All of shanen's Comments + Replies

No, what you are saying is NOT related to what I am advocating. Even worse, I am having serious trouble trying to reconstruct a logical chain whereby you could have gotten there based on what I was trying to say. I know I write badly, but still...

Your departure point seems to be that government-mandated insurance is bad, but even there I am not convinced my examples were inappropriate. Rather I feel as though you are flying off in a completely different direction.

So let me try to take it from the top again. First of all, my basic premise is simply that ins... (read more)

Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Okay and you're welcome, though I wish I had understood that part of the discussion more clearly. Can I blame it on the ambiguity of second-person references where many people are involved? (An advantage of the Japanese language in minimizing pronoun usage?)

Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Is your [Dogon's] reference to "your model" a reference to 'my [shanen's] preferred financial model' (obliquely referenced in the original question) or a reference to Vladimir_Nesov's comment?

In the first case, my "preferred financial model" would involve cost recovery for services shared. An interesting example came up earlier in this discussion in relation to recognizing consistency in comments. One solution approach could involve sentiment analysis. In brief, if you change your sentiment back and forth as regards some topic, then that would indicate neg... (read more)

2Dagon2y
Oh, I meant the mental model behind As this is the opposite of my intuition (emotional reaction is the salient feature, part of one's identity is one way to generate that emotional reaction). I do appreciate the further exposition of your financing model, though.

Well, judging by the negative karma it has given me, it seems clear that there is some "problem with the question" as LessWrong voters see things. Good thing that I don't much care about karma, eh? 

However, mostly I take it as evidence against the one-dimensional approach to measuring karma. Rather than take it as evidence that LessWrong itself should have lower karma, I see it as evidence that the shallow and close-minded Reddit approach of thumbs up or down is flawed. Even though the code has been rewritten, I think LessWrong might be "fighting the ... (read more)

2ChristianKl2y
I think you can easily interpret it here as the LessWrong readers who engaged with the post don't consider it valuable. It's a badly argued post with political implications. Badly argued in the sense that you don't address the tradeoffs. Looking at the score, I don't think anybody gave it a strong downvote. There's no law that requires no-fault auto insurance. There are laws that require certain minimum liability coverage. Those laws exist because of the possibility of people damaging other people to make them be able to pay. Businesses in a pandemic don't create damage for other people for which they need liability insurance. We generally regulate businesses in a way that businesses are allowed to take risks that make the business go bust. One of the main idea of why we have the Great Stagnation is that increased regulation. You are advocating that businesses need more regulation and we need to forbid them from taking risks that they are currently taking. With pre-Kefauver-Harris laws after Dr. Stöcker gave his himself a vaccine in March that gave him antibodies against the COVID-19 spike protein he could have easily sold it and by winter a large amount of the population would have been vaccinate. While pandemics are certainly a significant risk, adding specific regulations for insuring against them increases the burden of starting a company which in turn means that it gets harder for businessmen to start companies to solve other problems.
Notes on Amiability

It's hard to change or improve something without measuring it. I think you are describing a fairly complicated concept, but it might be possible to break it down into dimensions that are easier to assess. For example, if some of the assessments are related to specific comments or replies [our primary "actions" within LessWrong], then we could see what we are doing that affects various aspects of our "amiability".

This demonstration of "Personality Insights" might help illustrate what I'm talking about. If you want to test it, I recommend clicking on the "Bo... (read more)

Notes on Amiability

Is this another karma-related topic? Your tags suggest otherwise, but I would like to see some of these dimensions as part of the karma metric, both for myself and for other people. Most of the examples you cite seem to be natural binary dimensions, but not fully orthogonal. Not sure what I should say here, but I'll link to my longest comment on Less wrong on the topic of enhanced karma. As you are approaching the topic, such an approach would help me recognize "amiable" people and understand what makes them amiable. I doubt that becoming more amiable is o... (read more)

1David Gross2y
I hadn't intended this post to be at all karma-related, but now I'm very curious about how you would connect karma and amiability.
Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

I feel like this branch of the discussion might be related to Dunbar's Number? Either for total members or for active participants. Is there any data for number of participants over time and system versions?

