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 12 March 2018 08:17:04PM 2 points [-]

I still prefer the old site, for ease of finding comments in reply to mine, and for seeing all recent posts (I bookmark /discussion/new), and for not being javascript hell.

and the old site is dead, regardless of my usage preference. There's no point in keeping it.

Comment author: Manfred 13 March 2018 02:45:54AM *  0 points [-]


Comment author: Manfred 07 December 2017 05:12:01PM 0 points [-]

This site isn't too active - maybe email someone from CFAR directly?

Comment author: Manfred 27 November 2017 06:53:06PM 0 points [-]

Man, this interviewer sure likes to ask dense questions. Bostrom sort of responded to them, but things would have gone a lot smoother if LARB guy (okay, Andy Fitch) had limited himself to one or two questions at a time. Still, it's kind of shocking the extent to which Andy "got it," given that he doesn't seem to be specially selected - instead he's a regular LARB contributor and professor in an MFA program.

Comment author: Manfred 05 November 2017 07:46:32PM 0 points [-]

Hm, the format is interesting. The end product is, ideally, a tree of arguments, with each argument having an attached relevance rating from the audience. I like that they didn't try to use the pro and con arguments to influence the rating of the parent argument, because that would be too reflective of audience composition.

Comment author: curi 01 November 2017 06:55:29PM 2 points [-]

Well, no - it's a set of explanations. A very large set, consisting of every explanation other than ‘the sun is powered by nuclear fusion’, but smaller than T | ~T, and therefore somewhat useful, however slightly.

Infinity minus one isn't smaller than infinity. That's not useful in that way.

It may be useful in some way. But just ruling a single thing out, when dealing with infinity, isn't a road to progress.

indeed idea that quantum theory and relativity are both true is nonsense

He's saying we use them both, and that has value, even though we know there must be some mistake somewhere. Saying "or" misrepresents the current situation. Both of them seem to be partly right. The situation (our current understanding which has value) looks nothing like we'll end up keeping one and rejecting the other.

Comment author: Manfred 02 November 2017 09:07:28PM 0 points [-]

Infinity minus one isn't smaller than infinity. That's not useful in that way.

The thing being added or subtracted is not the mere number of hypotheses, but a measure of the likelihood of those hypotheses. We might suppose an infinitude of mutually exclusive theories of the world, but most of them are extremely unlikely - for any degree of unlikeliness, there are an infinity of theories less likely than that! A randomly-chosen theory is so unlikely to be true, that if you add up the likelihoods of every single theory, they add up to a number less than infinity.

It is for this reason that it is important when we divide our hypotheses between something likely, and everything else. "Everything else" contains infinite possibilities, but only finite likelihood.

Comment author: Dagon 01 November 2017 09:54:23PM 0 points [-]

(1) the objective of science is, or should be, to increase our ‘credence’ for true theories

Well, no. Theories are maps, and are by necessity simpler than the territory (the universe is it's own best model). There is no such thing as a "true" theory. There are only theories which predict a larger or smaller subset of future states better or worse than others.

Comment author: Manfred 02 November 2017 08:55:20PM 0 points [-]

I think this neglects the idea of "physical law," which says that theories can be good when they capture the dynamics and building-blocks of the world simply, even if they are quite ignorant about the complex initial conditions of the world.

Comment author: Stuart_Armstrong 25 October 2017 04:07:17PM 1 point [-]

I suggest you check with Nate what exactly he thinks, but my opinion is:

If two decision algorithms are functionally equivalent, but algorithmically dissimilar, you'd want a decision theory that recognises this.

I think Nate agrees with this, and any lack of functional equivalence is due to not being able to fully specify that yet.

f and f' are functionally correlated, but not functionally equivalent. FDT does not recognise this.

Can't this be modelled as uncertainty over functional equivalence? (or over input-output maps)?

Comment author: Manfred 25 October 2017 09:41:14PM *  0 points [-]

Can't this be modelled as uncertainty over functional equivalence? (or over input-output maps)?

Hm, that's an interesting point. Is what we care about just the brute input-output map? If we're faced with a black-box predictor, then yes, all that matters is the correlation even if we don't know the method. But I don't think any sort of representation of computations as input-output maps actually helps account for how we should learn about or predict this correlation - we learn and predict the predictor in a way that seems like updating a distribution over computations. Nor does it seem to help in the case of trying to understand to what extend two agents are logically dependent on one another. So I think the computational representation is going to be more fruitful.

Comment author: Manfred 18 October 2017 10:59:35PM 1 point [-]

Interesting that resnets still seem state of the art. I was expecting them to have been replaced by something more heterogeneous by now. But I might be overrating the usefulness of discrete composition because it's easy to understand.

Comment author: root 17 October 2017 03:28:53PM 2 points [-]

Is LW 1.0 dead?

Comment author: Manfred 17 October 2017 04:45:14PM 3 points [-]

Plausibly? LW2 seems to be doing okay, which is gonna siphon off posts and comments.

Comment author: MrMind 06 October 2017 10:11:48AM 0 points [-]

That's interesting... is the dust size still consistent with artificial objects?

Comment author: Manfred 06 October 2017 08:04:35PM *  1 point [-]

The dust probably is just dust - scattering of blue light more than red is the same reason the sky is blue and the sun looks red at sunset (Rayleigh scattering / Mie scattering). It comes from scattering off of particles smaller than a few times the wavelength of the light - so if visible light is being scattered less than UV, we know that lots of the particles are of size smaller than ~2 um. This is about the size of a small bacterium, so dust with interesting structure isn't totally out of the question, but still... it's probably just dust.

View more: Next