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Comment author: philh 02 July 2015 12:28:44PM *  0 points [-]


It may not have been original, but it was new (or at least unfamiliar) to me.

Comment author: ChristianKl 02 July 2015 12:16:38PM 0 points [-]

Going from below average and an even gender ratio to above average and a 2:1 gender ratio makes you worse off.

What do you mean with "worse off"? That it's easier for woman to find a date with a man on a dating website then for a man to find a date with a woman? That's obviously true.

On the other hand that tells us nothing about whether it's a wise decision for a guy to sign up to a dating website. That has to compared to the other alternatives that the guy has.

I also don't believe that "price" is a good construct to think about the dating "market". People don't pick life partners the way they buy cars. Paying a price would make it prostitution.
That's not the typical dating situation.

Comment author: ChristianKl 02 July 2015 12:07:03PM 0 points [-]

Getting deep understanding of a complex field like machine intelligence isn't easy. You shouldn't expect it to be easy and something that you can acquire in a few days.

Comment author: niceguyanon 02 July 2015 11:47:47AM *  0 points [-]


This helps me, I saved the 9 min guided audio to my phone and use it after the gym.

Comment author: Bikura 02 July 2015 11:46:00AM *  0 points [-]

The sequence on emergence seems to be a bit controversial. I agree with many comments in that I’ve understood the term emergence as "a result of interacting smaller parts eventually explainable by science" as opposed to "mystical". It's sort of like the wishful thinking in programming, a thinking tool to produce hyptheses. You start with a rough idea and then you fill in the details.

Comment author: EE43026F 02 July 2015 11:31:34AM 0 points [-]

What are your interests then? Within and without the scope of a relationship? What is your interest in dating? Do you feel compelled to date because it sounds like something everyone should do, and not doing so marks you as abnormal or dysfunctional? If you don't feel particularly compelled to date or enter relationship, then no, it isn't worth it.

Similarly, if you suspect you have interests that would clash with having to seriously date or being in a relationship, then maybe the best compromise is not to get in a relationship. it may also be possible to enter a relationship more suited to your needs, one that can preserve your other interests, time and freedoms, if your drive to date and be in a relationship is strong enough to be unavoidable and compete with your other drives.

Besides, serious "classical" dating (in fact, what do you mean by dating? What kind of activities and investments were you thinking about?) is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for a satisfying relationship.

Comment author: Sean_o_h 02 July 2015 11:14:53AM 0 points [-]

In turn Nick, for his part, very regularly and explicitly credits the role that Eliezer's work and discussions with Eliezer have played in his own research and thinking over the course of the FHI's work on AI safety.

Comment author: Gram_Stone 02 July 2015 11:12:56AM 0 points [-]

I'm curious about why The Simple Truth was included in Rationality as opposed to The Useful Idea of Truth.

Comment author: MrMind 02 July 2015 09:51:58AM 0 points [-]

Guided meditation or image-streaming make meditation a lot easier, and I think the benefits are the same.

Comment author: MrMind 02 July 2015 09:50:22AM -1 points [-]

I think sex with a suitable partner is one of the most fun and engaging activity on the planet.
So I would say yes, unless you're especially challenged in some way.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 02 July 2015 09:34:57AM *  1 point [-]

Bostrom thought of FAI before Eliezer.

To be completely fair, although Nick Bostrom realized the importance of the problem before Eliezer, Eliezer actually did more work on it, and published his work earlier. The earliest publication I can find from Nick on the topic is this short 2003 paper basically just describing the problem, at which time Eliezer had already published Creating Friendly AI 1.0 (which is cited by Nick).

Comment author: MrMind 02 July 2015 09:34:22AM 1 point [-]

Of course looks is to a certain extent a birth lottery: as much as I would try, I could not change my height, the depth of my voice, the symmetry of my face, the color of my skin, my genetic potential for muscle developement, etc.

Part is also upbringing: if I've lived my whole life in a family where everyone is obese, I would find a lot harder to shape my body thinner, and it will probably take years to accomplish. So even if some things are mutable, they could change in a timeframe so long that for dating it's normally useless.

Part of what you can change, also, is stacked against fat/ugly men and women: a fit men will probably be good enough with almost any dress, while a fat/short guy will have to make a very careful selection of dresses, limited also by the available budget.
And I suspect that for women it's even worse, at least psychologically.

So no, as someone who has not won the genetic/upbringing lottery in almost any sense, I would revise the percentage of what you can consciously and significantly improve in your looks at 15%.

those who passed it about 30% had acceptable looks

This is a very promising percentage. Did you selected them before meeting them in person, say asking for a photo, or you met them and judged after?

Comment author: FrameBenignly 02 July 2015 09:08:10AM 0 points [-]

Markets happen at the margin. Small imbalances between supply and demand can lead to large changes in price. Going from below average and an even gender ratio to above average and a 2:1 gender ratio makes you worse off. The bottom half of guys are pretty much removed if everyone pairs off. This means the new bottom starts at average.

