All of totallybogus's Comments + Replies

Thamks for that clarification! I think it would be OK to discuss the merits of importing any given page, perhaps in this very LW thread. Separately, there is quite a bit of Wiki content that's now been 'hidden' in the new system as a result of being merged with an existing tag, and the more "in-depth" portions of that content, if considered worthwhile, should probably be moved to newly-created 'wiki-only' pages, so as to reduce confusion among users who only care about the bare "tagging" aspect.

(I have in mind, e.g. the discussion of problematic 'persuasi... (read more)

The vision is that tag pages should be wiki pages, no matter the depth. (Long pages get displayed with truncation on load, the rest behind "Read More", so it's fine). I think it's actually good to keep the longer discussion on the one page for the topic. I suspect that most of the "missing content" comes from the fact we haven't finished "merging" the old wiki pages with existing tags, and therefore the current text is just whatever the new tag already had. (And the revision/history reviewer makes it seem like this intentional, but it's not.) Merging = combine new and old text in whatever most makes sense. Combine and take whichever bits are better when they conflict. The campaign to get through all the manual import processing continues! We just launched the new tagging dashboard [/tags/dashboard] today, on which you can filter for pages requiring merging []. Currently 75 remaining for merges..

I can still identify a few pages on the old wiki that seem to have no matching entity in the new "tagging" system, e.g. Adversarial process (a general, widely-used notion wrt. which the rationalist Adversarial collaboration may be a special case -- so it seems like a fairly important thing to have!). Will these pages be imported in the future?

It was indeed I who went through most of the old wiki pages and decided what to do with them. There where ~600, so I do expect to have made some mistakes, and would very happy to discuss if I missed any valuable ones. Looking at Adversial process, I don't see why I wouldn't have imported it. And yet I didn't mark it anything on my spreadsheet, so my bad: We can import it. Let me know any others you think should be there.
Ruby went through all the pages and decided whether to import them or not. I think it's unlikely we are going to import most of the remaining pages (some of which were pretty random and low-quality), but we will make sure they stay accessible, and if there is any individual post that isn't covered by the import that you feel is missing, there is a good chance we can just add it to the import. Which specific ones we should import is Ruby's call.

We're at a point where gender studies shouldn't even be considered part of the humanities anymore, I'd say. As you remind us, they're severely in denial about what biology, medicine and psychology have established and their experimental data. They're the intellectual equivalent of anti-vax "activists" (except that the latter have yet to reach the same degree of entryism and grift).
There are other adjacent fields that are similarly problematic, being committed to discredited ideas like Marxist economics, or to what's sometimes naïvely called "post-modernis

... (read more)

For what it's worth, your struggles with modeling others via ToM probably had very little to do with your interest in Objectivism, individualism and the like. It seems that many, perhaps most children and teenagers share this trait in the first place; moral development is a slow process, even for those with entirely normal emotions and a normal substrate for affective empathy (i..e the non psychopathic/ODD/ASPD!).

I do have to caution though that the basic other-awareness that being non-psychopathic gives you also makes you a lot more effective at modeling

... (read more)

It’s surprising to me that people are even debating whether mistake- or conflict-theory is the “correct” way of viewing politics. Conflict theory is always true ex ante, because the very definition of politics is the stuff that people might physically fight over, in the real world! You can’t get much more "conflict-theory" than that. Now of course, this is not to say that debate and deliberation might not also become important, and such practices do promote a "mistake-oriented" view of political processes. But that’s a means of de-escalation and creative p

... (read more)
Talk is cheap - politics also includes people making plenty of statements they're not willing to physically fight over.

