All of lionhearted's Comments + Replies

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.

Huh. Interesting.

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 [1] since it's pretty thankless difficult cognitive work. [2]

But it's really insightful to watch. I do think he could potentially tune up [3] the diplomatic savvy a bit [4] since I think while his arguments are quite sound [5] I think he probably is sometimes making people feel a little bit stupid via his tone. [6]

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. 

Thank you. 

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)

Thanks. =)

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)

The safety information I had came from here []. There seems to be a disagreement in the literature about the facts. This one had randomized controlled trials. Maybe the sample size was too small though? In that case, are the "suggestions" of a safety problem enough to be a concern? How strong were these suggestions? Obesity also increases risk of death. Perhaps ECA still wins on net cost-benefit. Maybe the risks are very small. Death is a very serious side effect, to be taken very seriously, unfortunately, many over-the-counter medications we use routinely carry this risk. Degrees of risks matter. Maybe the ephedrine was correlated but wasn't the cause. We'd need the numbers, and maybe more statistical know-how than I've got.

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)

Thanks! And there's theoretical reasons my prior would be on steady work (including some HN or SO or book comment I saw (maybe related to personal slack?) claiming that 40% was the optimal capacity to work ourselves at in general, due to task throughput concerns)

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

... (read more)

Good points.

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:

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.

2Matt Goldenberg2y
Yeah, when Thiel is talking about cooperation vs. competition, he's also not talking about being a team player vs needing to be the star- he's talking about the relation to either ignoring competition and just focusing on creating a good product, or specifically worrying about your competitors and figuring out how you can beat them.

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. 

Thanks. I am not convinced, but I have a better idea of where our perspectives differ. I have to admit this feels a bit like a relationship shit-test, where an artificial situation is created, and far too much weight is put on the result. I'd be interested to hear various participants' and observers' takes on the actual impact of this event, in terms of what they believe about people's willingness to support the site or improve the world in non-artificial conditions.

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.

I'd kinda assumed that one wouldn't do this unless they were confident their friend would be ok with it, as indeed seems to be the case.

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)

I think this case is fairly different to what you describe. The community organised for this to potentially happen and Chris publicised this fact to his friends. The community decided that it was worth the risk so the damage could be assumed not to be large and having the frontpage going down for 24 hours really isn't a huge deal. The actual damage is realisitically the fact that the experiment (and associated metaphor) didn't work but I feel like the lessons learnt should more than make up for that.

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)

5Ben Pace2y
Thx for the explanation!

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 — (read more)

I feel confused about how you interpreted my comment, and edited it lightly. For the record, Habryka's comment seems basically right to me; just wanted to add some nuance.

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

... (read more)
I think as a meta level the relocated comment is still important. People who are systematically oppressed, might have a different perspective than Jacob, who has been transiently hurt. For example, I have seen several different black people with an audience support contextual victim-hood, but the stance from white men is almost all in agreement with Jacob. As someone with neither history, I won't further speculate.

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:

  • Training on a wide range of notably excellent papers from "narrow-scoped" domains,
  • Training on a wide range of papers that explore "we found this worked in X field, and we're now seeing if it also works in Y field" syntheses,
  • Then giving GPT-N prompts to synthesize narrow-scoped domains in which that hasn't been done yet.

You'd get some nonsense, I imagine, but it would probably at least spit out plausible hypotheses for actual testing, eh?

The practical problem with that is probably that you need to manually decide which papers go in which category. GPT needs such an enormous amount of data that any curating done needs to be automated. So metadata like authors, subject, date, website of provenance are quite easy to obtain for each example, but really high level stuff like "paper is about applying the methods of field X in field Y" is really hard.

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)

Part 3, How to Lose a Fair Game [], is up now, which addresses some of these concerns.
I like this comment. This is the kind of discussion I was hoping for. Yes, I'm oversimplifying, but we have to start somewhere and it takes too long to say everything at once. Some of the things you're bringing up are planned for later posts in the sequence [EDIT: see part 3]. Anything left over means I will have learned something, which I consider a win.

Hi all,

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.

2Ben Pace2y
Aww alas. Another time :)
I've been thinking myself "oh dear, how on Earth will I not drop the standard compared to Eli and Lionhearted??" <sweat bead emoji> No pressure, but I expect for each of us our talks would be well-received.

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!). 

Incredibly thought-provoking.

Thank you.

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."

No joke.

