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The Wire versus Evolutionary Psychology 2009-05-25T05:21:23.639Z · score: 15 (20 votes)

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Comment by mrshaggy on The Irrationality Game · 2011-10-11T14:08:55.961Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Not just hold the belief but eat that way even more consistently (more butter and less sour cream just because tastes change, but same basic principles). I'm young and didn't have any obvious signs of heart disease personally so can't say it "worked out" for me personally in that literal, narrow sense but I feel better, more mentally clear, etc. (I know that's kinda whatever of evidence, just saying since you asked).

Someone else recently posted their success with butter lowering their measurement of arterial plaque: "the second score was better (lower) than the first score. The woman in charge of the testing center said this was very rare — about 1 time in 100. The usual annual increase is about 20 percent." (http://blog.sethroberts.net/2011/08/04/how-rare-my-heart-scan-improvement/) (Note: I disagree with the poster's reasoning methods in general, just noting his score change.)

There was a recent health symposium that discussed this idea and related ones: http://vimeo.com/ancestralhealthsymposium/videos/page:1/sort:newest.

For those specifically related to heart health, these are most of them: http://vimeo.com/ancestralhealthsymposium/videos/search:heart/sort:newest

Comment by mrshaggy on The Irrationality Game · 2010-12-24T03:43:52.168Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Downvoted means you agree (on this thread), correct? If so, I've wanted to see a post on rationality and nutrition for a while (on the benefits of high-animal fat diet for health and the rationality lessons behind why so many demonize that and so few know it).

Comment by mrshaggy on The Irrationality Game · 2010-10-09T06:09:36.981Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I was worried people would think that, but if I posted links to present evidence, I ran the risk of convincing them so they wouldn't vote it up! All I've eaten in the past three weeks is: pork belly, butter, egg yolks (and a few whites), cheese, sour cream (like a tub every three days), ground beef, bacon fat (saved from cooking bacon) and such. Now, that's no proof about the medical claim but I hope it's an indication that I'm not just bullshiting. But for a few links: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19179058 (the K2 in question is virtually found only in animal fats and meats, see http://www.westonaprice.org/abcs-of-nutrition/175-x-factor-is-vitamin-k2.html#fig4)--the pubmed is on prevention of heart disease in humans http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/11/can-vitamin-k2-reverse-arterial.html shows reversal in rat studies from K2 http://trackyourplaque.com/ -- a clinic that uses K2 among other things to reverse heart disease note that I am not trying to construct a rational argument but to convince people that I do hold this belief. I do think a rational argument can be constructed but this is not it.

Comment by mrshaggy on The Irrationality Game · 2010-10-08T05:02:41.533Z · score: 21 (36 votes) · LW · GW

Eating lots of bacon fat and sour cream can reverse heart disease. Very confident (>95%).

Comment by mrshaggy on The Science of Cutting Peppers · 2010-09-17T00:14:33.713Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just to add to the anecdotal data, I've had the same experience upping animal fat and being able to be productive (mentally and physically) even without eating, and I work a physically demanding job at night, either of which alone can induce fatigue. I eat mostly butter, egg yolks, cream, coconut oil, and fatty cuts of meat like pork belly and fatty ground beef (epsom salts, mineral water and magnesium supplements take care of any muscle soreness).

Comment by mrshaggy on Intelligence Amplification Open Thread · 2010-09-16T22:33:32.622Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

More useful than melatonin for sleeping in particular?

Comment by mrshaggy on Ureshiku Naritai · 2010-09-11T02:41:52.782Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Not AT but something similar and free online vids is "Intuflow", for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsMPqP7hxRk

Comment by mrshaggy on The Wire versus Evolutionary Psychology · 2009-05-25T19:35:27.454Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

T&C report that mapping the Wason selection task to examples from everyday life doesn't improve performance, only when changed to detecting cheating does it change performance.

Comment by mrshaggy on The Wire versus Evolutionary Psychology · 2009-05-25T19:25:32.704Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If I understand your last sentence correctly, that was my other main problem with their argument for evolved social contract algorithms or whatever: I didn't see sufficient evidence that the "cheating" stuff was part of our "native" architecture rather than a learned behavior. Hence the suggestion to create tests that vary on things we know to culturally vary.

