All of ArthurRainbow's Comments + Replies


Is there going to be any covid-related precaution? I assume it would be mentioned if so, but I believe an explicit statement is better anyway

We take the question of Covid safety seriously. Currently Covid is on the wane, most people have been vaccinated or already infected, the event is to be held at the end of the summer, and Covid exhibits a strong seasonal pattern in Europe. While right now we can't declare anything with certainty and it looks like we won't need many precautions, we will monitor the situation closely and decide on the details as we get closer to the event. In any case, such an event will involve taking more risk than some people are comfortable with, and I expect some people not to attend because they want to be careful. It's quite likely that it can lead to a few Covid cases among participants, which is may or may not be an acceptable risk to take depending on your personal philosophy.

I don't understand one thing about the universe. The test and the fact that this story wind "lies-told-to-children" storytelling night, seems to indicate that most children never hear those dirty-red lies. However, if that causes those children to be raised, to learn, differently than most of the planet, this only mean that the test checks whether those children are actually good, not whether the whole planet education system raises good children. This is especially important as I can imagine and fear that seeing this discrimination for years, then having ... (read more)

The details of the experimental setup aren't fully spelled out, but I think you can infer from the mention of children's TV being censored that there's a connected experiment going on where these children are getting different TV shows than the broader society. So this could be measuring which TV programs produce more moral children, with two groups both receiving the same discrimination-against-reds test but watching different TV shows.
3Rasmus Eide2y
IIUC, this particular village was for testing specific genetic tendencies (Does it also have in it's purpose to test epigenetic ones, or are those controlled for somehow?), there are presumably other villages where they use different setups to test various phases of upbringing and education on the matter, probably using twin studies to separate it form the genetic factors tested in this one. 

I've a regret that the requirement to write down thoughts only came once. Clearly, there was no way I ever could see where it goes at the time it was requested. However, later, as soon as Red was mentioned, I guessed the end, the tests. Still cried reading it. I suspect that if I didn't know who the author was, I would not have guessed, that seems to unusual for most author authors I love

(I was misled initially because I wound up thinking more Star Trek redshirts or possibly behavioral genetics than red teaming; out-of-universe reasoning can be tricky.)

Related story:

Please not that the youtube link and Brin's essay are broken link

May I suggest indicating in this post already that it's in Berkeley? Lot of job goes remote, and I'd expect other people to want to find this information quickly as it's an easy decision factor.

Also, if I may ask "no longer seems sufficient". Did you thought it was? The sentence seems really strange to be honest, or otherwise I'd be curious if you have a text where you explained why you thought that, as it seems quite surprising

Also, if I may ask "no longer seems sufficient". Did you thought it was? The sentence seems really strange to be honest, or otherwise I'd be curious if you have a text where you explained why you thought that, as it seems quite surprising

I do think something like this is kind of correct. It's not that I thought that nothing else had to happen between now and then for humanity to successfully reach the stars, but I did meaningfully think that there were a good number of universes where my work on LessWrong would make the difference (with everyone else of co... (read more)

Can you please provide a link to somewhere explaining why links to unvaccinated are higher than they appear.

My assumption is that the risk I take is proportional to the number of people which can transmit Covid that I meet. If vaccinated people still present the same risk of transmitting Covid to unvaccinated people and do not get tested, then your number makes sens. But it does not seem that it is what you have in mind.

I also understand that some people takes more risk as they know that a lot of people nearby are vaccinated. Or simply because the governme... (read more)

I believe the advice would be:

  • if some people you have some trust in argues loudly about an idea
  • that this occurs rarely enough
  • then it's worth putting 100$ into it (or whatever amount you're confortable, that would not make you tick if it's lost) just in case

Same thing as usual. If the cost is low, return potentially quite high, and there is good reason for you to expect the indication not to be well known, then it's worth giving a try. If it only works one in ten advice, you still make huge

Some of those links uses the deprecated .anki file format. Import .anki files is an add-on I created for a Less Wronger, that will allow you to import those old decks


Thanks a lot for this detailed feedback. I had never heard of anki used to ask the whole room to review, interesting. I just shared it on anki subreddit

If I can, I'd strongly suggest you to edit slightly your introduction to add that you are the teacher and that it's an English class for US students. Personally, I was not sure at first you were student or teacher, and what kind of things you taught (I'd suspect that teaching math would be more complex than foreign vocabulary; even if I've never tested it with classes.)