I'm very sorry that we seem to be going around in circles on this one. In many ways, the whole point of that call to doing "post-rationality" was indeed an attempt to better engage with the sort of people who, as you say, "have epistemology as a dumpstat". It was a call to understand that no, engaging in dark side epistemology does not necessarily make one a werewolf that's just trying to muddy the surface-level issues, that indeed there is a there there. Absent a very carefully laid-out argument about what exactly it is that's being expected of us I'm

... (read more)
I does seem weird why so little communication is achieved with so many words. I might be conflicted with interpreting messages in opposite directions on different layers. > Clearly, if we retroactively tried to apply the argument "we (RationalWiki/the rationalist community) should be a lot more pro-theist than we are, and we cannot allow this to be debated under any circumstances because that would clearly lead to very bad consequences", we would've been selling the community short. This seem like a statement that argument of "we should be pro-teist & can not allow debate because bad consequence" would have been an error. If it would have been presented as proposal it would have indeed been an argument. "can not allow debate" would seem like a stance against being able to start arguments. It seems self-refuting and in general wanting censorship of censorship which I have very thought time on whether it's for or against censorship. Now the situation would be very different if there was a silent or assumed consensus that debate could not be had, but it's kinda differnt if debate and decision not to have debate is had. I lost how exactly it relates to this but I realised that the "look these guys spreading known falsehoods" kind of attitude made me not want to engage socially probably by pattern-matching to a sufficiently lost soul to not be reachable within discussion timeframe. And I realised that the standard for sanity I was using for that comparison came from my local culture and realised that the "sanity waterline" situation here might be good enough that I don't understand other peoples need for order. And the funny thing being that there is enough "sanity seeking" within religious groups that I was used for veteran religious persons to guide novice religious persons away from those pitfalls. If someone was praying for a miracle for themselfs that would be punished and intervened and I kinda knew the guidance even if I didn't really feel "team religion". A

The rationality community itself is far from static; it tends to steadily improve over time, even in the sorts of proposals that it tends to favor. If you go browse RationalWiki (a very early example indeed of something that's at least comparable to the modern "rationalist" memeplex) you'll in fact see plenty of content connoting a view of theists as "people who are zealously pushing for false beliefs (and this is bad, really really bad)". Ask around now on LW itself, or even more clearly on SSC, and you'll very likely see a far more nuanced view of theis

... (read more)
A case more troublesome than an ineffective standard is an actively harmful one. Part of the rationalist virtue sphere is recognising your actual impact even when it goes wildly against your expectations. Political speech being known to be a clusterfuck should orient as to "get it right" and not so much "apply solutions". People that grow up into harmony (optimise for harmony in agent speech) while using epistemology as a dumpstat are more effective in conversation safety. Even if rationalist are having more useful beliefs about other belief-groups the rational memplex being more distant from other memplexes means meaningful interaction is harder. We run the risk of having our models of groups such as theists advocate their interests rather than the persons themselfs. Sure we have distinct reasons why we can't implement group-interoperatibility the same way that they can/do implement it. But if we empatsize how little we value safety vs accuracy it doesn't make us move to solve safety. And we are supposedly good at intentionally setting out to solve hard problems. And it should be permissible to try to remove unneccary obstacles for people to join in the conversation. If the plan is to come up with an awesome way to conduct business/conversation and then let that discovery benefit others a move that makes discovery easier but sharing of the results harder might not move that much closer to the goal than naively only caring about discovery.

Okay, so where exactly do you see Zack M. Davis as having expressed claims/viewpoints of the "ought" sort? (i.e. viewpoints that might actually be said to involve a preferred agenda of some kind?) Or are you merely saying that this seems to be what Vanessa's argument implies/relies on, without necessarily agreeing one way or the other?