Comment author: Romashka 02 July 2015 09:00:50AM 0 points [-]

Don't be too hard on Quirrell, he got the Prophesy Plague.

Comment author: Romashka 02 July 2015 08:56:09AM 0 points [-]

Or in some cases, "yes I am serious about this stop giving us these looks already".

Comment author: Romashka 02 July 2015 08:53:35AM 1 point [-]

Some people meditate after exercising. Just lie down and imagine their body relaxing, from toes headwards. (Facial muscles are rather confusing, though.) Concentrate also on even breathing - on the count of four, begin exhaling for four 'beats', then hold your breath for four more, then take a prolonged breath, etc. (You can be more comfortable with three at first.) Idon't know about reducing the need for sleep, but it does bring calm and is easier to do for longer than seven minutes (AFA I remember).

Comment author: MrMind 02 July 2015 08:49:06AM *  0 points [-]

As pointed out elsewhere, typically people use "frequentist" to mean "non-Bayesian," which is not particularly effective as a classification.

Reducing a frequentist model to a Bayesian one though it's not a pointless excercise, since it elucidates the hidden assumptions, and at least you are better aware of its field of applicability.

Did you google Bayesian Machine Learning, or search for it on Amazon?

Only after buying the book I have :/ Bishop though seems a lot interesting, thanks!

The more meta point here is to not let a worldview shut you out from potentially useful resources.

Thankfully, I'm learning ML for my own education, it's not something I need to practice right now.

Comment author: Creutzer 02 July 2015 08:46:52AM *  0 points [-]

Off the top of my head, some reasons why people would to marry despite intending not to have children:

  1. residence permits
  2. taxes (a pretty big deal in some countries)
  3. warm fuzzy feeling about cementing a very-long-term relationship in the culturally approved way, signalling commitment
  4. doing the culturally expected thing in a very-long-term relationship and not wanting to advertise their child-free status
Comment author: MrMind 02 July 2015 08:40:41AM 0 points [-]

I upvoted because I understand the rationale, I understand the explanation, I just rather wish that a book whose purpose is to teach the subject wouldn't be so... ad hoc.

Comment author: MrMind 02 July 2015 08:39:08AM 0 points [-]

I would appreciate if there was en explanation of why something is done the way it is. Instead it's all about learning the passwords. Maybe it's just that the main textbook in the field is pedagogically bad, it wouldn't be the first time.

Comment author: MrMind 02 July 2015 08:36:28AM 0 points [-]

If you happen to live in the period in between...

He! I've suddenly remembered that LW was founded exactly because the fields of AI and ML used too much frequentist (il)logic. The Sequence was about to restore sanity in the field.
Anyway, the textbook you mentioned seems pretty cool, thank you very much!

Comment author: gjm 02 July 2015 08:30:07AM 0 points [-]

he didn't object to a premise, he objected to the term "sexual access to women"

Here's the most relevant bit of what he actually wrote:

This is really the issue there - because it is not about strictly defined concepts but about every kind of experience and emotion and value sloshing around inside you and other people, interpreting everything in your own light which can be utterly different from the light of other people. For example the guy who wrote that article uses the term "sexual access to women". I have no idea from what kind of a life could this come from.

"Not about strictly defined concepts". "Your own light which can be utterly different from the light of other people". "For example". "What kind of a life could this come from". The point isn't that there's something uniquely terrible about this particular term, it's that if someone finds it natural to write in such terms then they're looking at the world in a way DVH finds foreign and unpleasant and confusing.

a specific false premise

Falsity isn't (AIUI) the point. Neither is whether the term in question points to anything in reality. The point is that the whole approach -- values, underlying assumptions, etc. -- is far enough removed from DVH's that he sees no useful way of engaging with it. "When discussing human behavior you cannot really separate facts from values, and thus you need a certain kind of agreement in values."

Anyway, I'm getting rather bored of all the gratuitous downvotes so I think I'll stop now. By the way, you've missed a couple of my comments in this discussion. But I expect you'll get around to them soon, and in any case I see you've made up for it by downvoting a bunch of my old comments again.

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 02 July 2015 08:25:19AM *  1 point [-]

I sort of wonder why people bother marrying in that case. Although even in our case procreation was only 50% of the reason and basically doing a big thank-you ceremony to our parents was another 50%, we felt we owe them a wedding. But I think this is related - the wedding as a thank-you ceremony is a signal of the end of childhood to parents (at 34 it was about high time) but also a signal that we will take over the mantle of child-raising from them from now on, now we take over the job of continuing the family for them. So it had a bit if retiring them as parents, and we do the job of being a parent and doing the duty to the family now. (Nobody actually called it a duty, but it still felt like one generation stepping in the role of the previous one.) So the idea of "thanks parents your job is over" and "we do it now" was related.

Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 02 July 2015 08:21:54AM 1 point [-]

My experience: posture matters - for example sitting on a pillow is not good enough, I learned I need to sit on the ground with the pillow under my tailbone, my lower back is straighter that way. Recommend going to a Zen center, they teach posture really well. Also esp. how the Mokusho Zen guys do it, facing a white wall and looking 45 degree down, it works better for me than closed eyes or open and looking around.

Comment author: gjm 02 July 2015 08:17:09AM 0 points [-]

Only in so far as the reason why I don't is that I'm not paying attention to the fact that you have preferences.

If I'm perfectly well aware of that but don't give you the money because I don't have it, because I think you would waste it, because I would rather spend it on enlarging my house, or because I have promised my gods that I will never give anything to someone who uses the name of their rival, then I may or may not be acting rightly but it's got nothing to do with "objectification" in the sense I described.

Comment author: metatroll 02 July 2015 07:55:52AM 3 points [-]

Does the Force Majeure clause in the Less Wrong Terms of Use encompass acts of UFAI?

Comment author: CellBioGuy 02 July 2015 07:53:08AM 1 point [-]

I have been present at the weddings of two couples who have no intention to procreate.

Comment author: lukeprog 02 July 2015 07:08:14AM 0 points [-]

For those who haven't been around as long as Wei Dai…

Eliezer tells the story of coming around to a more Bostromian view, circa 2003, in his coming of age sequence.

Comment author: SanguineEmpiricist 02 July 2015 06:20:36AM 0 points [-]

Thanks, i'm going to buy this.

Comment author: Creutzer 02 July 2015 05:17:33AM *  1 point [-]

Sure. There are other people who have no interest in eventually procreating!

If you are far enough from the time in life when potential partners will eventually want to procreate and can deal emotionally with the certainty that you will have to break up at least at that point (although realistically you may well break up earlier), there is also a point in dating people outside that group.

EDIT: As an addendum, keep in mind that especially at a young age, people who say they will or might want to have children might do so only as a cultural default. Once exposed to the relevant mindset, they may figure out that they don't actually need to (and shouldn't) have children unless they really, really want to. I therefore suspect that the set of potential partners for child-free people is actually larger than one might think.

Comment author: Bryan-san 02 July 2015 05:13:00AM 0 points [-]

Whoops. Forgot to post this:

Dual wielding is strange, cumbersome, uncomfortable, and amazing since all of its starting flaws decrease as you build proficiency over time.

Dual wielding requires coordination and ambidexterity but you build both of them as you practice regularly. I do practice swings with both arms every day independently and then together. When you dual wield you need to be a proficient fighter with each arm independently and with both arms together. When you fight you need to be able to (attack-left defend-right), (attack-right defend-left), (attack-left attack-right), and (defend-left defend-right) with each mode all being the same mode and switched in between seemlessly. This is harder and easier than it sounds. It also has major psychological benefits when fighting someone since any sort of "mode" that gets adjusted to can throw them off significantly when you switch to another.

Idealy every movement involves both arms simultaneously. However,i'm not quite there yet so there's a lot of switching between which arm is my attacking arm (with the other defending) back and forth. (With both arms attacking occasionally or when there's an opening, of course.)

Dual wielding has a reduction in reach compared to a twohanded weapon but it also provides you a constant extra source of defending yourself and harming an opponent which most competent fighters will approriately be very careful against.

The actual experience of fighting with two weapons at once is likely beyond my abilities to describe. It's quite different from everything I've put in my posts and may be very different for me than it would be for you.

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 02 July 2015 05:11:03AM 0 points [-]

At least in theory, it may be possible for people to find common objectives even when their values are fundamentally different. For instance, some conservatives support raising the minimum wage on the ground that it reduces the number of low-skill jobs and deters illegal immigration.

If you really want a topic where people with very different values and world views agree, look at the attitude towards Greece defaulting. There you can find people arguing that a Greek default would be good because it will lead to X which is good according to my values, and others arguing that a Greek default would be good because it will lead to not X which is good according to my values.

Comment author: Bryan-san 02 July 2015 05:06:22AM 1 point [-]

If you have no interest in eventually procreating, is serious dating worth the massive time and emotional investment necessary?

Comment author: blogospheroid 02 July 2015 04:57:20AM 0 points [-]

I feel for you. I agree with salvatier's point in the linked page. Why don't you try to talk to FHI directly? They should be able to get some funding your way.

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 02 July 2015 04:44:51AM 0 points [-]

Isn't he rather saying: look, there's all this stuff that's been written, but its basic premises are so far removed from mine that there's no engaging with it?

Except he didn't object to a premise, he objected to the term "sexual access to women".

