Comment by nazgulnarsil on General Bitcoin discussion thread (June 2011) · 2012-01-07T21:56:14.523Z · LW · GW

mining was unprofitable for a long while until just recently with the price recovery. mining now is worth it for the free heating.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on 2011 Survey Results · 2011-12-06T10:05:12.228Z · LW · GW

as opposed to black fish.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Better Disagreement · 2011-10-25T03:46:29.227Z · LW · GW

You can be gentle about DH7 by attributing the improved argument to someone with high status. This is my typical strategy and seems to work well. It's a double whammy because you're implicitly associating them with someone of high status e.g. "it's funny you say that, it's very similar to an argument by ". I'm NOT saying that you actually have to know a bunch of famous arguments offhand, the better argument can be attributed fallaciously to anyone who has spoken on a topic and can have little to do with the person's original argument. Few notice and you have the out of being mistaken even if they do.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Satisficers want to become maximisers · 2011-10-23T21:29:59.598Z · LW · GW

Satisficing seems a great way to describe the behavior of maximizers with multiple-term utility functions and an ordinal ranking of preference satisfaction i.e. humans. This sounds like it should have some fairly serious implications.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on 11 Less Wrong Articles I Probably Will Never Have Time to Write · 2011-10-23T21:20:31.898Z · LW · GW

I think I can summarize hedonomics right here: Most people spend too much time optimizing for the acquisition of more objects and not enough optimizing their use of objects they already have (where objects can be anything we want not just physical items).

ex: "If only I was better looking!"

economics: acquire more of the properties that make you attractive to other people

hedonomics: are you maximizing your looks given your current resources?

I think the distinction relies on a naive understanding of economics, but it is nonetheless a good heuristic in general to ask that sort of question.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Social status & testosterone · 2011-10-23T02:08:38.761Z · LW · GW

The things that increase testosterone serum levels are things you should be doing anyway.

  1. ensure you're getting good quality sleep (poor quality sleep responsible for up to a 40% drop)
  2. ensure that your diet includes enough fresh vegetables that you're getting RDAs of zinc, magnesium, and b-vitamins.
  3. engage in physical activity, especially those that engage the largest muscle groups.
  4. stop eating low fat foods. the majority of people eating low fat food make up for the lack of calories with more sugary foods. whole milk, eggs, full fat cottage cheese, nuts are all good for you.
  5. decrease stress in your life. cortisol is bad for test levels. meditation has been shown to significantly reduce cortisol levels. this is one of the things sleep plays into as well.
Comment by nazgulnarsil on Social status & testosterone · 2011-10-23T01:25:30.364Z · LW · GW

I do not plan to supplement my natural levels but I do intend to use supllemental test to stay at my baseline as the level naturally drops off with aging.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on In favour of a selective CEV initial dynamic · 2011-10-23T01:14:41.464Z · LW · GW

I favor a diaspora cev. Why compromise between wildly divergent CEV's of subsets if you don't actually have to? In more concrete terms, I'm in favor of holodecking psychopaths.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Overcoming the Curse of Knowledge · 2011-10-19T19:54:56.055Z · LW · GW

Using technical definitions and ignoring folk meanings is something I've been noticing more in myself and others lately. Until I started making the distinction when listening to others I never realized how painfully bad it must sound when I do it.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on A signaling theory of class x politics interaction · 2011-10-19T19:46:10.782Z · LW · GW

After further investigation I retract the "much worse" comment. It is a little more precise than I previously thought.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on A signaling theory of class x politics interaction · 2011-10-18T08:26:06.438Z · LW · GW

the poverty threshold is a much worse metric than looking directly at various parameters for living standards.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on What should I have for dinner? (A case study in decision making) · 2011-10-16T00:34:45.555Z · LW · GW

this might just be the single greatest comment I've seen on LW.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Don't call yourself a rationalist. · 2011-10-15T05:51:52.062Z · LW · GW

I say that I hang out with people who are "into hardcore rationality" immediately followed up with "studying reasoning, that sort of thing." I think the nerdishness sound of that balances it out slightly.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on [LINK] Why did Steve Jobs choose not to effectively treat his cancer? · 2011-10-13T05:14:45.731Z · LW · GW

I cut people making decisions before google a lot more slack. If you make a bad a decision because of a lack of info that was on the first page of a google search on the topic I'm not really worried about your shitty outcomes.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on [LINK] Why did Steve Jobs choose not to effectively treat his cancer? · 2011-10-12T23:58:08.409Z · LW · GW

I don't know why people care so much. He chose to dramatically increase his risk of dying. If he was that bothered by the prospect of dying enough he would have made a more thorough investigation. Most people obviously choose not to maximize their lifespans as the serious longevity crowd is a tiny niche.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on The self-unfooling problem · 2011-10-12T13:44:28.842Z · LW · GW