Comment by mrshaggy on The Wire versus Evolutionary Psychology · 2009-05-25T19:22:13.449Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well the EvPsych Primer referenced uses it as their centerpiece for how EvPsych works. I can't say what the rest of the literature says.

Comment by mrshaggy on The Wire versus Evolutionary Psychology · 2009-05-25T18:26:34.178Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not positing that the beating helped the kid learn. See Kaj_Sotala's comment above for an example of how students perform math better when say, doing their job but they can't at school. I found the Wire anecdote plausible, but I didn't mean to suggest I accept the kid's understanding at face value: I generalized to the kid being motivated, which may've well been the case even if the kid hadn't been beaten but having been beaten, that's the explanation the kid looked to. Also, I think your historical evidence doesn't necessarily prove your point. My impression is that corporal punishment was often rather arbitrary and to enforce social norms more than teach math lessons (though that too), and I would guess that if kids are beaten for reasons they often can't understand (which is my impression from reading accounts), then being hurt for reasons they can understand (not memorizing their multiplication tables) has a diminished effect. I'm having trouble recalling any specifics, but I'm pretty sure I've read accounts from kids that suggest they saw the punishment as a motivating force for learning, whether it actually was or not. Just to be clear, even if corporal punishment were shown to be effective in certain ways if used in certain ways, I wouldn't be in favor of using it and would guess it would decrease self-motivated learning long term and there are hopefully more humane ideas to make learning motivating.

Comment by mrshaggy on The Wire versus Evolutionary Psychology · 2009-05-25T18:19:16.725Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This example helps clarify something for me. I don't think it's that the "cognitive context was...too dissimilar" for the students, I would guess that it's that they don't care in class. When they're doing they're job or shopping, they do care. But the obvious reply is: why do I hypothesize that cheating-examples make people care in a fictional context? Maybe someone can help say it clearly for me, but it just makes sense to me that math requires a higher threshold of "caring" than something like "cheating." If I were reading a novel about a kid solving math problems in class, I'd probably wouldn't care about the math problems, but if I were reading a novel and cheating was possible, it probably would cause a reaction. This is what I was trying to get at with testing "various types of emotionally-motivating things," it just seems obvious that some things will evoke emotions in some contexts but not others, and some emotional responses will increase performance or some won't, but I can't put it better than that right now.

Comment by mrshaggy on This Failing Earth · 2009-05-25T04:47:53.420Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, the idea that a certain concept of states is what explains North Korea and Somalia is wrong. Seconding the point on North Korea: it can defend itself quite well, and it's not just the size of the army. Also, compare post-Westphalian but pre-WW2 with post-WW2 to see a difference in terms of conquering other countries and redrawing borders. The difference: a deal between the US and USSR, two countries with enough power to enforce a certain kind of stability in general, and with the collapse of Stalinism leading to an uptick in the exceptions (esp. Kosovo and Russia-Georgia stuff).

Comment by mrshaggy on Inhibition and the Mind · 2009-05-23T04:17:09.716Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Right, it's responsible for the complexity of what we regard as human behavior, but that doesn't meant that part of the brain is more complex than other parts. Also, I doubt but do not know that it's the only part that regulates or suppresses other parts.

Comment by mrshaggy on Inhibition and the Mind · 2009-05-22T05:24:22.242Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"These points illustrate a very important basic principle: the mind is made out of ‘layers’ of modules and functions, starting with the most rudimentary, basic, and primitive, and moving to the most complex and subtle."

The evidence you gave doesn't point to this conclusion. Modules and functions are the dominate way of thinking about how the brain works currently, but what you've shown is only that the brain isn't a single process free of contradiction. More importantly, even in the view of modules and functions, the rudimentary/basic/primitive ladder to complex/subtle doesn't follow. Sure the front cortext is more recently evolved, but according to what measure is it more complex than another part of the brain? I could be wrong, but I think you're sort of anthropomorphizing parts of the brain (the reptilian part is primitive, the 'human' part is complex).

Comment by mrshaggy on Inhibition and the Mind · 2009-05-22T05:19:48.510Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, but this is basically only worthwhile to us as an introduction...meaning you just gave us an introduction, the point of which is for something more substantial to come after it. Neat example yes, but still wordy for that neat example. This could've been two paragraphs.

