[LINK] XKCD Comic #1236, Seashells and Bayes' Theorem 2013-07-10T11:05:49.235Z · score: -7 (18 votes)
[LINK] Mr. Money Mustache on Back of the Napkin Calculations and Financial Planning 2013-06-24T17:14:22.647Z · score: -2 (7 votes)
Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality 2013-05-23T15:55:33.672Z · score: 15 (20 votes)
How to Teach Students to Not Guess the Teacher’s Password? 2013-01-04T15:18:58.618Z · score: 24 (25 votes)


Comment by petruchio on Open Thread for February 3 - 10 · 2014-02-06T02:48:23.739Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Poker also requires the skill of identifying and avoiding tilt, the state of being emotionally charged leading to the sacrifice of good decision-making. A nice look of the baises which need to be reduce to play effective poker can be found at

I suppose poker is more of a rationality drill than exercise, and just a physicist may be successful in his field while having a broken personal life, so may a poker player fall to the same trap.

Comment by petruchio on Open Thread for February 3 - 10 · 2014-02-06T02:37:40.564Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Excellent post. Thank you for the detailed response.

Right now, I have been struggling with calculating pot odds and implied odds. I grasp what they are conceptually, but actually calculating them has been a bust thus far. Is there any guidence you could give with this?

As far as legality in the US, I am playing in the state of Delaware with one of thier licensed sites, so I think I am in the clear. The play is very thin though, and I am looking to make my way to the brick and mortars in Alantic City to see if it will be a good sandbox to become better.

Comment by petruchio on Self-Study Questions Thread · 2014-02-04T23:32:18.840Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My newest interest is to become a winning poker player. I have recently recented advice doing so professionally isn't quite feasible, since the sanity waterline has risen in the online poker world. However, I am not fully discouraged and I wish to pursue the skills needed to become an above average player, if not a professional one. Also, I am considering brick and mortar poker games in addition to online games.

I have been having some trouble calculating pot odds and implied odds. I grasp what they are conceptually, but actually calculating them has been a bust for me. These skills are needed for value betting, and what I have found online so far has been difficult to understand.

Comment by petruchio on Open Thread for February 3 - 10 · 2014-02-04T23:08:02.883Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for the heads up. I'll keep it to more causal play. Do you have any experience to with brick and mortar poker? And what are you doing now if you are no longer (presumably) playing professionally?

Comment by petruchio on Open Thread for February 3 - 10 · 2014-02-04T02:52:48.918Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I agree, there is alot of talk about mathematics and formal systems. There is big love for Epistemic Rationality, and this is shown in the topics below. Some exceptions exist of course, a thread about what type of chair to buy stands out.

But I agree, Emotional Intelligence is a large set of skills underappreciated here, and I admit though I have some knowledge to share on the subject, I do not feel particularly qualified to write a post on it.

Comment by petruchio on Open Thread for February 3 - 10 · 2014-02-03T18:43:35.561Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I have just started playing poker online. On Less Wrong Discussion, Poker has been called an exercise in instrumental rationality, and a so-called Rationality Dojo was opened via I have perused this site, but it has been dormant since July 2011. Other sources exist, such as 2 + 2, Pokerology and Play Winning Poker, but none of them have the quality of content or style that I have found on Less Wrong. Is anyone here a serious poker player? Is there any advice for someone who wants to become a winning player themselves?

Comment by petruchio on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T21:04:27.171Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Personally, I find it difficult to enjoy "typical" lyrical poetry, but I appreciate epic poetry a great deal more. Epic poetry not only aims to capture the drama of an event, but also to encapsulate an entire culture of a people. The Iliad and the Odyssey were the first two i have read, and they are not only about the Trojan War and the return home of one of its heroes, but it touches on every aspect of Greek society. War, love, food, honor, virtue, cowardice, honoring the gods, pissing off the gods, the gods pissing you off, hospitality, ethics, punishment, the afterlife, nobility and servitude, all touched upon.

For more conventional (and shorter) poetry, some of the enjoyment comes from the prosody and lyrical qualities of the poem. Reading them out loud increases my own enjoyment. Otherwise, there is oft a multitude of "senses" and meanings in poetry, which provides a pleasant meditation. Some quality poems to read (as a start) would be "the Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe, and "Ozymandias" by Percy Shelley

Comment by petruchio on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-01T12:38:56.181Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What course of action has MIRI taken to attain a provable FAI?

