What are some in depth / meta-analytic, professionally edited wiki's? Examples inside 2013-03-31T07:47:13.910Z


Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Covid 5/20: The Great Unmasking · 2021-05-25T16:04:07.672Z · LW · GW

Best reference materials for calculating children's risk ratio? (Interested in both risk to children themselves in terms of symptoms, and a measure of risk of children being carriers who spread it such as a positive test)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Covid 5/13: Moving On · 2021-05-17T14:44:27.132Z · LW · GW

I need some help convincing the people in my "bubble" that it is now safe. Does anyone have any resources that explain - credibly, with citations to data, something that would convince a smart and skeptical person - why it is okay for fully vaccinated people to interact with potentially infected individuals?

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on In My Culture · 2019-03-07T22:58:06.889Z · LW · GW

So...I actually happen to have converged upon the same insight, and have actually tried to use this exact phrase in the wild.

Unfortunately (being an immigrant) people understandably often assume I was talking about nation-level differences involving my country of birth, rather than my particular family and the specialized microcosm of friends that I surround myself with. Any ideas for making the wording more precise so as to avoid this?

(I've tried modifications like "in my family" or "the way I grew up" or "how I was raised" but more or less the same problem occurs. "Among my friends and I" sort of works, sometimes? But mostly I've just given up on trying to reference culture in navigating misunderstandings.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Open thread, Nov. 14 - Nov. 20, 2016 · 2016-11-17T05:10:00.475Z · LW · GW

Here's an instrumental rationality problem:

Wisdom teeth - preemptively remove them or not?

(risks of surgery / risks of having wisdom teeth / potential benefits of retaining them?)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Open thread, June 20 - June 26, 2016 · 2016-07-07T21:15:07.249Z · LW · GW

Attempting to resuscitate a child, failing, and then going about one's day is neither ruthless nor cruel, but I think I understand what you mean. It can be jarring for some people when doctors are seemingly unaffected by the high intensity situations they experience.

Doing good does sometimes require overriding instincts designed to prevent evil. For instance, a surgeon must overcome certain natural instincts not to hurt when she cuts into a patient's flesh and blood pours out. The instinct says this is cruelty, the rational mind knows it will save the life of the patient.

There are hazards involved in overriding natural instincts, such as in C&P where the protagonist overrides natural instincts against murder because he is convinced that it is in the greater good, because instincts exist for good reason. There are also hazards involved in following natural instincts. Humans have the capacity for both.

Following instincts vs. overriding instincts, both variants are appropriate at different times. Putting correctly proportioned trust in reasoning vs. instinct is important. You need to consider when instincts mislead, but you also need to consider when reasoning misleads.

It would be a mistake to take a relatively clear cut case of the doctor's override of natural sympathetic instinct (for which there is a great deal of training and precedent which establishes that it is a good idea) and turn it into a generalized principle of "trust reason over moral instinct" under uncertainty. There is no uncertainty in the doctors case, the correct path is obvious. Just because doctors are allowed to override instincts like "don't cut into flesh" and "grieve when witnessing death" in a case where it has already been predecided that this is a good idea doesn't mean they get free license to override just willy nilly whenever they've convinced themselves it's for a greater good, they still have to undergo the deliberative process of asking whether they've rationalized themselves into something bad.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Open thread, June 20 - June 26, 2016 · 2016-07-03T17:18:11.064Z · LW · GW

That sounds like a meaningful experience. Can you be more specific about the paradigm shift it caused and the questions you have about "upholding rationality"?

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Thoughts on hacking aromanticism? · 2016-06-30T23:36:31.871Z · LW · GW

Another important thing that romance does is cause love.

Being loved (you know, that thing where you get to inject your utility function into another agents system, such that they now have a desire to fulfill your preferences) has many obvious instrumental uses, in addition to the inherent value of loving another person..

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Open thread, June 20 - June 26, 2016 · 2016-06-30T23:21:30.985Z · LW · GW

Wait a few months to a year. It usually goes away.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Open thread, June 20 - June 26, 2016 · 2016-06-30T23:17:57.966Z · LW · GW

Leaving aside the bloody obvious things (universal basic income or other form of care, global internet access, etc)

Prediction market. They tried but it's dead due to gambling laws. Someone should give it a second try.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Revitalizing Less Wrong seems like a lost purpose, but here are some other ideas · 2016-06-30T06:54:42.305Z · LW · GW

So basically it is eternal september, then. It's just that lesswrong's "september" took the form of excessively/inappropriately contrarian people.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Strategies and tools for getting through a break up · 2015-09-15T00:53:17.747Z · LW · GW

Thanks for the update! It's hopeful / helpful to know that the quick recovery was indeed fairly permanent. Wish I could say my process was going that well!

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2015-06-03T00:02:10.518Z · LW · GW

Those examples of departing from left-canon (libertarian, "feminism-isn't-perfect", and "pua is often questionable in practice but not fundamentally bad from first principles") are okay by me. I depart from the left-canon on those points myself and find the leftie moral outrage tactics on some of those fronts pretty annoying. All those things are still fundamentally egalitarian in values, just different in implementation. The homogeneity I was referring to was in egalitarianism and a certain type of emotional stance, a certain agreement concerning which first principles are valid and which goals are worthy, despite diversity in implementation.

