All of ataftoti's Comments + Replies

If it happens before the publication, it wouldn't be retaliation, but more like a commitment to retaliate. If there's people making a fuss about the reporter's current intention to publish, it's a pretty clear signal what would happen if they follow through.

If it gets them to change their minds in time before the publication, that seems like the best outcome.

I think it "not being retaliation" makes it any more less edgy. If I credibly threaten to beat you up if you do something I have made an illegal threat even if I never punch someone. And I feel it goes along the same lines on the moral level. The relevant distinction would be emotive "I didn't really mean to" speech vs credible communication of intent. If it is intentional and credible it is very comparable to actually carrying it out.

I agree with that prediction, but that seems a given, with how Scott has called his supporters to action with emailing the NYT. Such a coordination is gonna draw the attention regardless.

I suspect the strategy more to make it obvious the paper is aware of what it is doing, not allowing them to spin it as a misunderstanding after the fact. I think this changes their calculation more than people realize, but it's impossible to say what the final decision will be.

Since hating on the mainstream media is itself mainstream now....would it be a net benefit for SSC to pass this story (about NYT doxxing) to some of NYT's competitors/new media? Just brainstorming, not suggesting this as potential course of retaliation/threat, since it could backfire if it causes NYT to double down when feeling attacked.

Retaliation only makes sense if the article gets published with the name which hasn't yet happened. 

I feel like the more places report on this, the higher the probability that at least one of them will publish Scott's real name.

Also a confounder that was only mentioned briefly in the original post: it also seems like human population in general is concentrated on this climate zone. Can we statistically isolate population density from this analysis?

This video didn't shift my priors that much. The impressive thing in the video is speed and precision, which is trivial for machines, let alone AI. Speed and precision is already there, it just needs to be hooked on to some qualitative breakthrough in application.

2Matthew Barnett3y
I'm willing to bet on this prediction.

(although that adjustment has been tempered by the suspicion, confirmed by a couple of comments on this post, that people who object to things such as rituals etc. often simply don't speak up)

For epistemology's sake I'll speak up so you may be more confident in the suspicion...

I find these rituals, as described, to be completely uninteresting as social activities, and have a visceral negative reaction to imagining people doing this, even semi-seriously. "Group self-hacking for cohesion and bonding" is the...sort-of good way to put it I guess, because I would rather describe it as "optimistically wielding double-edged daggers forged from the Dark Arts".

2Said Achmiz10y
Thank you for posting, I really do appreciate it. I do want to note that, for at least one proponent of the ritual (Yvain, see here []), the "cohesion and bonding" turned out not to be the underlying motivation. This makes sense to me, and I am very suspicious about any claims such as "research indicates that group bonding increases happiness, so I choose to do this thing that I believe will generate group bonding", or "group cohesiveness is beneficial, so we should have rituals because they promote group cohesiveness". They just don't ring true; I have a hard time believing that people think that way. It seems to me that some people just really like and enjoy rituals. I don't really understand why, of course, but that's just because my preference skews in the opposite direction. The stuff about bonding and cohesion seems like rationalization, or, at best, an attempt to describe one's bare preference, rather than an explanation of what actually motivated a choice. That having been said, I quite agree that rituals are forged from the Dark Arts. This contributes to, though does not constitute, my dislike of them.

Yes, I should have had a single-sentence summary. I will add that now.

I did mention that the part I'm recommending starts at 54:00. Perhaps I should also add that from that point on the presentation of the model lasts only for 4 minutes?

801 people (73.5%) were atheist and not spiritual, 108 (9.9%) were atheist and spiritual

I'm curious as to how people interpreted this. Does the latter mean that one believes in the supernatural but without a god figure, e.g. buddism, new age? This question looked confusing to me at first glance.

People who believed in high existential risk were more likely to believe in global warming, more likely to believe they had a higher IQ than average, and more likely to believe in aliens (I found that same result last time, and it puzzled me then too.)

Why does it puzzle you?

I would have expected the opposite given Yvain's definition of "supernatural". The existence of an agent (or agents) that created the universe seems much more likely than the existence of ontologically basic mental entities. After all, one man's lead software designer of the simulation [] is another man's god.
I assume because higher existential risk would seem to generalize to lower chances of aliens existing (because they had the same or similar existential risk as us).
If I remember correctly, the terms were defined in the survey itself, such that "spiritual and atheist" was something like believing in ontologically basic mental entities but not believing in a God that met that description. I didn't find the question confusing, but I did find it only peripherally related to what most people mean by either term. That said, it is a standard LW unpacking of those terms.

No one showed up. Reporting for the record.

Does that mean I'll see you here this Friday?

Unfortunately no. I live in Waterloo, just spent the summer in Mississauga. I might make a guest appearance at some point during the year though!

I've just added another Ontario meetup: anyone in Oakville?

