bgold's Comments

How likely is it that US states or cities will prevent travel across their borders?
Answer by bgoldMar 14, 202012

The commerce clause gives the federal government broad powers to regulate interstate commerce, and in particular the the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services can exercise it to institute quarantine.

bgold's Shortform

Depression as a concept doesn't make sense to me. Why on earth would it be fitness enhancing to have a state of withdrawal, retreat, collapse where a lack of energy prevents you from trying new things? I've brainstormed a number of explanations:

    • depression as chemical imbalance: a hardware level failure has occurred, maybe randomly maybe because of an "overload" of sensation
    • depression as signaling: withdrawal and retreat from the world indicates a credible signal that I need help
    • depression as retreat: the environment has become dangerous and bad and I should withdraw from it until it changes.

I'm partial to the explanation offered by the Predictive Processing Model, that depression is an extreme form of low confidence. As SSC write:

imagine the world’s most unsuccessful entrepreneur. Every company they make flounders and dies. Every stock they pick crashes the next day. Their vacations always get rained-out, their dates always end up with the other person leaving halfway through and sticking them with the bill.
What if your job is advising this guy? If they’re thinking of starting a new company, your advice is “Be really careful – you should know it’ll probably go badly”.
if sadness were a way of saying “Things are going pretty badly, maybe be less confidence and don’t start any new projects”, that would be useful...
Depression isn’t normal sadness. But if normal sadness lowers neural confidence a little, maybe depression is the pathological result of biological processes that lower neural confidence.

But I still don't understand why the behaviors we often see with depression - isolation, lack of energy - are 'longterm adaptive'. If a particular policy isn't working, I'd expect to see more energy going into experimentation.

[TK. Unfinished because I accidentally clicked submit and haven't finished editing the full comment]

How much delay do you generally have between having a good new idea and sharing that idea publicly online?

I rarely share ideas online (I'm working on that); when I do the ideas tend to be "small" observations or models, the type I can write out quickly and send. ~10mins - 1 day after I have it.

What is Success in an Immoral Maze?

I've heard that Talking Heads song dozens of times and have never watched the video. I was missing out!

bgold's Shortform

neat hadn't seen that thanks

Circling as Cousin to Rationality

I expect understanding something more explicitly - such as yours and another persons boundaries - w/o some type of underlying concept of acceptance of that boundary can increase exploitability. I recently wrote a shortform post on the topic of legibility that describes some patterns I've noticed here.

I don't think on average Circling makes one more exploitable, but I expect it increases variance, making some people significantly more exploitable than they were before because previously invisible boundaries are now visible, and can thus be attacked (by others but more often by a different part of the same person).

And yeah it does seem similar to the valley of bad rationality; the valley of bad circling, where when you're in the valley you're focusing on a naive form of connection without discernment of the boundaries.

bgold's Shortform
  • Yes And is an improv technique where you keep the energy in a scene alive by going w/ the other persons suggestion and adding more to it. "A: Wow is that your pet monkey? B: Yes and he's also my doctor!"
  • Yes And is generative (creates a lot of output), as opposed to Hmm No which is critical (distills output)
  • A lot of the Sequences is Hmm No
  • It's not that Hmm No is wrong, it's that it cuts off future paths down the Yes And thought-stream.
  • If there's a critical error at the beginning of a thought that will undermine everything else then it makes sense to Hmm No (we don't want to spend a bunch of energy on something that will be fundamentally unsound). But if the later parts of the thought stream are not closely dependent on the beginning, or if it's only part of the stream that gets cut off, then you've lost a lot of potential value that could've been generated by the Yes And.
  • In conversation yes and is much more fun, which might be why the Sequences are important as a corrective (yeah look it's not fun to remember about biases, but they exist and you should model/include them)
  • Write drunk, edit sober. Yes And drunk, Hmm No in the morning.
[Part 1] Amplifying generalist research via forecasting – Models of impact and challenges

IMO the term "amplification" fits if the scheme results in a 1.) clear efficiency gain and 2.) it's scalable. This looks like (delivering equivalent results but at a lower cost OR providing better results for an equivalent cost. (cost == $$ & time)), AND (~ O(n) scaling costs).

For example if there was a group of people who could emulate [Researcher's] fact checking of 100 claims but do it at 10x speed, then that's an efficiency gain as we're doing the same work in less time. If we pump the number to 1000 claims and the fact checkers could still do it at 10x speed without additional overheard complexity, then it's also scalable. Contrast that with the standard method of hiring additional junior researchers to do the fact checking - I expect it to not be as scalable ("huh we've got all these employees now I guess we need an HR department and perf reviews and...:)

It does seem like a fuzzy distinction to me, and I am mildly concerned about overloading a term that already has an association w/ IDA.

ozziegooen's Shortform

Is there not a distillation phase in forecasting? One model of the forecasting process is person A builds up there model, distills a complicated question into a high information/highly compressed datum, which can then be used by others. In my mind its:

Model -> Distill - > "amplify" (not sure if that's actually the right word)

I prefer the term scalable instead of proliferation for "can this group do it cost-effectively" as it's a similar concept to that in CS.

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