(But, as ChristainKI pointed out, Moldbug himself was a commentator, and that predates me, so it's true that the seed has always been there.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2015-06-02T23:59:48.576Z · LW · GW

Huh. Oh right. I knew about the Moldbug thing, and I still said that.

I'm wrong. Mind changed. Good catch.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2015-06-02T23:56:47.464Z · LW · GW

I mean, I still value diversity by default. Valuing homogeneity is something I've kind of come around to slowly and suspiciously (whereas before I just assumed it was bad by default.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2015-05-31T21:20:07.154Z · LW · GW

I suppose it could be so. It doesn't matter really, since the end result is the same. Still, I doubt it because Lesswrong is overwhelmingly left wing (and continues to be according to the polls - the right wing and NRx voices belong to just a few very prolific accounts.) And pretty much all the founding members of Lesswrong and, going back further, transhumanism in general, were of a certain sort which I hesitate to call "left" or "liberal" but... - socialists, libertarians, anarchists, all those were represented, and certainly many early users were hostile to social justice's extremeties, which is to be expected among smart people who are exposed to leftie stupidity much more often than other kinds of stupidity... but those were differences in implementation. We all essentially agreed on the core principles of egalitarianism and not hurting people, and agreed that prejudice against race and gender expression is bad (which was an entirely separate topic from whether they're equal in aptitude), and that conservatives, nationalists, and those sort of people were fundamentally wrongheaded in some way. It wasn't controversial, just taken for granted that anyone who had penetrated this far into the dialogue believed that these things to be true.... in the same sense that we continue to take for granted that no one here believes in a literal theist God. (And right now, I know many former users have retreated into other more obscure spin off forums, and everything I said here pretty much remains true in those forums and blogs.)

But I'm less interested in who broke the walled garden / started eternal september / whatever you want to call it (after all, I'm not mad that they came here, I got to learn about an interesting philosophy) and more interested in the meta-level principle: per my understanding of Neoreactionary philosophy, when one finds oneself in the powerful majority, one aught to just go ahead and exert that power and not worry about the underdog (which I still don't agree with but I'm not sure why). And, homogeneity is often more valuable than diversity in many cases, that's something I've actually kind of accepted.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Log-normal Lamentations · 2015-05-22T19:16:48.990Z · LW · GW

Right, but you're not literally disregarding the consequences - Krishna was very much in favor of consequentialism over deontological constraints (In this scenario, the deontological constraint was "thou shalt not murder" and Krishna said "except for the greater good") ... at least within that particular dialogue. The consequences are all that matter.

What you're doing is not being attached to the consequences. To put it in effective altruist terms, disregarding the ego makes you favor utility over warm fuzzies: Warm fuzzies appeal to your ego, which is tied to the visceral sensation that helping has on you, rather than the actual external objective measures of helping.

(Ultimately, of course, squeezing philosophy out of thousand year old texts is a little like reading tea leaves, and the chosen interpretation generally says more about the reader than the writer. It's not a coincidence that my interpretation happens to line up with what I think anyway.)

The cultural meme for non-violence for vedics is pretty strong. As far as I know, it's the only culture for which vegetarianism is a traditional moral value (though I suppose the availability of lentils might have contributed to making that a more feasible option.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Leaving LessWrong for a more rational life · 2015-05-22T04:12:13.339Z · LW · GW

Recently I have realized that the underlying cause runs much deeper: what is taught by the sequences is a form of flawed truth-seeking (thought experiments favored over real world experiments) which inevitably results in errors, and the errors I take issue with in the sequences are merely examples of this phenomenon.

I guess I'm not sure how these concerns could possibly be addressed by any platform meant for promoting ideas. You cannot run a lab in your pocket. You can have citations to evidence found by people who do run labs...but that's really all you can do. Everything else must necessarily be a thought experiment.

So my question is, can you envision a better version, and what would be some of the ways that it would be different? (Because if you can, it aught to be created.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Log-normal Lamentations · 2015-05-21T15:22:18.367Z · LW · GW

Sure! But I think theism is irrelevant in this case. And this isn't mine, just the standard folksy Hinduism, the sort of wisdom you might get from a religious old lady. (And non-Abrahamic religions often do not map well to "atheism/theism" dichotomies. You won't really capture the way Indians think about differences in beliefs by using those terms, it's often not an important distinction to them.)

Now, keep in mind that a lot of what I'm saying is modern hindu exegenesis of the Gita. As in, this is what the Gita means to many Hindus - I can't speak to whether this interpretation actually reflects what people in ~5 BC would have read in it.

In the story Arjun doesn't want to kill his cousins (they're at war over who will rule) because he loves them and violence is wrong. We have to assume for the sake of argument that Arjun should kill his cousins.

Post-Upanishads and spread of Buddhism, a recurring theme in Vedic religion is duty vs. detachment..

Arjun first argues that he's emotionally attached to his cousins and therefore can't fight, and Krishna shoots it down with all the usual arguments against attachment that you're likely quite familiar with.

Then Arjun argues that it's his duty not to kill, that it would be a sin. Krishna replies with some arguments which could fairly be called consequentialist.

Finally Arjun argues that he's detached from the world and therefore he has no need to do bloody things, because he doesn't care about the outcome of the stupid war in the first place. To that, Krishna says "You do your duty without being attached to the consequences."

