Meetup : Fifth Buenos Aires LessWrong meetup 2014-08-04T22:00:08.749Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
[link] Why Psychologists' Food Fight Matters 2014-08-01T07:52:38.604Z · score: 28 (28 votes)
[link] [poll] Future Progress in Artificial Intelligence 2014-07-09T13:51:49.243Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
[link] Nick Beckstead on improving disaster shelters to increase the chances of recovery from a global catastrophe 2014-02-19T17:27:04.303Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
[link] Psychologists strike a blow for reproducibility 2013-11-28T05:26:46.988Z · score: 26 (27 votes)
[Link] "A Long-run Perspective on Strategic Cause Selection and Philanthropy" by Nick Beckstead and Carl Shulman 2013-11-05T18:27:04.851Z · score: 5 (6 votes)
[link] "The Survival of Humanity" 2013-09-14T15:19:37.300Z · score: 1 (6 votes)
[video] "Transhuman", featuring Sandberg and Bostrom 2013-06-16T18:59:57.994Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
[link] Join Wall Street. Save the World 2013-05-31T16:49:23.151Z · score: 23 (26 votes)
[Paper] On the 'Simulation Argument' and Selective Scepticism 2013-05-18T18:31:10.901Z · score: 11 (14 votes)
[Link] 2012 Winter Intelligence Conference videos available 2013-04-29T20:01:45.806Z · score: 7 (10 votes)
[Link] Values Spreading is Often More Important than Extinction Risk 2013-04-07T05:14:44.154Z · score: 11 (20 votes)
Anki decks by LW users 2013-04-02T17:50:16.480Z · score: 28 (28 votes)
[Link] Tomasik's "Quantify with Care" 2013-02-23T13:52:10.309Z · score: 13 (14 votes)
CEV: a utilitarian critique 2013-01-26T16:12:20.846Z · score: 25 (46 votes)
[Link] TEDx talk of Anders Sandberg on the Fermi "paradox" 2013-01-01T20:52:18.972Z · score: 2 (5 votes)
Meetup : Fourth Buenos Aires Less Wrong meetup 2012-12-29T22:47:23.224Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
[link] Interview with Anders Sandberg on how to make a difference through research and how to choose a research topic 2012-12-01T18:25:01.174Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
GiveWell and the Centre for Effective Altruism are recruiting 2012-11-19T23:53:24.535Z · score: 11 (16 votes)
[Link] One in five American adults say they are atheist, agnostic or "nothing in particular" 2012-10-10T23:45:17.260Z · score: 8 (28 votes)
Meetup : Third Buenos Aires Meetup: 2 June 2012 4:00PM 2012-05-26T07:47:09.998Z · score: 1 (2 votes)
Meetup : Buenos Aires meetup: Saturday, February 25th, 4pm 2012-02-17T17:57:06.548Z · score: 2 (3 votes)
Buenos Aires meetup: Saturday, May 14th, 3pm 2011-05-13T21:15:01.081Z · score: 4 (5 votes)


Comment by pablo_stafforini on Normative reductionism · 2019-11-06T00:44:12.083Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Actually, re-reading the post I think that by 'parts' you didn't necessarily mean 'temporal parts'. In particular, your example of Alice suggests that in that case, the 'parts' in question are 'people'. Broome has a parallel view to 'separability of times', called 'separability of lives' and discussed in ch. 8 of Weighing Lives, which corresponds to this use of 'parts'.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Normative reductionism · 2019-11-06T00:36:20.869Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

John Broome calls this view 'separability of times' in Weighing Lives, ch. 7.

(Pedantic quibble: the reductionist thesis you define can't claim that the value of a world history is equal to the value of its parts; it should claim that the value of a world history is equal to the sum of the value of its parts—or, if you don't want to commit to additivity, that it is a function of the value of its parts.)

Comment by pablo_stafforini on How feasible is long-range forecasting? · 2019-10-12T12:12:52.715Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

John Maxwell makes a couple of good points in a comment about the linked post on the EA Forum:

I'd be interested to know how people think long-range forecasting is likely to differ from short-range forecasting, and to what degree we can apply findings from short-range forecasting to long-range forecasting. Could it be possible to, for example, ask forecasters to forecast at a variety of short-range timescales, fit a curve to their accuracy as a function of time (or otherwise try to mathematically model the "half-life" of the knowledge powering the forecast--I don't know what methodologies could be useful here, maybe survival analysis?) and extrapolate this model to long-range timescales?
I'm also curious why there isn't more interest in presenting people with historical scenarios and asking them to forecast what will happen next in the historical scenario. Obviously if they already know about that period of history this won't work, but that seems possible to overcome.

