Comment by luispedro on Pittsburgh meetup Nov. 20 · 2010-11-20T17:17:37.256Z · LW · GW

I'd like to come. Where is it?

Comment by luispedro on Error detection bias in research · 2010-09-25T18:50:41.807Z · LW · GW

Different fields have different standards. Some are more exacting than others and require full release of source code, have standard hidden-data competitions, have a culture of reviewing the software and attempting to reproduce &c (not all of the above is applicable to all fields). Others, not so much: you publish by giving a high level description of something you coded and people believe that you did it correctly and didn't spend hours looking for the parameters that gave you the prettiest graph. Debugging by "hacking 'til the graph is publishable" is, unfortunately, too common in some of those fields.

Many scientists are completely unaware of anything other than their field and will claim that "this is the it's done" whilst they only mean "this is the way that people in my narrow sub-field do it if they want to get published".

Comment by luispedro on The Instrumental Value of Your Own Time · 2010-07-16T07:47:30.768Z · LW · GW

I think most of the low-wage work that people do is in doing things like driving 25 minutes to Costco or Wal-Mart to save a few bucks. Sometimes, this doesn't even come to minimum wage.

Comment by luispedro on A Much Better Life? · 2010-02-04T15:35:12.905Z · LW · GW

I can't help but always associate discussions of an experience machine (in whatever form it takes) to television. TV was just the alpha version of the experience machine and I hear it's quite popular.

This is more tongue-in-cheek than a serious argument, but I do think that TV shows that people will trade pleasure or even emotional numbness (lack of pain) for authenticity.

Comment by luispedro on High Status and Stupidity: Why? · 2010-01-13T13:51:56.378Z · LW · GW

Sorry, should have added a link, but I have heard it/read it multiple times:

"""In his younger years, Gates' gimlet-eyed idealism manifested itself in stubbornness and self-righteousness, an unusual boldness, and a tendency not to suffer fools. Most people who have worked closely with him can recall more than one instance in which he reacted to a comment or idea by standing up and hissing, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life.""""

Comment by luispedro on High Status and Stupidity: Why? · 2010-01-12T22:44:22.512Z · LW · GW

High status allows one to blow off what one finds ridiculous instead of saying "yes, that is interesting. Have you considered the counter argument...." The moderate risk of the idea not being ridiculous is out-weighed by not having to suffer fools. See Bill Gates famous "That's the most stupid thing I have ever heard" as the prime example.

Thus, it's easier to have good conversations with grad students than faculty even if faculty is smarter.

Comment by luispedro on High Status and Stupidity: Why? · 2010-01-12T22:38:19.900Z · LW · GW

Is there any data supporting the assertion that high-status people are more stupid? It's a testable hypothesis.

Comment by luispedro on Mandating Information Disclosure vs. Banning Deceptive Contract Terms · 2009-12-21T07:31:51.270Z · LW · GW

"""being one day late with a payment or being one dollar over your credit limit jumps your interest rate to 29.99% forever"""

I hear this all the time as an example of wicked behaviour, but I wonder if people have data to back it up. Is there no signal in missing a payment by a few days? I know that if I were to miss a payment, it would be due to some minor issue such as I having been out of town when the bill arrived or such. The credit card company only knows that the payment didn't arrive. Add in a bit of modelling stupidity (having an input boolean variable PAYMENT_LATE into the model) and you might get a jacking up of prices as the rational response.

All my credit cards jacked up their interest rates pre-emptively after the new regulations were announced (not that I have ever carried a balance on any of them). This indicates that it was not only about bait-n-switch (some of those cards, I have had for years).

I am honestly asking for data, not being knee-jerk pro-credit-card-companies.

Comment by luispedro on Share Your Anti-Akrasia Tricks · 2009-05-16T18:48:41.002Z · LW · GW

I write a time journal of what I am doing throughout the day, counting productive times. Whenever I start doing something not productive (reading a not-strictly-work-related website, say), I write down that I stopped working. When I reach 5 hours of work, I go home (I often go home before that, though).

I thought I could accustom myself to being productive and drop the journal after a couple of months, but I never managed to. Whenever I try, I go back to procrastination.

Comment by luispedro on Natural Selection's Speed Limit and Complexity Bound · 2007-11-06T00:46:00.000Z · LW · GW

Most of our DNA is shared with all eukariots, so it was evolved before mammals existed.

Comment by luispedro on Positive Bias: Look Into the Dark · 2007-08-28T11:30:21.000Z · LW · GW

Building on the previous commenter:

Through playing various games of this sort, people develop a prior on the space of rules which has a lot of mass around rules of the type "X,X+2,X+4" or "X,2X,3X".