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Comment author: DeVliegendeHollander 03 March 2015 08:21:58AM 0 points [-]

I totally know I suck at editing. Or writing. Yes, my posts are dumps of internal dialogue, a "save as" on my brain set. Can you recommend an e-book or something that would teach me this? At some level this is the issue with the Internet: everybody can publish, but most of us do not have access to a professional editor. I wonder if I could find an editor on Fiverr. It would totally worth me $5 per article.

Pop-psych, well, the issue is, 1. people suffer 2. there are basically NO ideas kicking around why. Any beginning is better than none. Even if the only result is someone disproving the whole thing in a good way gets us a step closer to some kind of a solution.

I see my role here as a non-scientific shaman healer trying to treat diseases by random herbs. It may work, out of pure luck, but even if not, you have to start your medicine somewhere, a real doctor executing a professional takedown on the shaman could accidentally solve the problem.

Comment author: Emile 03 March 2015 09:55:21AM 0 points [-]

Maybe practice editing more? If you suck at it, rewriting /editing your posts will only make you better at it. It might be a bit of work, it might take a bit of time, but it's nice to take ten minutes of your time to save thirty seconds to a hundred readers (and more importantly to save all the time wasted by comments who misunderstood part of what you said and the ensuing back-and-forth).

(I personally don't have much time to spend reading long preachy walls of texts telling me about my supposed self-hatred; I didn't downvote your post but skipped to the discussion because the post itself wasn't very engaging and seemed to get things wrong fairly quickly)

In response to Ask me anything.
Comment author: Emile 16 February 2015 05:53:55PM 5 points [-]

I suspect most people here find this post very confusing as they don't know who you are (I don't recognize your username), and it's not really clear what you're getting at or why we would want to ask you anything.

Comment author: Emile 12 February 2015 06:00:04PM 5 points [-]

A bit of a nitpick (which could explain some of the reception you're getting here): I don't think the term "Pragmatarianism" is a good description for your proposal, it's just an unrelated name that sounds good. Might as well say 'I'm calling this proposal "Sensible Tax Policy"' or 'My idea, called "Reasonablism", is that...', etc.

A more modest and descriptive name would probably be better received, especially in places who dislike marketing.

Meetup : Paris Meetup

2 Emile 10 February 2015 09:39AM

Discussion article for the meetup : Paris Meetup

WHEN: 14 February 2015 02:00:00PM (+0100)

WHERE: Café des Arts et Métiers, 51 Rue de Turbigo, 75003 Paris France

A bit of last minute organization, we had talked about it on our mailing list but hadn't settled on a date. Better late than never!

Discussion article for the meetup : Paris Meetup

Comment author: Dr_Manhattan 09 February 2015 07:18:42PM 2 points [-]

And how is it going?

Comment author: Emile 10 February 2015 08:49:07AM 4 points [-]

Okay, though we're still far from a true robot butler. I don't know if we're ten years away though, especially if you're tolerant in what you expect a butler to be able to do (welcome guests, take their names, point them in the right direction, answer basic questions? We can already do it. Go up a flight of stairs? Not yet.)

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 10 February 2015 12:28:25AM 2 points [-]

Cool project! Do you think those robots are going to be a big commercial success?

Comment author: Emile 10 February 2015 08:45:10AM 3 points [-]

There are already quite a few of them deployed in stores in Japan, interacting with customers, so for now it's going okay :)

Comment author: is4junk 09 February 2015 01:17:55AM 9 points [-]

Robotics will get scary very soon. quoted from link:

The conference was open to civilians, but explicitly closed to the press. One attendee described it as an eye-opener. The officials played videos of low-cost drones firing semi-automatic weapons, revealed that Syrian rebels are importing consumer-grade drones to launch attacks, and flashed photos from an exercise that pitted $5,000 worth of drones against a convoy of armored vehicles. (The drones won.) But the most striking visual aid was on an exhibit table outside the auditorium, where a buffet of low-cost drones had been converted into simulated flying bombs. One quadcopter, strapped to 3 pounds of inert explosive, was a DJI Phantom 2, a newer version of the very drone that would land at the White House the next week.

Comment author: Emile 09 February 2015 01:23:15PM 6 points [-]

It's debatable how much a "remote controlled helicopters with a camera" should fall under "robotics"; progress in that area seems pretty orthogonal to issues like manipulation and autonomy.

(Though on the other hand modern drones are better at mechanical control "just" remote control: good drones have a feedback loop so that they correct their position)

Comment author: Daniel_Burfoot 09 February 2015 03:50:07AM 9 points [-]

I have anti-predictions:

  • We won't have robot butlers or maids in the next ten years.
  • Academic CV researchers will write a lot of papers, but there won't be any big commercial successes that are based on dramatic improvements in CV science. This is a subtle point: there may be big CV successes, but they will be based on figuring out ways to use CV-like technology that avoids grappling with the real hardness of the problem. For example, the main big current uses of CV are in industrial applications where you can control precisely things like lighting, clutter, camera position, and so on.
  • Assistant and intent-based technology will continue to be annoying and not very useful.
  • Similar to CV, robotics will work okay when you can control precisely the nature of the task and environment. We won't have, for example, robot construction workers.
Comment author: Emile 09 February 2015 11:12:51AM 5 points [-]

We won't have robot butlers or maids in the next ten years.

(for what it's worth, I work on this robot for a living)

In response to comment by JoshuaZ on Je suis Charlie
Comment author: loldrup 15 January 2015 11:28:04PM 0 points [-]

I think my chain falls of on the idea that we can assign reliable probabilities to various hypotheses, prior to our own thorough investigation of the available scientific material.

For the case of UFOs, wouldn't we have to have scientific reports explaining all unexplained observations of aerial phenomena that have occured in history, before we could reasonably claim that the probability is very low?

In response to comment by loldrup on Je suis Charlie
Comment author: Emile 15 January 2015 11:47:54PM 7 points [-]

I think my chain falls of on the idea that we can assign reliable probabilities to various hypotheses, prior to our own thorough investigation of the available scientific material.

Yep! We do it all the time! How likely do you think it is that the city of New York has just been destroyed by a nuclear blast? That your parents are actually undercover agents sent by Thailand? That there is a scorpion in the sandwich you're about to eat? Most people would consider those extremely unlikely without a second thought, and would not feel any need for a "thorough investigation of the available scientific material". And that's a perfectly sensible thing to do!

In response to Je suis Charlie
Comment author: Emile 15 January 2015 11:34:37AM 8 points [-]

I guess we can agree that the most rational response would be to enter a state of aporia until sufficient evidence is at hand.

Not really; consider how much effort is worth investigating the question of whether Barack Obama is actually secretly Transgender, in different scenarios:

  • You just thought about it, but don't have any special reason to privilege that hypothesis
  • Someone mentioned the idea a a thought experiment on LessWrong.com, but doesn't seem to think it's even remotely likely
  • Someone on the internet seems to honestly believe it (but may be a troll or time cube guy-level crazy)
  • A vocal group on the internet seems to believe it
  • Several people you know in real-life seem to believe it

If you think that even in the first case you should investigate, then you're going to spend your life running over every hypothesis that catches your fancy, regardless of how likely or useful it is. If you believe that in some cases it deserves a bit of investigation, but not others, you're going to need a few extra rules of thumbs, even before looking as the evidence.

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