Risto_Saarelma

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Is life worth living?

This isn't working for me as pumping the intuition you seem to want it to. I think life is worth living and I'd just cut to the chase and pick 1 because option 2 doesn't make sense as a way to get more life. Pattern theory of identity, life is a process, not a weighted lump of time-space-matter-stuff where you can just say "let's double the helping" like this. If you run the exact same process twice, that doesn't get you any new patterns and new life compared to just running it once.

Or if the idea is that I'd be aware of having gotten a second run, the part about the exact same decisions and experiences seems to make this amount to spending a few decades watching a boring home video with nothing you-on-second-trip can do about it and constantly aware that you'll be annihilated at the end. I guess the "maybe the horse will learn to sing" thinking would make sense here, but that's just fighting the hypothetical that the thought experiment will unfold exactly as described.

Ten small life improvements

And for people on the Vim side, there's VimOutliner for doing workflowy-like outlines, also with a time-tracking component.

Stupid Questions December 2016

Cal Newport on "Write Every Day". If it's not your main job, you're going to end up having no write days, and if you're committed to a hard schedule a missed day is going to translate into "welp, couldn't make the cut then, better quit for good".

February 2016 Media Thread

Yes, The Mind Illuminated is basically the same ten-step model as the one in that article, but expanded to book length and with lots of extra practice advice and theory of mental models.

February 2016 Media Thread

The Mind Illuminated by John Yates is my new favorite meditation instruction book. Has lots of modern neuroscience grounding, completely secular, and presents a very detailed step-by-step instruction on going from not having a daily meditation habit going to attaining very deep concentration states.

[Link] AlphaGo: Mastering the ancient game of Go with Machine Learning

One problem is that the community has few people actually engaged enough with cutting edge AI / machine learning / whatever-the-respectable-people-call-it-this-decade research to have opinions that are grounded in where the actual research is right now. So a lot of the discussion is going to consist of people either staying quiet or giving uninformed opinions to keep the conversation going. And what incentive structures there are here mostly work for a social club, so there aren't really that many checks and balances that keep things from drifting further away from being grounded in actual reality instead of the local social reality.

Ilya actually is working with cutting edge machine learning, so I pay attention to his expressions of frustration and appreciate that he persists in hanging out here.

Open thread, Jan. 25 - Jan. 31, 2016

This sounds like someone who's salient feature is math anxiety from high school asking how to be a research director at CERN. It's not just that the salient feature seems at odds with the task, it's that the task isn't exactly something you just walk into, while you sound like you're talking about helping someone overcome a social phobia by taking a part-time job at supermarket checkout. Is your friend someone who wins International Math Olympiads?

LessWrong 2.0

Maybe someday someone clever will figure out how to disseminate that knowledge, but it simply isn't there yet.

Based on Razib Khan's blog posts, many cutting edge researchers seem to be pretty active on Twitter where they can talk about their own stuff and keep up on what their colleagues are up to. Grad students on social media will probably respond to someone asking about their subfield if it looks like they know their basics and may be up to something interesting.

The tiny bandwidth is of course a problem. "Professor Z has probably proven math lemma A" fits in a tweet, instruction on lab work rituals not so much.

Clever people who don't want to pay for plane tickets and tuition might be pretty resourceful though, once they figure out they want to talk with each other to learn what they need to know.

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