All of Alaric's Comments + Replies

In Russian word "taboo" was introduced too. Problem was with a term "taboo tradeoff" as a whole. We had thought that a literal translation may produce wrong connotation or no connotation.

In Russian we have many adopted words too, but, yes, it is more difficult due to declinations and conjugations.

Whether it's a calque or a descriptive expression, I think the main problem is still that it addresses only one term. You encounter a term that has no good translation, invent your own translation, start using it and maybe it'll eventually catch on. But then you have to do the entire dance again for the next term.

Yes, I agree.

Consider the use of Latin phrases in Europe in XIX. century. It was, back then, seen as beautiful, literary and high-status. If the same could be achieved today with English, it would allow small language communities to break out of t

... (read more)

I think I can understand the problem.

I have translated HPMoR and some Lesswrong's post into Russian. And sometimes I was discovering an absence of Russian translations for some terms (especially in psychology). Often it was hard to find some "less wrong" words.

For example, one arc in HPMoR is titled "Taboo tradeoffs". And we (our translation team) asked some people who studied psychology, but no one had known Russian analogue for this term. In the end we gave up and changed the title. (Russian version can be translated into English as "Price of priceless t... (read more)

5Vaniver7mo
Interestingly, "taboo" is itself a recent introduction to English [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taboo#Etymology]; I suspect that one of English's strengths is that it's so full of pilfered words that it is natural to take another given the opportunity, whereas in more coherent languages they would stick out like a sore thumb.
2Martin Sustrik7mo
Whether it's a calque or a descriptive expression, I think the main problem is still that it addresses only one term. You encounter a term that has no good translation, invent your own translation, start using it and maybe it'll eventually catch on. But then you have to do the entire dance again for the next term. What I was thinking of was using the English terms. There are, obviously, problems with the declinations, transliteration to cyrilic or what not, but the main blocker, I think, is that using English terms is seen as ugly, un-literary and generally low status. But that doesn't have to be so: Consider the use of Latin phrases in Europe in XIX. century. It was, back then, seen as beautiful, literary and high-status. If the same could be achieved today with English, it would allow small language communities to break out of the language cage.

About Peskov.

Now Peskov is actively being criticized by "war party" in Russia. But their media mostly is afraid to criticize Putin, and they are just shouting about traitors and saying: "Why Putin doesn't fire him?". 

However, Russian ultraconservators have explained all problems in Russia by some traitors in Kremlin very often. Some of Putin's ministers were actively criticized for many years. And Putin ignore that usually.

On the other hand, one day Putin said something like: "My press secretary have said nonsense very often".

I was wrong about IT specialists and drafts. Already there is government decree about it.
For a draft exemption you must:

  • have bachelor or master degree in speciality from very long government's list;
  • work for an accredited company for 11 months or more if you graduated more than a year ago. If you have less than a year after graduation, you should work for an accredited company and the working period doesn't matter.

And these rules apply to the current draft.

I think a success story of the right prediction is a good point. But it is not sufficient in the long run. For a decision to trust some source of predictions we need more information than one success.

As far as I can see, Metaculus track record on geopolitics is looking good, but it contains relatively few points.

And for governments we don't see their track records. But I think it will not be hard to find wrong predictions from governments in the past.

March 27: Russian parliament introduces bill to make all who speak Russian ‘Russian citizens residing abroad.’ Speculation is that this is to justify future interventions, could also be a way to attract good people. Interesting thought experiment what would happen if we did the same for everyone who speaks English.

It is a wrong reading of the bill. (In Russia very many media described it incorrectly.) Really, the author of the bill has tried to decrease the number of people who can be treated as "compatriot". The current revision of the Russian law about c... (read more)

2Alaric8mo
I was wrong about IT specialists and drafts. Already there is government decree about it. For a draft exemption you must: * have bachelor or master degree in speciality from very long government's list; * work for an accredited company for 11 months or more if you graduated more than a year ago. If you have less than a year after graduation, you should work for an accredited company and the working period doesn't matter. And these rules apply to the current draft.

