All of luispedro's Comments + Replies

I'd like to come. Where is it?

Different fields have different standards. Some are more exacting than others and require full release of source code, have standard hidden-data competitions, have a culture of reviewing the software and attempting to reproduce &c (not all of the above is applicable to all fields). Others, not so much: you publish by giving a high level description of something you coded and people believe that you did it correctly and didn't spend hours looking for the parameters that gave you the prettiest graph. Debugging by "hacking 'til the graph is publishab... (read more)

I think most of the low-wage work that people do is in doing things like driving 25 minutes to Costco or Wal-Mart to save a few bucks. Sometimes, this doesn't even come to minimum wage.

I can't help but always associate discussions of an experience machine (in whatever form it takes) to television. TV was just the alpha version of the experience machine and I hear it's quite popular.

This is more tongue-in-cheek than a serious argument, but I do think that TV shows that people will trade pleasure or even emotional numbness (lack of pain) for authenticity.

In my experience most people don't seem to worry about themselves getting emotionally young, it's mostly far-view think-of-the-children stuff. And I'm pretty sure pleasure is a good thing, so I'm not sure in what sense they're "trading" it (unless you mean they could be having more fun elsewhere?)

I can't help but always associate discussions of an experience machine (in whatever form it takes) to television. TV was just the alpha version of the experience machine and I hear it's quite popular.

And the pre-alpha version was reading books, and the pre-pre-alpha version was daydreaming and meditation.

(I'm not trying to make a reversed slippery slope argument, I just think it's worth looking at the similarities or differences between solitary enjoyments to get a better perspective on where our aversion to various kinds of experience machines is comi... (read more)

I can't help thinking of the great Red Dwarf novel "Better Than Life", whose concept is almost identical (see [] ). There are few key differences though: in the book, so-called "game heads" waste away in the real world like heroin addicts. Also, the game malfunctions due to one character's self-loathing. Recommended read.
It's true, but it's a very small portion of the population that lives life for the sole purpose of supporting their television-watching (or World-of-Warcraft-playing) behaviour. Yes, people come home after work and watch television, but if they didn't have to work, the vast majority of them would not spend 14 hours a day in front of the TV.

Sorry, should have added a link, but I have heard it/read it multiple times:

"""In his younger years, Gates' gimlet-eyed idealism manifested itself in stubbornness and self-righteousness, an unusual boldness, and a tendency not to suffer fools. Most people who have worked closely with him can recall more than one instance in which he reacted to a comment or idea by standing up and hissing, "That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard in my life.""""

Thank you.

High status allows one to blow off what one finds ridiculous instead of saying "yes, that is interesting. Have you considered the counter argument...." The moderate risk of the idea not being ridiculous is out-weighed by not having to suffer fools. See Bill Gates famous "That's the most stupid thing I have ever heard" as the prime example.

Thus, it's easier to have good conversations with grad students than faculty even if faculty is smarter.

Google 'that's the most stupid thing I have ever heard bill gates' didn't seem to return anything relevant, can you be more specific?

Is there any data supporting the assertion that high-status people are more stupid? It's a testable hypothesis.

"""being one day late with a payment or being one dollar over your credit limit jumps your interest rate to 29.99% forever"""

I hear this all the time as an example of wicked behaviour, but I wonder if people have data to back it up. Is there no signal in missing a payment by a few days? I know that if I were to miss a payment, it would be due to some minor issue such as I having been out of town when the bill arrived or such. The credit card company only knows that the payment didn't arrive. Add in a bit of modelling stupidit... (read more)

If credit markets worked the way they were supposed to, the terms on which you could get credit would indeed depend on objective measures of your credit-worthiness. Any adverse event would appropriately cause the credit markets to downgrade their opinion of you, and worsen the terms on which you get credit. But I have never heard anyone seriously suggest that the data bear out a conclusion that being a day late with a payment indicates that you are a credit risk so massive that a 29.99% interest rate is appropriate.

I write a time journal of what I am doing throughout the day, counting productive times. Whenever I start doing something not productive (reading a not-strictly-work-related website, say), I write down that I stopped working. When I reach 5 hours of work, I go home (I often go home before that, though).

I thought I could accustom myself to being productive and drop the journal after a couple of months, but I never managed to. Whenever I try, I go back to procrastination.

Most of our DNA is shared with all eukariots, so it was evolved before mammals existed.

Building on the previous commenter:

Through playing various games of this sort, people develop a prior on the space of rules which has a lot of mass around rules of the type "X,X+2,X+4" or "X,2X,3X".