Dan_Weinand

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2013 Survey Results

Cross validation is actually hugely useful for predictive models. For a simple correlation like this, it's less of a big deal. But if you are fitting a local linearly weighted regression line for instance, chopping the data up is absolutely standard operating procedure.

Stupid Questions Thread - January 2014

Maybe I'm way off base here, but it seems like average utilitarianism leads to disturbing possibility itself. That being 1 super happy person is considered a superior outcome to 1000000000000 pretty darn happy people. Please explain how, if at all, I'm misinterpreting average utilitarianism.

Stupid Questions Thread - January 2014

Two notes: First, the term "genius" is difficult to define. Someone may be a "genius" at understanding the sociology of sub-Saharan African tribes, but this skill will obviously command a much lower market value compared to someone who is a "genius" as a chief executive officer of a large company. A more precise definition of genius will narrow the range of costs per year.

Second, and related to the first, MIRI is (to the extent of my knowledge) currently focusing on mathematics and formal logic research rather than programming. This makes recruiting a team of "geniuses" much cheaper. While skilled mathematicians can attract quite strong salaries, highly skilled programmers can demand significantly more. It seems the most common competing job for MIRI's researchers would be that of a mathematics professor (which have a median salary ~88,000$). Based on this, MIRI could likely hire high quality mathematicians while offering them relatively competitive salaries.

Rationality Quotes January 2014

Give machine A one nickel and have it produce a random sequence of 499 characters. Have machine B write a random sequence of 500 characters. Code machine A to pay machine B one nickel for its "book" whenever it has a nickel. Code machine B to give a nickel to machine A for its book whenever it has a nickel. Wait perhaps a few days, and you will have two bestselling authors reminiscent of Zach Weiner's Macroeconomica http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2855

Some thoughts on having children

Sorry, a more applicable study is behind a pay-wall. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/351391?uid=3739640&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103313626383 Summary: data from six surveys suggest negative correlation between having children and several measures of life satisfaction. Standard caveats that correlation doesn't imply causation, etc.

Some thoughts on having children

A study suggests that happiness is negatively affected by having children http://www.npr.org/2013/02/19/172373125/does-having-children-make-you-happier Note, there seem to be some issues with the methodology used in the study, but it also seems to be fairly well respected in academia.

Walkthrough of "Definability of Truth in Probabilistic Logic"

Nitpick, the link in the first sentence reads "Definability of Truth in Probabilistic Locic" rather than logic.

Open thread for December 9 - 16, 2013

Could you elaborate? I'm relatively familiar with and practice mindfulness meditation, but I've never heard of loving-kindness meditation.

Open thread for December 9 - 16, 2013

Correct, it is enjoyable but I wish to make it more so. Hence why I used "more".

Open thread for December 9 - 16, 2013

I find myself happier when I act more kindly to others. In addition, lowering suffering/increasing happiness are pretty close to terminal values for me.

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