There is a theory of "the path of least resistance" that implies the one should go with the flow. With that in mind, how do you continue to nurture the growth resulting from challenges? Does the rationale of the path of least resistance conflict with the challenges of life that are required for change?
I am not sure what that is.
It still takes effort to travel along a path. And there are many paths to choose from.
Hilbert’s Motel improvement
This hotel is 2 star at best, imagine having to pack up your stuff every time the hotel receives a new guest? I’ve decided to fix that. The hotel still has infinite rooms and guests but this time every other room is unoccupied which prepares the hotel for an infinite amount of new visitors without inconveniencing the current residence.
As soon as one more guest shows up it's more than half full.
With climate change getting worse by the day we need to switch to sustainable energy sources sooner rather than later. The new Molten salt reactors are small, clean and safe, but still carry the stigma of nuclear energy. Since these reactors (like others) can use old nuclear waste as a fuel source, I suggest we rebrand them to "Nuclear Waste Eaters" and give them (or a company that makes them) a logo in the vein of this quick sketch I made: https://postimg.cc/jWy3PtjJ
Hopefully a rebranding to "thing getting rid of the thing you hate, also di... (read more)
Anything sufficiently far enough away from you is causally isolated from you. Because of the fundamental constraints of physics, information from there can never reach here, and vice versa. you may as well be in separate universes.
The performance of AlphaGo got me thinking about algorithms we can't access. In the case of AlphaGo, we implemented the algorithm (AlphaGo) which discovered some strategies we could never have created. (Go Master Ke Jie famously said "I would go as far as to say not a single human has touched the edge of the truth of Go.")
I'm not a physicist either, but quantum mechanics might change the limits. (If it scales, though this might leave input and output limits; if the quantum computer can't store the output in classical mode, then it's ability to run the program probably doesn't matter. This might make less efficient crypto systems more secure, by virtue of size.*)
*Want your messages to be more secure? Padding.
Want your key more secure? Length.
You would hope that people actually saw steelmanning as an ideal to follow. If that was ever true, the corona pandemic and the policy response seem to have killed the demand for this. It seems to become acceptable to attribute just any kind of seemingly-wrong behavior to either incredible stupidity or incredible malice, both proving that all institutions are completely broken.
:-) Thanks. But I corrected it.
For the foreseeable future, it seems that anything I might try to say to my UK friends about anything to do with LW-style thinking is going to be met with "but Dominic Cummings". Three separate instances of this in just the last few days.
Surfing Uncertainty is about predictive coding, the theory in neuroscience that each part of your brain attempts to predict its own inputs. Predictive coding has lots of potential consequences. It could resolve the problem of top-down vs bottom-up processing. It cleanly unifies lots of ideas in psychology. It even has implications for the continuum with autism on one end and schizophrenia on the other.
The most promising thing about predictive coding is how it could provide a mathematical formulation for how the human brain
Has anyone tried to work with neural networks predicting the weights of other neural networks? I'm thinking about that in the context of something like subsystem alignment, e.g. in an RL setting where an agent first learns about the environment, and then creates the subagent (by outputting the weights or some embedding of its policy) who actually obtains some reward
Observation: It should generally be safe to forbid non-termination when searching for programs/algorithms.
In practice, all useful algorithms terminate: If you know that you're dealing with a semi-decidable thing and doing serious work, you'll either (a) add a hard cutoff, or (b) structure the algorithm into a bounded step function and a controller that decides whether or not to run for another step. That transformation is not adding significant overhead size-wise, so you're bound to find a terminating algorithm "near" a non-terminating one!
Sure, that sligh
I had a very useful conversation with someone about how and why I am rambly. (I rambled a lot in the conversation!).
Disclaimer: I am not making much effort to not ramble in this post.
A couple takeaways:
1. Working Memory Limits
One key problem is that I introduce so many points, subpoints, and subthreads, that I overwhelm people's working memory (where human working memory limits is roughly "4-7 chunks").
It's sort of embarrassing that I didn't concretely think about this before, because I've spent the past year SPECIFICALLY thinking about working memory limi
re working memory: never thought of it during conversations, interesting. it seems that we sometime hold the nodes of the conversation tree to go back to them afterward. and maybe if you're introducing new concepts while you're talking people need to hold those definitions in working memory as well.
Thoughts on Ryan Carey's Incorrigibility in the CIRL Framework (I am going to try to post these semi-regularly).
So the definition of myopia given in Defining Myopia was quite similar to my expansion in the But Wait There's More section; you can roughly match them up by saying r(x)=∑ifiri(x) and yi(x)=(1−fi)ri(x) , where fi is a real number corresponding to the amount that the agent cares about rewards obtained in episode i and ri is the reward obtained in episode i. Putting both of these into the sum gives R(x)=∑iri(x), the undiscounted, non-myopic reward that the agent eventually obtains.
