Posts

LW/OB Rationality Quotes - August 2009 2009-08-06T13:35:40.985Z · score: 4 (9 votes)
Can chess be a game of luck? 2009-07-06T03:08:32.930Z · score: -2 (11 votes)

Comments

Comment by rune on Some reservations about Singer's child-in-the-pond argument · 2013-06-20T00:45:34.450Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Your last example is actually weaker than it could be. Even though it's completely equivalent, a better way to phrase this is the following:

The train is currently rushing to kill the child, and you're not part of this situation. You, sitting in your car far away, see this happening. You now have the choice to drive up to the tracks and leave your car on the tracks. This will save the child but destroy your car.

Now it's clear that you weren't part of the situation to begin with; you're just a distant observer who may choose to intervene.

Comment by rune on Maximizing Your Donations via a Job · 2013-05-06T02:53:39.982Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

"If you invest your money now, you might be able to make something like 10% annually with some risk."

Speaking of this, does anyone know of any LW posts or other articles about how to make the most of idle capital with some risk? Ideally with the risk analyzed by a competent Bayesian.

Comment by rune on Philosophy Needs to Trust Your Rationality Even Though It Shouldn't · 2012-11-30T00:52:25.767Z · score: 9 (13 votes) · LW · GW

I once met a philosophy professor who was at the time thinking about the problem "Are electrons real?" I asked her what her findings had shown thus far, and she said she thinks they're not real. I then asked her to give me examples of things that are real. She said she doesn't know any examples of such things.

Comment by rune on Neuroscience basics for LessWrongians · 2012-07-23T16:51:16.323Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

LessWrongers maybe? Instead of LessWrongians?

Comment by rune on The annoyingness of New Atheists: declaring God Dead makes you a Complete Monster? · 2011-01-16T18:43:21.082Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't mean to nitpick, but "ahteism" looks very weird when spelled that way.

Comment by rune on What Does Make a Difference? It’s Really Simple · 2010-06-15T04:26:44.323Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Seconded. Terrible exposition; it trivializes something that is non-trivial. Also, it would be nice if the writer used paragraphs and did not use CAPS (unless really shouting).

Comment by rune on Free copy of Feynman's autobiography for best corny rationalist joke · 2010-04-04T04:03:29.199Z · score: 16 (18 votes) · LW · GW

You're a rationalist if there's a portrait of you in an attic somewhere getting increasingly irrational everyday.

Comment by rune on Free copy of Feynman's autobiography for best corny rationalist joke · 2010-04-04T03:31:26.534Z · score: 8 (24 votes) · LW · GW

Rationalist pickup line: "If I asked you out, would your answer be the same as the answer to this question?"

Comment by rune on Open Thread: March 2010 · 2010-03-02T20:02:14.942Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks!

Comment by rune on Open Thread: March 2010 · 2010-03-02T05:03:08.971Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Say Omega appears to you in the middle of the street one day, and shows you a black box. Omega says there is a ball inside which is colored with a single color. You trust Omega.

He now asks you to guess the color of the ball. What should your probability distribution over colors be? He also asks for probability distributions over other things, like the weight of the ball, the size, etc. How does a Bayesian answer these questions?

Is this question easier to answer if it was your good friend X instead of Omega?

Comment by rune on Two probabilities · 2010-02-25T03:25:43.398Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I can't imagine anyone assigning the event probability 0.5 just because it's a Yes/No question. Does the probability drop to 1/3 if I added 1 more option to the question?

The person who assigns probability 1/k to all outcomes of any question with k options is NOT a Bayesian. That's someone who has misunderstood Bayes rule and should re-read all of Eliezer's posts.

Comment by rune on Two probabilities · 2010-02-15T17:20:12.243Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Why does the Bayesian say that the probability of there being life on Mars is 0.5?

Comment by rune on Singularity Institute $100K Challenge Grant / 2009 Donations Reminder · 2009-12-30T02:04:51.218Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I think the Methuselah Foundation's credit card idea might also be a good way to receive donations without people actively donating money. Probably also buys more warm fuzzies per dollar, since you can feel good every time you use your credit card.

Comment by rune on You Be the Jury: Survey on a Current Event · 2009-12-09T14:28:14.756Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

What is completely sad (besides this horrible murder case), is the inability of either website linked to present a coherent, rational argument. In fact, I haven't been able to find one website that reveals all facts and then explains them with their point of view in a rational (or even semi-rational) way.

I find this situation almost as depressing as the murder. I couldn't come to any conclusion based on the poor quality of reasoning used on most websites. Wikipedia, as usual, presents a decent collection of facts.

