Comment by nyralech on European Community Weekend 2016 · 2015-12-22T21:31:33.776Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Having a list where people can sign up to be notified when spots are running low would be very useful.

Comment by nyralech on A Map of Currently Available Life Extension Methods · 2015-10-17T23:30:21.197Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that it is some support, but I do not have any knowledge of the statistical distribution of differences between twins deaths. I would assume that there are enough twins that such a large difference is not terribly unlikely to happen just by chance alone.

However, it's quite clear to me that you are more informed about this than I am, so it would be nice if you could point me toward some resources with stats on this.

Comment by nyralech on A Map of Currently Available Life Extension Methods · 2015-10-17T01:59:40.948Z · score: 12 (14 votes) · LW · GW

The example of Rita Montalchni is incredibly interesting ( She administered a nerve growth factor (NGF) as eye drops and lived for 101 years while her twin sister died when she was 91. (Bearing in mind the average life duration difference of twins is six years, we can conclude that she gained about four years.)

Actually, all we can conclude is that you have managed to find a single anecdote to support your point. (Sidenote: according to the link she died at 103 years of age.)

Comment by nyralech on Deliberate Grad School · 2015-10-04T20:40:08.130Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Is there any way to do these things without paying a large pricetag? Could you just lurk around campus or something? Only half-joking here.

Moving to europe, and (maybe) not exactly GB, should for the most part allow you to do that.

Comment by nyralech on The Hidden Complexity of Wishes · 2015-09-14T11:04:36.526Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

But those outcomes which have a limited initial effect yet have a very large overall effect are very sparsely distributed among all possible outcomes with a limited initial effect.

I still do not see why the pump would magnify the chance of those outcomes terribly. The space of possible actions which have a very large negative utility grows by a huge amount, but so does the space of actions which have trivial consequences beside doing what you want.

Comment by nyralech on Why Don't Rationalists Win? · 2015-09-13T17:00:20.113Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm afraid I don't know what you mean by Kolmogorov distance.

Comment by nyralech on The Bedrock of Fairness · 2015-09-10T04:18:14.752Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I consider this not to be a fair situation, and I'd rather my tax-dollars went to helping this person live a bit longer, than go to the next unnecessary-war (drummed up to keep the current pollies in power).

I think this shows the underlying problem. You would also rather have all your tax money go to give a cute little puppy more food than it will ever need, simply because war is a terrible alternative.

But that doesn't mean it's the best thing you can do with your money, or even anywhere near that standard. And neither is, one could argue, giving money to an obsolete person in a country where the cost of living is very high comparative to other countries in the world.

Comment by nyralech on The Hidden Complexity of Wishes · 2015-08-28T23:49:23.570Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Most consequences are limited in scope. You have a slim chance of killing many others through everyday accident but a pump would magnify that terribly.

That depends entirely on how the pump works. If it picks uniformly among bad outcomes, your point might be correct. However, it might still be biased towards narrow local effects for sheer sake of computability. If this is the case, I don't see why it would necessarily shift towards bigger bad outcomes rather than more limited ones.

Comment by nyralech on Tell Culture · 2015-08-08T09:49:36.103Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, that's definitely a problem. But then I'd say you're trying to use it on the wrong group of people.

Many people here (I hope) would very much prefer it if you told them "hey you're dull" to you making up excuses every time you come across them and they try to talk to you, whether it be to reflect on why you think they're dull, or to stop wasting both of your time by trying to interact with you if you aren't even interested.

Comment by nyralech on If Many-Worlds Had Come First · 2015-08-08T01:18:41.708Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you, that was certainly insightful. I see now that it is some kind of natural extension of relevant concepts.

I have been told however that from a formal point of view a lot of QM (maybe they were talking only about QED) makes no sense whatsoever and the only reason why the theory works is because many of the objects coming up have been redefined so as to make the theory work. I don't really know to what extent this is true, but if so I would still consider it a somewhat unnatural theory.

Comment by nyralech on If Many-Worlds Had Come First · 2015-08-07T17:37:10.473Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

natural result of the theory

To my very limited understanding, most of QM in general is completely unnatural as a theory from a purely mathematical point of view. If that is actually so, what precisely do you mean by "natural result of the theory"?

Comment by nyralech on Many Weak Arguments vs. One Relatively Strong Argument · 2015-08-07T13:32:02.651Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think that another problem in the context of a debate is with people in often throwing down a lot of arguments. If the weak arguments all come from a single source within a short period of time I tend to discount their arguments (perhaps too much).

Comment by nyralech on Priors as Mathematical Objects · 2015-08-06T17:55:46.948Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Unless I am misunderstanding you, yes, that's precisely the point.

I don't understand why you are confused, though. None of these are, after all, numbers in (0,1), which would not contain any information as to how you would go about doing your updates given more evidence.

Comment by nyralech on When (Not) To Use Probabilities · 2015-08-06T17:43:08.160Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How is that information by itself useful?

Comment by nyralech on Welcome to Less Wrong! (7th thread, December 2014) · 2015-07-24T15:10:39.653Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Non-standard analysis is perfectly fine. Most mathematicians just don't deal with that kind of analysis.

Comment by nyralech on Rational vs Reasonable · 2015-07-14T23:32:53.742Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If being reasonable is necessary to your goals, then it is already instrumentally rational to be reasonable.

Comment by nyralech on Simultaneous Overconfidence and Underconfidence · 2015-06-04T09:09:20.406Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't this just cognitive bias on part of the researcher?

Comment by nyralech on Social class amongst the intellectually gifted · 2015-06-04T08:58:12.622Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Weak bayesian evidence E is something which you can reasonable expect to find given either hypothesis (e.g. "math is useful" vs "math is useless"), but nevertheless results in P(H|E)/P(~H|E) > P(H)/P(~H).

Strong bayesian evidence would pretty much kill the alternative hypothesis, i.e. P(~H|E) ~ 0.

Comment by nyralech on Social class amongst the intellectually gifted · 2015-06-04T08:53:48.917Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think this list tells you much.

The most obvious reason why the list might look this way is that there are simply more people getting MBAs or engineering degrees. So of course there would be more of those becoming millionaires than there are math students etc.

I'm also not sure if the study actually measured how many people with a given degree actually got this level of wealth by themselves or if they also asked those who had wealthy parents. I don't have statistics on this but it does sound reasonable (not to say that it necessarily is) that wealthy parents try to direct their children towards those degrees which are 'useful' - in their opinion - in a business environment. Since most of these people have a very poor concept of what math actually is, math probably won't be among that class.

People who study math, theoretical physics or theoretical computer science are also much more likely to stay in academia than do those who studied engineering etc.

For all I know those people who did become millionaires by themselves who got the degrees they got might actually have done much better if they had studied math or theoretical physics.

So a statistic which would really be telling here would be one which measured how many of those getting a certain degree and going into the market are becoming rich.

Comment by nyralech on Innate Mathematical Ability · 2015-05-11T05:30:29.106Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You could also do a row-wise XOR on every feature and get 2. Which for me seemed like a pretty obvious solution to me so I went with it.