All of Mirzhan_Irkegulov's Comments + Replies

I want to know why you consider Diego Caleiro is evil.

2Duncan_Sabien5yEr. It's a bit awkward, given that I'm at least somewhat sympathetic to the claim about Diego, and it's not valid or justified to put me in the same category, but the side of the story that claims Diego is evil primarily cites his conduct within romantic relationships (including courtship and breakup), financial relationships (such as sharing a lease with housemates), and some bits about his willingness to cooperate or defect in social interactions. The details and their interpretations belong somewhere other than this thread.
Low Hanging fruit for buying a better life

If you are a Linux user, learn Colemak instead of Dvorak. It's available in almost every distribution (and probably easy to install on Windows as well, but I rarely use Windows). It's both more ergonomic than Dvorak and is much closer to QWERTY, which means it's easier to learn and you retain most of your keyboard shortcuts (e.g. Ctrl+Z/X/C/V etc).

0Lumifer5yI have doubts about the wisdom of installing a non-standard keyboard into your muscle memory. For one thing, this means any time you type on a keyboard not your own you have problems. There are also many claims that the ergonomic advantages of Dvorak keyboards were severely overstated. If you are concerned about ergonomics, the position and the movements of your hands are much more important than the key layout, anyway.
Revitalizing Less Wrong seems like a lost purpose, but here are some other ideas

Rationality Reading Group was mostly dead, which is very sad (although many thanks to Gram_Stone for doing it anyway!). Mainly, I guess, because it wasn't promoted and advertized in any way.

Rationality: From AI to Zombies

My opinion: remove Bayesian Judo and add Whining-Based Communities. Seriously, Whining-Based Communities is the most powerful article I've ever read on LW, it symbolizes what rationality is about most of all. The point of rationality is achieving your goals despite cognitive biases, signaling, self-delusion, mysterious answers etc. It's very easy to brainwash yourself into thinking that you are “doing a good job”. It's very hard to put extra effort into actually doing what is the most effective, because it might go against your habits, self-image, intuitions, convictions etc.

Abuse of Productivity Systems

I think you are absolutely spot on. Fear is a key to many failures of human behavior, and I want to think more about that.

Interestingly, many time management systems like Zen to Done and Do It Tomorrow do set up a form of commitments for a day or for a week. ZTD has:

3) plan. Habit: set MITs [Most Important Tasks] for week, day. Each week, list the Big Rocks that you want to accomplish, and schedule them first. Each day, create a list of 1-3 MITs (basically your Big Rocks for the day) and be sure to accomplish them. Do your MITs early in the day to get th

... (read more)
Abuse of Productivity Systems

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Vafgrnq, V guvax vg obvyf qbja gb uvtu rkcrpgngvbaf. Guvf vf n jryy-xabja cb... (read more)

Abuse of Productivity Systems

Exactly. It's like how classrooms are supposed to work. I'm much more motivated to engage with this post, then those that simply state a certain truth. If an article simply explains a certain mechanism, I'll read it, say “yeah, that makes sense, I agree with this”, close an article and completely forget about its contents. It's like article wasn't effective at all, even though it's technically correct.

I think this post's style combines 2 things: gamification and the fact that you can't learn math without doing exercises. Gamification because it's like solv... (read more)

Abuse of Productivity Systems

Is “time management” even a meaningful term? You can't manage time after all, it just flows. You can manage your focus and your actions and spend them more effectively, given allotted time. Mark Forster in a productivity book Do It Tomorrow says that we should call it “attention management” instead. It sounds like a stupid argument about semantics, but there's a point.

Most of the time I'm not that demotivated that I only want to binge watch TV series. Most of the time I feel like I want to do something productive. But there are multitude of things that “I ... (read more)

1Viliam6yI would guess that the real problem here is the fear of not choosing correctly. (Which ironically leads to choosing even worse.) Fear indeed is the mind-killer, or at least a motivation-killer for mental tasks. I imagine that a possible approach could be to limit the time when you are making the choice. For example, on Sunday you would decide what are you going to do the following week, and precommit that you will not change your decision during the week. Then, during the week it would be obvious what to do. And if you remember something else, just write it into a diary and review it on the next Sunday. The idea is that you would only commit to the direction of your work, not the amount of the work you want to do. If you feel tired, take a rest. Don't push yourself into anything. It's just, don't longer ask yourself "Haskell or type theory", because you have already answered that for the whole week.
1Lumifer6yYes, insofar what makes a term meaningful is its uselfulness for communication :-) But your point is valid, "time management" is basically the management of your own attention and effort.
A Rationalist Guide to OkCupid

My main goal is for my readers to enjoy what they are reading even if the topic isn't at the top of their interests.

