All of Jesper_Ostman's Comments + Replies

Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo

Although the hellish world scenario seems unlikely it might be important to consider. At least according to my own values things like being confined to children's books and being injected with heroin would contribute very little negative utility (if negative at all) compared to even 1 in 1000 of enduring the worst psychologically possible torture for, say, a billion years.

Female Test Subject - Convince Me To Get Cryo

Interesting. Do you have a source on that?

0Decius9yKleck G. Point Blank --- Guns and Violence in America. New York, NY, Aldine De Gruyter, 1991.
AI timeline predictions: are we getting better?

No videocalls - what about the widespread skyping?

2V_V9yAFAIK it's mostly used for audio calls.
Less Wrong Product & Service Recommendations

You can get some 5.2GB free with dropbox - first they have a few small"quests" giving 0.2 extra. But then they also gave you up to 3GB more if you synced photos from mobile to dropbox (did this then removed the photos to get extra non-picture storage space).

0dbaupp10yAnd also referrals: you can get up to 500MB extra space for each person you get to sign up, with a limit of 16GB extra! (Speaking of which, if anyone wants to sign up to dropbox and is feeling generous, this [] is my referral link :) (I'm sure there are others who'd like a bit of extra space too.))
What was your biggest recent surprise?

That there is reason to believe that it is "relatively easy" (say if we survive x-risk and get a good singleton within a million years) to colonize billions of galaxies. That makes the expected (ignoring possibility of discovering new useful physics, creating universes etc) hedonic utility of x-risk reduction up to some 9-orders of magnitude greater than I had previously thought.

What was your biggest recent surprise?

Why it just something which made it easier to "alieve" (in contrast to just believing) in a singularity, or do you think this information was good evidence for updating towards that a singularity is more likely? (eg because it shows that billionaires might invest in such crazy projects)

2Kaj_Sotala10yI don't think it changed my beliefs about the probability of a Singularity, only my aliefs about whether "science fiction-like" events could happen.
List of underrated risks?

In general: an unhealthy lifestyle. In the relevant context the overwhelming majority of people die of diseases when relatively old (and not accidents or violence).

Other than that: suicide is often underrated - it is often the main non-disease cause of death for males.

(Eg when checking the stats for my own demographic I had about a 6.55% risk of death the next 30 years. Out of this some 10% were from suicide, 5% from accidents and only 1.5% from infectious diseases but over 50% from malignant neoplasms and circulatory system diseases.)

Useful statistics: ht... (read more)

List of underrated risks?

Possible examples: Taking part in paid medical experiments. Selling kidney.

0[anonymous]10yThis is after I die (or cryopreserve)? Or before? How much money?
A few questions on International Rationality

I was assuming you meant something like "willing to go against the dominant norms in one's society" by it, which is close related to Openness.

I'd expect those people joining/starting new religions to be more open, thus the operalization of your hypothesis in terms of big5-Openness. There should probably be studies on smaller religions, such as new age, which might aptly be called new.

(Almost) every moral theory can be represented by a utility function

For some reason I've never understood consequentialist philosophers also often/usually collapse that cardinal ranking into the right (usualy one) action and all the other wrong actions, see this. Presumably they wouldn't worry too much about this problem.

A few questions on International Rationality

In the scandinavian countries SIAI-style thinking seems at least as common to me as in the US (eg comparing Sweden to New York, which I believe is of similar size).

A few questions on International Rationality

Not unreasonable. Eg personality traits like openness have a decent heritability and are closely related to weirdness.

A few questions on International Rationality

"Weirdness" is closely related to a high score in the psychological trait openness in the big5.

According to this meta-analysis the correlations between religiosity and openness are somewhat mixed:

"while Openness is negatively related to religious fundamentalism (weighted mean r=−0.14, P<0.01) and, to some extent, intrinsic-general religiosity (r=−0.06, P<0.01), it is positively related to measures of open or mature religiosity and spirituality (r=0.22, P<0.0001)."

