All of jaime2000's Comments + Replies

The Library of Scott Alexandria

I have noticed one more issue. In "Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others…" the symbol "£" is twice corrupted into "ÂŁ". This is not an ebook-wide problem, since "Searching for One-Sided Tradeoffs" and "A Modest Proposal" both use the correct symbol. Apparently this is simply a problem with the source; the copy of the post at the Effective Altruism Forum has this error, but the copy of the post at LessWrong, has the correct symbol.

What makes buying insurance rational?

In addition to what everyone else said, I recommend Gwern's "Console Insurance". Also, Jacob from Early Retirement Extreme says the following about dental and vision insurance:

I don’t have dental or vision insurance. Paying insurance that covers “regular maintenance” like teeth cleaning or contact lenses which these kinds of insurance do makes no sense whatsoever. Suppose everybody pays $25/month for contacts. Now do you think that everybody paying those $25 through an insurance company will make it any cheaper? No, the insurance company will a

... (read more)
3jefftk6yIn the US, some kinds of insurance are really collective bargaining. Dental and vision usually aren't, but this is a reason to get health insurance even if you could afford to self insure.
1AspiringRationalist6yIf someone else is subsidizing the insurance, that can make it worthwhile. In the U.S. You can often find the amount of the employer subsidy footer am insurance policy if you read the details of it. Also you pay for employer based health insurance (I think including dental and vision) with pre-tax dollars, which is in effect a government subsidy.
Open thread, Oct. 26 - Nov. 01, 2015

The beginning is too slow (I would not have read past the first paragraph if I had come across this story randomly on the internet; consider starting at the second paragraph), but the idea was interesting.

Problems in Education

Since the post never came back (much less with "citations galore"), here's a mirror.

0Douglas_Knight5yIt came back here []
The Library of Scott Alexandria

Everything looks fine now. Thanks once again!

Open thread, Oct. 5 - Oct. 11, 2015

Huh. I interpreted it as "not just women can't get sexual experience until marriage in a healthy patriarchy," but now that you mention it, your interpretation seems correct.

1bbleeker6yYour interpretation is possible too. It's just that I saw the other one first, and I didn't even think of yours till I saw your post.
Open thread, Oct. 5 - Oct. 11, 2015

Not just women.

My understanding is that in the patriarchies of the past there were a small number of prostitutes and bad girls which young men could use to gain some experience and confidence before settling down and marrying nice, virgin girls.

Um. I upvoted CellBioGuy because I assumed 'Not just women' meant 'Not just women freak out when advancedatheist says stuff like that'. Was my interpretation wrong?

The Library of Scott Alexandria

Thank you! The book is fantastic. Combined with The Sequences ebooks that are already floating around (Eliezer Yudkowsky Blog Posts, 2006-2010: An Unofficial Compendium, Rationality: From AI to Zombies, and The Hanson-Yudkowsky AI-Foom Debate) it is now possible for someone to get most of the insights of the rationalist community distilled into extremely efficient book formats.

Do let me know if anything's massively broken.

A large number of posts have extraneous > characters. The affected posts appear to be either SSC posts in which the > charact... (read more)

7nino6yWell that's embarrassing. Thanks for the info! Should be fixed now.
Open thread, Sep. 28 - Oct. 4, 2015

Do you ever get an anarchist, a communist and a neoreactionary turning up to the same meeting?

So an anarchist, a communist, and a neoreactionary walk into a LessWrong meetup...

3skeptical_lurker6yI'm trying to think of what funny thing they could do. The anarchist could walk away from the bar without paying for the drink, because they do not believe in the landlord/drinker power structure. The communist could demand that the most well-off member of the group pays for drinks. Or which drinks: The neoreactionary could insist that it may not be politically correct, but some drinks are objectively better than others. The communist could say that all drinks are equally good, and so insist that all drinks are mixed into one glass. The anarchist... I feel the anarchist has to smash something. Is there a drink that sounds like 'system' or 'capitalism'?
Open thread 7th september - 13th september

Should we eliminate all news sources like some advocate?


What about the news that are relevant, e.g. changes in the tax code that you need to know about?

If you try to read the news, you will see far more proposed changes tax changes than actual changes, and far more useless political debate than practical ramifications. Much more efficient to just google "tax changes [state] [year]" once a year or ask an accountant you know.

