Comment by longinthetooth on Unknown knowns: Why did you choose to be monogamous? · 2010-06-28T14:30:16.506Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, for me too. I watched a documentary about the lifestyle, and was just baffled that people would shoulder the n^2 communication burden and associated drama.

But a poly friend of main maintains that for him it's worth it. We agreed that the two of us have different thresholds for drama and relationship effort, hence a different result from the same cost-benefit analysis.

Comment by longinthetooth on "Outside View!" as Conversation-Halter · 2010-02-24T22:57:04.776Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"But maybe they are equivalent under a non-logical-omniscience view of updating, and it's necessary to factor in meta-information about the quality and reliability of the introspection."

Yes, that is what I was thinking in a wishy-washy intuitive way, rather than an explicit and clearly stated way, as you have helpfully provided.

The act of visualizing the future and planning how long a task will take based on guesses about how long the subtasks will take, I would call generating new data which one might use to update a probability of finishing the task on a specific date. (FogBugz Evidence Based Scheduling does exactly this, although with Monte Carlo simulation, rather than Bayesian math)

But research shows that when doing this exercise for homework assignments and Christmas shopping (and, incidentally, software projects), the data is terrible. Good point! Don't lend much weight to this data for those projects.

I see Eliezer saying that sometimes the internally generated data isn't bad after all.

So, applying a Bayesian perspective, the answer is: Be aware of your biases for internally generated data (inside view), and update accordingly.

And generalizing from my own experience, I would say, "Good luck with that!"

Comment by longinthetooth on "Outside View!" as Conversation-Halter · 2010-02-24T17:27:51.124Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Once again, Bayesian reasoning comes to the rescue. The assertion to stop updating based on new data (ignore the inside view!) is just plain wrong.

However a reminder to be careful and objective about the probability one might assign to a new bit of data (Inside view data is not privileged over outside view data! And it might be really bad!) is helpful.

Comment by longinthetooth on Med Patient Social Networks Are Better Scientific Institutions · 2010-02-19T14:17:40.465Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Doctors make decisions based on a mix of theoretical knowledge and experience. More the experience than the knowledge.

'Experience' is another word for their subjective view of the patient histories that they have observed through their career. Why not make the decision based on an emprical measure of patient histories, taken over a large random-ish sample, rather than one particular physicians subjective interpretation of only the patients he has seen?

Better yet, why not present this data to your physician and have a talk about it?

Comment by longinthetooth on Logical Rudeness · 2010-01-29T14:31:32.052Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Watch this video of Richard Dawkins debating a creationist and take a drink every time she says "So what I would go back to..."

Comment by longinthetooth on Logical Rudeness · 2010-01-29T14:27:56.208Z · score: 25 (25 votes) · LW · GW

Basically it comes down to a measure of the degree to which the other person cares about what you are saying. What Eliezer puts as "sticking his neck out", I would describe more specifically as "listening carefully to the other person". In this way I would connect 'logical rudeness' with plain old manners.

To put it another way, while the person is talking, are you thinking about what they are saying, or preparing your response? I try to be generous in this way, and most of the people in my life respond well to it. But then I'm choosy about who I spend time with.

It works best with my wife. We've been communicating this way for years and years now, and it's just a wonderful experience to have a conversation in which both people are giving the other exclusive attention.

The other thing my wife and I do really well is give each other space to think. When we're done talking we stop talking and wait for the other person to have their say. Since she was paying careful attention while I was talking, she might not have something to say right away. So we have to give each other that time. Not many people are comfortable with silence.

In the old days we used to use ice cream as an inverse semaphore; the listener held the pint and the spoon, and ate and listened while the talker talked. Then the talker took the ice cream and had to shut up until the other person asked for it.

Comment by longinthetooth on Logical Rudeness · 2010-01-29T14:15:27.797Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, it's right up there with asking questions about the argument that you are uncertain about.

An aside; how often do you ask people to be quiet for a second so you can think about what they said? How many people are comfortable giving you that space?

Comment by longinthetooth on Logical Rudeness · 2010-01-29T14:11:40.832Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You've got to be careful though. Some people, i.e. many creationists, will just take that as an invitation to ramble ad infinitum.

Comment by longinthetooth on An idea: Sticking Point Learning · 2009-09-08T14:55:49.529Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds like a good project for stackexchange.

Comment by longinthetooth on Theism, Wednesday, and Not Being Adopted · 2009-04-29T13:32:01.184Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, this is the crux of the difference between the two scenarios. We accept many things from authority figures at face value, but they fall into two categories, testable and untestable, and we can easily figure out which is which.

Comment by longinthetooth on Great Books of Failure · 2009-04-20T15:37:50.089Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Richard Feynman's experiences investigating the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion are very, very good reading:

Comment by longinthetooth on Great Books of Failure · 2009-04-20T15:36:31.961Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

In a very concise and abstract form:

Comment by longinthetooth on The Sin of Underconfidence · 2009-04-20T14:50:37.105Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Without risk, there is no growth.

If your practice isn't making you feel scared and uncomfortable, it's not helping. Imagine training for a running race without any workouts that raise your heart rate and make you breathe hard.

Feeling out of your comfort zone and at risk of failure is something everybody should seek out on a regular basis.

Comment by longinthetooth on My Way · 2009-04-17T17:53:02.020Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

This is where the martial arts analogy shows some of it's power.

I do Aikido. My dojo enjoys a nice diversity of genders, ages, and body types. We don't all practice the same; our styles are as diverse as our backgrounds.

However, it's not a free-for-all. Some people in the dojo are clearly better at this than others, and people find others to look up to, people to follow. And there is a very strong agreement on who the best people in the dojo are.

This strong agreement comes from the fact that Aikido is a martial art, and we train with each other. On a regular basis we throw each other around and this constant interaction is how we learn from each other.

So while my Aikido is probably a bit more male, I learn from the women every time I practice with them, and I can point to parts of my practice that are more feminine and even tell you which women I learned those bits from. And the converse for the women I practice with.

It's okay for a teacher or leader to express their identity in the practice of the art. It is up to the student to integrate that style into their own practice. This requires judgment, so we usually tell beginners "Don't try to interpret just yet. Just mimic Sensei as closely as you can. You'll branch out and improvise later". This is a common teaching in many practices, I think.

So then, ideal is a diversity of teachers, so students can see a diversity of styles, and integrate them into something suitable to them.

Comment by longinthetooth on Bystander Apathy · 2009-04-13T13:57:18.422Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

It is also explicit instruction for first aiders; "You! Call 911 and tell them I need an ambulance at the corner of x and y! Tell them I'm performing CPR on an unconscious non-breathing victim! Ask them for an ETA and tell me what they said!"

Comment by longinthetooth on Mandatory Secret Identities · 2009-04-09T13:49:44.803Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Some thoughts from my experience in a martial arts dojo:

  1. We avoid lots of failure modes by making sure (as far as reasonably possible) that people are there to train first and everything else second. One consequence of this is that we don't attach a whole lot of our progress to any particular instructor; we're blessed with a number of people who are really good at aikido, and we learn from all of them, and from each other.

  2. On setting the bar too high for instructors: Most martial arts rely on a hierarchy of instructors, where the average dojo head is a reasonably normal person who is expert but not necessarily elite at the discipline. The "famous" people in the art travel around and deliver seminars to everybody else. Dojo head type people will also travel to attend more seminars than the average junior student, for obvious reasons.

All sorts of human enterprises work this way (although the formality of the hierarchy varies widely); everything from yoga to religions to Linux Users Groups. It's a good system.

Comment by longinthetooth on Where are we? · 2009-04-03T15:44:03.252Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ottawa, Canada