All of Tedav's Comments + Replies

Yes, that is true as well.

My point was that since our cultural instinct is to give, but in practice this is done inefficiently, [charities are wasteful, people don't give to charities to optimize utility but rather to charities that they think they like, and a flat percentage is probably worse than a progressive tax], and therefore it would probably be better for society if we didn't expect charity from people - this seemingly beneficial cultural obligation can be argued to be harmful.

I like this approach.

It makes sense, and it mostly dodges the problem that other "simple" formulae for charity have - namely that most simple systems tend to be essentially voluntary regressive taxation.

This is why the 10% rule has always bugged me - it is a culturally accepted voluntary regressive tax, and as such it exacerbates social inequality.

[Also, one of my friends likes to joke that our culture holds that you give 10% of your income to charity, but capital gains are exempt...]

I'm always on the lookout for things that seem innocuous or eve... (read more)

And if people didn't naturally want to have sex, we might be more willing to consent to government-assigned reproduction!
How is it regressive? (I suppose if A has a policy of giving 10% of what you get after tax and B looks at A's giving as a fraction of income before tax then it'll look like a regressive policy. But you could equally say that if A gives 10% of income before tax, and B looks at giving as a fraction of income after tax, then proportional giving looks like a progressive policy.) Many advocates of proportional giving would say that if you're poor then you shouldn't be feeling obliged to give at all, which would make the policy progressive overall. I don't think it's fair to blame this on the idea of proportional giving. I suppose that's possible in theory. I gravely doubt it would actually happen in practice. (Perhaps if we were forbidden to give to charities privately, but that seems like an obviously really terrible idea.)

I'm not prepared to make that bet.

I don't suspect the bias would vanish, but rather be diminished.

people who they voted for < who they predicted would win < bet on who would win, where '<' indicates predictive accuracy.

This is exactly what I was saying.

Yes, I meant it as a paraphrase.

I didn't mean to imply I thought it was, though I see how that wasn't clear.

I didn't intend that last bracketed part to be an example, but rather a related phenomenon - it is interesting to me how asking a random sample of people who they voted for is a worse predictor than asking a random sample of people who they would predict got the most votes, and that this accuracy further improves when people are asked to stake money on their predictions.

I simply was pointing out that certain biases might be significantly more visible when there is no real incentive to be right.

people who they voted for < who they predicted would win < bet on who would win, where '<' indicates predictive accuracy. Because, the first is signaling about yourself and perhaps trying to sway others, the second is probably just swaying others, and the third is trying to make money. It's a testament to a demented culture that people are lying about how they vote.

For instance, one supplemental explanation for the False Consensus Effect (because just because it is one effect doesn't mean it has only one cause) that I have heard is that in most cases it is a "free" way of obtaining comfort.

If presented with an opportunity to believe that other people are like you, with no penalty for being wrong, one could expect people will err on the side of predicting behavior consistent with one's own behavior.

I obviously haven't done this experiment, but I suspect that if the subjects asked to wear the sign were offere... (read more)

Possibly. But if you're prepared to bet that the bias would vanish in that context, that's a bet I'd take.
Voting isn't a form of predicting the winner, it's not about being on the side of the winner.

It sounds like you might be looking for something like The Onion Router (Tor)

For X to be able to model the decisions of Y with 100% accuracy, wouldn't X require a more sophisticated model?

If so, why would supposedly symmetrical models retain this symmetry?

5Eliezer Yudkowsky10y

I actually acknowledge that deeper in the thread [in the response to PECOS-9], noting that this is the publicly understood complement, despite being wrong: society teaches that the primary colors are Red, Yellow, Blue and not Magenta, Yellow, Cyan.

Fair enough.

I must admit, this makes my theory less likely, but I still don't see your reading as the unambiguously correct interpretation, but I will freely cede that it look plausible that it is an interrupt, not an elaboration. This may, in part, stem from the fact that I am a big proponent of using "-" in my writing, and my usage is somewhat nonstandard.

Even if that is right, I don't think it rules out my guess about Quirrell's plan, but again, I'm significantly less confident now.

The complement of hot is not-red?

Thanks, fixed :)

His attitude after hearing the prophecy can be summed up by his words to McGonagall, which are consistent with everything he does thereafter

I would say that his request to McGonagall is consistent with my theory - he knew that her attempts to stop Harry would have the opposite effect. I am guessing that Quirrell has some alternate interpretation to the prophecy.

One possibility for this is "The End of the World" corresponds to an change to the natural order that makes the world unrecognizable, such as the removal of mortality.

It is possible th... (read more)

Regarding the sequence of events, here's how it goes: (quoted from rather than the .pdf this time for greater accuracy) I really don't see how you can get any sequence of events out of that other than "Trelawney is about to make prophecy -> Quirrell analyses Harry's emotions and is happy with what he finds -> Trelawney makes prophecy". Quirrell doesn't even get a full stop at the end of his thought before the quote marks open for Trelawney to speak.

Personally, I think Quirrell killed Hermione, in the hopes of getting Harry to actually figure out how to defeat death - something no one else has ever done.

The reason he was happy when he heard the prediction that Harry would break the Universe is that this was near-confirmation that Harry would be successful.

In short, here is my version of Quirrell's plan:

1) For deniability reasons, be anti-resurrection from the start, and horribly worried about what Harry will do - tell Harry this

2) Kill someone Harry won't allow to stay dead (Hermione)

3) Become convinc... (read more)

That is the exact opposite of how he reacted. His attitude after hearing the prophecy can be summed up by his words to McGonagall, which are consistent with everything he does thereafter:

Magic and supernatural might often work as synonyms, but I still think hearing God called "magic" is not generally accepted, even if "supernatural" is.

