Raven

Posts

Sorted by New
397mo
56

How long does it takes to read the sequences?

I read the ebook version in about a month, mostly in one hour chunks while riding the bus. I also stopped frequently to think about what I had just read, although I didn't take notes or otherwise study it. At a guess, I spent 75% of my time reading, or around 22 hours.

How far along are you on the Lesswrong Path?

There's also Alicorn's sequence on luminosity, which explicitly deals with emotions despite (apparently) not being tagged as such: https://www.lesswrong.com/s/ynMFrq9K5iNMfSZNg

Harry Potter and methods of rationality alternative ending.

Forsaken world. I don't play anymore, but back when I did I had two romantic relationships and a bunch of friendships.

I'm playing COD from time to time, mostly because it includes several building from my home city (Stadium, Airport and several more), so event in the game on some extent mirror what's happening on the streets of my hometown

That's pretty cool.

You said that you would like to have friend that would tell you to move one when you lost somebody, and explain why it might be best solution.

Oh. There's been a terrible misunderstanding. I meant that Harry was the sort of friend I'd want, someone who wouldn't "move on" just because it was the standard script provided by society.

removing some big object from the cluster of stars could also affect all the nearest stars entangled together by gravity field

That's not how gravity works. The [formula](https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-physics/chapter/newtons-law-of-universal-gravitation/#:~:text=The mathematical formula for gravitational,G is the gravitational constant.) for the force between two stars due to gravity is F = (GM1M2)/r^2.

Alpha Centauri is the closest star system with three stars.

• G is the gravitation constant, which is 6.6E-11
• M1 is the mass of the first star, the sun, or 2E30kg
• M2 is the mass of the second star, Alpha Centauri, or 4E30kg.
• r is half of the distance between the two stars, or 4E16m

Put them all together and you get F = (6.6E-11)(2E30)(4E30)/(4E16^2) = 3.3E17. This sounds like a lot, but remember that we're dealing with enormous masses. Plug that force into f=ma and you get an acceleration of 8E-14. Basically nothing, in other words.

So literally, process of death and birth is one of the main instruments of adaptation and evolution... If you're going to throw away birth-decay cycle, you will need to compensate somehow tool of nature which ensured species survival for millions of years.

This may be currently true. However, by the time we've solved immortality, hopefully we won't be using DNA anymore. Or, at least, we'll be able to edit that DNA and fix mutations (among other things). We're already unlocking this technology. Evolution is [evil](https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/MFNJ7kQttCuCXHp8P/the-goddess-of-everything-else#:~:text=your loved ones.-,I am the Goddess of Everything Else and my powers,the end of all ages.”) and the sooner we throw off its shackles, the better.

As for the bug, yes, currently it can be helpful. So let's call it a feature:)

Let's not. Death is not a feature; it's an ugly workaround that's only necessary because evolution is too stupid to solve the problem directly.

It is hard to argue that humanity makes a quantum leap only on the verge of total annihilation, same way as when child facing a possible humiliating punishment from a parent.

Okay, I misunderstood what you meant by creativity earlier (I thought you meant general creativity, not last-ditch efforts). This is very circular. Death is good because it... prevents death? I reject the entire circle and propose an alternative: fix the actual problem. What's the problem, you ask? Humanity's inability to think long-term, which forces us to make those quantum leaps or be annihilated. No, we can't do this today; yes we will be able to eventually (and if we don't, we're probably doomed no matter how much death is around).

It's not a science at all, i just trying to find some possible scientific explanation to some unscientific stuff like "soul", and probably i will burn in theoretical hell for doing so. Sure he is, as any living human being that put a lot of effort into building of its consciousness and adding changes into the world which will require much more time show up then human life allows. Pity he can't join our conversation and share his valuable opinion on controversial questions we have risen here.

Why bother? Just consign souls to the fantasy bin and wash your hands of the whole mess. Don't you remember the part of the sequences where he explains that if you write your conclusion down first, it doesn't matter what clever arguments you come up with to justify it?

Some frogs have a natural mechanism called cryoprotection, it surrounds cells with glucose, which prevents them from gradual drying out, which is a side effect of instant freezing. Unfortunately, our cells lack this mechanism.

Yes, our cells lack this mechanism. So what? That's what technology is for.

Also, I could not even imagine how much pain I would feel if someone freezes my head and then fastens it to another body.

What? Why would you be in any pain? "Fastening" would integrate the nervous system of your head and new body. It's not like you take the head and staple it onto a neck. No we can't do this today. Yes we have precursor technology: hand transplants

Harry Potter and methods of rationality alternative ending.

No problem, you can always try one more time, taking into account that moving around the world or even city is kinda restricted now. I live by myself in remote location, yet it doesn’t stop me from keeping in touch with friends, not due to activity but because they understand and accept me. Not sure i understand what do you mean by "strong shared activity", we do share activity by deeply discussing lots of subjects here. Anyways, it's up to you, imposing myself is not on my list of preferences.

