Comment by pipfoweraker on What's the most annoying part of your life/job? · 2016-10-29T23:35:05.335Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Relatively small behavioural changes on your end may address some of the causes of these frustrations. It sounds like you might be overstocked with things of relatively low long-term utility, which is why it's hard to immediately pass them on. Have you scanned your spending patterns for hyperbolic discounting, for example?

Comics are a great example - if you have the willpower to hold off until you can but a TPB, they're cheaper, more economic, more durable, take up less storage space, and are much easier to pass on or pass around than individual comics. If you have friends who also enjoy comics, it's easier to pass around books of them than individual issues, and you can probably read a broader range. Alternately, if you find a way to read comics online or through an app, you can enjoy getting stories as they come out but through digital distribution instead of dead trees. If you're not collecting dead tree stories for long-term value, and don't re-read, then that may be a positive trade-off for you.

You're correct in that throwing things away is one of the least useful things you can do with them. Each low-utility spare object is probably not worth a huge effort in disposing of appropriately individually, so why trap yourself into that situation by virtue of your own lifestyle choices?

Do you have municipal recycling facilities or charities that you could donate things to?

For the entrepreneur - I'd pay some marginally low cost to have comics delivered from MrMind's house to mine once they're done with them :-)

Comment by pipfoweraker on June 2016 Media Thread · 2016-06-01T19:25:43.879Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Today's SMBC will drag a smile out of many people here if thy haven't read it already.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016 · 2016-05-24T04:19:19.205Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Whoah. That gets many points. What an excellent layout! We need to know what boots are for it to translate, but that's a lot closer to an ideal solution than I've worked through.

Edit - I thought the diagram looked familiar!

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016 · 2016-05-23T01:53:46.978Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

In your situation, in Australia, it's mostly about forward planning. Do you have any foreknowledge of likely changes in your health or family situation?

The insurance market in Australia has historically been pretty poor in terms of transparency and easy comparisons. I'm sure you've found the various compare-policy tools online. I'm assuming you don't want to piggyback on a family policy.

Are you looking for more data, or a list of considerations for insurance planning? If it's the latter, try browsing around insurance industry planner websites for their policy documents. I can probably get some friends in the industry to email me more comprehensive things if you want to work of their approaches.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016 · 2016-05-23T01:48:51.220Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! I've been playing around with it for a week or so but can't elegantly find a way to do it that meets my arbitrary standards of elegance and cool design :-)

Becomes easier when using non-circular shapes for Venn-ing, but my efforts look a little hacky.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016 · 2016-05-23T00:58:21.443Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Reminiscing over one of my favourite passages from Anathem, I've been enjoying looking through visual, wordless proofs of late. The low-hanging fruit is mostly classical geomety, but a few examples of logical proofs have popped up as well.

This got me wondering if it's possible to communicate the fundamental idea of Bayes' Theorem in an entirely visual format, without written language or symbols needing translation. I'd welcome thoughts from anyone else on this.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016 · 2016-05-23T00:50:09.567Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In any particular geographical or topical area?

Comment by pipfoweraker on 2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Analysis: Part One (Meta and Demographics) · 2016-05-16T01:29:11.752Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I ran into this issue as well, being relatively well credentialed professionally and through the TAFE / AQF framework. It's hard to know where to put the scale, so I normally do an equivalence of hours-studied-full-time-loading in my head and use that.

Comment by pipfoweraker on My Custom Spelling Dictionary · 2016-04-24T18:53:55.311Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately, this. I did coverage work for WoTC for a few years and my custom dictionary is ridiculous.

For bonus points, I've also reviewed 200+ Spec Fic novels, so the amount of weird pronouns in the list is spectacular.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Abuse of Productivity Systems · 2016-03-30T19:57:28.405Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have a non-specific recollection that, generally speaking, phrasing directions in the positive imperative ("Treat dogs well") rather than a negative imperative ("Do not treat dogs badly") leads to better rates of recall / compliance.