Does anyone know of examples in the academic literature of "retrodictions" being used to assess forecasting accuracy?

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Daniel Kokotajlo's Shortform · 2019-10-08T19:34:46.067Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I love the idea. Some questions and their associated resolution dates may be of interest to the wider community of forecasters, so you could post them to Metaculus. Otherwise you could perhaps persuade the Metaculus admins to create a subforum, similar to, for the other questions to be posted. Since Metaculus already has the subforum functionality, it seems a good idea to extend it in this way (perhaps a user's subforum could be associated with the corresponding username: e.g. user kokotajlo can post his own questions at

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Evidence for Connection Theory · 2019-09-19T20:51:17.596Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah! I interpreted your 'Edit note' as replacing the original comment and noting that its contents had been turned into a post. In other words, I didn't understand you were referring to Evan's post, but thought instead that the comment was self-referential. Maybe 'Admin note' is more appropriate for these comments? In any case, not very important.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Evidence for Connection Theory · 2019-09-19T16:03:52.585Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

[Writing this four months after habryka's comment was published.] I'm confused. I don't see any 'chain link', other than the usual permalink between the timestamp and the karma score. Evan did say that the icon was very small, but at least on my computer, the icon is not merely hard to see—it's invisible.

I'm mentioning this primarily because it's potential evidence of a bug in the code, which the admins may want to fix. But I'm also personally interested in the post to which the original comment refers.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Boring Advice Repository · 2019-09-19T15:54:01.789Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

See here.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Does anyone know of a good overview of what humans know about depression? · 2019-09-01T06:45:26.496Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ch. 14 of Marco del Giudice's Evolutionary Psychopathology.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Modeling AI milestones to adjust AGI arrival estimates? · 2019-07-31T08:00:18.401Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You may want to check out the Metaculus AI milestones timeline.

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Understanding information cascades · 2019-03-25T03:51:34.739Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I only read the AI Impacts article that includes that quote, not the data to which the quote alludes. Maybe ask the author?

Comment by pablo_stafforini on Understanding information cascades · 2019-03-19T14:41:16.616Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Two recent articles that review the existing economic literature on information cascades:

  • Sushil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer and Ivo Welch, Information cascades, The new Palgrave dictionary of economics (Macmillan, 2018), pp. 6492-6500.
  • Oksana Doherty, Informational cascades in financial markets: review and synthesis, Review of behavioral finance, vol. 10, no. 1 (2018), pp. 53-69.
  • An earlier review:

  • Maria Grazia Romano, Informational cascades in financial economics: a review, Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia, vol. 68, no. 1 (2009), pp. 81-109.
  • Comment by pablo_stafforini on Understanding information cascades · 2019-03-19T14:17:30.687Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW

    Information Cascades in Multi-Agent Models by Arthur De Vany & Cassey Lee has a section with a useful summary of the relevant economic literature up to 1999. (For more recent overviews, see my other comment.) I copy it below, with links to the works cited (with the exception of Chen (1978) and Lee (1999), both unpublished doctoral dissertations, and De Vany and Walls (1999b), an unpublished working paper):

