If it’s worth saying, but not worth its own post, here's a place to put it.

If you are new to LessWrong, here's the place to introduce yourself. Personal stories, anecdotes, or just general comments on how you found us and what you hope to get from the site and community are invited. This is also the place to discuss feature requests and other ideas you have for the site, if you don't want to write a full top-level post.

If you want to explore the community more, I recommend reading the Library, checking recent Curated posts, seeing if there are any meetups in your area, and checking out the Getting Started section of the LessWrong FAQ. If you want to orient to the content on the site, you can also check out the new Concepts section.

The Open Thread tag is here. The Open Thread sequence is here.

34 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 4:50 PM
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Hello all,

I am not new, but I read much more than I comment. I have not written any articles yet.
I've known LessWrong for maybe 10 years, but it didn't captivate me then. When I started reading SSC again at the beginning of the pandemic, I also came back to LessWrong and got captivated this time. I have subscribed to some authors and try to stay up to date on the curated list. I don't have the time/concentration to read everything I want, unfortunately. "The Engines of Cognition" is still lying around here wrapped up.

About me: I'm a Berlin freelance developer in my early 30s. I enjoy reading, educational and entertaining videos, board and PC games (cooperative, singleplayer and occasional competitive multiplayer).

Some stuff on LessWrong that I have enjoyed. Feel free to ask me for more links (on and off LessWrong):
* All of A Map that Reflects the Territory
* Bayeswatch by lsusr
* Theses on Sleep by guzey
* Cryonics signup guide by mingyuan
* Can you control the past by Joe Carlsmith

€: I'm also looking for a project from July onwards. Feel free to message me if you are looking for a developer.

Welcome! I am glad to hear you enjoyed the 2019 book collection. I am still quite happy with how it turned out.

Hello!

Here's another old lurker. I don't remember when I started reading the occasional article, but it must not have been much later than 2009. I came back on and off to the site, and in the last years got interested in becoming part of the community, though I'll probably have to learn an unfathomable lot before I can contribute much. I'm still slowly reading the Sequences.

Are there any efforts underway to move the content from Arbital to some platform that's, frankly, less buggy, unfinished, and inconvenient to use? Seems to me like a worthwhile thing to do if one wants people to actually read it, see Beware Trivial Inconveniences.

(Apologies if the above comes across as more caustic than it was meant to be, I'm still feeling my way around LessWrong's communication norms)

It's been a thing I've been hoping to get around to for a long time. I'll ping the MIRI folks again to see whether maybe it's time to copy over more content. 

Feature request: I'd like to have options on /allPosts or the front page to filter out the posts I've already read or bookmarked.

Oh, that's pretty sensible.

Stephen Wolfram recently announced that he has a name for "the result of following all computational rules in all possible ways" (he calls it "the ruliad"), and that it describes, or is, not just all possible worlds, but all possible mathematics. There is a Tegmark-like collapse of the distinction between physics and mathematics here (and also echoes of physicist John Wheeler's older idea that "pregeometry" might be a statistical mechanics of logical propositions). Wolfram's version might deserve precise understanding and critical scrutiny by people interested in such things. 

"But -" said Professor McGonagall. She glanced at Mad-Eye Moody, who was nodding his approval, and at Severus, who was keeping his face decidedly blank. "Mr. Potter, you just stunned Mad-Eye Moody! The most famous Dark wizard hunter in the history of the Auror Office! That should've been impossible!"

Moody let out a dark chuckle. "What's your answer to that one, kid? I'm curious."

"Well..." Harry said. "First of all, Professor McGonagall, neither of us were fighting seriously."

"Neither of you?"

"Of course," Harry said. "In a serious fight, Mr. Moody would've dropped all my copies immediately without waiting for them to attack. And on my side, if it was actually necessary to take down the most famous Auror in the history of the office, I'd get Headmaster Dumbledore to do it for me.

and then

"You might say that Mr. Moody was testing me to see if I would try to fight him, or try to win. That is, whether I'd carry out the role of somebody fighting - use standard spells I already knew, even though I didn't expect the consequences of that action to be victory - or if I'd search through unusual plans until I found something that could win.

HPMoR, Chapter 86

I wonder if there is some wisdom here related to AI alignment. Maybe the goal should be to get Terry Tao to do it.

Yes, this idea pops up every now and then. Does anyone (perhaps UCLA alum) know of a non-offputting way to get in touch with him? I think this community has some good communicators who could explain some of the more mathematically interesting parts of the alignment problem to him.

Short-term change to Frontpage vs Personal classification

Generally, the frontpage vs personal blog status is not based on the quality of the post, only on its timelessness and the relevance of its topic to the general LessWrong audience. However, the mod team is noticing the large influx of AI posts in the last few weeks that are dominating the latest posts list.

To prevent everyone having their latest posts list dominated by default, we are making the temporary decision to only frontpage posts on AI that are above a certain quality bar. If a post seems to be retreading old ground, not be reasoned in depth, or generally doesn't strike us as advancing the field much, we'll probably leave it on personal blog for now.

If you want to view all of these posts, ensure that you've got "personal blogposts" set to visible on your frontpage.

If you want to keep personal blogposts visible while reducing the number of AI posts shown, you can use the frotnage page tag filters to apply a soft filter (karma penalty) to posts tagged "AI".  Give them a -10 penalty or something.

I recently wanted to find some information about how-the-site-works (because I was trying to use the UI to do something[1] and not getting the results I expected) and could not find any easy way to look up this kind of information. Information is distributed across many posts of varying ages, and I can only determine whether something is still accurate by finding more recent information that contradicts it. Old posts may have screenshots depicting an older version of the site, where even if the same functionality is still available now, it doesn't necessarily work quite the same. I think documentation of site features needs to be available in one place that is kept up to date, such as a wiki.

