Expression. Civics. Game design.

MakoYass's Comments

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

Why aren't there Knowers of Character who Investigate all Incidents Thoroughly Enough for The Rest of The Community to Defer To, already? Isn't that a natural role that many people would like to play?

Is it just that the community hasn't explicitly formed consensus that the people who're already very close to being in that role can be trusted, and forming that consensus takes a little bit of work?

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

I'd guess there weren't as many nutcases in the average ancestral climate, as there are in modern news/rumor mills. We underestimate how often it's going to turn out that there wasn't really a reason they did those things.

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

I've heard of Zendo and I've been looking for someone to play Eleusis with for a while heh (maybe I'll be able to get the local EA group to do it one of these days).

though insofar as they're optimized for training rationality, they won't be as fun as games optimized purely for being fun

Fun isn't a generic substance. Fun is subjective. A person's sense of fun is informed by something. If you've internalised the rationalist ethos, if your gut trusts your mind, if you know deeply that rationality is useful and that training it is important, a game that trains rationality is going to be a lot of fun for you.

This is something I see often during playtesting. The people who're quickest to give up on the game tend to be the people who don't think experimentation and hypothesising has any place in their life.

I am worried about transfer failure. I guess I need to include discussion of the themes of the game and how they apply to real world situations. Stories about wrong theories, right theories, the power of theorising, the importance of looking closely at cases that break our theories.

I need to... make sure that people can find the symmetry between the game and parts of their lives.

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

If you have an android phone, sure. I'll DM you a link to the apk. I should note, it's pretty brutal right now and I have not yet found a way to introduce enough primitives to the player to make really strict tests, so it's possible to guess your way all the way to the end. Consider the objective to be figure out the laws, rather than solve the puzzles.

Should We Still Fly?

The next question is, why aren't people buying the offsetting? I seem to remembering hearing that it was once an option in most ticket purchase processes, but it must have been an unpopular choice, because the option has disappeared and now offsetting is going to be legally mandated, but apparently the legal mandate does not require enough offsetting to be done (past discussion: )

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

This is probably the least important question (the answer is that some people are nuts) but also the one that I most want to see answered for some reason.

We run the Center for Applied Rationality, AMA

I've been developing a game. Systemically, it's about developing accurate theories. The experience of generating theories, probing specimens, firing off experiments, figuring out where the theories go wrong, and refining the theories into fully general laws of nature which are reliable enough to create perfect solutions to complex problem statements. This might make it sound complicated, but it does all of that with relatively few components. Here's a screenshot of the debug build of the game over a portion of the visual design scratchpad (ignore the bird thing, I was just doodling):

The rule/specimen/problemstatement is the thing on the left, the experiments/solutions that the player has tried are on the right. You can sort of see in the scratchpad that I'm planning to change how the rule is laid out to make it more central and to make the tree structure as clear as possible (although there's currently an animation where it sort of jiggles the branches in a way that I think makes structure clear, it doesn't look as good this way).

It might turn out to be something like a teaching tool. It illuminates a part of cognition that I think we're all very interested in, not just comprehension, it also tests/trains (I would love to know which) directed creative problemsolving. It seems to reliably teach how frequently and inevitably our right-seeming theories will be wrong.

Playtesting it has been... kind of profound. I'll see a playtester develop a wrong theory and I'll see directly that there's no other way it could have gone. They could not have simply chosen to reserve judgement and not be wrong. They came up with a theory that made sense given the data they'd seen, and they had to be wrong. It is now impossible for me to fall for it when I'm presented with assertions like "It's our best theory and it's only wrong 16% of the time". To coin an idiom.. you could easily hide the curvature of the earth behind an error rate that high, I know this because I've experienced watching all of my smartest friends try their best to get the truth and end up with something else instead.

The game will have to teach people to listen closely to anomalous cases and explore their borders until they find the final simple truth. People who aren't familiar with that kind of thinking tend to give up on the game very quickly. People who are familiar with that kind of thinking tend to find it very rewarding. It would be utterly impotent for me to only try to reach the group who already know most of what the game has to show them. It would be easy to do that. I really really hope I have the patience to struggle and figure out how to reach the group who does not yet understand why the game is fun, instead. It could fail to happen. I've burned out before.

My question: what do you think of that, what do you think of the witness, and would you have any suggestions as to how I could figure out whether the game has the intended effects as a teaching tool.

When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory?

No. Measure decrease is bad enough to more than outweigh the utility of the winning timelines. I can imagine some very specific variants that are essentially a technology for assigning specialist workloads to different timelines, but I don't have enough physics to detail it, myself.

When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory?

Sure. The question, there, is whether we should expect there to be any powerful agents with utility functions that care about that.

When would an agent do something different as a result of believing the many worlds theory?

The question isn't really whether it's correct, the question is closer to "is it equivalent to the thing we already believed".

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