All of Joachim Bartosik's Comments + Replies

Zvi’s Thoughts on the Survival and Flourishing Fund (SFF)

you presumably don’t hand out any company credit cards at least outside of special circumstances.


This reminded me of an anecdote from "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" where Feynman says that he

had been used to giving lectures for some company or university or for ordinary people, not for the government. I was used to, "What were your expenses?" ­­ "So­and­so much." ­­ "Here you are, Mr. Feynman.

I remember reading that and thinking that it's different from what I have to do (at a private ... (read more)

The Meta-Puzzle

"V jbefuvc fngna naq V'z zneevrq." ?

2Yoav Ravid2moThat sentence is impossible for anyone on that island to say - if they worship Satan they can't say it because it would be true, and if they worship God they can't say it because it would be false. On the other hand, both can (and would) say they worship God.
Which booster shot to get and when?

One more thing you might want to consider are vaccine certificates.

Where I live certificates are valid for a year and booster shots renews a certificate. Also where I live one becomes eligible for a booster shot 6 months after final vaccine dose. So if one gets booster shot ASAP then one gets 18 months of valid certificate. If one delays booster shot until the last moment then one gets 24 month of a valid certificate.

And valid certificate is very useful over here so there is a real trade off between making one safer against infection vs making more actions available in the future.

I think it kind of sucks that this is a tradeoff one has to consider.

Attempted Gears Analysis of AGI Intervention Discussion With Eliezer

I have only a very vague idea what are different reasoning ways (vaguely related to “fast and effortless “ vs “slow and effortful in humans? I don’t know how that translates into what’s actually going on (rather than how it feels to me)).

Thank you for pointing me to a thing I’d like to understand better.

Attempted Gears Analysis of AGI Intervention Discussion With Eliezer

I was thinking that current methods could produce AGI (because Turing-complete) and they can apparently good at producing some algorithms so they might be reasonably good at producing AGI.

2nd part of that wasn't explicit for me before your answer so thank you :)

Attempted Gears Analysis of AGI Intervention Discussion With Eliezer

 >Which is basically this: I notice my inside view, while not confident in this, continues to not expect current methods to be sufficient for AGI, and expects the final form to be more different than I understand Eliezer/MIRI to think it is going to be, and that theAGI problem (not counting alignment, where I think we largely agree on difficulty) is ‘harder’ than Eliezer/MIRI think it is.

Could you share why you think that current methods are not sufficient to produce AGI?


Some context:

After reading  Discussion with Eliezer Yudkowsky on AG... (read more)

I want to be clear that my inside view is based on less knowledge and less time thinking carefully, and thus has less and less accurate gears, than I would like or than I expect to be true of many others' here's models (e.g. Eliezer). 

Unpacking my reasoning fully isn't something I can do in a reply, but if I had to say a few more words, I'd say it's related to the idea that the AGI will use qualitatively different methods and reasoning, and not thinking that current methods can get there, and that we're getting our progress out of figuring out how to ... (read more)

Turing completeness is definitely the wrong metric for determining whether a method is a path to AGI. My learning algorithm of "generate a random Turing machine, test it on the data, and keep it if it does the best job of all the other Turing machines I've generated, repeat" is clearly Turing complete, and will eventually learn any computable process, but it's very inefficient, and we shouldn't expect AGI to be generated using that algorithm anytime in the near future.

Similarly, neural networks with one hidden layer are universal function approximators, an... (read more)

No, really, can "dead" time be salvaged?

First I'll echo what many others said. You need to rest so be careful to not make things worse (by not resting properly and as a result performing worse at work / school / whatever you do in your "productive time").

That said. If you feel like you're wasting time then it's ok to improve that. Some time ago I felt like I was wasting a big chunk of my time. What worked for me was trying out a bunch of things.

Doing chores. Cooking, cleaning my apartment, replacing my clothes with new ones, maintaining my car. Learning how to get better at chores, in a low effo... (read more)

No, really, can "dead" time be salvaged?

Actually, this is heavily criticized by almost anyone sensible in the field: see for example this post by Nate Soares, director of MIRI.


The link is broken. Did you mean to link to this post? 

4adamShimi3moMy bad, I corrected the link. No, that was another post, but the one you linked is also good.
What should one's policy regarding dental xrays be?

I too want to say that my dentist never even suggested getting an x-ray during a routine check up.

I’ve had a dental x-ray once but it was when looking into a specific problem.

