All of sfb's Comments + Replies

No, Seriously. Just Try It.

but wanted to point out that the hardwired results of evolution often can't be counteracted simply by explaining to the meat-brain that they are no longer adaptive.

Do you have any evidence of this?

Or, since that is a bit tautological, do you have any evidence that the things we want to change (social interaction fears, for instance) are the unchangable "hardwired results of evolution", and not the malleable program running on top (for want of a better description)?

4ameriver11yI think I may have been using the word "hardwired" a bit flippantly. I didn't mean something that is literally ROM, but something more like a deeply-worn river bed. I think it is possible to overcome many of our (collective and individual) irrational emotional responses, but it's not a trivial task. Steven's comment is right on the mark. As to evidence, I don't have any that would distinguish between it being a result of evolution, and, say, something that many of our parents condition into us (which, of course, presumes a pre-existing response to negative parental feedback). I do have evidence that these sorts of things are not entirely - or even mostly - under conscious control. I think the dichotomy you create of "hardwired" vs. "malleable" is a little bit too simplistic: there is a whole spectrum of brain-habits which run the gamut between them. "The Agile Gene" [] (popular science...) discusses this issue fairly extensively.
4steven046111yIt's one thing to say they can be changed, and another to say they can be changed just by being informed of the relevant evpsych.
No, Seriously. Just Try It.

Let's not forget the converse: Fear that the other person will be creeped out.

I suspect that's not a true answer. You could hypothetically feel pleased when you creep someone out. That's a possible state for a human.

So it may not be "them feeling creeped out" that you avoid, but "you having an obligation to feel bad when you creep someone out", and you avoid that state of feeling bad. Which is slightly different.

9mutterc11yOnce, at the Little Gym with my then-2-year-old daughter, I unwittingly creeped out a 2-year-old girl, without interacting with her. (I heard her mention to her mom "the creepy guy in orange"). The self-esteem hit was decidedly nontrivial.
No, Seriously. Just Try It.

Roberts' hypothesis is not about the drinking vegetable oil particularly, it's about the link between flavour intensity, calories and weight gain/loss. He was looking for a way to ingest a sudden high calorie, no taste thing. Flavourless vegetable oil is no-flavour/high-calorie - and so is his previous idea of fructose disolved in water.

A useful followup might be "Just try what?"


A) Whatever it is you want to try, but are putting off

B) Whatever it is you don't want to do and can't do, but feel like you should be able to in order to be a "proper" adult, or a "real" {your job title}, or an ideal human, or whatever.

Rationality Quotes: March 2011

It also allows us to anticipate ill consequences which don't happen, and suffer them in advance. Sometimes repeatedly.

(And by "allows us to", I also mean "it often does so automatically").

Singularity Institute now accepts donations via Bitcoin

What government attack vectors against Bitcoin do you deem most likely to work?

From Wikipedia:

In order to prevent double-spending, the network implements some kind of a distributed time server, using the idea of chained proofs of work. Therefore, the whole history of transactions has to be stored inside the database, and in order to reduce the size of this storage, a Merkle tree is used.

So I would transact the heck out of it and make the database huge. IIRC at the moment every user needs a full copy of the database of every transaction, so if the .g... (read more)

2Clippy11yDo users need to store the Merkle tree only, or the full database? If they only need to store the Merkle tree, then could the network proportionally counteract the effect of this database lengthening by increasing the datablock length? Does use of a Merkel tree reduce the fraction of the database that each user needs to store?
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

If you are reading this and want some typing practise:

It's a "sharks are going to eat you, type the word on the side of them to kill them, get more, faster sharks and longer words as you progress" game.

0slikts11yToo bad it needs Java.
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

What do you do with the knowledge of which way North is? Are the motors continuously vibrating or pulsed? When you take it off do you feel the absence (absense?) like an amputation?

