Comment by oliverbeatson on European Community Weekend in Berlin · 2014-01-24T13:55:32.944Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Well done! Awesome idea. Will be thinking of ways I can contribute as well as attend.

Comment by oliverbeatson on January 2014 Media Thread · 2014-01-02T17:37:06.860Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I watched 'Oz the Great and Powerful'. I really liked the pro-innovation / science-inventory / mind-over-might themes.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Collecting expressions of interest in a rationality conference in August · 2013-05-28T13:29:50.569Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Really good idea. Would attend.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Meetup : NewYork - Humanist Culture Open Mic · 2013-04-30T12:39:20.898Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This sounds pretty awesome. Sadly nothing LW seemed to be going on in NY when I visited earlier in the month (sadly no-one married me so I'm back in the UK), but I'm excited to hear about an active musical-participatory branch of Less Wrongers.

I'm a pianist/performer currently undergoing a painful transition to composer/lyricist. I'd like to write musicals to broadcast various rationalist, effective altruist, existential crisis and pro-open borders messages, probably delineated to some degree. I'd like to get in touch with people who do similar things!

Is this open mic night popular? What are people's experience of the intersection between music and rationality?

Comment by oliverbeatson on Rationality, Transhumanism, and Mental Health · 2012-10-27T20:08:53.785Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Also, it helped to realize that my current state has seven billion years of universe behind it. I can change for the better, but whatever is wrong isn't some intrinsic personal defect, and it isn't all my mother's fault either.

File under "warm-fuzzy pseudo-platitudes that don't set off my thoroughly-trained self-dishonesty detector"; a near-empty category!

Comment by oliverbeatson on Recovering the 'spark' · 2012-10-27T19:58:20.516Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I can relate to this a lot, and I'd find it very useful to see how someone else monologues about it. Just to take another step meta here, a framework for doing the sort of thing ('re-calibration'?) you want to do in itself would be a useful akrasia-kick for people who for whatever reason haven't gotten to the stage of automating how to get out of the inefficiency slump.

Comment by oliverbeatson on September 2012 Media Thread · 2012-09-04T23:54:32.868Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Regina Spektor, I've been discovering her stuff over the last few months and I've reached the point where I know roughly all of it. As I think is expected in this thread, all I can really offer here is possibility that blog-reading choices vaguely correlate with musical preferences. Her lyrics are pretty non-inane, especially upon repeated listening. Her variance of musical style is pleasing to me, makes it fun to play and listen to. Nothing especially Less Wrong-y, but I might be forgetting something. Though I don't think I know any composer at all who's (consistently) Less Wrong-y. She has a wild imagination and has written songs about being robots. She's one of those artists whose discography is a tapestry of varied and wonderful worlds that I can never really appreciate unless I'm in the process of listening to it, always a process of both rediscovery and familiarity. (She often writes in the first-person as non-Regina people, from fiction, the bible, or anonymous people; more than half of her songs are probably from the perspective of a different person). There are also lots of moments in her various songs that strike me in the right way, that capture some complex emotion I had never put into words, which gives her songs a sense of salience and intelligence. Some especially enjoyable songs: Us very uplifting, makes you think; Call Them Brothers the man singing is her husband, I like the eeriness; The Party, uplifting, pretty; All the Rowboats, she makes cute noises, quite fast. Back of a Truck, from her unusually jazzy first album.

Disclosure: I play and especially like piano so appear to be skewed towards liking such artists.

Comment by oliverbeatson on [SEQ RERUN] Optimization and the Singularity · 2012-06-28T09:52:26.075Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Just me, or is this like the most convincing article on this subject? Certainly it has the best verbal illustration of the theory. Very neat.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Facebook worries me. · 2012-06-22T11:35:52.973Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

+1 for

In general, tautologies aren't cause for concern

This would have been a useful phrase during philosophy classes.

Comment by oliverbeatson on [deleted post] 2012-06-20T22:31:05.143Z

You're welcome :) yes, in that sense it does confer (by confer I mean involuntarily foist upon you) a handful of learning opportunities, especially as you grow up with a wider view of gender-stuff. I'm not certain I'd go back in time and choose the norm, for the variety having an extra order of weirdness.

