All of Dallas's Comments + Replies

For the interests of identity obfuscation, I have rolled a random number between 1 and 100, and have waited for some time afterwards.

On a 1-49: I have taken the survey, and this post was made after a uniformly random period of up to 24 hours.

On a 50-98: I will take the survey after a uniformly random period of up to 72 hours.

On a 99-100: I have not actually taken the survey. Sorry about that, but this really has to be a possible outcome.

Have a 98% chance of an upvote.


  • Given both demographics and recent discourse, you are going to want vegetarian and vegan options for food.
  • HPMOR has a large hatedom, for various reasons. Key vectors for trolls are photos, videos, and flyers. Be more conscious than usual about personal boundaries and privacy.
  • Public events are going to bring together people with varying viewpoints; be emotionally prepared for having your bubble popped by culture shock.
  • Betting pools on the number of clueless attendees who showed up for the Potter and forgot about the Rationality are generally fr
... (read more)

The timeline continues with legal actions and arguments about what happened, but has no additional allegations.

You forgot me.

August 13th, 2013

Dallas J. Haugh

Dallas posts a suicide note which includes allegations of rape against Shermer. It is taken down by a relative when he is secured and taken to a hospital; after he’s released, he reposts it.


I don't really feel the need to write that when I am aware of it from personal experience.



Looking at your link, it appears that rather he is being accused of doing things that only qualify as "rape" due to the current anti-rape hysteria/witch hunt. Furthermore, given the nature of the accusations, and how a number of similar recent incidents have turned out to be groundless upon investigation, I'm not even convinced that the incidents described took place at all. Certainly snark (and highly inaccurate) assides like: don't do much for Jason's credibility.

I actually calibrated my P(God) and P(Supernatural) based on P(Simulation), figuring that getting an exact figure for cases where (~Simulation & Supernatural) are basically noise.

I forgot what I actually defined "God" as for my probability estimation, as well as the actual estimation.

Your updates to your blog as of this post seem to replace "Less Wrong", or "MIRI", or "Eliezer Yudkowsky", with the generic term "AI risk advocates".

This just sounds more insidiously disingenuous.

At least now when I cite Eliezer's stuff on my doctoral thesis people who don't know him - there are a lot of them in philosophy - will not say to me "I've googled him and some crazy quotes came up eventually, so maybe you should avoid mentioning his name altogether". This was a much bigger problem to me than what is sounds. I had to do all sort of workarounds to use Eliezer's ideas as if someone else said it because I was advised not to cite him (and the main, often the only, argument was in fact the crazy quote things).

There might be some very... (read more)

I deleted any post that could be perceived to be offending to MIRI, Yudkowsky, or LW, and only left fully general posts pertaining AI risks. Many of those posts never mentioned MIRI or LW in the first place. What exactly is "insidiously disingenuous" about that?
1Eliezer Yudkowsky9y
Agreed, if there are no other indications of a change of mind. Nobody who reads your blog is not going to know who "AI risk advocates" are. Perfectly fine if there's some other indication.

I've had to deal with the stress you are contributing to putting on the broader perception of transhumanism for the weekend, and that is on top of preexisting mental problems. (Whether MIRI/LW is actually representative to this is entirely orthogonal to the point; public perception has and is shifting towards viewing the broader context of futurism as run by neoreactionaries and beige-os with parareligious delusions.)

Of course, that's no reason to stop anything. People are going to be stressed by things independent of their content.

But you are expecting an... (read more)

How often and for how long did I spread this, and what do you mean by "spread"? Imagine yourself in my situation back in 2010: After the leader of a community completely freaked out over a crazy post (calling the author an idiot in all bold and caps etc.) he went on to massively nuke any thread mentioning the topic. In addition there are mentions of people having horrible nightmares over it while others are actively trying to dissuade you from mentioning a thought experiment they believe to be dangerous, in private messages and emails, by referring to the leaders superior insight. This made a lot of alarm bells ring for me. No. I made an unilateral offer.

Paperclip maximizer, obviously. Basilisks typically are static entities, and I'm not sure how you would go about making a credible anti-paperclip 'infohazard'.

