David Gretzschel

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# Wiki Contributions

tl;dr: Words are hard and people are horrible at being precise with them, even when doing or talking about math.

[epistemic status: maybe I'd want an actual textbook here but good enough]
Looking into this, I have been grilling ChatGPT about what exactly a "belief" is in Bayesian Probability. According to it (from what I could gather), belief is a specific kind of probability. So a belief is just a number between 0 and 1 representing a probablity, but we use the label "belief" in specific contexts only. A prediction specifically is the pair of (statement about the future, belief). So a belief is not a prediction. Except when it is. I ask for examples and ChatGPT also loves going pars pro toto and belief is used synonymously with prediction a lot. And I've picked up the habit myself from reading here, before I ever learnt about the math at calculation level.

Personally, I dislike pars pro toto as I find that it makes things very confusing. So I will stop using the term "belief" to be synonymous with "prediction" from now on. Except when I won't, because I suspect that it's kind of convenient and sounds kind of neat.

source: https://chat.openai.com/share/03a62839-3efc-483d-bebd-4cefa9064dfd

Thanks, did not see nor thought to explore, as websites aren't normally so sophisticated and feature-rich.

AI content is boring, if you're not in that field. I'd like a button to quickly filter out all AI-tagged posts.

Of course. Till they become too easy, then you'd need something harder.
Or you practice speed, I suppose.

There is not. That's why I was asking him if he knows. I was not interested in the effect of exercise. Exercise means, you do some activity a couple times per week.
I'm interested whether the obesety epidemic only affects the sedentary populatrion.
And if being or becoming non-sedentary is protective or curative.
25k steps for me means, that my treadmill is running constantly when I'm on my computer.
This is not really exercise. Movement is just my default state.

In that way, I have become closer to what an EAA-hunter-gatherer, than to a sedentary office worker does with his body.
[or I would, if this had been my lifetime norm instead of something I still get used to]
If the human body was sold as a machine, the sedentary lifestyle probably would void your warranty, because it's rather extreme (dis)usage. Sedentary people being unhealthy is not surprising.
It's surprising that some sedentary people aren't.

Anyway, "being in near-constant motion" is too specific/complicated a metric.
So I'd just look for a step count high enough, that's only feasibly doable by a non-sedentary person like me. Though, I guess any daily jogger can probably match or exceed 25k steps per day.
The group of people whose 80th quantile waking hour still has >1k steps.
That's probably the better proxy, come to think of it.

"Finally, the obvious question: what extra information do you mentally track, which is crucial to performing some task well?"

When I try to cook something complicated by recipe, I go over each line of the recipe and previsualize all the corresponding physical actions.
I previsualize the state, amount, location and the transitions for each  object. Objects = {pots, pans, ingredients, oil, condiments, package, piece of trash, volume of water, stove, task-completion times, hands, free seconds/minutes for cleaning during the cook, towel, tissue paper...}.
This tells me where the recipe is underspecified or needs to be adapted to my kitchen and allows me to fix the uncertainty beforehand, instead of giving me a puzzle in the moment where a bunch of parralelized tasks severely limit the estimated available interruption-free cognitive capacity. I try to go for a high-fidelity visual simulation and run it multiple times (obviously I speed it up).
If the recipe is already chunked into stages, I mentally review them seperately. I also think of the "why" of the steps within the recipe. It's far easier to memorize a complex structure, if I can logically appreciate why it looks like that. Also I mentally set markers for expected free minutes, where I have time to re-review the next stage.

If I do all of that, cooking something complex becomes quite joyful and easy, instead of stressful.
I am not really a visual thinker. Visual thinking is aversive to me.
Or perhaps... it's more anti-mimetic, as it's just not a cognitive option that naturally occurs to me. Because I'm just far more performant in thinking by combining verbal abstractions. Path dependency and all that.
However, intellectually I know, that if I could sharpen and practice my visual thinking subskill, I can in time dramatically increase my cognitive capabilities.
For example, I recently found the recursive formula for cubes, just by visualizing it whilst drinking coffee in my gym. (no written notes)
m:= n+1
m^3= n^3 + 3n^2 + 3n + 1
[normally, you'd only use n instead of defining m as the successor, but I find this to be needlessly difficult, because it causes a ton of interference for me]

It was a bit challenging, but also something that I just started spontaneously doing for fun. And I'm pretty sure I could find the general formula for n^m (m being a natural number) too, next time I have a liminal context, that usually ends up seeing me preoccupied with fantasies and mentally rehearsing arguments.
For a true visual thinker, this probably is "just obvious" but this is me shrinking the gap. So... baby steps.