Is it correct to say that your explicit goal is to create entertainment/“porn”? Do you optimize for entertainment more than you optimize for other forms of utility?

2Jacob Falkovich6yI certainly don't write well enough to be considered "porn" :) It's true that my blog doesn't have a terminal value outside itself, although I will occasionally write about Effective Altruism [] topics.My goal is to have a popular blog with a lively discussion, my blog will be popular if people enjoy my writing. That's the goal in itself, I am not planning to turn it into a source of income or anything like that. Different people enjoy vastly different things: I am getting overwhelmingly positive response on LessWrong, and overwhelmingly negative response on Reddit [] . That's a good thing: like a dating profile my goal is to find my specific audience and not write universal clickbait, and LW is definitely the audience I aspire to have. To apply to a LW audience, I'm trying to: * Come up with genuine insights based on analysis rather than repeat common wisdom that's based on sounding plausible. * Be always willing to learn and be corrected, including offering a reward [] for people finding major errors in my posts. One person has deserved it so far for pointing out a serious factual mistake that I fell for because of confirmation bias. * Show my math. If you don't want to see me calculate the influence of outliers [] on a regression slope, the blog isn't for you ;) If I can't do the math myself, I won't take someone else's word for it. * Puns. The above list is very different from what would apply to 90% of my Facebook friends, for example, and I'm OK with it. If I wanted 100,000 shares, I would write "27 ways how Bernie is actually a lot like Batman and Trump is like Lex Luthor".
Voiceofra is banned

They didn't just bemoan the decline, they stated the precise condition (in their opinion) of LW prosperity. I personally believe that LW needs a hero, and it's necessary and sufficient condition. Someone, who'd basically repeat Yudkowsky's feat. But am I Yudkowsky, or even Luke Muehlhauser, level smart to fulfill that role? Hell no. But there's nothing bad in sharing my opinion, because maybe it would make other people rethink their actions and expectations.

2NancyLebovitz6yIt's not obvious to me that LW needs a hero. A cohort of excellent posters would be enough.
2IlyaShpitser6yI agree with you on this, and I think this is an enormous problem. Somehow this need is written into the rationalist DNA, and I think to grow, the rationalist community needs to move past this. It doesn't matter what Yudkowsky does, it matters what (generic) "you" do. In fact, our good friend Yudkowsky said so himself, more or less, if you don't want to take my word for it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- edit: I think it is also very important to let go of "intelligence" as a single number on your character sheet. That's a really toxic way to think.
Voiceofra is banned

I've read his Reddit comment. It doesn't seem like he's justifying (as in saying it's OK) mass murder, just claiming mass murder will continue if patriarchy is not restored. I get how you feel about AA, but you're stretching.

Voiceofra is banned

As much as I am a feminist and find Advancedatheist's views insane and super-creepy, “we need to restore a healthy patriarchy where women can't get sexual experience until marriage” is not an advocacy of violence. Maybe he wants to restore patriarchy via peaceful means.

It's hard (at least for me -- YMMV) to read "can't get" (emphasis added; as opposed to e.g. "don't get") in a way that doesn't imply the threat of violence (broadly construed) against women who do try to get sexual experience before marriage. Then again, by such standards proposals to e.g. ban a particular drug would also count as advocacy of violence, so probably EY had something less broad in mind.

1polymathwannabe6yI meant the part where he implied that lack of sex justified mass murder.
Voiceofra is banned

Criticism originating from unqualified people should be encouraged. People don't like criticism from people, who don't do what they propose others to do, for social, not rational, reasons. “You think this band's music is rubbish, well write your own music then” is a fallacy. If I go to a restaurant and get terrible food, there's no reason I should become a cook before being allowed to rebuke it.

9IlyaShpitser6yI don't think your band analogy holds. The person is a member of the community that stands or falls by what its members do. In this case, it's a choice between cursing the darkness or turning on the light. The type of criticism from Brillyant is low effort and fairly useless. Lots of people write one liners bemoaning the decline of LW. What is the point of doing that?
LessWrong 2.0

I somewhat support what you're saying, but I also believe that 100% filtering would lead to a filter bubble. Suppose you were much smarter than you are now and upon reflection realized Effective Altruism is super-duper important. But now you've filtered EA-related articles on LW and you will no longer be exposed to it.

