Comment by shminux on Is "physical nondeterminism" a meaningful concept? · 2019-06-16T20:01:58.302Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Consider reading The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine, it deals with this question in a clear, accessible and unbiased way, and a proposal for non-determinism.

Comment by shminux on Reasonable Explanations · 2019-06-16T08:29:22.255Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW
Being miscalibrated can feel like "if it were outside of this range, I have just... no explanation for that" - and then it turns out there's a completely reasonable explanation.

I love this definition of miscalibration for high confidence!

Don't have a personal example handy, but here is a classic one from Feynman:

Everything that appeared mystical, Feynman believed, was simply an insufficiently explained mystery with a physical answer not yet found. Even Arline’s dying hour had offered testing ground for conviction. Puzzlingly, the clock in the room had stopped at exactly 9:21PM — the time of death. Aware of how this bizarre occurrence could foment the mystical imagination in unscientific minds, Feynman reasoned for an explanation.

His explanation:

Erzrzorevat gung ur unq ercnverq gur pybpx zhygvcyr gvzrf bire gur pbhefr bs Neyvar’f fgnl ng gur fnangbevhz, ur ernyvmrq gung gur vafgehzrag’f hajvryql zrpunavfz zhfg unir pubxrq jura gur ahefr cvpxrq vg hc va gur ybj riravat yvtug gb frr naq erpbeq gur gvzr.


Comment by shminux on Experimental Open Thread April 2019: Socratic method · 2019-06-16T08:04:32.167Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

"imaginations" are observations, too. Just in a different domain.

Comment by shminux on Experimental Open Thread April 2019: Socratic method · 2019-06-16T08:02:20.175Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for rephrasing. Let me try my version. Notice how it doesn't assume anything about probabilities of coincidences, as I don't see those contributing to better predictions.

A certain set of past inputs has proven fruitful for constructing models that reasonably accurately predict similar sets of future inputs. Some of these models cover an especially wide range of input sets. This seemingly near universal applicability of some models makes it tempting to privilege such a set of models over others, more narrowly applicable, and call this set the source of all inputs we can possibly receive, a "reality".

In other words, sometimes observations can be used to make good predictions, for a time. Then we assume that these predictions have a single source, the external reality. I guess I don't get your point about needing to regress to unpredictability without postulating that reality thing.

Comment by shminux on Experimental Open Thread April 2019: Socratic method · 2019-06-15T10:16:07.109Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, "cosmic coincidence". What does it mean? Coincidence, interpreted as a low probability event, presumes a probability distribution over... something, I am not sure what in your case, if not an external reality.

Comment by shminux on Experimental Open Thread April 2019: Socratic method · 2019-06-15T02:28:08.323Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
can write a computer program which trains some kind of learner

Uh. To write a program one needs at least a little bit of predictability. So I am assuming the program is external to the unpredictable world you are describing. Is that a fair assumption?

And what about the learner program? Does it exist in that unpredictable world?

You may protest that this example does not count--that even though the program's input bits are random, it is nonetheless embedded in hardware whose behavior is lawfully determined--and thus that the program's very existence is proof of at least some predictability.

Exactly. So you are saying that that universe's predictability only applies to one specific algorithm, the learner program, right? It's a bit contrived and somewhat solipsistic, but, sure, it's interesting to explore. Not something I had seriously considered before.

We do not appear to be receiving random input data; our observations are highly structured in a way that strongly suggests (to me, at least) that there is something forcing them to be so.

Yep, it's a good model at times. But just that, a model. Not all observed inputs fit well into the "objective reality" framework. Consider the occurrences where insisting on objective reality actually leads you away from useful models. E.g. "are numbers real?"

unless of course you consider "there is no external reality, and our observations are only structured due to a giant cosmic coincidence"

No. This sentence already presumes external reality, right there in the words "cosmic coincidence," so, as far as I can tell, the logic there is circular.