0Lumifer6yWhat, no conditionality on e.g. where you live?
2Elo6yNeat! That has literally nothing to do with my chosen profile name, but it should considering I play chess...
Open Thread, Jun. 1 - Jun. 7, 2015

Yes, except that I change the "Device" setting to "Kindle Paperwhite" instead of "Kindle 1-5", and I usually convert the first 5 pages or so to make sure I have the borders right before I convert the whole document. The idea of cropping the margins is to set them such that page numbers and chapter headers are cut while retaining the text. You shouldn't need to touch the left and right margins most of the time, only the top and bottom ones. Use binary search.

Open Thread, Jun. 1 - Jun. 7, 2015

How easily is a Kindle damaged by falling to the ground? Is it important to use a case to prevent damage?

I have accidentally dropped Kindle in a case a couple of times; there was no perceptible damage.

Do you have tips for good PDF conversion. Especially for textbooks?

K2pdfopt is God's gift to Kindle readers. Compare a processed version of the latest paper I read with its original version.

0ChristianKl6yIt seems to have a lot of settings, do you simply use the standard ones?
Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015

I like Eliezer's solution better. Rather than wait until exponential population growth eats all the resources, we just impose population control at the start and let every married couple have a max of two children. That way, population grows at most linearly (assuming immortality).

0Toggle7yBroadly speaking, I'm suspicious of social solutions to problems that will persist for geological periods of time. If we're playing the civilization game for the long haul, then the threat of overpopulation could simply wait out any particular legal regime or government. That argument goes hinky in the event of FAI singleton, of course.
Open thread, Mar. 2 - Mar. 8, 2015

365tomorrows recently published a hard science-fiction story of mine called "Procrastination", which was inspired by the ideas of Robin Hanson. I believe LessWrong will find it enjoyable.

3shminux7yNice work. The story is quite uplifting, actually. It would be nice to retain some memory of one's other instances, of course. But still beats having just one physical life.
3Kaj_Sotala7yI thought that the ideas seemed awfully familiar, when the story popped up on 365!
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112

Non-native speaker here; I agree with you. I knew what "insofar as" meant, and the statement parsed fine.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 111

"Power of unicorn'ss blood to presserve life makess excellent combination with troll'ss healing. Only Fiendfyre and Killing Cursse sshall girl-child fear, from thiss day."

What, not basilisk venom? In canon, that was also a way to destroy a horcrux.

I am also updating towards the theory that what we are seeing in this chapter and the last is some sort of illusion; either the mirror or hpmor!legilimency. The biggest piece of evidence against it is Eliezer's assurances that the story will not lie to us because he wants the plot to be solvable; he was very careful to point out that Draco's false memory was, in fact, false.

1TobyBartels7yThere may be no more basilisks.
0DanArmak7yIt does seem very unlikely that there is no magic which can kill both unicorns and trolls other than Fiendfyre and AK.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 110

After reading comments in /r/hpmor, I've realized that Professor Quirrell has a superior move in the previous chapter, which has hopefully updated or will update soon.

Be honest, Eliezer; you just got sick of all the naked Harry jokes.

How I laughed when I realised it! When I saw you had made a Good Voldemort to oppose the evil one - ah, how I laughed!

I guess now we know what Dumbledore was laughing about in chapter 17.

The Cloak of Invisibility was torn away from him, and the shimmering black Cloak flew away from him, through the air.

Professor Quirr

... (read more)
7Alsadius7yWorth noting - it is immediately after that laughter that he gives over his father's rock. And given that this chapter comments on how Dumbledore has access to wacky divination, that rock starts to make a heck of a lot more sense. (I mean, we always knew it's be an Important Quest Item, but this does shed a bit of light on why)
2Gondolinian7yAmusing that you should bring up that chapter, Harry's lesson learned there seems somewhat relevant now... . . DO NOT MESS WITH TIME

I guess now we know what Dumbledore was laughing about in chapter 17.

Oh yeah. 18 too, I guess:

"Of course you're in here blackmailing me to save your fellow students, not to save yourself! I can't imagine why I would have thought otherwise!" Dumbledore was now laughing even harder. He pounded his fist on the desk three times."

