Does the simulation argument even need simulations? 2013-10-11T21:16:20.596Z


Comment by lmm on How to get cryocrastinators to actually sign up for cryonics · 2016-07-29T14:47:14.390Z · LW · GW

Looks like their website has been taken over by spam. Which in turn gives me very little confidence in an organization that's supposed to be around until my death and for many years afterwards.

Do you know anything about the current state of play in the UK? Are you still covered?

Comment by lmm on January 2016 Media Thread · 2016-01-06T23:53:37.775Z · LW · GW

Shirobako: The most realistic portrayal of ordinary working life (at least, like mine) I've seen, in any fictional medium. Warm-hearted (perhaps to a fault), straightforward, very much writing what they know and love. I recommend it to anyone interested in animation, but especially to students or similar interested in seeing a day in the working life.

Hibike Euphonium. Teenage drama (not actually a romance show, but it felt like one) that again felt very true, and with KyoAni's usual high production values.

A Farewell to Arms (one of the Short Peace shorts). High production values applied to a setting that's pretty novel in animé - an Americanized military unit in a ruined city in the desert with a (less extreme) Three Kings-style overexposed look. A very fun battle sequence that deserves points for putting thought into what near-future combat might look like - I don't think it necessarily got it right, but it goes much further than most.

Psycho-Pass Movie. A return to form after the trashy second season. Continues to ask the awkward question: given a paternalistic dictatorship that manages to act in the best interests of most people most of the time, what do you actually do? (I'm told there's also a colonialism side but that largely passed me by).


Gakkou Gurashi. Ok premise but not enough content to fill the time.

Expelled from Paradise. Actually quite fun: visually very pretty (very Male Gaze), and some good CG robot fights, including a very cool one on the way down from orbit. But the themes felt done-to-death; it's not really adding anything new to the conversation, and I never found myself caring about any of the characters.

Comment by lmm on January 2016 Media Thread · 2016-01-06T23:45:22.385Z · LW · GW

I hated Three-Body Problem. I found it incredibly slow and unrewarding (and I never got how ~200 intelligent people in a game called three-body problem somehow don't figure out that the game's about the three-body problem). Partly the dangers of hype, but I really don't think it's very good.

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread December 2015 · 2015-12-13T17:43:51.365Z · LW · GW

I don't see the point. The whole point of "motivating doesn't last" is "you will only be able to sustain effort if there is something in your day-to-day that motivates you to continue, not some distant ideal.

Comment by lmm on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-05T10:14:49.281Z · LW · GW

There's a reason why CFAR has workshops instead of writing articles and books.

Is there? Given that this community seems to be quite skeptical about the value of e.g. university over self-teaching from textbooks, what's the rationale for that format?

Comment by lmm on LessWrong 2.0 · 2015-12-05T10:12:26.885Z · LW · GW

Discourage/ban Open threads. They are an unusual thing to have on a an open forum. They might have made sense when posting volume was higher, but right now they further obfuscate valuable content.

I'd say the opposite: the open threads are the part that's working. So I'd rather remove main/discussion and make everything into open thread, i.e. move to something more like a traditional forum model. I don't know whether that's functionally the same thing.

Comment by lmm on Omega's Idiot Brother, Epsilon · 2015-12-03T23:31:42.825Z · LW · GW

In other words, gaining $1M has to be no more than about 25% better than gaining $1k.

Interesting. My thought process was that it's worth losing $8000 in EV to avoid a 1% chance of losing $1000. I think my original statement was true, but perhaps poorly calibrated; these days I shouldn't be that risk-averse.

Comment by lmm on Omega's Idiot Brother, Epsilon · 2015-11-26T12:48:10.053Z · LW · GW

I would two-box on this problem because of diminishing returns, and one-box on the original problem.

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread November 2015 · 2015-11-26T11:27:39.212Z · LW · GW

I think there's an underlying truth that most software engineers are too timid, perhaps because we're calibrated for working with materials where mistakes are more costly and harder to put right.

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread November 2015 · 2015-11-26T11:23:14.354Z · LW · GW

And one of the big issues leading to the financial crisis was that a lot of these ratings were wrong and a lot of AAA bonds defaulted.

