Example of poor decision making under pressure (from game show) 2011-12-10T15:39:49.096Z
Google search for "rationality" has HP:MoR as the 2nd hit. 2011-07-10T13:38:48.072Z
[Link] Skeptics Stack Exchange 2011-05-04T12:53:44.275Z


Comment by Wilka on Where to Intervene in a Human? · 2012-07-04T20:24:51.577Z · LW · GW

Is it possible for you to give an example of this works in practice? I'm curios what type of things you would note down.

It sounds like a useful idea worth trying out, but I'm having trouble seeing how I would start using it.

Comment by Wilka on What are good apps for rationalists? · 2011-12-30T14:06:45.665Z · LW · GW

Is the iPhone sufficiently awesome to justify its high price? Are there good low-cost smartphones? Ios or android?

My first question would be: how do you intend to use the device?

The two apps you mentioned are also available on Android, and I'm very happy with Evernote on my HTC Desire HD (I don't use Toodledo). So if your main use would be those apps along with the typical phone stuff (calls/text message/email/web browsing) then an Android device should be fine for you.

However, a high-end Android device gets close to the price range of an iPhone.

Comment by Wilka on For-Profit Rationality Training · 2011-12-29T12:46:31.495Z · LW · GW

It can still be done online, e.g. Google+ Hangouts are an example of live group interaction (up to 10 people) that seems to be fairly popular.

The experience still isn't as rich as in-person meeting, but it's a big step up from pre-recorded video.

Comment by Wilka on Q&A with Richard Carrier on risks from AI · 2011-12-14T16:31:42.895Z · LW · GW

For example, if we started a human-level AGI tomorrow, it's ability to revise itself would be hugely limited by our slow and expensive infrastructure (e.g. manufacturing the new circuits, building the mainframe extensions, supplying them with power, debugging the system).

This suggests that he see the limiting factor for AI to be hardware, however I've heard people argue that we probably already have the hardware needed for human-level AI if we get the software right (and I'm pretty sure that was before things like cloud computing were so easily available)

I wonder how likely he thinks it is that a single organisation today (maybe Google?) already has the hardware required to run a human-level AI and the same speed as the human brain. Assuming we magically solved all the software problems.

Comment by Wilka on Tell me what you think of me · 2011-11-07T17:22:55.966Z · LW · GW

This looks to be a Google Docs form (used for making surveys), it just has a single question which is a "paragraph text" field. It shouldn't take long to do the same thing for yourself.

Have a look at this help topic for details on making a form.

Comment by Wilka on Anti-akrasia tool: like for data nerds · 2011-10-07T12:41:12.023Z · LW · GW

When signing up, I was told the password I tried to use was too long (I have unique, randomly generated, passwords for each site I use). so I generated a < 20 chars password instead - however, password length limits around this size suggest that the site might be storing the passwords as plain text, rather than only storing a salted hash of the password.

So I was wondering, if that's the case here?

Comment by Wilka on Help Fund Lukeprog at SIAI · 2011-08-29T17:20:36.017Z · LW · GW

You can find his "Reading Yudkowsky" series at

Comment by Wilka on Why no archive of refuted research? · 2011-08-26T12:59:54.965Z · LW · GW

I do not however have a solution for how to become a respected agency.

If journals start to reject publishing researched because it relies on 'poor' citations, that should have the effect of making this proposed archive-of-study-quality respected.

So maybe a more specific question: how could we get journals to use this archive as part of their review process?

Comment by Wilka on A Crash Course in the Neuroscience of Human Motivation · 2011-08-21T19:53:05.948Z · LW · GW

That seems likely to me.

I enjoyed this post a lot, and I've shared with several other people that I think would also like it (and spend the time to read it). But it did take me a while to get to get through, I made coffee at least twice while reading it. I think it was almost 2 hours from opening the article to getting to the end. Not all of that time was spent reading - as well as getting coffee, I paused several times to digest what I'd read so far. However, it was still a lot longer than I'd normally spend on a single post.

Comment by Wilka on "Meetup" proposal: Google+ · 2011-08-14T22:07:29.663Z · LW · GW

I might not make it to any hangouts, but this post gets an up vote for having a list of LWers on Google+

I'm here if anyone wants to circle me.

Comment by Wilka on Rationality Quotes August 2011 · 2011-08-05T12:17:01.549Z · LW · GW

Comment by Wilka on Teaching Introspection · 2011-08-02T11:39:00.875Z · LW · GW

This reminds me of but I prefer the phrasing "What caused you to X" over "Should I X" and it feels like an easier question to get into the habit of asking.

