Said Achmiz

Wiki Contributions


All I can find is this post, which links to a Substack post, which links to an page, which links to a PDF… but doesn’t let me view or download the PDF unless I log in.

Do you have an explanation of “ethicophysics” available somewhere… more accessible?

thinking that people must be suspended upside down below the equator, once someone understands the notion of an approximately spherical Earth

That page seems to be talking about a four-year-old child, who has not yet learned about space, how gravity works, etc. It’s not clear to me that there’s anything to conclude from this about what sorts of epistemic rationality techniques might be useful to adults.

More importantly, it’s not clear to me how any of your examples are supposed to be examples of “epistemic confusion [that] can be traced to almost unrelated upstream misconceptions”. Could you perhaps make the connection more explicitly?

Similarly, it seems plausible to me that while attempting to fix one issue (similar to attempting to fix a confusion of the sort just listed), one could find themselves making almost unrelated upstream epistemic discoveries that might just be significantly more valuable).

And… do you have any examples of this?

It also seems that a lot of rationality skill involves starting out with a bug one notices (“hey, I seem to be really bad at going to the gym”), and then making multiple attempts to fix the problem (ideally focusing on making an intervention as close to the ‘root’ of the issue as possible), and then discovering epistemic rationality techniques that may be applicable in many places.

There’s a lot of “<whatever> seems like it could be true” in your comment. Are you really basing your views on this subject on nothing more than abstract intuition?

I agree that it seems like really bad strategy to then not try to explain why the technique is useful by giving another example where the technique is useful and results in good object-level outcomes, instead of simply talking about (given my original example) paperwork for a sentence and then spending paragraphs talking about some rationality technique in the abstract.

If, hypothetically, you discovered some alleged epistemic rationality technique while doing paperwork, I would certainly want you to either explain how you applied this technique originally (with a worked example involving your paperwork), or explain how the reader might (or how you did) apply the technique to some other domain (with a worked example involving something else, not paperwork), or (even better!) both.

It would be very silly to just talk about the alleged technique, with no demonstration of its purported utility.

And yet, I get the sentiment that Valentine seems to have been trying to communicate—it sure seems like there are epistemic rationality techniques that seem incredibly valuable and neglected, and one could discover them in the course of doing something about as useless as paperwork, and talking about how you became more efficient at paperwork would seem like a waste of time to everyone involved.

Is this a real example or one that you’ve made up? That is, do you actually have cases in mind where someone discovered valuable and neglected epistemic rationality techniques in the course of doing paperwork?

And maybe the argument is genuinely so right that most humans upon hearing it would agree to not exist, something like collectively sacrificing ourselves for our collective children.

This describes an argument that is persuasive; your described scenario does not require the argument to be right. (Indeed my view is that the argument would obviously be wrong, as it would be arguing for a false conclusion.)

Strongly agreed. Capitalization conventions are part of standard English-language orthography for a very good reason; they make it much easier to read text.

Such things as “stylistic choices” and “to make my formal writing more representative of my casual chatting” do not even begin to approach sufficient justification for imposing such a dramatic cost on your readers.

Writing like this sends a very strong signal that you do not care about your readers’ time or cognitive resources, which in turn implies that you’re uninterested in whether you’re successfully communicating your ideas. (Of course, if that’s your intent, then fair enough. But then why post at all?)

What aspect of things are you testing?

My ability to post comments!

Look, I have to ask: is there some reason why you’re refusing to give me a straightforward “yes” or “no” answer to a yes-or-no question?

I ask because this is making it very difficult to follow what you’re saying. I would like to understand your comments, but it would really be much easier for me to do that if the commentary accompanied the direct answers, rather than replacing them!

I’m sorry, perhaps I’m being dense, but: yes, playing against bots in Unreal Tournament or StarCraft is “authentically challenging”? Is that right?

That’s fascinating, but it seems like your reply to my comment answered none of the questions I asked. Was that intentional, or an oversight, or… what? To clarify, those questions were not rhetorical. I would like to know what your answers are.

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