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread November 2015 · 2015-11-26T11:20:27.030Z · LW · GW

AIG was the borrower (and separately Fannie and Freddie), banks were the lenders, it is absolutely useful to think about the situation in those terms. It highlights the conflict between our political intuition that insurance should be protected and financial speculation should not - some people thought AIG was doing one, some people thought the other. Likewise some people thought Freddie and Fannie were widows-and-orphans investments that the government should guarantee and some people thought they were private financial traders. Clarifying these things could have averted the crisis, it's absolutely a useful model.

Comment by lmm on November 2015 Media Thread · 2015-11-10T12:57:26.592Z · LW · GW

Just for the record I really liked her arc. I think I saw part of myself in her? Would have to rewatch to be able to be any more specific.

Comment by lmm on November 2015 Media Thread · 2015-11-07T15:44:04.327Z · LW · GW

Until the Sea Shall Free Them. Inherently partisan, and I have no real measure of its accuracy, but a compelling narrative that goes some way in expanding to the systemic ways things go wrong, while still very firmly rooted in its single example.

Comment by lmm on November 2015 Media Thread · 2015-11-06T21:48:30.472Z · LW · GW

Do you know how much more there is to go? We're still waiting for the prequel movie, right?

Comment by lmm on November 2015 Media Thread · 2015-11-06T21:48:01.542Z · LW · GW

Light, by M John Harrison (based on the first 22%). I'm finding it genuinely hard to read - a bit like The Quantum Thief or The January Dancer, but more so than either of them. I can't yet say it's good per se - in particular the three narrative strands show very little sign of converging at this stake - but it's a striking, provocative experience.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015 · 2015-11-06T20:01:16.574Z · LW · GW

No. There are any number of predictable systems in our quantum universe, and no reason to believe that an agent need be anything other than e.g. a computer program. In any case "noise" is the wrong way to think about QM; quantum behaviour is precisely predictable, it's just the subjective Born probabilities that apply.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Nov. 02 - Nov. 08, 2015 · 2015-11-06T19:27:55.995Z · LW · GW

The problem is the site looks cheap. If I'm showing off how rich I am, I want something that looks elegant and refined.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015 · 2015-11-04T13:15:18.721Z · LW · GW

I don't understand. Computers are able to provide reliable boolean logic even though they're made of quantum mechanics. And any "uncertainty" introduced by QM has nothing to do with distance. You seem very confused.

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread October 2015 · 2015-11-04T13:11:38.230Z · LW · GW

I think it's legitimate to criticise a company for pretending to sell utilons when it isn't. Yes, this company may well be a better use of your money than Taylor Swift tickets. But Taylor Swift isn't marketed as an investment.

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread October 2015 · 2015-10-24T18:06:38.994Z · LW · GW

I think there's an analogy with "purchase fuzzies and utilons separately" here that Levine misses. If you want to be trendy and have a bunch of investment return in the future, it's probably more efficient to buy those two things from separate sources than to try and get both with a single product.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015 · 2015-10-24T17:51:28.780Z · LW · GW

You seem a very enthusiastic participant here, despite a lot of downmodding. I admire that - on here. In real life my fear would be that that translated into clinginess - wanting to come to all my parties, wanting to talk forever, and the like. (And perhaps that it reflects being socially unpopular, and that there might be a reason for that). So I'd lean slightly to avoid.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015 · 2015-10-24T17:44:39.901Z · LW · GW

My guess is #2.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015 · 2015-10-24T17:42:51.472Z · LW · GW

The whole point of acausal trading is that it doesn't require any causal link. I don't think there's any rule that says it's inherently hard to model people a long way away.

Imagine being an AI running on some high-quality silicon hardware that splits itself into two halves, and one half falls into a rotating black hole (but has engines that let it avoid the singularity, at least for a while). The two are now causally disconnected (well, the one outside can send messages to the one inside, but not vice versa) but still have very accurate models of each other.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Oct. 19 - Oct. 25, 2015 · 2015-10-24T17:34:14.755Z · LW · GW

This sounds like an XY problem - what are you trying to achieve by reducing the number of apps?