But during my day-to-day cognitive operations the hyerbolic utility functions (fancy way of saying "impatience") means, I don't want to use those underdeveloped skills.
Practicing unusual thought patterns with no clear momentary payoff is frustrating and cognitively exhausting. And if I'm drained like that, I'm at very high risk for the YouTube/book/daydreaming/websurfing-etc. -cognitohazards.

But for cooking something difficult, visualization has proven so extremely useful, that I'll always do it there now. Because when I am lazy and just read and execute the recipe as I go along (my prior default), the whole process is far more cumbersome, frustrating and the outcome is unsatisfying. And I don't actually get much better or more comfortable at cooking itself. Because visualization has such incredibly high applicability in this domain, I actually have far less internal resistance when using it. Therefore can visualize far better in this context, than normally. And by updating what I'm actually already capable of, I'm slowly making it more salient/less anti-mimietic/less aversive as an option.

I was not responding to your pregnancy-argument, but to your post higher up in this subthread from 3 days ago. The threading makes this a bit confusing.
Also should have specified what I was responding to the last paragraph:
"Both are ruled out by experiments showing that (in metabolically healthy individuals before the obesity epidemic) a randomized experimental intervention to add overeating does not produce obesity any more than it produces tumors."

Is there actually an obesity epidemic among people who walk more than 25k steps per day? (or is something like that currently known).

EDIT:
I suppose my hypothesis is:
Living a non-sedentary lifestyle meaning less than 20 minutes of sitting per day, 25k-ish steps per day somewhat equally spread out over all waking hours makes the "weight-gain -=>  obesity"-phenomenon impossible, because it's a sufficient requirement for robust metabological health.
If that was true, it might not answer what is behind the obesity epidemic.
But that's what I would study, to check if it's a cure or reliable prevention.

I'd say 90% chance of this being true, but mostly on intuition and with high model uncertainty.
And I don't know, if we know enough to answer this question, because non-sedentary lifestyles like that are fairly niche in all Western societies. But I recently figured out, that they're not all that hard to adopt.

EDID2: Actually, I'd say the 90% applies to it being "reliable prevention". No clue, how curative that would be.
I never had to really lose more than a couple kg of fat. [and "had to" is really exaggerating a lot]
From what I observe, it seems somehow impossible for really fat people to become not fat, despite heroic struggles which have always been strange to observe from the outside.

Do you know, if we also observe an obesity-epidemic in the subgroup of people who average 25k+ in daily steps? That step-requirement is a good, high standard of "metabolically healthy" to isolate.
I belong in that group these days and it feels natural, relaxed and I feel far more energetic than when I was averaging 7k daily steps and was the sedentary nerd cliché, about a year ago. Now I am a nerd, who takes two walks per day, almost never sits and either stands or uses his office treadmill when on the computer.
Even before, I never really got fat. But I feel, that I might not have been "metabolically healthy", because now I feel better. So I strongly suspect that a far higher than average step-count is a hard requirement for being "metabolically healthy".

People at the LW-meetup have been despairing a bit explaining AI-risk to me in person.
I kept making various objections and the evenings were never long enough to get thru it all.
So I never managed to really grok the perspective before. Still don't after one read-through. But I'm a lot closer and with enough rereads, I think I'll get the full argument.
Thanks for writing this!

Replace "content" with "process" and this makes sense to me.

"content" and "topic" are not synonymous, for me of course.
But "topic" is like the headline and "content" is the text below it.
So both deal very much with the subject matter.
But also you use "content" synonymously with "topic" informally.
In a pars-pro-toto/totum pro tarte-way.
So this whole article feels super-confusing.