If it interests you I'll ask around and find a proper reference.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread March 21 - March 27, 2016 · 2016-03-27T00:41:29.969Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There is a continuum that moves from complete dream-obliviousness (not being aware one has dreamed upon waking) all the way up to comprehensively lucid dreaming, where a dreamer is able to create and control their dream environment at will and then retain an accurate memory upon waking.

There are obvious problems with the self-reporting of dreams and dream recall, so the exact definitions of the continuum are fuzzy, but I'm not aware of anyone seriously disputing the continuum exists.

Also making matters more interesting is the mechanics of dreaming in terms of what frames of reference the brain uses to create the imagery of the dream. It's not surprising that people dream about places similar to their environments if we think about terms of raw data in the brain as it dreams.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread March 21 - March 27, 2016 · 2016-03-27T00:18:34.652Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

You may want to spend some time thinking about how you can give your dog the best end of life experience that you can.

Losing a dog is painful. However, and I'm only speaking from personal experience here, you will probably have the opportunity to control to a great extent how your dog dies, its relative level of pain / discomfort, and in what situation and setting the death takes place.

Knowing that my dog - who my parents found abandoned a few weeks before I was born, who I grew up with, and who died in my early adulthood - died at home, surrounded by her family, having spent her last days lovingly attended and not in great physical pain, makes remembering her whole and relatively joyful life more pleasant for me now. It may help you too.

Comment by pipfoweraker on In Defence of Simple Ideas That Explain Everything But Are Wrong · 2016-03-27T00:10:17.364Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Following simple ideas or explanations that are mostly right will still give me good outcomes in a plurality of iterations.

I don't have infinite time to carefully consider those ideas. Being a standardly incompetent human at many things, my ability to discern truthiness by looking is subject to error.

What options do I have for differentiating between simple explanations that are correct and simple explanations that are only mostly correct, and then figuring out whether the latter are worth investigating for corner-casery / quackery / etc?

Comment by pipfoweraker on AlphaGo versus Lee Sedol · 2016-03-18T10:54:39.897Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The thought intrigued me enough to check with a native Korean speaking friend, and they said that cloning doesn't necessarily translate well and it could have been a question about the size of AlphaGo (in terms of copying it or the datasets) or its reproducability / iterations (i.e. are there v1.01, v1.02's floating around).

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Mar. 14 - Mar. 20, 2016 · 2016-03-17T20:40:17.375Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The recently posted Intelligence Squared video titled Don't Trust the Promise of Artificial Intelligence may be of interest to LW readers, if only because of IQ2's decently sized cultural reach and audience.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016 · 2016-01-20T01:38:37.930Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

When animals are created and destroyed solely for a purpose attributed to them by their human overlords, that reduces their utilisable preferences to zero or near zero. Unless a meat producer had reason to believe that inflicting pain on an animal improved the resulting meat product, that pain would almost certainly be a by-product of whatever the farmer chose rather than an exclusive intent. I personally know no farmers that inflict 'pointless' injury on their livestock.

Given any amount of suffering in the animal stock needed to feed, say the US compared to a zero amount of suffering of the in-vitro meat needed to feed the US, if we were basing decisions solely on the ethics of the situation the choice would be clear-cut. As it stands it is simply one amongst many trade-offs, the numbers and data of which I agree would be laborious to define.

The inability to communicate or even experience a preference for the concept of non-existence compared to an experienced or ongoing pain does not invalidate the experience of the pain. In this field of thought I am happy to start from a non-rigorous framework and then become more so if needs be. At a simple level, my model says [for SolvePorkHunger: 'no pig' > 'happy pig + surprise axe' > 'sad pig + surprise axe'].

The practical ways to improve such lives as already exist are, broadly speaking, answered by practitioners of veganism, vegetarianism, cooperative existence with animals (raising chooks, goats for milk, etc etc).

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016 · 2016-01-19T23:55:34.748Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If I'm exclusively limiting myself to animals that are raised in an organised fashion for eventual slaughter, I don't think I need too much data to assign broadly negative values to lives that are unusually brutish, nasty and short compared to either non-existence or a hypothetical natural existence.

