All of rysade's Comments + Replies

I too am a member of the Ohio Less Wrong group. I was quite surprised to see this topic come up in Discussion, but I approve wholeheartedly.

My thoughts on the subject are leaning heavily towards the current equivalent of an 'elevator pitch' we have already: the Welcome to Less Wrong piece on the front page.

I particularly like the portion right at the beginning, because it grabs onto the central reason for wanting to be rational in the first place. Start with the absolute basics for something like an elevator pitch, if you ask me.

Thinking and deciding are

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Ok, I read through the Wikipedia entry, and yes. It has proven to be very helpful. Thanks.

At the Ohio meetup I speculated that marijuana may be useful for getting a higher score on creativity tests such as Guilford’s Alternative Uses Task.

I have not tested this idea, just speculated about it. For all I know, the experiment has been performed already.

Thinkbest is an evil cybernetics corporation from D20 Modern's Cyberscape sourcebook.

Upvoted for bringing up the intelligence community's viewpoint on trust. I would say we could find some very interesting research on trust from that area. I think that because the intelligence community seems to be adversarial to a large degree. The problem of the double agent or mole, for example, would very likely lead intelligence agencies to invest heavily in metrics of trust.

The last job fair I went to I looked into a career with the CIA. I found they have extremely strict rules on who they hire, up to and including personality traits like patriotism.

I hate breaking my routine. It makes me anxious, and I have to spend more energy motivating myself, and in general it’s hard. I tend to only depart from that routine when forced.

One of the most important things I consider myself to have ever done is break out of my routine. It is scarring in a serious and personal way, but it's necessary if you want to excel at anything you put your mind to.

Besides, what can guarantee that some catastrophe might break your routine against your will? Pre-empting the break is a way of ensuring that you've got a thick skin in case catastrophe strikes.

3Swimmer963 (Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg) 11y
This is one reason why I've focussed on improving the things I'm bad at, like my ability to react in stressful situations, or do teamwork under time pressure. Obviously I haven't covered every possible variation of "something horrible could happen and you'd be screwed over if you didn't have this particular skill", but bringing as many scenarios as possible from the realm of the Scary Unknown to the zone of "things my brain has a script for" has done a lot for my peace of mind. I'm maybe 50% confident that, for example, if I was right there at the scene of a car crash, I could force my brain into "Lifeguard: First Aid" script instead of "panic and run away screaming." Which is something, I guess.

Would you consider yourself naturally rational, shminux? I am curious where you stand on the nature vs. nurture divide, particularly regarding rationality.

No, I'm pretty average with regard to rationality. And there is no "divide", it's a continuum, like shades of grey.

I think this would be great. I don't live in Columbus anymore, I live in Springfield, so Brookville is very close to me. I could show up very regularly!

Feynman is a good one to try to imitate. Sagan seems like a good choice as well.

'rysade' is just 6 characters I strung together one day. It is always a lower case 'r' on the front. I've used this name for so long, I basically consider it to be another way of giving my full name on the internet. To my chagrin, it looks like my old Xanga account is the first result from a Google search . . . that is very old.

The name has no particular pronunciation. I think of it as being similar to 'xkcd' in that Randall once explained that 'xkcd' is "a treasured and carefully guarded point in the space of four-character strings."

You'll ... (read more)

Would it be appropriate to say that I laughed out loud when I read this comment?

Lol has become overused, to the extent that if I actually 'laugh out loud' it no longer seems appropriate.
Yes. :D

That's great. I have a cat named Walter (after the PTSD afflicted character from The Big Lebowski). I regularly accuse him of being a know-it-all because he got a PhD and I didn't. It's quite ridiculous.

Walter is also known as 'The Fat Baby,' 'The Bat Faby,' and 'Koshka Belaey' (White Cat in Russian)

Oh, and I have dreadlocks. They're getting pretty long now as I've had them about 2 1/2 years. My sister inspired me to get them and I hear they look pretty good.