Comment by mrshaggy on "What Is Wrong With Our Thoughts" · 2009-05-18T21:55:56.409Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"These situations sound like there is a much bigger problem than the elementary error, perhaps that the people involved just don't care about seeking truth, only about having a routine."

Well, a large part of it is funding/bureaucracy/grants. I tend to thing that's the main part in many of these fields. Look at Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories for a largely correct history of how the field of nutrition went wrong and is still going at it pretty badly. You do have a growing number of insiders doing research not on the "wrong" path and you did all along, but they never got strong enough to challenge the "consensus" and it's due not just to the field but the forces outside the field (think tanks, government agencies, media reports). So even being published and well-known isn't enough to change a field.

Comment by mrshaggy on Share Your Anti-Akrasia Tricks · 2009-05-18T20:33:42.791Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You would probably like Ferris's Four hour workweek, has an example of how to get your boss to let you work from home and stuff like that. Not the same as above, but similar enough to help you.

Comment by mrshaggy on Rationalistic Losing · 2009-05-01T02:57:48.536Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"Take a tile known to both of you (if there is doubt, take one your oponent knows)."

I don't understand the parenthetical comment: it seems to be saying "If you are not sure both of you know what a tile is, then choose a tile your opponent knows." How could you know your opponent knows what a tile is but not be sure you know? Or maybe I'm just not understanding?

Comment by mrshaggy on Rationalistic Losing · 2009-05-01T02:56:07.999Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Or just a different version of the game. Seeing the peeks makes it feel more competitive.

Comment by mrshaggy on How Not to be Stupid: Know What You Want, What You Really Really Want · 2009-04-28T16:39:33.697Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, imagine for instance you have a set of preferences A1 < A2 < A3 < A4 ... and B1 < B2 < B3 < B4 ... such that your opinion with regards to any A compared with any B is like the above confusion

If this is meant to be a kind of introductory piece for decision theory, I don't think it'll work for most people. I'm a programmer (well, I know how to and used to do it for money but not currently), and my eyes start to roll into the back of my head when I read a sentence like the one above and I am not convinced it's important. It seems to me most of the comments are from people who have already thought about preference rankings and are using this to refine there ideas/check yours. I doubt people who don't already know this stuff (and therefor why it's important) will take the time to understand sentences like the one above. To work, it needs more qualitative generalizing statements (less A>B>C>D which is a pain to look at) and more examples (the first example of saving a kid is so obvious it makes one tend to think, "preference ranking is easy" which doesn't motivate someone not otherwise motivated to do the hard work of getting through this.)

Comment by mrshaggy on What is control theory, and why do you need to know about it? · 2009-04-28T16:32:55.507Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Could one argue the tuning by the programmer incorporates the relevant aspects of the model? (Which is what I think commenter meant by "implicit.") In my mom's old van, going down a steep hill would mess up the cruise control: as you say, if you push hard enough, you can over come a control loop's programming. So a guess as to relation to Bayescraft: certain real world scenarios operate within a narrow enough set of parameters enough of the time that one can design feedback loops that do not update based on all evidence and still work well enough.

Comment by mrshaggy on What is control theory, and why do you need to know about it? · 2009-04-28T12:51:02.777Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I liked the Alien Space Bat description of a control system. The idea that our psychology is a collection of control systems, originated by a control engineer sounds like the cliche "if you're holding a hammer, everything look like a nail" and I don't know how the belief itself controls anticipation (http://www.overcomingbias.com/2007/07/making-beliefs-.html). So as of now, I still don't know why I need to know about control theory.

Comment by mrshaggy on Practical Advice Backed By Deep Theories · 2009-04-28T01:52:56.874Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Okay. Another take. Is this really true?

I've read dozens of self-help books and numerous websites, etc. and pjeby's claims of repetition seem mostly true (and his point that some who have unscientific philosophies have great practical advice is definitely true in my experience).

Comment by mrshaggy on Practical Advice Backed By Deep Theories · 2009-04-28T01:50:05.261Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Unreliable for what purpose? I would think that for any individual's purpose, self-experimentation is the ONLY standard that counts... it's of no value to me if a medicine is statistically proven to work 99% of the time, if it doesn't work for ME.