In my consideration, simple things like the registering of a pain stimulus and the complexity of behaviour to display distress are good enough indicators.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016 · 2016-01-19T22:06:29.738Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not certain if we need to understand how suffering works if we can simply remove the organs that house it.

It seems less tricky when a technological set of solutions come along that allow delicious engineered meat to be grown without all the unnecessary and un-delicious bits.

I think the in vitro meat industry will have an extraordinarily good time when things develop to the point of being able to synthesis a lazy-person's whole stuffed camel.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016 · 2016-01-19T22:03:12.840Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There is value in having crowds that view you mildly and strongly disfavourably, but much of this value depends on the rule of law in one's immediate environment.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016 · 2016-01-19T22:01:09.118Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think that's a reasonable position for a preface to take.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Jan. 18 - Jan. 24, 2016 · 2016-01-19T21:59:06.527Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My experience with giving people the data behind squatting to go to the dunny is that their awkwardness about it strongly outweighs, initially, their willingness to experiment.

Which leads to the thought that there are probably some provably life-enhancing things that people don't even consider doing because it is so far outside their social mores that the possibility doesn't occur. I have had an entertaining few minutes trying to think of some that my great-descendants will be bewildered we didn't consider.

Comment by pipfoweraker on How did my baby die and what is the probability that my next one will? · 2016-01-19T21:32:37.534Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It may be worthwhile to cast a wider net in order to glean more professional opinions and sources of data while reducing any emotional response. Consider spending a useful amount of time exploring mailing lists, forums, and professional bodies. Google indicates there are tons of professional bodies in both the US and overseas that will have members who have dealt with similar experience and questions before. Some have membership requirements which a determined person can get around without too many problems, PM me if you get stuck. You may also consider asking a similar question on the various 'Ask a question' websites, but obviously the responses to a shotgun approach will vary wildly.

In doing so, you may be able to filter for more considered reactions if you phrase it as a hypothetical exam question or another form that encourages people to provide clear reasoning behind their answers. Focusing on the 'undetermined' section may lead to suggestions of non-obvious tests or papers that are obscure enough to have not appeared in initial searches.

Editing this page with useful summaries of more detailed information gleaned may boost its search ranking in the future. If it does, you may want to provide an easy way for someone to contact you without creating a LW account in case of the useful but lazy passerby.

If you have boldness, why not contact the writers of the textbook and ask them?

Comment by pipfoweraker on Instrumental behaviour: Inbox zero - A guide · 2016-01-12T22:40:26.030Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One suggestion is to consider having more than one email for the purposes of separating emails from people who email you about personal things and people who email you about work things. This may be useful in addition to the suggestion in OP to have a separate email for subscriptions/mailing lists.

This has been useful to me in the past for being able to effectively segment my 'work life' while on holidays or taking a break without missing out on social updates and emails from friends and family members. Aslo, when I am on holidays in non-urban environments I frequently don't have the spare bandwidth to download all my work emails to my desktop client as easily as at home.

I suggest conssidering this methodology to delineate a nice, clean mental 'break' and to avoid the temptations of 'just glancing' at work-related emails that come from having a general email address.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-08T01:06:10.129Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If you are not familiar with Carrico's blog and writing style, this is a feature, not a bug.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-06T21:48:21.711Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks! Y'know, I actually spotted the doubling up of the pronoun, checked it, thought "Huh, random egotism, naming a centre after yourself" and went ahead and clicked 'Submit'. Cheers, random brainfart! Edited OP for accuracy.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-06T19:03:12.922Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would posit that his actual children have a comfortably non-zero amount of influence over him, and that the rest of us have a non-zero-but-muchcloser-to-zero amount of influence over him.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-06T01:40:27.639Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Replying to clarify my point assigned was entirely for AskClippy :-)

Comment by pipfoweraker on Polling Thread January 2016 · 2016-01-06T01:33:17.130Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Interested to see one anonymous user posting 97%. Would be interested to know if they receive/d follow-up from the institute.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-06T00:29:28.574Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Combining the first two would likely result in a more-memorable-than-most experience.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-06T00:26:10.056Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Does that not-want take into consideration your changed capacity to influence him if you became his child?

