What is the evidence on the Church-Turing Thesis? 2021-09-19T11:34:49.377Z
Chance that "AI safety basically [doesn't need] to be solved, we’ll just solve it by default unless we’re completely completely careless" 2020-12-08T21:08:47.575Z
Morpheus's Shortform 2020-08-07T22:35:57.530Z


Comment by Morpheus on What is the evidence on the Church-Turing Thesis? · 2021-09-19T20:17:39.291Z · LW · GW

Our brains do not only sense and interact with our environment, they also sense and control our own bodies. And our bodies, at numerous levels, down to our individual cells, sense and control their own status.

I find this a bit confusing, I don't consciously control most of what's going on in my body: I don't have a sense of the status of my mitochondria or any individual cell in my body that aren't specifically developed for sensing. So how is this related to consciousness?

It also convinces me that consciousness is not programmable. It must always self-develop in, not just a brain, but a body that it can control, and use to affect the world it lives in. I don't see why these criteria would need to be tied to each other. A self-driving car is programmable and has a body it controls and affects the world with, so it kind of does not fit into that picture.

Just phrasing these questions convinces me that the Turing machine model of consciousness fails, that consciousness is not an algorithm, and is not remotely computable.

I don't find just phrasing these questions very convincing.

Could all this sensing, all these preferences, and all the control mechanisms, operate off that one tape, threading back and forth through the reader?

I mean yes in principle? Turing machines require infinite memory and infinite time. With these assumptions, operating from a single tape is not very limiting (this xkcd comic illustrates this well). This is not to say that there might be other reasons why processes in the world (or conscious experience for that matter) are not computable.

Comment by Morpheus on What is the evidence on the Church-Turing Thesis? · 2021-09-19T17:33:06.649Z · LW · GW

I fleshed out what I meant a bit more what I was imagining:

I have a particular Turing machine (for example one that recognizes the language ) as long as you then limit the amount of transitions/time and the length of the string, then you could construct a finite state machine that reconizes the same language (for example ).

Naively, I'd imagine it to be possible for any particular Turing machine to construct an inductive rule how to construct the n+1-transition-finite state machine and the k+1-memory state machine from the n-time and k-memory state machine? Because in that case I'd imagine specifying a kind of "infinite state machine" by some (1-memory,1-time)-state machine and two induction rules how to extend the state machine as long as no termination state is reached.

Comment by Morpheus on What is the evidence on the Church-Turing Thesis? · 2021-09-19T13:20:20.837Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the answer!

Human brains are finite state machines. A Turing machine has unlimited memory and time.

Oops! You're right, and It's something that I used to know. So IIRC as long your tape (and your time) is not infinite you still have a finite state machine, so Turing machines are kind of finite state machines taken to the limit for () is that right?

Comment by Morpheus on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-11T13:55:03.824Z · LW · GW

Software: Chrome/Chromium (Might work on other Chromium based browsers, but I don't use them, so YMMV)

Need: turn web apps into desktop apps.

Alternatives: I usually use Firefox (Desktop) or the DuckDuckGo browser (Phone) for daily browsing, but this is the feature that makes me use Chrome on a daily basis too. I've used this on Windows, Linux and Android so far.

See here for how to do this. Sometimes the best software for a need turns out to be a web app (Google calendar/Gmail for me). But I find it nicer to have them separate from my browser, if I use them frequently. Sometimes the desktop version of an app is buggier than the desktop version (Looking at you Todoist). Another advantage of this is that you can use browser extensions with it. For Todoist I'd recommend the extension to get Gmail/Vim shortcuts. I would not recommend this if you don't have a stable internet connection (unless your app doesn't actually need internet, like the speed cubing app csTimer).

Comment by Morpheus on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-10T21:42:01.553Z · LW · GW

There is an Anki add-on that basically provides the same functionality with a pretty impressive feature set. Personally I found it a bit clunky to use and stopped, so I might look into SuperMemo.

Comment by Morpheus on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-10T21:14:43.042Z · LW · GW

If you already know an example of the tool you are looking for, but it is not available for your operating system (or some other reason it doesn't fit your needs perfectly), then "NiceTool [best] alternative [YourOperatingSystem]" is often a good search. Alternativeto is also pretty great for that purpose. Lots of users list up- and downsides of tools which often makes it pretty easy to figure out if a tool would fit you or not. I've not yet tried another one, but alternativeto itself lists PrivacyTools and Product Hunt as popular alternatives.

If you are just searching for tips for software tools you didn't even know you wanted them, I'd highly recommend you look at the potpourri of this amazing course on tools for CS-Students/Programmers. I can't recommend this course highly enough. I've been going back to it again and again for helpful links on commandline tools or what to do if you messed something up with git.

