I am fairly excited about this, even though I think it's likelihood of working out is low.
Some folk on Astral Codex Ten are noting some previous failed attempts at things kinda-like-this. But, a) this seems to have a fairly different starting goal that other weird projects in this reference class, b) well, the normal odds for a startup succeeding is less than 10%, so the fact that we've tried this less than 10 times and it hasn't worked out yet isn't much to update on. I think trying things that look superficially similar to this is a big source of expected value.
Nod. "positive vs disagreement citation" is an important angle I wasn't thinking about.
I think I mostly have a deep disagreement with Ben here, which is important but not urgent to resolve and would take a bunch of time. (I think I might separately have different deep disagreements with you, but I haven't evaluated that)
(I have some disagreements with this. I think there's a virtue Ben is pointing at (and which Zvi and others are pointing at), which is important, but I don't think we have the luxury of living in the world where you get to execute that virtue without also worrying about the failure modes Richard is worried about)
On the flipside: WTF Star Trek?
At any given time, is there anything especially wrong about using citation count (weighted by the weightings of other paper's citation count) as a rough proxy for "what are the most important papers, and/or best authors, weighted?"
My sense is the thing that's bad about this is that it creates an easy goodhart metric. I can imagine worlds where it's already so thoroughly goodharted that it doesn't signal anything anymore. If that's the case, can you get around that by grounding it out in some number of trusted authors, and purging obviously fraudulent autho... (read more)
I think the problem this post grapples with is essentially one of the core rationality problems. Or, one of the core reasons I think it might be useful to have "rationality" as a field.
The particular set of suggestions and exercises here seemed a) plausibly quite useful (although I haven't really tried them), b) pointed towards a useful generator of how to think more about how to develop as "the sort of person who can solve general confusing problems."
I don't actually know what the grammatical rules say, but "take environment as object" is the phrase I've heard used in local culture over the past few years.
Curated. I appreciated this post for a combination of:
I also wanted to highlight this section:
Finally, should also mention that I agree with Tom Dietterich’s view (dietterich2019robust) that we should make AI safer to society by learning from high-reliability organiz
(Frontpaged despite not normally frontpaging covid posts)
Something my wife last month: "Is this how you think about politics all the time? No wonder you're depressed."
I'm not quite sure that the "this" is in that sentence. You think about politics all the time how?
I have now done so.
Oh, huh. I'll merge the comments from the other one into this one.
There's a lot of intellectual meat in this story that's interesting. But, my first comment was: "I'm finding myself surprisingly impressed about some aesthetic/stylistic choices here, which I'm surprised I haven't seen before in AI Takeoff Fiction."
In normal english phrasing across multiple paragraphs, there's a sort of rise-and-fall of tension. You establish a minor conflict, confusion, or an open loop of curiosity, and then something happens that resolves it a bit. This isn't just about the content of 'what happens', but also what sort of phrasing one us... (read more)
I do definitely agree proper footnotes would be good for the default editor. I'm not sure whether we'll get to it any time soon because we continue to have a lot of competing priorities. But meanwhile my recommendation is to do footnotes they way they were done in this post (i.e. as comments that you can create hover-links to)
I think part of the lesson here is ‘don’t casually sell vaguely defined things that are generally understood to be some kind of big deal’
So there's a specific thing of "the immortal part of you that goes to heaven", which is just false.
But I think plenty of people draw a mind/soul/body, where the mind/soul distinction is pointing at a cluster that's sort of like:
When one says "that artistic piece has soul" or "they poured thei... (read more)
You're currently using the WYSIWYG editor, where you format links by selecting the text (causing a menu of formatting options to appear) and then choosing the 'link' option.
In your user settings, you can switch to the Markdown editor, where normal Markdown formatting rules apply.
I actually started this essay thinking "eh, I don't think this matters too much", but by the end of it I was just like "yeah, this checks out."
I think "Don't casually make contracts you don't intent to keep" is just pretty cruxy for me. This is a key piece of being a trustworthy person who can coordinate in complex, novel domains. There might be a price where there is worth it to do it as a joke, but $10 is way too low.
Suppose instead that the acquaintance approached me with a piece of paper that says "I, TurnTrout, give [acquaintance] ownership over
I think gjm made some good points.
But I also want to note that having a budget is most important for coordination. I think this is what microcovid was originally designed for – you have a bunch of roommates, or people in a quaranbubble, and you want to agree on how you interact with the world. Giving everyone a budget is easier than a more complicated set of rules.