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, January 4-10, 2016 · 2016-01-06T00:19:43.557Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

While browsing the Intelligence Squared upcoming debates, I noticed two things that may be of interest to LW readers.

The first is a debate titled "Lifespans are long enough", with Aubrey De Grey and Brian Kennedy of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging arguing against Paul Root Wolpe from the Emory Centre for Ethics and another panelist TBA. The debate is taking place in early February.

The second, and of potentially more interest to the LW community, is taking place on March 9th and is titled "Artificial Intelligence: The risks outweigh the rewards". All 4 speakers for and against the motion are presently unannounced.

I am a long time watcher of Intelligence Squared debates and recommend them highly. I believe others in the LW community have referred to specific debates in the past. The moderator is quite talented and encourages interesting discourse, and is often successful in steering parties away from stringing series of applause lights together.

Both the moderator and founder of the debates have indicated previously that they have been influenced in the questions asked and experts brought on to argue by commentary and suggestions from the public. I have also had a positive response from previous suggestions made to IQ in the past in relation to other debates. I have emailed them already with some suggestions about who I think would provide interesting commentary and perspectives on the debate, and links to some useful 'background briefing' documents that they may wish to add to the resources attached to the debate. I suggest that others choosing to do the same might increase the quality of discourse in a debate that is likely to come up highly in people's Google and YouTube searches into the future.

Generally speaking, the videos from Intelligence Squared are uploaded to their YouTube account fairly soon after the live stream.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2016 · 2015-12-30T20:25:55.469Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You're entirely right, 'Games Trainers Play' is not at all like Games People Play, but it is a useful book in terms of practical applications of applied human psychology. The amount of value I've observed added to newly-formed teams and temporary groups through the contents - in terms of near-immediate cohesion, bonding, and comfortable introductions to group dynamic discussions - has been tremendous.

If I were going to retitle the two, GPP would become "Communicative Dark Arts and How To Spot Them", whereas GTP would be "Communicative Light Arts And How To Enjoy Them". I appreciate being able to spot someone else drawing me into a game I don't feel like playing, or don't play well enough to get my preferred payout. Being pretty firmly on the Light side of communication, I also appreciate being able to get groups integrated and performing well together easily and quickly, especially in my lines of work, which tend to involve a lot of people working together for short periods of time and with little prior contact.

I like the few games you've picked out, and they certainly seem to apply to LW specifically. If I broadened the scope a little, I'd probably pick two of the 'games' from GPP that it's common for me to see in LW-like communities:

Yes, But: This is a game where a problem is stated by the initiator, the (unknowing) respondent makes a suggestion towards a state problem, and the initator rebuffs it with a 'Yes, but' and then rephrases or further complicates the problem. Observe :

"I can't solve X!"

"Have you tried doing A?"

"Yes, but then Y!"

"Oh, well, what about B?"

"Yes, but then Z!"

"Well, you could always C..."*

"Yes, but... [repeat ad nauseum]"

This game is commonly launched into by someone who has either an intrinsic reluctance or a hidden external impetus to not actually resolve their initial problem. Sometimes caused by someone who simply wants to have a vent, and is caught off-guard by someone else not realising this and focusing in on a solution. Otherwise, this is a power game - the problem-stater insisting on being 'rescued', not once, but multiple times. May involve subtle goalpost-shifting.

The expected payoff for the Yes-But-er is to eventually wear the respondent down until they throw their hands up and agree, yes, the problem is intractable / we don't know enough / nobody can really say, etc, etc. The respondent-rescuer may then step in to complete the problem ("It's easier if I just fix it for you") or offer their acceptance of the insolubility of a soluble problem ("Well, I suppose some people just can't lose weight").

