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Comment author: KatjaGrace 22 September 2014 03:20:18AM 2 points [-]

I'm not sure what you mean when you say 'determining what the program needs to do' - this sounds very general. Could you give an example?

Comment author: LeBleu 07 October 2014 08:42:03AM 0 points [-]

Most programming is not about writing the code, it is about translating a human description of the problem into a computer description of the problem. This is also why all attempts so far to make a system so simple "non-programmers" can program it have failed. The difficult aptitude for programming is the ability to think abstractly and systematically, and recognize what parts of a human description of the problem need to be translated into code, and what unspoken parts also need to be translated into code.

Comment author: MrMind 07 July 2014 04:06:44PM *  0 points [-]

It's interesting that stimulating a part of the brain produces unconsciousness, rather than deactivating it (if this is even possible). I dont' know enough neurology to answer, but is claustrum somehow involved in the mechanism of sleep?
Because what we have here could be a partial sleep induction.

Comment author: LeBleu 07 July 2014 06:01:22PM 0 points [-]

The article noted it was high frequency stimulus that had the effect, and seemed to be disrupting normal function.

The article also says the patient was awake.

Comment author: LeBleu 25 November 2013 09:19:02PM 25 points [-]

I took the survey.

Comment author: LeBleu 02 January 2011 04:28:52PM 1 point [-]

Good article, I'll have to see if reminding myself of this helps at work tomorrow.

Success and happiness cause you to regain willpower;

This is dangerously incorrect - studies show willpower is only an expendable resource for people who believe it to be. People who don't think willpower is expendable have longer lasting willpower.

Comment author: Will_Newsome 09 December 2010 12:56:39AM *  6 points [-]

So, let me back up and try again. I'm currently imagining a purple dinosaur named Ansel with a built-in helicopter coming out of its skull and a refrigerator in its belly. Are you suggesting that Ansel is real, since it exists in my mind, and that it would become increasingly real if other people sat around imagining it too?

Yes. And if I imagined Ansel except green and not purple, then that adds a little bit to the realness of Ansel, unless we want to call the new green dinosaur Spinoz instead and have it be its own distinct cognitive algorithm.

Presumably you aren't arguing that inspiring art, science, devotion and whatnot is what it means to be real, or it would follow that most of the atoms in the universe are non-real and are in non-real configurations, which is a decidedly odd use of that word.

Nah, I reason about it in terms of measure. You have one cognitive algorithm that's being run on one mind. You have another cognitive algorithm that's running redundantly on a hundred minds. I'd say the latter has about a hundred times as much measure as the former. I don't know how else to reason about relative existence. (Realness?) I'm porting this sort of thinking over from reasoning about the universe being spatially infinite and there being an infinite number of TheOtherDaves all typing slightly different things. Some of those TheOtherDaves 'exist' more than others, especially if they're doing very probable things.

If existence isn't measured by number of copies, then what could it be measured by? The alternative I see is something like decision theoretic significance, which is why I was talking about what you called 'importance'. But I'm wary of getting into cutting edge decision theory stuff that I don't understand very well. Instead, can you tell me what you think 'realness' is, and whether or not you think God is real, and why or why not? We're starting to argue over definitions, which is a common failure mode, but it's cool as long as we realize we're arguing over definitions.

I think that everything exists, by the way: there's an ensemble universe, like Tegmark's level 4 multiverse, and so we can only quibble about how existent something is, not whether or not it exists. I might be having trouble trying to translate commonsense definitions into and out of my ontology. My apologies.

You say later that God is "much more complex," and I can't really see what that has to do with anything... I mean, a tree is much more complex than a wooden pole, but I wouldn't say that has anything to do with the reality of a tree or of a wooden pole.

I mean that people tend to use a lot more neurons to model God than to model Santa Claus, and thus by the redundant-copies argument hinted at above this means that God exists more. Relatedly...

Incidentally, many people write letters to Santa Claus, and sometimes things happen that they experience as a reply from Santa Claus. If that is different from what you are referring to as an "answer" here, then I've continued to misunderstand you.

You're right, I forgot about this. Parents have to use lots of neurons to model Santa Claus when crafting the letters. Kids don't tend to use as many neurons when writing letters to Santa, I think. But add up all of these neuron-compuations and it's still vastly less than the neuron-computations used by the many people having religious experiences and praying every day. (I'm using number-of-neurons-used as a proxy for strength/number of computations.)

Also, 'people' aren't ontologically fundamental: they're made of algorithms too, just like God. So I don't see how you can say 'God doesn't exist' without implying that Will Newsome doesn't exist; Will Newsome is just a collection of human universal algorithms (facial recognition, object permanence) and culture-specific memetic contents (humanism, rationality, Buddhism). The body is just a computing substrate, and it's not something I identify with all that much. And if I'm just a collection of algorithms running on some general computing hardware, well, the same is true of God. It's just that he's more parallel and I'm more serial. And I'm way smarter.

(Not that there is any such thing as 'I'. 'I' am made of a kludge of algorithms, and we don't always agree.)

Comment author: LeBleu 09 December 2010 10:47:06PM *  1 point [-]

What's the usefulness of "I think that everything exists, by the way: there's an ensemble universe"? How does it constrain your expectations?

I don't see how having specific beliefs either way about stuff outside the observable universe is useful.

Now, if you can show that whether the universe beyond the observable is infinite or non-infinite but much larger than the Hubble Volume constrains expectations about the contents of the observable universe, then it might be useful.

