Pigliucci's comment on Yudkowsky's and Dai's stance on morality and logic 2013-01-05T08:05:49.246Z
LessWrong Wiki as Anki deck 2012-09-05T21:11:06.174Z
[video] Robin Hanson: Uploads Economics 101 2012-08-05T21:00:02.708Z
Summary thread for Coursera classes 2012-07-17T18:40:18.239Z
Beer with Charlie Stross in Munich 2012-06-15T06:42:23.289Z
Paper: Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma contains strategies that dominate any evolutionary opponent 2012-06-02T20:50:07.098Z
Less Wrong: The podcast 2012-06-01T20:33:49.518Z


Comment by mapnoterritory on Evaluating the feasibility of SI's plan · 2013-01-11T08:31:03.311Z · LW · GW

I used diigo for annotation before clearly had highlighting. Now, just as you, use diigo for link storage and Evernote for content storage. Diigo annotation has still the advantage that it excerpts the text you highlight. With Clearly if I want to have the highlighted parts I have to find and manually select them again... Also tagging from clearly requires 5 or so clicks which is ridiculous... But I hope it will get fixed.

I plan to use pocket once I get a tablet... it is pretty and convenient, but the most likely to get cut out of the workflow.

Thanks for the evernote import function - I'll look into it, maybe it could make the Evenote - org-mode integration tighter. Even then, having 3 separate systems is not quite optimal...

Comment by mapnoterritory on Evaluating the feasibility of SI's plan · 2013-01-11T08:22:32.220Z · LW · GW

Of course your already have an answer. Thanks!

Comment by mapnoterritory on Evaluating the feasibility of SI's plan · 2013-01-10T23:33:15.798Z · LW · GW

Would love to read a gwern-essay on your archiving system. I use evernote, org-mode, diigo and pocket and just can't get them streamlined into a nice workflow. If evernote adopted diigo-like highlighting and let me seamlessly edit with Emacs/org-mode that would be perfect... but alas until then I'm stuck with this mess of a kludge. Teach us master, please!

Comment by mapnoterritory on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-05T20:16:55.456Z · LW · GW

A data point from me: I was much more stressed when I had my emails joint. I'd say that in the long run you want to have them separated even if you really enjoy your job.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Pigliucci's comment on Yudkowsky's and Dai's stance on morality and logic · 2013-01-05T20:13:15.201Z · LW · GW

Fair enough, though it is really hard to say what's supposed to go to the open thread (which really should be sticky so that it is bit more accesible). Massimo Pigliucci is a fairly known figure in the rationalist/skeptic/naturalist community. That doesn't mean that I endorse his views (by far not - and not specifically for this article).

As a counter-example a seemingly random comment on an somehwat related blog got a full blown reply from Luke (meaning his reply to Mark Linsenmayer), though part of your critique is that I didn't comment on the article (unlike Luke), which is fair enough - the reason being that I'm not familiar enough with Eliezer's original post.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-26T13:28:37.861Z · LW · GW

Thank you vary much. I'll have a look at the appendix (the FAQ along more of your writings are on my ever expanding reading lists...). Thank you for all the work and thought you put into it!

Comment by mapnoterritory on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-25T14:26:36.483Z · LW · GW

Sorry, it wasn't clear from how I asked the question but I wanted a 2 sentence summary.... Gwern's FAQ is a monumental piece of work but the question is if it is even worth reading 50k words long document about it?

Comment by mapnoterritory on [LINK] Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations · 2012-12-24T14:11:51.154Z · LW · GW

I agree and tried to be careful saying "some people" (which is not exactly good practice, I know). As I noted below Motl is a fascinating specimen. I certainly don't consider him to be a an authority on who is a crackpot or not, nor do I agree with many of his opinions or methods.

Still I think it is a strange mix of authors for this topic.

Comment by mapnoterritory on [LINK] Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations · 2012-12-24T09:33:53.027Z · LW · GW

Gosh, thanks, fixed it... I know I'm not the first to screw this up, but still...

