Why hasn't there been research on the effectiveness of zinc for Covid-19? 2020-08-24T20:58:33.962Z
A community-curated repository of interesting GPT-3 stuff 2020-07-28T14:16:50.475Z
Born as the seventh month dies ... 2020-07-10T15:07:32.434Z
How do you visualize the Poisson PDF? 2020-07-05T15:54:49.343Z
Old-world Politics Fallacy 2020-06-23T12:32:55.946Z
SlateStarCodex deleted because NYT wants to dox Scott 2020-06-23T07:51:30.859Z
Rudi C's Shortform 2020-06-22T11:03:02.043Z
Creating better infrastructure for controversial discourse 2020-06-16T15:17:13.204Z
How do you find good content on Youtube? 2020-06-13T12:29:00.859Z
Why isn’t assassination/sabotage more common? 2020-06-04T18:04:40.509Z
What newsletters are you subscribed to, and why? 2020-05-14T14:47:17.584Z
What should I study to understand real-world economics? (I.e., To gain financial literacy) 2020-04-08T19:22:02.807Z
Idea: Create a podcast of admin tagged posts using AI TTS like Amazon Polly 2020-04-08T10:07:52.694Z
What is the literature on effects of vaccines on the central nervous system? 2020-03-31T08:43:40.562Z
How do you study a math textbook? 2020-03-24T18:43:56.815Z
Is cardio enough for longevity benefits of exercise? 2020-01-03T19:57:18.167Z
What is your recommended statistics textbook for a beginner? 2019-12-28T21:19:38.200Z
What subfields of mathematics are most useful for what subfields of AI? 2019-12-06T20:45:31.606Z
What sources (i.e., blogs) of nonfiction book reviews do you find most useful? 2019-11-28T19:43:21.408Z
What video games are more famous in our community than in the general public? 2019-10-23T19:07:29.417Z
What are your recommendations on books to listen to when doing, e.g., chores? 2019-09-26T14:50:38.019Z
Encourage creating repositories on Github instead of Lesswrong 2019-09-26T09:34:12.718Z
How to see the last update date of a post? 2019-09-26T08:37:12.940Z
What things should everyone websearch? 2019-09-25T22:24:42.413Z
What are the studies and literature on the traditional medicine theory of humorism? 2019-09-18T16:06:36.437Z
How do I reach a conclusion on how many eggs per week are healthy? 2019-09-15T15:44:16.753Z
What are some podcasts that just read aloud worthwhile content? 2019-09-09T08:41:29.970Z
Do you have algorithms for passing time productively with only your own mind? 2019-09-07T20:48:42.084Z


Comment by rudi-c on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T09:13:32.387Z · LW · GW

I have not looked into this either, but I am pretty sure most people prefer having extra density (if that is even a thing) than not living where they want/giving half their income to housing. Sunlight is not that valuable to people. (And suburbs are always an option.) Ventilation will not be a problem based on my own (admittedly very limited) time in dense mega-apartments, but pollution will be. Of course, the solution to pollution is not about housing; We need, e.g., electric cars.

Comment by rudi-c on Propinquity Cities So Far · 2020-11-17T09:00:04.514Z · LW · GW

This system doesn’t seem to weigh in money. We use money as a general stand-in for societal debt/value, and so richer people should be given some preference in resource allocation schemes, otherwise the whole concept of money will become meaningless and people will just start accruing political power instead of a defanged currency.

It also looks impossible for our current competence. You should probably think of much smaller markets for which this strategy might work first. We have nothing currently like this. The nearest things are democratic elections which suck, and we use them because we have nothing better. Heck, the current housing market is strongly limited by government regulation; What makes you think the political institutions wouldn’t mess up this voting system even worse? (E.g., they can give preference to certain needs, such as medical facilities. This will allow the system to essentially change the allocations at will by micromanaging the priorities.)

Comment by rudi-c on Signalling & Simulacra Level 3 · 2020-11-16T09:32:16.640Z · LW · GW

Aren't the symbols hardcoded to mean sth? Your parents keep using "Apple" to refer to an apple, and you hardcode that symbol to stand for apples. Of course, the devil is in the details, but I think developmental linguistics should probably have some existing literature, and the question doesn't seem that mysterious to me.

Comment by rudi-c on Signalling & Simulacra Level 3 · 2020-11-16T09:27:15.956Z · LW · GW

In some sense, the signalling theory only allows for reasoning by association rather than structured logical reasoning, because the meaning of any particular thing is just its probabilistic associations.