2lerjj7yYes, that does work. Thanks for that (upvoted now, seemed unfair). This is less convenient, but more general. Cheers.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107

I just realized why some spells were causing Harry dread, apprehension, and anxiety in chapter 104. It's not because Professor Sprout is controlled by Professor Quirrell (which she is), since other spells of hers fail to trigger the effect and yet one of Tonk's spells does. It's because Quirell is using metamagic to influence the outcome of the battle! He empower's Sprout's brown bolt so that it tears through Professor Snape's shield, and he quickens her stunner so that Snape can't dodge. Then he empowers Tonk's spell to ensure that she will take out Sprou... (read more)

The entire point of that whole battle is to encourage Harry to commit his hidden resources (Lesath under the Cloak). The whole brawl is basically a show put on for Harry's benefit. Since Quirrell controls the time of Harry's coming to the scene, he could easily take out Snape himself and move him out of the way earlier. He didn't need to bring Sprout or manipulate others to come.

Since Quirrell neglected to ask Harry in Parseltongue whether he still has hidden resources Quirrell doesn't know about, it's still just about possible that Cedric Diggory, Time-Turned, is following them under the second Cloak. I hope he does.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107

Why are they having a normal conversation and occasionally switching to Parseltongue to confirm the more important bits? Why not conduct the entire conversation in Parseltongue? Seems like the best way to ensure full cooperation leading to superior outcomes for both parties. Harry has already sneaked one lie past Quirrell, and he has no idea how much of what Quirrell said is true outside of the parts he deliberately chose to speak in Parseltongue.

0[anonymous]7yIf Voldemort doesn't at least sometimes use English to tell the truth, he'll never be able to lie to Harry again.

Parseltongue is a low-information-density language - it lacks a lot of technical terms, colloquial phrases, and the like. Communication is much faster in English.

6MarkusRamikin7yBecause EY wants the chapter to be not-annoying to read, might be one good reason.
Musk on AGI Timeframes

Also, in a 2002 interview, Eliezer said that "a few years back" before the interview his actual guess at when the singularity would occur was between 2008 and 2015, but he would say that it would occur between 2005 and 2020 in order to give a conservative estimate.

Open thread, Jan. 19 - Jan. 25, 2015

Since Eliezer has forsaken us in favor of posting on Facebook, can somebody with an account please link to his posts? His page cannot be read by someone who is not logged in, but individual posts can be read if the url is provided. As someone who abandoned his Facebook account years ago, I find this frustrarting.

Stupid Questions December 2014

One important difference is that video games are optimized to be fun while musical instruments aren't. Therefore, playing an instrument can signal discipline in a way that playing a game can't.

0ChristianKl7yI'm not sure that's true. There's selection pressure on musical instruments to make them fun to use. Most of the corresponding training also mostly isn't optimised for learning but for fun.
'Facing the Singularity' podcast

The link is broken. Could you please provide a new one?

0lukeprog7yIt no longer exists, sorry.
Stupid Questions December 2014

I'm succumbing to confirmation bias and this isn't a real pattern

No, this is definitely a real pattern. YouTube switched from a 5-star rating system to a like/dislike system when they noticed, and videogames are notorious for rank inflation.

Open thread, Dec. 1 - Dec. 7, 2014

Four to six classes a year, out of about twelve in total? That doesn't sound too bad to me. I took about that many non-major classes when I was in school, although they didn't build on each other like the curriculum I proposed.

I studied at two state universities. At both of them, classes were measured in "credit hours" corresponding to an hour of lecture per week. A regular class was three credit hours and semester loads at both universities were capped at eighteen credits, corresponding to six regular classes per semester and twelve regular c... (read more)

Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

And while you might argue that home-based work is preferable to market work due to having a "kinder, more caring master", the swift demise of cottage industry once early factories became feasible suggests that folks care more about how productive they are than whether they can work from home.

I think that was just Moloch.

2bogus7yThe folks who were actually around at the time seemed to disagree about that. Plenty of people devised plans for utopian communities where Moloch wouldn't be a factor, but they cared little for household-based work. (Indeed, some of them assumed that you could get rid of households altogether, and just live in large, factory-like collective arrangements under the supervision of some 'uncaring' leader. Of course, modern evo-psych and social anthropology argue against that view.)
Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

Just to be clear, when you say that it's much harder to get such a job, and that this is due in part to increased competition from immigration and women, what you mean to say is that it's much harder for non-women and non-immigrants to get such a job, because it's correspondingly easier for immigrants and women to get them. Yes?

