All of Long try's Comments + Replies

The IAL can always be used at schools if Ukrainian & Russian kids want to talk.

With it around, there would be no decree to force Ukrainian tongue on Russian kids, and people in general. The Russians get what they want - to freely speak Russian in their areas. The Ukrainian government gets what it wants - stability, and the ability of smooth economic exchanges & other activities between regions of the country.

What are you talking about? Something "the same" something "than" something? I don't understand. At all. And no one should be 'forced' to speak IAL as 1st tongue, let alone children at school. The very nature of IAL is secondary - if something is forced, it's not a true IAL.

8ChristianKl9mo
Why would that be the case? In what is the word true doing here? In Ukraine, the Ukrainian government wanted Ukrainian to be the main language at places like schools while the Russian-speaking majority didn't want that to happen in Russian majority areas of the country. An IAL that's not spoken at school does nothing about that conflict.

Your opinion is correct. Coordination is actually 1 of the hardest things for a successful IAL. That's why before talking about how to choose the best design, we'll have to solve the coordination problem.

The most salient thing I've observed from conlang fora is that practically all of the constructed tongues there are built by individual authors. Most of them are full of themselves, and thus, as you precisely put it, believe that their language is so impressive every single one on Earth should run over and beg to learn. Those biased people are not the kind I'd want to invite into the great IAL project.

Thank you! The links you provided are valuable. I can't access the full Darian article, but with Chiari there seem to be some issues with her approach. She tried to defend redundancy, but by only citing previous (very old) works and providing some comparison examples between languages. IMHO, if one is to prove something, she'd have to set up experiments. Like, recording people having conversations using a conlang with little to no redundancy, compared to using a natural redundant tongue. Then asking them to rate the level of clarity after the talks, and co... (read more)

This is very interesting! Could you point me to some research links about irregular conjugations, noun class and other redundancy help with clarity in conversations? I've tried googling to no success. Anyway, if with "hear a word and think that it might be two different verb", you were referring to homonyms, then I believe there's at least a solution for that while not compromising the simplicity of a language.

But once everyone has learned the language and is teaching it to their children as a native language, no one is better off because the language does

... (read more)
3gbear60510mo
The relevant topic in linguistics is redundancy [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redundancy_(linguistics)]. This article [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/0346251X79900228] ("The role of redundancy in language and language teaching", Darian 1979) is a decent introduction to the topic, and it also talks about its role in language learning. This article [https://www.sejongjul.org/archive/view_article?pid=jul-8-2-7] ("Redundancy Elimination: the Case of Artificial Languages", Chiari 2017) seems quite relevant to your purposes (full PDF [https://d1wqtxts1xzle7.cloudfront.net/30549570/8_2_1-with-cover-page-v2.pdf?Expires=1644554484&Signature=Yh74hZY036SpomtijptUWc0~SYAfq29TJcNQvrN-AMft8Gm5wLqGAx~fGCttV8iscWqq-smOpV1em0FDEvOinU4BeEfZ6xMf5u85t7ifAcbIGNZBUqzkS9VPD1laZIh5TqDR6Mho8g3ZH2qsb6WMunpE0Yht1dn7mGPKHWA4-RL-ikZ8FeFC6Nelnl-mADK7z2T9kGDd8FFz6Zxc90~Fcr-uD6f8bZQtwQBb8DkCvfSGdG3gaGg16zNRXhEOuudBINRFATrZpehGXI-51GHQi-PA9kW-h-L1fkD2P0vIXHNBkb4FiZsZIAI2Nwqq3vyVrZUj0dVURLm1mv~2Dtj7ow__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA] ). I was referring more to if you hear a word that is similar to another but not identical, and then you're trying to figure out which it was. If I say "John hit the ball", you might hear instead "John hid the ball". One example in English is the redundancy in the plural ending. If I say "Alice read the three books", there's redundancy because the "-s" ending on "books" indicates that there are multiple books, while "three" also indicates that there are multiple books. If you mishear me and either hear "Alice read the three book" or "Alice read the books", you still know that there are multiple books. If we got rid of the plural ending in Englsih, you might hear either "Alice read the three book" or "Alice read the book", and then you don't consistently know that there are multiple books. Going further abroad, you can see an example with noun classes in German. You can compare "Er sah den Bär" ("He saw the bear") versus "Er sah das Bier"

Thank you JP. There's a high chance that I don't have the Scout mindset yet, so finding the truth is hard. But to my defense, until now no comment whatsoever has been able to point out a cons of IAL, nor express the concern about the cost. So probably it's true that the IAL scenario is (very) desirable. The negative score of the post doesn't speak much: it can be a high karma member overwhelming lesser members, or it may simply reflect their opinion about my mindset, not the idea of IAL.

