Comment by noitanigami on Clean work gets dirty with time · 2016-10-06T19:41:36.235Z · LW · GW

This was a useful article. Consider making it easier to find by submitting it to the main blog.

Thank you for writing up your insights.

Comment by noitanigami on Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015 · 2015-03-16T18:01:20.932Z · LW · GW

Changing while remaining the same is what Algebra is all about. Identify the quality you wish to hold invariant, then find the transformations that do so. Changing things while leaving them the same in important ways is how problems are solved.

Comment by noitanigami on Find a study partner - March 2014 thread · 2014-03-03T19:01:57.698Z · LW · GW

I'm studying K-theory using Atiyah's book. A partner would be welcome. Required background is some familiarity with vector spaces and vector bundles, some familiarity with topology, and very basic knowledge of groups. It is a very good introduction for universal properties.

Comment by noitanigami on How to become a PC? · 2014-01-26T19:14:41.242Z · LW · GW

Attractiveness: Health and fitness are effective at getting the attention of others.

Comment by noitanigami on Functional Side Effects · 2014-01-14T21:03:18.702Z · LW · GW

In Newcomb's problem, the affect on your behavior doesn't come from Omega's simulation function. Your behavior is modified by the information that Omega is simulating you. This information is either independent or dependent on the simulation function. If it is independent, this is not a side effect of the simulation function. If it is dependent, we can model this as an explicit effect of the simulation function.

While we can view the change in your behavior as a side effect, we don't need to. This article does not convince me that there is a benefit to viewing it as a side effect.

Comment by noitanigami on Examples in Mathematics · 2013-12-15T23:47:43.574Z · LW · GW

Speaking as a abstract thinker, examples itch. I can't work with someone throwing out examples on an idea I'm not fully clear about. The examples are too irritating for me to maintain my attention on the problem and I get stuck shooting down the parts of the examples that are too specific. I've learned to tolerate examples as a check, but I am not be able to work too deeply with example oriented thinkers.

Comment by noitanigami on Examples in Mathematics · 2013-12-15T23:37:17.630Z · LW · GW

Be careful about using these wide inferential steps as an example. It is much easier to see certain consequences from a model than it is to prove consequences generated by a different model. It is a much better idea to practice deriving a (possibly different) set of consequences from a result you are comfortable with. This will give you a better idea of his intellect. Leading mathematicians often seem so much farther ahead than others because they are less constrained by the paths of other people.

Comment by noitanigami on Advice for a smart 8-year-old bored with school · 2013-10-09T20:34:44.380Z · LW · GW


Read everything, even if you don't understand it. Read the words and symbols until that item is boring, them read another. At this stage, it barely even matters what you are reading. There is no teacher that can show you everything that there is to know, but strong reading skills will help you discover anything.

Comment by noitanigami on Should you work at 80,000 Hours? · 2013-08-09T02:09:57.060Z · LW · GW

Recruiting is inappropriate in this forum. This an advertisement, not a discussion.

Comment by noitanigami on Why do theists, undergrads, and Less Wrongers favor one-boxing on Newcomb? · 2013-06-19T17:09:22.657Z · LW · GW

What is the definition of TDT? Google wasn't helpful.

Comment by noitanigami on What math should I learn? · 2012-02-03T01:02:11.686Z · LW · GW

There is an ambiguity in your question. Do you want to learn mathematical techniques or do you wish to learn mathematics? If it is the former, Badger's comment has some good recommendations. If it is the latter, then you just need to examine the patterns that interest you. There is an unfortunate gap between courses in mathematical techniques and the process of mathematics.

While there are many ways of approaching mathematics. I am a big fan of asking "why" of every assumption. Why must the pattern be like this? What happens if it is NOT like this? This method is great practice for identifying conclusions.

Comment by noitanigami on What is wrong with mathematics education? · 2011-03-21T17:11:26.948Z · LW · GW

There is a more fundamental flaw in maths eduction than calculus vs, statistics. Very few people come out of school knowing what a maths problem is. If you ask most people to identify a maths problem, they will point to the exercises in a book or a work sheet. Very, very few will point to the world or their experiences. There is no place in the current curriculum that shows people how to frame a question about the world in a way that maths can be applied. Neither calculus or statistics is useful if you don't know how to frame the problem in the first place.

Comment by noitanigami on The spam must end · 2010-11-01T19:59:53.894Z · LW · GW

How are initial points distributed then? If you need points to post, how do you get that initial point?

Comment by noitanigami on Mixed strategy Nash equilibrium · 2010-10-17T02:53:57.181Z · LW · GW

Can you give examples of a mathematical proof leading to an ineffective mechanism?

Comment by noitanigami on (Virtual) Employment Open Thread · 2010-09-23T05:47:12.636Z · LW · GW

I make my money teaching/ tutoring. This has the wonderful benefit of requiring me to re-familiarize myself with a wide range of topics and giving me a reason to study. Particularly wonderful as i have a hard time sticking with a topic without a reason.

I think that this is something that many LWers could benefit from.

Comment by noitanigami on (Virtual) Employment Open Thread · 2010-09-23T05:43:53.597Z · LW · GW

Unofficial but not illegal work.

Comment by noitanigami on Attention Lurkers: Please say hi · 2010-04-16T22:34:28.269Z · LW · GW


I've only been aware of this site for about a month. While i find the articles and discussions enlightening, probability theory is still very new to me. Once i have a more intuitive grasp of its implications I plan to participate more heavily