All of sakranut's Comments + Replies

A similar offer for anyone admitted/visiting Yale!

I am an economics major at Yale and would be very skeptical of a game theory course that deviated too far from the theory of winning at multi-party interactions (game theory) and dealt extensively with the theory of winning in general (rationality). Such a class would almost certainly seem too preachy or too close to the genre of self-help. You, as a professor of the field, would obviously know better than me what areas of rationality or general strategy are traditionally included in the field of game theory -- but I would be very surprised if most of the ... (read more)

Here is the course description:

"An examination of how rational people cooperate and compete. Game theory explores situations in which everyone's actions affect everyone else, and everyone knows this and takes it into account when determining their own actions. Business, military and dating strategies will be examined."

When teaching economics I strive to relate all the material to my students' lives and concerns, rather than the type of abstract mathematical concepts that often capture economists' interests.

For about a month and a half, though I forget about 25% of the time. I haven't noticed any strong effects, though I feel as if I approach the day-to-day more conscientiously and often get more out of my time.

For a term in university I followed a similar method. Every day I would post 'Today's Greatest Achievement:' in the relevant social media of the time. There was a noticeable improvement in happiness and extra-curricular productivity as I more actively sought out novel experiences, active community roles, and academic side projects. The daily reminder led to a far more conscientious use of my time. The combined reminder that I spent all weekend playing video games and broadcasting to my entire social circle that that was my greatest achievement in the past 48 hours was in a mindless video game led to immediate behavior changes.

I decided I'd share the list of questions I try to ask myself every morning and evening. I usually spend about thirty seconds on each question, just thinking about them, though I sometimes write my answers down if I have a particularly good insight. I find they keep me pretty well-calibrated to my best self. Some are idiosyncratic, but hopefully these will be generally applicable.

A. Today, this week, this month:

  1. What am I excited about?
  2. What goals do I have?
  3. What questions do I want to answer?
  4. What specific ways do I want to be better?

B. Yesterday, l... (read more)

What does it mean for "you" to not be doing exactly what you "want"? Do you downplay or ignore your not-conscious thought processes?
How long have you been doing this, and have you noticed any effects?
That's the hardest of them all, still searching for answers.

Composed my first substantially original melody, a setting of a medieval Hebrew poem. I'm proud because I've usefully applied principles of music theory I learned last spring.

Cool. Is it online?

As someone who lurks a lot around LW but hasn't thought very seriously about x-risk, I found this post very useful. It helped clarify a few terms I often see around the site (e.g. Great Filter) and synthesized a lot of common attitudes that I've noticed. Thanks!

That's really great to hear, I'm glad you found it useful!

I on the other hand, got a very good experience out of the CTY distance writing program. It forced me to clarify my thoughts and be conscientious about how I wrote for the first time. Also, as an 11-year-old who had gone through life with few to no challenges, it was an excellent opportunity to really have to work hard at something.

This is a game I play often when it comes to estimating time - probably the most frequent estimation that I conduct in day-to-day life. When on a New York City subway, for instance, I'll make a 50% confidence range guess on how long it will take the subway to get to my stop. The game works equally well when waiting for a light to change, a lecture to end, an elevator to arrive, etc.

I started doing this at a fairly young age when - in response to asking "are we there yet," - my parents told me to guess how long it would take to reach a travel destination.

Great examples. Next step is calibrating the confidence range based on multiple experiments.

I enjoyed this non-technical piece about the life of Kolmogorov - responsible for a commonly used measure of complexity, as well as several now-conventional conceptions of probability. I wanted to share:

My thoughts: 1) It's becoming increasingly clear that - even though Harry has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and evidence by this point about Dumbledore, Quirrell, Lucius and Snape - he still knows little about Voldemort (e.g. motives, background, abilities, weaknesses). I am fairly confident that this is intentional on the author's part; withholding Harry's (and the reader's) knowledge about Voldemort is an excellent way to ensure that a Revelation of information occurs within the next few chapters about Voldemort's background. 2) We haven't yet seen H... (read more)

Minerva already told him that people invent new spells all the time early in the story.
Without knowing the details of the process of researching new Charms, we can't really differentiate between "invented", "discovered", "created", and "learned". Flitwick is not a scientist and I don't trust him to report the difference correctly. The discovery itself is not on-screen.

Shir L'Or

Nice use of Hebrew.

i am curious what the nice use of hebrew is!

If this project is critical, and it's failure will sink the company, you really, really want to be in a position to handle the 25% cost overrun

So, to refine Decius' formula from above, you'd want to add in a variable which represents expected marginal utility of costs.

Thinking in terms of statistics, without any actual details attached, is one of the BIG failure modes I see from rationalists

I don't think the problem here is thinking in terms of statistics; I think that the problem is attempting to use a simple model for a complicated decision.

[edited for grammar]

Both geeks and laypeople seem to use overly simply models, but (in my experience) they simplify in DIFFERENT ways: Geeks/"rationalists" seem to over-emphasize numbers, and laypeople seem to under-emphasize them. Geeks focus on hard data, while laypeople focus on intuition and common sense.

I was referring to the dispute in the 17th and 18th centuries with Hume, Berkeley, and Locke on the empiricist side, and Descartes, Leibnitz, and Spinoza, on the rationalist Side, as described in this paper.

Out of curiosity, what is the connection between atoms and causality?

Enlightening! Thank you for the paper. Sorry, it was Einstein's theory of special relativity that resolved Hume's insight, not atomic theory. Basically, Hume argued that if you see a ball X hit a ball Y, and subsequently ball Y begins rolling at the same speed of ball X, all one has really experienced is the perception of ball X moving next to ball Y and the subsequent spontaneous acceleration of ball Y. Infinity out of infinity times you may experience the exact same perception whenever ball X bumps into ball Y, but in Hume's time there was no empirical way to prove that the collision of ball X into ball Y caused the effect of the latter's acceleration. With this [], you can. I'm afraid I can't answer in any more depth than that, as I myself don't understand the mathematics behind it. Anyone else?

Hi everyone!

I'm 19 years old and a rising sophomore at an American university. I first came across Less Wrong five months ago, when one of my friends posted the "Twelve Virtues of Rationality" on facebook. I thought little of it, but soon afterward, when reading Leah Libresco's blog on atheism (she's since converted to catholicism), I saw a reference to Less Wrong, and figured I would check it out. I've been reading the Sequences sporadically for a few months, and just got up to date on HPMOR, so I thought I would join the community and perhaps b... (read more)

Are you referring to Humean rationalists? Before Hume used empiricism to show how by mere empiricism one can never certainly identify the cause of an effect, empirical thought was lauded by Cartesian rationalists. Hume's objection to an overreliance on empiricism also (partially) helped galvanize the Romantic movement, bringing an end to the Enlightenment. Future individuals throughout history who considered themselves rationalists were of the Cartesian tradition, not 'all is uncertain' Humean rationalism (see Albert from Goethe's The Sufferings of Young Werther for one example). Those who embraced Hume's insight, though it should be mentioned that Hume himself thought that fully embracing same would be quite foolish, did not call themselves rationalists, but were divers members of myriad movements across history. Hume's point remained an open problem until it was later considered solved by Einstein's theory of special relativity. Welcome, by the way.