What you wrote about a crisp language that helps prevent misleading id... (read more)

On the contrary, I believe it's possible to improve any existing language significantly. I've already have some idea to increase the rate of transmitted information, and that's only me. When we get more brain power into this project, even better stuffs will invariably be found.

The obvious simplification gains would help people who are learning it for the first time, but they wouldn’t really help child learners so it only saves you one generation of teaching everyone English (or any other language).

Could you explain more? I don't think I really grabbed what... (read more)

2gbear60510mo
When a child is learning their native language, they don't have the same difficulties with irregular verb conjugations that second-language learners have. So getting rid of irregular verb conjugations would make it simpler for second-language learners. But once everyone has learned the language and is teaching it to their children as a native language, no one is better off because the language doesn't have irregular verb conjugations. On top of that, there's evidence that irregular verb conjugations (and other irregularities) actually make a language easier for humans to speak, since they help with error-handling. Human hearing and speaking are lossy conversions, so redundancy helps decipher meaning. If you hear a word and think that it might be two different verbs, hearing either an irregular or regular ending can tell you which verb you actually heard. Noun class (like whether a word is "masculine" or "feminine" in Romance languages, but some languages have many more types) and grammatical cases are a couple other language attributes that can help with this.

... Uh, I don't really get your example with tomato. In that case, the cost is relatively small and the benefit is also just marginal. The Probability of getting everyone in the world to buy a tomato is decent - say, 50% - because it's easy and many of us already bought it in our life. It's quite different from IAL, yes?

Therefore I couldn't follow your line of argument. Could you provide examples or elaborate more on 'effective paths to big gains'?

1Alex Vermillion10mo
In summary, I disagree that large expected gains is an argument for action when applied like this. Normally, this heuristic is fine, but here you are multiplying by many instances, meaning there are other likely actions. In summary of my summary: opportunity cost will sting at scale.

Absolutely! My plan does heavily involves designing an IAL, but it will NOT ever be an one-man project. Instead, it must seek help from all talents from a wide range of disciplines.

Thank you! I think that's a better formula. But I don't understand the phrase after "especially if..."

Do you have 1st hunch about what kind of outside funding sources a project like this can more likely draw from?

Huh? Also from Wikipedia, I read that "English has between 450m & 2B speakers", so an unbiased figure should hover around 1B.

My imaginations consider a great IAL, one that has many advantages over English. So while they do still apply to English, the magnificence of each facet is limited. Taking the snowball effect into account, it's like putting a handicap of -75% on Benefits. Why settle on something inferior?

Besides, there's a reason why English can't ever be a true IAL - which I may address in the next part of the series. To put it in your scenario,... (read more)

1gbear60510mo
It’s dubious if a language can be significantly better than English or any other natural language*, since there’s the fundamental limitation that human brains have to learn and produce it. Some parts can be made simpler like irregular conjugations, but natural languages are already pretty close to as optimal for humans as possible - when a language loses a feature (like noun classes), speakers will naturally start adding new features (like more morphemes) or speaking faster to maintain a constant rate of information transmitted. The obvious simplification gains would help people who are learning it for the first time, but they wouldn’t really help child learners so it only saves you one generation of teaching everyone English (or any other language). * If a language doesn’t have the vocabulary you need for a given task, that could make it worse, but adding technical vocabulary to a language is a solved problem

Your last sentence perfectly describes the main obstacle a supposed IAL will face in the process of emerging into global usage. It must prove way more effective than the next candidate in order to persuade.

immigration law is a stronger barrier to travel and work permits than languages are.