2Said Achmiz4y
The latter.
Theists can have a hard time to formulate their value to harmony and community building. Advancing "hard facts" kind of can make them more appear to be hateful ignorants which can make it seem okay to be more confrontational socially with them which might involve more touching. The psychology behind how racism causes dangerous situations for black people might be a good example how you don't need explicit representations of acknowledged dangerous things to be in fact dangerous. I live in a culture that treats "religion oriented people" as more of a "whatever floats your boat privately" kind of people and not the kind of "people zealously pushing for false beliefs". I feel that the latter kind of rhetoric makes it easier to paint them "as the enemy" and can be a contributing factor in legitimizing violence against them. Some of the "rationalist-inspired" work pushes harder on the "truth vs falsity" than on "irrelevance of bullshit" which has negative impact on near term security and the positive impact on security is contigent on the strategy working out. Note that the danger that rationalist inspired work can create migth en up materialising in the hands of people that are far from ideally rational. Yes some fights are worth fighting but people also usually agree that having to fight to accomplish somehting is worse than not fighting to accomplish that. And if you rally people to fight for truth you are still rallying people to fight. Even your explicit intetnion was to avoid rallying but you ended up doing it anyway.
I thought the point was to help us model the things we care about [] more accurately and efficiently, which doesn’t require utilitarianism to be an appealing proximate goal (it just has to require caring about something which depends on objective reality).
2Said Achmiz4y
I didn’t say anything about “viewpoints about the state-of-Nature”. I’m not sure what you think I’m saying, but if you interpreted my comment on the basis of the assumption that I am unfamiliar with Hume, then you’ve probably misinterpreted it.

The clearest issue with OP's scenarios is that all the "accusations" portrayed involve cheap talk - thus, they are of no use other than as a pure "sunspot" or coordination mechanism. This is why you want privacy in such a world; there is no real information anyway, so not having "privacy" just makes you more vulnerable! Back in the real world, even the very act of accusing someone may be endowed with enough information that some truthful evidence is actually available to third parties. And this makes it feasible to coordinate around "telling the truth" - t

... (read more)

One obvious problem with your predicted "good king" scenario is that a high rank in the "pecking order" inherently attracts bad actors to it - which in turn are precisely the agents who will use that rank to do the most damage, both to other actors within the group and indeed to the organizational goal itself! Separating "pecking order" and "decision-making order" would seem to be the right answer - except for another wrinkle, that is; it seems that, among the few ways we know about of semi-reliably screening off bad actors, (1) requiring proof of having

... (read more)

modify their individual utility functions into some compromise utility function, in a mutually verifiable way, or equivalently to jointly construct a successor AI with the same compromise utility function and then hand over control of resources to the successor AI

This is precisely equivalent to Coasean efficiency, FWIW - indeed, correspondence with some "compromise" welfare function is what it means for an outcome to be efficient in this sense. It's definitely the case that humans, and agents more generally, can face obstacles to achieving this, so tha

... (read more)
1mako yass4y
Strong upvote, very good to know I internalised the meaning of these variables only to find you didn't refer to them again. What was the point of this sentence.

Is Clickbait Destroying Our General Intelligence? You Won't BELIEVE What Comes Next!

(Personally, I don't buy it. I think persuasion technology - think PowerPoint et al., but also possibly new varieties of e.g. "viral" political advertising and propaganda, powered by the Internet and social media - has the potential to be rather more dangerous than BuzzFeed-style clickbait content. If only becausr clickbait is still optimizing for curiosity and intellectual engagement, if maybe in a slightly unconventional way compared to, e.g. 1960s sci-fi.)

12k $ per year UBI and socialized healthcare? I'm sorry, but this cannot possibly work - the taxes required to pay for both would be a huge disincentive to individual effort. Make it more like 6k $ per year plus a mandatory healthcare component (to be placed in an individual HSA, as per the Singaporean model) and it starts to look like a workable idea. Giving everyone money for doing nothing turns out to be really, really expensive, so the less you do it, the better. Who'd have thunk it?

A large reason for the decline in norms around building local communities is that there is a new source of competition for organizational talent: building online communities. ... we don’t know how to make a complete civil society out of online institutions.

I'm not exactly disagreeing with your overall point here, but the very notion of "online communities" is simply nonsensical: a social club or social group is not a "community" in the sense that applies in the physical world. Thus, any goal of "mak[ing] a complete civil society" that operates entirely

... (read more)

Not necessarily; if anything, I was in fact agreeing with you that some portion of people's 'existing acculturation' to middle-class culture is not, strictly speaking, neutral, due to historical path dependence if nothing else. But I still think it may be unproductive and even pointless for people to act overly "touchy" about such subjects. Should, e.g. Quebeckers, and perhaps Francophones in general, feel justified about their "touchy" attitude wrt. the cultural dominance of English?