6SRStarin11yWhen I wear the device, there are eight motors positioned around my ankle. The one pointing most closely to north vibrates. As I move, there is sometimes some lag before a motor changes state, but when I'm still, there is always one motor buzzing, or else two motors kind of taking turns. (Actually, one of the motors doesn't work, because I burned the circuit board at its contact >< But that still tells me something.) I'm not totally used to it yet--the buzzing is a little uncomfortable when it goes on for too long in one spot (like sitting in a car driving straight for several minutes). I think it might be an improvement if the motors were pulsed instead of continuous. But, if I am walking around, changing directions, it feels just fine. But I haven't been using it enough for me to feel a strong absence or blindness when I take it off. How do I use the knowledge? One of my hobbies is geocaching []. In geocaching, I usually need to look at a GPS receiver and a compass alternately, while also not tripping over roots and while looking around for my goal. I haven't gotten to try it yet, but with the ankle device (it's called North Paw), I'm hoping to reduce my visual burden by transferring some responsibility to my tactile modality.
1Thomas11yI could use this sense. I imagine it is similar to up and down feeling. I could use many more such. Where is my car for example. Which direction and how far. A combined device for several informations of this kind should equip and serve me well.
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

Maybe useful - Everyday Looper is an iOS app for recording short looping samples, up to four at a time. That is, you record a sound and it plays it from start to finish over and over in a loop, and you can record another sound up to the same length and play them next to each other, or adjust the volume on them individually.

It's intended for musical use, but might do for what you ask. It is not free, so you might check it out on Youtube to see how it works and why it might be good for quick record-hear-compare feedback.

(iOS / iPhone does have a basic sound recorder in it, as you may know).

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

keep checking back to the PixelQi site hopefully...

The first batch of Notion Ink Adam tablets have shipped, they have a PixelQi screen and run Android. Can't yet buy one unless you caught the pre-order, but to me that means they've moved out of 'vapourware'.

Other people's procedural knowledge gaps

I do not understand why they do it

I do it (and then correct it, but only when I notice that I've done so) because using an apostrophe to indicate possession is the common case.

Relevant apostrophe comic 1.

You might find this snippet of OKCupid's blog interesting - a correlation between being religious and being unbothered by poor spelling and grammar. It's a graphic because the blog post is long and has no way to link just to that point. Full link.

Still, downvoted because this is not a procedural knowledge gap you think should be filled, it's just rantin... (read more)

0Desrtopa11yThe negative correlation between religiosity and writing level doesn't surprise me, but I find it rather distressing that the average writing level for any of the demographics tops at the ninth grade level. This is a site where people are trying to present themselves as well as possible to sell themselves to others, and most of them write at a standard below the work of an average high school sophomore?
1false_vacuum11yFor nouns, but not pronouns. Compare his, her, my, their, ... As for comics, perhas I should not admit to liking this one []. The objection that it's not a procedural knowledge gap is probably valid. But I was not just ranting; I asked a number of questions in the answers to which I am genuinely interested. And whether I feel superior to people who use apostrophes incorrectly does not strike me as relevant--although I try not to, and understanding why they do it might help.
0JoshuaZ11yThe trend reversal regarding seriousness about beliefs for agnostics and atheists is striking. ETA: Looking at that it may be small enough to be a statistical fluke. I wish they gave more detailed data for us to crunch the numbers.
Other people's procedural knowledge gaps

The trouble is, you can burn a significant amount of energy by physical effort only if you're in a great shape to begin with; otherwise, you can exert yourself for hours and still burn what amounts to (literally) just three or four bites of food.

Why does exercising when unfit burn fewer calories? Is it because you cannot exercise as intensely?

3Vladimir_M11ysfb: Pretty much, both when it comes to the maximum power you can exert and the time you can sustain it. To take a very extreme example, Michael Phelps can exercise intensely enough to burn almost 10,000 calories [] in a few hours every day (of course, there's a large genetic component to it). An average couch potato would likely collapse before managing to burn the equivalent of a single Starbucks muffin in a stretch.
Why is reddit so negative?

I guess for the topic of this forum, I should ask whether you were objectively looking for forum attitudes either way, or whether you set out to seek negativity and, with confirmation bias, found it?

The UFAI among us

I was expecting a post questioning who/what is really behind this project to make paperclips invisible.

