Posts

Multiplying 10-digit numbers using Flickr: The power of recognition memory 2011-10-07T01:18:39.951Z · score: 5 (10 votes)

Comments

Comment by printing-spoon on Open thread, September 16-22, 2013 · 2013-09-17T01:43:55.291Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder why addiction is common among celebrities

Are you sure this is true?

Comment by printing-spoon on P/S/A - Sam Harris offering money for a little good philosophy · 2013-09-02T02:39:09.126Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

ask whether "Ma" means Mother (English) or Horse (Chinese).

"Ma" also means mother, depending on the tone. Actually, this example backfires since the word "mama" or some variation of it (ma, umma) means "mother" in almost every language in the world.

I haven't read the book but this sounds pretty good to me. Since Harris himself is the judge calling his argument "stupid" might not be the best idea.

Comment by printing-spoon on New censorship: against hypothetical violence against identifiable people · 2012-12-24T01:27:40.610Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Implying that whether his post should be censored hinges on the conclusion reached and not just the topic?

Comment by printing-spoon on Gun Control: How would we know? · 2012-12-21T04:36:31.572Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What I would do? Probably nothing. I can't vote and I've never been very interested in politics. This question does not have the same confusing unfathomable quality as the examples in the article (souls and god existing). The world looks the about the same either way. Though I admit I misremembered what a line of retreat is, just extrapolating from the name I guess.

Comment by printing-spoon on Gun Control: How would we know? · 2012-12-21T03:11:38.700Z · score: -4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't had a real opinion on gun control for years... Am I deluding myself when I say I have no strong feelings one way or the other? The idea that I am having an argument with myself when I think about gun control, and must offer myself a way to save face and concede to myself that I was wrong is silly.

If I am self-aware enough to think "I need to trick myself into being neutral," I couldn't have been too close-minded in the first place.

Comment by printing-spoon on Gun Control: How would we know? · 2012-12-21T02:29:53.486Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Lines of retreat are for offering to other people during arguments. I think I can trust myself to be neutral.

Comment by printing-spoon on More Cryonics Probability Estimates · 2012-12-19T02:37:05.740Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

To me this just looks like a bias-manipulating "unpacking" trick - as you divide larger categories into smaller and smaller subcategories, the probability that people assign to the total category goes up and up.

How do you know the raised estimate with this "trick" is worse than the estimate without?

I could just as easily say, "As you merge smaller categories into larger and larger categories, the probability that people assign to the total category goes down."

Comment by printing-spoon on Poll - Is endless September a threat to LW and what should be done? · 2012-12-09T04:53:49.993Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure... I think the topics I find most interesting are simply used up (except for a few open questions on TDT or whatever). Also the recent focus on applied rationality / advice / CFAR stuff... this is a subject which seems to invite high numbers of low quality posts. In particular posts containing advice are generally stuffed with obvious generalizations and lack arguments or evidence beyond a simple anecdote.

Also, maybe the regular presence of EY's sequences provided a standard for quality and topic that ensured other people's posts were decent (I don't think many people read seq reruns, especially not old users who are more likely to have good ideas).

Comment by printing-spoon on Poll - Is endless September a threat to LW and what should be done? · 2012-12-09T00:14:05.845Z · score: 30 (32 votes) · LW · GW

I think this site is dying because there's nothing interesting to talk about anymore. Discussion is filled with META, MEETUP, SEQ RERUN, links to boring barely-relevant articles, and idea threads where the highest comment has more votes than the thread itself (i.e. a crappy idea). Main is not much better. Go to archive.org and compare (date chosen randomly, aside from being a while ago). I don't think eternal september is the whole explanation here -- you only need 1 good user to write a good article.

Comment by printing-spoon on PROPOSAL: LessWrong for Teenagers · 2012-11-08T19:01:42.472Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I am 16 and I think I started reading this site 13. I think there is no need for another site. I also oppose any new forum/category of LW simply because interesting content here is getting thinner and thinner, half the discussion page is [META] ("Italics formatting is broken!") or [SEQ RERUN] and a new forum would dilute that even further.

Comment by printing-spoon on High School Lectures · 2012-09-15T16:26:42.398Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Make sure you decide whether to give a report before you do it or else we'll be getting filtered information.

Comment by printing-spoon on [link] Prepared to wait? New research challenges the idea that we favour small rewards now over bigger later · 2012-07-21T09:36:41.399Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The Economist recently had an article about how sitting in wobbly furniture makes people crave "emotional stability." They also mention a study finding that people sitting in chairs that lean to the left reported more liberal opinions.

http://www.economist.com/node/21558553

The difference is not huge, but it is statistically significant. Even a small amount of environmental wobbliness seems to promote a desire for an emotional rock to cling to.

