All of Jurily's Comments + Replies

-4Lumifer6yBzzzzz, I am sorry, you must have confused me with your research assistant. Please try again.
Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016

It is my understanding that due to ethical concerns, the scientific field of psychology does not have a data collection methodology capable of distinguishing between effects caused by the parents' genes and effects caused by the parents' actions, and as such, no possible statistical approach will give a correct answer on the heritability of traits caused by the latter, like schizophrenia a.k.a. religion or intelligence. In order to clear up my "misunderstandings and ignorance", you will need to demonstrate an approach that can, at the very least, successfully disprove genetic contribution in circumcision.

I think you need to read up a little more on behavioral genetics. To point out the obvious, besides adoption studies (you might benefit from learning to use Google Scholar) and and more recent variants like using sperm donors (a design I just learned about yesterday), your classic twin study design and most any 'within-family' design does control for parental actions, because they have the same parents. eg if a trait is solely due to parental actions, then monozygotic twins should have exactly the same concordance as dizygotic twins despite their very diff... (read more)

3Lumifer6yYour understanding looks silly. It is rather obvious that not all children are brought up by their parents and that has been used in a number of studies. In fact, many classic identical-twins studies rely on being able to find genetically identical people who were brought up in different circumstances (including different parents).
Open Thread May 23 - May 29, 2016

How does this reject the genetic factors causing circumcision in Jews?

Open Thread May 9 - May 15 2016

Psychology produces useful information at the same rate as Christianity. If you want practical results, learn hypnosis.

The Growth of My Pessimism: Transhumanism, Immortalism, Effective Altruism.

I gave directions to Hogwarts. I gave the simplest, easiest and most fun testable claim I could think of. It is part of the claim that the process of testing it is guaranteed to improve your life. No study will change any of that. Go observe reality.

The Growth of My Pessimism: Transhumanism, Immortalism, Effective Altruism.

Your impression of what psychologists believe is outdated. Today's psychologists already know that Freudian psychoanalysis doesn't work. It's been years since it was part of the standard understanding of psychology.

That's nice, but what about the axiom of medicine, when was that examined? How did they prove the idea that statistics is an effective research method for neural networks of 10^14 synapses trained on unique input exhibiting mostly unique symptoms?

And the placebo effect is already accounted for in every serious randomized trial.

Yes, I appl... (read more)

0polymathwannabe6yThe intimidating complexity of the brain doesn't turn it into a strange, otherworldly realm where the same boring laws of physics somehow cease to apply. Your idea of what a placebo does is very confused. A placebo is not a backdoor fix to reboot the brain with a secret magic word. A placebo is anything that is physically ineffectual but resembles actual therapy, and the only reason why it's still a necessary evil in research is because it gives a standard of comparison to ascertain how much of the effect of an actual treatment was due to mere suggestion. It is (outside of rare scenarios where a doctor is in an extremely precarious situation with no viable therapy at hand) the epitome of unethical to prescribe a placebo. Unless you're a dualist, every mental disorder is a hardware problem. There's simply no other place where things can happen. Don't put words in my mouth. I've never spoken against the computing metaphor. I can also observe faith healing and exorcisms on YouTube. Show me large-scale, randomized, controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals. Now you're making a testable claim. You're saying lots of orgasms cure depression. What's the scientific evidence?
The Growth of My Pessimism: Transhumanism, Immortalism, Effective Altruism.

When physicists have two experiments proving two mutually exclusive theories, they come up with a theory that explains both, no matter how ridiculous it sounds, and then redesign their methodology to test the new predictions. Newtonian physics is still accurate enough to explain a soccer game, reality hasn't changed when GR explained the quirks.

