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Comment author: Gondolinian 06 March 2015 12:04:00PM *  0 points [-]

Welcome, Amanda!

You might want to post your event info as a comment here so it gets attention from the wrap party coordinator. Or you could send it to the coordinator as a private message.

Comment author: philh 06 March 2015 11:45:23AM 0 points [-]

I'll post details to the LW London google group; and I don't know whether individually posting every wrap party to LW is a good idea, but if we collectively decide that's what we're doing, I'll do that as well. But you should be able to see the event without a Facebook account, even if you can't RSVP (and in the specific case of London, you can RSVP - we have a separate google docs survey).

Comment author: Jiro 06 March 2015 10:49:48AM *  0 points [-]

We have votes because we want to maximize utility for the voters. Allowing easily manufactured people to vote creates incentives to manufacture people.

So the answer to this depends on your belief about utilitarianism. If you aggregate utility in such a way that adding more people increases utility in an unbounded way, then you should do whatever you can to encourage the creation of more people regardless of whether their votes cause harm to existing people, so it is good to create incentives for their creation and you should let them vote. (You also get the Repugnant Conclusion.) If you aggregate utility in some way that produces diminishing returns and avoids the Repugnant Conclusion, then it is possible that at some point creating more new people is a net negative. If so, you'd be better off precommitting to not let them vote because not letting them vote prevents them from being created, increasing utility.

Note: Most people, insofar as they can be described as utilitarian at all, will fall into the second category (with the precommitment being enforced by their inherent inability to care much for people who they cannot see as individuals).

This also works when you substitute "allowing unlimited immigration" for "creating unlimited amounts of people", Your choice of how to aggregate utility also affects whether it is good to trade off utility among already existing people just like it affects whether it is good to create new people.

Comment author: ladyastralis 06 March 2015 08:57:38AM 2 points [-]

Hello everyone!

I just registered and I don't quite know how this works, but the HPMOR Wrap Party Organizers Handbook said to post here, and so here I am.

Venue: Griffith Observatory front lawn

2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Date/Time: March 14, 2015: 6:00pm

Cost: Free access to the complex, planetarium shows are $7

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1585754024996915/

Contact email: ladyastralis at gmail youknowtherest

Please bring: A (picnic) blanket, some snacks/food, some way to read HPMOR that has its own light source (I called the observatory -- they turn off the lights pretty early), and a thermos of hot cocoa. Don't forget a coat!

Notes: The final planetarium show is at 8:45pm. A fitting tribute.

The complex closes at 10:00pm.

I will be wearing my Ravenclaw scarf.

Looking forward to finally meeting other HPMOR fans!


In response to Simpson's Paradox
Comment author: malcolmocean 06 March 2015 06:32:17AM 0 points [-]

I found this to be a really helpful visualization tool, that lets you set the parameters and see the effects: http://vudlab.com/simpsons/

Comment author: Flextechmgmt 06 March 2015 05:14:20AM *  0 points [-]

To some extent, yes.. When I'm in a lecture hall in college & the professor is talking about theoretical physics, I feel pretty stupid & I'm confused & don't really understand what's going on. So, yes, I guess I do.

Comment author: Arkanj3l 06 March 2015 04:06:28AM 1 point [-]

Do you know what it's like to be stupid?

Comment author: TheOtherDave 06 March 2015 03:19:14AM 0 points [-]

I don't understand how that answers my question, or whether it was intended to.

I mean, OK, let's say the genuinely self-aware systems are real people. Then we can rephrase my question as:

Like, if we had a highly reliable test for real personhood, but it turned out that interest groups could manufacture large numbers of real people that would reliably vote and/or fight for their side of political questions, would that be better? Why?

Conversely, if we can't reliably test for real personhood, but we don't have a reliable way to manufacture apparently real people that vote or fight a particular way, would that be better? Why?

But I still don't know your answer.

I also disagree that matters of ethics are therefore matters of taste.

Comment author: Curiouskid 06 March 2015 02:30:33AM 0 points [-]

See also: "The Perfect/Great is the enemy of the Good"

Comment author: MarsColony_in10years 06 March 2015 02:20:27AM 1 point [-]

I can't help but think of the Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer. They date back nearly a century, and their ceremonies are conducted in private. The initiation ritual is conducted by the Corporation of the Seven Wardens, with only new and past initiates present, but no guests. Upon initiation though, each new member is given a symbolic Iron Ring, which is rumored to be forged from the mangled iron scavenged from the Quebec Bridge disaster on 1907. The ring is distinctly angular rather than smooth and comfortable, and is worn on the pinky of the dominant hand so that it will slide across an engineer's drafting table or paper as he or she writes. This is a constant reminder of an engineers lofty duties and responsibilities, and of those who died during the Quebec Bridge collapse.

For people in the US, there's the Order of the Engineer. Before joining, members must swear an oath to abide by "The Obligation of an Engineer":

I am an engineer, in my profession I take deep pride.

