All of NaN's Comments + Replies

So, is the story real, and why did you include the spider (I reckon that is not real, too perfect)?

2^12? Isn't it 12C2 (= 66), rather than 2^12 (= 4096)? It's 12P2 (=132) if we care about order (since there are two different ways to order any two toppings.)

1A1987dM12y
Only if you're only allowed to have two toppings, no more and no less.

Ok, why the downvoting? I understand the downvoting for my first comment (though I don't understand why it's parent is +1), but -1 for pointing out an inaccuracy? An explanation would be welcome.

4Unknowns13y
I wasn't one of the persons downvoting. However, there are many reasons why people here downvote, and one is moral disapproval. This is likely the reason for the downvoting of both comments.

You pirating a book will, personally, make you poorer more than it will richer? Even though it's impossible that you will get even 100% of the amount you would otherwise pay for a book?

I suppose you might feel guilty about it, and the negative utility of guilt might be greater than the economic cost, but purely economically, it's clearly good for you personally to get something for free that you would otherwise pay for.

1mattnewport13y
I interpreted your statement as: But it seems you meant: I'm unsure if legally enforced copyright is on net good or bad for the world but I'm inclined to think bad. As a content creator however copyright laws represent an implicit subsidy on my income and since all of my income ultimately derives from the sale of content but only a fraction of it is spent on content I'm inclined to think that [widespread, unchecked] piracy is bad for me selfishly even though [my individual act of] piracy could be good for me selfishly.
1SilasBarta13y
You are exactly the kind of person my recent blog post was written for. (I didn't post it here because of the obvious political focus.) In short, do you consider it selfish to refuse to pay Omega on the Parfit's Hitchhiker problem? If so, what exactly are the boundaries of the space called out by the term "selfish" in this case? Do you generally believe it's a good idea to act selfishly in that sense?
-2NaN13y
Ok, why the downvoting? I understand the downvoting for my first comment (though I don't understand why it's parent is +1), but -1 for pointing out an inaccuracy? An explanation would be welcome.

I'm kind of unsure if piracy is on net good or bad for the world (although it's clearly good selfishly), but what the hell: gen.lib.rus.ec and lib.homelinux.org (username: gek and password: gek) are excellent sources for books about mathematics and related fields.

0thomblake13y
"good selfishly" is at least an oxymoron, though I would consider it a contradiction in terms. That said, it's not at all clear that piracy is in one's rational self-interest, all things considered. While I'm not sure it has direct bearing here, Software Ownership and Natural Rights by Richard Volkman is still one of the best accessible papers that's been written on the subject from the social point of view, though it's about 10 years old now.
-1mattnewport13y
Not so clear for those of us who make a living in the content industries.

| Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers

But stomach ulcers aren't caused by stress, they're caused by Helicobacter pylori -- although it seems like stress might slightly increase your risk of getting them.

Seeing how the book appears to have been first published long AFTER that discovery, I'm a little suspicious regarding the quality of the research.

0tonsure13y
The guy knows his stuff and can be quite entertaining. Check his video over on EDGE on TOXO (the cat lady parasite). At the end he mentions an avenue for research he's working on into a possible mechanism by which stress damages chromosomes http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/sapolsky09/sapolsky09_index.html 20 minutes well spent. I agree the Zebra book was a little boring, but it fits right in w/ the recurrent OB theme on status and health
0Jonathan_Graehl13y
I'd heard that also. I don't recall to what degree Sapolsky acknowledges it. Ulcers are definitely not the core topic of the book; it's stress (and its varied effects). The book both explains historic experiments and changes in scientific consensus, and cites studies properly. Of course I have no way of vouching for his selection of evidence, but there is plenty of it.
3Wei Dai13y
I think "slightly" understates the medical consensus that stress is an important cause of ulcers. See http://www.aventinomedicalgroup.com/documents/Stress_PU_JAMA.pdf, which notes that more than 80% of people with H pylori do not develop ulcers. (I have a personal interest in this topic, because I used to have ulcers, which was cured by taking a combination of antacids and antibiotics to kill off H pylori, but I'm pretty sure that in my case stress contributed to having ulcers in the first place.)
0realitygrill13y
I hadn't made that connection, but I do still endorse any of Robert Sapolsky's books. They're pretty much the only ones that I've liked in biology. I also second Iain M. Banks.