Under the current "understanding" of psychology, people want to fuck their parents at age 3 and depression is an "illness" even though 150 years of research hasn't demonstrated the cause or a cur... (read more)

4polymathwannabe6yYour impression of what psychologists believe is outdated. Today's psychologists already know that Freudian psychoanalysis doesn't work. It's been years since it was part of the standard understanding of psychology. And the placebo effect is already accounted for in every serious randomized trial. Your implication that depression is not a real thing needs to be explained in more detail, especially with such a kilometer-tall red flag as your use of square quotes for evidence-based medicine. So, what's your evidence that stage hypnosis is a viable therapy?
The Growth of My Pessimism: Transhumanism, Immortalism, Effective Altruism.

I've linked a stage hypnotist training class and made testable predictions you find obviously false. It's meaningless to discuss smartphone design until you've shown the willingness to press the power button and see what happens.

4Lumifer6yYou haven't provided any theory. You made incoherent noises about chi, chakras, stuffing a Death Star power core up someone's ass, and making shit up.
5polymathwannabe6y(Note to future readers: as of the time of writing this post, Lumifer's post had on net balance 1 single upvote, and it came from me.) @Jurily: nowhere did your post [] say or even imply that "the human brain is intelligent," and this post [] doesn't help either. What you described was a very ambitious project of rewriting the brain at will with hypnosis, which under the current understanding of psychology is a very extraordinary claim, especially considering the mystical-sounding jargon you threw in. So skepticism is more than justified.
The Growth of My Pessimism: Transhumanism, Immortalism, Effective Altruism.

That sounds like a wildly overreaching claim. We can do that now / in the near future? I don't think so.

Getting people drunk/high is one of the classics of stage hypnosis. What steps have you taken to observe reality before reaching that conclusion?

/blinks. What do you expect installing a Death Star power core in the root chakra to do?

Establish and maintain a higher baseline of subjective well-being. People already have concepts like "chi" or "mental energy"; a generator produces more energy; and the "root chakra" is &q... (read more)

2Lumifer6yAh, well, good luck with that.
The Growth of My Pessimism: Transhumanism, Immortalism, Effective Altruism.

Our technologies can’t and won’t for a while lead our minds to peaks anywhere near the peaks we found by simply introducing weirdly shaped molecules into our brains. The strangeness of Salvia, the beauty of LSD, the love of MDMA are orders and orders of magnitude beyond what we know how to change from an engineering perspective.

The technology does exist. In hypnosis, we do party tricks including the effects of the weirdly shaped molecules. Think about this redirect. We do lucid dreaming. We do all the cool stuff from eastern meditations and some that pr... (read more)

4Lumifer6yThat sounds like a wildly overreaching claim. We can do that now / in the near future? I don't think so. /blinks. What do you expect installing a Death Star power core in the root chakra to do? (will it let you shoot death rays out of your ass?)
Non-communicable Evidence

Yes, it's a learnable skill. Stage hypnotists exist.

0ChristianKl6yIn stage hypnosis people don't change their beliefs themselves but get lead by another person to change their beliefs. More to the point, I wasn't focused on what's theoretically possible but what we do in day to day interactions. In day to day interactions we don't simply write new beliefs directly into our minds.
Non-communicable Evidence

And the only way to distinguish is to find an observation you can make. Crockford's model offers none I can recognize, not even "System I coordinates your muscles to move your mouse".

Non-communicable Evidence

I predict that if the Pope declares Jesus is God, there will be more worlds in which Jesus is God than worlds in which Jesus is merely the son of God.

If a statement does not say anything about observable reality, there is no objective truth to be determined.

1adamzerner6yFair point. I agree that "I have a gut feeling about something non-observable" is a possibility. But so is "I have a gut feeling about something that is observable".
Non-communicable Evidence

The claim is not observable in any way and offers no testable predictions or anything that even remotely sounds like advice. It's unprovable because it doesn't talk about objective reality.

027chaos6yThere's a sequence about how the scientific method is less powerful than Bayesian reasoning that you should probably read.
-1adamzerner6yWhich claim? As for the claim that one's intuition is evidence, I predict that in worlds where someone with a good track record has an intuitive belief, the belief will be true more than it will be false.
Open thread, Nov. 02 - Nov. 08, 2015

Given the current scientific framework you don't change a theory based on anecdotal evidence and single case studies.

