Open thread, Mar. 27 - Apr. 02, 2017 2017-03-27T08:29:31.872Z
20000 UC Berkeley lectures that were deleted from Youtube 2017-03-19T11:40:03.236Z
Open thread, Feb. 13 - Feb. 19, 2017 2017-02-13T10:56:21.074Z
Open thread, Dec. 26, 2016 - Jan. 1, 2017 2016-12-28T12:23:21.661Z
John Ioannidis: Why Most Clinical Research Is Not Useful (2016) 2016-12-28T03:42:10.015Z
Superintelligence: The Idea That Eats Smart People 2016-12-23T11:28:55.969Z
This AI Boom Will Also Bust 2016-12-03T23:21:05.593Z
Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016 2016-01-25T21:07:02.746Z
Open Thread, January 11-17, 2016 2016-01-12T10:29:29.953Z
[LINK] 23andme now approved by the FDA to deliver health reports 2015-10-22T01:33:07.153Z


Comment by username2 on Open thread, January 29 - ∞ · 2018-01-30T16:55:25.427Z · LW · GW

I have become very used to the interface here and the various ways it can be manipulated, so I prefer it greatly even if this is just due to inertia. Glad to see more than 6 names on the Last 30 Days list. But it's clear that this is a dead zone and I've become resigned to the idea that this will soon be gone.

I do enjoy what's going on at LW2 even though it's still open beta, a bit broken in a few areas and cluttered by too many specific requests and follow-up about personal preferences for site look and feel. And moderator chat that really feels like it can be kept behind closed doors -- I hope this is just a feature of beta that will be ironed out. And I fully applaud the approach to trolls (so far anyway).

Overall it's fun to see people jockeying for the position of Next Great Poster Who Will Lead Us From Darkness, especially those who aren't trying to copy Previous Heroes. Some falling terribly short but it's interesting to see the variety of voices. It does not seem to be heading to an obvious local minimum, something I worried about in the early days of LW2.0. Maybe a few local minima but that's fine with me.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, January 29 - ∞ · 2018-01-30T16:48:58.856Z · LW · GW

Thank you very much. I read LW primarily for the discussions that are spurred by posts/articles and the comments are effectively impossible for me to read with the standard interface. On a small glance/browse I'm very encouraged about trying Greaterwrong as my regular reading mode.

Comment by username2 on Open Letter to MIRI + Tons of Interesting Discussion · 2017-11-24T10:46:25.111Z · LW · GW

B+ Too brief.

Comment by username2 on Less Wrong Lacks Representatives and Paths Forward · 2017-11-14T11:42:29.813Z · LW · GW

Please keep posting here. Your powers of persuasion are amazing.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, October 30 - November 5, 2017 · 2017-11-10T13:49:58.702Z · LW · GW

Sorry, I used the ambiguous term "traffic", meant "amount of new discussion/comments" rather than web traffic. were it not for curi's recent flurry there would almost be nothing here.

Comment by username2 on Questions about AGI's Importance · 2017-11-10T13:23:40.690Z · LW · GW

I went down the rabbit hole of your ensuing discussion and it seems to have broken LW, but didn't look like you were very convinced yet. Thanks for taking one for the team.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, October 30 - November 5, 2017 · 2017-11-02T10:59:45.499Z · LW · GW

Another take: This site is dead with practically no traffic. LW2.0 has various issues and missing features: from a development team perspective it's still in a lengthy beta phase but practically speaking and from a general user viewpoint it can be considered to have fully replaced this site.

Comment by username2 on I Want to Review FDT; Are my Criticisms Legitimate? · 2017-10-27T09:25:30.369Z · LW · GW

You could also simply continue working on the review: you are clearly motivated to explore these issues deeper so why not start fleshing out the paper?

Note that I said "continue" rather than start. The barrier is often not the ideas themselves but getting it written in something approaching a complete paper. this is still the issue for me and I have 50+ peer reviewed papers in the past 20 years (although not in this field).

Comment by username2 on Feedback on LW 2.0 · 2017-10-12T09:41:09.079Z · LW · GW

The recommendation by "someone else" is anything but anonymous, adamzerner's comment quotes and links directly from Matthew Butterick, author of the online book that provides said guidance (and also explicitly makes the point about print vs. online).

While I fully agree with you about strong distaste for the visual design of LW2 (at least using default display settings in the current beta) you have failed to make a valid argument here.

Comment by username2 on Feedback on LW 2.0 · 2017-10-06T13:15:52.904Z · LW · GW

I can't get a rss feed specifically for featured posts right now can I ?

