Comment by Raoul589 on White Lies · 2015-11-02T07:18:19.364Z · LW · GW

What about if she just said: 'duty'?

Comment by Raoul589 on White Lies · 2015-10-30T17:37:21.858Z · LW · GW

Sorry, I should clarify. I was saying that:

"Taking care of you is my sacred duty. I care about you. It is important that you tell me if there is something wrong."

Is precisely something that Swimmer963 could say even though she's annoyed. She doesn't have to deny that she's annoyed, or even imply it. In fact it's probably futile to try... of course she's annoyed, and the patient suspects that. That is exactly the motivation for her lie in the first place.

The statement above nevertheless conveys her overall commitment to the patient's wellbeing, and encourages the patient to understand that "Obviously, my nurse is annoyed about the crap in the bed, but there are more important factors at play here."

As an extra bonus, I don't think it's a lie, hence providing a response to Eliezer's implied challenge.

On the contrary, her claimed standard response:

"This doesn't bother me. I've got plenty of time. I just want you to be comfortable, that's my job."

Contains three lies, none of which will probably even be believed by the patient:

"This doesn't bother me." (Obvious lie.)

"I've got plenty of time." (Obvious lie.)

"I just want you to be comfortable." (True in spirit but obviously literally false - she also wants to eat or sleep or socialise or get out of this room that stinks of crap, etc.)

"That's my job." (The patient knows that, but it's cold comfort to them and saying it might suggest that's the only reason the nurse is helping them, which erodes patient-nurse rapport.)

My point is that Swimmer963's strategy probably doesn't really achieve her goals, lying or no lying, and in my original post I was suggesting a possible (honest) alternative.

Comment by Raoul589 on White Lies · 2015-10-30T16:20:31.953Z · LW · GW

I don't think that the nurse is implying that he is not annoyed. Both the patient and the nurse recognise that the 'crapping the bed' situation is an annoying one, and the nurse is not denying that. The nurse is simply making it clear that his annoyance is a secondary concern, and that instead the welfare of the patient is the primary concern. The nurse genuinely believes that his own annoyance is relatively less important, and he is conveying that literally to the patient. This is actually the true situation, so I am confused about how you think he is lying, even implicitly.

Comment by Raoul589 on White Lies · 2015-10-25T12:03:52.969Z · LW · GW

"Taking care of you is my sacred duty. I care about you. It is important that you tell me if there is something wrong."

This is true literally and in spirit.

Comment by Raoul589 on Stupid Questions January 2015 · 2015-01-07T15:35:48.701Z · LW · GW

Do you find any slapstick or dark comedy funny? I'm curious.

Comment by Raoul589 on Stupid Questions January 2015 · 2015-01-07T15:33:58.601Z · LW · GW

If a rival in some competitive domain (think work, or romance) is falling behind me, instead of feeling happy about this (schadenfreude) I feel sad and I tend to dissipate my own relative advantage by trying to bring my rival up to my level.

I also have limited emotional motivation to take revenge or even strategic retribution (because I don't enjoy the suffering of those who wrong me). I get angry or morally outraged, but anger can only take you so far - you need to be able to follow through with the punishment. So when I play real life zero sum prisoner's dilemma style games, I tend to cooperate far too long before punishing defecting opponents.

Basically, lacking schadenfreude makes it so that I don't feel any strong desire to defeat or punish anyone, even direct rivals or wrongdoers.

Comment by Raoul589 on Stupid Questions January 2015 · 2015-01-06T13:37:20.839Z · LW · GW

Removing the schadenfreude response from humanity as a whole would - I think - be a beautiful thing, but lacking this emotion has certainly been damaging to my own personal fitness.

Comment by Raoul589 on Stupid Questions January 2015 · 2015-01-04T14:18:29.559Z · LW · GW

I don't think I've ever experienced schadenfreude. As in, I'm not even sure what that emotion is supposed to feel like, from the inside. I get the impression that the few people I've said this to think that I'm lying about it for signalling purposes.

Is it common just not to feel schadenfreude, like not ever, for any reason? Lately I've started to wonder if I've been committing the typical mind fallacy on this.

Comment by Raoul589 on Optimal Employment · 2014-04-06T06:41:23.792Z · LW · GW

Are there any Australians here who have done this? Recently? Is the situation different for residents rather than worker/tourists?

Comment by Raoul589 on Happiness and Productivity. Living Alone. Living with Friends. Living with Family. · 2014-02-23T07:32:11.360Z · LW · GW

60% Introvert. At least, I used to think of myself as an introvert, but recently I've come to wonder if that really is what I am. My hometown is Adelaide, Australia, but I'm currently in Hangzhou, China. I'm 24.