If you're living on your own or with one person (i.e. close friend or romantic partner) who's easy to stay in sync with, then it's less important, unless you find it helpful for your own thinking.
Mod note: I frontpaged this (despite a policy not usually frontpaging covid content) because I think "how to think about microcovids" is actually fairly confusing and it could use some more dedicated discussion, and because I think that translates a bit into general thinking outside the domain of covid.
Welp, today I learned. ("It originated in psychology" feels consistent with my previous beliefs, but I didn't know about all this history of it)
This isn’t intended at all to replace comments. The idea here is giving people accordance to do lower effort ‘pseudo comments’ that are somewhere in between an upvote / downvote and a comment, so that people who find it too effortful to write a comment can express some feedback.
Hypothesis is that this gets you more total feedback.
Theory that Jimrandomh was talking about the other day, which I'm curious about:
Before social media, if you were a nerd on the internet, the way to get interaction and status was via message boards / forums. You'd post a thing, and get responses from other people who were filtered for being somewhat smart and confident enough to respond with a text comment.
Nowadays, generally most people post things on social media and then get much more quickly rewarded via reacts, based on a) a process that is more emotional than routed-through-verbal-centers, and b) you... (read more)
When I google "affordances", I mainly get results about UX design and human-computer interaction. This makes sense: a big part of designing products (be they software or hardware) is about making sure the user has all the right affordances. If you design a new kitchen implement which requires a pumping action, you want the user to immediately have a "pumping action" affordance when they see it.
Possibly relevant history: the word affordance AFAICT comes from the book "The Design of Everyday Things." The Design of Everyday things was actually originally goin... (read more)
Ah, yeah. That is meant to be your time zone. (It’s at 12pm PT)
Which bit was this replying to?
I found this a surprisingly obvious set of strategic considerations (and meta-considerations), that for some reason I'd never seen anyone actually attempt to tackle before.
I found the notion of practicing "no cost too large" periods quite interesting. I'm somewhat intimidated by the prospect of trying it out, but it does seem like a good idea.
Seems true, but also didn't seem to be what this post was about?
They’re the biology department, who disagree about whether the primary force underlying ecosystems is life/death/growth/decay.
The latest magic set has… possibly the subtlest, weirdest take on the Magic color wheel so far. The 5 factions are each a different college within a magical university, each an enemy-color-pair.
The most obvious reference here is Harry Potter. And in Harry Potter, the houses map (relatively) neatly to various magic colors, or color pairs.
Slytherin is basically canonical MTG Black. Gryffindor is basically Red. Ravenclaw is basically blue. Hufflepuff sort of green/white. There are differences between Hogwarts houses and Magic colors, but they are aspiring to ... (read more)
I think Logan's Defense of Shame was mostly unrelated to the the book, FYI. (Or at least, it's a FB comment that's basically them just saying "I think Shame is a valuable part of you, here's why, and here's how." It might overlap with the book but I'm guessing Logan's take is fairly different).
Not spending $30,000 makes sense, but my impression from car shopping last year was that trying to get a good car for less than $7k was fairly hard. (I get the ‘willingness to eat the cost’ price point of $1k, but wanted to highlight that the next price point up was more like 10k than 30k.)
Depending on your experimentation goals, you might want to rent a a car rather than buy.
You should be able to paste youtube links into the default editor and it'll automatically work. I'm not sure about the markdown editor.
On one hand, I don't actually find it that alarming that the talk/action ratio is skewed. Talk is way cheaper than action, so it's not surprising there's more of it.
The question is more like "how much of an 'action bandwidth gap' is there – how much serious action could people be doing that they aren't already spending resources on? Of the people who can tractably allocate their time on 'real action', are the things they are currently working on more or less important than these other things?"
I also think when you sit down to brainstorm "okay, what s... (read more)
I think LessWrong has had a recurring theme of "bioethics sucks." I very much liked the sanity check of "what, is the thing that people are vaguely saying sucks exactly?"
I appreciated the methodology of grabbing a bunch of random papers, to get a sense of the breadth of the field. I also liked the followup of checking what the field was like a decade+ ago. I think that doing a bunch of research gruntwork is still underrewarded at LessWrong and part of the reason I'm curating this is to "subsidize" that a bit.
