Is MIRI actually hiring and does Buck Shlegeris still work for you? 2021-02-13T10:26:23.362Z
Babble challenge: 50 ways to stop torture 2020-10-27T19:38:22.141Z


Comment by seed on Great Negotiation MOOC on Coursera · 2021-08-09T20:03:55.462Z · LW · GW

How do you know it's useful though? Did you apply the advice? Did it help?

Comment by seed on Against "Context-Free Integrity" · 2021-04-14T13:22:47.169Z · LW · GW

>> Sometimes I try to tell the people what I can see, and that doesn't always go well. I'm not sure why.
Can you describe a concrete example? Without looking at a few examples, it is hard to tell if a "context-free integrity" fallacy is to blame, or you are just making bad arguments, or something.

Comment by seed on Convict Conditioning Book Review · 2021-04-12T12:34:16.098Z · LW · GW

One benefit is that you can do calisthenics everywhere (even in prison), no need for special equipment.

Comment by seed on Preventing overcharging by prosecutors · 2021-04-06T14:03:50.179Z · LW · GW

What's to stop the prosecutor from lying about their Briers score?

Comment by seed on Center for Applied Postrationality: An Update · 2021-04-01T08:45:32.461Z · LW · GW

We have exercised our innovative technique of meta-honesty to successfully dupe some computer programmers into thinking we want their participation.

Comment by seed on How You Can Gain Self Control Without "Self-Control" · 2021-03-25T15:22:44.020Z · LW · GW

I actually thought Ty was a real person. :)

Comment by seed on What ethical thought experiments can be reversed? · 2021-03-07T09:46:32.544Z · LW · GW

And Y/2 pain, probably? (Or the conclusion doesn't follow.)

Comment by seed on The Median is Less than the Average · 2021-02-23T18:53:27.969Z · LW · GW

How do you measure intelligence though? Obviously you don't mean IQ, since IQ test scores are deliberately calibrated to be normally distributed.

Generally, I feel like all these bold claims need some supporting evidence. E.g.

Increased information makes smart people smarter and stupid people stupider.

Citation needed?

Comment by seed on The art of caring what people think · 2021-02-12T10:09:02.779Z · LW · GW

I totally agree that it's useful to hang out with a diverse set of people.

It also helps to treat people's opinion of you as an instrumental goal. Every time I'm worried what someone thinks of me, I ask myself if this person's opinion is important, and why - can they hurt me or help me in any way? Sometimes the answer is yes, e.g. I want to impress employers, or I need voters to like me if I'm doing politics. Often, though, the answer is that the person is not going to affect my life in any way, and so their opinion doesn't matter. People's opinions may also matter as an estimate of my own virtue, but if their opinion is based on a misunderstanding, or they're confused about what's virtue and what's vice, then their opinion can be discarded again.

Comment by seed on Democratic Currency · 2021-01-20T17:15:31.258Z · LW · GW

Is starting capital really a bottleneck for entrepreneurs? Don't you just get money from investors? 
Elon Musk and Bill Gates only needed a laptop to start their business. Or, from Warren Buffet's biography: "In 1945, as a high school sophomore, Buffett and a friend spent $25 to purchase a used pinball machine, which they placed in the local barber shop. Within months, they owned several machines in three different barber shops across Omaha. They sold the business later in the year for $1,200 to a war veteran. ... In high school, he invested in a business owned by his father and bought a 40-acre farm worked by a tenant farmer. He bought the land when he was 14 years old with $1,200 of his savings. By the time he finished college, Buffett had accumulated $9,800 in savings".

Comment by seed on Yoda Timers 2 · 2021-01-14T09:25:55.180Z · LW · GW

Were long-standing research problems actually ever presented at IMO? AFAIK, problems featured there already have solutions.

Comment by seed on Blackmail · 2021-01-12T05:41:59.683Z · LW · GW

I feel like I'm missing context. Why did this community come to care about blackmail laws in the first place?

