Comment by romeostevensit on Where to Draw the Boundaries? · 2019-04-19T18:42:51.433Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, pointing at the same stuff. That clarification helped.

Comment by romeostevensit on Where to Draw the Boundaries? · 2019-04-18T13:07:22.303Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm saying that this post itself is falling prey to the thing it advises against. Better to point at a cluster that helps navigate, like Hanson's babblers than to talk about the information theoretic content of aggregate clusters.

Comment by romeostevensit on Highlights from "Integral Spirituality" · 2019-04-16T17:04:43.815Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Most valuable IMO is the idea that relational practices expose shadow sides for processing that individual practice doesn't.

I have problems with much of his stuff due to having the 'look how much more inclusive my metaphysics is' problem where the framework gives you more degrees of freedom than the phenomenon being explained, allowing you to cold read yourself. This is covered in technical explanation of technical explanations. You want your framework to have fewer degrees of freedom than the system it describes (compression), that's where your predictive constraints come from.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-15T19:13:45.833Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the clear suggestions/feedback.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-15T19:08:13.197Z · score: 14 (6 votes) · LW · GW

The tacit claim is that LW should be about confirmatory research and that exploratory research doesn't belong here. But confirmatory, cited research has never been the majority of content going back to LW 1.0.

Comment by romeostevensit on Where to Draw the Boundaries? · 2019-04-15T15:56:46.901Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

treating reality as fixed and self as fixed and the discovery of the proper mapping between self concepts and reality concepts is doomed to failure because both your own intentions are fluid depending on what you are trying to do and your own sense of reality is fluid (including self model). Ontologies are built to be thrown away. They break in the tails. Fully embracing and extending the Wittgensteinian revolution prevents you from wasting effort resisting this.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-13T21:21:05.624Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

yeah, intimacy with aversions is one decent compression of the path.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-12T22:54:18.101Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

This isn't a compiler level attempt, it is a design patterns level attempt. I guess it's not universally illuminating.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-12T22:45:19.468Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've had multiple religious experiences (total reality dissolution, contact with seeming entities of infinite benevolence etc.) and I guess I'm just narcissistic enough to still be a Quinean naturalist and say 'yep, that is also me.'

I'd say I basically endorse Theory M already? I posit that words (and images, and felt senses) are low dimensional projections of many-dimensional objects.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-12T22:39:58.553Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

a better word than random might have been arbitrary. i.e. predicated on causes and conditions that have little to do with the heuristics you endorse.

Appreciate the feedback and the links!

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-11T19:59:03.804Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-11T15:42:53.067Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Fantastic piece! Thanks for the link.

Comment by romeostevensit on Subagents, akrasia, and coherence in humans · 2019-04-11T15:04:52.340Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

jump up one more level to kegan 5 (<1% of the population) and it jives much more closely with survey estimates of .5% of the population having some sort of permanent attainment (the survey does not use the theravadan map)

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-11T03:06:52.516Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Shinzen Young and Culadasa are two notable teachers who try to translate things in a way that is actionable. It's basically all about finding a teacher whose style really resonates with you.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-11T03:06:02.971Z · score: 11 (6 votes) · LW · GW

telling people to just sit the fuck down is basically zen. Zen hasn't conquered the world and made freedom from suffering available in every classroom, so we still have some work to do.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-10T13:18:49.008Z · score: 3 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Having it be falsifiable in a clear way is helpful

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-10T13:17:18.391Z · score: 30 (8 votes) · LW · GW

The post is predicated on reading 4 different translations of Pali Canon discourse, checked against my own experience, discussion with teachers, and works of historical Buddhist scholarship charting the development of differing interpretations.

edit: I also agree with ashen above, the frame of 'what the buddha taught' is a simplified one that dissolves under close examination (the historical record on how the discourses got compiled is if anything even more sketchy than the one we have for the bible)

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-09T02:09:07.499Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There's a pretty palpable sense of unification during some parts of practice.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-08T04:08:04.490Z · score: -5 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Nowhere. Though I doubt I'm the first to have it.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-08T04:07:01.743Z · score: 3 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I do mean the physical pattern of connections between neurons is changing. As for specifics, again we only have very broad stories such about which brain regions are altered by meditation (white matter, default mode network, amygdala etc.)

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-08T03:11:52.206Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

There aren't good answers for any of those questions. fmri has picked up some promising stuff but doesn't have the resolution to get the details.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) · 2019-04-08T03:10:48.687Z · score: 1 (5 votes) · LW · GW

nope, the field of CNS imaging is not in an advanced state. When a major breakthrough is made in the accuracy and time-resolution of CNS activity is made I expect spiritual practices in general to get a major upgrade in legibility and feedback loop effectiveness.

