LessWrong: West vs. East 2017-10-19T03:13:13.450Z


Comment by neuroff on Taking it Private: Short Circuiting Demon Threads (working example) · 2018-01-23T08:12:52.983Z · LW · GW

I notice the term "demon thread" feels a bit too loaded for me to actually use. It is also somewhat misleading given there is such a thing as a benign demon thread.

It's probably too late in the game to alter the term though.

Comment by neuroff on The Copernican Revolution from the Inside · 2017-11-03T06:08:22.063Z · LW · GW

Meta comment: It'd be nice if this post had the nice, linked footnotes, like Eliezer's sequence posts.

Comment by neuroff on The Craft & The Community - A Post-Mortem & Resurrection · 2017-11-02T06:35:57.665Z · LW · GW
You need to have a strategy in place for dealing with MOPs before you are overrun.

I agree with this statement, but I also am interested in how you plan on dealing with Sociopaths, in the Geeks, MOPs, Sociopaths model. Or at least filtering for the ones who actually Get It, versus the ones looking to opportunistically score resources.

MIRI seems to be a particularly well-tended garden because it's led primarily by Geeks, with Sociopath skill sets. They're not, as in the default case, Geek-sympathizing Sociopaths.

Could you speak to your sense of how the model applies to this particular community? I'm interested in finding crux points.

Comment by neuroff on LessWrong: West vs. East · 2017-10-22T02:44:02.562Z · LW · GW

I have other reasons to believe they have a Zen influence that are not their webpage.

I am confused by your latter two paragraphs, as it seems like my first two paragraphs in the previous comment should have addressed those concerns. I'll put forward Val's "In praise of fake frameworks" post as further response.

Comment by neuroff on LessWrong: West vs. East · 2017-10-22T02:39:03.208Z · LW · GW

It sounds like you are claiming I'm trying to draw some kind of single causal arrow that explains a bunch of things about history. This is not quite the thing I'm trying to do... although I can see how it might appear that way.

Comment by neuroff on LDL 2: Nonconvex Optimization · 2017-10-21T00:16:41.441Z · LW · GW

I am sad. I really wanted to see the pictures. (I don't fully get the post as it is.)

Comment by neuroff on LessWrong: West vs. East · 2017-10-20T01:48:12.263Z · LW · GW

I may have under-communicated my point.

My point is that there's a reason the West was more capitalistic, and there's a reason why European countries were such that young people felt an affordance and a pull to take daring expeditions across the Atlantic, while China was only ever going to do that IF the emperor planned it.

Of course China can do capitalism.

My point is not that there is some kind of difference in capacity between Asians and white people.

My point is that there is/was a cultural, worldview difference that has carried over time, predicting many of the historical events of the past, as well as the conditions of the present.

I hope I'm being more clear. ?

Comment by neuroff on LessWrong: West vs. East · 2017-10-20T01:39:54.336Z · LW · GW

I'm taking a much more abstract view of "Eastern" and "Western" thinking. It's a lot like the introvert / extrovert distinction. There are correlations, and the correlations coalesce into patterns, and the patterns become concepts / buckets.

I'm not trying to talk about actual Asians here. White ppl can absolutely do the Eastern thing, and vice versa, and also all kinds of mixes. Basically, the concept of Eastern/Western is an abstract line; it's not about people.

The philosophies and teaching methods of Circling Europe (a particular school of Circling that is led by white guys) are influenced by Zen, and their methods more embody the Eastern way of going about truth-seeking. [Warning: Their online content is really bad.] They like to do subject-object shifts, continuous context setting, and naming the unnamed (e.g. elephants in the room).

In-person methods of seeking truth from other humans is probably more Eastern, as in-person communication includes a lot of the implicit contexts. While the internet tends to wipe away context.

There are also a number of rationalist writers who like to put events into broader historical contexts, which is a move that I'm calling more Eastern. Systems-based thinking is also more Eastern, as it puts more attention on the "field" than the players or objects.

Good forecasting likely has to use many Eastern moves—as it involves a kind of outside view / checking for large-scale variables that one could easily ignore when focusing only on the relevant actors.

