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LessWrong help desk - free paper downloads and more

There are no seeds during the day (Australian time). And then I leave my computer on overnight and it only downloads an extra couple of percent. downloading at about 4kB/sec. Unlikely to be a problem on my end. Would be keen for increased seeding of this. And then I can split up the file, pick the good parts and then repackage it in a new LW/rationality torrent. :/ Just as soon as it gets seeded better.

A place for casual, non-karmic discussion for lesswrongers?

The 3^^^3 dust specks vs torture dillema is an axis that utilitarians can vary on.

Most utilitarians on Felicifia understand scope insensitivity and will prefer a small amount of torture. Of the rest, some believe in fundamentally different grades of suffering.

Voting is like donating thousands of dollars to charity

Amount of money spent is a radically different thing from amount of good done. Even among charities effectiveness can differ by about 1000x. Government spending is likely to fall more in line with the least effective charities because it is biased by political motives. Most spending is not even in areas that are likely to be effective like global health, or rationality outreach. The money that is spent on global health is politically directed, going largely to local neighbours and sites of war and terrorism, not to those most in need.

As the most effective charities are likely 100-10000x more effective than government spending, the calculation should be adjusted down by 3-5 orders of magnitude. We're looking at more like $0.01 - $15,000 as the equivalent impact.

A place for casual, non-karmic discussion for lesswrongers?

The Felicifia forum for utilitarians has an overlapping userbase and is nearby to your suggestion in concept-space:

Open Thread, November 1-15, 2012

Thanks. Yes, I've downloaded these. It would be great if someone had a video collection of past Singularity Summits and AGI meetings...

Open Thread, November 1-15, 2012

Can someone please recommend me rationality and FAI-related materials. Books. Audiobooks. Lecture videos. Anything that I can obtain cheaply or freely online, that will give me something useful during some upcoming long flights.

Online Optimal Philanthropy Meeting

Good point. I've contacted him. I suppose we should discuss it at a later date instead.

I suggest as an alternative topic of discussion - identifying cascades, cycles, insights and recursive loops that might be available to altruistic actions. An abstract but important issue.

"Cascades are when one development leads the way to another - for example, once you discover gravity, you might find it easier to understand a coiled spring.

Cycles are feedback loops where a process's output becomes its input on the next round. As the classic example of a fission chain reaction illustrates, a cycle whose underlying processes are continuous, may show qualitative changes of surface behavior - a threshold of criticality - the difference between each neutron leading to the emission of 0.9994 additional neutrons versus each neutron leading to the emission of 1.0006 additional neutrons. k is the effective neutron multiplication factor and I will use it metaphorically.

Insights are items of knowledge that tremendously decrease the cost of solving a wide range of problems - for example, once you have the calculus insight, a whole range of physics problems become a whole lot easier to solve. Insights let you fly through, or teleport through, the solution space, rather than searching it by hand - that is, "insight" represents knowledge about the structure of the search space itself. and finally,

Recursion is the sort of thing that happens when you hand the AI the object-level problem of "redesign your own cognitive algorithms".

Eliezer's Sequences and Mainstream Academia and a couple of posts before and after are variations on the ideas of Daniel Dennett's The Intentional Stance. I loved both versions.

Online Optimal Philanthropy Meeting

You're right. I changed X-risk to 'critique nick's four classes', cut 'rationality' and postponed the discussion of utility of EA organisations.

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