Sunny from QAD


Pain is not the unit of Effort

pain isn't the unit of effort, but for many things it's correlated with whatever that unit is.

I think this correlation only appears if you're choosing strategies well. If you're tasked with earning a lot of money to give to charity, and you generate a list of 100 possible strategies, then you should toss out all the strategies that don't lie on the pareto boundary of pain and success. (In other words, if strategy A is both less effective and more painful then strategy B, then you should never choose strategy A.) Pain will correlate with success in the remaining pool of strategies, but it doesn't correlate in the set of all strategies. And OP is saying that people often choose strategies that are off the pareto boundary because they specifically select pain-inducing strategies under the misconception that those strategies will all be successful as well.

Sunny's Shortform

A koan:

If the laundry needs to be done, put in a load of laundry.
If the world needs to be saved, save the world.
If you want pizza for dinner, go preheat the oven.

You Only Live Twice

So it's been 10 years. How are you feeling about cryonics now?

You Only Live Twice

It's been ten years. How are you enjoying life?

For what it's worth, I value you even though you're a stranger and even if your life is still going poorly. I often hear people saying how much better their life got after 30, after 40, after 50. Imagine how much larger the effect could be after cryosuspension!

Sunny's Shortform

I've been thinking of signing up for cryonics recently. The main hurdle is that it seems like it'll be kind of complicated, since at the moment I'm still on my parent's insurance, and I don't really know how all this stuff works. I've been worrying that the ugh field surrounding the task might end up being my cause of death by causing me to look on cryonics less favorably just because I subconsciously want to avoid even thinking about what a hassle it will be.

But then I realized that I can get around the problem by pre-committing to sign up for cryonics no matter what, then just cancelling it if I decide I don't want it.

It will be MUCH easier to make an unbiased decision if choosing cryonics means doing nothing rather than meaning that I have to go do a bunch of complicated paperwork now. It will be well worth a few months (or even years) of dues.

No Logical Positivist I

Eliezer, you're definitely setting up a straw man here. Of course it's not just you -- pretty much everybody suffers from this particular misunderstanding of logical positivism.

How do you know that the phrase "logical positivism" refers to the correct formulation of the idea, rather than an exaggerated version? I have no trouble at all believing that a group of people discovered the very important notion that untestable claims can be meaningless, and then accidentally went way overboard into believing that difficult-to-test claims are meaningless too.

Willpower Hax #487: Execute by Default

So it's been 11 years. Do you still remember pjeby's advice? Did it change your life?

How worried are the relevant experts about a magnetic pole reversal?

There's evidence to be had in the fact that, though it's been known for a long time, it's not a big field of study with clear experts.

This is true. It's only a mild comfort to me, though, since I don't have too much faith in humanity's ability to conjure up fields of study for important problems. But I do have some faith.

From very light googling, it seems likely to happen over hundreds or thousands of years, which puts it pretty far down the list of x-risk worries IMO.

Also true. This makes me update away from "we might wake up dead tomorrow" and towards "the future might be pretty odd, like maybe we'll all wear radiation suits when we're outside for a few generations".

How worried are the relevant experts about a magnetic pole reversal?

('overdue') presumes some knowledge of mechanism, which I don't have. Roughly speaking it's a 1 in 300,000 risk each year and not extinction level.

Am I misunderstanding, or is this an argument from ignorance? The article says we're overdue; that makes it sound like someone has an idea of what the mechanism is, and that person is saying that according to their model, we're overdue. Actually, come to think of it, "overdue" might not imply knowledge of a mechanism at all! Maybe we simply have good reason to believe that this has happened about every 300,000 years for ages, and conclude that "we're overdue" is a good guess.

it's not as though the field temporarily disappears completely!

How do you know?

Postmortem to Petrov Day, 2020

I'll just throw in my two cents here and say that I was somewhat surprised by how serious the Ben's post is. I was around for the Petrov Day celebration last year, and I also thought of it as just a fun little game. I can't remember if I screwed around with the button or not (I can't even remember if there was a button for me).

Then again, I do take Ben's point: a person does have a responsibility to notice when something that's being treated like a game is actually serious and important. Not that I think 24 hours of LW being down is necessarily "serious and important".

Overall, though, I'm not throwing much of a reputation hit (if any at all) into my mental books for you.

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