ES: Uncertain.

To properly assess the probabilistic associations that a certain set of symbols has, we humans need to first unpack the set to its literal/usual meaning. So when I say "A -> B; Not B.", this first gets parsed and its logical meaning extracted, then this meaning plus the symbols themselves get used to find the probabilistic meaning.

Of course, this process doesn't happen neatly, and some people might use more heuristical methods and skip parsing the symbols partially (i.e., they pattern-match on the current uttering and previous utterances, and directly use the nearest cached Bayesian meaning available). This seems to be pretty common among normal people, and a constant source of friction with intellectuals.

Comment by rudi-c on Fiction of interest · 2020-11-16T08:56:34.737Z · LW · GW

Hedonism is so beastial.

Comment by rudi-c on Think in Terms of Actions, not Attributes · 2020-11-12T10:31:52.670Z · LW · GW

I think your post recommendation is a combination of unbundling and relying less on heuristics. Both are expensive and g-loaded (probably), and a good portion of their benefits go to other people, not the agent itself. Still, I agree that most people should do more of these, as their genetic programming has been tuned for far simpler societies.

Comment by rudi-c on Should students be allowed to give good teachers a bonus? · 2020-11-03T12:40:11.526Z · LW · GW

I don't know about the US education market, but here in Iran, the students don't have much choice at all. Even if they know a professor sucks, they are forced to take his class because the classes of good professors fill up, and they need to pass the course. 

Comment by rudi-c on Rudi C's Shortform · 2020-10-27T23:43:49.137Z · LW · GW

Another Vitamin D Covid study:

Comment by rudi-c on Covid 10/22: Europe in Crisis · 2020-10-25T17:55:54.344Z · LW · GW

Btw, those cream-colored charts are from . It's a very good tool.

Comment by rudi-c on Industrial literacy · 2020-10-21T23:27:01.706Z · LW · GW

True, but the value is to them. (And what they pay to save the infant has a major signaling component. From what I see of my grandparents who lived in a much more traditional era (Iran's modernization is more recent.), they did not value young children that much, and recognized the reality that they could just have another child relatively cheaply.) That value will be discounted heavily in my utility function, as it does not contribute either directly to me or to the core needs of my society. (Kind of reminds me of Malthusianism; Humanity right now could probably live a lot less bullshitty if it had controlled its population more intelligently.)

Comment by rudi-c on Industrial literacy · 2020-10-19T01:54:05.336Z · LW · GW

Not the OP, but I do think that an infant is not worth much except their sentimental value to their family. A nitpick: "replaceability" is rather different from "worthlessness." Humans are obviously pretty replaceable, as evidenced by us all being replaced in around half a century. The question that is interesting to ask is, how much does a society improve (economically?) when its childhood mortality falls?

Comment by rudi-c on A prior for technological discontinuities · 2020-10-19T01:02:23.579Z · LW · GW

Persian calendar which doesn’t require leap days

This is news to me. We do have leap days every 4 years (called "Kabiseh" years).

Comment by rudi-c on Everything I Know About Elite America I Learned From ‘Fresh Prince’ and ‘West Wing’ · 2020-10-12T14:50:06.218Z · LW · GW

The rss link:

Comment by rudi-c on Numeracy neglect - A personal postmortem · 2020-10-05T21:12:58.261Z · LW · GW

How many people actually know how to use a computer though? In my experience, most people can not use computers effectively; I.e., they can't install arbitrary programs (with notable examples being OSes and drivers), they don't understand the basic abstractions (e.g., the filesystem) well, they can't use CLI apps (which severely limits what tools they can use, and is not a skill that only programmers need), ... . They basically want to use the computer like it's an iPhone.

Comment by rudi-c on Surviving Petrov Day · 2020-09-27T07:53:19.526Z · LW · GW

How long is the petrov thing going to last? 

Comment by rudi-c on Rudi C's Shortform · 2020-09-26T12:43:31.887Z · LW · GW

Can we agree on a tag for posts that show some product that might be of interest to LWers? (Similar to

Example posts:

Comment by rudi-c on Let the AI teach you how to flirt · 2020-09-19T08:46:42.152Z · LW · GW

Causation != correlation seems to me to be a huge hurdle in extracting any practical advice from the research.

Comment by rudi-c on Updates Thread · 2020-09-09T17:24:30.996Z · LW · GW

It’s pretty simple, I think; The cost of the problems of Google Doc fall on you, with a small cost on Google itself, and negligible cost on the decision makers in Google responsible.