I can add that Kremlin is using it in their propaganda. Previous years many Kremlin supporters said: "The West cannot make against us anything significant because they depends on our oil and gas and they want to get money from us selling some goods to us". And now some people say something like that: "Ok, they imposed some sanctions, but they cannot impose really heavy sanctions".

I mean that some agents can abuse a situation with many mutual dependencies like that.

Russian army has very many non-battle units. For example, Logistical Support. This units have own generals too.

Even military band conductor can be a general in Russia.

I think the common part in the current situation in Russian military and the situation before WWII is big problems with feedback. Before WWII in USSR you cannot tell about inabilty to fulfil a plan. And you had a very little chance to change superiors minds. Now in Russia you cannot criticize decisions of authorities efficiently. A criticism is a something which only western agents are doing.

But I think there is a distinction. I think a part of current problems in Russian military have emerged due to mass unbelief that a big war is possible. 

It is very difficult to select particular posts or book chapters because many ideas are becoming significant when you have known another ideas already. A context is very important for many ideas.

I can list some posts which seemed very important for me in the past.

Funny story about current Kremlin propaganda.

In the beginning of "special operation" some people in the Education Ministry created materials for the lesson about fakes in western and pro-western media. And many teachers in schools and universities were told to conduct this lesson. (By the way, formally it may be treated as illegal action in Russia. You cannot do political lessons in a school.)

The presentation for this lesson contains the slide about allegedly fake "In Russia Instagram will be blocked." Instagram really was blocked in Russia couple of weeks ago. But as far as I hear this presentation was used after that too.

As far as I know it is not true. I didn't know about any very spectacular palaces for Stalin or any his associates.

There was a corruption under Stalin. But as far as I know the main problem was false reports. Superiors demanded to fulfil (and to overfulfil) the plan, subordinates were afraid to confess that they cannot to do it and they was sending reports about a plan fulfilment.

I do hear Russia is cold and equipment provided was poor. It does seem strange that Russia does not prepare properly for Russian winter, you’d think that would very much fall under #YouHadOneJob. In a non-functioning system that is one too many.

In Russia we have the joke: "In Russia a winter becomes unexpectedly always." Always beginning of every winter is a very tough time for municipal services. And every strong snowfall can make problems too.

And as far as I understand "special operation" was planned as very short. And in Ukraine it is warmer than in Rus... (read more)

What do you mean by "fanatical nationalism"?

I think pro-Z demonstrations as a whole are the signal from Kremlin to opponents: "We have people's support." And usually a single participant of pro-Z demonstration is signalling loyalty: "You said me to go to the rally and I don't resist."

1maximkazhenkov8mo
I meant independent pro-Z demonstrations; not those initiated by the Kremlin.

In Russia the government control or have a great influence to very big part of the economy. And people are becoming "Kremlin agents" by working in organizations which someway controlled by government.

Some people (especially from poor families) go to work in police. Journalists go to work in pro-Kremlin media because there a very few anti-Kremlin media. Scientists can only work in state organizations or emigrate, because in Russia non-state scientific organization are practically absent. Most schools and universities are controlled by the government.

And whe... (read more)

Kamil long thread about the pro-Z demonstrations, claiming they are fully staged and intentionally avoid using anyone who is actually pro-Z because such people care about something and thus cannot be trusted.

I mostly agree with that. Even before current events Kremlin didn't like any political initiative, even loyalist one.

When public political actions in Russia were not prohibited de facto, many loyalists have said something like: "Only crazy people are going to mass-meetings. Normal people don't have time for that. They are working or spending time with ... (read more)

2CraigMichael8mo
How did the Kremlin find new agents if signaling loyalty was prohibited?

Do you know about the street epistemology (Russian site)? I think it is designed for similar cases. In Russia there is the big community. You can visit online-meetings for a practice.

But I think it need to remember that all such conversations need a very much time due to big inferential distances.

Ahh, interesting, so the English version is not just a translation then, but rather a very different version, is that right?

Yes. As far as I know in RT there are different editorial staffes for different languages. It seems they didn't translate news from Russian to English. Some people write articles for Russian version and some people write for English version and so on.

I don't know Russian, unfortunately.

As far as I hear online translators can work well now. Maybe in some cases Yandex.Translate can help more than Google.Translate because it is more optimized for Russian language.

