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Comment author: TheAncientGeek 29 April 2017 01:30:57PM 0 points [-]

A statistical distribution is objective, and can be an element in a probability calculation, but is not itself probability.

Comment author: ChristianKl 29 April 2017 06:42:50AM *  0 points [-]

The notion of probability to which you are pointing is the frequentist notion of probability. Eliezer favors the Bayesian notion of probability over the Frequentist notion.

1/4 is a precise description of reality if our scope is not just one day but a whole year.

That might be true but a person who knows more about the weather might make a more accurate prediction about whether it shows. If I saw the weather report I might conclude that it's p=0.2 that it snows today even if over the whole year the distribution is that it snows on average every fourth day.

If I have more prior information I will predict a different probability that it actually snows.

Comment author: vasaka 29 April 2017 04:19:49AM *  0 points [-]

I think I can show how probability is not purely in the mind but also an inherent property of things, bear with me.

Lets take an event of seeing snow outside, for simplicity we know that snow is out there 3 month a year in winter, that fact is well tested and repeats each year. That distribution of snowy days is property of the reality. When we go out of bunker after spending there unknown amount of time we assign probability 1/4 to seeing a snow, and that number is function of our uncertainty about the date and our precise knowledge of when snow is out there. 1/4 is a precise description of reality if our scope is not just one day but a whole year. In this case we have a precise map, and our uncertainty is lack of knowledge of our place on the map. What we also know that if we do not have a date or season there is no better prediction and this is a property of things too.

Additionally having probability distribution you can perfectly predict accumulated effect of series of events, and this ability to predict something precisely is an indication that you grasped something about reality.

Returning to the coin 0.5 prediction of one throw is function of our uncertainty, but our prediction of sum of long series where 1 is heads and 0 is tails is a result of our knowledge of coin properties that is expressed as probability

Comment author: NancyLebovitz 28 April 2017 05:00:46PM 0 points [-]

Thanks. I hope that someone gets around to actually looking at the clothes and/or paintings.

Comment author: Laoch 28 April 2017 03:58:47PM 2 points [-]

4.5 years later still on SSRI's, a bit suicidal. Seeing a therapist, looking for a psychiatrist. Feels like I'm going to lose my mind and believe any old thing, return to a community and a way of life I despise (because of mind loss). So I came here to see what LW's have to say on this and noticed my old post. This has been going on for a while, no resolution in sight.

Comment author: TheAncientGeek 28 April 2017 06:36:41AM 0 points [-]

Well, sentient means feeling and sapient means knowing, and that's about all there is to it...neither term is technical precise, although they are often bandied around as though they are.

Comment author: arundelo 27 April 2017 11:20:38PM 0 points [-]

Eliezer probably means "sapient":

"Sentience is commonly used in science fiction and fantasy as synonymous with sapience, although the words aren't synonyms."

(Or maybe by "is sentient", he means to say, "is a person in the moral sense".)

Comment author: adamzerner 27 April 2017 05:05:34PM 0 points [-]

What if you trust the author? In that case, perhaps it's a more efficient use of your time to have the author "just tell you what to do".

Derev Sivers thinks so - https://sivers.org/2do.

In response to Nonperson Predicates
Comment author: John_Mlynarski 27 April 2017 01:36:50AM *  1 point [-]

"Is a human mind the simplest possible mind that can be sentient?" Of course not. Plenty of creatures with simpler minds are plainly sentient. If a tiger suddenly leaps out at you, you don't operate on the assumption that the tiger lacks awareness; you assume that the tiger is aware of you. Nor do you think "This tiger may behave as if it has subjective experiences, but that doesn't mean that it actually possesses internal mental states meaningfully analogous to wwhhaaaa CRUNCH CRUNCH GULP." To borrow from one of your own earlier arguments.

If you are instead sitting comfortably in front of a keyboard and monitor with no tiger in front of you, it's easy to come up with lots of specious arguments that tigers aren't really conscious, but so what? It's also easy to come up with lots of specious arguments that other humans aren't really conscious. Using such arguments as a basis for actual ethical decision-making strikes me as a bad idea, to put it mildly. What you've written here seems disturbingly similar to a solipsist considering the possibility that he could, conceivably, produce an imaginary entity sophisticated enough to qualify as having a mind of its own. Technically, it's sort of making progress, but....

When I first read your early writing, the one thing that threw me was an assertion that "Animals are the moral equivalent of rocks." At least, I hope that I'm not falsely attributing that to you; I can't track down the source, so I apologize if I'm making a mistake. But my recollection is of its standing out from your otherwise highly persuasive arguments as such blatant unsupported personal prejudice. No was evidence given in favor of this idea and it was followed by a parenthetical that clearly indicated that it was just wishful thinking; it really only made any sense in light of a different assertion that spotting glaring holes in other people's arguments isn't really indicative of any sort of exceptional competence except when dealing with politically and morally neutral subject matter.

Your post and comments here seem to conflate, under the label of "personhood," having moral worth and having a mind somehow closely approximating that of an adult human being. Equating these seems phenomenally morally dubious for any number of reasons; it's hard to see how it doesn't go directly against bedrock fairness, for example.

