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Comment author: Oscar_Cunningham 14 March 2017 10:19:30PM 0 points [-]

Obviously a husband who supports your goals is better than one that doesn't. But if your potential husband doesn't support your goals then they must not value your happiness and fulfilment, in which case your relationship has already failed. There's no possible potential husband who it's a good idea to marry except for the single factor that they don't support your goals. Such a person can't exist. So it's just not a useful decision criterion to ask whether they support your goals; there are other criteria which are strictly better.

Comment author: 9eB1 15 March 2017 07:44:34AM *  5 points [-]

I've read a lot of TLP and this is roughly my interpretation as well. Alone's posts do not come with nicely-wrapped thesis statements (although the conclusion of this one is as close as it gets). The point she is making here is that the system doesn't care about your happiness, but you should. The use of "goals" here isn't the LessWrong definition, but the more prosaic one where it implies achievements in life and especially in careers. Real people who want to be happy do want someone who is passionate, and the juxtaposition of passionate with "mutual respect and shared values" is meant to imply a respectful but loveless marriage. If someone asks you about your partner and you most central characteristic you have to define your marriage is "mutual respect and shared values" that says something very different than if your central characteristic is "passionate." It's sterile, and that sterility is meant to suggest that the person who says "passionate" is going to be happier regardless of their achievements in the workplace.

Comment author: Oscar_Cunningham 13 March 2017 10:57:07PM *  0 points [-]

No, because the degree of failure of the tiling is judged against the area of the covering shape.

Comment author: 9eB1 14 March 2017 01:33:04AM *  0 points [-]

This is one of the more confusing problem statements, but I think I understand. So if we choose a regular hexagon with height = 0.5, as in this link, the scoring for this solution would be ((area of triangle - area of hexagon) + (area of square - 3 * area of hexagon)) / area of hexagon?

edit: Gur orfg fbyhgvba V pbhyq pbzr hc jvgu jnf whfg gur n evtug gevnatyr gung'f unys gur nern bs gur rdhvyngreny gevnatyr. Lbh pna svg 4 va gur fdhner naq gjb va gur gevnatyr, naq gur fpber vf cbvag fvk. V bayl gevrq n unaqshy bs erthyne gvyvatf gubhtu.

Comment author: Thomas 13 March 2017 08:05:02PM 0 points [-]

If we could come arbitrarily close, then some very weird covering shapes would be possible.

Comment author: 9eB1 13 March 2017 10:19:33PM 0 points [-]

You can come arbitrarily close by choosing any tiling shape and making it as small as necessary.

Comment author: Dagon 08 March 2017 07:27:54PM *  4 points [-]

Any references or studies behind this? My intuition (for which I know of no studies, so is just another option from yours) is different: most people are unwilling and/or unable to do the work of science/engineering - they are drawn to "do what I want" solutions rather than "do what I very precisely describe" solutions.

It's not about internal capabilities vs external tools. It's about what level of understanding and attention-to-detail is required to use it.

Comment author: 9eB1 08 March 2017 08:15:55PM 0 points [-]

I have sometimes mused that accumulating political power (or generally being able to socially engineer) is the closest to magic that we have in the real world. It's the force multiplier that magic is used for in fiction by a single protagonist. Most people who want magic also do not follow political careers. Of course, this is only a musing because there are lots of differences. No matter how much power you accumulate you are still beholden to someone or something, so if independence is a big part of your magical power fantasy then it won't help.

Comment author: Lumifer 01 March 2017 06:34:49PM *  2 points [-]

Many choices are binary: you either do crime or you don't; you either use drugs or you don't; you are either an employee or an entrepreneur; you are either a citizen of country X or country Y.

I disagree, both in general and specifically. All your examples are actually not binary:

  • Alice torrented a recent movie. Does she do crime?
  • Bob was in Amsterdam for a couple of days and ate a hash brownie. Does he use drugs?
  • Charlie is a freelancer consultant on a long contract. Is he an employee or an entrepreneur?
  • Dave is a citizen of US, Canada, and Israel. Which single country is he the citizen of?

seem to be few options to go 10% crazy

I don't see this as true. Extreme sports, backpacking in Guatemala, Burning Man, weird hobbies, etc. etc.

What you may be pointing in the direction of is that if you are enmeshed in a web of routines and responsibilities -- a wife, a kid, a mortgage, a stable social circle, etc. -- breaking out from it is difficult to do partially. You either need to slowly and carefully ("safely") rearrange that web, or you need to do a Gauguin and set off for Caribbean or Pacific islands.

Comment author: 9eB1 02 March 2017 06:01:06AM 0 points [-]

The non-binariness of things seems to me to be a fundamental tenet of the post-rationality thing (ribbonfarm is part of post-rationality). In particular, Chapman writes extensively on the idea that all categories are nebulous and structured.

I also think there are options to control your risk factor, depending on the field. You can found a startup, you can be the first startup employee, you can join an established startup, you can join a publicly traded corporation, you can get a job in the permanent bureaucracy. Almost every spot on the work risk-stability spectrum is available.

Perhaps the real question is why some particular fields or endeavors lend themselves to seemingly continuous risk functions. All of Viliam's categories are purely social structures, where other people are categorizing you. So perhaps it's not about the risk inherent in an activity but being labeled that fits his intuition. People might label you a drug user if you smoke marijuana in their map, but in the territory the continuum of "having used marijuana once" to "uses heroin daily" is not only continuous but many-dimensioned.

