Filipe Marchesini

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Open & Welcome Thread - December 2020

I believe that many people will take COVID to their relatives during Christmas and the New Year, and I'm seriously thinking about starting some campaign to make people aware that they should at least this time consider wearing a mask for the next weeks and also stop socializing without a mask during this period in order to protect their relatives during the traditional holidays. I started developing a mobile app today to be released by December 12 and another (also related to COVID) to be released by December 20, I don't know what impact this will have on people's decisions, but I'm already leaving here publicly registered so that it works as a personal incentive not to pay attention to anything else until the two apps are released.
PM me if you want to join development, I'm using KivyMD to develop the apps. The first app lets you easily record your last social gatherings, saying how many people (with and without masks) were present, when it happened, the duration (short or long), and if were indoors or outdoors. Then it says how risky is going to see your relatives on Christmas or in any other date and what you should do to mitigate the risks. There are also other things, but this is the main idea. The second one is a COVID game, aiming to influence social behavior and public discourse during pandemic, details later.

Small Habits Shape Identity: How I became someone who exercises

I haven't exercised regularly in years, and last week I started thinking about how bad the consequences can be for me. I decided to do something, I wasn't in the mood, I thought "well, I'll do 10 push-ups. Maybe it's not much, but it's better than nothing". And I made it. You said "make it ridiculously easy", and now I just made 15 push-ups. Interesting. This is really easy. And I will do it again. Just a little more on the next time.

Should students be allowed to give good teachers a bonus?

Epistemic status: babble all the way down, not pruning. But I believe my approach is better than most of other answers here.

The error from other LWers  is not separating the evaluation of lessons to the evaluation of tests. 

Students should be allowed to give good teachers a bonus. For each lesson, in any moment of the lesson, the students should have the possibility to rate the teacher's performance on some metrics. Think on a mobile application that does that. Do you know when you take a ride with an Uber and immediately after finishing the ride you rate it? We should have the same possibility of rating teachers after their lessons (up until some limit, e.g., you had your lesson on Monday, you won't be able to rate it on the next month, you have until a week to rate this lesson). The teacher should be paid a bonus when he gets good scores. This bonus would be added lesson by lesson to teacher's account. 

Let's say each week I have three different lessons with professors A, B and C.
Professor A gives me 2 hours lesson/week. 
Professor B gives me 4 hours lesson/week. 
Professor C gives me 6 hours lesson/week. 

For each two hours lesson, the student gains one point to spend. So, I have 6 points to spend on spend on professors A, B, C in any way I choose to.

The professor A, I've just watched his lesson and I loved it. I give him 3 points. Professor B is good too, I like him, but I will just give him two points. Professor C is not that good teacher, but he seems to be working hard on these particular difficult topics, I'll give him one point.

On the end of the month, good teachers will be rewarded by how good their performance were on THE LESSONS. I haven't spent time thinking on a good function to convert the scores received by the teacher on this week to money, but it doesn't seem hard to create a fair one.

We should have a separate rating system for the evaluation of the tests applied by the teacher, so we could separate the feelings that appear on our heart when we compare the quality of the lessons to the difficulty of the problems posed by the professor on his test. We know when we go bad on an exam, "that's the teacher's fault". So this separate system would be more strict, asking several questions like "How difficult was this test? How many hours have you studied before doing it? The questions on the test were related to things taught on the lessons? How do you compare the difficult of the test questions to the difficult of the lessons' questions? Leave a comment about the test on the following Entry box". Obviously I haven't pruned these questions, they just arrived at my mind, but certainly there exist a very good set of questions that could let us investigate how well the teachers perform in creating tests and also reward them when we detect it. 

Thinking again about the first system, it should also have some questions about the lesson. "How good the professor explains the concepts? How organized he is? Did you learn the concepts? How do you rate the difficulty of the topics this teacher is trying to explain to you? [Leave here what kind of questions you believe would improve this questionnaire]. Leave a comment about the lesson on the following Entry box". 

It shouldn't be needed for a student to answer these questions to give all his points  for a teacher. But we could weight the student points by how many questions he answered. For example, if I gave you 3 points and I said why I've done this, this weighs more than a student that gives you 3 points but doesn't explain why he does that. Justified rating is worth more than unjustified rating.

