nshepperd

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What are your greatest one-shot life improvements?

As a more powerful version of this, you can install uBlock Origin and configure these custom filters to remove everything on youtube except for the video and the search box. As a user, I don't miss the comments, social stuff, 'recommendations', or any other stuff at all.

What is the subjective experience of free will for agents?

I must admit I can't make any sense of your objections. There aren't any deep philosophical issues with understanding decision algorithms from an outside perspective. That's the normal case! For instance, A*

Circling as Cousin to Rationality

This isn't a criticism of this post or of Vaniver, but more a comment on Circling in general prompted by it. This example struck me in particular:

Orient towards your impressions and emotions and stories as being yours, instead of about the external world. “I feel alone” instead of “you betrayed me.”

It strikes me as very disturbing that this should be the example that comes to mind. It seems clear to me that one should not, under any circumstances engage in a group therapy exercise designed to lower your emotional barriers and create vulnerability in the presence of anyone you trust less than 100%, let alone someone you think has 'betrayed' you. This seems like a great way to get manipulated, taken advantage of by sexual abusers, gaslighted etc, which is a particular concern given the multiple allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct in the EA/Circling communities (1, 2, ChristianKl's comment). Reframing these behaviours as personal emotions and stories seems like it would further contribute to the potential for such abuse.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

Where does that obligation come from?

This may not be Said's view, but it seems to me that this obligation comes from the sheer brute fact that if no satisfactory response is provided, readers will (as seems epistemically and instrumentally correct) conclude that there is no satisfactory response and judge the post accordingly. (Edit: And also, entirely separately, the fact that if these questions aren't answered the post author will have failed to communicate, rather defeating the point of making a public post.)

Obviously readers will conclude this more strongly if there's a back-and-forth in which the question is not directly answered, and less strongly if the author doesn't respond to any comments at all (which suggests they're just busy). (And readers will not conclude this at all if the question seems irrelevant or otherwise not to need a response.)

That is to say, the respect of readers on this site is not automatically deserved, and cannot be taken by force. Replying to pertinent questions asking for clarification with a satisfactory response that fills a hole in the post's logic is part of how one earns such respect; it is instrumentally obligatory.

On this view, preventing people from asking questions can do nothing but mislead readers by preventing them from noticing whatever unclearness / ambiguity etc the question would have asked about. It doesn't release authors from this obligation, but just means we have to downgrade our trust in all posts on the site since this obligation cannot be met.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

T3t's explanations seem quite useless to me. The procedure they describe seems highly unlikely to reach anything like a correct interpretation of anything, being basically a random walk in concept space.

It's hard to see what "I don't understand what you meant by X, also here's a set of completely wrong definitions I arrived at by free association starting at X" could possibly add over "I don't understand what you meant by X", apart from wasting everyone's time redirecting attention onto a priori wrong interpretations.

I'm also somewhat alarmed to see people on this site advocating the sort of reasoning by superficial analogy we see here:

“Conforming to or based on fact” feels very similar to “the map corresponds to the territory”.

Performing the substitution: “An expression that is worthy of acceptance or belief, as the expression (map) corresponds to the internal state of the agent that generated it (territory).”

So, overall, I'm not very impressed, no.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

But my sense is that if the goal of these comments is to reveal ignorance, it just seems better to me to argue for an explicit hypothesis of ignorance, or a mistake in the post.

My sense is the exact opposite. It seems better to act so as to provide concrete evidence of a problem with a post, which stands on its own, than to provide an argument for a problem existing, which can be easily dismissed (ie. show, don't tell). Especially when your epistemic state is that a problem may not exist, as is the case when you ask a clarifying question and are yet to receive the answer!

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

To be clear, I think your comment was still net-negative for the thread, and provided little value (in particular in the presence of other commenters who asked the relevant questions in a, from my perspective, much more productive way)

I just want to note that my comment wouldn't have come about were it not for Said's.

Again, this is a problem that would easily be resolved by tone-of-voice in the real world, but since we are dealing with text-based communication here, these kinds of confusions can happen again and again.

To be frank, I find your attitude here rather baffling. The only person in this thread who interpreted Said's original comment as an attack seems to have been you. Vaniver had no trouble posting a response, and agreed that an explanation was necessary but missing.

Meta-discussion from "Circling as Cousin to Rationality"

FWIW, that wasn't my interpretation of quanticle's comment at all. My reading is that "healthy" was not meant as a proposed interpretation of "authentic" but as an illustrative substitution demonstrating the content-freeness of this use of the word -- because the post doesn't get any more or less convincing when you replace "authentic" with different words.

This is similar to what EY does in Applause Lights itself, where he replaces words with their opposites to demonstrate that sentences are uninformative.

(As an interpretation, it would also be rather barren, and not particularly 'concrete' either: obviously "'authentic' means 'healthy'" just raises the question of what 'healthy' means in this context!)

Circling as Cousin to Rationality

Why should “that which can be destroyed by the truth” be destroyed? Because the truth is fundamentally more real and valuable than what it replaces, which must be implemented on a deeper level than “what my current beliefs think.” Similarly, why should “that which can be destroyed by authenticity” be destroyed? Because authenticity is fundamentally more real and valuable than what it replaces, which must be implemented on a deeper level than “what my current beliefs think.” I don’t mean to pitch ‘radical honesty’ here, or other sorts of excessive openness; authentic relationships include distance and walls and politeness and flexible preferences.

To expand on Said and quanticle's comments here, I find this argument deeply unconvincing, and here's why. I see three things missing here:

  1. A definition of 'authentic' in concrete terms -- what kind of behaviour does it entail, with what kind of consequences? This can be a dictionary definition, in exchange for shifting a lot of burden to the following two steps.
  2. An argument that 'authenticity' so defined is "real and valuable" enough to be more valuable than anything that might be lost in the course of such behaviour -- this is not as simple as a superficial argument by analogy to truth might make it appear, since the argument for believing true things is more complex than that in the first place (for instance, relying on the particular role of true beliefs in decision theory).
  3. An argument that Circling is 'authentic' in the manner so defined (presumably, since a defense of Circling seems to be the point of the post).

Currently all three holes here seem to be plugged by the simple use of 'authentic' as an applause light.

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