Belatedly: some more vivid examples of "hope":
- You thought you had a good probability of winning at first, and...
- Small thing after small thing going against you caused that proba
I continue to endorse being selective in whom one spends time arguing with.
I didn't propose that you should engage in detailed arguments with anyone - not even me. I proposed that you should accompany some downvotes with an explanation akin to the three-sentence example I gave.
Another example of a sufficiently-elaborate downvote explanation: "I downvoted your reply because it mischaracterized my position more egregiously than any responsible person should." One sentence, long enough, no further argument required.
I may have addressed the bulk of what you're getting at in another comment; the short form of my reply is, "In the cases which 'heroic responsibility' is supposed to address, inaction rarely comes because an individual does not feel responsible, but because they don't know when the system may fail and don't know what to do when it might."
I think I see what you're getting at. If I understand you rightly, what "heroic responsibility" is intended to affect is the behavior of people such as [trigger warning: child abuse, rape] Mike McQueary during the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, who stumbled upon Sandusky in the act, reported it to his superiors (and, possibly, the police), and failed to take further action when nothing significant came of it. [/trigger warning] McQueary followed the 'proper' procedure, but he should not have relied upon it being sufficient to do the job. He ...
I confess, it would make sense to me if Harry was unfamiliar with metaethics and his speech about "heroic responsibility" was an example of him reinventing the idea. If that is the case, it would explain why his presentation is as sloppy as it is.
No, I haven't answered my own question. In what way was Harry's monologue about consequentialist ethics superior to telling Hermione why McGonagall couldn't be counted upon?
...huh. I'm glad to have been of service, but that's not really what I was going for. I meant that silent downvoting for the kind of confusion you diagnosed in me is counterproductive generally - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means" is not a hypothesis that springs naturally to mind. The same downvote paired with a comment saying:
This is a waste of time. You keep claiming that "heroic responsibility" says this or "heroic responsibility" demands that, but you're fundamentally mistaken ab
If I believed you to be a virtue ethicist, I might say that you must be mindful of your audience when dispensing advice. If I believed you to be a deontologist, I might say that you should tailor your advice to the needs of the listener. Believing you to be a consequentialist, I will say that advice is only good if it produces better outcomes than the alternatives.
Of course, you know this. So why do you argue that Harry's speech about heroic responsibility is good advice?
You are analyzing "heroic responsibility" as a philosophical construct. I am analyzing it as [an ideological mantra]. Considering the story, there's no reason for Harry to have meant it as the former, given that it is entirely redundant with the pre-existing philosophical construct of consequentialism, and every reason for him to have meant it as the latter, given that it explains why he must act differently than Hermione proposes.
[Note: the phrase "an ideological mantra" appears here because I'm not sure what phrase should appear here. Let me know if what I mean requires elaboration.]
s/work harder, not smarter/get more work done, not how to get more work done/
This advice doesn't tell people how to fix things, true, but that's not the point--it tells people how to get into the right mindset to fix things.
Why do you believe this to be true?
Neither Hermione nor Harry dispute that they have a responsibility to protect the victims of bullying. There may be people who would have denied that, but none of them are involved in the conversation. What they are arguing over is what their responsibility requires of them, not the existence of a responsibility. In other words, they are arguing over what to do.
Human beings are not perfect Bayesian calculators. When you present a human being with criteria for success, they do not proceed to optimize perfectly over the universe of all possible strategies. T...
I downvoted RobinZ's comment and ignored it because the confusion about what heroic responsibility means was too fundamental, annoyingly difficult to correct and had incidentally already been argued for far more eloquently elsewhere in the thread.
I would rather you tell me that I am misunderstanding something than downvote silently. My prior probability distribution over reasons for the -1 had "I disagreed with Eliezer Yudkowsky and he has rabid fans" orders of magnitude more likely than "I made a category error reading the fanfic and now we're talking past each other", and a few words from you could have reversed that ratio.
I'm realizing that my attitude towards heroic responsibility is heavily driven by the anxiety-disorder perspective, but telling me that I am responsible for x doesn't tell me that I am allowed to delegate x to someone else, and - especially in contexts like Harry's decision (and Swimmer's decision in the OP) - doesn't tell me whether "those nominally responsible can't do x" or "those nominally responsible don't know that they should do x". Harry's idea of heroic responsibility led him to conflate these states of affairs re: McGonagall, ...
Full disclosure: I stopped reading HPMoR in the middle of Chapter 53. When I was researching my comment, I looked at the immediate context of the initial definition of "heroic responsibility" and reviewed Harry's rationality test of McGonagall in Chapter 6.
I would have given Harry a three-step plan: inform McGonagall, monitor situation, escalate if not resolved. Based on McGonagall's characterization in the part of the story I read, barring some drastic idiot-balling since I quit, she's willing to take Harry seriously enough to act based on the i...