Though fitting in with weirdness never seemed like it'd be a huge problem with Less Wrong.

I totally will, thank you.

Comment by oliverbeatson on [deleted post] 2012-06-20T14:50:18.543Z

Darn! If only I were a female androphile, rather than a male one... I eagerly await the day this post reads "large group of female rationalists now requires gay-best-friend figure for company, dialogue about hair and SAVING the WORLD".

This is a really neat idea, yay for propagating relationships that wouldn't otherwise have occurred.

Comment by oliverbeatson on How can I argue without people online and not come out feeling bad? · 2012-06-01T21:32:52.020Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Oh dear god don't change the title. It scans fine...

Comment by oliverbeatson on What are you working on? April 2012 · 2012-05-04T12:25:47.047Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


So, yeah, I overestimated the extent to which I could override a certain lack of intrinsic desire to do things, in addition to having been a little depressed in the first week. I ended up completing 14 of the possible 30 tasks, while failing those that were on average grander undertakings, that would have been diving into hierarchical chunks instead of linear ones. Although I missed some easy ones too, 'go swimming', 'use new sewing machine'.

To improve this, I think I should in advance plan out what sub-tasks each individual task requires, to make the actual task have a smaller at-the-time-of-getting-down-to-doing-it motivational barrier. If there were some cloud web application that could do this (similar to Mind Map software but more convenient to use) that would be useful (I'd been developing one myself but - ironically - lost the motivation).

In total, it was an interesting experiment that would do better with modifications which could probably be enacted fairly easily, and efficiently if done online. I'm not sure of any current social-commitment website that has the flexbility to have let me manage this on my preferred terms. This is something perhaps to look at. I would like to try this again in the future with modifications.

Comment by oliverbeatson on May 2012 Media Thread · 2012-05-02T09:16:45.924Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't read a wide plethora of fiction so I might have lower standards, but I enjoyed/am enjoying them (currently half way through the 3rd, skipped the 1st due to having watched the film, may not return to it). I've read a significant amount of the sequences and didn't feel like the books interact negatively with rationality ideas; the heroine is fairly lucid and has fewer than average dogmas, so isn't annoying in that respect.

Comment by oliverbeatson on How was your meetup? · 2012-04-16T10:32:58.254Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I had a good time and enjoyed the conversation. I appreciate the effort everyone took to come out and be interesting!

Does anyone have any plans to draw up the cognitive biases hierarchy that was suggested? (Maybe a collaborative Google Documents drawing would be useful for this.) Given I'd find use in such a diagram myself, I'm not in a position to start one. At a later stage I could throw together some html and javascript to present the diagram as a web page, possibly with interactivity to reveal more detail on examples, the experiments, counter-heuristics and citations, etc.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Meetup : Rome LessWrong Meetup · 2012-04-15T22:09:58.742Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

On the subject of Italy but sadly not of this meetup, I am in Florence and Milan for 5th to the 12th of June: the former for the first half of my trip, and the latter for the second. I hope something Italian takes off in the meantime!

Comment by oliverbeatson on The Singularity Institute is hiring remote HTML / WordPress workers! · 2012-04-14T03:58:11.614Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Was thinking of applying, I already work 40 hours a week and am unsure how easily I could do a further 20. Seems like it would be useful sort of thing in the future if I'm freelancing or travelling. Shame about the current hour limit.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-12T14:30:21.509Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

True, especially on the last point. It still feels like there's a large philosophical knowledge-set to convey before their Patronus fails reliably for the right reason. I see what you mean though. Maybe the habit (mental) necessarily built into the Patronus charm would be harder to override more than temporarily due to the strength in habit, or at least without genuinely shifting how that person conceptualises all the relevant stuff.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-12T12:53:14.797Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I thought that was odd: that they would actually have to understand, and not just be told that Dementors are death. Like in the same way that under-confidence in your ability to perform a physical action actually undermines your ability to do it, which should be relatable if you've ever tried to back-flip on a trampoline or forced yourself to perform an action in spite of an anticipation of pain or great displeasure -- but so long as you expect being able to do it, you can still do it. But if someone just said 'Dementors are death', you'd cast your animal patronus just fine so long as you didn't grok it. Which made me suspicious of Harry's possible tactic in the Wizengamot.

