All of themusicgod1's Comments + Replies

Archimedes's Chronophone

Clearly.  But whatever they are, they should still be represented, and there may be similarly wild things in the outlying areas of their worldview - and if I can help them reach it I will.  In my experience it's the ideas in the hinterlands that are the way out of the problems of our time, regardless what our time is - merely seeing that our worldview has outliers, and the overton window is limiting us in one area is usually enough to see that we're limited elsewhere, too.

Is Morality Given?

Similarly, an even more defensible position might be Buddhist one, or that happiness is transitory and mostly a construction of the mind, and virtually always attached to suffering, but suffering is real and worth minimizing.

The Moral Void

This post is generalizable, even if you don't think that it's wrong to kill people as a general rule there's probably some other moral act #G_30429 that you probably don't think that it would be appropriate and the point still holds: Rowhammering the bit that says "Don't do #G_30429" is probably not as impossible as it seems in the long run.

(Meta: when thinking about this I found it difficult to recall all of the arguments I've learned in moral philosophy over the past 16 years of trying that would have been applicable. I knew where you were g... (read more)

The Moral Void

This assumes that the people around you generally do the right thing. If you operate under the alternative assumption (which is much more reasonable) you would likely still be alive.

What Would You Do Without Morality?

Modernized version as of 2017, of the first part of this post :

More serious reply: depending when you encountered me, I'd be more boring in some ways, since a lot of what I spend my time doing is towards a moral end. All the things I've learned in life I learned from trying to live in a moral universe. I would never have gotten a degree, I did that virtually entirely for what I perceived to be reasons of altruism. Since I'm assuming here that everyone else will continue to live under the illusion that they are in suc... (read more)

The Psychological Unity of Humankind

This brings up the Sapir Worf hypothesis, or the newspeak for it, "Linguistic Relativity". After all, memes must be expressible, musn't they? If they are then if it were true, then the memes that you have bound the memes that you can espouse -- linguistic relativity in a nutshell.

Many memes these days come in picture form, but for that you need a medium capable of showing pictures, and the culture that places value in making such media universally available. Without that culture, and without the apparatus to share picture-memes those memes wou... (read more)

Guessing the Teacher's Password

Here's what you actually wanted to link to for "looking back"

(edit: search 'looking back', i used to have it indexed with hyperlinks, but I lost that copy)
Bloggingheads: Yudkowsky and Horgan

My concern isn't with the interview per se(everything I would add would best be put in another thread). It's with the reaction here in the comments here.

That 90% wasn't a waste anymore than overcomingbias as a blog is a waste. Horgan is hardly alone in remembering the Fifth Generation Project and it was worth it to get Yudkowsky to hammer out, once more, to a new audience why what happened in the 80's was not representative of what is to come in the 10ky timeframe. Those of you who are hard on Horgan he is not one of you. You cannot hold him to LW stan... (read more)

Timeless Beauty

The parent made 3 claims(the 3rd one was snuck into the conclusion). I only addressed 2 and 3. 1 is a credible point that stands on its own merit. Without points 2 and 3 however with 1 it's no longer a sound argument.

Timeless Beauty

edit PaleMoon lost original reply. I will try to recreate it :(

Not saying you're incorrect in criticizing the above(the two claims do seem incompatible), but isn't it the case that algorithms are just structures and that only they take time only to run? What I mean is that within the block-universe view there would be structures that we would be in ignorance of their nature and in order for us to learn about them we might have to count them (and since we are living in a timeline with computers that operate per cycle our accounting of them would take som... (read more)

0TheAncientGeek5yI don't see how that relates to the supervenience of experiential states on instantaneous brain states.
Many Worlds, One Best Guess

Our children will look back at the fact that we were STILL ARGUING about this in the early 21st-century, and correctly deduce that we were nuts.

