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Comment author: DataPacRat 12 September 2016 10:09:14PM 4 points [-]

Time to rebuild a library

My 5 terabyte harddrive went poof this morning, and silly me hadn't bought data-recovery insurance. Fortunately, I still have other copies of all my important data, and it'll just take a while to download everything else I'd been collecting.

Which brings up the question: What info do you feel it's important to have offline copies of, gathered from the whole gosh-dang internet? A recent copy of Wikipedia and the Project Gutenberg DVD are the obvious starting places... which other info do you think pays the rent of its storage space?

Comment author: Baughn 13 September 2016 09:26:22PM 1 point [-]

Data recovery is a last-ditch effort that often as enough fails, and if it succeeds will only get you back kilobytes or megabytes of your most critical material. (Unless you're lucky enough that it's actually a controller failure.)

If you want to avoid disk failures, invest instead in backups.

Comment author: ChristianKl 27 August 2016 08:45:17PM 0 points [-]

I feel it's important to note that he was talking about writing styles, not philosophy.

Do you think how one reasons in writing about a subject has nothing todo with philosophy?

Comment author: Baughn 28 August 2016 02:08:01PM 0 points [-]

When it comes to writing styles? Absolutely. There's a ton of skills involved, and deciding exactly which thoughts you want to convey is only a small part of it.

Comment author: Baughn 17 July 2016 03:00:08AM *  2 points [-]

If jogging isn't convenient, then you can still walk faster.

Whatever your 'natural' pace is, you can easily up it if you consciously try. I guarantee it. Downside is, once you get used to it you'll start to get annoyed at all the slowpokes who seem to think they'll live forever.

Comment author: username2 08 February 2016 10:41:48AM 3 points [-]

What are your favorite recent (2011-present) Science Fiction novels?

Comment author: Baughn 08 February 2016 11:19:26AM 1 point [-]

The Clockwork Rocket

Comment author: ArisKatsaris 02 February 2016 12:21:08AM 2 points [-]

TV and Movies (Animation) Thread

Comment author: Baughn 04 February 2016 03:12:05PM *  1 point [-]

Garakowa: Restore the World

It's a movie about a suspiciously humanlike pair of anti-virus AIs, and their attempt to protect a backup archive of human history from destruction at the hands of sapient viruses. It's compressed a bit more than would be ideal, but otherwise well done.

Practically anything else I could say about it would be a spoiler, so I won't. What happened to humanity? Why are they there? Where do the viruses come from? You'll need to watch it to find out.

The story is also interesting due to the central Friendliness failure being novel, fairly plausible, and extremely disturbing.

Comment author: Richard_Loosemore 03 February 2016 05:40:32PM 1 point [-]

Well, here is my thinking.

Neural net systems have one major advantage: they use massive weak-constraint relaxation (aka the wisdom of crowds) to do the spectacular things they do.

But they have a cluster of disadvantages, all related to their inability to do symbolic, structured cognition. These have been known for a long time -- Donald Norman, for example, wrote down a list of issues in his chapter at the end of the two PDP volumes (McClelland and Rumelhart, 1987.

But here's the thing: most of the suggested ways to solve this problem (including the one I use) involve keeping the massive weak constraint relaxation, throwing away all irrelevant assumptions, and introducing new features to get the structured symbolic stuff. And that revision process generally leaves you with hybrid systems in which all the important stuff is NO LONGER particularly opaque. The weak constraint aspects can be done without forcing (too much) opaqueness into the system.

Are there ways to develop neural nets in a way that do cause them to stay totally opaque, while solving all the issues that stand between the current state of the art and AGI? Probably. Well, certainly there is one .... whole brain emulation gives you opaqueness by the bucketload. But I think those approaches are the exception rather than the rule.

So the short answer to your question is: the opaqueness, at least, will not survive.

Comment author: Baughn 04 February 2016 02:59:21AM 2 points [-]

But here's the thing: most of the suggested ways to solve this problem (including the one I use) involve keeping the massive weak constraint relaxation, throwing away all irrelevant assumptions, and introducing new features to get the structured symbolic stuff. And that revision process generally leaves you with hybrid systems in which all the important stuff is NO LONGER particularly opaque. The weak constraint aspects can be done without forcing (too much) opaqueness into the system.

