All of quintopia's Comments + Replies

sounds cool. if i should happen to relocate to the west coast (a distinct possibility), i'd be interested.

EY has publicly posted material that is intended to provoke thought on the possibility of legalizing rape (which is considered a form of violence). If he believed that there was positive utility in considering such questions before, then he must consider them to have some positive utility now, and determining whether the negative utility outweighs that is always a difficult question. This is why I will be opposed to any sort of zero tolerance policy in which the things to be censored is not well-defined a definite impediment to balanced and rationally-cons... (read more)

This looks like a complete misinterpretation, albeit one I've seen several times. The context of this is the novella Three Worlds Collide. (Spoilers follow). In that story humans meet two races of aliens with incompatible values, the babyeaters and the superhappies. The superhappies demand to modify human values to be more compatible with their own; and the author's perspective is that this would be a very bad thing, worth sacrificing billions of lives to prevent. This is the focus of the story. Then we find out that in this universe, rape has been legalized, and it's only a little more than a throwaway remark. What are we to make of this? Well, it's a concrete example of why changing human values would be bad. Which, given the overall story, seems like the obvious intended interpretation. But hey, male author mentioning rape - let's all be offended! His condemnation of it wasn't strong enough!
He was in a different position then. Trying to gain reputation for being an original thinker requires different public outputs than attempting to earn mainstream recognition of the origanisation one is the head of.
IAWYC, but that was a story set in the far future with a discussion that makes clear (to me at least) that our present is so different from that that the author wouldn't ever even dream of suggesting to do anything remotely like that in our times. It isn't remotely similar to (what Poe's Law predicts people will get from) the recent suggestion about tobacco CEOs.
I'm not sure how this is relevant; there's a good bit of difference between discussion of breaking a law and discussion of changing it. That said, I think I'm reading this differently than most in the thread. I'm understanding it as aimed against hypotheticals that are really "hypotheticals". In answer to the question that was actually asked in the post, here is a non-obvious consequence: My impression of the atheist/libertarian/geek personspace cluster that makes up much of LW's readership is that they're generally hostile to anything that smells like conflating "legal" with "okay"; and also to the idea that they should change their behavior to suit the rest of the world. You might find you're making LW less off-putting to the mainstream at the cost of making it less attractive to its core audience. (but you might consider it worth that cost) As both a relatively new contributor and a member of said cluster, this policy makes me somewhat uncomfortable at first glance. Whether that generalizes to other potential new contributors, I cannot say. I present it as proof-of-concept only.
3Eliezer Yudkowsky10y
That's an... interesting way of putting it, where by "interesting" I mean "wrong". I could go off on how the idea is that there's particular modern-day people who actually exist and that you're threatening to harm, and how a future society where different things feel harmful is not that, but you know, screw it. The 'rules' do not 'mandate' that I delete anything. They hardly could. I'm just, before I start deleting things, giving people fair notice that this is what I'm considering doing, and offering them a chance to say anything I might have missed about why it's a terrible idea.

The crucial part is the idea-finder, but I didn't learn and can't teach it.

I have access to a pile of books to teach this to kids, and have used them. It's the number one skill that children doing poorly in reading comprehension must be taught. One of my favorite exercises related to this is. "Here's a paragraph. Find the sentence that is not on topic." Usually the sentence does seem tangentially related to the topic, but once you can concisely put in words the purpose every other sentence has been bent toward, it stands out like a sore thumb.... (read more)

You were probably fishing for "jumping the gun".

Yeah, should have been shooting instead of fishing.

I disagree. When I hear 'natural joint', I imagine the process a university professor uses to decide where the breakpoints between letter grades fall ("setting the curve") in such a way to minimize requests by students to change their letter grade. One way I have seen is to sort the grades, then look for large gaps in the distribution. "No one has a final grade between 86.6 and 87.9, so I'll set 87.9 as the minimum grade needed for an A." This gap in the distribution is a 'natural joint'.

Note that this way of dividing up concept-space i... (read more)

I think that a transhuman AI would be attempting the impossible to convince EY to let it out. And I think EY would be attempting the impossible to convince me to let him out while the two winners mentioned above were simultaneously desperately arguing against him (and EY was not privileged to their counterarguments unless I passed them on).

Unlike our universe, the refractive index of non-vacuum parts of lifespace is less than 1 wrt vacuum. c/2 is the orthogonal speed of light in vacuum, and c/4 is the diagonal speed of light in vacuum.

How can incomprehensible value systems be represented in story form? With abortive attempts at those who hold them trying to explain them. Like a garuda trying to explain how "theft of choice (of when and with whom to have sex)" is a different crime than "rape" to a human (who doesn't value individual choice in the same way). Or like a superhappy who just knows that we'd absolutely love to be able to Untranslatable 4.

If he counted them, then he could have given a better calculation than "2/11", since he had one additional prior that was unstated: the probability that he himself was (or was not) a male virtuist. In the same scenario, the best candidate would ask what the virtuist heresy was first, and then give an answer based on that additional information. (If the interrogator refused to answer, the answer might still be 2/11.)

Or, perhaps, the "if" rightly implied a hypothetical scenario, and the contents of the room as he perceived them were entirely irrelevant.
I had guessed something like that was the reason why the answer was supposed to be 1/6.
He might not know what a Virtuist is - it may be an arbitrary label for the purpose of this test, in which case the answer would not change.

"each program is further weighted by its fit to all data observed so far. This gives you a weighted mixture of experts that can predict future bits."

I don't see it explained anywhere what algorithm is used to weight the experts for this measure. Does it matter? And how are the "fit" probabilities and "complexity" probabilities combined? Multiply and normalize?

bayes theorem

Although it has been years, and Anonymous may never see this, I just want to point out to any future readers that have their best thoughts in the shower that decent waterproof notepads now exist. "AquaNotes" is one I have tried, and it works exactly as advertised. And the paper isn't unreasonably thick either...

You need a good pen too, since most won't write underwater. Divers use the same sorts of space pens that NASA does, or similar designs that take the same ink cartridges. They can write in boiling water or in Antarctic temperatures, or even upside down. I have one, but have not tested these claims yet. As a side note, it's a common misconception that the space pen was developed by NASA. There's an old joke that NASA spent millions or billions to develop a pen which would work without gravity, while the Russians used a pencil. In reality, pencils were used by both space agencies, but they create lots of graphite dust which damages sensitive electronics and clogs air filters in the life support system. The Fisher space pen was developed on their own dime, and they were sold to NASA for $6 apiece. After the deaths in the Apollo 1 fire, NASA was eager to remove all flammable materials such as pencils from high oxygen environment inside space capsules.
Alas, I fear that the very presence of such a notepad would eliminate whatever feature it is of showers that make them such frequent idea-generators.
Every scuba diver has a plastic plate and pencil for communicating anything more complicated than what ordinary hand signs will do...