Comment by username2 on Feedback on LW 2.0 · 2017-10-03T11:35:47.194Z · LW · GW

My vision is not great and I simply cannot see the difference between quoted text and normal text in comments.

Comment by username2 on Feedback on LW 2.0 · 2017-10-02T12:20:44.741Z · LW · GW

I find it very difficult to find and follow discussions on the new site. The content is very slow to load for me (on various devices) and I've given up rather than trying to work my way down.

The scoring system doesn't make sense to me but this may just be a matter of getting used to it / users settling into some kind of routine. Anyway easy enough for me to select "most recent" and squint past the scores based on other users' ratings for now.

I'm also embarrassed by the term "Sunshine Regiment". I can see what you're trying to do but it has an incredibly strong negative impact on me whenever I see it.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, September 25 - October 1, 2017 · 2017-09-29T15:40:05.018Z · LW · GW

i do statistical consulting as part of my day job responsibilities, i'm afraid to say this is not how it works.

if you came to me with this question i would roll back to ask what exactly you are trying to achieve with the analyses, before getting into the additional constraints you want to include. unfortunately it's far more challenging if the data owner comes to the statistician after the data are collected rather than before (when principles of experimental design as ilya mentioned can be considered to achieve ability to successfully answer those questions using statistical methods).

that said, temporarily ignoring the additional constraints you mentioned (e.g. whether and how to transform data; exponential decay and what that actually means with respect to student evaluation scores; magic word "bayes") perhaps a useful search term would be "item response theory".

good luck

Comment by username2 on LW2.0 now in public beta (you'll need to reset your password to log in) · 2017-09-28T09:52:30.136Z · LW · GW

Unfortunately, due to the shape of modern web development

What does that even mean :))

Comment by username2 on Rational Feed: Last Week's Community Articles and Some Recommended Posts · 2017-09-27T14:00:59.519Z · LW · GW

Have you given some thought towards numbering these ? Similar to how newsletters do ? It might help if one day it gets archived and Numbering them also gives a good sense of advancement.

Also where else do you post this ? (except for discord and r/ssc)

Comment by username2 on LW 2.0 Open Beta Live · 2017-09-22T20:36:08.864Z · LW · GW

Is there a pdf version available for The Codex as it appears on lesserwrong ? I see it's different from the Library of Alexandria.

Comment by username2 on LW 2.0 Strategic Overview · 2017-09-18T17:10:47.603Z · LW · GW

People sure like to talk about meta topics.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, September 18 - September 24, 2017 · 2017-09-18T12:00:38.272Z · LW · GW

This one is also attractive in that primes are not repeated.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, September 11 - September 17, 2017 · 2017-09-16T06:38:12.603Z · LW · GW

Drexlarian molecular nanotechnology?

Comment by username2 on New business opportunities due to self-driving cars · 2017-09-12T11:19:24.325Z · LW · GW

I think Lumifer can be annoying as hell at times. But has been entirely consistent from the very start and has continued to engage in entirely the same way with whatever members are posting here.

Perhaps the different post rating system in LW 2.0 (if successfully launched and managed) will allow members who don't like this sort of thing to more easily avoid or hide from this kind of dialogue but I expect (hope?) Lumifer will remain immune to shifts in the incentive structure.

Comment by username2 on [deleted post] 2017-09-01T16:07:16.230Z

I appreciate you are working under challenging circumstances but surely moderators should be permitted and willing to remove undesirable content. Please, yes.

Even an empty forum is preferable to embarrassments like this post series.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, August 14 - August 20, 2017 · 2017-08-14T18:25:00.459Z · LW · GW

I'm currently going through a painful divorce so of course I'm starting to look into dating apps as a superficial coping mechanism.

It seems to me that even the modern dating apps like Tinder and Bumble could be made a lot better with a tiny bit of machine learning. After a couple thousand swipes (which doesn't take long), I would think that a machine learning system could get a pretty good sense of my tastes and perhaps some metric of my minimum standards of attractiveness. This is particularly true for a system that has access to all the swiping data across the whole platform.

Since I swipe completely based on superficial appearance without ever reading the bio (like most people), the system wouldn't need to take the biographical information into account, though I suppose it could use that information as well.

The ideal system would quickly learn my preferences in both appearance and personal information and then automatically match me up with the top likely candidates. I know these apps keep track of the response rates of individuals, so matches who tend not to respond often (probably due to being very generally desirable) would be penalized in your personal matchup ranking - again, something machine learning could handle easily.