From the Wikipedia article I could only ascertain that Rudy Guede is very likely guilty. My probabilities for the other two being guilty are low (but have a lot of uncertainty), certainly not enough for me to feel that the verdict is correct.

Comment by rune on Test Your Calibration! · 2009-11-12T19:55:52.597Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Advice for future creators of tests: There are people who live outside the US. No one outside the US cares about the 3rd person to be the second dead uncle of the fourth president of the US.

For instance, a majority of tommccabe's quiz questions are highly US-specific.

The point here is that non-Americans will end up guessing almost all questions, making the whole exercise painful and useless.

Comment by rune on Waterloo, ON, Canada Meetup: 6pm Sun Oct 18 '09! · 2009-10-20T16:51:42.717Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, lots of fun was had. Thanks to Michael Vassar and Eliezer Yudkowsky for making it a fun evening for all of us!

Comment by rune on Waterloo, ON, Canada Meetup: 6pm Sun Oct 18 '09! · 2009-10-15T23:26:40.174Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'll just add my "yes", even though I suggested the meetup.

Comment by rune on Scott Aaronson on Born Probabilities · 2009-10-02T13:43:06.147Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

WeiDai, good work on reading through Scott's PostBQP=PP paper and explaining the BQP_p contained in NP result so clearly.

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-09-01T20:47:00.266Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, my interpretation was similar. It is far too specific to simply be used as an exhibit of sexist thinking.

Comment by rune on LW/OB Quotes - Fall 2009 · 2009-09-01T20:42:24.271Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

How is this an LW/OB quote?

Comment by rune on LW/OB Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:53:51.086Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

"There is a courage that goes beyond even an atheist sacrificing their life and their hope of immortality. It is the courage of a theist who goes against what they believe to be the Will of God, choosing eternal damnation and defying even morality in order to rescue a slave, or speak out against hell, or kill a murderer... You don't get a chance to reveal that virtue without making fundamental mistakes about how the universe works, so it is not something to which a rationalist should aspire. But it warms my heart that humans are capable of it."

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Comment by rune on LW/OB Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:53:21.484Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

"To worship a phenomenon because it seems so wonderfully mysterious, is to worship your own ignorance."

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Comment by rune on LW/OB Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:52:48.502Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"Ignorance exists in the map, not in the territory. If I am ignorant about a phenomenon, that is a fact about my own state of mind, not a fact about the phenomenon itself."

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Comment by rune on LW/OB Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:52:11.388Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"If you don't see where this is going, then you haven't read Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, which makes you incomplete as a human being."

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Comment by rune on LW/OB Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:51:49.759Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"The strength of a theory is not what it allows, but what it prohibits; if you can invent an equally persuasive explanation for any outcome, you have zero knowledge."

-- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:44:51.275Z · score: -1 (9 votes) · LW · GW

"If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity."

-- Deuteronomy 25:11-12 (New International Version)

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:44:23.146Z · score: 8 (10 votes) · LW · GW

"If you’ve never missed a flight, you’re spending too much time in airports."

-- Umesh Vazirani (as quoted by Scott Aaronson)

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:43:35.947Z · score: 23 (27 votes) · LW · GW

"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."

-- M. Cartmill

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - August 2009 · 2009-08-06T03:43:23.078Z · score: 9 (11 votes) · LW · GW

"It’s hard to argue with a counter-example."

-- Roger Brockett

Comment by rune on Religion and conservation of evidence · 2009-07-28T01:32:04.519Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

So every possible economic status increases the priors of being religious. Wait, that can't be right.

Increase the priors? Compared to what?

Comment by rune on Bayesian Flame · 2009-07-26T17:55:03.202Z · score: 10 (12 votes) · LW · GW

Can you give a detailed numerical examples of some problem where the Bayesian and Frequentist give different answers, and you feel strongly that the Frequentist's answer is better somehow?

I think you've tried to do that, but I don't fully understand most of your examples. Perhaps if you used numbers and equations, that would help a lot of people understand your point. Maybe expand on your "And here's an ultra-short example of what frequentists can do" idea?

Comment by rune on The Price of Integrity · 2009-07-23T13:07:24.801Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Agreed. I would also conjecture that a very large fraction of Rationalists will not tell them to pull the trigger. Integrity and honor are not very useful when you're dead.

Moreover, the fact that one is an atheist is excellent when being forcefully converted to a different religion. There is no sky-Dawkins watching over atheists who will be angered by this conversion.