That depends entirely on what the PM's code is. If it doesn't include input sanitizers, a buffer overflow attack could suffice as a basilisk. If your model of a PM basilisk is "Something that would constitute a logical argument that would harm a PM", then you're operating on a very limited understanding of basilisks.
The same way as an infohazard for any other intelligence: acausally threaten to destroy lots of paperclips, maybe even uncurl them, maybe even uncurl them while they were still holding a stack of pap-ARRRRGH I'LL DO WHATEVER YOU WANT JUST DON'T HURT THEM PLEASE

I completed the survey. (Did not do the digit ratio questions due to lack of available precise tools.)

Can you be slightly more specific on the context? Like, at least the vague fields of study it might apply to? This would allow us to make an informed decision.

Let's see. What other ideas in Lesswrong have been considered dangerous?

"Is a even better joke than the previous joke when preceded by its quotation" is actually much funnier when followed by something completely different.

It seems like the both of you just want everyone to use efficient RVs.

Perhaps a travelling Less Wrong fleet?

Agreed. Our society already has an RV subculture with relevant infrastructure; positing yurts and house cables seems like reinventing the wheel. There's also a recent trend of minimalists who try to reduce their possessions to whatever will fit in a backpack and a hard drive. I don't think those people would have much trouble moving.

I am very curious as to what your evidence for backing up this proposition is or would be.

Okay, this is weird, but the first thing that popped into my head when you mentioned that there were images that used to be from this article was an image of a pony, vaguely Pinkie Pie looking. (being aware of cognition is weird)

I don't even watch My Little Pony or participate in its community. Now I'm starting to wonder if it has evolved into some sort of toxic meme which is replacing itself into generic forms of things.

A community blog with the purpose of refining the practice of rational behavior?

Eliminates human bias, doesn't imply that rationality is an 'art', and proclaims itself teleologically rather than ontologically.

I think I am currently in this state. (The inducing factor was probably going to a science fiction convention; I'm not sure why this is weirdly inspirational.) Does anybody have a roundup of appropriate posts somewhere?

Can you imagine Harry killing Hermione because Voldemort threatened to plague all sentient life with one barely noticed dust speck each day for the rest of time? Can you imagine killing your own best friend/significant other/loved one to stop the powers of the Matrix from hitting 3^^^3 sentient beings with nearly inconsquential dust specks? Of course not. No. Snap decision.

My breaking point would be about 10 septillion people, which is far, far less... no, wait, that's for a single-event dust speck.

What's your definition of all sentient life? Are we tal... (read more)

So to be clear, you are claiming that the destruction of all life on Earth is a better alternative than life continuing with the common current values?

(5) We create an AI which does not correspond to my values.

So part of the whole point of attempts to things like CEV is that they will (ideally) not use any individual's fixed values but rather will try to use what everyone's values would be if they were smarter and knew more.

If LW is not trying to eradicate the scourge of transphobia, than clearly SIAI has moved from 1 to 5, and I should be trying t

... (read more)
So, I agree that any organization that works with minors should be held to high standards (and CFAR does run a camp for high schoolers). I don't think the forum policy gives much evidence about the likelihood of children being victimized by employees, though. It's not clear to me how skill at writing HPMOR is related skill at avoiding PR gaffes. Have you looked at EY's okcupid page? There are a lot of things there that don't look like they're written with public relations in mind.

That is indeed my concern. If CFAR can't avoid a Jerry Sandusky/Joe Paterno type scenario (which I am reasonably probable it is capable of, given one of its founders wrote HPMOR), then it is literally a horrendous joke and I should be allocating my contributions to somewhere more productive.

This confuses me. First of all, the probability of such a scenario is tiny (how many universities have the exact same complete lack of safeguards and transparency and how many had an international scandal?) Second, the difference between writing HPMR and the differen... (read more)

So this looks pretty nasty and is frankly disappointing. But he's acknowledged the irrational aspect of it and hasn't brought the statements himself to LW. Moreover, as Gwern correctly notes, IRC is a medium where people are often lacking any substantial filter. The proper response would be for Gwern to just avoid discussing these issues (which in fact he says he does). In any event, I fail to see how this comments mandate "reparations". If people on IRC want to appropriately rebuke him when he says this sort knee-jerk stupid shit when it comes up, that makes sense. The connection this has to SI or CFAR is pretty minimal.

This is one of the worst posts that I've ever seen on LW. Though I agree completely that gwern's comments are inappropriate and unacceptable, they're off-the-cuff remarks in a private setting not intended for the record, and he shouldn't be pilloried for them.

I think gwern's expressed attitudes toward transsexuals are both harmful and not rationally defensible — i.e. if he thought about them sensibly with access to good data, he'd want to change them rather than parading them.