That's true. However, I'd say that if the total difficulty is 100%, then immigration law contributes around 55% and language barrier 45%. If you can eliminate the latter, then you effectively make it twice as easier to do it.
Moreover, IMO immigration law is kinda ephemera... (read more)

A few, but overall it doesn't change very much.

Ah, I see. All of your explanations led to 1 thing: imperfect information. Fogged Markov tiles or coin-like tokens are ways to confuse AI and force it to ramp up the brute power exponentially without much effort from the puzzler &/or much effect in game. And since it doesn't know the info, it can't accurately calculate the value of that info, that's why AI sucks at scouting.

Coincidently, I've already invented a board game that incorporates imperfect info to beat AI back in 2016. I guess I'd need to put some more into it.

I have to say, appropriate user name at that.

No, I'm not against that trading money for valuable stuffs part. And while the game can be digital, it does not hurt to have some physical sets for the human elements.

OK here's an upvote for you ;) Nevertheless, I do think that selling expansion sets is an exploitative way to milk money. Maybe I'm biased by my wanting to protect the environment & avoid too much waste...

1Max Hodges3y
Thanks! Was there any requirement that it needed to be a physical set? I assumed the AI would probably be interested in a digital environment. The set could have a bunch of "cards" to start; or maybe the whole thing is open-sourced if you're philosophically opposed to the idea of people making their own decisions about trading money for things they find valuable. But those issues seem rather secondary to the spirit of the challenge here.

Of course it's to each their own, but while some children like those games, it doesn't mean they are great. Both Cranium & TP's scores on BGG are really low, indicating the majority of people don't like that approach. Our 2nd biggest goal is to make the game appealing to the population.

Hmm. Well, anything physical can be a challenge to AI, since we don't have many real-life machines playing games physically. While technically the idea rings true, my question didn't intend to explore much of this approach :)

I think this approach tries to use puns to confuse AI... but it'll get old quickly for humans. Once the card is answered, it can no longer be of much value next times.

2Max Hodges3y
The same is true for Trivia Pursuit. The solution is the same: sell expansion sets. My idea doesn't even merit an upvote? ;) Here are some riddles which I think would be a challenge: And this one, from Zork, a text-based adventure game I played in the 80s
2Charlie Steiner3y
I know several children who would play this game happily. As for re-use, many games have decks of problems or questions. Cranium or Trivial Pursuit, for examples - both use the same "roll, move, answer a question" kind of format that loosely wraps a progression/scoring mechanism around the trivia questions.

Thanks a bunch Maxim! I remember you in my hypothetical "drop all water on Earth" question - so, a usually late guy but always arrives with excellent answers :)

1 of the main differences between board & card games that I can discern is that 1 has perfect info, as you pointed out, the other not. Thus if we integrate imperfect info into a board game, can programmers just combine the 2 algorithms to solve it, or they will have to find another approach?

Unlike the Earth water question, I have some difficulties understanding the technical terms full... (read more)

2maximkazhenkov2y
I think I have found an example for my third design element: The old Nokia game snake [https://playsnake.org/] isn't technically a board game, but it's close enough if you take out the reaction time element of it. The optimal strategy here is to follow a Hamilton cycle [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamiltonian_path], this way you'll never run into a wall or yourself until the snake literally covers the entire playing field. But a reinforcement learning [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NJ9frfAWRo] algorithm wouldn't be able to make this abstraction; you would never run into the optimal strategy just by chance. Unfortunately, as I suggested in my answer, the pattern is too rigid which allows a hard-coded AI [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjQIO1rqTBE] to solve the game.
3maximkazhenkov3y
Yes. There has to be some cost associated with it, so that deciding whether, when and where to scout becomes an essential part of the game. The most advanced game-playing AIs to date, AlphaStar and OpenAI5, have both demonstrated tremendous weakness in this respect. Markov property refers to the idea that the future only depends on the current state, thus the history can be safely ignored. This is true for e.g. chess or Go; AlphaGoZero could play a game of Go starting from any board configuration without knowing how it got there. It's not easily applicable to Starcraft because of the fog of war; what you scouted inside your opponent's base a minute ago but isn't visible right now still provides valuable information about what's the right action to take. Storing the entire history as part of the "game state" would add huge complexity (tens of thousands of static game states). Yes, see Magic the Gathering for instance (it's technically a card game, but plenty of board games have card elements integrated into them). Or, replace chess pieces with small coin-like tokens with information about their identity written on the down-facing side (this wouldn't work for chess in particular because you can tell the identity by the way pieces move, but perhaps some other game with moving pieces). RL stands for reinforcement learning, basically all recent advances in game-playing AI has come from this field and is the reason why it's so hard to come up with a board game that would be hard to solve for AI (you could always reconfigure the Turing test or some other AGI-complete task into a "board game" but that's cheating). I'd even guess it's impossible to design such a board game because there is just too much brute force compute now.