You mention coding, you also mentio... (read more)

I am extremely confused. You mention that the situation preceded your arrival, however, I recall you arrived while I was living in DT and I can't figure out what you're talking about. I'm not extremely good about reading the room, so this is not surprising by itself, but I would have expected to notice if there were huge regular problem. The worst discussion I recalled was about finding out who was the owner of something in the fridge. As far as I know, we never figured it out and assumed it was left by someone who didn't live it anymore. Kind of gross, bu... (read more)


In case it interest you, I wrote an explanation about how to put an arbitrary scheduler in Anki to work also with mobile software Please let me know if it present any interest to you. I'm extremely interested in alternative scheduler

Disclaimer: I was paid to develop the add-on behind this post, am a mainteneur of ankidroid and am quite related to anki developement in general

I'll try to be more specific. In itself, I would have happily billed them 50€ and think I made a profit. The job I rejected required to make a change to a code base that I know extremely well, and that would have been done in less than 30 minutes, including testing.

If I were to accept free lance client in 2021, I would need to declare this income. I have literally no idea how much work it would be to declare it in the four countries I have to do a tax income declaration. However, it would essentially be a one time cost whatever the number of job I got in t... (read more)

I'm sorry – I'm pretty familiar with all of that, and I was (implicitly) including all of the costs you mentioned, and your time and 'cognitive ops' too, when I asked: I admit it might be more pragmatic to just decline the work than explain that your price needs to cover having an accountant for each client's country prepare your taxes. But anyone willing to pay you money for something should be receptive to you refusing because of the costs of you doing business with them. So I think offering your cheerful price of 10.000€ (or €10,000), and a brief explanation of the accountant costs, would be pretty sensible actually.

A few practical remarks, that I believe should be resolved if this were to be implemented generally. How do you deal with people who are not cheerful to have spent the time thinking about their cheerful price, and having the deal not occurred. As you wrote, they may have imagined that the price will be pay and enjoy this thought, they probably need to do this to ensure that the price is cheerful, and so it may hurts a little bit. Worse, if you speaks to a room, then you are essentially asking a bunch of people to do a quote, that's actual work, because th... (read more)

Oof – I'm not sure this is even generally true, but that's a really depressing point! I think there are in fact, in the U.S. anyways, exceptions to literally being required to file a 1099 for every thing that you pay money for someone to do for you. I don't think, e.g. paying an allowance to your children based on their performance of chores, requires it. And there's usually exceptions for tax reporting/filing for small sums too. That seems like a contradiction in terms. It doesn't seem right to consider something a 'correct price' if it didn't in fact cover real costs you would have incurred to provide the service or sell someone a product. Have you considered explicitly including those costs in your prices?

Thanks. I only partially agree with what you quote.

In a part of hacker community, being able to remember who is Raymond or Graham may be the difference between being considered as a member of the ingroup or not. Of course, that's never such a binary choice, but it clearly may help to indicates that we have the same reading in commons, Hacker and Painter, The bazar and the Cathedraal. I can't state whether it'll save 5 minutes or less, because the question is not how much time it takes to remember the information, but the message sent.

Furthermore, it s... (read more)

Because I'm lazy.

More generally, usually, the path is: I see someone every week, then I don't see them at all anymore. This is usually the case when I move to a new country/job. That's the moment where the interval/setting should change. Even if I don't do it manually, the next time the question is asked and I press again, the fact that I forgot means the interval will become small again. In this case, the app will mostly deal with it by itself, even if it takes some time, so no reason to take time dealing with it myself.

I don't understand. I was quite intrigued about platform 9 and a half, about detecting things by explicitly ignoring everything of interest, really nice ideas. I'm usually able to read fics in English and understand most of it, but in this case, I fear I failed a lot. I do not know whether it is because some things were removed from history or whether it's because it 's a LL point of view. I can imagine that it's a really good point of view, but that's too confusing for me to follow. It's not even clear to me what occured at the end

Your questions about what happened at the end?

A small note, which would probably have been better before it get published. For someone not following US politics, the story of Doug Jones is hard to follow as I don't have any context about it. My first reading suggest that some people would have wanted to expel a senator, leaving the senate with one less member on the democratic side. But it does not seems to make sens, unless some party have the power to expell a senator from the whole senate

I really like the whole feeling. I am just confused about the fact that "I can not confirm nor deny" is used so widely. I can get how Mad Eye could get it from HJPEV, not how Lockhart could, and especially why he would use such a complex formulation.

Sounds quite cool!

There are quite a lot of interesting things, but it's hard to read less wrong as there are just so many links, and finding what to read next is computationally very costly. A book solve the problem! I may imagine buying the ebook version just for having this order simplifying the reading decision.

One question: do you have any plan to make an audiobook of it? I listen more than I read, and would really love to listen to it, assuming that some texts can be understood without the drawings. I assume that some textes from Scott Alexander may already exists in audio thanks to SSC podcast. A LW Best-Of podcast, similar to SSC podcast and to the RAIFTZ audiobook would be extremly wonderful.

No audiobook plans; but if there's a lot of demand we might reconsider!

