Comment by timujin on No Safe Defense, Not Even Science · 2017-08-17T14:42:58.351Z · LW · GW

What's wrong with ethanol made from corn, anyway?

Comment by timujin on Open thread, May 15 - May 21, 2017 · 2017-05-22T07:48:35.989Z · LW · GW

I've watched Stuart Russel's TED talk on AI risk, and my gut reaction to it was "do you want to be paperclips? this is how you become paperclips!". It goes completely against the grain of the view that has been expressed on this blog as of few years ago. But, then again, AI is hard, and there might be some recent developments that I have missed. What is the current state of the research? What does EY and his camarilla think about the state of the problem as of now?

Comment by timujin on Zombies Redacted · 2016-07-08T13:36:09.021Z · LW · GW


Comment by timujin on Zombies Redacted · 2016-07-07T20:01:04.576Z · LW · GW

It's not about qualia. It's about any arbitrary property.

Imagine a cookie like Oreo to the last atom, except that it's deadly poisonous, weighs 100 tons and runs away when scared.

Comment by timujin on Zombies Redacted · 2016-07-07T10:37:05.464Z · LW · GW

Chalmers does not claim that p-zombies are logically possible, he claims that they are metaphysically possible. Chalmers already believes that certain atomic configurations necessarily imply consciousness, by dint of psychophysical laws.

Okay. In that case, I peg his argument as proving too much. Imagine a cookie that is exactly like an Oreo, down to the last atom, except it's raspberry flavored. This situation is semantically the same as a p-Zombie, so it's exactly as metaphysically possible, whatever that means. Does it prove that raspberry flavor is an extra, nonphysical fact about cookies?

Comment by timujin on Zombies Redacted · 2016-07-06T14:40:54.688Z · LW · GW

This argument is not going to win over their heads and hearts. It's clearly written for a reductionist reader, who accepts concepts such as Occam's Razor and knowing-what-a-correct-theory-looks-like. But such a person would not have any problems with p-Zombies to begin with.

If you want to persuade someone who's been persuaded by Chalmers, you should debunk the argument itself, not bring it to your own epistemological ground where the argument is obviously absurd. Because you, and the Chalmers-supporter are not on the same epistemological ground, and will probably never be.

Here's how you would do that.


Is it conceivable that the 5789312365453423234th digit of Pi is 7?

No, don't look it up just yet. Is it conceivable to you, right now, that it's 7?

For me, yes, it is. If I look it up, and it turns out to be 7, I would not be surprised at all. It's a perfectly reasonable outcome, with predictable consequences. It's not that hard for me to imagine me running a program that calculates and prints the number, and it printing out 7.

Yet, until you look it up, you don't really know if it's 7 or not. It could be 5. It would also be a reasonable, non-surprising and conceivable outcome.

Yet at least one of those outcomes is logically impossible. The exact value of Pi is logically determined, and, if you believe that purely logical conclusions apply universally, then one of those values of 5789312365453423234th digit of Pi is universally impossible.

And yet both are conceivable.

So logical impossibility does not imply inconceivability. This is logically equivalent to saying "conceivability does not imply logical possibility" (A->B => ~B->~A).

If conceivability does not imply logical possibility, then even if you can imagine a Zombie world, it does not mean that the Zombie world is logically possible. It may be the case that the Zombie world is logically impossible. Chalmer's argument does not rule that out. For example, it may be the case that certain atomic configurations necessarily imply consciousness. Or it may be any other case of logical impossibility. What matters is that consciousness as an additional nonphysical entity is not implied by its conceivability.

---- END ARGUMENT ----

Comment by timujin on Lesswrong 2016 Survey · 2016-04-07T19:11:44.074Z · LW · GW

I have taken the survey.

Comment by timujin on Open thread, Oct. 12 - Oct. 18, 2015 · 2015-10-15T09:22:15.302Z · LW · GW

Sort of yes. Maybe not sufficiently new. I shall look into it.

Comment by timujin on Open thread, Oct. 12 - Oct. 18, 2015 · 2015-10-14T18:41:17.513Z · LW · GW

I am definitely not better off without what I lost. Genuine curiosity had tremendously powerful effect on my learning.

Comment by timujin on Open thread, Oct. 12 - Oct. 18, 2015 · 2015-10-14T18:37:14.909Z · LW · GW

The source of my wanting is conscience rather than passion, though. It's a completely different thing, and learning is a tiring activity which importance I realize, rather than something that empowers me or something I look forward to. That's the problem.