"Now I've Got You, You Son Of a Bitch" (NIGYSOB): Pretty self-explanatory, this essentially describes the process of assigning too much utility to a 'righteous' retributive action than is appropriate. If followed through on intemperately, can lead to an unnecessary escalation of conflict with deleterious results for either or both parties.

Example: Alice asks Bob for a quote on some web design. Bob quotes $998.50 with a carefully itemised list, which Alice carefully peruses and signs off on. Bob designs the website and realises he forgot the ongoing domain registration charges. He presents his bill to Alice for $1009.50. Alice angrily accuses Bob of unprofessional conduct and refuses to pay the bill. Bob, thinking Alice is being unreasonable, refuses to reduce the bill and keeps Alice's webpage non-functional. Communication has broken down. Until they de-escalate, Bob has lost out on revenue and Alice has no website.

Alice and Bob may, if they are clever, realise that their actions were disproportionate to the situation. Alice may have been screwed over by contractors in the past for much larger amounts of money, and, having 'safeguarded' herself by carefully scrutinising the quote this time around, had a NIGYSOB trigger and fire without realising that an extra ~$10 on a $1,000 bill was basically a rounding error and not worth a great deal of worry. Bob, on the other side, may have had clients try to dramatically short-shrift him in the past, may have had his last few clients default on their payments, etc, etc, and would have had his own, equally seemingly valid reasons for potentially losing all his income over what would be, in effect, a discount of 1% of the value of the contract.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Stupid Questions, 2nd half of December · 2015-12-29T23:58:41.297Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I suggest that the more Musk influences OpenAI's agenda, the further it moves away from core competition with MIRI.

A counterexample might be if a series of AI researchers in China announced a formation a clone of MIRI but based out of Shanghai - a more clear-cut intelligence race than what we've currently go, which is an increasing number of institutions all starting down roadmaps that share initial common ground but have divergent ideal end states.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Stupid Questions, 2nd half of December · 2015-12-29T23:54:34.061Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you have any good (academic for preference) sources for the latter statement, I'd love to see them, mainly to add to my 'Collection of X-refuting hyperlinks' I have easily accessible when browsing the Internet At Large.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Stupid Questions, 2nd half of December · 2015-12-29T23:49:17.218Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is there a non-obvious reason why I can't create a non-profit entity whose sole purpose is to receive donations for selected effective charities that operate overseas and distribute that money to them, thereby enhancing the usefulness of local donations by allowing them to be tax-deductable?

(Specifically Australia, generally otherwise)

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open Thread, Dec. 28 - Jan. 3, 2016 · 2015-12-29T23:43:39.961Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seconded. Both my parents are well respected communication professionals, and they refer to the mechanics described in this book more than any other. Plus it has some very cute retro cartoons.

Some more healthy ideas can be found in a parallel book, Games Trainers Play, which is more useful for getting adults to engage in communication through (nominally) fun / silly activities as a way of learning about team communication dynamics etc. There are certainly lessons and models in there I have used in useful discussions as well.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Stupid Questions, 2nd half of December · 2015-12-26T00:01:35.815Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am challenged to think of a way that my Newly Minted MIRI Competitor could differentiate itself from MIRI in a way that is both:

a) optimal, and

b) non-divergent from MIRI's goals in such a way as to be functionally different.

I could certainly fund Evilbot Angry AI Development Labs, and we might see a difference in focus away from GAI frameworks and more towards how-to-kill-all-the-humans-as-effectively-as-possible research, but that doesn't let me weed out what 'local parochialism' is.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Non-communicable Evidence · 2015-12-09T19:39:14.160Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For me personally, a long career in a particular public service sector has made me surprisingly efficient at smilingly, politely ignoring what people say and digging out information from an unwilling audience. When someone drops a blanket 'You must fulfil condition Y to truly understand foo' statement,I respond by seeing it as an interrogatory challenge :-)

When people try to push me off with a 'I can't explain' or 'You need more experience' type of response, I usually deflect it by nodding, smiling broadly, and saying something along the lines of "I'm very smart, interested in your thought process, and have the patience to sit here while you figure out how to say what it is you want to say,' or 'The best way for me to get experience is to learn from someone with it.'. I find in these situations a little bit of an ego jab also works wonders in getting people to enunciate their opinions - YMMV. Refer to your local Zen Master for tips and tricks.

