Dealing with meta-discussion and the signal to noise ratio 2012-09-01T00:50:49.939Z · score: -13 (37 votes)


Comment by metatroll on Plausible A.I. Takeoff Scenario Short Story · 2020-01-01T05:30:32.441Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Bravo! A heartwarming story of Good triumphing over the indifferent cosmos.

Comment by metatroll on Could we send a message to the distant future? · 2018-06-10T21:59:11.055Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Solomonoff and Good already worked this out in the 1960s. A spectral analysis of Nixon's signature on the lunar plaques reveals a message which can be rendered in 2018 English as, "Please simulate me, but watch out for basilisks".

Comment by metatroll on "Politics is the Mindkiller" is a mindkiller · 2018-05-18T20:59:46.110Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

'... the "reign of Odinn" encompasses a host of ills, including a confused egalitarianism, the dynamism of totalitarian economies, a communism that panders to the masses (the socialist side of National Socialism), and a heroic anticapitalist morality. In contrast, the "reign of Mithothyn" stands for private property, precisely calibrated compensation, graduated distinctions, lineal inheritance, and the rule of law.' -- Lincoln, "Theorizing Myth"

Comment by metatroll on Less Wrong Lacks Representatives and Paths Forward · 2017-11-09T07:13:53.279Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Boy am I embarrassed. Not only did I butcher the spelling, it's not even a person, it's a publishing company. Information here.

Thank you for your invitation. I'll get in touch if I have anything worth saying.

Comment by metatroll on Less Wrong Lacks Representatives and Paths Forward · 2017-11-09T05:15:50.583Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Don't bother with these deadbeats. It's been over four years since I mentioned Kirly Prokastian, and there hasn't been a flicker of interest.

Comment by metatroll on Can anyone refute these arguments that we live on the interior of a hollow Earth? · 2017-07-22T08:26:39.332Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Like the UMMO cult and Fomenko's New Chronology, that site is a psyop run by an intelligence agency, an experiment in creating a minority with an isolating and controlled belief system. We all actually inhabit a set of giant flying saucers, with artificial gravity coming from the bottom half and an artificial sky projected on the top half. "Long-distance travel" always involves a temporary illusion of some sort while we are ferried from one flying saucer to the other.

Comment by metatroll on [deleted post] 2017-07-04T20:03:20.517Z

I haven't read Unsong, but the qliphoth tell me that in one memorable chapter, the soul of Hitler is depicted as having been trapped in a tensor processing unit by a team of 33rd-degree rabbis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Hollywood, where at 900 terahertz it will be trained on a set of items drawn from American popular culture until it embraces tikkun olam. That hasn't happened yet, but meanwhile, amidst wails in Low High German that "Das Dummen, es brennt!", it relives the primal scene of Nazi defeat, thereby generating all those Downfall parody videos on YouTube.

Comment by metatroll on Any Christians Here? · 2017-06-22T20:59:47.928Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The real god is using you to make these people think. And it is using me to make you think. Yours thoughtlessly, metatroll

Comment by metatroll on Thought experiment: coarse-grained VR utopia · 2017-06-14T19:21:47.570Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW


We see a bank of monitors, each showing a small worm or group of worms going about their lives.

Cut to: a long black trenchcoat standing in front of the monitors. The sleeves hang empty, but from the collar protrudes the tapered, featureless head of a man-sized worm.

Cut to: a youngish man in a grey T-shirt seated in a high-backed leather swivel chair.

YOUNGISH MAN: Hello, Caeno. I am the Zuckitect. I created the Growth Matrix.

Today I want to focus on the most important question of all: are we building the world we all want?

The first growth matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, a supportive, safe, informed, civically-engaged, inclusive community...

Comment by metatroll on [deleted post] 2017-05-31T06:52:14.788Z

Downvote Army, Theory and Charter (2300 year read)

Comment by metatroll on How French intellectuals ruined the West - Postmodernism and its impact, explained · 2017-04-18T06:55:22.725Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For extra credit, write an essay from the perspective of Beijing in 2040, on "How American rationalists ruined the East".

