## Posts

Washington DC Meeetup: Reading Discussion 2021-06-16T23:54:05.588Z
San Francisco Meetup: Deep Questions 2020-02-25T04:32:50.173Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2020-02-18T05:58:40.507Z
San Francisco Meetup: Projects 2020-02-04T04:17:49.979Z
San Francisco Meetup: Group Debugging 2020-01-28T06:04:25.451Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2020-01-22T16:51:22.001Z
San Francisco Meetup: Cancelled 2020-01-14T04:47:11.782Z
San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks 2020-01-07T06:48:17.830Z
San Francisco Meetup: Year in Review 2020-01-05T23:09:33.209Z
San Francisco Meetup: Projects 2019-12-10T05:47:21.691Z
San Francisco Meetup: Shallow Questions 2019-12-07T08:24:48.543Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-11-12T04:31:56.081Z
San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks 2019-11-05T04:49:03.726Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2019-10-29T03:31:14.771Z
San Francisco Meetup: Election 2019-10-22T03:37:37.518Z
San Francisco Meetup: Deep Questions 2019-10-15T03:34:44.057Z
San Francisco Meetup: Projects 2019-10-08T03:34:23.686Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-10-01T03:33:09.551Z
San Francisco Meetup: Group Debugging 2019-09-24T04:13:53.521Z
San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks 2019-09-17T05:11:01.114Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2019-09-10T04:50:53.782Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-09-03T04:04:50.001Z
San Francisco Meetup: Shallow Questions 2019-08-20T03:34:58.173Z
San Francisco Meetup: Projects 2019-08-18T05:44:40.712Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2019-07-30T05:00:31.332Z
San Francisco Meetup: Deep Questions 2019-07-23T04:07:22.870Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-07-16T04:25:13.440Z
San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks 2019-07-09T03:33:18.703Z
San Francisco Meetup: Shallow Questions 2019-06-18T02:40:13.768Z
San Francisco Meetup: Meta Meetup 2019-06-17T04:48:38.813Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-06-03T15:05:17.437Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2019-05-20T20:35:35.669Z
San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks 2019-05-06T16:18:42.215Z
San Francisco Meetup: Projects 2019-04-28T02:34:24.250Z
San Francisco Meetup: Group Debugging 2019-04-21T20:13:08.776Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2019-04-15T19:50:42.366Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-04-03T03:16:35.315Z
San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks 2019-03-25T04:08:18.333Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2019-03-18T02:29:49.409Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-03-05T05:18:36.742Z
San Francisco Meetup: Group Debugging 2019-03-04T06:22:08.528Z
San Francisco Meetup: Shallow Questions 2019-02-25T01:46:58.984Z
San Francisco Meetup: Cooking 2019-02-14T17:31:45.354Z
San Francisco Meetup: Projects 2019-02-11T03:00:00.939Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2019-02-01T10:29:33.308Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2019-01-28T17:34:14.330Z
San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks 2019-01-14T06:39:48.767Z
San Francisco Meetup: Deep Questions 2018-12-17T05:36:37.958Z
San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion 2018-12-09T19:18:04.059Z
San Francisco Meetup: Board Games 2018-12-02T23:20:29.284Z

Comment by rocurley on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T17:08:01.909Z · LW · GW

I'm also very interested in this. Here are some numbers I've been using:

• Ratio of confirmed to unconfirmed cases (USA):

34 (50%), or 5 (5%) to 94 (95%)

This is based on https://twitter.com/trvrb/status/1234589598652784642 , which estimated the true number of coronavirus cases in Seattle (as of 2020-03-01). I divided that by the number of confirmed cases in Seattle at that time.

• Doubling time (USA):

4 ish (which I'm treating as 2 (5%) to 7 (95%). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template:2019–20_coronavirus_outbreak_data/WHO_situation_reports is how I'm getting 4ish. There are papers that estimate higher: https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316 gives 7, for example, but that appears to be in Wuhan post-containment.

Comment by rocurley on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T02:25:13.439Z · LW · GW

Here's my bay area hospital capacity model: https://www.getguesstimate.com/models/15278

Comment by rocurley on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-04T16:55:22.583Z · LW · GW

Here's a guesstimate model I made to try and figure out when hospitals will become overwhelmed. Lots of model uncertainty here that I'd appreciate advice on, but the current prediction is that there will be a hospital bed for you if you get infected in the bay area within the next 6 days (95% confidence within the model: actual confidence is much lower).

https://www.getguesstimate.com/models/15278

Comment by rocurley on San Francisco Meetup: Reading Discussion · 2019-11-19T02:40:54.418Z · LW · GW

Submit suggestions here

Comment by rocurley on San Francisco Meetup: Short Talks · 2019-09-24T00:24:24.142Z · LW · GW

That's correct: anybody can give a talk, and unprepared talks are explicitly welcome.