Oh, I see the problem now. You're waiting for research to allow you to decide to do the research you're waiting for. When the scientific framework tells you there isn't enough research to reach a conclusion, doesn't it also tell you to do more research? Picking a research topic should not be as rigorous a process as the research itself.

Even if all the anecdotal and single case studies are false, shouldn't you at least be interested in why... (read more)

2ChristianKl6yWhat do you mean when you say "you"? I have more formal credentials with NLP then with academic psychology. I have multiple friends who makes their living in that industry. One of my best friends worked for a while as a salesperson for Bandlers seminars. I don't have friends who have as much friends who have degrees in academic psychology. I just understands both sides well enough to tell you about the situation we have at the moment.
Open thread, Nov. 02 - Nov. 08, 2015

I'm aware that Strugeon's law is in full effect within the NLP community, my questions were specifically about Bandler and his results.

I fail to see how anything you said has an impact on the observation that Andy did not need to return to the mental institute. Unless you dispute at least that single claim, the lack of research is better explained with the hypothesis that the researchers failed to understand the topic well enough to account for enough variables, like how Bandler almost always teaches NLP in the context of hypnosis.

If whatever Bandler does ... (read more)

6jimmy6yYES! Personally, I wouldn't take Bandler very seriously because of the whole "narcissistic liar" thing and the fact that the one intervention of his I saw was thoroughly lacking in displayed skill (and noteworthy result), but yes, you should look at the experts, not at the undergrads handed a manual designed by the researcher who isn't an expert himself. It's much better to study "effectiveness of this expert", not "effectiveness of this technique". I'd just rather see someone like Steve Andreas studied. I know from personal experience that even people with good intentions will strawman the shit out of you if you talk about this kind of thing because there's so much behind it that they just aren't gonna get. Ironically enough, Milton Erickson, the guy who Bandler modeled NLP after, allegedly had this exact complaint about NLP ("Bandler and Grinder think they have me in a nut shell, but all they have is a nutshell." )
4ChristianKl6yGiven the current scientific framework you don't change a theory based on anecdotal evidence and single case studies. Especially when it comes to a person who's known to be at least partly lying about the anecdotes he tells. What do you mean with the phrase "explicit goal of science"? The goals that grand funding agencies set when they give out grants? To the extent that you think studying people with high abilities is good approach of advancing science, I wouldn't pick a person who's in the habit of lying and showmanship but a person who values epistemically true beliefs and who's open about what they think they are doing. I think the term pseudoscience doens't really apply for Bandler. For me the term means a person who's pretending to play with the rules of science but who doesn't. Bandler isn't playing with the rules or pretending to do so. That doesn't mean that he's wrong and what he teaches isn't effective but at the same time it doesn't bring his work into science. It's typical for New Atheists to reject everything that's not part of the scientific mosaic as useless discredited pseudoscience. I don't think that's useful way of looking at how the world works. If you want to go further into that direction of thought, a nice talk was recently shared on the Facebook LW group:Scientific Pluralism and the Mission of History and Philosophy of Science [] For full disclosure, I do have a decent amount of NLP training with Chris Mulzer who attended Bandlers trainer training program every year for a decade. I know multiple people who attended seminars with Bandler.
Open thread, Nov. 02 - Nov. 08, 2015

So, apparently NLP is pseudoscience, and now I'm confused. Does anyone actually claim

  • Richard Bandler hasn't demonstrated even a single verifiable, undisputable result with his methods, and he's been fabricating things like this for decades?
  • his methods don't lead to his results in a way that matches his predictions?
  • the creator of NLP is not qualified to decide whether or not his methods are NLP?

If there are no claims to any of the above, what exactly was discredited?

