Comment by KrisC on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-22T16:20:37.069Z · LW · GW

Survey complete.

Comment by KrisC on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-17T23:59:54.962Z · LW · GW

Leary won me over with those goals. I have adopted them as my own.

It's the 8 circuits and the rest of the mysticism I reject. Some of it rings true, some of it seems sloppy, but I doubt any of it is useful for this audience.

Comment by KrisC on In which I ask an inappropriate question... · 2012-12-23T15:34:03.755Z · LW · GW

Would destruction of tobacco crops or processing facilities be more effective? Eliminating a few executives won't slow distribution significantly, unless their positions are already held by the ablest people and their replacements would be less able to distribute the product.

Targeting executives may win them sympathy. I think sales would go up, as the news reports would serve much the same role as advertising.

Comment by KrisC on More Cryonics Probability Estimates · 2012-12-23T04:58:05.504Z · LW · GW

Every future state of you is a copy.

I believe having a copy of me lying around would keep me from dying.

However, I was referring to processes that might be put into place after a person's death. To name three, consequences of the simulation hypothesis, personality emulation from recorded sources, or advances in physics allowing observations of past events. Three more: multi world hypothesis, fundamental error in worldview, ongoing extra-terrestral intervention. And the big one, FOOM!

I'm not sure how to cheat death, but I am open to examining options.

Comment by KrisC on More Cryonics Probability Estimates · 2012-12-23T01:05:40.032Z · LW · GW

What is the chance that some other means are found of simulating your personality without physical access to your brain (preserved or otherwise)?

Would you like to consider the possibility of cryonic preservation / plastination becoming redundant in your estimates?

Comment by KrisC on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-05T01:07:13.533Z · LW · GW

It wouldn't be procrastinating if I didn't.

Raises the question: try to write a witty response or get back to work?

Comment by KrisC on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T19:45:36.506Z · LW · GW

IQ does normalize with increasing age.

Comment by KrisC on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-04T19:36:57.356Z · LW · GW

I really enjoyed taking the survey. Akrasia! Hope we weren't testing the RNG site. Since it was down I used a more local randomizer.

Comment by KrisC on Who Wants To Start An Important Startup? · 2012-09-16T17:07:38.363Z · LW · GW

[This is an advertisement.]

Are you beginning to think your phone might have an agenda of its own? You certainly seem to be doing more, at your phone's suggestion.

A few weeks ago you downloaded an app which promised to keep track of your schedule and diet. You asked it to set up a few menus and before you knew it you were eating better and cheaper. It even found a neighbor with some same apple trees who needed to borrow a shovel. Bonus: free apples.

Sure, sometimes the phone gets things wrong, but you can correct it.

It might be the interface, or the user created content, but the phone now seems to be able to keep track of just about everything.

You want... to try it.

        to help build it.

        to read more.
Comment by KrisC on Enjoy solving "impossible" problems? Group project! · 2012-08-31T12:42:24.186Z · LW · GW

I don't think hormone tweaking is a humane cure for violence.

Honestly, I don't think I would do anything about violence directly on a patient-level. The incidence of homicide has been steadily falling for centuries. This is a desirable trajectory.

Instead I would seek to improve the socio-economic conditions that I believe precipitate violent behavior. If poor people commit more violent crimes, then we should look for what factor of their condition contributes most to this behavior. I suspect it is the exaggerated boom-bust cycle engendered by living paycheck to paycheck and the disproportional value of status goods in low income communities.

I promote a post-scarcity society as the solution to violent crime. If this proves too distant a solution for your concern, then I would suggest a reform of social services to establish guaranteed housing, food, education, and healthcare through a non-monetary system. I would fund this through taxes and provide the services to even those who do not need them currently. I would attempt to establish these as universal rights that every government should provide on the risk of international sanction.

Comment by KrisC on Who Wants To Start An Important Startup? · 2012-08-21T18:29:02.653Z · LW · GW

Before I get to the rewrite, let me an answer some questions. The pitch is not the place to answer all questions, but instead just enough to recruit users

Form Factor There are a few misconceptions that I have allowed to creep in in order to simplify my description. While I am currently writing the app to be run on a smartphone, this is only the current design iteration. It started as a website, but websites can't properly store data locally. This took up several redesigns until I moved onto a standalone Java app. Then the rise of smartphones happened. Smartphones have many features to recommend them for this application. They are ubiquitous, feature a modular code design, and specialize in data transfer. And they are programmed in Java, so minimal learning curve.