Comment by timujin on Open thread, Oct. 12 - Oct. 18, 2015 · 2015-10-14T11:54:03.158Z · LW · GW

Maybe some part of you has decided that it's time to stop exploring education and its time to exploit the knowledge you already have? Do you feel like you have a lot of knowledge now? Or that you know enough

No, I definitely didn't learn everything I think I need. I am very much in need to learn a lot of things, desperately, in fact.

Is your relationship to knowledge seeking now in the form of "disinterest", "too busy for it", "sick of it" or some other sentiment...

I still pursue knowledge from pragmatic standpoint. "This is useful, this is not, therefore I need to learn this and can completely disregard that". There is just no "drive" in it, no genuine force of curiosity that used to be so motivating. From pragmatic standpoint, my ability to learn suffered a great hit.

Comment by timujin on Open thread, Oct. 12 - Oct. 18, 2015 · 2015-10-14T11:47:54.330Z · LW · GW

I don't feel depressed at all. In the contrary, I am quite motivated, agitated and sort of happy.

Comment by timujin on Open thread, Oct. 12 - Oct. 18, 2015 · 2015-10-14T10:16:01.681Z · LW · GW

I've lost my curiosity. I have noticed that over the course of the last year, I have become significantly less curious. I no longer feel the need to know anything unless I need it, I don't understand how it is possible to desire knowledge for the sake of knowledge (even though the past me definitely did), I generally find myself unable to empathize with knowledge-seekers and the virtue of curiosity. That worries me a lot, because if you asked me two years earlier, I would have named curiosity as my main characteristic and the desire for knowledge my main driving force. Thinking over the last year, I can't remember any life-changing experiences that would have warranted the change. May it have been the foods I ate, or some neurological damage? I would have attributed it to brain aging, if I weren't twenty. What happened? How to reverse it? I find it crippling.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes Thread April 2015 · 2015-04-14T19:52:37.902Z · LW · GW

“What's up, Sarge? Do you want to live for ever?”

“Dunno. Ask me again in five hundred years.”

  • "Guards! Guards!", Terry Pratchett
Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions January 2015 · 2015-01-05T16:25:50.172Z · LW · GW

I'll look into this. Thank you.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions January 2015 · 2015-01-05T13:12:15.734Z · LW · GW

What is the best way to relatively quickly gain some elementary proficiency in world history? I notice that I have little to no awareness as to how the world came to be as it is (there were cavemen... they discovered fire... thus the technological progress started... gets us to steam engines, then elecricity, and computers...). Is there a good textbook that outlines the issue?

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-31T08:57:27.012Z · LW · GW

It is a good quote in general, but not quite a rationality quote.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-25T17:40:06.369Z · LW · GW

By entering some important situation where my and his comparative advantage in some sort of competence comes into play, and losing.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-21T17:01:24.848Z · LW · GW

But English language's "Jesus" is still far off.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-21T14:23:37.710Z · LW · GW

The claim that people can't pronounce Jesus' name might apply to former Soviet Union countries, but I doubt it applies anywhere else in Europe.

Do you know that Jesus's actual name is Yeshua?

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-19T16:07:34.906Z · LW · GW


Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-13T16:31:48.293Z · LW · GW

Do you have any ideas about how your life might be different in positive ways if you didn't think you were less competent than everyone about everything?

Not anything specific.

Is there anything you'd like to do just because it's important to you?

I have goals and values beyond being content or happy, but they are more than a couple of inferential steps away from my day-to-day routine, and I don't have that inner fire thingy that would bridge the gap. So, more often than not, they are not the main component of my actual motivation. Also, I am afraid of possibility of having my values changed.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-12T14:38:30.222Z · LW · GW

I asked my friends around. Most were unable to point out a single thing I am good at, except speaking English very well for a foreign language, and having a good willpower. One said "hmmm, maybe math?" (as it turned out, he was fast-talked by the math babble that was auraing around me for some time after having read Godel, Escher, Bach), and several pointed out that I am handsome (while a nice perk, I don't what that to be my defining proficiency).