Even if he was, it’s not obvious that the actually existing acculturation people do to participate in the global cultural middle class is entirely composed of culturally universal middle-class traits, rather than accidental traits attributable to the particular areas where this culture emerged first.

Some such traits undoubtedly exist; for instance, people throughout the world learn English for no other reason than to take part in a successful culture where "middle class" traits are relatively common. But it's not clear that there could be any alternati

... (read more)
I agree. Do you think there's some other opinion I should hold differently because of this, either stated or implied?

...It’s not obvious that “middle class” as a concept is a cultural universal, much less that middle class norms are the same across cultures.

The concept of "middle class" (in the "middle class norms" sense) is increasingly co-evolving with existing cultures in a way that makes it more of a cultural universal. And cultures which don't adopt the middle class concept tend to fail at basic human flourishing, which is as close to a universal as it gets. Marx was well aware of this BTW; he thought socialism would be infeasible unless and until the "middle cla

... (read more)
I agree that if you assume there's a natural direction of cultural progress, a set of stages all cultures have to pass through (or leapfrog by assimilating into a more advanced culture), then the "middle class" could be a cultural universal in the sense of being an essential attribute of one of those stages. But it's not at all obvious to me that Marx was right. Even if he was, it's not obvious that the actually existing acculturation people do to participate in the global cultural middle class is entirely composed of culturally universal middle-class traits, rather than accidental traits attributable to the particular areas where this culture emerged first.

There’s a whole chain of schools that teach poor, mostly minority students business social norms, by which they mean white-middle-class norms.

Are "white middle class norms" substantially different from, um, black middle class norms, hispanic middle class norms, asian middle class norms and the like? If they are, the article should perhaps hint at this, and at some relevant evidence. If they aren't, the "white" bit seems pointlessly divisive in a rather obnoxious way. Either way, you're creating quite a bit of "interpretive debt" that the reader will h

... (read more)
Are "white middle class norms" substantially different from, um, black middle class norms, hispanic middle class norms, asian middle class norms and the like?

I'm gonna try to answer this neutrally, but am worried about the risk of touching a political live wire in a context where it's likely to do little good.

The history of the British Empire and then America in the 20th Century suggests that the "middle class norms" being referred to come initially from a particular culture which was mainly made up of white people, and other ... (read more)

I think historically, most of the gain of increasing cooperation has occurred not by opposing tribalism, but rather by channeling it in broadly socially-useful directions. Democrats and Republicans might not kill each other, but that's not because they aren't "tribes" of some sort. Indeed, it's not clear how politics itself could even work absent some degree of 'tribalism' (which should rather be called factionalism, but never mind that) as a basic organizing principle.

Isn't a "researcher's basic income" just another word for, um... tenure? I think the proper solution is to tighten standards for what's considered "good" research (fix the replication crisis) and to increase the status of other sorts of scholarship which aren't highly valued at present (at least in STEM) but are very much needed, such as review articles and in-depth monographs. These things don't have the problem where only an unambiguously "positive" result demonstrates the value of one's scholarship, and reaching positive re... (read more)

Tenured professors have a lot of responsibilities like holding lectures and supervising PHD students that don't allow them to focus on research.
Tenure means doing it successfully the wrong way for years, and afterwards as a reward being allowed to do it right. The proposed researcher's basic income is to allow people doing it the right way much sooner.

A mathematical definition is what the answer to a philosophical problem looks like. ... An example I particularly like is the definition of a topological space. I don’t know for a fact that this is what people “really meant” when they pondered the nature of “space” ... it doesn’t matter, because the power of this definition shows that it is what they should have meant.

I fear that this particular example might be a bit, um, pointless these days. But perhaps this simply reflects different intuitions as to what "a powerful definition" should ultimately look like.

