Comment by quiet on Soylent Orange - Whole food open source soylent · 2013-03-27T20:22:10.513Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Has this study been corroborated? 13 years should be enough time for a modest amount of supporting evidence to become known.

Comment by quiet on March 2013 Media Thread · 2013-03-07T15:48:37.664Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Haha, a bit of a drive yea.

Comment by quiet on March 2013 Media Thread · 2013-03-07T04:17:29.664Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Synthesizers and guitars, mostly.

Comment by quiet on March 2013 Media Thread · 2013-03-05T02:53:12.360Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Death Grips - Hip hop/punk/noise

Bizarre, aggressive, and ridiculously creative music. I'm fascinated by musicians that manage to be simultaneously reckless and focused, though I should expect nothing less from any project that includes the drummer from Hella.

Songs: Hunger Games, Takyon Full Albums: Exmilitary, The Money Store, No Love Deep Web

Lola y Manuel - Flamenco

A husband and wife songwriting duo from mid-70's Spain. Arab-influenced singing, technically spectacular guitar, and quite progressive compositions that expand, rather than abandon the traditional flamenco forms. PM me for a copy of their first album, it's nearly impossible to find these days and is soul splittingly beautiful.

Songs: Sangre Gitana y Mora, Nuevo Dia

Comment by quiet on Rationalist Lent · 2013-02-14T16:04:05.766Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Great idea, I'm going to join you. Nothing of value will be lost.

March 26th: Reddit crashes as we open infinitely many new tabs in a fit of Burroughs-tier depravity.

Comment by quiet on Rationalist Lent · 2013-02-14T16:02:05.952Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Went cold turkey on caffeine a couple weeks ago after sustaining a 3-6 cup daily intake for months. Been feeling unmotivated, taking the occasional mid-day nap, and having unpleasant thoughts along the lines of 'where's my god damn coffee' when urges went unfulfilled. The first 3 days were lazy, headache-clouded, and unproductive.

After that, though, I started to notice that I felt like working on projects in the afternoon and evening. It's a minor change in mood that's led to a major change in behavior, at least in the short term. Worth the costs, even if only for a brief change of pace.

Comment by quiet on What are you working on? February 2013 · 2013-02-06T15:49:54.536Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I'm working on an algorithmic music system. The (likely unachievable) goal is to make a generative clone of my own creative process. It's a kind of catharsis, bringing every unspeakable intuition bubbling up to the surface to be translated into a hierarchy of computational processes. Lots of trial and error, red herrings, and accidental success. My short-term goal is to be able to co-perform with it live in an entirely improvised manner, maybe by the end of 2013.

The current focus is 'groove', and it's been a nightmare trying to find a common thread between dissimilar patterns that sound good. If anyone know of any good papers on the subject, please share! I'm just going to throw some boltzmann machines at the problem before moving on to something else.

Other than that, just some Coursera classes, finalizing a DIY 16 bit MIDI->CV DAC, and transcribing a really good flamenco record.

Comment by quiet on Young Americans believe they have the best health in the world... · 2013-02-04T17:14:17.000Z · score: 11 (15 votes) · LW · GW

As an American male who went to work the day after breaking his collar bone, I can testify that without a doubt, my rugged outward appearance would get thrown aside if proper health care and sick time were available to me. Scamming an x-ray by using a fake name at the hospital and carefully rationing what little methadone I could buy from local junkies, while Cowboy As Hell, is a pretty awful way to get by. I'd much rather be at home in bed mending then lifting boxes of apples with one arm and ensuring that my bones set at an odd angle.

I think that if European style health care was available here that we'd adapt pretty quickly, rugged independence be damned.

Comment by quiet on [LINK] NYT Article about Existential Risk from AI · 2013-01-28T17:16:14.536Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Different audience, different language. I'm just impressed that a NY Op-Ed actually contained these sentences:

My case for these conclusions relies on three main observations. The first is that our own intelligence is an evolved biological solution to a kind of optimization problem, operating under very tight constraints of time, energy, raw materials, historical starting point and no doubt many other factors. [...] Second, this biological endowment, such as it is, has been essentially constant, for many thousands of years. It is a kind of fixed point in the landscape, a mountain peak on which we have all lived for hundreds of generations. [...] my third observation – we face the prospect that designed nonbiological technologies, operating under entirely different constraints in many respects, may soon do the kinds of things that our brain does, but very much faster, and very much better, in whatever dimensions of improvement may turn out to be available.

