Comment by vivificient on An Equilibrium of No Free Energy · 2017-11-01T13:56:17.949Z · score: 15 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for this post. I've seen the term inadequecy before (mostly on your Facebook page, I think) but never had such a clear definition in mind.

There was one small thing that bothered me in this post without detracting from the main argument. In section IV, we provisionally accept the premise "grantmakers are driven by prestige, not expected value of research" for the sake of a toy example. I was happy to accept this for the sake of the example. However, in section V (the omelette example and related commentary about research after the second world war), the text begins to read as though this premise is definitely true in real life. This felt inconsistent and potentially misleading.

(It’s not like anyone in our civilization has put as much effort into rationalizing the academic matching process as, say, OkCupid has put into their software for hooking up dates. It’s not like anyone who did produce this public good would get paid more than they could have made as a Google programmer.)

I appreciated this throwaway example of inadequacy. It gave me a little lightbulb and propelled me forward to read the rest of the post with more interest.

Comment by vivificient on Beta - First Impressions · 2017-10-06T18:17:01.699Z · score: 1 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Certainly! Here it is:

On that page, it is fine at normal zoom, but the problem occurs when I zoom out to 80%, at which point the text is roughly the same size as here. So I guess it is something to do with how the font is rendering at that size. Whether it is something wrong with my computer or with the font I don't know.

Comment by vivificient on Beta - First Impressions · 2017-10-06T18:03:07.517Z · score: 1 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Here is what I am seeing:

I am on Chrome on Windows 10. Experimentation shows that the effect only happens when the page zoom is at 100%... if I zoom in or out, the w goes back to normal.

Comment by vivificient on Beta - First Impressions · 2017-10-06T07:25:16.269Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The comment font has a weird lowercase 'w'. It is larger than the surrounding letters. Now that I have noticed it, I can't stop being distracted by it.

Comment by vivificient on Lesswrong 2016 Survey · 2016-03-27T01:55:51.035Z · score: 40 (40 votes) · LW · GW

It is done. (The survey. By me.)

Comment by vivificient on 2014 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2014-10-28T23:02:25.449Z · score: 26 (26 votes) · LW · GW

I have taken the survey, including the digit ratio question.

Since there was a box to be included in the SSC survey, I just a little bit disappointed there wasn't a question for favourite SSC post to go with the favourite LessWrong post question.

Comment by vivificient on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-21T18:57:12.704Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Making things happen with positive thinking requires magic. But myths about the health effects of microwaves or plastic bottles are dressed up to look like science as usual. The microwave thing is supposedly based on the effect of radiation on the DNA in your food or something -- nonsense, but to someone with little science literacy not necessarily distinguishable from talk about the information-theoretic definition of death.

I'm not sure that signing papers to have a team of scientists stand by and freeze your brain when you die is more boring than cooking your food without a microwave oven. I would guess that cryonics being "weird", "gross", and "unnatural" would be more relevant.

Comment by vivificient on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-21T17:38:28.810Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

Upvoted for providing a clear counterexample to Yvain's assertion that people would find immortality to be "surely an outcome as desirable as any lottery jackpot".

This suggests that a partial explanation for the data is that "experienced rationalists" (high karma, long time in community) are more likely to find immortality desirable, and so more likely to sign up for cryonics despite having slightly lower faith in the technology itself.

Comment by vivificient on Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously · 2014-01-21T14:28:55.639Z · score: 14 (14 votes) · LW · GW

Your conclusion is possible. But I'll admit I find it hard to believe that non-rationalists really lack the ability to take ideas seriously. The 1 = 2 example is a little silly, but I've known lots of not-very-rational people who take ideas seriously. For example, people who stopped using a microwave when they heard about an experiment supposedly showing that microwaved water kills plants. People who threw out all their plastic dishes after the media picked up a study about health dangers caused by plastics. People who spent a lot of time thinking positive thoughts because they have heard it will make them successful.

Could it be that proto-rationalists are just bad at quantifying their level of belief? Normally, I'd trust somebody's claim to believe something more if they're willing to bet on it; and if they aren't willing to bet on it, then I'd think their real level of belief is lower.

Comment by vivificient on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-17T06:53:11.431Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

IQ - I could hire excellent tutors to make myself more intelligent, though definitely only to a certain point. More to the point, I could hire smart people to think of good ideas for me. I'll concede that I couldn't buy the experience of thinking like someone smarter than myself.

emotional states - Hire some psychologists to figure out what experiences causes people to have them, then buy those experiences.

personal achievements - This one I'll give you; you can't buy achieving something for yourself.

honour - This is a very vague term to me.

Comment by vivificient on Things I Wish They'd Taught Me When I Was Younger: Why Money Is Awesome · 2014-01-17T06:19:43.879Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I find it a fun game trying to think of things that money can't buy (but that it is possible for people to get in other ways). It's difficult to think of a lot of answers, especially allowing for strategies like hiring someone to train you to become the kind of person who gets x. The best answer I've been able to come up with is specific anything, such as the friendship of a specific person.

Comment by vivificient on AALWA: Ask any LessWronger anything · 2014-01-13T06:36:55.553Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How hard did you find it to be to organize/run a meetup? How did that compare to what you expected?

Comment by vivificient on Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013) · 2013-11-28T22:43:48.604Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

See this wiki page for links to discussion of Free Will in the sequences:

Comment by vivificient on On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor · 2013-11-27T14:25:55.212Z · score: -2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure if I understand what you're suggesting. As I understand it, the argument isn't that Walmart is literally getting subsidies. It's just that Walmart employees are getting welfare, so Walmart doesn't have to pay to support them, reducing Walmart's costs hypothetically compared to an equivalent company which paid their workers a better wage.

So if you created a company which provided as good of working conditions as possible, your employees wouldn't need welfare, so you wouldn't be benefiting from the "subsidies". Also, your costs would go up, so you'd be more likely to go out of business than Walmart.

Comment by vivificient on Probability and radical uncertainty · 2013-11-27T01:21:28.533Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I don't have a full strategy, but I have an idea for a data-gathering experiment:

I hand you a coin and try to get you to put it in the box for me. If you refuse, I update in the direction of the box harming people who put coins in it. If you comply, I watch and see what happens.

Comment by vivificient on 2013 Less Wrong Census/Survey · 2013-11-22T03:05:23.138Z · score: 45 (45 votes) · LW · GW

I have never posted on LW before, but this seems like a fine first time to do so.

I am really very curious to see the results of the real world cooperate/defect choice at the bottom of the test.