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Comment author: VoiceOfRa 03 July 2015 06:33:53PM -1 points [-]

It's a lot easier to measure height then evaluate a résumé.

Comment author: pjeby 03 July 2015 05:54:11PM 2 points [-]

I don't really know why I do this.

Any self-help technique can be trivially defeated by arguing with it. And anything can be argued with, because the whole point (evolutionarily speaking) of our critical faculties is to find things we can attack in that which we have defined as our enemy. The truth, relevance, or usefulness of the argument is beside the point.

When I read that book I didn't even notice anything about pride or self-worth, honestly. I wasn't reading it because I drink (I don't), but as research into his approach. I found it fascinating because the various arguments I noticed seemed pretty universal to almost anything one might want to quit.

Anyway, I wasn't looking for things to argue with, so I didn't find any. In general, it's not useful to read a self-help book looking for things to argue with: skim over those, and look for things you agree with, or at least things you can consider with an open mind. Carr's books explicitly point out the need for this consideration at the beginning, and you will get more value out of them if you heed that advice.

Do you write about this i.e. new websites as TTD or DS are not maintained much lately?

Mostly I do online workshops with my paying subscribers, and the occasional tweet about things I'm noticing or realizing as they come up.

Comment author: Romashka 03 July 2015 05:44:55PM 0 points [-]

Hello there! I mean, here and there, too! I will do my best to come, although I have not read the book. Good luck!

Comment author: James_Miller 03 July 2015 03:12:28PM *  0 points [-]

Yes, unless you die.

Comment author: V_V 03 July 2015 03:12:15PM *  0 points [-]

If I understand correctly, in the post you linked Scott is saying that Haitians are functionally innumerate, which should explain the difficulties with numerical sorting.

My point is that the partity function should be learnable even without basic numeracy, although I admit that perhaps I'm overgeneralizing.

Anyway, modern machine learning systems can learn to perform basic arithmentic such as addition and subtraction, and I think even sorting (since they are used for preordering for statstical machine translation), hence the problem doesn't seem to be a lack of arithmetic knowledge or skill.

Note that both addition and subtraction have constant circuit depth (they are in AC0) while parity has logarithmic circuit depth.

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 03 July 2015 02:55:15PM 2 points [-]

I don't know if this was featured here, but I hope it generates some discussion. Edsger Dijkstra, https://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/transcriptions/EWD06xx/EWD611.html

"Traditionally there are two ways in which science can be justified, the Platonic and the pragmatic one. In the Platonic way —"l'art pour l'art"— science justifies itself by its beauty and internal consistency, in the pragmatic way science is justified by the usefulness of its products. My overall impression is that along this scale —which is not entirely independent of the Buxton Index— Europe, for better or for worse, is more Platonic, whereas the USA, and Canada to a lesser extent, are more pragmatic."

"It is here that I must mention three general phenomena that go hand in hand with greater pragmatism."

"The first phenomenon is a greater tolerance for the soft sciences which purport to contribute to the solutions of "real" problems, but whose "intellectual contents" are singularly lacking. (When I was a student at Leyden, a quarter of a century ago, economy and psychology had been admitted to the campus, but only with great reservations and absolutely no one considered them as respectable; we had not dreamt of "management science" —I think we would have regarded it as a contradiction in terms— and "business administration" as an academic discipline is still utterly preposterous.)"

"The second phenomenon is the one for which I had to coin the term "integralism". Scientific Thought, as I understand it, derives its effectiveness from our willingness to acknowledge the smallness of our heads: instead of trying to cope with a complex, inarticulate problem in a single sweep, scientific thought tries to extract all the relevant aspects of the problem, and then to deal with them in turn in depth and in isolation. (...) Dealing with some aspect of a complex problem "in depth and in isolation" implies two things. "In isolation" means that you are (temporarily) ignoring most other aspects of the original total problem, "in depth" means that you are willing to generalize the aspect under consideration, are willing to investigate variations that are needed for a proper understanding, but are in themselves of no significance within the original problem statement. The true integralist becomes impatient and annoyed at what he feels to be "games"; by his mental make-up he is compelled to remain constantly aware of the whole chain, when asked to focus his attention upon a single link. (When being shown the derivation of a correct program he will interrupt: "But how do you know that the compiler is correct?".) The rigorous separation of concerns evokes his resistance because all the time he feels that you are not solving "the real problem"."

