witzvo

witzvo's Comments

Anthropic signature: strange anti-correlations

Interesting. Something's a bit odd, though. If the events are rare, then it's hard to know what the correlations are with any precision. If the events are common, then, yes, we should be able to see the anti-correlation, but this would be a really bad sign -- there'd be no reason to think that the disastrous event where both co-occur isn't right around the corner.

ETA: I exaggerate a bit. There'd be no reason if the independence model was true. If, in reality, there was some circumstance specially protecting us somehow the situation wouldn't have to be dire.

Open thread, August 4 - 10, 2014

That's a pretty cool histogram in figure 2.

Open thread, July 28 - August 3, 2014

Thanks! Lest it confuse anyone else, please note that that review is all about effects of tDCS on the cerebellum and not a review of tDCS on the cerebrum or other brain structures. The cerebelar tDCS itself seems to have many effects including cerebellar motor cortical inhibition, gait adaptation, motor behaviour, and cognition (learning, language, memory, attention), though.

Here's a general review of the effect of tDCS on language

""" Despite their heterogeneities, the studies we reviewed collect- ively show that tDCS can improve language performance in healthy subjects and in patients with aphasia ( fi gure 4). Although relatively transient, the improvement can be remark- able: Monti and colleagues 52 found an improvement of approxi- mately 30% and Holland and Crinion 63 report a gain of approximately 25% in speech performance in aphasic patients. Intriguingly, no report described negative results in aphasic patients. """

EDIT:

Interestingly, there's limited evidence that it can be effective for patients suffering from autism too. E.g. case study finding 40% reduction in abnormal behavior for a severe case and improved language learning for minimally verbal children with autism.

Open thread, July 28 - August 3, 2014

This seems really interesting. I'd like to learn more about it. So far I'm frustrated with the quality of information I've found. Here's a PMC search and a review behind a firewall.

Open thread, 23-29 June 2014

[LINK] Givewell discusses the progress of their thinking about the merits of funding efforts to ameliorate global existential risks.

Motivators: Altruistic Actions for Non-Altruistic Reasons

create community norms whereby the the amount social praise you get is proportional to the strength of your case for the impact of your action is.

Agreed. We need more thinking/work on this. "Thumbs up" for example, don't seem to cut it because some things are so easy to like, whether they actually have real impact or not that they are not at all proportional to merit.

Open Thread, May 19 - 25, 2014

Whoa. Fascinating! Thanks! I really like the idea of this approach. I'm, ironically, not sure I'm decisive enough to decide that decisiveness is a virtue, but this is worth thinking about. Where should I go to read more about the general idea that if I can decide that something is a virtue and practice acting in accord with that virtue that I can change myself?

Thinking about it just for a minute, I realize that I need a heuristic for when it's smart to be decisive and when it's smart to be more circumspect. I don't want to become a rash person. If I can convince myself that the heuristic is reliable enough, then hopefully I can convince myself to put it into practice like you say. I don't know if this means I'm falling into the rationalization trap that you mentioned or not, though. I don't think so; it would be a mistake to be decisive for decisiveness sake.

I can spend some time thinking more about role-models in this regard and maybe ask them when they decide to decide versus decide to contemplate, themselves. In particular, I think my role-models would not spend time on a decision if they knew that making either decision, now, was preferable to not making a decision until later.

Heuristic 1a: If making either decision now is preferable to making the decision later, make the decision promptly (flip coins if necessary).

In the particular case that prompted my original post, my current heuristics said it was a situation worth thinking about -- the options had significant consequences both good and bad. On the other hand, agonizing over the decision wouldn't get me anywhere and I knew what the consequences would be in a general sense -- I just didn't want to accept that I was responsible for the problems that I could expect to follow either decision, I wanted something more perfect. That's another situation my role-models would not fall prey to. Somehow they have the stomach to accept this and get on with things when there's no alternative....

Goal: I will be a person with the self-respect to stomach responsibility for the bad consequences of good decisions.

Heuristic 1b: When you pretty-much know what the consequences will be of all the options and they're all unavoidably problematic to around the same degree (multiply the importance of the decision by the error in the degree to define "around"), force yourself to pick one right away so you can put the decision-making behind you.

Am I on the right track? I'm not totally sure about how important it is to be decision-making behind yourself.

Load More