All of unparadoxed's Comments + Replies

I really like your posts about Simulacra levels, and I feel that they are a great lens to view human behavior through. I jotted down my interpretation of them here a while back, happy to hear any thoughts/feedback if you have any.

I meant to convey (reassure?) that others acting as if you do not exist is more likely due to their lack of imagination that it is likely due to your lack of presence. 

In that sense, I was intending to say that your suffering is not your fault. 

However, I also admit the implication that "because it is not your fault, you should not be suffering, therefore the suffering is your fault", which was not my intention, as I recognize that we cannot control what makes us suffer. 

Why let the lack of imagination of others impinge upon your happiness?

I'm pretty sure this isn't meant as "this suffering is 100% your fault, Duncan," but it doesn't fully distinguish itself from "this suffering is 100% your fault, Duncan." (It is fine to hold the hypothesis "this suffering is 100% your fault, Duncan," if that's your actual current best guess.)

Does this mean that Sazen(s?) can be used as Shibboleths? 

"I know that they are a bad influence on me, but I still want to be with them."

It's totally valid statement, "I lose some value here in one way, but gain some value in another, and resulting sum is positive."

Is there a difference of this from "The horror of what must, yet cannot, be false"?

I think they're the same

I owe the past my forgiveness, and the future my learning.

I wanted to substantiate and boost this comment with some data from the Princeton's admissions office article on its aid program :

  • Admission is need-blind for all applicants, including international students.
  • Princeton financial aid is awarded solely based on need; there are no merit scholarships. (If you are good enough to get in, they will ensure that you will be able to afford it)
  • The full need of every admitted student is met through grants.

The link also has a breakdown of how much aid is provided depending on the student's gross family income. 

In te... (read more)

Anonymity reduces iterative prisoner's dilemma (staked on reputation) to one-shot versions.

The externalities are offloaded onto the platform providing said anonymity.

Anonymous and "Anonymous" tend to be different: Death Note: L, Anonymity & Eluding Entropy [] Technically, the externalities are on the one experiencing them, positive or negative. What are the positive externalities of anonymity?

If I am randomly put into a 2d grid of rooms, assuming that "random" means that I have an equal probability of ending up in any room, then shouldn't I be equally likely to end up in the border rooms as in the middle rooms?

I mean by "middle" a large region of rooms which are not on borders, like between 20 and 80, not exactly room 50. Should clarify it in the post.
More likely actually*. The trick is people are using middle, to mean** 'middle rooms, or close to middle rooms', and are trying to riff off the central limit theorem or something. *The actual probability depends on whether the grid has an even or odd number of columns/rows (and if it's big enough that the middle and the border are different). 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 0 Odd both ways, probability of having a border room is actually a lot larger. 1234 5678 9012 3456 The 'middle' is larger for an even number of columns and rows. But the border is still bigger than the center. The bigger it gets, the more this is the case. **Above this is clarified to something very different: middle as any 'non-border room'.

Good point! If one wants to privately discuss a taboo truth, should one equally emphasize both the "taboo" as well as the "truth" of the matter? On first thought, ethically I would say yes.

Yes, "taking the risk" was what I had more in mind, but essentially so.

Thinking about it, it seems that if a person desires to point out a taboo truth without being exposed to the potential social/political repercussions, a safer way to do so would be to privately point out the taboo truth to another person who is unaware of said social/political repercussions, and encourage them to point it out instead.

In addition to the risk that you'll feel bad about yourself for causing someone else to suffer for your truth, there's a significant risk that they'll do a much worse job than you, and make it easier for the truth to be denied.
Are you suggesting just letting someone oblivious take the fall or am I misunderstanding?

Well-put! Your comment was valuable because I tend to think / read about problems in a particular field that were able to be solved in a unique / unorthodox fashion due to skills acquired in another field (discovering new solutions), but your point about discovering new problems that only can be realized by having expertise in multiple fields is something to think about as well.

Some of johnswentworth's posts and sequences touch on something related, I think: Specializing in Problems We Don't Understand [], the Framing Practicum [] sequence, and the Gears Which Turn The World [] sequence.

