Comment by teageegeepea on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-23T05:43:52.146Z · score: 17 (17 votes) · LW · GW

I tend to dismiss Steven Landsburg's critique of the standard interpretation of experiments along the lines of the Ultimatum Game, since nobody really thinks it through like him. But I actually did think about it when taking this survey (which is not the same as saying it affected my response).

Comment by teageegeepea on Humans are utility monsters · 2013-08-25T21:58:31.508Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think total utilitarianism already does that.

Comment by teageegeepea on Humans are utility monsters · 2013-08-25T03:34:39.412Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

If I kill someone in their sleep so they don't experience death, and nobody else is affected by it (maybe it's a hobo or something), is that okay under the timeless view because their prior utility still "counts"?

Comment by teageegeepea on Humans are utility monsters · 2013-08-25T03:23:56.467Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The human vs animal issue makes more sense if we focus not on "utility" but "asskicking".

Comment by teageegeepea on To what degree do you model people as agents? · 2013-08-25T03:18:57.060Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I thought #3 was the definition of "agent", which I suppose is why it got that label. #1 sounds a little like birds confronted by cuckoo parasitism, which Eliezer might call "sphexish" rather than agenty.

Comment by teageegeepea on Some highlights from Nate Silver's "The Signal and the Noise" · 2013-07-16T22:54:46.199Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Does the bit on Gorbachev contain any references to Timur Kuran's work on preference falsification & cascades?

Comment by teageegeepea on Model Combination and Adjustment · 2013-07-16T22:03:33.695Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

2: An outside view works best when using a reference class with a similar causal structure to the thing you're trying to predict. An inside view works best when a phenomenon's causal structure is well-understood, and when (to your knowledge) there are very few phenomena with a similar causal structure that you can use to predict things about the phenomenon you're investigating. See: The Outside View's Domain.

When writing a textbook that's much like other textbooks, you're probably best off predicting the cost and duration of the project by looking at similar textbook-writing projects. When you're predicting the trajectory of the serial speed formulation of Moore's Law, or predicting which spaceship designs will successfully land humans on the moon for the first time, you're probably best off using an (intensely informed) inside view.

Is there data/experiments on when each gives better predictions, as with Kahneman's original outside view work?

Comment by teageegeepea on A New Interpretation of the Marshmallow Test · 2013-07-09T23:52:52.966Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

There's a bloggingheads episode on the marshmallow experiment, and its variations, here.

Comment by teageegeepea on Factions, inequality, and social justice · 2012-12-11T02:34:20.035Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Centrists view "radical" as a derogatory term, but I've come across lots of folks who embrace it.

Comment by teageegeepea on Factions, inequality, and social justice · 2012-12-11T02:32:12.974Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Just because I don't like the label, doesn't mean it's inapt!

Comment by teageegeepea on Factions, inequality, and social justice · 2012-12-05T01:11:48.809Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Robin was one of the people initially impressed with Ryan & Jetha, later persuaded by Saxon in "Dusk".

I personally recommend Azar Gat's "War in Human Civilization" as much more sweeping than Keeley's book. Despite the title, it's range precedes civilization, and even the emergence of humanity (although those are smaller portions of the book near the beginning). My posts about it are here. At any rate, there seems to be substantial evidence for warfare (or at least something analogous to "gang war" given their social scale) among hunter-gatherers, even if not to the extent of primitive agriculturalists like the Yanomamo or New Guineans.

Comment by teageegeepea on Factions, inequality, and social justice · 2012-12-05T01:00:08.958Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I don't like the idea of being labeled a "political blogger" (I don't think I wrote anything about the election or its run-up), but it's hard to deny that politics is discussed a lot at my blog and I don't really have any other forte I could claim to displace it. I could defend myself by linking to Razib Khan on how many of the "science" blogs on his old blogroll spend most of their time discussing politics (generally, politically inflected atheism), but for one who accepts "politics is the mind-killer" that's just a "but they do it too". The post you link to could be construed as "sociological" rather than "political" and would be relevant in an alternate universe without politics.

Comment by teageegeepea on Factions, inequality, and social justice · 2012-12-05T00:34:45.855Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I appreciate the hat-tip, but you might have wanted to link to the more thorough explication of that chapter from Collins' book, which Hanson discussed here.

EDIT: Some of what you quoted is in my comment you linked originally, and not in my follow-up post. Hope nobody got confused when they weren't able to find those quotes.