2Blueberry11yWell, it's clear who benefits. Tiling the universe with invisible paperclips is less noticeable and less likely to start raising concerns.
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

Are you suggesting that a non-religious person would have no irrational beliefs to tiptoe around? This seems unlikely.

Are you suggesting that if you didn't tiptoe around religious beliefs that would be a problem? Because it seems that religious people are extra-resilient in their beliefs, so that might be less of an issue than you fear.

Are you suggesting that it isn't possible to have a relationship where one person is religious and another atheist without them having to fight about it or lie about it? That your relationships must have zero tolerance and absolute agreement on all points?

4Dreaded_Anomaly11yNo, but a religious person is definitely going to have such beliefs. Yes, I am. It's not a matter of resilience in beliefs; telling my significant other that I can't take their opinion on [evolution/gay marriage/abortion/insert religiously-tinted issue of your choice] at all seriously doesn't sound like a recipe for a harmonious relationship. It's not possible for me, because I believe atheism is the rational position and religious belief is objectively unjustified. I don't think the idea that relationships between religious and nonreligious people are unlikely to succeed is an uncommon one; I've had religious friends express agreement with it. This is a straw man argument, as I did not make such a statement.
Why is reddit so negative?

There isn't anything in this world to be negative about. What does it benefit anything if I am miserable about suffering? Can we not notice problems and support solving them while also being positive?

Suffering in poor countries doesn't go away just because you are unhappy about it. It doesn't change at all based on how you feel about it, so why not feel happy about the people who have food and optimistic that starvation is solvable, for example?

2[anonymous]11yThis critique only makes sense if people choose how they feel about the world, and if the cost of choosing to not feel negative is smaller than the benefits that it renders. But barring attempts at self-modification, I don't think the first bit is true; people just unconsciously start having emotions about whatever it is they have a mental model of, including how they think life is.
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

From reading your whole comment, it seems this:

I simply don't feel that I would be able to be emotionally intimate with a woman who holds an irrational, i.e. religious, worldview.

would be the easiest bit to change to remove the problem from your life.

I'm not interested in a relationship in which I can't interact honestly with the woman, because I wouldn't find it to be fulfilling. I'd rather be single than have to tiptoe around my romantic partner's irrational beliefs. Changing that implies either ceasing to care about rationality, or dramatically lowering my expectations for a relationship. Neither of those sounds particularly appealing.

Procedural Knowledge Gaps

Does anyone have a knowledge gap preventing them from cooking Alicorn's "easy" soup?

I noticed myself thinking it was so basic that nobody would, but then wondered that such a thought might be completely wrong (given the overall post topic). Maybe there are people daunted by... not knowing how to prepare common vegetables, for instance.

0Sniffnoy11yWell here's what I would say as someone who doesn't understand cooking - certainly, that looks mostly very understandable and straightforward, though I'm not so clear on the exact procedure for boiling. (And pressed with what sort of spoon, if it matters?) Also there's definitely some stuff that I think I can figure out but has not been made explicit (e.g., if I'm guessing correctly, we don't want to include the water when blending, and that should be dumped/strained out first). But since I don't actually have an underlying understanding of cooking, I'd stil hesitate to actually use it. Because without that, I have no idea what corrections to make if I messed up, etc. If you just follow recipes without understanding, you can only handle the best case.
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

(UK Specific post, not a car person).

tl;dr Find one, optionally pay a company to check it isn't stolen or legally written off, and has no outstanding finance. Agree an amount of money. Sign the vehicle ownership documents, trade those and the car for the money within any applicable laws governing trade in your area. If your car has the required tax and safety certificates, and you have the required license and insurance, drive away, otherwise sort those out next. Cross your fingers and hope it isn't a lemon, but realise that if it is, it is a setback, not ... (read more)

1knb11yWow. That is a very thorough answer. Thanks!
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

I'm surprised by the amount of cooking posts here so, questioning my own assumptions: is anyone put off doing this because you lack knowledge about preparing vegetables in the "whatever else" class, or picking the "wrong" whatever else foods, or even peeling things/etc.?