I didn’t have any cavities in years. Back when I had cavities dentist found them by looking at my teeth no x-ray needed.

The description doesn't fully specify what's happening.

  1. Yovanni is answering questions in form of "Did X win the lottery". And gives correct answer 99% of the time. In that case you shouldn't believe that Xavier won the lottery. If you asked the question for all the participants you'd end up with list of (in expectation) about 10'000 people for which Yovanni claimed they won the lottery.
  2. Yovanni is making 1 claim about who won the lottery. And for questions like that Yovanni gives correct answers 99% of the time. In that case Phil got it and probability that
... (read more)
A way to beat superrational/EDT agents?

You're ignoring that with probability 1/4 agent ends up in room B.n that case you don't get to decide but you get to collect reward. Which is 3 for (the other agent) guessing T, or 0 for (the other agent) guessing H.

So basically guessing H is increasing your own expected reward at the expense of the other agent's expected reward (before you actually went to a room you didn't know if you'll be an agent which gets to decide or not so your expected reward also included part of expected reward for agent which doesn't get an opportunity to make a guess).

1Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir1yThat's not important at all. The agents in rooms A1 and A2 themselves would do better to choose tails than to choose heads. They really are being harmed by the information.
Automatically Turning Off Computer at Night
There wasn’t an elegant way to set the specific times I wanted my computer to shut down.

You could change the script to check the time and configure cron to run it every 30 minutes, all day.

H=$(date +%H)
if [ $H -gt 8 ] || [ $H -lt 22 ]; then
# Don't try to shut down
# Script to try to shut down goes here
What's the best way for me to improve my English pronounciation?

It seems I misunderstood the level of English pronaunciaction you're at and the level you're aiming for. Could you clarify?

What I wrote in my comment is what made me comfortable with speaking in English. I got some compliments for my English later and some surprised answers when I said I wasn't a native speaker (which I count as weak and strongish evidence respectively for being good at spoken English). Im not sure I did much else but I might be able to write how I leveled up if I know for which level up you're looking (in case you read but don't reply: most likely the answer is practice(prefferably in a way that rewards you of it self)).

2ChristianKl3yThe feedback I got was that it makes it unpleasant to listen to me when I speak in English for some people.
What's the best way for me to improve my English pronounciation?

Upboat for recommendation that I think wouldn't work for me but looks like it would work for many other people. It's always interesting to see those (at least for me ;) ).

What's the best way for me to improve my English pronounciation?

I guess this depends a lot on what kind of person you are. What worked for me was:

  • talking to people who don't know my native laguage. To do it I had to speak clearly enough to be understood. And I was interested in those people which madeit easier for me to put a bit of effort to make my pronaunciaction clear. Go on vacaction with people from other nations. Go to events where you can talk to foreigners. Those kinds of things.
  • listening to English. Watching movies, listening to podcasts, ...

Basically exposing myself to spoken English in ways that were rewarding on their own.

2ChristianKl3yI don't speak s much English as I read and write it, but speak it a lot and have no problem being understood.
What is abstraction?

I think there is no reason to expect a single meaning of the word. You did a good job in enumerating uses of 'abstraction' and finding its theme (removed from specific). I don't understand what confusion remains though.

2adamzerner3yI'm not sure whether or not there actually is a single meaning of the word or not. I get the impression from hearing other people talk about it that there is a single meaning, and that I'm not understanding what that single meaning is. But if it is the case that there is in fact no single meaning, I indeed wouldn't have any confusion remaining, aside from maybe not having as good an understanding of how the different meanings relate as I would like.
Policy Beats Morality

A link/ googleable phrase for KonMarie, phrase?

1Davidmanheim3yGoogle "Konmari"
A breakdown of priors and posteriors - an example from medicine

I kept on reading and wanted to check your numbers further (concrete math I could do in my head seems correct but I wanted to check moar) but I got lost in my tiredness and spreadseets. If you're interested in feedback on the math you're doing.. smaller steps are easier to verify. For example when you give the formula for P(D|+) in order to verify it I have to check the formula, value of each conditional probability (including figuring out formula for each of those), and the result at the same time.

It would be much easier to verify if you wrote down the intermediate steps (possibly simplifying verification from 30 minutes of spredsheet munching to a few in-head multiplications).

