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Comment author: ChristianKl 08 August 2017 04:40:27PM 6 points [-]

Meta Contrarian Typography by Tom Bartleby - The author is a self-described meta-contrarian. Supporting two spaces after a period. The three reasons for single spaces and why they don't hold up. Double spaces makes writing easier to skim, periods are over-worked in English.

Did someone try to run an A/B test to see whether one version makes reading easier? It seems to me like a question that should be able to be answered with data.

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 09 August 2017 03:44:54PM 3 points [-]
Comment author: cousin_it 06 July 2017 10:44:21AM *  4 points [-]

Since other people are biologically similar to me, they probably say "I'm conscious" for the same reason as me, so it makes sense to believe them. The problem in Chinese Room is that the system is quite different from a human and might be lying about some things, so there's less reason to trust it when it claims to have human-like qualia.

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 27 July 2017 01:24:00PM 1 point [-]

Since other people are biologically similar to me, they probably say "I'm conscious" for the same reason as me, so it makes sense to believe them.

Be careful (2, 3).

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 27 July 2017 01:02:58PM *  0 points [-]

Meh. You can have two systems of coordinates related to each other by r_1 = R_Earth^2/r_2, theta_1 = theta_2, phi_1 = phi_2, t_1 = t_2 and as per general relativity both will give you the same answers if you use them right. (But one of the two will be much much easier to use right than the other.)

Comment author: ZankerH 13 July 2017 09:48:00AM *  1 point [-]

Sounds like you need to work on that time preference. Have you considered setting up an accountability system or self-blackmailing to make sure you're not having too much fun?

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 16 July 2017 06:59:03AM 0 points [-]

Why?

Comment author: philh 10 July 2017 01:22:09PM 0 points [-]

I'm unlikely to try to solve it, but are you looking for an answer like "if the king starts here, you can do it with N queens placed at...", or "no matter where the pieces start, you can do it with N queens"? Are you limiting positions to those which could theoretically be achieved in a legal game of 4D chess?

(By that last one, I mean that on a 2D board, you could have a king in the corner and a queen directly adjacent above and beside it, and that would be mate. But you can't ever have that position in a legal chess game. If something like that turns out to be the optimal, would you accept it?)

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 11 July 2017 07:22:57AM 0 points [-]

I mean that on a 2D board, you could have a king in the corner and a queen directly adjacent above and beside it, and that would be mate.

No, unless the queen is defended by some other piece, otherwise the king could just capture it. Or am I missing something?

Comment author: Viliam 06 July 2017 12:32:49PM *  0 points [-]

Some Fermi estimates; feel free to disagree with specific numbers and provide your own.

Let's take an average human life as a unit of value; i.e. the value of human's life is 1.

How large part of "a value of human's life" is "having lunch, in general, as opposed to only having a breakfast and a dinner every day of your life"? Let's say it's somewhere between 1/10 and 1/100, because there are many other things humans value, such as not being in pain, or having sex, or having status, or whatever.

If we estimate an average human life to be about 10 000 or 20 000 days, then "having this specific lunch" is between 1/10 000 and 1/20 000 of "having lunch, in general".

But the choice is actually not between having a lunch and not having a lunch, but between having a chicken lunch or having a vegan lunch. Let's say the taste of chicken provides between 1/4 and 1/10 of the value of a lunch.

Putting these numbers together, a value of "having a chicken for a specific lunch" is about 1 / 1 000 000 of a value of a human life.

As a quick check, imagine that you are both in a vegan country, where chickens are simply not available for lunch. Would you sell 1% of your remaining lifespan (less than 1 year) to the Devil in return for having a chicken for lunch each day of your life? I guess many people would, probably even more than 1%; and the revealed preferences (e.g. people dying as a result of salmonella) seem to match this.

So, it seems like ethically it is right to eat chicken if and only if a value of a human life is greater than value of 1 000 000 chicken's lives. Which, according to many people, it is.

Possible methodological problems:

1) Scope insensitivity: maybe people say that 1 000 000 chickens are less worth than humans simply because they cannot imagine what "1 000 000" actually means; they only imagine about dozen chickens when making the emotional judgement. On the other hand, there are people who as a part of their profession kill large numbers of chicken, so they would have a near-mode idea of what it means. How many people would be willing to do such profession, though?

2) How much is the desire to eat chicken a result of cultural brainwashing? Do people in countries where vegetarianism is normal agree that having a chicken instead would increase the value of their lunch by 10%? That is, how much is "wanting to eat a chicken" actually wanting to eat "a chicken", as opposed to simply wanting to eat "the same thing as yesterday".

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 07 July 2017 09:15:50AM 0 points [-]

Putting these numbers together, a value of "having a chicken for a specific lunch" is about 1 / 1 000 000 of a value of a human life.

I'd estimate that as ((amount you're willing to pay for a chicken lunch) - (amount you're willing to pay for a vegan lunch))/(statistical value of life). But that's in the same ballpark.

