Hammertime Intermission #2

by alkjashRadimentary1 min read1st Mar 20188 comments

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The final cycle of Hammertime will return on 3/12.

This is an open thread for feedback about Hammertime.

Other Resources

Owen Shen has been writing about instrumental rationality for a long time at MindLevelUp. This material is much more coherent and actually cites the science behind the techniques.

SquirrelInHell has taken on a similar project but at a much deeper level at BeWellTuned. These techniques are BLACK MAGIC powerful but may cost your soul. Consider Hammertime a gentle tutorial mission for BeWellTuned.

Epistemic Rationality

A piece of the third cycle may be devoted to applying instrumental rationality tools towards increasing epistemic standards in practice.

What are the immediate applications of Hammertime tools towards truth-seeking? Are there TAPs, Design decisions, CoZE experiments, or Focusing techniques that you would immediately recommend to increase epistemic standards? For example, I’ve seen people claim that they’ve installed a gut-level instinct for Bayes Theorem.

How does truth-seeking interface with instrumental rationality, especially on corrupted hardware? We pay a whole lot of lip service to “I desire to believe what is true,” and yet an enormous amount of our practical advice sounds like “Act as if [obviously false statement] is true.”

Meta-Cognitive Blind Spots

I have a friend who got so excited about conquering new fears that he’s been constantly flitting around, looking for aversions to squash with CoZE. When I asked him to try sticking to one thing for a while, he nearly refused, saying “It feels hard to look at.” My words:

when ppl get excited about CoZE
there’s something ridiculous about it
you’re literally looking for things that scare you
like actually scare you
and that’s not fun

One time this week, I was Focusing on the feeling of hating algebraic geometry homework. I found the feeling’s true name: “Working on problems in other fields makes me feel low-status.” The aversion completely vanished, but I was left with the sinking feeling that I’m status-seeking all the way down. In fact, this whole paragraph reporting this character flaw? It’s a self-deprecation status move too. Fuck.

[Commenting guidelines: At least one line of poetry per comment.]

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Squirrel, if you're reading this, I will straight up pay you money to finish fleshing out tune your motor cortex, because I'm super intrigued but wary that I'll mess up horribly or just waste a lot of time if I misinterpret things at the current level of detail. We can work out details via PM.

What are the immediate applications of Hammertime tools towards truth-seeking? Are there TAPs, Design decisions, CoZE experiments, or Focusing techniques that you would immediately recommend to increase epistemic standards?

I think CoZE and Focusing are both much more relevant to epistemic rationality than most people who aren't CFAR staff are explicitly modeling. They're both tools for helping you approach thinking about the things that you can't think about because you get suspiciously forgetful and sleepy whenever you try, or consistently find your attention wandering away from, which could include, for example, the reality of existential risk. IDC is even more about this, as is Leverage's CT charting (it might have evolved / have a different name now, I'm not up to date).

(You should be suspicious if you think you don't have anything like this; the whole point of getting suspiciously forgetful and sleepy and having your attention wander is that you can't tell afterwards. Blindspots are really serious business. Another lesson you can learn from circling when done right.)

(I've only managed to catch myself doing this once, and it was when thinking about the possibility that I would never get married. Who knows what else I've got, though.)

[Commenting guidelines: At least one line of poetry per comment.]

Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy! Holy!

I'm the reader who wrote the quoted piece under the "STORIES" tab on TYMC. I've been tuning every day for about a month and a half. I didn't get a huge amount object level value (tension and stress reduction) from TYMC, probably because I already maintained a pretty low baseline stress and tension levels. But nonetheless I got a lot of meta-value from learning, and found the instructions pretty straightforward to do. I'm wondering what you think needs more clarification or detail, and I'd love to help you figure the skill out if I can.

Note: I'm not squirrel, I don't have as much experience with tuning and I'd defer to him for these things, but another perspective can be useful.

Note-note: Given the opening of your comment, I just realized my comment could come across as me asking for money. That is 100% not what I'm trying to imply. I just really like BWT and want to help more people learn the skills, I've found them all really helpful in one way or another.

Edit: Alas mine own heart aches for the sadness I have brought

Shame I feel and deep at that and wringing hands lest they stay clasped

I hold the door and shut it fine for I drink my sorrow like cheap old wine

Thanks for the offer! I think last time I checked that page relax all your muscles hadn't been written yet and I was getting sort of lost navigating all the links around the subskills / prerequisites I needed. Next time I have time I'll start there and we'll see what happens.

Also:

Was it doubted that those who corrupt their own bodies conceal themselves?
And if those who defile the living are as bad as they who defile the dead?
And if the body does not do fully as much as the soul?
And if the body were not the soul, what is the soul?
The aversion completely vanished, but I was left with the sinking feeling that I’m status-seeking all the way down. In fact, this whole paragraph reporting this character flaw? It’s a self-deprecation status move too. Fuck.

Embrace it.

Humans aren’t what they pretend to be. But what they actually are is spectacular.

- Robin Hanson

Poem:

The tiger

He destroyed his cage

Yes

YES

The tiger is out

The wind blows below the willow tree, and I ask myself; why. Why do I do the things I do?

For people out of poetry ideas, Queneau wrote 100 Trillion sonnnets for exactly this occasion. There are ten possibilities for each of the 14 lines and every combination satisfies the rhyme scheme. In fact, there's technically 200 trillion of them since Queneau wrote his original in French and some unnamed hero translated it to English.

When you click through, reflect that the exact poem you read has (in all likelihood) never been seen by human eyes and never will again.

He's well inclined to capture his valise

enough to spur on any picaro

eat fire your mouth will taste like antifreeze

you pluck narcissi or you're very slow

You get like dirty goods on busy quays

so keen to part poor bumpkins from their dough

that heap of goods occasions some unease

most people like to read the words they know

The brave man cries I do not care a jot

a cat will munch a bird but spurn shallot

if you drink mate you're an Argentine

Such ancestry is merely poppycock

one carts off debris marble from the block

the shield of vair or or's but briefly seen

[+][comment deleted]3mo 1