Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

In response to comment by Viliam on Bring up Genius
Comment author: gwern 11 June 2017 02:31:44PM 5 points [-]

I haven't seen the linked "The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential" mentioned in the book

It's what he's referring to when he mentions 'Philadelphia', see the SSC comments.

neither a discussion whether gifted children are healthier or not

"Many gifted children acquire psycho-somatic problems, such as insomnia, headache, stomach pain, neuroses."

Then, just look at the contradiction in what you wrote "let kids play... or just force them to learn the violin or piano". So, which one is it going to be?

Both. There's more than one hour in the day.

But I believe that at least 9 out of 10 people trying to teach their children chess would not start by playing dozens of games with kings and pawns only, but instead would try to explain how all chess pieces move at the same time, because that's how people around me do teaching all the time, including many teachers.

I wasn't taught that way, and I know for a fact that beginners to Go are almost always introduced with simplified 'capture Go', usually on a 9x9 board, and Go appears little different. Schools also usually start with simple versions of things because to do otherwise would be even more frustrating than teaching is. ('See Spot run. Run, Spot, run.')

Uhm, let's start with the obvious: most people in developed countries don't homeschool their children.

They don't, but enough of them do. Tens or hundreds of millions of parents/kids over the past century have done homeschooling, unschooling, or Montessori. If Polgar's method could reliably turn most kids into geniuses, or could boost the odds so much that three chess masters is an expectable result, then even if only a tenth or less of those kids satisfied his criteria, hundreds of thousands of other children would already have succeeded. (Or is this a case of 'Polgarism, comrades, has never truly been tried'?) We should be coming out our ears with chess masters who were homeschooled or physics prodigies, it should be impossible to read a biography of any Nobelist or famous scientist without seeing 'oh and of course besides being Jewish, he was homeschooled'. This is what I mean by disproof: his nostrums have already been applied on a massive scale and failed.

In response to comment by gwern on Bring up Genius
Comment author: Douglas_Knight 11 June 2017 05:44:08PM 1 point [-]

I haven't seen the linked "The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential" mentioned in the book

It's what he's referring to when he mentions 'Philadelphia', see the SSC comments.

Specifically here

The passage is:

there exist so-called talent-forming, genius-educating schools in Japan, lsrael, the GDR, USA, etc. (e.g. the Superbaby Farm of Glenn Doman in Philadelphia).

Comment author: Elo 09 June 2017 07:27:33AM 2 points [-]

an English copy was recently found in a library in the Netherlands, free to read and copy. (if we know anyone there)

In response to comment by Elo on Bring up Genius
Comment author: Douglas_Knight 10 June 2017 04:52:04AM 0 points [-]

What odds do you put that there is an English copy in a library in the Netherlands? (as opposed to, eg, a catalogue error)

Comment author: Zack_M_Davis 08 June 2017 03:19:18AM 0 points [-]

But I'm being told that this is "meta-uncertainty" which right-thinking Bayesians are not supposed to have.

Hm. Maybe those people are wrong??

Clearly not since the normal distribution goes from negative infinity to positive infinity

That's right; I should have either said "approximately", or chosen a different distribution.

That 0.5 is conditional on the distribution of r, isn't it? That makes it not a different question at all.

Yes, it is averaging over your distribution for r. Does it help if you think of probability as relative to subjective states of knowledge?

Can you elaborate?

(Attempted humorous allusion to how Cox's theorem derives probability theory from simple axioms about how reasoning under uncertainty should work, less relevant if no one is talking about inventing new fields of math.)

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 08 June 2017 09:42:54PM 0 points [-]

But I'm being told that this is "meta-uncertainty" which right-thinking Bayesians are not supposed to have.

Hm. Maybe those people are wrong??


Comment author: Viliam 02 June 2017 12:44:59PM 5 points [-]

Imagine a group of scientists who don't care about fame, but care about grant money. Would it make sense for them to pretend to be one super-smart and super-productive person? In other words, could a scientist with e.g. 5x higher productivity get 5x more grant money?

