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... and there is only one choice I'd expect them to make, in other words, no actual decision at all.

If this were my introduction to LW, I'd snort and go away. Or maybe stop to troll for a bit -- this intro is soooo easy to make fun of.

Well, glad you didn't choose the first option, then.

The catch-22 I would expect with CFAR's efforts is that anyone buying their services is already demonstrating a willingness to actually improve his/her rationality/epistemology, and is looking for effective tools to do so.

The bottleneck, however, is probably not the unavailability of such tools, but rather the introspectivity (or lack thereof) that results in a desire to actually pursue change, rather than simply virtue-signal the typical "I always try to learn from my mistakes and improve my thinking".

The latter mindset is the one most urgently needing actual improvements, but its bearers won't flock to CFAR unless it has gained acceptance as an institution with which you can virtue-signal (which can confer status). While some universities manage to walk that line (providing status affirmation while actually conferring knowledge), CFAR's mode of operation would optimally entail "virtue-signalling ML students in on one side", "rationality-improved ML students out on the other side", which is a hard sell, since signalling an improvement in rationality will always be cheaper than the real thing (as it is quite non-obvious to tell the difference for the uninitiated).

What remains is helping those who have already taken that most important step of effective self-reflection and are looking for further improvement. A laudable service to the community, but probably far from changing general attitudes in the field.

Taking off the black hat, I don't have a solution to this perceived conundrum.

Climate change, while potentially catastrophic, is not an x-risk. Nuclear war is only an x-risk for a subset of scenarios.

The scarier thought is how often we're manipulated that way when people don't bungle their jobs. The few heuristics we use to identify such mischief are trivially misled (for example, establishing plausibility by posting on inconsequential other topics (at least on LW that incurs a measurable cognitive footprint, which is however not the case on, say, Reddit), and then there's always Poe's law to consider). Shills man, shills everywhere!

As they dictum goes, just cuz you're paranoid ...

Reminds me of Ernest Hemingway's apparent paranoid delusions of being under FBI surveillance ... only eventually it turned out he actually was. Well, at least if my family keep playing their roles well enough, from a functional blackbox perspective the distinction may not matter that much anyways. I wonder how they got the children to be such good actors, though. Mind chip implants?

As an aside, it's kind of curious that Prof. Tsipursky does his, let's say "social engineering", under his real name.

Anyways, good entertainment. Though on this forum, it's more of a guilty pleasure (drama is but a weed in our garth of rationality).

Disclaimer: Only spent 20 minutes on this, so it might be incomplete, or you may already have addressed some of the following points:

At first glance, John Lowe authored 2 pubmed-listed papers on the topic.

The first of which in an open journal with no peer review (Med. Hypotheses) which has also published stuff on e.g. AIDS denialism. From his paper: "We propose that molecular biological methods can provide confirmatory or contradictory evidence of a genetic basis of euthyroid FS [Fibromyalgia Syndrome]." That's it. Proposing a hypothesis, not providing experimental evidence, paper ends.

The second paper was published in a somewhat controversial low impact journal (at least peer-reviewed). However, this apparently one and only peer reviewed and published paper actually contradicts the expected results, Lowe pulls off a somewhat convoluted move to save his hypothesis:

"TSH, FT3, or FT4 did not correlate with RMR [Resting Metabolic Rate] values. For two reasons, however, ITHR [Inadequate Thyroid Hormone Regulation] cannot be ruled out as the mechanism of FM [Fibromyalgia] patients’ lower RMRs: (1) TSH, FT3 , and FT4 levels have not been shown to reliably correlate with RMR values, and (2) these tests evaluate only pituitary-thyroid axis function and cannot rule out central HO and PRTH."

Yea ...

In addition, lots of crank signs: Lowe's review from 2008, along with his other writings, is "published" in a made-up "journal" which still lists him (from beyond the grave, apparently) as the editor-in-chief.

No peer review, pretending to be an actual journal, a plethora of commercial sites citing him and his research ... honi soit qui mal y pense!

I wonder if / how that win will affect estimates on the advent of AGI within the AI community.

Please don't spam the same comment to different threads.

Hey! Hey. He. Careful there, a propos word inflation. It strikes with a force of no more than one thousand atom bombs.

Are you really arguing for keeping ideologically incorrect people barefoot and pregnant, lest they harm themselves with any tools they might acquire?

Sounds as good a reason as any!

maybe we should shut down LW

I'm not sure how much it counts, but I bet Chief Ramsay would've shut it down long ago. Betting is good, I've learned.

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