Reply to Nate Soares on Dolphins

Am I the only one creeped out by this?

Usually I don't think short comments of agreement really contribute to conversations, but this is actually critical and in the interest of trying to get a public preference cascade going: No. You are not the only one creeped out by this. The parts of The Sequences which have held up the best over the last decade are the refinements on General Semantics, and I too am dismayed at the abandonment of carve-reality-at-its-joints.

Communication Requires Common Interests or Differential Signal Costs

Meta note: I like how this is written. It's much shorter and more concise than a lot of the other posts you wrote in this sequence.

The Zettelkasten Method

While the sort of Zettelkasten-adjacent notes that I do in Roam have really helped how I do research, I'd say No to this article. The literal Zettelkasten method is adapted to a world without hypertext, which is why I describe [what everyone does in Roam] as Zettelkasten-adjacent instead of Zettelkasten proper.

This is not to knock this post, it's a good overview of the literal Zettelkasten method. But I don't think it should be included.

Covid 11/19: Don’t Do Stupid Things

Tempted as I may become, I will be extra careful not to discuss politics except as it directly relates to Covid-19 or requires us to take precautions for our own safety.


I don't think an oops is necessary here in this case (beyond just not crossing the norm again), but this is still appreciated. Thank you.

Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter

I suspect a bug. I have no recollection of turning personal blog posts on, but I still see the tag on next to Latest. It's entirely possible that I forgot about this, but that doesn't sound like a thing I'd do.

(That said, just realizing I can set a personal blog post penalty of -25 is going to make LessWrong much more tolerable.)

Covid 11/12: The Winds of Winter

These coronavirus posts are otherwise an excellent community resource and you are making them less valuable.

While I understand that this was first written for your own personal blog and then republished here, I do not believe that the entire section on Trump is appropriate in a LessWrong context. Not just in terms of Politics is the Mind Killer over the contentious claims you make, but primarily over the assertion that you can make contentious claims and shut down discussion over them. This seems like a very serious norms violation regarding what LessWrong is about.

Mazes Sequence Roundup: Final Thoughts and Paths Forward

This entire sequence was great. I now have something that I can point people to so we have common knowledge.

One more-related-to-this-than-you-would-first-think thing I’ve wanted to do for a while but that would require a lot of work and which might not come together, and which is motivated by this post, is to tell (15) The Journey of the Sensitive One. It would look over the story of the artist Jewel, as told, in explicit content in chronological order across her first five albums.

I skipped the link on my first read-through, but I shouldn't have. Section 1 is mostly a rehash of Newcomb, but section 2 is absolutely phenomenal. I can kinda see where you're going with the whole, "There is mindset that instinctively and unselfishly opposes everything of value," after reading about The Sensitive Problem, which I assume you see as having the Maze Nature.

I have never really listened to any of Jewel's music other than passively hearing Who will save your soul? on the radio. But I'm now intrigued after reading Hidysmith's article and listening to The Sensitive One in its entirety. Since the full article would be a lot of effort for you, at least what would the playlist be? Maybe I can gleam additional information from just that.

Raph Koster on Virtual Worlds vs Games (notes)

I finished reading both of his books earlier this year. Postmortems is worth its weight in gold; even when I disagreed with conclusions, the historical perspective was invaluable. The story of UO is interesting, where Koster tries to push a product that his players do not want, and once he had left, the UO team launches the "Trammel" server where there's no ability to attack other players and the userbase doubles! LWers should probably read these chapters with Goodhart's Law and the concept of legibility/Seeing Like a State in mind.

(You might also want to go find a copy of Star Wars Galaxies off ebay and try playing it on the SWGEmu servers, though I'd warn you that it hasn't aged very well. Combat is almost non-functional and rubber-bandy. But seeing its crafting system in action is kinda worth it, if you're interested in alternative MMO design. I put little weight in Koster's attempts at social engineering, but very much admire his simulationist bent to other areas of game design. "Start with the Sim.")

A Theory of Fun, however, isn't worth your time. It's a very casual overview of his theory with a side of culture war and several later chapters which are merely sermons about how important video games are. It was written long before we had the phrase "replication crisis" and cites a bunch of psychology from that time.

MIRI's 2017 Fundraiser

I donated about $20,000, most of that in ETH. (Employer matching programs add another $12,000 on top of that.)

The conflict you feel resonates with me. The parts of the greater rationalist community that make me feel uncomfortable are firmly White; I disagree with most of their moral framework and am often annoyed that many of their moral proclamations are unquestioned and are assumed to be 'good'; ie, effective altruism, animal rights charities, etc.

A large part of what drives me is a Blue/Black desire to know things to help myself and make my life more awesome. Unlike Sarah above, I am excited by Blue words ("knowing", "understanding") because they cash out in better ways to achieve my Black desires.

Whatever MIRI's public persona is, I think of their most exciting research as Blue/Black. The study of decision theory is firmly about enlightened self interest, especially when you start thinking of the differences between PrudentBot and FairBot. Let the two of us trade, TDT/FDT style, to our mutual benefit. Any constraints on our behaviour are not imposed, as White might, but are consensual self-modifications to our decision processes so that we may maximize our individual utility through superior understanding.

Load More