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.
Sorry to complain, but I opened the site to see what was going on, and Main has gone to utter crap.
"Is spirituality irrational?" and "3 reasons it's irrational to demand 'rationalism' in social-justice activism" are now heavily-commented recent posts in Main. Meanwhile, "Building Machines That Learn and Think Like People" was published a short while ago, and nothing about it appears on this site.
Looks like this site has slid into the River of Low Domain-Knowledge, Easy-to-Discuss General Stuff, rather than staying up in the nice Forest of Stuff LW Purports to be About.
Context: Main is currently disabled; LessWrong 2.0
LessWrong is actively being redesigned. Until further notice, posts to Main have been disabled. Once the redesign is complete, LW may have multiple subs, none of which might be called 'Main', but one or more of which will be designated as where the nice Forest of Classic LW Stuff you're hoping to find here. The only posts in Main recently are meetup posts and the survey, which were promoted there for visibility. Apparently, usage statistics show for the last several months Discussion has been getting much more attention than Main, so Discussion is where non-crap is. Of course, there is no more explicit division between crap and non-crap you'd expect the 'Main'/'Discussion' divide to reflect. Try finding other ways to filter out crap, like reading the top posts from the previous week.
Don't apologize. I've been waiting for weeks for someone to complain, to make sure that it wasn't just me who felt this was an actual problem.
Just a random thing I wanted to say before I forget it:
It is okay to be rational and happy.
Why am I even saying this? Did anyone claim the opposite? Well, I haven't heard anyone say explicitly "no, as a rational person you must be always serious and grim", but sometimes people behave as if they believed that. Why could it be so?
There are many bad things in the world. Knowing and understanding more will make you see more of those bad things, which logically can make you sad. On the other hand, fools are believed to be ignorant and happy. So it's like we have an intuitive idea that intelligence or wisdom or rationality (I am not going to distinguish between these things properly; this is a comment on a blog, not a doctoral thesis) correlate negatively with happiness. Of course this isn't always true -- for example a paranoid person can be less rational, see more dangers, and thus be less happy -- but in general the idea seems plausible.
However, this is confusing two things: knowing in general that a bad thing exists, and thinking about it obsessively all the time. It is the latter that can make you sad 24/7. People in difficult situations often do have happy moments; they f... (read more)
Interesting astrophysics development in our solar system with astrobiological implications: the rings and inner moons of Saturn, everything closer than Titan, may be young, forming between 100 million and 1 billion years ago rather than at the dawn of the solar system.
Recent measurements of Saturn's moon system suggest that it evolves due to tides quicker than was previously believed, with moons moving ourwards more rapidly due to bigger tidal bulges on Saturn transferring more energy. This would explain the large quantity of heat pouring out of Enceladus and powering its geysers and oceans. Tidal forces go down with the cube of distance so closer moons should move out much faster than further moons. Using new figures one can trace back the orbits of the inner moons and see that they should have hit various orbital resonances during the history of the solar system as the ratios of orbital periods changed, which would have left imprints in the system in the form of effects on the rings and changes to the orbits of the moons that we see no evidence of. Conclusion is the system is younger than the age at which backtracking would produce those even... (read more)
user account: "Lamp" is banned for being eugine_nier. This is an update in case anyone was wondering.
so far accounts have been:
(that I know of, I think there were more in between too that I forgot.)
If I could send this guy a message it would be this: You are quite literally wasting our time. And by "our" I mean; the moderators and the people who could be spending their time improving the place, coding and implementing a better place; instead are spending their time getting rid of you over and over. DON'T COME BACK. You are literally killing LW.
I don't want to get into the community's time or the time of the people you debate with; or the time of anyone who reads this post here. That time also adds up. Seriously.
If one banned troll (and AFAIK, we only have one who's bothering to come back, and doing so badly enough to get caught repeatedly) is enough to kill LW, we're in pretty bad shape.
Thanks to the mods for continuing to remove his accounts, but please try not to spend any more thought on him than you feel is beneficial.
You're getting dramatic for no good reason. I don't think that in reality people didn't submit patches because they were too busy with Eugine. Just didn't happen.
Nope. Availability bias is a fallacy. Eugine is a very minor problem for LW.
I'm not sure Eugine is sucking up nearly that much moderator time. I expect his bigoted comments do more damage because we're likely to lose some good commenters.
Interesting molecular biology/neuroscience development: magnetically sensitive ion channels.
