We are the Athenians, not the Spartans 2017-06-11T05:53:29.414Z · score: 13 (13 votes)
Smarter humans, not artificial intellegence 2015-11-30T03:48:59.262Z · score: -3 (8 votes)
Politics: an undervalued opportunity to change the world? 2015-08-14T03:45:47.283Z · score: 3 (9 votes)
The Rational Investor, Part I 2013-05-30T00:32:05.691Z · score: -2 (11 votes)


Comment by wubbles on We are the Athenians, not the Spartans · 2017-06-16T02:54:16.193Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Temporarily: their allies turned on them and Athens soon rebuilt its navy. Ultimately Alexander and Rome ended the whole struggle permanently.

Comment by wubbles on We are the Athenians, not the Spartans · 2017-06-16T02:53:45.239Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I was considering modifying holidays to make them support these values and remind us of them.

Comment by wubbles on We are the Athenians, not the Spartans · 2017-06-16T02:51:32.710Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

That's correct. But I worry that some projects in the rationalistsphere are about turning our backs on modernity in very strong ways.

Comment by wubbles on We are the Athenians, not the Spartans · 2017-06-16T02:50:53.269Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Does popularization produce the goods? Lots of people have the background and skill to contribute to this problem who aren't currently in our community and don't have day jobs.

Comment by wubbles on We are the Athenians, not the Spartans · 2017-06-11T23:38:33.650Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

But we are a community that faces a choice about what values we want: insularity and strong group membership, or openness and intellectualism. This seems fairly analogous to me, and after all don't we need strong new ideas to stop the AI apocalypse or improve lives all over the world? Perhaps the Amish vs. liberal German judaism would be a better analogy.

Comment by wubbles on We are the Athenians, not the Spartans · 2017-06-11T23:36:12.387Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Dysgenesis is worrying, but we have the means to fight it: subsidized egg freezing and childcare, changes to employment culture, and it is a very slow prospect. I don't think that is a correct summary of the essay at all, which is really pointing to a problem with how we think about coordination.

Comment by wubbles on I Want To Live In A Baugruppe · 2017-03-17T02:12:02.966Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I am interested! Note that zoning might make this hard, but maybe we could buy adjacent bungalows and reconfigure them. Wasn't the bay supposed to be commune friendly?

Comment by wubbles on How do I choose the best metric to measure my calibration? · 2017-01-07T15:21:00.558Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

The logarithmic scoring rule measures the information carried by the event given your predictions. Reducing its expectation corresponds to reducing the information carried by the event when it arrives.

Comment by wubbles on The engineer and the diplomat · 2016-12-29T13:28:00.779Z · score: 6 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I was using it to describe my own comment. I'll try to think of a way to make that clearer in the future.

Comment by wubbles on The engineer and the diplomat · 2016-12-28T02:41:00.939Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Epistemic status: probably BS This could be a causal explanation for why engineers are seen as having poor social skills and the usefullness of ASD traits in engineering. If you aren't sensitive to the productive conversations being bad socially, and so don't disrupt them, you will learn more.

As for salons the fact that a hostess lead the conversation and selected the guests meant that the conversation had to be interesting to her. Those who didn't have anything interesting to say, or disrupted interesting conversations, wouldn't be invited back. Sadly wikipedia doesn't say much about how they were run. They seem to also have selected books to read, which would steer the conversation towards those books.

Comment by wubbles on Further discussion of CFAR’s focus on AI safety, and the good things folks wanted from “cause neutrality” · 2016-12-14T15:46:18.049Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure how much of this was CFAR and x-risk vs. programming and autism. Certainly a lot of the people at the SF meetup were not CFARniks based on my completely unscientific examination of my memory. The community's survival and growth is secondary to X-risk solving now, even if before the goal was to make a community devoted to these arts.

Comment by wubbles on Smarter humans, not artificial intellegence · 2015-11-30T12:34:48.233Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Humans share our values and can generally be overwhelmed with sheer numbers should they not. Making them is unlikely to be dangerous. The same cannot be said for unfriendly AIs. We still have no idea how to make a friendly AI, and it could easily be a century before we begin to have an idea. Even if biology cannot keep up, improving intelligence in the short run will have positive effects on human productivity in the short run, which will get the goal of making a friendly AI closer.