I wish you had started it this summer. I was making a 2h commute to Toronto to attend theirs when I was right on the Oakville/Sauga border.

From the first episode of Dexter, season 6:

Batista: "'s all about faith..."
Dexter: "Mmm..."
Batista: "It's something you feel, not something you can explain. It's very hard to put into words."

Dexter smiles politely, while thinking to himself: Because it makes no sense.

Dexter is atheist? Maybe I should see that show after all...
People put plenty of things into words that make no sense. Words are only words; that's why humanity invented mathematics. []

Wouldn't a comparison between control-then-piracetam days with control-then-control days tell us a bit more about how effective piracetam is, accounting for possible fatigue?

Do make the top-level post please. I think there is use in the making Mafia more well-known in demographics such as the one we have here.

It sounds like online Mafia is a totally different and much better game than what I've played at various icebreaker functions, camps, and times when there's a substitute teacher

In my experience the outcome of face-to-face mafia can be even more dependent on the players' skill, once you get past the newbie phase. Not just because newbies can't read others well, but I think they are also less readable due to undeveloped... (read more)

Face-to-face Mafia is certainly easier to read people in, but this actually (IMO) makes it a worse game. There are other issues as well, such as the inability of the Mafia to communicate articulately at night, but if you're a good lie detector (or the scum are bad liars) the game becomes almost trivial, and introducing the difficulties of online communication IMO adds an appealing element of challenge. That said, I agree that face-to-face Mafia with a regular group can certainly be fun and even educational in itself.

I was scum in none of the games.

Here it is []. I'm "Fetterkey."

I just had 4 games with the same 5 players (setup is 4 town 1 scum) that all ended in scum victory. Random lynching should yield only 53% chance of scum victory. 0.53^4 seems low enough that this is likely a case of better than random.

The players in this case were new to the game with the exception of myself (and after the first couple games I was constantly night killed). I was going to say that this seems to suggest that scum is stronger in newbie games, but then I realized I have no data to draw this comparison with. :-(

Were you the scum in any of the games?

I want to read some games of mafia players who browse this site. Do you mind pointing me to some of your games?

Unfortunately I play mostly as a diversion on a private site, not on mafiascum or epicmafia, so they aren't as out in the open as you'd like. If you want I can link you to a recent newbie game that I was in on mafiascum, but the number of replacements makes it a little hard to follow and it's not exactly anyone's best play either.

Please attempt and see if you have better results than I did. And if you succeed come back and tell us all about it!


I'm not sure that doing so would be useful. It seems like normal Mafia techniques already approximate Bayesian reasoning, and formalizing it would be very challenging and IMO unlikely to offer unusual insights. That said, I'm fairly good at online Mafia and I suspect such techniques would better benefit less advanced players.

The last time I played Mafia people ended up crying

And what about the times before that?

Playing mafia has never undermined real social relationships in my experience, and I've introduced this game to perhaps 20 people in real life, with at least 2 completely non-overlapping groups.

Also, I doubt face-to-face mafia should be considered a game that especially exercises rationality. It seems to me that you get thrown a huge fuckton of cognitive biases with no time to combat them.

(again, my original question should specify "forum based mafia games"...let me edit that now...)

In my experience playing with a rationality crowd (at a meet-up), it was excellent for learning the visceral feeling of motivated cognition.
On reflection, I think the problems came from the people in the group being too close. I have certainly had fun before. We may have also taken the game too seriously.
It's more like it teaches a sort of mini-rationality: "You're swimming in cognitive biases, but your intuitions can also be helpful. Empirically develop a few techniques to separate good intuitions from bad with decent error probability."

Allow me to specify: I am referring to online forum mafia games.

These games are slow enough that one can do some calculations, if one can find the numbers (and that seems to be the hard part, along with deciding how they should be calculated).

I've thought and am still thinking that the fact that I've never heard of bayesian methods being used in mafia is simply an observation about the failures of players, not that it inherently cannot be done using available tools.

Frankly I'm surprised mafia does not seem to attract more attention from the demographic con... (read more)

Has anyone been able to play Mafia using bayesian methods? I have tried and failed due to encountering situations that eluded my attempts to model them mathematically. But since I am not strong at math, I'm hoping others have had success?

And the related question: any players here?

Edit: I mean specifically using bayesian methods for online forum-based Mafia games. These seem to me to give the player enough time to do conscious calculations.

I play online Mafia but haven't attempted to use explicit Bayesian reasoning to do so.
I wonder if there aren't any group rationality games that don't seriously undermined group moral and cohesion. The last time I played Mafia people ended up crying and my relationship with my brother and cousin went through traumatic upheaval. Diplomacy is not a better option.
Trying to update even on just the well-defined data looks impossible for humans, trying to update on what other people are saying would be difficult, even with a computer. Also, it seems like there might be certain disadvantages if you turn out to be Mafia.