Comment by oliverbeatson on [SEQ RERUN] Feynman Paths · 2012-04-12T11:55:17.929Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Did anyone encounter a good response to this comment?

Comment by oliverbeatson on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 15, chapter 84 · 2012-04-11T12:28:38.094Z · score: 5 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I find some of the most relatable parts of the story to be the vague hero-against-the world / morality allegory, particularly in the dialogue quoted here. I think as much of the micro-morality of the story is Randian in a way that as much of the surface dialogue might paint Rand as a negative colour (if only by showing how ugly her beliefs on the surface, but revealing their purer roots). Harry is basically saying "Yes, everyone is incompetent; woe that they didn't have the luck to be not, and let's try and change that without getting too annoyed". With greater intelligence comes greater ability (and in a sense perceived moral obligation) to restrain or make productive one's hatred towards that which can't be changed or that can't be changed easily. Harry is taking morality as being the extent to which a strength can compensate for weakness in the spirit of creating future strength. The Randian 'strike' is a utilitarian way to achieve Randian values, and not an inherently Randian way or whatever. I don't think it's immediately obvious Harry isn't aiming for Randian values, if perhaps narratively in a way that Ayn Rand would not have imagined - i.e. strength and weakness are much more complexly intertwined.

(It's not obvious either that I'm disagreeing with the parent post.)

Comment by oliverbeatson on What are you working on? April 2012 · 2012-04-01T23:17:25.188Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

This month I'm implementing a self-incentive mechanism to achieve tasks (and vaguely profit if I don't).

Last month I wrote up a list of 30 tasks, one for each day in April. If I fail to use any given day to complete one of my tasks, I move 1/100th (1%) of my previous month's salary to my savings account. This way my future self will either be cleverer (/stronger/more socially talented - due to the nature of the tasks) or richer than would happen otherwise.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Setting up LW meetups in unlikely places: Positive Data Point · 2012-04-01T20:22:06.655Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure Eastbourne (or more likely, the nearest city Brighton) has a lot of LW readers, due to each of their typical demographics. However, due to this post, I am rather tempted to try it out. Indeed, worst that happens is sitting in a café with a book (which sounds like something I should be doing more of anyway).

Main purpose of comment: any Brighton- or nearby LW folk, call out! I might otherwise procrastinate about this prospect by a month or more.

Comment by oliverbeatson on [LINK] Poem: There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth. · 2012-03-29T09:16:04.084Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

To clarify why I liked it, I find comfort in the fact that someone else has thought about the same existentially terrifying things as me. (I read the beauty-terrible complaint as one of the nature of nature, rather than of something we can change.) So when I think about such things, I'm less likely to feel quite as alone if I recall this poetry. Somehow reading other people's prose on the subject doesn't strike the same effect as poetry.

It [the poem] might not relate to consequentialist thinking that easily, but I found it a good antidote to the negative emotional effects consequentialist thinking has. I expect other people's mileage to vary; I have a specific personal set of philosophical neuroses, roughly identified as this sort of nihilism.

I've now upvoted your link to "Explaining vs. Explaining Away", by the way, because I think it serves, for me, the same function as the poem. I'm guessing you didn't have this reaction though?

Comment by oliverbeatson on [LINK] Poem: There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth. · 2012-03-28T10:10:34.584Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think a book of poems like these would be enough to fend off a whole load of existential angst.

I really liked this, it was very thoughtfully posted (i.e. most vaguely reductionist/scientific poetry is unbearable), and would like to see other polite conversations between intellect and emotion such as this. It's nice to see them getting along for once.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Open Thread, March 16-31, 2012 · 2012-03-25T02:53:31.797Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I see, that's interesting. That feels recognisable: I think when I hear my own voice/internal monologue, it brings to memory things I've already said or talked about, so I dwell on those things rather than think of fresh topics. So I think of the monologue itself as being the source of the stagnant thinking, and shut it down hoping insight will come to me wordlessly. Having said all that about having an internal monologue, I now think I do have a fair number of non-verbal thoughts, but these still use some form of mental labelling to organise concepts as I think about them.