I'm not saying that biological modification will ultimately bring about singularity or even extremely dramatic changes in human capabilities. Rather I think it will address many talent shortages simultaneously, for not that much money. I'm proposing it as an idea we can implement now.

Comment by wubbles on Smarter humans, not artificial intellegence · 2015-11-30T12:19:45.336Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Look at the cost of IVF: According to it is $450,000 Rs, which is $6,000 dollars. IVF is a prerequisite for the sort of genetic tampering we are talking about, unless you want to use rabies as a carrier. IVF is widely practiced and has few barriers to entry, making me think it won't get much cheaper. That is a lot of money for many parts of the world. To think this cost will come down in the next 10-20 years significantly requires believing that significant advances in automation of the process are possible: that might be true.

Financial incentives to have smarter children are likely to work better in those regions where $6,000 is a lot of money. It's possible that combining both strategies works even better.

Comment by wubbles on Kant's Multiplication · 2015-09-21T23:08:05.990Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

I don't agree with this line of argument. Suppose there are five employes, and they all press the button. Each receives 100 utils, and loses 4, leading to a net gain of 96 each. Why is this not the ethically correct outcome, even for a deontologist?

Comment by wubbles on Beware technological wonderland, or, why text will dominate the future of communication and the Internet · 2015-08-31T01:34:54.706Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I can consume text at a rate sometimes as high as 26 words a second. I cannot do that with audio. If we had text-to-speech, I would use it for turning audio into text, and consuming the text. Or the author could use it and produce text, which they could then edit. Frequently when talking we do all sorts of things we don't do when writing: repeat ourselves, use funny turns of phrase, search for words, etc. The bandwidth advantage to the consumer of a small amount of work for the producer makes text continue to be valuable.

As far as diagrams go in technical areas, there are some famous pictures in mathematics. These pictures inevitably mean nothing without text. Transmitting abstract ideas, and in particular transmitting subtle variations in how solid something is, doesn't seem compatible with diagrams. Diagrams are good for some concepts, but it's still an art to get good ones. Creating them is expensive, and sometimes they don't work. On the other hand it's hard to beat a good graph for communicating numerical data easily and letting the viewer draw appropriate inferences.

Comment by wubbles on Pro-Con-lists of arguments and onesidedness points · 2015-08-22T18:03:50.481Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

What if some policies correlate with kinds of arguments people find appealing? An argument from natural law against the legality of homosexuality is unlikely to convince anyone who doesn't love St. Thomas Aquinas, while the liberty principle won't convince a single Dominican. Then again this is more a problem of ethical foundations than factual arguments, so perhaps by separating values from beliefs you can finesse this difficulty.

Comment by wubbles on Robert Aumann on Judaism · 2015-08-22T06:00:35.298Z · score: -1 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Mordecai Kaplan would be unhappy to hear that commitment to ritual and tradition requires belief . Committing oneself to a hard line to avoid backsliding is justifiable without divine command theory.

Comment by wubbles on Politics: an undervalued opportunity to change the world? · 2015-08-15T19:44:48.349Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Plus, it increases the price of food. The net effect is a transfer of wealth from poor people to agribusiness that grow and process raisins..

Comment by wubbles on Politics: an undervalued opportunity to change the world? · 2015-08-14T14:44:36.467Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

However, they seem not to have examined the impact of starting a new political movement or political philosophy in the same way. Even higher variance, potentially even bigger rewards. Institutional change in particular can be extremely difficult to do without a clear mandate, which alliances in existing parties might not give.

Comment by wubbles on Top 9+2 myths about AI risk · 2015-07-01T14:47:13.668Z · score: 4 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I'm not sure I agree with 9. There is a lot of SF out there, and some of it (Roadside Picnic, Stanislaw Lem's works) presents the idea that the universe is inherently uncaring in a very real way. Anthropomorphization is not an inherent feature of the genre, and fiction might enable directly understanding these ideas in a way that argument doesn't make real for some people.