We're still arguing whether or not the world is flat, whether the zodiac should be used to predict near-term fate and whether we should be building stockpiles of nuclear weapons. There's billions left to connect to the internet, and most extant human languages to this day have no written form. Basic literacy and mathematics is still something much of the world struggles with. This is going to go on for awhile... (read more)

To Spread Science, Keep It Secret

(this is the second copy of this comment, the first was regrettably lost in a browser crash. Use systems that back up your comments automatically)

This advice seems to fly in the face of Richard Hamming's advice to keep an open door. However perhaps the difference is subtle: Hamming suggested to have an open door but not necessarily to share your secrets, so perhaps there is room for a big science mystery cult to retain its own mysteries at every level of initiation. Perhaps there is a middle ground[1] to be found between this and current 'open science'... (read more)

Fake Reductionism

The question may have once been which poet gets quoted when rainbows are brought up. If Keats isn't adding to the discussion in a meaningful way anymore since his metaphors will play second fiddle to the ones that of Newton, which were wonderful and exciting enough that Newton was driven to poking himself in the eye with a needle over them. I don't know if Keats even in his heyday could have claimed that. It may have been that his views on rainbows were propagated in some ingroup, until someone from that ingroup quoted them to someone in an ingroup with ... (read more)

Qualitatively Confused

This seems to me more evidence that intelligence is in part a social/familial thing: that like human beings that have to be embedded in a society in order to develop a certain level of intelligence, a certain level of an intuition for "don't do this it will kill you" informed by the nuance that is only possible with a wide array of individual failures informing group success or otherwise: it might be a prerequisite for higher level reasoning beyond a certain level (and might constrain the ultimate levels upon which intelligence can rest).

I've se... (read more)

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Righting a Wrong Question

Either way, the question is guaranteed to have an answer. You even have a nice, concrete place to begin tracing—your belief, sitting there solidly in your mind.

In retrospect this seems like an obvious implication of belief in belief. I would have probably never figured it out on my own, but now that I've seen both, I can't unsee the connection.

Dissolving the Question

No one has complicated thoughts about several dreams from totally different genres while experiencing that one is unable to move a muscle without being awake.

...I've had some pretty complicated dreams, where I've woken up from a dream(!), gone to work, made coffee, had discussions about the previous dream, had thoughts about the morality or immorality of the dream, then sometime later come to a conclusion that something was out of place(I'm not wearing pants?!) then woken up to realize that I was dreaming. I've had nested dreams a good couple of layers... (read more)

1Brilliand6yOne method to check if you're dreaming is to hold your nose shut and try to breathe through it - if you're dreaming, your nose will work "normally", whereas if you're awake actual physics will take effect. (Note: every time I've done this while dreaming, I immediately got very excited and woke up.)
Outside the Laboratory

Looks like somewhere along the transition to lesswrong, the trackback to this related OB post appears to have been lost. It's worth digging a step deeper for the context, here.

Mutual Information, and Density in Thingspace

Including: "twitter", "altruism", "trust", "start" and "curiosity" apparently?

Arguing "By Definition"

Obviously the above is copypasta from Wikipedia at no doubt the time of the parent's posting.

In case it's edited/the edit history is wiped in the future:

[1] Eric Margolis; Stephen Lawrence. "Concepts". Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab at Stanford University. Retrieved 6 November 2012.

[2] Susan Carey (2009). The Origin of Concepts. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-536763-8.

[3] Gregory Murphy (2002). The Big Book of Concepts. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ISBN 0-262-13409-8.

[4] Stephen Lawrence; Eric Marg... (read more)

Newcomb's Problem and Regret of Rationality

This link is 404ing. Anyone have a copy of this?

3Vladimir_Nesov7yThe current version is here []. (It's Eliezer Yudkowsky (2010). Timeless Decision Theory.)
Circular Altruism

Couldn't you argue this the opposite way? That life is such misery, that extra torture isn't really adding to it.

The world with the torture gives 3^^^3+1 suffering souls a life of misery, suffering and torture.

The world with the specs gives 3^^^3+1 suffering souls a life of misery, suffering and torture, only basically everyone gets extra specks of dust in their eye.