0MaximumLiberty6yThat is true with an assumption. The assumption is that I will regularly return to LessWrong and read EA articles if I see them. My own assessment of myself is that I won't, so the assumption would be false. (I could be wrong.) I generally avoid EA articles because I'm not all that interested in them. No knock on the field, it's just not why I'm here. But the fact that I have to wade through articles on EA and all the other topics I don't care about deters me from returning to LessWrong, which I do less frequently than I wish I would, because I miss the optimal time to comment on articles.
2Kaj_Sotala6yThe problem with filter bubbles is more about disagreement getting filtered out, not topics being filtered out. We're forced to filter very aggressively for topics anyway, just because there are too many topics and if we didn't filter close to 100% of the uninteresting topics we'd never have time for the interesting ones. In other words, "X is potentially valuable and important" can be applied to EA, but it can also be applied to a random guy blogging about how much it sucks that his garage band broke up, as well as a near-infinite amount of other topics.
LessWrong 2.0

rewriting the Sequences

Not just rewriting them. My biggest problem with LW-rationality is that I haven't and probably can't internalize it on a very deep, systematic level, no matter how many times I re-read the articles. Instead of a long chain of blog-posts about everything on Earth, there should be a very focused rationality textbook with exercises, with spaced repetition and all that science of teaching and learning baked it. Luke Muehlhauser argued LW is a philosophy blog. Yet after reading RAZ I don't feel like I understand LW epistemology on a de... (read more)

5CBHacking5yFor what it's worth, I got relatively little[1] out of reading the Sequences solo, in any form (and RAZ is worse than LW in this regard, because the comments were worth something even on really old and inactive threads, and surprisingly many threads were still active when I first joined the site in 2014). What really did the job for me was the reading group started by another then-Seattleite[2]. We started as a small group (I forget how many people the first meetings had, but it was a while before we broke 10 and longer before we did it regularly) that simply worked through the core sequences - Map & Territory, then How to Actually Change Your Mind - in order (as determined by posts on the sequences themselves at first, and later by the order of Rationality: AI to Zombies chapters). Each week, we'd read the next 4-6 posts (generally adjusted for length) and then meet for roughly 90 minutes to talk about them in groups of 4-8 (as more people started coming, we began splitting up for the discussions). Then we'd (mostly) all go to dinner together, at which we'd talk about anything - the reading topics, other Rationality-esque things, or anything else a group of smart mostly-20-somethings might chat about - and next week we'd do it again. If there's such a group near you, go to it! If not, try to get it started. Starting one of these groups is non-trivial. I was already considering the idea before I met the person who actually made it happen (and I met her through OKCupid, not LessWrong or the local rationality/EA community), but I wouldn't have done it anywhere near as well as she did. On the other hand, maybe you have the skills and connections (she did) and just need the encouragement. Or maybe you know somebody else who has what it takes, and need to go encourage them. [1] Reading the Sequences by myself, the concepts were very "slippery"; I might have technically remembered them, but I didn't internalize them. If there was anything I disagreed with or that seem
LessWrong 2.0

I would love there to be a single, canonical rationality-related link aggregator (with tags and other ways of categorizing!), but I don't want it to be on Reddit. Reddit has an implicit culture of transience. You can't discuss too old posts. Links are ordered chronologically. Links can't be grouped, categorized. It's hard to search for old or obscure links.

OTOH maybe a link aggregator should be transient, because the nature of blogs, news sites, Facebook feeds, and tumblr posts is transient too. Today Qiaochu Yuan or Scott Alexander found this particular a... (read more)

5philh6yI think a knowledge aggregator fills a different purpose from a link aggregator. When someone has an idea they want to explore, they write something about it, and that can be put in a link aggregator. By default it's not yet ready for a knowledge aggregator. But it's more likely to become ready if people see it and discuss it. I think transience is okay for a link aggregator. Link flair isn't perfect, but it allows this.
LessWrong 2.0

While I'm not against LW wiki itself (it already exists, for starters), I'm very much against making LW “something like a wiki”, because I'm >50% confident it will fail. I flinched when I read “community-maintained wiki pages with explanations and links” in the original post, because “community-maintained wiki” are almost universally dead before reaching maturity.

Michael Snoyman wrote a small article on why people are willing to contribute to free software documentation via pull requests, but not via wiki edits. I wholeheartedly recommend everyone to re... (read more)

On saving the world

One hypothesis I have is that when you have a very bad epistemology and your beliefs consist of memorized atomic propositions, handed down from an authority figure, you eagerly want more people to agree with you, but not agree with you on everything except this one important atomic belief.

Religious parents and priests probably have this subconscious fear that the kid might go astray with their own theology. It's like you're a member of The People's Front of Judea and the person you'd really want to join you, joins The Judean People's Front instead.

