All of theduffman's Comments + Replies

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.

0Pablo9yI've now created a separate torrent which allows for selective downloading of individual files. See here [] .
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.

0[anonymous]9yOr, you know, they could weight suffering in a continuous, derivable way that doesn't make a fundamental distinction in theory, but achieves that result in practice; amputating a finger is worth more than a billion blood-pricks, one broken arm is worth more than a billion billion nudges, and so on. Or maybe we're going at it completely wrong and the models for quantifying overall suffering are completely inadequate to the subject matter. If pain functioned like a sound, and that an order of magnitude increase would register as a linear increase, you could stack billions of the lower pains without the resulting pain registering very high. And so on. Or maybe it's completely different than that. My point is, the dust speck question is more of a question on how human psychology of pain and reciprocity works than on the merits of some forms of utilitarianism and deontologism, which I feel are only approximations towards modelling said psychology.
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 ... (read more)

9CarlShulman9yGiveWell disagrees with the conclusions you suggest in drawing on that link, arguing that saving lives in rich countries is worth substantially more than saving lives in poor countries, since these contribute more to economic growth, scientific progress, donate to charity and pay taxes for foreign aid themselves, have a higher standard of living, and so forth. They think that this attenuates greatly the gap among charities. ETA: foreign aid still comes out ahead of most rich country charity in their view, because it is SO cheap as to offset the reduced impacts of saving a life there.
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:

1[anonymous]9yWhat did they make of the dust speck dilemma?
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...

2NancyLebovitz9y [] Some past Singularity Summit videos.
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.

0Bruno_Coelho9yThe intelligence explosion [] site, for a overall bibliography of AI, with links to the principal papers.
2Kaj_Sotala9yThere's the AI risk bibliography [].
0beoShaffer9yYou could try the singularity summit videos [].
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 ... (read more)

2Raemon9yWhat concerns me is whether this will lead to specific, new knowledge or concrete actions. I feel like we talk a lot about big ideas in a vague sense and small ideas in a concrete sense. I'd like to be able to talk about big ideas more concretely (though if need be, breaking them down into smaller chunks). I don't actually have a recommendation right now (although I plan on talking with a few local people tonight and hopefully generate ideas). But I think as many people as possible should come to this online meetup with a concrete list of things to talk about - last time we covered a few new ideas but the discussion was sort of meandering. I think pre-planned mini-presentations would help a lot.
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.

LessWrong help desk - free paper downloads and more

Could you please resume seeding this library so that I can download it and help? This seems potentially useful.

0Pablo9yPlease update the magnet URI. Let me know if you are still encountering problems.
Heuristic: How does it sound in a movie?

As with most (?all) biases, the key seems to be to notice the bounds of its usefulness.

Having a normal human amount of faith in narratives is useful for making conversation and probably for motivating oneself, but not for (?most) planning.

9ChristianKl9yA stranger comes to town... Most planning is about motivating yourself to do the right thing. Let's say I want to work on an big project. Then I check facebook. If I ask myself: "If this would be a movie, would the actor check facebook?" I get a pretty clear answer: "No." The actor would do something meaninful. The times in my life where I was the most productive were the time where I was clearly in touch with a narrative. The more strongly you develop a narrative the more likely you are to get other people to want to participate. If you want to get big things done you need other people to help you.
6Kawoomba9yIndeed, it's good to be aware of the narrative-bias on some level, just not too aware. More like an exception handling routine that's just checking for out-of-bounds errors. Welcome to LW, glad that my little comment sparked you to make your first comment. :)