Er... I'm not sure I follow. In the sentence, if the word "you" means "the individual me" then no, I don't think the AI box ex is a game. It's merely a thought experiment, and actually a pretty stupid one. If a box is designed to completely separate an AI from the real world then allowing it to interact with outside personnel destroys the purpose of the box in the 1st place. It's about as much a game to me as Roko's basilisk.

If the word "you" mean "people in general" then no, unsolved AI prob... (read more)

2Tetraspace3y
The AI Box game [http://yudkowsky.net/singularity/aibox], in contrast with the thing it's a metaphor for, is a two player game played over text chat by two humans where the goal is for Player A to persuade Player B to let them win (traditionally by getting them to say "I let you out of the box"), within a time limit.

Tks Kaj. I can see that this designer tried to fuck AIs up by the brute force way, which is not efficient and, well, not elegant. The game also kind of suffers from the same problem as Esperanto, that is it's way too "eurocentric".

Those summaries from the site sound dubious.

On average there are over 17,000 possible moves compared to about 30 for chess; this significantly limits how deep computers can think, but does not seem to affect humans.

Of course that affects humans. This is like sacrificing most of your 2nd goal to get a tiny little bi... (read more)

Thanks for letting me know about yet another of his projects. JG has an interesting style of presentation, I enjoyed many of his Crash course episodes. Glad that we now have 1 more similarity :)

That said, it seems like the things he reviews in his podcasts are a bit too wide and too spontaneous. My goal for the proposed system is that it get aggregated reviews on only stuffs that help us improve, thus the chosen words of theory, technique, method, model/modus... You know, things that many LWers are crazy about.

I guess you guys running the site like monochrome. While it's ok enough to differentiate on the homepage, where blog titles are big and bold, I doubt using that scheme will be effective with hover.

Besides, that will requires readers to reach out and move their mouse over the link for 1 second, squint for a while to find whether it's grey or black, and then move it out and wait another 1 second for the preview to go off; in contrast to just glance at the circle icon to find out. No-brainer IMO.

3habryka3y
Yeah, it seems pretty plausible to me that read status should be indicated by that circle, though we were also considering using the circle for other things, like epistemic status for example.

Has anyone suggested it yet? I think LW should have a system to notice users whether they've read a linked article or not when they're reading inside another. That's a basic & universal need, yet I'm surprised it's not implemented. On other sites, it's simply the link's color: blue if unread, violet if read. If you guys decide to opt for a more sophisticated system, then I propose using 8 rainbow colors: black means the user hasn't read it, red indicates once, orange twice... purple 7 times or more. In case you&a... (read more)

2Pattern3y
If the information is already available via the API, someone could create a reader/plugin which does that.
1Wolisunde3y
It is possible that CSS overline or underline could be used. It would leave the bubble free for displaying epistemic status, remain readable, and not break the style of the site.
2G Gordon Worley III3y
When I use the site it shows posts I've already visited as a lighter grey while unvisited posts a dark grey/black.

Yeah, I did have that experience too. But come to think of it, his explanation in the video sounds counter-intuitive for AC & DC. With the bulb connected to the mains via a wire (even though it's the neutral line and that line is severed) like in the better part of the video, as long as the mains is AC the bulb will always at least dim...

TBH I'm a bit more confused :)

Holy cow, I've just read to the "poynty" part in his work. Now I have a vague sense of why Tesla wanted to put wireless electricity down into every household. And even Feynmann was afraid of explaining the truth because of its complexity/difficulty.