The point of the backstory is that smartphones are a single form factor. A more visually appealing form factor is, what I refer to as, the 'magic mirror.' The magic mirror is a Raspberry Pi running Android and connected to a wall mounted flat screen TV. This TV is not a dedicated device, but a ~$35 component which runs the app on a single input (HDMI) to the TV. The premium version of the app makes configuration very easy.

Another form factor is far more utilitarian. A headless version, run on a Raspberry Pi, executes pre-programmed queues of commands without user interaction.

Note to makers: The reliance on the Raspberry Pi is not absolute. I was thinking Arduino before. The program is only in Java and Android because I decided to learn Java to execute the project. Rapberry Pi is the cheapest computer that runs Android that I know of.

Money at the App Store Honestly, money is a secondary concern. This project is a tool.

Even if no one else ever uses the app, I will draw value from it (though perhaps not enough to offset the time invested already, but that's Sunk Cost and written off).

Even if someone steals the idea, the open source version will be more efficient because it does not need to incorporate overhead to support financial motives. I have sufficient code and description posted to protect my own right to develop and publish. This development trail goes back several years across multiple sites.

So let's look at possible sources of revenue anyway.

The app store is a possible source of income. If there is a free version of an app and a pay version, some people will pay for the app. I wouldn't, but some people will. As I said above, the only thing I want to give those people is a little ease of customization.

Another way the app store can be used to generate income is through soliciting donations. When you ask for people's time and then ask for people's money, you get more of people's money then a direct request for donations. Using the hierarchy of gamification rewards (Status, Access, Power, Stuff), the first reward we give is status.

Another reinforcement mechanism that I am trying to call into play amounts to triggering the Sunk Cost Fallacy in users who decide to become contributors - financial or content. This is the lesser of the two purposes for splitting the app into two implementations. Users who go to the trouble of downloading an new app are going to feel the need to make use of its features. The relevant feature is the ability to add content.

The user is directed to download a new app ('Plan A') after they have created new content on their own (as opposed to when solicited from a peer). At this moment the user is being asked to take an extra step, possibly have to delete things from their phone, and to download a new copy of the app. This is because they have said they know how to do something better than someone else. This is when we ask them to upgrade to contribute more, and this is where we ask them for money. Maximum is $20 on Android market per app sale.

The new version of the app simply displays a full set of options for creating new content. These settings can be confusing for lay users which is the major reason they are kept apart. The same functionality should be accessible from the search bar in any version of the app.

Android apps make very little money compared to iPhone apps. Porting to iPhone should be an early priority.

Money and advertisers The model here is the phonebook. Businesses pay to get listed. We administer the starting directory that every app loads with. This is baked in at the code level in a mechanism used to simplify comparing databases. Under most conditions users will not be deleting these initial tables from their own devices. This does not guarantee top ranking, only the inclusion of the correct information in the results. If you don't pay, you aren't guaranteed even that.

Covert Advertising This is not meant to be a capitalist endeavor. It is meant to compete in a capitalist marketplace. The project is meant to drive users to other open source projects and solutions.

In terms of utility modeling: Every open source advance is available to me, so my fitness is increased by the sum of all open source knowledge. So is everyone else's. Preferential access to open source solutions exist. Fitness is a relative measure in a closed system.

I want "to be reminded to take my pills twice a day" Sample Responses: set alarm "Take my pills" every twelve hours, set alarm "Take my pills twice a day" time to be specified, text messages on timers.

User chooses to look for additional alternatives. Request sent to peers in network. User will not be satisfied without in home care. An opportunity. User could have been satisfied with talking to her daughter on the phone as she was actually looking for companionship.

I want "I'm hungry" Sample Responses: google maps closest restaurant, closest supermarket, local peer with excess food.

User closes search screen without selecting anything because the google map preview was sufficient. Ratings remain unchanged.

I want "to learn German" Sample Respones: google search with a website that teaches German, peer offering language lessons in exchange for dinner, Rosetta Stone website.