I feel silly even asking this ("Don't be so patronising, who wouldn't know how to peel an onion?"), but I'm interested to see if anyone replies.

0Sniffnoy11yI'm confused as to what exactly you're asking here.
4Alicorn11yPeeling onions can be surprisingly confusing. For instance, just under the really papery skin there is sometimes a layer which is partially or entirely thin, greenish, and rubbery. It's not all that pleasant to eat unless it's de-texturized (a puréed soup as described above will do the trick), but unlike the papery bits it's technically food. Keeping it or removing it is a judgment call, but I could imagine finding it an intimidating decision to make if I didn't know. The bits of garlic cloves that attach them to the base of the bulb are in a similar category. (I cut them off.)
Procedural Knowledge Gaps

Over the line as in it made you ill, or as in you refused to eat it?

2jimmy11yGot sick for a week or so. Symptoms matched salmonella.
Rationality Quotes: February 2011

A premature really powerful Optimization Process is the root of all future evil.

Rationality Quotes: February 2011

"Please don't hold anything back, and give me the facts" – Wen Jiabao, Chinese Premier (when meeting disgruntled people at the central complaints offices).

Rationality Quotes: January 2011

I was thinking of a group more like "you said your piano teacher suggested practising with a metronome - have you actually done so this week?"

"you've said a priority is learning the piano, yet you aren't keeping track of your practise or recording yourself or making any way to check your progress and get feedback. Have you noticed that is inconsistent with your stated desire?"

"Do you realise how much you are talking about your commute to work compared to it's real impact on your life?"


"you really suck at the piano"

"and have you noticed how stupid you are?"

"and how you talk forever about boring things?"

Rationality Quotes: January 2011

I tend to find focussing on developing strengths to better than focussing on weaknesses.

I don't follow. If you never focus on things you can't do well, you'll never do anything different or build any new abilities.

Piano teacher: You're not keeping time very well, you could benefit from practising playing to a metronome.

wedrifid: I prefer to focus on developing strengths, and I'm really good at playing loudly so I'll just do that, thanks.


0wedrifid11yThe most important part in that comment: Followed closely by: Definitely not:
Rationality Quotes: January 2011

Makes me wonder if a good way to deal with rationality or akrasia or self-improvement would be the kind of support group where everyone tries to find fault with everyone else. It's so easy to see flaws in others compared to flaws in ourselves, why not use that to our advantage?

Finding the right people to do this who could both handle it and keep it from turning into an insult trading group might be difficult.

0wedrifid11yI tend to find focussing on developing strengths to better than focussing on weaknesses. Mind you there is a place for constructive criticism. But there are relatively few sources from whom such criticism is valuable.
0Ultima11yIsn't that exactly what we do here (and on other forums)?
0MartinB11yThat is difficult. I prefer the approach of Toastmasters of focussing more on the stuff done, well and some improvable points at once. Such a critique group can segway into a everyone-holds-everyone-down one very fast.
4NancyLebovitz11yI think it's not just faults. People don't always appreciate their good points. The group should be for identifying blind spots in general.
0DSimon11yPerhaps the right way to do this is to focus on a particular topic rather than just a general-purpose fault-finding group. That would help people to evaluate others even if they weren't very close, and also help to keep the criticism about something external and less personal. For example, a group of people might work together on a project and criticize each others' anti-akrasia skills purely in terms of work output on that project.
The Orange Head Joke

Suggested edits for an audience made of stereotypical LessWrongniks:

It's business as usual for a bartender, and one day as he is cleaning his bar an unusual customer walks in dressed in an expensive suit, a beautiful supermodel hanging off each arm and with a limo parked outside. Furthermore, the man has an orange for a head.

The bartender assigns high probability that the man is dressed in a costume of some sort, pretty low probability that he is hallucinating given that nothing else appears odd, low to medium probability that the talking orange-lookali... (read more)

9timtyler11yIf you specify a reasonable enumeration of utility functions (such as shortest first) - and cross off the superintelligences that don't do anything very dramatic as being not very "super" - this seems pretty reasonable.
What do superintelligences really want? [Link]

Would you be happy to classify that wasp as having "superhuman intelligence"?