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-12T09:17:25.529Z · LW · GW

Another stupid question to boot: will all this make me more content with my current situation? While not being a pleasant feeling, my discontent with my competence does serve as a motivator to actually study. I wouldn't have asked this question here and wouldn't receive all the advice if I were less competent than everyone else and okay with it.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-12T09:13:27.012Z · LW · GW

I have no trouble imagining all the horrible outcomes, because I did get into trouble several times in similar scenarios, where getting confirmation from a friend would have saved me. For example, a couple of hours after giving my work to a teacher, I remembered that my friend wasn't there, even though he was ready. I inquired him about it, and it then turned out that I gave it to the wrong teacher, and getting all my hand-crafted drawings back ended up being a very time and effort consuming task.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-12T09:05:16.043Z · LW · GW

Who are you comparing yourself to? Peers? Everyone you meet? Successful people?


What traits are you comparing? It's unlikely that someone who is, for example, better at math than you are is also superior in every other area.

It being unlikely and still seeming to happen is the reason I asked this question.

Maybe you haven't found your advantage or a way to exploit this.

Maybe you haven't spend enough time on one thing to get really good at it.

Maybe. And everyone else did, thus denying me of competitive advantage?

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-11T09:42:29.916Z · LW · GW

I can guess that my IQ has three digits. It's just that it doesn't enable me to do things better than others. Except solving iq tests, I guess.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-10T19:31:53.368Z · LW · GW

Unfortunately, it ended up being a counterexample. Downvote.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-10T19:02:49.922Z · LW · GW

Arguable, but let's suppose it can. So, you gave an example of efficient altruism failing. Did you mean it as contra-efficient altruism quote?

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-10T18:41:30.196Z · LW · GW

Okay, what does it have to do with efficient altruism?

Comment by timujin on Post ridiculous munchkin ideas! · 2014-12-10T18:08:59.835Z · LW · GW

Is there a similar advice repository that is one level more meta? I want to be able to invent ridiculous munchkin ideas on my own.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-10T17:54:09.473Z · LW · GW

How is this a rationality quote?

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-10T16:21:36.766Z · LW · GW

Thanks! That does make sense.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-10T15:10:48.810Z · LW · GW

First of all: I don't agree that group assignments are bad. Those problems are my problems, and most complex tasks in real life really benefit from, or require, collaboration. I think that universities should have more group assignments and projects, even if it would mean I'll drop out.

Second, I wasn't talking about group assignments in my post. I was talking about being too anxious to work on your own personal assignment, unless a friend has already done it and can provide confirmation.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-10T14:57:40.416Z · LW · GW

Sometimes, I just have trouble understanding the subject areas. I am going to take MathiasZaman's advice: I always used my discipline to complete in time and with quality what needs to be completed, but not into anything extra. Mostly, though, it is (social) anxiety - I can't approach a professor with anything unless I have a pack of companions backing me up, or can't start a project unless a friend confirms that I correctly understand what it is that has to be done. And my companions have awful discipline, worst of anyone I ever worked with (which is not many). So I end up, for example, preparing all assignments in time, but hand them in only long after the time is due, when a friend has prepared them. I am working on that problem, and it becomes less severe as the time goes.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-10T14:37:49.085Z · LW · GW

Well, here's a confusing part. I didn't tell the whole truth in parent post, there are actually two areas that I am probably more competent than peers, in which others openly envy me instead of the other way around. One is the ability to speak English (a foreign language, most my peers wouldn't be able to ask this question here), another is discipline. Everyone actually envies me for almost never procrastinating, never forgetting anything, etc. Are we talking about different disciplines here?

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-10T14:21:11.596Z · LW · GW

So, it doesn't make sense to talk about processed meats, if you can't pick them from plants?

If I roast my carrot, does it become processed?

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-10T13:55:59.335Z · LW · GW

Thanks. Still, should I take it as "yes, you are less competent than people around you"?

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-10T07:46:04.511Z · LW · GW

In dietary and health articles they often speak about "processed food". What exactly is processed food and what is unprocessed food?

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-09T20:37:55.389Z · LW · GW

Guesses here. I would be taking up more risks in areas where success depends on competition. I would become less conforming, more arrogant and cynical. I would care less about producing good art, and good things in general. I would try less to improve my social skills, empathy and networking, and focus more on self-sufficiency. I wouldn't have asked this question here, on LW.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-09T19:10:13.848Z · LW · GW

At THOSE games? Yes. I can complete about half of American McGee's Alice blindfolded. Other games? General gaming? No. Or, okay, I am better than non-gamers, but my kinda-gamer peers are crub-stomping me at multiplayer in every game.

