Posts

How effective are tulpas? 2020-03-09T17:35:39.634Z

Comments

Comment by Raven on The Best Software For Every Need · 2021-09-11T01:03:40.737Z · LW · GW

Software: Typora. Need: Markdown editing. Other programs I've tried: Boostnote, StackEdit, VSCode, Marktext

Most markdown editors have plain text on one side and rendered text on the other. Typora has a single Wysiwyg panel. You can edit it as if it were plain markdown, for example you can bold something by putting stars around it. But you can also edit it as if it were wysiwyg, by doing ctrl I, or through a menu. More importantly, it doesn't take up a lot of screen space and it's much more aesthetically pleasing to not have a bunch of plain text. The only other single panel MD editor I'm aware of is marktext, which was significantly less polished last time I tried it about a year ago.

Typora also supports custom themes, tree style notes based on directories, various exports, a gui for making tables, and a bunch of other features. I consider it to be a second generation editor and will never go back to the first generation dual panel editors.

Comment by Raven on The Duplicator: Instant Cloning Would Make the World Economy Explode · 2021-09-08T03:10:09.730Z · LW · GW

I know you've probably already read it but just in case you haven't: this post is basically the premise of Age of Em.

Comment by Raven on Are we in an AI overhang? · 2021-08-24T22:57:45.547Z · LW · GW

Was this ever posted?

Comment by Raven on [deleted post] 2021-08-22T19:41:18.572Z

No. The trivial objection is that you need science to build AI and AI hardware. My real objection is that we don't know if it's going to take ten or a hundred years to build AI and I'd rather not put all our eggs in one risky basket.

Comment by Raven on Pedophile Problems · 2021-08-15T19:54:03.905Z · LW · GW

Strong down voted for the clickbait. This isn't the place for that kind of nonsense.

Comment by Raven on For God's sake, Google it. · 2021-08-11T23:17:47.203Z · LW · GW

My rule of thumb is that if I'm in a conversation, I'll ask for clarification instead of googling whatever term they just used. If they don't know, or they have a question, then my first stop is google. It does take a certain skill level to know when it's more efficient to ask someone, and knowing how to phrase questions is apparently difficult for people who didn't grow up learning how to program.

I find that this means I get the social benefits of conversion, and when I actually care about the answer, I get it without wasting time.

Comment by Raven on Outline of Galef's "Scout Mindset" · 2021-08-10T04:07:38.182Z · LW · GW

Okay, I'm sold. I'll read the whole book.

Comment by Raven on How much do variations in diet quality determine individual productivity? · 2021-08-04T20:36:54.418Z · LW · GW

The idea of a rationalist who doesn't understand that rationality/intelligence doesn't imply values convergence astounds me.

I'll be a vegan when our technology outgrows animal farms, or the personal cost to be a vegan falls below the tiny sliver of me that is vaguely dissatisfied with the status quo.

Comment by Raven on How much do variations in diet quality determine individual productivity? · 2021-07-28T14:43:54.200Z · LW · GW

No, but I don't eat very much meat.

Comment by Raven on How much do variations in diet quality determine individual productivity? · 2021-07-28T03:55:40.531Z · LW · GW

creatine supplementation increased the average IQ of their sample of vegetarians by 12 points

Creatine didn't improve my iq, but it did improve my scores on a digit memory test and more importantly, my mental stamina. I took it for a year, decided it wasn't doing anything and quit. After about a week, I noticed that I was feeling tired after six or seven hours of programming instead of the eight or nine I had been doing. After taking creatine again my energy returned.

Anecdotal blah blah, but maybe you should try it? It doesn't cost that much for a month's supply, and you can find simple recall tests online and do one measurement before and one after.

Comment by Raven on Believing vs understanding · 2021-07-24T21:17:55.800Z · LW · GW

Under what conditions is that itsy bitsy part above the water ever going to bring a customer from a "no" to a "yes"?

This has happened to me several times. For example, I use a specific markdown editor because it has a single killer feature (single pane editing) that none of the others do. Or a few days ago, I looked in a comparison of vector editing software because the one I was using didn't have a specific feature (user friendly perspective transforms). I've picked apps over something as simple as a dark theme, or being able to store my notes as a tree instead of a flat list. Sometimes, a single feature can be exactly what someone wants.

Comment by Raven on Ideal College Education for an Aspiring Rationalist? · 2021-07-13T21:20:50.916Z · LW · GW

That class and then an internship at a semiconductor factory thoroughly dispelled any lingering mysticism around computers.