Some researchers through a series of trial and error screens managed to tether a tension sensitive ion chanel to an iron storage protein such that in the presence of strong magnetic fields (think rare earth magnets) the channels are pulled open and able to induce action potentials in electrically active cells.
Upon expression in sensory nerves on zebrafish, the fish reacted to swimming into magnetic fields as if they were being poked. Upon expression in deep brai... (read more)
This is a meta thread for the Positivity Thread.
All opinions about the Positivity Thread as a whole or about specific comments therein belong here.
Disagree. If you genuinely wish to help someone by destroying something by truth, and you fully take into account their subjective experience of the situation, you can be nice while destroying things.
Should we try to promote the most valuable/important (maybe older?) Less Wrong content on the front page? Currently the front page features a bunch of links and featured articles that don't seem to be organized in any systematic way. Maybe Less Wrong would be more attractive/useful to new people if they could access the best the site has to offer directly from the front page (or at least more if it, and in a systematic way)?
Want to tell the future? Ask an PhD, unemployed, media-experienced, female, high-self-rated-relevance-of-expertise, right wing, realist, optimist, cognitively-foxy, extremist with integratively complex thought protocols, according to the evidence in Tetlock's Expert Political Judgement book exerpts tables for: 'individual difference predictors of calibration of subjective probability forecasts, and variable loadings in rotated factor matrix from maximum likelihood factors analysis (quartimin rototation) of belief systems item' >wtf does that mean?<
In a follow up of unprecedented proportions - our disappointing protagonist Aladdin returns in the long awaited sequel Lamp2.
Following gwern's post about Melatonin, I did a self-trial of melatonin to see if it improved my sleep.
Objective: To see whether I (myself only) should take melatonin regularly or not. Therefore: Have a clinically significant decrease in sleep time or increase in daytime awakeness. Clinically significant=statistically different & meaningful (i.e. 1 minute difference is not worth the effort, for example)
Note that at baseline, I never have trouble falling asleep, and I never have trouble staying asleep. Melatonin is theoretically advantageous in inducing... (read more)
Review of state-of-the-arts in artificial intelligence. Present and future of AI.
The article has some interesting insights in latest deep learning successes. It is an example of hyper-optimistic thinking about AI timing (which is hyper-pessimistic, if we look on risks), as 2020-2030 for the authors seems like a plausible dates of AI arrival.
Some quotes: "The difference between year 2011 and year 2016 is enormous. The difference between 2016 and 2021 would be even much mor... (read more)
No, I've simply tried it both ways myself.
From experience, it results in better life quality if you call out bulls**ters without being angry inside about it.
Can competition be created in an education market of perfect irrationality?
Problems with objective evaluation of government policies. Part I. The unemployment data paradox
Will election of a republican president result in actual right-wing policies?
Why is the crime rate so high in Venezuela?
Many people are aware of Alicorn's post on polyhacking. There are a few things which have been written on bihacking, though I haven't seen bihacking discussed within the rationalist community as widely as polyhacking has been. Bihacking is the process of actively trying to become bisexual.
First, there are a couple sources which suggest that people can have "epiphanies", after which they become bisexual, or perhaps just recognize their latent bisexuality. This may be due to the fact that they are able to tell themselves different stories about the... (read more)
To avoid only reading filtered evidence, people interested in polyhacking might also look at this SSC thread.
Yvain's latest post at SSC is, among other things, about the dynamics of tribes:
Homework assignment: apply the four-stage model to LessWrong.
(meta: I'm not sure if I should make a Discussion post for this, so I'm posting here. Feedback most welcome)
I'm exploring the following hypothesis : sometimes, you have to give up constructive actions for the sake of focus.
Most productivity methods suggest the obvious, to keep wasteful activities in check. It could be gaming, chatting, checking news websites. They all share a common trait: you don't gain any significant utility (nor money, nor fun, nor rest) for spending more time on it. You achieve the same result by spending a little time on it, rather t... (read more)
No gwern sub-media thread for April? Another Diasporist leaving for good?
Remembering the existence of the term ‘compersion’ gives me hope that I may overcome some jealousy I have felt lately :) At the back of my mind I fear the only reason the girl I'm dating is into me is because of transference from her ex boyfriend who's vibe I apparently give off, convenience since I live close by, and the 'rebound' of a recent breakup
Why would you take head of information that doesn't help you? it's up to you
Effective Altruist? No, I participate in the effective altruism community because I'm Hindu and needa game the Karma yoga system
Comment spammer alert.
Oftentimes, I am confused because I didn't lock in my algorithm. This makes my behavior incongruent.