The comment was not about having facebook or any big company/administration knowing your data. I admit there is little advice relevant here. Personally, I share often my notes and don't really check everytime what's in them. It would be too complex, so I avoid to put anything that I should not share in them (and warn the recipient that there may be some NSFW things)

I am honestly not that sure. I know personally I won't apply all of those low-hanging fruit, and I doubt anyone will. Even if some "fruits" may be useful to me, there is so many fruits that it would take far too much time testing all of them. So in my opinion, I need to have a small quantity of fruits at once. A one-hour even with one fruit by person is nice, because it gives a clear time-frame. Going to read list of fruits seems too hard intellectually, since so many fruits are different I need to constantly context-switch.

Furthermore, a live even allow t... (read more)

I used to give (good quality) harmonica to people wanting to start playing without too much trouble. Tried twice. None of the receiver plays it (one I know because we know live together, the other I only guess, but they may be using it at home maybe. )

thank you for your comment.

I think I don't understand what you mean by

Explain general effective approaches/how they are found

If you mean that they can convince someone easily that they could be cause-agnostic by explaining how to do research, I guess that you're technically right. However, this is really long, because doing actual research work is complex, long, and boring. The reason why I wanted to give a "detrimental" example is because this is a quick explanation. If you say "you need to interview dozens of people, ensure that your metrics and ques

... (read more)
That's what I meant.

Thank you for your answer Davidad. For some reason, I was pretty sure that I did ask you something as "why did you try to do that if it could leads to AI faster, through em" and that your answer was something like "I probably would not have done if I already knew about AI safety questions". But I guess I did recall badly. I'm honestly started to be effraied by the number of things I did get wrong during those 4 days

I certainly do agree that it's worth spending time with anki. I'm not sure why you told it in a comment here. I might be the only person seing this comment (given that it was posted just before the event), and I don't really need to be convinced.

I honestly state that I'm not in any way an expert in memory, nor in neuroscience. I am highly skeptical of your claim. In my experience, improving my learning process means that I remember more and more things. It's true that I probably discover new things more slowly, because know, instead of just reading a thing, thinking "how, that was interesting" and forgetting it a week later, I need to take time to add the thing in Anki and review it. However, here, anki means that I can discover things I was not able to discover before. Indeed, since I kept forget

... (read more)

Do we register the talk in advance ? Is a talk about an app considered to be a programming related talk ?

You are welcome. I won't repeat what I answered to Buck's comment; some part of the answer are certainly relevant here. In particular regarding the above-mentioned "rule". While I did not write about «space» above, I hope my point was clear. You and all the staff were making sure we were able to process things safely. While I would not have been able to state explicitly your goals, I was trying to emphasize that you did care about those questions.

AIRCS [...] is not entirely a MIRI recruiting program I believe that I explicitly stated that a lot of people

... (read more)


Thank you for your long and detailed answer. I'm amazed that you were able to do it so quickly after the post's publication. Especially since you sent me your answer by email while I just published my post on LW without showing it to anyone first.

Arthur reports a variety of people in this post as saying things that I think are somewhat misinterpreted, and I disagree with several of the things he describes them as saying.

I added a link to this comment in the top of the post. I am not surprised to learn that I misunderstood some things which were said

... (read more)

This rule seems similar to the rule "do not show pictures of slaughterhouse to people who didn't decide by themselves to check how slaughterhouse are". On the one hand, it can be argued that if people knew how badly animals were treated, things would get better for them. It remains that, even if you believe that, showing slaughterhouse's picture to random people who were not prepared would be an extremely mean thing to do to them.

Huh. That’s a surprisingly interesting analogy. I will think more on it. Thx.

You're welcome. I'm happy to read that people find it interesting.

Regarding Ed, your explanation seems different than what I recall hearing him says. But, I'll follow my rule: I won't repeat what a person said unless it was given in a public talk. I'll let him know we mention him, and if he want, he'll answer himself. I'd just states that, honestly, I would have loved to collaborate with Ed. He had really interesting discussions. However, he already has an assistant, I have not heard anything making me believes he would need a second one.

Congratulations on ending my long-time LW lurker status and prompting me to comment for once. =)

I think Ben's comment hits pretty close to the state of affairs. I have been internalizing MIRI's goals and looking for obstacles in the surrounding research space that I can knock down to make their (our? our) work go more smoothly, either in the form of subgoals or backwards chaining required capabilities to get a sense of how to proceed.

Why do I work around the edges? Mostly because if I take the vector I'm trying to push the world and the dire... (read more)

4Ben Pace4y
Cool, all seems good (and happy to be corrected) :-)

Oops. I took time to see your post. I've heard a lot of good about it. Really regret not being able to attend :s But MIRI's workshop was cool, even if it was at the same time. Next time hopefully


I do intend to be in California at this time. It would be the first time I go to a Bay Area LW event (I've been to European Less Wrong week-end; but I guess those are mostly not the same people in both areas). Would it be ok if I joined ? Or should I try a more regular event first ?