Yes, Motl has to be handled with lot's of care, though usually as far as physics goes I find him alright (unlike say climate change and a bunch of other stuff). His tone can be off-putting, but I see him still as a useful contrarian in some areas and generally an interesting case study of an extremely bright person with some strange opinions and a very... interesting personality (to put it mildly).

Comment by mapnoterritory on [LINK] Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations · 2012-12-23T21:03:52.832Z · LW · GW

It is strange that "Forty Years of String Theory: Reflecting on the Foundations" doesn't have any of the bigger names from string theory (particularly, no Ed Witten?), but has pretty much the full list of controversial (some people would say outright currently crackpotish[1]) names like 't Hooft, Verlinde, Smolin and lately also Susskind. I am not picking sides, but this raises all sorts of red flags about it. I bet Motl will be all over this.

I'll have a look at Susskind's paper, particularly if he is railing against reductionism.

[1] 't Hooft's and Susskind's contributions to modern theoretical physics can't be understated, but their general reputation suffered in recent years.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-23T19:34:20.539Z · LW · GW

Does somebody happen to have an overview of the current consensus on Dual N-Back? My understanding is that the impact on IQ is not solidly established. What about working memory? Is there solid evidence for transfer? Is it wort a) learning more about it b) actually spend time on training if you have a cognitively demanding job (analysis/programming)? Thank you!

Comment by mapnoterritory on Two Anki plugins to reinforce reviewing (updated) · 2012-12-04T10:39:51.250Z · LW · GW

I've been long thinking about strengthening Anki with gamification. Have a score display, encouraging messages, bonuses and achievements for answer speed, correct-answer chains etc.

I'll try your ideas!

Comment by mapnoterritory on [LINK] IBM simulate a "brain" with 500 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses · 2012-11-22T09:19:01.160Z · LW · GW

I actually never heard about non-von Neumann architectures. Anybody has some tip on a good source on this? Especially how this relates to biological brain architectures? Thank you!

Comment by mapnoterritory on November 2012 Media Thread · 2012-11-02T08:48:30.285Z · LW · GW

Since we still don't have a lectures/talks thread I put it here:

The Singularity Summit 2012


  • Singularity Summit: Opening Remarks with Nathan Labenz
  • Temple Grandin: How Different People Think Differently
  • Singularity Summit: Olah, Deming & Other Thiel Fellows
  • Julia Galef: Rationality and the Future
  • Luke Muehlhauser: The Singularity, Promise and Peril
  • Linda Avey: Personal Genomics
  • Steven Pinker: A History of Vio
  • Ray Kurzweil: How to Create a Mind
  • Q&A: Economist Daniel Kahneman, the Pioneer of Heuristics
  • Melanie Mitchell: AI and the Barrier of Meaning
  • Author Carl Zimmer: Our Viral Future
  • Robin Hanson: Extraordinary Society of Emulated Minds
  • Jaan Tallinn: Why Now? A Quest in Metaphysics
  • John Wilbanks: Your Health, Your Data, Your Choices
  • Stuart Armstrong: How We're Predicting AI
  • Vernor Vinge: Who's Afraid of First Movers?
  • Peter Norvig: Channeling the Flood of Data
Comment by mapnoterritory on Things philosophers have debated · 2012-11-01T20:05:55.906Z · LW · GW

Graham Priest interview with Julia Galef and Massimo Pigliucci on paraconsitency and dialetheism:

Comment by mapnoterritory on If we live in a simulation, what does that imply? · 2012-10-26T06:55:47.109Z · LW · GW

Just for fun a recent paper:

Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation

Silas R. Beane, Zohreh Davoudi, Martin J. Savage (Submitted on 4 Oct 2012) Observable consequences of the hypothesis that the observed universe is a numerical simulation performed on a cubic space-time lattice or grid are explored. The simulation scenario is first motivated by extrapolating current trends in computational resource requirements for lattice QCD into the future. Using the historical development of lattice gauge theory technology as a guide, we assume that our universe is an early numerical simulation with unimproved Wilson fermion discretization and investigate potentially-observable consequences. Among the observables that are considered are the muon g-2 and the current differences between determinations of alpha, but the most stringent bound on the inverse lattice spacing of the universe, b^(-1) >~ 10^(11) GeV, is derived from the high-energy cut off of the cosmic ray spectrum. The numerical simulation scenario could reveal itself in the distributions of the highest energy cosmic rays exhibiting a degree of rotational symmetry breaking that reflects the structure of the underlying lattice.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Open Thread, October 1-15, 2012 · 2012-10-14T16:54:33.993Z · LW · GW


