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Your Dog is Even Smarter Than You Think

My priors include the idea that both animal intelligence is not that different from humans and also that humans tend to overly anthropomorphize animal cognition. The biggest misunderstandings of animal cognition are much like misunderstandings humans have of foreign cultures, often involving forms of mind projection fallacies where we assume other's values, motivations, priorities, and perceptions are more similar (or more different) than is justified.

Could MMRPGs be used to test economic theories?

There are some pretty major differences between game economies and real life that would need to be carefully considered.

  1. Motivation: People generally play games voluntarily for purposes of enjoyment and can stop when they get bored or fed up. Giving up on real life is entirely different. Games closer to reality will likely suffer from loss of interest.

  2. Difficulty: Surviving and thriving in most MMRPGs is much simpler than reality where (for most people) huge amounts of time and energy are spent earning money for the basics of living (rent, food, bills) and engaged in bodily necessities like eating and sleeping. Games without serious consequences for failing to meet basic monetary and biological needs will miss huge categories of economic incentives (e.g. wage slavery).

  3. Growth: Games tend to have monotonically increasing levels/stats for player characteristics. Reality is so much more frustrating. You lose strength if you stop training or get injured. You forget things you've learned, especially if you don't practice. Growth in the real world is longer and harder and naturally decays over time even when there aren't major regressions like an injury. Real-world growth tends to be asymptotically limited by individual aptitudes determined by things like the genetic lottery and easily hampered by arbitrary local environment and corresponding access to resources.

Bayes' theorem, plausible deniability, and smiley faces

With regard to the smiley face problem, you can keep the other signifiers of tone and just phase out the emoticon so that it's "That's awesome. Thanks!" rather than a more passive "thanks".

Why We Launched LessWrong.SubStack

Maybe posts like "The Solution to the Hard Problem of Consciousness" don't actually exist other than as a joke title?

Toward A Bayesian Theory Of Willpower

Under the bidding system theory, if the non-winning bids still have to pay out some fraction of the amount bid even when they lose, then bidding wars are clearly costly. Even when the executive control agent is winning all the bids, resources are being drained every auction in some proportion to how strongly other agents are still bidding. This seems to align with my own perceptions at first glance and explains how control wanes over time.

Toward A Bayesian Theory Of Willpower

To handle this, it would probably work to extend the "motionless" prior to a more abstract "status quo" prior. It's not necessarily related to physical movement (it could even be the opposite if it were a sports group instead of a study group in your example) but rather an aversion to expending effort or experiencing potential undesired consequences. The prior says, "Things are fine. It's not worth going out of the way to change that."

With this extended version, creativity-requiring tasks are analogous to physically-demanding tasks. With pre-scripted tasks, it's not as demanding in the moment.

Core Pathways of Aging


In the lab, the cause of death is usually hard to find; the main issue that shows up in necropsies, Buffenstein said, are mouth sores, indicating the animals weren't eating, drinking or producing saliva well in their last few days and infection set in.

"We really don't know what's killing them at this point," Buffenstein said. 

Open, Free, Safe: Choose Two

As long as people are dishonestly gaming the system, there will always be problems and there is no silver bullet solution. It's a fundamentally hard problem of balancing competing values. Any model proposed will have failings. The best we can do is to try to balance competing values appropriately for each individual platform. Each one will have different tilts but I doubt rejecting safety entirely is likely to be a good idea in most cases.

It's often tempting to idealize one particular value or another but when any particular value is taken to an extreme, the others suffer greatly. If you can back away from a pure ideal in any dimension, then the overall result tends to be more functional and robust, though never perfect.

The best frequently don't rise to the top

The idea that better quality cooking corresponds to higher viewership is only a rough expectation even when all else is held equal, which never actually happens. YouTube popularity is highly memetic and subject to algorithms, network effects, and plain dumb luck. The factors involved in success are numerous and difficult to predict, but some of the most important factors are quality content, posting regularity, high entertainment value, viewer engagement, and having an angle or niche to stand out. Being the best cook in the world guarantees not a single one of these.

Demand offsetting

Sure, but the non-fungibility reintroduces the distribution and packaging complications. Part of the premise was to "sell these on the wholesale market as if they were totally normal eggs." The decoupling only works under fungibility assumptions, i.e., when the quality difference is not distinguishable or not important. Fortunately, this is close enough to true for many parts of the market and a partial solution is still progress.

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