[Event] Meeting in Myrhorod, November 16 2019-10-06T08:45:59.527Z · score: 3 (1 votes)
Lyubarsky intro 2019-03-09T11:13:31.075Z · score: 6 (4 votes)
Have a camel! 2019-02-28T19:25:05.476Z · score: 12 (7 votes)
Describing things: parsimony, fruitfulness, and adaptability 2019-02-05T20:59:01.345Z · score: 1 (1 votes)
What observations do you as a customer would expect to matter, if your experience was 1000 times "stronger"? 2019-01-01T22:03:39.480Z · score: 4 (2 votes)


Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open & Welcome Thread - November 2019 · 2019-11-17T17:45:22.532Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How do you determine your "tiredness backlog"? When I am lack sleep, it seems that I have been so for decades (school days etc.), but obviously there's a limit to how much I can get back. (And the official stance on parenthood here is "oh you knew what you were getting into", so... hopeless, really.) And it is really easy to imagine that backlog small or large, there's no measure.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Curse Of The Counterfactual · 2019-11-14T16:33:22.944Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not directly related to the specific question above, but as I do have a twin I do know that there's nothing to be done that I won't be able to regret. We envy each other and we both know it... and so 'shoulds' don't work just because they never have.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Curse Of The Counterfactual · 2019-11-13T19:20:27.554Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But doesn't it make you feel a bit deader? I mean, it's much easier to think "I wish he loved me more" when "he" is dead and can't "love you less" once again? That's how I came to just not paying moral attention to my father. I don't want to keep thinking "but I guess he just... didn't".

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Integrity and accountability are core parts of rationality · 2019-08-24T17:55:59.673Z · score: -1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(Kind of brought to mind The Godfather, which happens to be the book my husband had me read to explain the familial dynamics in the household. What can I say, it works. At least until people start going senile.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Doing your good deed for the day · 2019-08-19T15:15:47.492Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if being a "professional" environmentalist would not level this effect (in this particular setting), because once you start identifying something as A Job, it stops being quite so much a part of You. Or, rather, it becomes a different part.

Similarly, do people who routinely help at soup kitchens get desensitized to helping-poor-people-derived warm fuzzies?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Keeping Beliefs Cruxy · 2019-07-29T18:12:13.494Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

(hard to measure the length of a disagreement that you cannot voice, or you cannot voice anymore; which persists for years or decades and never gets anywhere except "I'm younger, I'll get to dance on his grave".)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Welcome to Kyiv SlateStarCodex · 2019-07-27T07:05:59.719Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I hope you received my reply. No, not yet, and not next week (I will be out of Kyiv). But you can ask Artem, he might like to.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-24T06:43:55.831Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could be. But it is still only shoes... and sending them to two different customers might drown any difference in cost.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-21T08:11:12.356Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Still seems kind of inefficient, though :(

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open Thread July 2019 · 2019-07-20T21:03:36.074Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Kind of stupid question, actually. I Googled up clothes for one-armed children (tried knitting, didn't go as planned, thought I'd donate it), and there were much fewer search results than I'd expected. Is it because one-armed people just have their clothes re-sewn from ordinary stuff, or what? Or are there different key words for it?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on So You've Changed Your Mind · 2019-07-13T20:05:45.445Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But what about the case when you suddenly find yourself in a position where you exactly have to change your self-image to be with your spouse and children? Like "I should not care about X, because it takes too much time, even though it has defined me for years"? I mean, this is not insurmountable, it just seems the logical next question.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Why America Prefers a Weak and Peaceful Europe · 2019-07-05T17:25:43.317Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Which Europe?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Competence Myth · 2019-07-02T15:49:04.011Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I... find that I have worked within a rather narrow range of "things' complexity", and don't know what occurs outside of it.

The people I were thinking about were: a professor of genetics; a professor of zoology; an inspector of environment protection service; a museum guide; the manager of my bookshop; a leader of NGO for nature conservation (the man specializes in GIS); a highschool biology teacher; an ornithologist (specializes in waterfowl colonies).

