Comment by robertlumley on May 2014 Media Thread · 2014-05-16T00:13:29.823Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Long time no see LW. Glad to see this is still going.

Anyway, after finding the first half of the premier season mediocre and giving up on it, I recently tried to get back into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and am happy to say that the second half was some of the best television I've seen since, well, Joss Whedon's last television show.

Comment by robertlumley on On not getting a job as an option · 2014-03-20T01:09:36.216Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I am from the US, and work in manufacturing, which is even more culturally conservative. But this isn't out of line with any other experiences I've had.

Comment by robertlumley on On not getting a job as an option · 2014-03-13T17:03:08.656Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There will be at least a year per every child

This seems to be wildly off based on my experiences. Women I know (with working husbands) having children are taking 2-3 months off.

Comment by robertlumley on Rationality Quotes August 2013 · 2013-08-07T14:46:48.828Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

This seems like a poor strategy by simply considering temper tantrums, let alone all of the other holes in this. (The first half of the comment though, I can at least appreciate.)

Comment by robertlumley on More "Stupid" Questions · 2013-08-07T12:58:43.563Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I like to draw a (rather pretentious) delineation between music and songs, the archetypal examples being, say Beethoven's fifth symphony and "Call Me Maybe". (As a side note, I very much consider it possible for something to both be a "song" and "music") I enjoy music because I played a few instruments and sang when I was younger, so I know enough musical theory to appreciate the artistry it took to come up with the structure in the music, and (when appropriate) lyrics.

Contrarily, I enjoy songs (although happen to hate "Call Me Maybe") because they're fun and upbeat and keep me in a positive mood. You can find a song to fit most moods, and fitting them very closely is a very satisfying feeling. Once last week, I was in a very relaxed mood on my way home and set Sultans of Swing on repeat, because it fit how I was feeling very exactly. It was probably the happiest I have been in the last week. Additionally, sometimes songs have the ability to change my mood and/or motivate me to work harder, and I often exploit them for this purpose.

Comment by robertlumley on Group Rationality Diary, August 1-15 · 2013-08-07T12:39:28.487Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I want to answer about $3000, but I am pretty sure that's almost entirely because of priming. I think the honest answer is that I'm not sure I'm capable of eating meat anymore. Emotionally, I find it disgusting and repulsive. I almost certainly don't have the enzymes to digest meat anymore, as I've been a vegetarian for over two years. The resulting combination is... gastrically unpleasant.

Comment by robertlumley on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 22, chapter 93 · 2013-07-06T15:21:06.878Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I kind of recently came to the realization that I think Eliezer meant Harry and Hermione's relationship to personify what he says often, which is "Utilitarianism is what is correct, virtue ethics is what works for human beings".

Comment by robertlumley on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T20:23:17.820Z · score: 7 (9 votes) · LW · GW

Soon, Harrry will do something somewhat clearly allegorical to FOOMed super AI.

Eliezer has stated that nothing in HPMOR is allegory for AI. I don't have a source for the quote, but I remember it very clearly, because it surprised me.

Comment by robertlumley on Exercise isn't necessarily good for people · 2013-06-09T04:14:32.545Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

FWIW, one of my takeaways from taking subjective measurements of my happiness, motivation, etc. everyday was that by far the biggest correlation was that I was happiest when I exercised more. But again, that's not really establishing causation.

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, May 1-14, 2013 · 2013-05-13T23:26:13.177Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I initially thought I would really like this article on consiousness after death. I did not. The guy comes off as a complete crackpot, given my understanding of neurobiology. (Although I won't dispute his overall point, nor would many here, I think, that we continue to exist for a bit after we are legally dead.) I would appreciate anyone who is so motivated to look up some things on why a lot of the things he says are completely bogus. I replied to the person who sent me this article with a fairly superficial analysis, but if anyone knows of some solid studies on this, I would like to know. I will paste what I've written below:

The guy sounds progressively more insane as the article goes on. And progressively more like he doesn't know things that I learned in my intro to neurobiology class, which makes me question his credentials a bit.