Comment by shminux on Unknown Unknowns in AI Alignment · 2019-06-14T13:59:30.471Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It looks like the MIRI team has its hands full with known unknowns. The main one (of those released publicly) seems to be what they describe as “embedded agency” or “Agent Foundations” work:

our goal in working on embedded agency is to build up relevant insights and back-ground understanding, until we collect enough that the alignment problem is more manageable
Comment by shminux on What kind of thing is logic in an ontological sense? · 2019-06-14T03:07:50.337Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There are degrees of existence, in a way. The more repeatable, ubiquitous and predictive/predictable something (a concept, an observation, an algorithm) appears, the more it feels to be imbued with the magic of "existence". Logic, if you refer to a mathematical concept, has a high degree of existence. It's not universal, a lot of people don't relate to it, but it feels like a real if not necessarily a tangible thing. Logic doesn't exist as much as, say, a chair, but probably more than, say, fairies. it may indeed be interesting to ask the where question. Where do fairies exist? Where do chairs exist? Where does logic exist? Well, fairies certainly exist in fairy tales, so the next question is where do fairy tales exist? Maybe in the minds of those telling and retelling the stories. Maybe, like many concepts, they emerge once the complexity of the underlying substrate reaches a certain threshold. I suspect logic can be treated similarly. Actually, so can chairs.

Comment by shminux on On pointless waiting · 2019-06-10T15:47:00.087Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Godot never comes.

Comment by shminux on Ramifications of limited positive value, unlimited negative value? · 2019-06-10T15:28:04.223Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

That's a good question, and a good example of how decompartmentalizing can lead one astray. I warmly recommend the rest of the section 2 in the above paper. Scott points out in “Could a Quantum Computer Have Subjective Experience?” that the argument can be made without any physics involved as every brain state has a finite description, and those descriptions can be enumerated, and every number can already be found in the decimal expansion of Pi, so what's the point of anything? One objection is "but it's not real unless it happens somewhere", also addressed there.

Comment by shminux on Ramifications of limited positive value, unlimited negative value? · 2019-06-10T01:09:45.331Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You apparently believe that being identical (dis)counts for positive experiences only:

By contrast, if there is one person out there experiencing suffering, that is sad. And if there are two it's twice as sad, even if they have identical experiences. And if there are 1,000,000,000,000,000 it's 1,000,000,000,000,000x as sad, even if they're all identical.

That doesn't match my intuition at all. I tend to agree with Scott Aaronson's approach in The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine, section 2.13:

I’m against any irreversible destruction of knowledge, thoughts, perspectives, adaptations, or ideas, except possibly by their owner. Such destruction is worse the more valuable the thing destroyed, the longer it took to create, and the harder it is to replace. From this basic revulsion to irreplaceable loss, hatred of murder, genocide,the hunting of endangered species to extinction, and even (say) the burning of the Library of Alexandria can all be derived as consequences.

A corollary for me is that both happiness and suffering are additive in non-identical parts only. This doesn't really matter in the world we live in, because no two people are absolutely identical, and at present there is no easy way to calculate a difference in subjective experiences even if their observed reactions appear the same. But this may change, hypothetically, if truly identical minds can be created. My intuition is that there is no moral weight difference between 1 and 1 million of identical minds.

Comment by shminux on Learning magic · 2019-06-09T18:22:18.731Z · score: 18 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Tangential. I don't know much about magic beyond one or two basic tricks, but I spent some time learning hypnosis on my own, and had quite a bit of success getting willing subjects into trance, online or in person. One thing I have learned from my experience is that the conscious self-aware mind is a thin veneer on the vast subconscious animal self, and the trick of a magician or a hypnotist (or a politician, or any successful leader) is to bypass the critical faculties and interact with the subconscious mind directly. Then the subject's conscious mind will rationalize the subconscious feelings and needs with some ad hoc logic. Once you learn "this one trick", the rest is likely to follow naturally.

Comment by shminux on The Schelling Choice is "Rabbit", not "Stag" · 2019-06-08T05:49:36.608Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

We are all easily convinced of what we want to hear. Elliott wants to get ahead. Just scared a lot to take a chance. And perception is reality, literally. So if you help people see the benefits of cooperating (hunting a stag, taking a chance), and the drawbacks of sticking with rabbits (say, still being stuck in the muck), then their risk assessment changes and you may get them on your side. Or, alternatively, if Elliott has nothing to lose, he might go for a desperate heroic effort.

