Variables in Arguments as a Source of Confusion 2014-01-09T13:16:46.247Z
One Sided Policy Debate - The Science of Literature 2013-12-25T20:48:58.648Z
Realism : Direct or Indirect? 2013-02-13T09:40:18.946Z


Comment by kremlin on Arguing "By Definition" · 2014-01-27T18:57:24.152Z · LW · GW

I was stumblin and I found this article, which I think graphically does a great job of making a similar point (although that point wasn't its explicit intention).

All of the graphs except 'tautology' limit the number of worlds you could be in.

Comment by kremlin on One Sided Policy Debate - The Science of Literature · 2013-12-26T21:47:54.284Z · LW · GW

I guess I don't imagine the idea always being used to that degree. I can imagine someone writing a new classic novel and they turn in their first draft of their next draft to their publisher, and their publisher says something like, "This sentence structure...studies have shown that it's a bit too complicated for most readers to parse on the first read, and they can take 3 or 4 times reading it before they understand what you were trying to say. Try to simplify it or break it up into multiple sentences."

I mean, that's not the only example. That's a rather mild example of how this sort of data would come into play, but I guess the examples I think of are less, 'Shelf full of Twilight novels' and more 'Same variety of books we have now, written with structure that's more in tune with how people read and think.'

I want a shelf full of Twilight as little as the next guy. But I also see that this sort of data can be used in helpful ways as well, not just used to produce the next mind-numbing teen fantasy.

Comment by kremlin on Causal Universes · 2013-12-26T16:36:54.867Z · LW · GW

The 'c is the generalization of locality' bit looked rather trivial to me. Maybe that's just EY rubbing off on me, but...

Its obvious that in Conways Game, it takes at least 5 iterations for one cell to affect a cell 5 units away, and c has for some time seemed to me like our worlds version of that law

Comment by kremlin on One Sided Policy Debate - The Science of Literature · 2013-12-26T08:51:41.610Z · LW · GW

I don't think that's what they were doing. The commenters (the NY Times commenters, btw, not the Ycombinator commenters) seem to genuinely believe that it is only bad and no good.

"It might be the time to download “1984” from your Scribd or Oyster subscription service. I'm sure they have it."

"Surrendering your thoughts: A Haiku

Creepy. Nasty. Yuk. A good way to hasten the Singularity "

"I'm going to find out the top 50 favorite words and then write a book using only those 50 words. Who cares about creativity? It's about the money, kids."

I don't think these comments come out of a desire to just present the other side fairly. I think that this is just, straightforwardly, what they think about the concept of studying reader preferences.

Comment by kremlin on One Sided Policy Debate - The Science of Literature · 2013-12-26T08:45:49.134Z · LW · GW

There was a bit of ambiguity on my part: the commenters I was referring to weren't Hacker News commenters, but the commenters on the original article itself, on NY Times.

Comment by kremlin on Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013 · 2013-11-28T16:24:16.393Z · LW · GW

I've invited you.

I'm sure you'll be fine. It's not until they start adding the new boss/quest mechanics that it will be possible for anyone to bring doom to a party.

Comment by kremlin on Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013 · 2013-11-26T18:05:25.235Z · LW · GW

invite sent

Comment by kremlin on Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013 · 2013-11-24T21:43:30.541Z · LW · GW

BTW I've started a LessWrong Party on HabitRPG for when they start implementing new mechanics that will take advantage of parties. If anybody wants to join the party send me your User ID, which you can find in Settings > API

Comment by kremlin on Open Thread, November 23-30, 2013 · 2013-11-24T14:12:35.365Z · LW · GW

You and I were talking about this in IRC. I remember expressing a concern about HabitRPG that, while it does genuinely motivate me at the moment, I'm not sure what's going to happen when it ends: when I've upgraded all my items, when I've collected all the pets, etc etc. If I just start over, the new game will likely motivate me significantly less than the first time around. And more than likely I just plain won't want to start over.

I've been trying to think of ways around this gamification problem, because it plays a part in nearly every attempt at gamification I've seen. I think that, for one aspect of gamification -- motivating yourself to learn new things -- there is a way that at least sort of overcomes the 'what happens when it ends?' problem:

Skill Trees. Like This . Maybe a website, or application, that starts with just the bare-bones code for creating skill trees, and you can create an account and add a skill tree to your account from a list of existing searchable skill trees, or you can create your own skill tree if you can't find one that's appropriate for you and that will allow other people with similar goals to add your skill tree system to their account, etc.

Comment by kremlin on How accurate is the quantum physics sequence? · 2013-09-02T18:49:57.233Z · LW · GW

But collapse interpretations require additional non-local algorithms, which to me seem to be, by necessity, incredibly complicated

Comment by kremlin on Akrasia, hyperbolic discounting, and picoeconomics · 2013-03-18T07:58:25.380Z · LW · GW

If we assume that (a) future discounting is potentially rational, and that (b) to be rational, the relative weightings we give to March 30 and March 31 should be the same whether it's March 29 or Jan 1, does it follow that rational future discounting would involve exponential decay? Like, a half-life?

For example, assuming the half life is a month, a day a month from now has half the weighting of today, and a month from that has half the weighting of that, and so on?

Comment by kremlin on Realism : Direct or Indirect? · 2013-02-15T18:03:02.377Z · LW · GW

'Breaking it down into other questions' is exactly what needed to be done. I agree. And once it is broken down, the question is dissolved.

Comment by kremlin on Realism : Direct or Indirect? · 2013-02-13T12:55:56.515Z · LW · GW

You're absolutely right. Done.