Comment by romeostevensit on Dependability · 2019-04-07T21:11:53.181Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The only 1 of the big 5 I have found not to be positively affected by meditation has been conscientiousness. Shinzen Young also reports needing to utilize traditional behavioral therapy techniques to defeat procrastination. So this area is definitely not solved and further exploration is highly beneficial.

One useful frame for me has been that this sort of failure is actually a prioritization failure. Organizational systems improve it by offloading more prioritization into a trusted structure.

Comment by romeostevensit on Dependability · 2019-04-07T21:06:33.204Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds like choosing to write the bottom line first in a bounded way, and accepting that tradeoff for certain gains.

The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism)

2019-04-07T21:04:11.353Z · score: 89 (36 votes)
Comment by romeostevensit on How do people become ambitious? · 2019-04-06T21:58:06.963Z · score: 20 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Seems to me like what happens is that redirection of sex or survival drives get caught up in some sort of stable configuration where they can never be satisfied yet the person doesn't notice that aspect of the loop and thus keeps Doing the Thing far past the time normal people notice. Essentially they've goodharted themselves in a way that creates positive externalities for others.

Comment by romeostevensit on Announcing the Center for Applied Postrationality · 2019-04-04T18:31:09.851Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

if identities are schelling points in cooperation space, how can we identify as people who are aware of that fact?

Comment by romeostevensit on Announcing the Center for Applied Postrationality · 2019-04-04T18:29:31.671Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

> By defecting in a Prisoner's Dilemma against yourself.

that's regular rationality.

Comment by romeostevensit on Active Curiosity vs Open Curiosity · 2019-03-15T00:30:24.883Z · score: 9 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Consider the mental move you're performing if you're doing a word search and you switch which word you're currently actively hunting for. Or searching for a word on the tip of your tongue. Gendlin called this a sharp blank or a blank that knows what it is looking for. This seems related to active curiosity vs the more exploration based open curiosity.

Also related: forward vs backchaining, open vs closed mode, exploration vs exploitation

Comment by romeostevensit on You Have About Five Words · 2019-03-14T02:03:16.761Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Agree, and I'd roll in the incentives more closely. It feels more like:

you have at most space for a few feedback loops

you can improve this by making one of the feedback loops a checklist that makes calls out to other feedback loops

the tighter and more directly incentivized the feedback loop, the more you can pack in

every employer/organization is trying to hire/recruit people who can hold more feedback loops at once and do some unsupervised load balancing between them

you can make some of people's feedback loops managing another person's feedback loops

Now jump to this post

another frame is that instead of thinking about how many bits you can successfully transmit, think about whether the behaviors implied by the bits you transmit can run in loops, whether the loops are supervised or unsupervised and what range of noise they remain stable under.

Comment by romeostevensit on Alignment Research Field Guide · 2019-03-09T20:53:46.735Z · score: 17 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is fantastic stuff. Nice to see others independently coming up with the transmitters and receivers model. Also, the structure mentioned in 3a resonates strongly for me with the people groping towards some sense that Circling type skills seem to be useful for rationality but couldn't quite put their finger on why. My experience is that Circling with good facilitators enables exactly the kinds of things seen in 3a.

Two things that we've found useful at QRI that may apply:

1. A slack or slack like thing (keybase is nice for the additional security) for tracking the explosion of references and conversational threads that occur when you find a generative frame/question/method set is way way more useful than things like shared gdocs. It allows more of 'getting the lay of the land' to reorient yourself when you've been away and developments have happened in the meantime. Storing links in this format also gives them a juicy sense of discovery where other formats can make them feel more like homework needed to participate in the convo.

2. Maintaining momentum in the load balancing of connections in the graph of one-on-one meetings. That is to say, groups seem to function better when there is roughly equal communication between all the participants. Probably for a variety of reasons but one major one is that it seems to allow better bootstrapping of blindspots. Crossing all the possible one-on-ones gives the chance for misunderstandings to get worked out so that people can return to much more flow-like communication patterns. This is accomplished by regularly scheduling the various one-on-ones, prioritizing them, and making it so that people can request them without feeling like it is a big ask. Generally accomplished via video chat when in person would be laborious.

Comment by romeostevensit on Policy-Based vs Willpower-Based Intentions · 2019-03-02T02:33:11.354Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This feels like how I think about TDT as a casual heuristic.