The way I'd put it for this stuff is that experiments help communicate why someone would try a technique, they help people distinguish signal from noise, because there are a ton of people out there saying X works for me.

Comment by mrshaggy on Practical Advice Backed By Deep Theories · 2009-04-28T01:38:25.457Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This comment is I think an essential couterbalance to the post's valid points. To expand a little, the book Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes argues that bad nutritional recommendations were adopted by leading medical and then governmental associations, partly justified by the above advice (we need recommendations to help people now, can't wait for full testing). So someone could refer to this as an example of why the comment above is dangerous in areas that are harder to test than the efficacy of steel production (which I presume they knew worked better than other procedures, whereas some nutritional effects have long term consequences that aren't clear or it's not clear which component of the recommendation is affecting what). However, Taubes also shows that this was also used to justify overlooking flaws in the evidence, and he points to a group heuristic bias (if that's the right term) of information cascades. There are other biases and failures of rationality (how certain statistical evidence was interpreted) in the story as well. So all this to say, while trial and error give give faster and as effective results, the less clear the measurement of the results are, the more care required interpreting them. When stated, it sounds obvious and I almost feel dumb for saying it, yet it's one of those rules honored more in the breach as they say. In the field of nutrition, you'll have headlines that say "Meat causes cancer" based on a study that points to a small statistical correlation between two diets which have very many differences other than type and amount of meat and itself concludes that more studies are called for to examine possible links between meat and cancer but not other possible causes that are just as much pointed to by the study.

Comment by mrshaggy on Final Words · 2009-04-27T23:24:36.088Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also note: "Power, he'd sought at first. Strength to prevent a repetition of the past. "If you don't know what you need, take power" - so went the proverb. He had gone first to the Competitive Conspiracy, then to the beisutsukai."

But the teacher has promised failure as a seemingly necessary step to mastery on this path, so it has not fulfilled what he went there for yet.

Comment by mrshaggy on Final Words · 2009-04-27T22:01:23.687Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Brennan asked: "Is this the only way in which Bayesian masters come to be, sensei?"

And thought: "How could Jeffreyssai possibly have known before Brennan knew himself?"

He wants to find a better way to train Bayesian masters.

Comment by mrshaggy on Excuse me, would you like to take a survey? · 2009-04-27T11:53:25.366Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps there should be a short survey and a full survey? Or every question (or most other than demographics) have a "no answer" as an already marked default? It's a pretty intensive survey unless you spend a lot of time here I think.

Comment by mrshaggy on Excuse me, would you like to take a survey? · 2009-04-27T11:49:20.808Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

"Why not just assume magical space fairies come down to earth and solve poverty? It's a more realistic expectation."

Right, like with the No Child Left Behind system, "still waiting for the magical space fairies to wisely make schools accountable since 2001."

Comment by mrshaggy on Instrumental vs. Epistemic -- A Bardic Perspective · 2009-04-27T11:39:12.597Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"If you incorporate their beliefs, to what extent is this self-pretension or just an attempt to incorporate them in your brain?"

I don't think we know enough neuroscience to know. Either way it is some set of neurons 'adopting' those beliefs. The question I guess is whether that set can become part of your system of beliefs that influence your day to day actions subsonsciously and consciously? I can't make the question clear which I think is because we don't understand the architecture well enough to do so.

Comment by mrshaggy on "Self-pretending" is not as useful as we think · 2009-04-25T23:35:38.421Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"Then, figure out which of those behaviors attract women and find a way to perfect those behaviors."

MBlume's post already responded to this method: body language (all the different subtle aspects of it) is not consciously controllable in this way. Some aspects of it, to go with the current example of "alpha male," can be, such as not to slouch. The only way I know to get the whole package of body language is from certain emotional states that subconsciously produce them. Now there are ways to get there other than through false beliefs, but that is one way to practice them, and as my comment pointed out, while abstractly there may be dangers involved (as in reading fiction, or in acting), if there were significant dangers, one place to look would be to actors like Daniel Day-Lewis.

Also, I doubt that you can act like a real alpha male when alone in your room. I suspect you can just think you are acting like one because your not seeing the nonverbal communication from others telling you that you are not.

