All of ambigram's Comments + Replies

The Best Software For Every Need

It's been an absolute delight using excalidraw, thanks for the rec! Everything just works and it looks pretty:)

Qazzquimby Shortform

For perfectionism, I think never being satisfied with where you're at now doesn't mean you can't take pride in how far you've come?

"Don't feel complacent" feels different from "striving for perfection" to me. The former feels more like making sure your standards don't drop too much (maintaining a good lower bound), whereas the latter feels more like pushing the upper limit. When I think about complacency, I think about being careful and making sure that I am not e.g. taking the easy way out because of laziness. When I think about perfectionism (in the 12 v... (read more)

2qazzquimby7d
Thank you, I hadn't noticed the difference but I agree that complacency is not the message. I think I can word things the way you are and spread a positive message. Thanks a lot, you've un-stumped me.
I’ve become a medical mystery and I don’t know how to effectively get help

I find Feldenkrais generally useful for releasing tension. There are exercises which are targeted at jaw/facial tension like this (tried this once, worked for me), but I find that exercises which release tension in my hips tend to also release tension in my jaws, so looking at exercises for hips may work as well. I've enjoyed working through the exercises in this channel.

1CraigMichael1mo
I hadn't heard of this before, thank you!
LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

Hmm didn't really find anything similar, but here are some examples of rating systems I found that looked interesting (though not necessarily relevant):

2-factor rating systems

SaidIt: (1) Insightful & (2) Fun

SaidIt is a Reddit alternative which seeks to "create an environment that encourages thought-provoking discussion". SaidIt has two types of upvotes to choose from: 1) insightful, and 2) fun.[1]

Goodfilms: (1) quality & (2) rewatchability

Goodfilms is a movie site for users to rate, review, share films and find movies to watch. Users rate movies on... (read more)

LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

In a two-factor voting system, what happens if I'm not sure if I agree or disagree, e.g. because I am still thinking about it?

If agree means "I endorse the claims or reasoning and think that more people should believe them to be true", I would probably default to no (I would endorse only if I'm pretty sure about something, and not endorsing doesn't mean I think it's wrong), so it's more like +1/0 voting. But if agree means "I think this is true", disagree would then mean saying "I think this is false", i.e. more like +1/-1 voting, so I would probably abstain?

2Duncan_Sabien2mo
Yeah, I think if you're torn you just don't vote yet.
LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

Claim 2: Agree/disagree buttons are confusing or even harmful for comments that are making multiple claims. This is significant enough that there should not be an agree/disagree button for comments where agree/disagree buttons are not suitable.

  • Agree: The negative consequences are significant enough that there should not be agree/disagree buttons for certain types of comments. For example, authors may be able to decide if they will allow agree/disagree votes on their comment.
  • Disagree: It is acceptable to have agree/disagree votes even for posts/comments whe
... (read more)
LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

Claim 1C: See claim 1A.

  • Agree: I may or may not think that I/other users have this experience, but I think the effects are negative and significant enough, or have the potential to be significant enough that we should see if there are ways to address this when designing a new voting system.
  • Disagree: I may or may not think that I/other users have this experience, but I think that the effects are not negative or are negligible enough that we do not need to factor this into the design of a new voting system.
     
LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

Claim 1B: See claim 1A.

  • Agree: This may or may not match my experience, but I believe that for majority (>50%) of users on LW, they are less likely to write replies expressing agreement/disagreement because they can now vote agree/disagree.
  • Disagree: This may or may not match my experience, but I believe that majority (>50%) of users on LW, would still write a reply even if they can just vote agree/disagree.
LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

Claim 1A:  Agree/disagree buttons disincentivizes productive conversations because clicking the disagree button satisfies the need for expressing disagreement (or agreement) with lower cost (less effort & no reputational cost since votes are anonymous) than writing out a reply. This is a significant enough concern that we should consider its effects when deciding whether or not to go with the new voting system.