Comment by seed on Luna Lovegood and the Chamber of Secrets - Part 13 · 2021-01-01T14:49:34.103Z · LW · GW

I'm so confused. How did Luna survive the Killing Curse?

Comment by seed on Perfectionism as depth-first search · 2020-12-29T12:32:25.230Z · LW · GW

Great observation! I was struggling with the same issue when I moved from studying math to graduate ML research. Depth-first search is the right approach to reading a math textbook. Say, you started to learn homology theory and realized you don't know what's an Abelian group. You should stop and go read about Abelian groups, or you won't understand what comes next. 

However, the same approach was getting me in trouble when trying to understand state-of-the-art in voice processing. I would start reading an article in the morning, and by the evening I'd finish no articles and find myself stuck in the middle of a textbook reading about some 50 years outdated method which wasn't relevant to modern research. So, I worked out that the effective approach to this task is breadth-first search: read the article from beginning to end, write down all unknown terms, go on to look up the most important one.

I think another reason why people might default to depth-first search is that BFS requires to store a list of unexplored nodes in memory and people don't have a lot working memory. So a note-taking system like Zettelkasten really helps with applying this approach more broadly in one's life.

Comment by seed on No, Newspeak Won’t Make You Stupid · 2020-12-19T01:17:46.590Z · LW · GW

Do you know anyone who wants such a forum?

Comment by seed on D&D.Sci Evaluation and Ruleset · 2020-12-12T19:25:24.659Z · LW · GW

Cheers to simon, ericf and myself, for offering an optimal solution! And cheers to abstractapplic for organizing the challenge.

The leaderboard (if you're not here, I couldn't figure out what your final decision was, or you added more than 10 points):

simon, ericf 0.9375 

[('CHA', 8), ('CON', 15), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 8), ('WIS', 15)]

seed 0.9375 

[('CHA', 8), ('CON', 14), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 8), ('WIS', 16)]

Samuel Clamons 0.8095 

[('CHA', 8), ('CON', 17), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 7), ('WIS', 14)]

Asgard 0.7857 

[('CHA', 9), ('CON', 16), ('DEX', 14), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 8), ('WIS', 12)]

Measure 0.7308 

[('CHA', 8), ('CON', 14), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 6), ('WIS', 18)]

kiwiakos 0.6774 

[('CHA', 7), ('CON', 15), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 6), ('WIS', 18)]

Alexey 0.6500

  [('CHA', 11), ('CON', 14), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 6), ('WIS', 15)]

newcom 0.6471

  [('CHA', 11), ('CON', 16), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 7), ('WIS', 12)]

AABoyles, Pongo, GuySrinivasan 0.6389 

[('CHA', 6), ('CON', 14), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 6), ('WIS', 20)]

Yongee 0.6364 

[('CHA', 5), ('CON', 14), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 20), ('STR', 8), ('WIS', 12)]

Deccludor 0.6098 [('CHA', 5), ('CON', 20), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 6), ('WIS', 15)]

Randomini 0.4688 [('CHA', 4), ('CON', 14), ('DEX', 13), ('INT', 13), ('STR', 16), ('WIS', 12)] 

From plotting the data, I saw that:

  • looked like the stats were independtly randomly generated and cut off at sum >= 60.
  • dexterity was useless
  • looked like there was a big advantage to having stats >= 8. For strengh, strength=8 was almost as good as strength=20

I fit a regularized logistic regression and a neural net, but couldn't get validation accuracy greater than 70%, which was only a little better than the 65% baseline of random guessing. I realized that the data is not very informative and I don't know how results are calculated, so I better stick with a conservative model like Nearest Neighbors classifier, and try a few different models. I fit a KNN classifier, gradient boosting on decision trees, and regularized logistic regression (all with validation accuracy 70%), and chose a point which gave near the top scores for all three classifiers. (It had all stats >=8, too.)

Comment by seed on [deleted post] 2020-12-10T09:48:02.003Z

I wonder if it has something to do with age-related hearing loss. I remember when I was a teen, rock music sounded like antimelodic screeching to me too, but I listened because my friends liked it, and I liked the lyrics. Now the same songs sound like legit music to me. Maybe it's because our hearing range shrinks with age, so the high-pitched sounds become quieter and the song doesn't sound like screeching anymore.

