dkirmani

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You are way more fallible than you think

This is one of the main themes of Nassim Taleb's books. You can't really predict the future and you especially can't predict improbable things, so minimize left-tail risk, maximize your exposure to right-tail events, and hope for the best.

The Maker of MIND

No, I just thought about it some more, and I realized that increasing the learning rate of a model (assuming the optimizer is something like SGD) would inject more randomness, just like increasing the temperature of simulated annealing would.

The Maker of MIND

I really cannot say what that means, but I am also told "learning rate" is itself something of a misnomer and involves as much forgetting as learning.

Maybe temperature is a better word.

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Why I am no longer driven

I used to be very driven. I'm talking "wake up at 4 AM, go run with my dog, take a cold shower, study for two hours, go work, meditate, cook, go to MMA practice, read a book before bed" driven.

That sounds sick. Also, potentially very useful, since akrasia is a bottleneck. Any tips on getting yourself in the state where you do that regularly, besides watching DragonBall Z?

Taking a simplified model

It's probably because it's much easier to steal from somebody you don't know. When everyone knows everyone, little theft occurs.

Why I am no longer driven

From Antifragile by Nassim Taleb:

Or, if I have to work, I find it preferable (and less painful) to work intensely for very short hours, then do nothing for the rest of the time (assuming doing nothing is really doing nothing), until I recover completely and look forward to a repetition, rather than being subjected to the tedium of Japanese style low-intensity interminable office hours with sleep deprivation. Main course and dessert are separate.

Indeed, Georges Simenon, one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century, only wrote sixty days a year, with three hundred days spent “doing nothing.” He published more than two hundred novels.

Taking a simplified model

One thing is that it's much harder to blatantly steal from the commons in sub-Dunbar groups, because everyone knows everyone else, so formal norm-enforcement (police, RAs) is unnecessary. Social sanctions suffice. Despite students having high variance in family income, property theft was a non-issue. In high school, I could save myself one of the good seats in the library by leaving my laptop there, but if I did the same thing here in the engineering library (I go to UIUC, a large state college), my laptop would likely be taken within minutes. There is an asabiyyah in small groups that does not exist for larger ones.

Taking a simplified model

e.g. imagining a society of only ten people

Societies significantly above Dunbar's number have fundamentally different dynamics than those below it. I have lived in both, having attended a boarding high school in a remote location with a population of 120. I think a lot of suffering and inefficiency in modern society is caused by trying to apply sub-Dunbar logic to super-Dunbar groups.

Why Save The Drowning Child: Ethics Vs Theory

Newton's theories give you a good way to predict what you'll see when you throw a ball in the air, but it feels incorrect to me to say that Newton's goal was to find order in our sensory experience of ball throwing.

I like this framing! The entire point of having a theory is to predict experimental data, and the only way I can collect data is through my senses.

Do you think that there are in fact ordered moral laws that we're subject to, which our impulses respond to, and which we're trying to hone in on?

You could construct predictive models of people's moral impulses. I wouldn't call these models laws, though.

Why Save The Drowning Child: Ethics Vs Theory

Clearly our moral standards are informed by our society, and in no small part those standards emerge from discussions about what we collectively would like those standards to be, and not just a genetically hardwired disloyalty sensor.

Yes, these discussions set / update group norms. Perceived defection from group norms triggers the genetically hardwired disloyalty sensor.

In pressured environments we act on instinct, but those instincts don't exist in a vacuum

Right, System 1 contains adaptations optimized to signal adherence to group norms.

the societal project of working out what [people's instincts] ought to be is quite important and pretty hard

The societal project of working out what norms other people should adhere to is known as "politics", and lots of people would agree that it's important.

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