Well, D&D wasn't where all the best roleplay happened at, but I did have some characters that I was quite proud of.

Just as an example, we played a 'Drow' campaign that was set in a heavily modified version of Faerun. For the first half of the game we were underground in the primarily matriarchal Drow empire below the Silver Marches. We took some care to not only flip the politics of the Drow, but also their gender roles as well. This led to some very fun interactions that provided some deep insight into gender roles in modern industrial society.

My cha... (read more)

Ok. I don't think I've actually done a regular LW style intro yet, so I'll roll them both into one intro.

I'm 27 years old, from Springfield Ohio. Areas of interest are mathematics and computer science. I hope to turn my wide angle focus on those topics into a narrow beam focused on either AI or neurology, depending on what I discover while I'm still exploring. I have a personal vow to follow path of Tetlock's Fox until I discover the 'best' thing to do with my life. I went to ITT Tech and got an Associate in software development, not much of the degree... (read more)

Oh, and I have dreadlocks. They're getting pretty long now as I've had them about 2 1/2 years. My sister inspired me to get them and I hear they look pretty good.
Fellow Ohioan here! (Cincy-> Dayton-> Cbus) I played D&D 3.5 for a while. Sounds like your game rocks! What are your favorite characters that you've ever played? I liked being a high level druid..something... with a pet battle briar that I named "Fluffy", lol. What's your new job in? Do you like it?

This is where meetups could be useful. Roux and I have to depend on being as specific as possible. However, at a meetup, you could poll the group for their honest opinion.

Just an outline of what I'm pondering:

It would be like a silent auction, where everyone submits a 'what do you think about me' question.

A question is drawn, the group answers the question, everyone is embarrassed, next question.

Sounds like fun, actually. It seems a bit like 'truth or dare.'

I can personally attest to the usefulness of exactly that kind of feedback. I truly feel lucky to have a friend as close to me as my roommate, we'll call him Roux.

Back in high school, I was awkward and constantly scheming up ways to become socially savvy but failing in ways that were not charming in the least. Roux was a battered kitten just out of the 'nut house.' He wore a black outfit with black baggy jeans that were painted all over with white fabric paint and accentuated with white handprints all up the front. On the back was a patchy paint job co... (read more)

This is very clear. Others should refer back to this for a refresher if the topic becomes confusing. I know it's set my head spinning around sometimes.

I agree that this is a very major problem for all of humanity. This single issue is the source of the majority of my akrasia. I stop in my tracks when I detect that I might soon be guilty of this kind of hypocrisy.

Finding a way to nail this issue down and give it a solid definition is pretty important. I'd love to contribute more on the subject, but I have SO little time right now...

Maybe later this week?

I agree that phlogiston was not likely thought of as a mysterious answer at the time. I think that what justifies calling it a mysterious answer today is that we could justifiably notice that we are confused.

Whether it's confusing quality is a good reason to categorize it as a mysterious answer is a different issue, however.

I have to say this discussion has me intrigued. Feel free to post the results of the discussion here. I am interested in hearing how it all turns out.

Sorry, that was a bit of a dense quip on my part. Let me deconstruct it.

I got the impression SithMasterSean was deriving his idea of Nietzsche's writings from other people's interpretations of Nietzsche's writings. Typically those ideas seem to be flat wrong. From what I understand, the Nazis seem to be the most famous misinterpreters Nietzsche, so I thought I'd make a bit of a joke about that, and also try to make a bit of comedic use out of argumentum ad hitlerum while I was at it.

Really, I was just joking around.

What really seems to pay off on LW is clarity, clarity, clarity. I kick myself every time something like this happens. Sorry.

I might be stepping in over my head here, and I want to make it clear I am taking NO ONE'S side. But this seems like a legitimate concern to me. Are we really here for the community, or are we really here for the truth? Which configuration of power best serves the community, and which best serves truth?

