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Singularity Summit 2009 (quick post)

It sounded like sarcasm to mine.

Media bias

That's not always the case. Plenty of times competent people are called upon to implement a new method, and want to see for themselves the precise steps that the techniques' discoverer has gone through. I don't always have time, and it's not always instructive to have to fill in the blanks.

Shane Legg on prospect theory and computational finance

Depends on what you bought. More than a few stocks had the last few years of growth wiped off them last year, and that includes many well hedged managed funds. Your youthful assessment of the risks was perhaps better than you give it credit for.

What would the original investment be worth right now had you not cashed it in?

Guilt by Association

In the words of a well known amateur pianist:

If P is true then Q is true Q is true Therefore, P becomes more plausible.

But Annoyance was talking about logic, not plausible reasoning or probability theory, right? In terms of Aristotelian deductive logic the two errors quoted are pretty much equivalent.

Ask LessWrong: Human cognitive enhancement now?

I like the staples - they all have their role to play in pushing the brain where you want it to go. Caffeine enhances concentration - my understanding is that continual small does (e.g. drink tea all day) are better than one big hit.

Alcohol mitigates biases against socially acceptable ideas by reducing inhibition. Think spirited debate over a pint, not all night bender. I find I am more receptive to odd ideas after a couple of beers.

THC (the main active agent in marijuana) is good for flashes of inspiration. I find my software designs when baked are brilliantly out of the box (the code itself usually needs a cleanup the next day). A downside is that it can affect short term memory, which reduces your ability to perform mental accounting. Best for working on large sheets of paper or whiteboards, during the planning/design phase of a project. The brain seems to adapt to it - smoke every day and you just think you're more inspired...

Ask LessWrong: Human cognitive enhancement now?

Dunno the answer to your question but I noted a recent article that linked low carb diets to reduced mental performance discussed in this random medical publication

Bioconservative and biomoderate singularitarian positions

Cheers for that. I might just look it up when I have some time. Still skeptical but it seems more plausible after reading those quotes. The hypothesis of selection for lactose tolerance seems a good place to start.

Rationality quotes - May 2009

... hardly anyone except perhaps Richard Dawkins imagines that by denigrating religion one is advancing science.

--E.T. Jaynes, "Probability Theory".

Bioconservative and biomoderate singularitarian positions

I don't understand your point about levels of abstraction.

The question is: are the 'tamest' humans the ones most able to reproduce, and therefore selected for by evolution?

Are the most rockin' humans the ones most able to reproduce? In the absence of any visible evidence, my answer to both questions is most likely not. Evidence would require a clear definition of tame (or rockin'). We can mostly agree on what a tame fox is but what is a tame human?

It seems to me that essentially random copulation, with some selection/treatment for serious genetic diseases is just fine for maintaining biological humans pretty much as-is. I don't know enough about mathematical biology to articulate a quantitative argument for this, but I'd like to hear it, for or against.

Bioconservative and biomoderate singularitarian positions

I don't understand how you can relate health problems in pure bred dogs usually attributed to in-breeding, to a theory of degeneration of current humans. Mongrels ('Mutts' in US English?) have a reputation for being healthier, smarter, and longer-lived than most pure breds, and most of them come about due to random stray boy dogs impregnating random stray girl dogs.

I think it's simply false that human reproduction now selects for the 'tamest' humans, whatever that means. Now, as always, human reproduction selects for those who are most able to reproduce.

Did Dawkins actually articulate an argument like the one you present?

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