7ChristianKl6yThere's research that indicates that the NLP Fast Phobia Cure produce effects but there no research that it's better than other CBT techniques. I consider basic claims by Bandler about rapport as nowadays accepted by psychology as mimicry of bodylanguage. As far as I see nobody cited Bandler for that and mainstream psychology developed their ideas about mimicry separately decades later. The idea that there are eye accessing cues that are the same in every person that NLP taught in it's early days has been shown to be false in methodically bad studies and it's not taught anymore by Bandler and good modern NLP trainers. You will however still find articles on the internet proclaiming the theory to be true as claimed in the early days of NLP. In Bandler latest book he mostly talks about applying an idea about strengthing emotions that you want by spinning them in your body and disassociating negative emotions. I'm not aware about good published research around those mechanisms. Another significant claim of Bandler is that he can cure schizophrenics. I don't know his approach with schizophrenics works and as far as I know there no research investigating it. NLP trainers after Bandler are not in the habit of using language with the goal of saying things that are objective true, but focus on saying things that they believe will produce positive change in the person they are talking with. Bandler is not open about what he beliefs he's doing when he's training NLP trainers. Science itself rests on people openly stating what they believe. Bandler does tell people at the end of his NLP trainer programs that there no such thing as NLP, so the issue of whether he decides whether or not his methods are NLP is not straightforward. NLP works very differently with epistomological questions. It has a different approach to the question of how you teach a person skills to be a good therapist than mainstream psychology.
3MrMind6yNLP is arguably very difficult to analyze, because it's not a single body of coherent knowledge forming a model, rather than a mash-up of psychological techniques and some assertions about how the minds works. I think that when you can extrapolate something that is definitely an assertion about the mind or how some techniques improves the life of people who use it, then you can test it. And it's usually found to be false. There are however some assertions that turned out to be 'true' (that is, an experiment showed some effects), like the mirroring effect, and others that were borrowed from other fields or experiments. It's better not to be too hang-up about the pseudoscience label: just know that when you talk about NLP, you are entering in a field of not necessarily related beliefs which are mostly false.
-1knb6yI think homeopaths and faith-healers could probably dredge up a few convincing-seeming anecdotes as well. The wikipedia article you linked to presents numerous meta-analyses in support of the claim that NLP is a pseudoscience. If you want to know what they think they've discredited, read them.
Nature publishes an article about alternative therapy

Don't think of it as "causes me to relax", you're the one doing the relaxing. You already know how to do it without the pill too, just pretend you're taking it. And then pretend you're pretending. And then practice a couple of times until you can do it automatically and don't need to think about it anymore.

Roles are Martial Arts for Agency

Thinking about what to do is an action in itself. If you pause to think whether to brake or steer left to avoid a crash, you're not doing either. If a SWAT officer pauses to think during the part of a raid when the most important decisions happen, people get shot.

Most optimal algorithms do not involve questioning their own validity. There are times when you design and optimize, and there are times when you execute. Downtime is only useful when you're not up.

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
9[anonymous]7yRan a phone call just now with my uncle who is a SWAT officer (well, localized equivalent of a SWAT officer). He says they're trained to run in two modes - decision-making and execution - and to switch the two routinely during any particular live-action scenario. He added, quote (paraphrased slightly because of translation), "those that run all the time in execute mode during live-action are morons that get people killed". In car-crash scenario, reacting Fast only buys you time to react Properly, but indeed, it's what is needed. So, i'm here really moving the problem scope to other questions like: * Where is a fine line between Executor and Director? * Should Executor and Director run in paralel or series? * What is the optimal ratio of either in particular situation? There's no realistic situation where one should completely overtake the other. No, not even my own heartbeat is allowed to run in Execute mode all the time. As a side note, the newest Robocop franchise installment kind of ventures to some depth (questionably) in this exact topic, and concludes that it's best to run on two modes at the same time, Decision-Maker being a slow tweaker of the Executor, detached for the most part. An overseer with only slight control.
Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

Is he a Bayesian racist?

If he got his opinion by updating it constantly and is willing to update it in the other direction given further evidence, yes. What he actually ends up doing with it is another matter entirely. I wouldn't expect a Bayesian redneck to join the KKK, for example.

Is she a Bayesian racist?

