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Minneapolis Meetup: Saturday May 28, 3:00PM

2 JustinShovelain 23 May 2011 11:55PM

Minneapolis Meetup: Saturday May 14, 3:00PM

5 JustinShovelain 13 May 2011 09:14PM
Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 28 July 2010 09:51:22AM *  0 points [-]

Why "new terms"? If the language can finitely express a concept, my scheme gives that concept plausibility. Maybe this could be extended to lengths of programs that generate axioms for a given theory (even enumerable sets of axioms), rather than lengths of individual finite statements, but I guess that can be stated within some logical language just as well.

Comment author: JustinShovelain 28 July 2010 07:57:39PM 0 points [-]

By new "term" I meant to make the clear that this statement points to an operation that cannot be done with the original machine. Instead it calls this new module (say a halting oracle) that didn't exist originally.

Comment author: Vladimir_Nesov 27 July 2010 10:26:16AM 3 points [-]

I haven't studied algorithmic probability literature in-depth, but it naively seems to me that one can straightforwardly extend the idea of universal probability to arbitrary logical languages, thus becoming able to assign plausibility to all mathematical structures. The same principle as with universal prior, but have a statement valued by the length of the shortest equivalent statement (from no non-logical axioms), and consequently a class of structures gets value from a statement describing it. This takes care of not noticing halting oracles and so on, you just need to let go of the standard theory/model of programs-only.

Comment author: JustinShovelain 28 July 2010 09:06:39AM *  0 points [-]

Are you trying to express the idea of adding new fundamental "terms" to your language describing things like halting oracles and such? And then discounting their weight by the shortest statement of said term's properties expressed in the language that existed previously to including this additional "term?" If so, I agree that this is the natural way to extend priors out to handle arbitrary describable objects such as halting oracles.

Stated another way. You start with a language L. Let the definition of an esoteric mathematical object (say a halting oracle) E be D in the original language L. Then the prior probability of a program using that object is discounted by the description length of D. This gives us a prior over all "programs" containing arbitrary (describable) esoteric mathematical objects in their description.

I'm not yet sure how universal this approach is at allowing arbitrary esoteric mathematical objects (appealing to the Church-Turing thesis here would be assuming the conclusion) and am uncertain whether we can ignore the ones it cannot incorporate.

Comment author: JustinShovelain 19 March 2010 11:39:58PM *  6 points [-]

Interesting idea.

I agree that trusting newly formed ideas is risky, but there are several reasons to convey them anyway (non-comprehensive listing):

  • To recruit assistance in developing and verifying them

  • To convey an idea that is obvious in retrospect, an idea you can be confident in immediately

  • To signal cleverness and ability to think on one's feet

  • To socially play with the ideas

What we are really after though is to asses how much weight to assign to an idea off the bat so we can calculate the opportunity costs of thinking about the idea in greater detail and asking for the idea to be fleshed out and conveyed fully. This overlaps somewhat with the confidence (context sensitive rules in determining) with which the speaker is conveying the idea. Also, how do you gauge how old an idea really is? Especially if it condenses gradually or is a simple combination out of very old parts? Still... some metric is better than no metric.

<Thought about for 1 minute. Written up in 5 minutes.>

Sequential Organization of Thinking: "Six Thinking Hats"

25 JustinShovelain 18 March 2010 05:22AM

Many people move chaotically from thought to thought without explicit structure. Inappropriate structuring may leave blind spots or cause the gears of thought to grind to a halt, but the advantages of appropriate structuring are immense:

Correct thought structuring ensures that you examine all relevant facets of an issue, idea, or fact.

  • It ensures you know what to do next at every stage and are not frustrated or crippled by akrasia between moments of choice; the next action is always obvious.
  • It minimizes the overhead of task switching: you are in control and do not dither between possibilities.
  • It may be used in a social context so that potentially challenging issues and thoughts may be brought up in a non-threatening manner (let's look at the positive aspects, now let's focus purely on the negative...).


To illustrate thought structuring, I use the example of Edward de Bono's "six thinking hats" mnemonic.  With Edward de Bono's "six thinking hats" method you metaphorically put on various colored "hats" (perspectives) and switch "hats" depending on the task. I will use the somewhat controversial issue of cryonics as my running example.1

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Comment author: JustinShovelain 14 March 2010 08:23:08AM *  5 points [-]

Poll: Do you have older siblings or are an only child?

karma balance

Comment author: JustinShovelain 14 March 2010 08:24:25AM 35 points [-]

Vote this up if you are the oldest child with siblings.

Comment author: JustinShovelain 14 March 2010 08:23:08AM *  5 points [-]

Poll: Do you have older siblings or are an only child?

karma balance

Comment author: JustinShovelain 14 March 2010 08:23:46AM 12 points [-]

Vote this up if you are an only child.

Comment author: JustinShovelain 14 March 2010 08:23:08AM *  5 points [-]

Poll: Do you have older siblings or are an only child?

karma balance

Comment author: JustinShovelain 14 March 2010 08:23:32AM 14 points [-]

Vote this up if you have older siblings.

Comment author: JustinShovelain 14 March 2010 08:23:08AM *  5 points [-]

Poll: Do you have older siblings or are an only child?

karma balance

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