3Viliam8mo
Deepl.com [https://www.deepl.com/translator] also supports Russian, and seems slightly better than Google Translate to me.

I would be very interested to know if you can access the English version in Russia, and if the translation matches the original.

I can access to these articles from Russia. But it seems some of them have not translated into Russian. As far I can see there are no strict correspondence between articles in English and articles in Russian. For example there are articles in Russian about meeting Zelensky and European delegation but there are no article about “unequivocal support” for Ukraine from this delegation.

3Dojan8mo
Ahh, interesting, so the English version is not just a translation then, but rather a very different version, is that right? Very cynical, for the same new agency to write different articles for different audiences. In that case I would think a fair bit of information could be extracted from the difference between the different versions, even for someone who is more likely to trust an official Russian news source. Unfortunately it also means that my window into the Russian media landscape is less clear than i hoped. Thank you! I am very open to any recommendation for sources from within Russia, whether for or against the war. I don't know Russian, unfortunately.

As far as I know about 70% people in Russia don't have an international passport. And I think many people who have it visited only Egypt or Turkey.

About "Information war" in Russia.

In Russia there are many loyalists with believes that can be described as "Yes, we agree that people in the government are sons of a bitch but they are our sons of a bitch." Or "Yes, we agree that all government media are liars but all media are liars." For all examples of bad deeds of the regime they have some example of something similar in the West. (Example: "Kremlin is persecuting participants of peaceful meetings" - "Ha-ha, Canadian authorities do the same with convoy protesters".) Often these people are interested i... (read more)

The Russians in our community tend to have very high English proficiency.

I think it may be a selection bias. Probably you have communicated with Russians with good English because Russians with bad English have a little chance to communicate with you.

In Russia there are many people who interested in ideas of rationality. HPMoR is very popular in Russia. But in the Russian rationalist community there are many people who cannot even read in English.

7lsusr9mo
I didn't know that. It is definitely sampling bias.

The mentioned resolution didn't say anything about Kosovo independence.

I think about several reasons:

1. Mistakes about the magnitude of the power centralization in Russia.

I don't know how it was perceived in other countries but in Russia there were many debates about how many powers belongs to Putin himself. Real process of decision-making was hidden and people had different hypotheses about it. Many people thought about Putin as an arbiter between oligarchs/other forces or as first among peers.

As far as I understand last week broadcast from Russian Security Council was very surprising for many people. Openly Putin practicall... (read more)

In addition to Konstantin words. Many conservators in Russia honestly believe that USA/NATO want to destroy Russia and to seize Russian resources. They don't think that Ukraine and Ukrainians are the agents. They believe that Ukrainians are the pawns of the West. They think that Russian army are saving Ukrainian people from NATO agents and crazy Ukrainian nationalists.

A decline to accept the agency of opponents is very common for Kremlin propaganda and Kremlin supporters.

2Константин Токмаков9mo
Hello there! Will you translate something else? And yes, even commentators with a different point of view in Runet are called paid.

I think it may be depends on what a donor expect about competence of people who make decisions in an organization.

Sometimes a person want delegate a task to an agent but they don't trust fully this agent. They may expect a lack of competence or a lack of motivation or some another problem. And they think they need to control. And they think they can control something.

And sometimes a person expect that this agent is more competent in a task and motivated enough. And then they think they don't need to control this agent.

And sometimes people evaluate a competence of another agent right and sometimes wrong.

if you start assigning “the probability that X will go wrong and not be handled, conditional on everything previous on the list having not gone wrong or having been successfully handled,” then you’d better be willing to assign conditional probabilities near 1 for the kinds of projects that succeed sometimes

(Bold is mine.)

Is this sentence correct? May be probability that X will go wrong, conditional ... must be near 0 for project that may be successful?

Could you explain (or give a link) what is "Mindful Cognition Tuning"?

3Raemon2y
Here you go! http://bewelltuned.com/tune_your_cognitive_strategies [http://bewelltuned.com/tune_your_cognitive_strategies]

Window opening limiters (window restrictors with several positions). It's a cheap way to decrease common dilemma "very cold or very stuffy".