Also, asking leading but open questions can help people articulate their rationalisations in a way that they hadn't considered before. I like to raise contrary-hypotheses - 'What would need to be different about the real world for this theory not to work?' / 'If I/You were wrong about X, how would we be able to tell?'.

People who have a great depth of expertise in an area will often be cozignant of other people in that ideaspace who they mildly or strongly disagree with, and sometimes by getting people to differentiate between themselves and other thinkers, they might be able to articulate their points a little

If I'm in a teaching situation, I'll usually try and find a gaming metaphor that will fit. "International share transfer pricing is the end boss of tax law. You're still halfway through the main quest and you don't have all the items you need yet'. More generally, I fall back on car driving / plane flying / SCUBA diving analogies, as they're all pretty unviersally understood, even in the abstract.

One final alternative - and I use this on precociously inquiring children more than adults - is to deflect into academia/ "Gee, that's an interesting question about black holes, what does your Encyclopaedia of Space say?"

Comment by pipfoweraker on Marketing Rationality · 2015-11-26T22:17:00.354Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'll second the suggestion of introducing people to overconfidence early on, because (hopefully) it leads to a more questioning mindset.

I would note that the otherwise-awesome Adventures in Cognitive Biases' calibration is heavily geared towards a particular geographic demographic, and that several of my peers that I've introduced this to were a little off-put by it, so consider encouraging them to stick through the calibration into the more meaty subject matter of the Adventure itself.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Non-communicable Evidence · 2015-11-26T22:02:43.887Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

One normal-world handy use for the phrases 'skill' and 'intuition' is in shortcutting communication, either out of reticence or convenience. For example, if I ask a professional poker player why they made a particular play, if they don't want to get into a meaningful discussion about the sorts of math they work through while playing the game (plus attendant behavioural observations etc) then essentially either of those two responses are a reasonably polite way of brushing me off.

I'm sure you can think of instances where, regardless of the polite good intentions of a questioner, you've been in a situation where it's not in at leasts one parties' best interests to go into the minutiae of a process - either because you're talking across a vast knowledge gap or because there are other demands on your time.

I'm reminded of the joke variants that mechanically-inclined people tend to make: $1 for hitting your TV with a hammer, $50 for knowing where to hit it. Complex knowledge is valuable!

Another thing to consider - and something I'm guilty of - is using skill/intuition references to short-circuit people from getting sidetracked in an early stage of their learning process. I'm sure an analogy could be made with programming as in above responses. When the mastery of a complex field comes through a progression of skills {A, B, C [...] Z}, and you're trying to guide someone from B to C and they spot the shininess of J or K off on the intellectual horizon, as a teacher, your pedagogy might lean towards gently nudging them back to focussing on the fundamentals back at C.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Open thread, Nov. 09 - Nov. 15, 2015 · 2015-11-14T04:12:11.249Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

One area to explore would be the concept of smart contracts, currently best exampled by experiments with blockchain technology - Ethereum and transparency in prediction markets would have places to start. One possible solution to a real-world non-criminal application of that problem would be to hire a neutral third party with appropriate confidentiality trust - like a lawyer - to create an agreement, witness it, and hold it in trust.

This becomes less reliable when you start delving into the ethical problems outlined by other responders if you're trying to create something deniable, but you can probably work around that with an 'if-then' agreement with a lawyer and a pre-sealed envelope.

Comment by pipfoweraker on Solstice 2015: What Memes May Come (Part II - Atheism, Rationality and Death) · 2015-11-08T22:02:39.122Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Anecdotally, all of my matriarchal pre-funeralees have all indicated a strong dislike at both this poem's mild sexism and its somewhat mournful, rather than explicitly celebratory, approach.

Copyright shouldn't matter in these instances.