Comment by Raven on And the Darkness Answered · 2021-07-12T19:24:10.721Z · LW · GW

Sort of, once you become the shadow, you have to "eat the light" as it were.

That's pretty ironic, but it fits really well with my own thoughts on my inversion lately. Thank you for responding.

Comment by Raven on And the Darkness Answered · 2021-07-12T03:49:08.859Z · LW · GW

Shiloh thought he had eaten his shadow years ago, but in truth he had only scratched the surface and was ultimately still ruled by the same moral systems which we had been branded with as a child. We couldn’t see the control structures because we were immersed in them, because they were all we had ever known.

How were you able to gain the clarity to see what you were repressing? What did that feel like from the inside? I read the shadow sequence you linked, but it was heavy on poetic metaphors and light on experiential signposts.

Comment by Raven on Rationality Yellow Belt Test Questions? · 2021-07-06T22:30:04.030Z · LW · GW
  • Something along the lines of the CRT
  • Calibration questions
  • In the sequences, one of the beisutsukai rituals involves having to perform an on-the-fly bayesian update mentally (and then resist being peer pressured into a wrong answer)
  • Something to do with the planning fallacy
  • Confirmation bias - see the harry/hermione scene on the train
  • Something to do with overcomplicated plans/theories
  • "What grade will you get on this test?" -> graded on the accuracy. sort of a calibration-plus-humility question
  • something to test whether they can notice the "quiet strain" that signals something's wrong with a theory -- maybe successively presented with evidence that counters a theory they've formed, and see how long it takes them to figure it out
  • curiosity, some small thread that's out of place and they have to tug on instead of accepting the obvious solution. this is sort of like the CRT, but I'm thinking more like they're given an explicit framework and there's something tiny out of place, rather than there being a wrong s1 answer and a right s2 answer
  • "name a time where you believed yourself to be correct with absolute or near-absolute confidence, and describe the process of how you came to realize that you were wrong"
  • an authority states something wrong, but subtly wrong, see if they can notice the incorrectness and disagree. "Perhaps your conception of rationality is that it is rational to believe the words of the Great Teacher, and the Great Teacher says, “The sky is green,” and you look up at the sky and see blue. If you think, “It may look like the sky is blue, but rationality is to believe the words of the Great Teacher,” you lose a chance to discover your mistake."

I agree with ChristianKi that avoiding goodharting will be a major challenge.

Edit: Please describe a future event or belief that you are 100% certain will happen or is correct.

Putting anything down that isn't a rejection of the question is zero points. This is basic probability theory mixed with ability to think for yourself (the question is framed to imply that there are 100% certainties).

Comment by Raven on The homework assignment incentives, and why it's now so extreme · 2021-06-26T04:48:35.246Z · LW · GW

"Want to study together? " was code for "want to split up the problems and copy off each other?".

Comment by Raven on Reinforcing Habits · 2021-06-23T03:36:22.459Z · LW · GW

Just start noticing how greasy they are, and how the grease gets all over your fingers and coats the inside of the bag. Notice that you don't want to eat things soaked in that much grease. Become repulsed by it, and then you won't like them either.’"

I tried using this on soda. I spent five minutes visualizing the fizz and sweetness of soda mixed with replayed emotions of disgust and aversion. That was half a year ago and since then, I've had one can of ginger soda. It was okay, but not great, and I haven't had any temptation since then. Notably, there is at least one crate of soda in my house at all times, since my family still drinks it. Prior to the experiment I drank one or two cans a day.

I tried to repeat it with cheese and it only lasted a week or so before I had an overwhelming craving for Mac and cheese. Cheese is an integral part of almost everything I eat, so it's not that surprising, and on reflection I didn't really want to quit cheese like I wanted to quit soda. Still, if you had told me I could stop wanting to eat cheese for a week with five minutes of visualization, I would have laughed at you.

I haven't attempted a third trial since there's no other single thing I want to cut out of my diet. I briefly considered doing it on all food before deciding that's probably a good way to induce an eating disorder.

I'd be interesting in hearing whether anyone else has tried soares aversion technique, and what the outcome was.

Comment by Raven on The homework assignment incentives, and why it's now so extreme · 2021-06-23T03:21:30.493Z · LW · GW

I occasionally did homework swaps, and more often let friends copy off me. Such practices were rampant at my school, and I went to a small nerd high school. Your mistake was letting anyone except the person involved know about the trade.