  1. this advantages teachers with larger classes.

Your reward function can take in consideration the number of students that participated on the lesson, the number of students the rated the professor, and also you could average the scores, I don't know, come on, you can create a function that is fair for any class size, you just have to think about what function you will use

Where does the money come from?

Diminish all salaries in x%. Now you can redistribute this money more fairly, proportional to performance.

My second-favorite teacher in undergrad was relatively unpopular because he taught very difficult classes, at least some of which were required to graduate.

That's why it is important to evaluate the LESSONS every week. And when the test comes, this is a different evaluation. This professor was unpopular due to difficult tests, not to bad lessons, right? 

Most universitites have already systems where students evaluate their teachers at the end of the year and the scores do figure into administrative decisions of the university

That's the problem. At the end of the year you are evaluating the "teacher", which means 

If I find the teacher a good professor and I give him +5 points, but I sucked at his tests, and I give -10 points for my bad feelings for doing bad on the test, the final evaluation of the teacher is "tis teacher is bad" == -5

If the system rates week by week, we could detect misuse of the system if we suddenly see bad lessons ratings close to the test application (right after the test, for example). 

I don't think this is how market wages work. If it is known that the average teacher gets a $100 bonus, the school will offer $100 less in base pay than it would otherwise.

Maybe not right now, when the change is introduced. But in the following years, the wages will raise slower than they would otherwise, until the balance is achieved.

It doesn't seem bad to pay a little less for the average teacher with average lessons, and pay a little more for the above average teacher with above average lessons. It seems like arbitrage. You do good lessons, you earn more. Why not? And if you can now detect which teachers are much worse than average, you can fire them and get even more students that are interested in this school full of good teachers, because the bad ones can't stay

Stupid Questions October 2020

I don't think so. For example, follow these instructions:

  1. Say you are a poor guy on a poor country
  2. Say you luckily got a computer when you were a child
  3. Say while you were studying AI, you found LW.
  4. Say bad events happen to you/your family, and now you are in urgent need.

Now you can see, although most LW readers are not like this guy, this guy is among LW readers. My point is that we should financially support this guy, independently if he belongs to LW or not. I would say it is easy to help him and we have a reason to support him, and the fact he reads LW doesn't change the facts on his life. Again, although not common, we should be prepared to detect and solve this kind of unfortunate situation. At least this is something I would do if I had enough resources to help. 

Stupid Questions October 2020

Why would they?

Sometimes non needy people want to help other people in need. If you were looking to maximize happiness points across the world, for example, you would gain more points helping those members in need. 

Considering that LW readers are mostly rich Americans

There are non-zero members suffering financially, that's why I asked that. It would be too easy for some people here to make this number go to zero.

Stupid Questions October 2020

My question was really stupid, actually I was thinking "I would like to spend at least 200 hours on this project, but it seems I won't get any money from it, maybe I could ask LW members if they want to support it financially". 
A better question is "Can I ask you money to help me to build a software that may help you?", or "it is inappropriate to ask for money on LW, the platform discourages this".

Disclaimer: I am still not sure if this is the correct question. Anyway, I am developing some helper tools, and although I won't monetize them directly, it would be good to get some money from it, because I am not the guy who has enough money to not need any money from the community anymore.

Stupid Questions October 2020

Should LW members support each other financially?

Everything I Know About Elite America I Learned From ‘Fresh Prince’ and ‘West Wing’

If my stated and/or revealed preferences are that I don't value joining the elite class very much, is that wrong in either an instrumental or terminal sense?

Considering you haven't miscalculated the value from joining the elite class, I believe it is wrong to spend energy to be labeled as "elite". If you lost something you had to protect while you wasted your time with useless pursuits, like trying to "join the elite" by getting some very specific superior pedigree, then you took a very poor instrumental action. It all depends on what you actually want and how joining the elite will help you to achieve that. But it seems obvious that there are several ways of achieving anything you want without having to join the elite, except if your terminal value is being labeled as elite from some specific set of people.

