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Comment author: IlyaShpitser 16 December 2017 07:09:28AM 0 points [-]

anyone going to the AAAI ethics/safety conf?

Comment author: HungryHobo 08 December 2017 10:15:18PM 5 points [-]

It's pretty common for groups of people to band together around confused beliefs.

Millions of people have incorrect beliefs about vaccines, millions more are part of new age groups which have embraced confused and wrong beliefs about quantum physics (often related to utterly misunderstanding the term "Observer" as used in physics) and millions more have banded together around incorrect beliefs about biology. Are you smarter than all of those people combined? Are you smarter than every single individual in those groups? probably not but...

The man who replaced me on the commission said, “That book was approved by sixty-five engineers at the Such-and-such Aircraft Company!”

I didn’t doubt that the company had some pretty good engineers, but to take sixty-five engineers is to take a wide range of ability–and to necessarily include some pretty poor guys! It was once again the problem of averaging the length of the emperor’s nose, or the ratings on a book with nothing between the covers. It would have been far better to have the company decide who their better engineers were, and to have them look at the book. I couldn’t claim to that I was smarter than sixty-five other guys–but the average of sixty-five other guys, certainly!

I couldn’t get through to him, and the book was approved by the board.

— from “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman” (Adventures of a Curious Character)
Comment author: IlyaShpitser 08 December 2017 10:54:55PM *  1 point [-]

One of my favorite examples of a smart person being confused about something is ET Jaynes being confused about Bell inequalities.

Smart people are confused all the time, even (perhaps especially) in their area.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 06 December 2017 06:05:05PM *  8 points [-]

You are really confused about statistics and learning, and possibly also about formal languages in theoretical CS. I neither want nor have time to get into this with you, just wanted to point this out for your potential benefit.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 06 December 2017 05:06:54PM *  0 points [-]


(This is not "Yudkowskian Rationality"<tm> though.)

Comment author: ChristianKl 03 December 2017 04:01:30PM *  0 points [-]

I was generally the smartest person in the room during school, but also lacked perspective and context back then.

This is not that untypical in this community. LW Censi put the average IQ on LW at something like 140.

There are plenty of people inside Mensa that spend their youth being smarter than the people in the room in school and that go on to develop crackpot theories.

From the perspective of Ilya Shpitser, who was supervised for his Phd by Judea Pearl (who's famous of producing a theory of causality that's very useful for practical purposes), corresponding with David Deutsch in an informal way doesn't give you a lot of credentials.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 03 December 2017 09:49:30PM 0 points [-]

Dear Christian, please don't pull rank on my behalf. I don't think this is productive to do, and I don't want to bring anyone else into this.

Comment author: curi 01 December 2017 09:10:51PM *  0 points [-]

What is an "intellectual" fixing of an error instead of a plain-vanilla fixing of an error?

I'm talking about identifying an error and writing a better idea. That's different than e.g. spending 50 years working on the better idea or somehow getting others to.

What's the % chance that he is correct? AFAIK he has been saying the same thing for years.

Yeah it's been staying the same due to lack of funding.

I don't typically do % estimates like you guys, but I read his book and some other material (for his side and against), and talked with him, and I believe (using philosophy) his ideas merit major research attention over their rivals.

You don't think that figuring out which ideas are "best available" is the hard part? Everyone and his dog claims his idea is the best.

well, using philosophy i did that hard part and figured out which ones are good.

I don't think that's true. Most people don't want to live for a long time as wrecks with Alzheimer's and pains in every joint, but invent a treatment that lets you stay at, say, the the 30-year-old level of health indefinitely and I bet few people will refuse (at least the non-religious ones).

oh they won't refuse that after it's cheaply available. they are confused and inconsistent.

Why is there a "should"?

b/c i didn't want the interpretation that it can be explained multiple ways. i'm advocating just the one option.

The twin studies are garbage, btw

All of them?

i have surveyed them and found them to all be garbage. i looked specifically at ones with some of the common, important conclusions, e.g. about heritability of autism, IQ, that kinda stuff. they have major methodological problems. but i imagine you could find some study involving twins, about something, which is ok.

if you believe you know a twin study that is not garbage, would you accept an explanation of why it's garbage as a demonstration of the power and importance of CR philosophy?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 01 December 2017 10:49:15PM 1 point [-]

well, using philosophy i did that hard part and figured out which ones are good.


Comment author: Fallibilist 01 December 2017 12:05:34AM 1 point [-]

curi has given an excellent response to this. I would like to add that I think Yudkowsky should reach out to curi. He shares curi's view about the state of the world and the urgency to fix things, but curi has a deeper understanding. With curi, Yudkowsky would not be the smartest person in the room and that will be valuable for his intellectual development.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 01 December 2017 02:10:45AM 1 point [-]

Who are you talking to? To the audience? To the fourth wall?

Surely not to me, I have no sway here.

Comment author: curi 29 November 2017 11:32:57PM *  0 points [-]

That isn't even a philosophy book. And then you mention others who are doing math, not philosophy.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 30 November 2017 07:38:28PM *  4 points [-]

Your sockpuppet: "There is a shortage of good philosophers."

Me: "Here is a good philosophy book."

You: "That's not philosophy."

Also you: "How is Ayn Rand so right about everything."

Also you: "I don't like mainstream stuff."

Also you: "Have you heard that I exchanged some correspondence with DAVID DEUTSCH!?"

Also you: "What if you are, hypothetically, wrong? What if you are, hypothetically, wrong? What if you are, hypothetically, wrong?" x1000

Part of rationality is properly dealing with people-as-they-are. What your approach to spreading your good word among people-as-they-are led to is them laughing at you.

It is possible that they are laughing at you because they are some combination of stupid and insane. But then it's on you to first issue a patch into their brain that will be accepted, such that they can parse your proselytizing, before proceeding to proselytize.

This is what Yudkowsky sort of tried to do.

How you read to me is a smart young adult who has the same problem Yudkowsky has (although Yudkowsky is not so young anymore) -- someone who has been the smartest person in the room for too long in their intellectual development, and lacks the sense of scale and context to see where he stands in the larger intellectual community.

Comment author: curi 29 November 2017 11:01:51PM *  0 points [-]

I don't suppose you're going to give names and references? Let alone point to anyone (them, yourself, or anyone else) who will take responsibility for addressing questions and criticisms about the referenced works?

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 29 November 2017 11:13:32PM *  1 point [-]

Spirtes, Glymour, and Scheines, for starters. They have a nice book. There are other folks in that department who are working on converting mathematical foundations into an axiomatic system where proofs can be checked by a computer.

I am not going to do leg work for you, and your minions, however. You are the ones claiming there are no good philosophers. It's your responsibility to read, and keep your mouth shut if you are not sure about something.

It's not my responsibility to teach you.

Comment author: Fallibilist 29 November 2017 07:47:01PM 0 points [-]

There are thousands of philosophers about whom I could ask the same question.

Who are these thousands? It would be great if the world had lots of really good philosophers. It doesn't. The world is starving for good philosophers: they are very few and far between.

Comment author: IlyaShpitser 29 November 2017 10:17:18PM 0 points [-]

I know lots of folks at CMU who are good.

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