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Comment author: Douglas_Knight 29 March 2017 01:05:13AM 2 points [-]

scooped up Leo Messi from the hinterlands of Argentina at age 12 and he went and became Leo Messi. Lebron James was on the cover of Sports Illustrated when he was in high school.

Identifying Messi at age 12 is a lot more impressive than identifying James a year before he goes pro, when the only thing holding him back from going pro immediately is the NBA's diploma requirement.

Some people say that Newton was "scooped up" at 12, although I'm not sure how accurate that is.

Even if it were true about Newton, it wouldn't be useful to compare him to Messi without knowing the base rate of how many kids are scooped up, in both fields. Here is something where we can look up the base rate: the IMO. Something like half of Fields Medalists won a gold medal at the IMO in high school. About 50 gold medals are handed out each year, fewer in the past. You should be really impressed by that rate of prediction. Of course, it's comparing math to math, not g.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 29 March 2017 07:12:11PM 0 points [-]

Maybe a good comparison to IMO:Fields would be (First round draft pick):(Hall of Fame).

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 29 March 2017 01:16:05AM 1 point [-]

When we think of great athletes, we think of the top performers in one individual discipline, rather than the composite.

When people think of the best athlete in the world, they think of Leo Messi or Lebron James, not Ashton Eaton.

I'm not sure it's very relevant to your point, but I think it's pretty weird to call soccer or basketball "one individual discipline." I thought you were going to point to something obviously narrower than the decathlon, like one of its components. Whereas, popular spectator sports seem to me to involve a lot more skills than the decathlon. At the very least they involve teamwork and a lot more perception, but I think that they involve a greater variety of physical skills. On the other hand, OJ Simpson was a world-class sprinter, not a decathlete.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 29 March 2017 01:05:13AM 2 points [-]

scooped up Leo Messi from the hinterlands of Argentina at age 12 and he went and became Leo Messi. Lebron James was on the cover of Sports Illustrated when he was in high school.

Identifying Messi at age 12 is a lot more impressive than identifying James a year before he goes pro, when the only thing holding him back from going pro immediately is the NBA's diploma requirement.

Some people say that Newton was "scooped up" at 12, although I'm not sure how accurate that is.

Even if it were true about Newton, it wouldn't be useful to compare him to Messi without knowing the base rate of how many kids are scooped up, in both fields. Here is something where we can look up the base rate: the IMO. Something like half of Fields Medalists won a gold medal at the IMO in high school. About 50 gold medals are handed out each year, fewer in the past. You should be really impressed by that rate of prediction. Of course, it's comparing math to math, not g.

Comment author: tristanm 27 March 2017 07:59:55PM *  1 point [-]

Would a Bayesian notion of "upvotes / downvotes" work better than simple upvoting / downvoting? Suppose that instead of a simple sum of ups and downs, that there is some unknown latent "goodness" variable theta, which is the parameter of a Binomial distribution. Roughly, theta is the probability that a random reader of your post would upvote it. The sum of upvotes, or upvotes - downvotes, is not a very useful piece of information (since a highly upvoted / downvoted post could be highly controversial, but simply have a huge amount of voters). Instead of that, if you calculate the posterior distribution over theta (let's say theta is modeled by a Beta distribution), then you have information about what theta is likely to be along with the degree of confidence in that estimate. Would calculating that every time someone votes be a huge strain on the backend?

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 28 March 2017 08:04:21PM 0 points [-]

There are two separate issues: what to display and how to sort comments.

LessWrong displays the net number of positive votes; and, if you hover your mouse over the score, also the proportion of upvotes.

It offers several ways to sort the comments, mainly copied from Reddit, which now offers fewer ways. Go up to the top of a post. Just above the comment box, on the right, but below the tags is a triangle and the words "Sort By," probably "Sort By: Best." Click on the triangle and you can choose among Best, Popular, New, Controversial, Top, Old, and Leading. I think Top is net score. I'm not sure what is the difference between Popular, Best, and Leading. I suspect Leading is closest to what you suggest. Once you make a choice, all posts will be displayed that way until you choose again.

Comment author: Mitchell_Porter 23 March 2017 07:31:20PM 0 points [-]

There actually is a known replicator that assists the reproduction of gay phenotypes, but it's a behavior: gay sex! For a recent exposition, see the video that cost "Milo" his job.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 23 March 2017 09:02:15PM 0 points [-]

No, there is no evidence of such replication. This isn't really compatible with gays being detectable at age <5. Also, it's pretty clear that isn't what happens in sheep, which are highly analogous.

Common infections can have effects on a small population. For example, Barr-Epstein is implicated in at least some cases of narcolepsy, but 95% of the population tests positive for it.