For people who do seem to value it a lot, either for themselves or their kids (e.g., parents obsessed with getting their kids into an elite university), is that wrong in either an instrumental or terminal sense?

That seems wrong if there are less costly and much faster ways to achieve what the parents actually want from their kids without having to make them participate on the "become elite" rituals. Maybe the parents want their kids to be seen as good people, respected among the members of the tribe, without financial troubles. If elite people have these properties, you make your kids to participate on the rituals needed to make them labeled as elite (parents use the "elite" label here as a proxy to status, respect and financial support). But that's a bad choice when parents discover there are several other cheaper ways of achieving the same ends. And that's a bad choice when parents discover in the future that the proxies used in the past to filter good people from bad people are not relevant anymore. I believe what parents actually want is not just their kids being seen as good people, but also their kids being good people. Maybe if they become too obsessed with getting elite kids, what if parents discover their elite kids are not actually good people? Due to the weak correlation between being actually good and participating on elite rituals, I believe it is wrong to make your kids to become elite kids. You should focus on making them good, respectable and rich. Otherwise, if the correlation is strong (between participating on what you call elite rituals and becoming good, respectable and rich), you should make your kids participate on these rituals.

Can we hold intellectuals to similar public standards as athletes?

Yes, we can hold intellectuals to similar public standards as athletes. Using GPT-4/5 we could use it to create a set of questions to check if the intellectual can answer the questions correctly avoiding every kind of bias already explained here on LW. For each bias already explained before, we can create new questions that show when a human fall on them, assigning a new score to that human. I would like each human to write down all his knowledge with the help of an automatic writing system, we could create a visual tree of all knowledge the system detected the human acquired on the past, and evaluate how well he performs in answering questions about the fields he visited/he claims to know about. What's the point of asking your credentials when I can evaluate your knowledge in real-time with GPT-n systems? 

On the tree of knowledge we could see which humans score higher in which domains and why. What are the questions they can answer that others can't. Don't ask me my credentials, ask me a hard question/ give me a hard problem to solve and let's see who solves it first or better. GPT-n could babble about the solution presented by different humans, and other group of humans that score high on these domains could also rate/evaluate the solutions by others, choosing the score they assign for each solution. 

Brainstorming positive visions of AI

Yes, jungofthewon, and AI going well will also give all humanity the ability to get adequate quantity of super-delicious green food, making everyone get unlimited access to super-delicious perfectly sustainable healthy and ethical food.

Also, AI going well will provide to humanity the best algorithm to allocate different people in different places, choosing the best place to accommodate  every person on earth. You wouldn't believe that living with this specific set of 7 people on this specific city and in this specific house would give you the maximum expected happiness points you could ever achieve by just choosing the right people to live with.  

Furthermore, this perfect auto sustainable large-scale medical diagnostic system with the cumulative knowledge from the best medical sources on earth and the best statistical analysis from all data from all patients on earth, that no person on earth ever develops any kind of disease, because the system always help you to avoid them.

I feel optimistic about the future when I think on the possibility of choosing an AI system to be my political representative that I choose to coordinate my resources in direction of optimizing large-scale systems of education, health, safety, housing, basic sanitation and entertainment. I would give all my resources for such a system that proves to me that it can handle these systems better than traditional human political representatives, and even more if it provided us drones to protect all our community from human systems that threaten our peaceful way of coordinating resources for all living beings.

We don't know how to allocate the best person for each possible task for optimizing some human system. I would be in awe if we got an AI system that could choose the best job for each human, based on their past data plus their iterated input about what they want / they like to do / they would like to be doing.

Instead of great companies in the traditional way of seeing problems being solved by a bunch of humans, I believe great ML algorithms running on decentralized systems that could be built in the next decade, where the "algorithm product" is coordinating humans to get more happiness points, more iterations among them, more health and fulfilling actions, by helping them to choose the best actions to optimize their own systems. For example, using GPT-5 we could actually describe in natural language "I would like to have a super-cheap and easy to build with the least quantity of resources automatic ethical green food production system", and then it would just tell me a set of actions to take and get that for me, and I could distribute this to the community. 

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