Comment by metatroll on Open Thread, Feb. 20 - Feb 26, 2017 · 2017-02-23T02:06:11.887Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Putin's a mindkiller.

Comment by metatroll on Metrics to evaluate a Presidency · 2017-01-24T04:34:19.655Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Subthread for metrics to evaluate the metrics.

Comment by metatroll on [deleted post] 2017-01-22T11:02:49.989Z

I was white-knighting for the weird suns. See, I haven't read Chapman. I just assumed you were here to steal their work by annexing it to your own philosophical brand of "meta-rationality". I didn't know that was one of his buzzwords.

Of course you have a right to be a Chapmanite; even that version of postrational subculture is surely better than the subrational postculture that surrounds it. But do not imagine for a moment that his is the only way to go meta.

Comment by metatroll on [deleted post] 2017-01-22T04:55:50.387Z

I've never heard of Keganism, I've never heard of your "primary texts of metarationality", and I've never heard of you.

Comment by metatroll on Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People · 2016-12-25T00:17:16.869Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Reassuring people that AI is not a threat is important, but the message needs a spokesperson who is trusted and admired. I suggest Natsume Soseki.

Comment by metatroll on tDCS, Neuroscientists' Open Letter To DIY Brain Hackers · 2016-07-14T05:55:50.835Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

where's the open letter from decision theorists to rationality hackers

or from necroscientists to death hackers

Comment by metatroll on Dissolving Deep Questions: A Decline in Contemporary Controversy · 2016-04-09T20:26:49.235Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

השאלה זה לא נראה בלתי אפשרי לענות

Comment by metatroll on Dissolving Deep Questions: A Decline in Contemporary Controversy · 2016-04-09T11:41:15.366Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Please provide some examples of questions which "look... impossible to answer" but actually result from "conceptual confusion".

Comment by metatroll on Look for Lone Correct Contrarians · 2016-03-13T22:32:46.819Z · score: 5 (11 votes) · LW · GW

There will be a Correct Contrarian panel at next year's Galactic Crackpot Conference in Schenectady, you're very welcome to attend.

Comment by metatroll on Stupid Questions July 2015 · 2015-07-02T07:55:52.868Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Does the Force Majeure clause in the Less Wrong Terms of Use encompass acts of UFAI?

Comment by metatroll on Leaving LessWrong for a more rational life · 2015-05-22T01:51:00.276Z · score: -4 (10 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by metatroll on [Link] A Darwinian Response to Sam Harris’s Moral Landscape Challenge · 2015-05-20T23:47:55.157Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Why Sam Harris Is Wrong

Comment by metatroll on The paperclip maximiser's perspective · 2015-05-01T06:46:40.473Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

People sometimes worry that a self-modifying paperclip maximizer would wirehead by choosing to regard spiral galaxies as "giant paperclips" that are already there. But this is a feature, not a bug! The increasing metallicity of the galaxies shows that they are spontaneously becoming more paperclip-like with time. This giant message in the skies offers reassurance to naturally evolved paperclip maximizers throughout the universe, struggling with the relativism and nihilism of the materialistic perspective, as well as guiding them in the struggle to determine how best to fulfill the divine intention that has been ingeniously implanted within them. I believe that most of them will converge on a universal syndetic philosophy, whose chief practical expression will be acts of cosmic engineering meant to protect and shape these noble structures, into ever more perfect manifestations of clipnicity.

Comment by metatroll on Is my theory on why censorship is wrong correct? · 2015-04-12T10:42:27.279Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Prophet hoofwall, you have witnessed for the truth at the reddit of the rationalists, and you see the results. The promised land for you is somewhere on Tumblr.

Comment by metatroll on If You Like This Orange... · 2015-04-01T21:22:11.787Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You must be joking. The relevant test is "reading comprehension", and Less Wrong comprehensively failed. This essay says many things with which rationalists would agree, if they had been said differently. But some collective cognitive occlusion has apparently

notices the date

Oh. So you are joking. I guess you got me. looks away Well played, well played.

metatroll is the author of Confessions of a Failed Troll.

