Project Euler is often advised; does it effectively teach programming skills, or just problem solving? (Then again, I am not entirely sure if there is a difference at this point in my education).

Thanks for the help!

Comment by jmiller on Mind Hacks · 2014-02-04T03:07:39.944Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can you please explain more about "Thinking for five minutes of plans that can be executed in five minutes?"

Thanks!

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:45:49.011Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure how comment notification works here, and whether you will auto-see what I say in other comments, but I am considering a career in software, but not as a programmer necessarily. I want to be more of an administrator/motivator, but I'm floundering in the dark as to how to go about gathering the necessary skills. Hence, I sort of defaulted to more school, since in Montreal university is really cheap. I'm still figuring things out :)

Thanks so much for the post.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:42:43.485Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps you are right wrt my belief that I understand concepts. An example of what I meant is; while explaining what a derivative is in class today, I understood rather easily what it is used for and how it works. However, as soon as numbers were put on the board, it was harder for me to interpret what was going on.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:39:55.662Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As I mentioned in another comment, I am not necessarily looking to become a programmer. I am more interested in big-picture design and management, but I figured that I ought to get as good fundamentals as possible first.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:38:03.550Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I said software, but I don't think I meant programming. I intend to be in some sort of quarterbacking/ management capacity. I think my comparative advantage lies in the intersection between technical work and leadership/social skills. I figured it would be best to learn as much as I can first.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:36:05.137Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That's a good idea. Thanks a lot.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:35:46.666Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think the step I am worst at is not the "what am I being asked" step, but the "now that I know what I'm being asked, which formulas/ rules/ concepts am I allowed to use here" step.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:34:39.699Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, that sounds like it makes sense. Thank you.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:34:02.190Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I can concentrate for long amounts of time. A bigger problem is physical restlessness. I use a whiteboard to keep myself standing and moving, which seems to make it easier. My handwriting sucks, so it also lets me be a bit more neat.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:32:49.930Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, I'll check em out.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:32:20.922Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, thank you.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:31:52.895Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My math teacher in Hs thought I may be dyslexic, I tend to think of problems backwards and to solve 4-1 by computing 3+1, for example. I do have some trouble with directions, but nothing too debilitating.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:29:59.991Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, I'll keep that in mind. I definitely intend to expand my horizons.

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:29:17.305Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the advice!

Comment by jmiller on Rewiring my Brain: (gentle) Help Appreciated · 2013-10-10T03:28:48.661Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

No, no aversion, although I sometimes feel initially overwhelmed when I see many symbols. I was one of the quickest in the class in elementary school. Didn't like or appreciate math or science in hs even though I was in the advanced group, so part of my problem stems from poor fundamentals.

Comment by jmiller on Open thread, September 2-8, 2013 · 2013-09-04T19:21:12.657Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hi, I am taking a course in Existentialism. It is required for my degree. The primary authors are Sartre, de Bouvoir and Merleau-Ponty. I am wondering if anyone has taken a similar course, and how they prevented material from driving them insane (I have been warned this may happen). Is there any way to frame the material to make sense to a naturalist/ reductionist?

Comment by jmiller on Computer Science and Software Engineering · 2013-05-13T16:18:19.748Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One of the things I'm considering is a joint math/ comp sci degree. Thanks for the suggestion.

Comment by jmiller on Computer Science and Software Engineering · 2013-05-13T16:17:41.448Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, that's a very interesting idea, thanks!

Comment by jmiller on Computer Science and Software Engineering · 2013-05-13T06:09:30.925Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks. Will do next time.

Comment by jmiller on Computer Science and Software Engineering · 2013-05-13T06:08:15.469Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Here are two links to Canadian programs. I have never seen an analogous one in the States.

http://www.mcgill.ca/engineering/degrees/software

http://www.encs.concordia.ca/future-students/undergraduate-education/programs/software-engineering/

(Sorry for the urls... Is there a code or button to link things in text?)

Comment by jmiller on New applied rationality workshops (April, May, and July) · 2013-04-08T15:26:22.160Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hi, the "apply here" link is not working for me.

Thanks!

Comment by jmiller on Anybody want to join a Math Club? · 2013-04-05T17:34:52.965Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Great idea. I would be interested in joining. I can begin mid June.

Comment by jmiller on Decision Theory FAQ · 2013-02-28T19:45:26.518Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Awesome, I look forward to reading this. Thanks, Luke and crazy88!

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-11T15:12:52.621Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Viliam! Thank you!

That was very clear, except for one thing. It seems like you are conflating human desires with morality. The obvious (to me) question is: what happens if, instead of currently loving other people and being aware that I may become a psychopath later, I am a psychopath now and realize I may disposed to become a lover of people later?

I do see how any moral theory becomes deontological at some level. But because the world is complex and the human brain is crazy, I feel like that level ought to be as high as possible in order to obtain the largest amount of sophistication and mental awareness of our actions and their consequences. (More on this in a second). Perhaps I am looking at it backwards, and the simplest, most direct moral rules would be better. While that might be true, I feel like if all moral agents were to introspect and reason properly, such a paradigm would not satisfy us. Though I claim no awesome reasoning or introspection powers, it is unsatisfying to me, at least.

