Comment by sakranut on College discussion thread · 2014-04-02T02:24:11.351Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

A similar offer for anyone admitted/visiting Yale!

Comment by sakranut on Meetup : Yale: Initial Meetup · 2014-02-11T05:25:27.531Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I will try to be there!

Comment by sakranut on What rationality material should I teach in my game theory course · 2014-01-14T03:26:16.652Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

I am an economics major at Yale and would be very skeptical of a game theory course that deviated too far from the theory of winning at multi-party interactions (game theory) and dealt extensively with the theory of winning in general (rationality). Such a class would almost certainly seem too preachy or too close to the genre of self-help. You, as a professor of the field, would obviously know better than me what areas of rationality or general strategy are traditionally included in the field of game theory -- but I would be very surprised if most of the above links, the bulk of which deal with the optimization of one's time, one's goals, or one's beliefs, would fit well into most Game Theory courses.

This is not to say that I necessarily oppose the practice of using a course title to mislead students about its contents -- rather, I am afraid that exhortations of rationality will fall flat on students who came to learn about Nash Equilibria and think you're trying to tell them how to best live their lives using methods and models beyond the scope of the course.

Comment by sakranut on Open thread for December 9 - 16, 2013 · 2013-12-16T22:40:48.779Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For about a month and a half, though I forget about 25% of the time. I haven't noticed any strong effects, though I feel as if I approach the day-to-day more conscientiously and often get more out of my time.

Comment by sakranut on Open thread for December 9 - 16, 2013 · 2013-12-16T00:10:49.963Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I decided I'd share the list of questions I try to ask myself every morning and evening. I usually spend about thirty seconds on each question, just thinking about them, though I sometimes write my answers down if I have a particularly good insight. I find they keep me pretty well-calibrated to my best self. Some are idiosyncratic, but hopefully these will be generally applicable.

A. Today, this week, this month:

  1. What am I excited about?
  2. What goals do I have?
  3. What questions do I want to answer?
  4. What specific ways do I want to be better?

B. Yesterday, last week, last month:

  1. What did I accomplish that am I proud of?
  2. In what instances did I behave in a way I am proud of?
  3. What did I do wrong? How will I do better?
  4. What do I want to remember? What adventures did I have?

C. Generally: 9: If I'm not doing exactly what I want to be doing, why?

Comment by sakranut on December Monthly Bragging Thread · 2013-12-04T07:16:55.808Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Composed my first substantially original melody, a setting of a medieval Hebrew poem. I'm proud because I've usefully applied principles of music theory I learned last spring.

Comment by sakranut on Existential Risk II · 2013-10-24T04:54:39.558Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

As someone who lurks a lot around LW but hasn't thought very seriously about x-risk, I found this post very useful. It helped clarify a few terms I often see around the site (e.g. Great Filter) and synthesized a lot of common attitudes that I've noticed. Thanks!

Comment by sakranut on Advice for a smart 8-year-old bored with school · 2013-10-10T06:45:32.428Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I on the other hand, got a very good experience out of the CTY distance writing program. It forced me to clarify my thoughts and be conscientious about how I wrote for the first time. Also, as an 11-year-old who had gone through life with few to no challenges, it was an excellent opportunity to really have to work hard at something.

Comment by sakranut on Estimation as a game · 2013-09-30T18:07:22.330Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is a game I play often when it comes to estimating time - probably the most frequent estimation that I conduct in day-to-day life. When on a New York City subway, for instance, I'll make a 50% confidence range guess on how long it will take the subway to get to my stop. The game works equally well when waiting for a light to change, a lecture to end, an elevator to arrive, etc.

I started doing this at a fairly young age when - in response to asking "are we there yet," - my parents told me to guess how long it would take to reach a travel destination.

Comment by sakranut on Open thread, August 19-25, 2013 · 2013-08-29T05:35:37.031Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I enjoyed this non-technical piece about the life of Kolmogorov - responsible for a commonly used measure of complexity, as well as several now-conventional conceptions of probability. I wanted to share:

Comment by sakranut on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 17, chapter 86 · 2012-12-17T09:46:02.897Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

My thoughts: 1) It's becoming increasingly clear that - even though Harry has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and evidence by this point about Dumbledore, Quirrell, Lucius and Snape - he still knows little about Voldemort (e.g. motives, background, abilities, weaknesses). I am fairly confident that this is intentional on the author's part; withholding Harry's (and the reader's) knowledge about Voldemort is an excellent way to ensure that a Revelation of information occurs within the next few chapters about Voldemort's background. 2) We haven't yet seen Harry's reaction to the fact that Flitwick invented a Charm; presumably he will update his model of the nature of magic when he has time to process this. 3) The joke at the beginning of the chapter making fun of America's disconnect with the rest of the world was particularly brilliant and appreciated

Comment by sakranut on Final Words · 2012-12-04T04:48:07.228Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Shir L'Or

Nice use of Hebrew.

Comment by sakranut on What are the optimal biases to overcome? · 2012-08-06T20:13:22.020Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If this project is critical, and it's failure will sink the company, you really, really want to be in a position to handle the 25% cost overrun

So, to refine Decius' formula from above, you'd want to add in a variable which represents expected marginal utility of costs.

Thinking in terms of statistics, without any actual details attached, is one of the BIG failure modes I see from rationalists

I don't think the problem here is thinking in terms of statistics; I think that the problem is attempting to use a simple model for a complicated decision.

[edited for grammar]

Comment by sakranut on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-08-03T02:14:20.621Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I was referring to the dispute in the 17th and 18th centuries with Hume, Berkeley, and Locke on the empiricist side, and Descartes, Leibnitz, and Spinoza, on the rationalist Side, as described in this paper.

Out of curiosity, what is the connection between atoms and causality?

Comment by sakranut on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-08-03T00:49:54.135Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Hi everyone!

I'm 19 years old and a rising sophomore at an American university. I first came across Less Wrong five months ago, when one of my friends posted the "Twelve Virtues of Rationality" on facebook. I thought little of it, but soon afterward, when reading Leah Libresco's blog on atheism (she's since converted to catholicism), I saw a reference to Less Wrong, and figured I would check it out. I've been reading the Sequences sporadically for a few months, and just got up to date on HPMOR, so I thought I would join the community and perhaps begin posting.

Although I have little background in mathematics, cognitive science, or computer programming, I have had a long-standing, deep interest in ethics and happiness, both of which inevitably lead to an interest in epistemology. Since I began hanging around Less Wrong, my interest in logic and cognitive biases has definitely been piqued as well. Some of my other, less relevant, interests include intellectual history, music, Western classic literature, literary theory, aesthetics, economics, and political philosophy. I also enjoy the New York Giants and playing the piano.

I love debating others, but mostly debating myself - I do so constantly, but too often inconclusively. The main advantage I've found of debating others is that they help disabuse me of my own self-deceptions. Reading good literature usually serves this purpose as well.

A strong part of my identity is that I am a religious Jew. I am not a theist, but I keep a large portion of Jewish law, mostly because I am satisfied that doing so is a good use of my time. I can't remember a case when Jewish law has collided with my ethics, perhaps because so many of my ethical intuitions come from the Jewish tradition.

It amuses me that the Less Wrong community refers to itself as "rationalist," given that at one point in intellectual history, "rationalists" were those who did not believe in empiricism. Aside from that, I'm extremely excited to learn from all of you.