Comment by seed on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-07T20:08:40.278Z · LW · GW

CHA+4, STR+2, WIS+4 

Comment by seed on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-07T12:35:25.631Z · LW · GW

Is it a secret / part of the puzzle, where this data came from?

Comment by seed on D&D.Sci · 2020-12-07T10:47:53.484Z · LW · GW

Do adventurers gain additional status points during their Great Quest, and if yes, are these stats measured at the beginning or at the end of their quest?

Is this data from some real Dungeons and Dragons game results?

Comment by seed on Luna Lovegood and the Chamber of Secrets - Part 5 · 2020-12-05T08:41:52.814Z · LW · GW

This was very funny and the best HPMOR continuation I've read so far.

Comment by seed on AllAmericanBreakfast's Shortform · 2020-12-04T05:40:16.266Z · LW · GW

Oh, sorry, I've only heard the word used in that context before, I thought that's what it meant. Turns out it has a broader meaning. 

Comment by seed on Open & Welcome Thread - December 2020 · 2020-12-02T17:33:44.901Z · LW · GW

You know those "voluntary disclosure" forms in USA job applications where you can disclose your race and gender? Apparently NVIDIA's voluntary disclosure is obligatory now.

 I always knew all these diversity policies were just thinly veiled racism.

Comment by seed on AllAmericanBreakfast's Shortform · 2020-11-28T09:36:40.090Z · LW · GW

Look, I'm neurotypical and I don't find anything Eliezer writes offensive, will you please stop ostracizing us.

Comment by seed on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-27T11:26:01.917Z · LW · GW

A banana isn't going to banana harder because it is in your hand instead of mine.

I might like bananas more than you, or be hungrier than you. Than a banana has greater value to me.

If you suddenly start to resist a advertisements effect you might realise that you are perfectly happy and content without some kind of experience or good.

It think the left greately exaggerates the extent to which purchasing decisions are a result of some kind of deception or manipulation. For example, there was that movie that criticized consumerism, the Fight Club? The protagonist would spend every evening looking at ads, and then he'd change all furniture in his home all the time. That doesn't remind me of myself, or anyone I know. Last time I bought a couch it was because the old one became uncomfortable to sleep on. Sometimes I make mistakes, like when I bought the "Where is my flying car" book, and it turned out to be deceptive. But these kind of things amount to less than 5% of my expenses. When I look at other people I know, it seems like they, too, are spending most of their income on food, clothes (when old ones get ruined) and other things they obviously need and weren't tricked into buying. So I don't understand why you think advertisements' manipulation is a significant problem. When you look at people you know, do you see them wasting most of their money on worthless things?

Comment by seed on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-24T22:23:05.680Z · LW · GW

Voluntary exchange only happens when both parties benefit from it. It creates value for both parties, and, if there are no negative externalities, it's a utilitarian good.

Comment by seed on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-24T22:15:30.866Z · LW · GW

If I pay you 100$ for saving 3 lifes, it means I value these lifes at at least 100$. The payment is not equal to the value, it is a lower bound estimate. Granted, I could make a mistake and spend these money on a cure that didn't work, or on a game I didn't enjoy. Then I would give away more than I got in return. But if we're talking about an established company that sells the same goods or services over and over again, people are going to learn what these goods or services are worth and stop making such mistakes.

Comment by seed on It’s not economically inefficient for a UBI to reduce recipient’s employment · 2020-11-22T22:59:06.268Z · LW · GW

But that's not what typically happens.
Take a company like Google. Google has about 100000 employees, and their average annual salary is 117 000 $.  Google's yearly net income is 35 billion dollars. An average Google employee is creating value 4 times their salary. The effects of their spending on pollution etc. are negligible in comparison.