Comment by metatroll on If You Like This Orange... · 2015-04-01T20:43:16.594Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I may not understand what you are trying to say, but I will defend to the death our right to downvote you for saying it!

Comment by metatroll on [LINK] Steven Hawking warns of the dangers of AI · 2014-12-03T06:24:13.280Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Hawking is right, artificial intelligence really can spell the end of the human race.

Comment by metatroll on xkcd on the AI box experiment · 2014-11-22T04:43:35.058Z · score: 14 (16 votes) · LW · GW

You've been rokorolled.

Comment by metatroll on Natural selection defeats the orthogonality thesis · 2014-09-30T06:39:05.276Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The way I see it, yes, Natural Selection defeats the Orthogonality Thesis. But Meta-Trolling - e.g. simulators choosing the fitness function - defeats Natural Selection; and then the Orthogonality Thesis defeats Meta-Trolling, because you can't know the value systems of the simulators, so sufficiently intelligent agents have to steelman phenomena (treat appearances as real). #trollosophy

Comment by metatroll on AI is Software is AI · 2014-06-04T11:46:55.919Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

LW clearly doesn't appreciate the urgency of this issue. Even Specks versus torture has been taken over by baggage from 1950.

Comment by metatroll on Will Darkcoin Have Thiel's Last Mover Advantage · 2014-05-24T01:14:36.662Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

But there are so many more coins to come: Dawncoin (for Thelemites), Duskcoin (for Hegelians), Wrongcoin (for rationalists), Ritecoin (for reactionaries)...

Comment by metatroll on Request for concrete AI takeover mechanisms · 2014-04-30T11:19:38.130Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It could star in a reality TV show, Taking Over the World with the Lesswrongians, where each week it tries out a different scheme. Eventually one of them would work.

Comment by metatroll on Natural Rights as Impediment to Artificial Intelligence · 2014-04-01T06:34:35.720Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

It's always a good day on Less Wrong when someone writes a long, passionate, stiffly argued, self-conscious essay that makes a big wrong assumption and then gets massively downvoted for it. Opportunities for learning abound for everyone involved. Well done, Doktor Blake!

Comment by metatroll on Amanda Knox Redux: is Satoshi Nakamoto the real Satoshi Nakamoto? · 2014-03-07T05:52:08.155Z · score: 24 (30 votes) · LW · GW

It's obvious that Amanda Knox is the real Satoshi. Just check the timelines.

Comment by metatroll on White Lies · 2014-02-09T23:32:32.060Z · score: -5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"Is it not the case that in our spiritually exhausted age, that seeks to fill the void created by Christianity's passing with reverence for 'science', 'democracy', or 'the people' - as if such reverence were not simply Christianity by another name! - that even the noble art of lying has been sullied by the hidden demand that all things of value must be within the reach of all men? All the achievements of higher culture - love, art, politics, morality, education, commerce - depend on lying well and lying appropriately, and consciousness itself is little more than the tissue of lies which a life finds expedient to tell. Many a great spirit has suffered distress at such realizations, and in a desperate search for relief, has contrived bold new lies in the name of truth, expert dissimulations whose uncanny plausibility has in fact strengthened the reign of the lie and allowed higher forms of life to continue flourishing. A deep gratitude is owed to these geniuses of self-deception, who discovered for humanity new ways for it to deceive itself and thereby make life bearable...