    A seminal paper by Bikhchandani et al (1992) explains the conformity and fragility of mass behavior in terms of informational cascades. In a closely related paper Banerjee (1992) models optimizing agents who engage in herd behavior which results in an inefficient equilibrium. Anderson and Holt (1997) are able to induce information cascades in a laboratory setting by implementing a version of Bikhchandani et al (1992) model.
    The second strand of literature examines the relationship between information cascades and large fluctuations. Lee (1998) shows how failures in information aggregation in a security market under sequential trading result in market volatility. Lee advances the notion of “informational avalanches” which occurs when hidden information (e.g. quality) is revealed during an informational cascade thus reversing the direction of information cascades.
    The third strand explores the link between information cascades and heavy tailed distributions. Cont and Bouchaud (1998) put forward a model with random groups of imitators that gives rise to stock price variations that are heavy-tailed distributed. De Vany and Walls (1996) use a Bose-Einstein allocation model to model the box office revenue distribution in the motion picture industry. The authors describe how supply adapts dynamically to an evolving demand that is driven by an information cascade (via word-of-mouth) and show that the distribution converges to a Pareto-Lévy distribution. The ability of the Bose-Einstein allocation model to generate the Pareto size distribution of rank and revenue has been proven by Hill (1974) and Chen (1978). De Vany and Walls (1996) present empirical evidence that the size distribution of box office revenues is Pareto. Subsequent work by Walls (1997), De Vany and Walls (1999a), and Lee (1999) has verified this finding for other markets, periods and larger data sets. De Vany and Walls (1999a) show that the tail weight parameter of the Pareto-Levy distribution implies that the second moment may not be finite. Lastly, De Vany and Walls (1999b) have shown that motion picture information cascades begin as action-based, noninformative cascades, but undergo a transition to an informative cascade after enough people have seen it to exchange “word of mouth” information. At the point of transition from an uninformed to an informed cascade, there is loss of correlation and an onset of turbulence, followed by a recovery of week to week correlation among high quality movies.
    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Understanding information cascades · 2019-03-19T13:29:20.242Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW
    Information cascades does not seem to be the best choice of keywords.

    I wouldn't say that 'information cascades' isn't the best choice of keywords. What's happening here is that the same phenomenon is studied by different disciplines in relative isolation from each other. As a consequence, the phenomenon is discussed under different names, depending on the discipline studying it. 'Information cascades' (or, as it is sometimes spelled, 'informational cascades') is the name used in economics, while network science seems to use a variety of related expressions, such as the one you mention.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Understanding information cascades · 2019-03-15T19:35:39.640Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

    Thanks, Oli!

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Understanding information cascades · 2019-03-15T16:28:16.427Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

    [meta] Not sure why the link to the overview isn't working. Here's how the comment looks before I submit it:

    (The same problem is affecting this comment.)

    In any case, the URL is:

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Understanding information cascades · 2019-03-15T16:20:13.254Z · score: 11 (4 votes) · LW · GW

    Thanks for this.

    Re extremizing, the recent (excellent) AI Impacts overview of good forecasting practices notes that "more recent data suggests that the successes of the extremizing algorithm during the forecasting tournament were a fluke."

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Unconscious Economics · 2019-03-01T17:52:56.872Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · LW · GW
    Here’s an insight I had about how incentives work in practice, that I’ve not seen explained in an econ textbook/course.
    There are at least three ways in which incentives affect behaviour: 1) via consciously motivating agents, 2) via unconsciously reinforcing certain behaviour, and 3) via selection effects. I think perhaps 2) and probably 3) are more important, but much less talked about.

    Jon Elster distinguishes these three different ways in Explaining Social Behavior. He first draws a distinction between 1-2 ("reinforcement") on the one hand, and 3 ("selection"), on the other. He then draws a further distinction between 1 ("conscious rational choice") and 2 ("unintentional choice"). Here are the relevant excerpts from ch. 11 (emphasis in the original; I have added numbers in square brackets to make the correspondence between your distinctions and his more conspicuous):

    In this chapter, I discuss explanations of actions in terms of their objective consequences... There are two main ways in which this can happen: by reinforcement [1-2] and by selection [3]... If the consequences of given behavior are pleasant or rewarding, we tend to engage in it more often; if they are unpleasant or punishing it will occur less often. The underlying mechanism could simply be conscious rational choice [1], if we notice the pleasant or unpleasant consequences and decide to act in the future so as to repeat or avoid repeating the experience. Often, however, the reinforcement can happen without intentional choice [2].
    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-23T11:41:15.977Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

    In game theory, the costs and benefits in terms of which defection is defined occur in a well-defined context of strategic interaction. My objection was to the use of defection in a way that implied that the situation described in the post had a particular game-theoretic structure, when in fact no clear account was given of what that structure was supposed to be.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on What's your favorite LessWrong post? · 2019-02-22T11:48:42.562Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    Feed the Spinoff Heuristic!