That being said, he's definitely correct in that the vast majority of evidence does not suggest that consciousness stops at the moment of death, and, in fact, suggests the opposite. I'm glad someone is doing the research into this stuff, but I do wish it weren't this guy.

For some specifics:

"All the evidence we have shows an association between certain parts of the brain and certain mental processes. But it’s a chicken and egg question: Does cellular activity produce the mind, or does the mind produce cellular activity?"

This has been pretty conclusively proven. They've stuck electrodes in peoples brains and turned them on and forced them to raise their arms against their "will". I don't think this leaves much room for doubt in this instance.

"Scientists have come to believe that the self is brain cell processes, but there’s never been an experiment to show how cells in the brain could possibly lead to human thought. If you look at a brain cell under a microscope, and I tell you, “this brain cell thinks I’m hungry,” that’s impossible."

Things like this makes it sound like he's confused about the entire subject of neurobiology... That is impossible because no single cell is ever responsible for signalling that. Or anything close to that complex. Thoughts are interactions of whole complexes of cells. To take an analogy to the visual cortex, that would be like saying a single rod "thinks" that a laptop is in front of me right now, when that's the combined activity of millions of rods (and cones) and the cells that are connected to them, and the layers and layers of abstraction and processing of that input that goes on beyond that. And the pruning of these branches makes a huge difference in all of this. The way you actually learn what a face is is that your face learns that neurons 5a, 5c, 5d, and 5e need to be firing while neurons 5b, 5f, and 5g aren't means it's likely a face pattern. (In turn, 5a is turned on or off by the combination of 4a, 4b, and 4c, and so on, etc.)

In a wild generalization, the way neurological development works, you start out with the neurological connections to pattern match anything you're exposed to effectively anything (Say you're exposed to things that look like Picasso paintings very very often, you'd get good at recognizing them and seeing them as normal). Those pathways that aren't commonly used die, and you're only left with the pathways that recognize the patterns that you're exposed to a lot. Which is why you're really good at recognizing faces (absurdly absurdly good, when you think about it) but don't instantly analyze the same subtle details of, say, a couch.

"It could be that, like electromagnetism, the human psyche and consciousness are a very subtle type of force that interacts with the brain, but are not necessarily produced by the brain. The jury is still out."

I honestly just think he's pattern matching with the category "scientific sounding phrases". Electromagnetism is the least subtle physical force (ie. the strongest), when you throw out the strong and weak nuclear forces. Gravity is actually the weakest force we know of, (it's like 10 times weaker than magnetism I think?) but he sounds like an idiot if you replace "electromagnetism" with "gravity". And rightly so. But he does it because, to the lay reader "electromagnetism" sounds mysterious and scientific, and "gravity" sounds dull and obvious.

And he never goes on to explain why we haven't detected this "force" with any instrumentation, even though it would be wildly easier to detect than to fully explain the interactions of all of the neurons in our brain. "It could be" that deep inside the atoms and quarks of every cell in our brains there is a tiny midget who is controlling what they do with puppet strings. But the sheer insanity of that being the way the world actually works makes me believe that it is a priori so absurdly unlikely as to not be worth considering without some really conclusive evidence.

Comment by robertlumley on March 2013 Media Thread · 2013-03-09T02:19:36.595Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for doing this. Please continue to do so in the likely event I fail to in the future. As I become busier and busier, I have less time for reading LessWrong, and hadn't even thought about this until I went looking for something recommended in it from several months ago.

Comment by robertlumley on Donating while in temporary debt (i.e. as a student) · 2013-02-06T00:18:41.538Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This isn't really specific to the special case of having negative money. If you have $10,000 to give and can invest that in the stock market and earn money at a rate higher than your discount rate for lives, then you should invest the money in the stock market and give to charity in a years time. if this continues to be the case, you should continue to compound your money and will it all to charity when you die.

Now if someone can just give me a good way of figuring out what my discount rate for lives is, this would be helpful in answering this question for myself.