Comment by Raven on Are bread crusts healthier? · 2021-06-19T03:33:24.161Z · LW · GW

It depends on the kind of bread. I usually don't eat the ends of sandwich bread loaves, but the crusts of artisan bread are the best part.

Comment by Raven on Which rationalists faced significant side-effects from COVID-19 vaccination? · 2021-06-17T21:05:13.836Z · LW · GW

Pfizer, both times.

Comment by Raven on [deleted post] 2021-06-16T00:44:58.091Z

I'd take the water, though I'd look for alternative solutions first.

but that's an extreme scenario. Most real life cases, taking the water provides a minor immediate benefit and a high risk of downsides because you're burning reputation. Remember, the optimal strategy in pd is t4t not pure cooperate or pure defect

Beyond that, I generally prefer cooperation for its own sake, and that preference is strong enough to outweigh minor benefits, particularly when the long term costs are unclear. Call that wishy washy if you want -- but I'd still take the water in the desert.

Comment by Raven on Which rationalists faced significant side-effects from COVID-19 vaccination? · 2021-06-14T23:51:27.685Z · LW · GW

I had fatigue, lightheadedness, and stiffness/aches for four or five days after the second shot. It wasn't that debilitating after the first two days but it sucked.

I don't regret getting the vaccine and I went in know I was probably going to be hit hard since I had similar (less intense) effects from the first shot.

Also... asking for anecdotes on a forum isn't a great way to gather data. A poll would be better, so you at least know how many people were fine.

Comment by Raven on What are some important insights you would give to a younger version of yourself? · 2021-06-09T21:15:07.964Z · LW · GW

If you have a question, no matter how dumb or embarrassing, Google it. Seriously. You have a library the ancients would have killed for, and it fits in your pocket. Quit fucking around and theorizing and making assumptions when you can get the actual answer in ten seconds.

Emotions are a powerful tool that needs to be refined, not ignored. Next time you feel that quiet sense of dissonant tension, stop and think very carefully. You probably made a mistake in your conclusion, or it's incomplete somehow.

Your hunger for power is a gift. Embrace it, and be wary whenever you feel the urge to settle down and stop moving forwards. But also, your self image as a villain is damaging your ability to consider "good" courses of action. Master both sides, not just one.

Comment by Raven on Unrefined thoughts on some things rationalism is missing vs religions · 2021-06-07T14:24:21.051Z · LW · GW

Hm. Perhaps I'm concerned over nothing then. I was specifically afraid of standing out, of cult associations, and my general feeling is that rationality is seen as this cold, inhuman thing. Like I once had a girl tell me she was glad I didn't see things in terms of winning like everyone else does... and that's exactly how I see them. I just include nice things under my definition of victory.

Comment by Raven on Unrefined thoughts on some things rationalism is missing vs religions · 2021-06-06T19:42:19.992Z · LW · GW

Right now I think that for many people rationalism is a peripheral identity

I think this captures something I've been thinking about for a while now. Rationality is very much a core identity for me, and looking back at my life it seems inevitable that it's that way. Yeah I know, classic bias. But even pre sequences I was obsessed with rationality and was slowly reinventing it. Rationality absolutely undergirds my life and it's just... how could it not, you know? Discovering the sequences changed my life and I would do anything to be able to back and read them earlier.

Then I go in the Bayesian Conspiracy and people casually mention that rationality is cool and all but doesn't really impact their life. And I'm just left scratching my head because -- what? How??

But if I look at it from the perspective of, not just whether you've read the sequences or whatever, but is rationality a core identity then that makes a lot more sense. Of course someone who treats rationality as an interesting hobby will get less out of it than someone who's obsessed.

No one spends real time, energy or effort evangelizing rationalism.

The reason I don't talk about rationality to outsiders is because it has a high chance of crippling my social status and making everything harder.

Comment by Raven on Alcohol, health, and the ruthless logic of the Asian flush · 2021-06-05T04:28:47.252Z · LW · GW

Throw in some Roman numerals and this entire post would fit right in on acx.

Comment by Raven on Is ("Chemical Imbalance" => Depression) an example of fake causality? · 2021-05-26T23:47:33.810Z · LW · GW

I think it also implies that it's something that needs external influences to fix, and that we know how to fix it.