Imagine reading a lot of material by, let's say, ancient Egyptians, that just take for granted throughout that your primary goal is to please the Egyptian gods.

In which case I could point to a specific false premise, namely the existence of the Egyptian gods. Neither you not DVH have pointed to any false premises. You've objected to terms used, but have not claimed that the terms don't point to anything in reality.

Comment author: Jiro 02 July 2015 04:42:00AM *  0 points [-]

If Omega is a program too, then an AI that is playing can have a subroutine that is equivalent to "predict Omega". The AI doesn't have to actually look at its own source code to do things that are equivalent to looking at its own source code--that's how the halting problem works!

If Omega is not a program and can do things that a program can't do, then this isn't true,. but I am skeptical that such an Omega is a meaningful concept.

Of course, the qualifier "deterministic" means that Omega can pick randomly, which the program cannot do, but since Omega is predicting a deterministic program, picking randomly can't help Omega do any better.

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 02 July 2015 04:37:06AM -1 points [-]

Something is "objectification" to the extent that we would change it if we attended more to the specifically person-ish features of the other people involved: their hopes, fears, plans, preferences, ideas, etc. (Or: that a decent person would, or that we should. These framings make the value-ladenness of the notion more explicit. Or, and actually this may be a better version than the other three, that they would prefer you to.

I *would prefer it" if you sent me a million dollars. By this definition it would seem that you're objectifying me by not sending me the money?

In response to comment by gjm on Selecting vs. grooming
Comment author: gudamor 02 July 2015 04:35:03AM 1 point [-]

Is it better to be a bigger fish in a small pond or to be a member of the most dignified pond? It probably depends on how exactly the above analogy breaks down.

Perhaps the better way to cut these different conclusions is whether competition is within-group or versus other groups.

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 02 July 2015 04:33:30AM -1 points [-]

As a theoretical example, consider how would you pick up Megan McArdle - she writes, sounds and looks a lot like my past girlfriends, and Suderman looks and sounds broadly like the same kind of guy I am. This just a hunch, though.


On speed dating events in Birmingham, there was a non-fat, intelligent, friendly, considerate 15-20% always.

Just a hunch but I suspect Megan McArdle would not be doing speed dating.

Autonomy means people can decide to be different from each other, and thus be really cautious with generalizations and stereotypes

Except the generalizations are frequently correct and have enormous predictive power.

perhaps, cultural ones are still okay, because socialization is a powerful thing, but gender is not a culture.

Why? Yes, socialization is powerful, but so is genetics, including the difference between XX and XY. In particular the SRY gene has much more influence than a typical gene.

Second, and more important, the ends not means stuff means not seeing sex as a prize to be won by an active, driven men and women just passively hand it out as a reward for the effort, but as an mutually initiated, mutually desired interaction between two autonomous beings with their own desires.

You see to be confusing is and ought there. However, you think sex ought to be obtained, being active and driven (among other things) makes a man more likely to get it. Whether, you consider the women's behavior here "passive" or "actively seeking driven men" is irrelevant, and probably doesn't correspond to any actual distinction in reality.

Objectification is not necessarily sexual and it is really an old idea, not some later day SJW fashion. It is treating people as means. Marx argued that in a 19. century factory the proletarian is objectified into being treated like a human machine.

So you're saying its not just SJW because it was also used by their leftist predecessors?

An object is simply something that does not have own goals, it is the object of desire, or the tool to achieve other desires with, of other people. If you understand what being a person, what personhood means, well, objectification is just a denial of it.

If you mean that humans are game-theoretic agents, I agree. However, I don't see how "therefore we can't or shouldn't apply probability theory to them" follows.

I would say objectification is largely a modern phenomenon, a phenomenon in an age where machines and processes are so predominant that we tend to see people like them, too, and the essence of personhood - intellect and will - gets ignored.

Doesn't this seem to contradict your earlier claim that anti-objectification was responsible for the abolition of slavery?

The intelligent asshole will perhaps present a bogus physical theory to gain status - but the arguments will be about a commonly understood, verifiable thing outside himself. But a social theory will not be about a thing, it will be essentially about himself, something only he really knows and we can just guess.

Well, in this case the social theory in question is indeed about a verifiable thing outside the person, namely the dynamics of human romantic interaction.

Interestingly, Rothbard and Austrian Economics have something interesting to say here, the limitations of empiricism about people's behavior. You need repeatable experiments. But if you repeat it with different people, that is not really valid because people are far, far too diverse - remember, autonomy.

Quote please. I'm guessing you're badly misinterpreting what they wrote. Probably something about how since people respond to incentives, empirically observed behavior will change when the incentives change. Something like a proto-version of Goodhart's law. This is not the same thing as the claim that the laws of probability don't apply to humans, which is the claim you seem to be making.

If I repeat a behavior experiment with two different groups of people and get something like 62% an 65% do X then of course that means something, but it is not, strictly speaking, the repetition of the experiment.