Comment by shminux on The Schelling Choice is "Rabbit", not "Stag" · 2019-06-08T03:27:20.327Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

A few points:

  • Yes, it's super frustrating when people ignore obviously (to you) good actions and or perform obviously (to you) bad actions. They do have their good (to them) reasons to do so, conscious or subconscious. So do you. They might be wrong, or you might be wrong, or something else might be going on. Unless you are all seeing and all knowing, how can you tell? If you are so much smarter than they are, why are you then working/volunteering there, oughtn't you be looking for a place where you can deal with your intellectual peers? And if you are not head and shoulders smarter, then how do you know that you are right and the action X is the right one, despite everyone else choosing action Y?
  • Following Scott's recent and ongoing sequence, consider that there might be culture and traditions that have evolved over a long time that compel people to do Y instead of X, even if they agree that X is better than Y if the argument for X > Y that you are advocating is considered in isolation.
  • As your example of a meandering conversation shows, people are very different and we all succumb to the typical mind fallacy. Intentionally paying attention to people likely not thinking the way you do, not incentivised by the same things you are, not emotionally connecting to other people and events the same way you do may clarify in your mind why other people act the way the do. If not, asking questions with genuine interest and curiosity and without expressing opinions can get you some ways there.

I have been and am in a situation that feels similar to yours. Here is one example of many. My direct supervisor had refused to implement a data retrieval system that would (in my opinion) greatly speed up and simplify analyzing and solving customer issues. It would be at most a week or two of work. That was 4 years ago, and I've been mentioning that we ought to do it ASAP every couple of weeks since then. He never authorized it, and instead asked if I am done whining. Meanwhile we are wasting resources many times over and likely losing customers and sales because of the field issues that could have been resolved quickly. I am not 100% sure why he is doing (or not doing) it, and it is pointless to ask, because his stated reasons would not be the real ones. I have some inkling of what is going on in his mind. In part it is probably chasing rabbits instead of stags, since he has more to lose from a scheduled slippage in a new project than from a slippage due to field support here and there, ostensibly outside his control. And maybe his strategy is the rational one, given the situation.

Let me add one more strategy to your list, though: dress stags as rabbits to get the buy in. This may sound disingenuous, but the reality is that with enough concerted effort a caught stag is later perceived as an unusually fat rabbit. People generally remember the payoff, not the effort, as long as things go smoothly.

Comment by shminux on Asymmetric Weapons Aren't Always on Your Side · 2019-06-08T01:57:24.492Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · LW · GW
the good guys (who are right) will have an easier time proving themselves to be right than the bad guys (who are wrong)

Scott lost me there. Isn't good vs bad guys just a common narrative with the good/bad assignment that depends on the person expressing it? One person's terrorist is another's freedom fighter and all that. Yet right and wrong are supposed to be somewhat more universal concepts. You seem to be using good and bad in the same way, as some kind of an objective measure.

Comment by shminux on Personal musings on Individualism and Empathy · 2019-06-08T01:51:43.285Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If you want to understand others better, and potentially learn empathy, consider active listening. and a couple of other sites have a bunch of useful guides and you get to hear out real people opening up about their issues.

Comment by shminux on Fractional Reserve Charity · 2019-06-08T01:31:26.871Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Creating what amount to a custom job loss insurance policy is risky. Consider consulting a competent actuary and possibly finding an underwriter. Your favorite [cryonics] insurance agent might give you some pointers there. The premiums will be high, at least initially, even for a group insurance, and the benefits would be quite restrictive. But compared to people not donating at all, could be still worth it.

Comment by shminux on All knowledge is circularly justified · 2019-06-05T03:16:37.972Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

It's worth remembering that we are some 90% animal brains (and 98.8% chimps), so if you dig deeper, you hit the limits of introspection and slide into rationalizing without realizing it. I guess it's what you are saying. Best we can do as aspired (post-)rationalists is to point at the vague blob of intuition and call it intuition/subconscious/instincts rather than "knowledge".

Comment by shminux on How is Solomonoff induction calculated in practice? · 2019-06-04T15:00:28.357Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In practice no one honestly computes the complexity of models in any of the fields I am familiar with, such as physics, bio, chem etc. Sometimes they count the number of parameters/degrees of freedom, like in your example. In reality there is a dearth of models that explain observations and predict something new, interesting and testable, so the issue rarely arises.