Comment by romeostevensit on Motivation: You Have to Win in the Moment · 2019-03-01T02:23:39.358Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It isn't all the moments you're doing the action but the moments of another candidate winner being surfaced in consciousness giving you the affordance to do something else instead. In that moment you can reaffirm your commitment to the thing or choose the distraction. Poor modeling of the self who has to make that microdecision is behind much confusion.

Comment by romeostevensit on Native mental representations that give huge speedups on problems? · 2019-02-26T04:47:04.408Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

factor analysis, levels of analysis.

Comment by romeostevensit on Epistemic Tenure · 2019-02-18T22:59:01.048Z · score: 13 (5 votes) · LW · GW

another frame might be Kuhnian momentum.

Comment by romeostevensit on Pedagogy as Struggle · 2019-02-16T04:05:33.404Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've seen this referred to as discursive learning. The idea that things stick much better when you're forced to expend some cognition in order to figure out how it fits with what you already know.

Comment by romeostevensit on Three Kinds of Research Documents: Clarification, Explanatory, Academic · 2019-02-13T23:52:27.558Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I've been working on mapping explanation-space and have identified 3 areas of decomposition, the how-why-what axis corresponding to levels of analysis (Marr, et al), the temporal axis delineating past, future, and now as a special moment of causal intervention, and the variance-invariance axis.

Comment by romeostevensit on Some Thoughts on Metaphilosophy · 2019-02-11T18:41:09.681Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I think it is driven by a general heuristic of finding compressibility. If a distribution seems complex we assume we're accidentally conflating two variables and seek the decomposition that makes the two resultant distributions approximate-able by simpler functions.

Comment by romeostevensit on Why we need a *theory* of human values · 2019-02-09T10:40:45.062Z · score: 6 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Imagine you have 10 sensors measuring different things. The environment (including things you can affect) permutes their values over time. Let's say they operate like thermometers and you're trying to keep them within specified ranges. If the sensors are trinary (too low, too high, just right) you already have 59,049 states to navigate in your tradeoff space. The higher the resolution the sensors the faster the combinatoric explosion. So a small number of parameters leads to a very complex seeming situation.

Comment by romeostevensit on Raemon's Shortform Feed · 2019-02-07T04:38:04.543Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

would likely be solved if slack had a robust 3 level ontology rather than two level. Threaded conversations don't work very well.

Comment by romeostevensit on Raemon's Shortform Feed · 2019-02-06T00:38:56.184Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I agree that slack is a better interaction modality for multiple people trying to make progress on problems. The main drawback is chaotic channel ontologies leading to too many buckets to check for users (though many obv. find this aspect addictive as well).

Comment by romeostevensit on Sam Harris and the Is–Ought Gap · 2019-02-05T18:14:14.656Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In epistemic structural realism the bridge is all we have. One end of the bridge feels more 'is' like and one end feels more 'ought' like. Both are subject to extensionalism in trying to figure out what's 'really there'. I find this stance much much less confusing than the more standard indirect realism that typically underlies the is-ought distinction.

There's also the general pattern, see if by inverting the nature of the representation (turn the edges into vertices and vice versa) a false dichotomy disappears.

Comment by romeostevensit on What makes a good culture? · 2019-02-05T18:08:32.575Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Jung seemed to be the first to identify more explicitly the punctuated equilibrium model of adult psychological development. I find it useful to combine with sub agents to explain a lot of the psychotehrapuetic models I see. Different parts can be at different stages of development and thus be open to different kinds of evidence and experiences in order to mature and gain access to better strategies for getting needs met.

Comment by romeostevensit on Book Summary: Consciousness and the Brain · 2019-01-23T06:02:54.642Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I really want to read a book focusing on vigilance. Conscious access seemed like the least interesting of the three by far.

Comment by romeostevensit on Capability amplification · 2019-01-23T05:54:58.841Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Mentioned before, but I wonder if progressive/iterative summarization would increase peer review between AI researchers a bunch. I.e. marginal efforts towards summarizing the either adversarial or generative ideas a post is a response to, which gives the original authors and outsiders more surfaces to offer ideas along. I think this would also lead to more settling on shared terminology, which is a significant fraction of progress in a field as far as I can tell from the history of science. If it increased engagement then it would be directly incentivized as soon as people knew/experienced that.

Comment by romeostevensit on Life can be better than you think · 2019-01-23T05:48:03.707Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

+1 eliminating certain negative emotions seems to temporarily get rid of any motivation structures that were using those negative emotions as a building block. Things I really value seem to rebuild themselves on better foundations.