It's surprising to me that people are even debating whether mistake- or conflict-theory is the "correct" way of viewing politics. Conflict theory is always true ex ante, because the very definition of politics is the stuff that people might physically fight over, in the real world! You can't get much more "conflict-theory" than that. Now of course, this is not to say that debate and deliberation might not also become important, and such practices do promote a "mistake-oriented" view of political processes. But that's a means of de-escalation and creativ

... (read more)
9Paperclip Minimizer4y
This isn't what "conflict theory" mean. Conflict theory is a specific theory about the nature of conflict, that say conflict is inevitable. Conflict theory doesn't simply mean that conflict exist.

A resolve arose within me:

I will solve AI alignment, and then I will work to further AGI, bringing that day closer and closer to prevent the loss of another grandson, another nephew, another friend.

Good decision. Also, even if we can't quite solve AI alignment in the fully general case, we're likely close to having AIs which are safe enough in practice to successfully prevent almost all car wrecks.

"If A then B" is logically equivalent to "if not B then not A", which is sometimes much easier to prove. Et cetera, et cetera.

Careful here, because this transformation is enough to make your proof non-constructive! Since we're learning "how to write proofs", it's worthwhile to follow good proof-structuring rules, one of which is to keep things constructive as far as practicable.

Can you elaborate? What is a constructive proof? Why should one care?

...I theoretically ought to answer “I can’t confirm or deny what I was doing last night” because some of my counterfactual selves were hiding fugitive marijuana sellers from the Feds. ...

This seems easy to fix in principle. If, conditioned on the info that's known, or that probabilistically might be known to your asker, your counterfactual selves were especially likely to hide fugitives, you ought to say "I can’t confirm or deny"; otherwise, you can be truthful, and accept the consequence that some negligible fraction of your counterfactual se... (read more)

I'm quite skeptical that war is a big influence on how we organize our societies, because national defense is quite a small fraction of GDP in modern Western countries (including the U.S.!) And that fraction is even dropping over time. Legibility may matter more, but legibility also correlates with other features of our way of life, like an extensive division of labor/specialization, that most people agree are very important.

Is Duncan/Conor OK with you linking his content here at LW? (There are of course reasons why I think this is a sensible question to ask, but I won't be going into them here.)

Aside from that, the post is very much of the TL;DR variety, and should ideally be broken into a series of self-contained posts, each pointing out some well-defined inferential step. I'm really quite skeptical that productive discussion about the OP is feasible as is. (But I'm of course willing to be proven wrong, if anyone wants to try!)

Yes, he Is.

It was linked on his FB wall by a friend of his, so I think that's fine.

I actually think this post essentially needed to be as long as it is. Most of the points are not _new_ and if seen in isolation, would be sort of "okay, sure, now what?" The reason they're all necessary is to actually process an entire alternate worldview at once to talk about something that people will have a lot of extreme, knee jerk reaction to.

Also, if enlightenment here refers to the increase of knowledge I don’t see how that necessarily reduces suffering.

This is also what Daniel Ingram heavily implies in Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha. The very first "training" Ingram discusses is ethical/practical training; he states pretty much overtly that you should 'set your house in perfect order' before you pursue enlightenment, and keep working on that even as you engage other "trainings" or "teachings".

I think positive psychology has a lot of potential in EA, but AIUI, even the author of "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha" is far from saying that these teachings can trivially eradicate all human suffering. They are quite worthwhile in other ways and should definitely be part of positive psychology in a broader sense, but they're not a silver bullet.

Should I just let them do whatever they want with my corpse?

Why not? I mean, it doesn't really seem like you can currently afford to pay for even life-insurance-funded cryopreservation at the moment (given that you report having trouble with basic necessities), so unless that were to change in some way, why not let your surviving friends and social allies make their preferred choice about the matter?

Tsai Wo asked about the three years’ mourning for parents, saying that one year was long enough.

‘If the superior man,’ said he, ‘abstains for three years from the observances of propriety, those observances will be quite lost. If for three years he abstains from music, music will be ruined.’

‘Within a year the old grain is exhausted, and the new grain has sprung up, and, in procuring fire by friction, we go through all the changes of wood for that purpose. After a complete year, the mourning may stop.’

Confucius said, ‘If you were, after a year, to eat good ... (read more)

Naturally, in the interesting classes (read: science, math, and tech), I was engaged enough to counteract this drowsiness; in the useless classes (read: literature, art, music, foreign language), I was not.