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on What's your favorite LessWrong post? · 2019-02-22T11:45:17.655Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    Parapsychology: the control group for science

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-11T21:48:26.887Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

    The view you articulate is perfectly intelligible. I'm just not sure it corresponds to the view expressed in the OP. Why invoke notions like defection, if all you want to say is that you should not impose a great cost on others when you can do so at a small cost to yourself?

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Minimize Use of Standard Internet Food Delivery · 2019-02-11T14:25:06.710Z · score: 10 (7 votes) · LW · GW

    I think the point of the OP is not to encourage people to go to physical restaurants, but to discourage the use of online delivery services relative to other ways of placing orders . As they write (boldfaced added):

    If you like the restaurant and want those working there to earn a living, and the place to continue to exist, do not order via online services like SeamlessWeb, GrubHub, or Caviar, if there is another way to contact the restaurant.

    I do find the post confusing in certain ways; for example, the following quote expresses a view which I find hard to understand, let alone agree with:

    If you would cost your local place $5 to save the cost of a fifteen second phone call, make no mistake. You are defecting. You are playing zero-sum games with those who should be your allies. You are bad, and you should feel bad.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Disentangling arguments for the importance of AI safety · 2019-02-07T01:30:55.875Z · score: 13 (4 votes) · LW · GW
    See Ben Garfinkel’s talk at EA Global London 2018 (which I’ll link when it’s available online).

    Ben's talk is now online.

    (Loved the post, BTW.)

    EDIT: A transcript is now also available.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Changes to my workflow · 2019-01-09T04:34:55.886Z · score: 12 (3 votes) · LW · GW

    Any further changes since the post was published?

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Book review: 23 things they don't tell you about capitalism · 2018-10-18T16:52:06.318Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW
    Yet that last chapter also showcases one of the book's main failings. Thing 21's title is about the benefits of big government, but its content is only about the welfare state. I'm happy to grant that social safety nets can be beneficial for job mobility, while still strongly believing that increased regulation and state-sector employment have the exact opposite effect.

    I agree with this. Jason Brennan draws a useful distinction between the "social insurance state", which seeks to provide various goods and services, and the "administrative state", which seeks to regulate the economy. Since these two functions of the state are clearly very different, it makes little sense to frame the discussion as one where one should be either for or against "big government".

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2017-05-30T20:21:14.298Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

    Subject: History of Economics

    Recommendation: Economics Evolving, by Agnar Sandmo

    Reason: A superbly clear overview of the history of economics, from Adam Smith until the 1970s. Each chapter provides a guide to further reading. I found this book much better than the alternatives in the genre that I consulted, including Lionel Robbins' opinionated A History of Economic Thought and Joseph Schumpeter's chaotic History of Economic Analysis.

    As a companion, I recommend Keynes' Essays in Biography, a collection of wonderfully written (and astonishingly well-researched) essays on some of the great English economists, including Malthus, Jevons, Edgeworth and Marshall.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on How does MIRI Know it Has a Medium Probability of Success? · 2017-03-03T06:52:07.246Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree that a comment worded in the manner you suggest would have communicated my point more effectively.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on How does MIRI Know it Has a Medium Probability of Success? · 2017-02-26T21:09:25.860Z · score: 0 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    My point is that these early pronouncements are (limited) evidence that we should treat Eliezer's predictions with more caution that we would otherwise.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on How does MIRI Know it Has a Medium Probability of Success? · 2017-02-26T20:46:45.812Z · score: 0 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    Yes, I am aware that this is what Eliezer has said, and I wasn't implying that those early statements reflect Eliezer's current thinking. There is a clear difference between "Eliezer believed this in the past, so he must believe it at present" and "Eliezer made some wrong predictions in the past, so we must treat his current predictions with caution". Eliezer is entitled to ask his readers not to assume that his past beliefs reflect those of his present self, but he is not entitled to ask them not to hold him responsible for having once said stuff that some may think was ill-judged. (If Eliezer had committed serious crimes at the age of 18, it would be absurd for him to now claim that we should regard that person as a different individual who also happens to be called 'Eliezer Yudkowsky'. Epistemic responsibility seems analogous to moral responsibility in this respect.)

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on How does MIRI Know it Has a Medium Probability of Success? · 2017-02-25T22:17:05.379Z · score: 0 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    Eliezer has not published a detailed explanation of his estimates, although he has published many of his arguments for his estimates.