However I also feel like Dunbar's Number is probably different for different people. Social hubs have large numbers of personal friends, whereas I feel overwhelmed by any group of 150. My personal Dunbar's Number might be around 15?

2ChristianKl2y
I don't think the history here is about Dunbar's number.
The Great Karma Reckoning

This topic of karma in general interests me, per my reaction to the karma project from 2019. However my question in response to this "site meta" item is: "Is there a karma explorer?" One side would be a way to see the basis of my own karma, but I would also like a way to understand the basis of the karma of other users. For example, I see that the author habryka has over 13,000 points of karma here and 242 points of karma somewhere else, but what does that actually mean? Does any of that karma represent reasons I should read comments from habryka with grea... (read more)

Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Thanks for the lead to the "Site Meta" tag. I have that one open in another tab and will explore it next. However my general response to your reply is that part of the problem is that I would like to see different kinds of "tracking summaries" depending on what kinds of things I am trying to understand at a particular time.

You introduced a new example with your mention of "meetup announcements". If you are trying to track your activity on LW in terms of such meetings, then you want to see things from that perspective.

What I have done in today's experiment ... (read more)

Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Accuracy is relatively easy to assess. If you think someone is saying something that is false and you are reacting to the comment on that basis, then you should be able to cite appropriate evidence to that effect. (But the other person should be able to object to your evidence as part of a 'proper' MEPR system.) 

I actually think most dimensions of the reputation system should be normalized around zero, so that if people tend to give more negative reactions, then the system should be adjusted to make it more difficult to give a negative reaction, such ... (read more)

Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Just rereading the entire "question" to try to assess it, and almost overlooked your [Viliam's] helpful numbered list. I think I have replied as appropriate (if replying was appropriate?) and hope that the notification system will let me know if I should come back. 

On the basis of your encouragement, I'm going to try to write something for the literacy software topic. Not sure upon what basis you think it might be "great", but I could not find much that seemed to be related in my search efforts on LW. The obvious searches did produce some results, but... (read more)

2Viliam2y
Your summary seems correct. Here is a part of LW history that may be relevant to the question of money and sponsors: the Less Wrong website you see is, from a technical perspective, already a third version. The first version was Overcoming Bias, a shared blog of Robin Hanson and Eliezer Yudkowsky, which started in 2006. Being just two guys' personal WordPress blog, I assume the costs were negligible. The second version was Less Wrong implemented with a clone of Reddit code in 2009, which started with importing the existing Eliezer's articles. The initial software was free, but required some maintenance and extra functionality, which was provided by TrikeApps [http://trikeapps.com/]. TrikeApps is a company owned by Less Wrong user matt [https://www.lesswrong.com/users/matt]. The third version that you see now, with a complete rewrite of code, was actually made only a few years ago. I couldn't quickly find the exact year, but not sooner than 2017. This was the first version that was actually quite expensive to develop. In other words, before Less Wrong started needing serious money to exist as a website, it already had more than 10 years of history. So there is a strong momentum. The people who donated money are presumably the people who liked the existing LW, and therefore their wish is probably to keep it roughly like it was, only more awesome. (The people who didn't like the historical Less Wrong would probably not donate money to keep it alive.) The fans of Less Wrong, as a whole, are sufficiently rich to keep the website alive. PS: You are taking this too seriously; probably more seriously than most users here. There is no need to overthink it. If you have an idea for a nice article, write it. If you don't, just reading and commenting is perfectly okay.
Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Thank you for the reply, and I am also somewhat aware of karma. It does seem useful, but not in a searchable way. Per my suggestion for extended karma (one of my first efforts on LW), I wish that karma (in a multidimensional form) were usable for self-improvement, for filtering and prioritizing, and even for searching for people who are likely to write things worth reading.

