Posts

Mask wearing: do the opposite of what the CDC/WHO has been saying? 2020-04-02T22:10:31.126Z · score: 11 (5 votes)
Good News: the Containment Measures are Working 2020-03-17T05:49:12.516Z · score: 26 (6 votes)
(Double-)Inverse Embedded Agency Problem 2020-01-08T04:30:24.842Z · score: 25 (9 votes)
Since figuring out human values is hard, what about, say, monkey values? 2020-01-01T21:56:28.787Z · score: 36 (13 votes)
A basic probability question 2019-08-23T07:13:10.995Z · score: 11 (2 votes)
Inspection Paradox as a Driver of Group Separation 2019-08-17T21:47:35.812Z · score: 31 (13 votes)
Religion as Goodhart 2019-07-08T00:38:36.852Z · score: 21 (8 votes)
Does the Higgs-boson exist? 2019-05-23T01:53:21.580Z · score: 6 (9 votes)
A Numerical Model of View Clusters: Results 2019-04-14T04:21:00.947Z · score: 18 (6 votes)
Quantitative Philosophy: Why Simulate Ideas Numerically? 2019-04-14T03:53:11.926Z · score: 23 (12 votes)
Boeing 737 MAX MCAS as an agent corrigibility failure 2019-03-16T01:46:44.455Z · score: 50 (23 votes)
To understand, study edge cases 2019-03-02T21:18:41.198Z · score: 27 (11 votes)
How to notice being mind-hacked 2019-02-02T23:13:48.812Z · score: 16 (8 votes)
Electrons don’t think (or suffer) 2019-01-02T16:27:13.159Z · score: 5 (7 votes)
Sabine "Bee" Hossenfelder (and Robin Hanson) on How to fix Academia with Prediction Markets 2018-12-16T06:37:13.623Z · score: 11 (3 votes)
Aligned AI, The Scientist 2018-11-12T06:36:30.972Z · score: 12 (3 votes)
Logical Counterfactuals are low-res 2018-10-15T03:36:32.380Z · score: 22 (8 votes)
Decisions are not about changing the world, they are about learning what world you live in 2018-07-28T08:41:26.465Z · score: 30 (17 votes)
Probability is a model, frequency is an observation: Why both halfers and thirders are correct in the Sleeping Beauty problem. 2018-07-12T06:52:19.440Z · score: 24 (12 votes)
The Fermi Paradox: What did Sandberg, Drexler and Ord Really Dissolve? 2018-07-08T21:18:20.358Z · score: 47 (20 votes)
Wirehead your Chickens 2018-06-20T05:49:29.344Z · score: 72 (44 votes)
Order from Randomness: Ordering the Universe of Random Numbers 2018-06-19T05:37:42.404Z · score: 16 (5 votes)
Physics has laws, the Universe might not 2018-06-09T05:33:29.122Z · score: 28 (14 votes)
[LINK] The Bayesian Second Law of Thermodynamics 2015-08-12T16:52:48.556Z · score: 8 (9 votes)
Philosophy professors fail on basic philosophy problems 2015-07-15T18:41:06.473Z · score: 16 (21 votes)
Agency is bugs and uncertainty 2015-06-06T04:53:19.307Z · score: 16 (19 votes)
A simple exercise in rationality: rephrase an objective statement as subjective and explore the caveats 2015-04-18T23:46:49.750Z · score: 21 (22 votes)
[LINK] Scott Adam's "Rationality Engine". Part III: Assisted Dying 2015-04-02T16:55:29.684Z · score: 7 (8 votes)
In memory of Leonard Nimoy, most famous for playing the (straw) rationalist Spock, what are your top 3 ST:TOS episodes with him? 2015-02-27T20:57:19.777Z · score: 10 (15 votes)
We live in an unbreakable simulation: a mathematical proof. 2015-02-09T04:01:48.531Z · score: -31 (42 votes)
Calibrating your probability estimates of world events: Russia vs Ukraine, 6 months later. 2014-08-28T23:37:06.430Z · score: 19 (19 votes)
[LINK] Could a Quantum Computer Have Subjective Experience? 2014-08-26T18:55:43.420Z · score: 16 (17 votes)
[LINK] Physicist Carlo Rovelli on Modern Physics Research 2014-08-22T21:46:01.254Z · score: 6 (11 votes)
[LINK] "Harry Potter And The Cryptocurrency of Stars" 2014-08-05T20:57:27.644Z · score: 2 (4 votes)
[LINK] Claustrum Stimulation Temporarily Turns Off Consciousness in an otherwise Awake Patient 2014-07-04T20:00:48.176Z · score: 37 (37 votes)
[LINK] Why Talk to Philosophers: Physicist Sean Carroll Discusses "Common Misunderstandings" about Philosophy 2014-06-23T19:09:54.047Z · score: 10 (12 votes)
[LINK] Scott Aaronson on Google, Breaking Circularity and Eigenmorality 2014-06-19T20:17:14.063Z · score: 20 (20 votes)
List a few posts in Main and/or Discussion which actually made you change your mind 2014-06-13T02:42:59.433Z · score: 16 (16 votes)
Mathematics as a lossy compression algorithm gone wild 2014-06-06T23:53:46.887Z · score: 39 (41 votes)
Reflective Mini-Tasking against Procrastination 2014-06-06T00:20:30.692Z · score: 17 (17 votes)
[LINK] No Boltzmann Brains in an Empty Expanding Universe 2014-05-08T00:37:38.525Z · score: 9 (11 votes)
[LINK] Sean Carroll Against Afterlife 2014-05-07T21:47:37.752Z · score: 5 (9 votes)
[LINK] Sean Carrol's reflections on his debate with WL Craig on "God and Cosmology" 2014-02-25T00:56:34.368Z · score: 8 (8 votes)
Are you a virtue ethicist at heart? 2014-01-27T22:20:25.189Z · score: 11 (13 votes)
LINK: AI Researcher Yann LeCun on AI function 2013-12-11T00:29:52.608Z · score: 2 (12 votes)
As an upload, would you join the society of full telepaths/empaths? 2013-10-15T20:59:30.879Z · score: 7 (17 votes)
[LINK] Larry = Harry sans magic? Google vs. Death 2013-09-18T16:49:17.876Z · score: 25 (31 votes)
[Link] AI advances: computers can be almost as funny as people 2013-08-02T18:41:08.410Z · score: 7 (9 votes)
How would not having free will feel to you? 2013-06-20T20:51:33.213Z · score: 6 (14 votes)
Quotes and Notes on Scott Aaronson’s "The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine" 2013-06-17T05:11:29.160Z · score: 18 (22 votes)