An indepth description of CogPrime's architecture by Ben Goertzel: CogPrime: An Integrative Architecture for Embodied Artificial General Intelligence

Comment by mapnoterritory on Meetup : Munich Meetup, October 28th · 2012-10-13T08:18:08.336Z · LW · GW

Same with me... So it'd be at least 2 of us!

Comment by mapnoterritory on [Poll] Less Wrong and Mainstream Philosophy: How Different are We? · 2012-09-26T13:31:00.888Z · LW · GW

Is there somewhere a glossary for all the questions? That would be very helpful (beyond this survey).

Also - there was already a similar thread:

The comments have some answers (though not in a convenient machine readable form).

Comment by mapnoterritory on Meetup : Munich Meetup, October 28th · 2012-09-25T09:39:20.040Z · LW · GW

Oh no! First Meetup I could attend... except I can't on the 6th... I just hope the next one won't be again in a year...

Comment by mapnoterritory on Life-changing decisions pertaining to education. Help. · 2012-09-23T13:03:55.474Z · LW · GW

Have you encountered specific instances where asking such a question in the open thread didn't provoke a desired response?

No, I haven't. Actually, I very rarely check the open thread (though trying to rectify this). I think it might help to have this (and maybe a couple other recurring threads) to be sticky.

If there was enough personal questions it might be worth to have a thread for them. If one of the aims of LW is to improve life via rationality, this is well aligned and likely a useful thing. How to properly ask such a questions would have to be worked out too...

Comment by mapnoterritory on Life-changing decisions pertaining to education. Help. · 2012-09-22T07:08:05.150Z · LW · GW

I've been long time thinking about asking whether we could have something like a "Ask the LWers" thread where you could post personal questions in hope to get some helpful rational outside view.

Comment by mapnoterritory on LessWrong Wiki as Anki deck · 2012-09-06T19:47:02.814Z · LW · GW

As said - the deck is not intended to serve for memorization of the definitions as they appear in the wiki, but to get acquainted with the concepts.

This is how I approach also other LessWrong decks (those listed in the wiki for example). It is a bit different from the type of information for which Anki is actually best applicable such as learning vocabulary, capital cities etc.

The default rate in Anki is ~20 new cards - creating this amount of proper cards daily is a huge time barrier (at least for me... even at 10/day).

That been said it woud be great to have a proper Anki deck with the LessWrong glossary.

Comment by mapnoterritory on LessWrong Wiki as Anki deck · 2012-09-06T05:32:24.179Z · LW · GW

This is something I didn't thought of... I can include a copy of the licence in the google docs directory, but is it enough?

Curiously the licences page: linked from the LessWrongwiki:Copyrights page is empty...

Comment by mapnoterritory on How To Actually Change Your Mind eBook (In Order) · 2012-09-04T07:35:33.070Z · LW · GW

Most (maybe all?) sequences are available in alternative formats here:

There is also a huge single file version of all Eliezer's post up to end 2010 here:

Comment by mapnoterritory on What Are You Doing for Self-Quantification? · 2012-08-29T21:09:31.200Z · LW · GW

I'm using rescuetime to track my work. I use pomodoro only if I can't really get myself to start working on a task (helps only rarely), if I get working I turn it off because it brakes my flow... I keep a detailed todo list in org-mode.

I also keep a weekly gratitude list.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Can we teach Rationality at the University of Reddit? · 2012-08-21T06:34:58.896Z · LW · GW

I think this is a great idea. Depending on CFAR's objectives this could be worth a significant effort.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Paper: Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma contains strategies that dominate any evolutionary opponent · 2012-08-16T16:23:45.376Z · LW · GW

An investigation of evolutionary stability of the ZD strategies can be found in this preprint.

