The first response is what I’m calling the epsilon fallacy. (If you know of an existing and/or better name for this, let me know!)
This reminds me of Amdahl's Law. You could call it Amdahl's fallacy, but I'm not sure if it is a better name.
One common failure mode I've noticed in myself is taking breaks. After some productive work, I sometimes intend to take a 5 min or 10 min break, but I end up never returning in the specified time. In fact, I sometimes take several days to get back on to the task at hand.
It's like Zeno's paradox kicks in every time you try to start afresh after a break.
I've previously tried to avoid taking breaks in the first place ― and work in three hour sessions, but I wasn't consistent enough to do this everyday.
I've had trouble making up my mind about Jordan Peterson, and this post was enormously helpful in clarifying my thinking about him. Also:
A new expansion just came out for the Civilization 6 video game, and instead of playing it I’m nine hours into writing this post and barely halfway done. I hope I’m not the only one getting some meaning out of this thing.
This resulted in me updating heavily for the amount of effort involved in writing great content.
This post took about 13 hours, and I didn't even edit the first draft much. Just imagine how long great content would take!
On the other hand, from a couple of conversations I've had with Scott he seems to write much faster and with almost no editing needed. Something like this might take him 3-4 hours in a single sitting. I've only been writing seriously for a couple of years - maybe writers get faster with time, and maybe Scott is just in a different class in terms of talent.
I don't know if this is what you read, but this reminds me of Bell Labs:
ONE element of his approach was architectural. He personally helped design a building in Murray Hill, N.J., opened in 1941, where everyone would interact with one another. Some of the hallways in the building were designed to be so long that to look down their length was to see the end disappear at a vanishing point. Traveling the hall’s length without encountering a number of acquaintances, problems, diversions and ideas was almost impossible. A physicist on his way to lunch in t
I had worded it somewhat poorly, I wasn't intending to say that Steve Jobs should have attempted a lower level analysis in technology design.
I just found it unconvincing in the sense that I couldn't think of an example where applying lower level intuitions was a strategic mistake for me in particular. As you mention in your other comment, I am not substantially more certain that my high-level intuition is well-honed in any particular discipline.
More generally, Steve Jobs' consistently applied high-level intuition to big life decisions too ―... (read more)
I reflexively tried to reverse the advice, and found it surprisingly hard to think of situations where applying higher level intuition would be better.
There's an excerpt by chess GM Michael Tal:
We reached a very complicated position where I was intending to sacrifice a knight. The sacrifice was not obvious; there was a large number of possible variations; but when I began to study hard and work through them, I found to my horror that nothing would come of it. Ideas piled up one after another. I would transport a subtle reply by my opponent, which wor
LessWrong also has an existing slack channel, I don't know if it is active ― I sent a private message to Elo on the old LessWrong to get an invite. It was created in 2015, back then only way to join was an email invite ― but now it is possible to get an invite link.
If I get an invite, I'll try to convince Elo to install the donut.ai plugin and tell him to give out an invite link. I was about to create a new slack channel, but I remembered this relevant xkcd.
Thanks for your input!
You are correct ― scheduling is a problem. Perhaps we can get around that by building something like Omegle but with only rationalists in it. It shouldn't be too hard to hack together something with WebRTC to create some sort of a chat room where you are automatically matched with strangers, and can video chat with them.
Sanity checks are usually pretty easy to do, but if you can't do them, then this strategy just won't work.
I concede that Bitcoin is pretty easy to understand and sanity check (merkle trees aren't that hard to wrap your head around ― I would have invested in Bitcoin in 2012 when I heard about it, but I was in high school and had no disposable income). But sanity checking Tezos is much harder:
It turns out that a silver bullet for chain validation is right on the horizon and under active research: recursive SNARKs. SNARKs, which stands for suc
By that time I had sufficient interest in crypto to take the time to read and understand what it was about, and how it was different.
I think you're underestimating the amount of insider knowledge you've gained and the cost of attaining that insider knowledge. Eliezer is certainly surrounded by smart people and MIRI received half of its donations in crypto. Yet, they still did not invest in crypto. I think this is because they lacked deep insider knowledge about cryptocurrencies.
I think what usually happens is ― a rationalist hears about shiny thi... (read more)