An alternative way to browse LessWrong 2.0 2018-02-19T02:10:32.314Z
Supernatural Math 2009-05-19T11:31:44.424Z


Comment by saturn on Leaving beta: Voting on moving to · 2018-03-18T01:41:33.839Z · LW · GW

I've now added password reset capability to GreaterWrong.

Comment by saturn on Leaving beta: Voting on moving to · 2018-03-16T23:58:00.234Z · LW · GW

I do this because there's no way to request posts and comments sorted together chronologically with GraphQL. However, if you click the posts or comments tab, the pagination will work correctly for any number of pages.

Comment by saturn on An alternative way to browse LessWrong 2.0 · 2018-02-19T17:29:23.508Z · LW · GW

The two sites are based on quite different philosophies of web development, so it would be far from straightforward to do some of the things I've done within the existing LW 2.0 code. I've had fun creating GreaterWrong, and I don't mind putting effort into it as long as LW 2.0 seems like a viable community. I don't think it's necessarily bad to have two sites that do the same thing, if some people prefer one and other people prefer the other. (I agree with Error's comment.)

No, I don't have any special access to the database. If you log in to GreaterWrong, your password is briefly stored in my server's memory, only as needed to forward it to LW 2.0 and receive an authentication token back. In the future I'd like to eliminate even that, but it will require some additional complexity and changes on the LW 2.0 side.

Comment by saturn on Open thread, January 29 - ∞ · 2018-02-19T02:29:00.128Z · LW · GW

Do you have plans to implement a list of posts by user (without comments), a list of drafts, and an inbox? These are the only things I go to LW2.0 for, most of my time is now spent on GW.

Yes, definitely.

Comment by saturn on Open thread, January 29 - ∞ · 2018-02-02T09:55:12.420Z · LW · GW

Parts of it, anyway.

Comment by saturn on Open thread, January 29 - ∞ · 2018-02-02T09:54:39.836Z · LW · GW

It would be nice to have more than just a single page of 'new' content, since as is, it can even be hard to check out all recent posts from the past few days [...] more of a user's posting and commenting history

Done :)

Comment by saturn on Open thread, January 29 - ∞ · 2018-01-29T19:08:02.339Z · LW · GW

Hi, I'm the one who created Greater Wrong. I'm intending to announce it more widely once it doesn't have so many conspicuously missing features, but it's something I'm working on in my spare time so progress is somewhat gradual. You can, however, already log in and post comments. You can use your existing LW 2.0 username/password or create a new one. Let me know if you have any problems.

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, September 30 - October 6, 2013 · 2013-10-03T20:35:41.720Z · LW · GW

I always assumed it was by selling prediction securities for less than they will ultimately pay out.

Comment by saturn on Open thread, August 19-25, 2013 · 2013-08-27T16:52:24.722Z · LW · GW

Bs pbhefr, erirnyvat n unfu nsgre gur snpg cebirf abguvat, rira vs vg'f irevsvnoyl gvzrfgnzcrq. Nabgure cbffvoyr gevpx vf gb fraq n qvssrerag cerqvpgvba gb qvssrerag tebhcf bs crbcyr fb gung ng yrnfg bar tebhc jvyy frr lbhe cerqvpgvba pbzr gehr. V qba'g xabj bs na rnfl jnl nebhaq gung vs gur tebhcf qba'g pbzzhavpngr.

Comment by saturn on Algorithmic Progress in Six Domains · 2013-08-09T15:35:08.056Z · LW · GW

Unless you have a model that exactly describes how a given message was generated, its Shannon entropy is not known but estimated... and typically estimated based on the current state of the art in compression algorithms. So unless I misunderstood, this seems like a circular argument.

Comment by saturn on "Stupid" questions thread · 2013-07-13T19:44:16.296Z · LW · GW

Any kind of tragedy of the commons type scenario would qualify.

Comment by saturn on How much was creating Google worth? · 2013-06-03T06:18:05.989Z · LW · GW

Since the Shapley value of all players also has to sum to the value of the end result, I think the value of each A voter has to be just RB/n. I'm way out of my depth with the combinatorics here, but here's a paper I found that gives a bit more information than the wikipedia page.

Comment by saturn on How much was creating Google worth? · 2013-06-02T15:24:30.500Z · LW · GW

I don't know how to apportion credit and blame to individual people for group actions (and almost all effective actions are group actions). I'm not sure it's even a meaningful question.

Shapley value is one way to answer this question.

Comment by saturn on Preparing for a Rational Financial Planning Sequence · 2013-05-22T16:43:28.584Z · LW · GW

Does your rational advice differ from the common folk wisdom/cargo culting on this topic? And if so, what was your research process?