User chooses the peer tutoring based on the photo in the response.

Spammers The sharing algorithm is meant to allow spammers in, but force them to have a lower reputation. They play by the rules. I want something. They offer something. Their offer is of low value so they don't get up-voted.

My fear is account hijacking.

Current users I don't have users because I don't have a demo yet. I have abandoned my last several builds due to difficulties of peer to peer networking. What I have are small groups of reviewers who I consult for advice. Even that runs into problems. I usually only get one round of feedback from each person before they agree. And then stop providing meaningful feedback.

What I need are developers. I have taught myself various computer languages for the purpose of putting this program together. Experienced developers would hopefully already know how to implement the missing components. To reach developers I need a demo. So the only thing I can see to do is to continue work on the demo and to build up supporters and collateral skills and assets in the meantime.

Comment by KrisC on Enjoy solving "impossible" problems? Group project! · 2012-08-21T16:14:27.245Z · LW · GW

Would you reconsider your idea if you found out that the most effective trauma surgeons were found to have unusually high levels of testosterone? Have you considered what other possible side effects might occur if this was carried out on a societal level? Would their be incentives for individuals to circumvent these restrictions?

Comment by KrisC on Who Wants To Start An Important Startup? · 2012-08-20T22:55:04.289Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the review Epiphany. This is the kind of feedback I have a hard time finding.

The general message I received from your post is that I undersold the project. I did seek to keep my expectations understated. This audience does not seem to like overstated expectations.

There have been times when I have explained the project and felt that the person I was speaking to encountered an ah ha! moment, an epiphany. This is the kind of feedback that makes me feel good, but it is usually not very constructive.

Let me address your points.

This will be a frequent assumption: Decision-making app? On a phone? This can't happen.

Not much I can say to someone who makes up there mind on the first sentence. If the description were restructured this objection could be put off, but how would that help?

It is have been very difficult to categorize this app. If decision-making app is not the right phrase, what is? Wish fulfillment app seems even more preposterous. Search engine is misleading, as the search is only a step towards meeting a desire. Some people have mistaken it for a shopping app, which is only partly correct.

I think what you're saying is "Once the user types what they want, the phone does it like a command. It can do almost any command this way." Really, what needs to be in place of this paragraph is an example. The example should either support the decision-making claim, or the decision making claim needs to be reworded.

Once the user types - or says - what they want, the phone lists a set of search results. Upon selecting one, a screen is displayed, perhaps but not necessarily indicating what function of the phone will be activated. The most common action is the display of a link in a browser. It could however dial phone number, show a movie, ask the user to respond to a question, send a text message, or even send a message to a piece of electronics.

So let's say you say you want an apple. One result may post a link to a price aggregator which tracks local supermarkets and show you where apples are on sale. Another result might suggest that you grow an apple tree. A third result could tell you that recent research suggests that people who want apples actually need more exercise and suggests you do jumping jacks. A final result might be a picture of a lolcat with an apple.

From your history, the program knows that you are more likely to accept results from the contributor who lists an apple as a fruit available from a supermarket price aggregator. That result will go on top. The contributor who posted the erroneous research you had already banned, so that result is handicapped in the rankings. You may end up clicking on the funny picture and give it an approval, depending on your mood, and thus end the search. In the future, you will not only receive more results from that source higher in the rankings, but also your app will spread that result preferentially to peers.

The application incorporates a screensaver... which showcases emerging technologies

[W]hy is it included?

What may not be evident is that the purpose of the app is not to get people more stuff. The purpose of the app is to refine the procedures that users follow to get things that they ask for. The decision of what the "best" method is highly personal, and so the ranking is personal and informed by the opinions of like-minded peers.

So what does this have to do with the screensaver? The screensaver is the means to put into the users' minds and hands the things that I want to have available: space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension. By placing these things into an application which improves the methods of acquiring them through open source methods, they will hopefully be developed faster. This is a concrete boon to humanity.

It is my intent to develop the content in another application. However, to make use of the power of crowd-sourcing the content needs to be linked to the app.

How will the commercial version support itself? There are no costs to pay that I haven't already paid. Google provides the hosting. Users provide the phones and the content. I and future open source developers develop the product.