  • Agree: This matches my experience: I am less likely to write replies expressing agreement/disagreement because I am now able to vote agree/
... (read more)
0ambigram2mo
Claim 1C: See claim 1A. * Agree: I may or may not think that I/other users have this experience, but I think the effects are negative and significant enough, or have the potential to be significant enough that we should see if there are ways to address this when designing a new voting system. * Disagree: I may or may not think that I/other users have this experience, but I think that the effects are not negative or are negligible enough that we do not need to factor this into the design of a new voting system.
0ambigram2mo
Claim 1B: See claim 1A. * Agree: This may or may not match my experience, but I believe that for majority (>50%) of users on LW, they are less likely to write replies expressing agreement/disagreement because they can now vote agree/disagree. * Disagree: This may or may not match my experience, but I believe that majority (>50%) of users on LW, would still write a reply even if they can just vote agree/disagree.
LessWrong Has Agree/Disagree Voting On All New Comment Threads

This comment is an experiment. I'm trying out a variant of the proposed idea of voting by headings/block quotes: this comment contains my comment, and the replies below contain claims extracted from my comment for agree/disagree voting. 

Agree/disagree buttons incentivizes knee-jerk, low-effort reactions rather than deliberate, high-effort responses 

Something I like about LW's system of upvotes meaning "things you want to see more of" and having no agree/disagree button is that there's no simple way of expressing agreement or disagreement. This me... (read more)

0ambigram2mo
Claim 2: Agree/disagree buttons are confusing or even harmful for comments that are making multiple claims. This is significant enough that there should not be an agree/disagree button for comments where agree/disagree buttons are not suitable. * Agree: The negative consequences are significant enough that there should not be agree/disagree buttons for certain types of comments. For example, authors may be able to decide if they will allow agree/disagree votes on their comment. * Disagree: It is acceptable to have agree/disagree votes even for posts/comments where this does not make sense, e.g. because people will adjust accordingly. We can add in a feature to disable agree/disagree votes for certain comments, but it is also okay if we don't.
0ambigram2mo
Claim 1A: Agree/disagree buttons disincentivizes productive conversations because clicking the disagree button satisfies the need for expressing disagreement (or agreement) with lower cost (less effort & no reputational cost since votes are anonymous) than writing out a reply. This is a significant enough concern that we should consider its effects when deciding whether or not to go with the new voting system. * Agree: This matches my experience: I am less likely to write replies expressing agreement/disagreement because I am now able to vote agree/disagree. * Disagree: This does not match my experience: If I was already going to write a reply, I would still write one even if I can just vote agree/disagree.
Benign Boundary Violations

MSRayne is saying "no, not in my experience," but afaict MSRayne has also self-identified as being in the set of [people whose personal boundaries already lie outside of the social boundary, such that even things which do not violate the social boundary are already violating their personal boundary].

Yes I'd read about this in the other comment but I think it didn't really register until I saw MSRayne's reply above.

The reply was enough for something to click in my head, possibly because it was a more concrete explanation, but your explanation made the misunderstanding more explicit to me, so thanks!

Benign Boundary Violations

Oh I think I see what you mean. If there's always a cost to saying no, then all boundary violations are basically threats and hence aggressive.

And I think you always lose something if you say no to someone - always. It is always coercive. It just may not be visible on the surface - but they will resent you a little bit for it, and the more you do it the more resentment will build up.

I recognize this, or at least something like it - it's like when people ask for your opinions. People say that there is no wrong answer and that you should say what you rea... (read more)

Benign Boundary Violations

If you fail to respond adequately you decrease the respect of your comrades (because you can't take it like a man or whatever) and thus by proxy decrease intimacy.

Hmm if you lose respect for responding wrongly then it doesn't really seem like a benign boundary violation anymore? The way I see it, a boundary violation can be considered benign only if you are capable of saying no, and the other person is genuinely capable of accepting and respecting a no. Otherwise, it's more like coercion. (And the violation shouldn't have very negative consequences for ... (read more)

0MSRayne2mo
Most of those examples sound fundamentally aggressive to me. I think that I just don't believe any boundary violation is benign. And I think you always lose something if you say no to someone - always. It is always coercive. It just may not be visible on the surface - but they will resent you a little bit for it, and the more you do it the more resentment will build up. These violations are tests of your willingness to risk resentment in order to protect your boundaries, and thus of your strength / lack of need for people to not resent you, disguised as "benign" or friendly behaviors. So yeah, maybe it's more about power dynamics, and the reason I associate it with masculinity is that in most cultures in most contexts, men are likely (and expected) to have more power than women.
AGI Safety FAQ / all-dumb-questions-allowed thread

We have dangerous knowledge like nuclear weapons or bioweapons, yet we are still surviving. It seems like people with the right knowledge and resources are disinclined to be destructive. Or maybe there are mechanisms that ensure such people don't succeed. What makes AI different? Won't the people with the knowledge and resources to build GAI also be more cautious when doing the work, because they are more aware of the dangers of powerful technology?

