Comment by solveit on 2017 LessWrong Survey · 2017-09-15T23:18:52.536Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

I have taken the survey!

Comment by solveit on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-10T09:36:25.892Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

There's also a strong selection effect. Guess what kind of people you'll meet in classes!

Comment by solveit on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-09T21:32:28.774Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I feel uncomfortable criticizing HPMoR for its writing when it clearly succeeded at its job beyond all expectation.

Comment by solveit on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-09T21:27:56.460Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't see how this is limited to academic learning.

Comment by solveit on Open thread, June 26 - July 2, 2017 · 2017-07-01T11:28:21.280Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

For almost all people, their comparative advantage won't be in AI research, and they'd do more good doing whatever they're best placed to do, and donating a portion of their income.

You don't give enough detail for us to give specific suggestions, but unless you have extraordinarily compelling reasons to think that you were born to be an AI researcher, I wouldn't recommend making major life changes for the sole purpose of maybe becoming a fairly average AI researcher in ~10 years.

Comment by SolveIt on [deleted post] 2017-06-01T11:40:48.179Z

Yes, that particular question was rhetorical.

But my more general point is that I think you're wildly overconfident in your ability to manage difficult social situations because I think very few people could successfully navigate the issues that will arise if this goes wrong, and you haven't given me enough reason to think that you're extraordinarily good. What little I know of you (this comments section) points towards you being a fairly regular person that gets upset when people pummel you with unfair criticism and reacts in fairly regular ways. I am not convinced that is good enough to undertake a dangerous and BINDING venture.

Since I think it would take an extraordinary person to pull off a soft landing if this goes catastrophically wrong, it would take rather extraordinary evidence to convince me that you are such a person. The sort of answer that would satisfy me is of the sort that involves a good number of other people testifying that they know based on experience that you would be able to handle the worst-case scenarios.

Comment by SolveIt on [deleted post] 2017-06-01T03:01:17.081Z

I think you're being wildly optimistic about your vetting procedures. I don't think you can reliably predict how people will react in high-stress situations with your filters.

in real life, Gandhi only wins against an enemy who's willing to update

Well too bad, because your hypothetical screaming roommate isn't willing to update, and they're screaming in your face at 2am anyway. Can you defuse the situation? Or will you end up with, at best, a messy eviction that's traumatizing for all parties involved?

Comment by SolveIt on [deleted post] 2017-06-01T01:22:37.371Z

You flipping out in response to text comments, despite having the luxury of time and privacy to compose your responses doesn't bode well for how you'd react to a member screaming in your face about how you hoodwinked them into an abusive arrangement.

You may feel that handoflixue is strawmanning you, assuming bad faith, etc, but the person screaming in your face could do much much worse, even if you did everything right! If you can't handle this level of criticism gracefully, you're not fit to lead anything like your proposal.

Comment by solveit on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-19T01:23:41.371Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I am interested!

Comment by solveit on Stupidity as a mental illness · 2017-02-12T13:43:22.536Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Indeed. I'd also like to point out that even though already having this framework in place, we're pretty much clueless om what to do about it. This is despite the fact that these cases should be the most treatable!

Comment by solveit on Stupidity as a mental illness · 2017-02-12T13:17:17.994Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I agree. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that all their aid is merit-based. Certainly they would believe it is.

Comment by solveit on Rationality test: Vote for trump · 2016-06-16T10:33:03.739Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

While I am generally for lowering the bar to posting, I would consider this post lacking both content and context even if it were a comment.


Comment by solveit on What can we learn from Microsoft's Tay, its inflammatory tweets, and its shutdown? · 2016-03-26T05:20:58.632Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm sure the engineers knew exactly what would happen. It doesn't tell us much about the control problem that we didn't already know.

OTOH, if this wasn't an intentional PR stunt, that means management didn't think this would happen even though the engineers presumably knew. That definitely has unsettling implications.