If you mean there is a lot of variance among humans, I agree. However, you seem to be arguing that we should worship and/or ignore this variance rather then studying it.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 02 July 2015 04:03:43AM *  3 points [-]

See this 1998 discussion between Eliezer and Nick. Some relevant quotes from the thread:

Nick: For example, if it is morally preferred that the people who are currently alive get the chance to survive into the postsingularity world, then we would have to take this desideratum into account when deciding when and how hard to push for the singularity.

Eliezer: Not at all! If that is really and truly and objectively the moral thing to do, then we can rely on the Post-Singularity Entities to be bound by the same reasoning. If the reasoning is wrong, the PSEs won't be bound by it. If the PSEs aren't bound by morality, we have a REAL problem, but I don't see any way of finding this out short of trying it.

Nick: Indeed. And this is another point where I seem to disagree with you. I am not at all certain that being superintelligent implies being moral. Certainly there are very intelligent humans that are also very wicked; I don't see why once you pass a certain threshold of intelligence then it is no longer possible to be morally bad. What I might agree with, is that once you are sufficiently intelligent then you should be able to recognize what's good and what's bad. But whether you are motivated to act in accordance with these moral convictions is a different question.

Eliezer: Do you really know all the logical consequences of placing a large value on human survival? Would you care to define "human" for me? Oops! Thanks to your overly rigid definition, you will live for billions and trillions and googolplexes of years, prohibited from uploading, prohibited even from ameliorating your own boredom, endlessly screaming, until the soul burns out of your mind, after which you will continue to scream.

Nick: I think the risk of this happening is pretty slim and it can be made smaller through building smart safeguards into the moral system. For example, rather than rigidly prescribing a certain treatment for humans, we could add a clause allowing for democratic decisions by humans or human descendants to overrule other laws. I bet you could think of some good safety-measures if you put your mind to it.

Nick: How to contol a superintelligence? An interesting topic. I hope to write a paper on that during the Christmas holiday. [Unfortunately it looks like this paper was never written?]

I assume Bostrom called it something else.

He used "control", which is apparently still his preferred word for the problem today, as in "AI control".

Comment author: VoiceOfRa 02 July 2015 03:40:26AM 0 points [-]

My preferences are shaped by my genes (which were shaped by evolution), and my experiences as interpreted by the systems built by my genes.

Comment author: g_pepper 02 July 2015 03:36:30AM *  0 points [-]

Predict what Omega thinks you'll do, then do the opposite

I don't know if that is possible given Unknowns' constraints. Upthread Unknowns defined this variant of Newcomb as:

Let's say I am Omega. The things that are playing are AIs. They are all 100% deterministic programs, and they take no input except an understanding of the game. They are not allowed to look at their source code.

Since the player is not allowed to look at its own (or, presumably, Omega's) code, it is not clear to me that it can implement a decision algorithm that will predict what Omega will do and then do the opposite. However, if you remove Unknowns' restrictions on the players, then your idea will cause some serious issues for Omega! In fact, a player than can predict Omega as effectively as Omega can predict the player seems like a reductio ad absurdum of Newcomb's paradox.

Comment author: FrameBenignly 02 July 2015 03:35:26AM 0 points [-]

I would count poly women having more partners than poly men as evidence in favor of gender ratios mattering. It suggests poly women are in higher demand than poly men. It's possible poly men are less willing to be poly than poly women (therefore poly men are lower supply and poly women higher supply), but that doesn't go too well with my prior of men generally desiring sex more than women on average.

On 3, yes, if the OP is a 10 because of his writing, or any other combination of factors, then he'll be in high demand irregardless of the imbalance, but it's not clear that the OP would be considered at the top of the pack by other women.

Comment author: James_Miller 02 July 2015 02:38:26AM 0 points [-]

Just from people on the web describing their own experiences.

Comment author: shminux 02 July 2015 02:05:00AM 0 points [-]

Just finished The Heroes, one more book and a few stories to go in the series. Looking forward to them.

Comment author: gudamor 02 July 2015 02:02:59AM 0 points [-]

The link in source 2 appears to be broken:

2National Sleep Foundation. (2011, March 7). Annual Sleep in America Poll Exploring Connections with Communications Technology Use and Sleep. Retrieved August 17, 2011, from http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/press-release/annual-sleep-america-poll- exploring-connections-communications-technology-use-.

Comment author: fubarobfusco 02 July 2015 01:42:23AM 1 point [-]

Some people claim that meditation reduces your need for sleep by an amount greater than what you put into meditation

Curious to know where you got this. The lore I've heard from two meditation instructors is that the reduction of need for sleep is about half of the time meditating — which leads me to wonder whether someone got their factors backwards.