Almost impossible to ... (read more)

Mmm, appreciating your comment and very curious to hear what reflections emerge as you digest it 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

... (read more)
My experience is that readability doesn't translate much to quality and might even be negatively correlated, because reality is messy and simplifications are easier to read. I do think works that make themselves easy to double check are probably higher quality on average, but haven't rigorously tested this.
It seems like your approach would work well in fields like programming. It's a practical skill with a lot of people working in it and huge amounts of money at stake to figure out best practices. Plus, the issue he's addressing doesn't seem to be controversial. Outside that safe zone, prose quality isn't a proxy for the truth. And I think it's these issues that Elizabeth's worried about. For example, how many windows are there in your house? If you wanted to answer that question without getting out of your chair, you'd probably form a mental image of the house, then "walk around" and count up the windows. At least, that's what the picture theorists think [] . Others think there's some other process [] underlying this cognition, perhaps linguistic in nature. Reading their diametrically opposed papers on the same topic, I'm sure I couldn't tell who's right based on their prose. It's formal academic writing, and the issue is nuanced.

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

... (read more)
I've read some of his stuff on strategy. It seemed like there were a lot of interesting insights in there, but it was all presented in the sort of way that sounds sciency to non-science-people but didn't really communicate a proper model. If someone knows of or could write a good explanation of the models underlying his ideas, I'd be very interested to read that.

Great post. 

I've seen recipes written in the precise ritualistic format many times, but rarely seen discussions on the chemistry patterns/etc — how do people typically learn the finer points?

I imagine there's some cookbooks / tutorials that go into the deeper mechanics — is it that, or learning from a knowledgeable baker that understands the mechanics, or...?


>I have a low prior they will show anything else other than "University is indeed confounded by IQ and/or IQ + income in money earning potential"

Probably also confounded by...

Networks (if you inherited a lot of social connections from your upbringing, university is less useful);

Exposure to certain types of ideas (we take the scientific method and "De Omnibus Dubitandum" for granted but there's people that only get these ideas first at university);

And most interestingly, whether particular institutions are good at helping... (read more)

Makes sense. This is probably worth a top level post? —

>People haven't had much time to figure out how to get lots of value out of the internet, and this is one example which I expect will become more popular over time.

Sounds obvious when put like that, but I think — as you implied — a lot of people haven't thought about it yet.

Ahh, great question.

I think eventually patterns start to emerge — so eventually, you start reading about federalization of Chinese Law and you're "ah, this is like German Unification with a few key differences."

While you do find rare outliers — the Ottoman legal system continues to fascinate me ( ) — you eventually find that there's only a few major ways that legal systems have been formulated at larger modern country scales than earlier local scales.

Science, ar... (read more)

Phenomenal post.

I've done similarly. It's actually remarkable how little time it takes to overview the history of breakthroughs in a sub-field, or all the political and military leaders of an obscure country during a particular era, or the history of laws and regulations of a a particular field.

Question to muse over —

Given how inexpensive and useful it is to do this, why do so few people it?

Because there are so many possible topics, that even if each of them takes relatively little time, together they would take a lot? For example, in your example, you mentioned " an obscure country" and "a particular era", and also a focus on politics and military (as opposed to science, or art, or sport). Okay, maybe you can do it in a week, or in an afternoon. But why that country, and why that era? How much it would cost to get a comparable knowledge of all countries and, uhm, let's say the entire 20th century?
Given how inexpensive and useful it is to do this, why do so few people it?

I actually considered putting a paragraph on this in the OP. I think we're currently in a transitional state - prior to the internet, it would have been far more expensive to conduct this sort of exercise. People haven't had much time to figure out how to get lots of value out of the internet, and this is one example which I expect will become more popular over time.

What population did you have in your mind when you said "so few"? Depending on what your answer is there, I think a large amount might be explained by - many are not really "intellectuals" or perhaps most are more specialist than "infovores".

Apprenticeship seems promising to me. It's died out in most of the world, but there's still formal apprenticeship programs in Germany that seem to work pretty well.

Also, it's a surprisingly common position among very successful people I know that young people would benefit from 2 years of national service after high school. It wouldn't have to be military service — it could be environmental conservation, poverty relief, Peace Corps type activities, etc.

We actually have reasonable control groups for this both in countries with ma... (read more)

Great post.

To one small point:

>After all there’s a surprising lack of studies (aka 0 that I could find, and I dug for them a lot) with titles around the lines of “Economic value of university degree when controlling for IQ, time lost and student debt”.

I'm reminded of Upton Sinclair's quote,

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

I was alluding to that. But at the same time, I'm pretty sure the simpler explanation might apply and people just don't understand why this study would be valuable + IQ is a sensitive topic, thus the material is hard to find. Hence why I said I will post any studies anyone finds, I have a pretty high prior that a few exist and I'm just not seeing them. I have a low prior they will show anything else other than "University is indeed confounded by IQ and/or IQ + income in money earning potential", but alas I based that on small-sample empirical evidence... so, eh.