    Eliezer wrote this in 1999:

    My current estimate, as of right now, is that humanity has no more than a 30% chance of making it, probably less. The most realistic estimate for a seed AI transcendence is 2020; nanowar, before 2015.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on The Best Textbooks on Every Subject · 2017-02-25T01:50:10.439Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

    Luke's post, based on this recommendation, reads as follows:

    On economics, realitygrill recommends McAfee's Introduction to Economic Analysis over Mankiw's Macroeconomics and Case & Fair's Principles of Macroeconomics

    I believe the books realitygrill is referring to are instead Mankiw's Principles of Microeconomics and Case & Fair's Principles of Microeconomics, since McAfee's is a microeconomics (not a macroeconomics) textbook.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on A personal history of involvement with effective altruism · 2016-10-04T11:26:12.933Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

    it's much easier to affect the near future than the far future, so let e represent the amount of extra "entropy" that our actions face if they target the far future. For example, e = 10^-6 says there's a factor-of-a-million discount for how likely our actions are to actually make the difference we intend for the far future vs. if we had acted to affect the near-term.

    In the past, when I expressed worries about the difficulties associated to far-future meme-spreading, which you favor as an alternative to extinction-risk reduction, you said you thought there was a significant chance of a singleton-dominated future. Such a singleton, you argued, would provide the necessary causal stability for targeted meme-spreading to successfully influence our distant descendants. But now you seem to be implying that, other things equal, far-future meme-spreading is several orders of magnitude less likely to succeed than short-term interventions (including interventions aimed at reducing near-term risk of extinction, which plausibly represents a significant fraction of total extinction risk). I find these two views hard to reconcile.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on LessWrong Help Desk - free paper downloads and more (2014) · 2016-03-08T19:26:12.284Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

    Ah, I thought I had searched Libgen but it seems I didn't. Thanks!

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on LessWrong Help Desk - free paper downloads and more (2014) · 2016-03-08T16:58:51.348Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

    Landes, Joan B., The Public and the Private Sphere: A Feminist Reconsideration, in Joan B. Landes (ed.), Feminism, the Public and the Private, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998, ch. 5.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Yvain's most important articles · 2015-08-18T18:43:43.515Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    On IQ, I strongly recommend Ian Deary's Intelligence: A Short Introduction (link to shared file in my Google Drive).

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Rationality Quotes Thread May 2015 · 2015-05-03T16:51:35.609Z · score: 15 (19 votes) · LW · GW

    A prima facie argument in favour of the efficacy of prayer is […] to be drawn from the very general use of it. The greater part of mankind, during all the historic ages, has been accustomed to pray for temporal advantages. How vain, it may be urged, must be the reasoning that ventures to oppose this mighty consensus of belief! Not so. The argument of universality either proves too much, or else it is suicidal. It either compels us to admit that the prayers of Pagans, of Fetish worshippers and of Buddhists who turn praying wheels, are recompensed in the same way as those of orthodox believers; or else the general consensus proves that it has no better foundation than the universal tendency of man to gross credulity.

    Francis Galton, ‘Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer’, Fortnightly Review, vol. 12, no. 68 (August, 1872), pp. 125–135

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Parenting and Happiness · 2015-04-23T06:08:52.037Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

    Any updates?

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Solved Problems Repository · 2015-03-28T20:42:13.363Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    It might be that you haven't used CS enough to internalize the ethos governing host-guest relationships. I don't think CS hosts generally frame their decision to host someone as providing a favor to this person; rather, this is something they do because they genuinely enjoy it. Speaking for myself, I only expect my guests to be considerate (make little noise, be clean, etc., and show kindness in our interactions). As long as this minimal expectation is met, I take them to be under no obligation towards me.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Knowledge ready for Ankification · 2015-03-24T18:27:30.871Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    For what it's worth, I never got into the habit of using Anki until I installed the mobile app on my smartphone. This happened about three years ago, and since then I've been using it on a daily basis, primarily during commutes. If your experience is limited to the web or desktop versions, do consider giving the mobile app a try.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015 · 2015-03-06T00:09:59.624Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

    I think the problems associated with providing concrete political examples are in this case mitigated by the author's decision to criticize people on opposite sides of the political debate (Soviet communists and hysterical anti-communists), and by the author's admission that his former political beliefs were mistaken to a certain degree.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015 · 2015-03-05T07:42:06.562Z · score: 15 (17 votes) · LW · GW

