Dagon

Just this guy, you know?

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Tears Must Flow

there are many cases in which I'd imagine people here would actively endorse experiencing an awkward emotional outburst about other issues.

For me, I would not endorse an outburst on ANY topic, when that topic is incredibly predictable, and the outburst interferes with a private event in a very unexpected way.  

Feeling sorrow and pain may or may not be in your control, and may or may not be helpful.  I have no judgement on that, and I feel my own sadness at your suffering.  Putting yourself in a situation where you reasonably expect to face such pain, without warning or seeking accommodation with the hosts and bystanders, is not something I can support or sympathize with.

If you'd instead said "I was too overcome with grief to go out, knowing the millions of animals killed for this holiday", I'd feel nothing but sympathy for your suffering.  Since you willingly and predictably imposed suffering on others as part of your pain, I'm less sympathetic.

[meta: this is probably the limit of what I'm willing to discuss on LW on this topic.  Please feel free to rebut or respond as you will, without expecting further comment from me. ]

Tears Must Flow

I can't tell if this is a literal report of your experience at a family dinner, or an exaggeration to make a point.  Regardless of the morality of things, I'd advise a lot of introspection (likely guided by a professional) about why you chose to attend, knowing you'd observe a dead bird being served as food, and then be incapacitated with grief. This interfered with your own happiness, the happiness of your GF's family, and likely interfered with human connections you might have made.  AND it probably didn't save any birds or change any attendees' beliefs or behaviors.

I sympathize (but do not empathize or feel it myself) with your sorrow, and I'm sorry you're suffering.  I respect your right to follow this pledge, and to avoid situations where you feel bad.  I will gladly prepare and serve vegetarian dishes if you ever visit me.  

At the same time, I don't think this is the most effective way for you to react or behave.  If this is the controlling issue for all interactions, and nothing is more important or interesting enough to outweigh it, I suspect I won't enjoy your company enough to have you over in the first place.  Which means you won't get the opportunity to explore my reasoning for eating meat, and to help me see the error of my ways.

Watching Myself Program

One reasonable way to handle that is an oncall rotation.  Designate someone to be interrupted often, and only that person has the mechanism (often another channel, like actual phone call or special interruption/notification rule) to interrupt others on the team if they need help urgently.  

The only time I enable IM and e-mail notifications is when I have "office hours" on my calendar, and I'm explicitly available to people.

Is it better to fix a problem directly, or start again so the problem never happens?

The obvious and correct answer is "it depends".  It depends on the problem, and the relative size of the problematic and non-problematic parts of the overall project.   

Also it depends on the reasons for the problem, and why you think there will be fewer problems in a new attempt.  Of course, THIS mistake probably won't repeat, but others will happen - what underlying change are you making that's less prone to mistakes? 

The answer is on a continuum from "throw everything away and completely start over" to "patch this specific issue but stay the course for everything else".  Almost never is the best option at either endpoint - there's a lot of salvage-able value that you don't want to give up, and some ongoing pain from this problem that you don't want to just live with forever.  Exactly what to do depends on specifics.

Frame Control

In additional to multiple human/agent points of view, it's worth going a little further down the "ignore intent" path, to consider the situation as purely environmental.  It doesn't matter that these are humans or what they want or how they appear - is this good for you?   If not, go elsewhere.

Note that this is intended as an extension of "viewing through multiple lenses", not a recommendation that this should be primary.

How could a friendly AI deal with humans trying to sabotage it? (like how present day internet trolls introduce such problems)

The question is whether the AI has any better mechanisms for dealing with this than current human members of society do.  We seem to be heading down that slippery slope pretty quickly in the bigger cities on the US West Coast.  

It remains an under-defined thing what "alignment" means.  Most people assume it's the more pleasant part of the distribution of human values, not a perfect representation of each existing human. Which may mean the solution is for the AI to determine the selectorate, or subset of humans who'll be actively judging and correcting it, and find ways to make them happy.  Presuming these people are squeamish, that probably doesn't mean elimination of the disruptive, but it might include containment and minimization of interaction.

First Strike and Second Strike

This seems very simplistic.  Outside of doomsday weapons (and even for those), the continuum from first-strike-only (cannot be used creatively) to retaliation-only (cannot initiate, but will be devastating in response) is pretty muddy and unclear.  And rarely is the decision to invest in such things exclusive - one generally wants maximum optionality, not a maximization of any one behavior.

Puzzle: 1

You specify that the vision is a sharp cutoff, so it's an infinitessimally small difference (will be referred to as "epsilon" when you get to calculus), which rounds to 0 in this problem, for any precision of r.

Puzzle: 1

Not sure I get the rationality aspect of this - seems like a pretty basic high-school geometry problem.  The guard is stationary on a line, and his visibility is a semi-circle.  The line from the guard to you is perpendicular to the wall, so you can go a quarter-circle in either direction.  Circumference is 2*Pi*r, so a quarter is 1/2 * Pi * r.  And you'll cross the wall at the same distance from the guard you start at, r.  Well, r plus epsilon (for both calculations), I guess, but that rounds to r for this calculation.

That's not the answer you give, so maybe I don't understand something.  Or maybe it's a formatting error.

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