Posts

P(X = exact value) = 0: Is it really counterintuitive? 2011-07-29T12:45:38.527Z · score: 8 (11 votes)
LW systemic bias: US centrism 2011-07-19T19:21:45.107Z · score: 10 (37 votes)
Well, that does it, I suppose 2011-07-17T10:51:16.778Z · score: 4 (42 votes)
Transsexuals and otherkin 2011-07-15T07:10:00.963Z · score: 13 (27 votes)
Hype Aversion/Backlash as an Immune Response? 2011-07-04T05:58:02.489Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
Iterated Sleeping Beauty and Copied Minds 2010-12-21T07:21:10.299Z · score: 2 (9 votes)
Copying and Subjective Experience 2010-12-20T12:14:22.173Z · score: 5 (10 votes)
Medieval Ballistics and Experiment 2010-12-20T10:13:18.283Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
Social Presuppositions 2010-12-02T13:25:39.742Z · score: 13 (13 votes)
Gender Identity and Rationality 2010-12-01T16:32:25.785Z · score: 41 (47 votes)
Morality in Fantasy Worlds 2010-11-22T21:37:47.173Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
The Self-Reinforcing Binary 2010-11-22T09:01:06.419Z · score: -1 (15 votes)

Comments

Comment by lucidfox on Conservation of Expected Evidence · 2016-10-02T22:44:01.840Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It is correct that we can never find enough evidence to make our certainty of a theory to be exactly 1 (though we can get it very close to 1). If we were absolutely certain in a theory, then no amount of counterevidence, no matter how damning, could ever change our mind.

Comment by lucidfox on Sorting Pebbles Into Correct Heaps · 2015-11-24T10:24:04.049Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder: do the names Y'ha-nthlei, Y'not'ha-nthlei, and At'gra'len'ley mean anything? I assume Y'ha and Y'not'ha mean "you have" and "you don't have", but beyond that it just seems random.

Comment by lucidfox on Decoherence · 2013-02-09T21:02:03.872Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed, if the two axes are the coordinates of the two particles, then one blob should be in the lower left and the other in the upper right. Seems Eliezer made a mistake with this diagram.

Comment by lucidfox on The Goal of the Bayesian Conspiracy · 2011-08-19T04:40:56.272Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

the median rationalist is still struggling to get a date

First, [citation needed].

Second, if it's true, perhaps one should look at oneself and ask why.

Comment by lucidfox on Take heed, for it is a trap · 2011-08-19T04:33:56.121Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Just because I read the sequences doesn't mean I'm particularly likely to agree with any of them. Some, yes, but not all. Many of the statements you listed are controversial even on LW. If they were unanimously accepted here without further discussion, it would be a worrying sign.

Comment by lucidfox on Music: Hatsune Miku 3D Live in Los Angeles on the 2nd July 2011 · 2011-08-13T19:10:12.508Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Because Laurie is a person?

Comment by lucidfox on Leveling IRL · 2011-08-06T06:23:53.544Z · score: -9 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, the struggles of people who want to quantify everything in video game terms, whether it makes sense or not. Reminds me of Christian Weston Chandler's "heart level".

(Warning: Googling that name is not for the faint of heart. May cause insanity, outrage, or disillusionment with humanity.)

Comment by lucidfox on P(X = exact value) = 0: Is it really counterintuitive? · 2011-07-31T20:11:28.560Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Where did I demand anything?

Comment by lucidfox on Polarized gamma rays and manifest infinity · 2011-07-30T20:12:53.707Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That was a joke on my part, but one warning against using overly general umbrella terms. Our copyright and patent laws developed as a result of certain historical circumstances, and it is entirely possible that a hypothetical alien civilization would treat sharing and distribution of ideas entirely differently and not resembling any of our historical precedents.

Comment by lucidfox on New Post version 1 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with a–k) · 2011-07-30T17:05:45.023Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

...I didn't? Drat. Sorry.

This is what I get for not looking over my own comments before I post them. I'll be more vigilant in the future.

Comment by lucidfox on On Expressing Your Concerns · 2011-07-30T17:04:32.587Z · score: 6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

In Russia and China one can be shot for being different.

I think you might need to update your beliefs about Russia. The ones you seem to have are stuck in the 1930s-1940s.

Comment by lucidfox on P(X = exact value) = 0: Is it really counterintuitive? · 2011-07-30T11:17:56.169Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If Newton tried to derive his law purely from empirical measurements, then yes, he would never be exactly sure (ignoring general relativity for a moment) that the exponent is exactly 2. For all he would know, it could actually be 2.00000145...