The bit ... (read more)

Fighting Akrasia: Finding the Source

Everywhere I see the term “akrasia” used, people mean procrastination or laziness. Indeed, it makes no sense to just add a fancy Greek name to signal sophistication or belonging to rationality tribe. But akrasia can succinctly denote a whole cluster of things “you do against your better judgement”: procrastination, depression, anxiety, jealously, envy, alcoholism, tobacco smoking, drug addiction, compulsive lying, sex addiction, insecurities, self-harm, self-hatred, bitter hatred for something, constant arguing, seeking external validation, etc.

Things, tha... (read more)

The Temptation to Bubble

Your writing is good, much better than mine, even though I came up with the same idea before. Please continue writing.

There is one thing I disliked, the mentioning of “liberals” and “conservatives” as the only 2 possible political positions, 2 “sides”. You already understand the package-deal fallacy, that one who identifies as a “liberal” and supports most stereotypically “liberal” policies, might still not support all of them, or support some of the “conservative” policies.

But there are policies that you can't pigeonhole into “liberal” and “conservative”.... (read more)

227chaos6yI appreciate this comment for many reasons, but mostly because it throws into prominence the role of different values underlying comparisons like the top post's. I wish I had the kind of serene acceptance of other people that you seem to have, but I do not. I am inclined to blame people for not making time to research economic, social, and political policy options, since these things are so important. You're right that it takes time to learn details about which policies are good and which are not, but there are many other factors besides knowledge that are relevant to sustained disagreement. For example, it's not a matter of time investment for someone to admit it when they realize they are wrong, it's essentially just a matter of integrity. Most people lack the humility to do this, however. This is repulsive to me, a mindset that values pretending to be right over actually figuring out how to help others. But this mindset is one I feel that most people possess. I strongly wish I believed otherwise, it's very unpleasant for me to half-despise so many people, but it's what my view of the facts suggests.
4gressettd6yIt's very good of you to say the writing is good, glad you enjoyed it, and yes will write more here. Completely agree with you that liberal vs conservative is an overly dualistic and simplistic way to carve up political positions, but for brevity's sake and to keep on point, described it that way. Assuming everyone on this forum values the idea of testing their knowledge; not to prove or even disprove their ideas, but to update. probabilities. But why isn't this method, even a dumbed-down version of it, held in higher regard for progress than debate? Debate is virtually useless to the general public. We already teach the scientific method, but only as applied to the school science fair, instead of a general method for getting to a clearer view of things. You're of course completely on the nose about people not having the time and energy to do the actual work on all the issues. So my advice: don't be a moron. Say you have no opinion. Didn't read the holy book (either your own or the enemy's religion)? No opinion. Didn't read the bill? No opinion. Read no articles from climate science journals? No opinion. Etc.
Original Seeing

It says:

The video is private.

2ike6yTitle according to [] was "Chimpanzee vs. Human child learning (1/2)", and is presumably this video [].
0roland6yyep, nothing I can do about it.
Rational approach to finding life partners

Maybe, maybe not. Can you give an example, a summary of what manosphere is all about, anything? So far you were unable to contribute to the discussion at all.

Rudimentary Categorization of Less Wrong Topics

This is cool! Why didn't I stumble upon that earlier?

Actually, I think a decent goal for one who wants to thoroughly learn rationality from the Sequences would be to write several different summaries for each article. For example, it could be 3 summaries per article:

  • One sentence summary (must be extremely short and concise)
  • One paragraph summary
  • A summary that condenses the content as much as possible but doesn't lose it

There could also be different techniques of summarizing, e.g. summarizing every paragraph of an original text into a short sentence. A... (read more)

Rational approach to finding life partners

Except that in most men it doesn't, it just makes them more depressed, more self-hating, more bitter, more hateful towards women, more insecure. What a typical young man with no popularity among women believes is not “sex is good, therefore I should try to have more sex”. Instead, what goes through their mind is thoughts like:

  • I'm a loser
  • I should have more sex
  • If I don't lose virginity, people would laugh at me or treat me with disrespect
  • Life would be worthless, if I don't seduce [this girl]
  • I deserve to have [this sex act] at least once
  • Why life is so
... (read more)
Rational approach to finding life partners

Just replacing words and saying “see what this reminds you now of!” doesn't work, because the words might not type-match. Otherwise you could replace some words in any atheist speech and say “now that looks like a religion!”

Moreover, you miss the point. It's not that sex is bad or non-important or should be discouraged or whatever.

