All of Wilka's Comments + Replies

Is it possible for you to give an example of this works in practice? I'm curios what type of things you would note down.

It sounds like a useful idea worth trying out, but I'm having trouble seeing how I would start using it.

Not the prettiest example, but I had a log-running acne problem that I could never seem to get a handle on. So a few years ago, I started writing down, every morning, whether I had new zits that day, what I was using on my face, and any other factors (like diet) I thought might be relevant. It suddenly became quite easy to zero in on the right solution (a low concentration benzoyl peroxide facewash), and I've been happy with the results ever since.

A second example is that I started a (rather involved and silly) spreadsheet tracking my time working one seme... (read more)

Is the iPhone sufficiently awesome to justify its high price? Are there good low-cost smartphones? Ios or android?

My first question would be: how do you intend to use the device?

The two apps you mentioned are also available on Android, and I'm very happy with Evernote on my HTC Desire HD (I don't use Toodledo). So if your main use would be those apps along with the typical phone stuff (calls/text message/email/web browsing) then an Android device should be fine for you.

However, a high-end Android device gets close to the price range of an iPhone.

It can still be done online, e.g. Google+ Hangouts are an example of live group interaction (up to 10 people) that seems to be fairly popular.

The experience still isn't as rich as in-person meeting, but it's a big step up from pre-recorded video.

For example, if we started a human-level AGI tomorrow, it's ability to revise itself would be hugely limited by our slow and expensive infrastructure (e.g. manufacturing the new circuits, building the mainframe extensions, supplying them with power, debugging the system).

This suggests that he see the limiting factor for AI to be hardware, however I've heard people argue that we probably already have the hardware needed for human-level AI if we get the software right (and I'm pretty sure that was before things like cloud computing were so easily availa... (read more)

1timtyler11y
We do, but it's not cost effective or fast enough - so humans are cheaper and (sometimes) better. Within a decade, the estimated hardware may cost around 100 USD and the performance difference won't be there. Sometime around then, things seem likely to get more interesting.

This looks to be a Google Docs form (used for making surveys), it just has a single question which is a "paragraph text" field. It shouldn't take long to do the same thing for yourself.

Have a look at this help topic for details on making a form.

0gwern11y
That worked fairly well for me; I have what I think is a working feedback form [https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dE5GLWpfX3RhX1c2Q1phcEo3U3VDVEE6MQ]. (I mostly copied lukeprog's wording, but omitting the parts about SIAI and hopefully wording it more friendly.) The tricky part was figuring out how to set up email notifications: you have to go to the spreadsheet version of the form, click on Tools->Notifications and work from there.

When signing up, I was told the password I tried to use was too long (I have unique, randomly generated, passwords for each site I use). so I generated a < 20 chars password instead - however, password length limits around this size suggest that the site might be storing the passwords as plain text, rather than only storing a salted hash of the password.

So I was wondering, if that's the case here?

Fixed. No more limit. Correct away on your battery horse's staples.

7dreeves11y
That's stupid of us to limit password size -- especially after all the "correct horse battery staple" discussion! [ http://xkcd.com/936 [http://xkcd.com/936] ] But we're using the Devise module in Rails and definitely not storing in plaintext or anything too idiotic. Definitely need to change whatever stupid Devise default limits password length though. Thanks for pointing it out!
2wedrifid11y
The source code is public. Delve away. It sounds like you have little to worry about even if the password storage is lax!
0taryneast11y
thanks :)

I do not however have a solution for how to become a respected agency.

If journals start to reject publishing researched because it relies on 'poor' citations, that should have the effect of making this proposed archive-of-study-quality respected.

So maybe a more specific question: how could we get journals to use this archive as part of their review process?

1JoshuaZ11y
The obvious method is to start with people who are credentialed in the fields to join in. If you have relevant PhDs who are working on this people will likely pay a lot more attention. Maybe talk to people are the local university, see if you can get them interested.

That seems likely to me.