Comment by solveit on The ethics of eating meat · 2016-02-18T16:45:47.263Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I upvoted your first post despite disagreeing with it for this very reason. That being said, expecting people to not downvote posts they disagree with based on meta reasons isn't going to work. This is just another reason we should rework the karma system.

Comment by solveit on Where does our community disagree about meaningful issues? · 2016-02-12T17:36:12.866Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

The actual effectiveness of MIRI

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015 · 2015-11-25T15:32:20.422Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Do you have any plans for international shipping? (Say, the UK)

Comment by solveit on The Triumph of Humanity Chart · 2015-10-26T10:10:03.700Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

What happened in 1970 that poverty started sharply declining?

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Oct. 5 - Oct. 11, 2015 · 2015-10-07T08:35:35.623Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I agree. I was flippantly making a point on the lines of this quote

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.

-John Wanamaker-

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Oct. 5 - Oct. 11, 2015 · 2015-10-06T20:30:20.885Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Does he know which portion is the waste of intelligence?

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Oct. 5 - Oct. 11, 2015 · 2015-10-06T14:08:08.379Z · score: 18 (16 votes) · LW · GW

You need to get off the internet and start interacting with normal people who don't advocate state-sanctioned massacres of any kind. You can find extreme enough opinions of any colour on the internet if you try hard enough. That doesn't mean any significant number of people hold them, it means there are billions of people online and someone went out of their way to find the most rhetorically useful targets.

Comment by solveit on Kant's Multiplication · 2015-09-19T17:12:45.355Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Well, the obvious objection is that clearly not everybody's going to do what you do, so your hypothetical scenario is often going to be irrelevant. Furthermore, I'd think that

"If everyone here always smoked, they'd install a powerful ventilation system, so I'd be okay" is exactly what you should think. Of course, you should factor in the cost of the ventilation system, but that those costs exist isn't any reason to assume that the marginal change in utility you effect by your actions is going to stay constant when multiplied by seven billion.

I've just noticed that I'm confused, and that's because your comments on the second error seem to be saying that you should shut up and sum utilities, which kind of renders your comments on the first (and my reply) obsolete. Oh well.

I'll just point out that if you could measure utilities well enough to actually shut up and multiply, you wouldn't need this kind of heuristic.

Also, this heuristic fails miserably in the face of any kind of conflict. Of course unilateral disarmament works if everybody does it at the same time. While I understand that your heuristic isn't supposed to be used in such cases, you'll find actual situations without underlying conflicts are rather difficult to find.

Finally, your grammar is mostly fine and certainly no significant obstacle to communication.

Comment by solveit on My future posts; a table of contents. · 2015-09-01T05:27:59.692Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A p=np approach to learning

Very interested in this one.

Comment by solveit on Why people want to die · 2015-08-25T08:45:05.011Z · score: 5 (7 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted because I think taking people's objections at face value is something we should be more open to. That being said, I'm a bit worried that the reason this has so many upvotes is because it tells us what we want to hear. (We're better than the common man! We have real interests and ambitions, not just staring into the water and waiting for a fish to bite!)

Comment by solveit on [Link] First almost fully-formed human [foetus] brain grown in lab, researchers claim · 2015-08-19T07:19:08.693Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

How do you give an unplugged brain PTSD?

Comment by solveit on Ideas on growth of the community · 2015-08-13T06:53:18.501Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I would be in favour of an offtopic tab separate from Main and Discussion

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Aug. 10 - Aug. 16, 2015 · 2015-08-11T16:11:26.864Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Correction: You would beat the market.

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Aug. 10 - Aug. 16, 2015 · 2015-08-11T06:46:37.397Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I have no experience with startups, but I imagine most startups fail because of apathy (from either customers or investors), rather than enemy action.

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Aug. 10 - Aug. 16, 2015 · 2015-08-11T04:41:16.720Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Which makes it a good target for signalling. If you want to seem strong, you get the domain.

Comment by solveit on Open thread, Aug. 10 - Aug. 16, 2015 · 2015-08-11T04:26:23.851Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

It seems you shouldn't be able to, since if you had such a system you could use the complement strategy (buy everything else) and make money.