I can follow the idea that "combining six skills at random makes you so specialized that literally nobody in the world is competing with you", and that this would translate to "something extraordinary" (for some definition of extraordinary). However, I don't think that it necessarily follows that "You can make a lot of money" just by doing this.

It seems to me that by hyper-specializing, you are moving your skill-set to an area where the effective supply of the combination of such skills is low. However, from an economic perspective, if we want to "make a l... (read more)

Specialization is typically framed as "narrowness of skill," and I think lsusr and others are pointing out that this is the wrong frame by which to understand it. Instead, I think they're pointing out that "narrowness of problem" is a better way to define specialization. A wide range of skills may easily be necessary to tackle the most valuable problems. lsusr is also pointing out in the comments that we may not be able to figure out what problems exist until we've gained some relevant skills. My sense is that it's the arbitrariness of combining skills at random that is bothering a lot of commenters, here and elsewhere. I think that's important. I also think there's a synthesis. It seems to me that navigating toward interesting problems involves reasoning under uncertainty. "If I spend another 3 months improving my skills, should I learn something new (say, immunology) or something I already know how to do (say, machine learning)?" People are making a prediction partly on whether learning immunology or more ML will be useful for the problem they're already focused on. But they're also predicting which investment is more likely to expose them to a new and more valuable problem to solve. lsusr's arguing that people tend to focus on the problems they already know about. Having 3 months of ML under your belt makes you aware of the problems you could solve with 6 months of ML experience. That may incline you to invest in another 3 months of ML learning. But if you considered all the unknown unknowns you'd be exposed to if instead you spent those 3 months focused on immunology, you might find that broadening your skill base tended to result in counterfactually more valuable exposure to problems and opportunity to create value for others. So we don't have to imagine that the new skills are chosen arbitrarily. That's sort of what the post implies, but I don't think it's core to the argument. Instead, the new skills can be chosen based on what seems like it offers the

I see. I feel that the value of a cryptocurrency tends to be within/relative to the contexts of other cryptocurrencies (e.g. ETH is BTC but with smart contracts!), and definitely within the space of cryptocurrency in general we can see particular cryptocurrencies offering undeniable value such as DeFi tokens or interoperability projects.

However, what would really be useful is the valuation of a cryptocurrency relative to fields outside of it. I do know that there are many projects that try to bridge that, but unfortunately the cryptocurrency space tends to be in its own bubble and usually seems to produce goods of debatable or unrealized value (e.g. IoT / Supply-Chain tracking / provenance-tracking a-la NFTs).

"what would really be useful is the valuation of a cryptocurrency relative to fields outside of it." Yes, this is something I want to explore more as part of the value of cryptocurrency in general. I am also aware of these types of projects, at least in the mission statement. But I really don't know if that is really something they want to do, or it is purely for the sake of attracting more investors.

I think that it would be hard to come up with a universal value for anything, given the variance in circumstances we are all subject to. The question "Is it worth it?" is a personal one to each individual, and in fact can be deeply personal and private in some circumstances, depending on the worth/value of the object being evaluated. Thus, the question of modelling value would lead down the path of modelling people and their preferences/desires.

With regards to the value of cryptocurrency, I view the primarily value of it to me as a hedge. I trade centraliz... (read more)

I feel like the question of "what is the value of a cryptocurrency" should be different from "what is the value of cryptocurrency in general?". and I suspect that the answer will extend to beyond cryptocurrency. 

Just discovered and read about Conflict vs Mistake Theory, in my own mind my summary would be : Mistake Theory is about the "mind", Conflict Theory is about the "heart". 

I was also tickled by the meta-level problem.

I know very little of and have no stake/opinion in the conflict - I'm just curious about what kind of complexities you encountered on-the-ground that you did not anticipate beforehand, which might have led to you revising your ideas and conceptions. Thank you for your time and words.