I still have not achieved a breakthrough. See, when we broadcast a wave, say radio, then it will propagate into space and will be lost forever. Now as per your words, an AC flow in a wire will radiate energy outward => this means a lot of energy is lost all the time. Since the wattage in a wire is a constant, we lose a big and constant amount of energy no matter what we do. That seems not to be the case in real life.

Furthermore, if we accept that electrical energy actually flows in the field around the line, then why do we even need outlets and sockets?... (read more)

3gjm3y
It's not a big amount. (For, e.g., a typical mains cable.) And cabling, especially if the currents flowing in it are at high frequencies (which means more radiation), is often designed to reduce that radiation. That's one reason why we have coaxial cables and twisted pairs. For a 50Hz or 60Hz power cable, though, the radiative losses are tiny. You can power devices wirelessly -- using "those cordless chargers". They are designed to maximize the extent to which these effects happen, and of course the devices need to be designed to work that way. Ordinary mains cables don't radiate a lot and it isn't practical to power anything nontrivial by putting it near a mains cable. But the most effective way of getting energy from the field around a pair of wires is ... to connect the wires into an electric circuit. Indeed, it's only when they're connected in such a circuit that the current will flow through the wires and the energy will flow around them.

Oh, I was too focused on the system function while forgetting that safety can primarily apply to human health too :)

I think using the water as an analogy to electricity is still somehow not adequate to the task. For example, to make it slosh back & forth would require a tremendous amount of energy, which seems not to be the case with electricity.

But still, I also think that if a device consumes electricity, no matter what way - say, using electromagnetic field, then it must reflect into the lifeline in the wire (electrons) in some way. Since the power source propagate energy using the jiggling of electrons then by using them up, the device must impede that movement.... (read more)

3gjm3y
Yes, water and electricity are different in important ways even though the analogy is informative sometimes. The energy in the electromagnetic field really truly is different from the kinetic energy of the electrons. (This is one of the important differences from water in a pipe, in fact.) You can see this fairly easily in a "static" case: if I use electricity to charge up a big capacitor, I've stored lots of energy in the capacitor but it's potential not kinetic energy. (There's a lot of potential energy there because there's extra positive charge in one place and extra negative charge in another, and energy will be released if they are allowed to move together so that the net charge everywhere becomes approximately zero.) You might want to describe this situation by saying that the electrons involved have a certain amount of potential energy, just as you might say that when you lift a heavy object from the surface of the earth that object has acquired (gravitational) potential energy. That point of view works fine for this sort of static situation, but once your charges start moving around it turns out to be more insightful to think of the energy as located in the electromagnetic fields rather than in the particles that interact with those fields. So, for instance, suppose you arrange for an alternating current to flow in a conductor. Then it will radiate, transmitting energy outward in the form of electromagnetic waves. (Radio waves, at the sort of frequencies you can readily generate in a wire. At much higher frequencies you get e.g. light waves, but you typically need different hardware for that.) This energy is carried by the electromagnetic field. It will propagate just fine in a vacuum: no need for any charged particles in between. When you have an actual electrical circuit, things are more complicated, but it turns out that the electrical energy is not flowing through the wires, it's flowing through the field around the wires. And, again, this energy

Woah, it's a thought that never occurred to me: turbines slow down when we use electricity. Makes sense when 1 thinks hard about it. Did you work in a power plant or something?

There's another relevant question. When turbines rotate, they must be doing it inside a set of huge magnets; or they must themselves rotate the magnets inside a huge coil. In either case, there's a need for magnets. As per my understanding, they can't be electric magnets because it will destroy the purpose of generating electricity in the 1st place. So they must b... (read more)

2AnthonyC2y
No, I never worked in a power plant or anything like it, but I have a physics background and back in school I took a class that involved a lot of modeling of the economics of electricity generation, including power grid management, and this came up. And permanent magnets don't get used up. The energy the gets used is the mechanical energy moving them back and forth, which ultimately comes from the fuel (coal, gas, biomass, nuclear, wind, geothermal, or solar thermal). Their magnetic field just exists, and transfers that mechanical energy to the electrons that flow through the wires in the electric grid. So that one we don't need to worry about.

My appreciation - that's really helpful, especially point 2. I was a bit hesitating when I saw the amount of links in cousin_it's link, but point 3 encourages me to do it, even slowly.