That's a very gentile nudge toward a radical shift in how intelligence is generally thought of. Simple analogies and simple terminology (except for 'optimization problem', which I think could be understood from the context) for people reading the paper over a bowl of cereal.

Comment by quiet on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-03T17:19:23.763Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Not in the slightest. DH does a good job of providing you with the things that he later asks you to use.

Comment by quiet on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-03T16:49:59.553Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

When in doubt, frame all drug talk as harm reduction.

Comment by quiet on Stop Using LessWrong: A Practical Interpretation of the 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-31T02:41:57.502Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

You have a point! Updated for correctness and humor.

Comment by quiet on Ritual Report 2012: Life, Death, Light, Darkness, and Love. · 2012-12-31T01:12:33.335Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

And given that rituals, whether religious or civic, are pretty much standard and often spontaneous in most communities, I don't see how having a ritual for some subgroup would harm the High Ideals of Rationality.

Rationality Itself remains unphased by a backyard party blog meetup, that's for sure.

I think Academian's post on the role of narrative in self-image touches on the seemingly disjointed purpose of a Rationalist Ritual. We all have our unique approaches to rational thought - my own experience consists largely of the dissolving of narratives in search of actual cause & effect. Not all narratives are destructive (or even wrong), but my employment of rational thought has never included them. Constructing and reinforcing narratives is what ritual is all about. Subjectively, the two just don't click for me.

Using Less Wrong as a maypole to dance around seems.. goofy, at best. Lesser things have been rot13'd around here.

It even might make the participants appear more human, by counteracting the perception of "straw Volcan"ness.

If this is what it takes to signal that we have emotional lives, then fuck me running.

Comment by quiet on Stop Using LessWrong: A Practical Interpretation of the 2012 Survey Results · 2012-12-31T00:05:20.948Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I have never received evidence that I am less likely to be overconfident about things than people in general or that any other particular person on this site is.

You've never caught yourself in the act of falling for a cognitive bias detailed on this site?

My judgment of this site as of now is that way too much time is spent discussing subjects of such low expected value (usually because of absurdly low expected probability of occurring) for using this site to be worthwhile. In fact I hypothesize that this discussion actually causes overconfidence related to such things happening, and at a minimum I have seen insufficient evidence for the value of using this site to continue doing so.

I'm curious about what other web sites satisfy similarly high expectations. No snark intended.

RE: Cryonics - that particular *reverse Kool-Aid doesn't come in my flavor yet, but I enjoy that a notable minority are willing to put their money where their mouth is. It gives discussions of futuristic edge-cases a novel weight.

Comment by quiet on Ritual Report 2012: Life, Death, Light, Darkness, and Love. · 2012-12-30T22:43:38.895Z · score: 8 (14 votes) · LW · GW

I've lurked on LW for a long time and can shrug off the second-hand embarrassment without fail, but I'll be damned if I ever link anyone I know to this web site. This undercurrent of LW does more damage than anything Roko ever posted.

I'm no stranger to ritual/awe/group bonding (Merzbow & MDMA: the reason for the season), but there is some hazy aesthetic line past which I cannot follow. Nor will I risk being associated with. Sorry.

If you enjoy this stuff, than more power to ya. Have a blast. Just keep in mind how many people are seriously turned off from LW because of it.

[in agreement with, rather than directed at, drethelin]

Comment by quiet on Group rationality diary, 12/25/12 · 2012-12-27T22:14:31.482Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm on a computer all day at work and the bulk of my activities at home are computer-based as well. I've been able to get into a nice habit of taking daily walks, usually right when I get home from work (before even going in the door). It's quite enjoyable and sometimes I end up wandering around for miles/hours before some other motivation urges me home. Just being in a place where things can be >100 feet away feels novel most of the time. Computer usage is bizarrely user-centric, compared with the outside world; a contrast that shouldn't feel as profound as it does.

