(1) Physics generally seems like a trustworthy discipline - the level of rigor, replicability, lack of incentive for making false claims, etc. So base rate of trust is high in that domain.
(2) There doesn't seem to be anyone claiming otherwise or any major anomalies around it, with the possible exception of how microscopic/quantum levels of things interact/aggregate/whatever with larger scale things.
(3) It would seem to need to be at least correct-ish for a lot of modern systems, like power plants, to work correctly.
(4) I've seen wood burn, put fuel into a ... (read more)
On the contrary - this is a strict materialist perspective which looks to disambiguate the word 'trauma' into more accurate nouns, and replace the vague word 'heal' with more actionable and concrete verbs.
I think there's often a language/terminology challenge around these areas. For instance, at different times I had a grade 3 ankle sprain after endurance training, and a grade 2 wrist sprain after a car crash - those are clearly acute trauma (in the medical meaning of the word) and they do require some mix of healing to the extent possible for recovery of physical function.
But I've always found it tricky that the same word 'trauma' is used for physical injuries, past bad experiences, and as a broad description of maladaptive patterns of thought and be... (read more)
Partially agreed again.
I'd be hesitant to label as "Critical" pointing out that someone has an invalid argument, and having it implicitly contrasted against "Positive" — it implies they're opposites or antithetical in some way, y'know?
Also, respectfully disagree with this -
"The specific issue with ‘Not what I meant’ is that the icon reads as ‘you missed’ and not ‘we missed’. Communication is a two-way street and the default react should be at least neutral and non-accusatory."
Sometimes a commentor, especially someone new, is just badly off the mark. That's not a two-way street problem, it's a Well-Kept Garden problem...
I agree that drive-by unpleasant criticisms without substance ("Obtuse") don't seem productive, but I actually think some of the mild "tonally unpleasant" ones could be very valuable. It's a way for an author to inexpensively let a commenter know that they didn't appreciate the comment.
"Not what I meant" seems particularly valuable for when someone mis-summarizes or inferences wrongly what was written, and "Not worth getting into" seems useful when someone who unproductively deep on a fine-grained detail of something more macro oriented.
One challenge... (read more)
Not sure how many posts you've made here or elsewhere, but as someone who has done a lot of public writing this seems like a godsend. It will reflect poorly on someone who deploys those a lot in a passive aggressive way, but we've all seen threads that are exhausting to the original poster.
This seems particularly useful for when someone makes a thoughtful but controversial point that spurs a lot of discussion. The ability to acknowledge you read someone's comment without deeply engaging with it is particularly useful in those cases.
I turned this on for a recent post and I'm incredibly impressed.
This is the coolest feature I've seen for discussion software in many years.
Highly recommended to try it out if you make a post.
I'm a Westerner, but did business in China, have quite a few Chinese friends and acquaintances, and have studied a fair amount of classical and modern Chinese culture, governance, law, etc.
Most of what you're saying makes sense with my experience, and a lot of Western ideas are generally regarded as either "sounds nice but is hypocritical and not what Westerns actually do" (a common viewpoint until ~10 years ago) with a later idea of "actually no, many young Westerners are sincere about their ideas - they're actually just crazy in an ideological way about ... (read more)
Hmm. Looks like I was (inadvertently) one of the actors in this whole thing. Not intended and unforeseen. Three thoughts.
(1) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I just wanna say thanks again to the moderation team and everyone who participates here. I think oftentimes the "behind the scenes coordination work" doesn't get noticed during all the good times and not enough credit is noticed. I just like to notice it and say it outright. For instance, I went to the Seattle ACX meetup yesterday which I saw on here (LW), since I check ACX less frequentl... (read more)
A bit late in commenting and I understand the "mongo" example was pointing at a more general concept, but I decided to check in on the current state of prediction. Not perfect, n=1, could certainly be set out better, but thought I'd give this a whirl:
Me: Hello, I'd like to test your predictive ability on something interesting and novel. May we?
ChatGPT: Hello! Of course, I'd be happy to help you with your prediction. What would you like me to predict?
Me:First, some context — I'm an American tech CEO. I like and have read a lot of classical philoso... (read more)
I've read it. There was some back-and-forth between him and Tegmark on the topic.
Hey, first just wanted to say thanks and love and respect. The moderation team did such an amazing job bringing LW back from nearly defunct into the thriving place it is now. I'm not so active in posting now, but check the site logged out probably 3-5 times a week and my life is much better for it.
After that, a few ideas:
(1) While I don't 100% agree with every point he made, I think Duncan Sabien did an incredible job with "Basics of Rationalist Discourse" - https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/XPv4sYrKnPzeJASuk/basics-of-rationalist-discourse-1 - perhaps a boi... (read more)
I did the have the idea of there being regions with varying standards and barriers, in particular places where new users cannot comment easily and place where they can, as an idea.
