Posts

[Link] Death, long lives, uploading - a conworlding perspective 2014-01-27T16:04:33.876Z · score: 3 (6 votes)
Tulpa References/Discussion 2014-01-02T01:34:11.518Z · score: 13 (30 votes)

Comments

Comment by vulture on 2016 LessWrong Diaspora Survey Results · 2016-05-01T19:48:39.103Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I mean, you could run correlations with Openness to experience or with age, right? I guess there's probably too small of a sample size to do a lot of interesting analysis with it, but I'm sure one could do some.

Comment by vulture on The Library of Scott Alexandria · 2015-09-19T21:49:15.826Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Woah, awesome! I would love to see something like this for the whole collection.

Comment by vulture on Why people want to die · 2015-08-28T20:55:38.923Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Twist them the way you're twisted.

Or rather, don't, unless you think they have so much agency that this change in temperament will improve their utility despite massively reducing their level of satisfaction.

Comment by vulture on Rationality Quotes Thread March 2015 · 2015-03-18T14:32:21.950Z · score: 4 (8 votes) · LW · GW

Suppose I think, after doing my accounts, that I have a large balance at the bank. And suppose you want to find out whether this belief of mine is "wishful thinking." You can never come to any conclusion by examining my psychological condition. Your only chance of finding out is to sit down and work through the sum yourself.

-- C. S. Lewis

Comment by vulture on PredictIt, a prediction market out of New Zealand, now in beta. · 2015-03-18T14:11:14.647Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The market isn't particularly efficient. For example, if you bought "No" on all the presidential candidates to win, it would cost $16.16, but would be worth at least $17 for a 5% gain. Of course, after paying the 10% fee on profits and 5% withdrawal fee you would be left with a loss, which is why this opportunity still exists.

Does this affect the accuracy of the market? Serious question; I do not understand the nitty-gritty economics very well.

Comment by vulture on Rationality: From AI to Zombies · 2015-03-16T01:28:59.433Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Just as a little bit of a counterpoint, I loved the 2006-2010 ebook and was never particularly bothered by the length. I read the whole thing at least twice through, I think, and have occasionally used it to look up posts and so on. The format just worked really well for me. This may be because I am an unusually fast reader, or because I was young and had nothing else to do. But it certainly isn't totally useless :P

Comment by vulture on Stupid Questions March 2015 · 2015-03-06T02:22:37.392Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, I see, haha. Yes, that makes more sense, and your point is well-taken.

Comment by vulture on Stupid Questions March 2015 · 2015-03-04T23:19:34.736Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Why would anyone bother to send in false data about their finger-length ratios?

Comment by vulture on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 109 · 2015-02-24T17:53:27.231Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Working from memory, I believe that when asked about AI in the story, Eliezer said "they say a crackpot is someone who won't change his mind and won't change the subject -- I endeavor to at least change the subject." Obviously this is non-binding, but it still seems odd to me that he would go ahead and do the whole thing that he did with the mirror.

Comment by vulture on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 108 · 2015-02-21T21:55:05.045Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This makes some sense, but if Quirrell could bamboozle the map, surely he wouldn't do so in such a way as to reveal vitally important and damaging secrets to his enemies.

Comment by vulture on The Value Learning Problem · 2015-02-05T23:51:44.044Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think the word Gunnar was going for was "Yudkowskyesquely", unfortunately.

Comment by vulture on Stupid Questions February 2015 · 2015-02-03T17:53:09.832Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In my opinion the gamma function is by far the stupidest. IME, the off-by-one literally never makes equations clearer; it only obfuscates the relationship between continuous and discrete things (etc.) by adding in an annoying extra step that trips up your intuition. Seems like simple coordination failure.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Jan. 12 - Jan. 18, 2015 · 2015-01-13T19:53:35.333Z · score: 9 (9 votes) · LW · GW

If that effect came as a surprise, it couldn't have been the reason for the split.

Comment by vulture on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-07T21:21:58.063Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks!

Comment by vulture on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-06T00:55:59.364Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

The wiki of a million lies

As clever as this phrase is, it is tragically ambiguous. I'm guessing 65% chance Wikipedia, 30% RationalWiki, 3% our local wiki, 2% other. How did I do?

Comment by vulture on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-06T00:45:24.310Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Is it really a "bad question"? Shouldn't a good calibrator be able to account for model error?

Comment by vulture on 2014 Survey Results · 2015-01-04T06:18:32.213Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Yayy! I was having a shitty day, and seeing these results posted lifted my spirits. Thank you for that! Below are my assorted thoughts:

I'm a little disappointed that the correlation between height and P(supernatural)-and-similar didn't hold up this year, because it was really fun trying to come up with explanations for that that weren't prima facie moronic. Maybe that should have been a sign it wasn't a real thing.

The digit ratio thing is indeed delicious. I love that stuff. I'm surprised there wasn't a correlation to sexual orientation, though, since I seem to recall reading that that was relatively well-supported. Oh well.

WTF was going on with the computer games question? Could there have been some kind of widespread misunderstanding of the question? In any case, it's pretty clearly poorly-calibrated Georg, but the results from the other questions are horrendous enough on their own.

