Posts

Aumann Agreement by Combat 2019-04-05T05:15:44.431Z · score: 14 (4 votes)

Comments

Comment by roryokane on Operationalizing Newcomb's Problem · 2019-11-12T09:54:52.750Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The True Prisoner’s Dilemma is another post in this genre of “explaining game theory problems intuitively”.

Comment by roryokane on Aumann Agreement by Combat · 2019-04-06T17:55:05.927Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks. Link updated and wrong claim removed.

For transparency, this was the original sentence:

One can’t link to sections within a PDF, but the paper is on page 4 of the PDF (page 8 if you include front matter).

Comment by roryokane on LW Open Source – Getting Started · 2019-03-21T15:57:10.574Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There’s a formatting error in this part of the post:

Clone the two repos:

git clone https://github.com/LessWrong2/Lesswrong2 git clone https://github.com/LessWrong2/Vulcan.git

It should be a code block so that the newline is preserved. That makes it easier to notice that you have to clone two repos:

Clone the two repos:

git clone https://github.com/LessWrong2/Lesswrong2
git clone https://github.com/LessWrong2/Vulcan.git

Also, I found this description confusing:

If you are creating a branch for an existing issue, use this naming schema: branchTitle[issueNumber]. For example, if addressing this issue, your branch might be defaultSettingsFix425.

The schema “branchTitle[issueNumber]” suggests that the branch title should be “defaultSettingsFix[425]” instead. It would be better to describe it as “[branchTitle][issueNumber]” or “branchTitle + issueNumber”, or just say “append the issue number to the branch name”.

Comment by roryokane on Lesswrong 2016 Survey · 2016-03-30T21:41:19.357Z · score: 32 (32 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey.

Comment by roryokane on Rationality Quotes Thread January 2016 · 2016-01-09T19:46:19.232Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

*Randall Munroe

Comment by roryokane on The Library of Scott Alexandria · 2015-09-19T11:03:45.936Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The LiveJournal tag is also named “fiction”. There are 10 posts under it.

Comment by roryokane on We Should Introduce Ourselves Differently · 2015-05-25T19:00:39.023Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I’m not sure if reformatting the home page would have made any difference for Nancy’s friend. Was she on the home page, or the Google search page for “less wrong”?

Welcome to Less Wrong
lesswrong.com/ ▾
Less Wrong is an online community for people who want to apply the discovery of biases like the conjunction fallacy, the affect heuristic, and scope insensitivity ...

Google quotes that sentence out of context, so its wording is especially important.

Comment by roryokane on We Should Introduce Ourselves Differently · 2015-05-25T18:57:58.130Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The old introduction may be obscure, but at least it is informative. A visitor can follow the links …

I can’t tell from Nancy’s anecdote, but it is possible that her friend couldn’t follow the links on the home page, because she was actually on the Google search page:

Welcome to Less Wrong
lesswrong.com/ ▾
Less Wrong is an online community for people who want to apply the discovery of biases like the conjunction fallacy, the affect heuristic, and scope insensitivity ...

The sentence’s wording without links is important because Google quotes it in plaintext.

Comment by roryokane on Less Wrong lacks direction · 2015-05-25T18:46:14.585Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Writing on Less Wrong makes it easier to reach a large audience. New personal blogs would have trouble getting readers unless they were advertised in strategic places.

Comment by roryokane on Bragging Thread May 2015 · 2015-05-15T08:27:37.063Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

On my midterm exam in my college class Computer and Networking Security, I scored 88%, the highest in the class. About 18 other students took the test, and the mean of our scores was 62%. The exam will be graded on a curve, so my score is probably equivalent to A+.

I was the second-to-last student to finish the exam. This surprised me at the time, but now I think it must have been because I took more time to thoroughly think about the questions and show my work. On the other hand, I studied very little – only for 20 minutes, right before the exam. I am thankful that that turned out to be enough, and proud that I skimmed the slides effectively enough and paid enough attention in class that that’s all I needed.

Comment by roryokane on Things to consider when optimizing: Commuting, Transportation · 2014-11-11T04:37:54.196Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

One transportation option many people would not think of is an adult kick scooter. Kick scooters are most useful for speeding up trips of short distances, up to a few miles, on sidewalks and across roads. As of my research a few months ago, the cheapest one that would fit a non-short adult was the Razor A5 Lux Scooter, which currently costs $100.