But that would be like trying to derive the value of pi or the exponents in the Pythagorean theorem by measuring physical circles and triangles. If the law of gravity is derived from more general axioms, then its form can be computed exactly provided that these axioms are correct.

Comment by lucidfox on LW systemic bias: US centrism · 2011-07-30T10:27:51.093Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see discussion posts as being inherently of lesser value and lesser impact to readers than promoted posts. I judge posts based on their content and the points they bring up, not by their location on the site.

Comment by lucidfox on [Conversation Log] Compartmentalization · 2011-07-30T10:10:31.752Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If you only accept beliefs that are implied by your existing ones, you'll never believe anything new. And as such, you'll stop updating your beliefs.

Comment by lucidfox on Polarized gamma rays and manifest infinity · 2011-07-30T08:44:38.700Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

galactic intellectual property law

Be precise. Do you mean galactic patent law, galactic copyright law, or galactic trademark law?

Comment by lucidfox on New Post version 1 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with a–k) · 2011-07-30T06:07:55.241Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I said "to the effect of". I didn't mean literally the same wording.

Comment by lucidfox on New Post version 1 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with a–k) · 2011-07-30T05:00:41.445Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I sympathize with your distaste for taking apart love to see what it's made from

More like distaste for trying to reduce love to something it's not. You cannot reduce an abstract, complex facet of human experience to something simple and easily definable, otherwise you make yourself vulnerable to utopia plans that are doomed to fail.

People I showed lukeprog's original post to were universal in their reaction: "Wow, talk about neckbeardery".

As for PUA, I won't comment on that. If all you care about is one-night stands, then I guess you can be cynical about that. Actual love is a different matter entirely.

Comment by lucidfox on [Conversation Log] Compartmentalization · 2011-07-30T04:32:48.465Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

whereupon if I'm playing WOW, I roleplay an elf. <...> If I'm on LessWrong, I roleplay a rationalist.

Or you can roleplay a rationalist elf in WoW. :)

A long time ago, back before I quit WoW, I roleplayed an atheist draenei who refused to believe in the night elf goddess Elune. The catch here is that we players know she actually exists in the setting, because Blizzard told us so, but the characters would have no way of verifying this since she never appeared in the world in person. From my character's point of view, the magical powers that priests of Elune attributed to their goddess were actually (unknown to them) given to them by other, non-personified sources of power followed by other priests in the setting.

Comment by lucidfox on Looking for proof of conditional probability · 2011-07-30T04:19:52.329Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

P(A|B) = P(A|~B) is equivalent to the classic definition of independence, and intuitively it means that "whether B happens or not, it doesn't affect the likelihood of A happening".

I guess that since other basic probability concepts are defined in terms of set operations (union and intersection), and independence lacks a similar obvious explanation in terms of sets and measure, I wanted to find one.

Comment by lucidfox on P(X = exact value) = 0: Is it really counterintuitive? · 2011-07-30T03:56:13.976Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

What do metric users round to when measuring lengths? Millimeters?

Depends. In casual use, typically centimeters. But yes, as muflax said, metric rulers have individual millimeters marked, and typically they mark half-centimeters with slightly longer bars.

Comment by lucidfox on P(X = exact value) = 0: Is it really counterintuitive? · 2011-07-29T18:13:51.220Z · score: 3 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I implicitly meant a continuous distribution. Clarified that in the post now.

Concretely, if you're measuring the length of something with a ruler, you probably just round to the nearest 1/16th of an inch.

As someone who lives in the dangerous and uncharted part of the world called "outside the US', I prefer centimeters. ;)

Comment by lucidfox on P(X = exact value) = 0: Is it really counterintuitive? · 2011-07-29T18:07:59.938Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Her confusion.

Comment by lucidfox on P(X = exact value) = 0: Is it really counterintuitive? · 2011-07-29T13:12:25.942Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When I read thakll's post, I thought they indeed meant the mathematical definition of "almost surely". The domain of an event with probability zero is indeed "almost nowhere" in the rigorous sense, since it is a measure-zero set.

Comment by lucidfox on Looking for proof of conditional probability · 2011-07-29T08:40:36.230Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Now, a hopefully intuitive explanation of independent events.

By definition, A is independent from B if P(A|B) = P(A), or equivalently P(AB) = P(A)P(B). What does it mean in terms of measures?

It is easy to prove that if A is independent from B, then A is also independent from ~B: P(A|~B) = P(A ~B) / P(~B) = (P(A) - P(AB)) / (1 - P(B)) = (P(A) - P(A)P(B)) / (1 - P(B)) = P(A).