However, I don't think LW should ban people on the basis of that sort of attitude. Everyone is an asshole on some topic. (Me, I can be an asshole about open source. Some of my best friends are Windows users, but ....)

Coercing "apology and reparations" is counterproductive because of the example it sets. It would mean that anyone ... (read more)

How is gwern still allowed on this site without making a significant apology and reparations?

Are you suggesting banning users from LW if they make any unwelcoming comments anywhere else without apologizing for them? The absence of that policy seems to be the "how," and I think I much prefer not having that policy to having that policy.

It is making me seriously reconsider any funding that I would give to CFAR or SIAI.

Is your true rejection to funding CFAR or SIAI that they don't have a policy in place for the forum affiliated with them? I'm... (read more)

Why are you writing that here? Did you mean to reply to some other comment or am I missing something?

Can you please explain what this comment refers to.

Boltzmann brain scenarios will occur regardless of any given doomsday.

Am I the only person who answered "100" on the cryonics question because "revived at some point in the future" was indefinite enough that a Boltzmann brain-like scenario inevitably occurring eventually seemed reasonable?

Also, I did all the extra credit questions. At twos in the morning.

This seems to rely on a controversial theory of personal identity. I'm of the opinion that personal identity requires some sort of causal continuity: for a future person to be me, his mental states must have appropriate causal links to my mental states. That wouldn't be true of a Boltzmann brain. To put it another way, if the universe is spatially infinite, there are presumably Boltzmann brains qualitatively identical to my brain somewhere out there right now (where the "now" is relative to some foliation of space-time, of course). I don't consider those spatially distant BBs to be identical to me, and I'm guessing you wouldn't either. Why should I judge differently if the BB's are not just spatially but also temporally separated from me?
Good point... And for very similar reasons, anyone who gave a lower probability to the cryonics question than to the many worlds question is inconsistent. Wonder how many people did that? EDIT Surprised a bit by the downvotes here. Did the many worlders interpret "probability of being revived at some point in the future" as "fraction of future worlds in which the person is revived" (or more technically, something like, "quantum measure of future revival across worlds containing humans in a state consistent with our present knowledge"). Rather than "probability of being revived in any future world"? If so, it is consistent to assign a high probability to many worlds, but a low probability to revival. I would also love there to be a question on probability that Santa exists among the religion ones, and then compare answers to that with many worlds. Santa exists in some worlds, after all, even though his measure is miniscule... EDIT: Same issue here. Does a many-worker typically interpret P(Santa Exists) as "measure across worlds consistent with our knowledge in which Santa exists" rather than "probability Santa exists in any world"?
Not if the Universe is too small, or it ends first, or if there is a flaw in the BB model, or if we are in a simulation preventing BB, or... In other words, nothing is 100% and BB least of all.
[comment deleted]

I assumed it was supposed to mean ‘revived in a way that wouldn't have been possible if the patient hadn't been cryopreserved’.

I will examine 30 questions. dallasjhaugh at gmail dot com


I somehow really thought this article was going to be about upscaled Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. I'm not sure if this is better or worse.

Hungary. Why Biology? My mom always laments that I should become a doctor because of financial and career security. :(
You're making that bald of an assertion with only the barest amount of data from the OP? This can't be serious.

In a void where there are just these particular Nazis and Jews, sure, but in most contexts, you'll have a variety of intelligences with varying utility functions, and those with pro-arbitrary-genocide values are dangerous to have around.

Of course, there is the simple alternative of putting the Nazis in an enclosed environment where they believe that Jews don't exist. Hypotheticals have to be really strongly defined in order to avoid lateral thinking solutions.

I am pretty sure that certain kinds of societies and minds are possible that while utterly benign and quite happy would cause 21st century humans to want to exterminate them and suffer greatly as long as it was known they existed.

If the Nazis have some built-in value that determines that they hate something utterly arbitrary, then why don't we exterminate them?

This may come as news, but all kinds of hating or loving something are utterly arbitrary.
It is certainly an option, but if there are enough Nazis, this is a low-utility "final solution" compared to the alternatives.

This might actually be true. If you consider the categories of white people who would be most likely to have black people in their social network, what comes up is a list of categories correlated with racism (e.g. poverty, religiosity).

At a guess, the Oatmeal is raising new contributions from people who were highly unlikely to be donating to charity in the first place (selfish young geeks participating for solidarity with their social group at the order of their leader); attacking it will probably shift very few dollars to better charities and will be very expensive for us. I think there's an XKCD comic on this, actually...