EDIT: Given the vast amount of very clear thinking I'm seeing in these comments, I want to say I don't really see this thread as the most appropriate place to pose a question like mine anymore. If I see a real Truth vs.Community controversy, you can expect this comment to appear there.

I can agree with this. There was a time when I considered 'a conversation with a random person' to be more or less a dangerous situation. It took a lot of brain hacking to get myself out of THAT.

Okay. I think that perhaps you could benefit from reading R. J. Hollingdale's biography, Nietzsche: The Man and His Philosophy

Nietzsche's language may be controversial, but his points are quite benign. Take Will to Power for example. As I'm interpreting Will to Power right now with my limited exposure to his writings, Will to Power is just his explanation for why living beings don't just stop at mere survival. Think about it: Evolution does not favor those who do the mere minimum for survival, it favors those who excel. Will to Power is therefore th... (read more)

I'm struggling to figure out what this was meant to communicate.

I'm working on coming up with my own advice for you, chimera. First, I would like to ask some questions.

What prompted this post? Have these concerns always been with you, but have recently found a voice? Alternatively, did you realize that you had these problems as a result of something you read on Less Wrong or some other recent event?

I get the impression that you posted this after realizing that you were in a funk and had no idea how to get out. How long have you felt the way that you felt when you posted this, or if you feel that way still, the way ... (read more)

I tried to write something along these lines a couple times before, but deleted it. I'm not sure what this means. No. For the last 5 years. Not really, but I didn't feel the need to be. No. Nothing has changed. Sorry my answers don't seem to really say but I suppose that it's better than not replying at all.

Ouch. Halfway through that list I started wincing. A lot of what chimera has said resonates with me, and plenty of your observations fit me as well!

Chimera, I can say that lots of the advice so far on this topic are things I tried and they worked like charms. I mean 'charm' quite literally. It was like magic.

That's interesting. I'm reading Thus Spake Zarathustra right now and noticing a couple things that don't exactly jive too well with our rationalist paradigm here. Still, I didn't expect a comment like this to be downvoted this much based on what I've read from Nietzsche so far.

Is it mostly because of the antisocial tone of this comment, or is it Nietzsche himself that caused the downvotes?

I didn't vote on the grandparent comment, but I probably would've downvoted it if it wasn't already far into the negatives, because it gives advice that would be terrible and destructive. While there may be an interpretation of which is reasonable, the naive default interpretation of this, and the one that might actually be followed, caches out to "attempt dominance moves over your friends, family and co-workers". Doing that without sufficient skill (which the person this advice was directed at almost certainly lacks) will simply alienate them. And actively seeking "challenge, danger, conflict and conquest" - well, two of those (challenge and conquest) are good things to seek, but the other two (danger and conflict) are stupid and destructive. Oh, and also, using a throwaway account with "Sith Master" in the name suggests to me that the advice might have been bad in a way that wasn't accidental.
(Upvoted, not for agreement - I don't know enough about the topics at hand to agree or disagree - but because this sounds like the start of an interesting conversation that I'd like to read.)

I can say that the 'reward system' is laughably easy to defeat as long as you are aware of it's existence. Hint: the winning move is not to play.

Your typical game based on a reward system will cater to those who are playing the game for the lever, while other games will cater to other other audiences. They are pretty easy to spot.

I consider the primary use of video games to be a kind of virtual sport, with rules for victory, guidelines for possible and impossible actions, etc. Other wonderful uses are as a storytelling medium, a virtual world to explore or exploit, or three dimensional puzzles.

A fairly obvious heuristic, and one that tends to distinguish both Zynga "games" and MMORPGs from more traditional video games, is that the traditional game has a relatively high but fixed upfront cost, whereas the Zynga and MMORPG offerings tend to be cheap to start but require constant infusions of additional funds. The differing incentives for game design are readily apparent.

