Comment by ViEtArmis on Rationality Quotes September 2013 · 2013-09-17T21:16:38.161Z · LW · GW

I woke up one time with both arms completely numb. I tried to turn the light on and instead fell out of bed. I felt certain that I was going to die right then.

Comment by ViEtArmis on For-Profit Rationality Training · 2012-08-02T18:55:48.867Z · LW · GW

Rationality is a lot like grammar: it's good to have for any job, everybody learns most of what they'll ever learn as kids, and you lose it when you drink. The main difference is that people don't think of it as something to be learned.

As money-making operations go, there are quite a few that teach rationality without calling it that. QA and troubleshooting are both huge IT sectors that are entirely about applied rationality, and if you can prove that your rationality program benefits those organizations, you will get work from IT managers.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Game Theory As A Dark Art · 2012-07-24T20:10:08.787Z · LW · GW

Of course, it all gets into careful opponent analysis then, which makes the whole exercise quite fuzzy and into "well, Tom really hates the new guy, so he'll probably vote no because he's ornery" territory. All the directors are basing their decisions on the decisions of each other, since there is no reward for acting alone. Again, a second confederate in the beginning makes all the difference.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Game Theory As A Dark Art · 2012-07-24T19:20:09.295Z · LW · GW

Even without a precommitment etc., there isn't direct incentive to be the first or second "yes" vote, only the third. If you had two shills on the board, it's a much stronger scenario.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Game Theory As A Dark Art · 2012-07-24T15:51:30.263Z · LW · GW

Your lackey proposes as follows: “I move that we vote upon the following: that if this motion passes unanimously, all members of the of the Board resign immediately and are given a reasonable compensation; that if this motion passes 4-1 that the Director who voted against it must retire without compensation, and the four directors who voted in favor may stay on the Board; and that if the motion passes 3-2, then the two 'no' voters get no compensation and the three 'yes' voters may remain on the board and will also get a spectacular prize - to wit, our company's 51% share in your company divided up evenly among them.”

Considering the reasoning that ends in "everyone is kicked off the board," wouldn't they all talk about it for a few minutes and then reject the proposal 4-1 (or maybe 3-2)?

Comment by ViEtArmis on Evolutionary psychology as "the truth-killer" · 2012-07-23T21:23:44.415Z · LW · GW

"Evolutionists say that if God makes sense to us, it is not because he is really there, it's only because that belief helped us survive and so we are hardwired for it. However, if we can't trust our belief-forming faculties to tell us the truth about God, why should we trust them to tell us the truth about anything, including evolutionary science? If our cognitive faculties only tell us what we need to survive, not what is true, why trust them about anything at all?" -Timothy Keller

This is so laden with assumptions that are not substantiated that it is an excellent piece to pick apart just for practice. How does the capacity for untruth imply the un-capacity for truth? When do the biologists say that senses only provide what helps propagate the species? My laptop may be designed as a computer, but it still works as a hammer in a pinch...

Comment by ViEtArmis on Neuroscience basics for LessWrongians · 2012-07-23T20:38:21.519Z · LW · GW

Really, it can go either way, since saying things without being forced increases your belief in them (I imaging donating to charity does, as well).

Comment by ViEtArmis on [SEQ RERUN] The Comedy of Behaviorism · 2012-07-23T20:24:28.216Z · LW · GW

I don't buy that lying requires believing the lies even a little bit. Internalization may be important, but understanding religious thought and being able to speak about it convincingly doesn't require belief by any means.

It seems transparent that bad liars are exhibiting stress tics rather than trying to protect their internal narrative given the techniques for becoming a better liar (i.e. relax, practice, be confident) and the similarity to nervous people telling the truth when they're worried they'll get in trouble for it anyways (in the face of interrogation, for instance).

Comment by ViEtArmis on Building Weirdtopia · 2012-07-23T19:00:30.393Z · LW · GW

Or excellent skin-conductivity!

Comment by ViEtArmis on Meetup : Fort Collins, Colorado Meetup Thursday 7pm *New Place* · 2012-07-23T17:43:12.676Z · LW · GW

So far from Denver!

Comment by ViEtArmis on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2012-07-23T17:37:22.613Z · LW · GW

I had this problem for a long time, which can be embarrassing doing phone support, especially one with frequent callers that know my name and voice (one of only two men and we have distinct voices and greetings). I started intentionally using callers name's three times in every call and reaped several benefits: 1) I actually remember their names when they call back, 2) I'm better at remembering names having been told only once (even outside of work), and 3) my customer satisfaction scores had a marked and sustained increase.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Procedural Knowledge Gaps · 2012-07-23T15:11:05.326Z · LW · GW

I can't tell if people actually don't care or if they are just oblivious, but I hate when people try to strike up a conversation while I'm using a public toilet. Bad when it's a urinal, worse when it's a stall. Maybe this falls under "spaces where people go to get work done"?

