Ishaan

Ishaan's Comments

The tech left behind

There's a large class of viable pharmaceuticals which don't see the light of day because their unpatentability causes companies not to fund the clinical trials which would be necessary to clear regulatory approval.

Open thread, Nov. 7 - Nov. 13, 2016

Is there any 80,000/CFAR statement on Trump or are you just talking about the personal writings of individual people who happen to work in these organizations?

(Also, did you consistently think it was wrong for them to fervently espouse the AI-as-existential risk narrative?)

Open Thread, Aug. 8 - Aug 14. 2016

Perhaps that's also a reason, but the role of insulin / leptin resistance in causing hunger pangs (contractions of the stomach) in situations when additional food is not actually required is pretty well established.

Open Thread, Aug. 8 - Aug 14. 2016

You're missing the fact that tightly controlled feedback mechanisms govern appetite. That's what allows maintaining weight in the real world. Magically add 20lbs (or an apple a day) to a healthy person and they'll feel correspondingly less hungry.

impact on how much calories people spend simply moving their own bodies

Actually, it's mostly going to be the metabolism of the tissue (extra fat tissue needs flood flow, temperature regulation, energy for cellular processes etc too), and that can be significant, although not as much as hunger regulation.

Rationality when Insulated from Evidence

Yes, that is the ideal, and it's true that the three consequences you mention are positive consequences (Assuming more effort makes you more likely to arrive at correct answers, which it usually does although I imagine there are diminishing returns past a certain point - you might notice a lot of very smart people putting a lot of effort into politics and still disagreeing.)

The thing is you must weigh information-gathering and evaluation concerning GMOs against every other possible action you could take with those resources.

Let's focus on the goal which most plausibly requires understanding GMO

for my personal health and safety

Well, let me tell you how i went about researching my personal health and safety:

I researched which foods to eat in general (My conclusions - eat mostly vegetables, meat (try for organ meats and fish), fruits with an overall high fat, low carbohydrate macro-nutrient ratio, avoid vegetable/seed oil, grains. So, in one word, paleolithic. These conclusions are very controversial and I suspect I put in way more effort into researching it than was rationally justified.)

I researched the best way to exercise and learned the techniques (Conclusions: You need to run occasionally and you need to fain flexibility and technique for basic barbell exercises: squat, row, bench, overhead press, etc. I am pretty happy about the time I invested into researching these.)

I've put moderate effort into researching basic pesticide avoidance (there are lists of highest pesticide foods you can avoid buying), ethical meat sourcing, and ecologically sustainable fish sourcing. Ultimately I've put very little effort into this relative to the first two.)

I've skimmed examine.com for potentially helpful supplements (Conclusions: Fish oil, Vit D, Vit K2magnesium (ZMA, don't use MgO it's not bioavailable. I probably spent too much time on this.)

GMOs are pretty far down on this list of things which I think are probably important. I haven't really gotten to them yet.

Do you see where the prioritization issue comes in here? And that's when your personal health is the main goal. The chance that GMO is high on the priority list in the genre of public dietary health, is in my mind, pretty minuscule. If you narrow your specialization to "regulatory mechanisms concerning food", then it'll be worth studying GMOs as one of the branches in your knowledge tree, but probably not before you've studied broad stuff about regulatory mechanisms first. (as I understand it, GMOs are not a monolithic thing so it's more interesting to study start with general stuff about how innovations in food are handled, etc).

You don't necessarily need to agree with me about prioritization, but you should spend some time thinking about prioritization.

I suppose I ascribe a relatively high weight to "understand things" in my utility function

Of course, we all do. But there is a whole world of things, so, which things, and why? Information due to purely Intrinsic interest is malleable

Open thread, June 20 - June 26, 2016

We don't want "are you rich, do you smoke" because the selection effect (we are rich because we were born upper middle class, and we're not powerful because powerful people have better things to do than explore the internet until they land on odd forums).

Otherwise the value of an idea is judged by the types of people who happen to stumble upon them.

What we want is "After being exposed to the ideas, did you get richer", "did you quite smoking", etc. Before after.

why aren't they leveraging their high IQs

IQ is just another selection effect confound to control for. Priors say there is absolutely no way rationality training will alter your IQ (and besides the IQ data is mostly from standardized test scores taken in high school anyhow) If high IQ people land up here that just means high IQ people crawl the internet more and stick around more.

Rationality when Insulated from Evidence

First: check whether the issue is really important: With some exceptions (voting correctly, believing the correct afterlife and not getting sent to hell) If you aren't in a position to interact with the evidence it's probably not something you meaningfully have control over. (Most things for which it is important for you to personally understand have measurable consequences to you. Why do you need the right answer to the GMO question, what would you even do with the right answer?).

Then:

-Figure out exactly what the claims really are and try not to conflate different claims (GMOs will do what, exactly?)

-Consider the possibility that the entire premise is silly ("Is God one or trinity?" "Is she a witch?") and the "consensus" is just wrong and the debate is insane. Generate some plausible third options.

-Check if the two hypotheses seem by your perception to be of roughly equal parsimony, internal logical consistency, and compliance with known evidence, and also check the third options you generated.

-Ask the basic "so, what evidence would you need to tell the difference" questions.

-all the things you mentioned (weigh expert opinions, eliminate bad arguments, eliminate experts who use bad arguments)

-look for concrete predictable things in that area, and adjacent to that area which differ according to the two hypotheses.

-If it's a political issue, try to find out what people who might plausibly be expertish in the area yet don't seem to be invested in debating the issue think about it.

-check what known superforcasters in the field think (people who have a track record of successful predictions in that area). Superforecasters need not actually be loudly engaging with the issue, just ask.

-check if people who have different types of knowledge tend to say different things (e.g. economists vs. sociologists)

-What sorts of knowledge would you need to have to answer the question vs. what sorts of knowledge do the experts in question actually have? (You might think medical doctors are qualified to talk about the effectiveness and safety of various treatments, for example, but they aren't. You want a medical researcher for that. The only difference between a medical doctor and a witch doctor is that one was trained by a curriculum developed by medical researchers and the other wasn't.)

-check for founder effects or cultural effects biasing beliefs (Again, economists vs sociologists. Also, if theologians believe in god at higher rate than biologists it might not be because of different knowledge)

What else? I mean it's a big question, you've asked after a fairly big chunk of "rationality" there.

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

Do you have an opinion concerning whether this is better characterized as "non-response to the benefits of exercise due to pathology" vs. "immunity to the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle"?

Basically, is being a non-responder good or bad? Eyeballing that graph it does look like untrained non-responders might be a bit fitter than responders - but of course the first thing we should assume is ceiling effect.

(And of course there's many 3rd options - orchid/dandelion trade offs and such)

Why people want to die

Agreed.

(By the way, I never was suggesting that religion caused people to not desire earthly longevity. I was saying that the fact that nearly all human religions often feature immorality suggest that nearly all humans find it difficult to understand and accept true-death and wish for immortality on some level.

Furthermore I was saying that if someone happily believes in an afterlife, we should probably count them as desiring immortality even if they claim to desire an earthly death. I'm disagreeing with the idea that we should take claims of wishing to die at face value - I think that most who would turn down an eternal life (assuming good health, companionship, purpose, and so on) are either mistaken about what they prefer, or mistaken about the universe.

With many exceptions, of course.)

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