I guess one helpful step would be if karma was included in the flyover display. Right now the "ChristianKI" flyover only reveals 4 dimensions of your identity: Your identity's age (joine... (read more)

2ChristianKl2y
Consistency and accuracy are both dimensions that are hard to measure. I don't see where you would get numbers for that.
Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Thank you for another deep and thoughtful response. But what response should I make? [Note that second person "you" here refers to Viliam, but there is risk of confusion if I say something to the broader (but unknown) audience. I'll try to be careful... But in this discussion I am sure that I have already used "you" with reference to someone else. [I find myself wishing that English had a mechanism to avoid confusing "you" references without ponderous third person descriptions such as "Viliam in his comment of <timestamp> said..."]]

The easy part is t... (read more)

2Viliam2y
Hey, if you're new here, it's perfectly natural that there are some website functions you are not familiar with. I am here for years, and there are still things I don't know. Keep reading, you will gradually get more familiar with how this all works. Good catch! I never noticed this one. (If you move the mouse above the abbreviation, the full date and time will be displayed.) The UI you imagine probably does not exist. What you can get is (a) the list of all articles you posted, in chronological order; and (b) the list of all comments you made, in chronological order, with links to context. Both of them are on the same page, when you click on your name. For me, this is quite enough, because the number of my posts will most likely never exceed three digits, probably not even two (though I wish the meetup announcements were displayed separately from the actual articles), and given the huge number of comments I wrote during the years, I don't believe I would ever want to see them all. Maybe read articles with the Site Meta [https://www.lesswrong.com/tag/site-meta] tag? Not all of them are related to what you want, but probably most of what you want is covered somewhere there.
Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Again, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I feel like I'm trying to use a depth-first response strategy and it's making it harder for me to see what is really going on.

I think the most interesting problem raised in your response is the integration problem. If people are just contributing their thoughts because they want to, then they don't really have much incentive to do the hard work of integrating their thoughts into the thoughts of other people. If Wikipedia is able to accomplish that kind of integration to a fairly high degree, I think it is due to ... (read more)

2ChristianKl2y
LessWrong doesn't focus on AI in general but on AI safety or AGI. Saying that the answers are intuitively obvious sounds to me like not understanding the questions and why people consider the open questions to be open and interesting. Without understanding the questions well enough, I doubt writing about it would lead to articles that are useful to anyone and such are well received.
2ChristianKl2y
LessWrong shows you how much karma you get on your profile. That seems to me like a better metric then how much words are written.

Wikipedia generally works fine, but occassionally problems happen. Sometimes obsessive editors are rewarded with power, which they sometimes abuse to win the debates on their pet topics. As long as other similarly powerful editors don't care, they are allowed to rule their little fiefdoms.

As an example, David Gerard, the admin of RationalWiki, is currently camping at the Wikipedia article on Less Wrong; most of his effort goes towards reducing the section on effective altruism and expanding the section on "Roko's basilisk"... which itself is known mostly b... (read more)

Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Again, thanks for your replies, though I'm still not sure what to make of them. 

On the one hand, I agree that independence is a good thing (even though I may sometimes disagree with some people's independent decisions). On the other hand, I have deep reservations about charities that in a sense allow governments to evade their appropriate responsibilities to the citizens of their nations. Especially in the case of serious problems, it shouldn't be a matter of luck (if the victim stumbles across a helpful charity) or willingness and ability to actively... (read more)

4Viliam2y
Charity vs government, both have big disadvantages. Charity depends on luck, and on the victim being "popular" in some sense. Government depends on politics, and dealing with the bureaucracy is sometimes almost as humiliating as begging. This said, projects like "new Less Wrong website" in my opinion should not be paid by government. It is something that serves a specific group, which can pay its own expenses. Just to avoid possible confusion, the team is paid for developing and maintaining the technical infrastructure, not writing the articles. The articles are all written by volunteers. So if you were worried about independence of content from sponsors, I hope this helps. Making the corpus of old articles easier to navigate is a known problem, and there are several attempts to solve it: wiki, tags, books. Wiki [https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/LessWrong_Wiki] could in theory be as organized as you want it to be. In practice, it seems to be ignored, as the main attention is on the articles, and the wiki is almost a separate project. (But recently it was integrated with tags.) Tags provide an overview of topics [https://www.lesswrong.com/tags/all], catalogize articles per topic, and allow you to find articles similar to one you are reading. Best articles from 2018 were published as a book [https://www.lesswrong.com/books], and the same is planned for the following years. So if you joined recently and want to quickly get an overview of the "best of Less Wrong", I would recommend reading the Sequences (web [https://www.readthesequences.com/]; PDF/epub/mobi [https://intelligence.org/rationality-ai-zombies/]) and the 2018 book.
Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Interesting reply, and again I thank you for your thoughts. Still not seeing how "politics" figures in. I'm not trying to provoke any emotional reactions. (Nor do I perceive myself as having any strong emotional reactions to anything I've seen on LW so far.)

