All of Sanji's Comments + Replies

Rationalists Are Less Credulous But Better At Taking Ideas Seriously

Is it possible that the difference you're seeing is just lack of knowledge of probabilities? I am a new person, and I don't really understand percentages. My brain just doesn't work that way. I don't know how I would even begin to assign a probability to how likely cryonics is to work.

Handshakes, Hi, and What's New: What's Going On With Small Talk?

Something I have noticed myself getting into:

Whenever I or someone else ends an statement with a question, often someone (probably me) asks a question about the original statement as well as answering the question, essentially resulting in two simultaneous conversations.


A: Do you play any sports? B: I play baseball. I play second base. And you? A: I play volley ball. Which one is second base? B: The one opposite home. What position in volleyball?

These simultaneous conversations proliferate online much easier, but they often happen in real life too. (for me)

It seems like that might sometimes lead to an awkward exchange. I suppose there is an art to remembering, and knowing when to use, the information you are asking for in a way that is logical and comfortable in conversation. Though anything tends to be better than... A. Do you play sports? B. Yes. A. Which? B. Baseball. Conversation failure mode. Of course, some blame fall to the questioner for asking closed questions, but good conversationalists can turn weak questions into strong conversations with good technique.
Rationality Quotes December 2013

Then again negative reinforcement doesn't work quite as well as positive reinforcement, and is sometimes counterproductive?

The Power of Reinforcement

It implies that in there all over the place but never outright states it.

EDIT: Assuming that blame is being used as operent conditioning, which is the impression I got.

Doubt, Science, and Magical Creatures - a Child's Perspective

I had the same experience with Santa, but instead of trying a super complicated experiment, I just tried to stay up past midnight. Little did I know that Santa had some sort of sleep dust (or I had never stayed up past 10 so I fell asleep naturally)

On Walmart, And Who Bears Responsibility For the Poor

I have noticed a contrarian position on the whole minimum wage thing. One that advocates buying from sweatshops, because they say "at least those people working in the sweatshops aren't homeless".

Possible solution to the whole minimum wage thing: model the thing as a math problem where you minimize the cost to taxpayers? Like, if (current minimum wage current number of jobs) - (hypothetical minimum wage resulting number of jobs) < 0, then the taxpayers would want to switch to the hypothetical minimum wage.

And to keep experimentation in that ... (read more)

You can of course do that, or any number of other things where you pick a metric and optimize it. The question is: how well does that metric capture what we actually want? For me, at least, optimizing (min wage * #jobs) doesn't seem like it matches my values terribly well, though it's probably better than maximizing either factor on its own. That's an interesting idea (though it feels rather horrible), but I'm not sure how it's supposed to work. * If they are meant to be the only safety net for people who can't find work at minimum wage or above: why would we expect it to be sufficient? Some people may be unable to cope with working conditions in the sweatshops; some people may simply not be able to do the work; and if the amount of sweatshop work is limited as you propose, there's no reason why there should be enough for all the people unable to find minimum-wage-or-better work. * If there is meant to be some further safety net: why then would anyone work in the sweatshops? The usual answer would be something like "because people like to work; it gives them more sense of dignity and purpose", and indeed people do mostly like to work rather than depend on government benefits. But now we're talking about working conditions and pay that are almost illegally bad, so much so that the government doesn't allow more than a very limited number of people to be stuck with them; I would expect a lot of people to prefer depending on government handouts to that, and I don't think I'd blame them. * So maybe they'd be some kind of coercion? You don't get your government benefits if you refuse a sweatshop job, or something. But now (1) this is not reasonable for people who, e.g., are physically incapable of doing that work, and (2) since sweatshop places are scarce, it means that some benefit claimants will (arbitrarily?) be required to work in the sweatshops and some won't, which will surely cause resentment.
Bizarrely enough there are many people who have jobs, yet cannot afford housing. Something about rising real estate prices.
Little Johny Bayesian

In a lot of old poems, fire is just one syllable, and fiery two. I imagine real could be similarly condensed. In the most widely accepted english translation of the Kalevala (Finnish national epic), fire is never two syllables. I always found that strange because I pronounce it "fie-urr".

See here [] about words like “fire”. IIRC he also considers “real” to be varisyllabic; and probably there are people out there who pronounce “Bayesian” with two syllables, to rhyme with (young people's pronunciation of) “Asian”¹. (I can find many posts about compression and smoothing but none which summarizes it all.) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. I read that some old people pronounce “Asian” to rhyme with “nation”.
I think one-syllable "fire" is more common in British English. (When I have access to a more convenient Web browser than my phone's, if I remember to, I'll dig up relevant posts from John C. Wells's blog.)
Welcome to Less Wrong! (6th thread, July 2013)

I'm Griffin. I am 17 and sending in my first application to college today! (relevance? maybe)I suppose one reason I am signing up for an account now is that all these wacky essays have made me want to write more about myself.

Things that led me to Less Wrong: well I guess when I first found my way here it was to the wiki article on some religious topic and I was like, "hmm a hate website. How curious." because I had that thing where I knew hate websites existed but didn't really connect it to reality. In any case, I closed the page and went on doi... (read more)