By strong shared activity, I meant something like an MMO or a real-life activity. Being subscribed to the same website doesn't seem quite the same, although I could be wrong about that.

After thinking a bit more about why I initially said no, I think it's best for me to state the shape of my object level.

• I'm fine with continuing to talk. This conversation is interesting.

• I'm also fine with having more conversations, with no definite end in sight.

• If that develops into a friendship, I'm also fine with that.

• If it doesn't, then that's alright with me too.

• My prior against you actually being able to understand and accept me is extremely low. Please don't take this an accusation or an insult or anything.

What I don't think will work is declaring myself to be your friend and vice versa, which is essentially what I've tried to do before. Yes, I can try again, but I have no reason to expect that anything will be different if I simply repeat the same course of actions as last time.

What do you think about simply continuing as we are and seeing what happens?

imho it is only from the perspective of the one who wants more energy and thinks that he's alone and only, subjective, not objective perspective. Who knows how sun's "wasteful" radiation and gravity affects everything around.

Sure, there's no way to know with absolute certainty. But if I had to live in a world where the sun gets ripped apart to create a bunch of fusion reactors and one where we leave it burning just in case there's some alien race on Neptune or something... I'm going to have to go with the former. If a problem crops up, I'm sure the hypothetical civ capable of putting out the sun can handle it, even if only by jamming all the hydrogen back together and restarting the reaction.

Removing death may well mean removing it's opposite, birth. Also, sometimes this "bug" helps people to evaluate their actions and focus on more important stuff. Even the laws of physics, or rather their interpretation, sometimes turn out to be imperfect.

This strikes me as noncentral fallacy. When you say removing birth, that sounds bad, but if the reason nobody has any more babies is because everyone is immortal... is that really so bad?

As for the bug, yes, currently it can be helpful. That doesn't mean it's the only way to nudge people into evaluating their actions or focusing on what's important. It seems extraordinarily unlikely that our current brain design is optimal for either of those actions, given how stupid a designer evolution is.

(Honestly, I find it difficult to answer who is more dangerous: Harry or his teacher).

What? Voldemort's a bored sociopath god whose grand ambition is to play Civilization with humanity as the pieces. Harry's dangerous but at least after HPMOR, he's shackled by the Vow and his values are far nicer than Voldemort's.

Wow. This is not what i said, but you might have a point. I said that structure of brain might define properties of energy it stores and this properties could mirror memory. And that destruction of brain might lead to release of this energy to the surroundings.

Ah. I didn't understand what you were saying and took a stab at it (that I got wrong). I understand now. My gut says this pattern matches as "implausible pseudoscience", but I don't know enough science to refute or justify that claim. However, afaik Yudkowsky doesn't support any view like this (he's a big cryonics proponent) and so I think it's unlikely that this is what he had in mind when he was deciding what HPMOR souls are.

As far as i know, brain of people in coma or even frogs frozen in water not "turned off" and show slight activity.

I knew the coma one, not the frozen one. That's... kind of incredible, that there can be anything happening when it's frozen. But by turned off, I meant being warm and losing oxygen flow and cells dying, or whatever exactly happens when your heart stops beating for a couple minutes.

As for human brain freezing it will likely cause cell membranes to be torn apart by asymmetrically freezing water, as it increases its volume while turning into ice.

This is true if you simply stick it into a freezer. However, "freezing" brains for cryonics is much more involved than brain + freezer. Technically speaking, the cryonics process is vitrification, which doesn't create ice crystals.

Harry Potter and methods of rationality alternative ending.

Obliviation, right. Does anyone ask Draco where he was and what he was doing? I mean, don't think that this spell can actually work, or, if it does, should cause unexpected side effects. Probably, appearing of fake memories which will dwell like ghosts in subconsciousness unable to integrate into a chain of causes and consequences until the moment victim would figure out what have happen or decide to overcome fear and gaze into the eyes of truth. Imagine you had zero apples, then one apple fell on your head, which led to a loss of memory. You wake up and find yourself with an apple in your arms. Will you start investigation or simply eat an apple? Or you find an apple tree, then you decide to erase your memories so no one will find an apple tree until the moment people learn how to preserve and cultivate trees. Yet you take one apple with you. I guess, in both cases it is just a matter of time when your memories will be logically reconstructed. "rien ne se perd, rien ne se cree, tout se transforme".

I don't think anyone questions Draco; Harry did the Obliviation while Draco was ostensibly sitting around waiting for something, so it's hard to see how that'd be suspicious. Regarding the second point with Oblivation... I'm not so sure it's that simple. If I took an apple and erased my memory of the tree, I'd probably be puzzled. But Voldemort would presumably make sure I didn't take any apples with me. In the book, mind magic seems to be something of an art. Voldemort's use on Hermione and Draco both involved Voldemort tweaking something that happened such that the new memory was entirely plausible. We don't know much about Skeeter, but Voldemort chose to make sure the Weasley twins thought that their dealer was responsible.