Point 4 is kinda hard from my POV. I admit I'm too lazy to dig all the sources to display in a post. But then, if a question is formatted like that, wouldn't it be way too long? I thought titles should be concise & provoking.

1kithpendragon3y
Remember, you have a title and a body to work with when asking a question. Pithy titles are good for getting attention, and there's room for a bit more elaboration once people click through. The key is to keep it both open-ended and specific so the conversation has somewhere solid to start from. Otherwise you'll get a lot more off-topic discussion. I'm glad you found my notes helpful!

Thank you. Using the water pipe analogy, 1 can see some obvious flaws with AC system. What if something needs power right at the moment the water is in the middle state between to & fro, i.e. standstill? How about installing a converter device at the beginning of each household? Surely it'd be better to provide continuous flow to devices, not to mention there's no need to manufacture trillions of small relays or rectifiers that are needed inside devices.

If what devices do is get fast water and release slow water, then it can be understood tha... (read more)

3gjm3y
The water (or, rather, the electricity) sloshes to and fro 50 times a second, so there's never enough delay between flicking the switch and getting usable power that a human being would notice. Typically other things are slower; e.g., if you're turning on an incandescent lightbulb then it may take longer than that for the filament to get hot enough that it starts glowing. For many devices (e.g., your phone) there is a converter device, and when you attach your phone to its USB wall-plug it's getting DC electricity from it. It would be possible to have some sort of converter for every household, but every such converter has some losses, and many devices are perfectly happy just running off AC, and ones that aren't don't necessarily all want the same operating voltage. Again, if we were doing everything from scratch now it might be worth considering something like that (or it might not; the details matter and I'm not an electrical engineer myself), but we have a basically-working system and replacing it wholesale with something new would need to be a big improvement to be worth the tremendous cost and inconvenience. It would be more accurate to say that devices use the energy in the electromagnetic field rather than the kinetic energy of electrons, as such. (There isn't a clear distinction between using the electric field and using the magnetic field; the two are very intimately linked and, e.g., if two observers are moving rapidly relative to one another, then what one sees as the electric field the other may see as the magnetic field.) The motor in an electric fan works something like this. (Unfortunately it involves effects that don't have a close analogue in terms of flowing water.) There are coils of wire. You pass an alternating current through these coils; changing currents generate a magnetic field. (This isn't meant to be obvious. It was one of the big discoveries of 19th-century physics.) There's a lump of iron placed so that this magnetic field pulls on

The wiki Currents war article ends with a brief mention of HVDC. China utilizes it in 2019, and they certainly are not stupid, so...

The HVDC article lists some pros & cons of it over AC. At a quick glance, there are more pros. And what of the biggest disadvantage? Converter stations cost. And what do they do? They convert that DC into AC, so it can be distributed into households and then switched back to DC inside the devices so they can use electricity! All of this clusterfuck nonsense can be avoided if they use all-out DC system in the 1st place!

I guess using a war more than 120 years ago to justify current (pun intended) situation is not very good.

Tks. You mentioned isolation is important for safety. Can you elaborate some specific examples? As per my imagination, unless the threat has been predicted then the AC transformers are useless against sudden issues. Say, an abrupt surge will still propagate via its magnetic field before we can do anything.

3kpreid3y
Isolation is not about surges, but about preventing current from flowing in a particular path at all. In a transformer, there is no conductive (only magnetic) path from the input side to the output side. So, if you touch one or more of the low-voltage output terminals of a transformer, you can't thereby end up part of a high-voltage circuit no matter what else you're also touching; only experience the low voltage. This is how wall-plug low voltage power supplies work. Even the ones that are using electronic switching converters (nearly all of them today) are using a transformer to provide the isolation: the line voltage AC is converted to higher frequency AC, run through a small transformer (the higher the frequency, the smaller a transformer you need for the same power) and converted back to DC.

Oh come on, many says one can't rely on wiki. On higher topics like quantum & maybe electricity, wiki uses high words that confuse the hell out of me. For example, it uses the term "drifting speed" to describe "electrons' velocity in wires" - how can I know to find it to read in the 1st place?

