[Link] Intro to causal inference by Michael Nielsen (2012) 2019-07-19T12:19:50.817Z · score: 29 (9 votes)


Comment by yagudin on Credibility of the CDC on SARS-CoV-2 · 2020-03-09T12:08:38.608Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

A better example: one might criticize CDC for lack of advice aimed at the vulnerable demographics. But absence might result not from lack of judgment but from political constraints. E.g. jimrandomh writes:

Addendum: A whistleblower claims that CDC wanted to advise elderly and fragile people to not fly on commercial airlines, but removed this advice at the White House's direction.

Upd: this might be indicative of other negative characteristics of CDC (which might contribute to unreliability) but I don't know enough about the US gov to asses it.

Comment by yagudin on Credibility of the CDC on SARS-CoV-2 · 2020-03-09T11:51:26.133Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

While for me it is, indeed, a reason to put less weight on their analysis or expect less useful work/analysis to be done by them in a short/medium-term.

But I think this consideration, also, weakens certain types of arguments about the CDC's lack of judgment/untrustworthiness. For example, arguments like "they did this, but should have done better" loses part of its bayesian weight as the organization likely made a lot of decisions under time pressure and other constraints. And things are more likely to go wrong if you're under-stuffed and hence prioritize more aggressively.

I don't expect to have a good judgment here, but it seems to me that "testing kits the CDC sent to local labs were unreliable" might fall here. It might have been a right call for them to distribute tests quickly and ~skip ensuring that tests didn't have a false positive problem.

Comment by yagudin on Credibility of the CDC on SARS-CoV-2 · 2020-03-09T11:14:14.337Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Unless there are large enough demographics for which this post looks credible while FB conspiracies do not.

Comment by yagudin on Bucky's Shortform · 2020-03-08T21:19:42.879Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · LW · GW

If the only issue is tone, you could write something like: 'Initially, I was confused/surprised by the core claim you made but reading this, this, and that [or thinking for 15 minutes/further research] made me believe that your position is basically correct'. This looks quite

[...] "Yes, you are correct about that" comes across as quite arrogant [...]
Comment by yagudin on Epistea Workshop Series: Epistemics Workshop, May 2020, UK · 2020-02-28T17:48:30.468Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I attended Epistea Summer Experiment and greatly enjoyed it. (At the same time I am quite skeptical about value of any rationality workshops for EA-inspired work.)

Comment by yagudin on We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA · 2019-12-20T21:22:22.184Z · score: 12 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I think Nuno's time-capped analysis is good.

Comment by yagudin on Let's Read: Superhuman AI for multiplayer poker · 2019-07-17T14:25:19.357Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Thanks for the post. I would recommend reading the original blog post by Noam Brown as it has the proper level of exposition and more details/nuances.

Overall, it seems that Pluribus is conceptually very similar to Libratus; sadly, no new insights about >2-player games. My impression is that because poker players don't collude/cooperate too much, playing something close to an equilibrium against them will make you rich.

Comment by yagudin on What are principled ways for penalising complexity in practice? · 2019-07-02T08:02:15.142Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW
If one has 2 possible models to fit a data set, by how much should one penalize the model which has an additional free parameter?

Penalization might not be necessary if your learning procedure is stochastic and favors simple explanations. I encourage you to take a look on the nice poster/paper «Deep learning generalizes because the parameter-function map is biased towards simple functions» (PAC-Bayesian learning theory + empirical intuitions).

Comment by yagudin on Alignment Newsletter #51 · 2019-04-03T18:08:12.057Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Rohin, thank you for the especially long and informative newsletter.

When there are more samples, we get a lower validation loss [...]

I guess you've meant a higher validation loss ?

Comment by yagudin on Announcing Rational Newsletter · 2019-03-31T18:51:02.675Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Alexey, happy birthday to your podcast! I've just subscribed and hope you would post consistently in the future. How many subscribers do you have?

Comment by yagudin on What LessWrong/Rationality/EA chat-servers exist that newcomers can join? · 2019-03-31T18:06:20.427Z · score: 9 (4 votes) · LW · GW

If you are curious why Russian chatroom is so big I encourage you to read about Kocherga. With 174 karma and 54 votes, it is the highest rated non-curated LW post at the moment.

Comment by yagudin on What LessWrong/Rationality/EA chat-servers exist that newcomers can join? · 2019-03-31T18:04:37.018Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · LW · GW

I would like to highlight Russian LessWrong Slack, which has 2000+ registered users, ~150 WAU (among which ~50 are posting) and ~80 DAU (~25 are posting).

Comment by yagudin on What LessWrong/Rationality/EA chat-servers exist that newcomers can join? · 2019-03-31T17:58:17.414Z · score: 14 (4 votes) · LW · GW

Said Achmiz's LessWrong Diaspora Map lists 12 chatrooms.

Comment by yagudin on What self-help has helped you? · 2018-12-22T13:01:51.075Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I augment Pomodoros with

  • UltraWorking's Cycles, a check-list/spreadsheet for productive and focused work;
  • and Strechly, a cross-platform break reminder app.
Comment by yagudin on Open Thread November 2018 · 2018-12-11T07:36:13.486Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

EA Forum: Donating effectively is usually better than impact investing.

Comment by yagudin on Winter Solstice 2018 Roundup · 2018-11-28T09:23:50.295Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · LW · GW

I am quite sure, that Moscow's LW will celebrate a Secular Solstice on 21 or 22 of Dec.