Comment author: Aurini 12 October 2010 01:51:54AM 8 points [-]

Clarification: if you walk into the leather shop, with $300 burning a hole in your pocket, and see a nice jacket - and the guy behind the counter knows what he's doing (and gives enough of a shit) you will walk out of their, happy with your new jacket.

Saying there's no defense whatsoever was a bit of an exagerration; it's true that some people are more resistant than others (though not infinitely resistant), but even if you're weak you can always avoid the situations in the first place.

Having a blanket policy of "I don't do anything at the door" is highly effective.

It's sort of like a bullet; you can't resist it, but you can avoid it [assuming for the sake of analogy you ignore kevlar].

You know what? I will write a piece on defence, once I'm done with the other pieces in the series. Hopefully what I was trying to convey will be clearer at that point.

As for my purpose - 1) it's fun; this is stuff I've thought a lot about, and the community here is smart enough to understand it, 2) I get LW points and ego validation for writing it, and 3) the information's already out there, I figure it might as well be in the hands of the Good Guys.

Comment author: LeBleu 14 October 2010 05:35:29PM 2 points [-]

Clarification: if you walk into the leather shop, with $300 burning a hole in your pocket, and see a nice jacket - and the guy behind the counter knows what he's doing (and gives enough of a shit) you will walk out of their, happy with your new jacket.

Are you assuming you walked into the leather shop with the intention to buy something? Or does walking in with a friend/partner who is shopping there count, but you wanted to spend that money on something else?

Saying there's no defense whatsoever was a bit of an exagerration; it's true that some people are more resistant than others (though not infinitely resistant), but even if you're weak you can always avoid the situations in the first place.

Do you have any evidence to back up these success rates on people who actually don't want to buy the thing (prior to manipulation)? I am highly skeptical that people are on average so easy to manipulate. I am not skeptical that there are many people who are marginal on whether or not to buy a jacket, and hence easy to talk into it. However, you seem to be assuming a level of irresistibility to manipulation that does not correlate with my normal experience. The world is full of manipulative sales pitches - and most of the people resist them most of the time, otherwise most people couldn't afford to eat.

I'm not denying there is a large contingent that is so vulnerable, merely claiming they are less than 50% of the population. If I had to put a confidence interval on it, I'd say the percentage was 1% - 30%, with the higher percentages assuming they are segregated into socioeconomic groups that I'm unlikely to encounter in my daily life.

Comment author: SilasBarta 11 August 2010 06:18:46PM *  6 points [-]

Yeah, that pretty much describes growing up for me.

"Don't do that."
Why not?
"How dare you disrespect my authority you little terr..."
Oh, no, I'm perfectly fine with obeying, I just wanted to know the rationale so I can identify what kinds of things are off-limits ...

Edit: Needless to say, even on this forum, there are people who have no qualms about telling others "Don't do that" without bothering to spell out the boundary, or even understand why that would be necessary. I can't understand what motivates such people beyond, "I like it when others are in a perpetual state of uncertainty and have to keep deferring to me for permission."

Comment author: LeBleu 11 August 2010 07:48:19PM 4 points [-]

Your attempt to understand these people's motivations seems to assume that these people understand that you don't know the answer. Another possible motivation is that they think the explanation is obvious or common knowledge, and hence you must be asking to antagonize them, not out of actual ignorance. Not to say that I don't think some people's motivation really is the one you've stated - they simply enjoy being in control of people.

In response to comment by Roko on Ugh fields
Comment author: pjeby 12 April 2010 07:47:54PM 5 points [-]

but it seemed like a good idea that, once you have done that, you should find an alternative plan that focuses on achieveing a positive outcome.

If you simply remove the negative, this focus shift tends to happen automatically. And by "tends to", I mean, like every single frickin' time (lots of different clients with different situations).

Per the pain/gain post, when you are not experiencing negative motivation, possible choices of action tend to become mighty clear. The routine thing that people say after the last negative in an area is removed is, "Oh, I think I'll do X. Wonder why i didn't think of that before."

OTOH, if you have to make an effort to focus on the positive, it's an indication that you're pushing against something. If you actually remove that something, you don' t have to push -- the door just flies open when you touch it.

In response to comment by pjeby on Ugh fields
Comment author: LeBleu 15 April 2010 06:39:09PM 1 point [-]

If you simply remove the negative, this focus shift tends to happen automatically.

I don't understand what you mean by removing the negative, and how this is supposed to be a simple act. Obviously it is too late to stop the original pain that triggered it. If you mean removing the negative reaction, I don't understand how you can claim that is a simple action. (Unless you are constraining simple to mean simple for an expert in the particular field of mind modification/psychology/whatever the relevant field is.)

Comment author: LeBleu 03 June 2009 04:54:32AM 6 points [-]
In response to comment by ciphergoth on Where are we?
Comment author: SoullessAutomaton 02 April 2009 10:51:33PM *  0 points [-]

Post in this thread if you live in the midwestern USA or nearby areas of Canada, ideally roughly within a day's drive of Chicago.

EDIT: For anyone in this area, Penguicon may be a good location for a meetup. It's a mixed sci-fi/open-source/general-geekery convention in the Detroit area, and just might possibly have at least one guest that LW readers would be interested to meet. I probably won't be there this year, though.

Comment author: LeBleu 17 May 2009 10:12:06PM 0 points [-]

Algoma, WI (about 4 hours north of Chicago)

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