OTOH, I posted another question here asking where I should ask a question. Some people suggest posting on as many sites as possible, which means LW included. Even the FAQ or some other "official" documents here encourages as... (read more)

9kithpendragon3y
SOME NOTES ON RESEARCHING NEW TOPICS: 1. You're right that many people say you can't rely on wiki. Unfortunately, statements as broad as that are rarely useful. A more nuanced approach would be something like "wiki can often be a good starting point, but don't stop there". Check the sources, especially on topics (e.g. drifting speed) that aren't particularly clear, but really on anything that catches your interest. When you feel like you have enough information to narrow your search terms a bit, do that and see if more sources come up that you weren't able to access with the more general question. 2. You won't be able to keep the whole topic in your head at once. Make brief notes on each source you used and quick summaries of any interesting information you got out of it. Number the notes so you can cross-reference them (any numbering system will do as long as each note has a short but unique identifier). Write down your questions and thoughts as more notes notes as they come to you (maybe set them in a special pile so you can find them easier), then append those notes with answers or partial answers when you find them. Record the full answer in your own words, and link to the notes that helped you write that. Back-link related notes to the question to make it easier to follow your cross-references using that question as an entry point. 3. If you're thinking this sounds like a lot of work, it is. Keep a list of sources you want to check out and why, and take on only as much as you're comfortable doing at a time. Even if you tend to process only one article or chapter per day, you are making progress! And don't be hard on yourself if you feel like you can't give the project the time you want to: that only leads to feeling frustrated and spending even less time on it. 4. On forums, you're likely to get friendlier results for asking questions like, "I'm curious about [Specif
0Richard_Kennaway3y
The problem is that you currently lack so much information about the things you are asking about, that no short explanation is possible. The atomic constitution of matter, electromagnetism, electrical engineering. Even to just a high school level, that is a lot of ground to cover. No-one can pour a few paragraphs into your head that will give you all that knowledge.

Ooh, indeed I didn't know, thanks! The actual snail speed does surprise me. I guess an important hole has been patched.

Thanks a bunch, Val. I say you saved me dozens if not hundreds of hours, because I was (am) pretty confused about the big picture around here.

The associated Ken Wilber image helps with the understanding a lot. Now, if I don't really get nearly half of the articles on LW, does that mean I'm redder than orange? Are there tests on the internet where I can pretty reliably tell where I'm standing on that scale? Also, I'm quite sure that my goal is to get to the turquoise level. What online resources I should learn and/or what "groups" I should join, in your personal recommendation?

2Valentine3y
I'm glad to have helped. :) I'll answer the rest by PM. Diving into Integral Theory here strikes me as a bit off topic (though I certainly don't mind the question).

May be off-topic, but can you elaborate on where LW culture wants to go? Or point to a specific post...

9Valentine3y
I can't point to a specific post without doing more digging than I care to do right now. I wouldn't be too shocked to find out I'm drastically wrong. It's just my impression from (a) years of interacting with Less Wrong before plus (b) popping in every now and again to see what social dynamics have and haven't changed. With that caveat… here are a couple of frames to triangulate what I was referring to: * In Ken Wilber's version of Spiral Dynamics [https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Ken-Wilber-et-al-Altitudes-of-consciousness-across-some-major-developmental-lines_fig9_301754519] , Less Wrong is the best display of Orange I know of. Most efforts at Orange these days are weaksauce, like "I Fucking Love Science [https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/I_Fucking_Love_Science]" (which is more like Amber with an Orange aesthetic) or Richard Dawkins' "Brights" campaign [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brights_movement]. I could imagine a Less Wrong that wants to work hard at holding Orange values as it transitions into 2nd Tier (i.e., Wilber's Teal and Turquoise Altitudes), but that's not what I see. What I see instead is a LW that wants to continue to embody Orange more fully and perfectly, importing and translating other frameworks into Orange terms. In other words, LW seems to me to have devoted to keep playing in 1st Tier, which seems like a fine choice. It's just not the one I make. * There's a mighty powerful pull on LW to orient toward propositional knowing [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descriptive_knowledge]. The focus is super-heavy on languaging and explicit models. Questions about deeper layers of knowing (e.g., John Vervaeke's breakdown in terms of procedural [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procedural_knowledge], perspectival, and participatory forms of knowing) undergo pressure to be framed in propositional terms and evaluated analytically to be held here. The whole thing with "fake frameworks [https://www.l

I will profoundly and immensely change the world for the better from the ground level, by creating and/or modifying the constituent element, the building block of civilization - in other words, the very foundation of society itself.

