Sequences

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

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Please steelman the accusations of election fraud

This isn't an answer, but I think it's worth pointing out that when people talk about there being "no evidence" of voter fraud, they aren't referring to Bayesian evidence. They're referring to something closer to scientific evidence, where it "doesn't count" if it doesn't meet some threshold, like p < 0.05.

Covid 11/26: Thanksgiving

Thank you to members of the LessWrong community for their efforts early on in the pandemic.

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

I agree in general, but I can imagine exceptions to that rule.

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

I'm not sure if I'm interpreting what you mean by going back and forth correctly, but I think this will clarify.

If you're going to self-deceive on eg. the former question of what the baseline likelihood of getting a job is, there is a large downside that you won't be able to update (well) on new information. Eg. in the scenario where new information arises showing that you should actually quit the grad program, you wouldn't be able to update on it and would end up making the wrong choice. So it'd only be appropriate to self-deceive in limited situations. Eg. if you're highly, highly confident that the baseline likelihood of getting a job is large enough that you feel comfortable moving forward with the decision to continue with the program.

As to the question of how psychologically easy it is to self-deceive and successfully compartmentalize new information, I agree that it seems difficult, but I'm not sure. Perhaps it depends on your personality.

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

My point wasn't really about making a statement about what the baseline likelihood is, just that baseline likelihood vs benefit of marginal work are two separate questions, and more generally that the question of self-deceit is one that applies to many different sub-problems (self-deceive here but not there).

But yeah, I don't doubt that you're right about what the true baseline is. And in general the market sounds quite inefficient. I myself am going through that now as a programmer with six years of experience struggling to find a job.

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

I see it differently. I think there are various places where you can ask the question "Do I want to apply an honest filter here?". (Or rather, to what extent do I want to stretch the truth?)

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

What if the self-deceit is limited to a given area? Eg. in this case, if the student is honest about what the baseline likelihood of getting a job is (eg. 70%), makes the decision to continue with the program based on that, and then introduces self-deceit specifically for the question of whether working extra hard will do a lot to improve his chances. Isn't it possible to self-deceive on the latter question without it spilling over into the former question?

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

I think that in both situations you want to have some sort of honest filter about which girl/defender to go after, but once you do make that decision, it is beneficial to think "I've got this".

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

Hm, I was imagining it as a given that the chance of getting a job in academia is high enough for it to be worth continuing, and that from there the question is whether marginal effort on work is worth it. In that case where it's a given that you're continuing, it seems worth working hard on your research regardless of whether it'll help much with job prospects.

To make this more concrete, imagine that we assume there's a 70% chance of getting a job if you continue and do a normal amount of work. From there there's the question of whether working extra hard bumps you up to 90 or 95%, or whether it only has a small impact like getting you to 75%. I see that as a separate (but related) question from the question of whether the baseline probability is high enough to continue with the degree.

Using false but instrumentally rational beliefs for your career?

That makes me think of sports as a similar example. Eg. believing your defender can't stop you in basketball.

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