That sounds an interesting experiment to do, next time I need to travel bipedally I'll get on to checking out those default conceptual autocompletes* that I get from different words. Thanks!

*Hoping I haven't been presumptious in my use of technical metaphors -- in the course of writing this I've had to consciously reign in my desire to use programming metaphors for how my brain seems to work.

I suppose among the questions I was interested in, was indeed what I should spend my time thinking about. I had the idea that there must be high-computational-requiring and low-requisite-knowledge-requiring mental tasks, akin to how one learning electronics might spend time extrapolating the design of a one-bit adder with a pen and paper and requisite knowledge of logic gates. But crucially, without a pen and paper. So in what area can I use my pre-existing knowledge to productively generate new ideas or thoughts without a pen and paper. Possibly advancing in some sense my 'knowledge' of those areas at the same time.

Sidenote: I like reading detailed descriptions of people's thought-processes like this, because of the interleaved data on what they pay attention to when thinking; and especially when there isn't necessarily a point to it in the sequences-/narrative-/this post has a lesson related to this anecdote-style, and when it's just describing the mechanics of their thought stream for the sake of understanding another brain. For some reason it feels like a rich source of data for me, and I would like to see more of it. Particularly because it feels to give insight on a slightly lower level than cognitive biases themselves. I sometimes think I use my micro-thought processes to evade or disrupt the act of changing my mind simply because they have the advantage of being on a lower level. A level that interacts with feelings, of which I seem to have many. Alternately, my desire for detailed descriptions of people's thought-processes might be down to my personality and not be something generally useful.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Open Thread, March 16-31, 2012 · 2012-03-24T02:09:30.502Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'd say something like internal monologue, for thinking anyway (this may be internally sounded, I know that I think word-thoughts in my own voice, but I regularly think much faster than I could possibly speak, until I realise that fact, when the voice becomes slow and I start repeating myself, and then get annoyed at my brain for being so distracting).

For calculating or anything vaguely mathematical I use abstractly spatial/visual sorts of thoughts -- abstract meaning I don't have sufficient awareness of the architecture of my brain to tell you accurately what I even mean. Generally I'm not very visual, but I would say I use a spatial sort of visual awareness quite often in thought. If this makes sense.

Does this imply something about the sorts of tasks I could do that were most useful? I'm intrigued by the reasons you have for requesting the data you did. :)

Comment by oliverbeatson on Open Thread, March 16-31, 2012 · 2012-03-23T22:17:25.702Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm often walking to somewhere and I notice that I have a good amount of thinking time, but that I find my head empty. Has anyone any good ideas on useful things to occupy my mind during such time? Visualisation exercises, mental arithmetic, thinking about philosophy?

It depresses me a little, how much easier it is to make use of nothing but a pen and paper, than it is to make use of when that is removed and one has only one's own mind.

Comment by oliverbeatson on 6 Tips for Productive Arguments · 2012-03-20T13:16:38.454Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

For some reason I would feel much better imposing a standard cost on commenting (e.g. -2 karma) that can be easily balanced by being marginally useful. This would better disincentivise both spamming and comments that people didn't expect to be worth very much insight, and still allow people to upvote good-but-not-promotion-worthy comments without artificially inflating that user's karma. This however would skew commenters towards fewer, longer, more premeditated replies. I don't know if we want this.

Comment by oliverbeatson on How to use human history as a nutritional prior? · 2012-03-12T22:59:05.087Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

That looks like it could prove really useful / interesting; thanks for linking.

I guess the entry requirements for beta are strict because they're trying to keep to a small set of variables for the people to check? It would have been really interesting to spy in on though. Regarding the China study, it sounds either like there was no effort to control for other obvious/statistically-true correlates or that there is no possible overlap at all to abstract a controlled comparison from. A fraction of that data might be useful (all data is useful! ...yum!). I think with sufficient (though perhaps improbably large) sample size even user-submitted data with large amounts of noise becomes useful. Any empirical paradigm more open and faster than the current is bound to be a good thing, even despite inaccuracy, for reasons of sheer brute force.

