All of Leafcraft's Comments + Replies

What is the best chemistry textbook?

Chemistry & Chemical Reactivity (Kotz, Treichel, Townsend)

Less Realistic Tales of Doom

Ah, good point! I have a feeling this is a central issue that is hardly discussed here (or anywhere)

5Sam Clarke5dWill MacAskill calls this the "actual alignment problem" [] Wei Dai has written a lot about related concerns in posts like The Argument from Philosophical Difficulty []
Less Realistic Tales of Doom

Isn't that the same as the last one?

Just call it a "Status Quo Lock-In" or "Arbitrary Lock-In"

8jbash10dWell, it's intentionally a riff on that one. I wanted one that illustrated that these "shriek" situations, where some value system takes over and gets locked in forever, don't necessarily involve "defectors". I felt that the last scenario was missing something by concentrating entirely on the "sneaky defector takes over" aspect, and I didn't see any that brought out the "shared human values aren't necssarily all that" aspect.
[ACX Linkpost] Prospectus on Próspera

I'd bet a decent amount of money into this project not working out (depending on the metric of "not working out")

What weird beliefs do you have?

Not sure if it counts as a "weird belief" but I am an anarchist for relatively "usual" reasons.

I believe Plants, Fungi and even inanimate objects experience consciousness (to some extent). Consciousness is, probably, an intrinsic property of matter and it exists throughout the physical universe in some form.

Recommendation for a good international event betting site like

As far as reliability goes, consider that PM are a very new thing, so I recommend you use precaution with all of them for the time being.

Augur is working but last time I checked transaction fees were pretty high, so volume/liquidity was very small, it should improve in the near future especially if Ethereum transition to PoS (I also plan to start trading on Augur). 

I heard you can sometimes trade events on sites like BetFair.

Other current/upcoming Predicion Markets not limited to the U.S. are:





The tech left behind

Could you cite any? Or at least point me at some research/source on the subject?

Shittests are actually good

What do you think about "Mate"?

1snog toddgrass8moMate is very good. I should write an entire post reviewing the book. Much of the value from Mate is that it helps you understand your own experience. The most valuable single chapter in Mate is the chapter on mating markets. The effect size of moving mating markets is so huge that its obvious to me. Of the five mating markets I've explored, by far the largest factor is the demographic ratios. When I was 24 and in a terrible mating market, my friends really did tell me the market didn't matter and the problem was my behaviors. I felt so unnatractive and stupid and socially incompetent while in that market. In retrospect the religious customs of that country just made dating a foreign atheist impossible. My mate value determined my outcomes much less than I thought. If any straight readers are in a terrible mating market I have three recommendations. Read "Mate" then watch "Sex and the City". Also, consider moving.
Why haven't we celebrated any major achievements lately?

I think very few people celebrate scientific/technical achievements. Those people weren't celebrating the achievement per se, but their country/nation or perhaps the individual(s) who did that. Feelings of national (and sometimes even individual) pride are becoming more and more politically incorrect; so as the sense of belonging fades away people also celebrate less and less

2MikkW9moI think while there are many who feel uncomfortable showing national pride specifically, there's still capacity for collective pride- just a different collective, not the nation
The Basic Double Crux pattern

Is there any online community where people can practice DC that you would recommend?

3Eli Tyre10mo"Community" is a bit strong for these early stages, but I'm running small training sessions via Zoom, with an eye towards scaling them up. If you're interested, put down your details on this google form [] . Also, this is a little bit afield, but there are online NonViolent Communication communities. Bay NVC [], for instance, does a weekly dojo, now online due to the pandemic. NVC is very distinctly not Double Crux, but they do have a number of overlapping sub-skills. And in general, I think that the most the of conflicts that most people have in "real life" are better served by NVC than DC.

I see. With regard to your post and the origin of the black hole "pic", do you believe that applying the same pipeline to random images or even noise would generate a similar result?

Thanks for the interesting read. I absolutely lack the background to comment on your conclusions, but your post made me remember some questions I had on Black Holes that no physicist I talked to could answer, I never would have guessed the field had detractors.

If you don't mind me asking, are you also a climate change skeptic?

Studies On Slack

You mention evolution being proven wrong a long time ago. Care to elaborate?

-14Miguel Cisneros1y
Studies On Slack

I believe you used the therm "genetic code" incorrectly in [II.] when you were talking about cancer, the correct word is genome.

For anybody who wants to understand:

The difference between the terms is that genetic code means the part of the DNA that codes for proteins. The genome on the other hand means all DNA and thus also telomere and other information like various types of RNA for which DNA codes.

Ubiquitous Far-Ultraviolet Light Could Control the Spread of Covid-19 and Other Pandemics

Some bacterial species have impressive level of radiation resistance, so it's a quality that can certainly be evolved much like antibiotic resistance. The most extreme radiation-resistance strategies involve the presence of multiple genomes within a cell as "backups", this is coupled with various metabolic activities which have the goal to replace/repair the "main one" when it is damaged by radiation. Viruses, on the other hand, completely lack a metabolism and therefore will have serious trouble developing this kind of resistance.