Comment by petruchio on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-26T17:28:35.927Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That does sounds like a solid theory as to why Wizards celebrate those holidays. I'll update my beliefs with this new evidence.

Comment by petruchio on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T17:21:51.647Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I took that passage to indicate the tradition of green and red colors during Christmastide, not of the origination of any holiday,

Comment by petruchio on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T15:11:50.213Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I am confused.

The particular Bible passage was written in Greek a solid millennia before Hogwarts was built, it was available in Latin at least since the 4th century (Latin being the language of the educated post-Roman Empire, and the language which magic seems to be based off of), and, according to a quick Wikipedia search, translated into Old English by the Venerable Bede in the 7th century.

Comment by petruchio on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T15:00:27.073Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW
  1. Wizards celebrate both Christmas and Easter. No idea why they would, but that is established in HPMoR and in canon. With the exception of Roger Bacon, we have not heard much of anything about religious witches or wizards, but it will strike me as strange the magical world has no religions, if only from the muggleborns and their descendants.

  2. The quote "The last enemy to be destroyed is death" precedes the Peverell brothers by a solid millennia. While the Deathly Hallows is provides (weak) evidence in the other direction, even if it were a family motto, the origination is probably from the bible, as would be common from an old, heraldic family. Still, it is sounds like a suitable epitaph.

And of course, this presumes another deviation from canon, or to say a myth from canon, that the Peverell brothers created the Deathly Hallows, rather than receiving them from Death. Death, who exists in as a semi-sentient semi-being in HPMoR.

On a related note… What happened to the tattered cloak left by the Dementor in Chapter 45? May there be two True Cloaks of Invisibility?

Comment by petruchio on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 25, chapter 96 · 2013-07-25T13:22:03.505Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It strikes me as strange taking the words "The last enemy to be destroyed is death" as a family motto and manifesto, considering that it orginates from 1 Corinthians 15:26, concerning the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ's second coming and the abolishment of death. While it is similiar to Harry's goal, it certainly opposes it by way of means. Harry seeking the abolishment of death through mortal, albeit supernatural and magical, means opposes the divine plan of God. That Harry took this as a mission pasted down the Potter line generation to generation seems a lot more unlikely than it being a suitable epitaph on a gravestone.

Comment by petruchio on Duller blackmail definitions · 2013-07-17T17:44:34.232Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Perhaps I am missing something, this seems to be an accurate model of opportunism of which blackmail itself is a subset. Namely, both examples given are a type of opportunism which the agent exploits the target's desire for a particular value (either reputation or a MacGuffin) for profit, despite the risks of lost value balanced against the target's anticipated value. Blackmail, colloquially, is typically used to denote the above by use of incriminating information (such as steamy letters), while purchasing the MacGuffin may be called any number of things depending on the character of the act.

Comment by petruchio on Help please! Making a good choice between two jobs · 2013-07-11T12:07:09.815Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Besides Viliam_Bur's comment, I would say do the math. Assign a numerical value to each aspect to the location, weigh them accordingly, and compare the final values. After this is done, toss it all out and go with your (informed) gut instinct.

Comment by petruchio on Seed Study: Polyphasic Sleep in Ten Steps · 2013-07-11T11:41:11.808Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I tried to get onto the Uberman sleep schedule twice while at university, but ended up failing around 5 days in. Your plan of easing into it may significantly improve the probability of success, so I am very excited for you.

One thing to watch out for is the increase intake of food. When doing it the first time, I did not think to connect a 37.5% increase in waking time with an increase in calories. I ended up having bouts of extreme coldness in the middle of the night because of this, which added one more thing to the unpleasantness of being awake.

Be careful of micro sleeping, where you fall asleep for a fraction of a second at a time. I do not know how to avoid it except powering through. You may experience hallucinations, or more accurately, you'll fall asleep, have a vivid dream, wake up and not realized you fell asleep in the first place. Again, this occurs over a half a second or so.

There might be some supplements that will assist with the schedule, but I do not know which. Omega-3 fatty acid probably will help. A multi-vitamin wouldn’t hurt either. Soylent, if it works, would be perfect for this project.

