Posts

Meetup : Pittsburgh Less Wrong › Meetup 2015-05-06T02:30:07.884Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Pittsburgh HPMoR Wrap Party 2015-03-07T20:00:16.570Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Big Gaming Fun 6: A New Beginning! 2013-04-30T13:02:27.212Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Need some psychology advice 2013-02-27T17:03:38.642Z · score: 7 (22 votes)
Meetup : Pittsburgh Meetup: Big Gaming Fun 5! 2012-04-25T02:31:40.654Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Pittsburgh Meetup: Big Gaming Fun 4! 2012-03-08T02:29:51.999Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Pittsburgh Meetup: Big Gaming Fun 3! 2012-01-25T04:05:09.906Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Pittsburgh Meetup: Big Gaming Fun 2! 2012-01-12T20:26:38.494Z · score: 0 (1 votes)
Meetup : Pittsburgh Meetup: Big Gaming Fun! 2011-10-20T16:51:16.096Z · score: 1 (2 votes)

Comments

Comment by kenoubi on Meetup : Pittsburgh HPMoR Wrap Party · 2015-03-07T20:02:04.610Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This starts at noon local time. I'm not quite sure what time Less Wrong thinks, because I'm submitting before DST takes effect and the meetup is after, and it's showing inconsistent things, but regardless, noon is the correct time.

Comment by kenoubi on HPMOR Wrap Parties: Resources, Information and Discussion · 2015-03-07T19:58:04.398Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Pittsburgh HPMoR Wrap Party - https://www.facebook.com/events/824097430998639/

Comment by kenoubi on Meetup : Big Gaming Fun 6: A New Beginning! · 2013-05-02T18:41:44.815Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also also, this is the day of the Pittsburgh Marathon; check the road closure schedule, expect delays, etc.

Comment by kenoubi on Meetup : Big Gaming Fun 6: A New Beginning! · 2013-04-30T13:22:09.242Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also, if you're on Google+, RSVP on the event page and it will add a calendar entry for you and I'll know to invite you to future events. (If this doesn't work, let me know; it's the first time I've tried to use a public event.)

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-28T14:08:22.812Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So I asked her about having scheduled dates last night. I didn't even really mean to, I just blurted it out starting from an abstract discussion of which days of the week tend to make more sense. We still need to figure out the actual days, but she likes the concept.

This doesn't actually solve the issue (there are things other than dates I could need/want to request) but it sure does decrease the frequency a lot.

Maybe I can just try not to request things over email or text message? It seems pretty avoidable when I can call or wait until the next time we see each other. There may still be unusual circumstances that would justify it, of course.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-28T13:59:17.554Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I forgot that open threads existed, but I really didn't think this was below the bar for discussion... although its score has been fluctuating between 0 and -1, so maybe.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-28T13:56:34.450Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I was gonna say pretty much exactly this. It may be the advice the most likely to lead to general dating success over the long term, but it really doesn't help me deal with my situation right now. (Though I certainly didn't downvote it.)

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-28T13:55:10.334Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A friend suggested exactly this before I asked her out. But, uh, I almost never go to galleries or lectures, or concerts unless I really really like the band, and I don't particularly want to change that.

I'm starting to think there may be other activities (video games at home? hikes? board games unfortunately don't really work as an "I'm going to be doing this anyway, join me if you feel like it" thing) that will work for me, though.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-28T13:51:05.115Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm considering therapy. My pattern up to now has been more like read some advice, think "oh that would never work", continue to have problem, mope and complain. Baby steps.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-27T20:54:31.487Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Definitely not. Nothing since we started going out has remotely compared to how hard it was to ask her out the first time, anyway.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-27T20:53:24.087Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I've experienced a one way relationship before (see http://lesswrong.com/r/discussion/lw/gtv/need_some_psychology_advice/8j5k) and I really don't think that's what's going on here. I think she has a perfectly reasonable and appropriate level of interest and involvement concordant with someone she's been dating for two weeks, and I have an unreasonable and inappropriate level due, once again, to my brain chemistry and/or personal history. Calling things off right now would be a terrible idea because 1) I really have no reason to think it won't work and 2) I'm going to have to deal with this getting-too-involved-too-soon thing in ANY relationship, so I really need to learn to manage it.

Yeah, a lot of this is about arranging dates. I was actually thinking about proposing regularly scheduled dates, because it seems like it would stress her out a bit to be responsible for them, just like it does me; ironically the main reason I haven't mentioned this to her yet is that it itself is sort of a big scary request.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-27T20:47:11.099Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! I knew "CBT" would be the answer but I needed a zoom in on a particular technique. I'll try the action / expectation / outcome spreadsheet.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-27T20:46:27.285Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I have dated before, but not much. The most significant relationship I've had, I sort of begged her to go out with me (to be fair to myself, I was pretty convincing), moved to another city to be with her, and was "contracting" as a job which really meant sitting around websurfing all day. There was no structure in my life and I couldn't hold things together, and after a few months she decided to break up with me and move 1000+ miles to go back to school. This was a formative experience for me and I'm sure it's related to my current anxieties.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-27T20:44:10.530Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Weirdly I've been noticing myself having some of these "wouldn't be the worst thing in the world" thoughts spontaneously.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-27T20:43:20.530Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, the possibility of coming off as clingy is exactly why I haven't discussed this directly with her in person yet.