Comment by wubbles on Rationality Quotes Thread June 2015 · 2015-05-31T23:10:35.723Z · score: 0 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Donald Rumsfeld, from "Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

Comment by wubbles on A hypothetical question for investors · 2014-12-07T21:29:07.869Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Ah, I missed that part of the OP. So then I think your argument is correct.

Comment by wubbles on A hypothetical question for investors · 2014-12-06T18:17:38.365Z · score: -1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

This doesn't seem right. Let's assume that the stock gives double or nothing, with 51% probability of double. The Kelly Criterion suggests giving 1% of the total payroll in stock. Yes, this neglects the balancing fee. Your argument seems to suggest that we should be all in cash. But the Kelly bet outperforms this.

Comment by wubbles on Eight Short Studies On Excuses · 2014-12-03T05:45:48.221Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The few examples of UN lead responses to invasions that worked typically involved great powers backstopping the response. UN members are reluctant to expend blood and treasure without getting something in return. I think the only time it worked as intended was the Korean war, and that's because Stalin was sitting out for a bit.

Comment by wubbles on Unpopular ideas attract poor advocates: Be charitable · 2014-09-17T02:52:56.505Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Trotskyism is represented in the US by the Spartacist League. The members do not seem well adjusted socially.

Comment by wubbles on The Up-Goer Five Game: Explaining hard ideas with simple words · 2013-09-08T22:53:43.836Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

The Prime Number Theorem

A group of four people can stand two by two, but a group of five people can only stand five in a line. The number of numbers like five, and not like four, between two numbers, is the number of times you take two times what you had, starting at one, to get between the two numbers if the two numbers are close.

Comment by wubbles on Earning to Give vs. Altruistic Career Choice Revisited · 2013-08-29T01:42:52.518Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

By "Wall Street" I'm including the Buy Side as well as the Sell Side. The big buyside firms like Fidelity and Charles Schwab sell products that most people shouldn't buy. Insurance probably has a better case to buy some actively managed products, or some exotic derivatives, but I don't know why it can't do it itself.

To the extent that finance reallocates risk it can provide a positive utility benefit. However, the very productive businesses have questionable utility. Promoting active trading, picking hot funds etc, all eat into the returns clients can expect. Justify the existence of Charles Schwab's S&P 500 index fund, with expense ratio twice that of Vanguards. The most profitable divisions of investment banks tend to be the ones with the least competition, and hence most questionable social benefit.

I'm aware Dodge and Cox is in SF, and Vanguard in Valley Forge, Blackrock in Princeton, etc. However, they are all on "the Street".

The IRS doesn't pay well: for government pay one might as well work for NASA and accomplish something fun.

Comment by wubbles on Common sense as a prior · 2013-08-10T18:53:47.572Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I think the problem with elite common sense is that it can be hard to determine whose views count. Take for instance the observed behavior of the investing public determined by where they put their assets in contrast with the views of most economists. If you define the elite as the economists, you get a different answer from the elite as people with money. (The biggest mutual funds are not the lowest cost ones, though this gap has narrowed over time, and economists generally prefer lower cost funds very strongly)

Comment by wubbles on Prisoner's dilemma tournament results · 2013-07-11T00:36:43.544Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

How do we draw the line? Tit-for-Tat is very simple, yet does very well. Arguably before knowing how it performs it could be considered a troll.

Comment by wubbles on Prisoner's dilemma tournament results · 2013-07-10T00:46:39.523Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

I would have expected a few more metaevaluator bots which clean up the environment to prevent detection. Of course this can be an expensive strategy, and certainly is in programmer time. A metaevaluator bot would have probably broken several recursion detection strategies, or even defining set! out of the language.

Comment by wubbles on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 21, chapters 91 & 92 · 2013-07-05T00:11:01.806Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Hermione didn't erase her own existence, but implanted false memories to get her parents to go to Australia. Distance did what magic couldn't.