PS: Couldn’t you just copy the code you wrote in an editor to the Doc? If not, this might be hidden upside: They can watch as people code on Google Doc (as far as I remember), but doing this with an editor is somewhat harder. (VSCode’s liveshare or using a TUI editor in a shared tmux session seem better solutions to me, but Google optimizes for the lowest common denominator.)

Comment by rudi-c on Thiel on Progress and Stagnation · 2020-08-25T23:19:52.622Z · LW · GW

using it to identify non-productive employees can be very anti-social and discriminatory

I believe the opposite is true; Not rewarding the productive ones and punishing the unproductive workers is clearly discriminating against the good people. Sure, giving everyone a UBI that doesn't break the economy is a very humane thing to do, but forcefully making productive workers subsidize bad ones, without giving them social/economic credit, is plain evil.

Comment by rudi-c on Why hasn't there been research on the effectiveness of zinc for Covid-19? · 2020-08-25T22:26:10.766Z · LW · GW

But wouldn't governments have a big incentive to do this? Even for private companies, it can bring them a lot of goodwill for presumably not that much money ...

Comment by rudi-c on Longevity interventions when young · 2020-07-25T14:21:59.438Z · LW · GW
  • What do you mean by the advice "test your drugs"?
  • Which blood biomarkers do you measure for assessing the effectiveness of the supplements?
  • What's your intuition on the expected life added by researching this stuff personally and in-depth?
Comment by rudi-c on Using books to prime behavior · 2020-07-25T14:11:53.594Z · LW · GW

My own suspicion in these cases is that these techniques don't work and are unsustainable hacks that temporarily shift the equilibrium of my thought. Or perhaps they do work but the mind adapts to them (like drugs) and so they'll lose their usefulness. After all, I don't forget useful things that I commonly use. even when they become implicit knowledge, I can still feel that the implicit skill is there and see its results.

Comment by rudi-c on "Should Blackmail Be Legal" Hanson/Zvi Debate (Sun July 26th, 3pm PDT) · 2020-07-25T14:00:56.603Z · LW · GW

I recently got an email from JuliaCon, they had attached an ics file that contained all the events and I could just open it and my calendar would automatically import them and send me notifications. That's a good practice for event organizers.

Comment by rudi-c on Is this viable physics? · 2020-07-25T11:27:33.035Z · LW · GW

It might lead to new insights by showing that some properties are shared by all Turing-simulateable universes.

Comment by rudi-c on Rudi C's Shortform · 2020-07-20T11:16:20.120Z · LW · GW

When the Coronavirus started in the winter, I spend quite a bit of time reading related info, mostly from the LW diaspora but some from elsewhere. After some time passed, I noticed that this seems to be low value and procrastinatory, so I have not read much more about the topic. Recently, my sibling (who has had contact with a known Coronavirus infected person) has been showing some cold symptoms, and I am wondering if there are any summary posts of the practical stuff?

I took a look at the practical advice thread, but I had already read the top posts before, and the thread is also quite old and scattered. Recent Coronavirus posts seem to be only from Zvi, who focuses more on epidemiological statistics, and not practical advice, as far as I have read. Hasn’t there been new actionable info in the recent months?

Comment by rudi-c on Rudi C's Shortform · 2020-07-13T20:08:15.946Z · LW · GW

These caterpillars go dormant when frozen in the arctic, and come alive again.

Comment by rudi-c on ozziegooen's Shortform · 2020-07-12T18:28:21.384Z · LW · GW

I feel most people, including myself, don't even use the aggregators already available. For example, there are lots of indices and statistics (ideally there should be much more, but anyways), but I rarely go out of my way to consume them. Some examples I just thought of:

There are several popular books that throw surprising statistics around, like Factfulness; This suggests a lot of us are disconnected from basic statistics, that we presumably could easily get by just googling.

Comment by rudi-c on Sherrinford's Shortform · 2020-07-12T18:18:00.838Z · LW · GW

I read Black Swan early in my introduction to heuristics and biases, in my teens. I remember that the book was quite illuminating for me, though I disliked Taleb's narcissism and his disrespect for the truth. I don't think it was so much "insightful" as helping me internalize a few big insights. The book's content definitely overlaps a lot with beginner rationality, so you might not find it worthwhile after all. I read a bit of FbR and about half of Antifragile as well, but I found those much less interesting.

