If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.
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[Cross-Posted from the "Welcome to LW" thread] I'm a long-time user of LW. My old account has ~1000 karma. I'm making this account because I would like it to be tied to my real identity.
Here is my blog/personal-workflowy-wiki. I'd like to have 20 karma, so that I can make cross-posts from here to the LW Discussion.
I'm working on a rationality power tool. Specifically, it's an open-source workflowy with revision control and general graph structure. I want to use it as a wiki to map out various topics of interest on LW. If anybody is interested in working on (or using) rationality power tools, please PM me, as I've spent a lot of time thinking about them, and can also introduce you to some other people who are interested in this area.
EDIT: Added the missing links.
EDIT: First cross-post: Personal Notes On Productivity (A categorization of various resources)
Rationality: From AI to Zombies is a nice name, but unfortunately, the "from A... to Z..." aspect sometimes does not survive translation. Specifically, in Slovak, the translation of "artificial intelligence" does not start with "A". (At least the "zombies" part is okay.)
Are there other words that could be used instead of "AI" in this context? (Please check in the Google Translate link whether they start with "A" after translation.) Thanks!
"Od automatov po zombie" ?
Not an ideal variant, but I am afraid there are not many possibilities here...
Zendo, the game of inductive logic has been discussed many times on Less Wrong. To make things easier for new players, I made a web application that generates Koans of several difficulty levels. You can find it here.
One thing I've been wondering about deep neural networks: to what extent are neural networks novel and non-obvious? To what extent has evolution invented and thus taught us something very important to know for AI? (I realize this counterfactual is hard to evaluate.)
That is, imagine a world like ours but in which for some reason, no one had ever been sufficiently interested in neurons & the brain as to make the basic findings about neural network architecture and its power like Pitts & McCulloch. Would anyone reinvent them or any isomorphic algorithm or discover superior statistical/machine-learning methods?
For example, Ilya comments elsewhere that he doesn't think much of neural networks inasmuch as they're relatively simple, 'just' a bunch of logistic regressions wired together in layers and adjusted to reduce error. True enough - for all the subleties, even a big ImageNet-winning neural network is not that complex to implement; you don't have to be a genius to create some neural nets.
Yet, offhand, I'm having a hard time thinking of any non-neural network algorithms which operate like a neural network in putting together a lot of little things in layers and achieving high ... (read more)
Camping vs Cryonics
Assuming that a cryonicist a) has a limited budget; b) believes that going solo hiking, canoeing, and camping have salutary effects on mental health; and c) believes that camping provides one of the best available ratios of improved long-term mental functioning to dollars spent...
... then what measures could said cryonicist take to minimize the odds of ending up not just dead, but warm-and-dead? And, secondarily, how much would each such measure cost, and how much would it reduce that risk?
Example 1: A PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) costs around $300, and uses satellites to signal search-and-rescue teams to start looking in roughly an area a mile around. Requires someone alive to push the button, that the PLB can be placed right-side-up. Benefits are increased if, eg, a pen-type flare launcher can more precisely identify location to searchers.
Example 2: A backup cell phone can cost $20, and at least one provider offers service for $10 for the SIM chip and $20 per year if no calls are made. Requires limiting trips to areas within range of cell towers.
Instrumental rationality is about reaching goals. Any methods for finding goals? There is a military term "target-rich environment". I think you live in a goal-rich environment if it is risky both ways: if you both fail hard and win big. If your environment does not look very goal-rich, what are some good ways to "mine" goals out of it? Broader, fighting boredom / tedium.
Does the harm of smoking scale linearly? I went from about 15 cig a day to about 3, without any effort, at some point it just made me feel sick and nauseous if I wasn't having it with/after coffee. Consider the problem 80% solved? Stupid question, but why do people talk about the harm of smoking in general, instead of weighting it with dose? Because most people cannot before a pack a day? I too was on my to that if not for the new nausea effect. One study suggests linearity for one effect at least for men but probably nobody has a firm idea whether overally all of the effects are linear or not, but why shouldn't they be? At this point the only reason to not stop completely is that coffee generates a strong smoke craving.
Low-hanging fruits: buying military surplus gear? I assume they go through extensive durability and quality testing before being approved, so piggybacking on top of that and buying e.g. surplus officer shoes to wear in the office with a suit or half-suit may be a good idea? Did anyone try stuff like these? Military gear is supposed to be durable, and as for officers in dress uniform, even elegant looking. I could never find a coat that would be look good with a suit, and be suitable for -10C and not cost an arm and leg, but perhaps I should be looking it what e.g. Norwegian officers are wearing? Is this a good idea?
Not a good idea. Military gear is typically chosen because it is cheap and the contractor can comply with government procurement rules. Military officers that are allowed to bend the rules (e.g. special forces) are known to procure their own equipment and accessory clothing (e.g. boots, vests, sunglasses) because the commercial stuff is better quality. Indeed the commercial stuff is often made or endorsed by retired special forces who built a better mouse trap because the existing ones sucks so bad.
