All of NickiH's Comments + Replies

Pooling resources for valuable actuarial calculations

I am an (almost qualified) actuary, working for a life insurance company.

I would love it if I had data of a very high quality. However, most insurance companies can't use population statistics because of differences with underwriting standards (we don't cover the very bad risks), target markets (we advertise in the Daily Slum, so only cover low socioeconomic classes, for example), and claim definitions (what is a disease in the population might not be a claim for the insurance company). So we use our own experience to modify the population stats. Very l... (read more)

Type 2 as an aggregation of Type 1 processes

This is interesting. But I'm not sure I followed it properly. Is there a post about Type 1/Type 2 mental processes? It might be good to link to it for those of us who need a refresher.

1Khaled10yI like Kahneman's lecture here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dddFfRaBPqg [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dddFfRaBPqg] as it sums up the distinction nicely (thought it's a bit long) Edit: not sure if a post on LW exists though
Explainers Shoot High. Aim Low!

This explains why so many text books are so badly written. The authors were aiming too high.

Illusion of Transparency: Why No One Understands You

This is an interesting read. Specifically, their work suggests what could be a potentially very useful way of reducing miscommunication.

One of the experiments the authors ran tried to reduce the overconfidence they saw in predicting whether people would understand or not. They asked people to write sarcastic sentances, and then read them back, out loud, in a tone of voice which made them sound completely serious. They also did serious read in a sarcastic way. They found that people were then less confident that the email would be understood in the way... (read more)

The problem with too many rational memes

I utterly failed my art.

You did not fail. It took you only one week, and a simple question from your friend, to break out of a mindset that some people never break out of. What's more, you learnt a lesson from it. I would count that as a win.

The problem with too many rational memes

if people are afraid their contributions will be criticized, they'll be less likely to share them

And if people think that their opposing contributions will be taken as criticism, they'll be less likely to share them, as demonstrated by the OP.

Existential Risk

I would count myself among "general people". I didn't get it at all. In fact, having read the comments, I'm still not sure I get it. It's a pretty picture and all, but why is it there?

0Randolf10yThe first picture is a dark image of a planet with a sligthly threatening atmosphere. It looks like the upper half of a mushroom cloud, but it could be also seen as the earth violently torn apart. This is why I think , given the context, that it symbolises the threat of a nuclear war, and more universally, the threat of a dystopia. The last picture shows a beatiful utopia. I thought it's there to give a message of the type: "If everything goes well, we can still achieve a very good future." That is, while the first picture symbolises the threat of a dystopia, the last one symbolises the hope and possibility of an utopia. Of course, this is merely my interpretation. There are very many ways one can inerprent these pictures.
Rationality Quotes: April 2011

what is so special about the program which makes up a human, that it would be morally wrong to shut off the program?

We haven't figured out how to turn it back on again. Once we do, maybe it will become morally ok to turn people off.

6NancyLebovitz11yBecause people are really annoying, but we need to be able to live with each other. We need strong inhibitions against killing each other-- there are exceptions (self-defense, war), but it's a big win if we can pretty much trust each other not to be deadly. We'd be a lot more cautious about turning off computers if they could turn us off in response. None of this is to deny that turning off a computer is temporary and turning off a human isn't. Note that people are more inhibited about destroying computers (though much less so than about killing people) than they are about turning computers off.
4Laoch11yDoesn't general anesthetic count? I thought that was the turning off of the brain. I was completely "out" when I had it administered to me.
Are Your Enemies Innately Evil?

From the point of view of the bomber, faith in God is not itself unjustified. It is in fact a vital part of his psychology.

The original point was the difference in the psychologies of bombers and soldiers. They are both doing it because they were told to, but their confidence in the judgement of the one telling them to is different. So the one with the higher confidence feels more "justified". That's what I thought you meant, anyway. If it's not, could you please clarify?

Perhaps I should have said "the bomber thinks he has more justification than the soldier".