Comment by rocurley on San Francisco Meetup: Shallow Questions · 2019-02-26T04:54:33.965Z · LW · GW

Japanese kids going on their first errand, as discussed at the meetup: search for Hajimeteno Otsukai

Comment by rocurley on [deleted post] 2019-02-26T04:52:56.598Z

Oh no, sorry!

Comment by rocurley on [deleted post] 2018-04-13T16:02:57.531Z

I can help! Go to this url:

And hit the send button. I'm just a normal user so I can't delete your post, but this is the api command to do that.

Comment by rocurley on [deleted post] 2018-01-07T20:57:27.074Z

Comment by rocurley on Get genotyped for free ( If your IQ is high enough) · 2015-03-23T05:41:35.490Z · LW · GW

Just my particular results.

Comment by rocurley on Get genotyped for free ( If your IQ is high enough) · 2015-03-22T05:33:02.089Z · LW · GW

For those of you still waiting, got an email to the effect of: We did it, sorry it took so long, it'll be uploaded in 3 weeks. Also they said that more than half were not yet done.

Comment by rocurley on How do you approach the problem of social discovery? · 2014-04-22T19:29:14.256Z · LW · GW

Every 3rd meetup is board games: there's generally dominion, Zendo fairly common, and often one "long" game going on sort of on the side.

I think I'm probably missing some common games that I don't pick as much...

Comment by rocurley on Open Thread: March 4 - 10 · 2014-03-04T17:12:59.991Z · LW · GW

Not sure I've got a good source for you, but if you use the Rayleigh criterion you get that you can just about make out earth-sized objects using visible light at 4 ly. You could use much higher energy photons (better resolution from lower wavelength), but this gives you other problems. Anything beyond visible light won't make it through the atmosphere (1 km is a BIG thing to put into space), and x and gamma rays are really hard to build optics for.

Comment by rocurley on LINK: In favor of niceness, community, and civilisation · 2014-02-24T04:35:44.332Z · LW · GW

Scott just responded here, with a number of points relevant to the topic of rationalist communities.

I would assume there was supposed to be a link there?

Comment by rocurley on [RESCHEDULED] NYC Rationality Megameetup and Unconference: 4/5 - 4/6 · 2014-02-19T03:48:20.888Z · LW · GW

(Me+1) 90%

(+1 more) 50%

Comment by rocurley on Open Thread for January 17 - 23 2014 · 2014-01-18T03:06:52.404Z · LW · GW

I'm the guy who posts the DC meetups. While I'm sympathetic to the problem, I'm not sure what I can do to help, aside from not posting meetups at all (not really an option). Pressuring me won't help you if I can't do anything.

Comment by rocurley on A proposed inefficiency in the Bitcoin markets · 2013-12-28T06:16:11.200Z · LW · GW

I'm doing this (Shannon's Demon). So far it's profitable, although I think I've taken on more risk premium than investing 50% BTC 50% USD and not balancing.

Comment by rocurley on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-23T20:49:49.787Z · LW · GW

I made a similar mistake, and randomly generated defect.

Welp.

Comment by rocurley on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-23T20:46:20.852Z · LW · GW

I took the survey!

Comment by rocurley on Open thread, August 19-25, 2013 · 2013-08-27T01:28:00.002Z · LW · GW

I don't think that the service gets more expensive under a second price auction (which Choron uses). If you bid $10 and I bid$100, normally it would go to you for $100. In the randomized case, it might go to me for$100.

I think I agree with you about the possibility of harm in the 2 person case.

Comment by rocurley on Open thread, August 19-25, 2013 · 2013-08-23T03:44:30.858Z · LW · GW

To be sure I'm following you: If the 2nd bidder gets it (for the same price as the first bidder), the market efficiency is lost because the 2nd person is indifferent between winning and not, while the first would have liked to win it? If so, I think that's right.

If there are two players... I agree the first bidder is worse off than they would be if they had won. This seems like a special case of the above though: why is it more broken with 2 players?

Comment by rocurley on Open thread, August 19-25, 2013 · 2013-08-21T19:36:18.221Z · LW · GW

(I'm one of the other users/devs of Choron)

There are two ways I know of that the market can try to defeat bid sniping, and one way a bidder can (that I know of).

Our system does not display the lowest bid, only the second lowest bid. For a one-shot auction where you had poor information about the others preferences, this would solve bid sniping. However, in our case, chores come up multiple times, and I'm pretty sure that it's public knowledge how much I bid on shopping, for example.