1Lumpyproletariat2mo
The history of the world would be different (and a touch shorter) if immediately after the development of the nuclear bomb millions of nuclear armed missiles constructed themselves and launched themselves at targets across the globe. To date we haven't invented anything that's an existential threat without humans intentionally trying to use it as a weapon and devoting their own resources to making it happen. I think that AI is pretty different.
AGI Safety FAQ / all-dumb-questions-allowed thread

In AI software, we have to define an output type, e.g. a chatbot can generate text but not videos. Doesn't this limit the danger of AIs? For example, if we build a classifier that estimates the probability of a given X-ray being abnormal, we know it can only provide numbers for doctors to take into consideration; it still doesn't have the authority to decide the patient's treatment. This means we can continue working on such software safely?

2Yonatan Cale2mo
Even if you only work on an AI that tells doctors if someone has cancer, other people will still build an AGI
Another Calming Example

it was explained to me why my concerns were wrong

Not sure if what I have in mind is the same, but I can think of scenarios where an explanation of how I'm wrong makes it feel like my concerns are being dismissed instead of being addressed. I'm guessing it's because a child's reasoning can seem illogical to an adult even though they actually make sense from the child's perspective, and it's upsetting when adults fail to acknowledge this.

Notice that jefftk is responding to the child from the child's perspective. The child thinks that there's not enough pasta... (read more)

Benign Boundary Violations

Not really a response, just something I thought of while reading this comment:

The obvious solution to people having different and unclear boundaries is to make those boundaries clearer, such as by asking for explicit consent, or by having a No-Prank List mentioned in johnswentworth's comment. Stating boundaries too clearly may lead to misuse though, but I suppose it does also make bad actors more obvious, because they can no longer hide behind the excuse of ignorance.

Nonetheless, even if we do somehow manage to convey most of our boundaries (e.g. via AR gl... (read more)

2Duncan_Sabien2mo
Strong upvote for this comment, which contains imo very useful insight. This is a crucial point; people are often wrong about what they will be okay with, when they make their predictions in advance. I'm not at all in BDSM culture, but one thing that I've learned from people who are, and ported over to my own philosophy, is awareness of the following dynamic: * Person A offers Person B a specific experience (e.g. "I will do X, Y, and Z.") * Person B misunderstands Person A as offering them a good experience (e.g. "I will do X, Y, and Z [and you will like it].") * The experience turns out to be unenjoyable * Person B feels betrayed or lied-to by Person A, and (understandably) reacts with anger or other strong negative emotion * Person A feels wrongly accused by Person B, and (understandably) reacts with confusion and hurt and possibly goes on the counterattack themselves ... all of which is circumvented if people can get on the level of "Okay, I'm going to try this experience because I expect it to be good, and also I expect I've got the resources to handle my own reactions if I'm wrong about that, and also I expect I've got the external support to handle things if I'm wrong about that. But either way, it won't be anybody else's 'fault'." This feels, to me, like the key.
Benign Boundary Violations

I find the terminology confusing because asking for more "benign boundary violations" sounds like wanting strangers to do things that breach social boundaries that are not personal boundaries, yet the examples refer to friends and partners, not strangers. It doesn't make sense to say these are examples of "benign boundary violations" for close relationships though. Boundaries for friends are different for boundaries for strangers, so such behavior wouldn't be considered boundary violations.

I think of it differently: within any relationship, there is a spac... (read more)

5MSRayne2mo
This seems very reasonable to me. This post and the whole conversation has been an eye opener for me, because I never realized that other people had porous boundaries - mine are rock solid and super strict. For instance I would never have independently come up with the idea of "exploration space" - for me, in all of my relationships, there is exactly none. No guessing. Only asking. It would not have occurred to me that there are people - indeed, apparently the majority of people - for whom this is not the case! It's rather mind-boggling. But then, I've never understood human intimacy and always been extremely ambivalent about it, so it makes sense that I wouldn't have picked up on things like this - I've never experienced any kind of interpersonal intimacy at all and tend to actively avoid it.
Ruling Out Everything Else

A similar example: when you don't understand what someone is saying, it can be helpful to say "I don't understand. Do you mean X or Y?" instead of just saying "I don't understand". This way, even if X and Y are completely wrong, they now have a better sense of where you are and can thus adjust their explanations accordingly.