That bolded phrase is taken as the central, abstract principle of the's the part people cherry pick, and we like to ignore or minimize the fact that it was originally spoken in support of violence. If you are feeling sad about a failure, an elderly person might come and try to console you with this aphorism. That idea has a life bigger than the Gita itself, growing up I heard it from people who've never read the Gita. (Just like many Christians don't actually read the bible, but have various notions about what it says).

Which is how it relates to our discussion - You can be very driven and truth+outcome oriented without actually tying your ego to the outcome. Loss of ego need not imply loss of drive.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on What degree of cousins are you and I? Estimates of Consanguinity to promote feelings of kinship and empathy · 2015-05-21T02:09:46.678Z · LW · GW

I don't really think this is a principled solution. I care care more about elephants and dolphins than I do about, I dunno, pottos or something. This is gonna get really awkward if we ever meet any sentient aliens. And from the perspective of rhetoric, I doubt a geneticist with a graph is going to be what finally hammers in the universal brotherhood message.

And what are you gonna do about HeLa cells?

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Log-normal Lamentations · 2015-05-20T19:21:55.290Z · LW · GW

We have very similar threads running parallel right now. We both converged on the important thing being that ego is tied to something outside of oneself, rather than self-referential self conception. I called it "truth+outcome orientation" and you called it "external". Do you have thoughts on my conceptualization of it?

Unlike yours, I think ego size is irrelevant. A person with a small ego cares not what others think, nor do they really care what they think of themselves and thus live free from pain and guilt but also pride... however, they can still care about underlying reality a lot in a consequentialist sense.

Whereas, a person with a very large ego might have virtue-ethics style self perceptions tied to how they behaved in a certain scenario, which comes out to the same thing if they're philosophically consequentialists. Essentially rendering ego size irrelevant except as a personality difference which will manifest in social presentation and emotions.

Your external vs internal dichotomy means "self opinion vs. others opinions".

But truth+outcome orientation with low ego means "focusing primarily on the effect you have on reality, disregarding both the opinions of others and your self perceptions."

and truth+outcome orientation with high ego means "tying your self perception to the effect you have on reality, disregarding the opinions of others, and not trying to trick your own self perception but still being emotionally driven by it."

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Log-normal Lamentations · 2015-05-20T16:55:40.671Z · LW · GW

Hmm....yes, guilt and shame distinction does get close to what I mean.

But you must also add to this mix, the meta-cognitive skill of not fooling yourself to avoid guilt, to get the truth orientation I'm talking about. (Even the shameless who are perfectly happy displeasing others will get defensive and rationalize to fool themselves if you imply they are guilty by their own standards.)

Those with shame hide away from the judgement of others. Most people with guilt orientations will look for ways to justify to themselves, pull out all the arguments to avoid being ashamed in front of the their own mind rather than other people. In truth orientation, you don't worry about whether you feel guilty, you worry about whether you are and you additionally have the cognitive toolkit to avoid accidentally misrepresenting reality to spare your own feelings.

(Assuming large egos. A truth+outcome oriented person with a small ego isn't obsessing about guilt or non-guilt in the first place, they just notice the feeling of guilt as a useful indicator (of truth) and then act (for the preferred outcome). But the end result is the same regardless of the size of ones ego. (Whereas a person with a small ego who isn't truth+outcome oriented will just placidly dismiss the feeling of guilt but never really act.))

This is getting very Gita-esque isn't it. Which is interesting, because in many ways the Gita is intended as a rebuttle to the contemporary rapidly spreading Buddhism...

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Log-normal Lamentations · 2015-05-20T15:35:15.538Z · LW · GW

Honestly, for me personally it's not that I have a small ego - It's that my ego would be more offended if I was stuck in the sort of backwaters where I was the smartest person. I want to be the very best, not feel like the very best. To end up the stereotypical tragic genius who complains about how no one they know really understands or thinks like them, while everyone around them quietly smirks at how self important and arrogant those words sound, is not only sub-optimal but also a sort of failure, a blow to my ego.

Lesswrong (the name less wrong is relevant), transhumanism, all that is about being perfect, in a sense. We're striving to eliminate the minor imperfections in our thinking, so that we can actually be right all the time.

I don't think it has to do with "ego" so much as orientation towards truth and outcomes. The ego is attached to actually being right and actually being successful. Some people find it easy to admit to being wrong because it offends their ego more to be wrong than it does to admit to being wrong. The ego is still firmly in place, it's just less able to deceive itself due to the sort of mind it is piloting.

I guess what I'm saying is that ego, and the arrogance/humility spectrum in general, isn't a good model to describe the difference. You can be humble or arrogant to various degrees, but your orientation towards truth is a separate dimension.

For example, an extremely arrogant person might feel bad when faced with someone better than them, but if they have the truth orientation they can't take that feeling away by shunning that person because their ego cares about truth and won't let itself be tricked that way. So instead they hungrily observe that person and eat up their good qualities. And an extremely humble person with a truth orientation will do the exact same thing, simply because they do care about truth and outcomes.

And when these two people, humble and arrogant people with truth orientations meet, they hopefully understand each other and see that the differences in each other's arrogance/humility related mannerisms is just a superficial personality trait, and not that important.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Log-normal Lamentations · 2015-05-20T01:08:23.515Z · LW · GW

There’s a common story told about a hotshot student at school whose ego crashes to earth when they go to university and find themselves among a group all as special as they thought they were.

But they went to a Uni where the peers were equal to them. They won.

