Posts

My paper was signalling the whole time - Robin Hanson wins again 2020-08-04T21:13:16.016Z · score: 8 (5 votes)
Improving local governance in fragile states - practical lessons from the field 2020-07-29T01:54:39.861Z · score: 13 (6 votes)
Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers 2020-07-01T22:33:41.503Z · score: 3 (2 votes)
The affect heuristic and studying autocracies 2020-06-21T04:07:21.061Z · score: 13 (6 votes)
If the reproduction number is socially "controlled" to its inflection point 1, what are the ethical and predictive implications? 2020-06-15T16:01:34.185Z · score: 1 (1 votes)
It looks like Washington state is going to stay at R=1.0 or nearby indefinitely. No hammer to let us dance, but it will take years to build her immunity. Is this the worst of all possible worlds? Why or why not? 2020-06-12T01:27:29.557Z · score: -5 (4 votes)

Comments

Comment by rockthecasbah on Covid 7/30: Whack a Mole · 2020-08-04T02:45:42.205Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I searched herd immunity in the UK government report you referenced and found the following line

Serology studies suggest that ~5-10% of the UK population has been infected to date, with levels up to 15% in some areas, but infection levels of approximately 70% may be required to achieve herd immunity, bearing in mind that the degree to which immunity is conferred by past infection is still unknown (see section 3.1.2). (page 12)

That comment looks exaclty like the supposed strawman Zvi is putting up. Is there some reading between the lines explanation that contradicts their direct statement? And if there is, why would it matter more than their direct statement.

I generally do believe your point that modelers accept the broader evidence on immunity much more than public health officials and pundits.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Improving local governance in fragile states - practical lessons from the field · 2020-08-01T06:34:19.635Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm greatfull for your helpful comments. I will surely add more citations (I have to do that anyway for the academics).

I need you to tell me if the structure of the argument works rhetorically. My struggle is in arranging the order of points, paragraphs and sentences such that the reader can connect each of them to my broader thesis. Historically, I tend to throw knowledge at the reader. The reader is left thinking "why did I learn this fact? how do they fit together? what was the point again". If you assume I have a good citation for each sentence, would you actually understand the conclusion?

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-27T02:46:09.358Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Fox - that sounds like a good word. Can you link me the Tetlock book it comes from.

Yeah I agree that toolbox isn’t shouldn’t be offensive. I guess something in my tone offended the person, rather than the word itself.

Comment by rockthecasbah on "Should Blackmail Be Legal" Hanson/Zvi Debate (Sun July 26th, 3pm PDT) · 2020-07-27T02:44:20.628Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I had the same question. Thanks for clarifying.

Comment by rockthecasbah on The silence is deafening – Devon Zuegel · 2020-07-06T18:19:01.580Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

So far I have found the LW voting behavior instructive and reasonable. It seems like LW'ers do vote on your epistemology rather than the content of your post (like in reddit). It's very cool.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-04T02:17:31.637Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I like your top comments a lot. Thanks for the answer!

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-04T02:16:43.684Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It helps withdraw from the conversation. You believe in <belief> and I believe in One-Magisterium Bayes is a script that people use to abandon disagreements. Like saying "You are a Muslim and I am a Christian, so we should change topics".

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-04T02:15:14.483Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with everything you said. Great brevity and clarity!

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-04T02:13:05.185Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for this answer. It honestly deals with my core problem. I suspect it will be useful for me.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-04T02:11:36.633Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
If there are blues, greens, reds and oranges and when you are dealing with a orange you want to label them as either blue or green and label them green because you are blue you are not going to have them be happy with the label. 

This statement "Affirms the antecedent". If I saw SMB and toolboxism as blue vs. green conflict , then yes I would label any position into either category. However, there are other reasons I might categorize my friend as a toolboxist. In this case, his beliefs match the definition of toolboxism given in the linked post "There is no one correct way to arrive at the truth (...) The only way to get better at finding the correct answer is through experience and wisdom, with a lot of insight and luck, just as one would master a trade such as woodworking." His interpretation of multiple intelligences, as each adapted to their own field of endeavor and non-transferrable, matches the the definition (Tristanm has a SMB interpretation of multiple intelligences which I prefer)

No, if you override emotions as the motivating factor for actions with intellectual guidelines that can harmful even if the intellectual guidelines are based on patterns that exist. 