An aside: Taleb talks about general topics. It's hard to say new things in that market (it's saturated), and the best parts of his new insights have already become part of the common lexicon.

Comment by rudi-c on Born as the seventh month dies ... · 2020-07-11T08:05:22.450Z · LW · GW

It’s not about excluding that case. It’s about not counting it twice. Search for the inclusion-exclusion principle to see the reasoning behind it. 

Comment by rudi-c on Born as the seventh month dies ... · 2020-07-11T08:03:52.553Z · LW · GW

You’re correct, but I still don’t find the scenario I am describing intuitive by my system 1. If I think about it (especially now that I have analyzed the problem rigorously), yes, I’ll feel that the probability should increase (though of course, with nowhere near the precision of the Bayes rule), but if you just asked me this problem yesterday, and I wasn’t watching for trap questions, I’d give you a wrong answer.

I just found Wikipedia has a whole page on this, named the girl and boy paradox. They cover lots of details there.

Comment by rudi-c on Born as the seventh month dies ... · 2020-07-11T07:01:58.544Z · LW · GW

I don’t think your analysis is right; For one, if you know that the random variable D is Monday, your problem reduces to mine; In the simulation, you have set D incorrectly ( D=Y1in the case both are boys. This makes no sense. You are ignoring the case where the first boy is not born on Monday, but the second one is.), and it is not a simulation of the probability you have written. 

The second example; I’m not sure what your conclusion on it is. It seems like the Monty Hall problem to me, i.e., Alice is still having a chance of 1/3, but Charlie now has 2/3 chance to die. Because:

P(Bob | Alice) = 1/2

P(Bob | Charlie) = 1

Comment by rudi-c on When is evolutionary psychology useful? · 2020-07-11T06:45:24.469Z · LW · GW

This is really a rather subjective thing, so the only thing I can do is produce some examples that are somewhat true for myself. Let’s name my desirability function for a mate f.

I have f( x | x is male) near zero, while I think that if my mind was architectured ideally according to my values, it’d be much higher. True, there are strong statistical differences between the sexes that make being female a good heuristic of things I like in a mate, and also there are very rare males I’d find sexy, but still, if I know a male M who has my desired characteristic, even if he is not sexy, f(M) should be much higher than zero.

I find young people more attractive, usually the younger the better. I might have a strong inclination to not even consider someone 5 years older than me for a mate. But when I think about the things I value, much of them are mental characteristics which are very rare in the population, and some of them correlate positively with age, plus the fact that older people are probably more unwanted by other people, it seems a dumb move for me to ignore them.

It’s not easy for me to produce examples for dating, because I feel my interests there are already mostly aligned. But let me give an example that feels more salient to me. I really enjoy playing civilization. When I’m playing, I always want to reach the next Schelling point of that important milestone before quitting. When I analyze my feelings and intuition though, through their evolutionary context, it’s clear to me that I am mistaking my “core” activities. My brain is categorizing something truly important like studying as a religious chore that does not produce value, while thinking of Civilization as the core activity that brings us status and power in the tribe. Of course, this is quite a fatal mistake, so I try to align myself by reminding myself that no, it is the studying that brings me status and stuff, and I should convert my “One more turns” energies into “One more pages.” This is somewhat of a successful endeavor for me; My subagents find the argument convincing and become somewhat better aligned, though they do need lots of reminding not to revert.

Comment by rudi-c on When is evolutionary psychology useful? · 2020-07-10T20:33:24.041Z · LW · GW

I think evpsy is general enough that a socially savvy person won't gain much by learning about it (e.g., to a first approximation, people love sex and status and their morality is merely virtue signalling), but a less worldly person might. I personally learned about evpsy early in my childhood (probably around 4th grade), so it helped me a lot (especially since I am a damned idealist). Epistemically speaking, it's also very satisfying to know WHY the hell people love, say, power instead of an infinity of other things that some mind can like.

Another example; Why do non-famous people waste so much time on Twitter? A normal answer might be that people are very social. Evpsy can enhance this answer by providing the reason people are so social, and also telling you that in this instance their behavior is maladaptive and they are executing the wrong heuristic. The normal answer can not give you this, because if people are just inherently social, that's their personal characteristic that can't be 'wrong.' I.e., evpsy can help us recognize which of our own values are suspect and misaligned with our core values.

In your own example of dating, this last technique can help you see that your desirability function for women probably is quite disaligned with your actual values, and you'll gain a lot by meditating on what you really value and fixing your desirability function. The technique can be quite helpful in fixing your nutrition as well.