4ESRogs2mo
Yeah, for sure — a great technique for avoiding the Double Illusion of Transparency [https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/sBBGxdvhKcppQWZZE/double-illusion-of-transparency] .
Ruling Out Everything Else

Just some thoughts I had while reading:

rule out everything you didn't mean

This reminds me of something I've heard -- that a data visualization is badly designed if different people end up with different interpretations of what the data visualization is saying. Similarly, we want to minimise the possible misinterpretations of what we write or say.

Each time I add another layer of detail to the description, I am narrowing the range of things-I-might-possibly-mean, taking huge swaths of options off the table.

Nice point, I've never really thought about ... (read more)

Frame Control

They don’t laugh nervously, don’t give tiny signals that they are malleable and interested in conforming to your opinion or worldview.

This sounds not-quite-right as pointed out by others, but I feel like I kind of recognize it. It's natural for people to adapt to others or be influenced by others, like shifting their accents, adjusting to others' preferred communication styles, or taking an interest in something because your friend is enthusiastic about it. It can be odd to meet people who don't do that. And if someone you interact with regularly shows ... (read more)

Narrative Syncing

Potentially related examples:

Group identity statements (pressure not to disagree)

  1. A team believes themselves to be the best at what they do and that their training methods etc. are all the best/correct approach. If you suggest a new training method that seems to be yielding good results for other teams, they wouldn't treat it seriously because it's a threat to their identity. However, if the team also takes pride in their ability to continuously refine their training methods, they would be happy to discuss the new method.
  2. If a group considers themselves t
... (read more)
Narrative Syncing

I guess I'd say frustrated, worried, confused. I was somewhat surprised/alarmed by the conclusion that Alec was actually trying to request information on how to be considered part of the group.

It seems to me like a rather uncharitable interpretation of Alec's response, to assume that he just wants to figure out how to belong, rather than genuinely desiring to find out how best to contribute.

We try to have a culture around here where there is no vetted-by-the-group answer to this; we instead try to encourage forming your own inside-view model of how AI ri

... (read more)
Narrative Syncing

From my perspective, Berry is helping cooperation with Alec by just making straightforward statements from Berry's own perspective; then Alec can compare what Berry says with what other people say and with what seems to Alec to match reality and be logically coherent, and then Alec can distinguish who does and doesn't have informed, logically coherent opinions refined through reason.

Ah yes agreed. Alec doesn't know that this is what's happening though (judging from his response to answer 1). Personally I'd default to assuming that Berry will play the ro... (read more)

Narrative Syncing

Hmm if CFAR organizes a workshop, then I would think it is reasonable to assume that the CFAR staff (assuming they are introduced as such) are there as experienced members of the AI risk community who are there to offer guidance to people who are new to the area.

Thus, if I ask them about career paths, I'm not asking for their opinions as individuals, I'm asking for their opinions as people with more expertise than I have.

Two possible motivations I can think of for consulting someone with expertise would be:

  1. In school, I ask the teacher when I have a ques

... (read more)
2TekhneMakre3mo
Anyone can say "I'm an expert". There has to be some other way that you're distinguishing who's a newbie who's just clueless, from an expert who's ignorance is evidence of a general difficulty. From my perspective, Berry is helping cooperation with Alec by just making straightforward statements from Berry's own perspective; then Alec can compare what Berry says with what other people say and with what seems to Alec to match reality and be logically coherent, and then Alec can distinguish who does and doesn't have informed, logically coherent opinions refined through reason. E.g., at a gloss, Yudkowsky says "no one has a plan that could possibly work", and Christiano says "no, I have a plan which, with some optimistic but not crazy assumptions, looks like it'll probably work", and Yudkowsky says something that people don't understand, and Christiano responds in a way that may or may not address Yudkowsky's critique, and who knows who's an expert? Just going by who says "I have a plan" is helpful if someone has a plan that will work (although it also opens up social niches for con artists).
Narrative Syncing

I don't really understand... Suppose I am a computer scientist who has just learned about AI risks and am eager to contribute, but I'm not sure where to start. Then the natural step would be to ask someone who does have experience in this area for their advice (e.g. what careers should I go into), so I can take advantage of what's already known rather than starting from scratch.