2masasin3yI'll keep that in mind for next time. Thanks!
A breakdown of priors and posteriors - an example from medicine

I'm pretty sure you got math wrong here:

O(D:¬D), read as the odds of dementia to no dementia, is the odds ratio that D is true compared to the odds ratio that D is false. O(D:¬D)=3:1 means that it's 3 times as likely that somebody has dementia than that they don't. It doesn't say anything about the magnitude of the probability, so it could be small, like 3% and 1%, or big, like 90% and 30%.

P(D or ¬D) = 1 (with P=1 one either has dementia or doesn't have it) and P(D and ¬D) = 0 (probability of having dementia and not having it is 0)... (read more)

2masasin3yYou're completely right here. I meant odds of 3:1 in general, as opposed to when they're a complement. (Also, 90 + 30 is more than 100%.) I'll edit it. It's only 75% and 25% when the sum of probabilities is 100%, but O(red car:green car) can be 3:1 when 60% of cars are red and 20% are green, or when 3% of cars are red and 1% are green. The remainder are different colours.
1Joachim Bartosik3yI kept on reading and wanted to check your numbers further (concrete math I could do in my head seems correct but I wanted to check moar) but I got lost in my tiredness and spreadseets. If you're interested in feedback on the math you're doing.. smaller steps are easier to verify. For example when you give the formula for P(D|+) in order to verify it I have to check the formula, value of each conditional probability (including figuring out formula for each of those), and the result at the same time. It would be much easier to verify if you wrote down the intermediate steps (possibly simplifying verification from 30 minutes of spredsheet munching to a few in-head multiplications).
Tradition is Smarter Than You Are

I'm half way through the article and it's been an interesting read so far but I got to this sentence:

> But that is the trouble: we have no way to tell which traditions are adaptive and which are merely drift.

The article (so far) didn't provide evidence for that. I'd even say that the article provides some evidence against this claim. It describes a bunch of traditions, identifies them as useful, and explains why they're useful. I thik there are exaples of traditions that people identified as useless (or harmful). Like using tort... (read more)

On memetic weapons
so i kinda expected those. so do you know of any evidence that people's minds where changed significantly or mostly due to debate/discussion? polls? surveys? ???

If debate / discussion doesn't actually change people minds then it's totally safe to let anyone defend whatever nonsense they want, they're not going to change anyones mind anyway.

4Quentin Crain3yHi! i do (mean to) try to add qualifiers like *mostly* and such to my questioning of whether or not speech/discussion/debate is a great mover of people's minds; certainly in the ultimate, talk is what changes minds, but its talk among people with emotional investment (eg. caring) among themselves, not some grand forum of the public. i mean, where is the "discussion" in a milo-like event? and similarly, what motivated me to create an account and comment in the first place is my annoyance at the IDW: I think they are whingers (certainly Harris and Peterson), and their assertion that discussion & debate is what is important and yet they dont do it! it seems to me their get togethers are only amongst themselves; Harris certainly has been touring with Peterson, and a couple of events with Weinsteins, but he has explicitly asserted that Ta-Nehisi Coates, for example, is irredeemable and undebatable. perhaps unfairly, i saw this posting in this light: the assertion that there used to be some great time in the past when the "Left" was changing minds through some series of grand public discussions/debates, but lamentably the "Left" has changed(?) been taken over(?) and this no longer happens.
Fixing science via a basic income

I think the last parahraph of your comment agrees with the post:

"... if you try to measure skill and then pick people based on how well they performed on your measure, you’re actually selecting for skill + luck rather than pure skill."

2Dagon3yRight, but that phrasing is misleading. Selecting by pure skill isn't available, and a lot of luck might be a hidden skill. Selecting by outcome is NOT luck-free, but it's better than any other selection mechanism.
What are your plans for the evening of the apocalypse?

I assume "every one finds out for sure" means something like everyone being about as convinced as they are about global warming, Any stronger conviction means something really weird is going on so I have no idea what would happen.

I'd expect something similar to what happens to people in doomsday cults (probably with less cultishness, because people in those cults did join a cult unlike most humans).

I'm not an expert on those but my impression is that the upcoming apocalypse has very little effect on their lives.

