Is the "business cycle" an actual economic principle?

2019-06-18T14:52:00.348Z · score: 21 (5 votes)
Comment by liron on Is "physical nondeterminism" a meaningful concept? · 2019-06-18T14:36:42.565Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks I think that clarifies everything I'm wondering about. If we had a feature like Stack Overflow's "accepted answer" this would be it for me :)

Comment by liron on Is "physical nondeterminism" a meaningful concept? · 2019-06-16T21:43:46.468Z · score: 11 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Looks like there are a lot of topics in there besides the question of whether physical nondeterminism is a meaningful concept. Can you summarize or point to the relevant section?

Is "physical nondeterminism" a meaningful concept?

2019-06-16T15:55:58.198Z · score: 24 (6 votes)
Comment by liron on Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions · 2019-06-09T14:21:17.599Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I believe the term "chaotic" refers to those things. E.g. for an airplane's lift, there are higher-level-than-particle-modeling physical principles you can explain it with, but for a 1-month weather forecast you have to go down to particle modeling, or close.

Comment by liron on Arbital scrape · 2019-06-07T01:55:15.424Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Nice project thanks. It's also consistent with my analysis that Arbital's fancy wiki features never added much value (say, more than +30%) beyond the value that that content would have if published in a pre-existing format and venue.

Comment by liron on Ask LW: Have you read Yudkowsky's AI to Zombie book? · 2019-03-17T15:07:16.898Z · score: 17 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I've read it 3 times and think it's the best book ever. What a coincidence that I'm someone who is currently spending time on LessWrong.com and becoming part of your sample of answers eh?

Comment by liron on Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions · 2019-01-14T20:47:36.648Z · score: 10 (2 votes) · LW · GW

From looking at Conway's Game of Life, my intuition is that if a universe can support non-ontologically-fundamental Turing machines (I'm invoking anthropic reasoning), then it's likely to have phenomena analyzable at multiple hierarchical levels (beyond the looser requirement of being simple/compressible).

Basically, if a universe allows any reductionistic understanding at all (that's what I mean by calling the Turing Machine "non-ontologically-fundamental"), then the reductionist structure is probably a multi-layered one. Either zero reduction layers or lots, but not exactly one layer.

Comment by liron on Dating book recommendations · 2018-10-18T05:42:05.900Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I started a company to help these kinds of situations. We have a team of 50 full-time dating/relationship coaches available 24/7 to give you personalized advice: RelationshipHero.com

Also check out our analysis of 100+ user-submitted online dating conversations: RelationshipHero.com/conversations

Comment by liron on Arbital postmortem · 2018-01-30T17:01:51.674Z · score: 14 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the candid write up!

I'd make at least one Rick and Morty post a day if I could.

Given your thinking that Arbital prioritized engineering too much over acquiring users (aka validating demand), consider testing this claim of self-demand before investing effort toward it.

Comment by liron on Open thread, June 5 - June 11, 2017 · 2017-06-06T05:42:04.709Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

If you use online dating, I just launched a site called WittyThumbs to analyze and improve your conversations, in order to get better dates. Let me know what you think!

Comment by liron on Rewriting the sequences? · 2017-05-27T00:05:53.887Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like first you objected that TST's lesson is meaningless, and now you're objecting that it's meaningful but limited and wrong. Worth noting that this isn't a back and forth argument about the same objection.

The rest of LW's epistemology sequences and meta-morality sequences explain why the foundations in TST also help understand math and morals.

Comment by liron on Rewriting the sequences? · 2017-05-14T06:45:42.989Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

By "reality-controlled", I don't just mean "external reality", I mean the part of external reality that your belief claims to be about.

Understanding truth in terms of "correspondance" brings me noticeably closer to coding up an intelligent reasoner from scratch than those other words.

The simple truth is that brains are like maps, and true-ness of beliefs about reality is analogous to accuracy of maps about territory. This sounds super obvious, which is why Eliezer called it "The Simple Truth". But it runs counter to a lot of bad philosophical thinking, which is why Eliezer bothered writing it.

