All of DiamondSoul's Comments + Replies

Awesome, thanks! I'll be there :)

I live about 2 hours away and was thinking I might like to come, but I'm not real familiar with how LW meetups work. Are they open to pretty much anyone (i.e. is it a problem that I'm just a lurker and don't really know anyone)? Anything in particular I have to do to sign up? How long do the meetups usually last?

On the Slate Star Codex announcement [] Scott (Yvain) said, "If you're reading this, you're invited", so all are welcome. There are usually one or more lurkers/people who don't really know anyone. No sign-up necessary. There is no hard time limit, but it seems like previous ones have often lasted like three hours or more if I remember correctly. But you can leave (or arrive) at any time. I hope to see you (and blumsha []) there!

As Eliezer says, on short time scales (days, weeks, months) we change our minds less often than we expect to. However, it's worth noting that, on larger time scales (years, decades) the opposite seems to be true. Also, our emotional state changes more frequently than we expect it to, even on short time scales. I can't seem to recall my exact source on this second point at the moment (I think it was some video we watched in my high school psychology class), though, anecdotally, I've observed it to be true in my own life. Like, when I'm feeling good, I m... (read more)

One thing I think would be cool would be some sort of audio-generating device/software/thing that allows arbitrary levels of specificity. So, on one extreme, you could completely specify a fully deterministic stream of sound, and, on the other extreme, you could specify nothing and just say "make some sound". Or you could go somewhere in between and specify something along the lines of "play music for X minutes, in a manner evoking emotion Y, using melody Z as the main theme of the piece".

Now that you mention this, I do remember reading some years ago about a machine-learning composition project that had the algorithm generate random streams and learn what music people liked by crowd-sourcing feedback. I think what you've described is a great idea, and I would pay for it. Ideally, it would let me have different-styled streams dependent on what I want to do with the music / what activity I'm doing while listening. Triple bonus points if it can consume an existing piece of music to learn more about some particular style of stream that I want.

Thanks! As for "confusing questions", some thing I've had long-term interests in are: ethics, consciousness, and trying to wrap my mind around some of the less intuitive concepts in math/physics. Apart from that, it varies quite a bit. Recently, I've become rather interested in personality modeling. The Big-5 model has great empirically tested descriptive power, but is rather lacking in explanatory power (i.e. it can't, afaik, answer questions like "what's going on in person X's mind that causes them to behave in manner Y?" or "... (read more)

I did this and I might try doing a few more pieces like it. You have to click somewhere on the screen to start/stop it.

Fascinating, thanks! A project that's been kicking around in the back of my head for a while is emotional engineering through algorithmic music; it would be great to have a way to generate somewhat novel happy high-energy music during coding that won't sap any attention (I'm sort of reluctant to talk to musicians about it, though, because it feels like telling a chef you'd like a way to replace them with a machine that dispenses a constant stream of sugar :P).

I'm a college student studying music composition and computer science. You can hear some of my compositions on my SoundCloud page (it's only a small subset of my music, but I made sure to put a few that I consider my best at the top of the page). In the computer science realm, I'm into game development, so I'm participating in this thing called One Game A Month whose name should be fairly self-explanatory (my February submission is the one that's most worth checking out - the other 2 are kind of lame...).

For pretty much as long as I can remember, I've en... (read more)

Welcome! Have you done any algorithmic composition?
Welcome, fellow new person! You've got some wonderful music. Any particular things that interest you in the "confusing question" genre?

Could you expand on this? It's not clear to me how this is the case.

Rational charity and utilitarianism make it extremely hard to justify how much most of us spend on ourselves or on feel-good charities rather than high impact results like giving money to high impact charities.

Oddly enough, I get much angrier at my computer for not working than I ever do at other humans. Though I wouldn't say I often get "offended" by either. I wonder how common this is?

I believe what army means is that some people mistakenly use evo-psy to make claims along the lines of "we have evolved to have [some characteristic], therefore it is morally right for us to have [aforementioned characteristic]".

What I've seen tends to be more like, "we have evolved to have [some characteristic], asserting a deontological duty not to have [aforementioned characteristic] is not a good idea".

I'd add that many people appear to exercise motivated cognition in their use of ev-psych explanations; they want to justify a particular conclusion, so they write the bottom line and craft an argument from evolutionary psychology to work their way down to it. Although it would be hard for me to recall a precise example off the top of my head, I've certainly seen cases where people used evolutionary just-so stories to justify a sexual status quo, where I could easily see ways that the argument could have led to a completely different conclusion.

Right. Many armchair evolutionary psychologists don't understand the nature of the evolutionary-cognitive boundary.