Comment author: Error 26 April 2017 11:34:59PM *  4 points [-]

It seems to me that the form of yak shaving you describe is a maintenance problem. The things in your life that are broken, are broken because they require maintenance that hasn't been performed. Until it suddenly becomes an urgent necessity.

You can fix that by doing all the required yak shaving...maybe. But the most dedicated yak shaving routine will fail if your yak herd has expanded until its maintenance cost exceeds all available time.

Instead, own fewer yaks. Figure out what in your environment requires maintenance. Then automate it, outsource it, or get rid of it. Join a makerspace instead of having your own workbench. Electronicise and (preferably) automate all your bills. Get rid of anything that 1. doesn't see regular use, and 2. is prone to requiring shaving. Hire a housekeeper. Rent an apartment where management is responsible for things that break instead of you -- if you can afford it, rent one that does valet trash and laundry. Get amazon prime and get used to waiting two days for anything you have to buy. Then never go shopping for non-perishables in person again. If you live somewhere that you can get groceries delivered, do that too.

Edit: Use services like Fancyhands for fourth quadrant stuff that you nonetheless still want done.

A great time to do this sort of life-cleaning is when you move -- it's easier to overcome the "but what if I need it?" mental roadblock if you can reply "but if I junk it, it's that much less I have to pack and unpack." Make laziness work for you.

(not coincidentally, I am doing literally this right now)

Comment author: k_ebel 26 April 2017 06:33:33PM 0 points [-]

Thanks for your reply and the additional clarification of your original point.

I certainly am not seeking additional identifying information. For one, it would do me no good as I don't have the local context knowledge to map it to anything anyway. Secondly, the gist of my initial comment was really more responding to the sense that taking a few examples and generalizing them to a larger group of people seemed inadvisable to me.

Along those same lines, I'm still really hesitant to get behind a statement that strongly implies that all well-intentioned newbies will start poorly negotiating in only one way (or one set of ways), and that anyone who starts negotiating poorly in a different or particular way (or set of ways) is obviously doing so from a place of poor intentions. The more visibility and reach this community has, the more diversity we're going to see in the new people who are finding it. And in the ways of communication they've learned are effective and acceptable. Additionally, not every newbie who comes into the community is ready or able to identify culture differences as the source of the problems they're encountering. Troubleshooting is its own skillset.

It also feels really important to me to point out that - if we're going to encourage people to ask and to practice asking (both of which are necessary in order to actually improve our asking and negotiating skills) then it creates some counter productive incentives if we then turn around and say things like "oh but folks who are asking in these particular ways are clearly a parasite."

While I agree that the examples you give of how a parasite might ask for something (or the scenarios they propose) don't look like particularly good deals... I still don't understand how this particular kind of ask is an indication of some sort of inherent parasitic nature the part of the asker. If we're going to create or maintain a culture where asking is an OK thing to do, then part of the underlying assumptions that go into it are that the other person is free to say "No."

To be completely fair, this is a legitimately difficult situation. In your initial comment you pointed out that one of the indicators you were looking at was the fact that these asks are primarily going towards newer folks (who may not be comfortable with ask/tell culture and who may feel obligated to say yes.) Which makes me think that perhaps the educational thrust I suggested initially was lacking in some key areas.

Perhaps - in addition to offering resources to new folks who want to learn how to ask effectively and responsibly - it would also be a really good idea to also include resources on things like how to say No/ how to be comfortable saying No, and - also really important for those coming from guess cultures - how to gracefully receive No.

I don't know that this is so much a solution for any particular individuals who are already here as it is a set-up for new people coming in that seems to give space for folks to learn the skills needed to not fall into a pattern of behavior that might be read as parasitic - before passing judgement on whether or not they are parasites.

Comment author: kiboy 26 April 2017 04:49:14PM *  0 points [-]

It was with my first hit of LSD in 1970 that I started to be conscious of thinking (rationally?) and that (in my environment which was emotionally and intellectually poor and extremely abusive) put me at odds with the most of my world and with time I'd have to say it's only gotten worse for me. Spending long survivalist stretches in the Great Basin alone or with a dog has been the best of it for me.

But I can't honestly say what thinking rationally means? I do know that I can easily see flaws in much of humanities arguments based on my experiences of living and thinking but that is all. I really don't have much going in the way of formal education and am possibly way out of my league here.

Most of what I consider my rational thinking and conclusions would be abhorrent to the vast majority of humanity. For instance embracing Antinatalism. I rationally don't see a "cost effective" way to "fix" what life seems to be. Especially as a human animal. It seems all of us can go in almost all ways due to a little push from chance and chance is not likely to be lucky IME.

Comment author: sdr 26 April 2017 04:46:31AM *  2 points [-]

Thank you for posting this. I agree, that growing negotiation skills is hard under best of circumstances; and I agree that certain types of newbies might self-identify with the post above.