Comment by seed on Babble challenge: 50 ways to stop torture · 2020-11-20T08:27:39.363Z · LW · GW

Yes, and it should be actionable for an ordinary citizen like me. So the strategy should also explain how do I get into power or persuade people in power to pass better human rights legislation.

It's doable, I've done it myself, though it took me more than an hour.

Comment by seed on A review of Where Is My Flying Car? by J. Storrs Hall · 2020-11-18T12:38:48.325Z · LW · GW

One of the more contrarian claims of the book is that intermediate level nuclear waste is actually safe. 

The editors of Britain's online tech webzine point out:
"Most intermediate level waste is barely radioactive at all. If you put a completely legal luminous watch in a barrel containing half a tonne of dirt, that dirt would technically be intermediate-level nuclear waste according to the regulations. ... Despite the fact that it is not radiologically dangerous in any realistic way, "intermediate level nuclear waste must nonetheless be expensively processed, packaged, securely stored in a special geological vault." 

Is this true? Seems like this claim needs a stronger backup than an online tech webzine editor opinion.

Comment by seed on Babble challenge: 50 ways to stop torture · 2020-11-17T19:10:17.207Z · LW · GW

The goal is to defend people who are at risk. Mostly third-world country prisoners and dissidents. Here's some reports about my country, for example.

Comment by seed on Stupid Questions - September 2017 · 2020-10-21T00:24:46.240Z · LW · GW

Eliezer mentioned on twitter that MIRI is looking for Haskell programmers. Why is there no mention of Haskell on the vacancy page?

Comment by seed on Stupid Questions - September 2017 · 2020-10-21T00:19:31.433Z · LW · GW

How come MIRI never hired a Living Library in 3 years?

Comment by seed on Open & Welcome Thread – October 2020 · 2020-10-17T10:03:05.283Z · LW · GW

Maybe then discuss it privately with a few people first?

Comment by seed on Knowledge, manipulation, and free will · 2020-10-14T13:03:14.327Z · LW · GW

Scenario 5 sounds like something an aligned AI should do.  Actually, taking Petrov hostage would also be the right thing to do, if there was no better way to save people's lives. It seems fine to me to take away someone's option to start a nuclear war?

I think manipulation is bad when it's used to harm you, but it's good if it's used to help you make better decisions. Like that time when banning lead reduced crime by 50%. Isn't this the kind of thing an AI should do? We hire all kinds of people to manipulate us into becoming better: psychotherapists, fitness instructors, teachers. Why would it be wrong for an AI to fill these roles?

Comment by seed on Industrial literacy · 2020-10-14T08:38:38.704Z · LW · GW

They, um, save time? And also heat up the water?

Comment by seed on Forcing Freedom · 2020-10-07T11:54:43.399Z · LW · GW

A great proportion of humans, arguably, have developed pro-death beliefs in order to cope with the fear of death.

According to this survey, only 23% of Americans don't want to live longer than a normal lifespan. They can't really be holding the rest of you down.

Comment by seed on Postmortem to Petrov Day, 2020 · 2020-10-04T08:18:26.373Z · LW · GW

I think another lesson to learn from this is that it's important to ask questions well. If Chris provided the relevant context for his question (the texts of both messages he recieved), we would understand what he's talking about and maybe could stop him. 

BTW I'm not angry at Chris or judging him or anything like that, just wanted to say that it's a generally helpful life skill.

Comment by seed on Typical Sneer Fallacy · 2020-10-04T05:02:57.730Z · LW · GW

Bob shouldn't assume anything; he should check whether the criticism is true with an independent third party. People do lie about things like that sometimes.

Comment by seed on Hiring engineers and researchers to help align GPT-3 · 2020-10-01T21:03:43.437Z · LW · GW

Does it make sense to apply if I'm Russian? What do you think is the chance of Trump allowing H1B visas next year? Will you even consider foreign applicants? Do you provide green cards?