February 2013 Media Thread

2013-02-02T01:36:04.449Z · score: 2 (7 votes)
Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:35:53.129Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Meta Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:35:31.955Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Other Media Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:35:21.988Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Music Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:35:08.087Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Television and Movies Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:34:59.668Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fiction Books Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:34:50.193Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Nonfiction Books Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:34:42.431Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fanfiction Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:34:32.781Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Online Videos Thread

Comment by robertlumley on February 2013 Media Thread · 2013-02-02T01:34:25.374Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Short Online Texts Thread

Comment by robertlumley on Meetup : Love and Sex in Salt Lake City · 2013-01-27T16:20:18.044Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Why would you downvote a meetup post?

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2013-01-25T22:55:14.648Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you! Was just looking for #1 and wasn't sure what it was called. Searched LW for "dragon sacrifice". This came up. Wonderful.

Comment by robertlumley on Rationality Quotes January 2013 · 2013-01-16T00:53:23.479Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

“Our vision is inevitably contracted, and the whole horizon may contain much which will compose a very different picture.”

Cheney Bros v. Doris Silk Corporation, New York Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-11T20:11:05.997Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What kind of difference?

My opposition to meat varies linearly with the intelligence of the animal. I'm much more OK with fish than I am pigs.

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-10T20:33:43.938Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Depending on how ostentatiously (Which I know isn't the right word, but I think conveys what I'm trying to evoke?) you were eating the meat, it would bother me. The type of meat would also make a difference to me. I know vegetarians who are bothered if you eat any meat near them. They are obviously polite about it, (I certainly never say anything) but it might bother people more than you realize.

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-09T11:45:01.233Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Hey, that's my internet/video game moniker. Funny how that happens. I generally drop the underscore though.

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-08T22:52:13.427Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

My evaluation is very much the same as yours, in that Hanson is way off on the efficiency of meat vs other foods. My conclusion is just that he is ignorant of the facts though, not trolling.

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T22:49:16.495Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The name of that alone makes it worth downloading.

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-08T02:25:50.482Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think it is in a similar vein, certainly, but I think it's different in some ways too. For example, I don't think most people would accept cannibalism even if the people (victims? food?) led very happy lives, perhaps like a system where people were pampered in spas all day before being killed for food. But the logical extension of Hanson's argument is that this would be a great system. Assuming that there was a remote economic demand for human meat, which, thankfully, there isn't.

Also, I think cannibalism engages people's sense of moral intuition much moreso than simply having a lot of marginally happy people does.

January 2013 Media Thread

2013-01-08T02:20:18.676Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:19:38.813Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Please note that per last month's poll (although it was close) three new threads were added this month, the Fanfiction thread, the Online videos thread, and the Short Online Texts thread. In full disclosure, I have a slight preference for not having these be threads, since it means I have to look up three more thread names and make three more comments, so I'll reconsider whether or not to keep making these based on use and feedback.

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:16:59.567Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Short Online Texts Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:16:50.652Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Online Videos Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:16:24.968Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fanfiction Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:16:15.131Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Nonfiction Books Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:16:08.211Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Fiction Books Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:15:56.464Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Television and Movies Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:15:44.728Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Music Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:15:29.729Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Other Media Thread

Comment by robertlumley on January 2013 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:15:23.709Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Meta Thread

Comment by robertlumley on December 2012 Media Thread · 2013-01-08T02:11:30.552Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, I'll make one. I've been busy and haven't been particularly motivated outside of work recently.

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-07T23:22:51.275Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I am looking for defenders of Hanson's Meat is Moral. On the surface, this seems like a very compelling argument to me. (I am a vegetarian, primarily for ethical reasons, and have been for two years. At this point the thought of eating meat is quite repulsive to me, and I'm not sure I could be convinced to go back even if I were convinced it were moral.)

It struck me, however, nothing in this argument is specific to animals, and that anyone who truly believes this should also support growing people for cannibalism, as long as those lives are just barely worth living. (I tend to believe in relative depression so I'd argue probably any life that isn't extremely torturous is worth living) This goes so strongly against moral intuition, though, that I can't imagine anyone supporting it.

Comment by robertlumley on Pigliucci's comment on Yudkowsky's and Dai's stance on morality and logic · 2013-01-05T17:06:53.955Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

It is unclear to me what your purpose in making this a full discussion thread is. A seemingly random comment on an somehwat related blog does not need to be promoted to the level of a full thread without any explanation or comment.