I can't do it justice keeping it short, but will try to. Israelis and Palestinians are very very very far from monolithic cultures (not to forget about other people that live in the area like Druzes). I can speak to more to the Israeli side than the Palestinian side, but can say it's true for both. If you've heard or hear a story about Israelis or Palestinians doing something wrong that seems clear cut, it almost certainly has a long back story, context, motives and confusion due to some amount of information of uncertain reliability. To properly sort out whatever that was would easily take days and you will get mostly biased accounts. In many cases it's deep enough that you could dig in it to it for years and never feel completely satisfied that you understood fully it.  A small example -- I stayed near the Hassan Bek Mosque for a few days and heard conflicting information about who paid for it and for various restorations of it, as well as different accounts about Israeli Arabs (or Arabs that used it before the area was Israel) who used it to snipe Israeli Jews. I thought it would be a small example of something I could figure out.. I'm still not sure what the truth is. Everything seems to be like that.  Perhaps in a similar way to how you can't just tell someone to stop feeling depressed, you can't discount the historical trauma and expect people move on, and you will encounter a lot of it there. Every building in Israeli cities I was in had a bomb shelter built in, they're a constant reminder of... the predicament. Even in kibbutzim there are bomb shelters. There is a complicated spider-web of international optics in local politics. Some of it is religious interest (most major Abrahamic religions have some kind of presence in Jerusalem), some of it is political, some of its from Jews from parts of the world that recently made Aliyah (e.g. French Jews []).

We can have objects of a given type in a set, and we can have an order defined on those objects in that set.

Some people seem to hold values that positively value increasing the types of object in that set, while negatively valuing an order / large distances between those objects.

Others seem to negative value the increase of object types, favoring a smaller number of types while holding that an ordering between objects in a  set cannot be avoided.

While I admire the attempt to avoid politics, this (the topic of what different people value, and how you value that variation) is something that doesn't generalize very well without specific examples.  

Is being able to copy a system necessary for that system to be deterministic? 

Maybe unrelated, but I am thinking of infinite series as an example. Imagine a "system" that comprises of the sum of inverse powers of 2. This "system" has infinite terms, and is "deterministic" in that the value of of each term of the series is well-defined and that the infinite sum is equal to 1. It would be impossible to "copy" this system as it involves enumerating an infinite number of terms, but the behavior of this system could be argued to be "deterministic".

I can see scenarios where both participants in a trade would benefit from interacting via Cheerful Prices. I'm trying to think if it's a concept that still works even if one party does not fully buy into it. If I don't feel comfortable thinking about a Cheerful Price to give you, would I be spending some social / friendship capital that I have with you?

Hmm, maybe it would be easier if we focused on one kind/example of craziness. Is there a particular one you have in mind?

Yes, Markets are Efficient, but only when they conform to my biases. If not, they are clearly fraudulent and incorrectly valued.

Yeah, that makes sense. The way I came to think of it is that person A commits a crime, then faints and is unconscious after that. Afterwards, a separate nefarious cloner then clones person A in a black box, so one person A goes in, two persons A come out from the cloning black box.  Person(s!) A awake, and having a strong conscience of their crime, turn themselves in. Since they have exactly the same memories and conscience, they are indistinguishable from the point of view of being the person who committed the crime, both internally and externally.

T... (read more)

1Yoav Ravid2y
See my thoughts here [] on full/distributed punishment

It seems to me that you are thinking about some "stronger" form of cloning. The framework that I was thinking in was that the "clone" was a similar-but-distinct entity, something like a Twin materialized out of thin air instantaneously. But it seems that you are thinking of a stronger form where we should treat the two entities as exactly the same.

I have difficulties conceptualizing this since in my mind a clone still occupies a distinct time, space and consciousness as the original, and so is treated distinctly in my eyes. (In terms of being judged for the morality of actions that the original committed).

I will try to think of a situation / framework where this "stronger" form of cloning makes sense to me.

1Yoav Ravid2y
Let's see if i can help. Say someone commits a crime, then goes into a scanner, destroyed, and recreated somewhere else. is it agreed that they're the same person? if so, it would make sense to still blame them for the crime. Now let's say we discovered that this person never actually destroyed themselves, they were scanned and cloned, but faked getting destroyed. Should the "clone" now be declared innocent, and the "original" declared guilty instead? or should both of them be declared guilty?

If you have some feedback loop based on those metrics, then the wiser amongst them might (will?) eventually figure that 1) you were not honest with your metrics and 2) they are being evaluated against some metric that is not defined to them. Now we are in Simulacrum Level 3, which in a way is the same level that would be reached with Goodhart's Law.