    Because it is often easy to detect the operation of motivated belief formation in others, we tend to disbelieve the conclusions reached in this way, without pausing to see whether the evidence might in fact justify them. Until around 1990 I believed, with most of my friends, that on a scale of evil from 0 to 10 (the worst), Communism scored around 7 or 8. Since the recent revelations I believe that 10 is the appropriate number. The reason for my misperception of the evidence was not an idealistic belief that Communism was a worthy ideal that had been betrayed by actual Communists. In that case, I would simply have been victim of wishful thinking or self-deception. Rather, I was misled by the hysterical character of those who claimed all along that Communism scored 10. My ignorance of their claims was not entirely irrational. On average, it makes sense to discount the claims of the manifestly hysterical. Yet even hysterics can be right, albeit for the wrong reasons. Because I sensed and still believe that many of these fierce anti-Communists would have said the same regardless of the evidence, I could not believe that what they said did in fact correspond to the evidence. I made the mistake of thinking of them as a clock that is always one hour late rather than as a broken clock that shows the right time twice a day.

    Jon Elster, Explaining Social Behavior: More Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 136-137, n. 16

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on LessWrong Help Desk - free paper downloads and more (2014) · 2015-02-10T07:15:15.579Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    Thanks anyway. Someone else managed to get me a copy (he contacted me privately).

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on LessWrong Help Desk - free paper downloads and more (2014) · 2015-02-08T07:23:58.269Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    I'm looking for the following paper:

    Carlos Santiago Nino, Some confusions around Kelsen’s concept of validity, Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie, vol. 64, no. 3, pp. 357-377.

    It's available on Jstor, but although my university subscription usually allows me to download papers from that database, I don't seem to have access to this particular one. If anyone can get it for me, I'd be very grateful.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Rationality Quotes Thread February 2015 · 2015-02-01T20:17:12.011Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

    A passion to make the world a better place is a fine reason to study social psychology. Sometimes, however, researchers let their ideals or their political beliefs cloud their judgment, such as in how they interpret their research findings. Social psychology can only be a science if it puts the pursuit of truth above all other goals. When researchers focus on a topic that is politically charged, such as race relations or whether divorce is bad for children, it is important to be extra careful in making sure that all views (perhaps especially disagreeable ones, or ones that go against established prejudices) are considered and that the conclusions from research are truly warranted.

    Roy Baumeister & Brad Bushman, Social Psychology and Human Nature, Belmont, 2008, p. 13

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Immortality: A Practical Guide · 2015-01-30T23:09:42.721Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    Thanks for compiling this list. I think it's hard to aggregate impact and effort into a single metric, since the latter is hard to measure and varies considerably across individuals. In this case, I would have found it more useful to have a ranking ordered by impact alone, and then decide on the basis of this ranking and my own sense of the amount of effort required by the different interventions. (Cf. Holden's post on "rational" vs. "quantified" approaches to cause evaluation.)

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on An example and discussion of extension neglect · 2015-01-16T18:26:21.490Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

    I tried quite a few; my favorite two are ManicTime and RescueTime.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Open Thread, March 1-15, 2013 · 2015-01-15T05:50:46.025Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

    Why should we consider possible rather than actual experiences in this context? It seems that cryonics patients who are successfully revived will retain their original reward circuitry, so I don't see why we should expect their best possible experiences to be as good as their worst possible experiences are bad, given that this is not the case for current humans.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on How subjective is attractiveness? · 2015-01-13T10:09:05.889Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

    Interesting post!

    Christian Rudder from OkTrends (OkCupid's blog) found that the shape of the distribution of male attractiveness ratings varied significantly across female ratees. Did you observe a similar phenomenon?

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life · 2015-01-06T20:35:45.673Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

    My characterization of Winter's purpose in engaging in that exercise was based on this sentence:

    I may or may not have gone into the yard, made a fire, and slowly fed $100 into the flames while concentrating on how money is useless if you don't use it.

    Comment by pablo_stafforini on Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life · 2015-01-06T17:57:24.532Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

    Nick Winter implies that he burned $100 (!) to impress on him the idea that money is useless if not used.