Comment by polarix on Corrigibility thoughts I: caring about multiple things · 2017-01-19T14:58:19.469Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Maybe a tangent, but: Are we humans corrigible?

I think about this a lot -- it seems that no matter what I do, I'm not able to prevent a sufficiently motivated attacker from ending my life.

Comment by polarix on Do we Share a Definition for the word "ideal"? · 2017-01-19T01:36:58.557Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I often observe with people that we don't all share the same meaning for the word, and that the discrepancy is significant.

YES! This is the study of ethics, I think: "by what rules can we generate an ideal society?"

Do we have a shared meaning for this word?


This is why ethical formalisms have historically been so problematic.

Overconfident projections of value based on proxies that are extrapolated way out of their region of relevance (generally in the service of "legibility") is the root cause of so much avoidable suffering:

This hits fairly close to home in the rest of the tech industry as our proxies are stressed way beyond their rated capacity: and

Moreover, even if we did nail it at one point in time, this thing called "ideal" drifts with progress, see also "value drift".

Will Buckingham suggests that simply sharing stories is the most responsible way forward in -- digested ad nauseum by

I hope these citations are convincing. Let's continue to talk about what's ideal, but once we throw in underneath some god-value-proxy, we're just as screwed as if we gave up on CEV.

Comment by polarix on [Short, Meta] Should open threads be more frequent? · 2014-12-19T15:06:08.948Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Absolutely. The proper response to this confusion should be: "fix the site to have a third, lower priority level", not "increase the frequency of our hack".

Comment by polarix on Podcasts? · 2014-10-26T16:00:35.588Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I find broadcast speech in general, and especially recorded narration such as audiobooks, to be slow enough as to provoke distraction.

On top of the additional focal intensity, there's double the time bandwidth. Of course, it's sensitive to my mental state -- sometimes when I'm de-energized I need to slow it down to 1.5x, but I'd ideally hover around 2.5x (though software rarely goes above 2x yet).

To get started, listen to something at 1.25x, and crank it up further as you get accustomed to the density.

Comment by polarix on Beware technological wonderland, or, why text will dominate the future of communication and the Internet · 2014-04-14T14:39:49.100Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Essentially, this sounds like temporal sampling bias. The points about ease of recombination and augmentation bespeak a lack of infrastructure investment in post-text meda, not a fundamental property. Yes, communication mediums begin with text. But the low emotional bandwidth (and low availability of presence in real-time interactions) concretely limits the kinds of transmissions that can be made.

Your writing, however, does raise a spectacular question.

How can we increase the bandwidth of text across the machine/brain barrier?

Comment by polarix on Humans can drive cars · 2014-02-01T07:57:06.753Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The biggest difference I see is that driving overloads (or extends) fairly deeply embedded/evolved neural pathways: motion, just with a different set of actuators.

Intelligence is yet lightly embedded, and the substrate is so different with software vs wetware.

Comment by polarix on Continuity in Uploading · 2014-01-25T19:53:57.198Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I find this an immensely valuable insight: continuity, or "haecceity", is the critical element of self which naive uploading scenarios dismiss. Our current rational situation of self as concept-in-brain has no need for continuity, which is counterintuitive.

We know a good deal about the universe, but we do not yet know it in its entirety. If there were an observer outside of physics, we might suspect they care great deal about continuity, or their laws might. Depending on your priors, and willingness to accept that current observational techniques cannot access all-that-there-is, it might be worth embedding some value to haecceity near your value of self.

Contrast grow-and-prune uploading with slice-and-scan uploading: the latter will be anathema to the vast majority of humanity; they may "get over it", but it'll be a long battle. And slice-and-scan will probably be much slower to market. Start with Glass and EEGs: we'll get there in our lifetime using grow-and-prune, and our AIs will grow up with mentors they can respect.

Comment by polarix on To capture anti-death intuitions, include memory in utilitarianism · 2014-01-15T15:56:08.926Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, this is at first glance in conflict with our current understanding of the universe. However, it is probably one of the strategies with the best hope of finding a way out of that universe.

Comment by polarix on an ethical puzzle about brain emulation · 2013-12-14T15:53:08.276Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It seems the disconnect is between B & C for most people.

But why is the generative simulation (B) not morally equivalent to the replay simulation (C)?

Perhaps because the failure modes are different. Imagine the case of a system sensitive to cosmic rays. In the replay simulation, the everett bundle is locally stable; isolated blips are largely irrelevant. When each frame is causally determining the subsequent steps, the system exhibits a very different signature.

Comment by polarix on Fixing akrasia: damnation to acausal hell · 2013-10-05T03:33:32.905Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately, no, what you ask for is not a permissible thing to do on LessWrong.

Comment by polarix on The Ultimate Newcomb's Problem · 2013-09-11T05:03:08.701Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, well, it tells us that there were prior games.

Comment by polarix on The Ultimate Newcomb's Problem · 2013-09-10T14:13:45.732Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I did not interpret paragraph 3 to contain any information about prior payouts... For instance, if one were to 1-box (successfully!) in every case that did not have such a lottery hedge, it would appear consistent with the problem statement to me.

Comment by polarix on Open thread, September 2-8, 2013 · 2013-09-03T09:35:03.021Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This does not actually speak to the utility of such instincts to individuals. Rather, it indicates their utility the gene bundle, by increasing the genes' probability of propagating. A tribe that stole from itself would not get very far through time.

Comment by polarix on Torture vs Dust Specks Yet Again · 2013-08-21T14:57:56.377Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Well, small-but-reasonable times infinite equals infinite. Which is indeed way, way bigger than 3^^^3.

Comment by polarix on [LINK] Cochrane on Existential Risk · 2013-08-21T13:31:18.074Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If we [respond strongly to all low-probability threats], we spend 10 times GDP.

10 times current GDP perhaps. Motivating organization can do wonders for productivity. We are hardly at capacity.

Comment by polarix on Anthropics and a cosmic immune system · 2013-07-29T16:52:54.817Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If I were building a dyson sphere, I'd want to collimate all the radiation toward a single direction, perhaps gating it periodically. Make it look like a pulsar.

Comment by polarix on Inferential credit history · 2013-07-27T16:32:17.523Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

While in generality it is a valid Bayesian inference to predict that someone who has turned out to be correct a bunch of times will continue to do so, if that history of being correct was built up mainly to lend credence to that final and crucial argument, the argumentum ad auctoritatem fails

You're right that the argument should stand on its own merit if heard to completion.

The point here is that heuristics can kick in early and the listener, either due to being irrational or due to time considerations, might not give the argument the time and attention to finish. This is about how to craft an argument so that it is more likely to be followed to completion.

Comment by polarix on Cosmic expansion vs uploads economics? · 2013-07-13T17:22:14.486Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm still unclear, why not? Once the sphere is built, while the raw energy available is fixed, we can still have growth in computation per unit energy, right?

Comment by polarix on The Apologist and the Revolutionary · 2012-12-28T20:55:23.945Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This should only help people who currently have earwax obstructions.

Comment by polarix on [Link] The Worst-Run Big City in the U.S. · 2012-12-03T13:24:07.238Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

It's possible that many of the right-libertarians ended up that way because of SF's problems.