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Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 01 August 2013 04:29:09AM 20 points [-]

Some fraction of the population is naturally poly, some naturally mono, some can go either way depending on circumstances. In the general population many naturally poly people are 'conformed' into being mono the same way they might be conformed into being religious. Thus 'people who want to be poly can be' would reasonably be expected to correlate with elements of the Correct Contrarian Cluster, and you would expect to find more polyamorous atheists or (he predicted more boldly) polyamorous endorsers of no-collapse quantum mechanics than in the general population, even outside LW. There are also specifically cognitive-rationality skills like 'resist Asch's conformity' and 'be Munchkin', and community effects like 'Be around people who will listen with interest to long chains of reasoning instead of immediately shunning you.'

Comment author: AndrewH 01 August 2013 06:52:28PM 2 points [-]

One wonders if in the populations of rationalists (CFAR in particular) that there are naturally mono people who are 'conformed' into being poly?

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 28 July 2013 06:55:27PM -1 points [-]

An awful lot of people on this Earth would be very glad of 50c/hour.

Comment author: AndrewH 28 July 2013 08:35:08PM 9 points [-]

This reminds me place premium, an interesting concept that someone doing the same job in one country can earn more than in another. Though we are talking about some kid who can't even get a job in the first place, this concept works well.

For example if a homogenous region such as country, city, or even suburb, has automated to such a degree that menial jobs are few. Has attracted the best people, and the best people to serve the best people. Such a region has 'place premium' as the top creative jobs, programming, finance, design work, etc, pay extremely well to entice the best. These people demand, via their wealth, the best service and so entice those that are skilled, good looking, whatever attributes required for service. Continuously filtering people.

I'll also argue that the US is a special case in that US dollar holders get a subsidy to living via the petrodollar/global reserve currency. Payed for by any foreigners wanting to by [relative to them] foreign products. This only increases the place premium of living in the US, and thus earning a wage in USD.

For the IQ 70 kids, perhaps there ARE no jobs for them in the region they live in. They have been filtered out by better (in the sense of selected for the jobs in that region) people after the region's 'place premium'.

The solution is to move somewhere else, go opposite the flow of people moving to higher 'place premium' locations; the one they are in has been saturated by above average people. Perhaps even it is time to think of immigration to one of those countries where they can earn 50c/hour.

Of course with the advent of nation states there is no longer free flow of people, so without welfare these kids might just starve to death, denied the freedom to move.

Comment author: [deleted] 20 July 2013 11:27:19PM 0 points [-]

Food types have changed.

And are the kinds of food our ancestors ate no longer available today?

In response to comment by [deleted] on How I Lost 100 Pounds Using TDT
Comment author: AndrewH 21 July 2013 01:37:14AM 1 point [-]

Plenty of foods available today not available to our ancestors, such as semi-dwarf wheat.

Comment author: gwern 30 June 2013 02:38:53AM *  33 points [-]

Or alternately, somewhere in the literally thousands and thousands of predictions or claims (I have ~200 in just my personal collection which is nowhere comprehensive) spread across the 20k MoR reviews on FF.net, the >5k comments on LW, the 3650 subscribers of the MoR subreddit, the TvTropes discussions etc etc, someone got something right.

You know perfectly well that one does not get to preach about a single right prediction. He had the opportunity to make more than that prediction, and he failed to take it.

Comment author: AndrewH 30 June 2013 07:19:48AM 1 point [-]

Could be that 'use 75th' only had the right information and mental algorithms to produce the correct prediction in this one case. Other cases 'user 75th' might not have passed a sufficient threshold of probability to spout out a prediction.

Please label me as user 2nd when it comes to predictions of 'user 75th' 's predictive powers.

Comment author: AndrewH 01 June 2013 10:37:28PM *  0 points [-]

Being happy is a higher order goal than becoming attractive correct? How about picking up meditation instead? You shouldn't need to rely on anyone but yourself to be a happy person.