As far as I can tell they are completely serious.

Comment by printing-spoon on [link] Prepared to wait? New research challenges the idea that we favour small rewards now over bigger later · 2012-07-21T05:38:54.236Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's not just a community norm, big chunks of the sequences seem to be built on small amounts of recent research.

Comment by printing-spoon on [LINK] Using procedural memory to thwart "rubber-hose cryptanalysis" · 2012-07-21T05:33:54.105Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

you're not vulnerable to people ringing you up and asking what your password is for a security audit, unless they can persaude you to log on to the system for them

Easier to avoid with basic instruction.

you're not vulnerable to being kidnapped and coerced remotely, you have to be coerced wherever the log-on system is

Enemy knows the system, they can copy the login system in your cell.

Comment by printing-spoon on Where Fermi Fails: What is hard to estimate? · 2012-06-06T04:11:34.905Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

edit: i suspect it would float, but only for a little bit before the lighter gas diffuses out.

Comment by printing-spoon on Where Fermi Fails: What is hard to estimate? · 2012-06-06T04:10:35.404Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Because there could still be too much of the solid part for it to have a density less than air's?

edit: i suspect it would float for a little bit before the lighter gas diffuses out

Comment by printing-spoon on Nonmindkilling open questions · 2012-03-29T00:13:19.224Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't care if he gets a few meaningless internet points for making a poll.

Comment by printing-spoon on AI Challenge: Ants - Post Mortem · 2012-01-14T19:16:07.915Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If the ants have different decision theories and/or different preferences, how can they work together?

EDIT: I should say that I realize the game works with a bot controlling the whole colony, but I don't think that changes the problems in principle, anyway.

What?

The ants are not even close to individuals. They're dots. They're dots that you move around.

Comment by printing-spoon on New SI publications design · 2012-01-13T21:39:10.013Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The wormhole-wing-trumpet logo thing is a bit aliased.

Comment by printing-spoon on AI Challenge: Ants - Post Mortem · 2012-01-13T21:36:23.406Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Can you give an example for Ants?

Comment by printing-spoon on Bill Gates asks HS students "What are most important choices the world faces"? · 2012-01-13T04:35:42.917Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Do you think this is his real motivation? I can't imagine what he expects to learn.

Comment by printing-spoon on AI Challenge: Ants - Post Mortem · 2012-01-13T04:25:57.686Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Try to reframe the problem or parts of the problem in a way that connects to generic rationality, so that non-programmers can contribute something

This is harder than it sounds.

Comment by printing-spoon on Why some people seem to be proud of their ignorance? · 2012-01-03T06:18:05.427Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

reasonable-sounding stuff about genetics and airplanes and Bernoulli's law

What is this referring to?

Comment by printing-spoon on Talking to Children: A Pre-Holiday Guide · 2011-12-21T02:09:45.850Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't understand, why guilt?

Comment by printing-spoon on Inverse p-zombies: the other direction in the Hard Problem of Consciousness · 2011-12-19T00:47:33.014Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The dual of this approximated i-zombie is just a sleepwalker, not a literal, atom-for-atom-identical p-zombie.

Comment by printing-spoon on [Link] Belief in religion considered harmful? · 2011-12-18T07:03:43.993Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

In the same sense, the Roman Empire never thought of itself as anything other than the Roman Republic.

Here's most of my problems with Moldbug condensed into one sentence: a bold assertion with no literal meaning that I can easily confirm or falsify.

Comment by printing-spoon on [Link] Belief in religion considered harmful? · 2011-12-18T06:11:38.342Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I heard LW people talking about him, went to see what all the fuss was about and like you I just gave up after a while. I suspect his essays are long to keep people from thinking about them too clearly.

Comment by printing-spoon on Google AI challenge - status? · 2011-12-04T01:52:52.912Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

FYI your rank could be a lot lower in the final competition than it is now because most of the best bots only play on the TCP servers.

Comment by printing-spoon on How to prove anything with a review article · 2011-11-22T22:40:01.729Z · score: -3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree, however I don't think "smoking is bad" is much of an applause light here. A real applause light would be if the post needlessly referenced things like map and territory.

Comment by printing-spoon on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T17:52:51.904Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Okay, that makes sense.

Comment by printing-spoon on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T06:38:15.715Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

This is not De Morgan's law. There is no conjunction or disjunction involved, only quantification:

Ax:P(x) = ¬Ex:¬P(x)

I'm not sure if there's a name for this type of tautology.

