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Comment author: gwern 23 June 2017 03:22:21PM 3 points [-]

Computer chess: 'AIs will never master tasks like chess because they lack a soul / the creative spark / understanding of analogies' (laymen, Hofstadter etc); 'AIs don't need any of that to master tasks like chess but computing power and well-tuned search' (most AI researchers); 'but a human-computer combination will always be the best at task X because the human is more flexible and better at mega-cognition!' (Kasparov, Tyler Cowen).

Comment author: Decius 29 June 2017 04:04:08AM 0 points [-]

There will always be tasks at which better (Meta-)*Cognition is superior to the available amounts of computing power and tuning search protocols.

It becomes irrelevant if either humans aren't better than easily created AI at that level of meta or AI go enough levels up to be a failure mode.

Comment author: catch223 31 May 2017 01:58:16AM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure if I'm totally missing your point, or if you're making a point that's a distinction without a difference.

In Army basic training, there are two standards one must meet:

  1. height/weight, adjusted for age and gender
  2. PT test, which consists of push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run, with scoring adjusted for age and gender

Either one will get you chaptered out of the Army within certain timeframes. There is a lot of fine print for specific situations (basic training has some extra cushion), but that's the ground truth. These same principles apply to the military at large, but the standards and fine print differ.

I don't know how that squares with: "That doesn't mean they care about the height/weight."

In an organization so devoted to adherence to procedure, what the procedures are set up to be is often a pretty strong indicator of what the organization cares about...

Comment author: Decius 29 June 2017 03:59:59AM 0 points [-]

No individual cares about anything other than the procedures. Thus, the organization as a whole cares only about the procedures. The behavior is similar /with the procedures that exist/ to caring about fitness, but there is also a procedure to change procedure.

If the organization cared about fitness, the procedure to change the height/weight standards would be based on fitness. As it is, it is more based on politics. Therefore I conclude that the Army cares more about politics and procedures than fitness, and any behavior that looks like caring about fitness is incidental to their actual values.

Comment author: Decius 30 May 2017 11:41:08PM 1 point [-]

The listener's filter needs as an input the nature of the speaker's filter, or information is irretrievably lost.

The speaker's filter needs as an input the nature of the listener's filter, or information is irretrievably lost.

Having two codependent filters like that has a lot of stable non-lossy outcomes. One easy one to describe is the one where both filters are empty.

Unless you can convince me of a specific pair of filters such that many more people that I want to talk to use those two filters than use empty filters (increasing the number of people with whom I can communicate losslessly) or that provide some benefit superior to empty filters, I'll continue to use empty filters as much as possible, even if I have to aggressively enforce that choice on others.

Signalling higher status by applying 'tact' when I don't want to be insulting is not a benefit to me. Giving others more deference than myself regarding what filters to apply is not a benefit to me. If I want to insult someone, I can do that as effectively by insulting them as a tact culture communicator could by speaking without tact.

Comment author: Lumifer 30 May 2017 03:06:35PM 3 points [-]

The militaries have a pretty big stick. You can go to prison for insubordination or disobeying orders; in wartime you might well just be shot for that. The Dragon Army... will give you a stern talking to?

Comment author: Decius 30 May 2017 11:25:10PM 3 points [-]

.... will banish you from the tribe.

The only person I heard of go to the brig was one who broke into barracks and stole personal property. Falsifying official records or running off to run a side job as a real estate broker was more of a '30 days restriction, 30 days extra duty, reduction in rate to the next inferior rate, forfeiture of 1/2 month's base pay for 2 months' thing.

Comment author: cousin_it 29 May 2017 08:58:03PM *  2 points [-]

If you took my original comment to mean that cults are harmless, that's a bit bizarre.

As for previous proven systems, I'm not sure which ones you mean. The closest analogue is religious or socialist communes, which turn bad too often for my taste. The happiest exception is kibbutzim which weren't nearly as authoritarian as your idea. Then you have the army, which exists today just fine and we know what it's good for, not sure why we need another one. Then there are boarding schools, sport camps etc. but these are based on learning from professionals which you don't have.

Comment author: Decius 30 May 2017 02:42:00AM 1 point [-]

The Army works just fine, and has goals that aren't ours. Why not steal much of their model /which works and has been proven to work/?

Especially if the problematic aspects of Army culture can be avoided by seeing the skulls on the ground.

Comment author: catch223 28 May 2017 11:14:06PM 0 points [-]

Bootcamp (i.e. the military) cares very much about both losing sufficient weight to meet the standard as well as the ability to perform at a basic level of physical fitness. The different U.S. military services have differing standards, but the general requirements are all comparable.