If you're finding that everyone's smarter than you, if you know at least one person better than you at everything, rejoice and jump for joy. Being the local best by a large margin is an extremely bitter thing unless voluntarily chosen: unless you really are at some kind of peak it often means you have underachieved in life. Gifted underachievers are not a happy bunch, not at all. They feel lonely and isolated and no one they know really understands why. (Though partly this may be due to common sociological, psychological, etc factors determining both unhappiness and underachievement relative to ability).

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Strategies and tools for getting through a break up · 2015-05-19T05:00:28.739Z · LW · GW

Interesting...that's impressively fast, well done! Would be interested in an update if you still feel this way in a few months if you don't mind (loss sometimes doesn't really hit till later)

Also, gender? Gender differences are nontrivial here (apparently due to gender differences in caretaking and number of friends, but I do wonder if that's really all it is...but even then i imagine with a depressed partner you had a big caretaking load)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Wild Moral Dilemmas · 2015-05-13T04:01:12.634Z · LW · GW

When the social norms consider it well within your rights to do so, when should you trust people to make their own decisions for the sake of their own interests vs. when should you "paternalistically" extrapolate their desires and make decisions such as what you think they would want if they were smarter/wiser/disciplined comes about instead" is one that happens to me a surprisingly large number of times.

This often but doesn't necessarily imply positions of authority. If your good buddy who isn't very financially savvy is willing to freely give you large sums of money with no obligations attached, do you accept? A strict Mormon who just arrived at college feels peer pressure and impulsively asks you for a drink, and while you do not think it's immoral you know they'll feel guilt later-do you give it to them?

More succinctly: My respect for autonomy and my consequentialism conflict in all cases where I think I know what someone wants better than they do and have any measure of power over what happens. Paternalistic attitudes are also very lonely, there are some analogues to "heroic responsibility" here.

My current position is that consequentialism wins, and what feels like moral uncertainty is actually more a "but what if the other person really does know better?" risk which must be calculated. Respect for autonomy is not usually a fundamental value (except for sometimes, we might intrinsically value the choice) but in practice it is a heuristic which usually leads to the best consequences because people are usually best at knowing what they want.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Guidelines for Upvoting and Downvoting? · 2015-05-07T20:44:25.504Z · LW · GW

My suggestion would be to downvote anything factually misleading, and to upvote anything for which you personally learned something from or had insight from. (Not agreement or disagreement). There are exceptions, as some threads (such as this one) are actually measuring agreement/disagreement, but that should be easy to determine.

I’m pretty sure I’m more proud of them than of all the work I did in high school put together.

I don't think that's not a good thing...there have been people in this community who attempted to drive out those they didn't like by downvoting everything they posted. The community would probably be better off without the downvote, since those who aught to use it do not and those who aught not to use it do. (Not to mention that some people unfortunately attach negative emotion to being downvoted, even though they haven't actually harmed anyone)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Experience of typical mind fallacy. · 2015-04-29T05:06:09.690Z · LW · GW

Right, I agree that this is the outcome. I juat think that no one wakes up in the morning and says "I'm going to skirt my job by intimidating students and BS-ing.

First they don't know the answer then they quickly rationalize under pressure, then they buy their own BS and honestly believe its an answer, then if they get called out they feel vaguely disrespected, and then the intimidation behavior comes out to defend against the disrespect. It's not Machiavellian, it's just brute human instincts reacting to one thing after another. A small child would act the same way on instinct. Later on you ask these people and they'll quite sincerely say they love being challenged.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Experience of typical mind fallacy. · 2015-04-29T04:50:34.106Z · LW · GW

I would predict they'll do whatever fails mode they've done in the past, or do the failures which i barely catch myself from doing.

Are you sure that you don't first look at the behavior and then calculate an incentive map? (Which obviously will fit rather well since it is post hoc?) ((Because that's the failure mode most people fall into))(((and doesn't your last paragraph depict a thought process which is the exact opposite of Hanlons razor?)))

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Experience of typical mind fallacy. · 2015-04-28T21:36:09.680Z · LW · GW

The difference is, that if the teacher was aware of what he was doing, he wouldn't do it. And if the child wasn't aware of what she was doing, she would behave the same way. If the teacher had a little neurofeedback button that somehow would light up when he was upset, or rationalizing, being impulsive, or otherwise cuing him when he was not thinking the way he would like to think, his behavior would change (somewhat).

It's the difference between saying that someone with autism doesn't care about people vs. someone saying with autism cannot understand how other people are feeling, or saying someone with ADHD is lazy vs. they desperately want to work but can't control attention, or saying someone with face-blindness just doesn't care about faces. (That's what someone without those disorders would think first, since the behavior that the disordered person exhibits matches what they would do if they didn't care).

motivation and intention do not have to be the same at all

I agree, they don't have to be the same. I'm making the case that small instances of real difference, coupled with poor modeling of other people, enhances and exaggerates the perception that they are not the same, and that for smart people this is particularly bad because everyone around them is just kinda globally worse off on every dimension...and because of typical-mind fallacy the smart person will then assume everyone's just kinda alien and terrible in their intentions rather than just slightly worse at carrying intentions out.