Comment by printing-spoon on How to write a mathematical formula on the fear of death? · 2011-11-20T04:41:39.604Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Red(x) means "x is red." X = Y in this case means that X and Y are either both true or both false. All x : Bouncy(x) means that everything under consideration is bouncy. Exists x : Fluffy(x) means a fluffy thing exists. The sentence says "if everything dies, then nothing doesn't die" and vice versa. This is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-order_logic .

edit: And here are the fruits of google: http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/52323/how-do-you-read-this-logical-statement-aloud-and-how-do-you-notate-it-in-symbol

Comment by printing-spoon on Is latent Toxoplasmosis worth doing something about? · 2011-11-18T01:06:28.033Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Is there any research on whether curing the infection actually undoes the damage?

Comment by printing-spoon on Slightly known unknowns · 2011-11-11T02:01:43.413Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You implicitly have hypotheses "this random number generator is broken always returns 0" and "this random number generator works fine." You start off being pretty sure the latter is true. Your shift to the former upon seeing 0 is where the surprise comes from.

Comment by printing-spoon on PredictionBook: A Short Note · 2011-11-10T20:51:19.725Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think in numbers, so I would expect to do really really badly for a really really long time, and I'm shy about things I realize I'm bad at. If I were going to embark on a long-term project to log lots of predictions for my own calibration and learning-what-percentages-feel-like, a text file on my own computer would do, wouldn't it?

You can make your predictions private.

Comment by printing-spoon on Any good visual images to explain complicated ideas? · 2011-11-07T21:39:52.383Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Can you see how there might be a "need" for "inter-dimensional" or "hyper-dimensional" thinking and visualization capability which may be the basis for so-called "alien" technology? Do you find this as exciting as I do?! :o)

Okay.

Comment by printing-spoon on AI Challenge: Ants · 2011-11-04T21:46:29.347Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's just a name.

Comment by printing-spoon on The self-fooling problem. · 2011-10-11T03:00:58.055Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This reminds me of Berry's Paradox: the most arbitrary hiding place you can think of is by definition not very arbitrary.

Comment by printing-spoon on LW October WebDiplomacy · 2011-10-10T17:45:19.431Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(1,.1,0,0)

Comment by printing-spoon on Mike Darwin on Steve Jobs's hypocritical stance towards death · 2011-10-08T05:01:05.506Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I heard 5000$ and 375$...

Comment by printing-spoon on Religion, happiness, and Bayes · 2011-10-04T12:23:02.794Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

On the other hand, religion predicts more confidently than atheism that having religion makes people happier.

Comment by printing-spoon on Pascal's Mugging - Penalizing the prior probability? · 2011-10-03T01:54:29.337Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What's the length of the average program for 3^^^^3? I suggest it's 3^^^^3, with every language that gives it a shorter encoding counterbalanced by a language with an exactly longer encoding.

For a sufficiently crazy set of languages you could make this true for 3^^^^3, but in general what's simple in one language is still fairly simple elsewhere. If 3+3 takes b bits to describe in language A it takes b+c bits in language B where c is the length of the shortest interpreter for language B in language A (edit: or less :P).

Comment by printing-spoon on Rationality Drugs · 2011-10-02T21:00:22.969Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, and the texture in this picture makes my skin crawl. The pills look like growths or something.

Comment by printing-spoon on [SEQ RERUN] "Can't Say No" Spending · 2011-10-02T20:38:53.014Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The average person probably supports foreign aid because they haven't heard of James Shikwati.

Comment by printing-spoon on Open thread, October 2011 · 2011-10-02T20:35:52.414Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think you need to be more precise about what states and ~ are.

Comment by printing-spoon on Open Thread: September 2011 · 2011-09-09T00:26:42.843Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

(this is because all Turing-complete languages can simulate each other)

Comment by printing-spoon on LW September WebDiplomacy Games · 2011-08-27T01:20:49.470Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

-6

Comment by printing-spoon on Selecting optimal group projects and roles · 2011-08-07T13:47:55.713Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

With margin of error 60-ish

Comment by printing-spoon on Selecting optimal group projects and roles · 2011-08-07T03:10:29.452Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure we need to put more effort into making new users feel welcome. It's a priority for churches because their entire business model depends on generating warm, fuzzy feelings in their members. Responding "Welcome to LessWrong!" to a new user's first comment is fine, IMO.

group project goodness = U(project) / E(social friction),

Why is social friction an expectation, but not utility? Why division instead of subtraction? This equation should have been a sentence. I also don't see why you've singled out "social friction" as the biggest drawback for community-building projects.

Comment by printing-spoon on Teenage Rationalists and Changing Your Mind · 2011-08-06T01:31:04.968Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

LWer since 13, atheist since I can remember. I'm seriously embarrassed by my younger self's posts. I am glad there are not more of me around. LessWrong is certainly good for teens, but can teens be good for LessWrong? Keep in mind our current bunch of teens are of higher quality than what we'll get if we actually recruit some.

edit: btw i'm 15