I also excluded a family of zookeepers which specializes in wild fowl rehab (mostly) because they work outside "the system" and so don't have to conform so much. I excluded my former Head of Department because, frankly, he excels in research but is not too great at not scaring other people (= doesn't conform within "the system"). I excluded a great chemistry teacher who works with advanced students because he joined our current education reform (writes documents for it) and in this way tries to change "the system". Because I think these people fail at some meta-level. I don't mean that they should change or "just stop", but I would call them martyrs before I call them competent.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Competence Myth · 2019-07-01T14:36:07.733Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have met wonderfully competent people. They usually work for averagely incompetent organisations, and what they do is, I think, satisfy the requirements of their managers and bring value to the world - they are just very good at compartmentilizing.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Do children lose 'childlike curiosity?' Why? · 2019-06-30T05:17:27.695Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Where I live, adults traditionally worry their almost-grown children will be too curious if left unattended. It's not that people lose curiosity by when highschool ends (although they might), it's more like they have learned enough about the general structure of reality and choose what they want. I think.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Some Ways Coordination is Hard · 2019-06-28T18:20:28.776Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There's got to be a name for a "stag hunt,which if successful requires reminding people that a stag has been gained". Seems like the average rabbit doesn't have this problem.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Reason isn't magic · 2019-06-24T19:47:47.591Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't quite understand. Perhaps "reasoning" got it worse than "tradition" did. Then people learned what was wrong. And now they still insist on doing it not according to "tradition"? How is it different at all from setting up a new tradition and not bothering anymore?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-22T14:18:49.822Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-15T09:08:10.487Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Ticks" is a diverse group, but I agree they are strange. Like the occasional males in parthenogenetic species? I mean, why do it?..

And my own favorite, if we are permitted to name large groups (can't say "taxa" here) will be, of course, Fungi Imperfecti. I know it's a cop out, though, in many senses relative to the OP.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-13T05:42:48.524Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Asked an entomologist about "comparably weird invertebrates"; his version includes parasitic crustaceans, Strepsiptera, echinococci, Myxozoa, and Ascidiidae.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-06-12T10:51:17.128Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Given how little we know about even such a small subset as... insects... I would say that "weirdness" of some invertebrates is not yet a thing. We might come to appreciate it in the future, but not soon.

In tiny spheres of melted snow Around the tips of mosses, Where creatures dream, and freeze, and thaw, And never count their losses;

In deepest oceans' private wells, Where life still crawls about, Defying water's crushing spells Within just as without, -

Wherever people have cared to look, They saw, and cheered, and cursed The fighting claw, the winning hook, The glorious eggshell burst.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What are the open problems in Human Rationality? · 2019-06-03T17:34:16.748Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps information hygiene. There are a lot of information sources which might be called parasitic. Suppose we have some "process" that allows us to somehow find ourselves where we had steered, truth-wise among other things. Biology says "it will be eaten, possibly gradually".

I mean, in the natural way ofthings, the first outsiders to acknowledge rationality as a thing will be those who will swallow the practitioners. Until it happens, we may consider it to be nascent.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Lonelinesses · 2019-06-01T21:06:49.484Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

(in a way, I think about my twin as a strange gift, like if I died right now there would still be someone who would both know what I would say in a situation and what I would mean by it. Immortality today :) imperfect, of course.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on When Observation Beats Experiment · 2019-06-01T18:41:34.475Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(I will need to think about it tomorrow, but are you effectively saying that the object of the experiment should be that thing Z which modifies what X+Y do?)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on How to determine if my sympathetic or my parasympathetic nervous system is currently dominant? · 2019-06-01T18:30:43.126Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW
  1. I don't think it is quite safe to just "switch" to another mode, unless you plan to track digestion and other things on a much stricter schedule than people mostly do. SNS/PSNS have effects far beyond cognition.

  2. seems like it would be easier to train yourself to sit down, or lie down if possible, and "set" your breathing patterns and the tension/relaxedness of your muscles from toes upwards, like yoga practitioners do. It's not "real" in the sense that people can't imagine separate muscles, rather muscle-filled space. And face muscles are difficult to interpret. But it gives you some time and a pattern to guide your attention, so in a way it works. Better after some physical work - it is easier to distinguish "I have worked" and "now I rest".