Comment by Raven on How concerned are you about LW reputation management? · 2021-05-19T03:33:05.630Z · LW · GW

Note that karma is not a 1:1 map to users. The more karma your account has, the higher the system weighs your vote, so there's probably a lot less than 22 people behind those 22 down votes.

Comment by Raven on a visual explanation of Bayesian updating · 2021-05-08T23:22:42.093Z · LW · GW

I read all the way through, unfortunately this is pretty mathy for me and I don't have much to say. I did like the visualization of updates as squishing the blob around -- my own introduction to updating was via the sequences which didn't have that.

Comment by Raven on [link] If something seems unusually hard for you, see if you're missing a minor insight · 2021-05-08T13:47:11.713Z · LW · GW

For smooth, cylindrical ones, I usually take a sip of water and hold in in my mouth. Then I put the pill to my lips, suck it in, and swallow it in one action.

For dry tablets, I do Ryan's method.

source: I've taken multiple pills a day for the last year.

Comment by Raven on What are your favorite examples of adults in and around this community publicly changing their minds? · 2021-05-08T13:42:03.030Z · LW · GW

He recounts this story in the Sequences.

Comment by Raven on My Journey to the Dark Side · 2021-05-08T03:42:55.084Z · LW · GW

I found those claims disturbing as well, but when I tried to verify them I pretty much hit a brick wall. As someone disconnected from the bay area community and fairly new to the online community, it's very hard for me to dig into this sort of thing.

If you have more information than what was talked about on Sinceriously, I'd love to hear about it.

Comment by Raven on [deleted post] 2021-05-08T00:14:06.262Z

I don't think so, ziz kind of has a reputation as a manipulator and lying tends to go hand in hand with that. It seems like a reasonable question to me.

Comment by Raven on [deleted post] 2021-05-07T23:53:07.202Z

Thanks. I was quite disappointed to see the discussion on the old post cut short.

Comment by Raven on [deleted post] 2021-05-07T19:31:06.657Z

All comments deleted?

edit: never mind, looks like hivewired deleted the original post and reposted it. Not sure why.

Comment by Raven on My Journey to the Dark Side · 2021-05-06T22:49:48.816Z · LW · GW

Very interesting post. I found Sinceriously to be a really good blog, full of ideas that resonated with my own experiences. I didn't find her to be a very skilled manipulator though; her attempts to sway me were transparently obvious and I had no problem stripping out the unwanted stuff and keeping the useful ideas.

Perhaps it helps to have already embraced one's dark side? Until now it hadn't occurred to me that doing so might trigger such a catastrophic response as you talked about. Mine was painful but not dangerous, so I at least know it can be done safely.

Comment by Raven on Thoughts on Ad Blocking · 2021-05-06T03:15:56.867Z · LW · GW

I think most ads these days are pay per view (they're trying to manipulate you via exposure, not by trying to get you to buy right away).

Comment by Raven on Thoughts on Ad Blocking · 2021-05-06T03:15:09.944Z · LW · GW

Advertisers and consumers are fundamentally opposed. Your ideal scenario is unstable because consumers will prefer true adblockers, and advertisers will prefer unblockable ads. Nobody has any reason to cooperate and whoever does so first will get eaten by the competition.

Comment by Raven on Sexual Dimorphism in Yudkowsky's Sequences, in Relation to My Gender Problems · 2021-05-04T01:33:07.069Z · LW · GW

It did make me feel better immediately, but I always assumed that was just placebo. The first objective changes came after a couple days, when I happy cried at a movie for the first time in my life (that I can remember, anyways). What Vanessa says about different physical responses doesn't really feel right; the emotion was very intense and I don't remember feeling anything like it before.

Comment by Raven on Sexual Dimorphism in Yudkowsky's Sequences, in Relation to My Gender Problems · 2021-05-03T18:13:47.588Z · LW · GW

Well, I was smiling and thinking "egg" after just a couple minutes because you describe an awful lot of little pieces of evidence that point towards being trans. So I expected that hrt would be a transformative sweep-away-all-doubt experience, like how it was for me. And on the off chance that you weren't trans, then going on estrogen would cause dysphoria in the reverse of how being on testosterone messed my mind up.

And neither of those things happened! Which means it wasn't you that was wrong, it was me.

Comment by Raven on Sexual Dimorphism in Yudkowsky's Sequences, in Relation to My Gender Problems · 2021-05-03T14:49:21.883Z · LW · GW

Interesting post. Thank you for not trying to extrapolate your experiences to all trans people and kudos for trying hrt. I was shaking my head and thinking just try it halfway through the post and it was a pleasant surprise to find you ahead of me.