Yes. I am aware of the lump of labor fallacy, and that in theory an increasing number of workers might have economic effects creating more jobs even as said workers take existing ones, ending up with a similar or perhaps even a b... (read more)

0TheOtherDave7yOK; thanks for clarifying. Like I said, I have no intention of arguing those points (though I probably ought to say explicitly I don't find your arguments convincing), I just wanted to confirm that I was interpreting you correctly.
2bogus7yHome appliances cut down quite a bit on "household slavery". And while you might argue that home-based work is preferable to market work due to having a "kinder, more caring master", the swift demise of cottage industry once early factories became feasible suggests that folks care more about how productive they are than whether they can work from home.
Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

I do read MMM, and ERE, and other frugality blogsphere titles. I disagree with your characterization that the difficulty in achieving a decent life today merely reflects an inflation of what is considered decent. First, because it's much harder to get the same kind of job in 2010s that would have been available in the 1950s; a solid, respectable job you easily can get out of high school is not the same as a solid, respectable job you might not even get after wasting a minimum of four years and going thousands or tens of thousands of dollars into debt. That... (read more)

5TheOtherDave7yJust to be clear, when you say that it's much harder to get such a job, and that this is due in part to increased competition from immigration and women, what you mean to say is that it's much harder for non-women and non-immigrants to get such a job, because it's correspondingly easier for immigrants and women to get them. Yes? You seem to additionally be implying that how hard it is for women and immigrants to get jobs isn't a relevant factor in determining the difficulty in achieving a decent life. Yes? I have no intention of arguing against either of those points here, I just want to make sure I've understood you correctly.
Narcissistic Contrarianism

Eh? If I was renting, I think that would have an impact on my life -- so maybe this is yet another metaphor I never heard of.

It's from _The Sequences_, which you should read. Specifically, it's from the post "Making Beliefs Pay Rent (in Anticipated Experiences)".

Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

What? It's a perfectly valid response to your claim that neoreaction is filled with moral anti-realists who are obsessed with arbitrary value preservation. Also, Roissy is Heartiste.

1[anonymous]7yIt doesn't seem a valid response to me, since it doesn't explain why neoreactionaries actually think, why they think it, and how they justify realism about their own views (that is, why they think neoreaction is true for all rational humans and not just plausible to a small clique). It mostly just attacks "progressives".
Group Rationality Diary, November 16-30

Any difference between men and women on average is just that: on average. Think almost-but-not-quite-completely overlapping Gaussian curves.

The second sentence does not follow from the first. It is also possible for the Gaussian curves to be so far apart that there is almost no overlap, and that situation is still perfectly describable by saying that there is a difference between both populations on average but reflects a much stronger difference in prior probability. As a matter of empirical fact, only 20% of Alcor's members were female as of 1999, and... (read more)

0Emily7yNo, of course it doesn't follow automatically, but a lot of the time people point out an average difference between men and women, this is the case. I happen to think it's quite likely that there are good explanations for the phenomena you cite that don't include "women are intrinsically more biased against cryonics than men"; there are certainly possible explanations, so it would be a bit daft to assume that that one possibility explains all the variance.
Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

The reactosphere theorizes that feminism is behind the drop in fertility, which has now collapsed to sub-replacement rates.

Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

Quality of life. The idea is that without the ravages of modernity, technological advancement would have created an even higher quality of life.

By way of example, consider the 1950s. Their technology was obviously inferior to ours. And yet they had intact families (marriage rates were higher, divorce and bastardy rates lower) and well-paying jobs (a husband's salary alone sufficed to support his entire family, his wife was free to cook and clean and raise the children). Is our quality of life higher than theirs? It's not obvious to me. Even if it is, why is this trade-off necessary? Why can't we have the superior scientific technology of the 2010s and the superior social technology of the 1950s?

2[anonymous]7yA 2010s husband's salary alone would also suffice to support his entire family if they were willing to live according to 1950s standards. See e.g. Mr. Money Moustache.

marriage rates were higher, divorce and bastardy rates lower

That's only desirable if there's strong social pressure in favor of some family models over others. Tolerance of diverse family structures has made marriage less relevant for economic well-being.

wife was free to cook and clean and raise the children

Your idea of freedom is... curious.

1[anonymous]7yThose marriage rates masked quite a lot of marital misery, and... well, frankly, neoreactionaries just have no right to use the economic structure of the '50s Western long boom as evidence for their ideas. Those jobs were based on the strong-labor, employment-state, and financial repression policies of the post-war governments -- everything reactionaries hate.
Neo-reactionaries, why are you neo-reactionary?

