sophia_xu

Long-time lurker and just started contributing recently. EA mostly, though sometimes I care about AI alignment.

Wiki Contributions

Comments

Is there a theoretical upper limit on the R0 of Covid variants?

I'm not bio-related or anything, but a popular theory is that what we're seeing in data (where different strains can be observed to develop mutations at a particular spot) can be explained by convergent evolution, which can possibly mean that the variants are running out of new adaptations and converging into local maxima.

Relevant scientific american article | Relevant bioRxiv preprint

sophia_xu's Shortform

I'm slowly working on a frontpage generally arguing that Critical Theory has value.

Hey I'm open if you want to co-write something!

I agree with your assessment that concepts within fields like Critical Theory was not discussed in the aspiring-rationalist context enough. I think most aspiring rationalists would be interested in these alternative maps, if it wasn't presented as totally disconnected to our original maps.

Canada Covid Update: thinking out loud

Respectfully disagree: I don't think enforcing something like this help towards facilitating personal blogposts on lesswrong. I think a better alternative is to create some formal styling guide and implement a formatter that strips emojis etc from the title string when posts are promoted to frontpage (or even in the "recent posts" list if you guys want that); otherwise I don't think limiting editorial choices by the author helps the case of building community blogs.

On LessWrong/Rationality and Political Debates

Of course it should be possible to invite LessWrong readers to debate politics outside the website, using any rules you choose.

This is a good point - or like how the SSC substack has a more political comment section for people who want to debate politics within the aspiring rationalist community.

On LessWrong/Rationality and Political Debates

Isn't there something to be said for recognising members of other tribes and not trying to convert or kill them? 

Yeah, I mean, what else can we do? I don't think a lot of people want to convert or eliminate people from other tribes, I'm more talking about standalone arguments here: how can we give the maximum benefit of doubt to arguments from (presumably) people from the other tribe? 

On LessWrong/Rationality and Political Debates

However, to be honest, I don't think we should be trying to settle debates on this side

Wholeheartedly agree. For one I don't think debates among major political camps now can be "settled" - maybe people here tends to be more open and we can settle some debate to some extent, I don't think there's more values other than practicing rationality skills.

especially since being apolitical is increasingly being slammed as political in and of itself.

I happen to be one of those people who believe this is true - but that doesn't mean we can't be apolitical anywhere: we do have the entirety of the internet at our disposal, just go to Twitter for these stuff or something. (I'm also willing to have my mind changed on this one)

A dashboard for progress

I love the dashboard idea!

I think the energy metric can give us good intuition visualization-wise, since it kind of is less arbitrary and many parts of consumption/progress can be seen as components of overall energy use. 

If I'd like to add something to the graph I'd say include some additional breakdowns of the energy metric: 1) we need to figure out how to measure efficiency and represent it somehow: this is entirely in the domain of epistemic uncertainty, cause massive shifts in terms of centralization/geopolitics in the last couple decades has brought significant changes that reflected by energy usage; 2) we can add a personal/industrial division to diagnose which parts are responsible; 3) in terms of sustainability we can add something like a renewable/non-renewable breakdown to see where we're going.

I think it will also be useful from a "progress measuring" perspective to see which percents of energy are used in transportation; manufacturing; service; computing etc, in addition to other parts of the dashboard you outlined.

romeostevensit's Shortform

I agree, they both pray on our is-ought bias.

Yes, words can cause harm

Interesting to see this discussed in a framework about attribution.

If you're willing to engage in a little thought experiment, what levels of responsibility would you consider in this scenario:

Alice was invited to Bob's birthday party. Bob's parents prepared the party and a birthday cake, but they didn't know Alice has a severe peanut allergy. During the party Alice ate the birthday cake, which contained peanut, and was hospitalized for a couple of months. 

In this scenario I don't think Bob's parents are responsible - because as you said in a previous post, one person cannot be expected to be responsible for what's going on in another's body.

But what about this alternative scenario:

Bob's parents bought a birthday cake from a bakery - which (if we're living in a developing country and things like FDA don't exist) didn't label its nutrition and allergy-related facts; everything else is still the same.

In this case I'd consider the bakery to be legally and morally responsible: since they're serving potentially unlimited customers, failure to consider such important facts should not be excused by pleading ignorance.

Like allergies, depression can cause otherwise insignificant remarks/criticisms to be harmful to a patient than otherwise healthy people, since depressed people engage in more negative thinking about themselves than healthy people. I'm not a medical professional so please correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm only extending my personal experience with evidence.

My case is that since internet comments are directed to an unlimited amount of audience, we should use some caution in our words when speaking publicly, even if it's only potentially harmful to other people, intentional or not.

(Also I downvoted the parent comment since it's using unnecessary politics and tribalism as a way to avoid conversation, which isn't something we should encourage as a community)

Ads are everywhere, and it's not okay

I'm certain that the comment you're replying to was talking about youtube premium (formerly youtube red) on youtube - it can be a pretty good moral case to use adblocker + youtube premium because you will be compensating the creator (they actually receive more income per premium watch than regular ad revenue) and youtube without consenting to online tracking and targeted ads.

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