What is being paid for that's not available in the free version?

The slightest of bells and whistles. Background colors and images. The paid version is a bit of a joke. The user could just download the free version and ask the app how to get the premium features.

The paid developer version is, on the other hand, a sincere fundraising attempt.

If you don't answer questions about money immediately, people lose interest very fast.

Still don't think 'people' are getting it. The primary value is not derived from being the owner of the distribution of the software. The value is realized by the person using the app. It provides a forum for the competitive evaluation of methods of production and acquisition for the benefit of the users.

A secondary type of value is extracted by contributors. They get to influence users directly. Unlike a mere Wikipedia editor who provides background information, these contributors tell people what to buy and how to live their lives.

This reputation-based value is a potential path to monetization. By providing the app, we also have the ability to provide the seed database. I myself do not drink Pepsi. If I clone my own database and provide it as the seed, Pepsi will not be included. With the right inducement I can include PepsiCo as the source of Pepsi. Or even provide a link to the (hypothetical?) Pepsi distributor locator app.

I do not see a reason for the name "hope" or "plan a."

I 'hope' that I can find a way to 'plan a' way to get what I want. Please give me a better suggestion.

3D printers

Is there something about this method of conception that makes your plan special?

3D printer operators need models which are easy to provide via a database. 3D models can do double duty as elements used to create animated scenes such as used in the screensaver.

Closer to the core, the app is about individuals meeting their needs better. Not only can 3D printers provide completely customized items specific to the user, they can also be used to build other tools. With a 3D printer and the right set of instructions, the user will be able to provide for many of their own needs. While the scope of 3D printers' capabilities are currently somewhat limited, there is little doubt that their abilities will increase to a point where they are profitable for many more people to own.

I'll have to see how it helps the world in order to invest significant time into it. You didn't include that in your post.

The app helps the world with the same goal as SI's rationality outreach program, just using different means. We all want people to make better decisions. It would be nice if everyone learned better critical thinking skills. I just want to automate those skills in an app.

Point it out, or else leave that note out to respect the reader's limited time and lack of need to know this info.

You have a point about requiring the readers to keep thinking to get the whole message. But Socrates had a contrary opinion when it came to learning. Learning takes place in your head, not your ears. I am trying to recruit developers -- people who need to keep thinking about this in order to be useful at this time.

So in summary, I have heard it said that in order to create a successful social app you should take something you learned in EvoPsych and automate it. I am attempting to mimic the two methods of decision making. Either imitate a successful peer or do the research yourself. In this context, use the app and, when you have a better idea than what is listed, contribute content.

Comment by KrisC on Who Wants To Start An Important Startup? · 2012-08-18T17:32:02.342Z · LW · GW

Would a fleet of lighter-than-air drones be less costly for this application than the currently popular drone models?

Comment by KrisC on Who Wants To Start An Important Startup? · 2012-08-17T19:11:07.008Z · LW · GW

I am developing a decision making app.

The user is prompted with the phrase "I want."

The user's request is matched against a database of peer-generated responses. But the search does not end there. The search results are a front end to the content which is also peer-generated. The content payload could potentially be any function of the smartphone, though it is usually screen output such a set of instructions or a link to a website. Request parsing and wild-carding is integral to reduce the number of database entries.

Should the user not be satisfied with the results presented, then the request will be broadcast through the network to peers with a favorable history. In the first pass, peer's database will be searched. If this is not sufficient the request will appear as an unanswered question to be answered by other users if they choose to respond. I shouldn't need to tell the LW audience that Bayes' Rule is used to evaluate the responses by peer. An optional milieu field helps to narrow down areas of expertise for individual contributors.

The program is integrated with phone's calendar function, allowing delayed and repeating execution of requests.

The application incorporates a screensaver which builds upon the individualized database arrangement to deliver peer-created scenes to a fixed storyline, which showcases emerging technologies. These stories display links for users to access speculative technologies, then the users are directed to open source projects (if they follow my links).

On top of all this, add the usual slew of social media options: upvoting, banning, groups, multiple user profiles, anonymous searches, recruiting incentives, et cetera.