Yes, please come, we'd love to have you!
Solstice is definitely a "everyone is welcome" event.

A question, are you/were you in Australia ? I've never heard anyone being proud of «made in Australia» stuff, so I don't understand this example, unless of course you are speaking of people living in Australia and thus proud of their country

Have you any idea about how to test your hypothesis ? How to test for difference between past and present ?

I am entirely convinced that some people don't try to go and steal other good idea from the outgroup. Even people from «progessive» group. I can easily imagine that it is a general tendency, and not just something I see in the people in my neighborhood.

However, I don't see anything convincing that it is actually getting worse. I'm not an historian, from what I have heard and understood of the past centuries, open-mindness was not gener... (read more)

Two ways to do this: 1) If it's an idea someone else uses, ask them where they use it and how. If it's too general, get a concrete example. 2) If it is clear where it might be applied, test it. (I tested Bayes Theorem on a real life question with numbers I made up, to see if it was a useful tool. I didn't think of the problem when I was looking at the technique; I came across a question and I remembered it, so I used it.)
"By the way, if there is an easy way to distinguish good idea from bad idea, I'd love to have a pointer to it. Which would be mandatory to know what idea to actually steal. " My crack at a solution to this problem was to learn to recognize ideas that are useful then filter those by how moral they are. I fail all the time at this. I miss things. I fail to grasp the idea or fail to find a use case. I fail to judge the moral consequences of the idea. I find it easier to find ideas that are useful to a problem i'm immediately facing rather than useful in general. Which narrows my filter bubble to just those related to programming as those are the problems I encounter and think about the most.

Is there some place a description of what was done the last years ? It would certainly help new comers like me to decide what to do. For example, it would be easyer to know what I want to attend if I have a few ideas to start with

The link " is broken. While it seems to be a self help link, it's not fashion related at all. It seems to be just pick up artist trick

For your information, Myrtle Young is now a broken link. (sad. Sounds funny)

Apart from that, thanks. Interesting article. At least because I had no idea so much research where done on those subjects.

A first deck is shared on I may want to edit it more before uploading it on Ankiweb servers. But I'm confident that this deck have high quality compared to what is currently on ankiweb.

Why the grain of common advice (never heard this expression before) says not to use Anki to learn programming language ? I find it useful in order to recall the order of the argument of certain functions, like List.fold_left and List.fold_right, that I often uses when programming.

The expression is "against the grain", deriving from cutting wood against its grain, fyi. I don't know why common opinion is against it, it's just the impression I've gotten. I think it stems from the tendency to caution against blindly memorizing things that you could just look up when needed. But there's a middle ground of things that I'll forget without anki cards but that I do use often enough to justify memorizing.

I am going to share my decks when I'm confortable with their quality. They will all be on Right now, there is only the deck from Linear Algebra done Right. Both as an anki package and as text

In both case, you'll need an LaTeX compiler to see them correctly. Sharing the compiled version of LaTeX seems to be hard for my computer. I don't really know, when I try to export with the media, the programs halts.

I do think it is useful to share decks. Because I don't think creating the deck helped me a lot. On the other hand, I'm pretty s... (read more)

1- I hope it to works for long term memory. But I have been using Anki for 6 months now. Therefore, I can not say anything about remembering things for years. I can however, that it certainly helps remembering some things during a few months. It implies that it helps going through the book, even if it takes months to read an entire books. Because if I recall the n first chapter, it becomes really easyer to read chapter n+1.

2- It is really too soon for me to answer that. I can try to keep you updated in a few years :p I did not finish the deck of any text ... (read more)

I think you are supposed to tell which is the one you recommend. I would like to read a textbook on mathematical logic, and would like to know which one to choose. And you just give a list without any advice

Yup. Preferably with some explanation of why the recommended book is being recommended over some of its rivals. But the comment you're replying to is from >4 years ago, and the person who wrote it hasn't written anything else here for >4 years, so I suspect there's little point complaining.

Broken link and no copy on

2ignoranceprior8y copy (takes a few seconds to load) copy

Hello from Paris, France.

As many of you, I first discovered all of this by HPMOR (actually, its French translation). I then read entirely Rationality, from AI to Zombie (because, honestly, reading things in order is SO MUCH easier than having 20 tabs open with 20 links I followed on the previous pages). I thought I would finish to read this blog, or at least the sequences, before posting, and then realized it may implies I would never post.

I'm a doctor in Fundamental Computer Science, an amateur writer (in French only), and an LGBT activist who goes into s... (read more)

The first image of this post is broken

8Elo8y I think...