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Re-reading Rationality From AI To Zombies
Reflections on Premium Poker Tools

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Five examples

It is like having two people called John, but you point your cursor at one of them, and the IDE understands you mean that one... instead of simply doing textual "Search/Replace" on your source code.

Thanks for explaining this. I had been planning on investigating how it compares to search and replace, but I think this clarified a lot for me.

And thank you for the rest of your thoughts too. I think my lack of experience with static typing is making it hard for me to fully grok them, but I am groking them to some extent, and they do give me the vibe of being correct.

Five examples

Great points. I see how making your types more specific/complicated helps you catch bugs, and the example with your compiler really helped me to see that. However, making types more complex also has a larger upfront cost. It requires more thought from you. I don't have a good intuition for which side of the tradeoff is stronger though.

The feeling of breaking an Overton window

Share observations (not theories) of what it’s like to be you right now trying to look at this stuff.

Thinking about this situation, I feel that same sense of awkwardness and discomfort at the idea of saying something like, "Yes, I'm stocking up with a ton of food because I'm worried about the virus." I also get a sense of that same alien process driving me away from such an answer.

Five examples

None come to mind right now. But the thing is, that probably just means I can't think of them as opposed to them not existing.

Five examples

Good to know. Thanks!

Five examples

Yeah those caveats make a lot of sense. However, I strongly suspect that they're not exhaustive. Not that you're implying they are, but it's important to note because when you acknowledge that they're not exhaustive, you rightly treat this sort of advice as more of a heuristic than a rule.

Five examples

Thank you for those thoughts, they're helpful.

  • I actually was aware of the autocomplete benefit before. I've only spent about three months using a staticly typed language (TypeScript). In that time I found myself not using autocomplete too much for whatever reason, but I suspect that this is more the exception than the rule, that autocomplete is usually something that people find useful.
  • I wasn't aware of those benefits for refactoring! That's so awesome! If it's actually as straightforward as you're saying it is, then I see that as a huge benefit of static typing, enough where my current position is now that you'd be leaving a lot on the table if you don't use a staticly typed language for all but the smallest of projects.

    At work we actually decided, in part due to my pushing for it, to use JavaScript instead of TypeScript for our AWS Lambda functions. Those actually seem to be a time when you can depend on the codebase being small enough where static typing probably isn't worth it.

    Anyway, important question: were you exaggerating at all about the refactoring points?
Your Cheerful Price

Thanks! This has definitely helped me to think about the concept of cheerful prices. Here's my current position.

I do see the value in avoiding the situation of "I'm paying you to do X, you accept, but are secretly annoyed about it". By paying instead X + cheerfulness bonus you avoid it. However,

  1. I don't have much IRL experience with rationalists, but I would expect that if you buy into the idea of exchanging money in these sorts of scenarios, that you'd also buy into the idea of Tell Culture, at least enough such that you can have some back and forth and avoid the "but are secretly annoyed about it" part.
  2. Even if I'm wrong about (1), isn't the cheerfulness bonus too large? "Cheerful" and "excited" seem like they really overshoot "don't have secret feelings of annoyance". Maybe a "non-begrudging/non-reluctant/non-sour price" would make more sense. In practice, I expect that the payer would often feel resentment about paying cheerful prices. "Ugh, do I really have to keep paying this person $100 to clean up the kitchen?"
Five examples

That would be great! And is a great example of how coming up with examples is often difficult.

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