In an environment where the food supply is tightly controlled and there is constant movement, people tend to lose a lot of weight quite rapidly.

However, if you don't meet the body proportion standards after a certain time, you will be separated from the military.

Comment author: Decius 30 May 2017 02:35:51AM 0 points [-]

Part of the program is separating people who don't lose weight. That doesn't mean they care about the height/weight, only that the next box is 'process for separation'.

There's not a lot other than adherence to procedure that most of the military actually does care about.

Comment author: ChristianKl 28 May 2017 09:27:40AM 0 points [-]

failing to accurately predict.

I think you miss the point that Duncan wants to train the ability to be out-of-comfort zone by following through on goals that are set. A norm being very annoying wouldn't be a reason to drop it before the scheduled vote. The norm would have to actually create substantial harm.

Comment author: Decius 28 May 2017 09:06:48PM 0 points [-]

I read that "this is causing substantial harm" would be insufficient to cancel a norm, but expect that "this is creating a physical hazard" would be enough to reject the norm mid-cycle. The problem is that every edge has edge cases, and if there's a false negative in a mideterm evaluation of danger...

Maybe I'm concluding that the paramilitary aesthetic will be more /thing/ than others are. In my observation authoritarian paramilitary styled groups are much more /thing/ than other people expect them to be. (My own expectations, OTOH are expected to be accurate because subjectivity.

Comment author: Duncan_Sabien 28 May 2017 07:49:36AM 1 point [-]

Your suggestion makes sense for an experiment, but misses the whole point of this experiment. This, to me, seems like exactly the unpleasant valley dynamic. "We tried holding ourselves to a standard of 'we finish the experiments that we start,' but we got a couple of experiments in and we didn't like it. Let's stop."

Comment author: Decius 28 May 2017 08:14:32AM 0 points [-]

"Last fortnight, we canceled [Idea which appeared to be horrible seconds after implementing it], which we continued for an entire fortnight because of our policy. Today we look at all available evidence and must decide if the meta-experiment generates benefits greater than the costs."

If you have no norm for evaluating that rule explicitly, it doesn't mean that you won't evaluate it. Maybe evaluating it every time it applies is excessive, but pretending that you won't quickly learn to put exit clauses in experiments that are likely to need them 'notwithstanding any other provision' is failing to accurately predict.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 28 May 2017 01:51:39AM 0 points [-]

I suspect Eliezer wouldn't join a military bootcamp, but conditional on him having chosen to do so, I suspect he'd do quite well, also.

Doesn't Eliezer delete comments on Facebook that suggest exercise as a means of weight loss?

Comment author: Decius 28 May 2017 08:02:00AM 0 points [-]

That's not because he didn't do the exercise. Bootcamp doesn't care if you lose weight, they only care if you execute the weight loss program. If you doesn't meet any of the body proportion standards, you just have to perform extra exercise.

Comment author: Duncan_Sabien 27 May 2017 01:48:47AM 2 points [-]

Sorry, I should've been more clear. "Kinda" was the important operational word, there, and you're correct to point out that the priorities could be easily be construed as clearly bad.

I think your latter norm is basically what's going to happen. The key thing I want to avoid is the slippery slope whereby there's no clear line of "this counts as a defection." I think needing to work late is 100% acceptable. What I was pointing at was something like, "I could wrap this up by coming in early tomorrow, or I could defect on the standing group exercise appointment ..."

I want to thank you for the number of concrete, clear criticisms you're making, and the manner in which you're making them. I like your style.

Comment author: Decius 28 May 2017 07:58:18AM 2 points [-]

A defection would be any case in which a member did not arrive on time or participate fully. Period.

I'm suggesting that there be a formal process by which a member arrives late, performs ten pushups, and joins the event in progress. At the conclusion of the event, he says "My Uber driver was involved in a minor collision on my way here and that delayed me for too long to arrive on time." and (by secret ballot?) the Army votes and some adequate margin of them excuse the failure.

The other aspect I suggested is that a Dragon might say "[event] is next week and I would like to attend but it conflicts with exercise. May I be excused from exercise for [event]?". Again, the Army would vote and decide if the absence is excused.

I'm at a loss as to what to do to sanction a member who is not excused. The military has a long list of 'corrective actions' and 'punishments' that they can apply only because they don't constitute 'kidnapping' or other crimes. I guess you could possibly make those '[task] or removal from the Army', but that runs straight into the eviction problem. I think that it's absolutely critical that there's a credible threat underlying the discipline, precisely so that it is less likely to be needed, and the only one I find plausible is ejection, which becomes complicated because of Housing law and morality.

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