Comment by saturn on Why is it rational to invest in retirement? I don't get it. · 2013-05-16T04:10:21.298Z · LW · GW

Longevity insurance is available from several insurance companies.

Comment by saturn on The more privileged lover · 2013-03-04T22:03:25.050Z · LW · GW

Asking why we privilege "no" over "yes" is . . . let's just say problematic.

I can see that someone who has made it beyond childhood without learning this (perhaps by willfully ignoring the answer) has a problem. But does asking, in itself, create an additional problem?

Comment by saturn on Donating while in temporary debt (i.e. as a student) · 2013-02-06T23:50:17.614Z · LW · GW

You might be able to get the habit-forming effect without "wasting" $100 or $10 by deciding how much you would like to donate in terms of your income and debt, then creating a worksheet for yourself which you dutifully fill out every month, even when you know it will come out to $0.

Comment by saturn on Update on Kim Suozzi (cancer patient in want of cryonics) · 2013-02-06T23:25:40.103Z · LW · GW

I don't have any special insight on this subject, only what I've picked up from reading LW and occasionally talking about it on IRC. Many sources are linked from the comments in this thread (the comments are much more informative than the original post). To sum up, it seems that both CI and Alcor are lamentably bad, but CI is considerably worse.

Comment by saturn on My simple hack for increased alertness and improved cognitive functioning: very bright light · 2013-01-26T21:03:43.558Z · LW · GW

If using your computer in bright light gives you eyestrain, it might be possible that you need a brighter monitor to go with your brighter lights.

Comment by saturn on My simple hack for increased alertness and improved cognitive functioning: very bright light · 2013-01-26T21:00:28.981Z · LW · GW

Randomization still eliminates some confounding factors even without blinding. For example, you might be more likely to decide to turn on your bright lights when you're already feeling alert.

Comment by saturn on Update on Kim Suozzi (cancer patient in want of cryonics) · 2013-01-22T22:19:06.920Z · LW · GW

Given what I've heard about CI's quality control, I don't blame her for trying to raise enough money for Alcor.

Comment by saturn on My simple hack for increased alertness and improved cognitive functioning: very bright light · 2013-01-19T16:51:51.202Z · LW · GW

"Equivalent watts" is not a well-defined unit and the figures given by manufacturers are often exaggerated. Real incandescent bulbs vary in light output per watt. It's easier to use lumens, which are additive. However, human brightness perception is logarithmic, so 4 times the lumens will appear less than 4 times as bright.

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013 · 2013-01-17T08:50:18.857Z · LW · GW

doesn't the idea of a persistent ranking system, and the concern with it imply a belief in intelligence as a static factor? Less Wrong is a diverse community, but I was by and large under the impression that it was biased towards a growth mindset.

I'd just like to point out that a growth mindset is fully compatible with fixed intelligence. Fixed intelligence doesn't mean that growth is impossible, only that some people can grow faster than others.

Comment by saturn on The "Friendship is Witchcraft" expectation test · 2013-01-16T04:52:06.923Z · LW · GW

I have heard nothing but good about it in the past

If you'd like a countervailing anecdote, I was amused by the parody but I can't stand the actual show.

Comment by saturn on Just One Sentence · 2013-01-11T17:43:34.562Z · LW · GW

Assuming my math is right, if your stone carving were accurate to 1 micron, in order to encode a 140 character 'tweet' using this method, you would need a stone tablet 10^163 times larger than the observable universe. (!)

Comment by saturn on Gauging of interest: LW stock picking? · 2013-01-01T15:54:26.148Z · LW · GW

Several free stock market simulators already exist.

Comment by saturn on New censorship: against hypothetical violence against identifiable people · 2012-12-24T22:05:49.539Z · LW · GW

And describing him as a "former researcher at SIAI" is quite disingenuous of you, by the way; he never received any salary from us and is a long-time opponent of these ideas. At one point Tyler Emerson thought it would be a good idea to fund a project of his, but that's it.

If that's the case, it seems like giving him the title Director of Research could cause a lot of confusion. I certainly find it confusing. Maybe that was a different Ben Goertzel?

Comment by saturn on New censorship: against hypothetical violence against identifiable people · 2012-12-24T03:50:10.022Z · LW · GW

In the alternative where it's a bad idea, talking about it has net negative expected utility.

What about the possibility that someone who thought it was a good idea would change their mind after talking about it?

