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Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 20 September 2014 10:17:44AM 0 points [-]

Similarly, I turned off the newsfeed in facebook, which I found to improve the quality of my internet time in general (the primary issue was that I would sometimes be distracted by the newsfeed while sending messages over facebook, which wasn't my favorite way to use up wastenotime minutes).

Thank you for that plugin, it's so useful.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 17 September 2014 11:51:35AM *  7 points [-]

In the interest of trying out stuff outside the usual sphere-of-things-that-I'm-doing, I now have a fashion/lifestyle blog.

It's in Finnish, but it has a bunch of pictures of me, which ought to be language-neutral. Also my stuffed animals. (And yes, I know that I need a better camera.)

Comment author: paulfchristiano 16 September 2014 04:19:39AM *  3 points [-]

Do you know of a partially observable game for which AI lags behind humans substantially? These examples are of particular interest to me because they would significantly revise my understanding of what problems are hard and easy.

The most prominent games of this partial information that I know are Bridge and Poker, and AI's can now win at both of these (and which in fact proved to be much easier than the classic deterministic games). Backgammon is random, and also turned out to be relatively easy--in fact the randomness itself is widely considered to have made the game easy for computers! Scrabble is the other example that comes to mind, where the situation is the same.

For Civilization in particular, it seems very likely that AI would be wildly superhuman if it were subject to the same kind of attention as other games, simply because the techniques used in Go and Backgammon, together with a bunch of ad hoc logic for navigating the tech tree, should be able to get so much traction.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 16 September 2014 07:27:04PM 5 points [-]

For Civilization in particular, it seems very likely that AI would be wildly superhuman if it were subject to the same kind of attention as other games, simply because the techniques used in Go and Backgammon, together with a bunch of ad hoc logic for navigating the tech tree, should be able to get so much traction.

Agreed. It's not Civilization, but Starcraft is also partially observable and non-deterministic, and a team of students managed to bring their Starcraft AI to the level of being able to defeat a "top 16 in Europe"-level human player after only a "few months" of work.

The game AIs for popular strategy games are often bad because the developers don't actually have the time and resources to make a really good one, and it's not a high priority anyway - most people playing games like Civilization want an AI that they'll have fun defeating, not an AI that actually plays optimally.

Comment author: brazil84 16 September 2014 08:48:23AM 1 point [-]

General ughy feelings around doing anything related to downvote investigations and an unwillingness to do anything that would cause me to spend more time doing them. Possible reasons for those ughy feelings include an aversion to doing anything confrontational (including punishing mass downvoters), a high uncertainty of what should be considered unacceptable behavior and low confidence in my ability to accurately determine what counts as karmassassination, and an unwillingness to bother people (including jackk) unless absolutely necessary. Not all of those reasons necessarily applied in your case, but it was close enough to trigger the emotional association.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the persons who downvoted me a lot have significantly more popular views than those of Eugine_Nier.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 16 September 2014 04:34:36PM 0 points [-]

I don't actually remember who the people who downvoted you are. I'd have to look them up again.

Comment author: brazil84 15 September 2014 08:41:28AM -1 points [-]

No, I'm sorry. You could ask Viliam_Bur to do it.

I did, but why not? I have a hypothesis but it's not very flattering to you.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 15 September 2014 06:54:00PM 2 points [-]

General ughy feelings around doing anything related to downvote investigations and an unwillingness to do anything that would cause me to spend more time doing them. Possible reasons for those ughy feelings include an aversion to doing anything confrontational (including punishing mass downvoters), a high uncertainty of what should be considered unacceptable behavior and low confidence in my ability to accurately determine what counts as karmassassination, and an unwillingness to bother people (including jackk) unless absolutely necessary. Not all of those reasons necessarily applied in your case, but it was close enough to trigger the emotional association.

Comment author: jaibot 08 September 2014 07:23:27PM 2 points [-]

This is the first time I've run into Mercy for Animals. Is there a third-part analysis of effectiveness?

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 13 September 2014 01:41:28PM *  1 point [-]

I chose them based on the recommendation from Animal Charity Evaluators: here are ACE's short and full reports.

Comment author: brazil84 06 September 2014 03:24:05PM 1 point [-]

Have you asked him? It's been a couple months now. TIA.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 13 September 2014 01:38:49PM 2 points [-]

No, I'm sorry. You could ask Viliam_Bur to do it.

[meta] New LW moderator: Viliam_Bur

36 Kaj_Sotala 13 September 2014 01:37PM

Some time back, I wrote that I was unwilling to continue with investigations into mass downvoting, and asked people for suggestions on how to deal with them from now on. The top-voted proposal in that thread suggested making Viliam_Bur into a moderator, and Viliam gracefully accepted the nomination. So I have given him moderator privileges and also put him in contact with jackk, who provided me with the information necessary to deal with the previous cases. Future requests about mass downvote investigations should be directed to Viliam.

Thanks a lot for agreeing to take up this responsibility, Viliam! It's not an easy one, but I'm very grateful that you're willing to do it. Please post a comment here so that we can reward you with some extra upvotes. :)

I'm holding a birthday fundraiser

23 Kaj_Sotala 05 September 2014 12:38PM

EDIT: The fundraiser was successfully completed, raising the full $500 for worthwhile charities. Yay!

Today's my birthday! And per Peter Hurford's suggestion, I'm holding a birthday fundraiser to help raise money for MIRI, GiveDirectly, and Mercy for Animals. If you like my activity on LW or elsewhere, please consider giving a few dollars to one of these organizations via the fundraiser page. You can specify which organization you wish to donate in the comment of the donation, or just leave it unspecified, in which case I'll give your donation to MIRI.

If you don't happen to be particularly altruistically motivated, just consider it a birthday gift to me - it will give me warm fuzzies to know that I helped move money for worthy organizations. And if you are altruistically motivated but don't care about me in particular, maybe you still can get yourself to donate more than usual by hacky stuff like someone you know on the Internet having a birthday. :)

If someone else wants to hold their own birthday fundraiser, here are some tips: birthday fundraisers.

Comment author: Sherincall 25 August 2014 05:54:08PM 5 points [-]

Are the European meetups in English or the native language? I'm moving to Germany soon, and would love to attend some closer meetups (Germany/Netherlands/Belgium), iff they are English by default.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 25 August 2014 06:06:59PM 5 points [-]

The policy in the Finnish meetups has been "Finnish if everyone is Finnish, English if there are foreigners present". I would expect the meetups in the other countries to be similar.

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