Posts

How to Lurk Less (and benefit others while benefiting yourself) 2020-02-17T06:18:54.978Z · score: 64 (28 votes)
[Link] Ignorance, a skilled practice 2020-01-31T16:21:23.062Z · score: 14 (8 votes)
Is there a website for tracking fads? 2019-12-06T04:48:51.297Z · score: 9 (3 votes)
Schematic Thinking: heuristic generalization using Korzybski's method 2019-10-14T19:29:14.672Z · score: 29 (8 votes)
Towards an Intentional Research Agenda 2019-08-23T05:27:53.843Z · score: 22 (12 votes)
romeostevensit's Shortform 2019-08-07T16:13:55.144Z · score: 2 (1 votes)
Open problems in human rationality: guesses 2019-08-02T18:16:18.342Z · score: 19 (6 votes)
87,000 Hours or: Thoughts on Home Ownership 2019-07-06T08:01:59.092Z · score: 17 (19 votes)
The Hard Work of Translation (Buddhism) 2019-04-07T21:04:11.353Z · score: 93 (40 votes)
Why do Contemplative Practitioners Make so Many Metaphysical Claims? 2018-12-31T19:44:30.358Z · score: 55 (22 votes)
Psycho-cybernetics: experimental notes 2018-09-18T19:21:03.601Z · score: 62 (19 votes)

Comments

Comment by romeostevensit on Jaan Tallinn's Philanthropic Pledge · 2020-02-23T22:30:39.714Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Eventually posting a worked example of the S-process would be helpful for soliciting feedback as well as crosstalk with the mechanism design going on at Ought if that isn't already happening. If the intention is to create an open source pen tested better grant system then paying bug bounties might be a good way to think about it.

Comment by romeostevensit on Theory and Data as Constraints · 2020-02-22T02:26:39.242Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

> which means people will repeatedly be hit in the face by unknown unknowns.

Were you the one who made the point that when you don't understand something it doesn't look mysterious and suggestive, it looks random? So it's a wicked problem because you don't realize there's something you can do about it. I hadn't ever had the thought before that behavioral economics is the attempt to systematize blindspots. What might it look like to systematize the search strategy that returns blindspots? One strategy I've found is crossing the idea of sentence stem completion with maslow-ish questions about important areas of life.

Comment by romeostevensit on romeostevensit's Shortform · 2020-02-22T02:01:39.735Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This also applies to books

Comment by romeostevensit on How do you survive in the humanities? · 2020-02-21T20:18:43.761Z · score: 11 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Epistemology is a team sport (consilience). Adversarial strategies for such are a consent based sport.

You seem to be modeling the profession of teaching as people who are authorized to say true things saying them to students. Teaching is only weakly entangled with epistemology on a practical basis.

Comment by romeostevensit on Training Regime Day 7: Goal Factoring · 2020-02-21T20:07:47.235Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

> This process is a lot like just writing a pro/cons list. Although plain pro/con lists are more useful than people give them credit for, I think that the crucial addition is trying to figure out different actions to take to get what you want.

Good point!

I think of this as pros and cons are reusable between goals, and it's worth learning the general sorts of structure that pro and cons (and their generation) have. Doing this, your sense of the 'pro con space' and how it connects to your longer term goals will improve. You'll find yourself making more modular choices such that overall there is less wasted motion when it turns out you need to modify your sense of the goal or method. In the pedagogy literature, a lot of this falls under the heading of 'multifinal goals and means.' This also suggests a complementary practice of method factoring.

Comment by romeostevensit on romeostevensit's Shortform · 2020-02-21T01:22:57.238Z · score: 18 (8 votes) · LW · GW

A willingness to lose doubled my learning rate. I recently started quitting games faster when I wasn't having fun (or predicted low future fun from playing the game out). I felt bad about this because I might have been cutting off some interesting come backs etc. However, after playing the new way for several months (in many different games) I found I had about doubled the number of games I can play per unit time and therefore upped my learning rate by a lot. This came not only from the fact that many of the quit games were exactly those slogs that take a long time, but also that the willingness to just quit if I stopped enjoying myself made me more likely to experiment rather than play conservatively.

This is similar to the 'fail fast' credo.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Intelligent Social Web · 2020-02-19T19:09:34.087Z · score: 9 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't think everyone playing on the propositional level is unaware of its shortcomings, many just recognize that propositional knowledge is the knowledge that scales and therefore worthy of investment despite those shortcomings. And on the other side of things you have Kegan 3 (I don't like Integral terms for reasons related to this very topic) people with some awareness of Kegan 5 but having skipped a healthy Kegan 4 and therefore having big holes which they tend to paper over with spiritual bypassing. They are the counterpart to the rationalist strawmen who skipped over a healthy Kegan 3 (many of us here do have shades of this) and run into big problems when they try to go from 4 to 5 because of those holes from 3.