Comment by kenoubi on Need some psychology advice · 2013-02-27T18:11:24.626Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I thought I made it clear in my post that I don't think my concerns are rational, but if they are I would like to take whatever steps are available to mitigate them, and not feel so crappy about it either way.

I feel similar anxiety in some other situations, but not very many of them. I find it a bit hard to believe that this problem is so incredibly specific that there is no useful reference class from which to derive advice.

Comment by kenoubi on Decision Theories: A Semi-Formal Analysis, Part I · 2012-03-24T23:57:47.990Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Here's what I think you're saying: there is one value that will actually be output, call it o. In every iteration of the for loop except the one where you assume the output is o, you have assumed a false statement. From this contradiction you should be able to derive anything, and in particular, derive U(this choice)=some large negative number, such that o will appear to be the best choice. Furthermore, this argument makes no reference to what o actually is, so the algorithm can output any choice this way.

That's a very good argument, although I never would have figured it out from the article and it took some thinking to get it from your comment. I think it proves that the algorithm is underspecified though, not (necessarily) faulty; the description given is not enough to actually figure out what the algorithm will output.

As for the rest of your comment, I think by "in practice" you mean "in decision theories other than NDT which work better"?

Comment by kenoubi on Decision Theories: A Semi-Formal Analysis, Part I · 2012-03-24T21:50:15.361Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Your self-fulfilling prophecy example works for the iteration of the for loop (described in "For each xi, assume the output of X is xi, and try to deduce the expected value of U.") in which the output is assumed to be a, but for the iteration in which the output is assumed to be b, proving that the output is a would be to prove a contradiction. "if (output X)=b then U=0" is one possible outcome, but U could also equal anything else.

I don't see how the NDT algorithm as given allows "(output X)=a" to be proved outside of the for loop at all. I would think it would take (output X)=whatever for each iteration through the for loop as a given before trying to prove anything, in which case in the run of the for loop in which (output X)=b is the given, proving (output X)=a is a clear contradiction, one which I would think our prover could avoid unless our axiomatic system is contradictory in the first place.

Or to rephrase, I don't think "For each xi, assume the output of X is xi, and try to deduce the expected value of U." and "(That is, try and deduce statements of the form "if (output X)=xi then U=ui" for some ui)." are actually equivalent at all, and I think the self-fulfilling prophecy example follows the second and ignores the first.

Comment by kenoubi on Meetup : Pittsburgh Meetup: Big Gaming Fun 4! · 2012-03-08T19:43:27.340Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Leaving for what / where? Will you be back?

Comment by kenoubi on Brain structure and the halo effect · 2012-02-20T16:30:22.917Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that ''evolved faulty thinking processes'' is the wrong way to look at it and I will argue that some biases are the consequence of structural properties of the brain, which 'cannot' be affected by evolution.

The structure can be affected by evolution, it's just too hard (takes too many coordinated mutations) to get to a structure that actually works better. I think you recognize this by your use of scare quotes, but you would be better off stating it explicitly. This is the flip side of the arguments I think you're alluding to, that the faulty thinking was actually beneficial in the EEA.

There must be an evolutionary explanation for the properties of the brain, but that doesn't mean we need to actually figure out that evolutionary explanation to understand the current behavior. Just like there must be an explanation in terms of physics, but trying to analyze every particle will clearly get us nowhere.

In fact, if you can find an explanation of a phenomenon in terms of current brain structure, I think that screens off evolutionary explanations as mere history (as long as you've really verified that the structure exists and explains the phenomenon).

I do think we're getting sidetracked by your halo effect example, though -- it might be useful to give three or four examples to avoid this (although if each one has a different explanation, that might substantially increase the effort of presenting your idea).

Comment by kenoubi on Brain structure and the halo effect · 2012-02-19T17:30:38.901Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If the brain avoided collisions in the way you describe, it would utterly fail at its function. The brain must be able to access the information it has about similar situations to make judgments and decisions about the current one. Looking up that information must make use of some data in common between the current situation and whatever representation the brain has of other similar situations, or there would be no way to locate or identify that information.

So at the description level of "the brain is a computing device", this seems plausible, but considering what the brain actually does, I don't see how it could work. It could use a hybrid of hash functions and structural similarities at different levels, and maybe it does. But the fact that we can confuse two different people who have some attributes in common, or even whose names are similar but not the same, seems like evidence against that to me.

Comment by kenoubi on Meetup : Pittsburgh Meetup: Big Gaming Fun 3! · 2012-01-25T23:14:43.998Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, fixed.