In which case, the first is better?

It's not as much of a stretch as you might think..

Lonely Dissent

This strikes me as an unfortunately place and time-sensitive OvercomingBias/LessWrong post. As the moral character and fashions change with the change of generations, it's going to lose its edge. While the reader is going to vaguely understand the general idea...they may not really 'get' why or that cryonics was that far outside the overton window to begin with. It might warrant relooking at or retelling this particular set of stories in a more recent context later on. I wonder if the retelling of the Sequences later on end up doing just this.

Politics and Awful Art

There seems to be one class of a political topic that seems to lead inevitably to this (and to which I'm guilty of). Any political stance that affects the means of creative production(for example, copyright/free culture). If you get to the point where you cannot stand the people who are making art for political reasons, you are forced to create your own. The result is going to be usually awful. Warning people against creating awful art in that case goes too far -- awful art probably needs to be created in order for masterpieces to emerge from in relat... (read more)

The Hidden Complexity of Wishes

A sufficiently powerful genie might make safe genies by definition more unsafe. Then your wish could be granted.

edit (2015) caution: I think this particular comment is harmless in retrospect... but I wouldn't give it much weight

Thou Art Godshatter

Is not your second link dealt with by or am I misreading one of the two? It seems to leave the main causal mechanism abstract enough to prove anything.

A Case Study of Motivated Continuation

It appears I'm less rational than I thought. I suppose another way to rephrase that would be that to draw the outline of VNM-rational decisions only up to preferences that are meaningfully resolvable(and TORTURE vs SPECK does not appear to be to me at least) with a heuristic of how to resolve them clearer given intereaction with unresolveable areas. I would still be making a choice, albeit one with the goal of expanding rational decisionmaking to the utmost possible(it would be rational to be as rational as permissable). That seems pretty cheap though, ... (read more)

Torture vs. Dust Specks

I suppose you could view the utility as a meaninful object in this frame and abstract away the dust, too, but in the end the dust-utility system is going to encompaps both anyway so solving the problem on either level is going to solve it on both.

A Case Study of Motivated Continuation

I chose RANDOM* and feel that this

  • Satisfies the suggestion of making sure that you choose/'state a preference' (the result of RANDOM is acceptable to me and I would be willing to work past it and not dwelling on it).

  • Satisfies the suggestion of making sure you state assumptions to the extent you're able to resolve them (RANDOM implies a structure upon which RANDOM acts and I was already thinking about implications of either choice, though perhaps I could have thought more clearly about the consequences of RANDOM specifically)

  • does not compromise me as

... (read more)
1solipsist8yYour stated preferences aren't consistent with the VNM axioms [].
Torture vs. Dust Specks

The probability I'm the only person person selected out of 3^^^3 for such a decision p(i) is less than any reasonable estimate of how many people could be selected, imho. Let's say well below 700dB against. The chances are much greater that some probability fo those about to be dust specked or tortured also gets this choice (p(k)). p(k)*3^^^3 > p(i) => 3^^^3 > p(i)/p(k) => true for any reasonable p(i)/p(k)

So this means that the effective number of dust particles given to each of us is going to be roughly (1-p(i))p(k)3^^^3.

I'm going to ass... (read more)

1Benquo8yI don't really care what happens if you take the dust speck literally; the point is to exemplify an extremely small disutility.
0Pablo7yHere's the link [] (both links above are dead).
Torture vs. Dust Specks

Likewise, if this was iterated 3^^^3+1 times(ie 3^^^3 plus the reader),it could easily be 50*3^^^3 (ie > 3^^^3+1) people tortured. The odds are if it's possible for you to make this choice, unless you have reason to believe otherwise they may too, making this an implicit prisoner's dilemma of sorts. On the other side, 3^^^3 specks could possibly crush you, and/or your local cluster of galaxies into a black hole, so there's that to consider if you consider the life within meaningful distance of of every one of those 3^^^3 people valuable.

