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Comment author: MathiasZaman 28 August 2014 10:46:13AM 3 points [-]

I'll try to update it before Sunday. Tumblr made spaghetti-code out of the html version of the list making updating it more laborious than it should be. It'll take some time to sort out, but I'll solve the problem by saving a neat version on my laptop.

Comment author: Adele_L 29 August 2014 05:12:12PM 1 point [-]

Sounds good. Guess I should request to be on it before then!

Comment author: Adele_L 26 August 2014 07:41:28PM 7 points [-]

I haven't read it yet, but I think that the bright dilettante caveat applies less strongly than usual given that it is disclaimed with: "My talk is for entertainment purposes only; it should not be taken seriously by anyone," and I think it's weird you felt it was necessary to bring it up for this post specifically. Do you want people to take this more seriously than Scott seems to? Anyway, I feel more suspicious going in to the post than I would otherwise because of this.

Comment author: coffeespoons 26 August 2014 12:25:41PM 4 points [-]

I just started a tumblr (coffeespoonsposts) - which tumblrs should I follow?

Comment author: Adele_L 26 August 2014 01:11:09PM 5 points [-]

Here is the newest version of the rationalist masterlist I know of, thought it's still a few months out of date. Also people who follow you (looks like we are following each other now, yay!). Also it can be fun to follow blogs for fandoms or things you think are cute, or whatever random things you are interested in.

Meetup : Atlanta August meetup - Media representations

0 Adele_L 26 August 2014 03:27AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Atlanta August meetup - Media representations

WHEN: 30 August 2014 07:00:00PM (-0400)

WHERE: 2388 Lawrenceville Hwy. Unit L. Decatur, GA 30033

Oge says:


It’s another video night! Bret Victor is a Web designer who believes that thinkers and creators should have instant feedback when using their tools i.e. computers. http://worrydream.com/ Let’s watch a video of his titled, “Media for Thinking the Unthinkable” then have a discussion to share the different representations we use for comprehending the ineffable in our daily lives.


Discussion article for the meetup : Atlanta August meetup - Media representations

Comment author: Wei_Dai 23 August 2014 01:19:30AM 4 points [-]

Since I'm not very familiar with the Bible, I had to look up the quote in Wikipedia (the full quote being "But when you do merciful deeds, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand does"), and even there it suggests multiple possible interpretations for Matthew 6:3. Can you spell out what you think the quote means, and why this study validates it?

Comment author: Adele_L 23 August 2014 03:41:59AM 6 points [-]

Here is the quote in context:

So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

In my Christian upbringing, this was interpreted as colorful imagery making the point that you should not let attention motivate you to do good deeds, and that in fact you should make an effort to not get attention from your good deeds by doing them in secret. The reward from 'your Father' may additionally be interpreted as that which a truly good person values - the actual goodness caused by the action.

In the study, people who have an obvious signal that they have done good feel satisfied, and thus "have their reward in full," and don't donate as much as the people with the envelope. I think the OP is implying that by intentionally avoiding signalling good deeds, we will end up doing more actual good - thus validating the advice of the scripture.

Comment author: DanielLC 19 August 2014 11:06:13PM 0 points [-]



Again, I think "provably friendly thing" mischaracterizes what MIRI thinks will be possible.

From what I can gather, there's still supposed to be some kind of proof, even if it's just the mathematical kind where you're not really certain because there might be an error in it. The intent is to have some sort of program that maximizes utility function U, and then explicitly write the utility function as something along the lines of "do what I mean".

Have you read the section on indirect normativity in Superintelligence? I'd start there.

I'm not sure what you're referring to. Can you give me a link?

Comment author: Adele_L 20 August 2014 01:45:24AM *  3 points [-]

Superintelligence is a recent book by Nick Bostrom

Comment author: Deremensis 19 August 2014 09:15:56AM 2 points [-]

Mind elaborating a bit for the curious? What is a "sin-on"? What led to your conclusions with regards to the ethics of eating meat? Seeing as I'm new here, I imagine it likely that there's been a discussion I've missed out on at some point.

Comment author: Adele_L 19 August 2014 08:24:28PM 5 points [-]

I think it's supposed to be a unit of sin.

Comment author: Adele_L 15 August 2014 12:35:11AM 8 points [-]

Donated $20, and set up an automatic monthly donation.

Meetup : MIRIxAtlanta - Decision Theory 2

1 Adele_L 13 August 2014 03:30AM

Discussion article for the meetup : MIRIxAtlanta - Decision Theory 2

WHEN: 17 August 2014 06:00:00PM (-0400)

WHERE: 2388 Lawrenceville Hwy. Unit L. Decatur, GA 30033

We'll be talking about Updateless Decision Theory: http://lesswrong.com/lw/15m/towards_a_new_decision_theory/

Last time, we looked at the results from the Robust Cooperation - and this time we will see how this fits in the framework of UDT. This will give us a direction for generalizing those results.

Discussion article for the meetup : MIRIxAtlanta - Decision Theory 2

Comment author: sixes_and_sevens 11 August 2014 02:57:22PM *  8 points [-]

What sophisticated ideas did you come up with independently before encountering them in a more formal context?

I'm pretty sure that in my youth I independently came up with rudimentary versions of the anthropic principle and the Problem of Evil. Looking over my Livejournal archive, I was clearly not a fearsome philosophical mind in my late teens, (or now, frankly), so it seems safe to say that these ideas aren't difficult to stumble across.

While discussing this at the most recent London Less Wrong meetup, another attendee claimed to have independently arrived at Pascal's Wager. I've seen a couple of different people speculate that cultural and ideological artefacts are subject to selection and evolutionary pressures without ever themselves having come across memetics as a concept.

I'm still thinking about ideas we come up with that stand to reason. Rather than prime you all with the hazy ideas I have about the sorts of ideas people converge on while armchair-theorising, I'd like to solicit some more examples. What ideas of this sort did you come up with independently, only to discover they were already "a thing"?

Comment author: Adele_L 11 August 2014 04:13:36PM *  18 points [-]

When I was a teenager, I imagined that if you had just a tiny infinitesimally small piece of a curve - there would only be one moral way to extend it. Obviously, an extension would have to be connected to it, but also, you would want it to connect without any kinks. And just having straight-lines connected to it wouldn't be right, it would have to be curved in the same sort of way - and so on, to higher-and-higher orders. Later I realized that this is essentially what a Taylor series is.

I also had this idea when I was learning category theory that objects were points, morphisms were lines, composition was a triangle, and associativity was a tetrahedron. It's not especially sophisticated, but it turns out this idea is useful for n-categories.

Recently, I have been learning about neural networks. I was working on implementing a fairly basic one, and I had a few ideas for improving neural networks: making them more modular - so neurons in the next layer are only connected to a certain subset of neurons in the previous layer. I read about V1, and together, these led to the idea that you arrange things so they take into account the topology of the inputs - so for image processing, having neurons connected to small, overlapping, circles of inputs. Then I realized you would want multiple neurons with the same inputs that were detecting different features, and that you could reuse training data for neurons with different inputs detecting the same feature - saving computation cycles. So for the whole network, you would build up from local to global features as you applied more layers - which suggested that sheaf theory may be useful for studying these. I was planning to work out details, and try implementing as much of this as I could (and still intend to as an exercise), but the next day I found that this was essentially the idea behind convolutional neural networks. I'm rather pleased with myself since CNNs are apparently state-of-the-art for many image recognition tasks (some fun examples). The sheaf theory stuff seems to be original to me though, and I hope to see if applying Gougen's sheaf semantics would be useful/interesting.

I really wish I was better at actually implementing/working out the details of my ideas. That part is really hard.

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