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on When Observation Beats Experiment · 2019-06-01T18:12:38.850Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Also, what you suggest is not enough to suspect that Y is needed in the first place. This is an assumption that has to be made based on something. In your model, it seems that in some rats even small "doses" of X in the experiment you suggest in the beginning will sometimes coincide with purple coloration. Doesn't the experiment seem the more straightforward way?

As to the, uh, real systems, I agree that to many whys remain unnoticed, and observation should play a bigger role. That is a curse of a surveyor - you always wonder what you would have found if only you went just a hundred meters further...

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on When Observation Beats Experiment · 2019-06-01T18:00:06.849Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe it would be better to write something like X -> PP & Y -> PP, because the way it is written it kind of reads to me like "if X is large but Y is not, than PP is not going to be large since it is produced in a reaction".

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on "But It Doesn't Matter" · 2019-06-01T14:47:16.215Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If you lived in medieval Europe and people argued about such things, then I'd wager you would find it pretty much relevant.

Also, principles of classification (which later gave birth to biological systematics) went through the angels @ archangels stage, so - yes. Please don't neglect the discourse :)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on If a "Kickstarter for Inadequate Equlibria" was built, do you have a concrete inadequate equilibrium to fix? · 2019-04-15T19:20:43.960Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would systematically destroy selected invasive species (like Ambrosia artemisiifolia or Heracleum sosnowskyi) in the localities I know, and seek out new localities, if ten more people pledged to do the same and at least one person accompanies me every time for safety reasons (and hopefully to dig along). The main effect would be educating local people, of course, since I know for a fact that some still *plant* Heracleum "because it is impressive". Hopefully if such attitude to the species becomes more widespread, we could demand changes in local legislature which would make the relevant state agencies actually do something about the issue. There's just no reason why we should have such dangerous aliens in our environment (Ambrosia produces lots of airborne allergenic pollen, while contact with Heracleum makes skin photosensitive, which in the worst case causes death from unhealing "chemical" burns.) There are, of course, many other invasive species, but I would target the worst threats.

However, I also expect to be looking for a job... or emigrate.

(EDIT: to be clear, systematic attempts to eradicate Ambrosia are already happening in some areas of my country, and some of them are citizens' initiatives far more industrially scaled than anything I can afford. Which is admirable, but also not something most people can afford, too.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on How do people become ambitious? · 2019-04-09T09:30:00.118Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, they must be rare. Most likely, shopping online and in English... one side of ambitiousness would be then 'willingness to pay', maybe even 'willingness to pay to become known as such a person'.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on How do people become ambitious? · 2019-04-08T20:20:17.138Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, I often have this problem.

I mean that 'ambitious' people might be 'just generally ambitious' - I see some of them when they come to buy books on self-help or startups or esoteric things. They might be 'ambitious, as in wanting to have power over other people', & then they buy books on, say, romantic relationships or English for two-year-olds, or planners; but largely it's also a hobby. Some of them do get to wield this power and are content with it. Some do collect thousands of likes on Facebook or Youtube, and are visible, and therefore counted ambitious by others.

And then there are people who want power over things, over events in the world. The least 'personal' example is a scientist, but the volunteer who sends winter clothes to families living on occupied land and the sniper who crouches on the roof above a demonstration, they also belong to this species. And I have yet to peg them down when they enter my bookstore. They are... invisible.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on How do people become ambitious? · 2019-04-08T17:30:01.130Z · score: 11 (4 votes) · LW · GW

As Tracey Davis would say, that's not true! And what's it mean?

Seems like there's power over others and power over things to happen. To become ambitious about the first kind, most people only need a chance to taste and realize what it is they're tasting. The setting might be for the greater good, the reflection might discourage the pupil, but the option will be on the table.

As to the power over things to happen, it requires serious autonomy (an ability to pick the real dependencies between things and to keep a roof over one's head meanwhile) and/or serious despair (as in people who might survive cancer).