To it I owe solemn obligations.

Since the stone age, human progress has been spurred by the engineering genius.

Engineers have made usable nature's vast resources of material and energy for humanity's benefit.

Engineers have vitalized and turned to practical use the principles of science and the means of technology.

Were it not for this heritage of accumulated experience, my efforts would be feeble.

As an engineer, I pledge to practice integrity and fair dealing, tolerance, and respect, and to uphold devotion to the standards and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth's precious wealth.

As an engineer, I shall participate in none but honest enterprises.

When needed, my skill and knowledge shall be given without reservation for the public good.

In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give the utmost.

Comment author: Flextechmgmt 06 March 2015 01:48:47AM *  0 points [-]

Really illuminating paper here! I appreciate you sharing this. Here's what I think - innate ability is overvalued, everyone! If you hone your skills over time you will seem smarter than you are & you lose some of your shyness & inhibitions w.r.t. asserting yourself & expressing your opinion. My top grades were a 2200 on my SAT's, 31 on my ACT's, & I was an honors student in college. That being said, I don't think that correlates with intelligence. That just correlates with testing well. Isaac Newton made major contributions to his STEM career in science, and he DID have a lot of innate ability but he also worked at it, which I like. I don't feel that Warren Buffet has a lot of ability, yet he uses the math skills he has to sell stocks profitably. The common character trait of these two examples is that they work at their skills - no one gets a free ride.

Productivity matters more than ability. When I first sold the product Keysaver (1) I was embarrassed about becoming a 'career-driven adult' & being less academic, but I had to learn how to make a face & make that transition into adulthood & out of the school lifestyle. Nobody is outside of this paradigm.

I'll make this analogy:

When you're single, you might think you're great looking but if no one likes you there's no PROOF of that. When you have a thing with someone sexy, that's validation that you yourself are reasonably attractive & normal enough.

Innate ability or talent is great but there's no PROOF that it's great. When I try to prove that ability, that's validation that I'm reasonably smart & intelligent enough to work for a living.

(1) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=appinventor.ai_ak_Lars.Keysaver

Comment author: arundelo 06 March 2015 01:22:32AM 1 point [-]


Comment author: fubarobfusco 06 March 2015 12:42:36AM 3 points [-]

Yes, please! Not everyone is on Facebook.

Comment author: Pablo_Stafforini 06 March 2015 12:09:59AM *  1 point [-]

I think the problems associated with providing concrete political examples are in this case mitigated by the author's decision to criticize people on opposite sides of the political debate (Soviet communists and hysterical anti-communists), and by the author's admission that his former political beliefs were mistaken to a certain degree.

Comment author: Dallas 05 March 2015 10:27:08PM *  7 points [-]


  • Given both demographics and recent discourse, you are going to want vegetarian and vegan options for food.
  • HPMOR has a large hatedom, for various reasons. Key vectors for trolls are photos, videos, and flyers. Be more conscious than usual about personal boundaries and privacy.
  • Public events are going to bring together people with varying viewpoints; be emotionally prepared for having your bubble popped by culture shock.
  • Betting pools on the number of clueless attendees who showed up for the Potter and forgot about the Rationality are generally frowned upon by the general public. (That means you, Hanson!)
  • Don't be gross, in either appearance or manners.
  • Don't hand out pamphlets to the general public; it looks, you know...
Comment author: arundelo 05 March 2015 09:35:24PM 1 point [-]

I'm saying that I think the original quote (which I did think was good) would have been improved qua Rationality Quote by removing the specific political content from it. (Much like the "Is Nixon a pacifist?" problem would have been improved by coming up with an example that didn't involve Republicans.)

Comment author: TylerJay 05 March 2015 09:20:37PM 0 points [-]

Anyone interested in a Central/Southern California wrap-party? Even if it's pretty informal?

Comment author: TylerJay 05 March 2015 09:12:53PM 0 points [-]

Just wanted to say that I almost missed this because I only check Main every other month or so. There are a lot of people who only really browse Discussion, and that's where pretty much all of the HPMOR discussion goes on anyway on LW. Can you x-post? I'm going to make a discussion post linking this Main post just for visibility. If you x-post it, I can delete it, just let me know.

Thanks for organizing this!

Comment author: AlanCrowe 05 March 2015 09:01:19PM 8 points [-]

One problem is that most people think we are always in the short run. No matter how many times you teach students that tight money raises rates in the short run (liquidity effect) and lowers them in the long run (income and Fisher effects), when the long run actually comes around they will still see the fall in interest rates as ECB policy "easing". And this is because most people think the term "short run" is roughly synonymous with "right now." It's not. Actually "right now" we see the long run effects of policies done much earlier. We are not in an eternal short run. That's the real problem with Keynes's famous "in the long run we are all dead."

Scott Sumner

Comment author: Romashka 05 March 2015 09:01:08PM 0 points [-]

The Eir of Slytherin has opened the Chamber of Socrates...

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