I do agree Duncan's post is pretty good, and while I don't think it's perfect I don't really have an alternative I think is better for new users getting a handle on the culture here.
I had a personal experience that strongly suggests that this is at least partially true.
I had a mountaineering trip in a remote location that went off the rails pretty badly — it was turning into a classical "how someone dies in the woods" story. There was a road closure some miles ahead of where I was supposed to drive, I hiked an extra 8 miles in, missed the correct trail, tried to take a shortcut, etc etc - it got ugly.
I felt an almost complete lack of distress or self-pity the entire time. I was just very focused methodically on orienting around my map... (read more)
This isn't necessarily "Come for the instrumentality, stay for the epistemology" — but, maybe.
broke peace first.
Have you read "Metaphors We Live By" by Lakoff?
The first 20 pages or so are almost a must-read in my opinion.
Highly recommended, for you in particular.
A Google search with filetype:pdf will find you a copy. You can skim it fast — not needed to close read it — and you'll get the gems.
Edit for exhortation: I think you'll get a whole lot out of it such that I'd stake some "Sebastian has good judgment" points on it that you can subtract from my good judgment rep if I'm wrong. Seriously please check it out. It's fast and worth it.
I had literally the exact same experience before I read your comment dxu.
I imagine it's likely that Duncan could sort of burn out on being able to do this  since it's pretty thankless difficult cognitive work. 
But it's really insightful to watch. I do think he could potentially tune up  the diplomatic savvy a bit  since I think while his arguments are quite sound  I think he probably is sometimes making people feel a little bit stupid via his tone. 
Nevertheless, it's really fascinating to read and observe. I feel vaguely ... (read more)
First, I think promoting and encouraging higher standards is, if you'll pardon the idiom, doing God's work.
I'm so appreciative any time any member of a community looks to promote and encourage higher standards. It takes a lot of work and gets a lot of pushback and I'm always super appreciative when I see someone work at it.
Second, and on a much smaller note, if I might offer some......... stylistic feedback?
I'm only speaking here about my personal experience and heuristics. I'm not speaking for anyone else. One of my heuristics — whic... (read more)
There's a very thorough paper published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, "Use of a prescribed ephedrine/caffeine combination and the risk of serious cardiovascular events: a registry-based case-crossover study", DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwn191
Apparently, and this really surprised me,
"Use of prescribed ephedrine in Denmark — Letigen was a pharmaceutical product containing 20 mg of synthetic ephedrine and 200 mg of caffeine, available only by prescription. Its recommended dose was 1–3 tablets per day, depending on the user’s tolerance. It was approved for sa... (read more)
I'm going off the top of my head here since I don't have a copy in front of me, but I remember some very persuasive arguments and citations in the (terribly titled but otherwise quite good) book Extreme Productivity by Bob Pozen.
Basically, Pozen's cited studies found the steady approach pays off on basically every dimension you'd care about (including quality and quantity of the work, efficiency, and decreased various badness). I found it pretty persuasive and switched from working in intense bursts to a more methodical way when writing, for the next few y... (read more)
Re: the Repugnant Conclusion, it’s not necessarily my opinion, but there’s a coherent set of moral principles that values A+ over A but also A+ over B-.
It might come from something like rejecting diminishing marginal utility as relates to certain very big questions — thinking that yes, Mozart + five otherwise uncreated good lives of new musicians is better than Mozart alone, but a world of six musicians substantially worse than Mozart is worse than either just Mozart+0 or Mozart+5.
Hmm. At the time of my starting this comment, this is on the frontpage and at +31 after my strong vote up — but it had no comments on it.
This is somewhat unusual — this is normally a group of people that at least one person will quickly comment with a flash first pass impression, introduce a question, talk about something in the domain, link a research paper or share a related quote...
And no one has yet done so.
So, here is my (somewhat meta) take — I read this in bits and pieces, somewhat slowly, over the afternoon and evening between calls and activities,... (read more)
First, I love this question.
Second, this might seem way out of left field, but I think this might help you answer it —
One of the BGB's [editor: the German Civil Law Code] fundamental components is the doctrine of abstract alienation of property (German: Abstraktionsprinzip), and its corollary, the separation doctrine (Trennungsprinzip). Derived from the works of the pandectist scholar Friedrich Carl von Savigny, the Code draws a sharp distinction between obligationary a
I'll review and think more carefully later — out at dinner with a friend now — but my quick thought is that the proper venue, time, and place for expressing discontent with a cooperative community project is probably afterwards, possibly beforehand, and certainly not during... I don't believe in immunity from criticism, obviously, but I am against defection when one doesn't agree with a choice of norms.
