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It’s been a part of my practice for so long, that I don’t remember where exactly. It likely was somewhere in the polyamorous community/media. I find it especially helpful when the problem is miscommunication. It’s helpful even outside of a NVC context.

I wish that more people used this approach when people accidentally hurt others, rather than to non-apologies like “I’m sorry that you got hurt,” which generally translates to the nonsensical “I regret that you had feelings.” I think that key difference is accepting the causal link between their feelings and my actions.

🤔 Maybe I should write up a post.

NVC has changed the way I go about conflict resolution. I liked your presentation of the content, but I disagree with your on-role for apology. The key is that apology shouldn’t focus on right or wrong for the action that caused the hurt feelings, but instead it essentially comes in three parts:

  1. An acknowledgment of Hurt’s feelings.
  2. An expression of non-intent in causing the hurt.
  3. An expression of mitigation, realignment, or restitution

“I’m sorry that I hurt your feelings, when I took the last cookie that you had been excited about. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. I didn’t know that it was so important to you. Had I known, I would have left it for you, or at least ask you to split it.”

Note that the apology does not necessitate an expression of regret in the action that triggered the emotion in Hurt. It is totally possible to not regret the action, and even genuinely feel that it was the right decision.

“I’m sorry that I embarrassed you when I was defending that kid being bullied. I was focused on their well-being at the time. I wasn’t trying to embarrass you. Should I need to defend someone again in a social situation like that, how can I minimize how it affects you?”

The key to a good apology is to center on the effects on Hurt, and their emotions. You are friends. You don’t want to hurt each other. Put on your Consequentialist hat, and deal with that effect. Step one is really the key. Often people just want to be heard and their feelings acknowledged.

Note that Hurt is not required to accept the apology, but given that it is centered around their feelings, it my experience that people usually do accept.

Answer by UsticeApr 27, 202320

For all we know, many of the counter-intuitive aspects of modern physics could be bugs. I mean no one noticed for several hundred thousand years or so until this century. Maybe the reason that the speed of causality, and the maximum energy density are finite and constant because of limitations on whatever system the Universe runs on.

I think that there are many possible worlds where there are simulation bugs, and we just call them physics. Just as there are many possible worlds where those same effects are because of a completely different reason. That sounds to me like the case where the probabilities sum to zero.

I expect that if you sat down with him and had a one on one conversation, you’d find that he does have nuisances views. I also expect that Eliser realizes that there have been improvements in all of the areas you described. I think that the difference comes mostly down to “Has there been sufficient progress in interpretability to avert disaster?” I’m confident his answer would be “No.”

So, given that belief, and having a chance now and then to communicate with a wide audience, it is better to have a clear message, because you never know what will be a zeitgeist tipping point. It’s the fate of the world, so a little nuisance is just collateral damage.

I don’t know if that matters, because whether he’s pegged to Doom epistemically or strategically the result is the same.

🤔 So far LLMs don’t seem to be good at the big-picture stuff, so software architecture might be relevant for a while longer. The problem is that most information sources are going to be coming from the perspective of someone that understands code. I’m not really sure what that looks like in a world where the details are just handled.

Maybe Category Theory. Recency bias warning: This could be because I’m currently about 4/5 of the way through a lecture series on the Category Theory for Programmers. Category Theory is basically all about how abstractions can be transformed. As working programming is likely to be done at higher levels of abstraction, this seems relevant.

Honestly, my advice is this: follow what piques your interest. Don’t worry what the field will be like in 5-10 years. We’re likely wrong, and you may as well enjoy the ride. Every piece you pick up will build up to a greater understanding anyways. If you are interested in web development, back-end work will give you a better understanding of architecture, but if you just love front-end, go for it. You can always switch later. It’s good to be a generalist.

Answer by UsticeMar 28, 202330

Given that we know that LLM’s can use tools, can traditional databases be used for long-term memory?

Answer by UsticeMar 28, 202371

Given that LLM’s can use tools, it sounds like a traditional database might be able to be used. The data would still have to fit inside the context window, along with the generated continuation prompt, but that might work for a lot of cases.

Oh, for sure! I’m going to ride this career out into retirement if I can. I love what I do. And yeah, I’m more valuable than 10 junior devs in a box. I’ll be valuable up until there is a senior dev in a box.

Do you have any ideas for how we could direct these folks to productive ends?

Maybe some of that could be community support, whether to give support to members of our community that are psychologically vulnerable directly, or giving them a way that they can help others. I’m not sure what that would look like though.

Nita Farahany has some really good ideas around this. I haven’t read her book yet, but she gave a great interview on the Mindscape podcast. She talks about the need to enshrine cognitive rights, before they get set through whatever we happen to land on. Likely the default will be very narrow, if any protections.

I’m not very hopeful.

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