Comments

Comment by shminux on Life as metaphor for everything else. · 2020-04-05T19:51:15.356Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It makes sense to me that our views on consciousness are akin to Pasteur's views on vitalism, because the gap between what we observe (apparently conscious beings) and what we can explain (some simple interactions between neurons) is just so vast and murky.

Comment by shminux on What is the subjective experience of free will for agents? · 2020-04-05T19:43:01.578Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
how do I talk about how someone makes a decision and what a decision is from outside the subjective uncertainty of being the agent in the time prior to when the decision is made.

I am confused... Are you asking how would Omega describe someone's decision-making process? That would be like watching an open-source program execute. For example, if you know that the optimization algorithm is steepest descent, and you know the landscape it is run on, you can see every step it makes, including picking one of several possible paths.

Comment by shminux on What is the subjective experience of free will for agents? · 2020-04-05T19:22:18.050Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Feel free to let me know either way, even if you find that the posts seem totally wrong or missing the point.

Comment by shminux on Implications of the Doomsday Argument for x-risk reduction · 2020-04-03T23:22:15.908Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Right. Either way, it's not a good argument to base one's decisions on.

Comment by shminux on Implications of the Doomsday Argument for x-risk reduction · 2020-04-03T23:05:06.068Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
What are your stances on the Doomsday Argument?

