All of hawkebia's Comments + Replies

Playing with DALL·E 2

"end of the world" images make me wonder if Dall-E thinks the world is flat

The Opposite Of Autism

Interesting. Though I think extremes represent fewer degrees of freedom; where certain traits/characteristics dominate, and heuristics can better model behaviour. The "typical" person has all the different traits pushing/pulling, and so fewer variables you can ignore. i.e. the typical person might be more representative of hard-mode.

The Opposite Of Autism

I think identifying the blind spots of the typical AI engineer/architect is an interesting and potentially important goal. Though I'm not sure I follow the reasoning behind identifying the opposite as the path to "modeling the desires of the typical person."?

I think investigating this would be of interest to people working in AI alignment and whose ultimate goal and whose ultimate goal is improving the condition of humanity in general. Understanding the needs and wants of the subset of humans most unlike themselves would likely help in modeling the desires

... (read more)
1Brandon Kin Man Lee4mo
Sympathy vs Systematics as a 2x2 grid would be good, as cooperation vs competition, or voting and coalitional theory vs economics and zero-sum games. Might want to take a look at intelligence, "verbal tilt" and "dark core of personality" as they seem related in this context.
My assumption is that, for people with ASD, modelling human minds that are as far from their own as possible is playing the game on hard-mode. Manage that, and modelling average humans becomes relatively simple.
Is there a link between Immigration Policy and Inflation?

So trying to see what effect immigration has on inflation is fundamentally misguided - if immigration increases supply, which one might think would reduce prices, it's entirely possible that the government will react by creating more money, undoing this effect, since they can now do so without inflation going up.

This remains my primary question i.e. I definitely wouldn't think immigration is the only thing that creates inflation. But if we think its possible that immigration can impact price, then understanding if and how it could create "inflationary pres... (read more)

1Radford Neal5mo
Allowing, say, able Mexican workers to move the US where they can be matched with appropriate capital, allowing them to be more productive, could indeed increase the productivity of the economy, which if everything else stayed the same would reduce prices. In this respect, it's similar to any sort of technical innovation, which also would tend to increase supply. But inflation or the lack of inflation can exist in an economy regardless of whether or not such productivity improvements are taking place, just due to government policy on money creation. To think of the economic effect of immigration in terms of inflation seems odd, just as it would be odd to think of the economic effect of inventing a more efficient electrical motor in terms of inflation - in both cases, it's more useful to think in terms of the effect on people's real standard of living. "I thought the typical response, even according to Keynesians, is to increase interest rates, therefore reducing money supply, rather than creating more money." That would be the typical response if they were actually trying to reduce inflation. Keynesians aren't totally stupid. They know perfectly well that Milton Friedman was right. They just don't want to stop inflation. "While some people ask for price or wage controls, it seems like its a fairly fringe view" Price and wage controls were in fact instituted in the 1970s, in the US and in Canada. They did not stop inflation, of course. Inflation stopped only when the money creation stopped.
Future ML Systems Will Be Qualitatively Different

Heuristics explain some of the failure to predict emergent behaviours. Much of Engineering relies on "perfect is the enemy of good" thinking. But, extremely tiny errors and costs, especially the non-fungible types, compound and interfere at scale. One lesson may be that as our capacity to model and build complex systems improves, we simultaneously reduce the number of heuristics employed.

Material physical systems do use thresholds, but they don't completely ignore tiny values (eg. neurotransmitter molecules don't just disappear at low potential levels).

Capturing Uncertainty in Prediction Markets

What is being lost is related to your intuition in the earlier comment:

if the market is 49.9 / 50.1 in millions of dollars, then you can be fairly confident that 50% is the "right" price.

Without knowing how many people of the "I've studied this subject, and still don't think a reasonable prediction is possible" variety didn't participate in the market, it's very hard to place any trust in it being the "right" price.

This is similar to the "pundit" problem where you are only hearing from the most opinionated people. If 60 nutritionist are on TV and writing p... (read more)

Capturing Uncertainty in Prediction Markets

All these indicators are definitely useful for a market observer. And betting on these indicators would make for an interesting derivatives market - especially on higher volume questions.  The issue I was referring to is that all these indicators are still only based on traders who felt certain enough to bet on the market.

Say 100 people who have researched East-Asian geopolitics saw the question "Will China invade Taiwan this year?". 20 did not feel confident enough to place a bet. Of the remaining 80 people, 20 bet small amounts because of their lack... (read more)

How do you plan on incentivising people to bet on "uncertainty"? All the ways I can think of lead to people either gaming the index, or turning uncertainty into a KBC.
I disagree with this. Volatility, liquidity, # predictors, spread of forecasts will all be affected by the fact that 20 people aren't willing to get involved. I'm not sure what information you think is being lost by people stepping away? (I guess the difference between "the market is wrong" and "the market is uninteresting"?)
Capturing Uncertainty in Prediction Markets

First, I want to dispute the statement that a 50% is uninformative. It can be very informative depending on value of the outcomes.