Comment by solveit on Rationality Quotes Thread August 2015 · 2015-08-04T13:05:43.456Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I think the point of the quote is that in the first case you have five methods you can use to attack different problems. In the second case you only have one method, and you have to hope every problem is a nail.

Comment by solveit on Test Driven Thinking · 2015-08-04T11:52:28.032Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Then why accept the simplest solution instead of say, the most beautiful solution, or the most intuitive solution?

Comment by solveit on Test Driven Thinking · 2015-08-04T00:15:04.840Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

True, but I would consider the most common chain of reasoning for atheism (Occam's razor, therefore no God) equivalent to thinking in terms of probabilities even if probabilities aren't explicitly mentioned.

Comment by solveit on Wear a Helmet While Driving a Car · 2015-07-31T02:25:03.424Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

rubber on the side facing your head

Looks like it would mitigate the shock somewhat.

Comment by solveit on Wear a Helmet While Driving a Car · 2015-07-31T02:23:27.197Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Have them look like swim caps and drill holes so water can flow? I don't see the problem, it looks like a definite win for elderly people at the very least.

Comment by solveit on Catastrophe Engines: A possible resolution to the Fermi Paradox · 2015-07-26T08:45:37.035Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

It's not a contest.

But it is. There are only a limited number of ideas we can work on, so we'd better have some reason to think that this idea has more potential than any of the innumerable other ideas we could be working on instead.

Comment by solveit on Catastrophe Engines: A possible resolution to the Fermi Paradox · 2015-07-26T01:22:09.062Z · score: 6 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Is there any reason we should expect such catastrophe engines to exist?

Comment by solveit on Test Driven Thinking · 2015-07-25T10:34:06.804Z · score: 1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Your definition of atheism doesn't seem to reflect the way the word is used. A good portion of self-identified atheists would in fact be agnostics under your definition. In fact, every flavour of atheism I would consider compatible with general LW beliefs would be agnosticism since we can only claim that P(god) is very small.

Comment by solveit on Entrepreneurial autopsies · 2015-07-13T10:53:42.330Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Do you know what procedures VC's use to assess viability? They're not the final word on the subject of course, but it seems the obvious starting point.

Comment by solveit on Crazy Ideas Thread · 2015-07-08T23:08:28.592Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Me too.

Comment by solveit on Reseach questions · 2015-06-21T10:12:02.626Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not too familiar with research gate, but for the rest:

Quora: By far the worst when it comes to objective facts. While there are gems here and there, most upvoted answers read like pep talks, and usually don't have much content beyond that of a decent pep talk. Go here if you want a pep talk or a popularization of some scientific concept.

Stackexchange: is where you want to be most of the time. The answers are good, and their accuracy is much better than anywhere else on the net. If you're asking about a topic anywhere close to mainstream in academia (or if you're interested in computers), you'll find an expert on that very topic.

Lesswrong: Honestly, lesswrong is too small. Unless you're going to ask about niche topics (EA, Singularity, Cryonics, and the like), there's a good chance nobody here is an expert on what you're interested in. If you are interested in the niche topics, you'll find people willing to give you detailed answers. But beware of only getting one side of the story. The answers you'll get don't necessarily reflect expert consensus, or even rationalist consensus (See yvain's opinion polls and how they match up with the comments you read. Also, check out all the other rationalist hubs. For instance, the tumblr rationalists have a markedly different atmosphere.).

Comment by solveit on In praise of gullibility? · 2015-06-18T11:47:39.051Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

I disagree with the premise that LW tears half-baked ideas to shreds. My experience (which, admittedly is limited to open threads) is that you'll be fine if you're clear that what you're presenting a work in progress, and you don't overreach with your ideas.

By overreach, I mean something like this:

This is an attempt to solve happiness. Several factors, such as health, genetics, and social environment, affect happiness. So happiness = healthgeneticssocial environment.