So... a couple news cycle... (read more)

5Dagon3yThis is a fair point. There is no (individual or combined) source of information that's trustworthy enough to get much more half the people to half-believe it (meaning: willing to make immediate personal sacrifice in any way). I imagine something like a little countdown timer appearing in the new HUD that everyone suddenly has, with a personal appearance of an avatar who explains that the simulation will be shutting down at 00:00 on 31-12-2023 would do it. That would have other effects than simple announcement of impending doom, though.
Goodhart Taxonomy: Agreement

I understood Regressional vs Extremal like that:

  • Signal is a victim of Regressional goodheart if it's a good indicator of thing you care about but stops working the moment you start optimizing for it. for example empty email inbox is a decent signal for me having taken care of things I need to do but if I do the obvious optimization and set up a filter to delete all incoming email...
  • Signal is a victim of Extreme Goodheart if optimizing for it works well. Until you get to values that are very high when it suddenly sops working. For example if I increase
... (read more)
Simplified Poker

Can my program use history of hands it player against the current opponent? What about history of hands the opponent player against others?

6Zvi4yAgainst this opponent, yes. Against other opponents, no.
Against accusing people of motte and bailey

I don't think so(EDIT: I don't think that looks like a new, separate "accuse people who are not making a motte-and-bailey fallacy of making a motte-and-bailey fallacy", it looks like something else to me). I think the situation is that there is a label for group A+B+C. Someone doesn't care about content made by group A+B+C because they perceive it as having motte-bailey doctrine.

This sounds like a bucket error (where one should get more content from A and ignore B and C) but I think it's not feasible to make new bucket that wo... (read more)

Effective Altruism's Ultimate Goal: Eradicate Human Suffering.

I sure hope Effective Altruism's Ultimate Goal is not to Eradicate Human Suffering. Because there is a way to achieve that goal that available to humanity as-is but it's awful. Just need to make sure that there are no humans.

I understand that's not what you describe here (and I don't think that's a solution you'd endorse). But... I think it's important to avoid committing to wrong goals.

1G Gordon Worley III4yFor what it's worth the sort of naive failing you describe is the version of the repugnant conclusion for negative utilitarianism. Negative preference utilitarianism addresses this, analogous to the way the repugnant conclusion of (positive) utilitarianism can be addressed by various means, although it is by no means the only option. That said Will doesn't really address this in the post, so I'm not quite sure what he has in mind, if anything, in terms of formal population ethical reasoning.
You Are Being Underpaid

Nice. I have a question and a couple of suggestions:

  • Company that currently employs me doesn't expect candidates to know answers to "trivia" questions. During interviews we allow candidates to make up any reasonable API they might want to use. Do you think answer like "I didn't use Filter() in a while so I'd look it up details before actually using it(a few minutes of reading documentation vs hours of debugging). Roughly it..." would work well (for something you don't use so often you know it by heart)?
  • I think making
... (read more)
1T3t4yBecause I'm not sure what the motivations behind asking trivia questions are, I don't know for sure how your answer would be perceived. That is likely how I would answer a question about an API I wasn't familiar with, though filters are more of a structural aspect of .NET MVC than an API (though it's still all functions at the bottom). Not knowing an important structural aspect of a framework you claim to be proficient in can be a red flag - though in my case I knew what they were, but did not know what they were called. (I looked them up after the first interview where I was asked about them, which was a good thing, because I was asked about them again in my last interview.) Another good lesson! I agree that making the interview pleasant for the interviewer is a good idea. It does seem like a "too obvious to be said" sort of thing, which probably means it needs to be said more often. The question that follows is how to do that, especially if you don't have an instinct for it. I've also read the advice to practice answering questions on a whiteboard. It's good advice, but in the interview that got me hired I didn't actually do any whiteboarding, so I didn't think to list it. Thanks!
Hufflepuff Cynicism on Hypocrisy

I think you're mixing a few questions that seem distinct to me:

1. Are there good reasons to be suspicious of advice that advice giver doesn't follow themselves?

2. Is there a good reason to support social norms against hypocrisy?

3. Are there good reasons to avoid giving advice that I don't follow myself?

@1. I think hypocrisy is always a evidence for the advice being poor. It's not a very strong evidence. If I can easily check sources, reasoning and evaluate results of taking the advice it's probably not worth worrying much about it.... (read more)

4abramdemski4yThe main intention behind my post was to argue that people over-react on #1, which is bad epistemics, and also overreact with respect to #3. I think we roughly agree on #1 and #3. I'm much more uncertain about #2. I've been making the claim that the norm is the cause of the problems with #1 and #3, and should therefore be removed. But, the claim was sort of incidental to my original point, and I didn't think through it so much. There are also some other distinctions [] which might be drawn out. I'll think about editing the post to clarify all the possible claims.