Comment by saturn on LW Women- Minimizing the Inferential Distance · 2012-12-11T03:45:34.765Z · LW · GW

Are you saying that abuse victims have an obligation to coach their abusers in how not to be abusive?

Comment by saturn on Poll - Is endless September a threat to LW and what should be done? · 2012-12-10T06:43:24.794Z · LW · GW

I wish I could trust other's information.

You might think about the reasons people have for saying the things they say. Why do people make false statements? The most common reasons probably fall under intentional deception ("lying"), indifference toward telling the truth ("bullshitting"), having been deceived by another, motivated cognition, confabulation, or mistake. As you've noticed, scientists and educators can face situations where complete integrity and honesty comes into conflict with their own career objectives, but there's no apparent incentive for anyone to distort the truth about the name of the Center for Applied Rationality. There's also no apparent motivation for Alicorn to bullshit or confabulate; if she isn't quite sure she remembers the name, she doesn't have anything to lose by simply moving on without commenting, nor does she have much to gain by getting away with posting the wrong name. That leaves the possibility that she has the wrong name by an unintended mistake. But different people's chances of making a mistake are not necessarily equal. By being more directly involved with the organization, Alicorn has had many more opportunities to be corrected about the name than you have. That makes it much more likely that you are the one making the mistake, as turned out to be the case.

Perhaps there is a way to be more pleasant while still questioning everything. If you can think of something, I will consider it.

You could phrase your questions as questions rather than statements. You could also take extra care to confirm your facts before you preface a statement with "no, actually".

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, October 16-31, 2012 · 2012-11-03T14:42:24.788Z · LW · GW

I'd guess the GP was asking about conscientiousness as in the Big Five model, which is more about work ethic and motivation and not so much about morality. Anyone highly motivated and organized would be considered "conscientious" under this model, even if they were a criminal.

Comment by saturn on The Fabric of Real Things · 2012-10-22T20:17:46.323Z · LW · GW

You forgot that space itself is expanding. In theory, it's possible for Alice and Bob to travel far enough apart that the space between them expands faster than light, meaning the distance between them continues to increase even if they travel toward each other at the speed of light.

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, October 16-31, 2012 · 2012-10-17T02:26:22.833Z · LW · GW

driving slowly

When there's snow or ice on the roads, there's really no speed slow enough that you can count on never losing traction. After the first heavy snow, you might want to practice in a low-traffic area until you get the hang of recovering from a slide. Also practice driving as if there's a full glass of water on your dashboard that you don't want to spill.

Do I need snow shoes? Spikes?

Nobody uses those for day-to-day walking, but you might want a pair of insulated boots depending on how much time you plan to spend outside. These are pretty convenient if you want to walk on ice.

Can I expect to safely walk on the sidewalk in the winter without slipping and hurting my everything?

As long as you're careful.

Do I need more/better coats than what I have now? (A duster and leather jacket, both fairly thick.)

Maybe. Again, it depends on how much you'll be outside. You'll probably want gloves.

Will I need to get a sun lamp/UV lights for the middle of the winter when the sun is up for a shorter time?

I guess, if you want to give yourself an artificial tan at home. Or are you talking about light therapy for depression? Those aren't designed to emit UV.

Comment by saturn on Decision theory and "winning" · 2012-10-16T04:42:45.082Z · LW · GW

One final point about this response is worth nothing.

Is this a typo?

Comment by saturn on The basic argument for the feasibility of transhumanism · 2012-10-14T23:31:32.008Z · LW · GW

EMP destroys equipment by inducing high voltage and current in unshielded conductors, which act as antennas. The amount of energy picked up is related to the length of the conductor, with shorter conductors picking up less energy. Anything small enough to be described as "nanotechnology" would probably be unaffected, as long as it's not connected to unshielded external wiring. (An unmodified human touching a conductor would also experience an electric shock during an EMP.)

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, October 1-15, 2012 · 2012-10-08T05:49:34.649Z · LW · GW

What motivates you to link personal identity to your specific particles? Any two atoms of the same type are perfectly indistinguishable.

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, October 1-15, 2012 · 2012-10-06T23:41:25.715Z · LW · GW

Questions to consider: Would you feel the same way about using a Star Trek transporter? What if you replaced neurons with computer chips one at a time over a long period instead of the entire brain at once? Is everyone in a constant state of "death" as the proteins that make up their brain degrade and get replaced?

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, September 15-30, 2012 · 2012-09-29T02:36:40.071Z · LW · GW

I'm trying to say that I think you might already be a pretty extreme outlier in your opinion of cryonics, based on a few clues I noticed in your comment, so your reactions may not generalize much. The median reaction to cryonics seems to be disgust and anger, rather than just not being convinced. I'm sort of on the fence about it myself, although I will try to refute bad cryonics-related arguments when I see them, so on object-level grounds I can't really say whether convincing you or learning how to convince people in general is a good idea or not.