Therefore, A is independent from B iff P(A) = P(AB) / P(B) = P(A ~B) / P(~B), which implies that P(AB) / P(A ~B) = P(B) / P(~B).

Geometrically, it means that A intersects B and ~B with subsets of measures proportionate to the measures of B and ~B. So if P(B) = 1/4, then 1/4 of A lies in B, and the remaining 3/4 in ~B. And if B and ~B are equally likely, then A lies in equal shares of both.

And from an information-theoretic perspective, this geometric interpetation means that knowing whether B or ~B happened gives us no information about the relative likelihood of A, since it will be equally likely to occur in the renormalized outcome space either way.

Comment by lucidfox on Looking for proof of conditional probability · 2011-07-29T08:16:48.230Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

...Oops, yes, said that without thinking. But this

Basically, P(A|B) = 0 when A and B are disjoint, and P(A|C)/P(B|C) = P(A)/P(B) when A and B are subsets of C?

is correct.

Comment by lucidfox on Looking for proof of conditional probability · 2011-07-29T06:26:10.916Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

and P(A|C)/P(B|C) = P(A)/P(B) when A and B are subsets of C?

When A is a subset of C, P(A|C) = P(A).

Comment by lucidfox on Looking for proof of conditional probability · 2011-07-29T02:13:44.933Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with the OP: simply defining a probability concept doesn't by itself map it to our intuitions about it. For example, if we defined P(A|B) = P(AB) / 2P(B), it wouldn't correspond to our intuitions, and here's why.

Intuitively, P(A|B) is the probability of A happening if we know that B already happened. In other words, the entirety of the elementary outcome space we're taking into consideration now are those that correspond to B. Of those remaining elementary outcomes, the only ones that can lead to A are those that lie in AB. Their measure in absolute terms is equal to P(AB); however, their measure in relation to the elementary outcomes in B is equal to P(AB)/P(B).

Thus, P(A|B) is P(A) as it would be if the only elementary outcomes in existence were those yielding B. P(B) here is a normalizing coefficient: if we were evaluating the conditional probability of A in relation to a set of exhaustive and mutually exclusive experimental outcomes, as it is done in Bayesian reasoning, dividing by P(B) means renormalizing the elementary outcome space after B is fixed.

Comment by lucidfox on New Post version 1 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with a–k) · 2011-07-28T13:39:12.134Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

I'm actually staggered by the amount of so-called "dating advice" on LW in the first place.

Comment by lucidfox on New Post version 1 (please read this ONLY if your last name beings with a–k) · 2011-07-28T13:30:08.536Z · score: -6 (18 votes) · LW · GW

This whole post is disturbing to me for several reasons, the least of which is the analysis of relationships - which, to me, have always been emotional, passionate moments - by talking like a machine about optimal universes and utilons. Even Spock wasn't that cold. This is simply not what rationality means to me.

The most disturbing reason is seeing this post commit such fallacies of sexism as stereotyping and othering. Attempts to pigeonhole the mind-boggling diversity of romantic relationships into premade cookie-cutter recipes are at best doomed to failure and at worst show, if not something so drastic as objectification, at least a failure of empathy, since to the author it only extends to the "us"-group and not to the "them"-group.

Comment by lucidfox on If your Cryonicism would be Movie Topic, would you go with it? (Real Issue) · 2011-07-27T08:37:31.246Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

May defame my image with women (who would date an immortalist after all .....)

...

Comment by lucidfox on Help me transition to human society! · 2011-07-25T03:36:47.444Z · score: -4 (14 votes) · LW · GW

I have better things to do than looking at karma points and seeing who's considered privileged on this site and who isn't.

Such as writing meaningful posts here. As opposed to roleplaying distracting from real content.

This, if anything, cements my belief that LW is not the right place for me.

Comment by lucidfox on Help me transition to human society! · 2011-07-25T01:52:07.579Z · score: 3 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Speak for yourself.

Comment by lucidfox on Help me transition to human society! · 2011-07-24T17:14:03.704Z · score: 13 (35 votes) · LW · GW

I think you're taking this roleplaying thing too far.

Comment by lucidfox on LW systemic bias: US centrism · 2011-07-21T15:30:40.821Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How exactly is it wrong?

Comment by lucidfox on LW's image problem: "Rationality" is suspicious · 2011-07-20T05:57:09.140Z · score: -2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Except the agenda of the fraction I'm speaking about is not "technology will not destroy the world". It's "friendly AI and uploads will lead us to a bright perfect techno-utopia". And as I said multiple times before, I don't buy it.