"The third phenomenon that goes hand in hand with a greater pragmatism is that universities are seen less as seats of learning and centres of intellectual innovation and more as schools preparing students for well-paid jobs. If industry and government ask for the wrong type of people —students, brain-washed by COBOL and FORTRAN— that is then what they get." (This was written in 1982, perhaps, today that will be Java.)

"Finally a difference that is very specific to academic computing science in Europe: Artificial Intelligence never really caught on. All sorts of explanation are possible: Europe's economic situation in the early fifties when the subject emerged, lack of vision of the European academic or military world, European reluctance to admit soft sciences to the university campus, cultural resistance to the subject being more deeply rooted in Europe, etc. I don't know the true explanation, it is probably a mixture of the above and a few more. We should be aware of this difference, whether we can explain it or not, because the difference is definitely there and it has its influence on the outlook of the computing scientist."

For me the first quote hits really close to home. I am so immersed in a "Platonic" tradition that I am constantly amazed how pragmatic LW-ers are, I constantly feel like a Sophisticus.

Comment author: ciphergoth 03 July 2015 02:32:32PM 0 points [-]

Discovery Institute Fellow Erik J Larson

He has held the title of Chief Scientist in an AI-based startup whose first customer was Dell (Dell Legal), Senior Research Engineer at AI company 21st Century Technologies in Austin, worked as an NLP consultant for Knowledge Based Systems, Inc., and has consulted with other companies in Austin, helping to design AI systems that solve problems in natural language understanding.

Larson's been writing plenty of stuff critical of AI risk discussion lately, apparently even the Atlantic is keen to hear the creationist viewpoint.

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 03 July 2015 01:10:02PM 0 points [-]

So what?

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 03 July 2015 01:09:11PM *  0 points [-]

Even without a concept of "even number", wouldn't this neolithic human be able to figure out an algorithm to compute the right answer? They just need to scan the line, flipping a mental switch for each black pebble they encounter, and then add a black pebble if and only if the switch is not in the initial position.

Well, given how hard it is for Haitians to understand numerical sorting...

Comment author: Forux 03 July 2015 11:31:48AM 3 points [-]

Hello all =)

I am reading LW more that one year. I organized book club meetups about HPMOR in Kyiv, Ukraine in past (https://vk.com/hpmor_meeting and https://vk.com/efficient_reading5)

Now i start to organization process of first general LW meetup in Kyiv, our google group: http://groups.google.com/d/forum/LessWrong-Kyiv

On the first meet we will discuss Daniel Kahneman`s "Thinking, Fast and Slow" book in addition to what we will do in the future =)

Please, if you can - give any useful suggestions about what and how first meetup must be done (i have read LW pdf file about how to organize meetups).

Comment author: Stingray 03 July 2015 09:15:14AM 0 points [-]

But can it always be better?

Comment author: Stingray 03 July 2015 09:13:31AM 0 points [-]

Dammit. This quote makes me feel even more of a pawn in the grand scheme of things.

Comment author: Stingray 03 July 2015 09:06:30AM 0 points [-]

Sounds similar to paradox of voting.

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 03 July 2015 07:47:41AM *  0 points [-]

For such outcomes, I suggest the methods used by Allen Carr: essentially they work by systematically eliminating all the perceived benefits of the activity you wish to cease.

I have read Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Drinking Alcohol. I got the impression he is playing on the reader's pride basically. He did not deny alcohol numbs in the brain whatever bothers you, he said the price is that it numbs everything else to. So basically he was playing a "you don't value the everything else in you?" game and maybe it is just a quirk of mine, I don't know, but whenever people try to play my pride I charge head-in, such as "Yes, I am absolutely worthless.Now what? Your move." I don't really know why I do this. Partially sometimes really feeling like this but partially really not liking the pride play as a method... I just think building anything on people's self-worth is really fragile, right?

The trick to this kind of issue is realizing that your brain is using the wrong baseline for measurement of gain/loss. The correct baseline to use in such a scenario is not how things are now, but how they would be if you didn't have the job.

