All of mitechka's Comments + Replies

Fight Zero-Sum Bias

Your example only works if both majority and subgroup are otherwise equal (i.e. subgroup does same quality/amount of work for the same wage). In real life conflicts of this type, the subgroup will generally work for lower wages, thus lowering average wage and reducing income of the majority.

7JenniferRM12yI suspect, but am not sure, that your "real world" assessment is biased in almost exactly the way multifoliaterose is hypothesizing that most people are biased. When someone is rationally willing/able to work for lower wages (assuming they aren't be forced into it by expensive systems of repression) it creates what economists call a comparative advantage [http://iang.org/free_banking/david.html] which is an opportunity for mutually beneficial cooperation. All the people who would have done the drudge work for wages that are low (but not that low) can switch to whatever their new comparative advantages are with more total wealth produced in aggregate, which can be traded back around. Academics have noticed for years [http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/reser_e/cadv_e.htm] that comparative advantage is a real phenomenon, but also that it is not widely understood and is frequently denied even when explained. This seems a likely candidate for the kind of bias that multifoliaterose is writing about. If I had any quibbles with the article, it would be that (1) the object level was ignored in favor of mere "topic introduction", (2) while drawing support from evolutionary hand waving rather than citation to strong experimental evidence, with (3) the assumption that it certainly is bias (rather than a reasonably accurate model of the world). I would have liked to have read about the subject itself and thereby learned something, rather than reading about the tragedy of the developing world and why evolutionary hand waving is valuable. A good place to look for grounded material on the subject might be the literature that grew out of George M. Mason [http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ANTH/emeritus/foster/bio/fobib.html]'s classic work on "peasant culture". His 1965 paper Peasant Society and the Image of Limited Good [http://www.la.wayne.edu/polisci/kdk/global/sources/foster.htm] included this summary in the introduction: I know that there exists almost 50 years of academic literat
Rationality Quotes - June 2009

I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Most often two of these qualities come together. The officers who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Those who are stupid and lazy make up around 90% of every army in the world, and they can be used for routine work. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!

Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

1Eliezer Yudkowsky13yDuplicate.
Rationality quotes - May 2009

"Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."

C. S. Lewis "The Magician's Nephew"

Wanting to Want

Alternatively, after sobering up, Mimi might decide that experiencing heroine high makes her life so much more fulfilling, that the much shortened life expectancy of a heroine addict doesn't seems to be a fair price to pay for it.

As usual it is all up to personal definition of utility.

Religion, Mystery, and Warm, Soft Fuzzies

The reason irrationality "wins" for the "many people" you mention is that they re-define winning in hindsight when things don't work out.

Does it really matter if the definition of winning shifts, as long as you still experience the warm fuzzies? I think for some people it doesn't. Quoting Eliezer's OB post If satisfying your intuitions is more important to you than money, do whatever the heck you want. Drop the money over Niagara falls. Blow it all on expensive champagne. Set fire to your hair. Whatever. If the largest utility y... (read more)

You Are A Brain

It doesn't show correctly in either Google Docs or Open Office. Sadly, vote down.

Bead Jar Guesses

I think I would agree partially with both of you. If I assume that there is no information at all .5 is a good choice. Once a bead of any color is pulled out, I can start making guesses on a potential number of beads in the jar from the relative volumes of the jar and the bead, so if I know that there is a finite number of potential colors, I might take a guess as to what the probability of any particular color distribution is. Once a red bead is pulled, I might adjust probability that Omega is not screwing with me etc.

Welcome to Less Wrong!

I guess, this is what comes out of writing in a hurry. The way it came out, I am an arrogant ass, who only reads what others have to say to see if it relates to something he, himself wants to say. I found most articles on both OB and LW to be enlightening and some to be a major revelation. The way I view the world changed in a significant way in the past 6 months and in a large part this was due to reading OB/LW and trying to read up on philosophy, math, physics etc. to better understand what people on OB and LW are saying. The topics I am contemplating wr... (read more)

0MBlume13yI actually didn't get this impression at all -- no worries =)
0steven046113ySee True PD [http://www.overcomingbias.com/2008/09/true-pd.html], though you may have other differences in mind. Desert in utilitarianism hasn't been discussed as far as I remember. And FWIW, great-grandparent did not come off as arrogant to me.
Welcome to Less Wrong!
  • Handle: mitechka
  • Name: Dmitriy Kropivnitskiy
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Age: 35
  • Education: 2 years of college (major chemistry)
  • Occupation: Systems Administrator

About a year ago, I have found Eliezer''s article about cognitive biases and from there googled my way to OB. My interest in rationality lies primarily in learning to make better decisions and better understanding of "how the world works". So far I am mostly reading OB and LW trying to see if topics I would like to write about have already been covered or actually are worth writing about.

1MBlume13yIf you'd like to tell us about them, we might be able to give you an idea of what's already been said.
Declare your signaling and hidden agendas

How does desire to signal resistance to groupthink relates to actual resistance to groupthink? When you desire to signal scholarship, does it mean that you are trying to appear more scholastic than you think you really are? Is "desire to signal X" just a polite disclaimer, such as IMHO?

"Stuck In The Middle With Bruce"

Yes, I played magic a lot some years back.

Newcomb's Problem vs. One-Shot Prisoner's Dilemma

A bit off-topic, but it seems to me that a lot of debate raging around Newcomb's problem can be well summarized by the following statement. If you believe yourself a rationalist and you witness a miracle, then you better update your whole, damn, world view to accommodate existence of miracles.

Never Leave Your Room

I found, that for me, the same thing works well without a coin. If I am ambivalent on decisions, I just pick one and if I instantly have a feeling that I should have gone the other way, I will switch. The problem with the algorithm is that it when the choices are actually close to equivalent, it takes a bit of strength of will not to repeat the process ad nauseam.