That's the quick take, will review more closely later.
Hey - to preface - obviously I'm a great admirer of yours Kaj and I've been grateful to learn a lot from you, particularly in some of the exceptional research papers you've shared with me.
With that said, of course your emotions are your own but in terms of group ethics and standards, I'm very much in disagreement.
The upset feels similar to what I've previously experienced when something that's obviously a purely symbolic gesture is treated as a Big Important Thing That's Actually Making A Difference.
On the one hand, you're totally right. On the other hand,... (read more)
Thanks for engaging :) My upset part feels much calmer now that it has been spoken for, so I'm actually pretty chill about this right now. You've had a lot of stuff that I've gotten value from, too.
Canonical reply is this one:https://www.lesswrong.com/s/pvim9PZJ6qHRTMqD3/p/7FzD7pNm9X68Gp5ZC
Canonical reply is this one:
But note also that that post contains a lengthy excerpt about how the "Dark Side" descends into cultishness and insanity in situations where the word of leaders is accepted without question. That was clearly also depicted as the opposite failure mode.
I agree that rationa... (read more)
Ah, I see, I read the original version partially wrong, my mistake. We're in agreement. Regards.
Hmm. Appreciate your reply. I think there's a subtle difference here, let me think about it some.
Thrashing it out a bit more, I do think a lot of semi-artificial situations are predictive of future behavior.
Actually, to use an obviously extreme example that doesn't universally apply, that's more-or-less the theory behind the various Special Forces selection procedures —
As opposed to someone artificially creating a conflict to see how the ot... (read more)
Great comment. Insightful phrasing, examples, and takeaways. Thank you.
Two thoughts —
(1) Some sort of polling or surveying might be useful. In the Public Goods Game, researchers rigorously check whether participants understand the game and its consequences before including them in datasets. It's quite possible that there's incredibly divergent understandings of Petrov Day among the user population. Some sort of surveying would be useful to understand that, as well as things like people's sentiments towards unilateralist action, trust, etc no? It'd be self-reported data but it'd be better than nothing.
(2) I wonder how Petrov Day setup and engagement would change if the site went down for a month as a consequence.
Interesting thought yeah.
My first guess is there's some overlap but it's slightly orthogonal — btw, it might not have come across in original post, but Butler is a really well-loved teammate who is happy to defer to other guys on his team, set them up for success, etc. He doesn't need to be "the guy" any given night — he just wants his team to win with a rather extreme fervor about it.
I honestly don't get it - do you have a link to the previous discussion that justified why anyone's taking it all that seriously?
Here was my analysis last year —
In fairness, my values diverge pretty substantially from a lot of the community here, particularly around "life is serious" vs "life isn't very serious" and the value of abstract bonds/ties/loyalties/camaraderie.
You're being very kind in far-mode consequentialism here, but come on now.
Making your friend look foolish in front of thousands of people is bad etiquette in most social circles.
Why would there be?
Different social norms, I suppose.
I'm trying to think if we ever prank each other or socially engineer each other in my social circle, and the answer is yes but it's always by doing something really cool — like, an ambiguous package shows up but there's a thoughtful gift inside.
(Not necessarily expensive — a friend found a textbook on Soviet accounting for me, I got him a hardcover copy of Junichi Saga's Memories of Silk and Straw. Getting each other nice tea, coffee, soap, sometimes putting it in a funny box so it does... (read more)
Umm. Grudgingly upvoted.
(For real though, respect for taking the time to write an after-action report of your thinking.)
I was tricked by one of my friends:
Serious question - will there be any consequences for your friendship, you think?
Why would there be? I'm sure they saw it as just a game too and it would be extremely hypocritical for me to be annoyed at anyone for that.
It'd take a few paragraphs to tell the whole story if you don't already follow basketball, but this —
Long story really short, the 76ers have a player who is an incredible athlete but doesn't feel comfortable taking jump shots far away from the basketball hoop.
Thus, defenses can ignore him when he's out on the perimeter.
His coach told him publicly to take one 3-point shot per game. Coach said he doesn't even care if he hits it or ... (read more)
So, I think it's important that LessWrong admins do not get to unilaterally decide that You Are Now Playing a Game With Your Reputation.
Dude, we're all always playing games with our reputations. That's, like, what reputation is.
And good for Habyka for saying he feels disappointment at the lack of thoughtfulness and reflection, it's very much not just permitted but almost mandated by the founder of this place —
https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/RcZCwxFiZzE6X7nsv/what-do-we... (read more)
Y'know, there was a post I thought about writing up, but then I was going to not bother to write it up, but I saw your comment here H and "high level of disappointment reading this response"... and so I wrote it up.
Here you go:
That's an extreme-ish example, but I think the general principle holds to some extent in many places.