My surface question is about careers, but my true/implicit question is actually asking for help on getting started contributing to AI risk. It's not about wanting to know how to be ... (read more)

5tamgent3mo
I am curious about how you felt when writing this bit:
3TekhneMakre3mo
>my true question (I still don't know what to do next!) (The following might be a strawman; sorry if so; but it is a genuine question about a phenomenon I've seen.) This part sounds like you're saying, you're asking someone what to do next. If so, what if it's a mistake for you to be mentally executing the procedure 1. hear what someone says to do next, 2. do that thing? How would the person you're asking communicate to you that it's a mistake for you to execute that procedure, without you taking their attempted statements of fact as cryptic instructions for you to follow? (Assuming that's a mistake you think you could plausibly be making, and assuming you'd want the mistake communicated to you if you were making it.) >in this context it sounds like you're refusing to help me (you're not playing your role of advisor/expert?). Someone's role is a combination of their behavior and the behavior of others' behavior and expectations. Suppose that Berry wants to invite Alec to a workshop with an offer to help, but *not* with any implied intent to play a role of advisor/expert. How could Berry communicate that to Alec? >What cooks do is that they try adding a bit first (e.g. half a teaspoon) then taste and make adjustments. In the case of alignment stuff, no one knows how to cook, so the version of this that's available is "try to figure the whole thing out for yourself with no assumptions", which was part of Answer 1.
All I Know is that I Know Nothing

Oooh, reminds me of a passage:

Warning: also contains spoilers for

Wizard of Oz

Excerpt (after the Wizard has revealed himself to be a fraud):

"I think you are a very bad man," said Dorothy.

"Oh, no, my dear; I'm really a very good man, but I'm a very bad Wizard, I must admit."

"Can't you give me brains?" asked the Scarecrow.

"You don't need them. You are learning something every day. A baby has brains, but it doesn't know much. Experience is the only thing that brings knowledge, and the longer you are on earth the more experience you are sure to get."

"That may a

... (read more)
2Jiro4mo
The objection to this is something that could be an interpretation of the original post: the Wizard of Oz can give fake brains to the Scarecrow because his problem isn't really a lack of brains. But "his problem isn't really what he says it is" is a situational thing that isn't true for everyone, just like "writing Chinese characters is relaxing" or "sleeping outside is good for you" aren't true for everyone, so you should be cautious generalizing it.
Epistemic Slipperiness

Hmm, "slipperiness" sounds like a concept that's more useful for observing my thoughts, rather than a way to think about my interactions with others.

I can tell when my mind is trying to gloss over something (e.g. when I don't feel like specifying my entire chain of thought, then when I do try writing out a proper explanation, I start seeing loopholes and finding counter examples. Or when I dismiss something too quickly or for no reason.).

However, if I sense that someone's not fully engaging with my points, how do I know if that's because I've misunderstood... (read more)

Using GPT-3 for preventing conflict during messaging — a pitch for an app

This sounds like an interesting idea, it would be nice to have a tool that reminds us to be our better selves. However, it seems like it'd be quite problematic to let GPT mediate our communications. Besides the issues discussed in the other comments, I also think letting GPT handle the translation encourages a more superficial form of NVC. I think the main reason NVC works is not that the framework itself lets people communicate using non-violent language. Rather, it works because using the framework encourages people to be more emotionally aware and empat... (read more)

Meadow Theory

I shared a similar experience reading this essay and wanted to figure out why, so I've tried writing out some of my observations/experiences, hopefully they'll help in some way?

Before I start, I'd just like to add that I enjoyed this essay. It raises a lot of interesting points that provide food for thought e.g. uncertainty about location of hazards is what causes contraction, people can also be posts, how fear and eagerness are trying to protect the same thing. And the illustrations are pretty and helpful!

Below are my observations from reading the essay. ... (read more)