In response to Vegetarianism
Comment author: Clarity 02 July 2015 01:26:39AM 0 points [-]

Can we expect websites like landshare and other urban agriculture initiatives, as well as pre-existing forces in the agricultural industry, to destroy the profitability of small scale farming start-ups that could compete against factory farms? Or conversely, could we expect urban argicultural efforts to outcompete factory farming?

Comment author: Clarity 02 July 2015 01:24:47AM 0 points [-]

Has anyone volunteer for psychedelic research? Was it difficult to get involved with? I’m interested in experimenting with psychadelics but my illicit sources don’t have the most convincing quality control so I’m not keen on that route.

Comment author: Clarity 02 July 2015 01:24:26AM 0 points [-]

Anyone know how can I get this or the updated version as mentioned in the 80,000 Hours article on Management Consulting? It details information on boutique management consulting firms and a methodology for choosing which firms are best to target for a given person which I am particularly interested in. Thank you.

Comment author: Clarity 02 July 2015 01:22:46AM *  1 point [-]

Is this the evident interpretation of Quantpedia's visual statistical summary of data on published quantitative trading strategies : Simple strategy, daily, stock strategy based on trading earnings or earning announcement generally outperforms alternatives?

Comment author: Clarity 02 July 2015 01:20:47AM 0 points [-]

Additionally, 80K and Givwell are skeptical of flow through effects in and of themselves. So, I’ve recently come to doubt the usefulness of the profitability heuristic except as a measure of population wide sustainability of funding

‘Our uncertainty about the importance of increases in efficiency improvements are related to uncertainty about how much these efficiency improvements help the global poor and how substantial their long-term consequences are. For further discussion of (ii), see GiveWell’s discussion of “flow-through effects”

Comment author: raydora 02 July 2015 01:15:11AM *  3 points [-]

Within the fantasy genre, he seems well known as the current authority on the (seriously labeled, humorously adopted by him) 'grimdark' genre.

If you like that, you'll probably loveBest Served Cold and The Heroes. He's got the trappings of a debutante in The First Law, but those two books show an experienced designer at work.

There's something Tarantino-like about him, as applied to fantasy fiction. An ability to confer personality through changes in writing style is probably what truly sets him apart from other fantasy authors, though. Above all, he is able to tell when a character has no stories left to tell, and usually sets them aside in favor of a minor character from a previous fiction.

When Steven Erikson and George Martin do it, it sometimes seems arbitrary, a reminder to the reader that it's a shitty world where shitty things happen, and they are often taken out of the plot by death or worse.

It feels more (I'm not sure if the denouement of the First Law might allow this to make more sense, or reveal it to be an old impression that does not match reality- it's definitely the case in his more recent adult books) natural in Abercrombie's books, and I don't doubt that feeling is entirely deliberate. I have an impression that he's a writer that doesn't leave much to chance, artistic whim, or fits of inspiration.

Comment author: FrameBenignly 02 July 2015 12:59:47AM 0 points [-]

You're conflating what's popular with what works. Just because something is popular among most people doesn't mean it works for most people. It just means they think it's working. Given their often small sample sizes and only circumstantial evidence for drawing that conclusion, it shouldn't be too surprising that a lot of people are doing things that don't work for them.

Comment author: adamzerner 02 July 2015 12:48:26AM 0 points [-]

Inside Out. It's basically about System 1 (sort of). I thought it was fantastic. So did Eliezer:

Inside Out is the most rationalist movie ever. I can't even think of what would be the #2 runner-up.

Comment author: jacob_cannell 02 July 2015 12:30:32AM 1 point [-]

Bostrom thought of FAI before Eliezer.

Do you have the link for that or at least the keywords? I assume Bostrom called it something else.

Comment author: jacob_cannell 02 July 2015 12:28:10AM 1 point [-]

There is the probabilistic programming community which uses clean tools (programming languages) to hand construct models with many unknown parameters. They use approximate bayesian methods for inference, and they are slowly improving the efficiency/scalability of those techniques.

Then there is the neural net & optimization community which uses general automated models. It is more 'frequentist' (or perhaps just ad-hoc ), but there are also now some bayesian inroads there. That community has the most efficient/scalable learning methods, but it isn't always clear what tradeoffs they are making.

And even in the ANN world, you sometimes see bayesian statistics brought in to justify regularizers or to derive stuff - such as in variational methods. But then for actual learning they take gradients and use SGD, with the understanding that SGD is somehow approximating the bayesian inference step, or at least doing something close enough.

Comment author: Dorikka 02 July 2015 12:17:11AM 0 points [-]

Curious whether, say, 100mg caffeine and 100 mg theanine would have a similar effect.

Comment author: Wei_Dai 01 July 2015 11:25:15PM *  2 points [-]

I'm still searching for an answer...

Try this paper or page 403 of this textbook.

