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SquirrelInHell comments on You Too Can See Suffering - Less Wrong Discussion

3 Post author: SquirrelInHell 03 October 2017 07:46PM

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Comment author: Yosarian2 05 October 2017 08:45:44PM *  2 points [-]

The best tradeoff is when you are well calibrated, just like with everything else.

"Well calibrated" isn't a simple thing, though. It's always a conscious decision of how willing you are to tolerate false positives vs false negatives.

Anyway, I'm not trying to shoot you down here; I really did like your article, and I think you made a good point. Just saying that it's possible to have a great insight and still overshoot or over-correct for a previous mistake you've made, and if you think that almost everyone you see is suffering, you may be doing just that.

Comment author: SquirrelInHell 12 October 2017 11:33:00AM 0 points [-]

"Well calibrated" isn't a simple thing, though. It's always a conscious decision of how willing you are to tolerate false positives vs false negatives.

I beg to differ; being well calibrated has a mathematically precise definition. E.g. if you are thinking of a binary suffering/not suffering classification (oversimplified but it's just to make a point), then I want my perception to assign such probabilities, that if you compare with true answers, cross-entropy is minimized. That's pretty much what I care about when I'm fixing my perception.

Of course there's the question of how aware at each moment you want to be of certain information. But you want to be well calibrated nonetheless.

if you think that almost everyone you see is suffering, you may be doing just that.

Or, you know, it's just simply true that people experience much more suffering than happiness. Also, they aren't so very aware of this themselves, because of how memories work.

Comment author: Yosarian2 12 October 2017 08:56:28PM 1 point [-]

Or, you know, it's just simply true that people experience much more suffering than happiness. Also, they aren't so very aware of this themselves, because of how memories work.

That certanly is not true of me or of my life overall, except during a few short periods. I don't have the same access to other people's internal state, but I doubt it is true of most people.

There certanly are a significant number people who it may be true of, people who suffer from depression or chronic pain or who are living in other difficult circumstances. I highly doubt that that's the majority of people, though.

Comment author: entirelyuseless 12 October 2017 03:01:43PM 1 point [-]

Or, you know, it's just simply true that people experience much more suffering than happiness. Also, they aren't so very aware of this themselves, because of how memories work.

If they aren't so very aware of it, it is not "simply true," even if there is some truth in it.