Why does my heart not laugh hysterically at the thought? Is it because I really do believe it firmly?

2DonyChristie2y
Any updates on this in the past six months?

Hola! Been around for a few months, time to move out into the light. My intention was to finish LW's 3 core readings before introducing myself, but then I gave up on RA-Z and yesterday I stopped HPMOR at chapter 59. My expectation is now so low that I won't put my bet on Codex, though I'll definitely try reading it soon. So here I am.

I live in Vietnam. Not to my surprise, none or very few on this platform are from the country. If you are, give me a shout out!

I don't really work now, though I do have some stock exchange accounts. That me... (read more)

This. Is an eye-opening answer. I see now.

Though this particular curiosity will never be satisfactorily quenched, at least I know when to stop pushing it further and try to put it into the back of my mind. You know, acting rationally :)

I think I won't be able to express enough gratitude.

Woah, tks a bunch man. But exactly what happens starting from t=0? I suppose that at 1st the water must be falling down, right? How will the Earth's surface be altered by the tremendous force of water? How will the potential energy from height turn 40% of water into vapor? I mean, how will it happen over time? If it takes time, then maybe some people will have a chance to understand what's going on & run into the nearest underground mine, no?

Regarding the ISS, I suppose that even at the hypothetical altitude of 460km, it will still burn. But ... (read more)

These follow-up questions pertain to a dynamic context, and I'm afraid I'm not equipped to answer them. Moreover, I would also claim that not even Randall Munroe himself would be able to answer these questions, or anyone who hasn't got a supercomputer and a team of physicists at disposal.

I bought the What If book myself and loved every chapter of it. But if you look closely, you will notice that basically every analysis in that book was made from a static context or a dynamic one that has ridiculously simple solutions (i.e. linear or exponen... (read more)

Oh, that very last sentence is something I didn't think about. I also discovered worldbuilding very recently, looks promising too. Thanks!

"Pattern"? Hm, may I ask the origin of your nickname and whether it has anything to do with tSA? :)

I tried that spamming method some times in the past. It was better than asking in just 1 place, but the margin was small. Anyway, I've found that asking the question here on LW is not fruitful.

2Pattern3y
Also my interest in math - things like fractals are cool. Hm. I'm not sure what places are dedicated to (weird*) physics thought experiments (maybe there's subreddit* or discord like that?), aside from https://what-if.xkcd.com/. [https://what-if.xkcd.com/.] I'm aware of Stack exchange (or is it overflow?): physics, and worldbuilding. *https://www.reddit.com/r/whatif/, [*https://www.reddit.com/r/whatif/,] https://www.reddit.com/r/xkcd/, [https://www.reddit.com/r/xkcd/,] https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/. [https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/.] That last one might tell you another good place or subreddit to ask if they think it's more suited to somewhere else.

Just tried. No responds so far. I think the APOD forum is even less visited than LW, so the reach is really short.

Your guess is spot-on. My question needs some details and can hardly be summarized into a neat google query.

OK, so it's hard to describe what X be like; but this picture is the inspiration of my pondering: https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap160911.html

The simplest form of my inquiry would be along the line of "What happens next?". In that case, what do you think X is?

1jmh3y
APOD has a comment on the daily image section and (IIRC) a number of forums for posing questions. Why not ask there?

Yes, your 1st point makes sense. I take it that since it's somewhat difficult to accurately predict whether the question will hook those people, an umbrella approach where I post in many media is the most rational 1?

My scenario is really hypothetical. I forgot to mention xkcd What if? as an option in my list in the OP, but yeah, it will fit very nicely and frankly I think my question belongs there. But unfortunately, it seems that xkcd has stopped answering What if queries, because his latest entry is 2017 or so.

OMG this is great. Reading about Harry being outgunned by Hat-Harry is an intense experience. Indeed, facing our self is the greatest challenge - one that I doubt anybody but a very few eminent rationalists can do.

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