Studying - very easy. Now, when I am a university student - quite hard.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-09T19:01:59.148Z · LW · GW

Is it? I don't know.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T17:38:39.551Z · LW · GW

As I said, охуить is not usually used on its own, and its meaning is only relevant when you derive things from it. And it is a transitive verb.

Also, this thread gives me giggles.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T14:21:03.745Z · LW · GW

Okay, instead of making myself feel better by professing myself of possessing knowledge mere mortals do not, I will at least try to describe what is going on in this word (it is going to be very simplified and with some omissions, because I am no linguist and am operating from instinct).

Let's start with хуй, that means "dick". "Хуеть" is this word transformed into a verb, which can get a lot of different meanings as it goes, but we'll just focus on one - "becoming progressively more and more surprised/daunted". "Охуеть" transforms it from continuous form into "have become" form, with a touch of "all over" or "completely" meaning added in. Then goes "охуить", which is the same verb in a sort of passive involuntary form, from "become" to "having been made to become". Note that "охуить" is not usually used on its own. At this point we have "forcibly make one dauntingly surprised enough that 1) you usually can become that surprised only by progressively becoming more and more surprised for a very long time 2) it is totally all over you, as in, it is now a dominant feeling". From "охуить" we get "охуительный", which is a standard way to transform a verb into adjective, so the meaning specified above is now used as adjective. From "охуительный" we get "охуительно" which looks like adjective being transformed into adverb, but that's optical illusion (although you can potentially use it as an adverb "awesomely"). What actually happened, is that we just stripped the word from its referent. So, it's just very generalized version of "охуительный".

So, you can use "охуительно" as an adverb "awesomely", or as a generalized "awesome" without a referent, like a cheer (Awesome!!!). The adverb version can alternatively just amplify the "all over" meaning, so you can use it as a strong "very", or "so much that it it daunting". You can use "охуительный" as an adjective "awesome", like in "awesome thing".

Compared to "awesome", "охуительно" is much easier to use in a negative form, as a sarcasm ("My car just broke, that is just awesome"), because nowhere it is specified that the surprise must be positive. That one helps to combo it with all the other profanity to complicate and refine its meaning even further, abusing this ambiguity.

Правда, охуительно?

Edit: I forgot about one more factor: "хуеть" does get a couple of additional meanings as it goes in this case, namely "be nuts/asshole". "Ты что, охуел?" == "Are you nuts?/How do you dare?/You must be an asshole if you are doing this". I am not going to elaborate how exactly this meaning adds to the final word.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T13:53:13.374Z · LW · GW

I would be delighted to read it. Please, do happen to write it.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T13:42:39.845Z · LW · GW

Okay, a valid hypothesis, but I don't think it is actually the case. I learned English for 2 years with a teacher, and then via books, internet and video games. I certainly did have negative social experiences in Russian. But the comfortableness doesn't feel like being more light and effortless. More like more powerful, less unwieldy, more precise and compact. As a programmer, I often have the same set of feelings with programming languages, and I assure you, I wasn't bullied in school in C++.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T13:36:24.214Z · LW · GW

As another native Russian speaker, I can say that Russian profanity is indeed powerful, but is not as precise as the parent post puts it.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T13:32:12.129Z · LW · GW

There is no extra meaning in "challenge". "Вызов" and "испытание" cover the English word "challenge" more or less completely. The problem is that they also accidentally cover the English word "ordeal" as well. Challenge is not something bad or painful, but ordeal is. When you say you want "испытание", you can potentially be understood as "I want more pain in my life", which is not what English "I want a challenge" means.

Comment by timujin on Rationality Quotes November 2014 · 2014-12-09T11:36:07.692Z · LW · GW

I have some trouble understanding what you want. Try to rephrase, or expand.

Comment by timujin on Stupid Questions December 2014 · 2014-12-09T11:34:27.485Z · LW · GW

If nothing else, your writing is better than that of a high proportion of people on the internet.

Do you know me?

More generally, you could explore the idea of everyone being more competent than you at everything. Is there evidence for this? Evidence against it? Is it likely that you're at the bottom of ability at everything?

I find a lot of evidence for it, but I am not sure I am not being selective. For example, I am the only one in my peer group that never did any extra-curricular activities at school. While everyone had something like sports or hobbies, I seemed to only study at school an waste all my other time surfing the internet and playing the same video games over and over.