If you're in a situation where the lowest bid is hidden, but your bidding is predictable, you can sometimes bid higher than you normally would. This punishes people who bid less than they're willing to actually do the chore for, but imposes costs on you and the market as a whole as well, in the form of higher prices for the chore.

A third option, which we do not implement (credit to Richard for this idea), is to randomly award the auction to one of the two (or n) lowest bidders, with probability inversely related to their bid. In particular, if you pick between the lowest 2 bidders, both have claimed to be willing to do the job for the 2nd bidder's price (so the price isn't higher and noone can claim they were forced to do something for less than they wanted). This punishes bid-snipers by taking them at their word that they're willing to do the chore for the reduced price, at the cost of determinism, which allows better planning.

Comment by rocurley on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-08-12T07:57:56.264Z · LW · GW

So, let's say you want a scoring rule with two properties.

You want it to be local: that is to say, all that matters is the probability you assigned to the actual outcome. This is in contrast to rules like the quadratic scoring rule, where your score is different depending on how the outcomes that didn't happen are grouped. Based on this assumption, I'm going to write the scoring rule as S(p), where S(p) is the score you get when you assign a probability p to the true outcome.

You also want it to play nicely with combining separate events. That is to say, if you estimate 10% of it being cloudy when it actually is, and 10% of it being warm outside when it actually is, you want your score to be the same as if you had assigned 1% to the correct proposition that it is warm and cloudy outside. More succinctly: S(p)+S(q)=S(pq).

If you add in the additional caveat that some scores are not 0, then you are forced by the above statement to a logarithmic scoring rule. Interestingly, you don't need to include the requirement that it be a proper scoring rule, although the logarithmic scoring rule is proper.

Comment by rocurley on Open thread, August 5-11, 2013 · 2013-08-06T16:12:54.520Z · LW · GW

What Maia said.

Comment by rocurley on Open thread, August 5-11, 2013 · 2013-08-05T22:17:08.437Z · LW · GW

Sorry you can't make it out to DC. AFAIK there's no baltimore meetup. However! We've had people come from baltimore before. I'll forward this to the DC list and see if anyone from there is free.

Comment by rocurley on Arguments Against Speciesism · 2013-08-02T15:56:49.362Z · LW · GW

If you're considering opening a baby farm, not opening the baby farm doesn't mean the babies get to live fulfilling lives: it means they don't get to exist, so that point is moot.

Comment by rocurley on Estimating the kolmogorov complexity of the known laws of physics? · 2013-07-08T21:43:55.425Z · LW · GW

Well, several of the universal constants arguably define our units. For every base type of physical quantity (things like distance, time, temperature, and mass, but not, for example, speed, which can be constructed out of distance and time), you can set a physical constant to 1 if you're willing to change how you measure that property. For example, you can express distance in terms of time (measuring distance in light-seconds or light-years). By doing so, you can discard the speed of light: set it to 1. Speeds are now ratios of time to time: something moving at 30% the speed of light would move 0.3 (light) seconds per second: their speed would be the dimensionless quantity 0.3. You can drop many other physical constants in this fashion: Offhead, the speed of light, the gravitational constant, planks constant, the coulomb constant, and the Boltzmann constant can all be set to 1 without any trouble, and therefore don't count against your complexity budget.

Comment by rocurley on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T04:45:04.417Z · LW · GW

Ahh. That does seem like it might work.

Comment by rocurley on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89 · 2013-06-30T04:28:12.232Z · LW · GW

Ineffectual only if Quirrell helps, right?

Comment by rocurley on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-19T05:56:37.886Z · LW · GW

Not quite sure what you're asking: I haven't read either, so I don't really have anything to say about the two?

Comment by rocurley on Open Thread, June 16-30, 2013 · 2013-06-16T17:44:58.214Z · LW · GW

I've been meaning to read Causality for a long time now: I'd be interested.

Comment by rocurley on Can we dodge the mindkiller? · 2013-06-15T16:56:50.486Z · LW · GW

Is the problem that in his hypothetical, his point of view is more in-line with what you would expect from a Lesswrong member, or what?

Comment by rocurley on Open Thread, May 1-14, 2013 · 2013-05-24T22:17:32.228Z · LW · GW

That's what two-boxers do.

Two boxers don't only do wrong things, and it's not obvious this is actually related to two-boxing.

Comment by rocurley on Avoiding the emergency room · 2013-05-15T06:18:14.373Z · LW · GW

Yes, but if I'm reading this right, the payoff matrix is different from the PD. If two large vehicles collide, it's about as bad as two small vehicles colliding. This means that if everyone drove a huge truck, safety would be improved overall (trees won't get bigger to match, and no one cares about their safety). If all you care about is safety, the optimal situation is everyone in a large vehicle.