Comment by kenoubi on Pittsburgh Less Wrong meet-up April 22 7pm · 2011-04-20T15:31:54.515Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Damn, I'm moving (back) to Pittsburgh this week, but I won't quite be there by then. Although my schedule is kind of insane for the next month, so maybe not worth accommodating. I probably could have made any weeknight April 25-29, though.

Comment by kenoubi on Failure Modes sometimes correspond to Game Mechanics · 2011-04-07T23:59:34.098Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

If you're going to refer to Paul Graham's essay, you should link to it.

Comment by kenoubi on "How to Have a Rational Discussion" · 2011-04-05T22:47:15.989Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes. "The Judeochristian God did it" is a ridiculously specific explanation. "Something weird that would be characteristic of the Judeochristian God happened" is not remotely close to enough evidence.

Comment by kenoubi on "How to Have a Rational Discussion" · 2011-04-05T22:44:22.206Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, I guess that does fit the literal wording given. I was thinking that directly changing my mind wouldn't really count as "evidence".

This seems sort of like a general-purpose bypass for that step, though; if something like God exists, it could presumably reach into my brain and change any of my beliefs. It doesn't seem like this is enough to support a rational discussion.

Comment by kenoubi on "How to Have a Rational Discussion" · 2011-04-05T17:21:08.413Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The criterion "Can you envision anything that will change your mind on this topic?" bothers me. I was in a discussion with a religious person and he asked me this, and I admitted that I really couldn't come up with any set of evidence that would make me accept the Judeochristian god, as opposed to alternate hypotheses like a trickster god making me think it's the Judeochristian god for fun, I'm hallucinating, or I'm insane. This may mean it wasn't a "rational discussion" for some definition thereof, but it's hard for me to see how I did anything wrong.

Comment by kenoubi on Recent de-convert saturated by religious community; advice? · 2011-04-04T15:55:42.626Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You might find that the sense of bother never quite goes away. In my experience, there are some (bad) arguments which will always feel right, and some great arguments which will always feel wrong.

I get this with money. "Money is just funny looking paper. Why will people accept it in exchange for anything in this vast cornucopia of real goods and services?" I know the reasons, and one argument for it is even intuitive: "Don't I accept money as payment? Do I have any reason to think I'm unusual in this regard?" But every time I think about it anew, the "funny looking paper" argument seems convincing and I have to replay the counterarguments to get myself to disagree with it.

Comment by kenoubi on An Anchoring Experiment · 2011-04-01T20:03:01.144Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, I wasn't suggesting you should. Given the current situation, I'd change

The second part is completely analogical to the first one, only with a different question. If you have participated in the first part within the group I, take part in the group II for the second part, and vice versa.

to

Use the opposite group in the second part, which is completely analogical to the first one, only with a different question.

I probably would have tried to use bulleted lists and/or bold to make the text more scannable overall. But maybe my error was atypical and all this isn't necessary.

Comment by kenoubi on An Anchoring Experiment · 2011-04-01T16:11:26.684Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Err, I think I screwed this up. I thought if you were in group I for the first part, you'd also be in group I for the second part. I still think this would be more intuitive (just reverse the questions in part 2).

Comment by kenoubi on Mental Metadata · 2011-03-30T12:37:25.571Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

More generally, (and this might be worth another post) people are pretty inflexible about how much detail they give, and have trouble going to a more detailed style or a more summarized style than their usual.

I naturally give way more detail (especially qualifiers) than most people want in most situations. I can correct it somewhat in email (by revising; I can't omit unneeded detail without writing it out to see which parts are unneeded) although it takes much longer than just giving the detail. In a realtime conversation I'm not sure, although it's probably less bad because of the tighter feedback loop.

It sounds like you're saying this is a general phenomenon; do you have a cite, or is this based on personal experience?

Interestingly, I have to force myself to write out descriptive details when writing a narrative. Which means it's the kind of information, not just the amount. So maybe it's more linked to this article than you seem to be thinking?

Comment by kenoubi on Admit your ignorance · 2011-03-18T04:26:53.297Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

if we want to impress a potential employer we shouldn't admit ignorance (unless the alternative makes us look more ignorant)

Even in a job interview, admitting ignorance of a minor point shows a willingness to admit that one is fallible, which is the first step towards correcting a problem. (This actually happened, and I'm not sure it hurt at all -- certainly not as much as trying to fake not being ignorant would have, in that particular situation.) Maybe this could be included under a very broad umbrella of "making oneself look even more ignorant" -- ignorant of a metacognitive skill?

Comment by kenoubi on A Thought Experiment on Pain as a Moral Disvalue · 2011-03-12T04:16:36.864Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

All of these are analogous to the AI-Box experiment; I expect I'd just "lose" again, so I'd decline to play the second time. (I'm not sure it would even have to do anything fundamentally different the second time. I accept the intuition pump here, but it's hard to imagine my epistemic state after finding out I had been so totally fooled.)