Comment by Morpheus on Jimrandomh's Shortform · 2021-07-27T00:10:59.836Z · LW · GW

Yeah, I came to a similar conclusion after looking at this question from Metaculus. I might have steered to far in the opposite direction, though. I have currently two meals in my rotation. At the very least one of them is "complete food" (So I worry less about nutrition and more about unlearning how to plan meals/cook). 

Comment by Morpheus on Randomized Zettelkasten Test · 2021-07-21T21:01:36.220Z · LW · GW


My experience has been very different so far. 

I want to see if I've hit diminishing returns or if original insights are still available with this method. 

I am not sure what exactly you try to achieve by cutting down on the number of nodes. Are you dissatisfied with the number of connections you make between your notes or do you feel that the method is losing its novelty for you? 

For me, coming up with connections is easy.  Noticing connections between different ideas feels really rewarding, and this is the main reason it has stuck with me so far. Cutting down becomes the hard part. Principles/heuristics for note-taking, like "in what context do I want to see this again?", have helped me with that. But it might also be that this effect is mostly due to me using this method for only 3 months, and the novelty will wear off eventually.

Comment by Morpheus on Why are people so bad at dating? · 2021-05-26T02:54:04.366Z · LW · GW

For example, we know that people systematically choose unattractive images for their dating profiles. Sites like PhotoFeeler cheaply (in some cases, freely) resolve this problem. 

Nice. I didn't know about this. I am going to test some high-risk pictures that I was hesitant to put on my profile for a while. 

I also had to think of this Post about dating from Putanumonit:

First, the data. The most important post on OkTrends explains that women get a lot more messages if guys differ wildly in assessing their appearance, i.e. if some guys think they’re super hot and some guys think they’re unseemly, with no in-between. I looked at speed dating data from Columbia University and confirmed the effect for both men and women. When controlling for average rating of attractiveness, the variance in ratings correlated strongly with more people wanting to date you.

So not optimizing for average likableness might actually be in your interest when dating.

Comment by Morpheus on Why are people so bad at dating? · 2021-05-26T02:37:12.191Z · LW · GW

For example, we know that people systematically choose unattractive images for their dating profiles. Sites like PhotoFeeler cheaply (in some cases, freely) resolve this problem. 


Comment by Morpheus on Morpheus's Shortform · 2021-05-13T23:27:24.985Z · LW · GW


Comment by Morpheus on Bet On Biden · 2021-05-07T20:07:17.301Z · LW · GW

Turns out I had been too optimistic with this. I did not realize at the time that I would also have to pay transaction fees for claiming my money later. I also procrastinated on getting my money back for a long while, because I needed to add more funds to my account in order to pay for the transaction costs. In the end I payed another ~150$ in gas fees.

Comment by Morpheus on Design 2 · 2021-03-31T09:12:03.447Z · LW · GW

On Firefox I'd recommend tridactyl if you want more features. Though it definitely has a steeper learning curve. So if tridactyl seems overwhelming you might as well use Vimium which has all the shortcuts I use ~98% of the time. 

Comment by Morpheus on Babble challenge: 50 ways of hiding Einstein's pen for fifty years · 2021-01-17T10:30:27.366Z · LW · GW

First get some special case for the pen so it will survive any of the scenarios.