Comment by romeostevensit on Is there an intuitive way to explain how much better superforecasters are than regular forecasters? · 2020-02-19T02:40:00.736Z · score: 4 (7 votes) · LW · GW

One way is how far out people can predict before their predictions get as noisy as chance. One of the surprising findings of the GJP was that even the best forecasters decayed to chance around the one year mark (IIRC?). Normal people can't even predict what has already happened ( they object to/can't coherently update on basic facts about the present).

Comment by romeostevensit on How to Lurk Less (and benefit others while benefiting yourself) · 2020-02-17T20:26:33.310Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah maybe there should be a way to self mark comments as less important, potentially tangential, etc and have them clearly separated. The distinguishing between Answers and Comments in question posts feels useful in that way.

Comment by romeostevensit on Jan Bloch's Impossible War · 2020-02-17T18:27:06.231Z · score: 10 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Long posts about prescient writers of the past are some of my favorite!

Your other posts also made me realize I should just set up a google alert for new mentions of Korzybski.

Comment by romeostevensit on UML XI: Nearest Neighbor Schemes · 2020-02-17T18:20:14.568Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Anything representable as a graph potentially. Even if I don't wind up using that as the final operation I am doing on it, I find it a useful intermediate step for thinking. E.g. typed edges in a graph, installing a new topology on the graph that changes some of the traversal times.

Comment by romeostevensit on How to Lurk Less (and benefit others while benefiting yourself) · 2020-02-17T18:17:10.455Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Collaborative criticism definitely feels different from adversarial criticism. I try (and don't always succeed) at doing the former unless the author wants the latter.

Comment by romeostevensit on [Link and commentary] The Offense-Defense Balance of Scientific Knowledge: Does Publishing AI Research Reduce Misuse? · 2020-02-17T17:50:30.503Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good points, I agree.

Comment by romeostevensit on UML XI: Nearest Neighbor Schemes · 2020-02-17T04:29:28.199Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've found it useful to think of quite a lot of algorithms as rearranging the topology of the representation in order to make nodes relevant to a particular decision nearer each other.

Comment by romeostevensit on [Link and commentary] The Offense-Defense Balance of Scientific Knowledge: Does Publishing AI Research Reduce Misuse? · 2020-02-17T04:26:38.069Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Good topic for a paper. I wonder if the publishing of risk analysis frameworks itself winds up being somewhat counterproductive by causing less original thought applied to a novel threat and more box checking/ass covering/transfer of responsibility.

Comment by romeostevensit on Taking the Outgroup Seriously · 2020-02-16T17:51:55.847Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think one mental motion that might be happening is that people often have a vague sense that there are deep reasons for their own position even though those deep reasons aren't properly enumerated in the public discourse. When they compare this feeling of philosophical depth in their own position to the perceived shallowness of the opponents' public position the opponent seems like some sort of gullible idiot. But the person on the other side is in the exact same position.

Comment by romeostevensit on Exercises in Comprehensive Information Gathering · 2020-02-16T00:03:11.857Z · score: 9 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Went through all the archives of publications of high IQ societies

Went though a significant fraction of the publications of the forecasting community and interviewed 4 superforecasters

Skimmed and spot checked knowledge in multiple knowledge representation textbooks which gave a much better overview of historical practical AI efforts

Went through most of the supporting research for micronutrient intake guidelines (mealsquares)

Reviewed the (fairly sparse) megascale project literature

Reading the bitcoin whitepaper turned out to be more comprehensive than 99+% of people (it's 9 pages)

Recursively applying search expertise to itself was fun and worthwhile

Comment by romeostevensit on A 'Practice of Rationality' Sequence? · 2020-02-15T11:53:55.373Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

+1 exploring a technical topic with another person involves a lot of soft skills, and this might be one of the anti correlations that makes dramatic progress rare.

Comment by romeostevensit on A 'Practice of Rationality' Sequence? · 2020-02-15T11:45:26.268Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Since one can't do most of the things in the world for oneself, expert judgement has to be one of the upstream skills chosen for investment/cultivation.

Comment by romeostevensit on A 'Practice of Rationality' Sequence? · 2020-02-15T11:39:15.024Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My light review of the pedagogical literature suggests four things with large effect size: deliberate practice, test taking, elaboration of context (cross-linking knowledge), and teaching the material to others.

I also suspect debate would make the cut if tested. I think there's too little of the good kind of fighting in a lot of discourse and I sort of blame California culture for not being a good influence here. I think the intuition of comparing to sparring is right as a sort of collaborative fight, also that fighting can and should be playful and exploratory. This is less scalable since it requires skill matched real time collaboration.

