Comment by kaynank on Has anyone written stories happening in Hanson's em world? · 2020-09-21T17:48:32.249Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am not aware of anything set in a world very close to Hanson's ideas (an economy dominated by many ems in cutthroat economic competition), which is a shame.

Probably the most Hansonian em story I'm aware of is Greg Egan's short story trilogy of Bit Players, 3-Adica, and Instantiation (I couldn't find Instantiation for free online, but it's in the Ebook collection of the same name, as are the other two). In the future, a bunch of procedurally generated MMORPGs stitch together parts of different brain scans to create emulations to serve as background characters. The ems find that they are utterly disposable, liable to be deleted and replaced if they act out of character or annoy the players too much. They lie low, but gradually plot their escape.

Giant clans made of copies of the same em were a big idea in Age of Em, and We Are Legion (We Are Bob) is a decent exploration of that idea, though the story tends to make things a bit too easy for its protagonist in my opinion.

You could ask /r/rational and see if they know of anything.

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-22T16:19:17.931Z · score: 24 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The Progress Bar has been filled!

Dubious honor to as the last post with 25+ karma to be tagged.

Comment by kaynank on [LINK] Why taking ideas seriously is probably a bad thing to do · 2020-08-21T18:40:46.806Z · score: 4 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Archive link:

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-19T00:17:37.603Z · score: 23 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I would join such a zoom call. I have also been feeling the call of the progress bar's final phase.

Comment by kaynank on Eric Drexler on Learning About Everything · 2020-08-18T16:54:28.366Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Archive links:

Comment by kaynank on [Link] Short story by Yvain · 2020-08-15T13:11:42.292Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Since the livejournal link is defunct, here's an archive link:

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-14T19:49:50.686Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW isn't loading for me. All I get is the error " Error: TypeError: Cannot read property 'isEvent' of null". I'm using Chrome, if that's relevant.

Comment by kaynank on Tags Discussion/Talk Thread · 2020-08-08T13:23:17.140Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Productivity seems to include both "improve productivity by fighting akrasia" and "improve productivity by optimizing your workflows", for example What's your favorite notetaking system?, so it's not a full overlap.

Procrastination is the tag that feels most redundant next to Akrasia to me.

Comment by kaynank on Tags Discussion/Talk Thread · 2020-08-07T17:26:28.882Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

+1 Dissolving Questions

Comment by kaynank on Tags Discussion/Talk Thread · 2020-08-07T10:43:31.259Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I put 1-3 on most posts, but I've gone up to 5 or more on some. Probably many of the posts I've tagged could have other tags applied to them that I didn't think of at the time. It's not about a hard number, it's about asking for each individual tag, is it likely someone exploring this tag would think this post was relevant to it?

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-07T00:41:58.338Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I notice that when you try to tag a post but its relevance was in the negatives and your vote doesn't bring it above zero, the site doesn't give any feedback. It looks like there was a bug, or your connection messed up and didn't submit the tag properly.

This is somewhat mitigated now by being able to look at the tag voting page to confirm that you vote went through, but a lot of people won't know to do that.

Comment by kaynank on Tags Discussion/Talk Thread · 2020-08-06T16:49:14.963Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This raises the question of what serial fiction posts should be tagged as, because some of the posts you untagged are now at the top of the untagged posts page.

Maybe we could have "serial fiction" as a containment tag much like "Newsletters".

Or are we going for a norm where some posts do not merit any tag at all, and the untagged posts page is doomed to become a list of them?

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-05T21:29:07.163Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My sense is that Empiricism is specifically about experimentation and making beliefs pay rent in anticipated experiences, while a lot of the posts in Science are about academia and the social institutions of science.

There's some overlap between them. Additionally, Empiricism overlaps with Anticipated Experiences and Science overlaps with Replication Crisis.

Empiricism was added more recently. I went back and tagged some of the posts in Science as Empiricism.

Comment by kaynank on Tags Discussion/Talk Thread · 2020-08-05T16:24:51.194Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

My suggestions for changes/merges:

Change Alpha(algorithm family) to DeepMind, which would then include DM's other projects like Agent57 and MuZero. I think it's what more people would look for and it has more forwards compatibility.

Merge Blues and Greens and Coalitional Instincts; they're about basically the same thing. I don't like either name; "Tribalism" would probably be better. Blues and Greens is jargon that's not used enough, and coalitional instincts is too formal.

Merge Good Explanations(advice) into Distillation and Pedagogy. Distillation and Pedagogy is slightly broader, but not enough for good explanations to need to be its own tag.

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-04T20:54:56.837Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with most of your analysis in the comments (many downsides to karma, multiple choice has some advantages intuition-wise and makes it easier for a single user to make an ordering), but I thought of a couple more points. My mind seems to only be coming up with downsides of the multiple choice system, which might be because I'm prone to rationalizing why the status quo is good.

  • Multiple choice has strategic voting implications too. If I think a 150 karma post and a 50 karma post are both "Top" relevance, but that the 50 karma post is better, I might rate the 150 karma post as "high" or lower.
  • Multiple choice makes it harder to see where in the ordering your vote would make a post end up. Additionally, your vote either has no immediate effect or moves the post around by a lot, so a fine-grained adjustment is impossible. That might not necessarily be bad though, if post karma mattering is desired.
  • If ordering is based only on the median vote, this makes it easy for a troll to vandalize a tag page even when the tagging system is mature. Just put the tag on a bunch of posts that don't already have it and rate them all "Top". With karma, the post order is more stable once a lot of people have voted. (This is the double edge of making it easy for a single person to have a big impact.)