The doomsday argument strikes me as complete and utter misguided bullshit, notwithstanding the fact that smart and careful physicists have worked on it, including J. Richard Gott and Brandon Carter, whose work in actual physics I had used extensively in my research. There are plenty of good reasons for x-risk work, no need to invoke lousy ones. The main issue with the argument is the misuse of probability.

First, the argument assumes a specific distribution (usually uniform) a priory without any justification. Indeed one needs a probability distribution to meaningfully talk about probabilities, but there is no reason to pick one specific distribution over another until you have a useful reference class.

Second, the potential infinite expectation value makes any conclusions from the argument moot.

Basically, the Doomsday argument has zero predictive power. Consider a set of civilizations with a fixed number of humans at any given time, each existing for a finite time T, randomly distributed with a distribution function f(T), which does not necessarily have a finite expectation value, standard deviation or any other moments. Now, given a random person from a random civilization at the time t, the Doomsday argument tells them that their civilization will exist for about as long as it had so far. It gives you no clue at all about the shape of f(t) beyond it being non-zero (though maybe measure zero) at t.

Now, shall we lay this nonsense to rest and focus on something productive?

Comment by shminux on What is the subjective experience of free will for agents? · 2020-04-02T21:33:06.428Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

It's a great post, just doesn't quite go far enough...

Comment by shminux on What is the subjective experience of free will for agents? · 2020-04-02T19:51:23.402Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

My answer is a rather standard compatibilist one, the algorithm in your brain produces the sensation of free will as an artifact of an optimization process.

There is nothing you can do about it (you are executing an algorithm, after all), but your subjective perception of free will may change as you interact with other algorithms, like me or Jessica or whoever. There aren't really any objective intentional "decisions", only our perception of them. Therefore there the decision theories are just byproducts of all these algorithms executing. It doesn't matter though, because you have no choice but to feel that decision theories are important.

So, watch the world unfold before your eyes, and enjoy the illusion of making decisions.

I wrote about this over the last few years:

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/NptifNqFw4wT4MuY8/agency-is-bugs-and-uncertainty

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/TQvSZ4n4BuntC22Af/decisions-are-not-about-changing-the-world-they-are-about

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/436REfuffDacQRbzq/logical-counterfactuals-are-low-res

Comment by shminux on Two Alternatives to Logical Counterfactuals · 2020-04-01T23:35:16.962Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm trying t understand where exactly in your approach you sneak in the free will...

Comment by shminux on Necessity and Warrant · 2020-04-01T05:03:27.536Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Another great post. I hope you elaborate on these Principles in your subsequent posts.

Comment by shminux on How special are human brains among animal brains? · 2020-04-01T04:59:59.597Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · LW · GW

According to this SSC book review, "the secret of our success" is the ability to learn culture + the accumulation of said culture, which seems a bit broader than ability to learn language + language that you describe.

Comment by shminux on Categorization of Meta-Ethical Theories (a flowchart) · 2020-03-30T18:35:03.491Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · LW · GW

*** Warning *** the link is a non-free Medium content, counts toward your 3 free articles per month. To work around it, use incognito mode.

Comment by shminux on How many people have died in China from Covid-19? · 2020-03-30T04:50:50.695Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Take anything RFA (and all RF* propaganda-focused reporting) says with a grain of salt and seek independent sources (instead). From wikipedia:

In 1999, Catharin Dalpino of the Brookings Institution, who served in the Clinton State Department as a deputy assistant secretary deputy for human rights, called Radio Free Asia "a waste of money." "Wherever we feel there is an ideological enemy, we're going to have a Radio Free Something," she says. Dalpino said she has reviewed scripts of Radio Free Asia's broadcasts and views the station's reporting as unbalanced. "They lean very heavily on reports by and about dissidents in exile. It doesn't sound like reporting about what's going on in a country.
Comment by shminux on Coronavirus Virology: A Beginner’s Guide · 2020-03-28T21:45:03.317Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

What about virulence? Does it take a lot less viral particles to cause a Covid infection compared to the flu?