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread September 2015 · 2015-10-04T23:13:55.794Z · LW · GW

I'm not convinced on the international diversification example, particularly if the best argument is "some hard-to-measure risks". Most of the time the things you want to buy are in your own country, so any diversification is taking on a large foreign exchange risk.

Comment by lmm on October 2015 Media Thread · 2015-10-04T22:53:43.678Z · LW · GW

Maybe be more specific/detailed?

Comment by lmm on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-25T06:51:48.781Z · LW · GW

Not quite - rather the everyday usage of "real" refers to the model with the currently-best predictive ability. - we would all say "the aeroplane wings are real".

Comment by lmm on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-25T06:48:43.509Z · LW · GW

I've known plenty of cases where people's programs were more agentive than they expected. And we don't have a good track record on predicting which parts of what people do are hard for computers - we thought chess would be harder than computer vision, but the opposite turned out to be true.

Comment by lmm on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-20T18:40:43.244Z · LW · GW

Is there a difference between "x is y" and "assuming that x is y generates more accurate predictions than the alternatives"? What else would "is" mean?

Comment by lmm on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-20T18:39:24.804Z · LW · GW

I'm a professional software engineer, feel free to get technical.

Comment by lmm on September 2015 Media Thread · 2015-09-18T20:54:02.830Z · LW · GW

Via HN: How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis

Comment by lmm on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-18T20:25:30.242Z · LW · GW

Why are you so confident your program is a nonagent? Do you have some formula for nonagent-ness? Do you have a program that you can feed some source code to and it will output whether that source code forms an agent or not?

Comment by lmm on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-18T20:24:43.220Z · LW · GW

Does an amoeba want anything? Does a fly? A dog? A human?

You're right, of course, that we have better models for a calculator than as an agent. But that's only because we understand calculators and they have a very limited range of behaviour. As a program gets more complex and creative it becomes more predictive to think of it as wanting things (or rather, the alternative models become less predictive).

Comment by lmm on Summoning the Least Powerful Genie · 2015-09-17T20:11:24.558Z · LW · GW

A program designed to answer a question necessarily wants to answer that question. A superintelligent program trying to answer that particular question runs the risk of acting as a paperclip maximizer.

Suppose you build a superintelligent program that is designed to make precise predictions, by being more creative and better at predictions than any human would. Why are you confident that one of the creative things this program does to make itself better at predictions isn't turning the matter of the Earth into computronium as step 1?

Comment by lmm on Probabilities Small Enough To Ignore: An attack on Pascal's Mugging · 2015-09-17T20:07:02.825Z · LW · GW

we shouldn't wear seatbelts, get fire insurance, or eat healthy to avoid getting cancer, since all of those can be classified as Pascal's Muggings

How confident are you that this is false?

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Sep. 14 - Sep. 20, 2015 · 2015-09-17T19:47:51.594Z · LW · GW

It's about where I expected. I think 6 is probably the best you can do under ideal circumstances. Legitimate, focussed work is exhausting.

If you're looking for bias, this is a community where people who are less productive probably prefer to think of themselves as intelligent and akrasikal (sp?). Also you've asked at the end of a long holiday for any students here.

Comment by lmm on Open thread, Sep. 14 - Sep. 20, 2015 · 2015-09-17T19:40:21.300Z · LW · GW

I'd rather people actually said "Do you want to come back to my room for sex?" rather than "Do you want to come back to my room for coffee?" where coffee is a euphemism for sex, because some people will take coffee at face value, which can lead to either uncomfortable situations, including fear of assault, or lead to people missing opportunities because they are bad at reading between the lines.

I'd rather that too, and I've had it go wrong in both directions. But the whole point of much of this site is that outcomes are more important than principles. Saying "do you want to come back to my room for sex?" is not going to change society, it's just going to make you personally come off as a creep.

Comment by lmm on How To Win The AI Box Experiment (Sometimes) · 2015-09-13T07:59:20.969Z · LW · GW

Ah, sorry to get your hopes up, it's a degenerate approach:

Comment by lmm on How To Win The AI Box Experiment (Sometimes) · 2015-09-12T18:37:29.607Z · LW · GW

Thank you for publishing. Before this I think the best public argument from the AI side was Khoth's, which was... not very convincing, although it apparently won once.