Comment by wubbles on Prisoner's Dilemma (with visible source code) Tournament · 2013-06-09T16:11:02.839Z · score: 11 (11 votes) · LW · GW

I would like to declare the following: I have submitted a program that cooperates only if you would cooperate against CooperateBot. You can of course create a selective defector against it, but that would be a bit tricky, as I am not revealing the source code. Evaluate your submissions accordingly.

Comment by wubbles on Prisoner's Dilemma (with visible source code) Tournament · 2013-06-09T12:45:38.167Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Yes: all tail-calls are guarantied not to exhaust resources. The precise definition of what is tail is in the spec.

Comment by wubbles on The Rational Investor, Part I · 2013-06-07T00:50:43.312Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Small business are illiquid. They also have capital requirements that might not fit your investment needs. If you have enough money that these two problems aren't an issue, as well as the skill in finding small business that won't fail and that are on the market, and have the time to supervise them/manage them, then they could be a good investment. But that isn't a lot of people.

Comment by wubbles on Open Thread, June 2-15, 2013 · 2013-06-02T14:18:25.318Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

Some banks offer money market accounts, or even a savings account might be a good idea.

Comment by wubbles on Will the world's elites navigate the creation of AI just fine? · 2013-06-02T14:08:51.260Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Things were a lot worse then everyone knew: Russia almost invaded Yugoslavia, which would have triggered a war according to newly declassified NSA journals, in the 1950's. The Cuban Missile Crisis could easily have gone hot, and several times early warning systems were triggered by accident. Of course, estimating what could have happened is quite hard.

Comment by wubbles on How to Build a Community · 2013-05-31T00:54:19.996Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antionus Pius, Marcus Aurelius we all able and capable administrators, and their reign was largely peaceful. But then they were followed by Commodus. Benevolent dictatorship with succession by training and adoption was tried, and so long as it worked it worked. But the one failure was a pretty dramatic one, considered by some to be the start of the fall of the Roman Empire.

Comment by wubbles on [LINK] Bets do not (necessarily) reveal beliefs · 2013-05-31T00:25:30.383Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Intrade sells fed OMC rate binary options. I think if the market was more liquid, it would absolutely get used to hedge interest rate risks, and as people tend to be long bonds and short rates as a result, there might be a bias towards predicting higher rates as people want the protection. But the total holdings and the degree of hedging would be very opaque. Policy prediction markets could have similar problems.

Comment by wubbles on The Rational Investor, Part I · 2013-05-30T23:04:59.816Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

No, IRA's avoid a tax which the other investments don't, so money in an IRA is worth more than money outside. There is a cost, namely you have restricted access to it.

Comment by wubbles on The Rational Investor, Part I · 2013-05-30T23:04:16.737Z · score: 0 (0 votes) · LW · GW

CAPM explains 70% of equity returns, Fama French model 90%, but over the 20th century it's not clear what the Fama-French factors are. I fully agree with your minor quibbles. As for upkeep and worry, yes, risk leads to return. But it is an input, and like any sort of input it should be minimized for a given level of output.

Comment by wubbles on Welcome to Less Wrong! (5th thread, March 2013) · 2013-05-30T00:25:08.546Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW


Comment by wubbles on Earning to Give vs. Altruistic Career Choice Revisited · 2013-05-30T00:19:19.962Z · score: 3 (11 votes) · LW · GW

10% is the charitable giving limit. There is another thing to be asked about, and that is the impact of the job. If I were to be a tax lawyer, I would be directly harming the ability of the US government to spend on social welfare programs. If I worked on Wall Street anywhere but Vanguard I would be bilking people out of their life savings, and at Vanguard I wouldn't be making $100 K a year. Someone working as a tobacco farmer to raise money for cancer research has some misplaced priorities.

Comment by wubbles on Welcome to Less Wrong! (5th thread, March 2013) · 2013-05-30T00:12:54.699Z · score: 5 (5 votes) · LW · GW

Hello, my name is Watson. The username comes from my initials and a Left 4 Dead player attempting to pronounce them. I am a math student at UC Berkeley and a longtime lurker. I've got a post on rational investing, based on the conclusions of years of research by academic economists, but despite lurking I never realized there is a karma limit to post in discussion. I'm interested in just about everything, a dangerous phenomenon.