I want to join/create a society of people who do not judge others at all, but how will they decide who to let in?

On first thought, it does not seem to me that (im)morality is something that is commonly ascribed to atoms. Just as bits do not actually have a color, so it seems to me that atoms do not have morality. But I'm not a moral philosopher, so that's just my feeling.

On second thought, consider a thought experiment where we judge the clone. Was the clone a direct / proximate cause of the immorality? It would seem not, as the original was. Did the clone have the intention to cause the immorality? It would seem not, the original did. So I don't think I would hold t... (read more)

1Yoav Ravid2y
The morality isn't ascribed to atoms, it's ascribed to the person in the same way it usually is. yes, people are made of atoms, but it all adds up to normality []. On your second point, did you read the article linked? summarized, the conclusion is that in the case of perfect cloning "There is no copy; there are two originals." (on reflection i might have linked the wrong post, this [] is where this quote is taken from). from this viewpoint, there would be no difference between blaming the "clone" and blaming the "original". so in a way it's isomorphic to the scenario you suggested in the third paragraph.  It's probably important though whether the cloning happened before or after the act. if someone cloned himself, and 40 years later one of them commits a crime, there probably isn't such a dilemma. but is the same true if a crime is committed by one of the clones right after cloning? not sure.

More thoughts on Simulacrum.

Assume that the setting is such that Agents can make statements about Reality.

Level 0 : Reality

Level 1 : Agents are concerned about Reality and making statements about Reality that are True / Honest. Agents in Level 1 seek to understand and exploit Level 0 - Reality. All Agents in level 1 trust each other. As Level-0 Reality asserts its constraints and agents face scarcity, some thus shift to... 

Level 2 : Agents are concerned about perceptions (theirs and others) of Reality, and making statements about Reality that induce p... (read more)

Hashing out my incomplete understanding of Simulacra.  :

Level 0 - Reality, let's call this R.

Level 1 - Agents map/point out reality to each other. For simplicity let's say there are two agents, A1 and A2. A1->R , A2->R. A1 and A2 can attempt to come to consensus on reality. Value is assigned to Truth, Power is over Reality.

Level 2 - Recursion. Agents can point out agents pointing out reality to each other, thereby potentially distorting reality. Agents realize they can "point pointing", and influence each other thus. Let R' be a incorrect realit... (read more)

To learn, we must be exposed to sources of knowledge. Sources of knowledge can take the form of the environment, ourselves or other people. 

We rely on other people as sources of knowledge and learning because the people are amazing at learning and can synthesize what they have learnt into forms that make it easier for others to learn the same thing. 

However, it is important to know what we don't know. Given a source of knowledge, think about the set/space of knowledge that would be impossible / unlikely to learn from that source, even though said... (read more)

I'm going to ruminate on one aspect that you mentioned in your post - praying.

The rational person would claim that praying has no measurable effect on outcomes when controlled for the placebo effect, and so there is no causality there. So why bother?

The spiritual person would reply that one cannot know for sure that that isn't the case, and in any case praying (hopefully) takes up a relatively small amount of resources anyway, so why not? (a-la Pascal's wager)

I feel that it is reasonable for a person to attempt to reach out to any possible means of trying ... (read more)

Shortform on "Hedonic Collapse"

Assumptions :

  1. One is subject to hedonic adaptation.
  2. In the absence of external hedonic input, "entropy" renders one's hedonic stablepoint to be negative.

Desires :

  1. It is desired that one's response to events are temporally invariant. (All else being equal, my reaction to an event should not depend on whether I experience it today or tomorrow)
  2. It is desired to be able to forecast the (probability and impact of the) occurrence of future events as well as possible.


Given the above desires and assumptions, an all-knowing, time-in... (read more)

Also consider whether you have to right to be forgotten - Depending on the medium through which you spend a weirdness point, what might seem like a fair if not uncommon point of pride and character could in the future come back to bite you. 

Your description of "cowering lonely behind a cardboard cutout of the most forgettable person while proffering optimized propaganda through carefully selected slots" seems like behavior that would be characteristic of somebody whose every word and action is captured and potentially retrievable for an indefinite amount of time.