I enjoyed this post a lot, and I've shared with several other people that I think would also like it (and spend the time to read it). But it did take me a while to get to get through, I made coffee at least twice while reading it. I think it was almost 2 hours from opening the article to getting to the end. Not all of that time was spent reading - as well as getting coffee, I paused several times to digest what I'd read so far. However, it was still a lot longer than I'd normally spend on a single post.

I might not make it to any hangouts, but this post gets an up vote for having a list of LWers on Google+

I'm here if anyone wants to circle me.

This reminds me of http://lesswrong.com/lw/vk/back_up_and_ask_whether_not_why/ but I prefer the phrasing "What caused you to X" over "Should I X" and it feels like an easier question to get into the habit of asking.

What about interesting RSS feeds? Anyone that uses Google Reader for RSS will have a 'shared items' feed that other people can subscribe to. I'm guessing that LW readers would tend to have an interesting 'shared items' feed if they use that feature?

For example, mine is http://www.google.com/reader/shared/wilka.hudson - although most of the stuff I share that would interesting to LW readers actually comes from LW, so maybe it's not such a good idea after all.

Would it be possible for whoever to did the design to also do the layout for this? The style can go in the main .css, otherwise it could interfere with any future layout tweaks of the site.

I like the idea, I just don't like the potential future work of having to go update N signatures when the main site styles are tweaked.

I think http://inhabitat.com/google-succeeds-in-making-driverless-cars-legal-in-nevada/ was a big step to helping improve that. Providing it works, once people start to notice the (hopefully) massive drop in traffic accidents for autonomous cars they should push for them to be more widespread.

Still, it's a way off for them to actually be in use on the roads.

I checked on google.com and google.co.uk, both with me logged in and logged out, and it was the second hit each time. Also using 'private browsing' to make sure no cookies were still trying to personalize the results. Still, different national flavors of Google will probably give slightly different results - more so if it's personalizing the search results for you.

Yea, I checked again after logging out. It's second either way for me.

If anyone is interested in having a look at it, but doesn't have an invite (it's invite only so they can control the rate new users sign up), then you can send me a message or reply to this comment with your email address and I'll send some out.

based on an agenda you were naive to at the time?

This is almost always the case with warning labels (such as the silica gel example), I don't recall ever seeing a warning label that also told you why it was warning you.

This reminds of a recent post over at Meteuphoric: Don’t warn nonspecifically!

Phrasing it like that is likely to get closed as well, the Stack Exchange sites are strongly focused on Q&A, not discussions, so to avoid the question being closed you usually need to ask something that can have a 'correct' answer.

I've had a go at quick answer to maybe get a bit of discussion started (well, more detailed answers that aren't quite as poor).

Good question. I have a recurring direct donation set-up, but maybe donating via the Facebook page will make it more interesting for my friends to have a deeper look (and maybe donate).

Does anyone know what % of the donation via the causes app goes to the charity? I'm guessing it's not 100%, so I'm wondering if that x% is worth it to have it announced on Facebook. Although I could just announce it myself, I think I'll do that next time my donation happens.

6Louie12y
Causes.com charges 4.75% to cover processing fees, but the added benefit of making your donation so publicly visible using Causes.com / Facebook makes it preferable. We're currently only the #22 most supported cause in the "Education" section. A few hundred dollars more would put us in the top 20.

person A wanted X level of neatness and was uncomfortable at Y level, and person B wanted Y level of neatness and was uncomfortable at X level.

I've had a similar experience of somebody wanting a (small) amount of mess. The explanation was that if a house didn't look 'lived it' it wasn't really home, and therefore not a conformable place to live.

4AdeleneDawner12y
I actually am such a person, if anyone wants to ask relevant questions. I grew up in a very messy house - my father didn't care, and my mother was disabled enough to have trouble keeping on top of things - and I find living-places that are too clean to be anxiety-inducing.