Yes, absolutely.  50% can be incredibly useful. Unfortunately, it also represents the "I don't know" calibration option in most prediction markets.  A market at 50% for "Will we discover a civilization ending asteroid in the next 50 years?" would be cause for much concern. 

Is the market really saying that discovering this asteroid is essentially a coin flip with 1:1 odds? More likely it just represents the entire ... (read more)

Non-Fungible Costs

I think there is a certain "cost amnesia" that sets in after a "good" decision? Even for fairly large costs. So the "indistinguishability blindness" is often a cognitive response to maintain the image of a good decision rather than determined by hard numbers. 

Regardless, this is likely entering speculation territory. It's something I'd noticed in my own life as well as in policy decisions i.e. a negative reaction to talking about fairly large costs because net-benefits were still positive.

Non-Fungible Costs

Your final conclusion here appears to be - Do not expect your new pleasures to replace the old. 

Yes.  And thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. 

One of my goals was to also apply "Do not expect your new pleasures to replace the old" to other types of decision making. It was a critique of using net-benefit analysis on non-fungible costs. The benefits of a policy don't replace its harms and costs. Tradeoffs are not the same thing as substitution.

Every tradeoff between non-fungibles incurs a debt, and net-benefit hides that behind a single positiv... (read more)

Non-Fungible Costs

If you can make the product 1000 times better by increasing the cost by 0.0001 times you probably should do it.


Yes - this is not an argument against making that tradeoff. This is an argument for not treating that tradeoff as a substitue i.e. fungible. Fungibility implies two things are essentially interchangeable and each of whose parts is indistinguishable from another part.

Your weighting or prioritizing didn't lead to a substitution.  You incurred a debt every time you prioritized one category over another.  Not all debt is bad, some debt... (read more)

Ah this really leans into the "indistinguishability" property in the sense of blindness. I was thinking it more as ambivalence, when I go buy orange juice I might not care for the brand that I buy but I can in principle check it. In the automation example say that there are 1000 jobs about to be born and 1 job about to be lost. Sure just caring about the number of jobs might be blind but if one halts this transition because the loss of the 1 job is unacceptable then that implicitly incurs a heavy weighting between the different jobs (ie the new jobs are about 0.001 worth the old kind of job). Being capriciously impartial could come off as a bias, rather than shooting for general wellbeing you are infact advocating for the well being of some groups over others. In the technical debt case we could also model it as the step that introduces the standstill to be be a highly harm inducing decision that could not "sneak by" the cost benefit analysis.
Non-Fungible Costs

Could you elaborate? The point was that desires are not always fungible - they don't neatly add up or cancel out to give you a single satisfaction score. Your decision making math would still pick the suburb because its convenience value outweighs its lack of restaurants. But you don't suddenly stop caring about restaurants because of that. Convenience isn't fungible with it.

Non-Fungible Costs

I've added an EDIT in the post towards the end that I think responds to this

Fungibility is in my mind quite a narrow concept and I can't really identify the "traditional approach". As I am trying to read whatever this "traditional approach" is would reason: product has a consumer satisfaction as low_cost+high_durablity+high_availability+high_familiarity. Some reference good is good in categories low_cost,high_durablity,high_availabilty and bad in high_familiarity but ranks better in satisfaction overall. How can a "better" product have inferiority in it? 20 points better product offcourse means 5+5+5+5 better and any product that has any negative in any category is off course going to be inferior. But doing a cost benefit analysis often is about discovering the correct way to funge. If you can make the product 1000 times better by increasing the cost by 0.0001 times you probably should do it. That one can stably and reliable balance the costs and benefits strongly suggets that the things are fungeable. If one could rationally insist that not even an iota of size 0.0001 of damage is acceptable to get a benefit of 1000 times in another category that suggests that things would be holy or infinidesimal in regards to each other. But being able to compromise over damage category boundaries means there is no lexical priority between them.
Non-Fungible Costs

> costs and benefits MUST be converted to a single comparable value.

Yes. And now, what should the decision process look like? For monetary decisions, this is easy - money is fungible, so one can use addition/subtraction. But for costs and benefits which are not fungible, can we come up with a decision process, and make sense of our reaction to that decision?

There are two elements to this. The first is purely one of framing - the resulting decision is the same.  The second arises from the framing - where the outcome necessitates more decisions. To d... (read more)