All of Stephen James's Comments + Replies

Stephen James's Shortform

It's humorous how quick we are to cast judgments on things that we think we have a full understanding of, when we only have an adequate representation for our purposes and are yet completely oblivious to the full potential left untapped.

Not to be highfalutin, imagine you were a young adult acquiring your first vehicle. It's a truck - a fixer-upper, even. You repair the leather seating, replace the radio, undergo an apprenticeship as a mechanic, get it "humming" again, even adding an ECU and improvement suspension. You've done a lot and you have quite the u... (read more)

What are you reading?

Just started two books as a research endeavor into information communication:

  • Weapons of Math Destruction, Kathy O'Neil
  • Skin in the Game, Nassim Nicholas Taleb (seems to be a popularization of his technical paper by the same name)
Is it harder to become a MIRI mathematician in 2019 compared to in 2013?

I have wondered this exact same thing myself, having discovered LessWrong in 2018 and Nate's story very soon thereafter. We have a similar-enough background, though I'm missing the basic analysis course in university. Your analysis lines up with almost everything I have gleaned over the last year, when things have seemed much quieter.

My effective conclusion - in absence of more information - is that MIRI is "full" like one is full from a meal. It would be nice to have more people on the mathematical side of things, but it's not going to help for a little w

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What's your big idea?

Why would this be an ethical thing to do? It sounds like you're trying to manipulate others into people you'd like them to be and not what they themselves like to be.

Perhaps I didn't give enough detail. I definitely don't want to drive others exclusively into what I would like them to be. Nor do I want people to believe as I do in most regards. There's a greater principle that I think would make the world a better place:

When I engage with someone who presents themselves as opposed to an entire Other group, they tend to (in one way or another) divulge th

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What's your big idea?

I tend to keep three on mind and in rotation, as they move from "under inspection" to "done for now" and all the gradations between. In the past, this has included the likes of:

  • the validity of reverse chronological time travel ("done for now" back in 2010)
  • predictability of interpersonal interactions ("done for now" as of Spring 2017)
  • how to reject advice, while not alienating the caring individuals that provide advice (on hold)

Currently I'm working on:

  • How and Why are people presenting themselves as so divided in current conversations?
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1maximkazhenkov2yWhy would this be an ethical thing to do? It sounds like you're trying to manipulate others into people you'd like them to be and not what they themselves like to be. Ethics aside, this seems to be a tall order. You're basically trying to hack into someone else's mind through very limited input channels (speech/text). In my experience it's never a lack of knowledge that's hindering people from overcoming akrasia (also the reason I'm skeptical towards the efficacy of self-help books). That's a very good point. In ML courses lots of time is spent on introducing different network types and technical details of calculus/linear algebra, without explaining why to pick out neural networks from idea space in the first place beyond hand-waving that it's "biologically inspired".