Comment by seed on Shittests are actually good · 2020-09-25T07:27:20.573Z · LW · GW

I don't think what you are doing should be called a shittest, since arguing isn't shitty behaviour. It's just a regular test, which doesn't seem objectionable.
Your central examples of shittesting (giving a partner an unreasonable task to see if they do it, insulting a suitor, or behaving in a particularly unpleasant way to test for loyalty) all involve bad behaviour, and I don't think men should do more of it. If someone acted that way towards me, I'd probably just walk away to find a more pleasant partner, especially if I realised they hurt me on purpose to "test" me.

Comment by seed on Non offensive word for people who are not single-magisterium-Bayes thinkers · 2020-07-03T11:03:06.166Z · LW · GW

Why do you want to put a label on their belief? There are some adverse effects like they can get offended, or being a Toolboxist becomes a part of their identity and then it's even harder to change their mind.

Comment by seed on What are good defense mechanisms against dangerous bullet biting? · 2020-07-02T07:53:17.082Z · LW · GW

Well, looking bad leads to attracting less donor money, so it is somewhat important how you look. The argument about why Roko's basilisk won't actually be made on purpose is my central point, that's what you'd have to refute to change my mind. (While I understand how it might get created by accident, spreading awareness to prevent such an accident is more helpful than covering it up - which is now impossible to do anyway, thanks to the Streisand effect the topic comes up all the time.)

Comment by seed on On saving the world · 2020-07-01T17:35:10.755Z · LW · GW
It's unlikely that I'll be able to convince a few million people to succeed from their nations (without invoking the ire of their tax collectors) anytime soon.

What about the millions of people who are already stateless? I once thought to try and bring about anarcho-capitalism by starting a campaign for stateless people's rights, before I came up with a better plan.

Comment by seed on Industry and workers · 2020-06-26T09:28:53.661Z · LW · GW

In the previous post, you complain that you have way too many resources to spend on garbage entertainment, and wish you were poorer because then you'd spend more time reading, socializing and exercising. Now you say that Industrial Revolution failed to give workers more resources. What is it that's so bad about capitalism - that it failed to make you richer, or that it made you too rich for your own good?

Comment by seed on Industry and workers · 2020-06-26T09:01:06.352Z · LW · GW

So, you believe your scheme will fail under capitalist competition. Is there any country in the world where you believe it will work? Why don't you try it there, then tell us how it worked out?

Comment by seed on - A Petition · 2020-06-25T15:07:58.684Z · LW · GW

I signed the petition on the assumption that it was all just a misunderstanding, but I'm willing to fight dirty if they ignore the petition and publish the name anyway.

Comment by seed on Training our humans on the wrong dataset · 2020-06-22T08:44:24.953Z · LW · GW

Em, you don't need a PhD in applied mathematics to learn to take derivatives, it's something you learn in school.

Comment by seed on You have become the supreme dictator of the United States. · 2020-06-22T08:09:16.156Z · LW · GW

Well, first of all, I'd take money from the poor and give it to the military. What? It doesn't matter how "benevolent" I am, it's just what I have to do to stay in power.

Seriously, if you're legitimately concerned for the public good, don't become a dictator. Become an entrepreneur or a scientist.

Comment by seed on $1,000 Bounty for Pro-BLM Policy Analysis · 2020-06-19T11:09:26.201Z · LW · GW
polls report public sympathy for BLM is very high.

Wow, I actually haven't expected that at all.

Maybe many years ago this turn of events would seem natural to me. People care about each other and stand up for each other when someone gets hurt, right? Well, wrong. At least in Russia, most people don't care much about victims of police violence, as I've found. And in USA it seems to only be about black people. So while I can see why Democrats are supporting their ingroop, I don't get the increase in Republican support. Could people be lying about their views because they're afraid of repercussions for expressing wrong ones? Seems like a big stretch.

My people believed in nonviolent protest, and lost. While I'd broken away from the doctrine and cheered for people who fought back against cops, I've always thought that pointless violence against innocents would make people hate me. (Or do they just hate the cops even more? I didn't notice that.) Will people like my politics more if I go loot some shops? Or is it something else they did right.

I walk away from you guys totally confused about how it all really works.