Your point is well taken about D&D - although I wasn't proposing that we actually use the D&D system to describe the belief system. I was expressing regret that a similar dichotomy doesn't exist within the language already.

I suppose that's because the concept of "arcane magic", is largely a modern invention of the fantasy genre, where it is portrayed essentially as a fictional science and technology. Historically, some forms of mysticism such as alchemy and astrology, or more generally "natural philosophy", had some elements of what we could describe as "arcane magic", and in fact they eventually evolved into the modern sciences of chemistry, astronomy and physics. However, what was traditionally regarded as "magic" or "sorcery" in Abrahamic religions, was always believed to involve some kind of deal with evil spirits or the devil.

Hearing the Christian God referred to as "magic" reminds me of another apparent lexical gap in English. I think most theologians would be uncomfortably hesitant to call the purported miracles in their faith as the result of magic - although to my knowledge there is no better word to replace it.

I wish that our culture expressed the Divine Magic vs. Arcane Magic dichotomy that exists in Dungeons and Dragons.

Well, I've used "magic" as a synonym of "supernatural", which is a term that Christian theologians accept. Christian theologians tend to define "magic" as anything supernatural that doesn't come from their god, that is "satanic". I suppose that Christians would be even more offended by having their belief system compared to a role playing game inspired by a mishmash of pre-Christian folklore. :D

My sense of the word complement is that if two things are complements, they sum to 1, or some equivalent.

A is the complement of ~A because P(A or ~A) = 1

Red and green are considered to be complementary colors because together they contain all primary colors of pigments. [although, that is based on the societal understanding that the primary colors are Red, Yellow and Blue. This is actually incorrect. For pigments, the primary colors are really Magenta, Yellow, and Cyan. For light, they are Red, Green, and Blue.]

That is a very good suggestion.

While better than anything I came up with on my own, I'm not sure that antonym is a perfect fit though.

For one, while hot/cold works, I'm not sure that red/green works.

Plus, antonym has a different connotation - it is the antonym of synonym. Antonym implies a word with the "opposite" meaning, not a concept with the "opposite" meaning.

I wouldn't be comfortable talking about the antonym of a concept.

Does anyone know if there are any languages that don't have this problem?

But many explanations which use "entropy" could also use "disorder" without becoming overtly incoherent or contradicting accounts given by most others; which was the requirement of #5.

That works for physical entropy. For the sense of entropy used in information theory, a better substitution would be uncertainty.

You are right - my mistake.

An increase in entropy is a movement from a macrostate with a smaller number of microstates to a macrostate with a larger number of microstates.

"The number of microstates for a given macrostate tends to increase over time"

Or, are microstate and macrostate also garblejargon?

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"The number of microstates for a given macrostate tends to increase over time" That's not true. The number of microstates per macrostate is fixed.

Is anyone else bothered by the word "opposite"?

It has many different usages, but there are two in particular that bother me: "The opposite of hot is cold" "The opposite of red is green" Opposite of A is [something that appears to be on the other side of a spectrum from A]

"The opposite of hot is not-hot" "The opposite of red is not-red"
Opposite of A is ~A

These two usages really ought not to be assigned to the same word. Does anyone know if there are simple ways to unambiguously use one meaning and not the... (read more)

Not any more than I'm bothered by a million other ambiguous words. (Also, as a mathematician, I'm comforted by the fact that there are many precise notions of "opposite" in mathematics.)
Slightly off-topic, but the actual complement of red is cyan, and the complement of green is magenta.
I'd say that opposite means the opposite side of the spectrum, and not means something other then. The opposite of hot is cold, and not hot is not hot.
Often when people want to emphasize that what they mean is not the complement of the referent, they say "diametrically opposed" or "direct opposite" or "antipode": "the complement of hot [in the set of all temperature perceptions] is not-hot, but the direct opposite of hot is cold".
For a psychological basis, check out the research on how humans basically represent everything on a single scale (book recommendation: Thinking, Fast and Slow).
In Esperanto, prefix "mal-" means the opposite, "ne-" means the negation. English equivalents would be "anti-" and "non-".
The antonym of hot is cold. The negation of hot is not-hot.
I sometimes use "negation of X" to refer to the logical operator NOT-X. The other-side-of-a-continuum relationship I don't have a single word for. I might say that the "complement" of green is red, but that's specific to color. I often use "opposite" when I want a generic term here, with the understanding that I'm using it colloquially.
"Complement" is sort of a word for the second one.

"Intelligence" is one of my favorite examples of Reification - a cluster of concepts that were grouped together into a single word to make communication easier, and as a result is often falsely thought of as a single concept, rather than an abstract collection of several separable ideas.

Knowledge of relevant facts, algorithmic familiarity, creativity, arithmetic capabilities, spatial reasoning capabilities, awareness and avoidance of logical fallacies, and probably dozens of others are all separable concepts that all could reasonable be described... (read more)

If you aren't sure if you subvocalize while reading, try forcing yourself to imagine the words being read in a specific way - possibly in your friend's voice, or read in a certain easily stereotyped accent. Once you do that, you can see how different that feels from the reading you normally do.

When I try "reading in a Russian accent", my reading speed severely decreases, and the feeling is considerably more auditory than when I am reading with no gimmicks.