Comment by shminux on What is the safe in-person distance for COVID-19? · 2020-03-27T00:17:31.606Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think 6 ft and everyone wearing masks (properly) to avoid infecting others, plus sticking to open spaces only should basically reduce the risk to that of venturing out alone.

Comment by shminux on What is the safe in-person distance for COVID-19? · 2020-03-26T21:28:10.550Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The idea is not to remove almost all risk, but to reduce R0 below 1. Six feet is likely to help a lot with that.

Comment by shminux on Adding Up To Normality · 2020-03-26T05:29:47.076Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Then exploring these crystal spheres without crashing into them might be a thing to do. Applications.

Comment by shminux on Adding Up To Normality · 2020-03-26T00:55:34.720Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
the heliocentric model gives some important implications for the ethics of space travel.

What are those implications? I tend to prefer dealing with applications, not implications, so not sure what you mean.

Comment by shminux on What will the economic effects of COVID-19 be? · 2020-03-25T03:34:26.247Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Sure, you can move the comment around as you see fit. 30% ballpark because China appears to be much more competent at minimizing the impact, and the US is still not even acknowledging the number of cases they likely have, and are doing half-measures, which is the worst possible approach. Yet, even with a likely depression coming, there are too many uncertainties as to how the situation might develop. If I was 90% sure, I'd probably buy stock options or bet on Chinese currency firming up against US dollar.

Comment by shminux on Adding Up To Normality · 2020-03-24T23:24:51.512Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

One very common pitfall here that you mention, and that is inherited from Eliezer's writings, is related to the potential infinite universes and many worlds. "But many worlds implies..." No, it doesn't. Whether some physical model of the world that is believed to be the one truth by the site founder gets some experimental evidence for or against some day need not affect your morality here and now. Or ever, for that matter, unless there is some day a proven way to interact with those hypothetical selves. The effects of your actions are limited to a tiny part of the observable universe, and that is only if you believe that you have free will. Which is another pitfall, "but if I don't have free will, nothing matters." Nothing objectively matters anyway, the meaning is inside the algorithm that is your mind. Hopefully that algorithm is robust enough to resist the security holes in it, called here infohazards and such.

Comment by shminux on What will the economic effects of COVID-19 be? · 2020-03-24T08:43:50.964Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A 30% probability version: the US bungles the crisis so badly and so thoroughly, the pandemic and the shutdowns will last months and result in a domino effect causing a downturn comparable to the Great Depression and lasting years. In the meantime, China will recover and rebound quickly and offer a support package to bail out the ailing West, an equivalent of the Marshall plan. Just like the latter heralded several decades of US domination, the former will commence the new Pax Sinica, Chinese domination over the world, with unclear but not necessarily negative consequences.

Comment by shminux on Good News: the Containment Measures are Working · 2020-03-22T01:22:24.124Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, that was optimistic, apparently. Woeful underreporting everywhere except Korea and less so Germany and Canada.

Comment by shminux on Good News: the Containment Measures are Working · 2020-03-18T00:37:11.437Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, that makes a lot more sense!

Comment by shminux on Good News: the Containment Measures are Working · 2020-03-18T00:18:25.051Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Hah! How could just one of many Covid posts here be blocked?!

Comment by shminux on Positive Feedback -> Optimization? · 2020-03-17T03:46:39.697Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think this approach is worth pursuing, at least as a toy model, to identify the salient features of such a system. There is, of course, plenty of research in the area of evolutionary modeling already, but maybe not exactly in the way you are interested in. Consider spending some time on the literature search and review.

Comment by shminux on Gods! Robots! Aliens! Zombies! · 2020-03-17T02:37:57.047Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Interesting review, looking forward to the next one.

Comment by shminux on Rationalists, Post-Rationalists, And Rationalist-Adjacents · 2020-03-14T01:40:18.376Z · score: 5 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This matches my interpretation of the "community". Personally I am more of a post-rationalist type, with the instrumentalist/anti-realist bend philosophically, and think that the concept of "the truth" is the most harmful part of rationality teachings. Replacing "true" with "high predictive accuracy" everywhere in the sequences would be a worthwhile exercise.