I'd think she's either committing the fallacy of trusting statistics to exactly predict the individual case, or simply not doing proper cost analysis. Even if the statistics say there are no unsolved crimes and none of the crimes are committed ... (read more)

0MarkusRamikin7yIn that hypothetical world, which is very different from ours, actively avoiding Asian males would be as weird as actively avoiding harmless old grannies, and doing weird things carries a nonzero social cost.
Open thread, 25-31 August 2014

Is there a name for the following pattern?

  • Argument or just noticing confusion
  • "He looks way too confident, he's probably better at the field or has significant information"
  • Catastrophic failure more or less matching my predictions

I seem to run into this a lot lately, but the alternative of assuming I'm correct seems even worse. I'm also often not in a position to ask about the source of their confidence.

1NancyLebovitz7yWould you care to post some predictions?
4ChristianKl7yAccurately judging the confidence that other people have in their own judgements isn't easy. It can be that the other person just doesn't care whether they are wrong. In political discussions people often argue their positions quite strongly even if they don't have good evidence for them. You might mistake that strong arguing as confidence when it's rather the opposite. Fight, flight and freeze responses are all instances of fear but look quite different. Especially shy people often confuse a fight response with confidence when it isn't.
Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

I'm not sure HR would approve racial stereotype studies as part of the hiring process.

Why Are Individual IQ Differences OK?

Adjusted for confidence in the factual accuracy of resumes, it's a tough call.

0TheAncientGeek7yYou're allowed to check
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, July 2014, chapter 102

Chapter 20:

"Yes, nuclear weapons!" Professor Quirrell was almost shouting now. "Even He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named never used those, perhaps because he didn't want to rule over a heap of ash! They never should have been made! And it will only get worse with time!" Professor Quirrell was standing up straight instead of leaning on his desk. "There are gates you do not open, there are seals you do not breach! The fools who can't resist meddling are killed by the lesser perils early on, and the survivors all know that there are secrets yo

... (read more)
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, July 2014, chapter 102

I'm not sure he'd needed to do that. Until we hear otherwise, he has access to all the knowledge of Salazar, who knew enough to build Hogwarts. Which also means the source code to the wards and the means to change them.

Can you even transfigure something that transfigures itself back? Of course Quirrell can do it if it's possible, but is it possible?

2Velorien7yThis may be an exaggeration. First, it seems improbable that Salazar entrusted all his magical knowledge to the basilisk, if only because that would have been a ridiculous amount of magical knowledge. Salazar wouldn't have known which pieces of knowledge from his time were going to become lost, only that some would based on existing trends, so if he was going to tell the basilisk everything he thought valuable, it would have taken forever. Also, there's no reason to believe that basilisks have perfect memories - unless I'm misremembering, the basilisk as a species was chosen for its snakeness, deadliness and longevity rather than its intellect. Salazar was only responsible for part of Hogwarts. We don't know that he was at all responsible for the wards, only that he had admin access to them (in order to make them ignore the basilisk), which is no surprise since he was one of the four founders. We also don't know that Godric didn't revoke said admin access after Salazar betrayed him and left, in which case that portion of Salazar's knowledge would be useless. In fact, it would be downright weird if Godric hadn't done so. Since I feel the wrathful shade of Professor McGonagall watching over my shoulder, I'm going to say "I don't know". But if I had to guess, a transfigured object takes on all the properties of its new form, including the property of "not having troll regenerative powers". So if you could initially transfigure the troll faster than its regeneration kicked in, you'd have no trouble maintaining it thereafter.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, July 2014, chapter 102

What's the deal with spells and age? If Harry is really so far ahead of his class and can already cast spells nobody else can, why is it just now that he can cast "second-year" spells effortlessly?

Canon or not, this reminds me too much of the public school system of a certain country where kids are verboten to use words "they shouldn't know yet".

I've always modeled it as a physiological "mana capacity" aspect akin to muscle mass -- something that grows both naturally as a developing body matures, and as a result of exercise.