Comment by oliverbeatson on How to use human history as a nutritional prior? · 2012-03-11T12:25:55.175Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've often wondered if a large-userbase data collecting website could help solve problems like this by looking for very weak statistical correlations among coinciding events over large datafields. I.e. see how often people self-report eating X, see how often people self-report feeling Y, see how often one precedes the other and when they happen independently. The function to users would be letting them track their own actions (e.g. diet, health, etc) according to preset (or high-karma member-submitted) input:data -sets. I should think with members in the thousands such a thing would become useful. Especially were the service entangled with some social app to get users and some very good statistics processing to get results. Does anything like this at all exist? (Any obvious ideas why it doesn't, barring there possibly being lack of incentive to use it, lack of an incentive for a company/person to program it?)

Comment by oliverbeatson on What are you working on? February 2012 · 2012-02-14T19:38:10.868Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've been working on a personal organisation web-app. Partly because it's fun, partly because hopefully it'll get to stage of being useful. Currently all data is basically private to each user (I have the only user account, though now that it's online it is open to new users). Features right now are calendars and diaries, with users being able create multiple iterations of each for whatever differing purposes.

One planned feature is the ability to have dialogues with oneself, (Alicorn's Luminosity Elspeth-style) between 1-8ish other named personalities / selves / sides. The idea is that you can talk to yourself in different styles or with different opinions, so that you can evaluate more precisely any internal conflicts, be they between values or ideas or choices. Then if you feel the conflict come up again you can check the log rather than worry about it all over again, maybe with additional insights the next times.

Very reluctantly posting link: (because it's only slightly of use to me at the minute, although I anticipate making it more so).

I made it because I didn't see anything similar on the web. I'm hoping to add a few other more complex things to it (like full hierarchical task / goal management systems) but those will wait for a while.

I may post about other personal projects, but this was the most obviously relevant.

Comment by oliverbeatson on I've had it with those dark rumours about our culture rigorously suppressing opinions · 2012-01-30T00:04:01.705Z · score: 30 (30 votes) · LW · GW

It strikes me that searching the internet for this phrase, and meaningfully equivalent variants, would be a really interesting experience.

Comment by oliverbeatson on The hundred-room problem · 2012-01-23T21:16:25.425Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I knew there was an elegant solution to be had, my own reply became pointless. Thank you.

Comment by oliverbeatson on The hundred-room problem · 2012-01-23T21:14:19.053Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you don't open your eyes and guess, you have a 0.5 chance of being right. The policy of ignoring the wall-color in front of you makes 50% of 'identical-you's wrong about the coin toss.

Opening your eyes allows 99% of atomically 'identical-you's to guess the coin toss correctly, and gives the other 1% information that will lead them astray. The policy of taking the wall-colour as evidence makes 99% of 'identical-you's correct about the coin toss.

This is as far as I am able to take the problem, to a point that I understand what's going on. What aren't I getting, if from here it doesn't seem special?

Comment by oliverbeatson on How and Why to Granularize · 2011-05-23T10:48:12.479Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I've been looking for this sort of software for forever, and this is a great post too. Thanks a lot!

Comment by oliverbeatson on The benefits of madness: A positive account of arationality · 2011-04-23T11:50:58.363Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I was impressed at how easily I understood everything you said, despite having experienced neither any non-fleeting mania, nor the depth into the academic fields that you have acquired. So your writing rules at that.

Definitely would like to read more, particularly as someone whose view of the world is consistently mundane.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Enjoying food more: a case study in third options · 2011-03-16T23:20:28.105Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My mum, among others, doesn't like wasting food. I frame it thus, in the hope that it will nudge her wanting in the more useful direction: if you're not going to enjoy eating it, or if eating it is going to have effects you don't want, then eating it is more wasteful than throwing it away.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-10T14:19:53.446Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Alas the benefits of being open about a very slight sexual curiosity are probably not often great enough to make complete honesty seem worthwhile. Also such curiosity tends to signal a lack of self-knowledge and thus to an extent lack of trustworthiness, probably hence the vague stigma that many people have against dating bisexuals.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-10T13:45:34.223Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, I'll experiment with a variety, and report back if I make findings.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2011-02-09T01:47:52.670Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder how much this would work for a homosexual male.

I've actually been trying this essential thing, although with less persistence as it requires a certain amount of effort to attend to something that just seems so immediately boring to myself. Perhaps living in a hetero-normative culture ensures that when a man decides that he's gay, he is more likely to have discovered a roughly immutable biological fact?