Is this related to the old saying "learn to desire what you have" or "count your blessings" or the Stoic technique of negative visualization i.e. how much it would suck to lose what you have? Visualize not having it, then having it, pass a mmm-test, that sort of thing?

The optimum use seems to be for situations that trigger an immediate and visceral conditioned response that interferes with your ability to think clearly.

I see - this is why the examples are like foods one dislikes or social anxiety for speaking or I assume approach anxiety at dating etc. I will try it with physical challenges, I remember feeling inferior when I was a child when I was clumsy at things like climbing up ropes and it is possible it is keeping me away from trying such sports.

In contrast to the feeling elimination technique, most everything I teach these days can be considered -- in one way or another -- a Ritual For Changing One's Mind.

Do you write about this i.e. new websites as TTD or DS are not maintained much lately?

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 03 July 2015 07:31:51AM 0 points [-]

This is true, if I interpret it correctly (trade-off: expect utility gained > expected utility loss from violating values and risking ostracism) but how is it relevant here?

Comment author: stoppin_by 03 July 2015 04:02:29AM 0 points [-]

Sure. Assuming you desire a long term romantic relationship, if you end all romantic relationships that you see as most likely insufficiently desirable for a long term relationship there is a good chance you will not develop a good grasp of relationship etiquette, skills, & problem solving to appease a candidate that they would deem as a sufficiently desirable long term romantic companion. That behavior wouldn't strictly prevent the person from finding someone who would put up with their lack of knowledge but it sure would have a non-negligible probability of doing so.

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 03 July 2015 01:29:42AM 1 point [-]

So how would you define "empirical equivalence"?

Comment author: Clarity 03 July 2015 01:01:47AM 1 point [-]

The big clinical guidelines class EMDR up there with CBT. I'm willing to give it a go since I've got a relevant trauma and stressor related disorder.

Here’s what I plan to cover when I self-administer EMDR over the next 1 week. If there’s interest, I can rehash on all of the disturbing things I’ve mentioned with what I subsequently think about in relation to these things. Hopefully, they will be reframed and internalised. I use this tool. The things I think might sound laughable, but they’re real problems that withstand my regular patterns of self-regulation and I’m not just looking for validation. I’m not popular like Christiano Ronaldo with 104M facebook likes. I’m probably going to always mean ‘watching a movie’ when I ask someone to watch a movie - I suck at (and somewhat defiant of) coding and decoding potentially romantic or sexual meanings. Though, I’m increasingly coming to accept the ‘is’ universe over the ‘should’ universe, so maybe this will change and I’ll start thinking more about relationship tactics than say why kids should be allowed to vote or ageism more broadly. On that note, I suspect this may be the typical mind fallacy in action – high functioning autists, I read, somewhere I don’t recall, often develop an ‘adult’ brain at a much earlier age. Anyway, back on track - I’ve recently found that I don’t distinguish between female friendships and romantic partners, so I’ve decided to remove female friends as a personally relevant label. It’s hard, but I’m making better decisions already such as not giving into junk food eating temptations when I’m out with female friends, cause I seem to behave like the hedonic immediate value of our time together is far more important than my longer term wellbeing. This doesn’t happen with male friends, who I’m proud to be a healthier person around. I’m a sucker for sexual and romantic and emotional superstimuli but I’m gently weaning myself off a lifetime of co-dependent and obsessive behaviour coupled with sexual experience limited to prostitutes, leaving me with dreams of legal meat market New Zealand street prostitution being bored of the Brothel oriented market in Australia from the days I thought I could prostitution was a cheap form of sexual surrogacy, for which I don’t good reason to believe would be effective anyway – but I was very irrational then.

Comment author: johnswentworth 03 July 2015 12:13:10AM 1 point [-]

So, you're thinking that human abstraction ability derives from probable morphisms rather than certain morphisms over weaker classes? That makes a lot of sense.

On the other hand, from what I've seen in CS classes, humans do not seem very good at recognizing equivalences even between pushdown automata beyond a few simple cases. A human equipped with pencil and lots of paper can do a good job, but that's an awful lot more powerful than just a human.

Comment author: Clarity 02 July 2015 11:34:02PM 0 points [-]

Somehow I thought Visiting Fellows at MIRI do more...

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