Comment by Wilka on Other Useful Sites LWers Read · 2011-07-11T21:12:38.607Z · LW · GW

What about interesting RSS feeds? Anyone that uses Google Reader for RSS will have a 'shared items' feed that other people can subscribe to. I'm guessing that LW readers would tend to have an interesting 'shared items' feed if they use that feature?

For example, mine is - although most of the stuff I share that would interesting to LW readers actually comes from LW, so maybe it's not such a good idea after all.

Comment by Wilka on Signatures for posts · 2011-07-11T20:54:48.859Z · LW · GW

Would it be possible for whoever to did the design to also do the layout for this? The style can go in the main .css, otherwise it could interfere with any future layout tweaks of the site.

I like the idea, I just don't like the potential future work of having to go update N signatures when the main site styles are tweaked.

Comment by Wilka on Self-improving AGI: Is a confrontational or a secretive approach favorable? · 2011-07-11T20:48:35.648Z · LW · GW

I think was a big step to helping improve that. Providing it works, once people start to notice the (hopefully) massive drop in traffic accidents for autonomous cars they should push for them to be more widespread.

Still, it's a way off for them to actually be in use on the roads.

Comment by Wilka on Google search for "rationality" has HP:MoR as the 2nd hit. · 2011-07-10T16:29:10.649Z · LW · GW

I checked on and, both with me logged in and logged out, and it was the second hit each time. Also using 'private browsing' to make sure no cookies were still trying to personalize the results. Still, different national flavors of Google will probably give slightly different results - more so if it's personalizing the search results for you.

Comment by Wilka on Google search for "rationality" has HP:MoR as the 2nd hit. · 2011-07-10T16:25:13.469Z · LW · GW

Yea, I checked again after logging out. It's second either way for me.

Comment by Wilka on Google+ · 2011-07-09T20:15:35.118Z · LW · GW

If anyone is interested in having a look at it, but doesn't have an invite (it's invite only so they can control the rate new users sign up), then you can send me a message or reply to this comment with your email address and I'll send some out.

Comment by Wilka on You'll die if you do that · 2011-05-12T12:00:36.098Z · LW · GW

based on an agenda you were naive to at the time?

This is almost always the case with warning labels (such as the silica gel example), I don't recall ever seeing a warning label that also told you why it was warning you.

This reminds of a recent post over at Meteuphoric: Don’t warn nonspecifically!

Comment by Wilka on [Link] Skeptics Stack Exchange · 2011-05-04T20:17:43.198Z · LW · GW

Phrasing it like that is likely to get closed as well, the Stack Exchange sites are strongly focused on Q&A, not discussions, so to avoid the question being closed you usually need to ask something that can have a 'correct' answer.

Comment by Wilka on [Link] Skeptics Stack Exchange · 2011-05-04T20:15:22.849Z · LW · GW

I've had a go at quick answer to maybe get a bit of discussion started (well, more detailed answers that aren't quite as poor).

Comment by Wilka on SIAI - An Examination · 2011-05-04T18:33:20.927Z · LW · GW

Good question. I have a recurring direct donation set-up, but maybe donating via the Facebook page will make it more interesting for my friends to have a deeper look (and maybe donate).

Does anyone know what % of the donation via the causes app goes to the charity? I'm guessing it's not 100%, so I'm wondering if that x% is worth it to have it announced on Facebook. Although I could just announce it myself, I think I'll do that next time my donation happens.

Comment by Wilka on Vanilla and chocolate and preference judgements · 2011-04-19T21:38:52.354Z · LW · GW

person A wanted X level of neatness and was uncomfortable at Y level, and person B wanted Y level of neatness and was uncomfortable at X level.

I've had a similar experience of somebody wanting a (small) amount of mess. The explanation was that if a house didn't look 'lived it' it wasn't really home, and therefore not a conformable place to live.

Comment by Wilka on Just Try It: Quantity Trumps Quality · 2011-04-11T16:04:38.871Z · LW · GW

Maybe it was "Once you can guess what your answer will be, you have probably already decided." from Hold Off On Proposing Solutions

Comment by Wilka on Singularity Institute featured on Philanthroper · 2011-04-02T15:49:29.025Z · LW · GW

Those of you that aren't in the US, but wanted to donate to this: you can still donate via PayPal using - so if you were going to donate something, don't let living out of the US stop you.