Also, although in this case there seems to be an available answer, I don't think it makes sense to always expect that. Sometimes people find a technique that tends to work in practice and then only later come up with a theoretical explanation of why it works. If you happen to live in the period in between...

Comment author: ChristianKl 01 July 2015 10:52:29PM 0 points [-]

Have there been people with Match>=95% where you didn't reply to their messages? If so, what were the prime reasons?

Comment author: diegocaleiro 01 July 2015 10:50:12PM *  2 points [-]

That is false. Bostrom thought of FAI before Eliezer. Paul thought of the Crypto. Bostrom and Armstrong have done more work on orthogonality. Bostrom/Hanson came up with most of the relevant stuff in multipolar scenarios. Sandberg/EY were involved in the oracle/tool/sovereign distinction.

TDT, which is EY work does not show up prominently in Superintelligence. CEV, of course, does, and is EY work. Lots of ideas on Superintelligence are causally connected to Yudkowksy, but no doubt there is more value from Bostrom there than from Yudkowsky.

Bostrom got 1.500.000 and MIRI, through Benja, got 250.000. This seems justified conditional on what has been produced by FHI and MIRI in the past.

Notice also that CFAR, through Anna, has received resources that will also be very useful to MIRI, since it will make potential MIRI researchers become CFAR alumni.

Comment author: ChristianKl 01 July 2015 10:45:07PM 1 point [-]

Does it get easier?

I'm tempted to answer: "Only if you do it wrong". If you go weight-lifting it's hard. If weight-lifting isn't hard you don't put on enough weights. You do get better with practice but that doesn't necessarily mean it's easier.

You will likely both experience easy and harder mediations as you go forward.

My hardest mediation was one last year. It was the first meditation at a 5 day seminar, when I already had years of meditation experience. Nausea raised up in me and there were moment where I was calculated the escape route in case I have to throw up.

Comment author: V_V 01 July 2015 10:41:05PM *  1 point [-]

Nice essay.

Do you think that transpararent machine learning could be practically achievable, or could it be the case that most models that we may want our machine learning systems to learn can be only represented by complex, unintellegible specifications?
Intuitively, the space of opaque models, be them neural networks, large decision tree forests, or incomprehensible spaghetti-code computer programs, seems bigger than the space of transparent models.

For instance, what would a transparent visual recognition model look like?

The most obvious choice would be Bayesian graphical model, with a prior over objects that could be in an image, a stochastic model over their properties (including stuff like body pose for animals), a prior over lights positions and properties, a prior over the backgrounds, a prior over camera poses and optical properties, a stochastic physics model of the interactions between light and the object of interest, background and camera, and so on.
It seem to me that it would be a very complex model, with lots of parameters, and likely not supporting efficient inference, much less efficient learning.

Traditional computer vision approaches tried to do this more or less, with some clever approximations and lots of engineering, and they were soundly beaten by opaque systems like ConvNets.

State of the art systems like ConvNets, on the other hand, learn shortcuts and heuristics, such as recognizing distinctive textures, which works very well in most cases, with some occasional glaring mistakes.
Perhaps any visual system capable of that level of performance must necessarily be a huge collection of heuristics of this type, maybe with more sophistication to avoid classifying a leopard print sofa as a leopard ( * ), but still fundamentally based on this architecture.

( * it's not like humans are immune to this failure mode anyway: people see a face on Mars, ghosts in blurry pictures, Jesus on a toast, Allah's name on a fish, etc. Pareidolia is certainly a thing.)

Comment author: shminux 01 July 2015 10:30:03PM *  0 points [-]

Aliicorn's short stories. I like all her Social Justice AU stories.

Comment author: shminux 01 July 2015 10:23:04PM 2 points [-]

Still reading through the Abercrombie's The First Law series. It's not a conflict between Good and Evil, it's not a conflict between Good and Good (one Orson Card would consider more interesting). It's a conflict between roughly equally "evil" people and/or groups. This holds externally, as well as internally: even the characters themselves (well, the smarter ones in the series, anyway), have no illusion about being more "objectively moral" than their opponents.

I find this pretty rare. And refreshing. Even HPMoR has a clear Good vs Evil narrative, which I dislike. Thus I've been rooting for HPMoR!Quirrell throughout the story, up until the last arc, where he holds the idiot ball and seems to be forced to take various inexplicable actions, completely out of character.

Abercrombie's portrayal of war as brutal is extremely graphic. Sort of like in Saving Private Ryan. Certainly more graphic than, say, in GoT, flaying and all. I am not normally a fan of visual violence, but the way he does it does not turn me off. Your mileage may vary.

There are several minor things I dislike about the series. One is that a few characters are visibly bent to follow the narrative, or because the author likes or dislikes them (Jezal, Shivers and Gorst come to mind). Another is that the same (uncommon) way to express a certain emotional state is repeated rather often, sort of like in Brandon Sanderson's novels, where a hard-to-perform physical action of raising just one eyebrow is a near universal way of expressing surprise or incredulity.