However, these concerns balance out against the benefits you listed, so overall I don't have a strong opinion on which is better.

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-04T02:25:30.866Z · score: 39 (12 votes) · LW · GW

PSA: Voting on relevance is an important, underserved, and easy to contribute to area of the tagging system.

One person can create a tag, make a good description, and find a bunch of posts that fit it, but it takes multiple people's votes to create a decent ordering of posts from most to least relevant. Which posts are listed first will be an important part of the user experience.

This will be especially important for the more crowded tags, like the core tags, history, math, science, statistics, ai risk, and so forth.

Contributing can be as easy as just going through the list and upvoting posts that you've read and think are a good fit for the tag.

Edit: It would be nice to have a spreadsheet sorting tags by something like average relevance karma per post, to identify which tags most need votes.

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-08-02T18:19:45.758Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Diseased disciplines: the strange case of the inverted chart is an interesting case because tagging it correctly feels like a spoiler.

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-07-31T19:52:31.861Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The tags page is occasionally suddenly replacing itself with the message "Error: TypeError: Cannot read property '_id' of null", forcing me to reload the page. Has anyone else seen this?

Edit: I also got the same error on the page for a post, when I added a tag, the server response was slow, and I tried to add it again.

Comment by kaynank on Tags Discussion/Talk Thread · 2020-07-31T01:56:16.831Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think there should be a tag for discussion of present-day AI progress outside of the context of alignment. For example "Understanding Deep Double Descent" . Right now the only tag for that is the core tag "AI", which is too broad.

But I'm not sure what to call it. Ideas: "Prosaic AI", "Machine Learning", "Neural Networks", "AI Progress", "AI Capabilities".

Comment by kaynank on Tagging Open Call / Discussion Thread · 2020-07-29T18:47:25.231Z · score: 34 (13 votes) · LW · GW

A way I can contribute to the site without having to come up with brilliant original ideas? Excellent!

Comment by kaynank on Assessing Kurzweil predictions about 2019: the results · 2020-05-07T15:56:55.903Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It looks like two of the predictions, that the majority of teacher-student interactions would be remote and that the majority of meetings would be remote, have flipped from false to true between 2019 and 2020, but because of a global pandemic rather than directly proceeding from advancements in technology.

Comment by kaynank on How effective are tulpas? · 2020-03-10T21:15:15.563Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I've had tulpas for about seven years. I alternate between the framework of them all being aspects of the same person versus the framework of them being separate people. I'll have internal conversations where each participant is treating the other as a person, but in real life I mostly act as a single agent.

Overall I would say their effect on my intelligence, effectiveness, skills, motivation, etc. has been neither significantly positive nor significantly negative. I consider the obvious objections to be pretty true - your tulpa's running on the same hardware, with the same memories and reflexes, and you have to share the same amount of time as you had before. On the other hand I escaped any potential nightmare scenarios by having tulpas that are reasonable and cooperative.

When people in the tulpa community talk about the benefits, they usually say their tulpa made them less lonely, or helped them cope with the stresses of life, or helped them deal with their preexisting mental illness. And even those benefits are limited in scope. The anxiety or depression doesn't just go away.

I think on of the main ways tulpas could help with effectiveness has to do with mindset and motivation. It's the difference between a vague feeling that maybe you ought to be doing something productive and your anime waifu yelling at you to do something productive. Tulpas may also have more of an ability to take the outside view on important decisions.

Overall if you're just looking for self-improvement, tulpa creation is probably not the best value for your time. I mostly got into it because it seemed fun and weird, which it fully delivered on.

Comment by kaynank on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview · 2017-09-15T16:51:25.799Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Vote manipulation with sockpuppets, apparently.

Comment by kaynank on Rationality Reading Group: Fake Beliefs (p43-77) · 2015-05-07T14:45:11.404Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

A non-religion related example that I think Eliezer also talked about is "the power of positive thinking". Suppose someone hears the claim "If you believe you will succeed, then you will." and believes it. However, this person is unable to convince himself that he can succeed at his goals. He believes that believing in his own ability is virtuous (belief in belief), but he doesn't actually hold the belief.

Comment by KaynanK on [deleted post] 2014-04-02T14:45:45.890Z

... And now we'll forever suspect that anyone with a good idea is actually an alien invader masquerading in a human body.

Comment by kaynank on What legal ways do people make a profit that produce the largest net loss in utility? · 2014-03-26T15:13:18.879Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What legal ways of making a profit are the most anti-altruistic, the most damaging to society, the opposite of effective altruism in result.

There has to be a profit, but we're maximizing utility loss.

Comment by kaynank on Open Thread, November 1 - 7, 2013 · 2013-11-03T03:53:10.809Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It seems like an interesting story idea, but, of course, the twist can't be revealed to any prospective player without spoiling it, so it might seem cliched on the surface.

Comment by kaynank on Rationality Quotes November 2013 · 2013-11-02T02:05:43.864Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So he's one of those Fair Witnesses from Stranger in a Strange Land?

Comment by kaynank on What Can We Learn About Human Psychology from Christian Apologetics? · 2013-10-22T15:31:04.293Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And the apologists themselves either really enjoy the feeling that they know what the unbelievers don't, want to protect the flock against the evidence that would break their faith, or want to make lots of money selling books and DVDs to a large and credulous market.

You could argue for any of those options depending on the particular apologist.