I do not have an accommodating job for the Uberman or even the Everyman schedule, but I wish the best of luck.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-24T13:28:38.215Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It is not a hindsight bias; it is based using an analysis of historical returns to anticipate future returns, which is a distinction. But you make a good point on comparing the American economy to foreign economy. If someone invested in the Russian economy 100 years ago, they would have lost everything in the Communist Revolution, likewise if they invested in Germany, they would have lost it in WWI, WWII and the partition of East and West Germany. However if you invested in either country 30 years ago, you would have made bank on the fall of Communism.

Generally, if is difficult to hedge against political risks in your own country. If WWIII happens, then pretty much nothing is guaranteed. Investments, property, careers and lives are in uncertain flux, and all may be lost. Barring such catastrophic events, I may hedge the risk of American underperforming the rest of the work by investing in foreign companies, or trans-national companies. This is not something I will be doing right now (I have more faith in America’s economy then the rest of the world) but it is something to consider for the future.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-24T13:08:35.868Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It is true that with a 50% stock, 50% bond diversification, there has been a small historical failure rate for the 4% withdrawal rate. If the first 30 years after my retirement are the worst seen since WWII, then I may be in trouble.

With this in mind, we may hedge against this. You may work for a bit longer and save enough to go with a 3.5% or even a 3% withdrawal rate, take on jobs or projects intermittently during your retirement to boost your savings, or receiving social security or some other another government social program once you are old enough to qualify. Other more random factors which may hedge in your favor will be your children growing up and moving out of the house (permanently lowering your expenses), downsizing your home or moving to a rental once your kids are grown, or receiving an inheritance.

Of course, the paper you cite anticipates a higher failure rate due to lower bond rates. These lower rates may be a historical aberration, as mentioned in the abstract. I have not invested in bonds because of the very low rates, and am holding a stock-only, albeit dividend paying, index fund. I view bonds as a hedge against deflation. Besides junk bonds, the ROI is much too low for my taste.

I am anticipating an eventual portfolio of 50% Stock, 30% REITs and 20% Bonds, unlike the study’s 50% stock, 50% bond. I also hope to have some rental property, but this is a long term idea. In the meantime, I should anticipate more volatility, but until I retire I will be comfortable with that. If you, on the other hand, prefer otherwise, you should go with bonds, save more and aim for a lower withdrawal rate.

However, the crux of this sequence is not investing, but extreme saving. Investing strategies differ due to anticipated needs and tolerance of risk. However, making a habit of saving most of your income should give you the greatest possible utility no matter what your investment or retirement plans are.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-24T12:29:51.560Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Two excellent suggestions.

1) Very good point, and I will be changing the name of this post. I named it Rational Financial Planning Overview as a counter to another discussion post Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence, the ideas which I disagree with. I did not expect for my post to be taken as well as it has (a very pleasant surprise) so I will be changing the name to more accurately reflect its contents.

2) I did not think of this, though I should have. Cutting your expenses and saving/investing the greater majority of your income is applicable in any financial endeavor. I will be adding an edit to this effect.

Thank you very much.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-24T01:47:10.225Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Like you said, that is a very conservative estimate, but entirely accurate. If we experience a horrible depression which gives me no investment returns for 20 years, I still will be able to retire at age 43.

The rule of thumb is that you need (Current_Expenses x 25). This is a 4% withdrawal rate, and should last you forever. If you want to go even safer (the Trinity Study suggests that 4% is plenty safe) go with 3% and multiple your expenses by 33.

Implication: You must save 25 dollars or so for each dollar you spend. So you go out and earn an extra 25 dollars, or figure out how to spend one dollar less.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-24T01:39:13.340Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Depends. Who I marry will be the biggest determiner of success. If my future spouse is not only on board, but shares the vision for EER, then our combined incomes and shared expenses will actually make things go quicker. If my spouse is uncooperative, then all my effort may very well be for nil. Both ERE and MMM have spouses who not only supported their endeavor, but adopted it themselves. Not surprising, non-consumerist people tend not to group with consumers.