The main advantage of a kick scooter is that unlike a bicycle, you can legally and more safely ride them on the sidewalk, so you don’t have to focus as much on navigating car or pedestrian traffic. Compared to other forms of short-distance transportation they are faster than walking, take less effort than running, and are easier to ride and safer than a skateboard. Also, since they are smaller than bicycles, they are somewhat easier to store in an office, but I don’t expect that that size difference is relevant to most people.

The main problem is that you still need to lock the scooter to something at your destination to prevent it being stolen. They are also unfashionable.

Because of the locking/storage problem, I decided that it would not be worth it for me to get a scooter. But others may find a kick scooter worth it for their travel habits.

Comment by roryokane on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-27T19:57:29.343Z · score: 30 (30 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey. Though I can’t remember my SAT score, which I know I put on the last survey – I wish I had saved my answers last year.

Comment by roryokane on On Caring · 2014-10-16T19:27:40.166Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

All morals are axioms, not theorems, and thus all moral claims are tautological.

Whatever morals we choose, we are driven to choose them by the morals we already have – the ones we were born with and raised to have. We did not get our morals from an objective external source. So no matter what your morals, if you condemn someone else by them, your condemnation will be tautoligcal.

Comment by roryokane on Politics is hard mode · 2014-07-23T19:25:03.787Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

A better slogan for that purpose might simply be "Politics makes for bad examples". Straight to the point. It needs explanation, just like the "mind-killer" slogan, but after the explanation it is easy to remember the reasoning behind it.

Comment by roryokane on Cult impressions of Less Wrong/Singularity Institute · 2014-05-24T06:18:57.824Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

PredictionBook might help with measuring improvement, in a limited way. You can use it to measure how often your predictions are correct, and whether you are getting better over time. And you could theoretically ask LW-ers and non-LW-ers to make some predictions on PredictionBook, and then compare their accuracy to see if Less Wrong helped. Making accurate predictions of likelihood is a real skill that certainly has the possibility to be very useful – though it depends on what you’re predicting.

Comment by roryokane on Rationality Quotes April 2014 · 2014-04-18T01:26:11.866Z · score: 19 (23 votes) · LW · GW

“If only there were irrational people somewhere, insidiously believing stupid things, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and mock them. But the line dividing rationality and irrationality cuts through the mind of every human being. And who is willing to mock a piece of his own mind?”

(With apologies to Solzhenitsyn).

– Said Achmiz, in a comment on Slate Star Codex’s post “The Cowpox of Doubt”

Comment by roryokane on Strategic choice of identity · 2014-03-15T03:17:28.771Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I would think the difference is that sociable people feel comfortable even in a less formal gathering, when you don’t know of anyone you would particularly like to talk to and nobody has asked you to talk. Even in such a situation, a sociable person could find something interesting to do, involving other people, and be reasonably confident that they are not being rude or boring, and end up enjoying whatever they find to do.

Comment by roryokane on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-30T19:20:49.616Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey.

I chose to Defect on the monetary reward prize question. Why?

  • I realized that the prize money is probably contributed by Yvain. And if $60-or-less were to be distributed between a random Less Wrong member and Yvain, I would rather as much of it as possible go to Yvain. This is because I know Yvain is smart and writes interesting posts, so the money could help him to contribute something to the world that another could not. Answering Defect lowers the amount of prize money, making Yvain keep more of it.
  • Also, I would rather I have the $60-or-less than anyone other Less Wrong member, and answering Defect gets me a bigger chance of that happening.

Edit: pgbh had the same reasoning.

Comment by roryokane on Halloween thread - rationalist's horrors. · 2013-11-02T00:32:55.710Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Link to the story: Friendship is Optimal. Though I wouldn’t call the story as a whole a horror story; rather, it has some fridge horror. And it is particularly horrifying to those interested in the singularity, rather than to rationalists in general.

Comment by roryokane on Supplementing memory with experience sampling · 2013-11-01T23:43:36.797Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Link to EmotionSense: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubhave.emotionsense&hl=en

Comment by roryokane on Human Memory: Problem Set · 2013-11-01T23:06:25.173Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

7. … I think of several things related to work that I really want to remember … as I'm trying to fall asleep …

I use my smartphone (Android) in cases similar to this, though it’s not usually work-related stuff that I think of. I have the sound recording app WAVE Recorder in my dock / quick launch area. If I want to note something for later with the minimum of fuss, it’s easy to unlock my phone, open the app, hit record, and briefly describe whatever it is that I thought of (or hum it, if it’s a piece of music). Then I just hit stop and lock the phone again.