Comment by yagudin on Incorrect hypotheses point to correct observations · 2018-11-22T06:45:24.804Z · score: 13 (6 votes) · LW · GW

An example from Feynman's «The Character of Physical Law»:

The next guy who did something great was Maxwell, who obtained the laws of electricity and magnetism. What he did was this. He put together all the laws of electricity, due to Faraday and other people who came before him, and he looked at them and realized that they were mathematically inconsistent. In order to straighten it out he had to add one term to an equation. He did this by inventing for himself a model of idler wheels and gears and so on in space. He found what the new law was – but nobody paid much attention because they did not believe in the idler wheels. We do not believe in the idler wheels today, but the equations that he obtained were correct. So the logic may be wrong but the answer right.
Comment by yagudin on Open Thread November 2018 · 2018-11-09T09:30:42.131Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Great to hear!

Comment by yagudin on Book review: Why we sleep · 2018-11-02T22:39:23.984Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Wikipedia page for 'Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia' is a great source of useful sleep related habits.

Comment by yagudin on Open Thread November 2018 · 2018-11-02T14:30:53.845Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Divestment and mission hedging are examples of politically motivated finance activity. Divestment seems to be somewhat popular, but inefficient. Mission hedging is not well-known, but probably quite good.

Comment by yagudin on Open Thread November 2018 · 2018-11-01T08:06:08.521Z · score: 49 (25 votes) · LW · GW

A very successful crowdfunding for printing HPMoR has happened in Russia. 21k books are going to be printed: some of them will go to public/university libraries, some to gifted students. More good HPMoR related news are coming from Russia, but too early to announce them.

Comment by yagudin on The Art of the Overbet · 2018-10-20T13:43:58.782Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · LW · GW

I think this paper, which models winner-takes-all, public knowledge situations (ex. the space race between the US and USSR) by «Guess Who?» game, is interesting formal model of the first half of this post.

“Guess Who?” is a popular two player game where players ask “Yes”/“No” questions to search for their opponent’s secret identity from a pool of possible candidates. This is modeled as a simple stochastic game. Using this model, the optimal strategy is explicitly found. Contrary to popular belief, performing a binary search is not always optimal. Instead, the optimal strategy for the player who trails is to make certain bold plays in an attempt catch up. This is discovered by first analyzing a continuous version of the game where players play indefinitely and the winner is never decided after finitely many rounds.
Comment by yagudin on Book review: Why we sleep · 2018-09-28T15:08:21.429Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · LW · GW

You are welcome! A general concern about the pace of scientific progress.

Comment by yagudin on Book review: Why we sleep · 2018-09-24T11:00:06.549Z · score: 11 (2 votes) · LW · GW

The most in-depth, but a bit outdated (c. 2012) article on sleep is written by Piotr Wozniak, whom you might know as a pioneer of spaced repetition software. The article is ~300 pages long. It includes summary & myths sections which are a bit longer than this post.

Comment by yagudin on Paper: "A simple function of one parameter (θ) can fit any collection of ordered pairs {Xi,Yi} to arbitrary precision"--implications for Occam? · 2018-05-31T17:47:17.196Z · score: 9 (2 votes) · LW · GW

Somehow related papers in ML / DL:

  • Keeping NN Simple by Minimizing the Description Length of the Weights (Hinton, 1997);
  • Binarized Neural Networks (Courbariaux, 2016).
Comment by yagudin on Understanding is translation · 2018-05-31T06:27:23.636Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

It seems to me, that Dacyn's code executes [stuff] at least once for any n. But iff n <= 0, original while loop does not execute its body. Dacyn's code looks like a do-while loop.

Comment by yagudin on Are you the rider or the elephant? · 2018-02-22T12:07:28.041Z · score: 7 (2 votes) · LW · GW

I associate myself with the unconscious-self more and more (note: an unconscious-self is bigger than an elephant-self because some modules in a brain are deliberate & analytical, but not directly available to the verbal/conscious rider; I very much agree with @moridinamael's comment above).

Conscious-self seems more like press secretary for more hard-working unconscious-self, who is in charge of most of the decision-making. But, ugh, everyone experienced how «conscious ruled unconscious» (≈ will-power). I think the role of conscious-self in «the use of willpower» is to communicate from long-term modules to short-term modules of unconscious-self.

«Inner Game of Tennis» contains some recommendations on how to augment communication between the modules. I also found TDT-mindset helpful to tell early-evolved modules what later-evolved modules think is worth doing.

Comment by yagudin on Rationalist Lent · 2018-02-14T10:40:50.393Z · score: 14 (5 votes) · LW · GW


I permanently blocked the website in all browsers I use. I use command line tool youtube-dl to download the videos I want/need to watch. This workflow gives me an option to watch videos (and also some friction to reevaluate the decision to watch a video); but prevents me from engaging with youtube, the risky game I might 'loss' otherwise.

Comment by yagudin on Rationalist Lent · 2018-02-14T10:36:23.457Z · score: 14 (7 votes) · LW · GW

I predict that a lot of people who would take rationalist lent's advice seriously would try to quite the same things and there are others who has hit on a good diet of experience that they could try to emulate. So It would be helpful to have a list of diets for quitting unwanted behaviour. Feel free to leave your recipes as a reply to this comment.

Comment by yagudin on A List Of Questions & Exercises For Reviewing Your Year · 2018-01-01T12:09:22.665Z · score: 22 (6 votes) · LW · GW

See also: the guide by Alex Vermeer is fruitful for reviewing the past and planning the following years in an analytical and systematic way.

Comment by yagudin on Mastering Chess and Shogi by Self-Play with a General Reinforcement Learning Algorithm · 2017-12-06T20:31:59.602Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · LW · GW

Two interesting questions arise:

  • could Alpha Zero beat the best human-computer team;
  • would human-AZ team systematically beat AZ.

I think the answer to the first question is positive, but unfortunately, I couldn't make much sense of the available raw data on Freestyle chess, so my opinion is based on the marginal revolution blog-post. The negative answer to the second question might make some optimists about human-AI cooperation like Kasparov less optimistic.