If your system is 99% 'good' you actually CAN then nudge your behavior via slight modifications. For example floss no longer goes in the bathroom, it stays next to my computer where I see it.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on The self-unfooling problem · 2011-10-12T13:42:18.295Z · LW · GW

pocket discipline? you mean everyone doesn't do this?! there are people walking around right now with their possessions in random pockets and they themselves might not know what pocket an item is in until they check? MADNESS. brb, accosting strangers.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on First, they must be convinced to play the game · 2011-10-10T01:30:32.675Z · LW · GW

When trying to convince someone of something that is weird we use smaller inference jumps in order to make our argument more watertight. This is perceived as condescension. You aren't going to convince anyone of something weird in a single conversation anyway. Use normal inference jumps and if the topic comes up multiple times you'll eventually have the opportunity to plug any gaps. Also keep in mind that normal people don't require near as high a standard of proof in the first place.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Calibrate your self-assessments · 2011-10-10T00:11:14.328Z · LW · GW

People's subjective experience of how attractive someone is is heavily influenced by framing. I can't find the relevant study but basically people responded with better ratings when someone was surrounded by less attractive people than when someone was surrounded by people who were around the same or more attractive. Conclusion? The same as Mises: preference rankings are ordinal, not cardinal. The frame of hotornot is looking at a very large group, so all but the most attractive in the set will rank slightly worse than they otherwise would have (real life situations are always much smaller sets).

In addition, as the okcupid article indicates, variance matters a lot. 3 people rating you a 9 or 10 and 7 people rating you 1 or 2 means your overall rating will be low, even though a significant fraction of people think you're the bees knees.

Oh and to quantify: the research I'm familiar with indicates that women should, on average, bump up their estimation of their own attractiveness and men should bump it downward (but a smaller bump than women). But this hides an important dynamic: we don't care what the average person thinks of us. We care about what people whom we find attractive think. A rating of 8 from someone who we rate an 8 is roughly twelve billion times more important than from someone we rate a 2.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Mike Darwin on Kurzweil, Techno-Optimism, and Delusional Stances on Cryonics · 2011-10-09T02:47:02.518Z · LW · GW

I expect radical extension on my natural lifespan given that even currently: "A second, larger study of men in their 70s found that those who avoided smoking, obesity, inactivity, diabetes and high blood pressure greatly improved their chances of living into their 90s. In fact, they had a 54 percent chance of living that long."

and I have several decades of life expectancy continuing to improve just from mundane medical research.

I would be shocked at no brain uploads by 2085.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Peter Thiel warns of upcoming (and current) stagnation · 2011-10-06T10:12:00.493Z · LW · GW

Nobody engages the topic seriously besides perhaps a handful of bloggers on the internet. To talk about the topic intelligently requires rare traits. An extremely broad swath of knowledge about econ and history, and the ability to not be mind-killed by politics chief among them.

With regard to great achievements enable bad government, yes you find strains of this thought in most of the "cyclical" types of historical analysis, most famous being Spengler.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on [Funny] Even Clippy can be blamed on the use of non-Bayesian methods · 2011-10-04T00:23:03.737Z · LW · GW

decision makers rarely know any math IME.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Get genotyped for free ( If your IQ is high enough) · 2011-10-04T00:18:19.742Z · LW · GW

I was under the impression that an IQ of 145 puts one in the 99.75% percentile but I never investigated too closely. Some stats:

" rarity on a 15 SD (e.g. Wechsler) and 16 SD (e.g. Stanford-Binet) scale: 145 99.8650032777% 1 in 741

99.7542037453% 1 in 407

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Why do people commit mathematical mistakes? What are the mechanisms behind them? · 2011-09-17T02:44:52.105Z · LW · GW

I don't remember the exact quote or source, but I once read something along the lines of "humans don't prove anything, we just decide which side of the argument we will hold to a higher standard of proof."

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Why do people commit mathematical mistakes? What are the mechanisms behind them? · 2011-09-10T05:53:01.992Z · LW · GW

No matter how well you atomize a proof there remains inferential gaps that gets filled by humans agreeing that something is obvious. Some are considered axiomatic, many aren't.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Why do people commit mathematical mistakes? What are the mechanisms behind them? · 2011-09-08T23:33:17.831Z · LW · GW

the more you investigate the foundations of mathematics the more miraculous "obvious" inference jumps will become.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on [Question] What's your Elevator Pitch For Rationality? · 2011-09-08T07:50:50.022Z · LW · GW

"Basically your brain is trolling you."

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Consequentialism Need Not Be Nearsighted · 2011-09-05T18:05:05.897Z · LW · GW

this is somewhat circular. It works for the example but not knowing how similar two situations have to be before similar decisions produce similar utility is part of the problem.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Call for Personal Volunteers · 2011-08-30T00:44:33.373Z · LW · GW

is there no software that can help speed along video transcription?