  1. Bury it very deep underground
  2. Eat it
  3. Get it transplanted between your organs.
  4. Move to china and get a new identity
  5. Put it into the sword handle of your decorational sword on your wall
  6. Shoot it into orbit.
  7. Get a save at a bank.
  8. Build your own castle to defend the pen.
  9. Paint the pen in a different color. No one will notice it is the same pen.
  10. Make it invisible
  11. Give it to your friend you really trust.
  12. Hide the pen for 30 years and then give it to the child Albert Einstein so he can come up with his results 20 years early.
  13. Send it to Albert Einsteins mother, so she can protect it.
  14. Throw it into the ocean and hope the tides will bring it back 50 years later
  15. Put it between your couch cushions.
  16. Put it inside one of your couch cushions.
  17. Lend it to a museum for 50 years and tell them about the importance of the pen. No one will expect that you put the pen on display for everyone.
  18. Give the pen to Maxwell, so he can come up with relativity instead.
  19. Tell your son to come up with a solution. You fear you won't be there in 50 years to protect the pen.
  20. Hide it in an old tree.
  21. Bring the pen to the Vatican and ask the pope to hide the pen for you in some special save?
  22. Glue it to the ceiling of your appartment.
  23. Hide the pen inside an art gallery with the Text: "This is not a pen" written under the display.
  24. Put it into your pocket
  25. Give it to a pen collector to hide it between his other pens.
  26. Try really hard to remember what you learned about physics in the future and come up with the Einsteins work instead.
  27. put it into a chest and tell someone that it contains something really important.
  28. Send it to your parents.
  29. Examine it very closely. Maybe you are able to transfer its power to other pens.
  30. Become really good at making pens, so you can give Albert Einstein another pen that is just as good.
  31. Hide it in a mine
  32. Found a cult around the pen that will be able to protect it against those evil forces.
  33. Go to iceland and hide it in the snow.
  34. Go to the Sahara and hide it in the sand.
  35. Hide it inside of a book you don't like.
  36. get a really high tower and hide it on the roof. no one will dare to go there
  37. Hide it inside of some indiana Jones Temple
  38. It's 1855? Put it under your hat.
  39. Hide it on a yet undiscovered Island.
  40. Put it so deep under water that it can only be retrieved with technology after 1900
  41. Put it into a secret pocket of your jacket.
  42. Give it to powerful authorities of your country of residence
  43. Give it to a construction worker to hide it in a wall.
  44. Put it into the Lascaux cave. It won't be discovered for more then 80 years.
  45. Close your Eyes so you can't see it.
  46. throw it real high and hope it does only come back in 50 years.
  47. Put it into your wallet
  48. Invent the Radio and send a signal to aliens to take the pen on there spaceship.
  49. Hide a fake copy of the pen in an obvious hiding place and keep the real one always with you.
  50. Make 50 copies of the pen and hide all of them in seperate locations. Only you know where you hid the original one.
Comment by Morpheus on Babble challenge: 50 ways of sending something to the moon · 2021-01-04T17:59:10.375Z · LW · GW

Really love the idea of having more exercise/dojo-posts. I discovered this challenge a little late and then I put it off, but I always meant to come back:

  1. rocket
  2. slingshot
  3. gun
  4. trampoline
  5. giant swing
  6. giant vacuum pipe (I believe to have read about something like that on xkcd to bring water to mars)
  7. throw it with your arms
  8. "something" includes light, so you can send light to the moon using a small laser or a flashlight
  9. build a tower/space elevator
  10. grow a tree
  11. use your magic wand
  12. balloon
  13. make a bridge out of legos
  14. fly up there with your magic wings
  15. get the moon to you -> get the moon out of its current orbit and crash it into the earth (or just get it closer)
    1. throw a big rock to get the moon out of its orbit
    2. use a giant laser to get the moon out of its orbit
    3. pull the moon toward the earth with a giant string
    4. Turn the earth into a giant magnet and pull the moon toward you.
    5. wait for the tides to pull the moon closer to you, then throw.
    6. frown at the moon hard enough to make it complacent then let it smash into earth
  16. throw it through a wormhole
  17. use a solar sail
  18. trick yourself into believing you made it to the moon
  19. rebuild the moon on earth
  20. smash a giant meteor into the earth, so that some debris reaches the moon
  21. pay Nasa/SpaceX to brainstorm for you
  22. use a giant hook
  23. put a small stone on top of an atomic bomb
  24. make an icecream tower
  25. freeze the seas and make a giant jumping hill
  26. water a plant and let it grow until it grows toward the moon
  27. genetically engineer a frog to jump to the moon from mount Everest.
  28. throw many tomatoes hard enough to accelerate yourself toward the moon
  29. build a giant ice bridge toward the moon
  30. frown at the moon hard enough to ma
  31. tell your hamster about it
  32. find the strongest human you can find and let him throw a juggling ball
  33. use a pencil as a catapult
  34. use something with negative mass to launch it to the moon
  35. wait for future generations/superintelligence to find a cheap way to do it for you
  36. build a particle accelerator with the radius of the earth with a small hole to throw particles to the moon
  37. wait for the neutrinos of your nuclear fusion reactor to reach the moon
  38. become the leader of your country and start a space program
  39. turn mount Everest into jelly and throw something on it
  40. build a giant rollercoaster
  41. make a tornado/typhoon/some other big wind thingy
  42. put it into a volcano
  43. use an enormous ventilator
  44. travel back in time when the moon and the earth were still one and put your thing at the right spot so it will be at the moon in the present
  45. use venus or mars as a gravity slingshot
Comment by Morpheus on What are your greatest one-shot life improvements? · 2020-12-20T10:26:28.380Z · LW · GW

I feel very drowsy in the morning, if I get woken up by an alarmsound or vibration. Buying a light alarm clock has largely solved this problem for me. I wake up before the alarm rings about 80% of the time. It does not work that well if I am sleep deprived.

The main advantages for me are: I wake up more often before my alarm rings and the light is an immediate cue that it is time to wake up.

They are relatively expensive, but from browsing Amazon for 2 minutes I get the impression that you can get pretty good ones for 30-50$ (I personally bought one for ~60$).