My intention is to leave the code open source and offer free and paid versions of the app. The consumer version I am calling 'Hope' and the developer's edition I am calling 'Plan A.' Working on my own I hope to get this project to a working demo in December of this year. Currently the code is hosted at BitBucket. I plan on moving over to GoogleCode when I iron out some connectivity issues.

As a closing note, let me mention that this project was originally inspired by the question: "Why aren't more people putting 3D printers to practical use?"

Comment by KrisC on Mitigating Social Awkwardness · 2011-05-01T21:57:10.849Z · LW · GW

How much of your communication do you want to be about navigating social protocols? How confident are you that you are not stuck in a locally optimized set of social interactions?

Upon reflection, I would say that is an ability to switch fluidly amongst a variety of different interaction protocols, matching your behavior to your audience. It is not immediately clear that an adaptive strategy is worth the computational costs.

Unfortunately, the number of interaction patterns is vast. If one has a novel idea, in order to be effective individually one must be fluent in direct social interaction, online and print display, e-mail and online discussion, narrative and technical writing, and preferably additional talents of personal interest. This is in addition to being fluent in the subject you are expounding. Further complicate this continuously updating probabilities that you are wasting your time on your audience.

The temptation to avoid social interaction often outweighs the perceived benefit. The price of interaction is often very high in terms of lost productivity for failed attempts.

Comment by KrisC on Mitigating Social Awkwardness · 2011-05-01T08:05:34.460Z · LW · GW

Oh, I mistook

has communicated that he is confident and successful with women and knows how to show them a good time.

to be an assertion on lukeprog's part that "a good time" was dependent on competent social skills. I now see the intention was that the man was communicating confidence, success, and charm.

Still, haven't we all been raised to be accepting of other people. I still don't understand why it takes a saint to allow others to be themselves. There are plenty of criteria to judge people on besides eye contact, voice modulation, posture, and the ability to feign interest. Your mind is only going to register minor transgressions for a few fleeting seconds.

Those who are attempting to deceive should be mistrusted, that seems more axiomatic than guesses as to statistical distributions of personality types. The fear is that social skills include the dark arts. When successful people utilize social skills well enough to fool some but not others, some observers who are not convinced feel revulsion. When a peer is revealed to be feigning interest for personal gain, what should be the consequence? When it is revealed that a statistically significant portion of the population is dishonest, why should a person seek out peers? Only because it is necessary, no matter how distasteful, to bite one's tongue and smile.

Please realize, I do understand that social skills are important and a tool to success. I practice, I sometimes act poorly, and I try again. While eminently practical, social skills are still arbitrary social convention and an inconvenience for those who are least interested.

Comment by KrisC on Mitigating Social Awkwardness · 2011-05-01T04:53:47.535Z · LW · GW

Either he has communicated that he is awkward and uneasy around women and not fun to be around, or he has communicated that he is confident and successful with women and knows how to show them a good time.

Why do you believe this? Why do you believe that social skills equate to fun?

Children lack social skills (right?) and are known for their playfulness.

Comment by KrisC on Mitigating Social Awkwardness · 2011-05-01T04:45:11.123Z · LW · GW

On many occasions I get a similar reaction, most often at work. At the appropriate place in a conversation for interjection, I will start to speak. In the middle of the first syllable, I will be interrupted and the participants in the conversation will continue as if I was not about to speak.

  • Perhaps I am unheard.

  • Perhaps I am considered of lower status amongst the peer group represented.

  • Perhaps the participants predict my comment will be off topic.

  • Perhaps there is a physiological cause. Specifically, auditory processing delay. {The time span it takes your conscious mind to become aware of a noise.}

Auditory processing delay is the one I find most interesting as I have accepted the outlier social role, perhaps too well.

The role of auditory processing delay in speech, I suspect, is the initial cause of the interruption. For some time, I have been cognizant that I often reflexively react to sound before I "hear" it. Otherwise, why would I have tensed muscles when the unexpected noise occurs. The delay seems perceptible, perhaps .1 to .5 seconds by my estimation. This large a delay in a conversation may be atypical.

This paper suggests a number of symptoms of high auditory delay and traits associated with it. These also suggest that I may the one experiencing an above average auditory processing delay.