I disagree. People "override emotions" all the time with intellectual guidelines. For example, bankers exponentially discount when they want to hyperbolically discount. I might want to buy a girl a drink, but realize that doing so would offend her, so I don't.

I see that Tristanm and EY use different definitions of Toolboxism, which might explain some of the confusion.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-03T07:37:13.445Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

hahaha no, I meant to link to this post https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/GTAFKjdQoSa9smKmj/one-magisterium-bayes

I updated it.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-01T23:48:10.489Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
The kind of mental model you need of friendship to model it in a way where that sentence makes sense might not be conductive to winning friends. 

For me personally, Bayes thinking is useful when I have some model that is wrong, but I refuse to let go of. In this case, I did not like "vibing" with people. I wanted all interactions to be problem solving-y in some way. Because I wanted the world to be like that, I didn't accept evidence that people do not prefer it. But I could look at attempts to make friends and notice "oh, vibing is pretty effective for bonding, I should change my mind". And just because I realized that through "rationality" does not make the conclusion wrong, or inimical to friend-making.

My friend and I agree that having high interpersonal intelligence would be better, but we disagree that logical-mathematical intelligence can be applied to social relationships. That second claim he makes is actually really strong. Since the logical techniques I was using are just identifying simple patterns, for them to be useless requires social relations to be so chaotic that no theories can be applied. This is clearly not the case.

To steelman my friend, he may believe that using logic will make me nervous. Many people hold this view. I have not found it in practice. Often in a social interaction I say to myself "take a step back, listen more, talk less" and find the interaction much improved for both parties.

It's problematic to have a mental model where you expect people to either be blues or greens and not be open for someone to come with a different position. 

Thats an unfair characterization of my statement. My post does not say that my friends epistemic position is permanent or bad. I just said his position is different from mine and I disagree with it. In the blue and green allegory, people get their empirical positions from a factional and ideological conflict. I do not think labeling my friends "way of thinking" on a single issue is the same thing. If I had said "how dare you, you filthy toolboxist!" I would be guilty, but I did not.

The idea of orthogonality isn't part of toolbox thinking the way it was previously described.

I am confused by this statement.

Edit: removed a paragraph to improve "hugging the query"

Comment by rockthecasbah on My atheism story · 2020-06-30T05:38:02.858Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is a very interesting essay, thank you for sharing.

I too evicted long-held beliefs which had low-priors and poor evidence only after reading the sequences. It was scary at first, but very time I have found a better map leads to an easier life.

Comment by rockthecasbah on On Overconfidence · 2020-06-28T05:49:34.679Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

1. What is your probability that there is a god? (Svir creprag)
1/100. I could just be really wrong. It doesn't say a god that cares about humans, which has a much lower probability.
2. What is your probability that psychic powers exist? (Bar va bar gubhfnaq)
1/10000 Goes against the spirit of the post but...
3. What is your probability that anthropogenic global warming will increase temperatures by at least 1C by 2050? (Avargl creprag)
80/100
4. What is your probability that a pandemic kills at least one billion people in a 5 year period by 2100? (Svsgrra creprag)
4/100
5. What is your probability that humans land on Mars by 2050? (Rvtugl creprag)
1/50
6. What is your probability that superintelligent AI (=AI better than almost every human at almost every cognitive task) exists by 2115? (Gjragl svir creprag)
7/10

Comment by rockthecasbah on The affect heuristic and studying autocracies · 2020-06-22T17:14:04.684Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW
a large amount of unpublished ideas that are known to insiders because they are shared only informally but still influence the results published in the field in a way that is opaque to outsiders and beyond comment/consideration