I still don't believe the result. But I'll accept (unlike with nonpublic iterations) that it seems to be a real one, and that I am confused.

Comment by lmm on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2015-09-12T18:08:45.349Z · LW · GW

I want to talk about the group (well, cluster of people) that calls itself "rationalists". What should I call it if not that?

Comment by lmm on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2015-09-12T18:07:27.585Z · LW · GW

Many stories I've seen of lottery winners lost the money quickly through bad investments and/or developed major life issues (divorce, drug addiction).

Comment by lmm on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2015-09-12T18:04:41.011Z · LW · GW

I went to an LW meetup once or twice. With one exception the people there seemed less competent and fun than my university friends, work colleagues, or extended family, though possibly more competent than my non-university friends.

Comment by lmm on Stupid Questions September 2015 · 2015-09-12T17:59:08.629Z · LW · GW

It absolutely could be. But we've seen no evidence that distinguishes such a scenario from the big bang theory, and so we prefer it by Occam's razor.

Comment by lmm on Stupid Questions September 2015 · 2015-09-12T17:56:54.885Z · LW · GW

I'd say it's not so much following rules as being productive. The value of capitalism is that embezzlement, bribery and the like are less often the most personally profitable course than they are under other systems.

Comment by lmm on Open thread 7th september - 13th september · 2015-09-10T07:43:54.440Z · LW · GW

Or maybe today's men just have less interest in staying and fighting. I mean what you say is plausible but it's a long way from proving "they can't possibly be refugees because the majority are men".

Comment by lmm on Open thread 7th september - 13th september · 2015-09-07T20:01:07.133Z · LW · GW

75% of the refugees are men. So either they feel that the places they're leaving are safe for women and children, or their main motivation isn't escaping danger.

Or the danger is severe enough that they're fleeing alone, more effectively than women and children do?

Comment by lmm on September 2015 Media Thread · 2015-09-07T11:50:12.398Z · LW · GW

The ship

Comment by lmm on September 2015 Media Thread · 2015-09-03T11:05:23.619Z · LW · GW

I didn't like Ancillary Justice so much FWIW - I didn't find the culture so compelling, and the lead's morality was jarring to me (she seemed less like someone who was seeing the flaws in the culture she was raised in and more like someone who had always instinctively had a western liberal morality that they'd been suppressing to fit in).

Do you have a view on The January Dancer? I loved that - modern space opera, with some interesting cultures, but also a compelling plot on the sci-fi side.

Comment by lmm on September 2015 Media Thread · 2015-09-03T10:54:16.684Z · LW · GW

Another tranche of shows watched with my group, though they don't really end up as recommendations:

Blood Blockade Battlefront: Started with some fun action, and a very cool-looking setting, but decayed rapidly - the plot arc it tried to set up towards the end was just dull. Avoid

Knights of Sidonia (season 2): Shifts much more towards the harem antics than the serious sci-fi; also some massive power inflation which could easily have been thematic but... isn't. I greatly enjoyed it, but only recommended to people who enjoy light comedy/romance.

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works: Had its moments, and definitely has the production values; when it's good, it's very good. But massively wordy (arguably too faithful an adaptation), slow and self-indulgent. Again only for fans of the genre.

Kyousougiga: This I do recommend. A show that respects the viewer's intelligence; the depths are there if you want to peer into them, but it keeps things interesting - or at least active - on the surface level too. And it's got some wonderfully creative visuals.

Your Lie in April: Romance/melodrama, done reasonably well, and with beautiful visuals and sound - I particularly like the fact that this show is willing to make you sit and listen to a musical performance for minutes at a time. But has no ambition beyond its genre; you know whether you're the target audience for this or not.

Madoka Rebellion: Fun for fans, but far too self-indulgent for anyone else. The plot is awkward and undermines some of the series. I enjoyed seeing beloved characters at play, and there's one very fun fight, but it's all fanservice.

Comment by lmm on Rationality Quotes Thread June 2015 · 2015-08-31T22:52:07.630Z · LW · GW

They didn't check your name against your email. You needed a university email but you could, and people did, use a fake name with it, even an obviously fake one.