Understood. But even allowing that this school did feature quite a few engaging classes (and again, it's not like OP denies this), is it really fair to praise a school as 'top-class' or 'the best school in city X' when its narrow STEM focus leads it to provide markedly-substandard education in such subjects as literature, art, history and foreign lang... (read more)

6Said Achmiz5y
Of course it’s fair. That this school is top-class cannot be seriously disputed. (I will leave it to others to substantiate this claim, if desired; it would be unseemly to focus overlong on the objective merits of a school from which I myself graduated. The information required to do so is available from public sources.) As for “the best school in [the] city”, please display for me where I said that. Your use of quotation marks indicates that you’re quoting my words, when in fact that is not so. I never said anything about it being the best. (Neither, for that matter, did Zvi.) A focus on science, technology, and mathematics is not “narrow”. Those subjects constitute, in fact, most of what it is actually important to teach in a formal academic setting, especially to high-schoolers. Where are you getting “markedly-substandard”? Please do not put words in my mouth. The education we received in literature and history was, in fact, quite a bit above standard (as evidenced by my, and my classmates’, stellar scores on standardized tests in said subjects, as well as everything I have seen since then concerning the average level of knowledge of these subjects in the general population). (The “art appreciation” class was, of course, mostly worthless—an “easy A”, so to speak—as well it should have been; it would’ve been better for there not to have been such a thing, of course, but, as I said—the place wasn’t perfect. As for foreign language classes, indeed those were exactly as awful as you’d expect from non-immersion-based non-intensive language instruction. But in both of these cases, I would be shocked to find that the quality of instruction we received was actually substandard!)

What's the average bus factor in the typical EA local community (either at Melbourne or elsewhere)? EA is still a very small and fragile movement, so we're very nuch at the point where loss of even one locally-knowledgeable person can actually be a very serious setback for the movement.

I am saying that top-class high schools (or, at least, one top-class high school) are not, in fact, “so bad”.

But OP is saying that they are, and you don't really address any of his claims. Seriously, if you can be spending most of your time correcting your own lecturers when they get things wrong, and being otherwise bored to death-- or being denied access to electives because of your scores in unrelated subjects-- that's terrible enough. We wouldn't accept this in any institution which was attempting to provide even minimally-"engaging" academics.

4Said Achmiz5y
If you’re sufficiently smart and academically inclined, you can find yourself correcting some of your teachers without the school, or even those teachers, being bad. Finding very skilled teachers is not easy. Finding teachers who are so skilled that they are never caught in a mistake by a roomful of students selected for intelligence and academic inclination from a city of eight million is even harder. The question is: how prevalent is this? In my experience at the high school in question, such things (correcting the teachers) tended to be relatively common in subjects like history and so on, and fairly rare in STEM-type classes. This was, of course, because the school had math, science, and technology as its focus. Likewise, if you’re sufficiently smart and academically inclined, and also insufficiently loaded down with schoolwork, you may find yourself bored to death. In my four years of high school, I did occasionally find myself in a state that could be described as “bored”, but would be more accurately described as “falling asleep due to having so much difficult and time-consuming schoolwork, what with taking college-level science classes, participating in mathematics competitions, and taking extra programming classes on weekends”. Naturally, in the interesting classes (read: science, math, and tech), I was engaged enough to counteract this drowsiness; in the useless classes (read: literature, art, music, foreign language), I was not. Now, you can blame the school for this, and you might well be right. Let us be clear, however, that the accusation to make would be “this school falls short of Platonic perfection”, and not “this school is terrible”. I can comment only generally, as I do not know the details of Zvi’s academic situation and I don’t recall what the rules were—it has been some years since I graduated. So, if you like, this may have been a boneheaded policy. There were enough of those, certainly. That said—just what exactly is wrong with this pol

There’s basically no bullying, there are no “jocks” to speak of, and the concept of being made fun of for being smart, or for being a “nerd”, or for being focused on schoolwork, is absurd even to contemplate.