The Feds go subpoena-fishing on Reddit: http://www.wired.com/2015/03/dhs-reddit-dark-web-drug-forum/
Notable parts (emphasis mine):... (read more)
"Intentional Weight Loss and All-Cause Mortality: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials":... (read more)
This user is spamming the forum: http://lesswrong.com/lw/lxe/personal_notes_on_productivity_a_categorization/c6i5?context=3
I don't know what standard protocol is for things like this. So, I thought I'd try to let somebody know.
This seems relevant to LW.
Title: Sidetracked by trolleys: Why sacrificial moral dilemmas tell us little (or nothing) about utilitarian judgment
Abstract:... (read more)
In the sequences I find Correspondence Bias scary. It is the usual Fundamental Attribution Error / Just World Hypothesis issue and what I find scary is that Eliezer casually assumes we know the motives of our actions better than the motives of the actions of other people. That we judge ourselves more accurately than we judge others. And the scary part is that it is such as easy assumption.
Yet IMHO it is not so. Nemo iudex in causa sua. We tend to judge ourselves way too leniently, actually how we judge others is more accurate as how we judge ourselves beca... (read more)
An interesting analysis of, basically, how sure you are that you own your bitcoins. Summary:... (read more)
I seem to have gained a downvote on at least the first two pages of my comment history, dropping from 83% positive to 69% positive in the space of a day. I remember mass-downvoting was a big issue here a while back, did we find a way to fix it or did we just ban one or two prolific mass-downvoters?
I'm not angry and seeking revenge and/or compensation, after all I'm still positive for this month, but I'm curious what if anything to do about it. And a bit annoyed that my curiosity about who I've offended and how isn't going to be satisfied because they decided on a downvote campaign instead of replying to whichever comment set them off.
Without focusing on the first problem, is there a path to get better at naming things?
Do you have experiences to share where you think you improved on the skill?
Exercises to recommend?
Books and articles to recommend?
I know a lot of you probably aren't all that interested in mainstream television, but I've noticed something in the 8th series of Doctor Who which might be somewhat relevant here. It seems the new Twelfth Doctor has a sort of Shut Up and Multiply utilitarian attitude. There have been several instances in the 8th series where he is faced with something like the fat man variation of the trolley problem and actually pushes the metaphorical fat man, even in situations that are less clear cut than the original problem. This might represent a step in the righ... (read more)
I'd argue the opposite. The writer is so opposed to the idea of moral reasoning that he thinks that no normal human being would ever use it. However, he's trying to make the Doctor look alien. Something that nobody would ever do, but has a plausible-sounding justification, is ideal to show that the Doctor is an alien.
Also, this explains why the show is so inconsistent on such things. The right thing to do when the moon is a giant egg and hatching has a chance of destroying the Earth is to kill it. It's one life against (billions * probability of the world being destroyed), which is at least one life against millions. The Doctor decided that what we should do (after giving a fake "free" choice to Clara) is to not kill the fat man^H^H^Hmoon. Instead we should take the risk of everyone dying. When you throw in things to make the Doctor look alien, you can just easily throw in a too-sentimental act as you can throw in a too-utilitarian act.
In fact, the Doctor often acts as if he's in a TV show and is aware that million to one chances work nine times out of ten. You often see the Doctor say "I'm not going to doom innocents to save a greater number" and somet... (read more)
I was reading gwern's essay on spaced repetition, and I read this note:
I felt very unsure about what a 'forced-choice paradigm,' was, but I guessed the correct definition.
Calling things "an art, not a science" has always been a pet peeve of mine. And I've heard people say things like, "there's no best way to do it'. In particular, I'm taking a Responsive CSS course on Udacity and the guy said these things (if you listen closely, you could hear me cringe).
And then there's the idea that art is like inherently intuitive, whereas science isn't. I want to focus on the "art is inherently intuitive and not about breaking things down into components like science" part. My thought is that these people who sa... (read more)
To me it's shorthand for "It took years of practice to get good and I can't explain the process I use. The problem appears too complex for a scientific approach to be worth the effort. I certainly can't think of any polynomial-time algorithm and my experience has led me to doubt that one exists."
It's a caution for beginners. The expert is basically saying that getting good at it will take a lot of work and finding a good systematic approach is likely to be a dead end.
One can certainly brute-force the issue by creating every possible painting and comparing them. Whether this can be done efficiently is another matter altogether.
I'm interested in optimizing my diet for cognition and general health. Most discussions of diet on LessWrong tend to focus on obesity, and are not of interest to me. Are there any good resources that summarize the evidence with the focus on cognition and general health? I can find some specific things like this SSC post and this study. These are not complete, however, and I don't want to do a big search on my own. I find diet to be a minefield, in that I've seen loads of evidence pointing in every direction and it's hard for me to know what is good and what is not.