Comment by shminux on Selection vs Control · 2019-06-02T19:13:01.722Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Intuitively it feels like you are onto something. Whether it is inherent to the optimizer's functionality or is an artifact of how we view it, is hard to say. Most selectors use the algorithms that are the same or similar to controllers. Gradient descent in simulated annealing can be thought of evaluating possible worlds (counterfactuals) and making the one with the highest utility actual. And vice versa, a guided missile can be thought of as a selector in a search space. I wonder if this is what you mean when you say

the selection vs control distinction is a map/territory distinction

My guess is that the distinction is in large part the matter of your "stance". If you think in a Cartesian way, analyzing an unchanging external reality, then it's more of a search. If you think in terms of changing that reality with your actions, then it's a controller.

... Rereading what you said, I guess I am basically agreeing with you.

Comment by shminux on FB/Discord Style Reacts · 2019-06-01T22:25:13.558Z · score: 11 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I am very much looking forward to a low effort way to give and receive more nuanced feedback! Hope you guys come up with a test version soon.

Comment by shminux on Site Guide: Personal Blogposts vs Frontpage Posts · 2019-06-01T01:32:05.412Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Are you trying to be more like

Comment by shminux on Lonelinesses · 2019-05-31T15:15:41.409Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I find your analysis of loneliness and myths wonderfully illuminating. I can relate to a few of your examples. The Sisyphus one, accepting one's loneliness without regret or grief, may not be what the folklore intended, but certainly is a thing. For those who are interested in Greek mythology but not inclined the original, Stephen Fry's Mythos is a funny and accessible modern retelling.

Comment by shminux on Have you lost your purpose? · 2019-05-31T02:33:42.569Z · score: 15 (4 votes) · LW · GW
I thought long and hard about it. What was the point again? I simulated what I thought might happen. I imagined seeing hours of work being done in the 3 seconds after uttering a command. I imagined everything changing overwhelmingly fast, being lost in horrible confusion. I imagined the joy of idea generation being my bottleneck, instead of boring execution.

I would like to have a peek in this thought process in more detail, if you feel like sharing.

Comment by shminux on How to find a lost phone with dead battery, using Google Location History Takeout · 2019-05-30T06:57:31.323Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting, didn't know of the Takeout feature and of the Activity History, both appear quite useful, thanks!

Basically Google services are becoming closer and closer to unlimited eidetic memory, and hopefully some day the brain/machine interface will feel as seamless as the brain-eye interface.

Comment by shminux on What is a good moment to start writing? · 2019-05-30T02:27:00.200Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Consider writing your thoughts in a personal blog, often and without procrastinating, and link it here when you feel it's good enough for others here to read. That's how many regulars here operate.

Comment by shminux on What is required to run a psychology study? · 2019-05-29T06:59:00.906Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A wild idea: don't call it a psychology study. Call it a poll or a survey.

Comment by shminux on What should rationalists think about the recent claims that air force pilots observed UFOs? · 2019-05-29T03:01:54.221Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Certainly it is possible that we are not equipped for recording UFOs, but then, given the amount of sightings and that we have had grainy images for decades, the technology should have improved by now to have something more definite.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-29T02:59:59.320Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Do you consider "which one of the possible worlds we live in" to be synonymous with "reality" or "territory"?

I consider the map/territory model to be useful in this case, yes. I don't promote the idea of the territory into anything other than a useful model in this case.

If so, would you agree that this model is useful anytime we make decisions

I wouldn't make a sweeping statement like that, no. But it is definitely useful to consider the person making decisions as a part of the physical world, and not having magical free will, the way the usual decision theories go, while paying lip service to the idea of reality.

If so, it seems like the concept of territory isn't just a "sometimes useful" model but at least one of the most useful models we have, and in fact pretty much indispensable? How does this differ in practice from what Eliezer thinks?

I don't know what he thinks exactly, but my impression is what I had described above, talking about territory while still thinking that the intentional stance is anything more than an occasionally useful approximation. That "occasionally" part does not include decision theories.

I think you were complaining that Eliezer asks whether wavefunctions are real, but couldn't you ask a similar question, namely, does the possible world that you live in contain wavefunctions?

I don't recall complaining about it, but wavefunctions are a mathematical abstraction, obviously. Not a lot of use in asking whether they are really real or only seem real and what not. As for "does the possible world that you live in contain wavefunctions?" question, my answer would be that at the level of coarseness that corresponds to observing someone's actions, "wavefunction" is not a useful abstraction, just like quarks are not a useful abstraction when talking about, as in Eliezer's example, a Boeing 747. The only residue that I expect to find useful from quantum mechanics in the macroscopic world of agents is the inherent unpredictability and randomness at the level of the ion channels opening and closing, which, when combined, result in the appearance of conscious decisions.