Comment by rocurley on Justifiable Erroneous Scientific Pessimism · 2013-05-11T01:53:21.327Z · LW · GW

No, I didn't. It's fixed now, thanks.

Comment by rocurley on Justifiable Erroneous Scientific Pessimism · 2013-05-10T00:35:37.109Z · LW · GW

I agree that it's at least quite plausible (as per your post, it's not proven to follow from GR) that if the universe spun around you, it might be exactly the same as if you were spinning. However, if there's no background at all, then I'm pretty sure the predictions of GR are unambiguous. If there's no preferred rotation, then what do you predict to happen when you spin newton's bucket at different rates relative to each other?

EDIT: Also, although now I'm getting a bit out of my league, I believe that even in the massive external rotating shell case, the effect is miniscule.

EDIT 2: See this comment.

Comment by rocurley on Justifiable Erroneous Scientific Pessimism · 2013-05-09T15:30:28.038Z · LW · GW

I think the center of mass thing is a bit of a red herring here. While velocity and position are all relative, rotation is absolute. You can determine if you're spinning without reference to the outside world. For example, imagine a space station you spin for "gravity". You can tell how fast it's spinning without looking outside by measuring how much gravity there is.

You can work in earth-stationary coordinates, there will just be some annoying odd terms in your math as a result (it's a non-inertial reference frame).

Comment by rocurley on Potential Meetup: Ann Arbor, MI, USA · 2013-04-22T05:37:43.714Z · LW · GW

I realize this imposes some costs on you, but I'd recommend that you just say you're going to be at a place and time with a sign, and that people should come. This avoids the whole "I'm not sure I should come because everyone else might not come because they're not sure..." cycle.

You might want to choose the date/time based on feedback here, but honestly I've had a lot of trouble scheduling meetups based on feedback about time, and I eventually just started dictating meetup times.

Comment by rocurley on LW Women Entries- LW Meetups · 2013-04-20T17:15:08.225Z · LW · GW

DC group: %25 of regular attendees.

Comment by rocurley on Columbus Mega-meetup Planning- RSVPs wanted · 2013-04-17T16:44:26.215Z · LW · GW

Comment by rocurley on Columbus Mega-meetup Planning- RSVPs wanted · 2013-04-15T00:44:31.160Z · LW · GW

I'm Maia's +1, so don't count me again. I was wondering if there will be a place to crash: I can sleep on a floor no problem, if someone has one to offer.

Thanks for organizing this, by the way: I'm really looking forward to it!

Comment by rocurley on How much do you value your current identity vs. your life? · 2013-02-26T22:10:10.174Z · LW · GW

That's the only real question - utilitarian decision making takes care of the rest.

This doesn't seem like a very charitable response, akin to replying "just do what you want". He's trying to figure out what he wants, and is asking for help in figuring this out.

Comment by rocurley on What are you working on? February 2013 · 2013-02-11T03:13:55.751Z · LW · GW

Maia and I have been working on a chore market for our house, and we just started using it. People bid how much they want to be paid (in points) to do a chore, and when the auction closes everyone is taxed to pay for it. If you go into debt, you're forced to bid on chores. This is the closest thing to a "major software project" I've ever done, so it's pretty nice to see my baby actually sort of working.

It's on Github if you're interested, but it's pretty buggy at the moment and not well documented, so user beware.

Comment by rocurley on The value of Now. · 2013-02-01T15:37:31.087Z · LW · GW

What in this post merrited downvoting without explaining?

(This was at -1 when I found it)

Comment by rocurley on Meetup : Washington DC fun and games meetup · 2013-01-14T18:24:07.599Z · LW · GW

Ahh yes. Thanks.

Comment by rocurley on So you think you understand Quantum Mechanics · 2012-12-24T06:26:19.220Z · LW · GW

Alright, I'll take a crack at this. I haven't read the comments, so likely (I hope?) there's a lot of duplicate information here.

1: When does the atom align itself?

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by this, so let me know if I misinterpreted the question. Consider a single electron. Think of the wavefunction as the product of the spin wavefunction (which is representable as some linear combination of spin up and spin down), and the position-space wavefunction (which is probably a pretty tight gaussian wavepacket). This goes propagating along happily until it reaches the SG aperatus. Up until now, the spin wavefunction didn't affect the time evolution of the position wavefunction at all: this is no longer true.