Comment author: Viliam 06 July 2017 12:32:49PM *  0 points [-]

Some Fermi estimates; feel free to disagree with specific numbers and provide your own.

Let's take an average human life as a unit of value; i.e. the value of human's life is 1.

How large part of "a value of human's life" is "having lunch, in general, as opposed to only having a breakfast and a dinner every day of your life"? Let's say it's somewhere between 1/10 and 1/100, because there are many other things humans value, such as not being in pain, or having sex, or having status, or whatever.

If we estimate an average human life to be about 10 000 or 20 000 days, then "having this specific lunch" is between 1/10 000 and 1/20 000 of "having lunch, in general".

But the choice is actually not between having a lunch and not having a lunch, but between having a chicken lunch or having a vegan lunch. Let's say the taste of chicken provides between 1/4 and 1/10 of the value of a lunch.

Putting these numbers together, a value of "having a chicken for a specific lunch" is about 1 / 1 000 000 of a value of a human life.

As a quick check, imagine that you are both in a vegan country, where chickens are simply not available for lunch. Would you sell 1% of your remaining lifespan (less than 1 year) to the Devil in return for having a chicken for lunch each day of your life? I guess many people would, probably even more than 1%; and the revealed preferences (e.g. people dying as a result of salmonella) seem to match this.

So, it seems like ethically it is right to eat chicken if and only if a value of a human life is greater than value of 1 000 000 chicken's lives. Which, according to many people, it is.

Possible methodological problems:

1) Scope insensitivity: maybe people say that 1 000 000 chickens are less worth than humans simply because they cannot imagine what "1 000 000" actually means; they only imagine about dozen chickens when making the emotional judgement. On the other hand, there are people who as a part of their profession kill large numbers of chicken, so they would have a near-mode idea of what it means. How many people would be willing to do such profession, though?

2) How much is the desire to eat chicken a result of cultural brainwashing? Do people in countries where vegetarianism is normal agree that having a chicken instead would increase the value of their lunch by 10%? That is, how much is "wanting to eat a chicken" actually wanting to eat "a chicken", as opposed to simply wanting to eat "the same thing as yesterday".

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 07 July 2017 09:07:35AM *  1 point [-]

How large part of "a value of human's life" is "having lunch, in general, as opposed to only having a breakfast and a dinner every day of your life"? Let's say it's somewhere between 1/10 and 1/100,

I.e. you'd take a 1% chance of being killed straight away over a 100% chance of never being allowed to have lunch again, but you'd take the latter over a 10% chance of being killed straight away?

...Huh. Actually, rephrasing it this way made the numbers sound less implausible to me.

Comment author: btrettel 29 June 2017 02:44:07AM 1 point [-]

You'd be more likely to get some kind of waves that propagate at fixed speed along the grid, giving you a privileged rest frame, like in the old discredited theories of aether.

I'll try to steelman Florian_Dietz.

I don't know much anything about relativity, but waves on a grid in computational fluid dynamics (CFD for short) typically don't have the problem you describe. I do vaguely recall some strange methods that do in a Lagrangian CFD class I took, but they are definitely non-standard and I think were used merely as simple illustrations of a class of methods.

Plus, some CFD methods like the numerical method of characteristics discretize in different coordinates that follow the waves. This can resolve waves really well, but it's confusing to set up in higher dimensions.

CFD methods are just particularly well developed numerical methods for physics. From what I understand analogous methods are used for computational physics in other domains (even relativity).

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 29 June 2017 08:23:34AM 0 points [-]

I don't know much anything about relativity, but waves on a grid in computational fluid dynamics (CFD for short) typically don't have the problem you describe.

Not even for wavelengths not much longer than the grid spacing?

Comment author: Thomas 26 June 2017 10:51:10AM 0 points [-]

you cannot do that: the euclidean norm is not defined for an infinite-dimensional space.

Why not? It is the square root of the sum of (dxi)^2, where i goes through all dimensions. Sometimes it is a finite value. Otherwise the distance is infinite.

The points T0(0,0,0,0....) and T1(0,1/sqrt(2),1/sqrt(4),1/sqrt(8)...) are 1 apart.

Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 26 June 2017 01:05:32PM *  0 points [-]

Otherwise the distance is infinite.

A metric is supposed to be always finite. Note the round right bracket in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metric_(mathematics)#Definition.

In response to comment by gjm on Any Christians Here?
Comment author: lmn 25 June 2017 05:56:53PM 0 points [-]

it seems to me that you want the threat known to a small number of people and to persuade them to work towards a highly specific goal that those people are particularly well-suited to achieving.

Not really. In fact one reason for universality is to discourage reactions like Eliezer's.

In response to comment by lmn on Any Christians Here?
Comment author: Good_Burning_Plastic 25 June 2017 10:29:54PM 0 points [-]

How so?

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