Wiki Contributions


The Trolley Problem

Of course the right thing to do is to pull the lever. And the right time to do that is once the trolley's front wheels have passed the switch but the rear wheels haven't yet. The trolley gets derailed, saving all 6 lives.

Ideal College Education for an Aspiring Rationalist?

Aside from basic math (calculus, linear algebra, probability, ODE, all with proofs), take courses in topics that feel interesting to you just by themselves. Don't count on things you learn being actually useful in real life, and accordingly don't try to prioritize courses by that metric. You'll learn what you need for your job by yourself or be taught at the job anyway, so instead spend this time building up an inventory of things to draw upon for useful metaphors. It's easier to learn what's intrinsically interesting so you'll end up learning more. For real world skills, do some academic research projects and industry internships.

What am I missing? (quantum physics)

This is the correct answer to the question. Bell and CHSH and all are remarkable but more complicated setups. This - entanglement no matter which basis you'll end up measuring your particle in, not known at the time of state preparation, - is what's salient about the simple 2-particle setup.

Sufficiently Advanced Language Models Can Do Reinforcement Learning
As I've argued previously, a natural selection process maps cleanly onto RL in the limit.

The URL is broken (points to edit page)

High Stock Prices Make Sense Right Now

Regarding safer assets, when you put your money into a savings account (loan it to the bank), what is the bank to do with it? Presumably it has promised you interest. Or if you buy treasuries - someone must have sold them to you - what do they do now with all the cash? Just because you personally didn't put your money into stocks does't mean nobody else downstream from you did.

And because most securities aren't up for sale at any given time, a small fraction of market participants can have outsized effects on prices. Consider oil back in April: sure the "prices" turned "negative" when a few poor suckers realized they had forgotten to roll their futures to the next month back when everybody else did and could get stuck with a physical delivery, but how many barrels worth of contracts did actually change hands at those prices?

Not sure how this would support the OP's point specifically, but just wanted to point out that 1%-level things can sometimes have large manifestations in "prices", just because liquidity is finite.

Covid-19: My Current Model

Regarding HCQ, the recent large-N studies were observational and looks like patients there were given HCQ late and if they were relatively sicker. Using it early on could still work (but now there won't be an RCT for that thanks to numerous delendae).

Regarding schools, did the countries that reopened those already fare particularly worse?

Iceland's COVID-19 random sampling results: C19 similar to Influenza

That's terrible news! It means that on top of the meager coronavirus there's another unidentified disease overcrowding the hospitals, causing respirator shortages all over the world, and threatening to kill millions of people!

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