Comment by mrshaggy on Cached Procrastination · 2009-04-25T22:22:42.623Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ha, fair enough. On a serious note though, I guess I'd say then that I don't know if trying to find out what it means about you might less effective than just finding out what it means in general, because looking for the piece connected to you might lead you down the wrong path if it's a few steps removed?

Comment by mrshaggy on Cached Procrastination · 2009-04-25T17:13:11.111Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sometimes we just have to force through something. One way to do that is to connect with your goal (and recursively up through your goal's goal). I assume this is for class. That's probably part of the problem: you aren't motivated to write the paper. But what's your goal? To pass, get a good grade, so you can go on in your education so you have a degree that might have some value on the job market. There are also various tricks you can google, such as writing by freehand non-stop for 15 minutes (even if it's "I don't know what to write.").

But for a slightly different take than pjeby, or maybe just a different presentation. You write: "These thoughts are much harder to clear, both because there are more of them, because of their emotional content." At least in the medium/long term, not "clearing" them but instead "listening" to the resistance, asking the resistance questions, will be more effective. Why is your emotional content blocking you (pjeby: "when it's chronic, the thought is nearly always something about you, and what it "means" about you if you don't do it"). So I don't know if it's always about you, I think maybe it could be arbitrary emotional impressions from earlier life, but I agree what one could call an emotionally intelligent approach is what is needed here.

Comment by mrshaggy on Instrumental vs. Epistemic -- A Bardic Perspective · 2009-04-25T17:02:13.794Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Excellent question. I have heard claims connecting Heath Ledger's death with the intensity of his performance as The Joker, but I am in no position to know the truth of the matter."

I didn't look into it systematically, but I did briefly, and it looked like one of those claims people like to say (and that helps sell papers). I can't rule it out, but without actual evidence, I think it's worth ignoring.

Comment by mrshaggy on Instrumental vs. Epistemic -- A Bardic Perspective · 2009-04-25T17:00:46.361Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"In fact, given the potential uses in optimizing the cartographer's interpersonal communication skills, there's an argument to be made that learning some of the secrets of the Bardic Conspiracy ought to be de rigeur for the aspiring cartographer."

I agree with this. There may be some dangers from knowingly rehearsing false beliefs but there are also dangers from not being able to do so effectively. To me, it seems there is strong evidence that interpersonal skills increase with 'acting'-like abilities and only weak evidence that acting, etc. involve significant distortion of belief system.

Comment by mrshaggy on Instrumental vs. Epistemic -- A Bardic Perspective · 2009-04-25T08:17:38.880Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I like your description of how your body language changed. As to whether it's dangerous, I'd say the question is a little broad.

Let's take the earlier example from The Game. I would argue that the false belief version you present (most attractive, etc.) can be a useful counter to Bruce-programming (self-defeating behavior), but that it is not necessary or even optimal to have a false belief of one's status (except perhaps as a training stage) to exhibit attractive body language. But maybe that's beside the point, because I would not be surprised if some aspects of our lives that are outside our direct conscious control (like our overall body language) could be optimized in some situations by having, or as you put it, rehearsing false beliefs. But I doubt those situations require more acceptance of the false beliefs than acting does. So it wouldn't be a "tiny awareness" recognizing that it's a lie. I'm not sure how to characterize it--a different self, a sort of meta-lie, but that kind of "mind hacking" doesn't seem like a path to the dark side inherently. In rehearing a false belief for acting, one is basically required to recognize it as a false belief, but one could imagine someone stumbling upon a false belief (say, that they're the most attractive person on earth) unconsciously (i.e. not by reading the Game or being fully self-aware that they're adopting such a belief, esp. say in the teen years) and then they get positive feedback socially and then when called on the false belief later, have trouble stepping back and being objective. But again, that's a different situation than rehearsing a false belief in a self-aware way. This doesn't rule out such rehearsing, as in acting, could have negative effects. Daniel Day-Lewis is famous for immersing himself in his characters--such methods should show negative effects if there were some. Do actors who use such methods show long term tendencies toward irrationality or some such that actors who don't do such immersion don't? I doubt it but don't have the data to say one way or another.

Comment by mrshaggy on Masochism vs. Self-defeat · 2009-04-25T04:14:41.835Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I disagree. Sometimes, if not virtually all the time, people loose due to self-defeating behavior even when winning would bring more drama--this particularly applies to tournaments. I would say rather that people create drama to cover up and to self-justify their self-defeating behavior.

