All of subconvergence's Comments + Replies

Your Dog is Even Smarter Than You Think

I think both of us made our arguments clear, so instead of answering point by point, let me give a quick holistic response that should summarize what I think, and provide a general interesting point of view on animal cognition.

(Maybe you know about the following, but I think it is interesting enough by itself to be presented here to other people)

Corvidae are very intelligent birds. There's ton of evidence of that. You can read studies that test how they can solve problems, you can watch tons of youtube videos showing them interact with their settings and w... (read more)

2StyleOfDog1moI think we're mostly in agreement, and I'm not disputing that it pays to be careful when it comes to animal cognition. I'd say again that I think it's a meta-rational skill to see the patterns of what is likely to work and what isn't, and this kind of stuff is near-impossible to communicate well. I've read about the car-nutracker thing somewhere, but without the null result from research. If you had asked me to bet I'd say it would be unlikely to work. But it's illustrative that we both still agree that corvids are smart and there's a ton of evidence for it. We just don't know the exact ways and forms, and that's how I feel about the dog thing. There's something there but we need to actually study it to know the exact shape and form. I don't think it will be niche because it's already not niche, considering the massive viewership. But your 1% figure sounds about right as a higher bound, given the sheer number of dog owners, the amount of work required and people's low desire to train their pets. A cursory google search says 4% of US dog owners take a training class, so serious button use will have to be a fraction of that.
Your Dog is Even Smarter Than You Think

Sorry for over-reacting to what I perceived as essentially a curated list of youtube videos with no real context. I made a probably more substantial comment as an answer to the OP.

Your Dog is Even Smarter Than You Think

Thanks for responding, and also for illustrating all the issues I have in your post in a compressed way. Basically, what you're saying is:

  1. Something new and exciting is happening
  2. There's not a lot of evidence BUT

I think this community should be able to see the issue there. (To also be polemical, occultism was also something that was new and exciting in the 19th century, with many intellectual of their time spending their evening around a turntable, most of them also in good faith when they reported paranormal activity.)

1. is being conditioned on something re... (read more)

  • I agree I should've summarized the study methodology in the article. For some reason I expected people to click the links and actually read and watch everything (this is not a knock on anyone, one shouldn't expect that when writing articles).
  • There is a lot of evidence, it's just weak and easy to misinterpret, and it's in the form of youtube vids, which goes against aesthetic sensibilities of what "evidence" looks like. If you want to have a holistic picture, you'll have to actually watch a lot of them, I'm sorry.
  • I think it's quite obvious that the evide
... (read more)
1Slider1moBeing interested in the lethality of cigarettes or the likelyhood of climate change would also deal in being interedsted in issues where high-scrutinity or high social status stances are not available. I do think that people have an easier time reading a bit too much into it because the buttons are so legible for humans. The buttons were developed for communication needds for deaf people. Would not pressing buttons in that cotext qualify as peech? What is the relevant difference to make that not apply there? I am wondering whether this [] is a too short conversation. This [] would probably be of good length. To me it feels there is a discernible difference in the level of vividity that the dog follows on the stories. Also On taht linked place the dog is "confused" by a new word which to me reads as a behaviour about actively trying to keep on board with the story and adaptation to expand vocabulary by talking (if not by definition which the human tries to hand over). To my underdstanding the core vocabulary needs to be bootstrapped by reinforcdement anyway so that doesn't make it a disqualifying attribute. YOu can't learn chinese with only the help of a dictionary in chinese. But until the dogs have a primary language they can not keep developing their language skills by simply talking, it needs to link to their "actual" life. The interesting thing about K'eyush being commanded around is that it is more like a negotiation. For a command the dog can react by complying, saying "no" or saying "why". And when they say "why" then giving an explanation can give compliance without repeating the command (but then the dog can also think the reasoning is a rubbish one): I do wonder on what basis judging whether other humans are talking a language the observer doesn't understand vs speaking gibberish. And when tourists are aboard don't they use "bag-of-word" kind of communication a lot? But also doesn't t
Your Dog is Even Smarter Than You Think

Thanks for the precision, I was unaware of that. I still think this post is of very limited value nonetheless.

Your Dog is Even Smarter Than You Think

The fact that this post was curated, and raised so little concern in the comments is worrying.

The author expresses himself maniacally in a mix of meme-speak and LW-lingo. The main claim is never really clarified*, but is presented as if it were, and in an outrageous way. There is no evidence besides YouTube videos**. I have no idea what is going on, and don’t even know where to start.

Comparative cognition is a real scientific field. If you’re interested in the cognitive abilities of non-human animals, and how they compare with the abilities of other specie... (read more)

It sounds to me like you're thinking of curated as 'vetted' or 'confident', while Ray is thinking of it more as 'representing a direction we want to see LW move in more' (including 'this topic seems neglected here, I'd like to see it get more attention').

It's the difference between 'curation is like publishing a non-replication-crisis-y journal article or encyclopedia article, a durable summary of humanity's knowledge we can call back to and base further conclusions on', versus 'curation is like sending out an email to a private researcher mailing list you run "hey, I'd love to see more discussion here in the vein of X"'.

Really? The main claim is presented "in an outrageous way"? 

I can imagine reading the post and being unconvinced by the evidence presented. In fact, that was my reaction (although I haven't watched the videos yet). But... being outraged

Posts should not make large, unsupported claims, and criticism should not be hyperbolic. Here is what I have learned from your critique:

  • You think that StyleOfDog writes "maniacally" and uses "meme-speak" too much.
    • Unclear why I should care. Not my favorite style of writing, but I understood what they were trying t
... (read more)

Plenty of concern was raised in the comments, have you gone through all of them and all the replies?

I'm aware of comparative cognition, the people posting the pet videos are participating in ongoing research at the Comparative Cognition Lab at the University of California, San Diego. They give a description of their methodology, but the status updates appear hidden to ensure integrity of the data.

Short recap of the comments: This is a very new thing, early-stage science often looks like messing around, so don't expect lots of rigor so early. If they had a ... (read more)