Maybe it was "Once you can guess what your answer will be, you have probably already decided." from Hold Off On Proposing Solutions

Those of you that aren't in the US, but wanted to donate to this: you can still donate via PayPal using singinst.org/donate/ - so if you were going to donate something, don't let living out of the US stop you.

You can also choose to donate more than a dollar this way, if you want to.

  1. On your Android phone, open 'Market.'
  2. Search for 'Anki'.
  3. Install the 'AnkiDroid Flashcards' app.

Only makes a slight difference, but you can also install apps via the Market website, so you can give a direct link to the AnkiDroid Flashcards app. However, it does depend on the version of Android you're running for remote installs.

Since I started listening to interesting and/or entertaining things, I really enjoy my commute. I usually get through two books each month (I have an Audible subscription) and several podcasts, along with other talks etc. that I stumble across on the interwebs.

Last time I moved home I made sure my new place wouldn't be too close to work (either by walking, or cycling). Granted, there's probably other ways I could achieve the same result, but this is nice way of combining regular mild exercises with learning that also means I get to save money on rent by not living right in the middle of the city.

0jwhendy12y
Well that's unusual! Looks like you've found a great use for your commute as well. Now that MN is warming up, I'm hoping to get out the road bicycle and get to work that way. I'll have to look for something like Audible, as well. I think I could "read" more if I listened during so called idle time. On the other hand, I find it quite more effective if I take notes [http://technologeekery.blogspot.com/2010/07/whats-so-great-about-christianity_2046.html] on the books [http://technologeekery.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-series-why-i-became-atheist-loftus.html] I read [http://technologeekery.blogspot.com/2010/08/book-series-faith-and-certitude-thomas.html]. I think that would be harder without text in front of me.

I liked the original joke, and have told it many times in the past. I also find this sentence quite funny:

Like asking someone in a suit how come he's wearing a suit and he answers "because I bought one and put it on".

Over-correct your opinion by reading propaganda

You could also try creating your own propaganda (also useful for Akrasia). You should have a good idea of the types of things that motivate you, so you can use that knowledge to make very focused adverts (e.g. basic posters) for yourself.

There's more on this kind of thing, advertising to yourself, over at http://www.takebackyourbrain.com/ - but it looks like it hasn't been updated in a while.

I agree with other commenters that suggest getting a new place be your top priority.

You could try geting somewhere close enough to work that you can jog (or cycle) there and back each day. That should get you your exercise and appreciate-the-outdoors-warm-fuzzies, as well as saving you the cost of a gym membership.

I was reminded of this post by a blog article I've just read: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/10/27/procrastination/ - it covers the same topic, but I think it presents it in an easier-to-grasp way for folks who aren't actively trying to be more rational.

0Observer11y
Thanks for linking to that. It was helpful for me.

And I've just found a similar idea with Rejection Therapy via the Marginal Revolution blog.

Fear of failure. (Fail at something and make no excuses).

This reminds me of an idea to try failing on purpose to overcome this.

0Wilka12y
And I've just found a similar idea with Rejection Therapy [http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/10/rejection-therapy.html] via the Marginal Revolution blog.

Here's a longer (1h 16m) version of his TED talk he gave at Google: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrA-8rTxXf0

The more polished TED version is kind of a summary of this talk.

I've been using Swype for a while, and was very impressed with it. It did make a big improvement when I got the hang of it.

SwiftKey is also very good when you're writing a lot of text on your phone. I currently switch between the two of them, depending on what I'm going to be writing.

there is good evidence that lack of fitness is a far more significant risk factor for morbidity and mortality than BMI (in adults)

I've never heard this before, can you provide some links/references for more info please?

Seeking to make good arguments might be a better goal than always thinking about the ends like whether homeopathy is true in the end.

This feels backwards to me, so I suspect I'm misunderstanding this point.

I'd say it's better to test homeopathy to see if it's true, and then try to work out why that's the case. There doesn't seem to be much point in spending time figuring out how something works unless you already believe it does work.