However, the downside of recording audio is that it’s harder to read later. You can’t just skim what you wrote later to remind yourself what you said; you have to wait through the whole recording. This can be mitigated somewhat by giving the recorded audio file a relevant name. But sometimes I value reading the whole thing easily later more than noting the idea as quickly as possible right now.

In those cases, I write the idea down in a new Evernote note. Evernote is also in my phone’s dock. I use the SwiftKey Keyboard to write the idea quickly, and Lux to turn the screen’s brightness below the built-in minimum so that the screen doesn’t hurt my eyes or wake me up too much in the dark room.

Comment by roryokane on Solving the two envelopes problem · 2013-10-29T02:40:07.305Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The flaw in the argument is simply that it assumes E(X/Y) > 1 implies that E(X) > E(Y).

I didn’t understand this sentence very well at first, because the inequality on the right is two steps removed from the one on the left. I find this version clearer:

The flaw in the argument is simply that it assumes E(X/Y) > 1 implies that E(X) / E(Y) > 1. (If E(X) / E(Y) > 1, that would imply that E(X) > E(Y).)

Comment by roryokane on Three ways CFAR has changed my view of rationality · 2013-09-20T03:02:14.219Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

A hypothetical based on an amalgamation of my own experiences during a co-op:

You work as a programmer at a company that writes websites with the programming languages VBScript and VB.Net. You have learned enough about those languages to do your job, but you think the Ruby language is much more efficient, and you write your personal programming projects in Ruby. You occasionally go to meetings in your city for Ruby programmers, which talk about new Ruby-related technologies and techniques.

You are nearing the deadline for the new feature you were assigned to write. You had promised you would get the web page looking good in all browsers by today’s followup meeting about that feature. Fifteen minutes before the meeting, you realize that you forget to test in Internet Explorer 8. You open it in IE8 and find that the web page looks all messed up. You spend fifteen rushed minutes frantically looking up the problem you see and trying out code fixes, and you manage to fix the problem just before the meeting.

It’s just you, the technical lead, and the project manager at the meeting. You explain that you’ve finished your feature, and he nods, congratulates you, and makes note of that in his project tracker. Then he tells you what he wants you to work on next: an XML Reformatter. The XML documents used internally in one of the company’s products are poorly formatted and organized, with incorrect indentation and XML elements in random order. He suggests that you talk to the technical lead about how to get started, and leaves the meeting.

This project sounds like something that will be run only once – a one-time project. You have worked with XML in Ruby before, and are excited at the idea of being able to use your Ruby expertise in this project. You suggest to the technical lead that you write this program in Ruby.

“Hmm… no, I don’t think we should use Ruby for this project. We’re going to be using this program for a long time – running it periodically on our XML files. And all of our other programmers know VB.Net. We should write it in VB.Net, because I am pretty sure that another programmer is going to have to make a change to your program at some point.”

If you’re not thinking straight, at this point, you might complain, “I could write this program so much faster in Ruby. We should use Ruby anyway.” Yet that does not address the technical lead’s point, and ignores the fact that one of your assumptions has been revealed to be wrong.

If you are aware enough of your emotions to notice that you’re still on adrenaline from your last-minute fix, you might instead think, I don’t like the sound of missing this chance to use Ruby, but I might not be thinking straight. I’ll just accept that reasoning for now, and go back and talk to the technical lead in his office later if I think of a good argument against that point.

This is a contrived example. It is based on my experiences, but I exaggerate the situation and “your” behavior. Since I had to make many changes to the real situation to make an example that was somewhat believable, that would indicate that the specific tip you quoted isn’t applicable very often – in my life, at least.

Comment by roryokane on Improving Enjoyment and Retention Reading Technical Literature · 2013-08-19T04:37:43.783Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yvain posted a follow-up post, “Extreme Mnemonics”, on his own blog. Readers have posted many comments.

Comment by roryokane on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-15T07:11:37.818Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For one thing, I try not to read many in-progress fanfics. I’ve been burned so many times by starting to read a story and finding out that it’s abandoned that I rarely start reading new incomplete stories – at least with an expectation of them being finished. That means I don’t have to remember so many things at once – when I finish reading one fanfiction, I can forget it. Even if it’s incomplete, I usually don’t try to check back on it unless it has a fast update schedule – I leave it for later, knowing I’ll eventually look at my Favorites list again and read the newly-finished stories.