My referent for 'heroic responsibility' was HPMoR, in which Harry doesn't trust anyone to do a competent job - not even someone like McGonagall, whose intelligence, rationality, and good intentions he had firsthand knowledge of on literally their second meeting. I don't know the full context, but unless McGonagall had her brain surgically removed sometime between Chapter 6 and Chapter 75, he could actually tell her everything that he knew that gave him reason to be concerned about the continued good behavior of the bullies in question, and then tell her if...
Well, let's imagine a system which actually is -- and that might be a stretch -- intelligently designed.
Us? I'm a mechanical engineer. I haven't even read The Checklist Manifesto. I am manifestly unqualified either to design a user interface or to design a system for automated diagnosis of disease - and, as decades of professional failure have shown, neither of these is a task to be lightly ventured upon by dilettantes. The possible errors are simply too numerous and subtle for me to be assured of avoiding them. Case in point: prior to reading that arti...
Because the cases where the doctor is stumped are not uniformly the cases where the computer is stumped. The computer might be stumped because a programmer made a typo three weeks ago entering the list of symptoms for diphtheria, because a nurse recorded the patient's hiccups as coughs, because the patient is a professional athlete whose resting pulse should be three standard deviations slower than the mean ... a doctor won't be perfectly reliable either, but like a professional scout who can say, "His college batting average is .400 because there aren't many good curveball pitchers in the league this year", a doctor can detect low-prior confounding factors a lot faster than a computer can.
Even assuming that the machine would not be modified to give treatment recommendations, that wouldn't change the effect I'm concerned about. If the doctor is accustomed to the machine giving the correct diagnosis for every patient, they'll stop remembering how to diagnose disease and instead remember how to use the machine. It's called "transactive memory".
I'm not arguing against a machine with a button on it that says, "Search for conditions matching recorded symptoms". I'm not arguing against a machine that has automated alerts about ...
Largely for the same reasons that weather forecasting still involves human meteorologists and the draft in baseball still includes human scouts: a system that integrates both human and automated reasoning produces better outcomes, because human beings can see patterns a lot better than computers can.
Also, we would be well-advised to avoid repeating the mistake made by the commercial-aviation industry, which seems to have fostered such extreme dependence on the automated system that many 'pilots' don't know how to fly a plane. A system which automates almost all diagnoses would do that.
True story: when I first heard the phrase 'heroic responsibility', it took me about five seconds and the question, "On TV Tropes, what definition fits this title?" to generate every detail of EY's definition save one. That detail was that this was supposed to be a good idea. As you point out - and eli-sennesh points out, and the trope that most closely resembles the concept points out - 'heroic responsibility' assumes that everyone other than the heroes cannot be trusted to do their jobs. And, as you point out, that's a recipe for everyone gettin...
Completed survey less annoying question that required using an annoying scanner that makes annoying noises (I am feeling annoyed). Almost skipped it, but realized that the attitudes of ex-website-regulars might be of interest.
Also, I don't know if "Typical mind and gender identity" is the blog post that you stumbled across, but I am very glad to have read it, and especially to have read many of the comments. I think I had run into related ideas before (thank you, Internet subcultures!), but that made the idea that gender identity has a strength as well as a direction much clearer.
I'm afraid I haven't been active online recently, but if you live in an area with a regular in-person meetup, those can be seriously awesome. :)
Jiro didn't say appeal to you. Besides, substitute "blog host" for "government" and I think it becomes a bit clearer: both are much easier ways to deal with the problem of someone who persistently disagrees with you than talking to them. Obviously that doesn't make "don't argue with idiots" wrong, but given how much power trivial inconveniences have to shape your behavior, I think an admonition to hold the proposed heuristic to a higher standard of evidence is appropriate.
Hmm ... that and a la shminux's xkcd link gives me an idea for a test protocol: instead of having the judges interrogate subjects, the judges give each pair of subjects a discussion topic a la Omegle's "spy" mode:
Spy mode gives you and a stranger a random question to discuss. The question is submitted by a third stranger who can watch the conversation, but can't join in.
...and the subjects have a set period of time they are permitted to talk about it. At the end of that time, the judge rates the interesting-ness of each subject's contribution...
Were I using that test case, I would be prepared with statements like "A fluid ounce is just under 30 cubic centimeters" and "A yardstick is three feet long, and each foot is twelve inches" if necessary. Likewise "A liter is slightly more than one quarter of a gallon".
But Stuart_Armstrong was right - it's much too complicated an example.
Honestly, when I read the original essay, I didn't see it as being intended as a test at all - more as an honorable and informative intuition pump or thought experiment.
In other words, agreed.
Your test seems overly complicated; what about simple estimates? Like "how long would it take to fly from Paris, France, to Paris, USA" or similar? Add in some Fermi estimates, get them to show your work, etc...
That is much better - I wasn't thinking very carefully when I invented my question.
If the human subject is properly motivated to want to appear human, they'd relax and follow the instructions. Indignation is another arena in which non-comprehending programs can hide their lack of comprehension.
I realize this, but as someone who want...