Comment by Morpheus on [Math] Towards Proof Writing as a Skill In Itself · 2020-12-05T21:06:10.168Z · LW · GW

This confirms my experience so far. I tried to read Naive Set Theory, but after like 3 chapters I realized that the author already expects me to know how proofs work. I used the book How to prove it by Daniel J. Velleman to learn how to write proofs. I cannot say whether this is the best book out there, but it is definitely useful for self-study. It has a lot of exercise problems after every section and solutions for 30-50% of them. I went through roughly half of the book. I am currently taking linear algebra and real analysis in university and I feel more comfortable about the class than a lot of my classmates.

Comment by Morpheus on Desperation hamster wheels · 2020-10-30T22:23:55.468Z · LW · GW

The example with the book reasonated with me. I am currently trying to get better at math and writing proofs and in the beginning I used to feel pretty good about myself and my progress while I was studying. Now I have gotten to a point where I have a harder time with the problems in my book and I feel like my progress is slowing down. I don't know if that is actually the case, but I have started to get stressed out about it.

Comment by Morpheus on Bet On Biden · 2020-10-26T14:51:59.793Z · LW · GW

You can use catnip which is built on Augur. Here is a blogpost from the guy who made it and a Discord Channel where you can ask questions when you get stuck.      

Comment by Morpheus on Bet On Biden · 2020-10-19T07:59:29.940Z · LW · GW

Ok so I am through the process of making an account and adding funds to it. You have to transfer your money into the Cryptocurrency DAI. The bet with the lowest fees and the longest expiration date (to allow for a longer time until the results are known), has Trump at 62%. The cheapest NO-share that you can buy immediately is at .69. There is a 0.77% market fee. But there is a relatively high fee for making a transaction which is payed in Ethereum. it currently costs the equivalent of around 10$. But this transaction doesn't scale with your bet, so if you already plan to make a large bet (>500$) this shouldn't affect your decision much.

Comment by Morpheus on Bet On Biden · 2020-10-18T22:49:56.631Z · LW · GW

Ok you don't need Etherum. You can just buy Augur's currency using a credit card. I tried using coinbase, but it seems to have pretty high exchange fees.

Comment by Morpheus on Bet On Biden · 2020-10-18T22:06:30.150Z · LW · GW

You could try using Augur using a VPN I think. Though you need Cryptocurrency (Etherum). Which is the reason I didn't use it so far (too much effort to set up).

Comment by Morpheus on Morpheus's Shortform · 2020-08-07T22:35:58.694Z · LW · GW

Summary: I have updated on being more conscientious than I thought.

Since most of the advice on 80.000 hours is aimed at high performing college students, I find it difficult how much this advice should apply to myself, who just graduated from high school. Previously I had thought of myself as talented in math (I was the best in my class with 40 students, since first grade), but mid- to below average in conscientiousness. I also feel slightly ashamed of my (hand-)writing: most of my teachers commented that my texts were too short and my writing is not exactly pretty. I was diagnosed with ADHD with eleven and even with medication, my working memory is pretty bad. Even though I have started to develop strategies to cope with my disabilities, I wasn't sure how I was doing compared to those classmates that performed better in writing. So I just assumed that they must be way more productive. Recently I thought it would be interesting to try to predict my final grades by predicting the grades for every subject using Guesstimate (Unfortunately I later put in the grades I got in the end without saving my initial model. If someone is interested I can try to recreate it). This proved to be more useful then I thought: It was a major update for me being more productive and conscientious compared to the rest of my class.

  • Together with another student, I got the highest grades in German (my native tongue) in my final exam (13 out of 15 points), because I practiced writing (Exams).
  • I think I would not have realized that I had false assumptions about my performance if I had not seen the difference (There were 3-4 additional students in my class who I thought would be better than me in the final exam) between my prediction and the outcome.
  • It is not like I was bad before in German, but I attributed a lot of the credit to my teacher liking me. Since a second teacher graded my final exam, this effect shouldn't be as great.
Comment by Morpheus on Retrospective on a quantitative productivity logging attempt · 2020-07-15T12:11:04.529Z · LW · GW

Thanks for your post! I also tried to track my productivity and mood (to get better about reflection and to track the impact of adhd medication) in my journal until I got frustrated with how much these metrics seemed to shift over time when I reviewed them in retrospect. It could be my memory that tricks me, but I think at some point, I slipped into the habit of rating my mood for the day as a 4 just because I didn't take enough time to reflect (my scale goes from 1-5). I also think that the ratings were much more influenced by how I felt in the evening. Descriptions like the ones in your post could make this problem less bad: descriptions along the lines of "4: feeling neutral for most of the day, but 2 hours that were very nice" (I'll have to think about this scale more) might make this work for me again.