You can also choose to donate more than a dollar this way, if you want to.

Comment by Wilka on Anki on Android in 60 seconds · 2011-03-22T10:23:25.478Z · LW · GW
  1. On your Android phone, open 'Market.'
  2. Search for 'Anki'.
  3. Install the 'AnkiDroid Flashcards' app.

Only makes a slight difference, but you can also install apps via the Market website, so you can give a direct link to the AnkiDroid Flashcards app. However, it does depend on the version of Android you're running for remote installs.

Comment by Wilka on How to Be Happy · 2011-03-18T13:28:51.686Z · LW · GW

Since I started listening to interesting and/or entertaining things, I really enjoy my commute. I usually get through two books each month (I have an Audible subscription) and several podcasts, along with other talks etc. that I stumble across on the interwebs.

Last time I moved home I made sure my new place wouldn't be too close to work (either by walking, or cycling). Granted, there's probably other ways I could achieve the same result, but this is nice way of combining regular mild exercises with learning that also means I get to save money on rent by not living right in the middle of the city.

Comment by Wilka on The Orange Head Joke · 2011-01-26T13:28:56.876Z · LW · GW

I liked the original joke, and have told it many times in the past. I also find this sentence quite funny:

Like asking someone in a suit how come he's wearing a suit and he answers "because I bought one and put it on".

Comment by Wilka on Rational Repentance · 2011-01-15T14:35:53.835Z · LW · GW

Over-correct your opinion by reading propaganda

You could also try creating your own propaganda (also useful for Akrasia). You should have a good idea of the types of things that motivate you, so you can use that knowledge to make very focused adverts (e.g. basic posters) for yourself.

There's more on this kind of thing, advertising to yourself, over at - but it looks like it hasn't been updated in a while.

Comment by Wilka on Rationality Quotes: January 2011 · 2011-01-05T18:41:12.203Z · LW · GW

For those who haven't heard the whole thing:

Comment by Wilka on Self Improvement - Broad vs Focused · 2011-01-04T20:15:01.731Z · LW · GW

I agree with other commenters that suggest getting a new place be your top priority.

You could try geting somewhere close enough to work that you can jog (or cycle) there and back each day. That should get you your exercise and appreciate-the-outdoors-warm-fuzzies, as well as saving you the cost of a gym membership.

Comment by Wilka on Break your habits: be more empirical · 2011-01-04T16:56:06.360Z · LW · GW

To save folks from Googling it: (PDF file, 15 pages)

Comment by Wilka on Akrasia, hyperbolic discounting, and picoeconomics · 2010-11-04T13:13:36.964Z · LW · GW

I was reminded of this post by a blog article I've just read: - it covers the same topic, but I think it presents it in an easier-to-grasp way for folks who aren't actively trying to be more rational.

Comment by Wilka on Rationality Dojo · 2010-10-26T17:57:58.386Z · LW · GW

And I've just found a similar idea with Rejection Therapy via the Marginal Revolution blog.

Comment by Wilka on Rationality Dojo · 2010-10-22T08:47:35.235Z · LW · GW

Fear of failure. (Fail at something and make no excuses).

This reminds me of an idea to try failing on purpose to overcome this.

Comment by Wilka on Sam Harris' surprisingly modest proposal · 2010-10-06T07:16:09.167Z · LW · GW

Here's a longer (1h 16m) version of his TED talk he gave at Google:

The more polished TED version is kind of a summary of this talk.

Comment by Wilka on Intelligence Amplification Open Thread · 2010-09-17T14:36:45.059Z · LW · GW

I've been using Swype for a while, and was very impressed with it. It did make a big improvement when I got the hang of it.

SwiftKey is also very good when you're writing a lot of text on your phone. I currently switch between the two of them, depending on what I'm going to be writing.

Comment by Wilka on What should I have for dinner? (A case study in decision making) · 2010-08-13T09:03:57.325Z · LW · GW

there is good evidence that lack of fitness is a far more significant risk factor for morbidity and mortality than BMI (in adults)

I've never heard this before, can you provide some links/references for more info please?

Comment by Wilka on Individual vs. Group Epistemic Rationality · 2010-03-07T11:42:11.229Z · LW · GW

Seeking to make good arguments might be a better goal than always thinking about the ends like whether homeopathy is true in the end.

This feels backwards to me, so I suspect I'm misunderstanding this point.

