LessWrong developer, rationalist since the Overcoming Bias days. Connoisseur of jargon.

jimrandomh's Comments

Emergency Prescription Medication

In the case of insulin, dosage is too complicated and illegible for insurance to restrict people to the amount they're using without significant slack. This is good, because running out of insulin is much deadlier much faster than any other commonly-used medication.

Voting Phase of 2018 LW Review (Deadline: Sun 19th Jan)

The list is now shuffled (as a tiebreak after sorting by your own vote). The shuffle is done once per user, so each user should see the posts in a random order, but it'll be the same order each time you revisit it. This change went live around the 13th.

Repossessing Degrees

The two of us could sign a contract where I pay you $100 and you agree not to disclose what you ate for breakfast this morning, and agree not to disclose the existence of the contract.

The relevant difference between this and an NDA is that this has the restriction on speech coming from a statute, rather than a contract between nongovernmental entities.

In practice I think this is unlikely to matter much for most people. If you're applying for a job, and the job asks for your resume, they're not going to go poking around dusty corners of the web looking to see if you had some other version with different contents.

Actually, I expect this will be discovered with nearly 100% reliability by ordinary due diligence on hires. Bankruptcies are necessarily very public and there are APIs for finding out whether someone has declared bankruptcy, so you just check whether each candidate has declared bankruptcy, and if so, you take the resume-URL they gave you and check that URL on archive.org just prior to their bankruptcy.

Repossessing Degrees

This doesn't work, legally or practically speaking, because it's trying to restrict speech-acts between parties that both want the information to be shared. You can't legally stop people from truthfully disclosing that they have a reposessed degree, because of the first amendment. You can't practically stop people from truthfully disclosing that they have a repossessed degree because they will have left many archived traces of that information, for example copies of their resume in the Internet Archive, they have an incentive to leave those traces in place, and removing those traces is too difficult and involves too many third parties to be a legal requirement.

George's Shortform

But I think that my disagreement with this first class of alarmist is no very fundamental, we can probably agree on a few things such as:

1. In principle, the kind of intelligence needed for AGI is a solved problem, all that we are doing now is trying to optimize for various cases.

2. The increase in computational resources is enough to get us closer and closer to AGI even without any more research effort being allocated to the subject.

This is definitely not something you will find agreement on. Thinking that this is something that alarmists would agree with you on suggests you are using a different definition of AGI than they are, and may have other significant misunderstandings of what they're saying.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

"Sealioning" is attempting to participate in "reasoned discourse" in a way that is insensitive to the appropriateness of the setting and to the buy-in of the other party. (Importantly, not "costs" of reasoned discourse; they are polite in some ways, like "oh sure, we can take an hour break for breakfast".) People who have especially low buy-in to reasoned discourse use the word to paint the person asking for clarification as the oppressor, and themselves the victim. Importantly, they view attempting to have reasoned discourse as oppression. Thus it blends "not tracking buy-in" and "caring about reasoning over feelings" in a way that makes them challenging to unblend.

The part of sealioning that's about setting can't really apply to comments on LW. In the comic that originated the term, a sealion intrudes on a private conversation, follows them around and trespasses in their house; but LessWrong frontpage is a public space for public dialogue, so a LessWrong comment can't have that problem no matter what it is.

So, conversational dynamics are worth talking about, and I do think there's something in this space worth reifying with a term, preferably in a more abstract setting.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"
jimrandomh17dModerator Comment11

There was a mention of moderation regarding the term sealioning, so I'm addressing that. (We're not yet addressing the thread-as-a-whole, but may do so later).

In general, it's important to be able to give names to things. I looked into how the term sealioning seems to be defined and used on the internet-as-a-whole. It seems to have a lot of baggage, including (if used to refer to comments on LessWrong) false connotations about what sort of place LessWrong is and what behavior is appropriate on LessWrong. However, this baggage was not common knowledge. I see little reason to think those connotations were known or intended by Duncan. So, this looks to me look a good-faith proposal of terminology, but the terminology itself seems bad.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"
jimrandomh22dModerator Comment10

Moderator hat on.

In general, I don't think we're going to have a moderator response time of ~4 hours (which is about how long Duncan's comment had been up when you wrote yours). However, seeing a call for moderator action, we are going to be reviewing this thread and discussing what if anything to do here.

I've spent the last few hours catching up on the comments here. While Vaniver and Habryka have been participating in this thread and are site moderators, this seems like a case where moderation decisions should be made by people with more distance.

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