Comment by neuroff on LessWrong: West vs. East · 2017-10-20T01:12:34.925Z · LW · GW

This kind of thing is a "given" in certain spaces. The practices of Circling, Focusing, Nonviolent Communication, and Internal Family Systems all try to distance oneself a little from one's experiences / feelings and treat them as 'objects' or 'observations' or even 'subagents' without auto-judgment. The practicers tend to be good about not making the assumption that "I feel X" means "I endorse X," and this is obvious from the way they communicate with each other.

It is one of the things I'd love to see more of in rationality spaces.

Comment by Neuroff on [deleted post] 2017-10-20T01:05:09.373Z

In my experience, I have a pretty strong and consistently internal locus of control and also am able to feel compelled to change systems that are wrong / suboptimal. (I.e. it feels like I avoid the caveat you describe.)

There's a blurring between (having an internal locus of control) ~ (accepting things the way they are and just changing your attitude). This feels like Bucket Error territory.

I might try going a meta level up and realizing that I can prioritize which suboptimal / unfair systems are, in fact, worth trying to fix and choosing to (at least for now) accept the ones that I don't have the resources to fix. (This includes a Growth Mindset into the Internal Locus of Control narrative.)

For each encounter of a suboptimal system, I can then think:

Gah, this is horrible... am I in a privileged position to fix this? Do I want to spend resources to fix this?

If yes, I make attempts to fix.
If no, I realize this is a battle for others to fight (in which case I feel like I have personally delegated this task away from myself) or that I can fight the battle another day (in which case I have delegated this to my future self).
And delegation counts as keeping an internal locus of control, at least for me. Maybe this isn't true for others.

If delegation feels like losing your locus of control, I think this is a problem that can also be fixed too! Mostly by putting oneself in situations where trust+cooperation is the optimal move.

Comment by Neuroff on [deleted post] 2017-10-20T00:36:38.342Z

I like the phrase "having an internal locus of control." I'm wanting more propagation of this concept of "locus of control," and I'd probably read any future posts with "Locus of Control" in its title.

(OTOH, I'm not a fan of "narrativemancy," which to me connotes magic hand-waving which further connotes trickster magic, lying, and wool-over-eyes-pulling.)

Comment by Neuroff on [deleted post] 2017-10-19T06:07:21.763Z

I think I was most expecting it in the graph called "How does progress in skill X tend to go usually"? There could be a curve here that basically looks like this:

Comment by neuroff on LessWrong: West vs. East · 2017-10-19T05:58:20.440Z · LW · GW

This is fair. It was a little ambiguous to me where this post ought to go. I'd appreciate something like 'hover text' over the various checkbox options when submitting, to clarify the different types of submissions. (I also suspect 'meta' should be one of the checkbox options but am less clear on this.)

Comment by Neuroff on [deleted post] 2017-10-19T00:41:41.099Z

I really wanted you to represent the Dunning-Kruger effect more in here.

Comment by Neuroff on [deleted post] 2017-10-19T00:40:51.973Z

The way this post "presents" to me, it feels like a "here's a list of interesting thought experiments / questions for you to ponder in your head."

It just doesn't feel like a discussion is being called for; it feels like it's calling on me to have interesting thoughts, but silently. (Like it's feeding into my shower thoughts, not the verbal-discussion thoughts.)

The post feels like a good thing to link to in the future.

Comment by neuroff on Slack · 2017-10-05T01:44:12.977Z · LW · GW

and perhaps most surprisingly an individual's mind-body

Could you elaborate on this bit? Or maybe give an example of what you mean?

Comment by neuroff on Slack · 2017-10-05T01:35:57.816Z · LW · GW

I have nearly the opposite experience, FWIW.

The posts are intuitive; I flow through the text without any jarring.

I think the trick might be (I'm making this up, I don't know what anyone is actually doing) to not try to analyze each line or try to make sure you've understood each sentence. But to let yourself read all the words and then at the end, try to notice if you feel any different about certain concepts, situations, or beliefs.

My guess is people have different default methods of absorbing or processing text. If Zvi exists on one end of a spectrum, it would be nice to have whatever is at the opposite end. But I don't want to lose the benefits of having, what to me is a very enjoyable and easy reading experience. (But I also want to accommodate other processing types.)

For an example of a similar writing style (which I posit is worse than Zvi's but has similar properties), the book Finite & Infinite Games by James Carse.