  1. ^

    I didn't understand until recently how to filter Latest Posts by tags. As it turns out, the "Add Tag Filter" button does not, by itself, filter anything: it only adds to the list of tags on which I can then apply a filter, and selecting a tag that is already on this list (which the menu by default invites me to do, offering a list of the core tags) does nothing (giving me the least possible information about what the feature is supposed to do). Hovering on a tag name, where I would have located the answer if I had paid close enough attention, brings up something that looks almost exactly like a non-interactable link preview but for one extra line of mostly low-contrast text, and after failing to notice this important distinction I went on a long detour around the site looking at old feature announcement posts.

The FAQ (linked in the left-sidebar) is the place we try to keep up-to-date (if something has gotten out of date, please let us know)

For this particular question, the FAQ apparently makes no reference to the tagging/filtering system, which, going by the posts I found, reached something close to its present state two years ago (but has changed since then - the two-year-old posts are out of date and I haven't found a more recent relevant one).

Also, I notice there is a one-year-old comment:

Oh, I'm terribly sorry. The FAQ has gotten a bit out of date and is due for an update. Since it was written, the frontpage been changed. Curated posts are now the first few posts listed in the "Latest" section, the ones that have stars to the left of their titles.

Sorry for the confusion!

The referenced section of the FAQ remains unchanged since then.

Yeah, the way things are organized has been difficult.

Information is distributed across many posts of varying ages

And it's not like I have a list of all of said posts.

I think there is a slight GUI bug. When I typed this comment and clicked submit, the text gets submitted as a comment, but also stays in the comment box. Meaning I can post the same comment twice just by clicking submit twice.

I mean this mostly humorously (I know it's uncommon here but it feels worth it), but also somewhat seriously. Reading about the Death With Dignity stuff, and then hearing about how it is a minority opinion, it feels like a Doctor vs Pharmacist situation. Eliezer/MIRI being the Pharmacist, and the more prevalent viewpoint of things being less grim being the Doctor.

There may actually be some insight hidden in that analogy. I'm not sure. A pharmacist kinda has more domain specific knowledge. A doctor has more formal credentials, is higher status, more conservative. Just thinking out loud.

I've just received 184.49€ from CFAR for Good Heart Week, while my profile says I only got 143 Good Heart Tokens, and those should correspond to 143$ -> 136€, and that's without PayPal fees for the transaction and currency conversion. What am I missing?

I expect people's amounts to be higher because we back-dated the 3x multiplier on post karma (i.e. it counts for April 1st and April 2nd but isn't shown in the score on your account).

But I don't think you posted on April 1st or 2nd, so not sure in this case, I'll look into it in a day or two, am a touch under the weather atm and on vacation.

Did you ever find out whether those Good Heart Token numbers were correct or not?

I think there is a slight GUI bug. When I typed this comment and clicked submit, the text gets submitted as a comment, but also stays in the comment box. Meaning I can post the same comment twice just by clicking submit twice.

Is there a way to replace the karma displayed on a user's page with (4 * post karma + comment karma)? I don't feel great about looking at a user's page to see whether other people take their ideas seriously, but karma is a useful feature, and to the extent we have it displayed, I want to see the more useful number.

Also, what's the correlation between post karma and comment karma among users with at least 1000 karma?

Is anyone out there good at LineageOS? I'm trying to put LineageOS onto my Motorola G7 but it's not working. I think I am making a mistake somewhere.

I am willing to pay $100 to someone who can walk me through the steps via a video call. Alternatively, I can trade one or two hours of tutoring/coaching/writing.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply

I think I bricked it.

Attempting to edit my account preferences and submit gives me this error:

 

{"id":"users.email_already_taken","value":"xxxxx@xxxxx.com"}

 

and fails to save the account preferences.

Alas, old LessWrong was quite mediocre at ensuring that different accounts had different emails, so it sometimes happens that multiple accounts have the same email, which throws some errors in our internal systems. 

I'll send you a PM, and you can respond with what you want me to change your other account's email to.

Weird tiny bug related to Good Heart Week:

This was the lower hover tooltip (above the comments) from the current Zvi Covid post:

a) This still mentions Good Heart tokens.

b) The closing parenthesis is missing, but only while the number of votes is 1. I wonder how that happened?

But after refreshing the page, the hover tooltip now only displays "Votes", and no Good Heart tokens are mentioned anymore?_?

I pushed the fix for this a couple hours ago, so probably you just saw the bug's final death throes.

That's fascinating timing. I posted that comment immediately after seeing the bug, so it shouldn't have been live anymore. Maybe it was a remnant of browser cache stuff?

Anyone know of some good explainers about why the cost of childcare is so freaking high now? How is it that back in the 1800s, house wives would routinely raise 8-10 children each on average and nowadays people have trouble affording a single child?

We raised the standard of care a great deal, including restricting how much of it could be done by other children. 

Also more of them make it to adulthood now.

When logging to the AF using github I get an Internal Server Error (callback)

Tangent to https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/xF7gBJYsy6qenmmCS/don-t-die-with-dignity-instead-play-to-your-outs?commentId=P9EiLDCgxRwJNi6bs: I do not believe “epistemic status” and “confidence level” are ‘really’ interchangeable—almost at all, really, whereas log-odds and probability are interconvertible.

Epistemic status : provenance :: confidence level : canonicity, ish. Related, but importantly distinct, parts of the process of determining in what ways to trust some information.