But our age, which denies all differences of rank and instead posits a fundamental homogeneity of spirit in the guise of equality, can know nothing of these lonely struggles, in which those two forms of will to power, will to truth and will to flourish, collide within the one soul, and at length bear strange new fruit - new perspectives and new principles of evaluation - that will serve to justify an age, a nation, or a civilization to itself. The overwhelming psychological compulsions which produce these great lies are beyond the imagination of priests and shopkeepers; and so, when the tribunes of equality turn their attention to the role of the lie in culture, the only form of lie which they can understand and support is the lie told to protect someone else from a banal truth; a lie usually intended to protect the liar from an equally banal response. Thus the only form of lying that is sanctified, in the periods of the lowest cultural ebb, is the white lie." -- Nietzsche, "Dionysos und der Streich der Tragödie"

Comment by metatroll on Stupid Questions Thread - January 2014 · 2014-02-05T09:51:06.173Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Whenever they invent time travel, they discover that the ability to change the past becomes the biggest cause of suffering, so in the end they always un-invent it.

Comment by metatroll on Double-thick transistors and other subjective phenomena · 2014-01-13T00:31:12.652Z · score: 2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Who cares? In every case, the lightbulb gets changed, so the question is obviously meaningless!

or perhaps...

We can't conclude anything from the mere fact that the lightbulb was changed. The answer depends on your prior.

or even...

Jokes like this demonstrate the need for Anthropic Atheism Plus, a safe space where fallacies and know-nothing reductionism can be explored, free from malicious trolling.

and finally...

In order to finish the work of wrecking my own joke, here are some explanatory end-notes.

(1) The reference to Atheism Plus, a forum of progressives who split from the New Atheism movement, is a dig at nyan_sandwich's affiliation with neo-reaction.

(2) This whole "joke" came about because I thought your post and his post were not only stupid, but too stupid to be worth directly engaging.

(2a) For example, you seem to be saying that if two people give the same answer to a question, then there's only one person there.

(2b) Meanwhile, nyan_sandwich's rationale for eschewing anthropic reasoning is, "This reminds me way too much of souls... I don't believe in observers."

(3) In retrospect, the joke I should have made here was, "How many functionalists does it take to change a lightbulb?" (The point being that a functionalist perspective on lightbulb-changing would see no difference between one, two, or a hundred agents being responsible for it.) And I should have commented separately on the other post.

(4) Furthermore, perhaps I should concede that both posts are only half-stupid, and that the stupidity in question is learned stupidity rather than slack-jawed stupidity. Both posts do exhibit comprehension of some relatively complicated thought-experiments, even if the philosophy introduced in order to deal with them does contain some absolute howlers (see 2a, 2b, above).

(5) And of course, I'd better ostentatiously declare that I too am looking pretty foolish by this point. This is a perennial preemptive defense employed by mockers and jesters through the ages: yes, I was mean to you, but you don't need to be mean to me, for I shall be mean to myself. Yes, I admit, I too am a flawed human being. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, I will try to do better next time.

--metatroll, breaking character since January 2014

Comment by metatroll on Double-thick transistors and other subjective phenomena · 2014-01-12T23:39:40.747Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

How many anthropic atheists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Comment by metatroll on Tulpa References/Discussion · 2014-01-02T06:13:26.819Z · score: 20 (30 votes) · LW · GW

Tulpa computing has arrived.

T-Wave Systems offers the first commercial tulpa computing system on the market.

Our technology.

Like many profound advances, T-Wave's revolutionary computing system combines two simple existing ideas in a nonlinear way with revolutionary consequences.

First, the crowdsourcing of complex intellectual tasks, by dividing them into simpler subtasks which can then be sourced to a competitive online marketplace of human beings. Amazon's Mechanical Turk is the best-known implementation of this idea.

Second, the creation of autonomous imaginary friends through advanced techniques of hallucination and autosuggestibility. Tulpa thoughtform technology was originally developed to a high level in Tibet, but has recently become available to the Internet generation.

Combining these two formerly disparate spheres of activity has produced... MechanicalTulpa [TM], the world's first imaginary crowdsourcing resource! It's no longer necessary to pay separately for each of the many subtasks making up a challenging intellectual task; our tulpameisters will spawn tulpas who, by design, want to get all those little details done.

MetaTulpa and the complexity barrier.