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Lyubarsky intro · 2019-03-10T19:47:47.398Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I understand that, but the book must be available there. It would be awfully cool if you could read it too and share your impressions. For the next meetup, which we plan in a month, I hope to overcome the ancients.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Lyubarsky intro · 2019-03-10T16:19:20.373Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What! That's him?! I've been reading it for ages! You will like the book then :)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Lyubarsky intro · 2019-03-10T15:46:19.853Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

We met this Saturday in Kyiv. It's my at workplace, so we get interrupted sometimes, but overall it works fine. We got about halfway into antiquity, got tired and turned to GPT 2. But why do you think it will be difficult? OTOH, there was only one other person ))

I didn't know he had a blog, will seek it out.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open Thread February 2019 · 2019-03-07T11:02:41.634Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(I'm beginning to think that if "natural sciences" tell us _how_ things happen but not _why_ they do... then in order to know how I should ask why.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What observations do you as a customer would expect to matter, if your experience was 1000 times "stronger"? · 2019-01-02T06:28:39.578Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would really like it if the answers were bookshop-centric, I think other kinds of retail have their own specific features which I cannot comment about.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The E-Coli Test for AI Alignment · 2019-01-01T11:05:33.957Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You'll run into wetware fundamentals pretty much at once. Do you satisfy each bacteria's values (however you define them) or the values of the Population of Five (however you define them)? They are going to be different. Or maybe you take a higher level, the ecosystemic one (remember, you're AI, you are entirely free to do it)? Or do you go lower, and view the cells as carriers for the things that matter - what's to prevent you from deciding that the really important things human bodies provide for are the worms in their guts, and not the brains?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What makes people intellectually active? · 2019-01-01T09:03:45.160Z · score: 6 (5 votes) · LW · GW

(old cereal boxes cut up into strips are a thing I keep in my kitchen to write upon - I don't like picking up a notebook with maybe greasy hands, but spoiling a cardboard strip seems like no biggie.)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What makes people intellectually active? · 2019-01-01T08:54:23.552Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

...and since there is a particular pleasure in derailing community thought, if one manages to find a place where one does not go over to the Dark Side when doing it, one likely should go for it :)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Open and Welcome Thread December 2018 · 2018-12-31T16:37:38.108Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness" seemed to me to avoid it better than many books (I only read the first half, unfortunately), but of course, the humans in it are kind of weird themselves :)

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What makes people intellectually active? · 2018-12-31T13:49:39.330Z · score: 7 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, this also reminds me of the thing that we discussed at our last meetup (there were two of us, so I wouldn't say it was about Solstice, exactly): how history of plant morphology is a handle for some fairly unrelated fields (social sciences), if you grok it. Not the best possible one, not capable of turning around many axes, and not easy to turn, but - a handle.

The lj post that started it described a monograph on the history of research of inflorescence structure. I won't link it, it's in Russian anyway. It talked how plants are systems of "little integrity" - when you look at them, you see they have only a few easy-to-recognize building blocks, but the blocks themselves are very different case to case. And if one wants to build a system of kinship between cases, suddenly the space of block names explodes.

(The other person present at the meetup actually could not cope with it, he tried to imagine "a world without morphology", an evolution culling out the diversifying misfits - it was freakin' fascinating to watch. I saw the abyss between his engineering background and my observational one, *and I actually think now that "curiosity" means different things to the two of us*.)

It turns out that what people had used to describe as a block, falls apart into several neat categories that only superficially resemble each other, due to convergent evolution of plants or microscopy milestones or *something*. History of morphology reconstructs the gradual focusing of thought on how plants are really built on the inside and outside, and how we kind of feel where current names don't fit already. According to that lj post, social sciences have yet to reach this point, but clearly they, too, deal with systems of little integrity, where one has to invent names for the many real, and not the visible blocks. The lj post advised social scientists to read up on the already covered grounds of plant morphology, to gauge the depth of what they would have to do (my paraphrase).

And this is how I think about "rationality techniques", too; that they are going to fall apart into different clusters, and the engineering-inclined people would want to try to glue them back. Intellectual activity, if it employs specific techniques, should be able to destruct-test them, to arrive at new and better blocks, which is easier to do if I am not at the same moment building something bigger with the old ones.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What makes people intellectually active? · 2018-12-31T12:36:26.807Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well, for techniques to be more than TAPs, they have to kind of branch, don't they? In which case there has to be an (internally natural) hierarchy of concepts, which I am afraid to build, because for me "rationality techniques" as presented here are phenomenological observations. Or stop-signs.