When I'm dealing with someone I know well who is "normal' and I see behavior 6 happening in a situation where I would have done 2+3= behavior 5, I model the other person as accidentally doing 2x3=6. Under typical mind fallacy, I would assume that they had similar minds (2+3) but different behavior (5) and conclude that those people just don't care about equal signs I am so very alone and that's the trap to avoid.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Experience of typical mind fallacy. · 2015-04-28T19:46:13.770Z · LW · GW

I was an atypical child with very noticeable unusual traits, yes, but as I've grown older I've "normal-ed out". If someone really gets to know me they might still be puzzled why there are certain normal-person things I cannot do and certain things I can do that most people can't, but for the most part I'm fairly close to baseline, with most of the deviation due to the hyper-WEIRD culture practically everyone on Lesswrong shares rather than unusual mental architecture. To the extent that my actual cognition is unusual, I consider most of the deviations from typicality to be a net negative.

I think the alienation and self-labelng of oneself as extremely atypical is paradoxically due to typical mind fallacy - when a person at first fails to accurately model other people and assumes others are like oneself, and then tries to figure out under what conditions would I behave like those people and do what they did, they very quickly start looking like fundamentally different aliens.

For example, people who are smart sometimes feel alienated from society because others around them are not able to respond appropriately to the nuanced conversational cues they are emitting. Others are unable to accurately express their feelings and thoughts and are generally more clumsy and fuzzy about everything. Others make bad decisions which they would not make if they understood what they did. The smart person attributes these differences to differences in intention and core mental architecture, rather than skill.

For example, picture a teacher of average cognitive ability worn down after a long day. He doesn't have sufficient mental control to keep his emotions in check. He also lacks the meta-cognitive ability to notice he is stressed. The gifted child asks a question he doesn't know the answer to, but the teacher lacks the meta-cognitive ability to realize that he doesn't know the answer and before he can stop it his brain just made something up. The child says "No, that doesn't make sense", and the teacher fails at social cues and takes it literally as "I didn't fully process what you just said" rather than a euphemism for "your explanation is not satisfying to me" and so they repeat themselves. Truth be told the teacher doesn't really know what it means for something to make sense, the way the gifted child does. The child sighs in frustration. The teacher feels resentful about that, but doesn't notice they feel resentful. Later on, when the child speaks out of turn the teacher snaps and gives them detention for interrupting. The teacher truly believes the detention was for interrupting.

The gifted child thinks to herself: "Even though I meant her no harm or disrespect, she has decided to find a small excuse to punish me after I questioned her knowledge. That teacher is punishing me because she thinks that children are not people, they do not have rights. She has status and she is willing to use it. Other human beings are conformist, they dislike those who question authority."

The ordinary child in the same situation would have thought, "Ugh, I didn't do anything really, what's her problem" and not analyzed the situation further. It's the same thought, but only the gifted child takes it to the logical conclusion that the teacher must be fundamentally alien to do such a thing. She'll project her mind upon the teacher, take the teacher's behavior, and then grossly miscalculate his intentions.

These would all be valid interpretations of the teacher's behavior if the teacher had the self-awareness of the child, but as it stands they are not actually true. The teacher and the child are identical in their basic cognitive infrastructure and share motivation and intention, it's just that the child just more self aware.

If the gifted child does not figure out how to accurately model the teacher, this will very quickly develop into "every single person except me and maybe that one other dude is absolutely batshit insane, and I am alone." Every knee jerk political reaction, every instance of blatant injustice, every bad decision, and every rationalization will feed this misconception further, when really differences in meta-cognitive ability are entirely to blame. They subsequently grow up to become contrarians and the word "typical" becomes vaguely insulting to them.

I listed intelligence because that's why I think lesswrongers think they are atypical at a far higher rate than could possibly be true, but another example: most college students might say that most people pressure others drink while simultaneously saying that they,themselves, would not pressure anyone to drink. They're looking at their own mental state, the behaviors of others, seeing a disparity, and concluding that others are mentally different. Like the gifted child, they are simply failing to model other people's failure to act the way that they would like to act, unable to realize that behavior isn't a direct reflection of internal state.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on An alarming fact about the anti-aging community · 2015-02-17T20:21:39.054Z · LW · GW

maybe most of the money and psychology involved in this whole business is about buying hope,

I really think it just didn't occur to them. It's certainly about buying hope - but we'd like to purchase hope effectively!

Let me disclose first that I have no idea how to fix this problem... the problem of getting them to take information from the world of science and biomedicine and applying it to themselves.

Well, I do! Create a trustworthy central hub which analyses and disseminates this type of practical information. If such a hub exists, figure out why it missed this solution. There is a lot of information concerning how to stay alive for longer, and even someone trained in the biological sciences would have to put in huge time investments to separate the signal from the noise and seek out the creative, off-the-radar solutions.

There are people who are exercising their butts off, taking questionable hormones, intermittent fasting, and all kinds of extremely effort-full and sometimes paradoxically risky activities in the quest to stay alive, so if you truly know of an effective thing that people don't know about and aren't pursuing, it's a flaw in information dissemination techniques...because there's a ton of people trying.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Optimal eating (or rather, a step in the right direction) · 2015-01-29T23:21:09.641Z · LW · GW

That's Hyperinsulinemia:

It might or might not be Diabetes-II related:

In your shoes, I would recommend low carb diets -I'm partial to paleo, but whatever works. Keep in mind that if calories are to be kept constant, low carb diets are necessarily high fat diets, and this should ideally be animal or fruit fat - for example fish, coconut, olive, avocados ...not milk fat or seed based oils.

