alanog

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Open Thread, January 1-15, 2013

http://www.science20.com/hammock_physicist/rational_suckers-99998 Slightly intrigued by this article about Braess' paradox. I understand the paradox well enough, but am confused by how he uses it to critisize super-rationality. But mostly I was amused that in the same comment where he says, 'Hofstader's "super-rationality" concept is inconsistent and illogical, and no single respectable game theorist takes it seriously.' he links to EY's The True Prisoners' Dilemma post.

Also, do people know if that claim about game theorists is true? Would most game theorists say that they would defect against copies of themselves in a one-shot PD?

The "Scary problem of Qualia"

Your example reminds me of one of Hofstadter's dialogues in The Mind's I, where he imagines that after Einstein's death, all of the information in his brain has been transcribed into a huge book of numbers which can tell you how precisely it would have responded to different inputs. It would of course be possible to 'talk' to Einstein's brain in this way, work out how his brain would change and how he would respond, and thus have a conversation with the brain. I found the question of whether such a book would be capable of consciousness (and whether it would be Einstein) baffling and a little scary, and raises many of the same problems as in your first meditation.

XKCD - Frequentist vs. Bayesians

Can someone help me understand the point being made in this response? http://normaldeviate.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/anti-xkcd/

How many of you doing Khan Academy?

Well, there are no physics or chemistry exercies, and the linear algebra ones weren't around when I needed them. The calculus problems were useful though.

How many of you doing Khan Academy?

I don't use it systematically anymore, but it's my first port of call when I don't understand something in school or want to hear something explained differently. It works pretty well when I use it in this way, although he often goes through things more slowly than would be ideal for revision purposes.

Welcome to Less Wrong! (July 2012)

Hi, I'm Alan, a student in my final year of secondary school in London, England. For some reason I'm finding it hard to remember how and when I stumbled upon Less Wrong. It was probably in March or April this year, and I think it was because Julia Galef mentioned it at some point, thought I may be misremembering.

Anyway, I've now read large chunks of the Sequences (though I can never remember which bits exactly) and HPMOR, and enjoy reading all the discussion that goes on here. I've never registered as a user before as I've never felt the burning need to comment on anything, but thought I should take the survey as I seemed part of its intended audience, so maybe I'll find things to say now.

I only study maths and science subjects in school, and am planning to study for a science degree when I head off to University next year. However, I tend to hang out more with the philosophically inclined people in school, and have had much fun introducing and debating Newcomb, prisoners' dillemas, torture vs dust specks, transhumanism and the like with them.

LessWrong is definitely one of those things I regret not finding out about earlier. It's my favourite website now, although I should probably stop using it as a place to procrastinate so much.

2012 Less Wrong Census/Survey

Lurker, first time poster and done!