If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.
Notes for future OT posters:
1. Please add the 'open_thread' tag.
2. Check if there is an active Open Thread before posting a new one. (Immediately before; refresh the list-of-threads page before posting.)
3. Open Threads should be posted in Discussion, and not Main.
4. Open Threads should start on Monday, and end on Sunday.
Here's a little example of prisoner's dilemma that I just thought up, which shows how mass media might contribute to modern loneliness:
Let's assume that everyone has a fixed budget of attention and empathy. Empathizing with imaginary Harry Potter gives you 1 point of utility. Empathizing with your neighbor gives them 10 points of utility, but doesn't give you anything, because your neighbor isn't as interesting as Harry Potter. So everyone empathizes with Harry Potter instead of their neighbor, and everyone is lonely.
Does that sound right? What can society do to get out of that trap?
"Scientists Announce HGP-Write, Project to Synthesize the Human Genome":... (read more)
It's almost three months since a mysterious benefactor offered to donate to MIRI but insisted on doing it through other LW members contacted via private messsages.
So, I'm curious... Did anyone cooperate? Is there a story to share?
Yes; I hear that he's the second largest donor to MIRI this year, and I've been working with him successfully on esports betting (with half of the proceeds earmarked for MIRI). I don't know if anyone has taken him up on the match offer.
Something I and my local group of conversational partners noticed (I don't have a better word for it) over the weekend: Greek philosophy was a matter of law; Theseus' Ship had tax consequences, and shifting conventions in philosophy had legal ramifications. Greek philosophy was argued in court; Sophists were lawyers who were paid to argue your case, and would argue any side whatsoever, as that was what they were paid to do. Socrates had to die, not because he was annoying important people (which he was), but because he insisted on a "pure" phi... (read more)
Nope. You continue to be wrong.
You are mostly familiar with Graeco-Roman mythology and less familiar with the literature of that period. But that literature certainly existed and I don't know on which basis do you make assertions about "most of their stories".
Take Apuleius' Golden Ass -- a story about the misadventures of a man who (spoilers!) manages to turn himself into a donkey. You think most people took it as true?
In any case, which characters are fictional is irrelevant to the original issue of spending empathy. What matters is whether the ... (read more)
To fellow victims of chronic pain: do you ever despair about the future, knowing your pain might never end? If so, how do you deal with it?
I've made it a schelling point to never end it all. To leave open the possibility of suicide seems too dangerous to me, too alluring. But I'm still afraid that one day I might try. Do any of you ever feel like this?
I would like to know how others deal with this, as I'm only doing so-so.
That's a very weird concept of a "story".
Like ancient Greece and Rome are "remarkably recent"?
The alleged scientific concensus of the irrationality of violent discipline against children
Could research on corporal punishment in the home be misleading due to confounding by genetic factors or other methodological issues?
While doing research on this topic I found very interesting WP: talk, sections with someone making objections, and getting the most effective diplomatic replies I have every seen. Very impressive. here it is.
Worried your worry is untreatable?
Last night I started to wonder: Did I only try SSRI’s for depression (I tried antipsychotics an... (read more)
I don't think most people understood Aesops fables to be about a real fox at the time they were written.
I remember LW discussions where a study was cited about how psychologists compare to lay people when they do counselling. Does anybody have a link?
Deep learning and machine learning resource list.
On the Tim Ferriss Podcast, Marc Andreessen brags about own thinking ability, faceplants spectacularly reasoning about AI risk.
What method of testing whether one is better at remembering things from hearing or from seeing would you recommend?
Help request. I am looking for an article/posting that I once read, the topic of which was reasoning about continuums , like Less Wrong's Fallacy of Grey . I think I originally found the article through a link on Less Wrong but I have been unable to locate it. Any suggestions?
I have a question, but I try to be careful about the virtue of silence. So I'll try to ask my question as a link :
Also, these ideas are still weird enough to win against his level of status, as I think the comments here show:
Some people believe that altruism has evolved through helping your relatives or through helping others to help you in return. I was thinking about it; on the surface the idea looks good -- if you already have this system in place, it is easy to see how it benefits those involved -- but that doesn't explain how the system could have appeared in the first place. Anyone knows the standard answer?
Imagine that you are literally the first organism who by random mutation achieved a gene for "helping those who help you". How specifically does this gene i... (read more)