2Benquo8yI'm not sure I follow your argument. I'm going to assume that for a single person, 3^^3 dust specks = 50 years of torture. (My earlier figure seems wrong, but 3^^3 dust specks over 50 years is a little under 5,000 dust specks per second.) I'm going to ignore the +1 because these are big numbers already. If this were iterated 3^^^3 times, then we have the choice between: TORTURE: 3^^^3 people are each tortured for 50 years, once. DUST SPECKS: 3^^^3 people are tortured for 50 years, repeated (3^^^3)/(3^^3)=3^(3^^3-3^3) times.
"Can't Say No" Spending

Sadly, your link is broken. Do you have a copy of this one?

edit : nevermind internet archive comes through.

Radical Honesty

A few thoughts:

Whether this is a good idea or not might very well be something you have to try for yourself to know; but on the flip side we are fairly different people, 20 years after any particular decision. While some decisions may be final, especially in an age where we can display attributes of ourself very publicly it might make more sense to have a publicly accessible Crocker's Flag somewhere that might be unset perhaps 20 years down the line so that you don't damn your future self to a life of shameful feelings beyond necessary.

Secondly, 'none of... (read more)

"Science" as Curiosity-Stopper

This link is broken. looks like it might be the same video though.

The Third Alternative

Or alternatively you could go more recent & use the Baltimore dialect and use 'Yo' as a gender-neutral pronoun.

(ref: Stotko, E. and Troyer, M. "A new gender-neutral pronoun in Baltimore, Maryland: A preliminary study." American Speech, Vol. 82. No. 3, Fall 2007, p. 262.)

The Third Alternative

Earlier on in internet history there was a movement to make 'tse' a gender-neutral pronoun. It didn't take, but I still use it.

1Omegaile9ySomeone in Sweden apparently did []
0themusicgod19yOr alternatively you could go more recent & use the Baltimore dialect and use ' Yo []' as a gender-neutral pronoun. (ref: Stotko, E. and Troyer, M. "A new gender-neutral pronoun in Baltimore, Maryland: A preliminary study." American Speech, Vol. 82. No. 3, Fall 2007, p. 262.)
2fubarobfusco9ySee also Spivak pronoun [].
Consolidated Nature of Morality Thread

"No results found for \" expert moral system \"."


Remember: it doesn't have to be perfect, just better than us.

edit google was misinformed - this has been discussed. Nevertheless the point stands -- unless there's a particular reason why we think that we would perform better than an expert system in this topic I am skeptical that acting except insofar as to create one is anything but short-term context dependent moral.

Archimedes's Chronophone

I would explain the concepts of the craziest, most non-obvious ideally moral ideas I've ever had [such as the idea that Nick Bostrom's Interstellar Opportunity Cost paper completely changes the nature of the pro-life debate, such that it no longer is sensible to freeze all fetuses instead of aborting them, instead, if we're serious about being pro-life we should crop humanity down to only what is needed to spread human life to other stars, and that there are economic considerations to freedom but that they are subtle and complex]. Something that is so ..... (read more)

3TheWakalix3yThe cultural differences - the object-level information that Aristotle is lacking - are significant. This is true even if you are talking about things that differ from both of you by more than your difference to Aristotle.
Archimedes's Chronophone

Wouldn't he have just discarded it as he was trained with other notation?

It would be like someone in the modern english world trying to learn chinese math notation. We could probably understand the concepts so could in principle do it, but it would seem relatively unweildly, even if it turns out that it's a much more elegant way of doing math. We'd never know.

He might very well learn it and then go "that's cute" and then ignore it.

Just Lose Hope Already

All the studies say that your odds are just not good enough to be worth it.

...and even if you are, people who are able to re-arrange the odds to their favour may end up crowding out the honest ones ;)

Just Lose Hope Already

Closely related: escallation of commitment While it's possible to not escalate commitment when you're in a losing situation, it is often our default tendency.