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Comment by wannabechthonic on Thiel on Progress and Stagnation · 2020-08-12T12:04:03.649Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I'm also very suspicious of the idea that most of it is original thinking.

It's not important weather or not it's original or not.
In my opinion "I tell you something which make sense" is less important than "I tell you something AND show that this is a more accurate way of thinking than the alternative ideas".

Comment by wannabechthonic on Thiel on Progress and Stagnation · 2020-08-12T12:01:38.481Z · score: 0 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Unlike the world of politics, in the world of technology the choices of individuals may still be paramount. The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.

I highly question this. So apparently I have no say in a democracy but when I am an inventor then I can shape the world? So the activists who lobby for green energy are doing nothing? Governments spending money for research are doing nothing?

I highly doubt that this romantic "single genius" idea is ever so slightly accurate. Usually people create companys and NGOs and sportsteams because together you are stronger, no matter how smart some individual.

Comment by wannabechthonic on Thiel on Progress and Stagnation · 2020-08-12T11:57:24.891Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Your argument is correct but the premise, that common media coverage on technology is black/white and that futuristic media is mostly dystopian still holds.

I haven't ran any studies on this but the relationship we have to technology is very important ("robot took my job so now I can be a writer, wohoo!"). When we have the impression that technology will further deepen the rifts in society, then we are unlikely to act on deepening rifts in society. When we assume that social progress needs to go hand in hand with technological progress then we are far more likely to act and say "AI can be really helpful but using it to identify non-productive employees can be very anti-social and discriminatory".

Comment by wannabechthonic on "Can you keep this confidential? How do you know?" · 2020-07-29T15:46:21.374Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Can you keep a secret?

As far as I know: yes I am good at keeping secrets.

How do you know?

People have observed, that I am very concious about talking about other people. I say things like "you better ask them this in Person" or changing topic when permission groups don't match (e. g. more people present than previously). Like many people, I am concious what's on red tape and what's not. Personally I advocate for transparency but I've learned that some people only make deals when off-tape.

This results in people telling me more secrets. They know I can keep them - they have observed, how I not crack when asked about information I probably have.

Person in my sports club once told me about patients of them. After describing vague psychological behaviour I stopped them and said something along the line of "I probably don't know the person but it's easier than you might think, to pin down individuals based on behaviour". I have a degree in computer science with focus on information management, information transportation, analysis... etc. Maybe that's because I sort of know how much information can be contained inside random excerps. I advocate in fahour of the GDPR and am fairly privacy-minded. I know how e-mail addresses can be used to trivially match online accounts. Thats's why my LessWrong account has a randomly generated e-mail address. Etc.

What exactly do you mean by secret?

'Secret' is someone not to be shared. It's very different from 'not telling'. 'Not telling' means that I say it thruthfully when directly confronted. For example the question "Are you seeing other girls?" is a classic question which I would put under 'not telling'. There's nothing to be gained from yelling it into the world. But if someone asks I'd answer the truth (example completely fictional). 'Secret' on the other hand requires some more active work. Tracking the information which a person knows or knows not. Knowing the relationship between the people. If A told me this and B is a trustee of A then this person probably either knows it already of A hides it from B. That sort of stuff. I think the easiest way to solve this is by containerizing 'Secrets'. Like in a way of 'never say this unless you double checked that it's okay to say right now'. Usually I say the truth. There are no logical loopholes if you answer "can't tell" instead of faking something.

Also helpful: I have a reputation for being a really bad liar. That's good. Because 'acting like a liar' is a good thing when you want to tell the truth on paper while still gaining no acceptancy.

I think my definiton of secret is a bit wonky and might need adjusting. Overall I think the term 'Secret' ist used for too many vague things.

Comment by wannabechthonic on Wireless is a trap · 2020-07-05T14:19:47.710Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

If a given dongle can be spoofed into providing arbitrary HID input (or just arbitrary keystrokes, in addition to mouse movement and clicks), that would be a more serious vulnerability.

Dongles of bluetooth keyboards certainly can input arbitrary keystrokes. That's already enough to do basically anything on the computer. For example the tab character can be used to switch between different UI elements and exploits are usually carried out in code and not by manually navigating through files or windows.

Comment by wannabechthonic on Covid-19: My Current Model · 2020-06-05T07:07:44.042Z · score: 10 (10 votes) · LW · GW

Thinking about how to act during the pandemic is very important. Tbh I dislike some aspects of this post. Some parts of it seem very emotion-fueled and political.

For example:

Governments Most Places Are Lying Liars With No Ability To Plan or Physically Reason. They Can’t Even Stop Interfering and Killing People

This seems to be a very angloamerican thing. Here in europe things are bad (e. g. Norway, Italy, ...) but overall, our political system seems to apply appropriate force when required. Badly struck areas are in lockdown while other areas have open restaurants and open zoos. Sure, not every decision will be right, but listening to science and cooperating across borders really helps.

So for me, this post seems to spread a lot of FUD, something which is pretty hurtful to some people when they feel lack of control and physical isolation. Maybe we can compile this into a resource on how to understand exponential risk, superspreader theory and how to interpret the current research which is done on the SARS-CoV2 virus. Because let's be honest: most people suck at understanding epidemics (we call the few remaining people "epidemiologist" and there's a reason why they're spend so many years in uni). Let's not make the mistake and become hobby-epidemiologists.