Comment by mapnoterritory on [video] Robin Hanson: Uploads Economics 101 · 2012-08-06T07:36:43.837Z · LW · GW

Thanks! I didn't actually know about the open thread but felt that it might not be best to post in the discusion. Still think a lecture thread would be the best place for posts like this one.

Comment by mapnoterritory on August 2012 Media Thread · 2012-08-05T21:07:02.290Z · LW · GW

Could/Should we have a "Lecture/Talks/Discussion" thread for videos/audio/transcripts of talks and discussions? "Other media" sounds too broad and this could be big enough to merit it's own thread. Documentary movies are another item that could go under this (or stay under Movies and TV).

Comment by mapnoterritory on Summary thread for Coursera classes · 2012-07-17T20:38:40.092Z · LW · GW

I'm doing now Model Thinking. It's rather slowly paced and very superficial (but also quite broad - this is fine with me, I wanted to get some overview of modeling in social sciences). I watch it on top speed while doing dishes or some other work and that way it is okay, but for sure not enough meat for "deep studying".

Comment by mapnoterritory on Dual N-Back browser-based "game" in public alpha-testing state. · 2012-07-10T15:00:07.729Z · LW · GW

A decent (randomized, has placebo control) recent article finding no transfer here (pdf). Not saying this is the final word on dual-n-back but enough for me to spend time elsewhere until more evidence comes in....

Comment by mapnoterritory on Stupid Questions Open Thread Round 3 · 2012-07-09T22:05:46.040Z · LW · GW

Thumbs up from me for lesswrong-mode!

Comment by mapnoterritory on Group rationality diary, 6/25/12 · 2012-06-27T17:59:55.874Z · LW · GW

If you are Emacs user then this does what you need: pomodoro.el.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Group rationality diary, 6/25/12 · 2012-06-26T21:19:59.259Z · LW · GW

This is interesting. Today was my first day of pomodoro usage (I use Rescue Time since a while). Afternoon I just decided to switch it off because I found it to kill my flow... That been said the reason why I started with pomodoro today was because I was procrastinating and used the time to try several pomodoro timers. My problem is getting started and hoped that setting myself to just do 1 pomodoro would make it easier to get going (which it didn't help...).

But once I am going I can work easily more than an hour without distractions (this I know from Rescue Time) and maybe pomodoro won't be a good solution for me. Stil it was just a first day, will try again, maybe also experiment with longer work units...

Comment by mapnoterritory on Group rationality diary, 5/14/12 · 2012-06-26T09:30:13.943Z · LW · GW

Hi, I'm bit late to this discussion, but this sounds like something that I could try to implement. Do you know whether these techniques are written up somewhere (I know pomodoro, but I mean the notice/reward part)? What constitues a reward? Thank you!

Comment by mapnoterritory on Blogs by LWers · 2012-06-22T11:41:06.171Z · LW · GW

gwern is at Very good content!

Comment by mapnoterritory on The Power of Reinforcement · 2012-06-22T06:48:19.346Z · LW · GW

Yes, I think so and apparently so does Kahneman. I don't think this is particularly controversial. Kahneman does say that positive reinforcement is more efficient (both in animals and humans).

Comment by mapnoterritory on The Power of Reinforcement · 2012-06-21T19:30:51.039Z · LW · GW

Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow:

I had stumbled onto a significant fact of the human condition: the feedback to which life exposes us is perverse. Because we tend to be nice to other people when they please us and nasty when they do not, we are statistically punished for being nice and rewarded for being nasty.

There reason for that lies in regression to the mean when training (example of flight instructors in the israel airforce):

I pointed out to the instructors that what they saw on the board coincided with what we had heard about the performance of aerobatic maneuvers on successive attempts: poor performance was typically followed by improvement and good performance by deterioration, without any help from either praise or punishment.

Since positive reinforcement is so counterintuitive: don't forget to reward yourself for rewarding somebody for good behaviour! :)

Comment by mapnoterritory on Beer with Charlie Stross in Munich · 2012-06-15T18:41:19.264Z · LW · GW

Me neither. I am actually not familiar with his work, but knew he is known in the singularity/transhumanism camp. I've heard two discussions with him (with Paul Krugman and on Singularity on 1 on 1) and he came across as well articulated and with a decent understanding of the issues. He talked about how he changed his mind and grew more skeptical of singularity, but I don't know what causes this hostile reaction... :) Oh well...

