Just Learning

Wiki Contributions


Grading scheme from Valentine Smith

Thank you very much, it does! 
I think you answer is worth to be published as a separate post. It will be relevant for everyone who is teaching.  

Why there are no online CFAR workshops?

It would be very interesting to look at the results of this experiment in more detail.


Yes, maybe I explained what I mean not very well; however, gjm (see commentaries below) seems to get it. The point is not that CFAR is very much like Lifespring (though I may have sounded like that), the point is that there are certain techniques (team spirit, deep emotional connections etc.) that are likely to be used in such workshops, that will most certainly make participants love workshop and organizers (and other participants) , but their effect on the participant's life can be significantly weaker than their emotional change of mind.  These techniques work sufficiently worse for the online workshops, so this was one of the reason I tried to understand why CFAR does not hold online workshops. Another reason was resentment towards CFAR for not doing it, for it would be much more convenient to me. 

Why there are no online CFAR workshops?

Is there any proven benefits of meditation retreats in comparison with regular meditation?

Why there are no online CFAR workshops?

Ok, your point makes sense.

Basically, I am trying to figure out for myself if going to the workshop would be beneficial for me.  I do believe that CFAR does not simply try to get as much money as possible. However, I am concerned that people after the workshop are strongly biased towards liking it not because it really helps, but because of psychological mechanisms akin to Lifespring. I am not saying that CFAR is doing it intentionally, it could just have been raised somehow on its own. Maybe these mechanisms are even beneficial to whatever CFAR is doing, but they definitely make evaluation harder.  

Why there are no online CFAR workshops?

"When I was talking to Valentine (head of curriculum design at the time) a while ago he said that the spirit is the most important thing about the workshop."

Now, this already sounds a little bit disturbing and resembling Lifespring. Of course, the spirit is important, but I thought the workshop is going to arm us with instruments we can use in real life, not only in the emotional state of comradeship with like-minded rationalists.

Why there are no online CFAR workshops?

I can understand your point, but I am not persuaded yet. Let me maybe clarify why. During the year and a half of COVID, the in-person workshops were not possible. During this time, there were people, who would strongly benefit from the workshop, and the workshop would be helpful at this time (for example, they were making a career choice). Some of them can allow private places for the time of the workshop. It seems that for them, during this time the online workshop would be certainly more beneficial than no workshop at all. Moreover, conducting at least one online workshop would be a good experiment that would give useful information. It is totally not obvious to me why the priors that "online workshop is useless or harmful, taking into account opportunity cost" are so high that this experiment should not be conducted. 

Yes, I hope someone from CFAR can maybe explain it better to me.

Why there are no online CFAR workshops?

It is a good justification for this behavior, but it does not seem to be the most rational choice. Indeed, one could specify that the participant of the online workshop must have a private space (own bedroom, office, hotel room, remote place in a park - whatever fits). I am pretty sure there is a significant number of people, who would prefer an online workshop to the offline one (especially when all offline are canceled due to COVID), and who have or can find a private space for the duration of the workshop. To say that we are not doing it because some people do not have privacy is like for the restaurant to stop offer meat to everyone because there are vegans among customers. Of course, online workshop is not for everyone, but there are people for whom it would work. 

Why there are no online CFAR workshops?

I agree that for some people physical contact (like hugs, handshaking etc.) indeed means a lot. However, it is not for everyone. Moreover, even if the online workshop is less effective due to lack of this spirit, is it indeed so ineffective that it is worse than no workshop at all? Finally, why just not to try? It sounds like a thing that should be tried at least one time, and if it fails - well, then we see that it fails. 

Yes, I hope someone who attended CFAR (or even somehow related to it) would see this question and give their answer. 

Erratum for "From AI to Zombies"

Are there any other examples when rationality guides you faster than the scientific approach? If so it would be good to collect and mention them. If no I am pretty suspicious about QM one as well. 

Which animals can suffer?

First of all, it is my mistake - in the paper they used pain more like a synonym to suffering. They wanted to clarify that the animal avoids tissue damage (heat, punching, electric shock etc.) not just on the place, but learns to avoid it. To avoid it right there is simply nociception that can be seen in many low-level animals.

I don't know much about the examples you mentioned. For example, bacterias certainly can't learn to avoid stimuli associated with something bad for them. (Well, they can on the scale of evolution, but not as a single bacteria). 

Load More