I find myself wondering why this doesn't already exist.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, August 7 - August 13, 2017 · 2017-08-14T10:47:32.145Z · LW · GW

Fellow username2s, I think that's the least of our worries. Recent comments there: 7 days ago; 19 days ago; 23 days ago; a month ago. Although to be fair, it's not really about the content at this stage.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, August 7 - August 13, 2017 · 2017-08-12T02:30:45.690Z · LW · GW

Why is anonymous posting not welcome?

Comment by username2 on Open thread, August 7 - August 13, 2017 · 2017-08-10T12:56:10.454Z · LW · GW

How is development of the new LW platform/closed beta coming along? Does it look like it will actually get off the ground?

I realize username2 will not be welcome there but am very interested in signing up with a normal username when it launches, if there's anything to sign up for. I'm hoping all the action there has just moved out of public view rather than just subsiding as it appears from outside.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, August 7 - August 13, 2017 · 2017-08-08T13:42:00.567Z · LW · GW

As you say, there indeed many examples, even of three literally consecutive primes:

Comment by username2 on LessWrong Help Desk - free paper downloads and more (2014) · 2017-08-07T17:43:59.013Z · LW · GW

In Kay Sotala recommened the Steve Andreas book Transforming Your Self. Unfortunately, while the book is listed on lib.gen it's not downloadable and the listed version is listed without page numbers. I would deeply appreciate if someone would upload a working copy.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, July 31 - August 6, 2017 · 2017-08-01T09:34:53.888Z · LW · GW

Wilson's Six views of embodied cognition gives a broad overview of embodied cognition in 12 pages and has a few good references.

I decided to read Holyoak et al.'s Mental Leaps: Analogy in Creative Thought when Surfaces and Essences started feeling drawn-out.

Comment by username2 on How long has civilisation been going? · 2017-07-24T16:38:27.037Z · LW · GW

Or being on LessWrong.

Comment by username2 on How long has civilisation been going? · 2017-07-24T07:39:45.234Z · LW · GW

What is the selection pressure now?

Comment by username2 on The dark arts: Examples from the Harris-Adams conversation · 2017-07-22T15:47:36.272Z · LW · GW

Empirically that is not so. There are major world religions based on the fact that everyone should hold the one true belief and accord with its god-given morality. Followers of such religions profess, and those of the evangelist variety follow through with imposing their morals on others and believing it is the right thing to do.

Somewhat more secular is, say, the belief in equal rights for women or minorities. Lots of people on both sides have strong views about forced wearing of the hajib in some muslim countries. Advocating for woman in Saudi Arabia to have the right to drive, when you don't live in or have any connection to that region of the world is trying to enforce one's morals on another, right?

Comment by username2 on Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017 · 2017-07-22T15:36:21.654Z · LW · GW

It ... doesn't? That's where it works from. No external access.

Comment by username2 on How long has civilisation been going? · 2017-07-22T15:33:21.524Z · LW · GW

This year is 5777 in the Hebrew calendar. So someone has been counting for roughly that long.

Nitpick (as it doesn't affect your general argument): What actually happened was at some point some king advisor or prophet applied some guesswork to oral history that bordered on myth (e.g. Noah living 950 years) and decided the world was created in 3761 BCE. This is, in fact, exactly the same logic used by creationists to date the Earth to be ~6000 years old. That's the origin of the Hebrew calendar. There hasn't been 5777 years of continuous counting. More like 3500, maybe.

Comment by username2 on Can anyone refute these arguments that we live on the interior of a hollow Earth? · 2017-07-22T03:52:00.716Z · LW · GW

Comment by username2 on Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017 · 2017-07-22T03:50:16.801Z · LW · GW

On a central command and control server it owns, and pays bitcoin to maintain.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017 · 2017-07-22T03:49:26.510Z · LW · GW

The difficulty has gone up 12 orders of magnitude. The bitcoin price hasn't had that good of a return.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017 · 2017-07-22T03:48:14.788Z · LW · GW

Um, no it hasn't. Not in bitcoin. Botnets had an effect in the early days, but the only ones around in this asic age are lingering zombie botnets that are still mining only because no one bothered to turn them off.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017 · 2017-07-22T03:47:11.123Z · LW · GW

You need to earn minimum amounts before you can receive a payout share or, worse, solo mine a block. With the asymmetric advantage provided by optimized hardware, your expectation time for finding enough shares to earn a payout using cpu mining is in the centuries to millenniums timeframe. This is without considering rising fees that raise the bar even higher.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017 · 2017-07-19T07:48:08.539Z · LW · GW

With bitcoin botnet mining this was briefly possible. Also see "google eats itself."