On the object level I'll reiterate that we're still failing to engage with korzybski's assertion that we'd be radically less confused if we trained up in noticing type errors in language/representation.

More speculatively: most people are excessively tense most of the time. Example: right now check your brow, jaw, throat, shoulders, gut, pelvis. Given the interaction between physiology and mindset, and given the need for exploratory research, this winds up being of deceptive importance. Relaxation is a trainable skill.

Comment by romeostevensit on Suspiciously balanced evidence · 2020-02-13T01:53:58.198Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It is literally impossible for untrained humans to pay attention to settled questions for more than a tiny amount of time. We are hardwired for glossing over them, conscious attention are very expensive compute cycles.

Comment by romeostevensit on Demons in Imperfect Search · 2020-02-12T04:23:06.447Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Toy example and non agentic real life examples don't have the coupling/symbiosis of walls siphoning work from balls to maintain the walls. Walls might be built from restricting the dimensions along which the ball tends to move/look ahead so that it treats saddle points instead as cul de sacs. Lowering momentum/energy in general to make the walls you need to build not as high.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Relational Stance · 2020-02-12T04:08:34.211Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I like intellectual, emotional, and physical as buckets. Autonomy, competence, and connection make for a nice 3x3 cross.

Comment by romeostevensit on The Relational Stance · 2020-02-12T04:01:41.925Z · score: 25 (9 votes) · LW · GW

I had a realization while reading this post, that underlying all the complicated sociology and game theory of changing family and romantic relationships and gender relations and all of it there is a simple economic fact: people are wealthier than in the past, and wealthier people don't need each other as badly.

Comment by romeostevensit on Why do we refuse to take action claiming our impact would be too small? · 2020-02-10T19:57:22.624Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

But I also see the opposite? People impact larping by taking shorter showers etc and admonishing those around them for not doing so when that has no impact.

Comment by romeostevensit on How does a Living Being solve the problem of Subsystem Alignment? · 2020-02-10T19:02:56.882Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I spoke with someone investing in various anti-aging biomed that said that the breakdown of intercellular signaling is being investigated as a potentially reliable precursor indicator of cancer formation.

Comment by romeostevensit on How does a Living Being solve the problem of Subsystem Alignment? · 2020-02-10T19:01:23.832Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

oh, the Bhagavad Gita obviously.

Comment by romeostevensit on Attainable Utility Landscape: How The World Is Changed · 2020-02-10T17:35:30.399Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Values often seem back driven by beliefs about sensitivity of au. i.e. a person thinks that having 3x current money will be largest impact so they turn themselves into the sort of person who they think has the greatest chance of getting said money. This makes being wrong about sensitivity of outcomes to changes in various inputs scarier, since on expectation one should expect oneself to only do a middling job of keeping one's identity disentangled from their strategies.

Comment by romeostevensit on A Cautionary Note on Unlocking the Emotional Brain · 2020-02-09T21:23:04.266Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You might greatly enjoy Feeding Your Demons by Tsultrim Allione.

Comment by romeostevensit on Plausibly, almost every powerful algorithm would be manipulative · 2020-02-07T19:53:02.230Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Feels relevant to https://www.alignmentforum.org/posts/CHSRhSKcrSmQWnD6A/towards-an-intentional-research-agenda

Comment by romeostevensit on Philosophical self-ratification · 2020-02-07T19:13:00.648Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I've been referring to this as modal inconsistency. I.e. a system that does not sustain the conditions that led to the system arising and is therefore unstable. This generalization goes outside logical belief structures to a broader set of memetic structures.

In Buddhist psychology it is one of the big problems with god realm. (For those unfamiliar, Buddhist realms can be thought of as attractors in the space of possible mind designs).

Comment by romeostevensit on "But that's your job": why organisations can work · 2020-02-07T19:10:52.505Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It is the additional structure to flesh out the 'just because' clause of the final sentence. it might not provide a full accounting of such but seems like a very significant piece.

Comment by romeostevensit on Instrumental Occam? · 2020-02-07T18:45:42.488Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I find it useful to use Marr's representation/traversal distinction to think about how systems use Aether variables. Sometimes the complexity/uncertainty gets pushed into the representation to favor simpler/faster traversals (common in most computer science algorithm designs) and sometimes the uncertainty gets pushed into the traversal to favor a simpler representation (common in normal human cognition due to working memory constraints, or any situation with mem constraints).

From this, I had an easier time thinking about how a simplicity bias is really (often?) a modularity bias, so that we can get composability in our causal models.

Comment by romeostevensit on Some quick notes on hand hygiene · 2020-02-07T18:20:53.157Z · score: 12 (4 votes) · LW · GW

> Consider that we're starting from a status quo where most people's hands are washed 3-5 times a day, even if lazily.

Disagree, many people probably fall below this.

