robirahman

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No Safe Defense, Not Even Science

It's another subsidy to agribusiness conglomerates, which leech huge sums of money from taxpayers already.

And it uses up the corn so it can't be sold to hungry poor people, which is bad because starvation is bad.

Meetup : Washington, D.C.: Fun & Games

I'll be there! What games should I bring?

Meetup : Washington, D.C.: Fun & Games

I'll probably be there today! What games should I bring?

Edit: Couldn't make it this week, sorry :(

Lesswrong 2016 Survey

When will the survey results be published?

Lesswrong 2016 Survey

Someone said elsewhere in this thread that if you stop in the middle of the survey, it does record the answers you put in before quitting.

Are wireheads happy?

This summarizes a common strain of thought in economics, the idea of "revealed preferences". People tend to say they like a lot of things, like family or the environment or a friendly workplace. Many of the same people who say these things then go and ignore their families, pollute, and take high-paying but stressful jobs. The traditional economic explanation is that the people's actions reveal their true preferences, and that all the talk about caring about family and the environment is just stuff people say to look good and gain status.

I think you are mischaracterizing the concept of revealed preference. It's not that they claim to care about family or the environment "just for status", but rather, they exaggerate how much they care about one thing relative to another. For example, when I was overweight, I used to say stuff like "I want to be skinny". But I'd keep eating junk food anyway. The reality was that I wanted to eat junk food more than I wanted to be healthy. (Maybe not long-term: hyperbolic discounting can explain this, since people over-weight rewards that come sooner, so even people who will pick an apple instead of a cookie for tomorrow's lunch might be tempted enough to eat the cookie when the choice is right in front of them.) Nowadays, I enjoy being healthy more than I enjoy the taste of ice cream, so I can convince myself to stop eating it if I think about the downsides.

The Validity of the Anthropic Principle

I can’t actually remember the exact process/theorem in order to determine probabilities from betting odds. Can anyone link it to me?

From this article:

http://lesswrong.com/lw/mp/0_and_1_are_not_probabilities/

In the usual way of writing probabilities, probabilities are between 0 and 1. A coin might have a probability of 0.5 of coming up tails, or the weatherman might assign probability 0.9 to rain tomorrow.

This isn't the only way of writing probabilities, though. For example, you can transform probabilities into odds via the transformation O = (P / (1 - P)). So a probability of 50% would go to odds of 0.5/0.5 or 1, usually written 1:1, while a probability of 0.9 would go to odds of 0.9/0.1 or 9, usually written 9:1. To take odds back to probabilities you use P = (O / (1 + O)), and this is perfectly reversible, so the transformation is an isomorphism—a two-way reversible mapping. Thus, probabilities and odds are isomorphic, and you can use one or the other according to convenience.

The Sin of Underconfidence

Did this debate ever end up happening? If it did, is there a transcript available somewhere?

Edit: Found in another comment that WLC turned down the debate.

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Avoiding Your Belief's Real Weak Points

I don't think God's cruelty in the Bible is evidence that there isn't any god, but it is evidence against the benevolent, omniscient, personal, omnipotent kind of theism that Christians and Jews would argue for.

Monthly Bragging Thread January 2016

You're the author of putanumonit?? I'd like to take this opportunity to say that your blog is amazing and I love it. Please write more soon!

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