All of DiscyD3rp's Comments + Replies

Ok. I naively thought I could trip up this system by altering the probability of being a simulation or the payout, but I can't.

SCDT successfully 1 boxes on any box 2 payout larger than $1000. SCDT successfully 1 boxes even if a single simulation is used to predict any number of actual Alices. (The scenario I worked through involved 10,000 duplicate Alices being predicted by a single Alice simulation.)

I'm thoroughly impressed by this decision theory.

It seems as if these are generic enough problems with enough past incidences to assume studies have already occurred regarding them. Do you happen to know what the existing solution to these problems are and how effective they are?

or alternatively, how harmful the problems are, and wether an imposed solution tends to be cost effective or not.

Ok. So the problem is that designing systems with accessible back-doors for nepotism is a larger hit to the effectiveness of the industry than if there were simply blatant nepotism itself, and systems weren't compromised by third parties.

Is this correct? In your (admittedly non-exauhstive) experience, in what specific ways is the industry harmed?

Yes; that's my current thesis, anyway. Because nepotism is being hidden behind a cloud of general inefficiency and unaccountability, systems are designed to be inefficient and unaccountable. This means that plenty of other failure modes ride in on the same train - HR interviewing processes become a nightmare, reporting and recording instances of harassment, fraud, etc. become fraught with roadblocks and potential backlash, and internal and outreach hires based on specific recommendations / vouchsafes become a needlessly complicated process.

Ok, I think I understand what your saying.

The system needs to be designed in such a way to allow covert nepotism, as businesses desire the ability to behave nepotistical without appearing to be, and this demand is important and consistent enough for the market solution to inevitably include it. And you are also saying that nepotism isn't too harmful, and the system we'd attempt to implement should include mechanisms for nepotism.

(God I sometimes hate human behavior. ARGGH)

Is this correct? Have you communicated the correct ideas to me?

And, In what ways have business credentialing systems handled this kind of demand historically, and are similar methods applicable here?

From my experience, yes. In my experience (which is by no means exhaustive), the "recommended" solution has been to ensure that the data entry and transmission processes are performed by humans, rather than fully automated, and that no automated data integrity checks are performed. Also in my experience, this 'solution' does far more harm to the system than the nepotism itself. :(

I don't see how nepotism effects the system too horribly. Businesses are still entirely allowed to hire close friends and family despite less credentials, and any other nepotistic behavior that's counter to the purpose of profit.

The Watchdogs, however, can't just hand out certification willy nilly, because they need a universal metric for all competing businesses in a field.

If Business A makes a habit of bribing Watchdog A so Mr. CEO's sons can have the same certification as actual students (for the purpose of hiding nepotism), then Watchdog B's nepotism f... (read more)

Well, I was speaking from the perspective of someone who has actual experience in writing business credentialing systems. The effect is small enough to come out in the wash most of the time, but is important enough to require implementation (or at the very least, to prevent robustness in the implementation of goal 1.) The problem is that profit-maximization is ultimately less important than status-maintenance, in many cases - but the environment requires that profit-maximization appears to be the primary motive.

I would like to strongly voice my interest in such a service myself. I don't have spare capital to give, but I want this to happen.

I would think business wouldn't make the mistake of employing biased watchdogs. Let's look at the main incentives:

  • Businesses wan't an accurate idea of who is employable.

  • Schools of course want to appear to produce employable students.

  • Watchdogs want money.

Now, unless I'm mistaken, being bribed by schools to put them in a favorable light is a temporary bubble, liable to pop when businesses discover that they've been lied to. Watchdogs' main employers would be businesses searching for employees, as far as I'm willing to predict, and failing to succes... (read more)

That still seems to leave room for (1) one or more broad cycles where most of the watchdog industry grows rich off lies & bias before imploding (as happens with bubbles) or (2) a steadily growing industry with a continually replenished proportion of fraudulent watchdogs that pop into existence, make money from lies, then get swooped on (as happens with consumer fraud).
This is only partially true. Businesses want two things: 1. An accurate metric of who is employable 2. The ability to co-opt that metric for specific people, in order to promo te nepotism without producing the appearance of nepotism. '2' is a rare exception, but it is a VITALLY important one - important enough that any system you design will be doomed to failure if it fails to provide for case 2, or makes its process of providing for case 2 too obvious to outsiders. EDIT: Okay. I'm going to go ahead and take whatever further karma hit I have to to point this out. I lost FOURTY EIGHT karma over the course of five minutes, after posting this. Seriously, LW. Fix your goddamn karma system.

Absolutely love this idea, just one little comment on the watchdogs.

It occurs to me now that, if one wished to be really nitpicky about who watches the watchmen, I suspect that there would be institutions testing the reliability of those meta-institutions, and so on and so forth... When does it stop? How to avoid vested interests and little cheats and manipulations pulling an academic equivalent of the AAA certification of sub-prime junk debt in 2008?

Why do the watchdogs exist? Because business produce demand for accurate measurements of employability,... (read more)

So the reason employers wouldn't make the mistake with testers that banks made with moneylenders is... that there isn't a secondary market of diplomas/graduates? That educational entities with a vested interest in getting evaluated well would be a much smaller part of the market of employers than banks with a vested interest in selling bad debt were in respect to the market of debt buyers? Am I getting this right, or am I just making a spectacle of my ignorance?

For the EDM fans out there, some semi-pony themed dubstep/progressive house/electro music:

A thinking hat - like the sorting hat, only it uses your brainpower to help you solve problems.

You mean like the Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw? which may not exist in the Rationalverse, as it's potentially OP. Especially if Harry gets his hands on it.

