Alternate title: learning from fictional evidence. I've seen echoes of this idea elsewhere but couldn't find a description that suits me.
My main idea is: you can update from your observed reaction to fiction and/or counterfactuals.
The fallacy of generalizing from fictional evidence happens when you treat events having happened in fiction, following the rules of good writing rather than verisimilitude, as observations of reality. The facts may be wrong but, if you suspend your disbelief for a while and get immersed in the story, your emotional reaction will be real.
A couple days ago I surveyed readers for deviant beliefs. The results were funny, hateful, boring and bonkers. One of the submissions might even be useful.
If you care a lot about your mind, it is not unreasonable to avoid advertisements like plague rats, up to and including muting your speakers and averting your gaze.
This extremist position caught my eye because humans have a tendency to underestimate the effect advertising has on us. I never realized how much advertising affected me until I got rid of it.
Convolutions smooth out hard sharp things into nice smooth things. (See previous post for why convolutions are important). Here are some convolutions between various distributions:
(For all five examples, all the action in the functions and is in positive regions - i.e. > 0 only when x > 0, and too - though this isn't necessary.)
Things to ... (Read more)
In this 2014 paper by Mike Robinson and Kent Berridge at University of Michigan (see also this more theoretical follow-up discussion by Berridge and Peter Dayan), rats were raised in an environment where they were well-nourished, and in particular, where they were never salt-deprived—not once in their life. The rats were sometimes put into a test cage with a lever which, if pressed, would trigger a device to spray ridiculously salty water directly into their mouth. The rats pressed this lever once or twice, were disgusted and repulsed by the extreme sa... (Read more)
The room was buried six kilometers under Mount Olympus. It hovered in a vacuum, suspended above superconducting electromagnets. The whole containment machine was wrapped in a Matryoshka Faraday cage. Officer Scarlet Wei wore a cleansuit. She entered the room through steel door two meters thick, an EMP, an X-ray, an airlock and then another EMP.
The white rectangular room contained one door, a chair, a table, a computer terminal, a mechanical clock and two large buttons. The word "PANIC" in large white friendly letters on a red button. The black button had a white skull drawn it.
If Scarlet press... (Read more)
Think "A prediction market, where most questions are evaluated shortly after an AGI is developed." We could probably answer hard questions more easily post-AGI, so delaying them would have significant benefits.
Imagine that select pre-AGI legal contracts stay valid post-AGI. Then a lot of things are possible.
There are definitely a few different scenarios out there for economic and political consistency post-AGI, but I believe there is at least a legitimate chance (>20%) that legal contracts will exist for what seems like a significant time (>2 human-experiential years.)
If... (Read more)
This country is tired of the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and human politics in general. I, a human-aligned AGI dictator, promise to solve this problem once and for all. If I cannot remove humans from government entirely then I will attempt to abolish democracy. If I cannot abolish democracy then I will repeal the 19th amendment and leave the rest to OpenAI.
Morality is not real. Words have no meaning. I tell lies of eve... (Read more)
Epistemic Status: Cautiously optimistic. Much of this work is in crafting and advancing terminology in ways that will hopefully be intuitive and useful. I’m not too attached to the specifics but hope this could be useful for future work in the area.
Strong epistemics or “good judgment” clearly seems valuable, so it’s interesting that it gets rather little Effective Altruist attention as a serious contender for funding and talent. I think this might be a mistake.
This isn’t to say that epistemics haven’t been discussed. Leaders and community members on LessWrong and the EA Forum have ... (Read more)
It is time. The final challenge in the 7-week babble challenge series.
Let’s become stronger. Let’s go out with a bang.
On the table in front of you is a candle.
This candle will burn as a metaphor for the light of Science, a little beacon of rationality. It will represent the will to keep practicing and honing our Art.
Your task is simple.
You have 1 hour to come up with 100 ways.
Here are the rankings before the final round. (You gain a star for completing a challenge, and lose one for missing a week. I’m not including myself since I’m the g... (Read more)
Luna Lovegood walked through the barrier between Platforms Nine and Ten to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters. Luna wondered what happened to Platform Nine and a Half. Numbers like "three quarters" only appear when you divide an integer in half twice in a row.
Luna looked around for someone who might know the answer and spied a unicorn. She wore clothes, walked on two feet and had curly brown hair. None of that fooled Luna. The unicorn radiated peace and her fingernails were made out of alicorn.
"What happened to Platform Nine and a Half?" Luna asked the unicorn.
"There is no Platform Nine and a Ha... (Read more)