Comment by teageegeepea on Voting is like donating thousands of dollars to charity · 2012-11-05T21:57:19.602Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

"In any case, 55% is pretty conservative; it means I consider myself to have almost no information." I'm wondering what evidence there is for a probability above 50. That's what I would consider "conservative". It's not literally "no information", it's "no more information than the median voter". That's what it would mean for your vote to affect the outcome in a positive manner. Conditional on your vote affecting the outcome, there must be as many people (in your area) for one candidate as the other. The more lopsided the outcome, the more plausible it is that a random voter (such as yourself) is making a "correct" decision in light of philosophical majoritarianism. The more divided it is the less it seems likely.

Steve Randy Waldmann has an interesting argument for voting, going from a tribalist to greater-good scenario.

Comment by teageegeepea on Causal Diagrams and Causal Models · 2012-10-12T17:49:37.607Z · score: 12 (12 votes) · LW · GW

What about Milton Friedman's thermostat?

Comment by teageegeepea on The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world? · 2012-08-28T04:06:44.933Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The cold hard utilitarian calculus is hard in many cases because it aims to maximize rather than satisfice. In many ways that seems a feature rather than a bug. Deontological ethics tend to rely heavily on the act-omission distinction, which I must admit I would prefer as the bar I have to pass. But if, as Kant suggested, I ask how I would prefer others to behave, I would want them to act to increase utility. From a contractarian perspective, we can indicate to others that we will increase their utility if they increase ours. It's hard to make contracts with beings that don't exist yet, but there can still exist incentives to create them in the case of farm animals now (which I believe are produced through insemination rather than sex in factory farms) or ems in the future.

My preferred approach also includes not bothering to argue with a great many people. The folk activism of argument is not going to be very effective at changing anything for most people (I definitely include myself in that set). Like Stirner, I instead converse for my own benefit. This actually makes points in disagreement more valuable because it's more likely to tell me something I don't already know. Yes, I intentionally linked to a post critiquing the actual argument I am relying on.

Comment by teageegeepea on The noncentral fallacy - the worst argument in the world? · 2012-08-27T21:35:05.196Z · score: 0 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I actually thought this argument was quite poor. There are lots of possible features in different cases of a type, and to claim some are vitally important seems to beg the question. Murdering a homeless loner estranged from any family or friends may lack many of the features mentioned, but there's little dispute it would qualify. And preventing the creation of a new life prevents the relationships that person would eventually develop. Pointing out that an example falls into a commonly understood category seems a pretty good starting point before delving into what features of that category are important (which isn't something universally agreed on or even consciously thought about). My preferred approach is what you said for eugenics: just admit that I'm alright with murder some of the time, as per the economically efficient amount of crime (such as theft!).

I also think it is a good thing there is a general norm against breaking laws (even stupid ones) and that it is highly questionable whether George Washington & other "patriot" actions did more good than harm, requiring actual justification in each case against an initial presumption.

"Extortionate" strategy beats tit-for-tat in iterated Prisoner's Dilemma

2012-06-26T01:19:59.083Z · score: 1 (23 votes)
Comment by teageegeepea on Less Wrong on Twitter · 2012-06-24T03:26:49.328Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

As is mine. Twitter wouldn't allow just TGGP or T.G.G.P

Comment by teageegeepea on Conspiracy Theories as Agency Fictions · 2012-06-13T17:26:32.988Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

McCarthy was being fed info from J. Edgar Hoover, who did have access to the Venona transcripts. I don't know if he was given the identities of known spies, but he was sent after Hoover's bureaucratic rivals.

Comment by teageegeepea on A belief propagation graph · 2012-04-10T15:51:26.023Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The poor also commit significantly more non-lucrative crime.

I found your top-level post hard to understand at first. You may want to add a clearer introduction. When I saw "The issue in brief", I expected a full sentence/thesis to follow and had to recheck to see if I overlooked a verb.

Comment by teageegeepea on How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious · 2012-01-24T06:25:57.512Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

You'll be missed. Wouldn't be so bad if you blogged regularly at one location.

Comment by teageegeepea on How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious · 2012-01-24T06:24:41.366Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Seconded. I don't go as far as Mitchell Porter because I'm not into protests. To take another example, Barkley Rosser told me he's boycotting the comments at EconLog to protest censorship, but I just assume I'd stray too far and get banned again if I had my privileges reinstated.

Comment by teageegeepea on How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious · 2012-01-23T20:38:54.452Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'm somewhat similar. I'm pretty easily satisfied and right now don't feel any discomfort pushing me toward change. LW is interesting entertainment. I continued reading it when it split from OB, but I never had interest in self-improvement or saving the world. I lack "something to protect" as Eliezer put it.

A while back somebody I had done a favor gave me a deal on a used bass guitar. I figured since it had four strings it should be easy to learn, but I didn't put that much effort into it. Almost two years later and I never even learned to get a consistent sound out of one note and I'm about to sell it (for a profit of course).

