All of deschutron's Comments + Replies

Open thread, Feb. 23 - Mar. 1, 2015

People have had this idea before. It's called "eugenics".

It has a bad reputation from its implementation by the Nazis, who might have corrupted it a bit for their other political goals.

But I think even a pure implementation of eugenics is not as good as the other options we have for improving the lives of future humans.

1Douglas_Knight7yVery little of eugenics's bad reputation dates from the Nazis. Some of it dates from before and some from long after. In particular, the winners continued their pre-war programs for decades after the war. Eugenics became unfashionable around 1960, a bit late to blame on the Nazis. And I think the emphasis on Nazi associations is even later (maybe 1970 or 1980), after eugenics was clearly losing.
0MrMind7yNot quite: eugenics is a set of techniques that isn't certainly limited to sexual selection. Plus only humans could practice eugenics. Instead, anything with a brain and sex can practice sexual selection.
Have you changed your mind recently?

Is there anything important you think you should change your mind about?

Stupid Questions February 2015

I just read a description of that lottery. I see its expected value is a divergent series. If both games you compare have their expected values defined this way then I think you can subtract one series from the other. i think this is the approach you mentioned, and I would do it.

Also, I'm not an expert on infinity, but I think there are different kinds of infinity. If one game gives you, on average, a dollar for each natural number, and one gives you, on average, one dollar for each pair of natural numbers that exists, then the second game gives you infinitely as much expected value as the first one.

0LEmma7yEquivalence of infinite cardinalities is determined by whether a bijection between sets of those cardinalities exists. In this case, if interpreted as cardinalities, both infinities would be equal. Also, the order in which you sum the terms in a series can matter. See here: []
Stupid Questions February 2015

I used to think that the way mathematicians did things was forced to be the best way we could do because of the requirements to do things properly in order to advance in maths. But then the Tau Manifesto showed me I was wrong.

I think you're right about cosine. I think sine seemed simpler when it was named back in classical times, but then when complex numbers were discovered and their relationships to the trigonometric functions was discovered, cosine turned out to be simpler.

Here's one I come across as a programmer: which number is better for starting ind... (read more)

Stupid Questions February 2015

Wow, you have a good point. I always use the concept of surface area (and considering spheres of equal total force) to remember why the r on the bottom is squared. Putting the surface area into the formula is like replacing a factor that raises questions with the answer to those questions.

Bill Gates: problem of strong AI with conflicting goals "very worthy of study and time"

The solution to the friendly AI problem: Make an AI that detects what people are trying to do and asks them if they'd like some help.

Bill Gates: problem of strong AI with conflicting goals "very worthy of study and time"

Ten years ago this would have been a great segue into jokes comparing a post-singularity AGI to Microsoft Windows.

The reason that AI wants to turn the universe into paperclips is because it's the 2nd coming of Clippy.

Open thread, 18-24 August 2014

Yes, but if you've never tried to be vegetarian before, then your fears of the downsides (bad health and not enjoying food, right?) might be out of proportion. Going fully vegetarian for a bit gives you a chance to get feedback from your body about it, and so help you determine your limit.

If you cut down your meat intake but stay high above the limit then you're causing some animal suffering for no significant gain. (I assume reducing animal suffering is the goal of your plan.)

I planned to this myself but I'm not doing it, because of issues with my SO.

Open thread, 18-24 August 2014

I've known a couple of people who became vegetarians for a while and then changed to eating meat occasionally, saying that it was for health reasons. Apparently, they got weak or sick when they went a while without eating meat. And a lack of iron was part of it IIRC. Maybe you could try being a full vegetarian until you notice side effects. The side effects might be really subtle, but if you do have them and detect them then you can get a measure of how much meat you need to eat.

2dthunt7yYeah, I see a lot of complications involving iron, b12, and a few other things. I don't have some sort of moral absolute thing going on; I ought to be able to make a low-effort glance into the things I eat and pick a diet that closely matches my intuitions without sacrificing health, happiness, or undue money. Like if it turns out that beef is the most ethical meat, and that eggs are really horrible, then I might eat beef but not eggs, if they are just vastly better ways of getting things that are otherwise a complete PITA to acquire. Most likely, though, I can get by with very minimal tradeoffs, or at least it looks that way.
Bragging Thread, July 2014

Created a Sound-Cloud account and shared some music I made with my reversible spectrogram program on it. Got feedback from budding musician work colleagues and checked out their music. So I encouraged them and they encouraged me. And I have experience publishing on one of those social network publishing sites. And when I die, something of me will be available for others to see.

Eliezer Yudkowsky Facts

Upvoted for the first one.