Meanwhile, it seemed from the comm... (read more)
Do you think he is being rationalist at this particular moment? (I don't actually remember his arc very clearly)
I think I don't feel too bad about "hey, looks like we just disagree in some fundamental way here I'm not interested in trying to resolve, sorry". It might be rude in some circles but I think I'm willing to bite the bullet on "it's pretty necessary for that to be an okay-move to pull on LW and in rationalist spaces."
I think "we disagree in a fundamental way" isn't quite accurate, and there's a better version that's something like "I think we're thinking in pretty different frames/paradigms and I don't think it makes sense to bridge that disconnect."
A thing... (read more)
As for asking people if they have the skill,
I actually was not expecting the process to be "ask if they have the skill", I was expecting the sequence to be:
(well, that's probably an unproductive way to go about it, ... (read more)
Sometimes the subject of Kegan Levels comes up and it actually matters a) that a developmental framework called "kegan levels" exists and is meaningful, b) that it applies somehow to The Situation You're In.
But, almost always when it comes up in my circles, the thing under discussion is something like "does a person have the ability to take their systems as object, move between frames, etc." And AFAICT this doesn't really need to invoke developmental frameworks at all. You can just ask if a person has a the "move between frames" skill.*
This still suffers a... (read more)
FYI, I'd have found it helpful to have formally stated "Ty is a real person, but not their real name." I found myself fairly confused about whether he was real and assumed he probably wasn't.
Minor mod note: removed the "🇨🇦" from the title. It was cute, and I probably wouldn't mind it as a one-time-thing but vaguely worried about the site sliding towards colorful cacophany. :P
Respectfully disagree: I don't think enforcing something like this help towards facilitating personal blogposts on lesswrong. I think a better alternative is to create some formal styling guide and implement a formatter that strips emojis etc from the title string when posts are promoted to frontpage (or even in the "recent posts" list if you guys want that); otherwise I don't think limiting editorial choices by the author helps the case of building community blogs.
This post's main points seemed surprisingly simple, and probably I already knew them, but a) it happened to be exactly what I needed to hear yesterday, and b) I don't think it's really been covered on LessWrong before. The "practicality" mindset here was an important aspect of coordination that I hadn't been consciously considering.
I did find a few things about this post somewhat dissatisfying. The post only gives a partial history of many important events, and jumps back and forth between them. I struggled a bit to figure out "wait, how old was Mo... (read more)
I... mostly just really like that this is one of the few posts in a while that seemed to make a credible advance at, you know, straightforwardly advancing the art of rationality. (Okay okay, Catching the Spark also counted. And... okay okay I can actually list a number of posts that engage directly with this. But, I feel like it's not as common as I'd ideally like, or at least less direct. I liked that this post focused on it first-and-foremost, and established the context in which this was explicitly a rationality problem)
I particularly like... (read more)
I guess I'm not confident that saying "simulacrum level 3" even reliably implies all these things. I also expect people to be using it somewhat sloppily.
(I haven't tracked your usage in particular. Obviously in your Simulacrum Level 3 as Stag Hunt Strategy post, you're trying to make a bunch of technical points where I think using a precise Jargon Term was appropriate. I'm more responding to people just offhandedly referring to SL3/4 when they aren't even making that precise a point)
I think I might call SL3 "Honest Social Reality" and SL4 is "Manipul... (read more)
This is still a bit superficial/goodharty, but I think "number of layers of hierarchy" is at least one thing to look at. (Maybe find pairs of companies that output comparable products that you're somehow able to measure the inputs and outputs of, and see if layers of management correlate with cost disease)
In a somewhat-more-recent-post, Benquo suggests some possible alternate names, although notes that they still aren't overwhelmingly great. This describes level 1 as "objective", which I think makes subtly-more-sense than "object-level", despite sharing a word-root.
Another way to think about it, is that in levels 1 and 3, speech patterns are authentically part of our subjectivity. Just as babies are confused if you show them something that violates their object permanence assumptions, and a good rationalist is more confused by falsehood than by truth, peopl
A cruxy thing for me is "Is the current regime of journalism representative of all eras of journalism?". Was there a time when journalism was more in touch with object-level reality, even if it was still largely or primarily about social reality?
On one hand, I can think of examples of yellow journalism and other social-reality-oriented writing from Awhile Ago. On other hand, the current news cycle seems much worse than the new cycle from 50 years ago. I have stories in my head about how the first TV broadcast presidential debate shifted the focus from "who... (read more)
Paul Graham's The Refragmentation argues that mainstream media 50 years ago in the US was a rare and fragile historical anomaly.