That is a great point,. If I were describing my results to another expert who understood bayesian reasoning, I would speak differently. Perhaps I will do a writeup in that framework.

faking or exaggerating data/results in order to reach publication standards of evidence

so fucking true. Or dropping disconfirming evidence, which is easy to do. I had peer reviewers ask me to do this. If I find time, I will post an anonymized quote.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Scientific Self-Help: The State of Our Knowledge · 2020-06-22T16:47:29.065Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My take -

A person using the techniques and not having increased success - weak evidence

People hating PUA - trivial evidence

A bunch of people active on a PUA forum having increased success in aggregagate - moderate evidence (would be strong but selection on dependent variable)

Comment by rockthecasbah on Ends Don't Justify Means (Among Humans) · 2020-06-21T10:16:50.177Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This is very true

Comment by rockthecasbah on Coronavirus and Rents · 2020-06-21T04:16:05.681Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I like this post. It is clearly written, well-paced, and useful . Good job dude!

Comment by rockthecasbah on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2020-06-20T03:04:03.969Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Also this is generally good advice.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Optimizing for attractiveness · 2020-06-20T03:02:46.259Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Having lived for years as a western man in the Mid East, can confirm that norms are VERY IMPORTANT. If you are a girl who has trouble getting laid though, it is paradise - Unless you dislike the other forms of gender discrimination, or witnessing gender-based violence, but that is another issue.

Comment by rockthecasbah on Intellectual Hipsters and Meta-Contrarianism · 2020-06-19T23:10:02.073Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Stupid question for the guys here, but how long is optimal to counter-signal to a woman. i.e., how long do you pretend not to be interested in her, whether she is interested in you or not. Based on my non-trivial romantic experience, I have two theories.

1. Wait until she makes unusually-long eye contact with you. It should be pretty noticable, like ~5 seconds or longer, such that it would otherwise be unusual. Use Bayes theorem. THEN WAIT ANOTHER WEEK to stop countersignalling.

2. Three weeks. IDK it just seems to work that way.

3. You do not stop counter-signaling until you have been dating for several months. Just gradually decrease the amount of countersignaling by always signaling slightly less commitment to the relationship than your partner. You may be free to stop countersignaling.

I suspect that option 3 is the optimal strategy, but is taxing/emotionally draining. Any suggestions?

Follow up, it is not that hard to independently assess someone's quality as a partner. You could assign someone a percentile at intelligence, kindness, attractiveness, emotional stability after a two weeks of knowing them. Like "this person is kinder than 40% of people but less kind than 50%". So why rely do people rely so heavily on the weird countersignaling heuristic?

Comment by rockthecasbah on If the reproduction number is socially "controlled" to its inflection point 1, what are the ethical and predictive implications? · 2020-06-18T19:58:25.483Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting, South Carolina was at around 1.15 for a month and their ICU headroom usage has doubled. https://covidactnow.org/us/sc?s=51764

Comment by rockthecasbah on XKCD - Frequentist vs. Bayesians · 2020-06-18T19:54:11.119Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can you explain that more clearly? It seems that the sun exploding is so unlikely that the outcome doesn't matter. Perhaps you are confusing odds and probability?

Comment by rockthecasbah on It looks like Washington state is going to stay at R=1.0 or nearby indefinitely. No hammer to let us dance, but it will take years to build her immunity. Is this the worst of all possible worlds? Why or why not? · 2020-06-14T02:34:40.030Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Fair point, I was p frustrated when I wrote it.

But the question itself, if you unload it, is worth asking.

Comment by rockthecasbah on The Oil Crisis of 1973 · 2020-06-01T15:40:45.200Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Carbon Democracy by Timothy Mitchell provides another piece of the puzzle. The international oil companies took big hits to their margins as oil producers nationalized in the early 70's. Blaming the crisis on Arab politics allowed them to distract from the obscene margins they had previously been making. So they had an incentive to obfuscate what was really happening at OPEC, and the Saudi's at the time had no lobbyists to represent them in Washington.