Comment by teageegeepea on On the Openness personality trait & 'rationality' · 2011-10-22T14:29:17.838Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Good point. Others have looked into that.

Comment by teageegeepea on On the Openness personality trait & 'rationality' · 2011-10-21T14:29:30.168Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · LW · GW

If higher IQ is almost always better, why the bell curve? Short people persist because height can have costs.

It's not hard to find evidence that IQ can be fitness reducing.

Comment by teageegeepea on Concepts Don't Work That Way · 2011-10-03T00:00:20.864Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cool. I tried to do some googling based on first name and possible university but didn't come with anything. Would have been nice of him to have a better last post than one promising content in the future.

Comment by teageegeepea on Weekly LW Meetups: Baltimore, Houston, Chicago, Melbourne, and Penn State · 2011-10-02T23:57:02.999Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Shit, I didn't read this post until 7PM (Chicago time). Oh well, I probably wouldn't have got back in time anyway.

Comment by teageegeepea on Concepts Don't Work That Way · 2011-09-29T00:12:46.217Z · score: 2 (4 votes) · LW · GW

There was a cognitive scientist at Mixing Memory who had a skeptical take of some of Lakoff's views on metaphors and was doing a chapter-by-chapter analysis of one of his books, but then he disappeared off the face of the internet. Still have no idea what happened to him, shame if he died without presumably signing up for cryonics.

Comment by teageegeepea on Not for the Sake of Pleasure Alone · 2011-06-13T14:10:14.408Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Isn't there a rule of Bayesianism that you shouldn't be able to anticipate changing your mind in a predictable manner, but rather you should just update right now?

Perhaps rather than asking will you enter or leave the simulation it might be better to start with a person inside it, remove them from it, and then ask them if they want to go back.

Comment by teageegeepea on Not for the Sake of Pleasure Alone · 2011-06-13T14:05:46.588Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I don't play chess or make art. I suppose there's creativity in programming, but I've just been doing that for work rather than recreationally. Also, I agree with Friendly-HI that an experience machine could replicate those things.

Comment by teageegeepea on Not for the Sake of Pleasure Alone · 2011-06-12T00:45:54.584Z · score: 11 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I'd get in Nozick's machine for the wireheading. I figure it's likely enough that I'm in a simulation anyway, and his simulation can be better than my current one. I figure I'm atypical though.

Comment by teageegeepea on On Being Okay with the Truth · 2011-05-03T13:41:01.197Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It may not be your morality, but submission to God definitely was mine. Of course, at that time I would have insisted that other were confusing "morality" with something other than submission to God!

Comment by teageegeepea on On Being Okay with the Truth · 2011-05-02T02:43:13.911Z · score: 8 (8 votes) · LW · GW

I've probably mentioned this before, but I actually did cease believing in morality when I ceased believing in God. I had grasped the nettle of the Euthyphro dilemma the same way as Vox Day: God can arbitrarily declare what is moral or immoral, just as a consequence of being God. Objective morality had no detectable independent existence otherwise. Since neither God nor morality exists and impinged on my world, ceasing to believe in them has not caused anything to happen to me analogous to disbelieving in a car racing towards you. The invisible pink unicorn comparison is apt.

Comment by teageegeepea on The benefits of madness: A positive account of arationality · 2011-04-24T06:59:52.635Z · score: 3 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I forget if I've linked it here before, but here's a critique of a commonly claimed connection between mystical experiences and genuine enlightenment or creativity.

Comment by teageegeepea on Offense versus harm minimization · 2011-04-18T03:38:37.348Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Sounds like you are referring to Robert Putnam's research. I spun his results as a positive here.

Comment by teageegeepea on Offense versus harm minimization · 2011-04-17T18:04:51.357Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

There was a time when Christians frequently did kill each other over seemingly minor religious differences. The wars of religion led to a backlash that eventually gave us the political theories of Hobbes, Locke etc. When people talk about the need for a reformation in Islam, they are really thinking of the period after those wars which we accept as normal.

I was going to link to Bryan Caplan on applying the Coase theorem to offense, but turned out I confused him with Alex Tabarrok on envy. He does extend his analysis to offense though.

I do recall Robin Hanson debating with Bryan Caplan and saying that it is a utilitarian best outcome for the majority of believers not to be subjected to atheist speech. I normally assume Caplan is wrong in any disagreement with Hanson, but there I lean more towards his free speech absolutism. That may be because my behaviorist leanings lead me to discount claims of psychic distress (or utility monsters) to zero. On the other hand, I don't value the ability to make atheist polemics all that highly and would be open to "make a deal" along those lines, though I'd be upset if the deal was made without my consent.

The Volokh Conspiracy often discusses the heckler's veto.