Where can I read about this?

Comment author: Gleb_Tsipursky 27 January 2016 06:10:36AM 0 points [-]

For those who wish to downvote it, I'm curious about your motivations. Want to optimize my modeling of LWs :-)

Comment author: Baughn 27 January 2016 04:25:31PM *  2 points [-]

We already have a media thread. An average of several dozen media links are posted every month[0], and if they were all top-level posts the site would quickly become useless. While the story is interesting, I don't think it's interesting enough to overcome that.

[0]: Have not actually counted.

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 19 January 2016 07:21:17PM 0 points [-]

Can you describe it?

Comment author: Baughn 20 January 2016 03:48:12AM 1 point [-]

It's circular, and square.

That's literally all there is. I can't imagine it visually, the way I usually would. Wonder why. :P

Comment author: Gunnar_Zarncke 18 January 2016 10:26:54PM *  5 points [-]

Is here any interest in posts about parenting with a lesswrong touch? Example:


Mental Images Part of Philosophy with Children

This evening my oldest asked me to test his imagination. Apparently he had played around with it and wanted some outside input to learn more about what he could do. We had talked about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_image before and I knew that he could picture moving scenes composed of known images. So I suggested

  • a five with green white stripes - diagonally. That took some time - apparently the green was difficult for some reason, he had to converge there from black via dark-green
  • three mice
  • three mice, one yellow, one red, and one green
  • the three colored mice running behind each other in circles (all no problem)
  • he himself
  • he himself in a mirror looking from behind (no problem)
  • two almost parallel mirrors with him in between (he claimed to see his image infinitely repeated; I think he just recalled such an experiment we did another time).
  • a street corner with him on the one side and a bike leaning an the other wall with the handlebar facing the corner and with a bicycle bell on the left side such that he cannot see the bike.
  • dito with him looking into a mirror held before him so he can see the bike behind the corner.

The latter took quite some time, partly because he had to assign colors and such so that he could fully picture this and then the image in the mirror. I checked by asking where the handlebar is and the bell. I had significant difficulties to imagine this and correctly place the bell. I noticed that it is easier to just see the bell once the image in the mirror has gained enough detail (the walls before and behind me, the corner, the bike leaning on the corner, the handlebar).

I also asked for a square circle which got the immediate reply that it is logically impossible.

If you have difficulties doing these (are judge them trivial): This is one area where human experience varies a lot. So this is not intended to provide a reference point in ability but an approach to teach human difference, reflection and yes also practice imagination - a useful tool if you have it. If not you might be interested in what universal human experiences are you missing without realizing it.


I'm currently writing these daily and posting them on the LW slack and the less-wrong-parents group.

Comment author: Baughn 19 January 2016 06:06:36PM 0 points [-]

I also asked for a square circle which got the immediate reply that it is logically impossible.

I am now imagining a square circle. That's interesting.

Comment author: Lumifer 05 January 2016 05:13:25PM 2 points [-]

There have, however, been some doubts about Crashplan's correctness in the past.

Links? I use Crashplan and would be interested in learning about its bugs.

Comment author: Baughn 05 January 2016 08:13:43PM *  1 point [-]

Google for 'crashplan data loss', and you'll find a few anecdotes. The plural of which isn't "data", but it's enough to ensure that I wouldn't use it for my own important data if I wasn't running two backup servers of my own for it. Even then, I'm also replicating with Unison to a ZFS filesystem that has auto-snapshots enabled. In fact, my Crashplan backups are on the same ZFS setup (two machines, two different countries), so I should be covered against corruption there as well.

Suffice to say, I've been burnt in the past. That seems to be the only way that anyone ever starts spending this much (that is, 'sufficient') effort on backups.

E.g. http://jeffreydonenfeld.com/blog/2011/12/crashplan-online-backup-lost-my-entire-backup-archive/


All of that said?

I'm paranoid. I wouldn't trust a single backup service, even if it had never had any problems; I'd be wondering what they were covering up, or if they were so small, they'd likely go away.

Crashplan is probably fine. Probably.

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