Comment by robertlumley on 2012: Year in Review · 2013-01-03T23:35:00.098Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Polls in comments was also a pretty big feature added this year.

Comment by robertlumley on META: Deletion policy · 2012-12-26T06:11:04.186Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Because Eliezer deleting something based on the "Eliezer says so" is at least coherent and unambiguous.

Well his attempt here is to lay out a bit more than "Because Eliezer says so" as a reason.

Comment by robertlumley on META: Deletion policy · 2012-12-26T02:57:20.330Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Is I read it, the policy does not address the basilisk and basilisk type issues, which, while I don't think should be moderated, are. "Information Hazards" specifically says "not mental health reasons."

Comment by robertlumley on Gun Control: How would we know? · 2012-12-20T23:16:50.537Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The borders of gun states vs non gun states would be interesting.

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-20T22:28:54.503Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I did too. I think I retweeted that.

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-20T00:35:43.053Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

These things are huge triggers for me. It drives me mad that society has the reaction it does when this event killed as many people as die every eleven seconds. If we had a proportional societal reaction to all deaths, maybe we'd have solved the problem by now.

Edit: I accidentally the math

Comment by robertlumley on Open Thread, December 16-31, 2012 · 2012-12-20T00:31:01.640Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

This is my favorite Les Miserables song. And incredibly awesome.

December 2012 Media Thread

2012-12-01T18:53:13.207Z · score: 3 (6 votes)

November 2012 Media Thread

2012-11-02T06:13:46.750Z · score: 4 (5 votes)

October 2012 Media Thread

2012-10-01T15:16:36.161Z · score: 6 (7 votes)

September 2012 Media Thread

2012-09-04T18:46:50.440Z · score: 1 (6 votes)

What are you working on? August 2012

2012-08-03T15:10:05.004Z · score: 7 (8 votes)

August 2012 Media Thread

2012-08-01T18:29:20.591Z · score: 3 (4 votes)

Rationality Quotes July 2012

2012-07-04T00:29:52.306Z · score: 3 (4 votes)

July 2012 Media Thread

2012-07-01T18:06:11.054Z · score: 5 (8 votes)

Web of Trust lists Singularity.org as having a bad reputation

2012-06-23T16:28:05.536Z · score: 19 (22 votes)

June 2012 Media Thread

2012-06-01T13:39:34.131Z · score: 3 (6 votes)

[LINK] How to develop a photographic memory

2012-05-24T20:52:11.270Z · score: 2 (9 votes)

May 2012 Media Thread

2012-05-02T01:34:28.363Z · score: 4 (7 votes)

April 2012 Media Thread

2012-04-01T16:55:54.694Z · score: 5 (12 votes)

March 2012 Media Thread

2012-03-01T15:10:02.923Z · score: 5 (8 votes)

On Journaling

2012-02-10T21:43:39.317Z · score: 8 (11 votes)

February 2012 Media Thread

2012-02-05T14:23:31.759Z · score: 5 (12 votes)

[LINK] Surviving the World on Vasili Arkhipov Day

2012-01-30T15:35:58.365Z · score: 3 (6 votes)

[META] My Negative Results

2012-01-28T20:44:47.318Z · score: 37 (40 votes)

What's going on here?

2012-01-27T01:38:22.201Z · score: 15 (32 votes)

Are Yearly/Monthly Book Suggestion Threads a Good Idea?

2011-12-29T16:52:57.817Z · score: -2 (31 votes)

[LINK] Cracked on PitMK, Fundamental Attribution Error, Confimation Bias and More

2011-11-01T16:22:55.575Z · score: 6 (7 votes)

Wiki Quote Attributions

2011-10-31T18:40:41.441Z · score: 1 (4 votes)

[LINK] Terrorists target AI researchers

2011-09-15T14:22:53.780Z · score: 24 (27 votes)

[LINK] The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight

2011-08-31T18:09:55.069Z · score: 5 (6 votes)

Alzheimer's vs Cryonics

2011-08-26T23:59:32.786Z · score: 9 (9 votes)

Charitable Cryonics

2011-08-04T00:42:15.595Z · score: 8 (15 votes)