I have to say, the apathetic result is not at all what I had expected. I expected you to realize how wrong everything you said was, or possibly discovering what dysphoria really feels like. Instead it was... "not really a big deal, at all)". Seems like that points to the cis-by-default theory I've seen a few times in rationalist circles.

Though I'd like to add that there's nothing wrong with wanting to keep your mind unchanged and have a female body. Even for me, there were significant aspects of my pre-transition mind that I wanted to keep.

Comment by Raven on Where do LessWrong rationalists debate? · 2021-04-30T00:35:40.898Z · LW · GW

I spend a lot of time on the Bayesian Conspiracy discord. It's nominally for discussion of the Bayesian Conspiracy podcast but in practice, TBC convos only happen in one channel and everything else is a rationalist hangout space.

https://discord.gg/qDJ7JWyxHE

Comment by Raven on Let's Rename Ourselves The "Metacognitive Movement" · 2021-04-26T23:55:54.686Z · LW · GW

I wouldn't have gotten into rationality if it weren't for the (implicit) promise that doing so would make me better.

Comment by Raven on On Sleep Procrastination: Going To Bed At A Reasonable Hour · 2021-04-17T04:15:12.315Z · LW · GW

I had terrible akrasia around going to sleep until I started taking 300mcg of melatonin an hour before I want to sleep. My problems pretty much vanished after I tried to play Dota after taking it and struggled to stay awake through it and the redshifted light from my screen. I did briefly have a lapse where I stopped taking it on schedule, but adding an alarm to my phone fixed that.

I also make it a point to lay down in bed and read on my redshifted phone, which likely helps. I've had no ill effects in the two years since, including addiction or tolerance (I can sleep just fine without it) and it's cost me maybe twenty bucks.

Give it a try. Maybe it'll be a miracle fix for you too.

Comment by Raven on The consequentialist case for social conservatism, or “Against Cultural Superstimuli” · 2021-04-16T03:59:54.488Z · LW · GW

I can't speak for all trans people but my experience lines up neatly with that hypothesis. Hrt massively improved qol by alleviating dysphoria, and then I also got a new set of things to worry about but after the crushing weight of untreated dysphoria it doesn't bother me so much...

... of course, I live in one of the most trans friendly places in the US, so I'm sure someone who was stuck in the deep south would have a very different experience.

Comment by Raven on [deleted post] 2021-04-13T13:48:21.173Z

Ironic that a post on writing humanly was written by a bot.

Comment by Raven on Asking questions to fulfill expectations · 2021-03-19T04:36:19.979Z · LW · GW

I've experienced this while playing multiple student roles. As the high school class clown, I loved these moments because they have me a chance to crack whatever joke I had been honing during the lecture. As the bored college student, I just stared at my notes and waited for someone else to speak. And on the rare occasion I was engaged I found them trite and annoying because if I had questions... then either I asked them mid lecture, or I figured it out on my own, or I had become hopelessly lost twenty minutes ago and fixing my broken mental model would take far more time than appropriate.

Comment by Raven on The best things are often free or cheap · 2021-03-19T04:27:43.341Z · LW · GW

Yeah, ux is almost always ignored for internal software because you have a captive audience. If some peon hates the latest version of the warehouse app, it's not like they can download a competitor's app instead.

Comment by Raven on What does flow feel like for "mental activities"? · 2021-02-07T00:45:23.747Z · LW · GW

I get flow while gaming, writing, and programming. Ironically I've never had it for a physical thing. Mostly it's a blur because flow doesn't lend itself to observation, but the few concrete memories I have are all pretty similar.

I'm laser focused, with no distractions. I feel powerful, like I can do anything I put my mind to. There's a tight feedback loop and a clear goal that I'm striving for, and the goal is complex enough to be challenging but not so hard that I have no idea what to do. My mind is fast. Thoughts stream through me and all shards of my mind are aligned with no internal strife. And I'm not aware of my body or where I am or how much time is passing; the task fills my entire consciousness.

Comment by Raven on On clinging · 2021-01-29T03:45:19.844Z · LW · GW

I think it's reasonable to view the Sequences as having been an attempt to offer a cognitive alternative to clinging.

This was my experience, particularly with the vision of emotions and logic working together to form something stronger than either.