Just tracing the edges of hard problems is huge progress to solving them. Respect.

Two thoughts.

First, small technical feedback — do you think there's some classification of these factors, however narrow or broad, that could be sub-headlines?

For instance, #24 and #29 seem to be similar things:

#24 As the overall maze level rises, mazes gain a competitive advantage over non-mazes. 

#29 As maze levels rise, mazes take control of more and more of an economy and people’s lives.

As do #27 and #28:

#27: Mazes have reason to and do obscure that they are mazes, and to obscure the nature of mazes and maze behaviors. This allo... (read more)

On #4, which I agree is important, there seems to be some explanation left implicit or left out. #4: Middle management performance is inherently difficult to assess. Maze behaviors systematically compound this problem. But middle managers who are good at producing actual results will therefore want to decrease mazedom, in order that their competence be recognized. Is it, then, that incompetent people will be disproportionately attracted to - and capable of crowding others out from - middle management? That they will be attracted is a no-brainer, but that they will crowd others out seems to depend on further conditions not specified. For example, if an organization lets people advance in two ways, one through middle management, another through technical fields, then it naturally diverts the competent away from middle management. But short of some such mechanism, it seems that mazedom in middle management is up for grabs.
On editing note, I think that subheaders requires that things happen in header order, but I want to go in timeline order, and I don't think you can do clean breaks given that restriction. I'm presuming you could group them into types of steps in useful ways if you were so inclined and had a reason to go in that direction. On second note, I do worry that people will think that #4 is both more endogenous and does more work than I see it as being and doing, and use that as a reason to think of this is a localized and conditional problem. But in terms of how to solve that? It's hard and important. Enough so that it's often going to be worth designing and/or splitting the whole structure in order to keep this problem in check, even if such splits don't otherwise make any sense. And in general there's a whole set of thoughts I could give on how to try and measure performance more accurately. I'll put that in the stack of possible future things to say, but long series already super long and I don't think I have anything great to suggest here, unfortunately.
So if an arms race is good or not basically depends on if the “good guys” are going to win (and remain good guys).

Quick thought — it's not apples and apples, but it might be worth investigating which fields hegemony works well in, and which fields checks and balances works well in:

There's also the question with AGI of what we're more scared of — one country or organization dominating the world, or an early pioneer in AGI d... (read more)

While it may sound counter intuitive, I think you want to increase both hegemony and balance of power at the same time. Basically a more powerful state can help solve lots of coordination problems, but to accept the risks of greater state power you want the state to be more structurally aligned with larger and larger populations of people. [] Obviously states are more aligned with their own populations than with everyone, but I think the expansion of the U.S. security umbrella has been good for reducing the number of possible security dilemmas between states and accordingly people are better off than they would otherwise be with more independent military forces (higher defense spending, higher war risk, etc.). There is some degree of specialization [] within NATO which makes it harder for states to go to war as individuals, and also makes their contribution to the alliance more vital. The more this happens at a given resource level, the more powerful the alliance will be in absolute terms, and the more power will be internally balanced against unilateral actions that conflict with some state's interests, though at some point veto power and reduced redundancy could undermine the strength of the alliance. For technological risks, racing increases risk in the short-run between the competitors but will tend to reduce the number of competitors. In the long-run, agreeing not to race while other technologies progress increases the amount of low hanging fruit and expands the scope of competition to more possible competitors. If you think resource-commandeering positive feedback loops are not super close, there might be a degree of racing you would want earlier to establish front-runners t

Lots of great comments already so not sure if this will get seen, but a couple possibly useful points —

Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff is worth a skim —

Then I think Wittgenstein's Tractatus is good, but his war diaries are even better

"[Wittgenstein] sketches two people, A and B, swordfighting, and explains how this sketch might assert ‘A is fencing with B’ by virtue of one stick-figure representing A and the ... (read more)

Lots of useful ideas here, thanks.

Did you play AI Dungeon yet, by chance?

Playing it was a bit of a revelation for me. It doesn't have to get much better at all to obsolete the whole lower end of formulaic and derivative entertainment...

Multiple fascinating ideas here. Two thoughts:

1. Solo formulation -> open to market mechanism?

Jumping to your point on Recursion — I imagine you could ask participants to (1) specify their premises, (2) specify their evidence for each premise, (3) put confidence numbers on given facts, and (4) put something like a "strength of causality" or "strength of inference" on causal mechanisms, which collectively would output their certainty.

In this case, you wouldn't need to have two people who want to wager against each other, b... (read more)

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