The part about your BBS especially hits a nerve. I created and operated a BBS in my youth. I did include a financial model in the design of my BBS, but my primary motivation at the time was to create a real cost for abuse of the BBS and secondarily to recover some of the costs. (Dedicated hardware and a... (read more)

Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

Thank you for your reply. I looked at your link, but I am not clear about the relation of "politics" to my question as currently constrained. (Right now I see no reason to extend it in that direction unless the financial model is related to politics. I have so far seen no evidence to that effect. Maybe you could clarify how you see the relationship?)

I was trying to avoid expressing my opinions or suggestions, though if I didn't see the world (or some aspect of the world) as potentially different, maybe even better, then I would deny that there is any probl... (read more)

2Dagon2y
Meta: It's not exactly politics, but has some of the same characteristics, in that many participants will have strong emotional reactions that interfere with exploring rationality or general lessons. It's not that it should never be discussed, but it's more important than usual to be careful to distinguish between when you're theorizing about general concepts and when you're identifying near-mode personal beliefs and actions. For that reason, you should keep your posts/questions small and self-contained. Asking "is LW influenced by the financing mechanisms of the site" is very reasonable. And you should point out some site features or behaviors that make it look like finance influence is happening. Personally, I don't see it. Asking "how is LW financed" or "how much does LW cost to run" is maybe reasonable, depending on your reasoning for asking. Exploring the general fact that financing can affect the behavior or operation of message boards is ALSO very reasonable, but should be a separate post (it's not a question), and should use examples other than LW itself. Object: For myself, I frequent a WHOLE lot of groups that are minimally influenced by the funding mechanism. Pre-internet, I ran a BBS and frequented a number of others, which were entirely hobbies and only influenced by our parents rules for use of their paid phone lines. I see no reason to believe that LW is very much different - it's much more professional, and has way better operators than I ever was or could hope to be. But I don't think they're motivated by getting rich. I know that at least one frequent poster doesn't derive any income from participating.
Is the influence of money pervasive, even on LessWrong?

I can easily apologize for my tangents. I do tend to wander. However I can also easily blame my zen collapse from some years back. It used to be a 6-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon world, but now things too often seem to me to be only one or even zero degrees separated. It's the same thing when you look at it that way?

Not easy to figure out how to fix my question. And if I figured out how to improve it, then I'm not even sure I should fix it or just stay here in the comments, though I see it is possible to edit the original question. 

So... Another way to word ... (read more)

How to Improve Your Sleep

I think it would be good if the article mentioned data sources, but perhaps I'm projecting since I have a lot of experience with them. Right now I'm using three devices to assess my sleep. One is motion based and the quality of the data is limited. The other two are wristbands that combine pulse with arm motion to automatically detect and record sleep. Both of them divide sleep into deep, shallow, and REM, but they disagree quite a bit on the actual details when they measure my sleep. (And I wear both of them on the same wrist, too.) If there is interest I... (read more)

1lynettebye2y
Interesting. None of the sleep doctors I spoke to recommended data sources. However, they seemed to consider even at-home professional sleep tests with skepticism, so this might say more about the level of accuracy they want than about the potential usefulness of personal devices. As for age, I tried to focus this post on actionable advice. The non-actionable factors that influence sleep are simply to numerous for me to cover properly, and, unfortunately, however impactful aging is on sleep, reversing aging isn't (yet!) in my repertoire of recommendations.
Book Summary: Willpower by Baumeister, Tierney

Not even sure this comment is directed at me, but quite sure my reply is quite late. (In terms of deciding to reply, it would be helpful if LW revealed something about your recent activity in the flyover.)