There is a qualitative difference between people who are negotiating (but lack the proper skill), and the parasites described above:

  • Beginner negotiators state their request, and ask explicitly (or expect impliedly) for price / counter

  • More advanced negotiators start with needs/wants discovery, to figure out where a mutually beneficial deal can be made; and they adjust as discussion proceeds

  • These parasites, in comparison, attempt to raise their request against explicitly stated, nebulous things (or nothing at all): "Would you like to do free translation for me?" - "Cause X is very important, and therefore you, specifically, should do something about it" - "Would you like to build my full website for me in exchange of 1% shares?"

For the record:

  • I have attempted education in some cases (1-on-1, no social standings on the line on either parties, being discreet, etc), to no effect, and only resentment from the other party.

  • I observe that this parasitic strategy works some of the time, which incentivize existing parasitic behavior to grow until saturation. These are the reasons why I brought this up here in the first place.

  • Kindly note, that while there were a lot more evidencing going into this than described above, I am hesitant to disclose more specificities about any of these cases, because the Bay is small (-> personal identification), and discussion isn't reflective-complete (parasites read this, too; the more I disclose here, the more they can shift their strategies)

Comment author: k_ebel 26 April 2017 01:20:40AM *  1 point [-]

"Note, the problem here isn't the ask. We do asks in entrepreneur-topia all the time. The problem is the lack of dealcraft: the asks are asymmetrically favouring the asker, and only offer vague lipservice-waving-towards-nice-things as return."

I want to talk about this just a bit. If I've missed a comment that also addresses the same point, I apologize.

So, yes, asks are super common in the culture you're in. But in other cultures - specifically those that are more guess oriented - it's actually really difficult to grow negotiation skills. I'd caution strongly against taking a lack of ability in these areas as some sort of strong indication of a person being a "parasite" or having some other baked-in personality type issue. Which isn't to say that it's not a problem, just that I don't know that this piece of evidence is especially strong given how rare it is to find good examples of tell (or even ask) culture in large portions of the country/internet.

If you're concerned with the lack of dealcraft that comes from newbies, then knowing good resources to point them towards - or offering to be a source of practice in short, low-cost scenarios - may be a more effective way of dealing with this. This will also give you an opportunity to observe how folks respond to those opportunities, which may give you stronger evidence to use to actually identify the parasites/moochers/insert-preferred-term-here that do filter in (because I agree that this is also a thing that happens).

Comment author: themusicgod1 25 April 2017 10:47:56PM 0 points [-]

My concern isn't with the interview per se(everything I would add would best be put in another thread). It's with the reaction here in the comments here.

That 90% wasn't a waste anymore than overcomingbias as a blog is a waste. Horgan is hardly alone in remembering the Fifth Generation Project and it was worth it to get Yudkowsky to hammer out, once more, to a new audience why what happened in the 80's was not representative of what is to come in the 10ky timeframe. Those of you who are hard on Horgan he is not one of you. You cannot hold him to LW standards. Yudkowsky has spent a lot of time and effort trying to get other people to not make mistakes, for example mislabeling broad singulitarian thought on him as if he's kurzweil, vinge, the entirety of MIRI and whatnot personified and so it's understandable why he might be annoyed, but at the same time...the average person is not going to bother with the finer details. He probably put in about as much or more journalistic work as the average topic requires. This just goes to really drive home how different intelligence is from other fields, how hard science journalism in a world with AI research can be.

It's frustrating because it's hard. It's hard for many reasons, but one reason is because the layman's priors are very wrong. This it shares in common(for good reason) with economics and psychology more generally that people who are not in the field bring to the table a lot of preconceptions that have to be dismantled. Dismantling them all is a lot of work for a 1 hour podcast. Like those who answer Yahoo Answers! questions, Horgan is a critical point needed to convince on his own terms between Yudkowsky & a substantial chunk of a billion+ people who lived in the 80's who are not following where Science is being taken here.

Comment author: ThoughtSpeed 25 April 2017 10:06:42PM 0 points [-]

Did it get resolved? :)

Comment author: vasaka 25 April 2017 05:53:47AM *  0 points [-]

This example needs to be refined, two experiments do not produce the same data, second one has different probability space and additional data point - stopping position, and computing probabilities you should also condition on that stopping point N, fact that this N is screened by other data is nontrivial and waiving it just on assumption of beauty could lead to mistake.

It turned out that in this case that is correct move, but could be a mistake quite easily.

Comment author: CrimeThinker 25 April 2017 05:46:50AM 0 points [-]

Generally agreed, doublethink is actually very easy and natural and is actually also probably the default state for human beings. In my experience, doublethink isn't so complicated as others seem to think, believing in two sides of one scale, but rather understanding a sort of multidimensional scale. Just as the teacher in Donnie Darko was made fun of for the idea of everything falling onto a love/fear scale, there's probably a good chance that scale is actually right and not wrong at all, but is only one axis of a plethora of emotional dimensions. This is part of why it is better to be MoreRight than LessWrong, though both are pretty neat. :)

Comment author: Lumifer 24 April 2017 11:19:12PM 0 points [-]

No bodies yet, in fact I would consider this preventive maintenance...

Comment author: ialdabaoth 24 April 2017 11:07:19PM 0 points [-]

I love how this is the hill we're dying on.

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