Chris_Leong's Comments

Referencing the Unreferencable

We will still be able to talk about unreferencable elements, but only by "referencing" them in a different sense than what we mean by "unreferencable". The key is that it might seem like we are only using the word in one sense until we really break down the definition, at which point it becomes clear we are using it in different senses. And it's not equivocating because we are only using the word referencable in a particular way. When we "reference" unreferencable elements we don't call it "referencing".

In the presence of disinformation, collective epistemology requires local modeling

"One thing that I find is often disappointingly absent from LW discussions of epistemology is how much the appropriate epistemology depends on your goals and your intellectual abilities" - Never really thought of it that way, but makes a lot of sense.

The absurdity of un-referenceable entities

"However if I say "there exists an un-referenceable entity, which has properties x, y, and z" then that really looks like a reference to a particular" - It's a class that may only contain one if we choose the properties correctly

Is the coronavirus the most important thing to be focusing on right now?

I'm curious about the 3rd argument. I'm curious about why you think it is likely that significant players will notice the contribution of Less Wrong?

Are HEPA filters likely to pull COVID-19 out of the air?

Is HEPA the highest standard or are there higher quality filters that could remove viruses?

Announcement: LessWrong Coronavirus Links Database 2.0

Are there any plans to use this for anything else in the future?

Against Dog Ownership

The author makes some good points, but:

  • I think they worry too much about the submissiveness of the relationship. I think it's a much more common desire than people acknowledge. Not just in terms of sexuality, but in terms of a desire for a father figure or a great leader to tell people what to do. So it's a common desire not just for particular moments, but in how people live their whole lives
  • I don't agree with the point about relationship being invalid because you don't have to work for it. I agree that this would be bad in a romantic relationship because it'd hamper your personal development, but I really don't think that getting a cat instead of a dog will have a large effect. In fact, the safety provided by the unconditionality of a pets love may provide someone with the safety to take more risks in their relationships in the real world
  • I don't think dogs need meaning in quite the same way as humans. They acknowledge that they've personified them to an extent and try to show their argument holds anyway. However, I don't think they've entirely avoided the personification trap. I don't deny that dogs may have instincts such as hunting or herding that are unfulfilled in modern life. This are instincts and we should be concerned with them being unfulfilled, but I don't think we should equate them with a life purpose.

In any case, dogs as pets probably increase the empathy for animals significantly, so we should encourage more pets, not less.

[Meta] Do you want AIS Webinars?

I would be keen run a webinar on Logical Counterfactuals

Is the coronavirus the most important thing to be focusing on right now?

Before it was even clear it'd be this big a threat, I wrote: EA Should Wargame Coronavirus. Now I think there's an even stronger argument for it.

I think that this offers us valuable experience in dealing with one plausible source of existential risk. We don't want AI Safety people distracted from AI Safety, but at the same time I think the community will learn a lot by embarking on this project together.

A Sketch of Answers for Physicalists

I guess I should have been more precise. Imagine a game where we can see all the information, but some characters inside only have access to limited info.

"The outside perspective is outside but it is not observer-independent"

Sure, but it's not subject to the world-internal observer effects

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