For the first 23 years of my life I lived with my family. I used to think that I loved being by myself, because I never really felt the need to make any special effort to see friends. Also, I loved the times I was 'home alone'. However, I think that I may actually have been mistaken - I think I just took the company of my parents for granted, and for most of that time I was also at school and then university, which meant that I had no choice but to have a fair amount of social contact anyway.

Within the last year I have moved out of home. I now live alone, and I don't like it - I'm basically permanently lonely when at home. I've noticed a very strong correlation between my long term wellbeing and the frequency of unavoidable contact with a few people who I like and trust. The happiest times of my life have been when I have had very frequent contact (many hours almost every day) with a few close friends. As a side note, this situation seems only ever to arise with those you live or work with. There are entire years when I have been very happy where I can trace that wellbeing to those close friends, and a few years where I was quite unhappy almost entirely because of loneliness. It seems to be the strongest determinant of my long term wellbeing.

So... the secret seems to be (and I hope it is obvious that I'm thinking while I write, and I have no certainty of what I'm saying) to have many interactions of the kind "it's a given". If you are already in love, then that interaction is a given. If you work at adjacent desks, that is a given. Most importantly for the topic, if you live in the same house, it is a given. There is no social tension, no need to consult your mental model of hierarchies. You are interacting with that person because you live together which is completely legit. You don't need to be proving yourself and testing them all the time.

I agree with this.

As an additional note, I have found that incidental contact with acquaintances and strangers does basically nothing to alleviate loneliness. I teach at a university now, so I have interactions with hundreds of students a week, but this doesn't make me feel any less lonely after I leave the classroom.

Finally, I have always wondered why it is that everyone fears so much to tell other people that they are lonely (I fear breaking this taboo as well). I think that it is probably because they sense that the person they tell will feel burdened as the one who has to 'fix' their loneliness, but personally that wouldn't be how I would feel if someone told me that they were lonely. Does anyone have thoughts about this?

Comment by Raoul589 on Mistakes repository · 2013-10-04T10:29:36.160Z · LW · GW

Not making a special effort to move out of home when I started university.

Allowing akrasia to prevent me from applying for a single graduate position at any of the many companies that were hiring Computer Science graduates in my final year of study.

Allowing akrasia to prevent me from joining any clubs or associations at university.

Not getting a minimum-wage job for work experience when I was still young enough that the minimum pay for me was lower, giving me a competitive advantage.

Every time I lie, I regret it a little bit, as I wonder whether the long term trajectory of my life would have been different had I been totally truthful instead of 'polishing' the truth.

Comment by Raoul589 on Mistakes repository · 2013-10-04T10:05:20.506Z · LW · GW

It's kind of like mini-cryonics!

Comment by Raoul589 on Mistakes repository · 2013-10-04T10:01:08.457Z · LW · GW

Last year, I had to choose what I would research in my honours year of my Computer Science degree. I actually remember thinking to myself, 'I'm going to use all of the techniques I have learned from LW'. I sat down for several hours, carefully analysing my situation, and came to the conclusion, I should research A. It is the superior option on every non-trivial metric I can think of. This is the rational decision.

But then, I chose to research B, because I would have been embarrassed to have to explain my choice of A to my family. And that was it.

Comment by Raoul589 on How to always have interesting conversations · 2013-07-09T16:05:19.783Z · LW · GW

Dammit, I wanted to hear the anecdote.

Comment by Raoul589 on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2013-04-13T07:03:04.644Z · LW · GW

In case it's not clear: I'm not trying to contradict you; I am trying to get advice from you.

Suppose that you got a mysterious note from the future telling you that the demand for home-robotics will increase tenfold in the next decade, and you know this note to be totally reliable. You know nothing else that is not publicly known. What would you do next?

Comment by Raoul589 on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2013-04-13T03:00:27.272Z · LW · GW

Suppose that you are literally certain (you're not just 100% confident, you actually have special perfect information) about the future tenfold growth in demand for home robotics. Are you claiming that there is literally no way of using this information to reliably extract money from the stock market? This surprises me.

Would you expect Vaniver's indexing to at least reliably turn a profit? Would you expect it to turn a large profit?

Comment by Raoul589 on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2013-04-12T17:42:32.298Z · LW · GW

If I was keeping my porfolio indexed to the market, wouldn't I be selling Blockbuster shares each month as Blockbuster lost market share? Why would I end up holding lots of Blockbuster?

Comment by Raoul589 on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2013-04-12T12:42:48.814Z · LW · GW

Right. Is there no more sophisticated strategy though?