Hi, anyone in Ithaca? I'd like to start some sort of Effective Altruism meet-up/club. The lovely people at the EA forum suggested asking here.
Has anyone heard of this massive UIA (Union of International Associations) online databases/wiki of human values, world problems, and proposed solutions? I really wish it had random access so I can freely sample it. My first thought when I stumbled across this was (paraphrasing) "An FAI would surely have a lot of subgoals to juggle."
I've spent the last few months following a new diet/exercise plan. I notice that my past failures came down to using food as a way to regulate my mood and deal with stress. Exercise mollifies this to a great extent; however, I find that I regularly experience temporary spurts of depression lasting a few hours, and in those times I find it difficult to maintain discipline. Is there a good way to guard against this sort of thing?
How do people who want to live forever (or something like this) renormalize their everyday approach to life and relationships? I mean, children and parents move apart with each passing day (normally), and if you imagine living for at least a hundred years, how do you keep yourself interested in older links? It seems this would take a lot more effort.
Years ago when I still intended to go to college, I had to find an unconventional route because I had no money or scholarships, etc. I found out that there are three regionally accredited, distance education colleges in the U.S. that have unusually low or no credit residency requirements (usually expressed as a number of credit hours or percentage of total credit hours that must be completed at the institution conferring the degree). This is extremely useful because you can either throw together disparate credits from other accredited institutions or most... (read more)
I'm reading Rationality and I'm paraphrasing/summarizing the posts so that I understand and internalize them better. I got to Focus Your Uncertainty, and it felt a bit more opaque than the others, what with all of the sarcasm and italics. I compared my summary with the wiki summary, but I felt like the wiki summary was sort of like a dictionary definition that uses its own word. I'd appreciate it if someone could give me feedback on my summary:... (read more)
(I don't know anything about chemistry in high schools outside Ukraine, so maybe this is redundant): it often seemed to me, in school and after (and still after, reading upon mass-spectrometry analysis) that much of the problems we had to solve could be easily moved to arithmetics curriculum in primary classes. We studied inorganic chem for 2 years (I think), then 2 years of organic chem. Many times we had to calculate mass of a given compound, or concentrations of solutions, or other stuff like that which was necessary, of course, but still seemed misplac... (read more)
Do people who passionate argue for buying a home instead of renting violate the Efficient Market Hypothesis? If that is so much better, why don't see a lot of people making money from landlording, by buying on mortgage and renting it out? Actually, I would think if you live somewhere where you see that, buying may be a good idea. If you personally rent from a landlord and you have a good idea that you and another family just paid for the landlords holiday cruise, you may want to stop that. But if you live somewhere where renting from co-ops, councils etc. ... (read more)
Lets say we have the capability to create living creatures and some bored scientist makes one that is relatively intelligent (enough to be considered a person in a meaningful, human definition), capable of language, requiring of little sustenance, capable of reproduction and completely and utterly happy except under to most terrible circumstances. Would the utilitarian view of the situation be to convert all usable resources to create habitats for these critters? Would the moral thing be to give the world over to them because they're better at not making each others lives terrible/are happier for the same amount of resources?
I'm pretty new around here so please forgive the sheer newbishness of my question.
We're heading into the last few hours to make predictions on the outcome of the latest round of the Amanda Knox/Raffaele Sollecito case. I've made mine. See also here (and, for that matter, the post and other comments).
The main sources of uncertainty are the general unpredictability of Italian Supreme Court decisions (as demonstrated in the nigh-inexplicable -- at least on naïve theories of how the system should work -- overturning of the acquittal by the Supreme Court two years ago), the fact that the panel that hears the case tomorrow won't actually be ... (read more)
I'm planning to get a BS and then an MS in computer science. To get the BS I have to take a certain number of course units, much more than is actually needed to fulfill the BS's requirements, and I'm not entirely sure what to fill those extra units with.
Which of these is more impressive?
Question on infinities
If the universe is finite then I am stuck with some arbitrary number of elementary particles. I don't like the arbitrariness of it. So I think - if the universe was infinite it doesn't have this problem. But then I remember there are countable and uncountable infinities. If I remember correctly you can take the power set of an infinite set and get a set with larger cardinality. So will I be stuck in some arbitrary cardinality? Are the number of cardinality countable? If so could an infinite universe of countably infinite cardinali... (read more)
Total blunder: I created this thread spanning two weeks instead of just one. Would you prefer me to create another one with the dates of the present week?
Is the free-rider problem a real problem? Just in case anybody is interested in the topic... here's my latest blog entry... In Which Our Anarchist Hero Jeffrey Tucker Proves The Point Of Taxation.