Comment by KrisC on Nonmagical Powers · 2011-04-27T03:54:04.537Z · LW · GW

Try to integrate new facts with old. "Update" your existing knowledge base.

Comment by KrisC on Nonmagical Powers · 2011-04-26T18:04:32.033Z · LW · GW

Memories are more easily accessed, in humans, when contextual information is brought to mind. When making observations that lead to memories, if the context is relevant to the questions that you will attempt to answer in the future, you will not have to artificially call forth the contextual info. The solution is to approach new situations critically.

So, if you explore a neighborhood, before you set out determine what you will look for. For instance, ask yourself: Are architectural features related to the relative affluence of the area at the time of each building's construction.

Or, in math classes, consider what the lessons build upon and where they may lead.

Consider new situations with conscious consideration of previous knowledge. "Blankness" is not appropriate when approaching an experience in which you have previous expertise. Calling to mind relevant experiences helps to ensure that memories attain relevant associations.

Comment by KrisC on Nonmagical Powers · 2011-04-26T16:40:55.548Z · LW · GW

There are gullible people. Here is a list of the powers I have had attributed to me by more than single individual or group and their mundane causes:

  • Flight. On occasion, I have arrived at destinations faster on foot faster than people in cars trying to arrive before me. This is simply a function of knowing my route and making accurate time estimates.

  • Raffle fixing. Several times I have manipulated raffles by waiting until the final opportunity and bidding on the under-valued prizes, or by calculating the value of the prizes and the number of tickets I would need to have a good chance at making a profit.

  • Jellybean counts. (as in original post)

  • Baby telepathy. Treat a baby like an adult or a friendly alien explorer who has yet to learn our language. Do not treat babies like dolls or inanimate objects. Babies have relatively few wants and needs and are easy to satisfy and teach.

  • Telepathy. Observation.

  • Fortune-telling. Accurate predictions.

  • Photographic memory. Not even close to true. Order your world according to relevant attributes and memories will be more easily accessed.

  • Speed reading. Nope. Practice and concentration.

Sadly, many observers would rather accept supernatural explanations.

Comment by KrisC on Rationality Quotes: April 2011 · 2011-04-12T01:24:18.312Z · LW · GW

The equanimity of foolishness and wisdom is a long establish idea. The intention is to encourage better updating.

Comment by KrisC on Do meetups really have to go on the front page? · 2011-04-11T17:56:42.253Z · LW · GW

"Identifying Features"

Of the contact person?

Comment by KrisC on Details of Taskforces; or, Cooperate Now · 2011-04-11T17:33:22.575Z · LW · GW

Thank you.

So far, circumstances have pushed me ahead of schedule for this release of information.

Hardware suitability tests are long since complete for food printing, urban agriculture, and personal manufacturing. The purpose of which was to examine datatypes necessary for shared devo.

Previous implementations of the significant sharing algorithm has undergone three iterative testing phases, in an alternate context. To wit, a play-by-mail civilization simulator. But we trust it because it is Bayesian.

Comment by KrisC on Do meetups really have to go on the front page? · 2011-04-11T17:24:20.509Z · LW · GW

Agreed. However a search for "sub-reddit" and no alternate spellings suggests that karma is not so sparsely spent on this topic.

Comment by KrisC on Details of Taskforces; or, Cooperate Now · 2011-04-11T17:13:45.657Z · LW · GW

Once implemented, the software application will answer unbounded (limited only by unicode) user requests with peer created responses. These responses will in turn point to peer-created methods to satisfy those requests.

Peer created data will be shared in the background via a P2P network (JXTA) which will also serve as the backbone for a P2P barter network.

A scheduling function allows the same needs to be met with differing methods on a regular basis.

The "screensavers," or animated content, run within the app and provide hard links into the request function to allow users to obtain or contribute to the technology depicted.

A variety of additional software modules and hardware projects fill out the project to enable it to comprise an economy.

Comment by KrisC on Do meetups really have to go on the front page? · 2011-04-11T16:58:29.862Z · LW · GW

Putting them in a sidebar with an indicator separating past and future meetups might be even more dynamic without being obtrusive.

Comment by KrisC on Do meetups really have to go on the front page? · 2011-04-11T16:56:53.018Z · LW · GW

Perhaps a form to fill out to generate meetups.