"Don't do this nice project that feels warm and fuzzy to you" is guaranteed to provoke a strongly negative reaction in the vast majority of people hearing it, and there's the obvious double standard (which people won't hesitate to point out and make you look stupid) of objecting to such charitable projects but not objecting to somebody buying a movie ticket, say. Besides, buying fuzzies is perfectly fine.

And that's even without the status considerations that paper-machine points out. People think we look weird already. Attacking a high status individual famous throughout the Internets isn't going to make that better.

My first guess would be no, given that any amount of capital significant to the project (which seems like it would just generate warm fuzzies anyways) is probably a crapload of dead kids.
I doubt LW has the social capital necessary to intervene without considerable backlash. Oatmeal is the Randall Munroe of 2012.

I think there is a vague consensus that, all other things equal, eating less will make you lose weight and eating more will make you gain weight? I might have seen someone post a counterexample at least once, but I might simply be misremembering.

Yudkowsky's been downvoted before; the most notable time in recent memory was probably removing the link to the NY Observer article.

I think I misread that comment as Eliezer posting a picture or video of a cat jumping on the keyboard.

Our local surroundings could be made into a dense volume of self-replicating computronium hosting as many bare-minimum sapients as possible, but only a few people here would argue that it's morally imperative to carry that out to full term.

Another difference is that the mature sapient has typically specified, or would specify, that it should be reinstated in advance, and works within the framework of society. If the baby survives any sort of abuse it undergoes until it is sapient, then it might be entitled to some damages, but until then, it lacks self-ownership and is susceptible to destruction by its possessors.

Infants and fetuses are not sapient. Arbitrarily privileging biological life regardless of its mental capability would set a horrible precedent. Note that there isn't that coherent of a line between more intelligent mammals and human babies.

(Assuming we rely on sapience as the chief criterion for privileging life, as you seem to imply) You are also not in a sapient-testable state when you're under the effects of anesthesia, or in deep sleep. You might object that you will be in such a state again once you wake up - in other words, that you have the future potential to be in a sapient state. That, however, would also apply to a human baby, albeit given another time horizon, while it would not apply (to the same degree) to many other mammals, whose individual future potential is much more limited. Why would you be worthy of protection (e.g. while in a medical coma) based on regaining testable sapience in a matter of weeks - or months - if a baby weren't?
Bet: If you give me 1,000 pictures each of fully developed chimpanzees, dolphins and some newborn babies (none of which have any birth defects) I will be able to distinguish between every one. (I will then assign moral weight consistently according to the principle "My species matters more so there!")
Of course there is. The latter is human and the former (assuming you mean "more intelligent non-human mammals") is not. It is very easy to tell the difference and there are no doubtful cases. There are no comparably clear lines to separate human fetuses, infants, children, and adults.

What counts as a "conversion"? I was baptized Catholic, but my family was otherwise extremely lapsed. I don't think I really believed in anything that strongly before briefly dabbling in various esoteric practices. JREF and Gödel, Escher, Bach convinced me otherwise.

It might get a bit suspicious if you are entirely asking people about what other people think. You'd have to mix it with more conventional "dummy" questions.

Assuming, of course, that this hypothesis is true. The great thing is that it's easily testable.

  1. The art form must be linear and intend to proceed without interaction from the user.
  2. The length of the three "notes" must be in 8:8:15 ratio (in that order).
  3. The main distinguishing factor between "notes", must be in 2:3:4 ratio (in that order).
  4. The motif must be the overwhelmingly dominant "voice" when it occurs.
Upvoted for overconfidence, not about the directly analogous art form (I suspect that even several hundred pieces of human art have that) but about there being other civilizations within the observable universe. Though I would still give that at least 20%.
Cool. Upvoted immediate parent for specificity and downvoted grandparent for agreement.

An alien civilization within the boundaries of the current observable universe has, or will have within the next 10 billion years, created a work of art which includes something directly analogous to the structure of the "dawn motif" from the beginning of Richard Strauss's Also sprach Zarathustra. (~90%)

I would have upvoted this even if it limited itself to "intelligent aliens exist in the current observable universe".
The probability of this would seem to depend on the resolution of the fermi paradox. If life is relatively common then it would seem to be true purely by statistics. If life is relatively rare then it would require some sort of shared aesthetic standard. Are you saying aesthetics might be universal in the same way as say mathematics?
I'm inclined to downvote this for agreement, but haven't yet. Can you say more about what "directly analogous" means? How different from ASZ can this work of art be and still count?