Comment by ViEtArmis on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-07-22T02:33:50.027Z · LW · GW

Apparently, the correction was in the form of altering essay and story questions to de-emphasize sports and business and ask more about arts and humanities. This hasn't been terribly effective. The gap is smaller in the verbal sections, but it's still there. Given that the entire purpose of the test is to predict college grades directly and women do better in college than men, explanations and theories abound.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-07-20T17:02:11.156Z · LW · GW

Of course, if you use IQ testing, it is specifically calibrated to remove/minimize gender bias (so is the SAT and ACT), and intelligence testing is horribly fraught with infighting and moving targets.

I can't find any research that doesn't at least mention that social factors likely poison any experimental result. It doesn't help any that "intelligence" is poorly defined and thus difficult to quantify.

Considering that men are more susceptible to critical genetic failure, maybe the mean is higher for men on some tests because the low outliers had defects that made them impossible to test (such as being stillborn)?

Comment by ViEtArmis on [LINK] Using procedural memory to thwart "rubber-hose cryptanalysis" · 2012-07-20T14:43:25.245Z · LW · GW

Got the flu? Sorry, no email for you today.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-07-20T14:37:58.135Z · LW · GW

You'd have to raise the bar really far before any actual gender-based differences showed up. It seems far more likely that the cause is a cultural bias against intellectualism in women (women will under-report IQ by 5ish points and men over-report by a similar margin, women are poorly represented in "smart" jobs, etc.). That makes women present themselves as less intelligent and makes everyone perceive them as less intelligent.

Comment by ViEtArmis on The Power of Positivist Thinking · 2012-07-20T13:58:09.544Z · LW · GW

"Rationalists should win," mathematical tautology. Perfectly rational bayesian expected utility maximizers do just that. As humans, it is a good heuristic to avoid privileged rituals of thought.

There can be value in tautology for the purpose of drawing attention to an important point: "oh, I'm not winning, I am not a rationalist, then."

Comment by ViEtArmis on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-07-19T20:55:53.284Z · LW · GW

I always think of that in the context of conflict resolution, and refer to it as "telling someone that what they did was idiotic, not that they are an idiot." Self-identifying is powerful, and people are pretty bad at it because of a confluence of biases.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-07-19T20:28:44.261Z · LW · GW

Specifically, her non-fiction work (if you find that sort of thing palatable) provides a lot more concrete discussion of her philosophy.

Unfortunately, Ayn Rand is little too... abrasive... for many people who don't agree entirely with her. She has a lot of resonant points that get rejected because of all the other stuff she presents along with it.

Comment by ViEtArmis on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-07-19T17:37:55.164Z · LW · GW

It is particularly not rational to ignore the effect of your unconscious in your relationships. That fight is a losing battle (right now), so if having happy relationships is a goal, the pursuit of that requires you pay attention.

There is almost no average IQ differential, since men pad out the bottom as well. Greater chromosomal genetic variations in men lead to stupidity as often as intelligence.

Really, this gender disparity only matters at far extremes. Men may pad out the top and bottom 1% (or something like that) in IQ, but applied mathematicians aren't all top 1% (or even 10%, in my experience). It is easy to mistake finally being around people who think like you do (as in high IQ) with being less intelligent than them, but this is a trick!

Comment by ViEtArmis on Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012) · 2012-07-19T16:41:25.003Z · LW · GW

Hello! I'm David.

I'm 26 (at the time of writing), male, and an IT professional. I have three (soon to be four) children, three (but not four) of which have a different dad.

My immediate links here were through the Singularity Institute and Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, which drove me here when I realized the connection (I came to those things entirely separately!). When I came across this site, I had read through the Wikipedia list of biases several times over the course of years, come to many conscious conclusions about the fragility of my own cognition, and had innumerable arguments with friends and family that changed minds, but I never really considered that there would be a large community of people that got together on those grounds.

I'm going to do the short version of my origin story here, since writing it all out seems both daunting and pretentious. I was raised rich and lucky by an entrepreneur/university professor/doctor father and a mother who always had to be learning something or go crazy (she did some of both). I dropped out of a physics major in college and got my degree in gunsmithing instead, but only after I worked a few years. Along the way, I've politically and morally moved around, but I'm worried that the settling of my moral and political beliefs is a symptom of my brain settling rather than because of all of my rationalizations.

There are a few reasons that I haven't commented on here yet (mostly because I despise any sort of hard work), and this is an attempt to break some of those inhibitions and maybe even get to know some people well enough (i.e. at all) to actively desire discourse.

Ok, David Fun Facts time:

  • I know enough Norwegian, Chinese, Latin, Lojban, and Spanish to do...something useful maybe?

  • I almost never think of what I'm saying before I say it (as in black-box), and I let it continue because it works.

  • Corollary: I curse a lot when I'm comfortable with people.

  • Corollary: My voice is low and loud, so it carries quite far.

  • I play a lot of video games, board games, and thought experiment games.