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Lesswrong 2016 Survey

I have taken the survey.

Open thread, Dec. 21 - Dec. 27, 2015

edit: But let's leave them aside, and talk about me, since I am actually here. I am not in the same league as Ed Witten, not even close. Do you (generic sense) have something sensible to communicate to me about how I go about my business?

When did you become a theoretical physicist?

How could one (and should one) convert someone from pseudoscience?

LOL. Word inflation strikes again with a force of a million atomic bombs! X-)

Knowing About Biases Can Hurt People has already been linked in this thread here. It seems to be the steelman of tailcalled's position and I suggest you argue against it instead of trying to score cheap points by pointing out how tailcalled uses "wrong" words to express himself.

Open Thread, Jul. 6 - Jul. 12, 2015

Looks like it has been addressed in Conjunction Controversy (Or, How They Nail It Down):

A further experiment is also discussed in Tversky and Kahneman (1983) in which 93 subjects rated the probability that Bjorn Borg, a strong tennis player, would in the Wimbledon finals "win the match", "lose the first set", "lose the first set but win the match", and "win the first set but lose the match". The conjunction fallacy was expressed: "lose the first set but win the match" was ranked more probable than"lose the first set". Subjects were also asked to verify whether various strings of wins and losses would count as an extensional example of each case, and indeed, subjects were interpreting the cases as conjuncts which were satisfied iff both constituents were satisfied, and not interpreting them as material implications, conditional statements, or disjunctions; also, constituent B was not interpreted to exclude constituent A. The genius of this experiment was that researchers could directly test what subjects thought was the meaning of each proposition, ruling out a very large class of misunderstandings.

In praise of gullibility?

If you equally lean towards two ideas, but like one more, that suggests you subconsciously find that less true.

And it could also mean that you just think the evidence for that proposition is better. Your argument looks more like post-hoc reasoning for a preferred conclusion rather than something that is empirically true.

Reversed stupidity is a different thing.

I'm sorry, but if you subconsciously like a false idea more often than chance then this quote still applies:

If you knew someone who was wrong 99.99% of the time on yes-or-no questions, you could obtain 99.99% accuracy just by reversing their answers. They would need to do all the work of obtaining good evidence entangled with reality, and processing that evidence coherently, just to anticorrelate that reliably. They would have to be superintelligent to be that stupid.

You cannot determine the truth of a proposition from whether you like it or not, you have to look at the evidence itself. There are no short-cuts here.

In praise of gullibility?

In such dilemmas, I think the best thing is to figure out what is it your "corrupted hardware" wants to do and do the opposite - do the opposite what your instincts i.e. evolved biases suggest.

Reversed Stupidity Is Not Intelligence

Open Thread, Jun. 1 - Jun. 7, 2015

Thus, using "Mort!" as an expletive contributes, in a very slight way, to my achieving NotDying.

I disagree. Using "mort" as a swear word would be extremely low status. You'd only come across as the angry weird guy who doesn't like death. Associating "being against death" with "being socially oblivious" will not further your goal, please don't do this.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapter 112

He can't because the curse or unbreakable vow he took to not harm himself didn't have release conditions. There was no purpose in putting them in. You don't set up "I can't kill myself unless I try to kill myself", because the 2nd part is useless if the first part works.

Without the second part any clone of Voldemort exploiting a bug in magic to negate the first would have a huge advantage over all the others. Given the whimsical nature of magic in this story such a bug is highly likely to exist. Voldemort is smart enough to both realize that and know that at least one clone of his would eventually find it. His only correct move is then having to find the bug first, thus wasting his time and negating the point of the curse in the first place.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, February 2015, chapters 105-107

but Riddle's adult memories are also stashed away for later use and the latter are the "dark side".

I agree with everything you said except that. Look at this line from chapter 17 after Harry picked up Neville's remembrall:

The Remembrall was glowing bright red in his hand, blazing like a miniature sun that cast shadows on the ground in broad daylight.

It makes it pretty clear that the second spell Voldemort cast on baby-Harry was Obliviate. Since we know that obliviated memories can not be recovered only Riddle's thought-patterns are left in Harry, and that's his dark side.

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