Comment by pgbh on Is my theory on why censorship is wrong correct? · 2015-04-13T01:22:52.208Z · LW · GW

Is it that crazy to expect that a moderator remove posts like this? I don't mind that the quality is not very good, but the inclusion of racial slurs should make it over the line.

Comment by pgbh on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2015-01-01T20:17:53.354Z · LW · GW

I thought it was a nice illustration of the distinction between map and territory, or between different maps of the same territory. In other words, JFK and the speaker's uncle were very close together by a certain map, but that doesn't mean they were very similar in real life.

Comment by pgbh on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-31T02:03:21.190Z · LW · GW

After reading Contrafactus, a friend said to me: "My uncle was almost President of the U.S.!"

"Really?" I said.

"Sure," he replied, "he was skipper of the PT 108." (John F. Kennedy was skipper of the PT 109).

-- Douglas Hofstadter, Godel, Escher, Bach

Comment by pgbh on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-11-14T07:25:51.469Z · LW · GW

"I remember reading of a competition for a paper on resolution of singularities of surface; Castelnuovo and Enriques were in the committee. Beppo Levi presented his famous paper on the resolution of singularities for surfaces.

Enriques asked him for a couple of examples and was convinced; Castelnuovo was not. The discussion got heated. Enriques exclaimed 'I am ready to cut off my head if this does not work', and Castelnuovo replied 'I don't think that would prove it either.'"

-- Angelo Vistoli, mathoverflow

Comment by pgbh on [deleted post] 2014-04-04T04:02:18.201Z

Amusing post, thanks. It seems clear that life in advanced countries is indeed much worse than it could possibly be, and that failures to plan and cooperate are at least partly to blame. On the other hand, life is also much, much better than it could be (and was for most people in history), and I fully expect that it will continue to improve in the future. Maybe at some point we will be so rich, and coordinate so well, that some of your suggestions become commonplace.

Comment by pgbh on Rationality Quotes March 2014 · 2014-03-06T04:50:38.217Z · LW · GW

Remember that programs will not even be tested unless there are good reasons to expect improvement over current protocol. Most programs that are explicitly considered are worse than those that are tested, and most possible programs are worse than those that are explicitly considered. Therefore we can expect that far, far fewer than ten percent of possible programs would yield significant improvements.

Comment by pgbh on We need new humans, please help · 2014-01-09T02:58:29.522Z · LW · GW

Why not submit this as a comment on the prior post?

Comment by pgbh on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-08T14:29:18.554Z · LW · GW

His claim, to my understanding, is that the first theory completely explains the interaction between minorities and liberal politicians.

Comment by pgbh on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-08T05:42:37.076Z · LW · GW

I have read fairly many blog entries similar to this one, and to my recollection all were written by women.

Comment by pgbh on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-08T05:26:36.242Z · LW · GW

Using words like this to describe ideas you don't like seems distasteful, and in fact similar to what the blogger was originally complaining about.

Comment by pgbh on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-08T05:10:46.387Z · LW · GW

Consider these two theories:

Liberal politicians promote the well-being of minority groups because they want their votes. This constitutes a naked power grab.

Minority groups vote for liberal politicians because they expect them to promote their well-being. This constitutes democracy working as intended.

How would you tell which of these theories is true?

Comment by pgbh on [LINK] Why I'm not on the Rationalist Masterlist · 2014-01-08T04:08:07.733Z · LW · GW

Perhaps this is obvious already, but the positions people explicitly endorse on surveys are not necessarily those they implicitly endorse in blog comments.

Comment by pgbh on Rationality Quotes January 2014 · 2014-01-08T04:04:09.488Z · LW · GW

You insist that there is something a machine cannot do. If you will tell me precisely what it is that a machine cannot do, then I can always make a machine which will do just that!

-- John von Neumann

Comment by pgbh on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-29T16:43:43.092Z · LW · GW

Sure other survey-takers may be roughly as rational as you, but that doesn't mean they're likely to do something as specific as precommitting to cooperation on prisoner's dilemmas.

Comment by pgbh on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-29T16:38:43.691Z · LW · GW

Took the survey.

I chose to defect. Defecting maximizes the expected payoff for me personally, and the expected overall payoff isn't affected by my decision since Yvain just keeps whatever money isn't claimed.

An interesting variant would have been for Yvain to throw away whatever money was lost due to defections, or donate it to some organization most don't like. In that case I would probably have cooperated.