Radford Neal

Wiki Contributions


Yes.  And that reasoning is implicitly denying at least one of (a), (b), or (c).

Well, I think the prisoner's dilemma and Hitchhiker problems are ones where some people just don't accept that defecting is the right decision.  That is, defecting is the right decision if (a) you care nothing at all for the other person's welfare, (b) you care nothing for your reputation, or are certain that no one else will know what you did (including the person you are interacting with, if you ever encounter them again), and (c) you have no moral qualms about making a promise and then breaking it.  I think the arguments about these problems amount to people saying that they are assuming (a), (b), and (c), but then objecting to the resulting conclusion because they aren't really willing to assume at least one of (a), (b), or (c).

Now, if you assume, contrary to actual reality, that the other prisoner or the driver in the Hitchhiker problem are somehow able to tell whether you are going to keep your promise or not, then we get to the same situation as in Newcomb's problem - in which the only "plausible" way they could make such a prediction is by creating a simulated copy of you and seeing what you do in the simulation. But then, you don't know whether you are the simulated or real version, so simple application of causal decision theory leads you keep your promise to cooperate or pay, since if you are the simulated copy that has a causal effect on the fate of the real you.

Answer by Radford Neal72

An additional technical reason involves the concept of an "admissible" decision procedure - one which isn't "dominated" by some other decision procedure, which is at least as good in all possible situations and better in some. It turns out that (ignoring a few technical details involving infinities or zero probabilities) the set of admissible decision procedures is the same as the set of Bayesian decision procedures.

However, the real reason for using Bayesian statistical methods is that they work well in practice.  And this is also how one comes to sometimes not use Bayesian methods, because there are problems in which the computations for Bayesian methods are infeasible and/or the intellectual labour in defining a suitable prior is excessive.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Clara%2C_California

"Santa Clara is located in the center of Silicon Valley and is home to the headquarters of companies such as Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, and Nvidia."

So I think you shouldn't try to convey the idea of "startup" with the metonym "Silicon Valley".  More generally, I'd guess that you don't really want to write for a tiny audience of people whose cultural references exactly match your own.

"A fight between ‘Big Tech’ and ‘Silicon Valley’..."

I'm mystified.  What are 'Big Tech' and 'Silicon Valley' supposed to refer to? My guess would have been that they are synonyms, but apparently not...

The quote says that "according to insider sources" the Trudeau government is "reportedly discussing" such measures.  Maybe they just made this up.  But how can you know that?  Couldn't there be actual insider sources truthfully reporting the existence of such discussions?  A denial from the government does not carry much weight in such matters.  

There can simultaneously be an crisis of immigration of poor people and a crisis of emigration of rich people.

I'm not attempting to speculate on what might be possible for an AI.  I'm saying that there may be much low-hanging fruit potentially accessible to humans, despite there now being many high-IQ researchers. Note that the other attributes I mention are more culturally-influenced than IQ, so it's possible that they are uncommon now despite there being 8 billion people.

I think you are misjudging the mental attributes that are conducive to scientific breakthroughs. 

My (not very well informed) understanding is that Einstein was not especially brilliant in terms of raw brainpower (better at math and such than the average person, of course, but not much better than the average physicist). His advantage was instead being able to envision theories that did not occur to other people. What might be described as high creativity rather than high intelligence.

Other attributes conducive to breakthroughs are a willingness to work on high-risk, high-reward problems (much celebrated by granting agencies today, but not actually favoured), a willingness to pursue unfashionable research directions, skepticism of the correctness of established doctrine, and a certain arrogance of thinking they can make a breakthrough, combined with a humility allowing them to discard ideas of theirs that aren't working out. 

So I think the fact that there are more high-IQ researchers today than ever before does not necessarily imply that there is little "low hanging fruit".

"Suppose that, for k days, the closed model has training cost x..."

I think you meant to say "open model", not "closed model", here.

Regarding Cortez and the Aztecs, it is of interest to note that Cortez's indigenous allies (enemies of the Aztecs) actually ended up in a fairly good position afterwards.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tlaxcala

For the most part, the Spanish kept their promise to the Tlaxcalans. Unlike Tenochtitlan and other cities, Tlaxcala was not destroyed after the Conquest. They also allowed many Tlaxcalans to retain their indigenous names. The Tlaxcalans were mostly able to keep their traditional form of government.

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