Comment by shminux on How effective are tulpas? · 2020-03-11T01:37:55.635Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that structural dissociation has anything to do with tulpas. I agree that the birthing a tulpa is likely quite different, and I tried to state as much.

Fiction authors who put extensive effort of modeling their characters often develop spontaneous "tulpas" based on their characters

I see the examples in the linked paper, of the characters having independent agency (not sure why the authors call in an illusion), including the characters arguing with the author, even offering opinions outside the fictional framework, like Moriarty in Star Trek TNG, one of the more famous fictional tulpas.

That said, they seem to mix the standard process of writing with the degree of dissociation that results in an independent mind. I dabble in writing, as well, and I can never tell in advance what my characters will do. In a mathematical language, the equations describing the character development are hyperbolic, not elliptic: you can set up an initial value problem, but not a boundary value problem. I don't think there is much of agency in that, just basic modeling of a character and their world. I know some other writers who write "elliptically," i.e. they know the rough outline of the story, including the conclusion, and just flesh out the details. I think Eliezer is one of those.

I wonder how often it happens that the character survives past the end of their story and shares the living space in the creator's mind as an independent entity, like a true tulpa would.

Comment by shminux on How effective are tulpas? · 2020-03-10T05:01:42.697Z · score: 10 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I have some experience dealing with people who exhibit severe dissociation of the tulpa type, though mostly those who have multiple personalities due to a severe ongoing childhood trauma. The structural dissociation theory postulates that a single coherent personality is not inborn but coalesces from various mental and emotional states during childhood, unless something interferes with it, in which case you end up with a "system", not a single persona. Creating a tulpa is basically the inverse of that, trying to break an integrated personality. Depending on how "successful" one is, you may end up segregating some of your traits into a personality, and, in some rare cases, there is no appreciable difference between the main and the tulpa, they are on the equal footing.

You can read on the linked site or just by looking up the dissociative identity disorder (there are quite a few youtube videos by those who deal with this condition) to get the idea of what is theoretically possible. Personally, I'd advise extreme caution, mainly because it is entirely possible to have a life-long amnesia about traumatic childhood experiences, but deliberately twisting your mind to create a tulpa may irreparably break those barriers, and the results are not pretty.

Comment by shminux on Name of Problem? · 2020-03-10T02:53:22.664Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't separability of arbitrary Turing machines equivalent to the Halting problem and therefore undecidable?

Comment by shminux on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T00:13:21.827Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I wish I didn't have to see the deluge of coronaposts in my feed or under Latest Posts.

Comment by shminux on Analyticity Depends On Definitions · 2020-03-08T22:46:52.135Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · LW · GW
Now the infinity of a series consists in the fact that it can never be completed through successive synthesis.

I'm surprised how many philosophical arguments are based on the lack of imagination.

Comment by shminux on When are immunostimulants/immunosuppressants likely to be helpful for COVID-19? · 2020-03-07T00:56:56.185Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If consistently confirmed and not offset by "I'm taking supplements/wearing a mask and therefore can go out more", then yes. But the uncertainty in that 40% decrease in risk is probably on the order of 200%.

Comment by shminux on Subjective implication decision theory in critical agentialism · 2020-03-06T06:13:16.439Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Perhaps the main point of my original post is to be very detail-oriented about what a perspective is, and how ontology relativizes to a perspective.

I have no argument that in most circumstances this difference in perspectives is essential. However, if you are talking about decision theories, the agents who do not believe that their actions are determined just because the predictor knows this (definitely knows, by definition, not just believes), those agents's algorithms end up two-boxing, because they believe that "their actions are not determined," and so two-boxing is the higher-utility choice. Unless I'm missing something in your argument again. But if not, then my point is that this relativization does not make a better decision-making algorithm.

