Wiki Contributions


I liked this post overall. Minor nitpick: I found the use of "guy who VERBs" to be a little jarring. Saying "person who VERBs" would be more inclusive.

Possibly stupid question: Is being a student at ASU a prerequisite for showing up?

How do you determine what it is that you are grateful for?

I've tried a few things like this before, but every time I find myself being held back by not having a good definition of "gratitude" that can appeal to both my logical half and my intuitive half.

If I got a pony, I'd get an emotional reaction in the moment, but at the end of the day when I go to write it down, my logical side wouldn't think "hey, ponies are great", I'd think, "If I got a unicorn, that would have been better, and if I got shot in the face, that would have been worse. There is nothing more to say here." Any "zero goodness point" that I compare my life situation to is going to be arbitrary, so I don't think it could be meaningful.

It all seems as silly to me as being told to eat my vegetables because someone somewhere else is starving to death. I would still like to get the benefits of a gratitude journal, I'm just not sure how to justify the idea to my inner Spock. What am I missing?

Okay, I think I get it. I was initially thinking that the probabilities of the relationship between MAD and reducing risk being negative, nothing, weak, strong, whatever, would all be similar. If you assume that the probability that we all die without MAD is 50%, and each coin represents a possible probability of death with MAD, then I would have put in one 1% coin, one 2% coin, and so on up to 100. That would give us a distribution just like gwern's given graph.

You're saying that it is very likely that there is no relationship at all, and while surviving provides evidence of a positive relationship over a negative one (if we ignore anthropic stuff, and we probably shouldn't), it doesn't change the probability that there is no relationship. So you'd have significantly more 50% coins than 64% coins or 37% coins to draw from. The updates would look the same, but with only one data point, your best guess is that there is no relationship. Is that what you're saying?

So then the difference is all about prior probabilities, yes? If you have two variables that coorelated one time, and that's all the experimenting that you get to do, how likely is it that they have a positive relationship, and how likely is it that it was a coincidence? I... don't know. I'd have to think about it more.

Thought experiment: Get 100 coins, with 50 designed to land on heads 90% of the time and 50 designed to land on tails 90% of the time. If you flipped each coin once, and put all the coins that happened to land on heads (50ish) in one pile, on average, 45 of them will be coins biased towards heads, and only 5 will be biased towards tails.

If you only got the chance to flip one randomly selected coin, and it came up heads, you should say it has a 90% probability of being a heads-biased coin, because it will be 45 out of 50 times.

That's how I'm seeing this situation, anyway. I'm not really understanding what you're trying to say here.

That doesn't sound right to me. Sure, with a sample size of 1, your estimate won't be very accurate, but that one data point is still going to be giving you some information, even if it isn't very much. You gotta update incrementally, right?

What will I do? I don't really know. Luminosity skills seem like an important requisite for answering that question, but while the luminosity sequence was nice, I feel like it didn't go far enough. Maybe that would be something worth postin' about.

Saluton! I'm an ex-mormon athiest, a postgenderist, a conlanging dabbler, and a chronic three-day monk.

Looking at the above posts (and a bunch of other places on the net), I think ex-mormons seem to be more common than I thought they would be. Weird.

I'm a first-year college student studying only core/LCD classes so far because every major's terrible and choosing is scary. Also, the college system is madness. I've read lots of posts on the subject of higher education on LessWrong already, and my experience with college seems to be pretty common.

I discovered LessWrong a few months ago via a link on a self-help blog, and quickly fell in love with it. The sequences pretty much completely matched up with what I had come up with on my own, and before reading LW I had never encountered anyone other than myself who regularly tabooed words and rejected the "death gives meaning to life" argument et cetera. It was nice to find out that I'm not the only sane person in the world. Of course, the less happy side of the story is that now I'm not the sanest person in my universe anymore. I'm not sure what I think about that. (Yes, having access to people that are smarter than me will probably leave me better off than before, but it's hard to turn off the "I wanna be the very best like no one ever was" desire.) Yet again, my experience seems to be pretty common.

Huh, I've never walked into a room of people and had nothing out of the ordinary to say. Being redundant is a new experience for me. I guess my secret ambition to start a movement of rationalists is redundant now too, huh? Drat! I should have come up with a plan B! :)