The manner in which they fail or succeed is relevant. When I ran Stuart_Armstrong's sentence on this Web version of ELIZA, for example, it failed by immediately replying:
Perhaps you would like to be human, simply do nothing for 4 minutes, then re-type this sentence you've just written here, skipping one word out of 2?
That said, I agree that passing the test is not much of a feat.
Belatedly: I recently discovered that in 2011 I posted a link to an essay on debating charitably by pdf23ds a.k.a. Chris Capel - this is MichaelBishop's summary and this is a repost of the text (the original site went down some time ago). I recall endorsing Capel's essay unreservedly last time I read it; I would be glad to discuss the essay, my prior comments, or any differences that exist between the two if you wish.
Similar to your lazy suggestion, challenging the subject to a novel (probably abstract-strategy) game seems like a possibly-fruitful approach.
On a similar note: Zendo-variations. I played a bit on a webcomic forum using natural numbers as koans, for example; this would be easy to execute over a chat interface, and a good test of both recall and problem-solving.
Speaking of original Turing Test, the Wikipedia page has an interesting discussion of the tests proposed in Turing's original paper. One of the possible reads of that paper includes another possible variation on the test: play Turing's male-female imitation game, but with the female player replaced by a computer. (If this were the proposed test, I believe many human players would want a bit of advance notice to research makeup techniques, of course.) (Also, I'd want to have 'all' four conditions represented: male & female human players, male human & computer, computer & female human, and computer & computer.)
[EDIT: Jan_Rzymkowski's complaint about 6 applies to a great extent to this as well - this approach tests aspects of intelligence which are human-specific more than not, and that's not really a desirable trait.]
Suggestion: ask questions which are easy to execute for persons with evolved physical-world intuitions, but hard[er] to calculate otherwise. For example:
Suppose I have a yardstick which was blank on one side and marked in inches on the other. First, I take an unopened 12-oz beverage can and lay it lengthwise on one end of the yardstick so that hal
It is a neat toy, and I'm glad you posted the link to it.
The reason I got so mad is that Warren Huelsnitz's attempt to draw inferences from these - even weak, probabilistic, Bayesian inferences - were appallingly ignorant for someone who claims to be a high-energy physicist. What he was doing would be like my dad, in the story from his blog post, trying to prove that gravity was created by electromagnetic forces because Roger Blandford alluded to an electromagnetic case in a conversation about gravity waves. My dad knew that wasn't a true lesson to learn f...
If my research is correct:
"Casus ubique valet; semper tibi pendeat hamus: Quo minime credas gurgite, piscis erit."
Ovid's Ars Amatoria, Book III, Lines 425-426.
I copied the text from Tuft's "Perseus" archive.
Coincidentally, I was actually heading out to meet my dad (a physics Ph.D.), and I mentioned the paper and blog post to him to get his reaction. He asked me to send him a link, but he also pointed me at Feynman's lecture on electrostatic analogs, which is based on one of those simple ideas that invites bullet-swallowing: The same equations have the same solutions.
This is one of those ideas that I get irrationally excited about, honestly. The first thing I thought of when you described these hydrodynamic experiments was the use of similitude in experimental...
I have to go, but downvote this comment if I don't reply again in the next five hours. I'll be back.
Edit: Function completed; withdrawing comment.
I don't think I understand the relevance of your example, but I agree on the bullet-swallowing point, especially as I am an inveterate bullet-dodger.
(That said, the experiments sound awesome! Any particular place you'd recommend to start reading?)
Having come from there, the general perception is that LW-ers and our positions are not idiots, but instead the kind of deluded crackpot nonsense smart people make up to believe in. Of course, that's largely for the more abstruse stuff, as people in the outside world will either grudgingly admit the uses of Bayesian reasoning and debiasing or just fail to understand what they are.
There's also a tendency to be doctrinaire among LW-ers that people may be reacting to - an obvious manifestation of this is our use of local jargon and reverential capitalizati...
A good second stage is to look for techniques that were publicized and not used, and see why some techniques gained currency while others did not.
I see what you're getting at, although praying is a bad example - most people pray because their parents and community prayed, and we're looking at ways to lead people away from what their parents and community had done. The Protestant Reformation might be a better case study, or the rise of Biblical literalism, or the abandonment of the prohibition on Christians lending money at interest.
You post a link to "Disputing Definitions" as if there is no such thing as a wrong definition. In this case, the first speaker's definition of "decision" is wrong - it does not accurately distinguish between vanadium and palladium - and the second speaker is pointing this out.
I would also like to note that I have learned a number of interesting things by (a) spending an hour researching idiotic claims and (b) reading carefully thought out refutations of idiocy - like how they're called "federal forts" because the statutes of the states in which they were built include explicitly ceding the land upon which they were built to the federal government.
Heads-up: Meeting starts as normal in the courtyard, but there is an event tomorrow and the preparations might lead to disruptions around 5 p.m. Just for general reference: the backup location is the Luce Center on the third floor - same side of the building as the big spiral staircase, toward the right if you're standing at the top of the staircase facing the outside wall.