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Weight training · 2011-08-30T00:23:23.188Z · LW · GW

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Polyhacking · 2011-08-28T19:30:35.653Z · LW · GW

I'm skeptical because of the huge differences in male and female dominant strategies for mating*. I think poly can work, but that a lot of people who consider themselves poly just haven't run into a highly frictional situation yet or have put their fingers in their ear and are shouting "lalalala".

*I should note that I'm also extremely skeptical of monogamy. The situation that makes men and women happiest seems to involve some (sometimes a lot) of unhappiness in their partners.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Weight training · 2011-08-28T00:18:25.602Z · LW · GW

starting strength.

drink milk.

by the time you stop getting gains through this method you will be in amazing shape.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Please do not downvote every comment or post someone has ever made as a retaliation tactic. · 2011-08-22T09:09:51.855Z · LW · GW

I rarely if ever downvote someone's initial post on a conversation branch, even if poorly formed. I'll ask them to clarify their position and if they have a massive rationality failure in their response to this THEN I downvote.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on A Crash Course in the Neuroscience of Human Motivation · 2011-08-21T10:33:29.520Z · LW · GW

I really like the phrase "More is Possible."

Comment by nazgulnarsil on LINK: Ben Goertzel; Does Humanity Need an "AI-Nanny"? · 2011-08-20T06:51:57.199Z · LW · GW

lists of friendliness conditions are known to be stupid. this is an obvious failure mode.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Meetup : San Jose Start of College Meetup · 2011-08-17T11:40:58.252Z · LW · GW

I start attendance there this semester as well. Meet in the CS club room initially then figure out something from there?

As for meetups in the area you know about the mountain view meetup 15 minutes away yes?

Comment by nazgulnarsil on 'Complex Value Systems are Required to Realize Valuable Futures' (Yudkowsky, 2011) · 2011-08-13T22:42:01.340Z · LW · GW

strange that was downvoted with no explanation.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Real-life observations of the blue eyes puzzle phenomenon? · 2011-08-12T00:45:29.989Z · LW · GW

I'm not saying buffet isn't a good investor. Just that he is far less good than the popular narrative. Investor success follows a pareto distribution. There's always going to be someone like Buffet.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Real-life observations of the blue eyes puzzle phenomenon? · 2011-08-11T23:56:28.461Z · LW · GW

If I start flipping a coin and half the population guesses heads and half tails and I eliminate the half that guesses wrong, I will eventually wind up with one person with an unprecedented prediction streak.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Theory of Knowledge (rationality outreach) · 2011-08-10T21:08:27.841Z · LW · GW

There are 2 such schools in San Jose. Anyone else in the area interested?

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Fiction: Letter from the End · 2011-08-10T10:56:14.071Z · LW · GW

so half of matt experiences bajillions of years of post singularity awesomeness but half of him experiences only being plucked from normal experience, then the letter, then death? that sounds lie it is reducing your own utility.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on 'Complex Value Systems are Required to Realize Valuable Futures' (Yudkowsky, 2011) · 2011-08-10T10:49:39.487Z · LW · GW

Eliezer presented this at the Winter Intelligence Conference.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on [LINK] Get paid to train your rationality · 2011-08-05T21:17:27.098Z · LW · GW

"How many countries in the Euro zone will default on bonds in 2011?” or “Will Southern Sudan become an independent country in 2011?”

It's hard to make predictions about politics because the decision makers have perverse/unknown sets of incentives. In contrast, it's much easier to make guesses with reasonable error bars when the decision maker is spending his/her own money.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Beware The Believer, or a study in depth of recursion · 2011-08-04T23:14:01.699Z · LW · GW

it's a parody based upon the incongruous juxtaposition that you yourself enumerate.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Beware The Believer, or a study in depth of recursion · 2011-07-31T13:24:44.970Z · LW · GW

had to click away after the rap started. why do people still think that making rap videos about things white people like is funny? it was slightly funny in the 90's.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die · 2011-07-31T08:18:57.277Z · LW · GW

"I think that the former quote captures more of what is going on. A community is being created in which cryonics isn't as weird, removing previous barriers without implicating rationality directly."

Very much so. People don't actually believe in the future.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die · 2011-07-31T08:07:40.209Z · LW · GW

this seems very difficult if you aren't a member of a protected class. can a young white healthy male freeload easily?

Comment by nazgulnarsil on On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die · 2011-07-31T08:04:47.926Z · LW · GW

Land is only a problem because of the dept of education. Competition wouldn't be nearly so fierce if there wasn't a monopoly on good schooling. Look at a heat map of property values. They are sharply discontinuous around school district borders.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on SIAI Logo In SVG Format? · 2011-07-28T21:34:58.654Z · LW · GW

thanks, inverted and resized it for wallpaper because I hate white backgrounds. Link if anyone wants it.

Comment by nazgulnarsil on Optimal Philanthropy for Human Beings · 2011-07-28T21:25:06.654Z · LW · GW

Money spent on mind uploading is a better defense against asteroids than asteroid detection. At least for me.