I also think of the stories in terms of a fictional multiverse, like the ones in Dimension Hopping for Beginners and the Stormseeker series (both recommended). I like seeing the different viewpoints on and versions of a universe. So that might be a way for you to tie all of the stories together – think of them as offshoots of canon, usually sharing little else.

I also have a personal rule that whenever I finish reading a big story that could take some digesting, I shouldn’t read any more fanfiction (from any fandom) until the next day. This rule is mainly to maximize what I get out of the story and prevent mindless, time-wasting reading. But it also lessens my confusing the stories with each other – it still happens, but only sometimes when I read two big stories on successive days.

Comment by roryokane on Exercise in dissolving · 2013-03-20T03:25:33.550Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A variant of this question was discussed on Mathematics Stack Exchange. The top answer has a good explanation of the nature of this question – “vg'f n zhygvcyr-pubvpr inevnag […] bs gur pynffvpny yvne cnenqbk” (un-ROT13).

Comment by roryokane on Trust in God, or, The Riddle of Kyon Fan Visual Novel · 2013-03-08T02:12:49.650Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The presence of so many Kyon: Big Damn Hero files in the repo is kind of confusing. Especially kbdh_trope_list.txt, which looked interesting, but then confused me in that it didn’t talk about Trust in God. If possible, you should remove the KBDH files from the repo.

If you want to keep those files around to use as references, you could move them into a separate folder out of the repo. Or keep them in your working copy but not commit them, with the help of a .gitignore file. Or at least move the files to their own folder so we don’t have to figure out which story each file belongs to.

Comment by roryokane on Seize the Maximal Probability Moment · 2013-03-05T09:32:35.191Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You could also call this “sieze the Schelling point”. You’re setting a Schelling fence for making the change between “the maximal probability moment” and “right after that” – if you slide past the Schelling fence, you can expect you will fail to make the change, and that encourages you to make the change now.

Comment by roryokane on What are your rules of thumb? · 2013-02-17T03:00:55.183Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed. To give an example, I currently have a bad habit of often being late for my first class of the day (in college). It’s a 50-minute long math lecture. When I’m late, I might arrive outside the classroom 15 minute after class has started. Standing outside, before I go in, I have an urge to skip the class entirely to avoid the embarassment of entering and sitting down in the middle of lecture, which would slightly disrupt class and draw the professor’s attention to my lateness. But when I gather my courage and enter anyway, I’m usually glad that I did, because I learn useful things in the remaining 35 minutes of class.

Comment by roryokane on Rationality Quotes January 2013 · 2013-01-05T01:26:52.786Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Specific source: Useful Notes: Japanese Language on TV Tropes

Comment by roryokane on Programming Thread · 2012-12-10T06:59:27.493Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A book that greatly improved my code was Clean Code by Robert C. Martin. It helped me understand things such as when code comments are appropriate and how to split code into well-factored functions. The book’s main flaw is that it’s sometimes hard to tell which of its advice is Java-specific and which is widely applicable. But I definitely still recommend it.

The author wrote another book, The Clean Coder, which is also about improving as a programmer. It’s not about coding well – it’s “a code of conduct for professional programmers”, and talks about things like when to say “no” to your boss, how to make a commitment, and how to estimate time for tasks. It was not as good as Clean Code, but it was helpful.

You can easily download ebooks of these from Google searches: Clean Code, The Clean Coder.

Comment by roryokane on One thousand tips do not make a system · 2012-11-30T06:26:50.436Z · score: 13 (13 votes) · LW · GW

When creating such a general algorithm, we must keep a human limitation in mind: subconscious, unsystemized thought. A practical algorithm must account for and exploit it.

There are two types of subconscious thought that an algorithm has to deal with. One is the top-level type that is part of being a human. It is only our subconscious that can fire off the process of choosing to apply a certain conscious algorithm. We won’t even start running our algorithm if we don’t notice that it applies in this situation, or if we don’t remember it, or if we feel bored by the thought of it. So our algorithm has to be friendly to our subconscious in these ways. Splitting the algorithm into multiple algorithms for different situations may be one way of accomplishing that.

