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Comment author: Benquo 01 May 2017 05:02:57AM 0 points [-]

My guess is that our exposure to bad faith communication is more frequent than in the past, rather than less, because of mass media; many more messages we receive are from people who do not expect to have to get along with us in twenty years.

Comment author: GMHowe 01 May 2017 06:32:05AM 1 point [-]

That may well be true, but I should clarify that neither of my hypotheticals require or suggest that bad faith communication was more common in the past. They do suggest that assumptions of bad faith may have been significantly more common than actual bad faith, and that this hypersensitivity may have been adaptive in the ancestral environment but be maladaptive now.

Comment author: GMHowe 01 May 2017 04:39:54AM 2 points [-]

It would be surprising, if bad intent were so rare in the relevant sense, that people would be so quick to jump to the conclusion that it is present. Why would that be adaptive?

You may not be wrong but I don't think it would necessarily be surprising. We adapted under social conditions that are radically different than exist today. It may no longer be adaptive.

Hypothesis: In small tribes and family groups assumptions of bad faith may have served to help negotiate away from unreasonable positions while strong familial ties and respected third parties mostly mitigated the harms. Conflicts between tribes without familial connections may have tended to escalate however (although there are ways to mitigate against this too).

Hypothesis: Perhaps assumptions of good and bad faith were reasonably accurate in small tribal and familial groups but in intertribal disagreements there was a tendency to assume bad faith because the cost of assuming good faith and being wrong was so much higher than assuming bad faith and being wrong.

In response to Crony Beliefs
Comment author: GMHowe 04 November 2016 01:08:14AM 2 points [-]

I really liked this post. I thought it was well written and thought provoking.

I do want to push back a bit on one thing though. You write:

What makes for a crony belief is how we're rewarded for it. And the problem with beliefs about climate change is that we have no way to act on them — by which I mean there are no actions we can take whose payoffs (for us as individuals) depend on whether our beliefs are true or false.

It is true that most of us probably won't take actions whose payoffs depend on beliefs about global warming, but it is not true that there are no such actions. One could simply make bets about the future global average temperature.

So the problem is not that there are no actions we can take whose payoffs depend on whether our beliefs are true or false. Rather beliefs about global warming are likely to be cronies because the subject has become highly political. And as you correctly point out, in politics social rewards completely dominate pragmatic rewards.

To illustrate, it is even harder to find actions we can take whose payoffs depend on the accuracy of the belief that the Great Red Spot is a persistent anticyclonic storm on the planet Jupiter. Does this mean that a belief in the Great Red Spot is even more likely to be cronyistic than a belief regarding global warming?

Comment author: gjm 04 December 2015 02:46:23PM 1 point [-]

Common knowledge means I know, and I know that you know, and I know that you know that he knows, and she knows that I know that you know that he knows, and so on -- any number of iterations.

Each child sees 99 muddy foreheads and therefore knows n >= 99. Each child can tell that each other child knows n >= 98. But, e.g., it isn't true that A knows B knows C knows that n >= 98; only that A knows B knows C knows that n>=97: each link in the chain reduces the number by 1. So for no k>0 is it common knowledge that n>=k.

Comment author: GMHowe 22 December 2015 12:20:23AM 0 points [-]

Thanks, I did end up figuring out my error.

[link] Pedro Domingos: "The Master Algorithm"

2 GMHowe 30 November 2015 10:28PM

Interesting talk outlining five different approaches to AI.



Blurb from the YouTube description:

Machine learning is the automation of discovery, and it is responsible for making our smartphones work, helping Netflix suggest movies for us to watch, and getting presidents elected. But there is a push to use machine learning to do even more—to cure cancer and AIDS and possibly solve every problem humanity has. Domingos is at the very forefront of the search for the Master Algorithm, a universal learner capable of deriving all knowledge—past, present and future—from data. In this book, he lifts the veil on the usually secretive machine learning industry and details the quest for the Master Algorithm, along with the revolutionary implications such a discovery will have on our society.

Pedro Domingos is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, and he is the cofounder of the International Machine Learning Society.

Comment author: GMHowe 23 August 2015 09:16:41PM 0 points [-]

Maybe I'm confused, in the 'muddy children puzzle' it seems it would be common knowledge from the start that at least 98 children have muddy foreheads. Each child sees 99 muddy foreheads. Each child could reason that every other child must see at least 98 muddy foreheads. 100 minus their own forehead which they cannot see minus the other child's forehead which the other child cannot see equals 98.

What am I missing?

Comment author: GMHowe 21 August 2015 08:35:33PM 2 points [-]

Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.

Naval Ravikant

Comment author: GMHowe 04 June 2015 11:05:49PM 1 point [-]

You can see more results here: Image Annotation Viewer

Judging generously, but based on only about two dozen or so image captions, I estimate it gives a passably accurate caption about one third of the time. This may be impressive given the simplicity of the model, but it doesn't seem unreasonably effective to me, and I don't immediately see the relevance to strong AI.

Comment author: GMHowe 16 April 2015 03:56:10AM 3 points [-]

Let's say you precommit to never paying off blackmailers. The advantage of this is that you are no longer an attractive target for blackmailers since they will never get paid off. However if someone blackmails you anyway, your precommitment now puts you at a disadvantage, so now (NDT)you would act as if you had a precommitment to comply with the blackmailers all along since at this point that would be an advantageous precommitment to have made.

Comment author: hairyfigment 04 April 2015 09:00:06PM 29 points [-]

No, Mr. Shepard, with respect, (that) is not the moral of the story. The moral of the story is that, if you have grounds to believe there is a ferocious predator at large, don't appoint as your sole watchman a twelve-year-old child whom you have resolved to ignore.

  • Mitchell and Webb prosecuting attorney, from the sketch, "The boy who cried wolf"
Comment author: GMHowe 04 April 2015 10:48:57PM 9 points [-]

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