orangecat

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Checking Kurzweil's track record

I'll do 10. Agreed with satt that having multiple raters for each prediction would be helpful. I previously read your previous post with the randomly selected predictions, which hopefully isn't disqualifying.

On the unpopularity of cryonics: life sucks, but at least then you die

Have you spent $28,000 on nonessentials for yourself over the course of your life? Most people can easily hit that amount by having a nicer car and house/apartment than they "need". If so then by revealed preference, you value those nonessentials over 28 statistical lives; do you also value them over a shot at immortality?

Houston Hackerspace Meetup : Saturday June 4, 2:00PM

For anyone in the vicinity, I highly recommend checking it out. Patrick and Jon and the non-LW people I met were very friendly, and I'm looking forward to studying Jaynes.

The hackerspace has quite an impressive collection of hardware, from a RepRap and MakerBot to the huge CNC mill and lathe, and even the beginnings of a biology lab. The current limit of my mechanical skills is assembling Lego Mindstorms, so it's a great learning opportunity.

Houston Hackerspace Meetup: Sunday May 29, 5:00PM

I'll plan on showing up. Should be interesting, I've never been to a hackerspace before.

An Anchoring Experiment

Knowing virtually nothing about the geography of Sweden, I'll guess 10,000 feet.

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

I was skeptical as well, but Googling for "immune to exercise" produced this: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn6735-some-people-are-immune-to-exercise.html. It seems like an area that could really use further research; if the universally-dispensed advice is ineffective for nearly half the population, that's a huge problem.

Sociopathy and Rationality

The first observation was particularly interesting: "1. Sociopaths typically don't smalltalk about themselves as much as normal people do. They will direct the conversation back to the new acquaintance as much as they can." This seems like the perfectly rational thing to do (in most cases)

It's also what all the "winning friends and influencing people" advice tells you to do.

New Year's Predictions Thread (2011)

75% probability of being mainstream, or at least not unusual, by 2020. It seems like the obvious solution: phone screens are too small, laptops and even tablets are too inconvenient to carry around constantly. And I'd go 50/30/20 on the first mass market product being based on Android/Apple/other. (With Android, anybody can build it without asking for permission).

Is there a "percentage fallacy"?

I'd guess that any delay that gives the other party a chance to back out would be sufficient. When determining the expected utility of each offer, there should be a term for the probability of the deal actually going through. That's very close to 1 when you take the $100 now and less if you have to wait a day for $120, which might tip the balance toward the $100. But the probabilities are nearly identical for 30 and 31 days, so $120 is the better choice there.

LW favorites

The concept that "I was acting rationally" isn't an excuse for predictably failing to maximize utility. I used to be a two-boxer on Newcomb's Problem; more practically, I believed that certain social situations were inherently biased against rational people.

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