Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

Comment author: Dagon 23 February 2017 02:36:05PM *  0 points [-]

But otherwise, the person has non-exceptional access to and discernment of truth? So it's likely that anything truly unusual he believes is wrong. I don't think Bayes will let me update all that far from "whatever he says is filtered through an engine not optimized for truth." Anything that he thinks will "radically alter my worldview" is likely an illusion or something I already have some evidence for.

This changes in cases where I think the person DOES have better-than-average access to truth.

Also, the fact that he's offering to sell me information that will change my worldview very much works against my likelihood to believe what he says.

Comment author: Mac 23 February 2017 04:36:57PM *  1 point [-]

You are fighting the hypothetical.

A person has true information that will "radically alter your worldview". Assume you believe him/her. How much would you pay for the information?

Comment author: Dagon 22 February 2017 11:41:11PM 3 points [-]

Unpack "trustworthy" - does this mean the person isn't going to tell falsehoods, but may not actually understand how truth works? Or is this more like Omega - has special access to data?

Comment author: Mac 23 February 2017 12:04:55PM *  1 point [-]

The person doesn't tell lies and you trust his/her intelligence and access to information.

Comment author: Mac 22 February 2017 07:49:51PM *  2 points [-]

Imagine that a completely trustworthy person who knows all your beliefs has acquired information that will "radically alter your worldview." No further details of the information are given. How much would you pay for it?

Submitting...

Comment author: gworley 09 January 2017 09:04:13PM 0 points [-]

This is why I say "most" and not "all", since humans seem to be quite willing to accept conditions where their preferences are frustrated more often than they are satisfied, hence the measure of all possible humans whose lives are worth living seems greater than the measure of all possible humans whose lives are not worth living, as measured by the individual human's desire to live such a life versus not existing.

Comment author: Mac 09 January 2017 09:34:10PM 1 point [-]

You've made an argument that most human lives are worth living, not that most human lives, no matter how much suffering they contain, are worth living. I suggest you remove the "no matter how much suffering they contain" part to clearly communicate your position.

Comment author: Mac 09 January 2017 07:54:14PM *  0 points [-]

just as most human lives, no matter how much suffering they contain

Are you implying that the experience of a workaholic on subsistence wages is the maximum level of suffering achievable? If so, I strongly disagree. I can think of quite a few horrible conditions I would not trade it for, here's one: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Comment author: Mac 29 December 2016 05:32:30PM 1 point [-]

We all basically know that complex systems are unpredictable...I'm interested in how others identify complex systems...

Following from your quotes above, you could focus your search on systems for which the accuracy of predictions has been poor.

We are able to personally develop heuristics for evaluating predictions and complex systems, but sharing them with others is really tough.

FYI: This is basically the subject of the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It's by no means a rigorous examination, a little too anecdotal, but you might find it useful.

Comment author: James_Miller 24 October 2016 08:22:25PM 1 point [-]

Dry skin. During the winter the skin on my feet gets painfully dry. I have tried lots of creams and while they help, they don't eliminate the problem. I would pay $400 a year to fix this issue.

Comment author: Mac 25 October 2016 04:49:53PM *  0 points [-]

I predict your toiletries are the problem. Next time it flares up, try showering without soap or hair products for one week - only use water. It may sound gross, but this is a needed experiment.

If I've correctly identified the problem and your feet feel better, I think it would be fair if you gave $200 a year (or a $2,000 lump sum) to the charity of my choosing, don't you?

Disclaimer: I do not receive any compensation or services from my recommended charity.

Comment author: Liron 24 October 2016 09:51:08PM 0 points [-]

Yeah, pain is a huge problem for people. Any advice on how to attack this problem?

Comment author: Mac 25 October 2016 02:10:34PM *  0 points [-]

Maybe you can break it down and focus on the areas that would appear to allow an effective, profitable, scalable intervention. A few thoughts:

Prevention

-Clothing/brace that reduces the risk of injury?

Diagnosis

-Objectively measuring pain is difficult. Here's an attempt.

Coping

-Mental health intervention

-Interesting article here on how VR helped a severe burn victim. Note to self: ketamine trips are insane.

Masking

-Counter irritants

-This device seems like an interesting idea, but has poor reviews.

Permanent solution

-Brain surgery? Probably isn't what you're interested in.

Comment author: Mac 24 October 2016 06:49:44PM *  3 points [-]

what's the most annoying part of your life/job?

Pain. Moderate but constant pain from old sports injuries makes me: spend money on pain meds and counter irritants, work longer hours because the pain is distracting and reduces my productivity, limit physical activity and travel, deviate from an optimal exercise routine, fall into a black hole of grumpiness occasionally.

how much would you pay for a solution?

If by "solution" you mean an easy, one-time, guaranteed fix: $10,000

Comment author: Mac 15 October 2016 01:41:14PM *  1 point [-]

Is a unit of suffering less complex than a unit of happiness, and, therefore, more likely to occur in the universe, all else equal? I realize this is an insanely difficult question, but would be interested in current opinions and any related evidence.

Submitting...

View more: Next