0NancyLebovitz10y"Weirdness" is in the mind of the beholder. Also, I bet they didn't check the openness level of people who start or join new religions-- such people are pretty rare, but they're the ones who keep the religious landscape lively.
Optimizing your Social Network

Why not both? Eg. optimizing for a few really close friends and many more useful acquaintances/friends?

A question about Eliezer

It seems you are talking about high-functioning psychopaths, rather than psychopaths according to the diagnostic DSM-IV criteria. Thus the prior should be different from 0.03. Assuming a high-functioning psychopath is necessarily a psychopath then it seems it should be far lower than 0.03, at least from looking at the criteria:

A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as >indicated by three or more of the following: failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful beha

... (read more)
0semianonymous10yHe is a high IQ individual, though. That is rare on its own. There are smart people who pretty much maximize their personal utility only.
Attention control is critical for changing/increasing/altering motivation

Nice post with much interesting material.

I wonder when I read the following:

"Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy has a highly successful approach for breaking habits, which requires only a very subtle alteration to this process. You notice that you are biting your nails...."

Do you know of any studies on this, or could you link me to some other source of further reading? (eg on the specifics of the method, on the evidence for them, whether there are any high-quality meta-reviews, etc)

2kalla72410ySure. Otte, Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2011;13(4):413-21. Driessen and Hollon, Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2010 Sep;33(3):537-55. Flessner, Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2011 Apr;20(2):319-28. Foroushani et al. BMC Psychiatry. 2011 Aug 12;11:131. Books, hmm. I have not read it myself, but I heard that Leahy's "Cognitive Therapy Techniques: A Practitioner's Guide" is well-regarded. Very commonly recommended less-professional book is Greenberger and Padesky's "Mind over Mood."
Journal of Consciousness Studies issue on the Singularity

Unlikely, they have been highly ranked for a long time and singularity/transhumanist topics are only a very small part of what JCS covers.

[MORESAFE] Starting global risk discussion

Generally, to me, a cross-linking dedicated x-risk-forum, a literature list and perhaps also a wiki seem like useful things which don't already exist.

There are several small organizations which are created by one person and limited to a small website that nobody reads.

Seems like a good idea to write a discussing post gathering the names and links to the websites of such groups (or persons), as well as more well-known groups, aiming to get a comprehensive list. In addition to being useful in itself such a list could provide a starting point for people t... (read more)

Review of Kahneman, 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' (2011)

Nice. Just ordered it for my University Library, hopefully that might make it more likely that someone else reads it too.

Social status & testosterone

I'm curious about your musings on the connection between masturbation and risk-taking. Would it be mediated by testosterone levels?

I've heard several people mention the idea that frequent masturbation would lower testosterone levels. But after a very brief search, I found claims that no studies supporting such a relationship exists, and a study (admittedly with few subjects) which failed to find any effects from sexual activity on blood plasma testosterone levels. Know any results to the contrary?

4gwern10yThat was the obvious place to look for such connections, yeah, even before I went through the Eisenegger review; I already have a cite that fatherhood reduces testosterone levels.
Meetup : Stockholm meetup

Same here. Anyone interested in an Umeå/Norrland meetup?

0Acidmind9yYes! I would kill for one.
Weight training

Creatine might also have additional cognitive benefits

How to Be Happy

Nice post. It seems like a good summary of important results from happiness science, with interesting ideas about how to increase one's social skills added. Some comments:

So which personality traits tend to correlate most with happiness? Extroversion is >among the best predictors of happiness,22 as are conscientiousness, >agreeableness, self-esteem, and optimism.23

I'm surprised that you don't mention the trait neuroticism, which in many studies has the strongest correlation with happiness. (see eg) In general, neuroticism and extraversion are far... (read more)

High Status and Stupidity: Why?

Some support for hypothesis 4 (assuming a correlation between status and age):

Not only do studies show that fluid intelligence decreases with age but the psychological trait Openness to experience also declines with age. Openness is related to characteristics like curiosity, independence of mind and broad interests, which should facilitate the possibility of having an "intelligent conversation".