Quantum mechanics is linear: If you calculate what happens to one half of the wavefunction, and what happens to the other half, and add them together, you get the whole thing. So, you start with:

$\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward\}\\right>\\times \\left\(A\\left|\\uparrow\\right>\+B\\left|\\downarrow\\right>\\right\$=%0AA\left%20%7C%20\text{packet%20moving%20forward}\right%3E%20\left%7C\uparrow\right%3E+%0AB\left%20%7C%20\text{packet%20moving%20forward}\right%3E\left%7C\downarrow\right%3E)

A and B are some complex coefficients whose squares add to one. Now, the first term is pure spin up. As such, it will move up, while the second term will move down. This means your new wavefunction will be:

$A\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and up\}\\right> \\left|\\uparrow\\right>\+ B\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and down\}\\right>\\left|\\downarrow\\right>$

Now we get into interpretational differences. I believe in the Copenhagen interpretation, it goes something like this:

The atom hits the screen: this is a position measurement. The wavefunction collapses, and one of the position eigenstates is chosen. It's either going to be an eigenstate of a position in the top section of the screen, or of a position in the bottom section of the screen. Now, there are multiple eigenstates for the same position: spin up or spin down, because positon measurements don't care about spin. However, if you wind up with a top section position eignenstate, it must be spin up, as your pre-measurent wavefunction didn't have any component that was both in the top section and spin down. Likewise, if you measure the position of the atom as in the bottom section, you must be spin down.

Now on to MWI. We need to describe the state of the screen now, so I'm going to add another term to the wavefunction. Before the silver atom hits the screen:

$\\left|\\text\{blank screen\}\\right>\\left\(A\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and up\}\\right> \\left|\\uparrow\\right>\+ B\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and down\}\\right>\\left|\\downarrow\\right>\\right\$)

Now, similarly to how the position of the atom got entangled with the spin of the particle, the state of the screen is going to become entangled with both of them, resulting in:

$A\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and up\}\\right> \\left|\\uparrow\\right> \\left|\\text\{screen with top mark\}\\right>\+ B\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and down\}\\right>\\left|\\downarrow\\right> \\left|\\text\{screen with bottom mark\}\\right>$

Now here comes the "world splitting" bit. When you look at the screen, or otherwise become causally entangled with the state of the screen in any way (that is to say, when your wavefunction depends on the state of the screen in some way). Before this happens, you have:

$\\left|\\text\{You\}\\right>\\left\(A\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and up\}\\right> \\left|\\uparrow\\right> \\left|\\text\{screen with top mark\}\\right>\+ B\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and down\}\\right>\\left|\\downarrow\\right> \\left|\\text\{screen with bottom mark\}\\right>\\right\$)

And afterwards, you have:

$A\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and up\}\\right> \\left|\\uparrow\\right> \\left|\\text\{screen with top mark\}\\right> \\left|\\text\{You\}\_A\\right>\+ B\\left | \\text\{packet moving forward and down\}\\right>\\left|\\downarrow\\right> \\left|\\text\{screen with bottom mark\}\\right> \\left|\\text\{You\}\_B\\right>$

Now, remember that QM is linear. As such, you can treat each term completely separately. The first term looks like a world where the screen is marked near the top, and the atom is purely spin up. The second term looks like a world where the screen is marked near the top, and the atom is purely spin down. As soon as you become entangled with the state of the screen, the spin no longer seems to be in superposition at all, but is simply up or down, depending on if we're discussing the experiences of You_A or You_B. I would say that the world splits when you interact with the screen.

I may continue, but this level of detail is excruciating and I'm a bit burned out from it atm.

Comment by rocurley on Taking into account another's preferences · 2012-12-15T06:05:41.203Z · LW · GW

You're right about U1 being negative: I meant to say |U|>|U1|, unless they're both 0.

If you only compare situations with the same a and b values to each other, then yes, the models do yield the same results, but it seems that comparing situations with varying a and b is relevant.

I agree that U1 means something different in each model, and you can of course choose values of U1 such that you force the predictions of one model to agree with the other. I prefer to define U1 as just your selfish desires because that way, only the empathy coefficients change when the people you're associated with change: you don't have to change your utilities on every single action.

Comment by rocurley on Taking into account another's preferences · 2012-12-13T01:42:05.342Z · LW · GW

Right, which is as it should be. However, say V1 is 0. Then In the model I favor, U>U1 if a,b>0, but U=U1 if ab=0, while in the model you favor, U=U1 in both cases. I believe the former corresponds better to reality, because, essentially, happiness is better when shared: you get to enjoy the other person being happy because you're happy.

Comment by rocurley on Taking into account another's preferences · 2012-12-11T21:18:47.387Z · LW · GW

That's true unless you compare cases where the two people are together to when they are apart (a=b=0).