Benquo's Comments

Less Wrong Poetry Corner: Walter Raleigh's "The Lie"

I don't understand how the second paragraph follows from the first at all.

Maybe Lying Doesn't Exist

The tone and implications of comments along the lines of “this wording is going to cause a lot of people to believe specific proposition X, when it seems to me like what you would actually be willing to defend narrower proposition Y” is very different from that of “this wording is inappropriate because it is likely to upset people.”

An important feature of the first comment is that it actually does some work trying to clarify, and is an implicit ITT.

Maybe Lying Doesn't Exist

Someone deceiving with conscious intent can apply more compute / intelligence and other resources for optimizing and maintaining the lie, which means the deception can be much bigger and more consequential, thereby causing greater damage to others.

Unconscious deception is hard to distinguish from innocent mistakes.

Surely someone consciously intending to deceive can apply some of that extra compute to making it harder to distinguish their behavior from an innocent mistake.

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Altman's belief is explicitly that he does not know what the next company should look like, what area it should be in, and what problem it should solve, and so I think he mostly thinks that good people need to be very reactive to their environment

I expect this to be good at many things - he's probably not wrong that Napoleon would make a good YC founder by his standards - but I expect it's not the mindset that can develop substantive new tech. And sure enough, it seems like substantive new tech is mostly not being developed.

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I didn't use the word scam in the post. Cousin_it's comment was defending YC by saying, substantively, don't worry, it's just a pretend gatekeeper, so I tried to make that more explicit. How, precisely, does that not constitute being a scam?

Are we supposed to be at war with lions now? What's wrong with apex predators?

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Either it matters a lot for a good startup’s success, or it doesn’t.

If it does, then the gatekeeper narrative is true. If it doesn’t, then how exactly isn’t it a scam?

This is such an obvious point that I’m worried that I’m confused about what’s really going on in this conversation.

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Yeah, it would be pretty cool for PG to more overtly admit that YC is a scam. As it is, it's not actually harmless, since it does attract a lot of attention from people who think they're paying attention to a nonscam.

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Y Combinator could very easily (if not for the apparent emotional difficulties mentioned in Black Swan farming) have instead been organized to screen for founders making a credible effort to create a great product, instead of screening for generalized responsiveness to tests.

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