I started off just thinking of walking as a simple cure for fogginess/tunnel vision/vague anxiety, but it's grown into a subconscious urge. Also, I recommend avoiding music or other audio media.

Comment by quiet on New censorship: against hypothetical violence against identifiable people · 2012-12-24T17:12:40.670Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

We should exempt any imagery fitting of a Slayer album cover, lest we upset the gods of metal with our weakness.

Comment by quiet on New censorship: against hypothetical violence against identifiable people · 2012-12-24T16:55:29.171Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I appreciate the honesty of it. No one here is going to enact any of these thought experiments in real life. The likely worst outcome is to off-put potential SI donors. It must be hard enough to secure funding for a fanfic-writing apocalypse cult; prepending violent onto that description isn't going to loosen up many wallets.

Comment by quiet on In which I ask an inappropriate question... · 2012-12-23T21:36:53.726Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Not all fanfics are created equally, eh?

Comment by quiet on The "Scary problem of Qualia" · 2012-12-19T17:16:40.425Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Curiously, none of this prevents people from seriously talking about interactive animatronic puppets as if they had emotions.

For now!

It will be interesting to see the cultural confusion when 'simulations' are as complex and deep as the real deal. I wonder if robots will look at me with (simulated?) disgust when I joke about circuit bending my friend's little sister's furby? Will I simulate shame?

Comment by quiet on The "Scary problem of Qualia" · 2012-12-19T16:55:32.585Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

...Which is to say that whenever there is (a physical arrangement with) a logical structure that matches (is transitive with) the logical structure of consciousness - then there would be consciousness. It gets more complicated. If you draw a line with a pencil on a piece of paper, so that it encodes a three dimensional trajectory over time of a sentient being's consciousness - you basically have created a "soulful" being. Except there's just a drawn line on a piece of paper.

(Assuming you can store a sufficient amount of bits in such an encoding. Think of a "large" paper and a long complicated line if imagining an A4 with something scribbled on is a problem. You can also replace the pencil & paper with a turing machine if you like)

I view consciousness as a process. When tracing the chains of cause and effect from the line to the thing that caused the line, we find a pencil, then a hand, then a mind controlling the hand. Similarly, a programless, empty turing machine will not create these states, but a sufficiently complex state within the machine could. The line may contain an interesting potential, but it lacks motion, and therefor lacks consciousness. In my opinion, consciousness is a peculiar sort of motion.

Meditation: Is logic an ontologically basic thing?

The ontologically basic thing is the relationships between different aspects of reality. Logic is a toolset we use to vet our descriptions of those relationships. I don't see how the toolset is a given, except in the sense that it emerged naturally (in the same way that, say, pizza and politics have).

So in other words: From the reductionist perspective there's just physics which can be described with the help of logic. Whenever there is a physical part of the universe that is correlated with the rest of the universe in such a way that it would resemble consciousness when interacted with, that thing would be just as much a person/zombie as we're. Same goes for simulated people.

Pretty much. What the line on A4 lacks is the interaction (motion, action). Perhaps there is some possible, wildly creative structure that remains static but exhibits conscious behavior when randomly sampled from, but that's a different rabbit hole.

EDIT: Phrasing.

Comment by quiet on Miracle Mineral Supplement · 2012-11-21T16:02:06.994Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Hmm, when jokes about medically experimenting on cancer patients with bleach don't register as being all that dark (until someone takes it seriously), then I think it might be time to reevaluate my sense of humor.

Comment by quiet on Struck with a belief in Alien presence · 2012-11-11T20:38:21.709Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

As discussed elsewhere in this thread this is not the same as saying they all are 100% fallible.

No disagreement here. Where we seem to disagree is whether or not the 22% remaining unknowns qualify as positive evidence towards anything.

Where did you get these statements from? Thin air? Any references on it? You obviously hasn't looked into this.