Comment by Raoul589 on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2013-04-12T08:21:05.598Z · LW · GW

I have a related question about buying stocks. Suppose (for example) that I knew with 100% certainty that the global demand for home robotics would grow tenfold in the next decade.

If this was the only information that I had that wasn't generally known, is there any action I could take based on this information to reliably make money from the stock market (at least over the next ten years)?

Comment by Raoul589 on Real World Solutions to Prisoners' Dilemmas · 2013-04-11T17:20:51.214Z · LW · GW

In this way, defection seems to have two social meanings:

Defecting proactively is betrayal. Defecting reactively is punishment.

We seem to have strong negative opinions of the former and somewhat positive opinions of the latter. I think in your salesman example you're talking about punishment being crucial. In fact, the defection of the customer is only necessary as a response to the salesman's original defection.

I am curious as to whether you have a similarly real life example of where proactive defection (i.e. betrayal) is crucial (for some societal or group benefit)?

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-28T01:21:28.185Z · LW · GW

Does it follow from that that you could consider taking the perspective of your post wirehead self?

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-28T01:19:14.643Z · LW · GW

You will only wirehead if that will prevent you from doing active, intentional harm to others. Why is your standard so high? TheOtherDave's speculative scenario should be sufficient to have you support wireheading, if your argument against it is social good - since in his scenario it is clearly net better to wirehead than not to.

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-27T01:46:25.891Z · LW · GW

It seems, then, that anti-wireheading boils down to the claim that 'wireheading, boo!'.

This is not a convincing argument to people whose brains don't say to them 'wireheading, boo!'. My impression was that denisbider's top level post was a call for an anti-wireheading argument more convincing than this.

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-26T14:02:31.511Z · LW · GW

As a wirehead advocate, I want to present my response to this as bluntly as possible, since I think my position is more generally what underlies the wirehead position, and I never see this addressed.

I simply don't believe that you really value understanding and exploration. I think that your brain (mine too) simply says to you 'yay, understanding and exploration!'. What's more, the only way you even know this much, is from how you feel about exploration - on the inside - when you are considering it or engaging in it. That is, how much 'pleasure' or wirehead-subjective-experience-nice-feelings-equivalent you get from it. You say to your brain: 'so, what do you think about making scientific discoveries?' and it says right back to you: 'making discoveries? Yay!'

Since literally every single thing we value just boils down to 'my brain says yay about this' anyway, why don't we just hack the brain equivalent to say 'yay!' as much as possible?

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-26T13:47:02.858Z · LW · GW

I think that you are right that we don't disagree on the 'basis of morality' issue. My claim is only that which you said above: there is no objective bedrock for morality, and there's no evidence that we ought to do anything other than max out our utility functions. I am sorry for the digression.

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-26T01:08:25.885Z · LW · GW

We disagree if you intended to make the claim that 'our goals' are the bedrock on which we should base the notion of 'ought', since we can take the moral skepticism a step further, and ask: what evidence is there that there is any 'ought' above 'maxing out our utility functions'?

A further point of clarification: It doesn't follow - by definition, as you say - that what is valuable is what we value. Would making paperclips become valuable if we created a paperclip maximiser? What about if paperclip maximisers outnumbered humans? I think benthamite is right: the assumption that 'what is valuable is what we value' tends just to be smuggled into arguments without further defense. This is the move that the wirehead rejects.

Note: I took the statement 'what is valuable is what we value' to be equivalent to 'things are valuable because we value them'. The statement has another possbile meaning: 'we value things because they are valuable'. I think both are incorrect for the same reason.

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-20T12:04:24.751Z · LW · GW

What evidence is there that we should value anything more than what mental states feel like from the inside? That's what the wirehead would ask. He doesn't care about goals. Let's see some evidence that our goals matter.

Comment by Raoul589 on Welcome to Heaven · 2013-01-20T12:02:28.542Z · LW · GW

'I don't want that' doesn't imply 'we don't want that'. In fact, if the 'we' refers to humanity as a whole, then denisbider's position refutes the claim by definition.

Comment by Raoul589 on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-06T15:00:21.182Z · LW · GW

Even if I could have selected the links I wouldn't have tried it, because you just know that clicking on something like that will open a new page and delete all of your entered data.

Comment by Raoul589 on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-06T14:57:10.322Z · LW · GW

I just took the survey, making this my first post that someone will read!

Comment by Raoul589 on Gauging interest for an Auckland meetup group. · 2012-11-05T07:00:33.240Z · LW · GW

For what it's worth, I'm probably going to be in Auckland early next year, and I would come to the meetup.