bgold's Comments

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.

bgold's Shortform

Thanks for including that link - seems right, and reminded me of Scott's old post Epistemic Learned Helplessness

The only difference between their presentation and mine is that I’m saying that for 99% of people, 99% of the time, taking ideas seriously is the wrong strategy

I kinda think this is true, and it's not clear to me from the outset whether you should "go down the path" of getting access to level 3 magic given the negatives.

Probably good heuristics are proceeding with caution when encountering new/out there ideas, remembering you always have the right to say no, finding trustworthy guides, etc.

bgold's Shortform
  • Why do I not always have conscious access to my inner parts? Why, when speaking with authority figures, might I have a sudden sense of blankness.
  • Recently I've been thinking about this reaction in the frame of 'legibility', ala Seeing like a State. State's would impose organizational structures on societies that were easy to see and control - they made the society more legible - to the actors who ran the state, but these organizational structure were bad for the people in the society.
    • For example, census data, standardized weights and measures, and uniform languages make it easier to tax and control the population. [Wikipedia]
  • I'm toying with applying this concept across the stack.
    • If you have an existing model of people being made up of parts [Kaj's articles], I think there's a similar thing happening. I notice I'm angry but can't quite tell why or get a conceptual handle on it - if it were fully legible and accessible to conscious mind, then it would be much easier to apply pressure and control that 'part', regardless if the control I am exerting is good. So instead, it remains illegible.
    • A level up, in a small group conversation, I notice I feel missed, like I'm not being heard in fullness, but someone else directly asks me about my model and I draw a blank, like I can't access this model or share it. If my model were legible, someone else would get more access to it and be able to control it/point out its flaws. That might be good or it might be bad, but if it's illegible it can't be "coerced"/"mistaken" by others.
    • One more level up, I initially went down this track of thinking for a few reasons, one of which was wondering why prediction forecasting systems are so hard to adopt within organizations. Operationalization of terms is difficult and it's hard to get a precise enough question that everyone can agree on, but it's very 'unfun' to have uncertain terms (people are much more likely to not predict then predict with huge uncertainty). I think the legibility concept comes into play - I am reluctant to put a term out that is part of my model of the world and attach real points/weight to it because now there's this "legible leverage point" on me.
      • I hold this pretty loosely, but there's something here that rings true and is similar to an observation Robin Hanson made around why people seem to trust human decision makers more than hard standards.
  • This concept of personal legibility seems associated with the concept of bucket errors, in that theoretically sharing a model and acting on the model are distinct actions, except I expect often legibility concerns are highly warranted (things might be out to get you)
2020's Prediction Thread

I'd also encourage you to link your predictions to Foretold/Metaculus/other prediction aggregator questions, though only if you write your prediction in the thread as well to prevent link rot.

Load More