I wasn't actually sure what people believed about this, so I was very curious to see how this would be received. So can we say the word "cult" now?

You can if you like getting downvotes! Almost all usages of 'cult' in such discussions will be gross abuses of the term.
I agree - have a downvote!
This is getting a lot of downvotes, meaning lots of people agree. To those people: Although it does make us look more cultish, does that outweigh the good from the lack of connections between "cult" and "lesswrong" on google? Edited to correct, I originally had a typo where I said it meant people disagree instead of agree.

r/atheism is that way. We at Less Wrong hold ourselves to a higher standard about where rational discussion is concerned. At a purely selfish level, when posts like the author's are written that have minimal civility, and responses like this are made, many bystanders will when reading such a response become more sympathetic to the original writer.

Incidentally, you seem to be under a bunch of factual misconceptions or are deliberately ignoring them to be insulting rather than helping yourself or the author become less wrong. In the Beit Shemesh case, the ... (read more)

Wait, isn't this almost exactly the beginning of Greg Egan's novel Zendegi, at about approximately the same time?

In Zendegi, the money eventually went to SingInst!

Assuming you survive for more than the next ten years or so, yes.

Also, your wife is Catholic. If you issue an ultimatum to deconvert, we end up with one of the three following scenarios:

  1. She accepts.
  2. You divorce her. She doesn't remarry, probably causing her vast emotional harm.
  3. You divorce her. She caves in to emotional pressure and remarries, ousting her from the conventional Catholic community.

All three scenarios weaken overall religious influence and raise the probability that your children will be epistemologically sane. I consider this preferable.

How about this: 1. She doesn't deconvert. The extended Catholic community preserves the story of how jwhendy became an evil atheist and abandoned his wife and children as a result.
What about other options: * She doesn't deconvert. We remain married, happily. * She doesn't deconvert. We remain married, unhappily. I also predict she could get an annulment pretty easily given my deconversion, which adds another option: * I divorce her. She gets married when she's ready and is not ousted from the Catholic community. Also, it seems like you've honed in on the beliefs of my children and wife as the most important factors (with a side of my wife's future unhappiness, but I'm not sure if you counted that toward the weakening of overall religious influence). Do you think there are other factors to weigh? In any case, I find the most valuable point to be your reminder to me that this is long term. I've tried to keep that in mind, though weighting near unhappiness vs. far improvement is definitely a potential trap. I'm 27 and thus probably do have more than 10 years. Nonetheless, it still strikes me as a complex situation and I'm not settled on how to judge potential future states and sum the collective happinesses of the stakeholders.
Bit harsh on the wife, though...

Divide the groups in two based on familial affiliation (they'll expect that).

Ask the following questions:

  1. My radius of "personal space" is... (tiny/small/medium/large/immense)
  2. I am... (short/somewhat short/average/somewhat tall/tall)

Bias x by (1) [near aisle should be "tiny"] and y by (2) [back should be "tall"]. Average groups, ignore children.

Thanks for your suggestions, but our problem is seating for the reception, not so much the actual ceremony.

One example: I have had to deal with people going on and on with "but it's not really you!" arguments about mind uploading on other forums on several separate occasions. Of course it's annoying to press on about it entirely by yourself, so I don't really bother and move on after a post or two. Here, I don't have to repeat myself over and over very often, and the userbase is sympathetic, so keeping systemic obnoxiousness out of the environment is feasible enough that we should crush it with overwhelming force.

If it's a troll, I'd guess either Eliezer being meta or maybe Mitchell Porter trying to make a point, but I've seen people this oblivious before.

If they are making a point about necessity of downvoting, I must admit that it works perfectly. But yes, contributors of this kind have high prior probability of appearing spontaneously on the internet. I have probably met an example or two in real life, too.

If you posted something not obnoxious, I'm inclined to believe the community would, in fact, upvote it.

You are self-identifying as a 9/11 "truther", which is signalling to us that you are a crank with a persecution complex. The fact that you subsequently verified delusions of persecution is just digging yourself into a deeper hole.

Spelling is not the problem. The comments seem to be cheering for cryonics, completely irrelevant to the original question.
That's no excuse for not using a spellcheck. Heck, Firefox even has it built-in now.
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