I'd say it's better to test homeopathy to see if it's true, and then try to work out why that's the case. There doesn't seem to be much point in spending time figuring out how something works unless you already believe it does work.

Comment by Wilka on Money: The Unit of Caring · 2010-02-14T23:37:41.900Z · LW · GW

The Red Cross made this same point in a blog post recently: - I think it's the first time I've seen a charity make the point so explicitly and publicly.

Comment by Wilka on The Wannabe Rational · 2010-01-18T18:32:46.377Z · LW · GW

When choosing my beliefs, I use a more important criterion than mere truth. I'd rather believe, quite simply, in whatever I need to believe in order to be happiest. I maximize utility, not truth.

Have you ever the experience of learning something true that you would rather not have learned? The only type of examples I can think of here (of the top of my head) would be finding out you had an unfaithful lover, or that you were really adopted. But in both case, it seems like the 'unhappiness' you get from learning it would pass and you'd be happy that you found out in the long wrong.

I've heard people say similar things about losing the belief in God - because it could lead to losing (or at least drifting away from) people you hold close, if their belief in God had been an import thing in their relationship to you.

Comment by Wilka on A Less Wrong Q&A with Eliezer (Step 1: The Proposition) · 2009-10-30T09:11:21.685Z · LW · GW

Text is faster than speech, but if the video isn't important (e.g. with BHTV) you can listen to them during times that you couldn't read. Such as driving, or walking.

I listen to a lot of podcasts on my way to and from work, and it effectively doesn't use extra time in my day - I'd be travelling anyway, so I might as well make good use of the time.

Comment by Wilka on Open Thread: July 2009 · 2009-07-03T12:03:27.389Z · LW · GW

What are some examples of recent progress in AI?

In several of Elizer's talks, such as this one, he's mentioned that AI research has been progressing at around the expected rate for problems of similar difficultly. He also mentioned that we've reached around the intelligence level of a lizard so far.

Ideally I'd like to have some examples I can give to people when they say things like "AI is never going to work" - the only examples I've been able to come up with so far have been AI in games, but they don't seem to think that counts because "it's just a game".

The Roomba is an example that seems to get a bit more respect (although it seems like a much simpler problem than many game AIs to me), but after that I pretty much run out of examples. Maybe I'm just not thinking hard enough because a lot of AI isn't called AI when it becomes mainstream?

Examples that are more 'geeky' would also be good for me, even if they would be dismissed by non-geeky people I meet.

Comment by Wilka on Religion, Mystery, and Warm, Soft Fuzzies · 2009-06-02T22:15:00.971Z · LW · GW

That reminds me of

"To whom, then, do I owe a debt of gratitude? To the cardiologist who has kept me alive and ticking for years, and who swiftly and confidently rejected the original diagnosis of nothing worse than pneumonia. To the surgeons, neurologists, anesthesiologists, and the perfusionist, who kept my systems going for many hours under daunting circumstances. To the dozen or so physician assistants, and to nurses and physical therapists and x-ray technicians and a small army of phlebotomists so deft that you hardly know they are drawing your blood, and the people who brought the meals, kept my room clean, did the mountains of laundry generated by such a messy case, wheel-chaired me to x-ray, and so forth. These people came from Uganda, Kenya, Liberia, Haiti, the Philippines, Croatia, Russia, China, Korea, India—and the United States, of course—and I have never seen more impressive mutual respect, as they helped each other out and checked each other's work. But for all their teamwork, this local gang could not have done their jobs without the huge background of contributions from others. I remember with gratitude my late friend and Tufts colleague, physicist Allan Cormack, who shared the Nobel Prize for his invention of the c-t scanner. Allan—you have posthumously saved yet another life, but who's counting? The world is better for the work you did. Thank goodness. Then there is the whole system of medicine, both the science and the technology, without which the best-intentioned efforts of individuals would be roughly useless. So I am grateful to the editorial boards and referees, past and present, of Science, Nature, Journal of the American Medical Association, Lancet, and all the other institutions of science and medicine that keep churning out improvements, detecting and correcting flaws. "

Comment by Wilka on Special Status Needs Special Support · 2009-06-01T01:09:46.156Z · LW · GW

Did he give a reason? Just wondering if you're "not famous enough" for him to risk losing to you.

Comment by Wilka on TED Talks for Less Wrong · 2009-05-26T17:56:24.599Z · LW · GW

We could create a group on for that. That's how groups on there tend to be used. e.g. and