The other type of subconscious thought is black-box function calls to our subconscious that our algorithm explicitly uses. This includes steps like like “choose which of these possibilities feels more likely” or “choose the option that looks like the most important”. We would call subconscious functions instead of well-defined sub-algorithms because they are much faster, and time is valuable. I suppose we just have to use our judgement to decide whether a subroutine should be ran explicitly or in our subconscious. (Try not to let the algorithm get stuck recursively calculating whether the time spent calculating the answer consciously instead of subconsciously would be worth the better answer.)

Comment by roryokane on One thousand tips do not make a system · 2012-11-30T05:58:26.315Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

I would call the “systems” you describe “algorithms”.

Looking at your examples, I see that your two “lists of tips” are slightly different. The first list is a combination of tips (aim for 22-30 workers) and facts about the situation (workers mine minerals; that’s how things work). The facts describe the problem you are designing an algorithm to solve. The tips describe solutions you would like your algorithm to aim for when those tips are applicable, but they are general goals, not specific actions. Your second list has no facts, only tips. And those tips are already expressed in the form of if-then statements (actions) that would be part (but just a part) of a larger algorithm.

Comment by roryokane on Collating widely available time/money trades · 2012-11-20T06:44:33.690Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

A link to the xkcd comic Working that was mentioned. Note that the comic also has bonus text in the image’s tooltip.

Comment by roryokane on [LINK] Temporal Binding · 2012-11-05T16:47:35.368Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, I often notice this same morphing of how people look in my memory. After briefly meeting a new person and then leaving them, I often try to remember their face and find the details slipping through my mental grasp, until I’m imagining someone else, such as a classmate from high school, who I’m more familiar with and who looks a bit like the new person. When this happens, I think to myself, “oh, it’s happened again, I’ve forgotten what they look like already”.

Comment by roryokane on 2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2012-11-05T00:09:41.773Z · score: 23 (23 votes) · LW · GW

I took the survey.

One thing I was unsure about: the appropriate answer to the question “Referrals: How did you find out about Less Wrong?”. I answered “Referred by a link on another blog”. But I actually investigated and discovered Less Wrong after seeing a bunch of links to it on Hacker News. Hacker News is really a link aggregation site or social news site, not a blog. But I thought that that answer was better than choosing “Other” and writing in “link from an aggregation site”.

Comment by roryokane on Signs you're on LW too much · 2012-10-13T01:52:45.374Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Link to translation: “N tbyq fgne vs lbh qrpbqrq guvf cneg.” through ROT13

Yes, I know it kind of ruins the point.

Comment by roryokane on Integrated Method for Policy Making Using Argument Modelling and Computer Assisted Text Analysis · 2012-10-13T01:10:18.133Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

A decision matrix is a very simple tool that can give an overview of an argument. Points for and against each alternative have positive and negative values.

However, if those values themselves depend on other calculations, or are interdependent, the decision matrix provides no way to display that, so it is not a complete modelling language.

Comment by roryokane on Integrated Method for Policy Making Using Argument Modelling and Computer Assisted Text Analysis · 2012-10-13T01:06:29.475Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Links:

Comment by roryokane on A possible solution to pascals mugging. · 2012-10-13T00:42:50.282Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

My unfinished outline-form notes on solving Pascal’s Mugging:

  • Pascal’s Mugger (http://www.nickbostrom.com/papers/pascal.pdf) possible solutions
    • Off – Pascal’s estimate might be farther off than the offered benefit, and how does he know how far to compensate?
    • Counter – there is a (smaller) probability that the man will give you the same amount of Utility only if you refuse. (Also a probability that will give way more Utility if refuse, but probably countered by probability that will give way more if accept.)
    • Known – the gambit is known, so that makes it more likely that he is tricking you – but sadly, no effect, I think.
    • Impossible – [My Dad]’s suspect argument: there is absolutely zero probability of the mugger giving you what he promises. There is no way to both extend someone’s lifespan and make them happy during it.
      • He could just take you out of the Matrix into a place where any obstacles to lengthy happiness are removed. There's still a probability of that, right?
    • God – maybe level of probability involved is similar to that of God's existence, with infinite heaven affecting the decision
    • Long-term – maybe what we should do in a one-shot event is different from what we should do if we repeated that event many times.
    • Assumption – one of the stated assumptions, such as utilitarianism or risk-neutrality, is incorrect and should not actually be held.
Comment by roryokane on A possible solution to pascals mugging. · 2012-10-13T00:40:02.825Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

This solution doesn’t work. Why? Because I pledge that if anyone fails to accept a “Pascal’s Mugging style trade-off with full knowledge of the problem, then I will slowly torture to death 3^^^^3 sentient minds”. I’ve just canceled out your pledge.