Comment by romeostevensit on Life can be better than you think · 2019-01-23T05:37:20.493Z · score: 12 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I have a hypothesis for increasing transferability of insights. Their transferability being by default quite low. Lower than they feel like they should be from the inside. I think what generally happens is something like this: a person has an insight, this generates a bunch of emotional energy, sometimes this gets channeled into the urge to share/write about the insight, this is most of what we hear about. But the writing is from the perspective of the insight, which tends to be dissimilar from the material that *triggered* the insight. I noticed this in myself after developing a very detailed note taking system. This allowed me to go back and trace the trajectory of past insights. It is much harder and less motivating (currently) to share stuff from the pre-insight perspective. Harder because of insight amnesia, the tendency to forget what your past thinking patterns were like, and also because most don't have detailed enough notes. Less motivating because pre-insight material just seems, well, wrong now. Why write about wrong things when you could write about *glorious new correct thing*?

Comment by romeostevensit on Disentangling arguments for the importance of AI safety · 2019-01-23T05:21:20.013Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Pretty random, but the thought this post lead to was 'let's upload Culadasa and then have the upload direct us in how to iteratively upgrade him.' Sort of like gun-to-the-head you have to pick the safest option using only the concepts we already have right now.

Comment by romeostevensit on Some Thoughts on My Psychiatry Practice · 2019-01-19T21:59:56.559Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The aspect of comparison I find useful is less competitive and more in noticing that a lot of people are *quietly* having what I consider some pretty bad outcomes in their career, primary relationship, relationship with family, and personal growth. It has been valuable for me to do a bit of analysis of equivalence classes of these sorts of failures and try to avoid the big pitfalls. A lot of this rounds off to stuff that we might already know about like exercise and sleep actually needing to be major priorities, but the greatly added juice of having a feel for the real consequences in the lives of age peers and older folks is great.

Comment by romeostevensit on Some Thoughts on My Psychiatry Practice · 2019-01-19T21:55:03.888Z · score: 17 (6 votes) · LW · GW

A lot of the smaller items are covered in early retirement type blog posts such as ERE and MMM. They both also have books out which are organized better than the blogs. The big ones tend to be things like

people not running the numbers on home ownership: After playing a lot with the NYT rent-buy calculator and both current prices and historical rates of housing inflation in major markets (ie the places you'd actually want to live) I found only two scenarios that paid off. Both hinged on being very confident you were going to stay in the same place at least ten years, which given the opportunity costs of not being mobile for the best available job as well as the often underestimated commuting costs to QoL is a pretty high variance bet. The two scenarios were buying a 2 bedroom condo and renting out the 2nd bedroom, and buying a 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a converted garage, living in the garage while renting out the house and then flipping to living in the house and renting the garage when family planning needs kick in down the road. And this was still only beating renting in advantageous markets like Denver, Austin, Raleigh. Terrible in popular places like Seattle, SF, NY, Chicago etc. Assuming you plow a decent chunk of your salary into index funds otherwise.

Not optimizing their career due to short term comfort considerations. The long term impact of optimally switching to advance several times *early* in your career is massive. Most people don't apply often enough to nearly a wide enough range of positions in many different cities with excuses like 'my friends and family are here' and only counting the immediate salary difference rather than the huge trajectory shift.

A general habit of buying stuff, 90% of which sits unused 99% of the time. Which also causes one to rent bigger places on average.

A general habit of not TDTing 'reasonable' convenience expenses and finding more permanent solutions that cost less over a lifetime.

As mentioned in the recent putanumonit post completely insane financial planning folk beliefs. Not parking money in a well run robo-index like Schwab's.

Dating people who reinforce their bad habits, which feels like validation from the inside. Especially in the justification that those living at lower consumptive levels are 'missing out on life' or wasting their time. (They might not be making optimal time-money tradeoffs but the person hasn't actually checked this, it's just a reflexive defense)

Not valuing slack enough to fight tooth and nail for it over the longer run.

I don't know, I'm probably forgetting stuff. The real juice tends to be in stances more than individual decisions. The primary legible stance is something like: once you finish Mario Kondoing your possessions, start in on your processes.

Comment by romeostevensit on Some Thoughts on My Psychiatry Practice · 2019-01-18T07:40:22.282Z · score: 21 (11 votes) · LW · GW

The meta lesson I learned by squinting at things and holding them at arms distance was this: don't be middle class. Live like a grad student and then retire having never acclimated to consumptive patterns that seem to be more about auditioning to be upper class than about enjoyment of the life material prosperity can provide.

Why do Contemplative Practitioners Make so Many Metaphysical Claims?

2018-12-31T19:44:30.358Z · score: 51 (21 votes)

Psycho-cybernetics: experimental notes

2018-09-18T19:21:03.601Z · score: 60 (18 votes)