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-25T05:12:15.510Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, apparently this is a thing! Look up professional organizers.

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T22:23:46.149Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can you send me an email? I'm happy to proofread some stuff for you for free in order to better understand your needs. (I'm actually good at that.)

wiseguy@gmail.com

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T21:51:08.931Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, pain is a huge problem for people. Any advice on how to attack this problem?

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T21:49:08.990Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can you elaborate about which writings you'd personally use this service for, how your ideal solution would work, and what you'd pay for it?

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T21:29:59.568Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Airbnb is currently trying to focus on this niche with "City Hosts". Here's a TechCrunch article.

You may be able to try the feature here. It's in semi-public beta.

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T21:27:02.509Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(3) eangel for emails

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T21:23:33.056Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, what do you think of these services:

  1. Grammarly - Claims to be a much smarter grammar checker than MS Word

  2. Wordy - Paid human proofreading with a few-hours turnaround time

Maybe there's a market for super realtime proofreading, like a Gmail extension where the moment you start typing, there's someone proofreading?

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T17:39:43.334Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Gotcha, makes sense.

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T17:33:43.793Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

These 100 strangers who need bursts of computation can pay $5 to spin up a powerful Amazon EC2 instance for a couple hours. That seems like a good deal for the value they're getting, and very hard to undercut. So I see no startup opportunity.

Re college...

If "flexible schedule, great peers, extremely good teachers, excuse to be a student" is really what you want, I can easily get you all that for only $10k/year, a fraction of what you're probably paying now. But the truth is, college's main value-add is the expectation of a better career.

These days, college is doing a pretty terrible job of helping people get any careers at all. I know 4 separate people who got their college degree, couldn't get any jobs, trained a few months in software engineering through bootcamps or online, then got 6-figure software engineering jobs.

Khan Academy and various coding bootcamps are already becoming a viable alternative to college, and I don't see an obvious niche for a new startup.

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T17:14:31.011Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So your problem is that it's much harder for you to find part time work than full time work, at the same average hourly rate?

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T17:13:25.939Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, I think people today have a major anti-trashing bias. Manufacturing and distribution have gotten so good and cheap that we should all be anti-hoarders trashing lots of stuff, then ordering new stuff as needed.

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-24T17:08:24.211Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Nice one, thanks. Can you elaborate a bit on what you meant by "Starbucks of day/elder care"?

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-23T21:40:38.128Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Y Combinator Research is looking into basic income

Comment by liron on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-23T20:25:01.433Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Haha the problem is that even if you have a pretty souped up gaming desktop, its computing power is probably worth less than the power costs, so you'd basically be selling just your room's power.

Maybe you live in a dorm and you don't have to pay for that power, but even then, we're talking about pennies.

The problem of "college students are annoyingly poor" is a big niche. What do you know about converting your time to money through your computer?

What's the most annoying part of your life/job?

2016-10-23T03:37:55.440Z · score: 13 (16 votes)

Quick puzzle about utility functions under affine transformations

2016-07-16T17:11:25.988Z · score: 6 (7 votes)
Comment by liron on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-07-02T21:00:18.537Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Have you read the LW sequences? Because like gjm explained, your question reveals a simple and objective misunderstanding of what utility functions look like when they model realistic people's preferences.

Comment by liron on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-07-02T20:54:00.870Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

For the sake of organization, I suggest discussing such things on the comment threads of Sequence posts.

Comment by liron on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-06-22T15:27:39.686Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Well I guess I'll focus on what seems to be our most fundamental disagreement, my claim that getting value from studying rationality usually involves getting yourself to be closer to an ideal utility maximizer (not necessarily all the way there).

Reading the Allais Paradox post can make a reader notice their contradictory preferences, and reflect on it, and subsequently be a little less contradictory, to their benefit. That seems like a good representative example of what studying rationality looks like and how it adds value.