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, September 15-30, 2012 · 2012-09-29T02:14:54.684Z · LW · GW

Yeah, that's true. But still, if "they don't think my soul is worth saving" is more salient to you than, for instance, "I'm glad I won't have to deal with their proselytizing," it suggests that you take the idea of souls and hell at least a little bit seriously.

To give a more straightforward example, imagine a police officer asking someone someone whether they have any contraband. The person replies, "no, officer, I don't have any weed in my pocket." How would that affect your belief about what's in their pocket?

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, September 15-30, 2012 · 2012-09-29T01:17:46.146Z · LW · GW

To practice on me before something happens to your female family members and you've got to convince them...

Are you such a Platonically ideal female that we can generalize from you to other females, who may have expressed no interest in cryonics?

Friendly hint: you just implied my life isn't worth saving. I am not easily offended and I'm not hurt, so that's just FYI.

If you see it that way, it sounds like you're already very nearly convinced.

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, September 15-30, 2012 · 2012-09-26T09:37:51.939Z · LW · GW

Write-in: I believed it was among the more reliable forms of forensic evidence, but didn't believe the bombastic claims of absolute certainty.

Comment by saturn on Elitism isn't necessary for refining rationality. · 2012-09-10T07:46:11.575Z · LW · GW

In this case, it's easy to predict how LessWrong is going to react. Your initial posts were well-received because you pointed out a potential problem, LW's high bounce rate, and even created some nice graphs. But when a consensus started to emerge that reducing the bounce rate would actually be a net negative, instead of accepting this or refuting it, you made a long series of posts mostly reiterating the same unconvincing points. Doing that will result in a poor reception.

Comment by saturn on Dealing with meta-discussion and the signal to noise ratio · 2012-09-05T08:27:23.879Z · LW · GW

Around June-July 2011.

(This comment was made possible by Wei Dai)

Comment by saturn on Open Thread, September 1-15, 2012 · 2012-09-03T23:25:01.789Z · LW · GW

Maybe you could adapt this implicit memory-based authentication scheme into a board game format similar to Mastermind.

Comment by saturn on Preventing discussion from being watered down by an "endless September" user influx. · 2012-09-02T11:45:13.336Z · LW · GW

In my experience, being obnoxious doesn't deter others from being obnoxious. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Comment by saturn on Preventing discussion from being watered down by an "endless September" user influx. · 2012-09-02T11:39:54.727Z · LW · GW

LW could be considered a select group by discussion board standards. For example, posters who haven't studied the rather large amount of presumed background knowledge are, to a decreasing but still significant extent, only reluctantly tolerated. Some people accustomed to more typical discussion boards do seem somewhat miffed about the idea that LW has such prerequisites at all, and I assume this is because they perceive it as elitist.

Bringing this back to the main point, LW already does a reasonably good job at covering what you call the 'hard' material. It's hard to overstate how fickle and delicate online communities can be. I'm wary of attempting to change the norms of the existing community in order to produce more 'easy' material. (This is what you are effectively proposing, since newbies can't produce their own 'easy' material, it would be the blind leading the blind.) Therefore I think that job should be delegated to another website (maybe rather than shoehorned into LW.

Comment by saturn on Preventing discussion from being watered down by an "endless September" user influx. · 2012-09-02T06:56:50.942Z · LW · GW

Regarding elitism: LW is elitist, and would not be what it is without its elitism. What else differentiates LW from /r/skeptic or agi-list? The LW community recognizes that some writings are high quality and deserve to be promoted, and others are not. If anything, I wish LW would become more elitist.

Comment by saturn on The Fallacy of Large Numbers · 2012-08-13T17:51:11.960Z · LW · GW

That's the Kelly criterion, equivalent to having logarithmic utility for money.

Comment by saturn on Magical Healing Powers · 2012-08-12T18:33:43.704Z · LW · GW

Comment by saturn on Evolutionary psychology as "the truth-killer" · 2012-07-25T23:14:51.575Z · LW · GW

Christians generally respect people who are genuinely seeking truth, in part because the Bible promises that "those who seek will find". The good news is that you ARE legitimately seeking truth, so you should be able to convince him of this.

On the other hand, I've seen Christians conclude that the fact that you haven't found Christianity is knock-down evidence that you're not legitimately seeking truth. One man's modus ponens is another man's modus tollens.