Seconded. As someone who plays a fair amount of First Person Shooter games, I can tell you that there are all types of games and all types of players. The popular Call of Duty games are pretty good examples of life-wasting time sinks. They require little skill and less strategy. However, the recently released Halo: Reach is a deep game with satisfying multiplayer combat that continues to surprise me as I progress in skill. Anyone who is interested in competition and outside the box thinking should definitely take up playing games online. They require speed, accuracy, strategy, teamwork and most of all creativity.

I agree. I think this will be changing my writing style subtly.

Could someone please explain why this comment by rysade got downvoted while lukeprog got 9 upvotes for saying [what appears to me as] much the same thing? I am confused. EDIT: Thank you for the answers.

While I understand that this risks making the site more complicated, I suppose it's at least worth suggesting that we move the links to a separate section of the site altogether. It could be "Main, Discussion, Links" for example. Or maybe the Discussion menu could expand to "Posts, Comments, Links."

Would the bump happen because of a comment, because of karma, or because of both?

I would like to avoid the diseased Facebook sorting algorithm at all costs here. Some arbitrary assessment of posts and karma should not be used to bring topics to the top.

Perhaps we could make it possible to select from a list sorted by most recent comment, most recent karma and most recent post?

I'm interested in analyzing a Google spreadsheet like this one is linked to. I use a form like this for a daily self-survey. Are there any tricks you know of to analyze the data on these things bit more effectively than just reading through them? The charts feature on Google Docs seems a little weak.

BTW, filled out the survey. It's nice but the last 'blank field' type question is a duplicate.

I'll just be importing the data into Matlab, which has nice data analysis tools.
This is a great question. A quick guide (or link to one) on how to do easy journaling/analysis using Google Docs or similar simple tools would be great. I just started a food/biojournal myself. There's probably one or more out there in the self-analysis literature, but I haven't seen it much discussed here.

I concur.

The beginning of games typically have next to no worthwhile activities.

Wired's article on the making of Halo 3 describes the process of leading the player along a set path using 'no return' strategies exactly like the one displayed here. The motive for doing so in Bungie's case was to make it so the player did not get confused and wander around endlessly. In this case, the no return strategy is supposed to be symbolic of something, of an irrecoverable loss. However, if nothing is being lost, then it fails to symbolize in any meaningful way.

I ... (read more)

My plan is to make the first area a "playground" of game mechanics to make it feel like a "lived-in" place. You're essentially leaving your "home" to go on an adventure. Your example of Ender's Game is fascinating. Thanks for the advice.

Alright. That makes sense.

Sort of like changing your name through common usage.

I hate to comment before reading the body of your post, but the title of the post quite literally says "Friendly Artificial Intelligence Frequently Asked Questions Questions."

I'm just pointing it out to get it out of the way, though... It doesn't really bug me that much.

I used to be more annoyed at that sort of thing, until I caught myself saying, "CSS Stylesheet" to distinguish it from other uses (inline, etc.) of using CSS.
"FAQ"doesn't really mean "Frequently Asked Questions" even though it's technically an acronym for that phrase. The actual meaning is something like "list of questions anticipated to be common among visitors, complete with answers".
It is commonplace to use the term "FAQ" to mean "list of frequently asked questions", in which "FAQ questions" means "questions for putting in a list of frequently asked questions". Which would be rather cumbersome and repetitious-sounding ... if it weren't for that convenient abbreviation "FAQ".

The main thing I think folks are objecting to here is the idea of 'swallowing the NLP pill.'

You'll see plenty of self hacks and hacks that work on others (dark arts, etc) but none of it will be labeled NLP. I imagine plenty of the techniques we have here were even inspired in one way or another by NLP.

But here's my main point. We have kept our ideas' scope down for a reason. We DO NOT WANT lukeprog's How To Be Happy to sound authoritative. The reason for that is if it turns out to be 'more wrong' it will be that much easier to let go of.

Introducing the... (read more)

"We DO NOT WANT lukeprog's How To Be Happy to sound authoritative. The reason for that is if it turns out to be 'more wrong' it will be that much easier to let go of."