Comment by shminux on Subjective implication decision theory in critical agentialism · 2020-03-06T05:43:18.775Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

From your companion post:

We see, now, that if free will and determinism are compatible, it is due to limitations on the agent's knowledge. The agent, knowing it runs on C, cannot thereby determine what action it takes at time t, until a later time. And the initial attempt to provide this knowledge externally fails.

The way I interpret it is "my belief in free will is compatible with determinism", not "I have free will, defined as 'the ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded,' if 'unimpeded' is interpreted as 'unimpeded by an algorithm that runs on C'." I have no objection to something like "my algorithm running on C includes subroutines that generate different possible worlds and evaluate their utility, thus giving me a perception of making choices." However, a perfect predictor would know what your algorithm will do before you are ever instantiated, whether by analyzing the algorithm, by running it on a "virtual Jessica machine" or through some combination of both. In that sense, you are not free to make decisions, but, after being run for some time as an algorithm on C, you get to learn what your algorithm is up to that moment.

Comment by shminux on Subjective implication decision theory in critical agentialism · 2020-03-06T05:10:26.935Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Note that there is no such thing as agency or free will in the world where perfect predictors exist. Thus a self-consistent question to ask is not "what decision should I make?" but "what decision am I programmed to make?" If your programming is to two-box, then that is what you will do, nothing you can think or "decide" that would change that. In practice, there is (almost) always a way out of this, for example by using a quantum RNG to make decisions (unless the world is super-deterministic and the predictor has access to the initial condition that resulted in you using the RNG). In this case the best the predictor can do is to conclude that the subject "would use a quantum RNG", and what probability distribution the subject would pick, i.e. the predictable features of the world. I wrote about it ages ago, but our discussion at the time waned without any kind of shared conclusion. Not surprising, after all, if we cannot make decisions, what's the point of decision theories?

Re counterfactual mugging, if you are an embedded agent, the best you can state is that

an agent who does not pay lives in the world where she has higher utility. It does not matter what Omega says or does, or what the 1000th digit of pi is.
Comment by shminux on When are immunostimulants/immunosuppressants likely to be helpful for COVID-19? · 2020-03-06T03:54:41.648Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The supplement effects seem marginal, from your description. And focusing on them may detract from focusing on what is likely to help, which is the laundry list of measures to reduce exposure. So, when you talk to your parents, discussing potential changes in their routine might be a more useful approach.

Comment by shminux on Cryonics? · 2020-03-05T06:17:54.863Z · score: 1 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I suspect that you are better off investing wisely and buying a lump-sum membership at some point in the future, say, when you are in your 40s.

Comment by shminux on Seeing the Smoke · 2020-02-29T21:21:48.613Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Yeah, you are right. There should be some stats for a given age group for just the (mostly) healthy individuals.

Comment by shminux on Open & Welcome Thread - February 2020 · 2020-02-29T08:33:31.429Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
between 60-160 million people will die from it within about a year.

That seems high. If you assume that it's as contagious as the regular flu, and given that every year about 5-15% of people get infected (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza#Epidemic_and_pandemic_spread), that makes roughly 700 million infected, and given the expected mortality rate in single percents (currently 7% and dropping of all closed cases, estimated 1% in general), we arrive at the 10 million deaths estimate without any containment measures in place. Given the containment measures, the number of infections and deaths is likely to be a fraction of that, likely under a million dead.

Comment by shminux on What to make of Aubrey de Grey's prediction? · 2020-02-29T05:17:28.787Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Ah. Did he own up to being incorrect and has he changed his methodology as a result? If not, then I'd be very skeptical.

Comment by shminux on What to make of Aubrey de Grey's prediction? · 2020-02-29T04:53:00.326Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is this the first prediction he has made? If not, what is his track record?

Comment by shminux on Seeing the Smoke · 2020-02-29T04:51:48.329Z · score: 11 (15 votes) · LW · GW

There is little doubt, and it has been obvious for some time, that COVID-19 will become as endemic as the other coronaviruses, those of cold and flu. If you are young and healthy, your chances of dying is about 1 in 500 (from the same source as your data): https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

Significantly higher than the flu, but not "oh my God, we all gonna die!" high. So,

YOU WILL GET EXPOSED TO COVID-19

virus with 90%+ confidence, within the next year or two. You may well remain asymptomatic, of course and not even know that you have been infected.