Comment by lucidfox on How to solve the national debt deadlock · 2011-07-19T18:53:54.074Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

How to solve the national debt deadlock

In GetDefaultCountry()?

Comment by lucidfox on LW's image problem: "Rationality" is suspicious · 2011-07-19T18:52:39.172Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Wouldn't dropping the rationality tagline instead convince people even more thoroughly that it's not actually about rationality, but rather something else?

That being said, I agree with those concerns. LW doesn't have an agenda per se (beyond being sponsored by the SIAI), but the LW majority clearly does. While harsh, "a bunch of fringe technophiles" accurately describes a significant, and vocal, fraction of people here.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-19T06:41:13.909Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, my fault for misspelling it.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T12:30:43.101Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It is desire, more or less - if someone believes they already have body parts they actually don't, now that's a delusion. However, calling it "desire" implicitly implies that fulfilling it is optional for their well-being, and that it's somehow okay to treat them the way they don't want to be treated until then.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T12:29:18.956Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

If you can offer a rigorous, general procedure for that, I'm willing to listen.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T12:22:47.252Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Moreover, if nobody can know my mind better than I, this is a big problem. It means psychology hasn't advanced enough.

Psychology hasn't advanced enough. It's been discussed here on LW over and over again. It is ultimately based on an inherent degree of subjectivity and something more akin to a collection of best practices than actual science.

And most important - this is completely useless when you're trying to know your own mind. Some people regret transitioning and go back.

Transitioning is always a risk - the best that can be done is minimizing the likelihood of such an event by carefully evaluating the pros and cons beforehand.

And while it is a therapist making the final decision, it is ultimately based on self-diagnosis. If you don't realize you have gender identity problems, nobody else will do it for you.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T11:28:16.231Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The Wikipedia articles "Gender" and "Gender identity", as well as their external links, would be a good start - as well as my previous post on LW, "Gender Identity and Rationality", and its discussion area.

As for religion, despite being an atheist myself, I'm not going to assume the hardline "atheism or bust" stance and instead I'll politely decline to derail the thread.

The most important difference is that religion involves people making conclusions about nonexistent (from an atheist's point of view) external entities, while gender identity involves people making conclusions about their own minds - and who can know your mind better than yourself?

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T11:26:00.592Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

It means taking averages over such an extremely diverse sample that the results end up having no real meaning - like literal average temperature per hospital, which includes sampling over corpses in the morgue and severe fever sufferers. So if the average temperature hospital 1 turns out to be 0.1 degrees higher than in hospital 2, it tells us nothing about the relative distribution of patient traits in each hospital.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T11:19:36.286Z · score: -5 (21 votes) · LW · GW

So transsexualism is a "delusion" now? I honestly suggest you do some research before posting arrogant statements like that.

And if you have any way ready to "cure" it other than transition, I'll be interested in hearing it - and so will be psychiatrists all over the world, I'd imagine.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T11:09:55.687Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

There is an expression in Russian net folklore: "average temperature per hospital". This is, in effect, what you'd be measuring here.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T10:55:04.340Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Ignoring for a minute that such a test would be infeasible to realistically implement (good luck getting so many trans volunteers), it is loaded with cultural assumptions, a vague definition of "typical", and it ignores such issues as experience in the target gender role, skill in the language of the test, and culture-specific stereotypes and presuppositions.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T09:40:08.854Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Choosing to be treated the way society should treat women, if it puts sexist prejudices aside, or the way women have traditionally been treated?

(And going in the other direction, FTMs might be interpreted by conservative men as an attack on their male privilege.)

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T09:38:29.654Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Comparing furries/otherkin etc. with transsexualism is normally something you will hear as an attack from people that do not accept transsexualism.

I've heard the argument from both sides, including from otherkin who seek social acceptance based on that comparison.

I personally have no doubt the society has to accept and help transsexuals, but I'm ambivalent in case of otherkin - primarily because I find it difficult to empathize with their patterns of thought.

Comment by lucidfox on Transsexuals and otherkin · 2011-07-15T09:33:45.153Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This seems to agree with your intuitions: In a Turing test you can probably distinguish females and males in which case most transsexuals hopefully come out as the gender they consider themselves do be

Distinguish based on what attributes, exactly? Can you suggest contents for such a test?

Comment by lucidfox on Why don't automobiles decelerate faster when necessary? · 2011-07-13T06:23:20.946Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

SI units aren't "units I prefer", it's an international standard. What if I claimed that same defense when making a post with measurements given in pre-revolution Russian units? "Come on, arshins and sazhens are totally on Wikipedia!"