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Comment author: CharlesR 06 November 2013 09:49:48AM 1 point [-]

P(Anti-Agathics) What is the probability that at least one person living at this moment will reach an age of one thousand years?

How is this to be interpreted? With or without the aid of cryonics?

In response to MIRI strategy
Comment author: lukeprog 28 October 2013 06:24:28PM *  36 points [-]
  • Pamphlets work for wells in Africa. They don't work for MIRI's mission. The inferential distance is too great, the ideas are too Far, the impact is too far away.
  • Eliezer spent SIAI's early years appealing directly to people about AI. Some good people found him, but the people were being filtered for "interest in future technology" rather than "able to think," and thus when Eliezer would make basic arguments about e.g. the orthogonality thesis or basic AI drives, the responses he would get were basically random (except for the few good people). So Eliezer wrote The Sequences and HPMoR and now the filter is "able to think" or at least "interest in improving one's thinking," and these people, in our experience, are much more likely to do useful things when we present the case for EA, for x-risk reduction, for FAI research, etc.
  • Still, we keep trying direct mission appeals, to some extent. I've given my standard talk, currently titled "Effective Altruism and Machine Intelligence," at Quixey, Facebook, and Heroku. This talk explains effective altruism, astronomical stakes, the x-risk landscape, and the challenge of FAI, all in 25 minutes. I don't know yet how much good effect this talk will have. There's Facing the Intelligence Explosion and the forthcoming Smarter Than Us. I've spent a fair amount of time promoting Our Final Invention.
  • I don't think we can get much of anywhere with a 1-page pamphlet, though. We tried a 4-page pamphlet once; it accomplished nothing.
In response to comment by lukeprog on MIRI strategy
Comment author: CharlesR 01 November 2013 06:26:00AM 3 points [-]

The next time you give your talk, record it, and put it on YouTube.

Comment author: CharlesR 09 March 2013 12:42:04AM 3 points [-]

If you type a lot, buy a mechanical keyboard.

Comment author: Alicorn 03 September 2012 05:14:59PM 3 points [-]

They're just pretty shitty as an organization. Very focused on the neurotypical parents of autistic children, very cure-oriented, no autistic people involved in their decisionmaking, they spread harmful memes about nasty "treatments" and have a history of spending way too much time looking into vaccines on a cause. Most autistic people don't like 'em, is the short version. Googling "autism speaks criticism" or similar will get you lots of specificity.

Comment author: CharlesR 03 September 2012 10:39:45PM *  0 points [-]

Thanks for the info. I didn't know they were anti-vaxxers.

Comment author: Alicorn 03 September 2012 04:09:55PM 0 points [-]

General antiendorsement of Autism Speaks.

Comment author: CharlesR 03 September 2012 05:02:08PM 1 point [-]

Can you be more specific?

Comment author: Rhwawn 03 September 2012 12:50:41AM 4 points [-]

To the best of my knowledge (and I've looked) there is not a single scientific long-term randomized study showing the effectiveness of any type of treatment for autism.

Why isn't there? There would seem to have been more than enough time & funding for at least one. Is there some more subtle problem here?

(I'm thinking a scenario like "parents of autistic kids are constantly trying new approaches both quack and genuine, and would refuse to stop this, thereby making the results worthless; and this is foreseeable in advance by any would-be experimenters.")

Comment author: CharlesR 03 September 2012 10:33:15AM *  0 points [-]

No one wants to be in the control group.

Comment author: James_Miller 02 September 2012 03:54:58PM 13 points [-]

To the best of my knowledge (and I've looked) there is not a single scientific long-term randomized study showing the effectiveness of any type of treatment for autism. This means that when deciding on the best way to help the kid you are going to have to rely on the judgment and intuition of family, friends and special needs specialists. Besides the normal biases the huge problem with doing this is that as an autistic child gets older you would expect him, in an absolute sense, to make improvements in many metrics (just as typical kids do) even if whatever special stuff was being done for him had absolutely no impact on his condition. Another problem is that, based on my observations at least, the women who devote their careers to the needs of "special children" tend to be of the very happy/uplifting/optimistic types which undoubtedly causes them to have a more positive assessment of treatment than should be justified and this bias outlook negatively impacts the research that makes use of the subjective judgments of autistic professionals.

Rather than spending time reading about autism you can probably better help this child by playing with him and doing stuff for his parents so they have more time to play with him, although ignore this advice if you enjoy reading about autism and so your doing so isn't a cost.

Comment author: CharlesR 03 September 2012 10:28:22AM 3 points [-]

Rather than spending time reading about autism you can probably better help this child by playing with him and doing stuff for his parents so they have more time to play with him, although ignore this advice if you enjoy reading about autism and so your doing so isn't a cost.

This is very good advice.

Comment author: CharlesR 03 September 2012 09:49:21AM *  3 points [-]

UPDATED: It has been pointed out that Autism Speaks still funds research looking for the supposed link to vaccines! People have resigned over this. Do not give your money to this organization.

Some books on autism:

There is also the 100 Day Kit from Autism Speaks.

The Autism Speaks 100 Day Kit and the Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Tool Kit were created specifically for newly diagnosed families to make the best possible use of the 100 days following their child's diagnosis of autism or AS/HFA.

You're right. There is a lot of mis-information out there about autism. The problem isn’t you’re a non-expert. It’s that the “experts” really don’t know.

You can't do controlled studies. You can't say to one parent, “Give Jonny OT, but don't give him speech therapy or ABA (or horse therapy), and come back in 10 years,” and tell another parent, "Just give Jonny horse therapy."

That said, a mainstream view is forming. Get speech therapy to help with pragmatics. Get some form of behavioral therapy (ABA, RDI, etc.) Get occupational therapy to help with sensory. Don’t try to do all of this on your own. You want good therapists.

A bad therapist is worse than no therapist. Until you've had a few, it can be hard to tell these apart. There are a lot of bad therapists.

Some other generally accepted good uses your of money (probably!), include:

  • some form of behavioral intervention at home (ABA, RDI, etc.)
  • some form of behavioral intervention at school

Depending on the part of the world in which you live, the school component might be free. You would do well to keep in mind that free is not be the same as good, or even appropriate. (Remember: No bad therapists!)

I would also get the child in to see a developmental peditrician to create a treatment plan. Your pediatrician probably knows less about autism than you do. You want a specialist.

There are lots of other things you can try, but it’s best to think of these as unproven/highly experimental. I, myself, would probably add another hour of OT or speech (or create a cash buffer) before trying anything else.

Comment author: Alicorn 18 August 2012 07:15:57PM *  9 points [-]

If anyone else dislikes Rudi the way I do (and doesn't need his help to get signed up at all), my life insurance company is pretty okay; they're called New York Life. I picked them off a list of cryo-friendly insurance companies Alcor provided in an info packet (even though I went with CI) and they have been very responsive and are willing to conduct all relevant business without the use of telephones (which criterion is part of how I narrowed down said list).

Comment author: CharlesR 19 August 2012 01:02:52AM 1 point [-]

Can you elaborate on your reason for choosing CI? Was it driven by reasons other than cost?

Comment author: CharlesR 04 August 2012 02:24:10AM 2 points [-]

Installing Arch Linux.

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