Yes, you should stock up and such, but only because of the disproportional auto-immune reaction by the freaking out society. Just like with 9/11, the most harm will came from the people reacting to it. So, a better question is not to how to prepare for the coming pandemic, but how to prepare for the inevitable mass panic and overreaction. It is likely to be bad for a few months, then it will blow over, with some residual long tail dragging on for some time, like it happened with basically every scary event in history, lately including 9/11 and the subprime crisis.

Comment by shminux on Value of the Long Tail · 2020-02-27T07:33:50.037Z · score: 2 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The automation rule of thumb is that the automated process has to be significantly better than manual or human-assisted automation by every metric. It does not have to be 100%, but it has to be way better than the alternative. An autonomous vehicle can make mistakes, but if there are far fewer of them and if they are of the same kind a human would have made (otherwise it's "worse than a human driver" by at least one metric), then it's acceptable.

Comment by shminux on How does electricity work literally? · 2020-02-25T02:54:48.226Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Downvoted for apparently not even trying to check online sources, like Wikipedia and physics stackexchange.

Comment by shminux on The recent NeurIPS call for papers requires authors to include a statement about the potential broader impact of their work · 2020-02-24T09:07:11.579Z · score: 3 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Just like with renaming NIPS to NeurIPS, this is wokeness gone wild.

Comment by shminux on How do you survive in the humanities? · 2020-02-22T03:15:53.901Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

As Dagon said, learning empathy and humility is always a good idea. You don't have to believe your teacher or condone their views or practices, but that's a different issue.

Comment by shminux on How do you survive in the humanities? · 2020-02-21T04:03:14.399Z · score: -2 (13 votes) · LW · GW

Notice that your teachers are actually rational, if you define rationality as success in life. Believing or at least declaring to believe something you disagree with did not hinder their ability to get the job they want and teach the classes they want. They might not do as well in a science or engineering department, but that is not where they work.

You are stuck considering two options, missing a lot more of them. You think that they are wrong AND irresponsible AND harmful, period, and you can either try to fix it or to ignore it. Ironically, that is where your own failure lies: you can't even consider that their views may actually work for them, and for other students. Art is not science, life is not logic and rationality is not a pursuit of the one truth.

Should I just shut up and focus on graduating? Or would it be unethical of me to just stand by while hundreds are taught to shut off their reasoning skills?

Consider learning empathy (understanding where others come from, why and how). Consider learning humility (accepting that your view might not be the only one worth holding). Consider learning other approaches to life, not necessarily just those based on pure logic. If you manage, you might be surprised by your own personal growth as a human.

Comment by shminux on Stuck Exploration · 2020-02-21T02:23:16.268Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Was trying to explain, but it looks like I screwed something up in the reformulation :)

Comment by shminux on Stuck Exploration · 2020-02-20T21:28:09.457Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · LW · GW
But coin needs to depend on your prediction instead of being always biased a particular way.

I don't see why, where would the isomorphism break?

Comment by shminux on Stuck Exploration · 2020-02-20T04:39:45.493Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I am confused about the iterated Parfit's hitchhiker setup. In the one-shot PH agent not only never gets to safety, they die in the desert. So you must have something else in mind. Presumably they can survive the desert in some way (how?) at the cost of lower utility. Realizing that precommitting to not paying results in suboptimal outcomes, the agent would, well, "explore" other options, including precommitting to paying.

If my understanding is correct, then this game is isomorphic to betting on a coin toss:

You are told that you win $1000 if a coin lands heads, and $1 if the coin lands tails. What you do not know is that the coin is 100% biased and always lands tails.

In that less esoteric setup you will initially bet on tails, but after a few losses, realize that the coin is biased and adjust your bet accordingly.