  • Not having sex and feeling unhappy about it is strictly worse than not having sex and being ok with it.
  • Believing that men deserve sex (whatever that means), women owe men sex, it's women's duty to satisfy men's want for sex, i
... (read more)
-2VoiceOfRa6yExcept that feeling unhappy about it makes one more likely to fix the situation. Seriously, this is the exact same argument made by deathists, and generally a universal argument against caring about anything.
Rational approach to finding life partners

you apparently still can't actually get sex

FYI, I'm 7 years in a relationship. Not that would matter, 'cause your comment is a terrible ad hominem.

Rational approach to finding life partners

Ok, the idea, that the existing problem doesn't imply the existence of an immediate solution, is very insightful. Thank you for writing all this.

Too bad I don't know much modern cognitive and social psychology to confidently state why I believe that sexual deprivation might not have real psychological effects (under certain conditions) or that these effects may be overcome. So let's have this conversation again in a year or two. :)

What I base my current beliefs about “sex is not a need” is mostly CBT. CBT's core idea is the “cognitive model”, the statement... (read more)

Rational approach to finding life partners

I wasn't dangerous at 16, nor do I don't think advancedatheist is, not for women, not for anyone else. I don't even think advancedatheist is a bad person or deserve our hatred or anything else. I don't even believe it's appropriate to think there exist bad people or there is someone who “deserves” anything bad. I think it contradicts with consequentialism, and I agree with Yudkowsky, when he said that “Hitler doesn't deserve a stubbed toe” (but it still might've been a very good idea to kill him early, because again consequentialism).

I just find it very sa... (read more)

5OrphanWilde6yThis actually isn't a gendered issue. "Fat acceptance" and "Nerd acceptance" are two sides of the same coin, but both sides insist it is gendered. Sexual deprivation has real psychological effects. Shit, we should -expect- it to have real psychological effects; you're failing to function as the wind-up toy evolution designed you as. Why do people deny the psychological effects? Why do -you- deny the psychological effects, and insist they can just be overcome? Because, by the standard morality of our society, problems must be solved. Admitting that it's a genuine issue for these people implies some obligation to do something about it, which implies some obligation by some people to have sex with other people, and that's just wrong. Personally? I think it's fine to say that it's sad that some people lack what is probably the most fundamental kind of affirmation. And I think it's fine to say that it's sad, and I think it's fine to say that, y'know, the situation sucks for them, and they shouldn't just pretend otherwise. And I can think it's sad, and the situation sucks, without thinking that implies some kind of sexual obligation. When you can't say there is a problem without also believing the problem can, and should, be solved, the problem to be solved often becomes the problem itself. And either the problem to be solved is that these individuals don't get sex - but the solution to that is both immediately obvious and immediately unacceptable - or the problem is the way these individuals -feel-, as a result of not getting sex. And because they can't acknowledge a problem without believing it can and should be solved, they choose the problem whose solution is acceptable to them: The problem is with the people who are suffering, rather than the suffering itself.
Rational approach to finding life partners

most men don't deserve sexual relationships with women any more

No woman owes sex to no man. If you think that women have any kind of duty to sexually satisfy men, you are deluded and have very unhealthy and dangerous attitudes.

After reading your other comments it becomes clear, that your belief that women as a group should be encouraged to have sex with men against their will stems from your own insecurities. I know how it feels from the inside. It feels like “wrong” men unfairly get more sex than me, like I'm broken or worthless because women specifica... (read more)

0VoiceOfRa6yContrast this with: Compare your reaction to the first and second sentiment. What accounts for the difference?
0OrphanWilde6yShould others have been frightened of you at 16?

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”― Adolf Hitler

Just in case somebody starts quoting Hitler in attempt to appear sophisticated, this quote is actually misattributed. Moreover, variations of this quote were actually said by Hitler and Goebbels, but about the Jews and anti-German propaganda, not themselves (see big lie). Indeed, why would Hitler say anything incriminating himself publicly enough, so it could be quoted much later?

1ScottL6yok I changed the qutoe. I didn't actually look at the background of the quote just the idea of it. The idea is that it is taking advantage of the fact that due to the Availability heuristic [], Representativeness heuristic [] etc., ideas that are more vivid are going to be more likely to be believed. Of course, it didn't mention this, but you would also need to limit the dissemination of contrary information
Rationality: From AI to Zombies

Is it possible to make the book available on Google Play Books? What might be reasons not to include the book there?

Some Heuristics for Evaluating the Soundness of the Academic Mainstream in Unfamiliar Fields

Somehow your post is worse than your original comment. It has the same content, but is long-winded and states well-known generic truisms like “there are sometimes dishonest ideologically charged crap passing as science”. Your article would benefit with actual evidence or at least more elaborate examples.