Not sure if this makes sense, but thank you very much for being patient and engaging in this discussion, and not just shrugging it off.

Comment by shminux on What should rationalists think about the recent claims that air force pilots observed UFOs? · 2019-05-28T03:43:11.927Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

We can see the minute details of the Moon's surface, every thermal tile on a space shuttle, a black hole millions of light years away, and all we have to show for this UFO evidence is a few grainy videos and a lot of exclamations by the observers?

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-27T14:45:37.231Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Just a general comment on your style: I have stopped replying to you because you tend to talk at me, telling me what's right and what's wrong, as if you have the monopoly on truth. This may well not be your intention, but that's how your comments come across to me. Just thought I'd let you know. Of course, for all I know, others perceive my comments the same way and that's why they don't reply to me.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-27T03:21:44.832Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW
for all you know maybe all that exists is just you with your current set of memories and observations?

That solipsistic model is not very useful, is it? Doesn't offer any useful predictions, so why entertain it?

If so I'm curious what your views on values and decision making are.

I posted about my views on decision making about a year ago. That model seems quite useful to me, as it avoids the pitfalls of logical counterfactuals vs environmental counterfactuals, and a bunch of otherwise confusing dilemmas.

If you're agnostic about the existence of everything except your current memories and observations and models

I didn't say I made an exception at all. I just don't like using terms like "exist", "real" and "true", they can be quite misleading. If anything, I would suggest people try to taboo them and see what happens to the statements they make.

how do you figure out what actions are better than other actions?

Like most people, I have an illusion of making decisions. That is the implication from the current best physics models. My linked post above explains how to compare possible worlds, which is the closest one can get to "making decisions" without implying that they have magical free will separate from physical processes.

If what you are really asking is "how do you reconcile Model A you use in the situation 1 and Model B you use in the situation 2?", then my reply is that every model has its own domain of validity and when stretched beyond it, it breaks. There is nothing unusual about it. in physics quantum mechanics and general relativity are very useful yet incompatible models. You can probably name a few like that in your own are of expertise.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-26T23:12:57.456Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Certainly we can imagine this Russel's teapot universe, where pink unicorns frolic between the stars smiling conspiratorially while hiding from human senses and tools. These kinds of universes exist in human imagination, and are useful in some contexts, but not in physical research. Certainly a lot of physicists, contrary to what Sabine is saying, mean more than "the predictions obtained with the hypothesis agrees with observations" when they say that something exists. Hence all the interpretations of quantum mechanics, for example. My charitable interpretation of what you quoted is something like following Occam's razor, which would imply that there is no need to add Omega to the mix, or assume that the universe is wildly different beyond the cosmological horizon, unless there is a relevant hypothesis with enough predictive power.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-26T04:43:21.815Z · score: 5 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Still not sure what you are asking. There are plenty of sometimes useful models, which work well within their domain of validity. "Humans sometimes behave as Bayesian reasoners" is one of those. Well, that one has a very limited domain of validity, but still non-empty. All of physics filled with sometimes useful models, in fact, as far as I can tell, there is nothing else but models. But that's a view few people here are willing to entertain.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-25T05:55:22.343Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

If you are asking for a model that is a replacement for the idea of the territory, that is not what I meant. This would be like asking "if you don't believe in God, what do you replace God with?" But maybe you mean something else.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-25T05:50:39.314Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
"Shut up and calculate" serves as an excellent replacement for truth in most situations.

Definitely. When do you think it is not a good replacement?

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-25T01:10:53.970Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, couldn't understand the point you are making, even after rereading your reply a few times.

Comment by shminux on Separation of Concerns · 2019-05-25T01:09:14.428Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, that makes sense. Talking about feelings, to a degree, is essential to being human and being relatable. If anything, people's minds are 90% or more about feelings.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-24T15:28:21.986Z · score: 2 (7 votes) · LW · GW

The way you think about the concept of "phlogiston" I think about the concept of "truth". Useful to a point, but then breaking down when pushed.