[Link] ribbonfarm: A Brief History of Existential Terror

1 9eB1 01 March 2017 01:18AM
Comment author: Viliam 22 February 2017 01:12:30PM 4 points [-]

Something in your comment changed my... not exactly opinion, more like feeling... about comparing social life at school and at job.

Until now, I was thinking like this: At school you are thrown together with random kids from your neighborhood. But when you grow up, you choose your career, sometimes you even choose a different city or country, and then you are surrounded with people who made a similar choice. Therefore... not sure how to put this into words... your social environment at job is a result of more "optimization freedom" than your social environment at school.

But suddenly it seems completely the other way round: Sure, the job is filtering for people somehow, but maybe it doesn't filter exactly by the criteria you care about the most. For example, you may care about people being nice and rational, but you career choice only allowed you to filter by education and social class. So, more optimization, but not necessarily in the direction you care about. And then at the job you are stuck with the colleagues you get on your project. However, at school, you had the freedom to pick a few people among dozens, and hang out with them.

I guess what I am trying to say that if your criteria for people you want to associate with have a large component of education and social class, you will probably find the job better than school, socially; but if your criteria are about something else, you will probably find the job worse than school. (And university probably gives you the best of both worlds: a preselection of people, among whom you can further select.)

Comment author: 9eB1 23 February 2017 05:14:53PM 2 points [-]

That is true for people who you are going to become friends with, but difference in negative environments is much bigger. If your job has a toxic social environment, you are free to find a new one at any time. You also have many bona fide levers to adjust the environment, by for example complaining to your boss, suing the company, etc.

When your high school has a toxic social environment, you have limited ability to switch out of that environment. Complaints of other students have extremely high bars to be taken into account because it's mandatory for them to be there and it isn't in the administrator's best interests. If someone isn't doing something plainly illegal it's unlikely you will get much help.

Comment author: 9eB1 20 February 2017 04:11:11AM 0 points [-]

This is an interesting puzzle. I catch myself fighting the hypothetical a lot.

I think it hinges on what would be the right move if you saw a six, and the market also had six as the favored option. In that situation, it would be appropriate to bet on the six which would move it past the 50% equilibrium, because you have the information from the market and the information from the die. I think maybe your equilibrium price can only exist if there is only one participant currently offering all of those bets, and they saw a six (so it's not really a true market yet, or there is only one informed participant and many uninformed). In that case, you having seen a six would imply a probability of higher than 50% that it is the weighted side. Given that thinking, if you see that prediction market favoring a different number ("3"), you should indeed bet against it, because very little information is contained in the market (one die throw worth).

The market showing a 50% price for one number and 10% for the rest is an unstable equilibrium. If you started out with a market-maker with no information offering 1/6 for all sides and there were many participants who only saw a single die, the betting would increase on the correct side. At each price that favors that side, every person who again sees that side would have both the guess from the market and the information from their roll, then they would use that information to estimate a slightly greater probability and the price would shift further in the correct direction. It would blow past 50% probability without even pausing.

Those don't seem like very satisfactory answers though.

Comment author: 9eB1 06 February 2017 12:49:34AM 4 points [-]

You may be interested in a post on gwern's site related to this topic.

Comment author: VincentYu 02 February 2017 09:37:34AM *  2 points [-]


  1. I generally do only a quick skim of post titles and open threads (edit: maybe twice a month on average; I'll try visiting more often). I used to check LW compulsively prior to 2013, but now I think both LW and I have changed a lot and diverged from each other. No hard feelings, though.

  2. I rarely click link posts on LW. I seldom find them interesting, but I don't mind them as long as other LWers like them.

  3. I mostly check LW through a desktop browser. Back in 2011–2012, I used Wei Dai's "Power Reader" script to read all comments. I also used to rely on Dbaupp's "scroll to new comments" script after they posted it in 2011, but these days I use Bakkot's "comment highlight" script. (Thanks to all three of you!)

  4. I've been on Metaculus a lot over the past year. It's a prediction website focusing on science and tech (the site's been mentioned a few times on LW, and in fact that's how I heard of it). It's sort of like a gamified and moderated PredictionBook. (Edit: It's also similar to GJ Open, but IMO, Metaculus has way better questions and scoring.) It's a more-work-less-talk kind of website, so it's definitely not a site for general discussions.

    I've been meaning to write an introductory post about Metaculus… I'll get to that sometime.

    Given that one of LW's past focus was on biases, heuristics, and the Bayesian interpretation of probability, I think some of you might find it worthwhile and fun to do some real-world practice on manipulating subjective probabilities based on finding evidence. Metaculus is all about that sort of stuff, so join us! (My username there is 'v'. I recognize a few of you, especially WhySpace, over there.) The site itself is under continual improvement and work, and I know that the admins have high ambitions for it.

Edit: By the way, this is a great post and idea. Thanks!

Comment author: 9eB1 03 February 2017 07:32:40PM *  1 point [-]

Is there any information on how well-calibrated the community predictions are on Metaculus? I couldn't find anything on the site. Also, if one wanted to get into it, could you describe what your process is?

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