Comment by liron on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-06-22T12:23:28.299Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Booya

Comment by liron on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-06-22T12:21:02.589Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You're right that "those values are irrational" is a category mistake, if we're being precise. But Houshalter has an important point...

Any time you violate the axioms of a coherent utility-maximization agent, e.g. falling for the Allais paradox, you can always use meta factors to argue why your revealed preferences actually were coherent.

Like, "Yes the money pump just took some of my money, but you haven't considered that the pump made a pleasing whirring sound which I enjoyed, which definitely outweighed the value of the money it pumped from me."

While that may be a coherent response, we know that humans are born being somewhat farther-than-optimal from the ideal utility maximizer, and practicing the art of rationality adds value to their lives by getting them somewhat closer to the ideal than where they started.

A "rationality test" is a test that provides Bayesian evidence to distinguish people earlier vs. later on this path toward a more reflectively coherent utility function.

Having so grounded all the terms, I mostly agree with pwno and Houshalter.

Comment by liron on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-06-17T02:29:42.292Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I guess I'll be the first one to offer a steel man interpretation of pwno's post:

Assuming you're anti-Trump... If voting for Trump could be done with no logistical inconveniences, and somehow legally pay you a reward of say 10 cents, and you didn't believe this offer was being made to anyone else, then a good rationality test is whether you would take that offer.

Comment by liron on What makes buying insurance rational? · 2016-03-31T21:55:41.588Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Yep. Also note that if you had $1M in the bank, you would then not prefer to buy insurance for something on the order of $10k.

Comment by liron on Open thread, Nov. 02 - Nov. 08, 2015 · 2015-11-04T01:52:55.397Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I made this joke site: https://flashcash.money

It's often rational to burn cash on positional goods like Rolexes and bottle service at clubs, but FlashCash.money takes that value proposition to the logical extreme.

Comment by liron on You Are A Brain - Intro to LW/Rationality Concepts [Video & Slides] · 2015-08-16T16:57:37.558Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Awesome thanks.

Comment by liron on You Are A Brain - Intro to LW/Rationality Concepts [Video & Slides] · 2015-08-16T06:31:45.388Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Oh sweet. Great slides, lots of other valuable material there.

You Are A Brain - Intro to LW/Rationality Concepts [Video & Slides]

2015-08-16T05:51:51.459Z · score: 13 (16 votes)
Comment by liron on What are "the really good ideas" that Peter Thiel says are too dangerous to mention? · 2015-04-13T14:26:23.531Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The former, except for the average male instead of you personally.

The type of this idea is "belief about the world", and it's good because it pays high rent in anticipated experience, like answering "yes" to your first question.

Comment by liron on What are "the really good ideas" that Peter Thiel says are too dangerous to mention? · 2015-04-13T06:49:44.814Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

15%

Comment by liron on What are "the really good ideas" that Peter Thiel says are too dangerous to mention? · 2015-04-13T01:36:59.482Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Love overall.

Comment by liron on What are "the really good ideas" that Peter Thiel says are too dangerous to mention? · 2015-04-13T01:36:23.870Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thx, edited.

Comment by liron on What are "the really good ideas" that Peter Thiel says are too dangerous to mention? · 2015-04-12T23:25:03.294Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

The former; I was being precise. I don't think the reverse direction is true. My beliefs in both directions come from a combination of my understanding of evolutionary psychology plus anecdotal observations of myself and others. I can elaborate but I'll also ask why others don't believe this.

Also I should add this obviously isn't true for all males. I'm just trying to model the average case.

Comment by liron on What are "the really good ideas" that Peter Thiel says are too dangerous to mention? · 2015-04-12T22:09:51.561Z · score: -1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I have no idea what Thiel is thinking of, but I'll volunteer to get a brainstorm started:

Male to female love is 70% physical attraction. Yes, love.

Edit: I guess this related to race and gender, but I don't want to hold back one of my edgiest beliefs.