Then why accept that a machine which behaves like that wasp is superhumanly intelligent?

2Manfred11yNo. It's a wasp. If it was a superhuman intelligence and it chose to do this for all eternity, I would probably still call it intelligent, the same way I'd still call a human an intelligent being even if it decided to do meth. If it truly self-modified to a while loop, I would be willing to call it non-intelligent, but if it was a complete program, and it just happened to be in an infinite loop, I'd say it's still intelligent. Very non-behaviorist, I know. Even if it was just trying to store a big number, though, it could still exhibit intelligent behaviors - a machine that would do anything to tile the universe with its memory would probably exhibit superintelligent behaviors if presented with challenges.
The Orange Head Joke

See also this bit relating to Christmas Cracker bad jokes:

He [Professor Richard Wiseman] thinks the key to the success of modern cracker jokes is precisely because they're not funny. 'If the joke is good and you tell it and it doesn't get a laugh, it's your problem. If the joke's bad and it doesn't get a laugh, then it's the joke's problem. My theory is that it's a way of not embarrassing people at Christmas.' So they're not jokes at all? 'In a sense, they're just a way of binding people together. Given the diversity around your average dinner table, it

... (read more)
3Nisan11yIs it really true that British women don't tell jokes?
The Orange Head Joke

Summary: "A man has an orange for a head. How? Magic."

Is it still funny?

Assuming a person can actually have an orange for a head and that genies exist then this is just a straightforward story explaining how he became wealthy, desirable and fruitheaded. Like asking someone in a suit how come he's wearing a suit and he answers "because I bought one and put it on".

Assuming a person can't actually have an orange for a head, it's just a timewasting surreal story which doesn't go anywhere.

The humour is in the non-answer where an answer is ex... (read more)

2Wilka11yI liked the original joke, and have told it many times in the past. I also find this sentence quite funny:
4[anonymous]11yActually, I find your version slightly funny, but I don't like the original version. I normally like anti-jokes, but for them to work, they should be both short and subvert a joke structure that was funny to begin with. I never liked the "misguided wish". Overall, I strongly dislike long buildups. A joke should be efficient.
7Desrtopa11yI don't think the humor is in the non-answer, I think the humor is in the fact that we're introduced to a person who demonstrates what is apparently rational, goal seeking behavior, and then proceeds to ask for something he doesn't want and has no reason to want.
Intrapersonal negotiation

Your post seems to imply that I could fix the problem by unimagining these agents. If that's what you mean, I'm a bit insulted

Not "could" in the sense that it's an ability you have but choose not to use, nor in the sense that you could "if you were a better person", nor in the sense that your illness is imaginary.

Only 'could' in the narrow literal sense that it answers the question "how could neutral modify their behaviour without their cooperation?" - if you aren't really three entities and "you" are the greater ... (read more)

What do superintelligences really want? [Link]

How do you imagine something can spend the rest of eternity counting in an endless while (true) { i++; } loop and yet still refer to it as a superhuman intelligence?

I know people here take a dim view of humans, but that's just ridiculous.

0Manfred11yJust because it's smart doesn't mean it has to want the same things we do, including novelty. []
Intrapersonal negotiation

How can Neutral modify their behavior if they won't cooperate?

Do they exist as distinct entities or are they ideas? Neutral can unimagine them. Or, rather, you can unimagine all of them. Dictate them out of your head.

Are you actually three agents? Have you tried being four agents or two? Does that make sense as a question to ask?

Have you tried any other treatment for depression as depression, not as bipolar disorder - e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy?