Comment by mrshaggy on The ideas you're not ready to post · 2009-04-25T03:59:19.612Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My idea that I'm not ready to post is now: find a way to force pjeby to write regular posts.

Comment by mrshaggy on Just for fun - let's play a game. · 2009-04-25T03:41:52.424Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

My dad used to wear a watch like that. I guess 4.

Comment by mrshaggy on Just for fun - let's play a game. · 2009-04-25T03:39:19.387Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well I read 2 at first as "I have several pet tigers" and I definitely would've guessed that was the lie! I still guess 2.

Comment by mrshaggy on Rational Groups Kick Ass · 2009-04-25T03:33:07.154Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It is true that groups magnify the importance of rational thinking, but I don't think the few examples cited prove that non-x rational thinking was the cause of the success and even if that were proven, it wouldn't prove that x-rational thinking would (given opportunity cost) make a group better. The first example is Toyota, but the link isn't a serious argument that the main cause for their success versus the US auto industry is the continuous improvement, nor that their adoption of continuous improvement was them being rational and the US auto industry not adopting it was them being less rational. I doubt all those claims.

I also doubt that "Companies with slightly better risk management are currently preparing to dominate the financial space." As best I can tell, this presupposes that the financial crises hit all companies the same and the difference in effects was due to risk management policies. I tend to think that the different crises hit different companies differently because the crisis were varied and somewhat random in their effects, so that some companies got lucky (though some probably did have better risk policies).

And I really don't understand the claim about certain countries having more rational systems which over centuries led to their current improved "ways of life." I assume this refers to the highly industrialized countries. Was their growth only .5% more per year than other countries? Was the Tsarist rule of Russia more rational than that of imperial China? Or Great Britain more rational than Denmark? I highly doubt that amounts of rationality is what explains the current economic distinctions between countries.

Finally, there is the cliche about finance professors--if they really understood it, why aren't they rich? Similarly, why not start a company using x-rationality to guide it? Find, for example, a new small business that is growing, and just do the same thing--only using x-rationality.

Comment by mrshaggy on Escaping Your Past · 2009-04-24T05:34:13.757Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

"What do you have besides the oath? Are you doing reasearch, trying new things, keeping track of results, genuinely searching at long last for something that will actually work?" I agree with this, at least as a start. I would say "genuinely searching" is a tricky thing. Diet is one of the most sought areas to improve upon, and one of the most controversial for someone just looking around. One may think that looking at pubmed makes their search more rational, but that may just lead them to fall prey to existing biases in statistically confused researchers.

"For if you do succeed, it won't have been a miracle: you should be able to pin down at least approximately the causal factors that got you to where you are. And it has to be a plausible story." I only partially agree with this. Having a plausible-sounding story helps one commit and follow-through, but I see little evidence success is connected with actually understanding the causes of that success-which is why teaching excellence is so difficult. I say this agreeing that knowing the causal factors would give you more power.

Comment by mrshaggy on Fix it and tell us what you did · 2009-04-24T05:20:25.890Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Applied rationality? EY developed this rationality stuff as part of his work on AI. In terms of rational behavior, there's a general question of how do we change behavior to what we think is rational and the specific question of what is rational for whatever it is we're dealing with. Now that I write that I realize that different areas might have different best ways to change behaviors (diet changes versus exercise perhaps). I think that looking at more specific applied cases--what is a 'rational' diet and how to rationally adopt that diet--might be a good way to both test and develop x-rationality? Versus more abstract decision theory (Prisoner's dilemma).

Comment by mrshaggy on Fix it and tell us what you did · 2009-04-24T05:14:59.856Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think that this would be a weak community if going down that road would turn into a non-scientific amateur fest, which is how I understand Simpleton's concern.

Comment by mrshaggy on Extreme Rationality: It's Not That Great · 2009-04-24T05:07:54.487Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"Eliezer considers fighting akrasia to be part of the art of rationality; he compares it to "kicking" to our "punching". I'm not sure why he considers them to be the same Art rather than two related Arts."

I don't understand the implications of seeing it as part of the same art or a different art altogether.