At this point I don't recall the books in sufficient detail to address your question properly. I do fit them into the general scheme of compulsive behavior. My general take on habitual behaviors (including compulsions) is that certain parts of the lower brain are the mechanical keys to the compulsions, but there's a scale before things get into extremes l... (read more)

[Team Update] Why we spent Q3 optimizing for karma

Is an ACK called for? 

I would add one more aspect if I didn't suspect it's a moot topic. The financial side. Someone has to cover the costs of things... I personally favor cost-recovery from wannabe donors and actual beneficiaries. However I think LessWrong may use the big donor model, which only works as long as the donor's pockets stay full and the donor doesn't make too many bad calls.

Welcome to LessWrong!

Thank you for your reply. I'm pretty sure you meant "thought" rather than something like "been through this [before]". [And later I got detoured into the Chat help and had some trouble recovering to this draft...]

As regards your closing, I believe the trite reply is "No fair! I asked you first." ;-) [I recently read The Semiotics of Emoji and would insert a humorous one if it were available.[But in chat it appeared to convert the one I just used. Here?]] 

I am considering submitting a new question, either for this question or for your other reply (whic... (read more)

Welcome to LessWrong!

This is just a test reply mostly to see what replies look like. The time-critical question about the Verification code may already be moot?

[Team Update] Why we spent Q3 optimizing for karma

Pretty sure this comment is going to go badly. Please excuse me for my incoherence, amplified by my limited time. But I have a number of strong reactions. The three strongest are:

(1) I do not want to reduce humans to or be reduced to a single metric. Symmetry violation (of the Golden Rule).

(2) Arbitrary scaling should be avoided by normalization. Most obvious example is weighting down votes by 4. From a symmetry perspective, the weighting should reflect which way the votes are cast and who is casting the votes. (I also think negative votes should be justif... (read more)

2Ruby2y
Thanks for this detailed feedback! I can't delve into properly today, but I hope to look at it soon.
Open & Welcome Thread - December 2019

My mistake. This is the "Hello, world" place. But the default sort of this one should probably not be by "top scoring"? However, like the visible top scored comment, I, too, have been away from LW for some years. (Nice to see that I can change the sort order without losing my draft. Evidence of solid code. However the newly visible top comment is from 5 months ago? Months between comments?)

I was reminded of LW by The AI Does Not Hate You, though I'm pretty sure I've seen other references to it over the years. So far my impressions are mostly favorable, exc... (read more)

Welcome to LessWrong!

First question is about the "Verification code" that was just sent to my already validated (6 years ago) email address. It might even be urgent? Is there some penalty if I ignore the code now that I'm apparently already logged in? (No mention of "verification" in the FAQ. I know that I did not manually enter the verification code anywhere, but the website somehow decided I was logged in anyway.)

I visited this website at least one time (6 years ago) and left a message. Then I forgot about LW until the book The AI Does Not Hate You reminded me.

My next questi... (read more)

2Ruby2y
Welcome back! I'm not sure what happened with the verification email, but if you're here, you're here. Regards to dimensions, we've though about this but it's tricky and competes with all the other things we do, but is an entirely fair question. If you find somewhere you think is better, please let us know!
1shanen2y
This is just a test reply mostly to see what replies look like. The time-critical question about the Verification code may already be moot?
Book Summary: Willpower by Baumeister, Tierney

I was actually looking for an errata page for the minor mistake on page 119, where it says "three billion" for "three million". The notes are clear, but it still stuck a thumb in my eye.

For what it's worth, I rate the book as good, though a bit drier than The Willpower Instinct. Also, this book seemed less focused on specific things to do.

0k_ebel7y
I've read this book in the past and am looking at "The Willpower Instinct" right now. Since you seem to have read both, I'd love to hear any other thoughts you might have on the comparative pros/cons of each of them.