5Roko1yI agree with this, plus note that UVC is actually more dangerous than radiation for bacteria, because the number of photons per watt is significantly greater and the energy per photon is already enough to do damage.
Why are people so bad at dating?

As a general thing, I believe dating falls into one of those category of things that are better improved by simply practicing it; I wouldn't really recommend any books on dating per se.

I can, however, recommend certain books that better explain the nature of social interaction in general that I personally found very helpful and have had a positive impact on my dating life:

Games People Play

Influence: Science and Practice

The Laws of Human Nature

I might have better suggestions for more specific topics...

Why are people so bad at dating?

Generally bad advice. I found the book to be very well written, my only complaint is with the content. The beginning was good with some good introduction and very well written definition of some of the core problems/concepts. The rest of the book was just bad; bad advice and very vague in general. I've read many books on the subject, most have flaws in the sense that are heavily in ideology and/or somewhat poorly written, but they manage to at least get the basic facts right; this one left like the complete opposite.

Sorry, I'm bad at reviews.

1Francesco Piantieri1ySo, Leafcraft, if any, what book do you suggest on the subject of dating?
Why are people so bad at dating?

I think one of the reason so many people are bad at it is that there is a lot of misinformation about the subject. Consider it is also kind of a taboo so it's hard for people to take it seriously. I also wanted to say that I think "Mate" is probably the worst book I've read on the subject.

4Chris_Leong2yWhy did you think the book was so bad?
Who lacks the qualia of consciousness?
it's a rather more confused experience than for those who have always been sighted.

I suppose they just need to develop the spatial skill to process the information? As I said there is no reason to believe these people lack qualias, as color-blind people with synesthesia experience so-called "Moon Colors"

I have never heard of people who acquired sight later in life experience long-term issues with the sense; unlike say people who haven't been exposed to language at an early age.

1Slider2yFresh from birth babies have also trouble seeing and I think this is a simliar lack of sensory skill but I would characterise it as more of a cognitive one rather than a spatial one. Althought with babies their understanding is all-around limited whereas if someone is new to seeing but otherwise familiar with life the "noobiness" is very pinpointed to a narrow sector.
Who lacks the qualia of consciousness?
Some people are color-blind. This deficiency can be objectively demonstrated by tasks such as the Ishihara patterns.

This does not mean that color-blind people are missing qualia. In fact we know for sure that at least some color-blind individuals still possess the qualia of the "missing" color.

As a general rule people that cannot smell/touch ect. simply lack the receptors for these kind of experiences; this doesn't mean they lack the qualia.

2Richard_Kennaway2yIt would be interesting to know to what extent the brain has the hardware to have qualia that their senses for are missing. People who have been blind from birth, but then through some medical intervention can see do have "sight", but it's a rather more confused experience than for those who have always been sighted.
Who lacks the qualia of consciousness?
Highly debatable

I would say that the only fair thing to say here, is that we simply do not have any way to know that as of today.

Contest: $1,000 for good questions to ask to an Oracle AI

Submission: Low-bandwidth Oracle

What is the most likely solution to the Fermi Paradox?

Answer can be picked from a small number of options (Rare Earth, Aestivation, Great Filter, Planetarium etc.). There are a number of observation that we can make based on the question alone. However, in the end the LBO can only do one of 2 things: lie or be honest. If it lies, the prediction will have a harder and harder time matching the reality that we observe as time goes on. Alternatively we confirm the prediction and learn some interesting things about the universe w... (read more)

[This comment is no longer endorsed by its author]Reply
2Stuart_Armstrong2ySee the edit (especially for your first suggestion): "decide on the length of each episode, and how the outcome is calculated. The Oracle is run once an episode only (and other Oracles can't generally be used on the same problem; if you want to run multiple Oracles, you have to justify why this would work), and has to get objective/loss/reward by the end of that episode, which therefore has to be estimated in some way at that point."
What are some "Communities and Cultures Different From Our Own?"

Very interesting work. I am not an expert by any means, but a quick search in the chapter on Jewish Law does not mention the Kibbutz. While admittedly the most interesting aspects of the Kibbutz are the anthropological ones rather than the ones concerning the legal system I suppose they could be an example of a "very different system". Unfortunately I cannot recommend any source in particular. Similarly in the Iranian government the Legal and Political systems are heavily interweaved with the religious authority.

Crypto quant trading: Intro

I've been a trader for 2 years, it's just a hobby for me. I've mostly done Sentiment and Fundamental but wanted to try Technical and others.

If you were a hobbist like me, what would you say is the best way to host a bot? Should I get my own server? Do I rent one? Or do I use an exchange?

Thanks, great post and I love your logo.