On that subject, I have to say that even more amusing than the people who gave 100% and got it wrong are the people who put down 0% and then got it right -- aka, really lucky guessers :P

Congrats to the Snicket fan!

This was a good survey and a good year. Cheers!

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015 · 2014-12-30T06:37:25.439Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Damn, I didn't intend to hit that Retract button. Stupid mobile. In case it wasn't clear, I do stand by this comment aside from the corrections offered by JoshuaZ.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 29, 2014 - Jan 04, 2015 · 2014-12-30T01:09:02.905Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

In the Bayesian view, you can never really make absolute positive statements about truth anyway. Without a simplicity prior you would need some other kind of distribution. Even for computable theories, I don't think you can ever have a uniform distribution over possible explanations (math people, feel free to correct me on this if I'm wrong!); you could have some kind of perverse non-uniform but non-simplicity-based distribution, I suppose, but I would bet some money that it would perform very badly.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014 · 2014-12-20T21:14:44.164Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I haven't looked into it much myself, but a couple of people have mentioned RibbonFarm as being something like that.

Comment by vulture on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2014-12-20T16:13:53.661Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

In terms of Death Note, I've read the first several volumes and can vouch that it's a fun, "cerebral" mystery/thriller, especially if you like people being ludicrously competent at each other, having conversations with multiple levels of hidden meaning, etc. Can't say there's anything super rational about it, but the aesthetic is certainly there.

Comment by vulture on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2014-12-19T20:54:56.082Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Is it possible that some of the reported "rationality content" was more like genre-savviness which is more visible to people who are very familiar with the genre in question?

Comment by vulture on Rationality Jokes Thread · 2014-12-19T20:42:26.883Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I really like the Inuit one.

Comment by vulture on Rationality Jokes Thread · 2014-12-19T20:37:58.279Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thank god for the use-mention distinction :-)

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 15 - Dec. 21, 2014 · 2014-12-19T06:10:07.886Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I occasionally remember to keep pencil + paper by my bed for this reason, so that I can write such things down in the dark without having to get up or turn on a light. Even if the results aren't legible in the usual sense, I've almost always been able to remember what they were about in the morning.

Comment by vulture on Has LessWrong Ever Backfired On You? · 2014-12-16T18:09:15.538Z · score: 20 (20 votes) · LW · GW

Eliezer seems to be really really bad at acquiring or maintaining status. I don't know how aware of this fault he is, since part of the problem is that he consistently communicates as if he's super high status.

Comment by vulture on What Peter Thiel thinks about AI risk · 2014-12-14T23:33:38.359Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Musk thinks there's an issue in the 5-7 year timeframe

Hopefully his enthusiasm (financially) isn't too dampened when that fails to be vindicated.

Comment by vulture on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-13T19:40:16.551Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I, for one, would look forward more to being Evassarated.

Comment by vulture on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-13T02:55:55.889Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Technical explanation

Non-technical explanation

Comment by vulture on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-13T02:17:31.184Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for articulating this so well :-)

Comment by vulture on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-13T00:31:36.756Z · score: 13 (15 votes) · LW · GW

I think the survey is pushed by SJW trolls

What does this even mean?

Comment by vulture on Rationality Quotes December 2014 · 2014-12-12T23:52:03.392Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think that we use "Best" (which is a complicated thing other than "absolute points") rather than "Top" (absolute points) precisely to reduce the effectiveness of that strategy.

Comment by vulture on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-12T23:49:36.892Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Important note

Comment by vulture on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-12T23:46:52.497Z · score: 18 (18 votes) · LW · GW

For what it's worth, I perceived the article as more affectionate than offensive when I initially read it. This may have something to do with full piece vs. excerpts, so I'd recommend reading the full piece (which isn't that much longer) first if you care.

Comment by vulture on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-12T23:27:54.019Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

In addition to what gwern said, it's worth bearing in mind that Harper's is a very literary sort of magazine, and its typical style is thus somewhat less straightforward than most news.

Comment by vulture on Harper's Magazine article on LW/MIRI/CFAR and Ethereum · 2014-12-12T23:18:34.970Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

If many people dismiss LW and MIRI and CFAR for similar reasons, then the only rational response is to identify how that "this is ridiculous" response can be prevented.

I agree with your overall point, but I think that "this is ridiculous" is not really the author's main objection to the LW-sphere; it's clearer in the context of the whole piece, but they're essentially setting up LW/MIRI/CFAR as typical of Silicon Valley culture(!), a collection of mad visionaries (in a good way) whose main problem is elitism; ethereum is then presented as a solution to this problem, or at least indicative of better attitude. I don't necessarily agree with any of this, but that's what the thesis of the article seems to be.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 8 - Dec. 15, 2014 · 2014-12-12T14:04:34.727Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I have to say I appreciated the first description of LessWrong as "confoundingly scholastic".

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 8 - Dec. 15, 2014 · 2014-12-12T05:07:46.257Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

And here it is, as a pdf! (I finally thought of trying to log in as a subscriber)

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 8 - Dec. 15, 2014 · 2014-12-12T03:39:57.472Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

I have it in hard copy, but all attempts so far to scan or photograph it have been foiled. I'm working on it, though; by far the best media piece on Less Wrong I've seen so far.