These seem to be the relevant quotes:

"For some reason or other," said the amused voice of Professor Quirrell, "it seems that the scion of Malfoy is able to cast surprisingly strong magic for a first-year student. Due to the purity of his blood, of course. Certainly the good Lord Malfoy would not have openly flouted the underage magic laws by arranging for his son to receive a wand before his acceptance into Hogwarts."


Only there was a reason why they usually didn't bother giving wands to nine-year-olds. Age counted too, it wasn'

... (read more)
1ChristianKl8yHarry completely started using magic when he went to Hogwarts. If he has basically learned year one and year two in one year I think that's okay. Link?
3Skeeve8yI would speculate that there's some physiological component involved in spellcasting ability that grows with age, in much the same way that older children are often more coordinated and stronger than younger children. I have no evidence to back this up other than the repeated mentions of 'age matters with spells', however.
Fifty Shades of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Which one of these do you claim?

  • the editors failed when identifying this book as "people want", since it only sold tens of millions
  • the editors weren't rewarded for their good judgement
  • since not every single person on Earth likes it, it should not be allowed to reach those who do
  • there is no market for romance novels
-2PhilGoetz7yNone of the above. See the title of the post.
[LINK] Claustrum Stimulation Temporarily Turns Off Consciousness in an otherwise Awake Patient

The hypnotic induction is just a Ritual designed to convince the client that they can be "hypnotized" in a way that matches their preconceptions. After the first session, it's much more efficient to use an instant reinduction trigger or suggestions like "I can hypnotize you in hundreds of ways impossible to resist" or "all my suggestion will work easily, automatically, whether or not you think you're hypnotized, in exactly the way that benefits you most".

As for amnesia, stage techniques are awesome. It's really hard to doubt you've been hypnotized when you count your 11 fingers, can't get up from the chair or watch your arm grow to twice the size.

3ChristianKl8y'With that definition you define hypnosis in a way where hypnosis has nothing to do with trance. It's certainly possible to give another person suggestions that do work without having the person in a somnambulistic state. That no useful definition if you want to talk about how certain trance states come with amnesia. I had multiple times the experience of creating a trance state in someone that causes amnesia without giving suggestions for amnesia and without the person thinking they were supposed to have amnesia. Yes, you can do those things. It's commonly called convincers. On the other hand feats like counting 11 fingers are not phenomena that will succeed for every subject the first time.
Be Wary of Thinking Like a FAI

So I should (a) not care about personal identity over time, even if it exists, and (b) stop believing that it exists.

That sounds like a thought-stopper. What is the utility of the belief itself? What predictions can we make if personal identity exists? What is the maximum set of incremental changes you can make to yourself until you stop being "you"? What is the utility of being "current you" as opposed to "optimized you", and which "you" gets to decide? What is the utility of being "you five years ago" as opposed to "current you", and which "you" gets to decide?

How to Write Deep Characters

I seem to remember a story about Warren Buffett: whenever he tried to teach people to trade, they failed miserably. When people asked him on why he didn't follow his own teachings on specific successful trades he did, he simply said "Oh, I changed my mind at the last second."

I've never seen sources for it though, so take it with a grain of salt.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89

I actually expected Harry to cast the Killing Curse as a last ditch desperation/rage effort. He knew what it does, has seen the wand movements and pronounciation (in the Dementor dream), knew and had the required state of mind. That should be enough to cast it, as per Ch26 ("He is in his sixth year at Hogwarts and he cast a high-level Dark curse without knowing what it did.").

6BlackNoise9yHarry may have had the mood, but there's doubt about the Power, and there's also been multiple foreshadows of how broken low-level spells are, and a recent mention that he's he can't stop himself from noticing them. Hence "censors off".
1taelor9yI thought this as well.
Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 19, chapter 88-89

Or that since she ran for sunlight, she wasn't inside Hogwarts technically, therefore the wards didn't pick up her injury. We already have proof the attacker expected her to do that.

Which would also explain her last words.

2Fhyve9yShe was still within the wards/within hogwarts grounds.