3ChristianKl13y
The question is not only does homeopathy work but do arguments A, B and C that conclude that homeopathy doesn't work work. You could argue that every argument against homeopathy that differs from the argument that meta studies showed that it doesn't work is pointless. If you however read an average skeptic, skeptics often make idealist arguments based on whether something violates the physical laws as the skeptic understands the physical laws. Do you argue that any argument that isn't based on whether a study fund that a process works is flawed?

The Red Cross made this same point in a blog post recently: http://blogs.redcross.org.uk/emergencies/2010/01/help-not-hinder-haiti/ - I think it's the first time I've seen a charity make the point so explicitly and publicly.

When choosing my beliefs, I use a more important criterion than mere truth. I'd rather believe, quite simply, in whatever I need to believe in order to be happiest. I maximize utility, not truth.

Have you ever the experience of learning something true that you would rather not have learned? The only type of examples I can think of here (of the top of my head) would be finding out you had an unfaithful lover, or that you were really adopted. But in both case, it seems like the 'unhappiness' you get from learning it would pass and you'd be happy that you f... (read more)

2faul_sname11y
Yes. Three times, in fact. Two of them are of roughly the same class as that one thing floating around, and the third is of a different class and far worse than the other two (involving life insurance and charity: you'll find it if you look).

Text is faster than speech, but if the video isn't important (e.g. with BHTV) you can listen to them during times that you couldn't read. Such as driving, or walking.

I listen to a lot of podcasts on my way to and from work, and it effectively doesn't use extra time in my day - I'd be travelling anyway, so I might as well make good use of the time.

1Richard_Kennaway13y
My mileage varies, in the most literal sense. My commute is about half the length of a TED talk.

What are some examples of recent progress in AI?

In several of Elizer's talks, such as this one, he's mentioned that AI research has been progressing at around the expected rate for problems of similar difficultly. He also mentioned that we've reached around the intelligence level of a lizard so far.

Ideally I'd like to have some examples I can give to people when they say things like "AI is never going to work" - the only examples I've been able to come up with so far have been AI in games, but they don't seem to think that counts because "it... (read more)

1Roko14y
How about google? Face recognition technology? Big Dog [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1czBcnX1Ww]? The theory work of Marcus Hutter? Current Chess AIs that are now so good that they utterly cream the best humans, to such an extent that human/computer matches aren't even attempted any more? How about Asimo [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9ByGQGiVMg]?
3Eliezer Yudkowsky14y
I usually cite the DARPA Grand Challenge, which I gather was won using such advanced modern methods as particle filtering (a Bayesian technique).
4Richard_Kennaway14y
I see 7 upvotes but no answers. Should I conclude that even those who think AI is attainable find nothing to boast of in the record so far?

That reminds me of http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dennett06/dennett06_index.html

"To whom, then, do I owe a debt of gratitude? To the cardiologist who has kept me alive and ticking for years, and who swiftly and confidently rejected the original diagnosis of nothing worse than pneumonia. To the surgeons, neurologists, anesthesiologists, and the perfusionist, who kept my systems going for many hours under daunting circumstances. To the dozen or so physician assistants, and to nurses and physical therapists and x-ray technicians and a small army of phle... (read more)

Did he give a reason? Just wondering if you're "not famous enough" for him to risk losing to you.

2Pablo10y
My suspicion is that he turned Eliezer down because he wants to stick to the standard debate format, where he excels. The few "debates" he lost, particularly the one with Shelly Kagan [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiJnCQuPiuo], were actually informal conversations that closely resemble the sort of exchanges that take place on BloggingHeads.
2Eliezer Yudkowsky14y
Nope.

We could create a group on http://friendfeed.com for that. That's how groups on there tend to be used. e.g. http://friendfeed.com/googlebits and http://friendfeed.com/dslr

1Alexandros14y
something like this? http://friendfeed.com/lesswrong [http://friendfeed.com/lesswrong]