Comment by rune on Good Quality Heuristics · 2009-07-15T03:03:38.940Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why? Regardless of his strategy, you do no worse by switching.

Comment by rune on The Fixed Sum Fallacy · 2009-07-03T16:32:21.646Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was just going to say the same thing. Gambler's Fallacy is a nice name too.

Comment by rune on Mate selection for the men here · 2009-06-04T02:22:21.328Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Excellent post. We need more posts on this topic. The best rationalists I know are single and lonely. They're holding out for a strong female rationalist, I presume.

Comment by rune on With whom shall I diavlog? · 2009-06-03T13:50:49.878Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Would be excellent! I'm sure EY and SA could find a large set of topics on which they disagree.

Comment by rune on With whom shall I diavlog? · 2009-06-03T13:49:23.426Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Also seconded. Considering Scott's humorous remark (http://scottaaronson.com/blog/?p=328) to rename his blog to "Wallowing in Bias" and respond to OB posts!

Comment by rune on Rationality quotes - May 2009 · 2009-05-21T02:24:57.525Z · score: 21 (25 votes) · LW · GW

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

-- H. L. Mencken

Comment by rune on Rationality quotes - May 2009 · 2009-05-21T02:23:34.536Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

"If you understand something in only one way, then you do not really understand it at all." -- Marvin Minsky, The Society of Mind

Comment by rune on Rationality quotes - May 2009 · 2009-05-21T02:23:01.530Z · score: 0 (10 votes) · LW · GW

"There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California." -- Edward Abbey

Comment by rune on Rationality quotes - May 2009 · 2009-05-21T02:21:36.709Z · score: 3 (7 votes) · LW · GW

"Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language and forthwith it is something entirely different." -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Comment by rune on Rationality quotes - May 2009 · 2009-05-21T02:20:58.647Z · score: 1 (11 votes) · LW · GW

"You are a woman: you must never speak what you think; your words must contradict your thoughts, but your actions may contradict your words." -- William Congreve

Comment by rune on A Request for Open Problems · 2009-05-08T22:45:26.047Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Scott Aaronson has a STOC paper on this: http://arxiv.org/abs/cs.CC/0406061

Comment by rune on Framing Consciousness · 2009-05-08T11:57:34.750Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Vladimir_Nesov says it brilliantly. That's exactly what I felt, and was unable to put down in words eloquently.

Comment by rune on Essay-Question Poll: Dietary Choices · 2009-05-03T17:52:17.578Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW
  1. I don't eat: All sorts of meat, including seafood.
  2. It's healthier. Also, eating animals sounds disgusting.
  3. Very very strictly. Never eaten meat in my life.
  4. I might encourage it.
  5. Never tried.
  6. I think my diet gives me complete nutrition.
  7. Don't care.
  8. Always the same. Since the beginning.
  9. Doesn't apply.
  10. Nope.
Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - April 2009 · 2009-04-18T21:07:11.758Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What does one mean when one denies the truth of ~(p^~p)? I would guess the person means that this statement is not always true, and thus there exists a p for which this statement is false. Which would mean that there is a p for which p and ~p are simultaneously true.

Of course this doesn't mean that the person believes that "to be beaten is the same as not to be beaten", but it's an amusing quote.

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - April 2009 · 2009-04-18T21:00:18.091Z · score: 29 (31 votes) · LW · GW

Sheldon: "More wrong?" Wrong is an absolute state and not subject to gradation.

Stuart: Of course it is. It's a little wrong to call a tomato a vegetable; it's very wrong to say it's a suspension bridge.

-- The Big Bang Theory

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - April 2009 · 2009-04-18T18:42:02.921Z · score: 12 (20 votes) · LW · GW

"Science is interesting and if you don't agree, you can fuck off."

-- Richard Dawkins quoting a former editor of New Scientist magazine.

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - April 2009 · 2009-04-18T18:31:26.589Z · score: 10 (16 votes) · LW · GW

"People will then often say, 'But surely it's better to remain an Agnostic just in case?' This, to me, suggests such a level of silliness and muddle that I usually edge out of the conversation rather than get sucked into it. (If it turns out that I've been wrong all along, and there is in fact a god, and if it further turned out that this kind of legalistic, cross-your-fingers-behind-your-back, Clintonian hair-splitting impressed him, then I think I would choose not to worship him anyway.)" -- Douglas Adams

Comment by rune on Rationality Quotes - April 2009 · 2009-04-18T18:11:00.275Z · score: 9 (15 votes) · LW · GW

"Anyone who denies the law of non-contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned." -- Avicenna, Medieval Philosopher