ETA - To give you an idea: the author personally attended a CFAR workshop and visited MIRI, and upon closer inspection one can make out part of the Map of Bay Area Memespace in one of the otherwise-trite collage illustrations.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-11T17:14:29.562Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Oh, I think we're using the phrase "political movement" in different senses. I meant something more like "group of people who define themselves as a group in terms of a relatively stable platform of shared political beliefs, which are sufficiently different from the political beliefs of any other group or movement". Other examples might be libertarianism, anarcho-primitivism, internet social justice, etc.

I guess this is a non-standard usage, so I'm open to recommendations for a better term.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-11T16:41:21.763Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I think that at this point it would be fair to say that a movement has developed out of NRx political philosophy.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-11T06:24:35.015Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

A reasonable case could be made that this is how NRx came to be.

If this is where NRx came from, then I am strongly reminded of the story of the dog that evolved into a bacterium. An alternative LW-like community that evolved into an aggresive political movement? Either everyone involved was an advanced hyper-genius or something went terribly wrong somewhere along the way. That's not to say that something valuable did not result, but "mission drift" would be a very mild phrase.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Nov. 17 - Nov. 23, 2014 · 2014-12-11T06:18:57.438Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Motte-and-Bailey effect (when instead of happening inside a person's head, it happens to a movement - when different people from the same movement occupy motte and bailey (I think that individual and group motte-and-bailey's are quite distinct))

This could just as easily be described, with the opposite connotation, as the movement containing some weakmans*, which makes me think that we need a better way of talking about this phenomenon. 'Palatability spread' or 'presentability spread'? But that isn't quite right. A hybrid term like 'mottemans' and 'baileymans' would be the worst thing ever. Perhaps we need a new metaphor, such as the movement being a large object where some parts are closer to you, and some parts are further away, and they all have some unifying qualities, and it is usually more productive to argue against the part that is closer to you rather than the part that is far away, even though focusing on the part that is far away makes it easy to other the whole edifice (weakmanning); and motte-and-baileying is ascribing to the further-away part of your own movement but pretending that you are part of the closer part.

*in the technical sense; their positions may be plenty strong but they are less palatable

Edit: Whoops no one will see this because it's in an old open thread. Oh well.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Dec. 8 - Dec. 15, 2014 · 2014-12-10T06:16:58.477Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

(That said, Richard Feynman is dead and therefore cannot sexually harass any of his current readers.)

A similar argument could be made that a pre-recorded lecture cannot sexually harass someone either (barring of course very creative uses of the video lecture format which we probably would have heard about by now :P ).

Comment by vulture on Link: Biotech Corporate Email Hacked · 2014-12-08T17:13:44.264Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I doubt they do. Why would they bother?

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Nov. 24 - Nov. 30, 2014 · 2014-11-27T04:42:32.030Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Average article quality is almost certainly going down, but the main driving force is probably mass-creation of stub articles about villages in Eastern Europe, plant genera, etc. Of course, editors are probably spread mpre thinly even among important topics as well. A lot of people seem to place the blame for any and all of Wikipedia's problems on bureaucracy, but as a regular editor such criticisms often seem foreign, like they're talking about a totally different website. True, there's a lot of formalities, but they're mostly invisible, and a reasonably intelligent person can probably pick up the important customs quite quickly. In the past 6 months of relatively regular editing, I can't say I remember ever interacting involuntarily with any kind of bureaucratic process or individual (I occasionally putter around the deletion nominations for fun, but that's just to satisfy my need for conflict). Writing an article (for example), especially if it's any good, is virtually never going to get you ensnared in some kind of Kafkaesque editorial process. Such things seem to operate mainly for the benefit of people who enjoy inflicting such things on each other (e.g., descending hierarchies of committees for dealing with mod drama).

It's late, so hopefully the above makes some modicum of sense.

Comment by vulture on Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary? · 2014-11-25T04:24:10.338Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Everyone knows about your 8chan board, bro :P

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Nov. 24 - Nov. 30, 2014 · 2014-11-25T03:43:46.028Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

When did you get this impression? I'm only asking because I'm given to believe that the situation on wikipedia with regards to experts and specialized subjects has improved substantially starting in about 2008 or so(?), at least in the humanities but possibly in other fields.

Comment by vulture on Open thread, Nov. 24 - Nov. 30, 2014 · 2014-11-25T03:34:37.950Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Cultivation of tulpas

This already refers to a similar, but much dicier, technique.

Comment by vulture on xkcd on the AI box experiment · 2014-11-24T16:00:00.910Z · score: 4 (6 votes) · LW · GW

This is a good point. I've gotten past my spiral around Eliezer and am working on crawling out of a similar whirlpool around Yvain, and I think that Elizer's egotistical style, even if it is somewhat justified, plays a big part in sending people down that spiral around him. Seeing him being sort of punctured might be useful, even though I'm sure it's awful for him personally.