Comment by rudi-c on Born as the seventh month dies ... · 2020-07-10T19:58:56.499Z · LW · GW

You're not stating what probability rules (theorems/axioms) you are using (you're probably going by intuition), and you have made mistakes. p(one brother born on Tuesday in a in two-boy family) is not 2/7; It's 1/7 + 1/7 - (1/7)(1/7) because you're counting the two children both being born on Tuesday twice. The same mistake has been made in calculating p(out of all two person families, having one be a boy born on Tuesday); The correct answer is (1/2)(1/7) + (1/2)(1/7) - (1/2)(1/7)(1/2)(1/7).

The rule you're not following is:

P(A or B) = P(A) + P(B) - P(A and B)

When these mistakes are corrected, the correct answer comes out:

((1/7 + 1/7 - (1/7)*(1/7))*1/4)/((1/2)*(1/7) + (1/2)*(1/7) - (1/2)*(1/7)*(1/2)*(1/7)) = 13/27 =~ 0.4814

Comment by rudi-c on Featured Tags: July 2020 · 2020-07-09T20:39:57.903Z · LW · GW

Having a way to separate new tagged notifications from other notifs would be a plus. I think the notif system should also not trigger for old (>6 months) posts, at least not now in the initial phase. My inbox is full of tag notifications now.

Comment by rudi-c on Conceptual engineering: the revolution in philosophy you've never heard of · 2020-07-08T09:30:14.244Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the long reply. 

An aside: I think "moderate relativism" is somewhat tautologically true, but I also think it's a very abused and easy-to-abuse idea that shouldn't be acknowledged with these terms. I think that perhaps saying morality is "value-centric" or "protocol-based" (each referring to a different part of "morality". By the second part, I mean a social protocol for building consensus and coordination.) is a better choice of words. After all, relativism implies that, e.g., we can't punish people who do honor killings. This is mostly false, and does not follow from the inherent arbitrariness of morality.

On our inability to fight bad epistemics: I think this is somewhat of an advantage. It seems to me that "traditional rationality" was/is mostly focused on this problem of consensus-truth, but LW abandoned that fort and instead saw that smarter, more rational people could do better for themselves if they stopped fighting the byzantine elements of more normal people. So in LW we speak of the importance of priors and Bayes, which is pretty much a mindkiller for "religious" (broadly conceived) people. A theist will just say that his prior in god is astronomical (which might actually be true) and so the current Bayes factor does not make him not believe. All in all, building an accurate map is a different skillset than making other people accept your map. It might be a good idea to treat them somewhat separately. My own suspicion is that there is something akin to the g factor for being rational, and of course, the g factor itself is highly relevant. So in my mind, I think making normal people "rational" might not even be possible. Sure, (immense) improvement is possible, but I doubt most people will come to "our" ways. For one, epistemic rationality often makes me one worse off by default, especially in more "normal" social settings. I have often contrasted my father's intelligent irrationality with my own rationality, and he usually comes much ahead.

Comment by rudi-c on What should we do about network-effect monopolies? · 2020-07-06T18:07:04.823Z · LW · GW

Sorry, meant to ask if it’s a median or a mean; The words escaped me then.

Comment by rudi-c on Conceptual engineering: the revolution in philosophy you've never heard of · 2020-07-06T15:52:57.252Z · LW · GW

(Comment on the meta-seq)

I think most LWers will agree that philosophy has a lot of useful concepts to contribute (and probably near duplicates of almost all ideas on LW), but the problem is finding the good stuff. It’s pretty obvious that the signal-to-noise ratio is much much better in LW versus “philosoph.” Philosophy does not even mean analytic philosophy. Most people I know who wanted to wet their feet in philosophy, started with Sophie’s World. The very fact that you’re utilizing so much expert knowledge and a bounty system to find LW’s ideas in philosophy is strong evidence against philosophy.

I still think the meta-seq project is awesome. I hope you can publish a bibliography of high quality philosophical material. 

Comment by rudi-c on Schelling Categories, and Simple Membership Tests · 2020-07-06T15:18:52.985Z · LW · GW

The writing style would benefit from not assuming that readers will open and read the links. A short summary (one sentence in a parenthetical) would be helpful for important links. Perhaps you’re assuming Lesswrong’s hover preview in choosing this style, but that hover view doesn’t work in some contexts (including mobile and ereaders).

Comment by rudi-c on What should we do about network-effect monopolies? · 2020-07-06T15:04:12.857Z · LW · GW

Is that average ad revenue a mean or a real average? 