As for kids, there is also great variation. You will obviously need to save additional money to feed, clothe and care for your children. ERE is childless, but MMM and Mrs. MM decided to first retire then start a family. It worked out pretty good for them; they avoided expensive daycare costs, and their child grew up in a home where both the mother and father were active, full-time caretakers. MMM has several articles about having a child post-EER.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-24T01:25:14.685Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Excellent questions: 1) There has been adjustments, such as cutting out fast foods and eating/drinking out. Also, I delayed purchasing a new computer by a few months (paid with my tax refund). Also, I am stingy with using my car, and I am more apt to carpooling whenever I do go out (a generally rare occasion). I have cut out alot of impulse purchases. For instance, I would buy a $1 package of gummy worms around four times a week. Gone. Lastly, I pack a lunch for work each day. Nothing too big, just several small habit changes. This lead to aot of excess cash. It became really easy to do these changes since I transferred my cash at the beginning of the month, and forced myself to live on the remainder. All these changes have been for the better, and I have not notice a real decrease in happiness or satisfaction. It would be pretty ridiculous to expect my satisfaction to go down because of less fast food and candy in my life.

2) I do not know for sure that I will enjoy not working, and I can certainly see having "mini-retirements" of Tim Ferriss. As of current, I do not have any particular attachment to my jobs now. This may change in the future, and I hope it does. Post-retirement, I do not plan on sitting on my butt watching TV, going to the golf course each day, or moving to Florida and sipping alcoholic beverages on the beach. I will have projects to do (I would like to build a house, exercise more frequently, and run a psychology laboratory) and if I receive income for those things, I will be glad to. Most importantly, I hope to have a wife and children one day, and I hope that I will prefer to spend time with them over working.

3) This is pretty murky. I am currently severely underemployed, and in a recovering economy. I am completing a course in webdesign, then doing another one for programming, and that will translate into new career opportunities. I may move, and have my expenses go up, I will pay my student loans ahead of schedule, and lower my expenses considerably. And I may get into a serious relationship and start a family. That may slow it down, but if my potential spouse shares my vision, we may wait on children and in fact may speed up the timeline to retirement.

All together, I think my income will outpace my expenses. One of the links above, here, gives a straight forward chart comparing your savings rate to the number of years till you are able to retire (presuming average returns, and living off the interest alone, not touching the principal at all). I am at 65%, putting me at 10.5 years, or 34 years old. I think my expenses will end up increasing in the shorter term, then my income will catch up, before my student loans drop out of my life forever, freeing up another $500 or so a month. My ideal situation would a 75-80% savings rate, allowing me to retire before I'm 30.

All said I think I will retire by age 35 with 65% confidence, age 30 with 10% confidence and age 40 with 80% confidence. My income prospects in the next year and my spouse are the biggest factors in determining my success.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-23T17:06:59.704Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Corrected. Thank you.

Comment by petruchio on Maximizing Financial Utility and Frugality · 2013-05-23T17:00:16.884Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

As a background, I am a 23-year old security guard and janitor. Between the two jobs (total 60 hours a week) I make about $30,000 before taxes. I have been practicing this as of the New Years, so almost 5 months. In this time, I have saved $50 a day, $350 a week. This comes out to approximately 65% of my post tax income. The biggest help to that is that my largest expense is my student loans, followed by rent and transportation (I take the bus for work). I have an investment account with Vanguard, I rarely eat out, I act as the DD when I go out with friends, and I just received my first (though meager) dividend.

I am currently taking a course in web design, so this will (hopefully) translate into a larger income and speed up the process. At the first Friday of each month, I transfer $350 to Vanguard for each week since my last transfer, and live off the remainder. I have $5,950 in principal and a bit more from dividends and capital gains, which are automatically reinvested.

So far, I have been doing pretty well for myself, better than many of my peers, and I feel pretty optimistic for future success.

Comment by petruchio on Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence · 2013-05-22T17:52:13.193Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

He also spoken about rental real estate, and he has an ongoing experiement with microlending.

Comment by petruchio on Education control? · 2013-05-22T13:49:18.807Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

IIRC, when public education was first debated, the arguement was that it would create good citizens. Hence the focus of social studies and history.

And I concur, the main purpose for school seems put children into a society and let them develop from there. Not that it does its job particularly well, but there you go.

Comment by petruchio on Education control? · 2013-05-22T13:37:32.312Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That is very interesting. Why is that?