Comment author: bogus 22 March 2017 03:42:40AM *  1 point [-]

I broadly agree, but you're basically talking about the dynamics that resulted in postmodernism becoming an intellectual fad, devoid of much of its originally-meaningful content. Whereas I'm talking about what the original memeplex was about - i.e what people like the often-misunderstood Jacques Derrida were actually trying to say. It's even clearer when you look at Michael Foucault, who was indeed a rather sharp critic of "high modernity", but didn't even consider himself a post-modernist (whereas he's often regarded as one today). Rather, he was investigating pointed questions like "do modern institutions like medicine, psychiatric care and 'scientific' criminology really make us so much better off compared to the past when we lacked these, or is this merely an illusion due to how these institutions work?" And if you ask Robin Hanson today, he will tell you that we're very likely overreliant on medicine, well beyond the point where such reliance actually benefits us.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 23 March 2017 05:13:49AM 0 points [-]

postmodernism becoming an intellectual fad, devoid of much of its originally-meaningful content. Whereas I'm talking about what the original memeplex was about

So you concede that everyone you're harassing is 100% correct, you just don't want to talk about postmodernism? So fuck off.

Comment author: Mitchell_Porter 21 March 2017 10:59:22AM 0 points [-]

I believe in evolution, I just don't believe in the gay germ.

But regardless of belief... I have some questions which I think are fair questions.

Are there any ideas about how and when the gay germ is acquired?

Are there any ideas about its mechanism of action?

If homosexuality has such a huge fitness penalty, why haven't we evolved immunity to the gay germ?

If someone hasn't experienced sex yet, but they already think they are gay, is that because of the gay germ?

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 21 March 2017 02:56:48PM 0 points [-]

Are there any ideas about how and when the gay germ is acquired?

If someone hasn't experienced sex yet, but they already think they are gay, is that because of the gay germ?

Gays generally say that they "always knew they were different" (and there is some evidence that this is not just confabulated memories), so it is probably acquired before age 5, possibly before birth. It is probably something common, like the flu. And there might be multiple infections that cause the same brain changes, as appears to be the case with narcolepsy.

If homosexuality has such a huge fitness penalty, why haven't we evolved immunity to the gay germ?

You could ask a similar question about any explanation of homosexuality. It is measured to be weakly heritable. So we know that there are genes that protect from it. Given the fitness penalty, why haven't those genes swept through the population? That wouldn't necessarily eliminate it, but they would eliminate the heritability.

There are only two possibilities: either the fitness penalty is not what it looks like (eg, the sexual antagonism hypothesis); or the environment has changed so that which genes protect has changed.

Germ theory gives a simple explanation for changing environment, The Red Queen Hypothesis: the germ is evolving, so the genes that protect against it are changing. This is the metric that Cochran and Ewald use: multiply the fitness cost by the heritability. The higher that number, the more likely the cause is infection.

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 20 March 2017 09:11:37PM 0 points [-]

Good catch. Adverbial attachment is really hard, because there aren't a lot of rules about where adverbs can go.

Actually, Ozora's parse has another small problem, which is that it interprets "complex" as an NN with a "typeadj" link, instead of as a JJ with an "adject" link. The typeadj link is used for noun-noun pairings such as "police officer", "housing crisis", or "oak tree".

For words that can function as both NN and JJ (eg "complex"), it is quite hard to disambiguate the two patterns.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 20 March 2017 11:52:02PM 0 points [-]

Some things are really hard, but if everyone else can get this adverb correct, maybe it isn't that hard.

Comment author: Viliam 20 March 2017 10:09:54AM *  0 points [-]

It would probably be reasonable to pay a lawyer for providing a definite answer and a list of legal strategies.

I mean, my first reaction after reading about the Fair Housing Act was "nah, that cannot really be a problem, I am sure there are dozen simple ways how to circumvent this". But then the second thought was "...and this is probably the same thing those people in 1960s (and later) who didn't want black people in their neighborhood were thinking too... so there were probably already decades of legal battles with various strategies and counter-strategies, and it would be foolish to just do five minutes of armchair reasoning and pretend that I know better than all those people who did it for a job, and whose profits depended on it."

(An example of a simple strategy I imagined: Could all people interested in living there create a cooperative enterprise, buy the whole area as a company, and then sell or rent it to their members? Because while you are in the company mode, it seems legal to buy "all or nothing"; and when selling or renting to the members, you simply won't advertise the fact that you are selling or renting. -- Sounds reasonable to me, and I don't see how this would be a problem... other than that someone probably already tried this to create a white-only neighborhood, and I don't know what happened afterwards.)

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 20 March 2017 07:12:55PM 0 points [-]

Could all people interested in living there create a cooperative enterprise

Freyley listed this second and said that its major problem is financing, not FHA, implying that this scheme is at least some protection.

Comment author: jsteinhardt 20 March 2017 02:31:47AM 2 points [-]

Any attempt to enforce rationalists moving in is illegal.

Is this really true? Based on my experience (not any legal experience, just seeing what people generally do that is considered fine) I think in the Bay Area the following are all okay:

  • Only listing a house to your friends / social circle.
  • Interviewing people who want to live with you and deciding based on how much you like them.

The following are not okay:

  • Having a rule against pets that doesn't have an exception for seeing-eye dogs.
  • Explicitly deciding not to take someone as a house-mate only on the basis of some protected trait like race, etc. (but gender seems to be fine?).
Comment author: Douglas_Knight 20 March 2017 07:07:23PM 2 points [-]

Your experience is probably about controlling who lives in a single household. Freyley's comment was about his "first plan," ie, condos, which is pretty much what Alicorn was talking about. The issue is about scaling up from a single apartment to a building or neighborhood.

But, yes, it is important to pay attention to what is fine in practice, which is often quite different from the law, in both directions.

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