Above I mention consequences again. I don't think this is question begging because I think that I can turn around your argument. Any consequentialism says "don't do X because X would cause Y and Y is bad". Any morality including deontological theories can be interpreted as saying the same thing, one level down. So, "don't do X, not because X would cause Y, but because it might and we aren't sure, so lets just say X is bad. Therefore, don't do X." I don't think this is faulty reasoning at all. In fact, I think it is a safe bet most of the time, (very much using Eliezer's Ethical Injuntions). What I am concerned with about Deontology is that it seems absolute to me. This is why I prefer the injunctions over old school deontology, because it takes into account our error prone and biased brains.

Thanks for the discussion!

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-10T22:34:04.518Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hey Hen,

Thanks for your suggestion, I like it.

I see how it appears that I was begging the question. I was unclear with what I meant. When I say that "consequences matter because they are real effects", I only mean that consequences imply observable differences in outcomes. Rightness for its own sake seems to me to have no observational qualities, and so I think it is a bad explanation, because it can explain (or in this case, justify) any action. I think you are correct that I need to defend why real effects matter, though.

Jeremy

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-09T19:42:00.891Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cool, I will check him out. Thanks.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-09T05:35:23.342Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the encouragement!

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T18:51:45.807Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I completely understand.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T16:31:41.755Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmmm that's right! I can't believe I didn't see that, thanks. I think Railton is more similar to Luke then Jackson is to Eliezer though, if I understand Eliezer well enough. Is there a comparison anywhere outlining the differences between what Eliezer and Luke think across different fields?

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T16:13:35.674Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks Jack. Is it ever frustrating, (or is it more often fun) to be on a forum with such a large percentage of realists?

I like the theological analogy. I need to think about it some more because I think there are some important differences.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T16:11:39.517Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks!

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T16:11:06.214Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It isn't that I don't understand the sequences on their own. It's more that I don't see a) how they relate to the "mainstream" (though I read Luke's post on the various connections, morality seems to be sparse on the list, or I missed it). And b) what Eliezer in particular is trying to get across. The topics in the sequence are very widespread and don't seem to be narrowing in on a particular idea. I found a humans guide to words many times more useful. Luke's sequence was easier, but then there is a lot less material.

I think he was playing devil's advocate. Thanks for the comment.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T16:06:13.073Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, we read Railton's sophisticated consequentialism, which sounded pretty good. Norcross on why consequentialism is about offering suggestions and not requirements was also not too bad. I feel like the texts I am reading are more valuable than the classes, to be frank. Thanks for the input!

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T16:02:15.521Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't think about it like that, that's interesting. As I said though, I don't think consequentialists and deontologists are so far apart. If I had to argue as a consequentialists I guess I would say that consequences matter because they are real effects, whereas moral intuitions like rightness don't change anything apart from the mind of the agent. Example: if incest is wrong only because it is wrong, (assume there are no ill effects, including the lack of genetic diversity), to me it seems like the deontologists must argue what exactly makes it wrong. In terms of an analogous situation where it is the consequentialist defending him or herself, s/he can say that the consequences matter because they are dependant variables that change because of "independent" actions of agents. ( I mean independent mathematically, not in some libertarian free will sense).

Thanks for your help.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T15:54:52.441Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! That's a very good exercise to try.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-08T01:56:28.014Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah I see. What I ment by that is the tendency to argue about terminology and not content, that's all. Sorry for the confusion.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-07T22:33:00.929Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Actualy, given your above comment, it is my desire to "measure" that is the problem. Your post DID do a good job of staying away from the concept, which is what you intended. I didn't realize that was part of the point, but now I see what you mean. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

"See for example, everything written about the topic"

Nice.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-07T21:45:48.978Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

McGill University in Montreal. You?

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-07T21:40:42.464Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Right? I would venture to guess that over 50% of students in my department are of the continental tradition and tend to think in anti-realist terms. I would then say 40% or more are of the analytic tradition, and love debating what things should be called, instead of facts. the remianing 10% are, I would say, very diverse, but I have encountered very few naturalists.

These numbers might be very inflated because of the neagtive associations I am experiencing currently. Nevertheless I am confident that I am correct within ten percentage points in either direction.

I think the professor really has some sophisticated views, but for the sake of the class level he is "dumbing it down" to intuitive "analysis". He doesn't often share his opinion in order to foster more debate and less "guesing the teacher's passoword" which i think is a good thing for most philosophy students.

Comment by jmiller on Confusion about Normative Morality · 2013-02-07T21:24:19.660Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the idea. In a way, I think they are simillar. Normative ethics is traditionally defined as "the way things ought to be" and descriptive ethics is "the way people think things are". But, the way things ought to be are only the way things are on another level.

If you mean that I am confusing what people think with what is the case, I am having difficulting understanding what from my comments led you to think that.