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Wednesday, December 4th 2019
Wed, Dec 4th 2019

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34BrienneYudkowsky2moHere’s what Wikipedia has to say about monographs [] . “A monograph is a specialist work of writing… or exhibition on a single subject or an aspect of a subject, often by a single author or artist, and usually on a scholarly subject… Unlike a textbook, which surveys the state of knowledge in a field, the main purpose of a monograph is to present primary research and original scholarship ascertaining reliable credibility to the required recipient. This research is presented at length, distinguishing a monograph from an article.” I think it’s a bit of an antiquated term. Either that or it’s chiefly British, because as an American I’ve seldom encountered it. I know the word because Sherlock Holmes is always writing monographs. In *A Study In Scarlet*, he says, “I gathered up some scattered ash from the floor. It was dark in colour and flakey—such an ash as is only made by a Trichinopoly. I have made a special study of cigar ashes—in fact, I have written a monograph upon the subject. I flatter myself that I can distinguish at a glance the ash of any known brand, either of cigar or of tobacco.” He also has a monograph on the use of disguise in crime detection, and another on the utilities of dogs in detective work. When I tried thinking of myself as writing “monographs” on things, I broke though some sort of barrier. The things I wrote turned out less inhibited and more… me. I benefited from them myself more as well. What I mean by “monograph” is probably a little different from what either Sherlock or academia means, but it’s in the same spirit. I think of it as a photo study or a character sketch, but in non-fiction writing form. Here are my guidelines for writing a monograph. 1. Pick a topic you can personally investigate. It doesn’t matter whether it’s “scholarly”. It’s fine if other people have already written dozens of books on the subject, regardless of whether you’ve read them, just as long as you can stick your own
15TurnTrout2moListening to Eneasz Brodski's excellent reading of Crystal Society [], I noticed how curious I am about how AGI will end up working. How are we actually going to do it? What are those insights? I want to understand quite badly, which I didn't realize until experiencing this (so far) intelligently written story. Similarly, how do we actually "align" agents, and what are good frames for thinking about that? Here's to hoping we don't sate the former curiosity too early.
11mr-hire2moAs part of the Athena Rationality Project, we've recently launched two new prototype apps that may be of interest to LWers Virtual Akrasia Coach The first is a Virtual Akrasia Coach [] , which comes out of a few months of studying various interventions for Akrasia, then testing the resulting ~25 habits/skills through internet based lessons to refine them. We then took the resulting flowchart for dealing with Akrasia, and created a "Virtual Coach" that can walk you through a work session, ensuring your work is focused, productive and enjoyable. Right now about 10% of people find it useful to use in every session, 10% of people find it useful to use when they're procrastinating, and 10% of people find it useful to use when they're practicing the anti-akrasia habits. The rest don't find it useful, or think it would be useful but don't tend to use it. I know many of you may be wondering how the idea of 25 skills fits in with the Internal Conflict model of akrasia. One way to frame the skills is that for people with chronic akrasia, we've found that they tend to have certain patterns that lead to internal conflict - For instance, one side thinks it would be good to work on something, but another side doesn't like uncertainty. You can solve this by internal double crux, or you can have a habit to always know your next action so there's no uncertainty. By using this and the other 24 tools you can prevent a good portion of internal conflict from showing up in the first place. Habit Installer/Uninstaller App The habit installer/uninstaller app is an attempt to create a better process for creating TAPs, and using a modified Murphyjitsu process to create setbacks for those taps. Here's how it works. 1. When you think of a new TAP to install, add it to your habit Queue.. 2. When the TAP reaches the top of the Habit Queue, it gives you a "Conditioning Session" - these are a set of au
6hamnox2moI could discuss everything within a few very concrete examples. A concrete example tends to create a working understanding in a way mathematical abstraction fails to. I want to give my readers real knowledge, so I do often insist on describing concepts in the world without numbers or equations or proofs. However, math exists for a reason. Some patterns generalize so strongly that you simply cannot communicate the breadth of its applications in concrete examples. You have to describe the shape of it by constraint. To do otherwise would render it a handful of independent parlor tricks instead of one sharp and heavy blade.
3cousin_it2moEdit: no point asking this question here.
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