Comment by teageegeepea on Just Try It: Quantity Trumps Quality · 2011-04-05T05:30:44.238Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

What's your work/educational background?

I delayed looking for work in the past because I didn't actually need the money. I do have more expenses now, but not enough that I feel ambition for anything better (even within my company). I'm kind of okay with that, but I'd rather not slip up enough to lose this pretty decent gig and have to find another one. In case that reminds anyone of the motivation in Office Space, I am indeed a programmer like everyone else on the internet.

I think fear of uncomfortable interactions applies more in regular social situations for me. I've started practicing acting extroverted by just talking to strangers on the street or wherever, confident that I'll never see them again and there are no consequences of bad impressions I might make. Sometimes it results in talking too fast or unclearly though (that also happens at work).

Comment by teageegeepea on Manufacturing prejudice · 2011-04-05T04:58:30.488Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

"Is combating racism a game of whack-a-mole, in which society invents new prejudices to replace the ones being taken away?" I didn't see any provided evidence/argument for causality.

Comment by teageegeepea on Manufacturing prejudice · 2011-04-05T04:37:11.461Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

And I thought Jerry Cantrell was being original in "Give it a Name".

Comment by teageegeepea on Crime and punishment · 2011-03-25T14:29:49.602Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

"Ancient prisons"? Incarceration is a relatively new development. Most punishment was corporal in the past. People were sent to jail to await trial or pay off debts. Robin Hanson can see beyond the status quo assumption that criminal punishment = prison.

Comment by teageegeepea on Chicago Meetup - Sunday March 13 · 2011-03-09T02:38:36.439Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I will also try to be there.

Comment by teageegeepea on Some Heuristics for Evaluating the Soundness of the Academic Mainstream in Unfamiliar Fields · 2011-02-16T14:55:13.843Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Are scientists still claiming that Bogdanovs were hoaxers rather than producers of shoddy work? It seems that the idea arose because they had been TV presenters and the relative recency of the Sokal affair made that possibility salient.

The authors of the linguistics letter never revealed all their assumptions, which is why Poser could not fully critique it. As evidence for your argument you'd have to cite an example where such assumptions were revealed and deemed unsuitable by the academic mainstream.

Comment by teageegeepea on Some Heuristics for Evaluating the Soundness of the Academic Mainstream in Unfamiliar Fields · 2011-02-16T02:40:35.117Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I didn't think footnotes 1 or 7 were very good examples. The fact that low quality work gets published is not enough to establish the soundness of the "academic mainstream". Given enough journals we should expect that to happen, and we should also expect most hypotheses to be false. Low quality work being cited and relied upon is a more serious problem.

Poser was not firmly dismissing the attempted solution as unsound. He said that there wasn't enough information given to properly evaluate the idea (although he could speculate on what the methods might have been), which is why it should have been a full-paper rather than a letter.

Comment by teageegeepea on Optimal Employment · 2011-01-31T15:01:39.569Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

The EMH applies to financial markets, which revolve around ownership of easily tradeable things. Often those things are bought just so they can be sold later on. A person convinced by your argument would have a difficult time "leveraging up" to arbitrage an inefficient labor market. Though I think the economic consensus might be that labor markets generally are not very efficient, hence the existence of persistent high unemployment (though that may not be an issue in Australia compared to the U.S these days).

Comment by teageegeepea on The Santa deception: how did it affect you? · 2010-12-21T08:52:49.948Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Count me as another one who was irked at being lied to.

Comment by teageegeepea on A sense of logic · 2010-12-11T09:10:01.403Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't know if I agree with his assessment, but I immediately thought back to David Stove's "worst argument in the world" aka "The Gem".

Comment by teageegeepea on Defecting by Accident - A Flaw Common to Analytical People · 2010-12-01T15:16:50.779Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Did you see Ann Althouse going off on Garance Franke-Ruta?

Comment by teageegeepea on The Boundaries of Biases · 2010-12-01T02:04:29.903Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I don't have much directly to say, just some links. I had a discussion with Paul Hewitt on biased hiring at Overcoming Bias which migrated to a top-level post at my own blog. It was not an ideal conversation since I was trying to find whether there was any data on gendered productivity differences and he was trying to exposit the logic of a model in which employers fail to learn.

Karl Smith replied to Bryan Caplan on stereotypes by analogizing it to pollution here.

Comment by teageegeepea on Goals for which Less Wrong does (and doesn't) help · 2010-11-19T04:12:37.038Z · score: 15 (17 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me that most of the "raise awareness" campaigns are for things people are plenty aware of already.

Comment by teageegeepea on Chicago Meetup 11/14 · 2010-11-10T03:47:54.949Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'll be out of town a bit over the weekend, but I might be able to get back by then.