Comment by liron on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-07T05:10:01.741Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Oh yeah, forgot the first book of canon ends in this Chamber of Secrets Jr.

Comment by liron on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, March 2015, chapter 116 · 2015-03-06T00:18:14.473Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hey what ever happened with Snape's complicated potion in the Chamber of Secrets? Was that just a red herring?

Edit: I mean the other chamber.

Comment by liron on Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014 · 2015-02-22T00:19:00.720Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

http://youtu.be/YEL4WFezCKs

Comment by liron on Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014 · 2015-02-11T22:21:19.402Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Re general lectures, I also have a couple more of my own at liron.me/talks.

Comment by liron on Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014 · 2015-02-11T22:20:11.891Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Ok, here's why I think SPARC students would be underwhelmed by college students.

Regarding measurable facts, I'd estimate that:

  • Compared to the median UC Berkeley student, the median SPARC participant can spend 3x less time studying any material to get the same test score.

  • Compared to the median UC Berkeley student, the median SPARC participant's expected cumulative income in the next 20 years is about 3x as much.

My point is that if you want to reach your potential in life, you want to calibrate your peer group to challenge you. And something like a factor of 3x isn't calibrated.

That said, of course there are also ways in which the average SPARC participant is somewhat inferior to the average person, like making a good social first impression. But if the SPARC person can manage to train their conscious focus on that or any other area of weakness, I'd usually bet on them being able to surpass their non-SPARC peers in that area.

Intelligence is the smartphone of talents. Sure you can have other possessions, but usually the single best thing to have is a smartphone.

Comment by liron on Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014 · 2015-02-10T18:21:29.611Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks!

Comment by liron on Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014 · 2015-02-10T00:17:02.644Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know Latin so I'm guessing "lecture" is Latin for "lost purpose"? That's great, thanks for educating me.

Comment by liron on Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014 · 2015-02-10T00:10:33.401Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You're right, I totally knew I should have included an example. I actually made the presentation last minute. Good for them for calling me out.

For the God part, I just wish I was more tactful just because I know some people find it highly offensive. So at the least I could have been empathic to it by saying "I know this feels terrible to hear".

Wisdom for Smart Teens - my talk at SPARC 2014

2015-02-09T18:58:17.449Z · score: 15 (20 votes)
Comment by liron on Why you should consider buying Bitcoin right now (Jan 2015) if you have high risk tolerance · 2015-01-13T22:56:38.732Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What's the point of dollar cost averaging? Why not just pick a % of your asset allocation that you want in Bitcoin and rebalance from 0% up to that ASAP? I see this as a special case of the virtue of rebalancing as often as possible.

A proposed inefficiency in the Bitcoin markets

2013-12-27T03:48:56.031Z · score: 3 (34 votes)

Atkins Diet - How Should I Update?

2012-06-11T21:40:14.138Z · score: 2 (3 votes)

Quixey Challenge - Fix a bug in 1 minute, win $100. Refer a winner, win $50.

2012-01-19T19:39:58.264Z · score: 6 (45 votes)

Quixey is hiring a writer

2012-01-05T06:22:06.326Z · score: 10 (17 votes)

Quixey - startup applying LW-style rationality - hiring engineers

2011-09-28T04:50:45.130Z · score: 27 (28 votes)

Quixey Engineering Screening Questions

2010-10-09T10:33:23.188Z · score: 2 (19 votes)

Bloggingheads: Robert Wright and Eliezer Yudkowsky

2010-08-07T06:09:32.684Z · score: 6 (9 votes)

Selfishness Signals Status

2010-03-07T03:38:30.190Z · score: -1 (36 votes)

Med Patient Social Networks Are Better Scientific Institutions

2010-02-19T08:11:21.500Z · score: 37 (45 votes)

What is the Singularity Summit?

2009-09-16T07:18:06.675Z · score: 10 (19 votes)

You Are A Brain

2009-05-09T21:53:26.771Z · score: 110 (123 votes)