Comment by theterribletrivium on Rationality Quotes September 2014 · 2014-09-02T10:19:18.177Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If I remember the book correctly, this part comes from a scene where Locke Lamora is attempting to pull a double con on the speaking character by both impersonating the merchant and a spy/internal security agent (Salvara) investigating the merchant. So while the don's character acts "rationally" here - he is doing so while being deceived because of his assumptions - showing the very same error again

Comment by theterribletrivium on Optimal Exercise · 2014-03-10T23:32:04.161Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Swimming has exponential gains from learning proper technique. I assumed I was a good swimmer because I took lessons as a child and had lots of badges, but as an adult I was humiliated. Even if you think you know what you are doing that is different from an effective workout stroke afaikt.

Comment by theterribletrivium on Optimal Exercise · 2014-03-10T20:06:37.874Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Bodyweight routines are certainly an option, however be aware that iirc all of the serious bodyweight routines are not "no equipment" routines. The recommendations in the OP are gymnastic routines that require pullup/chinup bars and gymnastic rings as minimum basic equipment. You still need a "space" to workout in that is more than a field.

Comment by theterribletrivium on Learn (and Maybe Get a Credential in) Data Science · 2014-02-01T19:21:47.553Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

You pay $490 and get what exactly? Afaikt the business model is, pay $490 to get exactly the same level of treatment as someone who does not pay a cent but with a piece of paper you can print out confirming you are not a liar?... If it offered credit, that would be one thing, but the fact that is doesn't is quite telling .(I guess it is impressive that coursera has found a way to print out "certificates" with the John Hopkins logo on even though no-one from John Hopkins will ever see or interact with any of the students though) You don't get any feedback or assessment, you just get some added signalling value. Still - the courses look interesting if pretty basic.

Comment by theterribletrivium on Why don't more rationalists start startups? · 2014-01-20T08:20:39.118Z · score: 15 (15 votes) · LW · GW

"Given all of this, I think that if you're smart and hard working, you should have at least an 80-90% chance at succeeding at a startup."

Your method is bad- you have come up with some imaginary numbers and not addressed the obvious difference with reality, except with the qualifier that you mean people who are "smart & hardworking".

Surprisingly, when I went looking, you might be partially correct: at least for people who really are smart and hardworking and for certain values of "success". To look at the Ycombinator list - the number of "failures" or dead companies is very low and this probably provides a decent filter in that they are as experienced as anyone in identifying people who are smart and hardworking in the ways relevant for a startup.

The huge caveat is of course that nearly all startups don't get funded by ycombinator and "not dead yet" is not comparable to "success".

Making up imaginary numbers and then coming up with a rationalisation for those numbers is still a horrible way of making an argument though. Worse, you haven't explained why your made-up number is so different from the commonly quoted made up number that 90% of startups fail.

Comment by theterribletrivium on January 2014 Media Thread · 2014-01-05T09:37:31.860Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This interview with Max Gladstone was linked to on Yvains blog last month and on its strength I picked up the first two books in his craft sequence - Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise Its "magicians are like lawyers/economists" premise and urban fantasy parts are very well done, and there are a decent few jokes that probably only those with some legal training will spot. The plot of the first book is a bit simple (the bad evil guy who we are told on first meeting is bad, turns out to be evil - and also reads like a less impressive Quirrel from HPMOR) however the second in the series has so far avoided the "clear bad guy" in favour of a more nuanced, Princess Mononoke style arrangement (which I hope continues until the end).

Comment by theterribletrivium on Why CFAR? · 2013-12-29T11:49:09.742Z · score: 6 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Only if you have an extremely high opinion of the work CFAR does to the extent that it is sufficient to overcome the extremely strong signalling and group affiliation effects that MIRI is as vulnerable to as anyone else. (anyone who has been reading LW for more than an hour can think of the obvious examples.)

Comment by theterribletrivium on Karma awards for proofreaders of the Less Wrong Sequences ebook · 2013-12-14T11:05:17.075Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Poor handling of images, maths sections and inter-sequence links were the most notable ones I remember

Comment by theterribletrivium on Karma awards for proofreaders of the Less Wrong Sequences ebook · 2013-12-12T17:34:45.123Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I recently read the sequences at a fairly rapid pace using the ebooks versions available on my ipad and there were certainly a few common things I found intensely irritating. I definitely found some of the sequences interesting enough to read again more closely. Which of the sequences are included in the ebook?

Comment by theterribletrivium on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 28, chapter 99-101 · 2013-12-12T17:27:17.207Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Chapter 99 made me laugh, just because I read the author notes beforehand due to how they updated in my RSS reader and was fearing something as mental as worm 27b

Comment by theterribletrivium on Meetup : London meetup: thought experiments · 2013-09-20T09:00:36.834Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

An interesting topic, will try to come along to what will be my first meetup