(The paleo-fied version of this is simply to use fruits instead of grains for the carbs. Regardless of whether you do paleo, I don't think it's controversial that diabetes_II spectrum disorders benefit from cutting carbs, so you'll likely end up with paleo-like macronutrient ratios one way or another anyhow.)

I would also up the exercise. I just had a quick look at Lesswrong's "optimal exercise" routine - it is indeed optimized...for increasing strength and speed. However, if you need to lose weight (obesity will exacerbate your condition) you might want to add in extended periods of walking or running.

Also, technical correction: fruits are simple sugars. (Don't let that stop you from fruits though, because it turns out that the simple/complex dichotomy turns out not to correlate particularly well with glycemic index anyway.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on What topics are appropriate for LessWrong? · 2015-01-28T16:25:58.229Z · LW · GW

Yup. That was normative advice, not a descriptive statement. In actual fact you should post whatever strikes your fancy and upvotes/downvotes will give you descriptive feedback. I often upvote things myself that are off topic by my standards if I actually learn something.

practically speaking, I think the votes decide, but from a standpoint of policing the boundaries this is what I'd encourage.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on The Role of Attractiveness in Mate Selection: Individual Variation · 2015-01-25T08:41:21.933Z · LW · GW

What do you see as the key points of the article? / How is my new sumarry

Here's what my "abstract" would be - apologies if the parts describing math are wrong.

"Speed Dating participants rated each other for attractiveness, fun, ambition, intelligence sincerity, and likability prior to choosing matches. While all participants were more likely to choose partners that others had rated highly, a principle component analysis revealed that a major source of variation was the degree to which participants differed in prioritizing ambition, intelligence, and sincerity vs attractiveness, fun, and likability. Further analysis suggests that this effect may be driven by... [demographic correlates from next posts, assortive mating, etc]

Our writing styles differ but your new summary seems to cover the same points, so we do agree on what they are! So much for irreducible complexity :P

I need to talk with psychology researchers to get a better sense for how what I've done fits in with the literature. In the past, I read some papers on the subject out of casual interest, but I haven't done a deep dive.

I'm to be a psych or neuroscience graduate student fairly soon (depending on where I get accepted). Mate choice isn't something I know a ton about and there are of course many, many better people to talk to than me, but I know enough that I could easily locate and understand the relevant literature. I'd be quite happy to collaborate if you are interested!

Anything that I might be able to help with? I have a background is in math education.

I'm not sure - there are a lot of unknown unknowns! Thank you for the links.

I've got a decent foundation in introductory calc and stats (by which I mean, I successfully memorized the relevant equations with a reasonable intuition about how they work) but the math bug didn't really bite me until I took a proof based class on logic and set theory,finding it intuitive and fun. So, I thought I'd keep going in math, but I found myself seriously falling behind in subjects like linear algebra and never completed the major. (Got the certificate at least :D)

My impression is that I've got the fluid intuition for it but I start fall behind when cumulative crystallized knowledge requirements start increasing because I tend to forget things more quickly than others and rely on re-derivation a bit too much.

Statistics is probably going to be the most useful thing for me to learn, given my career choices - although I suspect I automatically gravitate towards less applied, proofy theory things more. (I'm probably too early in my math progression too early to know that for sure, but it certainly seemed like math which others found hard were easy for me, while some types of math which others found easy were really hard for me)

One sees that past a certain point, the low group is not responsive to increasing sincerity and intelligence, whereas the high group is.

^ from the article. Is this right? It seems like that aught to be reversed (low group is responsive, high group is not responsive)?

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on The Role of Attractiveness in Mate Selection: Individual Variation · 2015-01-24T07:46:51.686Z · LW · GW

Oh no that's not what I meant!

I can't speak to the validity because my quantitative skills are untrained to the point that I have to spend an entire day learning in order to pick up enough background to distinguish good math from bad math for anything more complex than a p-value, and until this changes (and I fully intend to change it) I have to just hope that the equation-using overlords know what they are doing.

I definitely wasn't saying your math wasn't well defined enough! I have no opinions on that particular matter, because, see above. It's not the fault of your writing at all - you'd probably have to write a textbook to get me completely up to speed here. I'm generally sharp enough to know what you are trying to do with the math, but not nearly knowledgeable enough to know whether or not it is correct.

I very much enjoyed the results though! (Especialy the trade-off fits together with a lot of the other literature on prioritizing in long term and short term mating, and I don't think anyone has ever supported that particular theory using this particular method. Kinda wish we had data on menstrual cycle phase to go with this :P If you're planning on publishing you might want to cite stuff within that whole body of work.

I found it all quite understandable, clear, and interesting =) Totally disagree with shminux on the "dry" part. Although, an abstract up-front would probably help reach more readers..

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Purchasing research effectively open thread · 2015-01-23T21:14:01.570Z · LW · GW

Actually, my uninformed guess (from casual familiarity and friendship with people from various fields) is that physics and chemistry are cheaper than biology to conduct. There's expensive equipment in Phys/Chem but it can be re-used over and over again by multiple labs. Biology on the other hand has major recurring costs in the form of maintaining animal populations and greater degree to which replication is important. And then things get cheaper again in the psych/social sciences, where experiments are often either computerized or conducted by undergraduates for credit and conducted on volunteers.