Comment by mapnoterritory on Wanted: "The AIs will need humans" arguments · 2012-06-14T12:36:49.796Z · LW · GW

Note that this claim is distinct from the claim that (due to general economic theory) it's more beneficial for the AIs to trade with us than to destroy us. We already have enough citations for that argument, what we're looking for are arguments saying that destroying humans would mean losing something essentially irreplaceable.

I don't think there are particularly good arguments in this department (those two quoted one are certainly not correct). Except the trade argument it might happen that it would be uneconomic for AGI to harvest atoms from our bodies.

As for "essentially irreplaceable" - in a very particular sense the exact arrangement of particles each second of every human being is "unique" and "essentially irreplaceable" (bar now quantum mechanics). An extreme "archivist/rare art collector/Jain monk" AI might want to keep therefore these collections (or some of their snapshots), but I don't see this to be too compelling. I am sure we could win a lot of sympathy if AGI could be shown to automatically entail some sort of ultimate compassion, but I think it is more likely we have to make it so (hence the FAI effort).

If I want to be around to see the last moments of Sun, I will feel a sting of guilt that the Universe is slightly less efficient because it is running me, rather than using those resources for some better, deeper experiencing, more seeing observer.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Paper: Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma contains strategies that dominate any evolutionary opponent · 2012-06-06T07:02:48.583Z · LW · GW

Thanks, this is a very useful explanation!

Comment by mapnoterritory on Paper: Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma contains strategies that dominate any evolutionary opponent · 2012-06-03T17:19:58.252Z · LW · GW

Alright, thank you. As far as the last paragraph goes, I took it of course more on the "metaphorical" level. I agree their evolutionary agent might be too restricted to be fully interesting (though it is valuable if their inferiority is demonstrated analytically not only from simulations).

Since it seems you have lot's of experience with IPD, what do you think about the case B)? The paper makes the claim specifically for the ZD strategies, but do you think this "superrationally" result could generalize to any strategy which has also a theory of mind? On the other hand Hofstadter's idea was in the context of one-shot PD, so this might be not apply in general at all... I need to learn more about this subject...

Comment by mapnoterritory on Less Wrong: The podcast · 2012-06-02T20:55:15.661Z · LW · GW

The assumption is that at least part of the panel already have the relevant domain specific knowledge. There is some time investment to re-read and prepare for the discusion of course (plus the technical part of editing etc.). A monthly podcast could be possibly doable.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Welcome to Less Wrong! · 2012-06-02T07:02:11.198Z · LW · GW

Hi everybody,

I've been lurking here for maybe a year and joined recently. I work as an astrophysicist and I am interested in statistics, decision theory, machine learning, cognitive and neuro-psychology, AI research and many others (I just wish I had more time for all these interests). I find LW to be a great resource and it introduced me to many interesting concepts. I am also interested in articles on improving productivity and well-being.

I haven't yet attended any meet-up, but if there was one in Munich I'd try to come.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Less Wrong: The podcast · 2012-06-02T06:45:41.749Z · LW · GW

I'd certainly willing to help somehow, but my wording was careful on purpose - I haven't yet gotten through all the sequences and don't think I could contribute much to the discussion at this stage. But I'd like to help with organizing and making this work.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Less Wrong: The podcast · 2012-06-02T06:40:51.130Z · LW · GW

I have no experience with podcasting but was assuming that this is a lot of work. I now think a monthly podcast would be better and more feasible than a bi-weekly one. I was reluctant to post this suggestion because I know I don't have the knowledge and time to drive it, but I hoped that there could be people in the audience who might like the idea and could bring it to fruition.

Comment by mapnoterritory on Biased Pandemic · 2012-03-14T20:47:59.090Z · LW · GW

I'd recommend to post this variant to to reach a wider audience. The "variants" forum for Pandemic is here. Kudos on the bias list, it's really well done!