[Edit] A quick browse through the list, it seems that western europe has homeschooling with very strong restrictions, while Eastern european nations have it banned totally. Exceptions in eastern europe include Russia (post-1992) and Ukraine.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK]s: Who says Watson is only a narrow AI? · 2013-05-22T13:18:36.400Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Watson sounds cool, but this is a far step from General Artifical Intelligence. But how general is Watson as of now?

Comment by petruchio on Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence · 2013-05-22T12:35:19.084Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I like the idea, but I think it has been done before on other blogs. Mr. Money Mustache and Early Retirement Extreme come to mind, which were written by a (now) retired software engineer and a physicist, respectively. Their advice may bear repeating, but I do not think I would purchase a book on the subject. There are so many free resources online; it seems financially unwise to spend more on a book.

But may I ask, who are you, and what are your qualifications to speak on this subject?

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-22T12:24:13.319Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That was "meat" cultured in a petridish. It is awhile away from being a food replacement. But you are right, this is an exciting time.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-22T12:17:26.291Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

And right now, this product is in its pre-early adoption stage. There is little need to criticize the product, since the formula will most probably be tweaked and updated after its first public release. Unless there is some question about the utility of the idea, or the capability of the inventor, I think optimism is warranted.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-22T11:55:20.167Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm tired of eating, preparing food and cleaing up afterwards.

And pooping. After saving time and money, this is my biggest hope from soylent.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-22T11:46:10.791Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not to mention, worst case scenario, if you experience a deficiency, you are still in civilization and may switch back to a normal diet.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-22T11:41:21.322Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The blog referenced is down at this time.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-22T11:35:53.712Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Food is good, but not that good. For instance, 95% of the time, I settle for eating something unhealthy and not particularly appetizing, because it is easy and quick to make. If I were cooking for someone else, this may be a different story. When I first read the Odyssey by Homer, my professor told me the Greek behaved as though sharing a meal was a spiritual experience, which is reflected in our culture (dinner dates, family meals, holidays etc.)

But as I currently do not eat with others on a regular basis, I think it would be of greater utility to go with whole food replacement, and eat with others on rare occasions, provided the cost for food replacement is low enough. Or I can explore new post-food psycho-social opportunities, which should be interesting in of itself.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Soylent crowdfunding · 2013-05-22T11:22:19.628Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hopefully, mass producing Soylent will drive down the price. As of now, it is close, but not cutting it as a total replacement for me. Temporay adoption on the other hand...

Comment by petruchio on Morality should be Moral · 2013-05-17T18:28:24.612Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Straw-man relativism is not catholic (with a lower-case c, but universal would be better). Strict utilitarianism is subjective, and what is applicable in one situation is not universally applicable, and isn’t universal in that way.

Comment by petruchio on Morality should be Moral · 2013-05-17T18:22:28.816Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

A green sky will be green. A pink invisible unicorn is pink. A moral system would be moral. All tautologies, none are true.

Comment by petruchio on The Unselfish Trolley Problem · 2013-05-17T18:19:15.931Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But would you approve of someone else doing the same thing? Again to you or a love one?

But I am starting to see the problem with fighting the hypothetical. It leads to arguments and borrowed offense, thus allowing the argument to lead into perpetuity. I can hypotectical be able to endure or not endure anything hypotectically, but this doesn't increase my rationality or utility.

This will conclude my posting on this page. Mayby OphanWilde's discussion will be a more appropriate topic than the Unselfish Trolley Problem.

Comment by petruchio on Education control? · 2013-05-17T17:15:22.740Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What do you mean by "un-googlable education program"?

Comment by petruchio on Morality should be Moral · 2013-05-17T17:11:31.267Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting post, but I did not have any problems answering any of the above questions. But to be honest, its been a long while since I have had a good, honest conversation which challenged my moral system.

As you probably saw in the post before, I am a deontologist.

Comment by petruchio on Open thread, May 17-31 2013 · 2013-05-17T17:03:36.550Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As a quick answer, I would say people appreciate what they pay for, and do not care about what they may have for free. Professors are respected, and even teachers at private schools, as are professional tutors. But when teachers are used, it usually mean public school teachers, who are essentially free (taxes notwithstanding). To spread science, keep it secret extends to education and educators as well. If educators were rare, expensive keepers of knowledge, then they would be coveted.