I don't like the concept of "fully general counter-argument", for example, and I try to make do without it. If we have "fully general counter-arguments", then we have "fully general supporting arguments" and "fully general misses" etc. I always try to treat someone's counter-argument as not fully-general unless we both understand it so; because for some reason they view it as the thing to say. It might be an irrelevant reason, but very many are, and the world keeps spinning.

Curiosity is just that - if you are asking whether being told about rationality helps develop curiosity under some conditions, then maybe we shouldn't talk about all "rationality techniques", because they as a whole are not aimed at developing curiosity. Choose some.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on What makes people intellectually active? · 2018-12-30T21:06:14.373Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Well, I am not into the AI stuff, so maybe my take on it will be far more ameboid than what you had in mind. I rather view the broadly-LW corpus as something like TV Tropes and try to find the "individual articles" (not always, or even consciously) in the things I interact with. Maybe other people do it, too. And if I have to interact with something regularly, like for work, it's far easier to bear when it's fun.

It's like, "I will have to sell this book, which means I gotta be ready to say something about it" and "But this translation of "Wyrd Sisters" flattens witches' individuality - smoothes out prickliness, adds a veneer of experience to something which can only be awkward bumbling, turns a salacious remark into a good-natured explanation, etc. The text is readable and well-built, but has denotational and connotational issues. Through what lense did the translator view the original to arrive at this version?" So "Maybe he decided to translate from the bird's eye view, where the text as a whole must have internal logic and structure, but not from the characters' views, where what they think/do is what matters and actually exists at all" and then "But characters' agency is important, in a meta-text about theatre" which leads to "Who of our translators does consistently preserve 1) author's intonation, 2) author's view of characters, 3) general readability, 4) characters' view of the world, 5) characters' view of themselves? And which publishing house can be counted on to have an editor who gives a damn?"

Which gives me, in the end, two lists - one longer, of quality translators, and one short - of publishing houses. Both rather subjective, but they will do in a pinch.

I'm not sure if this is what you had in mind when you asked your question, or even if this can be called "intellectual activity", it just feels like curiosity. But that's my answer.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Introducing the Longevity Research Institute · 2018-12-15T08:55:47.186Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you plan to work with dogs, or better, pigs, as closer to humans in biochemistry? And if so, are there pig hereditary lines already developed for lab work?

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is Science Slowing Down? · 2018-12-15T08:26:18.563Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Let's not infer what the politicians thought, we have a rather different image of it here.

I'd like to read about Chinese science done in Chinese; I think it would be a great thing to know more about.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is Science Slowing Down? · 2018-12-14T20:37:28.234Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Alright, if I meet that Markdown Syntax in a dark alley, we will have to talk. Have a link, instead.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is Science Slowing Down? · 2018-12-14T11:17:29.829Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is there a way to insert a picture? I think a graph will be more informative.

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on The Bat and Ball Problem Revisited · 2018-12-13T10:53:02.877Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't "just see" the answers to the questions the first time I saw them, but neither would I say that I had to solve them entirely formally. It was more like docking a boat - the river keeps tugging at the tail end, until you feel the boat's side touch the berth and know it has stopped. There's a kind of natural inertia to this kind of puzzles.

Also, there is a kind of problems like "one wallet contains ten coins, another one contains twice more, and the total is twenty; explain" that get asked much earlier than kids learn algebra, if I remember right. But it gets dismissed, in favour of cases where you must learn not to count the same bits of evidence twice (cough Bayes cough). I like to think this dismissal bites people in the backside when they learn Mendelian genetics (more easily seen when the genes in question interact hierarchically) or, Merlin forbid, mass-spectrometry, where the math difficulty is complicated by the chem difficulty of molecules not dividing into usual subunits.

Whew, I was thinking to write a separate post on this, but now I don't have to! Profit!

Comment by mary-chernyshenko on Is Science Slowing Down? · 2018-12-12T20:18:45.597Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Regardless of any particular test; why do you think non-English-language-based diversification is good?

(asking because "non-English-language-based science" is currently a big problem where I live. "It's not in English" is basically the same as "it's not interesting to others".)