Here's some simple instructions to get you started. If interested, google "Progressive Stages of Meditation in Plain English" for more detailed instructions.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 26 May 2013 06:38:12PM 0 points [-]

Yes, we'd all be better off if the short-long trade was outlawed and banks issued bonds on a liquid market, possibly insured by private counterparties, to their customers, instead of claiming that their money was available on demand. But nobody is actually doing that, or has any incremental incentive to adopt it so long as governments supply free insurance, and we have to consider what second-best options are available. Money has no intrinsic value (I assume we both take this as axiomatic) and the utility 'money' provides to civilization comes from increasing the number of positive-sum trades. When people attempting to use money as a guaranteed store of value keep that money instead of spending it, the velocity of positive-sum trades goes down. This doesn't mean that they're evil hoarders, though I do think that preferring money as a store of value generally indicates something wrong. But it does mean that supplying more money is a positive-sum move because it increases the number of positive-sum trades occurring, so long as there is significant unutilized capacity.

Comment author: AndrewH 26 May 2013 09:43:17PM 1 point [-]

To the degree that money is used as a store of value, the money supply available for 'positive-sum' trades decreases. Let us say that the supply of goods and services on the market stays the same, then with less money available to potentially purchase theses goods and services, the price of the goods and services decreases; microeconomics supply and demand curve. This incentivizes people who are not holding money as a store of value to participate in more positive-sum trades.

Of course, people might end up taking their store-of-value money and investing it, allowing the creation of capital goods that make more efficient production possible. But that's another story.

Comment author: B_For_Bandana 17 May 2013 10:09:46PM 61 points [-]

I have discovered a way to carry a credit card balance indefinitely, interest-free, without making payments, using only an Amazon Kindle.

How my card works is, any purchases made during Month N get applied to the balance due in the middle of Month N+1. So if I make a purchase now, in May 2013, it goes on the balance due June 15th. If I don't pay the full May balance by June 15th, then and only then do they start charging interest. This is pretty typical of credit cards, I think.

Now the key loophole is that refunds are counted as payments, and are applied immediately, but purchases are applied to the balance due next month. So if I buy something on June 5th, and return it on June 6th, the purchase goes toward the balance due on July 15th, but the refund is applied as a payment on the balance due on June 15th! So you can pay your entire June balance with nothing but refunds, and you won't have to worry about paying for those purchases until July, at which time you can do the whole thing again. The debt is still there, of course, because all you've done is add and then subtract say $100 from your balance, but absolutely no interest is charged. This process is limited only by your credit line (which you cannot exceed at any time) and by the ease with which you can buy and return stuff each month.

Here's where the Kindle comes in. Repeatedly buying and returning items from a brick-and-mortar store is incredibly time-consuming and risky. You have to buy stuff, keep it in good shape, and then return it, interacting with human clerks each time, without raising suspicion. Not efficient. But if you have a Kindle, you know that when you buy a book, after you hit "Purchase" a screen comes up that asks if you have bought the item by accident, and if so, would you like to cancel the purchase. If you hit the button to cancel the purchase, what happens is that the purchase is still applied to your card, but it is refunded a couple of days later. Bingo. Automatic refunds, obtained at home at no risk, with no human oversight.

But e-books on Amazon are like $10, so you'd have to sit there all day hitting "buy" and "return" to shift a significant amount of debt, right? Wrong. If you know where to look, the Amazon kindle store has lots of handbooks, technical manuals, and textbooks that cost hundreds of dollars. Start out searching for "neurology handbook" and just surf the "similar books" list from there. Buy and return a few of those, and you're set for another month.

Obviously you have to pay off the debt at some point. This is not free money. But if you're in a tight spot for a few months, it's incredibly useful. And hey, if the inflation-adjusted prime rate is 0%, why should you have to pay interest? You're good for it.