Yeah, I have first-pass intuitions but I genuinely don't know.
In a era with both more trustworthy scholarship (replication crisis, etc) and less polarization, I think this would actually be an amazing topic for a variety of longitudinal studies.
Alas, probably not possible right now.
Respectfully — and I do mean this respectfully — I think you're talking completely past Jacob and missed his point.
You comment starts:
How much your life is determined by your actions, and how much by forces beyond your control, that is an empirical question. You seem to believe it's mostly your actions.
But Jacob didn't say that.
You're inferring something he didn't say — actually, you're inferring something that he explicitly disclaimed against.
Here's the opening of his piece right after the preface; it's more-or-less his thesis:
What’s bad about victim ment
Yep, I was just nitpicking about literally two lines from the entire article. Guess they triggered me somehow.
Humbled by your niceness when pointing this out, I moved the comment away. Thank you!
Going through these now. I started with #3. It's astoundingly interesting. Thank you.
Hmm. I'm having a hard time writing this clearly, but I wonder if you could get interesting results by:
You'd get some nonsense, I imagine, but it would probably at least spit out plausible hypotheses for actual testing, eh?
By the way, wanted to say this caught my attention and I did this successfully recently on this question —
Combined probabilities were over 110%, so I went "No" on all candidates. Even with PredictIt's 10% fee on winning, I was guaranteed to make a tiny bit on any outcome. If a candidate not on the list was chosen, I'd have made more.
My market investment came out to ($0.43) — that's negative 43 cents; ie, no capital required to stay in it — on 65 no sh... (read more)
This is an interesting post — you're covering a lot of ground in a wide-ranging fashion. I think it's a virtual certainty that you'll come with some interesting and very useful points, but a quick word of caution — I think this is an area where "mostly correct" theory can be a little dangerous.
>If you earn 4% per year, then you need the aforementioned $2.25 million for the $90,000 half-happiness income. If you earn 10% per year, you only need $900,000. If you earn 15% per year, you only need $600,000. At 18% you need $500,000; at 24% you ne... (read more)
I'm going to withdraw my talk for today — after doing some prep yesterday with Jacob and clarifying everyone's skill level and background, I put a few hours in and couldn't get to the point where I thought my talk would be great.
The quality level has been so uniformly high, I'd rather just leave more time for people to discuss and socialize than to lower the bar.
Apologies for any inconvenience, gratitude, and godspeed.
Thanks for letting us know lionhearted. You're welcome back another week if you have a talk you feel better about! :)To all attendees -- the event will go ahead as planned with a replacement speaker (me!).
Reading this made me think about my own communication styles.
After some quick reflection, among people I know well I think actually oscillate between two — on the one hand, something very close to Ray Dalio's Bridgewater norms (think "radical honesty but with more technocracy, ++logos/--pathos").
On the other hand, a near-polar opposite in Ishin-denshin — a word that's so difficult to translate from Japanese that one of the standard "close enough" definitions for it is..... "telepathy."
Almost impossible to ... (read more)
> Very good post, highly educational, exactly what I love to see on LessWrong.
Likewise — I don't have anything substantial to add except that I'm grateful to the author. Very insightful.
Interesting metaphor. Enjoyed it.
The quality I'm describing isn't quite "readability" — it overlaps, but that's not quite it.
Feynman has it —
It's hard to nail down; it'd probably be a very long essay to even try.
And it's not a perfect predictor, alas — just evidence.
But I believe there's a certain way to spot "good reasoning" and "having thoroughly worked out the problem" from one's writing. It's not the smoothness of the words, nor the simplicity.
I's hard to describe, but it seems somewhat consistently recognizable. Yudkowsky has it, incidentally.
I like to start by trying to find one author who has excellent thinking and see what they cite — this works for both papers and books with bibliographies, but increasingly other forms of media.
For instance, Dan Carlin of the (exceptional and highly recommended) Hardcore History podcast cites all the sources he uses when he does a deep investigation of a historical era, which is a good jumping-off point if you want to go deep.
The hard part is finding that first excellent thinker, especially in a domain where you can't differentiate quality in a field
Hi Agnes, I just wanted to say — much respect and regards for logging on to discuss and debate your views.
Regardless if we agree or not (personally, I'm in partial agreement with you) — regardless, if more people would create accounts and engage thoughtfully in different spaces after sharing a viewpoint, the world would be a much better place.
Salutations and welcome.
I think you'd probably like the work of John Boyd:
He's really interesting in that he worked on a mix of problems and areas with many different levels of complexity and rigor.
Notably, while he's usually talked about in terms of military strategy, he did some excellent work in physics that's fundamentally sound and still used in civilian and military aviation today:
He was a skilled fighter pilot, so he was able to both learn theory