4TheOtherDave11yAh, I see. If "justification" refers to a feeling, then sure: the person who is really convinced that X is reliable and wants them to do something has more justification for doing that thing than the person who isn't quite sure that X is reliable, or isn't quite sure that X wants them to do it. (Again, whether X is a government, a god, or a grandmother.) I was thrown off because "justification" in other contexts is often used to mean something different. Which is fine; I don't mean to turn this into a discussion about the meaning of a word. Sorry to cause confusion; thanks for clarifying.
Are Your Enemies Innately Evil?

Given that people who believe in god tend to really believe in god, and people who trust governments do so usually with a number of reservations, does that mean that the bomber has more justification than the soldier?

2Biophile9yDo people who believe in God tend to really believe in God?
2TheOtherDave11yNo. Why would it? Justification for an act is not something that emerges full-blown out of nothing. My act cannot be justified by of my faith in X if that faith is itself unjustified. And if I have faith in X within certain constraints and with certain reservations (as I do with governments, for example), that doesn't somehow make that faith less justified than if I "_really believe in" X without constraints or reservations. And all of that is true whether X is my government, my god, or my grandmother.
Rationality Quotes: April 2011

It depends what your work is. If you're doing data entry then surfing the net is lazy. If you're driving a train and surfing the net on your phone then that's irresponsible.

Are Your Enemies Innately Evil?

Soldier: The government told me to. They've been elected by us, so they must be right, yeah? Everyone else is doing it - think how my friends would look down on me if I said no! I'm going to be a hero! Heroes get all the girls.

Bomber: My God told me to... can't argue with God, right? My friends are doing it - I don't want to look like a coward! Mmm, virgins. (Or other heavenly reward of choice).

Hmmm... that was originally going to be a list of differences in their viewpoints, but the more I think about it, the more similar they appear. Now I'm not sure what I think any more!

2TheOtherDave11yWell, one salient difference might have to do with comparing the available mechanisms for calibrating my confidence in the judgment of a government with those for calibrating my confidence in the judgment of a god.
Being a teacher

I had a similar experience learning to do back flips in gymnastics. My coach was always there to catch/support me while I was upside down, until the day he wasn't.

No shock and fear, though; I didn't even notice that he hadn't caught me until I was already the right way up again.

Ability to react

Your difficulty with martial arts sounds like it's mostly because that particular martial art doesn't agree with you. There's an immense variation in the styles of martial arts, and it's very important to try several and find the one that works best for you. But then you said you've been doing it for about 10 years, so you probably know that.

You sound like you would benefit from one of the ones that puts a lot of emphasis on pair work, like Shorinji Kempo (it's quite obscure everywhere except Japan). It does have katas, but not many, and they all have pair-form versions, which helps with figuring out why you're doing each particular move.

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

I like this site: http://unclutterer.com/

It includes advice, examples, a forum to ask advice/share stories, and the weekly "Ask Unclutterer" column. Not to mention some hilarious examples of unitaskers.

Taboo Your Words

As g mentions, your description also describes rounders. Even if you defined all the words in your description ever more precisely, you could still be thinking of a different game.

Presumably at some point you would discover that, when your expectations of what was going to happen differed. Depending on what you're discussing, that could happen very soon, or not for a long time.

How does the rationalist in the game know when to stop defining and start adding characteristics/keywords?

2KateGladstone10yTo prevent the description from describing rounders, add something like "popular among American men."
Anki deck for biases and fallacies

Like nazgulnarsil, I didn't know Anki existed. Having looked at it, I realise that it is a program that works exactly the way I think, which is great!

Thank you!

Say Not "Complexity"

You're right, and I think that this is a mistake a lot of people make when thinking about AI - they assume that the fact that they're intelligent means they also know a lot. Like the child, their specific knowledge (such as the fact that there is something to solve), is something they have to learn, or be taught, over time.