Basically, if you graph xkcd!purity by price, I think it is bell shaped with Biology at the peak. In an absolute "per researcher, per experiment" sense. That's not to say that biology might not be "cheaper" in terms of return on investment from an EA standpoint.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Purchasing research effectively open thread · 2015-01-23T21:08:08.615Z · LW · GW

What is a good source that will help me evaluate the merits of donating to scientific research vs., say, the merits of donating to global poverty and disease alleviation?

Before thinking about how to best donate to research, I'd generally want to know about the merits of research donation in general.

My priors say research is important and underfunded to a degree comparable with how global poverty alleviation is important and underfunded, but how to quantify which is more important?

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Open thread, Jan. 19 - Jan. 25, 2015 · 2015-01-23T20:54:47.135Z · LW · GW

My feeling is that gorillas are pretty important just because they are apes (for practical research purposes, although I think they have a fair degree of intrinsic value too). Seed dispersion seems the least of these benefits. (On the other hand, I suppose the existence of other apes poses a disease threat to humans).

We should really demand more funding for research, in general. Under-funding research may be the single most irrational thing we do as a society, considering the return on investment.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on The Role of Attractiveness in Mate Selection: Individual Variation · 2015-01-23T17:59:25.706Z · LW · GW

tl;dr is that being conventionally pretty helps a lot :-P

That's not the tl:dr of this analysis at all. there's Betty-Veronica type trade off effects, there's individual differences, there are mechanisms of assortive mating...i can't speak to the validity/certainty of the statistics but if the conclusions are valid there is a publishable amount of juicy stuff in here.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Optimal eating (or rather, a step in the right direction) · 2015-01-21T19:30:44.626Z · LW · GW

Do you know why you are hypoglycemic? (Diabetes? Liver failure...?) I feel that this is fairly important in determining what the diet aught to be.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on What topics are appropriate for LessWrong? · 2015-01-21T07:01:59.341Z · LW · GW

"rationality" can be interpreted broadly enough that rational discussion of anything would count

"Rational discussion" is not rationality. You can very rationally discuss politics. You can very rationally discuss the life cycle of the cicada.

Truly "on topic" is content that helps the user to become more rational. Multiple definitions of rational apply: Being more practically effective counts. Being better able to sort through evidence counts. Meta-understanding on the meaning of rationality counts. Modelling what a rational agent might do in a given scenario counts. Figuring out what specific actions that one could take to achieve goals counts.

Anything, including politics, including cicadas, can be on topic as per the above criteria, or not, depending on context. Frowny on politics for its tendency to derail the original point. I think Lesswrong was intended as a rationality training ground.

But practically speaking, I think the votes decide, but from a standpoint of policing the boundaries this is what I'd encourage.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on What topics are appropriate for LessWrong? · 2015-01-21T06:53:17.282Z · LW · GW

Can you pretty please stop pressing me on this point?

The thing is, you just accidentally punched downon a vulnerable group. Autistic people constantly struggle with people perceiving them as robotic types who can't appreciate art and stuff (it's not really true at all).

If someone said "it's very niggerish", you'd understand the offense, right? It wouldn't be acceptable if you didn't really mean "niggerish", just traits stereotypically associated with the group being slandered.

So don't use "autist" as an adjective for things that are not in any way autism. It's harmful/hurtfull, and the fact that you basically keep defending it without really realizing what you are doing is why it is not being let go.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on What topics are appropriate for LessWrong? · 2015-01-21T06:33:10.594Z · LW · GW

It appears that you think autistic people are less rational than the average person. Why do you think that?

If we just pretend the context of FrameBenignly and Dahlen didn't exist (I don't agree with everything either of them said) and take this statement in isolation, ignoring the whole "is this intended to be offensive or not" aspect...

Isn't it a given that anyone with a mental impairment of any kind is less instrumentally rational than a similar person without impairment? We don't usually give diagnosis to people who tend to win at stuff.

not being good at some kinds of intuitive understanding of other people" is not at all the same thing as "being less rational than average".

But it is. Assuming we're modelling the entire brain as part of the agent, if you take two individuals, give them the same info, and one of them is able to correctly act on that information and win while and the other is not able, then all else being equal the one who won is the more rational of the two. (We're modelling the entire brain as agent here, so this would even be true for things like epilepsy. There are other ways to model this, such that the autistic person is just as rational but acting on less information, but that's a bit convoluted because we'd have to consider some parts of the brain as "agent" and others as just complex sensimotor bodily organs)

I'm not trying to diss autistic people here, just reiterating: Rationality is not intelligence, rationality is not goodness, rationality is simply acting in ways conducive to winning. I have ADHD myself, and yes, that trait makes me less instrumentally rational - and I think the same goes for autism and others.

(After writing I considered deleting this because it would be easy for an angry person to miss the point and take it as justification for what Dahlen wrote. I dislike his conflation of "autists" with "people who don't look at art or whatever" as much as everyone else because it's simply not true and perpetuates misconceptions of autistic people. But Lesswrong doesn't let you gracefully delete things, and if one can't play devil's advocate here then where else? So I'll leave it up.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Optimal eating (or rather, a step in the right direction) · 2015-01-21T06:09:04.077Z · LW · GW

Ooh okay. So they both don't like wheat, but for different reasons. I had misunderstood your original statement to meant that Lindeberg would exonerate wheat. My mistake.

tldr!Lindeberg does seems to disagree with Scott about the endocrine disruption thing - unless it's just leptin-lectin specifically we're talking about here, and give the "toxins" idea a bit more weight than Scott does.