In other words, I do not criticize the content, I agree with the idea. I just find the article rambling, with statements like “However, venal influences are nevertheless far from nonexistent, and a fascinating question is under what exact conditions researc... (read more)

Some Heuristics for Evaluating the Soundness of the Academic Mainstream in Unfamiliar Fields

I also immediately recognized Kazakhstan, where I am from. We were part of Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991, so the extremely corrupt, dictatorial and plutocratic government struggles with a coherent ideology to legitimize itself. Therefore you have some interest to make Kazakhstan and Kazakh history look big, impressive, and most importantly, prove how great the incumbent president is.

So in Kazakhstan the whole field of "History of Kazakhstan" is made fun of by people daily, because there are either paid propagandists who paint Nazarba... (read more)

2[anonymous]7yCan you check a favorite theory of mine? If we categorize nations as habitual war winners / war losers, occupiers / occupied, strong or weak, we see the following. Pretty much every ideology or ideological keyword as created by the winners, the strong at the height of their power, left and right was invented just before the French Revolution, liberalism and conservatism descends from the Gladstone-Disraeli era and so on. Ultimately the ideologies are all about how to handle conflict INSIDE a society, like a rich vs. poor, state vs. capitalists, religious vs. atheists and so on. All this because the winner, strong nations can afford to have such internal conflicts, as they were not threatened much from abroad. And the winners being winners, they export their culture and ideologies so now anywhere you go on this planet you find people who describe themselves as left or right, liberal or conservative, but often they are meaningless terms. (Boris "all power to the presidency, fsck parliamentarism, charge 'em with tanks" Yeltsin as a "liberal", really?) However these ideological categories do not reflect the actual experiences of weaker, defeated nations. They could never really afford having such internal conflicts, external threats were more important than internal conflicts. Their experience is more like that of internal cooperation in defense. Their primary political categories are the 1) rebel, patriot, who defends the country 2) the quisling who cooperates with foreign, often occupying powers. This does not map to conventional Western left or right or liberal or conservative. The 1) patriot-rebel is often nationalistic, even racist, hates cosmopolitanism, but with leftie economic views and ultimately their goals are lefty in the sense of liberatory and emancipatory on the grand scale, independence of weaker nations both politically and economically, national self-determination and anti-colonialism and all that, however they will have little patience for lifes
3IlyaShpitser7yRussia is a small nation trapped in a large nation's body :).
Some Heuristics for Evaluating the Soundness of the Academic Mainstream in Unfamiliar Fields

This however still doesn't mean that there aren't entire bullshit subfields of CS

Name 3 examples. Note, I'm not disagreeing or criticizing, as a future CS researcher I'm honestly interested in what fields are crap and what are fruitful.

Some Heuristics for Evaluating the Soundness of the Academic Mainstream in Unfamiliar Fields

Historical Jesus studies

Does anyone know whether Tim O'Neill is legit, when he talks about historical Jesus? He claims to have studied Jesus for 25 years, but he also an amateur historian. (He's also atheist)

2lukeprog7yNever heard of him.
Beyond Statistics 101

Thank you for sharing your story, it was moving and it was candid. My question is, are you planning to be successful now? Suppose you gonna die at 80, you have 40 bloody years, that's a lot of time. Most likely you won't win Fields Medal, but science and human life has so many low-hanging fruit yet not picked. Do you plan to gain maximum productivity and do something to change the world? Or maybe you already doing it?

6Viliam7yI am not giving up, and I hope I will still achieve some big success. In the shortest term... I have a baby [] now, which turned my life upside down a bit, so I need to solve some logistic problems first (e.g. to buy a new flat) and get used to the new situation. It might take a year. -- Not complaining here; I always wanted to have children, but it's taking time and energy and money, so my options are now more limited than usual. I believe it will be okay in a few months, but today, I am rather busy and tired. Also, having a family limits my options; for example if I would decide that moving to another city would make my life better, it is no longer only my own decision. My hands are a bit more tied than they would be if I were 25 again. I still didn't give up completely on starting a rationalist community in my own city, and I have two specific plans. (1) These days I am finishing the translation of the LW Sequences book []; when it is ready, I will distribute it freely and try to make it popular, and hope that people who enjoy it will contact me. (2) In September, I plan to do some rationality "lectures" (advertising for LW and for the translated book) on at least one high school, and one university. I will probably not do anything scientific, ever; that train has already gone. Cannot compete with 20-years olds with fresh brains and fresh memories of their university lectures, who don't have a family to feed. It would be wiser to focus fully on my personal life and making money, because that's what I have to do anyway. -- The current plan is writing computer games, because the entry costs are almost zero, and I can do it at home in the evenings when the baby sleeps. (I have to keep the day job to pay bills.) Later, when the baby grows up and starts attenting school, I may try something more ambitious. But still, even if my plans succeed and [
Top 9+2 myths about AI risk

I meant I can't imagine Friendliness-researchers seriously taking the stance for the same reason you subscribe to third-best choice.