Comment by KrisC on Do meetups really have to go on the front page? · 2011-04-11T16:55:31.245Z · LW · GW

I believe whoever might design a significant addition to the site would already understand that a post explaining that project when it is implemented would garner significant karma.

Comment by KrisC on Details of Taskforces; or, Cooperate Now · 2011-04-11T16:47:07.657Z · LW · GW

I think I might work on the transhumanist portal for the project website, until that is ready, here is the opensource page:

Plan A

Comment by KrisC on Rationality, Singularity, Method, and the Mainstream · 2011-04-10T19:13:28.021Z · LW · GW

Here is a segment of the line of reasoning that I have been considering lately.

  • The details of the creation of fAI are unknown; they must be discovered if we wish to avert the forecast catastrophe and reap the full benefits of AI.

  • Further insights into decision-making are necessary for the creation of fAI.

  • Teaching can be used as an efficient means of learning.

  • Teaching rationality is expected to produce insights into decision-making.

  • Insights into decision-making are what is missing from an understanding of fAI, AFAIK.

Furthermore, there will be significant amount of disutility before fAI is implemented. As utility is that thing which we wish to maximize, we ought to want to want to decrease disutility. The primary means we have at our disposal is rationality.

The caveat is that we must make sure that the benefits of teaching rationality in the present exceed the cost from delaying fAI.

Comment by KrisC on Rationality Quotes: April 2011 · 2011-04-06T06:43:48.846Z · LW · GW

what is so special about the program which makes up a human, that it would be morally wrong to shut off the program?

Is it sufficient to say that humans are able to consider the question? That humans possess an ability to abstract patterns from experience so as to predict upcoming events, and that exercise of this ability leads to a concept of self as a future agent.

Is it necessary that this model of identity incorporate relationships with peers? I think so but am not sure. Perhaps it is only necessary that the ability to abstract be recursive.

Comment by KrisC on Details of Taskforces; or, Cooperate Now · 2011-04-05T21:15:45.186Z · LW · GW

While we are on this topic, let me take a chance to promote my own project, currently on the verge of release.

The project is meant to given a common development framework to improve decision-making, to inspire a transhumanist agenda, and to push the development of open source hardware.

{And I am going to wait until at least Sunday night / early Monday morning to release the website in this forum.}

Currently the program is formulated in Java, but that is subject to change. The software application is a serverless P2P application.

I am developing animated content in Blender, but the source of the video files need not be consistent.

The technology initiatives derive from established technologies or ongoing research (though some are as of yet unsolved).

This project is proceding ahead of schedule.

Programmers are needed to bring the application from demo to production. Animators and other producers of videos are needed to present the storyline. Engineers are needed to develop the hardware.

Collaborators are needed accross the board.

If you have relevant skills or would just like to learn more, let me know your skills and areas of interest so I can direct you to the proper resources.

More to come.

Comment by KrisC on London Hackday, this Friday, April 1st (No, this is not a joke) · 2011-03-30T04:30:42.543Z · LW · GW

Please tell us what you come up with.

Comment by KrisC on Rationality Boot Camp · 2011-03-23T07:55:09.038Z · LW · GW

I am curious as well as envious.

To what degree and in what manner do you expect participants to be affected?

What will be the criteria of evaluation?

Comment by KrisC on Algorithms as Case Studies in Rationality · 2011-02-14T22:30:30.951Z · LW · GW

where classical logic tells us that an inference is just fine, but informal pragmatics tell us that there is something silly about it.

Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand...

Comment by KrisC on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-10T07:11:02.486Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I walked into that question. Inducing laughter in general is too big a question to answer, but I will explain the technique.

As background reading, I would recommend Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Mostly because it validates my belief that humor is often cruel. Really it is great reading for any alienated smart person.

I tried to observed my actions today as I used humor to escape conversation, and I was conscious of using the technique five times. I have concluded that actual clever wordplay or other comedic art is not necessary. While I have gotten in trouble for not "speaking like a human" before, this conversational strategy seems surprisingly effective at work or office situations (US, east coast).