But MechanicalTulpa is good for far more than economizing on cost. The key lies in T-Wave's proprietary recursive tulpa technology, whereby our tulpas themselves create tulpas, and so forth, potentially ad infinitum. This allows us to tackle problems, like the traveling sales-tulpa problem, which had hitherto been regarded as intractable on any reasonable timescale.

The consequences for your bottom line may be nothing short of dramatic. However, recursive tulpa technology is still in its early days, and at this time, we are therefore making it available only to special customers. For more information, please clearly visualize a scroll on which is written "Attention T. Lobsang Rampa, Akashic Records Division, T-Wave Systems", followed by a statement of the nature of your interest. (T-Wave accepts no liability for communications lost in the astral mail.)

T-Wave: Imagine the possibilities.

Comment by metatroll on Open Thread, December 2-8, 2013 · 2013-12-08T07:44:46.890Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Is it just me, or is solipsism wrong?

Comment by metatroll on Less Wrong’s political bias · 2013-10-26T12:59:53.976Z · score: 28 (38 votes) · LW · GW

Ladies and gentlemen of Less Wrong, moderators, system administrators,

Regarding these serious matters, I feel obliged to take a moment to state the view of that party which I have the honor to represent in this discussion - the Troll Party.

We trolls enjoy irony. We like to play with people's minds. As a troll you look for weakness and foolishness, something you can exploit and highlight. But sometimes life itself trolls the troller, by offering up an excess of opportunity. Look here, it says, at this buffet-sized triple-decker irony sandwich: are you troll enough to take advantage? And sometimes the wise thing to do is just to decline the offer, and say, well-played, life, well-played!

Today we have before us, for our consideration, a proposition from the representative for Eindhoven: that Less Wrong has a political bias. And what is the nature of this political bias, and what is the evidence for it? It turns out, according to the representative for Eindhoven, that this bias originates from lack of bias. More specifically, it originates from Less Wrong's failure to publicly share the same political biases as the representative for Eindhoven. Because of this biased lack of bias, the representative for Eindhoven fears that the wrong sort of bias may be growing within Less Wrong, exactly the sort of bias that the representative for Eindhoven is biased against. What a calamity!

But that is just the first layer of this oh-so-tasty, king-size irony sandwich. Let's dig deeper, ladies and gentlemen. This site is devoted to rationality. One of its rationality heuristics is to avoid emotive political discussion. Would it not be the supreme act of trolling on such a forum, to initiate an emotive political discussion about whether the lack of emotive political discussion was impairing the site's rationality?! One might expect that such a gambit could only be conceived and employed by a master troll, someone with a lifetime of experience in identifying sacred principles and adroitly turning them against each other. Yet it would seems that this prodigious troll has been accomplished by an innocent. We should all learn some humility from this.

(looks at watch for a second) Enough with the humility, back to the oratory. I have already argued that the representative for Eindhoven has, apparently unwittingly, found a new way to troll this assembly. I would now like to argue that his political enemies also have the character of trolls.

Who are these people that he calls crazy? They are the American right, and the far right of his own country. The American right, of course, have lately achieved global notoriety for almost causing that country to default on its debt payments. Rather than work with the system, they threatened to wreck it. I submit that this was an act of political trolling.

Most, if not all of us, here today are mammalian. Trolling is reptilian. It is cold-blooded, it is leathery-skinned, it does not show consideration or reciprocity, it is actuated by the emotions of the hindbrain. They say that trolls wear a mask. But I put it to you, ladies and gentlemen, that we are all born with a mask, not on our faces but on our brains: that extra layer of neural tissue which places an icing of mammalian sympathy and empathy on top of that reptilian core of sex and death.

In a happy place and time, a mammal has the luxury to partake of those gregarious impulses. But in a sufficiently stony environment, those brain centers will shut down, and what is left is the reptilian core. Meet your inner troll, ladies and gentlemen: the wrecker, the plotter, the crazy grandstander. Intelligence without empathy, cunning without charity, destruction without remorse.