Comment by romeostevensit on "But that's your job": why organisations can work · 2020-02-07T02:02:35.321Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Kakonomics

Comment by romeostevensit on Instrumental Occam? · 2020-02-01T20:52:52.333Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Probabilities must never sum to one. ;)

Comment by romeostevensit on What Money Cannot Buy · 2020-02-01T20:46:36.530Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

A plug for http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/ in general and http://www.forecastingprinciples.com/intro_pdf/06-bootstrapping.pdf in particular.

Comment by romeostevensit on Using vector fields to visualise preferences and make them consistent · 2020-01-31T20:03:02.649Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I want some latitude to commit to things to that are only partially entangled with my values since that lets me coordinate with a broader range of people. If there is mutual knowledge about this necessity then the coordination is also more metastable.

Comment by romeostevensit on Using vector fields to visualise preferences and make them consistent · 2020-01-31T16:23:16.329Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting thought for me: one thing this implies is that *not* collapsing goodharting might be a social strategy for more coordination schelling points

Comment by romeostevensit on On hiding the source of knowledge · 2020-01-27T17:32:49.122Z · score: 15 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I model part of this as: bounding the hypothesis space is underspecified and poorly understood. Since status attends to confirmatory rather than exploratory research there is pressure to present the exploratory phase as more like the confirmatory phase.

Comment by romeostevensit on On hiding the source of knowledge · 2020-01-27T17:29:40.199Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks, pesky phone grammar.

Comment by romeostevensit on On hiding the source of knowledge · 2020-01-27T02:38:29.612Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Instead of just gears vs non gears it might be helpful to think of the size/complexity of the black boxes in question, with larger black boxes meaning less portability. Gears themselves are a black box but since we are rarely designing for environments at the extremes of steels properties we don't have to think about it.

Comment by romeostevensit on Material Goods as an Abundant Resource · 2020-01-26T03:19:52.151Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

(crossposted from a recent facebook post)

Social orders function on the back of unfakeably costly signals. Proof of Work social orders encourage people to compete to burn more resources, Proof of Stake social orders encourage people to invest more into the common pool. PoS requires reliable reputation tracking and capital formation. They aren't mutually exclusive, as both kinds of orders are operating all the time. People heavily invested in one will tend to view those heavily invested in the other as defectors. There is a market for narratives that help villainize the other strategy.

Comment by romeostevensit on Coordination as a Scarce Resource · 2020-01-26T02:35:39.325Z · score: 16 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Anecdote: Mealsquares has to interface with around 17 companies.

Comment by romeostevensit on Have epistemic conditions always been this bad? · 2020-01-25T22:46:00.742Z · score: 8 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Speaking for myself, I mostly don't comment on such things for two related reasons

1. The sorts of people it attracts are often not arguing in good faith anyway.

2. Certain kinds of discourse are less about the contents of the discourse and instead are winning whenever they convince people to pay attention to them. Since the attention of researchers is scarce I try to avoid polluting it.

Comment by romeostevensit on Is the Reversal Test overrated? · 2020-01-25T21:13:43.723Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Which status quo? My current experience is that I wake up each day with about the same level of health as the previous day.

Comment by romeostevensit on Use-cases for computations, other than running them? · 2020-01-20T00:00:35.967Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The process used to generate a valid computation could itself be a valuable compression/training process of some sort. Characteristics of the final computation might be useful as feedback. I guess generalizing is just taking your listed use cases and seeing the computation in question as either up or downstream from the thing we really care about.

Comment by romeostevensit on How does a Living Being solve the problem of Subsystem Alignment? · 2020-01-19T22:43:01.046Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Imagine that Herman Melville was doing IFS and that the book is his notes. There are different ways to think about how he splits things up into different characters (just as everyone's ifs process is idiosyncratic but has recurring patterns), but the overall frame winds up feeling like it just fits. And I don't mean this in the vacuous 'everything could be an IFS manual if you think about it' way. I'm actually not familiar with any others besides those two that are central examples of the thing. Thinking for a bit I'd venture The Metamorphosis probably counts, maybe No Exit.

Also Jed Mckenna has a book that discuses this for Moby Dick so I'm not the only one who's noticed. Though IIRC it's only a side story in Jed's book (Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment).

Comment by romeostevensit on Risk and uncertainty: A false dichotomy? · 2020-01-19T20:32:55.229Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I found Marr's levels highly helpful when trying to think about this area. YMMV. Marr's levels also correspond to Aristotle's four causes if we do as Marr does and split the algorithmic level into 'representation' and 'traversal.'

Comment by romeostevensit on Book review: Rethinking Consciousness · 2020-01-19T20:32:20.671Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Unfortunately I don't know of a good overview. Chalmers might have one. Lukeprogs post on consciousness has some pointers.