I assumed that if there was physical evidence then you would have used it to bolster your argument. Is there any?

I read the wiki article you linked to. I came out believing that the study concluded that 22% of cases could not be explained. This, apparently, means a lot more to you than it does to me. No big deal.

Comment by quiet on Struck with a belief in Alien presence · 2012-11-11T20:00:21.546Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Seriously, is this the level of discussion: "the study discarded some eye witness reports, so I am fully justified in discarding the rest as well" ?

The trend is for these mysteries to have boring solutions. Eyewitness testimony is known to be unreliable. There is no physical evidence. All that is left is a very small amount of people who claim to have seen something that they don't understand; color me unimpressed.

But it leaves a massive phenomena to be explained, which should spark massive scientific investigation.

I would imagine that the number of eyes and instruments aimed upwards would be at an all-time high already. Satellites are recording images of our planet from every angle. What, exactly, should scientists be studying? What evidence is there to pour over? How can new evidence be gathered?

Also this resolution doesn't account for the cases where little grey men actually emerge from these objects.

Have little grey men actually emerged from objects? Or is that just what people have claimed? There is a significant difference between those two statements and your choice of phrasing indicates an unjustified bias.

A personal note: I suffer from chronic sleep paralysis and regularly have wild, terrifying hypnagogic hallucinations, many of which take on the form of the standard alien abduction scenario. An unintended consequence of my childhood obsession with The X-Files, no doubt. I have seen demons, elder gods, and greys with my own wide open eyes and I believe in none of them. When confronted with an unknown, it is possible for the mind to run amok with myth and fantasy. We're all susceptible to this and cannot be cautious enough about what we accept as truth.

Comment by quiet on Struck with a belief in Alien presence · 2012-11-11T17:25:17.017Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also by the way: how can you so easily dismiss thousands of eyewitness reports as evidence? The studies does not align with that conclusion:

The study itself dismissed thousands of eyewitness reports.

About 69% of the cases were judged known or identified (38% were considered conclusively identified while 31% were still "doubtfully" explained); about 9% fell into insufficient information. About 22% were deemed "unknown", down from the earlier 28% value of the Air Force studies.

In the known category, 86% of the knowns were aircraft, balloons, or had astronomical explanations. Only 1.5% of all cases were judged to be psychological or "crackpot" cases. A "miscellaneous" category comprised 8% of all cases and included possible hoaxes.

~2200 of the 3600 cases were outright solved. Dismissing eyewitness testimony wouldn't be so easy if eyewitness testimony weren't so comically unreliable. In the absence of physical evidence, it seems plainly silly to mutate "we couldn't trace this vague claim back to any FFA scheduled flight plans" into "high tech alien visitation."

Assuming these people actually saw something, how can we make the leap to aliens? The interpretive jump from [some kind of light] to Alien Space Ship seems no different to me than deciding that a toast burn/water stain/oddly shaped tree knot is an apparition of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. Neither conclusion would be proposed in absence of a preconceived bias toward it. I don't know; therefor Aliens.

Comment by quiet on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-05T23:36:23.552Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

but your first question seems unrelated - as if it exists only to be snarky.

Oh, that is unintended. Apologies. The last couple times I've encountered that word used it was a placeholder for "vague feelings of dis/approval", though I should probably give LW more credit. I still have doubts about the usefulness of 'legitimacy' as a metric.

Do you disagree that voting reinforces the sense of the populace that the democratically elected government has a "right to rule"?

No, I agree with that. Though, if the 'sense of the populace' was a reliable, efficient weapon of change then wouldn't democracy be the government of choice?

Also, this is my first post on LW. Hello!

Comment by quiet on Please don't vote because democracy is a local optimum · 2012-11-05T20:30:45.456Z · score: 1 (7 votes) · LW · GW

What do you mean by 'legitimacy'?

How does activist non-participation accomplish anything when it looks no different from apathy to an outsider? Any medium you might use to spread your message can be used regardless of if you vote or not. You might as well vote for a lesser evil while claiming non-participation, unless you think a possible greater evil will be somehow more likely to dissolve its own power.