3datadataeverywhere11yI am not actually three agents, any more than you are actually one (or six, or whatever). However, modeling my behavior is much simpler from a three-agent perspective than a two- or a nine- agent perspective, so it's a useful tool. I can stop using that model, but that won't make my aberrant behavior disappear. Edit to clarify: I was behaving this way, (but much worse) years before it occurred to me that thinking of myself this way might help me understand and remedy my behavior. Your post seems to imply that I could fix the problem by unimagining these agents. If that's what you mean, I'm a bit insulted, but you might mean something else. I was originally treated for depression, not bipolar, because my hypomanic states aren't manic, and weren't originally noticed as contraindications for certain standard treatments. This is very common for type II bipolar. Regardless, non-pharmacological treatments for depression have helped me, and continue to help me more than the subject of my post---they're just less relevant to the Less Wrong community. Cognitive behavioral therapy has helped a little, but my most successful treatments have been habitual and environmental changes. Notably, regular early morning sun exposure, omega-3 fatty acid supplements, more sex and more frequent exercise. Mood stabilizers also work, but at the cost of my mind, so I don't take them any more. I'm lucky that my disease is mild enough that it can be controlled with the methods above. There are plenty of people who simply have no choice other than their mind or their life.
Intrapersonal negotiation

I don't have faith that Depressed is sincere

Who doesn't have faith that Depressed is sincere?

2datadataeverywhere11yI don't. This is more factual than it is about perspective, so the different way sub-agents tend to view and interpret things doesn't come strongly into play. So all agents, if I understand your question.
Knowledge doesn't just happen

I do not know of any case where someone has said that they "should have known better" after making a false positive, say, "I knew I shouldn't have used the seat belt on the buss, we did not crash after all".

Possibly the phrase "I needn't have bothered [..] after all"? e.g.:

Your place is delightfully homely and very tastefully decorated with a kitchen that was so well equipped with quality cooking implements that I needn’t have bothered bringing my own!

It's not directl... (read more)

Knowledge doesn't just happen

and frankly their status deserves a penalty


I suspect incompetence combined with self-righteousness

Lack of ability combined with wanting to be right? Two things normal people never exhibit which deserve punishment?

Would demonstrating the self-righteousness count as ad hominem?

Would it count as useful? Would it help?

Is Less Wrong discouraging less nerdy people from participating?

Admittedly, almost no one who is attracted by discussion of sports and celebrity meets community standards for rationality, most of us would find it difficult to include such references

I don't know ... there are plenty of references to people in comments in the style of celebrity fawning, just that they are niche celebrities instead of mainstream ones.

See this summary of rationality quotes - has fantasy author Terry Pratchett really said more rational quotable things than Einstein, Darwin, Descartes, Dennett, Jaynes, Aristotle and Sagan? Or is it just t... (read more)

8Broggly11yI don't think the issue is Pratchett's rationality so much as his quotability.
8LucasSloan11yYes (emphasis mine). As an author, especially an author of humorous novels, Terry Pratchett has much stronger pressures to generate text which humans find aesthetically pleasing than famous scientists, who can count on prestige to carry their words to the world. Every single one of the names you mention are community celebrities, and yes, we fawn on our chosen ones. However, when I say that we should include more celebrity references, I don't mean we should fawn on celebrities more (neither the community's or mainstream), I mean that we should be more willing to talk about contemporary gossip, give examples about very widely known people, etc. I know it sounds strange to suggest the former, but I think that having topics which we can use when attempting to interact with normal folk on a non-intellectual level can only help us evangelize, break down stereotypes around rationality, and actually interact with normal people, which I'm told can be intrinsically rewarding. The latter just helps reduce pointless inferential gaps created by culture, not knowledge (for similar reasons, we should avoid the accumulation of jargon).
Is Less Wrong discouraging less nerdy people from participating?

And here I was thinking it was obscure mathematical gibberish that would discourage non-nerdy people from participating. Instead it's mentioning an idea by a famous author that's scaring them off.


Scientific Self-Help: The State of Our Knowledge

Has that check helped you?

Whether someone learns advanced piano from a book must be at least as much down to whether they know intermediate piano up to the level the book starts at, as to whether the book is a good guide to advanced piano.

But those divisions of ability and knowledge are even less agreed on in self-help, so matching up where you "are" with a book is less easy, and whether someone else matched with any given book might not be of any real help at all.