Comment by wannabechthonic on [VIDEO] Harm reduction, hacker psychology · 2019-10-14T19:03:19.690Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The same problems as with Alcoholics Anonymous should apply. Since AA does not store records it's very hard for studies to analyze its effectiveness. This wikipedia page lists various studies which show (or don't show) the effectiveness of AA. The effectiveness of AA is of high interest for anti-drug research. If it can't be analyzed on AA-scale then it probably can't be analyzed by a single individual working at a phone.

It's probably better to just shrug it off as a personal opinion of the reporter and focus on the main point instead.

Comment by wannabechthonic on For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books · 2019-10-13T16:09:44.052Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I'd like to quote this argument from here:

Distillation works best in very exact sciences, such as physics and mathematics. If you rely on distillation for an inexact science, you will do best at capturing its exact parts. You will be left with a systematic bias, and knowledge gap, regarding its inexact parts.

Comment by wannabechthonic on For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books · 2019-10-13T16:04:50.953Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The purpose of the comment was more in the sense of fixing the article... I am new to LW. Posts can be edited, right?

Comment by wannabechthonic on For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books · 2019-10-12T05:39:18.321Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I agree with you so much. Since I have limited time (like everyone) I should maximize learning/time when pursuing learning. Some old classics are still worth their weight (e. g. Plato Republic). Most however, are not.

Even tho a lot of crap books exist today due to unedited selfpublishing and whatnot one can make the case that in general, there are better books out there for nearly any learning purpose than the original.

I'd argue that a original work has historical significance and that someone can learn something by analyzing it. On the other hand one is advised to learn the initial concept from a modern textbook (e. g. modern evolution theory is much more advanced than what darwin thought of).

Comment by wannabechthonic on For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books · 2019-10-12T05:28:24.959Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I have to admit that personally I don't see a golden thread in the post. What was the core argument? As far as I understood it the pot reasons about "relative per-capita intellectual impressiveness of people who study only condensations and people who study original works".

Which is... to be honest, just a mockup. Who cares about the "impressiveness" while studying? Why should one optimize "impressiveness" in ones study?

Personally I think that original works carry a lot of baggage. For example the language is older, the theories sometimes incredibly outdated, ... etc. It's fun to read about this "new discovered oil" and that "this black oil will never run out!" but tbh not all books age the same. Plato ages well but 500 year old books on eye surgery are probably completely useless by now.

So I'd argue that there's value in the "modern, condensed" form. Some expert which tells me "this obscure line has the meaning of x. Don't mistake it for an y".

Comment by wannabechthonic on For progress to be by accumulation and not by random walk, read great books · 2019-10-12T04:35:37.879Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This recent blog post

Link to infiniteinjury.org seems to be down.

Comment by wannabechthonic on Open & Welcome Thread - October 2019 · 2019-10-11T00:01:50.472Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I found out about LessWrong via this community session on the 35. Chaos Communication Congress. It was by far the best talks I had while on congress. And that says something because during congress I usually have lot and lots of good talks.

Personally I feel like there are rather-emotional and rather-rational people. Personally I'm far into the rather-rational territory and I look forward to meeting new people, learning about new ideas and generally advancing my decision making.

I study computer science and I read one or another grand philosophical book so far... I'd personally consider myself "GIT/GP/GO" which is Geek Code V3 for "Geek of Information Technology / Geek of Philosophy / Geek of Other".

Comment by wannabechthonic on Humans are not automatically strategic · 2019-10-10T20:44:30.459Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks so much for writing this great article! I'm new so for all of you this is an old hat. I want to add my 2ct anyways.

Do you agree with (a)-(h) above?  Do you have some good heuristics to add?  Do you have some good ideas for how to train yourself in such heuristics?

The above mentioned steps are the best system for progressing in life in general which I was able to find so far. I've read and applied lots of self-help in recent years and I can definitely agree that applying the theory is incredible hard (and I fail at that like >90% of all time - only very few things stick but those really are my superpowers in everyday life). Rewiring habits is really hard.

I can recommend The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business and Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. They are both really good books.

Do you agree with (a)-(h) above?

While I've seen them before this is the best summary I found in the internet so far. I'm definitely going to bookmark this!

I don't know how other people do this but when I want to wire something in my brain I first need to research it. Then I sit down quietly together with pen and paper and I work through the concept until it feels natural to me. Most of the time this requires regular breaks and/or sleeping over weather I really like this and/or researching some more. Then, when I'm ready to make this part of my identity I append this to my Horizons of Focus Document. It's a 15ish page document which I review semi-regularely (yeah it's hard...).

Writing things down won't make me apply it. Doing autosuggestive training makes me do things. I became good in math by performing autosuggestive training. And I became self-organized due to autosuggestive training. Please note that up to this point I haven't read the core sequences and/or the "How to teach yourself" article yet. Tricking my brain into believing something through constant repeating ("autosuggestive training") is the only tool which worked for me so far. I'm ready to hear your opinion on how to incorporate these steps into ones life!

Comment by wannabechthonic on Humans are not automatically strategic · 2019-10-10T20:30:47.102Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW
Why do many who type for hours a day remain two-finger typists, without bothering with a typing tutor program?

Because science shows, that being a two-finger typists can be of comparable speed of a ten-finger typist. I'm guilty of being a two-finger typists. But I'm also guilty of having learned the 10 finger way, practicing ot for days ongoing and then just dropping it when I realized that "this learning curve is way to steep for my 5 % realistic speed improvements".

Besides I figured "why the heck do I need to write fast anyways? 90 % of my computer time is thinking about what to write, not actually writing". My job is solving problems with my brain. My fingers are just a way to communicate with the primary tool of choice: the computer.

Convince me of why I should pursue the 10 finger way of writing. I'm a QWERTZ user by the way...