2Alexei2yDepending on how complex your strategies are, may be something like this could work: []
4Alexei2yHmm, that's a good question. I haven't looked into it too much, but I'd definitely try to leverage a 3rd party platform for hosting or at least use a 3rd party library to do the trading. [] was kind of decent when I used it for a while a year ago. By now, if they're still improving it, it's probably pretty good. One advantage there is that they have the data too. [] is a wonderful API that generalizes how you interact with exchanges. Hosting wise, AWS (what we use) or Google Cloud would both work. I personally like the latter a lot more.
Scrying for outcomes where the problem of deepfakes has been solved

A Blockchain cannot validate information received if the hardware is not secure, so it cannot replace the Fail-Deadly Key.

A Blockchain, on the other hand, could timestamp the hash as soon as it is generated to ensure it was created before a certain point in time.

1avturchin2yMay be use something like a projected outside crypto timestamp, by the photo flash?
Is there an assurance-contract website in work?

I guess you could do that in a variety of ways. PM in general can be used to create rewards for events to happen. Take the following: "I agree to leave facebook if ten million other people agree to leave with me." could be implemented as "I bet $$ that 10M people will not leave FB within a month", people can then stake against it and leave FB to promote the event (and share the contract). PM are very flexible, the real limitation IMO is to create a community to bring liquidity to the market and then create a standard contract for people to follow for a specific type of market

Is there an assurance-contract website in work?

Looks like something of this sort could be easily implemented in an already existing platform like Augur, I actually wouldn't mind putting some effort in it if someone is interested

2stoat2yInteresting, what's the connection here? Are you saying that assurance contracts could be implemented using a prediction market? Or were you thinking of something more along the lines of Augur's distributed voting system for decision outcomes? Anyway I'd be interested to hear what you're thinking here.

Yeah, DeepMind seems to be behaving unethically here (i.e., being deliberately deceptive), since a bunch of people there must understand Starcraft II well enough to know that the APM graph/comparison is misleading, but the blog post still used it prominently to try to show AlphaStar in a better light. Hopefully it's some sort of misunderstanding or honest mistake that they'll clear up during the Reddit AMA, but if not it seems like another bad sign for the future of AI governance, comparable to the Baidu cheating scandal.

Introducing the Longevity Research Institute

Do you happen to accept proposal for research that you can fund?

Book Review - Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

You are correct. There is no known experiment that can conclusively prove the existence of qualia in other minds (as far as I know). All this prove is that the fish can feel pain (which we already know from neurophysiological research) not that it can experience it.

Although the experience of pain is almost inevitable in every large enough evoluture (from a theoretical point of view).

Genetically Modified Humans Born (Allegedly)

As someone who works in the field, I am very skeptical about these kind of statements from scientist in eastern countries (China in particular), and while events described are certainly within the realm of possibility, I'd rather wait until more evidence is available before taking the new seriously.

“She Wanted It”

This post was very well written, though it seems to me to be dominated by views that are perfectly aligned to a certain political opinion, which actually kind of disencourage me from commenting.

For instance, your first point about unwanted sex seems rather strawmanish to me; obviously "antifeminists" do not use the word rape in the literal sense of "unwanted sex". No one wants something that is unwanted, rather it is generally intended as something like "Women enjoy sex in ways they are unwilling to admit publicly, and to a lesser... (read more)

Update the best textbooks on every subject list

Any suggestions for Sociology/Social Psychology?

Birth order effect found in Nobel Laureates in Physics

The suggestion about Fortune 500 CEO seems good; "self-made" millionaires are a category far enough from STEM, and, due to their status, they are more likely to have reliable biographical information. If you want to go in a completely different direction, how about something like the Darwin Awards?

Advances in Baby Formula

Correct. I guess I'd rather have an appropriate quantification of the "encouragment" though; but I could be wrong, I will read the study design...

5juliawise3y"Sites were randomly assigned to receive an experimental intervention (n = 16) modeled on the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative of the World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund, which emphasizes health care worker assistance with initiating and maintaining breastfeeding and lactation and postnatal breastfeeding support, or a control intervention (n = 15) of continuing usual infant feeding practices and policies."
What To Do If Nuclear War Seems Imminent

Interestingly, I had a similar "plan" set up myself, with Iceland as destination (way closer to where I live)

Advances in Baby Formula

I think the point here is that there are many circumstances that can influence the choice to use formula, and these might have a stronger effect than the choice itself.

2juliawise3yBut population-level differences in populations that were encouraged to breastfeed vs. not encouraged to breastfeed, as in the Belarusian study, should circumvent that.
Zetetic explanation

Thanks for the great reading, I wonder if someone would be interested in writing a zetetic description of a very complex subject, as an exercise of course, to see if such a thing is even possible for very complex subjects or how effective it is. I'm new to the site so sorry if such a request is off topic.

4Benquo3yYou could try.