1NancyLebovitz11yThis does raise the rather embarrassing question of how many of my self-help books I've actually gotten some good out of, and it's something I need to evaluate. However, the review filter I'm using isn't exactly for identifying which books to look into. It's for eliminating otherwise promising books unless they look very good, and I'm not sure that I've bought any books that no one has reported good results from.
Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge

I never said anything about using force

You (probably) know what I meant, and whether or not you mentioned force specifically - either way doesn't change the gist of the "translation". A weasely objection.

Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge

Translation: I haven't managed to convince you therefore you must be punished for your insolent behaviour of not being convinced by my arguments. I cannot walk away from this and leave you being wrong, you must profess to agree with me and if you are not rational enough to understand and accept logical arguments then you will be forced to profess agreement.

Who did you say hasn't learned how to lose?

I'm beginning to think that LW needs some better mechanism for dealing with the phenomenon of commenters who are polite, repetitive, immune to all correction,

... (read more)
3Dreaded_Anomaly11yOn a site called "Less Wrong," is that terribly surprising?
2Quirinus_Quirrell11yI never said anything about using force. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's a different position, not a translation.
Steve Jobs' medical leave, riches and longevity

I don't know, what particularity impressed you about their foundation?

I used them as a contrast with leaving money to non-alleviating-suffering causes (Trump letting his children inherit it) or speculative-future-suffering causes (It's probably easier to convince someone to leave their money to a charity gets results today rather than one which tries to increase the chance of getting results tomorrow).

It's not really important to my point whether they are an effective charity or not, just that there aren't many single organizations with enough scale to... (read more)

Steve Jobs' medical leave, riches and longevity

That sounds pretty sane, but if I look at it from the point of view of "making a longevity breakthrough happen sooner than it otherwise would, over a period of many years", then too few qualified people is not a show stopping problem, it only means that educating and training people so there are more qualified people in the near future is a good next step.

Lots of people making the same discoveries within a short time span is a much more interesting limit.

Tallinn-Evans $125,000 Singularity Challenge

and a form letter reminder that self-consistency is not a virtue [..] making it clear that this community's respect is contingent on [..]

Is changing professed beliefs to something else without understanding / agreeing with the new position, but just doing it to gain community respect, a virtue?

Tim, and the rest of the class of commenters to which you refer, simply haven't learned how to lose.

Or still isn't convinced that he is wrong by the time you have passed your tolerance of explaining so you give up and decide he must be broken. Your proposed 's... (read more)

Steve Jobs' medical leave, riches and longevity

whether an area of research is saturated

What does this mean? More groups working independently on solving a problem will not increase the probability of a solution being found in a given timeframe?

2JoshuaZ11yIt means that it won't do so substantially. If many people are duplicating the same discoveries within a short time span then a field may be experiencing saturation. There's a related issue which is that in many fields, there's a limited set of people actually qualified to do research in an area, and so pumping in more money won't increase the number of people doing research (although it might increase the number of people who assert that their research is connected to the problem at hand). But both forms of saturation have similar end results in practice: the marginal return of throwing in more resources becomes so small that you might as well aim those resources elsewhere.
Steve Jobs' medical leave, riches and longevity

Isn't the unpleasant part of eugenics the "killing "bad" people" part? In the Howard Families sense, it was more of a cross between an arranged marriage, a marriage of convenience, and surrogate mothering. A choice with a financial incentive, nobody was killed for being too short lived (!) or raped and forced into it.

3Alicorn11yFor eugenics in general (I know nothing about the fictional case in question), evaluating people as "bad" in the first place is also unpleasant, and I think there's also history of forced sterilization.
Steve Jobs' medical leave, riches and longevity

Yes, I would consider anti-aging research as counting, but I meant to discriminate so that leaving money for nonspecific medical research would not count, and nor would leaving 1 million to longevity and 99 million to universities.

Link - total body transplant

More optimistically, pre-reanimated.


I saw a customer comment on a piano website recently thanking the proprietor for being green by having a digital manual instead of shipping a paper one.

An electronic manual for the electronic piano they just bought with a mechanism made in Germany, processors from Japan, soundboard from France, assembled in China, sold in England and delivered to Wales.

"It's not easy being green" - Mork.

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