I stopped spending time in the paleosphere a while back and I'm not overwhelmingly proud of the epistemic purity of the parts I did frequent, so maybe you just got to see the paleosphere make their non-wretched arguments.

Yeah, amateur nutrition is chock full of quacks, and I think nutrition should be approached with almost as much skepticism as politics (which is a shame, since one's feeding behavior is actually important).

FWIW, I've actually heard both the arguments that Lindenberg listed and the arguments that Scott rebutted in the paleosphere...I whole heartedly agree with Lindenberg, but I don't particularly trust Scott's judgement in this matter (despite otherwise thinking extremely extremely highly of him) because he's making interpretations I wouldn't make.

For example

Something seems to be going on with autism and schizophrenia – but most people don’t have autism or schizophrenia. The intestinal barrier seems to become more permeable with possible implications for autoimmune diseases – but most people don’t have autoimmune disease.

is just...such a weird thing for a psychiatrist to say. From my perspective Intestinal barrier problems leading to generalized inflammation and generalized mental deficiency are something to seriously worry about, especially when ADHD and depression are also linked to inflammation. From my perspective, this clearly pointing to an auto-immune-mediated deficit in general brain health, with an elevated risk of all mental problems in general. You can say that the effect is not real, but once you accept that it's real you can't say "oh but I'm not schizophrenic so it does not apply", as if schizophrenic brains were so fundamentally different from healthy brains that it shouldn't give a healthy person pause when a particular food worsens schizophrenia.

And to me,

But what none of these studies are going to do a good job ruling out is that whole grain is just funging against refined grain which is even worse.

is a big, gaping, chasming hole that Scott is treating as a minor breach. (I mean, forget refined grains, it could be funging against coke and cheetos for all we know). It's interesting that we can look at the same data and see it so differently.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Open thread, Jan. 19 - Jan. 25, 2015 · 2015-01-21T04:12:01.108Z · LW · GW

use that information to my advantage

You can get accommodations for many academic activities if you are still a student.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Optimal eating (or rather, a step in the right direction) · 2015-01-20T23:36:07.741Z · LW · GW

Oh, I think I either misunderstoody your post or phrased my question poorly.

Your description of Lindeberg is precisely representative of the mainstream paleo "party line" as I understand it. I thought the book would "dismiss the paleosphere arguments against wheat", as you suggested, and give justifications for why it was okay while still maintaining paleo - but what you've written is the paleosphere argument against wheat (which is a grain)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on Optimal eating (or rather, a step in the right direction) · 2015-01-19T17:32:05.360Z · LW · GW

I'm curious as to how it arrives at a version of paleo while simultaneously dismissing the paleosphere on wheat (of which Scott has listed only a few)?

Because if I could distill the object-level advice of the paleosphere into two words, they would be: "avoid wheat".

(Obviously, standard diet advice doesn't apply when one is hypoglycemic, although I suppose, depending on the underlying causes of the hypoglycemia, the prescription could be more carbohydrates or more fat)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on How subjective is attractiveness? · 2015-01-16T07:46:19.074Z · LW · GW

But note that if nothing else, the example shows that cultures vary in what they consider to be obviously unattractive.

That's not necessarily true - we don't need to look too far from our own culture to see intentional downplaying of attractiveness (modesty, "evil eye", etc)

I was gonna write more on this topic but then decided to just go and check what the anthropologists report the Mursi themselves say concerning lip plates:

Even after reading, it's still not quite clear.

My interpretation of this is that it's less about sheer beauty and more a way of being what in our culture we'd call "put together". A woman who does not wear her plate during the ritual periods when being put together is necessary is perceived as what we'd call "sloppy", and it would be associated with a lack of discipline in other areas of life. (It's also a tribal identity marker and a way to make money from tourists, of course)

The plate definitely maps onto something which is present in our own psychology, but I'm not at all convinced that it's attractiveness. I think you're right that it doesn't actively ruin attractiveness, which does indicate malleability.

(By the way, historically the anthropologists first thought it was an anti-rape measure (but the Mursi denied it), and then they thought it was a beauty mark which determined higher dowry (until it was discovered that dowry was set at birth). That second misconception is probably why it circulates on the internet as an example of divergent beauty standards. That's not to say that it isn't divergent beauty standards, but it's not just that.)

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on How subjective is attractiveness? · 2015-01-14T02:51:35.051Z · LW · GW

Undoubtedly, the homogeneity of the population studied also plays a role: if a woman with this facial adornment were at the event, and the event included some men from her culture, perceptions of her attractiveness would be extremely polarized.

I hear this a lot, and the Mursi always used as an example.

I don't think attraction is that malleable. Personally, I suspect that as a culture the Mursi simply don't prioritize beauty. They have marriages which are arranged as children, with cattle as a medium of exchange. They probably don't think about sexuality the same way at all.

Comment by someonewrongonthenet on 2015 Repository Reruns - Boring Advice Repository · 2015-01-12T01:30:30.709Z · LW · GW

Never post a web link that requires readers to click on it to find out if they want to click on it.

Ha. Depends on your goals.

If you are Buzzfeed or otherwise a click-farmer it's "Make each web link seem like it leads to life-revolutionizing information, with only tangential regard as actual content".

Or tab-exploders like TvTropes or even Lesswrong at times- "Give links obscure and cool words which just barely hint at something novel and unusual without revealing it, and include as many of them as possible per paragraph"