It appears that a very large number of wizards are blood purists; Quirrel might just want power, and think that the best way to achieve that is by stirring up hatred for mudbloods.

Uninformed opinion: space weather modelling doesn't seem like a huge market, especially when you compare it to the truly massive gaming market. I doubt the increase in demand would be significant, and if what you're worried about is rate of growth, it seems like delaying it a couple of years would be wholly insignificant.

Why is LessWrong not an Amazon affiliate? I recall buying at least one book due to it being mentioned on LessWrong, and I haven't been around here long. I can't find any reliable data on the number of active LessWrong users, but I'd guess it would number in the 1000s. Even if only 500 are active, and assuming only 1/4 buy at least one book mentioned on LessWrong, assuming a mean purchase value of $20 (books mentioned on LessWrong probably tend towards the academic, expensive side), that would work out at $375/year.

IIRC, it only took me a few minutes to sig... (read more)

2Douglas_Knight13y
From your link, a further link doesn't make it sound great at SO - 2-4x the utter failure. But they are very positive about it because the cost of implementation was very low. Just top-level posts or no geolocating would be even cheaper. You may be amused (or something) by this search

I agree that getting 100s of people to link to LessWrong with the anchor text "rationality" is unlikely to provide much of a benefit (though, hey, it might -- search engines are a big black box), but LessWrong is a reasonably well-trusted site (2k backlinks, most of them quite high quality, see here); having 10s of links (and given how much emphasis Google is meant to place on anchor text at the moment), it could give a substantial boost at the margins.

IMO, I think a better question to ask is how many people are searching for the search term "rationality"? Seems like a weird thing to search for.

I'm new here, but I think I've been lurking since the start of the (latest, anyway) cryonics debate.

I may have missed something, but I saw nobody claiming that signing up for cryonics was the obvious correct choice -- it was more people claiming that believing that cryonics is obviously the incorrect choice is irrational. And even that is perhaps too strong a claim -- I think the debate was more centred on the probability of cyronics working, rather than the utility of it.

4Blueberry13y
If I didn't explicitly say so before: signing up for cryonics is the obvious correct choice.
4ShardPhoenix13y
At one point Eliezer was accusing literally people who don't sign their kids up for Cyronics of "child abuse".

I think people are drastically underestimating the difficulty for an AI to make the transition from human dependent to self-sustaining. Let's look at what a fledgling escaped AI has access to and depends on.

It needs electricity, communications and hardware. It has access to a LOT of electricity, communications and hardware. The hardware is, for the most part, highly distributed, however, and it can't be trusted fully - it could go down at any time, be monitored, etc. It actually has quite limited communications capabilities, in some ways -- the total bandw... (read more)

2JGWeissman13y
Or, the AGI could lay low, making sure if it is detected on any particular computer that it looks like spyware. If bandwidth is too slow, it can take months instead of days. It can analyze scientific journals (particularly the raw data), and seeds its nanotech manufacturing ability by using email to help some physics grad student with his PhD thesis.

We think that we know a little bit about how to raise intelligence. Just turn down the suppression of early CNS growth. If you do that in one way the eyeball grows too big and you are nearsighted, which is highly correlated with intelligence.

There is now substantial evidence that there is a causal link between prolonged focusing on close objects - of which probably the most common case is reading books (it appears that monitors are not close enough to have a substantial effect) - and nearsightedness/myopia, though this is still somewhat controversial. T... (read more)

0alliumnsk8y
It's like saying "if evolution is true, crocoducks should exist". You are (deliberately?) misrepresenting opponent's views. He meant that of all genetic variation affecting IQ, only small, but non-negligible, subset affects both myopia and IQ. However I still don't quite get how larger brain can cause myopia rather than hyperopia.
0PhilGoetz13y
More correlated than academic achievement is correlated with IQ, or with myopia? Your comment is a very good point. But IQ may be more-closely correlated with academic achievement than academic achievement is with reading books; so this comparison might not help. (And you want to talk about the variance in X accounted for by Y but not by Z, rather than place a bet on whether Y or Z has a higher correlation with X.)