My explicit hope is that Harry is doing that intentionally, after carefully determining whether the troll needs to die or not. For (what I think is) the purpose of increasing his chance of success. He seems exactly the kind of guy who'd temporarily manipulate and self-decieve himself for high instrumental utility, and has demonstrated the ability in the past (with the Dementors in TSPE). The main competing hypothesis is rationalizations from an influential Dark Side, which seems less likely. (~10%)

He'd already thought " twins get eaten". so...yeah.

I honestly thought that was the joke until I realized the actual results of this poll effect the likelihood of the change actually taking place. And this is, in fact, an actual for serious poll.


I need to get my shit together. This is the most compelling argument I've heard for "jumping through the hoops".

Thank you for that, I hope I can actually change my mind about this.

I apologize. I was in a particular rush at the time of that particular comment, and was using my ipod. I understand that people are liable to respond adversely to bad spelling, and hope to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

I thank you for providing me with an emotive memory for why this is important, and I hope the future is just as critical of me as you currently are.

If you find sparkles's comments helpful, great. I would not have found them worthwhile while I had high levels of typo problems (I've gotten better, but I'm not perfect - worse, my typos tend to change meanings rather than simply fail to make words). Quality of writing improves with practice, but spelling mistakes of the kind you were making in the context you made them (comment section, via mobile device) are not closely correlated with quality. If these mistakes really bother you, the lesson might simply be not to post through the Ipod, without getting into the emotional reaction that sparkles is trying to generate. Because whipsawing your emotions is not a friendly act.

Ok, followup question: How important are scholarly credentials vs just having that knowledge without a diploma? Obviously it varies with the field and what one wishes to use the knowledge for. However, it's important to know, because i don't want to waste resources getting a degree when alternatively auditing courses and reading textbooks is just as useful.

Ex: Art degree is useful if I want to be employed specifically by a company that requires it, but pure knowledge is just as useful for freelance/independent work in the same field, and is much cheaper.

Programming is one of the very few occupations you still can get into without formal credentials, with some difficulty. Academia is right out, and so is any area where formal certification is a legal prerequisite, like most of engineering, commerce, law, medicine etc. You can certainly start your own business in one of many of the less regulated areas, if you are good, lucky and willing to work your ass off.

How important are scholarly credentials vs just having that knowledge without a diploma?

I think in almost every field and occupation, having the scholarly credentials is extremely important. Knowledge without the credentials is pretty worthless (unless its worthwhile in itself, but even then you can't eat it): using that knowledge will generally require that people put trust in your having it, often when they're not in a position to evaluate how much you know (either because they're not experts, or they don't have the time). Credentials are generally th... (read more)

I apreciate coming to my defense, although my writig is poor. I've bean meaning to get a copy of Elements of Style from the library, and practice does make perfect, so the more I comment the better I'll get.

I am currently teaching myself Haskel and have a functional programming textbook on my device. While unsolicited, i apreciate ALL advice. Any other tips?

Nope, that's all I got. Wait, one more thing. I learned in a painful way that scholarly credentials are most cheaply won (time and effort wise) in high school, and then it gets exponentially more difficult as you age. Every hour you spend making sure you get perfect grades now is worth ten or a hundred hours in your early-mid twenties. Looking back, getting anything less than perfect grades, given how easy that is in high school, seems utterly foolish. Maybe you already know that. Good luck!

Ackknowledged. Its currently my go-to username for personal/fun use, and is less apropriate for serious science. I wasnt sure if LeasWrong was the best place to start professionally. Would you reccommend irl name or a professional paeudonym?

Given that you have indicated professional interest within the rationalist community going with a real name is a better-than-usual option.

Oh how embarrassing. My apologies for any confusion Andrew, and welcome to LessWrong!:) it's a lovely place from what I've seen, and I hope you stick around.

A point I meant to make in my original comment: I hope the community support will more effectively encourage rational behavior in myself than I've currently been able to do solo. Enforce your group norms, and i hope to adapt to this tribe's methods quickly, unless more effective self hacks are known.

A point I meant to make in my original comment: I hope the community support will more effectively encourage rational behavior in myself than I've currently been able to do solo. Enforce your group norms, and i hope to adapt to this tribe's methods quickly, unless more effective self hacks are known.

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Oh how embarrassing. My apologies for any confusion Andrew, and welcome to LessWrong!:) it's a lovely place from what I've seen, and I hope you stick around.

Hello LW. My pseudonym is DiscyD3rp, and this introduction is long overdo. I am 17, male, and currently enrolled in high school. I discovered this site over a year ago, via HPMoR, and have read a good percentage of the main sequences in a kinda correct order. However, i was experiencing significant angst from what I call Dungeon Crawl Anxiety (The same reason that when exploring RPG dungeons i double back and explore even AFTER discovering the correct path). I am now (re-)reading the entirety of Eliezer's posts in the ebook version of the sequences. I have... (read more)

Given your ambition I suggest changing your name to something respectable before you have spent time establishing a name for yourself. DiscyD3rp will make establishing credibility more difficult for you.
I hope you will forgive the impertinance of offering unsolicited advice: if you havn't already, you might consider teaching yourself several programming languages in your free time. It's a very marketable skill, important to MIRI's work, and in many ways suffices for a basic education in logic. The mathy stuff is probably not optional given your ambitions, and much of the same discipline and attention to detail necessary cor programming can be applied to learning serious math. Arrogance will be a terrible burden if unaccompanied by usefulness and skill.
A point I meant to make in my original comment: I hope the community support will more effectively encourage rational behavior in myself than I've currently been able to do solo. Enforce your group norms, and i hope to adapt to this tribe's methods quickly, unless more effective self hacks are known.