In terms of the R=R0+R1 definition that I give in t... (read more)
Some other people who play to win
It's a crowd I'd come into contact with as a manager of an online bookshop (and most of the reason I quitted). Usually, I can pretend they don't exist, but... we all know how it goes... and now that they don't make my blood boil every weekend, I can afford to speak about them.
"Some other people" will play to win - say, a facebook lottery with a book for a prize, and they will mean it. If they don't win, they will say the lottery was rigged. Public righteous indignation on every player's behalf is a weapon (and for the manag
Not any particular book, but rather some frequent conditions of game theory problems I have seen here and elsewhere (my fb friend keeps posting such pieces). "The players care only about winning" etc. Well, some people actually do.
There are two kinds of pleasurable feelings. The first one is a self-reinforcing loop, where the in-the-moment pleasure leads to craving for more pleasure, such as mindlessly scrolling through social media, or eating highly-processed, highly-palatable food. The second is pleasure gained through either thoughtfully consuming good content, like listening to good music or reading good books, or the fulfillment of a task that's meaningful, such as getting good grades or getting a promotion for sustained conscientious effort.
The first is pleasure for its o... (read more)
Ah, now I've got what you mean. Thanks for referring me to that thought experiment, I don't have much prior knowledge on the field of AI so that was definitely a new insight for me.
I see now that my original shortform did not explicitly state that my terminal value was indeed the fulfillment of important goals. I was reflecting more on the distinction between pleasurable feelings that led to distraction & bad habits, vs ones that led to the actual fulfillment of goals. It was a personal reminder to experience the latter in place of the forme... (read more)
Sentences spoken aloud are a latent space embedding of our thoughts; when trying to move a thought from our mind to another's, our thoughts are encoded with the aim of minimizing the other person's decoder error.
There's a problem at parties where there'll be a good, high-context conversation happening, and then one-too-many-people join, and then the conversation suddenly dies.
Sometimes this is fine, but other times it's quite sad.
Things I think might help:
Agreed with the status/feelings cause. And I'm not 100% sure the solution is "prevent people from doing the thing they instinctively want to do" (especially "all the time.")
My current guess is "let people crowd around the charismatic/and/or/interesting people, but treat it more like a panel discussion or fireside chat, like you might have at a conference, where mostly 2-3 people are talking and everyone else is more formally 'audience.'"
But doing that all the time would also be kinda bad in different ways.
In this case... you might actually be able to fix t
Virtue ethics seems like model-free consequentialism to me.
I've was thinking along similar lines!
From my notes from 2019-11-24: "Deontology is like the learned policy of bounded rationality of consequentialism"
I'm looking for an old post where Eliezer makes the basic point that we should be able to do better than intellectual figures of the past, because we have the "unfair" advantage of knowing all the scientific results that have been discovered since then.
I think he cites in particular the heuristics and biases literature as something that thinkers wouldn't have known about 100 years ago.
I don't remember if this was the main point of the post it was in, or just an aside, but I'm pretty confident he made a point like this at least... (read more)
Weird thing I wish existed: I wish there were more videos of what I think of as 'math/programming speedruns'. For those familiar with speedrunning video games, this would be similar except the idea would be to do the same thing for a math proof or programming problem. While it might seem like this would be quite boring since the solution to the problem/proof is known, I still think there's an element of skill to and would enjoy watching someone do everything they can to get to a solution, proof, etc. as quickly as possible (in an editor, on paper, LaTex, e
This is awesome! I've been thinking I should try out the natural number game for a while because I feel like formal theorem proving will scratch my coding / video game itch in a way normal math doesn't.
When I was in high school, I once had a conversation with a classmate that went something like this (except that it was longer and I was less eloquent):
Him: "German is a Scandinavian language."
Me: "No, it's not. German and the Scandinavian languages both fall under the umbrella of Germanic languages, but 'Scandinavian languages' refers to a narrower category that doesn't include German."
Him: "Well that's your opinion."
Me: "No??? That's not what an opinion is???"
Him: "Look, it's your opinion that German isn't a Scandinavian language, and it's my opinion tha
I've been thinking about people's mindset as it relates to spending their free time. Specifically, when you go to do something 'productive' like learn about a new topic, work through exercises in a textbook, go through an online course, etc...do you feel that you have to intentionally decide not to play video games, watch Netflix, etc and forego short-term happiness? Or do you feel that this decision is straightforward because that's what you would prefer to be doing and you don't feel like you sacrifice anything?