Solving sleep: just a toe-dipping

Never heard of sleep apnea and nasal strips before, thanks! I'll try them out. Sleep quality can be influenced by lots of factors, one of them is depression and anxiety. For example, on Bipolar II disorder Wikipedia page it states that type I bipolars sleep less, while type II bipolars sleep much more. Another example is that many depression scales such as Beck Depression Inventory actually consider lack of sleep or oversleeping as one symptom of depression among others. So, counter-intuitively, some people, who have sleep problems, might benefit from read... (read more)

Top 9+2 myths about AI risk

Can you expand on the Point #7, if that's possible? There are some people, who honestly think Friendliness-researchers in MIRI and other places actually discourage AI research. Which sounds to me ridiculous, I've never seen such attitude from Friendliness-researchers, nor can even imagine that. But this was the primary reason for Mark Friedenbach's leaving LW: he said that there's a massive tendency against solving world problems on LW, specifically because actual AI research is supposedly dangerous. He considered LW a memetic hazard that he doesn't want t... (read more)

6Wei_Dai7yI'm not a Friendliness researcher, but I did once consider [] whether trying to slow down AI research might be a good idea. Current thinking is probably not, but only because we're forced to live in a third-best world: First best: Do AI research until just before we're ready to create an AGI. Either Friendliness is already solved by then, or else everyone stop and wait until Friendliness is solved. Second best: Friendliness looks a lot harder than AGI, and we can't expect everyone to resist the temptation of fame and fortune when the possibility of creating AGI is staring them in the face. So stop or slow down AI research now. Third best: Don't try to stop or slow down AI research because we don't know how to do it effectively, and doing it ineffectively will just antagonize AI researchers and create PR problems. Why is this so ridiculous as to be unimaginable? Isn't the second-best world above actually better than the third-best, if only it was feasible?
4Stuart_Armstrong7yI can only talk about those I've interacted with, and I haven't seen AI research blocking being discussed as a viable option.
Solving sleep: just a toe-dipping

I'm definitely interested in subsequent posts on sleep, so please continue posting. I don't want to practice polyphasic sleep or super-optimize sleep anyway, rather just generally improve the quality of sleep, because I sleep much and still wake up feeling like crap.

I kindly ask you, however, to change the font to defaults and break paragraphs with 2 lines instead of indentation, it makes it much more readable.

3Caerbannog7yRegarding sleeping a lot and waking up tired: Is it possibly some degree of sleep apnea? As of a few months ago I had this problem. Then I tried those breathing strips (despite my skepticism) that help prevent snoring. If I snore now it's at a much lower volume. The quality of sleep is vastly improved for me too. I generally wake refreshed after ~7 hours. The difference is like, ahem, night and day.
Beyond Statistics 101

I didn't question that you were interacting with many members of the community. I'm saying you're projecting. Maybe people are either normal or slightly depressed/anxious/bitter/etc, meaning, they have same emotional problems just like any human being. You, however, see them as unusually emotionally damaged.

Typical Mind Fallacy, to understand other people we model them just like ourselves. You said yourself you had emotional problems before, so I believe your perception of the community is skewed. Maybe you see signs of emotional damage in other people, just like insecure promiscuous people seemingly spot depravity in other people.

6Vladimir_Nesov7yThis doesn't address the issue of the claimed difference in Jonah's perception of LWers from his perception of other groups.
Beyond Statistics 101

In my experience there's an issue of Less Wrongers being unusually emotionally damaged (e.g. relative to academics) and this gives rise to a lot of problems in the community.

I think you're just projecting.

I would probably use different words, but I believe I fit Jonah's description. Before finding LW, I felt strongly isolated. Like, surrounded by human bodies, but intellectually alone. Thinking about topics that people around me considered "weird", so I had no one to debate them with. Having a large range of interests, and while I could find people to debate individual interests with, I had no one to talk with about the interesting combinations I saw there.

I felt "weird", and from people around me I usually got two kinds of feedback. Whe... (read more)

1JonahS7yI'm speaking based on many interactions with many members of the community. I don't think this is true of everybody, but I have seen a difference at the group level.
How my social skills went from horrible to mediocre

All of your assumptions are highly questionable. Let's define nerds and normals as somebody with non-mainstream semi-weird interests (anime, Warhammer figurine painting, tabletop games, sci-fi and fantasy, you name it) and somebody without them. Anime nerds do not want to hang out with normals, who are not into anime, unless these normals have other intersecting interests. Anime nerds would not be enthusiastic about a not fan of anime joining their community, and a not fan of anime won't get any high status.