Comment by rudi-c on Rob B's Shortform Feed · 2020-07-02T10:05:12.205Z · LW · GW

How is the signal being kept “costly/honest” though? Is the pain itself the cost? That seems somewhat weird ...

Comment by rudi-c on Rudi C's Shortform · 2020-07-02T09:10:04.651Z · LW · GW

Just read Bostrom’s Pascal’s Mugging; Can’t the problem be solved as follows?

I have a probability estimate E0 in my head for the mugger giving me X (X being a lot) utility if I give them my money. E0 is not a number, as my brain does not seem to work with our traditional floating point numbers. What data structure actually represents E0, is not clear to me, but I can say E0 is a feeling of “empirically next to impossible, game-theoretically inadvisable to act on it being true”. Now, what’s the probability of I getting X utility tomorrow without giving the mugger my money? Let’s call that E1. E1 is “empirically next to impossible.” So giving my money to the mugger does NOT increase my expected utility gain at all! In fact, it decreases it, as I process E0 as a lower probability than E1 (because E0 is game-theoretically negative while E1 is neutral).

Now, you might say this is not solving the problem but bypassing it. I don’t feel this is true. Anyone who has studied numerical computation knows that errors are important and we can never have precise numbers.

Comment by rudi-c on The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world? · 2020-07-01T07:30:41.692Z · LW · GW

A related already named bias is the halo effect.

Comment by rudi-c on Rudi C's Shortform · 2020-06-30T13:59:11.950Z · LW · GW

Are there any good introductory textbooks on decision theory? I searched some months ago, but only found a nontechnical philosophical book ...

Comment by rudi-c on ozziegooen's Shortform · 2020-06-30T13:58:03.348Z · LW · GW

Nothing is a low bar though. :)

Comment by rudi-c on The Illusion of Ethical Progress · 2020-06-29T10:34:01.336Z · LW · GW

I enjoyed the first part of the post on how our sense of ethical progress might be an illusion. It’d do nicely as an isolated post.

The second part that goes on advocating mysticism reads like a non sequitur. It’s an extraordinary claim that most secular STEM people have low priors for. Evidence is not presented for it. It is implied that somehow mysticism can escape the criticism of the first part. This implication does not follow for any not already in the choir.

So the whole post feels like propaganda; A somewhat interesting point is made, and then an unrelated position presented. It relies on the emotional goodwill of the first part to carry the second.

Comment by rudi-c on The Illusion of Ethical Progress · 2020-06-29T10:33:07.705Z · LW · GW

I enjoyed the first part of the post on how our sense of ethical progress might be an illusion. It’d do nicely as an isolated post.

The second part that goes on advocating mysticism reads like a non sequitur. It’s an extraordinary claim that most secular STEM people have low priors for. Evidence is not presented for it. It is implied that somehow mysticism can escape the criticism of the first part. This implication does not follow for any not already in the choir.

So the whole post feels like propaganda; A somewhat interesting point is made, and then an unrelated position presented. It relies on the emotional goodwill of the first part to carry the second.

Comment by rudi-c on The Illusion of Ethical Progress · 2020-06-29T10:25:37.949Z · LW · GW

I am not even an amateur on mysticism, but I doubt the “shared maps” hypothesis. What I’ve known of religions certainly are contradictory maps. Another hypothesis I advance is that mystics generally speak with vague terms. I.e., they share very rough templates of their maps that can then be retrofitted to many a different map. Mystics who seek other disciplines out also have an incentive to make themselves seem united and similar. (My propaganda Islamic textbooks often labor on how all religions are essentially the same and Islam is their latest version in a linear space.) It might even be that the process of extracting those vague templates from their maps somehow produces similar templates. Their maps almost certainly share several constraints of medium making them more similar, like the constraint of human appeal and allowing hierarchical growth (so that the novice can always “aspire” to the master’s level.).

Comment by rudi-c on The Illusion of Ethical Progress · 2020-06-29T10:11:03.213Z · LW · GW

This is a complex claim not backed by a lot of evidence. My heuristics scream pseudoscience.

Comment by rudi-c on Map Errors: The Good, The Bad, and The Territory · 2020-06-27T18:02:08.750Z · LW · GW

I can summarize this post as follows:


There is always a danger of being overconfident in our beliefs. So it is a very good idea to take the conventional wisdom seriously when we are dealing with high-stakes situations, and plan in a way that won’t lead to a disaster according to the outside view.