Comment by shminux on Separation of Concerns · 2019-05-24T15:20:55.963Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yep, thinking about different possibilities changes reality. In this particular case, it makes it worse, since mutual cooperation (super-rationality, twin prisoner's dilemma, etc.) has by definition the highest payoff in symmetric games.

Comment by shminux on Separation of Concerns · 2019-05-24T08:13:22.106Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't understand the OP's point at all, but just wanted to remark on

there isn't an obvious decision-theoretic reason why someone might not want to think about possibilities they don't want to come true

There absolutely are reasons like that. Beliefs affect "reality", like in the folk theorem. If everyone believes that everyone else cooperates, then everyone would cooperate. (And defectors get severely punished.)

Comment by shminux on Free will as an appearance to others · 2019-05-24T07:30:56.738Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-24T07:27:46.980Z · score: -2 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This comment seems uncharacteristically uncharitable for you, guessing due to a certain level of frustration. Could be misreading it.

She seems to vacillate between "realism is a philosophical idea" and "realism is false".

She does no such thing. She doesn't even use the terms true or false! She says it's not something she needs in her scientific work. You wouldn't be confusing atheism with agnosticism, would you?

And this is simply asserting nonrealism:

She is not saying that something exists or doesn't, just that it doesn't matter for the purposes of of evaluating the quality of a hypothesis.

How does this idea behave in unusual cases such as the person claiming there's an invisible pink dragon in their garage?)

She is doing physics, not linguistics or cognitive science or psychiatry. Or, as in your example, more like sophistry. Russel's teapot has nothing to do with the topic.

This seems like another instance of "people who say they're not doing philosophy are in fact doing bad philosophy."

Pot. Kettle. Her philosophy (or non-philosophy) certainly works for her and for most physicists, look at all the successes in physics over the last century. While certain people are still stuck on logical counterfactuals.

OK, the above was just as uncharitable to you.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-24T06:45:47.308Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I suggest Instrumentarski.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-23T14:52:23.263Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

You'd have to ask Eliezer, but as far as I can tell the philosophical difference between his view (realism) and mine (anti-realism/instrumentalism) is that he elevates the concept of territory into an unquestionable belief, and to me it is one of many sometimes useful models. My approach is "there is an observation that sometimes it is possible to make predictions about future observations that are not completely inaccurate", without postulating an external largely immutable source for those observations, called "reality" or "territory". I am quite sure that this is not the view Eliezer would endorse. Sure, the initial impetus for the idea of the external reality is to explain predictability in certain observations, but then it takes a life of its own and becomes a privileged concept in the epistemology of realism.

Comment by shminux on Does the Higgs-boson exist? · 2019-05-23T06:43:43.655Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

From Eliezer's post:

was that my beliefs determine my experimental predictions, but only reality gets to determine my experimental results. If I believe very strongly that I can fly, then this belief may lead me to step off a cliff, expecting to be safe; but only the truth of this belief can possibly save me from plummeting to the ground and ending my experiences with a splat.

His statement is that the accuracy of predictions is determined by "reality" and that truth of a belief is measured by its correspondence with reality. Sabine does not make this claim, instead directing anyone interested to talk to the philosophers:

I do not know what it means for something to be “real” or “true.” You will have to consult a philosopher on that.

I said a lot more in the comments in that 7 year-old thread, so no point rehashing it.

Comment by shminux on Free will as an appearance to others · 2019-05-23T04:46:19.372Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW
In this theory, free will becomes a property that is not possessed by creatures themselves, but by creatures interacting with other creatures.

I agree (and had mention here multiple times before) that free will and agency is observer-dependent, and not an objective feature of reality. Also see the concept of intentional stance.

Does the Higgs-boson exist?

2019-05-23T01:53:21.580Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
Comment by shminux on The concept of evidence as humanity currently uses it is a bit of a crutch. · 2019-05-21T02:47:29.954Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if the current state of the art corresponds to the pre-conscious level of evolution, before the internal narrator and self-awareness. Maybe soon the neural networks will develop the skill of explaining (or rationalizing) their decisions.

Comment by shminux on Naked mole-rats: A case study in biological weirdness · 2019-05-20T01:17:05.800Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I wonder if there are other mammals like that, and if not, what would explain this version of the Fermi paradox.

Comment by shminux on Tales From the American Medical System · 2019-05-18T16:53:09.962Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Seems like you are making an important point, but I am not sure I get it. Mind clarifying?

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