And of course, since the government is the largest employer of teachers, they are able to keep their salaries low, leading to a decrease of prestige and quality of teachers. Which leads to a vicious cycle downwards.

Comment by petruchio on The Unselfish Trolley Problem · 2013-05-17T15:19:01.679Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, but the [i]should[/i] coincide. And if this is a moral problem, it is in the realm of the [i]should[/i]. If it is a question if you are a moral person, then it it in the realm of the [i]would[/i]. As for [i]prefer[/i] that is the most fluid concept, meaning either a measuring of contrasting values, or your emotions of the matter.

Comment by petruchio on The Unselfish Trolley Problem · 2013-05-17T15:01:45.037Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I can see that. It will be a difficult choice, but I would do the same. I think it is morally defensible.

[Edit] On second thought, I am not a husband or father, but I would like to think I will one day have a family who has heroic virtue enough to be willing to sacrifice their live for others. How I would behave, again is subject to my emotions, but I would like to honor that wish.

Comment by petruchio on The impact of whole brain emulation · 2013-05-17T14:56:13.651Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would probably enjoy creating several copies of myself, allow them to pursue their (my interest's) wholly, gather all the experiences they can along the way, and merge them together at a later time. Then repeat.

Comment by petruchio on Improving Cryonics - Regulations and Ethical Considerations · 2013-05-17T14:51:25.950Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Why would you use healthy members of society to test the effectiveness of cryogenic revitalization when animal testing is perfectly legal, and would demonstrate feasibility? After demonstrating feasibility with other primates, then it would be easier to gain voluntarily human participants.

Comment by petruchio on Adjusting Effort to Barely Meet Standards · 2013-05-17T14:46:11.665Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I have seen the phenomena of intelligent students doing enough just to "get by". Hell, I was one of them. But I have met plenty of over-achievers, and they were above average intellects.

Besides this, I agree with your post. Grit has a lot to say for it.

I told this to a friend of mine. I was the type of person who happy enough to know that I was the most intelligent and clever person in the room, but not to show it. So I would go into math class, ignore the teacher, and do 4 or 5 problems in the book instead. Once I knew that I knew the subject, I would just kick back and relax, while everyone else was still listening to the lecture.

Sure enough, once the test would roll around, I would pass.

Not get an A, but pass, because I accidently skip a small step, which I wouldn't have done if I practiced more, or because I didn't carry a 1, which I didn't notice because I did not check my work. And when I saw the red marks on my exam, I would think, “Wow, that was a stupid mistake. But I passed anyways, didn’t even try, because I am so freaking brilliant.”

I created these habits at a young age, for various reasons, mostly because I was bored by the material and I saw no point it in.

But now in my twenties, I am trying to overcome those habits and make up for lost time. And I did not think so before, but grit is the perfect word to describe this sediment.

Comment by petruchio on The Unselfish Trolley Problem · 2013-05-17T14:26:06.735Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What is immorality then? Even a theist would say "morality is that which is good and should be done, and immorality is that which is not good and should not be done." If you think it would be immoral to spare you wife and child, then you are saying it is not a good thing and shouldn’t be done. I am pretty sure protecting your family is a good thing, and most people would agree.

The problem is, I think, is not that it is immoral to not push you wife and child in front of a moving train, albeit to save 5 others, but that it is immoral to push any individual in front of a train to save some other individuals.

If you increase the numbers enough, though, I would think it changes, since you are not just saving others, but society, or civilization or a town or what have you. Sacrificing others for that is acceptable, but rarely does this require a single person’s sacrifice, and it usually requires the consent and deliberation of the society under threat. Hence why we have the draft.

Comment by petruchio on Crash problems for total futarchy · 2013-05-17T14:11:41.972Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I see the same biases and problems which occur in current financial markets occuring in this. Rumors, market manipulation, risky speculation leading to a bubble and insider information will all happen and will need to be regulated in order to be operable.

Comment by petruchio on [LINK] Prizes and open source for drug research (proposed, and some politics) · 2013-05-17T14:00:20.690Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You are right, the costs of putting new drugs in the market are extremely high, and maybe 1 in 10 make the cut. Very few people would be willing to invest that much money on such a return. Investing in a pharmaceutical company would give an investor a financial return, and investing in an efficient charity will give a philanthropist the best return for lives saved.