  • Do not attempt this technique in situations when you can not guess at the social hierarchy or on solemn occasions.
  • Be adequately certain that the dominant member of the group you are trying to escape from is not disagreeing with you.
  • Demonstrate through tracking eye movement, reactive micro-expression, and body stance that you are engaged in the conversation. Failing that, watch the mouth of the person speaking focusing on the formation of words and sounds.
  • Wait for a pause in speaking, lean forward and start to smile with the edge of your mouth and eyes.
  • Magic part: Any inane thing you say will be taken as a joke. It's the setup that triggers the response allowing the escape. If you don't want your listeners to think you a moron, say something sarcastic or hyperbolic about yourself, about the topic being discussed if it is innocuous, or about the task you are going to perform. Remember not to step on their memes and to respect their status hierarchies.
  • Walk away at a leisurely pace if you want. If they are laughing with you, you may want to stay.

Well, at least I tried to answer the question.

Comment by KrisC on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-09T03:46:15.012Z · LW · GW

Make them laugh and walk away. The laughter distracts them long enough for you to get far enough away that you are not in conversational proximity. Even a chuckle is sufficient.

As an added bonus, people who are not introspective will often hold opinions based around the last emotion they experienced in your presence.

I don't think this method is polite, but it seems to work pretty well.

Comment by KrisC on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-09T03:19:28.609Z · LW · GW

Regarding the blender, and mortar if you are a traditionalist, I would recommend blending without any liquid if possible. The liquid you use should be only enough to carry the food down to the blades in the blender. Any more liquid and you risk the food lifting away from the blades.

A similar problems occurs when mashing, for instance, beans in the mortar and pestle. Liquid allows the larger pieces to glide more easily out of the pestle's mashing grind.

Comment by KrisC on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-03T19:11:34.074Z · LW · GW

I used this quote to help convince a friend to vaccinate her child this past year. It worked.

Comment by KrisC on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2010-12-04T21:04:06.091Z · LW · GW

Here's one idea: []

Comment by KrisC on Bayesian Buddhism: a path to optimal enlightenment · 2010-10-08T17:55:00.371Z · LW · GW

I see no mention of the lesser and greater vehicles of buddhism.

It is my understanding, though wikipedia obfuscates the issue, that the greater vehicle rejects supernatural beliefs and treats those beliefs as allegorical. Thus reincarnation is merely the understanding that a mind changes with new experience, creating a new person. Similarly the demons of the lesser vehicle are the anthropomorphized irrational beliefs of the observer.

Comment by KrisC on More art, less stink: Taking the PU out of PUA · 2010-09-17T05:45:15.747Z · LW · GW

The information could be exchanged for paperclips though.

Comment by KrisC on More art, less stink: Taking the PU out of PUA · 2010-09-11T19:18:33.749Z · LW · GW

Please elaborate.

Comment by KrisC on More art, less stink: Taking the PU out of PUA · 2010-09-11T18:07:52.064Z · LW · GW

My concern is that the LW standards of communication and goal of rationality do not correspond to PUA methods. Rewarding a user for advancing a PUA discussion does not reward rational discussion but instead rewards the ability to teach social interaction.

As teaching social interaction is not a subset of rational behavior, so PUA discussion is not a subset of LW discussion. The difference lies in the approach to subconscious stimuli; PUA exploits where LW illuminates.

Comment by KrisC on More art, less stink: Taking the PU out of PUA · 2010-09-10T06:24:18.687Z · LW · GW

PUA relies heavily on demonstration that is better suited to video than text. An LW approach to the exploration and explanation of PUA would be good, but I think the information lends itself to a more visual format.

Has anyone thoughts on video clips? While finding public domain video examples may be fun, it might not be practical.

Provisions might even be made to share recorded webcam sessions of participants for feedback.

Comment by KrisC on More art, less stink: Taking the PU out of PUA · 2010-09-10T06:08:58.518Z · LW · GW


I do believe that the discussion should take place off LW. The LW karma system creates biases and would be muddied by the pursuit of a different goal.

Comment by KrisC on Dreams of AIXI · 2010-08-30T22:47:17.708Z · LW · GW

I Dream of AIXI

...does AIXI Dream of Me?

Comment by KrisC on Minimum computation and data requirements for consciousness. · 2010-08-24T07:03:25.404Z · LW · GW

Is memory necessary?