Comment by oliverbeatson on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2011-01-03T16:50:33.721Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

That is the price of such an intense desire to signal one's apathy toward karma! :P My loss, I suppose!

P.S. Luminosity + Radiance rules!

Comment by oliverbeatson on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2011-01-03T16:42:11.591Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Lower confidence was to account for the fact that some people would read it and decline from voting either way; therefore P>50% of upvote would not imply P<50% of downvote. In hindsight it's a confusing scheme to parse into bets. Everyone who read (e.g.) the first prediction and didn't vote would count in the 80% who didn't downvote it for being self-conscious. The first five percentages were, in my mind, predictions concerning the distribution of the actions of those who read the comment, where 'didn't vote' also counts toward the union. But regarding betting, there's no way to get the data of how many actually read it.

Comment by oliverbeatson on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2011-01-03T16:34:00.904Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW


Yes, I do agree that getting karma for pleasing but unproductive comments lessens the utility of karma; should be more of a costly signal for a individual's utility to the community, where the criterion of upvote-selection is important (i.e. 'propagates rationality' is presumably most desirable). Upvotes for cheap jokes dampens the signal.

Comment by oliverbeatson on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2011-01-03T15:41:52.946Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I care about antagonising people and wasting their time, so naturally I pay attention to karma as it's a reliable signal ;) But of itself it's pretty useless; given the chance, I wouldn't choose to press a button that bestowed 1000 magical karma points on my account.

Comment by oliverbeatson on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2011-01-03T02:06:48.473Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Any sufficiently advanced karma-whoring is indistinguishable from a useful comment. I personally don't care for karma, but I maintain that I regret the post for wasting people's time.

I don't believe there are any real karma-whores on Less Wrong. I'm detailing my beliefs here in an attempt to accurately signal my ability to think about things; I presume it follows that anyone who can think for more than four seconds shouldn't actually continue to gain pleasure from getting karma for stupid comments. I attempt to signal this because I would not myself wish to learn of the existence of karma-whores on Less Wrong and assume you are the same.

Note the (tenuous) irony; I predicted such criticisms of the post as I wrote it! I hoped people would enjoy reading it; not make conclusions about karma-whoring, which would be bad because I do not gain anything by learning that I have made the readers of Less Wrong unhappy. I do further wonder how many up- or down-votes the first N predictions unaccompanied would have garnered, but I won't tempt fate by doing trials.

Comment by oliverbeatson on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2011-01-03T00:31:44.732Z · score: 0 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I ended up posting it out of sincere curiosity regarding whether it would go up or down. But I suppose it did amount to spam; I accept my downvotes with no unhappiness.

Comment by oliverbeatson on New Year's Predictions Thread (2011) · 2011-01-02T22:08:03.323Z · score: -4 (48 votes) · LW · GW

This comment will be downvoted for being self-conscious: 20%.

This comment will be upvoted for the sake of irony: 35%.

This comment will be downvoted for attempting to get upvotes: 30%.

This comment will be upvoted for being explicit about that fact: 15%.

This comment will be downvoted for being explicit about being explicit about that fact: 15%.

I will regret posting this comment: 65%.

Comment by oliverbeatson on Rationality Quotes: November 2010 · 2010-11-11T18:37:36.815Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I chose and my world was shaken, so what? The choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not.

Sunday in the Park with George, by Stephen Sondheim

Comment by oliverbeatson on The Problem With Trolley Problems · 2010-11-02T22:58:42.470Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This happened to me just last week.

In response to the downvote: Hmm, I wonder what fraction of people on railway tracks are there because they are reckless and what fraction are victims who are not generally at fault? I assumed my 'ceteris paribus' covered this sufficiently but perhaps villainous train-plots are more the norm than I thought. Given this, subsidising the risk of recklessly hanging around train tracks by having a policy of sacrificing innocent bystanders to stop trains will only prevent the emergence of a mechanism whereby people don't end up on train tracks, which is fairly surely, on net, suboptimal to the cause of not having people die in train accidents. Alternatively, I may have missed the point. This appeals to me as a possibility.