Whenever you give a collection of concepts a name, you almost automatically start to create a conceptual "immune system" to defend it, keep it intact in the face of criticism. This sort of getting-attached-to-names strikes me as approximately the opposite of Rationalist Taboo. (Hey, did someone just dis Rationalist Taboo? Lemme at 'em!)

Absolutely agree with that. Was not suggesting wholesale acceptance of NLP (which is quite non-monolithic mind you) either, merely pointing at something and saying "let's find out if there's some value to that thing there". The way I figure it, NLP is about hacking the psyche through manipulating the individual experience at a lower level than mainstream psychology (although there seems to be some overlap with eg CBT in the linguistic part of NLP). I can't think of any other therapy form that asks the subject to manipulate their mental images in order to achieve results, for instance. That part alone makes NLP very interesting to me. I may be biased since I'm not so interested in eg quantum physics, Bayes probability, or AI theory, as many here are. My main interests lie in my own personal development/improvement. Hence my openness to checking out somewhat fringe topics. Ordinarily, "great claims require great evidence" is a great attitude, but in the field of self help my heuristic is a little bit more liberal. In this area, I tend to think "great claims are worth investigating even if the evidence is a bit lacking". So now you guys know where I'm coming from, and that I really meant no harm, and you may now continue wrecking my karma *sulk* :-)

Hmm. What are the tenets of Placebomancy? Could we outline the practice in some way? What can it affect and what can it not? What are the limits of it's power?

And furthermore, does NLP fit neatly into the category?

I'm kinda working on writing up a few front page posts on this. There are a ton of specific techniques to guide their thought processes the way you want, a lot of which you'll recognize as exploiting crude heuristics that we're trying to patch over here. I'll get my act together and get them written. The bits of NLP that I've seen overlap with what I've tried definitely use the same mechanism as placebo, even if not really "expectation based". All mental states seem to be fair game, as well as things your brain can control, like heart rate, blood pressure, etc. I've seen conflicting evidence on allergies, it works pretty well for warts (I've personally done that one and it really shocked me that it worked)

I cannot like this enough. Thank you for showing me this book. This is a big piece of western philosophy and history that I did not know I was missing.

Looks like a Google Books review has not been written yet, Vlad...

In the interest of seeing what strategies like U and C1 could do regarding experimenting with the opponent's behavior, I would be interested if there were a prisoner's dilemma variant that had a second score that is worth less points but can still add up, enabling a strategy to come out on top if it comes down to neck-and-neck. Real life kind of operates like that: there are ways to win little victories over others, but those strategies are often telling about your character.

Oh, you're beautiful! Why is this not a top level post!?

EDIT: Strength. Once again . . . the dump stat.

The form seems to be broken at the City field. There is an open parenthesis, but nothing inside it and no closing parenthesis.

I had meant to include info on what to do if the interview was online (which was to list to website where the discussion was prompted from). Fixed now.

Thank you both, that's some pretty clear advice. I do think that there are benefits to avoiding the topic in public, but there are very tangible benefits to deciding, finally, for yourself, that one or the other is true.

It also makes it clear to me that there are an awful lot of claims that come along with Christianity. It doesn't all just follow from god as theorems in mathematics follow from axioms. I guess what I was trying to ask is if there was a case for reevaluating 'god.' You needn't answer, however, as I think I've got a handle on this.

I agree, but it feels like I owe them, rather than the other way around.

Perhaps this indicates that you're thinking of the thing you currently believe as "your" position, and of persuading the other person as "winning" an argument. The present discussion aside, you might want to try to change that.

I'll read this over. Thank you.

[edit] Looks like I have a long way to go before I can use that phrase again...

I think this really does get right to the heart of it. Thanking for updating does sound particularly conceited in retrospect.

0Rob Bensinger10y
Thank you for updating about thanking people for updating.
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