I didn't see any mention of bullying or the like in the OP? (Leaving aside the fact that putting forward "just select the smartest kids w/ a high-stakes entrance exam" as a solution to bullying is preposterous.) OP's complaints have to do with ineffective teachers and institutional red tape, and if top-class high schools are so bad, I struggle to think what the average school must be like!

7Said Achmiz5y
I didn’t say otherwise. The purpose of my description was to paint a picture of the environment, not necessarily to respond to specific things in the OP. Why leave this aside? In my experience (at no less than three schools of this sort, across two very different countries!), this is precisely the solution, and it works outstandingly well. (Or, rather, it’s part of the solution; and to be even more precise, it’s the necessary first step toward the solution, the entirety of which is of course not quite so easy, but mostly has to do with selectivity plus sufficiently engaging academics.) That aside… to be honest, I have to ask whether you read the part of my comment where I explicitly state my purpose in describing my high school experience. I am saying that top-class high schools (or, at least, one top-class high school) are not, in fact, “so bad”. The claim that the average school is terrible is one which I also explicitly mentioned, and readily assented to. All in all, I get the impression that you’re responding to the comment you imagine I wrote, not the comment I actually wrote.

Well, since I have now created a new account, this is not a problem in any real sense to me. The biggest problem is that the recovery email for my LW1 account was never properly set as such on LW2, which means the otherwise foolproof "ask for a password reset" does not work. It should be easy to spot whether there are any other accounts with the same issue (legacy accounts w/ no password recovery email set, even though there is one in the LW2 "Email" field) with some sort of database query, and maybe even fix them up semi-automatically.

Any progress on this bug that was seemingly leading to a number of LW1 ("legacy") accounts getting locked out of the site? LW developers?

Ah, sorry you're still dealing with that. We debugged similar bugs to this with a bunch of people. The most common cause was people using a password manager, and that password manager storing their password for the old URL, while they had changed their password on We then improved the error messages that you get if you enter the wrong password to be more useful, and that then got rid of most reports of broken accounts, so that made me reasonably confident that the password transition worked fine, for at least the vast majority of accounts. If you are still running in to this problem, it would be good to ping us on Intercom, or Discord, which makes it easier to check a bunch of things. Did you run into any problems just trying to request a password reset email? That should still work fine (though you have to be logged out when clicking on the password reset link).

If the 1567 figure is wrong, Aubrey de Grey needs to amend that arXiV paper... Also I wouldn't put too much trust in a result that was reached "by a SAT solver" either, unless either the SAT results came with a proof certificate that can be fed to a formally correct checker, or (in the UNSAT case) the solver itself was formally verified to provide correct and complete results.

From Scott Aaronson today:

De Grey constructs an explicit graph with unit distances—originally with 1567 vertices, now with 1585 vertices after after a bug was fixed—and then verifies by computer search (which takes a few hours) that 5 colors are needed for it.  So, can we be confident that the proof will stand—i.e., that there are no further bugs?  See the comments of Gil Kalai’s post for discussion.  Briefly, though, it looks like it’s now been independently verified, using different SAT-solvers, that the chromatic number of de Grey’s corrected graph is
... (read more)

Classical rhetoric is old hat these days. The really persuasive Art is making PowerPoint slides!

But I mean, isn't it obvious that damage to the truck alone as a result of the attack would imply quite a higher cost than whatever the shotgun was worth? (And yes, I think this is clearly the case even when you consider that the probability of being attacked is quite a bit less than 100%.) I don't think this shows lives being insufficiently valued in the military; I think it just shows the sort of pervasive dysfunction we would expect in any large-scale organization lacking internal mechanisms to ensure accountability and proper response to incentives.

But I mean, isn't it obvious that damage to the truck alone as a result of the attack would imply quite a higher cost than whatever the shotgun was worth?

This still feels like focusing on the wrong aspect of the equation. The dollar value of the shotgun (and truck) is just completely irrelevant. The issues at stake here are:

1. (if you're being charitable) maintaining a hierarchy where you know that if command asks someone to risk their life, they will risk their life even if they disagree with command's goals (so that everyone going into bat... (read more)


That's it, Effective Altruism has now officially jumped the shark.