Comment by kremlin on Reductionism · 2013-02-04T10:09:39.303Z · LW · GW

After talking to some non-reductionists, I've come to this idea about what it would mean for reductionism to be false:

I'm sure you're familiar with Conway's Game of Life? If not, go check it out for a bit. All the rules for the system are on the pixel level -- this is the lowest, fundamental level. Everything that happens in conway's game of life is reducible to the rules regarding individual pixels and their color (white or black), and we know this because we have access to the source code of Conway's Game, and it is in fact true that those are the only rules.

For Conways' Game to be non-reductionistic, what you'd have to find in the source code is a set of rules that override the pixel-level rules in the case of high-level objects in the game. Eg "When you see this sort of pixel configuration, override the normal rules and instead make the relevant pixels follow this high-level law where necessary."

Something like that.

It's an overriding of low-level laws when they would otherwise have contradicted high-level laws.

Comment by kremlin on Truly Part Of You · 2012-12-27T07:10:18.324Z · LW · GW

I don't think you've understood the article. The idea of the article is that if you're able to derive it, then yes, you can regenerate it. That's what 'regenerate' means.

Comment by kremlin on Stop Voting For Nincompoops · 2012-11-07T14:04:20.183Z · LW · GW

I think I can explain the reasoning:

Assume Elizier has sway over, say, 5,000 votes -- what he posts on this blog will effect the voting behavior of 5,000 people. If he uses that sway to say "vote for the person in the world you like best," you get 5,000 unheard votes for random people. If he uses that sway to say "vote for a relatively popular candidate (at least popular enough to be on the ballot) who's not a nincompoop," you get 5,000 votes for non-nincompoops.

If the goal is to "send a message," as is said in the post, I'd argue that the 5,000 votes for non-nincompoops will be heard more than the 5,000 votes for random people. The random people votes will go unheard -- not a very good message.

Comment by kremlin on Drawing Less Wrong: Observing Reality · 2012-10-13T21:24:07.881Z · LW · GW

I drew loads when I was a kid, and I must have been about 10 or 11 when I realized, had a moment of epiphany really, some of the stuff in the "How you probably draw / how you should draw" section.

I was looking at the cover of the Toy Story VHS and trying to copy it. I remember specifically I was drawing Woody's face, his right cheek to be exact (must have been this photo), and I stopped myself when I realized that what I was about to do was a result of me drawing not what I really saw, but what I thought I should see given my mental model of a face. I think I was about to draw his right cheek too wide or something like that.

That was the first time I ever truly and deeply grasped that concept. I take a certain joy in knowing that I learned it independently.

Comment by kremlin on The Bias You Didn't Expect · 2012-10-11T16:48:13.506Z · LW · GW

I thumbed you up because you were technically correct about the fact that just because positive judgements drop doesn't mean there's a bias.

However, there is some extra data in this economist article on the same study to support the idea that there weren't factors in the arrangements of parole candidates that would account for such a drop:

To be sure, mealtimes were not the only thing that predicted the outcome of the rulings. Offenders who appeared prone to recidivism (in this case those with previous convictions) were more likely to be turned down, as were those who were not in a rehabilitation programme. Happily, neither the sex nor the ethnicity of the prisoners seemed to matter to the judges. Nor did the length of time the offenders had already spent in prison, nor even the severity of their crimes (as assessed by a separate panel of legal experts). But after controlling for recidivism and rehabilitation programmes, the meal-related pattern remained.

Comment by kremlin on Bayes Slays Goodman's Grue · 2012-06-02T16:21:00.492Z · LW · GW

I think I came up with a solution:

to date, the vast majority of grue-like hypotheses (hypotheses that suggest new items that have always been grue before time t will continue to be found grue after time t) has failed. inductive logic, then, doesn't suggest that because emeralds have been grue to date, they will continue to be grue after time t. so far, after every time t, that's not been the case.

If it's unclear what I mean when I say grue-like hypotheses have failed, let me word it better: if time t was 1975, then the hypothesis that emeralds found after time t will be grue was incorrect. same for 1976. same for 1977. etc etc. An infinite, or at least incredibly large number, of grue-like hypotheses, then, has failed, so inductive logic doesn't tell us to predict that emeralds found after time t will be grue. Inductive logic, to the contrary, tells us that once time t comes about, new emeralds found will be bleen.

Sorry for the sloppy wording, I hope you brilliant fellows will read my post for the idea within, and not for some sloppy wording to nitpick. Some of you guys are very good at that.

Comment by kremlin on Wrong Questions · 2012-05-31T21:22:06.204Z · LW · GW

Some people were talking about The Ship of Theseus -- the question "If a ship's parts are replaced one-by-one over time, after each part is replaced is it still the same ship?" First thing that came to my mind was that this was a wrong question. I saw it fundamentally as the same mistake as the Blegg/Rube problem -- they know every property about the ship that's relevant to the question, and yet still there feels like a question left unanswered.

Am I right about this?

Comment by kremlin on Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided · 2012-05-07T14:21:11.531Z · LW · GW

what is the calculation he was alluding to? i wanted a source on that.

Comment by kremlin on Best Nonfiction Writing on Less Wrong · 2011-11-25T21:32:54.646Z · LW · GW

thanks, i haven't looked in to linking in the comments to other wiki pages yet. just joined.

Comment by kremlin on Best Nonfiction Writing on Less Wrong · 2011-11-25T11:13:24.087Z · LW · GW

I really like Possibility and Couldness, but that could be because i've been talking about determinism a lot lately. Also, Zombies? Zombies! was a fun read.