On the whole, I am surprised how little recognition Abercrombie gets, given the quality of his writing.

Comment author: ChristianKl 01 July 2015 10:19:16PM 0 points [-]

I'm no expert at machine learning. However as far as I remember the point of doing cross-validation is to find out whether your model is robust. Robustness is not a standard "Bayesian" concept. Maybe you don't appreciate it's value?

Comment author: passive_fist 01 July 2015 10:08:10PM 1 point [-]

Good point. I implicitly meant I wouldn't recommend online dating to Clarity, who I'm assuming is male. My personal experiences on OKC were also positive, but the stats released by them and other sites are not very reassuring.

Comment author: Brian_Tomasik 01 July 2015 09:52:11PM 0 points [-]

If there were a perfect correlation between choosing to one-box and having the one-box gene (i.e., everyone who one-boxes has the one-box gene, and everyone who two-boxes has the two-box gene, in all possible circumstances), then it's obvious that you should one-box, since that implies you must win more. This would be similar to the original Newcomb problem, where Omega also perfectly predicts your choice. Unfortunately, if you really will follow the dictates of your genes under all possible circumstances, then telling someone what she should do is useless, since she will do what her genes dictate.

The more interesting and difficult case is when the correlation between gene and choice isn't perfect.

Comment author: Brian_Tomasik 01 July 2015 09:51:57PM *  0 points [-]

(moved comment)

Comment author: Capla 01 July 2015 09:23:45PM 0 points [-]

Can I get a little clarification? Are people up-voting because they like the content of this post or because they like the prospect of later posts on sleep?

I was unsure of whether to put this up, since I thought it didn't have much in the way of novel insight, just background knowledge.

Comment author: Lachouette 01 July 2015 09:21:04PM 3 points [-]

Agreement on CBHacking's points.

I found the match factor to be very predictive. With an ex-boyfriend of mine, the boyfriend I found via okc and a more recent one I had 99% match, though the maximum height of the match factor is constrained by amount of questions answered and the way you answer them, so you might not get that high in the first place. 95% is really decent, I never found anyone <80% interesting enough to talk to for longer.

For the enemy thing I recommend checking the answers marked "unacceptable" that go into the factor calculation. Sometimes these come merely from interpreting a question differently.

I'm open to describing which strategies would work for me (24, female, white, European), but I am not sure how much they generalise. I rely on profile text quite heavily for getting an impression of the other person and will often send the first message. I'm informed that isn't typical though.

Some types of messages I got: 1.) mass messages Just "Hi" or "Hi :)" or "Hi how r u" or similar. These are very common. I tried to talk to some of those people and the conversations tended to be extremely boring, uncreative and the people lacked raw intelligence (e.g. they would not understand irony).

2.) creepy and/or sexual (mass) messages The usual expected "Are u into casual sex?" or similar, but also "I like your white skin". I haven't seen people be creepy on purpose. But my experience on the site might have been somewhat more sheltered than average.

My general observation was that > 70% of the people who send short messages appeared to lack what I would have considered baseline intelligence. Some of them are also incredibly desperate. I haven't seen a lot of unfriendly messages and most of them could be declared my own doing, since I tended to get impatient in situations where people evidently didn't read a single line of my profile (e.g. asking "are you single?" when this is literally in the header of your profile).

3.) profile-related comments Not always for dating, just pointing out a single thing they liked or asking a single question. Really appreciated, might lead to talking more but in my experience these often weren't dating-related.

4.) more elaborate (up to several paragraphs) messages Always with reference to something I wrote on my profile. Generally friendly, intelligent people, I enjoyed the conversations (and friendships) resulting from this.

If she has a long profile text, a reference to or question about one or more of those things is strongly recommended. That's what the thing is for - if you don't find any of it interesting, you probably won't find her interesting either. Writing long texts costs a lot of time, so it's disappointing to see people just skip it.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time on okc available, but during that time I got ~8 messages a day. I tried to answer all the longer ones, but it's painful to turn people away and I personally understand if people don't reply at all even to a multiple-paragraph-message. Maybe that helps with understanding the large amount of "silent rejections". I'd recommend making a first message not longer than 2 paragraphs, so you don't have so much sunk cost.

Personally I solved the flood of messages by asking people to send me a short message, after which I'd take a look at their profile and answer if I was interested. This was optimal for me since it reduced the guilt over not answering carefully-crafted messages and I was judging based on profile anyways.

There's an excellent longer post somewhere on LW about how to write a good profile. Okc itself has a few interesting blog posts e.g. about the optimal length of a first message. I'm open to answering questions should that be useful.

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 01 July 2015 09:15:55PM 2 points [-]

Short Online Texts Thread

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Online Videos Thread

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TV and Movies (Animation) Thread

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