PROTIP: Read this carefully before you take any of this tech seriously. The use cases for anything regarding "blockchain" or "crypto-currency" are extremely limited right now, and not even close to EA's core advantages. If anything, EA proponents should work on relaxing existing regulations around access to mainstream finance platforms (similar to how recent regulatory efforts made "crowdfunding" significantly more accessible to casual investors), s... (read more)

Since short-term satiation after orgasm (the 'refractory period') is much less of an issue in women, it's at least reasonable to expect that they might have far less long-term orgasm satiation as well. Which is not to say that loss of relationship energy is not a problem more broadly (the stereotype of "lesbian bed death" indicates as much!), just that we shouldn't necessarily expect orgasms to be the causal link in that case.

Therefore, we should relieve sexual pressure without orgasm and engage in more pair-bonding behavior

Note that this is not exactly a novel claim - many highly-developed sexual practices promote mate-bonding behavior in a broad sense, while discouraging mere ejaculation. Often this is accompanied by a claim that too frequent ejaculation 'drains' sexual and relationship energy, which would mesh quite well with it being a causal factor in satiety!

Crowdfunding approaches as seen e.g. in Kickstarter or Patreon have recently made it a lot easier for artists to capture significant amounts of value for their efforts. (This could still be supplemented though, e.g. via after-the-fact prize awards for especially impressive art.) It's interesting to think of what comparable approaches may be applicable to goods and services that are very much unlike art, and where value may nonetheless be hard to capture efficiently.

FWIW, I didn't necessarily intend the term "dissident" in an especially negative sense, or even with any real negative connotation. I literally mean "someone who disagrees or dissents, one who separates themself from the established religion; a dissenter." It was also meant to highlight the fact that there are clearly a lot of people like that, as a necessary consequence of LW's overall nature as a remarkably developed 'memeplex' (just like most real-world religions and perhaps political ideologies).

Sure, but my claims weren't actually about libertarians and conservatives in general, only the fraction among them who support and oppose social insurance, respectively. It doesn't actually take much formal evidence (that is, evidence that also reaches a high 'admissibility' standard - which 'who I run into in my filter bubble?' might not!) to show that sizeable such groups do exist, or to talk about their ideas.

I think academic math has a problem where it’s more culturally valorized to be really smart than to teach well

I don't think that's the issue exactly. My guess is that academic math has a culture of teaching something quite different from what most applied practitioners actually want. The culture is to focus really hard on how you reliably prove new results, and to get as quickly as possible to the frontier of things that are still a subject of research and aren't quite "done" just yet. Under this POV, focusing on detailed explanations about existing knowledge, even really effective ones, might just be a waste of time and effort that's better spent elsewhere!

Oh, I expect that he'll be fine, but he's clearly decided that he doesn't want to be a part of LW2 after all. It is striking how similar this is to the Roko case though - what people don't really understand today is how silly that whole episode in LW1 history had made him look, and how much of a perceived loss of 'face' that must have been for him.
I think that we're dealing with something very similar here (if perhaps not on the same scale) and I do have to wonder what this says about our broader attitude to newcomers, mild dissidents and the like. How can... (read more)

I'm not sure if this is known to you, but I realize it may not be obvious to other people (and it's not a secret, but not widely advertised either): "Conor" was someone's alt account, not actually a newcomer. (His main account has also been wiped.) I don't think it would be fair to call him a 'dissident' either. 'Placed under an uncomfortable spotlight' does seem closer, although I can't quite fathom the reaction unless there were comments I didn't see (perhaps ones that GW didn't have time to mirror, between their creation and their final removal.)
I'm no expert on reading people, and have never met Conor or interacted with him much. But if you'd asked me in advance whether Conor would delete his entire posting history, upon deciding LW2 wasn't for him, I would have said that seemed very unlikely. And combined with other recent events which I'm not sure how public they are, I worry that something more is happening. (I do have a minor good sign that the virtue of silence compels me not to reveal.)
Load More