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 03 June 2017 04:19:47PM 3 points [-]

In case you think "grant money" means "salary," it doesn't. If one person gets 5x as much grant money, he doesn't get 5x as much salary. If the group pretends to be 1 person, it loses out on the salary money.

Grants are budgeted for specific projects and are mainly used to hire people (grad students, etc). (Often the university hires the professor to teach and the grant buys out the professor's teaching obligation. But only up to the salary set by the university.) So in that sense grants are for salary. You could declare 1 person the professor and the other 4 assistants, but then they'd be getting a lot less salary than if they were professors.

As to the literal question, if one can demonstrate the ability to manage 5x as many projects, it is pretty easy to get 5x as many grants to hire 5x as many people. And I guess scale is mainly a matter of hierarchy, of being able to choose assistants who can do both the research and subsidiary management. And you have assumed this under the hypothesis that the assistants are the real researchers.

I have heard suggested from many people that having a 2 author paper on your CV is worth more than having half of a single-author paper, and thus one should choose a buddy and co-sign all papers.

Comment author: James_Miller 29 May 2017 05:29:23AM *  5 points [-]

For me it was at 01h5m50s where Hsu says that super rich Silicon valley guys are already using embryo selection for non-fertility reasons.


Comment author: Douglas_Knight 29 May 2017 06:10:27AM 3 points [-]

Wikipedia says that Elon Musk's 5 sons were via IVF. The mother was 32 and 34 at the births, which is awfully young for IVF. Maybe they had fertility problems, but maybe they did embryo selection. Except that they probably couldn't select for anything beyond sex in 2004, but maybe they did IVF to get twins and triplets.

Comment author: philh 22 May 2017 10:02:31AM 1 point [-]

I used to buy melatonin from a place called Puritan's Pride. They ship to the UK, and (shipping included) I'd pay about £15 for 720x200µg. But they've stopped selling it in 200µg; their lowest dose is now 1mg.

Does anyone know any other sites that ship low-dose melatonin to the UK for not loads more expensive? (If you don't know that it ships to the UK, I don't mind checking that myself. I know amazon.com doesn't.)

https://www.vitacost.com seems to be an option, it's more expensive but not prohibitively so.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 28 May 2017 02:02:13AM *  1 point [-]

Melatonin is widely available in Europe. If you are willing to use websites in other languages there are many options. For example, Netherlands. I have seen French and Italian sites, but I didn't save them. It was recently legalized in Germany.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 17 May 2017 09:48:09PM 0 points [-]

The question "Did Iraq have chemical weapons?" is a stupid question because it is not quantified. The inspectors gave a small upper bound on the number of weapons and they were right.

Yes, the CIA reached its conclusions from its communications interceptions. But just because they had reasons for those conclusions doesn't mean that they were good reasons. It should instead have trusted the inspectors, who actually knew something about weapons, unlike the CIA. Chemistry trumps spies.

There is a lot of equivocation between weapons and factories. People summarize the question as "Did Iraq have WMD?" but what Powell said to the UN was that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons factories. This was completely wrong. If the CIA can't remember what it said, it can't learn from its mistakes. But if its job is to fabricate causus belli, heck of job.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 17 May 2017 08:51:50PM 0 points [-]

However, the conclusions are likely wrong, because it's rational for "sleeping" civilizations to still want to round up stars that might be ejected from galaxies, collect cosmic dust, and so on.

What proportion of idiotic papers are written not by idiots, but by liars?

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 06 May 2017 04:36:39PM *  1 point [-]

I recommend a different version of Peterson's Maps of Meaning. The course versions are very flabby, while version recorded for TVO in 2004 has been edited down to 6 hours, compared to 23 and counting for the 2017 version linked above. Probably the best place to get them is his podcast either via a podcast app, or 1 2 3 4 (via soundcloud). But there are also videos, so that you can see his face, although not his slides.

Comment author: Morendil 08 January 2011 10:11:54AM 5 points [-]

See also Cosma Shalizi's The Neutral Model of Inquiry.

Comment author: Douglas_Knight 18 April 2017 04:43:01AM 0 points [-]

moved here

View more: Next