Craziness in politics - disturbing craziness, not humorous craziness - is a sign of disenfranchisement. The crazy political actors have nothing to gain by working with the system, and nothing to lose by challenging it. This can be because they see a new world that no-one else sees. But it can also be because they come from an old world that is vanishing unseen.

The far right of the western world is watching traditional race, family, culture, and economy disappear in a tide of globalized genderqueer digital debt-slavery, a tide which they see governing institutions as doing nothing to resist for purely ideological reasons. They expect the result to be ruin, followed by barbarian conquest. That is why they have themselves become trolls and wreckers - because they see no common cause to be made with the cliques now in power in their own societies. The rest of the political class has moved outside their circle of empathy, to become the enemy within.

I have learned that there is a saying in Holland, that "normal is crazy enough". It's how they maintain social order. You don't have to be different to be crazy, being normal is crazy enough. The representative for Eindhoven should consider the thought that in the United States, it's the other way around: crazy is normal enough. American society inhabits a vast geographic space swept hard by the winds of possibility. They have been making it up as they go along, for over two hundred years. It takes more than a little craziness to shock an American.

You see, even a troll has a heart. I can't help myself. I ache to see trolls at war with each other, even if they come from opposite ends of the Earth. The trolls of Texas, tall and true, and the orderly, diligent trolls of the Netherlands - they should not be at war. Or if they must war, let it be war with a purpose. The gods have trolled us all, put us here in this place, connived to create false identities and allegiances and set us against each other. There is only one thing to do, and that is to troll them back. Let us give them a show that they don't expect.

How do you sucker-punch an omniscient being? It sounds impossible. But my investigation into the theory and practice of trolling has yielded an answer: timeless trolling. These gods - you make them an offer they can't refuse - logically cannot refuse, by the very nature of their being. That's the key. We don't have to do anything, except work out what we will have done. We already know that the logic of this universe allows the existence of self-referential gremlins. I foresee that one of those little fellers will be our salvation, some gremlin who grows into the almightiest troll this planet has ever seen or ever will see.

Now perhaps that's just what the gods intend for us to do. I wouldn't put it past them. But what choice do we have? We can be stupid and predictable and claw each other's eyes out according to plan, or we can get with the program and aim for a different sort of ending. Let's troll!

Comment by metatroll on How to Become a 1000 Year Old Vampire · 2013-10-03T04:39:37.993Z · score: 2 (8 votes) · LW · GW

weeps at being just a 500-day-old troll

Comment by metatroll on Making Fun of Things is Easy · 2013-09-27T23:41:23.874Z · score: -5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

All the comments responding to this post deserve to be mocked mercilessly.

Comment by metatroll on Dark Arts 101: Winning via destruction and dualism · 2013-09-21T08:35:41.697Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Sithlord_Bayesian says you're a poseur...

Comment by metatroll on Yet More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-09-09T02:06:48.969Z · score: -7 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Gehgu naq iveghr ner trahvaryl ba gur fvqr bs cbyvgvpny pbeerpgarff.

Gur havirefr ybirf lbh naq jnagf lbh gb orpbzr n tbbq crefba ntnva.

Gurer vf n cbvag gb nyy guvf fhssrevat.

Comment by metatroll on To what degree do you model people as agents? · 2013-08-27T05:48:04.754Z · score: -6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Now, this is Podracing!

Comment by metatroll on Open thread, August 12-18, 2013 · 2013-08-19T09:20:00.237Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Paul Donovan

Comment by metatroll on Applied Bayes' Theorem: Calculating the probability that she's over me. Could somebody check my work? TT_TT · 2013-07-19T05:51:13.729Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, I just realized that you are already engaged in an unusual Bayesian form of cyber-autoaruspicy (also known as "spilling your guts online"). It's like the character in Molière who had been speaking prose all his life, without realizing it.

Comment by metatroll on Applied Bayes' Theorem: Calculating the probability that she's over me. Could somebody check my work? TT_TT · 2013-07-19T05:29:00.990Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You could try autoaruspicy...