Comment by username2 on Open thread, Jul. 17 - Jul. 23, 2017 · 2017-07-19T07:46:07.642Z · LW · GW

That assessment is actually quite common with approaches to radical longevity "likely leads to more cancers."

I am encouraged for the long term prospects of SENS in particular because the "regular maintenance" approach doesn't necessarily require mucking around with internal cellular processes. At least not as much as the more radical approaches.

Comment by username2 on Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017 · 2017-07-13T10:44:22.774Z · LW · GW

attention moderator(s?) - spam cleanup needed in Ann Arbor meetup thread

Comment by username2 on Meetup : Ann Arbor Meetup, 2/19/16 · 2017-07-13T10:43:28.733Z · LW · GW

A number of additional spam posts in this meetup thread.

Comment by username2 on Meetup : Ann Arbor Meetup, 2/19/16 · 2017-07-13T10:42:32.371Z · LW · GW

someone please remove this spam and the user's other junk posts

Comment by username2 on 90% of problems are recommendation and adaption problems · 2017-07-13T10:41:55.746Z · LW · GW


Comment by username2 on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-12T00:49:37.546Z · LW · GW

I feel no qualms for calling a spade a spade.

Comment by username2 on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-12T00:48:54.743Z · LW · GW

How is that not the point of peer review, whether formal or informal?

Comment by username2 on Open thread, July 10 - July 16, 2017 · 2017-07-11T09:42:52.397Z · LW · GW


P.S. "rat" is a terrible label, I would even prefer "cult"

Comment by username2 on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-09T16:46:36.043Z · LW · GW

Also the first few dozen chapters of HPMoR are terribly written. It is rather horrid, strained, constipated writing. Particularly if you view the early releases of the text, not the revised text that is currently available. The writing got decently good towards the middle, and was top notch by the end. But that was after thousands of pages written and lots of feedback on every chapter. No surprise, lots of writing practice and (critically, to the point of this thread:) feedback leads to becoming a better writer.

Comment by username2 on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-09T02:41:33.722Z · LW · GW

Your post said:

Most people cannot do lone wolf, but if you can do lone wolf, you will probably be much more successful than the average person.

Maybe we disagree on what it means to "lone wolf." If I try to steel-man your position, I can come up with a weak and a strong interpretation:

The weak interpretation is that being a autodidact (capable of learning things on your own) will bring you higher chances of success. Being an autodidact myself, I agree from anecdotal experience. Also just being an expert in your field means developing autodidact skills at some point because eventually you surpass the level of all available classes and have to learn from the latest research journals and technical reports. However I would argue that this should still remain a social activity where you continue to interact with collaborators and bounce ideas off of trusted colleagues in order to avoid many of the pitfalls that come from truly working alone. This isn't a lone wolf so much as a free-thinking pack wolf, to carry the metaphor, that enjoys the best of both worlds.

The strong interpretation is that you will or even can be successful by truly embarking on a lone quest all by yourself. It is this interpretation that I disagree with so strongly for the reasons given. In my experience smart people who go the "lone wolf" route inevitably end up in crackpot / crank territory as they accumulate bad ideas in their personal blind spots, assuming they don't fall prey to akrasia in the first place. In this sense I agree with the OP: glorifying the "lone wolf" path has done a lot of harm to a lot of LW'ers.

Comment by username2 on Against lone wolf self-improvement · 2017-07-08T03:04:33.694Z · LW · GW

This is a mean vs median or Mediocristan vs Extremistan issue. Most people cannot do lone wolf, but if you can do lone wolf, you will probably be much more successful than the average person.

I cannot disagree with this more strongly. I am serial entrepreneur, and a somewhat successful one. Still chasing the big exit, but I've built successful companies that are still private. Besides myself I've met many other people in this industry which you'd be excused for thinking are lone wolfs. But the truth is the lone wolf's don't make it as they build things that fail to have product/market fit, fail to listen to feedback if and when it is even made available to them (since they don't seek it), and usually fail to raise or maintain funding from lack of communication and organizational skill.

The successful entrepreneurs, hedge funders, etc. are not afraid of thinking that conventional wisdom is wrong. The success they have is not from trailblazing a new path -- that just goes with doing something new -- but from having the tenacity to ask "but why is that so?" of conventional wisdom. Every now and then you find something that just shouldn't be so -- it has no good justification except historical accident -- and then you execute. And a very important part of execution is building a team that can work together to avoid the heuristics and biases that follow lone wolfs around.

Don't be a lone wolf. Be a social rationalist willing to question everything and go where that takes you. It's not the same thing.