You can see what's wrong with the post above. It's usually not this blatant, but I see this sort of thing too often, and they are invariably ripped to shreds. On the other hand, something like this:

This is an attempt to solve happiness. First, I'd like to identify the factors that affect happiness. I can think of health, genetics, and social environment. Can we break this down further? Am I missing any important factors?

Probably won't be ripped to shreds. It has it's fair share of problems, so I wouldn't expect an enthusiastic response from the community, but it won't be piled upon either.

Frankly speaking, the first type of post reeks of cargo cult science (big equations, formal style (often badly executed), and references that may or may not help the reader). I'm not too unhappy to see those posts being ripped to shreds.

Comment by solveit on Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Argument · 2015-06-06T19:36:35.569Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm from the future. Thanks for telling me this. I hadn't realized this despite seeing the name for years.

Comment by solveit on The value of learning mathematical proof · 2015-06-03T09:36:56.380Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Yes, you can try to prove everything before it's explained with pretty much any real analysis book. Just be reasonable about it, if you've gone a few hours without even making partial progress on a theorem, read the proof. A first exposure to analysis doesn't just teach you analysis, it teaches you how to build theories from the bottom up. If you can do that on your first try, great. If you can't (as is a lot more likely), learn how and save the "prove everything on your own" experience for a different subject.

Comment by solveit on The value of learning mathematical proof · 2015-06-02T18:31:00.094Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I wouldn't recommend it for someone's first exposure to analysis. When you first meet a subject, you want to get a sense of how the bits fit together, and what the important concepts and theorems are supposed to "mean" (as opposed to their formal definitions). You learn this by slowly working through examples and thinking about special cases.

Unfortunately, Rudin has very few examples, his proofs are more elegant than enlightening (for the beginner anyway, his proofs are very enlightening if you already know the big picture and are want to know the answers to questions like "Do I really need this strong an assumption for this theorem?"), and develops his theories in a lot more generality than a typical introductory analysis course (Which again, isn't necessarily bad, but you do want to get a feel for how things work in R^n before diving into arbitrary metric spaces).

If you have three months, you might want to spend the first half or so on a more verbose book, and then go over the material again using Rudin. You'd get a deeper understanding, and it might even be faster than just going through Rudin once!

Comment by solveit on Open Thread, Jun. 1 - Jun. 7, 2015 · 2015-06-01T08:39:08.751Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Why k log n? I imagine n would be largely independent of k, so f(S) would become arbitrarily large just by using bigger and bigger sets.

Comment by solveit on No peace in our time? · 2015-05-26T15:40:28.471Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The Second Congo War is estimated to have had killed up to 5.4 million people, although not directly through violence. Do casualties include wounded (so not just deaths?), because in that case a few more wars would fit the bill.

Comment by solveit on The Best Popular Books on Every Subject · 2015-05-22T09:37:56.979Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

The way I've heard it used is to describe activities that give you the illusion of understanding a complex subject. Examples would be Malcolm Gladwell's books, or the high school student who thinks they understand quantum mechanics after reading The Elegant Universe. So that usage wouldn't fit pure maths, since we seem to generally agree that pure mathematicians have a true understanding of their fields, even if we don't agree on the value of said fields.

Comment by solveit on The Best Popular Books on Every Subject · 2015-05-19T23:18:47.008Z · score: 11 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Meta: Should we be encouraging people to read popular books? Popular books have their place, but there is a common failure mode where people read popularizations, get their daily fix of insight porn, and go away without having learned anything substantial.

Reading popular books on the same subject have sharply decreasing marginal utility, and I'm guessing that the kind of person who reads LW is the kind of person who has already read enough popularizations that reading another is probably a waste of time.

Comment by solveit on Open Thread, May 18 - May 24, 2015 · 2015-05-19T09:16:25.367Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would consider anyone who would do this (based on the dollar amount of donation) to be terribly pretentious and, frankly, silly.


Comment by solveit on Which ideas from LW would you most like to see spread? · 2015-05-18T17:13:21.526Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What kind of negative health consequences did the diet have?