You could say all your allies take the same pledge as you, and you have more allies than me, but that’s getting too far into the practicalities of our lives and too far away from a general solution. A general solution can’t assume that the person considering whether to accept a Mugging will have heard either of our pledges, so the person would be unable to take those pledges into account for their decision.

I don’t know the actual solution to Pascal’s Mugging myself. I’ve pasted my outline-form notes on it so far into a reply to this comment, in case they’re useful.

Comment by roryokane on Causal Diagrams and Causal Models · 2012-10-13T00:22:14.431Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

My answer: Attributing causation is part of our human instincts. We are born with some desire to do it. We may develop that skill by reflecting on it during our lifetime.

(How did we humans develop that instinct? Evolution, probably. Humans who had mutated to reason about causality died less – for instance, they might have avoided drinking from a body of water after seeing something poisonous put in, because they reasoned that the poison addition would cause the water to be poisonous.)

Comment by roryokane on Thomas C. Schelling's "Strategy of Conflict" · 2012-10-01T11:16:36.829Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was able to download a copy from http://www.manyebooks.org/download/The_Strategy_of_Conflict.html, which links to http://www.en8848.com.cn/d/file/soft/Nonfiction/Obooks/201012/8bbb35724dcac415a5ecd74a62b2ba97.rar as the actual download link. That version is a 4.8 MB PDF file. It has equivalent image quality to the 17.4 MB PDF file hosted by Alicorn and is a smaller file.

Comment by roryokane on Schelling fences on slippery slopes · 2012-10-01T09:59:04.188Z · score: 11 (9 votes) · LW · GW

After I read Wikipedia’s article on Schelling points (a.k.a. “focal points”), this article made much more sense. I recommend reading it – it’s only three paragraphs at the moment.

In short, a Schelling point is a point that everybody agrees is an “obvious” cutoff point. That knowledge helped me understand this article’s point that Schelling points make good fences to precommit to because you can’t justify moving the fence anywhere else later – the other points are not nearly as “obvious”.

Comment by roryokane on Less Wrong Polls in Comments · 2012-09-23T04:05:49.639Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed it is. A Google search for “Pinky Pie” autocorrects to “Pinkie Pie”, while the inverse is not true. The first result in either case is a wiki article on “Pinkie Pie”.

Comment by roryokane on Less Wrong Polls in Comments · 2012-09-23T03:16:18.088Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The solution on Mathematics Stack Exchange

Comment by roryokane on Policy Debates Should Not Appear One-Sided · 2012-09-21T06:17:14.921Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Alternate title: “debates should acknowledge tradeoffs”. I think that mnemonic is more helpful.

Longer summary: “Debates should acknowledge tradeoffs. Don’t rationalize away apparent good points for the other side; it’s okay and normal for the other side to have some good points. Presumably, those points just won’t be strong enough in total to overwhelm yours in total. (Also, acknowledging tradeoffs is easier if you don’t think of the debate in terms of ‘your side’ and ‘their side’.)”

Comment by roryokane on Fictional Bias · 2012-04-12T01:41:39.885Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

There are such illusions that aren't: link (via Ironic Sans). These illusions appeared in the April 1971 issue of New Scientist magazine.

Comment by roryokane on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality predictions · 2012-04-12T00:34:30.505Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Though rarely updated, PredictionBook is open source. So at least you don't have to wait for the creators to fix it, if you know how to code. I wrote up an Issue for this bug, describing some starting points for fixing it.

Comment by roryokane on [Link] Correlation Graphs Reveal Shocking Information · 2011-12-25T11:20:31.528Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I don’t think these are very good examples. Those lines hardly look correlated, let alone casually related. I once read an article with a much better example, but I can’t find it now. It first talked about how if you looked through enough examples you could find any correlation, and then showed a very closely correlated graph of the stock market versus something about Venus, like its surface temperature or distance from the sun or something.

You can easily generate correlation examples with Google Correlate, such as how AppleWorks is causing the decline of the Japanese language.