I'm not sure that i'm the right kind of a person you need, nor can't guarantee that i always be there when you need me (life is full of unexpected stuff and i live in pretty dangerous and unstable place), yet i could try to be your friend.

I've never managed to be friends with someone online in the absence of a strong shared activity. Sorry.

Troll did. Interesting that Dumbledore offered Hermione to try to be a hero herself, yet forgot to mention that Harry have several powerful "white" mages to cover his back and most powerful "black" mage to guide him, teach how to protect himself, how to surrender saving dignity, retreat when it is necessary and keep emotions under control. Also, i can't remember clearly, have Voldemort killed anyone during the book?

Yeah, okay, technically the troll killed Hermione. Asides from that quibble, Voldemort killed Skeeter, a centaur, the real Quirrel, and a nameless Death Eater. He might have killed other people, but those are the deaths I can recall off the top of my head.

By "transhumanist" you mean something like denying death as essential part of birth-to-death cycle

Ehh, kind of. Transhumanist might be the wrong word, but from an objective perspective, the sun is stupendously wasteful. Far better to stop the fusion reaction, extract all the hydrogen, and fuse it under controlled conditions to extract more value. Aka "tear apart the stars". Same idea with the earth (which would, literally, end the world). This seems to be the intended interpretation, but you could be right -- after all, Harry almost destroys the world at the very end of the book via unintended side effects.

Also, if fear of death is the moving force for creativity, the transhumanist answer isn't to keep death around. It's to remove death, and find another way to solve creativity. Same with work expanding to fill the allotted time; that's not a law like a law of physics, it's a bug in our brains.

People often call "evil" something they can't control or understand. Precisely, they call something "evil" if it takes something valuable away and call it "miracle" if it adds something valuable.

True enough. Voldemort was the first time I could really relate to a character but even I would consider him evil (and, more importantly, insanely dangerous).

Yep. But strictly in terms of theorizing, can we consider the body and brain as a capacitor which stores some type of energy with unique properties? Can combination of this properties store some information? What will happen when capacitor is destroyed, will this cause some effect to surrounding field?

What? Are you saying that once you turn a brain off, there's no way to turn it back on, because everything is stored in the equivalent of volatile memory?

When a status symbol loses its plausible deniability, how much power does it lose?

Ah. Then I don't think it matters.

Employers will still want to hire Harvard students. Networking means employers won't even get a chance to consider other candidates, and when they do, the halo of status means other candidates won't be considered fairly.

Students already treat college as a "you are now employable" stamp machine. Yes, a few don't. They might stop going to Harvard, news which I'm sure the other [95.5% of applicants](https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2019/3/29/2023-admit-numbers/#:~:text=A record-low 4.50 percent,securing places in the class.) will receive with joy. Employers won't care if Harvard is the top 4.5% or the top 9%; I bet the average person couldn't even tell you if Harvard skims off the top .1% or 10%. They just feel that Harvard is "prestigious".

When a status symbol loses its plausible deniability, how much power does it lose?

By status symbol, are you saying that the Harvard graduate is literally no more skilled than the average person? Real status symbols are generally correlated with reality (the expensive car is, well, expensive and most people can't afford it).

If there was zero correlation I think it would stop being seen as a status symbol eventually. If going to Harvard was widely seen as a status bid like buying a sports car, but the signal retained some value (like having to do an IQ test, for simplicity's sake) then it wouldn't matter that it was about status.

Meta-Honesty: Firming Up Honesty Around Its Edge-Cases

As someone who uses this strategy as their default, It's really hard. I avoid talking irl about rationality and being trans. The latter is pretty easy since it's not really a big part of who I am. But avoiding any hint of rationality and maintaining a mask of normality is exhausting. It's not just not answering questions, it's about not creating situations that lead to the questions. It is said in the sequences that if you tell one lie, the truth is ever after your enemy. That's an exaggeration but not by much. AI, aging, genetics, all sorts of things are dangerous topics due to their proximity to my weirdness. I have to model the reactions to everything I say one or two steps ahead and if I get it wrong I have to evade or misdirect. This has gotten a lot harder since I started studying rationality and had my head stuffed full of exciting concepts that are difficult to explain and sparkly enough to be difficult to think past.

It should be obvious from this that I don't practice honesty in general, but I usually answer a direct question with honesty to mitigate the costs somewhat.

Less visible costs are that I'll never meet a rationalist in real life (barring intentional meetups). I get to practice the virtue of argument a lot less... although being cut off from people has some serious advantages as well. There's probably others, but what's the alternative? Not everyone can be Yudkowsky and I just want to live my life in peace.

Personal experience of coffee as nootropic

My body doesn't do anything on caffeine -- I took 600mg in pill form and almost fell asleep a few hours later. I know this isn't just me either; some people just don't respond to it. Perhaps there's another end to the extreme that causes experiences like yours. My gut sense is definitely that what you described isn't the standard coffee experience.

The Relationship Between the Village and the Mission

I don't have Facebook but as someone considering deeper participation in the rationalist community, I would greatly appreciate whatever information you have, no matter how messy or disorganized.