This is by far the most munchkin-like idea I've ever had, and I'm pretty happy about it. I've been using it since January, making real payments toward my card as I can, and covering the rest with Amazon buy-and-returns. I know I'll pay down the debt when I have a better job, but in the meantime it is really nice not to have to pay any interest on it.

Comment author: AndrewH 22 May 2013 02:00:14AM 0 points [-]

Better to think of ways to not spend money than think of ways to keep on living relying on other peoples' money.

Comment author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 24 December 2012 02:24:07AM 5 points [-]

The Surgeon General recommends that you not discuss criminal activities, with respect to laws actually enforced, on any mailing list containing more than 5 people.

Comment author: AndrewH 24 December 2012 02:57:44AM *  1 point [-]

Intriguing, actual paraphrasing here of a US "The Surgeon General"? I can imagine it is something someone in high office might say.

Comment author: Larks 18 December 2012 03:41:28AM 18 points [-]

Science has moved away from considering memories to be simply long-term structural changes in the brain to seeing memories as the products of "continuous enzymatic activity" (Sacktor, 2007). Enzyme activity ceases after death, which could lead to memory destruction.

For instance, in a slightly unnerving study, Sacktor and colleagues taught mice to avoid the taste of saccharin before injecting them with a PKMzeta-blocking drug called ZIP into the insular cortex. PKM, an enzyme, has been associated with increasing receptors between synapses that fire together during memory recollection. Within hours, the mice forgot that saccharin made them nauseous and began guzzling it again. It seems blocking the activity of PKM destroys memories. Since PKM activity (like all enzyme activity) also happens to be blocked following death, a possible extension of this research is that the brain automatically "forgets" everything after death, so a simulation of your brain after death would not be very similar to you.


Comment author: AndrewH 18 December 2012 08:32:57AM 10 points [-]

Accessing long term memory appears to be a reconstructive process, which additionally results in accessed memories becoming fragile again; this is what I believe is occurring here. The learned aversion is reconstructed and as then susceptible to damage much more than other non-recently accessed LTM. Consider that the drug didn't destroy ALL of the mice's (fear?) memories, only that which was most recently accessed.

So no worries to cryonics!

Comment author: iceman 26 July 2012 10:05:55PM *  47 points [-]

Maybe the word "evangelical" isn't strictly correct. (A quick Google search suggests that I had cached the phrase from this discussion.) I'd like to point out an example of an incident that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

(Before anyone asks, yes, we’re polyamorous – I am in long-term relationships with three women, all of whom are involved with more than one guy. Apologies in advance to any 19th-century old fogies who are offended by our more advanced culture. Also before anyone asks: One of those is my primary who I’ve been with for 7+ years, and the other two did know my real-life identity before reading HPMOR, but HPMOR played a role in their deciding that I was interesting enough to date.)

This comment was made by Eliezer under the name of this community in the author's notes to one of LessWrongs's largest recruiting tools. I remember when I first read this, I kind of flipped out. Professor Quirrell wouldn't have written this, I thought. It was needlessly antagonistic, it squandered a bunch of positive affect, there was little to be gained from this digression, it was blatant signaling--it was so obviously the wrong thing to do and yet it was published anyway.

A few months before that was written, I had cut a fairly substantial cheque to the Singularity Institute. I want to purchase AI risk reduction, not fund a phyg. Blocks of text like the above do not make me feel comfortable that I am doing the former and not the later. I am not alone here.

Back when I only lurked here and saw the first PUA fights, I was in favor of the PUA discussion ban because if LessWrong wants to be a movement that either tries to raise the sanity waterline or maximizes the probability of solving the Friendly AI problem, it needs to be as inclusive as possible and have as few ugh fields that immediately drive away new members. I now think an outright ban would do more harm than good, but the ugh field remains and is counterproductive.

Comment author: AndrewH 27 July 2012 04:55:59AM 7 points [-]

I can only give you one upvote, so please take my comment as a second.

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