The only exception I can think of is when nerds t... (read more)

0[anonymous]7yLook at where the interests come from! Usually they come from being ostracized and low-ranking as a kid. The Game of Life - competing for social status points, mating and so on - is generally the most exciting one plain simply because it is REAL. Those who lose it, being ostracized, dominated, bullied etc. take refugee in fantasy or intellectual interests. It is both an escapism and a way to rebuild the shattered ego, by claiming to be better than those by having more smarter or refined interests.
2Good_Burning_Plastic7yIt would be useful for this conversation to taboo the word "nerd" and stick to "nerd1" for "people with poor social skills" and "nerd2" for "people with a scientific, mathematics, or computing background who are into fantasy fiction, role-playing games and the like". (I was temped to say "dork" and "geek" instead.) And perhaps "normal1" for "people with decent social skills" and "normal2" for "people who are into mainstream hobbies such as football and television" (and "normal3" for "people with IQ within about one sigma of the average", etc.).
How my social skills went from horrible to mediocre

Charitable reading: socializing for extraverts is relaxation, for introverts — work.

Leaving LessWrong for a more rational life

I don't know exact process either, but I always thought somebody deliberately chooses them each week, because often they are around the same topic. So somebody thought it's a good idea to encourage everybody to read an LW-critical article.

My point is, I don't believe LW community suddenly became intolerant to criticism. Or incapable of dialog on whether FAI is a good thing. Or fanatically believing in FAI and Yudkowsky's ideas. Oh, and I'm happy to be proven otherwise!

Seriously, look at top 30 day contributors:

  • Lumifer (629)
  • JonahSinick (626)
  • Vaniver (355
... (read more)
1TheAncientGeek7yMy point was that it has become a lot more tolerant.
How my social skills went from horrible to mediocre

I'm baffled. People say that nerds have bad social skills, but nerds create nerd communities and don't show any social ineptness. Anime fans create fan clubs, sci-fi and fantasy geeks create sci-fi and fantasy societies, even math nerds get together to solve some math. Granted, there are people who are really bad at social skills, or extremely shy, or have social anxiety, but even among nerd communities they are minority. However, it might be selection bias, real nerds indeed stay at home and don't even go to nerd communities.

I think there are different so... (read more)

2ChristianKl7yThe term nerd seem to be overloaded with a lot of different meaning.
4Douglas_Knight7yI don't know what people usually mean when they say that nerds have poor social skills. But I say that nerd communities function worse than regular communities. It's not just that nerds don't know how to flirt with regular people, but nerds have great difficulty flirting with nerds.
3[anonymous]7yYes. I am unaware of the terminology used by young people, but some suggested that "real nerds" today are called "neckbeards" and as far as I can see they resemble what I and two classmates were at 16. We enjoyed each others company but even nerd culture i.e. a gaming shop was a bit too scary. How to put it... it is not skills and not the classical "interaction drains the energies of introverts" thing. It is more like we could only enjoy the company of people we really knew well, they were from the same high school class. It was a little like a huge distrust for strangers.
8Nornagest7yYou can participate in, or even help form, communities and still be socially inept. The stereotype should, of course, be taken with a grain of salt when it comes to individual cases, but it's not pointing to an absolute lack of social interaction so much as a limited social range: your stereotypical nerd has hobbies and friends and can probably talk your ear off about them, but he's lost when it comes to social tasks outside the narrow scope of his community. Your example about flirting seems to be gesturing in this direction, but I think you're assuming a tradeoff where none exists; socially adept people are just as good at shop or hobby talk as the average nerd, but they also have the skills necessary to bridge communication gaps when they don't have a huge body of shared enthusiasm to fall back on.
5OrphanWilde7y"Normal" people choose their interests, in part, based on their appeal to other people. Nerds don't necessarily have bad social skills; they usually just prioritize socialization below other things (which clusters with some other non-normal mental traits). Socialization is a side effect of their interests, rather than their interests being a side effect of their socialization. They socialize fine - provided the other person shares their interests, inwhichcase, the socialization advances their interests. They just don't seek out socialization for itself. This limits their opportunities for socialization, reducing their opportunity for gaining skills in socialization.
Leaving LessWrong for a more rational life

Crap, I had to notice that I am confused once I've read about CFAR paying to Eliezer. In the back of my head I thought “that's too much!”, but I shrugged it off and believed.

Thank you for pointing this out. I think Mark should edit his comment to make clear he erred.

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