The traditional neoreactionary counter is that increased quality of life is due to technological advancement, and that social "progress" has been neutral at best and detrimental at worst.

4David_Gerard7yYes, but if it's not visible in quality of life, and it's not visible in technological advancement ... what quantity is it detrimental to?
Musk on AGI Timeframes

Eliezer's "The Plan to Singularity" and "Staring into the Singularity" (last updated in 2000 and 2001, respectively) contain numerous references to passive singularity prediction dates and interventionist singularity target dates.

Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014

That's my guess, too. I know that both Eliezer and Robin posted there. Eliezer had definitely come to Robin's attention by 1999; he is cited in Robin's "Comments on Vinge's Singularity" page.

Of course, the most straightforward way to answer this question is to simply ask either of them.

Your guess and your evidence are both correct.

2gjm7yEven better, ask both.
Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014

(Also, that crab thing is fascinating.)

Oh, definitely. It's a really good analogy for the NRx view of civilization, too. That's why Gnon's symbol is a crab.

If you want to read another non-obscurantist explanation of Gnon, try Nyan Sandwich's "Natural Law and Natural Religion".

1[anonymous]7yGnon's symbol is a crab because someone had to slip subtle pro-Maryland propaganda into the memeplex.
Open thread, Nov. 10 - Nov. 16, 2014

Gnon is reality, with an emphasis towards the aspects of reality which have important social consequences. When you build an airplane and fuck up the wing design, Gnon is the guy who swats it down. When you adopt a pacifist philosophy and abolish your military, Gnon is the guy who invades your country. When you are a crustacean struggling to survive in the ocean floor, Gnon is the guy who turns you into a crab.

Basically, reality has mathematical, physical, biological, economical, sociological, and game-theoretical laws. We anthropomorphize those laws as Gnon.

1Kaj_Sotala7yThanks, your answer together with Toggle's clarified things considerably. (Also, that crab thing is fascinating.)
Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014

Most of Ritalin's recent comments have been on political subjects, namely the internet standards for undeveloped nations thread. Anybody who makes lots of political noise gets a downvote or two per comment; see, for example, Azathoth123 and advancedatheist.

Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014

Can confirm. I meant a rocketpunk setting in which combustion engines and simple vacuum tube electronics work, but human operators are still required to run space stations capable of monitoring the weather, handling international communications, or spying on enemy countries.

November 2014 Media Thread

Why betas should have longer attention span than alphas?


The point Azathoth is making is that there is only so many hours in a day. An alpha male may sleep with many women, but he can only give his attention to one or a few. Beta males, who are lucky to have one woman, are free to concentrate all their attention on her and her children. Therefore, females who fail to attract the alpha male for anything but a quickie have a preference for fooling beta males into raising the resulting alpha male's children. Beta males, obviously, do not share this preference.

Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014

Space stations? As in, stations with humans in them? Pretty much none. Your best bet is to postulate some sort of alternate history in which electronics and computers never took off. Or you can go in the other direction, and postulate tiny space stations which house computing hardware running uploaded humans.

0[anonymous]7yAs others mentioned: mining, special manufacturing exploiting microgravity. A lot of competition and innovation in the area of data transfer protocols and encryption and localization and espionage increasing the need for engineers that can build, test and maintain new communications directly from orbit, which is cheaper than launching prototype after prototype. A fad for having a marriage and honeymoon in space, making luxury space hotels commercially viable. Companies having headquarters in space as the ultimate signal. Especially if it gives them an advantageous legal environment. China wanting to outshine the US, so heavily subsidizing the stuff above for it's citizens / companies. Space junk becoming enough of a problem that specialized repair and disposal jobs become viable, mostly financed by the satellite insurance companies. Some of the things above increasing the number of space flights, and so decreasing prices and making a few more uses become viable.
1FiftyTwo7yInteresting site. Human mainteance is still required for satellites, especially if geostationary is becoming even more crowded,
0polymathwannabe7yPlease, no. The world already has a sickening amount of steampunk.
Open thread, Nov. 3 - Nov. 9, 2014

Oh, be serious. I wasn't crazy about Eliezer's handling of the basilisk, either, but ubermenschen do not grow on trees. Who do we have around who is willing and able to become LessWrong's great leader now that he has left? All of the potentially strong leaders I can think of are busy running their own websites, projects, and/or communities.

Any particular reason you feel the need for a Great Leader?

Load More